Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Pocket Star E-Book Kentucky Derb-E Treat!



Today's post is a little different because it's not about cats, and it's not about mysteries, but it is about something else near and dear to my heart...horse racing's Triple Crown. I've long said the only two sports events I needed to see in my lifetime were Kevin Harvick winning the Sprint Cup Championship (check!) and a Triple Crown (still waiting).

The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday and we are giving away promo codes for the EBooks Thrown, Jumped, and Branded in Colette Auclair’s award-winning Aspen Valley series! Information on the series can be found below. Simply leave a comment with your email address by Monday, May 4th. One lucky winner will receive promo codes to download all 3 books!

GIVEAWAY
A Pocket Star EBook
Kentucky Derb-E Treat!

The Aspen Valley Series:

  

THROWN (December 2013; $5.99) is the first book in The Aspen Valley Series.  Professional horse trainer Amanda Vogel dreams of riding jumpers in the Olympics, but after seeing her best friend die in a riding accident, she’s so traumatized she can’t compete. Broke and desperate, she takes a summer job in Aspen teaching some big-shot widowed movie star’s spoiled daughters to ride—and braces herself for three miserable months. But the movie star is funny, down-to-earth, and gorgeous—and his spoiled daughters are just desperate for a mother figure. By Labor Day, she has to choose between capturing a gold medal…and the man who has captured her heart.

JUMPED (August 2014; $5.99), the second book in The Aspen Valley Series, is Colette Auclair’s steamy sequel to her “page-turning debut” (Library Journal), Thrown. A young woman in the equestrian fashion business finds herself head over heels for her ex-husband.  Thoroughly enjoying herself at her best friend Amanda’s wedding, Beth is shocked when she is seated next to her ex-husband, Finn, at the reception. Determined to not let this fluster her, Beth strikes up a conversation only to learn Finn isn’t the same man she walked away from. 

Relieved the reception is over, Beth is looking forward to a relaxing weekend against the beautiful backdrop of sunny Aspen at Amanda and Grady’s estate.  Little does she know Finn will be partaking in the weekend activities.  But just as Beth decides to keep as much distance between her and Finn as possible, Finn has a terrible accident and Beth is stuck being his bedside nurse.  Over the course of the weekend, Beth and Finn discover that the wounds of their failed marriage are not all that’s left. There are sparks…and hope. But just as they decide to give it another try, Finn confesses a huge secret that could destroy everything he’s fought to get back—Beth, their relationship, and another chance at love.  Will Beth turn away, or will she take a leap of faith and say “I do” once (again) and for all? 

BRANDED (December 2014; $5.99), the third book in The Aspen Valley Series, will take readers on a wild and dreamy ride through the beautiful valleys and mountains of Colorado.  Professional, polite, and pearl-wearing, dressage rider and resort consultant Cordy Sims is the last person anyone would expect to initiate a weekend of debauchery. And yet, that’s exactly what she does after meeting a handsome stranger at an Aspen resort. Agreeing that they’ll leave personal details at the door, they indulge in a memorable weekend of carnal recreation. On Sunday night, Cordy doesn’t want to leave this charming, seductive man, but she must play by her own rules.

On Monday, Cordy sits in a meeting at the ad agency that’s hired her as a freelancer, and her professional and personal worlds collide. Turns out agency owner Jack Cormier looks just as good in the boardroom as he did in the bedroom. Forced to work together, Cordy and Jack can’t ignore the chemistry that crackles between them, or the deeper feelings that have developed. But secrets and scars from their pasts may prove too formidable, even for a love that’s as powerful as it is unexpected. 

Praise for The Aspen Valley Series:

“The story portrays two convincingly flawed but likeable characters who find each other’s aults both provocative and exciting, as they try to decide whether a second chance at marriage is worth the risk.”
Publishers Weekly on Jumped

“Harris, the Brunswicks’ chef, is a clairvoyant Cupid, full of honest evaluations of people and their love lives. He adds a spark to the story as Auclair continues to build her cast of series characters and develop their varied personalities.”
—Library Journal on Jumped

In JUMPED, the author returns to the Aspen area with many of the same characters that were in her well–received debut novel, THROWN…Major and minor characters are interesting and likable, and the friendships add to the primary romance. There will be at least one more book in the series. Look for BRANDED to release in December. If you like horses, a tangled relationship, and a series that flows from one book to the next, check out these titles.”
—Romance Reviews Today on Jumped

“If you’re looking for a highly entertaining, fast-paced, horsey beach read, Jumped should fill the bill.”
—Horse Nation on Jumped

“There is enough tension among all the forces at play to keep the pages turning. Debut novelist Auclair is a 2012 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, winner of the 2011 Winter Rose Contest, and a finalist in the 2011 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest.  Recommended for most romance fans.”
—Library Journal on Thrown

“Romantic fiction with an equestrian theme gets a fun new twist in this novel which follows trainer Amanda Vogel… the star is single, handsome, and has the hots for Amanda. But both characters are carrying hefty loads of their own baggage, and as they navigate through various dramas and horse-related mishaps, the layers (both physical and psychological) start to come off. Thrown weaves horses into the story with a practiced tone, and the accuracy of equine knowledge and horse people adds to the plot. For a fun, entertaining read, be sure to pick up this debut novel by Colette Auclair.” 
Horse & Style on Thrown

“Totally accurate, as far as HorseGirls go…Colette Auclair nails the horse stuff…whether it’s describing Amanda’s selection of appropriate mounts for Grady’s beginner daughters, or setting up a human cross-country course for the girls to play Olympics over, or accurately detailing an episode of colic (including the joy when the horse finally poops), or explaining the feeling of connecting with a once-in-a-lifetime horse…my favorite part about the book, aside from the discussions of how horse training prepares just about anyone for human training…is the humor…Aside from getting the horse stuff right, the characters are also well-developed…The story is quite a page-turner, so be prepared to be completely unable to stop–like a runaway horse except actually fun.  And the book does have one pretty detailed sex scene and multiple explicit make out sessions, so it’s not for kids. Bottom line: if you like romantic comedies, you’ll definitely enjoy Thrown.”
Horse Nation on Thrown


Colette Auclair has been a copywriter for more than twenty years.  She’s ridden and shown horses since she was ten and owns a lovely twenty-year-old Thoroughbred mare.  Thrown, her first novel, was a 2012 Golden Heart finalist in the single-title contemporary romance category.  It also won the 2011 Winter Rose Contest (Yellow Rose Romance Writers) and finaled in the 2011 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest (NE Ohio Romance Writers Assoc.)  Jumped is second and Branded is third in the Aspen Valley series.  Please visit coletteauclair.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Garfield Rounds Up Some Varmints

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today we wanted to show you Mommy's latest find from Tractor Supply. It had been awhile since she had stopped in to browse, and as soon as she stepped in the door she spotted that famous Garfield orange. When she saw him dressed as a cowboy she gasped so loud that I think I heard her at home!!!



Since Mommy has a black thumb (she once bought an herb plant on Mother's Day that was dead by Father's Day), the planter will most likely never see an actual plant. It's currently sitting in our living room with a bunch of Grumpy Cat stuffies inside. (Doesn't it look like Cowboy Garfield has rounded up the little varmints and is pretty proud of himself?)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chewy.com Review: Canidae Grain-Free PURE Taste


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Remember how last month I totally rejected the treats I received for review from Chewy.com? Well after that fiasco I warned Mommy that she had better pick out something super for me this month...or else!

Well the good news (for her) is that she completely redeemed herself...the CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Taste cat treats get four paws up from this little tortie!!! (And Mommy is positively smitten by the super cute heart shape of the treats.)


Key Benefits:
  1. Grain & gluten-free recipe
  2. Only 7 ingredients including wholesome peas, potatoes, and lamb meal
  3. Crunchy texture helps clean teeth & freshen breath
  4. 250+ treats per bag
  5. Less than 1.5 calories per piece
  6. Resealable pouch keeps treats fresh tasting and crispy for the crunch cats love!
  7. Made in the USA!
What matters most to me is how yummy they are!!!



Canidae Grain-Free PURE Taste cat treats come in chicken (which I tried) and salmon flavors, and are currently on sale at Chewy.com for only $3.99 a bag. (As we write this the salmon is temporarily out of stock.)

We received one free package of treats in exchange for our fair and honest review as part of the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach Program. All opinions are our own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Go Orange for Animals #fightcruelty


Have you ever witnessed an animal being abused? Anyone who has knows that it's one of the most horrific, helpless feelings you will ever experience.

Many years ago I was walking with my mother in our busy downtown shopping area. Just ahead of us was a man yanking and dragging his elderly dog behind him. People all around us were screaming at him to stop because his dog couldn't walk, but he ignored all of them and kept right on going.

This was before the days that everyone carried a cell phone on them, so people were going into nearby stores to call the police. It was a very tense and dangerous feeling situation, so out of fear for our safety we didn't stick around to see what would happen.

When we got home my mom called the humane society and asked to speak to our animal control officer where she explained what we had witnessed. The officer told her that they were aware of the situation, the man was known to them and had many complaints filed against him, but they were unable to tell us anymore because it was an ongoing investigation.

Many times I've wondered what ended up happening to that poor abused dog and wished that we had been able to do more than just make a phone call.

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

The ASPCA is urging supporters to "Go Orange for Animals" in April for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month. They also want to remind us that we can help crack down on animal cruelty in our own communities, and have provided us with tips on how we can all help make the world a safer place for animals.

1) Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Every state and every town are different. In some areas, you may have to rely on the police department to investigate animal cruelty; in others, you may have to contact local animal control or another municipal agency. If you aren't sure where to report cruelty, please visit their Report Animal Cruelty section.

2) Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. By being aware, you're more likely to notice, for example, that the dog next door who was once hefty has lost weight rapidly—a possible indicator of abuse.

3) Make the call. Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.

4) Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization. It's a great way to make a difference. Some ASPCA volunteers foster animals who have been abused in their former homes, giving these dogs and cats the chance they deserve to have a good life. You can find a list of shelters and rescue groups in your area in their National Shelter Directory.

Please check out the entire list of the ASPCA's Top 10 Ways to Prevent Animal Cruelty.


We're joining our friend Oz The Terrier's Go Orange for Animals Blog Hop.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Join Us On Instagram #SundaySelfies

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! This week Mommy and I finally joined Instagram. Yes, it's one more social network to keep up with, but the way I see it, it's a whole new group of people yet to adore me!!!

If you'd like to follow us, we're @mochasmysteriesmeows

I promise we'll follow you back!


Check out more of my friends' Sunday Selfies at The Cat on My Head.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Caturday Art: National Telephone Day

Hey everybody, Truffles at the keyboard! Since today is National Telephone Day, I thought it might be fun to dig up a few interesting facts to honor what is most likely the greatest invention ever. (Although the only thing phones do for us kitties is provide our humans with a quick way to get in touch with the vet.)

* “Mr Watson–Come here–I want to see you” were the first words spoken into a telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, in 1876, to his assistant Thomas A. Watson.

* The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877 and by 1886 there were more than 150,000 people in the United States that owned telephones.

* In January 1915 Bell made the first ceremonial transcontinental telephone call from the AT&T office in New York City to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

Mommy took this picture of me last summer while my grandma was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. I wanted to call her and let her know that I was missing her and purring for her.


For Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, we applied the Graphic Novel effect using PicMonkey, and then added some overlays from their Comic Heroes theme, bringing the picture to life. 

Why do you think I'm calling Mommy in such a panic?



Friday, April 24, 2015

Shopping with Truffles


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today we're joining Bacon the Pig and Fozziemum for their fun blog hop called “Shopping Around the World". Each month they post a list of 5 items to price in your area in order to find out what different things cost in various parts of the world. I'm going to turn things over to Mommy because there isn't much here for kitties...

Here are the 5 items for April, and what they cost here in Vermont:

1) Heating and/or air conditioning. I refilled my fuel oil tank in February and the price was $3/gallon. I had to fill the tank twice this winter because it was so bitterly cold. (I have my thermostat set at 65 degrees.) In the summer I have one large AC in the living room and it usually raises my electric bill by about $30/month.

2) Meat. I don't eat a lot of meat, but I always stock up on chicken breasts when they're on sale for $1.99/pound. This makes Truffles very happy too :)

3) Vegetable. As a kid I despised lima beans...not they're my favorite vegetable! I buy them frozen at $2.19 for a one pound bag.

4) Random item. Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole...I am obsessed with this stuff!!! I just wish there was a way to keep it fresh longer. $3.79

5) Homemade dish. A tradition here in Vermont is the Charlie's Red Hot, which is sort of our version of the Michigan hot dog. I've tweaked the original to my taste, and it's one of my favorite treats.

All it involves is 1/4 pound of cooked hamburg (I always just save a little bit out whenever I make hamburgers), a chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, a beef bouillon cube, and a 1/2 cup of water. I combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan, heat it through and then let it simmer until the water is gone. Then just smother the top of your hot dog with the sauce.

Since this is made up of mostly odds and ends we already have in our kitchens, the most expensive thing here is the hot dogs ($3.99 for a 10 pack) and the hamburger buns (I always buy the seeded ones, $1.69 for 8).

It's REALLY good and makes your kitchen smell great too...but with the garlic and onions it's not for kitties!!!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Raving About Rejeneril


During the time of Tara's various health issues, I came to rely a great deal on supplements. In addition to traditional medicine and a great deal of TLC, I strongly believe that they helped us to have many more months together than her vets originally predicted.

Up until recently I hadn't given much thought to how supplements could benefit a young, healthy cat like Truffles, so when I was contacted by Rejeneril about doing a possible pet supplement review, I was intrigued. I would never give any pet of mine a supplement without doing my homework, so I read everything I could find on the company's website and the opinions of my fellow pet bloggers and in no time at all I felt comfortable giving it to Truffles.

Here's what I learned:

Rejeneril is a patented and veterinarian-recommended supplement designed to help your pets live a longer, happier, healthier life. You can use Rejeneril with any pet — your cat, your dog, your horse, or any other type of mammal — to help protect against the effects of aging. It is completely safe and non-toxic as a supplement. Young or old, healthy or sick, Rejeneril promises to help your pet build a strong immune system, recover quicker, maintain energy, and slow the negative effects associated with aging.

How does it work? 

Now I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, so to put it simply, it acts as a cellular regenerator to help your pet recover quicker, and allow for a healthier life on a daily basis. Rejeneril contains a proprietary blend of Palladium Lipoid Acid Complex, along with minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, all of which make it the most powerful cellular regenerating formulas ever created. In addition to Rejeneril donating electrons to cells — benefiting the normal, healthy cells that make up your pet’s body — it also helps bolster your pets immunity, in order to help fight against the early signs of cancer or other diseases.

What benefits can you expect from Rejeneril? 

*Improving health and longevity
*Help build a strong immune system
*Building a foundation for a disease-free life
* Reduce pain from arthritis and join pain
* Help extend your pet’s life

About 2 months ago I started adding one tiny drop to Truffles' food. (Easy-to-follow instructions are included in every box for the amount to add to your pet's food or water based on their size. I went on the low end because she is so small.) I wondered if she would notice the slight odor but her stinky goodness seems to cover it up completely!

Truffles is a healthy, happy, vivacious little tortie. Her fur is shiny and soft as silk, and her appetite and activity levels are great. I want to make sure that I do everything I can to make sure she continues to be the "little miss sassafras" that she is today for as long as possible. With Rejeneril as a part of her daily routine, I feel confident that I am doing something to help make sure that happens.

This is a product that I really wish I had known about when Tara was here. I think it would have been very beneficial to her.

Giveaway: Click on this link for details on how to win a free bottle of Rejeneril. The winner will be drawn on May 7th.


Disclaimer: We received one bottle of Rejeneril from Ultimate Pet in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares products that we trust and feel our audience will benefit from learning more about. Rejeneril is not responsible for the contents of this post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tickle Pickle Fun

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Mommy said it's time for us to announce the winners of our Second Chance Tickle Pickle giveaway, but first I thought you might like to see me enjoying my pickle!


The lucky winners chosen by Random.org are our friends at:




Hope you all love your Pickles as much as I love mine!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Truffles Interviews: The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series Menagerie (w/Giveaway)


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing the trio of pets who star in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting mystery series by Lois Winston: a Shakespeare-spouting parrot, a communist-owned French bulldog, and a haughty white Persian named Catherine the Great who is owned by a self-proclaimed descendant of Russian royalty. (They sure sound like a fun bunch, don't they???)

Truffles: Welcome, Catherine the Great, Manifesto, and Ralph! Thank you all so much for taking time to answer a few questions! Could you each tell us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with Anastasia?

Ralph: Thanks for inviting me, Truffles. As you can see, I’m an African Grey parrot, the most intelligent of the species. I’m also the only pet that truly belongs in the Pollack home. The other two are deadbeat interlopers. Anastasia’s Great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle, was my original owner. When she died two years ago, Anastasia inherited me.

Catherine the Great: I was here before you, Squawk Box. (turning to Truffles) Thank you for inviting me to spend some time with your readers today, Truffles. I’m a white Persian owned by Anastasia’s mother, Flora Sudberry Periwinkle Ramirez Scoffield Goldberg O’Keefe Tuttnauer. Flora descends from Russian nobility on her mother’s side and is a proud Daughter of the American Revolution.

Unfortunately, Flora has had some rather rotten luck when it comes to husbands. Her first husband, Anastasia’s father, drowned while scuba diving off the Yucatan on their twenty-fifth anniversary. Flora needs a man in her life, but her subsequent husbands have each met with untimely deaths shortly after the wedding. When Flora is between husbands, she and I settle in with Anastasia and her family. Life was a lot calmer, though, before Squawk Box and Mephisto the Devil Dog arrived.

Manifesto (growling): My name is Manifesto, not Mephisto! Why can’t any of you get that straight?

Ralph: Who names a French bulldog after a communist treatise?

Catherine the Great: Only a pinko Bolshevik.

Manifesto: It’s not like I had a choice of owners. I certainly don’t have any love for the crazy commie, but what choice do I have?

Catherine the Great: You could always bite her.

Manifesto: And risk getting put down for rabies?

Ralph: You have rabies!?!

Manifesto: Of course not! But I’d rather put up with Anastasia’s hellish mother-in-law than risk the alternatives. (turning to Truffles) Anyway, thank you for inviting me, Truffles.

My owner, Lucille Pollack, and I are stuck living with Anastasia because, quite frankly, Lucille is an idiot. Last year an SUV ran her down as she jaywalked across a busy intersection. While recovering in the hospital, her apartment building burnt to the ground. Since she doesn’t trust the government and by extension, the banking system, she kept her life savings in shoeboxes under her bed. After a stint in rehab, she moved in with Anastasia and her family to finish her recovery. Anastasia’s husband had promised to foot the bill for a new apartment for his mother, but then he dropped dead in Las Vegas when Anastasia thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, PA. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Seems Karl Marx Pollack had a hidden gambling problem that left Anastasia not only with debt equal to the GNP of Uzbekistan but also with Lucille and me. Trust me, I don’t want to be here any more than the rest of them want me here.


Truffles: What is a typical day like for each of you?

Ralph: Those two fight like cats and dogs. I usually sit atop the bookcase and offer play-by-play.

Truffles: Catherine the Great, why such a regal name?

Catherine the Great: What else would I be named, given my owner’s pedigree? I’m the namesake of the greatest empress the world has ever known. It’s most befitting. Flora couldn’t possibly have named me anything else.

Manifesto: How about Her Royal Hairball?

Truffles: Ralph, how did you learn Shakespeare?

Ralph: Anastasia’s great-aunt was a professor of Shakespearian literature, and I’d regularly accompany her to class. After decades of sitting in on her lectures, I became somewhat of a Bard scholar myself.

Catherine the Great: Big deal! If you were truly intelligent, you’d quote Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, not a sham playwright who may or may not even have existed. Besides, as Truffles knows, cats are far superior to birds.

Truffles: Manifesto, why are you called a devil dog?

Manifesto (sighing a huge doggie sigh): Everyone hates me. I’m really not such a bad sort of bulldog once you get to know me. My growl is far worse than my bite. It’s taken some time, but by the end of Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, the third book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, Anastasia and I embark (no pun intended) on a d├ętente of sorts. But I won’t say more because I don’t believe in spoilers.

Truffles: Do any of you assist Anastasia in solving the mysteries that she finds herself mixed up in?

Manifesto: Like I said, I don’t believe in spoilers. However, I will say Anastasia definitely owes me—big time.

Truffles: What would you consider your craziest adventure and do you know what is coming up for you?

Catherine the Great: Well, there was that time the loan shark—

Manifesto: No spoilers!

Catherine the Great: But she asked!

Ralph: Tell her to read the books. Meanwhile, we never know what author Lois Winston will throw at us until she writes it. It’s not like she consults with us ahead of time. Of course, if she were smart, she would.


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

About the Author: USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
Twitter @anasleuth.

The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series overview: Anastasia Pollack’s comfortable middle-class life comes crashing down around her when her husband, Karl Marx Pollack, dies suddenly, and she discovers his well-hidden gambling addiction. Karl leaves her with two teenage sons, no savings, enormous debt, and Lucille, the communist mother-in-law from Hell. While attempting to dig her way out of debt, Anastasia keeps stumbling over dead bodies, forcing her to become a reluctant amateur sleuth. Each book also features craft projects that relate in some way to the plot. Titles to date include Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, Death by Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, and Decoupage Can Be Deadly. In addition, there are three novelettes in the series—Crewel Intentions, Mosaic Mayhem, and Patchwork Peril—which are available individually or together in the Crafty Crimes anthology.


Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun
Book 1 in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series

When Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life craps out. She’s left with two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, and her hateful, cane-wielding Communist mother-in-law. Not to mention stunned disbelief over her late husband’s secret gambling addiction, and the loan shark who’s demanding fifty thousand dollars.

Anastasia’s job as crafts editor at American Woman magazine proves no respite when she discovers a dead body glued to her desk chair. The victim, fashion editor Marlys Vandenburg, collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos on her ruthless climb to editor-in-chief. But when evidence surfaces of an illicit affair between Marlys and Anastasia’s husband, Anastasia becomes the prime suspect.

Buy Links
Google Play

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, April 27th for your chance to win an e-copy of any of the books in the series (with the exception of Revenge of the Crafty Corpse).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® and Food, Shelter & Love® Program, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.


I'm very fortunate to live in a part of the country that doesn't experience many natural disasters. Parts of my state were ravaged by Hurricane Irene back in 2011, but that was a very rare event. Still, I remember that it was an incredibly scary time and a good reminder that we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us, and disaster can strike on a moment's notice. The tornadoes that struck Illinois just days ago are proof of that. Not all disasters are natural either. I worry about things like fires and gas leaks in my neighborhood all the time.

FEMA's National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 9th, and Hill's Pet Nutrition is recommending 7 ways pet owners can prepare themselves and their pets in case of an emergency:

1) Ensure your pet has either a microchip or collar ID tag with up-to-date information.

2) Prepare an "Emergency Grab & Go Kit" of pet supplies that is easily accessible in an emergency which includes: first aid supplies and guide book; a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.

3) Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in your home, and make sure your vet's contact information is included.

4) Learn your pet's favorite hiding places so you can find them more quickly during an evacuation.

5) Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Unfortunately, not all disaster shelters welcome pets, so plan ahead by learning which nearby hotels are pet-friendly, or ask friends and relatives if they could house you and your pet.

6) Carry a picture of your pet in case you are separated.

7) Consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping if you need to evacuate.


When disaster does strike, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network is positioned to quickly respond with shipments of pet food to communities impacted by disaster. Hill's established the first-of-its-kind national network in 2013 as an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love® program that provides discounted Science Diet® pet food to more than 800 shelters. In its first year, the Hill's network has delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 11 major incidents.

The responsibility for animal shelters during a disaster stretches already overwhelmed staff and resources to the breaking point as they are not just caring for shelter animals, but also pets that have become separated from their owners. Hill’s Disaster Relief Network is poised and ready to help at a moment’s notice so that they can ensure that all of the animals though stressed and upset have proper nutrition, such as the Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Optimal Care® Original, to keep them healthy until they can be reunited with their owners.

I consider myself to be a very proactive cat mom, but even the most prepared owners can get separated from their pet in an emergency. I know that in such a situation, Truffles' health and safety would be my greatest priority, so while I have done some of the items on Hill's checklist, I definitely need to work on a few others.

Do you have an emergency plan in place for your pets in the event of a disaster?


Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Foster Home for Truffle #SundaySelfies

Some of you may remember that for my birthday last fall Truffles gifted me with the sponsorship of two cats from PAWS of CT, Truffle and Cinnamon. Both of these precious kitties have been waiting for the forever homes for far too long, and as of late Truffle has been getting depressed.

Our dear friend Kevin of Animal Shelter Volunteer Life made us deliriously happy last week when he announced that a wonderful PAWS volunteer has made the decision to become Truffle's permanent foster dad. She is still available for adoption, but if that never happens, she has a forever home with her foster family.

Over the holidays Kevin sent us a bunch of pictures of Truffle and Cinnamon, so in honor of this happy event in Truffle's life, we decided to post some Truffle selfies.

She is such a beautiful girl that if she were a little closer, even though it might be a bit complicated, I would have to learn how to live in a home with two Truffles!!!





Saturday, April 18, 2015

Caturday Art



Hey everybody, it's Truffles! I've had to spend some time administering a bit of purr therapy to Mommy this week. She read our friend Deb Barnes (of Zee & Zoey) new book, Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond, and it brought back so many memories of Angel Tara. Mr. Jazz, the voice behind the book, and Tara both went to the Rainbow Bridge the same summer, only 7 weeks apart. They were both sick for a long time and while reading about Mr. Jazz's final days, Mommy felt like she was reliving her last days with Tara.

Needless to say, many tears have been shed. If you've ever loved and lost a beloved pet, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

Because of the emotions the book stirred up, Mommy was inspired to make Tara the subject of our Caturday Art this week. Tara left her purr and paw prints all over Mommy's heart, but thankfully it's big enough that there's plenty of room in there for me too!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco by Laura DiSilverio


Amy-Faye Johnson’s book club, the Readaholics, enjoys guessing whodunit in mysteries like The Maltese Falcon. But when a murder happens in their midst, they discover that solving crimes is harder that reading about them…

Amy-Faye has always loved her idyllic Rocky Mountain town of Heaven, Colorado. Her event-planning business is thriving, her fellow book-obsessed Readaholics are great, and her parents live only a few blocks away. But lately her hometown has felt a little less heavenly. First, she agrees to plan a wedding without realizing the groom is her ex-boyfriend. Then, Ivy, one of her fellow Readaholics, dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances.

The police rule Ivy’s death a suicide by poisoning, but Amy-Faye and the remaining Readaholics suspect foul play. Amy-Faye soon discovers that Ivy was hiding dangerous secrets—and making deadly enemies. Taking a page from her favorite literary sleuths, Amy-Faye is determined to find the real killer and close the book on this case. But finding the truth could spell her own ending…


As a self-proclaimed "readaholic" myself, I've been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it. I found event planner Amy-Faye to be an instantly likable lead character. Her plate is full with many upcoming events, led by the wedding of her old flame Doug. Her feelings for him remain unresolved and by the end of the book I found myself rooting for them to get back together.

Another important part of Amy-Faye's life is the close-knit group of friends who make up her book group, the Readaholics. The morning after the group meets to discuss The Maltese Falcon, Amy-Faye visits one of the members, Ivy, only to discover her clinging to life. She doesn't make it, and her death is ruled a suicide. Amy-Faye and her friends know that is just not possible, and soon uncover evidence that she had knowledge of a scandal with the ability to destroy some very prominent residents of Heaven, including her best friend's husband and father-in-law. Red herrings abound and the final reveal took me completely by surprise.

I admit that I know absolutely nothing about The Maltese Falcon, so any reference to the book went right over my head, but I didn't find that to be an issue at all. This is a very character-driven page-turner, and while many of the main characters are introduced in a group setting, each has such a distinct personality that I had no trouble keeping them straight. I especially enjoyed Amy-Faye's mother who is a passionate book reviewer!

I'm already looking forward to book 2, The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle, coming in December.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 24th for your chance to win a copy of The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco. (US entries only, please.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle by J.A. Lang


It’s autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion.

Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery—he’s missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.

Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business—complete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out.

Can he solve Ollie’s murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings?


This first book in the Chef Maurice Culinary mystery series is pure, escapist fun, and I loved every minute of it!

Set in the picturesque Cotswolds, Chef Maurice is lamenting the disappearance of his mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows. He finally decides to take matters into his own hands and pay a visit to Ollie's house, where he plans to help himself to his share of the mushrooms (and pay Ollie when he finally turns up, of course.) What he finds is a ransacked house and a bag of valuable white truffles. (Not of the chocolate or feline variety.) He thinks the truffles were grown locally, so with the help of his food critic friend Arthur, and his newly-adopted truffle-sniffing pig Hamilton, they head into the woods to hunt for the elusive mushrooms. What they find is Ollie, dead. Much to the chagrin of the local constabulary, Maurice takes it upon himself to solve the murder, while at the same time taking every chance he gets to get his hands on the tasty truffle evidence.

This book reminds me of the hysterical, madcap adventures of Agatha Raisin, and ends with a reveal right out of an Agatha Christie novel. Just add it to your reading list now...you won't regret it!

About the author: J.A. Lang is a British mystery writer, and author of the Chef Maurice Mysteries series.

She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

Author Links:

Webpage: www.jalang.net

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JALang

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JA-Lang-Author/1557634614471851

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TOO2QW8/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TOO2QW8/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/chef-maurice-and-a-spot-of-truffle

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chef-maurice-and-a-spot-of-truffle-ja-lang/1121687602?ean=2940151553179


Giveaway: Win a signed copy of Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle, as well as an extremely cuddly Pillow Pet Pig (RRP $19.99)!

Open to US and UK residents.