Monday, September 21, 2015

Cat Book Review/Give-Away:Avalon by Vanessa Morgan

Some cats need nine lives to make a difference.
Avalon only needed one.


From the moment my eyes gazed upon the cover of Avalon by Vanessa Morgan, I knew that this was going to be a special book. Let me correct that. I had the pleasure of following Avalon's blog for a number of years before he crossed the bridge, and knew that one day, Vanessa would pour her heart and soul into a tribute that would not only be a cathartic experience for her, but it would be a cathartic experience for all of us who have been obsessed with (admit it, there has been at least one special pet in your life, where your love bordered on or plunged headfirst into obsession), our love of a pet.

When we have the deepest affection for an animal,
we do not possess that love
but are possessed by it.
---Dean R. Koontz

Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever
been obsessively in love with a pet

One of many things that I loved about reading Avalon, was, that this was the first memoir where the author ADMITTED having an obsessive love for their cat. For me, that love was with my Angel Bobo. Like Avalon, Bobo "appeared" one day as if he were sent to me by divine intervention. Like Vanessa, (and without boring you with the minute details), when Bobo entered my life I was scarred from the many years of physical and emotional abuse that I endured in our home, from my mother. (I don't believe that Vanessa was the victim of physical abuse, but she was definitely a victim of emotional abuse).  While I adore Cody, my love for Bobo was completely different. It WAS obsessive. He was my FIRST cat, he came to me. He was the first cat I had as an adult. He licked my hand when I cried, sat vigil when I was ill, slept with me every night, and never let me out of his sight, much like Avalon did with Vanessa. He gave me an unconditional love that I had never experienced before. We made it our mission to love each other. I remember my Vet mentioning many times when he witnessed us interacting, that we had a bond "unlike any other he had ever seen." My Vet hadn't met Vanessa and Avalon.

Avalon didn't need language to make his demands clear. We were like an old couple living together for so long they finish each other's sentences and know what the other is thinking without uttering a word.

Caring for this cat, I had the feeling that this was the one thing I was meant to do in this life. The one thing I was so obviously created to do, that it simply felt like breathing. "Promise you'll stay with me for many more years," I said. I used to tell my Bobo, "Please stay with me until you are 24" (he did his best, but passed a day after his 18th birthday.)

Another passage from Avalon that deeply touched me was one that I could relate to my obsessive love for my beloved Bobo as well: My pets were the only ones who anesthetized that hopelessness. When I believed that nothing would ever work out for me, they still made me smile. When I thought that I was unworthy of being loved, they showed me they cared. And then there was Avalon, who, because of his own traumas and imperfections, made me feel understood. So when I lay awake at night, going over how unlucky I was, and Avalon slid next to me to fall asleep in my arms, I thought, "I am so lucky to have found you."

I knew that parts of Avalon were going to be difficult  emotionally for me to read, as, (I will be honest here), they will be for you as well. That being said, I don't for one minute regret reading Avalon, quite the contrary. I derived comfort from this beautifully written book, and felt that I just wanted to reach out and offer Vanessa the warmth of a comforting hug. I wanted to sit down with her and share a cup of coffee and discuss how our "one-of-a-kind" mancats, graced our lives and loved us with every inch of their being, as we loved them back.

Everything terrible is something that needs our love
----Rainer Maria Rilke

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat. With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon's demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

I know that if you are reading this review to the end, and I thank you for doing so, you have experienced the same type of love with your beloved pets. I urge you to purchase this book, (and to enter our give-away). Yes, you will probably cry, but that is ok. It is important to grieve and remember, to honor the memory of the soul kitties (and other pets), that are a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The tears will soothe your pain, for the time it takes you to read this marvelous book, you will be re-united once again.

From Avalon: I started this book with the hope that the more people would read his story, the more something of his spirit would linger on. Now that it's finished, I understand that what I truly wanted was to relive our life together through my writing. It doesn't matter if a million people fall in love with Avalon, because all their awe combined wouldn't even match mine. I wanted to eternalize Avalon, make him important to the world, but we were each other's world, and I am so incredibly grateful for the little eternity that was accorded to us.

I feel the same about my Bobo, as I am sure many of you do as well. Thank you Vanessa Morgan for baring your soul, thank you for sharing this most exquisite and special mancat with us.

 May we all be blessed to experience the same kind of love.


Purchase links for Avalon




ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Vanessa Morgan is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Two of her works, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man, have been turned into films. Her short film scriptNext to Her is currently in pre-production. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats 


Social media links

Amazon  
Blog  


ENTER OUR GIVE-AWAY! Vanessa is offering ONE of our readers who RESIDES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD the chance to win a copy of Avalon. Entering is easy, just enter on the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway






In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a complimentary copy of Avalon in exchange for my ALWAYS honest review.









89 comments:

  1. This does sound like a very special book! It's on my human's reading list.

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    1. Thank you so much, Summer. I hope you're having a lovely day.

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  2. My last budgie was my favorite and most loved pet.

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    1. Hi, Lisa. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad Budgie was well loved :-)

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  3. The book sounds amazing, heart-wrenchinly beautiful. Good luck to the entrants. I'll have to see if it's available via Kobe. Thanks for the review, Caren.

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    1. It IS "heart-wrenchingly beautiful!!" And...the give-away is open WORLD-WIDE!!!
      You are most welcome too!

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    2. Thank you for the comment, Kea. Avalon is only available in Kindle and paperback right now.

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  4. Those of us who have had a soul cat totally understand how Vanessa feels about Avalon and why she wrote the book. Avalon was a very special boy indeed.....I'm sure her love is reflected in every page of the book. We have read about the book in various places and know for a cat lover it would be a journey of sheer joy mixed with profound sadness to read but isn't that what having a cat we adore with all our soul is truly all about? I'd love to read the book..............

    Hugs, Pam

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    1. You captured the spirit of the book really well, Pam. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. This sounds like a wonderful book about a very special human-cat bond.

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    1. It sure was a special bond. I always thought that it transgressed the 'normal' human-cat relationship but I'm sure pet bloggers will understand ;-)

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  6. Your reviews really touched my mom !
    We didn't know Avalon wrote the memoir, my mom put this book on her list right away
    Thank you
    xox

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    1. Mr.Puddy THANK YOU! That means quite a bit to me as it takes me HOURS to write my reviews (especially the ones where I LOVED the book, as I did this one)
      Remember, the give-away is WORLD-WIDE!
      xoxo

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    2. Thanks, Mr Puddy. I hope to see a book about you too one day. One with lots of pictures of that handsome feline face ;-)

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  7. BearBear was my soul pet. I miss him very much. What a beautiful cover.
    Sue B

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    1. Sue I am so sorry about BearBear (((hugs))) Yes, the cover is exquisite, isn't it?

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    2. So sad to hear about BearBear. But I'm sure you made him very happy.

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  8. Avalon really is a very well written book and a very special cat. We all have had our special cats but to be truthful, in their own little way they are all special. Great review Caren.

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    1. yes it is Marg and YES they are....AND THANK YOU!
      xoxo

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    2. So true. EVERY cat is special. And thank you for having read my book :-)

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  9. I can't deny it. I am a crazy cat lady. I love my cats.

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  10. Ooops. My reply didn't post. I'll try again. I don't even try to deny that I am a crazy cat lady. I love my cats.

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  11. Avalon sure sounds good for the heart!

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    1. All cat stories are good for the heart ;-)

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  12. We are glad to see a book written about sweet Avalon.

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    1. Thanks, Laila and Minchie. Avalon sure deserves his own book.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I have the impression Avalon's soul is captured inside that illustration :-)

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  14. This book sounds amazing. Though I love all of my cats dearly, I have that obsessive love for my sweet Sampson. He and I share a special and deep bond. I know that I would enjoy this book immensely, even if it does make me cry. Will be entering your giveaway. And if I don't win, I will definitely be purchasing!

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    1. Thank you so much. Comments like this make me happy :-)

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  15. Sounds like a great read.

    Have a purrfect Awww Monday Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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  16. Replies
    1. That's because Avalon was such a special cat ;-)

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  17. This sounds like such a sweet story - one I need to read. Many cat memoirs make me cry, but I find it is worth it to read their special stories.

    Carmine is my soul kitty. I love him so very much!

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    1. I'm glad that sweet Carmine was so loved. And I believe every cat is worth reading about; they teach us about love.

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  18. Such a wonderful review. You said it would likely make the reader cry in places, well I have tears in my eyes already! I didn't know of Avalon or his blog. He was such a handsome looking cat.

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    1. Caren has indeed written a wonderful review. I like how she personalizes the experience.

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    2. thank you so much Flynn, that means so much. Avalon was just incredibly handsome.I KNOW you would love this book....all cat lovers would, but I know how deeply you cherish Flynn and the way you ALWAYS honor Eric, to this day, is incredible. You would LOVE this book!

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  19. Mommy has this on her kindle and can't wait to start reading it. She knows she'll need a tissue.

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    1. Thank you for having purr-chased Avalon's book. Warning: you may need more than just one tissue ;-)

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  20. Well, this made us tear up too, Cody and we haven't read the story of Avalon yet..nor did we know about Bobo. Granny had two soul kitties. Muschy was her first and then came Angel, but Granny told me, that I have a special bond with her too. Good Luck Pawkisses to everyone :) <3

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    1. EACH cat has a special place in our hearts. Some cats just take up more space than others ;-)

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  21. Caren it's so frustrating that english is a foreign language for me ! I mean not being able to really write what I want to is so frustrating.
    Your post is a real fantastic one.
    I know that Vanessa's book is going to make me cry. It's the reason why I have not already read it.
    Hisia is my soul mate. She is a part of me. And it's scaring !
    Bonne soirée
    Natacha

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    1. Oh Nat!!!! Your words are so beautiful and kind! THANK YOU!! I LOVE your writing and I experience the same frustration when I use the translator on the blog. I still LOVE your blog though and I do the best that I can, as I know you do too!
      Thank you so much!
      Yes I know it can be so scary to love like that, but it is well worth the risk!
      xoxoxo

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  22. We did know Avalon, but not until quite late on in his life! A wonderful review Caren, and if we don't win the book, we will buy it anyway xxx

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    1. We are lucky to have known him, even for a little bit! Thank you and good luck!!! xoxo

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  23. We can only imagine how hard this was to write, too, having lost loved furbabies of our own and written about it!

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  24. I'm not entering the giveaway because I've read this book and LOVED it and I LOVE your review! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being obsessively in love with a beloved pet.

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    1. Melissa THANK YOU!! I never read books that others review (if I am going to be reviewing them) I will have to pop over and read yours. Thank you so much! I agree, there is nothing wrong with being obsessively in love with a beloved pet!

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  25. You are so right.
    We all,no doubt, have had a special bond with a special kitty.
    Cats are exquisite creatures and I love them.
    Looking forward to this book :)

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  26. I was an Avalon reader many years ago when I first started blogging. I have though about writing about our pets but I find it hard. I think it is wonderful to read about such a loving relationship with a pet. I have been accused of being obsessed with my cats a time or two as well. Very nice book review.

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    1. I read it a few years ago too!!! Haven't we all been accused of being obsessed with our cats? I consider it a compliment and you should too!!! Thank you for your kind words.

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  27. Pawsum review. Sounds like a very heartwarmin' stowry. Da gwaffics awe bootyful.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  28. Sounds like a wonderfully moving read..my soul cat is still with me in spirit but how i miss those purrs...does not mean i do not adore my babies here but connections are so different..the image on the cover is beautiful and soulful too. Great review my sweets xx Bev

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  29. This sounds like a great book, I have it on my Goodreads list.

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  30. My soulmate was Bigfoot he lived till he was 20 years. He entered my life at 4 years old on a day i had really bad news. I was sitting outside crying and he climbed on my lap and started purring and kneading. Ill never forget that moment of comfort he gave me.

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  31. What a great review. The mom is adding this book to her reading list.

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  32. I can tell right now that this is one of those books that will make me cry, but I really want to read it. Thanks for a great review.

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  33. I have had a couple "heart" kitties as I call them. Astrid currently holds that place; though, I love them all!

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  34. This book is wonderful! We already have it, so we won't enter your giveaway. Good luck to everybody who does enter ... the lucky winner is going to LOVE "Avalon."

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  35. Oh wow!! This sounds amazing!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  36. Since I was that way with Admiral and even more so with Katie, I absolutely WILL buy and read the book. With understanding. Thanks for telling us.

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  37. Caren, asking help again. Do you know if Vanessa has a web page that can be accessed publicly as yours can? Hers is G+ and I haven't seen anywhere on it that would make it accessible for commenting from me. xo

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    1. Hi my furiend!! You can click on "blog" above and it will take you directly to her blog (which is on blogger like mine is)....there is also a link to Bloglovin there too........the list is directly above the give-away info. Hoping that is what you meant! xoxo

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  38. My soul pet is my dog Lady, she is a black lab and a beauty.

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  39. Our mommy's eyes are leaky just from your review! I'm her soul kitty and we both know it so not sure she can handle reading this book just yet.

    ~Angel

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  40. What a beautiful and thoughtful review, Caren. I would LOVE to read this book... I have to admit that both Katie and Waffles are my heart-kitties. I'm just so lucky to have them as part of our family and love them so much for how unique and different they are. I just know that they will have a huge part of my heart forever.

    I also want to share just how gorgeous Avalon's book cover is! I absolutely love it.

    GG

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  43. What a lovely review - the book sounds wonderful and I also love the cover. All of my cats have a special spot in my heart for their own individual reasons, but yes, some losses are harder than others. Obsessive... I wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to my furbabies... Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey Gang

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  44. So sorry for all the comment deletes... it was nothing personal... for whatever reason, your blog can be temperamental with my comments and it created some duplicates! Sorry again!

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  45. So sorry for all the comment deletes... it was nothing personal... for whatever reason, your blog can be temperamental with my comments and it created some duplicates! Sorry again!

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  46. What a lovely review - the book sounds wonderful and I also love the cover. All of my cats have a special spot in my heart for their own individual reasons, but yes, some losses are harder than others. Obsessive... I wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to my furbabies... Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey Gang

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  47. Excellent review! This book sounds so heartwarming and a must read for me. I do cat rescue. I'm an advocate for TNR and manage several feral colonies. All of my indoor cats are former ferals, and all have their very own little horror stories to tell, which often times come along with some tough behavior issues we work on daily. They are all such very special souls. (Tammy Horn)

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  48. My "soul pet" was my kitty Gillian. She was my shadow. She looked just like Yoda from Star Wars. Even the vet thought so. Ha ha! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

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  49. My "soul pet" was my childhood pet: Lady, a faithful German Shepard.
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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  50. My "soul pet' is my current cat Desiree. I found her when she was 3 weeks old and very sickly, after a $400 vet visit and several weeks of care she was well and still is 6 years later. She's very bonded to me, acts more like a dog then a cat with the way she kisses me all the time and follows me around. She even waits by the door to greet me when I come home from work.

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  51. Our soul pet was our very loyal Westie named Charlie.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  52. I currently have a dog that is my soul pet. I had a cat that was my soul pet but died....it took me 23 years after that to get my dog.

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  53. First I had a poodle, that was my soul pet and then I had a sweet cat who was my second soul pet, they were both so so loved.
    twinkle at optonline dot net

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  54. my first cat Cheyenne still has my heart. my dog Shadow just passed this month which was also very heartbreaking, but her soul is always with me

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  55. My dog, Heidi, growing up.... she was a Bernese Mountain dog and had the best personality ever. BMDs are known for being mellow and she was..... an exception. lol!

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  56. This sounds like a great book!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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