Monday, July 17, 2023

Paw & Order by Chris Abernathy – Blog tour with an Author Interview


Today, I’m hosting author Chris Abernathy and his exciting new cozy mystery series, featuring a cat-detective! I’m interviewing Chris about the book, the series, his work – he’s a book narrator, by the way – among other things. There’s also an excerpt from the book right after the synopsis.

AND there’s a limited-time giveaway so be sure to check it out.  

This post is part of a blog tour by Lori Caswell at Escapes with Dolly Cas into a Good Book.

Let’s dive in. Here’s a bit about the book.

Book Synopsis for Paws & Order by Chris Abernathy

What’s better than a K-9 cop? A feline detective. Detective Whiskers is out to prove himself, and keep his human from being framed for murder, or worse. He'll need the help of his new animal friends and Sheila's group of female sleuths. This cozy mystery set in a small town in Old Florida is purrfect for cat lovers and anyone who enjoys a fun beach read.

Who is really catching killers in Paradise Cove? It’s not the local police. The Paradise Cove Murder Society is getting the job done, with more help than they realize from a furry detective named Whiskers.

Sheila and her cat Whiskers are starting a new life in the perfect little Florida beach town that managed to avoid the big crowds, condos and chain stores. But as soon as they arrive the town has its first ever murder. Good thing Whiskers is a trained detective!

Fred, Sheila’s husband of forty years, was a police detective who recently passed away, right before they were supposed to retire to the beach. After forty years of devoting herself entirely to being a good wife and mother she’s now left to put her life back together, but what kind of life will it be? In a fresh setting, and with some quirky new friends, she slowly begins to remember all of the dreams she had as a young woman. She has a second chance to chase those dreams, if she can stay alive and out of prison. When her next door neighbor is killed and the evidence points to Sheila, it’s time for Whiskers to step up.

Whiskers was Fred’s loyal assistant and he’ll need to remember everything he learned from his mentor to keep Sheila safe as she rediscovers herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends of his own Detective Whiskers sets out to prove to the world, and himself, that he is worthy of the shiny badge on his collar. If you love humorous cozy mysteries where pets take the lead and eccentric friends come together to solve crimes with just the right amount of suspense then the Detective Whiskers Cozy Mystery Series is exactly what you’re looking for.


Excerpt from Paws and Order

Sheila does not understand. I know we’re not supposed to play favorites with our humans, but we all do. Fred and I had a connection that was … special. I’ve tried communicating with Sheila, but— Okay this part is a little embarrassing. Every time I tap her hand with my paw, she thinks I want food or a belly rub. Which, of course, I do. I ALWAYS want food or a belly rub. Or both. But I’m trying to tell her something important, and all of a sudden, she puts those fingernails to work on my belly and I’m gone. Lost. A zombie. It feels sooooo good. Whatever I needed to say is up in smoke, my eyes are closed, and I hear a Karen Carpenter love song in my head.

Don’t judge me.


Exclusive interview with author Chris Abernathy

To learn more about Chris and his books, keep reading.


Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?

Chris Abernathy: I live on the Alabama coast with my wife. We have two boys, one grown and the other too close to it for our liking. I have always enjoyed writing and got into the publishing world as an audiobook narrator. Interacting with authors and publishers inspired me to finally write and publish my own stories.


Q: What is a day in the life of book narrator and author Chris Abernathy like?

Chris Abernathy: I typically spend my mornings narrating and my afternoons writing. My voice works better in the early part of the day and the house is quieter. So, I start off with a few hours in my recording booth. After lunch I sit down with my laptop and see where my imagination takes me.


Q: When did you decide it was time to start writing your own books and series? And when (or how) did you decide you want to write cozies rather any other genre?

Chris Abernathy: I was on a cruise with my family and some friends when I first started writing seriously. We had splurged for a cabin with a balcony and sitting out there in the evenings my thoughts took off and I got several chapters written in one week.

After the cruise ended, it took several stops and starts before I finally finished that book which was inspired by my thirty-year career as a radio personality. I really had no idea what I was doing - I just let the characters take me where they wanted to go and it was a very positive experience that helped me understand myself and people I had worked with better.

That book, Blowing Up the Airwaves, was written under my “radio name” Chris Wright and I added a short prequel, Rise of the Radio Gods. Both were funny stories with some adventure thrown in but didn’t adhere to any specific genre. They didn't sell much but it showed me that I could write a full book and gave me some insight into the style of writing that came naturally to me.

With the help of some author friends, I decided that the cozy genre fit my style and would allow me to create the kinds of characters I enjoyed writing about.


Q: As a book narrator, how many times do you need to read a book to narrate it?

Chris Abernathy: I read the book through and make notes then do some research for pronunciations, etc. When I go into the booth I scan ahead a little to make sure I recall where things are going but I don’t do a close read again before narrating. I want the story to feel fresh as I read.


Q: How many books do you have planned–so far–for The Detective Whiskers Cozy Mystery Series?

Chris Abernathy: I currently have titles and covers through book #5 but I plan to continue for at least a few more beyond that. Readers seem to be enjoying them so if the response keeps going the way it has so far then I’d like to go to about a dozen then decide if there’s more to tell or if the story has wrapped itself up.

Q: Is the entire Paw and Order book narrated from Detective Whiskers’ point of view or do we see others’ perspectives as well?

Chris Abernathy: Other than a preface for book three, the whole book, and series, so far is from Whiskers’ point of view. I plan to keep it that way because it allows me to show the human characters from a non-human perspective.


Q: It’s common to find cozy mystery characters who have pets they depend on. But what inspired you to have a cat as the main, mystery-solving character?

Chris Abernathy: I think that most of us want to put ourselves into the story. With a human as a main character, I think it sometimes limits our willingness to go along with their story. We let our differences impact how we see their story.

Once we place ourselves into the perspective of an animal we’ve moved past that. We leave some of our human biases behind and open ourselves to see the people around us a little differently.


Q: If you can give aspiring mystery writers a piece of advice, what would it be?

Chris Abernathy: My advice would be to first write what you enjoy writing. Write as often as you can and take notice of how it makes you feel.

Once you have a good understanding of what you really enjoy writing then look at what readers are buying and figure out where the two intersect so that you can give them what they want in a way that is unique to your voice but within a framework that is comfortable to them.


About Chris Abernathy

Chris Abernathy has narrated more than 200 audiobooks and now he is writing his own stories. He has been a storyteller his entire life — around campfires at a summer camp as a counselor, on the radio for more than 30 years, as an actor with background roles on major motion pictures and TV series, as a producer of short films for social media and more.

Chris is married with two sons and lives on the Gulf Coast in Alabama. He is a dual national with citizenship in the US and UK and visits family in the Scottish Highlands as often as possible.

Connect with author Chris Abernathy via his website, Facebook, and Amazon. Consider signing up for his newsletter.



As part of the blog tour, there is a limited-time giveaway. So, use the link or Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep up with the rest of the blog tour including book reviews, spotlights, more interviews, and guest posts. Check them out here.


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