Jess Nickelsen: Discombobulated
April 16, 2023 - Novella incoming


Novella incoming! I’ve been sitting on this one for quite a while now, as it’s a bit of a troublesome kid: not quite YA, not quite adult. Magic. Cats. Magical cats. Talking magical cats. Do you know how many online publications that accept submissions for novellas / novelettes specifically say they won’t consider talking cats? More than two.

I know talking magical cats are cheesy. I know. But I still really like this story, ok? It’s got hints of malice that imply a possible dark future for our innocent duo. I like the characters. I like the silliness of it. I like that it’s set in Karori.

I also understand why publishers wouldn’t want to go there with a novella like this one. But…that said…I can’t just file this one away. It won’t be perfect, but I like it in its strangeness.

Here’s the blurb:

The girl might be redeemed. A cat? Never.

Nine-year-old Beth and her tabby kitten Charley become BFFs from the moment she adopts him. He seems like the perfect pet: well behaved, doesn’t shed, and what’s more, has moonlight-dipped ears.” But what Beth doesn’t know is that Charley was born into a lineage of catmages, and she’s too excited about her new pet to heed the warning from the old lady who runs the shelter: He’s not come into his power, yet. It’s hard to say what his form will take before it happens.

When Charley is catnapped by a strange man in a dark cloak, Beth does everything she can to get him back. But what will happen when Charley does come into his power, and what form will it take? And how can life ever return to normal when Beth and Charley attract the notice of several magical factions with their own agendas?

Catnip & Brimstone is a bittersweet novella about friendship, loyalty, and finding one’s own path.

Anyway, if that’s piqued your interest in the slightest, you can pick up a free copy if you sign up to my newsletter. (Otherwise it’s here at Amazon. I’m doing the KDP Select thing for a few months and then will open it up to other shopfronts.)

this is, indeed, the coverthis is, indeed, the cover