Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tailing a Tabby by Laurie Cass: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway


Tailing a Tabby: A Bookmobile Cat Mystery

Things Writers Can’t Do
by Laurie Cass

Spelling, for instance. Being a writer does not automatically make you an expert speller. Usually we’re pretty good, but there are words that throw us every time. Well, me. I really shouldn’t speak for any of my fellow writers, so please re-title this post in your head as “Things Laurie Can’t Always Do Very Well.” More accurate, but not as catchy.

Back to spelling. In a general sort of way, I’m an excellent speller. Lots of syllables? No problem. The goofy exceptions to the i and e rule? They can’t fool me. But then there are my trouble words. I am so horrible at spelling the word “fluorescent,” as in the light fixture, that spell check doesn’t know what to do with it. (What the heck is that “u” doing so early in the word, anyway?) And as a beginning typist back in eighth grade, it took me a long time to figure out why I was getting marked down for typing “seperate.”

I have a hard time with “privilege,” too, because I desperately want to put a “d” ahead of the letter “g.” And my typing fingers insist that “judgment” should have two of the letter “e.” You know where that second one wants to go, don’t tell me you don’t.

And, sadly, it’s not just spelling skills that I lack. The decision of whether to use “affect” or “effect” in a sentence can throw me into a tizzy. Yes, I know, there are all sorts of methods that can help with the decision, but either I don’t remember the method or it doesn’t apply or I get so irritated at the English language that I end up rewriting the sentence so I don’t have to make that choice. Cheating? Probably. Do I care? Well … yeah. But not enough to reread that chapter in my old grammar textbook.

Then there’s punctuation. Back in my school days, lo these many years ago, I ended up with the idea that the rules for where to put a comma and when to use a semi-colon were written in stone. There was a time and a place for inserting an ellipses and if you had to ask when and where that was, well, maybe you shouldn’t be writing in the first place.

Now I know better. Now I know that certain types of punctuation go in and out of fashion. I know that other countries use punctuation in different ways, and I know that different publishing houses have different policies for things from M dashes to hyphenations. None of this stuff is set in stone.

Which makes me breathe a small sigh of relief, because I have come to the conclusion that I’m never going to learn it all, no matter how hard I try. Besides, I can always look up what I need to know. Or change the sentence structure if I don’t mind cheating a little.

So I’m sorry if this post is destroying any illusions about the expertise you might have thought I had regarding the English language. But what I can do, at least in a halfway decent fashion, is tell a story. And that, I hope, is what writers are supposed to do.

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Blurb: In the bookmobile, librarian Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, roll out great summer reads to folks all over the lake town of Chilson, Michigan. And when real-life drama turns deadly, Minnie makes sure justice is never overdue.

The bookmobile is making its usual rounds when Minnie and Eddie are flagged down by a woman in distress. The woman’s husband, a famous artist, needs emergency medical care. After getting him into the bookmobile, Minnie races the man to the hospital in time…but his bad luck has only just begun.

After disappearing from the hospital, the artist is discovered slumped over the body of a murdered woman. Minnie knows that her new friend didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence paints an unflattering picture. Now this librarian and her furry friend have to put the investigation in high gear and catch the real killer before someone else checks out.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

It was so exciting to spend more time with Minnie and Eddie on their houseboat in this second book in the Bookmobile Cat mystery series. Their adventure begins when Barb McCade, wife of famous artist Russell "Cade", flags down the bookmobile because Cade has had a stroke. Within days Cade is implicated in the murder of a complicated young woman. I really enjoyed the friendship that developed between Minnie and this couple. As in the first book, Eddie is an absolute scene-stealer who manages to play a key role in the capture of a killer, who remained a mystery until the very end.

This book is the purr-fect read for anyone whose world revolves around books and cats! Does that sound like anyone you know? (Truffles is pointing her paw right at me!)

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, July 7th for the chance to win a paperback copy of Tailing a Tabby. (US entries only, please.)

37 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a fun series! I really want to get to know the characters.

    brooke811 at ymail dot com

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  2. This sounds like a very cool series. Books and cats. What could possibly go wrong?

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  3. Running a bookmobile sounds like a fun job - and could be an endless source of story material.

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com.

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  4. Hee--I always have trouble with fluorescent, too; my brain never wants to put that U there. I have no idea how I missed this series, but it sounds wonderful!

    michstjame at gmail dot com

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  5. I loved the first book in this series... In my opinion Eddie is the star of the show.. everyone else is just their to do his bidding. LOL

    I'd love to end up as the happy winner of Tailing the Tabby.

    NoraAdrienne(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Eddie agrees with your sentiments about everyone else doing his bidding :) Clearly, we exist only to please him!
      -Laurie Cass

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  6. Loved the post by Laurie! We've had many a conversation around here about spelling--it's one of those things that doesn't necessarily go with other smart skills. The new book looks great, thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I went to school at a time where people believed you would "come" to learning when you were ready. I still am waiting for the natural grammar skills to come. I have to work hard to get it right because the older you learn, the harder those basic skills become.

    As for writing books, I also believed that is what a good editor does to improve a great novel writer. There are many people with excellent grammar skills who can't tell a story. If you have a gifted writer who captures readers, it is worth correcting the grammar to sell the books. Not that the writer shouldn't make every effort possible, but it wouldn't hurt to hire people who can edit for grammar to make the match perfect.

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  8. Forgot to leave an email sheltietimes (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  9. I loved your post. As a former newspaper editor, I share your pain. We had a gestapo critter working for the publisher who had never written anything in her life. So, she grabbed a style manual and began to apply the rules rigidly. Of course, her copy of the manual was many, many years old, but I gave up and just let her win. Yes, it was in her manual. The end. Your books sounds wonderful. Thank you for giving us a chance to win a copy. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com.

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    1. "Gestapo critter"? Hah! Love that phrase and am getting a wonderful visual :)
      -Laurie Cass

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  10. I'm laughing because those are some of the words that I have problems with. I have always done pretty well with spelling then along comes a word that frustrates me, I check the spelling and it's "why didn't I know that?" This sounds like a fun series, I had better get started.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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    1. It's extremely embarrassing to admit this, but sometimes I even have trouble typing my own name :)
      -Laurie Cass

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  11. I enjoyed this post since it resonates with me. Your book sounds captivating and wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. I hate punctuation! I also stump spell check and feel certain there are little brains inside my computer saying, "What the...?" I used to love going to the book mobile as a child. I actually saw a book mobile the other day for the first time in decades. They are still cool. ☺

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  13. I love the bookmobile which was a weekly event. Such a nostalgic post about spelling and bookmobiles made my day. thanks.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. My favorite time of summer break when I was younger was the weekly stop of the bookmobile in my neighborhood. I would pick five or six books and enjoy sitting under a tree reading each one page by page. I'm also one who goes crazy when someone mispronounces a word, uses a double negative or spells a word incorrectly. My daughter jokes I should have been an English teacher.

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  15. A bookmobile AND a cat? Could it be any more perfect?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  16. This is a new to me series and author, I'm looking forward to starting this series !

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  17. Such a colorful cover, love it and I hope to get a chance to read it :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  18. Spell check is a wonderful thing. Okay, sometimes. I really want to read this series.
    kvmatlock (at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. Sounds like a good read.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  20. Spelling is usually not a problem for me. Sometimes I wonder about punctuation marks, especially commas. Tailing a Tabby with both books and cats sounds exciting to me.

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  21. I have to say that I'm not good with spelling or punctuation either. English was one of my worst subjects in school. :P I'm very thankful for spell check! Sounds like a really fun book :)

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  22. Sounds like a fantastic book! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

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  23. Those look like great books :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  24. I'm so looking forward to diving into this series. Thanks for the giveaway. robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  25. I guess I won't be so intimidated when trying to post on a writer's blog or facebook page anymore. I always assumed they were perfect in their use of words.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  26. a 'must-add' to my Wish List!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  27. Purr-fect, indeed!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

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  28. Loved the fact that a tabby was involved!! (And we looove your Tortie Shorties - so glad that's the name you chose!)

    And thank you THANK YOU for coming around to visit us while our mom & dad were in Texas. In the HEAT, packing BOXES, lotsa BOXES. UGH. With nooo cell service except for the brief moments at the hotel that had wifi so she could quickly read & catch up). Did we say THANK YOU yet? :-)

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  29. A traveling cat in a bookmobile. And a murder, oh my. I really want to read this one! Pick me!

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  30. I will change the sentence completely sometimes to because I can't spell a certain word. lol. I always loved the bookmobile when I was young.

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  31. It sounds like a fun and interesting mystery. I really like the cat Eddie, and would enjoy reading this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

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