Monday, December 15, 2008

When you least expect it ....

I received a lovely gift in the mail last week. My agent sent me a book – a little stocking stuffer, her note said – that she thought I might enjoy. It’s a book about a cat. You might have heard of it: DEWEY THE LIBRARY CAT.

Well, how nice, I thought. A book about a cat. I have cats, so I’m sure it will be amusing.
Here’s the thing. I’ve been feeling a little down lately. A very dear friend was recently diagnosed with cancer and I’ve been spending time with her at the hospital and worrying about her recovery. On a much less critical note, I have a book that’s due much too soon and it’s giving me fits, so I’ve been a little stressed about that. But then, like I said, I received this lovely gift with the story of Dewey the cat. I didn't know how much I needed to hear his message until I started reading it.

Dewey was eight weeks old when someone stuffed him in the night depository at the Spencer, Iowa, public library on the coldest night of the year. When the staff found him the next morning, he was a pitiful, half frozen, starving little ball of fluff with frost bitten feet. They saved him and in turn, over the following years, Dewey repaid them and the people of Spencer by touching their lives in myriad ways. As it turns out, Dewey and his story touched my life, too.

I fell in love with Iowa all over again when I read the introduction describing the Iowa plains. Got all warm and fuzzy readying about Dewey’s encounters during the lovely era of the small Iowa farm. And I took his message of hope to heart and – I know this sounds silly – but I felt his gentle little spirit renewing me.

Is it a great book? No. It’s just a good book with a great message. Dewey’s sweet, stalwart message of hope is an incredible gift for anyone who reads it, so if you’re still struggling with those hard to buy for names on your list, you might give Dewey a try. Or buy it for yourself – you deserve a treat.

Just ‘fur’ fun, here’s a photo my fuzz balls who love to rock around the Christmas tree.


















So, has anyone read any books lately – or ever – that have had an impact on your state of mind? Books that have stayed with you and made you smile? How about a movie or a song that has stayed with you over the years?

Anyone commenting will be in the running for my 12 days of Christmas giveaway contribution of a Bodyguard or Black Ops Inc book of your choice and a really cool set of 3 reed diffusers in heavenly scents of Warm Sugar Cookies, Baked Apple Pie and Gingerbread.



Oh yeah - speaking of books, I have a new one coming out the end of this month. Not in time for Christmas but just in time for the New Year. WHISPER NO LIES, book 3 of my Black Ops, Inc. series will hit the shelves on December 30th. So yay!!


Merry Christmas everyone!!

53 comments:

Lori said...

Awwwww, what a great story. Now I think I may need to find Dewey's story myself! (and what a perfect name for a library cat!)

Cassie said...

Cindy, this is a tough one. So many favorites over the years.

In no particular order:

Your Bodyguard novels To the Brink and Into The Dark
Alison Kent's Larger Than Life
Cherry Adair's Kiss and Tell
Jill Shalvis' Superb and Sexy
J.R. Ward's Lover Revealed
Shannon McKenna's Return to Me
Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron
Amy J. Fetzer's Naked Truth
Carly Phillips' Chandler Brothers series
Lori Foster's The Buckhorn Brothers
Christina Skye's Going Overboard
Linday McKenna's Morgan's Mercenaries: Heart of the Jaguar & Morgan's Marriage

Can't wait for Whisper No Lies.

Merry Christmas. :-)

Caffey said...

Hi Cindy!! There's a children's book by Shel Silverstein called A MISSING PIECE MEETS THE BIG O and really has a special meaning for us adults. I loved his books. That's what Dewey reminds me of, having a meaning beyond it.

How do you keep a tree up with a cat? :D
Mine had my taken from the living room to through the dining room and almost into the kitchen two years ago. I actually had to throw the artificial tree out as a whole! So now I have a small tree when I put it up a couple days before Christmas, then have the cats locked in a room with all their needs at night!
I haven't had the joy to get your new Black Ops books, but I had emailed you because I read one of Bodyguards and bought all the rest of that series. I so loved it! PERFECT reads! So I'm very excited about the Black ops. I won't be shopping before Christmas for me, so it will be a while yet but those are on my list among other books! Its what brings me joy is whats on my list. I too have down to get more thread yarn and those small needles doing doilies. Those are crocheted that you make for like t tables that going under a lamp or on table under a vase etc. A designed crocheted. I need to get again, since the box was mistakenly thrown out by my hubby and I lost what I had to do that crafts a few years ago. Its the only crafts I do along with afghans. So those are a couple gifts to myself I may get over next year. My book list is too long to list here, LOL. Sorry on the long post, LOL

Jane said...

I've enjoyed your BOIs books immensely. Other great books I've read include "Nameless" by Debra Webb, "Scream For Me" by Karen Rose, "Confessions At Midnight" by Jacquie D'Alessandro, "Shadow Music" by Julie Garwood, "Pursuit" by Elizabeth Jennings and "Night Falls Darkly" by Kim Lenox.

Keri Ford said...

I'm halfway through Divorced, Desperate, and Dating by Christie Craig. She throws a lot of great humor in her books amid suspense.

I would probably be done with it, but my son interrupted my reading last night at 1 am. after messing with him, I was ready for sleep! Fixing to pick it up and finish it this morning.

If anyone's interested in it, I'm going to post about it on my blog tomorrow. www.EverybodyNeedsALittleRomance.com

Kylie said...

Cindy, I've heard of the book. We even kept a cat at our library in town until someone with allergies made a fuss at the city council. The other elementary has a title 1 teacher who brings her dog to school on Fridays and the kids read to it, LOL. And of course there is much research out there about the healing qualities a pet has on geriatric residents in nursing homes.

I know I'll always keep a dog for that very reason. My husband says no, after this one we're done. But he said that the last two times, too!

Cindy Gerard said...

Lori - Dewey's FULL name was: Dewey Readmore Books. How cute is that? He lived 18 years in the library and made the news all over the world. His favorite toy was a ball of yarn.

Cassie - Thank you!! I'm in great company on that list. Some of my favs are on there too.

Caffey - I hear you on the cats. Must depend on the particular cat. My two seem content to play around the base and occasionally sharpen their claws on the trunk. The dog, however, likes to steal ornaments. Sometimes I think that she and the cats have a little tag team going on. They knock off the ornament then she runs off with it. Found one outside in the snow yesterday :o(
And you crochet! How amazing. That is such an art ... one I've never been able to master.

Cindy Gerard said...

Jane - again, thanks! Karen, Deb and Elizabeth are all friends of mine and I'm sure they'd be thrilled to see their names and their books on your list!

Keri - sounds like a fun book!! Great title.

Kylie - Someone tried to make an issue of Dewey and allergies at the Spencer library too. The wise librarian went straight to an allergist who very quickly dispelled allergies as a problem because the library was so large - most libraries are - that there was enough air to displace any allergens to avoid any problems. They over came a lot of little obstacles to keep Dewey in residence because he was so much more than just a cat. He was a healing spirit.

Debra Webb said...

Hey Cindy! I can't wait for Whisper No Lies to be released! Happy holidays to all and thanks, Jane, for adding Nameless to your list!

Helen Brenna said...

Cindy, this sounds like a very sweet book. One that really hit me hard, left me thinking for days was The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks. That was such a beautiful story on so many levels.

The holidays are always a mix of good and bad, aren't they?

Michele Hauf said...

Aw, so innocent they look in front of the tree. And yet, I'm sure they're just waiting for that perfect moment of your inattention...

I have a new kitty and the tree has less and less ornaments on it daily.

that book sounds so neat! Might have to check it out.

lunaticcafe said...

Okay, this may sound silly but the book Wicked really had me thinking. The writing was fabulous and I loved the new take on an old tale. In fact, I must have told everyone I know to read that book. I would love to see the musical and see how it compares to the book.

I have read many romance titles that made me smile, cry etc.- Gabe's story was like that for me. Well written characters get me every single time. S

Crianlarich said...

Wow, Cindy ... I'm a die-hard dog person, but from your description, I would bet Dewey will make me want to go rescue a feline. I'll definitely get the book. Thanks so much for posting about Dewey. I'm misty-eyed just thinking about the little guy.
Re books and movies having an impact, the last movie that really made my heart clutch was ages ago. Electric Horseman with Robert Redford. When he sets that horse free... man oh man....
Books are a hard call. I'm pretty jaded. Most that really pack an emotional punch for me are old classics like Katherine by Anya Seton. I find many modern releases entertaining but not very deep.

lois greiman said...

Cindy, so sorry about your friend. And your deadline. :)

Christmas can be kind of tricky. It's so hard to make everyone happy. And, as women, I think we tend to try.

Chin up. There are a lot of Dewey's in the world.

Raven99 said...

Hi Cindy,

Dewey The Library Cat sounds like a special book. My aunt is going through a rough time in her life right now, and I think I might pick up a copy for her as a Christmas gift. Maybe a book with a message of hope will give her a smile. Thanks for the idea.

BTW, the picture of your cats by the tree is so cute.

catslady said...

I have been eyeing that book for a while now. I've decided if no one gets it for me I am going to get it for myself!

I have 6 cats at the moment and they're really good about the tree. I always buy a Blue Spruce because they have the sharpest needles and at the most they may knock over a few ornaments at the bottom while playing under the tree. Mostly they like to sleep under it!

Anonymous said...

Michele, I Love my cat to her first christmas she climbed the tree and pulled it down On top of her- she hasn't done that again- Holidays can be rough keep up with your great writing your readers are here for you!!!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Miss Deb! Great to 'see' ya!

Helen - okay, I'm going to shock everyone here and confess that I've never read a Nicolas Sparks book. I know. I'm probably the only hold out on the planet. One of these days ...

Michele - New Kitties are soooo much fun. And so much trouble :o) enjoy

flchen1 said...

Cindy, all my reading friends are currently raving about your Black Ops series--a few are already planning to swoop in to the bookstores on Dec. 30th to grab Whisper No Lies. Yay, you!

Going to have to check out that Dewey book!

Cindy Gerard said...

Lunaticafe - nothing is silly. That's what's so cool about books. Everyone finds some sort of connection with them. They're magical if they're done right. And thanks for the props on Gabe's story :o) Made me smile...

Crianlarich - Raising my hand here. Die hard dog person too. Always will be but when our 2 cats 'adopted' us 3 years ago by sneaking in the doggie door, I became a convert over to the hairball side. We adore them. And as for Dewey's book - it's not that it's a literary giant. Like I said, it just has this wonderful message.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lois - thanks, Sweetie. We actually had some good news this week. She's feeling much better and ready to really start the fight! She's tough and we're all going to be there for her and with her.

Raven - I think you're aunt would love Dewey's story and his message. Big hug heading her way.

Catslady - you have cats? Really?? Just kidding. There really is something magical and mystical about their spirits.

Anonymous - I have 1 doggie stocking and 2 little cat stockings hanging from the mantel in my office. Yesterday I caught the yellow cat with his stocking in his mouth, tugging his toy out of it. I could NOT believe it. He's just way too smart.

Cindy Gerard said...

flchen - you tell your friends thanks, okay? And tell them to swoop away!!! And I really think you'll like Dewey!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Cindy, I'm having the same experience of "falling in love again" with the Dakotas as I re-read Kathleen Norris's DAKOTA: A SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY. If you haven't read it, you must take a look. You'd love it, I think. Is it a great book? Yes, indeed. Beautifully written. One of those rare books you want to read again and again, just because it sings.

traveler said...

What a lovely post today. I can relate with it. very touching and emotional.
A movie that I can always remember and will forever is Cinema Paradiso. Beautiful and unique. A book that has been unforgettable and lovely is A Thread of Grace by mary Doria Russell.

Playground Monitor said...

Roxanne St. Claire wrote a book as Rocki St. Claire called HIT REPLY. It's all done in emails and instant messages and it celebrates friendship between women. I re-read it from time to time to remind myself how lucky I am so have wonderful women friends, many of whom are in the romance community.

We were cat people til a year ago when we had to get rid of our last cat. Since we travel so much in the summer, we decided not to get another one because even as solitary as cats are, we felt it wasn't fair to leave one unattended so much. But someone in a box I have a photo of our first cat when she was three months old splayed out on a branch of the Christmas tree about halfway up. She was sound asleep.

Mousetraps work well for keeping animals off or away from things. Set them and gently turn them upside down. If the animal nudges it or gets on the furniture it's on, the trap will snap and startle the animal and many times it'll stop them from bothering the item. That's how we got our first dog to stop eating the tinsel off the tree and to stop gnawing the rocker on my rocking chair.

Marilyn

Cindy Gerard said...

Kathleen - the book about the Dakotas sounds lovely. Isn't is wonderful to rekindle a feeling you hadn't known you had lost?

Traveler - both the movie (which I have not seen) and the book sound special. Off to check them out:o)

Marilyn - I'd be so afraid that little paws would get caught in the trap but I can sure see how it would scare the begezus out of the wily critters :o)

Playground Monitor said...

That's why you turn them upside down. I never had a dog or cat get caught. I also heard if you put aluminum foil on furniture cats won't get on it. I guess it's the metallic texture? Or the crinkling noise? Or both?

Cindy Gerard said...

Marilyn - 'crinkling' noise seems to draw my critters :o) And I have this picture in my mind of all my furniture wrapped in aluminum foil. Cracks me up

Stacy S said...

Dewey sounds like a cute story. I finially talked my dh into getting a cat this year ( after 14 yrs ). The cat will go crazy if my dh doesn't play with him. It's too cute.
I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult a few years ago. It's a great story.

diane said...

Your story today was special. thanks. My ultimate favorite movie that is a real heartwrenching but amazing movie is Il Postino.
A book that resounds with me is The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy,
Your story touched me-- I've been feeling a little down this season in ways i can't explain. Then a trip home to the Twin Cities had opened my eyes and heart and made me think about where I've been and where I'm going.

There have been so many books that changed my perspective. . . it's hart to list them all. but one of my favorites was "A Vision of Light" by Judith Merkle Riley. It changed the way I looked at the treatment of women in history. And I've just finished a book called "Quantum Theology" that is really thought-provoking and eye-opening. I also have loved one of Madeline L'Engle's books about creativity and writing: called "Walking On Water."

I'm glad to hear you're doing better, cindy. . . and how like a kitty to help show you the way.

Maureen said...

Your story reminds me of our visit to the SPCA this past summer to pick out a kitten. The number of kittens that needed homes was astonishing and so we ended up with two kittens. One book that touched me was The Giving Tree that was a present to my daughter when she was born.

Cindy Gerard said...

Stacy - we've always had dogs so when these cats showed up 3 years ago, we weren't so sure we'd take to them. but they'd found their way into the house through the doggie door so we were stuck with them like it or not. No once was more surprised than me the first time my dh came home and said hello to the cat before he said hello to me :O) He loves them as much as I do.

Diane - thanks. Dewey did it. He moved me to share.

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina - I'm so glad your visit to Minneapolis served to give you a little perspective along with some books that sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Maureen - Good for you! Saving not only one but 2 kitties and inviting them into your lives. I'm sure they've already repaid you many times over.

Virginia said...

Hi Cindy, I just finished What A Scoundrel Wants by Carrie Lofty and I really enjoyed this book it was a little different. Christy Craig's books alway bring a smile to me because she writes a lot of humor. I also have read a few of your books and I enjoy them because of the suspense you put in them. I read a little of everything, switch around alot.

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Betina, Judith Merkle Riley is so awesome. She's who I want to be when I grow up. :-) Seriously, all her books are amazing.

ddurance said...

Animals sure can do wonderful things in our lives, can't they? Like children, they just make some days more worth living when they look at you with love.

Deidre

Cindy Gerard said...

Deidre - Very well stated! And so very, very true.

Betina and Michele - you've made me want to go out and buy Judith Merkle Riley. If she impresses amazing authors like you two, I HAVE to read her

Cathy said...

Really enjoying this new series, Cindy. When I need a little pick me up I reach for a story with humor, my favorites are the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

Cindy Gerard said...

Cathy - Thanks Cathy. Way cool.

BTW: all of our Riders write AMAZING books BUT ... if you like Evanovich, you MUST try Lois's UN Series. UNZIPPED, UNPLUGGER, UNMANNED, UNSCREWED ... You get the picture. I love Evanovich too but I've got to tell ya, I reach Lois's series first now, THEN Janet's.

Christie Ridgway said...

Cindy: This might give you a smile and I thought it was so serendipitous that I stumbled upon this site today and then saw your post...

librarydogs.com

It's a website for a program that encourages kids to read by reading =to= dogs at the library. Isn't that great? Cute pix on the site too.

Eshani said...

Hi Cindy,
The picture you have up made me smile..I love how the cat with the dark fur has claimed a present all to itself!
Julie Garwood's historicals always bring a smile to my face..I think they were what first pulled me to become such a huge fan of the romance genre to begin with ( a long, long time ago).
Thank you for a great giveaway, and happy holidays!

Ellory said...

What a wonderful story with Dewey.

Not a book that brings a smile but one of my kidlets' teachers and a family friend passed away 3 years ago. While that is sad - what isn't is thinking of the impact this person had on my kidlets. It never fails to bring a smile to my face is to look a picture that I took with this person and one of my kidlets and another student in the Kotel in Jerusalem.

People can touch our lives in so many special ways.

Helen Brenna said...

Traveler, I've Cinema Paradiso. A wonderfully sweet movie. Thanks for reminding me.

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - thanks That's a wonderful site!!! Animals bring so much to our lives!

Eshani - Yep. Sly is the smallest of the house critters but he's the most assertive. If he want's something, he claims it :o)

Ellory - More true words were never spoken. We all have the ability to touch and impact the lives of others. That's a gift in itself :o)

Crianlarich said...

Cindy - I, too, was once 'adopted' by a cat. A wee orange tiger tom baby that I found when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during a childhood holiday. Needless to say, it was clear he was starving for both food and affection. He was like a dog, my constant companion, until ... well, I'll spare that. His name was Hannibal and I miss him still. He looked very much like Dewey. Since losing him, dogs have been and are my entire solace, especially the one I have have now ... and have had for ten-some years. Perhaps reading Dewey's story will send me to the shelter to find another feline friend, as said. I only wish there were homes for all such darlings....

Laurie said...

Movies: Dances With Wolves, Braveheart, Shogun, The Hunt For Red October, Dr Zhivago, Man From Snowy River

Books: The Thorn Birds,White Lies,
Dr Zhizago,The Last Lecture and Shogun

Songs: Layla-Eric Clapton, Lady in Red-Chris DeBurgh, How Can I Tell You- Cat Stevens, Kathy's Song -Simon & Garfunkel,Pretty Woman-Roy Orbison,I Know You're Out There Somewhere-Moody Blues, You Are Always On My Mind -Willy Nelson, Blue, Silver & Gold-Bad Company

Lori T said...

Dewey's story sounds like such a nice read...I love stories like that. The ones that just make you feel good.

My brain is a little slow functioning this morning as it may be frozen (-10 right now which is better than the -20 yesterday) and I am not thinking of a book right now.
However, a movie that always makes me feel good is It's a Wonderful Life. I love this movie and own it on DVD because it has gotten harder and harder to find it on TV. This movie just always leaves me with a happy feeling.

About Me said...

I've heard about Dewey's story before, but haven't purchased the book yet. It's definately on my TBR list.

Cindy Gerard said...

Crianlarich - we feel the same affinity for our furry friends. There's a great show on the National geographic channel - Dog Town. It's about a no kill shelter and there are always dog and cats up for adoption. Check it out.

Laurie - quite the list. All great ones!

Lori - GREAT movie!! Love Jimmy Stewart in anything he did.

About Me - I really think you'll like it!

kimmyl said...

I love reading your books and what a great story. I wish my kitten was a treasure but it's a little demon.

Cindy Gerard said...

Kimmyl - thanks for that. and I have a feeling that your little demon is the love of your life :o)

robynl said...

The movie 'The Gathering' starring Ed Asner had a profound effect on me. It is about the father finding out he is dying and his family has not been together in many senses for some time. He tries to get them to come home for the holidays and at first it seems as if they are all too busy and then in the end they all come. Tempers flare, etc. but all is not lost in the end.