Backyard Adventures: Mad Dog by Remmy Meggs

Backyard Adventures: Mad Dog by Remmy Meggs, 20 pages, RWP Books, September 4th 2017, Genre: Imagination and Play/Children.

Review by Leigh Holland.

Backyard Adventures: Mad Dog is the second book in the Backyard Adventures series. A short read, it can be completed in a solid thirty minute sitting. The series focuses on the world surrounding Lucas, an eight-year-old boy, and the loving and loyal pets that inhabit that world. While the first book, “The Dragon”, was more lighthearted, “Mad Dog” is a spooky ghost tale, a fortunate find for my reading list for the month of October.

Meggs expands Lucas’ world to include other families and events. In this installment, we meet Colin, a boy at Lucas’ school, and Colin’s faithful dog, Rusty. Rusty is a champion working dog, a loyal and trusted companion and friend to Colin. This work deals with more weighty issues than “The Dragon” did, with themes of justice for innocent victims, our very human need to see what we think would be the final wishes of those victims come to fruition, and our society’s inability in the 60’s to take drunk driving seriously. It was an engaging read, making me feel sad, angry, and yet hopeful; one I had to finish to see how it turned out. The ending also hints at further ghost involvement to come, which is great for me since I love ghost stories. I’m very interested to see where Meggs takes the next tale.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a spooky short read. You can find it Mad Dog.

About the Author:

Remmy Meggs has written YA action-adventure novels and is working on others.

When Remmy’s dog, his best friend, was out playing, a truck’s bumper hit her in the head and killed her instantly. Remmy went out with a blanket and picked the dog up. Before he reached the house, he had a heart attack. The doctors said that, had it not been for his swimming and bike riding, he would have died.

Complications set in, Remmy’s blood circulation was not right, and they were going to amputate his legs. His legs were saved but he was wheelchair bound, never to walk more than a few feet again. It took three years of retraining, and technicians to even get him to do that.

At that point, Remmy sat in front of his computer for the first time in years for more than an hour. He stared at the screen, and almost gave up. He read a story on the internet about boys and said to himself, “That is bull! That is not what boys talk or act like,” that’s when Remmy began to write.

He spends his time writing, playing a few online games with friends and movies he can get, and listens to music. Remmy sleeps about twelve hours on and off each day. We hope you enjoy his work as much as we do.

~Remmy’s friends and fans

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Backyard Adventures: The Dragon by Remmy Meggs

Backyard Adventures: The Dragon by Remmy Meggs, 26 pages, RWP Books, January 28th 2017, Genre: Anthologies/Children/Fantasy.

Review by Leigh Holland.

As readers of my blog know, I have a penchant for pets and short fiction. When this set of short reads was suggested to me, I couldn’t resist. Currently, there are two releases in the Backyard Adventures books. I enjoyed “The Dragon” so much I’ll be getting the second one as well.

The series takes place in the 1960’s, a time when people could focus more on life and be in the moment without so many modern distractions. In “The Dragon”, we get to know a delightful family. I loved the characters presented in this book. Meggs did a wonderful job introducing us to them over such a short span of time. The men of the family are veterinarians, always focused on helping and saving animals. Naturally, I was endeared to them right away. But the star of the book is Lucas, the eight-year-old son of the family. Meggs reminds us what it’s like to be a child, to see through a child’s eyes. It was an eyebrow-raising experience to realize how we adults often so easily dismiss the fears and concerns of children. We are trying to calm and reassure the child, but it doesn’t have that effect. Instead, the child simply learns that adults can’t see the world the way they do, well, until a monster actually does get them. Understanding this mindset is crucial to the events that follow involving the “dragon”. Let me just say, Lucas is a very brave and honorable boy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this short read. This book lightened my heart by the end, inspiring nostalgia in me for a past decade and the things important to me in my childhood. I’d recommend it to middle grade and adult readers alike. I look forward to reading further in this series. You can find this one at The Dragon.

Book Description

When you are raised in a house that looks brand new, in never occurs to you that the graveyard in the back, and the house itself are over one hundred years old. It never occurs to you how many children have disappeared from the area, and it never occurs to you that the house and the property are haunted. Of course the graveyard should have been the first sign that all was not right.Spend time with Lucas Toby and his friends.

About the Author

Remmy Meggs has written YA action-adventure novels and is working on others.

When Remmy’s dog, his best friend, was out playing, a truck’s bumper hit her in the head and killed her instantly. Remmy went out with a blanket and picked the dog up. Before he reached the house, he had a heart attack. The doctors said that, had it not been for his swimming and bike riding, he would have died.

Complications set in, Remmy’s blood circulation was not right, and they were going to amputate his legs. His legs were saved but he was wheelchair bound, never to walk more than a few feet again. It took three years of retraining, and technicians to even get him to do that.

At that point, Remmy sat in front of his computer for the first time in years for more than an hour. He stared at the screen, and almost gave up. He read a story on the internet about boys and said to himself, “That is bull! That is not what boys talk or act like,” that’s when Remmy began to write.

He spends his time writing, playing a few online games with friends and movies he can get, and listens to music. Remmy sleeps about twelve hours on and off each day. We hope you enjoy his work as much as we do.

~Remmy’s friends and fans

Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas by Sojourner McConnell

KentuckyAuthors!BannerWho’s That in the Cat Pajamas? (The Dolcey Series Book 1) By Sojourner McConnell, Illustrated by Ellie Barrett, 40 pages, June 2nd 2017, ISBN: 978-1545150269, Genre: Multigenerational, Children’s Books, Family Life. Format: Kindle. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.

Review by Leigh Holland.

The age range for this book is listed as 5-12 years of age. I confess that I’m way older than 12, but I adored this cute children’s tale. Nobody likes dealing with change, particularly when you’re a child with no control over where you live. Change is difficult for everyone, but sometimes all that’s needed to embrace it is viewing it with a new set of eyes and a new attitude.

The fairy Dolcey has a special ability she learned from her mother. With this skill, she can find and help children who are sad or have a big problem. Dolcey finds Emily Patton, a little girl who is scared of moving to a new place. Dolcey befriends Emily in the form of a cat by wearing cat pajamas. By day, Dolcey is a lovable, cold, hungry stray whom the family decides to take in. By night, she is a fairy, helping Emily come to terms with the changes approaching in her life.

The book slowly provides children with the lesson that while change is hard and even scary, change can also be a wondrous adventure; an opportunity of a lifetime. Parents love their kids and make decisions they feel are best for them and the entire family as a whole. Trusting your parents can make change less difficult. Just as the kitty cat came into a new environment not knowing what to expect and found a loving home with new people, so too will Emily be able to make a new and happy life in her new town.

The illustrations in the book were cute, colorful, and fit the story perfectly. The writing was on par with the reading level for the target age range and evoked magical images to captivate the reader. I’d recommend this book to parents with kids between 5 and 12 years of age- not just for the kids to enjoy, but also the parents.

It’s available at Amazon at Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?

About the Author:

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Sojourner McConnell lives in Winchester, Kentucky with one of her daughters and three of her thirteen grandchildren. She has six grandchildren in Alabama and four that live in Michigan. Sojourner’s new book is a children’s chapter book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas which will release June 2, 2017. Her next book, Blip, is a sci-fi book with humor and intrigue and is due out by December 2017. The Path of the Child, The Power of Forgiveness, and 31 Days of October are available in paperback and in eBook format on Amazon and other retailers. Sojourner brings a taste of strong personalities with a healthy dose of southern charm to her characters. As co-founder and part of the organizing team of Mystery Thriller Week, she has become fascinated with writing a mystery of her own. In fact, there might be a little mystery woven into one of the two books she is writing at present. When not writing, she is busy entertaining her Australian Shepherd, Beau. Unfortunately, Beau tends to get jealous when she spends too much time working on the computer.