Amy Shojai Releases Cat Facts & Dog Facts Series!

Cat-Dog Facts-Series

As promised last week in this post, the first installments in the CAT FACTS, THE SERIES #1 and DOG FACTS, THE SERIES #1 are now available! They are only $2.99 and are also FREE to those with a Amazon Prime membership.

CAT FACTS and DOG FACTS, THE SERIES offer economical treat-size sections to make it easy to choose only the specific information you need. Each of these CHAPTER A (#1) installments provides these detailed topic entries covering what to do, home care, vet care and more.

In addition to the gorgeous full color pictures and illustrations alongside the alphabetical “A” list of various conditions and cat or dog specific topics, you’ll find:

  • Charts that list symptoms for a particular condition, the corresponding home care or first aid, the comparative veterinarian and holistic treatments, and preventive advice
  • A symptoms/conditions table that helps you identify what ailments might be bothering your cat
  • Breed-At-A-Glance chart to compare personality, looks, care challenges and other issues when choosing your pedigreed cat
  • Contact information for dozens of cat organizations and veterinary resources

I hope the launch of each of these series brings the information in a more economical and accessible way to more cat and dog “pet parents” and helps y’all celebrate the wonderful companions that share our lives! (Please SHARE this with anyone who might benefit…)

These two series consist of each individual excerpted chapter & the appendices from the complete books CAT FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia and DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Get The Facts! Cat Facts & Dog Facts FREE with Amazon Prime

Cat-DogFactsThat’s right, both CAT FACTS and DOG FACTS can now be accessed for FREE through the Kindle Unlimited lending library, for Amazon Prime members. And…you can join for your first month free, Woot!

Of course, I’d love for pet parents to invest in a permanent copy of the book, too. But I feel the information is so important, I want it shared far and wide. And I’ll be honest, here…maybe after reading for free, you’ll decide you want the whole book, or will recommend one of my books to other pet parents.

Cat Facts and DOG FACTS are designed not only to entertain but also to save pet lives, save YOU money, and improve the health of your peaceable kingdom (including your peace of mind). In order to make the books available for the Kindle Unlimited program, though, the Ebook versions had to be made exclusive to Amazon. Sorry, gang, but they’re now only available on Kindle, and (of course!) in print versions. You don’t need a Kindle, though–there are free desktop and phone apps available. Win-win!

CAT FACTS & DOG FACTS, the SERIES

Here’s something else in the works. Again, in an effort to make the information more accessible (because I get it, sometimes you only need or want one specific nugget of info), going forward, I also will offer each chapters at a stand-alone discounted price, on Kindle. That way, if someone is only interested in learning about Feline Infectious Peritonitis, for example, they could download “CAT FACTS Chapter F.” Or when interested in a tick disease, they could download “DOG FACTS CHAPTER L” for Lyme disease.

Each part of this chapter series will be the excerpted chapter from what you’d see in the full Kindle Ebook chapter (same pictures, same text). However, every individual chapter of this series will also include the back-matter (breeds at a glance charts, resources list, and symptoms/conditions chart) so readers have that important information.

I plan to release a dog and cat chapter every 10-14 days or so with the first ones (CAT FACTS SERIES, Chapter A and DOG FACTS SERIES, Chapter A) set to release this weekend. I will announce them here on the blog. But to stay up to date on all the new book releases, you can follow me on my Amazon Author Page, and they’ll send out notices, too.

What do you think? It’s an experiment so if folks decide this doesn’t work for them, there are always do-overs. Are you a subscriber to the Amazon Prime program? Do tell!

Oh, and for those with other Ereaders feeling left out–remember that my pet-centric thriller LOST AND FOUND is free on ALL ebook platforms. *s* Get the first chapter to LOST AND FOUND by texting THRILLS to 44222.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

 

 

We Are Not Alone–THE VILCABAMBA PROPHECY by Robert Rapoza

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Robert (Bob) Rapoza! 

Readers who enjoy action packed, suspenseful thrillers that include conspiracies, mercenary/military components and a bit of science fiction will want to check out THE VILCABAMBA PROPHECY. When Bob said it appeals to readers who enjoy stories in the tradition of James Rollins, Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler and Andy McDermott, I immediately hit the “buy” button and can’t wait to read this story. After all, it also has overtones of X-Files, The Blacklist and Raiders of the Lost Ark (with an Ancient Aliens theme…). This is my kind of thriller! Read on to learn more.

RAPOZA-Cropped1ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Rapoza is the author of THE VILCABAMBA PROPHECY, a 2015 Adventure Writers Competition Semi-Finalist, released on April 10, 2016, by Ravenswood Publishing. THE VILCABAMBA PROPHECY, an action packed thriller set in the Peruvian jungles, is the first adventure of archaeologist Nick Randall and his daughter Samantha Randall.

His second thriller, OPERATION ICE HAMMER, continues to follow Nick’s exploits as he is joined by his son Johnathan. This recently completed work finds Nick and John searching for clues that lead them from the sunny Bahama Islands to the frigid Antarctic continent. The third book in the series, THE DEVIL’S HEART, is a work in progress.

Born and raised in Southern California, when not writing novels, he enjoys hanging out with his wife Holly, daughter Heather, son Ryan and dog Bandit. He and his family enjoy the outdoors, taking bike rides along the beach and camping along the California coast. A die hard Red Sox and Patriots fan, when not watching sports, he also enjoys coaching his son Ryan, a pitcher and 1st baseman.

A member of the Southern California Writers Association he was recently selected to the 2015-16 Debut Authors program of the International Thriller Writers Association and will be among several new authors featured at the Debut Author session at this July’s ThrillerFest in New York City.

The ideas for his novels are drawn from his interest in archeology and science and his love of adventure stories. Bob has always been drawn to these topics and is fascinated by the technology utilized by ancient civilizations. This interest has provided fertile ground for his entertaining books. History is rich with mysteries waiting to be solved and Bob enjoys asking questions about these mysteries and offering ideas about what they might mean.

Bob is represented by Mark Gottlieb of the Trident Media Group. Learn more about his books at www.robertrapoza.com and find him on FACEBOOK and follow him on TWITTER.

HERE’S WHAT READERS SAY…

“Move over, Indiana Jones! A fabulous action series debut!— Laurie Johnston

The Vilcabamba Prophecy had me on the edge of my seat! This is a very action packed read; it’s full of plot twist and turns that keep you guessing the outcome… Superbly done! –Jill C

This is a roller coaster ride of a read! Exciting, thrilling, and a definite page turner. I loved it and you will too! Wil S.

AW-Badge

2015 Adventure Writers Competition Semi-FinalistThe-Vilcabamba-Prophecy-by-Robert-Rapoza-e1459182171998

 

SYNOPSIS: 

What would you do to uncover the truth?

When a mysterious benefactor funds archeologist Nick Randall’s research, he departs on an expedition to find the lost city of Vilcabamba. Hidden deep in the Amazon, Randall believes this legendary city holds proof that his controversial theories are true. Upon arriving, he disappears.

When Randall’s beautiful daughter Samantha learns of his disappearance, she is forced to make a difficult decision. An accomplished archeologist herself, she must decide if she will set aside her career to search for the man she blames for her mother’s death.

But someone else is looking for her father as well. Francis Dumond, a shadowy man with unlimited resources, will stop at nothing to find Vilcabamba and use its secrets to control the world.  It’s a race against time to see if Sam can find her father, prove his theories and stop Dumond before a stratovolcano destroys Vilcabamba and all of them as well.

(Note: Strong language and violence in this story.)

BUY THE BOOK HERE


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Choose #SentinelSpectrum to Prevent Pet Parasites Year Round #ad

Wizard of Bugs

Good bug protection isn’t magic–it’s common sense! (Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com)

(whispering…a la Wizard of Oz)

Heartworms and tapeworms and fleas, OH MY!

Hookworms and roundworms and whips, OH MY!

Year round prevention of bugs? OH MY!

(singing)

We’re….OFF to see the Wizard,

It’s Sentinel® Spectrum® for bugs!

Hey, I couldn’t resist, y’all know about my theater background, and here in North Texas we’ve been dodging tornadoes lately.

Besides, when it comes to pet parasites, I just want to unleash the FLYING MONKEYS…except they’re liable to be plagued by fleas, too. Even flying monkeys deserve to be pest free, but there are still many pet parents who may not have all the facts about canine intestinal and external parasites and how to kick the bugs out. So…how much do YOU know?


SentinelLogoThis post is sponsored by Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™ . I am being compensated to help create awareness about protection against common parasites found in dogs but BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD only shares information relevant to our readers. More information about Sentinel Spectrum. Virbac is not responsible for the content of this article.


To help out your dog and me, too, (no cheating!) click this link for a Reader Survey and test your “pet pest I.Q.”–and then come on back and check to see if you nail the correct answers. Or should I say “squashed” the answers?

THE TRUTH ABOUT FLEAS

The flea’s flat body is armored with cuticle plates that make it nearly crush-proof, and the narrow profile promotes easy movement through fur. An adult flea can live from a few weeks to more than a year, but more typically lives about thirty days. Fleas set up permanent housekeeping on the pet, and stay there unless involuntarily evicted. However, adults represent only about 5 percent of the total flea population. The remaining 95 percent of the bug count is composed of immature life stages: eggs, larvae and cocoons.

Drawing of cartoon flea

Fleas are NOT cute…and nothing to laugh about. (Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com)

After mating, female fleas store sperm to use as needed; a blood meal stimulates her to lay eggs. She can produce over 2000 eggs in thirty days, and up to 50 each day. Eggs typically fall from the host, and may remain dormant in the environment (the carpet or yard) for as long as six months. But normally, eggs hatch into tiny, maggot-like larvae within one to two weeks. They are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and subsist on the waste passed by adult fleas (sometimes referred to as “flea dirt), and other organic material.

Larvae spin cocoons in about three weeks, where they mature into adults. From inside the cocoon, the flea’s antennae and bristles are able to detect body heat and odor, changes in light, touch and moisture, and even traces of carbon dioxide exhalation of a nearby host. This prompts the flea to emerge from the cocoon, and immediately snag a canine victim. The cycle from egg to adult takes only 21 days under ideal conditions. Meanwhile, all those immature stages can just hang around and wait for a good time to target your pooch.

MagicKarma2

Fleas in my bed mean bug bites for me, too! (Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC)

Dogs that come indoors for even brief periods will seed flea eggs in your house which, given time to mature, quickly turn your house into a flea hotel. Fleas lurk in dog beds, (AND PEOPLE BEDS!), upholstery, carpeting, and even in your car! Vacuuming may even help spread the buggy bounty to other rooms in your house. That turns flea problems from a “seasonal itch” into a year round hazard.

WHY DOGS NEED

ALL YEAR HEARTWORM HELP

The weather is so mild here in Texas, that mosquitoes are year round pests, which makes canine heartworm disease a hazard all year long, for both indoor and outdoor pets. But the same is true if you live in cold northern states. Here’s why.

Dogs must be protected with a preventive heartworm treatment for at least 6 months after being last bitten by a mosquito, or you risk having heartworms develop. That’s because the medications can only kill the stages of a developing heartworm for the first ~3-4 months after a bite, and again once it becomes an adult by about 6 months after the mosquito bite.

That leaves a DANGER ZONE gap during which no drug is effective against these deadly parasites.

Magic

Magic deserves relief from parasite persecution! And…he can bring fleas INDOORS to my two indoor only cats. (Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC)

When an infected mosquito bites your dog in August, larvae are deposited upon the skin and gain entrance to the body through the bite wound left by the mosquito. The heartworm undergoes many more molts and development stages during the next several months, during which time it migrates inside your dog’s body.

Heartworm preventive can kill these baby worms during this migratory state, and prevent the parasite from reaching the heart and pulmonary arteries where it matures–it’s important, though, to treat a couple of months beyond the last mosquito bite of the season and on into the fall. But here’s the deal: how do you know the date of your dog’s last mosquito bite? Besides, that’s not how preventative is designed to work. Starting and stopping and missing the right timing risks your dog’s health.

Think about it. If you stop giving your dog preventive for half the year during the cold season, because you’re guessing mosquitoes aren’t around, you probably won’t kill the “baby worms” already percolating for potential havoc inside your canine buddy. In my part of the country (N. Texas), mosquitoes hang around even during the winter.

Because it’s so economical to prevent this threat, yet costs major $$ (and possibly your dog’s life) if you forget a dose, it’s really a no-brainer for me. Besides, getting in the habit of a healthy routine helps you remember and never forget to give your special dogs their preventative.

SentinelProductImage2The best and easiest way to protect your dog is to never skip a dose because heartworm preventative is most effective against infections that occurred in the month prior to taking the medicine. I treat Magical-Dawg year round with preventive to keep him flea and heartworm free. What about you?

Hey, did you take the SURVEY yet? Go ahead and do that now–you’ll be helping me out because your anonymous answers will become part of a fun info-graphic that I’ll share in a future post. So click this link to take the Reader Survey. And share the quiz!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Skunked! 3 Home Remedies to De-Stink Your Dog

skunk

Skunks come out in spring and stink up curious dogs

Karma-Kat loves watching the bunnies that play out on the back patio so I wasn’t concerned when he began chattering with excitement—until I noticed THIS bunny had a long fluffy black and white tail. Yes, a skunk has set up housekeeping next to our house. Hoo boy.

SKUNKED DOGS & REPEAT OFFENDERS

Last year around this time, Magical-Dawg found a skunk—again. We’ve had to de-stink him several times over the years, and one summer he got “blasted” three separate times. You’d think dogs would learn after one skunk encounter, but time after time he sticks his nose in rude places and gets rewarded with skunky consequences. So last week after my husband noticed one of the cute lil’ black and white critters wandering around in the back pasture, we’ve since then made sure Magic is under leash control until the coast is clear.

I suspect that the heavy rains have evicted many little black and white furry families from their heir homes. This one Magic found pretty close to the house, rather than the distant field that’s on pretty low (currently soggy) ground. Usually hunting dogs get nailed most often since they’re exposed to wildlife as they hunt. But hungry skunks won’t hesitate to munch pet food left out and can even sneak into your house (yikes!) through a pet door.

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd puppy, 10 weeks old, looking at Striped Skunk, Mephitis Mephitis, 5 years old, sitting in front of white background

Dogs aren’t dumb. Well, most are not…so you’d think they’d learn from one (or two, or five!) encounters. Yet the dogs continue to push the sniff-envelope and continue to get nailed. It’s not entirely their fault, even though skunks give fair warning with stomped feet, turning around and holding the tail high. But this elevated tail poised to launch its smelly cargo sends mixed signals to pets.

WHY DOGS GET SKUNKED

A straight-up tail is a greeting behavior for cats, and for dogs a high-held wagging tail begs for a greeting sniff. The skunk has shown the equivalent of a dog offering to shake hands, and gets his feelings hurt when he misunderstands the skunk’s invitation. It’s simple mis-communication.

Skunks have musk glands on each side of the anus. These glands are equipped with retractable ducts. They can take aim and spray the stink a distance of 10 to 15 feet, so even standoffish pets are liable to get nailed.

Skunk spray contains thiols, an organic compound composed of a sulfur atom attached to a hydrogen atom attached to a carbon atom. The same types of compounds create stinky breath or flatulence. Thiols have a lingering rotten egg odor, and the skunk’s oily secretion makes it difficult to get rid of. Skunk spray is so pungent, a concentration of one in 10 parts per billion can make humans gag. Just think how obnoxious or downright painful the smell is to your pet’s nose.

A bath alone generally won’t do the job. The oily secretions can be difficult to wash away, and the thiols are impossible to perfume or wash off. Usually a commercial de-skunking solution will be needed, one that incorporates odor neutralizers specially designed to eliminate the pungent aroma.

Perform clean up outside, too, or you’ll need to deodorize your entire house after scrubbing the pet. Wear comfortable, disposable old clothes and gloves because your dog will transfer odor to you during the bathing process. Trust me on this!

Oh, and do NOT let the dog back into the house until after the bath. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the skunk smell in the air and potentially your carpet and furniture when the dog tries to rub off the odor. The last time this happened I got a Fresh Wave candle burning, and a CritterZone odor neutralizer running in addition to spritzing odor neutralizers around the kitchen.

skunked dog bath

Skunked dogs require multiple sudsing and rinsing cycles.

3 HOME REMEDIES TO

DE-STINK SKUNKY DOGS

What if you don’t have handy-dandy products available that are designed to keep skunk smell at bay? Here are a few options.

Tomato Juice. A tried and true home remedy is a tomato juice soak. Wash your puppy first with pet shampoo and towel him dry. Then douse him with the juice and let it soak for ten or fifteen minutes. Rinse him off and suds again with the regular shampoo. Alternate the tomato juice soak with the shampoo bath until he’s less pungent. Be warned, though, that white and light colored pets may turn temporarily pink from this treatment.

Massengill Douche. Professional groomers often recommend Massengill brand douche to get rid of skunk odor. Mix two ounces of Massengill to a gallon of water for small dogs—double the recipe for bigger pups—and pour over the washed pet. Let the solution soak for at least fifteen minutes. Then rinse with plain water, and bathe with normal shampoo once more.

Chemistry Cure. You can also use chemistry to neutralize the thiols. Mix one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup of baking soda, and one teaspoon of pet shampoo (any kind will work). Apply to the pet’s wet fur, allow the mix to bubble for three or four minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This recipe, created by chemist Paul Krebaum, works better than anything on the market. You can’t buy it, though, because the formula can’t be bottled. It explodes if left in a closed container. So if your pet is skunked, mix only one application at a time. Otherwise you’ll be cleaning up more than just the pet.

What about the skunk under our patio? Well, she (yes, it’s obviously a SHE) will be there for the foreseeable future. I watched her dive under the AC unit that’s probably been flooded out, and come out carrying a baby. She carried baby skunk to the new digs (pun intended) beneath the patio, out of the rain. And she repeated the maneuver at least two more times. Magic won’t be using the back door anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Karma has a new black and white “bunny” friend. I think I’ll call her Susie.

Have you or your pets ever been skunked? Ever had wildlife move into your neighborhood? Do tell!

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Please note that I earn a small percentage from affiliate links to books or other products which are mentioned from time to time in my posts. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!