Greetings from New Orleans! I got in late Tuesday afternoon after a looooong drive caused by a big wreck on the high-rise bridge coming into the city. It took more than an hour to get over the bridge (rush hour, of course). Don’t really miss that part of the city! I have a couple more days before heading home but should be getting things back to normal next week.
Before we get on with today’s special guest, don’t forget to head over to Lady Scribes today and weigh in on your favorite funny scene for a chance at a gift card!
Please help me welcome my friend Betty Bolté back to Preternatura. Betty’s latest book is Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure, a collection of historical fiction tales based on the lives of 19 girls living in the 1800s in America. These stories were inspired by the fact that each of these girls have a landmark dedicated to them in America as a result of their efforts.
Betty is pleased to announce that her new novel, Traces, the first book in her Ghosts of Roseville series, will be released on April 28th.
Betty writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the inexplicable (i.e., supernatural or paranormal). The first edition of Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure won Honorable Mention in the 2003 Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and 2000 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. She’s the author of several nonfiction books and currently marketing a romantic historical fiction trilogy. You can learn more about Betty by visiting her website, on facebook or by following her on twitter.
ABOUT TRACES: Love is never lost … it haunts the heart. Architect Meredith Reed is determined to bury her grief by demolishing her family’s ancestral home. But her conniving sister, a hunky lawyer, and a spectral lady all have other ideas. Will she be able to carry out her plan before they have the time to teach her the lessons of family and love she so desperately needs? Betty Bolté presents Traces, Book 1 of her new paranormal romance series, Ghosts of Roseville.
And now, let’s hear from Betty…
Ode to a Cat
Felines have been part of my life since I was a baby. Currently, I am owned by a tortoise shell cat, Calliope. I say that as though she is all about me, but I’m not her favorite human. Nope. That would be my hubby. Whenever he sits down she comes from wherever she’s been holed up to be on his lap, for as long as she permits him to hold her, of course. But when it’s just her and me, then she likes me well enough to do the occasional scritch or have her on my lap so I can reach her chest easily. Then she’s off for a nap or a snack, perhaps watching out the back sliding glass door at the birds perched on the feeder. Or more fun, even, chasing away from the back door our medium-sized Chow-cross dog!
Cats and their independence counterpoised with their dependence intrigues me. Think about how they only come when they want to. I have “trained” Calli to come when I call, but it doesn’t always work. You know what I mean? One thing that will summon her is opening the sliding glass door. She has to know who is entering or leaving her domain, after all! But she is dependent on us to provide her food, clean her cat box, etc. She’s not shy about reminding us it’s time to eat!
In my debut novel, Traces, a calico cat named Grizabella plays a role in alerting my main character to the presence of the Lady in Blue, the ghost who haunts the Twin Oaks Plantation. Here’s an excerpt describing the feisty feline:
“Meooww.” The carrier wobbled on the tiled floor as the yowl echoed in the room.
“Okay, okay. Hold on.” No dangers lurked in the corners and shadows as far as she could tell, so she’d let her feline loose. “Just don’t go getting lost, deal?”
Laughing at her vocal companion, Meredith slid the latches open and lifted the carrier’s lid. Grizabella’s white, black, and orange head popped up and swiveled like a periscope surveying the unfamiliar horizon. She leaped out of the confines of the plastic box in one fluid arc. Griz picked her way across the floor, lifting and placing each paw, nose and tail both twitching at the apparent onslaught of new scents and sights. …
The light thump of cat paws sounded in the back hallway. Meredith kept one ear tuned to track where Griz explored, just in case she needed to rescue the cat from her own curiosity. Which had happened when they first moved into their little apartment in Baltimore, overlooking the Inner Harbor. Griz had sniffed out a hole in the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Meredith hadn’t known anything was amiss until the cat’s plaintive cries came from within the wall. Ultimately, repairing the wall was easier than trying to lure her back to the small opening. Of course, if she were to repeat that performance at Twin Oaks, there’d be no need for repairs.
This cat is my way of paying homage to my dear departed mother-in-law and her cat of the same breed and name. Our love of cats was one of the many loves I shared with her (her son being the main one…). In fact, when she decided to adopt a kitty, I went with her. Now my father-in-law will always “blame” me (he’s joking; I think) for permitting her to bring home two cats – Grizabella and a silver tabby named Tabitha – instead of one. But she’d fallen in love with both and I simply couldn’t talk her out of them.
Grizabella had very unique coloring for a calico. She was mainly a dark gray with orange and white patches. Her personality was quixotic to say the least and don’t even try to hold her. However, she’d occasionally allow herself to sit on a person’s lap for a few minutes. But only a few minutes! She was lithe and fast and skittish. Although the Grizabella in Traces is not an exact replica of my mother-in-law’s cat, I still feel that Griz lives on in the pages of Traces, and its sequel, Remnants, that I’m currently writing.
Have you ever been owned by a cat? Have you ever managed to train a cat? If so, what did you teach it to do?
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Thanks, Betty. It’s always a pleasure having you stop by. As Betty said, leave a comment for your chance to win. And, yes, I have been owned by a cat–a fictional cat! Sebastian was supposed to be in only one book of the Sentinels series, but my editor loved him and there he is, still hanging around in book four!