Feature Friday Film: Hear and Watch Harry, Hermione, and Stripey Speak

Instead of videos this week, I’m proud to present the Feline Opine’s cat chats by Harry, Hermione, and Stripey. They certainly have some interesting things to say. Check them out here:

Ladies first. Here is Hermione. Click on her chat below her photo to hear what she has to say.

Hermione Chats!

Next is Hermione’s brother, Harry, aka Handsome Harry. Click his chat below his photo to hear him speak.

Harry Chats!

Last but not least, Stripey is the senior cat of the De Louise household. Click his chat below his photo to hear his words of wisdom.

Stripey Chats!

Thanks to Anita Aurit and Feline Opines for giving voice to my cat trio.

Sneaky’s Interview of Slayter, the Cat from the Sci Fi/Fantasy, Cat Winter by Mollie Hunt

Meow, there, Mr. Cat. Please introduce yourself. What is your name and your author’s name?

My full and formal name is Illius DiVone Esslayterran, but you can call me Slayter. My author’s name is Mollie Hunt.

That’s quite a mouthful. I will use Slayter. Mice to meet you. My author is a friend of yours and a fellow member of the Cat Writers’ Association, a great group of authors and others who feature felines in various media.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I am the hero of Cat Winter, Book 2 of the Cat Seasons Sci-fantasy Tetralogy. Each book of the tetralogy takes place in the same universe but stands alone as far as its characters. But my story is told well and completely in Cat Winter, and I’m happy to let another feline hero take the spotlight next time.

You sound like quite a modest fellow.

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

My story is one of four in the Cat Seasons tetralogy. Tetralogy means four, though I think it would have been easier if they’d called it a quartet or quadrilogy. Two of the four, Cat Summer (Winner of the CWA Muse Medallion for Scifi-Fantasy, 2019-2020) and Cat Winter are published, with Cat Autumn and Cat Spring to go.

Interesting. I love the season’s theme.

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

The original Slayter, a beautiful and wise black feline, cohabited with my author’s cousin, as did the co-hero of Cat Winter, my fur-sister Emma. Sadly, they are gone now, but book-Emma and I pay lasting tribute to their memories.

That’s wonderful. I also pay tribute to the memory of Debbie’s Siamese, Oliver, in our Cobble Cove cozy mystery series where I star as the library cat.

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

Since I am the hero, all my scenes are important, but this is my introduction:

Chapter 3. Slayter

Slayter gazed out the window at the chill, white landscape. He’d been like that since he and his sister had watched their cohabitor fall asleep. For a time, the lacy snow had whorled across the beam of the streetlamp, hypnotizing him into a stupor, but all that was changed now. The snow had ceased, flakes suspended in midair. The frozen outdoors lay as rigid and unmoving as a Currier & Ives print. Slayter’s soul burned in anticipation.

Soundlessly, he rose from his place by the window, moving like an obsidian shadow through the darkened room and down the stairs. With the stealth bred into his dark ancestors, he prowled the murk as only Felis can, making sure all was in place for what was to come. Once satisfied, he returned to his cohabitor. As light as a phantom, he came to rest on the bed beside her, caressing her slumbering form. She did not move, but he had not expected her to. He knew she would remain in that unconscious state for a very long time.

But things can no longer be measured in time, Slayter reminded himself. Time had become meaningless once the snow froze in place and Winter Verus came upon the land.

Winter Verus, the true winter, when time itself would cease to exist. Only then could the nine feline emissaries slip between the seconds to execute the Rectification of the Variants and put right humanity’s wrongs. As much good as the humans do, Slayter thought to himself, they manage to make a mess on a regular basis. Without the aid of the Nine and their yearly rectification, things would quickly go to hell in a handbasket.

Slayter fidgeted. The Rectification was one of Felis’s deepest mysteries, and only the chosen Nine knew how it was done. Slayter had always wondered, but now his black velvet breast swelled with pride. This year, he would be among them.

As quickly as his elation had risen, it floundered with questions:

What if the council had been wrong about him? What if he weren’t up to the task?

How could he make a difference in the great ways of humanity? How could any of them?

Could nine cats really expunge the torment the star-children had heaped upon themselves? It seemed an impossible mission.

He kicked himself for having doubts. The Rectification would be done as it had been each winter since humankind attained the power to destroy. The how of it would be revealed—‌he had only to keep his curiosity at bay for a little while longer.

Slayter stared down at his beloved Claire, still as death underneath the quilts in the old wooden bed. She was as pale as the snow on the window ledge, but he wasn’t afraid. He knew she was in no danger. If all went as planned, his absence would be as the blink of an eye, and she would wake to a better world upon his return.

The obsidian feline felt a prick of disquiet. Time-stall was risky, and sometimes things didn’t go as planned. There were even tales of a brutal and unexplained fatality. He would need to be vigilant. He’d never forgive himself if anything happened to Claire.

Slayter gave the sleeping female one last check. He sniffed her breath, her scent, tuned his scrutinizing gaze for the slightest movement, but there was none. Jumping to the floor, he was down the stairs and through the house like a satin streak. Out the cat flap he bolted, into another world, a world beyond time, frozen in the crystalline formation of forever.”

What a Pawsome excerpt. Thank you.

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

Though Cat Winter is definitely entertaining, it also tells an important story, and I am proud to be a vessel for that tale. As a feline yourself, Sneaky, you know there is much more to our world than the human species can see. This makes for all sorts of chaos, most of which they inflict on themselves. A shame they are so limited in their senses, but thankfully they have us to help them out.

High-Five paws to that, Slayter.

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

Of course I can talk—we all can, should we wish to do so. But it’s not really talking as much as a focused thought projection. Then, when our cohabitor Claire became a cat herself… well, no spoilers.

Hmmm. Sounds like a spoiler to me but that’s okay. I don’t think Alicia will ever become a cat, but she has come to understand them more since I’ve been helping her solve mysteries. I also enjoy sharing my thoughts with readers and my fellow pet characters. I started doing that in the later part of my series. I tipped Debbie off about making that change, and I’m glad she did.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Us cats have much to teach our humans. Don’t be afraid to use whatever means necessary to convey your story.

Well said, Slayter.

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

My author is now working on Cat Autumn, the third book in the tetralogy, but these tales of feline heroism and daring-do take time so no publish date yet. Mollie is better known for her Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series and recently published #7, Cat Conundrum. She’s working on #8, Adventure Cat, and has just started #9, Cat’s Play. She will also be putting out the first of a new cozy series, The Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove, sometime this year.

Pawsome! Your author is as busy as mine who is coming out with an Easter story starring my co-star cat, although I’m in it, too, of claws. She’s also publishing a time-travel tale with cats but not me. I’m only featured in her cozies, but I don’t mind. They are lots of fun.

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

You can find Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/

@MollieHuntCats

Sign up for Mollie’s Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn

Thanks so much, Slayter. I’ve enjoyed cat chatting with you and wish you and your author best whiskers on Cat Winter and the books that follow.

Interview of Ribbons the Cat from Heritage Heist by Dianne Ascroft

Hello, Cat. Welcome to Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. What is your name and your author’s name?

Hello. I’m Ribbons and my author and servant is Dianne Ascroft.

Mice to meet you, Ribbons.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

I made my debut in A Timeless Celebration, the first novel in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. This is the second novel and, of course, my input into this story is important too. Lois, the woman I share my house with, needs me to watch out for her. She doesn’t have my astute judgement.

I like your style, Ribbons, and that you’re a cozy cat like me. Please give information about your series.

It’s the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. The books are set in a small town in Canada and my littermate, Raggs, and I live with widow Lois Stone. We moved from Toronto to Fenwater last summer and we’re quite happy here. As we explore our new life, we frequently encounter new adventures and mysteries to solve. Lois thinks she is doing the investigating but she would miss half the clues without our help – especially mine. Raggs can be so lazy at times. She’d rather have a good nap than get involved in anything challenging.

That sounds great. I live in a small town, too, the fictional Cobble Cove where I’m the town’s library cat, but I stay at my MC character Alicia’s house sometimes, too. There’s an inn cat who I befriended later in the series and who helps me help the human characters in our latest books.

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

Yes, my littermate, Raggs, and I are based on our author’s two tortoiseshell cats, Snooks and Rocky. The ‘real’ cats, if we must use that term, live with our author on her farm and keep a close eye on her, especially at meal times. I’m much younger, more intelligent and more attractive than either of the ‘real’ cats though.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). You are quite modest. I’m the same. I was loosely based on Debbie’s Siamese cat, Oliver, who has since gone to Rainbow Bridge, but I’m also younger and handsomer.

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

Excerpt from Chapter 14:

“The thought of Bruce brought her back to the present with a start. Lois glanced at her watch. He would be here in a few minutes so she had better finish getting ready. She didn’t have much left to do. She preferred light makeup so a little blush and lipstick would take care of that. She just needed to brush her hair and have a final look at her outfit in the mirror. As she went to the dresser to lift her brush, she glanced at her wedding ring again. Should she take it off? As a widow she had every right to wear it, but if this was a date, what would Bruce think of her wearing it? Was she signalling reluctance to begin a new relationship?

Lois glanced at her two calico cats sprawled on the bed behind her. “What do you think, Ribbons? Should I take my rings off?”

The cat she had spoken to lay stretched out on her side, gazing at her owner. Lois was aware that the animal had been watching her since she started dressing for her evening out. Her other cat, Raggs, curled in a tight ball asleep, was oblivious to Lois’s actions. That was always the way. It was Ribbons who took the most interest in what her owner did.

As Lois looked at the cat, she grasped her engagement ring with her right hand and slowly slid it along her finger. Ribbons raised her head, watching her intently, her eyes narrowed. The ring slipped over the middle joint of her finger and Ribbons made a grumbling noise deep in her throat. The noise increased in volume as Lois slid the ring to the tip of her finger.

Lois looked down at the ring then at the cat. “You don’t like the idea of me taking it off either, eh?”

A feeling of sadness and uncertainty settled over her as she looked at the ring that was poised to leave her finger. She took a deep breath then exhaled, listening to Ribbons’s grumbling.

No, I’m not ready yet, she thought. Bruce will just have to understand.

Her mood immediately lifted as she slid the engagement ring back onto her finger. Ribbons stopped grumbling and closed one eye in what seemed like a wink before she lay her head back on the bed.”

Pawsome excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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

I’m never one to brag but I do bask in the attention I get. It feels good to have my worth noted. I may have mentioned my littermate, Raggs, is rather lazy and she often sleeps through anything exciting – and misses the snacks available when Lois is chatting with her friend Marge about the latest mystery. But I’m always right there to nudge Lois in the right direction when she needs a bit of help and to share the snacks. It feels good to help her and, like I said, I don’t mind the attention I get when I do something clever either.

I feel the same way, Ribbons.

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

I can be vocal when I need to but it’s a meow. I make my own wants known as well as helping Lois when she misses clues. But I draw the line at talking. If Lois and her friends can’t learn my language, I don’t intend to speak theirs. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for them to understand me sometimes when I have no trouble at all understanding them.

I don’t talk either, not to the humans, but I communicate with the readers through my conversations with the other pets. I wasn’t always like this. In the first 4 books of my series, I was like you. But since my author began writing short eBook stories to supplement our series books which now number 5, I am now communicating this way with my “talk” in italics. I think readers are enjoying it. They like to believe they know more than the human characters, although I’m careful not to reveal too much. It’s great fun. You may want to try it.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Give your author the odd nudge and remind her you’re there. She needs to be sure to include you as often as possible in every book she writes. You’re much more interesting and photogenic than the humans in any story. Just take a look at me and Raggs on the cover of this book and you’ll see what I mean.

That’s great advice. I agree completely, and I might also add for cat characters to ask for their own blog like I did or at least a Facebook page or Instagram account.

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

This second book in the Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series, The Heritage Heist, was just released in December. I’m already nudging my author to get her slaving away at Book 3 in the series. I’ve got lots of ideas for how to feature me in it.

Keep at her. I have to do that with Debbie because, besides our Cobble Cove books, she writes other mysteries that aren’t all cozy, although most have cozy elements in them. The worst part is that she features other cats in those books and stories.

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

Like I’ve said, I let the humans do the talking. You can find my author on her website: http://www.dianneascroft.com and on social media. On Facebook she’s at http://www.facebook.com/DianneAscroftwriter and on Twitter she’s at @DianneAscroft.

Thanks so much for that purrfect interview, Ribbons, and best whiskers to your and your author on your series. I’m including your blog tour and giveaway below.


The Heritage Heist (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
by Dianne Ascroft

About The Heritage Heist


The Heritage Heist (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Independently Published (December 15, 2020)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8581502389
Digital ASIN: B08QMHW6DD

A fall fair, a cornered craftsman, an heirloom heist. When an antique quilt that is a cherished part of Fenwater’s past disappears from the market before her town’s fall fair, it’s up to Lois to resolve the quilt quandary.

Middle-aged widow Lois is enjoying her second season in her new town and her century house, away from the dangers of big city life in Toronto. She can’t wait to experience her first old-fashioned fall fair, complete with hot apple cider. But when the local market is burgled, her enthusiasm for the upcoming festival plummets. During the break-in one of the security guards is badly injured and an antique quilt, on loan from the museum, vanishes. Her friend, Bruce, designed and built the display case and has one of only two keys to secure it. That makes him a prime suspect in the theft. Lois won’t let Bruce’s reputation, nor the trust his customers have in the bespoke furniture maker, be damaged by the allegation. She’s determined to piece the clues together to find the quilt, clear Bruce’s name and save a piece of Fenwater’s history.

And so begins a week of deepening friendships, hot apple cider, calico cats, backseat shenanigans, hazy housemates, and few puzzle pieces to work with, set against the backdrop of a rustic market building amidst stately stone architecture, the crackle of flames in the hearth, a blaze of colour on leafy residential streets and the scintillating scent of cinnamon.

The Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series is set in rural Ontario, Canada during the early 1980s.

A tale for fans of Cindy Bell, Leighann Dobbs, Dianne Harman and Kathi Daley.

About Dianne Ascroft

Dianne Ascroft writes the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, set in rural Canada, and The Yankee Years historical sagas, set in WWII Northern Ireland. She has a passion for Ireland and Canada, past and present. An ex-pat Canadian, Dianne lives on a small farm with her husband and an assortment of strong-willed animals.

Her previous fiction works include An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Author Links

Website: http://www.dianneascroft.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DianneAscroftwriter

Twitter: @DianneAscroft

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/y1k5c3

Purchase Links:

US: Amazon

For other countries: https://books2read.com/u/4XLYBN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

February 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 10 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

February 11 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

February 11 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT

February 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

February 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

February 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

February 15 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – SPOTLIGHT

February 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST

February 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Brooke Blogs -SPOTLIGHT

February 18 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 19 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

February 19 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST

February 20 – Literary Gold – REVIEW

February 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

February 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

February 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 22 – My Journey Back – RECIPE

February 23 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Feature Friday Film: Interview with Amy Shojai, Founder and Past President of the Cat Writer’s Association

The Feature Friday film is a little late this week, but it’s worth the wait. Instead of showing cat videos, I’m featuring an interview with Amy Shojai, who helped found the Cat Writers’ Association and was its president for many years. Amy is an award-winning author of pet books and “thrillers with bite.” She’s also a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant. In the interview, she describes the Cat Writers’ Association, how it began, the roles she played in it, and her hopes for the association’s future.