Friday, January 31, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Kittens??? #HallmarkChannel #KittenBowl

Photo Credit: Copyright 2013 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Marc Lemoine

“Kitten Bowl”
A Hallmark Channel Special Event
Sunday, February 2 (12 p.m. ET/PT, 11C)
Host: Beth Stern
Announcer: John Sterling
Color Commentary By: Renée Herlocker

Special Appearances By: Regis Philbin, Hoda Kotb, Rachael Ray, Lisa Vanderpump, Rocco DiSpirito, Nicky Hilton, Kelly Rutherford, Chuck Nice, Julian Starks, Bob Harper, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Carrie Ann Inaba, Aiden Turner, Kristen Aldridge


COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF!  Sports fans and kitten lovers…Hallmark Channel’s 1st Annual “Kitten Bowl” is just around the hurdle! In association with North Shore Animal League America, the nation’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization, and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation, “Kitten Bowl” will have the most adorable kitten athletes going belly-to-belly at Kitten Stadium in the biggest feline showdown in history!

“Kitten Bowl” will consist of two preliminary playoff games and a championship match. Along with hurdles, tunnels, hoops, jumps, weave poles, lasers, lures and toys on strings, “Kitten Bowl” will feature clever locker room strategies, player profiles and “interviews” from the CATletes as they play the game. All 71 kitten participating in “Kitten Bowl” were from North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation and have all been adopted to loving homes!

Build your Kitten Dream Team on Hallmark Channel’s Feline Fantasy League available on Hallmark Channel USA’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/hallmarkchannel).

Can’t get enough? View The Next Kittens In-Training Live 24/7 at www.HallmarkChannel.com/KittenCam

And if you're anything like me and can't wait, here's a sneak preview!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with Author/Blogger Ingrid King and Her Torties

Today I am so excited to be interviewing one of my very favorite cat author/bloggers (and fellow tortie fanatic!), Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat. I have 5 questions for her, and Truffles has 5 questions for Ingrid's two beautiful torties, Ruby and Allegra. After the interview you can find more information on her wonderful books.


How did cats become such a huge part of your life? Were you born a cat lover or at what point in your life did they steal your heart?
I’ve always loved cats, but wasn’t allowed to have a cat as a child because the apartment building I grew up in didn’t allow pets. I got my first cat, Feebee, when I was in my twenties. He was one of those special soul cats. He was responsible for my love of cats eventually becoming my life’s work. I had become increasingly unhappy with my corporate job but had no clear sense of what I was meant to be doing with my life. Then Feebee took matters into his own paws, so to speak, and developed bladder stones. The time we then spent at veterinary hospitals for diagnosis, treatment, and surgery led me to change careers. I started volunteering and then working part time at veterinary hospitals, which eventually led to a full-time position managing an animal hospital. After eight years there, I left to start my own business, a Reiki practice for pets and humans, and eventually transitioned to being an almost full time writer and blogger, with my focus being, of course, cats!

Can you tell us about some of the fur babies that have shared your life? Which have left the biggest paw prints on your heart?
I already mentioned Feebee. After Feebee came Amber, the original Conscious Cat. She was with me for ten much too short years. Buckley joined Amber and me for an even shorter time, she succumbed to heart disease after only two years with us. I now share my life with Allegra and Ruby, two young, sweet, high energy tortoiseshell cats.

When Feebee died, I thought I could never love another cat as much as I loved him. And then Amber came into my life, and her quiet, gentle energy opened my heart to love again. Buckley’s exuberant and loving personality instantly won me over. And I love Allegra and Ruby so much – I think they all leave paw prints on our hearts in different ways.

What is a typical day like for you?
I’m an early bird, so I’m usually up around 5:30am. The first thing I do, of course, is feed Allegra and Ruby. Then I take my first cup of coffee to my office and check email, social media, and blog comments. I usually spend the mornings writing, often with some feline assistance. I take a break for lunch, and that includes an hour long walk most days. Since I’m such a morning person, my energy tends to drop in the afternoon, so I leave afternoons for work that doesn’t require as much concentration. I also still have an active Reiki practice. Most of my Reiki sessions are done remotely, and I usually do them in the afternoon.

What are some of your favorite cat books?
Oh, there are so many of them! Recent favorites are Gwen Coopers new novel, Love Saves the Day, and James Bowen’s A Streetcat Named Bob.

In your opinion, what makes torties so special?
I’m drawn to their beautiful coloring, but I’d have to say what really makes them special is their tortitude – that unique personality that most of them seem to share. Of the five torties I’ve had in my life (in addition to Amber, Buckley, Allegra and Ruby, there was also an office cat named Virginia, who introduced me to tortitude and who is responsible for my love affair with these cats), Amber was the only one who hadn’t read the book on tortitude. She was one of the most laid back, mellow cats I ever met.


Truffles: How did each of you come to live with your Mommy?
Allegra: my mom saw my picture on Facebook one day, and fell in love with me. She came to see me at the animal hospital where I lived while I was waiting for my forever home, and ten days later, I got to go home with her.

Ruby: Mom was looking for a friend for Allegra, and she saw my picture on the website of a rescue group. She came to meet me at my foster home, and I was being so adorable and cute that she just couldn’t help herself – she had to adopt me!


Truffles: What's a typical day like for you?
Allegra: We get up with Mom and wait for her to fix our breakfast. We’re pretty patient about that.

Ruby: Speak for yourself, Allegra! I wish Mom was faster with the breakfast routine. Sheesh, she does it every day, you’d think she could be a little quicker about it?

Allegra: After breakfast, we both take a little nap while Mom does stuff on the computer. Then Mom plays with us for a while before she has her own breakfast.

Ruby: Once Mom goes back into her office, Allegra and I usually take a nice long nap.

Allegra: I love when Mom takes a break for lunch! She brushes us and gives us treats!

Ruby: And we play! I like chasing you around the house, Allegra!

Allegra: Sigh. I know you do, Ruby.

Ruby: We take another nap, until it’s time to remind Mom to feed us dinner. Mom always plays with us before she feeds us. Weee!!! My favorite time of the day!

Allegra: Of course, all that time when it looks like we’re napping, we’re really helping Mom work. She’s called us her inspurration, and that’s hard work!

In the evening, we may help Mom watch TV, or we may just wait for her to get ready to go to bed.

Ruby: We love bedtime. We snuggle with Mom all night long.


Truffles: What are some of your favorite toys, food, treats, and napping spots?
We both love the DaBird, and the NekoFlies toys. We’re not picky when it comes to food, and eat pretty much anything Mom gives us. She feeds us really healthy food!

Allegra: We do love our freeze-dried chicken treats.

Ruby: Yes! Treats!

Our favorite napping spots are the window perch in Mom’s bedroom, and the top of the cable box. We alternate who gets which spot.

Truffles: Do you enjoy being blogging kitties? What do you enjoy/not enjoy about it?
We love it when Mom lets us write! We feel that it’s important to provide the cat’s point of view to our readers.

Truffles: Isn't being a tortie the greatest??? How do you flaunt your tortitude?
What do you mean “flaunt?” Tortitude is who we are!

Ruby: Mom calls me “crazy kitten” sometimes. I get what she calls the zoomies and race through the house and up and down cat trees and up and down furniture – it’s so much fun! Wee!!!

Allegra: Mom tells us we’re beautiful all the time. I think Ruby sometimes takes the whole tortitude thing a bit too far.....

Ruby: blows raspberry at Allegra.

**********

Ingrid King is the award winning author of Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style. She is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans, has won multiple awards, including the 2012 Pettie for Best Cat Blog, and was named Best Website about Cats by About.com.

Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cats Allegra and Ruby. For more information about Ingrid, please visit IngridKing.com or ConsciousCat.com.

The Books:


 Purrs_of_Wisdom_Ingrid_King Adventures 150x210

Buckley's Story:

Buckley’s Story is a story about the important role animals play in our lives by teaching us universal lessons about opening the heart and living a joyful life.

This is the story of how one small cat changed the author’s life in ways she never could have imagined. In this warm-hearted memoir, Ingrid King shares the story of Buckley, a joyful, enthusiastic and affectionate tortoiseshell cat she meets while managing a veterinary hospital. When Ingrid leaves her job at the veterinary hospital to start her own business, Buckley comes home to live with her and Amber, another tortoiseshell cat who had adopted the author several years earlier.

Buckley is diagnosed with heart disease after only two years of living with Ingrid, and caring for Buckley through her illness only deepens the bond between cat and human. Interspersed with well-researched information about cat health in general, and heart disease in particular, the author describes the challenges and rewards of managing illness in a feline companion, and ultimately helping her through the final transition. Ingrid shares both the day-to-day joys of living with a special cat as well as the profound grief that comes with losing a beloved animal companion.

Buckley’s Story is a celebration of the soul connection between animals and humans, a connection that is eternal and transcends the physical dimension.

This collection of essays features lessons in conscious living, inspired by the cats who have shared the author’s life.

From help with every day challenges to inspiration on living a joyful life, this compilation provides encouragement, guidance, and enlightenment, feline style.

Whether it’s creating balance, navigating turbulent times, or finding the magic in life’s ordinary moments, there’s something for everyone in this book.

Chapters include:
  • The Healing Power of the Purr
  • Making Time for Contemplation
  • Routine as the Key to Happiness
  • Purging Can Make You Purr
  • Healthy Cats, Healthy Human
The stories may remind you of lessons your own cats have taught you, provide “aha” moments, or simply make you smile.

These essays are best enjoyed with a cat curled up on your lap.

Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love and Myself:

The book offers a unique look at what really goes on in a veterinary hospital through the eyes of a former veterinary hospital manager, aka, yours truly. The book provides insight into what makes veterinary medicine such a rewarding profession through a series of stories about some of the pets I connected with during my twelve years working in the field.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let's Help Crepes Win at Catdance!

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! One of my very best kitty blogger friends, Crepes from Cat in the Fridge, needs our help! A video she co-stars in is a Catdance Festival finalist and she has a chance to win $50,000 to help special needs kitties, but only if we vote for her EVERYDAY until February 28th. Crepes is the only blogger in the running, and we have the power to make this happen! Please read Crepes' message for the details:


Crepes writes, “Hi, Furriends! Our movie, “The Inheritance,” starring yours truly is in Catdance! We’re finalists for a second year in a row and can only win with your support for the popular vote! The prize is a whopping $50,000 and we have great plans to do some good for special needs pets if we win!  My FODs are filmmakers and this would be a really big deal to them to win, but we’re currently in 2nd place and we need your help!

We are the only finalists from the cat blogosphere and really need the support of all bloggers!
You can vote once per day per email address from now until February 28th (Fresh Step rarely sends out emails so you won’t get spammed). 

Please make sure you click through to “Yes, enter me” or “No, but count my vote anyway” to make sure the vote counts.

And if you share the link, make sure you share this link listed here, and not through their page, or it will go to YouTube, where you are unable to vote. If you like our film, we have more at http://catcatastrophes.com  – Let’s show everyone what the power of the blogosphere can do!

Thank you all so very much!”


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Silence of the Library by Miranda James: Guest Post/Review/Giveaway


The Silence of the Library (Cat in the Stacks Series #5)


Guest Post by Miranda James:

I blame Nancy Drew for my life of crime. Reading it and writing it, that is.

I was ten when I borrowed The Secret of Shadow Ranch from a cousin. It was the first mystery I ever read, and I was hooked. Then, to my delight, I discovered this was only one of a long series of adventures in which Nancy solved mystery after mystery. Just as exciting, I soon found other amateur mystery-solvers: the Hardy Boys, the Dana Girls, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, and many more. By the time I began reading adult mysteries, my love of the amateur detective was completely entrenched.

When I decided I wanted to write a mystery myself, I knew my main character would be an amateur. After all, I’m not a policeman, or a lawyer, or a private detective. But I do have a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around me and the people in it. Charlie Harris, the sleuth in my “Cat in the Stacks” series, is just like me in that respect. He’s also about my age (fiftyish, if you must know), he’s a librarian, he grew up in Mississippi, and he has a Maine coon cat. That’s as far as it goes, however. (I have two cats, by the way, neither of which is a Maine coon. Also, Diesel is much better behaved than my two.)

I wanted to incorporate my knowledge of, and love for, these juvenile series books into one of my own books, and in the new book, The Silence of the Library, I have done so. I created a series character in the mold of Nancy Drew and the other girl detectives and called her Veronica Thane. The author of the series, Electra Barnes Cartwright, was inspired by Mildred Wirt Benson (the first writer, aka “Carolyn Keene”, of the Nancy Drew series, Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton series, and Julie Campbell Tatham, the original author of Trixie Belden. In fact the book is dedicated to their memories.

The most fun part of writing this book for me was the “excerpts” from the first Veronica Thane book. I reread some of my favorite girl detective stories from the 1930s to get a sense of the style in my head, and off I went. I hope readers will get a kick out of this aspect of the story. Of course, The Silence of the Library includes murder – a subject that usually didn’t come up in the classic juvenile series books. But when you get a number of rabid book collectors together, with hints of a rare and highly collectible volume, something deadly is sure to happen.

**********

About The Silence of the Library:  Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but a celebrated author’s visit draws an unruly swarm of fanatic mystery buffs…and one devious killer.

It’s National Library Week, and the Athena Public Library is planning an exhibit to honor the centenary of famous novelist Electra Barnes Cartwright—creator of the beloved Veronica Thane series.

Charlie has a soft spot for Cartwright’s girl detective stories (not to mention an extensive collection of her books!). When the author agrees to make a rare public appearance, the news of her whereabouts goes viral overnight, and series devotees and book collectors converge on Athena.

After all, it’s rumored that Cartwright penned Veronica Thane stories that remain under wraps, and one rabid fan will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get hold of the rare books….

Buy Link

Mochas, Mysteries and Meows Review: This book could easily go on my list of all-time favorite cozies because it is an ode to the girl sleuths that shaped my childhood and turned me into the mystery lover that I am today. One of my greatest memories growing up is devouring the Nancy Drew books in my school library and building a collection of my own with my allowance money scouring flea markets and used book stores.

This is the fifth book in the "Cat in the Stacks" mystery series featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel. It centers around preparations for National Library Week at the library where Electra Barnes Cartwright, author of the Veronica Thane series, is set to be honored for her centenary. Imagine everyone's shock when it is discovered that the legend is still living and there is rumored to be five previously unpublished Veronica Thane manuscripts! Rabid collectors and fans descend on Athena and exhibit embarrassing behavior in the presence of their idol, and eventually the president of the EBC Fan Club ends up dead.

An added bonus is that there is a "story within a story" as Charlie is re-reading a Veronica Thane book while attempting to solve the murder, and it ends up being the spark that sets him on the right path to catch a killer. This book is pure magic for anyone whose childhood was defined by their love for the famous girl sleuths. It reaffirmed for me why I love this genre so, so much.

About Dean James: Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian, is a librarian and Edgar-nominated author of over twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. His nonfiction has won both the Agatha Award and the prestigious Macavity Award. Writing as Miranda James, he is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks series, featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his trusty rescue cat Diesel. He is also the author of The Trailer Park Mysteries, writing as Jimmie Ruth Evans and the Bridge Club Mysteries, writing as Honor Hartman. As Dean James, he’s authored The Deep South Mystery Series and The Simon Kirby-Jones Mysteries. He lives in Houston, Texas, with two cats and thousands of books.

Visit www.catinthestacks.com for more on Charlie and Diesel!

GIVEAWAY: Did you have a favorite girl sleuth growing up? Tell us about it by noon EST on January 31, and you will be entered to win a copy of The Silence of the Library. U.S. entries only.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart Virtual Book Publicity Tour with Michelle McLean

Writing the Blood Blade Sisters series has been a really fun experience. I’ve always loved historical romances, knights with their ladies, gentlemen with their gentlewomen. With the Blood Blade Sisters, it was fun to throw in a twist…and make my ladies a trio of feisty bandits.

Top Ten Things Every Female Bandit Needs

1. A fine selection of weapons – a knife in the boot or gun in the garter are always popular choices.

2. A noble cause – being a bad girl can be fun and all, but our lovely heroine must have a reason for doing what she’s doing. The Blood Blade Sisters are always putting their bandit skills to use helping those who need it.

3. A handsome hero – more often than not, the Blood Blade Sisters can get themselves out of their own scrapes, but sometimes even a bandit could use a little help. Plus, a cold blade can’t keep a lady warm at night ;-)

4. A great bandit outfit – it’s much easier to pilfer stolen goods in a great fitting pair of breeches than a corset and billowing skirts.

5. A good, well-fitting hat – an absolute must-have to keep those flowing locks out of sight.

6. A soft side – she might be a lady bandit, but she’s still a lady. Having a soft side helps keep her secret bandit persona a secret as well…because who would ever suspect that the bell of the ball was also a notorious bandit?

7. A secret persona – a bandit’s job is hard enough without having everyone know who she is. So much to the better if the secret persona is a male bandit named Blood Blade – that’ll definitely keep the lawmen guessing!

8. A great collection of hair pins – and a set of excellent lock picking skills to go with them!

9. A heart of gold – sure she steals, but it’s always for a good cause. She’s really sweet, loving, and loyal and more deserving than most of having a happily ever after.

10. A happily ever after – a girl can’t be a bandit forever. And when she retires from her Robin Hood ways, she should get to live happily ever after with her handsome hero.


Title: A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart
Genre: Romance
Author: Michelle McLean
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Pages: 171
Language: English
Format: Ebook

Not your typical Southern belle…

Lucy Richardson’s bandit sisters may have taught her to sling a gun and pick a stubborn lock, but nothing prepared her for the agony of her first heartbreak. Her sisters taught her to fight like hell for what she wants… and she wants Finn.

Not your proper Southern gentleman…

Finn Taggart is bad news. His dark and tortured past always catches up to him, and Lucy deserves better than to be tainted by his touch. He couldn’t have her years ago, and he can’t have her now, no matter how enticing she is. If only he can convince her of that before the danger that follows him brings them both down.

Not your classic love story…

Danger doesn’t exactly scare a girl like Lucy, and she knows how to use all kinds of weapons… including her feminine wiles. Finn doesn’t stand a chance. And if they need backup… the Blood Blade Sisters are never far away…

AMAZON


Romance and non-fiction author Michelle McLean spent 98% of her formative years with her nose in a book indulging in her love of reading and research. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, insane eclectic tastes, and tends to be a bit of an organized mess with an insatiable love of books.

When Michelle’s not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.

TWITTER * FACEBOOK * TUMBLR *PINTEREST

Cat's Meow Mews & Mailbox #20



















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)

*** Free eBook Promo: The Cat in the Music Box: A Message from Pet Heaven by B. Cat Stone is a free download on Amazon this weekend (January 25-26) only! ***

Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:
* 5 Reasons We Purr for #BlogPaws
Caturday Art: Tara the Angel

Author Review Request:


Thank you Minotaur Books!
Murder in the Afternoon

NetGalley:
           


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Caturday Art: Tara the Angel

I've always enjoyed taking pictures, especially of my beloved pets, using my trusty old 35mm camera. Believe it or not, digital photography is still quite new to me and I love having the ability to snap tons of photos and just delete the crappy ones. (This has been especially helpful with Truffles because more than half of the pictures I take of her end up blurry because she's constantly in motion!)

Lately I've been checking out all the various free online photo editors that are available, particularly Picmonkey and Fotor. It really is amazing what you can do with them in a short amount of time. I love taking regular, everyday pictures and giving them a little artistic flair. I'm so happy that my friend Athena, Cat Goddess has started the Caturday Art Blog Hop so we can show off our creativity.

For my very first Caturday Art I took a picture of Tara and used the Halo effect on Fotor because she was and always will be an angel to me, first here on Earth and now watching over me from the Bridge.


Friday, January 24, 2014

5 Reasons We Purr for #BlogPaws

I honestly cannot remember how I first stumbled upon the greatest gift ever to pet bloggers, BlogPaws, but a quick search of my email shows that I was accepted as a Community member in September 2012. At the time I was concentrating on my book blogging with just a little about Tara added in every now and then, but I was able to use their blogging tips for a great deal of information. When I eventually realized that my true passion lies in writing about the two things in life I could never live without, books and cats, BlogPaws quickly became an invaluable resource for me. They (and two very special little torties!) have inspired me to learn and grows in ways I never even imagined.


This is why being chosen as the BlogPaws Blogger of the Month for January was such an incredible honor for me. I had just barely made the leap of changing my blog name to Mochas, Mysteries and Meows, a move that I felt sealed my identity as a cat blogger, so this was just icing on the cake.

In honor of this special award, Truffles and I have put together a list of 5 Reasons We Purr for BlogPaws:

1) A community of like-minded pet lovers. It always makes me angry when someone says that online friends aren't "true" friendships. The people in my everyday life love their pets, but don't consider them family to the extent that I do mine. The friendships I have made through pet blogging and the BlogPaws community feel every bit as real to me as the relationships I have with friends and family that I see everyday because we have so much in common. We laugh together, we cry together, and we're always there to support each other and lending a helping hand when needed.

2) The BlogPaws Executive Blog. Every morning one of my first stops on my blogging rounds is the BlogPaws blog on their home page. I know that I am guaranteed to learn something new about the business of blogging. (Tips on editorial calendars, blog topic ideas and increasing traffic have been especially helpful.) On Wednesday I link up to Wordless Wednesday, a blog hop where any blogger is welcome to join in and share their post, thereby allowing other bloggers to network and connect with them and vice versa. It's purpose is to be wordless so it's easier to "hop" from one blog to another without having to spend much time reading lengthy posts, although I'll admit that I'm seldom wordless!!!

3) The Pet Blogger Network. My goal was always to one day monetize my blog, I just figured it would be well into the future. Thanks to the Pet Blogger Network, I have established relationships with brands such as Hill's Science Diet, Royal Canin, Whole Foods, and currently Nature's Recipe. New products for Truffles to review, fun giveaways for my readers, and supplemental income in today's economy is always a very good thing.


4) The Pet Blogger Influencer Group. Through this group I am a part of part of a trend-setting panel of pet bloggers/microbloggers/pet parents who enjoy sharing their opinions and being a valued voice in the ever-growing pet blogosphere. Each week I receive a survey to fill out with questions ranging from pet parenting to pet products, blog posts to blogger influence, and more. Each month a challenge is issued to help grow your presence, blog, voice, and influence in the pet industry/as a fellow blogger. January's challenge was to grow your Twitter following by 100 people, which I am happy to say I have achieved.


5) The BlogPaws Conference. This is an opportunity that I haven't yet been able to take advantage of, but it is at the top of my bucket list of things to do. The biggest social media event and conference of its kind, the 6th BlogPaws conference is scheduled to take place in May in Las Vegas. A 3-day pet-friendly event where you can connect with blogging friends and make new ones, network with brands, attend educational seminars, plus a blogging awards ceremony...sounds like heaven on earth to me!!!

Thank you again, BlogPaws, so very much for naming me the January Blogger of the Month. Truffles has been purring like crazy about it all month long! We just can't wait to see what the future holds.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blog Interview Swap: Confessions of a Rescue Mom

Today I'm participating in my very first blog interview swap. Be sure to stop by Confessions of a Rescue Mom to read Kimberley's interview with me!

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

Confessions of a Rescue Mom Blogger Interview:

Who is filling out this Interview? Kimberley Nelson


Where are you from? Fort McMurray, AB, Canada


Tell me a little about yourself? I grew up in a small town in British Columbia (Canada). You can find me attending as many local events as possible, spending time at our camper, traveling, shopping or with my dog Rolo.



What is your blog called? Confessions of a Rescue Mom

When did you start blogging? and why? I launched my blog March 11, 2013 because I wanted to find another way to help out the local shelter and I know that social media is a great way to meet new people, spread stories and events.



How often do you blog? Is it a set schedule or random posts? I blog every weekday unless I am out of town (on vacation) and it is a set schedule with each day of the week having its own feature:
Adopt Me Monday, Tuesday Spotlight, Wagging Wednesday, Thursday Spotlight and Fundraise Friday.


What is your blog about? All things Animal & Adoption



Do you have any animals? I currently have a dog named Rolo who came from our local shelter (Fort McMurray, SPCA) He is aprox. 10 year old and is a  German shepherd x Husky.

Fill In Your Social Media Contact Info:

Website:
www.confessionsofarescuemom.wordpress.com
Email:
confessionsofarescuemom@gmail.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/rescuemomblog
Twitter: @RescueMomBlog



What do you hope to achieve with your blog in 2014? I hope to hit 10,000 views on my 1 year blog anniversary, I think that would be amazing. I also hope to have a ton of different companies and bloggers on my blog this year!

Have you ever attended any Blog Conferences?, If so what ones and how was it:
  I haven’t, I was tempted to go to the Blog Paws in May but that weekend I will be on my Honeymoon so that doesn’t work out. Maybe next year!


What do you get inspiration from? I would definitely say Rolo and every other shelter dog that amazes me!

What are some of your favorite pet blogs to read? I have just recently started to branch out and read other blogs but I definitely love to read the FiveSibes Blog which you can find at:
http://www.fivesibes.blogspot.ca/

Anything else you would like to add? Be sure to check out my blog and facebook page there’s always lots of neat things on it
J

Do I have permission to copy this to my blog? Yes I give you permission

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Answer Your Cat's Questions Day 2014


Do you ever wonder what your cat is thinking? Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day is a chance to find out, and to answer some of their big questions. Take some time and attempt to work out what questions your cat is asking, and make a concerted effort to fill in the blanks.

The proper way to participate in National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day is to be aware of your cat on a more conscious level, and notice when your cat is trying to ask you something. Your job is to stop what you're doing and try to figure out what your cat is asking, and do your best to answer the question.


Here are a handful of questions that I think Truffles would ask me:

Am I the cutest kitty in the whole wide world?
Yes Truffles, you absolutely are.

Out of all the homeless kitties out there, why did you pick me?
You know how I talk about your big sister Tara all the time? Well, when she died my heart was absolutely shattered. I knew I wanted another tortie just like her. When you popped up on Petfinder I thought you were absolutely adorable and I knew I had to bring you home. Plus you came from the same neck of the woods that she did so a part of me likes to think you may be related somewhere along the way.

Why did you name me Truffles?
I had every intention of naming my next tortie Mocha, but when I saw how cute and tiny you were, my first thought was, "That's my little Truffles!"

Why did you take the Christmas tree down? It was so pretty!!!
I know honey, it made me sad to take it down too. Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year, but if we left the tree up all year we wouldn't have the fun and excitement of looking forward to putting it up next Christmas!

Why can't I lay in my screened-in window during the winter?
It's January in northern Vermont...you would freeze your cute little buns off!

Why have you nicknamed me Truffles the Treat Junkie?
Because they're your favorite thing in the world! All of your treat packages are kept in a basket in the living room and the minute you enter the room you sit right in front of it waiting for me to open a package. If I'd let you, you would live on treats alone!

That reminds me...can you go shopping for some more kitty treats? I think I'm running low...
No sweetheart, you got so many new treats for Christmas that I put them in a bag in the kitchen. You have plenty.

Love me Mommy?
I love you so, so much Truffles. And I always will.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chewy.com Review: Orijen Cat Treats

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Take a look at what arrived for me the other day...something new to review from my nice friends at Chewy.com!


This month I chose Orijen freeze-dried cat treats. Orijen Original features a symphony of cage-free chicken and turkey from local prairie farms, plus wild-caught flounder from North Vancouver Island — all delivered fresh each day. These treats are "Biologically Appropriate"...100% meat, no fillers. A colorful brochure was enclosed from Orijen that explains their philosophy and where their ingredients come from. Mommy thought this was cool because she enjoys reading things like that...all I cared about was that there were new treats in the house!



  Mommy wondered if I would like them, because up until now I haven't been a huge fan of freeze-dried treats.


My verdict: I LOVED THEM!!! The minute Mommy put down a small pile I immediately dug in. She was stunned! (Excuse the photography...she hasn't yet perfected the art of feeding me and taking pictures at the same time.)


Hey! My bag is half empty!!! Who's been eating my treats???


Thanks for the sample, Chewy.com! As soon as I can sneak Mommy's credit card out of her purse I'll be placing an order for more!

You can enter to win Chewy.com credit or the January Treat Prize Pack by filling out the Rafflecopter below!

FTC Disclaimer: We received a free sample bag of Orijen cat treats for review; all opinions are our own.




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sugar the golden retriever


Monday, January 20, 2014

Truffles Interviews...Hero from Playing with Fire by JJ Cook (with Review & Giveaway)


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing Hero, the Dalmatian superstar from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series by JJ Cook. Enjoy!

Welcome, Hero! How did you came to live with Stella?
Well, I was a gift to the Sweet Pepper Volunteer Fire Brigade. My Mom, Sylvia, and I were rescued by some people who also became members of the group. To begin with, I think Stella planned for me to live at the firehouse. Eric, the ghost of the former fire chief, liked having me around at the cabin he shares with Stella. I love being up there too. Eventually, Stella just came to see it our way!

What's life like as a firehouse dog?
It’s a lot of fun and excitement! I’m being trained to become a real rescue dog, but in the meantime, I go to every call. I get to ride in the engine on the seat with Stella and Ricky, the driver. I’m the best at climbing ladders, and kids aren’t afraid to get out of a burning house when they see me.

You are the subject of your very own novella, Hero's Journey...what's it like being famous?
It’s awesome! I’m a local celebrity. There’s even talk of me riding on a float in the Sweet Pepper Festival parade next year! Not to mention – I get a treat every time I walk into the Sweet Pepper Café with a firefighter. I’m the only dog allowed in there, you know.

Can you tell us anything about the history of your breed, the Dalmatian, and how they came to be known as mascots to fire brigades?
Well, as I understand it – Dalmatians have always been very strong and very good at running. Humans used us to guard their horses because we get along so well with horses. As horses began pulling firehouse wagons, I think it was natural for firefighters to have us around to protect their horses, and the firehouses. Of course, we’re very brave too – which is why we can be trained to run into burning builders with our firefighters. We’re also very good company on those long shifts while firefighters are waiting for a call. I hope that helps explain it a little. If you want to know more, you’ll have to ask my mother. She knows everything!

Do you ever get into any mischief?
Oh yeah! I like to tease old Tagger. He chases me when I snatch his hat and run. Once, I got into Ricky’s turn-out coat and ran through the firehouse. Some people thought I was a ghost! I’ve learned how to make this face where everyone says, “How cute!” and gives me food. My mother says that’s bad, but it sure is fun!

How do you feel about cats?
I LOVE cats! In fact, I’d like to have one as a pet. Eric says no. We’ll see.

What adventures do you and Stella have in Playing with Fire?
I help Stella look for the person who killed Eric. It’s not very nice to leave someone in a wall after you shoot them. I try to keep Eric from feeling so sad about it, too. And, of course, I help convince Stella to stay in Sweet Pepper instead of going home to Chicago. But that’s a secret. Please don’t tell anyone.

Any closing words for your adoring public?
Watch out for children playing with matches. They can cause fires. I’d like to come and visit everyone, but not because their house is on fire. Come and see me in Sweet Pepper sometime, and I’ll give you a tour of the firehouse!

Thanks for the interview, Truffles!

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

Mochas, Mysteries and Meows Review: This second book in JJ Cook's wonderful Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery series finds Stella facing quite the dilemma: her parents and cheating ex-fiancé show up unexpectedly at her door to convince her to return home to Chicago with them. This happens just as she feels like she's reached a turning point in solving the murder of her predecessor Chief Eric Gamlyn. (Believed to have heroically died in a fire, in the first book he was found shot to death and stuffed in the firehouse wall.)

Deputy Chum, who was on the scene that fateful day, has given Stella new information with regards to what he remembers just as he has retired and decided to leave town. He never reaches his final destination though...shortly after speaking with Stella a vehicle pulls up alongside his, he is shot and drives off a cliff. This convinces Stella more than ever that forces are still at work 40 years later to make sure Eric's killer is never brought to justice.

Even though some questions are answered by the end, I still don't think we have the full story of what happened that night. Just as with Betts and Jerome in Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School Mystery series, I am completely transfixed by the feelings that Stella and Eric have for each other. For some reason I just find the forbidden aspect of falling in love with a ghost completely breathtaking. I can't wait to find out what comes next for these two.

playing with fire

Playing with Fire
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)

2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (January 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252451
  
Synopsis:
Welcome to Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s home to the hottest and sweetest peppers in the world—as well as at least one ghost and a hotbed of secrets…

Fire Chief Stella Griffin is working to solve the mysterious death of her predecessor, Eric Gamlyn—who also haunts her cabin. Yet the more she learns, the more burning questions she must answer. Just as Stella thinks she has a lead from Deputy Chum, someone snuffs her hopes—and the lawman.

Adding fuel to the fire, Stella’s parents soon arrive—with her ex-boyfriend—hoping to persuade her to return to Chicago. Now Stella is torn between the life she left behind and uncovering what happened to her ghostly friend. But she’d better think fast or more than her investigation could go up in flames…

j&j 2

About J.J. Cook
J.J. Cook’s first mystery, That Old Flame of Mine, became an instant bestseller in 2013. Playing with Fire is the second book in that series. They write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

www.jjcook.net
@authorjlavene
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17938369-playing-with-fire?ac=1
https://www.facebook.com/authorsj.j.cook?ref=hl

Purchase Links
Amazon                Book World             B&N


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