So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff


February 2015

The archetypal Indie ?

What budding author doesn’t feel like this? And I gotta tell you, a budding EDITOR does too! ;-o

I Have O.C.D… by Sharon Cummings

Aww! My Koda, the Shih Tzu I rescued from the shelter, is learning that I won’t hurt him (slowly) —- he is sooo cute. And this is truly “Obsessive Creativity Disorder” – but well worth the time in my opinion! Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

kodao copy

Abstract Art by Sharon Cummings

ShitzFBColorful Shih Tzu Dog Art

Mixed Media


Everyone who knows me is well aware of how quickly I process. I think fast. I drive fast. And I paint even faster. When I work with acrylics, my work goes in a furious fashion. It’s all over in a matter of minutes usually. There are the huge beasts that require many hours, but the majority of my work is a race to the finish line. It’s just how I roll.

People have the mistaken idea that digital work is easy. It’s true that running something through a filter does not take much effort. But this little cutie took me over 5 hours to create. It is collage work and bit by tiny bit I form the image using one of my original paintings. Cutting and pasting….cutting and pasting….trimming….adding….tweaking…..It’s maddening in a way. Kind of like O.C.D. (which I have been clinically diagnosed with)…

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DOWSER 4 IS HERE!!!! Shadows, Maps and other Ancient Magic

Book cover by Elizabeth Mackey
amazonBigamazon-ca  amazonUK


I had new cupcakes to bake, a new treasure to hunt, and a new dragon in town — literally. Who wouldn’t be ecstatic filling their days with chocolate, trinket collecting, and martial arts training?
Yeah … me.
Because no matter how much chocolate I ate, I couldn’t fill the dark pit in my soul. A darkness born from blood alchemy. A darkness that reeked of the black magic I now knew I was capable of creating.
Maybe it was time to walk away.
But what if there were important things left to do? What if I was the only one who could do what needed to be done?
I wasn’t sure I could handle the responsibility, but as long as I had my chocolate stash and a good friend to back me up, I was willing to give it a try.

dance cupcake

A Message From I and Love and You…

Hi Leiah,

Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m so very sorry to hear about your experience with Beneful. Yes, we are very aware of the horrific news; it just makes us feel more empowered that we are doing the right thing.
You can be assured that we never, ever, never ever source ANYTHING from China. (I wouldn’t work here if we did)! All of our ingredients are sourced from all over the great US of A. This is directly from our FAQs on our website:
Are your meats Free Range/Cage Free/Wild Caught?
We use the highest quality sources of meats for our products whenever possible. Our Chicken and Beef in our Power Pucks are cage free and free range, along with our meats in our Nothin’ But All Meat Treats and Nice Jerky Treats. We use only Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon in our Mmmm Salmon Sauce Fish Oil. Our Free Ranger Stix all come from free range, grass fed cattle raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Our Free Ranger Stix are sourced from Brazil, but as you probably read on our website, they are from cattle that is grass fed and raised without the use on antibiotics or added hormones. And our Flea & Tick products are made in France; a wonderful way to keep any toxic chemicals away from your furry family members. Even though regulations may not be as strict for pets as they are for humans, we go the extra mile and create a premium product that you can feel safe feeding your pets. I feed it to my own furry kids!
Actually, I feed a combination of our Nude Food (kibble) and top it off with our In The Raw and Canned to keep it interesting for my babies. I add some of our Natural Remedies, as well. It makes me feel so good that I am feeding them so well (sometimes better than me). 🙂
I’m going to pop a few samples in the mail to you. You can find most of our products at your King Soopers & Whole Foods, and we are also available online at: and
I’m so glad you wrote, and I wish you all the best keeping your Boxer, HiJinx (love her name) in the best of health. Oh, you may want to consider adding some Salmon Sauce to her meals – an essential way to get her essential Omegas.
All the best!!! Woof,

Betsy V
 • Consumer Affairs Guru “I and love and you”

(Purina) Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit

Further info: I just spoke with Dr. Donna. She never could pin down exactly why Colin, a health, happy four year old, would suddenly develop liver failure and die. She believes that, given symptomology, this is what killed my beautiful baby. It’s my fault. I fed him the Purina, and I will never forgive myself for it.

Quoted from The Associated Press on MyHughesNet. There are numerous up-to-the-minute postings I located by searching “Purina Beneful Lawsuit” on Goodsearch. Another great article by Susan Scutti is at Medical Daily.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A dog owner has filed a lawsuit against a pet food company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died from eating the company’s dry dog food.
Pet owner Frank Lucido filed the suit on Feb. 5, in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against Nestle Purina PetCare Company.
Lucido claims he fed his three dogs Beneful, and in a month, two were sick and one was dead.
The suit alleges the food contains an animal toxin used in automobile antifreeze.
In the suit, Lucido alleges that in the past four years, 3,000 consumers have complained online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, having shown “consistent symptoms,” including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure.
Purina’s website says it uses “an FDA-approved food additive” that is also in human foods. Purina issued a statement saying “there are no quality issues with Beneful.”
The suit asks that Purina pay Lucido and others in the class action lawsuit unspecified damages and restitution.
In recent years, Beneful has faced two class action lawsuits that were dismissed by the courts.
However, in a lawsuit settled in May, Purina and Waggin’ Train LLC agreed to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate pet owners who claimed their pets were sickened after eating China-made jerky treats.
At the time, Food and Drug Administration officials said the pet treats were linked more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of animal illness. Three humans were sickened after eating the treats.
Lucidio is seeking compensation for himself and other pet owners who bought Beneful in the past four years and “incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”
2015 Courtesy of The Associated Press
The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. If you think your pet was sickened by tainted food, contact attorney James Young with the Morgan & Morgan Litigation Group at 813-275-5272.
In 2007, roughly 17,000 pets were sickened — and 4,000 dogs and cats died — from tainted commercial pet foods made with ingredients imported from China. In an article here, aimed at industry professionals, it was found that, while several companies stopped importing materials from China, Purina refused to reply to requests for information regarding where they sourced from. The only information I can find online about their current sourcing practices says that Purina foods are made in the U.S. but are sourced out of China. A search of the Purina website indicates that Purina follows the CA Transparency in Supply Chains act – but a thorough search of the site for the words “China” or “Chinese” got me articles on the Chinese Crested dog, nothing about whether they import ingredients from China. A search for “import” and “imported” brought up:
Waggin’ Train® – Purina®
Click here for information about the Dog Treat Products Settlement for chicken
jerky treats imported from China. VISIT WAGGINTRAIN.COM. Learn more about …
However, when you click on the link you get marketing for “100% natural and healthy Waggin’ Train Treats” – with very tiny type at the bottom of the page about the law suit settlement.
Now, this is important for ALL OF US dog and cat owners. Purina may have gotten “spanked” in 2007, but what do they care? They make multiple billions from pet owners every year. $6,500,000 is pocket change. I imagine the CEO has that in his wallet for a nice dinner out. Big corporations actually calculate how expensive it is to make changes as compared to what it would cost to settle lawsuits. Yes, people’s lives have a dollar value they use in their calculations. Did you know that your life is worth $129,000? Well, maybe just $50,000 – it depends…
jinxballinmouthThis whole Beneful lawsuit is particularly important to me – about a month ago, my Boxer, HiJinx, started having horrific seizures and vomiting. A couple thousand dollars in vet bills and a change of food later and she is feeling better, but it was a very close call. I nearly lost her several times, and had nearly decided to put her down just to stop her suffering, but she started feeling better after medication (she is still on) for liver and kidney issue and for the seizures. She is now off the seizure medication, but will take the meds for who knows how long? Her previous food? Beneful. She loved that stuff. Doctor Donna (Donna Valori at Table Mountain Vet – she is Supervet!) recommended I change her food as well. I put her on Bil-Jac Grain Free Adult, and, though I am sure the medication is helping her feel better the Bil-Jac can’t hurt – and now that I know about the problems with Beneful, well, I feel like a real monster for feeding it to her in the first place. I should have known better. But with the expense of my chemo, etc., well, she still was eating better than me – or at least that is what I thought as I also make her rice and veggies to go with.
I am just now switching her over from Bil-Jac to “I and Love and You” Nude Food Grain Free Poultry Palooza for a few reasons. First, it is made right here in Colorado, in Boulder, to be exact. They guarantee that their treats are not sourced in China (see my next post) – I just sent them an email to be absolutely 100% certain that they don’t source ANYTHING out of China – or any other third-world country. Then there is the fact that I can get it at my local King Soopers Market instead of having to drive all the way across town to the big box, or even further to the ‘locally’ owned small shop that isn’t really that ‘local’. I cruised the website for quite a while, and everything seems very healthy, but again, I emailed them about the source of all of their ingredients – I will let you know what I find out.
Bottom line? Peanut butter and crackers for me, very expensive dog food for HiJinx. But then again, since I started feeding higher quality food she doesn’t eat as much by as much as ¾ of a cup, her stools don’t smell anywhere near as ‘poopy’ as they used to, and they aren’t as large, so she is processing much more of the food than she was before. Cool. She is also bright-eyed again, which is a HUGE relief!
So, are any of you feeding Beneful? If so, has your pet been sick? Are you joining the lawsuit? Inquiring, pet loving Leiah wants to know!

Pulse Point: Nine Authors – Benefit For Go Red For Women

24407813Pulse Point: Nine Authors, Over Nineteen Hundred Pages of Romance [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Miller , Bev Elle , B.L. Mooney , M. Stratton , Vanessa Marie , Lisa N. Paul , Phalla S. Rios , Lisa M. Harley , Nicole Andrews Moore

Book Description

February 1, 2015

Nine authors, nine stories and over nineteen hundred pages of romance come together in this anthology to raise awareness and benefit the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Help us make a difference. Go Red and Speak Red. All proceeds of this anthology will go to the American Heart Association – Go Red for Women campaign.

Midnight by Elizabeth Miller: One destined meeting. It alters journalist,

Charlise “Charlie” Carter’s course. When asked to work on a Republican candidate’s campaign, she’s unprepared for the intense reaction she has toward the young, handsome presidential hopeful, Colin McKenna. Unable to resist Charlie’s allure, McKenna succumbs to his desire and they find themselves exploring a passionate, physical relationship that is soon tested by not only their own secrets, but his political advisers.

Not at First by Phalla S. Rios: Falling for two men at the same time was something Angel Mabbott never expected to happen. Leaving a past full of pain and loss in California, Angel is determined to make something of her life when she starts college in Minneapolis. But life takes a turn when she finds herself torn between Kevin and Roman.

Commitment to Love by Bev Elle: A preacher’s daughter is torn between passion and her faith convictions when she meets a handsome police officer who is a womanizing commitment-phobe with abandonment issues.

One Hot Summer by Lisa M. Harley: “Whatever you say, Mrs. Mason. It won’t happen again.” He mumbled under his breath, “Until you ask for it.” AnaBelle Mason is a lonely widow trying to run the farm her husband left her. Tray Thompson is a college student majoring in beer and girls. Will One Hot Summer together change their lives forever?

Fade to Black by M. Stratton: She was a single mother, happy running her gallery, he was a famous movie star who never wanted to get married. Neither can deny the instant attraction. Neither knew there was an ex-lover who’d do anything to make sure they stayed apart.

Striving for Perfection by B.L. Mooney: She thinks perfection is a gimmick. He thinks it’s an illusion. Can they get past each other’s imperfections to make it work?

Heartless by Vanessa Marie: Charlie has good reasons for keeping her bruised, damaged heart to herself, but Sam will do whatever it takes to break down her walls and force his way in. Until they discover that their relationship is off limits. Will Charlie deny her own happiness to protect everything her teacher has worked for? In a broken heartbeat.

Stormy Surrender by Nicole Andrews Moore: Joe Masters, a fiery ginger, had a smile that could charm the pants off of any woman he met. Marti Whitaker was recently burned by a charming man. Their romance promised to be stormy unless one or both would simply surrender.

Storm Front by Lisa N. Paul: Love knows no bounds when two people are destined to be together. One fights to maintain the distance; while the other battles to close the gap. Will Ashley Kynde and Ryan Baker move forward together or will they finally close the last remaining door to their past?

Supernatural Touch – 9 full-length books – FREE!!!

Found on

Supernatural Touch (Kindle Edition)

By (author): Cate Dean, Raquel Lyon, Stella Wilkinson, C.J. Archer, Jen Minkman, Stacy Claflin, Anna Kyss, A.M. Yates, Kimberly Loth
***9 full-length books in one supernatural box set.***
*Note: most of these books are the first in a series.*

Enter a world where monsters are real, where witches and sirens exist, where lives are changed in an instant. Where sometimes, love can conquer all.

Supernatural Touch explores all this and more, in 9 full-length paranormal romance novels that both teens and adults will love.

Come inside and discover:

Alex Finch: Monster Hunter (The Monster Files Book 1) by Cate Dean
Meet Alex Finch – tomboy, techno geek, monster hunter.
Reluctant monster hunter.

A Brush With The Moon (Foxblood Series Book 1) by Raquel Lyon
One moment is all it takes to change your life. For Sophie, it happened the day the fox attacked her.

Halloween Magic and Mayhem by Stella Wilkinson
How on earth did I end up here? I was supposed to be at a party kissing the boy of my dreams, instead I’m dancing naked on the town common, on Halloween, with a Coven of strange women who might be witches. Just yesterday I was an ordinary teenager…

The Wrong Girl (Freak House Trilogy #1) by C.J. Archer
When narcoleptic Hannah Smith is abducted from her attic prison by mysterious Jack Langley and taken to Freak House, she’s desperate to know what they want with her–until she learns they took the wrong girl.

Sound of Sirens (Tales of Skylge #1) by Jen Minkman
An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light, its people ever tempted by Siren song, and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.

Deception (The Transformed Series Book 1) by Stacy Claflin
Alexis Ferguson thinks she has everything figured out, but has no idea how wrong she is. Set up on a blind date, she meets a gorgeous stranger and feels that she’s known him her entire life, but she has never seen him before.

Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy Book 1) by Anna Kyss
Meghan’s graduation gift is one that any eighteen-year-old would dream of: traveling abroad to England. Her journey turns into more adventure than expected when Meghan meets the mysterious Kiernan and accepts his invitation to a secret club, hidden beneath the streets of London.

Minor Gods (Summoners Book One) by A.M. Yates
In the secret tribes of the Core, humans walk a tenuous line, using ancient masks to channel the gods and their elemental powers. But the delicate balance between gods and man is fractured when someone resurrects the forbidden mask of a ruthless Earth Goddess and begins a war. Her goal . . . reclaim the natural world from human civilization. Her first victim . . . Josie Day’s mother.

Kissed (The Thorn Chronicles #1) by Kimberly Loth
Three boys. Two kisses. One devastating choice.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date January 29, 2015.

A Quote From Philip Pullman

No one has to

Cajun vs Creole

Yummy!!!!! Mardi Gras may be over, but you can still enjoy the FOOD!!!

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

I admit it. I use them interchangeably, and I am sorry. Cajun. Creole. Aren’t they the same thing? Apparently not.

In an article on the Huffington Post back in 2012, Jay Ducote walks us through the differences that seem subtle to an outsider, but may seem large to a true Louisianan. Here are some of the keys to understanding the differences:

  • Geneology – Cajuns are descendants from French settlers in the Acadia region in northeast Canada. They often were from the “lower classes” and became outdoorsmen, such as fur trappers. The Creole are descendants front he French and Spanish merchant and upper classes that settled in Louisiana.
  • Location – Creole = city. Cajun = country. Creole is the French Quarter. Cajun is deep in the bayou.
  • Ingredients – Cajun uses anything, and everything that could be found wild. All parts of animals are used and only local vegetables. Creole cooking…

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