Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Foster Home for Truffle #SundaySelfies

Some of you may remember that for my birthday last fall Truffles gifted me with the sponsorship of two cats from PAWS of CT, Truffle and Cinnamon. Both of these precious kitties have been waiting for the forever homes for far too long, and as of late Truffle has been getting depressed.

Our dear friend Kevin of Animal Shelter Volunteer Life made us deliriously happy last week when he announced that a wonderful PAWS volunteer has made the decision to become Truffle's permanent foster dad. She is still available for adoption, but if that never happens, she has a forever home with her foster family.

Over the holidays Kevin sent us a bunch of pictures of Truffle and Cinnamon, so in honor of this happy event in Truffle's life, we decided to post some Truffle selfies.

She is such a beautiful girl that if she were a little closer, even though it might be a bit complicated, I would have to learn how to live in a home with two Truffles!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Caturday Art

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! I've had to spend some time administering a bit of purr therapy to Mommy this week. She read our friend Deb Barnes (of Zee & Zoey) new book, Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond, and it brought back so many memories of Angel Tara. Mr. Jazz, the voice behind the book, and Tara both went to the Rainbow Bridge the same summer, only 7 weeks apart. They were both sick for a long time and while reading about Mr. Jazz's final days, Mommy felt like she was reliving her last days with Tara.

Needless to say, many tears have been shed. If you've ever loved and lost a beloved pet, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

Because of the emotions the book stirred up, Mommy was inspired to make Tara the subject of our Caturday Art this week. Tara left her purr and paw prints all over Mommy's heart, but thankfully it's big enough that there's plenty of room in there for me too!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio

Amy-Faye Johnson’s book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder that reading about them…

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado. Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away. But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly. First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend. Then, Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy’s death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play. Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets—and making deadly enemies. Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case. But finding the truth could spell her own ending…

As a self-proclaimed "readaholic" myself, I've been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it. I found event planner Amy-Faye to be an instantly likable lead character. Her plate is full with many upcoming events, led by the wedding of her old flame Doug. Her feelings for him remain unresolved and by the end of the book I found myself rooting for them to get back together.

Another important part of Amy-Faye's life is the close-knit group of friends who make up her book group, the Readaholics. The morning after the group meets to discuss The Maltese Falcon, Amy-Faye visits one of the members, Ivy, only to discover her clinging to life. She doesn't make it, and her death is ruled a suicide. Amy-Faye and her friends know that is just not possible, and soon uncover evidence that she had knowledge of a scandal with the ability to destroy some very prominent residents of Heaven, including her best friend's husband and father-in-law. Red herrings abound and the final reveal took me completely by surprise.

I admit that I know absolutely nothing about The Maltese Falcon, so any reference to the book went right over my head, but I didn't find that to be an issue at all. This is a very character-driven page-turner, and while many of the main characters are introduced in a group setting, each has such a distinct personality that I had no trouble keeping them straight. I especially enjoyed Amy-Faye's mother who is a passionate book reviewer!

I'm already looking forward to book 2, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle, coming in December.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 24th for your chance to win a copy of The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco. (US entries only, please.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle by J.A. Lang

It’s autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion.

Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery—he’s missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.

Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business—complete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out.

Can he solve Ollie’s murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings?

This first book in the Chef Maurice Culinary mystery series is pure, escapist fun, and I loved every minute of it!

Set in the picturesque Cotswolds, Chef Maurice is lamenting the disappearance of his mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows. He finally decides to take matters into his own hands and pay a visit to Ollie's house, where he plans to help himself to his share of the mushrooms (and pay Ollie when he finally turns up, of course.) What he finds is a ransacked house and a bag of valuable white truffles. (Not of the chocolate or feline variety.) He thinks the truffles were grown locally, so with the help of his food critic friend Arthur, and his newly-adopted truffle-sniffing pig Hamilton, they head into the woods to hunt for the elusive mushrooms. What they find is Ollie, dead. Much to the chagrin of the local constabulary, Maurice takes it upon himself to solve the murder, while at the same time taking every chance he gets to get his hands on the tasty truffle evidence.

This book reminds me of the hysterical, madcap adventures of Agatha Raisin, and ends with a reveal right out of an Agatha Christie novel. Just add it to your reading list won't regret it!

About the author: J.A. Lang is a British mystery writer, and author of the Chef Maurice Mysteries series.

She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

Author Links:




Purchase Links:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:



Giveaway: Win a signed copy of Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle, as well as an extremely cuddly Pillow Pet Pig (RRP $19.99)!

Open to US and UK residents.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rescued from Eden #BtC4A

On February 25th, well over 60 dogs and a few cats were rescued from a home in Eden, Vermont. An unprecedented coordination of area non-profit rescues - North Country Animal League, Spring Hill Rescue, Central Vermont Humane Society and Humane Society of Chittenden County - plus dozens of individuals and veterinarians, under the leadership of the Vermont State Police and Humane Society of the US - freed these animals from deplorable conditions. Nearly all were living in their own excrement and severely malnourished and dehydrated.

I watched the entire situation unfold on my Facebook news feed that morning and over the subsequent days. Words can't express how proud I was to watch my community come together to help these abused animals. They were initially taken to a confidential space to be assessed and as soon as they expressed a need for something on social media, animal lovers and local businesses stepped up and supplied it immediately. A Go Fund Me page was set up and nearly $20,000 days was raised in the first 48 hours.

I'm happy to say that as of today, arrests have been made and charges filed for animal cruelty, and many of the animals, which were sent to various rescues in Vermont and New Hampshire, have already been adopted. So many lives were saved thanks to the tireless efforts of some pretty incredible people.

I know that many of my cat blogging friends are huge fans of the made in Vermont Tipsy Nip Tickle Pickle. To help raise money for the various spay/neuter, vaccinations, dental work and surgeries that these animals needed, Tipsy Nip created the limited edition Second Chance Tickle Pickle, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Humane Society of Chittenden County for the animals in their care from the Eden rescue. In one weekend alone nearly 200 were purchased!

I was able to get my hands on a few of these little hot commodities. Truffles got one (of course) and I have two more to give away today. Just leave a comment with your email address and I will use to pick two winners on Monday, April 20th. Since they fit in small envelopes I will ship anywhere in the world, too :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Small Batch Cooking for Cats #InspiredByCrafted

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Here in Vermont it seems like every night the news is reporting on a new craft brewery about to open. We're actually first in the nation for breweries and brew pubs per capita, and craft beer has become a huge part of our state's tourism industry. The growing popularity of craft beers and artisanal cookies, coffees and chocolates shows that more Americans are choosing foods with an eye to nutrition, natural and locally sourced ingredients, and sustainable preparation processes.

They’re not just considering those factors for their own plates, either – they’re thinking about them when it comes to choosing pet food, too. Nothing makes Truffles happier than when we share an oven-baked chicken breast on a Sunday evening. It's the way I wish I could feed her everyday, but I just don't have the time to make a home-cooked meal (for either of us!) on a daily basis.

That's why I'm excited to help spread the word about the launch of Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™. Hill's experienced, dedicated master bakers have created unique recipes in small batches using high quality meats, wholesome vegetables and ancient grains: the same ingredients you would see in high-end, healthy human foods. Small batch cooking means that Ideal Balance Crafted is made just the way you would — one very special batch at a time.

Even more exciting for cats, Ideal Balance Crafted cat products are made in an innovative way through an unusual slow cooking process with new, unique and custom shapes to maximum appeal for finicky feline palates – an innovation that is the result of many years of Hill’s research with pets to understand the important impact of texture and shape in improving palatability for cats.

Crafted Key Benefits:

Made in small batches
Oven Roasted
100% Balanced Nutrition or your money back.
No corn, wheat or soy
No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
No poultry by-product meal
Made in USA
Available in Grain free varieties

Truffles is currently devouring the Grain-Free Herbed Chicken & Chickpeas recipe which contains fresh chicken seasoned with rosemary, natural spearmint and green tea and finished off with iron rich, grain & gluten free chickpeas. Doesn't that sound like the kind of healthy, delicious food that you would enjoy finding on your dinner plate? Your cat feels the same way!

Ideal Balance Crafted is currently on sale at PetSmart. The new line will be on store shelves at Petco, Specialty Retailers and on by the end of April.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: A Fright to the Death by Dawn Eastman

From the publisher: From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who—snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle—is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer…

After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up.

With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills—both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore—to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced…

I have no doubt that Dawn Eastman was channeling Agatha Christie while writing this third book in the delightful Family Fortune mystery series.

What should have been a romantic getaway in Mexico for Clyde and Mac turns into a nightmare when they end up snowed in at a haunted castle with their families. Then the lights go out, and the castle's co-owner Clarissa is murdered in the turret room. As the snow keeps falling everyone is trapped inside with a killer and the body is put "on ice" out in the garden shed. Clyde and Mac start investigating and soon discover that in her short time living at Carlisle Castle, Clarissa had already seemed to give everyone she came into contact with a reason to want her dead, and no one is telling the complete truth about what happened the night she died.

This deliciously atmospheric cozy left me with chills...both with the winter wonderland setting and the high "creep factor". Everyone was so suspicious that I had no idea whodunit until the very end and it was the last person that I suspected. Just wait until you meet the beautiful white cat Duchess, who ends up playing a key role in catching a killer!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 17th for your chance to win a copy of A Fright to the Death. Don't forget your email address! (US entries only, please.)