Sunday, May 14, 2017

Whiskers and Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo | Blog Tour and Giveaway | Book Review

Whiskers and Bear
by Giacomo Giammatteo

on Tour May 1 - 14, 2017

Genre: Non-Fiction, Animals 
Published by: Inferno Publishing Company 
Publication Date: April 2017 
Number of Pages: 150 
Purchase Links: Whiskers and Bear on Amazon Whiskers and Bear on Barnes & Noble Whiskers and Bear on Kobo Whiskers and Bear on Goodreads

   Whiskers and Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo  
Whiskers and Bear were two of the best dogs in the world. They didn't always listen or even try to listen, but they were loyal to a fault, and they were the best of friends. They hunted all of their food, and they protected our animal sanctuary with no regard for their own safety. 


Out of all the books I’ve written (almost thirty), this one is closest to my heart. For twenty-four years, my wife and I have run an animal sanctuary, providing homes for dogs, cats, pigs, horses, and even a wild boar. I don’t know how many animals we’ve had through the years in total, but at one time, we had as many as fifty-five.

I don’t often ask for help, but this is important. We have run this sanctuary for twenty-four years using our own money—no donations to speak of. The feed bill alone was more than a thousand dollars per month. And there are plenty of other bills, vets, fencing, shelter, medical supplies, and more.

In early 2015, I had two heart attacks followed by two strokes. The result was that it left me disabled. Now it is difficult to continue paying for everything.

I wrote this book in the hopes that it would sell enough to help with the funds, as all sales go to the animals. And I mean that—every penny goes to help support them—nothing for anyone else.  

Whiskers and Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo | Blog Tour | Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

When I knew that this story was about dogs, I immediately signed up for the tour. I love dogs and reading stories about them fascinates me. I wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity to read of another dog adventure.

This is a true account. This is the real life stories of Whiskers and Bear. They are the protectors of an animal sanctuary. The author owns the said sanctuary. Bear is a wild dog. He roams the forest that borders the animal sanctuary. So, when the author bought the place, it kind of became automatic that he and the rest of his charges became part of Bear's protection. Whiskers is a female dog. She is Bear's partner-in-crime. They roam and hunt the forest for food. And this book tells all of their hunts, adventures and happy life together protecting the sanctuary and its inhabitants.

I seldom hear of stories of wild dogs. Dogs who do not belong to anyone but instead adopted the humans as part of their charges. Like in this story, Bear adopted the sanctuary and author's family. It became Bear's duty to keep wild animals like wolves, coyotes and snakes from encroaching within the sanctuary's boundaries. No one asked it of him but since he kind of owned the place, the woods and area which includes the property, it sort of implied that he has to protect them. Bear is king of this area and he lets no one question his sovereignty. This really fascinated me because it just showed how we underestimate the intelligence of dogs.

Whiskers is another very interesting character. The best part about her is when she trained the young dogs to take her role as protector of the sanctuary from all wild animals that threatened to trespass. She made sure that someone will continue to guard and perform her duty after she is no longer able to do it. A very smart and impressive act coming from a dog. I was teary eyed after reading this part of the story. Dogs are really loyal and they would give up their life for people who they adopt as part of their family or pack, to be more accurate.

Whiskers and Bear's story is truly amazing and very touching. Maybe, in the future, if my finances would allow, I would like to be a part of these kind of endeavors. People who devoted their lives, time, money and all other resources to take care of animals, especially dogs. Dogs have a really, really special place in my heart. When I get my own home, I would surely have dogs around. I think they just have this ability to sense whatever humans are feeling. They, in their own way, try to help us out and make us feel less lonely and in some unexplainable way, they absorb or take those sorrows away.

I give this book 4/5 paw prints. Why only four when I totally enjoyed this story? Four because I think the story was short. I want to hear more of Whiskers and Bears adventures and antics. I think they still have more stories to impart. I think the author should come up with another book with more stories of these very impressive canine friends. I want to hear what other smart and unbelievable tales Whiskers, Bear and the other dogs in the sanctuary have. I'm sure, there are loads to tell the whole world.

Thank you so much Mr. Giammatteo for sharing your life and the stories of your amazing paw friends. Your mission in life is very admirable and we hope that from this story, many people will be able to help you and continue your mission. 

I'm convinced now that those last few days--when Whiskers seemed to have gotten a new sense of purpose--it wasn't a resurgence of energy or life. She was just hanging on long enough to show Biscotti what she had to do. A master training her apprentice.
- Giacomo Giammatteo, Whiskers and Bear -

Another Grave

I climbed up onto the tractor, a Kubota 4630, with a six-foot bucket on the front. It was a powerful machine, and we’d put it through the hoops more than a few times. What I mean is that my wife Mikki and I had dug a lot of graves.
I tied an old cloth diaper around my forehead and draped the end of it over the top of my bald head. There wasn’t much better than a cotton cloth for keeping sweat out of your eyes, or the sun from burning your head. I turned the key and revved the engine. After letting it idle a moment, I lifted the bucket and drove toward the south side of the property where Mikki was waiting for me. She’d already gotten a few blankets and a clean sheet. For this one, she’d brought a pillow, too.
I reached up and wiped my eyes. I was getting damn tired of burying things.
An old white pickup crept down the gravel driveway, coming to a stop near the fence.
A neighbor leaned out and hollered. “What’s goin’ on?”
I wished he’d have kept going.
“Nothin’,” I said, but not loud enough for him to hear.
The door opened, and he stepped out and walked over to the fence, using his right hand to shield his eyes from the sun as he peered over the top rail.
“What are you doin’?”
I could see there was no getting away from it. I muttered my answer a few times so my voice wouldn’t crack when I yelled.
“Diggin’ a grave,” I hollered back.
“A grave? Which one died?”
Which one? That’s what it had come to for most of the neighbors and relatives and friends. Which one died. As if it didn’t matter. As if having forty-five animals made it easier to deal with when one of them died.
He came in through the side gate and headed in my direction. He walked slowly, which gave me time to compose myself. It’s never easy to bury a friend, but this one…this one was special.
Mikki walked over to me. “He’s just trying to help.”
I nodded.
I don’t need his help, I thought, but the fact of the matter was I could probably use it.
It hadn’t rained in weeks, and the damn Texas ground was as hard as concrete. Even if the tractor did cut through, it could only go so deep; we’d have hand work to do at the bottom.
Our neighbor was about twenty feet away. He took off his hat and swiped at his forehead. It was a scorcher today and had been for a month or so.
“Who was it?” he asked.
I couldn’t say, but I managed to gesture toward Mikki. She lifted the corner of the blanket so he could see.
“Oh shit!” he said. “I’m sorry.”
“Thanks,” I said.
He unbuttoned his shirt and grabbed a shovel I had leaning against a small oak tree. “Might as well get this done.”
I nodded again. He was right, of course, but I was in no hurry to put another friend in the ground. I cranked the engine up a little higher, shoved the tractor into low gear, and positioned the bucket for the first scoop of dirt. The bucket hit the ground with a metallic thud. It didn’t do much more than break the surface.
“Whew!” the neighbor said. “Going to be a long day.”
“That’s for sure.”
“How long have they been with you?” he asked.
They. I thought about what he said. I would have laughed if not for the circumstances. Everyone referred to the two of them as one. They or them. Bear and Whiskers. Whiskers and Bear. It was a cold day in July if anyone mentioned one without the other.
I handed him my bottle of water; he looked thirsty.
“They’ve been with us a long time. A damn long time.”
Excerpt from Whiskers and Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo. Copyright © 2017 by Giacomo Giammatteo. Reproduced with permission from Giacomo Giammatteo. All rights reserved.

Giacomo Giammatteo
Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. He also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series.

When Giacomo isn’t writing, he’s helping his wife take care of the animals on their sanctuary. At last count they had 45 animals—11 dogs, a horse, 6 cats, and 26 pigs.

Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with Giacomo every day and happens to also be his best buddy.

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Giacomo Giammatteo. There will be 3 winners of 1 eBook copy of Whiskers and Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo. The giveaway begins on April 29th and runs through May 16th, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.
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