Sneaky Interviews THE Midnight Louie

louiedebbiesmlbooksI am so excited I could yowl, and it’s not because today is Halloween. It’s because THE famous, infamous Midnight Louie is here for an interview. Louie is my idol. He is a cool cat Private Eye. My author has a shelve of his books in her  “cat library” and even a purr-sonally autographed copy of the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology  in which one of his stories appeared along with Debbie’s first published mystery story. That book bears the signature of ML’s author, Carole Nelson Douglas, and also features Louie’s paw print.

If you haven’t heard of Midnight Louie, where have you been these 25+ years, hiding under your bed? Midnight Louie is practically a legend, but I will let him speak for himself and educate you newbie kitties.

Louie, can you please give us some background about yourself and your author?

Of claws, Sneaky. I was named by the guests at a fancy Palo Alto motel in California, where I must have been born, but do not remember it. They saw me around catching fat koi fish for supper and nibbling off of used room service trays. This lady guest whose ankles I rubbed up against at the outside food and drink machines took me in for the chilly nights, then flew me home 2,000 miles in a borrowed puppy crate. Whew, dog odor does nothing for me.

My collaborator is named Carole Nelson Douglas. People do not have as interesting names as we cats.

You have quite an interesting backstory, Louie, and I love the way you refer to your author as a collaborator.

Can you please tell us about your books and series?

I first appeared in the 1990 Midnight Louie Quartet, four romance novels with mystery. They are out of print and appeared an author-unapproved version in two paperbacks called Crystal Days and Crystal Nights. Miss Carole later published them in her preferred version in four books, The Cat and the King of Clubs, The Cat and the Queen of Hearts, The Cat and the Jill of Diamonds, and The Cat and the Jack of Spades. Those will be coming out again in print and eBook in a year or two.

I have just finished my eponymous 28-book mystery series. To the literati, “eponymous” means “named after me”: The Midnight Louie Mysteries. I am not much for the literati, and provide my very own profile (literally) that shows every alphabetical title in order in one swoop.

mlbooks

You are like the Kinsey Millhone of the cat world in the Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries. That is so pawsome.

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

12mdloucarAs mentioned, I was a gentleman of the road. Miss Carole discovered my long journey in the Classified Ads, when I was being offered to a good home for a dollar. She was a local reporter and requested an interview. Her house was fully catted, but her article found me a home in the country where I could rule the roost, which I was used to.

She has taken in feral and rescue cats all her life. The latest is Taffy, a new boy to ruffle Midnight Louie III’s ruff. He is a pale cream-colored lynx-point and would have been owl-bait at night. 16-jpeg-taffy-halloween

You are a very lucky cat to have such a kind lady as your collaborator.

Can you please share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene?

Set-up: Louie has accompanied his Miss Temple to Chicago, where mobsters are threatening Temple’s fiancé’s mother. He has been left home alone when the crooks show up. There’s a famous O. Henry story about a child kidnapping, “The Ransom of Red Chief”, which possibly inspired the Home Alone films.

Footsteps–large careless stepping-on-tail footsteps–clomp onto the bedroom carpeting.

“I heard something in here,” a deep male voice says.

“Yeah,” mocks another. “The wimpy curtain hitting the window glass in the draft of the ceiling fan. We saw them drive out of here in the rented sedan, all four, all dressed up like for a funeral. They ain’t coming back soon.”

Spare me the bad grammar. This is not an episode of The Jersey Shore.

I gaze out on mud-edged work boots.

“Good,” says Mr. Hearing Things.” I’ll leave a note under the old lady’s pillow. That ought to put a wasp in her—”

No lady will be the object of crude language when Midnight Louie is around. I strike like a snake, a shiv finding the sweet spot between the ankle-boot top and the wrinkled jeans bottom as the creep bends to place his latest poison pen note under Miss Mira’s pillow.

Ow,” he yells, straightening up in a hurry.

“What’s the matter now?”

“A wasp stung me.”

“Get real.”

“No. Look. My leg is all red in this spot. It is bleeding.”

“I am not looking at your bleeding ankles. Maybe you got an allergy. Leave the note and I will do something nasty with a butcher knife and whatever is in the meat drawer in the kitchen on the way out.”

“It is not just the two chicks now. They have visitors.”

“So. We back off because of ‘visitors’? We been hired—”

I wince again. As grammar goes so arrives the coarseness of modern life.

“—to terrify and that is what we do best. That dude is the woman’s son. I bet if we got ahold of him we could get her to come across.”

“I would rather kidnap the little red-headed chick. Less trouble and more fun.”

Their footsteps thud out the door and into the living room, then soon stomp onto the kitchen tiles like jackhammers.

I rocket out after them, intending to do massively more epidermal damage with my own butcher knives. Well, X-acto knives on steroids.

I run right into the open maw . . . of the leopard-print carrier, which a rude boot kicks shut on me before I can turn around in the canvas tunnel.

“I told you I heard something in the bedroom,” says one. A boot kicks in at me. “Wasp. I was right. Kiss your kisser good-bye, puddytat.”

Light returns to the tunnel as the boot draws back for a kick. I gather into a crouch. Luckily, Miss Temple has chosen a commodious carrier, I am planning to land atop the boot, sink in my staples and ride it out of captivity. Of course, I may be flung spine-first into a wall, but I also plan to use the Mr. Max Kinsella survival strategy and go as limp as a kitten before I hit.

I admit I am being a trifle optimistic about my survival chances here.

“Hold it,” the other guy says, kicking my assailant’s boot aside. He bends to zip the lip of the carrier shut.

“This plays right into our hands. Talk about smaller and less trouble. We have got our hostage. You know how regular people go all puddly about animals in jeopardy. Just let me write a note and stick it into the maple countertop with a butcher knife and we are outta here.”

Mr. Kickapoo is not convinced. “Should there not be blood on the knife? There is on my ankle.”

“Will you forget about your friggin’ ankle?”

“Or we could hack off the tip of his tail.”

“You want to put your hands into that wasps’ nest? You could contract blood poisoning. I am not going to drop you off at the ER. Too risky. You will end up in the same landfill I will leave the cat in. I will bury the little devil and you so deep it will make the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance in Detroit look obvious.”

Landfill. Great! I have found some very tasty snacks around landfills. Plus there are trash trucks coming and going constantly on which hitch a ride back to town. One man’s doom is another cat’s opportunity.

Am I glad to have distracted this two-man destruction crew into leaving my nearest and dearest alone.

“So,” says Shifty, “I will leave a message on the phone. Gawd, these little lit-up buttons do not always depress. It is depressin’.” Seeing his dexterity on a smart phone keypad is like watching King Kong tap dancing on a piano keyboard.

“You do not have the victim’s number on speed dial?” Lefty asks

“This busted fingers cannot punch in all those little keys.” Shifty (who cannot shift, it seems) grunts. “Hmm. No answer. They are still out. Good. I will leave a message to make them squirm.”

He takes a deep breath, then coughs. Cigars will do that to you.

“Listen, folks. We got your damn cat. We do not like your damn cat. We will call every hour to see if you got what you know we want. We will chop off an inch of your damn cat’s tail each time we call if you do not come across with the, uh, stuff we want. You know what we mean. Then we will start on the legs. So, uh, cough it up, and we will have an exchange where you can leave . . . er, what we want and collect what is left of your cat.”

There is silence as Lefty shuts off the cell phone.

“That was not very professional,” Shifty rebukes him.

“Whadda mean, ‘professional’? We do not even know what the Vegas bunch wants. They have left us in the dark looking stupid.”

I could point out that is not very hard, but hold my tongue in case they get an itch to chop it off in sections.

“And I do not know about all that cat-chopping you have committed us to. They have nasty, infected claws, you know. We could get rabies.”

“I was just saying that. You gotta threaten the hostage, and not with something namby-pamby. You gonna eat the whole sausage roll?”

 At a deserted warehouse

 I am still in Chicago. I am still in stir.

Beer tops pop again. Cigars reek. I peer squinty-eyed out the black mesh at the end of my carrier. The cigar smoke is rising up from the beer cans upon which the stogies are perched while my captors sit on random crates and chow down.

I must say that Chicago sausage is some of the most highly spiced and aromatic I have ever sniffed, no doubt because so many Poles, Germans, Czechs and other eastern European folks settled here.  

“What was that?” Shifty stirs and lowers a foot from the crate to the filthy floor. “Is that damn cat growling?”

“Let it growl. We can always cut off its tongue.”

Actually, it is my ungovernable stomach growling and if the boys get in a position to do my innards violence, it will already all be over for Midnight Louie.

I have had enough of this nonsense.

Luckily, the boys have very little muscle tone and dumped my carrier with the zippered opening facing away from their cozy little campground. My paws punch the side where the zipper closes, forcing it open an inch or two. Then I lift my whiskered lips in “silent snarl” position and tilt my head so my right fang is bared and ready for action.

It takes a few “casts,” as in fishing, but I am a master koi-snagger. I finally push the fang-tip through that nice little hole on every zipper tag. No doubt it is for the ladies to put a gizmo through if they are seeking to do or undo a back zipper solo. Handy dudes are not always handy, you know.

Now I jerk my head up in stages, easing the zipper open bit by bit. Yes, it is tedious work, but the cause of freedom can never be taken for granted.

As my nose lifts higher and higher, the odors of sausage and cigar smoke engage in an almost unendurable duel in my olfactory senses. I crave the one and abhor the other and must also resist a strange urge to sneeze . . . .

The carrier end finally falls away like a . . . sausage casing. After a last glance at my captors snoozing off after their feats, I spurt out into the cavernous space filled with abandoned hulks of factory equipment casting massive shadows.

Your ordinary hostage might be intimidated by the iron bars on the high windows and the small broken-down entrance on the far side of my captors.

However, I have allies—or shills, if you will—everywhere, especially in down-and-dirty presumably empty places and locales.

I climb a shaky tower of empty crates until a bit of daylight shows through the broken chicken-wire backed glass. Once elevated, I hiss softly through the bars an irresistible code word.

Sssausssage. Fresssh Polissssh ssssausssage, kielbasa alive, alive-o.

How sweet it is to have a native secret language. I do not wait for my troops to arrive, but scamper back down to the concrete floor, the crates now crashing and scattering from my uncontrolled weight and pace.

The clatter brings Shifty and Lefty awake. They blink and look up, perhaps searching for Santa. I rocket right toward and under Shifty’s propped-up legs, slashing as I go.

Arghhh!” As he falls over sideways he reaches for a stabilizing crate, but they are all shaky. I glimpse the comet of a falling lit cigar. “My eye!” he shouts. “It is burning. I am blinded.”

Lefty swipes an arc of cheap beer at his pal’s face, leaving Shifty’s head dripping, one eye closed and the other blinking out beer.

Meanwhile I jump onto a crate to get a sausage round down and rolling toward the entry point just as a flood of cats come bounding through.

“Rats!” Shifty cries, turning around to see with his one eye. “We are being attacked by rats.”

Shifty has pulled the pocket knife from his pants.

“That is all you have for a shiv?” Lefty demands. “It is not big enough to chop off a rat’s tail and now they are all coming for us.”

I turn and make for the piled crates rimming the space, racing up them in plain sight. If you have both eyes.

“That cursed cat,” Lefty yells. “Get him!”

“Why bother?” Shifty yells back, quite rationally. Now that they have phoned in their threat, my well-being is moot.

“He has stolen our sausages.”

Enraged, Lefty charges toward the decrepit crating even as I dig in my taloned hind claws to dislodge a particularly large one with a Great White’s jaw-worth of exposed four-inch sixteen-penny nails, all rusted and corroded and sharp as a giant serpent’s business fang.

I kick it right into the oncoming would-be chopper.

He trips on shattered piece of crating, lifts his arms to protect himself from the handy cat’s version of a spiked Iron Maiden torture device closing on him, screams and flails into embracing the inevitable and falls over forward right on it.

Meanwhile, Shifty, stumbling madly to escape the “rats,” has knocked himself into a crate spilling open beer cans and the second cigar, so his pant legs are now catching fire and his upper torso is beer-soaked.

I turn. The chaos is complete. I eye the one untouched item, an island of calm integrity, sadly. My Miss Temple was so proud of her leopard-pattern carrier. Now it is mere salvage.

Wow, Meow! Action! Drama! I expected no less from such an experienced feline actor such as yourself. You are a purr-fect role model for us cat characters.

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

I am the first truly “noir” feline PI, who writes my own chapters and prowls “the mean streets”. People magazine said I was “always engaging” and I “prowl the alleys of Las Vegas solving crimes and romancing runaways like a furry Sam Spade.” I get to protect my human roommate (nobody “owns” me), Miss Temple Barr, and her associates. I like my action scenes when my sharp concealed shivs take a bite out of human evil-doers.

Well meowed, Louie.

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

Me, silent? Hah! I do refuse, on principle, to talk to humans, but my crime-note chapters from my own viewpoint comment on the human action plenty and document my hidden role in saving the day and nailing the crooks.

Very Mice. Great idea about changing your point of view in your own chapters. In my books, no one looks into my furry head, so I find it hard to get the attention of my human co-characters. It can sometimes be quite fur-strating.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

I would counsel them to understand that well-meaning humans tend to underestimate our species and delude themselves into thinking we are merely incredibly good-looking, treat-eating layabouts, when we all have our own secret missions. Enjoy the perks, but keep our superpowers on the hush-hush.

MOL (Meow out Loud). Ain’t that the truth?

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

tiny-rgb-line-endgame-cover-pattyAugust 23  was the debut of my 28th and last “alphabet” mystery, Cat in an Alphabet Endgame, in which I solved a vexing and long-standing Vegas crime and played cupid for a wedding. I am contemplating further adventures, as my readers are not ready to let me go into that “dark night” of no more books.

I hope not. No more Midnight Louie stories would be worse than a world without catnip.

Today, October 31, is also my birthday. (I am one black cat not intimidated by human superstitions.) Miss Carole is getting out some of my earlier adventures that have never been in eBook.

smal-dd-cover-5 tiny-ee-cover-2016-3Cat in a Diamond Dazzle, set at a romance convention can be pre-ordered for Nov. 16 and Cat with an Emerald Eye, set at a Halloween séance to bring back the magician Harry Houdini will be on pre-order soon for Jan. 11, 2017, publication .

 Also coming in 2017 are Cat in a Flamingo Fedora, Cat in a Golden Garland (Christmas in NY), Cat on a Hyacinth Hunt, Cat in a Jeweled Jumpsuit (Elvis) and Cat in a Kiwi Con (SF/Fantasy convention). And then we will be all caught up and ready to move on to other projects.

Oh, my Bastet! You are a busy boy and so is your purr-lific collaborator. Also, Happy Halloween birthday, Louie! I know it’s not always a good day for black cats, but as one of my human co-stars said in my latest Cobble Cove mystery, “even bad publicity can be a good thing.”

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

Of claws we are, Sneaky. Here are our links:

Website: http://www.carolenelsondouglas.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CaroleNelsonDouglas

Twitter: @CNDouglasWriter

http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Carole-Nelson-Douglas/64023587

Thanks, Louie. I am sure my readers will follow you and your author now that they’ve had a taste of your talents. It has been an honor having you here, and please thank Carole for transcribing all your notes. I know she’s a very busy lady. Best whiskers to both of you on your future writing projects.

Sneaky’s Guide to National Cat Day on October 29th

oliverwithbetweenarockandahardplace
Debbie’s Cat, Oliver, with a copy of one of our books
stripeyatcomputer
Debbie’s cat, Stripey, typing his own story

Oh, my whiskers! I just heard that National Cat Day is being celebrated this Saturday, October 29. Even though I’m a fictional cat in a mystery series, I’m aware that this is a special day for real felines.

Did you know that National Cat Day was founded to help humans become aware of all the poor kitties without homes and adopt some if they can. It also gives cat lovers a reason to celebrate their own cats. Many organizations such as Petco and The Blue Buffalo Company support this day that is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Foundation. It was created by Colleen Paige, a Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate. She sounds like one paw-some lady. Ask your human to check out the info and contests at the National Cat Day website: http://www.nationalcatday.com/.

The website also includes 20 ways to celebrate this purr-fect day. I’m including 5 of them that I like the most and adding 5 of my own for real as well as fictional felines.

1. Bake some cat-shaped cookies for your kids and some tuna cookies for your cat.

catmoldThis sounds like so much fun. In my new book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, my human co-star, Alicia, picks up a few cat-shaped cookies at a bakery near a New York City cat café. My author, a cat mom of two, has cat molds in her kitchen. Her daughter also likes to bake, and both their cats love tuna especially Stripey who will eat it out of the can if it’s left open on the table. Even I like tuna. I must remind Debbie to write a scene with me eating some. 

olivercatbed2. Buy your cat a fun new toy….condo, bed or treats!

What kitty in their right mind wouldn’t like this? I know my author’s Siamese, Oliver, is wild about his cat bed. Variety is the spice of life, and cats love surprise gifts, not only for their birthdays and the catnip mice Santa Claws leaves in their stocking.

3. Brush your cat to eliminate excess fur and hairballs.

Debbie brushes Oliver daily. She even wrote an award-winning article about grooming in the Cat Writer’s Association contest. Read it here: http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/brush-your-cat-for-bonding-beauty-and-better-health

4. Paint your face, wear kitty ears or dress in cat related fashion.

hollyhoodieMy author’s daughter has this one nailed. She loves to dress as a Kitty all the time, not only on Halloween. In fact, she wears a cat hoodie to Middle School every day.

.5. Have a National Cat Day party and invite all your friends and their cats!

oliverbirthdayDebbie once had a cat birthday party for Oliver. She should have one for me in her next book, even though I was a lost cat who was taken in to be the Cobble Cove Library Cat. Maybe my fellow characters can celebrate the day I was found like Debbie celebrated the day she took Oliver from her mother when the lady had to move to a place she couldn’t have a cat.

teaser6And here are my 5 additional ways to celebrate National Cat Day:

  1. Write a story about your cat. It can be real or fictional, a poem or the beginning of a novel. Cats make the best characters.
  2. Draw your cat for a possible cartoon, book cover, or portrait to hang on your walls.
  3. Read your cat a story featuring a cat, but don’t take it personally if he falls asleep.
  4. After you brush your cat and collect some of his fur, crochet or knit something with it. There are how-to-books on this subject. No kitting.
  5. Last but not least, show your cat how special he is, not only on National Cat Day, but every day he honors you with his presence because wise humans know that all cats are truly characters.

For the benefit of my co-star, Fido, and other of the barking persuasion, do not fear, National Dog Day is only ten months away on August 26.

 

Sneaky Interviews Thumper from Elaine Faber’s Black Cat Mysteries

Today’s interview is with another exciting fur guest. Please tell us your name and a little about yourself, Kitty.

bootsThumper, here! I’m a tuxedo cat, the main ‘critter’ in Elaine Faber’s Black Cat Mysteries.

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

bcl_cover_front-2 bcll_cover_front-2 bcaa_cover_front_for_webBlack Cat’s Legacy, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel are all cozy cat mysteries filled with thrills, chills, and me! How exciting is that?

Sounds pawsome. I must add them to my TBP (to be pawed) pile.

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

Yes, the books are a series. Each book stands as an exciting mystery. BCL tells how I met Kimberlee, trying to solve her father’s cold case murder. In BCLL Kimberlee takes me to a horse ranch in Texas, where I meet my lady love and confront a crooked attorney and murder. In BCAA, my lady love and I cope with memory loss, emus and skullduggery on a Nevada City, CA. vineyard. Cold case murder, romance, secret identities, embezzling, fake charities, and cats! Oh my!

Very mice plots, I must say.

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

My external appearance resembles Elaine’s black and white tuxedo cat with multiple toes, but my personality and charm are a credit to Elaine’s warped imagination; a fabulous combination, if I do say so myself.

I follow in those paw-steps myself. I look like Debbie’s Siamese, but I’m a much better actor, although he’s a better singer especially early in the morning when he wants to eat. Debbie also once had a tuxedo cat, but he was gray and white. He is on Rainbow Bridge now, but she also wrote a short story and a book with him in it that wasn’t a cozy.

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

Thumper Meets Noe-Noe — Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer

Four white feet tucked beneath his belly and his fluffy black tail whipping, Thumper peeked out from beneath the sofa. A delightful scent teased his nostrils and made the hair on his neck stand erect. The scent tasted familiar and yet…evocative and foreign.

He poked his head from beneath the sofa and lifted his nose, drew in the bouquet, rolled it around his teeth, seeking the direction of the tantalizing bouquet. He crept from his hiding place and followed the enticing aroma. Aha. The flavor of a feminine flower.

She drew him as if by magic−teasing, taunting, beguiling, until his senses reeled, but he was unable to locate this unseen temptress, this captivating illusion. He followed the fragrance into the library, his gaze traveled up the bookcases.

Their eyes met as she peered down at him, her front toes curled beneath her breast. The sun streaming through the window shimmered off her silken ears. Her fur…buttercups in a field of marigolds. Her eyes…midnight slits peeking through golden moons. Her sensuous tail coiled around her nose, rising and falling in a hypnotizing rhythm.

She was not a gossamer dream, but a lissome feline goddess. She stared down from atop the shelf−a living, breathing challenge to his masterful woomanship.

Usually preferring darker-striped girlfriends, his interest in this golden vixen was both perplexing and titillating.

He always fancied himself a diplomatic lover, not given to one-night stands, having heard tales of Father’s abandonment, and Mother waiting in vain for Father’s return.

Now, to put his best foot forward…but which foot? All four black legs ended in elegant, snowy white feet with multiple toes.

“Howdy, stranger. New in town?” The sound of her voice, like the thrum of a hummingbird’s wings, thudded through his heart.

He stared into her enchanting face−the angle of her teasing whiskers−the slant of taunting ears−her tantalizing eyes, tinged ever so slightly with green, glittered like diamonds. Her tiny pointed teeth−perfection! She breathed a sigh and twitched her tail.

“Thumper’s the name. Brought the family to the ranch to visit. Care to show me around?” He licked his bib, turned and stared out the window. “Not that it matters one way or the other, you understand. Just sayin.’” Please say yes, oh please, please, say yes…!

“Thumper? What kind of name is that? Sounds like a rabbit.”

His heart crumpled. There it was again, that silly name. Thumper−like the bunny. How many times had he wished his name was Butch or Felix. But no, he was Thumper. His dream of a romantic fling with this straw-colored vixen had as much chance as a balloon at a porcupine’s birthday party. He sighed, hung his head and turned toward the door.

“Wait…”

He stopped, ears perked, whiskers taunt. “Yes?”

She stood and rearranged her sumptuous body. “Don’t go yet, Thumper. I like rabbits.”

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Great scene. By the way, Debbie’s tuxedo was named Floppy, and people also mistook the name for that of a bunny. He was actually named for Floppy disks back in the day.

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

With the aid of my ancestors’ memories, I can direct my ‘persons’ to clues that solve the mysteries, making me crucial to the plot. The best parts are when I am the POV character and narrate the story and/or have conversations with my lady love.

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

I talk to other animals and my sweetheart in BCLL and more in BCAA. I don’t talk to people.

People aren’t worth talking to, anyway. IMUO (In My Un-humble Opinion)

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Stop writing cat mysteries. Then my novels would be the only cozy cat mysteries on Amazon ($3.99); mom would get rich and I’d get roast beast every night! MOL!!!!

That’s a bit greedy, don’t you think? But you do make a good point.

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

faberbookcover-1Not immediately. After three cat mysteries, mom stated a new series, Mrs. Odboddy – Hometown Patriot, a WWII humorous adventure with an elderly lady protagonist, Thank goodness, she does has a cat! Mom can’t decide, should she write another Mrs. Odboddy or a fourth Black Cat Mystery? What do you think?

I think that’s up to your author. My author likes to write a standalone in between our series. In fact, she has one in the works, and it actually also has two cats in it, but they play minor roles. She also has another cozy series in mind.

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

Black Cat’s Legacy                            http://tinyurl.com/lrvevgm

Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer       http://tinyurl.com/q3qrgyu

Black Cat and the Accidental Angel http://tinyurl.com/07zcsm2

Mrs. Odboddy – Hometown Patriot http://tinyurl.com/hdbvzsv

Website:                     www.mindcandymysteries.com

Face Book                   http://tinyurl.com/zm2j4n5

I am also including my author’s bio if you don’t mind.

Of claus not, Thumper.

Elaine Faber is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers and Cat Writers Association.

Elaine’s cozy mysteries include. Black Cat’s Legacy; Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel. Black Cat, the cat with the memories, tackles a California cold case murder, a Texas embezzling lawyer, and skullduggery at an emu farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot: Whether exposing conspiracies and Nazi spies, serving on the coast watch, or carrying a package to President Roosevelt, Agnes Agatha Odboddy fights WWII from the home front.

Elaine lives in Elk Grove, CA. She and her husband share their home with three house cats, the inspiration for the Black Cat Mysteries. The Agnes Odboddy character is a figment of Elaine’s vivid imagination and in no way relates to her quirky personality.

Thank you, Thumper. Best whiskers to you and Elaine on your forthcoming books.

 

Sneaky Interviews Miss C. from Roby Sweet’s Cozy Mystery Series

As a fan of cozy mysteries because I star in one myself, I’m excited about my next guest. What is your name and your author’s name?

Thank you for inviting me, Sneaky. I’m so excited to meet you and Debbie! My full name is Miss Cuddlywumps, but people call me Miss C for short. My author person’s name is Roby Sweet, but I like to call her She of Little Talent, or old SoLT for short. She doesn’t seem to mind.

You are so lucky about that, Miss C. I don’t think Debbie would appreciate that type of comment from me, although she does stand for a lot of cat poop from her pre-teen daughter who just turned 12 today.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please tell us about them.

bitr-e-cover-updated ioo-ebook-cover_smaller ss-kindle-coverI star in a cozy mystery series called Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates. There are three books so far: A Bump in the Road, The Ides of October, and Siren Song. We are finishing up work on the fourth book now, it is called Night of the Furies, and it will be out in December.

I also write a blog called The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles. It is all about cats in history, mystery, and culture. I also care a lot about helping senior kitties in shelters find homes, so I blog about that sometimes too.

My Bastet! You and I have much in common. Not only are we both in cozy mysteries, but we both write blogs. Of course, we don’t “litter-ally” write them. Our authors lend a hand because it’s quite difficult to tap computer keys with our paws.

Please tell us more about your series.

I play myself in the Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates series. I am a classically educated calico cat who is also familiar with mysteries. All of this education serves me well in my life in a tiny Maryland town where strange things keep happening, like people being murdered. I help my person (a rather clueless soul named Rory) solve the mysteries. Without me and my knowledge of Homer and Socrates and the like, criminals would go free.

Pawsome. I also live in a small town. Cobble Cove is in upstate New York. I am the library cat there. I help with the mysteries Alicia faces but not in a direct way. I hope to convince my author to give me catnip-worthy parts in the future.

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

I am a completely fictional cat. Old SoLT says that one day she was taking a rather ordinary walk when out of the blue, this cat (me) popped into her head. That was about six years ago, and I have been in her head ever since. Sometimes she forgets that I’m not real.

In that we are different. I am based on Debbie’s Oliver, who is also Siamese, but I am a younger and more tail-anted actor than he.

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

Yes. Here is a scene from my first book, A Bump in the Road. This is a scene from chapter 7, where I alert my person to the fact that I have just witnessed a murder outside our house:

Rory awoke to the sensation of a paw hitting her repeatedly on the cheek. The hitting was accompanied by a persistent meowing. She tried to brush the paw away, but the hitting and meowing continued. Finally she opened one eye, complaining, “It can’t be five already.” Looking at the clock, she saw it was not five o’clock; it was three thirty. “You’re kidding me. Knock it off, cat.” Rory pulled the blanket over her head.

Miss C did not knock it off. Did Socrates “knock it off” when he was on trial for his life? No! Did Odysseus “knock it off” on his epic journey home from the Trojan War? Well, a little bit, but he persevered in the end. The cat hooked the claws of one paw into the blanket and tried to pull it back, meowing all the time. “Rory! Rory! You have to get up. Thor!”

Rory felt the blanket being pulled from her face, and then the hitting began again. The meowing had never stopped. Now more fully awake, she realized there was something frantic, urgent, about Miss C’s actions. Rory sat up and reached to turn on the bedside lamp. Blinking in the light, she saw Miss C looking positively frazzled; her eyes were wide, her tail erect and puffy—she looked ready to run and hide. “What, Miss C? What’s wrong?”

Miss C jumped to the floor meowing, “Thor! Thor!” She ran from the room.

Pulse racing, Rory swung her feet out of bed, pulled her robe on and stepped into her slippers, and followed her cat.

She found Miss C sitting in the living room window and staring at something outside. “Murder!” the cat meowed.

“What the heck is going on?”

Rory looked out the window, saw the white pickup parked in front of her house. Its headlights were on, the driver’s-side door was wide open, and it sounded like the engine was running. Looked like Don Miller’s truck, but where was Don? A yard sign reading “Bumps Save Lives” was leaned up against the truck’s driver’s-side rear tire. Then Rory spotted the sign that had been installed in her front yard. Nearby lay a baseball cap.

“Don, what on earth are you doing?” she breathed.

“Murder!” Miss C meowed.

A purr-fect scene, but how in the world does a cat meow murder? I have never done that, although I know Debbie’s cats do it regularly when they are waiting to be fed.

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

I like that I am the star, as is only fitting for a cat of my caliber. I also like how I get to mention monsters and things from classical mythology, like Medusa. It is so much fun!

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

I am a talking cat, and I have a lot to say, but of course none of the humans understand me; they all think I am just meowing. It is so frustrating to say such wise things and not be understood.

Same here. I feel your fur-stration.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

The main thing is to let the humans think they are in charge, even though obviously you are the only one who knows what’s going on. Also, if you can get someone to read to you from the classics—Homer and Herodotus and so on—you will learn a lot about humans and life.

I must try that. I’m actually a bit of a Shakespeare fan myself. To Meow or Not to Meow, that is the question.

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

Yes, my fourth book, Night of the Furies, is coming out in December. In this book, there is an archaeology dig going on in my town, Brooksford, and suddenly it seems that everyone has a skeleton in their backyard. I mean literally, one skeleton after another is found, all buried in the same odd way. In the midst of my inquiries into that situation, a fresh body turns up, its heart pierced by an archaeologist’s trowel. So, in addition to investigating a series of 200-year-old deaths, I now have to investigate a brand-new death, in what turns out to be my most challenging case yet.

I have only been in two books so far, my second just came out October 12, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I am trying to pur-suade Debbie to start my third book soon.

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

roby-sweet-headshot
My author, Roby Sweet

We are all over the Internet and social media, and we would love for people (or cats, or whatever) to visit us there. You can find us in these places:

Blog: The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles (http://cuddlywumps.blogspot.com)

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MissCuddlywumps

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MissCuddlywumps

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/MissCuddlywumps

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/robysweet

Paw-some. I will share those links. Thanks again for the interview, Miss C. It was a pleasure to chatter with you today.

Sneaky’s Interview of Nick and ROCCO, the character and real life cats of TC LoTempio

fred-profile Today I am doing a double head butting interview with both a real life and character cat. This is  a fur-st for me. I am chattering with Rocco, the real life cat of author TC LoTiempo and her feline character, Nick Charles from her Nick and Nora mystery series.

Hello, Kitties, please introduce yourselves to our reading audience.

image001-2Rocco:  My name is ROCCO LoTempio, and my human is Toni also known as TC. Many people ask why I always spell my name in all caps. The answer should be obvious. So that it’s larger than life, just like me!!!!!!!  I am not a character in a book (although the character of Nick in the Nick and Nora mysteries is modelled after me) but I do run my own blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, where I conduct author interviews monthly!

Nick:  I’m Nick Charles. I am one of the main characters, if not THE main character, in the Nick and Nora mystery series by T.C. My adventures were first recounted in MEOW IF ITS MURDER, followed by CLAWS FOR ALARM. The third book, CRIME AND CATNIP is out December 6 of this year.

image002 image003 image004

Mice to meet you both. This question is for Nick. Please tell us more about your series

Nick:  The Nick and Nora mystery series recounts the adventures of Nora Charles, an ex-true crime reporter who returned to her roots in Cruz, California to take over her late mother’s sandwich shop. Along the way she adopts a tubby tuxedo cat who belonged to a missing PI, and who seems to have a flair for detection just like his former owner. I’m fond of spelling out clues with my favorite toy, Scrabble tiles.

Pawsome.

This is for Rocco. What do you like most about your human’s books?

Rocco:  I love the fact they all feature cats, although she has written some paranormals. I’ve been after her to do one with a vampire cat……

I also like that Debbie always includes a cat or two in her books and sometimes even a dog like Fido, my co-star in her Cobble Cove mysteries. A vampire cat would be totally pawsome and fur-raising I’m sure.

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

king-roccoNick:  Yes, as Rocco said, I am based on him. He is a real cat. TC’s tuxedo, who runs his own blog and interviews authors monthly! ROCCO is also a bit on the tubby side, but he is an excellent interviewer!!!!!!!

(Rocco purrs) Thanks, Nick.

Nick: Of Claus, Rocco.

Another question for Rocco. Does your human have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

image006Rocco:  Book three in the Nick and Nora series, CRIME AND CATNIP will be out December 6. After that, we’ll have to see. TC Lotempio has a new series coming out from Crooked Lane in March of next year but unfortunately Rocco is not in that one (hiss)

Nick, what advice would you give other cat characters? –

Nick:  Purr softly and carry a big stick.

My motto exactly.

Rocco, can you share an excerpt from one of TC’s books since you are litter-ally at her side when she writes them.

Rocco:  From CLAWS FOR ALARM:

I tried the door which seemed to be stuck. I looked at the doorframe, which appeared to be less than sturdy, checked it for alarm wires. Seeing none, I raised my leg and gave the door a swift, hard kick. It clicked open an inch, and I pushed it all the way open. We walked into a tiny office not much bigger than a postage stamp. A large metal desk and battered file cabinet took up the majority of the space. Another door at the far end stood part-way open. Nick suddenly tensed, and I saw the hairs on his back rise. His tail fluffed out, and he started to growl, deep in his throat.

I frowned. “What’s wrong. What do you sense?”

Nick reared up on his hind legs and then shot through the partially open door. I had no choice but to follow. The room I now found myself in appeared to be a slightly larger version of the previous office. Nick crouched in front of a large metal desk and as I entered, he shifted his body slightly. I caught a glimpse of two feet, very still, shod in the pair of eggplant Louboutins I’d admired earlier in the evening.

“Oh, crap,” I cried. “Please tell me that’s not what I think it is.” I walked around Nick and peeped around the edge of the desk. I saw a twisted figure in a white raincoat bunched up around shapely legs, a tumble of black hair covering its face, the neck bent at an unnatural angle.

“Shit,” I said.

“MA-ROW!” Nick yowled.

I heard a sound behind me as Nick dived under a nearby chair. My heart started to beat wildly in my chest. The last time he’d pulled something like that I’d been caught next to a dead body and hauled off to the police station. His fat rear had barely wiggled out of sight before the door slammed back and I found myself looking first down the barrel of a .45 and then, as I raised my gaze, at the grim, unsmiling face of Detective Leroy Samms. He looked at me, then at the feet, then back to me again. He lowered his arm, slipped his gun back into his shoulder holster. “Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in.”

Nick: That’s my favorite scene, Rocco. Thanks for sharing it.

Rocco: My  purr-sonal pleasure, Nick.

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

Nick:  Meow – I like that I’m the main focus, pretty much all of the time.

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

That’s a funny story – I was originally supposed to be a talking cat in the original manuscript but Penguin wanted me silent, so silent I became. Not to say that I don’t express my feelings in other ways, meow.

image005My last question to Rocco are you and/or your human on social media? If so, please list your links.

ROCCO’s blog: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/RoccoBlogger

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/toni.lotempio.5

https://www.facebook.com/RoccoBlogger/

Head butts to both of you on a purr-fect interview and much luck to Nick on his books, Rocco on his blog, and TC LoTempio on her upcoming publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oliver’s Interview of Sneaky

olivernewbook3Okay, Fur Friends and Humble Humans. You are in for a rare treat better than caviar or catnip. Today, my author Debbie’s cat, Oliver, is going to interview yours truly about our new book.

High Paws, Sneaky! It’s great to finally meet you in the virtual fur.

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

stonesthrowamazon  between-a-rockhard-place-001

I was introduced in Debbie’s first Cobble Cove Mystery, A Stone’s Throw, that is a cozy mystery. I am also featured in the second book that was just released, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

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

I am the library cat in the Cobble Cove mystery series as I  already meowed. No offense, Ollie, but I think you need some practice with your interview techniques. 

Sorry, Sneaky. This is my first interview.

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

I enjoy all the characters, both humans and animals. Fido, the golden retriever dog, is my pet co-star. For a dog, he is pretty pawsome. I also like the mysteries, although I find it very fur-strating when the humans can be so stupid that they don’t cat-ch all the clues.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Watch your human as he or she writes and make sure they are giving you purr-fect lines and scenes. If not, you can improvise and make some changes to your script. For instance, Debbie had no idea that I would teach that old man, Mac, a lesson in A Stone’s Throw when she allowed Sheila, the Cobble Cove library director, to accept his excuse for not cleaning my litter box. Now all our readers will remember his smelly jacket.

stripeyatcomputerThat’s a bit drastic, Sneaky. I leave that sort’ve revenge to my step-brother cat, Stripey. He did a dirty deed to Debbie’s husband’s computer bag once when he wasn’t giving him attention.

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

Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Cobble Cove Mystery #2) just came out on October 12. Even though the book can be read without reading the other, I highly recommend you start with the first mystery, A Stone’s Throw,  not only because my early scenes are paw-some but because you will want to get to know the main characters who continue in the following book along with new ones who are introduced. But, mostly, you should buy the first one (as well as the new one) so that Debbie can afford cat food and litter for her real life cats, Oliver and Stripey.

Awww, Sneaks. Thanks for the plug. I could just head bump you.

That’s not necessary, Oliver, but I appreciate the thought. 

Of claus. Can you share an excerpt from your latest book, Sneaky?

I thought you’d never ask. Actually, this is one that Debbie just read at her author talk at the North Bellmore Library about my storytime scene:

Laura opened the staff lounge, and Alicia followed her in flicking up the light switch next to the door. The room into which they walked was cozy with a few tables covered by red and green holiday tablecloths that Vera had recently purchased in town, and chairs similar to the one in Sheila’s office that she’d promised to replace soon with padded ones. There was a small refrigerator and a counter with coffee maker, mugs, and sweeteners.

Laura continued through the room to the back door framed by a cat flap. She put her finger to her lips.

“Shhh. He might be sleeping. That would be great. We can catch him unaware.”

She opened the door slowly and tiptoed through. Alicia followed on her toes, as well, the squeals from downstairs reaching a crescendo as the two women entered the storage/cat room. 

Sneaky was indeed sleeping, nestled into the cat bed they’d moved from under the local history collection downstairs; but, like most felines, he was alert to the slightest noise. As Laura and Alicia entered the room, one brown ear flap lifted and Sneaky’s left eye opened a slit.

“Uh, oh,” he’s heard us. Laura bent down and unlocked the cat carrier. Sneaky, hearing the familiar sound, jumped up from his bed.

“Oh, no, you don’t, Mr. Sneak,” Laura said. She signaled to Alicia to block the exit as she ran across the room and scooped up the cat in one fell swoop. Then, rushing back to the carrier, she pushed him in and secured all four hinges that closed the door.

“Amazing,” Alicia said. “You’re such an expert at catching cats. I had one before I married my first husband, and my mom and I always had such a difficult time getting him to the vet. We had to close all the rooms in our house, and he would still run under the couch.”

Laura laughed. “I’ve had lots of practice. I grew up in a house full of kitties, and I’ve also done animal rescue. Mr. Sneaks is no match for me.”

She picked up the case as Sneaky began to meow, his bellows mixing with the children’s wails from below. “Let’s get down there before some of these kids start throwing up from excitement.”

I loved the part where you lifted your ear flap and opened your eye slit. I’m sure it took a lot of self-control to pretend to let Laura cat-ch you.

I hate to beg for my food and, as you know, we Siamese cats can be quite vocal especially at five in the morning. Thank goodness Debbie is an early bird and writes at the crackle of dawn.

debbiephotoAre you and/or your human on social media? If so, please list your links. Although I’m privy to Debbie’s computer, I’ll let you post the info since this is your blog.

Of, Claus, Oliver.

I just started my own purr-sonal blog  that you are reading at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

Debbie has her own blog on her website: https://debbiedelouise.com

She also has a FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author

Her twitter account where she tweets like a birdy is https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Her Amazon page where you can purchase all her books is Author.to/DebbieDeLouise

What a paw-some interview, Sneaky. Do you think if I’m really nice, I’ll get a blog of my own one day?

I wouldn’t hold my purrs, Ollie. 

I won’t, but I will offer you and Debbie my best whiskers on your new book.

Thank you. I have already shared some plans with Debbie for a third Cobble Cove mystery that will take full advantage of my acting tail-ants. 

olivercatbedI can’t wait, Sneaky. Now, however, my comfy cat bed calls where I will curl up and take a nap while you and Debbie work hard on your upcoming books and you continue this paw-some blog featuring many more cool cat characters and their authors..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mew Release: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Cobble Cove Mystery #2

between-a-rockhard-place-001Hey, pussycats (humans and other animals), I have some paw-some news to share. My author has just released her second Cobble Cove Mystery, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I  am celebrating with some catnip and reading a few of my scenes from the book.

cobble-cove-mysteriesbydebbie-de-louiseIf you haven’t read my author’s first mystery, A Stone’s Throw, do not fear. You can still purr-chase a copy in eBook or paperback at myBook.to/StonesThrow.

If you’ve read the first book or don’t mind starting with the second, you can get your paws on this mew release for free on Kindle Unlimited or only $4.99 as an Amazon ebook by mouse clicking myBook.to/CobbleCove2 or, for the paperback, myBook.to/CC2paper. It will also be available as a paperback that will be listed on Amazon soon.  I promise you it is more enticing than catnip.

Here are two excerpts starring your favorite library cat from Between a Rock and a Hard Place:

pawprint The first one is from my story time scene. I may have put up a bit of a fuss, but I let Laura, the new Children’s Librarian, believe she actually had me under control. I could win an A-cat-amy award if this were a movie.

Laura opened the staff lounge, and Alicia followed her in flicking up the light switch next to the door. The room into which they walked was cozy with a few tables covered by red and green holiday tablecloths that Vera had recently purchased in town and chairs similar to the one in Sheila’s office that she’d promised to replace with padded ones soon. There was a small refrigerator and a counter with coffee maker, mugs, and sweeteners.

Laura continued through the room to the back door framed by a cat flap. She put her finger to her lips.

“Shhh. He might be sleeping. That would be great. We can catch him unaware.”

She opened the door slowly and tiptoed through. Alicia followed on her toes, as well, the squeals from downstairs reaching a crescendo as the two women entered the storage/cat room.

Sneaky was indeed sleeping, nestled into the cat bed they’d moved from under the local history collection downstairs, but, like most felines, he was alert to the slightest noise. As Laura and Alicia entered the room, one brown ear flap lifted and Sneaky’s left eye opened a slit.

“Uh, oh. He’s heard us.” Laura bent down and unlocked the top and bottom hinges of the cat carrier by the door. Sneaky, hearing the familiar sound, jumped up from his bed.

“Oh, no you don’t, Mr. Sneak,” Laura said. She signaled to Alicia to block the exit as she ran across the room and scooped Sneaky up in her arms in one fell swoop. Then, rushing back to the carrier, she pushed him in and secured all four hinges that closed the door.

“Amazing,” Alicia said.” You’re such an expert at catching cats. I had one when before I married my first husband, and my mom and I always had such a difficult time getting him to the vet. We had to close all the rooms in our house, and he would still run under the couch.”

Laura laughed.” I’ve had lots of practice. I grew up with a house full of kitties, and I’ve also done animal rescue. Mr. Sneak is no match for me.”

She picked up the case as Sneaky began to meow, his bellows mixing with the children’s wails from below.” Let’s get going before some of those kids start throwing up from excitement.”

Alicia, abandoning her guard post by the door, followed Laura and the caged cat down to the Children’s Room. Parents, mostly mothers and a few fathers, were lined up around the room as their children, ranging in age from two to five, sat in a circle Indian-leg style around a chair. Jean was handling crowd control and had selected and arranged some picture books on a cart to the side of the seat where Laura would sit to read to the kids.

As soon as Laura entered the room carrying Sneaky, the group went wild. Jean, assisted by some of the parents, had to restrain the children from opening the cat carrier. Sneaky had quieted down but had scuttled to the back of the carrier. Alicia knew it would be difficult to extract him until the noise level dissipated.

Laura excused herself as she carried Sneaky to her reading chair and placed the carrier beside it. She put a finger to her lips in the stereotypical librarian “shushing” gesture.

“Quiet down, children. Sneaky will be too frightened to come out if you are too loud.”

Alicia noticed Walter on the other side of the room. He was ready to clean up any mess the cat or the kids might make. Donald and Vera were also looking on from the sidelines but ready to return to their posts at Reference or Circulation if any patron needed them. Alicia was surprised Sheila wasn’t there too, as she usually attended all library programs. She wondered what she was working on that might be so important.

Laura sat in the center chair.

“Okay, kids. If this is your first time at Sneaky Storytime, let me go over the rules. I have a few books to share with you this morning. After I read them, I will allow you to come up, one at a time, to pet Sneaky who I will hold on my lap. You will have to be very quiet, or he will run away.” She looked toward Walter who took his cue and drew the room dividing panels closed. Since the panels were opaque, Donald and Vera could still keep watch on the front desk.

“One other announcement before we begin,” Laura continued.” Sneaky is also having a special guest today. He will be joining us in just a few minutes.”

This was a surprise to Alicia. Who could be the cat’s special guest? Laura’s words were met with claps and yaaays from the kids.

Can you guess who my special guest was? You will just have to read the book to see.

pawprints2Here is a scene that was a bit painful for me. If they ever turn the Cobble Cove books into movies, I would ask a cat double to play this scene. It’s where Alicia and Laura take me to the new town vet:

Laura jostled the carrier toward the exit oblivious to Sneaky’s cries of confinement. Alicia walked in front with her keys ready to open the car.

“See you guys later,” Laura called over her shoulder.” Wish us luck with our impatient patient.”

“Just watch your fingers when you open that cage,” Donald warned.

Jean chuckled.” Don’t worry. Laura’s got that tiger under control.”

Dr. Clark’s office was in her house on Marble Lane in the new development west of the shops. The house itself was of moderate size but large enough for the practice and Donna and her pets. She had three rescues – a greyhound and two cats.

Alicia tapped on the office door using the cat-shaped bronze knocker. Donna Clark, her cinnamon-colored hair in a bun atop her head, answered immediately.

“Come on in, Ladies. My receptionist just went to lunch, but I’m all set to see you. Bring Sneaky back to the exam room.”

They followed her through the carpeted front office where a few plastic chairs sat empty. The vet’s waiting room was hardly ever vacant, but it was lunch hour, so they had come at a good time.

The exam room featured framed prints and photos of cats and dogs on pale blue walls. Laura hefted the cat carrier on to the metal table. It was typical of cats to prefer to remain caged once they got used to their captivity and made fusses to be removed. Sneaky was no exception, but the vet deftly pulled him out while closing the case in one fell swoop.

Laura smiled.” Good job, Dr. Clark. He’s a quick one.”

Donna squinted her gray blue eyes as she used some instruments she carried in her white smock to examine the cat’s eyes and ears. Then she squeezed his mouth open to look inside.

“He looks quite healthy but is due for his rabies shot. I’ll also need a weight on him.” She picked Sneaky up and laid him down on a scale that Alicia thought she could’ve used for her babies when they were smaller. The dial registered fifteen pounds.

“Oh, my. He can afford to lose a little. Does he eat scraps?”

“His room is right outside the staff lounge,” Laura replied.” I think some of the staff smuggles food to him. Even though Donald makes all those cat jokes, I think he’s the biggest offender.”

“That’s not good,” Donna said.” Today’s cat food is specially formulated for feline needs. I would restrict him to that and cut back a bit on his dry food.” She was petting Sneaky who was beginning to purr, finally adjusting to his new surroundings.” I’ll go get the shot. Just watch that he doesn’t make a run for it.”

As Bugs used to say in my favorite cartoon, “That’s all Folks.” Now go click your mouse to Amazon and order the book myBook.to/CobbleCove2. You can also follow my author (and me, of course) on her social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com

 

 

Interview with Penny, Barbara Florio Graham’s Teakettle Spokescat

qtpennyHey, there pussycats, I have another pawsome guest with me today. Her name is Penny, and she  shares an office with author Barbara Florio Graham, a busy writer, consultant, and mentor. .

Welcome, Penny. Please tell us about yourself and your author.

firstsimonteakettle
The first Simon Teakettle

I’m still pretty young, so haven’t written a book yet. But I am Chief Spokescat for our company, Simon Teakettle Ink, which was named for the first Simon Teakettle.

 He became famous by appearing on CBC radio programs, and in many newspapers and magazines.  You can read all about him at

http://www.simonteakettle.com/simont.htm

frontcovermusingsbackcovermusings

He was succeeded by Simon Teakettle the Younger, who decided to join Bobbi in compiling the best of Simon Teakettle’s writing with hers in a book, Mewsings/Musings: http://SimonTeakettle.com/musmews.htm. This book contained prize-winning humor by both Simon and Bobbi, and won an award from the Cat Writers’ Association.

bobbiterzo
Barbara “Bobbi” Florio Graham with Terzo

When this book was published, Simon Teakettle III (Terzo) took over, and started a blog. He was also in a video that was praised by cat behaviorists, because it demonstrated Bobbi’s successful training techniques. Watch it here: http://lnkd.in/fKsbhH

Terzo also founded a Virtual MEWSical Society, with 33 cats and a parrot, and it became so popular that when other cats (and some dogs) also wanted to join, he started a Fan Club. That has now grown to more than 90 species of animals from 34 countries on six continents! See all of them at http://SimonTeakettle.com/fan.htm, and send a photo if you want to join!
pennyteddyAfter three Simons in a row, Bobbi decided she needed a feminine feline companion, and found me at a local shelter. It was just after my first birthday, in 2015.

pennytunnel
Penny with her toys

 I took over the blog as soon as I arrived, and I also handle all the publicity for the company. This includes creating colorful posters (containing photos of me) for the Great Canadian Theatre Company (http://gctc.ca), where Bobbi has been a supporter for more than 30 years, and has been quoted in their season brochure.

pennypen
Penny doing her “pen trick.”

I love showing off the tricks I’ve learned, how I “sit nicely” and give one paw and then the other, and how I touch something with first one paw and then the other in order to get a treat. Of course I sit by my tray in order to have my dinner delivered, and “sit and stay” by the door when she’s bringing things in from outside.

 I’m an indoor cat, which suits me fine because I spent my first few months outdoors, and really appreciate having a cozy home, a safe and warm place to sleep, and someone to love.

Wow, Meow! Your author is quite renowned, and you follow a long tradition of Litter-ate cats. I must tell Debbie to look into that Mewsical Society for her cats, Oliver and Stripey. Since I’m not a real life cat, I probably am not eligible for membership. Rats!

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

I was very quiet when I first arrived, but now I talk whenever I want Bobbi’s attention. I try not to bother her when she’s working, and have several places to nap in the office. I also have a wonderful, carpeted shelf in the office window with my own personal bird-feeder on the other side of the glass. The birds aren’t afraid of me, because I sit very still as I watch them.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

You have to develop your own persona and your own voice. Each of the Simon Teakettles had a distinct personality, and so do I. Simon I was a writer, very quiet and observant. Simon II was fiercely independent, a bit critical of human behavior, and adventurous. Terzo was more laid back, a big supporter of the arts, and devoted to teaching other cats how to behave properly. That’s why he made the video: http://lnkd.in/fKsbhH

That’s purrfect advice, Penny. Love the video.

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

Bobbi is very busy mentoring authors and working to help them produce their books. She also contributes to four quarterly publications and others in between. So with her own writing and consulting, she hasn’t planned another cat book. Yet. But I’m ready whenever she is!

I’m sure you are, and I’m sure it will be wonderful. You are very lucky to have such a talented author.

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

My blog is on the Simon Teakettle website, along with a page about me with lots of photos. I also have a fabulous Fan Club, and many pages of cat information, all of which are linked from my blog page:

http://simonteakettle.com/blogsimont.htm

 There is also a Simon Teakettle Facebook page: facebook.com/Simon.Teakettle.Ink.

Very mice. I have to speak to Debbie about considering a fan club and Facebook page for me, but I’m not going to hold my purrs. She’s very busy now, too, and I’m just happy as a kitty with catnip that she’s found the time to create this blog for me.

Thank you so much, Penny. It’s been a pleasure making your cat acquaintance and learning all about your pawsome author and her Teakettle cats. 

(all photos courtesy of Barbara Florio Graham)

 

Interview with Charles from the Lighthouse Library Series by Eva Gates

Meow there and welcome, Charles. I understand you are featured in the great Library Lighthouse mystery series by Eva Gates, the pen name of Vicki Delaney. As a library cat myself, I find this very interesting and would love to learn more about you and these books. Can you fill me in?

readingupastorm3I star in the Lighthouse Library series. By Book or By Crook, Booked for Trouble, and Reading Up A Storm, from Penguin/Random House. They are cozy mysteries – cozy, like me. The Lighthouse Library series is set in a library situated in the Bodie Island Lighthouse near Nags Head, North Carolina. When Lucy Richardson, the new librarian, arrives to begin work and to move into the apartment over the library, it’s up to me to take care of her, show her the ropes, keep her from getting into trouble.  Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to do much of the latter.

Meow Wow! What a furry coincidence. I’m also a library cat and originally my main character lived in an apartment over the library, too. It wasn’t in a lighthouse, though. That sounds so interesting. My author is currently working on a lighthouse novel set in South Carolina, but it’s not a cozy mystery. It still has two cats in it because Debbie can’t help but include them. We seem to have much in common.

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

eva-gates(Sush… my author is more of a dog person. Shudder). I’m hoping to change her mind.

MOL – Meow Out Loud. My author pre-furs cats, but she has nothing against dogs. In fact, my co-star animal in our Cobble Cove books is Fido, the golden retriever. He actually gets more prime parts than I do in my opinion.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? Something that will get tails swishing.

Lucy?” Watson said. “I asked who’s Stephanie?”

“A friend of Lucy’s,” Butch put in. “From Raleigh, she said. I didn’t think much of her.”

“She… uh….she’s uh… She’s visiting her mom who’s a friend of Bertie,” I said.

“Does this Stephanie have a last name?”

“I didn’t get it,” Butch said.

“Stanton,” I said. “Same as her mom. She has her mom’s name and not her father’s because…”  A gaping chasm opened in front of me.  I managed to stop myself before I fell over the cliff and blurted everything out.

“What relevance does that have?” Watson asked. I didn’t like the look in his eyes. He was too darn perceptive.

“None,” I said, trying to sound nonchalant. “None at all. Why until last night she didn’t even know…”

I practically jumped out of my skin as the entire returns shelf fell over. Books flew everywhere. The shelf, just a cart on wheels, crashed into the circulation desk, and The Joy of Cooking, easily three inches thick, hit the back of the computer monitor. The monitor wobbled and Connor, who was standing closest, leaped for it.  He reached it in time, but his foot slipped on a magazine and his legs spilled out from under him. He fell to the floor in a heap, where he lay wide-eyed and startled, amongst scattered books and magazines.

At the sound of the crashing cart, Watson and Butch had whirled around. Watson was reaching into his jacket, and Butch’s hand lunged for his hip.

“Don’t shoot,” Connor said plaintively.

Butch reached down, grabbed Connor’s hand and pulled him to his feet.

Only I saw Charles slip out from under the overturned cart, carrying a small blue and white ball in his mouth. He tossed the ball to one side, leapt up onto the arm of my chair, and gave me a self-satisfied smirk.  I gave him a hearty pat.  Extra kibble for you tonight, buddy.

Mice excerpt. Lots of action, and I can just visualize that cart crashing down. What fun!

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

The grace and charm I bring to the lives of the staff and patrons of the Bodie Inland Lighthouse Library.

Worthy causes indeed. I mingle mostly with the Cobble Cove library staff; and, in my new book coming out on October 12,  they’ve even given me my own room accessible through the upstairs staff lounge. Since the room has that pawsome invention, a cat flap, I am still free to wander. In Between a Rock and a Hard place, I  am also the main attraction at childrens’ story times.

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

I let my actions speak for themselves.

Always the best policy for us cat characters.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

It takes time and patience when dealing with foolish humans, but I have found that the results can be worth it.

So true, Charles.

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

wewishyou_coverI have decided to retire. The Lighthouse Library series fell victim to the “great cozy massacre” at Penguin. I have, however, been giving tips to Moriarty the shop cat in Vicki’s new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series (look for Elementary, She Read in March, 2017). Moriarty doesn’t seem inclined, so far, to pay attention. Just between you and me: I don’t trust him. Vicki has a new book coming out in the Year Round Christmas series, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas, on Nov. 1st.  No cats, alas, just Matterhorn the Saint Bernard puppy.

Oh, so sorry about that. Sometimes my owner is glad she publishes with  small publishers. Our next book is coming out by Solstice Publishing, and we are both very happy with them so far.

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

www.vickidelany.com

https://www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor/

@vickidelany

@evagatesauthor

Thanks for chattering with me today, Charles, and best whiskers on your retirement. Good luck also to your author on her upcoming books and let her know that I’ll be happy to interview Moriarty after his series releases.