Hi, I have a new book coming in the next week or so. It's book four in the Kiwi Series. Here's a quick preview of the cover and book blurb, along with some sample chapters. Thanks for reading and have a purrfect day! :)
In book four of the Kiwi Series, the wedding of Inspector Furrball and Madame Purrfect approaches. But, catastrophe, the ring is stolen from the Gem Shop! A pawprint identifies Fyre Cracker as the thief, but he lives in the dark world of the UnderPaw beneath Cat City, which is inhabited by crimicats. It’s up to the Kiwi Klub to find the ring. In the human world, the hamsters decide to stand up for their rights to better plastic wheels and an abundance of sunflower seeds. Meanwhile, the dastardly Dev shocks Kiwi with the news that he knows a big secret about her family – that her father, Delphinius, may still be alive! The key is The Sculptor, who will lead Kiwi and friends on their biggest adventure yet – to the strange Isle of the Serpent where they will come face to face with their most dangerous adversary so far.
Chapter 7: A singer and some jokers
“He’s staring,” observed Siam.
“I know,” squeaked Kiwi. “Let’s sit over the other side, please, so no tailizens notice us.”
Siam grinned. Kiwi and her strong charisma, he thought. He chose a round table that was shrouded in shadows, away from the candlelight. The little stars seemed to glimmer on the dark walls.
They all sat down on the orange-fabric covered stools around the table. The kittens and Misty lapped their milk. It was really good. James thought it might even be better than the chocolate milk in Cat City, but he didn’t say anything. Inspector Furrball wouldn’t be happy with that!
The Inspector eyed his own drink suspiciously as if something evil was going to jump out of it. Siam and Kiwi pretended to drink theirs, while making sure none passed their lips. Within minutes, the first act of the night began. Miss Claws leapt on to the stage, dressed in a long red dress, high black boots with needle-thin heels, and a long red wig. Her fake eyelashes flapped heavily as she gave the audience her biggest smile.
“Well hellooooooo tomcats!” she whispered huskily, and nearly every male cat in the place started to clap.
“But she hasn’t done anything yet,” said James, confused.
“She doesn’t need to,” laughed Siam.
James frowned. He didn’t understand.
Miss Claws started to sing. It was like a low purr that gradually got louder and then softened, grew louder, and softened again. The tailizens didn’t move. Their heads fell to the side and they stared, as if hypnotised, while Miss Claws sang. James felt his own head nodding, as did Amy. They felt sleepy, carried along on the dreamy song that warbled around the room.
“Wake up,” whispered Kiwi. “Don’t fall asleep just in case there are pickpockets.”
“Oh,” mumbled the kittens, waking from their daydreaming. Misty nearly fell off the chair and then wiggled her head to wake herself.
“Look at us instead,” advised Inspector Furrball.
Siam gazed open-mouthed at Miss Claws. She was possibly the most beautiful cat he’d ever seen in his life and she really knew how to purr.
Kiwi noticed and giggled under her breath. She’d never seen Siam so hypnotised by a female. Miss Claws seemed to glide across the stage. After about half an hour, she stopped singing and there was total silence. You could have heard a feather drop this time, if you had one.
“Well, queens and tomcats, where’s my applause?” she asked, smiling.
The audience didn’t need to be asked twice. The silence was cut and the cheers went up. Tomcats banged their glasses on their tables and clapped loudly.
“Woo-hoo!” mewed Siam, jumping up and clapping.
The kittens laughed, spluttering their Chocky Chocomilk, and Kiwi giggled.
Inspector Furrball nudged his colleague. “Sit down, Siam. What’s got in to you?”
“But she’s wondercat,” smiled Siam dreamily. “Pure wondercat.” He sat down with the biggest grin on his face.
“And for our next act, we have Slim Kits Three!” shouted the barcat from the other side of the room. The tailizens looked round at him and then back at the stage as three toms stomped on, wearing brown boots and waistcoats, and funny hats. All three were brown with white tails.
“I bet they’re brothers!” said Amy.
“What goes up when I need a cool down?” asked one.
“Your tail,” yelled the second tom.
“Pew!” shouted the third, covering his nose with his paw. “Smelly!”
“They must be a joke act,” said James.
One of the cats turned to the audience: “Did you hear about the tom who drank five bowls of water? He set a new lap record!”
The second one took his turn: “Did you hear about the cat that swallowed a ball of wool? She had mittens!”
And the third took a bow: “What’s a cat’s favourite sweet? Mice cream cones!”
James and Amy giggled. Inspector Furrball looked a bit lost.
Half an hour and much laughter later, the trio of cats trotted off the stage to a ripple of applause.
“I think I need to go to the toilet,” said James. “I drank too much Chocky Chocomilk!”
“Me too,” agreed Amy. “Quickly, before the band comes on. Where are they?”
Kiwi glanced around and pointed. “Just by the bar over there – can you see?”
“Oh yes,” said Amy, “but there are two doors – how will I tell which is for girls?”
“Easy,” said Siam. “There are always signs on the doors in public places like this. You’ll be able to tell easily – the girls’ toilet has a picture of a queen...”
“Female cat,” whispered Kiwi.
“... and the boys’ has a tomcat on it...”
Inspector Furrball interrupted, “I hope they’re clean – I don’t trust tailizen toilets! I bet they don’t change the cat litter very often and I’d be very surprised if they have a scratching post!”
“Okay,” mumbled Amy. “Thanks Siam. We’ll be right back.”
The two kittens scurried across the room towards the two toilets. The doors were shiny black and, sure enough, they had signs on them – one female cat and one tomcat – so that everyone knew where to go... in theory.
“They both look the same!” gasped James.
“I know!” agreed Amy. “Am I missing something? Is there any difference at all?”
“Nope!” James sighed. “None!”
“I guess only real cats can tell them apart!”
“What shall we do? I really want to go now!” mewed James, crossing his paws, which didn’t help at all.
“Oh, hold on, I’ll just have a quick look inside and maybe I’ll be able to tell!”
Amy opened the door on the right and peeked in. Inside was a small room, painted black and lit by an orange lamp. There were three black boxes, full of cat litter, and a scratching post. There was also a mirror and a bowl of water. It looked clean and tidy. Amy closed the door.
Amy pouted. “Not sure. I’ll compare.”
She opened the other door and peeked inside, but it was exactly the same. They had a problem. James was hopping from paw to paw, so Amy feared they didn’t have long. But which was the girls’ toilet? They looked identical. Why couldn’t they have colour-coded them pink and blue to make things easier?
“Amy, I can’t wait any longer,” mewed James, pulling a face. He was looking a bit cross-eyed.
“Excuse me, Miss!”
The two kittens looked up to see a big white cat wearing a black waistcoat, earrings, a nose ring and a black cap. He had blue stripes dyed across his fur.
“Oh, sorry,” mumbled Amy, stepping aside.
The big cat opened the door on the right and walked in, humming a tune.
“I guess that’s our answer,” said Amy.
“Phew!” squeaked James, dashing in. He couldn’t have lasted another minute.
Chapter 8: A band called Hiss
“And so we come to our final act of the night – the band you’ve all been waiting for,” mewed the barcat.
“Yeahhhhhhh!” the crowd mewed and clapped. Some tailizens began to jump around.
The kittens raced across the room from the toilets and sat down on their chairs. Kiwi crossed her paws, hoping to recognise the gem thief.
“A kitty, kitty, kitty good evening to all of you!” came a shout as four cats bounded on to the stage. One jumped behind the drum kit with a howl, two others strummed what resembled mini guitars, and the fourth needed no introduction or microphone – “Toms and kitties, we’re Hiss!” he mewed.
The tailizen was jet black with dark, brooding eyes. Some of his whiskers were missing and his mouth curled up as he snarled. On top of his head, his fur pointed upwards like some kind of cat Mohican and it was bright blue.
The crowd of tailizens were jumping up and down in time to the music, and some were dancing. Amy grinned, part of her wanting to join in. She loved music and dancing so much.
“Hiss! Hiss! Hiss!” the audience, well, hissed back at the singer.
“Tail-tastic!” screeched Fyre and leapt around the stage, dancing around the two tomcats who were strumming the song on their guitars. It sounded like rock music, but with the same pitch as a meow. When Fyre started singing, it was the highest screech that Amy or James had ever heard. They grimaced and stuck their paws over their ears. Misty hid under the table. No-one could see her anyway so no one would be offended.
Fyre suddenly pointed at the two kittens, “Come on, rock out little kitties!” But then he started screeching again. Amy gritted her teeth. She felt the fur on the back of her neck stand on end. “I don’t know if I can take this much longer,” she muttered. “It’s so high!”
“Come on,” said Kiwi. “Let’s head over to the other room, where we came in. We can get to know Mow, and it won’t be so loud in there. I guess your ears haven’t adjusted!”
“I’ll come too,” said Inspector Furrball, getting up quickly. “Call this music? I just don’t understand it!”
“You should stay here and keep an eye on Fyre, in case anything happens!” said Kiwi.
“Oh, must I? His singing is dreadful,” sighed the inspector.
Siam laughed and patted his paw. “It’s okay, old timer!” he joked.
Inspector Furrball frowned and mumbled something inaudible.
“Come on kittens,” said Kiwi, trying not to giggle.
James and Amy nodded, holding their paws over their ears. The kittens wobbled across the room with their tails between their legs.
Fyre pointed and laughed. The toms at the back of the audience also turned and chuckled.
“I guess they’re too young to rock!” meowed Fyre, before screeching again.
“Phew!” breathed the kittens as they passed the bar and left the room.
“He was hissing so high,” complained Amy. “Is that normal?”
“For that type of singing, I’m afraid so!” said Kiwi.