A Cat Calendar to Meow About and a Great Cause to Support

calendar3caledar4Hey, Kitties. I know you and your humans probably got a ton of calendars for the holidays and January is almost over, but my author won a special limited edition one recently in a birthday contest for 17-year old Clyde that I think you should really check out before the last copies are gone. Not only does it feature cute cats, but it includes cat-related holidays, moon phases, and international holidays. Even better, the calendar is connected to a new cat book coming out featuring debonair black felines. The calendar and book both support a pawsome project that I want to share with you.

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The entire black cat initiative to raise awareness and shelter adoption rates began as a Kickstarter campaign last summer. It’s a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit for the book, calendar and all merchandise. I’ve included a video testimonial by Chris Poole from Cole and Marmalade, two of my favorite video cat actors, that explains this purrfectly wonderful project.

clyde2The Black Cat Tells All book is due to be released in early Spring, 2017 with pre-orders available in February. Clyde and the editor and author of the one of the stories who is also the founder of the Black Cat Initiative, Layla Morgan Wilde, are very busy now preparing for the book release, but I would very much like to interview Clyde one day soon.

laylamorganMs. Wilde considers the Black Cat Initiative her “passion project.” As editor of Black Cats Tell All, curated story and poem submissions for the book and devised a feline purrsonality profile questionnaire. She also curated thousands of images for the anthology and worked closely with a copy editor and book designer to create a unique visual narrative for it. She said that she found the job which included curating large numbers of images from over 60 professional and amateur photographers to over 300 photographs  for acceptable quality for printed and e-versions of the book “more daunting than expected” but one which she hopes will “stem the tide of black cat prejudice in the U.S. and beyond.” and, considers the Black Cat Initiative her “passion project” and hopes it will “stem the tide of black cat prejudice in the U.S. and beyond.”

Below are links for more information about the Black Cats Tell All book, the initiative, and Layla Morgan Wilde.

BCTA (Black Cats Tell All) community Facebook group: www.Facebook.com/blackcatstellall

Instagram @blackcatsofIG

Twitter: @catwisdom101

Nonprofit shop http://shop.catwisdom101.com

Layla Morgan Wilde’s Website/Blog: https://catwisdom101.com/

Feature Friday Film: Funny Siamese Cats

TBIF (Thank Bastet It’s Friday). For the feature film this week, I decided to post one about funny Siamese cats. As you know, although I am a book character, I am a member of this breed, as is my author’s real-life cat, Oliver. Like some of the Siamese in this film, he can be quite amusing and talkative. I hope you get a laugh out of this funny cat movie.

Sneaky Interviews Svetlana and Rex from the Moorhaven Mystery Series

What a lucky cat character I am to have two new guests on my blog today. Can you please introduce yourselves and your author?

morgan-talbot-author-pic-bigSvetlana: I am Svetlana, Kitty Mistress of Moorehaven, and my author is Morgan C. Talbot. Oh, and that fluffy tabby back there is young Rex. He is merely two years old, but I will kindly allow him to answer one or two questions if he is a good kitty.

That sounds purrfect, Ms. Svetlana. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Svetlana: We live in the Moorehaven Mysteries series, which only has one book out so far: Smugglers & Scones. Our world is very cozy, and comes with plenty of yummy food!

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There’s lots of food in my Cobble Cove mysteries, too — special PB&J sandwiches, delicious muffins and cookies, and tons of tasty scraps from the library staff lounge which I enjoy sneaking bites of (my name is “Sneaky,” after all).

Can one of you tell me more about your series? It sounds pawsome.

Svetlana: You may speak now., Rex. Be polite.

Rex: Yes, Svetlana. *ahem* Moorehaven Mysteries is a series set in the small town of Seacrest on the Oregon Coast. Moorehaven is a Victorian B&B, which used to be the home of world-famous mystery author A. Raymond Moore. All the humans in Seacrest know about murder mysteries because of him. And all of the guests who come to Moorehaven write mysteries, too.

Our owner, Pippa Winterbourne, runs Moorehaven, so we get to sit on all the laps and computer keyboards we can find! The B&B has so many windows for us to gaze out of, it’s great. Plus there’s all the kitchen leftovers. Pippa and her Uncle Hilt make the best breakfast food I’ve ever eaten, and if I sit in the kitchen window sill and stare at them long enough, they’ll give me some!

Svetlana: Yes, that is enough, Rex. Thank you. I apologize for his youthful exuberance.

No apologies necessary. Rex did very well. While I’m a library cat, I sometimes pay visits at the Cobble Inn which used to be run by a nice lady named Dora when my author’s main character, Alicia, first came to town. Now her friend Gilly is in charge, and she is just as good a baker. Alicia is a librarian and is a co-author of a mystery series, so we have a lot in common.

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

Svetlana: No, Rex, I will answer this one. You are too young and get the facts wrong. Now then. Rex and I are not based on real cats because our author’s husband is allergic. Such a tragedy, I know. But in our book series, we are both named for characters from Mr. Moore’s fictional bestsellers. It’s a rule of Moorehaven: the B&B must always have two cats, and they must always be named for characters from Mr. Moore’s novels. I am named for a gorgeous Russian spy, as you might have guessed, in The Alabaster Guile. Rex, well, he is less interesting. He was a bodybuilder who got mixed up with the wrong crowd in The Brass Artifice. But Rex is very lovely to snuggle with in window sills during the winter. And he licks my ears. He really is a good kitty. Even if he is just named for a musclehead.

How interesting.  What do you like most about your role in your author’s books?

Rex: Hey, I like being named for a musclehead! Actually, I think it’s neat that we’re named for characters in bestselling books. Moorehaven is a mansion with over a hundred years of history—and mysteries of its own—and we get to live there and be part of its atmosphere. Writers and cats have always been natural allies. Except, y’know, when keyboards are involved. I’m proud of my job to help set the tone of the B&B and the book we’re in.

Svetlana: That was a decent answer, Rex.

Very decent indeed. Don’t be so hard on him, Svetlana.

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

Svetlana: We don’t speak, but with our body language, we offer a kind of color commentary on the life and excitement in Moorehaven.

Rex: Yeah, you are a white commentary, and I am a tabby commentary.

Svetlana: No, just no. You should probably stop talking now.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). Give the Kit a break. He’s just got a weird sense of humor.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Svetlana: Be cats. Everyone who knows cats will know when you get it right. And beware of dog characters. They are all spies for the humans.

I agree cats are the superior species, but my co-star is not a spy. Fido is just a dumb dog even if the human characters treat him the same as me. Cats make much better spies especially the “sneaky” ones like me.

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

Svetlana: Our author is hard at work on the second book in our series, which is tentatively called Burglars and Blintzes. But its release date is classified Top Secret. Even I don’t know it.

Hmmm. I hate when authors keep secrets from us characters. Debbie has the third book in our series coming out soon and a reprinted version of our first, A Stone’s Throw, but the only thing I know is that she may have taken my advice and put my photo on the cover of Written in Stone. Actually, it’s not my photo but another Siamese model. I also noticed, when I peeked at her screen, that she was adding some new scenes featuring me in more adventurous roles. That was after I complained about the silly storytime and annoying vet scene she cast me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I guess my blogging has opened her eyes to my true talents.

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

Svetlana: Our author has these social media links you speak of. They are just distractions from petting us, you know, but I will slip you the information you need anyway. You owe me a treat for this, okay?

No problem. I always keep some catnip on hand to loosen up my guests, so go ahead, and I will share some with you and Rex, too.

Here is the bird one: https://twitter.com/MorganCTalbot

Here is the purple one: http://morganctalbot.blogspot.com/

Here is the blue one: https://www.facebook.com/MorganCTalbot/

I’m such a clever kitty, just like the spy I’m named for!

And quite modest, Svetlana. Thanks for the interview, and best whiskers to you, Rex, and your author on your upcoming books.

Sneaky Interviews Oliver and Max, the Cat Characters of J. Schlenker

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Oliver by J. Schlenker
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Max by J. Schlenker

I have the honor of interviewing two cats today. One shares the namesake of my author’s cat, Oliver, and the other is named Max. Good day, lads. Welcome to my blog. Can please you share with my readers the name of your author and what books you’ve both appeared in?

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https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Butler-Other-Life-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01N41RJP7/

Max meows: Our author is J. Schlenker. She wrote “The Mysterious Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). Oliver and I are in the story, Nine Lives, in that book.

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

Oliver says:  One of my lives, the one of Buddha, is based partially on a true story about my author’s cat.

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

Oliver announces:  This is me starting to tell my tale.

Nine Lives

“You look old,” the white fuzz ball of a kitten said, keeping a cautious distance from the fat cat. The old cat, almost the same color as himself, but marked with age, sat curled up next to a bowl of milk.

“If you’re looking to get some of my milk, that’s no way to go about it,” the fat cat replied with a sluggish raise of his eyelids.

“No, still nursing. Have no need of your milk.”

“Ugh,” the fat cat grunted, dropping his eyelids back down to a narrow slit.

The small kitten edged closer but toppled over on the fat cat after being distracted by a butterfly.

“Meow,” came the gruff voice of the fat cat. “Why are you still here? Why don’t you go somewhere else to play? Find another cat to bother.”

“You don’t have to be mean,” the kitten said, jumping back and sliding over on its side.

“I saw your brothers and sisters earlier. Why aren’t you off playing with them?”

“I didn’t want to. Besides I’m the runt. They ran off and left me.”

“Oh, you want to bother me then, do you?”

“No, not bother. I came to ask you questions. My name is Max.”

“Well, Max, could you kindly come back after my nap?”

“When will that be?” asked Max.

“How about tomorrow? No, make that next week,” the big fat cat said, hardly moving his lips, as it took up far too much energy. But Max just sat there silently, staring.

The big cat half-opened an eye and cringed. “You still here?” Max sat in silence, all wide-eyed.

“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” The big cat almost laughed, but his rheumatism was acting up, so he stifled the urge for any kind of movement, even his mouth.

“No, the cat doesn’t have my tongue. My mama said be respectful because you’re old, and she said you were wise.” Max stiffened in reverence. “She said you were on the last of your lives. She said you are called Oliver, but before that was called Buddha.”

“Your mom knows about me, does she?”

Max nodded with wide-eyed awe and waited for Oliver to speak, but nothing came but a low snore. Max ever so lightly touched Oliver’s leg with his paw. Nothing. Max tapped harder until Oliver jumped up in a growl. “What is it, you young whippersnapper?”

“I just want to know,” Max said, keeping his position, remembering what his mama said, show no fear.

“Know what?” Oliver snapped.

“About your lives?”

“You’re a persistent chap, aren’t you? Hmm, well, I’ve been persistent in my day. Don’t get to nine lives without being persistent.” Oliver repositioned himself and took a slurp of milk. “Well, I guess since you’re here. Nothing else to do these days. Might as well make yourself comfortable.” Oliver looked young Max up and down. “This your first life?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Written all over you.”

Oliver took another slurp of milk. “I go back, way back. Ever hear of the pyramids?”

Max shook his head.

“Well, they’re in Egypt, a far piece from here. That was where I spent my first life. Barely weaned when an Egyptian princess took a fancy to me. In the nick of time, too. I was orphaned.”

“Oh?” Max questioned in awe.

“Yes, my mama was hit by a huge obelisk. Faulty construction. Happened back then, too.”

Max looked puzzled. “It’s a huge pillar. Well, never mind. Not really pertinent to the story. There were human lives lost, too. Not that there wasn’t law suits. Shifty lawyers back then, too. But being a cat, I had no recourse. All I cared about was that I lost my mama, along with all my brothers and sisters. But, like you, being the runt, I tagged behind. That saved my life. Maybe it was karma. I don’t remember my lives before being a cat. Maybe it was just dumb, blind luck. I didn’t think so at first. I just curled up into a ball and whimpered until someone picked me up. It was the princess who saved me from a life of begging.”

“A real-life princess? Wow,” said Max. “Was she beautiful?”

“No, not in the least.”

Max looked down in disappointment.

“But not being beautiful was a good thing. At least for me. Now her sister, Neffie, as everyone called her, was drop dead gorgeous, but no, Miffen, was a little on the pudgy side. I’m sorry to say that people called her Muffin behind her back. But Muffin, I mean Miffen, had the biggest heart.”

“Why was not being a beautiful princess good?” Max interjected.

“Because not everyone can be beautiful. Like I said, she was kind. She didn’t have any toms all over her like beautiful women. Her attention wasn’t divided on this or that, not the trivial things that interest most women, hair brushes, hair ornaments, lip rouge and the like. Time goes on, but humans change little. She lavished most of her attention on me, at least for a long time. Oh, she took in other strays from time to time, but I was her first and was always dearest to her heart, until…”

“Until?” Max perked up.

“She fell in love. Not with a prince but with a lowly worker, a stonecutter. Well, at first I thought no worries. But then, one day, she scrambled off to spy him through the reeds. He saw her. He knew how she felt. They lost all abandon.”

Max sat up straighter.

That was pawsome. Thanks for that purrfect excerpt, Oliver. You and Max are great cat actors.

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

Oliver answers: Educating Max. Possibly he can avoid some of my mistakes.

You are doing a great job. I’m sure he appreciates that.

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

Oliver replies: Really, I’m not much of a talker or a meower, mostly a lounger in my old age.

I see. With age, comes wisdom.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Oliver states: Not all dogs are bad.

Very true. My co-partner in the Cobble Cove mysteries is Fido, a golden retriever. He’s a nice guy but not all that sharp. I’ve also just started featuring dogs and other animals on this blog. I still think cats are the superior species, though.

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

Max explains: Our author J. Schlenker’s  current project is Sally. It will be fictional history, based on a woman she met when she was eight years of age. She was born into slavery in 1858. She lived to be 110 years old. Our author projects it will be out in late spring or early summer.

That sounds very interesting. I will tell my readers to keep an eye out for it.

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

Max indicates: Here are our author’s links. You can contact us through any of them:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14763892.J_Schlenker

https://www.facebook.com/J.SchlenkerAuthor/

https://athursdayschild.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/athursdayschild

Thanks for the interview, guys. Paws-up to you and your author on your future books and best whiskers also to your author on her participation in Mystery Thriller Week.

Some “Cool” Feature Friday Films

Hey, folks. Since it’s January, I thought I’d show some winter films for Feature Friday. I don’t condone letting your cats out in the snow, and some cats hate getting their paws cold and wet, but these clips show that some kitties enjoy a supervised frolic in the white stuff. My author Debbie keeps her cats inside except for an occasional sit out on her enclosed patio. As for me-ow, I’m an indoor character cat, too, enjoying my very own room at the Cobble Cove library and the window seat in the Children’s room.

I realize some of you reading this are in places where it never snows, and others who have snow almost all winter. Here in NY, we’ve had two storms so far, but they’ve been washed away by rain as temperatures rose afterward.

I hope you enjoy these funny snow cat videos.

Mews to Meow About!

2Wow, Mbetween-a-rockhard-place-001eow!  I have very exciting mews to share with you readers. First, my second mystery, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, has come in #2 in the P&E Reader’s poll for best mystery of 2016. I credit my pawsome acting but must also acknowledge Debbie’s talented writing. Thanks to all who voted for our book. You guys are pawsome, too. Debbie’s short story, The Path to Rainbow Bridge, although it didn’t feature yours truly, was full of cats and came in #4 of the best Fantasy of 2016.pathtorainbowbridge2-1

Other great news is Debbie has a novella and short story coming out on Valentine’s Day. Both of them also feature cats. Roxie, is a female Siamese owned by a jewel thief in When Jack Trumps Ace. In Debbie’s historical/paranormal romance, The Seashell and the Stone, there is an orange male cat named Seashell (and I thought Sneaky was a weird name).when-jack-trumps-ace-001-1cupidsarrowanthology

The last piece of mews I have is that Debbie just signed for our third mystery, Written in Stone with our wonderful publisher, Solstice Publishing (who came in #2 of publishers in the P&E poll). She’s working with a great editor, Cynthia Ley, on that book as well as the reprinting of our first mystery, A Stone’s Throw. Both books may be out this spring.

oliverwine oliverwinebottleI am so proud of Debbie and all of you readers supporting us that I’m going to have a catnip party to celebrate. I might even ask Debbie to break out the wine from the Winery at Marjim Manor that has her cat Oliver’s label on it, but I think she’s saving that for a souvenir.

I hope to be back with more cat character interviews soon. Don’t forget to tell your authors that I am seeking more guests. I will even interview dogs and other animal characters. I’m always up for a challenge. To apply as a guest on my blog, just email Debbie at debbiewriter@yahoo.com.

Sneaky Interviews Chloe, author Lisa Diaz Meyer’s Kitten

What a pawsome surprise! My guest today is a kitten, the first one on my blog. She is so sweet. Hi, there, Kitty, please introduce yourself and tell me a little about  yourself.

chloe1Hi Sneaky! It’s nice to meet you! My name is Chloe Anne Meyer! I am a 15-week-old kitten and a newly adopted rescue! I am so happy I have found my forever home with the Meyer’s! My owner is Lisa Diaz Meyer, she likes to write books. She has 2 books out already ALL ROADS HOME AND ALL ROADS DESTINED and when I’m not playing with my favorite toys, I sit by her feet when she’s typing!

What fun! I am a character cat, but I know my real-life counterpart, Oliver and his step-brother, Stripey, also enjoy watching my author Debbie type. They find it just as enjoyable as looking out the window at birds.

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

I am not in any books. Yet! But she has told me… because I’m so spoiled… that my personality will be used for a cat character in a future book.

Wow, Meow. You must be excited about that. Tell me more about your author’s plans for you.

I will be in a book of four historical romance short stories. My owner wrote them years ago, but needs to revamp them. They will be considered “clean” romance. Clean and sweet, like mew – I mean me. I am told there will be other animals devoted to their character owners as well in that anthology. A horse and dog for two of the other short stories.

Purrfect. Please keep me posted. I’m sure my readers will love to get their paws on that book. It sounds so good. I’d love to include an excerpt of it when you have one to share.

I don’t have an excerpt ready but I do know my character’s owner will be given “me” as a gift and I become a delightful lap cat to her because she is sad and so far away from her home. While my character’s owner questions her life choices, which most period piece women don’t get, my cat character will be by her side for support. I like that my name will be Duchess, even though I will probably be in book number 5.

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

I’m just a meow-er. My writing owner thinks only the humans should talk. But I’m sure my actions will show my opinions!

Of claws. What advice would you give other cat characters?

My advice is to be cute, loyal and lovable!

You certainly take your own advice.

Can you tell me something about your author, Lisa’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?
lisa1I definitely can Sneaky! Right meow, my author/human goddess is known for dark fiction, which means her stories are strange or serious and the endings are sad; twisted. She prefers short stories because it is more fun to grab the readers quick. She also writes poems and short stage plays. Her readers enjoy the post apocalyptic, sci-fi ongoing saga The Outposts. Zaxton and George are the main characters that live on the bombed out world of Outposts. They must be really likable because everyone always asks my author about them!  There are so many other stories,too. She is a multi-genre writer.
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Here is an excerpt from ALL ROADS HOME:
“There’s something about tragedy that freezes a mind, freezes it to a time and place, to who and what mattered just before the incident. Even years later, there’s a tethered rope secured to that blissful moment, that moment before you changed. It becomes your hallowed place and you don;t even know it. You’ll hand over hand yourself over that rope or twine or barbed wire until all that burning and bleeding is nothing but a simple puff of air. Your long and painful decisions, your instant impulses – it’s that first real tragedy that forges you. Tragedy after tragedy, the first one brings you home.”
Chloe, your author is very talented. You must be so proud of her. I know my author enjoys reading her Outpost stories. She tells me she can hardly wait for the next installment. Do you know when that will be?
My owner has her third book all written and ready to send off and is waiting patiently to send it off to the publisher. She is hoping around March 2017 and then it will take three months from there. Give or take.

It’s so hard to wait. My author has also finished our third book, but it takes a few months for editing and publishing.

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

My owner/author so far is on social media. She might make me a facebook page because I am so pretty and adorable. Here are her links:

Website: http://www.lisadiazmeyer.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaDMeyer 

FB: Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LDMeyerAuthorALLROADS/

Mice. I was thrilled to get my own blog. Just keep batting your pretty eyes at her and make your request. She won’t have the heart to turn you down.

It’s been really fun having you here, and best whiskers to you and Lisa on your books.

chloe2Thanks, Sneaky. Can we play now? I’d love to chase your tail, and I’m really good at hide and seek. 

Actually it’s my naptime, Kitten. These interviews knock me out, but I’m sure your humans will satisfy your abundant energy. Have fun!

 

Sneaky Presents a Friday the 13th Feature Film

Here’s a short film I thought I’d post in honor of Friday the 13th. Of claws it features a black cat. Even better, Elsie is a real life library cat. Don’t worry that she’s crossing your screen today. She’s only after your mouse, MOL (Meow Out Loud).

The best thing about Friday the 13th is that the next day is Saturday. Have a great weekend everyone (if you make it until tomorrow). I get my sense of humor from my author. She’s a mystery writer.

Sneaky Interviews the Cats from The Winery at Marjim Manor

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Slinky and Pewter, winery cats at Marjim Manor

Wow, Meow. I have some very special guests here today. They’ve come all the way from a winery in Appleton, New York up near Niagara Falls. I’ve never been to a winery, and the closest I’ve come to imbibing anything alcoholic is when Alicia gave me some catnip as a treat. My author, Debbie, once gave her real life cats a bottle of catnip champagne on New Year’s. That must’ve made their whiskers real tipsy.

As a departure of my interviewing a cat character from a book, I thought speaking with these felines from the winery would be of interest to my readers.

I’m happy to introduce my guests, Slinky, Pewter, and Skipper who are littermates and Tootsie who is also part of the family. Their owner and significant person is Margo Sue Bittner.

Hi, there Kitties. Thank you all for joining me on my blog today. Please tell me about the history of your winery, its name and where it’s located and also how long it’s been around and if it has a a website.

(Slinky said): The Winery at Marjim Manor opening in August 2004. We are located in Appleton, NY right along Lake Ontario, about 40 minutes from Niagara Falls.  We do mostly fruit wines because the owners husband, Jim, grows tree fruit: apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines. (Margo and Jim makes Marjim).  Our website is www.MarjimManor.com. We ship wine all over.

Our winery is haunted and we’ve been on Ghost Hunters. Our owner wrote a book called “The Legend of Appleton Hall” which contains all the ghost stories written about the place. She’s working on the “Real History of Appleton Hall” now. She likes to say her job is pouring wine and telling ghost stories. 

Gosh, that sounds pawsome. How long have you lived at the winery? Besides chasing ghosts, do you catch mice at the winery? 

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William Shakespeare, rescuer cat, now on Rainbow Bridge, graces a label of the Cat’s Meow White Table Wine of The Winery at Marjim Manor

(Pewter purred): We’ve been at the winery for three years. We lived next door, but when the people moved, they left us and our parents behind. Our parents ran off, so William Shakespeare brought each of us to the winery.  He and Meshuganeh took good care of us until they crossed the rainbow bridge. Tootsie was found at a neighbor’s house. The lady was very sick and called us when Tootsie showed up on her porch.  Mom took her in.

We love to catch mice, moles, snakes.  Mostly, we leave them at the back door for Mom to find.  Slinky even caught a squirrel once.

Great backstory, and I love the adventures you describe with the wildlife in your area. Getting back to the winery itself, what type of wine does it produce? 

(Skipper answered): We make mostly fruit wines and have won many gold medals.  The Cat’s Meow is a dry white; Katapalooza has lots of cats on the label and is a sweet blend. Cherry Concerto; Pear Made in Heaven, Applely Ever After are other wines. Some wines tie into the ghost story: Shubal’s Sunset, Sophia’s Sunrise,  Lord of the Manor, Lady in the Window.  We sell the wines at the winery, at farmers markets, at liquor stores and ship to many states.

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Debbie’s cat, Oliver, makes a handsome wine label cat.

Purrfect. I also heard the rumor that my author’s cat, Oliver, was put on one of your labels. Is that true?

(Tootsie meowed): Yes. Our owner thought Debbie would enjoy that. She also sending her the bottle of wine with Oliver’s label. 

I’m sure she will. Too bad I can’t get my photo on a label, but I’m only a fictional cat. However, since Oliver and I are both handsome Siamese boys, we bear a remarkable resemblance, so it’s the next best thing. 

What do each of you like most about living at a winery? Are there any special events that your winery sponsors during the year?

(Slinky  replied): People come and visit us. They like our Facebook page (The Cats of Marjim Manor). Some friends bring us treats like catnip pillows and snacks.  The local SPCA came here to take a picture for their calendar.  

(Pewter commented ): Also, our winery has 100 windows with big, wide window sills. It is so much fun to lie in the sun.

(Skipper responded): We do wine and food pairing dinners. Ours are murder mysteries: Glo Knight and the Seven Gnomes, Mall’s Fair in Love and War (all the stores are euphemisms for being drunk); Three Sheets to the Wind (A circus), and about a dozen more. We do three a year.  We also do Victorian Teas and craft classes.  We put out enewsletters with different themes: all our events, about the wines, about the murder mysteries, about the Victorian Teas, even birthday and anniversary ones for customers.

(Tootsie added): We are also part of the Niagara Wine Trail and do events with the other wineries.

What fun, and I love Pewter’s description of the windows. They have a spot for me  on the bay window of the Cobble Cove Library’s Children’s Room, and Debbie also has a bay window in her kitchen where her cat, Stripey likes to sit. Oliver prefers the enclosed outdoor room that has large windows in front of which he can sun and watch the birds from a safe distance.

How did it come about that you got your photos on the wine labels? 

(Slinky explained): All our wines have fun names. Mom likes cats. Then she found out that wines with animals sell more. Once we figured out how to personalize the labels, we started changing the label a lot. The owner’s daughter, Janet works at the winery and she takes care of that.  We do have one wine with a dog on in: True Blue. It is a blueberry wine. Jim likes dogs, so we had to be fair and give him a wine with his dog on it.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). I can relate to that. I have a dog co-star in my books, and I plan to interview some dog characters, too, if any are interested in appearing on my blog. After all, you can’t play animal favorites, although cats are the superior species. Even a fictional feline knows that.

Do you know any other cat wineries or wines with cat labels on them? 

(Pewter put in): Another winery on our wine trail has cats on the labels. Other wineries around here have dogs and horses on the labels.

How interesting. I know there are a lot of animal lovers and, just like books featuring pets are popular, I guess it works for wines, too.

What advice would you give other cats who might want to live on a winery or have their photos featured on wine labels? 

(Skipper advised): Be prepared for lots of love.  Sometimes, you may not want scratchies, then it is OK to sit and pose. People will take your picture.  When the fireplace is on, make sure to stretch out wide so people tell you how cute you are.  If you want to be on a wine label, make sure you pose with your eyes open and sit up tall. Then you get more space.

It looks like Oliver took that advice. I saw the label, and he fills it out nicely.

margo-janet
Margo and Janet

Tell us a little about your owner? You may include her photo if she doesn’t mind. 

(Tootsie told): Margo graduated from Cornell University in 1980. At first she and Jim were dairy farmers then switched to fruit farming. After Jim started selling fruit to other wineries, they thought maybe they should start a winery.  The fruit farm is about 500 acres and their two sons, Kevin and David work there.  Janet works at the winery. She is in charge of wholesale and has the wines in about 150 liquor stores and restaurants. About 30,000 people visit every year.  In the past, Margo was on the local school board and active in PTA.  Today, she is in the Barker Lions Club and is in AM Lockport Toastmasters where she holds the Distinguished Toastmasters degree.  She also participated in American Farm Bureau’s Women’s  Communication Camp and advocates for agriculture.  

Wow, Meow, You all must be quite proud of her. 

(Slinky stated): We certainly are, Sneaky.

I believe you mentioned that your author and the winery are on social media. Can you give the links in case our readers want to follow them? I’m sure Debbie will. She may even want to work a winery into one of our upcoming Cobble Cove mysteries.

(Pewter exclaimed): Of Claws. Here’s the list. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/margosuebittner

https://www.facebook.com/MarjimManor/

https://www.facebook.com/CatsofMarjimManor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoSue

Winery Website: http://www.marjimmanor.com/

Thanks Kitties for such an interesting interview, and best whiskers to your owner on selling lots of Cat’s Meow and other wines from The Winery at Marjim Manor. A catnip toast to you all. Cheers!

 

Sneaky’s News Hot Off the Pawprint Presses

bignewspicGood morning, folks. It is so cold out here that my paws are frostbitten which makes it hard to type, but I  have some news to share with you.  I just pawed through the Cobble Cove Courier, the local newspaper in our town, and I found a few tidbits of interest to readers of our mysteries.

ccchateditedlgroupeditedFirst, our Cobble Cove character’s Facebook group is growing nicely. The current host, John McKinney, is offering a contest for a reader who submits a photo that might represent him. I don’t want to give away too many hints, but I know John very well. If you’ve read our books, you would be aware that he has dark fur on his head that might have a touch or two of gray, although he’s quite fit and young looking for a man in his mid-forties. He also has an interesting dimple in his cheek that Alicia is crazy about. We cats don’t have dimples. They would get in the way of our whiskers. To join the group and enter the contest, you should click your mouse here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Another great piece of reporting is that Debbie’s first book in our series, A Stone’s Throw, is being reprinted by Solstice Publishing. Debbie is also nearly ready to also submit the third book of our series, Written in Stone. She is also releasing a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, in February. This book even has a cat in it, but it’s very different from the Cobble Cove Books. Look for her historical romance, The Seashell and the Stone in Cupid’s Arrow, a Solstice anthology also coming out next month. Of course, you can still pick up the second Cobble Cove book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, that came out in October. This book has been on the Amazon cozy mystery bestseller list and has five pawprint reviews. Keep an eye on this blog and Debbie’s for more information on all her releases. You can also join Debbie’s author newsletter and/or sign up for her blog at https://debbiedelouise.com/. All her books are listed on her Amazon author page at: http://amzn.to/2iVtZu2.

Last, but not least, I have a bit of sad yet hopeful news. Debbie recently learned that a childhood friend passed away in December. She hadn’t been in touch with this man for a long time but, through Facebook, learned of his death. As a tribute to the friendship they shared, because he encouraged her writing even back then, and since one of her characters actually shares his name, she plans to dedicate the new release of A Stone’s Throw to John along with her mother-in-law, Carol, who also is named for one of the book’s characters and whom she had dedicated the original book. Although John never knew Debbie became an author, she can share her work with his family.

That’s all the news for today, Kitties. I’m still seeking interviews of cat characters and, if you are an author of any type of cat book releasing in January,  I would be happy to include it in a new release Cat Book Spotlight. Contact my author and blog assistant Debbie at debbiewriter@yahoo.com for more information.