CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Virtual Book Tour: Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You To Know by Jeff Johnson & Hy Conrad

Best known for his work in mysteries, Hy was one of the original writers for the groundbreaking series, Monk, working on the show for all eight seasons, the final two as Co-Executive Producer. In a related project, Hy was Executive Producer and head writer of Little Monk, a series of short films featuring Adrian Monk as a ten-year-old. His latest TV work was as writer and Consulting Producer for White Collar.

Hy is also the author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits, which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages. Hy’s first mystery novel series, Abel Adventures, will debut in 2012 with the publication of Rally ‘Round the Corpse. And his first full-length comedy/mystery play, Home Exchange, premiered at the Waterfront Playhouse in May 2012. He lives in Key West with his partner and two miniature schnauzers. (

ABOUT JEFF JOHNSONJeff spent most of his working life in advertising agencies, currently as General Manager of Cramer-Krasselt in New York City. He is the author of The Hourglass Solution:  A Boomer’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life and co-authors (with Paula Forman) a national online advice column called Short Answers, which also appears in newspapers all along the east coast (from Massachusetts to Florida). Jeff lives in Vermont and Key West and is on the Board of Directors of the Waterfront Playhouse and the Florida Keys SPCA.




With Hy Conrad
Author of “Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know”

1. Why did you start writing?

One of my early projects was a collection of short mysteries for Sterling Publishing. I loved the twisty little plots and dreamed, in my oversized way, that a Hollywood producer would happen upon my work and call me up. And, although it took a few years, that’s basically what happened.

Out of the blue one day I got a call. The man on the other end said, “My name is Andy Breckman. I just created a mystery TV show and I need stories. So I went to a bookstore and found your books and tracked you down.”

That’s not how I became a writer, but that’s how I became a TV writer. The show was “Monk” and it was probably the best eight years of my professional life.

2. What's your favorite book of all time?

It’s hard to pick. The book that had the biggest influence on me was Agatha Christie’s second mystery, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which I read in college. It’s not a great novel by any means. But I remember clearly, getting to the last 20 pages and suddenly being assaulted by the twist ending. It was like a bolt, so completely inventive and yet logical.

When it was written in the 1920s, I later learned, the ending caused quite a stir. But to me it was completely fair and brilliant. That book planted the seed for me to become a mystery writer and to enter, in a sideways fashion, the world of humor.

3. Favorite Movie and why?

My yardstick for a great movie is, when you find it on TV, you can’t turn it off, no matter how many times you’ve seen it or where they are in the story. The two that come immediately to mind are Vertigo and Groundhog’s Day. Groundhog’s Day is wonderfully crafted, visiting the same scenes over and over and always finding something new. It also goes on longer than you think it will, which makes you ponder what he really needs to learn.

4. If your book was made into a movie, who do you seeing being cast for your characters?

I was actually approached by a Broadway producer about turning Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know into a play. I couldn’t visualize how that would happen and we never spoke again.

Since it’s told from the dogs’ point of view, the movie would have to be animated or CGI’ed. As for the voices, we modeled Tinkerbell, our rich, spoiled Chihuahua, after Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua who, by coincidence, also happens to be named Tinkerbell. I think it would be great fun to have Paris Hilton do that voice.

5. What is your favorite scene from your book, or the scene you most enjoyed writing?

Things Your Dog… is a collection of 115 stories told by 11 vastly different dogs. One of my favorites is by Bandana, a bossy border collie who is sent to a kennel for a few days. He tells the story as if he’s been sent to prison and the rest of the plot devolves into his version of The Great Escape, with an exercise yard and sleepy guards and an underground tunnel leading beyond the fence. I was pleasantly surprised at how perfectly the idea worked.

6. Name one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you.

I’m pretty much an open book. People can always find out about me on my Facebook page or or

But readers may be surprised to learn that I’m half Amish. My father split from the church to go to World War Two then came home and married a nice Italian nurse. I was raised in Lancaster, PA, and remember family reunions where half the family arrived in cars and the rest in buggies.

Please share a favorite recipe.

One of my favorite recipes is for “Ammonia Cookies” – not because they are the greatest cookies in the world (although they are pretty darn good), but because people find them so surprising. A lot of people don’t realize that baking ammonia exists. It’s really just another form of baking powder – which happens to smell exactly like ammonia when it bakes and you purchase it at a pharmacy instead of a super market. Just don’t stick your head in the oven while making these cookies because the vapors can knock you over.

2 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sour cream
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed baking ammonia
3 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the white sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream, milk and peppermint extract. Combine the salt and bakers' ammonia with 2 cups of the flour and blend into the mixture. Gradually add more flour to make a stiff dough. Leave the dough soft for drop cookies or add more flour to make cut-out cookies. Drop dough from heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. When cool, ice with a simple confectioners' glaze that has been flavored with peppermint if desired.

GENRE: Humor, pets

PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks

RELEASE DATE: April 2012

Why do dogs eat furniture when there are endless chew toys nearby?
Why do they always dash to a rug when they have to throw up?
And why are they always absolutely starving?

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know answers the questions that dog owners have asked for centuries. The book is a collection of 115 humorous essays that reveal the truth behind some of the most baffling canine behavior, their hopes and dreams, their grudges and pleasures, and what they really think about us humans. Peppered with lively, clever stories and visually appealing photographs, Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a verbal and visual delight that is laugh-out-loud funny. If you have dogs, love dogs, or have ever been baffled by a dog, this book is a must-have.

Topics include:
  • My Life in Your Purse by Tinkerbell, the Chihuahua
  • Waiting by the Table (for food scraps, of course!) by Orson, the bulldog
  • The Bed Rules (Rule #1—It’s my bed) by Dimples, the boxer
  • The Reason I Ate the Sofa (leather tastes a lot like rawhide) by Axelrod, the yellow lab
  • I Can Poop the Second I Start My Walk (but choose not to) by Sophie, the cocker spaniel

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, Target, on e-books and at independent bookstores everywhere. For more information, go to where you can also ask questions about your own dog’s behavior and learn the secrets they have been keeping from you!

A whimsical delight for dog lovers everywhere, this book will charm and remind readers why they fell in love with Rover to begin with.” (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

I laughed, my dog howled.” (Steve Martin)

This is the perfect book for anyone who owns a dog, has ever owned one, or knows what a dog is. These guys made me laugh out loud—and captured my heart at the same time. The book is simply irresistible.” (Tony Shalhoub, star of the TV series Monk)

Author Favorite Recipe & Fun Facts - B.L. Brown, Halo-Orangees Virtual Book Tour & #GIveaway

Big & Meaty Sloppy Joe Hand Pies

1 lb ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2 cup diced green or red bell pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (12 oz) Pillsbury® Big & Flaky refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Step-1 Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet, mix cooked beef and bell pepper. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and salt. Set aside. Separate dough into 4 rectangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each to 8x5 inches, firmly pressing perforations to seal.

Step-2 Divide beef mixture evenly among rectangles. Bring ends up over filling, overlapping Step-3about 1 inch. Press edges with fork to seal.

Step-3 Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm

B.L. Brown is the CEO and Founder of Halo-Orangees', international online job board ( Halo-Orangees’ international job board delivers candidates on time and under budget. Employers can post jobs and search resume database. Jobseekers can post resumes and search jobs for free. The genesis of Halo-Orangees Brand: Helping Advocate Longevity of Organizations by Obtaining Objectives through Redefining Above-Board New Generational Guidelines for Employer Employee Standards was inspired, developed, and birthed from her reaction to an unethical manager with whom she had the pleasure of working for and whose style of supervision made her stronger.
In a one-on-one meeting with this executive director, he made the statement that another employee, who held the same title as B.L. Brown, was better than she was. In response, B.L. Brown informed him that this employee was not better than her nor was she better than the employee. From that one statement, she instantly realized her true purpose in life. "Best negative words spoken into my life thus far" (Excerpt~ B.L. Brown). Reckoning her experience with a newfound belief, the foundation of Halo-Orangees emerged.
In 2012 Author B.L. Brown launched Halo-Orangees/h-connect brand, international online dating website The brand is empowering, motivating singles to find their best friend in love.

Progress can also be followed via social media:

Fun Fact Interview:

1. Why did you start writing?

I have always been a lover of words. One word can impact an entire sentence and stand out in the mind of readers. Words are the essential method of communications amongst human beings. As a child, whenever I felt isolated from the rest of the world, I would write. I had become accustomed to expressing myself by way of pen and paper verses verbal communication.

2. What's your favorite book of all time?

Charlotte's Web

3. Favorite Movie and why?

The Bone Collector is my favorite movie of all times. I enjoy watching mystery movies that keep you speculating until the very end.

4. If your book was made into a movie, who do you seeing being cast for your characters?

Halo-Orangees’ employer-employee “one accord” Volume I One Mind, One Body, One Team movie cast would include:

Jada Pinkett Smith -Role of Employee Strong
Mo'Nique -Role of Ms. New
Angela Basket -Role of Chelsea Courage
Julie Roberts -Role of Suzy T. Harassed
Kathy Bates - Role of Joanna M. Miserable
Ellen Degeneres-Role of Cherrellee GoLucky
Kristen Stewart - Role of Receptionist
Kerry Washington- Role of Joyce Streetlight
Kevin Hart-Role of Melvin Booker
Steve Harvey- Role of Edward Jones
Danny Devito - Role of Mike Small
Denzel Washington - Role of Tommie Joe
This all-star lineup of actors/actresses would be great for the characters in the real life experiences of Halo-Orangees’ book. A talented cast of such as this would make the movie an instant box office hit. Tickets would sell out before the movie release date. Halo-Orangees’ employer-employee “one accord” Volume I One Mind, One Body, One Team confronts the real-life workplace issues occurring in organizations world-wide (negativity, drama, power struggles, backstabbing, friend-family hiring, and endless gossip). There are many relatable real life characters in this book such as, Tammy Poor Leadership, Joanna M. Miserable, and Coffee Pot Manager. Names, dates, places, and incidents in this book have been changed or omitted for a variety of reasons. I will leave it up to you, the reader, to realize what is what, who is who, and where is where.

5. What is your favorite scene from your book, or the scene you most enjoyed writing?

I enjoyed writing Halo-Orangees employer-employee “one accord” Volume I One Mind, One Body, One Team Introduction entitled, “Don’t Allow Anyone to Confine You to a Box, Disabling Your Growth”. You are the only one who defines you, so don’t ever allow anyone to tell you who you are or that you are not good enough (Excerpt~ B.L. Brown).

6. Name one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you…

My mindset does not comprehend the term “quit”, rather it is fully fluent in successful outcomes. The word “no” has become a massive tool that drives my determination.

7. Any last words?

I encourage all readers to purchase Halo-Orangees employer-employee “one accord” Volume I One Mind, One Body, One Team This book embodies the message that all human beings have a purpose and can rise above any situation or circumstance as long as they remain ethically true to themselves. Halo-Orangees is a nonexclusive on the job survival manual, mindset enhancer, and stress reliever for both employers and employees. This book will change your life both personally and professionally.

Visit Halo-Orangees international online job board/website at Jobseekers can create an account, post resumes, and apply for jobs free. Halo-Orangees international job board delivers candidates on time and under budget. Employers can post jobs and search resume database. Halo-Orangees resume database is searched daily by numerous organizations for qualified applicants to meet their organizational needs. Therefore, if you do not see a position in which you qualify at the time of your search, it is to your advantage to continue the process and upload your resume. Opportunities are available through the resume database component of Halo-Orangees website

Visit Halo-Orangees/h-connect online dating website at The brand is empowering, motivating singles to find their best friend in love. Halo-Orangees/h-connect is the first online dating website reinvesting back into it members community through monthly cash giveaway.

Book Genre: BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Angels & Spirit Guides / Business & Economics

Is your work environment infected with the dysfunctional "I" and ME" Team Virus? "I" and "Me" are the driving forces behind dysfunctional organizational employer-employee relationships.

This book embodies the message that all human beings have a purpose and can rise above any situation or circumstance as long as they remain ethically true to themselves.

As you journey through this book, you will experience a multiplicity of real life work encounters such as, "A manager espoused her opinion that lower-paid employees should serve higher-paid employees". In this encounter, the manager also stated, "higher-salaried staff members are not paid to clean coffee pots" (Excerpt~ B.L. Brown). Halo-Orangees book is a movement with encouraging straightforwardness; Author B.L. Brown confronts real-life workplace issues occurring in organizations world-wide (negativity, drama, power struggles, backstabbing, and endless gossip). The Introduction is entitled, "Don't Allow Anyone to Confine You to a Box, Disabling Your Growth".

Halo-Orangees is a nonexclusive on the job survival manual, mindset enhancer, and stress reliever for both employers and employees. This book will change your life both personally and professionally.

Don’t ever allow anyone to attack your self-esteem, kill your passion, or tell you that someone else is more worthy than you” (Excerpt ~B.L. Brown).

You are the only one who defines you, so don’t ever allow anyone to tell you who you are, or that you are not good enough” (Excerpt ~B.L. Brown).
Excerpt Quotes
Your life purpose is to take the totality of your negative experiences, roll them up into one, and use them positively to lay the foundation for your destiny” (Excerpt~ B.L. Brown).

Don’t ever allow anyone to break your spirit of peace, control your mood, or suppress your workforce existence, making your tenure in the organization a horrible experience” (Excerpt~ B.L. Brown).

Virtual Book Tour & #Giveaway: Author Fun Facts with p.m. terrell - Secrets of a Dangerous Woman

p.m. terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books in four genres: paranormal romantic suspense, suspense/thriller, historical adventure/suspense and non-fiction. Vicki's Key, the second book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards (one of only five in the mystery/suspense category) and River Passage won the 2010 Best Drama & Fiction Award. She has been a full-time writer for more than ten years. Previously, she founded and operated two computer companies; her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Her work in detecting computer white collar crime and computer intelligence inspired many of her books. She is an avid dog lover and advocate for animal rights and founded the New Leash on Life program in Robeson County, NC, which rescues dogs and places them in the prison system for obedience training and adoption. She also co-founded The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is Buy a Book and Stop a Crook; their mission is to raise awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She co-chairs the Book 'Em North Carolina Writers' Conference and Book Fair each year in Lumberton, NC, which raises money for literacy campaigns in our communities.

Author Fun Facts

1. Favorite Author: Erin Quinn
2. Favorite Book: The Mummy by Anne Rice
3. Favorite Movie: The Others
4. Preferred Drink: Diet Coca-Cola
5. Favorite Activity: writing (of course!)
6. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you. When I was 21 years old, I was homeless. Just three years later, I founded the first of two computer companies. It still boggles my mind when I consider that quantum leap.
7. Actor/actress you see playing your main character in your book. I wish I was more up to date on Irish actors; I’d love an Irish version of a young Russell Crowe playing Dylan Maguire. Amy Adams would be perfect as Vicki Boyd. And Lindsay Lohan could definitely play bad girl Brenda Carnegie.
8. Night owl or early bird: early bird
9. Favorite dinner: anything with candlelight and wine
10. Favorite romantic gesture (received or given): it’s all in “the look” …

Genre: Suspense
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Release Date: September 2012
Buy: Amazon | Kindle

Irishman Dylan Maguire is back in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, reuniting with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. In his first mission with the CIA, he must interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it's obvious she's had help from within the CIA's own ranks. With Vicki Boyd's psychic assistance, Brenda is back in his custody again. And now he must find out why some in the highest branches of government want her dead - and others will risk everything to help her. And when he discovers her true identity, his mission has just become very personal.

Brenda was taller than her sister. His chest touched her back as he leaned on the door, her hair brushing against his face and flowing downward nearly to the top of his jeans. She smelled of Vicki’s shampoo and Vicki’s perfume.
Where the bloody hell do you think you’re goin’?” Dylan said.
She didn’t answer but continued facing the door.
Put the gun down, Red,” he said calmly.
Since you remember me,” she said, still with her back against him, “you know I didn’t have a gun.”
I know that you’ve got me gun in your right hand. And I know as soon as you turn around, that gun is goin’ to be pointed at me chest.”
Let me go, Irish. Don’t make me shoot you.”
There are two things I won’t be allowin’ to happen. First, you’re not gonna shoot me with me own gun. And second, they won’t be catchin’ you with me gun on you. They won’t be tracin’ you back to me.”
She remained motionless and he could almost hear her mind racing. “I’m bad news, Irish. You and I both know it. It’s better this way.”
It’s better that you stay here. You’re safe here.”
What are you saying?”
I think I just said it.”
I’m turning around,” she said after a moment’s hesitation. “And I’m handing you the gun.”
He moved slightly away from the door, dropping his arms from around her head as she turned around. He took the gun from her hand and set it on the kitchen table beside them.
I wish I’d met you before Vicki did. We would have been good together.”
His eyes followed her jawline, her full lips, a slightly wide, upturned nose, her high cheekbones, and a mountain of copper hair a man could get lost in. Then his eyes moved to her perfect brows, one raised slightly, coquettishly, before stopping to peer into her mesmerizing amber eyes. “We would have been dangerous together.”

Blog Your Blog Tour with Divya Chandra - Where Spirit Meets Art

Where Spirit Meets Art is now on Blog Your Blog Tour and we are pleased to introduce you to Divya Chandra. Stop in and follow Divya's blog and enjoy the tour as we learn more about her. 

Welcome Divya!

Divya Chandra is the Director of BooGio11 Productions and member of the " Happy to Help Theatre Company". Divya's explorations have led her to the stage, to dancing, singing, theater movement, yoga and energy work. Divya works out of New Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, London and New York.

Divya's journey as an actor, director & playwright has given her a unique eye and an understanding in to the limitations we put on ourselves. As an actor, Divya is committed to work on projects that break the certified notions of glam and affectation prefixed with the profession, framing new foundations of transformative-mission oriented art. As a writer & director she aims to create work that transcends cultural confines in story-telling, co- creating opportunities for like-minded artists to explore and re-define ‘performance’ as a movement for self-discovery & empowerment. Divya has worked on several Indian and international projects,collaborating with directors, filmmakers and artists to create conscientious work escalating both the ‘self’ and societal awareness. Working with people from all ages and backgrounds, through her workshops she facilitates a more conscious connection with the self and helps participants tap and explore their aspirations and potential.

“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

It worries me, exposing my sisters and daughters to this kind of archaic garbage. There is really no other word for it but GARBAGE.

I believe these soaps have regressed our Indian society back in to the dark ages; instead of focusing on the opportunities that this century has brought us; they focus on the petty aspects of human baseness, moral repugnancy and ratings motivated melodrama.

There are of course some that are exceptions to the rule, but unfortunately most serials that are being mass produced; are like fast food - taste good but offer little content and even lesser or no nutritional value.

According to the last census of 2011 there are 58,64,69,174 women in India.
It is frightening to see the hidden messages in the characterization and sub plots of these soaps that are being sent out to young women today.

If viewed unconsciously the underlying messages are:-

  1. Power can only come from position and hierarchy and through plotting and manipulation.
  2. Women have to fight amongst themselves to establish their worth and position in the family.
  3. That manipulation, back biting and game playing are the tools for succession.
  4. That there are 2 kinds of women the vamp or the victim; women have to be segregated in to stereotypes and treated accordingly.
  5. Everyone around you determines your worth; you are what people think of you, so as long you pretend to be virtuous on the outside, it doesn’t matter who you really are when no one is looking.
  6. Respect is bought by virtue of position and doesn’t need to be earned through intent or conduct.
  7. Do anything to make everyone else happy even if it goes against your own beliefs or happiness
  8. Suffering in silence, sacrifice for the sake of others and general martyrdom (or the appearance of it) are the mark of a true ‘Bharatiye naari.’
  9. And of course the age-old gold digger’s mantra - marry a rich man for an immediate lifestyle upgrade, better yet make sure you marry the eldest son for complete and total domination.

Blog Your Blog Tour

October 21 - Introduction at VBT Cafe' Blog
October 22 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
October 23 - Interviewed at Blooding Book Reviews
October 24 - Promotion Feature at My Escape
October 25 - Featured at Mass Musings
October 26 - Interviewed at Talk Story TV
October 27 - Guest Blogging at BK Walker Books Etc.
October 31 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
November 2 - Interviewed at Minolta White's Blog
November 3 - Fun Facts and Fav Recipe at Writing Innovations E-zine