Monday, February 27, 2012

Cat Treat Monday: Linda Andrews, Peaches and Bear

Hi all, Today I have a fantastic cat treat for you: Linda Andrews and her furry babies Bear and Peaches. I always knew Linda was a fantastic author but now you'll see what a great human she is. Take it away Linda.

"People don't own cats. Cats own people, if you're deemed worthy, that is. I am happy to be the caregiver of 4 cats and the protector of one very large, very scared dog. We all get along mostly well, until the dog decides he wants to play with one of his smaller siblings. The sibs don't appreciate a 80 pound beastie charging after them or slobbering on them, so they cry out and low and behold soon the dog is trapped under the table with four cats growling at him.

Fortunately, all the animals like to sleep A LOT so it doesn't happen as often as it could.

While I could talk about the pets antics for a long, long time I thought I'd just introduce you to Peaches. Technically, Peachy belongs to my daughter but she has set herself up as the alpha cat in the house. She is the only animal in our house that was purchased and maybe that makes her the most normal. In case, you were wondering--our other animals including the fish were rescued--one from being crushed by a forklift at my husband's work, two from being coyote kibble after their mother was eaten (they were 1 1/2 weeks old) and one was given away after the owners moved out leaving the pregnant mother locked in the back yard. The fish came from a neighbor whose tank started leaking.

Now back to Peaches.

She is the only cat I know that comes when you call her. And she does love my daughter, preferring to sleep on her bed. Of course, my daughter also dressed the cat in a ballerina tutu and pushed her around in a doll stroller for the first two years of her life. They are both 9 years older, so that rarely happens anymore.

But aside from my daughter, I am Peaches preferred companion. (Which irritates the dog as he thinks I am his property.)

Peaches likes to sit behind me when I'm on the couch, takes a nap on my hip when I nap and plumps my belly to see if I'm soft enough to curl up on when it is cold. She also loves to groom those in her pride. If she sits behind you and you don't offer up an arm for her to sample, she'll bite your head. Not fun. Ask my dad, he's bald. After a few licks, she hunkers down and keeps an eye on the other lesser animals of the house. Which is pretty much everyone except me.

She does not like the printer as she is not allowed to play with the pages when they come out. But when I'm printing out pages, she perches on it as it is warm so they have reached a truce. She also gets very jealous of the time I spend on the computer. Should I spend too much time, she casually walks across the keyboard inserting lots of weird characters and sometimes hits the power key to turn it off. Not fun.

She hasn't quite figured out how to turn off my iPad, but she does like to rub her cheeks against the edges. So I think she is plotting and thinking. Now I have to go. Four cats are staring at me, subliminally telling me that it is time to feed them. Must obey cats. Whoops. Here comes the dog. He gets to lick the cats' bowls clean."

Linda has a wonderful knew book called Blue Maneuver:  The extraterrestrials have landed and they're human. Rae Hemplewhite didn't believe in aliens until a close encounter with
out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her. And that's the good news. The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn't keep her witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield. 

You can find Blue Maneuver at the usual outlets including

Linda Andrews lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, three children and a menagerie of domesticated animals. While she started writing a decade ago, she always used her stories to escape the redundancy of her day job as a scientist and never thought to actually combine her love of fiction and science. DOH! After that Homer Simpson moment, she allowed the two halves of her brain to talk to each other. The journeys she’s embarked on since then are dark, twisted and occasionally violent, but never predictable. 

You can follow Linda on Twitter @LindaAndrews and visit her blog 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cat Treat Monday: James Hatch

I have a very cool cat treat this week: James Hatch and his fascinating cat with four names. Here's James and NMC (that's my favorite of the

"Cats! You gotta’ love ‘em. I’ve had at least one cat for a long as I can remember. Not that I’ve wanted one necessarily, but because they are drawn to me. In fact, when I first started writing, a polydacts cat with six toes showed up at my back door. It seemed an omen, like one of Hemmingway’s cats had arrived to watch over me. I fed that one until my pile of rejection slips exceeded one-half inch, and then determined the cat wasn’t helping at all. It had a home; it just liked to beg. My current constant cat companion showed up a little later. She was a pregnant “teenager,” scrawny and hungry, and had probably been dumped in our neighborhood by someone who didn’t want a cat in that condition. The cat seemed to know I was a soft touch and, on spotting me, immediately ran up and began rubbing on my leg, purring loudly.
I weakened. I fed it. It never left. That’s her in the picture. She has four names. I used to call her “NMC” for Not My Cat, until she had been here for five years. Then I started calling her “RC” for rotten cat because she’s not friendly to anyone except me. My wife calls her “Limestone” because her mix of colors looks like that type of rock, or “Blue” because of her beautiful blue eyes. I kept her six kittens until they were eating ham and soft cat food on a regular basis, and then took them to a pet store for sale. They were tame and healthy and are making some child happy even now.  
Ever wonder how cats process data? I made a stab at it in my paranormal comedy released last week by Solstice Publishing. Here’s an excerpt from Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Advice columnist by day, assassin by night, Miss Havana’s spirit wrongly considers itself the Angel of Death, but is brought to task by God. 
Thank you for reading, and thank you for having me here.

James L. Hatch
Author for:, Solstice Publishing and Eternal Press "

Oh Heavens, Miss Havana sounds great. Here's the blurb:

Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Blurb: Having performed a single selfless act, Miss Havana finds herself on probation in heaven. After many missteps, she discovers she still retains the powers she had as The Queen of Darkness, and realizes she’s on probation as much to keep her from joining forces with her daughter, The Princess of Darkness, as anything else. The Brazilian, a large black man with a dreadlocks beard who waxes regularly, is her “guide”, but she ignores his advice until he’s taken off her case. Guideless and in a foreign environment, she consorts with evil spirits from her former realm, especially Waldo, a shadow creature so named because he’s so hard to find. She acquires a copy of “The Angels Guide to Earth”, comes to believe she is the Angel of Death, and returns to the surface as an advice columnist and assassin. She wreaks havoc before God intervenes for a final showdown...which, as it turns out, isn’t as final as most would hope.

James has even given us an excerpt so read on!!!!!!!!

Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Excerpt: I mentally review the Reaper’s rampage, remembering the wad of cloth he stuffed in the girl’s mouth. As loud as he was bellowing when I left him with Waldo, it’s no wonder he did that … just in case she woke from unconsciousness as he cut her throat. The only solace here is that it will never happen again. Not My Cat, the scruffy yellow stray I’d seen when I was here last, lurks just beyond the edge of the underbrush, and I wonder if such an animal can be inhabited by a spirit on probation.
I drift over, slither in and am surprised by what I find. The cat thinks in images. It remembers what it sees, but doesn’t assign moral judgments. It remembers where food can be found, and where warm places to sleep are located during the frigid Denver winters. The imagery is a hierarchy relative to survival, with the most easily available water, food and shelter at the top of its memory, hunting areas next, female cat locations and, finally, miscellaneous—things to do with humans, most of which are ignored or inconsequential.
The cat looks out at a Canadian goose basking near the water, but recalls an image of a severe beaking for trying to get one. It doesn’t care about humans in general, but is human-like in its longing. It wants what it can’t have, even when threatened with pain. Its tail twitches in anticipation, but caution prevails. I’ve always been amused by cats, and find this one as interesting from the inside as others are from the outside … until I come to a very disturbing image in its inconsequential and fading memories of human interactions.
The cat watched the Reaper’s fourteenth victim being slaughtered, but the Reaper was not alone. What in Lilith’s Realm is this? I exit the cat, project myself to the Reaper’s home and interrupt Waldo’s fun. “We need to pry a little information out of him before we kill him, Waldo. He had an accomplice.”
Waldo beams with delight. “Does that mean we get to do this again?”
I nod. “Get the muriatic acid; let’s get his attention.”

You can also find reviews and additional excerpts at

I hope you'll check out James' book and his fun blog.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cat Treat Monday: Lynn Crain, Jasper and Harry aka Snarky Boy

Big excitement today as we have a fantastic cat treat: Lynn Crain, her handsome dog Jasper and the cutie-pie, Harry. I hope you'll enjoy their story. Here's Lynn

"My Snarky Boy

            When we moved to Vienna, Austria, last year, we were all set to bring our dog, Jasper. He’s a lab mix of some sort and I missed him dearly as the first months rolled by. I went home for a couple of months to get him ready to go when the realization came that he could not be crate trained in the two months I had to do so. I was devastated as this was the first dog who was all mine. Most of them had bonded with my husband more than me but not Jasper. He was my baby and I was heartbroken.

           Trying to trudge along being in a foreign country where I knew no one and didn’t speak the language was wearing on me. There were days that I missed my kids and grandkids horribly and all my animals. We’d also left behind three cats who weren’t good candidates for foreign travel either. Still, I tried my best to adjust but after the second time my husband went on travel, I told him that I desperately needed to get Jasper over here or find another dog.
At first, he wasn’t happy about it but I finally convinced him just how lonely I was being away from everyone. I needed something I could rely on when he wasn’t around. Sure, I had the phone numbers of people I could contact who were acquaintances from his work but I didn’t really know any of them. I knew an animal would somehow make me feel less alone and more safe when he was away.
            We scoured the internet and other sources to find someone who could crate train Jasper. We had no luck and those we did find were so expensive I could come home from Europe two or three times. After a visit to the vet where we talked about me taking him back with me, it was decided that since he was terrified of the crate it would be in the dog’s best interest not to bring him with us. Jasper would stay home with my youngest son.
            This was in August 2011 and I started looking for a way to get another dog while I was in Austria. I looked at the shelters and found that it was extremely hard to qualify for an animal here. The best chance I would have would be to go to a breeder. I started looking into dogs that I could carry on the plane with me, as I never wanted to get another dog I couldn’t take with me when I traveled. After a couple of weeks looking on line relentlessly, I discovered Parson Russell Terriers.
            I had known about Jack Russells and loved the breed but they could get hyperactive...that wouldn’t do on an airplane. I looked at the miniature Jack Russell but the nearest breeder was in England and I really didn’t want to go out of Austria to get a dog. While perusing the internet, I came across a Parson Russell Terrier site and checked them out. They had a list of breeders and I started to contact them regarding puppies.
            While doing that I came across the cutest puppy I’d ever seen in my life. His name was Harry Potter and he was just adorable. First, I had to convince my husband that it was worth it to take a train ride six hours just to get a dog. Once that battle was done, I had to make sure the breeder approved of us as well. Some have very strict guidelines and we’d already failed one or two as one breeder only sold his animals to owners who planned to use them for hunting. Another refused to sell to people who lived in the city.
            The breeder and I had conversations via phone and email for a whole week before we decided to make the trek as the pup would be quite expensive. Nevertheless, I told my husband my peace of mind would be worth every cent. Then there would be the added benefit that the puppy would force me to exercise every day.
            The day finally arrived and we missed our train. We had to wait just a short time for a different train and a slightly different route. We contacted the breeder and told her we’d call when we arrived. It was a godsend to find someone who spoke English as we had few communication issues. Finally, we arrived at our destination just outside of Salzburg. Birgit picked us up from the station and asked us a lot of questions on the way. We answered the best we could because we were just learning the city ourselves and didn’t know everything. Once we arrived at her place, she took us to where the puppies were and I was in love. Here’s one of the first pictures we took of our new puppy boy.

            This dog has been a lifesaver in more ways than one. I have exercised more and will continue to do so. Since he’s been around, I’ve lost over 30 pounds...this is a great thing...very good. He’s provided companionship to me every day and is a joy to be around. He helps me to feel safe when the husband’s away. Because of him, I now have an entry into the Austrian way of life because they love puppies and adore dogs. We have gotten more comments because of him and I’ve made more friends since he’s been around.
            Now, you’re probably wondering why I’ve taken to calling him Snarky Boy. Harry is not your normal terrier and I’ve had many comments on that. We have a very calm household and he doesn’t do any of the normal behaviors of his breed. Most actually tend to be nippy, snarly and a variety of other terrier habits. Not so with Harry and when he does, I’ve started calling him Snarky Boy. When he hears that, he actually stops and occasionally changes his attitude, something that the dog trainer we’re working with was amazed about. He is generally a very happy dog with a sunny disposition, he greets all other dogs as friends and wonders why not everyone thinks he’s the cutest pup in the world!
            Here’s another picture of Harry today at six months old. We’ve had him for four months now and wouldn’t trade him for anything! Matter of fact, he will soon have his own blog and twitter account. Just look for Snarky Boy and his picture. Thanks for letting me share with you one of my best friends ever."

Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to being published by doing a variety of things like nursing assistant, geologist, technical writer and computer manager all of which have added to her detail-oriented stories. Now she’s a full-time storyteller and weaves fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal tales, as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She normally lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, two dogs, three cats, and she’s gotten rid of her snakes. Don’t ask. Other members of her clan live nearby and include another son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons, plus various long-time friends. She is a past national board member of the RWA; founding president of Las Vegas Romance Writers Chapter of RWA; has held the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and contest chair of EPIC. Her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband as he works for a UN-affiliated organization. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog ( and various other places on the net (;; ). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at

Lynn has a great new book called A LOVER FOR RACHEL, which is available through Smashwords and Amazon.

Rachel Hamilton comes to Stonehenge to celebrate her birthday on Summer Solstice, only to find herself trapped beneath the massive rhyolite bluestones with sexy wizard, Dewin Kingston, who convinces her that she is the key to their escape.

A Lover for Rachel Smashwords Link           
A Lover for Rachel Amazon Link                       

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Purrs 4 Peace - February 2012 - Thank You

This month I'd like to extend my heart-felt gratitude and appreciation to a devoted supporter of Purrs 4 Peace. A mighty purrrrrrrr warrior who has helped mightily to inject love and compassion into the universe. So without further ado, here's @ShaynaCat

"So far I'm an only fur-child - I would love a sisfur, but Mom insists she's far too busy to take on any more responsibility at the moment. I chose my Mom because I thought she looked like the kind of human who wouldn't chase away a crying kitten from her doorstep in a rainstorm, and also that her long hair would be fun to play with - and I'm glad to say that I was right on both counts.

I'm the first kitty she's belonged to, so she still needs lots of training, but she tries hard and is making quite good progress. I think I can make her into a fairly decent human if I just keep working on it.

I like to start the day by grooming her. I generally start by washing her face with my tongue, then I get behind her on the pillow and start combing her hair with my claws. She shows her appreciation by making a very high-pitched squealing sound and jumping out of bed.

We have breakfast together – at least, I have breakfast while she drinks coffee. Lots of coffee. After that, I go searching for a sun-puddle to nap in while Mom fires up the laptop.

She makes her living on the Internet, so her office is at home, and if she spends too long working on her own stuff when she should be typing out my tweets or helping with my Zazzle store I can easily reclaim her attention by jumping on her desk and walking straight across the keyboard. That always works!

We live out in the country, and although I'm mainly an indoor kitty I love to explore the riverbank and woods close to the house. This time of year there are lots of spring flowers hidden among the trees, and I sometimes think that I'm the only one who ever sees them.
There are quite a few trees lying on the ground after the big storms a couple months back, so there's always something interesting to climb on!

During the winter we have fieldfares and other Scandinavian birds taking shelter with us. At the moment there are a lot of blackbirds singing in the woods, and this morning I was watching a woodpecker drilling a hole in an enormous tree, really high up. We got a lake close by, too, with lots of swans and geese, as well as ducks, coots and all sorts of other water birds.

I only go there in good weather, 'cos I hate to get my paws all cold and muddy, and I make sure I'm home before dark, 'cos there are some scary-sounding critters out there. We often hear owls calling and foxes barking, and then I snuggle close to Mom and purr to let her know I'm glad I'm safe and warm inside!

I have a tortie friend called Shelley, who lives next door. We often play together in the garden, or just hang out in sun-puddles when the weather's fine.

I know that I'm a very lucky kitty to be living in such a beautiful place, with someone who loves me, a good friend next door, and lots and lots of pawesome friends online.

I'd love for efurry anipal and human to live in peace and happiness, with a roof above their head, as much as they want to nom in their bowl or on their plate, pleasant folks to live among, who don't judge them for their species or the color of their fur, and someone to love and snuggle with, especially when it's cold!

That's why I so much love taking part in #purrs4peace each week, 'cos I believe the harder we all purr for it, the sooner it'll happen.


What a sweet, adorable kitty with a marvelous human mummy. Thank you, sweet friends. I hope 2012 brings every possible blessing to you and your family. Purrrrrrrrrrr. 

Bravo and thank you to all who purrrticipated this week. You are much appreciated and loved.