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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Arts and Crafts with Authors: Cosplay Your Cat: Put Your Cats to Work by Carol Van Natta + giveaway

Cosplay Your Cat: Put Your Cats to Work 
By Carol Van Natta
The author, with cats 

Hello. I’m Carol Van Natta, science fiction and fantasy author.

Perhaps you are under the impression that author persons are sane, thoughtful, and dignified. We are not. We’re certifiably nuts, each in our own way.

Cats rule the internet. As it happens, they also rule my life. I write space opera and paranormal romance. My helpful cats insist that all stories are improved by the presence of cats. As a consequence, half my space opera series and three-quarters of my paranormal romance series have felines.

Since they’ve won these arguments more often than not, I figured I would put them to work, cosplaying my books. I imagined the fabulous marketing opportunities. Ice Age lions! Ice Age bears! Mythological creatures!

This went about as well as you imagine. I did mention I’m a crazy author-person, yes?

The Right Cat for the Job 
First, consider the cat. Not all are suited to the glamorous life of a model. For example, my black-and-brown-striped kitty’s nickname is Death to Toys; he destroys catnip toys in 10 seconds flat. The other striped kitty has no sense of humor.

In my house, the best cat for this insane fun adventure is the Garrulous Cat. So named because he will give you running commentary on everything the moment he sees you’re awake. He’s up for anything he thinks is a game.

Costumes for Cats
My first costume for cats was a dinosaur. Unfortunately, my crafting skills are, um, more aspirational than actual.
The author is craft-skills challenged 

On the plus side, the cat was quite willing to wear it and it fit him perfectly. On the negative side, it was too heavy. The cat fell over. 
Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! 

For my next attempt, I chose to hire a professional costume maker. Jessica at Wings, Charms, and Things made a lovely set of wing customized for a cat. 
Tailored wings for a talkative cat 

This went considerably better as far as ease of dressing and wearability.
Look! A winged cat! 

Regrettably, the model succumbed to his baser instincts and tried to savage the costume the moment my back was turned. 

Have I learned my lesson? No. I am already plotting a new costume that will involve both instigators of the more-cats-in-books campaigin. After all, turnabout is fair play.


by Carol Van Natta
May 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Chavanch Press
ISBN: 978-1946165077
ASIN: B07C7NHNGD
Number of pages: 130
Word Count: 38,000
Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey
Pregnant and running for her life, a woman must trust a sexy bear shifter to get them both to a magical sanctuary town.

A lonely bear shifter meets his mate. She’s running for her life and doesn’t have time for romance.

Pregnant Jackie Breton just escaped from a corrupt feline pack intent on selling her half-shifter baby to the highest bidder. She’s smart, independent, and has a desperate plan to keep her baby safe: Get away from the pride as fast and far as possible.

Trevor Hammond, prehistoric bear shifter, has been rejected by everyone in his life for… being born, basically. Well, except for the beloved aunt who raised him. He’s built a career as an independent trucker, but life would be much better with someone he can hold in his arms and claim as his own.

When Jackie meets Trevor at a truck stop, his bear demands he help her. His aunt even calls with a dire warning: Get Jackie to the magical sanctuary town in Wyoming before she’s killed.

Jackie thinks he’s sexy as hell, but too good to be true. She doesn’t trust shifters. With the feline pride hot on her trail, however, Trevor and the quirky town of Kotoyeesinay might be her only chance for survival. Even Trevor’s indomitable bear may be no match for the dangerous enemy seeking retribution.

Discover the secret world of magic and true mates in Shifter Mate Magic, the first book in USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Van Natta's fun, action-filled, steamy-hot Ice Age Shifters® series.
Get eBook One 
FREE at 

Excerpt
Southern Wyoming ~ Summer 1993
Jackie nodded and walked quickly, following the arrows. Luckily, she didn’t have to wait in line or share the facilities. After the blessed relief of peeing, she used soap and water from the sink to make herself look as presentable as possible under the circumstances. Her light brown skin already made her stand out, because the farther north she’d traveled, the fewer people she’d seen who looked like her. She threw the soiled paper towels in the trash and eyed herself critically in the mirror. At least now she didn’t look like a dangerous fugitive who’d escaped a violent pack of leopard shifters who wanted her back alive or dead. Despite the warmth of the restroom, she shivered.

“Get back to the plan, Jackie,” she told her mirrored self. She couldn’t afford to fall apart, or everything she was afraid of would come to pass. She bent over to drink straight from the sink’s faucet, then wiped the water off her face. She re-centered her her backpack and went out into the convenience store.

The smells of warm bread and sizzling hamburgers drew her like a lodestone toward the restaurant section, but she couldn’t afford to waste the time or the money. She sternly made herself march into the back aisle and open the refrigerator door for the lunch meats and cheeses.

She got a whiff of a tantalizing scent as she pulled her selections off the hooks. Not food, but something intensely interesting. Her sense of hearing and smell had magnified with each passing week of her pregnancy. She wished she knew if that was typical for a human woman carrying a shifter’s child but she had no one to ask. Certainly not the lying son-of-a-bitch leopard who’d gotten her pregnant, despite her precautions. She hoped he was roasting in hell, but he probably wasn’t. Justice for the privileged rich, regardless of skin color or species, had a whole different set of rules.

She let go of the refrigerator door and turned toward the scent, only to run headlong into a man who’d just turned down the aisle.

“Sorry,” she said, even as he said the same word. She regained control of her suddenly clumsy feet. She got the impression of chiseled cheekbones and a square jaw before she dropped her gaze out of habit, one learned from living with volatile shifters. His scent hit her like a freight train a moment later, all woodsy and leathery and mouth-wateringly male.

No one, not even the father of her baby, back when she’d thought she was in love with him and he with her, had ever smelled that good. She took a step back, because if she hadn’t, she’d have been tempted to stick her face in the vee of his short-sleeved T-shirt and lick.

“My fault,” he said. “Are you…” He trailed off and audibly swallowed.

She made the mistake of looking up at him and confirmed that he was the sexiest man she’d ever seen, even counting the handsome actors she’d thrilled over as a teenager. His brown skin and features spoke of an ethnic heritage something like hers, and his warm, coppery-brown eyes threatened to drown her on the spot. His wide shoulders and arms looked strong enough to protect her from anything. The few tight coils of hair on his muscled chest mirrored the close-cropped hair on his head. His low-slung jeans and boots completed the mesmerizing package.

She swallowed and took another step back, away from temptation. “I’m fine.”

Except she wasn’t. She wanted to set fire to all her plans in favor of getting to know the man standing in front of her. For his part, he looked stunned.

She shook herself. Not, not, not happening. She was a pregnant fugitive with enough secrets to write her own soap opera, and an implacable enemy on her tail. A human, no matter how tall, broad-shouldered, and sexy, was no match for a criminal cat-shifter pride with claws and teeth, and vengeance on their minds.

She clutched her meat and cheese packages to her chest and turned away, even though her now throbbing body and aching breasts begged her to get closer. She’d learned to ride out the hormonal roller coaster of being pregnant, so she could damn well ride this out, too.


Shift of Destiny (Ice Age Shifters #2)
Moira doesn’t believe in magic, despite being chased by a crazy billionaire for her supposed “gifts.” Chance, prehistoric lion shifter, believes in Moira, his true mate. He’s determined to protect her and help her find the magic in her blood. But even a top predator can’t guess the lengths to which a desperate billionaire will go to get what he wants.

Heart of a Dire Wolf (Ice Age Shifters #3)
Skyla, dire wolf shifter, and Nic, sexy tiger shifter, recognize their true mate in each other. Problem is, they’re prisoners of an underground auction. To stay together, they must escape captivity, avoid ruthless hunters, and solve the mystery of a hidden sanctuary town before greedy wizards take everything—including them.
The magical world stands on the brink of war, unless two extraordinary shifters can bridge the gulf between them. Dire wolf shifter Rayne Chekal works to take down an illegal auction house that trafficks in shifters. Arvik Inuktan, secret mythic shifter, infiltrated the auction staff with the same mission. The attraction is instant... and impossible. War is coming. When Rayne and Arvik meet on the battlefield, can they overcome their differences and work together to stop the evil, or will this war engulf the magical world?

About the Author:
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Carol Van Natta is a USA TODAY bestselling science fiction and fantasy author. Works include the award-winning Central Galactic Concordance space opera series and the Ice Age Shifters paranormal romance series. She shares her Fort Collins, CO home with a sometime mad scientist and various equally eccentric cats. If she ever gets to explore the stars or find a magical sanctuary town, she’s taking them all with her.

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