Sneaky’s Interview of Susan Mann’s Spy Cat, Rasputin

Wow, Meow. I have a spy cat here today. Actually, he’s not a spy. His character is a librarian like my human co-star Alicia, but Quinn becomes involved with a spy, so I guess that would make Rasputin a spy accomplice. How exciting!

Let’s see what we can deduce from this fellow feline. What is your name and your author’s name?

Hi, Sneaky. It’s nice to talk with you. My name is Rasputin and I’m a brown tabby. I live in the imagination of my author Susan Mann.

That’s a great name, purrfect for a spy accomplice. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

My literary claim to fame is as Quinn Ellington’s feline roommate in the romantic suspense/adventure novels The Librarian and the Spy, A Covert Affair, and An Uncommon Honeymoon.

Pawsome. I know my author is reading the first one now. She couldn’t resist a book about a fellow librarian. When she saw the review in a journal she was ordering from at her library, she had to get it.

Please give more information about your series.

I am in a series of three books, each “A Librarian and the Spy Escapade.” My first appearance is in The Librarian and the Spy. Quinn Ellington is a reference librarian who thirsts for the kind of adventures she reads about in her favorite spy novels. As luck would have it, she ends up going on the adventure of a lifetime when James, a patron at the library asks for her help identifying various artifacts. Some things happened in The Librarian and the Spy that kind of freaked me out, so I was happy to stay with the neighbor and his family while Quinn and James traipsed off to England.

Interesting. Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Addison in all his glory

My real life alter ego was the cat Susan had when she was a young, single librarian. Addison was her buddy and constant companion for seventeen years. Over the years he endured multiple moves, and bringing on first the husband, then the kid and finally the dog. He’s gone now, but his memory lives on through me.

Aw. My author also published a book called Cloudy Rainbow that featured her very special cat, Floppy, who she had for 15 years. Now she has Oliver whom I am loosely based on in her Cobble Cove mystery series. He’s 17 and hanging in there but is starting to have some kidney problems.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that feature you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

I pop up a number times in The Librarian and the Spy, as well as the next two books to be released in the series. My most important moment is when I meet James for the first time. He comes to Quinn’s and my apartment to pick her up for their date. As I am an impeccable judge of character, I am her Feline Gatekeeper. Even if she says otherwise, Quinn would have grave reservations about getting involved with James if I didn’t approve. The following is our first encounter:

“Speaking of Rasputin, I believe I need to gain his approval before we can leave. What happens if I don’t pass inspection? Am I going to have to return to Santa Monica alone?”

          “Why? Are you not feeling confident about your cat whispering abilities?”

          “Oh, I’m ready,” he answered. The look he gave her melted her insides. “There’s just a lot riding on it, that’s all.”

          “I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she managed when she found her voice. “I pay the rent, so I have veto power. Besides, I’d hate for you to go back to Santa Monica alone.”

          “I appreciate the consideration.”

          “I have to admit I’m also curious about how he’ll react to you. I don’t have a lot of company, so he’s not around new people very often.”

          “Happy to be your test case,” he said.

          “Okay, here we go. Kitty, kitty, kitty,” she called. A half a minute later, Rasputin prowled out of her bedroom and slowly approached, his tail trailing behind him, tip curving up. About five feet from where Quinn and James stood, he stopped and stared at them with amber eyes.

          James didn’t advance to greet the cat. Instead, he squatted down, reached out his arm, and pointed his index finger at Rasputin. He turned his head slightly to the side, stayed completely still, and waited. After thirty seconds or so, the cat started forward again, his supple shoulders rolling as he strode straight for James’s extended finger. When the cat reached the outstretched fingertip, he sniffed it, and then touched it with his nose.

          Impressed, Quinn watched the greeting continue as Rasputin rubbed his cheek against James’s finger and then his hand. After the cat pushed his face against James’s hand a few more times, he scratched Rasputin under his chin. Still in a crouch, he twisted around and looked up at Quinn. “I believe I’ve just survived the crucible of the Feline Gatekeeper.”

          “With flying colors.”

          James stood and the cat immediately wove between James’s feet and rubbed his sides against James’s shins. “Obviously, Rasputin is an impeccable judge of character.”

          “Obviously.”

          There was a short pause while they both watched Rasputin continue to mark James, leaving a few stray strands of cat hair on his jeans in the process. James didn’t seem the least bit concerned. When the cat moved away to rub against the corner of the couch, James asked, “Ready to go?”

I appreciated James’s aloofness toward me. I could also sense their mutual attraction. And because he was unperturbed when I improved his attire by leaving my some of my hair on his jeans, I gave them my blessing.

Excellent scene, Rasputin. You are quite the actor.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

I am Quinn’s steadfast companion. I am always there for her.

I feel the same about Alicia. Librarians make the best human co-stars in my humble feline opinion. They also make great spies, as do cats because they’re both so curious.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Even though Quinn and I speak different languages, we converse and understand each other perfectly. She especially appreciates my meowed input on her daily clothing selections.

Hmm. I should try giving Alicia input on her wardrobe. She usually asks our male co-star, John, for help with that.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Love your human and always be there for her. Protect her from bad guys, unless they’re super scary. Then it’s okay to hide under the bed. Also, try to keep the middle of the night digging in the litter box to a minimum. Otherwise, your human will get cranky.

I think Debbie wishes Oliver would take the advice and not use his Siamese voice at four in the morning. I reserve my scratches to digging up old letters that are clues like the ones I directed Alicia to in our first adventure, A Stone’s Throw.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll appear in A Covert Affair, available August 29, 2017. In it, I am pleased to once again mark James as my territory. Quinn and James travel to India, so I spend most of the book staying with Quinn’s grandparents and their English bulldog, Pot Roast. I overlook Pot Roast’s slobberiness as I find his dog purrs—the rumbly noises he makes when he sleeps—quite soothing.

That sounds wonderful. I’ll make sure Debbie keeps an eye out for it. I also have a dog co-star, Fido. He stole the thunder from me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, but I had Debbie make up for that by starting this blog and putting me on the cover of our latest mystery, Written in Stone, in which I also play a larger role.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Thanks so much, Rasputin. I’ve enjoyed cat chatting with you, and I know my author is enjoying your first book. Best whiskers to you and Susan on your upcoming new release and your future adventures.

Sneaky Interviews Cyn Ley’s Cat, Tica

I am hitting the jackpot lately with such pretty pussycats visiting my blog. What is your name, lovely lady, and your author’s name?

Greetings, Sneaky. I am Tica, the Empress and Mentor of all Stealth Cats. I hide in plain sight. I conceal myself in the windows and furniture that make up the jungle of my author’s world. Her name is Cyn Ley, and she understands that my wildness cannot be tamed.

What an adventuress. I admire that. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I am ON her writing. It is my duty to encourage my author by sitting on her desk, purring in her ear, and dropping subtle hints by walking across her keyboard.

She is a bestselling short story writer, and has two anthologies currently out. The first, ENCOUNTERS TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN is a combination of a reworking of stories and unchanged tales published between 2014-2016. It is a multi-genre collection, ranging from social satire to paranormal to human to heartwarming.

Her latest, THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES, was just released this June, and is focused on the paranormal. She and I both see ghosts.

She has had many a tale published in various Solstice anthologies as well.

I approve of Solstice Publishing—they like her tales too!

My author publishes with Solstice, too. All my Cobble Cove mysteries and many of her short stories are with them, so I approve, too, of claws.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

No. Cats defy physics as a matter of course, but that would be splitting myself up too much.

It is my purrsonal opinion that each cat is unique, like a snowflake.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s?

I AM a real cat! Just ask my author about when we cuddle and I leave guard hairs in her teeth.

Ick, Meow. TMI. Sorry. I must revise my interview questions for flesh and blood felines.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your author’s  books?

I’m sharing one of my favorite excerpts from THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND.

            There are places in the world where the dead are just left to lie. There is no mourning, no ceremony or acknowledgement that people recline below the ground, covered by the marches of Time. There are only the eaters of carrion to clean up the remains. The leavings are nothing but chemicals leeching into the soil, being absorbed, converted, used. There is no mourning, but there is no waste either. So it is for bones.

            In this case, the bones of a girl. A young lady, really, one who fell when the Blue and Gray swept across her parents’ farm and left a tide of blood to flood the land.

            Her name is Millicent, and she is sixteen years old. She wears the flesh of a young woman in her own eyes.

            She has memories of smoke that seemed to surround her on all sides. And so much noise. Explosions and shouts. Loud enough that her own screams joined the chorus before an unspeakable aguish struck her body and took her down.

            She remembers rising, and being afraid. There was nothing but this field, looking out into an interminable haze. Everything had changed, and she wasn’t prepared for it.

Pawsome excerpt.

What do you like most about your author’s books?

She’s fearless and hates clichés with the same degree of passion that I reserve for loving catnip.

Catnip is truly the elixir of us cats. I appreciate a fellow feline connoisseur.

Are you a talking cat?

Like all my kind, I sing. Bengals trill and mew, and when we’re feeling devious, we cackle.

That sounds quite interesting, but my author’s cat, a fellow Siamese, must take the award for vocalizing especially at 4 a.m.

What advice would you give cat characters?

Be true to your Catness!

Purrfect advice, Miss Tica.

Does your author have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

My author is currently working on several projects, expected to be submitted later this year and early next year.

Great!

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

My author has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/Cleyfiction

Her blog “Communicating” is at https://authorcjl.wordpress.com

And she’s on some birdy thing too. https://twitter.com/CynthiaLey2@cynthialey2

I am sending a photo of my Excellent Self that my author took. She is camera shy, and, while she lacks my stealth powers, manages to avoid what she calls “soul stealers” at every opportunity.

It’s been a pleasure chatting with you, Sneaky! Thank you.

My pleasure, Miss Tica, and best whiskers to you and your author. Have a mice day.

Mudpie’s Guest Post

Since I accidentally posted my Feature Friday yesterday, I thought it would be mice to feature this guest post by a fellow cat blogger today. Please welcome Mudpie from Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows.

Hi, everyone! From one blogging cat to another, I’d like to start by thanking Sneaky for inviting me to guest blog today!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mudpie and I’m the feline half of the blogging team at Mochas, Mysteries and Meows (www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com). I’m an adorably feisty four-year-old tortoiseshell cat who moved into my forever home two years ago this month. Boy oh, boy did I ever log some miles in getting to Mommy Melissa! I started out in western New York (almost on the Pennsylvania border) when somehow I ended up in the slammer. When I didn’t get adopted right away I was transferred to a shelter in central Vermont (long car ride alert!), then Mommy saw me on PetFinder, adopted me, and I was on the road again for yet another hour drive back to northwestern Vermont! It sure was good to meet my final destination with the knowledge that I now have a family that will love me forever and ever.

I inherited our blog from my predecessor Truffles who was called to the Rainbow Bridge long before her time due to a blood clot in her heart. Needless to say, my Mommy was positively shattered and I made it my mission to make her smile again. It’s my humble opinion that I’ve done a pretty good job, but I know Mommy still thinks about Truffles every day and when she’s extra sad I work a little Mudpie magic to help her feel better.

Are you a regular visitor to our blog? If you’re passionate about cats and books I think you’d be very happy there.  We talk about cat health and nutrition, promote rescue and adoption, review products for both cats and cat ladies, run stories on cat culture and fun feline facts, review mainly cat books (although every now and then I allow Mommy to sneak in a book that doesn’t star a cat…GASP!), and my favorite, our “Mudpie Interviews” series. It started with my interviewing the fictional felines in the cozy mysteries we love to read, but it has expanded to interviews with real life cats who have extraordinary stories to tell. I’ve chatted with a group of special needs kitties who call themselves the “Cats of Hazzard”, a cutie pie named after our President, Pawnald Trump, whose goal is to make Catmerica great again, and a lovely mama tortie named Mimosa who is still waiting for her forever home after seeing her litter of five little nuggets get adopted. I’ve even interviewed you, Sneaky!

I can’t imagine how I ever could’ve lucked into a better life. Not only does my pawsome family think I hung the moon, I have a platform through my blog that enables me to use my voice to hopefully make a difference in the lives of other cats. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that, do you?

Feature Friday Films: Cat Checkups

Meow there. I’m a little sad today. My author’s cat was recently diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease. He also may have high blood pressure, but it was hard to tell because he gets very nervous going to the vet. I don’t blame him. I hated the scene I played in my second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, when Laura and Alicia took me to the V.E.T. However, I realize these checkups are important because we cats are very good at hiding our illnesses. That’s why there’s even going to be a National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day this Tuesday, August 22. I believe Debbie will be posting information on that on her own blog very soon.

Since I’ve got my mind on vet visits, I thought I’d show some films of cat checkups. One even includes blood pressure testing.

 

Sneaky Interviews Author Marie Lavender’s cat, Kit

Who’s that cute kitty in the bag? I believe it’s another of author Marie Lavender’s cats. As much as I enjoy interviewing character cats, I love to cat chat with the real ones. So, puss, can you please introduce yourself and tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Katerina (Kit Kat or Kit). Have you noticed cat owners love nicknames? It’s rather strange. I’m a black kitty with a lush coat and a few small spots of white. I am a rescue cat too. I lived outside for a long time, but then three years later a family brought me in one winter, exclaiming how cold I must be! I have the life, I tell you. I’m warm when I need to be, and cool when it’s too hot outside. I get to sniff all the strawberries I want (I grew up around a strawberry patch, so I have a lot of memories of that). And Marie loves to give me catnip! Plus, I secretly think it’s funny that I never got declawed when the other two cats had their nails done years ago (before I met them). I am a big tease, and I love it. Sometimes when one of my pet humans gets close to me, trying to reach out and caress me, I run away. Then I come right back to taunt them. It’s a fun game! My favorite place to lounge is the new treadmill. The humans say it’s theirs, but I totally own it. I also get all the scratching pads I want.

You’d think I’d miss my old life, being free and running wild. But, it was really scary out there! I never knew when I’d get to eat next, and dogs and mean male cats would try to attack me. (Shudders.) Sure, there are times when I’d love to visit the outdoors a bit, to chase squirrels and such, but I can still watch them and the birds from the windows. When the humans open all the windows, I get a real treat too!

Sounds like quite the cat life.

Have you appeared in any of your owner/author’s books?

No, I haven’t appeared in one of Marie Lavender’s books yet. It doesn’t offend me, like certain other felines around!

(Lifts a paw.) According to the people in the house here, I squeak a lot. That’s my version of a meow. Occasionally, if I get really worried about something, I’ll start really meowing big time. Like at night, when everyone goes to sleep and I’m suddenly so lonely! Then they know I’m doing the real cat thing, and I mean business.

My author’s cat can be quite loud in the early morning hours, and he certainly doesn’t squeak. I think that’s cute. I wonder if you frighten the mice – MOL (Meow Out Loud).

What advice would you give other cats?

Well, stay sweet so your owners know you still love them. Humans enjoy being flattered. Other than that, know when to stand up for yourself. If you don’t like something that is happening, ‘no’ means no! And use your claws if you must.

Claws are a great defense as long as you know when to use them if hissing isn’t effective enough.

Can you tell me something about your author, Marie’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?

Marie is very talented! I can tell because of how hard she works on every book. She spends a lot of time polishing each novel before putting one out. Not to mention all the effort she puts into blogging and promoting. She wears me out, just thinking about it! So, I won’t.

Did you see that?…I think it was a bug. I need to chase it! Be right back.

So, where was I? Oh, yeah…Marie, right? She takes on the title of ‘multi-genre author’, likely because there is no other way to describe someone who dabbles in pretty much everything. Her latest book is Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection. However, because I am such a tease in real life, I’m gonna let you have a sneak peek at Blood Instincts, her upcoming futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel, also book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. Plus, as a black cat, I am naturally a fan of the supernatural! Here it is:

     Oliver shook himself with a reminder that he didn’t need to get involved with her to watch or train the woman. He’d go out with her tonight, but following her might be a better idea after all. Oliver finished dressing and went to the car he’d rented, a Lamborghini Aventador, for the evening. He wanted to celebrate this woman in style, to really treat her right. When he realized how that sounded, he cursed. It was too late to change his plans now, though.

            By six-thirty on the dot, when he was sure the sun was low enough to avoiding burning his retinas and skin, he stood at the door to her apartment. Clearly being a practical woman, he knew she’d appreciate punctuality. Absently, he ran a hand through his short hair, then looked down, saw the single rose in his hand and scowled. He couldn’t have made his intentions clearer if he’d tried. Myah would think he was interested, and not just for the short-term. Of course, it was possible that she didn’t know the meaning of flowers as he did, for a single red rose meant ‘life-long devotion and love’. His chest began to ache, and he attributed it to guilt. He didn’t want to use her, he realized, not for blood and not for her body. His libido might disagree, but she deserved…more.

            He took a deep breath, and then knocked. A few seconds later, the door swung open. He was still looking down at the bloom in his hand when he caught her scent. His nostrils flared, aware of the heady combination of jasmine and the sweet fluid in her veins.

            “Oliver, is everything all right?”

            “Yes, it’s…” His gaze swung back up to hers, but didn’t stop there. Oliver took her in like a man long deprived of water.

Tonight, her hair had a fine sheen and was straight as if she’d ironed it. It fell in a line down her back and she’d gone to a little more trouble with her makeup, yet she still appeared natural. She’d done something amazing around her eyes, however, and they really stood out. He wanted to drown in her espresso gaze. How silly, he thought, but then got a look at the rest of her. Her silver earrings dangled down in a marquis pattern. Her neck and the top of her chest were somewhat exposed as she’d squeezed herself in a mid-thigh length black dress with thin straps. The dress was made of soft black lace, causing him to wonder if she wore matching panties as well. Her legs were athletic, but smooth, and he had to stifle the strong urge to drop to his knees and kiss all the way up her perfect thighs. Her small feet were strapped into shining black heels.

            “Oliver, did you hear me? Are you okay?”

            He cleared his throat, forcing his eyes back to her face. “Ah…I’m fine. My God, you look amazing.” His throat was incredibly dry, and he was aware of a thirst that not only related to her appearance but her life essence. He worked on suppressing the bloodlust.

            The blush which moved across her cheekbones was charming. “Oh, thank you. You clean up well too, Mr. King.”

            He smiled, then handed her the rose. “This pales in comparison to your beauty, but I wanted to give you something.”

            “Oh, it’s lovely! How sweet.” She leaned down, inhaling, and as her nose got closer to the red rose, he thought she made quite the picture. He wished to paint her again; he’d use the brush strokes to really capture who this woman was. When she looked back at him, there was a teasing light in her eyes.

            “What?”

            She shook her head. “Oh, it’s nothing.”

            “Tell me,” he urged.

            “I wasn’t sure you were really interested the other night or if you just felt bad for me and did this to appease your guilt.”

            He shook his head. “I wouldn’t have asked if I wasn’t interested. I thought the diner was the way to try to make up for what happened to you, of course, but the more I saw you, the more I wanted to know.” He didn’t add that his foolish, impulsive side didn’t seem to want to listen to anything he told it. ‘No’ clearly wasn’t in its vocabulary.

            That pretty blush returned to her face. “Ah…let me put this rose in a vase.”

            “Sure.”

            When she came back, he saw she’d put on a fine black coat, closing the two buttons in the front as she got to the door.

            “Do you have everything you need?”

            She nodded.

            “Great. Shall we?”

            “Of course.” Myah locked up, and they left the apartment building. Outside he led her to the sleek black car with custom red wheel disks at the curb. “This is yours?”

            He shook his head. “A rental. It is nice, but I don’t usually drive cars.”

            “May I ask why?”

            Oliver shrugged. “I just prefer walking, that’s all.”

            She stared at him with a strange look on her face for a moment when he opened her door.

            “Is there a problem?”

            She shook her head and smiled. “Not at all. I am partial to walking as well. But, this car…it’s very fine and appropriate for the evening.”

     “That’s what I was going for.” Her cheek dimpled and he couldn’t resist leaning forward and pressing his lips against it. Her face was warm, incredibly soft beneath his mouth, and he had to move away before he did something truly stupid. Such as find out what other parts of her were silky.

Wow, Meow. That was purrfect. I especially like the male character’s name. Oliver is my author’s cat. Of claws, that’s where the similarity ends.

Do you know when Marie’s next book will be out?

I’m just a kitty. How would I know? If I could read a human’s mind, I think we’d all be in a lot of trouble! But I imagine Marie will be informing us in her monthly newsletter, whenever the novel releases. I know her latest book, Directions of the Heart, just came out on July 25th.

Yes, some of her other cats have alerted me to that.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

No…at least I don’t think I am! Shouldn’t someone have informed me? Oh, no! What am I going to do?

(Murmurs in the background.) Marie assures me I’m okay. I don’t have unanswered messages to attend to. These are her links, however.

Pawsome. She certainly makes up for your unsocial media presence. No offense. I don’t have a facebook page or that birdie thing either. Just this blog.

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Great cat chatting with you, Kit. Be careful on Halloween. Flash your white spots, so you stay lucky. Best whiskers to you and Marie. It was almost as fun as playing inside a brown paper bag..

Sneaky’s Interview of Ivy from Marie Lavender’s Romantic Drama Collection, Directions of the Heart

Wow, Meow. I have another character cat of author Marie Lavender here with me today. What is your name, pretty cat?

My name is Ivy. 

Very mice name for a cat character. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I appeared in Directions of the Heart. This is a modern romantic drama collection.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

Ivy’s human co-star, Victoria.

I’m not in a book series, but you could say there is a series since there are four different tales in the collection. I am only in one of them, however. That tale is titled “Strange Heat.” The story is about my owner, Victoria, who goes on a bizarre adventure when she pretends to be someone else for a week. One of the other stories in the collection includes a Golden Retriever. Uggh…dogs!

Debbie has written stories with different cats, but I’m a regular in her series. In fact, I had my photo on the cover of her latest, Written in Stone. I had to beg her a lot for that, but, like most persistent cats, I got my way. Fido, my dog co-star, has yet to get his photo on the cover, even though he’s had some good parts in the books. Dogs just don’t have the finesse us cats do.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Yes and no. In appearance, I am purely from the author’s imagination. But, when she knew years ago that people can have heterochromia (different colored eyes), she was always curious to find out if cats could too. And it does happen, in rare cases. Obviously! My demeanor, however, is based on a very sweet white cat she had as a child. The cat was named Princess. Though the kitty passed too early, her spirit stayed in Marie’s heart, and eventually came out on paper.

Awww. Debbie also featured her special cat boy, Floppy, in her first book, Cloudy Rainbow.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

It was three nights later when she received the call.  Vicky sat at home in her apartment on Northampton in the South End. The place was decorated just the way she liked it, highly modern yet with occasional knickknacks which made a place home. Ivy, a white shorthaired cat with a beautiful genetic defect of one green eye and one blue, curled up next to her. With one hand, Victoria stroked the feline while with the other, she read Jacobs’ Death and Life of Great American Cities when the phone rang. She reached for it with reluctance. “Hello?”

“Tory?”

She frowned. She thought she knew the voice, but it sounded so tiny. And only one person used that nickname with her. “Lyssa, is that you, honey? What’s wrong?” 

She could hear the tears in her friend’s voice. “The cops are here. Could you…could you come over? They asked me to call someone.”

As she leaned forward, her heart began to pound. Hard. “What? What happened?”

“I…I was attacked.” Lyssa’s voice sounded distant, like she was in shock.

“Oh, God, Lyssa.” She swallowed against the fear rising inside her. “I’ll be there in a few minutes, all right?”

“Okay.” Then she heard the dial tone.

Victoria dropped her book and left the apartment as fast as possible. Glancing back for a split second as the door shut, she saw Ivy lift a paw in the air, and one pink pad appeared, as if to offer her own support.

When Vicky reached Lyssa’s place, a policeman let her in. She rushed inside to find her pal sitting on a chair. The woman looked so pale Victoria’s breath caught in her throat as she approached her friend. “Are you all right?”

When Lyssa didn’t reply, she asked a nearby officer, “Is she okay? What really happened?”

The cop shrugged. “She was attacked. She pressed charges, gave us his name after he took off, but it might not stick. There’s hardly any evidence. And he may get off on a hearsay technicality. No one saw him coming or going from here.”

“It doesn’t mean it didn’t occur,” she spat out.

“I know. But when she’s a bit more coherent, you might suggest her trying for a restraining order. Even if the proof here is scarce, it would protect her in the long run.”

“All right. Thank you.”

“Of course.” The cop stepped away.

Victoria could only shake her head. The police looked about done besides. She pulled up a chair near Lyssa and wrapped an arm around her. “It’s okay, honey. Everything’s gonna be all right,” she murmured, uncertain how true that was.

The cops stayed for another half hour to make sure they didn’t miss anything, then left. They promised to post a unit outside, to keep an eye on things.

Her friend seemed less unresponsive after a while. She threw some teal pajamas on and prepared for bed.

Victoria shook her head and followed her to the room. “Who was it, Lyssa? Who did this to you?”

“Just some guy.”

“From work?”

She shook her head. “Look, he didn’t go too far, didn’t…well, you know. The neighbor heard me screaming.” She rubbed at her eye, as if she’d been hit.

When she moved her hand, Vicky noticed the bluish bruise forming there. Jesus…

She swallowed hard. “Okay.”

A weird moment of silence sprung up between them.

“I know what you’ll say,” Lyssa accused.

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“You’ve never approved of my lifestyle. You’d claim I brought it on myself.”

“No, Lyssa. I would never say that.” Victoria bit her lip, considered her friend’s reaction. Sometimes they acted more like sisters than friends, which was both distressing and encouraging.

Purrfect, and I loved your dramatic acting in that scene, lifting your paw.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

I like that Victoria falls back on me for support when her plan goes awry.

It’s always good for human co-stars to ask for our assistance.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I am fairly silent in the book, but I try to be as helpful as I can.

Of claws.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Love your owners, and do your job as well as possible. Behind the scenes, Victoria and I are really close.

I am quite close to Alicia and Laura, and now Gilly, too. John is okay for a guy who likes dogs.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Not that I know of, but Marie is always a surprise!

So is Debbie, but I use my feline wiles on her to get her to fill me in on her plans. In fact, I’m going to write a guest post for your author about what I’ve uncovered soon.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. But, after fishing around, I think these are Marie’s links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Looks like you caught them. Concats, and thanks for being here today, Ivy. I always enjoy intermewing pretty girl cats  expecially those with lovely two-color eyes like yours. Maybe we can continue our chat on a cozy couch somewhere.

Feature Friday Films: Spoiled Cats

It has come to my attention that there are cats out there in increasing numbers whose persons are treating them like babies, royalty, idols, etc. In other words, spoiling the whiskers out of them. I know quite a few myself, but I am not naming names. Instead, I am showing the following videos for Feature Friday. I hope they do not embarrass anyone. If, however, you enjoy pampering your pussycat, feel free to comment how you spoil him or her.

Guest Review of Who Wants Broccoli? by Sebastian the Rescue Dog

Clearly I’m not a cat, but I appreciate Sneaky inviting me to guest post. I’m Sebastian, a rescue dog who’s part Chihuahua and all spunk, as Mom says. My humans and I currently live in Austin, Texas, but I’ve also lived in Las Vegas (where my previous owner left me to fend for myself) and Victoria, British Columbia (where my humans adopted me). I should have frequent flyer status by now!

Anyway, Mom’s a writer and she decided to write a picture book imagining my life with the other rescue dogs. Before submitting her story to agents, she read me a bunch of other picture books about dogs (especially rescues like me) and we discovered “Who Wants Broccoli?” which is written and illustrated by Val Jones (HarperCollins, 2015).

The book features Broccoli, a large but lovable rescue dog living in Beezley’s Animal Shelter while he waits for a family to take him home. Mrs. Beezley likes to say “there’s a lid for every pot and a pot for every lid,” but Broccoli’s loud, messy ways get him into trouble. Anyone who’s ever been told they try too hard will relate to his plight.

A little boy and his mom move into the neighborhood and come to adopt a dog, but they almost miss Broccoli because Mr. Beezley has moved his cage into the storeroom. That part was so sad, I let out a little Chihuahua whimper (or maybe I was hungry, as I often am). But eventually Broccoli finds his lid and a new family that loves him, messes and all.

I think kids and pets will enjoy Jones’ simple, heartwarming story and playful illustrations that show a range of different pets. I only wish every rescue animal could find a good home like Broccoli and I did.

For more #doglit reviews and photos of my adventures, follow me on Twitter at @LittleRedRescue. My mom tweets about #kidlit and shares her own writing at @UrbanMuseWriter.

What animal picture books should we read next? Leave a comment and let us know!

Sneaky’s note: Thank you Sebastian for a doggone good post. Not bad for a dog. If any other pet has an animal book they would like to review, please have your person send it to my author at debbiewriter@yahoo.com.

Sneaky’s Interview of Author Marie Lavender’s Cat, Emma

Meow, there. As you all know if you’ve been reading this blog, I interview cat characters, but I also interview author’s cats. Today, I am honored to interview multi-genre author, Marie Lavender’s cat, Emma.

Hi, Emma. Please tell me and my readers a bit about yourself.

Emma spends her days in deep concentration plotting to rule the world.

I’m surprised you haven’t heard of me before! Well, you should know. I intend to rule the universe someday. My name is Emma A.K.A ‘the Munchkin’ Mulrooney. I have earned many pet names…ha ha…did you notice what I did there? My mom, or favored human slave, Marie Lavender likes to call me Emma Roo, because I bounce all over the house like a kangaroo. She also says, ‘Agent Em’ sometimes. Probably because I am so stealthy and dangerous!

You sound like quite an interesting cat, Emma, but most cats are multi-faceted.

Have you appeared in any of your owner/author’s books? Are you going to be a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

No, I have yet to appear in any of her books, and I am very upset about it! She claims she won’t include any of her own cats in them because she wants to gives us a good life here at home, a ‘private life’. Whatever that means! As if Grumpy Cat or Maru ever had a bad time being famous? Seriously, how could anyone resist adorable me?

To answer your other question, I am rarely silent in life! Except when I’m making my careful plans to take over the world. I always tell my owner what I think and what I want. Other people in the house believe I am too vocal, however. What else is a kitty supposed to do? Humans are too dumb to understand our language, so we have to be as loud as possible.

Ha, Ha. Talk about being loud. You have not heard my author’s cat, Oliver, at 4 a.m. when he wants his breakfast and to go out on Debbie’s enclosed patio for his morning romp – MOL (Meow Out Loud).

What advice would you give other cats?

Be yourself! Go for your goals. If you want to be a cat detective, just do it! For myself, of course, that kind of work is beneath me. I am a queen, the goddess of this domain, and I will rule the world soon enough.

I am sure quite a few of my feline readers have the same plan in mind. Just look at the number of them on Facebook.

Can you tell me something about your author, Marie’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?

Ah, I suppose I will, if I must. I mean, you were kind enough to ask. Marie is a multi-genre author in the fields of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. But, she loves to try new things as well. Heck, I even heard that she dabbled in horror recently! I guess that’s not so bad. I don’t mind a little violence now and then, especially when I’m proving a point. Oh, where was I? Right. Marie…ah, she has time travel and dystopian works in progress, and even published a kid’s fantasy in 2015. Maybe she’s all over the place for a reason. She can’t seem to pay enough attention to me when she’s writing! But I digress.

Her latest release came out on July 25th. The book is titled Directions of the Heart, and it’s a modern romantic drama collection. Each novella in the volume deals with trauma in some manner. There are dark parts, but it’s also quite emotional, and as Marie is prone to do, she assures me there are happy endings for the couples involved. Here is an excerpt:

When she abruptly drew away from him, he frowned. “What is it you’re afraid of, Sadie? Why do you avoid me when we get close?” It was true. The morning after he’d consoled her from her nightmare, she’d fled from him as if the thought of simple intimacy between them, just lying together, even if sex hadn’t happened, was too much. And she’d pulled away after the dance in the kitchen too.

She glanced at him and shook her head, a sad expression bleeding through her features. “I…it’s complicated. You know about my parents.”

“Yes.” He imagined she might be afraid of losing him if she got too close. Or getting hurt. Was that all? If she wasn’t attracted to him, he would never push, of course. But if she dodged him for another reason entirely, he had to know. “Are you hung up on someone?”

“No. I don’t do this. I haven’t dated in a long time. I told you.”

“Not even just going out?”

“No,” she whispered.

Hell, it had been a while for him too. He wet his lips. “Whoever the last guy was, he was a jerk. I can judge someone turned you off men for a while. Believe me, I’m a guy too, and I know they can be assholes sometimes. He didn’t appreciate you.”

She offered a small smile. “You’re right. He didn’t.”

“I wouldn’t hurt you like that. You believe me, don’t you?”

She looked away. When she met his gaze a moment later, she appeared to want to say something, and then shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. I’m your employer.”

He muttered a curse. “Is it really about that?”

“There are rules.”

Matt lifted a brow. “I didn’t see anything about a ‘no fraternization’ policy in the contract I signed, sweetheart.” He shrugged. “Besides, when you’re off the clock, does it matter?”

“It should.”

“Yeah? Or maybe it’s just a convenient excuse.”

She put her hands on her hips, a move which stirred the strawberry blonde tresses at her shoulders. Her blue-gray eyes flashed. The fire he loved about her. “What are you saying?”

At the risk of being accused of sexual harassment, he leaned forward, saw her gaze immediately drop to his mouth. And he knew, knew it in his gut just like he was aware this intense desire for her wouldn’t go away. “I think you feel something for me, just like I do for you. It’s not tidy, and it won’t be. Hell, it might be wild, even messy with complications. For some reason, you’re scared. I meant what I said. I won’t hurt you. I wish you’d trust that this – you and me – wouldn’t be a mistake. I get you, Sadie, and I know you see it. I understand you in ways that are bound to make you uncomfortable. And it’s pretty terrifying, sure. Caring about someone usually is at first. But this might be the best damned thing we’ve ever invested in.” He brushed his lips against hers as a tease, then stepped back. “I’ll meet you in the car.”

Wow, Meow! Your author is quite talented, Emma.  Do you know when her next book will be out?

I don’t, not really. She is currently editing Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy and book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. Depending on how fast editing, beta reading and her publisher go, she hopes to see it out sometime this year or at least in early 2018. Additionally, she has a romantic comedy book and a paranormal romantic thriller collection lined up.
But, enough about her! I should write a book one day. I will title it Your Feline Goddess Has Spoken. What do you think?

Hmm. I can see quite a market for that. Every cat will be clamoring for a copy.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Please…I am far too busy for such inferior human tasks. But, if you really want to see more of my work, I do visit Marie’s ‘MLB’ blog quite often. In the meantime, if you really need to know, here are my human slave’s author links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Purrfect! I enjoyed cat chatting with you, Emma. Best whiskers to you on taking over the world, although you have quite a bit of competition with your fellow felines.

Sneaky Interviews Lucky, Adrienne’s cat from the Historical Romance, Upon Your Love, by Marie Lavender

Oh, my Whiskers. I have the pleasure of interviewing a Victorian cat character today. What is your name and your author’s name?

My name is Lucky. The author in question is Marie Lavender.

Mice to meet you. I believe your author is with my author’s publisher, Solstice Publishing.

That’s correct, Sneaky.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I appeared in Upon Your Love. This is a historical romance/family saga novel, which is set in 1894.

Boy, that’s a long time ago. Debbie wrote a short story romance taking place around that time called The Seashell and the Stone. It featured a Victorian cat named Seashell, unusual name for a cat if I say so myself.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

I’m not in the whole series, but Upon Your Love is part of a trilogy with a maritime theme. Plus, as I said before, I live in the Victorian era. According to the author, the Heiresses in Love Series is about the Hill family and it spans many generations. There sure are enough people at the Bellamont estate!

Certainly sounds pawsome.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Loosely, yes. I am based on a cat named Gingerbread, whom she fostered briefly until another family took over. She took many of my sweet qualities from Gingerbread – renamed ‘Cheddar’ later…gah! – but my tendency to get into mischief is all me, I’m proud to admit.

Interesting. I like your cattitude.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Two days later, Adrienne played on the floor with Lucky, in her boudoir, tossing about one of her Maman’s spare, blue balls of yarn. She heard a knock at the door, but the feline had nudged the ball beneath the bed and she had to fetch it. A much harder task than she imagined, for Lucky was getting stronger. She finally retrieved it but, upon rising, she heard a sound behind her. Turning, she spied Eric. Clearly, he’d only come in to see if she was all right. She knew he wouldn’t have intruded otherwise.

She glanced around to check her kitten’s whereabouts and winced as the animal playfully pounced on his black, leather boots.

As Eric stood there in the middle of the room, his brown gaze narrowed on the orange cat while his lips twitched a little. The amusement in his eyes gave him away as well.

“Your mother will thrash you when she finds him in here.”

            “Her,” she corrected.

            “Her. And she will not be pleased.”

            She shrugged. “Maman will come around; I have no doubt of it.”

            He waved a hand as if he hadn’t the energy for this situation. “So, you will make your gentleman wait this time.”

            His words sunk in. She stood up quickly, cursing. “Christian is here? But, why didn’t you say?”

            “I said you have a visitor.”

            “But, not who,” she accused. “It could have been anyone.” She rushed to the vanity and ran a brush through her dark hair. She smoothed the wrinkles in her forest green, satin day gown, which had long sleeves and a ruffled collar.

            “You look well enough, chére.”

            “Not a word,” she grumbled. “I wish you’d told me sooner.” Her heart began to race wildly. How did the man do this to her? He always brought out vain impulses that were so foreign to her. “Did he say what he wanted?”

            “No, just that he wished to see you.”

            The request was vague at best. Christian was rarely a gentleman of leisure so he must have a purpose in coming.

            “Are you certain you wish to entertain Du Plessis? Your father would be pleased enough to send him away, if that’s what you want.”

            “No, he knows that is rude.”

            Eric scowled. “I won’t describe the bounder’s previous actions then.”

            “Eric,” she scolded. “This is between me and Christian. I promise I will handle it, and do whatever necessary to make it clear how I feel. You know I can protect myself from threats.”

            He sighed. “Be careful, chére. I am only concerned about you.”

            “Of course,” she murmured. “Now, go torment someone else, please.”

            Eric’s masculine laugh echoed as he left the room.

            Adrienne drew a deep breath, and departed from her boudoir. She took the stairs, and peeked in a few rooms, until she found Christian standing in the library. As handsome as ever dressed in a gray day suit, he eyed her father’s collection of literature. His black, wavy hair was a bit longer now and had started to curl up over the collar of his coat.

            “This collection is quite extensive,” he commented, as if he’d known all along that she stood there.

            She murmured an agreement. “Papa is rather proud of it. Elena has spent a lot of time in here during her stay and, if I am not mistaken, Pierce would enjoy it as well.”

            “Yes, he would.” After a moment, he turned to face her. “I have come to find out your answer.”

            “Hmm… to what?”

            He blinked. “Why, to my marriage proposal.”

            “Oh. Well, I don’t remember you asking.”

He frowned and looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. She wanted to laugh as one dark eyebrow lifted in inquiry.

“Of course, I asked.”

            “No, you definitely did not ask. As I recall, it was little more than a demand.”

            Christian’s mouth opened, then closed and he only appeared to stare at her, confusion in his nearly black eyes.    “Is that why you object, because I didn’t ask formally?”

            “Oh, no, it’s just one reason to object. I have a number of them.”

            He scowled. “What the hell do you mean by that?”

You don’t appear much in that scene, but I like the human characters, and it must’ve been fun jumping on that guy’s boots.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

I like that Adrienne found someone she could love – me! – someone who reminded her of her own positive qualities.

I believe the love between human and cat and even human character and cat character can be quite rewarding for both parties.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I am silent for the most part, except when I want my pet human’s attention, and especially when I’m hungry.

Same here.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

20859891 – hair. beautiful brunette girl. sexy woman with wavy long hair isolated on a black background. beauty model. hairstyle

(Cocks her head.) Be yourself. Why would you be anyone else? Oh, and enjoy life! I started out in the barn because Mrs. Chastain refused to keep our stray litter. Therefore, Joseph was watching over us. But a miracle happened after that. Adrienne found me and brought me into the house. Have you seen all that hair she has? She rivals even me. Humans are such strange creatures…

My author’s cat, Oliver, on whom I was loosely based, enjoyed playing in Debbie’s daughter’s hair when they first got him.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

I don’t, but Marie’s new release is Directions of the Heart, which came out on July 25th. It is a modern romantic drama collection. Also, Marie is currently editing Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel and book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. She hopes to see that out sometime this year, or in the early months of 2018. (Shudders.) It’s not for me, though. Vampires are scary!

Vampires and cats don’t mix well, but those sound like appealing books to some humans who enjoy reading scary stuff.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Please…I’m a cat. I am far too lazy for such menial human tasks. But, here are Marie’s links:

​http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

​​http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Your author is certainly well connected. It was a pleasure to chat with you, Lucky, and I know your author has some other cat characters as well as her real life cats who will be appearing on this blog for future interviews. In the meantime, best whiskers to you.