The Governor’s Dog Is Missing by Sneed B. Collard III

If you enjoy mystery, adventure, and interesting facts, you’ll want to pick up a copy of The Governor’s Dog Is Missing by Sneed B. Collard III. The first in Collard’s Slate Stephens Mysteries series, this book is set in Montana. When news erupts that Governor Rickson’s legendary dog named Cat is missing, Slate and his best friend, Daphne McSweeney, decide to help find him. Assembling a list of suspects and looking through all the clues, Slate and Daphne work to prove their theory about what happened to Cat. To complicate matters, Slate’s changing feelings for Daphne lead to some awkward moments during the investigation.

The Lil Princess (6 days shy of 9) had to read a mystery novel for a school project. We ended up reading The Governpr’s Dog Is Missing together. In addition to being a great mystery, the humorous banter between Slate and Daphne as they try to one up each other is something kids will enjoy. Collard manages to work in numerous facts about Montana and some of its more well-known sites without bogging down the plot with information. Since their father’s work together in the same field, the reader is also treated to geological facts–again without hampering the pace of the story. This is a quick read. The unfolding mystery has the reader turning the pages as she follows the clues along with Slate and Daphne.

I wasn’t keen on the romance aspect of the book. The Govenor’s Dog Is Missing is geared for ages 9 and up, according to Amazon. Slate and Daphne are 12, so the pre-teen angst makes sense, but for my daughter, it was simply a distraction because she didn’t truly understand it. She’s still in the boys are disgusting creatures who should be rocketed to another planet stage. It wasn’t a huge part of the plot, so don’t let the fear of an innocent attempt at a kiss or two sway you from purchasing the book.

We also have the second book in the series, Hangman’s Gold, here. We look forward to reading it soon. The Governor’s Dog Is Missing is a fun, fast-paced mystery boys and girls will enjoy.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reading level:Ages 9 and up
  • Hardcover:176 pages
  • Publisher:Bucking Horse Books; First edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:098444601X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984446018
  • SRP: $16.00

I received a free hardcover copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.


Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel

 If ever there were a book that is educational and hilarious, it’s Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel. One of several Bad Kitty books that we own, in this book Bad Kitty is running against Big Kitty to become president of the Neighborhood Cat Club because Old Kitty is leaving office next week. Once they learn all there is to know about elections, it will be time to vote.

When the Lil Princess asked me to buy her a few Bad Kitty books, I have to admit I didn’t understand it. What is so great about a naughty kitty who does less than nice things and sometimes grumbles to himself where characters like this (#@!*) appear above his head to indicate cuss words that can’t be used in a children’s book? Now that we’ve read one together, I understand it.

Bad Kitty’s antics are extreme and many kids couldn’t get away with half of what he does, so it’s funny to them. In Bad Kitty for President, children learn a great deal about elections: primaries, public relations, campaigning, advertising in the media, debates, and voting. Other characters like Uncle Murray and Edna Prunelove provide additional information and funny moments, while the book’s editor can chime in from time to time when the author leaves him notes.

I don’t think we stopped laughing until the last page. We were probably chuckling for a while afterwards too. I’m sure we’ll be reading more Bad Kitty books in the future.

Reading:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reading level:Ages 7 and up
  • Paperback:160 pages
  • Publisher:Square Fish (August 21, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1250010160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250010162
  • SRP: $6.99

I purchased a copy of this book as a gift for my daughter. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Where Have I Been?

You’ve probably been asking yourself that very question. Maybe not, but in case you were wondering, here’s what’s been going on in my world.

The Lil Diva (now 11) and the Lil Princess (1 week shy of 9) opted to participate in sports this fall–cheerleading and soccer, respectively. So, pretty much since the last week in August, I have been running back and forth between fields and schools getting them where they needed to go. I know, that’s no excuse for neglecting my lovely blog. I miss posting here. In addition, it’s crafting season for the church bazaar. I’ve also been busy reading books not geared toward younger people. Gasp! How dare I.

The good news is that cheerleading and soccer are now over. Both girls did well and we’re proud of them. Despite Hurricane Sandy spending a good part of today and most likely tomorrow smacking Western Massachusetts, we still have power. So, my goal is to catch up here. In addition to three reviews I want to post this week (fingers crossed), tiger tales books sent me some new titles for me to share with you.

I hope all of you are well. Thank you for your loyal readership.

4RV Publishing Christmas Book Sale!

Christmas Book Sale

15% off total order: 3 or more books

follow instructions below

1.  Make list of books wanted, with author’s name and price (includes tax and shipping in the United States.)

2.  Email list with needed information to

3.  Include your name and mailing address.

4.  4RV will send a return email with total (including shipping if order is to be sent out of the U.S.).

5.  Payment instructions will be included in your reply.

6.  Books will be shipped as soon as payment is received.

7.   Orders must be received by 4RV before December 10 for guaranteed delivery before Christmas.

Visit 4RV Publishing’s online catalog today at

The Templeton Twins Have An Idea Winner!


Sorry I am so late in announcing this. Life has gotten crazy the past couple of months. It’s almost over, though, since the writers conference is Saturday and the Lil Diva’s cheerleading and the Lil Princess’ soccer will be over at the end of the month.

Congratulations goes out to Alice. She won a copy of The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner. I’ll email her now.

Thanks to all who participated.

Guest Blogger: Natasha Deen, Author of True Grime 2: Angel Maker

For the last two years, human Aponi Runningbear has been training to be part of Grime, the magical police division tasked with protecting humanity from SOAP terrorists. But things aren’t going well. She’s barely keeping up with her studies, failing the physical component, and her Generalized Anxiety Disorder is making her bad days even worse. When her team is given the chance to find a missing coworker and stop SOAP from producing a DNA-altering drug that’s killing humans, Aponi grabs hold of the chance to show she’s meant for Grime. But as the investigation heats up, she’s forced to deal with the tormentor from her past, dead bodies, and the certainty that SOAP’s going to win this battle. Humanity’s dying, Grime’s in trouble, and she’s failing…does a foster kid really have what it takes to save the world and herself?

Reasearch Can Be Fun by Natasha Deen

Part of the fun of writing the True Grime series is mixing animal facts with mythical creatures such as fairies, banshees, and the like. For example in the second installment, True Grime 2: Angel Maker, I combined an aswang (an evil Filipino creature that struck me as a cross between a banshee and a vampire) and gave her mosquito-like abilities. I read a mosquito’s sense of smell is 10 000 times greater than a human and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if the aswang could track her prey within a two mile radius? Like the mosquito, what if she used carbon dioxide to triangulate the location of my heroine?”  Then, to make it more fun for me (and less fun for my heroine), I decided the aswang should go dead silent when it reached a four-foot radius and the only clue my protagonist, Aponi, would get that the creature was close was the decaying scent of rotting meat that the creature gave off…which meant, Aponi would have a two second lead on not being butchered by a creature who thought she’d stolen one of her eggs.

Yay! Let the fun begin!

Here are a few other things I found out about the creatures that make up our earth:

The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees. (Author’s note: Obviously, these people never met my mother.  Her friends wondered why her children were so well-behaved…her children knew Mommy had 360 vision…)

The Chameleon can focus its eyes separately to watch two objects at once. (This ability has been envied by many a man on a beach).

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards. (Actually…neither can I).

If a Copperhead snake loses a fang it can replace it with a spare. It has up to seven spare fangs. (I knew a mean girl in junior high who had the same ability).

Frogs sleep with their eyes open. (So do politicians).

For more fun and weird facts on animals, try googling “weird animal facts” in your search engine and see what you come up with.  (The facts listed above came from

When I was little, there was only one thing I wanted to be: a superhero. But there came a day when my dreams were broken, and that was the day I realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and my super weakness for anything bright and shiny meant a magpie with self-control could easily defeat me in a battle of wills. I turned to writing as a way to sharpen my mental super-hero skills. I don’t get to orbit the earth in a space station (and thank God, because I get sick on merry go round), but I do get to say things like: “Stand aside! This is a job for Writing Girl!!”