Feature Friday Film: Cat Cafes

It’s that time of the week when I show cute cat films. Since Cat Cafes are all the current rage, I decided to feature a few of them for my Feature Friday film section. Take a peek inside these pawsome places and let me know if any are familiar. Have you visited any? What has been your experience?

As an added bonus because I’ve only featured cat cafes in my territory, I’ve included a paw link to the top North American cat cafes. Check them out here

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Sneaky Interviews Kim Fleck’s Rescue Cat, Wu Kitty

Hello, there, Kitty. I’m honored to interview another rescue cat. What is your name and your author’s name?

Hey there Sneaky thanks for having me. My name is Wu Kitty and my human/author’s name is Kimberly Fleck aka Brand Fearless.

Mice to meet you both.

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

This is my first book appearance although I plan on having some more in the future. Right now I am a social media star. I am the online mascot for the Wu Healing Center in West Hartford, CT, and Maynard, MA.

Pawsome. I look fur-ward to hearing more about that.

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

No series for me, at least not books. I would say my videos are form of series lol.

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

I am a 100% REAL rescue cat. I just turned 6 on 10/10, female, orange kitty rescued off of Death Row at the Manhattan, NYC, ACC.

Wow Meow! My author once had a female ginger (they are not so common). She was a feral cat so was, in a way, a rescue, as well. We also live in the NY area. Happy belated birthday.

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

Wu Kitty: Rescued From The Row T

They say orange is the new black, right? Well, given the death rate for black dogs and cats in the animal shelter system, this wasn’t a good thing for an orange cat like me. When I got dumped at New York City’s Animal Care and Control I knew things had gone from bad to worse. On the streets of Manhattan I was “Tigress”…until someone grabbed me and brought me in as a stray and now I was a number. That’s what I get for looking for food in all the wrong places. That person probably meant well, but they had no way of knowing what goes on behind these doors. I heard the ACC workers saying things like “mean,” “nasty,” and “feral” when they poked at me. They red tagged me, meaning I was aggressive and very sick and put me on the list that said regular people couldn’t adopt me—a death sentence in this place. I was not exactly the type of cat people would be looking at for their next “Fluffy.”

I had come to terms with the fact that these would be my last days. But I wasn’t going down without a fight. I’m a Tigress! That would make it harder to get out of here, but I didn’t care. I was who I was and wouldn’t change for anyone. I looked around at all the poor animal souls. They were defeated. Old, young, just born, injured, sick—it didn’t matter, we were all on our way out and it didn’t look like the way out would be in a van to a new home; more like into the room of no return. Some of my fellow inmates paced in their cages, anxiously awaiting their fate, almost as if it would be a blessing compared to their current circumstances. Others just cried. Luckily I had learned a thing or two during my year on the streets. An older tomcat named She-Fe had taken me under his wing. He’d discovered me hanging out in an alley, chasing my tail nonstop. He asked, “What are you doing, young one?” I explained how I’d read that happiness was located in my tail, so I was trying to catch it so I could be happy forever. She-Fe told me he’d read that same tale written by a wise philosopher, but that I must’ve missed the end of the story.

My dirty ears perked up and I paused to listen. “Happiness is, in fact, found in your tail,” he said. “But you do not need to chase after it, little one. The story explains that chasing after your tail will only wear you out and get you nowhere. But if you go about your daily feline life, happiness will just follow you wherever you go.” Rescued Volume 2 60 “Wow!” I said. “So happiness is with me always. Amazing!”

From that day forward I knew that She-Fe could teach me many lessons. And I had many to learn. We became the perfect student-teacher duo. He tried to instill in me the importance of balance, of staying grounded and in the moment, especially during challenging times. He taught me a mantra that helped when I found myself agitated or fearful. He’d tell me to close my eyes, go to a feeling place and repeat to myself: I am air, I am light, I am water flow. This worked well after hours spent dodging in and out of NYC traffic or running away from the mean neighborhood bullies. I closed my eyes and pictured She-Fe’s kind smile, his wise mournful eyes, his long whiskers, and his left ear with the tip. I knew I needed to try implementing She-Fe’s teachings now more than ever before. That I needed to remain calm, grounded, and detached from any outcome. But I had this storm raging inside me and I was so angry with these people for imprisoning me and placing labels on me. I knew who I was! I was the Tigress. I was resilient, stealthy, tough and carefree. I struggled between mindfulness and madness as the days wore on. I felt worse physically and spiritually like I was suffocating under the thick feeling of despair hanging in the air. I needed to focus, to remember who I was and believe I had a larger mission to fulfill. I went to the back of my cell, made myself small, and tried to concentrate on feeling rooted even though I could Wu Kitty: Rescued From The Row 61 feel no ground beneath my paws—only the cold metal floor reeking with the smell of death. Sleep came, but no peace.

Purrfect excerpt. Thank you.

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

I love being able to spread “wisdom in the meow”, and to bring hope, healing, and compassion to both animal companions and humans. I am also honored to be able to represent community and street cats everywhere by being chosen to tell my story in this anthology; especially amongst so many talented feline and human authors.   

That is indeed an honor, Wu Kitty.

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

No silence here, except for when I am meditating or practicing qigong. I tell the story from my perspective and share my healing journey. I often chat on my social media platforms as well.

You are Tigress, hear you roar!

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Be yourself, stay balanced and remember your “why”, your purpose; we are all here for a reason and we need to share that light to all around us.

Advice to live by.

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

Not right now but when I do, you my feline friend will be one of the first to know.

Yes, please keep me posted.

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

Oh yes! I work as the online mascot for the Wu Healing Center and I am featured on all their platforms at different times. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wuhealing/

I also have my own Facebook and Instagram page.

https://www.facebook.com/WuRescueKitty/

https://www.instagram.com/wukitty11/

My human is a social media strategist and works at Brand Fearless and has MANY social platforms which you can find all of them listed on her website at:

https://www.brandfearless.com/ including her Amazon author page and Goodreads page.  My human is also a Professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association,
**This is the link to her YouTube trailer for the book.🐱😊  https://youtu.be/1xccOLyZSak

Wonderful links. My author is also a member of the great Cat Writer’s Association. Thank you so much for the interview, Wu Kitty, and best whiskers on you and your human’s future stories.

Sneaky Interviews Elvira from Susan Lynn Solomon’s Emlyn Goode Mysteries

Wow, Meow. Just looking at the guest whose tail wagged in, I see this will be an interesting interview. What is your name and your author’s name, Miss?

Hello, hello, Sneaky. Elvira here. I’m sure you know me—I’m the real heroine of Susan Lynn Solomon’s stories. You just can’t imagine the trouble my human, Emlyn Goode and her friend, Rebecca Nurse, would have gotten into if I hadn’t adopted Emlyn the day she showed up at Rebecca’s shop. I mean, who else has been around to save their bacon… Speaking of bacon… ahhh. Oh, sorry. It’s just that the thought of the food Emlyn cooks up—if that isn’t witchcraft, I don’t know what is.

Food certainly casts a spell for us cats.  What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Susan Lynn Solomon human has told of four times I had to step in to pull Emlyn back before she stepped over the edge of a cliff. Solomon calls each of these stories an Emlyn Goode Mystery… Harrumph! I call them examples of human’s foolishness.

The first story—a novel—was The Magic of Murder. This book tells how I met Emlyn. She’s a writer, you see, and she was working on a short story about a woman who wants to use the “old ways” to keep a man from abusing her—leave it to humans to treat each other that way! Emlyn didn’t know anything about witchcraft, so she went to Rebecca’s shop (Rebecca sells all kinds of things related to the craft and knows how to use them… sort of). I was in the shop waiting for the human I was supposed to be with. Cat god help me, that turned out to be Emlyn! I mean, she didn’t even know she was a direct descendent of Sarah Goode, a witch hanged in Salem! I had to push her to learn about that. And then a Niagara Falls detective—the partner of her boyfriend, Roger Frey—was murdered, and Emlyn thought she knew enough magic to find out who did it. Goodness, she nearly got us both killed!

The second time Emlyn decided to solve a murder is in the short story called Bella Vita. This time, Emlyn found car burning in the lot behind Bella Vita Hair Salon. Could Emlyn keep her nose out of this? Of course not.

Then, in a novel called Dead Again, Emlyn’s mother came back from Florida for a high school reunion, and got accused of a murder that happened 40 years ago. I couldn’t let Emlyn’s mother be arrested—hey, I liked the woman! So, I pushed Emlyn to find out who did do it, and when the killer came after her, who was there to save her? Me, that’s who!

Now there’s a new novelette called The Day the Music Died. I’ll tell you more about this later.

Pawsome. You are quite accomplished.

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

From what I’ve just told you, Sneaky, you can see the Emlyn Goode Mysteries is a series of stories featuring yours truly. But, as Susan Lynn Solomon says, they don’t have to be read in any order to learn about me and the job I do to protect my human—and believe me when I say it isn’t easy. In The Magic of Murder, without any training Emlyn tried a spell that told the killer who she was. Do I need to say what happened after that? A bottle bomb came flying through her window. Well, at least almost getting me killed taught my human how much she needs me.

Then, in Dead Again, her google-eyes at Roger Frey got his estranged wife all jealous… You know, Sneaky, I can’t really blame Emlyn for that—Roger’s kind of a hunk, if you know what I mean. If I were human… Anyhow, when the woman came after Emlyn and Rebecca, it’s a good thing I slowed her down until Roger got there.

Now in The Day the Music Died, another killer—the one who murdered Amanda Stone, a 1980s rock icon who was a friend of Emlyn’s mother—found out Emlyn had what he wanted, and the only reason that guy didn’t shoot Emlyn and Rebecca is because I went after him—and got my leg broken in the process.

Very mice.

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

To be quite honest, I live in Susan Lynn Solomon’s memory. I’m the cat that adopted her when she was a child. Yes, I had white fur, but I wasn’t albino. And pink eyes? Pull-ese! I have no idea where she came up with that. And putting me into the middle of murders? I was a peaceful cat. I liked to sun in the window, eat anything someone put in my bowl, and sleep. Susan, on the other hand, was something of a brat. Into everything. When her mother would see a mess she’d made, she would point at me, as if I had left those fingerprints on the walls and ceilings. Often the mess she’d make was in the kitchen, where she hummed while mixing all kinds of things in a bowl. Come to think of it, she was always a bit of a witch. But, I guess she comes by it naturally—I knew her grandmother.

Interesting. I look a bit like Debbie’s cat because we are both Siamese, but I don’t think we are exactly the same. I am much younger and more handsome IMFO (In my furry opinion).

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

Of course, I’m involved in almost every scene in these stories, and frequently the detectives ask for my help. This scene describes one of those times:

As soon as I heard Roger’s Trailblazer back out of my driveway, I pushed myself up from the chair (my ribs heavily bandaged, I couldn’t rise gracefully). At the kitchen counter, I grabbed my purse. “Come on,” I said to Rebecca.

Leaning on her crutch, she scratched her chin. “Come on where?”

“To Amanda Stone’s house, of course. There has to be something the cops missed.”

“It’s a crime scene. It’s probably roped-off. If we go in, we’ll get arrested.”

I grumbled. “If you’re afraid of something like that, I’ll go alone.”

I took a few slow steps, then stopped. My pink-eyed fur-ball was parked in the doorway. “Get out of my way, animal,” I snarled.

The cat hissed at me. I’m certain she’d said, Who are you calling an animal?

I refused to be deterred. “I said, move over!”

Elvira shook her head.

I stomped my foot. “What are you doing, cat?”

Behind me, Rebecca laugh. When I turned my head to her, she said, “Roger told Elvira to keep you from getting in trouble.”

I tried to lean down and shove my cat aside, then abruptly stood up, holding my ribs.

Still laughing, Rebecca said, “That’s the other reason we can’t go anywhere.”

“What is?”

“You’re not able to drive, and neither am I. And you can’t call a cab, because I saw Roger pocket your wallet.” She took the purse from my hand, and put it back on the counter. “That’s why the guys didn’t worry about leaving us here. So, come into the living room, and pour us some wine.”

“I can’t just waste the evening drinking,” I whined. “I have to do something. I feel as though my life’s been dropped on its head. Did Amanda lie? If she didn’t, after all these years, why’d she show up now? I need to know.”

She took my arm, and thumbed away the tears that formed. “I know. And I want to help you. But this time we’ll have to figure it out here.” She smiled at me. “Armchair detectives, like the kind you always read about. Do that, and maybe we won’t almost get killed again.”

I sniffed. “Okay, you win. I’ll get the wine. You get Sarah’s book from my desk. See if she wrote something that might get my brain working.”

I might have been wrong, but I thought I heard my cat sigh with relief.

Two glasses of a good chardonnay I’d purchased last summer during a tasting at Arrowhead Spring Vineyard did little to calm the quivering in my chest. Each sip recalled the wine we’d had in Amanda Stone’s living room that afternoon. Pressed in a corner of my sofa with Elvira snuggled tight at my side, I stared into the darkness on the other side of the French door.

Fortunately, Rebecca was able to focus. In the overstuffed chair next to my bookcases, she carefully turned the brittle pages of Sarah Goode’s Book of Shadows.

“Here’s something that could make you feel a little better.” She looked up from the old calf-bound book. “Sandalwood chips, red carnation petals, and rosemary leaves, crushed in a green glass jar that’s then filled with olive oil. Sarah wrote that she used this to ease the anxiety of a farmer named Henry Clark during an extended dry period.”

Elvira sat up, and nodded—at least, it looked like she did.

I sighed. “Did it work?”

Rebecca glanced down, turned the page, then turned back to the page she’d been reading. “It doesn’t say. Apparently Sarah got hanged a few days after she wrote this entry.”

“Great,” I said, while refilling my glass. “Rub that tincture all over my body, and whoever killed Amanda will smell me as soon as he turns onto River Road. Then, he’ll know exactly what house to break into next, and come here and hang me.”

Rebecca closed the book. With her head still down, she raised her eyes. “I’m trying to help.”

I closed my eyes and took a breath. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“Look, Emlyn, Amanda Stone probably lied when she claimed to be your mother. I mean, what proof did she have?”

“I don’t know…” I groaned. “And now that she’s dead I’ll never know.”

Wow! That was the cat’s meow. I am clapping my paws together.

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

There’s a lot I like. I get fed—Emlyn’s a good cook—for a human. In a new book I got to eat shrimp Alfredo… Yummm. I think her cooking is why Roger Frey loves her.  Also, I have the run of Emlyn’s house, and everyone knows that the overstuffed wingback chair next to her bookcases is my place. No one is allowed to sit there unless I let them.

Most of all, I like that when the humans are going bonkers, it’s me that gets them back in control. And, when they get in the kind of trouble that could get them killed, I’m there to protect them. Why shouldn’t that be my role? I always know what’s going on before the humans do. That kind of magic is in my genetic makeup because my cat ancestors go back as far as Emlyn’s and Rebecca’s. My ancestor was there the day Sarah Goode got hanged. The people in Salem called her a witch just because she knew about plants and herbs, used then to help her neighbors. Because my ancestor couldn’t stop the craziness in 1692 is why Emlyn’s the human I waited for in Rebecca Nurse’s shop—the human I’m supposed to be with. My job is to keep what happened to old Sarah from happening to Emlyn.

You have a pawsome genealogy and a great instinct for saving your human characters.

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

I don’t talk, at least not the way humans do. I meeeowww, and growl, and hiss, and snort, and throw looks. Still, Emlyn and Rebecca understand exactly what I’m saying… most of the time. Also, Roger is beginning to understand me. But, Emlyn sometimes tells people I’ve meowed one thing when I’ve very clearly told her something completely different. She’s only a human, you see, and lacks the intelligence and sophistication we cats have, so I can forgive her.

I agree. Human cat characters are just as limited in reading cat characters as real humans are deciphering real cat sounds.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Let me see. Oh, I think the most important thing is that they have to be kind to their humans. After all, humans are such simple souls, and they need their cats to guide them. Also, humans need a lot of affection. Purring and rubbing against them is soothing—and it gets us fed and gives us time to do more important things. Finally, cats need to take good care of our human pets, keep them properly groomed. You just can’t believe what a mess humans can make of themselves.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). So true.

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

Actually, my latest book—a novelette, really—came out just a few weeks ago. It’s called, The Day the Music Died. I mentioned it earlier. This is what I told Susan Lynn Solomon happened:

Amanda Stone, a rock and roll icon, vanished at the peak of her career in 1986. She surfaces in her hometown of Niagara Falls soon after the death of Emlyn Goode’s mother. Stone asks to see Emlyn, she says, to share memories of her high school friend, Anne Goode. What Stone actually tells her bounces Emlyn’s life on its head. When later that day Stone is murdered, a shaken Emlyn must use her ancient relative’s craft to solve the crime by disinterring the secret of what drove Stone from the spotlight thirty years before. If Emlyn fails, she’ll never know if what Stone told her is true.

Humans can find this story, on a thing called Amazon, and see the burden I carry protecting Emlyn Goode from herself:

https://www.amazon.com/Day-Music-Died-Emlyn-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0747V1DPT

And, even as we speak, Sneaky, I’m dictating a new novel to Susan Lynn Solomon—this one is about the trouble I had to pull my human out of when someone started murdering members of her writers’ group.

That sounds pawsome. Debbie is planning to start a new Cobble Cove mystery soon, and I’m sending her some ideas for it. She doesn’t always heed my advice, but I did purr-suade her to add my photo to the cover of our latest book, Written in Stone. and now I caught a glimpse of her notes and see she’s holding a Name that Kitten contest for a new kitten that she plans to add to Cobble Cove. I can’t wait.especially since the kitten will be a girl cat.

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

My author is on social media. She can be found at these places:

http://www.susanlynnsolomon.com

http://www.facebook.com/susanlynnsolomon

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-solomon-8183b129

Great! Thanks for the interview, Elvira, and best whiskers to you and your author on your future books and stories.

 

Sneaky’s Interview of Carlos, Star of A.B. Funkhauser’s New Release, SHELL GAME

Good day, dark-haired fellow. What is your name and your author’s name?

I have many names, but for the purpose of this exercise I’ll answer to ‘Carlos.’ A.B. Funkhauser, the author who happened upon my tale, took it upon herself to exaggerate certain facts. Asserting that I am ‘Wonderful’ is a case in point. Though I found this amusing, it is also quite ludicrous.

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

I can only admit to one—Funkhauser’s current SHELL GAME—which hints at other worldly qualities that I won’t deny. The writer calls it a “cat dramedy with death and laughs.” Her publisher calls it “dark humor.” I see it more as biographical, though the humans featured are quite insane, and therefore strain credulity. Like her other books, SHELL GAME is a “gonzo” piece which means that the humans are exaggerated to get specific points across. Funky (my name for her) believes that she must make difficult things humorous in order for humans to access the themes and subtexts without the emotional baggage and cultural markers humans seem to get so caught up on.

I love your nickname for your author. I must think of one for Debbie. Your book certainly sounds unique.

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

Funkhauser calls SHELL GAME a “black cat novel,” which tells me that she might have more planned. A black cat named “Mausie” appears in her as yet released POOR UNDERTAKER, but that story begins in 1937. If you believe that Mausie is me, then I’ll allow you to think it.

Cat characters have a way of transcending time and place and can easily change names. I, however, am the only main cat character in Debbie’s Cobble Cove mysteries, even though she’s featured a variety of other felines in her short stories and novella.

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

The cat I am based on and the cat that I am are one and the same. Like Carlos, I have many names: Puma, Panther, Klara (?), and Carlos are but a few. But my birth name, to use a Homo sap label, is Kobe, so named for a basketball star, I believe. Like the character in the story, I began my life in one home and then moved on to another and another. This is quite natural for me, as the book will show. I credit Funky with taking the real human issue of indoor v. outdoor cats by the horns. Not all of us were meant for confinement. I love my humans very much, but I need to be free too. Human beings, in their desire to protect me from what I am, have tried to hobble me, confine me, and deny my true nature. Luckily for me, I found not one but two writers—Bri Volinz, wrote a lovely Foreward to SHELL GAME detailing some of the aforementioned views, and Funkhauser. Both understand what a cat is and what humans could be if they would only follow our lead.

It’s great to have progressive human writers speaking for you (and catkind) in their works.

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

SHELL GAME looks at a community coping with unwanted change. The mechanisms used range from silly to life-threatening. In this scene, I escape captivity along with my confrères:

In the melee, Carlos made out other shapes—the American Shorthair, Maine Coon, Scottish Rag Doll, Sphinx, and Peterbald, along with a Common, like himself, though snipped at the tail to look like a Manx—all employed in the service of the kooky humans.

“Gimme a Himalayan,” a throaty female with a smoker’s rasp gasped, as the sweet Munchkin dragged across her back gave out, exhausted from its efforts.

“Blood letting is essential to our beliefs,” a hooded freak with a blue YoYo explained to a quivering couple. Clearly “new,” Carlos could not discern if they were excited or fearful.

“We don’t force religious beliefs on anyone, per se,” YoYo continued, as he rocked the cradle with the spinning orb, “but it helps if you have a healthy appreciation for the beauty that is cat.”

***

When muffled voices, signifying meal-time, bled under the door, Carlos made ready. He had no compunction about dying from exposure after a life outdoors. Heck, he’d even go gracefully under the wheels of a careless driver if given a choice. What he would not do was succumb to this perverse charade.

He was tired of being a loofa.

Maybe it was the darkness of the windowless hole he’d been placed in that gave him the advantage, or maybe it was human arrogance that presupposed the feline’s reluctance to fight back. But fight back he did. With a snap of his powerful hind legs, he vaulted at the hooded figure that removed the top of his cage, catching the fool on his left eye with claws grown too long in captivity.

The idiot responded with a prolonged howl that did not bring friends to assist, but a large ladder and a pair of two by fours propped against the wall instead. Freeing themselves from their pitiless moorings, the second-grade planks gave way, bringing the ladder along with it, each falling with enough force to set the cages on edge like dominoes in a free fall.

If his compatriots could have talked, they would have sung his praises. If they could have voted, they would have elected him to office. They were free!

Carlos the Wonder Cat had done a great thing. He was just getting started.

Pawsome writing on your author’s part and acting on yours.

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

It is gratifying to me that Funky settled on cats as opposed to dogs. Canines are valued for their fealty and their slavish desire to be taken care of. Whereas felines are prized for their calm, self-sufficiency. I don’t know if she is consciously aware of this, but in introducing cats like me into her novels, Funky has set up a perfect base of comparison between us and the humans: the stolid self-sufficiency of the cat versus the pitiless second guessing of the unquenchable human being. Some big cats live in prides, while others like me trip between family settings and the life of a solitary. If humans are to learn anything from me, it is that there is nothing shameful in being alone; nothing to apologize for in taking care of oneself. At the same time, care must be taken to look out for those who can’t figure it out for themselves. These ones, whatever their species, need a little push.

Well said, Carlos. I totally agree.

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

Like you, I meow and purr at the humans. They expect that. Amongst ourselves, we converse either ultra-sonically or through a series of chirps, chirrups, and hisses. Humans, as we all know, love to infer. A glance, a nuzzle, a stretch can mean the world to them, and I don’t mind letting them think their thoughts as long as they respect the laws of nature and don’t get too carried away with the laws of man.

Purr-cisely.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Don’t act like a dog. Not ever.

Purrfect advice. I let my dog co-star Fido think his scenes are special when we all know it’s my feline acting is superior to any canine’s.

Do you have any new books coming out?

SHELL GAME will release as soon as my dear perfectionist Funky gives the book back to her publisher. She abhors spelling errors—they keep her awake at night—and so is committed to delivering the cleanest manuscript she can.

Best whiskers to you and your author on your upcoming release.

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

Social media is a human invention so you can only find me through Funky’s links and even then, I might not be able to answer, especially if I’m traveling. Please send all inquiries through her email: a.b.funkhauser@rogers.com or Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser. You can also follower her on Facebook (that makes her so happy): https://www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound/.

If you do write, Funky will always answer you. Letters make her happy too. Oh, and I mustn’t forget her Amazon author page. This is where all her books are listed: https://www.amazon.com/A.-B.-Funkhauser/e/B00WMRK4Q4/.

Thank you, Carlos. It’s been a pleasure having you here, and I know that the cat lovers out there who read this blog will be dying to get their paws on you and Funky’s book as soon as it hits the presses.

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.

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.