Dahlia and friends take a bow

Dahlia’s Pet Detectives (Dalia si micii detectivi) will be in the spotlight at the end of next week (Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June) when my new book is launched at Bucuresti’s Bookfest (Romexpo).

If you read Floss the lost puppy, you’ll recognise the village of Fân (Hay) where Dahlia and Chip are neighbours and schoolmates of Thea and Tudor Thimble. A completely new story, but set in the same Transylvanian village, high up in the Carpathian Mountains.

I have a Pinterest board devoted to pictures of cats like Onyx, and crows like Gossip. So you can see what Dahlia’s friends look like as you read their adventures…

I’ll be waiting to meet you on the Booklet Fiction stand on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at midday, ready to sign your copies. Come and say hello!

Read more about Dahlia and her friends here!Dalia cover

Official: I’m an eccentric, says Kanal D

screen shot of KanalD

Another little TV slot – this time on Kanal D – which has brought some more enthusiastic Romanians to my digital door. Thank you, Kanal D!

I love the caption to my silliest photo (can you see I’m typing in ski mitts?): “She gave a kingdom for a Romanian hamlet.”

George Cat, Papi Dog, my neighbour Georgi and her two cows all appear. Let me know what you think…

 

 

Digi24 comes to tea

Beautiful TV presenter Ioana Mihalca and her expert crew came to see me in Magura last month, and made a charming 8-minute film from their afternoon’s visit. They also talked to my neighbour Roxana, and my friends from Zarnesti, Dan and Luminita Marin.

The resulting film was broadcast on the show Bonton at the end of November.

What do you think?

 

Help me save a dog for Christmas!

Floss cover 2I’m donating royalties from my new book, Floss the lost puppy, to two fabulous animal charities here in Romania.

Every book you buy will help save a dog (or a cat) that is homeless, sick or injured.

Romania Animal Rescue is an amazing group of vets at the Centre of Hope in Bucharest – see what they do every day to save dogs and cats.

Eli Pet Transport is a Romanian-British charity that rescues dogs from all over Romania, socialises them till they’re ready for a new home, then takes them to the UK to their new families.

All the people involved are stellar human beings who have devoted their lives, their homes, their careers to the welfare of cats and dogs.

If you love animals, buy a book, donate direct to their websites, spread the word about what they do, teach kids about the value of pets and how to care for them – help in any way you can…

Thank you!!!

PS: You can find out more about Floss on his website, and read reviews of the book here.

Is it safe to publish?

The latest Floss review came in today, from Alex Tatulescu who lives near London. I hope you can read the image – it’s so nice to read his letter as he wrote it.

Alex Tatulescu review

In case the image isn’t quite clear enough, you can read his review here.

And yes, Alex, I’ve already started the next book. It’s set in the same village, but it’s a very different story! Funny, and a bit bonkers, with some proper baddies. I don’t know when it will be published, but keep your fingers crossed!

Come to the launch of Floss’s book!

I’d love to see you! I’ll be on Booklet Fiction’s stand at Romexpo from midday on Friday 24th, and at lunchtime on Saturday, too. Come and say hello, and get your books signed.

A perfect Christmas story, set in the mountains near Brasov. A bilingual edition, so a great read for Romanian and English-speaking kids aged 7+.

Readers of all ages love the book – read some reviews!

FLOSS launch invitation

 

 

11 lessons I learned from my cat

This is George Cat. He is a ginger guru, and I love to learn from his natural, unaffected wisdom.

He lives with me in a remote mountain village in Transylvania, along with his brother, sister, and mother. As you can see from the photos, George is a live wire, except when he’s dead to the world. He’s sweet-natured (as they all are), ridiculously happy, curious, persistent, optimistic, opportunistic, loving, affectionate, entrepreneurial, funny, and magnificently beautiful.

George teaches me something every day. Here are eleven of his life lessons that we should all remember.

Number 1 – family comes first

George loves his family. With his sister and his brother, he was born to his mama Hobbs here in my study in 2011, and they haven’t been separated since. Family is very important to George, even he does have the occasional spat.

Number 2 – get plenty of exercise

Always make time for physical activity. You can dance by yourself in the snow, you can take a hike in the mountains, you can use a chair for some gym work, or you can race your mum to breakfast…

Number 3 – get plenty of sleep

Slumber in peaceful solitude, or catnap with friends. If you get enough rest you’ll have all the energy you need to life life to the full.

IMG_4048_2Number 4 – be honest

Never be afraid to say what you really think, even if it’s a controversial opinion.

A year ago today (8th November) I’d asked George what he thought of the new orange incumbent of the White House. Despite sharing hair colour, George told me precisely what he thought of America’s choice.

 

IMG_5093Number 5 – take no notice of big egos

Don’t be intimidated by flashy loudmouths. You can ignore people who think they’re cock of the walk just because they are snazzy dressers and like the sound of their own voices. More often than not, underneath the fine feathers, they are chicken.

Number 6 – take your work seriously

IMG_2734

You must never miss an opportunity to hunt out a tasty deal, and be persistent in persuading people to your way of thinking. Persistence, for an entrepreneur like George, is critical. He doesn’t take offence when his advances are rejected; he just keeps trying. Never say never, says George.

 

Number 7 – never stop learning

Hobbs and George's climbing lessonAlways take advice from experts. Whether you’re young and on a steep learning curve in life, or whether you’re mature but still eager to advance your development, seek out those who can teach you something worth knowing. Your mum is always a good place to start. Mums know best.

Number 8 – always be kind to children

George meets Mango & Fig

especially if they’re lost, lonely and frightened. When hungry youngsters appear at your door and want to share your sofa, your toys and your breakfast, give them a warm welcome, even if it’s difficult. It can hard letting strangers into your life, but offering a friendly paw can bring many rewards.

 

Number 9 – be curious

Explore new situations, meet new people, investigate potential opportunities. Even if they go wrong, explorations are always worthwhile, even if they’re sometimes scary; at the very least you’ll learn something of value: don’t do that again!

Number 10 – be magnificent

Remember – you are the culmination of evolution. You are the savannah cheetah, the jungle tiger, the mountain lion and the snow leopard. You carry the memories and wisdom of all your kind. Never forget how unique and remarkable you are.

Number 11 – above all, laugh

Be daft. to hell with dignity. Fill your life with happiness and be thoroughly adorable. Life is short so live it with joy.

Which of George’s lessons do you like best? What lessons does your cat or dog teach you? Do tell me in a comment. Send George a message!

IMG_1002 george on pylon

 

English kids love Floss’s story

A review just in from Julie Whyman in York (UK), who read the book Floss the lost puppy to a group of excitable 5-9 yr olds:

“What a wonderful, engaging romp through Transylvania, via England and Wales: it has made us all want to leave a windy and dismal Yorkshire to jump into waist-high snow in the enchanting environs of Hay. You have a brilliant knack of creating believable characters so deftly and sympathetically that you feel as if they could walk off the page and give you a sneaky hug. We all loved it and can’t wait for the sequel!”

Read the whole review, and all the others in so far, here.

A 25-star review from Robbie

Robbie MelinteRobbie, aged 6, from Galati, loved my new book Floss the lost puppy. This is part of his review:

“I felt most like Thea when she was scared of Floss at first but then started to love him, this has happened to me lots of times too with stray dogs that turn up at our house. I felt really sad and wanted to cry when Floss had to leave… The book was really nice and made me feel happy. I would like to go to the mountains and build a snowman. I think that children of my age and much older children would like it, girls and boys. I give it 5 stars but would like to give it 25!”

book cover Floss the lost puppy

Floss will be published in November 2017 and launched at the Gaudeamus book fair in Bucharest (23-26 November). Watch this space for news of exact day and time.

Come and say hello, get your book signed, and if you’re lucky, win a prize!

To learn more about Floss, Thea and the Thimbles, have a look at their blog, here.

The fish thieves

Two cats trying to steal fish
George and Buster, cat burglars

Cats = opportunists. We know this. I try to discourage my small clan to desist, but when there’s fresh fish, freshly cooked and sitting on the counter top, all law-abiding morals go out of the feline window. George and Buster are determined to help themselves to the kitten’s supper as it cools…