Monday, September 22, 2014

The Corpse Who Walked in the Door by Jackie King: Guest Author & Giveaway


In My Own Defense
by Trouble Cassidy


First of all, let me say that I was misnamed by my Person, Grace Cassidy. I’m anything but trouble. It’s Grace who is always in trouble. If I could rename myself, I would be Chalmers, which means, “lord of the household,” which I am. Sometimes Grace forgets how hard I work.


Don’t let my inert position fool you. I’m ready to spring to help Grace at any minute. Cats have huge responsibilities looking after their special Person. There’s this odious fellow who tries to lord it over my Grace, named Wilber Wimberly. He owns the place where we live and Grace has to do everything he orders her to do. He calls her, his inn-keeper. His? Who does this fellow think he is? Grace, as everyone knows, belongs to me. She has since that first day when we met. I was just a kitten then, and have a sort of blurred memory of this, but I’ll tell you what I can.

Grace was stumbling around in a rainstorm and almost stepped on me. I looked up at her and meowed as loud as I could. She muttered something I can’t remember, but she finally had the presence of mind to pick me up and tuck me inside her somewhat cluttered handbag. Immediately I knew we were supposed to be together and I settled down to take a catnap.

This part of my life is recorded in Jackie King’s book, THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE.

Jackie’s next book, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR, starts with an amusing little story about me. The evil Wilbur Wimberly chased me around the drawing room with a poker. All I had done was catch a mouse and showed it to him. Aren’t cats supposed to catch mice?

“It’s still alive!” he shouted, dancing about the room and screaming like a little girl.

Well, of course it was alive. I didn’t want to murder him, I just wanted to play for a spell. And I did have a good time, until Grace came in and took the poker away from him and picked me up. The mouse, alas, got away. But I’ll catch him again.

What I really wanted to do was give that Wilbur a good talking to. The man has no manners at all. And he’s even put me to work! Me! The reigning feline.

It seems that folks who come to this quaint old B&B miss their own tabbies left back home in Cincinnati or Wichita or Oklahoma City. The deal is, if I stay the night in their room, Wimberly bills them. Five dollars, it is. Does that sound as if I’m some kind of freeloader? Absolutely not! I’m a working cat. It wears a fellow out just going around looking adorable all day. But at least Grace gets part of the payoff. My Person is learning to stand up for herself. She wasn’t any good at this at all when we first met, but I’ve taught her a thing or two.

I’m also the cat who found the body in the bathtub! If you’re interested in knowing the scuttlebutt about this, you need to read Jackie King’s latest book, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR. Starring me, Trouble, AKA Chalmers, Lord of the Household.



Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: Deadly Niche Press

Publication Date: June 2014

Number of Pages: 206

ISBN: 978-162016-112-8

Purchase Links:



Synopsis:

Former society wife Grace Cassidy is learning to live on the minimum wage she earns as a bed & breakfast inn-sitter. Grace finds her cat’s bloody paw prints leading away from a bathtub and wants to run for her life. But she can’t. Her 19-year-old son is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of concrete steps and she won’t abandon him.

Read an excerpt:

Blood colored paw prints trailed from the white tile bathroom onto the faux Oriental rug in the bedroom where Grace stood. The cat-feet marks immobilized Grace. She closed her eyes and prayed that she had been claimed by stress-induced insanity, that there were no dark-red blots before her eyes, but a hallucination. A nice long rest in a mental hospital didn’t sound too bad. Anything except another dead body in this inn where she worked.


Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery The Corpse Who Walked in the Door is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.

Catch Up With Jackie:






Giveaway:




 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Smorgasbord


Since Sunday features a multitude of blog hops, instead of doing a single post for each one, Truffles and I have decided to merge them all into a Sunday Smorgasbord. Each week we will start with whichever hop Truffles is participating in (Sunday Selfies, Easy Sunday, B&W Sunday) followed by my customary weekly blog recap and what showed up in our mailbox this week.




Today we're joining the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop hosted by The Cat on My Head. This is Truffles' "Sideways Selfie". I know what you're thinking...how is it possible that she just gets cuter every week? I don't know...but she does.



* This week we got a Halloween makeover thanks to Glogirly Design. Doesn't it look great? If you're looking to spiffy up your online digs, you can't go wrong when you treat yourself to a Glogirly Design. More info can be found here as well.

* We haven't done this before, but Truffles asked if she could mention her favorite blog post of the week. Earlier this week she received some treats from Chewy.com to review, Primal Turkey Liver Munchies Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Treats. Her review will be coming soon, but you absolutely have to check out Emma the GBGV's review of the same treats. How hard can it be to make your own freeze-dried turkey at home, anyways? You might be surprised!

Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:
Sunday Selfies: NASCAR Edition
Introducing Our PAWS Sponsor Kitties!!!
DIY Kitten Korner for #Paw2014
Gotcha Day Treats & #WholeBodyHealth Survey
Tea Time with Truffles: Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton Review & Giveaway
Talk Like a Pirate Day
Caturday Art: Country Girls

Bought:
The Christmas Cat Revenge of the Pieman final cover large 101 Easy Everyday Recipes Cookbook: Delicious dishes & desserts in under 30 minutes or with 5 ingredients or lessA Lady Never Trifles with Thieves

Feline Freebie:
Cat's Life!: The World's First Cat Dictionary!

Thank you, Kensington Books!
Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses (A Happy Hoofers Mystery)

NetGalley:
  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Caturday Art: Country Girls


Could Truffles possibly look any cuter in her cowgirl hat? I created this with Pho.to.

Our friend CK at Stunning Keisha recently presented us with the Most Influential Blogger Award, and this version is asking us to share our favorite music. As a child country music was always playing in my home, and to this day, '70s and '80s country, the music I grew up with, is what my Pandora station is constantly tuned to. It was SO hard trying to nail down 5 favorites (what I limited myself to), but I can honestly say that these are 5 of my all-time favorite songs.

The King of country music:

The greatest country song ever written:

A couple songs I love for no particular reason (and yes, it seems that I have a thing for rodeo songs):


My favorite badass "ra ra" America song:


Check out more artsy kitties here. And I would love to hear about YOUR favorite music as well!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day


Ahoy! It is Truffles, pillager of cat treats!

Shiver me timbers, fill up my pink treasure chest or I will slay you with cuteness!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tea Time with Truffles: Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton Review & Giveaway

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Mommy and I were invited to participate in the Tea, Scones, and Murder Blogger Party, hosted by Minotaur Books and Stash Tea, to celebrate the release of M.C. Beaton's 25th adventure in the Agatha Raisin series, Blood of an Englishman. We received an advance reading copy of the book, a couple boxes of delicious Stash Tea, and a recipe card for M.C.’s favorite teatime scones (purchased at the local bakery, of course!)

As part of this fun event we were asked to "host and post" a tea party, so after reading this delightful mystery I'm just taking a little nap before my guests arrive ;)


Would you care to join us?



"Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman..."

Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn't re-appear at final curtain.

Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha's 25th adventure, and you'd think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha's flaws only make her more endearing.

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

After reading Blood of an Englishman, the 25th entry in M.C. Beaton's classic cozy series, I realized it had been way too long since since I enjoyed one of Agatha Raisin's madcap adventures. I have the entire series in my book collection, but with so many new mysteries being released each and every month I have fallen hopelessly behind in many of the longer running series. I really need to take the time to catch up, though. These aren't mysteries that you read for intricate plots and deep characters, they are simply pure, unadulterated fun.

In this book Agatha is drawn into the cutthroat world of amateur theater. She is as irreverent, cranky, and saucy as ever, and over the course of a fast-paced 300 pages she falls in love (or her version of love, anyways) and faces death more than once. She's also called upon to solve a number of murders, the last of which is gruesome yet deliciously wicked.

Visiting England, particularly the Cotswolds, is high up on my bucket list. Until the day comes that I can travel there in person, a visit to Agatha Raisin's Cotswolds is always a pure delight.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gotcha Day Treats & #WholeBodyHealth Survey

Truffles and I would like to thank our friend Taylor from For Tails Only for the yummy treats that she sent for Truffles' Gotcha Day as part of their Pet Birthday Club. Truffles is a total treat junkie and I'm always on the lookout for healthy, grain free treats for her to enjoy. She inhaled these so fast that I couldn't even capture a treat in the photo, just Truffles washing the blanket clean!


Would you also mind taking a moment to fill out the brief 5 question survey below? I've been chosen to participate in a BlogPaws campaign for Natural Balance's line of Ultra Whole Body Health pet products. The results of the survey are going to be compiled into a really cool infographic that I will be sharing with you in October. Thank you in advance for your time!

Fill out my online form.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIY Kitten Korner for #Paw2014


My love for Tractor Supply Company almost borders on obsession. Up until a couple years ago my nearest store was a couple hours away, but now that there's a store just 15 minutes down the road from me, Tractor Supply is my first stop whenever I need something for a home or yard project, or animal supplies for either Truffles or the birds and squirrels that I feed because Truffles demands her Bird TV :)

Tractor Supply makes its home in rural communities all across America and is your one stop shop to help you care for your animals. They carry an extensive line of pet food and supplies including premium brand food, treats, flea & tick control, beds, wireless containment, crates, kennels, collars, leads, bowls, grooming supplies, toys and more.


For the 4th year, Tractor Supply is having their annual Pet Appreciation Week (P.A.W.) event from September 17th through September 21st. The store will celebrate our furry friends with five days of savings, plus a special one-day main event in stores Saturday September 20th. Come in with your leashed pet (where allowed) - stores will be hosting local pet rescues, and you can register for your chance to win $200 in pet products from Tractor Supply Co. (given as a gift card), $100 towards your next vet wellness checkup courtesy of Hill's Science Diet, or a doggie bag worth over $35!


In honor of this special event I was challenged to create a project or craft for my local shelter that would have an impact on the health or well-being of the animals in the shelter, their ability to get adopted, the communities' desire to adopt from the shelter, or the shelter staff’s ability to care for the animals, using supplies purchased with a $25 gift card from Tractor Supply.

I've written before about the Red Shed™ covered wagon planter that I purchased at Tractor Supply that sits in my living room holding my cherished collection of Little House on the Prairie books. About a month ago, just prior to my being chosen for this campaign, I went on a short road trip into New York State and stopped into the few Tractor Supply stores that I passed. In one store I was stunned and delighted to find another of those precious planters, and I instantly purchased it with the intention of using this one in my yard one day. Being end of summer it was even on clearance along with many other cute planters, including one shaped as a wheelbarrow and another as a hollowed-out log. I just love cute, unique decor like this, and that's one of the great things about TSC...you just never know what you're going to find when you walk in the door!

Now while I don't consider myself a "make something from scratch" crafter, I do like to find unique ways to repurpose items, so when I learned about this campaign I instantly starting thinking of fun ways that I could repurpose the planter into something that my shelter could use. (After all, what are the chances that I would ever use the planter to grow anything? I have such a black thumb that I once bought a chocolate mint plant on Mother's Day and it was dead by Father's Day!)


So here's what I came up with: of course, it can be used the way it was intended. I had enough money left over to pick up some cat treats and supplies that I am going to donate along with the planter. After it's unloaded it can be put outside in their yard and filled with some of the beautiful fall flowers that we are currently enjoying. People sometimes think of animal shelters as sad places, so why not beautify the outside with something fun and colorful to make it look more inviting?

It could also be used inside the shelter to carry grooming or cleaning supplies. Since it's on wheels and has a handle it can easily be rolled around to dog kennels and other areas that need to be cleaned up.

The last idea I come up with is my favorite, though. My shelter has a large room that allows the cats to come out of their cages and play among themselves. It is also the place where volunteers go to socialize the cats, and the room where potential adopters can visit and watch the cats "in action". So I created a "Kitten Korner".

While at TSC I picked up a four-pack of cat balls with bells inside. Using sisal twine I tied them to the bars of the planter, along with an extra feather from one of Truffles' wand toys. I also added a soft blanket for extra coziness. (Since this project is geared more towards kittens and smaller cats, Truffles was a bit too big to demonstrate, so she enlisted a little outside help.) This is going to look SO adorable sitting in one corner of the cat room. Can you think of anything cuter than a kitten or two inside the planter batting at the toys, then cuddling up into a kitten pile for a nap? It's a total win-win: a project that adds something cute and inviting to the shelter setting, and enriches the lives of the felines waiting for their forever homes.



While I used the wagon planter, this exact same project could easily be reproduced using a simple round planter or metal bucket. The next time I visit TSC I'm going to pick up one of these to make another Kitten Korner <==== Simply stuff cozy blankets inside for a unique cat bed, and add sturdy cording to the top to hang some toys from to create a kitty play center! Gardening season is coming to an end so many of these containers are on sale too!

I hope I've inspired you to think outside the box and create some fun projects of your own to help out your local shelter without breaking the bank. I encourage you to visit Tractor Supply and think of ways to create your own projects. I have a feeling your creative juices will begin to flow as soon as you walk in the door!

Visit Tractor Supply on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

This post is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Tractor Supply Company, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Tractor Supply Company, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.