Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Live Longer - Adopt a Cat

Maybe you saw the news item last month. It reported on a study suggesting that cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who don't own cats. And, sorry, but it doesn't seem to work for people with dogs.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that cat-less people were 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those with cats. They don't seem to know what to make of this, other than to point to other studies suggesting pets can help reduce stress. But as cat lovers we know there's a special relationship bonding us to our felines. As a fantasy writer I'd call it a mystical bond. Perhaps our cats are so grateful for the love and attention we shower upon them they've found a way to transfer one of their nine lives to the two-legged creatures who care for them.

And while I have a lot of respect for Windrusher, my feline protagonist, I don't always treat him so kindly. In my debut novel, WINDRUSHER, our poor hero was not only chased by Bolt, a murderous brute of a tom cat, but he was terrorized by wild dogs, came close to being euthanized at the Humane Society, and was caught up in one of Mother Nature's most violent acts.

In WINDRUSHER AND THE CAVE OF THO-HOTH, Windrusher found himself cat-napped and taken to southern California. There he had to escape from a mad man's house and once he did things became even more dangerous.

But like the brave trooper he is, Windrusher triumphed in the end and now faces another series of deadly challenges. WINDRUSHER AND THE TRAIL OF FIRE will bring the much-traveled kitty into another deadly encounter with man and nature. As revealed in my last posting, Windrusher is separated from his caretakers and relocated to a rural cat rescue operation called Precious Friends Cat Sanctuary. Here, the reader is introduced to a number of human characters: Emily O’Connell, the owner of the cat sanctuary, Sam Rawlings, her boy friend, developer Phillip Langston, and his two not-so-bright henchmen, Seth and Nate Tobias. We'll also meet the 200 cats living at Precious Friends.

Each character plays a key role in TRAIL OF FIRE, as does a mythical feline hero from prehistoric times. Windrusher must cope with the knowledge that something terrible will soon envelop the peaceful sanctuary, while contending with the awful responsibility that only he can save the 200 cats.

In my last posting I teased you with the first page. Here's an extended sample of the first chapter. Click on to view the excerpt.

Remember the new book will be released in late May and I'm looking to launch the book with a series of "Book Parties" at the homes of cat rescue people. If you know of anyone who would like to host one of these parties, and collect 25% of any book sales for their rescue organization, please contact me at

I've heard from a few people in the past few weeks wondering if and when I'd be doing more appearances. You can always click on the Appearances link at my website for a calendar of upcoming talks and signings, but here are a few happening in the next couple of weeks.
  • Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Saturday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m. Book signing at the Mandarin store. This is a benefit for Fruit Cove Middle School so come out and support the kids.
  • Nassau County Senior Center – Wednesday, March 26 at 10:00 a.m. Talk and signing. 1367 South 18th St. off Lime Street, Fernandina Beach.
  • Murder They Wrote – Sunday, March 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the St. Augustine Main Library. I'll moderate a panel discussion looking at Mystery, Crime, and Suspense novels by the authors who write them. Participating authors include Mary Anna Evans, Michael Wiley, Rene Fix, and June Weltman.