Thursday, December 4, 2014

#AFTH2014 w/ Laura Simcox--Hells Bells and Kitty Smells! If Cats Were Romance Heroines... + giveaway

So. Today. Best Guest Post title freaking EVAH! Laura Simcox is meme-jacking Cat Thursday today with her wee herd. Laura writes one of the funnest series I picked up this year. Various States of Undress. It's about the President's daughters and oh it is a hoot! The first one..Carolina's story...she gets snowed in with her body guard at the family's mountain cabin and YUMS! it is delish! Anywho. Handing over to Laura and her brood now. Yall be sure to leave her some comment love :) ~Anna

The title of this post has little to do with the content, aside from the fact that cat litter smells like hell and cats don’t usually like to wear bells. Although bells are associated with holidays, and the holidays are here. Cats make the holidays a hell of a lot more fun. So do romance novels, which is what I’m really here to talk about. And cats, of course.

Hi. I’m Laura Simcox, and I have three cats. I also write contemporary romance novels, and I’d be thrilled for you to check out both my herd AND my books. First, I’ll introduce you to my three heroines (of the feline variety): TINY, POST and FRANNIE.

Tiny is an 18 year old calico and she’s been with me since I was young and dumb. She was rescued through a basement window in Colorado, and she’s since lived in Illinois, Mississippi, and North Carolina. She hates everyone but me, and she hisses more than she breathes. I love her dearly. If she was a romance novel character, she’d be the perfect no-nonsense aunt who slaps the crap out of the heroine and tells her to go get her man.

Post is of indeterminate age and spent the first part of her life in Japan. (Or so we were told.) We think she’s about 8, and so is her IQ. Hence her name, which is actually “Dumb as a Post but so Sweet”. I know, I know…it’s mean, but really? She can’t speak English so she doesn’t know we think she’s dumb, and it’s fun to make lame jokes about her bathroom habits, such as: making a delivery to the Post office box. If Post was in a romance novel, she would be the loyal best friend who thinks that love is all about butterfly farts. Annoying, but romantic all the same.

Frannie is five months old, has an awesome, puffy little bobtail and came to us (very sick) from a rescue shelter. She is perfectly healthy now, and is a typical kitten, aside from the fact that we’ve never heard her meow. She chirps. She’s sly, imaginative and fearless. And she chews my calves and ankles. What a great excuse not to shave my legs, am I right? If Frannie was in a romance novel, she would be the heroine, hands down. She’s a survivor. She’s gorgeous in a “You’re too awesome to hate for being beautiful” kind of way.

So why are cats important to romance?

Because of my love for the above creatures, I am surrounded by cats as I write. (Two on the desk in cat beds, one on a stack of old boxes filled with books…long story about a bookshelf that broke, you don’t want to know…) When I mutter aloud while writing scenes, the trifecta of cats doesn’t bark or drool. They stare at me like wise oracles, challenging me to find my own answers. They don’t judge. I stare back until I find my train of thought, and then type some more.

Also because of my cat fascination, I am the proud owner of all kinds of little cat statues, cat Christmas ornaments, and FOUR cat-print granny nightgowns. Before you recoil in horror at the granny gowns, don’t hate before you try. They’re the ultimate in loungewear. I love them so much, I even gave one to one of my characters: CAROLINA. She’s the heroine in book one of my VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS SERIES. She’s a daughter of the president of the United States, and she has two sisters: VIRGINIA and GEORGIA. All three women have their own stories, find true love, and do it all while being watched and judged by the paparazzi. I love them, and hope you will, too. Plus…there’s a cat! In Virginia’s story, I introduce Junior Mint, a twenty pound orphaned feline with an attitude to match his size.

Which brings my long winded point to a close: in my world, cats and romance novels just GO together. In the future, I’m going to work as many cats as possible into my stories, which I firmly believe, is just the right thing to do.

Thanks for reading about my herd—and Happy Holidays to you. When shopping turns into a heartless beast, threatening to consume your soul, just reach for a romance novel. Or a cat. Preferably? BOTH.

What happens when the president's daughter and her sexy Secret Service agent find themselves snowbound? A little cabin fever, some serious forbidden attraction, and Various States of Undress ...

When Carolina Fulton, daughter of the President of the United States, dumps her cheating fiance, she knows she needs a break from life in Washington. Spending some quality alone time in her family's Wyoming cabin seems like a perfect escape--except for the hot Secret Service agent who shadows her every move. Miles away from civilization, Carolina quickly realizes that ignoring the smoky eyes, carved chin, and mile-wide pair of shoulders is going to require more than a little self-control.

Elite agent Jake Baxter knows better than to develop feelings for his clients. After all, he's not being paid to fantasize about running his fingers through Carolina's dark hair, kissing her senseless, or waking up next to her petite, curvy body. But as a blizzard rages outside their all-too-cozy cabin, Jake knows he has to put the freeze on this attraction, in case his job--or his heart--is suddenly laid on the line.

After spending twenty years in professional theater as a costume designer, with a few of those years also spent as a college instructor, Laura abandoned the nomadic lifestyle to sit in a comfy  office chair at a second hand oak desk and write. The result? Romance novels! Her favorite thing ever since she was, oh, about twelve. She writes contemporary, light novels and enjoys creating quirky characters and funny, sexy dialogue. Still, the love story is the focus and Laura has a huge soft spot for a sappy, happy ending.

Laura lives in North Carolina with her husband (true love is real!) and her adorable, high energy five year old son who is currently obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon. And that's cool, because she trains her own little dragon every single day. For escape, she flits around on social media, so come say hi!

Find Laura Online

What are your thoughts on my long-assed post? Do tell in the comments below, which will enter you for a giveaway! TWO commenters can win: A signed, paperback copy of VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: VIRGINIA –OR- a 2015 cat calendar, snarkily personalized in Sharpie by yours truly. I’ll send wherever, worldwide. (yall don't forget the grand prize giveaway too!)

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