Bustin’ Some Cat Myths: Cats Are Not Aloof

From left to right: Annabel, Jupiter (the black cat kind of hiding in the back), and Shay.

So I want to blog more regularly, so I’ve decided to write about one of my favorite things: cats. I’ve recently discovered that what I want, more than almost anything else in life, is to be everyone’s Fairy Catmother, and help them find the perfect cat for them. I’d be like Santa Claus, only instead of presents I’d be delivering cats.

But then I get into conversations like this.

PERSON: I’m thinking about getting a cat.

ME: Oh, that’s fantastic. There’s a great shelter over…

PERSON: But you know, I’m not so sure. I’m not really at a place in my life where I can have a dog, but cats as just so…aloof.


I feel like this perception of cats must come largely from people who don’t have cats and haven’t been around them too much. A couple of things.

First, cats come in all kinds of personalities, from very independent to ridiculously friendly. Mine have tended to be on the friendly side, because I (and later my husband and I) looked for that when adopting. Annabel, my 14-year-old girl who died earlier this year, was what I called a “chest whore.” If a stranger came into our house and spent any amount of time on the couch, she’d hop onto their chests and claim them as her own. Her favorite activities included lap-snoozing and aggressive face-rubbing. She used to try to stick her head into my mouth when I yawned, because apparently being near my face wasn’t close enough.

But then there’s Jupiter. Jupiter is loving and affectionate. He’ll jump into my husband’s arms for hugs–which I wish I could catch on camera, because it’s awesome. He falls asleep on my legs a lot. His life revolves around being petted and played with…until a stranger comes in the house. See, Jupiter is terrified of strangers. And even when someone isn’t a stranger–like my brother, who stayed with us for a few weeks recently–he tends to be pretty standoffish with them.

And that brings me to point #2: on average, cats seem to be less outgoing than dogs. Most–though certainly not all–of the dogs I’ve met seem to behave like everyone is their best friend, even people they’ve never met before. Cats, on the other hand, often tend to be more reserved around strangers. And why not? If you are not the person who feeds them, plays with them, or loves them, why should they be insta-friendly to you? You don’t go hugging strangers, do you?

And this presents a challenge when adopting. If you’re looking for a cat who is friendly and affectionate–at least toward you–how can you tell when Fluffy clams up around strangers? Talk to the staff of the shelter or rescue. They’ll probably have a better idea of Fluffy’s personality when she’s more relaxed and comfortable. Don’t rush when you’re spending time with your potential new best friend; even shy kitties can start to warm up with a little bit of coaxing. Spend some time with Fluffy in her cage or enclosure before you take her to the “getting to know you” room–she’ll be more comfortable in her own space and you’ll be more likely to see “the real Fluffy.” Also remember that kittens, especially very young ones, may change as they get older. Once cats reach one year or more, their personalities become a little more stable.

Embracing the Demon Reviewed by Booklist!!!

Booklist–the book review publication of the American Library Association–reviewed Embracing the Demon. They called it:

A page-turning mix of romantic suspense and supernatural thriller.


The review is behind a pay wall, but I do recommend you check out Booklist Online if you have a chance, because they’ve got a lot of cool articles and book recommendations.

This is the big time, guys!



Quick admin note: The winners of the Embracing the Demon blog tour giveaway have been selected. I have not been given permission to publish their names, so I will not do so here. However, I have e-mailed the three of them to let them know that I sent the books out in the mail today.

Each of the winners will receive a signed copy of The Demon Within, the first book in the Dale Highland series.

Congratulations to each of the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and followed my blog tour!

“Embracing the Demon” Reviewed at Qwillery

Embracing the Demon front cover

In case you were still debating whether to read Embracing the Demon or not, eminent sci-fi/fantasy reviewer Zombie Joe has reviewed it over at Qwillery. Go check it out.

As for the story as a whole, it was definitely worth the wait. An excellent addition to her ongoing narrative. The ending alone sold me on the book, but to tell you too much would be to give away the experience. As I finished the last page, I definitely found myself already starting the countdown to the next in the series.

I’m going ahead to give this one 4.5 demons out of 5. Not the perfect storm, by damned near close to it.

I’m preening. I’m seriously preening. Thank you to Zombie Joe for the amazing review!

“Embracing the Demon” Blog Tour Final Stops + Last Day of Giveaway!

Blog Tour Banner

Well guys, we’ve come to the end of the road. It’s officially the last day of the Embracing the Demon book tour.

Once again, I’d like to thank Roxanne Rhoads of Bewitching Book Tours for putting this together. Bewitching Book Tours really has been awesome, and I highly recommend them to anyone in the urban fantasy/paranormal romance realm looking for a blog touring company.

These last few days have been crazy busy…

I guest blogged at Urban Fantasy Investigations talking about what kind of playlist you’d put together if you found out you were a demon and having a bit of existential angst about it.

I also guest blogged at Fang-Tastic Books talking about some of the coolest “fantasy” places that exist right here in the real world!

My piece about my creepy stay at Greensboro’s most haunted hotel–the night I got felt up by a dead prostitute–was shared on All Things Halloween.

And Dale Highland herself came out of hiding to do a blog about how to survive life on the run over at Rose Shababy.

I also did an interview over at The Book Junkie Reads about whether writing is an ingrained process or something that can be learned, future creative projects, and how I’d spend a week with Jessica Fletcher to prove that she really is a cold-blooded killer…

Embracing the Demon was also featured on Sapphyria’s BooksLisa’s World of BooksT’s Stuffand Ramblings of a Book Nerd.

And even though the tour is over, you can still enter the giveaway for another 27 hours (which I think equates to 11:59pm Eastern Time tomorrow, July 3.) If you visit any of these amazing websites, you can enter the giveaway through Rafflecopter.

“Embracing the Demon” Blog Tour, days 7-8 + Giveaway

The blog tour continues. Over the past couple of days, Embracing the Demon has been featured on Linda Mooney’s Other World of RomanceParanormalists, and Stacking My Book Shelves.

12920414_10208961824543971_325353008529523798_nAlso remember that each of these sites links to a Rafflecopter giveaway. I’m giving away three copies of The Demon Within–the first book in the Dale Highland series–to U.S. residents. So if you haven’t had a chance to read book 1 yet, this contest is for you.


Happy reading!

“Embracing the Demon” Blog Tour, Days 3-6 + Giveaway

First of all, I’d like to apologize for being MIA for a few days during the blog tour. Some personal things came up, which I’ll explain at the bottom of this blog if you’re interested. But in the meantime, the blog tour continues, and there’s been some great stuff coming out over the last several days. Remember that each of these tour stops links to a Rafflecopter giveaway for The Demon Within, open to U.S. residents.

I wrote a guest blog for I Smell Sheep about being felt up by a dead prostitute in Greensboro’s most haunted hotel.

I was interviewed over at Mythical Books about cover design, the best and worst of urban fantasy, and whether I believe in happily-ever-afters.

I was also interviewed at Authors’ Secrets Blog about what inspired me to write the Dale Highland series and what I would do with a time machine and a cloak of invisibility.

Embracing the Demon was also featured on Jazzy Book ReviewsDark Treasury, and Teaser Addicts Book Blog.

Okay, now on to what’s been going on.

My husband and I had to euthanize our eldest cat, Annabel. I mentioned last week that, after we got home from Kennywood Comic Con, Annabel was sick. Our cat sitter had taken her to the vet, but unfortunately she didn’t get better. She spent two days in the hospital. We got a call from the vet late Thursday afternoon saying that, in spite the fluids, antibiotics, and supplementation she was receiving, her blood work was getting worse, and the vet did not think she would make it. Thursday evening, we went into the hospital and held her as the vet put her down.

AnnabelI will probably write more about this, and about Annabel, after the blog tour is over, but suffice it to say that this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Annabel was my kitty long before I met my husband, and she had been there for me during the most difficult period in my life. I feel sad and heartbroken and irrationally guilty. Annabel was a 14-year-old cat with a myriad of health issues (kidney disease, diabetes, gall bladder issues, a heart murmur, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and a history of urinary tract and ear infections–but who’s counting?) If she had shown any sign of improvement, I probably would have kept on fighting. But she didn’t. I know, logically, that we did the right thing. But when you take these creatures into your life, you promise to take care of them and protect them…and euthanasia feels like anathema to that–even though I know that’s not true.

At any rate, I’ve been a mess for the last several days, and I’m only beginning to emerge from the fog now. So again, I apologize for going MIA in the middle of the blog tour. But death, unfortunately, waits for no man, woman, cat…or blog tour.

Happy Book Birthday to “Embracing the Demon!”

Embracing the Demon front coverHAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO ME! Embracing the Demon is officially out in the world.

This book was both easier and harder to write. Easier, because I had a better road map of where I wanted to go with it, and with the series. Harder, because expectations. This is the first book I wrote knowing that it would be published. It’s the first book I wrote on a deadline. For the first time as an author, I was answerable not just to myself, but to my editor.

But that will be contemplation for another day. Lots of stuff going on in honor of the release. It’s day 2 of the blog tour, and Embracing the Demon is being spotlighted at Simply Kelina. You can also enter The Demon Within giveaway from there. Once again, thank you to Bewitching Book Tours for putting this together.

Also today, I’m guest blogging at Scandalicious about the challenges of writing strong female characters.

I’m also guest blogging at Lost in a Book about why demons are so super awesome (and not just because I write about them)!

It’s been a busy day!

Embracing the Demon Blog Tour, Day 1: Creatively Green and Fangtastic Books

Kennywood Comic Con pic

First day of the blog tour. Today I’m guest blogging at the Creatively Green Write at Home Mom blog, and Embracing the Demon is being featured on Fantastic Books.

Read about how I manage my writing time by breaking all the rules here.

And read a little bit about Embracing the Demon and a short excerpt here.

Attached to both of these blogs is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Three copies of The Demon Within are up for grabs. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Once again, thank you to Bewitching Book Tours for putting together this whole shindig.

As for me, it’s been an eventful weekend. Yesterday was Kennywood Comic Con, which was a lot of fun. I met some great artists there, and I got to spend the day talking about The Demon Within and Embracing the Demon in the shadow of the Racer roller coaster.

But then this morning I got a phone call from the cat sitter. Annabel, our 14-year-old calico, was acting very lethargic and didn’t want to eat. The sitter took her to the vet. Twelve hours and a $600 vet bill later, we’re still no closer to knowing what’s wrong with her–and unfortunately she has not improved. So I’ve spent the day stressed and weepy.

So send some good vibes her way. Tomorrow will bring more blog tour stops…and hopefully better news.