Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Texts from Mittens Review & Giveaway

Truffles: Hey Mommy, do we have an unlimited data plan?

Melissa: We do. Why?

Truffles: I wanna learn how to text like Mittens!!!

Sometimes when I'm at work I wish there was a way to communicate with Truffles as she waits for me back home. We could be chatting back and forth if she had the ability to text, which is the premise behind Angie Bailey's brilliant Text from Mittens.

From the publisher: Texts from Mittens is a series of text message conversations between a snappy, self-absorbed housecat named Mittens and his long-suffering human, a single woman who works away from home during the day. Mittens relentlessly hassles his human all day long, while only taking breaks to watch Judge Judy, hang with his best friend Stumpy, complain about the antics of Drunk Patty the neighbor, ask Grandma for money to buy useless items from QVC, and harass the "filthy beast" dog, Phil.

Mittens was "born" on Catster.com and has now gone on to star in his very first hardcover book. (When you've caught the attention of Harlequin, you are a superstar!) Every page is a screen shot of a text message between Mittens and his Mom, and more than once I laughed out loud with the realization that these are exactly the sorts of things our cats would say to us if they could.

This book is a must have for any cat lover's bookshelf.


About the author: Angie Bailey is an award-winning writer and blogger, humorist, and professional member of the Cat Writers' Association. Her primary blog, Catladyland, has won many awards, and her humor writing is featured nearly daily on Catster.com, one of the most popular cat sites on the Web. She loves to photograph her cats in silly poses and sleeps with one eye open. And yes, she has three cats.

Texts from Mittens is on bookshelves today and can be purchased from Amazon

Thanks to the nice people at Harlequin I have one hardcover copy to giveaway to a lucky US or Canadian reader.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Grimm's Furry Tail by Kathi Daley

In the third book in the series Cait’s friend Cody buys the old newspaper and discovers a previously unpublished edition that details a murder that occurred decades ago. The fact that the story was written but never published peaks the curiosity of the friends, who decide to delve into a cold case that reaches back fifty years. When the truth is discovered they struggle with the ramifications of what they have uncovered. They know that revealing it will rock the small island community to its core.

This third book in the Whales and Tails mystery series is a page-turner from the very first paragraph, when a dripping faucet wakes Cait in the middle of the night to the sound of "Emily". Emily is a kitten, sent by "witches" Tansy and Bella, and history shows that whenever Cait has a mystery to solve, a new feline friend arrives with the clues she needs. And the mystery she finds herself tangled up in this time is a doozy.

Cait's friend Cody has purchased the local newspaper and found an old article about an unreported murder involving a missing heiress that was never published. They decide to investigate why when Cait stumbles upon the murdered body of Orson, the previous owner of the newspaper and writer of the mysterious article. Before uncovering what happened back in 1979 and how that led to Orson's death, Cait ends up discovering shocking information involving people she has known her entire life. In one case the reader is made privy to the revelation, but the character affected is still in the dark! Both the modern-day mystery and the one from long ago are gripping, and I couldn't swipe the pages on my Kindle fast enough.

The first 3 books in this series have been released 3 months in a row, and while they are all fantastic, this one is the best yet. The next book will be a Halloween release but the six month wait is going to be endless!!!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 3rd for your chance to win a copy of Grimm's Furry Tail. US - Choice of Print or Kindle copy; Canada - Kindle copy only. Don't forget to include your email address!!!

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler

When a local doctor is found dead in Willow McQuade’s medicinal garden, she must find the killer to clear her boyfriend’s name in this third clever book in the Natural Remedies Mystery series.

Dr. Willow McQuade, owner of Nature’s Way Market & Café, has put the finishing touches on a new medicinal plant garden for Greenport’s annual Maritime Festival and is ready for the festivities to begin. But it’s not all flowers and sunshine at the grand opening, when Willow discovers the body of another contestant, Dr. Charles White, face down in her garden.

Willow’s hunky boyfriend, Jackson Spade, immediately becomes a suspect due to a recent fight with Dr. White. Willow knows she has to remedy the situation, but it won’t be easy with the other applicants’ vendettas and vandals wrecking her garden at every turn. And when she finds buried treasure in her garden that just might belong to the legendary Captain Kidd, the stakes become even higher. Was Dr. White searching for that treasure? Did someone kill him to get to it first? With the help of Jackson and her eccentric ex-boyfriend, Willow follows the clues to uncover the truth that someone wants buried…

But can she dig up enough evidence before she becomes the killer’s next victim?

About the Author: I love natural remedies and I’ve been using them for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, my mother practiced natural cures such as tea bag baths for sunburn, homeopathic remedies for colds and allergies, arnica oil for sprains and bruises and, of course, chicken soup with garlic was always a staple.

My interest in natural remedies continued after I graduated from Boston University with a degree in communications and subsequently dabbled in various vocations including advertising and television production in Hollywood. In 1998 I moved back to my hometown, Greenport, NY and set up my own writing business. I’d always wanted to be my own boss and write full-time.

My focus was, and is, health, and in particular alternative medicine which includes natural remedies. As a freelance journalist, I’ve written about natural cures for Natural Health, Mother Earth Living, Spirituality & Health, and Vegetarian Times, as for over five years I was the Good Nature columnist for Remedy magazine.

You can see my writing work here: https://chrystlefiedler.contently.com

Author Links
Website: www.chrystlefiedler.com
Blog: http://chrystlefiedler.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chrystle-Fiedler-Mystery-Author/297115840304756
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/wwwgoodreadscomChrystle_Fiedler

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, April 3rd for your chance to win a paperback copy of Garden of Death. (US entries only, please.) Don't forget to include your email address!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

#SundaySelfies Newsy Edition

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! I have a few news items to share with you this week, but I'll start with my Sunday Selfie, because I know that's why you're all really here :)

We would like to congratulate our friends over at Sometimes Cats Herd You, the winners of our Bergies cat socks giveaway. If you don't already follow Newton, Pierre, and Ashton's adventures, make your way over to their blog STAT! Their current series about Ashton's Chicken Emporium is beyond brilliant, and we can't wait for each week's new installment! 

This was our most successful giveaway *ever* and we are super excited about another one that we have in the works, hopefully on Friday.

We would also like to congratulate Cathy F. and Lisa R., the two winners of the Clear Your Shelf giveaway hop. We have another big book giveaway this week too!

On Tuesday Mommy got to spend some time chatting on the phone with the lovely Miss Layla of Cat Wisdom 101. She's the editor of the Cat Writers' Association blog, and she invited Mommy to be a guest book reviewer for them! The CWA blog is available to be read by everyone, you don't need to be a CWA member, so we urge you to check it out. I'll let you know when Mommy's first review is posted next month!

Last, but certainly not least, of course I have to take a moment to talk NASCAR. Our guy Harvick got his 8th consecutive top 2 finish last weekend. Can he make it 9? Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

{52 Snapshots} & Caturday Art: Spring

Hey everybody, Truffles at the keyboard! We're at week 13 of the #PBSG #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge (hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull) and the theme is spring. While many of my fellow bloggers are posting beautiful pictures of flowers blooming, blue skies, and green grass, you won't be finding that here. People don't joke about "mud season" in Vermont for nothing...everything here is brown, squishy, and downright gross. Our local news even asks people to send in mud season pictures and calls them "muddies"!!!

Last weekend the temps approached 50 degrees so Mommy finally gave in and put my screen window in. This is my view...it's not for the faint of heart.

For Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, we prettied things up a lot...by adding me to the picture!!! I'm dreaming of the days ahead when I can lounge in a sunny window, watch the birds and butterflies fly by, and see nothing but blue skies and green grass!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shopping with Truffles

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Last month we heard about a fun blog hop hosted by Bacon the Pig and Fozziemum called “Shopping Around the World". Each month they post a list of 5 items to price in your area in order to find out what different things cost in various parts of the world. By the time we found out about it, it was too late to participate, but we immediately put it on our calendar for this time around.

Here are the 5 items for March, and what they cost here in Vermont:

1. Milk. This is a hot topic in my area because Vermont is a state with many dairy farms. (My grandpa actually grew up on a dairy farm!) We buy local - Monument Farms from Weybridge, VT - and paid $1.69 for a quart.

2. Tomatoes. My grandpa grows tomatoes in his garden every summer and they are super yummy. (Or so Mommy says...I don't eat tomatoes.) But in the winter we have to buy them at the market and they are no where near as good. We usually choose the hot house tomatoes, and right now they are $2.49/pound.

3. Canned Product. Hmm...what canned food do we always have in the house??? FANCY FEAST! We're currently getting a really good deal on my beloved FF - 50 cents a can at Shaw's through April!

4. Homemade Dish. Mommy always cooks a homemade meal on Sunday, and her favorite thing to make is Spinach Lasagna (We've tweaked this recipe a bit.) It's main components are oven ready lasagna noodles ($1.79), 8 oz. can of tomato sauce (49 cents), 6 oz. fan of tomato paste (59 cents), 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach (99 cents), packet of spaghetti sauce mix (50 cents), and cottage cheese ($2.49).

5. Random item of your choice. Trader Joe's Coffeehaus European Style Chocolate Yogurt...OMC Mommy is obsessed with this stuff!!! We have *stacks* of it in our fridge. It's 99 cents a cup, or in other words, TWO whole cans of Fancy Feast!!! (Mommy!!! I don't think we afford your yogurt obsession!!!)

How do these prices compare to those in your area? Do your humans have a food obsession that cuts into the kitty food budget?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Four Paws Up for Only Natural Pet® PowerFood #PawNatural

This post is sponsored by Only Natural Pet, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Only Natural Pet® Feline PowerFood™, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Only Natural Pet is not responsible for the content of this article.

As cat parents we all want to feed our cats the highest quality food possible in order to ensure our precious pets a long, happy, and healthy life. Unfortunately cats have their own ideas about what they will and will not eat which often gets in the way of our best laid plans.

It has always been my preference to feed my cats primarily a canned food diet. Traditional kibble is notorious for being loaded with "fillers" that provide poor quality nutrition. Truffles loves her dry food, though, so even though she only gets it as a treat, I'm constantly on the lookout for the highest quality kibble I can find. My search has ended since we were asked to be among the first to try Only Natural Pet® Feline PowerFood™.

Only Natural Pet® Feline PowerFood™ is the culmination of over 10 years of experience working in the natural pet food industry. A holistic veterinarian formulated the best possible biologically appropriate dry food and leveraged industry contacts to find the cleanest, safest, most reliable manufacturers to produce it in small batches right here in the USA.

Check out the ingredients:

* Fresh meat is the #1 ingredient, made with cage-free chicken and turkey raised naturally without antibiotics or hormones.

* Low-glycemic carbs like garbanzo beans, which offer healthy, long lasting energy without spiking blood sugar.

* Salmon oil provides the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for their powerful anti-inflammatory benefits as well as skin, joint, heart, and brain health in cats of all ages.

* Each piece of kibble is infused with a proprietary PowerBoost Blend, a raw, freeze-dried blend of superfoods like green lipped mussels (joint supporting chondroitin), sea cucumbers (for healthy inflammation response), probiotics (healthy digestion), pumpkin and digestive enzymes to support nutrient absorption and maintain a healthy weight and general wellness.

* NO grain, soy, corn, wheat, oats or potatoes.

This is cutting edge natural nutrition for a healthy, happy cat! These are ingredients I would happily eat myself, so I was absolutely delighted to discover that Truffles is absolutely CRAZY about the Fish & Fowl Dinner sample that we received! As soon as I opened the zip-lock bag she demanded a pile before I even got a bowl for her. Without a doubt I will be buying this for her on a regular basis.

The food will be available for pre-order on April 1st exclusively on www.onlynaturalpet.com, www.pet360.com, and www.petfooddirect.com. A sample one-pound bag of both the Fish & Fowl Dinner and Poultry Dinner can be purchased for only $1.99. Rumor has it the demand for pre-orders has been extremely high, so the ship date has been pushed back to late May. Order now to be among the first to see what everyone is so excited about!

In the goodie bag that we received from Only Natural Pet, we also received a sample of their PowerPate Canned Cat Food and Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus Feline. We'll let you know our thoughts on these once Truffles gives them a try!

You can visit Only Natural Pet on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube and Google+.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Word of the Day: Indecisive

Ever have one of those days when you can't decide what you wanna play with? I stash a lot of loot under my lounger, so I just keep pulling things out until I decide on something. Then I let Mommy pick everything up :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

6 Favorite Features in Catster's Premiere Issue

Along with so many others, I mourned the demise of Cat Fancy, while at the same time eagerly anticipated it's reincarnation as Catster magazine. Catster is one of my favorite websites (many of my friends are fortunate to be writing for them and I aspire to one day as well!) and I could not wait to see what they would do with a magazine.

Last week I was ecstatic to find an advance copy of Catster in my mailbox and I eagerly dove right in. I found it to be fun, fresh, colorful, informative...definitely a magazine I will be subscribing to. (And I'm not a big magazine reader at all.)

In no particular order, here are my 6 favorite features from the premiere issue of Catster:

* There's a Cat App for That by Catherine Holm. Cat apps are all the rage right now, and since I'm a first time iPad owner as of last week, this article could not have come at a more purr-fect time! Along with naming some of the most popular apps right now, there are also great tips on how to get kitty more interested in playing with the apps.

* Recessionista by Janea Kelley. This is going to be a regular feature each month with tips for cat owners on how to save money while still meeting their needs. I'm always on the lookout for money saving tips so I'm sure that I'll continue to find this column useful.

* Cat Biz by Kate Benjamin. My dream is to one day start my own cat-related business. (This blog is hopefully the launch pad for that.) This regular column, writen by Hauspanther's founder, will be introducing readers to real people who have already made that dream a reality, starting with the owner of The Cat Ball. I love stories about entrepreneurs pursuing their passion, while at the same time making the world a better place for cats!

* Catify Your Cubicle & Make Work Amewsing by Phillip Mlynar. Like so many others, part of my day is spent in a boring office environment with not a cat to be found. This article showcases cool products to satisfy your need for "all things cat" even when you're at work.

* Catster Obsessions. I freely admit to being obsessed with anything cat-related, and I'm proud of it. This is a section of the magazine with little tidbits on cats in the news, kitty craft projects, and feline style.

* Feline-interest stores. Stories about a therapy cat and the fostering of a special needs feral cat give the well-known human interest story a feline twist :)

The May/June issue of Catster is on newsstands today so make sure you keep an eye out for it. If you were a Cat Fancy subscriber, you make already have received your copy. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on it!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Truffles Interviews: Nutty from The Icing on the Corpse by Liz Mugavero (w/Review & Giveaway

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm chatting with Nutty, the feline star of Liz Mugavero's fantastic Pawsitively Organic mystery series. He's a really cool kitty whose character is based on Liz's real life cat Tuffy, who just happens to be a star in his own right! Enjoy the interview...purrs :)

Welcome, Nutty! Thank you so much for joining me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Stan in Frog Ledge?

Hi Truffles! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. I love visiting with fellow feline friends.

I came to Frog Ledge quite by accident, actually. For that matter, I came to my mom by accident. I had an unfortunate encounter with a car and ended up in someone’s yard licking my wounds. That someone ended up being my furever home with Stan. We lived in the city for a while, but then last year we moved out here to Frog Ledge because Mom wanted a change. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s really cool—we have birds and cows and all kinds of dog and cat friends around town who come to visit. I don’t get to go outside, but I have a great view from lots of windows!

Is there any special meaning behind your name?

Mom says no, but I heard her tell someone I was a “nut” right after she brought me inside. Something about how I used to scream at the windows and doors to get out. Soon after that, she started calling me Nutty. I choose to believe it’s because of the lovely color of my fur—chestnut :)

What is a typical day like for you?

I wake up when I’m hungry, or if the dogs are having one of their tedious barking fests. As you may know, I live with a Schnoodle and a pit bull. For the record, I’m in charge. Anyway, they go outside and do their thing, and then we all eat breakfast together.

If Mom is home baking, I usually spend most of my day in the kitchen waiting for samples. If she’s out, I spend the day going from window perch to window perch for different views and some nap time. I don’t like to admit it, but sometimes I snuggle with one of the dogs. They’re quite simple animals, but affectionate and sometimes it’s nice to have companionship. Then dinner rolls around, usually followed by some cuddle time with Mom in her den. Sometimes that man and his dog come over (Jake and Duncan) and then it gets a little crowded, but we make it work. And Mom always gives me extra snacks at night, so it’s my favorite time of day!

I understand Stan cooks all of your food and bakes organic pet treats as her business. That sounds like a wonderful environment to live in! Do you get to snack on samples all day?

My food is delightful. Don’t tell her, but it’s one of the main reasons I decided to stay with Mom. She makes me real food—meat, potatoes, fish, veggies—and she’s a fabulous baker. I do get to sample quite often, although she tries to limit me lately and says that I’ve got a few extra pounds on me. I think it’s quite rude, actually.

What kinds of trouble do you and Stan get into in The Icing on the Corpse?

The Icing on the Corpse might be our biggest adventure yet! There’s all kinds of things going on in town—groundhogs, ghosts, murders, you name it. And, Mom got to bake a treat for a groundhog, which I thought was kind of weird, but she was excited. I ended up testing the flavor for her, too, so I couldn’t badmouth it too much. I can’t say too much about the story—Mom said not to give it all away—but we hope you check out the book!

Tell us about your new friend Benedict.

Bad enough I have to put up with canines, but now I had another feline foisted on me…

Benedict comes to us because of some of the events in the book. Mom feels bad for him because he’s homeless, and you can probably guess where things went from there. He’s orange, and everyone raves about his color and how handsome he is. That makes me a little annoyed because I am, after all, a Maine coon—there is no feline more extraordinary. Well, except for torties…

But I guess he’s okay.

Photo: Liz Mugavero

Your character is based upon your author's cat Tuffy, who is quite famous in his own right. Could you introduce us to Tuffy?

Tuffy is a gorgeous Maine coon as well, and his story is similar to mine—he was rescued from the neighborhood and came inside to live where it’s safe. Tuffy was able to tell his story in the book Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. You can check it out here.


And Tuffy has his own Facebook page too, if you’d like to follow his escapades: https://www.facebook.com/Tuffymusepawsitivelyorganicmysteries

Mom really should get on that for me….

Any clues as to what's next for you and Stan?

In the next book, we’re leaving Frog Ledge for the weekend. Mom gets invited to a fancy chef event in Newport, Rhode Island. But seriously, Mom can’t seem to go anywhere without problems…I hear one of the chefs doesn’t make it through the weekend alive. But I’m sure Mom will save the day. She always does!

Thanks again for having me, Truffles! It was great to hang out with you today.

Blurb: Kristan "Stan" Connor is thrilled to be invited to the Groundhog Day festivities in quirky Frog Ledge, Connecticut. Her organic, home-baked pet treats are a big hit at the annual celebration, though an important guest is curiously absent . . .

When Helga Oliver, the town's elderly historian, is found crumpled in the basement of the Historical Museum, the close-knit town is devastated. But after some tenacious digging, Stan discovers Helga was pushed down the stairs—and that this picture-perfect New England town may hide some dark secrets . . .

Stan's dogged determination reveals Helga's ties to an unsolved death in 1948 . . . but how does that connect to Adrian Fox, who's just arrived in town to shoot an episode of Celebrity Ghost Hunters? Stan is going to have to be very careful in chasing down the killer—if she wants to live to see another winter . . .

In this third book in Liz Mugavero's Pawsitively Organic Mystery series, Stan is experiencing her very first Groundhog Day in Frog Ledge by having the honor of being chosen this year's gift-giver to the adorable Lilypad the groundhog. The proceedings are halted when town historian Helga goes missing, only to be found dead at the foot of the stairs in the museum's basement. Since she's 87 her death is written off as a tragic accident, but librarian Betty Meany tells Stan confidentially that she believes it was murder, and asks her to look into it. She agrees because Helga was like a surrogate grandmother to her boyfriend Jake.

Coincidentally (or not) at the same time a ghost hunter TV crew shows up in Frog Ledge to investigate Stan's friend Izzy's under-construction bookstore and reveals that in 1949 a boxer was murdered in the old building. Apparently Helga had been asking questions about the old case and uncovering hidden secrets in town that somebody wanted to leave buried. Before long Stan finds herself hopelessly entwined in a tangled web with seemingly everyone upset with her for one reason or another, even Jake. 

This mystery really has something for everyone, whether you're a fan of modern-day cozies, paranormal or historical. When all of the events come to light it's quite heartbreaking and a total page-turner. I love reading about Stan and her little world, where in addition to the murder, she is hired to put together a doggie wedding, and the addition of a new four-legged member to her family! I loved every moment of this book and can't wait for the next in the series.

About this Author: Liz Mugavero is a corporate communications consultant and animal lover from the Boston area, whose canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. Her short stories have been published in the UK and Australia, and her essays have appeared in national publications Skirt! and Sassee Magazine for Women.

Author Links
http://www.lizmugavero.com; https://twitter.com/lizmugavero;

Purchase Links
Amazon Indie Bound B&N Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pooped Out #SundaySelfies

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Do I look tired in my Sunday Selfie today? I sure am. My grandma is super sick with the flu and last night Mommy and I didn't get to bed until 4 in the morning it took so long to get her settled.

As always we're counting down the hours until the NASCAR race this afternoon. Our driver is enjoying a hot streak the sport hasn't seen in decades. He's finished in the top 2 in the last 7 races (going back to last season); 4 wins (including the last 2 weeks in a row) and 3 second place finishes. Mommy says it's almost too good to be true and we're enjoying every single minute of it while it lasts! It probably seems like she's obsessed at this point, but she's been such a huge fan of Kevin's since day 1 and has been waiting 14 years to see this happen. Hopefully all sports fans understand how exciting it is when their favorite team or athlete is on such a winning streak.

By the way, if you haven't already please check out our sidebar and enter the 2 big giveaways we're currently running: a set of 4 adorable cat socks and 2 big lots of books!

Have a great week, everyone :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

{52 Snapshots} & Caturday Art: Green

It's week 12 of the #PBSG #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge (hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull) and the theme is green. One of Truffles' favorite toys is the Tickle Pickle she got for Christmas. One evening not too long ago she was napping in her lounger. I looked over at her and my heart melted when I saw that she had pulled her Pickle over to snuggle with.

For our entry in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, we used our friend Sugar's tutorial on how to add splashes of color to a black and white picture in PicMonkey, leaving only the green pickle in color.

The nice Tickle Pickle people have just released a new limited edition pickle to raise money for nearly 100 abused animals that were just rescued here in Vermont. We'll be telling you all about it next month and there will be a giveaway too! Stay tuned...

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes: Guest Author, Review & Giveaway

Why a funeral home and undertaker?
by Tonya Kappes
The WHAT IF game:

Yes! Emma Lee Raines is an undertaker at Eternal Slumber in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky.

Morbid? Maybe. Funny? YES!

Readers always ask me how did I come up with this line of work. Easy….there are no other “cozy” mysteries out there with an undertaker as the protagonist. There are so many of the same themed cozies out there that I wanted something different.
Being an undertaker is definitely different, but seeing ghosts of the people you have buried is incredibly different and funny!

Originally, it was the undertaker part of Emma Lee that caught my attention. Things like grave robbers could play in the mix or another competing funeral home, but them my mind started to go into overdrive and do what I do best.

Ask the question of WHAT IF.

I play this game with every single character, even secondary characters, in my novels. I ask them what if this or that happens and I wait for them to tell me.

My what if session turned into the ghost of Ruthie Sue Payne, the client who is currently lying in a coffin at Eternal Slumber and the CEO of the town gossip. Ruthie’s death looked like a fall because she is old and feeble. But when she shows up at her own funeral in the form of a ghost, my what if season turned into a full blown story line that puts Emma Lee in the middle to solve the crime.

Then the what if game turned into more and more ghosts that were murdered and needed to be solved in order for them to stop haunting Emma Lee, because she is the only one who can get them to the other side. . .then throw in a love interest.

Having bodies exhumed isn’t all that easy. So what if Emma Lee dates the sheriff in town, Oscar Park? Hmm. . .that throws in a whole new dimension to my haunted undertaker. How on earth will she get Oscar Park to exhume bodies? I guess you will have to read A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING to find out. 

A Ghostly Undertaking: A Ghostly Southern Mystery
(Ghostly Southern Mysteries)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Witness (February 24, 2015)

Synopsis: A funeral, a ghost, a murder . . . It’s all in a day’s work for emma lee raines . . .

Bopped on the head from a falling plastic Santa, local undertaker Emma Lee Raines is told she’s suffering from “funeral trauma.” It’s trauma all right, because the not-so-dearly departed keep talking to her. Take Ruthie Sue Payne—innkeeper, gossip queen, and arch-nemesis of Emma Lee’s granny—she’s adamant that she didn’t just fall down those stairs. She was pushed.

Ruthie has no idea who wanted her pushing up daisies. All she knows is that she can’t cross over until the matter is laid to eternal rest. In the land of the living, Emma Lee’s high-school crush, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, isn’t ready to rule out foul play. Granny Raines, the widow of Ruthie’s ex-husband and co-owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, is the prime suspect. Now Emma Lee is stuck playing detective or risk being haunted forever.

A Ghostly Undertaking
A Ghostly Grave (March 31st)
A Ghostly Demise (August 25th)
A Ghostly Murder (October 15th)

A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes is first book in a brand new series featuring a quirky cast of characters that will have you howling with laughter.

Set in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, readers are introduced to Emma Lee, who works at the family business, the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home. Her life changes when a plastic Santa falls off the icy roof of the local deli and whacks Emma Lee on the head. The first thing she sees upon waking up is a ghost, which the doctor chalks up to "Funeral Trauma". But the "hallucinations" aren't stopping. Now Ruthie the town gossip, believed to have died falling down the stairs at the Sleepy Hollow Inn, shows up at her own wake (wearing her hot pink pajamas and kitty cat slippers) and informs Emma Lee that she was murdered, and needs Emma Lee's help catching her killer. She agrees in order to shut Ruthie up, but it looks like this is only the beginning of Emma Lee being forced to deal with her new found talent!

Emma Lee is a fantastic new character, and Ruthie is an absolute hoot! (I hope we haven't seen the last of her!) I have adored all of Tonya Kappes' series, but I think this is my favorite one yet. Her books are fun, fresh, and fantastic!

About the Author: For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans. HarperCollins and Witness Impulse is thrilled to be publishing this insanely talented and wildly successful author for the first time with

A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING (Witness Impulse; February 24, 2015; $7.99 mass market), the first in her hilarious and spooky Ghostly Southern series.

Sign up for Tonya’s newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news on Tonya’s website, Tonyakappes.com.

Connect with Tonya on Facebook,  Twitter, TSU, Instagram

"Spring Cleaning" Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

Welcome to our stop on the "Spring Cleaning" Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop. March 20th is the first day of spring, the perfect time to remedy an overflowing bookshelf. Following my furnace fiasco I've been doing a ton of spring cleaning so the timing is perfect. Sometimes I think books multiply overnight at my house!

We're giving away two lots of mysteries: the first is 10 paperbacks, and the second is a mix of 8 trade paperbacks and hardcovers. In your comments please tell me your preference!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pet Poison Prevention Week: Treat Vs. Poison

The ASPCA sponsors Pet Poison Prevention Week in conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week. It's a time to educate Americans about common household products, plants and medications that can be dangerous or even deadly to pets. Just as dangerous can be the foods that we eat everyday and let our pets have a nibble of, not realizing that it's toxic to them. After all, who doesn't enjoy sharing snacks with their pets?

I recently came across an interesting infographic that details various foods that can be healthy treats versus those which can end up being harmful. Do any of them surprise you?


A comprehensive list of questionable products and substances can be found on the ASPCA website. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the premier animal poison control center in North America and your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference: (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. The ASPCA also has a new Poison Prevention App that provides you with life-saving information. The app is free and can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bergies Cat Socks Review & Giveaway

It's pretty easy for anyone who walks into my home to instantly realize that I am cat obsessed. Pretty much anywhere you look there is kitty kitsch of some kind. The same holds true for my clothing. At any given moment I'm wearing my love for cats on my body, whether it's a cat t-shirt, cat purse or tote, cat hat or scarf, cat jewelry and kitty pajamas. One area of my wardrobe that has sadly been lacking a feline touch is my socks...until now.

I was recently contacted by the nice people at Bergies about reviewing their line of cat socks. As soon as I took a look at their website, the answer was a resounding yes. Bergies is an online one-stop sock shop - born in Brooklyn and now based out of New York’s Hudson Valley. Their socks come in all styles from no shows to thigh highs and everything in between. The shop's owner admits to always leaning towards cat patterns because she is a huge feline fan. Bergies values animal welfare as well: they are and always will remain a 100% vegan company.

Socks aren't just a way to keep your feet warm, they're an eclectic way to make a statement. And the statement that I want to makes is that I ADORE CATS!!! Take a look at the goodies that Bergies sent me:

Cats on Books Crews by Socksmith Seriously, it's like they created these socks just for me!!! I can't imagine a more purr-fect fashion statement for cat and book fanatics.

Tubular Cats Slipper Socks I love walking around the house in stocking feet, but on uncarpeted surfaces, it can be dangerous. These rainbow slipper socks feature non-slip grippers and are super comfy and warm.

Wild Cat Crews Laurel Burch...need I say more??? I adore her!!! I already leave the house most days sporting a Laurel Burch bag, so now I'm decked out top and bottom!

Chat Noir Knee Highs "Le Chat Noir" is one of my favorite pieces of art, and that famous black cat looks just spectacular on a pair of socks!

Looking at the socks the Bergies people picked out for me, it's like they actually know me and what I love! I could not be happier with what I received and I definitely will be shopping with them in the future.

Bergies has generously allowed me to offer one lucky winner a set of all 4 cat themed style socks. (US entries only, please.) Good luck!

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Disclaimer: We received a free set of socks in exchange for our review. We did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions are our own.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Rescued Spotlight: Ryker & Lisa Richman

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Last month I told you about Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes, an anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog. Each author featured in the book has nominated a cat rescue and was assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to their rescue. 

March's spotlight is on Ryker, the cat that came before Allie, Maxwell, and Faraday from A Tonk's Tail blog. Since Ryker is sadly no longer with us, I had the honor to speak with his wonderful mom, Lisa Richman. It was my very first interview with a human and I was nervous, bus Miss Lisa is a sweetheart and instantly put me at ease. Following the interview we'll tell you about how you can purchase an extra special copy of Rescued for yourself or a gift for a friend...which in turn is also a gift for kitties in need!

Truffles: Hi Miss Lisa! I am *so* excited to be chatting with you, but a little nervous too. This is my first one-on-one interview with a human! Mommy said you're super nice and Maxie, Allie, and Faraday's mom, so that made me feel more comfortable. What is life like around the house with that crazy trio?

LR: Thank you so much for wanting to chat with us - we're honored! And please don't be nervous. I promise, I don't bite. (That would be Faraday. And he only nips every third Wednesday, and twice on Sundays. Or whenever the spirit moves him.)

What's life like at our home? A never-ending sitcom. Seriously, the way these three interact with each other has us laughing. All the time. Right now, Allie and Faraday are on the mantel above me, and Allie's resting her head on Faraday's butt.

(This is a first, and completely out of character. Wait. THAT'S NOT ALLIE. OMG, SHE'S BEEN BODY SNATCHED!)

Photo: Lisa Richman

The cat that came before me, Tara, was Mommy's inspiration to start writing about cats, and it appears that Ryker was your inspiration. What made him so special and what made you decide to write his story for the Rescued anthology?

Ryker was a cat whose personality was larger than life. Certainly larger than his little 9 pound body should have been able to contain! From the moment I met him, he was wildly extroverted, loud and opinionated. It was clear he believed his every action should be center stage. And if you didn't believe it, just ask him - he'd set you straight. It was easy to tell his story. The challenge was what to leave out, in order to stay within word count.

As you know, us kitties live for the moment and don't think about death and dying the way humans do, but I know that a kitty's passing is one of life's greatest heartaches. Ryker left you quite suddenly and unexpectedly. How were you able to recover and heal from that awful day?

Not easily! I think losses like this are especially hard. With long, lingering illnesses, you can often begin the grieving process before your loved one is actually lost to you. When it happens so suddenly, it can take longer to work through. And as you know, grief has no timetable. The journey is different for everyone.

Mommy always jokes that she was born with a cat under one arm and a book under the other. When did your love of cats begin?

I was in grade school when we adopted our first two cats. That number grew quite a bit over the years. My parents both love cats, too (I think my dad, more than my mom, sometimes! Oh, and books, too. My dad and I swap book titles all the time).

Photo: A Tonk's Tail

We are *ginormous* fans of A Tonk's Tail. The writing is always so creative and the photography is just beautiful. Could you give us a glimpse into how a typical blog post comes to life?

The blog has changed a bit over the past few years. I used to post longer informational articles on everything from the origin of a cat-related saying to the curious science about them. But my day job has made that more difficult, so now my geeky science stuff shows up on Catster every week or two, and I dedicate A Tonk's Tail to photographic humor, feline-style.

How it comes to life? I might have mentioned that being around these three is like living in the midst of a furry sitcom. I just capture the incriminating evid-- err, ah, the photos, and chronicle what I observe. I really do "channel" their personalities!

The rescue group you are supporting is Great Plains SPCA. Can you tell us about the work they do and how you're involved with them?

Over the past few years, Great Plains took over the management of a municipal 'kill' shelter in addition to running their own facility. The challenges they have faced turning this facility No Kill have been virtually insurmountable. It both breaks my heart and makes me incredibly proud to see the gritty determination of staff and volunteers, working to ensure every cat finds a forever home. I began volunteering there (along with their sister shelter, Wayside Waifs) several years ago, and my work centers mainly around video production and social media promotion.

What are some things that everybody can do in their own communities to help "less adoptable" cats find their forever homes?

Educate! It shocks me how few shelter volunteers really understand FIV, for instance. Or that a black cat is 5 times more likely to be euthanized in a shelter environment.

And that goes for me, too. We can always keep learning. For instance, I wasn't aware until recently that there are five different FIV strains that vary in intensity. I wonder how many people know this....

Lastly, you're such a wonderful writer, have you ever thought about writing a book?

Thank you so much for your kind words. There are so many talented writers out there and their words are far more compelling! Someday. Who knows? Allie's story is waiting to be told, and there may be another tale or two waiting in the wings.

Last year, Great Plains - whose capacity is 175 cats - reached a population of almost 800 within a matter of months. This extreme overpopulation threatened not only their No Kill status, but their very existence as well. You can read all about their story here.

They're heading into kitten season again, with a population already at 155. Any donation, large or small, will help. Purchasing a copy of Rescued is one way to do this.

When you purchase your copy of Rescued from the sidebar ad on A Tonk's Tail, you'll also receive a pawtographed bookplate with Ryker's very own signature from the Rainbow Bridge, which was taken by the emergency clinic as a keepsake for his family.

Photo: Lisa Richman

Monday, March 16, 2015

Making Shelter Cats More Adoptable Through Nutrition #FoodShelterLove

This post was sponsored by Hill's. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill's® Food, Shelter, and Love program, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill's Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Cats come into shelters for any number of reasons. Tara and Truffles were both picked up as strays; Sashi was brought to the shelter by her owners of 9 years because of "changes" in their living situation. Sadly, many cats in shelters have a harder time getting adopted because of their age, health issues, behavior problems, even their weight. Tara and Sashi both fell into the senior and overweight categories. Tara's Petfinder profile even labeled her "large".

Hill’s®  Food, Shelter, & Love Program™ was formed to help ALL cats get a fresh start at life. The program helps shelters offer the nutrition their resident cats need to become healthier, happier, more adoptable cats. Specifically, their Perfect Weight Diet helps overweight cats shed the unnecessary weight in an easily duplicated process that can be continued when they find their forever home. (Find out how your shelter can benefit from becoming a  Food, Shelter & Love Shelter here.)

Please take a moment to watch Stoli's success video. Stoli was adopted from Dumb Friends League in Denver. As a plus-sized cat, Stoli was enrolled in the Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Challenge. While at the shelter he lost 2 1/2 pounds in 5 weeks, then upon adoption he went home with a free bag of Perfect Weight food, and is now continuing his weight loss journey with his new family.

Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Perfect Weight dry cat food provides breakthrough nutrition formulated to help your cat achieve a healthy weight and improve quality of life. Cats at a healthy weight are less prone to develop weight related issues, and live happier, healthy lives. Over 70% of cats lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this nutrition. Real chicken is the #1 ingredient which supports healthy weight loss and maintains lean muscle. Ideal for multi-cat households, Perfect Weight simplifies feeding by helping heavy cats reach a healthy weight while providing balanced nutrition to leaner cats. For those of us who prefer to feed our cats wet food, Perfect Weight Chicken and Vegetables Canned Food is available. All products are available to purchase at Pet360, and there is an additional discount with Autoship.

With the help of the Hill’s Food, Shelter, & Love Program shelters are able to turn a cat from unadoptable, or difficult to adopt, to a pet that people walk into the shelter and point to and say, “That is the cat for me!”