Friday, September 13, 2019

Dear Abby - 15 Dachshund Memes

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week in your corner of the world.  It is hot, hot, HOT in my corner of the world!  It has been up into the mid- to upper- 90's this week, and I don't like it a bit.  It certainly shortens outside walk times.  I have been enjoying air conditioning and time indoors.  I also have been going through some of my dachshund memes, and wanted to share with you.  Some of these have been posted in Doxieposse Pals, the Facebook page where I help.  (And yes, you should certainly join us there!)

This dachshund is waiting for an unplanned treat:


And this one is thirsty:


Yes, this is true:


Fritos!  I have heard this before.


 Little happy pills:
 

This is a nice message:


 The Bounty hunter!  I like that!


 Who could resist:


 As it should be:


 This is a fun one!


 This would be a good motto!


 I am suddenly craving donuts -- not sure why!


 I don't do this but I have heard that it is done.


 I hope this dachshund gets to go to PetSmart after all:


 This is by far my favorite of all.  (My Momma loves it too!)



I hope you enjoyed these!  Wishing you a good weekend and hoping you are already having some cool almost-fall weather.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - State of Lies by Siri Mitchell

Book Synopsis
The secrets of those closest to us can be the most dangerous of all.
 
Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.
With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.



Purchase Links


Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson


My Review
Georgie Brennan is a physicist living in the D.C. area with her husband Sean and young son Sam.  When Sean dies in a tragic accident, her life is turned upside down.  Her father is being considered for Secretary of Defense, but she finds herself in danger that she doesn't understand.  She works to solve the mystery before it is too late.

State of Lies is a fast paced thriller.  The jeopardy that Georgie faces is intense and changeable.  I found it an exciting read and stayed up late two nights in a row reading because I couldn't put the book down!

Georgie is an interesting character.  She is a brilliant physicist and uses her deductive skills to solve the mystery she faces.  I know very little about physics, but the analogies and descriptions with physics terms are beautifully worded, and I think readers with a science background will especially appreciate them.  I loved reading passages like:

"I was missing a piece of the puzzle. ... It was like the gap between quantum physics and general relativity.  The first described the smallest particles in the universe while the second explained its vastness.  The problem was, neither could describe the other.  When you tried to join them together, the theories fell apart.  We all kept hoping that someone, somewhere could figure out a way to bridge the two and reconcile both branches of physics.  There had to be a solution.  We just didn't know what it was" (p. 293).

I found the story of Georgie and Sean, as it unfolds after his accident, particularly interesting.  Without giving spoilers, she realized that she didn't know some basic things about the man she married.  For instance,

"So that was the challenge.  How could I unknow the Sean I'd married?  How could I re-see the man I'd once known?  I needed to look, not for clues, but for something obvious.  Something, perhaps, that had been there the whole time" (p. 42). 

There is a political aspect to the mystery in this book, and the political pieces of the puzzle were intriguing;  they brought another level to the story and added extra twists and turns.

I highly recommend State of Lies for fans of well written mysteries and thrillers.  Just set aside some extra time -- this is a book that will keep you up late reading!
Author Bio
Siri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant.

Connect with Siri


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Thursday, September 12, 2019

Book Review - The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, Karen White

Book Synopsis
From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.

May 2013
Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .

 
April 1915
Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .

 
Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .
 
As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.


 

Purchase Links


HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


My Review
The Glass Ocean is a historical novel about the RMS Lusitania.  It tells three stories: Sarah Blake is a writer who makes a Lusitania related find in her family's belongings.  This find sets her off on a search.  Caroline Telfair Hochstetter is a southern belle from Savannah who has married into New York society in the 1910's. She plans to travel on the Lusitania with her husband, only to find her old beau will also be on board.  Tess Fairweather has been talked into a forgery job on the Lusitania by her sister.

I was interested in this book from first mention. I have long been fascinated by stories of ocean travel, but knew only the basics about the Lusitania.

The historical details in this book are rich and detailed.  They encouraged me to read more about the RMS Lusitania and look up photos of the ship online.  The descriptions of the ship in The Glass Ocean were absolutely perfect.

I am amazed at how well the authors pulled off a complex three (!) storyline novel.  The stories intertwine seamlessly.  I noticed several chapters would end on a phrase or theme and then the next chapter would pick up the same phrase or theme.  I thought this was a very clever way to help the interrelated storylines flow together.

The storylines were all very interesting.  Since I originally hail from Savannah, I had a special interest in Caroline's story.  I also loved the mystery in Sarah's story, as she worked with a descendent of a Lusitania survivor, John Langford, to crack a code found on the ship -- a code that may have had something to do with the ship's fate.

I was intrigued by life on board the Lusitania, especially knowing that the ship was in its last days.  I also found Sarah's life in current day England very interesting.  I loved the description of the Langford family folly, an old astronomical observatory converted to a tiny house.

Robert Langford, a passenger on the Lusitania with ties to both Caroline and Tess, has a telling passage:

"People like simple stories.  Good and evil, hero and villain.  We try to mold people into familiar roles, roles we can understand.  The devoted mother, the heartless adulteress, the wastrel, the toady, the patriot - the traitor.  But it's never that simple, is it?" (p. 182)  This passage presents a theme which is played out over the pages of this book in both 1915 and current day storylines.

The Glass Ocean was a fascinating read. I am a long-time fan of Beatriz Williams, but plan to also look for books by Lauren Willig and Karen White in the future.  I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction.  It is a book you will stay up late reading, and think about for days after you close the last page.

Author Bios

About Beatriz Williams
A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.
 
Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Lauren Willig
Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several novels. She lives in New York City with her family.
 
Find out more about Lauren at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About Karen White
Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes Southern women’s fiction. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two Havanese dogs.
Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks to HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read this book.



Friday, September 6, 2019

Dear Abby - Now I Am 10!

Dear Friends,

It has been about six weeks since I've talked with you.  I've missed being in touch with my pals here!  It was nice having a little extra time to rest and relax though.

The big news is this:  since the last time we talked, I turned 10!  I don't feel any older, but birthdays are fun, with treats and gifts and lots of extra attention.

In this picture I'm wearing my birthday hat.  It's shaped like a cake, but my Momma reminded me several times that it is NOT a chew toy.  (Thanks to my friend Shari who sent this cute hat!  I like it.)

 Sometimes it's nice to take a break, even from celebrating.


 Of course, there is always time to look for a treat later!


During my time off from blogging I did help my Momma with bookstore work.  And I kept cool!  I love to sit in front of the fan.


 I also make sure to have time with my toys.


 And naps!  Naps are an important part of summer relaxation.


I hope YOU had a good summer, with plenty of time to rest and relax!  I look forward to visiting with you more often during fall.  I am still deciding about future posts and themes (or no theme - I am not sure!).

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Silent Night, Deadly Night (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery) by Vicki Delany

Book Synopsis
Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series. 

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother’s college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry’s shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts. 

The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father’s role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.

My Review
Silent Night, Deadly Night is a cozy mystery set in the town of Rudolph, where Christmas is celebrated year-round.  Merry Wilkinson owns a Christmas shop, and she grew up in the town.  When her mother has a college reunion with five contentious old friends, one of the women ends up dead.  Merry decides to solve the mystery.

I wanted to read this book because I enjoy cozy mysteries, love holiday theme reads, and have often thought it would be fun to own a small Christmas shop. 

This is my first read in the Year Round Christmas Mystery series.  Despite the fact that there is a large cast of characters in the book, I had no problem jumping right in and enjoying this book as a standalone read.  The author did an especially good job at delineating the characters from the casual college reunion.  They each had very distinct personalities.

I really liked Merry as a protagonist -- as a shop owner, daughter, and amateur detective!  She is smart and plays the detective in a savvy way that does not put herself into unnecessary danger.  She even has a lovable dog (a Saint Bernard), which is a plus in any cozy mystery for me!

I have already marked the other books in this series as "want to read" at Goodreads, and hope to catch up with the other books in the future.  Silent Night, Deadly Night was an enjoyable holiday mystery, and will certainly please other cozy mystery fans.

Author Bio
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year Round Christmas mysteries and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series.  


Author Links
Website –  www.vickidelany.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor;
Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor
Instagram: vickidelany


Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound


Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway