Friday, October 8, 2010

Cherish D'Angelo & Chai

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Cherish D'Angelo, author of the romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady, and beside me is my pet muse Chai. She's a two and a half year old Pomeranian princess.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have coffee with Chai every day, but today we decided to venture out and pick up her namesake.

What's brewing?

I'm having my usual―a Chai tea latte with two shots of cinnamon dulce. Steaming hot or iced, I like to alternate. Today we're going hot.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Sometimes I splurge and go for the lemon poppyseed loaf, but most times I just enjoy my Chais.

Any treat for Chai on this occasion?

Besides whatever I slop down my shirt that she gets to lick off, I may take her to PetSmart afterward for a "T". Shhh...we can't say that word out loud or she'll get all excited. Can't even spell it anymore; Chai knows how to spell the "T" word. Oh, and she did get a small cup of milk in a Starbucks cup.

How were you and Chai united?

Sadly, we were brought together by tragedy. After the death of our beloved Royale, a beautiful miniature American Eskimo who was 13 years old, I couldn't stand the silence of the house. With everyone working or in school, the house seemed so empty. I also couldn't stand how depressed everyone was, including me. So I went out one day and bought Chai from a breeder. When my husband and daughter came home that day they were so surprised and fell in love with Chai immediately. She slept draped across my neck for most of that day and I became her Mom.

Does Chai have any influence on your writing?

Somewhat. She reminds me to be gentle sometimes and to have my characters show affection. She also tells me when it's time to take a break and play. She can be very demanding at times and makes sure I don't sit too long.

How did Chai get her name? Does she have any aliases?

Chai was named for my favourite drink at Starbucks. Really. I tell people her full name is Venti Chai Tea Latte With Two Shots Of Cinnamon Dulce. She has all the coloring of that delicious drink, the light milky cream color, the cinnamon color and the streaks of dark tea. My daughter, who loves Japan, came up with Chai's official name―Chai-Chan. Chan means child or little one to the Japanese. Chai also goes by "Poodley-Poo", "Poodley-Bum", "Poo-Head" or "Chai Poo-poo". Not sure why though.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Squeaky devil duck. That's what she "attacks" most, though she has been known to lunge after wild rabbits and magpies in our backyard. Both are bigger than Chai.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

Squeaky devil duck. My daughter's boyfriend gave Chai a pink squeaky duck. It had horns on its head. Chai chewed those off in the first couple of days. She's also chewed off the duck's tail. There's now a slit in the duck's neck. The head will be the next to go. Chai loves that duck, though you probably can't tell. She plays with it every day. At dinner time she persistently rolls it with her nose to my husband's feet. Then she barks at him once, ordering him to kick or throw the duck. She'll wait, then bark again. She'll do this until Marc gives in. He always does.

Where is Chai's favorite outdoor destination?

Chai loves to go for walks, especially around the neighbourhood of the house we're building. There are wide walkways and lots of grass and greenery. She's still learning to behave on a leash and she's getting used to meeting other dogs and people.

Where is Chai's favorite indoor destination?

PetSmart. Hands down. She loves sniffing at all the toys there and sometimes picks out the one she wants. She also likes barking at all the bigger dogs that view her as a chew toy or snack. She thinks she's so tough.

Who is Chai's best pet-pal?

My daughter's best friend's dogs: Jenna and Misty.

If Chai could change one thing about you, what would it be?

She would have my laptop surgically removed from my lap so that she can sleep there every day all day long. Chai is very jealous of my "metal puppy". If I'm working while sitting on the couch, she will push herself across my laptop and try to flop across the keyboard. She's very persistent.

Where is Chai's favorite place to sleep?

Other than on my lap, on my bed. Pressed up against me no matter how much empty space there is.

What is Chai's best quality?

She's very affectionate and sweet. She's like a little baby―one suffering from hypertrichosis.

What is the most amusing thing Chai does? The most frustrating?

She pushes her toys, especially the devil duck, with her nose, often rolling it several yards across the floor, and she manipulates her environment. If a cushion isn't where she wants it to be, she'll move it or pad it with her feet like a cat. She also flips her bed over and uses the bottom like a trampoline, jettisoning her toys by placing them on top and then nudging the bed hard with her head until the toy bounces off. Chai is very entertaining.

The most frustrating thing she does is bark at people at the door. We've tried so many things, from collars to whistles to throwing a jar of pennies on the floor. I mean, it's not like she's really an intimidating guard dog. She'd probably just lick a thief to death and pee on his shoes.

Now I must take both my Chais and get back to writing, not to mention all the blog stops I have while promoting Lancelot's Lady.

Cherish D'Angelo launched her debut contemporary romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady on September 27, 2010. Her novel has already won an Editor's Choice Award from and placed in the semi-finals of Dorchester Publishing's "Next Best Celler" contest. Though this is Cherish's first romance novel, she's no stranger to booklovers; she's best known as bestselling Canadian suspense author Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Learn more about
Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo at the official website and author's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue