Categories
Book Reviews

The Littlest Leonberger Book

On this blog I’ve reviewed several good Leonberger books including:

Note the books above are Leonberger books that I do recommend. Here is a set of three more reviews for Leonberger books that I don’t recommend.

To this list I am adding another Leonberger book that could have been better; Leonberger: The Comprehensive Owners Guide For Costs, Feeding, Care, Grooming, Health, Nutrition, Breeding And Training Paperback – August 23, 2022 by by Ben Bradley. The book is 24 pages, kindle version 10 pages, and the current price on Amazon for the paperback is $7.66 and the Kindle is $3.00. ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8847969666, weight ‏ : ‎ 2.72 ounces and the dimensions ‎ 5 x 0.06 x 8 inches.

Photo of the book Leonberger by Ben Bradley.
The book Leonberger by Ben Bradley.

This is my review for the book

The World’s Littlest Leonberger Book

This is a very short book that takes 5-10 minutes to read. As a brief introduction to the Leonberger it is fairly good. It does not contain any obvious errors, which is unlike some other Leonberger books I’ve read, and the font is large, which is helpful to those with bad eyesight. So, to some I believe this book could be useful.

However, the title is misleading. This book is anything, but a “Comprehensive Owners Guide” and the book says nothing about costs, nutrition and breeding. It is not even a brief owner’s guide. The Product details states that it is 24 pages (Kindle version 10 pages), which is probably true if you include the blank pages. Considering the large print, and that the number of pages with text is 21, my guess is that the content of the book corresponds to maybe 6-7 pages of a book with normal sized font. The book contains no photos, no pictures, no illustrations and no details. The product details state that the categories are Veterinary Parasitology, Food Animals in Veterinary Medicine, Fish & Aquarium Care. The book never touches on any of those subjects, so the categories are wrong.

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com.

This is an image showing the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.

Categories
Book Reviews

Review of The Pup and The Pianist

As you know this blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but sometimes I write a review for a book or story that I find to be exceptional and therefore want to promote. Today, well it is after midnight so yesterday, I read a really fun and intriguing adventure novella by Sara Kjeldsen called “The Pup and The Pianist”. I wrote an Amazon review for it, and it showed up pretty quickly. It was a real page turner and therefore I would like to promote it. I bought the paperback version since I prefer that over Kindle. The Pup and The Pianist paperback version currently cost $12.99 on Amazon.com and is 86 pages. The kindle version cost $4.99 and is 70 pages. It was released January 5, 2018. The paper version is 6 x 0.22 x 9 inches, it weighs 5 ounces, and the ISBN number is 978-1976819599.  The ASIN number for the Kindle Edition is B078TMT9KX.

Photo of the front cover of The Pup and The Pianist by Sara Kjeldsen. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com page for the paperback version.
The front cover of The Pup and The Pianist by Sara Kjeldsen. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com page for the paperback version.

Below is my review of The Pup and The Pianist by Sara Kjeldsen. I also shared on my social media. Click here to go to my review.

War, Loss, Friendship and Captivating Adventure

This is a beautifully written and fast paced novella. Right from the start you are thrown into the Napoleonic wars as seen through the eyes of a young “powder monkey” on a British warship. A lot happens after that.

As I read it, I was reminded of when I read Treasure Island as a kid. That was a long time ago back in my native country of Sweden. I had the same feelings of anticipation and adventure all while the descriptions stimulated my imagination. However, the author of this book added another dimension represented by the emotions and thoughts that comes with a complicated and unlikely friendship, a friendship that developed despite initial extreme hostility, and compelled by the human instincts for companionship and survival. At the same time this novella is also a statement on the senselessness and cruelty of war. A side note: at least six million people died in the six Napoleonic wars.

The scenic descriptions were vivid and beautiful, the character development was excellent, the dialog was well crafted and realistic, and the story was truly captivating and unique. It was a true page turner, which is one reason I read this novella in one sitting this afternoon. Sara Kjeldsen is a truly gifted author and I highly recommend this novella.

Photo of the back cover of The Pup and The Pianist by Sara Kjeldsen. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com page for the Kindle version.
The back cover of The Pup and The Pianist by Sara Kjeldsen. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com page for the Kindle version.

Sara Kjeldsen is from Canada so her main market is likely Canada. Click here to go to the paper version on Canadian Amazon and click here to go to the Kindle version on Canadian Amazon.

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Finally, if you would like to learn about more about my book and find out where to buy it, click here or here. You can also click the image below to buy it from Amazon.com. The Kindle version is currently only $4.99.

Image showing the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Categories
Book Reviews

Leonberger Books I Don’t Recommend

On this blog I’ve reviewed several good Leonberger books including:

Note the books above are Leonberger books that I do recommend. I can add that the first book Leonberger by Caroline Bliss-Isberg is a masterpiece, but it is very expensive.

However, I’ve also read Leonberger books that have substantial issues and that I therefore cannot recommend. This blog is about them.

The problems with the books I am presenting below include that the author has never owned a Leonberger, the book is full of factual errors, it’s full of grammatical errors, spelling errors and other typos. In addition, two of the books were copy and paste operations. What I mean by that is that the author wrote a book about how to train a dog, any dog, for example a Pug, and then changed the word Pug to Leonberger (copy and replace) to create a Leonberger book. Of course, they needed to add a few Leonberger facts, that may or may not be correct. Repeat the process for 65 breeds, or 167 breeds. You can write hundreds of books in one day using this procedure. The last book was written by a Russian who obviously did not speak English and probably rammed Russian text through a mediocre translation app with comical results. Parts of the book was unreadable. None of the books had any photos or illustrations to make them more interesting.

They say that you should not slam the competition. It will come back and to haunt you. That’s true. However, I don’t think these authors are my competition because they are not “Leonberger people”, and they are unlikely to ever read this. Below I am presenting and reviewing three books which I have given three stars, two stars and one star respectively on Amazon.

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Photo of the front cover of the book: The Leonberger: A Complete and Comprehensive Owners Guide to: Buying, Owning, Health, Grooming, Training, Obedience, Understanding and Caring for Your Leonberger. By Michael Stone. Three stars.
The Leonberger: A Complete and Comprehensive Owners Guide to: Buying, Owning, Health, Grooming, Training, Obedience, Understanding and Caring for Your Leonberger. By Michael Stone. Three stars.

It was published July 4, 2019

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 112 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 978-1078136211

Weight ‏ is ‎ 6.2 ounces

The dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.28 x 9 inches

The price of the paperback is $8.00

Prcie of Kindle version is $2.99

Kindle unlimited is of course $0.00

Review below

A brief Dog Owner’s Manual with some Leonberger specific information, plus comical typos

This is a very basic book, about 14,000 words, no pictures or photos (other than the front page), and no diagrams or graphs, just text. However, considering that the printed version is eight dollars and the kindle version is free that is to be expected. The book should be judged accordingly. It is a simple and inexpensive book. The book description here on Amazon may not be entirely helpful. According to the “Final Thoughts” on the last page the author is planning to publish “multiple other dog care manuals …”. He is associated with the Dog Care Professionals organization. Based on the focus of the book and from what I can “read between the lines”, I am fairly certain the author has never owned a Leonberger and that he is not very familiar with the Leonberger breed or the community. For example, I don’t think he is part of the Leonberger Club of America. Maybe he can correct me if I am wrong.

However, where the author shines, is in his knowledge regarding the training of, and caring for dogs. I assume he is a professional dog trainer or a dog care professional. The book may not be a true Leonberger book, but it is useful for Leonberger owners none the less. We would have been helped by reading this book while training and caring for our Leonberger, or our German Shepherd, or our Pug, or our Labrador, or our Japanese Shin, or our Australian Shepherd, you get the picture. Therefore, the book is useful to Leonberger owners but may not be the best book for those specifically interested in the Leonberger breed.

I found the typos in the book a bit distracting. On page 74 he is giving a “Breif overview” and he is urging us to contact our local “Keenle Club” (my guess is that was supposed to be Kennel club), and “Heir on the side of safety” I can’t even guess what that means. That’s just one page. On page 15 he claims that the Leonberger will stand between 25 to 31 inches (? To ? cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 120 to 170 pounds (? to ? kg). He could have used a calculator or Wikipedia to complete page 15 without question marks. Better still, hire an editor. Question marks in the text looks sloppy. Also, the 25 to 31 inches refers to the withers, not the shoulders, it is close, but not the same thing.

From a training and caring for your dog perspective this is not a bad book. In fact, I found it to have a lot of useful information. The author is without doubt a skilled dog trainer professional. Hiring him to train our Leonberger would have been a good idea. Hiring him to spell our dog’s name, not so much (Le Bronco Von Der Löwenhöhle). Leonbergers have fancy names. Intimate understanding of Leonbergers seem to be missing in this book, and the editor is missing too. Therefore, I cannot give this book a five star rating.

The question is, should I give it three stars or four stars. I decided to give it three stars. It is an inexpensive book, that is an easy and quick read that is helpful to Leonberger owners, or prospective Leonberger owners from a general dog knowledge and training perspective. However, between the feeling you get of something missing in the Leonberger department and the comical typos, I don’t think it can be highly rated. An editor and a Leonberger (owned by the author) would have guaranteed a five star review from me.

Photo of the Back cover of the book Leonberger by Michael Stonewood
Back cover of the book Leonberger by Michael Stonewood

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Photo of the front cover of the book. Leonberger Training Book for Dogs & Puppies By BoneUP DOG Training, Dog Care, Dog Behavior, Hand Cues Too! Are You Ready to Bone Up? Easy Training * Fast Results, Leonberger. By Karen Douglas Kane two stars. Two stars.
Leonberger Training Book for Dogs & Puppies By BoneUP DOG Training, Dog Care, Dog Behavior, Hand Cues Too! Are You Ready to Bone Up? Easy Training * Fast Results, Leonberger. By Karen Douglas Kane two stars. Two stars.

It was published December 13, 2020

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 102 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 979-8580681658

Weight ‏ is ‎ 5.3 ounces

The dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.23 x 9 inches

The price of the paperback is $11.97

Prcie of Kindle version is $5.19

Kindle unlimited is of course $0.00

Review below

A good dog training manual, but it is not a Leonberger book

This book contains a lot of good dog care and dog training advice. The author describes how and when to feed dogs, brushing, cleaning teeth, health related issues, raising and training dogs, how to train your dog to obey commands, clicker training, hand signals, etc. It is fairly complete and written with some lighthearted humor. I noticed a few typos but not many. As a dog training manual, this is a good book.

On page 5 it says, “Thanks to a British Politician Heinrich Essig the Leonberger was created”. The author got the most basic Leonberger fact wrong. Heinrich Essig was a German businessman, dog breeder, horse breeder, and occasional councilman of the town of Leonberg in the Kingdom of Würtenberg (now Germany). “Heinrich Essig” doesn’t even sound British. The rest of the extremely short two paragraph Leonberger history section was pretty misleading as well and did not do Leonbergers justice.

On page 21 and 22 the author presents a guideline for feeding dogs that starts at 5lbs and ends at 100lbs. The book says; “But keep in mind that the average Leonberger is about thirty-five to sixty five pounds fully grown…”. It is difficult to find an adult Leonberger under 100lbs, unless he starved to death. On another page in the book she says (more correctly) that adult Leonbergers weigh between 90 to 170lbs, thus contradicting herself. A lot of interesting and useful Leonberger information is missing. There’s nothing about their love for swimming, webbed paws, breed characteristics, natural drafting/pulling skills, and the explanations of how and if to get a Leonberger left a lot to be desired. The most important American Leonberger kennel club; the Leonberger Club of America was never mentioned. By the way, they have a ton of useful Leonberger information on their website.

It is obvious that the author has never owned a Leonberger and that she does not know much about them. Considering that her website (or their website) is mentioned several times in the book and the fact that she has written 65 identical looking books on different dog breeds it seems like this book is a quick “search and replace” operation of a dog training manual created for advertising purposes. To me the book looked exactly like she did a search for “your dog” and replaced it with “your Leonberger” (in a few hundred places), and then added a little bit about the specific breed (using google) but without much care for getting it right. You can write 65 books very quickly that way. By the way, she is not the only dog trainer doing this. It is a clever advertising trick. However, as a Leonberger enthusiast this rubbed me the wrong way. She should have written one generic dog training book or taken the time to research the breed better if she wanted to make it Leonberger specific. Therefore, despite the overall good dog training and dog care advice in the book I can only give it two stars.

Photo of the back cover of the book Leonberger by Karen Douglas Kane
Back cover of the book Leonberger by Karen Douglas Kane

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Front cover of the book: Leonberger Dog: Complete Guide Book and Everything You Need To Know in Selecting, Raising, Health Care, Grooming, Crate Training, Feeding, Choosing the best dog food, and Loving Your Cute Puppy. By Nelson Dawson. One star.
Leonberger Dog: Complete Guide Book and Everything You Need To Know in Selecting, Raising, Health Care, Grooming, Crate Training, Feeding, Choosing the best dog food, and Loving Your Cute Puppy. By Nelson Dawson. One star.

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 145 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 979-8834953302

Note, the book was deleted from Amazon before I had a chance to write a review so the review below was never published. In fact, all of Nelson Dawson’s dog books disappeared from Amazon. He had written hundreds of books on hundreds of breeds. I suspect Amazon deleted them.

Priceless translation errors

This book has a lot of quality issues. First of all, it contains a lot of incorrect facts. For example, it states that the Leonberger was created in the 1930 and 1940’s (it was 1830’s and 1840’s), that the breeder tried to match the appearance of a mountain lion (it was a lion), that the first Leonberger arrived in Russia 1989 (no they existed in Russia in the 1800’s), etc. The book also contains a lot of grammatical errors, strange sentences, and incorrectly used words. For example, puppies are sometimes referred to as “children”, dogs are sometimes called “cattle”, and crates are called boxes. The word “order” is used instead of “command”, as in: Simple orders include ”Next”, “Fu”, “Give a paw”, and “Tumble”. By the way can anyone guess what the commands “Next” and “Fu” are supposed to be? I think “Tumble” is “Roll over”.

The book also features many bizarre sentences that I could not figure out what they meant. On page 28 the book states: “It is not advisable to bring two Leonberger puppies into the house at the same time. Representatives of this type are gregarious men who easily make friends with their tribesmen.” Yes, the Leonberger puppies are called “gregarious men”, which is hilarious. On page 30 the book states in regard to teaching the Leonberger a trick: “Leonbergers are true virtuosos who may stomp on the neck of their own song in order to gratify the owner. These individuals are the ones who compete in agility events.” On page 46 the book states: “When you return to work, have someone check on your dog, let him out, play with him, and reshape him with a yummy kong.” In regard to crate training the author states out of the blue: “if your home has battens, you may wish to select wood”. I have no idea what that means.

Since the prices mentioned in the book are in rubles and the intended audience seems to be Russian my guess is that the book was created by running a Russian book through a mediocre language translation application. I don’t think it could have been Google Translate because it is not that bad, not anymore. I believe the author may have taken a large stash of Russian books for different breeds and just rammed them through a translator and then uploaded it Amazon without anyone checking if the English made sense.

In any case, this book has a lot of problems, and I cannot recommend it. One star.

Photos of the back cover of the book Leonberger Dog by Nelson Dawson
Back cover of the book Leonberger Dog by Nelson Dawson

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Finally, if you would like to learn about my book and find out where to get it, click here.

Categories
Book Reviews

Dog Meat a Horror Story set in a Society from Hell

As you know this blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but sometimes I write a review for a book or story that I find to be exceptional and therefore want to promote. Last Friday I read a horror story called “Dog Meat” by Priscilla Bettis. I wrote an Amazon review on Saturday morning. It was a gruesome and morbid story, like a good horror story should be, and it was a real page turner. Therefore, I would like to promote this book. I bought the paperback version since I prefer that over Kindle. The Dog Meat paperback version currently cost $12.99 on Amazon and is 111 pages. The kindle version cost $3.99 and is 120 pages. It was released October 30, 2022. The paper version is 6 x 0.28 x 9 inches, and the ISBN number is 978-1951840617.  The ASIN number for the Kindle Edition is B0B8QG79DK.

Photo of the front cover of Dog Meat. Dog Meat is a dystopian fiction / horror story that takes place in an imaginary totalitarian state. Click on picture to go to the paperback version page on Amazon.
Dog Meat is a dystopian fiction / horror story that takes place in an imaginary totalitarian state. Click on picture to go to the paperback version page on Amazon.
Photo of the back cover of Dog Meat. Dog Meat is a dystopian fiction / horror story that takes place in an imaginary totalitarian state. Click on picture to go to the kindle version page on Amazon.
Dog Meat is a dystopian fiction / horror story that takes place in an imaginary totalitarian state. Click on picture to go to the kindle version page on Amazon.

Below is my Amazon review of Dog Meat

The monstrosity of not being free to choose

You are not free to choose. Government officials will decide your profession for you based on a placement exam. They know best, what could go wrong? Everyone is equal, there are no castes. Kalb Ward is forced to slaughter dogs, in a cruel manner, to satisfy the customers of a specialty restaurant. He is a sensitive and feeling man who hates having to be cruel to the dogs so much that he often dissociates from his body while doing his job. He attempts to quit his job with gruesome consequences.

His life story is a dramatic, insane and a very dark tale. His situation reminded me of “Bödeln” in the Swedish movie “Bödeln och skökan”, in which a blacksmith is innocently condemned to death for stealing silver but is able to escape execution by becoming the executioner himself. Ward’s luck in life also reminded me of Arthur’s in the movie Joker, but Kalb Ward is not a sociopath.

The Colony, the imagined country where Ward lives, is an authoritarian plan economy, perhaps a totalitarian society. It reminded me of east Asian countries such as North Korea, China, and the southeast Asian countries in the 80’s. The fact that the Colony won five gold medals in the Seul Olympics in 1988, just like China did, is telling.

It is a dark and dystopian story, but with some quite interesting subplots and surprises. It is a real page turner. Once you start reading you have to find out what is going to happen to Ward next. Above all I think it carries some important messages, including the importance of being free to choose. The freedom to choose your own destiny in a society is essential to happiness. Another message is the importance of compassion. People who lack compassion create Hell.

This book is going to stay with me for a while, like both the movies that I mentioned did. It is a dark fantasy but with so much meaning for our real world. I highly recommend this book. Note, I read the paperback version as I tend to prefer that to eBooks.

Photo of Hyper Fast Jelly Fish beer and beer cans and beer boxes. I read Dog Meat on Friday, while drinking a beer with a horror theme, “hyper fast Jellyfish”.
I read Dog Meat on Friday, while drinking a beer with a horror theme, “hyper fast Jellyfish”

I can add that I also promoted the book in beer groups that have around 30,000 members.

I highly recommend this book

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

Photo of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Book Reviews

The Prehistoric Dog Ump and His Motley Crew

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books and other great books. This time I am reviewing Laws of Nature, the second book in the Dawn of Humanity series – July 3rd, 2021, by Jacqui Murray. This paperback is 307 pages, 978-1942101604, item weight 14.6 ounces pounds, dimensions 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches. You can buy it from, for example, Amazon or Barnes and Noble, as a paperback or e-Book. The paperback version is currently $15.99 on Amazon.

Not only is this book great Historical Fiction but it was released July 3rd on my best friend’s birthday. I am talking about Bronco, or Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle, our late Leonberger. The pre-historic canine in this book, Ump reminds me of Bronco. I feel there is a special connection. Reading this book was a great joy. I wrote a review on Amazon, which can be found here (Lucy, Ump and their motley crew survive in brutal pre-historic times), as well as on my social media. Here I am presenting a reworked version of the same review. From now on I will be focusing on her next book “Natural Selection” in her Dawn of Humanity series. I recommend that you read all three books. Who knows what will come next?

Photo of the front cover of the book Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
Front cover of the book Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.

Lucy, Ump and their motley crew survive in brutal pre-historic times

The story follows Lucy, a Homo Habilis woman who lived 1.8 million years ago, her tribe, and her canine companion Ump. Lucy’s tribe is attacked by a tribe of Homo Erectus, and we follow them as they migrate across Africa. They have to fight for their survival in various ways, finding food, finding shelter, fighting off saber tooth tigers, other dangerous animals as well as hostile tribes. Fortunately, Lucy is a special kind of pre-historic woman, a healer, a hunter, clever and wise.

I know a little bit about human pre-history, but I am not an expert. However, I find the author’s depictions of life in the early Quaternary quite believable and fascinating. Like Jean M Auel before her, Jaqui Murray has done her research. At the beginning of the book, she is explaining the background, the groups, what the various animals are, etc. This helps readers understand what is going on. It is especially helpful to readers who did not read the first book, Born in a Treacherous Time. I also highly recommend this book.

I was especially intrigued by Ump. Ump is a large pre-historic canine who became one of Lucy’s companions. Ump is friendly, he is brave, and he is very loving and protective of Lucy and her group. Ump is able to communicate with the hominids using body language in  a manner that reminds me of how dogs do that today. It is amazing how much you can say using body language and how this translates across species boundaries. I see this with my dogs today. If you pay attention there’s so much a dog can tell you.

Ump reminded me of our late Leonberger Bronco. Like Ump Bronco was friendly, brave, protective and he loved his family. Like Ump he saved the lives of fellow family members a few times, and he chased off threating people. Like Ump he was a good communicator using body language, growls, grunts and barks, and like Ump he was in tune with the feelings of his family. Reading about Ump and other canines in this book was a joy.

Another thing I think the book makes clear is that even though diversity makes communication more challenging it makes for a stronger group. A group that is homogenous might be great for defense temporarily, but to venture out, to seek new pastures, to survive the unfamiliar you need diversity; and thus, we have Lucy’s and Ump’s diverse group. Ump’s canine skills, Boah’s special skills with traveling through the canopy, and the skills of the different hominid races and their experiences, all within Lucy’s small group allow them to survive challenges beyond what you can expect to be bearable.

This book is full of action-packed adventure. The stories are not only thrilling but imaginative, captivating, and full of surprises. This book feature some quite unexpected and surprising but credible plot twists towards the end. I love it when story lines are coming together in surprising but logical ways that you do not expect. The book also introduces some new characters, one of them “Wild”, which was, well quite wild to say the least. I highly recommend this book, but now I will focus on her next book “Natural Selection”.

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is an image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is an image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Book Reviews

Cover Reveal for Secrets in the Blood by Unity Hayes

As mentioned before sometimes I make posts not directly related to Leonberger dogs and today I am making a cover reveal posts for a young and talented author by the name Unity Hayes.

Photo of Kymber Hawke alias Unity Hayes
Unity Hayes

Unity is the author of Secrets in the Blood (mystery/romance – August 1, 2013). She has been writing since the age of 15 and has always dreamed of telling stories through the craft of writing. Unity is a Registered Nurse that enjoys small town living, antiquing, and spending time with her family.

Image of the cover for the book Secrets of the Blood.
Cover for the book Secrets in the Blood.

Secrets have been buried in a steel town for many years, but someone is about to blow the lid off them and rock this little town. Cassidy loves her life just the way it is. But when mysterious and good looking West arrives, her world is turned upside-down. West carries the secrets of the steel town. Cassidy is attracted to the stranger but a relationship seems impossible as West’s accusations make him appear crazy and bodies start to pile up. No one wants to believe West; can Cassidy let her feelings go and trust him? Who is the killer? How many bodies will pile up before the biggest secret of all is revealed?

Prologue:

The bedroom was dark except for the muted yellow glow from the hall table lamp. Although subdued, the light was bright enough to stab through the partially open doorway like a spear. It cast a pie-shaped beam just inside on the thick blue carpeting. But the rest of the room remained dim and sinister as if the light had been swallowed by it.

Thump.

The wind howled mercilessly as fat raindrops spattered against the second story window.

Eight-year-old Kenton turned restlessly in his bed, his pillow falling to the floor with a gentle thud. Somewhere, deep within the bowels of the cavernous house, a woman moaned.

Or perhaps it was only the wind again.

Thump. Thump.

Kenton awoke with a start, sitting up suddenly and rubbing the sleep from his blinking brown eyes. Had he heard something? He kicked frantically at the bedcovers, his thin legs hopelessly entangled in them during his brief and fitful sleep.

Thump.

It was louder, closer. How many times had his child’s imagination conjured up images of monsters in that house? That colossal, hulking ogre of a house. He feared that one day he would disappear; be swallowed up and forever lost in the startling noises it made at night and the menacing shadows present in every corner.

He wanted his mother. She would smile at him and tell him there were no monsters. She would look in his closet and under the bed and tousle his curly brown hair playfully as she tucked him back into bed. She would sit with him until his breathing became even and steady and she knew for certain that he was asleep again.

Finally freed of his bedding, Kenton peered through the ominous shadows at his younger brother’s bed. Shane wasn’t there. Kenton rubbed his eyes again as if that would make Shane reappear. Dropping his bare feet to the floor, he padded cautiously to the door. The door that would either lead him to his mother…or to the terrible noise he had heard.

He wiped his sweaty palms on his pajama pants and waited a moment before pushing the six panel oak door open the rest of the way. The door squeaked lightly on its hinges, but the sound seemed to reverberate through the entire estate like an endless echo. He stood in the open doorway as if frozen, not wanting to look into the corridor. Waiting. Listening. The feeling of dread began to build in him, rolling in his stomach and threatening to explode out of his mouth into a terrified scream.

He hesitated for what seemed to be hours, and then stepped into the soft light of the immense hallway like a dead person would step toward the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. With cold sweaty beads trickling down hisback, he couldn’t shake the eerie feeling creeping over his flesh. He shuddered.

Walking a few feet down, again out of the light but toward his mother’s room, Kenton breathed a soft sigh when he saw Shane. The four-year-old was seated on the floor at the edge of the balcony, completely unmoving, even at Kenton’s approach. His feet, as his older brother’s, were bare, his bony legs dangling through the spindle railing. As if entranced, his black-as-pitch eyes stared oddly downward into the dark, marble floored foyer below.

A chill from an unknown source prickled the hairs on the back of Kenton’s neck. Something was dreadfully wrong. Silently, his stomach tensing into a knot, he sat beside the younger boy and squinted into the murkiness beyond the balcony. He could see nothing except the faint shape of the mahogany fern stand by the powder room door. The bulky fern, barely discernible, looked to Kenton like a crazy octopus, arms waving, ready to eat them if they ventured downstairs. He looked anxiously at his brother again. Shane seemed mesmerized, watching fixedly as if he could actually se something.

Kenton tried to follow the intense stare. There was no sound now. No light. No movement in the foyer. Only silence. A frightening silence that chilled his blood.

“Momma’s gone,” Shane whispered so softly, Kenton wondered if he’d actually heard the small boy speak at all.

“What?” Kenton whispered back fiercely, his emotions completely unraveling by Shane’s disturbing stare into the blackness below them. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the railing and strained once again, hoping to see what so steadfastly held his brother’s attention.

Slowly, his pale face a mask of deep shock and horror, his onyx eyes glittering in the hall light, Shane turned to face Kenton. “Momma’s gone. Daddy killed her.”

Image of the cover for the book Secrets of the blood. Click on the image to the Amazon page for the book.
Secrets in the blood. Click on the image to the Amazon page for the book.

You can find her book here

Categories
Book Reviews

Review of A Simple Ad

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but sometimes I review other items. In this post I will review a short film that brings attention to the fight against cancer. The name of the movie is “A Simple Ad”. The screen writing was done by an on-line friend of mine Alex Diaz-Granados.

My mother passed away from cancer at the age of 56. This was devastating. She left us too early. However, every parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child. I believe that losing a child to cancer is a loss too enormous to imagine. This short film brings attention to the pain and the enormity of this loss, and it brings attention to the need to fight cancer.

I can add that fighting cancer the easy way, via the kind of donations that we all can make, or by bringing attention to it, is not futile. In the end this supports cancer research and treatment, and it has been successful. For example, today, it is very unlikely that I would die from the cancer that killed my mother.

At the beginning of the movie, we see a bookcase with family pictures including a baby, a little boy, a wedding, among others. Next, we see a couple working in the same room. The man is working on a skateboard and the woman on an ad. From their discussion the tragedy becomes apparent. The couple love each other, they carry on, but it is clear that an immense sense of loss resides in their lives.

This short film features beautiful music, a children’s choir. It is poignant and has a sad atmosphere, but it is not overly dark. To me it felt like a call to action. You can watch the movie here.

Title: A Simple Ad (2019)

Directed by

Juan Carlos Hernández

Writing Credits

Alex Diaz-Granados

Cast

Adria K. Hernandez…Sara

Juan Carlos Hernández…John

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.

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Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is an image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is an image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is an image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Book Reviews

Life with a Labrador

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but sometimes I review books about other dog breeds. Today I am reviewing Lab Tested: The Layman’s Guide to Living With A Labrador – June 16, 2022 by Nick Embrey. I got the paperback version on Amazon. It currently cost $8.99 and the Kindle format cost $2.99. It is 168 pages, weighs ‎ 5.9 ounces, and the size is small with dimensions 5.06 x 0.38 x 7.81 inches. The ISBN number is 978-1739631307 and the ASIN number for the Kindle is B0B4B631S8. The book is comical reflections on the life with a Labrador, and you can find the book here.

Photo of the book Lab Tested: The Layman's Guide to Living With A Labrador – June 16, 2022 by Nick Embrey.
Lab Tested: The Layman’s Guide to Living With A Labrador – by Nick Embrey.

In this book the author is ruminating, with humor, on his life with a chocolate brown Labrador called Dudley. The pages are filled with fun discoveries, hilarious analogies, clever turns of word, and as a result laughter. The writing style comes across to me as very British and as I was reading the book, I imagined Hugh Grant narrating it in my head.

We’ve owned several dog breeds including a yellow Lab called Baylor and I definitely recognized Dudley’s voracious appetite, apt food thievery, and the sometimes less than palatable choice of nutriment. However, Dudley was worse than Baylor. Dudley and Gordon Ramsey would definitely have a disagreement. Our Leonberger Bronco also had a voracious appetite. Once he finished off 5lbs of roast beef meant for a dinner party. However, the difference between Bronco and Labradors such as Dudley and Baylor is that he left broccoli, carrots, and dip for the dinner guests whilst dogs like Baylor and Dudley wouldn’t have.

Like Dudley our Baylor loved swimming (see picture below) and so did our Leonberger Bronco. I knew that Leonbergers had webbed feet and are double coated but reading this book I learned that so do Labradors. In fact, several dog breeds do. I guess I did not pay attention to that. That explains why our Baylor and Bronco were our best swimmers.

Like Dudley our Baylor was mischievous, but I have to say that Dudley takes the cake. The always hungry and rambunctious Labradors can cause quite a bit of commotion, or as some call it “acts of dog”. I’m not trying to brag when I say that our Labrador was not as bad as Dudley. I just wanted to point out that’s how you get good stories. I highly recommend this witty and very entertaining book. I don’t have a photo of Dudley, so I am including a photo of our yellow Labrador swimming.

Photo of our Labradir swimming in our in-laws swimming pool.
Our Labrador Baylor swimming in our in-laws swimming pool.

Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

Image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is an image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Image showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Book Reviews

The Hay Bale Better Horror Than the Books of Blood

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and Leonberger books but on rare occasion I write a review for a book or story that I find to be exceptional and therefore want to promote. Yesterday I read a horror story on my kindle that I found to be unprecedented and therefore I want to promote it. Incidentally, strange things happened today, which tells me this is going to be an interesting Halloween. The Hay Bale Kindle Edition by Priscilla Bettis is a short story that cost $0.99 or nothing if you have Kindle Unlimited, which I don’t. However, one dollar is quite frankly almost nothing. It is 42 pages, was released in January 2022 and the ASIN number is B09P4PJQLT.

Cover image of The Hale Bale by Priscilla Bettis a very creepy story. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the Kindle story.
The Hay Bale is a creepy short horror story that is better than any short horror story I’ve ever read. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the Kindle story.

Horror is not the literary category I primarily focus on, but I do like horror, and I’ve read a significant amount of horror literature including some classic horror, Stephen King’s books and several of Clive Barker’s books, such as Hell bound Heart and Mister. B Gone. I especially loved Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, which are collections of his short stories. I and my son are also inscribed into Dracula’s or Vlad III (Vlad the Impaler’s) family of protectors, which happened in a ceremony led by Dracula’s monk at the Snagov monastery in Romania. Therefore, horror is not a literary category that is foreign to me. It should be noted that the ceremony was a tourist ploy. We are not really vampires.

Photo of Books of blood, which was a large collection of short horror stories that really impressed me. Despite that fact “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read.
Books of blood was a large collection of short horror stories that really impressed me. Despite that fact “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read.

A few decades ago, Stephen King said of Clive Barker;  I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker. Considering that “The Hay Bale” is the best short horror story I’ve ever read and assuming Priscilla Bettis will continue writing great short horror stories I would like to say, “I have seen the future of horror and her name is Priscilla Bettis”.

The Hay Bale is creepy, disturbing, scary and odd. The main character Claire is a Microbiologist. She is separated from her ex-husband Dan, who seems to have emotionally abused her. She has also suffered several miscarriages and is unable to adopt due to her emotional state. To get away for a while she rents a home in rural Virginia for the summer. The setting is a bit “children of the corn” like, perhaps “midsommar” like, whilst the story development reminded me of some of the stories in the Books of Blood.

What Claire experiences is both creepy and bizarre but unlike many of Clive Barker’s stories it’s not too adult, which I personally appreciate. It also makes the story readable by both adults as well as teenagers. The story is fast paced, unsettling, atmospheric, and it’s full of creepy imagery. I read the story while drinking two Halloween themed Texas beers, which I almost forgot to drink because I couldn’t take my eyes of the Kindle. I should add that Priscilla has her own unique style. She is not a Clive Barker clone. I am very much looking forward to more of her stories.

Photo of Kindle displaying the “The Hay Bale” plus a Halloween Themed Pumpkin Ale called Rumpy.
Me reading the “The Hay Bale” and drinking a Halloween Themed Pumpkin Ale.
Photo of the Kindle showing the last page of "The Hay Bale" and a Halloween Themed Stout.
Finished reading the “The Hay Bale” and drinking a Halloween Stout.

I should mention that following my Amazon review for the story and me posting about it in a dozen beer groups with around 30,000 members something strange happened. It is possible someone played a prank on us. This afternoon my daughter and I saw a horror movie and then we sat outside in the backyard and discussed it, Dracula and this story. That’s when she noticed that there was an old rusty medieval axe in our backyard. Someone must have placed it into our fenced in backyard today. But who? The strange Axe is included in the photo below. Where is this axe coming from? Any suggestions?

Photo of rusty medieval axe, a Kindle and a Pumpkin Ale called Rumpy. After posting my review for “The Hay Bale” and talking about it on Facebook and Instagram a strange medieval looking rusty axe mysteriously appeared in our backyard. Is someone playing a prank on us?
After posting my review for “The Hay Bale” and talking about it on Facebook and Instagram a strange medieval looking rusty axe mysteriously appeared in our backyard. Is someone playing a prank on us?

Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

Image of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com page for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
Image of the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
Image of the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR

Categories
Book Reviews

A Prehistoric Woman and her Loyal and Brave Dog

This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books and on occasion other great books. This time I am reviewing Born in a Treacherous Time, the first book in the Dawn of Humanity series – March 8, 2019, by Jacqui Murray. This paperback is 381 pages, ISBN‏‎ 978-1942101451, item weight 1.23 pounds, dimensions 6 x 0.96 x 9 inches. You can buy it from, for example, Amazon or Barnes and Noble, as a paperback or e-Book. The paperback version is currently $15.99 on Amazon.

Photo of front cover of the book Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
Front cover of the book Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray. Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.

This book, “Born in a Treacherous Time” is the story of a Homo Habilis woman, Lucy, who lived 1.8 million years ago in Africa. The book also features a large, loyal, and brave dog “Ump” who reminded me of our large, loyal and brave Leonberger dog Le Bronco von der Löwhenhöhle.

Lucy suffers many great losses, she travels across a great rift, she is very resourceful, she is a huntress and a healer, and she survives many potentially deadly challenges. She interacts with many interesting characters and experiences many harrowing adventures. She is a survivor but a survivor with a good heart. The characters in the book are compelling, and they will touch your heart despite being of a primitive human species. The many action-packed adventures in the book, makes it difficult to put it down.

The depiction of life in the early Quaternary is realistic, which some may have a problem with. The characters in this book hunt and kill, and they are hunted and killed. They don’t eat pizza and hot dogs with relish and mustard. Life back then was brutish, cruel and short and food was raw and whatever you could get. In this book there’s loss, sadness, starvation, violence as well as a lot of adventure. So many of us hide behind our modern comforts. We eat meat without considering the destructive environmental impacts of factory farming or that the animal providing our meal was treated much more inhumanely than any free running animal killed by a hunter. We forget how harsh life used to be. I prefer realistic depictions over Disney like fairy tales.

The same is true for Ump, the friendly and brave prehistoric dog that became one of Lucy’s companions. Their friendship began after Ump’s tragic loss of his family. He did not want to move on but Lucy, having suffered so much great loss herself, encouraged him to move on. Ump was very loving and fiercely protective. Perhaps he carried a Leonberger gene? Fossil records show that prehistoric dogs and hominids came across each other in Africa 1.8 million years ago. Any domestication might have been unlikely but that doesn’t mean the story about Lucy and Ump couldn’t have happened.

Just like some of Jean M Auel’s work was made into a film, I think this book and the rest of the series could be made into a film, or a TV series. There are so many fascinating stories in this book. I should mention that Jean M Auel wrote about a time period about 20,000 years ago towards the end of the last glacial period and it was taking place in Europe. Jacqui Murray is writing about a time period 1.8 million years ago at the beginning of the ice age (Quaternary) and the first glacial periods and it is taking place in Africa. So, the setting is quite different. Like Jean M Auel Jacqui Murray did her research. I highly recommend this thrilling and enlightening book of adventures and I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.

This is a photo of the front cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the front cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.com location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book "The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle". Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This is the back cover of the book “The Life and Times of Le Bronco von der Löwenhöhle”. Click on the image to go to the Amazon.se location for the book.
This image is showing the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.
These are the endorsements for the book. Click on the image to got to the Barnes and Noble location for the book.

Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.

ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954

ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR