Friday, June 19, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: Footprints in the Frosting by Laura Pauling

Cheesecake, Love, and Murder!

It’s the Grand Opening for Holly Hart’s new business, Just Cheesecake. When footprints in the frosting lead to a body facedown in one of her cheesecakes, Holly becomes a prime suspect.

With her opening day delayed, Holly deals with a nosy no-good reporter and the local cop, the handsome Officer Trinket, as she puts her sleuthing skills to the test to save her business and her name. With the help of her dog, Muffins, she needs to find the real murderer, before the killer looks to frost someone else. 

View from the Birdhouse Interviews Laura Pauling 

Birdhouse: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Laura: I’ve always loved to read. The only time I didn’t read a ton for pleasure was during my college years, because I was too busy. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until about ten years ago, but the seeds were there. I was an elementary education major, so obviously I enjoy working with kids. But the other aspect I loved about teaching was the curriculum. It was fun and exciting to put together creative units. That aspect completely transferred over to the plotting process of writing. It wasn’t until I was home with my kids, reading them books, that I got the bug. Honestly, it was only a matter of time. Most writers I know love to read, so the next step is creating a story of your own. I never looked back.
Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?
Laura: I remember reading a lot of Nancy Drew. I remember Roald Dahl. I was obsessed with the Black Stallion series. Today, a couple of my favorite children’s books are Holes by Louis Sachar and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, but I love reading any and all humorous mysteries at the middle grade level.
Birdhouse: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Laura: I start my day by slamming my alarm clock off and mumbling, “Time to make the lunches.” In all seriousness I start my day seeing my kids off to school and then I get to work. My day is very scheduled, but I’m always flexible. That’s one aspect I love about being self-employed and working from home. If I want to have lunch with my parents, I can. If my kids are sick, I’m here. The morning hours I reserve for writing first drafts. Then, I take a break and run or walk and then clean. In the afternoon, I work on publishing/marketing. I might format books, edit, proofread, brainstorm new ideas, or beta read for my friends. I don’t think have writing quirks that are too different from other writers--like staying in my jammies until noon. J
Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?
Laura: This is a good question. Maybe not just this book, but in creating the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery series, I learned that it’s all about the mystery and the characters and emotion. A cozy mystery is not the place to pull out all your purple prose and beautiful description. The best cozy mystery writers make it look easy. The prose is straightforward with simple writing, yet you want to keep reading. This style of writing may look easy, but it’s not. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.
Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?
Laura: That’s a really tough question because I have a lot, but I’ll name a few. I really like Denise Grover Swank and the Rose Gardner Mysteries. I always pick up the newest Sophie Kinsella romantic comedy. I’ve enjoyed many of the newer cozy mystery series independently published. I’ll be honest. Even though I always read my tried and true authors. My favorite thing to do is discover new books and new authors and new writing styles.
Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?
Laura: I have the first four books in the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery series completed, even though the fourth won’t be out until October. Right now, I’m experimenting with the start of a new mystery series and hope to have the first one finished by the end of June, but it will have to wait its turn to be published--as in next year some time. I’m still debating about this summer. I enjoy having my kids home, so I write early in the morning and that’s about it. I’m debating between two different YA humorous romantic mysteries, or I might write the next Holly Hart mystery. I’ll have to wait and see!

About the Author
Laura Pauling writes about spies, murder and mystery. She’s the author of the young adult Circle of Spies Series, the Prom Impossible Series, the time travel mysteries, Heist and A Royal Heist, and the Holly Hart Cozy Mystery Series: Footprints in the Frosting and Deadly Independence with more coming.

She lives the cover of a suburban mom/author perfectly, from the minivan to the home-baked snickerdoodles, while hiding her secret missions and covert operations. But shh. Don’t tell anyone. And she may or may not actually bake cookies. You decide.

Visit Laura at to sign up for her newsletter and receive a free Holly Hart cozy mystery novella.

Author Links

Purchase Links
Footprints in the Frosting
: Holly Hart Cozy Mystery 1
Deadly Independence: Holly Hart Cozy Mystery 2

Prize:  $15 Amazon Gift Card

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Susan Deppner said...

I really enjoyed the review! Nice to know someone else who works in her pj's 'til noon.
Looking forward to checking out this cozy mystery series!

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks, Susan! I have been known to work in my PJs as well. :-)