May 192016

special guest blue

I am so excited to welcome Carolyn Haines back to Escape With Dollycas!

Her Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery came out on Tuesday! 

Carolyn Haines


by Carolyn Haines

As some of you may know, my sleuth in the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series has several horses. Three to be exact. Reveler, Miss Scrapiron, and Lucifer. They’re all based on my own horses or horses I’ve known and cared about.

rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA TodayTwenty-six years ago, I moved to a small farm in lower Alabama (I was a professor at a local university in the area) and as it happens out in the country in a state without any spay/neuter laws, starving animals began to wander up. I have always been an animal lover, and I can’t stand to see hungry or ill animals.

In 2010, with the help of my very generous and smart friend Aleta Boudreaux, I filed to create Good Fortune Farm Refuge as a 501c3 animal rescue. At the time I had nearly 30 animals I took care of on a daily basis, plus teaching full time, and writing at least two books a year. I don’t know if any of you have ever done rescue work, but it is often heartbreaking and always labor intensive. But the joy of seeing animals who are in hopeless situations revive and become fun-loving pets is worth all the effort.

Animals have taught me many, many lessons. The value of unconditional love. The art of forgiveness. The willingness to play and show joy even when ill. The value of a friend. And also the pain of loss.

sunset sky

Sunset Sky

I’ve had a horse with one eye, and now a one-eyed cat and a one-eyed dog. The vets all told me that an animal doesn’t wake up and miss what has been taken. They wake up and enjoy what they have. That’s very true. Baby, my one-eyed dog, can’t judge distance like she could when she had two eyes, but I think it upsets me a lot more than her. I never knew the horse or cat before they lost the vision in one eye. They lived a full and normal life.

I’ve had sick cats that would cuddle and purr. They taught me how to accept illness with as much grace as I can muster. I do not have the courage of my kitties.

Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn

Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn

But mostly they have taught me about love.

Some of the hardest things I’ve ever done is rehome a dog or cat or horse that I’ve grown attached to. I have to believe that the new owners will love and care for them as well as or better than I can. That is often the case.

In 2014, some of my loyal friends and readers of the Bones books helped me put together a cookbook based on the Bones characters. It’s called Bonefied Delicious—Recipes from some of Zinnia’s finest chefs. The huge tome is 500 pages and over 700 recipes and my friends collected, organized, and wrote commentary as 13 of the characters in my mystery series. We sold out, reprinted, and sold out again. We have plans for another edition sometime in the future. You can check at for any updates on when we reprint.

We raised money to spay and neuter dogs and cats and we helped a lot of animals and folks who couldn’t afford this very necessary surgery.

Carolyn and Cojar

Carolyn and Cojar

When Lori Caswell suggested that I might want to write about where I go for a retreat or a vacation, I had to laugh. Because of the animal rescue, I don’t often get away from the farm. But what I do is ride Cogar, my Connemara/TB cross, in the woods where I enjoy nature all around me. The natural world is the place where I replenish myself.

I was riding recently and saw a bald eagle, some wild turkeys, a turtle, three deer, a rabbit, squirrels, and of course the multitude of songbirds. The oak trees are budding out, and when the wind whips through the pines, it makes a sound like a deep sigh.

When I’m focused on Cogar running down a sandy trail, seven of the dogs all coursing beside me, I can let go of the annoying problems of the day and take in the smell of the pine and sunshine. This is my version of Heaven, I guess.

I don’t ride as long as I once did. I have too much to do. Time compresses as we age, or maybe I’m slower. I think back to the days when my friend Gloria and I would ride 14 miles in a loop to Merrill, Mississippi, where the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers come together to form the Pascagoula. The singing river. Where legend has it that the Pascagoula tribe of Native Americans, rather than being taken as slaves by a rival tribe, walked into the river holding hands and singing their death chant.

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

It’s said on quiet, still nights that you can still hear that sad song, rising from the depth of the water. My grandmother heard it. She told me all about it.

These days I ride closer to home and only for an hour or so. But I still find the peace, the connection to nature and to the power of story. Some wouldn’t think it much of a vacation, but it works for me. And it tires out the dogs, which is another benefit. When they’re asleep I can get a lot of work done.

Next time you read about Sarah Booth going for a ride on Reveler, or Miss Scrapiron, or that black devil Lucifer, you’ll know that the author is hankering to get out of the house and pretend, at least for an hour or so, that she’s free.

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series. The latest book, Rock-A-Bye Bones, is out today. A native of Mississippi, Haines often writes about the South. She’s an animal advocate and urges everyone to spay and neuter.


rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA Today

Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Minotaur Books (May 17, 2016)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250085160
E-Book ASIN: B01772VVVK
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Sarah Booth Delaney knows the perfect way to begin recovering from both the recent attack on Scott Hampton’s blues club and her broken heart. She’s going to host a Thanksgiving feast for all of her friends at her ancestral home in Zinnia, Mississippi. But one bitterly cold night with the holiday just around the corner, Sarah Booth awakens to the insistent ring of her doorbell. She opens the door to find a newborn baby in a basket sitting on her front porch…and a pool of blood slowly seeping out from the basket. Before she can respond, an engine guns and a dark vehicle takes off.

After the police and a doctor ensure the baby is otherwise safe and healthy, Sarah Booth calls Tinkie Richmond, her partner at the Delaney Detective Agency. They know they need to do everything they can to find the baby’s mother…even if they are starting to fall in love with the baby themselves. But as they track the baby’s mother, Sarah Booth soon begins to suspect the woman might have been in danger; in fact, she might have been running for her life. And following in the woman’s footsteps, Sarah Booth might find her own life on the line next.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram………

Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

The author is giving away A HARDCOVER COPY!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.
Sign Up For Her Newsletter for 5 More Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

  31 Responses to “Special Guest – Carolyn Haines – Author of Rock-a-Bye Bones – #Giveaway too!”

  1. The animal refuge/rescue sounds like a little slice of heaven. I have loved Sarah Booth for a long time and look forward to reading this latest adventure.

  2. I love Sarah Booth Delaney! This is one contest that I would LOVE to win!!

  3. Yes time compresses and we do slow a bit as we get older…I try to say that I am more thoughtful and that’s shy I’m slower. I’m not sure it works.

  4. I love the Sarah Booth series. It’s one of my favorites.

  5. As we get older it seems like time goes faster but our bodies and movements slow down a little each day. The thought of finding or having a baby at a later time in my life would be so tiring but I’d love to have a grandchild to love and spoil.

  6. It’s very impressive what you’ve done about animals.
    On their behalf, thanks!

  7. Love the series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  8. What a beautiful post which is uplifting and meaningful. Thanks. Your writing is very enjoyable.

  9. This was a very informative article. I enjoyed reading it. Thankyou for sharing!

  10. I would love to an animal rescue farm. If I ever win the lottery my youngest daughter and I will be looking for a place where we can do just that. Now I’ll just take care of the cats that show up at my house. If I ever get close to where you live, I’d love to meet you in person. Thank you for what you do.

  11. I love this series and the way the essence of the Mississippi Delta is captured.

  12. What great lessons from animals – especially to wake up and enjoy what we have. Thank you

  13. I have been reading this series since the beginning and it is one of my all time favorites. Love Sarah Booth and can’t wait to read “Rock-A-Bye Bones”. Carolyn, what great work you are doing with your animal rescue, we can learn so much from them. Thanks for all you do for them.

  14. Great article and amazing what we learn from our pets and other animals.

  15. I do love the cover. Sounds like a great read.

  16. It’s inspiring what you have done for animals. Thank you.

  17. It’s truly wonderful what you are doing with your animal rescue — thank you!

  18. Another unique theme I am looking forward to exploring…animal rescue. Thanks for the insights!

  19. I luh-huv this series! I’ve turned many friends onto Miss Sarah Booth Delaney and her adventures. I want to live in Zinnia, too.

  20. If only we could get people to enjoy what they have, instead of missing what they don’t.

  21. I met Sarah Booth in Greedy Bones and loved the book. I’d love to read this one, too.

  22. I love this! A very dear friend of mine has a dog rescue (mostly pitties) and I know how rewarding….and heartbreaking it can be. I have not read your books before but you are now definitley on my TBR pile!

  23. sounds like a wonderful and caring person who really loves animals..

  24. Just look at all the books you’ve written and I haven’t read one of them! What is the matter with me? I definitely need to correct this.
    I enjoyed reading about you and finding a new author to follow and enjoy. Best wishes on the publication of your latest book.

  25. What a series! Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. This sounds like an awesome series. Adding it to my TBR.

  27. Thank you for the introduction to a new to me author.

  28. I have read the first two books in the series and love them. We have always adopted our cats from local shelters… Thanks for the chance to win!

  29. Best series ever…have read all!

  30. Have never read the series.

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