Today I am so pleased to welcome A.F. Henley to Joyfully Jay. A.F. has come to talk to us about The Chase and The Catch. A.F. has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and a great giveaway. Welcome!
The Chase and The Catch Blog Tour – Excerpt and Giveaway!
One of the most important features within the folklore of cats is the concept that a cat is not chosen by his or her human companion, but that the cat chooses you. This is supposed to be the reason why a cat as a familiar makes such a strong bond with his or her charge. In magick lore it’s said that a cat can communicate telepathically when it chooses, and that it has no problem reading the minds it decides to. In ancient Egypt, sacrifices and gifts were bestowed to both the lion-headed goddess Mafdet, and later the cat-featured goddess, Bast, in order to ensure her blessings, and the remains of mummified cats were entombed with their owners to show respect for their service. Killing a cat, even accidentally, was a death sentence to the perpetrator.
Myths and legends abound with respect to cats: good luck or bad luck, foretelling weather, illnesses, fortune and death… If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it… Keep a cat onboard your ship and your voyage will always be lucky… Let a cat near an unguarded infant and it will suck the breath out of the baby… Some people swear by them while others write them off as fairy tales.
Regardless of opinion, there is a certain amount of mysticism to those shutter-like eyes that tend to give many of us pause at one time or another. After all, if they can see in the dark, the human soul shouldn’t be that hard to view either. I can say without question that I’ve heard far more tales about cats finding owners than I have about owners finding cats.
So, in appreciation of the magical connection between cat and chosen companion, in awe of the cat’s ability to see deeper and farther than a mere human, and with my hopeful wish for good fortune, I once again offer an excerpt of The Cat from The Chase and The Catch…
The library was cool to the point of chilly, and John forced the zipper of his hoodie all the way up to his chin. He picked a seat on a well-worn wingback, not for comfort, but to annihilate any possibility of being forced to sit too close to Parker if, in fact, Parker chose to show up. Then he curled both feet under his legs and set his laptop on his lap. It made for awkward typing, but John figured it would at least keep his legs from going numb with the cold.
Fifteen minutes later, with his coffee gone and the space no warmer, John was debating setting everything aside and heading back to his room. If Parker wanted him all that bad, Parker could damn well come find him. It was a thought that was halted suddenly and resolutely by a flounce into John’s lap the instant the laptop vacated it.
John startled, The Cat gave him a look that was far too pleased for a mere animal, and then curled itself into the apex of John’s pretzelled legs. “Um… no.” John picked up The Cat and dropped it—he paused, tilted his head—dropped her on the floor and unfolded his legs. “As furry as you are, kitty, you’re not going to cut it anymore than the laptop did. It’s fucking freezing in here.”
John winced, but whether it was in reaction to the sudden sound of Parker’s voice, or the dismay for his balls as The Cat leapt and landed back on him, John didn’t bother trying to decipher. Instead, as if, perhaps, it was the floor The Cat didn’t want to be on, John lifted The Cat off him yet again and sat it on the padded armrest of the chair. “Humidity?”
“When the humidity rises outside, the temperature adjusts in an effort to keep the collection stable.” Parker waved at the second level. “Excessive heat and humidity warp cover boards and dry out leather bindings. Worse, it can promote insects. That’s why this is one of the few rooms in the house without direct sunlight. As much as I like natural lighting, I have far more of an attraction to protecting my assets.”
The Cat bounced from the armrest to John’s shoulder, and then again on to John’s thighs without any more regard to his sensitive bits then she’d given them on the last jump. John growled, with a grimace he hoped was just as snarly as his voice. “Me too. So how do I stop Little Miss Bouncy from using my balls as a landing pad?”
Parker shrugged. “No clue. She doesn’t usually do that. She’s not much of a socialite.”
“Says you.” John chuckled and stroked The Cat from chin to chest when she stuck her nose up. “I’ll have you know she got a lot further in getting to sleep with me than you did.”
Parker huffed a sound that could have been annoyance, though be it over the idea that The Cat had been in John’s bed, or whether it had to do with the fact that the wheels on the chair Parker was trying to move were being uncooperative, John couldn’t figure. “Then don’t let her in your bedroom. She doesn’t like to be cooped up. She’s a free spirit.”
John shrugged. “Don’t blame me, I didn’t let her in. She was just there in the morning. I was going to ask you if you’d been stalking me in the middle of the night and let her in, actually.”
Parker lifted an eyebrow and sat down in the chair, facing John over the top of the desk. “I don’t stalk you.”
The Cat head-butted John’s chest in what John could only assume was her way of offering up the subtle suggestion that he pay more direct attention. So though John turned his eyes towards Parker, his hands were for The Cat. “If you say so.”
With a playful cluck of the tongue and the whir of an unseen motor, a monitor ascended from the desk as if by magic. “If only you were so compliant with all the things I say, John.”
“You and your fancy toys,” John said, in wide-eyed appreciation. “Wait. Let me guess. You just have a fascination for anything that moves at your command?”
It shouldn’t have been sexy, the look that Parker flashed him, but John would have been lying if he’d said Parker’s slight smile and the quirk of Parker’s eyebrow didn’t do all the right things for him.
“I don’t like things that move at my command,” Parker said. “On the contrary. I don’t want to be in command. I certainly don’t want to tell people what their next move should be, or be required to tell them what I expect from them. I just want everything to flow, like water, without pressure or formality.”
John shook his head. “Water is under pressure all the time. And just think of all the good things it does when it’s taken out of its free-flowing element and harnessed.” He lifted his hand and started tapping fingertips in time to his words. “Electricity, shipping, swimming pools…” John paused, tilted his head. “Okay, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. But you get my point.”
“John?” Parker replied in deadpan, waving his hand. “The interview? Can we start now?” He settled into his chair, slid a keyboard out from under the desk and started tapping on it. “After all, I’m sure there are just so many wonderful things you’d like to know about me.” He looked across the desk, caught John’s eyes, and smiled with his teeth. “Feel free to ask about the size of my dick.”
“Now, now,” John offered the same expression back. “Let’s not get distracted by the small things quite yet.” In his lap The Cat stretched one paw out and patted John’s thigh as though to congratulate him on his wit. At least, John decided, that’s how he was going to take it.
After one of his fans committed suicide, John lost everything: lover, confidence, drive. When he is given a chance to get back on his feet, he is happy to take it—even if it’s just writing an actor’s autobiography. It might not be romance, or even fiction, but it’s something, and there are worse people to work for than the charming, successful Parker Chase.
That doesn’t mean working for Parker is easy, however. A staunch supporter of living for the moment, Parker goes against everything John believes in. He feels out of place in every moment of Parker’s Hollywood life, stuck in a game of wits that at times seems almost contrived…
Copyright © 2014 by A.F. Henley
Published by Less Than Three Press
Purchasing Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=90&products_id=680
Please note: Novel contains some explicit content.
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
Find more here:
- Website: http://afhenley.com/
- Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-F.-Henley/e/B00FIODWSK/
- Publisher’s Page: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/author-a-f-henley/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AFHenley
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/AFHenley
Now for the giveaway!
On behalf of the tour, I’d like to invite you to join my giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a Swarovski crystal spider clip, a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market, and a signed, print copy of The Chase and The Catch (when available). Click through for terms and conditions, further details, and your chance to win!
** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one awarded winner for the entire event.
My huge thanks to Joyfully Jay for having me by. It’s a pleasure and an honour to be a guest on your site. 😀
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