Tuesday, December 31, 2013


With the release of Geek with the Cat Tattoo, people have been asking if I have a cat. "You must have a cat! You know them so well!"

This is kind of a downer, but I thought I'd rerun a post from two and a half years ago. My cat of twenty years was the inspiration for the Cool Cats books. He and I actually had a conversation about it.

"I should write a book with a cat narrator," I told him. "What do you think? Maybe a romance. Readers have been asking for another romance."  Of course he thought it was a great idea.

 It's very strange, but I don't think I've gotten over losing him even though it's been more than two years. About a month after he died I had to fly to promotional events for Grand Central Publishing.  A book gig in New Orleans was the first time I'd left the house, and I suddenly found myself at this long table at a fancy fancy fancy restaurant where each meal must have cost several hundred dollars.  I was supposed to perform, but I just wanted to be home with the covers over my head. Weird to look back and realize I've been kind of shut off since then. Or at least not fully turned on. :D


To preface the following: I sometimes tweeted as him and called his tweets kitty memoirs.

June 5, 2011

His story...

“Yesterday I was put to sleep.” Kitty memoir

My story…

It shouldn’t hurt this much, but it’s like the death of a person. I wish I’d waited one more day. And one more day. I retrace the past week, I examine and wonder, and see the days through a different lens every time I look at them. One minute I think I waited too long, years too long. Another, I think I didn’t wait long enough. I wish he were with me right now. That’s all I know.

He was old. Almost twenty.

The princess (my daughter) and Latoya, St. Paul 2003

The last animal from what I call our old life, the life on the farm.

“He’s so charming,” people always said.

He loved it when a group of people got together and sat around talking and laughing. He loved the sound of laughter.

It’s like the death of a person.

He showed up on our farm as a kitten, probably a dump.
“Don’t touch it,” I told my daughter, who was already mentally cuddling the animal. “It might have some disease.”
“It has devil eyes,” my husband said. “Look at how it’s looking at me. Making eye contact.” There was fear in his voice. “Don’t feed it and it’ll leave.”

But the cat didn't leave, and we began calling him Latoya, thinking he was a female.

He hung around the corncrib and caught mice.

One day I found him there, sick. I took him to the vet.
“Pneumonia,” the vet said. “Never seen a case this bad. If he lives, he’ll always be in bad health.” I found out he was a boy, not a girl.

So I took him home and put him in a box in the basement.
“I don’t want that devil cat in the house,” my husband said.
“What is he going to do? Put a spell on you?”
The cat recovered and he was returned to the outdoors. I got him neutered, but we continued to call him Latoya.
He was always around. In the field near the house. In the evenings, when I went for a jog, he would follow me, get tired, and wait in the roadside ditch for me to return, then follow me home. I fed him, and he became my cat.

In 1994, I went on a trip.
“Don’t forget to feed Latoya,” I told my son and husband. “I don’t want him roaming, searching for food.”
While I was gone, my husband accidentally ran over Latoya with a sickle mower, a mower used to trim ditches. He was so mangled that he should have been put to sleep, but my son coaxed him out of the culvert where he’d gone to die. The vet did what he could. “I don’t think he’ll live, and he’ll never walk or use the litter box. Take him home, but you’ll probably need to have him put down.” Poor Latoya had two and a half legs, and half a tail. They’d shaved him, and he was as naked as a mole rat.

Over the next month, pieces of him fell off, but he slowly recovered, and the devil cat became a housecat. My constant companion.

St. Paul, 2005

He had no trouble getting around, and could even run and climb a tree if taken outside. Like the vet said, he had respiratory issues off and on his whole life. But he lived and lived and lived.

Two years ago, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, but he couldn’t tolerate the medication. And as time passed, he got so he could no longer go up and down the stairs to sleep with me in my bed. His weight dropped from sixteen pounds to five.

Church house, 2009

I would spend evenings downstairs in the living room with him, watching television. He lost his hearing, and began to yowl if he thought he was alone. The social butterfly. A few days ago, my daughter came by and we realized he could hear us, and he enjoyed sitting with us as we talked and laughed. He still loved the sound of laughter.

This day has been coming for a long time, but I didn’t know it would hurt so much. He was a cat. A cat. But it feels like the death of a person. I don’t understand how humans bond so strongly with their pets, but it’s something profound and crazy and painful and maybe beautiful. I’m not sure about the beautiful. It hurts too much for beautiful.

Twenty years. He was with me through the death of my husband, my move from the farm to Iowa, my move to St. Paul, my move to Wisconsin. In the past several years, he required constant care. Because of that, my adult children and I took him with us when we went up north and stayed at a cabin for a week. I’m not sure if he enjoyed it, but he took it all in stride, the way he did everything.

 Latoya and me at cabin in northern Minnesota, 2010
(Yes, he even came with us on a family vacation.)

I’ve had a lot of cats in my life, but he was special. Unique and almost human. I can’t believe he’s gone. The house is so empty. There’s a giant hole in my heart that I don’t think any other pet could ever fill.

Monday, December 30, 2013


 Have you heard me go on and on about this book? And have you been thinking God, that sounds AWFUL? I'll wait for her suspense. But then you see the great reviews of GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO and you're confused?

Are these people NUTS?

Now you can find out for yourself! .99! 

If you end up being surprised, if you end up thinking wow, this isn't half bad. And wow, I actually LIKED this weird book, then maybe consider leaving a review on Amazon. 

Something readers might not know is that one of the few ways writers can promote their books is through paid online advertising. And most advertisers won't accept a book with less than TEN decent reviews. (Goodreads reviews don't count when it comes to advertisers.) Sometimes they won't accept books with less than TWENTY Amazon reviews. So it's tough out there. A cat needs all the help he can get.

 I honestly think GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO is my best romance to date, and I'm very proud of it.  I set out to write something that was a romance in the truest and purest sense of the word, and I hope I at least partially accomplished that. I'm not going to give up trying to get people to read my cat books, but I'm also being realistic about them.

Check out the latest WONDERFUL (sob, it's SO wonderful) review from Penelope's Romance Reviews.


 "This book has a series of incredibly romantic moments strung together with beautiful writing and sassy cats and funny bits and music. "

" ... all of my favorite things...laugh-out-loud humor, gorgeously-written prose, characters who are real and flawed and lovely in their own way, and old-fashioned romantic moments I forgot still existed." Penelope


A Dear Author Recommended Read!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Dear readers:
I want to thank you for all the enthusiastic support you've given the Cool Cats books. I put Girl with the Cat Tattoo out there as an experiment -- to see if there was any interest in a romance told partially from a cat's POV.  The answer was yes! People said the book made them happy, and it made me happy to write it, and it made me happy to hear it made readers happy. 

And now the second and probably final book is out, Geek with the Cat Tattoo.

The unsurprising truth is that romances with a cat's POV simply don't sell very well even with the mad Max and Sam love. I changed the original cover in hopes that it would generate more sales because the original cat cover seemed to confuse non-romance readers and romance readers alike, but I can't change the cat narrator and the perception that a cat narrator is going to make books corny.

 I hate to disappoint people, and I know readers will be sorry to hear the news of no third book, but writing is a business. It takes about two months to write a Cool Cats book, and to tell the truth the books hardly break even. I'd hoped they'd would sell well enough that I could just keep writing and writing them. As my agent used to say in response to poor sales, the readers have spoken.

 It's a weird thing trying to get people to read something they think they're going to hate. I love the cat books. I loved writing them, and I think Geek with the Cat Tattoo might be the best romance I've ever written, but…

If by some fluke the books finally catch fire or I win the lottery and can write cat books until I'm a hundred, pretend you never read this blog post. ;)

BUT, what I most want to say is that it's been a fun journey, one I'm glad you took with me. Thanks for the support. Your response to the books brought me so much joy.

As Max and Sam say, life is good.
Max, Sam, and Theresa

Friday, December 20, 2013

Geek with the Cat Tattoo is now available!

It's December 20, which means Geek with the Cat Tattoo is now available from most online vendors!  It's still too early to get a handle on overall response to the second book in the Cool Cat series, but early feedback has been very positive.  With this story I tried to focus a bit more on the human relationship. 

Short blurb: Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town.

First online review: A Willful Woman
A- Recommended Read from Dear Author


Interested in donating to a Twin Cities no-kill rescue group?
Consider Feline Rescue of St. Paul/Minneapolis


Purchase the ebook here: 

(The paperback should be available on Amazon in a few days.)

Girl with the Cat Tattoo (book one) is currently .99 through most vendors.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I've once again joined a group Rafflecopter giveaway. I'll be giving away five digital copies of Geek with the Cat Tattoo, so sign up!  Also included is L.K. Rigel's new Jane Eyre Retold series. I've read book one, My Mr. Rochester, and loved it. A lot of good books here ranging from sweet romance to erotica.

 When you first open this page the space below might look blank because it takes Rafflecopter forever to load on Blogger. Be patient!

Giveaway ends December 19 and winners will be selected December 20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends December 19th at 11:59 PM EST. Open internationally. Warning: content possibly not suitable for minors under the age of 17. Prizes will be sent electronically via mail. Winner will be selected on 12/20/2013 by Random.org and be notified by email. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.