Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Blog Friends Forever Tour: Blogging Buddies with Giveaways!

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This blog hop is hosted by Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast to show some love to bloggers and the online book community!

Anyone who knows me or follows me on social media like Twitter and/or Instagram knows that I'm madly in love with my cat! He just bring my family so much joy we just can't stop talking about him (and taking pictures of him) XD So for my Blog Friends Forever Tour post, I thought, why not get to know other bloggers/authors' furry friends? I like to call them our Blogging Buddies ;) To start off, here is a little bit about my cat, Ripple!

Hello! I'm Ripple!Ripple is an orange tabby who loves to eat. He's named after my mom's favourite Rip-L chips. It was a joke at first but it had a nice ring to it so we kept it. About four years ago, we adopted him from our local SPCA. He was just the friendliest and most adorable little thing we've ever met.

Sleepy piggy~He's different from other cats because he doesn't have a tail. The SPCA told us he'd been seen wandering the streets for six months. It wasn't until someone noticed he was hurt that he was brought in to the SPCA. Apparently his tail was mangled and rotting. They don't know exactly what happened to him but their best guess was it got caught on some fences. In the end they had to amputate it. Now he just has this little stump he waggles but even without a tail, he jumps and climbs just fine~ Quite swiftly I might add -so my sisters and I gave him the middle name Swift (our last name's Lee) XD

Ripple sees cake....
When he's not bird-watching, he's running around like a wild child (or miniature horse as my sister likes to call him) or meowing nonstop for food (he goes to stand in front of his food bowl and gives us his best imitation of the Puss-In-Boots eyes). If we ever can't find him in the house, all we have to do is shake the treat bag and he'll magically appear right in front of you ;)

He blogs with me ;)Blogging-wise, he is a calm presence by my side when I'm writing up my reviews. He can be seen modelling my books for me while rubbing his face all over the books claiming them for himself. I've recently moved out and don't see him as much anymore but we make it work (I go home every week just to see his face)! Oh and he's on Instagram! So that's a little bit of Ripple for ya. Now let's get to know some of our other furry friends!

Pili's DylanFirst up is Pili from In Love With Handmade with her Dylan!

Hello there! That handsome sheep there that stole my shades is my dear Dylan, although he ought be called Dillon, since he's an Irish sheep and that'd be the proper spelling (although technically he ought to be Indian since that's where I got him).

And if we're being proper, I think he'd be a girl, since the character from Shaun the Sheep was a she, I think, but that's not here nor there!

Dylan and pillows!Dylan was the last gift I got from my ex-bf before we broke up. He and his co-workers had one of these adorable looking sheep in their office and I loved it, so he got me my own. He even named him Dylan (although I'm not sure if we discussed the spelling).

Once we broke up, Dylan was a lot of comfort, and although it might be a bit embarrassing, I started sleeping clutching a stuffed sheep to get to sleep after the break up at my very grown up age of 33...

Dylan with Pili's TBR ;)He soon became the blog's mascot once I started having fun taking pics of him with books, and that inspired me to make my own widgets for some memes. I'm planning to make a new blog button and some other things featuring him (and the dragons) but I've been too busy with real life for that as of late!

He now has to share the spotlight with my Kagawa dragons as of late, but he's the one that I end up hugging when I'm dealing with a massive book hangover or having a bad day emotionally speaking, and he doesn't judge the piles of books all over the place!

Neil with Air Awakens!
Here is Elise Kova, author of the Air Awakens series, with her 7 years old Maine Coon, Cornelius Catticus Maximus, "Neil" whose favorite food is Fancy Feast or Dehydrated Chicken! He weights 21lbs - He's a big breed! Not fat! :D

Neil is everywhere.My fiancee grew up with Maine Coon cats. I'd never met the breed referred to as the "gentle giants" until the first time I flew up to his house. There, I met one of his cats, Icarus. Icarus won me over with his friendly demeanor, dog-like need to be next to you at all times, and beautiful long-haired fur. So, the year after my fiancee and I moved in together and decided to get a cat there wasn't any discussion of what type of cat we'd get!

Neil and Elise (sort of)Neil has to be everywhere I am, everywhere. I can't close the bathroom door without him crying outside it! But don't be fooled, he doesn't want to be touched all the time like some cats do who are always underfoot. I usually say there are two types of people in the world: Those who touch the belly, and those who know better. Neil can be pretty picky about when, and where, he wants to be touched! Mostly, he enjoys just hanging out where his people are. However, when he wants attention he demands it and it usually ends up looking something like this...
Neil proof-reads Air Awakens
Neil has been a great friend through Air Awakens. When I was first querying for traditional publication he snuggled me when I was feeling really down from all my rejections. He hangs out with me in my writing nook and is rarely judgmental of how much time I spend writing.

Neil with fanmail ;) He helps read through any mail that come through my P.O. box. And he's a great listener when I need to bounce off ideas and helps proof-read my work.

Fire FallingI call Neil the "little prince" because he runs this household! But I love him so much and I wouldn't change anything about him. Even when he's meowing outside the bathroom door as though the world is ending.

The second book in Elise's Air Awaken series, Fire Falling, is coming out November 19 so make sure you check it out!

I am Worm!
Next up is Jess and Tom from The Reading Nook Reviews with their Worm!

So if you guys have checked out my instagram or my blog, you’ll know that Tom and I have a giant, furry tabby cat in our lives named Worm - short for “Bookworm”.

A painting of Worm.He’s fifteen-years-old, and is a grey tabby cat. (Trade secret: you can tell that they’re tabby cats, when they have that M on their forehead!) Worm was first introduced to Tom fourteen years ago, when he was a young cat. Tom started house sitting for Worm when his owner would go out of town, and an EPIC bromance developed from that relationship.

Tom introduced Worm and me in 2013, when we house sat for him for a month. I was instantly in kitty-love; he immediately started nonchalantly treating me like a friend, including jumping up and sitting on the couch with me when I was watching the news, or taking a nap.

Worm likes to watch CNN ;) Worm’s favorite activity is watching the TV. He’s especially fond of CNN - he’ll drop everything when Anderson Cooper is on - but also seems to like Doctor Who. When he’s not watching the news, he likes to play fetch.

Tom and I like to joke that Worm is basically part-canine- he weighs twenty-five pounds, but is just really, really big boned. (Seriously - if you look up some of the pictures of him on my Instagram, you’ll see that he’s not necessarily chubby, just BIG.)

Meow?He rarely meows. Even when he does meow, no sound comes out. The only time he DOES meow is early mornings - he starts off his morning at 5:00 AM every day, and will come in and meow at us to let him out.

As for blogging: Worm is a perfect inspiration for reading - and that’s why he’s our unofficial blog mascot! He’s cozy to curl up to when I’m delving into a book, but he’s also a good reminder to seek out good children’s books. He has impeccable taste when it comes to children’s books - and likes it when we read books like The Day the Crayons Quit or Where Are My Books? out loud. :)

We keep promising, but seriously - don’t be surprised if you see him reviewing soon…

Yes, we're Taz and Moo!
Now here is my favourite kitty duo, Taz and Moo with Paula Stokes, author of several books for teens, most recently Liar, Inc. and the upcoming Vicarious!

Hi Taz~Tatsumake AKA Taz is an eight-year-old domestic longhair. His real name means "tornado" in Japanese and despite his advancing age, it's still very apt. Taz's personality can best be described as "dog in a cat's body." He will snuggle up to you upon meeting you, going as far as to lick your face. Taz also enjoys playing fetch (though he's not very good at it) and likes to be brushed and blow dried. His favorite food is part of my egg white omelet, which he enjoys watching cook while he sprawls out on the kitchen counter.

Hello Moo!Mufasa AKA Moo is a six-year-old domestic shorthair. Moo's personality is more like "What do you mean I have trust issues? It only took me six months to let you pet me." Moo enjoys chasing a laser and drinking from the bathroom sink. He's a big fan of water and has a kitty fountain that he uses more for playing than for drinking. Moo's favorite food is kitty treats, especially Greenies, which he likes to eat out of a Kong ball that he has to roll across the floor to access the treats inside.

I got Taz and Moo from Craigslist a few months after I graduated from nursing school. I was extremely unhappy and stressed out most of the time because I worked on a surgical team where many of the experienced nurses liked to bully the new nurses. My mom thought a pet would help relax me (ha, not these two!) so she emailed me a link to "the boys" and it turned out they were going to be sent to a kill animal shelter and I just felt like I couldn't let that happen. Two kitties and me living in a studio apartment was kind of rough, but now we live in Portland in a (slightly more) spacious one-bedroom :)

Snuggly kitties <3 My favorite memory of the kitties is moving them 2300 miles from St. Louis to Portland at the end of 2013. Normally they kick up quite a fuss just to be put in their carriers to go two blocks to the vet. I expected them to cry and pant through six states. It really surprised me how good they were, almost like they knew how stressful it was for me to be making that drive in the winter so they cut me some slack for once ;)

I recently decided I should add more pets to my books, and I am definitely inspired by my own. Here's an excerpt from Vicarious, where Winter's cat is named Miso (that's Korean for smile), but her friend Jesse has nicknamed him Moo.
Miso is sitting like a sentry, ready to welcome or pounce as needed. I peek through the peephole and see Jesse standing in the corridor. Like me, he’s wearing all black. His brown hair is mostly hidden beneath a black knit cap.

I open the door. “Hi.”

Jesse steps into the penthouse. “Moo!” he exclaims with a smile, scooping the black-and-white cat into his arms.

“Why do you insist on calling him that?” I ask. Miso squirms a little but then stretches his neck up so he can lick Jesse’s cheek.

“Because he’s cow colored, and he seems to like it.”

I lean in and scratch Miso between his ears. He purrs, but his attention is solely focused on Jesse.

My lips twitch as I remember the day I found the cat prowling back and forth in front of the fireplace. I half thought he was some unfortunate test subject that had escaped from Gideon’s study, which also functions as a lab. But Rose told me later she found him in the alley, starving and scared.

“Look at you,” I say, patting Miso’s little round belly. “Hard to believe you were ever homeless.”

Miso gives me a baleful look and then licks Jesse’s face again. --from Vicarious, Tor Teen, 2016
And then I didn't want Tazzie to feel left out (even though that face-licking is all him), so he has inspired a kitty in a secret paranormal project:
I cut through the parking garage, skidding to a stop before I reach the elevator when a pair of glowing gold eyes materializes in the gloom.

I hear a plaintive meow. It’s just a cat. It follows me toward the bank of elevators and into the light. It’s white with gray patches, its pink nose adorned by a black beauty mark. It blinks its big green eyes at me and meows again. “I don’t have any food,” I say apologetically. The cat rubs against my ankles and purrs. Without thinking, I bend down to pet it, my hand feeling ribs beneath its matted fur.

“Holy crap, I just touched you!” I try to pet the cat again, but this time my hands passes through it. The cat turns and head butts my hand. It gives me a quick lick with its scratchy pink tongue before flopping back down on the cool pavement and looking up at me hopefully.

“I wonder…” I lift one hand and move it from side to side. The cat’s green eyes follow the path of my fingers. “Holy crap,” I say again. “You can see me.” --from one of Paula's many WIPs ;-)
Although my kitties are clearly muses, I wouldn't say they help me write. Some of their favorite unhelpful things to do are:
     1. Add random strings of Zs and Xs to manuscripts when I'm not looking
     2. Steal my official writing chair every time I get up from it
    3. Sit on the table next to me and bat everything--notebooks, pencils, post-its--onto the floor while I write
But they're also really cute and fun and occasionally they let me sleep in, so I put up with their quirks ;) Sometimes when I'm stressed out I'll catch them snuggling together or grooming each other. Those moments make basically everything in the world okay again :)

Eeeep thank you for the sneak peek Paula! Vicarious, will be released on August 16, 2016 so make sure you keep an eye out for it!

Tracy's furbabies!Last but not least is Tracy from Cornerfolds who is the mommy to two gorgeous furbabies! Bella is a 6 years old Toy Fox Terrier who enjoys playing fetch and Luna is a 3 years old Chiweenie who loves to eat!

Bella and Luna truly make my life complete and anyone who says you don't know love until you have "real" babies just doesn't know about the love between me and my girls! Here's a little bit about them!

When I was a child, I had a Rat Terrier named Pebbles. She was my sister and I loved her like one! So when I grew up and moved cross-country, I knew I wanted one just like her. Only, I found Bella instead. 

Bella~Bella came to live with me in March 2009. She was such a sweet, loving girl right from the beginning, despite her new surroundings. Together, we've been through a lot.

I deployed to Afghanistan in late 2009, returning in March 2010, and she stayed with my ex during that time. When I got her back she had begun to have some anxiety, but we have worked through it over the years. She was such a comfort to me as I transitioned back to normal life after getting back to Alaska. I can always count on Bella to cuddle and check on me when I'm not feeling well.

One of our biggest adventures was a two-week cross-countries drive from Alaska down to North Carolina, where we now live. She did not love it, but we made it through! That was Bella's first taste of camping and all of the noises were just too much for her!

Now Bella enjoys playing fetch and stealing as many tennis balls as possible from the tennis court in our apartment complex. She has unfortunate food allergies, so she has to eat prescription dog food, but she absolutely loves peanut butter!

It's Luna! Luna is definitely... something. Haha!

My husband and I moved to North Carolina in June 2011, and shortly after we began the search for furbaby number two. It just so happened that my friend's dogs (a Chihuahua and a Dachshund) had a litter of oopsy-babies! I went to his house to meet the puppies and noticed that most of them were extremely chill, just laying around the house. There was one that was destroying a pile of folded clothes and, for whatever reason, that was the one I decided I should take home.

Luna is the best cuddler in the entire world! Her main goals in life are to burrow and sleep, and she's extremely proficient at both of those. Unfortunately, she doesn't really love to play with Bella, but she does love her and is extremely dependent on her presence. I once tried to take Bella to the vet without Luna and immediately had to turn around to get her when I heard her screaming from inside my car.

We are constantly trying to cut down on Luna's weight in whatever way we can because, well, Luna loves to eat - anything and everything and then some. If only she loved to fetch, things might be a lot simpler... She is becoming a runner against her will and also shares Bella's prescription diet, which she does not complain about at all.

Thank you to the lovely bloggers and authors for sharing your pets' stories with us today! Thank you to everyone for stopping by and reading about them. I hope you all enjoyed meeting our furry friends/blogging buddies!

Remember to follow the hastag #BFFBlogHop for more fun and giveaways and don't forget to check out these posts today!

The Eater of Books! – Blogger Interview
A Reader Under The Sea – Top 10 Book Blogger
Effortlessly Reading - Why I Love Being A Blogger


This is a group giveaway with 3 winners. We are giving away $75, $50, and $25 gift cards to the winner's choice of book retailer.

This one's from me :D

This one's from Jess @ The Reading Nook Reviews!

Blog Friends Forever Tour button


  1. YAY! I love that Dylan and I are in such great company!! =D

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Dylan's story Pili <3 <3

  2. the cat wrote a book? How awesome!

  3. Oh I love this! What a fun idea!

    1. Thank you! I'm hoping to make it a special feature on the blog :D

  4. We are in such good company - thank you for having us!! :D

    Also, this: "The SPCA told us he'd been seen wandering the streets for six months."

    :O Makes me even happier that you guys found Ripple and brought him home!

    1. Thanks Jess <3 I love having Worm!

      Adopting Ripple is seriously the best decision we've ever made! I know my family would totally agree~ We definitely hit jackpot with Ripple :D


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