Monday, February 20, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) by Miranda James

From the publisher: Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset...

But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library...

Tortie Shorties Review:  I don't read a lot of books where a man is the protagonist, but Charlie Harris of Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks Mystery series is something special. Over the course of this series I've watched Charlie grow from a lonely librarian to a beloved member of the genteel town of Athena, surrounded by family and friends - and a very special cat, Diesel.

In this 7th book in the series, Charlie isn't looking forward to delivering the welcome speech at the Southern Academic Libraries Association's annual conference, and when he discovers that Gavin Fong, an unwelcome ghost from his past is also attending, he finds reason to dread it even more. It doesn't take long for the two men to be at each other's throats once again, but Charlie soon learns his feelings towards Gavin are felt by many. The next morning Gavin steps up to the podium to make his speech and drops dead moments after taking a drink from his water bottle. Gavin had hosted a party for the librarians in his room the night before, the most likely time for the water to be poisoned, meaning there's a killer loose among the conference attendees. While investigating the crime Charlie also has a lot of change going on in his personal life to complicate matters further for the sleuthing librarian.  The mystery is very fast paced and the resolution turned out to be a big surprise.

Unlike many cat cozies, Charlie and Diesel aren't a crime-solving team. Diesel has no special powers that enable him to help solve the mystery. He's simply Charlie's best friend and companion with kitty quirks that we all witness in our own beloved pets...and that's exactly what makes their relationship (and this series) so special.

For Whom the Bread Rolls: A Pancake House Mystery by Sarah Fox

From the publisher: Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.

The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.

Tortie Shorties Review: The summer tourist season sees business booming at The Flip Side pancake house. As Marley continues to settle into Wildwood Cove life is pretty much perfect except for the ongoing acts of vandalism and crank calls made by cranky Ida Winkler. When Marley has finally had enough of the harassment she pays Ida a visit, only to find her dead in the garden shed, whacked over the head with the base of an antique lamp that Ida stole from Marley's front porch. Before long Marley starts to worry that business is going to suffer if she doesn't clear her name of suspicion, and she ends up discovering that many people in town had reason to hold a grudge against Ida. From blackmail to illegal dumping at the river to a local meth lab, there's a lot of illegal activity going on around Wildwood Cove, and Marley takes it upon herself to tie up the details.

Great characters, a picturesque setting, yummy food descriptions, and an adorable cat...what more does a cozy mystery need?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2nd Annual Mudpie 500 Zoomies Event

WOOHOO today I'm taking my Sunday Selfie
from behind the wheel of a moving race car!!!

(And the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion's car at that...just sayin'.)

It's no secret that Mommy is serious about her NASCAR. The Daytona 500 is next Sunday and she is ecstatic.

Since she always calls my zoomies the "running of the Mudpie 500" I decided to start hosting an annual giveaway to celebrate this national holiday in our house!

This year Mommy and I each chose a couple items for our prize package: a feather mousie and package of Nip Nibblers for the kitties, and a wooden "Best Cat Ever" box sign and Lake Champlain chocolate bar for the cat moms.

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment predicting the winning driver by midnight eastern on Sunday, February 26th. Don't forget to leave your email address too! (Due to shipping costs this is open to US residents only, however everyone is invited to enter. Winners residing outside the US may gift or donate their prize to a friend or shelter.)

In the event that more than one of you pick the winning driver, we will draw a name from a hat. If no one picks the winning driver, we will move on to second place, etc., until a winner is chosen. Last year no one chose the winner Denny Hamlin, but my friend Cathy Keisha chose "the guy from NJ" (Martin Truex Jr.) who finished second, so she won the prize!

Here are your driver choices:

Here's the thing about the Daytona 500: it's a total crap shoot so you don't need to know a thing about racing in order to predict a winner. It's known as a "restrictor plate race" which limits speed and increases safety, to provide an equal level of competition. The cars all run in crazy scary packs and winning is more a matter of luck than anything.

Back in 2007 our driver Kevin Harvick won the race. My grandpa's boss at the time stood to win $1,000 if Mark Martin won, and Martin was leading until the last turn of the last lap when Kevin came from 7th place to win by fractions of a second. It was a thrilling finish, but grandpa never told his boss that Kevin was our driver! Check it out:

Good luck, have fun, and may the best man Kevin Harvick win!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

National Drink Wine Day

Meows from Mudpie!

Today is National Drink Wine Day, the purrfect opportunity to show you the pawsome wine bottle Mommy got for Christmas.

Isn't it amazing??? The detail on the face is just incredible. It's been nearly two months since Christmas and Mommy hasn't even opened it yet because she says it's too beautiful to unseal. She's not a drinker anyways (she loves wine but the smallest amount puts her right to sleep) so she'll probably leave it just the way it is.

Because we think this kitty wine bottle is a work of art, we're entering it in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Valentine Surprise

Meows from Mudpie!

You know how each month I get to try out new food, toys and treats as a Chewy Influencer? Well earlier this week we found a Chewy box on our front step, and since we weren't expecting anything from them the contents of the box were quite a mystery.

Mommy opened it up and found a bunch of Valentine's Day goodies for HER! I guess our friends at Chewy know that bloggers run on coffee and chocolate!!!


And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

Mommy's answers:

1. Snow causes a lot of headaches. Don't get me wrong, I love the snow. At Christmas. Which never happens. After miniscule amounts of snow for the past two years, since Sunday we've gotten about a foot and a half of the white stuff that in just a couple weeks will turn into a muddy, wet mess. 

2. My favorite kind of soup is Chunky's Chili Mac (at the moment, anyways).

Mudpie's answers:

3. When no one is around, I get into mischief

4. Mommy is my best friend.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Galison’s Berkley Bestiary Collection Review/Giveaway

My favorite things to feature on our blog (besides Mudpie, of course) are stylish and fabulous finds for cat ladies, so nothing makes me happier than being contacted by a company about their line of cat inspired products and then getting a sneak peek at their brand new collection!

This post is sponsored by Galison / Mudpuppy

Galison was founded in 1979 to work with museums to make artist imagery widely available in the form of well-designed paper products. They first published calendars and a few books before focusing primarily on fine art stationery, boxed notecards, greeting cards, personalized Christmas cards, journals, and other gift products for writers.

Spring 2017 introduces Galison’s Berkley Bestiary Collection, a collaboration with husband and wife duo Ryan and Lucy Berkley from Portland, Oregon. Ryan is a self-taught illustrator best known for his detailed drawings of sophisticated animals; Lucy is responsible for the witty backstories and anecdotes that accompany the illustrations.

I received a gift set of the entire collection which includes a large porcelain tray, a writer's notebook set, and a greeting card assortment box. The detail on each piece is extraordinary and the critters are whimsical yet dignified.

The porcelain tray features three fun feline characters and is the purrfect destination for keys, jewelry, and other trinkets (like the laser toy that keeps going missing). As adorable as the three kitties are, when I turned the box over and read the story of "The Cat Ladies" book club I fell even more in love with the piece! My only question can I join the club???

The writer's notebook set features both a cat and a robin. I particularly love the center-sewn struggling to keep the notebook open while you're writing, and it's just the right size to keep in your purse, glove compartment, or even by the bed for when you have an idea you want to jot down before your forget it!

In the digital age we live in today, do you ever miss personalized, hand-written communication? Any animal lover would be delighted to open their mailbox and find a note from this greeting card assortment, which features notecards with 4 different designs: a cat, robin, bunny and guinea pig. The sturdy packaging could be displayed on a bookshelf with full graphics and a ribbon to open the drawer.

As you can see, the "Berkley Bestiary" is filled with a cast of furry friends that you just can't help but love! Thanks to our friends at Galison, one lucky reader in the US is going to win a gift set of the entire collection. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Galison / Mudpuppy. I am being compensated for reviewing these products but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Galison / Mudpuppy is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Valentine's Day Smooch

Roses are red
Violets are blue
A tortie's love is always true.

Sassy and splendid
Always purr-fection
She's waiting for a kiss from you!