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: Elvin and Brayden, Friends Forever by Sandra Morrison

Would you like to teach your child the importance of family values and true friendship?

Look no further! This adorable friendship book for kids is the right choice for you!

Bonds between friends and family members require many social skills, such as accepting diversity, trusting others, feeling confident, helping, and sharing.

This lovely children’s book about pets shows your child the secret of true friendship and the importance of family.

Kids will enjoy the adventures of two quite different mice: one lost and the other homeless. The mice realize they both need the same thing – a true friend and a family.

This book offers many positives:

  • teaches children to make friends, help others in need, share, accept differences, and understand the importance of family
  • tells the adventures of two mice searching for a home
  • contains fun illustrations and rhymes
  • suits toddlers and preschool kids, as well as elementary children

Since there are so many children’s friendship books on the market, choosing the right one for your youngster is a challenge. The strong connection between friendship and family values is what makes this adventure book about animals unique.

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.

Elvin is a lucky pet mouse owned by a boy named Connor who loves him dearly. When Elvin accidentally ends up outside, he meets Brayden, a skeptical mouse who doesn’t trust anyone. Elvin ends up learning how important friends are, and he and Connor show Brayden friendship and love. He learns to trust again and has a new family!

This cute story about friendship is told in rhymes and the illustrations are bright and colorful. Children will learn the importance of friendship and helping others. There is also a note from the author at the end of the book about the importance of friends and family and a maze for children.

About the Author

Sandra Morrison lives in Chicago, IL, USA. She is a kindergarten teacher and a mom of two, Zach and Chester. Surrounded by children at work and home, Sandra always tries to find new ways to amuse and educate them.

A lover of fairy tales, Sandra has found them helpful on many occasions – to teach the children moral lessons, to entertain them, or to calm them before going to bed. As time went by, Sandra noticed that her sons knew all the stories by heart. This called for some new tales!

Using her imagination and natural gift for storytelling, Sandra created an adventure of two mice. Her sons, kindergarten students, and school parents loved the tale! So Sandra decided to share her story with even more children, all around the world.


Spotlight: Happy Puppy Adventures by Wendy Baron

Tips, stories and warnings from a licensed home dog boarder


Dogs really are our best friend.  They are the most popular pet in the UK, with a quarter of households enjoying a canine presence.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could turn our love of dogs into a full-time job?  But just as taking on a dog is a major commitment, setting up a dog walking/home boarding business can be fraught with pitfalls.

In this book, Wendy Baron, who runs a fully-licensed and insured animal welfare business, helps you decide whether this is the profession for you.

Wendy, who has run a walking/boarding/doggy day care business for three years, guides you step-by-step through the stages of setting up on your own, providing practical advice on legalities and procedures, and warnings about what could go wrong.  The book is packed with real-life anecdotes along the way: for instance, who knew dogs love a pool party?

Make no mistake, dog boarding is a demanding profession – but by working hard you could find yourself in the job you’ve always dreamed about.  If you’re in two minds about giving it a go, why not let Wendy help you decide?

About the Author:

Wendy Baron is a fully-qualified, licensed and insured dog walker, home dog boarder, sitter and doggy day care professional.  Initially, her only qualifications for setting up her business was her love of dogs.  Having previously worked in Emergency Planning and Mapping, she wondered if it was possible to escape the office politics and ‘live the dream’ by working from home doing something she loved.  Wendy found this entirely possible and now wants to help you too, if this is something you are considering yourself.  She is fast approaching 50 and lives with her husband in Lincolnshire with their English Springer Spaniel Buster, and slightly murderous cat, Kitty.

Excerpt from the book:

“Be aware of the people that tell you their dog is perfect, has no issues, is fully trained and that their dog has perfect recall, will sleep through the night and are an absolute dream to look after. It may be true, you can see for yourself. But be aware, some of the hardest dogs I’ve looked after have been the “dream” dogs. The most fun are the dogs that have some issues. I love it when a client sends a 2-page document on all their dog’s requirements because their pup is “so high maintenance”. These dogs are the real dream dogs and the dream clients. They’ll tell you that their dog has incontinence and ask if that’s a problem. They’ll tell you they’re a nightmare on the lead. They’ll tell you they’re reactive to the postman and will only drink from a certain bowl. I’ve always said we can deal with anything as long as the owner is honest and lets us know. Most of the time a dog having a few issues is usually perfectly normal and not an issue at all! It’s always good to be prepared.”


“Happy Puppy Adventures” by Wendy Baron is available in paperback from Amazon at:

This book is also available to download in e-book format from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060

Book Review: Bear with Bear by Hagit R. Oron


Nine-year-old Bear is set on having a critter as a pet. After failed attempts to adopt beetles and snails, he has to settle on a book with pictures of bugs. This is a great opportunity for him to annoy his little sister, Penelope, who is afraid of bugs.
When his parents decide to bring home a cat to help Penelope with her nightmares, Bear helps Kitty find her wild side. As a consequence, Penelope’s nightmares get even worse!
Over-tired Mom is about to give in on the snake debate, which seems to be a perfect solution for all, but Bear has other plans…


My Review

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

What a cute story! A boy named Bear is fascinated with insects and wants a pet snake. He tries to keep a maggot (yuck!), beetles, and other creepy crawlies but his parents explain that these creatures aren’t meant to be pets.

Bear’s parents decide to try a kitten as a pet for his sister Penelope. They bring the kitten back after it doesn’t work out. I understand that keeping a kitten that the children won’t care for is responsible. On the other hand, giving up on the kitten so quickly doesn’t send the best message. They then got a dog and the kids decided to keep the dog, especially since it had ticks which Bear found great. In fact, he wanted to keep the ticks more than the dog!

This book was cute and the illustrations are bright and colorful. At the end, the author explains where different parts of the story came from: some are pure imagination and others are actually based on things the author experienced. Both parents and children will enjoy the end which is both interesting and informative.

I definitely recommend this book for children. It would be a good book for parents to read to children, also.

Available on Amazon.




Book Review: Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle by Emlyn Chand


About the Book

Title: Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle (The Pet Shop Society, Book #1) | Author: Emlyn Chand | Publication Date: September 26, 2015 | Publisher: Evolved Publishing | Pages: 43 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 11


Book Description

Mike Adams has always been a pretty average kid. He hates homework, love sports, and spends a lot of his day bugging his twin sister Maddie—because, after all, she deserves it.

But one day, everything changes. Nic Chang’s dog goes missing.

Mike, his sister and their two best friends join forces to search for the truth and, with it, the missing pet. Will Mike and Maddie find a way to put their differences aside and save the day? And just where did that dog-gone labradoodle go?

Put your thinking caps on and prepare to find the answers in the premier installment of The Pet Shop Society, a brand new mystery series for readers aged 7-11.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBook * Kobo

Smashwords * Evolved Publishing * Goodreads


My Review

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

Mike is an average kid with a twin sister, Maddie, and they get along (or don’t) just like any normal brother and sister. But they put their differences aside to help their new neighbor, Nic, find her lost dog. Together, with their best friends, they solve the mystery of the missing pooch.

This is a good chapter book for younger readers. Not only is it fun reading but it’s a mystery. Who doesn’t like a good mystery? It’s also the first book in the Pet Shop Society, which the kids named their group after they solved the mystery of the missing dog, so there are going to be more of these mysteries. I believe any young reader would enjoy this book and it would be fun for them to have a series of the Pet Shop Society to read.



About the Author

Emlyn (4)From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published fiction across multiple genres, oversees and contributes as both an editor and an author to the Novel Publicity Guides for Writing & Marketing Fiction series, and loves the written word so much, she even married author Falcon Storm! Don’t forget that she is the founder and president of Novel Publicity too.

The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. Maybe that’s why she loves writing her Bird Brain Book series for children so much!

Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

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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