Monday, December 2, 2013

Nancy J. Parra & Little Dog

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi! I’m Nancy J Parra aka Nancy J Coco. I am the author of three new mystery series--The Baker’s Treat mystery series set in a gluten-free bakery. (Recipes included.) The first book in that series is Gluten For Punishment and coming May 2014, the second book, Murder Gone A-rye. The second series is under Nancy Coco. It’s the Candy Coated series, set in a fudge shop on Mackinac Island, Mich. (The setting of the classic movie, Somewhere in Time.) The first book, All Fudged Up, is out now and not only includes fudge recipes, but a sweet little Bichon-poo named, Marshmallow--Mal for short. The final series is the Perfect Proposals Mystery series which stars an engagement planner and is set in the Chicago area.

Whew-- that was long. My very own bichon-poo, affectionately known as “Little Dog” on line, tells me that was far too much information about me and not nearly enough about her. Little Dog, Boo Boo for short, is 7 years old and came into my life when I was searching for a companion to extend the life of our rescue puppy who grew to enormous size and whom I’ll refer to as Big Dog. Big Dog has since left us and crossed the rainbow bridge some four years ago, leaving only me for Little Dog to boss around. (She sighs. L.D. not me.)

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Little Dog is of French ancestry and, therefore, expects a daily trip to a sidewalk café for the finest coffee and doggie biscuits. She may be only 12 pounds, but she knows what she likes and she prefers to wear her hair in the bichon fashion as she thinks Poodle is a tad bit overdone.

What's brewing?

Espresso, of course. Little Dog would only sigh and roll her eyes at any other kind of coffee. She is very particular and believes the world should run exactly as she demands.

Any treats for you or Little Dog on this occasion?

Since I am gluten free due to Celiac, and Little Dog is gluten free by association, we dine on eggs with black truffles recipe, or brouillade de truffes.

How did your dog get her name? Any nicknames?

Little Dog’s nickname of “Boo Boo” came about when she was little and had a few accidents-at first it was “Poo-Poo” because she is a bichon-poo, but she refused to answer to that name. And so “Boo Boo” was born. (Little Dog appreciates her fans, but asks that I not reveal her actual name as the paparazzi would never leave her alone otherwise.)

How were you and Little Dog united?

Ah, you see I believe in rescue – to which Little Dog will tell you I did rescue her…from the pet store. I went in looking for a new leash for Big Dog and walked by the puppies. Little Dog took one look at me and said. “Hello, Mommy. What took you so long?” And then went straight to the back to be let out even before I could call the attendant. Then when she was brought out to the puppy meet and greet room, Little Dog reached for me, put her paws on my cheeks and kissed me in a proper French way. Everyone in the store melted. She has been with me ever since.

Are there any dogs in your fiction that are inspired by your dogs?

But, of course. In All Fudged Up you meet Mal, the bichon-poo puppy who is a natural pick pocket and clever little girl. Then in Book Two of the Baker’s Treat series, Murder Gone A-rye, we meet a not-so-little dog, Aubry, who happens to be a Great Pyrenees.

Does your dog do more to help or hinder your writing?

Little Dog is helpful with my writing, unless it is dinner time, walk time or treat time. The she jumps into my face and gives kisses. If that doesn’t work she pushes my hands off the keyboard to ensure I pet her and check the time. Her ruthless and patient pursuit of her goals has inspired me to meet mine.

Who are Little Dog's best pet-pals?

There was Big Dog, whom she bamboozled into doing whatever she wanted. Now she likes to meet her friends on walks –The Apricot Bichon-poo with the same first name whom she likes to chit chat with. Riley and his brother who she likes to flirt with and her sister’s puppy Hank, and the silly hound named Henry who lives with Little Dog’s Daddy.

Where is your dog's favorite outdoor destination?

Little Dog loves to take the jogging path through the preserve. There are so many rabbits to sneak up on and poke with her nose.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Little Dog loves her two Lambchop dolls--one nearly her size and one baby size. She also loves to play fetch with squeaky toys and pick up her leash and walk herself.

Cat, postman, rabbit...?

Be wary, wary, quiet...I’m hunting wabbits…

What is Little Dog's best quality?

Her sure and certain knowledge that she will get what she wants.

If Little Dog could change one thing about you, what would it be?

That I pet her far more than I pet the laptop. In fact I should just put that metal varmint away and only use my fingers to pet her and scratch her back.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Little Dog could speak, which actor should do her voice?

Kate Hudson or Katey Sagal.

If Little Dog could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

That’s a really hard question. She’s pretty expressive so it’s rare everyone in the room doesn’t know what she is thinking. I could ask her why she loves to wear her mailman costume to get the mail, but then she would say that was obvious and I’m a very poor question asker.

Perhaps the best question would be: What is the one thing she wants me to know that she’s never been able to get me to understand?

I suspect the answer would be “There isn’t anyone in the world who loves you more than me.”

Visit Nancy J. Parra's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

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