Thursday, March 31, 2016

Burn Off Your Love Handles with PetSafe's SlimCat #ChewyInfluencer


Meows from Mudpie!

Absolutely nothing makes this little tortie happier than seeing a toy listed in my monthly Chewy.com Blogger Outreach email. I may have to EAT to live but I live to PLAY!!!

Question for my kitty friends, and you can be honest because this will stay just between the two of us. Did you pack on an extra ounce or two (or three) this winter? I was skinny scrawny back in August when I moved in to my forever home, but Mommy is starting to think I might be getting a tad pudgy. While Truffles was always slim and trim, she thinks my build is much like Angel Tara's, and we all know the multitude of health problems she had. I don't wanna go there!!!

That's what makes interactive feeders like PetSafe's SlimCat™ such a great idea...you can burn off those love handles and have fun at the same time! It helps fight feline obesity by encouraging play, improves digestion by giving smaller portion sizes, and is easily adjustable to fit all sizes of kibble and treats!

At first I was a little mystified by why my treats were trapped inside that plastic ball...


but after a few minutes I started to get into it.


Before long I was having a blast doing my two favorite things at the same time: playing ball and eating treats!


The SlimCat is currently only $4.87 and comes in four colors: blue, green, orange, and pink, which is the one I chose. 

Many thanks to Chewy for sending me such a fun and functional toy to review!


Disclaimer: This toy was sent to us for free by Chewy.com as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Giveaway: PetSafe ScoopFree® Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box


Meows from Mudpie!

Earlier this month we were offered the opportunity to review a PetSafe ScoopFree® Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Since I'm an only kitty and Mommy has no trouble with my litter box maintenance (I can only potty so much, after all), we politely declined. We were so happy when the nice people at PetSafe said we could offer one as a giveaway instead (a $179.99 value)!

This is a self-cleaning litter box you can simply plug in and leave alone for weeks at a time. The automatic rake system sweeps waste into the covered compartment five, 10 or 20 minutes after your cat uses the litter box and also uses safety sensors that will reset the timer if they detect your cat has re-entered the box. A built-in health counter tracks how many times your cat has used the box to help you quickly identify any possible health problems, while the privacy hood helps keep litter in the box. The disposable litter trays are packed with special crystal litter that is five times more effective at reducing odors than other clay and clumping litters.


Features
  • Self-cleans for weeks with no scooping, cleaning, or refilling
  • Rakes waste into closed waste compartment for superior odor control
  • Safety sensors automatically reset rake timer if cat re-enters box
  • Disposable litter trays with leak-proof lining for easy cleanup
  • Crystal litter absorbs urine with 5x better odor control than other litter
  • Uses 5-10x less litter than clay and clumping litter
  • Privacy hood gives your cat a secluded bathroom and reduces litter tracking
  • Health counter tracks how many times your cat uses the box
  • Lab tested for 100,000+ cycles without failure or jamming
  • For cats over 6 months old
  • For cats of any size
  • For indoor use only

For best results, replace the litter tray every 20 - 30 days for one cat, every 10 - 15 days for 2 cats, or every 7 - 10 days for 3 cats. You might need to replace the litter tray more often if you have senior cats, kittens, or cats who eat a diet high in crude fiber, ash, and byproducts.

Click here to learn how to help your cat or kitten get used to an automatic litter box.

We think it's very important to point out that this self-cleaning box only works as advertised with ScoopFree crystal litter trays (available in blue, lavender and dye-free). While a bit pricey, depending on how many cats you have the cost for purchasing the trays can be comparable to how much you’d spend on regular litter (and you can actually save 10% if you purchase the 3-pack or 6-pack of trays).

ScoopFree litter trays can also be used by themselves as portable, disposable litter boxes.



Visit PetSafe on social media:


Giveaway: One lucky reader in the US is going to win a purple litter box! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below and good luck!!!

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Eyeshine by Cy Wyss

Eyeshine by Cy Wyss


PJ Taylor is a reporter with a difference. Each night she turns into a black tabby cat from sundown to sunup. In this first adventure, follow PJ as she chases thieves, drug dealers, and even a murderer. Will PJ solve the mysterious drowning death of cantankerous old coot Chip Greene? Or will a local special needs boy end up taking the blame? Be prepared for twists and turns along the way as PJ applies all her feline senses to this diabolical situation.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Nighttime Dog Press, LLC
Publication Date: November 2015
Number of Pages: 200
ASIN: B017WD3WWU
Purchase Links: Amazon Goodreads




Read an excerpt:

People called Brooke Annabeth Taylor “PJ,” which stood not for pajamas but for Peeping Jane. She’d been a photographer and reporter for as long as the town could remember—at least since grade school—and her reportage was known for the most candid and impossible photos, like Peter Parker’s but from nearer the ground. Her job was made more difficult by her moniker because once people found out what it was, they shied away and wouldn’t tell her the secrets that are a reporter’s stock-in-trade. As she got older, it got harder and harder to convince anyone to give her a story. Now, at thirty, she was no longer “kitten cute” and able to wile her way easily into subjects’ confidence. Still, she managed to find a way.

With her penetrating amber eyes and easy smile, people found her disarming. She loved her relationship as a freelance reporter with the town’s paper, and all the vagaries that life entails, such as being a night owl and an absolute bulldog for the truth. If she could have chosen her own moniker, it would have likely combined these: Owl Dog. It was particularly inappropriate, however, because she turned not into a bird or canine every night, but into a cat.

She had been a black tabby from sundown to sunup since shortly after puberty. She often wondered why other people didn’t morph into alternate beings for the dark hours, but was admonished very early on by a loving mother to never, never, ever speak a word of it to anyone. PJ liked to think that was because her mother had a similar power and had suffered, but it could have been due solely to the woman’s intelligence and sense of practicality.

PJ’s father had died when she was ten. The man was a scientist, an absent-minded chemist, and PJ was of two minds about his awareness. On the one hand, his cleverness meant surely he wouldn’t have been fooled by a mere wife, no matter how adept at deception; on the other hand, his absentmindedness meant sometimes he forgot to wear shoes. So it wasn’t a stretch to think he might have no inkling about the bizarreness of his wife or daughter.

At sixteen, with PJ in limbo between childhood and womanhood, her mother suffered a tragic and debilitating stroke that took her life within months. PJ then moved in with her much older brother and his family. By then, she had become as adept as her mother at hiding her talent, in spite of the fact her brother was an FBI agent by that time, at twenty-nine, and extraordinarily difficult to deceive. It helped that after he witnessed firsthand the transformation from girl to cat, he immediately went into a long-lasting shock that consisted of utter denial. Instead of considering how her unique power could assist him in his life of crime fighting, he grounded her for a month and kept her largely confined to her room, especially after sundown.

PJ forgave Robert for locking her up, only because of her natural optimism and sense of personal grandeur. Honestly, grudges were beneath her, as were most things mere mono-modal humans did. She focused on her schoolwork and got all A’s that semester. Much later she discovered her brother had to take a polygraph test every year he was employed with the all-knowing government agency. PJ realized Robert had so thoroughly put the image of his sister becoming a black tabby cat out of his mind that he had convinced himself it wasn’t even a hallucination—it simply hadn’t existed at all. There’s no need to lie if you’re a true believer, and that was the most effective path for a forced deceiver. So PJ kept her secret, and Robert kept his job.

Fourteen years later, PJ was irrevocably known as Peeping Jane and Robert had traveled the country and come back in his forties to set up a one-man field office in Mayhap, Indiana. One day, PJ was out with her best friends Clara Goodwind and Vicky Donnerweise at the Mayhap Spring Festival when the sun dipped low on the horizon, threatening to bring the stars closer and the day to an end.

“PJ, why do you always leave just when things are getting interesting?” Clara said.

She was a buxom woman with big hazel eyes and bright red hair. Her wardrobe favored items with cats in evidence or implied by pithy sayings, such as “Meow Happens,” which her pink tube top currently sported. The woman was Taft County’s prime cat rescuer, with a warren of dedicated chicken-wire pens covering her backyard and a full-time feeding schedule. When she wasn’t volunteering at the county’s humane shelter, she was ensconced in a network of gossips centered at the Mayhap Memorial Library. Clara was an assistant librarian but party to all the good stories the town could provide. PJ found her an invaluable source. If it happened, or was going to happen, Clara knew about it and would talk.

Vicky stood with arms akimbo and watched PJ inhale an elephant ear. She was a striking woman with hair even blacker than PJ’s and blue eyes where PJ’s were yellow. Vicky was tall and muscular, like a man, but lither and hourglass-shaped inside the bulky kit she wore for law enforcement. She was one of Taft County’s deputies, second in their force only to Sheriff Curtis Denning, whom she happened to be married to.

“Land’s sake, PJ, how do you eat like that? You know I’m active all day, but I can’t eat three of those things without being ten pounds fatter tomorrow. Do you just stay up all night on the treadmill or what?”

A loud cry of enjoyment crescendoed from the fairway before PJ could answer, which was just as well since her mouth was filled with fried dough and she wouldn’t have gotten more than a grunt or two out. She didn’t have the heart to enlighten her friend. Every night, indeed, she ran the treadmill of being feline. She wandered miles in the summertime, searched every nook and cranny of the county, chased rodents and vermin, and napped only fitfully and with one eye open under the shifting moon.

She popped the last of the ear into her mouth and said, “It’s genetics. Some people are luckier than others.”

Vicky and Clara groaned.

Clara adjusted her pink-rimmed glasses and slurped her sno-cone. “At least I managed to keep myself to just one Devil Dog. And sno-cones have no calories after noon—everyone knows that.” Clara was constantly watching her figure, which didn’t seem to keep her from growing more buxom by the year. At the rate she was going, she would be a round octogenarian with a radiant smile in fifty years. PJ thought things could be worse.

“So you two coming two weeks from today or what?” Vicky said.

She was having a cookout, a common occurrence in the warmer months, and the Taylors and Goodwinds were regular fixtures. Everyone knew the cookouts were as much a bid to stuff the people of Taft County with reasons why the Denning clan should hold on to the sheriff-hood for the indefinite future, but everyone came anyway. Vicky’s ribs were legendary, and Curtis’s beer was as tasty and free flowing as anyone’s ever was. Today was Saturday, and two weeks from today was going to be the first big Donnerweise-Denning BBQ of the season.

“Yeah, I’ll be there,” PJ said. “At least until sunset.”

Vicky rolled her eyes. “Because you turn into a pumpkin at sunset, right? We’ll never get to see nighttime you. Isn’t Doc Fred helping you with that?”

Doctor Fred Norton was Mayhap’s most celebrated, and only, psychiatrist. Apparently he was a third cousin twice removed to the iconic Oprah Winfrey and had once listened to her problems with aplomb, inspiring her to go on and listen eternally to others. He was given a brief mention in a book of hers, which was now out-of-print. For Mayhap, that was all it took to secure one’s place in the annals of town history. He even had a special shelf in the library to display his pamphlets on the pluses of positive putation, despite the brochures containing more than their fair share of buzz non-words.

PJ’s cover story for disappearing every evening, no matter the weather or event, was a rare and debilitating overreaction to darkness. Everyone thought she ran home to sit in a bright room under full-spectrum lights so she could make it through the dark hours with her psyche intact, her odd and entrenched phobia notwithstanding. Doc Fred made a perfect corroborator. His acute sense of professional delicacy meant he could never confirm nor deny PJ’s hints that he was treating her without success for her illness. Perhaps he had spent the last decades sketching her case study, which would no doubt be picked up by the professional societies should it ever come to a positive conclusion.

“Sorry,” PJ said to Vicky, “I’m not going to talk about it.”

“Oh, right. Shrink’s privilege and all that.”

“Well, get going,” Clara said. “I don’t want to have to carry around any pumpkins your size after dark, if you turn into one.”

“Alrighty. Toodles, people.”


Author Bio:

Cy WyssI live and write in the Indianapolis area. After earning a PhD in Computer Science in 2002 and teaching and researching for seven years, I’ve returned to the childhood dream of becoming an author. I better do it now because I won’t get a third life.

Behind me, I have a ton of academic experience and have written about twenty extremely boring papers on query languages and such, for example this one in the ACM Transactions on Databases. (That’s a mouthful.)

Now, I write in the mystery/thriller/suspense genres and sometimes science fiction. I know for some people databases would be the more beloved of the options, but for me, I finally realized that my heart wasn’t in it. So I took up a second life, as a self-published fiction author.

Online, I do the Writer Cy cartoon series about the (mis)adventures of researching, writing, and self-publishing in today’s shifting climate. I also love to design and create my own covers using GIMP.

Catch Up:
author's website author's twitter author's facebook



Suspend reality for a couple hours and treat yourself to one of the most unique cat mysteries you're likely to find. A "shape shifter" cozy...who knew???

Eyeshine introduces us to PJ "Peeping Jane" Taylor, a freelance reporter who turns into a cat each night and records everything she sees with a camera embedded in her collar. When she sets out on the hunt for a thief in her trailer park she ends up witnessing an altercation between an autistic boy and cantankerous Chip Greene which ends with the old man drowning. Young Alex is accused of murder, but PJ knows there's more to the story than meets the eye, she just has to find a way to clear Alex's name without revealing her own secret life!

The mystery of what happened to Chip is easily resolved; it's PJ's character that I found so compelling. The author does an amazing job describing her unique abilities and how she's been able to keep it hidden for so many years. I hope this ends up becoming a series because the situations PJ could find herself in are endless!

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Water Water Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

What a sick sense of humor Mommy has with our Caturday Art project today. Our week has been all about water, water, water...and while I'm not allowed in our basement, (which typically drives me crazy), this week it hasn't been such a bad thing.


It all started about three weeks ago when we got close to two inches of rain in one day. The next morning Mommy found water on the basement floor in a place it's never been before. But she figured it was just a bit of foundation seepage with the bit of snow melt we had in addition to the rain. She put papers down, it dried right up and was forgotten about.

Fast forward to a week ago Wednesday. After only about a quarter inch of rain the water reappeared in the exact same place. Mommy put papers down again but this time the floor didn't dry up. As a matter of fact, more and more water kept appearing, saturating newspaper after newspaper. She looked online for information on how to detect a leak by monitoring the water meter but nothing showed up. My grandpa even wondered if there was a broken pipe outside leaking in. Finally on Tuesday night when the sump pump came on she ran downstairs to see if she could detect water coming from anywhere.

EUREKA!!!

She immediately discovered water gushing from two corroded holes on the drum cover of the cast iron drainage pipe. So every time the sump pump came on, water was pouring out. She got a bucket to put under it and the floor is finally drying.

Her dad thinks he can either replace the cover or use some fancy plumbing tape to cover it up. That's this weekend's project.

Wish us luck.


Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop

Friday, March 25, 2016

Presidential Parody Pet Toys by Fuzzu


Meows from Mudpie!

Earlier this month we told you about some of our favorite cat-themed political items purr-fect for the political animal that lives inside all of us. Shortly after we were introduced to Fuzzu, a new pet toy company based right here in our home state of Vermont (which has been making national news this election cycle thanks to a certain candidate).

The Presidential Parody series is their first line of pet toys, and by supporting their Kickstarter campaign your cat or dog can be among the first to cuddle with Bernie, tear apart Hillary or shake up Donald!


The Bernie toy features wild plush hair, rolled up sleeves, and is ready to start the revolution. With your vote, he and your pet will hit the floor running.

The Hillary toy is the heat to beat with her red pantsuit ablaze, and her fiery gaze fixed on the Oval Office. Fling her into the ring...and watch the fur fly.

The Donald toy is stylin’ with his golden tan, quaffed plush hair, and flashy garb. His well-heeled foot will inevitably end up in your pet's mouth.

Bernie, Donald, and Hillary pet toys are available in three sizes: Cat (8"), Dog (17") and Jumbo (27"). (The jumbo size would make a great conversation piece for humans in the home or office...I can easily see Mommy using one or two of them as a voodoo doll while watching the news!!! MOL)

Photos used with permission: Facebook

The Kickstarter campaign for these toys is currently almost 75% funded and there's still time to make your pledge for a wide variety of rewards starting at only $8 for a cat toy. It ends in less than 10 days though so no filibustering!!!

Whether you're a Democat or a Republidog, let your pets cast the deciding vote this November!



Visit Fuzzu on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

A local news segment with the toy creators can be watched here.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kitty Style Advice from Morris the Cat

Meows from Mudpie!!!

With spring coming up and after that, the dreaded bathing suit season (eek!), I know everyone's searching for ways to look their best. And my readers have a 'paw up' on the competition because we're about to get some style and wellness tips from someone who knows a thing or two about looking awesome... I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat.

In case you're not familiar with this illustrious feline, Morris is the original celebricat, starring in over 50 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He's even been called "the Clark Gable of cats," and that's about as debonair as it gets! In his "Dear Morris" column, he'll be answering some readers' burning questions about good grooming, and he's also giving away a human-sized, 9Lives-branded bathrobe, a $300 Spa Finder gift card, and a whole year's supply of 9Lives cat food! Enter at his website: http://prospurr.9lives.com/


Dear Morris,

I love my cat, Baxter, but man, does he shed! Every time I leave the house I'm covered in cat hair. It's getting to the point where we can't even cuddle together without me looking like the sticky side of a lint roller! Unleash your wisdom, Morris... there must be something I can do.

Sincerely,

Hairy Harry


Dear Hairy Harry,

If your cat is shedding on you, the thing you should tell him is... "thank you!" Being covered in cat fur means you get to look like a cat, which means you get to look more awesome. However, if this isn't your desired effect (although I can't imagine why it wouldn't be), try wearing clothes the same color as your cat to camouflage the fur. Kind of like a cat camouflages himself in clean laundry--hey, come to think of it, that could be why you're always covered in fur! You can also try brushing Baxter a couple times a week to remove excess fur and redistribute the natural oils on his skin--now, that's what I call a win-win!


Dear Morris,

My teenage daughter spends 45 minutes in front of the mirror every day primping and brushing her hair. I think this is excessive but she tells me it's what makes her happy. Morris, since you always look fabulous, I thought you could give me some advice--what's the best way to get her to spend less time in front of the mirror?

Sincerely,

Fur-ustrated Mamma


Dear Fur-ustrated Mamma,

I know it may seem like I just wake up looking this good, but believe it or not, I put in lots of long hours licking my fur. In fact, as a cat, I groom up to 50% of the time I'm awake. Grooming not only makes you look good, it can be used for meditation--kind of like focusing really hard on a red laser dot. So I say, take the time you need to feel your best--whether it's 5 minutes or 45. It's a very purrsonal choice.


Dear Morris,

Lately I've been looking slightly less than my best, which is unfortunate because I just started a new job and I wanted to make a good first impression. But instead, my eyes are all puffy and I just haven't been my chipper self. I'm not sure how to get out of this style rut. Morris, can you help me get my grooming groove back?

Sincerely,

Fashion Faux-Paw


Dear Fashion Faux-Paw,

Let me shed some light (and some fur) on this situation. The main thing I took away from your question is that you're STRESSED! Starting a new job can be stressful and can lead to falling out of typical routines and lack of sleep. I should know because every time I start shooting a new commercial, I only sleep 15 hours a day instead of 16. But don't despair! There's one failsafe way to calm those nerves and give you back your glow. I'm talking about a massage, specifically a kitty massage. We kitties LOVE to give massages--well, we think of it more as kneading but you humans don't seem to know the difference. A kitty massage will help you relax, and in turn, feel and look better. Plus, it's purr-ty much impossible to feel stressed when you have the love of a cat.


There you have it! Thank you, Morris the Cat, for sharing this invaluable grooming advice. Readers, how many of you have a good-looking, well-groomed feline at home? You could win them a whole year's supply of delicious 9Lives cat food, plus a human-sized, 9Lives-branded bathrobe and Spa Finder gift card for you! Just go to Morris' Live Well & Prospurr website to enter. Then, 'paw it forward' by tweeting #MorrisFeeds, and Morris will donate a bowl of 9Lives cat food to a kitty in need.

Giveaway: One lucky reader in the US is going to win a Well-Groomed Kitty Kit! (What's in the kit? That's a surprise!!!) Readers outside the US can designate a friend or shelter to receive the prize if you win. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below and good luck!!!

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FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by 9Lives which means we've been compensated for featuring this content. This did not influence ​our opinions at all, and we only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Counter Surfing

Meows from Mudpie!

A few days ago Mommy followed with great interest a Facebook thread about whether or not people allow their cats on the kitchen counter. The discussion ranged from people saying it's unsanitary to others saying your cats sleep in bed with you each night and you don't wash your sheets everyday, so keep the Lysol handy and get over it!

You might be wondering right about now how things go at our house. We have photographic evidence!


Got a problem with it???


Are kitties allowed on the kitchen counters in your house?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Coloring Books That Benefit Pet Adoption

Meows from Mudpie!

We've all heard about the benefits of coloring for adults, and today we want to tell you about two new coloring books that also help animals by promoting pet adoption and raising money for animal rescue organizations.


Cooper: A Rescue Dog's Tale Coloring and Activity Book

John Paul Pet, a leading grooming and hygiene product line dedicated to the proper care of all pets, has teamed up with Helping Tales Publishers on a new coloring and activity book, Cooper: A Rescue Dog’s Tale. Cooper’s heartwarming true story aims to help children better understand pet rescue. Ten percent of all books sold will benefit rescue organizations and shelters across the country.

Gina Dial, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for John Paul Pet sought to rescue Cooper – a 1½ -year-old Australian Shepherd – and she used her Facebook network to do so. After seeing what the power of social media could do to assist needy pets, she inspired John Paul Pet to create the John Paul Pet PALS program to help “Passionate Animal Lovers” leverage their social media networks on Facebook. The state-by-state PALS Facebook pages encourage users to “Join and Share” their stories of lost and found pets, as well as pets in need of a forever home.

As Cooper is now the official spokesdog of the PALS program, the last page of his book features a colorable tutorial about the program and its new campaign, “You Join – You Share – We Give.” For every “join” to the PALS Facebook page, John Paul Pet will make a $1 donation to the Morris Animal Foundation (up to $5,000).


Through no fault of his own, Cooper had a very difficult time finding a forever home. During his short life, he had been adopted, returned, placed with an elderly owner who could no longer care for him, and spent time in a foster home. Cooper’s story resonates because it is unfortunately all too common. According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, roughly 2.7 million animals are euthanized before they ever get the chance to experience what it’s like to have a family or pet parent to call their own.

Understanding that pet rescue education requires reaching children at an impressionable age, John Paul Pet sought to turn Cooper’s story into a fun activity book for kids that would drive home the importance of pet adoption. They reached out to James S. Martinez of Helping Tales Publishers to help turn their idea into a reality. Cooper: A Rescue Dog’s Tale coloring and activity book tells Cooper’s story from start to finish and ends with him finding his forever home with a family and two other dogs in Bulverde, TX – all through the social media outreach of Dial.

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


Color Me a Forever Home by Samm Wehman Epstein

This coloring book contains 13 quality drawings of various artists and mixed styles, but all encompass the theme of dogs and cats. The book is more of a simple "packet" style (pages are printed and stapled together) rather than an actual "book" to cut back on production costs and make it possible to put 100% of your money directly to the animals. Each copy is ONLY $5 each. Electronic copies are available to save you shipping costs and get you your copy immediately, which can easily be printed out and colored at your leisure. The added benefit is favorite masterpieces can be shared, hung up or displayed without being stuck within the binding of a book.

In just two weeks over $136 has been raised for Alachua County Animal Services in Gainesville, Florida and the second book in the series, "Don't Bully My Breed" will be available next month! 

PDF copies of Color Me A Forever Home can be purchased by sending $5 to ColorMeAForeverHome@gmail.com (Friends and family option please, so there is no fee), and provide your name and email. We've already purchased our copy and can't wait to start coloring.

More information can be found on the Color Me a Forever Home Facebook page.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.



From the publisher: Spring has come to charming North Harbor, Maine, and with the new season comes a new haul for Second Chance, the shop where Sarah Grayson sells lovingly refurbished and repurposed items. Sarah is turning her keen eye to the estate of collector Edison Hall, hoping for fabulous finds for Second Chance—but when her rescue cat Elvis discovers a body in the kitchen, everything goes paws up.
 
The body belongs to an appraiser who had been hired to check out Edison’s wine collection. When Edison’s sister shows up at Second Chance, she hires Sarah’s friends—the kooky and charismatic trio of ladies who call themselves Charlotte’s Angels and work out of the shop—to solve the murder, Sarah knows she and Elvis are only going to get deeper into the case. But as it becomes a cat and mouse game of lies, cons, cheats, and family squabbles, can Elvis and Sarah claw their way to the truth before the killer slinks away forever?

Tortie Shorties Review: Secondhand/repurposing shop owner Sarah Grayson and feline lie detector Elvis return for their third adventure in A Whisker of Trouble. Sarah has been hired to clear out the home of the late Edison Hall, a pack rat extraordinare. Edison's son has been planning to sell his father's extensive wine collection in order to pay for his wife's expensive back surgery, only to be told that Edison had been the victim of a wine scam: the bottles are fakes and therefore worthless. It's not long before Sarah and Elvis stumble upon the dead body of the appraiser hired to evaluate the wine collection in Edison's kitchen and end up embroiled in yet another mystery.

I am absolutely crazy about this series. First, I love cozies set in Maine. It's one of my favorite settings. The cast of characters is phenomenal, particularly Sarah's elderly lady friends Liz, Rose, and Charlotte, (and of course Rose's computer hacking beau Mr. P.) who call their detective agency Charlotte's Angels, but also remind me of the Golden Girls. Sarah's love life is also getting complicated as she's torn between her feelings for her "jack of all trades" employee Mac and Charlotte's son Nick who is also an investigator for the medical examiner's office.

Is the murder related to the wine scam? I found this mystery to be a real page-turner as I ended up finger-pointing the killer long before Sarah did...all because of Elvis!



From the publisher: B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who are on retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns is found at the water’s edge—murdered. And when a second nun is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of Literary Ladies—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—start to wonder about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery classic, And Then There Were None.

Since Bea has the trust of the sisters, the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list...

Tortie Shorties Review: Agatha Christie would be so proud that she still inspires books such as this!

This is the fourth in the League of Literary Ladies mystery series and it stars a cast of 10 nuns on a retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on South Bass Island. Bea has been asked to provide their meals since the kitchen isn't fully renovated yet. Shortly after they arrive one of the nuns goes missing and is later found floating face-down in the lake. When a second nun is found dead the Literary Ladies begin wondering if they are about to get picked off one by one just like in the classic mystery And Then There Were None. Since she's forming friendly relationships with them, Bea decides to chat up the nuns to see if she can uncover a motive among a group who supposedly barely knew each other.

On top of the murders, Bea must deal with a bit of dissention between her friends Chandra, Luella and Kate, and just as her relationship with Levi heats up she learns some shocking news about him, and in turn we find out about her own secret past, and it's a doozy!

I adored the retreat center setting. It's definitely a place I would enjoy visiting. And I also really liked the cast of nuns. Ten new characters might seem like a lot to keep track of but each was so unique that it wasn't difficult at all. The four central characters, who were forced to form a reluctant book club in the first book in the series (Mayhem at the Orient Express) have developed a very special friendship and I look forward to what's next for them.

Disclosure: I received copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cat Sitting Can Be Hazardous To Your Health & a Pet Selfie Contest

Meows from Mudpie!

I had to put my Nurse Mudpie hat on again this week. Last weekend Mommy did some cat sitting for our neighbor and on Sunday night she took a bad fall down their garage steps. She twisted her ankle so badly she was afraid to get up thinking it had to be broken. It wasn't, but it's very swollen and bruised. I told her she needs to pull out a pair of flip flops to show off her pretty purple foot!!! MOL

She says this face never fails to make her feel better, so we're entering it in the Sunday Selfies blog hop.


Speaking of selfies, our favorite store Tractor Supply Company is running a Pet Selfie Contest on their Facebook page. You can enter your sweetest, funniest or silliest selfie here for your chance to win a $50 gift card for yourself *and* your favorite animal shelter!!! But hurry...the contest ends at 11:59 PM eastern tonight!

Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop


Welcome to the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds.

Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win this pawsome box of books!



a Rafflecopter giveaway






Saturday, March 19, 2016

Springtime #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Spring has sprung...I just wish the view outside my window was as pretty as my artwork today. All we're experiencing so far is a great deal of nasty ol' New England mud season. Some areas are also in the line of a potential Nor'easter this weekend!!! Ugh.


Does it look like Spring in your neck of the woods?


Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Unboxing February's CatLadyBox



Featured Cat Lady Artist Tina Welter: This is one of my favorite cards yet. The colors are so vibrant.

Maneki-Neko Lucky Cat Shirt: Maneki-Neko is a popular Japanese figurine believed to bring good luck. If the right paw is raised, the kitty attracts fortune and money. If the left is up, it's visitors and friends. The cat's color also has meaning, and calico is the luckiest. Love, love, love the design on this shirt!!!

Power of the Paw Bracelet: This bracelet has three charms: a cat, a paw, and the CatLadyBox logo. My wrist is really tiny and most bracelets are too big but this one fits just purr-fectly.

Naughty Kitty-Proof Travel Mug: Is it weird that I'm thinking about using this as a flower vase?

Free Fresh Step Litter Coupon: Not sure how I feel about using this with Mudpie's asthma, but it will make a great donation to our shelter!

And for Miss Mudpie:



Imperial Cat Freeze Dried Shrimp Treats: Not surprisingly, she wasn't a fan of these treats. Freeze dried just isn't her thing.

Exotic Feather Catnip Bug by Multipet:  Mudpie loves when I tickle her in the face with the feathers that make up this cute little bug's wings. Needless to say, one side has already been de-feathered.

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Disclosure: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review. I am a proud CatLadyBox subscriber!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mudpie & the Yeowww! Catnip Heart

Mommy, Mommy, it's here!!!

Remember how I won a Yeowww! catnip heart at Carmine's birthday party???

Well it's here and I can smell it right through the box! Hurry up, open it!!!








Thank you SO much Carmine, Lita, and mom Sierra...I love my new toy!!!