Christmas Cookies at the Cat Café by Kris Bock

Christmas isn’t the same since Diane’s kids grew up and her husband died – so when her high school sweetheart comes back to town, maybe it’s time for some cozy new holiday traditions. Diane had a great marriage and a wonderful life raising two daughters and a grandson. That ended when her husband died too young. Now she’s 53 and her grown children are encouraging her to slow down and do less – but she wants more. She starts planning for a new career by arranging a photo shoot at the cat café her daughters run. Unfortunately, the cats don’t want to cooperate. Rick loved Diane in high school, but he chose to travel the world while she settled down with another man. Now he’s back for a visit, but he’s not planning to stay – even if Diane still tugs at him. He’ll help her figure out how to photograph animals, he’ll even help her get what she wants from life, and then he’ll say goodbye. Rick temps Diane to quit her job, sell her house, and travel. But she can’t leave the people she loves so dearly, the family that might still need her just a little bit. Diane tempts Rick to quit his wandering ways, but he can’t simply step into the hole left by her husband’s death. As the weeks pass from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the holiday season brings out complicated emotions. Can Diane and Rick find a way to make a new life together while holding onto the best parts of the past? They’ll need more than attraction and affection. They might even need a Christmas miracle. The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the workers and customers at a small-town cat café, and the adorable cats and kittens looking for their forever homes. Each book is a complete story with a happy ending for one couple (and maybe more than one rescued cat). These sweet romances will leave you with the warm feeling of cuddling a purring cat.

Kris Bock

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

Christmas isn’t the same since Diane’s kids grew up and her husband died – so when her high school sweetheart comes back to town, maybe it’s time for some cozy new holiday traditions.

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

The book opens with Diane trying to take photos of cats in cute costumes, to help promote the cat café and get the cats adopted. Let’s just say the cats don’t cooperate.

Does your heroine prefer a real or artificial tree for Christmas?

She would love a live tree, ideally one that could be replanted later, but because of her allergies, she stuck with artificial.

What’s the one present your hero least wants to open Christmas morning?

He’s a world traveler who doesn’t really have a home, so he avoids stuff. He’d hate to get anything large and useless that he’d be expected to keep.

Would your hero hang mistletoe?

It wouldn’t occur to him to hang mistletoe, but he’d take advantage of it if he saw it.

What scene did you adore writing in this book?

Since Diane is a widow still grieving her first husband, I had to dig deep for some emotional scenes. In one, she sees a tiny angel ornament they’ve had hanging from a light fixture for years and feels connected to her late husband again. The scene made me tear up.

What is your heroine’s favorite Christmas tradition?

On Christmas Eve day, the family watches classic Christmas movies and eats easy but tasty nibbles such as green chili cheese dip and crockpot meatballs. It’s a break from the stresses leading up to Christmas and the work of preparing a big meal Christmas day.

Does your hero love or hate snow?

Rick once spend five days trapped in a tent during a blizzard while on a National Geographic photo shoot following polar bears. Since then, he prefers tropical climates.

For Christmas, will you be having turkey, goose, ham, prime rib, or something else?

We haven’t decided for this year. Our meal varies, but one favorite is beef Wellington, which is basically a meatloaf wrapped in pastry served with a red wine tomato sauce.

What’s the strangest Christmas tradition your family does to celebrate?

For many years, my parents lived overseas, so we spent Christmas in a different country each year. To carry on a bit of that tradition, on Christmas Eve, we make a meal from a different culture or go out to an ethnic restaurant. We’ve had everything from Thai food to cabbage rolls to latkes and one year did medieval recipes.

Excerpt from Christmas Cookies at the Cat Café

“I’d like to hear all about this place, if you have the time.”

She put a hand on her hip and tilted her head, a rather saucy look that had him flashing back to picking her up for high school dances.

“Actually,” she said, “if you have the time, I was wondering if you could help me.”

“Of course. Anything.”

Her eyes widened at that offer. The words had come out before he thought about them, but he meant it. He couldn’t think of a request he’d refuse from her.

“I’m trying to do a photo shoot of the cats with an autumn theme,” she said. “I’m not finding the cats very cooperative.”

He chuckled. “I wouldn’t think so. I normally follow people or animals around and try to capture them acting natural. You want something more staged, I gather.”

“That was my plan. I wanted to get the cats in costumes.” She gestured at another table that held a pile of fabric items. On top of everything dozed a large cat with its face perfectly divided, white on one side and mottled tan on the other.

Diane picked up a couple of fake leaves, the type you could buy at craft stores, which had fallen to the floor. “Cute is definitely a selling factor, for getting people into the café and for getting the cats adopted. I’m sure great pictures would get some buzz, maybe even go viral. There’s this Instagram cat, RuPaw’s Drag Race. They put elaborate costumes and wigs on her, and she sits there calmly gazing at the camera like she knows she’s a star.”

Diane frowned at the two-toned cat that had made itself at home on her costume pile. “None of our current residents seem to have that kind of attitude. It’s hard enough to get a picture of them awake and sitting still.”

Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. Her Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Watch as they fall in love with each other and shelter cats. Get a free 35-page novella set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter. You’ll also get a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels. Sign up here: https://sendfox.com/lp/1g5nx3

Kris also writes romantic suspense set in the Southwestern U.S. If you love Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels, try Kris Bock’s stories of treasure hunting, archaeology, and intrigue in the Southwest. Learn more at www.krisbock.com or visit Kris Bock’s Amazon page.

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