Monday, January 18, 2021

January Retro Country Rewind #MewsicMovesMe

It's been a couple years since we premiered our mewsic feature "Retro Country Rewind," a look back at favorite songs that hit #1 during that month from 30, 35, 40 plus years ago. In this new year we'll be delving into #1 hits from 1971, 1976, 1981, and so on. Let's take a look at January for this freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop...

45 Years Ago - 1976, This Time I've Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me, Conway Twitty

40 Years Ago - 1981, 9 to 5, Dolly Parton

40 Years Ago - 1981, One in a Million, Johnny Lee

40 Years Ago - 1981, I Feel Like Loving You Again, T.G. Sheppard

35 Years Ago - 1986, Bop, Dan Seals

35 Years Ago - 1986, Never Be You, Rosanne Cash

I adore every one of these songs and honestly don't have a favorite (after Conway, of course.) 
Do you?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Maple Mudpie #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

This week Mommy helped me snap my selfie while I was patiently waiting for my squeezie. The picture turned out really dark so we ran it through the various filters on her phone and liked how the "Maple" effect looked. Maple Mudpie...doesn't that make me sound extra yummy?

We're joining our friends at The Cat On My Head for the Sunday Selfies blog hop!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Caturday Art

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

And now our answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

Melissa's answers:

1. I learned that constantly worrying is pointless and unhealthy the hard way. That doesn't stop me though. 

2. Everyone should rescue a pet at least once in their lives. They say money can't buy happiness, but it actually does in the form of an adoption fee!

Mudpie's answers:

3. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about homeless kitties with no one to cuddle during the long, cold winter. I sure am a lucky girl. 

4. I'll never be too old to bat around a pom pom. I can't resist! 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Mudpie Interviews...Mona Lisa from Paula Darnell's Fine Art Mystery Series

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn’t easy.

After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda’s afraid that she’ll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she’s accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.

Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner’s members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?

Mudpie was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Mona Lisa, the feline star of this series. We hope you enjoy learning more about her!

Welcome, Mona Lisa! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Amanda?

Meowrrr! I'm a beautiful calico kitty—just ask my Mommy Amanda. She adopted me from an animal shelter when I was an abandoned kitten and now I rule the house. I like to hide from her sometimes or pretend I don't care what she's doing, but I'm only teasing.

What's a typical day like for you?

If Mommy doesn't wake up early, I like to pounce on her head. That usually does the trick. Then I get to have my breakfast; that's important. Mommy puts my food on one side of the kitchen and somebody else's (hint: there's a big dog in the house, too) on the other side, so he doesn't bother me. Whenever Mommy goes into her art studio to paint, I like to hang out on the top of my kitty tree where I can curl up and take a cat nap. It's a good spot to keep an eye on You-Know-Who because there's no way he can reach me. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

Tell us about Artistic License to Kill, the new Fine Art Mystery you star in.

We moved to Lonesome Valley so Mommy could set up her own art studio and make her living from painting. She needed to get a new start in life after her husband divorced her (I guess he was having a mid-life crisis because he married his twenty-five-year-old assistant, and he's at least fifty, if he's a day). Anyway, things were going well in our new town, and Mommy got to join the Roadrunner Art Gallery so she had a great place to sell her paintings. (The more she sells, the more kitty treats for me.) Of course, life can't ever go too smoothly for long, and when Mommy went to the gallery for her first day, she and her friend Susan found the gallery director lying on the floor. Somebody had bashed her over the head with her own bronze sculpture. There's a lot more to the story, but you'll have to read Artistic License to Kill to find out what happened!

The book description calls you a persnickety calico. I'm a tortie myself and you may have heard we're known to have a bit of tortitude. Does your attitude ever get you into any trouble?

Who, me? Trouble? Surely you jest.

Who's the pup on the cover with you? Do you two get along?

Sigh! His name is Laddie, and he's a golden retriever. I have to share Mommy with him, which, honestly, is a bit much sometimes. Mostly, he leaves me alone because I like to show him who's boss. He doesn't even interfere when Mommy plays the feather toy game with me. He just lies there and watches. See? I told you I'm in charge!

Can you give us any clues as to what's next for you and Amanda?

Psst! I can tell you in confidence that Mommy's going to have another adventure. It's called Vanished into Plein Air, and you'll be able to read all about it very soon. In the meantime, I've arranged for a sneak peek of the cover and an excerpt from the first chapter if you go to

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Pet Bloggers Journey 2021

Today we're excited to be participating in the Pet Bloggers Journey 2021 hosted by Puppy In Training. It's a great way to join fellow bloggers in reflecting on the past year while making plans for the one to come.

When did you begin your blog and what do you currently write about on your blog?

I started blogging in August 2011. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows is the purr-fect destination for everyone who embraces a cozy, cat-centric lifestyle. It's primary focus is to chronicle my cat lady life with Mudpie alongside reviews of products for both cats and cat moms and sharing the knowledge I've accumulated in four decades of life with cats.

Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2020, that made you most proud.

I'm extremely proud to have won my 2nd Muse Medallion and 4 more Certificates of Excellence in the Cat Writers' Association Communications Contest. 

Which of your 2020 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

Posts from my Fun Feline Finds column are consistently popular. Top of the list this year was one I wrote on Ziploc storage containers featuring cute graphics of Christmas cats. I guess cat people just love shopping for cat stuff!

What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2020, and how did you tackle it?

Loss of focus was my greatest struggle in 2020. Between stress from both world events and family obligations I lost the ability to tune everything out and just write. I haven't tackled it yet because 2021 is shaping up to be much of the same. I'm going to try harder to crack down on myself though. 

Tell us one thing you learned in 2020 that can help us all become better bloggers.

Write what you're inspired to write. Don't try to force something that just isn't there. Be yourself, be authentic, write from the heart.

What are your top three goals for 2021?

My main goal is to get back to writing evergreen content. My writing life suffered in 2020 for the same reasons as my reading life. I also plan to jumpstart Mudpie's interview series with real and fictional felines, and the good news is this will start on Friday! She's a tortie and a very chatty girl!

In the perfect world, where do you see yourself and your blog 1 year from now?

I just hope to still have a voice online. With the current attacks on our freedom of speech, I'm not so sure. 

If you had a $1,000 to spend on your blog how would you spend it?

I would spend half on cat-related items we could feature on our blog, and the other half on Mudpie's beloved squeezies. She is the star of the show, after all, and deserves proper compensation!

What is one skill you’d like to learn or improve in 2021?

Photo editing and blog graphics. Last year I cancelled my paid PicMonkey subscription because I didn't feel I was using it enough to warrant the cost, but since then I've struggled to find an alternative.

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

I would love to ask our readers what they want to see more of on the blog. Do you have a favorite feature? A topic you would like us to cover? Please let us know!!!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Bait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders - Blog Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

Librarian Josie Way moved to small-town Oregon to lay low. Instead, thanks to newfound magic abilities—and a killer on the loose—she’s leapt out of the frying pan and into a cauldron of trouble...

Josie Way loved working among the Library of Congress’s leather-scented stacks—until she uncovered corruption and made herself a target. As Wilfred, Oregon’s new librarian, Josie can stay undercover until the case goes to court. But life in this little town isn’t as subdued as she expected. The library, housed in a a Victorian mansion, is slated to be bulldozed. Still digesting the news that her safe haven is about to become scrap lumber, Josie discovers a body in the woods...

Almost as shocking, Josie learns that she’s descended from a long line of witches—and her powers have suddenly sprung to life. With help from a spoiled alley cat who just may be her familiar, Josie’s thumbing through a catalog of suspects, hoping she can conjure a way to save her library—and her life...


I dropped into the armchair. What a morning. My office door nudged open, and the black cat I’d seen last night slipped through. The tip of one ear was missing, and a pinkish scar shone through the black fur on its edge. He fixed me with eyes the color of rye whiskey.

“Hello, kitty.” I dropped a hand for him to smell. “Did I do wrong by answering that ad in the Library Gazette? I’m not needed here, but I can’t go home.”

The cat pawed at the bookshelf, pulling a flyer to the floor. I reached down to put it back and saw it was a schedule of the month’s events. The library hosted weekly classes in English as a second language. Probably helpful for the field workers. Thursdays were organ lessons—the library had an organ?—and once a month, the knitting club met in the conservatory. I’d just missed an afternoon tea with “Original poems by Wilfred resident Helen Garlington.” The library was a community center, it seemed.

I set the flyer on the desk.

“Okay, so they do need me—as an events coordinator, at the least. And they probably need help cataloguing and packing up the books for storage once the library is history. Then I’ll be homeless, like you.”

The cat pointed his head toward the kitchen, where two ceramic bowls on the floor caught my eyes. “Rodney” was painted on one. Apparently the cat belonged to the library.

“Funny little guy. I almost believe you understand me.”

The cat stretched, reaching out one paw then the other, and leapt onto the chair’s arm. He bumped my shoulder with his head.

In the past twelve hours, everything had changed. I’d fled across the country to a nonexistent town and taken a job in a library that would soon be bulldozed. I was dreaming again, remembering my childhood. And now I’d turned into Dr. Dolittle.

“What’s happening to me, Rodney?”

The cat, still purring, rolled to his back. On his lower belly where the fur was thin was a star-shaped birthmark, clear and dark and sharp. Just like mine.

About the author:

Angela M. Sanders writes the Amazon bestselling Joanna Hayworth Vintage Clothing Mysteries and The Booster Club Capers. Under the pen name Clover Tate, she’s the author of the Kite Shop Mysteries (Berkley), which Romantic Times praised for their “well written wit and intrigue.” Angela’s articles on food, personalities, and perfume have appeared in a variety of magazines, and her monthly newsletters have nearly 2,000 subscribers. She interacts with readers on Facebook and Instagram and is a prominent blogger for Now Smell This, which garners 1.5 million monthly page views. Angela has two cats—one of whom is black of course—a witch’s freckle in her left eye and learned to read tarot cards from a pagan priestess.

Author Links: