I am happy to welcome my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, K. J. Pierce. She brings a wonderful blend of wit, wisdom, and a deep love of her animals friends and mentors. And her contemporary romantic comedy, Yours Truly, is hilarious and cleverly written.
(Mr. Dorian Gray)
K. J. Pierce. Growing up in an Army family, you’d think having pets would be a virtual impossibility, given the frequent moves. We averaged a move every two-three years, but aside from a five-year stretch in Germany when I was a pre-teen and teenager, I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have some sort of animal roaming the household (or for the four years we lived in the Louisiana country just outside of Ft. Polk, rabbits and chickens taking up yard space).
I’m a firm believer about many things animal-related, but looking back, I’m amazed at how much they teach us, even when we’re not paying close attention.
My first cat KC (stood for Kitty Cat…I was a brilliant child…Ha!) taught me that if you stay active and keep yourself in shape, you are, at least for a little while, invincible to things that hurt.
Case in point—we lived in the county, and KC was an indoor/outdoor cat. Whenever we’d take him to the vet, they had to try multiple times to administer his shots. KC was so solid from his roaming-tom ways, the needles would bend whenever they got anywhere near his meaty parts.
He also taught me to not make assumptions. See, KC was a fluffy, pure white cat with the most brilliant blue eyes. Every single vet we took him to was shocked he wasn’t deaf – apparently pure white cats with blue eyes are 3-5 more times likely to be deaf than a pure white cat with non-blue eyes.
Sadly, the last thing he taught me was that mistaken identity could kill—he abruptly disappeared one day, and my family and I are fairly certain he was taken for a rabbit and shot for someone’s dinner.
Daisy the beagle, with her multiple litters taught me about birth, but it was Laddie, our Border Collie, who taught me the concept of karma.
Laddie liked to lounge by our roadside mailbox, when he wasn’t herding my brother and me. This, unfortunately, led to his being hit by a horse trailer towed behind a car. The drivers lied about where Laddie had been and how he came to be hit. After Laddie succumbed to his injuries a month or so later, the jerks’ house burnt down. I have vague memories of watching the smoke rise in the distance and thinking they got exactly what they deserved.
It was Shamrock the cat who gave me comfort when I needed it, having been uprooted from Frankfurt, Germany to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a sixteen-year-old. Bam-Bam, Shammie’s second-in-command, taught me how to grieve when she died of chylothorax. H.O. Templeton, the first of my two pet rats, taught me it was okay to freak everyone out. That was the funniest bit of all. 🙂 Rats actually make great pets, though they don’t live very long. And you don’t ever want to startle them when they’re asleep. I have a scar on my thumb knuckle from where he bit me once. That happened the same weekend I found out about the death of a friend, but that’s an entirely different story.
Mr. Dorian Gray is my latest cat boss. He looks remarkably like Shamrock, but has a completely different temperament. Where nothing fazed Shams, Dorian Gray is a fraidy cat. He startles when the toaster pops up, slinks under a bed when it thunders, and is a horrible bed hog. He yells at me for even the most minor infraction: if I step out of the house for any length of time (a one minute trip to the mailbox or a 3 hour writing session at a café, it doesn’t matter); if I’m not in bed on time; if I move while he’s lying on my feet; if he has less than a half a bowl of food; if there’s a closed door.
He’s the cat equivalent of an old man—he’ll tattle when someone’s in his yard, and just the other day, he scared the bejeezus out of a termite inspector who had the audacity to interrupt his closet quiet time. Thankfully, he’s more of a hider than an attack cat.
Unless you’re a lizard. Then you’re pretty well screwed.
I’m not a reptile, though Dorie might tell you I have a lizard brain and I’m as jumpy as he is sometimes. Regardless, Dorian Gray keeps me accountable, and no matter how much I goof up, he still loves me. And knowing you’re deserving of unconditional love, no matter what human hang ups we hold on to, is without parallel.
I wanted the heroine in my first novel, Yours Truly, to have an animal who was on her side, no matter what, and that could do things Izzie would never get away with, which is how she ended up with her demanding Maine Coon, Edgar. Edgar has his own agenda, as most cats do, but despite this, he never steers Izzie wrong. Even she admits Edgar has a knack for knowing who’s good people, though her admission isn’t without self-incrimination. As it goes…
“Life was even worse when I realized my castrated, housebound cat was a better judge of character than I was.”
Ahh…love, sweet love.
No sooner had I saved the draft and logged offline than Ritchie barreled through the front door, slamming it shut. Edgar bolted from his spot next to me where he served as Editor-in-Chief to my lowly Writer, off to parts unknown.
Ritchie, without so much as a “hello,” stalked off to the bedroom. The squeak from his wet shoes took the sting out. Unfortunately, the mild humor only made room for the K.O. Ritchie was a big, old drama queen.
Edgar was an exceptional judge of character, and I should have listened to him. He hated Ritchie. And when I say he hated Ritchie, I mean Edgar’s mission in life revolved around terrorizing him. The first time Ritchie spent time at the house, Edgar cornered him in the bathroom and threatened him for the twenty minutes I was gone on a store run. When Ritchie moved in six months later, he became prey, and Edgar tracked him and drew blood.
The feeling was mutual. If Edgar hated Ritchie, then Ritchie despised Edgar. Their acrimonious relationship launched a never-ending string of complaints I was expected to referee. Edgar left his mark on anything of Ritchie’s—either by way of bodily functions or shredding by claw. Ritchie, in turn, would conveniently forget to feed or give Edgar fresh water.
And so their feud went, back and forth, until I was dizzy.
Edgar eventually feigned boredom and lay low, and the spray bottles of water Ritchie had placed strategically throughout the house gathered dust. Ritchie, assuming Edgar had learned his place, emptied all the bottles and smugly declared himself alpha. Edgar’s retorts showed up in the form of hairballs and intentionally being underfoot. Ritchie swiped kicks, none ever landing thanks to Edgar’s quick escapes. Edgar added back spraying and shredding to his arsenal.
Ritchie was only slightly less passive aggressive.
Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.
Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.
Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.
Website/Social Media Links
Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/themisplacedmisfit
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kjpierce
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yours-truly-k-j-pierce/1126326413
The Wild Rose Press Website (E-Book): http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4886-yours-truly.html
Author Bio: K.J. Pierce is a jack of all trades. Her interests are varied enough to make this a requirement for a happy existence. Her main goal in life is to understand the human condition, which she explores through various mediums, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. She sometimes succumbs to itchy-feet syndrome, a holdover from her Army Brat days. As a result, she can sometimes be found bouncing from locale to locale. She earned a BA in English Literature/Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College and a MLitt in The Gothic Imagination from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She puts them to good use by crafting stories that run the gamut in terms of genres, but which always include an exploration of the societal misfit and the darkness which pervades all facets of life, even in the most comic of circumstances.
K.J. currently lives on the east coast of Central Florida with her cat Dorian Gray, who lives up to his name by striving to be the state’s most prolific lizard serial killer. Yours Truly is her first novel.
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