BOOK LAUNCH & Contest & Give-Aways, Oh My!

COME JOIN THE BOOK LAUNCH CONTEST!

My newest books are now available, SQUEE! CALLED TO PROTECT, as well as the KEIKI & LIA BOX SET officially release tomorrow in the Amazon’s Kindle World library, but I’m starting the party TODAY.

Lei Crime Kindle World Keiki & LiaThe winners of the NAME THAT PET contest have been notified, and the new characters are: *drum roll please*

POPOKI for the kitten, and RANGER for the puppy. More prizes will be up for paw-grabs in the next several days, starting NOW. To celebrate the launch of my pet-centric story, CALLED TO PROTECT, I’m giving away copies of two of my nonfiction books, AND a rhinestone paw necklace/earring set.

SCROLL DOWN to enter for your chance to win pet-centric prizes, PURRR-fect for the pet lover! They’re Karma-Kat approved!

book launch contest

To enter, simply click this link and fill out the form and winners will be chosen in a random drawing. Note: the books are Ebooks and so everyone is eligible to enter and win. Unfortunately, I can only ship the jewelry within the United States (so thanks for understanding. Scroll down to enter, below the video.

Also–MORE PRIZES from my author-friends in the Lei Crime Kindle World Ohana, including Amazon Gift Certificates and more! Check out the video, below, and then go to THIS LINK for more details on the fun party and prize give-aways on Tuesday February 20, 2018 from 1:30-8:30 EST. (I will be hosting from 3-3:30 EST in the group!).

LINK TO LEI CRIME FACEBOOK PARTY!

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

VOTE for Name That Kitten & Puppy!

Lei Crime Kindle World Keiki & LiaWow, what a great response to my call to NAME THAT PET vote contest for my newest Keiki & Lia thriller! I counted over 40 suggestions posted on the blog and various Facebook threads. and it was difficult to narrow down the list. Based on the story themes and the established characters, I’ve chosen my top 5 names for each–and I’d be THRILLED with any of these!

The winners will be acknowledged in the book, have their chosen character names included in CALLED TO PROTECT, the latest and final Keiki & Lia thriller, and receive Advance Readers Copies of the Ebook.

Ready–set–Name that pet! Vote vote vote–as many times as you want, and share away to campaign for your favorite character name. Voting closes Friday morning, so I can finish a final edit and submit the manuscript to Amazon.

NAME THAT PET–VOTE BELOW

THANK YOU for all your support! I can’t wait to see which furry wonder wins the NAME THAT PET contest. Remember to share this page and the polls to campaign for YOUR selection.

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

Valentines Pet Dangers: TOP 5 Pet Safety Tips for Valentines Day

I’m often interviewed by media about various cat behavior and dog training issues, and of course Valentines pet dangers top the list this week. Pet hazards are common when our normal routine goes out the window, so pet parents are vigilant around the holidays. Pet safety issues for Christmas are similar to those for Valentine’s Day but it’s always good to refresh our watch list.

5 VALENTINES DANGERS DANGERS & WHAT TO DO

Valentines for Pets

“Got a hole in your heart? Pets fill it up with furry love!”

CHOCOLATE DANGERS

The top danger at Valentine’s for dogs is chocolate–in particular the dark chocolate and truffles-type candy. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, and both can speed up the heart rate and in high enough concentrations, cause vomiting, diarrhea or even death. It takes about two pounds of milk chocolate to poison a 7 pound pet.

Baker’s chocolate has 10 times as much theobromine, so that 7 pound pet could get sick from eating only 2 ounces. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration, so is the more dangerous. Dogs are poisoned more often (cats don’t have a sweet tooth like dogs and people!), and if you see a dog lick the frosting off the cake or break into the Valentine’s truffles, induce vomiting immediately and then get vet care.

The best way to make dogs vomit is to first feed a small meal (that dilutes the poison and also makes it easier to induce vomiting). Then give 3% hydrogen peroxide (about 1-2 teaspoons/10 pounds of pet) to make him vomit. Use a turkey baster or squirt gun if you don’t have a syringe applicator. You’ll find more tips on how to make pets vomit at this post.

Valentine's Pet Safety

Make your pet love shine 365 days a year…not just at Valentine’s Day.

RIBBONS & STRING

The top danger for cats is swallowed ribbon/string type decorations associated with Valentine’s gifts. Oh, the packaging looks glorious and it may delight your playful cat just as much as it does you.

Cats play with any moving object, and while supervised play is fine, when swallowed, the string item can cut internal organs and/or create a blockage. Once the cat starts swallowing, she can’t stop…to make the tickle go away, she keeps gulping until it’s all inside. It may take a day or so before you even notice a problem, when the ribbon or string clog up the “plumbing.”

Again, if you see the cat swallow the string, immediately induce vomiting (same as with dogs). However, cats are harder to get to vomit, so after one dose, get the kitty vet help. Also…if you see string/ribbon hanging outside the mouth OR the anus, DO NOT PULL! The other end of the string may be caught on the inside, so tugging could cut the organs. Often, when cats swallow thread, a needle may be on one end, and the thread may wrap around the base of the cat’s tongue. The movement of the intestines (peristalsis, sort of like an inch worm) can make the tissue gather like fabric on the thread. A vet visit is vital. And of course, to prevent, just supervise ribbon play and dispose of dangerous items.

Valentine's doggy love

“You’re sweeter than Valentine’s chocolate!”

TOXIC PLANTS & PETS

Also be VERY careful of the types of Valentine’s flowers and plants are within paw-reach. In particular, lily can kill dogs and especially cats, causing kidney failure. Cats don’t even have to eat them–just drink from water in the container, or claw the plant and lick claws clean. Check out this PAW-some page with a list of 199 poisonous plants and what to do. 

Cat bag safety

Bags are great fun–but cut off the handles for cats!

BAGS, BOXES & PACKAGING

Cats love bags, right? And some cats adore licking plastic, which can be a BIG concern. Oftentimes, the plastic is a petroleum product derivative of some kind, and maybe that’s why cats like the flavor. Ingestion is a problem with both dogs and cats, so be sure to properly dispose of dangerous packing materials.

While bags (not plastic!) can be great fun for cats, be very careful of those bags with handles. A hiding cat that darts out of the bag can get the handle caught around his neck. That’s a potential choking hazard at worst, and also creates terror when the cat runs and the bag “chases” the kitty. That happened one time with Seren-Kitty when she was a kitten (20 years ago!) and was an early lesson for me. Now I throw out plastics, and cut the handles on any bags so they’re safe for kitty hide aways.

STRANGER DANGER

Another issue around Valentine’s Day for both cats and dogs is something I call ‘STRANGER DANGER.’ When a pet isn’t familiar with the new guy or gal you’re dating, that can put the pet’s tail in a twist. For some pets, that simply means they hide. Others, though, can become fearful and turn aggressive toward the new person. And the fear may actually prompt the pet to try and escape–and getting out of the house can mean a lost pet or hit by car or any number of things. The best prevention of course is to slowly introduce pets to strangers to ensure there’s a future love connection. And if you haven’t had time to do the intros, simply confine your dog or cat in a safe room away from the stranger. Click the book covers for my tips guides on the issue.

What about you? Have you “pet proofed” your Valentine’s Day plans? Do tell!

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers.   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

Keiki & Lia Return! Name That Kitten & Name That Puppy in Lei Crime Kindle World Story

Keiki & Lia return in the third novella CALLED TO PROTECT, completing my Lei Crime Kindle World trilogy. I’m joined by nearly a dozen authors with new books in the Lei Crime Kindle World, and we’re throwing a launch party with LOTS of prizes in the Lei Crime Kindle World Ohana Facebook page on February 20. CLICK THE BANNER, BELOW to join the party!

Lei Crime Kindle World

There are SO many prizes to name, but for an example–I’m giving away some copies of *squeee!* COMPLETE PUPPY CARE and also this paw-some jewelry set cuz that’s how we roll over here at Bling, Bitches & Blood.

puppy book

Yep, I’ve been busy!  Wanna see the nifty covers (yes, I said COVERS!) Not only am I releasing the 3rd novella, I’m also releasing a BOX SET of all three Keiki & Lia stories in one book!

NAME THAT KITTEN & PUPPY

Lei Crime Kindle World Keiki & LiaOh, and did I mention, I need your help naming a couple of furry characters? In this final story, Keiki the Rottweiler police dog finally takes her place in Hawaii by her cop partner’s side. But back in Texas, Keiki has a puppy successor who must be just as smart, brave, and dedicated as Keiki to succeed. I need a NAME for this puppy that reflects all that he or she will be in the future.

Also in the story (because READERS DEMANDED IT!) there is a new kitten character who makes a brief appearance. This kitten, though tiny, manages to make the bad guy flinch and back down at just the right moment, and thus saves both Keiki and Lia’s lives. So I need a NAME for a feisty, brave, dog-loving kitten that reflects all that he or she will be in the future.

This is a very fast turn around, because I must upload the final copy of the story by this weekend. For a name to be considered, make your suggestion in the COMMENTS BELOW (name, description, and why you like the name). Maybe you’ll choose a Texas theme, or a Hawaiian name, or or or? ….

On WEDNESDAY I will post a voting poll of my favorite suggestions. And y’all can campaign wherever you like to get the most votes for your favorites.

On FRIDAY, the winning names will be announced. The two folks with winning suggestions will get an advance digital of CALLED TO PROTECT, their names in the acknowledgements, and bragging rights. *s* Remember to check back here frequently — and join the Lei Crime Kindle World Ohana Group for more prizes on launch day Feb. 20.

KEIKI & LIA BOX SET

If you’ve not yet discovered good-dog Keiki, now is your chance! Author Toby Neal created the Lei Crime thriller series set in Hawaii, and featuring Detective Lei Texeira and her Rottweiler police dog Keiki. When Toby granted other authors permission to write in her “world” via Kindle World, using her characters and settings, I thought it would be fun to write a series of prequels explaining how Keiki became a police dog. That’s how my Keiki & Lia Thrillers were born, and I’ve had a ball writing in Rottweiler puppy viewpoint! Now you’ll be able to read all three stories in this single boxed set.

BORN TO LOVE

Can the past unlock the future and love preserve a life?

A puppy’s job is to learn. Keiki relishes the sights, sounds and smells of her world, but people frustrate and confuse her. Why do humans control all the good stuff?

Lia Corazon channels her energy and emotions into the dogs she trains in her North Texas kennel. She especially enjoys four-month-old Keiki’s enthusiasm, but the pup’s owner makes her uneasy. There’s something very…wrong about him.

When a vicious storm, violent flood, and scary creatures menace Keiki, her Rottweiler bravery comes through. But what can a good-dog do when a human enemy threatens? Keiki must use all she’s learned if she’s to save Lia from a killer.

TRAINED TO SERVE

Choices and challenges will bind them together … or break them apart.

Ten-month-old Keiki thrives on each test of her growing abilities, but strange new yearnings mystify and distract her. What’s a good-dog to do? She doesn’t want to let the girl down.

Lia Corazon has only three days left to prepare Keiki for the police dog test. There’s more than the dog’s future at stake. Success will save Lia’s dream of rebuilding her North Texas dog kennel. Failure means a lifetime of living her grandparents’ dreams.

When a training exercise takes a deadly turn, Lia sends Keiki to protect a young girl, but who will protect Lia? There’s a killer on the loose and he’ll burn anybody who gets in his way.

CALLED TO PROTECT

A police dog’s job is to protect and serve…no matter what.

Year old Rottweiler Keiki flourishes when she finds her purpose protecting her trainer Lia, but now something’s very wrong—on the inside. How can she do her job and defend family when her body betrays her?

Lia Corazon finds her father, only to lose her grandparents. When they disown her for breaking their rules, she could also lose her North Texas dog kennel if she can’t repay the bank loan. All she has left is Keiki, and newly discovered Hawaiian relatives she doesn’t know–or particularly like.

When a police job goes wrong, Keiki must overcome her instincts to save her human. Through the process, she’ll discover that home isn’t a place—it’s a person.

Now you’ve got a taste–NAME THAT KITTEN and NAME THAT PUPPY! Provide your suggestion in comments below. Ready–set–GO!

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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? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. 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!

Happy Birthday Seren! Happy Gotcha Day Karma!

A pets adoption day is a special event. Five years ago yesterday, Karma-Kat arrived, the day before Seren-Kitty’s birthday. Seren would have been 22 years old today! So I’m re-running last year’s blog post–with a few updates, of course.

CatBirthday_49873051_original

Photo courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEREN-Angel!

When a kitten was discovered asleep in a flower pot on a friend’s back porch about the first week of June, my friend called me for help. You see, her four-year-old daughter REALLY wanted this kitten, but my friend was allergic yet didn’t want to take the baby to the shelter. So it was Amy-To-The-Rescue.

As soon as I walked into her kitchen, this tiny baby with blue-jean-color eyes raced across the floor and climbed up my pant leg, put her paws around my neck, and it was all over. I was smitten. I wrote about this in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul. The veterinarian judged her to be about five months old, so we counted backwards to give Seren a February 1st birthday–which also happens to be my Mom’s birthday.

Complete Kitten Care bookSo last year, in honor of that Seren-Kitty’s birthday, I announced the updated edition of my award-winning COMPLETE KITTEN CARE which today has also been released in all Ebook platforms (Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc). For those who prefer physical books, the print edition in both softcover and hardback is here.

I think the book makes a great Valentine’s gift for cat-moms. Just saying. 🙂

My tiny Siamese wannabe is included in the book, with her bare tummy following spay surgery. Oh, and yes, Karma-Kat’s picture is also in the updated book.

KARMA’S GOTCHA DAY

Five years ago today, we prepped for a horrible ice and snow storm set to shut down North Texas for several days. On Friday January 31st, Magical-Dawg(RB) saw “something” dash across the back patio. A hungry, not-so-tiny kitten with blue-jean-color eyes came to the window and paw-clawed to get inside, never mind that a big black doggy face stared and wagged back at him.

He wore a collar, too, so I thought he must belong to the new neighbor. When I opened the door, he ran–I followed, and called for him. He kept running until I meowed at him. He stopped, mewed back, and then can running back to me. And a week later I blogged about him when knew that Karma was home for good.

The veterinarian guestimated Karma to be about 7-8 months old, so we counted backwards and–holy cats!–assigned his birthday in July on the same day as Magical-Dawg’s birthday.

German shepherd puppy in party cone

Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

WHAT’S YOUR PET’S BEST GIFT EVER?

So what do YOU think? Was there some really kewl karma and serendipity and magic happening here? For Karma to arrive so timely for Seren’s birthday when, frankly, my old lady cat had been so ill that I feared her days were numbered. I know Seren would’ve argued that SHE never asked for a kitten for her birthday, but Karma certainly turned back the clock and gave her new energy when he arrived.

I have no doubt that Seren-Kitty lived to be almost 22 years old (passing the end of November 2017). Karma gave her an extra 4 years of energy to get that aggravating @#$%^YU! man-cat out of here! but at last, she fell in love with him, and he with her.

Having Karma around meant Magic suddenly discovered the joys of a kitty playmate that ADORED him. Sadly for Karma, that love affair ended this past September when Magic also moved on to his next adventure beyond Rainbow Bridge.

Have you ever had new furry wonders arrive at JUST the right time in some weird-and-wonderful coincidence? What’s the best birthday or gotcha-day gifts your fur-kids ever got? Do tell!

In the play STRAYS, THE MUSICAL we included a very short, funny but poignant scene called INAPPROPRIATE PET GIFTS, in which a puppy asks an older dog about the best and worst gifts he ever received. Worst gifts include a hotdog costume for Halloween, and the puppy’s best gift was an old shoe that smelled like the owner–“Heaven!”

“What’s the best gift you ever got?” asks Puppy.

Old Dog answers with two words. “A home.”

So today, as I celebrate the happy accident and magic of pets past, and Karma-Kat present, I know that there will be a pets future. I’m just waiting for that next paw-step to enter my world.

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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!