Find out more why Bark Twice for Danger was the most fun to research
Bark Twice for Danger is the third book in my Indiana-based cozy mystery series. Nala, pre-school teacher turned private eye, is paired up with a rescue dog, Max, who talks. He also helps her solve crimes, but the talking is what landed him at the shelter. People may think they want their dog to talk without realizing they may make brutally honest observations. This helps when tracking a perpetrator––not so much with the image of an adoring pet.
Max isn’t the only helper who Nala can call on. She is surrounded by quirky friends and over helpful relatives including her police captain father who reminds her there is a place at the academy with her name on it. Her mother’s main interest is pairing up her only daughter with a suitable man, this results in awkward situations.
The person she turns to most is her high school friend, Elvin, who runs a digital security consulting, which allows his to showcase his computer hacking skills by breaking through firewalls, too. Bark Twice for Danger features her building mate, Harry, who runs a superhero costume business–––this is where the fun starts. Comic Con is coming to Indianapolis and Harry needs Nala to help him. Translation: dress up in a superhero costume and work the con. This happens at the same time identity thefts are sweeping the town of Noblesville.
My research included attending the three-day Comic Con with my daughter. We dressed up as Star Trek characters and had our picture taken with Jonathan Frakes. The research involved attending panels, handling live snakes, playing vintage arcade games, and standing in line at the food trucks with other costumed folks. Now, you might ask why even bother to attend?
I needed a feel for the building layout and security procedures. It also helped to get the general vibe of the whole event, which was an upbeat one. The next research trip of Max and Nala is Santa Claus, Indiana, best known for Holiday World theme park.
What happens to a girl who can’t say no? Most people would assume she’d end up pregnant before her fifteenth birthday. The idea made Abby wrinkle her nose at the impossibility of that happening to her. It would involve someone asking her to do something more interesting than pet sitting their parrot or running papers to a client on her way home. Truthfully, she didn’t mind too much. She didn’t have children to drive to soccer practice or the need to start dinner for her partner when she got home from work. What she did resent was people assuming that since she had no life, she’d automatically do the things they had no time to do.
Delivering papers wasn’t in her job description. Technically it wasn’t on anyone’s in the office. The others were smart enough to make themselves scarce, while Abby merely took the papers and agreed to go out of her way to Carmel to deliver them before the end of the workday. The only perk was she got to leave early to arrive while the client’s office was still open.
After she delivered the papers, she exited the art deco building, only to almost bump into him. She couldn’t say she didn’t notice him. He was the type of male who drew all eyes to him by simply existing. He’d erupted into the parking lot riding a wave of sound and testosterone. Instead of a surfboard, his mode of transportation was a Triumph motorcycle. The bike drew her eye first. Back when she was barely thirteen, she longed for a motorcycle. Her fantasies, however, didn’t include her hanging onto some guy steering the bike. It was always her bike.
That dream had been squashed by her father, who pointed out that motorcycles were the quickest route to a wheelchair or a painful death. Saying her father was risk avoidant would be an understatement. In his work as a vehicle insurance adjustor, he had to speculate on how much damage a person could do to themselves and their vehicles and how much the company would be willing to cover. He applied the same lessons to raising his daughter. In short, her father’s philosophy of child-rearing was everything is dangerous, so don’t do it. Okay, maybe only the fun things were dangerous.
Still, there was the man on the bike. He probably felt her gaze on him, because after he parked close to the building, he lifted off his helmet and shook out his shoulder-length hair as if in a shampoo commercial. He did have gorgeous coffee-colored hair. Their eyes connected for the briefest second, but then she looked away, embarrassed at her ogling.
Mr. Gorgeous Hair headed her way with a smile that caused her to look behind her. No one was there. He held up his hand in greeting. “Ciao, Bella.”
“Hello.” She’d managed to squeeze out the single word.
He had a sexy accent, too, which just about made her combust on the spot. He’d waggled his eyebrows and gave a husky laugh that had her melting inside.
“Oh, that’s how it is. You’re going to act like you don’t know me.” He stopped to slant a seductive smile her way. “You were very friendly before.”
“Ah, I think you have me confused with someone else.”
He held up two fingers to his forehead as if saluting, then winked. “Who knows? We might meet again.”
Bark Twice for Danger releases today everywhere online at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, KOBO, and Smashwords.