Saturday, July 30, 2022

Off the Chain by Janice Thompson: Review & Giveaway!

Off the Chain by Janice Thompson

About the Book

Book: Off the Chain

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre: Christian Fiction / Mystery

Release date: July 1, 2022

The Town of Brenham, Texas, Has Gone to the Dogs!

Curl up with your pup and sink into a delightful small-town mystery as riddles and rescues stack up in book one of a new cozy mystery series.

Marigold Evans’ first attempt at rescuing an abandoned pooch lands her in a drainage pipe in Brenham Texas. . .and almost in jail, until Parker Jenson comes to her rescue. Then a bad day only gets worse as the Lone Star Vet Clinic, where they both work, is vandalized and the list of suspects starts to climb. With the help of her fellow employees, Marigold sets out to simultaneously solve the crime, rehab the rescued dog, and help more dogs in crisis. But why would anyone continue to work against all their good efforts?

Click here to get your copy!

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 specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs! My world is full of dogs. If you follow me on social media, you’re probably overwhelmed with dog photos, but I simply can’t help myself. I’m in love with pooches of all shapes and sizes.

My fascination with dogs began when I was six years old and I got my first pup, Spunky. He was a mixed breed terrier. From that day until now I’ve had the pleasure of owning many, many pups—some purebreds, some street dogs that needed a safe place to stay, some elderly with chronic or acute health issues. I can’t get enough. They offer unconditional love, after all!

A few years back I was asked to foster for a local rescue, My Chi and Me. The rest, as they say, is history. For a quick glimpse at some photos, follow this link. You’ll see that I’m mostly enamored with small dogs. (Hey, I live in a tiny townhome and have limited space!) That said, I’m always willing to take on one more.

My most recent rescue ventures landed me squarely in the middle of a book idea: Why not use a dog story as the basis for a cozy mystery? My editor at Barbour Publishing wanted something dog themed and I was happy to oblige. That’s where the idea for Off the Chain (and the whole Gone with the Dogs series) came from—a simple idea involving dogs and crime.

I took the opportunity to focus solely on rescue dogs as the idea developed. These days (especially post-Covid) the need for homes for these pups is great. I linked arms with my BFF, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and together we set our series in Brenham Texas, not far from our stomping ground in the Woodlands. I felt strongly that we should merge two separate dog worlds: rescue and veterinary. (Hey, Brenham is close to A&M and they know a thing or two about veterinary training!)

Thus, the Gone with the Dogs series was born. And writing the first book, (Off the Chain), was a blast! I hyper-focused on one primary point of view character, a vet tech. (As the owner of three dogs I feel like I’m always in the vet’s office!) My stories, which are written in first person, took me back to my writing roots. I love, love, love writing in first person because I “become” the character. Fun, right?

My editors loved the book, and it got some fun endorsements, so I’m excited to see what my readers think. I can’t wait to get their feedback. I hope it’s not too “Ruff!”

But seriously. . .I’m hyped! And I’m feeling so blessed to merge my worlds—dogs and writing!

My Thoughts

Marigold “Mari” Evans is a veterinary technician who wishes to start a dog rescue in Brenham, Texas.  Mari finds herself in a drainage pipe rescuing an injured pup.  Mari and her friend, Cassidy end up in the back of a police vehicle after their escapade.  The officer does not believe their story since they cannot provide identification (Mari’s car disappeared while she was in the drainage pipe).  Then the officer receives a call to the Lone Star Veterinary Clinic where Mari and Cassidy work.  Someone vandalized the clinic.  There are a couple of potential suspects.  Mari is determined to learn who is behind the attack while continuing her work at the clinic and getting her rescue operation off the ground.

Off the Chain by Janice Thompson is the debut of Gone to the Dogs MysteriesOff the Chain is a lighthearted cozy mystery. We meet Mari Evans who has a dream of starting a non-profit dog rescue called Second Chance Ranch.  We follow Mari as she goes about her day-to-day activities.  She is also working with her adorable rescue pup, Beau Jangles and trying to figure out who is behind the break in at the vet clinic where she works.  Beau Jangles is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Mari’s grandmother, Grandma Peach is a quirky character.  She is lively and dispenses advice (whether you want it or not).   There is plenty of activity going on in the story which makes it lively.  The mystery was straightforward.  There are a couple of suspects and red herring or two.  I like how the group arrived at the answer.  Off the Chain is a Christian cozy mystery.  The faith element is woven throughout the story.  There is talk about faith, church, and God as well as prayer and scripture.  Mari has a crush on her boss, Tyler.  Tyler, though, seems to be getting cozy with the new veterinarian.  There may be someone else who is meant for Mari.  I like how the community rallies to help Mari with her dog rescue.  I enjoyed the Southern references (they will have you chuckling).  I just loved all the dogs in the story (real cutie pies).  Off the Chain has humor, faith, mystery, and romance.  Off the Chain is a quirky Southern tale with drainage pipe rescue, a dancing dog, beautiful blue eyes, wrecked windows, suspicious suspects, a dog dilemma, and an unforeseen find.   


To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a paper copy of the book!!  Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.  Good Luck!

Off the Chain can be purchased from Amazon*.  The next Gone to the Dogs Mystery is Dog Days of Summer by Kathleen Y'Barbo which will be out on October 1.  Barking Up the Wrong Tree comes out January 1.  You can find Janice Thompson's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  It is hard to believe that July is just about over.  I will return on Monday, August 1 with A Search for Redemption by Jo Ann Brown.  It is the third novel in the Secrets of  Bliss Valley.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  Do not forget to leave a comment for extra entries in the giveaway.  Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 26

Texas Book-aholic, July 27

The Book Club Network, July 27

An Author’s Take, July 28

Remembrancy, July 28

deb’s Book Review, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

The Avid Reader, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 30

Christina’s Corner, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 3

She Lives To Read, August 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 4

Blogging With Carol, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 8

Books I’ve Read, August 8

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Off the Chain, this sounds like a great mystery and I am looking forward to reading the story myself

  2. I enjoyed the post and Off the Chain sounds like my kind of mystery, thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks, Avid Reader, for sharing your thoughts! Have a glorious weekend!

  3. Thanks for sharing, sounds like a great mystery book to read

  4. This sounds like a very good read. Cute cover.

  5. I love books about dogs and I am so excited to read!