Tag Archives: cats

Mambo and Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Mystery #6 by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

 

Three ballroom dancers had been murdered over forty-years ago. Wow, that’s one old cold case. What’s more, the murderer thought to have been killed during a police chase has resurfaced in Pittsburgh. Yikes! How can that be?Worse, ballroom dancing simply isn’t Detective Nathan Landry’s forte. After weeks of practice, Nathan still has two left-feet. Can Fiona step in to guide Nathan through this dancing debacle or will it take forty-years for the detective to find his footing? Double yikes!Join Fiona and Detective Landry in this high-stepping whodunit!

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Right out of the gate (Prologue), we had a crime on our hands! While Nathan was investigating the burglary, secrets buried long ago came forth. Did Vincent Di Volante really die 40+ years ago in a fiery car wreck? If not, who did?
 
If these two questions were enough to wet your whistle, Fiona and the people in the neighborhood have been getting mail postmarked back in the 70s. I know mail runs slow, but that gives a new definition to “snail mail.”

I think it’s worth noting, Mambo and Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (book #6 in the series) by C.S. McDonald is NOT just adults. Since there are no curse words or suggestive scenes, it’s perfectly acceptable for teens and young adults to read it. As a family who loves playing clue, this book is right up our alley, and I’m thrilled to share it with my teen. 

Oh, and BTW, I love the cover! 
 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 
 

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My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer (Book Review)

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Content Rating:  G – Children’s picture book featuring feelings of sadness and grief (loss of a pet), but no explicit content or language.

 
When someone you love is feeling down in the dumps, you try everything to help. But sometimes, you don’t have the cure, and those blues can even become contagious. It just might be the unexpected that allows you both to shed your blues and move toward a bright and colorful future.
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

In my house, we are big softies when it comes to cats. Therefore, My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer moved my daughter and me quite a bit. After reading page one, we said simultaneously, “Awe.” 

The sad eyes, the overall low expression on the furball, nearly broke our hearts. My youngster didn’t tear up, but I felt my eyes filling with water. 

The once full-of-life kitty didn’t seem to sparkle with joy and excitement anymore. The little girl in the story was understandably worried about her furry friend when he wasn’t himself anymore. As a good owner, she took him to the vet for help. I won’t disclose what happened at the vet’s office, but it had us saying, “Awe,” in a happy tone this time around. 

The words made the story moving, but Bulankina Ka’s illustrations sealed the deal and made it a sentimental read. Bulankina Ka captured every emotion (cat and human) and made us feel what they were feeling.

 We (my daughter and I) loved the transition from dark/lack of color to full-on color scenes. I had the same feeling when I watched Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium regain its magic — JOY. 

Your child might feel sad at the start of My Cat Is Blue, but trust me, they’ll be smiling before you close the book. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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​Sarah Sommer is an award-winning children’s picture book author who blends her love for music, animals, and positivity in her books. Having trained in classical music and performed internationally as a professional clarinetist, rhymes and lyrics are an important part of her writing style. She is an advocate for animals, as seen in her work fostering German shepherds, and as a result, animals are always a central part of her stories. Sarah aims to include encouraging themes, such as helping others, in all of her narratives because we all need a little help sometimes.
connect with the author: 
 
 

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The “SENTENCED TO HEAVEN” Series by S. S. Bazinet (2 Book Reviews)

An Inmate's Tale from the Other Side
Print Length: 79 pages

Alan’s been thrown out of hell. Now, no one will take him in except for Raphael, an angel who’s in charge of a part of heaven. Unfortunately for the unruly Alan, heaven is the last place he wants to be. To make matters worse, he’s going to have to stay there forever. He’s crushed when he learns that he’ll never be able to return to earth or anywhere else! But when Alan tries to buck heaven’s heavenly ways, he gets a lot more than he bargained for. For Alan, heaven turns out to be his worst nightmare.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

I can’t imagine anyone who would associate Heaven as a punishment, but Alan did. He was bored in Hell, but he’d rather be there than Heaven. Unfortunately, he did the impossible; he was thrown out of Hell due to the numerous complaints and the legendary riot. 

Wow! 

Alan’s time in Heaven wasn’t too pleasant for him. Smells, sights, sounds annoyed him. In his defense, who would want a thunderous alarm going off every time you lied to yourself?! He didn’t just lie once or twice. No, we are talking about over 10,000 times. Crazy!

Alan’s journey to self-enlightenment was frustrating and entertaining. He had his own channel, and everyone was turning in to watch the Alan show. He didn’t find that so amusing. It was like The Truman Show but for the afterlife.

 Love the plot, characters, theatrics… An Inmate’s Tale from the Other Side is an excellent read for a variety of ages. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:   1/2

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

 

A Vampire In Heaven
Print Length: 112 pages

In book two, Alan’s misadventures in heaven continue. No one understands how he’s managed it, but his heavenly body has changed. He has actual blood coursing through his heavenly vessel, and he’s become addicted to the stuff. When he’s labeled a vampire, everyone becomes concerned that his condition could spread. As a result, heaven is placed under quarantine. Its pearly gates are closed until the mystery is solved. Fortunately, Alan gets help from unexpected sources, including heaven’s canine community. A little dog named Nippy becomes a friend that supports Alan as he tries to find a solution to his woes.

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

I’m going to list several items I loved about A Vampire in Heaven. I hope after reading my list, you’ll decide to purchase a kindle copy. 🙂

1.) adorable cover

2.) intriguing title and book summary

3.) several cute characters.  

4.) power of friendship

5.) message… It’s okay not to be perfect

I liked the setup (plot) for book three. It should be a wild ride! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:   1/2

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

To Buy both books  –> Click here <—

 

 

My fondest wish is that my stories entertain my readers and also provide them with moments of clarity and a deeper connection to themselves. My books include The Vampire Reclamation Project series, the Sentenced to Heaven series, as well as the YA thriller, My Brother’s Keeper, and a dystopian novel, Dying Takes It Out of You.

For the latest news and information, please visit:
S. S. Bazinet’s Website
Twitter Link

 

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A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat by Bernard Jan (Book Review)

One story. Two endings. Genuine and fictional. Which ending is yours?

What do you say to someone who is dying? And what do you say when that someone can’t understand a word you are saying? How do you comfort each other throughout… and beyond?

My love, if you go away in a few days, the world will lose its colors and darken like the land of Mordor. If you go away and leave me to wander aimlessly, alone in this sea become wild, like a ship with a broken rudder and drowned sailors, and if I don’t find comfort in the warmth of your body, clutched in my embrace at the end of the day, I’m afraid I won’t survive.

“I don’t regret anything. Marcel was not only my cat, he was my everything. My brother, my friend, my world shrank in a soft gray-striped furry ball.”—Bernard Jan

Powerful. Emotional. Honest.

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

If you’ve ever loved and lost a pet then A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat by Bernard Jan will make you cry.

A couple years ago, I lost my best friend. He brought me so much joy and watching his body deteriorate broke me. I watched him slowing stop eating and drinking. I witnessed his hind legs give out. There were so many doctor appointments, so many meds, all to prolong his life.

Pets become a part of our day. They listen while we talk. We might pet them for comfort. They are our constant when everything else seems out of control. When they die, life seems to stop. We mourn them like we would a human. We miss their face, the sound of their voice, moments we could’ve had together if we weren’t so busy, and moments we’ll never have since they are gone.

Like Bernard, I never thought I’d ever get another cat. I too felt like I would be betraying my buddy. It took a while but my children convinced me to get another one. We eventually adopted two rescue cats.

I know one day I will have to make the decision to prolong life or put them down. There’s no reason to let a loved one suffer because we can’t or don’t want to let them go. Don’t let them live in agony.

There are some days I still swear I hear my buddy, see him out of the corner of my eye. I don’t get too sad anymore because I think he would be happy I have learned to love again.

Bernard, your words brought me many tears. The photo of Marcel made me cry even harder. Despite all these tears shed I must say thank you because it warmed my heart to see the love another person had for his own furbaby.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an author – a novelist and a poet – from Croatia and I have released two indie books in English. 

“A World Without Color” is the honest true story of the three last days I spent with my cat while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada and warms the hearts of young adult and other readers concerned about our planet and its treasures with the idea that change is needed, change is possible, and change will come. 

My first books have been written at the beginning of war in Croatia in 1991, amidst the air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is alright with the world.

In my lifespan I have written and published five novels, two novellas, one book of poems and an essay in Croatian. Four of my manuscripts, together with my book of poems, are translated into English.

My passion for entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr. with the goal to respect the music.

My need to help others came to the fore during my volunteering years: first in advocating for environmental protection, and then my volunteering, activism, work and advocacy for animal rights to the present day. I did some volunteering for the refugees, too, because suffering does not know about the borders and when it comes within your reach, in your yard, you simply have to do something.

As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian language. I guess that makes me a translator, too, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit my website

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Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Authors: Get Inspired with June’s Sweet Selections!

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