Book Review: The Fitzy Resolution by A.D. DeSena

From Dakota’s Den:  Today I bring to you a FIRST on Dakota’s blog. This is the FIRST book review that has appeared on Dakota’s blog that I did not write. This review was done by a most special reviewer, MY HUSBANDLenny Gittleman. Why did my husband review The Fitzy Resolution?  Having two blogs and doing book reviews on both, MANY books have entered our home,  my husband was intrigued by the premise of this book, and asked to read it.  Being  more politically well-versed than I am, I felt he was the perfect “candidate” to do this book justice. The fact that he was a Special Education teacher for 36 years, and is incredibly intellectually gifted, doesn’t hurt either! So sit back and enjoy my husband’s review of Author A.D. DeSena’s:

The Fitzy Resolution

It’s a “dog eat dog world” in both a figurative and literal sense in the innovative fantasy/political thriller The Fitzy Resolution by A.D. DeSena.

To purchase click on the book cover!

To purchase click on the book cover!

Set in a futuristic society where dogs have their own governmental body called the “Central Canine Government”, the premise involves trying to discover why Yorkshire Terriers are mysteriously disappearing at an alarming rate. Other elements essential to the plot are the ever-increasing threat to the preservation of canines by a group of strays called “The Wilds”, and the ulterior motives of sinister politician dogs led by Senator Juniper.

The Fitzy Resolution is a brilliant satirical portrayal of our political system, manifested through the actions of canines and other domestic animals. DeSena accurately mirrors the many complexities inherent in running a democratic society.

Just as our country, (the U.S.), is divided along political lines that often hinder legislative progress, in DeSena’s canine ruled society, two political parties, the “Submissives” and the “Contrarians”, with two opposing political philosophies, must somehow find a way to work together to help preserve their canine society from outside forces determined to destroy it.

DeSena is adept in addressing the necessity of compromise and collaboration with opposing viewpoints to achieve the greater good. Through the actions of the protagonist, Senator Labrador-Casey, the author demonstrates that it is important to have ideals, vision and a philosophy, but a sense of pragmatism and cooperation is needed to achieve desired goals.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book for a variety of reasons. On one level it is an extremely exciting narrative that holds the reader’s interest from the first page to the exciting climax. DeSena is a genius at utilizing the technique of personification, ascribing human traits to non-humans. The author has written not only a great story, but a thought-provoking social commentary without sounding preachy, NOT an easy task.

Without reservation I would give The Fitzy Resolution four paws up. NO BONES ABOUT IT!

ISBN 978-0-9847676-0-1

To purchase click here

Book Review: Paw Prints in the Sand by Elizabeth Parker #BtC4A

Since I began my primary blog, (Cat Chat With Caren & Cody), it has been important to me to take part in Blog the Change For Animals, a well-known blogging event where bloggers blog about causes, people and events that  are  near and dear to our hearts in the world of animals.  Blog the Change For Animals  takes place annually, (January 15,  April 15,  July 15 and October 15).   Many of us blog about animal causes that are important to us all throughout the year, but  it is extra heart-warming to see so many come together for this most important event.

Click on the badge to visit Blog the Change for animals

Click on the badge to visit Blog the Change for animals

I was given the opportunity of reviewing a marvelous book this past weekend, Paw Prints in the Sand by author Elizabeth Parker. This is not the first book that I have reviewed of Elizabeth’s, it is at least the third! Through the course of reading and reviewing Elizabeth’s books,  I not only became  a HUGE fan of her writing, but I have enormous respect and admiration  for her as a PERSON. Elizabeth has to be one of the kindest, most compassionate women that I have met on my blogging journey. ****More about that at the end of this blog post.

Why include Paw Prints in the Sand in the Blog the Change For Animals blogging event? While reading this book I saw that there was no way that I WOULDN’T include it.

Click on the photo to visit Elizabeth's website and to purchase Paw Prints and other books by Elizabeth Parker

Click on the photo to visit Elizabeth’s website and to purchase Paw Prints and other books by Elizabeth Parker

Paw Prints in the Sand tackles  important subjects such as;  the importance of spaying and neutering pets and adopting from a local shelter, as well as the horrors of irresponsible “backyard breeders” and the deplorable conditions that puppy mill pups are subjected to.

From the moment I began reading Paw Prints my heart was pounding, my attention was riveted, I was on the edge of my seat.  I originally had planned on reading Paw Prints last Friday night, and my intention was to begin the book and finish it on Saturday. I finished Paw Prints in about three hours. I could NOT put it down.


The  imagery evoked is often unsettling , there were times that I cried, gasped and cringed,  the plot was so real to me that I had forgotten that this book is a work of  fiction. While the book is fictional, the conditions described in Paw Prints, sadly, are NOT. 

Note from the Author:

Although this book and the groups/organizations in this book are a work of fiction and a complete figment of my imagination, unfortunately puppy mills and backyard breeders are quite real. The fears and quirks I’ve described in this book are extremely common with rescue dogs.

The environment for puppy mill dogs is incomprehensible. Keep in mind that while not all, many puppy stores do get their puppies from puppy mills and it is a continuing practice here in the United States.

Paw Prints in the Sand isn’t just about puppy mills, it is “a moving love story of sorts that demonstrates the unbreakable bond and sustainable love between dogs and humans.”

Now available on Kindle

Also in paperback on Amazon

And Nook

Available in paperback on createspace.com

Use Coupon Code SG6M99JZ for $2.00 Off on createspace orders!

***Author Elizabeth Parker GIVES BACK

A portion of the proceeds from her books are donated to various animal rescue groups.

One of the first books of Elizabeth’s that I had the honor of reviewing was: Final Journey: Buddy’s Book a tribute to her beloved Golden Retriever “Buddy” who after the publication of Finally Home was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.  Elizabeth decided she wanted to help other dogs with the same diagnosis, hence Buddy Bracelets was born

Click on the photo to see Elizabeth's beautiful creations and to purchase.

Click on the photo to see Elizabeth’s beautiful creations and to purchase.

40% of the sales of Buddy Bracelets will be donated to canine cancer foundations.

Now, as you can see, after reading about Paw Prints in the Sand and Elizabeth’s ongoing philanthropic efforts for rescue dogs, there was no way that I would ever think of NOT making her mission the topic of my Blog the  Change For Animals post.

Learn more about Author, Elizabeth Parker here

Today I have introduced an author to you who is actively helping to make a change to raise awareness about puppy mills, rescue dogs and dogs who have canine cancer. My question to YOU is: “What is your gift, and how will you use it to bring about positive change to your world?”

Book Review: “Dogs Of Courage” by Lisa Rogak

I was honored to be given the opportunity to review Dogs Of Courage by Lisa Rogak.

Dogs of Courage is “the heroism and heart of working dogs around the world.”

Prior to reading this information packed book I was under the mistaken assumption that only certain breeds with certain “jobs” could be considered to be “dogs of courage.” I never suspected that a Chihuahua, or for that matter a Sheltie, would be a dog that could ever  earn the title of  Dogs Of Courage.  That mistaken thought reveals the cat lover in me, and shows just how much learning that I need to do to truly better  understand DOGS. Of course I LOVE dogs but I do admit that I am far less well versed about all things dog, than I am about all things CAT.

Photo Courtesy of macmillan

Photo Courtesy of macmillan

I never realized until reading  Dogs Of Courage, that EVERY dog has the potential of being a “dog of courage” regardless of their breed, size or particular talent.

From Dogs Of Courage: While we smile (and cry) when we hear stories on the news about courageous dogs, we rarely learn “Why dogs go out of their way to help us.” and “how do they get that way? How are dogs able to perform tasks and work in tandem with the humans who are their partners?” Dogs of Courage answers those questions and many more.

What Is a Dog of Courage?

It could be your next door neighbor’s dog, it could be a dog that works with police or fire, a dog trained as a therapy dog in a nursing home or hospital, a dog that works in a prison, even a movie star dog such as Lassie.  A “dog of courage” can have any one of a number of jobs that you will delight in reading about in full detail in this marvelous book.

Did you know?

  • That the smallest police dog in the world is an 8 lb Chihuahua named Midge who hails from Geauga County, Ohio?  Midge has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets.
  • That many arson investigators and insurance companies think that Labrador retrievers are the best dogs for arson work?
  • That Newfoundlands are considered to be the best breed for water work?
  • That a Collie named “Kira” works as a psychiatric service dog?

Being from Michigan, I was particularly intrigued reading about a Golden Retriever named Landon who was brought into a family to help their 10-year-old autistic son, David.  Landon was acquired from Paws with a Cause, a nonprofit organization in Wayland, Michigan that trains assistance dogs to help people with disabilities. Landon ended up helping David with his communication skills and enabled him to open up more. Landon also helped David be better able to fall asleep at night just by being by his side.

I urge you to buy this wonderful book. If you are an educator, this would be a marvelous book to use as a learning tool in the classroom to teach students about how important dogs are in our lives, not just as our trusted and playful companions, but to enable students to learn about  the many jobs that a dog may have and how important they are in helping us to better function in our  daily existence.

From the publisher St.Martin’s Press: Dogs of Courage reveals the heartwarming and awe-inspiring stories of these hard-working dogs, from the training they receive to the ways we honor their sacrifices and reward their years of service.  Dogs Of Courage is an incredible story of the vital role that dogs play as working heroes, it is a must-read for animal-lovers everywhere.

About the Author:

Lisa Rogak is the author of The Dogs Of War: The Courage, Love and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs, the Edgar-and Anthony-nominated Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King, A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein,  and And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert. She is also editor of the New York Times-bestselling Barack Obama in His Own Words.

ISBN: 1-250-02176-6

Enter to win: “Life Is Pawfect” by the “Pawtographer”, Robert Semrow

Hi my furiends and Happy New Year! Here we are in January and Mom and I are still trying to wrap up some things we had pending in 2012. One of them is an adorable and sure-to-make-you-smile book by Robert Semrow, also known as, “The Pawtographer.” The book is called Life Is Pawfect and let me tell you pals, this book IS JUST THAT…”PAWFECT!!” 

It’s charming, witty, uplifting, superbly photographed and just plain FUN!

Photo Courtesy of Robert  Semrow. Click on the photo to visit his website

Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow. Click on the photo to visit his website

Life Is Pawfect is the perfect book to help get your New Year off on the right paw. It is chock full of the most adorable photographs, all printed on high quality glossy photo paper. Accompanying each photograph is a quote and an  uplifting or humorous saying that will be sure to brighten your day.

 

"Life is Pawfect...when the art of something can be embraced by the mouths of many!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow The Pawtographer.

“Life is Pawfect…when the art of something can be embraced by the mouths of many!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow The Pawtographer.

"Life is Pawfect...when we are willing to jump in and see where the current takes us!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, "The Pawtographer"

“Life is Pawfect…when we are willing to jump in and see where the current takes us!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, “The Pawtographer”

 

About  ” The Pawtographer” from Robert Semrow who is “proud to be “The Pawtographer.”

I love animals and have a tremendous amount of fun being around them. Whether it’s a traditional pose, a candid moment or a creative themed experience, I want to capture those silly looks, funny outfits and special moments that animals allow us to have with them. I want to show the world that energy, unconditional love and attention that animals freely give us.

I have always found that animals are the most naturally loving beings. They will let us hug, play, dress up and goof around with them, if we just give them what they want and deserve most-love and attention…and the occasional treat.

 

"Life is Pawfect...when your vintage exceeds expectations!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, "The Pawtographer"

“Life is Pawfect…when your vintage exceeds expectations!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, “The Pawtographer”

 

 

"Life is Pawfect...when there's bubbles between your toes!" Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, The Pawtographer

“Life is Pawfect…when there’s bubbles between your toes!” Photo Courtesy of Robert Semrow, The Pawtographer

 

Life Is  Pawfect is the perfect coffee table or bedside table book. It would make the best birthday, get-well, thinking of you,  gift or Valentine’s gift or ANYTIME gift for the animal lover in your life!

Robert was incredibly generous, when he sent me my review copy of Life Is Pawfect he included an extra book for one of my readers!

HOW TO ENTER: Give-away is open to EVERYONE! Just leave a comment telling me how YOUR “Life Is Pawfect” by Monday, January 7th at 5PM Eastern. Winner will be selected by http://www.random.org and will be announced on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9th. Be sure that I have a way to contact you should you be the lucky winner! Good Luck!!

Barks and licks and love, Dakota

To Purchase Life Is Pawfect:

CLICK HERE

ISBN: 13: 978-0-9860198-0-7

Visit www.thepawtographer.com

 

In full disclosure: I was sent a copy of Life Is Pawfect to read and review along with an extra copy for one of my readers. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

Mischief Master Class: A Book written by Dogs (two Cats and a Turtle!)…assisted by Annette Vivian

Hi everyone it’s Dakota, it’s Monday and you know what THAT means! It’s Mischief Monday!!

I can’t think of a better day to feature the new book by my buddy Snoopy, (of the informative, fun and adorable blog, SNOOPY’S DOG BLOG,)   Mischief Master Class A Book written by Dogs (two Cats and a Turtle!)…assisted by Annette Vivian.

snoopy book cover

Photo Courtesy of Annette Vivian

How did this book evolve?

For the rare few who DON’T know, my buddy Snoopy is the MASTER of Mischief! So much so that on his blog he has a regular Monday feature called the Monday Mischief Blog Hop which is sponsored by Snoopy, Alfie’s Blog, Luna Dogs Life and My Brown Newfies. This Blog Hop is so popular and has so many weekly submissions from various animals all over the world, that it only made sense that the concept would make a natural evolution, into a BOOK! Now, when you want to read about all the mischief that everyone has been up to, it’s right at the tip of your paws!

My buddy Snoopy is a 2-year-old Bearded Collie who considers himself to be the “Master of Mischief”  That title didn’t come easy.  In order to attain the title of “Master of Mischief” you must have enormous skill and creativity! Snoopy has made it his mission to help all animals get the title of “Master of Mischief” by compiling this pawsome book!

But what exactly IS “Mischief? I’m glad that you asked!  Here is the definition that I found online:” It is “Playful misbehavior or troublemaking”

Snoopy feels, and I agree, that with so much seriousness in the World and in our jobs (did you know that Snoopy is a registered therapy dog? That’s some SERIOUS stuff!) it is important to incorporate some play in your day and what better way to do that than through creating some Mischief!

How Does The Mischief Master Class Work?

From Snoopy: “you must keep in mind some basic principles/rules/codes. If you stick to these principles, my experience tells me you’ll be a Mischief Master in no time!”

This book will be your greatest “go-to” to hone your mischief-making skills! You will LOVE the fun examples/stories shared by animals from all over the world (and their 2-leggers). The colorful photographs will make you wag your tail with delight!

Some of my favorite “Principles” in Mischief Master Class are:

Look Cute-Freddie of the blog BASSET MOMMA  has that skill learned, paws down!

Forgiveness is Easier Than Permission-shown by the sock stealing antics of Alfie the Entlebucher Mountain Pup. Visit him at ALFIE’S BLOG.

My Handiwork

My Handiwork

Stand Tall, Be Firm-shown by none other than yours truly!! Yep! I’m in the book too! I tried so hard to protect my territory from the dogs across the hall that I tore up our door wall! Just for the record, I was so adept at this feat that the dogs have MOVED!

The Art Of Negotiation– remarkably displayed by our turtle friend Kroten, of the blog UNDERNEATH THE SHELL, who will eat anything and everything!

Don’t Underestimate The Little Guy, The Big Dog Isn’t Always The Top Dog-shown by Roxy and Torrey of the blog ROXY THE TRAVELING DOG, as well as  Snoopy himself with a hilarious intro to this chapter about Snoopy and his “sheep.”

Learn To Count– one of my faves, and highlights how my buddy Snoopy can count! Yep!  By learning to count he knows just how long he can stay on the forbidden bed before his Mom counts to THREE to get him off. He even includes a link to the video in his book (links to many other videos are in the book as well). Check out this one of Snoopy, you’ll see why it is a fave of mine!

The last principle we are going to share with you, (you will have to buy the book to see the rest), is showcased by Emma  of the blog MY GBGVLIFE and that is: Don’t Be Shy- Ask For What You Want where Emma was determined to have a special birthday pawty for her sister Katie and took matters into her own paws!

snoopy book photo

Photo Courtesy of Annette Vivian

Check out some more mischief that is in this great and FUN book!


Once you finish reading Snoopy’s Mischief Master Class, you will have “learned that no matter who you are or what you are, Mischief is for ALL!”

You will even have your own “Mischief Master” Certificate in the book, like mine!

Yeah I forged Snoopy's "pawnigture", hey, I read the book and contributed Mischief! I earned it!

Yeah I forged Snoopy’s “pawnigture”, hey, I read the book and contributed Mischief! I earned it!

 

Now,  go tell the person in charge of the money in your house to hurry up and pawchase this fantastic book! Better yet, YOU create some mischief and grab their credit card and order it yourself! BOL!!

Did you know?

 Snoopy  and his Mum are generously donating 50% of the book Profits to Therapy Pets Support Charities

To purchase Mischief Master Class in paperback click here

To purchase the Kindle edition click here

ISBN-13:978-1481159920

Wanna follow Snoopy?

You can find him on Facebook by clicking here

Twitter @snoopysstory

On his blog: SNOOPY’S DOG BLOG

About the Author

Snoopy lives in Northern California with his Mum, Annette Vivian, and the rest of their family. Annette Vivian, born in the Isle of Man, British Isles, qualified as an Accountant and Project Manager. After spending 15 years working in start-ups and financial institutions around the Globe, she finally realized that she was neglecting the creative, fun side of her brain. She spends her time now, looking after her family, taking Snoopy on Therapy visits and writing. 
Barks and licks and love, Dakota

Book Review: Dog Trots Globe, To Paris & Provence by Sheron Long ” Magnifique!”

Hi everyone! It’s Dakota, and I am taking over the book review today! It’s only right, because today’s book: Dog Trots Globe, To Paris & Provence by Chula Wula D’ Augue (As Barked to Sheron Long) was “barked” by a Sheltie!

Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

A few months ago Mom and I were on Twitter and we befriended a gorgeous Sheltie girl named @SheltieChula. As we interacted, Mom and I found out that Chula had barked a book!  Mom and I love doing book reviews and when we learned this we had to have a copy to review.  We are grateful that Chula got her paws on one and sent it to us, it is a book we will read over and over and cherish furever!

As many of you who live with Shelties know, it is rare to find a book about them (that isn’t a handbook), let alone one that was BARKED by a Sheltie!

This isn’t any ordinary Sheltie either! Well, not that ANY Sheltie is ordinary! From OIC-Books.com:  Chula whose name means “pretty” in Spanish, is a 9-year-old Sheltie who traveled by car from Carmel Valley, California, to San Francisco where she boarded an Air France flight to Paris. Then she took the TGV, or Train a Grande Vitesse, from Paris to Saint-Remy-de-Provence and settled into her lovely village at the foot of the Alpilles Mountains. (From Dakota: For those who may be wondering, Chula traveled with her pawrents)

Chula got good at chasing French cats, hiding from wooly sheep and stealing ripe tomatoes.

Mom and I read this book together and Mom told me to tell you that it is exquisite, charming, gorgeous, delightful!

Mom and I have different reasons for loving this book. Mom says it is the perfect little travel guide where I can travel to Paris & Provence and live it vicariously through the eyes of a Sheltie.

Mom thinks this would be a perfect coffee table or bedside table book, both to read and to display.  The photographs, contributed by Robert and Sheron Long, Erick Paraiso and Meredith Mullins are breathtakingly beautiful!   The illustrations by Darius Detwiler, charming!

Mom says: this isn’t just a book, it is a visual feast, it is a work of art! She could envision herself sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, relaxing, reading this book and sipping on a petit noir (an espresso), (how she can envision this I will never know, since Mom has never been to Paris but I digress, let your eyes delight in the following photos and you will see what I mean!)

Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

In the Lavender fields by Sault. Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

In the Lavender fields by Sault. Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

At the market in St-Remy. Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

At the market in St-Remy. Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

At the fountain in Sault. Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

At the fountain in Sault. Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

Mom says: that the photos shown here don’t even begin to show the real beauty of the photos in the book. They are vibrant,  they leap off of the high quality paper that they are printed on, they transport you to the beauty and romance of Paris. Dog Trots Globe is a perfect size too, it can be tucked into a purse with ease!

Enough of what Mom thinks! What I love about this book is that a SHELTIE barked it! I get to read, yes Shelties read! We ARE 6th in intelligence you know, about this amazing trip from first-paw Sheltie experience!

Through Chula’s travels I got to learn  about things such as:

  • Sniffing Around Provence
  • Market Days
  • Bistros and Cafes
  • French Tradition
  • Paris Lights and City Sights
  • Inside a Paris Gallery
  • Chula’s Walk: A Tour of Saint-Remy

there is even a section of the book that tells your pawrents How To Take Your Pup To France should you ever be lucky enough to go!

Photo Courtesy of www.OIC-Books.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.OIC-Books.com

Dog Trots Globe To Paris & Provence would make a delightfully charming gift that would be enjoyed and relished by Sheltie lovers, dog lovers, those who love Paris and those who appreciate superb photography. This must be added to your library!

Barks and licks and love,  Au Revoir! Dakota

ISBN: 978-1-936951-00-0

Visit OIC-Books.com

Book Review & Give-Away “A Christmas Home” A Novel by Greg Kincaid

Todd McCray a 24-year-old with developmental disabilities,  works at a local animal shelter where he befriends Laura, a young volunteer who also has disabilities but hers are more physical than developmental. Todd and his ever-present, trusted Labrador retriever (appropriately named Christmas) trains Gracie ( who was abandoned  by her owners due to financial woes) to help Laura with the day-to-day tasks that are difficult for her.

The local government in Todd’s town is also experiencing financial woes and in early December delivers the sad news that the shelter will have to close.

What will happen to all the animals?

What will happen to Todd? Laura?

a christmas home

click on photo to purchase from http://www.crownpublishing.com

I love books where the main characters are faced with challenges and are able to prove how these challenges can be overcome. A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid is one of these books.

You will fall in love with the child-like honesty of Todd McCray and his ability to stay positive, no matter what obstacles are placed in his path and his ability to know his true-calling in spite of his disabilities.

What I particularly loved is the variety of meanings that the title of this book has to the story.

Will Gracie the abandoned dog have a home for Christmas?

Will the shelter animals who are soon to be displaced find homes in time for Christmas?

Will Christmas the dog, well into his senior years be forced to move to a new home for Christmas?

Will Todd find a new “home” for Christmas doing work that he loves and a new residence?

You will have to read this charmer to find out!

It is the perfect book to warm your heart as well as your winter nights!

From Crown Publishing: In A Christmas Home, Greg Kincaid again treats us to a story rich in the courage of people who, in overcoming their own limitations, teach us a lesson in how to prevail, no matter the odds, no matter the trials.”-Steve Duno author of Last Dog on the Hill.

WIN IT! TWO READERS can win a copy of A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid! HOW TO ENTER: leave a comment telling me you would like to win this book (U.S. only please) by MONDAY, DECEMBER 10th AT 5pm. Winner will be announced WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12th. (Be sure to leave an email address so that I may contact you if you are one of the lucky winners!) Good luck!

ISBN 978-0-307-95197-7

To purchase visit www.crownpublishing.com

Book Review: Lost And Found, Amy Shojai’s Debut Thriller

Confession. Thrillers usually leave me cold.  It is not a genre that I normally read. I haven’t a clue why that is the case, but it is. I avoid them like the plague.  I might have avoided Lost and Found by Amy Shojai as well, had my dogs’ name (Dakota) not won the:

“Name That Dog” contest to help Amy find a name for some of the furry characters in her book.  More than 85 names were suggested with close to 800 votes!

I’m glad that Dakota won.

Had he not, I might have missed this spine tingling book.

“Dakota” was chosen to represent the “heart-dog” that lead character September Day (yes that is her REAL name) refers to often throughout the book.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything-husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot-and returns home with her trained Maine Coon cat Macy to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promise to help Steven, September has 24 hours to rescue them from a devastating medical experiment impacting millions of children, a deadly secret others will kill to protect. As September races the clock, the body count swells. Shadow does his good-dog duty but can’t protect his boy. Finally September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing and stop the nightmare cure. But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

Trust me when I say that this book is OUTSTANDING.

The language; full of descriptive detail, gives the reader clear and frightening images of the villains. While reading I was wondering if September embodies many of the personality traits of Author Amy Shojai? I question this because I have yet to meet Amy in person, (but I am certain that one day I will!) but I have come to know Amy a bit through our mutual affiliation with the Cat Writers’ Association and through her blog. In her emails and her writing, her personality comes across to me as being confident, vibrant, uber-articulate,  strong, determined,  knowledgeable, tough-as-nails yet somewhat vulnerable with a sense of humor to beat the band.  The more I read about September, the more I wondered how much of Amy is in this intriguing character?

Lost And Found for me, wasn’t a “quick-read.” The plot, details, dialogue and characters are well-crafted and intense.  My heart was literally in my throat throughout much of the book. Lost And Found offers a lot to digest, it is the prime rib at an all-you-can-eat buffet,  the side dishes are just filler, the meat leaves you feeling  satiated. Upon  finishing this deliciously intriguing and attention-engulfing  thriller, you will feel as satisfied.

Has Amy Shojai converted this “thriller-phobic” blogger/book reviewer?

In the case of Lost And Found…my answer is a resounding. YES.

Author Amy Shojai with Magic and Seren

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 24 bestselling pet books. She is the Puppies Guide at puppies.About.com, the cat behavior expert at cats.About.com, and hosts a weekly half hour Internet Pet Peeves radio show. Amy has been featured as an expert in hundreds of print venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle, as well as national radio and television networks such as CNN, Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101. 

TO PURCHASE LOST AND FOUND CLICK HERE

Connect with Amy on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and GOOD READS

ENTER TO WIN:

GIVE AWAY ON BOOK BASKET  UNTIL NOVEMBER 25TH CLICK HERE

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Foodie Friday! Baking For Dogs: The Best Recipes From Dog’s Deli by Friederike Friedel

Last week I presented the book Cooking For Dogs, if you missed it click here . As promised, today I am here to share with you, the first book of the series (yes, I know I am backwards!) BAKING FOR DOGS, THE BEST RECIPES FROM DOG’S DELI by Friederike Friedel.

Book Cover Photo Provided By: http://www.schifferbooks.com

DOG’S DELI is a bakery for dogs’ baked goods in Carlstadt, Duesseldorf, Germany. A brown male Labrador named Billy, was the inspiration for DOG’S DELI.  Billy wouldn’t eat willingly which made him more difficult to train or “bribe”  which made cooking special meals a necessity and earned Billy his title of “official food taster/tester.”

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I love to cook but baking? Not-so-much. I consider myself to be “baking challenged.”

I was delighted when perusing this beautifully photographed book and reading the recipes because there were a number of them that I am definitely going to be trying. Here are a few that are on my MUST BAKE list!

  • Blueberry Scones-this screams Sunday morning or afternoon tea?
  • Cheese Sticks-the recipe for this sounds like a recipe that I have for humans!
  • Yogurt With Fresh Fruit-yes I know this isn’t BAKING, I told you I am baking challenged, remember?
  • Potato Chips With Parmesan-I just might be crunching on these with Dakota!

Now I am NOT one that would ever eat Liver, but Liver seems to be on the I LOVE IT list for many dogs!

Check these out!

LIVER DUMPLINGS

Photo by Thomas Schultze, provided by http://www.schifferbooks.com

Recipe from Baking For Dogs

 

 

From the author: Baking by following recipes from DOG’S DELI is child’s play. As a matter of principle, neither sugar nor additives, fragrances nor readymade products are used. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand at home. If you should get hungry yourself, go ahead and take a bite of one of your fresh-baked cookies.

I had hoped to make a few recipes and let you know how they came out, but due to time constraints (among other things!) I was unable to. As the months go on and I do make a number of the recipes from both books, I will be sure to share with you!

In the meantime, if you like to prepare wholesome, easy-to-make  dishes for your dog, this book definitely should be a part of your cookbook collection!

 

Book Review: Red Dog/Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political By Chuck Sambuchino

By now, those of us that live in the United States have more than had our fill of political ads, debates, news broadcasts and the talking heads who are trying to garner our votes for who will be, as of Tuesday, November 6th, the next President Of The United States.

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you can barely pop in for five minutes without HUNDREDS and I DO mean hundreds of political messages flying by your screen.

Before you bite the head off of a friend who has an opposing point of view, (or after the election results tomorrow), escape for a much-needed, humorous respite from the political messages and sit back and enjoy:

Photo Courtesy of Chuck Sambuchino

 

Throughout America’s history people have never been able to agree on politics. Well guess what? Our dogs have their own opinions too!

Lately I have found myself wondering if the conservative tartan plaid bandanna that was put on Dakota when he was groomed last week is a subliminal message that “fancy lad” Mitt Romney will be elected President, but I digress.

In this fun book, author Sambuchino pairs 140 full-color photos of dogs with witty captions (that he collected after having done a shout out on Facebook and Twitter asking readers to submit photos of their dogs), that poke fun at both sides of the political spectrum. For those that live out of the country, RED portrays those who are conservative and would be considered Republicans and who would be voting for the ultra-conservative Mitt Romney, BLUE would be for liberal-minded folks like myself who are Democrats, and are hoping for Barack Obama’s re-election.

My father,  Ray Osrin,  was for 30 yrs a world-renowned, genius Editorial Cartoonist at Ohio’s largest newspaper, The Plain Dealer.  He  lived and breathed politics, made his living from it,  and was  sickened, shocked and appalled at the lack of political interest/awareness of his daughter, namely ME, but once again I digress.  He would have gotten a real kick out of this  book, as I am sure that you will too!

Here are a few examples of photos and captions that are in Red Dog/Blue Dog:

Photo courtesy of Writer’s Digest.com

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Writer’s Digest.com

Red Dog/Blue Dog covers all the important issues that have come up during this campaign and of course they are all presented from a dog’s perspective.

Some of the controversial topics that are presented in a fun, upbeat, non-partisan way are:

  • Gay marriage
  • Religion
  • Social Security
  • Patriotism
  • Healthcare

and the list goes on…

A portion of the proceeds from Red Dog/Blue Dog will be donated to

no-kill shelters and rescue operations

around the country

No matter which way YOUR or your dog’s tail wags…you are sure to get a laugh out of Red Dog/Blue Dog. 

In the meantime, if you live in the United States and are of legal age to vote, BE SURE THAT YOU EXERCISE THAT RIGHT!

If you don’t…you have no right to complain about how things are…..got it?

Chuck Sambuchino and his dog “Graham” Photo courtesy of http://www.reddog-bluedog.com/?page_id=13

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chuck Sambuchino is a dog owner and politics junkie.

Visit him at chucksambuchino.com and reddog-bluedog.com

TO PURCHASE RED DOG/BLUE DOG CLICK HERE

ISBN 978-0-7624-4639-1

Published by www.runningpress.com