Welcome today to Carrie Pack, with news of her latest release In The Present Tense.
Carrie came to talk to about herself and about her new release and started by telling me a little about the book: “In the Present Tense is my second novel and it features my favorite sci-fi trope: time travel. It is the story of a young man named Miles whose dissociative disorder manifests itself as shifts in time. Miles tries to balance reconnecting with his former love Adam with his love for his wife Ana. Along the way, he finds out there is much more to his condition than meets the eye.”
And I nodded sagely about how fascinating that is – because like Carrie, I love me some time travelling. But of course, I also wanted to know a bit more about her, and Carrie had to confess, “I am a crazy cat lady, though and through. Well, it would be more accurate to say we’re a crazy cat family. My husband is actually a much bigger softy when it comes to our pets than I am, and that’s really saying something. He’s the reason we have at least two of our cats. Right now we have four: The Beef, Zooey, Squishy, and Lulu. And they are spoiled rotten.”
At which point there was much squeeing and demands for pictures. So here we have a post with the most gorgeous cats, each with Carrie’s explanation of who each one is. We have not forgotten the book, you understand, and below the cats you can find out more about Miles and his dilemma, and read an excerpt.
But first… cats!
“I’ve had the Beef since before my husband and I started dating. He’s the senior cat in our household and is pushing fourteen years old. His name was originally Killer—ironically named because he was afraid of his own shadow—but my husband renamed him The Beef and it stuck. He’s about 20 pounds of pure fluff and not much else.”
“This little love muffin is Zooey and she’s The Beef’s cuddle buddy. She’s a rescue that melted my heart when she reached through a cage and petted me while making eye contact. When she wants to be held, you *will* hold her… and look deep into her eyes while she paws the air and purrs.”
“Squishy adopted my husband from between two truck tires. He went in search of a high-pitched meow and found the tiniest kitten squawking her head off at him. If he hadn’t found her, she would have been squished, hence the name. She has an attitude problem, but she secretly loves us. Or so we keep telling ourselves.”
“And then came Lulu—the baby of the family who thinks she’s a dog. She growls at the mailman and follows me around the house. Heaven help me if I shut a door and she’s on the other side. Her favorite pastime is lounging on my face and purring.”
Miles Lawson goes to sleep dreaming of a future with his boyfriend Adam, but wakes to find he is married to Ana, an acquaintance from high school. When he learns he has been time traveling, Miles is consumed with finding a cure for his rare condition—and finding his first love. But will he be able to convince Adam he is telling the truth before it’s too late?
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: CB Messer
Miles sat there and tried to make out shapes and colors in the dark room as he searched his brain for a memory of anything.
Nothing looked familiar. His desk, his drum set, the sheets—all gone. Not one thing looked the way it had when he’d fallen asleep, and Ana certainly hadn’t been in his bed.
He tried to replay the previous day’s events, but everything seemed fuzzy, like a fogged bathroom mirror that he couldn’t wipe clean.
Why was everything so fuzzy?
Last night… What happened last night?
Adam had come over and they were watching TV together, and Adam had given him a small stuffed giraffe because Miles was scared about having surgery. He reached for his left arm, expecting to find the cast that had been there for the last two months, but it wasn’t there. His heart began to beat so loudly he glanced over at Ana to make sure she was still asleep.
Unable to determine what had happened to his cast, Miles resumed his tally of the previous evening’s chain of events. At around ten-thirty, his mom said Adam had to leave because they had to get up early to go to the hospital. He had taken his pain meds and gone to sleep with the phantom of Adam’s goodnight kiss on his cheek. He’d been happy.
He’d gotten a text from Ana earlier in the evening, but she was only wishing him luck with the surgery. She hadn’t come over. In fact, as far as Miles knew, Ana had been several hours away in her dorm room.
So how had she gotten into his bedroom? And who had changed his sheets?
He threw off the covers and stood up, noticing he was only wearing a tight-fitting pair of boxer briefs instead of his usual basketball shorts.
He looked around the room for anything familiar, but it was still dark out, and all he could see were shadows and vague shapes. On the dresser opposite the bed, he found a few framed photos. Squinting to see without turning on a light, Miles studied the images carefully.
As his eyes focused, he recognized a couple of the photos. One was from last year’s prom: Adam wearing that ridiculous corsage Miles had bought him, Ana being dipped by her date, David, as all four of them smiled widely in front of a cheesy faux tropical scene. One of the frames held a collage of photos of his and Ana’s friends. He recognized Adam, Lucky, Antonio, Dahlia and Brienne. But the last one, the largest of all the photos, was of him and Ana—her in a flowing white dress and him in a black suit, both wearing broad smiles and flanked by Miles’s parents and a woman Miles had only seen once: Julia Espinosa, Ana’s mother.
A loud clatter echoed through the bedroom as the frame hit the edge of the dresser and fell to the hardwood floor. This wasn’t his room, and he didn’t remember that photo being taken.
“Go back to sleep,” Ana mumbled, her voice muffled by the pillow.
“Ana,” he whispered, risking her full anger, but unable to stop himself, “we’re married.”
“Thanks for the update. Now go back to sleep before I divorce your dumb ass.”
He dropped to the floor on his knees, barely even noticing the sharp pain of bare skin hitting the hard surface.
Married. To Ana?
What the hell had happened?
Carrie Pack is the author of Designs On You and a part-time college professor who recently left her job in marketing to actively pursue her writing career. Carrie lives in Florida, which she fondly calls America’s Wang, with her husband and four cats.