Category Archives: Furbaby Friday

Furbaby Friday with Author Mary Gillgannon!


Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Mary Gillgannon, here to share her wonderful writing cats and upcoming historical romance, Lady of Steel.

A CAT ON THE LAP…OR AT LEAST NEARBY

Nikki was my first writing cat. She sat on my lap as I wrote and edited nearly ten books. Most of the time she was content, happy to be perched on her “warm-blooded furniture”. But every once in a while something would upset her and she’d suddenly hiss and leap off for no reason.

I’ve always said that Nikki has PTSD. My sister-in-law found her in her backyard when Nikki was tiny, and one of the cutest kittens I’ve ever seen. (insert kitten picture). Even though my two children nicknamed her “gray bear”, patiently fed her kitten formula and moistened food, slept with her and took her with them everywhere they could, she never quite recovered from the terror of being abandoned by her mother, left on the cold, wet grass in the dark.

Despite her trauma, she has made it eighteen and a half years. She’s thin and feeble now, and cataracts have clouded her enigmatic green eyes. But like many great beauties, she retains much of her elegant allure.

Sadly, Nikki is no longer my writing cat. Seven years ago I moved my desk from a corner of the family room to a beautiful office in our newly remodeled upstairs. Nikki was never able to adapt to the transition, and although she sits on my lap when I watch TV or read, she no longer keeps me company while I write.

My writing cat these days is Benjamin. He doesn’t sit on my lap or even hang out with me much of the time. But he comes and visits me, slipping in the open window of my office in summer (which serves as the upstairs pet door in good weather). He chirps and mews, coaxing me to pet him, to go downstairs and get him treats or just coo nonsense back at him as he sprawls on my very messy desk.

In the course of my writing career, we’ve had six other cats besides Nikki and Benjamin, as well as two dogs. Out of all of them, Benjamin has been the only animal who sees me as his very favorite human and loves me more than anyone in the world. Most of the time he’d rather have me pet and talk to him than give him treats. He comes when I call his name and gazes at me with kingly adoration. When I travel on solo trips, he misses me almost much as my husband does.

Along with his sweet nature, Benjamin has exceptional dignity and gravitas, even for a cat, something my sister sought to capture when she painted this picture of him. (insert painting of Benjamin).

Animals have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve been obsessed with cats ever since I can remember. When I was eight I harassed my father, who thought he hated cats, into getting me my first kitten. Since then I’ve shared my life with over a dozen animals. Not all my pets have loved me the way Benjamin does, but they have enriched my life, calmed and comforted me, made me laugh (and cry when they died) and helped spark my creativity in many ways.

Beth: I loved hearing about your furbabies, Mary. Beautiful kitties.

Mary: I often include animals in my books. My upcoming release, Lady of Steel, features two tomcats, one of whom actually plays a part in the story. Lady of Steel will be released in early 2018, and although I don’t have a cover yet, I chose this classic medieval image to illustrate the mood of the book.

I see Lady of Steel as a feminist romance. Nicola of Valmar is a strong, independent woman living in the medieval era, a time when women had little power and no rights. Her challenge is not only to overcome the oppression and limitations of her world, but to learn to trust, and accept that a man can be a partner and a helpmate, instead of an adversary. Fawkes de Cressy, famed knight and acclaimed Crusader, is the perfect hero for her. For beneath his exterior of ruthless ambition and forbidding dominance, he remains the idealistic young squire who took her maidenhead with exquisite tenderness.

Excerpt:

Fawkes’s eyes flared with violent emotion. “You forget. I knew Mortimer. He tried more than once to kill me. I have no sympathy for him. None at all.”

Nicola let out her breath. Perhaps now they could begin again, and he would stop playing this game of cat and mouse with her. She nodded. “I’m very grateful you understand. I’d worried you might have heard tales of me, stories meant to portray me as wicked and manipulative.”

He watched her intently. “Aye, I have heard tales. ’Tis good you saw fit to reassure me. Perhaps now, perhaps we can…”

He let his words trail off and the atmosphere between them shifted. His dark eyes no longer seemed stern and implacable, but smoldered with frank sexual desire. The tension between them altered, erupting with blazing arousal. Fire started in her loins and spread outward, making her skin ache for his touch. She tilted her head, awaiting his kiss.

He hesitated, as if even now he feared to take this final step and give into what his body obviously desired. Observing his forbearance, she thought for the dozenth time of how different he was from Mortimer. Mortimer had been a slave to his emotions. This man sought control at all times.

But at last he brought his lips to hers. The blaze took them both.

Beth: I am a fan of this time period and your story sounds fabulous.

Mary Gillgannon is the author of sixteen novels, primarily romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel.

Author Links:

Website:  http://marygillgannon.com

Blog: http://marygillgannon.blogspot.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MaryGillgannonAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MaryGillgannon

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Kathryn Knight!


I’m glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, the talented Kathryn Knight, to share her beloved furbabies and paranormal romance, Haunted Souls.

Kathryn: I come from a long line of animal lovers, and growing up, we never had less than three pets at a time.  Generally, in my adult home, that’s how many we still have, although we’ve occasionally had four.  I’m passionate about rescuing shelter animals, so I try to balance my desire to “save them all” versus the reality of the size of our house, but right now we have two cats and one dog, and everyone gets along well.

Beth: Wonderful pic. They do look happy together.
(Otis and Jinx)

Otis came to us via PetFinder, a wonderful website that connects people looking to adopt a pet with animals available either in their area or even farther away, if transportation is available.  When we found Otis, I was looking for a younger dog, since we already had an older dog at home.  With two teenage boys and a husband who loves to jog long distances, we thought we would be a good fit for a more active dog that needed plenty of exercise.  Otis at the time was a 6-week-old puppy, likely a Border collie mix, who was found by the side of a highway in Alabama, along with his brother and mother.  A kind person brought them to a vet before they could get hit by a car, and from there, they made their way to foster care and were put up for adoption.  Once our application was approved, Otis (and his brother, Milo) were transported to New England via an amazing tag team of volunteers who take turns driving animals from states with overpopulated shelters to states with room to spare or new families already waiting.

(Pic of Otis and his handiwork)

As a puppy, Otis would nap under the stool I sit on at the kitchen island that serves as my writing desk.  Knowing my tendency to lose myself in my fictional world, I would make sure a leash connected him to the stool’s leg so I would know he wasn’t sneaking off and getting into trouble.  Apparently he’s smarter than I am, because he quietly chewed though three leashes to sneak off without me knowing.  For the most part, socks, gloves, and papers were the only losses, but those were the puppy days of mischief and teething.  Now, Otis is a well-mannered and beloved part of our household.

(The cats and Otis on the couch)

Our cats came to us via a local shelter.  About a year after Otis joined us, our beloved 17-year-old cat passed away, 4 years after his brother.  I was devastated.  But I knew it was an opportunity to provide a forever home to some cats in need.  I like to adopt cats who are already in bonded pairs, as they can sometimes be more difficult to place.  And I particularly love black cats, which might be related to my affinity for all things considered spooky and mysterious.  After all, I do write stories set in haunted houses.

Jinx and Max were another set of brothers, littermates who shelter volunteers hoped could be adopted together.  They keep each other entertained with their sneak attacks and their wrestling matches, and one thing they can agree on is that they’re always hungry.  They know how to bring that to my attention, too—they take over my writing space if they feel I’m not getting the message.

(Pic of Cats at computer)

Because I love pets so much, I tend to have characters that also have animals.  The heroine of Haunted Souls is actually a vet tech, and she and her son have a rescued tabby cat named Terrance.  And when a ghost follows them home from a haunted tour of an old jail, Terrance is immediately aware that an otherworldly presence is in the house…

Haunted Souls blurb:

Four years ago, Emily Shea and Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds agreed to part with no strings attached. Sparks flew during their brief affair, but fate intervened, sending Brett overseas. When an unexpected pregnancy derailed Emily’s own plans, her attempts to locate Brett were soon overwhelmed by the challenges of single motherhood. Now, Brett has returned home, and Emily is forced to share her secret.

Despite feeling betrayed, Brett is determined to forge a relationship with their son, Tyler. As the former lovers battle both their inner demons and their mutual desire, another presence enters their lives—Tyler’s imaginary friend. Soon, however, the chilling evidence points to a different conclusion: a ghost has formed a dangerous connection with their son. Emily’s attempts to help both a lost soul and a friend in need spiral toward a deadly confrontation, and Brett must race to save Emily before he loses her again—forever.

Haunted Souls Amazon Link: http://a.co/bXF9S4j

Other retail links: http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/p/haunted-souls.html

~ A Top 3 Read of 2016 at Read Free.ly ~

Author bio and links:

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Kindle bestsellers and RomCon Reader Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets. Please visit her at http://www.kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KathrynKnightbooks/

Blog:  http://kathrynknightbooks.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477115.Kathryn_Knight

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Knight/e/B00919ENJA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/k_knightbooks

Thanks for stopping by!~Please leave Kathryn a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Linda Nightingale


I’m very happy to have my good friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Nightingale, here to share her new best friend, Courage, and dark fantasy romance, Gylded Wings.

Courage– a Coton de Tulear

Linda: My Trip to Alabama to Get Courage

Is Alabama the only state in the union that has courage, you ask? Well, Courage started out in Tennessee and moved to Alabama.

Courage (Registered name: My Darling Dog’s Courage) is my 4-year-old Coton de Tulear and when people ask what a Coton is, I say, ‘a little white dog’.  He is the best possible canine friend I could have found.  He is very conscientious when it comes to potty breaks and in the two-and-a-half months I’ve had him hasn’t gone in the house once.  This was a very important requirement for me. He’s also loving, sweet, playful and fairly obedient though he is a consummate beggar.

Our story starts in about February. I was looking for a Coton to adopt (they are quite expensive to buy), but every one I found got away before I found and responded to the ad. Casting my net wider and wider, I finally found Courage in Mobile (about a 7-8 hour drive from Houston).  I made plans to meet the woman halfway, but then a cautious friend convinced me that I was at risk, that it was probably a scam.  Long story short, I cancelled and continued my search. To no avail.

Over the course of the next few months, I kept in sporadic contact with the woman who owned Courage, always surprised that he hadn’t been snapped up.  In May, I had plans to visit my son in Yorkshire for a month, so I asked Amber to keep him until I returned. She agreed to keep him for me and didn’t ask for any compensation though I volunteered.

While I was in England, I received a frantic message that she needed to get rid of him and that someone had offered her about half again what I’d agreed for a rehoming fee.  There was very little I could do from 3,000 miles away, and I told her to take the other person’s offer.  I knew that I’d resume my search when I got home but all along I’d just had a ‘feeling’ that Courage was the dog for me.

A few days before I was due to return, she again emailed me and said she still had him.  I agreed to pick him up on the first weekend in June, which meant that I scarcely had time to unpack before I threw a few things in a case and zoomed off to Mobile.  I was very lucky that a friend had agreed to go with me because it rained incessantly and I don’t see terribly well under those conditions.

We stopped by a casino in Louisiana on our way, stayed overnight and the next morning Amber brought Courage. He was just the cutest thing I’d ever seen with his tail flung over his back and his soft eyes ‘smiling’.  I loved him at once.

At about 11 AM, we loaded up with Courage in my lap and Kelly driving and aimed the Miata’s nose toward Houston. Except for having to sit for almost an hour to wait while traffic was cleared in an accident on I-10, we made semi-good time and arrived home around 7.

Courage settled in quickly and now owns the house. My neighbors love him, but he does have one serious fault.  He can be very aggressive when meeting new people.  He did bite one of my neighbors (she doesn’t love him I dare say).  We need to enroll in some quality dog training for this personality faux pas.

A Coton de Tulear is the Royal Dog of Madagascar and once upon a time could only be owned by the nobility.  The breed’s name derives from the fact that their coat is soft as cotton and silky.  For show dogs, the coat is worn long.  I’m letting Courage’s coat grow but I doubt I’ll ever show him.  I spent enough time in show rings with my Andalusian horses years ago.

“Courage is a love affair with the unknown.” Osho, and so it was for me and my little white dog, but I always felt that this one was just right.

Beth: Wonderful dog, Linda.

My latest book will be released by The Wild Rose Press on 9/13, but is available now for preorder. http://a.co/aELockF

The blurb for my dark fantasy about the many faces of love Glyded Wings:

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

Excerpt:

The lady flipped her hood back, and I stopped breathing.  In her olive wool cape, she looked like a wood nymph, at once young and innocent but wise.  Dark hair curled around an oval face.  Without a trace of fear, big, beautiful eyes held my gaze.  She didn’t belong to this dim, cruel world, and I ached merely to touch her.

Her lips parted on a soft exhalation. “You’re an ang—Malak.”

If only I could return her smile, but Ragnor would slice me in half.   I was forbidden to glance at her, but couldn’t take my eyes off a vision so perfect I might have conjured her, even to the scent of the forest and rain.  A memory of Miriam assaulted me, but I was helpless to control my feelings.  Never had a woman affected me as this one did.  I felt awkward, terribly aware of my worn clothes and the wings arched behind me, yet giddy and aroused.

My eyes offered the smile my lips were forbidden.  “Yes, My Lady.”

She tilted her head to look up at me.  Her gaze drifted over my wings, my face, flicked lower.  “In the North, we have heard of the Malak singers.  What’s your name?”

I was too shocked to answer.  Like an addle-pated fool, I gaped at her, and she laughed.

“Stand aside, Gyldan.”  The giant slammed his paw against my shoulder, throwing the weight of my wings to the left, and I lost my balance.

The lady’s hand shot out to steady me.  Ragnor wedged his body between us.  I stumbled into the wall.  As I righted myself, I glimpsed an angry expression on Lady Hamlin’s face.

She stepped past Ragnor and touched my arm.  “Are you all right?”

Excitement trembled over my entire body.  “Yes, My Lady.”

“You’ll see the freaks perform tonight.”  Ragnor shot me a dark frown, gesturing for her to follow.  “Come, Lady Hamlin, I’ll guide you to your chambers.”

“Gyldan.”  The sprite grinned as she smoothed a dark curl back from her face.  “Do you know the way?”

“No, My Lady.”  I was forced to lie to save my hide.  “I have never been in this part of the castle before.”

“Off with you then.”  A graceful hand shooed me along.  “Be about your business, and I shall go about mine.”

She had brushed me off like an insect on her sleeve.   What had I expected?  That she would feel the same overwhelming attraction I felt?~

Beth: Wonderful excerpt!

Purchase Gylded Wings in Kindle athttps://www.amazon.com/Gylded-Wings-Golden-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B074DPYCBY

Linda’s Links:

Out of the Ordinary..Into Extraordinary Realms

http://www.lindanightingale.com

http://www.lindanightingale.wordpress.com

Follow Linda ‘s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Thanks for stopping by!

A Coton de Tulear after grooming

Furbaby Friday with Author Taylor Anne


I am happy to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author Taylor Anne to share about her wonderful cat, Oscar, and romantic suspense, Smoke and Mirrors.

Thank you Beth Trissel for having me today, and a huge thanks for featuring furbabies on your blog. Our babies bring so much laughter and joy to our lives, and they tend to get us through those rough moments like no human can.

In 2012 when a friend’s family was rebuilding their home after a tornado ripped it apart, they discovered a litter of kittens out by the dumpster. No mother cat, just these scraggly little beings struggling to even open their eyes. They offered me and my hubby one of those little babies, and we could not say no. We had recently lost a kitten, Chewy, to some unfriendly animal in our back yard – not sure if it was a coon, dog, or the ominous neighbor’s cat, Big Yellow – (damn cat!). A little unsure of taking on another pet, we changed our vision and decided this one would stay in the house at all times. (We later learned that Oscar likes to roam and is restless inside all day.)

Well, five years later, Oscar rules our household. We try to enforce a curfew, but there are many times one of us gets up thirty minutes after going to bed to let him inside. He does not stay outside all night. Yes, he’s a bit spoiled.

I love a good storm. Rain, thunder, and lightning. It’s the best time to cozy up with a good book, or let my imagination run free and create my own stories. Oscar does not see things the same way. He is terrified of thunder. I can guarantee when the first crack of thunder roars, Oscar is in our closet curled up in a ball. I’ve tried snuggling with him, but he prefers to be alone at those moments. Guess he feels safe in the closet. So if the weather ever get horrendous, guess where I will be?

Oscar is my writing buddy. He lies beside me (with his paws or head on the computer) and snoozes while I turn out romance stories. A stroke across his back and he purrs contentedly. And when he feels energetic, he roams across my desk reorganizing my notebooks, pens, and highlighters. Writing snack time for me usually consists of cheese and wine. You guessed it, Oscar is a big fan of both. I have to limit his wine though. Lol.

More than that, he’s my snuggle buddy. Always right next to me during the day and night. When the words don’t flow from my head to the paper, I take five minutes to chill with Oscar and then get back at it. He helped me through both Up in Smoke books. Smoke and Mirrors is available now and Smoke and Embers will be available later. We (Oscar and I) are working on edits right now. So, back to work for us.

Please share comments about your furbabies. Pictures too!

Beth: I love hearing about Oscar. He’s quite a character, the kind of cat I love.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS  (Up in smoke series)

Book Blurb:

Will Graeme stand by his word to protect Abby, or does he have a sinister agenda of his own?

Blurb: Drug deal and Murder: In her fight for justice, Abby Monroe is forced to flee to protect herself and her family, seeking out the only man she’s ever fully trusted. Seeing him again threatens not only her safety, but her heart as well.

Injuries and Betrayal: After a close call with death, Graeme Tucker made some changes. No women, no danger. Just him and his beach bar. Until Abby shows up asking for his help and twisting his heart.

Lies and Deception: As Graeme and Abby struggle to stop a gang of ruthless criminals, old flames are rekindled. But all is not as it seems. Will Graeme stand by his word to protect Abby, or does he have a sinister agenda of his own?~

Get Smoke and Mirrors in Kindle athttps://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Mirrors-Up-Taylor-Anne-ebook/dp/B01E2UPMYC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

About the Author

I am a romance author, leaning more to the suspense side. I enjoy the challenge of getting my characters stories on paper. Sometimes they want to argue – and they usually win. It doesn’t matter who wins that battle as long as they help me write the best story for you! I bring you romance and life that is comfy, cozy, and always fun!

I live in Southwest Louisiana with my husband. Our combined family consists of two daughters and two sons – and growing with in-laws and grandbabies. I love spending time with family and friends, relaxing on the beach, cuddling with my cat (Oscar), sipping on a glass of wine, and bringing happiness and smiles to others.

Other books by Taylor Anne:  HEAT FLASH, BRIDE INTERRUPTED, and A CHRISTMAS FOR SANTA.

Follow Taylor’s Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Anne/e/B00CHBBTFA/

Visit her Website Taylor’s Tidbits:

Follow Taylor Anne on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/TaylorAnneAuthor/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/tayloranne1234

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7056662.Taylor_Anne

Thanks for stopping by.

Furbaby Comfort in Times of Grief


When the going gets tough.

(Cooper licking my elbow as I type)

Furbabies don’t understand when someone dies. They carry on as usual, but sense something’s wrong. Maybe with cats, it’s because our purr is off, or our auras are. With dogs, it’s our demeanor. They know, without being told a thing. No explanation required. I need that kind of empathy. My younger brother, Chad, died suddenly this past weekend. He’s had immense challenges for years after a tragic skiing accident as a freshman in college left him with a severe head injury. There were close calls since then, accidental overdoses of his seizure med, and choking incidences. But we always got him back, a little worse for wear, but still with us. This time, we didn’t get him back. He’s with God now, freed from his earthly bonds, but my, oh my, how we miss him. Chad was one of the good ones. His challenges didn’t diminish his inner light. It burned brighter.(Image of my sister, Catherine, Beth, brother John, and Chad in glasses)

Chad insisted on living his life as fully as he could after the accident and was an inspiration to many. His warmth and gentle spirit touched all who knew him, as did his love of nature. He spent his last hours (weeks, months) laying stone around the beautiful water garden at his and my parent’s home, a project that brought him much joy. Now, the water garden is his memorial. Chad’s Pond. Stones with inscriptions from friends and family will be laid beside this lovely site. I will help mom plant bulbs and perennials around it–a memorial garden. We found a plant order form he had already filled out, likely with this in mind.

I have admired that water garden often this week. Each time I return home from these bittersweet visits, I’m greeted by an exuberant puppy, ecstatic to see me. After circling the room/house/yard like he’s been shot out of guns,  Cooper calms down and sits not only with me, but on me. This is new. Normally, Kitty Cream sits by my head. Last evening, when I was very sad, he sat on my middle and snuggled close. He’s nearly three and has never done this before. Kitty Peaches hugs me. Jilly sits by my side. Kitty Pavel isn’t a Cooper fan, so he perches overhead on the couch. I am not alone. Furbabies see to that. Where I am, they are.

(Cooper and Jilly)

‘We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.’~George Elliot

(Peaches and Cream as kittens)

‘What greater gift than the love of a cat?’ ~Charles Dickens

Furbaby Friday with Author K. J. Pierce


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.

(KC)

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.

(Laddie with K J Pierce and her brother)

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.

(Bam-Bam left and Shamrock on the right)

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.

Excerpt:

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.

Blurb:

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

Website/Blog: www.misplacedmisfit.com

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/themisplacedmisfit

Twitter: @MisfitKJPierce

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kjpierce

 Purchase Links

Amazon Book: https://www.amazon.com/Yours-Truly-K-J-Pierce/dp/1509212825

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.

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave K .J a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Tena Stetler


I am glad to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press Author, Tena Stetler, to share her special friends and paranormal romance, A Warlock’s Secret. I’ve enjoyed getting to know, Tena. She’s smart and fun, and we share a deep love of animals.

(Tena’s gorgeous Chow Chow, Mystic Reign)

Tena: Furred, feathered and scaled creatures enrich our world. Mystic Reign, named after one of the characters in my books, is our Chow Chow dog and was a spitfire as a pup.  Chows have a stubborn streak a mile wide, good thing my stubborn streak is wider than hers.  LOL  I’ll admit to a battle of wills on occasion, but we always come to a fair compromise. She turned five years old, August 6th. Over the years we’ve watched that out of control pup grow into a sweet, confident, and obedient canine companion we are proud to take anywhere.

We take walks together every morning and extra treks when I need inspiration and my muse is being difficult.  If it has rained or snowed, the world is entirely different under Mystic’s nose and she has to sniff everything along the way. During the day she is guardian of the front door, letting me know when someone ventures too close. Several times a day she comes into my office, after completing a circuit through the house to make sure everything is as it should be. Then she sits down at my feet waiting for an ear scratch, kind words and occasionally a treat for a job well done. Yep, I have a bowl full of treats on my desk.

Some days I am so involved in my writing that I lose track of time. Taco, our Eclectus parrot makes sure to let me know when it’s lunch time by her insistent calling out “Hey guys… Is it good?” Yes, Taco can tell time. She has a large vocabulary and uses it appropriately.  At four o’clock every day, her sweet voice can be heard all over the house as she  insists it’s time to shut down the computer, let her out to visit, and for us to enjoy a little time in the sunroom before starting supper.  Writing can be a lonely profession, but with my furred, feathered, and scaled companions (can’t leave out Sammie, our forty-five year old box turtle) my world is anything but lonely. Oh, and they all enjoy hearing my tales.

Beth: I loved hearing about Mystic Reign (wonderful name) and your parrot. What a hoot she is. Now, more about Tena’s latest release.

****

A Warlock’s Secrets –  Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought. Years ago, a sacred ceremony at the Dragon’s Moon Coven turned deadly. Son of the high priestess, Tristian Shandie’s life changed forever. With a price on his head and revenge in his heart, he has no choice but to follow in his father’s footsteps to a profession shrouded in secrets. Now his skills as an enforcer for the Demon Overlord are second to none. But dangerous secrets he harbors are a liability he can no longer afford.

A chance meeting with a woman he finds irresistible flips Tristian’s world upside down. Hannah is a cyber security specialist with secrets of her own. Bad boys never appealed to her until Tristian, who changes everything. In his darkest hours, she is dragged into his magical world.

If they survive, is she strong enough to heal his heart and tame the warlock? Or will their secrets destroy them?

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes& Noble, itunes. The Wild Rose Press

About the author:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their stories. Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out her books.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon

****Thanks for stopping by, folk. Please leave Tena a comment.