Book Review: Venny and Ecco the Lucky Cats by Jodi Gab

An entertaining and nurturing story about empathy, compassion, diversity, acceptance, and unconditional love through adoption.

Venny (pronounced Bin-E) and Ecco (pronounced Echo) were adopted by the author and her husband while they were living in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2012.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Venny and Ecco were both wild cats who were adopted by the author and her husband. Now they have a wonderful life, are well-cared for, and play all the time. Such a sweet story! The illustrations by the author are simple but sweet. My grandson loved them!

Included at the end of the book are several activity pages which are fun and great for different ages.

About the Author

Jodi Gab was born and raised in north central South Dakota. She graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

After making her home in Dallas, Texas, she met her husband. Together they moved and lived in Washington, Virginia, Caracas, Venezuela, and Bogota, Colombia, where after 10 years, they returned to Texas.

Jodi and her husband adopted Venny and Ecco while they were living in Caracas, Venezuela in 2012.

When Venny was found, he was by himself, wild and was very skinny. He had an abscessed fractured leg and missing teeth. Venny was easy to tame because he must have known that in his condition he would not survive. He has assumed the role as big brother.

Ecco was living with his family on the U.S. Embassy grounds near where Jodi’s office was. Ecco was extremely wild and very scared of humans. The head guard who captured Ecco, was badly scratched. It took a lot of work and a long time to tame Ecco. He is now a loving and very affectionate cat. He follows Venny and mimics his actions.

While working at the U.S.A. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela the author and her husband became involved with an orphanage in Venezuela. They now are involved with one in Panama. The author wrote a children’s book with many messages and a goal to help adopted children adjust and understand that unconditional love is attainable through adoption. Her book teaches empathy, tolerance, diversity and acceptance. She also hopes to teach young readers kindness and respect for homeless animals.

In 2017 Jodi accomplished her goal of visiting all 50 states.

Jodi, her husband, Venny and Ecco are making their retirement home in Panama. In Jodi’s spare time, she enjoys making crafts, knitting and painting.

Venny and Ecco the Lucky Cats is based on true events.

Book Review: Catnip, Toilet Paper, and Lasers by M.G. Rorai

Author: M.G. Rorai
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 146
Genre: Poetry

This purrfectly hilarious cat poem collection while bring back wonderful memories of your feline friends and have you busting with laughter. 9 out of 10 cats recommend this book; the 10th one was Grumpy Cat.

Amazon →

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Catnip, Toilet Paper, and Lasers is an adorable collection of poems about—you guessed it—cats! I could just picture cats chasing a laser pointer around or falling off a favorite spot. My favorite poem was about the author’s cat, Elsa. I thought it was hysterical:

The poems in this book are fun and make it easy to imagine the antics of various cats. Any cat lover will enjoy Catnip, Toilet Paper, and Lasers over and over. It’s the perfect book to share with children and other cat lovers.


What is the answer?
What will prevail?
Will it be the red dot?
Or will the cat win the tale?

My name is Socks,
and much to my delight,
I chase a red dot
almost every single night.

It travels over bed sheets
and runs across the floor
while I chase to my heart’s content
thirsting for more!

By day I sleep;
by night I chase
when my human comes home from work
and pulls out the laser post-haste!

I hear the clicking of the button
and race into the room
to run after that red dot–
look at me zoom!

About the Author

M.G. Rorai enjoys hanging with her cats and annoying her husband. She’s been writing for as long she can remember and is slightly obsessed with cats.





Book Review: Hairlarious Cat Tails by Sharon Kleve

Hairlarious Cat Tails makes a beautiful table top book filled with creative insights and beautiful images. It provides a much-desired glimpse into the minds of our most mysterious of loved ones–cats.

What makes cats climb into tiny spaces? Why do they sleep that much? And, most of all, how can we give them a good life? They may seem low-maintenance but thoughtfulness about where you put their water, how warm or cool they like to be, what name to choose and how to groom them properly will make a life-changing difference.

With understanding, affection and respect, your cat will be healthier and very content. I don’t know about you, but that makes me very happy…


From Hairlarious Cat Tails

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I love this coffee table book! It would be a great gift for any cat lover. It is full of beautiful photos of cats (of course). Along with the photos are interesting facts, things a cat might say, and a few puns at the end.

A couple of the facts that stood out to me: cats don’t meow at other cats, only at humans. They purr, hiss, and spit at other cats; when a cat’s tail wags, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s angry. Their tails communicate many different things like when we gesticulate.

The things that a cat might say were cute. One that hit home with me because of one of my cats: “Hello, I am very pleased to see you, allow me to give you a front row view of my butt.”

Hairlarious Cat Tails is one of those books you can go back to time and time again especially to look at the adorable photos!

From Hairlarious Cat Tails

About the Author

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband and two cats. When not writing, and working full-time, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cats and a good book or in the kitchen making baking sourdough bread or bagels.

Sharon is a multi-published author of contemporary romance published in eBook, paperback, on audio and translated into foreign languages. She has written New Adult and Romantic Suspense, but what brings her the most joy is writing Romantic Comedies.

She loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve–with a few laughs and maybe a few bumps and bruises along the way.

Her latest adventure is writing about her favorite furry friends.

Amazon Author Page:

From Hairlarious Cat Tails

Book Review: Cat Haiku by James Weir

Face it. There are people who prefer dogs, and there are those that prefer cats. While you can like both, it takes a special type of person to fully understand the weirdness of ‘the lion in your house’. Think of all you have to deal with – litterboxes, hairballs, bad attitudes, finicky appetites, the missing budgie. It’s a wonder that we put up with their quirks. Join us as we use funny haikus to celebrate the relationship between humans and cats. Get the human’s perspective, then get the cat’s response back. Bet you never thought about what they think about you. You’ll be surprised.

Amazon UK

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read Coronavirus Haiku by James Weir a month or so ago and enjoyed it, so when he offered this book, I was happy to read a copy. Cat Haiku has the perfect format: a haiku from the human’s point of view followed by a haiku from the cat about the same subject. They’re cute and so true! A couple examples:

The cat stares at me
Never moves, never blinking
Really creeps me out

My mom stares at me
Never moves, never blinking
Really creeps me out


The new laser toy
Loves to chase but never gets
Keeps wanting more

The little red dot
I’ve stalked you but never caught
Damn you little dot

Having had cats most of my life, I can appreciate these poems as would any cat owner. I definitely recommend Cat Haiku.

About the Author

When he’s not busy being a poet (and we use the term poet very loosely here), James Weir is a small animal veterinarian. In addition to clinical practice, he holds graduate degrees in pathology and in public health. He has also worked as a stand-up comedian. He has been published before, but mostly boring science crap. He has four works of funny haikus listed on Amazon, and is currently writing a book of funny stories from his 30 years in veterinary practice.

Book Review: Mama Graciela’s Secret by Mayra Calvani

Mamá Graciela’s Secret

Publication date: October 10, 2017

Written by Mayra Calvani

Illustrated by Sheila Fein

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

36 pages, 3-7 year olds

Reading guide at:



Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town…

Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

Available on Amazon.



My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mamá Graciela’s Secret is a wonderful story about Mamá Graciela’s love for animals. She has to make a decision about what to do when the health inspector says they’re going to have to shut down her restaurant because of all of her cats. I like how her husband says he will support whatever she decides. She comes up with a solution that works out for everyone.

The illustrations are beautiful with vibrant colors that will keep the attention of young children. The story teaches about love of both animals and people. It also teaches about making decisions that are creative. It’s a great book to read aloud!



About the Author

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children’s picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she’s not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.




About the Illustrator

Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila’s education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book “Mama Graciela’s Secret” for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.



ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:

DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7

**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to to find out more about the typeface.


The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review: Changing Places by Anne K. Edwards

Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards

Age level: 4-8

Price: $1.99

Pages: 14

Find on Amazon


A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Changing Places is about a cat and a snake who decide to trade places for the day. After their day of adventure, they each decide they’re happier in their own home.

This is a cute book for children that teaches them a little bit about cats and snakes but also teaches that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s short but it’s a good story.


About the Author

Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised.



The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review & Giveaway: Inspector Dewey by Kristen Hemerl


Inspector Dewey

About the Book

My name is Dewey–Inspector Dewey.

I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat—responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to outsmart the outlaw, but—miserable mullet!—would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called Inspector Dewey.


Fifty percent of the profits from the sale of this book will fund veterinary care for pets whose families are in financial need, so that the animals can remain in their homes and out of the shelter system.


To learn more, visit


Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble



My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This as an adorable book! Inspector Dewey is narrated by Anna’s cat, Dewey. Anna also has 2 other cats, Thumper and Lily, and it’s obvious that she loves her cats and takes good care of them. They have a happy, peaceful life until, one night, a possible intruder outside their house wakes them up. Dewey takes the lead and they end up having an exciting (and exhausting) evening.

The story is a good one and the pictures of Anna and her cats are great. The illustrations cover the pages, are colorful, and bring Anna and the cats to life.

I found it interesting that Kristen Heimerl based this book on a true story when an intruder was in her neighborhood. Also, half the proceeds from sales of Inspector Dewey will go to paying veterinary bills for those in need so that the pets can stay with their families. What a great cause!


Author’s Bio

Kristen HeimerlKristen Heimerl

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

Kristen’s site for her work “Inspector Dewey” will be premiering on May 31st, 2015. In addition, you can read more about Kristen’s work at, also live on May 31st.


Connect with Kristen:   Website  ~   Facebook Author  ~   Facebook Inspector Dewey


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