8 WAYS TO SUPPORT A BOOK LAUNCH WITHOUT ACTUALLY GOING

Yes, it’s a little bit snarky, but the tips are from the heart.

https://firestarpress.blogspot.com/2019/10/8-ways-to-support-book-launch-without.html

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2 Launches-4 Genres-6 New Books!

All book launches are exciting, but the coming launch of Cat Noel, a Crazy Cat Lady Christmas Novella, will be the cat’s pajamas. I’m sharing the spotlight with fellow Sister in Crime author Heather Ames and her new suspense mystery, Swift Retribution, the 3rd in Heather’s Brian Swift & Kaylen Roberts series.

But wait! There’s more!

Heather will also have two all-new reissues: Indelible, (Brian Swift & Kaylen Roberts series #1) and All That Glitters, a romantic/suspense stand-alone.

I’ll be bringing my just-released Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery (#6), Cosmic Cat, as well as the first book in a new sci-fantasy tetralogy, Cat Summer.

We will both have copies of our other books on hand, as well as Series Sets at a bargain price.

Please join us for tea and wine at Another Read Through Bookstore, Thursday October 17th at 7:00. It will be quite an evening!

Another Read Through  3932 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, Oregon 97227

Note: The reading area at ART is up a long flight of stairs.

About CAT NOEL:

Lynley finds a new meaning of Christmas when a Wiccan’s familiar is catnaped, and Lynley becomes her only hope.
________________________________________

Lynley Cannon is dreading the Holidays. The sixty-something cat shelter volunteer would rather hang out with cats that brave her daughter’s soulless Christmas gala, so when a witch’s beloved kitty is catnapped, Lynley grabs the excuse to skip out on her social obligations.

Though Lynley knows little about the white witchcraft known as Wicca, she does know cats and can’t decline a plea for help when one goes missing. Then the witch disappears as well. Lynley, compelled by her cat-like curiosity, sets out to search for the pair, but the task is more difficult than she’d thought.

A freak snow storm and a crazed captor take things in a dangerous direction. As Lynley endures the cold dark of confinement, the Christmas spirit brings a strength she never knew she possessed.

 

 

Posted in Book Talk, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

CATS TAKING OVER THE WORLD, ONE CONVENTION AT A TIME

Camillia, future cat lady.

Cats aren’t just for crazy cat ladies anymore!

Last weekend I participated in something new- a cat, pop, and art convention called Pop Cats. Since the advent of Cat Con LA and Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp a few years ago, I’d heard a lot about cat conventions, but I had little hope one would actually come to Portland. I’m not sure why, since Portland and its surroundings have some of the most cat-centric people in the country. Portland’s Oregon Humane Society is a leader in cat welfare, uniting with other animal affiliations to form ASAP, the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland, working to reduce cat overpopulation. (They have been so successful that now OHS brings cats from all over the US to keep up with our local adoption needs!) Portland has several wonderful cat shelters and organizations such as Cat Adoption Team and House of Dreams no-kill all-volunteer cat house.

Anyway, they came, the Pop Cats people, and a wonderful convention ensued. My friend and fellow cat writer Ramona Marek and I were there to sell our books, but we also took turns shopping, listening to fun and informative presentations, and checking out the other vendors. There was an artist’s section as well as lots f space for purveyors of cat necessities such as food, beds and catnip. Several shelters had booths, including OHS which set up a corral of kittens up for adoption.

And what would a convention be without celebrities? Headliners were the Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw and Iammoshow the Cat Rapper. (He’s from Portland!) There was also celeb cat BenBen CatCat and his family Norman and Dilly Bean, (who have cerebellar hypoplasia) and the families of Maya Cat and Monte & Molly all the way from Denmark!

BenBen CatCat

Michael and Mikala, Monte & Molly’s people

Pop Cats had it all: art, clothing, accessories, kitchenware, trinkets, jewelry, and an endless array of items for the cat-inclined, but one of the coolest things about the convention was the people! The amazing cat finery- everything from sequined cat ears to entire furry costumes! And it wasn’t just the women and children, either. Men sported cat ears and hats, tee shirts, cosmic pants, and I even saw a few tails among the crowd.

Cats aren’t just for crazy cat ladies anymore! I can’t wait for the next Pop Cats to come to town!

About Pop Cats: POP Cats is a fun-packed festival fueled by the spirit of cats, pop, and art! You’ll love the cat playgrounds; artists; music; photo ops; artisans; brands; workshops; influencers; cat adoptions; and more! A portion of profits benefits participating cat organizations.

 

 

Posted in Animal Shelters, Cats, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A BOOK, A LAUNCH, AND A CAT CONVENTION!

Tyler got something to say!

One week!

Cosmic Cat launches in one week!

I’m excited, not just because I’m bringing a new book out into the light, but also because it will be launching from a particularly thrilling venue, Pop Cats Portland-Cat, Pop, and Art Convention. It’s great to have a cat-con come to Portland! We’ve all heard praises sung for Cat-Con LA and Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp. Now we will have our own Pacific Northwest version, and cat people will be coming from all around. Since I’m an exhibitor, I’ll be front and center for the cat event of the season.

A little about Cosmic Cat:

As some of you know, I embrace the sci-fi-fantasy culture who dresses up as their favorite character and goes to conventions to see the actors who play those heroes and villains. Last weekend, I attended Rose City Comic-con, and it was a real joy to be among my people. Cosmic Cat begins in that culture:

When a superhero cosplayer falls to his death at a comic con, Lynley is left holding the bag— and a cat!

Sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon is helping a friend sell her wares at Bridgetown Comic-con when the costumed Captain Cat is murdered in front of her. To her shock, her friend Esmae, a respected philanthropist, is arrested for the crime. Lynley’s sure she is innocent in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but Esmae isn’t talking. Is she covering for someone, or is she guilty after all?

To find the answers, Lynley dons her Star Trek uniform to go undercover with the Captain’s tribe of vigilante cosplayers, but when another of the Avengers is killed, things happen fast and Lynley finds herself on the wrong end of murder.

I will be signing and selling Cosmic Cat at my Pop Cats table, and for a special twist and in honor of the cosplay theme and Lynley’s bold gesture, I will be wearing my own Star Trek uniform for the launch. Come by and check it out: Mollie & Ramona, Cat Books at table #126. There will be a raffle!

Besides Cosmic Cat, I will have the other 5 Crazy Cat Lady cozy mysteries plus my new sci-fantasy, Cat Summer. I’m sharing the table with cat writer Ramona Marek who will have her cat “owner’s manual” Cats for the Genius.

Note: You will need a Pop Cats ticket to get into the convention. It will be fun with lots of vendors, exhibits, presenters, and cats, most covered by your ticket. See the schedule here.

 

 

 

Posted in Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Local Fair, Portland, Portland Oregon Writers & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

PRESS RELEASE: COSMIC CAT LAUNCH AT POP CATS PORTLAND

Mollie Hunt will launch her latest Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery, COSMIC CAT, at Pop Cats Portland, this coming September 28th, 2019. COSMIC CAT is the 6th  book in the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip.

Pop Cats Cat, Pop, and Art Convention is the purr-fect venue for the launch of Mollie’s cat-centric mystery. Visit her at her booth, Mollie and Ramona (Marek), Cat Books, #126, for a signed copy of COSMIC CAT. Find out more on the Cosmic Cat Book Launch Facebook Event Page.

COSMIC CAT for Kindle is also available for pre-order here.

 

 About COSMIC CAT: 

When a superhero cosplayer falls to his death at a comic con, Lynley is left holding the bag— and a cat!

Who killed Captain Cat? His tribe wants to know.

When the Captain is murdered at Bridgetown Comic-con and philanthropist Esmae Westhouse is arrested for the crime, sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon steps out of her comfort zone and dons her Star Trek uniform to expose the real killer.

A decade-spanning love triangle, a band of vigilante cosplayers, a shady pharmaceutical company, and an ancient black cat named Kitty tie into a puzzling plot that has Lynley running in all directions. The death of Captain Cat is only the beginning, and Lynley must stay one step ahead of a ruthless hit man if she is to make it out alive.

Learn about cats! Lynley Cannon’s cat tips, tricks, and facts at the beginning of each chapter.

Excerpt:

“It was like nothing I could ever have imagined.

I was helping a pair of teenage sisters pick out a costume for their new kitten. They were having a bit of a giggle fest and I was joining in. Teens are amusing when they aren’t being sulky, and these girls were enjoying themselves with wild abandon. Both had dressed up for the con, one in generic hero-princess getup and the other as a popular female comic book character. They showed me pictures on their phones of the new addition to their family, a squirmy black furball, slightly out of focus since Kitten had been on the move.

It was fun. I was having fun. I’d put the scene with Gorgon Girl out of my mind. That had been an hour ago, and though I was a little surprised Esmae had not yet returned, I’d put her out of my mind as well. I was there to sell costumes and to take care of Bess, who was currently living up to her cat-angel costume persona by blissfully napping. The Esmae-‌Guinness-‌Cyndee love triangle would have to take care of itself.

The first indication that something was wrong came in the form of a bloodcurdling screech from Bess. I stopped cold in the middle of my sales pitch and stared at her—‌I wasn’t the only one. The girls looked; the man in the booth across the way looked; the passersby looked. The scream of a Bengal is not to be taken lightly.

No napping now. Bess was rigid in her bed, back arched, ears flat to her head. I would have bet money that under the body suit and gauzy wings of her dress, her fur was standing on end. She gave another shriek, and I saw her muscles tense as she made to spring.

I leapt into action, grabbing the lithe, strong cat a split second before she launched. She scrabbled in my arms, then went limp, chattering to herself. I’d never seen her do anything like that before. Up until that moment, she had been serenity itself.

“I’m sorry,” I said to the girls. “I don’t know what’s got into her. She isn’t usually…”

My waterfall of excuses was drowned out by another cry of woe from Bess. Then there was a different sound, one I could not place, coming from above. Bess’s cries had attracted a lot of notice, a clump of onlookers creating an ever-growing traffic jam in front of our booth, but now those people turned their attention upward. Bess was squirming again and this time without any sign of stopping. I had to do something fast before she broke free and was lost in the throng.

A small kennel had been set up under the table where Bess could use her commode in privacy. Esmae would never think of actually locking Bess inside, but Esmae wasn’t there, and after receiving a painful scratch that tore the light fabric of my tunic sleeve, I didn’t think twice about popping her in, so that’s where I was when it happened.

This is what I heard:

An explosion, then shattering glass, tinkling like sharp, fast rainfall as the cube-shaped shards hit the ground.

People screaming, some in pain; some in fear.

Something heavy hitting the floor with a dull thud. The screams amped up to all-out panic and were joined by yells and shouting—‌a cacophony of terror.

“Help!”

“What the…?”

“Quick! Call 911!”

I shoved Bess none too gently into the kennel and flipped the latch, then rose to a scene of absolute chaos. People running, pushing, shoving to get away; others standing as if turned to stone, perhaps by a gorgon. There was a ring of them in the aisle, blocking my view from whatever catastrophe had instigated the riot. I squeezed out from behind the table to get a better look.

The screams continued, though they seemed more of a punctuated keening now. A young man fainted; no one paid him any mind. A woman ran to the side and vomited into a garbage can. I shoved into her space, finally realizing the tumult’s grisly cause.

There, on the floor was a body. Thankfully the black cape shrouded much of the torso, showing only hints of its unnatural positioning. A dark pool was spreading from beneath the cowled head. I didn’t need to see the blood-soaked cat ears to know the dead man was Guinness MacAngus.”

* * *

Books  in the Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery Series:

Editions Available:  Kindle, Paperback 

Cats’ Eyes (Book 1)

Copy Cats (Book 2)

Cat’s Paw (Book 3)

Cat Call (Book 4)

Cat Café (Book 5)

Books need not be read in order.

You can find Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com

Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt

Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CatWriter

Draft2Digital ebooks: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/

Fire Star Author Page:  http://prairierosepublications.com/authors_2/mollie-hunt\

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7768987.Mollie_Hunt

@MollieHuntCats

Sign up for Mollie’s Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn.

About Mollie Hunt: Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Mollie is the author of THE CRAZY CAT LADY COZY MYSTERY SERIES, featuring Portlander Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. The 3rd in the series, CAT’S PAW, was a finalist for the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem Book Award, and the 5th, CAT CAFÉ, won the World’s Best Cat Litter-ary Award in 2019.

Mollie’s sci-fantasy, CAT SUMMER (Fire Star Press) is the first in her CAT SEASONS TETRALOGY where cats save the world from an evil older than history—twice! Mollie also published a non-cat mystery, PLACID RIVER RUNS DEEP, which delves into murder, obsession, and the challenge of chronic illness in bucolic southwest Washington. Two of her short cat stories have been published in anthologies, one of which, THE DREAM SPINNER, won the prestigious CWA Muse Medallion. She has a little book of Cat Poems as well.

Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, Willamette Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and NIWA. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.

 

Praise for Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer:

“I know Mollie as a true, dyed-in-the-wool cat person, as a cat guardian and a foster parent and, most importantly, as a human being. One thing I can spot a mile away is true passion… and Mollie Hunt has it. People like Mollie are rare in this world because they infuse their own curiosity… with true empathy… the recipe for not only a quality person, but, in the end, a great artist as well.”  —Jackson Galaxy | Cat Behavior Consultant

Praise for the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series:

“I knew this novel was about cats but it’s theme is cats! Cats are as much the main characters as the main character is! — Sharon from Goodreads

 “…Each book drew me right into the story and kept me intrigued and guessing all the way. They’re as cozy as can be for cat enthusiast, but there are also some real scares…” —Catwoods Porch Party

 …an outstanding amateur sleuth mystery that will delight cat lovers and mystery lovers alike.

Cats’ Eyes has so many exciting twists and turns; it keeps the reader fascinated until the final thrilling scene. I liked the addition of “cat facts” at the heading of each chapter. I learned a few fascinating tidbits that I didn’t know. —Readers Favorite 5-Star Review

Praise for Cat Café:

This book will test your observational skills and deductive reasoning…These characters have additional depth and personality. —Laura’s Interests  

It’s a fast-paced intriguing story. There were so many different ways it could have gone and I wasn’t sure where it was heading until almost the end. —Socrates’ Book Reviews 

The characters are great and make this one a great read. —My Reading Journeys

 

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GIVEAWAY! CAT SUMMER SIGNED PRINT BOOK!

There is still time to enter to win a signed print copy of my new sci-fantasy book,

CAT SUMMER,

but the contest ends soon, so please don’t wait!

ENTER HERE!

Contest ends Tuesday 09/03/19

Sorry, US addresses only. 

Lise has a special destiny: to help a clowder of sentient cats save the world from an evil older than history itself. It is a terrible battle, but Lise and her feline comrades prevail, putting an end to war, poverty, ignorance and want. The world is a better place.

Or is it?

A century later, it becomes clear that something has been lost. The new civilization produces no artists, no musicians, no scientists, no philosophers. Inertia has taken hold. Lise, now at the end of her life, must join her cat-friends once more to restore the Spark of the Human Spirit, but the goal cannot be reached without sacrifice. Is there enough time left for them to save the world for future generations?

 

Click here to purchase Cat Summer for Kindle, Kindle App, or in print.

 

Posted in Contests, Giveaways, Sci-fi & Fantasy | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: FINDING YOUR LOST CAT, New From Dusty Rainbolt

FINDING YOUR LOST CAT: The Practical Cat-Specific Guide for your Happy Reunion (Cat Scene Investigator Feline Problem Solver Series Book 2), by Dusty Rainbolt, author of Kittens For Dummies

When “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker writes the forward to a book, you know you can trust what you are about to read. That is definitely true of Dusty Rainbolt’s how-to manual, FINDING YOUR LOST CAT. As a cat writer, shelter volunteer, and all around cat person, I’m often confronted by  people who have lost their cat. Whether kitty is an indoor cat who accidentally got out or an outdoor cat who hasn’t made it home, the concern, worry, and fear that goes through our minds is the same. The first question most of us ask is, “What do I do now?”

Rainbolt gently guides us through the steps we must take for the optimum outcome. Though utterly serious about this heartbreaking subject, she still manages to inject a bit of relevant humor so the reading is anything but dry.

Though we hope our cat will be found quickly, this is not always the case. Employing a motto borrowed from one of my favorite movies, Galaxy Quest, “Never give up. Never Surrender,” Rainbolt cites all the reasons to keep on searching, no matter how long it takes.

FINDING YOUR LOST CAT gives us step by step instructions for all aspects of the search, including who to contact, where to look, and how to get the word out. But it’s not just about what to do once your cat is lost; Rainbolt also tells us what we can do to minimize the possibility of loss in the first place. She goes into the feline mind in the chapter, Lost Cat Behavior. And a bonus is the part on what to do if you’re the one to find a stray cat.

FINDING YOUR LOST CAT by Dusty Rainbolt is a book to own, to read, and then to keep, hoping you will never need to use it.

#catw

CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

FINDING YOUR LOST CAT is an important, potentially life-saving book that I hope readers will never need. This prescriptive book provides must-know professional advice in Rainbolt’s signature conversational tone. Should your beloved cat go AWOL, this book offers a path home for your furry wanderer. Highly recommended!”  ~ Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 30+ pet care books.

“Well-researched step-by-step guide every cat owner should read!” ~ Kat Albrecht, pet detective pioneer and director of Missing Animal Response Team

“This book told me exactly what I needed to do when Bordeaux went missing. Reassuring and succinct. And yes, I got my happy reunion. ~ Jessica Spawn, author of The Christmas Kitten and producer of Celibricats.

Finding Your Lost Cat uses inspiring case studies that details techniques recommended by pet parents who have successfully recovered their lost kitties. She also includes game plans recommended by pet search experts, animal control officers, cat rescuers and advertising industry professionals.” ~ Dr. Marty Becker, America’s Veterinarian

For more information about Finding Your Lost Cat, for Dusty’s bio or additional images, visit the Stupid Gravity Press online newsroom

Posted in Book Talk, Cat Behavior, CAT WRITERS, Cats, Interviews, Reviews, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CAT SUMMER RELEASE – TODAY’S THE DAY!

Dirty Harry in the garden.

 

TA DA! CAT SUMMER LAUNCHES TODAY!

This is a very special launch for me. Though I’ve published other books, this is the first in the sci-fantasy genre. There is something special about sci-fi, at least for me, and to now have one of my stories out there alongside the greats makes me very proud.

I loved science fiction/fantasy from an early age. When other kids were reading Nancy Drew and Black Beauty, I was into Heinlein, Le Guin, Wyndham, Card, Ellison, and Dick. Books like the Hobbit, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Watership Down changed my life.

Fast forward half a century: One bright summer day, I looked out the window at my cat in the garden and thought to myself, “What if…?” That’s when I began writing the Cat Seasons Tetralogy.

There is mainstream sci-fi and fantasy, but Cat Summer winds its way down a different path. The cat characters who embrace the hero’s journey must do it as cats (at least, most of the time…) Lise, the human-trans-feline lead, must embrace the mystical as well as the spiritual in a world she never imagined could exist.

Be warned! Cat Summer is not all cute and furry. Bad things happen and I didn’t sidestep the horror, fear, and grief entailed. There is one part in the book that, no matter how many times I read it, makes me cry every time.

As a writer, this book was amazing! It let me spread the wings of fancy; let me put right wrongs and save the world; let me do research and learn about things they never taught in my school; let me boldly go where no cat has gone before… 

An early review:

“…Your use of imagery is vivid. I have a cat-crush on Dominic, and the cockroaches…you really play on a human’s fears. The continuous struggle of good fighting evil, well, it’s frightening–not in the least because so many of the things you’ve written are real.”

Ramona D. Marek, MS Ed. – Author

 

GIVEAWAY! 

What is a book launch without a giveaway? Enter to win a free signed print copy of Cat Summer, hot off the presses!

Giveaway runs from August 28th through September 3rd.
Only US addresses please. Good luck!

 

CAT SUMMER (CAT SEASONS TETRALOGY) a new sci-fantasy by Mollie Hunt – Publisher: Fire Star Press

Here’s the blurb: 

Lise has a special destiny: to help a clowder of sentient cats save the world from an evil older than history itself. It is a terrible battle, but Lise and her feline comrades prevail, putting an end to war, poverty, ignorance and want. The world is a better place.

Or is it?

A century later, it becomes clear that something has been lost. The new civilization produces no artists, no musicians, no scientists, no philosophers. Inertia has taken hold. Lise, now at the end of her life, must join her cat-friends once more to restore the Spark of the Human Spirit, but the goal cannot be reached without sacrifice. Is there enough time left for them to save the world for future generations?

Art Credit: Quint Buchholz

 

Excerpt from Cat Summer:

Chapter 1Tom

The room was dark when Lise awoke. For a moment, she was still in her dreams, the swirling not-quite-there impressions seeping over from the other side. Their content was with her, just out of reach behind a wind-blown blanket of night.

Rolling fields with a stage-prop sky. No dimensions, flat, matte, like a backdrop for a play. A wind passing through dry grass with the sound of insect wings. A soft black presence, oozing across the scene like oil, leaving adoration and terror in its wake. But it was nothing.

Sitting up in bed, Lise shook off her sleep-filled wanderings. Her mind was clear now, completely cognizant. She felt strong and alive, free from daytime distraction and acutely aware of things she would ordinarily have let pass by.

She sighed, inhaling the clear summer breeze that floated in through the open window. Sleep was out of the question. Tossing off the quilt, she rose. Her feet touched the silky carpet. Her slippers lay nearby but she ignored them. The night was warm, her body comfortable just the way it was.

For some reason, she didn’t find it strange to walk naked from the room. She was alone in the big house—no one to see—but the thought never entered her mind. Her bathrobe remained at the foot of the bed, forgotten.

Lise paused by the open window, feeling the air brush across her body, smelling it as if it held clues, hints, and secrets of the hidden universe outside. She breathed deeply, allowing the delicious life-giving vapor fill her lungs. Things were going on out there in the wide night world. Like energy, it sizzled on the tip of her tongue. 

Didn’t snakes smell with their tongues? she considered briefly. And cats and dogs had a special gland for scent. People got the short end of the stick when it came to the senses.

The passing contemplation slipped away unresolved, leaving Lise staring, quiet-minded, down at the garden below. In the moonlight, she could pick out the luminescent spikes of Oriental lilies against the dark of the garage and the tiny pinpoints of daisies in the edging. It was one of those rare and glorious nights when everything was perfect. Temperature, texture, even the silent sky with its occasional sparkling planet throve with cosmic symmetry. It called to her secret soul; she must go out in it.

Down the narrow staircase she skipped, feeling lean and light as a thistle seed. This seemed totally natural though somewhere in the back of her mind lurked the vague remembrance of heaviness and discomfort, anxiety and tension, all the misery standard in the human machine. But that was another place and time; this was the real girl, the life force inside the trap of humanity, strong, quick, and blissfully unafraid.

The living room was veiled in darkness as she opened the hall doorway but in spite of the murk, she could see. Of course, it was her house—she designed it, arranged it, maintained it. No surprise she could navigate its twists and turns with eyes closed, but there was no need. Whether it was the moonlight falling in glimmering shafts from the high windows or something more elusive, objects stood out bright as crystal. This was not light as Lise knew it—those clear harsh rays that blaze down from outside—but something subtler. An inner glow, as if each article had a luminescence of its own.

Without giving this phenomenon a second thought, Lise started toward the back door but paused when she realized she wasn’t alone. On the overstuffed couch, wedged in between a hillock of throw pillows, lounged Percy, a round-bodied kink-tailed tuxedo cat whose ice-green eyes and luxuriant fur spoke of his roots in the forests of Norway. The elderly feline liked that place and often slept there when he was not on the prowl. Finding him like that was nothing new.

On the carpet nearby, however, stood someone else—a great orange tabby Lise had never seen before. The tabby stalked toward her, halting at her feet. His eyes, like yellow lamp globes, seemed to quiz her innermost being.

“Who are you?” Lise asked as she bent down to pet the stranger.

“I am Evermore Artair Eckx,” the tabby replied, rubbing his blunt head against Lise’s proffered hand, then retreating to arm’s length, just out of reach as cats do. “But you can call me Tom.”

Lise was taken aback. She had heard him speak as clearly as anyone, but how could that be? Cats didn’t talk!

At least, they had never talked to her before.

“What did you say?” she gasped in amazement. Tom chased an itch on his flank and blinked innocently.

Lise turned her questions to her own companion, Percy, but he was napping. Both animals were thoroughly cat-like now; she must have been mistaken. That’s what I get for wandering around in the middle of the night when I should be safe in bed, she mused.

“Okay, kitties,” she said for her own satisfaction. “If you’re going to ignore me, I’m leaving.” The chirp of crickets was irresistible, calling her outside. Once again, she started for the back door, then turned. “And I think you should come, too,” she told the tabby stranger. “You don’t live here, you know.”

“In time. In time,” the orange cat purred back, and she could swear she saw one of the golden eyes wink.

There was no doubt in her mind he had spoken. Both felines were staring at Lise with an intensity that stopped her in her tracks.

“What’s with you two?” she asked, rather too loudly, as if the sound of her own voice could exorcize whatever demons were creating this hallucinatory chat. It must have worked, because again, the cats were silent as space.

Finally, Tom rose and stretched, first his front legs, then his back, one at a time. Lise recognized the familiar cat-aerobic. It was what cats did before they went away.

Suddenly, Lise felt a terrible sense of loss, as if she were letting something very important pass her by.

“Wait, kitty!” she called, running to the kitchen for the little tin of treats. She shook the can, rattling the hard bits inside, and instantly both cats were at her feet. Lise tipped the can onto the linoleum and received purrs of appreciation. She knelt and stroked them as they ate. The warmth of their fur was comforting and the strange feeling of sorrow began to ebb.

“Is that good?” she cooed.

“Yes, very,” and “Thank you so much,” came the polite responses.

“You’re welcome,” she began, then caught herself. “Hey, wait a minute.”

But the cats’ attentions were elsewhere. They spoke to each other now, sometimes in throaty mews and murmurs, and sometimes, Lise could swear they used human words. Either way, she seemed able to understand all they said.

“So what do you think?” Percy posed.

“Good eats,” Tom answered, chowing down a few more morsels.

“About her, I mean,” Percy insisted. “I have come to believe she is She Who.”

“Of course you’d feel that way— she’s your person. We of the Higher Order often develop strong ties with our cohabitors. To treat them without a modicum of loyalty would be rude. But She Who? You don’t think you might be just a bit biased?”

“I do not think so,” Percy declared. “I have been watching her for some time now. She is perfect.”

“Too big.” Tom shook his furry head like a lion. “And too clumsy. She could never make her way in our World. Why, I bet she can’t even catch a mouse.” Having confirmed that the food was gone, he stalked away, tail lashing.

“She will learn,” Percy argued. “She is smart. And if her resolve is strong, the size can adjust.”

“What if her resolve isn’t strong enough? We have only a single chance. What if she quits, or fails halfway through? We need to know she can complete the task.”

Percy moved to join the tabby. Sitting like mirrored statues, they scrutinized the girl.

Lise’s mind was flying. The pair had spoken like people, but even though she was looking right at them, she couldn’t see their sly cat lips move, couldn’t detect any sign that they used their mouths to create the sounds she heard. Was it telepathy? Intuition? Her own personal insanity?

And what were they talking about? Size and strength and tasks to be fulfilled? It sounded like something out of a fairy tale. What could it mean?

“Unless we’re sure, we should wait,” Tom declared. “Wait till the next Tri-Night. We can’t risk gambling on this furless hulk.”

“Hey!” Lise protested but her objection was ignored.

“If we wait, we will remain bonded to Seh. How many of us will suffer, even die the final death and cross Beyond at the hands of its minions? I do not know about you, but I would rather not see what will happen if we do not move the plan forward. Besides,” Percy went on, “what if Seh fulfills the prophecy? Then we will be trapped forever.”

Tom frowned. “But can she do it?” he asked with quiet challenge.

“She is here,” Percy replied cryptically. “Is that not enough?”

Lise stood rigid as a redwood. Her mind was clicking off reasons why this couldn’t be happening, but in her heart, she knew better. Her sanity told her to flee, but her feet refused to move; she was already too invested. As much as she might like to run back to bed and pretend it was all a dream, she wanted answers even more. Was it curiosity—the feline addiction—or something darker? Something non-human was surely at work.

“Who’s Seh?” she put to the pair.

Percy turned his head toward Evermore Tom and squeezed his eyes in a cat smile. “See? She is already taking interest.”

Tom didn’t commit on the matter, instead, swiveling his soft marmalade ears like radarscopes. From outside came the far-off whistle of a train.

“We don’t have much time, Parsifal. This is the Commencement of Tri-Night and the hours are short.”

“Yes, we must go.” Percy rose and padded over to Lise. “You must be brave, Cohabitor. We depend upon you.”

That said, he sauntered to the cat door under the sink with his usual swagger, giving only a momentary glance toward his food bowl on the rug by the stove. Tom followed, tail like a banner. As he was about to nose his way through the flap, he turned and skewered Lise with his golden gaze.

“Are you coming, person?” he asked.

“Coming? Coming where?”

The cat pranced on ballerina feet. “The way has been cleared, and all is in order.”

“But…” Lise sputtered, “how?”

The big cat disappeared through the door. “Listen,” she heard him call back, “and follow.”

Listen? she mused. Listen to what? But in spite of her doubts and a pang of better judgment, she tuned her ears to the great hum of the world.

At first, all she heard was the buzz of the city—the distant crash of garbage trucks; the passing of an occasional car—but suddenly, she picked out other sounds. The flutter of a moth’s wings; the rasp of a wood-boring beetle in the old stump by the gate; the yowl of a cat.

Then another.

And another.

The chorus of meows crescendoed into a wild wail that called to her pagan soul. Taking a deep breath, Lise dropped to all fours as effortlessly as if she were born to it. She gave a guttural inhuman cry, and dove whiskers-first into the open, living night.

Special thanks to Fire Star Press for taking a chance on this cat saga!

 

Posted in Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

3 BOOKS—3 MONTHS!

 

These have been busy times for me! I’ve got 3 books coming out in the next three months! Cat Summer, Book 1 of the Cat Seasons sci-fantasy tetralogy, comes out through Fire Star Press on August 28th, less than a week away! On September 28th, I’m launching Cosmic Cat, the next in my Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, at the Pop Cats Cat Festival here in Portland. In October, it’s time to get ready for Christmas with my Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery novella, Cat Noel. I don’t have a date for that launch, but am hoping to do a bookstore event partnered with fellow writer, Heather Ames, who will be presenting the third installment of her Indelible mystery/suspense series.

CAT SUMMER, (CAT SEASONS TETRALOGY-Fire Star Press)

Coming August 28th. Pre-order available now.

Lise has a special destiny: to help a clowder of sentient cats save the world from an evil older than history itself. It is a terrible battle, but Lise and her feline comrades prevail, putting an end to war, poverty, ignorance and want. The world is a better place.

Or is it?

A century later, it becomes clear that something has been lost. The new civilization produces no artists, no musicians, no scientists, no philosophers. Inertia has taken hold. Lise, now at the end of her life, must join her cat-friends once more to restore the Spark of the Human Spirit, but the goal cannot be reached without sacrifice. Is there enough time left for them to save the world for future generations?

COSMIC CAT, a Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery #6

Launching at Pop Cats, September 28th 

When a superhero cosplayer falls to his death at a comic con, Lynley is left holding the bag— and a cat!

Who killed Captain Cat? His tribe wants to know.

When the Captain is murdered at Bridgetown Comic-con and philanthropist Esmae Westhouse is arrested for the crime, sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon steps out of her comfort zone and dons her Star Trek uniform to expose the real killer.

A decade-spanning love triangle, a band of vigilante cosplayers, a shady pharmaceutical company, and an ancient black cat named Kitty tie into a puzzling plot that has Lynley running in all directions. The death of Captain Cat is only the beginning, and Lynley must stay one step ahead of a ruthless hit man if she is to make it out alive.

CAT NOEL, a Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery Christmas novella,

Coming October 2019

Lynley finds a new meaning of Christmas when a Wiccan’s familiar is catnaped, and Lynley becomes her only hope.

Lynley Cannon is dreading the Holidays. The sixty-something cat shelter volunteer would rather hang out with cats that brave her daughter’s soulless Christmas gala, so when a witch’s beloved kitty is catnaped, Lynley grabs the excuse to skip out on her social obligations.

Though Lynley knows little about the white witchcraft known as Wicca, she does know cats and can’t decline a plea for help when one goes missing. Then the witch disappears as well. Lynley, compelled by her cat-like curiosity, sets out to search for the pair, but the task is more difficult than she’d thought.

A freak snow storm and a crazed captor take things in a dangerous direction. As Lynley endures the cold dark of confinement, the Christmas spirit brings a strength she never knew she possessed.

All books will be offered for Kindle (or Kindle app) and in print.

And what will I do when all three books are finally launched? Why, NaNoWriMo, of course!

 

 

Posted in Book Talk, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Sci-fi & Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

CAT STAMPS AND THE CATS ON STAMPS STUDY UNIT

I bet you didn’t know there is a group dedicated to cats on stamps! I only found out recently, though the COSSU (Cats on Stamps Study Unit) celebrated their 40th anniversary not long ago. It’s been a well-kept secret, even for cat people like me who make a point of discovering obscure cat information wherever they can. Now I want to pass this discovery on to you!

COSSU is an international organization with members from about a dozen countries. It was founded in 1979 by Virginia Haywood, an enthusiastic stamp collector. COSSU publishes a newsletter, Cat Mews, four times a year.

I couldn’t wait to get my first issue of Cat Mews and was thrilled with the info it contained. Besides the many color and black-and-white photos of stamps and post marks, there is cat information as well. Cat Mews features breeds of cats and the stamps for those breeds. There are stamp stories about particular stamps, their origin and illustrators (this month featured Penelope Pussycat from Loony Tunes and her philatelic debut in Australia.) They also have cat book and cat art corners where authors and artists can present their creations. I will be in the November/December issue!

We may not have a lot of cat stamps here in the U.S. (though it turns out there are more than I thought), but COSSU shows stamps from all over the world, and they are amazing! Everything from Felix the Cat (Australia) to an American Curl (Grenada) to Spooky Black Cat Silhouette (USA, above, coming this autumn). Wild cats are also included, such as the Sand Cat (Liberia) and “Lion City” illustration by Tsu Soo Tan (Singapore).

Rarely do I read a magazine cover to cover, but Cat Mews just kept me going all the way through. Even if you don’t join, you can get a free PDF, but for $14 I love having the magazine that I can share with friends. I haven’t found anyone who isn’t just a little interested in cats on stamps.

How to join COSSU:

http://www.catstamps.info/

catmews1@yahoo.com

Dues:   $14 U.S.

​             $18/1 year, Canada

​             $20/1 year all others

$10 E-version only, worldwide

Membership includes four (4) issues of Cat Mews.

PayPal is accepted: bobmarci@aol.com

 

Posted in Cats | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments