Cat O' Nine Tales

Cat O’ Nine Tales is eight short stories from Highland Press plus a new novella. In the soon to be released anthology, my stories include – Bad Cat; Getting It In The End; Double, Double Toil and Trouble; Chicken What Du Hell; Rider in the Storm; Devil in Spurs; All I Want For Christmas is a Hula-hoop...and a Mother; and Blue Christmas Cat. The Novella is The Cat Who Saw Faeries. Please don’t think these are kitty-cat tales. These are Romances―warm, wonderful, sexy tales of the perfect lass finding that perfect lad. It’s just these very oddball felines are there helping the romances along.

Why Cats and Romance? Cats are horribly bright animals and excellent judges of character. They tend to accept people as they are, but also in the same breath, if they do give their love it’s because the person is worthy. They often see the true inner soul in a character before the characters themselves do.

I used this “device” in my upcoming novel, The Invasion of Falgannon Isle (Dorchester Love Spell, 28th November 2006). It is the first book in a series about seven sisters who find love better the second time around. A cat―The Cat Dudley―is a strong secondary character. My hero is a bad boy bent on vengeance, but soon finds life does not always play according to his plans. Des Mershan comes to Falgannon Isle bent on claiming and then destroying the tiny isle in the Hebrides of Scotland. He doesn’t count on an age-old curse or sexy B.A. Montgomerie. B.A. is very resistant to this Alpha Male invading her world. However, the island mascot, The Cat Dudley, embraces him from the very start. While Des begins as a very tough male, determined on righting a wrong against his family, it is through the cat’s immediate acceptance and love the reader sees the first key that Des is worth more than even he knows.

My cats add humor. They give the heroes a tender side early in the stories, which permits me to demonstrate there’s more to them than the reader first sees and understands. Oddly, I really didn’t set out to include cats as main characters. They just wormed their way into the tales, and even odder, they have thus far not shown up in my Historical Romance novels, such as my July release for Kensington Zebra Debut, A Restless Knight. Not a moggie in sight! I am not sure why that is. The wee beasties just pop up where they belong. In Devil in Spurs you see the first cat showing up in one of my Historical short stories.

Mind, these are not your average adorable felines. They are huge kitties, overweight kitties, old kitties, one even has only one eye and wears an eye patch. Another is a thief. And yet another brings the heroine a dead snake for a gift! Yikes! Well, what else would a forty-pound kitty named Bubba do? I have Auggie, Cyril, Bubba, Jinx, Simon, The Cat Dudley (mind, that is his whole name), Jack―as in one-eyed―Basil and Sinn Jinn, all showing they know more about love and romance than their silly people do!

As for where do my ideas come from for these feline matchmakers―I generally draw on cats who have paraded through my life. I love a kitten. Who doesn’t see one and go…awwwwwwww? But cats are so interesting. Each has their fears, their joys and their quirkiness, which makes them as unique as human beings. No two cats are ever the same. Stuff, The Cat Dudley, The Cat Cyril, The Cat Basil, Pokie, Cloydd, Gydney, D.C., ODC (Out Door Cat, which was a misnomer since she never went outside!), Biff and Bigger have claimed a part of my heart through the years. That love sneaks out as they now live on in my Romance books.

Readers respond well to animals in Romances. Cats are very popular animals, and we owners know they love to run our lives. Why not our romances? Ah, Kitty knows best!!

Deborah MacGillivray

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