Thursday, September 17, 2009

Critters and Such

I have a feeling you all may be a little tired of me promoting yet another book here at the blog. It's really odd that I have three releases this month. But it's also cool! How often does something like that happen? As a writer I just have to smile and enjoy the month. And try to devote equal promotion time to each of my babies.

So have any of you noticed the book cover for CRITTERS OF MOSSY CREEK and wondered, "What the heck is Hauf doing writing for something like that? I thought she did scary critters that suck your blood?"

I know, I wondered the same thing, too. But when offered the chance to write a short story for the Critters anthology, I jumped. I'm not all about the dark and brooding, you know. I like to do fun stuff too.

The Mossy Creek series of books is an amazing adventure into a little town in Georgia that's populated with an eclectic cast of characters. As a new writer to the series, I read through all six previous books, and was asked to pick one character to write a story about. It was fun getting to know the townfolk of Mossy Creek, and I ultimately decided to go with a lesser-written-about character who is a college girl on spring break. And of course all the stories are about pets, so cats it was. (I used my daughter's cat as the star of the story. At the time I was writing this, that darn cat was a young, un-neutered male who liked to jump out at people and cling to their legs—with SHARP claws. His name is Butters, but I changed it in the story to protect the not-so-innocent. Yes, that's him to the left, looking appropriately smug because he thinks he's the star of the book, or something.)

So I don't want to gab too much about the story, because I want Deb to step in and tell a little more about how Mossy Creek came about and her story in the anthology as well. But if you're looking for a fun, touching, heart-warming read, I highly recommend any and all the books in the Mossy Creek series!

Hello! Deb here! How did Mossy Creek come to be? I think we were young and stupid and had no idea how hard it would be to coordinate a "collective novel" series. The devil is in the details, not the broad strokes! A core of writers works on the series. Character arcs and storylines continue from book to book. And occasionally we reach out to another "voice" we think might be fun for the readers.

Who are some of the New York Times bestselling and award winning authors who've taken a turn in Mossy Creek? Patti Callahan Henry, Karen White, Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall, Sabrina Jeffries, and Deborah Smith and... See? We love bringing people into our world. In CRITTERS OF MOSSY CREEK, we're debuting a couple of first timers and some old hands in publishing. Carolyn McSparren (SuperRomance) has a couple of stories and one of them is the prequel to her new Mossy Creek mystery series-- CART BEFORE THE CORPSE (10/09).

Oh, and before I close, I guess I should confess that there is not a pet in my story. My character has a parakeet, who was so graciously given to my character by Anne Bishop-- without my permission. (back in SUMMER IN MOSSY CREEK) I was sobbing my eyes out at the end of her story and pretty much had no choice but to accept Tweedle. My character had also been involved in a story about a foundling dog. So, I pulled a diva and decided no pet focus in my story. No pets. No animals in the plot. Unless you count a cougar. My police chief and the mayor (a sexy older woman) are getting ever closer to sealing the deal. Followers of the Amos & Ida relationship should be pleased with this installment. And hopefully you'll laugh out loud too.

And since we've been on a bit of a pet streak here at Riding, let's talk dream pets. If you could have any kind of pet in the world, say a fancy breed that had been rescued from a shelter or some kind of colorful bird or lizard, what would it be?




Love the picture of the kitty critter!

Candace said...

I already have my dream pet. Dobermans. Sleek, elegant beauties who are loyal, smart, gentle, and loving. Plus there's the added benefit of their formidable reputation, so they serve as great guard dogs without actually having to act like guard dogs.

Twisted Sister Meg said...

Oh, Candace, another Dobie lover. I have had one in my life for over 30 years, and in all 4 colors. Black and rust is my fav, but Chloe is fawn and she's all that you described. My dream isn't really a pet, but to run an old age horse home where these marvelous creatures can be loved until their last day. We have mini mare who is 30 and her daughter is 20.

Anonymous said...

Candace - We owned Dobes for years. We travel in an RV a lot, so we are without a Dobe at the moment (not welcomed at many RV parks). Our last Dobe (Alexis) was sweet, loving huge dog. I miss her.

I'd love to own a Great Dane. I love their looks. Not something I see myself having anytime soon.

LOVE the cat picture. He looks so self-pleased!

Cindy Gerard said...

Congrats Michele on your AMAZING month. You go girl! And I have got to get me some Mossy Creek. the books sound wonderful.

As for dream my critter: Each and every dog and cat I've ever had was my dream - okay, some were more like nightmares - but I loved them all, love them still and can't imagine any other critter out there who could make me happier than the ones I have.

Playground Monitor said...

Butters looks a lot like my son's cat Sampson who recently disappeared. My son is heartbroken because he'd had Sampson since he was in college. But Sampson too would hang on with his claws -- even after being neutered. He could be the sweetest kitty and then whammo! Out came evil kitty and he'd scratch the daylights out of you. This wasn't particularly good given grandbaby's love of cats. But still, it's sad he's gone.

We had to put our last cat down almost two years ago. I'm just not in the mood for kitten antics and because the last cat didn't adapt well to our move, I'm afraid if I adopt an adult cat I'll just get another psychotic one with all sorts of unacceptable behavior.

And it's all moot anyway because I'm moving to an apartment next month and a pet deposit would eat me up. But I have a stuffed cat -- black with white paws -- that you can microwave and use around your neck and shoulders. I call him "Boo Boo Kitty" and I can always nuke him and put him in my lap. Only thing missing is the purring.

Congrats on the new story and your venture into a different genre!


Debra Dixon said...

Hey, guys!

I'm going to be out of computer touch for most of the day.

But I will confess to researching Ragdoll cats and Maine Coon cats recently.

Helen Brenna said...

3 releases in one month! Awesome Michele - big congrats!

This is a dream - 'cause it'd never happen - but I confess I think it'd be interesting to live with a large cat - like a cougar or a tiger. Wow. All that power and beauty and arrogance!

Kylie said...

Michelle--the story sounds fun!

I'm a dog lover. The kids and I started researching new dogs before our other one was even gone, LOL. But who expected her to live 17 years? We decided on a Polish Lowland Sheepdog and Lexie is still my baby, although she's a tad freaky about some things!

GunDiva said...

I already own my dream pet, Estes, the little bay Morgan/QH mare I fell in love with five years ago. The only thing that would make it better is if she could actually live with me, not my parents. One of these days, I'll have enough property to bring her "home" during the winter. Summers at my parents are perfect because they live directly across the street from Roosevelt National Forest.

I also owned the "perfect" dog, a Dalmation named Jake. We had to put him down after only eight short years with us because of end stage kidney failure.

Congrats on THREE releases this month!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Christmas shopping time! I have two people on my lists who recently said to me, "That's why I like animals better than people." Yep, that would be my daughter and sister. I'm getting two extra copies.

Since I've been extolling the good character of the most recent addition to the Eagles' nest so much lately, I guess you all know I'm living the dream. I'm your proverbial dog and pony show.

Michele Hauf said...

Dobermans! Wow. They scare me, but they are an elegant looking dog.

Twisted, hadn't heard of an old horse home, but that sounds wonderful! You and Lois will have to get together and talk. :-)

Playground, cats are a finicky lot. Butters was a vicious one until he got neutered, now he's a sweetie.

Helen! I think I would have suspected you'd go for a big cat. Can you imagine that thing snuggling with you in bed, though?

A sheepdog sounds like he'd well, like to herd sheep. Do they have to be taught, or is it instintive?

GUn and Kathy with the dogs and horses. I guesses dogs and horses do sort of go hand in hand. They seem like they would make good companions. I wonder if cats get along well with horses? ANyone know? I just imagine a cat riding a horses back would be a sight!

My dream pet is one of those Sphynx cats, without any fur. I think they look so adorable! Nekkid, but cute. :-)

catslady said...

LOL I like animals a lot better than most people too. I currently have 6 cats but I've had two dogs (one lived to 17) and one cat passed at 17 too. I believe there is a cat out there that looks like a wild cat and can't think of the breed at the moment or any really wild cat although I know it's not the thing to do but you did say fantasy lol.

lois greiman said...

Elephants!! What can I say?

susan said...

Michelle..first let me say thank you for the books I won and now I want to say I love all kind of animals and have a cat. We also have five black bears in our yard each week and two fimlies of wild ducks so we keep our eyes open and plenty of lights on around the yard so we don't get surprised. ha ha susan L.

Michele Hauf said...

Wow, bears! I'd keep those lights on, too.