Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Shtinky Little Christmas

Book Description:
“Can we really lose something that’s already lost?” Inside Patrick McDonnell’s A Shtinky Little Christmas, Earl the dog and Mooch the cat celebrate the season by taking in a wayside waif, who they promptly name Shtinky Puddin’. Shtinky is a tiger-striped trash-can forager, frequent purrer, and lover of shpagetti, potpie, and shpagetti.
As Christmas approaches, Shtinky Puddin’ grows ever more homesick and decides to depart the comfort and safety of Earl and Mooch’s protection in hopes of finding home. With uncommunicative snowmen and zero luck, Shtinky Puddin’ gets lost in a blizzard, only to be found by Earl and Mooch, who then get lost themselves. Just in the Nick of time, a jolly rotund, red suit–wearing, white-bearded human approaches and delivers the traveling trio straight to their peoples’ doorstep—only to learn that Shtinky Puddin’s peoples have come to claim their lost tiger-striped kitty named Jules.

With caviar rewards, Christmas naps, and New Year’s resolutions to “do less,” this emotive Mutts gift book reminds us that there is indeed a reason for the season with themes of friendship, thankfulness, family, home, and hearth.
My Review: If you're seeking out the perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season, this is it. I have long been a fan of the Mutts comics, particularly their Shelter Stories promotion, and while this little gift book will take you only minutes to read, it's the meaning behind the story that will stay with you. This will melt the heart of any animal lover.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Novel Way to Die

Book Description: Darla Pettistone may have inherited her great aunt Dee’s Brooklyn bookstore, but it’s the store’s mascot—an oversized black cat named Hamlet—who acts like he owns the place. And when someone turns up dead, Hamlet smells something rotten in Brooklyn…

As the owner of Pettistone’s Fine Books, Darla is settling nicely into her new life, even reaching an uneasy truce with Hamlet. Unfortunately, when she needs to hire a new clerk, the finicky feline decides to lend a paw to the hiring process. He chases away applicants who don’t meet his approval, finally settling on an unlikely candidate: Robert, a book-loving Goth kid who has a secret only Hamlet knows.

And Hamlet can’t seem to stay out of trouble. One of the bookstore’s regular customers, a man who is renovating a local brownstone, claims he’s seen Hamlet prowling the neighborhood. When the man’s business partner is found dead, Darla discovers that Hamlet may have been the only witness to what could be murder. With the crafty cat’s help, she wonders if they just might be able to pounce on a killer...

My Review: Robert, Robert, Robert...I'm in love with this new character in Ali Brandon's fantastic Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series. A tough kid with a heart of gold...his "fist bumps" with Hamlet made me grin from ear to ear.

I loved watching Darla and Hamlet grow closer in this book as they teamed up to solve the murder of a man (the business partner of a potential love interest for Darla) who is in the process of renovating a local brownstone. Whacked over the head with a crowbar in the basement, it appears Hamlet was the only witness. The sleuthing feline has a very unique way of revealing clues as he knocks relevant books off the store shelves. This is a real page-turner of a mystery, and I was quite surprised by the identity of the killer. I adore this series and can't wait to spend more time at Pettistone's with Darla and the gang.

Tara's Thoughts: Hamlet is such a heroic hunk!!! Be sure to stop by on November 14th when I'll be interviewing him!

Full Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of this book with the request for an interview.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Sunday Post #13

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
This week I discovered a new way to buy books (like I needed it)...I joined I'll be blogging about my brand new audiobook love soon, but in the meantime I'll start listing my Audible purchases on the Sunday Post.

If you missed it, be sure to check out Tara's latest feline interview with Snowflake from Cindy Blackburn's fun new Cue Ball Mystery series.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween, and that everyone in Hurricane Sandy's path stays safe. I'm practically on the Canadian border and I'm scared to death of what this week will bring.

Received by Author for Review:

For an upcoming blog tour that I'm participating in:



Audible Freebies:
  Click-Clack the Rattlebag: A Free Short Story Written and Performed by Neil Gaiman | [Neil Gaiman]

Kindle Freebies:
* Foreclosed (The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries (Book 1)) by Traci Tyne Hilton
* Homemade Halloween Treats by Rob and Mimi Riser
* Herbal Remedies Guide: Uses Of 100 Herbs For Common Ailments
* The Drop Edge of Yonder: An Alafair Tucker Mystery (Alafair Tucker Series) by Donis Casey
* Graveyard Tales by Elissa Drake
* The Medium (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Trilogy #1) by CJ Archer
* The Coffin Trail: A Lake District Mystery (Lake District Mysteries) by Martin Edwards
* The Ghost of Squire House by Joanne Pence
* Samantha Green and the Case of the Haunted Pumpkin (Samantha Green Mysteries) by Christy Lynn Allen
* Griselda Takes Flight: A Novel of Bright's Pond by Joyce Magnin
* Eat, Read, Love: Romance and Recipes From the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood
* The Friday Edition (A Samantha Church Mystery) by Betta Ferrendelli
* Small Town Deadly by Paula Perrin
* The Philanthropist's Danse by Paul Wornham
* Above the Bridge by Deborah Garner

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tara Interviews Playing with Poison's Snowflake the Cat

Hey everybody, it's Tara back with another interview with a fantastic fictional feline! Today I'm chatting with Snowflake, star of Cindy Blackburn's fun new Cue Ball Mystery series. The second book in the series, Double Shot, was released earlier this month. Mommy and I have it on our Kindle thingy, and I think we'll be reading and reviewing it here soon!

Thank you so much for joining me today Snowflake!!!

1) Snowflake, how did you come to live with Jessie?

I adopted her at the animal shelter. I was just a kitten when Jessie visited me and all the other kittens. Jessie and me? We bonded right away, and I wouldn't let any of the other kittens anywhere near her lap. Jessie got the hint and held me up for the shelter lady to see. "I'd like to adopt this beautiful little white one," Jessie said to her. Isn't that cute? Jessie thought she was adopting me! It was totally the other way around!
2) What is your day typically like?

My days are very jam-packed full of activity! A little napping, a little playing, a little eating, a little grooming... If it's not one thing, it's another! I'm a very well-rounded cat, but the thing I do best is supervise people. Jessie takes quite a bit of supervision. I keep one eye on her most all the time. And my favorite windowsill for napping, is also a great people-watching post. Those silly people down on the street below our condo probably don't even realize how closely I'm monitoring their every move.

3) I would love it if my Mommy had a job where she could work from home. You must love having Jessie home with you writing all day, able to cater to your every whim!

Bless her heart, she is amusing! Jessie can get a bit distracted though, especially when she's working on a particularly tricky passage in one of her romance novels. That's where I come in--she'll look over at me on my windowsill and ask my opinion. I blink approval or disapproval at her turn of phrase, she thanks me for my input, and turns back to her computer. But Jessie and me aren't all work and no play. She usually quits writing at midday. She feeds me and we play with the jingle-bell ball until I get drowsy again. Then it's time for my afternoon nap. Jessie understands.

4) I don't want to post any spoilers for anyone who hasn't read Playing with Poison, but you had a really scary time at the end of the book...are you ok now? I sure hope Jessie pampered you rotten after that!!!

It was a most trying experience, indeed, and I thank you for your concern. But all's well that ends well. Jessie and me? We like happy endings.
5) If your Mom and Captain Rye start spending more time together, how do you think you're going to feel about the 2 kitties in his life?

This interview is going so well, I suggest we not spoil it with mention of those other cats. I do not like sharing my jingle-bell ball.
6) Lastly, can you tell me a few of your favorite things:
Soft blanket on the couch or sunny window?
Sunny window, paws down! Although the foot of Jessie's bed is rather pleasant also.
Neck scratches or tummy rubs?
Under the chin. Soft strokes, please. Gets me purring every time. I do not like getting my tummy rubbed--I'm ticklish.

Wet food or dry?
Jessie feeds me both. My favorite flavor is fish. Fish-anything. Wet, dry. It doesn't matter as long as it's fish!

Catnip mouse or laser light?
I have mentioned my beloved jingle-bell balls, have I not? I love chasing those all over the wood floors of our condo. But the laser light, not so much. I get distracted watching Jessie's hand that's holding it and forget to chase the light beam! Cat nip is iffy. Sometimes it just does things to me, you know what I'm saying? But other days it does nothing for me. I'm a rather moody cat.

Oh, and my other favorite thing, which you didn't ask about, is my lovely pristine white coat. I pride myself on my pristine white coat. It take much, much grooming on my part, but it is well-worth the effort.

Thanks so much Tara! This interview was supurrrb!

Want to see more of Snowflake? You can read about her in the first book in the Cue Ball Mysteries series: Playing with Poison on Amazon.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wicked After Dark Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Wicked After Dark Blog Hop, hosted by Close Encounters with the Night Kind and Natasha Blackthorne!

There will be a different book given away at each of the stops. At the bottom of this post are all the sites participating in the book hop. Make sure to visit (and follow) everyone and enter their giveaways! :-)

So, on to my part in the hop!
Looking for some wickedly decadent historical romances? I'm giving away a lot of 8 steamy reads by Sara Bennett (Rules of Passion, Mistress of Scandal, Her Secret Lover, Lessons in Seduction, A Seduction in Scarlet), Cheryl Holt (Total Surrender, Absolute Pleasure) and Susan Johnson (Gorgeous as Sin). Simply leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you...and if you choose to follow my blog I'll enter you in my giveaway twice. Good luck and have fun!!!


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

There will be a different book given away at each of the stops. At the bottom of this post are all the sites participating in the book hop. Make sure to visit (and follow) everyone and enter their giveaways! :-)

So, on to my part in the hop!

I'm giving away a Kindle ebook (up to $7.99) of the winner's can pick out your own perfect Halloween read (paranormal, horror, anything scary and spooky!) Simply leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you...and if you choose to follow my blog I'll enter you in my giveaway twice. Good luck and have fun!!!

A Charming Potion

Book Description: What happens when June Heal goes against spiritualist rules and makes a LOVE POTION on the most sacred night of a spiritualist's life, Halloween?

Someone gets the potion that wasn't supposed to. But who?

There isn't any amount of Ding Dongs that is going to help her fix this mess.

My Review: Trick or Treat!!! Who needs Milky Ways and Snickers bars when bestselling author Tonya Kappes is giving her readers treats like this charming little story? It's short, but it's not lacking in anything...romance, magic, pure fun. How I would love to visit Whispering Falls at Halloween! While reading this I could practically hear the crackling of leaves and smell pumpkin pie in the air. Poor June Heal, always managing to get into trouble, mixes up a love potion that ends up in totally unexpected hands, and the results are absolutely adorable. I just can't get enough of June, Prince Charming, Oscar and Madame Torres!!! Perfect to read in one sitting while sipping a pumpkin spice latte.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Facts on The Oregon Trail, by Charlene Raddon

Everyone’s heard of the Oregon Trail, but how many know the pertinent facts, such as its length, where it began, and where it actually ended? What sights did the pioneers see along the way? Are there any remnants left of the old trail?
Fur trapper blazed the beginnings of the route. The first wagon train heading to Oregon in 1836 followed a road as far as Fort Hall, Idaho. Gradually, cutoffs, ferries and bridges were built. From 1830 to 1869, some 400,000 settlers, gold hunters, farmers, and businessmen helped to deepen the ruts of the Oregon Trail, until you can still see them in spots today.
In 1843, 200-400 emigrants left for Oregon, beginning “The Great Migration”. On reaching the Blue Mountains, trees had to be cut to clear the way. At The Dalles, wagons were disassembled and floated down the Columbia, as no road existed past Mount Hood. In 1846 the Barlow Road was built, creating a road passable by wagons for the entire 2,000 mile trek.
At least 70% of the wagons were pulled by oxen, mules being a second choice. Oxen were easier to train, could pull more, survived better on the sparse grass along the trail, did not require oats or grain, and were generally tamer and easier to handle. They could be turned loose at night and easily rounded up in the mornings, whereas mules and horses required herding day and night and often had to be staked out or hobbled. Indians were also less interested in stealing oxen. Drivers walked along the left side of the oxen and used "gee" (right) and "haw" (left) to direct them. Mules were often guided by riding one that was hooked to the wagon (typically the left hand wheel mule) and handling the reins from there.

The recommended food per adult was 150 pounds of flour, 20 of corn meal, 50 of bacon, 40 of sugar, 10 of coffee, 15 of dried fruit, 5 of salt, half a pound of saleratus (baking soda), 2 pounds of tea, 5 pounds of rice, and 15 pounds of beans. Provisions were usually kept in water-tight containers or barrels to minimize spoilage. The usual breakfast, lunch and dinner along the trail was bacon, beans, and coffee, with biscuits or bread. Food for four people for six months typically cost about $150. Less was needed if beef cattle, calves or sheep were taken as a walking food supply, or game could be found along the way.

Non-essential items were often abandoned to lighten the load, or in case of emergency. Many travelers salvaged discarded items, picking up essentials or leaving behind their lower quality item when a better one was found abandoned along the road. Some profited by collecting discarded items and hauling them back to jumping off places and reselling them. During the 1849 gold rush, Fort Laramie was known as "Camp Sacrifice" because of the large amounts merchandise discarded nearby.

Some of the landmarks seen were Chimney Rock, Scottsbluff, Courthouse and Jailhouse Rocks, and the emigrant Register Rock.

Oregon-California-Mormon Trail Deaths
Estimated deaths
Indian attack
Run overs
Shootings (usually accidental)

How many of you would like to experience the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? I’ve dreamed of such a trek all my life. Well, at least I did when I was younger. Now, I’m smarter, but I still wish I had done it. I like to think I would have been strong enough, mentally and physically to endure the journey. What about you?
Thank you so, so much for the fascinating post today, Charlene. I am obsessed with wagon train stories, and riding in a covered wagon while visiting the West is at the top of my bucket list of things to do one day. I'm so happy wagon train tours are still available...I don't think I could've handled the "real thing" back in the 1800s!!!

Charlene is generously giving away the cutest sunbonnet to one lucky commenter (US only). Please leave your email address so we can get your mailing information from you.


Three nightmarish years of marriage had shattered Brianna Wight's
sheltered world. Leading her husband to believe she'd been murdered, she
fled St. Louis...harboring terrible secrets that could mean her death.

The tragic loss of his Indian wife left Columbus Nigh a wanderer;
necessity made him a wilderness guide. But now he found himself drawn to
the enigmatic woman who'd hired him to lead her westward. Her gentle
strength stirred his lonely heart...her tender beauty aroused his
deepest passions.

But the perils of the Oregon Trail paled beside the murderous wrath of
the man who tracked them across the harsh frontier. Brianna knew the
only way to save herself and Columbus was to rish their tender love.
Only then could she free herself from the horrors of the past--and
embrace a rapturous future...

Buy Tender Touch from Amazon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sunday Post #12

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
Last Sunday we celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately the day before my Dad came down with a terrible cold. By Monday morning guess who had it...yep, me!!! Needless to say, I didn't accomplish much this week. I felt terrible most of the week.

Putting my book list together for this week, I see I didn't actually "buy" any books! Everything I received were either review books, gifts and freebies (many of these are Halloween-ish!).

From Berkley Prime Crime/Obsidian:


From Abingdon Press (I got 2 will be a giveaway during the holiday season!):

Kindle Freebies:
* Salem Moon by Scarlet Black
* The Devil's Grin (Kronberg Crimes) by Annelie Wendeberg
* The Personal Shopper: Annie Valentine Book 1 by Carmen Reid
* Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (YA Paranormal Romance) by Jody Gehrman
* Watermarks by JL Jarvis
* Rocky Mountain Oasis (The Shepherd's Heart) by Lynnette Bonner
* The Hounding by Sandra de Helen
* Klutzy Love by Sharon Kleve
* On Haunted Ground: The Green Ghost and Other Spirits of Cemetery Road by Lisa Rogers
* Kindle Buffet by Steve Weber
* Kindle Fire How-To Guide by Michael Gallagher
* The Ghost Exterminator by Vivi Andrews
* Skinny Pizza: Over 100 healthy recipes for America's favorite food
* Horribly Good Halloween Recipes with Coffee - A Seasonal Collection of Holiday Recipes with Coffee
* Gravity (Gravity Series #1) by Abigail Boyd
* Hallowed by Bryant Delafosse
* Rest For The Wicked - The Claire Wiche Chronicles Book 1 by Cate Dean
* Witchy, Witchy (Spellbound Trilogy #1) by Penelope King

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop!

There will be a different book given away at each of the stops. At the bottom of this post are all the sites participating in the book hop. Make sure to visit (and follow) everyone and enter their giveaways! :-)

So, on to my part in the hop!

I'm giving away a Kindle copy of one of Stephanie Barron's wonderful Jane Austen Mysteries (winner's choice). Simply leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you...and if you choose to follow my blog I'll enter you in my giveaway twice. Good luck and have fun!!!


1. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (1996)
Visiting the estate of her friend Isobel, the newly married Countess of Scargrave, Jane Austen is drawn into a mystery when Isobel's husband dies suspiciously and the bereaved young bride is implicated in the murder.

2. Jane and the Man of the Cloth (1997)
Taking refuge at dismal High Down Grange Manor after a carriage accident, Jane Austen and her family meet the forbidding Geoffrey Sidmouth and his mysterious companion, who are somehow tied to a strange murder by the sea.

3. Jane and the Wandering Eye (1998)
English novelist Jane Austen is hired by the roguish nobleman, Lord Harold Trowbridge, to shadow his niece, Lady Desdemona, during Christmastime in Bath.

4. Jane and the Genius of the Place (1999)
A flamboyant French beauty, known for her brazen behavior, is found gruesomely strangled in a shabby chaise at the Canterbury Races. As rumors spread like wildfire that Napoleon's fleet is bound for Kent, Jane suspects that the murder was an act of war rather than a crime of passion. Suddenly the peaceful fields of Kent are a very dangerous place... and Jane's thirst for justice may exact the steepest price of all - her life.

5. Jane and the Stillroom Maid (2000)
Jane's cousin, Mr. Edward Cooper, rector of Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire, takes her, her mother, and sister to the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire. The bucolic English countryside and bubbling streams seem to be a perfect fit for them - until Jane finds a body in the hills. The victim has been shot in the head and mutilated and, although dressed as a man, is actually a beautiful stillroom maid, Tess Arnold.

6. Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House (2001)
Jane's brother Frank, an officer who served under Nelson at Trafalgar, can't believe that his friend Tom Seagrave, commanding officer of the Stella Maris, killed the captain of the French frigate Manon moments after he'd surrendered his ship to Seagrave, despite the testimony of a junior officer. Ministering to the French prisoners of war housed at Wool House, Jane soon discovers another witness to the incident, a dashing and romantic surgeon whose account might save Seagrave from the gallows.

7. Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (2003)
England is fighting France, and Lord Harold Trowbridge has set Jane to spy on a new neighbor, Sophia Challoner, whom he suspects of spying for Napoleon. Due to a fortuitous riding accident, Jane befriends the woman and her companion, a mysterious young American. Suddenly, a covert and violent war erupts in the quiet seaside community when a ship of the line is torched and the shipwright, killed.

8. Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (2005)
Jane and her mother have just arrived at their new residence, Chawton Cottage, when Jane is greeted with two surprises: Lord Harold has willed her a box containing his personal correspondence, and the body of one Shafto French is lying in Chawton's cellar. Both discoveries bring trouble to Jane's door, not the least of which is resentment from Lord Harold's family, who object to Jane being given the papers. Jane can't help but be curious about the papers and the murder, leading her to read the former and attempt to solve the latter.

9. Jane and the Barque of Frailty (2006)
Jane is at the London theater during a visit to her brother Henry when she glimpses a Russian princess gazing intently at the box of prominent politician Lord Castlereagh. That night, the princess is found dead outside Castlereagh's home. Unconvinced by the appearance of suicide, Jane begins inquiries that eventually encompass high society and their servants, politicians of every stripe and even courtesans.

10. Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (2010)
The restorative power of the ocean brings Jane Austen and her beloved brother Henry, to Brighton after Henry’s wife is lost to a long illness. But the crowded, glittering resort is far from peaceful, especially when the lifeless body of a beautiful young society miss is discovered in the bedchamber of none other than George Gordon—otherwise known as Lord Byron. As a poet and a seducer of women, Byron has carved out a shocking reputation for himself—but no one would ever accuse him of being capable of murder. Now it falls to Jane to pursue this puzzling investigation and discover just how “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Byron truly is.

Playing with Poison

Currently Reading
Book Description: Pool shark Jessie Hewitt usually knows where the balls will fall and how the game will end. But when a body lands on her couch, and the cute cop in her kitchen accuses her of murder, even Jessie isn't sure what will happen next. Playing With Poison is a cozy mystery with a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne.

My Review: This book is an action packed adventure from the very beginning, as pool playing/historical romance author Jessie Hewitt returns home from buying lingerie from her friend Candy, only to have Candy's latest boyfriend die on her couch. The victim was poisoned at Jessie's second home, The Stone Fountain, so Jessie sets out to clear herself and her friends of the crime.

Jessie is a fantastic character, I loved the inside look at her writing life, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of her antics. Her bar room friends are a quirky bunch I'd love to hang out with, and her developing relationship with Captain Rye sizzles. I was completely stumped by the mystery, and the final scenes had me breathlessly turning the pages (poor Snowflake!!!) Cindy Blackburn is a new author to watch; her debut mystery is one not to miss!

Buy from Amazon

The author sent me a copy of this book with the request for a review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Having a Whaley of a Time

Book Description:
"It's amazing how death can really screw up your life."

So says Shannon MacIntyre, an investigative reporter who finds she can see and talk to ghosts following a near-death experience.

Unwillingly given the duty to speak for the spirits, Shannon puts her new-found talents to the test by solving a mystery at the most haunted house in the United States - the Whaley House in San Diego, California.

My Review: This is a fantastic new series that blends a fictional mystery with a real life haunted location, filled with historical facts and details on resident ghosts. I am addicted to true ghost stories and watch all the Travel Channel shows that feature them, so I was familiar with San Diego's infamous Whaley House. Investigative journalist Shannon MacIntyre is a great character, forced to leave her job behind after a near-death experience, and soon realizes she now has the ability to communicate with ghosts. Accompanied by her new kitty friend Styx, she attempts to discover why the famed tourist location has been closed to visitors, and by the end has a new job that leaves infinite possibilites for this series. I can't wait to see the adventures that await Shannon and Styx!

Please visit the author's website for more information and ordering links:

The author sent me a copy of this book with the request for a review.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog the Change for Animals: My Rescues

Blog the Change
Blog the Change is a chance for bloggers to write about something they are passionate about. I am passionate about anything that protects and defends animals, but first and foremost I want to promote pet adoption.

This is the first time I've joined Blog the Change for Animals, and wanted to focus on the kitties I've rescued in my life. I come from a long line of cat ladies. My great-aunt May, who I never met, always made sure she had money to feed all her rescue cats before she took care of herself. My mother likes to joke that I am her reincarnated, because animals mean more to me than anything. Growing up I would lay in bed with a pile of books in one corner, and a cat in the other. Over 30 years later I am still always surrounded by books and cats...they are the true bliss in my life.

My first cat was Patch, a beautiful orange tiger that my parents rescued when he was 3 months old, dumped at my father's family farm. My childhood companion was with me for 15 years until he passed of a brain tumor. Next we took in Sebastian, an older gentleman left behind when his family (our neighbors) moved away. He was only a part of the family for a few years until we lost him to renal failure.

Sashi was the first cat I adopted at the shelter. She was 9 years old, brought to the shelter because her family could no longer keep her, and overlooked for a long time because of her age. Week after week I passed by her cage at the PetsMart adoption center until I finally realized she was waiting for me. She was my perfect little girl for almost 8 years. Her passing in 2006 tore my heart into a million pieces. She was the first cat that was truly mine, and I felt like I had lost a child.

A little over a year later I found myself again roaming the aisles of the PetsMart adoption center when the most beautiful tortie lady made me gasp. I knew she was the one. Tara was 7, brought to the shelter as a stray, and has been with me for a little over 5 years now. She has many health issues now and I know when I lose her another piece of my heart will be gone forever. But I also know that after a period of grieving my heart will start to heal and I will find another furry soul mate that will need me.

These are just the cats that have been a part of my home. Many others have been in my life. Neighborhood cats neglected by their owners know they will always find a meal at my door. One summer a stray kitten started living in a square birdbox in my yard. I named him PopTart because he bounced around every minute. At this time Sashi was in my life and she hated other cats, so when fall came around I had him neutered and brought him to the shelter. I cried all the way there when I dropped him off.  I really loved that little guy and hope he found a beautiful life. Mooch was another stray that came to my door for meals. I would periodically bring him into the house but he would never stay. One day he disappeared, and my heart broke again.

I wonder sometimes why I'm constantly putting myself through the heartache of loving and then losing all these cats. I can't live without them. So many animals are in need, and the truth is, they save us just as we save them. It always makes me so angry when someone I know goes to a breeder for a pet when so many beautiful animals are waiting in shelters to find their forever home.

Adopt...Don't Shop!!!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sunday Post #11

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This meme was inspired in part by In My Mailbox. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

It is truly fall here in Vermont and it couldn't be lovelier. With a nip in the air Tara wants to cuddle on the couch again while I'm reading. (She prefers when I read on my Kindle as opposed to a paperback so I can rub her tummy at the same time!) Over the next couple weeks I'll be busy trying to finish up a bunch of review requests to make way for my annual "all Christmas, all the time reading" come early November! This year I have a huge stack I can't wait to get too. Actually, many of them are NetGalley requests so I won't feel like I'm totally slacking :)

Lastly, I got the most exciting news this week...a blurb from one of my reviews might get quoted in an upcoming book! I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here is this week's haul:

For a blog tour that I am participating in:

*The Christmas Pony by Melody Carlson

For Review:
*Having a Whaley of a Time by Donna Keeley
*Into You (A Teen Paranormal / Murder Mystery Romance) by Riley J Ford


*Rescuing Christmas (Harlequin anthology)

*Cat Man Deux: A Mo the Shelter Cat Mystery by Maureen Murphy Williams
*Comstock Rose by Catherine MacDonald
*Trick or Treat: A Corinna Chapman Mystery (Corinna Chapman Mysteries) by Kerry Greenwood
*Lincoln's Last Days by Bill O'Reilly
Kindle Freebies:
*The Clue in the Mini-Fridge (Mandy Dru Mysteries, #1) by Jill Bonner
*The Zumba Mystery (Mandy Dru Mysteries, #2) by Jill Bonner
*The Secret of the Mismarked Grave (Mandy Dru Mysteries, #3) by Jill Bonner
*GHOST OF A CHANCE (The Ghost Series) by Emma Daniels
*Deadly Night: The Murder of Candi Starr (Ghosthunters 101 Series #1) by Aiden James
*A Murder of Crows (The Birder Murders) by Jan Dunlap
*The Dog Who Ate The Airplane (An Adam And Bagel Mystery) by Edward Coburn
*Murder by Magic - Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery series by Lesley Cookman
*The Bridgeman (An Emily Taylor Mystery) by Catherine Astolfo
*To Bed A Montana Man by KyAnn Waters
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