Meankitty Wants to Know: Reese Ryan

Author Reese Ryan has a book out now with Carina Press entitled Making the First Move. It’s got some humans on the cover being all kissy and stuff. Let’s find out more about her…

1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner? Does this have anything to do with the fact your household is currently deprived of a cat?

I have great respect for the felines of the world, dearest Meankitty. But alas, my dreadful allergies to the fairer pet prevent me from being owned by a kitty…or 24. Therefore, I had to fall back on my first love of storytelling.

2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)

This is a challenging question, Meankitty. One I must answer carefully if I wish to avoid being booted from the Meankitty Show. *Ahem* *Adjusts collar and eyes exits.* Cats are indeed the more clever pet. They are quite self-sufficient and extremely graceful. Most felines barely reveal a hint of their ultimate goal—to take over the world. However, a former co-worker who is a dedicated cat owner has a sign in her office that says, “Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.” Since my hidden agenda is to be Queen (or at least Princess) of a yet-to-be determined country, I’m in search of my own staff. This makes me a poor match for the felines of the world.

3) Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives?

In Making the First Move—which releases today—felines are mentioned a few times. While the felines mentioned have pivotal roles, their contribution occurs off-stage so, unfortunately, we don’t get to meet either of them.

4) On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when or how do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?

Funny you should mention this, Meankitty. I’ve been running some ideas through my head for stories involving characters in the book I just completed—Love Me Not. One character already owns a dog. But I was thinking that a kitty would make the perfect companion for the other character. She’s recently graduated from college and will be striking out on her own. I think a cat would suit her.

5) In MAKING THE FIRST MOVE, your hero rescues at-risk young humans from the road to disaster. How do you think your story would have been different if your hero had been, say, a cat sanctuary owner rescuing at-risk young cats from the road to disaster? (I mean–besides BETTER, of course, because of all the cats in the story.)

While obviously the story would have been more compelling with the introduction of dozens of felines, it would lessen Raine’s impact on the world. Each feline rescued would only be able to accommodate one owner (or family). However, each young human that he rescues has the potential to accommodate several cats. So Raine is acting in the best interest of humans and felines everywhere.

6) In LOVE ME NOT your heroine is a moody artist and your hero is described as a handsome, sweet man, which really sounds like he’d be a pet person. In particular a CAT person. How would your hero and heroine in this book reconcile their difference if the heroine’s self-loathing moodiness was caused by being a DOG person (probably) and the hero’s awesomeness was caused by being a CAT person?

Very observant, MK. I hadn’t considered it, but Jamie Charles is definitely more of a dog person, while Miles would be more of a cat person. Jamie’s pretty insistent and she isn’t accustomed to compromising, so Miles might be in for a bit of a battle. However, I’d like to think that they’d come to an amicable agreement that would make everyone happy. (Except maybe the cat, who’d be forced to take up residence with a dog.)

7) What are your favorite works of fiction or cinema involving cats or favorite fictional cats?

My favorite fictional feline is Garfield—the cartoon version being far superior to the live-action version. My second favorite would be Salty—the cat who owns Caroline from the nineties television show, Caroline in the City.

8) Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share? Barring cat stories, you may share stories about dogs embarrassing themselves if you like.

I have both, but sadly, I can’t share either under order of the F.B.I.—the Feline Bureau of Investigation.

9) Did you know it’s been clinically proven (by me) that writers with cats make more money and are happier in general?

Since housing and feeding cats is undoubtedly less expensive than doing the same for dogs and cats never need to be walked and rarely require bathing, that makes perfect sense.

10) How do you think writers are like cats?

Since cats have staff—and I clearly do not—I’ve gotta say most of the writers I know are more like dogs. Sorry Meankitty, but bear with me for a minute here. However, writers who hover in the ether at the top of the kingdom do employ a full support team and have thousands of fans falling at their feet. These gods among writers are definitely more like cats.

***

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Making-the-First-Move-ebook/dp/B00CC68FMU/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/making-the-first-move-reese-ryan/1115148406
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/making-the-first-move/id653078144?mt=11
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17800669-making-the-first-move

The human’s also doing a celebratory contest if you like gift cards: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Typist
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Cattification: Ruby’s Ghost by Shona Husk

Author Shona Husk, at http://www.shonahusk.com/, writes books about humans who don’t wear actual shirts. At least, judging by their covers. Hey, I’m a cat, I get to use whatever criteria I want! In May 2013, she released a book that had much more clothed people in it, but unfortunately it was pretty much devoid of felines. We have rectified this sad situation for her with the following cattification.

Note: To get the most out of the transformation, check out the catless Ruby’s Ghost first: http://www.shonahusk.com/rubysghost.html. The excerpt we repaired is the first chapter of the book…

Refusing the “call to cat love” is hard to survive…

One moment, Tate Dogger is callously taking a stray kitty to the animal shelter on his motorcycle. The next, he has been punished by the Cats of Fate, his soul suspended between life and death, wandering in confusion between the shelter and the house he should have let the cat live in.

Except it’s not his home anymore. In his old bedroom sleeps a beautiful young white kitty, the only animal who can see him. And the only animal who can keep him from succumbing to the urge to slip helplessly into DOG purgatory, a place full of drool and fleas and honching and bad smells, which would cause horrific pain in his mortal body.

Siamese Jones should be studying for her Society of House Cat exams, but it’s tough to stay focused when a lost human soul keeps appearing in her room. She figures it must have something to do with the dogs she heard barking in the night, but she’s not sure a dog person is worth saving.

As Siamese tries to help Tate unravel the tangled yarn leading up to his decision not to adopt the stray kitty, his longing and desire to have another chance at a mortal, cat-person life grows into an almost tangible bond between them. But then a second spirit appears, a hairy, noisy one with a darker, very canine intent that could separate them before Tate learns the true error of his ways…

Warning: Contains a vengeful dog spirit and the shining realization of feline worship that crosses the boundary between life and death.

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

“Meow meow me row!” The stray kitty Tate Dogger had decided to take to the animal shelter took a swipe at his cherry red sleeve and leaned forward to hiss at him.

Tate turned his arm away and the cat’s claws connected with his hand instead. The cat was mean. One too many nights on the street. The same cat he used to see at the high school. Trouble was, he wasn’t at the high school anymore. So why had this cat shown up in the neighborhood?

“Kitty, I think you need to settle down.” Tate eased its claw out of his hand.

“Mrrrrr.” The cat withdrew, her claws stained red.

He looked around the room. The cat had followed him to this party. Half the people he didn’t know, the other half were his friends by default because they also owned dogs and hung at the local dog park. He winced. They had all been friends once, but in the last year he’d realized two things. They’d gotten more dogs and he hadn’t, and he didn’t want to spend his weekend picking up poop and taking the dogs for never-ending walks when he had assignments to do and projects to complete. At first the drift away from the dog park group had been accidental because he’d been down to a single dog, but now it was more deliberate.

I mean, just the smells on their clothing was enough to drive you mad, but the conversation! So boring. Pepe did this, Barney fetched a ball, Kiki is so cute.

And now this cat seemed to be trying to adopt him. What was this cat thinking?

Tate shook his head. “I’m done with you, kitty.” He was done with this, all of it. He glanced at the cat and realized she was actually quite pretty. That hurt to even think, since he was a dog person and all, but his heart hadn’t been in the relationship with his Cairn Terrier for months.

“Mew.” The cat head-butted his hand, her nose cold but not as slimy as a dog nose. He let his fingers slide over her silky fur. The cat hadn’t changed. She was still the same calico he’d seen around the high school. She was purring at him now, her tail curling as she beckoned him to take her home with him and ditch this party of dog lovers forever. And in truth, he no longer felt the crazed fanaticism to own lots of dogs the way he once had. He was going through the motions and that wasn’t fair to him or his Terrier, Chowder Head, who was lonely for other canine companionship.

But that didn’t mean he could adopt this cat!

The cat’s tongue was rough when she licked him. Instead of saying what he felt—that he wished he could take her home with him—he mumbled out an excuse. “I have a dog, kitty. I can’t have a cat too.”

The kitty sat down, her soft tail curling around her front paws. “Mew?”

Petting the calico was fine when he was seventeen or eighteen, on the way home from school, and didn’t want his dog to know he was out cheating with a kitty—though he was sure in hindsight his dog knew more than he’d let on.

“I have poop detail every single day. I can’t add a cat box and cat food and who knows what else to my responsibilities.” And then a summer job, then one more year to go and he’d be a qualified mechanical engineer.

“Purrrrrrr.”

He’d heard that from her many times. She didn’t like it when he walked away at the end of the school day, but this kitty didn’t understand. He had to get home to the dog or the dog would pee on everything. Stupid dog. Lately he’d been seeing the kitty on his front porch, too, and then at his back door, like it was making a loop. He couldn’t do it anymore, ignore her pitiful mews, but he didn’t know how to break up with a cat whom he’d secretly loved and wanted to take home since he was fifteen. But he and Chowder Head had been together for too long for it to be easy and painless to bring a feline into a dog house.

The music went up and all his friends started pretending to be their dogs and howling and barking along with it. Because who doesn’t love Maroon 5, bow-wow style? Tate had been the only one out of all his friends to go to college. A few had joined the defense force; most had drifted into full-time positions at the shops they’d worked in through high school. All they cared about was making sure they had a lot of time to spend at the dog park and getting a big enough yard. He just wasn’t sure he wanted to be tied down like that. He wanted to do other things first.

The kitty meowed something at him he couldn’t hear over the barking music.

He leaned in to speak in her ear. “Why don’t you come with me, kitty? I’m finally going to take you where you belong.”

And she did. And she’d be fine. This wasn’t the first dog barking party he’d left early, though it wasn’t usually to take a kitty to the animal shelter. Even as he thought it, he resented the fact that he couldn’t just keep this kitty. Why did Chowder Head have to be such a…dog? Everytime he left the house, there was a fight about how he shouldn’t have left Chowder Head home alone, and that he didn’t really love the dog, and that he deserved to have all his shoes chewed up, and O BOW WOW DO YOU SMELL LIKE CAT??? The list of Tate’s faults just went on. Then he’d apologize, and clean up the mess, and take Chowder Head for a walk, and everything would be sweet until next time.

He didn’t want a next time.

He touched the cat’s soft calico fur, then her cheek. The kitty was right about one thing. She didn’t need to be living on the street. “I’m sorry, kitty.”

Tate walked away to find something to use as a cat carrier. He pulled his helmet and jacket out of the hall cupboard, where he’d hidden them from those who would let their dogs chew them up. In the bottom of the closet he found a milk crate and some cardboard. Everyone just howled and barked and talked about milk bones and ignored both him and the cat. He gave the party another hour before the neighbors called the police. He affixed the milk crate to the back of the motorcycle so it would be safe and put on his jacket.

“Mew, mew.” The kitty came running out the house. She reached the bike, tail twitching. “Mrow?”

So, she wasn’t onto his plan yet to take her to the shelter. He stared at her tiny body on the leafy ground beside his bike.

“Mew?” She sounded worried, as if she knew something was different somehow.

He eased himself off the motorcycle. Once all he’d wanted was to have a lot of dogs and to believe they’d be together forever. He glanced at the house and the people barking along to the radio. Chewed up couches and leashes and other doggy detritus lined the porch. This wasn’t the life he wanted. “I’m sorry.”

The kitty put her paw on his foot. “Purr.”

He had to do it, grab her and get her in the crate. She’d be angry and hurt, but she’d realize they were better off apart. She’d be happier with someone else…someone who didn’t have a dog. And so would he.

The ache was back, pressing on his heart. He’d been with Chowder Head for so long…but he couldn’t help it. He secretly loved this cat. Had he ignored his civic duty to make sure kitty was taken safely to a no-kill animal shelter out of fear? Because he loved seeing her every day, even if she wasn’t in his house? He couldn’t be what she wanted. A cat person. He already had a dog. If he were, she and Chowder Head could never get along, and she would get pissed with him for having a dog instead of taking the dog to the animal shelter instead.

He’d heard of people having both dogs and cats. He just didn’t think he could be one of them.

He took a breath but couldn’t look her in the eye. “It’s over. We’ve both known it for a while.”
But neither of them had wanted to be the first one to say it.

“Mewwww.” Her body brushed against his leg. She lowered her head and began to clean her ears with her little white paw in a way that threatened to bring him to his knees.

He placed his hand on her shoulders. He wouldn’t hurt her. He’d be careful. The animal shelter would take good care of her, find her a loving cat family.

Tate closed his eyes and swallowed. This was more difficult than he’d thought it would be. He didn’t want to hurt her. Carefully he lifted her purring, soft body into the crate and strapped on a lid.

She did not like it. She howled and let him know. He winced with sadness. He zipped up his jacket and pushed on his helmet. Each move was slow and determined. He wouldn’t let himself be meowed around. Yet he couldn’t take off and leave her standing on the driveway, living on the dangerous streets for one more night.

He would drop her at the shelter, go back to his home with Chowder Head, and sleep, and then he’d ring the shelter tomorrow—just to check—just to hear about the beautiful beloved calico for the last time. The cat would be much happier with a man who was happy to have cats, not dogs, and take care of the kitty for the rest of his life.

He wasn’t that man.

The bike thrummed to life beneath him. Black and chrome. Secondhand and the best bike he could afford. The cat howled at first, until she realized he wasn’t going to let her out of the crate. He’d rather be doing this in a car, but a bike it was. The income from his part-time job didn’t stretch that far. It barely covered Chowder Head’s food and flea meds.

The cat managed to get her paw through a hole and scratch his side. He carefully put her paw back, safe, and waited while she calmed down behind him. He was going to miss her.

Was he making a mistake? He’d worried about the cat on the streets for so long, maybe this was just how it was. But missing her was different than expecting Chowder Head to accept her. He eased the bike down the driveway. The cat wriggled behind him, making the bike sway.

“Hold on, kitty.” He checked the street and waited in the driveway as a white SUV raced past. Someone’s new car was getting test driven by everyone at the party. He’d had a look at it earlier in the night. It was flash, leather seats and sunroof. The owner’s dog would tear the hell out of those flash seats soon enough. Pity the owner wasn’t smart enough to get seat covers. The insurance wouldn’t cover damage from a dog. He let it roar by then turned onto the road and went the opposite way.

This was the neighborhood he’d grown up in. He indicated, checked the intersection and noted headlights coming up the road. It was his right of way, so he started slipping around the corner.

Halfway round he realized the car’s headlights were moving too quickly to stop at the sign. They were going to run the stop sign and go straight through the intersection. They were going to hit him…and the cat! The precious kitty he loved so much. Panic kicked hard. He had to get clear. Save the kitty. He didn’t care about himself!

He gunned the bike through the intersection, but it was too late. The SUV was too fast and too close.

His world shattered in the crunch and scream of metal. The cat meowed in a very angry fashion.

Then there was no bike. No cat. Adrenaline squeezed his heart. He couldn’t breathe. He was in the air. There were lights everywhere. Spinning. Was he close enough to the shelter that somebody would save the cat? He hit the ground on his side and slid—there was nothing he could do. He came to a stop. Pain flooded his body. He had to get up. He couldn’t move. He didn’t want to be here. He wanted to be at home, miraculously with a cat on one side and a dog on the other. He wanted…he wanted cats and dogs both.

He sighed and closed his eyes. The lights were too bright.

****

Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com  

Snippet Saturday: Circle in the Sand

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is circle in the sand — warm weather excerpts. I’m going to share an excerpt about 1/3 of the way through 1000 Kisses that literally takes place on a beach after our hero and heroine have made a daring escape….

***

Anisette woke on a dark, deserted beach. Thousands of stars. Big moon. Sand cushioned her, but Ani felt like she’d belly flopped into granite. Her bones ached. She hovered near wakefulness, memories flickering like an old candle.

When she’d transported everyone, she hadn’t had time to sync her spell with the ring and hadn’t been sure how they’d land. But she wasn’t alone. The boom and crash of the surf couldn’t hide a familiar grumble.

She sat up, head muzzy. “Embor?”

His body sprawled nearby. When she spoke, he rolled onto his side. Sand coated his cheek. “I hate humanspace.”

Her mouth tasted foul, but any shakiness from her magical outlay was gone. They must have been asleep awhile. “How long have we been here?”

“No idea.” He crawled to her. Blood spattered his tunic. “It’s still night.”

“How are you feeling?” In humanspace, she had no magic to repair the damage done to him—or that he’d done to himself. Energy globe dependence had an ugly recovery phase if one had no help.

“Surprisingly terrible.”

“I imagine so.” Of all the people in the Realm, she’d never have thought Embor Fiertag would have gotten himself hooked on globes. At the same time, he was so stubborn, she wasn’t that shocked. “Headache? Irritability? Intermittent tremors?”

Goodness, if he didn’t manifest any tremors, she’d never have known the difference.

He raised an eyebrow. “I feel like a gnome chewed my leg and I crashed on a beach.”

***

Find out more, including buy links, at http://www.jodywallace.com/books/onethousandkisses.htm

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com

MORE EXCERPTS!

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
Mandy M. Roth
McKenna Jeffries
http://shilohwalker.com/website
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Felicity Heaton
TJ Michaels
Mari Carr

Snippet Saturday: Always On My Mind


Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is always on my mind. Thought I’d share this scene from Claustrophobic Christmas when our hero, James, is trying to figure out why he keeps obsessing over the heroine…

***

James watched Darcy go with mixed feelings. The one person he paradoxically had and hadn’t wanted to see more than anyone in the world, and damned if she didn’t show up. Speak of the devil.

But Darcy Burkell was no demon come to ruin his life and cast his soul into Hell. Hardly. She was kind of a goody-two-shoes. Kind of fussy. Kind of frumpy. God, that sweat suit!

She was the kind of woman he never had anything to do with, but at the same time, she was all he could think about. She made him laugh and she made him worry about her and she made him crazy wondering what it would be like.

Itbeing sex. With her.

When he’d shown up at her office, her hair had been in all these dark, shiny curls and she’d had two buttons undone on her blouse so he could see a hint of pale cleavage. She had enough to entice but not so much it looked like her chest would get in the way when they were mashed up together, hot and heavy. And then there were her tight skirt and round hips. Yeah, a man could grab onto Darcy and not get tired of her any time soon.

But instead of being happy to see him, she’d stared at him like he had two deformed heads. And proceeded to make up some crap about a boyfriend he knew was crap the minute she said it.

Even in that day-glow sweat suit, he still wanted her, and he neverwanted a woman who’d shot him down. Thanks, but no thanks. There were plenty of easier women. And by easy he didn’t mean slutty, he just meant easy to predict, easy to be with and easy to leave.

His feelings for Darcy had crept up on him like kudzu. One day he’d been thrilled to have a punctual client who asked for material that inspired him, and the next he’d noticed that whenever he took a great shot, he wanted to share it with her. He passed the world’s largest garden gnome en route to a job, and he wanted to laugh at it with her. He saw dolphins leaping in the Atlantic…the aurora borealis over Nome…the foamy white spray of a waterfall in Brazil…he wanted to turn to her and say, “Look, Darcy. Would you look at that? It’s almost as amazing as you are.”

Not so amazing if she’d had the poor taste to reject him, he supposed, trying to patch the gaping wound in his ego. Women, right? Can’t live with them in their condos, can’t ask them to live in your tent.
 

*****

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com  * http://www.meankitty.com  

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://twitter.com/jodywallace
http://pinterest.com/realmeankitty/
https://www.facebook.com/JodyWallaceAuthor

MORE EXCERPTS

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
http://shilohwalker.com/website
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lissa Matthews
TJ Michaels
Mari Carr

Snippet Saturday: Her Man (Heroine’s First Glimpse of Hero)

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is the heroine’s first glimpse of the hero. I’ve asked a writer friend, Jeffe Kennedy, if she has any good examples of this, and she sent me this excerpt from RUBY, her upcoming BDSM novella from Carina press! You can find out more about Jeffe at http://www.jeffekennedy.com/

***

A crash from the kitchen shattered the mood, heads swiveling to catch the source of the commotion, a voice bellowing, quite clearly now, “Not in my restaurant!”

A man in chef’s whites charged out among the elegant tables, zeroed in on her and, with a sneer twisting his handsome mouth, strode up to her table.

“You do not tell me.”

“Excuse me?” Dani looked him up and down to steady herself. Slim, American—which surprised her because most five-stars seemed to think they needed European chefs—dark eyes that matched his neatly trimmed beard, a piratical gold hoop in one ear. Was that a Cajun accent? Surely not.

“I cook for you. You eat. That’s how this works.” He gave the abandoned half roll a glinting glance of contempt. “You will have my snapper as I give it to you. I promise it will be perfect.”

She set her teeth. “I pay and you make what I want. That is how this works.”

He reassessed her and Dani felt his estimation rise, as it always did. She knew what they saw when they looked at her—the cursed cupid’s bow lips, her thickly lashed gray eyes, the round cheeks that never slimmed, no matter her body fat, and the Grecian black curls that would not be tamed in this humidity. She looked like a china doll.

It always shocked them that she wasn’t as sweet as she looked. Surprise!

Fire sparked in his black eyes. Behind him, the maitre d’ hovered. She pursed her lips, painted a perfect candy red, and raised the arches of her brows. “Did I stutter?”

Unexpectedly, a smile crept through his anger, not of pleasure, but of a challenge taken. An image of him tossing her over the table, raising her skirt and plunging into her flashed through her mind, so vivid and sudden, so unlike her usual thoughts, that she wondered if somehow it came from him.

Preorder: (out 5/13)
* http://ebooks.carinapress.com/596A9FE5-6720-463F-AFF6-18BB8DC73133/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=2D484F91-0B6A-40A1-8B4E-CC8777DDABA6
* http://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Facets-of-Passion-ebook/dp/B00BED271M/ref=la_B001KIASYE_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1366843718&sr=1-6
* http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ruby-jeffe-kennedy/1114811862?ean=9781426895487
* https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ruby-1151275-340.html  

******

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:
https://twitter.com/jodywallace
http://pinterest.com/realmeankitty/
https://www.facebook.com/JodyWallaceAuthor

MORE EXCERPTS!

Myla Jackson
Lauren Dane
Leah Braemel
Caris Roane
Eliza Gayle
McKenna Jeffries
http://shilohwalker.com/website
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lissa Matthews
Felicity Heaton
Mari Carr

Meankitty Wants to Know: Rocco the Cat

We haven’t posted an interview in a while, so here is one with Rocco the Magnificent, who’s going to give us the low-down on what it’s like to manage writer-human Toni LoTempio. Rocco also has his own blog at Cats, Books, and…More Cats!

1) So, your human writes books. Does this mean he or she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.

– Ah, The HUMAN writes books but unfortunately she isn’t a heavy hitter like Stephen King or Nora Roberts, so must slave at a regular job from 9-5 (actually 6-3). This is good because she is away all day and leaves me lots of time to play with my brother, Maxx, torture my sisters Princess and Trixie (the old ladies – one is 12 and the other is 17), and generally get into catnip. When she comes home, she’s putty in my hands. All I have to do is look at her and “merow” and she’s right on me. Literally. Right. On. Me. (She’s a hugger)

2) As her inspiration (obviously), how large a proportion of her income do you have her devote to your gourmet tuna, cat beds, toys and other basic necessities?

– Not as much as I’d like. I make sure the HUMAN spends a good portion of her income on food for us (particularly moi) and on catnip mice and my favorite toy in the whole wide world, BALLIES. I LOVES MY BALLIES!!!!!!!!!! I’m also in the market for a jungle gym, but the HUMAN keeps coming up with excuses…she has to pay bills. What’s up with that??????

3) What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it’s fun?

– Ah, my favorite past-time is torturing the HUMAN when she’s trying to write. I love to play “fetch” with my BALLIE and I will pad into the den whilst she is writing, drop the BALLIE at her feet and then dig my claws into her pants (she just LOVES that). Usually good for at least 15 minutes of “fetch”.

Then when I get tired of that, I sneak underneath the desk and start chewing on the cable wire, which more often than not results in my getting an unwelcome “bath” from the spray bottle, lifted up and put out in the living room. She tries to shut the door but HAH – of course Maxx and I have mastered the art of opening it. Evenutally we take pity on her and go for a cat-nap on the bed.

4) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career?

– It certainly cuts into playtime, I’ll tell you that! Before the HUMAN got this book contract, she’d spend time on a Sunday playing with me. Now she’s got her rear glued into the chair and her eyes glued to the screen. Of course, since MOI is the inspiration for her new series, I allow it. About damn time someone wrote a book about a primo detective cat!

5) Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play? Are the Nick/Nora stories the first appearance of cats?

– Sadly, Nick and Nora is the first time the human has focused on felines, and that was at the urging of her former boss who told her, and I quote, “write about the damn cat” (Moi) which she did. It’s no secret that the Nick in Nick and Nora refers to a sassy, debonair tuxedo cat modeled after moi. And a better role model she could not find, if I do say so myself. (And I do, constantly)

6) For cats whose writer humans have yet to obey this prime feline directive, what advice do you have to encourage humans to incorporate cats into a story with proper attention paid to their importance?

– Humans are such a sorry lot, I’m not sure such a thing is possible. I would tell other cats, hey, meow as much as you can. Knock over your foodbowls. Go in whilst your humans are writing and distract them. Charm them with your wit and intelligence. IF they can focus!

7) What works of fiction or cinema involving cats does your human enjoy sharing with you?

– I hate to say this, but the HUMAN used to sit us all down on a Saturday morning and FORCE us to watch the Dog Show on Animal Planet! Did you ever? She’s pretty good about buying books that feature cats, though. That I will say. She’s fond of Miranda James and the Magical Cats series by Sofie Kelly. And she positively LOVES the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas (hey, a cat who talks like Bogart – what’s not to love?????) Actually, in the original manuscript of Nick and Nora, Nick talked – yep, talked a blue streak. Sadly, he talks no longer, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

[[MEANKITTY’S NOTE: mmmmmmmmm, fish.]]

8) If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

– Can the baby talk. I understand the King’s English. Calling me an “uggy-wuggy little dumpling” just makes me want to cough up a hairball or two.

User submitted questions (answer only if desired):

Did your human name a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?

– Yes, the character of Nick in NICK and NORA is modeled after me. Of course, had she named him ROCCO the Magnificent I would have liked it far better, but NICK suits just fine.

And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it?

– I’d like to say yes, but actually ROCCO is the name I was given at the shelter where she adopted me when I was just 8 weeks old. Because I like to sit on my haunches and box (particularly my sisters – although I have wrestled Maxx to the ground), she has told me I must be named after Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). I guess it could be worse. I could be named Sylvester (although there is a very charming cartoon cat with that name!) Nickname SLY – hmmmmmmm.

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & her typist Jody Wallace
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Snippet Saturday: Author’s Choice

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is “Author’s Choice” and since I love food…we’re going with food. My scene was taken from the latter half of A Spell for Susannah, my first published novel — so beware if you don’t like spoilers! — and features our heroine, Princess Susannah, attempting to converse with the very young Prince Hanson during a formal banquet, who reveals some interesting information about our hero Jon Tom, seated elsewhere.

***

Despite Susannah’s attempts to converse with Sir Hanson, her father monopolized the young man’s attention during the formal banquet. The baronet handled the many glasses and plates with aplomb. He ate a good deal with the tiny banquet spoons and nodded at the King, who sat at the table’s head along with the Queen. The hundred or so other nobles and, she supposed, Jon Tom, were seated at other tables in the room, the roar of conversation muted but lively. Who was Jon Tom seated beside? If it was a noble daughter, she was probably twisted around in her seat for a glimpse of Sir Hanson.

Through the apricot compote and the broiled garlic artichoke hearts, through the almond-crusted halibut and the cucumber peas, through the buttered mussels and the pepper-cheese flowers, an army of servants whisked the miniature plates and bowls onto and off of everyone’s placemat. The King rambled on and on. Susannah finished her puff pastry and wondered why her father had taken such a liking to Sir Hanson. Perhaps he was just doing his part to ensnare an heir.

“Sir Hanson, don’t you like your cheese pastry?” Susannah asked him. “The filling is made from the milk of the Reston cows common to your homeland.”

The baronet gave her a weak smile and gulped down his pastry. The current style for formal banquets was to serve as plentiful a selection as possible, necessitating tiny portions of each in miniature dishes. One was meant to sample everything offered, and if it wasn’t to your taste, at least the spoons didn’t hold much. The crystal thimbles of wines and liqueurs with each course were voluntary, and Susannah drank water during the meal—in a regular-sized glass.

The baronet sat to the King’s left and Calypso to the Queen’s right. Susannah dined between Sir Hanson and Peter and traced a pattern on the damask tablecloth with her spoon. Because she had only Peter to speak to and Peter was in a sulk, Susannah ate more than she normally did. She squirmed in her rigid, formal corset. She wished she could go upstairs, take off her stupid court headdress and brush out her hair.

Her father waved away a second serving of chocolate trifle. The Queen caught Susannah’s gaze and narrowed her eyes, tilting her head slightly to indicate the baronet. Then she engaged her husband in conversation.

Susannah took a deep breath, then another. Perhaps it would make more room inside her corset for all the food. What might Hanson like besides cows? “My father mentioned the superior hunting in the Oldtree Forest, I’m sure. Do you enjoy hunting?”

She pitched the question loud enough for Calypso to hear. Although it wasn’t the thing to converse across the table, her family didn’t stand on absolute ceremony. Besides, her father wasn’t obeying the rules of polite discourse, so why should she? If she could get Calypso chattering about horses and hounds, they’d give their father a run for his coins.

“Not really, Princess Susannah.” The tablecloth rustled near Hanson’s legs, and she realized he was nervously tapping his foot on the ground.

Poor fellow. She widened her eyes at Calypso and inclined her head toward Hortense. Hopefully Hortense wasn’t still so disgusted with Susannah she refused to answer the call of duty. They needed to yank the conversation away from their father, or their mother would lambaste them.

Hortense tinked her spoon against the trifle bowl, as if by accident. Hanson glanced up. “Has our father described our Justice Chambers?” she asked. “He resolves a higher proportion of citizen complaints than any other kingdom.”

The baronet nodded and licked chocolate from his tiny spoon. Little curls had sprung up all over his head and bushed around his circlet, making him look even younger. Across the table, Hortense pursed her lips.

Unaware of the byplay, Hanson quaffed a thimble of hot vanilla liqueur. “Jon said the Justice Chambers were a marvel of efficiency.”

“Mr. Tom?” Susannah nearly crumpled her spoon in her fist. “When did you have the opportunity to speak with him?”

“He took me about this morning. Showed me the lay of the land.” The baronet’s cheeks were flushed, probably from the amount of alcohol he’d consumed over the course of the meal. The thimbles were deceptive, Susannah had learned long ago.

“The lay of the land.” Susannah didn’t know how to take that and ignored Calypso and Hortense across the table, both making “shush” faces. “So Mr. Tom spent the morning with you. He didn’t mention it to me.”

“Why would he? If he’s here to sneak about and investigate you, it seems as how he wouldn’t tell you what he’s up to all day long.”

Places to buy A Spell for Susannah:

All Romance Ebooks
Amazon (paperback)
Amazon (ebook)
Barnes and Noble (paperback)
Barnes and Noble (ebook)
Diesel Ebooks
Fictionwise
Google
Kobo
Powells (ebook)
Powells (paperback)
Samhain Publishing (paperback)
Samhain Publishing (ebook)

Hungry now??

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

****

Other Excerpt Links:

Leah Braemel

Caris Roane

Eliza Gayle

McKenna Jeffries

Taige Crenshaw

Delilah Devlin

Felicity Heaton

HelenKay Dimon

TJ Michaels

Shiloh Walker

Lissa Matthews

Myla Jackson

Shelli Stevens

Mari Carr

Lauren Dane

Snippet Saturday: Jobs

Snippet Saturday (missing its graphic today because I had issues with Blogger) is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is jobs. One of my favorite job excerpts is from 1000 Kisses, where Embor, the Primary of the Realm (basically the president), is trying to get his clothes laundered…

****

The woman regarded him with a craftiness that didn’t match her apple cheeks and corkscrew curls. “I might not be able to get these done in time for your next workout.”

Embor drew himself up to his full height. “I have several sets.”

“The others aren’t ready either. You’ve been exercising so much lately. One might think you were working off steam.”

That was no secret. Court became contentious as Primary assessments approached. At least he’d quit attempting to convince the Elders to fund a full-scale humanspace search mission and had redirected his energies. They were foolish to ignore the danger posed by the renegade agents and their insider knowledge about the AOC. Embor was many things, but he wasn’t a fool.

But he did need to enhance his stamina with moderate exercise. If he encountered Anisette in the gardens at the same time, well, he was fond of multitasking.

“A logical conclusion,” he conceded. “I am the Primary. There is stress involved.” He seemed to be informing people of this a lot lately.

“You’re not coming here to visit with me, that’s for certain. I’m surprised you haven’t paid for pick-up and delivery.”

“An unnecessary expense for something my assistant or I can handle.” Interacting with citizens like the laundress allowed him the opportunity to gauge his constituency. He spoke to at least one voter on a weekly basis.

“Skythia doesn’t worry about thrift. So what’ll it be, Elder?”

Always there were hidden fees. “I can offer—”

“Ten transportation globes, Realm-wide. And information.”

“Information?” Globes he’d expected. But information?

“That’s my new rate for next-day delivery.” Banging and clattering echoed up the chute. She opened the wooden door and stuck her head in the hole. “What in the gnome-stick are you doing down there?”

“Tripped!” a voice echoed up the shaft.

“We’re training another sorter,” she told Embor. “Laundry’s big business with the influx of human clothes, and hardly anyone can do it. But now let’s talk about you.”

“Your sibs don’t ask ten globes for a job they’re already well-paid to do.” Many Court services were privatized, the suppliers allotted a base amount from the treasury.

“My sibs couldn’t magic a water stain out of a dishrag.” She slammed her book closed and placed another on top of it. “Do you want clean clothes or not?”

He crossed his arms. “What’s your clan name?”

“Serendipity.” She smiled. “We’re small, but we’re loud.”

He could see the resemblance to Talista, if not Anisette. “Seeking information about Court activities could be considered treasonous.”

She laughed. “That’s not the kind of information I want.”

Was it so important to chat with a constituent this week? He didn’t have time for this. There was an Elder Court session in three days, and he had to prepare new arguments, consult with his cabinet, attend some negotiations with Greenland, sit advisory in the Younger Court on judicial matters, consider an appointment with his physician about his sleep issues; meet with Jake Story about their clandestine project, coordinate with the Commission for Truth about the AOC, insinuate himself into Princess Anisette’s good graces and banish Warran of Clan Torval. For something.

“I fail to see why you can’t be satisfied with your salary. My salary is enough for me.” Serving at Court was a public office and paid accordingly. He bartered transportation globes he created himself for any extras he required.

“I like gossip, and I have expensive tastes,” she said. “What can I say?”

“I have no gossip.” Gossip required one engage in casual conversation, another thing he had no time for.

Places to buy One Thousand Kisses:

All Romance Ebooks
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books on Board

Diesel Ebooks
Fictionwise
Google Books
Mobipocket
Powells
Samhain Publishing
Sony

Happy reading!

Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

MORE JOBS:

Leah Braemel

Caris Roane

Eliza Gayle

McKenna Jeffries

TJ Michaels

Taige Crenshaw

Delilah Devlin

Felicity Heaton

HelenKay Dimon

TJ Michaels

Shiloh Walker

Lissa Matthews

Myla Jackson

Lauren Dane

Cattification: Just Bathe (The Cat)

Today is the release date of JUST BREATHE by author Kendall Grey, and you can find all kinds of contests and linky goodness and celebrations all month long. The master lists for the blog tour:
http://rumorhasitummhmm.blogspot.com/p/just-breathe.html and
http://www.kendallgrey.com/?page_id=4303

You’ll note there’s a Kindle Fire giveaway you can enter, which is appropriate, don’t you think? Kendall giving away a Kindle? The main webpage is here http://www.kendallgrey.com/  with all the appropriate buy links and such. You should probably go see the original cover and blurb as well. Right offhand, it’s at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Breathe-ebook/dp/B00AY0K0TC/ref=la_B006BA1V06_1_9
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-breathe-kendall-grey/1108051775?ean=2940016099460

Anyway, Meankitty thought the book was too watery, with too many aquatic types. She has therefore corrected Kendall’s oversights in cover design and plotting with the following cattification:

He’ll sacrifice his skin to the chore he hates to spare the wellbing of the woman he loves…

After a terrible accident rocks the foundation of their relationship–her beloved cat, Wino, accidentally rolls in motor oil from his clunker–Gavin Cattidy, leader of the Sentinels who protect pets in Australia, and feline biologist Zoe Munchkin call it quits on their short-lived affair. He can’t come to terms with the “I told you to clean up after your damn oil-leaking muscle car” trust he inadvertently shattered, and being with him is pissing the cat off. Literally. Gavin’s shoes and clothes and favorite books and totems made out of kangaroo dung and cherished guitar–all whizzed on by a very angry Wino.

But love is a powerful motivator, and neither fear nor misguided, totally useless “pet wipes” found at some superstore are strong enough to keep them apart, despite the fact that Wino is now on a collision course with everything expensive and breakable on the mantel that can only end badly–for the keepsakes. When Gavin’s illicit consultation with Zoe’s most hated foe, Delores Zebnak, News Channel 12 Dog Vet, who also happens to be Gavin’s ex-girlfriend, threatens to betray millions of innocents to a ruthless dogs-only adoption campaign, Zoe vows to sacrifice everything–including the keepsakes she loves, like the waving porcelain cat from China and that nice glass vase–to stop Gavin from making the biggest mistake of his life.

Just Bathe The Cat…it’s a bad idea. Even if there’s motor oil involved.

*This book contains graphic language, blood, lacerations, men learning a valuable lesson about cleaning the garage, hairballs, 12 stitches, and violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18, dogs or kittens.

***

Meankitty has committed to review this novel on Jan. 27. We’ll post here. It won’t be suitable for any retail sites, all things considered.

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

The model for this cover is http://meankitty.com/2012/04/mr-man/ Mean Mr. Man, a Meankitty favorite. The bloody arm was a photo by http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Rotorhead and is used according to stated permissions for noncommercial/personal use. The bandage was also located at sxc.hu and is used under standard restrictions.

Cattification: Studio Relations

Studio Relations? Take a quick gander at the original cover and blurb at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Studio-Relations-ebook/dp/B008RBSNYY

You can also see an interview with the unsuspecting author that we did yesterday: http://blog.jodywallace.com/2012/12/meankitty-wants-to-know-georgie-lee.html

More like POODLIO RELATIONS!

 


Vivien Havana-Brown hasn’t forgiven West Highland for almost derailing her career five years ago in a typical, terrier-like fashion. Feline-centric directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a dog man who coasts by on his large kennel and poodle connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is in this dog-eat-dog world (because dogs are dumb cannibals). But when the head of Studio Poodlio puts Westie in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Kitty Doors film, she realizes she has a choice: play nice with her drooly, rather smelly new boss or watch another pooch-fancying producer destroy her dream of an all-feline film that is sure to win best everything, even best dog movie, because there’s a canine villain in there who is going to be superbly portrayed by a large up-and-coming British Shorthair named Billy.

Wire-haired Westie Highland doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about eating dead things, sniffing butts, chasing cars and money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The nation’s sick and tired of disappointing movies about humans and dogs that fail to lift anyone’s spirits like cat movies would, if only the DOGmatic studios would give them a chance! Poodlio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Westie, Vivien and several rabbits in the park is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A script change of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—with a large, lop-eared bunny old-timer from the era of silent film, since bunnies don’t, you know, meow or bark or whinny—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.

*************

http://www.amazon.com/Studio-Relations-ebook/dp/B008RBSNYY

Your Meankitty Model today is: http://meankitty.com/2012/04/ringo-starr/ and the bunny is a stock photo obtained legally.

Anyone want to guess the plot of the ground-breaking Kitty Doors film that Vivien Havana-Brown was planning??? Probably a lot of inning and outing in that movie…

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Jody Wallace
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com