A Spot in My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Kelly Artieri

A Spot in My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog is Kelly Artieri’s touching memoir about her bilaterally deaf Dalmatian, Vinnie. Vinnie was deaf, had OCD and Pica, and found himself in heaps of trouble at times, but always brought joy to his family. In this book, Kelly Artieri shares her tips and tricks for training deaf dogs, statistics on Vinnie’s ailments, and charming stories about Vinnie’s everyday life.


Though delightful to read, A Spot in My Heart suffers from some mild disorganization in places. Intercutting chapters that purely discuss facts and statistics occur often and interrupt the main story; though interesting, they are distracting and sometimes frustrating. Also, the narrative switches from one topic to another rather abruptly each time, rather than flowing into the next smoothly and naturally. Nevertheless, Kelly Artieri’s casual, friendly style of writing makes it easy to follow along and enjoy this short memoir all the same.


It’s Vinnie’s story, though, that really steals the show. From hilarious tales of mishaps and trouble-making to heart-wrenching recollections of illness and pain, A Spot in My Heart captivates from the very first page. Peppered with photographs of the adorable pup, Kelly Artieri’s creative and cheerful memoir is a pure joy to read. Her gentle optimism and unconditional love for her family’s “bad puppy” oozes off the page, carrying readers along on her journey of love and acceptance alongside Vinnie the Dalmatian. A Spot in My Heart: Loving a Special Needs Dog is reminiscent of touching tales like Marley & Me, with the sort of pure love and merriment that can only come from a truly wonderful dog.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Charley’s Cat Family – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Jeff Magnuson

A very sweet children’s story, Charley’s Cat Family, written by Jeff Magnuson and illustrated by Bettina Braskó, is sure to have young cat lovers reading it again and again. Charley is single guy working hard everyday, but he misses having a feline companion like he did as a youth. Eventually, he decides to adopt a cat from the local shelter and ends up with two kitties. There are some struggles, but Magnuson does a great job helping Charley and his new cats overcome them.

Charley’s Cat Family is an easy read for younger readers. There is a time or two that some readers might catch a grammatical error, but those are quite rare in this sweet story. Finding any real drawbacks in Jeff Magnuson’s Charley’s Cat Family was a bit challenging. However, one thing that could’ve made the story a bit stronger would’ve been if Magnuson changed something in Charley’s work life that gave him more time for his new pets. The move to a bigger place is helpful, but doesn’t fix the issue of working all the time, and having a house takes more time to care for than an apartment.

With that being said, Jeff Magnuson’s Charley’s Cat Family is an adorable tale for children who would love to get a pet. It offers an opportunity for parents to open a door to a conversation about what having a new pet my entails. It’s excellent at showing responsibilty and how to handle a new challenge without giving up. Charley’s Cat Family is a beautiful story of love, companionship and new friendships -even with animal friends. Jeff Magnuson’s debut children’s book is a perfect fit for hopeful, young, future pet owners.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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How to Get Your Dog to Eat – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Mary DiTosto

Mary DiTosto’s How to Get Your Dog to Eat is a comprehensive guide for dog owners struggling to get their picky little eaters to finish their food. Frustrated with the generic solutions to her own dog’s finicky eating habits, DiTosto did her own research and found a multitude of easy, helpful information. She shares them, along with real-life examples of how she utilized the techniques herself, in this invaluable guidebook for all pet parents.

Unfortunately, it takes a little bit for How to Get Your Dog to Eat to get to those helpful tips. A lot of the beginning of the book is devoted to explaining why pet owners should read it and what a “picky eater” is – all self-explanatory and bordering on redundant. Skipping to the bare bones of the book and getting right to the information the readers really want – and need – to know might have been a better approach. However, once readers get past the slightly awkward beginning and the book delves into the good stuff, it’s all great from there on out.

What really makes How to Get Your Dog to Eat a necessity for all pet owners is how thorough and descriptive it is. Mary DiTosto truly explores every possibility for why a dog might not be eating and what exactly can be done to solve it. Then, DiTosto provides dozens of fun, creative ways to get a pup to chow down again, like trust exercises and fun games to keep dogs engaged and interested in meal time. Paired with side stories of her own experiences with a picky dog and adorable pictures of said dog, this is truly a charming and engaging book. How to Get Your Dog to Eat explores every avenue, giving all pet owners an invaluable resource to help them understand their dogs and the importance of a happy, healthy diet.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Florenza Lee

The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog: A Children’s Book on Mindfulness, written by Florenza Lee, is quite similar in style to Wayner Dyer’s children’s books and Byron Katie’s children’s books. Oftentimes, children’s personal struggles are overlooked by adults or the children are told to turn off their emotions. But Florenza Lee offers a beautifully illustrated tale about a little puppy, Max, who had a tendency to run in circles chasing a tail he simply couldn’t catch. While some of the puppy’s friends turned away from him, one of them came to his rescue and taught him how to practice mindfulness using his breath. This changed Max’s life.

The issue that Max faced believing his tail hurt him all the time and was the cause of his problems ran throughout The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog. Florenza Lee did a good job offering parents or other adults reading to children a chance to connect personal issues to tail chasing. The concept is a deep one and often a confusing one, but if parents, teachers, therapists, counselors, or other adult helpers use the analogy of tail chasing along with reading The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog aloud with the youngsters they are guiding, they will find it much easier to help those in their care. Beyond the powerful message within, The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog is filled with illustrations by Michelle Wynn that convey the emotions and the messages clearly page after page. Florenza Lee’s children’s book, The Tail of Max the Mindless Dog is a must for every child’s bookshelf.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Mister Spunky and His Friends

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Mister Spunky and His Friends

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Book Description:

Mister Spunky and His Friends is the creation of award winning author, Kelly Preston. She has taken the story line from her book, Real Dogs Don’t Whisper, placing it in a picture book format for children to enjoy.

Mister Spunky and His Friends is about the importance of love, friendship; and, helping those with special needs. Follow Mister Spunky along his journey to the beach, where he meets three new friends; teaching him important life lessons along the way.

Parents, if you enjoyed Real Dogs Don’t Whisper, your children will enjoy this book for them. There are several pages at the end of the story for coloring activities.

Ages: 5+


Notes: 

 Mister Spunky and His Friends is an adorable children’s tale about a happy little dog who, while on a vacation to the beach, meets three unlikely friends. Each new dog he comes across has a problem- one that Mister Spunky would much rather avoid. However, he learns that through showing kindness and compassion to all, even in their lowest moments, valuable friendships can be formed. 

There are many things to love about this book, the first of which being its muses. The short blurb about the author and her dogs with special needs was almost more heartwarming than the book itself. For a child, however, the sweet moral behind Mister Spunky’s adventures is a valuable one. To teach a child compassion is always important, but for them to learn that kindness should know no boundaries is even more important. In the face of detrimental emotions and physical limitations, acceptance is the greatest gift. This plot, paired with the cute animated images of puppies at play, is sure to resonate with young children, and perhaps even inspire them. The coloring pages at the end of the book are also a unique and lovely touch, to aid in engaging the children who read this story. It is an enchanting little book that any young child would likely enjoy. 

Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.


Kelly Preston

Award winning Kelly Preston, co-author of “Real Dogs Don’t Whisper” (www.realdogsdontwhisper.com) takes you on a journey with her experiences with four special need dogs. Her co-author is Mr. MaGoo, he is a larger than life dog and has a lot to say. The book is about second chances and miracles. Read about four rescue dogs that were ready to be given up on because they have special needs; they teach their human about life, love, and hope.

Kelly also has published a children’s picture and activity book, “Mister Spunk and His Friends” (www.misterspunky.com). Mister Spunky and His Friends, based on a true story from Real Dogs Don’t Whisper. This is a children’s book for ages five years old and up teaching the importance of love, friendship and helping others; especially with special needs (pets and humans).

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Mister Spunky and His Friends.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

Smaller

 


Authors join our Creative Author Marketing Facebook group

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A place to share tips, advice and wisdom about marketing your book. Ask for advice. We’re here for you!

Traveling entrepreneurs, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. are mentoring entrepreneurs and authors around the world. As best selling authors, speakers, marketing and branding experts their podcast Authors Talk About It has become quite popular.

We help you develop 3 key things you MUST have to gain success with your book.

Your Mindset
Your Tool Set
Your Skill Set


Have you checked out the 2016 Horror Novel Book Contest yet? Deadline is 9/30/16

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

2016 Horror Book Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!

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Meow, Meow, Meow – No more prissy kitty. Bond with your Cat.

People consistently make laughing remarks about cats and their haughty little attitudes. Have you seen this video clip?  Whether you love cats or not, this video has been quite popular and is quite funny.

Anne Purchase-Walker may hear meow, meow, meow every day, but she has learned how to bond with her cats in a way that has relieved any stress they may experience as well as her own stress.  She wants others to know how to best relate to their kitties, so they too can experience a wonderful friendship and pet-parent relationship.

One of the keys that she shared during our conversation was that cats love routine. Therefore, it is important for them that you create stability rituals.  They don’t handle chaos well and need to have a sense of balance in their little hearts and heads.  Ah, isn’t this true for many humans as well, and we all would fair far better if we had that same sense of balance.

At Anne’s request, I reached out to a local cat rescue here in Colorado Springs, Colorado (Happy Cats Haven) and donated the book after our interview.  I took Boegley (our youngest little guy) with me.  He and a beautiful long-haired black kitty named Vincent fell in love with each other. No, we didn’t bring him home – Daddy isn’t a cat person 🙂  But, we did get to spend some wonderful moments with him.

Cats Cover

Get a copy. 


Photo kay Goddard

From Anne Purchase-Walker’s site:

Walking with Cats ~ creating a bond for life is our book. After decades of building therapeutic bonds with human clients to help them overcome their problems, I retired as a cognitive behaviour therapist. I rescued Piper, a handsome tuxedo and Leo, a gorgeous black cat; father and son and turned my attention to creating a close relationship with my feline companions. Walking with Cats – creating a bond for life, traces our journey of understanding. With the help of Piper and Leo, and wonderful black and white photographs by Kay Goddard and me, our heart-warming and informative book makes it easy for you to bond with your cat.


We support saving animals,

Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D.

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