Children’s Book Announcement – Mommy Made a Beastie (But I Love Her Anyway)

Today, our new children’s book, Mommy Made a Beastie (But I Love Her Anyway), is available on Amazon. Two years ago, after the success of our first children’s book, Daddy Doesn’t Purr (But I Love Him Anyway), I set about working on the sequel. After several months of brainstorming with Kisaki – the elder cat authoress of the book that became Beastie – we hit upon the idea of telling the story of John Adams’s birth from her point of view. ‘Saki was the first person to know that Nancy was pregnant. She climbed upon Nancy’s belly while she slept (something she never normally would do) and scowled disapprovingly at her mommy with this look of, “What the hell have you done to us?” That sentiment lingered long after John Adams was born.

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Cover art by Michelle McNally, cover design by Maryann Brown

The events of the book are all true. Kisaki loathed her baby brother at first and went out of her way to muscle him off Nancy’s lap, take focus from him and put it back on herself where she felt it belonged. When John Adams moved and then talked, hers was one of the first faces he saw (due to her constant proximity to Nancy), and he instantly fell in love with her. She did not return the sentiment. He would see her and light up, giggle, smile, wriggle, and all manner of verbal and non-verbal gestures to get her approval. She was not amused.

When nothing that ‘Saki tried gained her exclusive access to Nancy, she became visibly irritable and despondent for a time. Like so many children, she just didn’t want to share her favored parent’s affections with any other child. Finally, in either desperation or conciliation, Kisaki sidled up to her brother, plopped her butt against him and claimed him for her own. It seemed that if she couldn’t have exclusive access to Mommy, the next best thing was to make peace with the Beastie who had her attention. From that point forward, grudging acceptance turned to icy affection, and with a little help from her overly zealous brother, that affection turned into love. Until the end of her life, the two became inseparable.

Yes, I did drop that bomb here: Kisaki has since passed away. She died two years ago due to complications of mouth cancer. Despite his age (he was only fifteen months old when she passed), John Adams has not forgotten about her. It would seem he imbued a little stuffed black and white cat that rests on his bed with his best memories of his sister. The cat was given to him by a friend of ours, “so that he would always remember his sister”, and it seems to have worked. He refers to the stuffed animal as ‘Saki, and we often talk about her joy-riding in Daddy’s White Car, my car that broke down a few months ago. Daddy’s White Car has become the “Farm Upstate” metaphor of the Michael Family. It includes ‘Saki, Snaky, Annie and Dorothy (two goldfish), and a particularly favored and contentious piece of orange cake Nancy threw out. But I digress.

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‘Saki in her ‘Cover pose.’

Mommy Made a Beastie is now the second book in a planned three book ‘Love Anyway’ series. In Daddy Doesn’t Purr, Duke is shown to love me despite our differences. In Beastie, ‘Saki learns to love and accept John Adams despite her jealousy. In the planned third and final (?) book, The Nix, our Manx cat born genetically without a tail, learns to love herself despite being born different from the norm. In all three, embracing love as your primary motivational guide is the key to a happier existence. Love anyway, despite differences, emotional insecurities, and unexpected life changes; despite self-doubt and outward ridicule from others. Out of this notion the happy accident of the ‘Love Anyway’ series was born.

Both books retail for under $12 on Amazon and can be bought both there and on CreateSpace where we receive a better share of the royalties. As added incentive, roughly 1/3 of the sales price of each book is donated to either animal charities in Virginia, or to another as of yet un-chosen animal charity in the U.S. If you’re looking for a Christmas or Holiday present that also benefits animals in a small way, please consider checking out our books. If you’ve read Daddy Doesn’t Purr and you enjoyed it, please consider leaving us a review on Amazon. These books have been labors of love for me, Francie and Michelle McNally, Nancy, Maryann Brown, and, of course, Duke and ‘Saki. Please check them out if you have a moment. And remember: when all else fails…

Love Anyway,

Jason

Here’s the Amazon link to the book: Mommy Made a Beastie

Here’s a link to my Amazon Author page: Jason on Amazon

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‘Saki and John Adams – BFFs

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Sonnet 20 (For Duke and Ivan: Two Brothers)

I have not posted in months. Truth is I got married in October and my wife is expecting in September and life has just been one whirlwind of activity after another. But, hopefully, I’m getting a handle on it…at least for now. This is a sonnet I just finished, dedicated to my somewhat new kitten/son who just celebrated 1 year with us this week. It is co-dedicated to his brother, Ivan, a Russian blue who called me dad for twenty years before crossing over two years ago. Ivan’s presence is still felt in our house in Duke’s resemblance to him and it is often hard to not see one without the other inside. Enjoy.

A little man has come into our lives,

A grey and white expression of pure joy,

Within his gaze a brother passed survives,

Assuring us he is, in fact, our boy.

His antic mayhem livens up the dawn,

A silver blur that breaks the day’s repose,

Transforming tranquil times for stretch and yawn

To “pounce and run” attacks upon our toes.

And thus the day is born and bound to stay,

With wacky happiness patrols on tap,

In swift pursuit of life’s most “purrfect” day

Till playful kittens crave a Dukey-nap.

Though none could take the place of brothers gone

In this new son my love for both lives on.

Sonnet 3 (To Spring)

No artful words could full express my love
For Nature’s glorious beauty in the spring;
The fresh anticipation in the air
Of croaker’s calls and warblers on the wing.

Forsythias festooned in finches’ gold,
The first to feast on finest vernal days,
While bulbous crocus’ bursting to be born
Dance “avatar in amethyst” displays.

Aromas sweet on hyacinth bouquets
Announce approaching Easter’s pastel scenes,
Enticing adolescent hearts with hopes
Of summer’s warmth and ceasing school routines.

Oh, one could string together words for hours,
But spring has come, I’d rather smell the flowers.

A Tree Blossoming Outside Our Front Door

 

This is a sonnet I wrote back in 2006. But its illustration of my love for Spring remains appropriate.