It is time for another Friday guest so please welcome Caitlin Ricci, who is here to talk about her latest book and one of my favourite wild animals… no, not men (for once), lions. It’s lovely to have you here Caitlin.
Hey, I’m Caitlin Ricci. Thank you for spending some time with me today. I’d like to talk about my upcoming book, Taming the Lion Tamer which is available on August 18 through Silver Publishing.
The idea for Taming the Lion Tamer came to me one afternoon while driving east along I-70 on the Colorado plains. There’s a billboard next to the highway advertising a wild animal sanctuary about an hour east of Denver. I went on their website, looked at the stories of some of their big cats, and started thinking about the kind of man that would devote his life to saving big cats. He would have to be compassionate, a real animal lover, and brave to be able to spend time with animals so much more powerful than himself. As someone getting to be around these majestic animals daily, he’d have one of the dream jobs as far as I’m concerned. But he wouldn’t think of it like that. The man that I pictured in my mind months ago would be humble and appreciate that he got the chance to work with endangered cats and help them in whatever way he could.
And then Quinn Fitzgerald was born and I liked him instantly. I knew he would be a great guy for this story. I enjoy characters that are sexy without trying, love their careers and stand for something. Quinn is all of these and more. And then there’s Charlie Deagman. He’s cute, shy and is amazed that someone as attractive as Quinn has any interest in him at all.
This was a fun story to write because these characters played well off of each other for me and there are some parts that really made me smile. It’s a cute story with a definite Happily Ever After and a pair of guys that I hope you’ll fall in love with as well.
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Please enjoy my interview with Quinn Fitzgerald
Me: Today I have Quinn Fitzgerald sitting with me. He owns the Amherst Big Cat Sanctuary in Wyoming. Thank you for joining me today Quinn.
Quinn: My pleasure Caitlin.
Me: So, tell me what it’s like working with all those big cats.
Quinn: It’s by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I enjoy every minute of my usually crazy busy day.
Me: What do you normally do at the sanctuary?
Quinn: I’d like to say that I spend the day on my back sunning myself like the African lions, or swimming like the Bengal tigers. But sadly more often than not I’m stuck in the office doing paperwork and paying bills. I do get out and help as much as I can though. I’m far more a hands on type of guy than the kind of boss that just sits back and lets everything happen around him.
Me: Then does your team handle the rest of the daily stuff?
Quinn: Yes. I’m fortunate to have a great team working with me. We all keep the cats as our first priority so there’s that understanding between us that if something isn’t in the best interest of the cats, no one should be doing it.
Me: Aside from taking care of the cats, what else do you enjoy doing?
Quinn: I enjoy seeing movies, though usually I just rent them and watch whatever I can in the evenings. I’ve got a great collection of classic horror movies and I’ve seen each about a dozen times. But my absolute favorite thing outside of the cats is frosting.
Quinn: Yes, especially cream cheese frosting. It’s my favorite.
Me: What do you like to have it on?
Quinn: A spoon.
Me: Anyone you like to share the frosting with?
Quinn: Maybe someday. But there hasn’t been anyone more than just a casual partner for months. Want to have some frosting? I’ve got some in my bag. I try not to leave home without it. Never know when a craving will hit.
Me: No thanks.
Quinn: You don’t know what you’re missing.
Me: I’ll take your word for it. But unfortunately that’s all we have time for. Thank you for joining me today as I interviewed Quinn Fitzgerald. You can find out more about him in my new book, Taming the Lion Tamer, available August 18th on Silver Publishing.
Excerpt from Taming the Lion Tamer
Quinn parked the large van along the backside of the animation studio. This spot was normally reserved for loading, but he’d understood why the department head had asked him not to bring Aseem through the front lobby. It wasn’t easy to control a young hundred pound Asiatic lion in such a large space, especially if someone happened to get nervous around him. The man that had invited them today, Mr Barker, had assured Quinn the people he was bringing in to meet Aseem had all been briefed about how to act in the lion’s presence. Still, Quinn wasn’t taking chances. He’d seen the news stories of what happened to a big cat once it got hold of a human and he wasn’t going to let that happen to his best friend.
He hopped out of the van, making sure to grab the visitor badge he’d been sent as soon as he’d agreed to bring a lion to the studio. Aseem was a pro at this. The big cat actually seemed to enjoy the human attention when they did talks at the sanctuary. Quinn supposed that was probably a result of spoiling him as a cub. In those first few months, Aseem had barely left his side, acting more like a playful puppy than the fierce predator he was supposed to be. Quinn opened up the back doors and grinned at Aseem who blinked wearily at him.
“I know, big guy, it was a long drive down to Denver, wasn’t it?” he said as he undid the padlock and opened the heavy metal cage that had been built in the back of the van. “You ready to go put on a little show?” Aseem yawned, his large canines flashing perfectly white in the summer sun. Instead of being nervous about being so close to the big cat, Quinn merely complimented himself on taking such good care of the animal’s oral hygiene. He put on his leather work gloves and unhooked the heavy chain leash from where it attached to the cage. He stepped back out of the way and gave Aseem a little click with his tongue. The lion huffed, but lumbered to his feet after a few more clicks. “Come on, old buddy, I’m not a morning person, either, and I still managed to drag my ass out of bed at five. You could bother to jump down out of the van. Please.”
The old van creaked as Aseem managed the short leap to the pavement. “Good, thank you. It’s a great cause and the director has promised us lots of goodies, so let’s go do our best,” Quinn said. He stifled a yawn and then closed the back doors with a slam that echoed through the empty back parking lot.
Thanks for hanging out with me and reading about Quinn and Charlie! You can check out excerpts, find the pictures that really helped round out these characters and read more about all of my stories at my blog.
Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn’t writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance, their dog and Blue Tongue Skink. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.