Time for my annual Count My Blessings post. The past year has meant change, change, and more change, and that’s good and also challenging. But some things never change…I’m thankful to you—yes, those who read this blog, my newspaper column, the cat book lovers, and the dog book lovers, and folks who have “adopted” my thriller series. And those who offered awesome applause and support any of the other venues mentioned…
Breaking Bad Mystery & Thrillers & Swag Galore! Booksweeps Giveaway, Emily Kimelman & More!
👀 I spy a steal…If you haven’t read my first three September & Shadow Thrillers, you can enter to win the trilogy on BookSweeps today — plus 20 exciting Mysteries & Thrillers from the likes of Alex Kava, JT Ellison (and moi), PLUS a boatload of Breaking Bad Swag worth $250+
I’ve teamed up with fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of mysteries and suspense thrillers to 2 lucky winners!
Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets one-of-a-kind swag bag? 😁
Dark Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Books Galore! Booksweeps Giveaway, Emily Kimelman & More!
👀 I spy a steal…If you haven’t read my first September & Shadow Thriller, you can enter to win it on BookSweeps today — plus 55 exciting Dark Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense books from a great collection of authors… AND a brand new eReader 😀
I’ve teamed up with fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of mysteries and suspense thrillers to 2 lucky winners!
Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁
Pet-centric September & Shadow Thrillers Audiobook On Sale!
September & Shadow Thriller Trilogy #2 On Sale (in AUDIO)
This 3-book collection usually priced at $24.99 includes FIGHT OR FLIGHT (#4), HIT AND RUN (#5), and WIN OR LOSE (#6) in the series. Amazon won’t let me set prices (boo!) but I’ve discounted the audiobook on other platforms.
$1.99 on CHIRP books,
Discounted on Apple Audio
Discounted on Barnes & Noble.
Win Or Lose by Amy Shojai Releases January 2
I'm excited to announce the release of my 6th thriller WIN OR LOSE in my September and Shadow THRILLERS WITH BITE series. It's available on all Ebook platforms and in trade paperback. WIN OR LOSE: A September & Shadow Thriller #6 "Colorful characters, including...
Name That Dog & Name That Cat Contest WINNERS: Get WIN OR LOSE Preorder
Update: Poll closed and congratulations to a hotly contested vote! The winners Tigger and Lefty will have starring roles in the book. BUT…It was so neck and neck for a while that…stay tuned, I may have to add the runners up Kami and Storm to the story in some way....
Dream Big, Be You: What Do You Want To Be?
I didn't start out to be a writer, so how the @#$%^&*! did I end up here? I just heard from the Cat Writers' Association that my fiction book HIT AND RUN just won a Certificate of Excellence Award, with consideration for a Muse Medallion. I always wanted to write...
Counting Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way in 2020
It’s days before Thanksgiving 2020 and time again to count my furry blessings. This year, Thanksgiving looks very different. I yearn to visit my parents, and my brothers' families, I’m thankful they're all healthy, and safe. I’m grateful this year more than ever that...
Beating Writers Block & Feeding the Muse
I'm all about beating writers block and feeding the muse. You'd think with the lockdown, I'd find more time to write. Truthfully, my motivation these days sucketh. I never suffer from wondering what to write. In fact, I've put together an on-demand webinar for beating...
Earth Day for Pets: How to Celebrate Responsibly
It’s Earth Day! Now, we have to be responsible because the Earth is the only place that has dogs and cats. Am I right? So how will you make Earth Day for pets a fun celebration? Shadow-Pup, Karma-Kat and I are encouraging everyone to do their part to help take care of this gorgeous planet we share.
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Enrich Your Cat’s Environment
Do you get bored? How do you know when your cat feels bored, just like we do? Cats may sleep more (and they already sleep a LOT!). If you free feed leaving out food all the time, a bored cat fills up their empty feelings with a full tummy. Or, they may act out by scratching the wrong object, or–in my Karma-Kat’s case, he torments the dog.
I’m a huge proponent of environmental enrichment for cats. Think about it–while dogs more typically get outings with walks in the park or car rides, we keep cats safe inside. No wonder they get bored. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, think about some eco-friendly ways to enrich your cat’s environment.
You don’t have to spend a bunch of money, either, or a lot of time. Here are some easy and fun “green” projects to try and see if that turns on the kitty purrs.
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Enrich Your Dog’s Environment
Dogs, cats and other pets can get bored just like we do. I struggle not to binge on snacks and bad TV. Keeping our minds and bodies active is important for our health, and environmental enrichment elevates your dog’s physical and emotional health.
When Shadow-Pup feels bored, he terrorizes Karma-Kat. Oh, they love to play together, but he overdoes things and can get too rough when he feels bored. He’ll also demand more attention from his humans. That takes the form of staring and barking at us (READ MY MIND!), or bringing toys to play, or even indulging in zoomies–racing around and around the house l
There are many ways you can add some stimulation into your pet’s world. That doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Check out these easy and green pet-parent projects you can try this spring.
How to Leash Train Cats
Why would you want to leash train cats and confine kitties from stalking and pouncing? Isn’t that mean? Actually, it’s not cruel, but without proper introduction, it can be a wee bit scary. In my Complete Kitten Care book, I call this LIBERATION TRAINING. Teaching your new cat to walk on a leash is a safety issue, but also means they get to venture beyond the confines of your house and into the yard and beyond.
This week during a cat consult, a pet parent asked about training her cat to walk on a leash. It’s always a good time to revisit the notion. An adult cat won’t automatically understand the concept, though, so this blog not only explains the benefits of leash training to YOU, it also helps you purr-suade your cats to get a new leash on life. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Cats and Mirrors: Stranger Danger or Twin Fun?
Years ago, when I was the spokesperson for the Purina Cat Chow Way of Life Tour, we’d arrive in town the evening before and visit the shelter to choose a kitty for the next morning’s TV appearance. The “stars” almost always received lots of attention from viewers and got adopted. Understandably, shelter staff had their favorites and often urged us to choose a special feline that had less chance for a forever home. I had the delight of spending the night in the hotel room with the lucky kitty. Believe me, it was tough not to bring a whole clowder home!
One memorable kitty hated mirrors. Oy!
The shelter volunteers urged us to take a “lifer” onto the TV show. This kitty had been there for several years, and probably couldn’t remember ever being on the “outside.” She’d had reconstructive eye surgery for a birth defect (problems with the eyelids) and had poor vision. But she was sweet and adored by the whole staff–so we chose her to make a television appearance.
That evening, when I opened the carrier door in the hotel room to allow her to stretch her legs, she got as far as the closet door, and FREAKED! The mirror reflection terrified her—that strange cat in the glass hissed at her, screamed at her, threatened to attack—and this poor cat hadn’t a clue what to do. Why do cats get freaked out by mirrors? It’s likely the eyesight issue made it worse, but many cats react to mirrors poorly. Learn here why cats hate mirrors and what you can do to ease the angst!
Dare Or Die Pre-Order: Amy Shojai Thriller Book #7 Releases April 30
Plan to get your copy of DARE OR DIE from Amy Shojai thrillers by pre-ordering NOW. The book releases in all Ebook versions, in print, and hardcover on April 30th. The audiobook version releases in May.
What’s DARE OR DIE #7 About?
September Day won’t let anything prevent her from walking down the aisle. Hiring more security instead of canceling the ceremony, she’s horrified when the stalker makes good on their threat. And whisked away by a mysterious bodyguard, the distraught bride fears the only way to keep everyone safe is to fake her death.
Longing to return home, the frantic dog trainer relies on her German Shepherd Shadow to sniff out her strange savior’s true motives. But September’s PTSD escalates into full-blown panic after learning she holds the key to take down a sinister crime syndicate.
Can September and Shadow bury the past for good?
DARE OR DIE is the electrifying 7th book in the September & Shadow series. If you like spirited survivors, twisty secrets, and the healing power of hero dogs and hero cats, then you’ll love Amy Shojai’s hair-raising read.
How Pets Play, Why Cats Play, and What Dog Play Means
It can be hard to tell sometimes what’s “real” and what kind of play is “just fooling around.” In fact, both dog play and cat play can tip over into dangerous aggression if the pets get too wound up.
Dog and cat play use the same behaviors as hunting, attack, and aggressive behavior, but the pets use “meta signals” to let the other party know it’s all in good fun. For instance, dogs use the “play bow” with butt-end up and forepaws down to signal that everything that comes after this signal is not serious. Cats also can use a play bow, or roll on their back to solicit attention or a game.
Here’s a BIG clue. Doggy play includes growls, whines and barks. Cat play typically is silent. If your cats become vocal during play, it’s time to stop the games. And if both of the pets keep coming back for more, they’re likely just having a good time.
Learn more about dog and cat play here.
Vet Visits Don’t Have to Be Stressful with DIGGS Passenger Travel Carrier
Dog crates and cat carriers—love ’em, or hate ’em, they’re a necessity to keep pets safe. With vacation time just around the corner (do you take pets with you to visit family on holidays?), consider updating your pet-safety accomodations. I recently received a Passenger Travel Carrier from DIGGS, known for their innovative and high-quality dog products—and now the Passenger option for smaller dogs and CATS.
Vet Visits Don’t Have to Be Stressful with DIGGS Passenger Carrier
Mee-wow! So much to love about this carrier, especially the fact it received a five-star crash test rating (highest score possible) from the Center for Pet Safety. In fact, the Passenger Travel Carrier passed on the first try. For cats and small dogs, the best and safest option for car travel means riding inside a carrier that you seat-belt into the back seat–or, if small enough, fits on the floor behind the front seats. The Passenger Travel Carrier fits both requirements.
Adopting An Easter Bunny? Make Mine Chocolate!
Easter bunny, anyone? Awwww…nothing sweeter than baby bunnies. Well, baby anything, right? Our “Cottontail Mountain” home already has rabbits everywhere, especially in our garden. Shadow-Pup, sadly, wants to hunt them so we must monitor him as the babies appear Easter bunnies appear.
Karma-Kat loves watching “bunny TV” out the back patio windows. I think he’d love to have one come inside to *ahem* cuddle and play. NOT! Just like other animal companions, it takes more than admiration to make bunny love positive for everyone.
Easter is not the time for a spur of the moment furry gift. People purchased chicks and ducklings and baby bunnies by the score each year, some dyed in ridiculous colors, almost as gag gifts although they are living creatures with very specific care needs. A rabbit is more than an Easter bunny joke. Here’s what you need to know when considering a bunny as a pet.
Easter Candy Caution for Pets
Easter candy fills the aisles at grocery stores these days. There are plenty of toys, too, including stuffed bunnies–a far better gift than real live rabbits that need special care. Here’s my yearly caution about Easter candy and other goodies around pets.
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Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author. You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website.
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