Sneaky Interviews Marie Lavender’s Cat Smokey

Meow, there. It’s time for another cat chat. Today, I have the honor of interviewing yet another of Marie Lavender’s kitties. Please introduce yourself and tell me a little about yourself, Sir.

My name is Smokey. I am a gray tabby cat with white on my underside, and I have jade green eyes. My white socks are a little mismatched, but my mom, Marie, thinks they are cute. I live in a two-story Victorian farmhouse with my family. I like to spend my time upstairs while my mother is writing and promoting her books in her office. She spends a lot of time on her PC! Why the humans call it that, I don’t know. I think PC should mean ‘personal cat’, like me! What do you think?

I think you have a good point, but please continue, Smokey.

Hey, the sun came out again! It’s been a cloudy day, and I love to sit in the window where the sun hits it just right.

Oh, where was I? Yeah, me. So…I’ve been around for a while. I am eighteen years old. I remember way before the other two felines got here. Marie says that just means I am wiser than them. What else? I am what they call diabetic, and she gives me two shots a day. I hate it, but I can tell that she tries to distract me with food while she’s doing that. Can’t blame her there! I love to eat. Turkey just out of the oven is my favorite. The holidays are really fun for me!

Marie calls me ‘Buddy’ or ‘Smokey boy’, and sometimes Smokey Dokey when she’s trying to get my attention if it’s food time. Did I mean I like eating? Sleeping is good too. I need to sleep most of the day, or I am a grumpy cat! But, it really takes a lot to bother me. I can tell Emma, one of the other felines here, is always trying to upset me, but I just want to be her friend.

Wow, Meow. Marie and Debbie have a lot in common as do you and Debbie’s cat, Oliver. You and Oliver are nearly the same age. He is 17 and, although he is not diabetic, Debbie’s cat before him was and received two shots a day from her until he went to Rainbow Bridge at the age of 15. He was gray and white like you., while Oliver is Siamese. He has bad kidneys and is having his ups and downs. Just like people, things start to go as kitties age. That’s why I’m glad I’m a character cat.

Have you appeared in any of your owner/author’s books? Are you a silent cat like me who just meows and leads my human characters to clues?

No, I haven’t appeared in any of Marie Lavender’s books. I figure if I needed to be in them, she’d put me there. So, maybe she just hasn’t found the right book for me yet!

That’s very possible. I’m based on Oliver, but Debbie’s other cat, Stripey, has yet to make an appearance in any of her books and stories.

(Cocks his head.) Am I a silent cat? Sometimes, at least when I’m resting. But when I’m hungry or I have something to say, I will meow my head off. It drives a couple of the humans in the house crazy. Especially if one of them is working at home with her full-time job. Hey, I’m a kitty! That should be good enough for them.

I think most cats are like you. Oliver certainly is and, with his loud Siamese yowl, he certainly can wake the dead especially at 4 a.m. when he wants breakfast.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Climb all over your owners and rub your face on them. I heard somewhere that they love that!

Um…what do cat characters do besides kitty activities? Someone told me that a few of them in the books try to be private eyes. Why would you want your eyes to be private? I think cats have beautiful eyes, and we need to advertise them as much as possible!

MOL (Meow Out Loud). I like your catitude, Smokey.

Can you tell me something about your author, Marie’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?

I think she’s awesome! She works really hard on every project, even puts off that ‘me time’ thing that humans talk about in order to get everything done. I’ve admired her shelf of published books a few times. But since I can’t reach it, I haven’t been able to read any of her books yet. I just know that they must be important, or she wouldn’t be writing them.

Oh, where was I again? Right, you asked about something she’s written. Well, I know her latest release came out on July 25th, a romantic drama collection titled Directions of the Heart. But, drama…that’s not for me!

No!!! Did you hear that noise? (His eyes widen.) I hope it wasn’t something scary!

What did you say? Oh, right. As I was saying, I’m more into happy and funny stories. So, I’ve managed to scrounge together a couple pages of Marie’s current project, a romantic comedy. When she is working on something, she stashes them around the place. I think the story is called Chasing Ginger. Maybe it’s about chasing a mouse! Oh, boy, that would be fun. But I imagine this one is just for humans. Anyway, here it is:

The resonant, yet annoying blare of an odd alarm brought Ginger Halloway’s eyes open. Muttering an imprecation, she slapped the ‘sleep’ button. “Just five minutes,” she groaned, then burrowed back under her covers. The blissful quiet began to lull her to sleep.

The shrill bleat came again, and after a minute, she realized it was from her cell phone nearby. A curse sprang out her mouth.  “Really? For God’s sake, people. It’s too early.” She played the waiting game, hoping if she ignored it, the sound would go away. Miraculously, it did.

“Mee…ow!”

She grunted as Sterling, her orange tabby, landed squarely on her chest. The fur ball wouldn’t budge, though, and the kneading motion he established with those talons made her double D’s scream in agony.

“Ster…Christ, cat, give me a break.”

She scooped him up and eased the cat beside her on the bed. As a hand absently stroked his soft coat, her mind numbed out and she closed her eyes. Sleep never came, though, and not because she didn’t try.

Her cell phone rang once more. With a curse, she flung back the corner of the spread, then eased off the mattress. In an aqua camisole and matching sleep shorts, Ginger padded over to her bulky purple and silver purse and dug inside. That identifying sound of a call being dumped into voicemail came. Curiously, she pressed the power button and the screen lit up.

Five calls. Three voicemails.

Not good. Someone wanted her attention in a bad way. Then the time jumped out at her.

10:31 A.M.

“What?!”

She swung to her alarm clock, which proudly flashed, oh, twelve o’clock. So, why hadn’t the alarm go off? Oh, right. She’d reset it for Sunday so she could sleep in. That still didn’t explain the display. All she could account for it was that the power had been off, and then came back on.

Shit. Her boss must be pissed.

Oh, right. Five phone calls with no answer would do it.

Sterling sat up regally and cocked his head.

“I know,” she muttered. She quickly pulled up Tucker Adams’ information, then hit ‘send’. When he came on the line, she explained the problem and promised she’d be in as soon as humanly possible. The man surprisingly understood. But then, it wasn’t like she toed the line often at work. She was reliable, a hard worker. All qualities highly sought after in an executive assistant.

Seriously, she needed to get moving. And moving the feline was half the battle.

“Time to get up, lazy bones.”

The cat just looked at her.

“Fine,” she said, then stalked over to him and swept a section of the white down comforter over his body in what she liked to call a Sterling burrito. He began to purr loudly, flexing his paws. “Just don’t stay in bed too long, hmm?”

She found it ironic that he could laze and be a cat, and she couldn’t. Come Saturday and she was so sleeping in like that lump of fur.

Ginger took a quick shower, then ironed her flame red waves straight. She did her makeup – simple was better – then threw on a navy pin-striped business suit. In the kitchen, she fired up her Keurig, listening while it cooed its pleasant brewing sound, and worked her way through a bowl of cereal while the Arabica whirred into a mug. Yesterday’s newspaper sat on the countertop and she casually flipped through the classifieds. Then something caught her eye. One ad read:

Ladies, are you tired of having no luck in love?

“Yep.”

Is dating just too hard for you?

“Affirmative on that one…”

Would you like to attract lots of men? Our 100% pure product can help. Get in on some groundbreaking results today. Sign up for our sex study, and try the pill that you’ll soon see in stores everywhere.

InstaSin

We promise your fantasies will come true.

Geez, it almost sounded like one of those late-night commercials, with the perfect women oozing sex appeal while they giggled on the phone. And at the bottom of the screen, it would proudly say, ‘CALL NOW!’

Still, her interest was piqued, and she noticed the study for InstaSin was starting today, about an hour after work let off. It was hosted by the University of California.

Just then, Sterling decided to grace the room with his royal presence, marching to his food bowl.

“What do you think, huh? Is it worth the drive?”

The damn cat lifted his head, cocking it to the side.

“Yeah, probably a bad idea, anyway.”

She grabbed her cup of coffee and nursed it. In the end, she tore the ad from the paper, stuffing it in her purse, and headed off to work, though she was still late.

Pawsome excerpt. Do you know when her next book will be out?

Not really. I’m just a kitty! Plus, it’s not like humans keep me in the loop. I think she’s hoping to have a futuristic paranormal romance, Blood Instincts, out sometime this year or early 2018. But I only know that because she can’t contain her excitement about it with other humans! Imagine if we could actually read their minds. (Shudders.)

I sympathize with you, Smoke. I’m not even a real cat, and I can’t figure out what my author is planning or the other human characters in our book for that matter.

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

Is that a thing? Social…what? Did someone put me on there?!!!!

(Murmurs in the background.) Marie tells me I’m okay and I don’t have to worry about that stuff. I had to get mom’s help with the links below, however.

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Sorry to frighten you, guy. Social media can be pretty overwhelming. I’m glad I only have to deal with a blog. Anyhow, thanks so much for the interview, Smokey, and best whiskers to you and Marie.

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Sneaky’s Interview of KateMarie Collins’ Cat, Muse

Meow, there. It’s Sneaky with another pretty kitty guest. What is your name and your author’s name?

I am Muse the Purrbot. Or, if I decide you are worthy of my acknowledgment, Muse. My human’s name is KateMarie Collins.

Mice to meet you, Muse. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

As you know, we torties must maintain our dignity and anonymity. She did, I believe, use me as the basis of the cat in ‘Guarding Charon’. It’s a delightful urban fantasy, with a sequel in the works. When I’m not making sure my requisite time for attention from her is being met.

I know it must be hard for your author to balance writing and showing you attention.

Does your author write a series? If so, please give information about it.

KateMarie is working on the sequel to ‘Guarding Charon’, when I allow her time to write. Minerva, the cat in the books, has made her presence known. It’s not a large role, but what’s a witch or magical house without a cat?

Excellent question.

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

I am the real cat….Minerva is the fiction. My human did well in making sure certain particulars about me were well represented in the book.

I’m sure you’re happy about that. Debbie’s real cat, Oliver, shares many similarities with me that I’m sure were featured on purr-pose.

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

But, of course!

“Meow.”

            Amber groaned, one arm coming out from under the heavy quilts.

            “Meow.”

            Minerva’s furry face rubbed against hers, her whiskers tickling her nose. Opening her eyes, the cat regarded her with an even stare.

            “Meow.”

            Giving up, Amber reached up and scratched the cat between her ears. “Fine. I’ll feed you.” Pushing aside the covers, she slid her feet into a pair of fluffy slippers. She grabbed at the thick robe she’d left draped across the bench and followed the cat downstairs.

Wow, Meow. Wonderful excerpt.

What do you like most about your authors’ books?

She truly understands cats. We do not often select humans as our familiars. Staff, definitely. But not true familiars. I am content that she understands me in that way.

I think Oliver feels the same way about Debbie. I also appreciate the fact she depicts my felineness so well in our Cobble Cove mysteries.

What advice would you give other authors’ cats?

Don’t be afraid to jump on the keyboard.

MOL (Meow Out Loud).

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

My human recently released a box set of sorts, where she took all three books of her trilogy and put them in a single volume. I believe she called it, ‘The Raven Chronicles’. Next up, when I allow her to finish it, will be ‘Guarding Amber’.

Very mice.

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

Sigh. She is…which is why her keyboard is covered with fur. I would prefer it just be my fur, but the boys must cuddle her on occasion.

It’s always important to share your author’s keyboard with the rest of the fur family. Thanks so much for the great inter-mew, Muse. I hope my human readers will connect with you and KateMarie at the following links, and best whiskers to you both.

Twitter:  @DaughterHauk

FaceBook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

Her blog:  http://www.katemariecollins.wordpress.com

Via email: katemariecollins@gmail.com

Feature Friday Film: Cats on the Beach

Hi, Kitties. It’s Sneaky here with another Feature Friday Film. Since summer is ebbing away, I thought I’d show some cats enjoying the beach. I’ve never been on a beach myself and neither has any of the author’s cats, but I’m sure it’s lots of fun to have the sun on your fur and sand under your toes (other than when you’re in the litter box – hee hee).

Sneaky’s Interview of Susan Mann’s Spy Cat, Rasputin

Wow, Meow. I have a spy cat here today. Actually, he’s not a spy. His character is a librarian like my human co-star Alicia, but Quinn becomes involved with a spy, so I guess that would make Rasputin a spy accomplice. How exciting!

Let’s see what we can deduce from this fellow feline. What is your name and your author’s name?

Hi, Sneaky. It’s nice to talk with you. My name is Rasputin and I’m a brown tabby. I live in the imagination of my author Susan Mann.

That’s a great name, purrfect for a spy accomplice. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

My literary claim to fame is as Quinn Ellington’s feline roommate in the romantic suspense/adventure novels The Librarian and the Spy, A Covert Affair, and An Uncommon Honeymoon.

Pawsome. I know my author is reading the first one now. She couldn’t resist a book about a fellow librarian. When she saw the review in a journal she was ordering from at her library, she had to get it.

Please give more information about your series.

I am in a series of three books, each “A Librarian and the Spy Escapade.” My first appearance is in The Librarian and the Spy. Quinn Ellington is a reference librarian who thirsts for the kind of adventures she reads about in her favorite spy novels. As luck would have it, she ends up going on the adventure of a lifetime when James, a patron at the library asks for her help identifying various artifacts. Some things happened in The Librarian and the Spy that kind of freaked me out, so I was happy to stay with the neighbor and his family while Quinn and James traipsed off to England.

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

Addison in all his glory

My real life alter ego was the cat Susan had when she was a young, single librarian. Addison was her buddy and constant companion for seventeen years. Over the years he endured multiple moves, and bringing on first the husband, then the kid and finally the dog. He’s gone now, but his memory lives on through me.

Aw. My author also published a book called Cloudy Rainbow that featured her very special cat, Floppy, who she had for 15 years. Now she has Oliver whom I am loosely based on in her Cobble Cove mystery series. He’s 17 and hanging in there but is starting to have some kidney problems.

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

I pop up a number times in The Librarian and the Spy, as well as the next two books to be released in the series. My most important moment is when I meet James for the first time. He comes to Quinn’s and my apartment to pick her up for their date. As I am an impeccable judge of character, I am her Feline Gatekeeper. Even if she says otherwise, Quinn would have grave reservations about getting involved with James if I didn’t approve. The following is our first encounter:

“Speaking of Rasputin, I believe I need to gain his approval before we can leave. What happens if I don’t pass inspection? Am I going to have to return to Santa Monica alone?”

          “Why? Are you not feeling confident about your cat whispering abilities?”

          “Oh, I’m ready,” he answered. The look he gave her melted her insides. “There’s just a lot riding on it, that’s all.”

          “I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she managed when she found her voice. “I pay the rent, so I have veto power. Besides, I’d hate for you to go back to Santa Monica alone.”

          “I appreciate the consideration.”

          “I have to admit I’m also curious about how he’ll react to you. I don’t have a lot of company, so he’s not around new people very often.”

          “Happy to be your test case,” he said.

          “Okay, here we go. Kitty, kitty, kitty,” she called. A half a minute later, Rasputin prowled out of her bedroom and slowly approached, his tail trailing behind him, tip curving up. About five feet from where Quinn and James stood, he stopped and stared at them with amber eyes.

          James didn’t advance to greet the cat. Instead, he squatted down, reached out his arm, and pointed his index finger at Rasputin. He turned his head slightly to the side, stayed completely still, and waited. After thirty seconds or so, the cat started forward again, his supple shoulders rolling as he strode straight for James’s extended finger. When the cat reached the outstretched fingertip, he sniffed it, and then touched it with his nose.

          Impressed, Quinn watched the greeting continue as Rasputin rubbed his cheek against James’s finger and then his hand. After the cat pushed his face against James’s hand a few more times, he scratched Rasputin under his chin. Still in a crouch, he twisted around and looked up at Quinn. “I believe I’ve just survived the crucible of the Feline Gatekeeper.”

          “With flying colors.”

          James stood and the cat immediately wove between James’s feet and rubbed his sides against James’s shins. “Obviously, Rasputin is an impeccable judge of character.”

          “Obviously.”

          There was a short pause while they both watched Rasputin continue to mark James, leaving a few stray strands of cat hair on his jeans in the process. James didn’t seem the least bit concerned. When the cat moved away to rub against the corner of the couch, James asked, “Ready to go?”

I appreciated James’s aloofness toward me. I could also sense their mutual attraction. And because he was unperturbed when I improved his attire by leaving my some of my hair on his jeans, I gave them my blessing.

Excellent scene, Rasputin. You are quite the actor.

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

I am Quinn’s steadfast companion. I am always there for her.

I feel the same about Alicia. Librarians make the best human co-stars in my humble feline opinion. They also make great spies, as do cats because they’re both so curious.

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

Even though Quinn and I speak different languages, we converse and understand each other perfectly. She especially appreciates my meowed input on her daily clothing selections.

Hmm. I should try giving Alicia input on her wardrobe. She usually asks our male co-star, John, for help with that.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Love your human and always be there for her. Protect her from bad guys, unless they’re super scary. Then it’s okay to hide under the bed. Also, try to keep the middle of the night digging in the litter box to a minimum. Otherwise, your human will get cranky.

I think Debbie wishes Oliver would take the advice and not use his Siamese voice at four in the morning. I reserve my scratches to digging up old letters that are clues like the ones I directed Alicia to in our first adventure, A Stone’s Throw.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll appear in A Covert Affair, available August 29, 2017. In it, I am pleased to once again mark James as my territory. Quinn and James travel to India, so I spend most of the book staying with Quinn’s grandparents and their English bulldog, Pot Roast. I overlook Pot Roast’s slobberiness as I find his dog purrs—the rumbly noises he makes when he sleeps—quite soothing.

That sounds wonderful. I’ll make sure Debbie keeps an eye out for it. I also have a dog co-star, Fido. He stole the thunder from me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, but I had Debbie make up for that by starting this blog and putting me on the cover of our latest mystery, Written in Stone, in which I also play a larger role.

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

Thanks so much, Rasputin. I’ve enjoyed cat chatting with you, and I know my author is enjoying your first book. Best whiskers to you and Susan on your upcoming new release and your future adventures.

Sneaky Interviews Cyn Ley’s Cat, Tica

I am hitting the jackpot lately with such pretty pussycats visiting my blog. What is your name, lovely lady, and your author’s name?

Greetings, Sneaky. I am Tica, the Empress and Mentor of all Stealth Cats. I hide in plain sight. I conceal myself in the windows and furniture that make up the jungle of my author’s world. Her name is Cyn Ley, and she understands that my wildness cannot be tamed.

What an adventuress. I admire that. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I am ON her writing. It is my duty to encourage my author by sitting on her desk, purring in her ear, and dropping subtle hints by walking across her keyboard.

She is a bestselling short story writer, and has two anthologies currently out. The first, ENCOUNTERS TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN is a combination of a reworking of stories and unchanged tales published between 2014-2016. It is a multi-genre collection, ranging from social satire to paranormal to human to heartwarming.

Her latest, THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES, was just released this June, and is focused on the paranormal. She and I both see ghosts.

She has had many a tale published in various Solstice anthologies as well.

I approve of Solstice Publishing—they like her tales too!

My author publishes with Solstice, too. All my Cobble Cove mysteries and many of her short stories are with them, so I approve, too, of claws.

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

No. Cats defy physics as a matter of course, but that would be splitting myself up too much.

It is my purrsonal opinion that each cat is unique, like a snowflake.

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

I AM a real cat! Just ask my author about when we cuddle and I leave guard hairs in her teeth.

Ick, Meow. TMI. Sorry. I must revise my interview questions for flesh and blood felines.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your author’s  books?

I’m sharing one of my favorite excerpts from THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND.

            There are places in the world where the dead are just left to lie. There is no mourning, no ceremony or acknowledgement that people recline below the ground, covered by the marches of Time. There are only the eaters of carrion to clean up the remains. The leavings are nothing but chemicals leeching into the soil, being absorbed, converted, used. There is no mourning, but there is no waste either. So it is for bones.

            In this case, the bones of a girl. A young lady, really, one who fell when the Blue and Gray swept across her parents’ farm and left a tide of blood to flood the land.

            Her name is Millicent, and she is sixteen years old. She wears the flesh of a young woman in her own eyes.

            She has memories of smoke that seemed to surround her on all sides. And so much noise. Explosions and shouts. Loud enough that her own screams joined the chorus before an unspeakable aguish struck her body and took her down.

            She remembers rising, and being afraid. There was nothing but this field, looking out into an interminable haze. Everything had changed, and she wasn’t prepared for it.

Pawsome excerpt.

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

She’s fearless and hates clichés with the same degree of passion that I reserve for loving catnip.

Catnip is truly the elixir of us cats. I appreciate a fellow feline connoisseur.

Are you a talking cat?

Like all my kind, I sing. Bengals trill and mew, and when we’re feeling devious, we cackle.

That sounds quite interesting, but my author’s cat, a fellow Siamese, must take the award for vocalizing especially at 4 a.m.

What advice would you give cat characters?

Be true to your Catness!

Purrfect advice, Miss Tica.

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

My author is currently working on several projects, expected to be submitted later this year and early next year.

Great!

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

My author has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/Cleyfiction

Her blog “Communicating” is at https://authorcjl.wordpress.com

And she’s on some birdy thing too. https://twitter.com/CynthiaLey2@cynthialey2

I am sending a photo of my Excellent Self that my author took. She is camera shy, and, while she lacks my stealth powers, manages to avoid what she calls “soul stealers” at every opportunity.

It’s been a pleasure chatting with you, Sneaky! Thank you.

My pleasure, Miss Tica, and best whiskers to you and your author. Have a mice day.