Thursday, June 19, 2014

Passion - Guest Post from Sparkle Abbey

Welcome to Sparkle Abbey, two of my favorite people and a couple of mighty fine authors, to boot!  Take it away, ladies!


Thanks so much for allowing us to be guests today, Tracy!
 
First off, here’s a little bit about us. Sparkle Abbey is actually a pen name because there are two of us. We are Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter and we co-write the Pampered Pets mystery series for Bell Bridge Books. Because we co-write the books, our publisher asked us to use a single pen name and we chose to use Sparkle Abbey on this series because we liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog).
 

Our series focuses on the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pooches, and secrets in posh Laguna Beach, California. The main characters and amateur sleuths are Texas cousins, Carolina Lamont, a pet therapist, and Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. The two would join forces and work together if they were speaking, but well…they’re not. Midwest Book Review calls the series “A sassy and fun mystery!” We were excited about that description because that’s exactly what we were trying to achieve.
We met Tracy at the Malice Domestic mystery conference a year or so ago and we love her Downward Dog yoga-themed mystery series. And the books involve a wonderful German Shepherd dog, so even better! For Tracy, yoga is much more than a hobby. It’s a vocation and a calling. She is passionate about it and it shows!
Here’s our experience with yoga… Writers spend a lot of time at the computer. A lot. We sit at the keyboard to create our stories, we’re there to edit and polish, and then we’re also often online meeting readers and networking with other authors. That’s a lot of desk time!
So the two of us decided we needed some enforced activity and we signed up for a yoga class through our local Community Education program. It seemed like an easy way to get moving and de-stress, plus it was held at the local elementary in our neighborhood so was close by.
The first class was great and we loved the relaxation time at the end of class. (One of us even fell asleep during one class, but Tracy tells us that happens all the time.) However, after a knee injury for ML and foot surgery for Anita, we were struggling with many of the yoga postures. Soon we stopped going. However, we continued to talk about how much we liked it and how we’d like to get involved again.
At Left Coast Crime, we talked with Tracy about some of the problems we’d had and she was quick to ask questions and offer some advice. Advice which has made all the difference. (She even stopped in the middle of the welcome reception and demonstrated for us what we needed to do. We should have taken pictures.)
You see when you’re passionate about something, it becomes a part of who you are. We feel that way about animals and especially rescues. We try to partner with rescue organizations whenever we can on benefit events and educational efforts. We try to share our love of animals through our books and through the things we’re able to be involved in as authors.
Whether it’s cooking or quilting or antiques or stained glass, we think you’ll find many mystery authors (especially cozy authors) combine something they’re passionate about with their love of storytelling.
 
So what about you? What things are you passionate about?
 
Comment below for a chance to win your choice of any of the Sparkle Abbey mysteries: Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck or Fifty Shades of Greyhound.
Sparkle Abbey can be found online at the following spots:

16 comments:

Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome, Sparkle Abbey! It's delightful to have you here at Killer Hobbies. Great post--especially since your love of animals is part of it!

ML said...

Thanks, Linda! We're happy to be visiting here at Killer Hobbies.

Diane Vallere said...

You are so right about how subjects that authors love filter through into the books. You two do a great job of it!

Tracy Weber said...

Love, love, love, love having you ladies here today! Your article, just like you, ROCKS!

Tracy Weber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sparkle Abbey said...

Thanks, Diane. It does seem that the things we care about always manage to end up in our books, doesn't it?

Waverly Curtis said...

I'd love to win the latest book as I've read all your earlier books, Sparkle Abbey. My co-author, Curt and I, first met you at a panel at Bouchercon.

I'm passionate about Chihuahuas, obviously, but also teaching writing, perfume, Welsh history, Victorian London, seasonal holidays and the Pre-Raphaelites. Still trying to figure out how to work all of those into a mystery novel. (Well actually I do have a Victorian historical mystery up next after the fifth Chihuahua mystery, which is tenatively titled Silence of the Chihuahuas).

Dawn Frazier said...

I am passionate about books and reading!

Michelle said...

I am passionate about reading, I read on average 4-5 books a week. When my evening starts to wind down I read to relax and then it gets me in trouble because I keep reading and before I know it it midnight, it is rough when 6 am arrives the next morning. I have read all of Sparkle Abbey's books and love them all.

Michelle said...

I am passionate about reading. I read all the time and average 4-5 books a week. When my evening is winding down I read to relax and this gets me in trouble every morning. I read and lose track of time and the next thing I know it's midnight and 6 am comes way to early. I love all of Sparkle Abbey's books. They are great reads and I am ready for the next one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sparkle Abbey!
I'm getting excited to see the book launch of Fifty Shades of Greyhound this weekend. The social media event going on simultaneously with the actual book signing at Barnes & Noble in Des Moines should be a blast.

Tammy Jones said...

As a novelist, I am passionate about my work, but I'm also passionate about my family, my cats, and my quilting {{hugs}}

Tracy Weber said...

So great to see all of these passions!

traveler said...

Sparkle Abbey is unique and special.

Sparkle Abbey said...

How fun to find out about your passions!

Tracy Weber said...

Dawn Frazier--You are the winner! E-mail me at Tracy@wholeLifeyoga.com and I'll connect you with Sparkle Abbey so you can tell them which book you'd like. Thanks all!