Heather Sharpe lives on 6 acres in Central Kansas with her husband, perfect baby boy, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. In case the house isn’t full enough, it also includes four noisy dogs, one cat who inspired Purr-fect Love and another who torments him, and a lizard. At night, all of them think they need room on the bed (except the lizard, thankfully).
Up until the birth of her son, Heather taught elementary school. Now she chases around her toddler and writes whenever he naps long enough to turn on the laptop. When not writing or chasing the baby, Heather enjoys hanging at the lake, waking up early to tear up the water on the wakeboard or wakesurf board.
- What inspired you to write your current novel?
Purr-fect Love is very special to me, because it was inspired by a black and white cat we adopted from the animal shelter. The cat was so quirky, we often joked that he was like a man from pre-plumbing days trapped in a cat’s body. All of Pita’s idiosyncracies—like sweeping a surface before he can lay down—are based on Marbles. I am thrilled with the new cover, because the picture looks almost exactly like my cat!
- What do you think reader will enjoy most about your novel?
I hope the humor. Marbles cracks me up, and I really wanted this story to make the reader laugh as they share Mahri and Morgan’s story. Seriously, if you don’t at least smile at the image of a girl sleeping with a water gun to shoot her pesky feline (another kernel of fact hidden in the pages), then I don’t think this is the story for you. J
- Did you use a critique partner or group to help with revisions and editing?
I had a fabulous critique partner, and although she only helped me with the first half of the story, she was pivotal in giving me the courage to pursue publication. Sheri Fredricks not only helped me make Purr-fect Love perfect, but she also helped me come up with the title when Etopia Press decided it’s previous title needed a little upgrade!
- What was the hardest part about writing this novel?
LOL, keeping it short and concise! Marbles was my inspiration, and I’ve had him for eight years. I have so many escapades, I could have written several novels completely on his adventures. I wrote it originally to enter in a contest, and they had a 25,000 word limit, so I had to choose my favorite quirks.
- Writing is hard where do you find support to keep going when things get tough?
My husband is a writer as well (he had to find something to do while I typed the evening away, lol!) and he helps me stay motivated. Also, my critique partner, Sheri Fredricks is an inspiration. She is an amazing writer, and working on her third full-length novel now.
- What piece of advice would you give a new author?
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! And find a group of people you can connect with in your genre to support you in ups and downs, and to look over your work and give honest feedback.
- Is being an author your primary career?
It is now, right after “Mommy”. I used to teach elementary, but now I am blessed to be able to stay home and play with my toddler every day, squeezing writing time in during naps and after bed.
- What is the strangest thing currently housed in your refrigerator?
Mealworms. We have a leopard gecko that has lived WAY longer than we expected (she’s going on 18 years now), and we keep her worms in the door of the refrigerator.
With time running out, there’s no pussyfooting around…
After her fiancé’s last betrayal, Mahri Lassler decides she’d rather become a crazy cat lady than live with another man. Yet when her sister drags her to the animal shelter to make that dream a reality, Mahri just isn’t ready to commit. Not even to a litter of cuddly kittens. But when an odd black and white tomcat reaches through the bars, it’s almost as if he’s choosing her…
Cursed by a scorned lover for all eternity, Scottish clansman Morgan Felix resigns himself to living eleven months each year as a cat. Now, nearly a millennium later, he’s trapped in a cage at the animal shelter with no hope in sight. He has to escape before the first day of spring, when he’ll change back into his human form and find himself in a very tight squeeze. So when the pixie-like woman stops just outside the cage, he takes the situation into his own paws and reaches out to touch her hand…
A short excerpt
Mahri rubbed at her arms, smoothing away the goose bumps that sprouted each time the orange tom cried. Resolutely focusing her gaze on Kash’s back, she was halfway down the aisle when her jacket snagged on a door latch.
No, not the latch. A huge black cat had stretched out one long leg and snagged the jacket she’d thrown over her arm. Gingerly, she unhooked his paw, but before she could move out of reach, the cat snagged her jacket again.
“Mrrrrw.” Somehow, the sound curled up at the end, like a wordless expression of curiosity.
Mahri paused, leaving his claw snagged in her jacket. She traced two fingers down his arm gently, marveling at the silkiness of the dark fur. At the beginning of the next caress, he leaned his face closer to the cage door, sniffing inquisitively at her fingers. This time, she reached between the bars and rubbed short strokes across his forehead between his pointed black ears. Eyes squeezed shut, he pushed back ever so slightly against the touch. He didn’t purr, but he didn’t need to. His pleasure was obvious in the way he cuddled against her fingers.
“Mahri, come on. The kittens are down here. I think you should take the whole litter; there’re only five.”
Regretfully, Mahri stroked her fingers down the black’s nose. She turned, but stopped when he grabbed her hand lightly with his paw, not scratching her with his claws but snagging firmly enough that his intent was obvious.
“I think I changed my mind,” Mahri blurted.
“You do want the whole litter? Excellent. Let’s go then. Once you see these little balls of fluff, you’ll be over Corbin in no time.” Her sister’s voice was brusque, as though all was a done deal.
“No, Lame-o, I don’t think I want a kitten.”
“Tough, sista. We trudged in here, and you aren’t leaving without at least one warm body to keep you company through your spinster years.” Kash turned, placing her hands on her narrow waist, obviously winding up for a full-blown rant.
Mahri cut in quickly, hoping to prevent the impending storm. “No, I think I want this guy instead.”
Finding Flight – Etopia Press
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