Monday, November 5, 2018



Today I am interviewing Brandon and Ophelia, the real stars of Diane A.S. Stuckart's new series, The Tarot Cats!

Welcome Brandon and Ophelia! Tell us a bit about yourselves.

               Hi ROCCO. We are brother and sister felines almost two years old. We’re the coolest kind of cats because we’re all black (well, okay, we have a couple of white furs on our stomachs). We used to live in a place called Palm Beach but when our first human mom went to the People’s Bridge, her bad son abandoned us on the street. But a very fine human name Ruby found us and became our new mom.

How do you adjust to living with a pit bull? What do  you like/dislike about the breed?
               It was pretty scary for me, Ophelia, because the first time I saw Zuki she had her face stuck in that box I was lying in when Ruby found me. She has such a big mouth I thought she was going to eat me! But once I got to know her, I found out she’s almost as clever as a cat, and very nice, too. Though she can be tough if she needs to be. She’s not afraid of street dogs at all!

Tell us about your owner, Ruby.  How did that relationship come about?
               Ruby found me, Ophelia, in that awful box and brought me to the shelter place. But she didn’t leave me…she came back and took me home with her when the shelter people said it was okay. I think she needed someone to help her with reading Tarot because she’s not that good at it. You’ll have to read the book to find out how Brandon met her, Meow Out Loud!

What do you like best about Ruby? Least?
               This is Brandon. I think Ruby is really nice for a human. She gives us treats when we ask and even lets us sleep on her bed. I can’t think of anything bad to say about her. Except maybe she should give us more treats.

Ophelia, tell us a bit about your expertise with Tarot Cards. How did you discover you had the gift?
               Well, unless you’re human, it’s not like you have to be particularly clever to read the cards. They’re just a lot of pictures of people and animals doing things. I watch Ruby when she tells people about the cards she puts on the table, and I listen to what she says the cards mean. Ruby keeps forgetting that sometimes you need to pull extra cards if the ones on the table don’t have good pictures. So that’s what I do for her when she’s not looking. She doesn’t mind because it makes her look smart in front of her clients.

Tell us about your latest adventure, Fool’s Moon!
               That was a very exciting story! It’s set in the Botanica – you humans might call it a New Age store – where people come in all day long to buy statues and incense and herbs and crystals. And get their Tarot cards read, too! In this book, we had to solve many mysteries – what really happened to our first human mom who died, where Brandon disappeared to when he escaped the box, and what happened to our other human friend who had something bad happen. And we met some new humans, too…especially this one man named Luis. He and Ruby don’t like each other a whole lot, but we’re not sure why.
But about solving mysteries…we can’t tell you all the details, but Zuki was a very big help. She showed us how to sneak out of the yard and go searching for clues, and how to escape bad street dogs who want to fight. Oh, and we didn’t mention Philomena. She is a koi – a VERY big and old fish, though she lives in a very small pond in our courtyard. We think the pond goes all the way underground to the ocean, but we’re not sure. She knows how to tell the future. That would be useful, except she does dumb fish stuff like talking in rhyme all the time, so we’re never sure what she means. But she always turns out to be right! Ruby helped a little, too, even though humans aren’t really good at solving puzzles.

What do you think of Diane A.S. Stuckart’s portrayal of you?  Is she accurate?
               We think she is a clever writer, and the people who review books agree. But I (Ophelia) will tell you a secret. The real life Brandon is much brattier than Brandon in the book. And I’m the only one who helps with the writing. Brandon is usually lounging on his cat tower while Diane and I are at the computer. She would never finish a book if I weren’t there to supervise.

What would you like to say to our readers?
               We really hope you like our book so that Diane can write more of them. And if you read her previous stories about Hamlet the cat who starred in the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries, we think you’ll like our story. Hamlet hangs out with us on our Facebook page: and he taught us how to be good cat detectives.


DIANE A.S. STUCKART is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (written as Ali Brandon). She’s also the author of the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries, as well as several historical romances and numerous mystery, fantasy, and romance short stories. The first book in her new Tarot Cats cozy mystery series is FOOL’S MOON, on the shelves from Midnight Ink in early November 2018.

Diane is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served as the 2018 Chapter President of the MWA Florida chapter. In addition to her mystery writing affiliations, she’s a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and belongs to the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. She’s a native Texan with a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, but has been living in the West Palm Beach FL area for the past dozen or so years. She shares her “almost in the Everglades” home with her husband, dogs, cats, and a few beehives.
Photo credit James Eisele


Diane, Brandon and Ophelia will give away a signed copy of FOOL'S MOON to one lucky commenter!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. US entries only please. Contest ends midnight, November 10.  Good luck!


  1. Fool's Moon sounds like a fun book, and Brandon and Ophelia sound like wonderful cats. I agree you both probably deserve more treats though! Marla Bradeen: mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  2. Great interview! I can't wait to read about Ophelia, Brandon, and the gang. I follow Rocco's blog, and we are friends on Facebook. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Rocco, you rock at interviews. Fool's Moon sold me the first time I saw the cover. Ophelia and Brandon would fit in my household with my black cat Romeo Luigi. He's a mama's boy. Rocco your blog always promises an informative read and I always look forward to reading it. Also so happy we are friends on Facebook. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. always a good interview! we are friends on faceebook ptclayton2 (at)aol(dot)com. i also follow your blog,and whenn i see a post on facebook i always share it peggy clayton

  5. It was very nice to meet Brandon and Ophelia. So happy that they found a great home. I'd love to win a copy of their latest story.
    I follow your blog by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com, and on Twitter (@carlrscott). I've tweeted a link to this post:, and we are friends on Facebook as well(Carl Scott).
    Thanks again, have a great week!

  6. Sounds really good to me.
    We are FB friends and I've linked this to my page
    I visit regularly
    I don't tweet or have a blog

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  7. Love her books! Looking forward to reading this one. Cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

  8. Really enjoyed Ophelia and Brandon's interview. I like cat sleuths in books and "Fool's Moon" sounds they take their jobs seriously. Looking forward to reading the book.
    Rocco, we are friends on Facebook and following your blog and on Twitter. Shared on Facebook and Twitter.

  9. I am looking forward to this book. My cat Katie and i have been a fan of Hamlet, and have the complete series.
    Stacie Varland

  10. Love the interview, it is both funny and very interesting. Can not wait to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity to receive a copy. Bobbi

  11. I love that Hamlet taught Ophelia & Brandon how to be good cat detectives.
    Jana - turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com
    Following your blog
    Following you on Twitter
    Tweeted about the contest
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook

  12. What a delightful-sounding story! I have sent you a friend request on FB, as well as posting on my FB page. I am also following your blog. I saw your post on the Cat Mysteries Yahoo loop. I don't always get around to checking email, so I'm really glad it happened to come up first as the most recent post today.

  13. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about the Tarot Cats. Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia say MEW!

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