Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Day Preparations

It's time for a game of...


Truffles: Well, do you see me? I'm hiding pretty good, aren't I? We're busy getting ready for Turkey Day tomorrow, as I'm sure you are too, so while Mommy was out shopping I decided to write haiku about this yummiest of holidays:

Bird on the table
The smell is just heavenly
I scoff at cat food.

Turkey in my bowl
Why feed me cat food all year
When you could serve this.

Mommy is also spending every spare moment watching the Gone with the Wind marathon on AMC. What are you up to today?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chewy.com Review: Tiki Cat Gourmet Carnivore


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Lately it seems like all of my kitty blogger friends have been raving about Tiki Cat brand cat food. I've been wanting to try it, but when Mommy finally tracked it down at a local specialty pet food store, she said I couldn't have any because they are primarily fish-based and my tummy is very sensitive to fish. (She is such a party pooper.)


Earlier this month I got an email from Chewy.com asking if I would like to try Tiki Cat's new Gourmet Carnivore selections. With varieties like Chicken with Duck, Chicken with Turkey, and Chicken and Liver, I knew these were some flavors that I could eat, and I immediately asked Mommy to request the Chicken with Turkey for me. Before I tell you what I thought of the food, here's a little more about Tiki Cat:


Tiki Cat Premium Food formulas are made with the highest quality human-grade, all natural ingredients and do not contain any compromised inferior nutrition sources. Tiki Cat has successfully identified and utilized the portions of each fish and meat source that are the most palatable to cats because they know that if a cat won’t eat the food, the healthy nature of the food doesn’t make a difference!

· Made without Corn, Wheat or Soy
· Gluten Free
· Limited Ingredient Diet
· Low Glycemic
· Grain-Free
· Commonly recommended for cats with UTI, CRF, IBS, or diabetes
· Can be Fed on its own or use to add hydration and protein to kibble
· USDA certified food meets highest safety standards in the world

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that this food is swimming in gravy!


Usually this means that I'll lick out the gravy and leave the meat...but not with this food! I slurped up the gravy as soon as Mommy opened the can. (Can you see the tongue action?)


And then I ate the meat out of my bowl...


Yeah...it's that good. For any kitty who's not sure which flavor to order, I would recommend the cool variety pack which contains: Beef & Liver (1), Beef Liver & Chicken (2), Beef Liver & Lamb (1), Bonito Tuna (1), Chicken & Liver (2), Chicken with Duck (2), Chicken with Turkey (2), Seabass (1) and Tilapia (1). I actually wish I had requested this so I could try out more flavors!

Thank you so much, Chewy.com. I love my new food!

We received a free case of Tiki Cat in exchange for our fair and honest review as part of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program. All opinions are our own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Cat Sitting & Christmas Cozy Review/Giveaway

Truffles: Thought you all might like to hear about how Mommy spent her weekend. Cheating on me with this:


Mommy: Sweetie, that's our neighbor T-Two. She's only 8 months old and her Mom had to go away this weekend. Taking care of her was hardly cheating on you.

Truffles: Call it whatever you want. You still spent precious time with her that you could have been spending with me.

Melissa: (Now probably wouldn't be the best time to tell her that I'm going to be cat sitting for 2 weeks in February, would it?) Well, while you pout I'm going to review and give away a book, okay?

Truffles: Hmmph.



Blurb: Christmas in Aston Falls is always a magical time of year. The first big snow has arrived, the tree in the town square has been decorated, the window displays completed, and Hometown Christmas is just around the corner. Zoe finds herself knee deep in holiday shopping and Children's wishes as she and Zak play host to nine year old Scooter Sherwood and his friend Alex. Although a bit hectic, the magic of Christmas is in full bloom and things couldn't be more perfect until Zoe finds the body of history teacher Holly Jolly in the Ashton Falls High School Christmas Tree lot.

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

In this 11th Zoe Donovan mystery, Zoe is helping her friend Levi, the football coach, at the Ashton Falls High School Christmas Tree lot. Holly Jolly, history teacher and staff adviser for the school newspaper, plans to do a full-page spread on the tree lot, and ends up getting murdered there in the process. To make matters worse, it looks like someone is trying to frame Levi for the crime! Once again Zoe has to add sleuthing to her already busy schedule, while also welcoming two children to her home that need a place during the holidays.

Two characters made this book extra special to me. First, the victim, Holly Jolly. A caring and friendly lady everyone seems to know and love, but yet no one really "knows" anything about her. It's not until after she's dead that people start to realize how reclusive and alone she really was. How many of us know people like that in our own lives, people we take for granted until they're gone? I also adored Alex, a 9-year old wise beyond her years, She ends up stealing Zoe's heart and through her discovery of a diary in the attic we are able to learn more about the history of Ashton Falls. It's especially sweet when she lets her guard down and allows herself to be a child and find delight in the magic of Christmas.

If you enjoy quick reads during the holiday season, make plans to curl up by the tree with a mug of cocoa and your Kindle loaded with Christmas Cozy. It's a magical story you won't soon forget.

Giveaway: Kathi is generously offering a Christmas Cozy paperback and mug for a US winner, or a Kindle copy of the book and a $15 Amazon gift card for a non-US winner. Simply leave a comment below with your email address by noon eastern on Friday, November 28th.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson: Guest Author & Giveaway

Fatal Brushstroke

 From Idea to Story
by Sybil Johnson

“Where do you get your ideas?” is one of the most common questions people ask writers. Most of us would say “everywhere.” I’ve gotten ideas from newspaper articles, items I’ve seen in catalogs, personal experiences, and dreams. For me, ideas are easy to come by. I have a whole notebook filled with them. What takes the time is developing a story around one.

Sometimes a title is the first thing that springs to mind. That was the case with my short story, “Annual Marriage Test,” published earlier this year in Mysterical-E. The title came from years of preparing taxes with my husband. One year I started calling it our “annual marriage test.” As time went on, I realized that would be a great title for a story. So, I had the title and the basic idea—a couple does their taxes—but I initially had no clue where it was going. From there I created characters, fleshed out a plot and, eventually, a full-fledged story was born.

For Fatal Brushstroke, the first book in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series, I woke up one morning with an idea: a young woman finds the body of her tole painting teacher in her garden. I’d been a fan of mysteries for years, so I knew the basic concept behind one, but I’d never attempted to write one. I soon found out I had a lot to learn.

I read books on writing fiction in general and mysteries in particular, took a couple online courses, and started writing. The first draft was ugly, the second draft was better and, eventually, years and years later, the book is being published.

Some writers do no planning at all, writing by the seat of their pants; others outline a project in great detail before putting a word on the page. My process falls somewhere in between the two extremes. I need to have some idea where I’m going before I write anything, but I don’t need to know all the details.

Once I get an idea and decide on the setting, I spend a lot of time creating characters, figuring out what they’re hiding and what makes them tick. As I’m developing my characters, I decide on the crime, the murderer and the motive. Next, I plot out the major turning points for the story and look at the crime from the killer’s point-of-view. Only then do I start writing. Knowing all these things before I start work helps me write the book faster, yet it’s flexible enough I can change my mind as I write.

There you have it, how one writer goes from idea to a story. Not every writer uses this method. There is no one approach that works for everyone. The important thing is to have a process and figure out what works for you.

******************

About the book: A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…

Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.
Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weekends before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend painting seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?

About This Author: Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Author Links
Website: www.authorsybiljohnson.com
Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/sybiljohnsonauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sybiljohnson19
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/SybilJohnson

Purchase Links
Amazon

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Caturday Art: Dream BIG

What do you think Truffles is dreaming about?


"If you're gonna dream, dream BIG." ---Truffles


Is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a holiday tradition at your house too?


Check out more artsy kitties here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Natural Supplements for Feline Diabetes

I would dare to guess that many of you are like me and take supplements with the hopes that they are beneficial to your health. Many of us also give supplements to our pets. Through all of Tara's health problems, especially her heart disease, I did a huge amount of research on supplements, and I strongly believe that they kept her with me for far longer than the doctors thought possible.

I recently came across a fascinating infographic containing information on treating feline diabetes with natural herbs and supplements with the guidance of your vet, and decided to share it here in honor of Pet Diabetes Month. Check it out and then we'll chat more below.


Many of these supplements I had never even heard of, but because of Tara and a prevalence of heart disease in my family, I do know a bit about the supplements that benefit the heart, such as Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death in diabetics.

A more convenient way to provide natural support for feline diabetes is with an already prepared blend, such as Blood Sugar Gold - Cat Diabetes Support, a unique formula developed for times in a cat's life when stable blood sugar and insulin levels are needed. Using the best known botanicals for blood sugar maintenance, it also contains herbs to support a healthy liver and eye health. Cats taking Blood Sugar Gold may respond by having healthy amounts of urination and normal thirst. Appetite within a healthy range is also common when insulin levels are maintained. Normal weight, good energy and/or good vision may also be maintained. If your cat is taking prescribed medication such as insulin, please read through the precautions for Blood Sugar Gold. It is of utmost importance that blood sugar levels be kept in a healthy range and not get too low.

Active ingredients:

* Devil's Club root bark:  This indigenous North American herb has vast uses. Maintenance of normal blood sugar levels is one of its most powerful applications. It has also been used traditionally by First Nations Peoples for the respiratory system, for joints, the digestive system and as a general health tonic.
* Gymnema leaf:  With the addition of this herb to the formula, there is specific support to the beta cells of the pancreas and also to maintain healthy blood sugar levels immediately following consumption of food.

* Fenugreek seed:  A seed used extensively in India for health and nutrition, recent studies concur that healthy liver and insulin levels may be linked with regular ingestion.
* Burdock root: High in inulin, Burdock has been used traditionally to support healthy blood sugar levels, support the liver and for good digestion.
* Goat's Rue herb:  Used and grown in Europe for hundreds of years, this herb may allow the body to better tolerate carbohydrates. It is also one of the main plants used for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Its secondary ability to support the liver makes it a valuable addition to this formula.
* Dandelion root: Both leaf and root are commonly used in herbal formulas. The root's therapeutic actions are as a pancreatic regulator, cholagogue, for pancreatic and bile duct stimulation, and portal circulation.
* Bilberry fruit:  Rich in anthocyanins, these berries are considered a wonderful food source of antioxidants. The extract is known to affect the tiny blood vessels that supply the eyes. It also shows specific action in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.




Another popular blend is PetAlive GlucoEnsure, which contains a variety of helpful nutrients and herbs that can support the animal’s system and possibly reduce the amount of insulin required.

Active Ingredients - Bilberry (fruit), Goats rue (herb), Fenugreek (seed), Astragalus (root), as well as chromium, a mineral supplement which has been clinically proven to improve the effectiveness of insulin. It also helps in the breakdown of fats and can therefore balance cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Have you ever used herbs, extracts, or dietary supplements on your pet? Did you find them to be effective?


As the infographic states, it is extremely important to check with your vet before giving any herbs to your pet because cats can be highly sensitive to certain herbs and essential oils. Your vet also needs to be aware of any natural methods you are using in order to avoid drug interactions and to adjust insulin requirements accordingly. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report by Erna Mueller: Character Guest Post & Giveaway


Hey there. My name is Spencer Watley, and I’m a Lieutenant at the Seattle Police Department. Well, I guess that’s not the whole truth. You see, some Cyber killers did me in and I landed before the gates of heaven. I was standing there knockin’ but the door wouldn’t open. An angel standin’ there told me no way am I going in. What, you must be mistaken, I says, what’s my room number? Here I am a great cop, donno know how many scumbags and lowlifes I put in the slammer. Don’t that count for nothin’? The angel wasn’t listening, she just told me I was jerk, and insensitive to boot. Do you believe that, a jerk! She said I had to go through the J.R.P. if I ever wanted to enter. The J.R.P I asked, what the heck is that? It’s the Jerk Redemption Program, said the angel. That’s non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns, we will make you nice and sensitive, jerk. I shivered and nearly passed out at the thought. Can you imagine that? I can’t stand all that mushy, touchy feely stuff. But the angel had something else up her sleeve. The other option she gave me was, I could help a young kid and his dysfunctional family. Hey, that sounds way better I said. And just as she’s sendin’ me back down to earth, she pulls this zinger on me. I can only go back in the body of my K-9 partner. Well, I just said forget it, I ain’t becoming no dog. But the angel wouldn’t listen. So here I am a stupid dog. And the teenager I’m trying to help is a smart-mouthed, know-it-all puber who’s grouchier than I am. You think this is bad, wait till you read the rest, it gets even worse. I dare you to read it. Woof.

**************

Title: K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report
Author: Erna Mueller
Publisher: Erna Mueller
Pages: 220
Genre: YA
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.

After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But - what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out? 

He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.

But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.

And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.

Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.

But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.

Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?

Can a selfish man find a heart?

You bet. He just has to become a dog first.

K-9 Cop is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at
Barnes & Noble.
Watch the book trailer at
Youtube!
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at
Goodreads.
 
About the Author: I was born in Austria and my family immigrated to the U.S. I loved living here as a child and considered the U.S. my home. My family returned to Austria and of course I had to tag along. I missed the friendly faces and the cultivation of the free spirit which America symbolizes. In Austria I completed my education but always wanted to return, so here I am.

I traveled the world and lived in many exciting cities such as Paris, Munich and London. I currently work as an accountant for a large pizza company in Seattle by day and passionately pursue a career as a writer in my spare time.

My new book, K-9 Cop, is adapted from my multi-national award winning screenplay. The book has won several awards including first place in the 2009 National Good Read Competition sponsored by awomenswrite.com.

Please visit my web site at http://www.k9cop-woofwoof.com for more reviews and other info.

Connect with Erna on Facebook and Twitter.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
 
Erna is giving away one audiobook of K-9 COP!
Terms & Conditions:

* By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
* One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
* This giveaway begins October 6 and ends Dec 19.
* Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, Dec 22.
* Winner has 48 hours to reply.


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