Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Grave Roast by A.N. Sage - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


Piper Addison has three problems: a broken espresso machine, malfunctioning magic, and a dead body. Guess which one she doesn’t see coming?

One month from forty, Piper Addison thinks she finally has life figured out. Sure, her bank account could be fuller and the cafe she opened with the last of her savings could use some help, but what’s a few kinks for an Orchard Hollow witch?

Too bad Piper can’t witch to save her life, which is exactly what she might need to do when a dead body is discovered in the alley behind her cafe. To make matters worse, all the evidence points to Piper and the local sheriff is not too keen on the town’s paranormal inhabitants.

When a mysterious envelope lands on Piper’s doorstep, she has a decision to make: go behind the sheriff’s back and try to clear her name, or spend her fortieth birthday in a prison cell.

A Grave Roast is a paranormal cozy mystery complete with an unlucky witch, a ghost familiar, and a feisty raccoon with a talent for getting into sticky situations.

Character Guest Post by Harry Houdini the Raccoon

Hi everyone! Welcome to my book.

Just kidding, I know this is technically Piper’s book, but I think we can all admit the witch would be nowhere without me. Well, she might be in jail. Her and that transparent woman that’s a thorn in my thigh wouldn’t have even found the dead guy if I hadn’t gone out of my way to alert them.

Alright, fine! I was looking for snacks, so what? Have you ever met a raccoon that wasn’t always hungry? Didn’t think so. It’s in our DNA.

As I was saying, when you’re reading this little story, remember who the main character is and treat him accordingly. If you really want to thank me, I accept payment in the form of day-old muffins and chocolate chip cookies.

Hmm… cookies.

Why are we here?

Oh, yes! The book! In case you’re worried about a witch in your book, let me put your mind at ease: Piper can’t witch to save her life. And that see-through woman that’s always chasing me around is no help either. I’m pretty sure she’s deader than roadkill. Piper keeps calling her a ghost familiar, but I have no idea what that means. All I know is that she’s in the way of me getting all the snacks I can stuff in my mouth. Frustrating creature.

Anyway, the sun is coming up, so I only have an hour left before the witch gets in and chases me out of her cafe again. Better stock up on muffins! Before I go, I’ll share a bit of wisdom with you, from one raccoon to another.

When looking for food, make sure to check the dumpsters. It’s a gold mine in there! But be careful when you’re searching; you might find a dead body instead of a croissant…

About the Author: 

A.N. Sage is a bestselling, award-winning author of young adult fantasy and mystery. She has spent most of her life waiting to meet a witch, vampire, or at least get haunted by a ghost. In between failed seances and many questionable outfit choices, she has developed a keen eye for the extra-ordinary.

A.N. spends her free time reading and binge-watching television shows in her pajamas. Currently, she resides in Toronto, Canada with her husband who is not a creature of the night and their daughter who just might be.

A.N. Sage is a Scorpio and a massive advocate of leggings for pants.

Author Links:

Website https://ansage.ca/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/a.n.sage/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/945090619339423
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/ANSageWrites
Tiktok https://www.tiktok.com/@ansagewrites

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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Abandoned #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Some of our friends have asked for an update on how my grandma and grandpa are doing, so here's the latest...

Grandpa has been in rehab for the past 2 weeks, and is doing well. He might even come home by the end of the week, 8 weeks after going to the hospital! (Today is also his birthday, btw...)

Grandma came home for a week, but then on Monday had to go back to the hospital because she was feeling terrible again. Turns out she now has a bacterial infection from the antibiotics she was given, called c. diff. (If anyone has any experience with this, please let us know! We've been reading some really scary stuff about it and how hard it is to get rid of.) Let's just say she's spending a lotta time using the litter box.

I feel like I've been abandoned with neither of them around, and Mommy always running around visiting one or the other of them. When she is home she spends lots of time on the phone updating friends and family on what's going on. (Speaking of the litter box...I'd like to bury her phone in MINE!)

Mommy keeps telling me that grandma and grandpa miss me as much as I miss them, but I just can't understand how anyone could leave this precious 'lil face behind. 

I sure will be happy when my family is all back together again, and the focus can be back on ME, as it should be!

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

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Snowy Day Mudpie #CaturdayArt

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

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. I always forget to pull the wipers away from the windshield before it snows. It's the first thing that comes to mind because it happened to me again just this week.

2. I never forget to lock doors. I click the door lock on the car before I'm completely inside! (Once I locked the house door on my dad and he had to yell in the bathroom window for me to let him in. LOL)

3. Nothing makes me angrier more than animal abuse.

4. It might sound outrageous, but I would like to see some prisons close and turned into animal shelters. Why do murderers and rapists have a right to live, but homeless animals don't? 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Best of 2022 #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

Thank you for joining us for the very first Pet Photo Fails blog hop of the year!

2022 felt like one long blooper (and 2023 is starting out even worse), but we thought it might be more fun to look back on the year with a smile by revisiting some of our favorite photo fails of the past 12 months. We think we picked some doozies!

Those are our blurry bloopers...let's see yours!

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Canter with a Killer by Amber Camp - Blog Tour with Author Guest Post and Giveaway


Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Mollie Cox Bryan, Amber Camp’s debut novel will have you galloping through the pages, as a horse rescue owner races to find a killer and clear her name.

Mallory Martin left her marriage and her unfulfilling job to move back to her hometown of Hillspring, Arkansas, and start a horse rescue. It’s everything she’s been missing, with paddocks of happy horses and one very quirky donkey. But when her cantankerous neighbor and longtime critic, Albert Cunningham, is found murdered in his fancy show barn, Mallory becomes suspect number one. Since Sheriff Grady Sullivan is ignoring all good sense and focusing only on Mallory, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Aided by her best friend, Lanie, and rescue volunteer Tanner, Mallory races headlong into the investigation in search of the real killer. But horses and murder aren’t the only thing on her mind when she meets Albert’s handsome son, Braydon. Sparks fly, and soon she’s got a new boyfriend. But there’s a case to be solved, and she redoubles her efforts to learn the truth.

The suspects mount quickly. There’s Albert’s girlfriend, Kathleen, who was on the farm when he was murdered; organic farmer Heather Rogers, who accused Albert of contaminating her creek; and Philip Atwood, who’d been trying for a right-of-way across Albert’s farm. None of the evidence is holding up though, and Mallory learns that she'll need to take the reins on this investigation if she's going to clear her own name.

Author Guest Post:

Some of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten since Canter with a Killer hit the shelves are about the inspiration for the rescue horses and Biscuit, the little rescue donkey with a big personality. He was inspired by a donkey my aunt and uncle had when I was growing up. They owned a large cattle and horse ranch in Oklahoma, and I spent most holidays and summers there. They had a standard-sized gray donkey named Ears. The name was fitting since he had more than his share in the ear department, even for a donkey. His official employment title was “livestock guardian” for the bottle calves that my aunt raised, but unofficially, he was the ambassador, ranch tour guide, pocket inspector, and kid babysitter.

I can remember him braying the minute he saw us in the mornings, his stubby little legs a blur as he ran to meet us at the fence. He was endlessly patient with me, like he just knew I was a child and needed someone to look out for me. He never let the mean cows near me, and I never had to worry about the wild hogs that roamed the woods when he was close by. I would often climb up on him and ride him around with nothing more than a hay string around his neck, spending afternoons exploring the creek beds or back fields. There will always be a special place in my heart for donkeys and I hope I honor Ears’ memory in Biscuit.

River and Ace were inspired by my oldest horse, also named Ace. He is retired now at thirty-two years old, but he was the best trail horse I’ve ever had. Like River, he is bomb-proof and gaited, likely a Missouri Foxtrotter cross. I made River a sorrel horse with a flaxen mane and tail because I’ve always wanted a horse with that striking color combination. My Ace has been a part of my family since I was fourteen. He’d escaped his pasture, wandered out on the highway, and been hit by a car. His previous owner told my mom that he thought he was going to die. She offered him a little cash, which he took, and we brought him home. His recovery was pretty uneventful, but he still wears a twenty-four-inch scar on his side.

Ace was the first horse that I trained from start to finish and he taught me as much as I taught him, maybe more. He was calm and sensible, but as stubborn as the day is long. Once he learned something though, he never forgot it, so I learned early on not to teach him any bad habits. Like River, Ace always loved hitting the trails around my house and seemed to enjoy exploring new areas as much as I did.

Fortune in Iced Tea, or Tunie, was inspired by my daughter’s off-the-track Thoroughbred rescue mare. Like Tunie, Mira came to us wary and standoffish. She hated grooming and would pin her ears or bite at you when brushed. My daughter has worked with her and through patience and gentle methods, now has a mare that follows her like a puppy. Mira now not only tolerates being groomed, she will nod her head and flop her lower lip in pure enjoyment. Even though I’ve seen it over and over again, I’m always amazed at animals’ capacity for forgiveness and trust.

Goldie was inspired by and named after a horse we had when I was a teenager. She came to us severely neglected and emaciated. I can remember being horrified by her condition, which was my first experience with such cruelty. It took nearly a year to get her back into shape, fix the neglect her hooves had suffered, and help her realize that she was home forever. Like Goldie in Canter with a Killer, our Goldie was patient, consistent, and sweet-tempered.

Zeus was based on my mother’s horse, Whiskey Bar Blues. Like Zeus, Whiskey started out a bit…rough. Unlike Zeus, though, Whiskey liked to buck and bolt under saddle. While Zeus was won over pretty quickly by Tanner’s gentle hand, Whiskey took a while for my mom to undo the bad habits he’d picked up. He also had the goofiest personality. He would steal feed buckets so he could play a game of “you can’t catch me” while we tried to retrieve them.

Several of the Hillspring Horse Rescue horses are like composite characters you see in movies “based on a true story.”. Molly, Stormy, and Buck were inspired by various horses I’ve known over the years. Most of the horses I’ve had the pleasure of owning (or being owned by) have been rescue horses, and it’s fun to include their quirks and personalities in the horses I write about. And since my family has always had horses, I have a lot of stories for inspiration.

I love to connect with readers, so feel free to follow me on social media. I frequently share photos of our resident animals and fosters.

About the Author: 

Amber has lived in Northwest Arkansas for twenty+ years, working as an RN at a rural hospital in the area. She has a menagerie of animals that includes dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and what has been described as the Mule from Hell, which may or may not be a slight exaggeration. Writing has always been a focus in Amber’s life, something she describes as “food for my soul.” An avid reader since grade school, she enjoys multiple genres and is always looking for new authors to add to her favorites. Amber is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Social media links:

Website https://www.ambercampauthor.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078078663492&mibextid=LQQJ4d

Twitter https://twitter.com/ambercatcamp

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ambercampwrites/

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Saturday, January 21, 2023

Beautiful Brooch #CaturdayArt

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

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

Mommy's answers:

1. Today's music makes me feel old. For the most part it's just noise, not music.

2. Recently, OBS Studio (screen capture software) came in very handy.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Playing makes me feel young.

4. I think that lobster mac and cheese is the most useless cat treat flavor. Maybe I'm wrong and I would totally love them, but I just think it sounds weird.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Unboxing December's CatLadyBox

   The theme of December's CatLadyBox was The Purrfect Gift...here's what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist: Julia Martyshkina

"I See a Cat" Shirt:
I'm guilty of saying this every single time! 

Retro Cat Wine Glasses:
It's no secret how much I love the '50s...

Knit Cat Beanie Hat:
This is SO cute I gasped out loud when I pulled it from the box!

Dangling Diamond and Meowy & Bright Ornament Catnip Toys

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Interested in purchasing individual items from past boxes? You can do that too!

Disclosure: I receive a discount on my CatLadyBox subscription as a thank you for my monthly review. Regardless of compensation received, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Study in Chocolate by Amber Royer - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is expanding, as it has become a gathering spot for the community, despite having been the scene of multiple murders. Artists she met while doing a chocolate sculpture are now working out of the shop. So when Felicity is invited to tea by an eccentric art collector, she’s intrigued, especially when she gets asked to pose for a portrait done with chocolate on chocolate. However, when a murder takes place the next day at the same historic house where the tea was held, one of Felicity’s artist friends becomes the main suspect.

When the killer threatens that, unless Felicity unravels the murder, one of her two love interests will be the next victim, she finds herself unwittingly at the center of a puzzle, with a Sherlock Holmes obsessed murderer who wants to be the next Moriarty – and wants to cast Felicity as Sherlock.

Felicity starts finding unexpected connects between her friends and acquaintances, and has to deal with the idea that someone who knows her is a murderer. At the same time, she has to keep her business running, despite construction dust and unruly customers – and an unexpected order for thousands of truffles.

Satchmo the retired police dog turned therapy dog returns to help her sniff out a few clues, and the kidnapping of Ruffles, the quirky artist’s cat, helps lead Felicity into the puzzle. Can Felicity solve it in time to protect the people she cares about from becoming additional victims?

Character Guest Post by Ruffles the Cat

Hi! I’m Ruffles, and I’m an emotional support cat. My owner and I appear in (so far) two books of the Bean to Bar Mysteries by Amber Royer. My owner isn’t the protagonist – though he’s complex enough that he could be – but I do play an important part in the books that I’m in, especially in the book that just came out. In A Study in Chocolate, I wind up in the house where an art collector was murdered. The series stars Felicity Koerber, a craft chocolate maker in Galveston, Texas, who winds up becoming an amateur sleuth after an employee dies at her grand opening party. She meets me in the fourth book in the series, and now, I get to be on the cover of the current release.

My owner, Gently, suffers from anxiety, due to trauma that happened before I found him, looking all sad, in a parking lot. At the time, I was still a kitten, just out on my own after I got tired of spending my days in a broken drain pipe with my six brothers and sisters. Gently likes to say I was lost, but cats can’t get lost. I could have found my way back to Mama if I’d really wanted to. Even if I had been wandering for a couple of days. I was on the hunt for something to eat, and there was Gently, holding a box of take-out fried chicken, standing right by his car. Most cats would have only thought about how to get the guy to feel sorry for them, to score a piece of chicken. But it really got to me, how alone Gently looked. If I’m really honest, I was starting to feel that way myself, having gone on the road and gotten far from home. It was a moment where we needed each other.

I know a cat might seem to be a weird choice for the whole emotional support gig. I’ve even heard someone tell Gently that cats are too selfish to be emotional support animals. But that’s not exactly a fair look at cats. While it’s true that only dogs and miniature horses can be registered as service animals, I’m far from the only cat that’s been registered as an ESA. Yes, there are times when I’m completely absorbed in my own interests – like watching that squirrel that likes to hang out by Gently’s bird feeder – but I can tell when Gently is about to have a panic attack, and then I know I have to drop everything – even if I should find a way to get my paws on that thieving squirrel -- and go calm him down. Just him petting me can sometimes stop an attack from happening, but sometimes purring really loud helps too. (People outside the pages of my book have extensively studied cat behavior. There have been a number of studies about how we sense and use emotional cues, and anecdotal evidence of us “alerting” to medical conditions.)

Cats and coffee seem to go hand in hand. Cat cafes are big in Japan, where many apartment homes do not allow people to have pets. So people go to cafes where they can interact with them, further showing how relaxing and fun we can be to be around. These cafes are now catching on in the States, where many of them have animals that are adoptable – a win-win for both the humans and cats. My author recently visited a cat café in Hawaii that was responsible for the adoption of over 2,000 cats. If you want to sample how being around a cat can reduce your own stress, spend an hour or two hanging out at a cat café.

But I digress. We were talking about me, and my particular human, which happens to be two of my favorite subjects. When Felicity first met me and Gently, Gently was a suspect in a murder she was trying to solve. By now Felicity knows Gently is a really good guy. My human would never hurt anybody! I know maybe I sound biased, but it’s true. So when, at the beginning of A Study in Chocolate, Gently has a public disagreement with the art collector who later winds up dead, Felicity has to know that the argument had nothing to do with the guy’s death. Even if the police seem to have their doubts. But I’m sure I can convince Felicity to help change their minds – even if it means tracking down the real killer. After all, she’s caught murderers four times before -- and she didn’t even have a cat to help.

About the Author: 

Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.com. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.amberroyer.com

Blog: http://amberroyer.com/blog/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amberroyerauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Amber.Royer.Author/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoA_29HV2nPmRnox9LPVanw

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amber_royer

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Royer/e/B00PFV4CGM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144619.Amber_Royer

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Monday, January 16, 2023

A Coded Message from Mudpie

Mommy here! 

Late Saturday night Mudpie and I were cuddled up on the couch watching the Grand Ole Opry on Circle. I had the iPad propped up next to me as usual, and out of the corner of my eye noticed Mudpie tapping it with her paw! 

This is what was on the screen...

She wasn't finished! I watched and waited quietly and a few minutes later the coded message continued! 

If any of you were expecting a secret note from Mudpie, here ya go. Similarly, if anyone can interpret the code I would be very interested in finding out what my little girl has to say! 

I have a feeling it might be an SOS for someone to help her escape from this crazy house she's currently living in! 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Santa Mousie Ussie #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie! 

Today my Sunday selfie is an ussie with the Santa Mousie toy I got in my Secret Paws package from Spike William. I just love playing with him, especially tossing him around by the tail! 

I also take comfort in whispering my secrets to him, and telling him what I want for Christmas next year. Yes, squeezies are on the list, but most of all I just want my whole family back together again! 

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

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Frosted Mudpie #CaturdayArt

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

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. A recent earworm I had was The Littlest Hobo theme song. I'll have to write a blog post about that one day. There's a story behind it! 

2. I have no interest in reading science fiction.

3. I would give up my hot summer days in exchange for extra winter.

4. Lilac is my favorite scent.

Friday, January 13, 2023

2023, We Need To Have a Chat...

Meows from Mudpie!

Some of you might remember that before Christmas we posted that my Grandpa was in the hospital and not doing well at all. We were bracing ourselves for the worst, but are very happy to say he has significantly improved, enough so he plans to go to rehab to regain some of his strength.

We've had even more than that going on though, and thought it was time to catch everyone up.

On December 29 Mommy started feeling like she was catching a cold. As the weekend went on she was getting achy and started thinking maybe it was the flu instead. She stopped visiting the hospital. By Wednesday, January 4, still not feeling 100%, she decided she'd better take a COVID test. It came back positive. Then Grandma took a test, and she was positive too. Three years of avoiding COVID and they had to catch it now, of all times! 

On Friday, January 6, a room opened up at rehab for Grandpa. He was given a COVID test prior to leaving the hospital, and he was positive too!!! Seems the couple times Mommy visited him thinking she just had a cold, she managed to infect him. (She's not Typhoid Mary, she's COVID Melissa!!!) So then he had to remain in isolation at the hospital for 5 days, but thankfully remained asymptomatic.

Mommy and Grandma convalesced at home. With the exception of a horrible sore throat and achy legs, Mommy got through it with no trouble. Grandma's main complaints were intense weakness, fatigue, and nausea. On Tuesday she, uh, how do I put it delicately? She felt the need to bring up a hairball, but only produced blood. Mommy immediately called 911, Grandma was admitted to the hospital, and it appears her ongoing issues with anemia are a bigger problem for her right now than COVID.

So right now both of my grandpawrents are in the hospital. Grandma is undergoing tests to find out where the bleeding is coming from, and Grandpa should be cleared for rehab early next week.

I'm doing my best to take care of Mommy, but she's a basket case. Both Grandma and Grandpa have had lots of health issues over the past several years, and Mommy has continually told them they had to take turns, so they haven't followed her instructions.

On top of everything else, Mommy's favorite NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick announced his retirement yesterday. It wasn't a surprise, but she's still heartbroken.

2023, you need a serious attitude adjustment, because you're not even 2 weeks old and we're already through with you!!!

OMC, and it's Friday the 13th today too! If anyone needs me, I'll be under the bed...

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Mudpie Interviews...Milton & Pearl from Ruth J. Hartman's Bookshop Kitties Mystery Series


When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children's mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt's bookshop, instead of small town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn't so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt's name... before her story ends in tragedy!

Minnie and Pearl steal the show in this debut of the Bookshop Kitties series, both as the stars of the mystery itself, and also of the children's book series their devoted human Christy writes.

When Christy returns to Great Meadow following a painful breakup to help Aunt Betty run her bookshop, she's hoping for a simpler life, not expecting to find herself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery. The victim was hated by many people in town so there's no shortage of suspects, many of which are pretty unlikeable themselves. It's a good thing Christy's fearless, feisty felines are also on the case, eager to help sniff out clues and claw the bad guys.

A purrfect cat cozy that will leave readers meowing for more!  

Mudpie was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Milton & Pearl, the feline stars of this series. We hope you enjoy learning more about them!

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

Hi, this is Milton! My sister, Pearl, and I had been abandoned in a Philadelphia alley as tiny kittens before we went to live with Christy. We love her! Pearl and I are from the same litter, so we’ve always been close. But having Christy as our mom completed our family.

What's a typical day like for you?

Hello, this is Pearl! Milton and I love to hang out in Aunt Betty’s bookstore where we live now in Indiana. Lots of interesting customers come in, and give us plenty of attention, which we deserve! Sometimes when Christy isn’t working, she takes us for outdoor rides in our stroller or on leashes for a walk. We kind of like the stroller better though. Walking can be hard exercise for sleepy kitties.

In addition to being the feline stars of the new Bookshop Kitties mystery series, you're also the stars of children's books written by your human. Can you tell us more about these books, and if your soon-to-be adoring public might one day be able to read them?

Dial M for Meow is the first one the public gets to read! It’s coming out on January 10th and we’re so excited! We had so much fun helping Christy write the book. She values our opinions and says that we’re awesome furry editors too. In Dial M for Meow, the books we’re in are for children, but the ones our human writes are for big people.

Back to the Bookshop Kitties series, do you have a paw in helping Christy solve the mystery?

Hi, Milton again. Yes we do! Pearl and I work together to search for clues and help point Christy to possible suspects. I must say, we’re very good at our job. And Christy says she couldn’t do it without us.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you're not sleuthing? (Toys, treats, nap spots...)

Well, I have to admit, Pearl and I do nap quite a bit. Although as cats, that’s one of our main jobs. Christy and Aunt Betty are both really good about giving us treats, even though sometimes we wish they wouldn’t make us wait for them so long. When kitties get empty tummies, it doesn’t always go well, right? We also like to bat things around. Sometimes the object we’re playing with turns out to be a clue for Christy to use!

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

Hey, Pearl again. We’re ready to pounce on any and all clues in upcoming mysteries! We can’t wait for whatever our next adventure might be. Milton, Christy and I want to thank you for interviewing us!


About the Author:

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them. See updates about her cozy mysteries at Ruthjhartman.com.

Author Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ruth.j.hartman

Website https://www.ruthjhartman.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/ruthjhartman

GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3312900.Ruth_J_Hartman

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Saturday, January 7, 2023

Remembering Sebastian, 26 Years Later #CaturdayArt #SundaySelfie

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

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. January is a good month to hit the after Christmas sales.

2. My favorite kind of pizza is pepperoni. My favorite chain is Little Caesars. We haven't had one locally for at least 25 years now, but new franchises are supposed to be opening soon.

3. The new year just began and I'm already ready for a do-over.

4. My typical weekend involves grocery shopping and bill paying.

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

Friday, January 6, 2023

Shrinkflation #FelineFriday


These CatLadyBoxes used to fit me purrfectly.

Darn shrinkflation.

Feline Friday is simple to join. All you have to do is:

Post a picture, drawing, cartoon or video of a cat (They may be silly or cute).

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Moving is Murder by Nellie H. Steele - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


A new hometown. A murdered aunt. Mysterious talking animals. Divorce just turned interesting.

Ellie Byrne’s pending divorce from her cheating husband threatens to leave her broke and homeless. But when she inherits a bed and breakfast in the unique town of Salem Falls, her prayers may be answered.

That is, until she finds out her aunt didn’t just die on the property, she was murdered. And shortly after Ellie arrives, she finds herself the target of threatening messages and hostile attitudes from almost everyone in town. And after someone chucks a rock through her window, she begins to fear for her life.

Can Ellie discover which one of them offed her aunt? Or will the bed and breakfast she’d hoped would provide a fresh start put her in the grave?

If you love middle-aged heroines, talking pets, and quirky small town settings, you’ll love book 1 in this charming paranormal women’s fiction cozy mystery series.

The Day My Life Changed

By Cleo the Cat

Hi! My name is Cleo. Some of you may already know that I’m a cat. But that doesn’t stop me from doing all kinds of things, including investigating a murder.

You see, I was living my best life here in Salem Falls with my owner, Susie. We lived in a fantastic old bed and breakfast. (It wasn’t open any more, thank goodness. The last thing I’d want is a parade of people wandering into and out of my home!) But what I love about the place is the space. Three floors for me to roam around, disappear when I need to get away, and chase the dog. Though Aunt Susie really didn’t like when I did that. “Cleo,” she’d yell when we went hammering up the steps, then came thundering back down, “stop chasing that poor dog around.” But it was fun and those were good times.

But then…Susie disappeared. That’s right…I woke up from my nap, yawned, stretched and went searching for my afternoon meal. The house was quiet. Too quiet. Lola was standing down at the bottom of the stairs.

“Where’s Susie,” I said before I yawned again.

“She went out and she hasn’t come back,” Lola told me.

It was odd. The sun was already going down and Susie wasn’t back. Susie never went out at night. And then the sun went down completely. The light in the living room popped on from the timer. But no Susie.

We never saw Susie again.

Sorry, I needed a minute after that statement. Susie was my best friend. I had been her cat for seven years. She knew just how to smash my pate up in my bowl. She knew how many treats to give me and when. And she even got me extra whipped cream on my ice cream because she knew how much I loved it.

Eventually, someone found Susie. They came by the house and Lola (that’s the dog) was carrying on high, screaming at the top of her lungs. Then a bunch of police and ambulance people came. I watched them from the window. They wheeled a black bag out and put it in the back.

“She fell into the stream out back,” they said. “Drowned.”

That didn’t sit right with me. Susie wasn’t frail. She didn’t fall. Then Mac came by. He was Susie’s attorney. He made sure we were fed and all that, but it wasn’t the same. “Gotta find Susie’s heir,” he said. “She’ll be the one to take care of you. But I’ll come back in the meantime, okay?”

What could I say? I like Mac. But he’s not Susie.

A couple of days passed before Mac told us he spoke to Susie’s heir. It was her niece. Some woman by the name of Ellie. I didn’t know anything about Ellie. I’d never met her before, but Mac said she was coming to Salem Falls.

Lola and I wondered what would become of us. Would we have to move? Or worse? Would she dump us at a shelter, and we’d live out our days hoping someone walked past and liked us enough to take us home? Even worse, we’d probably be separated.

But then Mac said Ellie planned to move to Salem Falls. “Don’t worry, Cleo,” he said while he dumped my food into my bowl. “She’s going to live here. So you can stay in your own home.” He grinned at me like he was proud of that.

And sure enough, Ellie came up a few days later. Mac brought her over to the house. I crept down from my perch on the couch and eyed her up. She looked nice enough. Reminded me of Susie, except with longer hair.

I decided to take a closer look. I wound down the stairs and looked at her again before I said hello. She squatted down and held out her hand. I sniffed at it…no other cat smells. No dogs either. This lady was petless. I wondered if she’d even know how to open a can of cat food. I decided I’d stick with Mac for now.

We spent a day or two together and Ellie basically ignored us. I kept trying to talk to her but she completely ignored us. Oh, she’d talk to us, but it was nonsense. She never answered any of our questions. Lola and I started to wonder about her.

Finally, she toppled off a step ladder and smacked her noggin against the floor. When she woke up, she finally started answering us, though she acted surprised we could talk. “Of course, we can talk,” I said. “We’ve been talking to you for days.”

Anyway, it was good timing because we found out shortly after that my poor beloved Susie was murdered. I knew it all along. Susie didn’t fall and drown. Someone killed her!

And Ellie, Lola, and I set about to figure out who. Of course, Ellie couldn’t do it alone. She needed my brains to help. And Lola’s…well, Lola.

Between the three of us, we make a pretty good team. We listed out all the suspects and their motives and the means and opportunity to commit the crime and then started ruling them out one by one.

Did we find the right person in the end? Well, you’ll have to read Moving is Murder to find out. And I hope you will. It’s pretty entertaining if I do say so myself. Nellie did a nice job of capturing my sassy personality. Give it a try!

About the Author: 

Award-winning author Nellie H. Steele writes in as many genres as she reads.

Addicted to books since she could read, Nellie escaped to fictional worlds like the ones created by Carolyn Keene or Victoria Holt long before she decided to put pen to paper and create her own realities.

When she’s not spinning a cozy mystery tale, building a new realm in a contemporary fantasy, or writing another action-adventure car chase, you can find her shuffling through her Noah’s Ark of rescue animals or enjoying a hot cuppa (that’s tea for most Americans.)

Author Links:

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Monday, January 2, 2023

Our Cat-Themed Christmas Tree

Meows from Mudpie!

It seems we often mention how our Christmas tree is 100% cat ornaments each year, but we never think to take a picture of it...

This year we added a sleigh to our holiday decor and filled it with Christmas cats and mice...

Lots of kitties under the tree too! 

Our tree is still up - last year it didn't come down until Valentine's Day - and Mommy says that just might be the case again this year!