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Month of Love Guest Blog & Giveaway: Why T.S. Eliot and Hemingway Had Cats by Laura Lee Guhrke

Submitted by on February 10, 2011 – 6:44 amOne Comment
*Giveaway Now Closed*

Everyone please welcome historical romance author, Laura Lee Guhrke to Paperback Dolls! Laura has just released the second in her Abandoned at the Alter series, SCANDAL OF THE YEAR, which Noa and I just so happened to adore! To see our full thoughts on Abandoned at the Alter, check back later today when we will review WEDDING OF THE SEASON and SCANDAL OF THE YEAR!

This is Sushi, my cat. I decided to write about her because cats are like that. It’s all about them. I never knew this because I was not a cat person. When I was growing up, my family always had dogs. We were Dog People. I own a Golden Retriever, and I thought I was a dog person, too.

But then, one day late last year, this starving, shivering little gray tabby wandered into my yard, matted, dirty, and adorable. She crawled out from under a bush (literally) and, too weak to meow, she whispered, “I am cute and very cold. You will take me in, and feed me, and come to worship me.” Hundreds of dollars in shots, spaying, etc. later, I became a cat person. I don’t know how or why it happened, but it did, and my life at the keyboard has not been the same since.

Like many of Hemingway’s cats, Sushi is polydactyl, which means she has extra toes to go with her mega-huge attitude. Her other name is Little Miss Mitten Feet, and she is, quite obviously, the cutest cat in the entire world. I know, I know, if you have a cat, you think yours is the cutest cat, too. But again, cats are like that. They make us worship them. Barney, our Golden Retriever, is just as bad as the rest of us. He worships Sushi, too. How a nine-pound cat has managed to enslave the hearts of two adults and an 80 pound dog is the eternal feline mystery.

At the time my boyfriend and I adopted Sushi, I didn’t realize what an inspiration a cat can be to a writer, but they are. I don’t know why. They walk across the computer keyboard, sleep on top of your manuscript, and crawl behind your monitor to peek at you over the top. It’s very distracting. They crawl under your desk to play with the wires until your computer disconnects (which is my auto backup is now set at every 30 seconds). They are a pain in the butt, and it’s completely illogical why any author would have one, except that there’s something about petting a cat while staring at the screen that makes words happen. It’s magical and kind of spooky, and I’m convinced it’s the reason famous authors like T.S. Eliot, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway had cats. Because, here I sit, writing a blog that has nothing to do with my two new releases, Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year. Instead, I’m writing about the cat in my lap, who is purring loud enough to wake the dead and leaving cat hair all over me. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How about you? Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or maybe you’re enslaved by the mysterious gaze of a python? Whatever pet you prefer, tell us about your favorite pets, and you could win a complete set of my Girl-Bachelor books. I promise I won’t be biased toward those of you who have cats when I pick a winner, but don’t tell Sushi I said that. She runs things around here.


Like Laura said, she’s givingaway a COMPLETE SET of her GIRL-BACHELOR series to ONE lucky US commenter and all you have to do is answer the question from her post!

Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London’s readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she’s in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city’s leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he’s her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can’t believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it’s time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren’t proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more…

Once upon a time, there was a seamstress named Prudence who lived in a lodging house, worked very hard, and dreamed of a better life. Then she inherited a fortune, met a handsome duke, and fell in love. Her life was wonderful, and it seemed as if she was destined to live happily ever after.

Then she found out money can’t buy happiness, handsome dukes can also be wicked, lying scoundrels, and a broken heart hurts like hell. Will Prudence ever find true love and happiness? Will the wicked duke mend his ways? Will she take him back or kick him to the curb?

Once Upon a Time…

Maria Martingale was going to elope. But Phillip Hawthorne, Marquess of Kayne, put a stop to those plans when he learned his younger brother intended to marry a cook’s daughter. Now twelve years later, Maria discovers that the man who holds her fate in his hands is none other than the haughty gentleman who sent her packing – and he’s as handsome and arrogant as ever.

Happily Ever After?

Always the proper gentleman, Phillip will do anything to protect his family from scandal, and when Maria dares to move in right next door, he knows scandal will surely follow. She is as tempting as he remembered… and the more he sees her, the harder it is for Phillip to hide his own secret desire for her…

A thoroughly modern woman…

Daisy Merrick has to earn her living, but she keeps getting the sack. When her rash tongue costs her yet another job, the feisty, outspoken girl-bachelor is undaunted, and she comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There’s only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she’s ever met.

A most notorious man…

Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England’s most famous author, but when writer’s block steals his creativity, Sebastian becomes more well-known for his notorious reputation than his work. When Daisy arrives on his doorstep, hired by his publisher to help him write his next book, Sebastian has no intention of cooperating. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and when collaboration forces them together at his country home, Sebastian knows he has only one way out. Seduction.

More ways to win:

+1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your comment.

Giveaway ends March 7th and the winner will be chosen by on March 8th. We ask the winners to post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out. Also, we will try to contact the winners, but we ask that you check back to see if you’ve won.

From the publication of her very first historical romance, Laura Lee Guhrke has received numerous honors and critical acclaim for her novels and her writing style. She has been honored with the most prestigious award of romance fiction, the Romance Writers of America Rita Award, and she has received additional awards from Romantic Times and All About Romance. Romantic Times has proclaimed her, “One of the most natural voices in historical romance to be found today”. Her books routinely hit the USA Today Bestseller List, and Guilty Pleasures has been honored with the Romantic Times Award for Best European Historical Romance of 2004. Among her publishing credits are twelve historical romances, including her latest, And Then He Kissed Her, now available from Avon Books.

Laura is currently hard at work on her thirteenth historical romance for Avon Books. She has also written articles for various publications, including the Romance Writers Report, The British Weekly , and the Irish-American Press.

Find Laura Lee Guhrke:
Website | Blog |  
Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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One Comment »

  • Margay said…

    I love animals, period, but I love cats. I’ve always had cats throughout the years. Presently, I have two black cats who are sisters and they really keep things interesting around here!
    February 10, 2011 6:34 AM
    debbie said…

    I have rescued abused and neglected animals for years. My two favorites were a pair of kittens I rescued from a litter when they were 2 weeks old, angelica and patty. Angelica was a very special cat. My son had a stroke at birth, and was severely speech and language impaired. He would get very frustrated because he couldn’t communicate well. When he would have a meltdown, angelica would get on his chest and not leave until he would say,”I am okay,angelica”. It was very hard, but it taught him how to calm down. One day he decided to see what would happen if he pretended to get upset for attention. She promptly got up on him as usual, and firmly bit him on the bridge of the nose. The look on his face was priceless. All I could do was to tell him she knew you were faking. He never did that again. Angelica was a very special cat, she passed away a few years ago. I still have patty, she has plenty of her own stories.

    February 10, 2011 6:54 AM
    Robin K said…

    I am a cat person. I love dogs, especially huskies, but I suck at owning them. Perhaps I will get one if we ever move to a big ranch in the country with a giant fence, and a doggie maid :)

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
    February 10, 2011 7:12 AM
    Laura Lee Guhrke said…

    Morning, everyone!

    Margay, what are the names of your cats?

    Debbie, Angelica sounds like she was a very special cat. I have learned, as a new cat person, that cats find us, not the other way around.

    And Robin K., I’d LOVE a doggie maid. I have a Golden Retriever, and it’s a good thing I also have a Dyson vacuum!
    February 10, 2011 7:33 AM
    Margay said…

    Lily and Coco and they are beautiful black cats whose mother was a gray tiger cat and the father was black Siamese.
    February 10, 2011 7:35 AM
    June M. said…

    I have to admit that I am just a sucker for pets. I have had many in my life, both cats and dogs, that I love. Often strays will find their way to me and of course I feed them and make them my pets. Currently, I have a big black cat, with a little white on his nose, chest, and feet. I named him Mr. Whiskers when he was a baby b/c he has beautiful white whiskers that are a great contrast to the black.
    February 10, 2011 8:07 AM
    June M. said…

    posted to f/b

    *don’t forget to spay/neuter your pets*
    February 10, 2011 8:08 AM
    Noa said…

    Laura – thank you so much for visiting today!
    Kitt and I had a ball reviewing the first two installments of Abandoned at the Alter…

    As for Dogs -v- Cats

    I live vicariously through others and get to enjoy the wonderful friendship of both!
    February 10, 2011 8:30 AM
    rissatoo said…

    I’ve been a cat-person since birth. Mom bought her first kitten while she was preggers with me and by the time I came home from the hospital, Sammy out-weighed me (5lb11oz)! Growing up with Sammy taught me how to treat & respect animals.
    And even though I am allergic to cats, I find that eventually I get acclimated to *my* cat, so I continue to be owned by cats 40+ years later! Yes, I still have asthma attacks when around strange cats, but that’s what an inhaler’s for, right?
    Today, I am owned by Merlin, a big, long, sleek Grey with a white tuxedo and gorgeous green eyes. :)

    I retweeted this, but cannot furnish a link with my iPhone…
    February 10, 2011 8:49 AM
    Victoria said…


    I am such a cat person. I’m even a LEO and a Tiger.

    February 10, 2011 9:08 AM
    KittNLuv said…

    Thanks for visiting with us Laura! Noa’s right, we had a complete blast reviewing WEDDING OF THE SEASON and SCANDAL OF THE YEAR!

    As for what kind of person I am? Cat through and through. I absolutely adore my little baby Dublin and he IS the CUTEST CAT in the ENTIRE WORLD. LOL
    February 10, 2011 9:18 AM
    Emily said…

    I am 100% dog person and will have to stay that way as my husband is allergic to cats.
    February 10, 2011 10:16 AM
    BLHmistress said…

    I am an animal lover, I used to just love Dogs – had a dog ever since I was a little girl but when we got our cat Swayze I fell in love she is so loving and sweet, always wants to be petted and held. She will cry out when left alone.

    February 10, 2011 10:26 AM
    StacieDM said…

    Alas I am a cat person married to a man who is terribly allergic to them. We have a small dog instead of a cat. I love her to pieces but dogs are so much work. I really do prefer the easier life with cats.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net
    February 10, 2011 12:20 PM
    Laura Lee Guhrke said…

    All these cat lovers! It’s great. And the dog lovers, too. But aren’t any of you ferret friends? Parrot pals? Bunny buddies?

    June M., your Mr. Whiskers reminds me, I read somewhere that cat’s whiskers grow to be as wide as their bodies, so if Sushi’s whiskers start get really long, I know it’s time to cut back on the Cat Chow.
    February 10, 2011 12:29 PM
    jeanette8042 said…

    I’m a cat and dog lover! I’ve never really had a pet but I already know when I’m more settled later on I will definitely get a cat and dog! Sushi is sooo cute!

    February 10, 2011 1:06 PM
    Salsta said…

    I love all animals but if forced to choose I’m a cat person all the way. It might be because I’ve been enslaved to them since toddlerhood.
    February 10, 2011 1:11 PM
    Day said…

    It is safe to say with 4 dogs, I am a major dog lover! I used to have a pet iguana named Ringo and my beloved cats Salem and Romeo.

    I adore all animals, but it’s safe to say I am definitely a dog person. Though Juan Carlos uses a litter box… O_o
    February 10, 2011 1:47 PM
    CindyWest said…

    I used to be a “dog person” and I think I may have another dog someday, but I’m firmly in the “cat person” category now.

    Dogs are too needy, they live for your love, but a cat can love you and have its *own* life. The best pet though, I think, is a cat that has a little dog in its DNA: a cat that likes to go for walks, play fetch and follow you around, but is happy to sleep with you when you don’t feel well and doesn’t really miss you that much if you’re gone for the weekend. Oh, and doesn’t have to be taken out in the rain and the snow to do her business and require her owner to pick up said business with plastic bags and carry it home.
    February 10, 2011 2:36 PM
    June M. said…

    I actually had a raccoon as a pet when I was a teenager (mother had been killed). Raised her until she was old enough to go to an animal sactuary (about 1 year). Loved it!
    February 10, 2011 3:08 PM
    Barbara E. said…

    I’ve had cats for the last nineteen years, until I lost my last one in December. I will probably get another one (or two) soon, but haven’t had the heart just yet. My beloved Catalina was the bossiest, crankiest, nosiest kitty, but she had my heart from the moment I brought her home. I brought in a couple more kitties as companions for her, but she would have none of that – luckily, they had each other and gave her a wide berth.
    February 10, 2011 5:20 PM
    Di said…

    I haven’t had a lot of contact with cats. My Mom was a bit afraid of tehm (something must have happened when she was a child), but whne in a friend’s house with a cat, they always went right to her. So we only ever had dogs and parakeets, plus a wild grackle we raised from a baby. I think I’d actually like to have a cat since they are more independent than dogs, but with family members having allergies to them I can’t.

    Would love these books since I’ve enjoyed others of Laura’s.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com
    February 10, 2011 7:38 PM
    Meredith said…

    I’m more of a dog person these days. Probably because I have a dog and not a cat. She’s like a little buddy to me and my hubby.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com
    February 10, 2011 8:12 PM
    JenM said…

    I adore cats but I’m wildly allergic to them. When I was a kid, after my parents got divorced, my mom finally gave in to my plea to get a cat. Everything was fine for awhile, then out of the blue, after 4 years with the cats, I suddenly developed an allergy and unlike the previous commenter, the more I was around my cats, the worse I got. Luckily, I was leaving to go to college in a few months, so my mom was able to keep the cats. I keep hoping that someday, someone will come up with a cure, but so far, no luck.

    jen at delux dot com
    February 10, 2011 8:14 PM
    Shannon said…

    Don’t tell Sushi, but I have a small parrot with an attitude. If he doesn’t like something, he just chucks it out of his cage. Who knew that birds could throw? =)
    tiredwkids at live dot com
    February 10, 2011 8:35 PM
    Anne said…

    I’m a cat person, dogs are too much work. I have three male cats right now, a 6 year old and two unrelated 4 year olds. Got them from the shelter and the oldest one was a rescue from the stupid neighbor who didn’t ask his parents before he brought home the cat.

    They get along great and meet all my needs, one likes to be held, one is my bed buddy (all three will occasionally come on the bed but #2 is there all night plastered to my side), #1 and #2 are playful, #3 is the gentle giant. The only bad thing about them being close in age is that I’ll probably have them die in a short period of time which recently happened before I got the younger two. I had a 15, and 2 18 year olds die within 2 years. Talk about being depressed, especially when the 15 year old died before her mom (18 1/2).

    Focus on the good times!
    February 11, 2011 8:17 AM
    Johanna R Jochum said…

    I love dogs and cats but I’m a cat person. We have always had a cat or two or three! Right now we have a indoor outdoor cat that adopted us one day a few years back. He is all black and is going grey with a crooked tail! We named him blacky cause we aren’t that creative! He is the resident bird and rodent killer of our neighborhood! We have got him bells but looses them everytime LOL! Thanks for sharing with us today!

    February 11, 2011 12:58 PM
    Kim said…

    Congratulations on the new release. I’m more of a dog person.

    February 12, 2011 12:58 PM
    Danielle Gorman said…

    I am a complete cat person. Dogs terrify me. I only like really small dogs. That way I know that they can’t hurt me. Growing up we always had cats. its funny because me and my boyfriend argue all the time about what pet to get. He’s a dog person and I’m a cat person.

    Congrats on the new releases. I just finished Wedding of the Season and can’t wait to start Scandal of the Year. I am totally loving this series. I love all of your books and can’t wait to read more from you. Thanks for the giveaway.

    blog follower
    February 12, 2011 4:32 PM
    throuthehaze said…

    I’m a dog person for sure. I have a cute little chihuahua-poodle mix named Domino :)
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com
    February 13, 2011 9:30 PM
    Asylumgirl said…

    I am a lover of all animals. We actually have two cats, a dog, a rabbit, a turtle and a bird, so I’m not really biased towards any of them. I am bad about not naming my pets though. They tend to be called what they are. lol

    February 17, 2011 9:29 AM
    BleuMoon said…

    I am a cat person and have been my whole life – we grew up with all kinds of animals; cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits, turtles, snakes, gerbils & ferrets. Cats for me won – I now have three adorable cats, one of which will sleep all night with me on my right hand side. I love snuggling in to him and my husband hates that he gets between us. I love your book “The Wicked Ways of Duke” and have read it a couple of times. It sits on my shelf in my room as one of my have to read books when I know I want a good historical romance. Thank you for a fun post!

    February 22, 2011 7:15 AM
    mbreakfield said…

    I love all animals, but cats are my favorites. I’m owned by 6 cats and a dog.
    February 22, 2011 8:29 AM
    ChrisS said…

    Hi Laura. I have always considered myself a dog person. I guess because they are an in yoru face outgoing and usually very friendly type animal. However, I am also an animal person and would not have been able to walk away from sad, cold and hungry kitty. I currently only have my beautiful Gold Retriever, Cody. But who knows? My future may hold my own Sushi.
    February 24, 2011 6:12 AM
    LSUReader said…

    Sushi looks adorable. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m a dog person who likes all pets. Hubby doesn’t care for cats, so we’ve never had one as a pet. Cats were the pet of choice in my family’s home; so growing up, my normal pet was a cat. Currently we have a 17-year old sweetheart of a dog (a rescued pet) and a very young ferret. (Email in profile.)
    February 24, 2011 1:12 PM
    Amy said…

    Thanks for sharing!

    I am an cat person. I think they are so adorable and cute! But I do find their haughty-ness annoying sometimes…they act like they own you instead of the other way around!

    February 24, 2011 9:02 PM
    Aanchal @ Book Flame said…

    I am not a cat lover at all! I love dogs my favorites are huskies…they are gorgeous.

    March 2, 2011 9:28 PM

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