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.

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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.

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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.