Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Cat of Christmas Past - Wellll, actually Two Cats Since One's Telling the Story by Kathy Daley! Come Welcome Both!

Hello! Merry Christmas! I'm so happy to have been invited to Book Readers Heaven today. You might not know it, but I'm in a book series and help to solve crimes! This is our first time here, but I've been listening and watching what happens and I just saw all of books marked "want to read" at GoodReads, of the Whales and Tails series! Have you read any of these books? I'm going to tell you about...The Cat of Christmas Past!
First a little mood music...

Holiday music blared through overhead speakers as I, Caitlin Hart, worked with the group of kids from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church to decorate the choir room with red and green accents for the upcoming holiday. The children had all agreed to show up early for the regularly scheduled rehearsal for Away in a Manger, the Christmas play I had written with my totally wonderful boyfriend, Cody West, for the annual church pageant. 
“We need more glue,” Trinity Paulson informed me as I hung colorful wreaths on the wall. 
“I gave Serenity a whole bottle.” 
“I know, but it’s gone. It had a drippy top and a lot of it got on the table.” 
“Why don’t you and your sister start on the windows?” I instructed the eight-year-old. “And be careful with the paint. We don’t want to get any on the floor.” 
“Okay.” I stood back and admired our handiwork after Trinity walked away. The room really was beginning to look festive, and in spite of the glue on the table, the red and green construction paper chain the Paulson girls had been working on really did look nice draped around the piano. I was proud of the girls I was beginning to think of as honorary little sisters. Although I’d known the girls their whole lives, I’d recently gotten to know them a lot more intimately, now that their seventeen-year-old sister, Destiny, was working at Coffee Cat Books, the coffee bar/ bookstore/ cat lounge I owned with my best friend, Tara O’Brian.
“The ornaments aren’t balls. They’re to go on the tree,” I scolded the group of boys who were tossing the small glass balls between themselves. 
Whoever had said the more hands at work the quicker the task had never worked with twenty-three kids aged six to fourteen...

I'm a regular member of the Cat Lounge that is part of a complex with a bookstore and coffee bar. Now I'm a people cat so I enjoy being in the lounge where people will come in to read or maybe just sit and talk to one of us while they're drinking their coffee selections... Really don't mind saying that I love to be petted, cooed over and talked to...I use my eyes to talk back and show them I'm listening. Sometimes they'll give me a bit of a cookie or sweet roll, which I love!

Anyway, Caitlin Hart is the one who takes care of our living quarters. She is very protective of all of us and if somebody wants to become our parents, they go through a screening process! Cool, right!? She also rotates us into the lounge because not all of my friends enjoy people as much as I do... Like Sally, over there in the corner. She just wants to be left alone... so when she's here, I try to grab attention so she won't be disturbed...I kinda like her...isn't she soooo beautiful?!

Caitlin was at choir practice when she heard the news that everybody who was living in Bayview Apartments was going to have to move at the end of the month... Caitlin is a very caring person and immediately started thinking about the twelve families that this decision would displace... Caitlin was also one of those individuals who are known as amateur detectives--they are good at finding out the answers to questions or problems or even solving mysteries...
Does anyone know why Christy isn’t here?” I asked the room at large. 
Her mom got a letter,” Holly Carter answered.
“My mom got one too.”
“A letter?” I asked. 
“Everyone living in the Bayview Apartments needs to move before the end of the month,” Matthew Wildwood informed me.
 “What? Why?” 
“The old guy who owns the building is kicking everyone out,” Matthew, who was the oldest choir member at fourteen, answered. 
“Kicking everyone out? Why on earth would he do that?” 
Matthew shrugged. “I’m not sure, but my grandma called my mom and told her that she was goingo be homeless...
I realized Holly must be talking about Balthazar Pottage, an old recluse who lived on a private island he never left, despite the fact that he owned quite a lot of land in the area. Balthazar was as mean and miserly as he was miserable. I didn’t know the entire story, but I did seem to remember that he’d suffered a great tragedy in his past that turned him into the monster most considered him to be.
 “My mom said we might have to move off the island if we can’t find another affordable place to live,” Holly added. “I don’t want to move. I like it here. All my friends are here.” 
The Bayview Apartments were one of the few affordable rental properties on the island. Most of the families who lived in the rundown units were single-income families who had little choice but to deal with leaky faucets and drafty walls that did little to keep out the winter chill. Most considered Pottage to be a slum lord, but few had the means to fight the man who was as wealthy as he was mean.

Cody, Caitlin's boyfriend, had made it to practice and they were soon discussing the problem because of Caitlin's concern. And that's when Ebenezer (as later found on his cat tags) sat at a window, almost commanding to be let in...  I knew he was a stranger but I played it cool and just watched to see that he didn't cause any trouble...

And soon he was indeed inside! And Caitlin knew everything was going to be alright! How? Because Ebenezer belonged to the owner of Bayview Apartments. She was positive that "the cat whisperer" (my name), her friend had sent him to help... So the very next morning, she and Ebenezer set off for the island where he lived. Even Caitlin knew that others would be upset for her going on her own, but Ebenezer definitely showed that he knew what had to be done and was leading her all the way until he was at at the door of what she assumed was the home of Mr. Pottage...

Ebenezer went strolling in and made himself at home while Mr. Pottage said, "Damn cat," and turned and went into the house leaving the door open... So, Caitlin strolled in behind them... and before she left, she'd made a deal...

If she did what Mr. Pottage asked her to do, then he would stop the proposed sale of the apartment complex!

Well, I was a little disgruntled until I was asked to tell our story here at Book Readers Heaven. After all, it turned out that Ebenezer was really the star of the story and got to work with Caitlin until the mystery was solved... So I wound up just having a bit part of being in the Cat Lounge to keep track of what was going on. Still, that's a pretty important part, right? After all, somebody had to share the story with all of you readers! Oh, and by the way, I was told to tell you that this series has been especially fun because of the merge of the Cat Lounge with a Bookstore and goodies for everyone... and that you really should check it out before you leave the bookstore next time you go! In the meantime, it's a party because nobody has to leave their homes!


Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, and Cutter's Cove Teen Cozy Mystery Series. 

Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she's not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with. 

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