Gateway to Magic

Gateway to Magic gets a thumbs-up from author and book blogger Kevin Cooper – visit his blog for the full review. You might also like to check out his books! I particularly enjoyed his moving ‘Miedo’ series, detailing the struggles of a young boy living in a dysfunctional family.

Author & Songwriter Kevin Cooper

Steven Topcliff loves gaming but doesn’t believe in fairies or magic – until tricky cousin Tracy drags him away from his game console and gets him to press a red button on a mysterious stone they find in the local park. The stone turns out to be a one-way gateway to Fairyland, where nature rules supreme and technology is banned by law.
Lost without his video games, Steven struggles to survive in this scary new world. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly. The Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. And the truth about Tracy is terrible indeed. Homesick and horrified, Steven is desperate to escape.
Ignorant of the rules, it’s not long before he breaks them and ends up in the…

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Wordless Wednesday: Bliss

Frieda and Pearl in riverPearl drinkingHappy Pearl

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Storm Gareth

Pearl reading

Pearl beams her thoughts onto the page

We’ve lost another tree from the front garden – all thanks to Storm Gareth.

We dogs are closer to Nature than humans. We can see things most humans can’t, including the elementals who control the weather – and Gareth was aptly named. To me, he looked like a monster rugby player.

Rugby players are big, strong, powerful and fast. They plough through the opposition like tanks and don’t let anything stand in their way. Recently the Welsh team has been storming its way through the Six Nations tournament, and last week Gareth came storming through our garden, hell-bent on annihilating all obstacles. He had a particular grudge against the hawthorn tree, and after several days of constant battering, it fell over onto next door’s electricity cable and had to be taken down.

Storms, trees and cables are not a good mix. Our garden used to look like this:

Garden before Gareth

Now it looks like this:

Gareth wrecks the garden

When the conifers came down a while back, the fairies were angry and made life quite difficult for a while. I hope they realise this latest tree death was Gareth’s fault, and go after him instead of us!

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A Book Review: Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

I always like to give a bark-out to my fellow canine authors, and this book by Sam the Collie looks like a winner! Who doesn’t love sausages and cheese?

Once Upon a Time....

“Entertaining humans for cheese is a bit daft really, but cheese is cheese!” Wise words from Sam: a smart, talented, handsome, and very entertaining Collie, who, in my opinion, is the spitting image of Lassie.

Author, Sally Cronin writes, through the eyes of her beloved Collie, Sam. It is a poignant, funny, and oh so entertaining story about life with Sam.

Sam tells us about his life, and what it is like growing up dog. I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with Sam! And so will you! 

Sam is very literate, he did narrate this book, after all. Sam’s memoir: Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story, is a truly incredible life story of his life as a Collie. He narrates poignantly about his first memories of being a puppy, his incredible curiosity of the world around him, as well as his travels, mishaps, and friendships, and about…

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The internet is an exciting place for kids, but it has it has its dangers too. This Mum has a serious warning about something nasty that has surfaced in children’s chat rooms.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

This week I’ve learnt a lot about the internet.

I mean, I’m not stupid, I know there is a lot of terrible stuff on there and I know that perverts, paedophiles, sadist…let’s not go on, you get the idea, are all on there looking for their next victim.

Worse than me learning a lot about the internet is lovely  ten year old Munki learning about it. She lives here with us and has for the last four years but in my head she is still a four year old innocent. That’s probably why I found this so shocking.

Having been so thrilled about getting her own phone as recently as Christmas. It has now been taken away from her. The reason being that she has spent 90% of her time since getting it sitting alone in a corner chatting to people she doesn’t know and forming relationships with them.


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Nightmare Hair #dreamdeeply

Have you ever wondered why you can go to bed with perfectly tidy hair and yet wake up in the morning looking like you’ve swapped heads with Worzel Gummidge? Maybe you thought it was down to tossing and turning in your sleep. But look again. Can mere tossing and turning really explain such a hideous mess?

Nightmare Hair

Of course not. The real cause is much more sinister. You’ve been a victim of THE GOBLIN HAIRDRESSER.

This loathsome creature sneaks into your home at night armed with an array of instruments designed to ruin your day from the outset. While you sleep, he washes your hair in cat pee and conditions it with slug slime. Then he splits every single end with his supernaturally sharp scissors. Then he dries it with a hairdryer that belts out 1000 degrees. Then he crimps and tongs it into a ludicrous construction of bulges, kinks and spikes, before backcombing it into an explosion of frizz. Finally, he smothers it in hairspray that sets like cement, ensuring you’ll waste several fruitless hours struggling to restore it to sanity…

…and he always does it the night before your have to be somewhere important, with tidy hair, first thing in the morning.

Goblin Hairdresser 3

So next time you have a bad hair day, you’ll know who to blame.









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Sorry I’m Late!

pearl barking

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?

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

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Items for the Cosmic Dustbin, please!


Hi, Pearl here! Thanks to Millie’s excellent tuition I am now a thoroughly sophisticated and literate Greyhound in my own right, so I’d like to tell you a bit about Annabelle’s work in progress.

In the third book of the Bad Boy Wizard series, Charlie (the Bad Boy of the title) visits the Cosmic Dustbin. This is the part of the astral plane where Bad Ideas live – everything from plastic packaging to wicked war weapons, not to mention all manner of evil pranks and scams.

Here Charlie meets the Cosmic Trickster, lounging on a MFC (Made For Christmas) sofa. MFC sofas are specially designed to fall apart after a year so humans can have the pleasure of buying a new couch every Christmas.

Dog on exploding couch

Not my image

I get very attached to a cosy couch, so naturally I want it to last. I can’t understand people who replace their sofa every year. In my view, a couch that goes wrong after one year is a really rubbish idea, and definitely belongs in the Cosmic Dustbin.

What would you put in the Cosmic Dustbin? Maybe you could ask your kids what they would put in – it would really help Annabelle with her book.

Pearl House 02

I hope you have a fabulous Yuletide, whatever you’re sitting on!

Santa Pearl pic Debra Allen Photography


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Sponsor a Greyhound for Christmas

Guess what? I’ve been selected to be the face of Greyhound Rescue Wales’s Sponsor a Dog Christmas appeal!

Pearl Castle 02

This time last year, wise little Millie wrote a post about Christmas presents. She pointed out that most humans have too much stuff already, without buying each other more. If you feel the same, you might prefer to sponsor a dog as a present for a friend. Your friend will get a Christmas card from yours truly to say thank you, and twice yearly updates from their chosen sponsor dog.

I can tell you now, a card from moi is not to be sniffed at. It’ll be worth a lot of money one day when I’m a world famous supermodel, and it’ll make a much better present than a unicorn shoe horn or an owl tea towel.

Pearl House 01

So go on – you know you want to! You can find out more about GRW sponsor dogs HERE

Photos Debra Allen Photography

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Pearl’s Tribute to Millie

As you know, Millie crossed the Rainbow Bridge last week. I didn’t realise what had happened at first – she looked just like she usually does when she flies off to the astral plane to hunt down ideas for stories. She ‘s been spending more and more time on the astral this year, so I didn’t think anything was wrong. It was only when I sniffed her body and realised it was as empty as an old coat that I suspected she’d left it for good.

My first instinct was to try and get her back. I lay down on the couch, left my own body and went after her. I could see her in the distance, running faster than she ever ran on Earth, towards a vast swirling tunnel of multicoloured light. I couldn’t keep up and soon lost sight of her. I had to come back alone.

The next day, the humans put her body to bed in the earth. Snip and Frieda came to the burial. It was a day of sunshine and showers, and the sky was full of rainbows. I knew then that she’d crossed the Bridge and wouldn’t be coming back.

There was something magical about Millie. Everyone who knew her fell in love with her. I used to get jealous, and I wasn’t always nice. Sometimes I would fart in her face, or push her aside if she was in my way. I used to wind her up and steal her boyfriends. I wish I hadn’t now; I should have appreciated her more. She was so kind to me when I first came here. I’d had a bad time and I was frightened of all sorts of things. Millie reassured me and helped me settle in. Most of all, she helped me realise the outside world isn’t always dangerous, so I learned to enjoy going for a walk instead of being terrified every time the lead was produced.

Millie was always on hand with wise advice, even if I didn’t always listen. When I stole Snip from her, she said, ‘If he can leave me for you, he could just as easily leave you for someone else.’  But when he did leave me (for Frieda), she didn’t say ‘I told you so’. She said I was so beautiful, I’d soon meet someone else – and she was right. But more of that another time.

Millie and I used to argue a lot, but we never fought. She was the best big sister I could have asked for, and it’s going to be lonely without her.

Dogs resting 3

I wish I hadn’t hogged all the toys



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