Best in Show releases today. It’s the story of a mystery writer who adopts a big ginger tabby from the animal shelter, only to discover his new pet is actually a man, cursed to be a cat during daylight hours. It’s cute and funny and has a little mystery wrapped around a sweet love story. Or the beginning of a love story. I have more adventures planned for Julian and Mac!
While writing this story, I thought about what other sorts of shifters I’d like to introduce to my world and this led to wondering what sorts of animals I’d like to be. This isn’t as frivolous a question as it might seem. If no one had ever wished to fly like a bird, we may not have aircraft. If no one had ever wished to see the bottom of the ocean, we would not have a vast array of equipment designed to help us explore the deep. Granted, human ingenuity has yet to meet a border it does not want to cross—but if it were simply that, people wouldn’t still be experimenting with flapping wings and gliders. We wouldn’t wear fins and sleek suits in the water. We wouldn’t have entire organisations devoted to the love of animals—from Furries to animal rights activists to scientists who believe jellyfish hold the key to regenerating lost limbs.
Of course, borrowing ideas from the animal kingdom is quite different to actually wanting to be an animal—which I think the majority of us have thought about, even briefly. Who hasn’t looked at a cat curled upon a bedspread and thought ah, to be able to nap all day! I certainly have. I’ve even stated out loud (because I’m weird) my intention to mimic one of my cats one day. All day. To eat when he does, play when he does, and nap right beside him. After counting the actual number of hours Jack sleeps, however, I figured I’d get pretty bored before the morning was out. Also, I don’t particularly want to eat kibble.
One of my favourite shows when I was growing up was Man from Atlantis. The summer of 1977 was spent with my legs pinned together, body undulating furiously beneath the water, as I attempted to adopt his swimming style.
The majority of the Tarzan movies were made before I was born, but that has never interfered with my fascination for the “ape man”. It’s a wonderful story, and one that requires an entire blog post on its own. (Some day!) But the idea of having lived with the animals, of being able to communicate with them, appeals. His was not a gentle existence, but perhaps until his “rescue”, more simple.
I have flying dreams all the time and they’re a definite favourite. I flap and soar, and the feeling of cutting through the air is awesome!
I’ve thought about being a horse or a zebra or a big cat, a cheetah because they can run fast, or maybe a leopard simply because they are beautiful. The structure of wolf society fascinates me. Who knows what the dolphins are actually thinking. Snakes seem to do a lot of lying about in the sun. Octopi can hold eight different snacks at once. Elephants are magnificent. Turtles live for a long, long time.
But if pressed, I think I’d still choose a cat. I really do like napping, and I think having someone stroke my back would feel pretty awesome. I’d also want to be adopted and cared for by someone who enjoyed my company. Who spoke to me, fed me something other than kibble and invited me to cuddle with them at night.
What would you be?
You can read an excerpt of Best in Show here, and the first chapter here. Follow the rest of my release tour for other excerpts, a recipe, a magical playlist and more—and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win two of my backlist titles from Dreamspinner Press and a $25 store credit.
Best in Show
Solitary mystery writer Julian Wilkes doesn’t want a pet, but his sister persuades him to visit Lingwood Animal Rescue, where he is immediately taken with a large ginger tabby cat. Before he can settle into the joys of cat ownership, however, he discovers something very unusual about his new companion.
Macavity Birch is cursed. By day he is a large tabby cat. At night he can be himself—a human male with ginger hair and oddly yellow eyes. He didn’t mean to end up in the animal rescue, but he never meant any harm when playing the prank that resulted in his curse, either. Happily, Julian adopts him. But while exploring his host’s home, he discovers the diary of a long-dead relative.
Unfortunately, not all of Mac’s ancestors are dead and buried. His great-great-great-grandmother is very much alive, and she’s a powerful witch who doesn’t take kindly to the sharing of family secrets. When Mac reveals himself to Julian in order to save him from bigger trouble, he achieves just the opposite, plunging Julian deeper into a magical mystery with him.
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.