November’s Feature: Catnip by J.S. Frankel

Welcome to Mirror World Publishing’s blog where we will be featuring some amazing authors and their amazing books and offering some fantastic deals and giveaways! I’m proud to introduce J.S. Frankel and Catnip. After just having read a sample of Catnip, I was hooked. Take a look below and see what you think!

catnip cover

Catnip

AuthorJ.S. Frankel 

Genre: A YA Science-fiction, Action, Romance novel

“Don’t call me Miss Kitty. Just…don’t.”–Anastasia, from Catnip, a YA Action/Romance novel with claws!

Harry Goldman, teenage DNA researcher, genius, and total nerd, is thrown into jail for illegal transgenic research. Freed by the FBI on the condition he works under their aegis, Harry is taken to New York where he meets Anastasia, a cat-girl and the product of transgenic engineering. No sooner do they get acquainted then they are attacked by another creature, a bear which is more than a bear, and are forced to flee for their lives. Along the way, they encounter furries, Doug the Dog, find out that they are more into each other emotionally than they’re willing to admit, and end up in the Catskill Mountains where Harry finds out the shocking truth about how Anastasia was created…and what she was created for.

George was a decent enough fellow, shared his wine freely, and often did guard duty. In return, Nick protected his alley-mate’s space along with his most precious possession, a radio.

He scratched his head, felt more scabs on his scalp, and ran his fingers over his stubbly chin. What day was it today? Oh, yeah, it was Thursday, which meant he’d be able to shower up at the car wash later on when it opened. He liked to shave when he could—beards weren’t for him—and unlike the other bums, he also liked to keep clean. Phil down at the local car wash always let him use the spray guns. He was an okay guy, Nick mused, and after checking his clothes once more for bugs and finding nothing save the usual grit, he turned his attention back to the larger man.

“You gonna listen to music,” he asked George.

“I’m outta juice,” the answer came amidst the sounds of digging in a nearby bin. “I gotta scrounge me up some power if I wanna listen to the Golden Oldies.”

“I’ll see what I can find.” Nick watched as his friend tossed aside the various odds and ends all over the alley, searched for the elusive battery, and came up with nothing. Finally, his alley-mate gave a sigh of disgust and sat down, scratched his chest and fished up his nose for some heretofore unfound gold.

George didn’t have the best of manners, so Nick turned away, figured he’d walk around a bit, check the backs of the restaurants for leftovers, see if he could find some batteries for George’s radio, and then catch some shut-eye. Yeah, do all of those things in order? He’d get the job done. He always had.

Nick was about to move off when he heard the sound of someone landing right behind him. It was a faint, almost imperceptible sound, and it startled him. He stood stock-still. The impossible had just happened! No one could just up and land without him hearing it first!

He was no commando, but the years he’d spent in alleys like this one in as well as the others around New York had taught him to be wary of anything and had sharpened his senses. He whirled around and whipped out a rusty knife from his pants that he’d picked up in his travels. His feet automatically settled into a fighting stance.

“You’re tryin’ to steal from me? Mister, you just bought yourself a can of beatdown. Whoever you are, come and get some!”

A figure emerged from the shadows at lightning speed and slapped the knife out of his hands. It clattered to the pavement and Nick stared at the creature in front of him. In the glow of the moonlight, he saw the thin coat of fur, the tail whipping back and forth, and the eyes, yellow and bright. He’d never been afraid of much, but this…this…whatever it was…suddenly put the fear of God in him, and immediately he experienced the overwhelming urge to urinate. He strained to keep everything in and couldn’t. His bowels partially loosened and then a hot stream of pee poured down his leg. “Who are you?”

The creature didn’t make a sound. It took a step closer and Nick backed up in fear against the brick wall. He smelled matted fur, excrement and urine, his own as well as the more pungent smell that came from his attacker. It was a strong smell—strong, penetrating, and dangerous—like a predator’s. And he was the prey. This he knew for a fact, and in the back of his mind, he also knew his time to die had come up.

“You mess with my bud?” George growled. “That is the wrong thing to do, man!”

Oh Lord Jesus, Nick thought with relief, the cavalry’s just come in. Good old George, there to watch his back.

The behemoth clamped his huge arms around the thing. The creature struggled briefly and then hung its head as if in defeat. Nick thought it looked like a cat, but he couldn’t be sure. It had a tail, yeah, fur, spots, but the features…and the …it had breasts…it was a woman! His buddy yelled out in triumph, “I got him, man, I got him…”

Abruptly, George’s voice rose into a high-pitched scream as the creature casually raked its claws, long and very, very sharp, up and down his forearms. The big man let go and staggered back. Blood ran from his wounds and he howled in pain. “Damn it, you cut me!”

To Nick, it seemed that everything happened in slow-mo, and then the cat-lady—there was no other word he could think of—whipped her tail around and smacked George in the face. The impact sent him spinning twenty feet down the alleyway. He hit the cement hard, stirred, and stopped moving.

Beyond terror now, Nick’s mouth opened and closed spasmodically. “What are you, man?”

The creature pivoted gracefully to face him and grabbed his shirt with one hand. He got a better look at the thing now. Yes, it looked like a cat—and didn’t. About five-eight, it had high ears, long, straight hair and the fur of the typical house pet, but the features—the nose and mouth and eyes—were human. The hands, while also human, were covered in a light coat of fur and had claws instead of fingernails. The claws extended out almost two inches in length, and yes, he’d seen how sharp they were. When it spoke, though, its voice sounded totally feminine…and totally pissed off. “First off, I’m not a man—man—and second, do you have any food?”

 Links to purchase or review:  Goodreads  |  Author’s Website  |  Amazon.com  | Amazon.au  |  Barnesandnoble

J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada, many moons ago and managed to graduate the University of Toronto with a degree in English Literature. He moved to Japan shortly thereafter in order to teach ESL to anyone who would listen to him. In 1997, he married the charming Akiko Koike. Frankel, his wife and two sons make their home in Osaka where he teaches English during the day and writes at night until the wee hours of the morning.

What the author has to say about Catnip:

M|W: In your own words, what is Catnip about?
JS Frankel: Catnip is really a story about a young man who decides to play God and the consequences of doing so. It’s also, surprisingly, an action story with a bit of romance tossed in, sort of like life itself. But it’s never dull, and that is something I don’t  want in any of my novels. To me, it’s a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.
M|W: What prompted you to write this story?
JS Frankel: I always think “What if?” I’ve been fascinated by science fiction since I was very young. Science itself has taken great leaps and bounds over the past decade, and what with DNA manipulation these days, it’s only a matter of time before something does go wrong (if it hasn’t already happened). As well, I happened to see an article on the Internet in which a young British teenager—I think he was seventeen at the time—invented a device for finding the gene that caused his brother to be a redhead. Talk about genius! And it’s all true.
M|W: Catnip is for a YA audience, is there any reason you chose to write for this age group?
JS Frankel: I’ve always written for the YA group. In my heart, I still think like a kid, and that keeps me young. Young people always have choices to make and when you’re that age they seem to take on greater significance than when you’re older.
M|W: Any other writing projects in the works right now?
JS Frankel: Yes, I’ve finished a couple of novels, one more adult-oriented, and two YA projects, Star Maps and Mr. Taxi. They’re both on submission at the moment, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
M|W: Anything else we should know?
JS Frankel: Just that writing is an adventure of the mind and of the heart. If you’re a writer or want to be one, then live your adventures in her head and heart, see where they take you…and don’t forget to write them down!
 Heartad2 copy

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