New Release: Guardians Awakened by Kimiko Alexandre

GA4Raegan Fischer is eye candy for the rich socialites of the world…she also uses that pretty façade to protect them. When she gets dragged into a murder with “supernatural” like trappings, she never believes it’s going to not only test faith she doesn’t realize she has nor ever wanted, but make her enter a world of Angels, spirits and the unknown. Blackmailed into helping, she must find a missing angel and her sister while protecting a gargoyle that holds the soul of mass murder. It’s believe or risk a whole host of costs that are too high to bare.

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I am also pleased to be able to show you the print cover too!

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photoKimiko Alexandre runs the Parsec Nominated Podcast, Talechasing, for writers and readers of urban fantasy. Angels and demons are her first love when it comes to urban fantasy and paranormal romance so it’s no surprise that her debut novel, Guardians: Awakening, features a host of both and puts a twist to the whole mythos of where bad souls go when they die.

Also a voice actress, she has been in many commercial projects as well as audiobook and podiobook titles. She even ran a stint at being a female voice artist for European Hardstyle Dance music for a few years.  Just search for ‘ft. Kimiko’ on Youtube and you’ll find her.She loves her books, her music, and her cats. She sports a pair of brown and blue wings on her back and it doesn’t come as a shock that her favorite show is Supernatural. Team Dean, all the way.

You can find Kimiko on Twitter, Facebook and on her Podcast.

New Release: From Here to Nashville by Julie Stock

New Release!! It’s finally here – From Here to Nashville by Julie Stock. And look!! An excerpt too! Can you tell I’m excited? I’ve been watching Julie’s journey from the sidelines and it’s always such an amazing thing to see an author’s book become available to buy.

fh2n_From Here to Nashville

Two worlds, 4,000 miles apart. Can music unite them?

Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset.

When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.

But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?

Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again and to see whether music really can bring them together.

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Excerpt
I turned slowly to find myself staring up into the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen. The gorgeous man who’d been watching me earlier now stood before me, and my breath caught as I studied him close up. He towered over my petite frame, his soft, wavy, dark brown hair falling over his forehead, hands slung low in his pockets and cowboy boots peeking out from beneath his jeans.
‘Er, hi,’ I managed to stutter out, reminding myself to breathe.
‘Hey there,’ he drawled in the most luscious American accent. ‘I heard you singing and I wanted to find out more about who that fabulous voice belonged to.’ He smiled and as he did, I noticed the way his lips turned up invitingly at the corners.
‘Thank you. I’m glad you liked it,’ I replied, trying to appear calm and to bring my focus back to his eyes.
And then he chuckled. God, he knew how to make a chuckle sound sexy. He oozed confidence too, with his broad shoulders pulled back and his head held high.
‘You British, you’re so damn polite,’ he said, raising his eyebrows. ‘You sounded great up there.’
‘Yeah, the crowd had a great vibe tonight. I can’t quite believe it.’
‘Well, you have no reason not to; the proof’s all here. I loved your own song by the way. You have a real talent there.’
I blushed then, an honest-to-goodness shade of pink that made him chuckle once more, locking eyes with me as he did, so I knew the compliment was sincere.

ATA
julieJulie Stock is an author of contemporary romance novels, novellas and short stories. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and is a Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors.

She blogs about her path to publication on her website, ‘My Writing Life‘.  You can also connect with her on Twitter, on Goodreads and via her Facebook Author Page.

If you would like to be the first to hear about her new releases and other news, you can also sign up to receive her occasional newsletters. Your address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

When she is not writing, she works part-time as a teacher. She is married with two teenage daughters and lives with her family in Bedfordshire.

The Life Stages of a Pantsers Manuscript

A friend of mine is faced with having to write her first full-length novel for a few years. It’s not going to be a problem for her – well, she thinks it will be, but her words are so epic that I know it’ll be fantastic once it’s done, even if she hits some rocks along the road. But it got me to thinking about the life stages of our books. I know we are all different, but for your amusement, here’s mine.

0 Words – Stark Beginnings

In the beginning – there was… actually, I don’t know what there was. The beginning of a book is not when you or I put pen to paper, it’s when that first little seed enters the brain. Who knows how it begins? I couldn’t tell you. I do know, that for me, it began with an image while listening to a song, but something must’ve triggered it before that? Maybe…

noidea

 

500 Words…of notes

So now I have the main characters name and a little background. But not much more. But I do know her hair color. Hell yeah!

2000 Words…still notes

Whoop whoop! – I now have names of LIs, Protagonist, and friends and a tiny bit of their background.

whoop-whoop-o
—— Words…I’ve lost count

My notepad doesn’t have a word counter, but it’s full up and I have everyone. Still…I have no plot.

200 Words…of my manuscript

So it begins. Kind of. Or is this complete crap. Should I delete it and start again? What’s going on. Anyone know?

hmm

 

1000 Words in.

I have main character, I have setting, I have action. I have…crap – which character should I introduce next. I should really know this by now.

0 Words in.

That was rubbish. Start again.

2500 words in.

I did it!!! I wrote a chapter. OMG – It’s fabulous. I can totally do this.

ican

10000 words in.

Still rocking it!

rockingit

12000 Words in.

That’s just….that’s just awful. I don’t even know what that is.

what

15000 words in.

I Wonder what everyone’s up to on Twitter.

think

25000 Words in.

And….I’m baaaack. I am the QUEEN of this place. Ooo, yeah. Look what I just wrote. How freakin awesome is that. Honestly…my own genius scares me.

queen

 

 

30000 Words in.

I am a total failure.

paper

 

40000 Words in.

Beginning – check. Middle – check. Ugh – what’s that chapter all about. CUT.

50000 Words in.

There’s a pigeon in that tree. And a squirrel in that one. Ooo – a dragonfly. *Runs off to have a look.

dfly

50005 Words in.

That dragonfly sure was pretty. I wonder what other colors they come in. Google has the answers….

60000 Words in.

I actually just don’t care anymore.

65000 Words in.

Oh yes, now I’m rocking it like the God that I am.

freddie

65002 Words in.

Wait…what? That’s crap!!! *Jams finger on delete key.

what1

30000 Words in.

I can’t believe I just deleted 35k words. *Sobs while jamming cake into mouth.

cry

30000 Words in and several weeks later.

*Peeks out from under pillow fort. Area seems safe. Snatches notepad from beneath junk food rubbish while swigging cola.

30000 Words in.

I guess I turned into a plotter somewhere along the way….

40000 Words in.

Yes. This is much better.

50000 Words in.

Is it really better? Is this too much? Are there too many twists? Consults critique partner.

scratch

60000 Words in.

OMG – I did NOT see that coming. Thank you character who shall not be named for guiding me toward the light.

70000 Words in.

*Stares at screen. Sniffles. Is it really over?

75000 Words in.

Of course not. Layer – you idiot.

80000 Words in. Several months later.

Draft one million and sixty finished.

77000 Words in and several weeks later.

CP’s have ripped it to pieces and I’ve put it back together again. Off to the editor it goes.

OMG – I’m finished. Now I can do all those things I wanted to when I was writing.

happy

A half hour later.

*Fires up laptop… Chapter One….

typing

And there you have it. My writing process. I would love to know yours!

New Release: Faith by Kristie Cook

This is IT! The one I’ve been waiting for. Faith, the FINAL installment in the Soul Savers series is now LIVE!!! I’m excited. Can you tell I’m excited!

 

 When her eyes see only darkness, her soul must uncover
faith’s light.

Evil reigns the world. Earth’s been ravaged. Only
supernaturals roam the surface, while anyone else who escaped the fallout
remains hidden deeply underground. The only signs humans survived at all come
from those who serve the Daemoni. To finalize his conquest of humanity, Lucas
prepares to rip down the veil between Earth and the Otherworld, opening the
gates of Hell into the physical realm.
So why do the Angels insist on Alexis fighting a war that’s
already been lost? Defending a world that no longer exists?
With a soul that’s been battered and beaten by both Heaven
and Hell, Alexis holds onto a single conviction—her love for her family. Her
only mission now is to save her husband’s and her son’s souls. Once she does,
She’ll plead with the Angels to allow them off this world God has obviously
forsaken.
But has He? And can she give up on her people so easily? On
the souls of all humanity? Or will she find the faith she needs to defeat the
Daemoni and win back the world? Just how far will she go to save the souls she
loves . . .  and those she does not?
This epic finale of the bestselling Soul Savers Series will
break readers’ hearts, put them back together, and leave them demanding more.

 

Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various
genres, primarily New Adult paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy. Her
internationally bestselling Soul Savers Series will be complete and all seven
books available by early 2015. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis:
A Soul Savers Novella, currently available. Over 350,000 Soul Savers books have
been sold, with Promise peaking at #54 on the Amazon Top 100 Paid list and at
#1 in the Amazon Fantasy category, and Wrath peaking in the Top 10 on 5
international iBooks stores.
She has also written The Book of Phoenix trilogy, a New Adult
paranormal romance series that includes The Space Between, The Space Beyond,
and The Space Within. The full trilogy is available now.
Besides writing, Kristie enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and
riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently
calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, a beagle, and a puggle, but
spends many weekends with her three sons at UCF, cheering on the Knights.

 

Kristie Cook Interview with Red Coat PR

Are you a fan of angels and demons? Discovering new worlds and how they interact with our own? Do you like to ask the “what-if” questions?  Check out the amazing, Kristie Cook and her Soul Savers series, now a completed series with the release of Faith.
RCPR: I have to say I am extremely excited about the release of Faith, your final book in the Soul Savers Series. Are you sad to see it ending? Do you have any plans for a spin off?
KRISTIEOh, gosh, it is so bittersweet to see it ending. With seven books plus a novella and a collection of short stories, it’s been a huge part of my life. Saying goodbye to the characters is like saying goodbye to family. But it’s also been rewarding and quite an accomplishment, especially when I started, I wasn’t entirely confident I’d finish one book, let alone a whole series. As far as plans for what’s next…my lips are sealed. For now.
RCPR: You have so many great characters in this series. If you could either be a character in your book or have a power that one of your characters have who or what would you choose?
KRISTIE: Alexis can read minds, and I think a lot of people would love that power, but I don’t think I would. I already have too many characters in my head. I wouldn’t want the rest of the world in there, too! Not to mention how disturbing most people’s thoughts would be. *shudders* But I do think her power of levitation/telekinesis would be awesome.
 RCPR: I know some authors know their story from beginning to end before they write it. Did the Soul Savers Series end how you thought it would or did it throw you for a loop and go completely off the track?
KRISTIE: I had a general image of the final battle scene in my mind and the big turning point for Alexis since I finished the first book, but not everything play by play. So much of the storyline evolved over time – I was thrown for a loop many times, but every surprise led me beautifully back to where I intended to go. That’s what I love about writing
RCPR: Do you listen to music while you write; and if so what kind or do you need to write in complete silence?
KRISTIE: I have to actually write in silence, with white noise, like a fan. Lyrics distract me. But I do listen to music that is right for the story when I’m doing other work, exercising, cooking, etc.
RCPR: You’ve taken a different approach to writing characters like Vampires and Shifters along with Angels and Demons. What inspired you to write this series so creatively and pushed you to create a world like you did?
KRISTIE: I’d had the idea of writing angels and demons tumbling in my mind for years before I decided to start writing fiction again. When I finally decided to play, I sketched out some angel and demon-type characters. Around the same time, I was scanning through reader and book forums one day and came across a thread of young girls crying because they wanted the Twilight characters to be real. And I thought, “Well, then the bad guys would kill the author for exposing their secrets.” Immediately, the “what if” question popped into my head—“What if the supernatural creatures a big-name author wrote about showed up in her home, threatening to kill her if she didn’t stop exposing their secrets?” Then I realized this author and my character for the angels and demons idea were one and the same. The mythology snowballed from there.
RCPR: What book or series do you have in the works for us next?
KRISTIE: Top-secret…for a little bit longer. I have a lot of stories I want to discover about secondary characters in the Soul Savers world, but I also have other things in the works. Announcements will be coming after Faith releases.
RCPR: What has been your craziest fan interaction so far?
KRISTIE: Tattoos! Several fans have tattoos from my books! I do, too, but you know, I’m the author. I just never thought… The craziest is a tattoo of my skull-and-wings logo, including my initials – breaking her own rule of never tattooing someone else’s initials on her body. Haha! My fans are unbelievably awesome. I’m always blown away and humbled by how many people love my characters as much as I do.
RCPR: Is there a snack or drink or drink that you must have for while you are writing?
KRISTIE: Chocolate. And when under deadline, coffee.
RCPR: Are there any authors that you go Fan Girl over?
KRISTIE: So many I fan girl over even though they are friends now! But the ones I’d completely freak out and probably lose all brainpower with would be J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. I know, not very original, but there’s a reason people love them.
RCPR: What are some events that you have coming up for 2015?
KRISTIE: I’m doing a UK Tour in April, utopYA (Nashville) in June, PennedCon (St. Louis) in July, and InD’Scribe (Palm Springs) in September. That’s what I have planned so far for this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message in a Bottle

I think most people know what the 14th of February is – it’s Valentine’s day. The day of love etc etc.

love

I have a significant other – therefore I think it’s kind of expected that we celebrate it in some way. Now my husband, he’s one of these people that think Valentine’s day is commercialized crap, which maybe on the face of it, it is. But when you go deeper, it’s more. So much more. I’m a romantic through and through. I have watched nearly every romantic comedy made in the last two decades, read tonnes of romance books and when I listen to a song – it’s not the tune I’m listening to – it’s the words. Always the words.

I don’t know the numbers of how many people spent the day with the man or woman they love, how many girls hearts pitter-pattered when they discovered that Valentine’s card they so wanted, how many newly formed couples went all out to do something special, how many men or women clasped their sweaty palms around an all important little box and popped the question, how many teenagers or adults wished upon a star that the boy or man they really like would do something, anything, to show he felt the same. Or indeed vice versa.

To me it’s about hope, new love, old love, unrequited love and sadly, broken hearts. I adore everything the day encompasses, even the sad bits because they make me feel. But I’ve never really said it out loud. I’m not a ‘talk about my feeling’s’ kind of person. Generally, we don’t really do anything to celebrate Valentine’s day – it passes us by year after year, and we just let it.

This morning, a delivery truck pulled up outside our house. We live on a small street, nice, quiet – only eight houses. I thought the delivery was for my best friend who lives next door but one. Nope. The driver dude climbed out of his van, dissappeared into the back with his legs waggling out the door and emerged with a long, rectangular box – then he opened my gate and trundled down the path. As someone who occasionally reviews stuff or enters a competition or two, I wondered Ooo, what have I won? I even told my husband I must have won something.

I did not. Nor was it something to review.

I can count on half a hand how many people I have told this, but for the past few years, my husband has been rather unwell and I’ve done my very best to look after him. Now – I’m not a Florence Nightingale, so don’t go thinking I am. I’m as far opposite of a domestic goddess that you can get. He’s the better half, for sure. Anyway, inside the package was this:

bottle

It’s a bottle with sand and shells covering the bottom. If you know me, you’ll know how perfect this is for me. It has little bits of sand in it – and shells! Little bits of the natural world that I love so much. But if you look in the middle, that’s a scroll. A message. And that message thanked me for just being there, by his side throughout.

That little bottle, with those tiny shells and even tinier grains of sand, sends a huge message. A message in a bottle, to me, from the man I love. There is nothing more perfect. He’s also taking me to see 50 Shades of Grey the week after next, which is an amazing and selfless thing to do, because he hates it!

So what did I get my husband? *Hangs head in shame. Nothing – I am the worst wife ever! Luckily, I have a chance to redeem myself. It’s our 15th anniversary in eleven days (we got married when we were eighteen), so I better get planning!!

Happy Valentine’s day to you all and if you haven’t got a special someone, I hope this time next year your heart is pitter-pattering.

The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding

echoesGold medallist: Independent Publisher Book Awards – Romance Category.

‘An epic love story that is beautifully told.’ The Sun newspaper

Set in Venice, The Echoes of Love is a beautiful, poignant story of lost love and betrayal, unleashed passion and learning to love again, whatever the price.

Venetia Aston-Montague has escaped to Italy’s most captivating city to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, hoping to put a lost love behind her.

Paolo Barone, a charismatic entrepreneur who bears the scars of a tragic past, is endeavoring to build a new life for himself.

Venice on a misty carnival night brings these two people together.
When Venetia finds herself assigned to Paolo’s magnificent country home, love blossoms in the beautiful hills of Tuscany and the wild Sardinian Maquis. But if they are to be together, they must first confront their past and dark forces in the shadows determined to come between them.

Daring to love again after so many years, can Venetia overcome her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?

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ExcerptThe clock struck midnight just as Venetia went past the grand eighteenth-century mirror hanging over the mantelpiece in the hall. Instinctively she looked into it and her heart skipped a beat. In the firelight she noticed that he was there again, an almost illusory figure, leaning against the wall at the far end of the shadowy room, steady eyes intense, watching her from behind his black mask. An illusory figure indeed, because when Venetia turned around he was gone.
Venetia shivered. Nanny Horren’s voice resounded through her head, reminding her of the strange Celtic superstitions that the Scottish governess used to tell her. One in particular came to mind. ‘Turn off the light and look into the mirror by firelight at midnight on Shrove Tuesday,’ the old woman would whisper to the impressionable and imaginative teenage Venetia, ‘and if you see a face reflected behind your own, it’ll be the face of the love of your life, the man you will marry someday.’
Was this what had just happened to Venetia? Was this stranger the love of her life?
Rubbish, she remonstrated, laughing uneasily into her own eyes, you’re mad! Haven’t you learnt your lesson? Venetia had indulged in such fantasies several years ago and had only managed to get hurt. Now, she knew better. Still, she did not move away. Venetia leant closer to the mirror that reflected her pale, startled face in the flickering light, as tremors of the warm feelings of yester love suddenly flooded her being. For a few moments she seemed to lose all sense of where she was and felt as though she stood inside a globe, watching the wheel of time turning back ten years.

ATAhannahHannah Fielding is a novelist, a dreamer, a traveller, a mother, a wife and an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: she writes full time, splitting her time between her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

Her first novel, Burning Embers, is a vivid, evocative love story set against the backdrop of tempestuous and wild Kenya of the 1970s, reviewed by one newspaper as ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’. Her new novel, The Echoes of Love, is a story of passion, betrayal and intrigue set in the romantic and mysterious city of Venice and the beautiful landscape of Tuscany.

You can find Hannah on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads!

 

 

The Vampire of Vancouver by Liz Meldon

tvbg

After reading book one in the Lovers and Liars series: The Manead of Manhattan – I was delighted to be able to read this prior to release and I can honestly say – it’s excellent, I really love it.

tvAphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn’t expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn’t exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn’t thought taking on a beautiful partner would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.

Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.

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If you haven’t read Book 1 The Maenad of Manhattan – you can grab that here:

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aboutLiz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, loitering on social media, or taking care of animals.

As a freelance ghostwriter, she has written eleven romance novellas, eight of which have been published and are doing well. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

Catch up with Liz Meldon on her blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook

New Release: The Dracula Deception by Jake Devlin

blood

I was really lucky to read this book prior to release and I have to say, it’s genius! Like all of Devlin’s books, the humor will have your belly shaking with laughter.

draculaThe setting: The Transylvania Institute for the Terminally Insane (TITI; pronounced “Tie-Tie”), where patients are not treated to be cured, but are allowed to live out their delusions in relative comfort in a supportive environment.

The plot: A down-on-his-luck actor’s audition for a role to support one particularly peculiar patient plunges him pathologically into a nightmarish maelstrom of madness and mayhem.

The characters: A manic mix of patients and staff catapults the roller-coaster plot to its shocking, heart-stopping finale.

Adapted and updated from the hit 1974 stage comedy of the same title. (The print version includes photos from one of the original productions.)

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Free on Kindle today: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants by Lori L. Clark

bkg1

the heart knowsEstelle “Star” Falconé, a thirty-year-old tattooed bartender, was once a free-spirited dreamer who dabbled in astrology for fun and secretly dreamed of becoming a rock-star some day.

Twenty-one-year-old Shane Harper was once the star of his high school basketball team. With a full ride scholarship, his dream was to play college basketball and study astronomy. When a tragic car accident permanently sidelines his basketball career, college is out of the question.

Sparks fly when their two worlds collide.

Can a relationship survive between a thirty-year-old starry-eyed woman who’s on the run from an extremely dangerous man, and a twenty-one-year-old science guy who’s hell-bent on protecting her at all cost?

***Caution*** This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+) containing adult situations, non-consensual sex, and violence. This is a full-length, standalone novel.

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bkg

More Than Pets

I have the coolest cats. I do. Cats have little ways of saying I love you, one of which is presents – and who doesn’t love presents? Most cats, they’ll bring you back a dead mouse or a vole. Lemon, that’s my youngest cat – he brought me a squirrel – NOT COOL. Luckily, I have had so many cool gifts over the years from the others, that I’m able to shove squirrelgate to the back of my mind.

I got Mali and Metz when I was 17 or thereabouts. I was only supposed to get one little kitty, but I got two – they were just so cute together, I couldn’t separate them. Mali had the softest fur and Metz – she had a tail that looked like it belonged to a raccoon. For eleven years they brought me home the most awesome presents. Pretty twigs with pinecones still attached, a packet of cigarette papers, a half-eaten mars bar, a marble (my favorite), and a hamster. Yes, really – a hamster. A live, unharmed hamster. Twice. What drives a cat to bring their owners  live and unharmed rodents? If it’d been just one time, I would’ve put it down to lucky hamster, but twice? That’s not normal. I didn’t own a hamster – maybe they thought I’d like one? I dunno, but one of those hamsters had to live in a vase until we found someone to home him. (No one claimed him, y’see) He went to live with a friend who’s son was over the moon with his new pet!

Mali and Metz are super cool cats. If I tapped my shoulder, Metz would run up me and sit on my shoulder like a Queen – all without digging her claws in or hurting me. Seriously, some days I’d just be bending over doing something, or maybe hanging out the washing and suddenly, Metz was sitting on my shoulder or wrapping herself around my neck. She also played fetch. Her favorite toys were little plastic furry mice – in gray, preferably. Chuck that little mouse and she’s tear off after it and bring it back like the little champion she was. Mali was the laid back one. She was just happy to be curled up in her favorite spot.

Sadly, in 2008 – Metzy passed away. It was sudden, unexpected. She was fine one day, gone the next. For a year, Mali wasn’t the same. Actually – she was never really the same. But for a year, Mali didn’t leave the house, didn’t come out of her bed, really. She ate, she cuddled, but she just wasn’t right.

Eventually, she pulled herself out of her pit and carried on. Little trooper. For the next six years, Mali was a normally behaved cat again. She brought me home more presents. A dead frog at the end of my bed. A couple of unfortunate field mice. Several slow worms, which are not rope, by the way. So don’t go picking them up off the floor, thinking that they are. I can tell you from experience that although, when dead, they look like bits of shiny rope. They are not.

I think, by now, you can see where this post is going. This morning, I sat by Mali’s side and said goodbye. It was not unexpected – she was 17, pretty good going. Only last week she climbed into the back of the dishwasher to hunt for food scraps. Yesterday she ate steak and ham. Hard to believe this past summer she was running around the garden like a maniac. But there we go. She did well.

Grief is immeasurable, in my opinion. We grieve for people, we grieve for pets – because they are more than pets – they are part of our family. There every day to keep you company, love you unconditionally and just be the soft fuzzy friends we sometimes need. I miss her already. I still miss Metz. I’ll miss them always.

But Mali, that old girl, she’s with her sister now. Buried side by side, they’ll always have each other. They brought me so much joy, so many laughs and hey, some cool gifts.

Love you Mals.

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