May 042015

A Guest Post By Sparkle Abbey

Lora Lee, thanks so much for letting us stop by! We really enjoyed reading Bringing in the Thieves – love that Frankie Lou – and can’t wait for the next installment. We love the positive, joyful theme of your stories and your website. We believe that whatever dream a person has that it’s important to stay positive. In other words, don’t let anyone dull your “sparkle.” So how do you do that? Here are a few tips!

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s one thing to admire others in your field. It’s even okay to study how they do what they do. But when we begin to draw comparisons or sink into I’ll-never-be-that-good thinking, we don’t do ourselves any favors. We’re each different and we each have our own journey.
  1. Get tough but stay tender. Develop thick enough skin to survive the times of discouragement, but keep your heart in the pursuit. Don’t let your disappointments define you. Keep moving forward.
  1. Know that not everyone will understand. Some will think you’re foolish to keep dreaming and others will wonder why you don’t just give up. Even those who want to encourage may not completely get what you’re attempting. Educate those you can. As far as the others, smile and let it go.
  1. Don’t let the negative feedback get you down. It’s important to keep yourself open to feedback but only if you use it for improvement. Don’t let it defeat you.
  1. Find a support group. Find a group of like-minded people and lift each other up. For us, it’s our critique group. We share the good, the bad, and the ugly. When we’re together the bad is diminished, and the joy is multiplied. If it’s really bad, we share chocolate; and if it’s truly great, we share lots of chocolate.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They’ve chosen to use Sparkle Abbey as their pen name on this series because they liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). The authors co-write the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series which 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. Midwest Book Review calls the series “A sassy and fun mystery!”


The current books in the series, Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck, Fifty Shades of Greyhound, and The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo have received rave reviews. The next installment, coming in June, is: Downton Tabby.

They love to hear from readers so stop by their website or visit them on the web to check out all their latest news.


The Pampered Pets Mystery Series

DesperateHousedogsDesperate Housedogs (Book One)

In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs.

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn’t expect is that two hours later the police will find Kevin dead, his dogs impounded; and that as the last person to see Kevin alive (well, except for the killer) she is suddenly a person of interest, at least according to Homicide Detective Judd Malone.

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble
Bell Bridge Books | iBooks | Indie Bound


GetFluffyGet Fluffy (Book Two)

Disgraced Texas beauty queen, Melinda (Mel) Langston, owns Laguna Beach’s Bow Wow Boutique. Mona Michaels, Mel’s most despised client, owns a star dog, Fluffy, who’s worth millions. When Mona is found whacked in the head with Fluffy’s Daytime Emmy, everyone wants Fluffy, but someone won’t stop at murder to get the pooch.

Secrets. Blackmail. Mel tackles the case like a dog with a bone. But can she dig up the truth before the killer buries her?

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble
Bell Bridge Books | iBooks | Indie Bound


KittyKittyKitty Kitty Bang Bang (Book Three)

Someone may have committed the purr-fect crime.

Caro Lamont, Laguna Beach’s most sought after pet therapist, is back with more coddled cats and pampered pooches. Unfortunately, her human neighbor, Kitty Bardot, has apparently used up her nine lives and Caro’s nose for trouble lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. Will Caro claw her way out of this one? Or – well – you know what they say about curiosity and the cat…

“Looking for a little laughter and a light hearted mystery? Love cats and pups?
Then you’ll love this sweet mystery…”  – B.Baker

“You know you have a fun book when all of a sudden you’re laughing out loud on
the subway.” – D.Love

Amazon | | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Bell Bridge Books | iBooks | Indie Bound | Powells

Yip-Tuck-Cover-125x188Yip/Tuck (Book Four)

One of Laguna Beach’s best-known plastic surgeons may need a new leash on life. Unless he’s just taking a very long nap on the bench outside Melinda Langston’s Bow Wow Boutique.



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Bell Bridge Books | Indie Bound | Powells


Fifty-Shades-of-Greyhound-HighRes-125x188Fifty Shades of Greyhound (Book Five)

It was a killer party. Caro Lamont, Laguna Beach’s favorite pet therapist is thrilled to support the elite fundraising gala for Greys Matter, a SoCal greyhound rescue group. All the guests in the couture-attired crowd are clad in varying shades of grey, the champagne and donations are flowing, and there are fifty gorgeous greyhounds in attendance. But before the evening ends a stranger in their midst is dead.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Bell Bridge Books | Indie Bound | Powells | The Book Depository

The-Girl-With-the-Dachshund-Tattoo-600x900x300-125x188The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo (Book Six)

She has to stay low. Ears to the ground. Danger’s nipping at her heels.

Mel’s tracking a killer in the world of racing dachshunds.

Wiener takes all at the Laguna Beach Dachshund Dash. Melinda Langston, owner of Bow Wow Boutique, and her quirky assistant, Betty Foxx, are on hand to root for their favorite racers. But before the starting gun goes off, hated dachshund owner, Richard Eriksen, is found dead, and gun-toting Betty is suspect number one.

Determined to clear Betty’s name, Mel quickly picks up the scent of the cutthroat world of Doxie racing. Cheating. Doping. Gambling. Controversy lies at every turn. It seems everyone has a secret–including Betty. The killer is hot on Mel’s heels. Can Mel expose the truth before the killer catches her?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million 
Bell Bridge Books | iBooks | Indie Bound | Powells | The Book Depository

  • Margo Hoornstra

    Love all of it. The advice, the pseudonym, and the series. Best of luck.

  • Candace Wolfenbarger Knight

    These books sound great. The advice was great to. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Candace! We have a lot of fun with the books.

  • Loved this post – Thanks for sharing Lora Lee!!!

  • Loralee Lillibridge

    I’m excited to welcome Sparkle Abbey to the Joyful Noise blog page.
    These talented ladies write the Pampered Pets Mysteries series. If you
    haven’t read these books, you’re missing some great fun. The titles
    alone will have you grinning and the mysteries will keep you turning the
    pages to find out whodunit!

    Besides writing an inspiring post, Sparkle Abbey is also adding a
    giveaway you won’t want to miss, so be sure to leave your email addy
    (with spaces) with your comment for a chance to win a book of your
    choice in ebook form or print.

    Lora Lee

    • Thanks for the great welcome, Loralee!

      • Loralee Lillibridge

        My pleasure!

  • Stacie Amelotte

    Great advice! LOVE the titles in this series. Need to bump it up on my tbr list. Thanks for the giveaway. Fingers crossed!
    Scouts579 (at) aol (dot) com

    • Staci, thanks for stopping by. The next two titles are Downton Tabby and Raiders of the Lost Bark. Of course, we hope there will be more. 🙂

  • Melissa Keir

    Such fun sounding books! I loved the advice too. Very insightful!

    • The books are great fun to write. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the advice.

  • Maggie Preston

    Great advice ladies!! Love the series – it’s so much fun to read!

    I think the hardest thing in being a writer is to develop that thick skin. I know for me, I put so much of *myself* in my books it’s a very difficult when someone doesn’t like my work (read: they don’t like ME). Finding a local writers’ group was essential for me. I loved having other people with voices in their heads and who had serious discussions about how to get away with murder. 🙂

  • Your titles are such fun. [I do so love a good pun.] The books sound like they would be a hoot. Thanks for the great advice–and for the pep talk. I need one now and then.

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