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Murder Most Yowl by Quinn Dressler

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Hi, everyone. My name is Quinn Dressler and I’d like to thank Divine Magazine for inviting me to talk about my new book Murder Most Yowl.

Ever since I can remember I loved thinking about romantic guys. Of course, when I was growing up such stories were hard to be found in suburban Seattle, so I conjured up my own while walking home from school.

I’d eagerly watch TV shows that starred two good looking men, and imagine what it was like if they both came together, instead of dating whatever woman came across the screen. I didn’t know it, but I was writing fan fiction before I even knew what fan fiction was.

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I discovered that I wasn’t alone in thinking up such stories at a Star Trek convention in Glendale in the 90s. There a friend pointed to a stack of mimeographed documents and introduced me to the concept of a fan zine, as they were called in pre-internet days. Even more exciting was when she whispered the word slash into my ear. Slash became slang for male romance when it appeared at the top of intimate stories featuring Kirk and Spock, or the K/S pairing.

That was the moment I discovered I wasn’t alone and that others enjoyed the same type of fiction I did. Stories with action, adventure, love and bliss.

While I like to put my characters through the ringer, at the end I like a happy ending. There’s too much unhappiness in the real world, so when I delve into fiction I like to know that my characters will find joy in their lives… eventually.

In Murder Most Yowl Cameron Sherwood is living his dream. Having left his career in law enforcement and come out of the closet, Cam now spends his time doing what he loves, catering to cats. But when a friend is murdered Cam finds that he is unable to turn his back on the investigation. He must try to help find his friend’s killer. Along the way, he deals with a kleptomaniac cat, bumps heads with, then later falls for a sexy sheriff, while fending off attacks from the Russian mob.

Take a look:

I launched myself through the air, aiming to clear the top of the granite by six inches. A gunshot crackled overhead. Followed by another and another. A bullet gouged a rut through the top of the boulder, coating my head in a shower of granite dust. I hit the ground behind the rock, rolling out my landing. Jake touched down next to me with a thud. He got to his knees, poking his gun over the top of the boulder to return fire.

“Can you call for help?” he shouted at me over the noise.

“No can do,” I yelled back. “No cell service out here, remember?”

“Great.”

We both looked at his cruiser with its nifty two-way radio. Only a few yards away, yet totally inaccessible. We wouldn’t live long enough to get back to the car.

“What do you think the guy’s carrying?” Jake asked me.

I couldn’t see the weapon, but I could hear it. When I joined NCIS I trained at the FBI center at Quantico for a month. I’d learned to identify a gun by the sound it made when fired. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the ricochet.

“It’s a pp-28. A favorite of Russian gangsters. Semiautomatic. Fires a hundred rounds a minute.”

“That’s encouraging.” Jake popped off another shot. “Sounds like Yuri’s come to play.”

“He must have followed us up here. Hoping for a chance to finish us off.”

Jake checked his clip, grimaced, and then rammed it back home. “Lapin,” he shouted. “This is Sheriff Jake O’Neill. I’ve called for backup. Give up now and I’ll let you go on breathing.”

Bullets raked the boulder. Jake crouched back down next to me.

“Nice try,” I told him.

“I’ve got five more rounds. We’re outgunned a thousand to one. We need a plan before I run out of ammo.”

“No pressure.”

“Where the hell is Douglass?” Jake asked. “Why isn’t he joining in on our firefight?”

“He couldn’t sleep through all this noise. He’s probably gone to town for supplies.”

“Wonderful.”

It didn’t matter where Douglass was—help wasn’t coming. A thought crossed my mind, one I didn’t care for much. I eyed the distance between our boulder and the cabin door.

“Do you think Douglass has weapons inside?”

“He’s a detective who owns a hunting cabin. I’d say the odds are pretty good….” Jake’s eyes widened. “Forget it. You won’t get five feet before you’re gunned down.”

“What choice do we have? If we sit here, we’re dead anyway. I have to try.”

I got my feet under me, ready for the sprint of my life, but Jake grabbed my arm.

“Wait. I’ll find you an edge.” He took his phone out of his pocket.

“What are you doing? We can’t get cell service out here.”

“I’m not making a call.”

He thumbed on the video camera, and then pushed the phone up just enough to clear the rock. Jake tilted the phone left and right, then hauled it down to safety.

More gunfire burst over our heads, but we ignored it, looking at the video. I saw several trees, then caught the flicker of… something moving directly across from us. I froze the shot and zoomed in. The muzzle of a black machine gun poked out between the branches of a fireweed bush.

“There he is.”

“Yuri just made a big mistake.” Jake tapped the top of the picture. “He’s kneeling under a pine tree, and look at this branch. It’s broken. You can see the crack in the wood.”

“Think you can sever it with a couple of well-placed shots?”

“If I’m lucky.” Jake flashed me a grin. “It’s our best chance.”

“Our only chance.”

Fifteen feet between me and the front of the house. I’d cover the ground in a few seconds, but then what? The front door was closed. If the branch didn’t take Yuri out, I’d be a sitting duck trying to get it open. I’d better aim for the front window. Crashing through glass was better than bullets in my back.

“I’m ready.”

“Wait.” Jake grabbed my jacket, yanked me forward, and kissed me, hard. Then he held me tight before reluctantly pulling away. “You stay alive; you hear me? I haven’t gotten to know that cat of yours yet.”

“You don’t spoil your dog’s enough,” I countered. “I need to give you lessons.” I kissed him again, hoping it wasn’t the last time, then resumed my position at the boulder’s edge. “Ready?” I asked.

Jake caressed the muzzle of his pistol. “As much as I’ll ever be.”

“Okay, then… go!”

And you can find more Yowl at Amazon starting June 29th.

Until we chat again.

Quinn


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Murder Most Yowl by Quinn Dressler

Blurb

Cat-sitting is a dangerous business.

Cameron Sherwood turned his back on law enforcement the night his investigation led to the death of an innocent gay man. Now Cam spends his time running a business that caters to his favorite animal, cats. But when Cam stumbles upon the body of a friend while feeding her feline, he can’t walk away. Dealing with a sexy yet stubborn sheriff, a matchmaking sister, and a terrifying blind date, Cam must somehow track down a killer, all while keeping the cats around him fed with his gourmet cat treats.


Excerpt

(Rated G: 799 Words)

As I stepped into the living room, the small of my back itched. My hand whirled around my side, reaching for the Glock 23 that no longer nestled between my belt and my skin.

This was ridiculous.

I hadn’t carried a gun for three years, not since I handed my boss a paper that clearly stated, right under the NCIS logo, that Cameron Sherwood was no longer available to do his dirty work. I no longer faced armed terrorists or drug dealers with alarming frequency. These days the worst adversary I came across was a puffed-up cat sporting unsheathed claws.

So why did I reach for a nonexistent gun?

Everything looked normal. Fran Welch always kept her living room in pristine shape. I didn’t care for her color scheme. White furniture on top of a cream carpet was a little too sterile for me, but she didn’t pay me to criticize her taste.

She did, however, pay me to take care of her cat while she was gone. Speaking of Mr. Muffin Tops….

“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” I jiggled the plastic bag up and down. “I have your favorite treats.”

Nothing.

Where was that cat? Usually I only had to shake the bag once. The spoiled boy would appear out of nowhere, twining himself between my legs. Then he’d open his mouth, ready to accept any morsel of tuna, sautéed in salmon oil, which happened to drop his way.

Not today.

A breeze whipped through the open door, causing the drapes to flutter. The rest of the room was dead still.

“Here, Mr. Muffin Tops. Come on, boy.”

Nothing.

Ms. Welch trusted me to care for her baby while she was in New York. I had to find him.

I shut the front door, then moved farther into the house. I kept an eye on my feet, not wanting to step on anything important. A habit I picked up years ago while walking through crime scenes.

Crime scene?

Why was I being so cautious? So a cat didn’t come when I called. That didn’t mean I was walking into trouble. The small of my back needed to get with the program.

I scratched my back, then made myself walk like a normal person, not caring what I stepped on. Ms. Welch might have shut the cat up in the kitchen when she left this morning, although she never had before.

When I stepped into the hall, the itch intensified into a full-fledged hackle. There on the left, the den door hung open, a sure sign that something was wrong.

Ms. Welch’s den was her workroom, the place where she planned her fabulous parties, and like any work area, it was a mess. She left the door open once and I accidently got a look inside. We were both mortified, and immediately pretended that it never happened. Ms. Welch’s home was her showcase. She never wanted visitors to see anything as ordinary as a pile of papers on the desk. She certainly wouldn’t leave on a trip without pulling that door closed.

Back in stealth mode—I couldn’t help myself—I tiptoed toward the den. Now I really missed my Glock. I searched the hallway for another weapon. An oil painting of a ship sailing through a hurricane hung on the opposite wall. Such a small ship was doomed to be swamped by the intense waves surrounding it. I hoped I wasn’t about to suffer the same fate.

I bunched my fingers into a fist and looked through the open doorway. My caution was justified. The den was a disaster.

Ripped from their shelves, dozens of Ms. Welch’s books littered the floor. Scattered papers covered every surface of the room, and the drawers of the filing cabinet hung open and empty. A broken vase lay next to a smashed computer monitor, the desktop covered with fragments of glass and pottery. Someone had torn a photograph of Ms. Welch into pieces. She smiled at me from one large fragment, her heart-shaped pendant around her neck.

A quiet yowl came from the right. I risked a step inside. A huddled mass of fur lay on the rug under the window.

“Mr. Muffin Tops!”

His legs twitched as he tossed from side to side, like he was groggy and trying to clear his thoughts. Blood pooled on top of his head, coating the orange fur between his ears with red.

“Oh, God.”

I had to get him to a vet. Forgetting about being careful, I crossed in front of the desk, then stopped cold.

Ms. Welch lay on the floor, between the workspace and the cat. Her skirt hiked up, revealing far too much of her leg, her blood seeping into the beige carpet.

Blood from a very big hole in her chest.


Review by Debbie Attenborough

Cameron walked away from his career at NCIS, and from his father when he came out. He moved away and opened a shop for all things cat. A murder at a cat sitting job puts Cameron firmly in Sheriff Jake’s sights.

For a crime/thriller, I found this rather cute, really cute. And murder mysteries shouldn’t be cute, but I did love that this one was!

I didn’t get whodunnit before it was revealed in the book, and I was a little off with my theories. But that’s fab because I love being proved wrong as much as I do being proved right.

The plot itself moves at a fair and even pace, but I found the romance moved a little too fast, for me anyway.

The romance is, speed aside, very well written. Cameron is a cat man and Jake a dog man. The thoughts that Cameron has of merging the two families come hard and they come fast and they come powerful. Not overly explicit, but sexy enough.

I loved the part that the sister of each man played bringing them together, getting them on a blind date. Although we didn’t meet Jake’s sister. Had the murder not happened, they still would have met.

Fairly easy read, some 130 pages, not too taxing on the brain, even if I didn’t get whodunnit. But it is single person POV, Cameron only gets a say, and ya’ll know how I feel about those.

Star rating: ★★★★


Bio:

Quinn’s always been thinking up stories. A shy kid, she conjured up adventures while walking home from school. At first she only kept her tales to herself, then she shared them through fan fiction and short stories. She got a job with local TV stations, passing on noteworthy events to viewers on the evening news, winning a Golden Mic and three Emmy awards. Now as long as her cats don’t help her by walking on her keyboard, she’s working on writing more stories so everyone can enjoy them.

Find Quinn at:

Blog: https://quinndressler.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012216971417

Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/quinn-dressler

Twitter: @dressler_quinn

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14222368.Quinn_Dressler

Email: quinndressler@gmail.com


Published Works:

Murder Most Yowl

Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: June 29, 2016

Cover Artist: AngstyG

Buy Murder Most Yowl here:

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Most-Yowl-Quinn-Dressler-ebook/dp/B01GT5XGZA

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/murder-most-yowl-by-quinn-dressler-7201-b

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https://www.amazon.com/Bare-Studs-Jess-Roth-ebook/dp/B014U6CX22

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http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6850

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