Fun New Book:Pastry for Poodles: Gourmet Recipes for Dogs & Dog Lovers by Chef Fifi Lefay has hit the shelves!

“There’s more to the kitchen than your food bowl”

Oui! Oui! Ma Cherie or Mon Cher! I am beyond excited to be one of a pack of dog bloggers who have had the pleasure of reading  Pastry for Poodles: Gourmet Recipes for Dogs & Dog Lovers by Chef Fifi Lefay! When Fifi’s Manager, John Morris, approached me asking if I would like a copy, being the “foodie” that I am, I JUMPED at the chance!

If you love food, (you don’t have to be an Iron Chef in the kitchen to enjoy this witty book, and I promise, Gordon Ramsay will NOT yell at you if you aren’t! He doesn’t even read this blog, but I digress…), and you love dogs, or KNOW someone who does, you MUST grab a copy (or two or three or four) to give as gifts!

Pastry for Poodles is the  first in a series of 8 “gourmet” cookbooks  (“Cookbooks from The Canine Cuisine Team”) written for dogs by dogs.  (Yes! I am planning on featuring all 8 books!), Specifically, by the celebrity dog chefs from The Chow TV Network. (Check out their website here!)


click to visit the website!

click to visit the website!

Each of the 8 books features a different breed of dog as author/chef and addresses a different world-class cuisine.  In Pastry for Poodles, various delectable French pastries are prepared  by Parisian Chef-Maitre Fifi LeFay.

Chef LeFay presents each recipe (which I hear you CAN prepare, but the recipes aren’t written for that purpose, they are meant to be FUN and might not even be edible!), in a delightfully funny (to humans! To dogs this is serious business!) manner. If Julia Child were alive today Chef-Maitre Fifi LeFay would give her a run for her money let me tell you! If you have a zany sense of humor like I do, this is right up your alley!

Thankfully Fifi believes in using ingredients that many of us have in our own kitchens and star ingredients are store-bought puff pastry, fillo dough and store-bought pie crust!

When I began reading the recipes I nearly fell on the floor laughing at the “doggy” spin that each and every recipe has. These recipe instructions, remember, are written for dogs, by dogs, so they contain instructions that only DOGS understand such as:

  • Pre-heat oven to PRETTY HOT
  • Take a short nap while crust thaws
  • Remember to wash your paws
  • Bake for 2 tummy-rubs or if you smell smoke
  • Bake until cookies start to turn brown and are soft to the paw
  • This recipe calls for lots of eggs, but don’t worry, eggs are good for our coats!
  • Water should be tongue-warm
  • When working with a pastry bag hold it upright with your mouth, remember it isn’t a play toy so watch those teeth!
  • If you need to wait for a long time for something in the oven take a long walk
Click to visit the website!

Click to visit the website!

In Pastry for Dogs you will find recipes such as:

  • Fresh Blueberry Tart with a Tease
  • Le Croissant
  • Le Napoleon (I really want to make these!)

Pastry for Poodles (and each of the ensuing books in the collection),  includes an author bio, foreword and afterword, six or more scrumptious recipes written from one dog to another, in dog units of measure and with a dog’s sensibility for what tastes good and how many friends to invite over, plus mouth-watering full-color photos of each “dish.” They are Presented with the utmost seriousness, of course, because these dogs are seriously into food!

Now, if your mouth is watering after reading the scrumptious recipe titles listed above, like mine is, (or should I say DROOLING?), grab these links to order! Have an office gift exchange where the item has to be under $25? Need a stocking stuffer, or a filler for one of the Eight Crazy Nights of Chanukah, or a just because gift to brighten a foodie/dog lover’s day?  Pastry for Poodles fits the “bill” perfectly! Dakota and I give it a unanimous FOUR PAWS UP!!

Here’s how to order!

Amazon paperback $9.99 (or less)

Amazon Kindle $2.99

Createspace eStore paperback only – $9.99


Oh and keep your eyes on this blog for my reviews of ALL of the books in the series!

I was not compensated for this review, I received a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion!











PAW PRINTS IN MY HEART, Life lessons learned from the dog of my life, by Andrew Hessel


‘’Here’s to Great Dogs Everywhere”

There is nothing I love more than books that speak to, and touch the heart.

Paw Prints In My Heart by Andrew Hessel is one of those books.

Dog lovers everywhere will be able to relate to the undying devotion expressed by Andrew Hessel in one of the most loving tributes from a man to his dog that I have had the pleasure of reading.


Normally in my reviews I spend time writing about how a book impacted me, in this case, I feel that MY words would detract from the words that Andrew Hessel has shared in the Foreword for Paw Prints In My Heart. Andrew’s words say more and convey more feeling than I could ever hope to:

Paw Prints in My Heart is Mac’s story.

I think of it as my gift to our family and all of his friends, two and four-legged, that had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing and being loved by this magnificent old Labrador retriever. It’s my best attempt to capture and chronicle a remarkable life, the pain and sadness of his passing, but most of all, his joyful impact upon us over what truly was a most improbable life of fourteen years and a day. A reverent and grateful tribute to a gentle and pure spirit that for me will always be a living reminder of a loving friend in the very truest sense.

Andrew and Mac

Andrew and “Mac”

In every way, this book was a labor of love and a joy to write. Parts will make you laugh, and others may bring you to tears, so a tissue at times may be advised. But I have the highest hopes that you’ll read it, enjoy it, and connect in ways that only you can understand. Maybe even share it with friends that might understand and pass it along, as a comfort for a true friend they’ve lost, and for what they’ve experienced, and a way for them to remember the laughter and happy times through their tears.

I hope dog lovers everywhere read this book and see a bit of their dog in Mac.

I hope that the non-dog lovers amongst us read this book and reconsider.

I hope that everyone has at least one dog of their life in their life.

My first novel Rush to Dawn, was, in many ways a love letter to my wife, Lynne.

This book, I’d like to believe, is a love letter from Mac to all of us.


“Mac” from Andrew’s website

I urge you to pick up a copy and join Andrew as he takes us on a journey through life with he and Mac, who Andrew describes as “The finest dog I’ll ever know.”

May we all be blessed to have even ONE of these dogs in our lifetime, and may these special, unselfish, undemanding and eternally loving dogs be blessed to share their lives with those who share the same passion and devotion. Thank you Mac for being the epitome of “Man’s best friend” and THANK YOU Andrew for sharing his incredible life, love and spirit with ALL of us!


To learn more about Andrew Hessel

I was not compensated for this review. I was honored to be contacted by Andrew Hessel and offered a copy of this special book, in exchange for my honest review.

A Children’s Book with a Powerful Message:How Meg Changed Her Mind by Ethel K.Coffey

“Change is inevitable”, but how we cope with change has a powerful influence on how our life will be.

Bringing a new pet into the home?

Expecting a new child?

Have a little one in your home who will be affected by an impending,

life-altering change to their daily routine?

You will want to read How Meg Changed Her Mind by Ethel K. Coffey.

how meg changed her mind cover

From the Publisher:

“Set in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Arizona, How Meg Changed Her Mind is a vibrant telling of the difficulties of navigating change and emotions. Following a fun cast of pets and desert animals, the book encourages children to accept change and turn negative thoughts into positive ones.”

Based on a TRUE STORY “Meg, feeling sad and lonely, believes her life is ruined! She is sure it is all Baylee’s fault. 

Her friend, Sabera the quail, helps her to look at things in a new way.

Visit Meg, Baylee, and some of their desert neighbors, to find out how Meg changed her mind.”

While being geared towards children, How Meg Changed Her Mind is a book that ANYONE who has experienced, or WILL be experiencing life-altering change can benefit from reading. We all often fall victim to less-than-healthy thinking that can strongly affect everything in our lives in a negative fashion. How Meg Changed Her Mind teaches all of us that if we CHANGE our thinking to POSITIVE thoughts, POSITIVE results WILL HAPPEN!

Along with being beautifully written, and possessing a powerful message that is important to all of us,  the vibrant desert hued colors used in the illustrations by Betty Schweitzer-Johnson make this book a visual delight.

How Meg Changed Her Mind is available on CD at

It is also available in paperback book form at,, and


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Ethel K. Coffey worked as a reading specialist and special educator for more than 30 years. Coffey was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and currently lives there with her husband David, their dog Baylee and two cats, Cougar and Benney.


In full disclosure:I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a copy of How Meg Changed Her Mind in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review:Dog and Butterfly, by John Philip Riffice

When I was first contacted by Author John Philip Riffice asking if I would review his latest book Dog and Butterfly, I was hesitant when he informed me that this book does not feature a dog in the “starring” role. READ ON.

Click on the book cover to purchase

Click on the book cover to purchase

John elaborated in his email, explaining that the dog, (Ellis, a Jack Russell Terrier) who spends his time chasing the oh-so-elusive butterfly, and is referenced numerous times throughout Dog and Butterfly,  intrigued me. The symbolism didn’t fall on deaf ears. 

I began reading Dog and Butterfly on one of my Thursday Physical Therapy visits for my shoulder.  When the assistant came into the room and interrupted my reading, I was upset. I did NOT want to put this book down.

I was hooked when I read: “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Thomas Paine

I let out an audible “Ah-ha” and knew that this one was going to be a winner. I was NOT disappointed. As I turned the pages I felt as if I had made a most unexpected “find.” This book grabbed my heart and soul and did NOT let go…..not even after having read the final. page.

Believe me when I tell you that Dog and Butterfly is one of the BEST books that I have read….EVER.

Dog and Butterfly is a story of fate, and how everything we do in our lives has a reason and a purpose, we may not know it at the time, but eventually the secrets and meaning of our actions, (or our lack of action) will be revealed to us. It is just a matter of time.

From the author:

This book deals with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a love, and the horrors of war, all, unfortunately, part of

 our daily existence.  Fortunately, Dog and Butterfly concerns itself with how these oftentimes tragic events shape our

 lives and must occur, “just so the next thing can,” as main character Cameron Freeland so

 often stated.  This is a story of fate and how all our lives can be

 touched by one simple, seemingly insignificant event.

 To read the first chapter click here

From the moment I began reading, I kept repeating to my husband whenever he was within earshot, “I LOVE THIS BOOK.” To be completely candid, it is one of the first books that I have reviewed that is so good that I kept feeling that I wouldn’t be able to find the words to do it justice.

Author John Philip Riffice has created characters (Uncle Cam, Jimmy, Charlotte) with personalities so vivid that the reader feels as if they know them.  As I read this marvelous book, I hurt, cried, laughed, rejoiced, cheered and felt the full gamut of emotions that they were experiencing.

About Dog and Butterfly:from John Philip Riffice’s website:

After his brother’s untimely passing, Cam Freeland takes in his sister-in-law and four year-old nephew, Charlotte and Jimmy, just until they get on their feet and find a place of their own. But that day never comes. Cam enjoys having them in his life, and they enjoy being there. Cam raises Jimmy almost as though the boy were his son, forming a bond of love, respect, and friendship that will last beyond a lifetime. In doing so, young Jimmy slowly discovers that his uncle Cam is far nobler than he could have ever imagined, a stand-up guy in every respect.

Except one. Cam has a skeleton in his closet, one which shames him terribly, and fate calls on Jimmy to investigate further. He does, and the secret he uncovers surprises him. And so does the next. And the next after that. But the biggest revelation of all lies in Jimmy’s discovery that fate controls every aspect of his life and that there are no accidents and there are no coincidences, just as Uncle Cam had always told him.


When I finished reading Dog and Butterfly (the Saturday after I first began reading. At 333 pages I FLEW through it because it held my attention on every page!), I did NOT want the book to end.  I strongly encourage you to add this sensitive, thought-provoking and beautifully written book to your library, even if it does NOT feature a dog in the “starring role.”


Author John Riffice passed the first half of his adult life working in heavy  industrial construction. After a serious work-related injury, he pursued a lifelong interest in teaching and took up a career in education, culminating in a rewarding life instructing children with disabilities. This experience, coupled with his understanding of the challenges facing single parents as well as all the intimacies of alcoholism, enable him to weave interesting tales of love, friendship, betrayal and deceit. He demonstrates an uncanny ability to paint a unique literary landscape as seen through the eyes of both children and mature adults. He has a grown daughter and lives in Chicago with Karen, his wife of twenty years.




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