Cat on the Keyboard

Author Christine Church's Musings, Books and Stuff…

The Day his Purr Stopped

Written By: chriscat65 - Feb• 15•17

Life has become crazy beyond description, and not in a good way, unfortunately.

Well, ok, some things are not horrible, such as my novel Beyond Every Mirror, which is doing ok in sales and getting great reviews. A few missed editing errors cost me a few stars in a couple reviews, but all editing errors have been fixed, so that shouldn’t be an issue anymore. It’s difficult to have to do it all by yourself; publishing… Self-publishing is a difficult endeavor. My goal is to get back to traditional publishing (where I don’t have to pay for an editor, etc). Fortunately, as I do professional editing, I am able for the most part to edit my own books, but it’s easy to miss things. Hence, once I can afford it, an outside editor will be hired. Cover design as well I have so far done myself, and as a professional photographer (I am just a ‘Jill of all Trades’ lol) I know enough graphic design to do a fairly decent cover (apparently, since my cover for Beyond Every Mirror is up for a cover design award) and I am studying graphic design daily to learn more and more tricks for making really cool covers.

As for the craziness in my life, if you love cats, you will sympathize. Two of my mother’s cats have become ill. Not related. Fluffy Kitty, a gorgeous and large 19 lb Silver Maine Coon I rescued when he showed up one terrible winter and started sleeping on the love seat on my porch. He was un-neutered and gorgeous. Not expecting to keep him, as I already had a house full of foster and rescued felines, I named him, simply “Fluffy Kitty” due to his heavy coat. He turned out to be the absolute epitome of the indoor cat! Once he was neutered, tested and inoculated, he was inside and PURRRfectly happy. The most loving cat I have ever met (and that is a LOT of cats). He is obsessed with always being in laps and his purr never stops.

Day before yesterday, however, his purr stopped.

He acted lethargic, disoriented. He was at the vet hospital all yesterday and today we transferred him to a veterinary neurologist. A month or so ago, he developed a severe infection behind his right eye. I think this is somehow related, even though they were able to cure the infection at the time, I believe some was deep and left behind, thus working into his brain somehow. Vets have agreed with me, but he’s getting an MRI tomorrow to be sure and see if there’s something underlying.

His best friend, Humphries, also saw the vet yesterday due to not eating and vomiting bile. His issue, as I knew, was due to bad teeth. Easy fix. With my mother also in the hospital today, this was a most stressful day! The “saving grace” of the day, if you can call it such, was twofold: My novel, Beyond Every Mirror, received a good review through the most important review company in the world! And my mother received a clean bill of health. But, the worry over Fluffy Kitty (not to mention the expense) is beyond stressful.

Bookwise, I will have “Sands of Time: Extended Special Edition” will be out soon all over the place, in all ebook formats and paperback.

In the meantime, if you love romance fantasy pick up a copy of Beyond Every Mirror. You will be pleased that you did.


Watch my website for contests and giveaways!






If you want to stay up nights in chills and thrills….

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 28•17

Do you long for a good adrenaline rush? Want to feel your heart pound, feel alive, all the while worrying about what’s out there… Or worse, what’s inside with you? Then be prepared to stay up nights and to be entertained. No long dragged out stories explaining more than you need to know; just good ol’ fashion gothic short horror tales. If this is your thing, you might want to check out this brand new short story collection available on Amazon for pre-order. And only 99 CENTS!

Pre-Order today!

New collection of gothic and horror short stories

How Your Cat Will Sell Your Writing

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 20•17

Right now, you are calling me crazy! RIGHT? A CAT… a feline…selling your books, stories, and all else you may put on paper (or keyboard).

You can use your cat to advertise your books!

See the photo to the left? This is my cat, Lucy and she is what I call my “spokescat” for my novels. I have also written and had published, several books on the care of cats, so it’s natural for me to “use” my cats in this way.

Why cats? Well, everyone loves cute kitties on the internet. Cat pictures and videos are extremely popular and draw people’s attention. So, you too can draw attention not only to your cute cat (the cuter your cat the better. Kittens are ideal), but to your book(s) at the same time. Here’s a few tips:

  1. A good camera or cell phone. As a photographer as well as a writer, I can get some pretty nice pictures of my cat (I almost always use Lucy, though I have 9 cats. Lucy is the ham) with my professional camera, but you don’t have to be a professional photographer. You can use your Smartphone. The better the camera on your cell phone, the better the picture. The LG G5 has a nice camera with manual settings. If you know how to use manual settings, this is a great choice so you can adjust the brightness, coloration, etc.
  2. Find the best location.  I like to take photos either in front of a window where there’s a nice artistic reflection, a mirror for the same reason, or somewhere with a nice, uncluttered background. The most important thing to remember is background!! You want your subjects (cat and book) to stand out. Don’t place your scene somewhere that will distract from your subject.
  3.  Marketing. Keep in mind, the purpose for all of this is marketing! It’s great to have fun, but in the long haul you want to be sure whomever is looking at your photo will find your BOOK attractive (it’s great for the cat to be attractive, but it’s the BOOK you are selling).
  4.  Art. Yes, this is a way to advertise, but you want people to stop and pay attention to your photo! Try to make it as artistic as possible.

    If you have a camera or even a phone that allows “depth of field” you can create some cool ads.

Take look at this photo. This book has been on the top seller list on Amazon, and has also won an award. Though I used my professional camera to make it appear more artistic, I also threw in the logos of its winnings. In this photo the cat is focussed and the book (which was behind her) is blurred, yet you can still clearly see the title. “Depth of field,” in the absolute plainest sense, means that whatever is closest to you is clear and farthest away is blurred. It gives an almost 3D effect and gives your photo more professionalism.


I hope you find these tips helpful. I will have more coming up. I like to use my photography along with my writing to advertise my book.

Just remember, the cat you use matters as well. If you have only one cat, you haven’t much of a choice. But, if like me, you have a house full, use the cutest and/or the most responsive and easy to work with cat.


NOTE:  This is IMPORTANT. NEVER force your cat to do anything he/she doesn’t want to do. If your cat seems agitated, give up. Soometimes the use of treats can help. Make the sessions short. And ALWAYS be patient with your kitty!!


Sands of Time, Fate of the True Vampires, Book One
The Early Scrolls, Book Two

Beyond Every Mirror, Book One
Anachronistic Dimensions Trilogy

New Books, Giveaway and Tour

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 15•17

Happy New Year to EVERYONE!!!!  Now that 2017 is upon us, I wanted to write a post on all the fantastic plans I have for this year! This is not something to miss, particularly if you love to read romantic fantasy and win wonderful free prizes!!

Sands of Time, Special Edition: Still in the works, this Special Edition of Sands of Time, will have extra material, new scrolls never before seen, and be fleshed out and revised. Whether or not you read “Sands of Time,” you will want to get this book. VIP members who have gained good standing on my newsletter/email list will receive some of these new writings FREE!

Anthology:  Do you love horror stories? I will be putting out a collection of short horror stories that I wrote and were published many many years ago. If you like horror and want a fun quick read, this little book will please you greatly.

BOOK THREE, Fate of the True Vampires series will be out in the spring!! It’s called Blood Moon: Diary of a Highland Massacre. It will be deep and involved! If you love vampires, Scottish hottest and a darn good, yet unique tale, this one’s for you!!


In the meantime, check out my book blog tours… giveaways galore! You can find them at www.christinechurch/net/events-tours.


Self-Publishing the Hard Way!

Written By: chriscat65 - Dec• 25•16

After 30 years as a writer, I decided to self-publish! Of course, all self-publishing sites make it seem so easy, and give the impression you’ll be a rich and famous author with all the cards in your deck in no time at all. I am laughing only because this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Oh sure, you can go to one of those companies that does it ALL for you, spend a few thousand and, Voila! you have your book, but I am poor and on disability. I had NO money at all to spend on publishing. In my quest to be a self-published novelist, I made a LOT of mistakes (including thinking it would cost nothing to get my book published). Hopefully, you won’t make the same boo boos.

Sands of Text SE

  1. Thinking I “knew it all.” No one knows it all. But, having spent so many years in traditional publishing, I was sure self-publishing would be a breeze and I would know what I was doing. Wrong! In the beginning, I didn’t even know where to go, much less what to do once I got there. Who to choose to publish your masterpiece is up to you. I eventually was led to Amazon Createspace (because I was accustomed to paperback publishing). And that led me to Kindle Direct.
  2. Formatting for self-publishing. In traditional publishing, it’s all the same; you format every manuscript you write in the same manner. All agents and editors expect your manuscript formatted in this way, whether you are printing or sending a digital copy. All of a sudden I found myself having to take my manuscripts and turn them into formatted books. This is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Back in the day when many of my manuscripts were written (but not published), it was necessary to place two spaces after every period, every sentence needed to be double spaced, using a 12 pt font of a common nature (like Times New Roman). I used Createspace’s template creator, removed the formatting, then had to copy, paste and reformat all over again. And of course I wanted it to look pretty, and professional, so I grabbed some traditionally published books by big names and learned. Again, much harder than one would imagine. E-books…fo’ge’abou’it! I could not for the longest time figure out how I was supposed to format an e-book, so I scraped up what cash I could and paid to have it done. I am finally learning, and now doing it myself, but still going about learning.
  3. Covers. This is an area where I was told over and over and over, through articles, other writers, designers and courses, get a professional! The thing is, I was creating e-book covers for authors since e-books first came out.  Thus, I have always created my own covers. Yet, still I made mistakes in this area. Fortunately, I belong to a Facebook group full of professional designers. Though some were rather cruel on some of my first mistakes, most were quite helpful, and I paid attention. Another learning curve! Now, I create covers for indie authors on tight budgets, because I know what it’s like to be poor.
  4. Editors. Editors are extremely expensive! I did this myself as well, and when people read my books, they are amazed at the lack of grammatical mistakes. Don’t be… editing is an ability with which I was born! I was always an A+ student in English. As for editing for content, beta readers love to get free advanced copies of books from authors they read. They give me feedback, catch possible plot holes and keep me on track. My feedback, reviews and track records tell me that I am pretty darn good at doing this myself, but could still use a tad bit of “an editor’s eye.” I agree. But, once again, no money=no expensive editor.
  5. Marketing! This is the BIG one!!  This is the area where I did everything wrong! I am still struggling with marketing. Of course, I thought I would get my book up on Amazon, tell a few people on social media, and Voila! Instant fame. Ummm… no! I maxed ALL of my credit cards and got nowhere. I planned to take ALL sales from my books and use it to market, all the while building my list of books. That’s not happening either. See, it’s a catch 22… if you have no money for marketing, then you can’t market. If you don’t market, you sell no books, and around and around it goes. And when LIFE interferes and suddenly you find ALL your royalties (as few as they are) need to go to an external source, rather than back into marketing, well…. Quite a dilemma occurs. So far, the only answer I have come up with is to WRITE more books, publish more and do what you can for marketing! Which, for me, is not much (even though I am on a time limit to make a LOT more money from my books before I can afford to use the excess royalties for marketing). Yeah, it’s complicated!  Ok, pay attention, because I have spent FAR more money than I have to learn this:  Book Tours are a GREAT way to get started. If you want to grab a fast audience, get yourself going on a cyber book tour with a giveaway, guest posts and GREAT descriptions of your books! The problem with tours and other such marketing ploys is they are only temporary. But, they can give you something with which to start! From there, however, you will need to learn to market SMART. This, I am still learning and will be for another post later on. HINT: Learn Facebook marketing!

Those are my 5 biggest mistakes and learns. I will elaborate more as I continue with my own lessons. If I make a faux pas, I will try to explain how you can avoid the same.

Oh…. and make sure you have a cat!! Cats are terrific muse-enhancers. Trust me! The BEST writers have cats.

Cat Digs Out of His Own Grave!

Written By: chriscat65 - Feb• 13•15

Like something out of Stephen King’s novel, Pet Sematary, Bart the cat returned five days after he was “killed” by a car and buried.



Humane Society of Tampa Bay


Around January 20th, 2015 in Tampa, FL, Bart sustained extensive injuries when hit by a car. Thinking him dead, his owner, Ellis Hutson, and a neighbor buried him in his yard. But Bart was not dead. Seriously injured, he clawed his way out of the dirt and reemerged in the yard of neighbor Dusty Albritton.

Albritton says the cat was “dead in a pool of blood and stiff.” But the Humane Society, who are experienced in seeing cats “come back” from severe trauma, explain that most likely Bart was unconscious and then awoke and climbed his way to the surface of the shallow grave, hid for a few days until hunger drove him to seek food at a familiar location; the neighbor’s home. The myth of cats having nine lives ruminated from the cat’s incredible resiliency and ability to recover from serious injury. Bart suffered head trauma, a broken jaw and will lose his left eye. But he is very much alive and was never dead. Inexperienced in detecting vital signs in an animal, Bart’s owner and neighbor erroneous made an assumption that could have caused the cat’s demise even where the car did not.

Finish reading:, for more info and photos, plus video.

Rock Stars and Their Cats

Written By: chriscat65 - Dec• 10•14

They spend the majority of their lives on the road, touring through grueling schedules, sleeping in buses and hotels, living out of suitcases. Yet, still, they find time for cats! Even rock stars, regardless of their professional reputation, have and love those masters of relaxation. And who better to need the calming benefits of a purr than those with so much stress in their every day life?

For Great Photos and Info on Rock Stars and their cats, please visit,


Rock Stars Love Cats for a great slideshow!

If you love cats, fantasy and rock music, you may just love this book…

Ten Tips to Keep Kitty Cool

Written By: chriscat65 - Jul• 04•14

Cats are actually better than dogs at adjusting their inner thermostat, but on very hot and humid days they can still become easily overheated. If your cat is outside, he or she will do little more than lie about in the shade and sleep. Indoors, your kitty will need you to keep the house regulated for optimal temperature. Many cats will go into basements and other areas that are cooler. Unlike dogs, cats don’t generally pant unless they are extremely over heated. Thus, if you see your cat panting, get her out of heat immediately. The following steps should help keep Puss comfy during the lazy hot days of summer:

  1. Make sure your cat(s) always have fresh, cool, clean water available, even if they are outdoors.
  2. Indoor cats should have access to a basement or cool darkened room if the home is not air conditioned.
  3. Don’t let your cat run around too much. Most cats won’t in hot weather, but kittens and young cats might not know better. Keep them calm.
  4. Provide dry food so they can have a nibble when needed.
  5. No special cool areas? Place ice packs under towels in your cat’s bed or create a bed using a cardboard box (cats love cardboard boxes), or use a hot water bottle with cold water for the cat to lie on. Remember to check on ice and cool water, as it will warm up quickly.
  6. Be careful not to close a cat into a hot room when going in and out of both indoor and outdoor rooms and buildings. Check before closing the door.
  7. This can’t be said enough… Do NOT leave a cat in a closed up car in hot weather, not even in the shade. People think of dogs mostly when it comes to hot cars, but if you travel with your cat, he or she will need the same consideration. Even in shade, cars become ovens within minutes on hot days.
  8. Tiles indoors can feel cool to a cat, so allow them into bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.
  9. If your cat is panting or can’t seem to find a cool location, mix rubbing alcohol and water and apply to ears and paw pads. The evaporation will cool the blood that circulates through the ears and reduce the overall body temperature.
  10. Groom your cat. Keep your cat groomed and get rid of mats! This is especially important in long haired cats. Mats will not allow the heat of the animals’ body to escape and they will overheat more quickly.

Read more….

Cat in the Book and the Birth of a Novel

Written By: chriscat65 - Mar• 22•14

If your cats are as much family to you as my cats are to me, and you’re writing a book, even a fiction novel, you can put your cats into your book as characters. Anne Rice put her dog Mojo in several of her vampire books as her character Lestat’s companion. George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) even wrote his turtles into one of his books. It’s not strange, nor is it corny. So, if you’re thinking about adding your favorite feline into a novel, go right ahead. I actually placed several of my cats, a dog who passed on and my horse into my latest novel, Beyond Every Mirror.

When I wrote the story (which began as a short story) in 1980 (yes, 1980)… I was a young teen in school. I sat in the back of the class and wrote many short stories. This one in particular, however, remained within my heart and was very special. It never left me, so 16 years later, I turned it into a novel. In the novel version, I wrote in my cat Sammy, my favorite cat at the time. I love all my cats, but sometimes one cat in particular holds a bit of a special place just above the others. For me this was my Sammy.


Sammy was the first of my own cats to put into a novel









I also placed my Doberman at the time, Dillinger. I loved horses, so I added a horse, though back then I did not own a horse yet, so I made one up. I took one of my favorite breeds, an Andalusian (black rather than the typical white), and named him Camelot.

Unfortunately, the first few drafts of my novel went nowhere and the book ended up in a drawer (so to speak). I had pitched the novel at conferences I attended in the 1990’s and early 2000’s but the cross-genre (fantasy-romance) did not yet exist, and no one was willing to put their money on a newbie author in a genre that was not there.

Finally, after quite a few years, not only did the genre finally come into the marketplace, but it was growing by leaps and bounds. It was time to “dust off” Beyond Every Mirror and do a re-write, then try again. I attended a writer’s conference and spoke with an agent and an editor, who both showed quite a bit of interest in the book. But I wanted to re-work it first. It was so old and outdated and I needed to bring up to the times.

Enter Phase Three of this book’s life. I pretty much rewrote the entire book! My writing skills had grown massively during this time and I knew what I wanted to do to change the book around. By this time, both Sammy and Dillinger had long passed on, and I wanted to put my present kitties into the book, the last Doberman I had (who was extraordinarily unique) and of course, my horse!

I placed many cats, not just one, into the book. Sammy was still there, of course, but my kitten Lucy and several of my other precious felines made their way into the pages of this novel. Though I still kept Camelot in the book, I knew by this time that keeping one horse is almost an impossibility (and to a herd animal, cruel in some ways), so I gave Camelot an elder horse friend… My elder Paint, Kobeejo!


My registered Paint horse, Kobeejo, was added to the book, as a companion to an imaginary horse that made it into the first drafts.











The book is finally complete, all animals accounted for, and I am doing a once-more read-over, then printing a B&W draft to send to friends, media and others in order to get blurbs and opinions before I send the manuscript off to the agent and editor who had asked for it originally. You can sometimes find adventures of the animals within the main character’s blog, Dane’s Dark Myst.

So, don’t be afraid to “write what you know” and add your pets to your books. It may help keep them immortalized.

LIKE the Facebook Page for this novel: Facebook

Read the Blog: Dane’s Dark Myst

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House Cat has a new Publisher

Written By: chriscat65 - Dec• 22•13

I received a letter in the mail recently stating that Howell Book House, the publishing company that bought and published my book, House Cat How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound, sold off over a thousand of their titles. They sold them to Turner Publishing Company, and House Cat was one of those books. I am not sure yet what this means for the future of the book. Amazon no longer carries the Kindle edition, so I’m not sure if it will be re-released or not. I will keep updates here.