Okay, so today this CRAZY DOG LADY (a/k/a/ me) is hosting my good friend, Ruth Hartman, a self proclaimed… well, how about we let her tell it!
I am a crazy cat lady. I make no excuses for it and in fact wear the honor proudly. Three very spoiled cats, all named after some of my book characters, share a one-hundred-year-old farmhouse with my husband, Garry and me. Max, Roxy and Remmie rule the house, of course, expecting the humans to bow and scrape and see to their every whim.
Which of course, we do.
My very first published story was in “I Love Cats” magazine several years ago. I sent in a memory of the first cat Garry and I shared. His name was Arthur and he resembled a Russian Blue, though I’m sure he was a mutt, considering we got him from the animal shelter.
Arthur lived to be sixteen, but when he was twelve, one day he couldn’t decide if he wanted in the house or out on the patio. He raced back and forth while I held the door open. I thought he’d made up his mind at last and shut the door. But he must have had second thoughts and tried to race back into the kitchen at the last minute. When I saw the fur and blood from his tail all over the floor, I screamed. So did Arthur. Our adventures with the plastic lampshade he had to wear and how drunk he was from the pain meds made up the crux of my little story.
My excitement was so great when I received the magazine in the mail, I could hardly stand it. I was a published writer. Me! Next came a memoir about my struggles with severe OCD. Then a romance. And more romances. I was on a roll. About a year ago, I had my first historical romance published. Once that happened, I knew I’d discovered my niche. Something clicked and I felt I’d finally found my writer’s home.
And every single book I’ve ever written has touted at least one cat. Some contain several. To me, if one of my stories doesn’t have something that’s covered in fur and purrs, it’s not complete. Since my life would be lacking without cats, why should my story characters have to do without? Don’t they deserve to be happy?
A couple of my books even focus on cats. “Better than Catnip” a contemporary romance, takes place in a cat rescue shelter. And “Romance at the Royal Menagerie”, a historical romance, is about a girl whose father works at the Tower of London’s zoo. That story was really fun to write because the heroine gets to play with the BIG cats!
As you can see, my fondness for cats has a way of leaking out into my books. It can’t be helped. Once you reach the professional level of crazy cat lady, there’s no turning back.
Francesca Hartwell adores cats of every kind. Lions, leopards, tigers. And they all love her. Good thing she gets to see them every day, since her father is their caregiver in the Tower of London’s Royal Menagerie. She’d love to find a man with whom she could share her love of animals, but so far, no one has stolen her heart. And there’s the added snag that whoever she marries must not have anything to do with nobility, as her mother had left her and her father for an earl.
John Fairgate has three rules given to him by his uncle. Inherit the title of baron upon his uncle’s death. Give up ornithology. And marry a childhood acquaintance. The first two, John will abide by, but won’t like. But the third, marrying a shrew who makes his skin crawl, he simply cannot do. Meeting Miss Francesca Hartwell at the zoo, however, has given him other ideas for a wife. But she’s not titled or wealthy. How will he be able to convince his uncle that she’s the woman of his heart?
AND JUST AS YOU THINK IT CAN’T GET ANY BETTER… SHE WRITES ANOTHER BOOK!
Augustus Sinclair has a broken heart. His betrothed has dropped him for his best friend. Former best friend. When he meets Anne Balfour, though, he questions whether he’d ever really been in love with his fiancé. Some of Anne’s reactions to what he considers everyday activities are puzzling, but that doesn’t stop him from falling head over heels for the first time in his life.
Anne Balfour is amazed to be a guest at the Shrewsbury’s, one of Mayfair’s most well-to-do families — even if the circumstances are less than ideal. Still, she can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of society life. Especially when in the company of Augustus Sinclair. He makes her believe in love and romance, even if she is just the dustman’s daughter.