Just A Normal Day For A Puppy

How is everyone doing?

It’s so hard, isn’t it?

I’ve always craved endless hours to read and play with my dogs but I have no concentration. I’ve tried psychological thrillers to grip me, lighthearted romance to try to escape….. but nothing is working!

Luckily this chap has no idea what is going on in the world. It is just a normal day.

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He isn’t always like that.

At five months old he has developed selective deafness. He doesn’t respond if I tell him to stop digging the garden, chewing the plants and picking up stones., but he hears the treat tin just fine!

I wouldn’t mind if he left the contents of the garden outside, but he insists on bringing me gifts of leaves, soil, pebbles, and branches.

As if I’m not cleaning enough!

Then at 7pm, he sinks into a twelve-hour slumber fest of utter contentment.

I’m not jealous at all!

 

I hope you are getting some enjoyment from your books or dogs (or both).

Sending positive and healing thoughts to everyone who is struggling today.

love

Lou and the dogs xxx

 

 

 

 

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

The Divorce

by

Victoria Jenkins

I thought I knew how to help them. I knew nothing.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

A luminous, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 216 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle’s garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

‘A rich, big-hearted tapestry. Fans of Room and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close will be spellbound by Dear Edward‘ Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists

‘A profoundly beautiful, page-turning story of mystery, loss, and wonder’ Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and The Good Thief

Dear Edward is a masterpiece that should be at the top of everyone’s reading list.’ J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

‘I loved Dear Edward so, so much. It made me laugh and weep. Magnificent!’ Lily King, author of Euphoria

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Purchase Link

My Thoughts

Eddie Adler’s life changes dramatically when he becomes the sole survivor of a plane crash. His family are dead and he is taken in by his aunt and uncle, who try to help Eddie rebuild his life both physically and mentally.

The twelve-year-old asks that he should now be referred to as Edward, preferring Eddie to stay in the past along with the memories of his mother, father, and brother. It is incredibly hard not to really feel for the grief-stricken, traumatised child who finds even the simplest acts like eating and sleeping incredibly difficult.

The story moves between two timelines, the passengers on the airline and the lead up to the crash and Edward’s recovery. His childless aunt and uncle try to connect but they have been thrown into the unknown and you feel their desperation to do the right thing. However, Edward finds a true friend in Shay, a young girl who lives next door.

Dear Edward is about the stages of grief and the slow, harsh road to acceptance. It’s heartbreaking, real and brings out emotions that you thought were well hidden. The fact that the story revolves around such a young boy makes the storyline even more powerful and the way that Ann Napolitano describes emotions is extremely profound. I loved the sensitivity that comes through and although the story is about sadness, it also lifts you and makes you want to reach out to your loved ones.

 

Thank you to Ellie from Viking, (Penguin) for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

Away With The Penguins by Hazel Prior

Today I am thrilled to join the blog tour for Away With The Penguins by Hazel Prior.

Thanks to Anne Cater, Transworld Publishing and the author for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

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Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick, although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone. She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’). Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies. But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this. She is going on an intrepid journey – to save the penguins.

Away With The Penguins Cover

Purchase Link

My Thoughts

Last year I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior. It was an extremely unique read and one of my favourite books from 2019. When I heard that the author had a new publication and that it featured penguins I was excited to find out more.

From the start, I loved the feisty octogenarian, Veronica McCreedy. Although she wasn’t always kind to her loyal housekeeper Eileen, I knew that she had a warm heart and determined spirit. A wooden box containing diaries and a locket has remained locked away for decades. Once opened they stir up some memories which Veronica has tried hard to forget. She begins to wonder what will happen to her vast wealth when she passes away and decides to grab the chance to go on an amazing adventure.

One of Veronica’s main pleasures in life is to watch tv wildlife documentaries, especially her particular favourite which is all about the life of penguins. When Veronica announces to Eileen that she intends to join the research party into the life of Adelie penguins in Antarctica, the housekeeper hopes it will soon be forgotten. However, this is Veronica McCreedy and nothing gets in her way once her mind is made up!

Despite warnings from the scientists about the harsh conditions Veronica arrives, promising a large donation to the research fund, once she has seen the penguins for herself. The book is expertly researched and the author is extremely knowledgable about these most endearing creatures and their conservation.

There are some incredibly poignant moments as we learn more about Veronica’s past and a grandson called Patrick enters Veronica’s life. There are both humorous and heartfelt moments in this quirky, informative read. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written story which has such an important message behind it.

I honestly didn’t think Hazel Prior could top Ellie and the Harpmaker but she has produced another gem and I can’t wait to see what comes next from this talented author.

About The Author

Hazel Prior Author Pic

HAZEL PRIOR lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist.

 

A Dog’s Hope by Casey Wilson

A Dog’s Hope

by

Casey Wilson

There are some things in life that only a dog can teach you.

A poignant, heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting novel about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog. Perfect for fans of A Dog’s PurposeThe Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me.

In the farming town of Riverside in Washington, Toby Fuller is feeling more alone than ever. Nothing Toby did was ever good enough for his father, but he never expected his father to leave, to abandon him and his mother forever. He loses hope, until a scruffy golden retriever called Buddy follows him home from school.

Though he’s struggling to walk, Buddy matches Toby step for step, never taking his eyes off him, as if Toby is all he needs in the world. And from that day on Buddy never leaves Toby’s side.

Buddy shows Toby a loyalty that he has never known. But then disaster strikes and Toby’s life is changed forever. Will Buddy be able to give Toby the strength he needs to carry on?

A tale of how unconditional love can bound into your life when you least expect it, giving you hope in the darkest of times.

A Dog's Hope - Blog Tour

My Thoughts

When I picked up A Dog’s Hope I knew that it would be a tearjerker but I wasn’t quite prepared for the flood of emotions, (happy and sad), that I experienced reading this book. The story describes an unbreakable connection between man and dog, who learn to rebuild broken lives together.

Sixteen-year-old Toby is feeling lost, angry and alone, his parents have divorced and he has to move with his mother to a new town. One day whilst walking home from school he notices a dirty and matted golden retriever at the side of the road. Despite Toby telling him to go home the dog is intent on following him.

Somehow the dog knew instinctively that Toby could be trusted not to hurt him and chooses him to be his companion. From then on the two are inseparable, coming together at the precise moment that they needed each other the most.

Casey Wilson tells the story from both Toby and Buddy’s point of view and over various timelines. The story is simply stunning, beautifully written and a must-read for anyone who has had the pleasure of sharing the love of a dog.

Many thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

 

Buy  Links:       

Amazon: https://geni.us/B083XYXMLKSocial

Apple: https://apple.co/2u41lyH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FYLp3f

Google: http://bit.ly/2RweWa6

Casey Wilson - Author Photo no credit

Author Bio:

Casey Wilson is the author of A Dog’s Hope, published with Bookouture.

Born and raised in the United States in Nevada, she is the owner of a gorgeous golden retriever, who may or may not have inspired the dogs in her novels.

 

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaseyWilsonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaseyWilsonAuth

Lucy’s Law by Marc Abraham

Lucy’s Law by Marc Abraham

Description

 

Thank you for reading.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

There are many reports about how humans can gain positive mental health therapy from dogs.

We know that stroking a pet can reduce blood pressure and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine which reduce stress levels. Also, studies show that pet owners have lower cholesterol and triglycerides which prevent heart disease.

There are other huge benefits to general health from owning a pet, but I wanted to share how it can improve mental health too.

This post shows how owning dogs has helped on my personal journey suffering from mild depression and severe social anxiety for decades. I’m hoping that it will help others who are thinking of adding a dog to their family, but worried that they won’t be able to cope.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Companionship

I enjoy my own company but never feel truly alone when my dogs are with me. A dog is always there to give a warm welcome when I return home even if I’ve only be gone for a short time.

My dogs make me laugh every day, give me cuddles and a reason to get up in the morning.

They Never Judge You

It’s normal for anyone who has mental health problems to have bad days. Sometimes you want to hide under the duvet and the slightest chore is overwhelming.

Dogs accept you for who you are and for them it really is ok, not to be ok.

They absolutely don’t care if you haven’t combed your hair or emptied the laundry basket, they never judge and love you unconditionally….no matter what!

Routine

I always state how important it is to have a routine for your dog. However, it’s important for humans too. Routine adds structure to your day, defines day and night and promotes regular meal times.

Feeding times, walks and playtimes all need to be done when you have a dog, instantly installing a routine that can be built on.

Exercise

We know that physical exercise really helps mental health problems. You may not feel like throwing on running gear but grabbing a dog lead and going for a stroll around the block is much easier to tackle.

On good days that stroll will become a substantial walk, and it is then that you begin to see huge mental health benefits.

Knowing that your dog needs a daily walk will give you the inspiration and confidence to take that first step.

Making New Friends

You would never approach a stranger in the street and start a conversation. However, it’s the most acceptable thing in the world if you have dogs!

Every dog owner likes to talk about their dogs and they really love to hear that you think their dogs are well trained, beautifully groomed or just downright cute.

It might start as a friendly ‘hi’ or remark about the weather, but it still puts a smile on your face and brightens your day.

Before long, regular chats take place and the dogs get some valuable canine friendship too!

Comfort

There is no better feeling than having a contented dog snoozing beside you. They are always there to offer comfort and happy to spend hours at your side. Dogs pick up on our moods and will know when you are struggling with anxiety and depression. Just stroking your pet will reduce stress levels and the company of a dog eases feelings of loneliness.

Living In The Moment

This is something that I have struggled with but my dogs have helped so much, to take each day as it comes.

We are overwhelmed with plans and activities and forget to just relax and live for today. Dogs are excited by small things like a new toy or bone, a friendly visitor or a delicious treat.

They have taught me to enjoy the simple things in life.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Entertainment

Since I got my puppy I have hardly ever switched on the television. I just find it fascinating to watch my puppy play, interact…even sleep!

My dogs make me laugh, fill empty hours and surprise me every day.

The dynamics in the house have changed since the puppy came along and I’m fascinated to see how the puppy will change the pack hierarchy. Over the days the puppy has become accepted by my other dogs and mutual respect has formed. It’s good to see new canine relationships form which will hopefully go on to form a tight bond.

Thinking Long Term

If you are a dog or cat owner it is a potentially a fifteen-year commitment to give the animal the care that it needs.

Therefore, you automatically start thinking about your long term health and how you can improve it.

The love and responsibility of a dog will make you rethink your diet, get a health check or join a yoga class. These are things that may have previously been pushed to the back of your mind, but now you will be spurred on to do them because you want to be healthy for your dog.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Children

It’s not just adults who suffer from mental health problems. Children can have anxiety and a furry friend can really help restore confidence, give comfort and put the fun back into life.

Dogs teach children how to be responsible. They learn to empathise, care and be respectful in the company of animals.

This is a post that I wrote about children and dogs.

How Children Can Learn From Dogs

Borrow A Dog

If you don’t feel that you can take on the responsibility of taking on a dog yourself, why not borrow one?

You could ask a friend or neighbour if you could take their dog for a walk or tag along on a dog walk. Spending time with dogs really improves mental health even if it is just for a short time.

BorrowMyDoggy.com is an excellent UK website which has been specifically designed to connect people with mental health problems and friendly, fun-loving pooches.

 

Here are a few of the dogs who have helped me over the years. Some have lived with me their whole lives, belong to family members or others I have fostered for just a short time. The main thing is that they have all really helped me.

Mental Health Therapy From Dogs

Some were clowns who made me laugh, others needed lots of exercise so we walked for miles. There are the ones who just knew when I needed a hug, one would get up in the night with me when I couldn’t sleep and a special rescue dog taught me to count my blessings!

I really hope this post has helped to show how time spent with a pet can give valuable mental health therapy.

Do you have a dog who has helped with anxiety or depression?

I would love to hear your stories.

Thank you for reading.

 

A Year Of Second Chances by Kendra Smith

Description

Reading the acknowledgments  I was shocked to read that this book nearly didn’t happen because Kendra Smith was badly hurt in a road traffic accident whilst writing A Year of Second Chances. Sending Best Wishes to this amazing author and brave lady.

Thank you to Aria Fiction for a copy of the book via NetGalley, which I have reviewed honestly.

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

When You See Me

by

Lisa Gardner

 

Book Description

New Beginnings at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters

New Beginnings at Glendale Hall

by

Victoria Walters

Two weddings and a baby…but who will get their happy ever after?

Emily Prescott’s life isn’t going to plan. Her dreams of starting a family with fireman boyfriend Greg and opening up her own bakery in London feel like they will never come true. So when a wedding invite arrives from her oldest friend, Beth Williams, Emily is thrilled. Not only will she get to return to her childhood home in Scotland, but best of all – Beth wants her to bake the wedding cake!

However, her excitement is cut short when she discovers that Greg has cheated on her. Devastated by his betrayal, Emily flees to Glendale Hall, Beth’s grand estate in the Highlands, and tries to distracts herself with helping with the wedding plans, but that’s not easy when Greg keeps hounding her to forgive him. Then she’s introduced to Glendale’s new young and handsome vicar Brodie, and things become even more complicated.

When Emily discovers that Greg’s betrayal runs deeper than she imagined, she finds herself with a whole host of decisions to make, especially when she discovers her long awaited dream is finally being fulfilled – at exactly at the wrong time…

Escape to Scotland and fall in love with this gorgeous and inspiring romance from the bestselling author of Coming Home to Glendale Hall! The perfect feel-good read for fans of Holly Martin, Heidi Swain, and Jill Mansell.

My Thoughts

I reviewed Coming Home To Glendale Hall last year and it was one of my favourite reads of 2019.

This time the story is concentrated around Emily, who travels to Glendale Hall in Scotland to attend her friend Beth’s wedding.  Emily was a real friend to Beth when she appeared on her doorstep, homeless, pregnant and alone. Now, the tables have reversed and it is Emily who needs the help of a friend.

All the previous characters are there, with an added extra, a hunky vicar called Brodie who really catches Emily’s eye.

I love the location of Glendale Hall, the Scottish mansion with a host of warm, caring characters. Emily frustrated me at times, in my opinion, she gave her boyfriend Greg far too many chances. I wanted her to surround herself with people who love her and to achieve her dream of owning her own bakery. I was so eager to find out what choices Emily makes that I devoured the book quickly and will really miss the residents of Glendale.

There is romance, weddings, a thoroughly enjoyable storyline and lots and lots of delicious cake!

This can be read as a standalone, but please don’t miss out on Coming Home To Glendale Hall, it’s a perfect winter romance.

Thank you to Hera Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.