Book Reviews and an Escaping Dog

It doesn’t seem possible but it is already nearly six weeks since my book went live. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. This is due to the Lockdown, of course, and the days seem to drag and go fast at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending a lot of time staring into the fridge, as well as trying to cope with working online. I’ve also been trying to get some of my next book written, having done quite a lot over the Easter holidays, Unfortunately it turns out I can’t work, plan lessons and deal with my children/laundry/cleaning/cooking etc and write as well.

The ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THING is that I’ve sold copies of my book! ACTUAL REAL LIVE COPIES! I can’t quite get my head around it. AND what is even more incredible is that people have written to say they enjoyed it.

Gosh, it’s like I’ve had a shot of heroin every time I see a nice review pop up on Amazon. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but as of today I have received eleven FIVE STAR REVIEWS!

It is going to be so embarrassing if you’re reading this and you pop over to have a look to find all my reviews have plummeted and I have an average of 1 star. But for now, I am living in the moment. To hear people talking about my characters as living, breathing humans is MIND BOGGLING. And it has also made me realise how much it means to have someone say they like your book.

In fact, it has made me so happy when I get a nice review, I have wanted to pay it forward. I went to Amazon and Goodreads to write some reviews for books I have loved. This whole process has made me realise how important it is to do a review when you love something. It’s so easy to criticise and find fault, and I am a bit ashamed of the number of holidays I have enjoyed, meals I have relished, or books I have loved without leaving any positive feedback.

However, if it goes tits up I do say something, and that’s not right. Of course you should be truthful if things go wrong, but don’t forget to make a point of noting when it goes right too!

For those of you who don’t know, my book ‘The Woman and the Witch’ came out at the beginning of April.

And here are some of my most favourite reviews I’ve seen so far. Don’t these lovely people make it sound marvellous?

 Stunning and gripping

A most unusual and interesting book. Loved every minute of it. I will watch for this author.Fabulous read . 😁

A magical read

I downloaded this book to read out of curiosity. I was hooked from the word go, I finished it in one sitting. It’s been a while since a book transported me to another world with quite the same ease as The Woman and the Witch did.
I think it would translate to film beautifully.

 A talented author

You know you have a good book when you hate being disturbed while reading it and miss it when it’s over. I loved it, I loved the two unexpected female anti- hero’s. This is a talented author who has the ability to unveil the ordinary and the extra-ordinary with sensitivity, humour and a sprinkle of magic. A super read!

A very good read

I really enjoyed this book because the characters were so engaging. Angies story was so sad, and it was easy to see how we could all walk her path, but then the turnaround was amazing and made me want to be her!
Friedas story was intriguing, and her use of her powers was a trap we could all fall into if we had them, but ultimately she redeemed herself in my eyes.
Very enjoyable overall and would love to see how the story could continue if a second book was written

I wonder if those readers have any idea how happy their comments have made me? I want to go around and take each and every one of them out for a drink and a Chinese take-away. God knows how I am going to cope when I get a bad review.

Bad Dog

I am afraid to say that Dog has been a Very Bad Dog this week.

Look at her… Butter Wouldn’t Melt…

She’s in season and has been for the last few weeks. I haven’t yet spayed her as we were hoping to get one litter of puppies from her before she gets too old. The vet said as she is now six this is her last chance.

We were all set and then Covid-19 came along and put the kibosh on that.

We have got quite a nice, good-sized garden and Dog has always been happy roaming around it, chasing rabbits and drinking out of muddy puddles. When she’s fed up with this, she will go and get her metal bowl of food – walk over to us and drop it with a deafening clang, scattering her food all over the floor.

Woe betide anyone in the house who ignores this signal. If you don’t immediately get her lead and take her out for a long walk across the fields she will up her game and wreak havoc across the house.

Things Dog has done to indicate her disapproval at us not taking her for a walk quickly enough:

  1. Pooped directly outside our bedroom door. Same spot every time. This is the only time she ever poops in the house – it is a clear screw you gesture.
  2. Gone into the garden to forage for the biggest, thorniest sticks she can find. She then scatters them, thorn side up, across the entrances to every room.
  3. Steals food. Last week Rob was about to do his usual Sunday cook-a-thon where he makes vats of chili, bolognaise, and shepherd’s pie. When we didn’t take Dog out first thing she ate an ENTIRE KILO of Mince. We only realised she’d eaten it when we discovered the empty plastic box under her bean bag. Up until that point Rob just thought he was losing his mind, assuming he’d only taken two kilos of mince out of the freezer rather than three.
  4. Approached the postman with a lead in her mouth, not only proving what a terrible guard dog she is, but making it clear she thinks we are very shoddy dog owners.

We’d started to notice that when we let Dog out for her pee before going to bed that she was taking an age to come back, despite our calls. Dog loves sitting under the willow, nose turned towards the breeze so she can have a good sniff at everything, but recently she hasn’t been there and we’ve assumed she was somewhere else in the garden.

Dog and I enjoying the sunshine

Catching rabbits, we thought, and carried on with our online working (Me and Rob) and online schooling (Son and Daughter)

But then one day she was nowhere to be seen. We called and called, Son went out on his bike, but she was gone! I was just starting to get worried when up she trotted, tongue hanging out – all was well.


Dog had disappeared off again and I sent Daughter out to find her, assuming she was in the garden. In the meantime I had a quick look through Facebook and…


My Local Village Facebook Page

Yes. When I was assuming Dog was pootling around the garden she was, in fact, ROAMING AROUND THE VILLAGE PRETENDING TO BE A STRAY DOG!

So good was her performance of a nervous, alone, lost and abandoned dog people had REPORTED HER ON FACEBOOK!

Hastily, I uploaded a photo and said ‘if this is what she looks like then that’s my Dog!’

Oh the humiliation. In the country it is Very Bad Form for your dog to escape, especially when it is now ILLEGAL to have your dog off the lead in Corona times – let alone allowing her to run about all over the village dodging tractors and buses. Horrors!

Rob, Son, Daughter all sallied out to try and find where Dog was. I couldn’t believe she’s been doing this for days and we hadn’t realised. DAYS!

Family kept sending back reports that they couldn’t find her. In one last, desperate attempt I went out into the garden and yelled Dog! Cheese! as loud as I could.

And there she was. Trotting up with a grin on her face. I am rather concerned she’s managed to get it on with the neighbour’s border collie. What on earth do you call a border collie labradoodle cross?

Dog Returns from her Adventures

She wasn’t at all bothered. Couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Just drank down a gallon of water before curling up in the sun for a (hopefully not post-coital) nap. Notice the great smear of black on her shoulder? A mixture of dead fox and dead fox poo. You can imagine what it smelled like.

She is now under house arrest and is only allowed into the garden on a lead until the madness has ended.

It’s a shame she is such a distinctive Dog because now everyone in the village knows her as the escape artist and they haven’t quite got to the stage of pointing and laughing whenever we go out with her, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

One thing I did discover. We couldn’t work out how she was escaping when the whole garden is fenced and reinforced with chicken wire. My neighbour just called to ask if I knew Dog had escaped? ‘No she hasn’t,’ I replied. ‘She’s here, on her bean bag.’

I looked over at the bean bag to realise Dog had disappeared.

‘It’s just I’m pretty sure I’ve just seen her flatten herself as thin as a pancake and limbo out under your front gate,’ Neighbour said.

‘Son!’ I yelled. ‘Dog’s escaped again.’

Bad Dog.

3 thoughts on “Book Reviews and an Escaping Dog

  1. I think you may have to write a series of books about Dog – she will become so well known that she will be notorious and unable to get up to anything – ANYTHING! Either that or she needs her own facebook presence that is a member of your local facebook community but really a book or series of books as she is hysterical (if you dont own her Im guessing)… As for the smellyness of a dog rolling in something, is that as bad a a husband that goes for a long run and returns with a jet trail of stink? We should compare the nasal assault offered by both miscreants. So glad your book is doing well, if anyone ever dares leave a bad review you just need the posse out on Amazon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Juliet – goodness that dog gets me into a lot of trouble – she actually features in some form in all of the books I’ve written and the posts about her here are always the most popular 🙄. She’s called Dolly in my Woman and the Witch book. I can’t believe any smell produced by gravel guy could equate to the smell of dead fox on my doodle 🤢🤮


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