Sunday, November 30, 2014

Grumpy Sunday Selfie

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Last night was the premiere of Grumpy Cat's Christmas movie (we haven't had a chance to watch it yet) and you might think I'm looking rather grumpy in my Sunday Selfie today.

For very good reason.

On Monday we reached a high-breaking high of 67 degrees here in Burlington. I sunbathed in my window for hours. Mommy said not to get to used to it because it wasn't going to last. I thought she was lying.

Then we got 9 inches of snow on Wednesday night.

That's why it looks like I'm channeling Grumpy Cat.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Caturday Art: Ready for Christmas

With Thanksgiving behind us all eyes are finally turning to Christmas. Truthfully, I'm ready for Christmas the day after Halloween, but I know many people don't like to even think about it until Black Friday.

Since I've been slowly decorating for the past couple weeks it's been a pretty quite and lazy weekend here at our house. Any Black Friday shopping was done online. I refuse to become a part of that craziness. I actually splurged a bit on myself, buying some Kevin Harvick Championship merchandise at with a 25% off coupon, a darling Night Before Christmas Garfield plush, Melissa Gilbert's Prairie Cookbook for an extra 30% off Amazon's already reduced price, and last but not least a couple things for Truffles and our Secret Paws.

Have you gotten any good deals this weekend, or did you stay home and decorate?

We created today's Caturday Art with More artsy kitties can be found here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Hey everybody, Christmas Truffles here to wish you a happy Black Friday Morning! You're not going shopping today, are you? We're sure not! As a matter of fact as you're reading this Mommy and I are most likely still lounging in our bed nursing a turkey hangover!

Don’t go out and brave the crowds; get cozy with us in your jammies and enter to win some new-to-you books!

Welcome to the 4th annual Black Friday Book Bonanza hosted by and We're giving away a prize package purr-fect for historical mystery lovers. Simply leave a comment below (tell us if you did any Black Friday shopping today) by 12:01AM on 12/1. (US entries only, please.)

The Bellingham Bloodbath (Colin Pendragon Series #2) The Devil's Breath (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Series #3) Death Comes to London (Kurland St. Mary Series #2) A Deadly Measure of Brimstone: A Dandy Gilver Mystery

And check out the linky list below for many more chances to win some great prizes!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 #ShareGratitude

Truffles: Hey Mommy! Our friends at Kitty Cat ChroniclesCascadian Nomads, Oz the Terrier and Loved by a Collie are co-hosting a #ShareGratitude Blog Hop. Can we join in?

Melissa: Of course we can, sweetie. Why don't we start out by saying how thankful we are for all of our blogging friends that we get to share our lives with each day...

Truffles: ...and their kitties too! I love my kitty blogger friends.

Melissa: Absolutely their kitties too. I'm thankful for cats in general!

Truffles: I'm thankful for the nice people who adopt homeless kitties. I love my warm and loving home and wish every kitty could have what I do.

Melissa: I'm thankful for our health and the health of our family...

Truffles: ...especially my Grandma. She sure was sick this summer. I was so worried about her.

Melissa: I was too, honey. Let's pray all that bad stuff is behind her. I'm also thankful for a job that I enjoy.

Truffles: Yeah, it pays for the Fancy Feast and treats, too!

Melissa: I'm thankful for all of the wonderful books I get to read and review.

Truffles: And I'm thankful for the yummy treats that I'm asked to review!

Melissa: I'm thankful that Kevin Harvick won the Sprint Cup Championship this year :)

Truffles: I'm thankful that NASCAR is done for a few months so maybe you can calm down!

Melissa: I'm extra thankful for you, sweet girl. As the old saying goes, "When I count my blessings, I count you twice."

Truffles: Oh Mommy, I love you so much too. Knowing that out of all the kitties out there you chose me makes me feel like the luckiest cat alive.

Melissa: Looks like we have a lot to be thankful for, don't we?

Truffles: One more thing. I sure am thankful for that turkey in the oven. Let's eat!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Day Preparations

It's time for a game of...

Truffles: Well, do you see me? I'm hiding pretty good, aren't I? We're busy getting ready for Turkey Day tomorrow, as I'm sure you are too, so while Mommy was out shopping I decided to write haiku about this yummiest of holidays:

Bird on the table
The smell is just heavenly
I scoff at cat food.

Turkey in my bowl
Why feed me cat food all year
When you could serve this.

Mommy is also spending every spare moment watching the Gone with the Wind marathon on AMC. What are you up to today?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 Review: Tiki Cat Gourmet Carnivore

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Lately it seems like all of my kitty blogger friends have been raving about Tiki Cat brand cat food. I've been wanting to try it, but when Mommy finally tracked it down at a local specialty pet food store, she said I couldn't have any because they are primarily fish-based and my tummy is very sensitive to fish. (She is such a party pooper.)

Earlier this month I got an email from asking if I would like to try Tiki Cat's new Gourmet Carnivore selections. With varieties like Chicken with Duck, Chicken with Turkey, and Chicken and Liver, I knew these were some flavors that I could eat, and I immediately asked Mommy to request the Chicken with Turkey for me. Before I tell you what I thought of the food, here's a little more about Tiki Cat:

Tiki Cat Premium Food formulas are made with the highest quality human-grade, all natural ingredients and do not contain any compromised inferior nutrition sources. Tiki Cat has successfully identified and utilized the portions of each fish and meat source that are the most palatable to cats because they know that if a cat won’t eat the food, the healthy nature of the food doesn’t make a difference!

· Made without Corn, Wheat or Soy
· Gluten Free
· Limited Ingredient Diet
· Low Glycemic
· Grain-Free
· Commonly recommended for cats with UTI, CRF, IBS, or diabetes
· Can be Fed on its own or use to add hydration and protein to kibble
· USDA certified food meets highest safety standards in the world

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that this food is swimming in gravy!

Usually this means that I'll lick out the gravy and leave the meat...but not with this food! I slurped up the gravy as soon as Mommy opened the can. (Can you see the tongue action?)

And then I ate the meat out of my bowl...'s that good. For any kitty who's not sure which flavor to order, I would recommend the cool variety pack which contains: Beef & Liver (1), Beef Liver & Chicken (2), Beef Liver & Lamb (1), Bonito Tuna (1), Chicken & Liver (2), Chicken with Duck (2), Chicken with Turkey (2), Seabass (1) and Tilapia (1). I actually wish I had requested this so I could try out more flavors!

Thank you so much, I love my new food!

We received a free case of Tiki Cat in exchange for our fair and honest review as part of the Blogger Outreach Program. All opinions are our own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Cat Sitting & Christmas Cozy Review/Giveaway

Truffles: Thought you all might like to hear about how Mommy spent her weekend. Cheating on me with this:

Mommy: Sweetie, that's our neighbor T-Two. She's only 8 months old and her Mom had to go away this weekend. Taking care of her was hardly cheating on you.

Truffles: Call it whatever you want. You still spent precious time with her that you could have been spending with me.

Melissa: (Now probably wouldn't be the best time to tell her that I'm going to be cat sitting for 2 weeks in February, would it?) Well, while you pout I'm going to review and give away a book, okay?

Truffles: Hmmph.

Blurb: Christmas in Aston Falls is always a magical time of year. The first big snow has arrived, the tree in the town square has been decorated, the window displays completed, and Hometown Christmas is just around the corner. Zoe finds herself knee deep in holiday shopping and Children's wishes as she and Zak play host to nine year old Scooter Sherwood and his friend Alex. Although a bit hectic, the magic of Christmas is in full bloom and things couldn't be more perfect until Zoe finds the body of history teacher Holly Jolly in the Ashton Falls High School Christmas Tree lot.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

In this 11th Zoe Donovan mystery, Zoe is helping her friend Levi, the football coach, at the Ashton Falls High School Christmas Tree lot. Holly Jolly, history teacher and staff adviser for the school newspaper, plans to do a full-page spread on the tree lot, and ends up getting murdered there in the process. To make matters worse, it looks like someone is trying to frame Levi for the crime! Once again Zoe has to add sleuthing to her already busy schedule, while also welcoming two children to her home that need a place during the holidays.

Two characters made this book extra special to me. First, the victim, Holly Jolly. A caring and friendly lady everyone seems to know and love, but yet no one really "knows" anything about her. It's not until after she's dead that people start to realize how reclusive and alone she really was. How many of us know people like that in our own lives, people we take for granted until they're gone? I also adored Alex, a 9-year old wise beyond her years, She ends up stealing Zoe's heart and through her discovery of a diary in the attic we are able to learn more about the history of Ashton Falls. It's especially sweet when she lets her guard down and allows herself to be a child and find delight in the magic of Christmas.

If you enjoy quick reads during the holiday season, make plans to curl up by the tree with a mug of cocoa and your Kindle loaded with Christmas Cozy. It's a magical story you won't soon forget.

Giveaway: Kathi is generously offering a Christmas Cozy paperback and mug for a US winner, or a Kindle copy of the book and a $15 Amazon gift card for a non-US winner. Simply leave a comment below with your email address by noon eastern on Friday, November 28th.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fatal Brushstroke by Sybil Johnson: Guest Author & Giveaway

Fatal Brushstroke

 From Idea to Story
by Sybil Johnson

“Where do you get your ideas?” is one of the most common questions people ask writers. Most of us would say “everywhere.” I’ve gotten ideas from newspaper articles, items I’ve seen in catalogs, personal experiences, and dreams. For me, ideas are easy to come by. I have a whole notebook filled with them. What takes the time is developing a story around one.

Sometimes a title is the first thing that springs to mind. That was the case with my short story, “Annual Marriage Test,” published earlier this year in Mysterical-E. The title came from years of preparing taxes with my husband. One year I started calling it our “annual marriage test.” As time went on, I realized that would be a great title for a story. So, I had the title and the basic idea—a couple does their taxes—but I initially had no clue where it was going. From there I created characters, fleshed out a plot and, eventually, a full-fledged story was born.

For Fatal Brushstroke, the first book in the Aurora Anderson Mystery series, I woke up one morning with an idea: a young woman finds the body of her tole painting teacher in her garden. I’d been a fan of mysteries for years, so I knew the basic concept behind one, but I’d never attempted to write one. I soon found out I had a lot to learn.

I read books on writing fiction in general and mysteries in particular, took a couple online courses, and started writing. The first draft was ugly, the second draft was better and, eventually, years and years later, the book is being published.

Some writers do no planning at all, writing by the seat of their pants; others outline a project in great detail before putting a word on the page. My process falls somewhere in between the two extremes. I need to have some idea where I’m going before I write anything, but I don’t need to know all the details.

Once I get an idea and decide on the setting, I spend a lot of time creating characters, figuring out what they’re hiding and what makes them tick. As I’m developing my characters, I decide on the crime, the murderer and the motive. Next, I plot out the major turning points for the story and look at the crime from the killer’s point-of-view. Only then do I start writing. Knowing all these things before I start work helps me write the book faster, yet it’s flexible enough I can change my mind as I write.

There you have it, how one writer goes from idea to a story. Not every writer uses this method. There is no one approach that works for everyone. The important thing is to have a process and figure out what works for you.


About the book: A dead body in her garden and a homicide detective on her doorstep…

Computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson doesn’t envision finding either when she steps outside to investigate the frenzied yipping coming from her own backyard. After all, she lives in Vista Beach, a quiet California beach community where violent crime is rare and murder even rarer.
Suspicion falls on Rory when the body buried in her flowerbed turns out to be someone she knows—her tole painting teacher, Hester Bouquet. Just two weekends before, Rory attended one of Hester’s weekend painting seminars, an unpleasant experience she vowed never to repeat. As evidence piles up against Rory, she embarks on a quest to identify the killer and clear her name. Can Rory unearth the truth before she encounters her own brush with death?

About This Author: Sybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

Author Links
Facebook Author page:

Purchase Links

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Caturday Art: Dream BIG

What do you think Truffles is dreaming about?

"If you're gonna dream, dream BIG." ---Truffles

Is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade a holiday tradition at your house too?

Check out more artsy kitties here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Natural Supplements for Feline Diabetes

I would dare to guess that many of you are like me and take supplements with the hopes that they are beneficial to your health. Many of us also give supplements to our pets. Through all of Tara's health problems, especially her heart disease, I did a huge amount of research on supplements, and I strongly believe that they kept her with me for far longer than the doctors thought possible.

I recently came across a fascinating infographic containing information on treating feline diabetes with natural herbs and supplements with the guidance of your vet, and decided to share it here in honor of Pet Diabetes Month. Check it out and then we'll chat more below.

Many of these supplements I had never even heard of, but because of Tara and a prevalence of heart disease in my family, I do know a bit about the supplements that benefit the heart, such as Omega-3 and Vitamin E. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death in diabetics.

A more convenient way to provide natural support for feline diabetes is with an already prepared blend, such as Blood Sugar Gold - Cat Diabetes Support, a unique formula developed for times in a cat's life when stable blood sugar and insulin levels are needed. Using the best known botanicals for blood sugar maintenance, it also contains herbs to support a healthy liver and eye health. Cats taking Blood Sugar Gold may respond by having healthy amounts of urination and normal thirst. Appetite within a healthy range is also common when insulin levels are maintained. Normal weight, good energy and/or good vision may also be maintained. If your cat is taking prescribed medication such as insulin, please read through the precautions for Blood Sugar Gold. It is of utmost importance that blood sugar levels be kept in a healthy range and not get too low.

Active ingredients:

* Devil's Club root bark:  This indigenous North American herb has vast uses. Maintenance of normal blood sugar levels is one of its most powerful applications. It has also been used traditionally by First Nations Peoples for the respiratory system, for joints, the digestive system and as a general health tonic.
* Gymnema leaf:  With the addition of this herb to the formula, there is specific support to the beta cells of the pancreas and also to maintain healthy blood sugar levels immediately following consumption of food.

* Fenugreek seed:  A seed used extensively in India for health and nutrition, recent studies concur that healthy liver and insulin levels may be linked with regular ingestion.
* Burdock root: High in inulin, Burdock has been used traditionally to support healthy blood sugar levels, support the liver and for good digestion.
* Goat's Rue herb:  Used and grown in Europe for hundreds of years, this herb may allow the body to better tolerate carbohydrates. It is also one of the main plants used for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Its secondary ability to support the liver makes it a valuable addition to this formula.
* Dandelion root: Both leaf and root are commonly used in herbal formulas. The root's therapeutic actions are as a pancreatic regulator, cholagogue, for pancreatic and bile duct stimulation, and portal circulation.
* Bilberry fruit:  Rich in anthocyanins, these berries are considered a wonderful food source of antioxidants. The extract is known to affect the tiny blood vessels that supply the eyes. It also shows specific action in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Another popular blend is PetAlive GlucoEnsure, which contains a variety of helpful nutrients and herbs that can support the animal’s system and possibly reduce the amount of insulin required.

Active Ingredients - Bilberry (fruit), Goats rue (herb), Fenugreek (seed), Astragalus (root), as well as chromium, a mineral supplement which has been clinically proven to improve the effectiveness of insulin. It also helps in the breakdown of fats and can therefore balance cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Have you ever used herbs, extracts, or dietary supplements on your pet? Did you find them to be effective?

As the infographic states, it is extremely important to check with your vet before giving any herbs to your pet because cats can be highly sensitive to certain herbs and essential oils. Your vet also needs to be aware of any natural methods you are using in order to avoid drug interactions and to adjust insulin requirements accordingly. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report by Erna Mueller: Character Guest Post & Giveaway

Hey there. My name is Spencer Watley, and I’m a Lieutenant at the Seattle Police Department. Well, I guess that’s not the whole truth. You see, some Cyber killers did me in and I landed before the gates of heaven. I was standing there knockin’ but the door wouldn’t open. An angel standin’ there told me no way am I going in. What, you must be mistaken, I says, what’s my room number? Here I am a great cop, donno know how many scumbags and lowlifes I put in the slammer. Don’t that count for nothin’? The angel wasn’t listening, she just told me I was jerk, and insensitive to boot. Do you believe that, a jerk! She said I had to go through the J.R.P. if I ever wanted to enter. The J.R.P I asked, what the heck is that? It’s the Jerk Redemption Program, said the angel. That’s non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns, we will make you nice and sensitive, jerk. I shivered and nearly passed out at the thought. Can you imagine that? I can’t stand all that mushy, touchy feely stuff. But the angel had something else up her sleeve. The other option she gave me was, I could help a young kid and his dysfunctional family. Hey, that sounds way better I said. And just as she’s sendin’ me back down to earth, she pulls this zinger on me. I can only go back in the body of my K-9 partner. Well, I just said forget it, I ain’t becoming no dog. But the angel wouldn’t listen. So here I am a stupid dog. And the teenager I’m trying to help is a smart-mouthed, know-it-all puber who’s grouchier than I am. You think this is bad, wait till you read the rest, it gets even worse. I dare you to read it. Woof.


Title: K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report
Author: Erna Mueller
Publisher: Erna Mueller
Pages: 220
Genre: YA
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.

After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But - what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out? 

He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.

But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.

And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.

Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.

But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.

Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?

Can a selfish man find a heart?

You bet. He just has to become a dog first.

K-9 Cop is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at
Barnes & Noble.
Watch the book trailer at
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at
About the Author: I was born in Austria and my family immigrated to the U.S. I loved living here as a child and considered the U.S. my home. My family returned to Austria and of course I had to tag along. I missed the friendly faces and the cultivation of the free spirit which America symbolizes. In Austria I completed my education but always wanted to return, so here I am.

I traveled the world and lived in many exciting cities such as Paris, Munich and London. I currently work as an accountant for a large pizza company in Seattle by day and passionately pursue a career as a writer in my spare time.

My new book, K-9 Cop, is adapted from my multi-national award winning screenplay. The book has won several awards including first place in the 2009 National Good Read Competition sponsored by

Please visit my web site at for more reviews and other info.

Connect with Erna on Facebook and Twitter.

Erna is giving away one audiobook of K-9 COP!
Terms & Conditions:

* By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
* One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
* This giveaway begins October 6 and ends Dec 19.
* Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, Dec 22.
* Winner has 48 hours to reply.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Word of the Day: Championship

Truffles: If you follow us on Facebook you probably already know that a certain sports event on Sunday night has had Mommy deliriously happy. She jokes that she had about 5 heart attacks within an hour that night. She screamed, she cried. You kitties know how humans are during big sports events, right?

I'm letting Mommy have her moment, though. NASCAR is the only sport she follows, and Kevin Harvick has been "her driver" since his rookie year in 2001. She's been waiting for him to win the Sprint Cup Championship for 14 years. (But why does she have to watch every recap show? It's like she expects there to be a different outcome or something!) And would you believe she's already counting the weeks until Daytona???

I sure hope the excitement dies down pretty soon. I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Mrs. Kaplan & the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death

Blurb: Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.

Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.

But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.

Advance praise for Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death

“Is there kosher food in jail? These two heroines have gotten themselves in quite a pickle! Well, it’s a matzoh ball mess, really. Too deliciously funny!”—Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of Nine Lives to Die

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

This novella takes place at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors and features a pair of sassy seniors reminiscent of Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and Holmes & Watson rolled into one.

Rose Kaplan is once again chosen to make her famous matzoh ball soup for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover, but everything goes terribly wrong when  Bertha Finkelstein ends up face down in her soup bowl after choking on a stolen diamond earring. Who stole the earring in the first place and how did it end up in the soup? Poor Rose is instantly the main suspect, and as a mystery lover takes it upon herself to clear her name with the help of her dear friend Ida.

The antics these two get into solving the mystery, as well as their interactions with other residents of the retirement home, had me in stitches, and the final revelation of how Bertha died took me completely by surprise.

For a fun few hours of reading you can't go wrong in downloading Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Review/Giveaway: Himalayan Blue Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain

Did you know your pet needs approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day? Ensuring proper pet hydration is extremely important to PetSafe. This July, the brand celebrated Pet Hydration Awareness Month to help educate pet parents about the importance of providing pets with access to clean, fresh water.

As the only pet fountains developed by a veterinarian, PetSafe’s Drinkwell pet fountains were invented in 1994 by Dr. Mary Burns, after noticing that her cat, Buckwheat, would only drink from a running faucet and would wait all day for Dr. Burns to turn the faucet on for her. In addition to providing the moving water source that cats (and dogs) seek, PetSafe’s Drinkwell pet fountains aid with proper metabolism, energy conversion and temperature regulation, as well as promote healthy kidney function and prevent urinary tract infections and disease in pets.

After garnering the majority of votes during the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin 2014 People’s Choice voting period, PetSafe® brand is proud to announce that Himalayan Blue will be the next color offered for its popular Drinkwell® Pagoda Fountain. More than 390,000 votes were cast for the next pet fountain color, with Himalayan Blue beating out Taupe by receiving 76 percent of votes. PetSafe’s Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain is now available in the winning color on

Also available in red and traditional white, the PetSafe® Drinkwell® Pagoda Fountain is a stylish, ceramic fountain that freshly filters and continuously recirculates 70 ounces of free-flowing water for pets, keeping it cleaner and fresher than a normal water bowl. The ceramic design is more hygienic, easy to clean (top-rack dishwasher safe) and looks great in your home. The upper and lower dishes provide two drinking areas for pets, and the dual patented free-falling streams add oxygen for freshness, which encourages pets to drink more.

Key Features

* Ceramic design is more hygienic, easy to clean, and looks great in the home
* Dual patented free-falling streams add oxygen for freshness and encourage pets to drink more
* Upper and lower dishes provide two drinking areas for pets
* Low-voltage 12V system with submersible pump for safe and quiet operation

Our initial thoughts: I've heard of many cats who are quite particular about their water source, but Truffles isn't one of them. As long as her water bowl is clean and fresh, she's good to go. And while cats are often lackadaisical about water consumption, she hydrates herself on a regular basis. (Not in excess, however. After experiencing kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes in my last 3 cats, I am very attentive to monitoring how much water a cat drinks.)

We've only had this fountain for a week, but Truffles took to it right away. Never having had anything like this before I wondered if she would be hesitant about the moving water (a sound that I find quite soothing) but after checking it out for awhile she approached it with no issues whatsoever. (I've also still kept her regular bowl down "just in case".) It was quite easy to put together, which was very important to me, and looks very sleek and stylish in the kitchen.

Guess what? PetSafe has generously allowed me to offer a Himalayan Blue Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain to one lucky reader! For your chance to win simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below; US entries only, please.

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Disclaimer:  I received this Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Selfies: NASCAR Redux & A Haiku

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! My entry for this week's Sunday Selfies blog hop (hosted by The Cat on My Head) is actually a repeat...but for a very good reason! You see, today is the final race of NASCAR's 2014 season. (Thank Cod, but don't tell Mommy I said that!)

Mommy's favorite driver Kevin Harvick has made the "Championship 4", which means that he is one of only 4 drivers eligible to win this year's championship, and he's actually considered the favorite too! Every sports fan knows how exciting it is when your favorite team or athlete has a chance to "win it all", and Mommy has been waiting for this to (possibly) happen for 14 years now.

Needless to say, things have been pretty intense around here on Sundays for the past few weeks, and today it's just going to be off the charts! In honor of this potentially historic day at our house, I put my Harvick cap back on and wrote a haiku to express my feelings.

A cap I will wear
Hoping Harvick wins it all...
And Mommy survives.

No matter what happens this afternoon, we always have been and always will be proud members of:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Caturday Art: Autumn Pencil Drawing

Here in northern New England there's frost on the pumpkin but the beauty of autumn is still all around. It's funny, while parts of Minnesota got over a foot of snow this week, we just got our first light dusting yesterday. In spite of what many people think, Vermont is not always buried under snow! Many parts of the country have it much worse than we do.

Today's artwork was created using my favorite app,

We're participating in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop. More artsy kitties can be found here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dae's Christmas Past by Joyce & Jim Lavene: Guest Author & Giveaway

Dae's Christmas Past

Too Much Time Together
By Treasure and Baylor the Cats

Baylor: I really wasn’t expecting to go anywhere with my lady, Mary Catherine Roberts. I’m her protector, and let me tell you, she needs protecting. Always getting into trouble. I try my best, but Mary Catherine does what she wants. The best I can do is try to stay with her, usually around her shoulders.
Treasure: My mistress is Dae O’Donnell. She’s a very important woman, the mayor of Duck, North Carolina. I can’t believe you and your ‘lady’ moved in with us. You came here with no place to stay and ended up in our spare bedroom. How pushy is that?

Baylor: Pipe down, Junior! It’s not like we want to be here. We belong in the city, not some tiny little burg named after a bird. You don’t have to worry – Mary Catherine and I will be long gone as soon as she takes care of your problem.

Treasure: Dae can take care of it by herself.
Baylor: Then why are we here?

Treasure: I don’t know, but maybe we should be friends. Something tells me solving this mystery is going to be harder than it seems.
Baylor: Okay. Fine. A little fella like you probably needs protection too. I’m big enough to take care of all of us. Look at the muscles rippling under my beautiful orange fur.

Treasure: You ARE big! I only make half of you, but I’m still growing. Dae says I look like I’m wearing a tuxedo all the time. I’m not sure what that means. She snuggles with me after she says it, so it must be good. Do you have a plan to protect Dae and Mary Catherine?
Baylor: Plan? I’m more a seat-of-my-pants kinda guy, you know? But we can talk about it over some milk at the kitchen table. What do you say?

Treasure: Sounds good to me. I know where they hide the donuts!


About the book: When wild horse rescue director Tom Watts is found dead on Duck Road, newly re-elected mayor Dae O’Donnell is determined to find out who killed him. Her friend Jake Burleson is accused of killing Tom even though the two men have been good friends for years.

The problem is the excavation of the horse cult that’s been happening on Jake’s property. Tom and several archaeologists working on the project think that Jake should give up his land to widen the search for artifacts. Jake won’t do that.

It’s not that Jake hasn’t been acting strangely. He shoved one of the ancient stone horses into Dae’s hands when he knew she was afraid to touch it. He’s obsessed with stopping the excavation—maybe to the point of killing Tom.

But Dae thinks there may be more to the story. Jake’s determination has shown her what the horse cult was used for thousands of years ago, the destruction the demon horses brought before they were stopped. She’s afraid something of the past may have already returned to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and there may be more deaths to come.

Featuring Pet Psychic Mary Catherine Roberts!

About the authors: Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

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Merr-E Holiday Treat: A Last Goodbye by J A Jance

Plan Ahead for SLACK FRIDAY: NOVEMBER 28, 2014

Avoid crazed shopping crowds!

Keep calm and carry on at home with great

Merr-E Holiday Treats from Pocket Star eBooks!


J.A. Jance

November 24, 2014


An Ali Reynolds e-novella


Find out where fan favorite Ali Reynolds’ new adventure takes her in A Last Goodbye as New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance brings her trademark breakneck pace to this fun and exciting e-novella, in which Ali Reynolds takes on double responsibilities as both sleuth and bride. Ali Reynolds is finally getting married to her longtime love B. Simpson. They wanted a simple Christmas Eve wedding, but nothing is ever simple with Ali. Even as a motley crew of her friends—Leland Brooks, Sister Anselm, and others—descend on Vegas, the bride-to-be finds herself juggling last-minute wedding plans and a mystery in the form of a stray miniature dachshund. Ali’s grandson rescues the little dog, but Ali’s not in the market for a new pet right before her honeymoon, and leaves no stone unturned in hunting for the dog’s owner. But what she finds is more than just a shaggy dog story…Bella’s elderly owner has vanished, and her son seems to be behind it. So it’s Ali and B. to the rescue—and still making it to the church on time!


Ali Reynolds leaned her head back against the pillow in the soaking tub and closed her eyes. With the help of the pummeling water jets, she let the rush of the past few days recede into the background. She and B. had made it. They were finally in Las Vegas. The rest of the wedding party was there, too. Back in November, when she and B. Simpson had first settled on a Christmas Eve wedding at the Four Seasons, it seemed entirely doable—a piece of cake. After all, how hard could it be?

Because Ali and B. had chosen to be married in a hotel, much of the planning was done by simply cruising through the wedding planning pages on the Four Seasons website. Arranging the time, date, flowers, type of ceremony—including their preferred verbiage in the vows—was just a matter of making a few mouse clicks on her computer. Ditto for the menus. One was for what they were calling the rehearsal dinner despite the fact that there would be no rehearsal until the morning of the wedding. She also used the website to choose separate menus for both the reception and the post-ceremony supper. Ali stepped away from her computer, thinking that she had most everything handled. Unfortunately, she had failed to take her mother’s reaction into consideration.

Preparations for Ali’s previous weddings had been well beyond Edie Larson’s geographic reach—Chicago for the first ceremony and Los Angeles for the second. Caught up in running the family business, the Sugarloaf Café in Sedona, Arizona, 363 days a year, all Ali’s parents had been able to do on the two previous occasions was arrive in time for the rehearsal dinners and depart immediately after the nuptials.

This time around, Ali wasn’t so lucky. Her parents, Bob and Edie Larson, were both retired now, having sold the restaurant. Bob had found plenty to do in retirement, but Edie, left with too much time on her hands, had hit the wedding planner ground at a dead run, a reaction for which Ali herself had been totally unprepared.

In the past, Ali had found the term “bridezilla” mildly amusing, but when it came to dealing with an Edie who had suddenly morphed into what could only be called the bride’s “momzilla”? That wasn’t amusing in the least. To Ali’s surprise, Edie had whipped out her long-unused Singer sewing machine and set about stitching up a storm. In keeping with the season, Edie’s mother-of-the-bride dress was a deep-green velvet and probably the most sophisticated attire Ali had ever seen in her mother’s wardrobe.

With her own dress safely in hand, Edie had gone on to tackle outfits for the twins, Ali’s grandchildren, Colleen and Colin, who would serve as flower girl and ring bearer respectively. Colleen’s dress was a ruby-red taffeta, and Colin’s tux, also homemade, came complete with a matching rubyred taffeta cummerbund. Once that was finished, Edie took it upon herself to sew identical cummerbunds for all the men in the wedding party.

Ali’s father, Bob, was not an official member because Ali’s son, Chris, would do the honor of walking her down the aisle. Even so, Edie had gone so far as to bully her husband into actually buying a tux as opposed to renting one so Bob would have one to wear to formal dinner nights on their next cruise. Edie had been in despair about Ali’s ever finding a suitable wedding dress, and her sense of dread deepened when her daughter abruptly removed herself from the wedding planning equation. For the better part of two weeks in early December, Ali avoided all the frenetic pre-wedding activity by, as Edie put it, “larking off” to England.

That’s what Ali and B. had both expected her trip to Bournemouth would be—a lark. She went along for the ride when her longtime majordomo, Leland Brooks, returned home to the British Isles after living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. for the better part of sixty years. The trip was actually a thank-you from B. and Ali for Leland’s years of loyal service, including his having saved Ali’s life a month earlier in a nighttime desert confrontation with a kidnapper.

Ali had expected that her responsibilities would entail providing backup in case any of Leland’s long-lost relatives decided to go off the rails. She was also there as the designated driver, since most car rental agencies didn’t allow octogenarians to rent vehicles.

In a role-reversal variation on Driving Miss Daisy, Ali had taken the wheel of their “hired” Range Rover and driven Leland through the snowy English countryside from London to Bournemouth, Leland’s hometown, on the south coast of England. Together they even took a sentimental side trip to one of Leland’s favorite childhood haunts: Stonehenge.

In a small fashion boutique in Bournemouth, Leland had helped Ali find the perfect dress for her third and, as she put it, hopefully last wedding. Even now, her lovely lace-adorned ivory silk knee-length sheath was hanging in its original clear plastic wrap in the closet here at the Four Seasons. Needless to say, Edie was greatly relieved to know that the wedding dress issue had at last been handled even if she hadn’t been allowed to make it or choose it.


J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, as well as four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Brisbee, Arizona, Jance and her husband live in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Please visit Please visit

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Truffles Interviews...Kittens Pins & Needles from Diane Vallere's Suede to Rest (w/Review & Giveaway)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Do you like my new "Truffles Interviews" graphic? I told Mommy that it needed a redesign to match my status as a hard-charging feline reporter, and I think she did a pretty good job!

Today I'm interviewing Pins and Needles, a pair of adorable kittens from Diane Vallere's Suede to Rest, the very first Material Witness mystery. Following the interview is our Tortie Shorties review and a chance to win your own copy!

Welcome, Pins & Needles, thank you so much for joining me today! Can you tell us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with Poly?

Hi Truffles! I hope you don't mind if we answer together. We're still a little shaken up from being abandoned in a Dumpster behind the fabric shop.

Pins: I'm a gray striped tabby, and Needles is orange striped.

Needles: We're lucky that Poly wanted to take care of us, though for awhile we were scared when we heard she couldn't have pets at her apartment in Los Angeles.

I have a guess as to where your cute names came there a story behind them?

Pins: We like to play and sometimes we forget that our claws are sharp. I think Needles stabbed Poly a few times.

Needles: I think that was you, Pins! But one day Poly reached into a drawer in the fabric shop and got stabbed by a bunch of pins and needles in an open box, and, well, there you go.

What is a typical day like for you little kittens?

Needles: Mostly we stay together. I don't ever want to think about being separated from my brother. Especially after being left alone outside.

Pins: Poly found a box for us to sleep in and lined it in fake fur.

Needles: It's on the cover of the book about her! There's leopard print and zebra print and it was like sleeping in a puffy jungle.

Pins: After Poly was sure we were okay, she took us upstairs to the apartment above her shop and let us roam. Nobody's lived there for a long time so there are lots of balls of dust for me to chase!

Needles: There are about a hundred million giant stairs to climb to get to the apartment. I went down them once and got lost in the back of the store. I think I'm going to stay with Pins from now on.

Is must be fun spending time in a fabric you have all kinds of fun things to play with (and nap on)?

Pins: You know it! There's fur to curl up in and buttons to swat around and lots of dust and fabric scraps--

Needles: But Poly swept them up the day she tied the silver fabric on her head--

Pins: She'll probably drop more when she sees how much we like to play with it!

Needles: There's a dark room in the back of the fabric shop. One day she left the door open and I had to see what was back there.

Pins: That's the day you got lost, and when Poly found you, you were so dirty! You were the same color as me!

Needles: I know, but I couldn't help myself. I am a cat, after all!

What kinds of trouble do you crazy kids (and Poly) get into in Suede to Rest?

Pins: Poly gets into all kinds of trouble!

Needles: Nothing as bad as winding up in a Dumpster.

Pins: No, but she's the one who found that body by the Dumpster.

Needles: That was before we were discovered. How do you know about the body?

Pins: I heard Poly talking. She's very worried about the store, and how the rich developer is pressuring her to sell it to him, and losing touch with possibly losing what her great aunt and uncle created a long time ago.

Needles: Hey Pins, let's make a pact to not get into any trouble until Poly is settled. Okay?

Pins: I'm a cat too! Truffles, doesn't it violate the Kitten Manifesto to make that kind of promise?

Truffles: Well, I'm a couple years out of that "crazy kitten" stage, but since Poly was good enough to adopt you, it might be nice to show your appreciation by not getting into too much trouble until she gets everything under control. You can still have fun, just don't go overboard :)

Do you have any idea what your upcoming adventures are going to be?

Pins: I heard Poly talking about velvet. I brushed my face up against a bolt of the stuff and it was nice and soft, so I hope she brings us lots of that.

Needles: As soon as I'm big enough, I'm going to learn to go up and down those stairs really fast! And maybe try to go into that back room again.

Pins: I thought that back room scared you?

Needles: What can I say? I'm curious!


Giveaway: Leave a comment (don't forget your email address!) by noon eastern on Wednesday, November 19th for your chance to win a copy of Suede to Rest. (US entries only, please.)

About the book: With her career as a dress designer in shreds, Polyester Monroe is looking forward to a fresh start. But as it all unfolds, the pattern to a new beginning looks a lot like murder.

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she’s ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren’t the ones causing a snag in her plans…

Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell—and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she’s not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family’s unsettled past that she’s determined to solve…before her own life is left hanging by a thread.

About the author: After close to two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first in her new Material Witness Mystery Series, comes out November 4. In addition, she writes the Style & Error Mystery Series, featuring former fashion buyer Samantha Kidd, and the Mad for Mod Mystery Series, featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at

Author Links
Twitter: @dianevallere
FB: dianevallereauthor
GR: Diane Vallere

Purchase Links
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Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

I've been so excited to read this book ever since I saw the cover months ago featuring those darling kittens. (Didn't Pins & Needles do a purr-fect job on their interview?)

Poly, (short for Polyester...she was born in her family's fabric store), has just inherited Land of A Thousand Fabrics following the death of her Uncle Marius. What was supposed to be a quick trip to sell the property to a local developer who already owns much of street takes an unexpected turn when Poly finds herself drawn to the property. It's clear from the start that someone wants her gone because when she enters the shop for the first time in years her car is vandalized. Then the one witness on the night of Poly's Aunt Millie's murder 10 years ago is found dead behind the store.

Poly's potential love interest is unusual for a cozy mystery. It's not the local detective, it's the son of the developer who is pressuring Poly to sell! Can she trust him or not? Also in the picture is Poly's longtime boyfriend back home who I could not stand! I have no idea why it took Poly so long to send him packing. A wonderful cast of characters also includes the new friends that Poly makes in town, especially car mechanic Charlie and Maria Lopez, who runs a cleaning business and whose husband owns a bakery.

Why does Poly feel such a strong pull to the fabric shop? What really happened to Aunt Millie 10 years ago, and how do recent events tie in to Poly's family tragedy? You'll have to pick up the first Material Witness mystery to find out!