Hey, 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.
If 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:
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.
Here 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:
Amazon Author Page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise
Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.com