Brief blogs for busy bees

Tag: book review

Blogtober Day 12: Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Blogtober Day 12: Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

‘You can plot a course that will get you to your destination, but you can’t predict what you’ll find along the way.’  Zorie has a plan for the summer, and it involves staying as far away from the Mackenzie family as physically possible. But when […]

Blogtober Day 10: Blog tour: Jackson Saves an Owl by Darren Garwood and Carl Osborne

Blogtober Day 10: Blog tour: Jackson Saves an Owl by Darren Garwood and Carl Osborne

Hi there! Welcome to my stop on the Jackson Saves an Owl blog tour. I’d like to say a big thank you to Faye Rogers, for allowing me to get involved in the blog tour for this charming picture book. Zophia loves owls, so as soon as […]

Blogtober Day 7: Review: The Case of the Missing Treasure by Robin Stevens

Blogtober Day 7: Review: The Case of the Missing Treasure by Robin Stevens

Back at the start of summer Robin Stevens released a short story narrated by Daisy Wells, in which the Detective Society and the Junior Pinkertons team up to investigate a string of museum robberies. I bought it the day it was released, but I decided to wait to read it until after Death in the Spotlight was released – otherwise I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist rereading the series (and I just don’t have the time to reread them yet!).

I read this out loud to my boyfriend and our daughter, and we’re all in agreement that this is a superb short story. (Well, I think Zophia agrees… She seemed very intent on trying to eat my copy.) My favourite installment in the Murder Most Unladylike series so far is definitely Cream Buns and Crime, which is a short story collection, so I was expecting good things, but I didn’t think The Case of the Missing Treasure was going to be this much fun!

It’s Daisy’s birthday, so Uncle Felix organises a treasure hunt for her to do – along with Hazel, George and Alexander – but they end up stumbling upon clues to a real case by accident. I was already a fan of the short stories told from Daisy’s perspective, and with such an amusing premise this became an instant favourite.

The story itself is a little under 100 pages, while the book sits at around 150, because it includes a couple of chapters from the beginning of Death in the Spotlight. I was a little disappointed by this because I didn’t want the short story to end, but at least I’ve waited until the next installment in the series has been released, so it won’t be long until I’m rejoining Daisy and Hazel on their next adventure. At only a couple of pounds, this story is a steal: I’m so glad I decided to buy a copy, as it’s the first Murder Most Unladylike book that I’ve owned. It’s dinky but so cute!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about The Case of the Missing Treasure, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

A brief review for a brief story – come back tomorrow for my next Blogtober post!

Alyce

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Blogtober Day 6: Review: The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin

Blogtober Day 6: Review: The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin

Continuing the events from The Call, you might expect The Invasion to be brighter than it’s predecessor, but that is not the case. While it seemed that things were looking up for Anto and Nessa, they’re torn away from each other and plunged back into the world of […]

Blogtober Day 5: Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say by Leila Sales

Blogtober Day 5: Review: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say by Leila Sales

When Spelling Bee champion Winter Halperin tweets an ill-advised joke about the skin colour of the latest winner, she finds herself the most hated person on the Internet… For a little while. But while the rest of the world are infuriated for a couple of […]

Blogtober Day 4: Blog tour: Beardies’ World by Joyce Ives

Blogtober Day 4: Blog tour: Beardies’ World by Joyce Ives

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Beardies’ World blog tour. First off I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faye, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and to Joyce Ives, author of Beardies’ World, who has written a lovely guest post for me to share with you all today.

In case you haven’t heard of Beardies’ World before, I’m going to start by giving you some more information about the book, before I share some briefs thoughts about it in a spoiler-free review.

Beardies' World by Joyce Ives

If you already have a dog/dogs or are even thinking of buying one, read this book, which shows what fun and laughter we had with ours over twenty-six years, making a lot of friends along the way.

This book is Joyce Ives’ narrative to the twenty-six years she and husband John owned, cared for and loved their four Bearded Collies. The memories shared by Joyce in this book are likely to touch the heart of anyone who has had any experience of growing up and growing old with dogs. In her narrative Joyce has been able to capture beautifully how our special bond with our canine friends often becomes so significant in our life’s journey; our experiences of joy and laughter and at times our sadness and loss.

If you’re interested in learning more about Beardies’ World, click on the cover to check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

So, what did I think of Beardies’ World?

Beardies' World by Joyce Ives review header

When I first started reading Beardies’ World I found it a little disorienting, as it’s told from the perspective of the dogs rather than from Joyce herself. As I got used to the writing style I found it charming and quirky, but it did take a little while to adjust as it’s very different to any non-fiction I’ve read before.

A combination of memoir and travel guide, Beardies’ World is informative, sharing tips about the best places to visit with dogs in the UK, as well as the best walking holidays you can take with or without four-legged friends. Joyce’s descriptions bring the various British locations to life in your mind. I particularly enjoyed their trip to the Isle of Wight, somewhere I visited when I was a child – it made me remember a lot about my week away that I’d forgotten, and now I’m desperate to return.

But Joyce doesn’t only use this book to educate; it’s also highly entertaining. Stuffed full of humorous – yet often disastrous – tales, Joyce welcomes you into her family and into her home, delivering anecdotes that will remind you of the best and worst times you’ve had with your own dogs. Joyce’s Beardies seem to particularly enjoy water and mud, and I laughed out loud at multiple points (helped along by adorable illustrations and photographs, showing the dogs in their moments of mayhem). Be warned: you will shed tears at multiple points, but Joyce begins the book by describing the Rainbow Bridge with optimism and positivity, so try not to get too upset!

Reading Beardies’ World is like eating stew: it warms you from the inside out, it’s inoffensive and it’s easily digestible. I didn’t feel as though I could rate it higher than three stars because it did take me quite a while to feel comfortable with the writing style, but this is bound to appeal to other readers and I’m sure it’s going to become a fast favourite among dog lovers.

 

Now it’s time for me to pass you over to Joyce, who has some advice for those who are considering getting a four-legged friend of their own…

Ten tips to give new dog owners

  1. Breeders do not usually sell you a puppy if you work full time as it cannot be trained if left all day and he/she would be lonely. You cannot train a puppy to become clean if you are not there.
  2. A crate is good to have, large enough for a growing puppy, with washable bedding at the back (not bean bag, puppies are inclined to rip these open and all the balls fall out) and several sheets of paper at the front. A crate is ideal at night time until he/she is clean and not for keeping the puppy in all day, but helpful if you want to pop out to get some shopping and stops it getting into mischief. During the day you need to constantly take your dog out, praising it every time it functions. i.e. “Name – go and do a wee wee, Name – go and do a poo”, or whatever word you want to use. This helps if you are visiting friends and you ask your dog to function before you leave, although on a long journey it is best to make them comfortable before entering a friend’s house
  3. Find a good training school, this is usually once a week in the evening and you are expected to practice every day. Do not spend more than half an hour at a time training as the puppy will tire easily and then they will not give you their full attention. I always use titbits when they do something right, using from the amount of food when you feed them, don’t overfeed.
  4. Socialise your dog before their vaccinations. If they are not a large puppy I always took them out in a holdall zipped up with just their head out so they can see and get used to all the traffic noise. You are right up close to them to assure them. Hang the bag around your neck at your front. Once allowed down on the ground, I took my puppies to my local town on market day, making sure they got used to the air brakes on buses.
  5. Bonfire night. It seems fireworks/bangers are being set off before the 5th November. Rather than going to the vet and asking for calming pills, there is a C.D. you can buy especially for dogs. You play it at home in the evenings prior to the 5th starting the sounds low, then gradually increase the noise over a period of a few weeks so they get used to the noise.
  6. Allowing the dogs on furniture and on or in your bed is up to you, if you have guests they are not really happy sitting on dog hairs. As for the bed, if the dog picks up mites running through long grass in the summer, then you will get badly bitten and itchy and the sheets will need changing.
  7. Always remember if you allow a dog to do something just once, their mindset is they are allowed to do it all the time. It is always bad manners to feed your dog from the table, there is nothing worse than a begging drooling and dribbling dog.
  8. If you take your dog out regularly, at least three times a day, they probably will not use the garden when is an asset if you have young children there is nothing worse than poo covered shoes.
  9. Brush and clean your dog regularly checking their paws for cuts and ears especially if they flap down as they are more prone to get infection not being open to the air. If you buy a Beardie a Mason Pearson brush is best. It is expensive but should last the whole of your dog’s life. It is also good to practice opening your dog’s mouth, so when the vet needs to do it, there shouldn’t be a problem. Cleaning their teeth regularly, you will avoid the expense of your dog having an anaesthetic to have them cleaned to stop decay and bad breath.
  10. Whether you buy a pedigree dog or a mixed breed, you should consider insuring with a good pet insurance company and remember once they reach ten years old the premium greatly increases.

 

About the author:Joyce Ives

 

Ever since she was a young girl, Joyce Ives has had a soft spot in her heart for dogs. So when the time came, she decided to leave her full time job to become an owner to her very first Bearded Collie – Kizzy. After this initial decision, they soon became owners to three other beautiful Beardies – Emma, Muffin and Solei. Unfortunately, due to ill health, both Joyce and John no longer look after any dogs but Joyce will always dream of owning more. Joyce now resides in Seaford, East Sussex, and is glad to finally have had time to write her first book.

 

 

I’d like to say another huge thank you to Joyce, for writing such a heartwarming book (and a highly informative blog post for my readers!).

Have you ever owned any Beardies, or do you favour a different breed?

Alyce

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Blog tour: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

Blog tour: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon. A debut novel widely agreed to be one of the most anticipated novels of 2018, it’s an honour to have been invited to participate – a huge thank you to Grace […]

Review: SLAY by Kim Curran

Review: SLAY by Kim Curran

‘Slay did two things, and they did them well. Play killer music and kick demon butt. Music done. It was butt-kicking time.’  If you love One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer and McFly, you’ll love Slay. JD, Tom, Connor, Niv and Zek are the next […]

Blog tour: Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser

Blog tour: Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser

Welcome to the first of two blog tours which I’m taking part in today.

The two titles couldn’t be much further apart – this is a book aimed at young school children, while I’m also on the blog tour for C.J. Skuse’s second adult crime novel, In Bloom. Check back in an hour or so to see that post!

But first up is Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser, an adorable rhyme-filled picture book which teaches little ones how to respect the shared stationery at school so that everyone can have fun playing with it (and the stationery can feel happier, too!).

About the book:

Love the Stationery in Your Classroom by Rebecca Palliser

This delightful little book encourages children to learn about – and have fun with – the stationery they encounter in the classroom. Author Rebecca Palliser wants to help all children to find their feet in the primary school classroom.

After reading Love the Stationery in Your Classroom, I decided to give it 3 stars.

I wasn’t expecting it to be a rhyming story, so when I started reading it out to my daughter I was delighted. The story is simple but effective: the stationery in the classroom are fed up with being treated terribly by the children they’re there to help, so they write them a letter asking them to consider being more respectful.

All the best picture books have a moral and although teaching children to act responsibly isn’t a unique lesson, it’s delivered in a light-hearted and fun way that doesn’t make it sound like a boring lesson to learn.

My only complaint about Love the Stationery in Your Classroom is that I wish there had been more images. The pictures of the stationery are very whimsical, their happy faces at odds with the sadness that they’re feeling, and they’re very visually pleasing.

However, there are two rhymes on each page! If it had been separated so that each rhyme had its own separate page, it would have showcased the different types of stationery better. It also would make the book less daunting for a young child to read on their own, because the language isn’t very complex but having a lot of text on one page could be off-putting.

I’m definitely going to be keeping hold of this picture book to show to my daughter when she’s a little older and getting ready to go to school. She’s only a few months old and she loved the voices which I gave to all of the different characters – I’m sure she’ll enjoy it even more when she can appreciate the adorable artwork.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Love the Stationery in Your Classroom, click on the cover to check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

About the author: Rebecca Palliser

Rebecca Palliser is a young primary school teacher whose experiences in the classroom inspired her to write to have an influence on her pupils.

 

She is about to embark on a Masters programme where she hopes to continue to write alongside her studies.

 

She takes inspiration for her stories from her travels exploring different cultures and cities, spending time with her little dog Darcy and of course her biggest muse, the delightful pupils she is fortunate to teach.

 

 

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faye Rogers, for organising the blog tour for Love the Stationery in Your Classroom, and to Rebecca Palliser for writing such a cute story.

Alyce

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Review: My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas

Review: My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas

“I don’t really know what sort of person I am,” I say. “But I think it’s time to find out.”  Holly and Ed both use their local swimming pool as a way to escape from the things that are troubling them. Holly’s mum started hoarding […]