THE TAROT CAT MYSTERIES
By DIANE A.S. STUCKART
Published by Midnight Ink
FOOL'S MOON...Book 1 of the Tarot Cats Mysteries
When two clever black cats join forces with a hapless Tarot card reader to solve a murder, the result is purr-fectly magic!
Grad student Ruby Sparks has found a great new gig -- managing Botanica Santa Rosa, her Cuban half-sister's New Age shop, while the older woman takes a sabbatical. It's the perfect job, giving Ruby a place to live and a tidy salary, while allowing her to take graduate classes at night. The fact that she is a novice when it comes to reading Tarot cards doesn't worry her. That is, until a woman asks for a reading that will tell her if her recently deceased employer died accidentally...or was murdered.
Brandon and Ophelia are sibling black cats who have been living the good life in a Palm Beach mansion.That is, until their elderly owner is found floating in her swimming pool one morning. The old woman's cat-hating son promptly dumps his late mother's pets in the bad part of town, where Ophelia is separated from her brother. She ends up adopted by a young human female named Ruby, who lives in a strange house filled with statues and incense and something called Tarot cards. To Ophelia's surprise, she finds that she can "read" the cards even better than Ruby can.
Though grateful for her new home, all Ophelia really cares about is finding her missing brother. With the help of Ruby's pit bull, the sassy Zuki, she starts a desperate search for Brandon. But when another human friend is murdered, Ophelia decides to use her strange new abilities to solve the crime and to keep Ruby from falling victim to the same killer
Reviewer's Choice Book Award AND a Cat Writers Association Certificate of Excellence
INTRODUCING THE TAROT CATS!
So who are the Tarot Cats? They are Ophelia and Brandon -- sibling black cats and the fictional feline sleuths starring in the new Midnight Ink series, THE TAROT CATS MYSTERY series. The pair live in the Botanica Santa Rosa, a quirky New Age-style shop in West Palm Beach, Florida. They share the place with their human caretaker, Ruby, and their pit bull friend, Zuki. Oh, and also with 3 roosters and a mysterious koi named Philomena who lives in a seemingly bottomless fish pond in the Botanica courtyard.
Here are the fictional Ophelia (left) and her brother, Brandon.
And here are the real-life inspirations for the Tarot Cats:
Brandon Bobtail (left) and sister, Ophelia (Brandon and Ophelia Photos by Diane A.S. Stuckart)
A Q&A about the Tarot Cats
Do the fictional Brandon and Ophelia talk in their books?
Only to each other, and to other furred and
feathered (and finned!) friends.
So the human characters can't understand them?
Nope. All they hear is meowing.
I'm not sure I want to read about talking cats...or
magical ones, either.
Don't worry -- Brandon and Ophelia aren't
"magical". They are regular cats doing cat stuff,
while we follow along. And who wouldn't want
to get a cat's-eye view of life!
But I thought Ophelia read Tarot cards?
She does. But Tarot cards are NOT magic. As her human caretaker, Ruby, would tell you, they are simply a tool for self-discovery.
How about the real-life Brandon and Ophelia? They don't talk...do they?
As far as Diane knows, they speak only feline, and perhaps a smattering of canine, since they live with four dogs.
Where did the real-life Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia get their names?
Brandon was named after Diane's alter ego, Ali Brandon. As for the "Bobtail" portion of his name, he has but half a tail (we think he was born that way, but he was a rescue, so it's hard to say). His litter mate, Ophelia, was named as a nod to Diane a/k/a Ali's other fictional feline, Hamlet the cat.
Speaking of Hamlet, what does he think about his feline successors?
Hamlet has given them both the "Purr" of approval.
Can Ophelia give me a Tarot card reading?
Funny you should ask. When FOOL'S MOON hits the shelves in November, Ophelia will be giving Tarot readings for select fans to celebrate. Be watching the website as we get closer to that date for more info on how to take part!
What the critics are saying about
"Lighthearted and quirky, this will enchant cozy readers and animal lovers." ~Publishers Weekly
"[Stuckart] writes throughout with charm and warmth. Anyone with a pet will enjoy." ~Kirkus
"[E]nough twists to keep even the most savvy reader guessing. Overall, FOOL'S MOON is surprisingly delightful, [and] plenty of fun..." ~Meredith Frazier, Reviewing the Evidence
"It kept me guessing until the end...[a] fun, whimsical, and lighthearted romp with a twisty plot."
~Nancy J. Cohen, award-winning author of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.
“Magic and romance meet murder as animal lover Ruby Sparks gets in over her head in this funky, fast-paced debut.” ~Clea Simon, author of A SPELL OF MURDER, a Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery
“…a delightful and enchanting adventure. I highly enjoyed this heartwarming story…” ~Sandie Herron, Sandie’s Corner/Lesa’s Book Critiques
“…a delightful start to a new cozy mystery series…I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Five stars.” ~Caitlyn Lynch, Romance and Erotica Author/Book Blogger
“Ophelia and her four-legged friends turned out to be both enchanting and persistent. Quick action and plenty of pet-to-pet loyalty and affection…turn this mystery into an enjoyable (and gore-free) romp.” ~Beth Kanell, Kingdom Books
“This was my first cozy mystery but I can say that it will not be my last! The use of detective cats was a great choice to tell this story!!” ~Crossroad Reviews