Monday, February 8, 2016

Guest Post/Review/Giveaway: The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam by Alannah Rogers

As the author of the Beatrice Young cozy cat mystery series, you'd think that I just write about bad guys and dead bodies. But I'm also really interested in writing about relationships. In fact, I just released the sixth book in the series, The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam, which is Valentine's Day themed! 

But romantic love is just one small part of the equation. Although main character Beatrice Young, a 62-year-old cafe owner and single lady with a very busy life, grapples with her feelings for ex-husband Matthew, that's just one of the many relationships the books explore. Beatrice's three cats--Hamish, Petunia, and Lucky--also have to deal with their relationships to each other, and to Beatrice.

In a way, it's very much like having three kids for Beatrice. The felines are constantly vying for her attention. Hamish came into Beatrice's life first and so he holds a special place in her heart. But she also loves Lucky and Petunia equally. The cats don't see it that way, though! They each want to be number one. And that creates a lot of conflict.

The two boy cats, Hamish and Lucky, also fight over pretty Himalayan Petunia, the newest addition to Beatrice's family. Petunia's used to getting a lot of attention though, and is mostly indifferent to their attempts to romance her. Poor Hamish and Lucky!

But at the end of the day, Beatrice and her horde are a family and family sticks together through thick and thin. They help each other solve mysteries, keep each other safe in sketchy situations, and love spending time together in Beatrice's cozy converted barn house, especially when Bee's many friends come to call. I think that's what my sixth book is really about: that romantic love is beautiful, but in the end, fickle love must transform into the bonds of family, and family is what lasts--though no one ever said it was easy!


From the publisher: When Abigail Freedman, Beatrice Young's sworn rival, approaches her with a case she's too curious not to take it on. As it turns out, Abby has a very modern romantic conundrum: her Internet boyfriend may be the love of her life ... or a scammer who wants to suck her bank account dry.

It's up to the 62-year-old Cozy Cat Cafe owner and her three crime-solving cats to find this Romeo's identity. Too bad Hamish, Petunia, and Lucky can't help Bee with an even bigger problem: how to sort out her new feelings for ex-husband and best friend Matthew.

No matter what happens, things are about to get romantic in Ashbrook, New Hampshire...

Alannah Rogers' Beatrice Young mystery series is proof paw-sitive that you don't need a dead body for a great cat cozy. In this sixth novella in the series Beatrice is pondering making the leap from amateur detective to private investigator when she's contacted by her rival in the cafe business, Abigail Freedman. Abigail has met someone on an internet dating site and she's starting to wonder if she's been scammed. Beatrice is feeling quite bitter about love because of her mixed feelings towards her ex, Matthew, so she decides to set up an online account of her own with the hopes of making contact with the mysterious Lothario.

Accompanied by her cats Petunia, Hamish, and Lucky, who are experiencing a bit of a love triangle of their own, Beatrice is on the case and Cupid had better watch out!!!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, February 12th for your chance to win an ebook copy of The Unfur-tunate Valentine's Scam. Worldwide entries are welcome!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kitten Bowl #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!!!

All week I've been seeing my Facebook friends posting their cool Kitten Bowl trading cards and Mommy said she'd help me with mine on Saturday. Well yesterday morning she woke up with the mother of all headaches! Even the iPawd hurt her eyes!!!

Things were looking pretty bleak so I put my Nurse Mudpie hat on and finally by mid-afternoon she was feeling good enough to help me. I decided not to push my luck and ask for her help with a selfie too so I'm entering my trading card in the Sunday Selfies blog hop.

I can hardly wait to watch my very first Kitten Bowl. I'm hoping to learn some new moves from those youngsters!

Today's Kitten Bowl will be hosted by Beth Stern, foster mom extraordinare for North Shore Animal League. Over the past week Mommy has been stalking Beth on Instagram for new photos and videos of her latest foster kitten, a tortie named Miracle. Miracle was found in a dumpster...with her ears cut off. The monster who did this to such an innocent little angel is a waste of good oxygen, pure and simple, and neither one of us can understand why such cruelty is allowed to happen.

I think Mommy would adopt Miracle in a heartbeat, but I just know she's going to have a line of people a mile long who want to adopt her when the time comes!!!

A photo posted by Beth Stern (@bethostern) on

A photo posted by Beth Stern (@bethostern) on

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie!

Not much going on at our house this week, so we decided to throw everything but the kitchen sink at our Caturday Art. A little B&W pencil, a Polaroid frame, a little vintage flair, a pop of color.

Online photo editing is so much fun, we figure why not combine several effects for even cooler results? Of course starting with pure purr-fection doesn't hurt either ;)

Check out more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

This week we're also joining the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dachshund Nola.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dear Morris...How to "Sleep Like a Kitty" This Winter

Meows from Mudpie!!!

If you ask me, there's one thing in the world that there's just too little of, and it's not love. I'm talking about S-L-E-E-P. I'm always trying to get more of it and make the most out of what little time I do get.

So I had a thought... why not ask someone who's truly an expert on the subject; someone who spends more time snoozing than most of us spend at work? I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat.

For those of you who don't know him – or who've let sleep deprivation cloud your memory – Morris is the iconic spokescat for 9Lives cat food and has starred in over 50 commercials. When he's not in front of the camera or chowing down on 9Lives, you can bet he's napping in his trailer, ahem carrying case.

He's taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some reader questions about the very im-purr-tant issue of sleep. What's more, he's offering fans the chance to win a Morris-shaped, human-sized plush bed AND a year's supply of 9Lives cat food. Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website to enter.

Dear Morris,

I've been experiencing difficulties with falling asleep, tossing and turning once my head hits the pillow. I don't get it because I feel tired all day at work; then I come home, brush my teeth, flip on the TV, and just... lie there. I'm hoping I can learn from the expert. Morris, what am I doing wrong?

Sleepless in San Fur-nando

Dear Sleepless in San Fur-nando,

Your case, unfortunately, is not at all uncommon. When you're going all day long at the speed of a cheetah, it's no wonder your mind darts around like a red laser dot at bedtime. Luckily, as a cat, I spend up to 140 hours per week sleeping and I can tell you there is hope! For starters, I notice you mentioned turning on the TV before bed. Cats don't watch TV – this is partly because the majority of us can't speak English that well, but mostly because it interferes with our snooze time. Scientifically speaking, the 'glow' emitted by an electronic screen enters the brain and slows the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. So next time you want to turn on the tube before bed, try counting sheep instead – or better yet, mice!

Kitty hugs,

Dear Morris,

I'm a cat but as you know, even animals have 'spirit animals.' Mine is an owl – a night owl to be exact. I love to play "catch the speck of dust" or "chase your tail in the middle of the bed" into the wee hours of the morning. My humans have no idea what they're missing out on. They just lay there snoring and swat at me when I come too close. How can I make them see that daytime is lame, and the real party happens under stars (the stick-on, glow-in-the-dark kind)?

Yours truly,
Hyper Harry

Dear Hyper Harry,

Sadly, this is a case you may not win. Humans need their sleep at night. You get to spend all day snoozing and they only get a few precious hours when the sun goes down. Your humans can, however, make sure that they understand why it is you're pouncing about and provide things to make nighttime more fun. For instance, your humans could consider getting a kitty condo or put out bags or boxes for you to explore. For extra credit, they can hide treats around the house so you can go on a midnight scavenger hunt. Or, if you're really lucky, they'll bring home a kitty best friend for you to play with whenever you please. Other cats might be up at night because they get hungry, in which case their humans could try an automatic food dispenser to provide small meals throughout the night. Remember, the more you let your humans sleep at night, the more energy they'll have to play with you during the day!

Kitty hugs,

Dear Morris,

My cat and I are BFFs. We do everything together – play, eat, snuggle – we make a purrfect team. But in the bedroom, I prefer to have my space. My cat, on the other hand, thinks there's no better place to sleep than right on my head! Why does she do this? I'm not all that fun when I'm sleeping.

Tired Tails

Dear Tired Tails,

You have been bestowed a great honor. As cats, we don't always wear our hearts on our paws, but one tell-tail sign we love and trust you is when we choose to make YOU our bed. Plus, you're warm. And getting our warmth from you helps us to conserve our own energy for more important things like eating. The rhythm of your breath also creates a calming effect and the curve of your face, stomach, or legs perfectly forms to our bodies. Basically, you're like a waterbed, heated blanket, and memory foam all in one! So the next time your cat goes to curl up on you, think of it as a compliment and drift off to sleep knowing you are loved... and you're very comfortable.

Thank you, Morris the Cat, for your wonderful nighttime tips! For more info on Morris' mission to help cats and humans live well – including his initiative to donate one million 9Lives meals to rescue kitties – check out his Live Well & Prospurr website. And while you're there, enter to win the limited-edition, human-sized Morris the Cat plush bed along with a year's supply of 9Lives!

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by 9Lives which means we've been compensated for featuring this content. This did not influence ​our opinions at all, and we only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review & Giveaway: Tortitude by Ingrid King

The past ten years of my life have been shared with three torties: Tara, Truffles, and Mudpie. While that doesn't lead me to label myself a tortie expert, I am proud to call myself a tortie fanatic. I simply can't imagine myself ever living without one now.

After my Angel Sashi passed away I remember thinking that I wanted to adopt either a Siamese or a tortie. My mom had heard myths about some of the personality quirks that Siamese cats have and she urged me to look for a tortie. When I saw Tara my decision was made. It didn't take long for me to come to the realization that a tortoiseshell cat is no ordinary cat.

It was at this time that I first heard the phrase "tortitude" and when I googled the phrase one of the first articles I read was by Ingrid King on the Conscious Cat blog, “Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats.

Never in a million years would I ever have guessed that one day:

1) I would consider Ingrid to be one of my dearest cat blogging friends.
2) She would ask me to review her beautiful book Tortitude: The BIG Book of Cats with a BIG Attitude.
3) My own dear Truffles would be immortalized in the book.

From the publisher: With about 2 million tortoiseshell cats in the United States, these special felines tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and often very possessive of their humans. Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable. In Tortitude: The BIG Book About Cats With a BIG Attitude, cat expert Ingrid King (The Conscious Cat) brings her professional and personal experience to explore why these cats are so special. With expert insights combined with stunning photography and passages dedicated to the cats and their passionate guardians, King offers a new perspective on these exceptional cats.

What makes a tortoiseshell cat pure purr-fection (in my eyes)? Everything from their exquisite beauty to their feisty personalities. Tortitude is real...and that's what makes them so unique and special. They are also the most loving cats I've ever had the pleasure of living with. Tara, Truffles and Mudpie have all become exceptionally attached to me in ways I haven't experienced with other cats. They've all been very vocal cats too...and there is nothing more fun than chatting with a tortie! They just have so much to say, and they're not afraid to say it either! One of my greatest regrets is never having had the opportunity to get Truffles' adorable little voice on video. We just didn't have enough time, but I've already made sure not to make the same mistake with Mudpie.

This book is pure catnip for the soul of a tortie lover, or any aficionado of feline beauty. It's filled with page after page of photos of torties from all over the world accompanied by cat-related quotes and tortie facts and folklore. It's a book that will have a permanent place on my coffee table because I am such a proud tortie mom.

If you've never known the love of a tortie, Tortitude: The BIG Book of Cats with a BIG Attitude is sure to make you want to add one to your feline family as quickly as possible. Your life will never be the same again...and I mean that in the best of ways.

Tortitude: The BIG Book of Cats with a BIG Attitude is available on Amazon right now, and can be pre-ordered from all other online retailers. It will be in stores tomorrow, February 5. Ingrid will donate $1 for every copy ordered before February 5 to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to help at risk cats.


About the Author: Ingrid King is a former animal hospital manager. She writes the award-winning blog, The Conscious Cat, with the mission of providing readers with well-researched and accurate cat health information. She is the author of the books Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher,Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living Feline Style, and Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love, and Myself. Her articles have appeared in Cat Fancy Magazine, NOVADog Magazine, and Urban Animal. She is also a professional member of the Cat Writers' Association and a certified veterinary journalist. You can learn more about Ingrid King by visiting her About page on The Conscious Cat.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Receiving the book did not influence my opinions in any way.

Giveaway: One lucky reader in the US will win a copy of Tortitude simply by filling out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#ChewyInfluencer Review: ZiwiPeak Daily-Cat Cuisine

Meows from Mudpie!!!

For months now we've been chronicling Mommy's determination to get me to eat more wet food. I've found one brand that I really like and on a good day I'll eat 3/4 of a 1.3 ounce tray. (Why she's not satisfied with that, I have no idea.) I've been willing to sample several other brands for about 5 bites before firmly giving it my paw of disapproval.

So last month when my Blogger Outreach newsletter arrived Mommy was excited to see a brand she had never even heard of before: ZiwiPeak from New Zealand!!! ZiwiPeak’s "Daily-Cat" moist cat food is a premium pet food made from 100% natural, fresh, raw meat, retaining natural moisture in the can. We chose beef because that's my favorite flavor in the wet food that I like, but it also comes in venison, lamb, rabbit & lamb, and venison & fish.

New Zealand is known worldwide for raising the highest-quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef provides many added advantages such as higher omegas, less fat and more natural vitamins. ZiwiPeak beef is one of the cleanest, purest, beef formulations in the world.

According to the company's website, ZiwiPeak moist Beef is ideal for:
  • Cats that are underweight and need a higher level of energy source.
  • Growing kittens that require higher energy input.
  • Cats that have suffered from allergic reactions to other protein sources, grains or other meats.
  • Cats that suffer from restricted mobility or who have joint issues.
  • Cats that suffer from digestion issues.
  • Cats that suffer from renal issues such as: chronic renal failure, urinary crystals, kidney failure, pancreatitis, IBS & IBD.

We opened up a can and were very impressed with what we saw. Mommy even said the food smelled good to her!!! But it's *my* opinion that matters here, right???

Well, I loved it. As a matter of fact, I loved it so much that I made a little piggy of myself and proceeded to lose it all over the bathroom rug. Now Mommy should *totally* know better than to let a kitty gorge on a completely new food, especially one that is considered a raw equivalent (a minimum of 66% raw meat) and different than anything I've ever eaten, so the whole incident was entirely her fault. (Although to be fair, she allowed me to go overboard because she was so excited that I liked it!!!)

She learned her lesson quickly though and ever since then I've been eating smaller portions and have had no trouble with it at all. ZiwiPeak definitely gets four paws up from Mudpie!

Check out Chewy's selection of ZiwiPeak formulas (available in both 3 and 6 ounce cans) here.

Disclaimer: A case of ZiwiPeak was sent to us for free by in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.