It's no secret that I like cats [well, all the feline species] - as well as dogs, horses, and otters. So when I met a grey tomcat in a church's overgrown cemetery in the wilds of Cheshire, he was a natural to star in a story. He wasn't wearing a collar, so there was no way of knowing his name, but he immediately became Greymalkin in my head.

The thing that fascinates me most about cats is that while they are undoubtedly among the cutest, most adorable creatures, especially when young, they also possess a certain something that sets them apart. Cats have never forgotten that once they were gods, and worshipped. Nor were they always gentle gods and goddesses. The ever-useful Wikipedia lists nineteen feline deities, the most familiar these days being Sekhmet - a goddess of war, and Bast or Pasht - goddess of love and fertility, and of the hunt.

My first ideas for Greymalkin and his associated water entity Melusine, was to write a light romance whereby Melusine and her cats brought lovers together. But they had other ideas. 

Yes, two men meet and fall for each other, but Melusine has an agenda of her own and Greymalkin has a part to play. It's up to him to bring the lovers to Melusine so they can take up the roles she has planned for them.

While some of Greymalkin's adopted siblings could be put in the cute and adorable category [sorry about the pun!] they all have a second aspect, that of fearsome guardians the likes of which haven't been seen for millennia...

Buy Links

Amazon | All Romance eBooks

Competition

For a chance to win Greymalkin in either mobi, epub or PDF, comment below and I'll make the draw at 5.00 pm GMT on Monday 23 June.

Blurb for Melusine's Cats - #1 Greymalkin

The mutual attraction between Jesse and Will is a bonus for Melusine when her enemies close in and she needs to rebuild her war band—starting with Jesse, Will, and Greymalkin.

Jesse Adams is an ex-rugby player who's gone into seclusion to avoid the media following a guilty verdict in a court case. Jesse has come to live for a year in Greenlynn, where he is supposed to be writing his biography.

Will Blake is an out and proud policeman, respected and liked by the community he helps to protect from rural crime.

When the two men meet their attraction is instant, but they have no idea their love will draw them into a centuries' old conflict.

Melusine, a deity of rivers and seas, long ago lost the Battle of the Betrayal and is imprisoned in a nexus centred on the source of the Lynn River. She can only travel in the flowing water of her river, and cannot set foot on her banks. Her cats are not so bound. Neither pets nor familiars, they move freely between the realities, her agents among the humans who live along the Lynn.

When Melusine's enemies come to the valley in search of revenge, Jesse and Will discover they have a part to play in the ancient feud. Do they commit to becoming part of a mythical triad, or leave the valley and forget they ever knew that magic exists?

Excerpt:

Jesse's temporary home lay east of the church, a small cottage with long narrow gardens front and back, surrounded by a waist-high wall constructed of irregular chunks of rock. The wall separated it from the rather unkempt churchyard, and on the other side of the property, a grassy track isolated the cottage from its living neighbours. Nothing much would disturb the quiet here, Jesse reflected.

He drew into the parking bay in front of the gate, and climbed out of his Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4. He took a moment to stretch his back after long hours behind the wheel, and drew in a deep breath of clean country air. The late afternoon sun highlighted trees that showed no sign of wearing autumn colours. Seasonal scents of cut grass and wood smoke mingled with late-flowering honeysuckle. A couple of dogs barked in the distance and from somewhere came the drone of a tractor. After the hurly-burly of Warwick, it was a welcome relief.

"Yes," Jesse said aloud. "This is a good idea."

For the next half an hour he unloaded the car, unpacked his cases and put away their contents, explored the house--living room and kitchen downstairs, one bedroom and bathroom upstairs--and the large shed in the back garden. This held various garden tools, and Jesse was fired with the ambition to do some weeding and planting. After all, garden maintenance was part of the leasing conditions. A bench backed onto the shed with a small half-moon of patio in front of it, facing south. A good place to sit and view the countryside most of the day. So Jesse made himself a large mug of coffee and did just that.

Movement in the churchyard caught his eye. He strolled over to the wall and leaned his elbows on it, coffee in his hand. A large grey cat had hopped up onto a reddish gravestone and sat there, peering intently at something in the long grass, its bushy tail curled around its toes. Jesse wondered briefly how an animal of that size could perch on a narrow slab of granite, and waited for it to jump or fall off. The cat did neither. Perhaps it sensed his gaze, because it turned its head and stared right back at him. Jesse was not a devotee of felines--his pet of choice would be a large dog, a Golden Retriever, perhaps, or a Labrador--so he saluted the cat with a two-fingered V, and strolled back to the bench. By the time he sat again, the cat was on the wall. Its eyes, he noticed, were yellow as an owl's.

"Bugger off," he told it. The cat didn't even blink. What's your problem? the flat glare seemed to say.

Jesse drank the last of his coffee and returned to the kitchen. Despite Julie's survival kit and the fresh milk, eggs. butter and bread left for him in the fridge by whoever prepared the cottage for renting, he needed to stock the bare cupboards and the equally empty small freezer. On his way into Greenlynn he'd noticed an all-purpose shop cum post office. That would do for the time being, and he'd drive to the nearest supermarket when he'd settled in.

It took him all of five minutes to walk to the shop, and less than thirty seconds to be aware of the stares. There weren't many people about, but those that were seemed to pay him more attention than would usually be given to a stranger in a village. He found out why when he went inside. Immediately to his right was a rack of magazines and newspapers. His face stared out at him from the cover of the monthly Rugby Today, with one word blazoned across it, Guilty! The painful memories of the sporting papers and the field day they'd had at his expense when he'd been arrested four months ago, returned in full force. Career Over For The Bulldozer Bully! had screamed one headline. Violence Ends Career Of Gay Star! was another.

For a moment Jesse felt physically sick. He gritted his teeth and picked up a basket. He wasn't going to retreat, no matter how much he wanted to make a run for it. He ditched the vague plans he'd made to go to the pub for a drink and dinner. Instead he decided to buy a few ready-meals and a six pack, and get back to the cottage as fast as he could. Then he'd stay out of sight as much as possible. The trouble was, being six feet four inches tall and built like a brick shithouse, meant he was rather noticeable.

The middle-aged woman at the till took his cash without saying a word, but her expressionless stare radiated disapproval. Jesse was glad to escape. Returning to the cottage was like walking towards a sanctuary, and not even the grey cat sitting sentinel on the wide gate post could lessen the feeling. But the bright red words scrawled across the windscreen of his car changed that.

Go Home Fagot !!! Your Not Wanted Here!

This time anger took the place of nausea. Jesse's first impulse was to call the police. This was, after all, vandalism and a hate crime. His second was to get soap and water and clean off his car. The third impulse won out. He strode into the cottage, tore a sheet out of his A4 paper pad, and scribbled on it. Then he went back outside and stuck it under the windscreen wiper.

To whom it may concern. Please note, 'faggot' has two gs, and there should be a comma after 'Home'. 'Your' is incorrect. It should be 'You're', which is a contraction of 'You Are'. If you're going to be a homophobic vandal, at least be grammatically correct even if you don't want to be politically correct.

His fourth impulse, to pack up and go back to Warwick, didn't even get past the starting post. He was staying put. No one was going to drive him away, not even if they came banging on his front door with tar, feathers, and pitchforks.


28 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing. Please include me for a PDF format. Thank you for the giveaway.

    marsh10@netzero.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the blurb, and would definitely love to win this fascinating book. Please count me in. (Uh, today IS the 21st.)

    npat78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for pointing that out! My bad... :(

      All fixed :)

      Delete
  3. Love the blurb and excerpt, and would definitely love to win this fascinating book. Please count me in. By the way, today is the 21st.

    npat78@yahoo, com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Been watching the posts on the progress of this book. Can't wait to read it. Would love to win a copy. solariasaturn@myself.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do not enter me into this contest...
    I have read this book and found it a fantastic read. Brilliantly written, very different from anything I have read before.
    I gave it 5 huge stars. Looking forward to reading book 2 when its released :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am total intrigued by the blurb alone. I need to read this book. It's going on my wishlist now. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    jczlapin(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I definitely want to read Chris's newest book. The excerpt has whetted my appetite. Please count me in for the giveaway. ardent.ereader@gmail.com Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a solid gray cat, just like the cat on the cover. I've always been partial to "blue" cats. The story sounds wonderful! :-) aelnova@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I too love all things feline, so winning this would be perfect! Thanks for the excerpt.

    skadlec1@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please count me in I love cats they can be so sweet but then act so superior.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please count in me. I would love to read this after reading the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lincat56(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh I'm totally in! Loved the blurb and seeing as how I've done something similar with the note, I love Jesse already! :)

    luminousblade@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Please count me in. Thanks.

    Karl
    slats5663(at)shaw(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  14. This book/series sounds very different. That's good. Please count me in the contest. Thanks!
    Jill W
    jillw@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  15. Loved the post. I would enjoy this books a lot. I love cats. I do have four right now and am allergic to them. Bummer
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a great read. Thank you for the giveaway!

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  17. this sounds great!
    I'd love a mobi copy

    leetee2007@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the excerpt... I'm particularly fond of stories that use the word "bugger" it's one of my favorite expressions. Not used nearly often enough in my opinion! This sounds like and emotional rollercoaster of a story, and the cover is AWESOME! Thank you for a chance to win! :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds fabulous! I love Chris Quinton...can't wait to read it.

    morris.crissy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. This sounds great - have really enjoyed all of Chris's books I've read. Thanks for the excerpt and chance at winning a copy.
    lgrant1@san.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sounds interesting. Love that the excerpt begins with a dog person.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Very intrieging, you have me hooked with the concept and blurb. If I am so lucky Mobi please (havenfieldwood@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Claudia! Congrats, your name came out of the hat! Check your Inbox and Spam box, hon, And I hope you enjoy the book.

      Delete
  23. Goody, a new series for me to read. Sweet! Ad thanks for the chance to win.
    goaliemom0049(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. This sounds interesting, another new author for me to read. If I am lucky Mobi please.
    (demayhew65@googlemail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sounds great! I love his note to the vandal. I look forward to reading more.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you so much everyone for joining in the fun - I've made the draw and the lucky winner is.... CLAUDIA! Thanks, too, for RJ, for letting me blog and hold the giveaway on her site.

    ReplyDelete

 
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