Welcome Back Guest Tara Lush!

GinnyJC is the winner of the cd book! Watch for an email from Tara!

I’m so happy to welcome back Tara Lush. The second book in her delightful Coffee Lover’s Mystery, Cold Brew Corpse, released on December 7th. If you need a Florida getaway, this is the book for you! Look for a giveaway at the end of the post!

Tara: For years, I was a cat person.

I lovingly accepted a tabby and a tortie into my home, and the sounds of purring and their little murder mittens padding against my hardwood floor were a balm for my soul. Sadly, both passed, and my husband and I were petless.

One day, we stared at each other. “What about a dog?” I said.

We got two in quick succession, and now I’m a certified dog person. It happened somewhere in between our Shih Tzu puppy adorably learning to play fetch and our Tibetan Spaniel snuggling in bed on a cold night.

Don’t get me wrong; I love cats. Always will. But dogs — in all their goofy, enthusiastic glory — have stolen my heart. Our home now resembles a puppy kindergarten, even though the dogs are now nine and ten. We have beds and a mountain of toys, and schedule our days around walks.

I have a shirt that says, “Dog Mom.”

So it makes total sense that the puppers would make their way into my fiction.

When I crafted my first cozy mystery series, I knew that my heroine, Lana Lewis, would have a dog. Initially, I started the series with her and the dog, but determined that she needed to adopt the puppy somehow at the beginning of book one, Grounds for Murder.

Lana wasn’t sold on being a dog owner, but quickly warmed to the life when she realized that wee Stanley the Shih Tzu would be homeless now that the victim was dead. By the end of book one, she’d bought Stanley a dog car seat. In book two, she and Stanley attend training classes together.

Stanley has become a fan favorite, I’m pleased to report. His temperament—stubborn, curious, loving—is inspired by my own two dogs. I try to incorporate the best and quirkiest details from both pets into Stanley. He’s become one of the funniest characters to write, and I often chuckle as I’m working on his scenes.

Before I start a new book in the series, I even draw up an entire plot for him chapter by chapter, because I need to know where he is and what he’s doing. To me, there’s nothing more distracting than reading a book where a pet is introduced, and then the main characters seem to forget about the pet for several chapters!

I’ve read several great cozy series with dogs lately, and wanted to share my favorites:

  • J.C. Eaton’s Sophie Kimball Mystery series features Streetman, a chiweenie
  • Laura Jensen Walker’s Bookish Baker Mystery series has an adorable American Eskimo dog named Gracie
  • Harper Kincaid’s To Kill a Mocking Girl’s heroine has a German Shepherd named RBG — after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • V.M. Burns features Snickers and Oreo, two unforgettable toy poodles, in her Mystery Bookshop Mystery series.

Check out my latest book, COLD BREW CORPSE, which is the second in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series, published by Crooked Lane Books. You’ll get to know Stanley the Shih Tzu and all of his human companions as they sleuth a murder. The book releases Dec. 7, 2021 — and read on for a special giveaway of Book One!

ABOUT COLD BREW CORPSE: Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?  

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship—and Lana’s life—in very hot coffee.

LINK: https://books2read.com/ColdBrewCorpse


Website: www.taralush.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTaraLush

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authortaralush/

BIO: Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award winning journalist. She was a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics.

She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under her real name, Tamara Lush. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

GIVEAWAY: I’d like to give the readers of Wicked Authors a chance to win book one in the series — on audio CD!

Readers: Tell me your favorite cozy involving dogs in the comments, and I’ll pick someone on Dec. 15!

18 Thoughts

  1. You’ve already mentioned V.M. Burns. Her two standards are wonderful sleuth pals. Kathi Daley’s Rescue, Alaska series also comes to mind.

  2. Congrats on the second book! I am on the search for a small coffee shop that has cold brew but might have to try it from Starbuck’s to see what it tastes like. When thinking back to the cozy canines I have read about I would have to say that Bethany Blake’s Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries have my favorite dog, a soulful basset named Socrates. Thank you for the giveaway, fingers crossed!

  3. How fun! Coffee and dogs…Love them! Thank you for sharing your writing talents with us One of my favorite cozies that I have read recently is the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries…”A Side of Murder”- Book 1, and her second book “An Eggnog to Die For”. The heroine’s dog is called Diogi (pronounced dee-OH-gee) it makes me laugh as I read… Thank you for the opportunity to learn about your most intriguing mysteries! Merry Christmas! Luis at ole dot travel

  4. Congrats, Tara! I loved your first book and look forward to reading Cold-brew Corpse. I am a coffee snob, so I appreciate all your coffee-related details, but I am a cat person- we currently have three! I agree with Olletravel about Amy Pershing’s books- Diogi is a fun character, and then she added a cat in book two- Ciati (pronounced cee-a-tee).

  5. Thank you for having plans for your cozy dogs in your books, I do like to read about pets helping solve the mystery. Some of my favorite dogs are: Crumpet in Jessica Elliott’s Beryl and Edwina Mysteries; Gladstone in Verity Bright’s Lady Eleanor Swift Mysteries; Arf in Leslie Budewitz’s Spice Shop Mysteries; all the dogs Jazz works with in Kylie Logan’s mysteries and as others have stated…Elvis in Paula Munier’s Mercy Carr Mysteries. Your book sounds like a winner, best of luck with it!

  6. Diogi and Ciati are certainly great! My first thought was of Tee Tucker in the Sneaky Pie mysteries by Rita Mae Brown.

    I would love to win your book to be introduced to a new (to me) pupper sleuth.

  7. I’m enjoying the latest from Donna Andrews right now. The Twelve Jays of Christmas features lots of dogs, but the series has long featured Spike, aka the Small Evil One. Not exactly a warm and friendly dog, but he’s fun.

  8. Welcome back, Tara. I love coffee and I love dogs. My favorite series involving a dog right now is Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series.

  9. I too, like Diogi. I was just stunned when I saw the name. I had a dog almost 40 years ago that just showed up and stayed on our farm we called Diogi. It really made that character special to me.

  10. I love both cats and dogs. I have two cats and I get my dog fix from my Sister’s dog, Robin. I’m currently reading the second book in the Chatty Corgi series by Jennifer Hawkins.

  11. Lauren Elliott’s Beyond the Page mystery series has a dog. Addie Foster mysteries by Kimberley O’Malley also has two dogs in that series. Thank you for the opportunity. Merry Christmas.

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