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Reviews for Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog

14 May 2021

Thank you for the wonderful emails and reviews that I have received following the release of this title.    I have been overwhelmed by the interest and support this book continues to generate.   Thanks also to the RSL Clubs, veterans, schools, libraries and kindergartens who have ordered.  A handful of reviews are below.   Gina Dawson.   


I would just like to tell you that your book is beautiful and it will be a pleasure to present to our local schools.  Thank you very much


Leonie Gilford - Wingham RSL

What amazing books! Your words were so very carefully and thoughtfully chosen to  explain the subjects beautifully. The illustrations were lovely too.

Tracey Hill – Teacher Librarian

We are only a small sub branch of 30 members but were very impressed with the books supplied and would like to donate of set of each of your 4 Next Door's Dog books to local primary schools.

Best regards

Ian Arnel
Hon. Secretary
Gisborne/Macedon Ranges Sub Branch RSL

We have received your book & we are both impressed.     PTSD is a tricky subject to explain let alone put into words.  Your book is insightful, respectful  & will help the young & not so young to understand  better the impact of the problem on the individual .

The Turners

I must say we are highly impressed with your book "Next Door's Dog is a Veteran's Dog".

Thank you


Bob Richards MID,CG

Paws for Hope and Understanding

Next Door's Dog is a Veteran's Dog is a carefully laid out but simple explanation, for all age Groups, about Assistance Dogs, their benefits and enormous help these dogs give many.

The book leads the reader in easy steps, as Dad explains to his son about his mate next door, his anxiety problems and how Poppy helps.  It  concludes with something that our society is only now recognising, that it is not only the Veterans that have anxiety problems but also our Community Front line workers.

This is an excellent book and a definite for all School libraries. Thank you, Gina Dawson, this book is a credit to your skill and to illustrator Vivienne Da Silva.

Chris Eddy

Secretary RSL Nanango Sub Branch


YES !!   My book has arrived.   I just love it!

Lorraine - Teacher Librarian


ANZAC Display inspired by Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog

8 May 2021

Librarian Lorraine set up this amazing ANZAC display at Dongara District High School.   She said that the display was inspired by and centred around Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog.  The focus was on the roles of animals during and after conflict and the aftermath of war.

I felt honoured that the book was used as a centrepiece for such a beautiful display, which will remain in place until mid-May.

Thank you Lorraine and Dongara District High School.

Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog released April 7th

10 April 2021

There have been a few hold-ups, with Christmas, shipping delays, restrictions and more, but I’m thrilled to say that Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog is about to hit the bookshelves.

Again, a huge thank you to the kindergartens, schools, libraries, RSL and other veteran organisations and individuals who have supported, ordered or spread the word about this title.

The fourth in the Next Door’s Dog series, Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog is in durable hardcover, and beautifully and accurately illustrated by Vivienne da Silva.

I very much appreciate the lovely emails I’ve received in response to this book release.  It feels very satisfying to know that the book will be used not just as a story of Veteran Joe and his dog, but as a tool to educate children about the very important topics of mental health, invisible disability and the invaluable role that Assistance Dogs play.

Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog to be released in April 2021

12 February 2021

I am delighted that Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog will be released on April 1st, 2021.   To my knowledge this is the only book of its type, educating children about PTSD and Assistance Dogs.  I have been overwhelmed by the help and support I have had from veterans, first responders and Assistance Dog organisations, as well as from schools, kindergartens and psychologists.   Pre-orders are now being taken so please get in touch if you wish to order.   Bulk orders to organisations can also be arranged.

Visit to Burnside Library

21 January 2021

I was invited, along with Assistance Dog, Kiera, to Burnside Library in January 2021 to take part in their school holiday program.   In our session, I spoke with the children about two topics, writing books and Assistance Dogs.  I believe it really important to educate children about correct etiquette around Assistance Dogs as they become more prevalent in our society.   After our chat, I read two books from the Next Door’s Dog series.   The children concluded the session by painting dog rocks.

There were twenty children with parents in the group.   Emily Holmes of Klemzig brought her two daughters, Cadence and Lillian, to the session and said they learnt a lot. “We had watched a documentary on working dogs so this session was perfect. It is good for the girls to understand how to behave around an assistance dog.”

I also took the opportunity to announce the fourth book in the Next Door’s Dog series, Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog, which is due for release in April 2021.

Following the session, some children chose to have photographs taken with Kiera and I, and others chose to purchase books.

Thank you to Caroline, Jenny and Angus of Burnside Library.  It was a lovely morning.



School and Kindergarten visits

1 December 2020

It’s been a quiet year for author visits, with many schools and centres scaling down or cancelling Book Week due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It was lovely to have the opportunity to visit a school and a kindergarten during November.   At both venues the children were very enthusiastic participants in the sessions, where we discussed how books are made from idea to shop shelf, as well as reading books from the Next Door’s Dog series.

Thank you to the wonderful staff and children at these venues.   For those that were booked for 2020 but were unable to proceed, I look forward to making up for lost time next year and visiting you all.    May 2021 be a better year for all.


Book Package offers in May

7 May 2020

We can all do with a little cheer in these times so during May I am offering several discounted book packages.   There’s a four book package for the younger children including Next Door’s Dogs, a six book package for older children about growing up and bullying and a ten book package which combine the two.   Schools, kindergartens, organisations or individuals are invited to contact me for further details about the packages on offer.   I  have limited stock of some titles, so offers are only while allocated stock lasts.

There are also discounts on the two 2020 releases, Next Door’s Dog is a Therapy Dog and We Can Deal with Bullying! for purchases buying multiple copies.   Again, contact me for details.

Feel free to get in touch through my contact page to receive a package order form.

Visit to Berri Community Preschool

28 February 2020

This week I left town and headed for the Riverland! Whilst there I visited the Berri Community Preschool. I spent time with the children, explaining the process of how books are made as well as the role of Assistance Dogs in our community. It was extremely satisfying to see the children, mainly four year olds, show such enthusiasm about both topics! The session continued for more than thirty minutes, a wonderful effort for such little ones.


Thank you to the Katrina and the fabulous staff for inviting and welcoming me. I was also thrilled to hear that, such was the interest, the children spent time afterwards drawing what they had learned with their teachers scribing for them. They are also going to do more work during the year to extend the children’s knowledge on Assistance Dogs and writing.

A very satisfying and enjoyable morning.

Photos used with permission.

Starlight Visit

6 February 2020

This month I visited the Starlight Room at the Women and Children's Hospital, where I spoke to the children, parents and teachers who came along to meet me and to talk about books. I read Next Door's Dog is a Therapy Dog to the children, which suited the occasion perfectly, being about Monty the spaniel who visits a hospital and helps people to feel better. This was streamed through the hospital so that children who weren’t able to attend could watch from their beds.


After the session each child was given a copy of the book to take home. Thank you to the Starlight Foundation for inviting me and in particular to Captain Noisy and Captain Confetti, who made me feel very welcome. The Starlight Foundation do wonderful work and it was my privilege to be a part of it.

Highlight of visit to a children’s centre

26 January 2020

Last year I visited numerous schools, kindergartens and children's centres and spoke with children from age four to sixteen about writing books, being an author, the process of how books are made and my love of reading.

Recently I received a lovely photograph from a centre that I visited, along with an email from the centre director, Jenny.   Jenny explained that it was a highlight to see young Ava read her book in front of the group.   She is a shy girl and this was the first time she had come up to the front!   Thank you  to Ava's parents, who have given permission to share this lovely photograph and to Jenny for the invitation to visit the centre.

And yes, Jenny, I'd love to come back and do it again this year!   You and your staff do such wonderful work with your groups to teach them about authors and the joy of books - and it shows!