Today's Saturday Snippets theme is "pets". If you know me even a little bit, you'll know my cats and dogs are my babies. If you know me a lot, you'll know I'm a cat person from way back. Sometimes I think I'm part cat. :)
My kids swear our Husky speaks English. When he howls it does sound a lot like "Out". Maybe they're right. And my cat Bobby understands us and follows instructions as well as or better than any dog and he looks at me with such human eyes. I swear I think he understands everything we say.
In my Ellora's Cave romantica "Make-Believe Lover" the heroine Becca and her cat are sucked into another world. In the new world, Gizmo her cat, can talk. And boy does he ever talk! He won't shut up.
I love Gizmo. He tries to steal the show, but Becca and her hero Lobo put him in his place when he gets too far out of line.
Becca is either dreaming—or dead. She's been transported into the medieval world of her favorite adult cartoon. When her cat talks, fire-breathing dragons stalk her, and an evil king pledges his resources to see her dead, her favorite fantasy morphs into a nightmare. Worse, the hero can't wait to send her home.
Lobo is cursed. Everyone who has ever loved him has died, thus he's become a recluse. When the witch Becca and her devil cat insist on his help, he risks everything to save their separate worlds—and keep his bruised heart intact.
An Excerpt From: MAKE-BELIEVE LOVER
© Copyright ASHLEY LADD, 2006.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave, Inc.
They must have trudged five miles over the arduous hills when a thunderous sound startled her. A moment later, wide-winged dragons straddled by primitive warriors roared from behind a mountain.
Her hand trembling, she pointed at the sky even as she squatted down in self-defense. “Oh my God, Giz. Do you see what I see?”
The cat gulped and he covered his eyes with his paws. “If you see big flying dinosaurs, uh huh.”
When one of the gigantic winged creatures nose-dived not far distant, Gizmo threw himself to the ground, covered his head, and hissed, “Hit the deck and don’t make a sound.”
Way ahead of him, she flung herself to the rocky terrain.
A lyrical voice announced out of nowhere, “You have walked six point two miles, seven-thousand three-hundred, twenty-one steps.”
Cripes! Her bigmouth pedometer chose this moment to go off?
Yanking the lousy thing off her elastic waistband, she dashed it to the ground. “Thanks for nothing.” The least it could do was tell her how many calories she’d burned or sing a decent song, instead of that funky aerobic workout music.
One of the flying lizards picked that instant to spin and make eye contact. Baring its filthy, razor-sharp teeth, the beast swooped down from the air, swallowed her pedometer, and then plucked her from the ground.
The no-good gadget kept chirping from inside the monster’s belly, mocking her. At least, it had gotten its just rewards, having given away her location to the fiend.
Kicking and struggling with all her might, she screamed, “Gizmo!”
She clawed at her barbaric captor’s eyes. “Put me down!”
The armor-clad creep astride the dragon guffawed and clamped meaty vice-like hands around her wrists pinning them to her side. His malevolent beady-eyed gaze bore into her. “Keep this up, wench, and I’ll drop you here—from a thousand meters. Your pretty face will get all mangled.”
The dragon turned its reptilian face to leer and dipped its right wing so that she would have tumbled off if not for the brute’s slimy hold. Then it snorted a fireball in her direction that fried the bush a mere foot to her right.
She got the message that she was their guest—or their Bar-B-Q. “What do you want with me? I have no money. This is dollar-store jewelry, but it’s all yours.”
“You will inform the King whose army you are spying for.” He fingered her tousled hair and grunted. “What kingdom has blue-haired nymphs?”
Then he tugged at her psychedelic nurse’s tunic. “And what matter of outlandish garb is this? What form of material?”
Army? Kingdom? Nymph?
She glanced down at her hot pink, cotton-blend tunic that rained cats and dogs. Should she give him her employer’s name? In the war movies the prisoners offered their name, rank, and serial number. “I’m Rebecca Weiss, I’m an office manager for a pediatric clinic, and I’m not giving you my social security number and having you steal my identity.”
“Stay cool, Becca! We’ll get out of this.” Gizmo yelled from the back of another dragon as it pulled around them.
The man’s bushy uni-brow puckered. “You speak in strange riddles. You will be truthful with King Heinrich or you will be locked in the dungeon.”
Dungeons? Dragons? King Heinrich?
Make-Believe Lover is available at Ellora's Cave.
Here are several awesome excerpts from other authors participating in today's Saturday Snippets. Please check them out and have some fun. After this brutal week we need a little diversion.