1. I hear you have a border collie in your sweet romance. Tell us about the book.
Pepper is a major player in my book, A Tease and a Trail Run. It’s the second book in the Brighthead Running Club series of sweet/cozy romances about a running club in a coastal Maine town. (You can read them out of order.)
Charlotte has just broken off her engagement after she discovered her fiancé was cheating, and instead of going on her honeymoon this month, she’s going to house-sit for her aunt and uncle. While she’s in Brighthead, she reconnects with Brandon, an old friend who’s still reeling from the death of the woman he loved for years.
Available at select retailers: https://books2read.com/b/BrightheadTrail
2. Why did you add a pet to your book?
I didn’t add a pet as much as the book formed around her. While I was thinking of reasons that Brandon and Charlotte would begin running together, or why Charlotte even needed to house-sit at all, I came across stories of super smart border collies, and I fell in love. I could never have a dog that much smarter than me, not to mention so high-energy, but I could certainly write such a dog.
On her first day in Brighthead, Charlotte returns from the grocery store to find three horses in her front yard. The problem? They don’t own horses. It turns out that Pepper has long since figured out how to get through the invisible fence (“Did we forget to tell you that?”), and when Pepper saw three horses in the road, she knew they shouldn’t be out there—so she herded them into the safest place she could. This dog is smart, and Charlotte’s never had a dog at all, let alone a working dog.
Brandon offers take Pepper every morning for a run so she’ll burn off energy, and soon Charlotte joins him for runs. (And thus starts the romance.) Pepper remains a major player, at one point jumping a fence into forbidden territory to help Charlotte when she’s on the ground and bleeding, and at the end getting between Charlotte and her vindictive ex.
(Pepper doesn’t get hurt, don’t worry! I hate dog stories where the dog dies. Pepper shows up, just as energetic and happy, in two other Brighthead books.)
3. What other books have you written?
There are five books in the Brighthead Running Club romances. In Book Three, Cashman has a stray cat who wanders into his shop every day. In Book Four, Shelly has a betta fish that she got to “replace” her ex when he ghosted her—which is more than a little awkward now that he’s back in town. In a way, the pets of these characters tell you a bit about who they are and what they want. I hadn’t really thought about it when designing them, but Cashman is very much like a stray cat, and you’ll have to read Shelly’s description to understand why she loves Fred the betta fish.
The Runaway Train stories, a different series, starts with a runaway teen and a guy from tiny-town-Texas rescuing a litter of puppies that’s been thrown over a fence and abandoned.
And in the next few months, I’m going to be releasing a series about musicians (also set in Maine) called the Castleton String Quartet. The first one, a novella, should be available for free once it’s got a cover and a title (little details) and I’ll let readers know how to get it if they sign up for my mailing list. (Which you can do here: http://eepurl.com/dEJjI1)
4. How do you promote your books?
For the past few months, I haven’t been promoting at all other than a few Amazon ads. I’ll ramp things up when I get the Castleton books ready to go, with a free series magnet novella (number zero?) to start, plus promos on the first novel. I’m also planning to put all of the Brighthead books into Kindle Unlimited so subscribers can read them for free.
5. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
At my website, you can see the covers of all my books: http://www.MaddieEvans.com
I also write under the pen name Jane Lebak: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Lebak/e/B004FRUOLY/
Thank you so much for having me here today to talk about Pepper! It was fun learning about border collies before I started writing, and now it’s fun to share her with others.
Marcia James: Thank you, Maddie, for stopping by my Go Pets blog! I look forward to reading your novels!
READER INVITATION: Would you like to win a Marcia James’ ebook? Visitors to this pro-pet blog can join in the fun, comment, and/or share photos of their pets for a chance to win one of my ebooks! Each month, I’ll randomly pick one commenter to win. To leave a comment and/or a photo, click on the word “Reply,” which is just below the social media icons for THIS interview. (Don’t scroll past this interview to the next interview.) Go Pets!