GHOST CAT OF OCEAN COVE BLOG TOUR BEGINS TOMORROW

The Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour starts tomorrow, September 8th 2021.

Do you want to know what character I would like to be in one of my books, or which book I’d  make into a film and why? How about the craziest/funniest/most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done in the name of research? Or a character interview with the killer, themself? There’s even a recipe for Rue’s Grandma’s homebaked bread!

Follow the tour for book reviews, author interviews, character posts, and more. These tours are always a lot of fun for me, writing the different blog posts for the bloggers. These amazing bloggers come up with the best questions. Be sure to check in regularly. And special thanks to Lori of Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book for making this tour possible.

Photo by Don Agnello on Unsplash

Giveaway!

And what blog tour would be complete without a Rafflecopter Giveaway? Enter to win a signed copy of Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove. (US addresses only, please.)

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 8 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

September 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 10 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 10 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH GHOST CAT SOJI

September 13 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Novels Alive – REVIEW & INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

September 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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SO COOL GHOST CAT BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY COMING SOON

I love the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the launch of a new book. Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove will be the feature of a multiparticipant blog tour beginning September 8th.

The tour, hosted by wonderful Great Escapes, doesn’t only have promo links for the book. Several bloggers have asked for unique content, including guest posts, author interviews, and character posts. I had fun with those, writing as the hero, the ghost cat, and even the killer themself! Some will be reading the book and giving reviews.

There will be a Rafflecopter Giveaway as well, up to 3 winners of a signed copy of Ghost Cat.

Watch here for updates and complete schedule. Many thanks to Lori of Great Escapes, and to all the participating bloggers!

Ghost Cat wants to haunt your Kindle!

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PET AUTHOR PANEL ON YOUTUBE

For those of you who missed last week’s Pet Author Panel presented by the Hicksville Library, here’s your chance to see it on YouTube.

Our five participating authors are Debbie De Louise, Amy Shojai, Carole Nelson Douglas, Diane Stuckart, and myself.

Award-winning pet authors Debbie De Louise, Amy Shojai, Diane Stuckart, and myself, had a fun time discussing how we incorporate cat (and dog) characters into our novels during the virtual Zoom panel. There were thrills, chills, anda cat-related spill when Debbie De Louise’s Harry knocked over her backdrop. Unfortunately Carole Nelson Douglas couldn’t make it, but we were able to present her questions and answers anyway.

Watch at https://youtu.be/ct3rqNTvWGw

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10 Books to Read on Black Cat Appreciation Day – Katzenworld

Look! Black Cat Books! I have read several of them and they are all excellent!

Originally posted on Katzenworld by fellow Cat Writer Association member, Rosa.

Source: 10 Books to Read on Black Cat Appreciation Day – Katzenworld 

POSTED ON 

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BOOK LAUNCH LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!

Six days!

Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove launches in a mere, little six days! Print books are ordered and the ebook downloaded, ready to jump into your Kindle August 17th.

I wish I could be with you in person! I miss the bookstore launches and the direct contact with all of you. Soon, we hope. Very soon. Wear masks, get the vaccine, and be kind. We will come through this eventually.

Meanwhile, pop onto my Facebook page on August 17th to see my launch day posts. There will be prizes, giveaways, and of course, the “Have you ever seen a Ghost Cat?” contest drawing. Anyone can enter, whether you’ve had a supernatural experience or not. Just tell us  about it in the comments below to be entered to win a signed paperback copy of Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove. Drawing will be held at the Ghost Cat Book Launch, National Black Cat Day, August 17th 2021 when either Tyler or Jaimz will choose the name of the winner. Sorry, USA residents only because of shipping costs.

Here are a couple of entries we’ve had so far:

“Absolutely. I’ve had departed companions visit, rub against me for petting, purr, the works. It’s quite wonderful. Also, spirit cats don’t shed.” —Cynthia L.

“I have heard my deceased cats who visit me at night in my bedroom make noise or walk about on the bed so i can feel them. I have gotten up many times to ensure there was no “real” cat in the room and there never is. I have a couple “orb” photos by the food bowls.” —Greg IW

“I have not, but I love animals so I would be ok with it.” —Lynn B

And don’t forget to hug your black cat because August 17th is also Black Cat Appreciation Day!

 

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CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT: BLAZE from Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove

Dear, sweet Blaze—a tuxedo cat of fine distinction!

In my new cozy mystery, Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove, Blaze is the feline companion who has accompanied septuagenarian Camelia Collins on her move from the city of Portland to Ocean Cove, a tiny town on the Oregon Coast. Here’s an excerpt:

“Making a second trip to the car, she hefted a large cat carrier from the back seat. Its sulking inhabitant, her big tuxedo boy Blaze, gave a rauw of displeasure at the joggle.

“Can’t be helped,” Camelia told him. “I know how much you kitties hate change, but you’ll like this one, I promise.”

Camelia lugged the carrier, along with a tote full of cat things, directly into the little bedroom. Once inside, she closed the door and opened the carrier gate. Blaze inched his way out, first a pink nose, then a white paw, then finally the whole black and white cat. He looked up at his cohabitor with eyes green as an old-fashioned 7Up bottle as if to say, “What in the world have you done?”

“You’ll be fine,” said Camelia. “I’ll get your box and food station up directly. Be a good boy and hold it for just a few minutes longer.”

Blaze shot her a dirty look, then hopped onto the bed and proceeded to scrutinize his new digs. Camelia pulled a small, pre-filled litter pan from the tote, pulled off the cling wrap covering, and placed it on a towel on the floor. Going into the bathroom, she filled a travel bowl with water.

“Food’s coming.” She gave the cat a pet and left him to it.” —Chapter 1, Arrival and a Surprise.

But Blaze is much more than that.

Blaze was my own dear cohabitor until November of 2020 when he passed away at the age of twelve and a half. Blaze was only with me for a short two years, a foster cat who came to stay. After nursing him through the healing of a brutally broken leg, he was my cat, and I was his person. We were never to be parted. I thought we would have so much longer, then cancer.

But now Blaze can live on in a story. Before he crossed, before I even suspected it was his time, I’d been working with another cat as Camelia’s companion. Then Blaze took his place as my hero’s sidekick as naturally as water. Now when I write about Camelia and Blaze napping the couch, playing with a string, or encountering the ghost cat Soji, I can jump into Camelia’s sensible shoes for a few seconds and be the one to feel his soft cheek against mine once more.

Bits from the Blaze Album.

GHOST CAT OF OCEAN COVE,

A Tenth Life Cozy Mystery #1

A ghost cat and a cold case murder turn a septuagenarian’s beach house dream into a nightmare.

 Pre-order your ebook now.

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Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon – Catio Tour 2021

Source: insKatzenworld Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon – Catio Tour 2021

I couldn’t have put it better myself. That’s why I’m reblogging a post from UK cat blogger Katzenworld! I love that our little corner of the world (Portland) is becoming known for something cat-related.

The FCCO has been running Catio Tours for many years, but with the advent of Covid, they went virtual last year. Though there’s noting quite the same as touring the catios live and seeing people’s cats lounging in their little outdoor dwellings, the 2020 virtual tour was a big success. Not only could people join from all over the world, the presentation included features such as talks with the catio builders and owners, and a real look into what it’s like to get your kitty outside.

This year, they’re doing both.

The IN-PERSON TOUR showcases catios in the Portland metro. A guidebook loaded with details about each catio will be emailed to you about a week before the tour so you can plan your self-guided tour. You can begin and end your day wherever you please… just like your cat! Catio Hosts and volunteers will be available at each catio stop to chat with you about the catio features. We will monitor current CDC and OHA guidelines and follow any necessary precautions.
The ONLINE VIDEO TOUR showcases the same catios on the In-Person tour. Each will have a professionally-created video tour of the catio plus an interview with the homeowner(s) about their catio’s construction and features. For each catio, you will also get to see photos and 360-degree images so you can really explore the catio. Additionally, you will get a guidebook loaded with details about the catios.

Register here.

Following is the link to the Katzenworld article which pretty much says it all. Thanks, Katzenworld!

Source: insKatzenworld Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon – Catio Tour 2021

Here are a couple of photos I took at one of the previous catio tours.

 

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GHOST CAT OF OCEAN COVE, an Excerpt

Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove is now available for preorder

A ghost cat and a cold case murder turn a septuagenarian’s beach house dream into a nightmare!

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.

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CYN LEY AND HER “UNPREDICTIBLE” STORIES: INTERVIEW

“You need to have Life to write. It’s the difference between brushing the surface and knowing something in your soul.” 

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing versatile author Cyn Ley. Cyn takes much of her inspiration from the part of the beautiful and peculiar Pacific Northwest that she calls home—and it shows.

 Tell our readers a little about yourself.

I’ve lived in the lower Pacific Northwest nearly all my life and have the webbed toes to prove it. I graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Portland in History and Political Science, am nationally certified as a college reading and writing tutor and worked in the field for a long while. Beyond that, special interests include folklore, the tales of “wonders” found in medieval histories, cryptids, spirits, faerie, etc. I think aliens were here long before we were and are still hanging around. I love animals both domestic and wild and hope someday to see a Sasquatch. And give it some apples to take home.

Your latest title. 

THE SOLACE is my latest book, having just been published in print and Kindle formats in June 2021. It is a story of misplaced love and of a constant honor, told through characters who cross the realms of the living and spirit. There are no heroes or villains—just people being themselves and doing what they do. Even the most ordinary of lives can bear with it great revelations.

Leah Hampstead is a woman who has been followed all of her life by something she doesn’t understand, an unknown who doesn’t understand why he is so drawn to her. For her, it reads as fear. For him, it is ages of foundering to find the truth and peace.

For readers, as one of my reviewers put it, it is captivating.

Tell us about your writing.

I’ve had mixed genre stories published pretty consistently since 2014, and happily have been receiving excellent reviews from the start to this day. It’s easier to say what I don’t write than what I do—I don’t do romance, fantasy, scifi, westerns, or porn. I hate cliches like the Plague circa 1346. Anything else is fair game. I love paranormal stories and stories which brush the edges of human realities. Stories of the possible made real, of potential become true, are always fun and intriguing to explore. I’m a believer of chaos theory over cliché, so readers are likely to find twists and turns they did not expect in my tales, but I’ve been told by many that they are very satisfying twists and turns.

I worked with an independent publishing house for a few years as an editor and author but broke away two-plus years ago to form my own imprint of Otherland Press. Modern media, resources, and practices have made going independent incredibly approachable and viable, and there is a lot to be said about being your own boss!

Additionally, I am a member of NIWA, the Northwest Independent Writers Association. We partake in book events all over the Northwest year-round and have a very good website—with catalogue and authors—at www.niwawriters.com.

What drives you to write?

My Muse is very good at whacking me upside the head at 2am and ordering, “Write this down!” (Never argue with your Muse. They hit hard.) A lot of times it’s a combo of being hyper-observant and letting all sorts of things build up and link up however they choose. I’ve never been able to write a story from start to finish. I keep piles of notes and let those synthesize into something cool. So it’s not so much being driven as it is accrual and writing it all down once it’s simmered awhile. Even if all it becomes is a Really Good Sentence. The kind that grabs you by the throat and you feel it humming in your toes.

What sort of books did you read as a child?

My parents were avid readers and brought their kids up to do the same. The short answer is everything in sight. In my house, that meant the Classics, Encyclopedia Britannica, every series on wildlife and ancient man you could think of, with a fair measure of astronomy and geology and life sciences thrown in for good measure. We were done with kiddie books by 2nd Grade.

Did a teacher or some other mentor inspire you to write?

I’d actually gotten scared off of creative writing while I was in college. There was always the great 2-part assignment: write a story, then come back and read it to the class in three days. Part 1 was great fun; Part 2 was an occasion for terror! Introverted people don’t fare well in that kind of environment. Despite this, I discovered I was (according to my professors) a very good research writer and teacher. I guess non-fiction isn’t as scary to present!

Eventually I bumped into a friend and author who got me started with flash fiction.  She was a wonderful mentor. Then I moved on to short stories, was amazed to find that publishers liked the work, and the rest is history.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?

I’ve been interested in writing as long as I can remember. It just got put on hold for a few decades, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You need to have Life to write. It’s the difference between brushing the surface and knowing something in your soul.

Do you have a pet, and if so, tell us about them?

I have two—a Bengal cat and an Aussie terrier. My Bengal’s an early generation domestic, which means she’s got something of a wild side and you have to learn to read her, if only for your own safety. She is, however, quite loveable and cuddly, and sings with a beautiful trill. Because her coat is brindle, she is a master at being invisible. Her coat allows her near-perfect camouflage and there are times she can be right in front of me and I won’t see her. She turns greenish in certain light, and no one will ever know the Empress of the Jungle is even there. She is a fabulous mouser too.

My terrier is also. The two of them have teamed up on numerous occasions to hunt critters who have made their way into places where they don’t belong. Tica (“wild cat”) takes lead and Min (“fierce defender”) backs her up and they never fail!

Min’s just plain brilliant. She picks up everything in a heartbeat. She loves everyone and she loves to travel. Her very favorite thing is when we’re out for walks—I drive a mobility scooter instead of a car and will put her on my lap when we’re at the top of a hill. We’ll both hunker down, and I’ll sing “Born to be wiiiiiiiiiiiiild!” as we sear down the slope at a blazing five miles an hour.

I gotta get that dog some goggles.

How can we find your books?

Look for me on amazon.com. My titles are available both in print and Kindle formats. They also put in regular appearances at any event where NIWA has a booth. Please check our webpage for the schedule.

If you want to chat with me in person, I can be found on Facebook under “Author Cyn Ley: Otherland & Beyond.” I’d love to hear from you!

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“TIME BEING” NOW LIVE ON KINDLE VELLA

 

It’s happening!

Kindle Vella is now live! Amazon didn’t give us any forewarning, except to say, “Get ready, ’cause here it comes!” They said that for two months, so now that the time has finally arrived with a note in my inbox this morning, I’m excited and I hope you are too!

TIME BEING, a serialized story by Mollie Hunt

An elderly woman travels through time to significant points in her life, but things are not the same as she remembers them. Joined by a handsome young stranger and her childhood cat, the fate of both past and future lie in her hands.

This story is a departure from my usual style of writing. For example, this is not a cozy, nor is it a mystery. I have enjoyed it immensely and am now working on a second in this series, “Time Again.” But how did I get here from there? Read on.

Everything I know about life I learned from soap operas.

I was an avid soap opera fan for many years. Every noon (or three p.m. when they changed the time) I would sit in front of the television set and watch All My Children. When it was ripped off the air in 2011, I was devastated. But soon after that I realized I could write soaps of my own.

Though I don’t pen soap operas per se, all those years of watching clandestine affairs, fearsome feuds, and parades of glamorous weddings (Erica Kane was married eleven times during the series!*) taught me things such as lust sells, violence sells, and stunning scenery is as important as script. Even soap deaths held a nugget of wisdom for a fiction writer: no one is truly dead until you see the body, and maybe not even then. But one element rose above all the drama, and that was the cliffhanger*. Every single episode ended with at least one.

The story arc of a fiction novel differs from a serialization in that a novel leads up to a distinct end, where soap operas go on forever. Though a book is broken into chapters that hopefully lead the reader on, the reader may be confident that by the time they are finished, the questions will be answered, the mystery solved, the killer caught, the happily ever after attained, or whatever the plot has laid out in the previous pages. So far, my writing career has only included full length books, but that’s about to change.

Enter Kindle Vella.

 Kindle Vella is KDP’s new platform designed specifically for serialized stories. I probably wouldn’t have thought of it myself, but when the opportunity was presented to tell a different sort of story, my curiosity was piqued. My first thought was to take one of those WIPs out of the drawer and revise each chapter as an episode, but I decided against that. Next, I considered that memoir I’ve been wanting to write. I’d already contemplated a few different styles including flash fiction and graphics—an episodic version might be just what I was looking for. But would it be catchy enough to interest readers? When I read a serial, I’m looking for action, imagination, and surprise. Unless I wanted to dig deeper into the sex, drugs, and rock and roll aspects of my life, I doubt people would be interested

Then a new idea hit me.

Where do ideas come from?

In my mind, I began to form a part flight-of-fancy, part drama, part timey-wimey fantasy that I could write from episode to episode in an ever-evolving manner. But before I could begin, I needed an overview to tie it together. From out of that mysterious and beautiful place where plots are born, came my idea:

An old woman

goes back in time

to confront her past…

to change her past…

to change her past and future

She needed a sidekick. And voila, Aron—is he an angel or an alien?

She needed a cat, and in trotted Brie, Sylvan’s childhood puss who turns out to have amazing abilities.

I also needed a title. The story told me its name was, “Time Being.”

1952-That time when Sylvan witnesses her own amazing birth.

2021-That time when she is paralyzed by stroke.

1968-That time when she protests the Kent State shootings.

2000-A new century.

1961-That time when she wakes up in her childhood home.

2030-That time when she sees a future that cannot be explained.

What memories do you think about? What do you wish you could change? How about the future—what do you see there, or would you prefer to be surprised? I don’t know where Time Being will lead, but I’m excited about the journey. The slate is clean and open.

ALL MY CHILDREN – cast shot at the Crystal Ball – 12/8/98 Pictured, back row: Cameron Mathison, Meg Mundy, Vincent Irizarry, Michael Nader, James Kiberd, Marcy Walker, Michael E. Knight; middle row: John Callahan, Paige Rowland, Carolyn Neff, Jill Larson, Esta Terblanche, Robin Mattson, Zen Gesner, Amelia Marshall, Eileen Herlie; bottom row: Cady McClain, Julia Barr, Susan Lucci, Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa, James Mitchell AMC98 (Photo by Ann Limongello/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

*Seven of (Erica’s) marriages to six different men have been valid, while four of her other marriages are invalid. Generally, the number of times Erica has been married is named as ten, though the total of her valid and invalid marriages, plus her 1991 vow renewal with Adam Chandler, would come up to eleven. Erica Kane, Wikipedia

*The word cliffhanger is defined as: an ending to an episode of a serial drama that leaves the audience in suspense. The term “cliffhanger” is considered to have originated with the serialized version of Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes (which was published in Tinsley’s Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left hanging off a cliff. —Wikipedia.

 

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