REVIEWED ... ANIMAL BOOKS


 Feline Catastrophe ... by Victor S E Moubarak

A series of short humourous stories about a cat who is master of his own domain and tries his best to make his owner's life miserable.

OUR REVIEW

Of course this crazy cat on the book cover grabbed my attention, along with the title...Feline Catastrophe by Victor S E Moubarak. What I loved about this book was that the author didn't make you wait until the end for the funniest stories...they are ALL humorous  throughout the book:

The other day I caught him exchanging labels between tins of best salmon and tins of cat food. Obviously he wanted me to feed him salmon by mistake and for me to serve my guests cat food on canap├ęs!!!

Don't worry, you needn't be a cat lover to fully enjoy this book, as the author has a bit of dry wit to spice up each vignette.

And yes, there is a dog in the house who has his own personality:
 
Linda     
When he’s not eating he is very busy indeed … sitting on the mat watching TV. Any program would do … he’s not fussy as long as it’s the Dog Channel. When the TV is on he’d sit there for hours guarding the house. Or more precisely, guarding the TV in case anyone changes the channel.

If you need a good book to just to relax with and enjoy someone else's dilemmas, this book is for YOU!

               






Lap of Honour: (Loxwood #5)  ... by Grace Wilkinson  
                                                                                                                                    
 
In this final book in the Loxwood series, tragedy prompts a change in situation, and Georgia decides it's time to go it alone.
With the Five Year Old Event Horse Championships coming up, will she and Loxwood redeem themselves?




OUR REVIEW


If you are following this series, Lap of Honour: (Loxwood#5) by Grace Wilkinson opens with a heart pounding event that you never would have expected. If this is your first book of the series, you will immediately feel the rush of emotion as riders scramble to find out the result of a horrific accident that happened on the riding course. Lives are changed for humans as well as horses.

Linda      
I felt Georgia's life became more independent towards her main goal, even though it didn't mean it came without hard work. Georgia's devotion  and affection is still torn between two beloved horses and not to give away any spoilers, the reader understands why she reveals her true love for one particular horse.

The last chapter wraps up Georgia's evolution of her horse career as of date, but yet describes in a tender flashback the moments how life has come full circle.
       
   




                                        Crossing Boarders ... Debra Sue Brice

Dana has lived her whole life for this moment. It is her chance to shine and break through to the demanding equine world that is attainable only to the extremely wealthy or incredibly lucky. It is now or never.

Dana finds the courage to leave her family and travel from Ohio to Canada to train with Olympic rider Amy Arnot, who has a reputation for being tough. Trying her best to leave her judgmental sarcasm at home, Dana attempts to excel at her tasks and training while getting to know the other riders at Arnot's farm. Determined to stick to God's plan, Dana tries to get in the good graces of fellow equine royalty while finding favor with a particularly handsome barn manager.

But an unfolding scandal is loom. Despite all of Dana's hard work, her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity could come to a devastating end.

OUR REVIEW    
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Debra Sue Brice's debut novel of Crossing Boarders was filled with exciting and  diverse characters. Dana Berrelli has worked and ridden horses all her life, and    now she finally has found the courage to leave her home in Ohio to train with       
Canadian Olympic trainer Amy Arnot, where she hopes to achieve the potential  she has always dreamed of. Sending off her Hanoverian gelding Indie by hired  trailer first, she deals with the emotions any young woman might have in saying  goodbye to family and friends that have supported her all her life. Making stops  on the way to the Ontario farm, her first taste of mystery begins. Upon arrival at  the farm, Dana tries to keep her sarcastic ways in check as she meets her fellow students and a surprisingly handsome barn manager that challenges her unique way of looking at moral issues.  Life is not easy, but Dana sticks to her Christian beliefs and finds that she can enjoy the special uniqueness of people that she never expected to enjoy as friends.


Lisa Lynn
Knowledge of horses is not necessary to enjoy Dana's developing character.  Never having to worry about any offensive language or improper moral tone, makes this novel enjoyable and easy to read.
 









            Loxwood... by Grace Wilkinson
 

There are three thousand horses in Newmarket, but only one is on Georgia's mind. Counting down the days until she can leave school and work towards making her dream of riding round Badminton a reality, Georgia James spends her mornings exercising Thoroughbreds at the track. The rest of her time is spent at event rider Rose Holloway's yard, and thinking about Loxwood, whose future as a racehorse is uncertain.                                                                      
Always on the sidelines, is Georgia's hard work and patience about to pay off?

                                     OUR REVIEW                                                  
 
 Linda        
Loxwood by Grace Wilkinson drew me into the world of behind the scenes of horse racing.  Georgia was a young, independent girl, who lived her life for the love of horses.  Her small paying job of exercising them took every minute of her time, except for the riding lessons she could squeeze in from a loving and caring friend, Rose.
 
Georgia fell in love with one special horse, Loxwood, in which she dreamed of riding over event courses and maybe a little dressage.  Her home life wasn't the best and her day dreams about Loxwood where making her fail her studies at school, but she was determined to continue to bring out the best in Loxwood, so he won't suffer the fate of race horses that weren't fast enough.
 
I had a few "oh my gosh" moments reading this story, as I was already hooked with the same emotional attachment that Georgia was going through with the fate of Loxwood.  This is an excellent read, although fiction I found it very informative. 5 Hoof Stars

 
                                                     



                                     A Perfect Stride: (Loxwood #2) ... by Grace Wilkinson


The past couple of months have been something of a dream for Georgia. Loxwood is hers, and every day is dedicated to training him to become an event horse. Friends are coming easily, and Georgia finally feels like she belongs. Anything seems possible.
But self-doubt clouds Georgia’s ability to succeed, and she begins to question whether becoming a professional rider is nothing more than a fantasy.
Will everything fall apart? Or will Georgia be reminded of the more important things in life, and get her act together?
 




Our Review




A Perfect Stride: (Loxwood#2) by Grace Wilkinson could be a stand alone book, BUT I would highly recommend you to read Loxwood (the first in this series) to completely understand the struggles that Georgia had to go through to obtain this magnificent horse. In this book, Georgia helps Loxwood adjust from the racing world of high speed, to the discipline of an under saddle event horse. The stress is mounting, as Georgia has her heart set on a high goal, which may or may not be within her reach. The training of finding the correct rhythm of the canter, the setting up for the jumps, became frustrating to this team, but Georgia finds strength and support from her beloved friend and trainer Rose as she still can't find peace at her own home.  During many months of training, Georgia expands her friendships with other equestrians and realizes
that her life might just not be as bad as she thought. Many surprises unfold with the secondary characters, and a revelation about Rose is quite the surprise. I felt this author wrote as though I myself was hanging out with the main character, feeling all her emotions, and nerves. I will say... what a surprise last chapter.






 
                                                         Whisper...by Lauren K. Lotter
 
Rachel’s family raises purebred Quarter Horses, but, even though she is surrounded by beautiful horses, she still longs for a horse for her own. And, when her dad takes her to a local auction, she only has eyes for one horse – and one horse alone. A terrified mare tries to hide her fear beneath a hardened exterior, but Rachel knows better. Everything within her knows that they were meant for each other.
Once they get her home, the challenge is on.


 
OUR REVIEW


Whisper by Lauren K. Lotter takes a hold of you from the very first page...and I mean DON'T pass over the Forward or Prologue. This fiction story is based on just one part of the author's amazing work with training horses. In this book, Rachel works with her family's business of buying and selling horses. Although she encounters and trains many, she has never really found that special horse she longs for...until that fateful day at the auction. She spots a horse that she immediately connects with, and against her fathers first impression of absolutely not, their trust in the Lord to make the right decision wins out.

Rachel comes home with one of the greatest challenges she had ever had, and winning this horse over has become top priority over all the other training horses, as the Lord helps her with extreme patience. Her parents are always watching to keep her safe, by supporting and encouraging her to press forward. I won't give away why this mare's background is very important to the story, but will say that a mysterious and somewhat dangerous man is continually coming up personally against Rachel, and her family.

Cleaning tack and doing chores around the farm, along with helping in the training of her dad's horses on their two hundred acre farm, adds to the charm of this young girl's respect for horses,
family, and most important...trust in the Lord. How the mare got her name is quite emotionally moving, and Rachel's patience, dedication and LOVE is truly inspiring.

A special treat is at the end, a teaser for the next book which introduces us to her sister's story at the farm. I recommend this book for teens to older adults, a very satisfying and inspirational story.










Between The Flags: (Loxwood #3)...by Grace Wilkinson

Just when everything was starting to come together, life throws Georgia a curveball in the form of an unwanted grey Thoroughbred.
Between the challenges that come with looking after two horses and the new difficulties she encounters with Loxwood, Georgia feels like all her best laid plans are falling apart. And with the Young Event Horse Championships coming up, will she be able to pick up the pieces in time?



OUR REVIEW


Between The Flags: (Loxwood #3) by Grace Wilkinson picks up from the surprising last chapter of  A Perfect Stride: (Loxwood#2). We find out that Georgia has acquired a second horse...saving him from the fate of disposal from his racehorse owner. The problem is, what is she going to do with two horses, and how is she going to pay for food and board? Georgia is already living as close as possible to be within her budget, and all her money is being used as wisely as possible. Entry fees, hauling, and vet bills could really take a toll on this expanding team.  Georgia hopes that Rose will continue to be generous with her boarding facility to this grey gelding and make room for him.

As training goes forward, Georgia sees a distinct difference in these two beautiful and talented horses, and she loves them both...success at eventing maybe a dream that finally comes true.

Linda     
When the opportunity arises that Georgia can show both horses, her thoughts kick into overdrive. Have they had enough training, how will they perform...a lot of what if's. Continually encouraged by her horse friends and Rose, this story really grabs the reader and draws us into what it is like to be on the course competing. I personally was stressed out as Georgia went from one horse to another during the event, as she skillfully handled anything that came up against her. Not to spoil any plot lines, but how this particular event turned out is both joyous and a heart breaker...and yet leaves us wondering what next is in store for Georgia and her dreams.    5 Hoof Stars   


              






Road To Success: (Loxwood #4) ... by Grace Wilkinson


The new year brings with it many changes for Georgia. Still reeling from how the competition season ended, she’s determined to put the past behind her and move on.
But everything feels like a mistake. And while she faces the harsh realities of eventing, can Georgia also figure out what’s best not only for herself, but for Loxwood too?


OUR REVIEW


Road to Success: Loxwood #4 by Grace Wilkinson continues the series with a new depth of love and heartache of Georgia and her beloved horse Loxwood. The decision that Georgia had made in the last book continues to haunt her, as she works to re-instill the confidence that Loxwood had lost.

It's a bitter winter, training and barn chores along with memories of horses past is taking an emotional toll on Georgia. The love of Rose's family continues to uplift her spirts, but the biggest surprise is an offer from Rose herself!

A new rescue horse that "doesn't even look like a whole horse, more like a shell of one,"  is offered to Georgia. Does she find a renewed hope for a better life of this once well know horse enter a way into her heart?

Horse shows continue, and Georgia is singled out by an impressed James McDaniels on her handling and strong ability of riding. Maybe this is the chance that Georgia has finally been looking for...could there be a job offering as a working pupil, riding only the best horses around and being trained by such an outstanding trainer... if so, would she make the right decision to take it?

As the reader, we feel every "bump" in the saddle with Georgia, her emotional pain hurts us as we are invested along with her in the choices and the love of special horses.

The ending is a completely unexpected cliffhanger and leaving us with  "I've got to read the final book in this series!"


  









Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? 101 Amazing Stories of Magical Moments, Miracles and...Mischief    By Amy Newmark (Author) Miranda Lambert (Forward) Felice Prager (Contributor)



Our cats make us smile every day with their crazy antics and acts of love. This book is full of hilarious and heartwarming stories about our feline friends that surprise us and charm us.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? will have you saying just that, as you read these 101 amazing stories about the absurdities, mischief, miracles, and magic our cats bring to our lives. Whether humorous or serious, or both, these stories will make you laugh and warm your heart.


OUR REVIEW

Okay...I cried, I laughed, I got the "tinglies" while reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What? by Amy Newmark.  In my defense, just how could anyone not do so?

Linda     
These are short stories and/or incidents about cat owners and non-owners that will make you think, why yes, so I'm not the only one that this has happened to! Although some stories are a bit heart breaking, keep on reading and let your heart fill with joy at the "craziness" of the "Cat Ladies." (and of course men and children too)

As the book says...One night at the dinner table my husband started to hiccup badly.  Our son looked up in consternation. "Dad?" he asked.  "Are you having a hairball?"  Clearly, we're all a bit invested in our cats here.  But please: keep the cat mugs and refrigerator magnets to yourself. Stop calling me a crazy old cat lady.  Because I'm not Old.  ~Liane Kupferberg Carter~