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Friday, May 12, 2017

Whiskers & Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Whiskers & Bear by author Giacomo Giammatteo!

Whiskers & Bear by Giacomo Giammatteo
Book 1: Sanctuary Tales
Publisher: Inferno Publishing Company
Publication Date: eBook - March 15 2017 / PB - March 29, 2017
Format: Paperback - 136 pages
               Kindle - 9396 KB
               Nook - 6 MB
ISBN: 978-1940313382
BNID: 978-1940313375
Genre: Non-Fiction / Animals

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions. 

Book Description:

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.

Book Excerpt:

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.

My Book Review:

Animal lovers, boy do I have an heartwarming story for you!

In Whiskers & Bear, the first book in the Sanctuary Tales series, author Giacomo Giammatteo takes the readers into his private world where he and his wife Mikki provide a loving animal sanctuary for forty-five animals from dogs, cats, horses, and pigs!

Giacomo and Mikki meet Bear when they purchased their property. Bear lived in the woods and was definitely the Top Dog in the neighborhood. Over time a friendship develops and Bear becomes a self-initiated protector of Giacomo, Mikki, their animals, and property. When a puppy named Whiskers arrives in the neighborhood and is abandoned by her owners, Bear adopts her, and they become an inseparable duo.

As Whisker and Bear's adventures unfold throughout the book, the reader can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions. From laughter to smiles to tears, this lovable duo will simply steal your heart. And if that isn't enough of an enticement to read this wonderful story, Giacomo has also included beautiful pictures throughout the book that transports the reader into Giacomo and Mikki's animal sanctuary featuring Whiskers, Bear, and the other animals that they so lovingly care for. As an animal lover and mama to three dogs (my fur babies), I can't express enough how much this story touched my heart. I can't wait to read the next installment in the Sanctuary Tales series.

Giacomo wrote this amazing story to help pay for the cost of running the animal sanctuary. The proceeds from your purchase of Whiskers & Bear will go directly to the upkeep of their animals. So animal lovers, please open up your heart and help them keep providing a safe animal sanctuary / home for these deserving rescued animals!


About The Author

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.

Author Website

Contest Giveaway

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Participants:

4/01 Author Of The Month @ CMash Reads
4/08 Author Of The Month @ CMash Reads
4/15 Author Of The Month @ CMash Reads
4/22 Author Of The Month @ CMash Reads
4/28 Review @ JBronder Book Reviews
4/29 Author Of The Month @ CMash Reads
5/01 Review @ Mochas, Mysteries and Meows
5/02 Guest post @ Mochas, Mysteries and Meows
5/03 Showcase @ Socrates Review Blog
5/05 Showcse @ Books, Dreams, Life
5/06 Review @ Buried Under Books
5/07 Guest post @ Loris Reading Corner
5/08 Interview @ BooksChatter
5/09 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
5/10 Showcase @ Bookalicious Traveladdict
5/11 Review @ BookLove
5/12 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
5/13 Review @ Lauras Interests
5/14 @ I am not a bookworm!


  1. I absolutely loved this story and can't wait to meet more of the animals from this sanctuary. I encourage your followers to purchase a copy to help defray costs for the animals.

    1. Hi Cheryl! This was a wonderful story, and I can't wait to read more too. :)

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this, and for the review. I'm glad you liked it.

    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I loved the story, and I admire you and your wife's dedication and love for the animals that you take in. :)