Young Readers’ Ebook Sale

The Catnapper Mystery ebook is only $0.99 for a limited time 

at the Apple Bookstore or at Barnes and Noble.



Book Review: Lessons from Madame Chic

Lessons from Madame Chic is a lifestyle book by Jennifer L. Scott. I first became aware of this book from Jennifer's YouTube channel, The Daily Connoisseur. Jennifer is a wife, mother of four, homemaker, YouTuber, and author, yet she balances all these roles with grace. She is perhaps most well known for promoting her ten-item wardrobe. She also believes one should not save the best for later, but enjoy it every day.

Lessons from Madame Chic is an easy to read book that tells the story of Jennifer's experience as a college student in Paris. The name "Madame Chic" is her nickname for the mother of the family she lived with during her study abroad. The lessons she absorbed from Madame Chic influenced her long after she returned to California from Paris and inspired her to write this book along with several others.

If you're interested living a simpler life without sacrificing quality, this book will serve as a guide.




The Catnapper Mystery Bonus Recipe Section

"I always say there's no problem so big that it can't be solved with a cookie."--Iris

Did you know there's a recipe section at the end of The Catnapper Mystery? This bonus section includes recipes for treats from the character, Iris. These recipes are appropriate for kids to try out their skills in the kitchen and have some fun while learning. Here's an example of what you'll find in the recipe section:

No-bake Cream Cheese Cookies

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup powdered sugar

36 M & Ms

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry cake mix and continue beating until blended. Form dough into 1-inch balls, placing them on the wax paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll each ball in powdered sugar, then press an M & M in the center.

Photo by Caio from Pexels



Minding Your P's and Q's

Throughout history people have been admonished to "mind their p's and q's." I've always equated the saying with being on your best behavior and using good manners. In this instance the phrase refers also to using the polite words "please" and "thank you." 

History says that during the 17th century pubs and taverns were the setting for another way of minding p's and q's. The barmaid or proprietor kept a chalked accounting on the wall to track the number of pints and quarts a customer had ordered.

In later years, students in school were warned to mind their “p's” and “q's" because of the similarity of the alphabet letters p and q. The two letters, p and q, could easily be confused and reversed when spelling and writing. 

All these ways of minding your p's and q's have been valuable, and the meanings make sense. These meanings have served well, and there is no reason they should be retired. It will always be a good idea to say "please" and "thank you" and to be on your best behavior. It's also in a person's best interest to keep up with how many pints and quarts have been consumed and to check for letter reversals when writing. However, because the definition has evolved over the years, why stop there? There's another way to renew this phrase so that it's even more useful.

The updated version of minding your p's and q's would refer to "peace" and "quiet." This would be a prompt for no loud talking, no yelling, and no anger. People would automatically use their "inside voices." Minding your p's and q's would mean speaking in a kind tone of voice, even when there's a disagreement. If the meaning included these two new words, i.e., peace and quiet, our world would be a much nicer place.

What other ideas do you have for expanding the meaning of minding your p's and q's?

This photo is the county road in northern Arkansas that runs past the house I grew up in. This image represents the concept of peace and quiet to me. When the world gets noisy and rude, I try to visualize this place.



Five Stars for The Catnapper Mystery

Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers' Favorite: 

At the start of The Catnapper Mystery by Anita Stafford, our main character Kale discovers that a cat has gone missing from the shelter where he volunteers. To make matters worse, the shelter director, Aspen, blames him for the disappearance and puts him on probation. Soon, rumors about him and the cats are flying around town, and he is being bullied at school because of it. Determined to prove his innocence, Kale sets out to investigate as more and more cats go missing. However, Aspen continues to blame him and eventually bans him from even entering the shelter. Can Kale find out who’s responsible for the catnappings and clear his name? 

With an intriguing plot and likable characters, The Catnapper Mystery by Anita Stafford is an entertaining read. Although it is the third book in the series, The Legend of Sassafras House, the book could still be enjoyed and understood by people who haven’t read the first two. The story is intricate and interesting, enhanced by the author’s use of descriptive words and phrases. I thought that the solution to the mystery was very satisfying, and I liked that everyone had a happy ending. The characters are also very admirable for their determination and loyalty to their friends, which makes the reader want to see them succeed. The story contains an important message about not judging people prematurely, as many different characters discover: something that everyone should learn. I liked that there were also baking recipes at the back of the book, some of which were mentioned throughout the story (I highly recommend the brownie cookie recipe. It is delicious!). I would recommend The Catnapper Mystery to cat lovers and mystery lovers especially.



Meet the Characters: Moss

The previous characters introduced from the Sassafras House series are Kale, Jasmine, Iris, Sage Greene, and Treasure, the cat.

Today meet Moss.

Moss is one of the senior citizen volunteers at the Sassafras Animal Shelter. He likes to talk, and he jokes a lot. When Kale is on probation at the shelter Moss is his supervisor, and Kale is not amused when the jokes are directed at him. Also, Moss seems to know more than he says about the disappearance of the shelter cats. 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels