Posted by Joan Kayse Jan 27 2013, 12:21 am in Alison Atlee, cats, Romance, Typewriter Girl
Please join me in welcoming debut author Alison Atlee!
Alison is a wonderful young lady who is deceptive in her sweet, quiet, charming way. Don’t believe it! Beneath this teacher by day is a witty, fun, crazy talented writer who I consider it a privilage to know! And now, take it away Alison!
Romance Bandits is one of the first book blogs I ever followed, so it’s an amazing milestone to be here as a writer, hosted by our dear Joan Kayse. Regulars here at the Lair may know Joan has a slight fondness for felines. Therefore, in her honor, I’d like to talk cats today, or at least two particular cats, both belonging to my mom. Here’s the first one, Caesar:
In case you can’t tell from the picture, Caesar is woefully misnamed. There’s not one thing about this cat that suggests conqueror or master strategist. The historical Caesar may have craved power and success, but this feline Caesar—he’s why the word “pussycat” was invented, always ready to take an empty lap and curl his head into your hand for a nuzzle.
Caesar has a brother. I don’t have a picture, but just imagine Caesar duplicated. Still, it was never hard to tell them apart: Caesar came running; his brother hung back.
One day, with Caesar purring and doing adorable belly rolls in the grass, one of my little nieces asked, “Why is that other cat mean?”
“He’s not,” I answered, and proceeded to demonstrate how, with patience and quiet effort, I could coax the other cat to approach, give the ruff of his neck a good scratch, and get him purring. “See? He likes to be petted, too. He just doesn’t show it as much.”
“I like Caesar,” my niece replied.
I understood. Caesar is easy to love. He asks for love, he accepts it, he returns it. Caesar’s brother always kept his distance, watching and waiting.
While these two cats were growing up, I was immersed in writing and rewriting The Typewriter Girl, which meant no matter where I was, something was likely to trigger ideas about my story. My niece’s preference for Caesar made me realize Betsey, my book’s heroine, was like that other cat.
Which made me sad. Because with time, the differences between Caesar and his brother increased. Where Caesar thrived and became part of the family, the other cat turned thin and more distant, disappearing for days before tentatively creeping back home for a bit of food. I called him Cassius sometimes because he had “a lean and hungry look,” but no name ever stuck to him. There are no pictures of him. Eventually, he stopped coming around at all.
I didn’t want this fate for Betsey. I already knew The Typewriter Girl had a happy ending, but I realized I didn’t know why it was happy. What had Betsey done to earn it?
Well, what had Caesar done to get his happiness? He asked for it. He didn’t worry so much about deserving love. He just asked for it, he was receptive to it, and it just kept coming his way.
Betsey had to learn that. I remembered an early scene in the book, when she’s still a stranger to the seaside resort town where she’s come to work, and she tries to thank the landlady at her new boarding house. That simple act is awkward for her. After thinking about Caesar and his brother, I understood Betsey had to come to a place where she could risk, reach out, and ask for love.
In the video short “Heart Attack” by SoulPancake, a big box stands in a park. Outside the box is a button labeled NEED SOME LOVE? PUSH HERE. When someone pushes the button, the box explodes with streamers and balloons and dancers–a fun, joyous celebration that fills your heart.
But the big takeaway from that video? People had to choose to push the button. Without knowing what would happen, they had to say, “Yeah, I could use some love,” and push the button.
So many people pass it by. Some ignore it, some eye it with curiosity or suspicion. One person even tries to keep her companion from going to check it out.
A few take the chance. Some are like Caesar and run right for it. Others are cautious, awkward, but they do it anyway. They push the button. In The Typewriter Girl, Betsey learns how to do it, and John, the hero, is her “heart attack.” He celebrates her.
If you have three minutes and want to feel a little lighter in your shoes, go watch the video. But come back! What lessons have your pets taught you? Are you someone who runs for the button or are you a little more cautious? And whom can you count on to give you a “heart attack” when you need it?
Cats with ROMAN names! I’m in heaven! And you will be too with this awesome book!
Alison is giving away one autographed copy of The Typewriter Girl!
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Jan 1 2013, 12:33 am in Alison Atlee, Carla Neggars, coming attractions, Grace Burrows, Jennifer St. George, Liliana Hart, monthly prize package, Regan Black, Suzanne Ferrell
Welcome to the Lair!! It’s a blustery cold day outside. The weatherman has been predicting colder than usual temperatures and possible flurries this month, so Sven and Paolo have been busy stocking in warm drink supplies, (cocoa for hot chocolate, rum for hot buttered rum, whiskey for hot toddies, dark red wines for mulled wine), while the gladiators have been cutting down trees in the forest outside the Lair so we have plenty of firewood!
As always we have a steady stream of zany, provocative and fun posts from all the Banditas. (17 different personalities pop up monthly!)
Starting tomorrow with an art gallery tour of my house! Intrigued? Wait till you see it!
And to help keep you warmly entertained, here are our guests for this month:
On Monday, 7th January, Anna Campbell will host sparkling Aussie author Jennifer St. George in the Lair. Jenn will be talking about her debut romance The Convenient Bride.
January 21st Caren Crane will host Regan Black, who will give us the intel on the newest installment of her 2096 futuristic romantic suspense series, In the Interest Of Security. The novella is included in The Mammoth Book Of Futuristic Romance.
On the 24th self-publishing sensation, Liliana Hart makes her first appearance in the Lair with Suzanne Ferrell to talk about self-publishing and Liliana’s newest release Shadows And Silk. Love that cover!
We just love debut authors in the Lair, (heck we all were one once, too!) and on Jan 27th Joan Kayse hosts author Alison Atlee with her debut book The Typewriter Girl.
On January 29th, Grace Burrowes chats with Nancy Northcott about the pleasures of writing a long series and her newest book, Lady Eve’s Indiscretion.
On Jan 31st, New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers will be here to discuss her latest release That Night On Thistle Lane, with Bandita Beth Andrews.
Joan Kayse is holding her first-ever contest on Goodreads. Opportunity to win one of 10 print copies of The Patrician. Entries through 1-22 Here’s the link http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/40621-the-patrician
Anna Campbell is holding a Christmas in January contest where she’s giving away five downloads of her e-novella The Winter Wife. All you need to do is email her on anna @annacampbell.info (no spaces) and tell her the names of the hero and heroine of The Winter Wife: A Christmas Novella. You just might find the answer here: http://annacampbell.info/winterwife.html. For more information, please visit Anna’s contests page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html.
Tawny Weber has a Goodreads contest running from Jan 1-14, giving away copies of A Seal’s Seduction.
Donna MacMeans is having a prize drawing in March for the readers who like her Facebook fan page!
MEMBERS ONLY WINNER
We are excited to announce that Betty Hamilton is December’s Members Only prize bundle! Congratulations, Betty, you get rewarded for being our friend!! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see that the Prizes get delivered asap!
To qualify for January’s Members Only prize bundle, simply sign up for access to our Members Den and receive the always-entertaining Romance Bandits Newsletter. Be sure to open the e-mail and read the newsletter. We will choose a randomly-selected winner from the list of those who opened our newsletter. It’s as simple as that!
The Members Only January prize bundle will include:
- Signed copies of KIDNAPPED and HUNTED by Suzanne Ferrell
- A Kindle or Nook download of Nancy Northcott’s Renegade
- A special Rooster Mug and Starbucks coffee from Jeanne Adams
- Download of The Winter Wife by Anna Campbell
- Joan Kayse is giving away a download of The Patrician
What are you waiting for?!? Sign up right now in the MEMBERS DEN!