Natalie J. Damschroder | It's harder with critters
November 19, 2011
You know what the biggest challenge of a release-month blog tour is? Yep, you're
right—finding fresh topics. Between my own scheduling and my publicists,
I'm at somewhere around 3 dozen blogs between November 1 and December 31.
What's a great strategy for surviving the challenge? Stealing other people's
A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law was getting ready for work when her cat,
Angel, wanted to play. She brought Mom the little felt toy mouse they play fetch
with and cried at her until, exasperated, Mom picked it up by the tail and
tossed it across the room, into the dining room. Angel just sat and stared at her.
Fast forward to the end of the day. Mom comes home from work, and sees the mouse
lying in the dining room still. But she looks closely, and it's not the little
felt toy mouse. It's a real mouse. A real, dead mouse. Cue grossout.
Poor Angel, she was so proud, and totally dissed. Their other, really fat, lazy
cat, Charlie, went after another little mouse that evening. My nephew got it out
from under the washing machine while my mother-in-law waited in the bedroom.
I have three cats, but none of them have chased mice. Of course, wehenever mice
get into our house, they tend to skitter around in the basement's drop ceiling,
so I can't blame the cats. If a mouse ever skittered around our house?
Frisbee would watch it with an air of boredom
Maya would cry at me to do something about it
BG would chase it for 20 seconds, then lose interest
I don't write pets into most of my stories. I did it once, in SOPHIE'S PLAYBOY, but
they're cumbersome. The characters have to remember to feed them and, if they're
dogs, to let them outside or walk them. Not really conducive to action adventure.
Consequently, these two books are pet-free:
BEHIND THE SCENES
October 31, 2011
Carina Press | Audible
Kennedy Smyth's firm provides security for companies and charities in
seriously dangerous countries. She doesn't usually take on "frivolous" jobs, but
when an old friend asks her to protect his son's movie shoot, she finds it hard
to refuse. Also hard to resist is the film's charismatic star, Rogan St. James.
The handsome actor piques her interest, while the strange actions of the
terrorist threatening the set raise her suspicions.
Even though he's a successful actor, Rogan wants more—a real woman to
love, the type he doesn't think exists...until he meets Kennedy. She intrigues
him with her confidence and passion for her work, and frustrates him with her
refusal to let him get close.
But Kennedy finds herself in a vulnerable position when she discovers that the
terrorist isn't actually out to derail the film. She's the real target—and
if he finds out how much Rogan means to her, he could be next...
UNDER THE MOON November
Their power gives them strength...and makes them targets.
Quinn Caldwell is the epitome of a modern goddess. Her power source is the moon,
her abilities restricted only by physical resources and lunar phase. She runs a
consulting business and her father’s bar, serves on the board of the ancient
Society for Goddess Education and Defense, and yearns for Nick Jarrett,
professional goddess protector and the soul mate she can never have.
But someone has developed the rare and difficult ability to drain a goddess of
her powers, and Quinn is a target. With the world thinking Nick has gone rogue
(whatever that means) and that Quinn is influenced by "family ties" she didn’t
know she had, keeping themselves safe while working to find the enemy proves
harder each day.
But not as hard as denying their hearts...
How do you feel about pets in the books you read? Do you have pets? I'd love
to hear your dead-mouse-tossing type stories! :) One commenter will win UNDER THE MOON (ebook)
You can learn more about Natalie and her books at her website, eHarlequin, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. She blogs with four
other obsessed passionate Supernatural fans at Supernatural Sisters, with a
number of fantastic romance authors at Everybody Needs a Little Romance, and just to hear herself
talk at Indulge Yourself.
30 comments posted.
Re: Natalie J. Damschroder | It's harder with critters
I don't mind pets in a story when it is called for. I especially like the ones with attitude!
My can constantly brings in wildlife during the winter, we think she does because it is too wet, cold or windy to eat ouyt side. Unfotunately she leaves the squiggly bits ont he carpet or if it is a bird she redecorates my hall or lounge with the feathers. But she adors my husband who brushes her each day when he comes in from work until she had had enough and gives him a nip on the hand. He is such a sucker!
(Barbara Hanson 4:51am November 19, 2011)
I don't have a pet but don't mind them in stories.
(Pam Howell 9:02am November 19, 2011)
I wish that this wasn't an e-book, because I don't own a kindle, but I do have a story for you. My dog Bandit, who passed away 2 years ago, loved to run on the beach and catch the waves in her mouth. She also had a knack for finding fish carcasses, and would always run up to us with the tail in her mouth, and the head and spine flapping wildly in the wind. We also feed wild cats and the birds, and have saved a couple of birds from a certain death, depending on the cat. As for mice, since we live in the country, we know they exist, but are taken care of by the same cats, but discreetly, much to my relief. I don't think I could take seeing one of them with a mouse in their mouth!! Your cats are adorable. Good luck with your blogging. I'm sure it's hard to come up with different topics to talk about on all of those different days!
(Peggy Roberson 9:21am November 19, 2011)
I have 4 cats of my own, Mulder, Scully, Meowie and Samantha. We did hve a theme going. Then there is Kirby the mastif mix and our foster dog Maxie aka Little Man. I like animals in stories.
I had a cat that I named Baby Bonkers the third. I called her Baby. I lived in a studio apt. though it had a small sit in kitchen. That first winter with Baby, well she caught a mouse and was so proud. I got it and through it outdoors. She must have found a little nest because she came out with another one. again out the mouse went. The third time she just ran into the living room showed me the mouse and ran back into the kitchen. She decided that just showing me was enough. I got that mouse too. Thank goodness there were no more mice. Scully is the great hunter. Birds, squirrels, and someone got a opossum.
(Jo Anne Benware 10:12am November 19, 2011)
Did you know that only one in ten or eleven cats is a mouser? I was going to
adopt a cat when a vet told me this. She said if I wanted a cat that was great. If I
just wanted a mouser think twice or three times about it before doing it. One
thing I do know is that Under The Moon is heading for my TBR pile as soon as I
can get it.
(Sandra Spilecki 11:12am November 19, 2011)
@Barbara Your cat sounds like a nice blend of self-sufficiency and refinement. LOL At least she eats most of it instead of leaving it for you as a prize. Your husband is so sweet! Mine pretends to hate the cats.
@Pam thanks for commenting! :)
@Peggy Your dog sounds like she was a lot of fun. Except for the lingering fish smell, I bet. LOL I'm so sorry you lost her. Our dog, Dolly, died almost 2 years ago, too. Sorry that this prize is an e-book. Keep an eye out for other chances to win a paperback.
@Jo Anne You have a full menagerie, wow! LOL on Baby's pride and how fast she learned not to gift you with the mouse. LOL
@Sandra Interesting statistic! Makes sense to me. Did the vet say anything about long ears? I've always heard that cats with long ears are good mousers. It's logical, I would think, helping them track and attack, but I don't know if it's true.
(Natalie Damschroder 11:27am November 19, 2011)
I don't mind stories with pets in them as long as they don't talk. It's one thing to communicate love and affection by saving the hero or heroine, it's quite another to give them thoughts.
(Molly Wilsbacher 11:41am November 19, 2011)
Yes, we have pets!! House cats, barn cats, dog, and 4 Peacocks. I wouldn't know what to do without them, especially the cats, Sunshine, Abner and Mikie. We live in an old log house, and the cats certainly earn their living, as well as provide us with entertainment and affection. My husband says that they look right into your soul.
(Marjorie Carmony 1:11pm November 19, 2011)
We had a cat years ago that loved to bring us presents... she would leave dead rats and mice that she caught from an abandoned house at the front door for us.
We have always had numerous pets through the years... each with their own unique personalities to enjoy!
(Colleen Conklin 1:21pm November 19, 2011)
Under the Moon looks awesome....and we have 3 cats and 3 dogs
and I like stories that include animals. I don't read too many
with them but the one's I have I've enjoyed. Pat :)
(Patricia Braden 1:26pm November 19, 2011)
i had pig chicken geese duck turkey and 6 dog and who now how many cats my cat would chase the snakes then the pig would want them then when we we go fishing we take the fish and put them in the pig water and he have ball trying to catch them out of his water and blow bubbles
the books you have look great and would love t read them and blog on them
(Desiree Reilly 3:10pm November 19, 2011)
What fun photos. I don't have pets right now--3 kids is
(Robyn Roberts 4:33pm November 19, 2011)
Under the Moon sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading. I also prefer paperbacks opposed to e-book (I don't own a Kindle & don't like to read my books at the computer). I think pets are a small addition to a story and pet lovers certainly like them in the books they read, because it shows the character(s) are loving and kind-hearted. I've owned cats and dogs over the years (but have none at the present time). My last pet, a Shih-Tzu dog, lived for almost 16 yrs. and passed away in Feb. of this year. She was my second dog of that breed (my previous one lived 13 yrs.). My favorite cat I had from age 7 thru high school loved to chase and catch birds in the yard. She was very good at it. I don't recall ever seeing her with mice, but I'm sure she would have left them laying outside as she did with the birds and feathers. I think this is like a 'game' for cats to catch things, because most of the time they're not doing it for a feast! I'm looking forward to reading your book.
(Linda Luinstra 4:43pm November 19, 2011)
I used to have three cats, but I lost the last one in December of last year. I will
probably get some more at some point, but I'm taking a bit of a break. I've never
had a mouse in the house, but they used to really go after any bugs that got in.
I enjoy stories with pets in them, and it's fun when they're worked into the story.
(Barbara Elness 4:55pm November 19, 2011)
I kind of like having a pet occasionally. When the characters interact with the pet or talk to it, the character adds another dimension. It also shows the more sympathetic side to the character if they love animals and animals love them. Kind of like humans!
(Renee Brown 5:33pm November 19, 2011)
Pets in a book can be appealing if you like cats or dogs or whatever, but I think their role in the plot should serve to support the reader's understanding of the character who has the pet since human/animal interaction can be very revealing. Otherwise, why not write a book about the pet instead?
(Dolores Feagin 5:39pm November 19, 2011)
I have pets, and I love when pets play a part in a story, but I can understand how they would be cumbersome to "keep up with" in the story. I also feel for your MNL, poor thing and poor kitty not to have been praised for her hunting skills.
(Lisa Kendall 6:13pm November 19, 2011)
Sorry, grocery shopping took WAY longer than I expected, after gutter cleaning and leaf-raking took longer than I expected. I didn't mean to be away so long.
@Molly, LOL on the talking animals. That is stretching things a lot, isn't it? I did like Dean Koontz's book Watchers, though. I had a genetically bred genius retriever. Part of the reason that was the breed I wanted. Dolly was tainted by yellow lab, though, and was one of the dumbest dogs I've ever seen. LOL
@Marjorie, WOW. I bet it's impossible to imagine being without them, when they surround you like that. :)
@Colleen, ah, presents. We moved into a new house my senior year of high school, and the previous owners had left their cat. My stepfather didn't want him in the house, so he kept leaving bribes. The bunny on the doormat was traumatic to me.
@Patricia, perfect balance! Thanks for the compliment about UtM. The books that I've liked the best that include pets have been Kristan Higgins'.
@Desiree, you cracked me up with that litany of animal relationships! Love the snake part. Thanks for your interest in my books!
@Robyn, they'd be enough for me, too. LOL We have more pictures of the cats than the kids, I think. The kids are always doing the "Awwww!" and dashing for the camera.
@Linda, very good points about how pets in books demonstrate positive character traits. I'm sorry about the loss of your pup! Pretty impressive cat, to have been able to catch birds.
@Barbara, I'm sorry about your cat. I love when they chase bugs. Especially the "thousand-leggers," as they call them here in PA.
@Renee, you're absolutely right!
@Dolores, LOL about writing about the pet instead. Some books are written with that intent! Usually related to White House pets, sometimes just meant to make us cry, apparently.
@Lisa, I know, poor Angel had to be so annoyed at my mother-in-law. LOL
Thanks for commenting, everyone! Good luck!
(Natalie Damschroder 6:28pm November 19, 2011)
I don't mind reading about pets in books, it just adds some
extra character. I love cats. I have one very old (19 yrs)
calico, Freckles. She pretty much owns the house. We figure
at her age, she deserves a little leeway. Your car Frisbee
likes sitting on keyboards too. Such a beautiful cat.
(Julianne Keller 6:31pm November 19, 2011)
Thanks for the giveaway! Although I'm a huge pet lover
and adore my cat (who looks a lot like Frisbee except he's
black and white), pets in a story are inconsequential to me.
And sorry, but I don't have any dead mouse stories (thank
goodness!) because Monty is strictly an indoor cat. And the
thought of him bringing in dead mice (and other dead things)
are exactly why he is an indoor cat! :-)
(Laura Henderson 6:53pm November 19, 2011)
i love books that have pets in it.i had nine turtles at one time and i could go out an clap my hands,they would come..now i just have one dog and she's great!! thanks
(Jennifer Beck 9:17pm November 19, 2011)
Pets in a book are fine. Sometimes there is just something special revealed only by a pet. I don't have a great pet story for you though. Sorry.
(Patti Paonessa 9:43pm November 19, 2011)
i like pets in stories if it is interesting and has personality.
i have not tossed a mouse but i had a cat once that when i opened the door for him he dropped a live mouse at my feet and then just sat there as if i should thank him, while i tried to climb the wall, my boyfriend and the door. LOL!
(Tammy Ramey 10:22pm November 19, 2011)
Depends on the story whether I like pets in it. I happen to have 4 dogs and 3 cats. One of my previous one, came in and dropped a mouse in front of me. The was the same cat that when I was babysitting my great-niece, kept coming over to me when she was fussing as if to say-What are going to do about this?- When I ignored her, she bit me to get my attention.
(Patricia Wheeler 10:34pm November 19, 2011)
I love the idea of the hero or heroine having a beloved pet. I have a dog that I love!! Pets prove that the characters are capable of love!
(Jennifer Beyer 10:43pm November 19, 2011)
@Julianne Yeah, by that age, she deserves Queen status. :) I have no idea how old Frisbee is, but she acts like she's 19. And yes, all my cats are jealous of my keyboard!
@Laura My in-laws' cats are indoor cats, too! So it's kind of surprising they'd have the ability to catch the mice. LOL
@Jennifer Turtles who come when they're called! I love it! :)
@Patti It's okay to have no pet story. I'm just glad you're here. :)
@Tammy LOL on trying to climb your boyfriend! I bet that wasn't the reaction he was going for. Or maybe he was. Maybe he was that kind of cat. :)
@Patricia That's sweet that the cat didn't like the fussy baby.
@Jennifer Yes, they do!
(Natalie Damschroder 10:00am November 20, 2011)
I love when pets are characters or when they make cameos. I'm good with every animal but snakes; even on the page they creep me out.
(Tara Smith 12:16pm November 20, 2011)
I have outdoor cats-7 and 2 dogs. My outdoor cats love to leave me presents on my backdoor step. They leave me a mouse or sometime piles of mice. I live in the country and have lots of critters that come around. I found a couple of my cats had caught a bird and were sharing it. Another of the cats loves to catch grasshoppers. She has perfected catching them in mid-air. You are a new author for me and would love to win and read your books. Thanks for the chance to win.
(Chris Bails 10:14pm November 20, 2011)
Pets make stories richer and more human. I love the way they interpret changes in routine and have premonitions that warn of impending danger. I love to see then antics they get in and how they find ways to escape.
(Alyson Widen 4:53pm November 21, 2011)
@Tara, I love snakes. :) Worked with some at Sarett Nature Center when I had an internship there. They fascinate me.
@Chris I would love to see that grasshopper-catching cat! That's pretty talented! Thanks for your interest in my book. :)
@Alyson Those are innovative ways to incorporate pets/animals into a story. Now you've got my brain working! :)
(Natalie Damschroder 11:13am November 24, 2011)
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