Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raining Cats And Dogs Tour: "3 Heads & A Tail" and "Kiwi in Cat City" by Vickie Johnstone Guest Post/Promo

Raining Cats Raining Cats and Dogs Blog Tour: 14 January to 14 February
Read my review here
.Fur, fun, feathers and rhyme by Vickie Johnstone

Hi, thanks for hosting me! For this stop on the Raining Cats & Dogs Blog Tour that I’m doing with fellow author David M Brown, it’s the turn of kitties and Kiwi in Cat City. Purrs!

Kiwi in Cat City is about two children who follow their pet cat one night into the field behind their house. The cat, Kiwi, shocks them by turning around and asking why they are following. It seems the black cat, who is magical, had always wanted to communicate with them, but always stuck to the ‘rules’ – today she breaks them. Kiwi takes the children on an adventure to her other home, called Cat City. The blue-lit, colourful world is populated by catizens, who rule themselves and live almost harmoniously. To take the children there, Kiwi turns them into kittens. They learn four-paw walking, mews and purrs, and off they go. In Cat City, they meet Inspector Furrball, head of the Cat Squad, and help him to investigate the Case of the Catnapped Catizens.

So far, I have written six books in the Kiwi Series. There are plot threads running though them, except for the sixth book, which was for Christmas, and I wrote it in such a way that a reader could pick it up without having read the others. Although the stories were written for readers aged 9-14, I think they are cool for adults too. The books have amazing illustrations by the talented Nikki McBroom.

Each book takes the children and Kiwi to different words, solving mysteries and meeting new characters. Gradually, the reader learns more about Kiwi and the other catizens. There are some moral lessons to be learnt, and the kids learn about themselves and life in general. Some books take place in the human world, such as book five, where everyone goes back in time to Ancient Egypt.

Kiwi in Cat City started with a poem. My cat that the book is based on, Kiwi, died in 2000. Earlier, I had written a poem about her. In 2002, when I was off work due to redundancy, I was going through some notebooks and came across the poem. Reading it made me think about Kiwi. Over the next few days, I started thinking about a story about a magical cat – Kiwi, of course – but she would live in a world populated by cats who did their own thing.

For this guest post, I thought I’d dig out some poems for you. I love writing poetry and have done so since I was about 14 or 16; not sure which! I have published three books of them: Kaleidoscope (poems written from 1986-2010); Life’s Rhythms (haiku written in 2011-12) and Travelling Light (poems past and present).

To start with, here is the poem that inspired Kiwi in Cat City, which is at the beginning of each book –

She was as black as night that lost its moon
She was a crazy kind of loon.
Eyes as wide as giant saucers
Yellow and rimmed with green;
Whiskers long with almost white tips
She grinned an unmistakable feline grin.
Her walk was kind of majestic
Yet pretty funny at top speed
For hers was not a slimline figure,
Rather a bit on the curvy side,
And when she rolled on her back
Black soft fur fluffed up.
Little paws as soft as velvet
But beware the quick glint of claws
Curved and sharp as a knife.
She would squint at you and purr
The most wondrous hum
And you’d forget all your troubles
Rushed along on the ride of sound.
Her name was Kiwi
But she was no ordinary cat.
When the moon was full
Like a cat’s claw
Her ears would prick up
Her whiskers twitched
Her tail stood up tall and bold
And she’d follow her nose
Out into the cool night air.
Until one eerie cold night
When everything changed…

Here are some more recent poems about furries -

The fox and the mole

Let’s rob a bank
Said the fox to the mole
I’ve got mouths to feed
And I’m feeling the need

Ok, said the mole
But you know I can’t see
I can burrow real deep
But I might fall asleep

Well, said the fox
I can offer my cunning
I will find a way inside
And to you I’ll confide

Wake me up said the mole
When you discover this
As I’ve got a hunch
We’re in a credit crunch

So the fox went off thinking
How to rob the bank
And came up with a plan
While eating a cherry flan

Well then, asked the mole
What do you suggest we do
To steal all the money
But not do anything funny?

Aha, said the fox grinning
I’ll tell you what to do
Just burrow under the bank
While I drive up in a tank

Oh, said the mole frowning
I never thought of that
I didn’t know foxes could drive
Have you told this to your wife?

No, we have to keep this secret
Said the fox to the mole
As she’ll have my guts for garters
And that’s just for starters

So off went the fox and mole
To begin their bank robber life –
They rivalled Bonny and Clyde
Living it up, the law they defied

The captive

Chasing rabbits in the hills
The fox jigs and jags its way
Trying to outwit the bobbing tail
That bounces seconds ahead

He twists and turns breathless
Ever present on the trail
The cold air dipping his ears
The never ending chase of ages

Rabbit bobs and bounds across
Fields of green verdant gold
Not stopping to glance back
Lest fear overcomes him here

The race goes on towards the lake
Sparkling in the summer sun
A waft of butterflies surges up
Disturbed in their colourful mist

On they go around the lake
The rabbit heads towards the trees
Outmatched he finds his energy fade
The fox chases on with speed

Round and round and on and on
Until the deep-set wood draws near
And who should be there waiting
But the hunt with hounds in tow


Spring light reflected
In pools of iridescence
Petals drowning
Bounce along the surface
Pinks and reds
Tracing small circles
Ever-circling anew
Blue spray rushes in
In the shape of a dragonfly
Glistening wings spinning
Spring light reflected

Haiku – fur, feathers and fins!

Brown dog woofs, chasing
Giddy circles without sense,
His tail evades him

The sheltering moon,
Beneath her glimmer they roam ­
Free, the wild wolves howl

Tinkle of a bell –
Leaping, he snatches the bird,
Heart beating softly

Feline eyes blink down,
Cursing my laptop sitting
In what was her seat

Spring light reflected
In tumultuous waters;
The red salmon fly

Eyes turn to the sun,
River of blue-black shimmers
On peacock feathers

Above the ocean
The eagle soars, sweeps and dives,
Fishing for supper

Kiwi in Cat City

Book blurb:

One dark night, Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat's claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes... whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that, with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change them into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to solve the mystery of the missing catizens and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect.

Buy links:

Ebook price: $99/77p
Paperback price: $7.50/£4.86

When nature lover Josie moves into a house share with two pals, dreamer Ben and model man David, she sees it as a short stop and doesn’t bank on an attraction developing with one of them. Meanwhile, Ben’s dog, Glen, has the hots for Miss Posh, the beautiful golden Lab in the park. When dog meets dog it’s puppy love, but a complication leads to Glen taking matters into his own paws. In this comedy of errors, romance and walkies, it’s anyone’s guess who is going to get the girl/dog and live happily ever after.

Buy this book here.

Author bio:

Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance sub-editor on magazines and an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling.

Vickie has self-published the following books:
Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (free poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow.
The Kiwi Series has illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

Author links:

Enter the giveaway here.


  1. Thank you for hosting Vickie today, Ruth, and for your fantastic support to us both with the tour.

  2. Great post, Vickie.

    Especially enjoyed The Fox and the Mole. What a team.

    Kiwi is such a special cat. What a wonderful legacy she has left. Six books and counting. Just wonderful.


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