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Shelley Munro discusses Black Cats and Superstition

Emily Scarlet’s husband left her for his secretary and died in a car accident—all on the same day. Now, six months later, Emily has emerged from her chrysalis of painful memories. And to prove she has what it takes to attract a man, she’s determined to experience one perfect night of passion.

Feline shape shifter, Saber Mitchell has a problem with his four boisterous younger brothers. They’re out of control. It’s too late for him, but he hopes to get his brothers mated and settled, and the ball is the place to introduce them to marriageable women.

Unbridled sex is the last thing he plans on, but one glimpse of Emily Scarlet changes his mind. Sex with her is a necessity. They dance. They make love.

One thing is clear—a single night isn’t enough. Saber must have her for his mate, but Emily isn’t so easy to convince…or trust.

Hello! Thanks for having me to visit today to talk about Scarlet Woman. Scarlet Woman is the first book in my Middlemarch Mates series and features black leopard shifters, which naturally leads me to black cats.

What do you think when you see a black cat?

Do you run screaming in the opposite direction or do you rub your hands together and watch approvingly while the black cat prowls past?

Is a black cat good luck or bad luck? I decided to research the subject for a definitive answer. Detective Shelley is on the case!

In Egypt all cats, including black ones, were held in high regard. Laws protected cats and when a pet died, the entire family would mourn. Both rich and poor families embalmed their deceased pets. Archaeologists have discovered entire pet cemeteries with mummified black cats fairly commonplace.

Fast forward in time to the Middle Ages. Cats overpopulate major cities. Any woman who owns a black cat or feeds a stray black cat risks accusations of witchcraft.

Throughout history, black cats are blamed for anything from blasphemy to plague. Even today black cats get bad press and conjure up images of witchcraft and magic. Poe wrote about one, Hollywood makes movies and television series about them. Heck, even I write about them with my Middlemarch Mates series.

There are hundreds of superstitions associated with cats, probably because cats and humans have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. Let’s look at some of them.

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. ~ Italian superstition.

If a cat washes behind its ears, rain is coming. ~ English superstition.

If a cat mews and appears cross, the ship and its passengers will have a hard voyage. ~ Sailor’s superstition.

A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. ~ Scottish superstition.

If you wash a cat, it will rain. ~ Indonesian/Malaysian superstition.

If you dream of a white cat, you’ll have good luck. ~ American superstition.

If you kill a cat, you’ll have seventeen years of bad luck. ~ Irish superstition.

In tasseography (tea-leave reading) a cat signifies false friends and deceit or someone lying in ambush.

In the Netherlands cats were banned from rooms where private family discussions were taking place.

In Egypt it was thought the life-giving rays of the sun were kept in a cat’s eyes at night for safekeeping.

And of course during October the silhouettes of black cats decorate many houses and shops for Halloween.

So what about black cats? Are they good or bad luck?

Well, it seems it depends on where you live in the world. For example in Britain and Japan having a black cat cross your path is considered good luck. If you live in the USA or in European countries you definitely don’t want a black cat strolling by because bad luck will surely follow. Now if you live in New Zealand, near the town of Middlemarch, seeing a black cat mightn’t be such a bad thing, especially if you’re a single girl looking for a man!

What do you think about black cats? Are they good luck or bad luck? Do you have any cat superstitions to add?

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and loves to write about feline shapeshifters. To learn more about Scarlet Woman and the other stories in Shelley’s Middlemarch Mates series, read excerpts, see family trees and other background information visit her website at www.shelleymunro.com

~~~~~

Excerpt from Scarlet Woman:

“Look, we said we’d go along with this plan,” Felix said. “We’ll give it a shot. Me first. Introduce me to the lady in red.”

The lady in red.

The second brother to mention her. Curiosity piqued, Saber turned to check out the view. His breath stalled until the tight vise around his lungs reminded him to breathe. Saber inhaled sharply, his nostrils flaring, feline genes kicking in.

He wanted the lady in red.

But that wasn’t the purpose of this shindig. Saber consciously relaxed, telling himself she was too obvious. The invitation a little blatant for his taste, but she might spark the urge to mate in one of his brothers. “Fine. We’re next in line for introductions anyway.” He watched one of the elders walk up to the lady in red and offer his arm. The lady smiled, and Saber adjusted his thoughts. A touch of vulnerability flitted across her pale face before she answered a question posed by the elder. Wistfulness. Hope. She treated the elder with courtesy and respect, earning points from Saber. He’d noticed the impatience of some of the other women waiting to enter the marquee. Excitement jumped in him. This plan would work. The lady in red would make a fine sister-in-law.

The elder led her toward him and his brothers. Saber indicated Felix with a jerk of his head, but the elder stopped in front of him.

“May I present Joanna Scarlet?” the elder said. “This is Saber Mitchell.”

“Just call me Jo,” the lady in red murmured, her voice a low, sensual hum that speared through him, winding his stomach in knots of desire and lust and uncharacteristic possessiveness. Her attractive floral scent reminded him of old-fashioned flowers and herbs. Maybe a touch of vanilla. It seeped deep into his lungs, drawing him in like a helpless insect. Saber sighed. His Scarlet woman. If his brothers didn’t stop with the leering, he was going to smack some manners into them. Whoa…his?

http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-5674-127-scarlet-woman.aspx

***Leave a comment answering Shelley’s question for a chance to win any book from her Middlemarch Mates series. 8 to choose from! Good luck! 😀

Shelley also has some free reads and the Middlemarch family tree on her site!

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