I'm pleased to welcome Lisa Brunette to Cozy Up With Kathy. Lisa writes the Dreamslippers Series of which Cat in the Flock is the first book.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
LB: Everyone’s favorite character from the Dreamslippers Series is Amazing Grace. It’s easy to see why: She’s what we all want to be when we grow up! At 77, she dresses in a classic, fashionable way, takes attractive, interesting lovers, and has as rich a spiritual life as a social one. She’s that older woman who’s blazed her own path and is fully in command of her decisions and passions.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
LB: My inspiration comes from a decade of writing on other things, beginning with a 2008 cover story I wrote for Seattle Woman magazine on leading authors in the mystery genre. That rekindled a love for the genre that had been beaten out of me by academia. After that, I ended up working for five years on mystery games for older women. The experience of trying to train young male developers to create games for an audience they really didn’t understand drove me to write a female-centric plot focused on a granddaughter/grandmother relationship.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
LB: The urge to share my stories with readers. I live for the opportunity to inspire, delight, and entertain people with my words.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
LB: Virginia Woolf, Aphra Behn, George Sand, and Sylvia Plath. All four of them were trailblazing women writers who succeeded despite the extreme sexism of their times.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
LB: Up next is Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me and then Sophie Hannah’s Kind of Cruel.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
LB: I’m a very serious practitioner of both yoga (for more than 20 years) and Nia, a barefoot dance focused on the joy of movement in a healing context. These help counteract the physical stress of working at a computer for long hours. They also inspire my fiction; in book three in the Dreamslippers Series, Amazing Grace takes up Nia, and that’s significant to the plot.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
LB: I’m on an autoimmune/paleo diet, so I have to have coconut oil and ghee on hand, as well as grass-fed beef from a local farmer and tons and tons of vegetables, which I buy from a woman with experience and connections in the organic farm community. She’s also one of my dance teachers!
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
LB: I’m taking a pause now with the completion of the Dreamslippers Series boxed set, which includes all three books plus a bonus novella. My current project is a stand-alone mystery based on a news story I read recently. A woman called 911 to report she’d shot her husband in self-defense. At first the crime scene seemed to support the woman’s claim, but then police realized her husband had been shot in the back, and the crime scene had been cleaned up. I’m riveted by all the questions this raises, not the least of which is, Who is this woman, and how did her life get to this point?
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
LB: Reaching people with my stories. Hearing them tell me they love being in the worlds I’ve created, or that the books touched them in some way.
CAT IN THE FLOCK by Lisa Brunette
The First Dreamslippers Mystery
After graduating college Cathedral McCormick, better known as Cat, moves to Seattle to learn the PI business from her grandmother, Amazing Grace, and eventually take over the business allowing her gran to retire. Cat is also planning to train with her grandmother to better manage her unique ability. Cat, like Grace, is able to slip into other people's dreams. A young girl's horrifying dream, possibly symptomatic of abuse, starts what will be Cat's first case as a PI. Is the girl truly in danger? Will she be able to find her to help? Her investigation will lead her back to Missouri as she goes undercover at the Plantation Church. Will she discover the truth behind the dreams? Or will she wind up a victim?
CAT IN THE FLOCK is a unique mystery filled with hot topics such as domestic abuse, spirituality, and hypocrisy in evangelical fundamentalism. Brunette handles all of these topics with a non-judgmental, delicate hand, showing the good that sometimes exists within the bad. Cat herself follows her own journey which leads to new realizations about herself and her own beliefs, as well as her relationships with both her mother and grandmother.
Although the topics involved in CAT IN THE FLOCK are heavy and filled with gravitas, the book has a lightness and a joy within. I love Amazing Grace with her openness to new, and old, ideas, but my favorite character is Cat's dad. He brings humor without baggage and is just plain fun; a distinct counterpoint to the relationship between the women in the family.
CAT IN THE FLOCK provides a fascinating look at spirituality and religion along with the power of relationships, both positive and negative. The inclusion of the dreamworld showcases the emotions and drama of those involved in this intricately plotted mystery. This first book in the Dreamslippers Series is a satisfying read, especially if you're looking for something a little different.
Cat in the Flock
by Lisa Brunette
on Tour March 1-30, 2017
For most people, dreams are a way to escape reality. But for Cat McCormick, they're a way to get closer to the truth. Cat can 'slip' into other people's dreams.
After graduating college with a degree in criminal justice but little in the way of real-life experience, Cat moves from the Midwest to Seattle to apprentice with her Granny Grace, who shares the ability. Granny uses dreamslipping as a private investigator, and Cat plans to follow in her footsteps.
But forced to take work as a security guard, Cat discovers a mother and daughter on the run. Following the clues, she goes undercover in a Midwestern megachurch, where she finds redemption and goodwill amidst repression, hypocrisy, and murder.
Praise:"A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman's dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” -- Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries
"Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat's dreamslipping world. Highly recommended." -- Frances Carden, Readers Lane
"Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” -- Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man
"A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” -- Rev. Eric O'del
"The launch of an intriguing female detective series... A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre." -- Kirkus Reviews
Book Details:Genre: Mystery
Published by: Sky Harbor Press
Publication Date: December 27th 2014
Number of Pages: 197
ISBN: 0986237701 (ISBN13: 9780986237706)
Series: Dreamslippers #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.
Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.
With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…