Friday, February 28, 2014

The Write Pet: Andrea R. Cooper || VIKING FIRE

How my cats helped me (or not) to write
by Andrea R. Cooper

My two black cats are brother and sister. They love my lap, and fight each other for a spot. I solved this problem by propping up my legs. One, usually the girl, will lay on my lap and her brother on my legs. During the course of the day, however, I have to get up and eat, etc. Both of them hop up with a look like “should you be pushing buttons on that machine so we can lay on you all day?”

The problem with them sleeping on me, besides numb legs, is then they are wide-awake all night. Yes, I know cats are nocturnal, but they are leaping off the walls if I sit at the computer all day. At night, they bite cables (one of my IT husband’s carnal sins), chase each other up and down the stairs, and meow at our bedroom door. Forget about them sleeping with us, tried that, they do not sleep; they walk on our faces. When my cats act like that at night, they tell me I have sat down too much that day. Therefore, the next day and most days, I take twenty minutes every hour or every other hour to play with them. This also helps me to get a little exercise—or I would be at the computer constantly unless I was sleeping.

The advantage of them sleeping on me is feeling their soft warm bodies. If I am stuck on a paragraph, I can reach down and pet their soft fur while I think. Purrs that vibrate through me knowing I am loved no matter what I write. Their presence is comforting. 

Now, since I have incorporated physical activities with my cats, they regularly remind me. Usually when I am in the midst of typing furiously. 

Reading newspapers, books, or my kindle is another story (even if it is about writing). One of them (they take turns) will rub their body between my face and the article. If I lay it down, it becomes prime real estate for them to flop down on while their tail smacks against the ground. I wonder if they are telling me to get back to the computer and do more writing? 

If only I did not need sleep. I could write all day, then play with them at night until they tuckered out, then write more. Maybe that is why they are so vocal at night? They are my muses calling me to write. After all, I have the best lap in the house (at least according to my cats). No matter if my husband or others are sitting down, they will leap off them to come to my lap when I sit. Anywhere, anytime. 

Or maybe they know when I sit down at the laptop, then I won’t move for at least an hour. And they do their duty as my muses knowing I hate to stand and wake them up when they are curled up into balls with their paws over their faces. Acting like the cat angels, I know they will not be without their interactive playtime. 

 In 856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.
Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Viking Fire Book Trailer:

Viking Fire Excerpt
Chapter One Ireland 856 CE (condensed)

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.”

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.
Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of
Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

Available for Purchase:
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Author Bio: 
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.
What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.
She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.



  1. When the weather is cold, the Salukis are happy to go out briefly then dash back inside. When it's nice they can all go out into their own yards for part of the day. When I don't know if the wind will blow tumbleweeds against the fences in mini bursts, they play in the house yard, and remind me I need to get out more myself. The cat, in the meantime, spends most of her time trying to trip me as I'm going for more water. They keep me young.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Andrea,
      It's wonderful having you participate. I owned two black cats in college and they have wonderful personalities. Their curiosity and energy always reminds me of Siamese cats. :-)

    2. My first cat was 1/2 Siamese. She was great except when I was a teen at home alone at night. She'd make noise then leap onto the bed and act like she heard it too. It took me awhile to figure out her trick ;) I still have dreams about her.

  3. Monica,
    Our pets are precious to us - even if they do try to trip us :)
    Thank you for stopping by.

  4. I always wondered how cat owners manage to sleep when their cats are roaming all night. lol Loved the excerpt. I'm buying the book for my Kindle. :)

  5. Kelley,
    Thank you! I hope you enjoy the story.

  6. I love my cats, too. I enjoyed your post.

  7. Caroline,
    Thank you. I constantly want more cats, but my husband is the only one standing between me and turning into the cat lady ;) LOL. But I am happy to have the two I do have. Thank you for coming by.

  8. I have a cat trying to block my keyboard as I type. Gotta love em. The other cat is awesome at bed time as he will lay across my like a warm rag doll and soothes me to sleep. Unfortunately, if this cat stays here much longer, I won't be able to go through the rest of my e-mails and such since cats on my lap have this tendency to put me to sleep.
    BTW, I love viking lore and am getting ready to add your book to my "to read" list.

  9. Laura,
    Thank you for adding Viking Fire to your TBR list :) My first cat slept with me. I loved it. When I tried it with these two ... needless to say no one got any sleep. I wonder if there is a cat-trainer for that? LOL

  10. I loved your post about your cats. Love comes in many sizes! Your story sounds very good. Good luck with it.

    1. Illona,
      Thank you! Love does come in many sizes and unexpectedly sometimes. Glad you came by.