Book Name: Behind the Eight Ball
Series: Fur, Fangs, and Felines
Can be read as a standalone, but book one does give information about one of the MCs.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Release Date: October 30, 2015
Pages or Words: 76,000 words Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance
A cool morning, a yard full of birds, and a kitty on a mission. What more could a werecat want? Beta Heller Wirth has it all, except a mate—a shifter mate, that is. The last thing he wants is one of those dangerous humans who kill without remorse. Heller knows about that firsthand. So what does the goddess Bast do? She gives Heller exactly what he does not want—a human: business owner Lawson Dupre. Lawson hasn’t a clue what just happened in his car detail shop. One minute a cute client is about to pass out, then he perks up and starts flirting. Next thing, he runs out the door like the hounds of hell are after him. Learning that Heller is a werecat doesn’t freak out Lawson. He happens to be one of those rare humans who knows paranormals exists. He even lives with one. Watch the fur fly as Heller and Lawson battle hurt feelings, misguided beliefs, and a power shift in Heller’s clowder.
The rustling of dead leaves caught my attention, and I froze with one paw still in the air. Not moving and barely daring to breathe, I waited. My whiskers twitched as a cool October breeze disturbed the scent of decaying leaves and rich soil. The foliage trembled again as something rooted around.
I slowly lowered my paw. The disturbance wasn’t very noticeable except to my predatory gaze. The movement continued. Gradually, bit by bit, I crept forward, making sure my long fur didn’t disturb the surrounding mounds of dying leaves. It was times like these I wished my coat were short like Dolf’s. One thing was for sure—whatever was below those leaves was going to be mine shortly. All I needed was to cover a little more distance and I’d be close enough.
Heart thumping, I watched as the movement continued. My muscles tightened and my bottom started wiggling. Unable to wait, I sprang forward, claws extended. Leaves flew into the air as I landed on my target. Bugs scattered. Eyes narrowed, I searched for…. There! There was the little bugger. I growled at the big black beetle and trapped it with my paw.
Seconds passed. The bug wiggled under my paw, tickling me. Hunched down, I carefully lifted my paw and peeked. Dammit, can’t see. Unable to get a good look, I lifted my paw a little higher… and there it went, scuttling across the ground. Gleefully I slammed a paw down, trying to trap it. Slap. Slap. Slap. Arrgh! What’s the deal? I keep missing.
Looked like I’d found myself in a game of whack-a-mole, except with a beetle. And off we went. The bug scurried away with me hot on its trail. Every time I thought I had a paw on it, I ended up missing. Stupid critter was fast. I bounded along behind as it raced across the ground. Then it suddenly cut back and ran straight under me.
Surprised, I leaped in the air, all four paws coming off the ground. Whoa! Zigged when I should have zagged. I landed and nonchalantly licked a paw. Hope no one saw that. I had to give the bug credit. That was a smart move. The shrill cry of a mockingbird caught my attention. I lifted my head, searching for the little tattletale.
Up in a tree it sat, its warning cries echoing around the yard. I eyed the tree. Hmm, I could climb it, but the stupid bird will probably just take off. Still, might be fun. Maybe after I finished playing with the bug… and damn. The bug.
My attention returned to where it had been, my tail slashing. Great. Lost it. Stupid bird. I sat up and threw a glare over my shoulder at the bird. Standing, I turned my back to the little menace, tail held high. That’s what I think of you, buddy. I prowled around for a while, sniffing, enjoying the coolness of the morning.
In the early morning sunlight, the dew on the grass sparkled like diamonds. Maybe it was pretty, but the stuff was also cold and wet against my paws. I was glad for my fur. As I wandered back toward the house, my stomach growled. I was hungry and… I sniffed. Oh, was that a blue jay I smelled? Oh, oh, a blue jay. Yum.
The human side of me groaned, but the kitty part wanted to jump with joy. The noisy little shits were actually quite intelligent. Catching one was always a feat. Quick as I could, I hid in the bright fall foliage by the back porch. I stayed very, very still so the stupid bird three feet from me didn’t fly off in a panic.
I licked my lips, my whiskers twitching as I watched the little rascal across from me raise its head. Shit, shit, shit. What caught its attention? Come on already. It’s all fine, nothing to worry about here. No cat hanging around. Just go back to pecking around on the ground. Everything’s good. See? I’m not moving, not even breathing.
Crouched low, I waited while my breakfast relaxed and returned to looking for acorns. Other birds came and went, but I refused to get distracted. I knew the one I wanted. Inch by agonizing inch, I crept closer to my prey. My mouth watered and my heart thumped.
The chatter of the birds around me was easy and relaxed, no distress calls sounding. That’s right. Just keep on eating. Soon I’m going to be eating you. My body tensed, back legs ready to spring me into action….
And the phone in the house rang.
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
First off, this is a book dedicated to cat lovers. I. Am. Not. I am a confirmed doggy person but okay, I do appreciate the cuteness of kittens and the fierceness of the big cats. House cats, nah, not so much.
If you checked to read the excerpt above, it is quite silly of me not to love this story from the get go. This is a story that, from the first few words, drew me into the life of a cat. The words have a cadence to them that sets the beat of this story making it one of the more visual reads I have encountered.
I cannot say this is a cute little read for this is quite a lengthy story. But I must say it is a cute little read because the catness of Heller is amazingly written by M.A. Church. This is an author who obviously observed the little wonders and got into their minds. I swear, I could imagine the cat speaking and thinking in their sweet, fierce little bird brains. **facepalm** sorry!
But as a human? Heller is... well, Heller. He's really nicer as a cat, let's leave it at that. See that cover? Yes. Exactly that.
Then there's Lawson. A human. Heller's mate.
Note: Heller hates humans. End note.
The hate Heller has for humans is the driving force of the angst here. He is unwilling to accept his mate is human. Lawson does not understand why Heller holds such hatred for his species and turn his back on him. The communication gap is a mile wide and with it, the plot gets complicated. The push and pull between them was amusing at times but frustrating in others. When they finally get to accept each other, there was a huge sigh of relief coming from me. But... the way this story ends. I am not sure if this is an HEA. I would most definitely categorize this as a hesitant HFN. You need to read to find out why.
Now, this is book two of the series. I have read book one but there is really no need to for the back story is enough to get by. However, the presence of Kirk, Dolf and Tal from Trouble Comes in Threes can jar the focus of the reader if they had not read that first book. Their presence is key to what is coming next.
For those who wonder at the title, well, it really is a situation where one is Behind the Eight Ball.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing M.A. Church author of Behind the Eight Ball. Hi Michelle, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Tell us your favorite blogs and why (give links if you’d like).
*Brilliant Disguise - Tali Spencer is a very dear friend of mine. I met her in the very beginning of my writing career at a free website, and she’s been a steady influence ever since. She’s the one who gets to listen to me rant and rave when I need to. But, she’s also the one who gets to listen to me jump up and down for joy, lol. She posts blog stories that I dearly love and is a beta for me. I sincerely wished we lived close enough to visit. She’s become a very integral part of my life.
*Cia’s Stories - I’m a big fan of Alicia Nordwell’s. The reason I check her blog so often is because she does blog stories. She has one right now that’s simply fascinating. *grin* She’s also an awesome beta (tough as nails) and a good friend who has helped me with self-publishing. She writes a lot of paranormal and sci-fi, which I’m a fan of.
*Loving Without Limits - This is Lexi Anders blog, and yes, I’ve been a fan ever since I read Alpha Trine and Striker. Lexi has this thing she does on her blog where she talks about books she’s reading. Through her I have found several good books and new authors. I love her sci-fi stuff.
*Mann Ramblings blog - He’s a fairly new writer in terms of being published, but he’s been writing at GA (Gay Authors) for quite some time. I’m a huge fan too. He’s also one of my betas, and a big help with certain aspects of writing M/M. He has a really great sci-fi novel he just put out.
*Bailey’s Playroom - Bailey Bradford’s blog is another one I frequent. She also puts up a blog story, and seeing how I love her writing, I can’t stay away. She’s also a really nice person who I enjoy speaking with. She does a lot of paranormal, which is something I read a lot of.
*The Fictional Life of Cari Z - I had actually read some of Cari’s work on a free website a long time ago, but I didn’t make the connection until I started writing professionally. She’s another one who puts up a blog story. She writes sci-fi, which I really love. (See a pattern here, lol?)
*Rob Colton - Rob’s another author I met at that free website. He started posting there about the same time I did. He also posts a blog story at his site, and I’m a huge fan of his. Have been since I read him all those years ago. Rob also writes science fiction and paranormal.
Goodness, I also spend a lot of time at Kim Dare’s, LM Somerton’s, Jon Keys, KA Merikan’s… and I’m sure I could mention easily a dozen more, lol.
Meet the author:
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.
She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013 and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Church/173797619379487
Other: Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007A8JA4C
Other: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5141393.M_A_Church
Tour Dates & Stops:
16-Oct: Full Moon Dreaming
23-Oct: Jessie G. Books
27-Oct: The Jena Wade
Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of 'Behind the Eight Ball'