Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Welcome Ann Cerino and Carmella the Cat!

Ann Cerino is the author and self-publisher of the Carmella The Cat book series. A lifelong lover of animals, Ann always had cats in her life, even as a young child when her grandfather, who worked on the railroad would bring stray kittens home for her to take care of. Even then, Ann knew that taking care of animals was a big responsibility and that there were so many homeless animals, young and old, who needed forever homes. As an adult, she adopted as many as she could over the years, and she wanted to do more but she didn’t know what, until one day….

Ann had recently put one of her own cats to sleep due to an illness when her vet had let her hold a homeless, orange and white kitten that had come into the office. This little kitten had been found a few days earlier in a drainage ditch and was the only survivor of her siblings. She was sick and afraid, and Ann was looking to fill a space in her heart that was left so open and hurt, that when her vet put this tiny kitten in Ann’s arms, Ann immediately knew it was meant to be. Ann brought Carmella home where a bond was born, and a book series was being written!

Prior to writing the Carmella The Cat books, Ann spent 42 years in retail management. She began her career as a Manager at the junior clothing store Foxmoor and recently retired as the Assistant Manager from David’s Bridal in Allentown, PA.

Through her work helping brides create their perfect wedding days by telling their personal stories through picking out their gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and accessories, Ann feels that a similar technique has helped her creative writing process as well, to help her tell Carmella’s stories.

As a storyteller, especially to children, Ann believes that “you can learn while you have fun”. While she may have been a “numbers” person in high school and in her previous career, she finds that writing relaxes her and helps her break down concepts to talk about them to different audiences, including children.

Ann’s hobbies include gardening, painting and stenciling, cooking (especially Italian food!), and reading, including the supernatural. She also loves to travel and has been to England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France.

Ann graduated Allentown Business College for Retail Merchandising and Buying in Allentown, PA. In addition, she took several creative writing classes through Lehigh County Community College in preparation to write the Carmella The Cat series. Ann continues to live in Allentown, PA with Carmella and a few other frisky kitties.

 Carmella The Cat, the first book in the series, was launched in December 2013. Carmella The Cat Goes Fishing was launched in May 2015. Additional books in the series will be launched in 2016 and beyond. The books can be found on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and CarmellaTheCat.com for $12.95.
And now I interview Ann and Carmella!

How did you arrive at the concept for your book?

The "Carmella Concept" was born at my family reunion. My cousin and I
were bantering back and forth about the name of my new kitten. She said,
"Carmella the Cat"? And I remarked back, "Yes! A good name for a children's
book, right"? On my way home I gave it more thought and decided to run with it!
Did you hit any hurdles on your road to publication?

The publication actually went very smoothly. I self published through Outskirts
Press. We had an hour phone orientation and they walked us through every step.
They were very helpful and great to work with.
Do you do any volunteer work at shelters?

  I do not volunteer at any specific shelters. I donate through my vet and do rescue
and placement on my own as needed.

If you want to adopt a cat, and I do recommend adoption over buying, first spend
some time with friends that have them. I also suggest adopting an older cat that is
done with it's crazy kitten stage! And always adopt in pairs so they have company!

 Hello, Carmella!
How do you like your Mom, and do you feel she portrayed your story accurately?

 I love my Mom even when she drives me crazy with all her kisses. We have a special bond.
She adores me and I am fine with that.

Mom did a great job portraying my story. Because it is a children's book, she changed the
very beginning and didn't include the fact that all my litter mates drowned and that I
was near death and resuscitated by The Cat Doctor. She described me as a half drowned
wet noodle.
What's the best thing about living with your Mom?

  The best thing about living here is I am the Queen and in charge of my fursisters and
furbrothers. My nickname is Gorgeous Girl and I get lots of attention.
What's the worst thing?
 The worst thing is when Mom tries to comb me. I hate that and I growl.
Describe a typical day in your life.

  My typical day is getting petted first thing in the morning. Then we head downstairs
for breakfast. Mom always keeps a little extra on the side for when I need a snack
later. Then I do some grooming and lay on my Cat's Meow toy. I usually hang out with
Mom for a while and then nap. After supper we play with the laser and my peacock feather.
Then more naps. We also get Party Mix treats before bed.
Thanks Girls. Do you have any parting words for our readers?

To all cats waiting for their forever homes: Keep purring and you will find a great Mom, too!


Ann and Carmella

Visit www.carmellathecat.com to learn more about them!

Ann and Carmella have donated copies of both books to be given to one lucky reader!  Just leave a comment below with your email address!  the winner will be chosen via random.org. Contest ends midnight, July 31!   


  1. These look like great books. I have a 4 year old and an 8 year old. My 4 year old is autistic and he has his own cat who loves to help keep him calm. We also have 3 other cats. Both of my kids are definite cat people.

  2. You know you are one lucky girl, Carmella, to have such a wonderful person like Ann to adopt you. Bless you both and I would love to read your story. I have grandkids who are CRAZY for my cats! Best of luck to both of you.