I knew when I wrote Escape to Giddywell Grange that I wanted to write about dogs.
Since Roni, our rescue English Setter came into our lives 20 months ago, he’s turned our lives upside down, my floors have never needed cleaning so much, I’ve never walked so far and we have so much unconditional love in the house that I never believed possible.
We’d considered getting a dog for a long time. I knew I didn’t want a puppy, I really couldn’t cope with that, so we searched around at rescue centres. It was important to me to get the right dog for us.
Then we met Roni. He was around 18 months old, much bigger than I wanted, more lively than I wanted, but we immediately fell in love with him. I remember the night we brought him home. He kept falling asleep and everytime he woke up, he couldn’t stop wagging his tale, as if he was excited to be with us. He didn’t bark. He didn’t get on the furniture. And he didn’t jump up. He was perfect.
Oh how things change! LOL! He barks at everyone who dares to walk up our street. And heaven forbid another dog or cat is seen out of the lounge window. And I’ve always loved the fact that squirrels scamper across the fence at the bottom of the garden. Oh my! How he loves a squirrel! And leaves, and butterflies and bees! He’ll bark and chase them all! But we adore him.
Every morning when I get up, I let him out while I make a cuppa and then I sit on the sofa and he snuggles up to me and he couldn’t get any closer if he tried. It’s our special time.
And that’s why I wanted to write about dogs in Escape to Giddywell Grange. Maddy, my protagonist, is a high flying PR consultant who gets made redundant. She’s always looked down a little at her friend Beth who runs Growlers at The Grange, a doggy day care and kennel in the fictional village of Giddywell in Staffordshire. Circumstances mean that they need an extra pair of hands and Maddy might be in a position to help.
There are dogs galore in Escape to Giddywell Grange and one in particular that has stolen Maddy’s heart.
I loved writing about the dogs. Roni has been to a couple of different kennels and sometimes goes to doggy day care too, so I have a good understanding of how things are and reviews from the book tell me that my readers love Growlers at The Grange and love the journey that Maddy goes on while she’s there.
All about the book...
Maddy Young thought she had it all. Swanky city apartment? – yep. Fancy car? sorted. High-flying career? – tick. Even if she’s lost most of her friends because of spending all her time at work, and can’t remember when she last had fun, it’s worth it.
Until she’s suddenly made redundant. Now she’s 37, jobless, and after the breakup with the former love of her life, unhappily single. Enter Maddy’s childhood friend, Beth, the owner of Growlers, the doggy daycare centre at Giddywell Grange, on a mission to make Maddy see there’s more to life than work.
Soon, Maddy is swapping spreadsheets for volunteer duty at the library and her Prada handbag for doggy poo bags… And with Beth’s gorgeous brother, Alex, back from the States, Maddy starts to think that Giddywell might just be her happy place.
But when her old life – and her old boyfriend - comes calling, will Maddy go back to the job she loved so much? Or will she discover that the key to happiness lies in making others happy?
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