Through Time To London by Brindy Wilcox

Through Time To London

 Brindy Wilcox

A while ago I got chatting to a lady on Twitter about our love of dogs and, in particular, King Charles Spaniels. My dog Alfie was  King Charles Spaniel mixed with a Shihtzu. If you look at this photo you can probably spot both breeds.


The lady on Twitter is called Brindy Wilcox and she spoke so lovingly about her dogs who have now sadly passed away too. She told me that to keep their memory alive she had written a children’s book and incorporated a history lesson into the storyline. I was so intrigued by this that I popped over to Amazon and bought a copy.

through time to london

Through Time To London

Through Time To London by Brindy Wilcox

The cover showed the heroes of the book, brothers Brandy and Brinkley looking happy and mischievous whilst jumping through a dog flap. It turns out that when Jed the repairman puts in a new dog flap it magically turns into a time travel capsule which transports them to London in 1665 during the reign of King Charles I.

I was surprised to see that it is a full size 270 page book and although Brindy described it as a children’s book I must admit I got totally absorbed into the adventures of the two dogs and how they adapted to life in the plague-ridden streets of London, and if they managed to find their way home.

I loved the way Brindy described the personalities of the two dogs who were a bonded pair of brothers but with completely different characters.

A fantastic book to introduce to a child as their first novel or to read to younger children. It’s an absolute gem and begs to become part of a series where the two little dogs go off on their time travelling adventures.





Benefits of Lemons (Health, Beauty, Cleaning)

 Benefits of Lemons

(Health, Beauty, Cleaning)

I’ve had a really sore throat for the past few days and the only thing that I have found soothing is drinking lots of hot lemon and honey. It got me thinking about lemons and their health benefits and I found loads of really good information on all the different uses. I hope you find some of them helpful.

 Benefits of Lemons

This is What I Found

Lemons are rich in vitamin c, help to fight infection and have antibacterial properties.

They have antiviral properties (terpine limonoids)

Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds.

Lemon and water taken first thing in the morning is an excellent  liver detoxifier

Citric acid dissolves gall stones and kidney stones.

Rutin found in lemons helps to improve eye disorders.

Lemons can help Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Allergies.

Although acid, they help to alkalize  the bodies metabolism and balance  ph levels

Can help the bowels, liver, brain, nervous system and aids digestion.

Lemons cleanse the blood and can be used to treat malaria.

Widely thought to be anti aging and to help in weight loss.

Lemons contain potassium which helps with blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness.

Can help with toothache and sore gums. freshens breath and cleans teeth.

A few drops in a diffuser should calm anxiety and lift low mood. It will eliminate odours too.

Helps sunburn, acne, eczema, bee stings and can fade scars after a burn.

Lemons contain anti-inflammatory properties which help arthritis.

It helps the body remove uric acid which builds up in joints causing arthritis and rheumatoid pain.

Nature's Miracle Benefits of Lemons


And Health Is Not The Only Thing Lemons Are Good For

For Cleaning

Lemon kills mold, mildew, bacteria, and germs works as a deodoriser and air freshener.

Good for cleaning glasses, microwaves, fridges and metals including chrome, copper, and brass.

Mix with olive oil to clean and polish wood.

Mix with bicarbonate of soda to use as an all-purpose cleaner.

Lemon cuts through the build-up of soap around taps, and showers.

lemon 5


Lemons repel mosquitoes, ants,  moths, and fleas.

Cats hate the smell so use on kitchen worktops and baby areas.


In conjunction with the sun, lemon juice can lighten hair.

Rub into hands to remove onion and garlic smells.

Removes dandruff helps with hair loss and makes hair shine.

Can be used as a face mask by removing dead skin cells.

Can be used as a deodorant  or elbow  and foot softener

lemon fish


Makes a fantastic salad dressing and works very well sprinkled over fish.

A little lemon juice stops vegetables from turning brown when cooking.

lemon in salad

A Little History

Columbus introduced lemons to the Americas in 1493.

.In 1747 a  naval doctor cured scurvy with lemons and the British Navy still carries them on ships today.

lemon tree

Buy the Best

Buy unblemished heavy lemons with thin skins.

Avoid lemons tinged with green or pale in colour.


Always wash lemons.

Be aware that excessive use can damage tooth enamel so always rinse after use.

It’s amazing to think that this small citrus fruit is capable of so much. It will definitely be a store cupboard essential for me from now on

.And finally, my favourite, it adds a zesty citrus taste to my gin and tonic!

 Benefits of Lemons


Sit… Stay…Beg by Roxanne St.Claire

Sit… Stay…Beg

(The Dogfather Part 1)

by Roxanne St.Claire

Daniel Kilcannon is ‘The Dogfather’ and the man responsible for a world-class rescue and training establishment. which he put his heart and soul into creating, after his wife Annie died. He is helped by his four sons and two daughters, one son Garrett is a former dot com super success who now devotes his life to the rescue.

Jessie the ambitious journalist used to know the family well but had to move away and lost touch with the Kilcannons. She reappears desperate to interview Garrett, to further her career, but he needs a lot of persuading.

Lola, an Aussie Border Collie cross, has been brought to the centre and is refusing to eat, but instantly bonds with Jessie, and that helps to knock down some of Garrett’s barriers, and slowly Jess peels away the layers of this distant, troubled but extremely caring man. He also happens to be extremely good looking!.

Will Lola find her forever home?

Does Jessie get her interview?

Will Garrett settle the demons that plague him?

Sit... Stay...Beg

Purchase Link for Amazon UK

Amazon US

My Review of Sit…Stay…Beg

I was intrigued to hear that Sit..Stay..Beg was based around a rescue centre because it is a subject close to my heart and it didn’t disappoint. I love how Daniel Kilcannon bought his devastated family together and transformed their home, Waterford Farm, into a place where dog’s lives were saved. He gave his grown-up children a reason to live again after losing their mother. The sense of family is strong throughout the book. Not only do the siblings work together, they gather for huge family meals and support each other in their combined dream of changing the path of homeless dog’s lives. There is even the matriarch of the family Gramma Finney who has a very interesting hobby!

The relationship between Jessie and Garrett builds gradually until they just can’t deny it any longer.But can Jessie be trusted with Garrett’s secret? or will she use it to catapult the career that she has devoted her adult life to?

Jessie isn’t the stereotypical journalist, she is warm, caring and friendly. Lola the rescue dog instantly likes her and begins to show signs that look encouraging for her rehabilitation. She shows patience and empathy with Garrett and he begins to open up to the girl he had ‘a fleeting moment’ with when they were just teenagers.

What I love even more about this book is that the author Roxanne St Claire is donating a percentage of the funds from the sale of this book to her local ‘no kill’ shelter in Florida, and the dog on the cover is an authentic rescue dog. So Roxanne isn’t just highlighting the plight of homeless dogs but contributing to it too.

This is the first in the series of  ‘The Dogfather’ and a really enjoyable and worthwhile read. If you like a heartwarming, feel-good story, The Dogfather series is for you.

Roxanne St Claire has written almost fifty romance and suspense novels.She lives in Florida, USA and enjoys dogs, wine, chocolate, and books, preferably at the same time.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Leave a Letter in a Library Book

Leave a Letter in a Library Book

I came across this lovely idea in a “Simple Acts of Kindness” post and thought it was a cool thing to do. It’s a bit like leaving a message in a bottle but it won’t travel as far.

There mustn’t be any harm done to the book, just slip the note inside. You could leave it in a random book or one that you love and you just want to share with someone. Fact or fiction, it doesn’t matter as long as it will make someone smile!

It’s such a shame that we read books electronically more and more and so many of the libraries are closing. I have vivid childhood memories of going to change my books and leaving the library with literally more than I could carry.

I love the smell of old books.It’s  a musty, vanilla, grassy smell, not really pleasant but so distinctive. Imagine, in a few years time, sitting with your e-reader with a candle beside you filling the room with the aroma of “old books”. Actually, new books smell really good too, I have spent many an hour sniffing the shelves in Waterstones, or is that just me?



I think I would remain anonymous but it’s nice to give a hint and the finder can trace you if he or she wants to. It may be years or possibly never when the note is found. There may be a day in many years time when you open the rickety old laptop to find an email from someone who has found your note.

If I had to choose a fiction book it would probably be Pride and Prejudice.

Which book would you choose to leave a note in?

What would you write on the note?



Taking Your Dog on Holiday, 20 Surprising Essentials You Need

  Taking Your Dog on Holiday

20 Surprising Essentials You Need

We’ve always taken our dogs on holiday, staying in dog-friendly accommodation with nearby beaches where dogs are allowed. This is the ultimate holiday checklist if you are taking your dog on holiday or to a dog sitter. Some items are obvious,  but there may be some handy tips that you may find useful.

Taking Your Dog on Holiday

1.A first aid kit which should include simple dressings, antiseptic wipes, scissors, and tweezers.

2 Your own vets contact details and it is a good idea to search online for a vet close to where you are staying and print off directions and a telephone number.

3 Insurance details if applicable.

A photo of your dog in case he goes missing.

5 Microchip details and ID  disks with your contact numbers printed clearly.

Vaccination details for your dog.

7 Disposable and stackable containers to hold food and water are not just hygienic but convenient when travelling.

8  Bottled water should be carried at all times and refill with fresh tap water whenever possible.

9 A pack of treats.

10  Your dog’s normal food. It’s best to take the food with you, this way you don’t have to worry and risk an upset tummy if you can’t find your usual brand.

11 Lead and collar.

12 A waterproof coat.

13 A towel.

14  Poo bags.

15 A favourite blanket, not just to keep the dog warm, but something familiar to make him feel secure. Don’t wash the blanket before you leave for your holidays, the familiar scent will help your dog feel safe and he will settle quicker.

16 Rescue remedy in the water can calm an anxious dog. Some dogs get anxious in the car and in strange surroundings so this herbal remedy is good to use for the first few days.

17 A torch for night time toilet breaks and late walks.

18 A small fan to keep your dog cool. The clip on fans are really good because they can be easily attached to a crate or secured in the car so that the dog gets plenty of cool air and doesn’t overheat.

19 A sunscreen for the windows of your car keep the dog cool whilst travelling, by blocking out harsh sunlight.

20 Any medication that the dog may be prescribed.

There may be things I haven’t thought of, so let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Taking Your Dog on Holiday

First Aid Kit

Dog Coat

Untitled design (20)

Portable Dog Bowl With Lid

Poo Bags with Attachable Dispenser

Clip-on Fan

The Vineyard in Alsace by Julie Stock

The Vineyard in Alsace

Julie Stock

Book description

Is there really such a thing as a second chance at love?

Fran Schell has only just become engaged when she finds her fiancé in bed with another woman. She knows this is the push she needs to break free of him and to leave London. She applies for her dream job on a vineyard in Alsace, in France, not far from her family home, determined to concentrate on her work.

Didier Le Roy can hardly believe it when he sees that the only person to apply for the job on his vineyard is the same woman he once loved but let go because of his stupid pride. Now estranged from his wife, he longs for a second chance with Fran if only she will forgive him for not following her to London.

Working so closely together, Fran soon starts to fall in love with Didier all over again. Didier knows that it is now time for him to move on with his divorce if he and Fran are ever to have a future together. Can Fran and Didier make their second chance at love work despite all the obstacles in their way?

A romantic read set against the enticing backdrop of the vineyard harvest in France.

The Vineyard in Alsace 

Purchase from Amazon .com

Purchase from Amazon UK

My Review of The Vineyard in Alsace

I read The Vineyard in Alsace over a sunny weekend in England, but I was transported to this beautiful region of France, to the vineyards, the wine, the food, and the romance!

Fran escapes to France to be closer to her family and to drastically change the life she was living in London. By chance, she meets an old flame, Didier, and he offers her an exciting job and quaint cottage at his vineyard. Didier has also had a turbulent personal life since the couple split. Neither is looking for love but the chemistry between them is more powerful than anyone realised.

Of course, there are obstacles in the way. Both Fran and Didier have family problems, the vineyard needs to be harvested, there is a chateau to restore and a visitor centre to build.

Julie Stock alternates the chapters between Fran and Didier’s stories so you know how each one is feeling. Slowly she introduces characters and a close-knit community of family and friends are formed, with the vineyard being the hub of activity.. You can actually feel the change in season as the time for grape harvesting comes closer. Both main characters are instantly likeable, sensitive and warm-hearted. They help each other overcome the people from the past and move forward without bitterness or resentment. A truly ‘feel good’ book, the story flows effortlessly and the beautiful region of Alsace and its traditional family vineyards are described with genuine insight. Gradually Julie Stock describes the complicated and back-breaking tradition of harvesting the grapes and the wonderful sense of community that evolves with it.

The ebook was kindly gifted to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Julie Stock is an author of contemporary romance novels, novellas and short stories. She’s also a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She blogs about her path to publication on her website, ‘My Writing Life’ You can also connect with her on Twitter, Goodreads and via her Facebook Author Page. If you would like to be the first to hear about her new releases and other news, you can also sign up to receive her occasional newsletters via her website. When she is not writing, she works part-time for a charity. She is married with two teenage daughters and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

Hope….An Inspirational Poem by Kate Hanford

Hope….An Inspirational Poem

This is a poem that I wrote for a friend who is going through a bad time, just to let her know that I’m there for her. Maybe someone else will find the words comforting.


You have to believe, that all will be right

In the longest of days and the coldest of nights

You may feel scared, tired and alone

But there’s always someone to carry you home

Someone who knows the pain that you feel

The raw and relentless, cruel and real

It comes like a cloud covering the sky

There are no answers, just why? why? why?

But we are strong together, and a day will come

When the clouds part and welcome the sun

So take hold of that sunbeam, don’t let it leave

Clasp it tightly, but let yourself grieve

Then slowly but surely  release your grasp

Let the light enter  and swallow the past

And then for a second your heart will feel light

And strength will replace it, to continue the fight

Just like the sunbeam you cannot hide

But weather the storm with  hope on your side

Kate Hanford

hope 2


For more inspirational poetry, here is Inspiring Poetry To Soothe Anxiety and Depression




Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy

Death Plays A Part

Cornish Castle Mystery Book 1

by Vivian Conroy

Book Description

Guinevere arrives at Cornisea castle in Cornwall to take up a summer job cataloging the treasured books of Lord Bolingbrooke. The theatre where she works has closed for refurbishment and Guinevere jumps at the chance to work on the beautiful Cornish island, with its ancient legends and folklore. Guinevere is accompanied by her trusty little Dachshund, Dolly, and will be residing at the castle for the Summer. On arrival, she finds an ancient trial re-enactment taking place by residents, but the atmosphere soon changes when a murder is discovered in a locked dungeon.
It is down to Constable Eal and Inspector LeFevre, to solve the case, but Guinevere has ideas of her own. She is helped by the dashing Oliver who is the son of Lord Bolingbrooke. His father is the main suspect of the crime and the duo plus Dolly don’t leave any stone unturned to clear his name.
First, she must meet the residents and learn about their characters and their backgrounds. Dolly helps to break the ice with the small community and gradually they begin to trust her. Guinevere’s theatrical background helps her unravel the mystery bit by bit. The inhabitants of the island are worried about their livelihoods and appear guarded, there is an air of suspicion and mistrust to the once close-knit community.
As an added dimension there is talk of lost treasure, does it exist? and who knows the secret?

Death Plays A Part

My Review
There is a hint of Agatha Christie to Vivian Conroy’s writing and she beautifully describes the magnificent backdrop, and the plot is intricate and solid. She keeps the Cornish theme alive with Cornish names for the characters and interesting fictional Cornish folklore. Guinevere and Oliver make a great team, Oliver is well traveled and Guinevere has a good head for puzzle solving, is there a slight hint of romance between the amateur sleuths? Any Dachshund owner will relate to Dolly’s character, she is inquisitive and full of energy. The bond between Guinevere and Dolly is truly adorable, you get the feeling that they know what each other is thinking and Dolly is constantly at her companion’s side. I have given the book a very well deserved 4/5 stars.
I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, Rubies in the Roses which is published soon.
The book was sent to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review


Purchase from Amazon

Available here



15 Amazing Trivia Facts About Dogs

15 Amazing Trivia Facts About Dogs

We all love dogs and want to know everything about them. This is a small compilation of amazing trivia facts about dogs that you maybe didn’t know. Have a look and see if you learn something new.

(These facts about dogs would be great in a trivia quiz)


Dogs have three eyelids.

Dogs have 1,700 taste buds, whilst cats have just 470.

A dogs sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more effective than our own.

The Basenji is the only dog that doesn’t bark, but he can yodel.


Dogs can see in colour, mainly blue and yellow and they can see in the dark.

A dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

Border Collies are the cleverest dogs, some can recognize 200 words.

If a dog wags his tail to the right he is happy, to the left he is scared.

A fully grown dog has 42 teeth,

Dogs sweat glands are in their paws.

A dog’s brain releases oxytocin, the love hormone when he interacts with humans and other dogs.

Dogs with pointed faces live longer than dogs with flat faces.


Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers,

A female dog and her female offspring are capable of giving birth to over 6000 puppies in 7 years.

The oldest dog on record lived to be 29 years and 5 months, he was an Australian cattle dog.

Hope you learned something new!

Stop my Dog from Barking

How do I

Stop my Dog from Barking?

I seem to spend half my life asking my mini dachshund to stop barking!

I know it’s natural for dogs to bark and they are worth their weight in gold as burglar alarms but Darcy seems to think he is solely responsible for our protection at all times. I have tried explaining to him that the pigeons in the garden are highly unlikely to come in and attack us in our beds but he still keeps a fifteen-hour vigil during daylight hours. I try not to laugh as he sprints down the lawn and does a huge jump, he truly believes that if he runs fast enough and jumps high enough he really will take off into flight.

Mr Darcy2

Then there are those well-known serial killers that knock on ‘his’ door occasionally and deliver highly suspicious parcels labelled ‘ Amazon’  or ‘Tesco Direct’, The suspicious articles have to be thoroughly sniffed and attacked if necessary, before being declared safe and allowed to enter.

As for letters that appear by magic on ‘his’ front door mat they have to be immediately destroyed and maybe even eaten just to make doubly sure they do not contain poisonous ink!

Has anyone else sat on the floor bargaining with their dog to hand back the tv license, passport or tax papers he is threatening to destroy and has already chewed the corner off?

Has anyone put proudly on display the beautiful handmade birthday card from your very best friend complete with teeth marks and soaked in dog saliva?

Has anyone else had to hand over a chewed up hospital letter to the already snobby looking receptionist?

Or confessing on the phone that you don’t have your account number because the dog destroyed it?

And does little dog syndrome really exist?

Should I rescue a laid back Great Dane next?

To be fair to Darcy when he came here he was already over two years old and had lived outside and never taught discipline. So, I can see why he is so very protective of his new home…….but it doesn’t make it any less annoying!