About the Book
Book: Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Author: Janice Thompson
Genre:Christian Fiction / Mystery / Romance
Release date: January 1, 2023
Inquisitive, detail-oriented, Veterinarian Kristin Keller prides herself on winning over any dog. But has this self-proclaimed dog whisperer finally met her match in a Sheltie named Remington who has just won the Texas state agility course competition? The champion pooch is acting out of sorts—almost as if he is not the same dog. Has he, by chance, been switched out with another dog just before the next big competition? Kristin and the other Lone Star employees will do anything to help the Atkinson family figure out this mystery surrounding their beloved Remington.
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About the Author
Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.
More from Janice
Barking up the Tree is book three in the Gone to the Dog series. Kathleen Y’Barbo and I are writing six books, in total, and we’re very excited about this series. I happen to be in the dog rescue business. I’ve worked with multiple Houston-based dog rescues over the past five years and have been blessed to care for over fifty dogs in nearly every shape, size, and breed. I am always interested in dog-themed stories.
As a Texan I wanted to place this series in my neck of the woods. Kathleen and I settled on Brenham, Texas, a town not far from where we both live. It’s the home of Blue Bell ice cream (yum!) a favorite here in the Lone Star state. We created a large fictional cast of characters and placed them in a town we know and love.
Along with writing books I’m also a baker and run a baking blog (www.outoftheboxbaking.com). With that in mind I would love to share a recipe from the book. Enjoy!
Nanny’s Coconut Pecan Cake (aka Italian Cream Cake)
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 white cake mix
- 1 yellow cake mix
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup sweetened coconut (flakes)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (powder)
FOR THE FILLING/TOPPING:
- Toasted coconut
- Toasted chopped pecans
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 cup (two sticks) salted butter (softened)
- 1 block cream cheese (softened)
- 1 rectangle Crisco (can omit if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting)
- 1 bag (7-8 cups) powdered sugar
- Clear vanilla extract
MAKING THE CAKE:
- Combine all ingredients except nuts and coconut. Mix well.
- Work in the nuts and coconut.
- Grease and flour three 9” pans.
- Divide batter between the three pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (approximately) until cake springs back to the touch.
MAKING THE ICING:
- Bring ingredients to room temperature.
- Mix butter and cream cheese until soft and creamy.
- Add Crisco and continue to beat until incorporated. (You can leave out the Crisco if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting.)
- Add extract and then lower the speed of your mixer to add powdered sugar (more or less to desired consistency).
FILLING AND ICING THE CAKE
- Level all three cakes.
- Put one cake on your cake board and add a layer of cream cheese frosting.
- Pipe a ring around the edge of the cake and add some toasted pecans and coconut.
- Continue to stack and fill.
- Turn the top cake upside down, so that it’s bottom up.
- Ice the cake with a crumb coat and chill.
- Once chilled, ice liberally with frosting.
- Add chopped (toasted) pecans and coconut to the sides and top then pipe trim or rosettes to add further décor.
“Dogs weren’t the only ones who responded to love. People did too.”
In this third installment in the Gone to the Dogs Mysteries, Janice Thompson has accomplished exactly what she set out to do. Barking Up the Wrong Tree had me thoroughly engrossed in the mystery, loving the focus on the rescue dogs and the Lone Star Vet Clinic gang. I loved how Thompson highlighted her knowledge of dog shows, agility competitions, and the love between dogs and their devoted owners.
I was a bit surprised to find Dr. Kristin Keller to be the first person narrator. Somehow, I expected the series to continue to revolve mostly around Trina and Mari. We do get to see them, and quirky Grandma Peach figures into the equation as a side character.
Kristin’s family is having trouble releasing her to be her own person and allowing her to leave the family. Kristin is having trouble appreciating her family. How often we don’t appreciate our flawed, but more than adequate (actually blessed) backgrounds until someone close points out how much we’re taking for granted. Kristin also learns from Tyler and others how to truly give of herself to others.
We eventually see more of Mari and gain a deeper appreciation of this young vet tech. A real encourager and team player, Mari goes out of her way to help others. Hopefully, as the series progresses, she will come to understand that she can’t save every dog or person. Nor is that her responsibility.
Great twists are a tool Thompson wields well, and I found myself talking back to the book on more than one occasion.
I belly-laughed often. Barking Up the Wrong Tree is great medicine for a troubled soul! A few times I wondered if situations resolved themselves too simply, but then, this is a cozy (and zany) world!
I would highly recommend this book, read in order of its publication. Each book in the series builds on the next.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Magnificent!! I absolutely loved the emphasis on a rescue dog effort and the vet clinic!! Few cozies really get into the dog business as much as this one and yet remain clean!!
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To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.