Tag Archives: kitten rescue

Furbaby Friday with Merry Farmer!


I’m happy to have Merry Farmer here to share her precious kitties and new western romance, Heath’s Homecoming (The Langley Legacy Book 5).

Merry: When Beth asked me to do a Furbaby Friday post for her, I got really excited! Because I will never get tired of talking about the Best Cat in the Entire History of the World, my darling baby, my soulmate, the love of my life, Torpedo.

(Torpedo and Justine)

I’ve had Torpedo since the day he was born. In fact, he earned his name partially because he was born during the 2004 Athens Olympics, when I was having a blast watching the swimming rivalry between Ian Thorpe, the “Thorpedo”, and Michael Phelps, but also because he shot right out of his mom (a cat I had rescued from a coworker who was going to have her put to sleep because she wasn’t a cute kitten anymore!!!) and into my lap. I touched Torpedo before his mom did, and we’ve been bonded ever since.

(Baby Torpedo)

Torpedo had a sister, Butterfly (who, incidentally, was actually named after Michael Phelps. But “Michael Phelps” is not a good name for a girl cat, so, since he’d won the 400m butterfly the day they were born, “Butterfly” it was). I was originally going to give Butterfly away, but the people who said they wanted her never came to get her. So I kept both baby kittens. They moved with me from Alabama back to my home in the Philadelphia area, and through three other moves in the last few years.

(Torpedo and Butterfly)

Sadly, in December 2016, Butterfly passed away after a battle with diabetes. And I wasn’t the only one who mourned. I didn’t know this, but cats can go into mourning too. Torpedo was VERY bonded to his sister, and for weeks the two of us moped around, feeling all sad and lost, and clinging to each other. But Torpedo isn’t a solitary kind of cat, so for Christmas that year, I got him a baby, Justine.

(Kitten Justine)

So now I have my grumpy old man cat and my brand new, high-energy, slightly crazy baby girl cat. Justine LOVES Torpedo. She loves Torpedo way more than she loves me! But Torpedo still loves me to bits. So much so that he HATES it when I go away…for conferences and vacations, or just leaving the house for an hour to go grocery shopping. Heck, Torpedo yells at me if I’m not sitting in the right place in the morning, doing my writing. But I love him.

I know cats are not immortal, and I’m not looking forward to the day when Torpedo crosses the Rainbow Bridge to join his sister. But he’s only 14 right now, and since the last two cats I had lived into their 20s, I’m hoping we have a few more years together. I take good care of him…and he takes good care of me.

(Merry and Torpedo)

I guess you could say that a “pet” plays a major role in my next release, Heath’s Homecoming, which comes out Friday the 23rd, but is available for pre-order now. It’s the fifth book in a series that traces the same family from when they come to America in 1850 to the present. Heath’s Homecoming takes place in 1968. The hero, Heath, is a returning Vietnam War vet. The heroine, Barbie, has a job running Heath’s father’s ranch. A lot of the conflict surrounds a horse, Daisy, who belonged to Heath and Barbie’s best friend, Davy, who was killed in the war. Here’s a little peek….

Excerpt from Heath’s Homecoming:

They’d walked their horses along the edge of the old barrel racing course that Kathleen had made their dad build years ago. It had been cleaned up a bit since he’d left for the war. The splintering barrels had been replaced by stacks of old car tires, and the course itself was well-maintained.

But that didn’t prepare him for the sudden shout from Barbie, or the way Daisy jumped into action, flying toward the course. Heath’s heart shot to his throat as Daisy headed for the first set of barrels. All he could thing about was her bones breaking and the screams that would follow. His imagination mingled them with Davy’s screams and shouts on the battlefield.

“Barbie, stop!” he shouted, but she didn’t hear him.

Daisy made it around the first barrel and shot off toward the second. Heath stood in his stirrups, heart thundering against his ribs. She would fall. She would be thrown. Daisy would trip and it would all be over. He’d lose another friend. He’d lose Davy’s horse. There’d be nothing he could do about it. Again. He’d be helpless and hopeless, and his world would fall apart. Again.

His thoughts spun out of control so hard that it seemed as though he blinked and Daisy was through the course, trotting toward him. Barbie sat, smiling and panting, in the saddle.

“See?” she said, glowing with exertion. “She loves it. She’s dying to race.”
“No.” Heath gripped his reins hard to keep his hands from shaking. “Don’t ever do that again.” His voice came out rough and hollow.
“Why? It’s what Daisy was born to do.” Barbie’s frown held more than frustration. She was studying him.
“She could have been hurt. You both could have been hurt.”
“Come on. Give me more credit than that.” Barbie’s frown disappeared, replaced by a teasing look. She rode Daisy right up to Buck’s side and reached out to grip his arm. “I know what I’m doing.”

Part of Heath wanted to lean into her, wanted to pull her onto the saddle with him and hold her until his shaking stopped. The rest of him pulsed as though he were in a combat zone.
“I said no,” he snapped, yanking Buck’s reins to get away from her. “It’s too dangerous.”
“It’s not dangerous it’s—”
“Will you just listen to me,” he shouted. “I’m trying to save your life.”

Barbie’s mouth snapped shut and her face flooded with color. She swallowed hard, then stared at him with far more emotion than he wanted to deal with. She knew. He’d slipped up, and she knew him well enough to know that his leg wasn’t the only wound he’d brought home from Vietnam.

You can pre-order your copy of Heath’s Homecoming on Amazon (and it will be part of the Kindle Unlimited program when it comes out): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079YTQ6WL

In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about me, come hang out on my Facebook Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/merryfarmerreaders/

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Or Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Farmer/e/B006RATLFC/

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Merry a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Karen Rose Smith!


I am pleased to have cat lover, Karen Rose Smith, here to share her kitties and cozy mystery series, Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes Book 1, Daisy’s Tea Garden.

Karen: My husband and I have rescued and adopted five inside cats. Zander and his sister Freya are the youngest. In July, a dear friend found six kittens under a porch. My husband and visited them. That was the mistake! I planned to take one of the kittens—Freya, a little black beauty. But her brother needed a home too and no one seemed to want him. After another visit to the litter, my husband held him and that was that. We added these two adorable kittens to our family. Zander is the first male cat I’ve had inside even though I’ve been a cat mom since I was a child. He thinks he’s king of the house and he’s probably right!

Snippet/Blurb:

Murder With Lemon Tea Cakes is the first book in my new cozy mystery series, Daisy’s Tea Garden. It’s set in Willow Creek, a fictional town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers–one at home and one who recently started college–along with her aunt Iris, are the proprietors of Daisy’s Tea Garden. Although Daisy’s aunt is in her golden years, she’s enjoying the company of Harvey Fitz, wealthy CEO of Men’s Trends. (Harvey’s favorite snacks at the tea garden are Lemon Tea Cakes.) The only problem is that Harvey isn’t yet divorced. When Harvey is murdered on the tea garden’s patio, Aunt Iris is the prime suspect. But Daisy soon discovers many residents of Willow Creek are suspects–from Harvey’s soon to be ex-wife, to his children to his business colleagues.

Daisy’s focus has to be on her adopted daughter Jazzi (Jasmine) who wants to search for her birth parents. But with the help of a former detective turned furniture store owner, Jonas Groft, she finds answers for both her daughter and her aunt. (Daisy’s two cats, a tuxedo feline named Pepper and a dark tortoiseshell with a unique split colored face named Marjoram, are important members of their family.)

Excerpt:

Aunt Iris pulled her camel-colored coat from the coat rack, then went to the counter for the bag of lemon tea cakes she’d set there. “Don’t work too hard,” her Aunt Iris told her as she gave her a hug. “Oh, and can you pick me up in the morning and bring me to work? I’ll leave my car here because we’ll probably take Harvey’s. He’ll just drop me off at home.”

“That’s fine. Why don’t you have a cup of tea with me until he gets here?”

“He’s usually prompt, or even early. I’ll just go out to the garden and wait for him. I really should check the thyme and oregano. If they’re not producing as much as we need, you might have to order from the supplier.”

“Don’t sit out there alone if Harvey’s late.”

“I won’t,” her aunt assured her, gave her hand a squeeze, and then left through the back garden door, carrying her purse and the bag of tea cakes.

Daisy had picked up her two-cup vintage teapot with its hand-painted lilac pattern when she heard a blood curdling scream.

That was her aunt!

“Aunt Iris,” she called as she set down the teapot, exited the back door and ran through the garden.

She froze when she spotted Harvey’s body crumpled in the herb garden.~

Get Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes in Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Lemon-Daisys-Garden-Mystery-ebook/dp/B06XZ99HCY

Author Bio

USA Today Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith’s 100th novel is a 2018 release. She writes both cozy mysteries, romance novels and women’s fiction. One of her romances was aired as a TV movie on the UP tv network. Her passion is caring for her five rescued cats. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography. An only child, Karen delved into books at an early age. Even though she escaped into story worlds, she had many cousins around her on weekends. Families are a strong theme in all of her novels. She’s recently working on her Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series as well as her Daisy Tea Garden mystery series.

Social Media Links:

Romance Website: https://karenrosesmith.com/

Mystery Website: https://karenrosesmithmysteries.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenrosesmith

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Karen a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Author Peggy L Henderson!


I am happy to welcome Peggy to Furbaby Friday to share her love of animals, her cat, Hissy, and  Yellowstone Heart Song from her Yellowstone Romance Series.

(Hissy)

Peggy: Thank you for inviting me to talk about my fur babies today, Beth! Where do I begin? I ‘ve been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. I had mice, hamsters, frogs, rabbits… you name it, when I was little. We tried getting a dog, and also a cat, but for one reason or another, it never worked out that we got to keep them, so I spent a lot of time on my uncle’s farm in rural Germany. I loved hanging out with the chickens, the cows, the horses, and the cats. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a veterinarian.

Fast forward to when I was a teenager and living in the US. My first job was at age 15, working in an animal hospital’s boarding kennel. From there, I worked my way up to technician, and it’s a job I held all through high school and college. After four years of Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine, I decided to call it quits on the veterinarian dream. I got married, had a house, started a family, and lived the dream of having lots of animals. I was burned out on school, but I continued to work in the field. After staying home with my kids for their first ten years, my background landed me a job in a veterinary reference lab. Now I’m loving life as a full-time romance author, but animals tend to find their way into my books to help bring couples their HEA, in the form of horses, dogs, and even a goose.

Over the years, I’ve owned dogs, cats, horses, chickens, goats, you name it. Most of the animals were cast-offs from clients at the vet clinic or rescues from shelters. There was Misty, our black barn kitty who moved into our barn, young and pregnant. I had her spayed, and she decided she wanted to move in permanently.

(Hissy)

Then there was Wink, our one-eyed little rescue cat. Someone had dropped him off at the clinic when he was about four weeks old. He was covered in fleas and had a terrible eye infection and upper respiratory infection. He barely knew how to eat on his own. I cleaned him up, took him home, and got him healthy, except for his eye. It was unsalvageable, so we had to have it removed. Hence the name Wink, because he looked like he was always winking at someone.

Most of my horses were racetrack cast-offs or kill-lot rescues. Due to life’s circumstances, I had to give up my animal lifestyle about a dozen years ago and drastically downsize (which meant that none of the ones that passed on were replaced). At the moment, I have only one cat and my welsh pony left. My other pets and horses have all passed away from old age. I’m a huge believer that pets are for life.

(Mel)

So, today, I want to give a special mention to my current fur baby, my cat Hissy, who is known on Facebook as the Writing Assistant. What kind of silly name is Hissy? Yes, there’s a story behind the name.

One day, about seventeen years ago, I was out feeding the horses when I saw this beautiful calico cat wander through the yard. She was skinny, and obviously nursing kittens. She was shy at first, but when I brought out a can of tuna, she came running and was most grateful. She came around again the next day, and I saw a tiny orange furball kitten with her. Unfortunately, the little stinker would not let me get close to him.

(Jedi and Misty)

I talked to my neighbor, who told me the cat lived in her shed, and that two of her kittens had been taken by hawks. Right then, I made it my mission that this last kitten would not meet the same fate. Mama cat (who we named Minx, because I used to have a calico named Minx decades ago) was easy to catch. The kitten was a challenge. I had to go into the shed and all but remove most of the wooden floorboards to finally grab him. Boy, was he a feisty one. Hissing and spitting and showing me how tough he was.

I brought him into the house to re-unite with his Mama, and for several weeks, no-one was able to get close to him. He would hiss and spit at anyone getting near his crate. My then 3-year-old son decided to call him Hissy. Weeks passed, and he finally decided that living in the house, getting fed, having a safe and warm place to sleep wasn’t such a bad deal, after all. He became a lovable couch potato, but we never changed his name.

Now, he’s my 17-year-old senior cat, the best cat I’ve ever owned. He’s never been a lap cat, but he loves sleeping next to me, either at night, or during the day when I’m working, typing away on the couch. As I said before, he’s my “Writing Assistant” and his fans on Facebook love him.

Last year he adjusted to living in an RV in Yellowstone for five months, and he will be going with us again in a couple of months when we leave for another season in the world’s first national park. He has feline diabetes that has been in remission for several years (crossing fingers it stays that way), and is in overall great health for his age. I can’t imagine life without him.

Author Bio:

Peggy L Henderson is an award-winning, best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Teton Romance Trilogy, and the Blemished Brides and Wilderness Brides Western Historical Romance Series. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on much-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she divides her time between living in Southern California and Yellowstone National Park.

(Peggy and Mel)

Find Peggy at:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Blog |Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter |mailing list |BookBub

Blurb for Yellowstone Heart Song:

Nurse and avid backpacker Aimee Donovan is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. She encounters a patient who tells her he is a time traveler and can send her two hundred years into the past to spend three months in the rugged Yellowstone wilderness at the dawn of the mountain man era. The only requirement: she cannot tell anyone that she’s from the future.

How did a white woman suddenly appear in the remote Rocky Mountain wilderness? Trapper Daniel Osborne’s first instinct is to protect this mysterious and unconventional woman from the harsh realities of his mountains. While he fights his growing attraction to her, he is left frustrated by her lies and secrecy.

Daniel shows Aimee a side of Yellowstone she’s never experienced. She is torn between her feelings for him, and exposing a secret that will destroy everything he holds as truth. As her three months come to an end, she is faced with a dilemma: return to her own time, or stay with the man who opened her eyes to a whole new world. When the decision is made for her, both their lives will be changed forever.

Excerpt

Aimee smiled sweetly. He could ask her all he wanted about bison. This was basic junior ranger stuff to her. How many countless ranger-led hikes had she gone on in her life? And a favorite topic of discussion on those hikes had often been bison. She could practically lead one of these bison talks herself. She had to admit, though, that her guide this time was far more interesting than any ranger she’d met in modern times.
When Daniel didn’t speak, she finally asked, “Well, how am I doing so far?”
He studied her for a moment with that intense look of his. “Where would you expect to find berries here?” he asked, rather than answer her question.
“I’d be looking around for sunny spots, I suppose, for berry bushes.”
Daniel pointed out some strawberry patches on the ground, and huckleberry bushes among the thickets. She moved eagerly in their direction, when he took hold of her arm and pulled her back. She turned her head, and raised her eyebrows in a silent question.
“Bears, remember?” he warned. He scanned the area for a moment, and inhaled deeply. “Often, you can smell a bear before you see him,” he explained.
“What do bears smell like?” She recalled the death and decay smell of the elk carcass, but she couldn’t remember now if the bear smelled like rotten meat as well, or just the air around him.
“Most of the year, bears smell like the places they visit,” Daniel explained. “In the early part of summer, they smell like the wet grasses.”
“Sweet?” she asked. He nodded.
“The tundra smells like the earth and sage, and a bear has that smell as well. It is only much more distinct. You need to train your senses to pick up the differences. Bears like to roll in their food, or anything with a strong odor, so whatever they have eaten, they will smell like it.”
“Ew. Okay. Kind of like dogs. They do that, too.” She took a deep breath, but all she smelled was the pine scent of the forest. “What else?” she asked eagerly.
“Listen to the forest. What do you hear?”
She closed her eyes and inhaled. The tranquil sounds of the forest birds, the smell of fresh pine and musty earth, even the distinctive cow scent left behind by the bison, and the rushing sound of the breeze through the tops of the tall lodgepole pines, all had an intoxicating effect on her.
“I hear the wind and birds,” she said softly.
“What kind of birds?” Daniel prodded.
She focused on the different sounds. “Oh! A woodpecker,” she said in surprise. She had never paid attention to different birdcalls before. She turned her head to listen closer. “I hear ravens, and probably some kind of jay?”
“Any other animals?” Daniel pushed her further. “You must learn to separate all sound.”
She sighed, but kept her eyes closed. Amazingly, she could, indeed, sift through the cacophony of chirps and make out individual animals. “Hey, that’s not a bird . . . that was an angry-sounding squirrel.”
She opened her eyes. In front of her, Daniel stared intently at her face. Her heart skipped a beat.
“Is it safe now?” she whispered.
Was he going to answer? She shifted her weight nervously. His intense eyes drove straight to her heart. She couldn’t read his expression, but she wasn’t about to back down and be the first to look away. Finally, he cleared his throat.
“There is no bear here,” he answered, his voice sounding a bit raspy. He motioned with his chin to the berry patches.
Relieved for the excuse to move away from him, Aimee picked handfuls of berries, and between mouthfuls carefully placed some in her backpack. “There are so many. I would love to take some of these back and make a pie!”
Daniel stood off to the side while she ate her fill, and casually popped a few berries in his mouth from time to time. He was like a security guard – constantly trained on her to make sure she didn’t make a wrong move. She tried to ignore him and concentrate on her task, but his eyes seemed to reach straight into her. Her skin tingled all over.
“Okay, I think I have enough,” Aimee said after her pack was rather full. She wished he would catch her double meaning. She’d definitely had enough of his continuous perusal, and was ready for a diversion. Daniel turned and led the way out of the forest.
“The last time I ate pie was in Philadelphia seven years ago,” he said wistfully when the trail widened and they walked side by side. Aimee was surprised he volunteered this information.
“You’re in for a treat, then. I make a mean berry pie.”

* * *

For the better part of the morning, Daniel led her through the forest. He showed her how to read different tracks, signs to look out for that an animal had been in the area, where to look for edible roots and plants, and how to watch the skies for changes in the weather. Along with the berries, she filled her backpack with mint, wild onions, licorice, and various other roots and plants.
She listened attentively as she tried to absorb everything Daniel told her. Some things she already knew, others were completely new to her. The subtle animal signs he picked up on astounded her. Silently, he had pointed out a black bear sow and her twin cubs in the distance, a moose in the thickets that she would have completely overlooked, and countless other smaller animals. He knew which critter made every track they came upon. He read the forest for information as someone in her time would read a newspaper. It was most refreshing to get a glimpse of this wilderness that she loved so much in her time from this man who carved out a living here.
Aimee savored the beauty of her surroundings. Aspen trees grew in abundance. Beaver lodges lined the banks along streams, and countless otters played in the waters. With the coming of the fur trappers to these mountains within a decade of this time, the beaver would be trapped to near extinction. Wolves would be hunted until none remained, and without this predator, the elk would take over, and cause the destruction of the aspen from overgrazing. This was a Yellowstone unfamiliar to her, but it was as nature had intended before the encroachment of man.
Despite the differences, the landscape still held a certain familiarity, and she realized Daniel was leading them back in the direction of the cabin sometime in the early afternoon. Her foot throbbed with every step she took, but today was one of the best days of her life. The raw, undisturbed landscape exhilarated her. No other hikers, no roads. Just me and this gorgeous backwoodsman.

Find Yelowstone Heart Song at: https://www.books2read.com/YHS

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Peggy a comment.

Furbaby Friday with Cara Marsi!


I am happy to have Cara Marsi here to share her love of cats and her contemporary romance, Wedded in Vegas (Gambling on Love series).

Cats I Have Known and Loved by Cara:

Cats have been part of my life since before I was born. Both my parents were raised with cats. I can’t imagine a world without these elegant, beautiful, independent, playful, affectionate creatures who shower us with unconditional love. I remember fondly every cat I’ve ever had, since I was a little girl. Each cat has been a member of my family. Pet owners know, as much as we love all our kitties and dogs and other pets, there are always those few that are special.

One of my very special cats was Sabrina, a tabby. I got her in 1970 as a kitten from a co-worker when I lived in Toronto, Canada. I’d gone to my co-worker’s house with the idea of choosing a male kitten. When I sat on the floor, near the kittens, Sabrina, a sweet little girl, immediately ran to me and climbed up to my chest. She chose me, as is the case with the most memorable pets. Sabrina’s fur was thicker than most short hairs. I always figured it was from being bred in cold weather. She and I formed a bond that couldn’t be broken. She loved me totally and thought of me as her mommy. She was my baby. We were a team. I went through a rough patch at the time, and Sabrina was my rock. She saved my life.
It bothered me, but I was so consumed with new motherhood, I couldn’t give Sabrina the attention I’d always given her. All these years later, I still feel regret over that. She contracted heart problems and we had to put her down when she was twelve. That was thirty-four years ago, and I miss her. She will always be part of my heart.

There were cats after Sabrina, and I loved them all. But I didn’t find another special cat until December 2003, when we adopted a fat, black, almost two-year-old cat from the shelter. The Humane Association told me a man had found the cat as a kitten hiding in his bushes on his property. Ebony had lived at the shelter her whole life until we adopted her. Black cats (and dogs) are the last to be adopted. My son, in college then, renamed her Killer because she was so sweet and gentle. He said it was irony. Killer didn’t like being held, but she liked to hang out with my husband and me. In the evenings while we watched TV, Killer slept on a satin pillow on the sofa between us. She wasn’t vocal, and only cried when we picked her up or tried to give her a pill for the chronic upper respiratory disease she’d gotten from her time in the shelter. Killer may not have been vocal, but she communicated with her eyes. I knew what she wanted by the way she’d look at me. Sometimes I’d say to her, “Show me what you want,” and she’d lead me to her food dish. We lost Killer in October 2015, to cancer. I miss her so much. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her and miss her.


Almost a year before we lost Killer, we brought in a little tortoiseshell stray we call Tortie. Tortie and her kittens were running around our neighborhood the summer of 2014. Neighbors fed them, but no one could get near the cats. We all thought they were feral. I contacted a rescue group, Forgotten Cats, and with their help, I trapped Tortie. It took until September of that year to get her into a trap. We couldn’t find her kittens, and I hope kind people took them in. Forgotten Cats spayed Tortie and gave her shots, then released her to us. She lived on our open porch, and my husband and I were building an outdoor shelter for her. As she got more comfortable with us, she stopped running away when she saw us. One day she wrapped around my ankles, and I realized Tortie wasn’t feral, but just a scared, abandoned little kitty. We brought her inside and she’s been with us ever since. She, like Killer, is an indoor cat. She’s a petite cat, although after being close to starvation when she lived on the street, she’s gotten a bit chubby. Tortie has the standard five toes, but one of her toes is like a thumb. The perfect name for her would be Mittens. Since Forgotten Cats called her Tortie due to her coloring, we kept the name. She’s so affectionate and gentle, I think she knows we saved her life.


One month after I lost my Killer, I was in Pet Smart to buy cat food for Tortie. I went to look at the cats for adoption, as I always do when there. I told one of the Humane Association volunteers about Killer, and I started crying, right there in the store. Before I knew it, I left with a 10-week old tuxedo kitten named Brew. We renamed him Brewster. I’d forgotten how crazy kittens are. After bringing him home, I realized my husband and I were too old to deal with a super energetic kitten. Brewster kept trying to play with Tortie, but she ran from him. I think he scared her, small as he was then. He had, and still has, so much energy.

Brewster is the craziest cat I’ve ever had in a life filled with cats. He and Tortie get along now, and he doesn’t scare her any more. She likes to groom him, and I wonder if she thinks of him as her baby, although he’s almost twice her size.
Brewster weighed less than three pounds when I got him. He’s now a little over two years old and he weighs 17 pounds. He’s a big cat, and looks as if he may have a little Maine Coon in his DNA. He’s beautiful, ornery, and a cuddle bug. Both my cats adore me. When Brewster weighed less than three pounds, he liked to curl up under my chin while I sat and watched TV. At 17 pounds, he still tries to curl up under my chin.

He wakes me up in the morning (way too early) by licking my face. Like a Maine Coon, he’s very vocal. He’ll announce himself entering or leaving a room. He stares at my husband and cries until my husband picks him up and walks around the house with him. We recognize what he wants by his different cries. Brewster is Mr. Personality, and he still acts like a kitten and gets into as much trouble as one. He’s whip smart, too. I taught Brewster to sit on command, and it only took a few minutes and some treats.
One of the reasons I chose him is because he’s almost all black. I wanted another black cat like Killer. Brewster is a medium hair, and he has a bushy tail. Killer, while a short-hair, had thick, silky, luxurious fur. I wanted a cat with fur like hers.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my little homage to the cats I’ve known and loved.

I sometimes include a cat in my books. It depends on the story. In Love by Chance, Book 2 of my Gambling on Love series, my heroine Laney has a fat black cat named Ebony, Killer’s shelter name. In Wedded in Vegas, Book 1 of the Gambling on Love series, my hero, Cole, rescues a black kitten. He names it Killer, my way of honoring my sweet cat.

Blurb for Wedded in Vegas:

A reluctant bride
A hot Hollywood actor
What happens in Vegas…
Bartending in Las Vegas is the means to an end for Analisa Barbero. As soon as she finishes school she can get her dream job as a teacher. With her hard-working single mom temporarily disabled, money is tight and the hours are long. Who has time for dating? But when a sexy nerd asks her out, Analisa does what everyone else in Las Vegas does: she takes a chance and says yes.

Some people come to Sin City to gamble. Some come to start over. And some come to hide out. Cole Lassiter is Hollywood’s hottest property. Fed up with phoniness and paparazzi parasites, he just wants to be an ordinary nobody for a while. But when his deception causes a pretty bartender to lose her job, he makes her the kind of offer that can only happen in the city of make-believe: Marry him for one year in exchange for a house, money, and all-expenses-paid tuition for school. If she agrees, maybe the tabloids will finally give him a break.

Neither Analisa nor Cole thought love was in the cards for them. But what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Is Analisa willing to gamble her future on a man who already deceived her once? Everyone in Las Vegas knows one thing: you have to roll the dice if you want to hit the jackpot. And love is worth the risk.

EXCERPT from Wedded in Vegas:

Cole jerked upright as a thought, like the proverbial lightbulb, went off in his head. He knew how to help Analisa, and maybe himself. If he could convince her. He glanced at the wall clock. He didn’t have much time.
He grabbed his phone and called down to the garage for his car. With a hopeful spring in his movements, he slipped on his leather jacket against the March chill and left the penthouse.
He had a woman to win over.
Cole let out his breath at the quiet when he turned down Analisa’s street. True to their word, the paparazzi had left the area. He tightened his hand on the gear-shift knob, hoping all would go well now so he’d have some big news for the press later. Mostly, he hoped his plan would help Analisa.
When he pulled into her driveway, he saw movement behind the front curtains. Busted! Anxiety clenched his stomach. He had a lot of convincing to do. First, she had to let him in.
As he exited his car, shouts from up the street drew his attention. Anger propelled him to run toward the noise. A group of young teens was throwing rocks at a black kitten. The poor creature was running in circles, trying to avoid the missiles.
“Stop it!” Cole shouted as he got close. He scooped up the trembling kitten and held it against his chest. “It’s okay,” he crooned. “You’re safe now.”
He glared at the nearest kid, one with a rock ready to throw. “Drop the rock. Now,” Cole said in the harsh tones he’d used as the superhero in his last action picture.
The kid dropped the rock. Cole’s gaze canvassed the group, locking eyes with each boy. “Are you proud of yourselves? Hurting a defenseless little cat? Didn’t your parents teach you to be kind to animals?”
“Someone dumped that cat off here coupla days ago, mister,” one of the kids said. “My mom said not to feed it ’cause it would hang around. No one wants it here. We were just having fun.”
“Yeah,” said another. “It would have starved to death anyway.”
“You would let a poor, helpless creature starve?” At Cole’s glower, they moved back. “What kind of jerks are you?”
Rage coiled his insides. No wonder the world was in such a sad state with kids like this. Dismissing them with a look of disgust, he held the kitten close and strode toward Analisa’s house. After several knocks, she opened the door.
Her beauty stole his breath. Her curling midnight hair cascaded past her shoulders. The yoga pants and top she wore hugged her lush curves. Her amazing eyes, shuttered and red-rimmed, tore a hole in his heart.
“What do you want?” Her voice and tight features communicated her distrust of him. Her eyes widened when she noticed the kitten he held. “What are you doing with a kitten?”
“I saved it from some thugs who were about to kill it. Can I come in?”
She opened the screen door, reached out, and took the kitten from him, hugging it to her. “The poor little thing.” Turning away from the door, she motioned for Cole to enter.
Rosa pushed up from the sofa when she saw him. “Hello, Cole.”
“Hello, Rosa. Good to see you again.”
“Mom, look at this dear kitten. Cole said kids were trying to hurt it.”
“Poor baby. Let me have it. I’ll take it into the kitchen and give it some milk.”
“May I sit?” Cole asked when Rosa left.
“Suit yourself,” Analisa said.
He sat on the sofa, while she perched on the edge of one of the chairs that flanked it. Hands clasped on her lap, she stared, unblinking, at him. “What do you want?”
“Hear me out. Please. I talked to Appleton but I couldn’t change his mind about your job. I’ve come up with something that might help us both.”
Silent, she studied him with cool, gold-brown eyes.
Rubbing a hand over his hair, he swallowed. “I like you a lot. We get along well, or we did before all this happened.”
At her continued silence, he said, “I think we should get married.”

Purchase Wedded in Vegas in Kindlehttps://www.amazon.com/Wedded-Vegas-Gambling-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B075FXKNRC/

At Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wedded-in-vegas-cara-marsi/1127221016?ean=2940158797187

At iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wedded-in-vegas/id1280183387?ls=1&mt=11

At Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wedded-in-vegas

Author Bio:
An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.
When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast of the United States in a house ruled by two spoiled cats who compete for attention.

Visit my website to read about all my books and sign up for my newsletter: www.caramarsi.com
I’m on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m always interested in making new friends.
www.facebook.com/authorcaramarsi
www.pinterest.com/caramarsi

Follow me on Amazon and BookBub:
http://www.amazon.com/Cara-Marsi/e/B002BMIB8S
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cara-marsi

Thank you to Beth for featuring me today.  (My pleasure, Cara. I love hearing about your kitties. Wonderful cats).

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Cara a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Author Vonda Sinclair!


I am delighted to have Vonda Sinclair here to share her lovely kitties and fabulous Scottish romance, Highlander Unbroken. I remember when her sweet rescue cat, Kaylee, had these wonderful kittens. I followed their adventures on Facebook. ***Vonda is generously giving away an eBook or audio book to one winner to be chosen from those who leave comments.

Vonda: 

I’ve always been more of a cat person, but I love dogs, too. In fact, my most painful pet loss was probably a dog almost ten years ago. I’ve lost a lot of furbabies over the years and it’s always so heartbreaking. After that last devastating one, a kitty, I decided I didn’t want another cat or dog for a while because I didn’t want to deal with the heartbreak of losing a precious animal family member again for a long while. But fate, or destiny or the angels had other ideas. 🙂

For some reason, stray cats show up at my mom’s house frequently. We don’t know if people are dropping them off during the night or if they somehow have an instinct that she loves animals and will feed them. Regardless, a small, stray female black cat, less than a year old, showed up there. Pretty soon her belly started looking round and it was obvious she was pregnant. It was a cold January. My mom already had a female indoor cat who hates all other cats. There was no way my mom could bring the newcomer into the house without a major upheaval. So, obviously I took the stray black cat to my house and named her Kaylee. I named her after a ceilidh, (pronounced the same) which is a Gaelic social gathering featuring Scottish folk music, singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Kaylee grew rounder and rounder over the next two months. Pretty soon she looked like a little watermelon with legs and she could hardly waddle across the floor. The vet said she thought Kaylee would have maybe three or four kittens. Boy, was she wrong. Kaylee finally had six kittens! Four black ones and two gray ones. I’m thinking, oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into!? I went from having no cats to seven in a short time. But they were so adorable as kittens and I had to take pics of them almost daily. I hadn’t been around kittens in a long time. They were a joy and always made me laugh.

I contacted almost everyone I know, trying to find new homes for the kittens. I didn’t want to give them away, but there was no way I could keep that many. Finally, I found good forever homes for three of them. One special kitten I knew from the first that I couldn’t let go was a long-haired gray one named Bluebelle. She was the most adorable kitten ever, with a feisty personality. She’s also sweet and lovable.

(Bluebelle)

Jax is a brave, friendly boy who always climbed on my lap from the time he was tiny, so I knew it would be hard to let him go, too. No one chose him, so he got to stay with me. Now, I tell people he’s as big as a horse. Well, almost anyway. I bet he’s approaching twenty pounds. His favorite thing to do is crawl under my jacket and snuggle while almost crushing me. LOL

Pixie is like a wild forest creature, skittish, timid but very territorial. She’s so beautiful, I thought she would be the first chosen. And someone did take her, but returned her to me the same day. I’m glad she gets to live with her mama, brother and sister.

(Kaylee and Jax)

(Pixie)

They get along great most of the time, but sometimes Jax picks on his sisters and gets a hiss, growl or a slap. He’s so big and much heavier than his sisters, so I’m sure he just laughs it off. They remember that Kaylee is their mama, and they treat her with respect. Even though she’s now a lot smaller and shorter than her grown offspring, she can still put Jax in his place. He acts submissive toward her. It’s so adorable the way they groom each other. All the kittens grew into huge cats, very long and tall, much bigger than Kaylee. Their papa must have been a large cat.

They live indoors but go outside sometimes when the weather is nice for an hour or two. I have them trained, for the most part, to come back when I call them. I live in the country and they enjoy climbing the trees or running like insane cats through the yard to burn off energy. They’re all my babies, muses and companions. 🙂

I featured Kaylee and her babies in the book I was writing at the time, Highlander Unbroken.
How many furbabies do you have?

Beth: I love hearing about your kitties. I have three indoors and several  barn cats. Plus Puppy Cooper, our older rescue dog, Jilly, and farm dog Luca.

Blurb for Highlander Unbroken
Torture has driven Neacal MacDonald to the brink of madness.
As the new chief of the MacDonald clan, Neacal will do whatever it takes to honor his late father and to help his clan thrive. But whispers of his madness abound and many in his clan turn traitor, wanting MacDonald of Sleat to lead them instead. Conflict ignites between the bitter rivals when Sleat garners the help of the man who tortured Neacal in the past.

Can one woman’s song pull him back and begin to heal his soul?
Everything has been ripped from Anna Douglas except her angelic voice and the will to survive. When she meets Neacal, she recognizes something familiar in him—stark loneliness and pain. His past could be even more tragic and tarnished than hers. No one must learn her true identity or about the brutish man declaring she is his wife, for he will stop at nothing to reclaim her. Though Neacal vowed to never trust a woman again, he cannot resist the secrets in Anna’s eyes or her spellbinding song, which threatens to break down the icy walls surrounding his tormented heart.

Excerpt
Highlander Entangled is my latest release, but I want to share the excerpt from Highlander Unbroken, featuring Kaylee (Ceilidh) and her kittens.

The next evening, after Anna finished singing three songs, the other musicians took over. She needed a reprieve from the crush in the great hall during the cèilidh. Neacal had also disappeared again, as he did half the time. Was he telling the truth about enjoying her singing? She wasn’t so sure.
Still, anytime his eyes chanced to meet hers, her heartbeat sped along and she felt flushed.
Some wild and irrational part of her urged her to slip up to the ramparts again, for Neacal might be there, but…that would be madness. She’d best avoid him for many reasons. She must guard her secrets well if she wished to survive.
Aye, she would stay far from the ramparts and the tempting chief, she decided, savoring a small bowl of stew and a piece of bread in the kitchen. Most of the maids were in the great hall, carrying food or serving.
“Could I help you with anything?” she asked the cook after she’d finished eating.
Mistress Pottenger eyed her with a lifted graying auburn brow. “I thought you a singer rather than a kitchen maid.”
“Aye, indeed, but I like to keep busy.” Anything to keep her mind off the chief and how much she wanted to talk to him again.
Mistress Pottenger limped forward and handed her a small wooden bowl. “Aye, if you wouldn’t mind taking these scraps out to wee Cèilidh. I would take them myself but my bad knee is paining me something fierce this eve.”
“Of course. I would be glad to. Who is Cèilidh?”
“The black cat what catches all the mice. She has wee kittens hidden somewhere and I’m thinking she needs extra food.”
“Oh, aye.” Anna smiled. “I petted her earlier today in the garden, then I secretly followed her toward the back sheds. I did see a tiny black kitten.”
“Indeed.”
“Mayhap you should see Tavia about something to rub on your knee.”
“Aye, I will. I’ve been on my feet too much today.”
Anna headed out the door and across the bailey. The torches had been lit, but ’twas still light out. No one was about, although she was certain the guards on duty were in the gatehouse. Everyone else was inside the keep, dancing to the lively music. During supper, the great hall grew too warm and stuffy with all the people shoulder to shoulder. She much preferred some time alone in the fresh air. Besides, she liked being helpful to Mistress Pottenger. The woman had been kinder to her than most people. She also knew the woman likely had to keep working despite her knee pain in order to earn a living. She truly hoped the healer could help her.
Anna called the cat but didn’t see her anywhere. She strode around behind the stables toward the back sheds where the hay and grain were stored. This was where she’d seen a tiny black kitten that had escaped the nest.
Upon entering the shed, she saw naught but straw upon the ground. She soon heard mews in the back corner and found the wee critters. The mama cat meowed a warning and came out to greet her. No doubt to keep her away from her babies.
“Here you go.” Anna poured the meat scraps from the bowl onto the clean straw. The sleek black cat tore into the food as if famished. Anna crept closer to the squirming, wiggling pile of kittens, then knelt to better observe them. Four black ones and two gray. They all hissed at her. How adorable. She smiled and stroked their soft fur anyway, despite their hisses.
“Indeed, you have a large family to feed.”
Mama cat mewled but didn’t leave her food.
“I won’t hurt them, Cèilidh,” she whispered. Funny that Mistress Pottenger had named the cat after the song and dance the clan engaged in every night.
How Anna loved babies of any type, human or animal. If Blackburn hadn’t shoved her down the stairs and caused her to have a miscarriage, she might be holding her own sweet bairn. The lass would’ve been two years old by now. Tears pricked her eyes, blurring her vision as she watched the squirming kittens beneath her hands. How soft they were.
“What are you doing out here, my little songbird?” asked a rough male voice behind her.
Anna jerked around. ‘Twas the huge, burly guard who often stared at her, the one who’d spoken to her in the bailey a few days ago—Farquar.
“I was simply feeding the cat.” She rose to her feet.
“Ah.” Farquar watched her with focused interest, as a wolf watches a lamb.
Alarm prickled through her. “I was just leaving,” she said, picking up the wooden bowl. “The other musicians are awaiting me. I’m to sing two more songs.” ‘Twas a lie but her instincts warned her to get away from him. Now.

Bio: Vonda Sinclair is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning Scottish historical romance (aka Highlander romance) novels and novellas. Her favorite pastime is exploring Scotland and taking photos along the way. She especially loves ancient castle ruins! She also enjoys writing about hot Highland heroes, unconventional ladies and the healing power of love. Her series are the Highland Adventure Series and the Scottish Treasure Series. Her books have won the National Readers’ Choice Award, the CRW Award of Excellence, the Winter Rose Award of Excellence in Published Romantic Fiction–1st Place Historical, and an EPIC Award. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she is crafting another adventurous, wildly romantic Scottish story. Please visit her website at www.vondasinclair.com

Book Links

Highlander Unbroken (Highland Adventure Book 8)
by Vonda Sinclair

Kindle
http://amzn.com/B01BLUSSK6

Amazon Print
http://amzn.com/1532792913

B&N
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/highlander-unbroken-vonda-sinclair/1123677677

Kobo
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/highlander-unbroken

iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/highlander-unbroken/id1105598679?mt=11

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/630792

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Highlander-Unbroken-Audiobook/B06Y3SW27Q?

Vonda Sinclair’s links

Website:
http://www.vondasinclair.com

Newsletter:
https://my.sendinblue.com/users/subscribe/js_id/2leqq/id/1

Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/Vonda-Sinclair/e/B005GXBR1C/

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

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/VondaSinclair

Bookbub:
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vonda-sinclair

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5083448.Vonda_Sinclair

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Vonda a comment!

Furbaby Friday with Author Cathie Dunn!


I am delighted to have my friend Cathie Dunn here to share her deep love of animals and her Scottish historical romance, Highland Arms.

Cathie: Thank you so much, Beth, for hosting me today as part of your wonderful Furbaby Friday series. I’ve been enjoying reading posts by other authors about their furbabies – both present and past – and, like some, I found it a little tricky to choose one of mine.

Ellie dog–griffon beagle cross

We currently have three cats and one dog: Tiger, our 13 ½ year old eccentric patriarch who is of Welsh origin, then lived in Scotland for a decade, and survived the long drive to the south of France where we now live; Ellie Dog, a still timid female griffon beagle cross we adopted just over a year ago; Charlie Young Cat, a Siamese girl who suddenly showed up near us, still too young, last spring, and who we took in shortly after; and Shadow Kitten – the last one of four kittens we found abandoned (by a person, as they were scrambling around next to an empty plastic bag in thick shrubs by the riverside). No worries, the three other kittens found good homes, but nobody wanted a black male boy, so he’s staying… ~sigh~ 😉

So, after some thoughts, I’ve decided to write about Ellie Dog today. We don’t know her age, but the vet guessed she was around seven years old when we adopted her in December 2015 from a local rescue. That was mainly because her teeth were pretty bad, but we think she’s a couple of years younger. She can bounce like a puppy when she’s excited, but also tires quickly during walks.

Ellie was very scared when we visited her first. She’d not been at the center for long, just over a week after being found wandering the streets of a village, but she already showed herself as the gentlest creature, looking after her even more scared kennel mate. We knew, from past experiences, that adopted pets arrive with baggage, and Ellie was no exception. She was scared of everything.

Ellie is highly intelligent, tolerates the cats (Tiger took his time in accepting her, but Charlie and Shadow LOVE her and love cuddling up with her), and learned the ropes very quickly. Well, as long as there are no real ropes involved! We guess she must’ve been beaten, and she has several scars on her legs which may stem from trying to jump fences. Or something we’d rather not know.

Over the months, we tried to allow her to walk without a lead, but after she followed her nose (and, boy, does that nose work!), she shot off across vineyards and scrubs in search of the source. She was in heaven, ears flying, running back and forth. One afternoon, hubby walked her when she ran off along a path and he lost sight of her. Worried, he kept calling her, only to find her in a fenced in compound with another dog, in the middle of nowhere. The local hunters keep dogs out there, so there was nobody about. She must’ve jumped the fence at high speed, and now couldn’t find her way out again, so hubby had to climb over (yes, trespassing!), and pick her up. He wasn’t impressed – and she was grounded!

A year down the line, Ellie is still scared of many things, such as leaves flying in the high wind, us picking up a blanket from the sofa, or the lead dangling in front of her, but she has come a long way. No longer does she run away when you accidentally drop the lead, and if she’s unsure of something, she now looks to us for reassurance. When we both walk her, she often stays between us, as she does in the mornings on our bed, when she rolls on her back, at her happiest. It’s wonderful to see her come so far, but we know there’s still some way to go.

Perhaps it’s best we don’t know what happened to her. That way, we can channel our energies into making the rest of her life the best it can be.

Ellie has her own Facebook page, so if you’d like to know more about her life, feel free to follow. We share posts there in three languages… 😉 https://www.facebook.com/mrselliedog/

Blurb for Highland Arms:

Exciting blend of danger and romance

“The author has a wonderful way of describing the highlands.” ~ Booked Up Reviews

Escape to the Highlands

Betrayed by her brother’s lies, Catriona MacKenzie is banished from her home to her godmother’s manor in the remote Scottish Highlands. While her family ponders her fate, Catriona’s insatiable curiosity leads her straight into trouble–and into the arms of a notorious Highlander.

Five years after an ill-fated Jacobite rebellion, Rory Cameron works as a smuggler to raise money for the cause–until Catriona uncovers a plot against him and exposes his activities. Now, Rory is faced with a decision that could either save their lives or destroy both of them.

But he’s running out of time…

Excerpt:

One day, she had to return home—just not yet. Her father planned to find her a new suitor, someone willing to overlook her indiscretion. Pah!
Once he found such a paragon of society, he’d send for her. Most likely, the chosen suitor would be a rich man, but what else? Old, grizzled, and frail? Or young and arrogant, cast in the same mould as her brother? She liked neither option but then, it was not her decision to make. One thing was certain—love did not feature in her marriage contract.

What if her father let Angus have a say in it?
The notion froze her to the core, and she sat up. Despite her fondness of Edinburgh, and its array of entertainments, the longer she remained here in the Highlands the safer she was from such a fate. Perhaps she’d even be allowed to stay on as her godmother’s companion? Growing old without having to wed anyone. Remain a spinster for the rest of her days. It was not the most appealing option, but preferable to whomever Father or Angus might choose. Yes, she’d just have to convince Auntie Meg—and Rory Cameron—that she simply had to stay.

Her mind made up, she rose and wrapped a thick blanket around her shoulders. As her bare feet touched the wooden floor, she hissed at the chill. With no maid to call upon, she left her room and went downstairs in search of the kitchen. The thought of a warming cup of tea raised her spirits. Then she’d continue to set her plan into motion.

She pushed the kitchen door open and stopped short. Standing by the mullioned window, in front of a large bowl overflowing with water, was Rory Cameron. He turned as he heard the door. Catriona caught her breath and grabbed the handle, letting go of the blanket.

Water dripped over his head and down his torso, trickling in small rivulets over his kilt held by a broad belt with a round silver buckle in a Pagan design of interlacing swirls. The light curls of hair on his tanned chest glistened with moisture. His shoulder-length hair was unbound, falling softly over taut muscle. A dry smile told her she was staring at him. Again.

She swallowed hard. “I…” She stuttered. “I’m so sorry, Mr Cameron.” She averted her gaze to her feet. “I was just going to heat up water for my tea. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

The insufferable man laughed as he grabbed a piece of cloth and began to pat himself dry. “I don’t think you did.” He shook his head, sending strands flying before rubbing it vigorously. “And it’s Rory, remember?” He grinned. Catriona stood rooted to the spot. Words failed her. Her mouth went dry.

“But tell me,” he went on, “do you always venture into the kitchen so early? If so, you’d better get dressed next time.”

Transfixed by his mocking gaze, her cheeks heated as she became aware of her own state of undress. What an impression was she giving him, with her hair falling loosely over her shoulders, and the blanket only barely covering her modesty?

Oh, dear God, the blanket!

Highland Arms is in Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Highland-Arms-Danger-Scottish-Highlands-ebook/dp/B01MYLCKHK

About Cathie Dunn:

Cathie Dunn writes historical romantic suspense.

Cathie has been writing for over 20 years. In 2008, she gained a certificate in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her focus was on novel writing, which she teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books and visiting castles and historic sites.

At the moment, Cathie is working on a medieval Scottish romance, and a time-slip paranormal romance set in the Languedoc area in southern France, in the present time and the days of Charlemagne’s reign just prior to AD800.

Cathie’s stories have garnered praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Follow her at www.cathiedunn.com!

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

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