Tag Archives: writing cat

Furbaby Friday with James DiBenedetto!


I am glad to have James DiBenedetto here to share his much-loved writing kitties and exciting Dream Doctor Mysteries.

James: Like most people who have cats, I’ve gotten very used to my four-legged friends “helping” me when I write. Daisy (the beautiful tortoise-shell who we had for ten years) loved to sit herself on the desk, right in front of (or on top of!) the keyboard. I can only assume that she had ideas for my books that she just couldn’t wait to share with me.

Danny (the handsome white cat we’ve had since 2014) has a different approach. He’s obviously read all the stories that talk about how bad it is to sit for an extended period, so he makes sure I get up from the keyboard frequently to get some exercise. He does this by jumping on the bookshelf and trying to knock items off. Catching them before they hit the floor helps to hone my reflexes, so clearly this is a coordinated fitness program for me!

It’s probably no coincidence that animals feature in almost all my books, too. In the Dream Doctor Mysteries, Sara, our heroine, has a dog throughout the series. When we first meet her, she’s the owner of a Golden Retriever named Lumpy, whom she got as a puppy when she was ten. Later, after she’s graduated medical school, she adopts a Labrador-Retriever mix named Chrissy, and at the end of the series, when she’s about to see her daughter graduate from college, she’s got a Beagle named Bucky.

Speaking of the Dream Doctor Mysteries, I’ve just relaunched them, with new covers (which I think look really cool). I already mentioned that Sara is the heroine, and the reason they’re called that is, Sara has the gift (or curse) of being able to step into other people’s dreams, which causes her no end of trouble!
The first book of the series is Dream Doctor, and it opens with Sara preparing for her wedding, until another supernatural dream threatens to upset everything.

A short excerpt, from Dream Doctor showing Sara’s relationship with her beloved dog:

So why do I want to tear off my beautiful dress, jump in the car and drive away as fast and far as I can?
I know exactly why.
“I need a minute,” I mumble, and I go upstairs to my room and lock the door. Lumpy’s sitting on the bed and I’m grateful. I’m going to need someone beside me who loves me unconditionally to get through this.
I pick up the phone and dial. Brian’s mother answers on the first ring, sounding very harassed. “Is Brian there? I need to talk to him,” I say without preamble. She can hear the panic in my voice, and I can hear the tiny note of hopefulness in hers as she calls out to Brian to pick up. It’s a year and a half and she still hasn’t really warmed up to me. She never, ever will, either. That’s fine – she’s about to get her wish.
As I wait for Brian to pick up, Lumpy nuzzles against me, licks my right hand. After this is done, he’ll be the only one who won’t think I’m horrible or stupid or crazy – or maybe all three. I hear a click as Brian picks up the phone. He’s panting. “Sara? What’s wrong?” He must have run to the phone. I can’t even guess what he thinks might be going on with me. I hate that I’m doing this to him, but what choice do I have?
I don’t know how to begin, so I just blurt it right out: “I love you – you know that. But I think I – we – you shouldn’t marry me. It’s not fair to you.”

Book Description from Dream Doctor:

Between adjusting to life as a newlywed and trying to survive the first month of medical school, Sara Alderson has a lot on her plate. She definitely doesn’t need to start visiting other people’s dreams again. Unfortunately for her, it’s happening anyway.
Every night, she sees a different person and a different dream. But every dreamer has one thing in common: they all hate Dr. Morris, the least popular professor in the medical school, and they’re all dreaming about seeing him – or making him – dead.
Once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens. But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do.

Dream Doctor is the first book of the Dream Doctor Mysteries.

Follow James at:

His website – www.jjdibenedetto.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/jjdibenedettoauthor
Twitter – http//twitter.com/jjdibenedetto
Youtube book videos – www.tinyurl.com/jjdvideo
Audiobook samples – www.tinyurl.com/jjdaudio
Amazon Author page – http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto

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/

Or you can sign up for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cbaVMH

Or follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/merry-farmer

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

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave Merry 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.