Monday, October 20, 2014

#WholeBodyHealth For Your Cat


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 http://blogp.ws/NewUltra - 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.

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.

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 Pho.to, 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
http://www.molliecoxbryan.com
Twitter: @molliecoxbryan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor
Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/boards/

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

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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!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


#FrankenPet Halloween Photo Contest

(Image: PicMonkey)

I adore PicMonkey and use it on a daily basis for my various photo-editing needs. I am also crazy about Halloween and all of the fun associated with this most spooky of holidays. That's why I'm excited to tell you about a cool contest that PicMonkey has put together.

PicMonkey has partnered with Rover to deliver the most adorably ghoulish photo contest of the Halloween season: #FrankenPet! All you need to do is snap a picture of your pet (in or out of costume) and jazz it up with PicMonkey's large selection of Halloween features. Once your masterpiece is complete, share it by 11:59pm on Halloween using the hashtag #FrankenPet.

You can read more about the contest, the rules, and what you can win here: www.picmonkey.com/blog/halloween-contest/.

Truffles is entering! Are you?

Disclosure: I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. I received a free month of PicMonkey Royale membership and a coupon to redeem for dog sitting services through Rover.com in exchange for sharing information about the #FrankenPet contest.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Off Kilter by Hannah Reed: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway


Off Kilter

The Call of the Highlands 

By Hannah Reed 

It began as ideas often do, with a small spark out of the blue. Most flashes of insight (also known as moments of insane thinking) sputter and die a quick death. As they should. But sometimes one will ignite and take off, and there’s nothing you can do but go along for the ride. That’s what happened with my new Scottish Highlands mystery series. Once those thoughts came alive and were in motion, I wouldn’t have been able to douse them even if I had an ocean of water. They had to be written.

Mostly, I credit one of my more colorful ancestors, who managed to get thrown out of Scotland in 1685 after his capture and imprisonment in Dunnottar Castle for taking up arms against the king. These days the castle still exists as a ruin, sitting high on a windswept hill beside the sea. This character survived when many didn’t and was shipped to the new world. A real rabble-rouser, that one. Not an uncommon trait in my family line. I believe his adventure was the inspiration for this new series. It fueled my imagination.

And although the weapons have changed in the time that has elapsed between then and now, motives for murder remain the same.

So back to the present and a wee bit about Off Kilter.

Romance writer Eden Elliott arrives in the Highlands only to discover that the local sheep shearer has been clipped with his own shears. She better figure out the motive for his murder and the person behind the deed before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror!

I hope you enjoy your romp through the ‘blades’ of the Highland’s slippery slopes. I know I did.

For more information about the story or about my other tales, visit me at hannahreedbooks.com

Praise for Off Kilter:

“Hannah Reed’s new series will please Scotophiles everywhere…” ~ Miranda James, New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.

“A brilliant mystery, rich in charming characters set against lush depictions of the Scottish village of Glenkillen.” ~ Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and the Library Lover’s Mystery.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, October 20th for your chance to win a copy of Off Kilter. (US entries only, please.) 

Blurb: National bestselling author Hannah Reed brings mystery lovers the first in a brand-new series, in which a young writer finds herself swept up in a murder amidst the glens and lochs of the Scottish Highlands….

After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama….

The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror?

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

You know those extremely popular historical romance novels set in Scotland with sexy men in kilts on the cover? I've never read one. But Eden Elliott, star of the Scottish Highlands Mystery series, is attempting to write one in this delightful debut.

Eden is reeling from her recent divorce and death of her mother. She agrees (thanks to the urging of her best friend, a famous author) to go on an open-ended trip to the village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands to do a little research for her first novel. On the plane she meets Vicki MacBride who is also headed to Glenkillen after inheriting her late father's estate. She's the sole inheritor even though she has two half-siblings. Before they know it the town's sheep shearer and close MacBride family friend is killed with his own sheep shears, and clues point to none other than Vicki! Eden is forced to put her writing on hold in order to clear her new friend of murder.

Eden is a wonderfully fresh character who I enjoyed getting to know. She's much like me with her intense love for animals and independent nature, and her hijinks while learning to drive on the opposite side of the road (in addition to the dreaded standard shift!) had me giggling on more than one occasion.

You don't need a passport to feel like you've visited the majestic Scottish Highlands. Just pick up a copy of Off Kilter and lose yourself in the picturesque village of Glenkillen.

#ThrowbackThursday: Halloween 2011

For Halloween 2011 Tara dressed up as a cowgirl. Unlike Truffles, she didn't mind wearing costumes at all. She probably just humored me knowing that it would be over soon.

Do you see the flag print catnip bag under her back legs? That was her favorite toy, rarely leaving her side. It got pretty grubby, it got thrown up on, and more than once it needed a few stitches to put it back together, but she loved it SO much. I still have it (I still have all of her toys packed up) and will cherish it forever.