Hello, Mr. Cat. What is your name and your author’s name?
My name is George. I’m a handsome Maine Coon cat who is very good at getting himself out of tight situations, especially a shelter cage. One look in my amber eyes, and Zo Jones was mine. My author’s name is Mary Angela—but enough about her.
Mice to meet you. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
I appear in Open for Murder and will appear in Midnight Spells Murder in July 2021. Both are cozy mysteries.
My favorite genre. I’m in the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
Yes, I’m in the Happy Camper cozy mystery series. My owner, Zo Jones, has a gift shop in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, called Happy Camper. She sells cute, touristy stuff and writes a weekly column called Curious Camper, but her more important work involves feeding me. I prefer whitefish tuna, salmon, and the occasional specialty cheese.
Yummy. You lucky kitty.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
While my author does have a very handsome domestic shorthair named Bosco, I look nothing like him. He is a black, gray, and white beauty, and I am a striped, orange masterpiece. We do, however, share some of the same personality traits, such as distinctiveness, standoffishness, and the ability to judge someone within ten seconds.
Most cats share those traits.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Something furry brushed against the back of her legs as she pulled the door shut. She froze, knowing in an instant it was George. This was as close as he’d come in a long time, except to visit his food dish, which he emptied sometime after she went to bed. Carefully, she turned around. He rolled to his back, scratching on the gravel parking lot.
He meowed a response.
She bent down slowly and rubbed his chin. “I see your ears still look good.”
He answered by rolling to his other side, his white stripes of fur brown from the dirt.
She petted him a long time before making her move. It was now or never. A thunderstorm was predicted for the area, so he couldn’t stay outside tonight. Spring storms could be dangerous.
She stood and slowly reopened the door of Happy Camper. He didn’t bolt. He was watching her. Putting her finger to her lips, she warned Harley not to make a sound. She tiptoed to the cash register, where she had a can of whitefish tuna stashed below the counter. She pulled back the metal tab. The smell of fish filled the small shop, and George stepped one orange paw over the threshold. She placed the container on the counter and stared at the computer screen. If George saw the glint of hope in her eyes, he would be gone.
Slowly he sauntered inside, stopping once to lick a spot on his leg. Zo’s heartbeat picked up as she noticed him turn and look back at the door. But then he surprised her by leaping to the counter with a meow. When he was fully engaged with the tuna fish, Harley nodded, and Zo stepped toward the door, first slowly, then quickly before he could change his mind. As she scooted out the door for a second time, she congratulated herself on successfully capturing a domestic animal—and also keeping his litter box.
Purr-fect excerpt, George. Thanks for sharing.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
Mostly, I like keeping Zo on her toes. I’m an outdoor cat, and while I’m starting to cozy up to her, I refuse to be domesticated. Unless it involves tuna fish. Then I can be persuaded.
Most cats can be purr-suaded by tuna.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I just meow, but my meow is very distinctive.
I can tell. I’m not silent anymore, at least not to Debbie’s readers. They can “see” my thoughts, but Alicia, my co-star, is still in the dark.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
As if cats need advice. Please.
MOL (Meow Out Loud).
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Midnight Spells Murder. It releases July 21, 2021, and I play a very prominent role. It’s Halloween in Spirit Canyon, which is a good time for cats. I may not be black, but I can still cause trouble if I cross your path.
My Halloween mystery, No Gravestone Unturned, came out in October, and there was a black cat, Salem, who was a guest in it, but I played the main role, of claws.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Thank you, and thanks for the pawsome interview, George. I’m sharing your author’s blog tour and giveaway below. Best whiskers to you and her on your new release and upcoming book of your series.
Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
by Mary Angela
About Open For Murder
Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
Digital ASIN: B085LTP1XH
Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .
It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .
Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .
About Mary Angela
Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.
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