Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tortie Shorties: Fall Mystery Roundup

Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies by Kathi Daley

Blurb: When the cat lady of Ashton Falls is found dead in her home just days before Thanksgiving, Zoe must track down a killer while dealing with a house full of socialites who have come to Ashton Falls to bid on Zak in a high class bachelor auction.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

This 10th book in the Zoe Donovan Mystery series is set at Thanksgiving with preparations underway for a charity bachelor auction which features Zoe's fiance Zak as the top prize. Zoe's Zoo animal rescue and rehabilitation center is pretty quiet until word comes that local cat lady Lois Washburn is letting her cats get into mischief. Zoe goes to check out the situation and ends up finding Lois dead in her living room. Who could possibly want this well-meaning but misguided lady dead? Zoe doesn't intend to get involved in the investigation until she realizes the pink lipstick found on a mug in Lois's house matches the lipstick worn by her friend Levi's new girlfriend, who turns out to be Lois's estranged niece. Zoe soon discovers that Lois had feared for her cats' safety, even taking shooting lessons and returning tainted cat food. She was also involved in a lawsuit with a neighbor and had plans to turn the local senior center into a cat sanctuary. The ending was somewhat abrupt but satisfying, and the entire book was filled with festive feline fun!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, October 27th for the chance to win your choice of a signed paperback (US only) or ebook (open Internationally) of Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies.

A Haunting is Brewing by Juliet Blackwell

Blurb: In this all-new novella, New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell’s popular characters from her Witchcraft Mysteries and Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries find themselves joining forces to solve a supernatural dilemma…

When Mel Turner is hired to rehab an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for a Halloween bash, she’s expecting the normal challenges—old wiring, bad plumbing, maybe a ghostly specter or two. But when a young man is killed after spending the night in the house, and the mannequins in the attic start to come to life, it’s clear that this is serious paranormal activity. Maybe this time, a real witch is needed.

Recommended by a mutual friend, vintage clothes expert Lily Ivory arrives to offer her help with the mannequins. Armed with Lily’s spells and Mel’s know-how, the two women must figure out the cause of all of the ghostly commotion—before Mel’s renovation project turns into even more of a deadly haunt…

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!\

I don't think I've ever read a novella where an author merges characters from two best-selling series into a new original story. What a fun concept...and it works too! 

Preparations for a Halloween fundraiser has Mel (of the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries) rehabbing an old Victorian and she is totally creeped out by the life-sized dolls of the house's former inhabitants that she finds in the attic. The entire family apparently died of the flu in 1918 (or was it murder?) with the exception of the son, who ended up committing suicide in the house on Halloween night. When a student from the local performing arts college spends the night in the house and is found dead the next morning, Lily Ivory of the popular Witchcraft Mysteries is called in to assist in the investigation. This short Halloween story is atmospheric, creepy, and very exciting.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

One Potion in the Grave: A Magic Potion Mystery

A conversation with Roly and Poly, the cats from the Magic Potion mysteries

By Heather Blake

Heather: I hear you two called this meeting because you want more page time. True?

Poly: I’m just here for the snacks.

Roly: It’s true. You have to admit, Ms. AuthorPants, that we didn’t get much face time in the first book, A Potion to Die For. What’s up with that? And did you correct this abomination in One Potion in the Grave?

Poly (looking around): I hear Melissa’s cat Truffles gets snacks sent to her by various companies to sample. How do I sign up for this? Truffles, call me.

Heather: Hush, or I’ll put you on a diet.

Poly (fur raising): You wouldn’t. I’m named Poly after all.

Heather: Dare me.

Poly (staring):

Heather: I can live with the silent treatment.

Roly: Ahem. You didn’t answer me.

Heather: I’m not sure what your issue is. You’re in the books. Lots. Plenty of pages. Most of which you’re sleeping, Roly, as you might recall.

Roly (grooming): I need my beauty sleep.

Poly (still trying to maintain a glare but growing drowsy):

Heather: And, also as you may recall, Roly, in ONE POTION IN THE GRAVE, you spent more time with Aunt Marjie when she moved into Carly’s house than Carly. How am I supposed to explain that kind of defection to readers?

Roly: Marjie makes bacon. Every day.

Poly (giving up on the glare): Mmm. Bacon.

Heather: Okay, okay. It’s hard to argue with that.

Roly: Besides, Carly knows we love her. We wake her up every morning with love taps and kneading. We don’t do that for just anyone.

Heather: Carly puts in a request that you hold off on those morning greetings until the sun comes up.

Roly (blinks innocently): We’ll see. Depends on what you have planned for us for the next book…and if there will be more scenes with me and Dylan.

Heather: Oh, you’ll be seeing a lot more of Sergeant Dylan Jackson.

Roly (purrs): My job here is done.

Heather: Poly, anything else from you?

Poly: Do I smell peanut butter?


Heather is running a month-long ONE POTION IN THE GRAVE Witchtastic giveaway via Rafflecopter (9/23 – 10/23). Win a set of “Cast a Spell” measuring spoons, a set of three Yankee Candle potion bottle tea light holders, a Lego minifigure witch, and a $20.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble -or- Amazon (winner’s choice). To enter: or 

About Heather: Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake cookies. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.


Twitter: @booksbyheather


Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, October 24th for your chance to win a copy of One Potion in the Grave. (US entries only, please.)

Blurb: When Katie Sue Perrywinkle walks into the Little Shop of Potions, Carly is surprised and delighted to see her old childhood friend. Katie Sue fled her hometown and a troubled family over a decade ago. But she’s not back for a social visit. She’s come to settle a score with Senator Warren Calhoun, who is in town for his son’s high-profile wedding.

But before Katie Sue has a chance to voice any objections, she’s forced to forever hold her peace. After finding her friend dead, Carly vows to find her murderer. Were the corrupt Calhouns willing to go to any lengths to avoid a scandal? Did Katie Sue’s family take the term “bad blood” to a whole new level? And why did the bride-to-be come to Carly for a love potion? As Carly gets closer to the truth, a killer is planning a very chilly reception.…

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

If you're looking for the most delicious blend of magic, mystery, and romance you will ever read, run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore or e-reader. One Potion in the Grave, the second book in the amazing Heather Blake's Magic Potion Mystery series, stands in a class all it's own among the ever-growing crop of paranormal cozies.

Hitching Post, Alabama, the wedding capital of the South, is in an uproar over the upcoming nuptials of Senator Warren Calhoun's son Landry and Gabi Greenleigh. Then Carly's old friend Katie Sue arrives back in town after distancing herself from her troubled family many years ago with threats to put a stop to the wedding. Somebody puts a (permanent) end to Katie Sue instead, and Carly is determined to sift through the long list of people who had reason to want her friend dead (including Katie Sue's own family) to catch a killer.

One of my favorite characters in this book is Carly's gun-toting Aunt Marjie, who moves in with Carly after getting injured. Of the new characters introduced, I really enjoyed meeting Katie Sue's younger sister Jamie Lynn whose mysterious illness compels Carly to do all she can to help her. Carly's cousin Delia, who specializes in hexes, also figures prominently in this book, and I'm so glad they are repairing their relationship and becoming friends. And it looks like things between Carly and Dylan are really going to be heating up moving forward!

The identity of the killer is a mystery until the very end, and even then there is a twist that I never saw coming. Heather Blake's books are always among my favorites, and this is one of the best.

Check out the back cover too :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

#WholeBodyHealth For Your Cat

This post is sponsored by Natural Balance’s Original Ultra Whole Body Health and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Whole Body Health, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance is not responsible for the content of this article.

A couple weeks ago I asked for a few moments of your time to fill out a brief 5 question survey about your opinions on your pets' whole body health. Today I have the results in the form of  a cool infographic to share with you. While some of the results didn't come as a surprise to me at all, I was very surprised by others.

Before I get into my thoughts, here is the infographic:

Whole Body Health
Natural Balance Whole Body Health

The first time I looked at the infographic what jumped out at me was "Your Top Pet Health Concern". With cancer in our pets being at practically epidemic proportions (especially among dogs), I found it interesting that only 29% of pet parents listed it as their top health concern. I have only owned 4 cats prior to Truffles, and 3 of them have developed some form of cancer.

Also, only 10% said heart disease was a top concern. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive because of all I went through with Tara's battle with congestive heart failure, but I really thought it would have rated higher.

Tara Graphic Courtesy: Stunning Keisha

What did not surprise me at all was that pet parents place a high value on pet nutrition, and feel that proper nutrition is by far the most important factor in maintaining pet health. But with pet store shelves full of various foods that target one particular health concern or age group, what is the best choice for your pet?

Natural Balance's Original Ultra® Whole Body Health™ is a gluten-free diet with an optimal balance of premium proteins and key nutrients created by their expert nutritionists. Original Ultra® Whole Body Health® nourishes your pet’s complete well-being and supports the needs of your pet through all life stages.

There are 7 areas of health that Whole Body Health supports:

* Optimal levels of DHA and EPA to support an active, healthy brain
* Omega-6 and Omega-3 for healthy skin and a luxurious coat
* A unique fiber layering system to maintain healthy digestion
* Quality proteins to support healthy muscles
* Antioxidant nutrients for a healthy immune system
* Proper levels of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones
* Added taurine for healthy heart and eye fuction

Your pet deserves the very best, and a quality food like Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health will give you confidence that you're doing your best to keep your pet healthy.

Would you like to try a sample? From (today) Monday, October 20, 2014 beginning at 9am PDT through December 5th at 6pm PDT, or while supplies last, go to - Scroll down the page to the white button.  There is also a button on Natural Balance’s Facebook page to take you to their site to claim your sample. Participants can choose either a dog sample or a cat sample mailed to their home. Only one per household. U.S. only.

A downloadable coupon is also available. (Hurry! It expires 10/31)

Please visit Natural Balance on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Selfies: Chicken Edition

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Last weekend Mommy left me on Saturday afternoon to attend her aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary party. Since she is always the one taking pictures, she was very happy to have a picture taken with her parents. It's been a long time since she got a family photo, although it's not complete because I'm not in it!

The party was held at Mommy's cousin's house, and she has chickens!!! 7 of them!!! This one was her favorite because she had tortie colors. She was also the feistiest of the group and wouldn't stand still for a good picture.

A couple of them even wanted to take selfies! This is our entry in the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop hosted by The Cat on My Head. I'll bet it's the first time a chicken joined the hop!

We hear they are going to be "harvested" eventually. This made Mommy very sad, but don't they look yummy?

Note from Mommy: Truffles, the chickens do not look yummy. They are adorable alive. This is what was yummy:

If you missed any of our blog posts this week here is our weekly recap:
* Truffles Interviews Boo & Poobah, Canine Stars of Laura Childs' Gossamer Ghost (w/Review & Giveaway)
* Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway
* Spooktacular Giveaway Hop
* Our Sponsor Kitties Need Homes! #BtC4A
* #ThrowbackThursday: Halloween 2011
* Off Kilter by Hannah Reed: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway
* #FrankenPet Halloween Photo Contest
* A Crafty Christmas by Mollie Cox Bryan: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway
Caturday Art: My Ladies of Autumn

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Caturday Art: My Ladies of Autumn

Have you ever heard torties and calicos called "Ladies of Autumn" because of their resemblance to the fallen leaves of autumn? I created this art by starting with the Autumn Beauties template on, and then adding more seasonal details with Ribbet.

More artistic kitties can be found here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Crafty Christmas by Mollie Cox Bryan: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

A Crafty Christmas

All Aboard—Scrapbooking and Murder on the High Seas

By Mollie Cox Bryan

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s all real. My fourth book in the Cumberland Creek series is now out—A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS. Count’em: four books, plus an e-novella. Squueee!

Now, you know I love my fictional setting of Cumberland Creek, Va. and know its streets, parks, and mountains like the back of my hand. I populated it with plenty of quirky characters, which was (and is) a great deal of fun. While there’s plenty of my imaginary small town in A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS, some of my croppers go off on a scrapbooking cruise together and leave behind Annie, Beatrice, and DeeAnn. (Yes, there are scrapbooking cruises!) I thought a change of scenery might do my characters good—and it does, well, until the murder, that is.

It turns out that a cruise ship is a fabulous place for a murder.

Like Matthew Kirtley, security chief on the ship says, “One of the interesting things about security on a ship is nobody’s going anywhere. Not even the murderer.”

How would you like to be on a cruise with a murderer? It does tend to damper the festivities. It also makes some people a bit paranoid. But in the case in A CRAFTY CHISTMAS, not everybody on the ship knows that the untimely death of one of the most famous scrapbook designers on board was the result of murder. But, of course, my main characters do because Sheila discovers the body—in a most inopportune and clumsy manner. As only Sheila is wont to do.

Poor Sheila suffers a concussion as the result of her mishap. She tries to get it together because she has several interviews lined up with major national design firms. She is mixing with the movers and shakers in the scrapbooking industry. Opportunity is everywhere, yet, Sheila is quite unwell and has a hard time functioning. Doesn’t it just figure?

As the Cumberland Creek group pulls together, we learn a lot about security on cruises, the scrapbooking industry, and a bit about the tumultuous past of some of their lives. Intrigued? I hope so.

About the author: Mollie Cox Bryan writes the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, published by Kensington. The first book, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012 and was selected by B & N as a mystery to watch. The rest of the books in the series are: SCRAPPED, DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA, SCRAPPY SUMMER (e-novella), CRAFTY CHRISTMAS and SCRAPBOOK OF THE DEAD (forthcoming 2015). She is also the author of the bestselling MRS. ROWE'S LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHERN PIES (Random House 2009) and MRS. ROWE'S RESTAURANT COOKBOOK: A LIFETIME OF RECIPES FROM THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY (Ten Speed Press, 2006). She has worked for years as a freelance food journalist with articles published in Taste of the South, NPR’s Kitchen Window, and Grit Magazine, among others. She lives in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters.

Author Links
Twitter: @molliecoxbryan

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N


Blurb: Christmas is just around the corner, and the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are thrilled when Sheila wins the first place prize in a scrapbooking design contest: a ten-day scrapbook-themed cruise in the Caribbean. Vera and Paige decide to tag along, which should pose the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques, mingle with fellow croppers, and get in some rest and relaxation before the chaos of Christmas. But when Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, and investigators determine she was poisoned, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster as Sheila becomes the number one suspect - or was she really the intended victim? Just as the croppers begin un-wrapping the truth, a storm strands them at sea, and they'll find it's harder than ever to survive the holidays with a killer on deck...

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

Nothing makes me happier than reading a cozy mystery set during the Christmas season at any time of the year. When I first read the blurb for this book though, I was a bit hesitant: how Christmas-y can a book be when the action takes place on a Caribbean cruise??? My concern was completely unwarranted as I loved every single minute of this action-packed adventure.

Sheila, Vera, and Paige are the scrapbookers on the cruise, and Sheila's incredible opportunity to further her crafting career get sidelined when she (literally) falls over the body of a famous cropper. The method of murder is ingenious, as it involves Sheila's award-winning scrapbook, which also ends up making her the main suspect. But as the ladies do a little detective work of their own (with the help of Annie and Bea back home in Cumberland Creek), they start to wonder if Sheila was actually the intended victim!

With a jaw-dropped final scene which will have you counting down the days until the NEXT book's release, put A Crafty Christmas at the top of your Christmas reading list!
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