Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #therapydog – Millie goes to Uni 2017 by Annabelle Franklin


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the final post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now but lives on in the hearts and minds of her pack.

Millie goes to Uni 2017 by Annabelle Franklin

It’s exam time at Swansea University. I’ve been helping to de-stress the students, along with other dogs from Greyhound Rescue Wales, as part of the CBSA Best Friends project. Our humans hand out treats for the students to give us, then the students get to play with us and absorb our calming energy.

CBSA 1

The first session took place outside so we could enjoy the sunshine. It’s not a very good shot of me, is it? You can just see my bum on the far right.

To be fair, no one could get a good shot of me because I kept wandering off. I was trying to avoid a terrier who’d come along with one of the sighthounds – he kept kicking off and starting fights. Also, being a literate Lurcher, I wanted to check out the University. I’d almost managed to get into one of the buildings when I was caught and brought back to the garden. I tried to explain I was thinking of enrolling, but no one was listening.

I got a chance to see inside two weeks later. The weather had turned nasty, so we were in We were inside

I don’t think I helped the students much. We literary types can be quite introverted, and I’m no exception. I didn’t mind the humans, but there were far too many boisterous dogs around for my liking. They didn’t seem to understand the treats were for the students to hand out. When Annabelle opened the treat bag, she was mobbed by a gang of Greyhounds before she could get anywhere near the students.

This guy was particularly scary!

Scary guy

I felt quite intimidated, and I’m ashamed to say I spent most of the evening hiding in the corner.

Hiding in the corner

I noticed a student on his own in the opposite corner. He didn’t seem to want to move away from the door – I suspect he felt as nervous as I did – so I went across to say hello.

Helpful Millie 2

Helpful Millie

Snip and Freda were more chilled, and enjoyed the attention.

Snip did well

Freda did well too

All in all, it’s been an interesting adventure, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. I’m going to try helping out in care homes. Only quiet dogs are allowed to visit the people there – and, as Pearl has so kindly pointed out, they’re more my age group.

Helpful Millie 3

©Annabelle Franklin 2017

About Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, ‘Gateway to Magic’ and ‘The Slapstyx’. Her short story ‘Mercy Dog’ has been published in award-winning anthology ‘Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918′ (Accent Press). She is a member of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, and her short story ‘Haunted by the Future’ appears in the Circle’s 2016 horror anthology ‘Dark Gathering’.

Annabelle lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast. She shares her chalet home with two rescued sighthounds and blogs from the Literate Lurcher, well her two lovely hounds do.. Pearl and Millie.. quite the pair.

Books by Annabelle Franklin ** Gateway to Magic FREE JULY Smashwords

One of the reviews for Gateway to Magic on Goodreads

Apr 06, 2017 Thehappymeerkat rated it five stars

Steven Topcliff loves nothing more than sitting at home and playing videogames. But when his cousin Tracy visits she entices him to take a trip to the woods and when there she dares him to press a big red button. But what will happen if he presses it, and will he dare to do it?

I can’t believe how much I loved this book! ‘Gateway to Magic’ is an amazing fantasy adventure that reminds me a lot of tales like Alice in Wonderland. Steven’s cousin Tracy is an annoying girl and dares him to press a button which will take him to Fairyland. He doesn’t want to do it but he doesn’t want to appear scared either. The story is told in the third person and is so well imagined, I’m really amazed at how enjoyable this book really was.

It’s not really a spoiler to say that Steven does press the button and ends up in Fairyland. The adventure starts right away when Steven meets a strange character and there’s never a dull moment after that. The tale moves across different locations in Fairyland, the action is quick but you never get confused over where you are despite the fact that there are so many strange and unusual things about Fairyland. Along the way Steven has several adventures, all the while trying to get back home. These adventures are all so well imagined and so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down, constantly trying to see what happened next!

The characters in the story are well thought out, I particularly love Nigel and all the scenes with him. Not only are his circumstances funny but because of what he is, there are constant funny moment throughout the book. Steven’s character is an interesting one that many kids will recognise even though he’s not always that likeable. However I liked the way he developed through the story and it’s something some kids might recognise in themselves too.

I won’t go into any details about the rest of the story but it is really amazing with so much happening and a brilliantly good ending that is very satisfying. I liked the interesting twist of the question at the end. This story really has an amazing and almost ‘Alice in Wonderland’ wacky feel to it. Franklin has done an amazing job of creating a tale and fantasy world that is so, detailed, so different, and yet believable. I actually read and finished this book in one day I was that engrossed.

I’d really recommend this book to any keen readers of fantasy. Though aimed at children some adults with an imaginative mind might enjoy reading this too, I certainly did! It’s a brilliant book from start to finish and made all the more interesting by the videogame element. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s work!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle

Blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabelle.franklin.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anabel1Franklin

My thanks to Annabelle for inviting me to share from her archives, and I hope you will head over to explore more for yourselves. Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck #wartime – Mercy Dogs 2014 by Annabelle Franklin


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now but lives on in the hearts and minds of her pack. In this post Annabelle pays tribute to the dogs who accompany soldiers into war and offer so much more than essential companionship.

 Mercy Dogs 2014 by Annabelle Franklin

Human wars are crazy affairs, with people getting together in great packs and tearing each other apart. We didn’t know until recently that animals have to take part in this lunacy, with no choice in the matter.

Back in ancient times, 700 dog years ago, there was a Great War with packs of humans from all over the planet all fighting each other. Like I said, a crazy business. Imagine that happening in the dog world!

In the Great War, dogs were used for all sorts of tasks on the battlefield. ‘Mercy’ dogs carried saddlebags full of medical supplies to wounded soldiers. If a soldier was dying, a Mercy dog would often sit with him to the end, giving comfort and easing his journey to the next world. We dogs are good at that.

Annabelle’s story Mercy Dog appears in a book of great stories about the Great War, written by members of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle and published by Accent Press. Also included is a piece called The Purple Poppy by J.J. Moffat, who writes about other animals involved in the War – horses, cats, pigeons, even glow-worms and slugs!

The book is called Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918 and you can get it Here

Unforgotten cover

I’m glad Pearl and I will never have to go to war. Somehow I don’t think we’d cope with it, especially Pearl with her fear of loud noises.

Mercy Dog photo found Here

©Annabelle Franklin 2014

About Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, ‘Gateway to Magic’ and ‘The Slapstyx’. Her short story ‘Mercy Dog’ has been published in award-winning anthology ‘Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918′ (Accent Press). She is a member of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, and her short story ‘Haunted by the Future’ appears in the Circle’s 2016 horror anthology ‘Dark Gathering’.

Annabelle lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast. She shares her chalet home with two rescued sighthounds and blogs from the Literate Lurcher, well her two lovely hounds do.. Pearl and Millie.. quite the pair.

Books by Annabelle Franklin ** Gateway to Magic FREE JULY Smashwords

One of the reviews for Gateway to Magic on Goodreads

Apr 06, 2017 Thehappymeerkat rated it five stars

Steven Topcliff loves nothing more than sitting at home and playing videogames. But when his cousin Tracy visits she entices him to take a trip to the woods and when there she dares him to press a big red button. But what will happen if he presses it, and will he dare to do it?

I can’t believe how much I loved this book! ‘Gateway to Magic’ is an amazing fantasy adventure that reminds me a lot of tales like Alice in Wonderland. Steven’s cousin Tracy is an annoying girl and dares him to press a button which will take him to Fairyland. He doesn’t want to do it but he doesn’t want to appear scared either. The story is told in the third person and is so well imagined, I’m really amazed at how enjoyable this book really was.

It’s not really a spoiler to say that Steven does press the button and ends up in Fairyland. The adventure starts right away when Steven meets a strange character and there’s never a dull moment after that. The tale moves across different locations in Fairyland, the action is quick but you never get confused over where you are despite the fact that there are so many strange and unusual things about Fairyland. Along the way Steven has several adventures, all the while trying to get back home. These adventures are all so well imagined and so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down, constantly trying to see what happened next!

The characters in the story are well thought out, I particularly love Nigel and all the scenes with him. Not only are his circumstances funny but because of what he is, there are constant funny moment throughout the book. Steven’s character is an interesting one that many kids will recognise even though he’s not always that likeable. However I liked the way he developed through the story and it’s something some kids might recognise in themselves too.

I won’t go into any details about the rest of the story but it is really amazing with so much happening and a brilliantly good ending that is very satisfying. I liked the interesting twist of the question at the end. This story really has an amazing and almost ‘Alice in Wonderland’ wacky feel to it. Franklin has done an amazing job of creating a tale and fantasy world that is so, detailed, so different, and yet believable. I actually read and finished this book in one day I was that engrossed.

I’d really recommend this book to any keen readers of fantasy. Though aimed at children some adults with an imaginative mind might enjoy reading this too, I certainly did! It’s a brilliant book from start to finish and made all the more interesting by the videogame element. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s work!

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle

Blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabelle.franklin.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anabel1Franklin

My thanks to Annabelle for inviting me to share from her archives, and I hope you will head over to explore more for yourselves. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Greyhounds – Brother from Another Mother by Annabelle Franklin


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher.. or perhaps I should say Pearl and Millie do…sadly Millie has now passed on over the rainbow bridge, but as you will see she was a wonderful companion. This post is from 2016 and introduces us to some of the pack.

Brother from Another Mother by Annabelle Franklin

No, you’re not seeing double – the one on the left is Tommy, Snip’s new BFF.

https://annabellefranklinauthor.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/a-img_20151016_161604448.jpg

Tommy is a young black Lurcher who lives with one of our neighbours, and he and Snip have become best buddies. Tommy hero-worships Snip, and Snip laps up the admiration. They call each other ‘Snipster’ and ‘Tomster’, and when the two of them are together Pearl and I might as well not exist. Snip doesn’t even come to the house any more, and we suspect this is because he has more fun at Tommy’s.

I can accept their bromance, as my relationship with Snip is long over; but Pearl’s nose is firmly out of joint. A long nose to be out of joint.

A long nose out of joint

She hates it when they go hunting together and leave her behind. The other day when the four of us were out together, Snip and Tommy disappeared into the undergrowth on the far side of the bay. Pearl waited for them to come back, then shot off into the undergrowth herself. She was gone a long time, long enough to get us all worried. Eventually the boys could stand it no longer and went in after her, whereupon she trotted calmly into view, batting her eyelashes, delighted she’d got their attention.

A Pearly Princess

Normally I’d be calling her a drama queen, but for once I’m on her side. Since teaming up with Tommy, Snip has developed a decidedly sexist attitude and I can’t approve of sexism in any shape or form. He won’t race with Pearl any more because he doesn’t like the idea of being beaten by a girl – if she shows any sign of getting ahead, he plants himself firmly in her way and gives her a mouthful of abuse.

Walk away, Pearl,’ I tell her. ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea.’ But Pearl refuses to give up on Snip; one way or another, she’s determined to join the gang. She’s even changed the spelling of her name to ‘Prl’ in an attempt to be cool. It makes me sad to see my once proud sister reduced to this. Even if they accept her, it doesn’t mean they’ll respect her – she’ll just be their bitch. I’ve told her this, and I’ve told the boys they’re a pair of sexist so-and-so’s, but who listens to me these days? Pearl says I’m bitter because Snip dumped me, and the boys just think I’m a grumpy old woman.

Grumpy old Millie

Grumpy old Millie

It’ll end in tears, I’m sure – and I’m the one who’ll have to pick up the pieces.

©Annabelle Franklin 2016

About Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, ‘Gateway to Magic’ and ‘The Slapstyx’. Her short story ‘Mercy Dog’ has been published in award-winning anthology ‘Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918′ (Accent Press). She is a member of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, and her short story ‘Haunted by the Future’ appears in the Circle’s 2016 horror anthology ‘Dark Gathering’.

Annabelle lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast. She shares her chalet home with two rescued sighthounds and blogs from the Literate Lurcher, well her two lovely hounds do.. Pearl and Millie.. quite the pair.

Books by Annabelle Franklin ** Gateway to Magic FREE JULY Smashwords

One of the reviews for The Slapstyx

The Slapstyx was written for 8-10 year olds so, of course, I had to read it aloud with all my girls (ages 3, 5 and 8) to see what they would think.

I, as the adult, liked the set up of the book. The ocean is being harmed by super strong, super bad cleaning products and two sisters need to help stop it. That on it’s own could have been a bit much for young girls. BUT if the super cleaner is full of dark magic, the goblins are making the dirt and the dolphin spirits are getting hurt by the overfed plankton monsters. Well, that makes it a lot more approachable and fun!

The three year old, was interested in the mermaid type creatures (dolphinae) and that’s about it. She is three and there’s no pictures, what can you expect?

My five year old snuggled in very close during some of the goblin encounters but was always the first to want to hear what happened next.

The only reason she was the one begging the loudest is because the eight year old kept going to bed with my kindle to read ahead so she already knew what happened next, but she sat at attention to listen every night!

Would we recommend it?

My eight year old girl says girls in her class would like it because it has mermaids in it and the boys would like it because of the goblins. All the girls agreed that the goblins were a little scary, though never scary enough to stop reading. But by far the best recommendation comes from my five year old. We had two chapters to go when she said, “Mom, can you finish the book tonight and then read it again?” a sentiment that was silently echoed by her older sister who took the book off to bed to re-read after we were done.Rosie’s Book Review team 1

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle

Blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabelle.franklin.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anabel1Franklin

My thanks to Annabelle for inviting me to share from her archives, and I hope you will head over to explore more for yourselves. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Greyhounds – Sorry I’m Late! 2018 by Annabelle Franklin


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now, but in this post from January 2019 it is clear that she is still very much in the hearts and minds of those she left behind.

pearl barking

I was sad when Millie crossed the Bridge last year, because I couldn’t follow her, and I thought that meant I wouldn’t see her again. But on New Year’s Eve, something strange happened.

We were getting ready to go out, and I was excited because we were going to a dinner party at Snip and Frieda’s. Suddenly, the excitement drained out of me and I had a strong urge to lie down on Millie’s bed (which is still in the living room). I found myself lying in an awkward crouch, like a cricket, which was the exact position Millie used to lie in when she was old and hurting. I could feel her presence all around me, though I couldn’t see her.

It could have been down to too much party food, but that night I had a dream that felt even more real than when I’m awake. I was out on a walk with Snip and Frieda, and I found Millie walking beside me. I said, ‘How come I can see you? I didn’t think I was allowed across the Bridge.’ Millie said, ‘You can’t come to my side, but I can come to yours.’

clyne gardens 025

Since then I’ve met Millie several times in dreams, and she always looks young, healthy and happy. I asked her why I couldn’t see her when I was awake, and she said, ‘How do you know you’re not awake now?’ I said, ‘This is a dream. I want to see you again in real life.’ But she just said, ‘The place where we meet is more real than “real” life.’

Lately our conversations have taken a more practical turn – she’s nagging me about this month’s post. I told her I’ve been busy helping Annabelle with her latest book. ‘I’ve been astral travelling to Storyland and bringing back ideas, like you taught me,’ I said. ‘That’s good!’ she said. ‘But you mustn’t neglect our blog. Our readers will expect a post from you at least once a month.’

This isn’t going to be easy. Last month I had a lot to say, but this month I seem to have run out of ideas. I’m hoping it’s just the January blues, because I don’t want to let Millie down when she’s taught me so well.

After all, if it wasn’t for her, I’d still be talking Doglish!

Pearl Castle 02

Greyhound Rescue Wales have used my photo as the cover image on their Facebook page! Visit and like their page here.

Header and end photo Debra Allen Photography

©Annabelle Franklin 2019

About Annabelle Franklin

Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, ‘Gateway to Magic’ and ‘The Slapstyx’. Her short story ‘Mercy Dog’ has been published in award-winning anthology ‘Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918′ (Accent Press). She is a member of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, and her short story ‘Haunted by the Future’ appears in the Circle’s 2016 horror anthology ‘Dark Gathering’.

Annabelle lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast. She shares her chalet home with two rescued sighthounds and blogs from the Literate Lurcher, well her two lovely hounds do.. Pearl and Millie.. quite the pair.

Books by Annabelle Franklin ** Gateway to Magic FREE JULY Smashwords

One of the reviews for The Slapstyx

The Slapstyx was written for 8-10 year olds so, of course, I had to read it aloud with all my girls (ages 3, 5 and 8) to see what they would think.

I, as the adult, liked the set up of the book. The ocean is being harmed by super strong, super bad cleaning products and two sisters need to help stop it. That on it’s own could have been a bit much for young girls. BUT if the super cleaner is full of dark magic, the goblins are making the dirt and the dolphin spirits are getting hurt by the overfed plankton monsters. Well, that makes it a lot more approachable and fun!

The three year old, was interested in the mermaid type creatures (dolphinae) and that’s about it. She is three and there’s no pictures, what can you expect?

My five year old snuggled in very close during some of the goblin encounters but was always the first to want to hear what happened next.

The only reason she was the one begging the loudest is because the eight year old kept going to bed with my kindle to read ahead so she already knew what happened next, but she sat at attention to listen every night!

Would we recommend it?

My eight year old girl says girls in her class would like it because it has mermaids in it and the boys would like it because of the goblins. All the girls agreed that the goblins were a little scary, though never scary enough to stop reading. But by far the best recommendation comes from my five year old. We had two chapters to go when she said, “Mom, can you finish the book tonight and then read it again?” a sentiment that was silently echoed by her older sister who took the book off to bed to re-read after we were done.Rosie’s Book Review team 1

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annabelle-Franklin/e/B00CHL8RF0

And read more reviews and follow Annabelle on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin

Connect to Annabelle

Blog: http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabelle.franklin.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anabel1Franklin

My thanks to Annabelle for inviting me to share from her archives, and I hope you will head over to explore more for yourselves. Sally.