Special Guest – Author Carolyn Haines (Giveaway too!)

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

Her latest book, Smarty Bones, was released in May and I know she is hard at work writing the next one so I am so pleased she has time to visit today!!


Hi Everyone!

People often ask me if Sarah Booth Delaney is based on my own life—and I think most writers would admit that ALL characters in our stories have a little bit of the author in them. Where else can a person extract revenge for a past wrong, or stand up for a friend who’s being bullied or blackmailed, or commit a despicable act—all without suffering any real-time consequences? So, yes, I am part of every character I create. For better or worse.

Sarah Booth isn’t me, but I’d like to think that we would be very good friends. I’m just a little jealous that in the past fifteen years, Sarah Booth (and all the Zinnia characters) have aged less than two years. Time has put me on a harder road. A decade plus has been added to my age. I don’t pay much attention to numbers or a calendar, but 15 years is hard to ignore. A new generation has been born and is growing up.

Sarah Booth and I share a love of land, a desire to do the right thing, a need for a code of ethics, and the knowledge that friends, family, and farm are the trinity of a good life. While I have seen ghosts (really—not kidding here) I am not haunted by them.

IMG_3141sIn one other way, Sarah Booth imitates me. She is collecting a number of animals. Much in the same way that I’ve populated my house with 9 cats, 8 dogs, and 5 horses, mostly rescues and critters I’ve picked up along highways. I have rehomed a number of them once they’re vetted and in good health, but these are the ones that have lived with me so long, I suspect we will grow old together.

So far, Sarah Booth only has 3 horses, 1 dog, and 1 cat. She’s managed to pawn off the evil, rascally Roscoe-the-dog on Harold Erkwell. And she did begin her private investigative career with a shameful incident involving Chablis, the little Yorkie that belongs to her now partner, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond. So the world of Zinnia is populated with animals, just like my world.

IMG_0249Sarah Booth’s first horse, Reveler, is based on my very own Cogar. And Sweetie Pie—that hound! I had the most wonderful Sweetie Pie of my own for 10 years. She was a hound in terrible condition when she showed up at the farm not too long after I IMG_0631moved in. She had a number of serious illnesses, and her life expectancy was 2 years. She lived for 10, and there was never a time when her tail didn’t wag. She would beat the floor with it—a wonderful drumming sound. She was such a gentle dog. I took in a baby possum and raised it for several weeks until I could place it at a rehabilitation center for wild life. Sweetie would babysit that dang possum.

And Pluto the black cat is based on my very own Coal Shaft Haines. Coal Shaft was found by my neighbor with his leg hung in his collar. The leg had atrophied, and the vet was afraid they would have to remove it. The poor kitty was almost dead from starvation and infection.

But miracle of miracles, with a lot of great vet care and a lot of physical therapy (my college students helped me) we saved not only Coal Shaft, but his leg. And he has full use of it today.

Coal’s only problem now is that he was so starved when I got him that he hasn’t learned not to overeat. And he’s not real partial to exercise programs.  But he’s a handsome devil, even if he is a bit rotund.

Sarah Booth is like me in how she relates to her animals, and how they are a big part of her life. And we both value our friends. And she has very good friends.

smarty bonesIn Smarty Bones (the 13th and latest Mississippi Delta Mystery), Sarah Booth is drawn into a mystery because an old friend of her mother’s asks for help. It is a simple enough request—to find out what an academic from a northern university is doing in Zinnia. Sarah Booth agrees because she knows her mother would want her to help. That one decision ends up changing Sarah Booth’s life forever.

Sarah Booth tries hard to protect her friends from danger, but that’s often wasted effort. The cases brought to the Delaney Detective Agency involve greed, lust, revenge—all dangerous motivations. Where Sarah Booth dares to tread, Tinkie is sure to follow. And look behind Tinkie. Cece, Graf, Harold, Oscar and even the man who should know better, Coleman Peters, the sheriff are in the Conga line of trouble.

I grew up in the small town of Lucedale, Mississippi, not so far from where I live now. I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries, as well as Trixie Belden and a number of others. I wanted to be a detective and a cowgirl and to write. Though I am a far cry from a cowgirl, I do have 5 horses, and I love o ride.

I don’t solve mysteries, except in the pages of a book. And I spend a large part of each day writing. So my childhood dreams have been fulfilled. Not exactly in the way I expected, but I’m not complaining.

And I have the best friends and smartest critters than anyone could ever want.

You can find out more about my books at www.carolynhaines.com.  Please sign up for my newsletter. I also have a writers/readers gathering each April—www.daddysgirlsweekend.com  We will post the 2014 schedule as soon as we have it. The dates are April 4-6 at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, AL.

Come and join us. You’re bound to make some new friends—and I can offer a fine selection of Sarah Booth approved critters for adoption.


Carolyn Haines is the author of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta Mysteries. She also writes dark novels as R.B. Chesterton. An animal advocate, she runs Good Fortune Farm Refuge, a 501-C3 devoted to all animal species.

Thank you Caroline so much for dropping by!!


Thanks to the people at St. Martin’s Press
I have one copy of

to give away!!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian 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 !

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

Contest Will End August 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


46 thoughts on “Special Guest – Author Carolyn Haines (Giveaway too!)

  1. Love the series! Interesting to learn that Carolyn does animal rescue. All of my kitties have been rescues. I have 5 now ranging from the grand dame of the family, Tyler Rose, to brothers, Diego & Dewey with Maggie Mae and Webster Alvin as middle ones. When asked the breed, I smile and answer “rescue”. Thanks for the opportunity to win Carolyn’s latest.

  2. I wanted to be a vet with a plane to fly between far apart ranches when I was little. I became a Visiting Nurse which is as close as I could get. Dee

  3. I love Carolyn’s books and have a number of them from this series on my bookshelves. They always leave me laughing and ready to return to my mundane life.

    I used to have a farm refuge, it was call Golden Acres Farm and Ranch in Gilboa NY. Unfortunately the owner got very sick and had to sell out. He did keep 600 acres where he built his new home. I’ll probably see if he’s in residence when we head up there this summer to do the Book Trail.

  4. I don’t have any pets – we travel too much to have any. But I sometimes wish I had one or two. Oh, well. I will just have to read about them in your books.

  5. I have two wonderful dogs. One is a rescue dog, Bogie, a small mix whose energy and personality is loveable and Guido, the Maltese. Love your books.

  6. Your books are captivating and special. I enjoyed this great feature and wish you many happy years with your writing and animals who are extraordinary.

  7. I read those same books as a young reader. Love this series and your work with animals.

  8. Great interview. I love learning about authors. I had to go over and follow you, Carolyn. Your selection of books look like some fun reading. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. The pets I have are rescued off the streets, I just had the cat stomp across me while typing. I haven’t tried this series yet, but it sounds great, another one for the TBR pile.

  10. you guys are so terrific. I’ve been slow to answer today because I had to take one of the dogs to the vet and then go buy horse feed and unload it. I know, but it keeps me young. All of you animal people, thank you for loving your pets. And please speak out about the need to spay and neuter. We’re going to have to get a grip on the unwanted animals and this is the easiest and most humane way to go. And I do have a newsletter at http://www.carolynhaines.com Sign up and you can keep up with my mischief (I am an awful practical joke player and it’s a wonder I have any friend at all.)

  11. Love this series! I have two cats, both are rescues as have been all my cats. If I had the room I would have more! I think rescues make the best pets.

  12. I love this series and am looking forward to reading Smarty Bones! Thanks for keeping the adventure going!

  13. My DIL does animal rescue and is a dog trainer. We used to foster dogs but we have too many at home. The book sounds terrific.

  14. Fostering is so hard, because I hate letting them go. But I have 7 dogs of my own, so when a good home comes up for a foster and I know that dog will get more attention and love than I can give (because with all the dogs, cats and horses at my house, everyone gets some love, but no one gets it all!) then I convince myself that I’m doing the best thing for the pup. And my dogs have found some incredibly loving homes. And the pets inspire me when I write. They are marvelous muses.

  15. Thank you all for reading my blog and participating. Animals lovers rock! Until next time, I hope life is kind and filled with joy (and a lot of furry friends).

  16. Wow that is a great recovery story for Coal Shaft the cat, it is wonderful that your stories tie in your love of animals you help rescue and love. I think that this book about Delaney Detective Agency and how Sarah Booth solves mysteries and cases sounds like a lot of fun to read.

  17. What a great mystery series! I will definitely be adding Smarty Bones to my wishlist. Thanks for sharing your wonderful work with rescued animals and the Good Fortune Farm Refuge.

  18. Carolyn, I’m embarrased to admit that I have yet to read any of your books. But after reading about this one, and your wonderful menagerie, I’m definitely adding you to my list of must-try authors.

  19. I used to have a farm and most of my horses were rescues in some way or another. Some became breeding stock and their foals were winners on the track, in the show ring or eventing. Others who were young and sound became school horses, show horses and/or companions from children with difficulties. I didn’t rescue any dogs or cats. The ones who strayed in and stayed were more than enough.

  20. One of the hardest things about having a farm is that I want to take in everything that needs a home. I was at a writer’s retreat this weekend, and there was a stray mama kitty and kitten at the B&B. We spent the weekend feeding, worming, and trying to catch the baby (mama was friendly). just when we were about to despair, DeWitt, Dean and I captured the kitten. Now they are rehomed in Houston with Julie–and bless her, because I have 17 animals in my house already. The truth is, I work two jobs. One pays for the animals! But it isn’t a burden because I love helping them. And you know, I only ever wanted to be Nancy Drew and a cowgirl. I get to solve mysteries through Sarah Booth, and while I am a far cry from a cowgirl, I do have a barn with horses I adore. I am living my dream–not with the flash and dazzle I once imagined, but I am living it!

  21. I have have a few of these novels and have enjoyed them. I’m glad to hear another has come out. I can’t wait to pick it up.

  22. Love the title of this book! So cute! I remember reading some Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books,…they bring back some nice memories! =)

  23. And David, Booty Bones will be out 2014. I’m almost finished editing it (first pass of edits, at least). I did love Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Growing up in a small, rural town, those books were my ticket to adventure.

  24. I loved Nancy Drew also! I read them at my grandmothers during the summer, the early editions! They were originally my aunts when she was young.

  25. awesome gift idea … thanks
    know the person who will just love it
    if not will add to my collection

  26. Oh, I am so sad to say I have somehow missed out on this Wonderful Mystery Series of yours, Carolyn ~however, not to fret as I have added them all to my TBR List and can’t wait to read them! They sound Wonderful~ and they have a ghost, lots of critters and they are set in the South! Yay~ Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my best friends growing up and I longed to be a detective and write mysteries ~ at last taking the chance on fulfilling the dream. I loved reading about your Good Fortune Farm Rescue and your devotion to your beloved pets. I am a cat lady with three beloved rescue cats who are ever so dear and precious to me. My beloved Gandalf the Grey crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on the 27 of July and it broke my heart. Brava for all the love and dedication you give them! Thank you for the lovely interview and the giveaway! Cheers~ Elizabeth MacGregor

    1. Thank you all! Most of the books are also available on audio, and Kate Forbes reads them. She works on Broadway and does a terrific job. Elizabeth, I’m so sorry about Gandalf. I lost my Merle Haggard July 27. He threw a blood clot. It was very hard, but he knows he was well loved. I really appreciate the support you all have shown my books–and all you do for animals. Animal advocates are speaking out now, and we can make a great change to benefit all animals and humans with better spay and neuter programs.

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