Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Truffles' 1st Cutest Pet Contest

Hey everybody, it's Truffles!

Did you know that Mommy entered me in my very first Cutest Pet Contest? It's being held at her chiropractor's office and the money raised is going to our local Humane Society. (People vote by putting their spare change in the jar with their favorite pet's corresponding number.)

Here I am (#6) with my fellow feline competitors. There are also several dogs, as well as a raccoon and a calf entered!


The contest runs until September 12th. I don't have any idea how I'm doing because the money jars are lined with red tissue paper to keep the vote a big secret! I'll keep you posted though :)


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

Nightmares Can Be Murder




The Strange and Wonderful World of Dreams

When I told my friends and colleagues about my new Penguin series, The Dream Club Mysteries, I was surprised at the outpouring of interest and support. Everyone, it seems, is fascinated by dreams, curious about their meaning and dying to discuss their own dreams. Are dreams really the “royal road to the unconscious” as Sigmund Freud proposed? Can they give us new insights into our own deepest thoughts and most hidden emotions? Or are they simply random firings of neurons as the brain rests and recharges itself, taking a few hours to deal with the “residue of the day?”

I knew I had to write a book about dreams and especially about “dream clubs,” which are quite popular here in the northeast. In The Dream Club Mysteries, a group of Savannah women meet once a week to share their dreams, eat some delicious pastries and solve a murder or two.

Ali Blake, who runs a vintage candy shop right off the Historic District, founded the Dream Club. When business was flat, she invited her high powered MBA sister, Taylor, to join her in Savannah in the hopes that she could pump up business. Taylor was a skeptical about dream interpretaion at first, but now she’s becoming a believer.

There’s a good mix of characters in the club; the Harper sisters, who are well into their eighties and know everything about anyone who has lived in Savannah for the past fifty years, Sam Stiles, a local policewoman, and Sybil Powers, who fancies herself a “dream hopper.” If you’ve never heard of a dream hopper, it’s someone who claims she can “visit” other people’s dreams. And of course, there’s a hunky private detective, Noah Chandler who helps with the investigations.

Sometimes the Dream Club meetings are full of surprises. In Nightmares Can Be Murder, the first of my Dream Club Mysteries, Lucinda Macavey, a prim and proper headmistress of a girls’ school in Savannah, recounts a most unusual dream. She finds herself shopping in the frozen food aisle of the local supermarket— stark naked! Nothing could be more out of character for the shy Lucinda and the dream club members offer various interpretations. 

Appearing naked in dreams is actually quite common. The dreamer finds herself in a public place “without a stitch on,” and yet onlookers seem not to notice. Dreams don’t follow the rules of logic and time and space don’t exist in dreams. Also, there is no “backstory” in dreams. The dream exists in the present. Lucinda doesn’t ponder how she got to the supermarket, how she could have possibly driven there naked, how she could have left the house without clothes or why no one stopped her. She is just “there,” in the immediate situation in the supermarket and has to deal with it.

So how did the dream club handle Lucinda’s dream in my mystery novel? The dream members agree that being naked is a metaphor for feeling helpless and vulnerable. Maybe Lucinda has a deep dark secret that she doesn’t want exposed? Maybe she has hidden urges that she doesn’t dare acknowledge?

Lucinda seems to be a very proper Southern lady, but in her dreams, she has been thrust into her worst nightmare—appearing naked in public. Lucinda joins in the discussion and admits that she has been experiencing some stress lately. She took early retirement from the Academy and she’s not sure of her future plans. Uncertainty—in any form, whether it relates to a job or a relationship or finances-- can lead to anxiety and that might explain Lucinda’s dream. (Other things might explain Lucinda’s anxiety, but I can’t say more without revealing the plot.)

If you think you might enjoy reading more about the Dream Club and the clever way the members rely on their insights to solve a few murders, I hope you’ll read Nightmares Can Be Murder. You might be in for some surprises, and I guarantee you will look at your dreams in a whole new way!

Mary Kennedy is a clinical psychologist in private practice and lives on the East Coast with her husband and eight neurotic cats. Both husband and cats have resisted all her attempts to psychoanalyze them, but she remains optimistic. Visit her website at www.marykennedy.net
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Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, September 5th for the chance to win a copy of Nightmares Can Be Murder. (US entries only, please.)

About the book: Business consultant Taylor Blake has returned to Savannah, Georgia, to help her sister Allison turn her dream of running an old-fashioned candy store into a reality. Allison is also interested in dream interpretation and invites Taylor to her Friday night Dream Club, where members meet once a week to share and analyze their dreams.

When a local dance instructor, Chico Hernandez, is found dead in his studio, and the murder scene has an eerie resemblance to one of the dreams shared at their meeting, Taylor can’t help but be intrigued. And when her sister, who was briefly involved with the dance teacher, becomes the prime suspect, Taylor and their fellow club members can’t be caught napping. It’s up to them to dream up a solution to the murder before Allison faces a real-life nightmare.

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

Have you ever had a dream and wondered what it meant or where on earth it came from? That's exactly the premise behind Mary Kennedy's brand new Dream Club Mystery series.

Taylor Blake is visiting Savannah to help her sister Allison make a success of her vintage candy shop, Oldies But Goodies. The book begins at a meeting of the Dream Club; another interest of Allison's is dream interpretation, but Taylor is a skeptic. But it's a nightmare when a local dance instructor is murdered and the crime scene looks exactly like a dream shared at their latest meeting. In addition to being a shady businessman, Chico Hernandez was quite the Latin Lothario who left a string of broken hearts in his wake - including Allison's - who admits to visiting Chico the night he died. Soon Taylor comes to suspect various members of the Dream Club.

I loved this cozy with such an original concept, set in charming Savannah, and filled with delightful Southern women. Taylor and Allison are a team, sisters who are also the best of friends. Other favorite characters include retired teacher Lucinda who is trying her hand at online dating, and octogenarians Minerva and Rose, who own a flower shop which mainly sells wreaths for funeral homes.

I was stumped until the very end of this mystery, when Allison's beloved cats Barney and Scout ended up uncovering a clue that led me to figure out the killer. This is a wonderful debut to an exciting new series!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Truffles Interviews...Marshmallow from Nancy Coco's To Fudge or Not To Fudge (w/Review)


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing Marshmallow, the canine star of Nancy Coco's To Fudge or Not to Fudge. The book will be in stores and on e-readers everywhere tomorrow. We LOVED it and you can read our review below. Enjoy :)

Welcome, Marshmallow! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for my readers. Can you tell us how you came to live with Allie?

Ruf (hi) I was a gift to Allie from her reservation manager Frances, who thought Allie needed someone to look after her and keep the bad guys away.

By the way, cool name! You're Marshmallow and I'm Truffles...we should create our own fudge recipe!

Yes! (pirouettes) But it needs to be made of white chocolate and carob so we don't get sick. Allie has several yummy white chocolate fudge recipes in the book.

What is a typical day like for you on Mackinac Island?

Allie gets up really early to work in the fudge shop. I accompany her downstairs and get a treat. Then I curl up on my downstairs bed and take a nap. After the first few batches of fudge are done and the sun comes up, I have to take Allie for a walk and inspect the back alley for all the neighborhood gossip. Frances needs a walk about mid day and we go down Main Street. I look out for bad guys and meet my friends. The streets are full of cool new people and their dogs and then there are the giant dogs that pull the carriages. Allie calls them horses. The scary part is the bicycles. People forget to watch for small dogs and I have to stick close to Frances. I like the fact that we are surrounded by the lake because there are all kinds of cool smells and fish and birds and things in the water to chase after.

How do you feel about kitties?

I like kitties. They are fun to play with. But I have learned that kitties will bop you on the nose if they don't want to play. I don't mind. I just go find someone else to play with. We have lots of new people come to the McMurphy and they like it when I do my tricks for them.

You had quite the adventure in To Fudge or Not To Fudge! You simply must dish about what you found in the bushes!

Oh! There was this really great stink coming from the lilacs. I went to see what it was and found a sock! I love socks. But my nose told me there was more under there so I left the sock with Allie and went back to work. I dug out this really tasty stinky shoe thing. It rattled when I shook it and all these bones flew out! I showed them to Allie, but she sort of freaked out...

What other kinds of mischief do you like to get into?
One of my favorite things to do is to take off at a run in the lobby of the McMurphy and then slide toward the fudge shop. I'm not allowed in the fudge shop. That's where the wood floor becomes tile. But sometimes I'll slide right across or I'll knock into someone. It's so much fun!

Do you have any idea what your upcoming adventures will be?

I've been told there may be a kitty in my future. I hope they don't bop me on the nose. Oh, and I take my job very seriously. I have to help Allie by showing her where the smoke is coming from and let her know when bad guys are about. With so many new people and cool places to explore, I am the luckiest pup in the world!

Thanks for having me! Ruf, ruf! *sits, shakes, lies down and rolls over*

To Fudge or Not to Fudge

Blurb: Mulch Ado About Murder...

With summer in bloom and tourists afoot, Allie is out walking her pup, Mal, when the curious canine digs up a bone from under a flowering lilac bush. The bone leads to a toe that's missing a body. For the successful confectionaire it's only the first in a series of sour events in the middle of the island's Lilac Fest. When her stint on a cooking reality show swirls up a trail of foul play, Allie will have to outwit a cunning killer if she wants to continue living la dolce vida. . .

What Made Us Purr:

* Mackinac Island: How is this the first time that I've heard of this beautiful place? Bicycle trails, horse-drawn carriages, no cars, fudge, the Victorian feel. I wish I could book a vacation there today!

* Fudge: Need I say more? This book contains several mouth-watering recipes that I look forward to trying. I'll be starting with the Easy Dark Chocolate Paddy's Peppermint Fudge. (I'll skip the poisoned fudge, though.)

* An unusual mulch additive: The first murder victim had the extreme misfortune of ending up in a chipper-shredder and spread all over town. (I wonder if it would be considered organic or inorganic?)

* Mal & Daisy: These two pups, a bichon/poodle puppy and Saint Bernard respectively, had waaaay too much fun digging up bones all over the island!

* Lilac Festival: Lilacs are my favorite flower, so a festival celebrating the beauties, complete with a lilac tea and fudge, is right up my alley.

* The killer: One of my favorite characters ended up being the killer! Actually, one of the creepiest killers I've run across in a cozy lately!

Final Catcall: This mystery is a vacation between the pages of a book. If you've never been to Mackinac Island, you will long to visit, and if you have, the story will help you to recall all of your wonderful memories.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Selfies #2

Hey everybody, it's Truffles!

Do your kitties wash their cat beds? I am obsessive about keeping my beds clean and wash them incessantly. So today for my entry in The Cat on My Head's Sunday Selfies blog hop, I took a selfie while I was licking my bed clean! Mommy loves my little pink tongue :)


Cat4

Cat's Meow Mews & Mailbox #51
















Cat's Meow Mailbox is inspired by the great weekly recap book memes (Mailbox MondayWaiting On WednesdayIt’s Monday! What are you reading? and Sunday Post)

Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:
* Sunday Selfies #1
* Sex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles Book Tour with Wendy Delaney: Guest Author & Giveaway
* #GetHealthyHappy with Annual Vet Visits
* Honoring Those We've Lost
* Truffles Interviews...Sexy Beast from Pamela Burford's Undertaking Irene
* Feline Funny: Back to School with Truffles
Caturday Art: Remembering England's Rose

Bought:
Murder Al Dente Ma Tutt's Donut Hut Triple Dog Dare Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, And 3 RVs On Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure Slow-Cooker Fall Favorites Murder at the Breakers The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances Can't Forgive: My 20-Year Battle with O.J. Simpson

For Review Consideration:
Christmas in Paradise (TJ Jensen Paradise Lake Mysteries #4) Gossamer Ghost Wouldn't It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

NetGalley:
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Caturday Art: Remembering England's Rose

It's impossible to believe that 17 years have gone by since that awful Saturday night Americans watched the news of Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash. (Because of the time difference, the British people didn't know the tragic news until morning.) I remember that weekend so well because on Sunday I had tickets to a concert in New York state that I had been looking forward to for months. I never spent too much time thinking about car accidents but I found myself petrified that day at the thoughts of a long road trip.

Our artwork today is in honor of England's Rose, Princess Diana...




Today we're joining Athena's Caturday Art blog hop...more entries can be found here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Feline Funny: Back to School with Truffles


The adorable Back 2 School badge that we received from Ann at Zoolatry got us to thinking: what would Truffles pack in her little backpack for her first day at school? Here's what we came up with:


1) Garfield lunch bag
2) Can of Fancy Feast
3) Two packages of treats (I'll need enough to share!)
4) A ball to play with at recess
5) Blanket for a nap attack
6) Tablet to check my email and blog comments at lunch (hope there's wifi!)
7) Paper towels for quick hairball clean-up
8) A couple chocolate truffles to butter up the teacher!

Did we forget anything? What would your kitties bring to school with them?


*** Please don't forget Sparkle's Memorial Service is being held today with a commentathon to benefit Tabby's Place. ***