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HAPPY HOWL O WEEN! from Schatze (special phoDOGraphy)

Why yes!  I will have that treat in your hand.

Look, another treat for my trick!

AND THE WINNER IS: The Princess Sisters by Stacy Lynn Carroll


An email has been sent to the lucky person named above.  The winner  has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.


GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Dewey's Nine Lives by Vicki Myron


Vicki Myron follows up her #1 New York Times bestseller Dewey with stories of cats who inspire their owners- includes two brand-new Dewey stories!
Dewey is back with more heartwarming moments and life lessons to share, all told from the perspective of Dewey's "mom," retired librarian Vicki Myron.
From a divorced mother in Alaska who saved a drowning kitten on Christmas Eve to a troubled Vietnam veteran whose heart opened to a rescued cat-to two new stories featuring Dewey himself- these stories demonstrate the power animals have to touch and alter the course of our lives. This edition will also include a new, real-life story from a fan that highlights how a cat has touched his or her life.

About the Author

Vicki Myron was born on a farm fifteen miles from Spencer, Iowa. At the age of thirty-four, after a failed marriage, single motherhood, and a stint on welfare, she graduated summa cum laude from Mankato State University and has a masters degree from Emporia State University. She worked at the Spencer Public Library for twenty-five years, the last twenty as director. She lives in Spencer, Iowa.


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451234669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451234667

This is a wonderful collection of stories inspired by readers of Vicki Myron's other book and is filled with the healing properties that animals can bring to your life.  Several of the stories really touched my heart, especially Spooky which tells the tale of a Vietnam vet who is suffering from undiagnosed PTSD and the redemption he finds with a black cat who truly had nine lives.  This cat was literally dropped onto the roof of his car one night by a bird of prey and Bill takes the cat to a nearby vet in hopes that the animal can be saved.  The cat lives and survives more animal encounters with a bear and a coyote.  The most incredible part of the story is how this cat truly helps Bill overcome his own issues by providing unconditional love.

My other favorite is the story of Cookie, another cat who is not supposed to live and the woman who adopts her even though she doesn't have room for another cat.  Cookie demands to be taken home from a no kill shelter and quickly establishes herself as ruler of the domain she presides over.  No matter what kind of day Lynda has, Cookie is there for her.  The stories in this book just make you feel good with warm fuzzies. A few of the stories are a bit sad, but they are also very uplifting at the same time.   I can't imagine another book that is more perfect for gift giving to your favorite animal person this holiday season.


 Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a reliable mailing address (PO Boxes OK!).
This ends 11.14.11 midnight Pacific Time and the winner will be chosen by on 11.15.11.
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen
This giveaway is sponsored by NAL and me for ONE WINNER.

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AND THE WINNER IS: Must Love Vampires by Heidi Betts


An email has been sent to the lucky person named above.
The winner  has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.

AND THE WINNER IS: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins


An email has been sent to the lucky person named above. 
The winner  has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks to all who entered.


Haute Author, Cool Cat: VICKI MYRON

Vicki and Page Turner

Vicki  IS the author of Dewey's Nine Lives, Dewey, the Small Town Library Cat and several children's books based on Dewey.  

Vicki Myron was born in Spencer and grew up on a farm south of Moneta, Iowa-a town that no longer exists. Vicki graduated from Hartley Iowa High School and moved to Mankato, Minnesota where she worked, married, had a daughter and went to college. Vicki has a bachelor's degree from Mankato State and a master's from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. In 1982, she returned to Spencer, IA to begin working at the public library. In 1987, Vicki was named Director of Spencer Public Library and she served in that position for 25.  Vicki retired in 2007 to write the book, Dewey. She currently resides in Spencer, Iowa.  
You can find Vicki online:
Facebook:  HERE
Goodreads HERE
Web Site HERE

Do you have another book in the works? 
We are considering 3 or more new children's picture books about Dewey. Just beginning a proposal for publishers…

What are you reading right now? 
I just had eye surgery so no reading now but last book was "The Help"

How many books a year do you read? 
Depends on how much I am writing but sometimes a book a week.

What does your pet like to do while you write or read
Play under the computer or on the back of my chair to distract me.

What is your pet’s favorite activity? 
Eating catnip treats and cuddling in bed

From Mary:
I have been to the Spencer Library while visiting my father's family that still live in the area.  This was before Vicki's time, but I must say that even then, the library was pretty special and that they let me borrow books while I was visiting -- with NO library card.  Can you imagine that happening today?  I spent many summers in Iowa and one Christmas time visit there which was pretty neat since it snowed. 


SNEAK PEAK - Black Balloon Publishing and The Recipe Project

I just got this news release and I am completely fascinated with this idea.  Recipes set to music?  Danceable music? Easy to follow recipes?  I want to make this right now. 

Black Balloon Publishing puts out genre-bending books that rebel against industry convention: the weird, the unwieldy, the unclassifiable — in anything from classic paperback, to interactive e-book, to digital storytelling collage.

At only two books a year, we take on what we love — and it’s a deep-seated, hippocampal love — each title receives a personal publicist, a targeted marketing plan, promotional trailers and videos, a groundbreaking interactive app, and one helluva dedicated editor. Black Balloon books are not dropped, remaindered, or ignored. They are revered.

We like Book as object — the smell of pulp, the sound of pages turning, the heft of a binding in hand — and as electronic thing — back-lit and scrollable. But why stop there? Let’s animate it — add some clickable PET scans and stop-motion video. Visualizations are insights, right-brain entries into left-brain text. Think sexual urgency maps. Topographical models of contagious diseases. Flow charts of self-flagellating monastics. The path of a cheeseburger through a digestive tract. The teachable moments are endless, and all lead back to text.

Check out this musical, magical web wonderland: Pull a clothesline for the publisher’s catalogue (Books! Recipe apps! Stop-action animation! Sizzling music videos! Perfume!). Go down the rabbit hole for blog treasures (think robot bosses, anthropomorphic rolodexes, and atonal investigations of Einstein in drag). Read the About letter. Submit on an interstellar ray. Just go!

Black Balloon’s debut title is an unprecedented food & music extravaganza that transforms recipes — word for word — into singable, danceable, riotously delightful songs. Recipes by the likes of Mario Batali, David Chang, and Tom Colicchio have been set to song and packaged inside a red-hot, illustrated book of chef interviews and essays by acclaimed food writers such as Melissa Clark and J. Dixon.

The wizards behind the idea? The band One Ring Zero, which asked each rock-star chef to choose the musical genre for his or her song. Listen as the talented duo (Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp) go polka on John Besh and mariachi-fy Aaron Sanchez. Isa Chandra Moskowitz receives a Breeders treatment; Chris Consentino gets served some Beastie Boys sauce (circa Paul’s Boutique). CD included!

This stop-motion music video for Batali’s Sweet 100 Tomatoes spells it out in 59 seconds.

For song samples, band info, and five-scale sensory assault, check out the website:

Download the Recipe Project for Free! FREE App that finds recipes so easy you can sing ’em. Plus a spinning LP and book excerpt! For song samples, band info, and five-scale sensory smack-down, check out the website:

New recipe song, chef interview or culinary musing, and many, many more recipes.
Download the FREE App from iTunes!

Louise: Amended An illustrated memoir by a twenty-something dilettante fashionista, who suffered a massive brain bleed that left her with blurred vision, slurred speech, and a dragging foot.

Friday PhoDOGraphy

Bye Bye Door

Any time I pick up my purse, Schatze heads straight for this door since it goes to the garage.  She also spins in circles and I have been trying to get video of that, but since she doesn't do it all the time, it is tricky.   I usually take her to the post office with me where she gets a lot of admiring glances and smiles due to the tail wagging demonstration. 

UPDATE: A quick video of my little whirling dirvish

Don't forget to check out FRIDAYS WITH FRED over at Mina Burrows' blog HERE


GIVEAWAY! To Santa With Love by Janet Dailey (Rafflecopter)

Product Description

Sometimes You Don't Know What You Need The holidays are coming. . .and free-spirited Jacquie Grey plans to head west and start a whole new life. Her solo road trip is going great--until she collides with rancher Choya Barnett in Arizona. Good thing that no one's hurt. But she can't afford to fix her car until he proposes hiring her to take care of his little boy and his house. Too bad it's only temporary--the tall, handsome Choya is serious temptation. . .
Until You Find It. . .


  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; Reprint edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420120735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420120738
I am trying out Rafflecopter! 

This one is open to US residents only until I figure this out.  I am also trying to figure something out with my social networking, so if you don't mind stupid dog videos and the like, add me as a friend on Facebook.  I promise not to spam you, well, except for stupid dog links.  Thanks for your help! 
A word of caution:  You don't have to use your real name for entry, in fact, use your blogger name or twtter handle instead or even make one up since parts of the entries on public view.  Just make sure you do use a real email address so I can contact you if you win.

    REVIEW: Between the Sea and the Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore


    For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

    About the Author

    JACLYN DOLAMORE's first book was Magic Under Glass. She spent her childhood reading as many books as she could lug home from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and two black tabbies.


    • Reading level: Young Adult
    • Hardcover: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (October 25, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1599904349
    • ISBN-13: 978-1599904344


    Esmerine has just turned 16 and becomes a siren which is a step up in the mer world and she looks forward to collecting tribute from ships with her sister, Dosinia.  Dosia, as she is nicknamed, doesn't meet her sister at the rock where they are to work.  Esmerine becomes worried and discovers her sister has run away to live with a human mate.  While not unheard of, a mermaid who does this is considered dead to her family and Esmerine just can't give up on her sister.  With her parent's blessing she tries to discover her sister's fate and hope for her happiness.  By accident, she finds her childhood friend, Alandare, who is a Faransee, a person who has wings and can fly, working in a book store owned by a former mermaid.  And books are key to this book!  When Esmerine first meets Alan as children he teaches her to read and write and she develops a love for books that becomes her driving force.

    Alan helps Emerine track down her sister and you can sense the bond between the two.  It is much more than romance, but so sweetly done that you will be sad when this one ends.  I immediately liked Esmerine and Alan and the story between the two.  This just isn't a mermaid tale, but one of young love filled with magic and light.  The world of humans, mermaids and humans intersecting so easily and believably will make you want to read more about it.  Dolamore creates a complete fairy tale in a no fuss way and the pacing is perfect.  I read this one straight through in a few hours and now I am waiting until her next book, Magic Under Stone is released.  Can't we just force her to stay at her computer and write? 


    Go over to my YA blog HERE


    Wicked Books at a Scary Price from Sourcebooks!

    Halloween Spotlight: Plain Fear Forsaken for $2.99!
    (10/25/2011 – 11/03/2011)
    Plain Fear Forsaken by Leanna Ellis
    Hannah Schmidt pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her. But Jacob is gone, buried. Levi Fisher loves Hannah. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives…. So when a stranger named Akiva comes into their community, carrying with him a dark secret, their love and beliefs will be put to the test. And Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the love she vowed to carry with her and a new possibility of love---a decision that will decide the fate of her soul.
    Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches, Oh My! Paranormal Romance for $0.99!
    (10/28/2011 – 11/03/2011)
    Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom
    Stasi Romanov uses just a little witch magic in her lingerie shop, running a brisk side business in love charms. A disgruntled customer threatening to sue over a failed love spell brings Trevor Barnes to town. Trevor's the best attorney around, and he just happens to be a wizard. Everyone knows that witches and wizards make a volatile combination—sure enough, the sparks fly and almost everyone's getting singed. Add to that Cupid playing a practical joke, a lunar eclipse that nearly precipitates a witch hunt, and some very mysterious goings on at the magical lake, and the feisty witch and gorgeous wizard have more than simply a possible lawsuit on their hands. Can they overcome their objections and settle out of court—and in the bedroom?
    Kiss at Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe
    Trinity Harpswell is a cursed Black Widow--death and mayhem are all part of the job description. If she can manage to go just one more week without accidentally killing someone, she’ll break this killer curse and put her Black Widow days behind her. When sexy Blaine Underhill III shows up at her door and asks for her help rescuing his friend from the clutches of Death’s evil grandma, Trinity gets pulled into a daring high stakes adventure. As Blaine and Trinity join forces to take down a series of underworld assassins, they may just learn that love is the deadliest game of all.
    The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare
    Rogue, Rake…Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle. When Westfield discovers he has a rival for Prisca's love, he decides if she's going to marry a Lycan it damn well better be him. But time is running out as Prisca's other suitor takes an instant and potentially fatal dislike to Westfield.
    Merely Magic by Patricia Rice
    The daughter of one of the strongest magical lineages, Ninian Malcom Siddons is a powerful witch. Determined to only use her magic for good, she lives a simple, solitary life as a healer in her village, where she meets Drogo… Lord Drogo Ives believes only logic and science can explain the wonders of the universe and doesn’t believe the local folklore about Malcolm witches and Ives men, until he meets Ninian.
    Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
    Devlyn is a beta male werewolf in a pack of grays, Bella is the female red werewolf he rescued as a pup. When the pack’s alpha male tries to rape her, she flees and lives as a lone werewolf until Devlyn comes to bring her back to the pack. The two get embroiled in danger when a local red werewolf goes on a killing spree. While fleeing the murderer and the police, and keeping their whereabouts hidden from the vengeful alpha male of their pack, they find that their love is deep and their mutual attraction irresistible, but Bella knows that if she mates with Devlyn, he’ll have to fight the wicked alpha male, and it’s a fight to the death . .
    Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
    When all-star pitcher and shape-shifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment but as a place to escape the demands of major league baseball. That is, until he meets his tenants— a sarcastic unemployed crime-fighter vampire; a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a super-friendly salesman werewolf; and two witches with an owl who work as phone sex actresses. Not to mention a beautiful, all-too-human nurse. But with all the hooting, howling, and hollering going on, how's an all-American shapeshifter supposed to sweep a girl off her feet?
    Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
    In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she’s the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart—his (literally) undying love for her… A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead.
    The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary
    Haunted by visions of Druid priests and Celtic warriors, Donovan O’Shea left home in Northern Ireland and immigrated to America. With his father ill, he returns to help sell the family property and pub, and now, to his dismay, the “sight” has returned. He inherited the talent from his long-lost mother, who told him to keep it a secret, and he has. He is soon involved in the archaeological excavation on his family’s land and meets American Rylie Powell. Her father walked out on the family when she was a toddler, and she now believes that Donovan’s father is also hers. Donovan knows in his heart this cannot be true as the attraction between them is palpable. In between checking out DNA tests and family histories, the two become involved with murders past and present stemming from the Troubles, a quest that requires Donovan’s gift. Northern Ireland’s violent past combined with supernatural elements add an intriguing twist to this modern love story.

    REVIEW: Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir


    Sister to Queen Anne Boleyn, she was seduced by two kings and was an intimate player in one of history’s most gripping dramas. Yet much of what we know about Mary Boleyn has been fostered through garbled gossip, romantic fiction, and the misconceptions repeated by historians. Now, in her latest book, New York Times bestselling author and noted British historian Alison Weir gives us the first ever full-scale, in-depth biography of Henry VIII’s famous mistress, in which Weir explodes much of the mythology that surrounds Mary Boleyn and uncovers the truth about one of the most misunderstood figures of the Tudor age. 

    With the same brand of extensive forensic research she brought to her acclaimed book The Lady in the Tower, Weir facilitates here a new portrayal of her subjects, revealing how Mary was treated by her ambitious family and the likely nature of the relationship between the Boleyn sisters. She also posits new evidence regarding the reputation of Mary’s mother, Elizabeth Howard, who was rumored to have been an early mistress of Henry VIII.

    Weir unravels the truth about Mary’s much-vaunted notoriety at the French court and her relations with King Fran├žois I. She offers plausible theories as to what happened to Mary during the undocumented years of her life, and shows that, far from marrying an insignificant and complacent nonentity, she made a brilliant match with a young man who was the King’s cousin and a rising star at court.

    Weir also explores Mary’s own position and role at the English court, and how she became Henry VIII’s mistress. She tracks the probable course of their affair and investigates Mary’s real reputation. With new and compelling evidence, Weir presents the most conclusive answer to date on the paternity of Mary’s children, long speculated to have been Henry VIII’s progeny.

    Alison Weir has drawn fascinating information from the original sources of the period to piece together a life steeped in mystery and misfortune, debunking centuries-old myths and disproving accepted assertions, to give us the truth about Mary Boleyn, the so-called great and infamous whore.

    About the Author

    Alison Weir is the New York Times bestselling author of many historical biographies, including The Lady in the Tower, Mistress of the Monarchy, Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Life of Elizabeth I, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and of the novels Captive Queen, Innocent Traitor, and The Lady Elizabeth. She lives in Surrey, England, with her husband.


    • Hardcover: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 4, 2011)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0345521331
    • ISBN-13: 978-0345521330


    Alison Weir is probably my favorite non fiction historical author since she can make the drollest facts read like fiction.  She really brings to life the true story about Mary Boleyn based on excruciating details she unearths from snippets of letters, official royal documents and details that were overlooked by other biographers.  Weir claims that Mary was probably not the "whore" history has portrayed her to be, but a victim of circumstance and was forced into a brief relationship with the King of France.  Since women are a minor footnote in history during this age, there is not much for Weir to go on, so she recreates Mary's life from know facts of the time and pieces those together with well researched truths. 

    This is not a book for the casual reader of history.  The details might overwhelm some, but those who have read Weir's other books and are Tudor fans will adore this one.  I am a big fan of Weir's writing and style and although this is not my absolute favorite of hers, it certainly adds to my fascination of all things Tudor.  Just reading about the lifestyle and times of Mary Boleyn will make you crave even more detail about this period in time.  Although, the fictionalize account of Mary Boleyn is fun to read, the truth is even more alluring.