Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove is now available for preorder
Only a few weeks and Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove will be launched! I’m so excited about this story, the first of a new series, but I’ve already started Book 2! Since by now, I’ve shown off the cover and posted the blurb, I figure it’s time for some real content.
First a little backstory:
Septuagenarian Camelia Collins and her cat Blaze move to the Oregon Coast to fulfill a lifelong dream, but that dream becomes a nightmare when Camelia learns she has purchased a murder house. The former resident, reclusive businessman Jonathan Chamber, was brutally killed on the stoop, and the killer is still at large.
What’s more, Camelia discovers an ancient gravestone at the back of her garden belonging to a cat named Soji. Dead long ago, this seventh black kitten of a seventh black kitten now returns in corporeal form. Will her haunting help Camelia solve the murder mystery or send her screaming back to Portland?
As Camelia contemplated her new kitchen cabinets, she heard the lightest of plops—someone hopping up onto the table. She looked around, expecting to see Blaze, but to her surprise, the surface was bare.
Humph, she grunted as she placed items on the shelves. Then she heard the sound once more as the culprit jumped down, a distinct plunk, followed by the click of claws as he made his way across the floor.
“Blaze…” she began, turning to the sound. Though the room was awash with shadows, there were none dark enough to conceal her tuxie boy. The floor was empty of cat.
“Blaze? Is that you?” Her voice seemed to echo, and she paused, noting the hint of a waver.
Then a distinctive meo-rauw resounded from the living room, and in pranced the cat in question.
“Oh, there you are,” she said too loudly as she swept him into her arms. “I was starting to think I was going batty.”
Burying her face in his fur, she breathed a sigh of relief. She massaged his backbone and scratched his sideburns, eliciting a rumbling purr that rose to audible proportions in the quiet of the coming night.
Suddenly the purr cut off mid-rumble, and the big cat tensed. Struggling out of Camelia’s grasp, he gained the floor with one long leap. Ears back and mouth open, he circled like a wildcat. After two full rounds, he stopped, facing the murky corner. Next, he did something Camelia had never seen the gentle feline do before—he arched his long back and began to hiss like a Halloween cat.
Camelia stared without comprehension. “What is it, Blaze? What are you looking at?”
Understandably, he didn’t answer, but the hissing ceased as abruptly as it had begun, and now he just eyed the place with deep suspicion.
Camelia followed his gaze, peering into the gloom but not detecting anything aside from the dark.
The very dark.
Darker than it should be…
Suddenly a shape began to coalesce against the blackness. A wave of vertigo hit Camelia full force, and she grabbed the edge of the table to keep herself from falling. “This can’t be!” she whispered into the gloom. It was impossible! There was no way she could be seeing what was right before her eyes!
A cat made of mist, white and vaporous as smoke yet unquestionably present. Camelia could pick out every hair, every whisker. The almond eyes glowed red, and she gasped in terror. Then the whole thing flip-flopped—the white switched to black and the red eyes to emerald green. All ghostly countenance vanished, resolving into a quite normal-looking black cat.
Blaze sunk into a loaf position, his ears perked forward in interest rather that fear. Camelia watched in morbid fascination to see what would happen next.
The black cat observed the pair with an enigmatic stare, then opened her mouth into a grand yawn which climaxed in a soft—and very real—mew. She gave a slow blink, a love blink, and suddenly Camelia’s terror vanished.
“Soji?” she offered, for who else could it be but the ghost cat of Ocean Cove?
Then, just when Camelia thought she had recovered from the shock of seeing a specter in her kitchen, she got a second surprise.
“Yes,” Soji answered in perfectly understandable English. “It is I.”
Don’t forget the Ghost Cat Contest!
Have you ever seen a Ghost Cat? Tell about your experience, yes or no, in the comment section and win your choice of an ebook or a signed paperback copy of Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove. Drawing to be held at the Ghost Cat Book Launch, Black Cat Appreciation Day, August 17th 2021. Sorry, USA residents only because of shipping costs.