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‘Cat Woman?’ – A Guest Post By Lesley Thomson

I am pleased to have been invited to take part in the virtual blog tour for this book, albeit on the final day; which features not only my own guest post by author Lesley Thomson, but a Q&A session and book Giveaway by Kelly and her friends over at ‘Love Books Group‘.

You can check out the blog tour banner below for some of the earlier stops on the tour, as Lesley has written some unique and interesting content for each one, which makes for great reading!

‘THE DOG WALKER‘ (The Detective’s Daughter #5)

January, 1987. In the depths of winter, only joggers and dog walkers brave the Thames towpath after dark. Until a young woman, Helen Honeysett, set off for a run from her riverside cottage and never came home. Her body has never been found.

Twenty-nine years later, Helen’s husband is still searching for answers. He’s asked Stella, the detective’s daughter, and Jack, a tube driver, to find out what happened all those years ago. But the five households on that desolate stretch of towpath refuse to give up their secrets. And as winter tightens its grip once more, Stella and Jack find themselves hunting for a killer whose trail has long gone cold…

Clicking on the book’s cover image will link you directly with it’s Amazon listing.

Now check out those all important ‘First Lines‘ – would they make you want to keep on reading?

Hi! I’m LESLEY THOMSON

Image Of Author Lesley ThomsonI was born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, West London. I graduated from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia the year after, where in between writing my first attempt at a novel, I sold newspapers in a shop at Wynyard underground station in the heart of the city.

Returning to London, I did several jobs to support writing, including working for one of the first Internet companies in the UK. I completed an MA in English Literature at Sussex University and I am now a guest tutor on the Creative writing and Publishing MA at West Dean, where I also run a crime-writing short course, lead workshops and take master classes on writing crime novels.

I currently live in East Sussex with my partner and a raggedy poodle both of whom are treated to blow by blow accounts of scenes and twists in plot at any given time. In fact, I don’t know how they sleep at night!

Independent bookstores are a valuable asset to any city, town or village. They offer us the latest literary releases, a meeting point where authors share their work and meet new readers and fans. They offer us a rich ‘bookish’ environment in which to browse before we buy. I love to sip coffee and leaf through my new purchase. I can be sure that independent booksellers know their stock, they suggest new authors and broaden my reading. Along with public libraries they are key to our communities.

Visit me at my website

Check in with me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

CAT WOMAN?

Alternative Image Of Author Lesley Thomson

 How I gave up feline for canine and found the writer’s best friend.

Walking helps solve problems and the rhythm of our steps encourages creativity. A motivation for walking is owning a dog that needs exercise and stimulation. Our poodle Alfred is the perfect writer’s companion. When I stomp over the Sussex Downs with him or meander through the streets of Lewes, I solve plot problems and come up with ideas for stories.

One idea came to me on a dark winter morning before seven o’clock. It occurred to me that I was possibly mad to be out by myself in a lonely park. Never would I have been there if I didn’t have a dog. Someone passed me, as insubstantial as a shadow. I said ‘hello’. No answer. The blood froze in my veins and my heart jolted. I couldn’t see a dog. Why would anyone be out so early in the dark if they didn’t have a dog or were not jogging?

I used to think I was a ‘Cat Person’. We had two cats when I was little. I was five when we got Alexander, ginger and white with the grandeur of Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Five years later we got Isis (I was into Tutankhamun and all things ancient Egyptian) and Alexander left the house in disgust, only returning for food. We used to accompany Alexander on walks around the square where I grew up (where Jack in The Detective’s Daughter series lives). One day, the vet told us that Isis was a boy so he was renamed Osiris. A perky, cheerful little cat, Osiris died of cancer when he was six and in gracious triumph Alexander regained his territory and ‘reigned’ until I was eighteen.

I’d never thought of getting a dog. Dogs were dribbling, whiffy and unruly. Then one day my mother, recently widowed, announced she’d like a dog. However, in the first stages of Parkinson’s disease, she realised she was too frail to own a dog. By this time I’d begun writing fiction full-time and had a more flexible lifestyle. I decided I’d get a dog that I could bring to visit Mum.

What breed should I get? Not a lab, too big to curl up on a lap. Not a Staffie, to my mind rather unattractive. Poodles had frivolous hairdos. Then Mum pointed out that a poodle didn’t have to look silly and were actually highly intelligent. They don’t moult and, being made of wool, have a fragrant air. All in all, I came to see that poodles are like cats. So I got Herbert, a diminutive toy poodle, who often passed as an animated teddy bear.

This was over ten years ago. Mum and Herbert have since died. We now have Alfred, a chocolate miniature poodle with a Churchillian expression and a tendency to bite if startled. This scary attribute is curbed by allocating him tasks to tax his brain power (a power frequently greater than that of his owners). Tasks range from carrying Mr Ratty, his favourite stuffed creature, when out walking, to going to an agility class on Mondays where he leaps through tyres, over hurdles and marches up and down a seesaw.

I’m no longer a cat person, yet nor am I a dog person. I’m still not great around big dogs with strings of saliva and smelly breath. I am a poodle person. Alfred and Herbert have no idea that, as a combo, they have found immortality as Stanley in The Detective’s Daughter series. Or have they…?

I generally meet other dog walkers on my early morning walks. We chew the cud, swapping canine advice and the complex vagaries of dog ownership. Without exception, the dog walkers are warm, expansive and interesting. Not a murderer amongst them. But what if…? After my dawn encounter with the silent passer-by, my imagination raced and The Dog Walker began to unfold.

Image Of The Blog Tour Banner For 'The Dog Walker' By Lesley Thomson

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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8 comments
  • Loved your article Yvonne, as a person who has went from being ‘Dog’ to ‘Cat’ myself. I found it very interesting to hear about Lesley.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I must confess that I am not much of an animal person myself, although given the choice between feline and canine, then canine would win out every time.

      I actually have Ailurophobia which is a persistent, irrational fear of cats and can’t stand to have them around me at all!

      Alfred on the other hand, sounds like a real treasure!

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

  • Well you know I enjoyed this post, Yvonne, dog-lover that I am with our pack of nine! (though I do love kitties vicariously through my grandcats) My first dog was a poodle, but as the author states… they’re much more appealing when they aren’t cut in a fru-fru style. These days I’m more into large dogs, though – the bigger the better. 🙂

    I do find the premise of this book quite interesting and I look forward to your final review of it and hope you’ll feature it in some other posts along the way.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Having left the choice of guest post to Lesley, I must admit that I thought of you as soon as I read it and knew that it would be right up your street.

      I can always remember that when I was little, my nan and grandad owned a white toy poodle, although for the life of me I can’t remember his name. I can also recall being very jealous of the poor little thing and making his life hell if nan wasn’t looking, when she showed more attention to the dog than she did to me. I have a funny feeling that I might have been responsible for the dogs final and sudden departure from their home, after I had annoyed it so much on one occasion, that it turned and bit me!

      These days I have a very healthy respect for all animals, which my be a contributing factor in hubbies failure to persuade me that a dog would be a worthwhile addition to our family.

      I am looking forward to reading ‘The Dog Walker’ and I plan to share a few more teaser lines from the story when I am mid-read.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy reading your comments 🙂

      • Your comment about making the dog’s life hell brought back some memories of my own regarding the toy poodle of my childhood. I can remember sending him in rides down the staircase in a laundry basket and putting him inside a wicker footstool we had, telling him he was in “prison”.

        I wasn’t trying to be cruel… I was just playing! Looking back, I know it made him miserable! 😉 (especially the Santa suit I would dress him in at Christmas!) No harm done, though, as he lived to the ripe old age of 17, finishing out his years with my aunt and uncle after all the others in his life either died or moved away.

        • I don’t think that my nan and grampy’s poodle lived to quite such a ripe old age. I think that his sudden departure from their house was a little more ‘terminal’, although I never confessed to either of them before they passed away!!

  • Great guest post. There’s just something special about the dogs in our lives, they just come to mean so much. Otis is actually snuggled up on my lap today as I blog hop. The Dog Walker sounds like a good read, enjoy it!

    • Hi Naida,

      I’m the first to admit that I am not much of an animal person, however I can appreciate completely just how easy it is to become attached to the dog in your life and to make it an important extra ‘person’ in the family.

      We always said that if we were to ever get a dog, it would have to be a ‘mans’ dog, in both stature and personality. However, as time has gone on, we both find ourselves oohing and ahhing over some of the smaller breeds of dog, so perhaps our tastes are changing with age!

      Either way, both your Otis and Lesley’s Alfred, are the cutest 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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