Monday, March 23, 2015


Book Synopses: Bella the Shih Tzu is in the throes of her great escape, searching for the loving home she’s always wanted.  She hears someone cry out that there’s a dog in the street! Bella immediately puts her escape on hold and springs into action as she frantically tries to save the dog…but she can’t find him. What will Bella do???
The Bella Chronicles: The Adventure Begins brings to life the journey of an extraordinarily smart, wonderful, and special dog named Bella as she wills her way to find a home full of love and warmth – and food! Told from Bella’s perspective, The Bella Chronicles is a warm and loving piece of literature that pet lovers’ and children alike have been awaiting…
The Bella Chronicles: The Adventure Begins is the first in a heartwarming, humorous, insightful and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who have always wondered just what it is that their little pets are thinking.

I absolutely LOVED this story!  And here's how it all started... 1. THE ESCAPE

“Oh no! There’s a dog in the street!” someone yelled from a car as I ran past.

Where is the dog? I wondered.

If only I could find this dog and teach him about the dangers of Topanga Canyon Road. I’ve seen my fair share of animals meet their fate while tangling with traffic on this harrowing street and it’s not pretty. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, not even a squirrel – well, most squirrels anyway.

I continued my franticsprint, not able to see the dog on account of my small size.

A car stopped just short of my left paw.

“Get out of the street!” the driver yelled at me.

The whole story is narrated in Bella the Shih Tzu's voice. I breezed through the 268-page book and had so much fun that I did not notice how fast two hours flew by just like that. I almost did not expect the story to be so enjoyable and fun to read.

Bella is very fortunate to have been found by an animal lover while she makes her escape. From the story it does seem that Bella does not quite understand why she escapes because she is also secretly hoping her owner will come looking for her. Unfortunately, when the rescuer calls Bella's owner they do not seem to want Bella. Further down the story, we also gather the clue at the vet that she could have been beaten by her owner.

Bella's new life as Erica's beloved furkid starts when the rescuer's daughter decides to give her a 'forever home'. Even then, Bella is not sure if she will be abandoned again so she is not being too hopeful in the beginning. I really enjoyed following Bella around, to hear her thoughts and conversations with her new friends. There is also some serious tension in the doggy world. And wait, there's more! Will she form an alliance with Charlie the squirrel and the neighborhood crows? Charlie sees her as a valuable asset.

A snapshot from the e-book: Bella meeting Hellie and Wolfie, the rescuer's dogs for the first time. The rescuer is later known as "Nanny Mommy" after Erica (the daughter) becomes Bella's "Mommy".

The book is also cutely illustrated by Mary Kessel. Thanks to this book, I believe I now understand Hiro my Shih Tzu a little better! Coincidentally at home, my mom is called "Mammi Po Po" which is equivalent to "Nanny Mommy". The author has truly created a story I could totally relate to. I could not understand why Hiro barks the way he does or go around sniffing and behaving like a royal, or does certain things that he does, but now I totally do! I can't wait to read Bella's next adventure because something else is brewing...

About the Author: Erica Leigh Austin was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the Pacific Palisades.  Both of her parents – all three of them, actually – were teachers and Erica was blessed to have grown up in an artistic, intellectual home.  Her summers were filled with club volleyball and serving as big sister and role model for her younger sister, Jenny.  Erica attended the University of Michigan, where she studied English and starred on the Wolverines’ Women’s Volleyball team.  After college, she returned home to obtain her MBA from Loyola Marymount University.  While studying at Loyola, Erica worked at the iconic Gladstone’s Seafood Restaurant “where Sunset meets the PCH.”  Erica’s studies then took her abroad to France.  There she immersed herself in the art and culture of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan locales.

Currently a highly accomplished professional in healthcare IT, Erica lives happily in the Venice Beach area.  She enjoys yoga, spending time with family and friends, and pushing Bella the Shih Tzu around in her stroller (Bella is too lazy to walk more than 20 feet).

She is pleased to introduce you to her dog, Bella the Shih Tzu, in this first installment of The Bella Chronicles.  Learn more about Erica at

Connect with Erica: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Where to buy the book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

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Many thanks to Sage Adderley from Sage's Blog Tours for sending me the complimentary e-book. I'm happy to be a part of this book tour!