Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Phew, have I been a busy tortie lately or what? Five interviews in the last two weeks! Someone needs to check for me...aren't there child labor laws? I mean, I'm only 3 years old!!!
Nah, I'm just kidding. I enjoy doing these interviews but I think this is my last one until the New Year...this girl needs a rest.
What's that Mommy? Oh that's right, I still need to finish up a couple treat reviews. Oh well...back to the keyboard. I hope you enjoy my interview with The Cats of Spell Booked, the first Retired Witches Mystery by Joyce and Jim Lavene :)
It’s so nice to be here today! Thanks for inviting us over.
Welcome, kitties! Thank you for gathering together today to answer a few questions. I understand that you are all familiars. Can you explain what that means?
Isabelle: It’s true, Truffles. We’re all familiars. This means we can remember our past lives as humans and can really relate to our witches. I’m Molly’s familiar. I can feel what she feels. Sometimes it seems like I know what she’s thinking before she even thinks it. Molly is very special to me. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her.
Harper: I’ll tell you what it means to be a familiar – misery and heartbreak if your witch dies before you. That’s what I’ve been going through since Olivia died. If I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been anyone’s familiar!
Barnabas: Harper doesn’t mean that, Truffles. He’s just very sad right now, although it’s not all bad – he gets plenty of extra treats at Smuggler’s Arcane where our witches hang out.
All 3 of you have very interesting histories. How did you each come to live with your respective witch?
Isabelle: Well, Truffles, you probably know I was burned at the stake for being a witch. Because of that experience, or perhaps despite it, I was drawn to Molly who also had an ancestor that suffered a similar fate. I think it makes us closer.
Harper: I was drawn to Olivia because she loved to travel, and so did I when I was a human. I was a sailor for many years until my life abruptly ended when I was suspected of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Oh woe is me! Olivia is gone. No one can ever take her place.
Barnabas: My spirit was that of a minister many years ago. My witch is Elsie who’s father was also a minister – though her mother was a witch. Elsie and I found each other when she was very young so we grew up together. Familiars live longer than normal cats, you see, because we share our lives with witches.
Harper, you get to spend some time living in the witches' curio shop, Smuggler's Arcane, after your owner is murdered. Can you take us on a tour around the place? It looks magical! (Is the soil damp down in the cave?)
Smuggler’s Arcane is nice enough, I guess, Truffles. I never thought I’d have to live here. I liked living at Olivia’s house. But I guess that’s over.
To explain the shop - witches come here to buy herbs and talismans to help them with their magic. Our ladies can get a little of everything from enchanted knives to moon phase calendars. There are teas and robes, books of magic and history. It’s an old shop on the riverfront and has a certain aroma to it, that of wood, sage, and sassafras.
Below the shop there is a cave that leads to the riverfront. The Cape Fear River was once home to many pirates and smugglers who used the cave to hide their ill-gotten gains and kegs of rum. They could wait for the right time when the coast was clear to take what they had to their ships. Pretty neat, actually.
The whole shop, as well as the cave, is surrounded by protective runes and spells. Our witches have never done much strong magic – certainly never anything evil. It has been a pleasure living with them.
Are you able to do any regular "cat stuff" or is your work too important for that?
Isabelle: If by cat stuff you mean catching mice and chasing yarn, of course we do that too – although I have never enjoyed the taste of mice.
Harper: I like a good mouse every now and then. I prefer salmon more.
Barnabas: A cat’s primary function is to guard those he loves and to keep a witch from getting too serious. At least that’s the way I see it. I like to swim in the river occasionally on moonlit nights. I’m not a yarn cat, but a nice squeaky toy can be fun.
In the book it says that you each need to live as an "only cat"...why can't two familiars live together?
Isabelle: It just isn’t done, Truffles. Too much static. You are too close to your witch to share him or her with any other cat.
Harper: I never wanted to share Olivia. We were always together no matter where she went. I think the spark would be lost if there was another cat in the way.
Barnabas: I think it’s just silly superstition. I’ve tried to get Elsie to get another cat several times. I’d like a nice, classic calico – a female. I was denied female companionship as a human, you see. A little now would be nice.
Do you have any magical powers of your own that you use to help solve the murder in Spell Booked?
Isabelle: I think I have some residual magic from being a witch. There are times when I can almost help Molly with a spell.
Harper: No. I couldn’t even keep Olivia alive.
Barnabas: No. Our magic comes into play when we can soothe and advise our witches. They need us when they’re stressed. We’re there for them.
Do you have any idea what your upcoming adventures will be?
Isabelle: Oh, Truffles. I know a little about what’s going to happen with Molly – and I can tell you that’s it’s not good! Well, some of it is, but some of it is pretty scary.
Harper: Upcoming adventures? I expect to die alone, in misery, without Olivia. What else is there for me?
Barnabas: Like I said, ignore him, Truffles. There is some exciting stuff coming up for our witches. They have to train Dorothy – who falls in love – but is heartbroken. They consult a mermaid and a Selkie and Molly confronts the Bone Man. Wow! I wish I could tell you everything, but that would probably be bad. Suffice it to say, don’t miss Book 2, Looking for Mr. Goodwitch, coming in September 2015.
Blurb: Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package .
Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.
They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves .
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!
This is one of the most unique witch stories you will *ever* read. Molly, Elsie, and Olivia are a trio of aging witches ready to retire in Boca...but first they must find and train their replacements. Tragedy strikes when Olivia is murdered and their spell book is stolen. (I was actually quite shocked that the murder victim was one of the original main characters!) Molly and Elsie are forced to use every last bit of magical powers they have left to go up against a powerful force they've never had to face before. Making things even more difficult is the fact that Molly’s husband Joe is the homicide detective assigned to the case and has no idea that his wife is a witch. The ending was a shocker that I never saw coming. I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful story and look forward to the next. My only wish is that I could sit right in the middle of the Smuggler’s Arcane curio shop depicted on the cover!
Make sure that you make a stop on all the tour sites as the authors have a very special giveaway. They are giving away a handwritten grimoire of spells, a print copy of Spell Booked, a willow wand, and a velvet bag to carry it in. Every stop will have some clue words in each post that can be put together they make a Witch’s Spell. To enter the giveaway readers will have to collect all the words and put them all together on the giveaway entry form after the last stop. Good Luck everyone!!
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