Feature Friday Film: Birthday Kitties

Meow, there. It’s Sneaky with some films for your favorite day. Even though it’s not my birthday or the birthday of either of my authors’ cats, I’m sure some of you might enjoy these films and probably already have celebrated your own cat’s birthday or the day you adopted him or her. If so, feel free to comment on what you’ve done.

Before I show the films, I want to also share my recent post on my author’s blog that gives some great news about our books. Check it out: http://wp.me/p6m4z7-1ml

Now for our feature presentations.

 

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Sneaky’s Interview with Author Anna Belle Rose’s Alpacas

I thought I’d interviewed the most unusual guests when I chatted with the Topiary Cat, the Winery Cats, and the Alien Cat. But, no. My current guests are indeed my most unusual interview to date. They are not cats. They are Alpacas. You heard right, kitties, Alpaca as in llama. Wow, meow. This should be interesting.

So, Alpacas . . . What are your names and your author’s name?

  

Our names are Marc, Ellsbury and Kahuna. Most of the time Ellsbury goes by Ellsy, and Kuhana goes by Huey. Our author’s name is Anna Belle Rose.

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

We appear in her third book, which currently is titled Keeping Away, but we think she’s going to change the title. We tried to suggest that the novel should be titled Jackson’s New Friends – Marc, Ellsy and Huey, but she didn’t listen to us.

I’ve had that problem with my author, too. Even though I purrsuaded her to put my photo on the cover of our third mystery, she called it Written in Stone instead of Sneaky is Missing. What a bummer.

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

Currently, Anna Belle is in the early writing of book 4, and so far, we are in that book too.

Pawsome. Concatulations, or should I say Con-alpacalations!

What else would you like to say to introduce yourselves to my readers?

We live in our author’s back yard. Marc has lived with her for more than ten years, Ellsy for six, and Huey for about three. We also share our farm with a bunch of chickens and bees, which also appear in books 3 and 4.

How very charming. I wish I lived on a farm, but I live in a small-town library and in my author’s imagination, of claws.

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

We are in lots of scenes in book 3, but usually more in the background. We’re hoping for a larger role in book 4, specifically, we had a memorable escape on New Year’s Eve which involved the entire neighborhood, and we’ve suggested that event be included in book 4.

Very mice.

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

We like that we provide both enjoyment to the characters in the book, and also provide fiber which the main character in book 3, Georgiana, uses to spin to make beautiful weavings and knitted items.  

You guys must make wonderful crafty stuff. Alpacas are known to be very soft. Cat fur can also make nice things.                  

 Do you talk in your books?

We don’t speak in words to our humans in the books, but we hum to communicate. Our hums can be very, very expressive.

I imagine an Alpaca’s hum is somewhat like a cat’s purr.

What advice would you give other animal characters?

Try eating apples, they are really good. Then, if you hum softly at humans, it makes them happy.

Great advice. Purring does the same trick for us cats.

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

Anna Belle has her first novel, That One Small Omission, coming out very soon from Solstice Publishing, the release date will be announced this week (hopefully!).

Her second novel, The Phone Call, is also being published by Solstice, and is in the process of being edited.

Please keep us posted about both of those.. My author writes for Solstice as well, We really like them.

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

Webpage: https://authorkfrancoeur.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorkfrancoeur/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KFAnnaBelleRose

Excellent best whiskers (or whatever Alpacas have on the sides of their face) to you and your author, and thanks for being one of my most original guests.

 

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

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.

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