Saturday, August 31, 2013

Caturday Cinema: The Internet Cat Video Festival

Walker Art Center Internet Cat Video Festival Golden Kitty Awarded to the Original Grumpy Cat (via MarketWired)
SOURCE: Walker Art Center August 29, 2013 04:14 ET ST. PAUL, MN--(Marketwired - August 29, 2013) -  The Walker Art Center presented the second Internet Cat Video Festival this evening at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, drawing an audience over…

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cynthia Woolf's Fiery Bride Virtual Book Tour: Ten Best Western Romance Novels

Ten Best Western Romance Novels

1.       Savage Thunder by Johanna Lindsey

2.       Angel by Johanna Lindsey

3.       Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

4.       Prince Charming by Julie Garwood

5.       For the Roses by Julie Garwood

6.       Painted Montana Sky by Debra Holland

7.       Majesty’s Rancho by Zane Grey

8.       Tame A Wild Heart by Cynthia Woolf

9.       Starry Montana Sky by Debra Holland

10.   Tame A Wild Wind by Cynthia Woolf


From well known author Cynthia Woolf, comes a new installment of the Matchmaker & Co series. 

You haven't read the previous books yet? Don't worry! this amazing book, can also be read as a stand alone, in fact it's the perfect place for you to start! What are you waiting for?

by Cynthia Woolf

Quick Facts                                        

Release Date: July 5th, 2013                                 

Genre: Western Historical Romance                                            
Formats: All ebook formats and paperback 


After a disastrous marriage, Matchmaker Maggie vowed never to marry again.  She will never give another man the power of life and death over her body and soul. Unfortunately, that doesn't keep her lonely heart from fantasizing about her newest client, Caleb Black. She made the mistake of starting a flirtatious correspondence with the clever devil, believing they would never meet. But when his new bride abandons her mid-way to Colorado to elope with another man, Maggie is forced to face the devastatingly handsome Caleb and explain.  Now she'll have to stay long enough to make things right and find him a new wife.  But Maggie better hang on to her vow with both hands, because Caleb has other plans for the fiery matchmaker...and a very seductive kiss.


“What do you mean, you quit?  Mr. Sinclair, you just can’t quit.”  Margaret “Maggie” Selby put her pen down on the desk.  She would not raise her voice.  She would not lose control.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Selby, but I got no choice.  There’s an opening at the sanitarium in Albany and my Mary, she needs to go right now.  The doctors there might be able to help her.  We leave on the morning train.”

Maggie took a deep breath and nodded.  She understood.  She really did, but it didn’t change the fact that she was now in a difficult situation.  “Of course, you must go.  I know how poor Mary’s health is and any help that can be obtained for her, must be.”

“I wish I could give you some notice, but we just received the letter in yesterday’s post.”

“It’s fine, Mr. Sinclair.  I’ll manage.”

He handed her an envelope.  “Here are the train tickets.”

“Yes, well, I’ve wanted to see the frontier I’ve been sending my these girls to.  I’m simply going to see it sooner than I anticipated.”

“I’m truly sorry, Mrs. Selby.”

Maggie got up, came around the desk and held her hand out to him.  “You just take care of Mary.  That’s your job now.”

He shook her hand, nodded.  Mr. Sinclair put on his hat and wiped his brow with his kerchief before venturing back out into the already hot and sunny morning.  

She went to her desk, grabbed Caleb Black’s file, put the closed sign on the door and then went upstairs to her apartment to pack.  Her bride, Jenny Talbot would be by in an hour or so to pick up her tickets.  Maggie would tell her then that she’d be accompanying her, not Mr. Sinclair.  It was just as well.  Jenny was nervous as a kitten and Maggie worried about the union, but both Mr. Black and Jenny had been adamant that it take place.  If truth be told, Maggie herself was a better match for Mr. Black than Jenny.  But she was here to find matches for others, not for herself.

Jenny’s reasoning she understood.  Jenny was the oldest of the seven Talbot children.  At twenty-two years old, felt she was a burden on her parents even though she worked and helped out with the bills.  She hated her job and wanted to get married.  Her chances were growing slim.  Most men of marriageable age were either already married, old or widowers with hellions for children. 

Jenny was a tall, slim girl with pale blue eyes and dark blond hair.  Her lips were full, her nose long and straight. Just a plain young woman from a struggling family who wanted a better life.  One that the wild frontier might be able to offer.

Mr. Black’s reasoning was less clear.  He was successful and wanted children. Maggie had presented him with several other possible candidates, some more attractive, some younger, some older, all of whom he’d rejected. The reasons he gave were weak.  Brown hair.  Too short.  Too fat.  Too thin.  Too young. Too old.  There seemed to be a reason for rejecting every one she sent him.  
Finally, he’d settled on Jenny with the proviso that Maggie herself accompanied the girl.  She’d agreed, but stated only that Jenny would be accompanied.  With her full intention having been to send Mr. Sinclair in her place. Maggie’s time was much more well spent here in New York.  Finding clients, assigning candidates that is where her mind, body and commitment lay.  Yes, running her business is where she belonged more than on a trip to the wild West.  She didn’t feel bad about her decision.  Really she didn’t, she told herself over and over. But she was lying.  If she were honest, deep down she was afraid to meet Mr. Black.  Afraid her image of him would be wrong, but even more afraid it would be right and he really was the man he depicted in his letters.
She shouldn’t have allowed it, the private correspondence, but it had been innocent enough.  In the beginning.  A simple flirtation with someone she’d never meet.  But now, the thought of actually meeting him terrified and thrilled her at the same time. Now she had to go.  Maggie released a rather breathless sigh.  She blinked repeatedly against the harsh sunlight.  So Mr. Black was getting what he’d asked for after all.  Much to her dismay.


Check the rest of the stops to find more teasers, guest posts, top ten lists, reviews and a lot more!



Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.
In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Find more about her at:


Check these amazing giveaways:

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  • Prize: A $50 Amazon GC
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  • Prize: A Paperback copy of FIERY BRIDE by CYNTHIA WOOLF.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Review: whiskerslist the kitty classifieds by Angie Bailey

whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds

Blurb: This clever parody combines two of the Internet's hottest sensations--cats and craigslist. With 160 hilarious classified ads written for cats, by cats, whiskerslist reveals the inner lives of our favorite furry friends like never before. With categories ranging from "Personals" and "Gigs" to "Lost & Found" and "Help Wanted," the varied posts in this entertaining cat community provide an imaginative and entertaining look into what cats are really up to when left alone. A must-have for cat lovers who can't get enough of their quirky feline companions.

My Review: Angie Bailey is the hilarious voice behind the Catladyland blog. She knows cats and their quirky behavior like the back of her hand, so for her first book she's answered the question of what would happen if our cats catnapped our digital devices and created their own version of craigslist. The results are laugh-out-loud funny and frighteningly believable, from looking for hook-ups to selling slightly used boxes and toilet paper rolls to services such as hindquarter cleaning for cats hindered by the cone of shame (dingleberries extra). A couple of my favorites are "driving teacher for hire" (Testimonial: "Patches was patient and never yelled at me. I only hit one squirrel. He was delicious.") and a young cat offering help writing whiskerlists posts (I know I am young, but I've had my own email, Facebook page, blog, twitter, and pinterest accounts since I was 12 weeks old.)

This is an absolute must read for cat lovers everywhere, and make sure you join in the fun yourself and visit the new whiskerslist website to post your own kitty classifieds! We all know cats rule the internet, this book just proves it!

Order here

Truffles' Thoughts: Welcome to the inaugural edition of Book Reviews by Truffles! Mommy got this purr-fect book in the mail last week and I may be wrong but I think she tried to hide it from me! She said something about not wanting me to learn any bad habits. Can you believe it??? I'm a blogger now, a cat of the 21st century, and I need to know what's on the cutting edge of kitty culture to share with my readers! So while she was sleeping I snuck out to the couch and pawed through it. I have to admit, I'm shocked at what some kitties are up to out there! Maybe I'm just a little angel, but I would never put provocative pictures of myself online (oops, maybe I would) or invite neighbor cats over to watch me bathe (Mommy, what's Milo's phone number?).

This was an eye-opening read that I really enjoyed...if there's a sequel I would love to be a part of it!

We received a copy of this book from the publisher with the request for a review.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Lucky Phoo by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon

Thank you so much for having me as a guest blogger today. I am shy that my book is about a lucky dog, and think that I should probably come back as soon as I write the sequel about a lucky cat. I’ll get on that right away.

Should I duck for cover as I admit I am a dog-lover? When the idea for LUCKY PHOO came to me, I discussed it with my writing partner Rhody Cohon. She has a strange array of pets, ranging from turtles to guinea pigs. I guess, the dog won out because for our books, I do most of the writing and she does editing, research and marketing. I knew the most about dogs and had just adopted one from a shelter for my mom.

This is a book of my heart. I love writing for young tweens and am a very girly girl at heart. A story about three girls, a magical dog, fashion, movies, and romance – I couldn’t wait to get started.

The characters were kids we knew. The complexities of their lives felt familiar. This cute little dog comes in and seems to make everything better for a while. Who wouldn’t want a little Phoo?

The book was actually much more difficult than I ever thought. In fact, in many ways it was the hardest book I’ve written. I wanted the magic to be clear, but vague. I wanted the girls to feel Disney-esque and the action to move quickly. I wanted so many things at the same time – the book took well over a year to finish and went through many drafts.

That said, you should know I generally write very fast. In the past ten years, I’ve worked with Rhody on more than sixty books. I take ideas and spin them out as fast as my fingers can type. Together, we’ve been published for more than ten years and have been on the New York Best Seller List twice.

This one moved slowly for me. I wanted to get it in a certain way and I knew, once I finished the book, it was going to go out as my first small press eBook.

Although the book is available in paperback, I am really hoping to attract young readers to it electronically. The electronic market is exciting and it’s my hope that this book will break barriers for younger readers who are just starting to find eBooks. The 7-11 market is a tough one for electronic reading and I was warned before I started this venture that it would be an uphill climb, so I did a little research. I asked my friends if their kids were reading electronically – like my daughter. The answer was a resounding “Yes” and gave me the motivation to press through with my plans for the book.

I really love this story. It’s fun and filled with adventure, friendship, and a touch of magic. I hope the tweens in your life enjoy it too.

The book is on sale for 0.99 cents for the month of August. Find out more at Or Find the book on Amazon at

Lucky Phoo
Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon
Genre: Children’s Mid Grade (ages 7-11)
Publisher: Imajin Books
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Number of pages: 109
Word Count: 43,000
Cover Artist: Ryan Doan


Book Description:
Seventh grade best friends, Caylie Jiang-Kahn, Lauren Blindell, and Sabrina Robinson have busy middle school lives.

Sabrina wants to make a movie about their friendship, but a stray dog shows up and ruins the day. In frustration, Lauren curses, “Oh Phooey.” The name sticks. The crazy mutt will forever be named Phoo.

Sabrina pieces together bits of the footage she shot. She highlights Phoo’s silly antics and puts the video up on a movie contest website.

The video goes viral and suddenly, Lauren, Caylie, and Sabrina are celebrities at school. When a volunteer at the dog shelter sees the film, she assumes the dog belongs to the girls and calls them to come collect Phoo.

The girls arrange to take turns caring for Phoo until he can be adopted.

While sharing Phoo, Caylie, Sabrina and Lauren begin to notice that if the dog is around, lucky things seem to happen. The moment he’s gone…the luck disappears.

When they all need the dog’s magic at the same time, it’s up to the girls to decide once and for all: Is Phoo truly a lucky dog?

Review blurbs for LUCKY PHOO
“With punchy dialogue and a fast moving pace, LUCKY PHOO takes readers on a wild adventure as three friends try to share fostering duties of a lovable stray dog.” —Marianne Mitchell, author of FIREBUG

“Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon are two very best friends who write books together, which is very lucky for their readers. You’ll want to share LUCKY PHOO with all your friends, too!” —Jennifer J. Stewart, author of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD WORLD KIND, Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award List; Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award List; Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award List

"LUCKY PHOO is a great story about friendship, love and responsibility--Phoo, the lucky dog who wanders into Sabrina's, Caylie's and Lauren's world is indeed lucky--although maybe not as lucky as these girls whose life he changes." —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

"Okay, full disclosure: I LOVE good, strong, dog stories--Lucky Phoo is precisely one of those!" —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

About the New York Times Best Selling Authors:
Rhody Cohon wishes she could adopt a million pets! Until her house is big enough she'll pamper the few she has and help others find the perfect home.

Find Rhody at

Stacia Deutsch sits at the keyboard crafting stories all day and then, plays with her own crazy, lucky, dog at night. She and her three kids live in Southern California. You can visit Stacia at or on twitter at @staciadeutsch.

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Truffles Dreams of Paris

Goodness Gracie is our host for the Third Annual Blogosphere Trip, and this year all the kitties are visiting Paris! Make sure you stop by to join in the fun :)

Since Truffles has only been here at her forever home for a week, she's not feeling up to world travel just yet, but she's with all of the other blogging kitties in spirit and is lounging around dreaming of Paris.

Draw Me Like One of Your French Girls
 photo 082613160533_zpscbf1cd98.jpg

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Opt to Adopt: Betty

Dogs N Pawz

Welcome to Tuesday's Tails, sponsored by Dogs N Pawz.
We are a group of bloggers who want to bring awareness to an animal each week who is need of a home of their own.

Hi everybody, it's Truffles! I have a confession to make about myself...I prefer to live as an only cat. The shelter told Mommy this when she inquired about me. I love people, but dogs and cats not so much. I proved it when Mommy picked me up from the Petco Adoption Center last week. When the nice lady at the store handed me over to Mommy I caught sight of the cat in the cage above me and I hissed and growled at her! She was a cute little calico named Betty who would prefer life as an only child as I do (although she didn't react to my theatrics at all). She's been at Petco for quite awhile and the lady told Mommy that many people have looked at her and expressed interest until they see she doesn't like other animals and then they walk away. The day I went home another kitty named Jeremy was going to his forever home too and Betty was the only one left in the was kind of sad.

I sure hope she gets picked soon. I want every kitty to find their forever home...just not with me (tee hee).

Betty is at the wonderful Franklin County Humane Society in St Albans, Vermont. You can read her Petfinder profile here.

Photo courtesy of FCHS

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rest in Peace, Homer

Yesterday morning I logged onto Facebook and was met with devastating news...Homer the Blind Wonder Cat went to the Rainbow Bridge last Wednesday, August 21. I've followed this amazing cat's story since his book Homer's Odyssey was published, but even more closely since his final medical emergencies began just months after Tara's did. I've read his wonderful mom Gwen Cooper's Facebook updates and blog posts about his various good days and bad days, his love for deli meats and lobster, as she tried to mentally prepare herself for the goodbye she knew was coming knowing there wasn't a darn thing she could do to make her baby well again.

Black and blind, this little angel had the odds stacked against him, but ended up being loved by millions around the world.

Gwen, we grieve with you.

Homer, we will never forget you.

Homer's Heroes Fund: Gwen donates 10% of her royalties from Homer’s Odyssey to organizations that serve abused, abandoned, and disabled animals. To keep Homer’s memory alive—and to give chances to other animals like Homer, who are so frequently overlooked simply because they aren’t “perfect”—she's creating the Homer’s Heroes Fund. Every year, she will make a donation in Homer’s name to a shelter or rescue group that does outstanding work with “special needs” animals.  Her newest book, Love Saves the Day, will come out in paperback on October 22nd. For every copy of the paperback that is pre-ordered or bought in-store or online between now and Sunday, October 27th, she will donate 100% of her royalties to a shelter/rescue group through the Homer’s Heroes Fund.

Review: A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert

A Wilder Rose

Blurb: In 1928, Rose Wilder Lane—world traveler, journalist, much-published magazine writer—returned from an Albanian sojourn to her parents’ Ozark farm. Almanzo Wilder was 71, Laura 61, and Rose felt obligated to stay and help. To make life easier, she built them a new home, while she and Helen Boylston transformed the farmhouse into a rural writing retreat and filled it with visiting New Yorkers. Rose sold magazine stories to pay the bills for both households, and despite the subterranean tension between mother and daughter, life seemed good.

Then came the Crash. Rose’s money vanished, the magazine market dried up, and the Depression darkened the nation. That’s when Laura wrote her autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,” the story of growing up in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on the Kansas prairie, and by the shores of Silver Lake. The rest—the eight remarkable books that followed—is literary history.

But it isn’t the history we thought we knew. For the surprising truth is that Laura’s stories were publishable only with Rose’s expert rewriting. Based on Rose’s unpublished diaries and Laura’s letters, A Wilder Rose tells the true story of the decade-long, intensive, and often troubled collaboration that produced the Little House books—the collaboration that Rose and Laura deliberately hid from their agent, editors, reviewers, and readers.

Why did the two women conceal their writing partnership? What made them commit what amounts to one of the longest-running deceptions in American literature? And what happened in those years to change Rose from a left-leaning liberal to a passionate Libertarian?

In this impeccably researched novel and with a deep insight into the book-writing business gained from her own experience as an author and coauthor, Susan Wittig Albert follows the clues that take us straight to the heart of this fascinating literary mystery.

My Review: I've been a passionate fan of Little House of the Prairie in it's various forms for the majority of my life. Some of my prized possessions include the complete television series on dvd in a covered wagon box set, and a covered wagon plant holder that holds my Little House book series set, biographies of the television stars, and various books on Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I heard earlier this year that an historical novel based on the relationship between Laura and her daughter Rose was planned by one of my favorite mystery authors, Susan Wittig Albert, I excitedly featured it as one of my Waiting on Wednesday features. You can just imagine my delight when shortly after the author emailed me and asked if I would be interested in receiving an early review copy!

The novel begins in 1939, where we find Rose living in Danbury, Connecticut with a young couple. The wife is an aspiring writer and begs Rose for details about her life story. From here we are taken back to Rose's happy years with her friend Troub (who would later write the Sue Barton books) in Albania before being called home to her parents' farm. Already a successful writer investing her money wisely, she encourages her parents to do the same - then comes the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

Feeling responsible for her aging parents and finding it more difficult to find good writing assignments herself, Rose begins to feel trapped by her responsibilities, unable to return to the life she had grown accustomed to. When Laura writes a memoir based on her childhood and asks Rose's opinion as to how it could be published, Rose instantly sees it needs extreme editorial work. Thus begins the secret collaboration between mother and daughter as they write a series of beloved children's books and the eternal question of who the true author was.

This is one of the best historical novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Based on diaries, journals and letters, it's instantly possible to imagine the lives of these two women playing out exactly as written. Rose's story is compelling on it's own - a woman before her time, world traveller, political activist - but added to a narrative about her world famous mother, classic children's literature, and one of the most fascinating periods in world history, this book is practically unputdownable. It will forever have a place of honor among my cherished collection of Little House on the Prairie memorabilia.

Please visit the book's website for additional information about Rose and Laura, their "little houses", and pre-order instructions.

I received an advance copy of this book from the author with the request for a review.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Sunday Post #56

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ 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.
What a week! On Tuesday I brought a new fur baby into my life, Truffles the tortie. She's quite the little chatterbox and plans to tell you all about herself as my co-blogger here at Mochas, Mysteries and More. I've told her about Tara and she knows she has big paws to fill but she's up to it :) She's a special little lady and I already love her to death.

Then on Wednesday I got my very first paying blog gig! These posts will start running in early September :)

Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and More:
* Review: Woof at the Door by Laura Morrigan
* Mews in the News: A Real Feline Detective
* Tortie Mews in the News: Meet Refurb
* Introducing Truffles the Tortie
* Truffles Introduced to the Cat Blogosphere
* Whiskers Behind the Words: The Cat in the Book Club, by Leslie Budewitz
* Review: Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz
* Interview (& Giveaway) with Liz Stauffer, Author of the Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club
* Pounce! On Your Chance to Adopt!!!

Review Requests:
whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds Murder in the Dark


Sherlock's Home: The Adventure of the Contentious Crone Armed (The Alex Harris Mystery Series - Book 1) Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love and Myself Alibis and Amethysts SAY GOODBYE TO ARCHIE: A Rex Graves Mini-Mystery Emerald Isle Armoires and Arsenic: A Darling Valley Cozy Mystery Christmas Is Murder (Rex Graves Series #1) October Fest (Murder-by-Month Series #6)
Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled CatProduct Details

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pounce! On Your Chance to Adopt!!!

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Mommy and I are enjoying our very first weekend together as rescue mom and 'dopted kitty. Purr...

I sure wish every kitty could be as lucky as I am, and I'm going to help Mommy spread the word on our blog about the joys of bringing a rescue pet into your life. Ambassador Truffles, at your service!

Mommy was just bopping around on the couch and when I looked at the 'puter to see what she was watching I saw this cute new Humane Society video urging humans to Pounce! on the chance to adopt at your local shelter. We hear adoption rates are slow this time of year because people are going on last minute summer vacations and getting ready for the school year, so shelters are full of kitties just waiting for you to POUNCE!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Interview (& Giveaway) with Liz Stauffer, Author of the Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club

Welcome, Liz! What was the inspiration behind the Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club?
I have a summer house in Pen Mar, Maryland, a mountain village not unlike Mount Penn. It is a beautiful and peaceful haven, a place where I can do my best work. And, there is a group of ladies who live there that have been having breakfast together for many years. I love being in this beautiful, idyllic place and wanted to introduce Mount Penn (a fictionalize Pen Mar), and its community of very special people, to the rest of the world.

Have you even been part of a breakfast club?
I attended the Pen Mar ladies breakfast meetings, that I mentioned earlier, sporadically when spending the summer in the area, although I was never officially a member. While the Pen Mar ladies breakfast club – which incidentally is held on Thursday mornings - is very pleasant, it is nothing like the Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club that is in my book. That breakfast club, and its members, exists totally in my mind.

Is your protagonist Lillie Mae based on yourself at all?
Lillie Mae Harris, my protagonist, and I do share some interests in common, although we're more different than we are alike. Lillie Mae is a country lady through and through, and I belong in a city. We both love to talk; we care about our friends and family; and, we enjoy meeting new people. We are both outdoorsy, and like hiking and walking. Lillie Mae would ride her bicycle as much as I do, if the mountain roads were easier to navigate. I like the beach and love to swim, but Lillie Mae finds it hot and tedious, and she has no interest in being in the water. I am a vegetarian; Lillie Mae eats meat. We both love to cook, just do it in very different ways. I think I’d like to be Lillie Mae much more than she would like to be me.

What's a typical writing day like for you? 
I get up early, walk and feed my dogs, brew the coffee, and am at my computer before 7AM. From 7 to 8, I catch up on media and marketing tasks – emails, twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc.

From 8 to 8:25, I take the dogs to a nearby park for a good hearty run, then come home, have some breakfast, and am back at the keyboard to work by 8:45.

I work on my books most days straight through to 1PM, with only short breaks to check email. I read, exercise, run errands, manage my vacation rental business, and other personal and administrative tasks, in the afternoon.

In the evening, after dinner, I’ll watch some TV – either something on PBS or Acorn TV, or a DVD from Netflixs . I watch no commercial TV – except for Jeopardy on occasion, and then I mute all the ads. During political season, I give up Jeopardy. Can’t stand the negative noise!

An hour or so before getting ready for bed, I’m back to working on my books. I find I do my best work in the mornings, and then later in the evenings. Don’t know why, I just do. I work at least six days a week, often seven when I’m in the middle of a project.

I usually do not work when I’m traveling, which I do as often as possible, unless I’m traveling to research a book.

What do you have for pets?
I have two beautiful Lhasa Apsos – Mattie and Jakey. Mattie, my black and white female is the dominant dog, and the one in need of the most affection. Jakey, my brown and white male, is an adorable follower. Mattie, who can be coy and flirty, can also be mischievous. She’s also very playful – inside the house rather than outside. She loves to be “made in the bed” each morning. It is so fun. 

Jakey, who is shy and cautious inside the house, is brave and adventuresome outside. He loves to run in the park, play with other dogs, and chase me and Mattie. Jakey who I’ve had since he was eight weeks old, is so good. Although only a half sister, Mattie, who was nine months old when we got Jakey, raised him very well.

What are some of your favorite books/authors?
I read everybody and everything, but I do like the British mystery writers best. Some of my favorite authors are P.D. James, Alan Bradley, M C Beaton, Ruth Rendell, Ann Granger, Barbara Nadel, Ann Cleeves, Donna Leon, and on and on. I also read everything that American authors Laura Lippman, Laurie King, Linda Fairstein, and Elizabeth Peters write.  

And, of course, I love Jane Austen – and have for more years than I like to remember.  

The two writers that have influenced my work the most are Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, authors whose books I have read, many times over, since I was very young. I’ve always loved the way Christie and Heyer use ensembles of characters in plotting and solving crimes. I have attempted to do a bit of the same in my books. 

What are you working on now?
I'm currently writing my third Thursday Morning Breakfast Club mystery. My second one is in the done pile, and hopefully, will be released in or before early 2014. I also have another mystery series that I'd like to publish, but I'm not going to tease you with what it's about.

My grand epic, not even nicknamed yet, set in 1920s Pen Mar against the advent of the mass produced automobile and the demise of the railroads, is under construction. Henry Ford is a central character. This book, based on a lost history of a spectacular railroad resort, is going to be so much fun to research and write. And, I hope, equally fun to read.


About the Book: Things are not always what they seem in Liz Stauffer's fast paced book of murder, mystery, and intrigue. When the "breakfast club" ladies of idyllic Mount Penn see bruises on Clare Ballard's pretty face, they suspect her hot-headed husband of abusing her, but the truth is much more complicated. When violence disrupts this Appalachian village's lazy routine, the ladies, led by the irascible Lillie Mae Harris, jump feet first into danger as bodies appear, neighbors disappear, and Clare is arrested for murder. Follow Lillie Mae and the other "breakfast club" ladies, who, armed with casseroles and pastries, help the police uncover the deep secrets this town hides beneath its perfect facade.

The book can be purchased as an ebook and as a paperback on Amazon




Leave a comment (and email address) for the chance to win 1 book (paperback or ebook), no restrictions on location, ends August 28th.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Truffles Introduced to the Cat Blogosphere

Hey everybody, Truffles here!!! The nice lady who 'dopted me (Mommy) says I'm now a cat blogger! When I asked her what that meant, she said I get to go on the 'puter and talk about myself. I'm a real chatterbox with a lot to say so blogging sounds pretty easy to me! Mommy says she'll be my secretary so I don't even need to learn how to type. While we work on telling you all my story we wanted to let you know that I've already been introduced to the world on The Cat cool is that???

I'm already loving my new life and can't wait to share my adventures with my adoring public. (Tee this morning, when I left a few hairballs on the kitchen floor. Oops...that's probably too much information, huh?)



Review: Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

Death Al Dente (Food Lovers' Village Series #1)

Blurb: The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as a Food Lovers' Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead…

Murphy’s Mercantile, known as the Merc, has been a staple in Jewel Bay for over a hundred years. To celebrate their recent makeover as a gourmet food market, Erin has organized a town festival, Festa di Pasta, featuring the culinary goods of Jewel Bay’s finest—including her mother Fresca’s delicious Italian specialties.

But Erin’s sweet success is soured when the shop’s former manager, Claudette, is found dead behind the Merc on the Festa’s opening night. With rival chef James Angelo stirring up rumors that Fresca’s sauce recipes were stolen from Claudette, Erin’s mother is under close scrutiny. Now Erin will have to hunt down some new suspects, or both her family and her store might wind up in hot water…

My Review: When I think about the state of Montana, delicious delicacies don't immediately come to mind. That all changed when I picked up Leslie Budewitz's first Food Lovers' Village Mystery. Huckleberry chocolates, Cowboy Roast coffee, all kinds of Italian yumminess...I could make myself very much at home there!!!

Erin Murphy has returned home to Jewel Bay to help her mother Fresca run the family's general store, now a specialty food market. Her first project is to organize an Italian festival, Festa di Pasta, with the highlight being Fresca's Italian specialties. Things go horribly wrong when the shop's former manager Claudette is found dead out back on opening night amidst rumors that she was kicked to the curb by Fresca to make way for Erin to take over after stealing Claudette's recipes! Even though everyone in Jewel Bay seems to be connected in some way to everyone else and they all are seriously suspicious, Fresca becomes the prime suspect, and it doesn't help that she's being quite uncooperative with a few secrets of her own. I did catch a clue early on that led me to correctly pinpoint the killer, although I did second guess myself several times because everyone seemed guilty at one time or another!

This is a wonderful debut to a promising new series set in an area of the country not often seen in cozies, and I look forward to visiting Jewel Bay again soon. Be sure to check out yesterday's Whiskers Behind the Words to meet the real-life inspiration for one of my favorite characters, Erin's Burmese cat, Mr. Sandburg.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher with the request for a review.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whiskers Behind the Words: The Cat in the Book Club, by Leslie Budewitz

We owe our cat to Book Club. 

I first met Ruff and his brother Reddy when my book club met at Joanne’s house. “The boys”—then about two—left dead mice on the back doorstep, leapt over tall buildings in a single bound, and raced around her house like NASCAR drivers.  

Then Joanne died. The boys went to live with a friend, but after an owl killed Reddy, the friend’s old cat began sharpening his claws on Ruff, so he came to live with us. 

And boy, are we glad.  

Ruff is a sable Burmese, meaning dark chocolate with black pointing—black on the face, tips of his ears, feet, and tale. He’s also got a bit of “locketing”—white flecks in his fur that are not signs of age, but typical of the breed. (In some Burmese—though not Ruff—the white flecks take on a locket-shaped patch at the throats.) Burmese have small heads with a distinctive profile. And like their Siamese cousins, they are big talkers. The breed is known for a combination of athleticism and cuddliness. We live in the country in northwest Montana, and Ruff is an avid mouse-hunter. He’s also an avid bird watcher—our bird feeders hang empty much of the year, as he can catch any songbird. Happily, he leaves the hummingbirds and wild turkeys alone. 

But he’s no aloof “hands-off” cat. My husband is a doctor of natural medicine with a clinic in our home. Shortly after Ruff moved in, a new patient came to the house. Ruff met her at the door. “Oh,” she said, bending down to pet him and tearing up, “he looks just like my friend Joanne’s cat.” Turns out he’d been a sort of therapy cat, sitting on the bed and comforting Joanne in her last days. He often comes to the clinic waiting area—aka the library—and sits with a patient waiting to be seen.  

And of course, when Book Club visits, he’s the star of the night.  

So how did Mr. Sandburg come into the Food Lover’s Village Mysteries? In much the same way.
My protagonist, Erin Murphy, is a Montana girl who moved to Seattle after college to work for an international warehouse chain. On her walks around her Capitol Hill neighborhood, Erin met a retired English teacher named Roxy Turner. They became fast friends. When Roxy became ill and was hospitalized, Erin dropped by her apartment to check on Roxy’s Burmese cat, Mr. Sandburg. (Named for his yowl, which does not come in on little cat feet.) Earlier this year, Roxy died, leaving Erin her library of poetry and her cat. Which Erin’s lease prohibited.  

So Erin and Sandburg moved to Montana. And therein lies a tale. Or a tail. I hope you’ll enjoy it.   

Death al Dente, first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, is new from Berkley Prime Crime (August 2013). The town of Jewel Bay, Montana—known as the Food Lovers’ Village—is obsessed with homegrown and homemade Montana fare. So when Erin Murphy takes over her family’s century-old general store, she turns it into a boutique market filled with local delicacies. But Erin’s freshly booming business might go rotten when a former employee turns up dead…  

Leslie is also a lawyer. Her first book, Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books) won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. Leslie’s second series, The Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, will debut in early 2015. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband and, of course, Ruff. Visit her online at or on Facebook at