Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Humour

Henry’s Tale David Pipe 4*#Review @dfpwriter #borderterrier #DogsLife #Humour #Essex #Dogs #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources

#HenrysTale

Henry Ford, the cutest Border terrier puppy, lives with his papa Alan and mama Jenny. Alan loves his job, playing golf and above all, Henry. Jenny loves designer clothes, handbags and shoes. She doesn’t love Henry. When Jenny insists on a week of high life on Majorca, Henry’s world takes a nosedive.

An attempted dognap and a traumatic stay in the veterinary clinic leave Henry a sad and confused puppy. Desperately lonely he sets off on an adventure with his friend Bully, a streetwise Essex bulldog, where he meets the beautiful Paula and for the first time experiences the heartbreak of puppy love.

Back at home, his mama and papa’s marriage is on the rocks – will Alan agree to Jenny’s ultimatum? Will he choose Jenny or Henry?

Amazon UK

#HenrysTale #BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Definitely one for anyone who has shared their life with a dog. This is a lovely coming of age tale, about Henry, the Border Terrier, whose comfy life is interrupted at six months old, when his mama and papa go on a marriage mending holiday.

Everything is told from Henry’s point of view, through his human ghostwriter of course, and it is a funny, irreverent and often poignant read. The dog characters are well- written, and their adventures are exciting and full of humour. The human characters are a little stereotypical, but who knows how our dog friends see us?

This story highlights many human issues; crime, homelessness, mental health, prejudice and violence, but the general ethos of the story is positive and heartwarming.

#DavidPipe/Henry

David Pipe was born in 1949 in a small Essex village. He attended a local grammar school, then the University of Hull where he took a B.Sc in chemistry. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry in England and South Africa before studying for a PhD in organic chemistry at Imperial College. After spells at universities in Geneva and Mulhouse he joined the oil industry in Germany where, aged 53, he gratefully took a redundancy package. Following a period of self-employment he wound down his business, eventually giving it up to scratch the writing itch which has produced Sacrificing Starlight, a timely reminder of the risks our children face and Henry’s Tale, where ghostwriting for his furry friend he describes the emotional growth of a puppy on the rollercoaster of life, compressed into a few weeks because puppies learn faster than their staff.

When he’s not writing David spends his time travelling, reading, swimming and jogging. He is married and lives in Hamburg with his wife and their Border terrier Henry. Twitter Facebook

#BlogTour
Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books

4#Review- Truman the Dog – My Furry Foster Family – Debbi Michiko Florence – Illustrator Melanie Demmer #childrensbooks #animals #rescue #dogs @DebbiMichiko @melaniedemmer

“T” is for Truman, tricks, and TROUBLE! Truman the black lab might be an older rescue dog, but he’s still got enough mischief beneath his collar to keep eight-year-old Kaita Takano and her animal-fostering family on their toes from morning till night. Chewed through and through, the playfully illustrated, Kaita-narrated chapter book promises plenty of canine fun.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Capstone via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There are lots of good things about this children’s story aimed at the five to seven age group. The story is well-paced, easy to understand and written in a fun, upbeat way. The illustrations are colourful and lovely, and they complement the text perfectly.

This book features the Takano family and their experiences, as they foster older rescue dog Truman. Told from Kaita, the daughter’s point of view, this story contains accurate descriptions of fostering a large dog both good and not so good, and manages to portray the dos and don’ts of fostering rescue animals, in an easily understandable and non-judgmental way.

This is more a diary of experiences than a story, but it is entertaining to read and does put the messages across well. It is also worth noting that the advanced reader copy I read is written in English (US), which does raise differences in spellings of keywords for the UK readers. Not a problem for adults, but may engender some confusion in young readers?

I like the sections at the back of the book, a glossary of terms, some questions to think about in relation to the story, and some activities. There is also a feature on the young girl and family who inspired the story, which is interesting.

This is part of a series of books on fostering animals, which will make educational and entertaining reading for the age group intended.

Author Bio:

Debbi Michiko Florence writes books for children in her writing studio, The Word Nest. She is an animal lover with a degree in Zoology and has worked at a pet store, the Humane Society, a raptor rehabilitation center, and a zoo. She is the author of two chapter-book series: Jasmine Toguchi (FSG) and Dorothy & Toto (Picture Window Books). A third-generation Japanese American and a native Californian, Debbi now lives in Connecticut with her husband, a rescue dog, a bunny, and two ducks.

Illustrator Bio:

Melanie is an American artist born and raised in Plymouth, Michigan. She has been drawing since she was a little girl. Back then, her favorite canvas was pavement and her go to medium was sidewalk chalk. Nowadays, Melanie likes to create artwork digitally but also enjoys using watercolor, markers, colored pencils, and acrylic paint. Oh, and sometimes a pinch of glitter too! Melanie is a 2013 graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan where she earned a BFA in Illustration. The Michigan-native has since relocated to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in illustration and design.

Posted in Animal Welfare, Book Review, Childrens Books

Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit – 5*#Review -Ben Fogle- Steve Cole- Illustrator- Nikolas Ilic @HarperCollinsCh @BenFogle @SteveColeBooks @nikolas_ilic #childrensbooks #childrensfiction #animals #dogs #rabbits #conservation

A brand new young fiction series by TV broadcaster and intrepid explorer Ben Fogle, inspired by his real-life animal experiences…

Co-written with best-selling children’s author Steve Cole and illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white illustrations by Nikolas Ilic.

You can always count on Mr Dog to help an animal in trouble…

When a mother rabbit is captured in a trap, he ends up playing bunny sitter

But someone wants rid of All the rabbits, not just this one, and time is running out for Mr Dog to save them…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Children’s Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A refreshingly different children’s illustrated story with wonderful relatable animal characters and an important message, delivered in easy to understand bite size pieces, about animal conservation and welfare. The fun illustrations reinforce the text and make this book suitable for younger children too.

This adventurous and fun story has believable characters with recognisable animal characteristics. It should be a favourite of both children and adults lucky enough to read this book too.

The plot although necessarily simple does have a couple of twists and doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming too sinister or cliche for the intended audience. It deals with contemporary animal husbandry and conservation issues in a readable and understandable way.

Mr Dog is the star, and he is an instant hit with me. Adventurous, clever, courageous, fun and kind, he has desirable personality traits that resonate with children and he makes a good role model.

An enjoyable read for children and their adults and the makings of an important, yet fun series.

Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books

The Dog Who Saved The World – Ross Welford – 5*#Review @rosswelford @HarperCollinsCh

When eleven-year-old Georgie befriends an eccentric retired scientist, she becomes the test subject for a thrilling new experiment: a virtual-reality 3D version of the future.

But then a deadly disease threatens the life of every dog in the country and Georgie’s beloved dog, Mr Mash, gets sick. And that’s only the start of her troubles.

Soon, Georgie and Mr Mash must embark on a desperate quest: to save every dog on earth, and maybe even all of humanity …

… without actually leaving the room.

An extraordinary quest with the biggest stakes of all, and a huge idea at its heart, this is time travel – but not as you know it.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

I enjoyed this tale of courage, dogs, family, friends and time travel. Although, it’s many years since I was the age this book is aimed at. I can remember the types of books I read then and this would have been one.

Georgie and Ramzy are lovely characters, their friendship is strong and means everything to them, as friends do at this age. They both have distinctive, realistic voices and give this story its heart.

Dr Pretorius is a strange woman, seen through the children’s eyes, she is the person their parents warned them not to trust but she has a magical quality that draws them in. Although Georgie and Ramzy disobey their parent’s rules it is clear from this story they understand the value of them.

The time travelling element of the story is fun and frightening for the intrepid pair and is entertaining reading. Family life as perceived by children is explored and again gives the story its humour and poignancy.

Georgie’s love of animals and particularly dogs makes this story relatable to most children. The prospect of losing your doggy best friend and dogs disappearing from the earth is a sobering thought. Not surprisingly the children are courageous, and sometimes foolhardy to stop this horror becoming reality.

There are adult issues alluded to and explored in this story, some of which children and most adults may find disturbing and sad, but these are seen in news programmes daily and this book deals with them sensitively and allows a positive conclusion with the introduction of fantasy and time travel.

I enjoyed this book and I will enjoy reading it to my grandson when he’s older. It is fun, realistic and full of exciting imagery that allows you to see the problems of today in a futuristic way.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Children’s Books via Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

4* Review- Marion Lennox – English Lord on Her Doorstep

A storm. A stranger. A secret.

After a storm leaves handsome stranger Bryn Morgan stranded at Charlie’s farmhouse she plans to keep her distance! But the night forges a bond between —until Bryn reveals is, in fact, Lord Carlisle! Can he show Charlie that their differences can bring them closer?

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

A romantic tale of two people from differing backgrounds who find a connection in adversity.

Charlie is grief-stricken after the sudden loss of her much-loved grandmother, Bryn is reeling from trying to unravel his criminal uncle’s latest scam. A storm and an injured dog brings them together, but when Charlie finds out why Bryn is in Australia, she wants nothing to do with him. Circumstances and Bryn’s caring attitude change her mind, but trust doesn’t come easy. Bryn’s generous gesture gives Charlie a way out but he is keeping secrets from her, and romantic deeds may not be the way to win this woman’s heart.

An easy to read romance, the plot is rooted in fairytale rather than reality, but if you accept this, the sentiments are genuine, the dogs lovable and Bryn, a gentleman. The characters are realistic even if their situation is unlikely and there is the desired happy ever after a fable like this demands.

Enjoyable summer-reading for the romantics.

I received a copy of this book from Mills & Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

Claude’s Christmas Adventure – Sophie Pembroke – 4*Review

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This Christmas a little dog is in for a BIG adventure…

Meet Claude. He’s a loveable, big-eared, permanently hungry French Bulldog, who loves his humans – the McCawley family of number 11 Maple Drive to be precise.

When Daisy and Oliver McCawley start using new words like, ‘ferry’, ‘chateau’ and ‘France’, Claude realises they won’t be spending this Christmas at home. Only, when he finds himself on the street, as the family car pulls away, Claude realises he is ALONE. And more importantly, he is without all the yummy treats he knows the festive season brings…

Cue the start of Claude’s Christmas Adventure. It all begins with a belly-flop through next door’s catflap, where he finds newly single and craft-a-holic Holly, Jack the ex-army postman, his arch nemesis Perdita the cat … and serious amounts of gingerbread.

Maple Drive’s cutest resident is about to bring the street together for Christmas, in ways no-one could have imagined …

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Amazon UK

Amazon

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Claude’s Christmas Adventure

I read this lovely Christmas story a few weeks ago but the characters and humour have stayed with me and I am smiling again as I write this review. Although the circumstances leading up to Claude’s Christmas adventure seem unlikely, this doesn’t stop you enjoying it and becoming absorbed in the lives of the family who leave him behind and the street who take him in when they do.
Vivid characters and events characterise this Christmas tale, it’s easy to see it as a Christmas romantic comedy film. Naughty but loveable dogs, demanding children and an overworked mum, who has forgotten who she is as she tries to please everyone at Christmas with predictably disastrous results.
The characters are strong and realistic. Claude’s pursuit of gingerbread and his lost family brings, lots of laughs, poignancy and a delicious sprinkling of romance.
A light-hearted festive read, from a doggy perspective, which is worth reading.
I received copy of this book from Avon books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Claude’s Christmas Adventure by Sophie Pembroke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Claude’s Christmas Adventure by Sophie Pembroke

Sophie Pembroke

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Posted in Author Blog Challenge

Author Blog Challenge: Things I Collect

My family definitely believe I’m a collector. I’m not particularly materialistic but  I do become attached to my things and find it difficult to  get rid of them, even when they’re old and past it.

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Soft Toys

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I’ve never outgrown my love of soft, cuddly toys. I had a vast collection when I was a child, some of which are just about in existence, in a bag in the loft. Every time we move house they appear and my husband says, “shall we get rid of these?” I open up  the bag and look at the contents and the memories come flooding back and I can’t bear to throw them away.

I also have a collection of soft toys  that my husband and children have bought me over the years, some of these are still on display in my bedroom, they’re like old friends. 🙂

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My daughter and to a lesser extent my son, loved ‘Beanie Babies’, a popular collectible in the ‘nineties’. Needless to say I couldn’t part with these either and they are in bags in various storage areas in the house. Maybe my grandson will like them, when he’s old enough?

Books

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I love reading and so books are definitely something I like to collect, although it’s rare that I read them more than once. This resulted in numerous bookcases. Then a few years ago. I discovered  Kindle and now 99%  of my books are eBooks. I still collect and read prolifically but it takes less space, which is fortunate as my current modern house is not abundant with storage spaces.

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Waifs  and Strays

 This is more of a lifestyle choice rather than a hobby. I love animals and since I’ve been married I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of animals companions. Many of these turned up on my  doorstep and I didn’t have the heart to turn them away.

 When I married in the ‘eighties’, our first house was a terrace in a rundown part of town. Needless to say, there were more than a few homeless cats and they seemed to realise,  I wouldn’t be able  to turn them away. When I was ready to move to house number two, I had five cats, two adopted from my next door neighbour as kittens and three strays .

Oby my nine year old Border Collie/ German Shepherd cross, is the latest addition to the family. My husband spotted his sad story, by chance, on his social media and once he’d showed me, Oby was always going to join  our family and we’re so glad he did. Especially  Jazz  who’s had a great time over the last three years with his new pal.

So,  I think you can gather from this post that I’m a  collector, I also love, pictures, glassware and plants. I only have a cottage garden now but its packed full with plants and miniature fruit trees. 

 

 

What about you? What do you  like to collect? Comment on my post or join in on Twitter -#LifeBooksWriting.