Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Owl and the Japanese Circus {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Guest Post by Kristi Charish
Author of Owl and the Japanese Circus 

Today, I'm thrilled to welcome author Kristi Charish to the blog, creator of my current read, Owl and the Japanese Circus.  I'm a little over halfway done with the book at the moment, and having way too much fun with it ~ such an addictive read!  Anyway, Owl and the Japanese Circus comes out January 13th 2015, so if you still haven't added it to your TBR shelf, you should go ahead and do so.  This book has got everything: supernatural, archeological adventures, dragons, vampires, you name it - not to mention an adorably feisty feline called The Captain! Oh and don't forget to check out the giveaway below ;)

But first, here's Kristi with some adorable behind the scenes info about Captain the Cat:

Five Fun Facts about Captain from Owl and the Japanese Circus

I’ve got a new urban fantasy series coming out this month, Owl and the Japanese Circus, about an antiquities thief named Alix Hiboux, otherwise known as Owl, who unintentionally (and unavoidably) gets caught up in the supernatural underworld.

And, as some reviewers have hinted, the series features a cat- a Mau cat to be precise, named Captain.

So following are five fun facts about Captain the cat and the real world cat who inspired him.

1. Captain is a real cat...Sort of.

The real life version is a behemoth (clocking in at 20lbs) of a ragdoll named ‘Captain Flash’ who has a propensity for ‘talking’ at me (usually when I’m standing near food). Instead of hunting vampires Captain Flash hunts my socks.

No, seriously. Captain Flash is the scourge of rolled socks everywhere, ready to seek them out wherever they may be hiding. Usually in the laundry pile or my sock drawer...sneaky bastard gets them out while my back is turned. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I can do about it. The vet seems to think he’s flossing with them which means I save $$ on his check-ups... not on socks, mind you, but I’m hoping the bottom line works out.

Besides eviscerating socks, Captain is fond of playing fetch, sleeping on my computer, and vocalizing loudly when I’m in the kitchen and should obviously be feeding him, not doing whatever it is I am doing.

2. But cats don’t play fetch...

Yeah, well, you’ll have to explain that to him.
Do it. Seriously. I dare you to tell him he can’t play fetch.

3. How can Captain be bi-color when Mau’s are spotted?

Great question, and it’s because Captain isn’t a purebred Mau. Coat colour in cats is controlled by different genes- some give you stripes, some get rid of the stripes and replace them with spots, and some make you seal point (like a Siamese) or bi-colour (The ragdoll above). People have been bringing cats to Egypt for so long, there would be lots of Mau mutts running around. Captain is one of those.

4. Why does Captain hate vampires?

Short answer is that in Owl’s world, the ancient Egyptians bred cats to protect them from denizens escaping the underworld...it just happens they didn’t make much of a distinction between vampires and said and denizens.

As to how Captain does it, cats have an acute sense of smell and vampires in Owl’s world excrete a volatile, aromatic chemical that smells like rotting lily of the valley. The Egyptians discovered a few of their cats really didn’t like the smell of vampires-so much so it drove them to aggression right before one burst through the door.

For the Egyptians it was a quick logic jump to breed the cats that really hated the smell of vampires as an early warning system. Somewhere over the next few centuries, a handful of these ‘vampire alarm’ Mau’s managed to get a hold of an actual vampire. To the Egyptians delight (not the vampires) they found that the vampires were highly allergic to Mau’s saliva. The vampire alarm system graduated to ‘vampire attack squads’ and a legend was born :)

5. Dirty secrets?

Captain has a serious grocery bag problem.

As Owl puts it, in some deep, dark, foreboding back alley of the world this is going to get him into real trouble one of these days...

About the author:

Kristi Charish is the author of a forthcoming urban fantasy series OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Jan 13th, 2015, Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. The second installment, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Jan 2016.

Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

~Owl and the Japanese Circus Giveaway~

Kristi is very generously offering up a copy of her upcoming book for one lucky winner! 

Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.
The Winner will have the choice between one (1) physical copy (U.S. and Canada ONLY) -OR- one (1) digital copy (INTL).  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be selected
*Cheaters WILL have ALL their entries deleted*


  1. This sounds amazing and I hope to win this book as I've heard great things about it!

    I hope to see you around my blog and find things that you'll like. Let me know what you think of this week's Side Notes Series :)


  2. OMG I LOVE INDIANA JONES. This book sounds so so so so good! I want it all, the archeology, supernatural, all the kickassery...

    1. ME TOO ULA, which is probably why this book got me so excited to begin with :D Good luck^^

  3. I enjoyed Owl and the Japanese Circus - and Captain the cat sure steals the show.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I did too Mogsy (just finished yesterday!) and yeah Captain definitely is something special :D

  4. Archeological adventures and dragons! This book sounds like so much fun

  5. Hee of course you love it if it features a cat so predominately! I had to google image search what a Mau cat was and ohhh the prettiness.

    1. LOL true, but awesome felines alone wouldn't have been enough if the story didn't deliver as well - which it does :D

  6. I loved the cat pictures and the interview! Dragons and vampires in the same book? Sounds great!

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk

    1. Thanks Kritika, and YES it really IS great :D I'm such a sucker for Dragons and to have them combined with vampires was totally something new!

  7. I like the fact that Owl is a kick ass herion! This book is full of adventure and i can't wait to read it.

    1. I did too, she's awesome but realistic - not too perfect like some other heroines we encounter too often in books. Good luck Linda ^^

  8. I'm so glad I have this on Kindle pre-order! I'm really looking forward to reading about dragons and vampires in one book- haven't done that before. And The Captain sounds like one amazing kitty! :D

    1. YAY! I hope you have as much fun with it as I did :D Oh and not just dragons and vampires, but incubus, nagas, skinwalkers, THE WORKS! Not to mention the amazing Captain of course ;)

  9. It sounds like the start of an interesting UF series and it really made me want to read it with saying it's a modern-day "Indiana Jane" plus dragons:)

    1. That bit got me too Sarah and truly it's the start of an brilliant UF series :) Good luck!

  10. The kick-ass heroine is what really makes me want to read Owl and the Japanese Circus the most, Micheline. Also, I'm a huge Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher fan, and hopefully, some of the humor I enjoy in their stories will be present in this one as well :)
    Happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  11. Owl sounds like a fantastic heroine and and I really liked the excerpt I read! I read a couple of reviews that mention the Bali research, well, I love books that explore Eastern mythology. :)


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