Interview with Ebenezer

catofchristmaspast-facebookWelcome to another purrfect interview. Today, my guest is Ebenezer from The Cat of Christmas Past and The Great Catsby by Kathi Daley.

Have a seat on the cat tree and make yourself comfortable, Ebenezer. Tell me more about your books. Are they a series?

the-great-catsby-facebookBoth of the books I’ve starred in are part of the Whales and Tails Cozy Island Mystery Series. Each of the books feature a cat but I’m the only one who has starred in two books. The series is set on Madrona Island, a fictional island within the San Juan Islands. As a fourth generation islander Caitlin Hart is struggling to make her way as the economy and culture of the island evolves toward a tourism based industry. Cait lives in a cabin on her aunt’s oceanfront estate where she helps her aunt run Harthaven Cat Sanctuary. When she isn’t working with the cats, she helps best friend Tara, operate the coffee bar/bookstore/cat lounge they own, named Coffee Cat Books.

Very mice. I also live in a fictional place, Cobble Cove, New York. It’s a small, upstate town, but your location sounds quite appealing. I also like the  name of the bookstore. It’s quite cat-chy.

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

No, alas, I am not based on a real cat. I would however be awesome if I was real.

Don’t feel bad. There’s nothing wrong with being a cat character. You have much more flexibility, and you know we cats are quite flexible.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? By my previous interviews, you should know I’m not looking for one where you’re eating, napping, or using the litter box.

The set up for this is that it is a few weeks before Christmas and a grouchy old landlord plans to evict an entire apartment building full of tenants so he can sell to a developer. Cait is worried that her friends will have nowhere to go so she decides to go and see the old man and try to talk him into changing his mind. Meanwhile Ebenezer turns up on her doorstep He turns out to belong to the old man. This is the scene where Cait first goes out to the private island the man owns.

I’d been pretty sure Ebenezer had been sent by Tansy due to the perfect timing of his arrival at the church, but when I’d gotten back to my cabin last night, she’d called to make certain he’d arrived safely, confirming my suspicion. I tried to pry additional information out of the taciturn woman, but all she would say was to trust Ebenezer and he would show me the way.

My relationship with Tansy’s cats began less than a year ago, when she sent me a large gray cat named Romeo to help out with the investigation of the murder of an island council member. I guess Tansy had decided the cat and I had worked well together because after Romeo left other cats began showing up. Ebenezer was the sixth one I’d worked with in this same capacity, although I worked with other cats every day because I, along with my Aunt Maggie, operate a cat sanctuary that’s dedicated to sheltering and rehabilitating the island’s feral cat population.

“Ebenezer, are you still there?” I called. “Can you hear me?”

I stopped walking and watched as my feline companion squeezed through a small break in the wall. The break wasn’t large enough for most adults to squeeze through, but since I’m petite I realized I’d be able to make it without a problem.

The view on the other side of the wall was much like the one on the outside: thick foliage covered with a layer of snow. I couldn’t see the house, but I suspected it was in the center of the island, where it would be the most protected from both the elements and intruders.

I could hear waves crashing in the background. I was supposed to call Trevor when I was ready for a ride home, although based on the increase in wind velocity, I wasn’t sure he’d be able to make the return trip to pick me up if we didn’t hurry.

I followed Ebenezer back to the dirt path that led to the house and then up to the front porch. I could feel my heart pounding as I worked up the courage to knock. I wasn’t sure what it was I was afraid of. The man was ancient; surely he wouldn’t, or more importantly couldn’t, hurt me.

“Last chance to back out,” I said as I stood on the cement porch, looking at the thick hardwood door.

“Meow.”

“He might not even be here.” The house was a large stone structure that looked dark from the outside. Of course most of the windows were covered in thick drapes that would block out the light from inside the house, should there be any.

Ebenezer just looked at me. I could see he was becoming impatient with my stalling.

“Okay,” I breathed. “Here goes nothing.”

I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. The iron knocker made a deep, hollow sound that seemed to echo through the area. After less than a minute an old man, stooped with age, opened the door.

“Ebenezer.” The man looked at the cat. “Wherever had you gotten off to?”

The cat meowed and trotted inside.

“This is your cat?” I asked the emaciated old man.

“It is. Who are you? And what are you doing on my property?”

“My name is Caitlin Hart. I live on Madrona Island. I found Ebenezer last night at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and he led me here today.”

The old man, who I assumed to be Balthazar Pottage, turned and looked at the cat, who had jumped onto a table just off to the side and begun to purr.

“Damn cat,” the man grumbled, but I noticed there was warmth in his eyes as he picked him up and started down the hall. “Close the door behind you,” he instructed.

Was the man inviting me in? He’d told me to close the door behind me, but had he meant come in and then close the door, or simply close the door on my way out? Because he hadn’t specified, I decided to take my chances and come in. I closed the door and then followed the man down the hall.

The dark hardwood doors on either side of the hall were all closed. Eventually the man turned into an open room that was cozy in a shabby sort of way. There was a nice fire in the large stone fireplace that seemed to be the only heat supplied to the room. Or the whole house, for that matter. It was almost as cold in the house as it had been outside.

The white-haired man sat down in one of the chairs placed in front of the fireplace. The cat looked quite content as he curled up in his lap. I looked around the room, trying to decide what to do. There was an old sofa, but the distance from the fire was twice that from the chairs, so I decided to sit down across from my host in the other chair.

“Nice house,” I said, trying for polite conversation. I noticed a half-eaten bowl of broth on a table next to the chair.

“Bah.”

“I take you’re Balthazar Pottage?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I told you. My name is Caitlin Hart.”

“Why are you here?”

“To return your cat. At least I guess I’m supposed to return him. He showed up at the church last night and then led me here this afternoon.”

“Hmph.”

I noticed the man didn’t seem at all surprised that his cat had been found miles away on another island or that Ebenezer had managed to communicate with me his intent to pay a visit to the house today.

In spite of the fact that I was sitting across from the man he didn’t say another word. He just stared hypnotically into the fire, as if I weren’t even in the room. How in the heck was I supposed to find a smooth segue into a discussion concerning the Bayview Apartments if he wasn’t inclined to speak to me?

“I suppose I should be going, now that Ebenezer is safely home,” I began.

The man didn’t answer.

“I’m glad I finally had a chance to meet you. I’ve always wondered about your house. You can’t see it from the water with all the trees on the property. I hadn’t realized it was so large. From the outside it appears to have three full stories. Is there an attic at the top? It’s hard to tell for certain based on the roof line alone.”

The man closed his eyes. Was he going to sleep? I knew I was rambling, but I figured it was better to keep talking than to let the conversation die. Even if said conversation had, to this point, been one-sided at best.

“I imagine it gets lonely living here all alone in this big house. I guess it’s a good thing you have Ebenezer for company,” I continued to babble. “He seems like such an agreeable cat. I really enjoyed my time with him. Still, it’s odd he showed up all the way over on Madrona Island. I wonder how he got there.”

The man didn’t respond.

“I suppose he must have stowed away on one of the boats that brings you supplies. I’m sure you must get deliveries of one sort or another on somewhat of a regular schedule. Food, propane, that sort of thing. Do you travel to the other islands often? I’ve heard you prefer to remain on your island most of the time.”

The man still didn’t respond, but he did open his eyes. Maybe he was finally getting tired of my rambling and would be willing to engage in a two-way conversation. “You still here?” Pottage asked, as if to indicate he hadn’t heard a word I’d said. Not that I blamed him. Even I was getting tired of my endless chattering about nothing in particular.

Later in the story we learn that the old mans’ son was kidnapped as an infant. That was 25 years ago and he was never found. Balthazar makes a deal with Cait that he will spare the apartment building if she can find his son. Cait and Ebenezer join forces to track down clues and figure out what really happened twenty-five years prior.

Pawsome. That man sounded nasty, but if his kid was kidnapped, I can understand. I don’t have any kitties myself. Whoever owned me before the Cobble Cove library folks found me had a vet take care of that.

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

I’m the smart one who really solves the mysteries even if I do get second billing.

Don’t you hate that? Even when I helped Alicia find an important clue in our first mystery, I didn’t even get a scratch under the chin or a belly rub. Human characters are so unappreciative.

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

Silent. I meow, knock stuff off shelves, and lead people places.

Well, they do say “Actions speak louder than words.” When I peed on Mac’s jacket, that spoke volumes – MOL (Meow Out Loud)

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Keep an eye on your people. They may not know it but they really are lost without you.

No kitting.

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

I am not in any books coming out in the near future but my cat buddy Clarence is going to be featured in The Cat of Christmas Present which is available now for preorder and publishes on November 11.

I will have to mark that on my calendar. My new book is coming out October 12. I don’t solve the mystery or find any clues in this one, but I’m in two big scenes; a story time at the library and a visit to the new vet in Cobble Cove. Although I don’t go to the cat café with John and Alicia, I thought that was a nice addition to the story.

Are you and/or your author on social media?

My author does a giveaway for books, swag, and gift cards every week in my newsletter, The Daley Weekly http://eepurl.com/NRPDf

Her other links include:

Kathi Daley Blog – publishes each Friday http://kathidaleyblog.com

Webpage – www.kathidaley.com

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books – www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks

Kathi Daley Teen – www.facebook.com/kathidaleyteen

Kathi Daley Books Group Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/569578823146850/

E-mail – kathidaley@kathidaley.com

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley

Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley – https://twitter.com/kathidaley

Amazon Author Page –https://www.amazon.com/author/kathidaley

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kathi-daley

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kathidaley/

Thanks. I will check them all out, and I hope my readers will, too. It’s been fun chattering with you today, Ebenezer. Best whiskers to you and your author on your upcoming books.

 

 

 

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Interview with Rags from the Klepto Cat Mystery Series

Head butts and purrs to today’s guest, Rags, short for Ragsdale. He is also called Ragsie by his favorite person, Savannah, in his Klepto Cat Mystery adventures by Patricia Fry.

Great to have you with us, Rags. Can you please tell us about the books you’ve catventure-cover-webappeared in?

I appear in cozy mysteries in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. We just published the 19th book in the series, “The Amazing CATventure.”

Oh, my Bastet! That is so fursome. I have only been featured in one book so far, but my second one is coming out very soon. I’d love to hear more about your long-running series. I’m keeping my paws crossed that my Cobble Cove mysteries will continue for many more books, too.

The Klepto Cat Mysteries features me and some of my cat, dog, and horse friends with, of course, a backdrop of humans. Savannah and Michael Ivey are veterinarians, although Savannah spends her time at home these days taking care of their toddler, Lily. It seems like there’s always something exciting to do in the small town where we live in Northern California. Most recently, while helping friends move to a new house, Dolly-kitty and I found an open window and decided to explore the neighborhood. We didn’t know it, but one of the nice people we met that week was lost and Dolly and I were able to help him find his way home. Do you know how many people have cameras to keep a watch over their property these days? Dolly and I had our pictures taken a whole bunch of times that week, which is how everyone knew where we’d been and what we’d been doing. They even caught us trying to outsmart a rattle snake and some naughty kids with slingshots. It was great to be free, but it’s much nicer to be home with your family.

Other human friends include Aunt Margaret, a rather cantankerous gal who loves an adventure and cats. Iris is Savannah and Margaret’s good friend and she married Detective Craig Sledge who often comes to me to consult on a difficult case. Really, although I don’t speak in the human language, I have helped the detective solve many a mystery.

Very Mice. There’s also quite a few human characters in my books as well as Fido, the dog. Occasionally, other animals make an appearance such as Muffin, another cat, who belongs to a young girl with leukemia in my upcoming book.

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

fry-patty-3-18-15_0006-3-lower-res
My author, Patricia Fry, with her real life cat Lily, who is one of her inspirations for the Klepto Cat mysteries.

My author’s cat, Lily loves to carry her small stuffed toys around in her mouth. She brings them to Patricia every morning while she’s writing about me and drops them at her feet. Sometimes she puts them in bed with her. I carry things in my mouth, too, but it’s usually something important, like a clue to a missing person or a murder or other mystery.

lilytoys
Lily and her toys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smokey

I look just like Patricia’s mother’s cat. Smokey is part ragdoll, but he looks more regal handsome (in my opinion). Patricia patterned me after him for his personality and confidence.

 

My author’s previous cat, Floppy, loved to play with lollipops. It was a favorite game he shared with Debbie, and she would find him carrying them around the house or swatting them under the refrigerator. She looked so silly using coat hangers to retrieve them. Humans can be quite funny. Now Debbie has Oliver, a 16-year old Siamese whom I am loosely based upon. I am much younger, of course.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? Please avoid those where you are cat napping, eating, or using the litter box.

This is from “The Gallery Cat Caper.” (Book 8)

“But this time,” Michael said, grinning at Peter, “would you keep the drama level down? Let’s have a nice, quiet weekend, shall we?”

            “Uh-oh,” Peter said, pointing toward the edge of the deck, “you’d better issue the same warning to your cat.”

            “Excuse me. Is this your cat?”

            Michael and Savannah twisted toward the voice and were shocked to see a security guard standing there, holding Rags in his arms. “Yes,” Michael said, his brows creased. “Where…? How…?” he started.

            The guard stepped up onto the deck as Michael walked toward him, reaching out for the cat. “Well, you see, sir, he wandered into Rudy’s Fish Place and was evidently bothering the diners. Someone there recognized the cat and sent me up here with him.”

            “Oh my gosh, that’s a first,” Savannah said, feeling a sense of panic. “Where is this place?”

            “Across town,” he pointed, “—say a mile or so. Someone saw him climb off a bus just outside the restaurant.”

            Michael’s jaw dropped. “What?” 

            In the meantime, Peter and Rochelle sat stunned.

            “He rode a bus?” Michael asked, disbelieving. “He’s never done that before. How did he…?”

            Savannah walked up to Michael and put her hand on his arm. Looking sheepish, she said, quietly, “Well, yes, he has ridden a bus before.” She winced. “Haven’t I told you that story?”

            Michael shook his head. “Honey…you’ve gotta be kidding me. The cat has a bus pass?”

            “Yeah, I guess he does,” she said. “He rides for free.” She petted Rags as Michael held him, and then glanced up to see everyone looking at her, waiting to hear the story. “Well, when I lived in LA, I used to take him for walks. When I wanted to go over to Mom’s or one of us got tired of walking, we’d sometimes get on a bus. He loved riding the bus. So one day, we get on the bus and the driver tells me that he had taken Rags for a ride by himself a few times.”

            “Oh my gosh,” Rochelle said. “Where did he go?”

            “Well, one time, he just rode the bus through the route and when they came back to the stop close to our place, the driver booted him out. Oh yes,” she said, “he knows how to ride a bus.”

By then, Peter and Rochelle were bent over laughing. The security guard attempted to stifle his amusement.

Savannah continued, “So this evening, he may have hopped on a bus at the corner and ridden for a ways. When he smelled the aroma of fish frying, he decided to get out and investigate. Gosh,” she said, shaking her head. “I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I would never have guessed he’d…”

            “But he’s not supposed to be getting out at all,” Michael said. “He has evidently found a way.” He addressed the cat, saying, “Sorry, buddy, but tonight, you’re sleeping in the big cage.” He walked into the house with Rags and disappeared.

            The security guard took off his hat and rubbed one hand over his balding head. “Well, if that don’t beat all,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of experiences on this job, but never a bus-riding, escape-artist cat.” He turned to leave. “Well, thanks for the chuckle,” he said, as he stepped down off the deck.

            “And thank you for bringing him back,” Savannah called.

Riding a bus? My, you are adventurous, Rags. The strangest thing I’ve done in one of my books is been a guest at a children’s story time in the Cobble Cove Library. I need to speak to Debbie about writing more exciting parts for me. In our upcoming mystery, Fido actually eats marijuana. Can you believe that? It’s by accident, of course, because the kidnapper feeds him some to keep him from barking; but, even so. I better have some fur-raising action scenes in the next book.

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

The freedom I have to be me and to explore new ways to show my talents and purr-sonality. I’ve been featured in a documentary, I helped to free a young man who lived secretly in a mansion, I saved a kidnapped cat who was ill and needed her medicine, I was an eye-witness in a couple of murders, and I have helped the local sheriff’s department solve a whole bunch of crimes.

That is so pawsome. I am slightly green-eyed with envy, and that’s saying a lot because I have blue eyes.

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

Do I talk? Only in cat language. I’m a cat, after all. Patricia doesn’t even share my point of view in our stories. Nope. Me and my animal friends are portrayed strictly as animals—some of us smarter and more clever than others, of course.

At least we have that in common.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Let your creativity shine. Color outside the lines.

I like that.

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

Book 19, “The Amazing CATventure” came out this month (September 2016). Here’s the description: Savannah and Michael Ivey happily agree that they’ll enjoy a rare quiet and relaxing summer. Little did they know, however, that their pact would soon be broken, as another mystery was unfolding at that very moment—one that would shock the entire community, cause a major disturbance in their quiet neighborhood, and, of course, involve their venturesome cat. Ever wonder what it would be like to put a GoPro on your cat? Follow along as Rags and Dolly launch out on the cat-venture of their lives with some startling consequences and amazing discoveries. And most of the action is caught on camera.

My whiskers are twitching to know what comes next. I love to read books featuring fellow cat characters, so I will have to check yours out soon.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links. My author will probably be interested in following you as well as the readers of this blog.

Follow our Catscapades blog—http://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades. Also at facebook.com/KleptoCatMysteries

Purrfect. I hope to keep in touch with you, Rags. Thanks for the great interview and best whiskers to you and your author on your upcoming books.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Houdini the Flamepoint Siamese

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My tail and whiskers are twitching in excitement at my first interview with a fellow Siamese named Houdini who appears in his namesake book written by his talented author/biographer, T.J. Banks.
Debbie has carefully transcribed my notes of this interview that appear below.
Welcome, Houdini, and have a seat on my cat tree. It’s as sweet as catnip having you as my guest today. So tell me, are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give “fur” ther details.
Yes, I’m based on the Flamepoint Siamese that my author had as a child. Like me, he was a stray, and she and her father smuggled him aboard an airplane.  That’s in the novel, too.
How interesting. I’m a seal point myself, and Debbie based me on her cat, Oliver who also has brown points. Cool that you’ve flown on a plane. I’ve never had that experience. I’m sure it’s quite exhilirating as we cats like high places.
So, tell me more about your book.
The book I appear in is called Houdini, named after me.  It’s technically a young adult novel, but younger children who are strong readers – or adults who really love cats – will enjoy it. It’s not a series, but I do make an appearance in the novel that my author is currently working on.  It’s set a number of years after Houdini, and it involves a lot of the same characters.
Mice. I mean nice. My author has already put me in her next book, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, which is the second of her Cobble Cove mysteries. It is actually coming out this month. I can’t wait.
I think my readers would like an excerpt from your book. Can you share one that  features you in an important scene, and I don’t mean one where you are taking a catnap, grooming yourself, or using the litter box.

    He sprang. His paws hit the tray of the feeder, and the birds flew off to the cover of the trees again. Houdini fell back, landing smack in the patch of soggy picked-over seed. He quickly sat up and began to wash his shoulder to cover his embarrassment, just in case someone had seen him flub this one up. True, there didn’t seem to be any other animals or humans outside; still, it was a matter of feline pride. A little extra washing never hurt, anyway.

     But someone had seen him. Even as he scrubbed his left front paw, his cat sense told him that there were eyes fixed on him. Slowly, cautiously, Houdini swiveled around until he was facing the front picture window. There, her wide face pushed against the glass, was a long-haired black cat, her plumy tail lashing against the glass.

     Houdini sat there, one front paw raised hesitantly. He edged a little closer to the house, and the unknown cat’s tail beat against the window-pane even harder. He knew that she couldn’t get at him through the glass, but he decided to retreat all the same. Besides, his stomach told him that it was about time for his morning snack down at the corner store. He turned and hurried down toward the road.

        He’d just gotten to the edge of the long unpaved driveway when a large dog materialized from around the corner and made a bolt for him. Houdini panicked and dashed across the road, not seeing or hearing the car bearing down on them both. But he heard the screech of the brakes and felt the tire bear down on his front left paw, crushing it….

Meow Wow! How exciting. If I had the book in front of me, I’d be eager to paw the next page to see what happens.

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

Despite all my misadventures, I keep trying to make my way back to my human girl and all my cat friends.  I like that.  A lot. I’m very loyal.  You know, I don’t think that people realize how loyal and loving we cats are unless they really make an effort getting to know us.

I sure can relate to that. In my Cobble Cove mysteries, I have a special soft spot for Alicia, but I’m really getting to like Laura, the new Children’s librarian in the upcoming book. I would go out on a limb for them, although I’ve never climbed a tree in any of the books yet.

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

No, I don’t talk.  I do miaow a lot — but, then, I’m a Siamese.

Oh, Brother. Tell me about it. I’m very vocal, too, which is a real drawback for a library cat, but you should hear my author’s Siamese, Oliver. He must’ve been an opera singer in his last life – MOL (Meow Out Loud).

What advice would you give other cat characters?

I would tell them to make sure that their authors really study other cats so that they’re better able to convey what we’re all about.  While my story is based on my author’s childhood pet, she drew upon another Flamepoint, Topaz deGaulle, for my character.  The book is dedicated in his memory.

Aww. That is so touching. My author wrote dedicated her first book, Cloudy Rainbow, to her cat Floppy after he went to Rainbow Bridge.

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

My author is working on another book, as I’ve said.  She hasn’t told me much about it yet, but I do know that Merlin (one of my buddies from the first book) and I will be doing a scene together in it.

Don’t you hate it when authors pussyfoot around their writing especially when they are working on one of your scenes? I try to spy Debbie’s computer screen when she’s typing on her computer, but my food bowl is in the same room which makes it extremely difficult to concentrate.

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

This is my author’s FB page — https://www.facebook.com/A-Time-for-Shadows-302018420057/.

— Her blog is called “Sketch People,” but you’d be surprised how often we cats find our way in there – http://www.tjbanks927.blogspot.com.

— LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/t-j-banks-87008913?trk=hp-identity-headline.

–Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHC62M. (Note: There are updated/newer editions of both Houdini and Catsong that came out in 2014, courtesy of Booklocker.com.  Those are the ones you want to order, as the earlier publisher, PublishingWorks, is now out of business.)

My author also published her first book through Booklocker.com, although she published my debut, A STONE’S THROW, with Limitless Publishing; and BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE will be published by Solstice Publishing. It seems we have a lot in common besides being Siamese, Houdini.

Yes, Sneaky, and thank you so much for having me as your first guest, but I can’t take all the kitty credit because my author’s cats, Fey the Somali and Violet the Calico, also helped; and, of course, my author transcribed everything.  I also have a purr-sonal favor to  ask. My author wanted to include some additional photos. One is of another book she wrote, DERV & CO: A LIFE AMONG FELINES. It is only available from her. The other pic is of T.J.’s late great Topaz deGaulle.  Can you please post them?

Of Claus. Thanks so much for chattering with me today, Houdini, and thank your author, too. I’m sure my readers will want to get their paws on her books.

dervandco_cover1  topaz-the-dragon-master