Hi friends! I can believe it less than you, possibly, A LITTLE BIT TART, A LITTLE BIT SWEET HAS TURNED 10! I put out a few calls on social media asking for people to help celebrate, and the wonderful Jody Wallace was all over it, so a big thank you to Jody! <3 She’s also got some pretty amazing prizes up for grabs, so read till the end. Yes, every guest post in January will have a giveaway! (And some of the other ones too …) We’re starting out 2021 right here at ALBTALBS! So without further ado … Jody!
Cats Are As Perfect As Books
Limecello told me I could write about whatever I wanted, so let’s talk about cats. Specifically, our new cat, Pip. She’s five pounds of sass and attitude, and we have not yet fully integrated her into our household of four people, one bearded dragon, and two dopey dude cats and two old lady cats. First we maintained a general ‘getting a shelter cat healthy’ quarantine and now we’re having to maintain a ‘turns out the sad little shelter cat has a ton of attitude once she feels better’ quarantine.
This gal is only five pounds. Five. Pounds. She is the dinkiest, silliest little cat I’ve ever laid hands on, and she wants to climb every piece of furniture in the house, every curtain, every shelf, every hoard. Right now as I type, I hear snuffling and sneezing. I glance up my nearly ceiling-high bookcases, atop which are stacked the perhaps dusty cases of my father’s antique violins and mandolins, atop which is Pip. Pippi Shortstockings, because her legs are so dinky at first we thought she might be a Munchkin. She is not. She is just miniature, like the pony of horse cats. A pocket kitty. Toy feline. Massive jackhole.
(Also I think she’s allergic to something. Maybe cats? THAT would be some irony.)
If she were a book, she would be an entire novel compacted into the most perfect short story. Limecello and the other reviewers at ALBTALBS would give her an A+, of course, and praise the clarity of language and surprising depth and humor in such a short space. I cannot wait for my short story of a cat to accept the novellas and novels we have lounging around elsewhere in the house, because I want a photo of her tiny grey self next to our 18 pound chonky epic fantasy ginger tabby. Both satisfying, both lovely to pet, both very, very different.
I feel the same way about books, of course. Yes, yes, I was getting around to actually talking about books. It’s a book blog! I would not be so rude as to not stretch my metaphor to include books on a book blog. Sometimes the short story is the most precise and wonderful expression of a narrative, and sometimes it takes five hundred pages to tell the tail. Tale. All variations of cat, and story, are crucial and brilliant, as are all the various genres and subgenres and yes, lit fic. All are equally hard to write and equal in value, if not equally appreciated by, I dunno, some dog people out there.
Granted, as an author and reader, I still have preferences, but that doesn’t mean the types of book that aren’t my preference have anything wrong with them. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a chonky ginger epic fantasy. Sometimes I try to write a tightly plotted Siamese novella and instead it’s a solid black mid-length SF Romance. And whenever I write a short story, it always becomes a novella, at the very least!
Until now. I’ve written many lengths of stories, and short stories for me are by far the most challenging.
As I suspect Pip will be.
But I have managed one very, very good one, and I would love to share it with everyone today. It is about cats, and romance, and it has a lot of cussing. You can find it free at: https://books2read.com/catvscocker (It was originally part of an anthology created in protest of a certain author attempting to copyright the word “Cocky” if you remember THAT nonsense.)
Limecello, for the blog’s anniversary, is also doing giveaways! I have two things that the winner selects for my post can choose from: You can have a white Ruth Bader Ginsburg style crocheted collar OR a cat butt. Yep, I said cat butt. The collar already exists, but if you pick the cat butt, I’ll create it in the color desired. You can use it as an ornament or keychain or just keep it under your pillow as you dream of the world’s most perfect cats and books.
Yours In Hair and Words,
Jody Wallace’s 30+ titles in sf/f and contemporary romance feature diverse protagonists, action, adventure, and plenty of cats. Visit her at http://www.jodywallace.com and the cats at http://www.meankitty.com
Want to see what you can you win? Perhaps this beautiful RBG inspired collar, or crocheted earrings/a keychain. (Remember Romancing the Runoff? Well Jody offered these collars as an auction item, but now you have the chance to win one just for answering a question! … Or of course you can choose one of the other crocheted items! Toilet Paper! Cat butt! Octopuses!
HERE’S HOW YOU ENTER THE GIVEAWAY. Jody has a question for you!
Q: If you could edit a fave (or not fave) romance novel to add the magnificence of a cat, what would you have the cat do and where in the book?
So answer the question in the comments, and a winner will be picked at the end of January/thereabouts.
P.S. A bonus “gift” for everyone … at the time of this posting A Wintertide Spell is a kindle freebie. Look at that cover! 😻
If the King is fated to love thirteen women before he turns fifty, is he still husband material? One cold, snowy Wintertide Eve, Queen Geneva of Foresta tracks her straying spouse in an attempt to discover where exactly he goes at night. Has he met his next great love already? Will he put her and their three children aside?
I’d have the cat solve a murder-mystery in a romantic suspense, and the cat would help bring the couple investigating the crime together. the cat then moves on to another book in the series to solve another mystery and do more matchmaking.
ps. thank you for the freebie!
Cats do show up in a lot of mysteries, but I don’t know of a series that involves a different couple and the same cat in each one. I’d read that!
I would start a romance novel with the hunky hero describing a slinky figure, staring him down with the most incredible emerald eyes. As he watches her walk down the staircase with grace and a beauty unmatched by any other. Does she care that I’m even here? he wonders. He gasps as she suddenly pounces on him with her claws extended in a playful manner, gives a gentle love bite, and walks on by. Damn cat. He fell for her routine again. And then later in the book, his lady Interest feels discouraged because she overhears him describing a dark haired beauty with emerald eyes and a mind of her own. Feeling inadequate, she pouts and ruins the mood for a chapter or two, until it all becomes clear. Of course, the lady love interest should probably be named Kitty and the feline should probably just never get a name to keep people guessing about whether the subject is human or feline.
LOL Then I vote you write it! You have a budding audience right here…
Seems to me that many romances would likely benefit from the addition of a cat or five 😉 I’m remembering that Shelly Laurenston’s Christmas Pride (in The Mane Event), Dez gives her lion shifter boyfriend a hard time by having him walk her dogs. While I’m blanking on kittens being part of other stories, I think I would very much enjoy incorporating some non-shifter feline charm as well!
And always love seeing Jody’s needlework talents showcased as well!
Very happy blogiversary!
I have not read that book! How do the dogs react to dude being a cat shifter?
Initially about as well you might expect—the normally fearless breeds were huddled cowering under her bed in the presence of his clearly superior alpha-ness, LOL! He manages to win them over, and then later adopts a puppy of his own “for their son” 😉
Thanks for the fun post, Jody! And what an adorable kitty!!
I know I’ve read a few roms with cats that were delightful or delightfully willful, as cats can be, but I can’t recall their titles at the moment. I would love to add a cat to a historical that “tests” the heroine’s potential suitors by doing all manner of annoying things. Then when the cat walks across a potential’s shoulders and curls around his neck contentedly, the heroine knows he’s a keeper!
Congrats on the milestone blogiversary!
Ha, they can call it “The Cat Test” — wasn’t there some famous novel called The Husband Test or something?
Always love anything Jody creates! And her Cat Butts are things of legend.
I would insert a cat into Gone With the Wind and have it knock a vase off the giant staircase onto Scarlet’s head and save us from her nonsense.
It would have shortened the book, for sure.
OMG Heather, I snort laughed, so thank you for that 😹 – seriously, it would’ve been nice if Scarlet had some sense knocked into her …
Nalini Singh gave her twin young panther changelings a kitten.
Other than that, yeah, the cat test, where the cat ends up curled up (and purring) with the romantic interest. And they don’t throw the cat off.
Or just didn’t get freaked out when the cat stared. And stared. And stared. And maybe crept closer. And closer. Staring…
Crazy Stupid Bromance by Alyssa Kay Adams has brilliant use of a cat that would 100% achieve the Meankitty Seal of Approval, FYI. 🙂
Congratulations, Limecello, on the blogiversary!
And thank you, Jody, for such a beautifully wrought cat/book metaphor. 🙂
I’ll have to check into that — a book with a cat is worth chasing down!
Thank you again for being our first guest, Jody! 🙂
Of course I’m not entering this giveaway – but I have to say I recently said Devil in Winter is my favorite romance, so I’d love to see Sebastian fall for a kitten. Maybe one that Evie bonds with and he’s super jealous of it. 😹😜
Otherwise … I THINK … I can’t remember if it’s two dogs or a dog and a cat in an Aurora Rose Reynolds romance that help bring the hero and heroine together. <3 Definitely I’d add a kitten for a meet cute 😀
I’ve even read DOGS in romances that were Meankitty approved. One that I recommend all the time is Beware of Doug by Elaine Fox.
Did that book come out in the ~early/middle 00s, Jody? If yes … I’m pretty sure I’ve read it …
Maybe? A dog clearly named Doug is the focal point of the cover, hehe.
As I am a dog person (ducking side-to-side avoiding projectile cat toys), but for Jody, I’ll play. Let’s insert Mean Kitty into the storyline of Stephen King’s Misery. She would watch Paul Sheldon from the window sill, bathing while he lies in pain after being hobbled. Mean Kitty would jump to the foot of the bed, press her feline body along his ankles until growing tired and curl warm and snug lovingly in the crook of his neck. Paul is hobbled, handcuffed, and allergic.
LOL a cat adding to the torture! But of course.
Kolin, *whispers* I’m a dog person too 😉😜🐶🐕❤️
Reflecting on how every time I’ve read a romance with a cat in it, it’s been extra enjoyable for me. Pip is so cute!!