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Ruby and the Ghost Dog

$2.99

Eleven-year-old Ruby Copperthorne has terrible dress sense, is crazy about animals, whistles when she's scared and sees strange things that other people can't. She has just moved to Italy with her mum and she absolutely does not want to be there. If you ask Ruby, there is nothing good about living in another country, except she may be able to get a dog and she might stop meeting ghosts. But Ruby's hopes of being normal are destroyed on her very first night in Tuscany when the visions start again. A ghost dog on a mission has selected Ruby to help him, whether she likes it or not. After meeting a local boy and his strange grandmother who lives in the woods, Ruby is drawn into a situation she could never have imagined. A situation which means she has to choose between safe normality or extraordinary powers. Ghost Dog is awash with magic, the enchantment of the Tuscan countryside and the difficulty of coping with being different. It is also a story about dealing with grief and the power of being true to yourself. "A wonderful story. A must-read for any child who has experienced loss and any child who loves dogs." Prince Lorenzo Borghese. www.animalaidusa.org "An enchanting tale that will appeal to dog lovers like me everywhere." Kay Burley, Sky TV Presenter.

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Fiona Tankard

Fiona Tankard is a professional British writer and ghostwriter. She writes children's books, non fiction books and all kinds of other stuff on the web. She has somehow managed to spend the last 22 years in Italy, first Umbria then Tuscany.

Always a lover of fantasy, adventure and magic, she wrote her first book about a space expedition, Molarta 570, when she was eight. It was a roaring success with her little friends who appreciated its intriguing cast of animals and girls and its splendid lack of grown ups and boys.

Spurred on by this, Fiona did a degree in English and American Literature at Warwick University, followed by a PGCE at Southampton University and a Dip TEFLA (no, that is not something you dunk sheep in, but a language teaching qualification). By that time she had discovered that boys were actually quite interesting, and thus got far too distracted to fulfill her early potential.

After a career in English Language teacher training in Bournemouth, Fiona met fellow teacher Alan, got married and went off to live in a ruined farmhouse in Umbria, Italy, taking their motley collection of dogs and cats along for the ride.

There followed a couple of decades of building, teaching, writing, the creation of the UK best selling glossy magazine ITALY, more building, writing and ghostwriting, including an Amazon best seller. There was a worrying increase in animal companions, very often with a bit missing.

Fiona decided in 2012 that she needed to investigate the woolly pyramid scheme that is alpaca breeding and so bought some pregnant females. This was rapidly followed by a crash course in alpaca midwifery (stand in field holding rubber gloves and looking helpless) and the sad realization that she could never sell them (far too cute), so she would “Focus on Fiber”. This led to learning spinning and weaving and making some strange scarves. Her total fiber sales so far are $20 of suri alpaca fleece to a Latvian doll maker for hair (for the dolls, not for him), $5 of which was postage.

Following Alan's death last year, Fiona returned to writing books for children. These always feature life's most essential ingredients – magic and animals.

The star of Fiona's latest book Ruby and the Ghost Dog is Gaspare, an English Setter she rescued in 2009. Thankfully he is not a ghost and lives happily with Fiona's other rescue dog Mana' (named after the Polynesian god of universal energy), kitten Misty and seven alpacas.

Fiona welcomes feedback from readers and is also happy to talk to reading groups, school teachers and school children from all over the world. Please get in touch!

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