Amy Lane Guest Post: I Loved That Cat

Fish out of Water

Please welcome the amazing Amy Lane to the blog today chatting about her latest release Fish out of Water!

I Loved That Cat by Amy Lane

I taught in a culturally diverse, economically deprived high school for fifteen years.

I loved it.

People probably look at me incredulously when I say that—I’m a big, pale, freckled woman with a sort of sweet voice and a self-conscious smile. I’m sure people think that in order to do well in a “rough school” you have to be a big strong man with the voice from the heavens above, but that wasn’t the case at all.

In fact, the more I taught, the more I realized that what the students responded to wasn’t always authority and punishment and people laying down the law. More often, it was direct eye contact, a warm handshake, and a promise to respect whatever boundaries the students laid down. I mean, it was only fair—I didn’t like them yelling at me in my personal space—why would I want to yell at them that way?

That’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re outnumbered thirty-five to one. I’ll never forget my first lesson in how being afraid of my students was bullshit—and how being human with them was maybe my greatest tool for education.

I was student teaching for the loveliest mentor teacher I’d ever met. The school was socially and economically diverse, much like the one where I ended up teaching, and this man was a southern gentleman to his toes.

He was a southern gentleman to the girls putting on way too much makeup and to the boys making rude cracks about my ass in a skirt (I was much thinner and cuter then—wasn’t bad, really) and he was a southern gentleman to me, when I seriously didn’t know my miniskirted ass from a hole in the ground.

You could not be rude to this man, and he was quiet and fair to all parties. He taught me so much about respecting the kid who came in through the door and not hoping for a perfect TV kid in his or her place.

Fish out of Water is an intriguing action packed love story which will take you on a suspense filled journey and will definitely leave you wanting for more.Parvathy's Review
One of the kids in our class was a seven-foot tall (I am not joking) boy who had just been released from juvenile hall.

“Why?” I asked my mentor teacher somewhat fearfully. “What did he do?”

“Assault and property damage,” he said in his mild way. “I never found out why he destroyed that other young man’s car, but I firmly believe he was provoked.”

Well. He’d been provoked. I must surely never provoke this young man who was so very much bigger than I was and prone to violence. Note to self—do not provoke.

But he was a talkative student (when not provoked he was social and well liked) and I was, well, a female authority figure four years his senior who needed to keep him from talking! So, after a warning and a call to his parents, per school policy, I pulled him aside into the counselor’s office for a moment, when the class was working on something and my mentor was there to supervise.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the counselor’s office had the door open, to let in the breeze and the sunshine, and it was impossible to be mad at this kid as he grinned down at me and I tried to lecture him, literally craning my head back to look him in the eye.

I tried though—I was a teacher, darnit, and I needed to have some damned authority!

And just at that moment, a half-grown ginger tomcat wandered in through the door and sat on my foot.

Oh. Kitty kitty! I bent down and scooped him up, letting his feet dangle while I scratched him behind the ears and continued lecturing my student.

Who cracked up unrepentantly.

“Ms. Lane, it’s damned hard to take you seriously while you’re standing there with that cat.”

I smiled at him and we both shared a laugh while the cat purred, and we walked back to class.

“Try to keep it down, okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, I promise. What are you going to do with the cat?”

I took the cat home. The kid passed the class eventually—and I got my teaching credential at the end of the semester.

And I learned that stereotypes were crap, and all my kids—even the seven-foot tall ones fresh out of juvie—were human, and it was a very rare kid I couldn’t treat well and get the same respect back.

It was one of my most valuable life lessons and something I carried with me through my next eighteen years of teaching—and in my life beyond as a parent and volunteer. I think of that kid sometimes—betting he has a college degree and a family. He was such a sweet person, I figured he would put his problems behind him and move on with his life.

I bet he has a cat.

Fish Out of Water.Title: Fish Out of Water
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29th, 2016
Genre(s): Mystery, Crime
Page Count: 270
Reviewed by: PIU, Belen, Crabbypatty and Parvathy.
Blurb:

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

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About Amy Lane

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

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