Friday, September 21, 2018

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dachshunds Join a Sausage Walk in London

Dear Friends,

I'm on the run, so I'll be short (no pun intended!) and sweet today.   I wanted to share a video I found.  It makes me very happy!  This video shows a huge dachshund meet up for a sausage dog walk in London.  There are hundreds of doxies who joined in -- all ages, coats, colors, and sizes from mini to standard.   I really loved this and thought you would enjoy it too.   (I especially like the jeans jacket that one of the doxies is wearing!)

If you have a dog has he or she ever attended a big dog gathering?   How did that go?   I'd love to hear from you in the comments.


Abby xoxoxo

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review - Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Book Synopsis
An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden. 

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

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My Review
Formula of Deception tells the story Murphy Anderson, an artist who has changed her appearance and name and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, after her sister was murdered.  Murphy unexpectedly slips into work as a forensic artist with the local police department.  She becomes involved in a mysterious case involving a remote World War II Quonset hut in Alaska.  And then she learns that her sister's killer is on the loose.

I was intrigued by this novel from the start.  The World War II period mystery in the story and the Alaska setting made me want to read the book.

This is such a fast paced and suspenseful novel!  I began reading Saturday evening and finished Sunday afternoon because I could not let the book go until I knew what happened.

Murphy is a fascinating character.  I like the way Carrie Stuart Parks introduced more details about Murphy bit by bit, including some real surprises.

The pacing of Formula of Deception is exceptional.   It is so fast paced.  I am usually a leisurely reader who reads an hour or so at bedtime.  This is a novel that demands more.

I'm glad the author included a family tree at the beginning of the book.  I bookmarked it and referred several times to the character history in that tree.   

I have never read about the work of a forensic artist before and found that aspect of the novel unusually interesting.  The author has a background as a forensic artist, and the details of this work were fascinating.

There are many twists and turns in this novel as the story of the World War II era mystery, the current day implications of those events, and the murder of Murphy's sister all unfold.  Every time I thought I knew the answer there was another surprise.  The ending denouement was so unexpected!

I highly recommend Formula of Deception for fans of fast paced, exciting mysteries, and especially for anyone interested in Alaskan life.

Author Bio
Carrie Stuart Parks is an ECPA Christy Award and multiple ACFW Carol and Inspy Award–winning author. An internationally known forensic artist, Carrie draws on her extensive experience with actual criminal investigations to write authentic, true-to-life fictional suspense. Carrie lives in Idaho and travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada, teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. She has won numerous awards for her fine art and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting., Facebook: CarrieStuartParksAuthor, Twitter: @CarrieParks.


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I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Review - Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book By Thomas Nelson Gift Books

Book Synopsis
If you rush to Starbucks at the first hint of cool weather . . . If Pumpkin Spice Latte is your fall drink of choice . . . If you need a way to recover from a busy summer and take a breath before a busy holiday season, this book is for you. Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book includes gorgeous illustrations featuring your favorite images of autumn. This one-of-a-kind adult coloring book has classic fall quotes, fun sayings, and Bible verses featured alongside detailed coloring pages. 

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book offers hours of enjoyment and reflection and makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves fall. 

So settle in by a crackling fire for an evening of relaxation, rest, and pumpkin spice! 

My Review
I was interested in this adult coloring book from just hearing the title alone.  I love fall, love all things pumpkin spice, and find coloring very relaxing!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice surpassed my expectations.  This is a big book (10" x 10").  The pages are thick and suitable for coloring with pencil or markers.  I colored a page with markers and there was no "bleed through" on the other side of the page.

The pages are also perforated so you can remove them to frame or display.  

The illustrations in this book are by Julianne St. Clair and her designs are really lovely.   There are 90 designs to color.  Some are quotes or Bible verses.   There are some very intricate patterns to color and there are also some simple pages to color.  I really like the variety of coloring patterns in this book, as it gives a lot of variety.   The quotes and simpler designs are nice to color when time is short.  

My favorite quote about fall is included:  "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers"  (Lucy Maud Montgomery).   Designs in this book include:  pumpkins, fall leaves, Thanksgiving dinner, fresh baked pies, harvest corn, mittens, campfire, farm, hayride, fireplace, apples, warm mugs with cocoa (or maybe pumpkin spice latte!), and more.

As always, I find coloring to be very relaxing and pleasant.  I especially enjoy coloring while listening to favorite music.  Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice is an very well made coloring book, and I look forward to enjoying more coloring in this book through this fall!   

I received a copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dear Abby - Doxieposse Pals

Dear Friends,

I wanted to send you a link to a Facebook page that is near and dear to my heart.  Doxieposse Pals is a gathering of dachshund friends, with fun little daily pictures, cartoons, photos and stories.  You'll find it on Facebook:  Doxieposse Pals.

This group started over the summer as a tribute to our very dear friend, Angela Williams, who maintained the original Doxieposse page.  When Angela passed away suddenly, several of her friends got together to start this tribute page in her honor.  There are several ladies who take turns posting there -- Barbara, Brenda, De, and my momma, Trish.  That is Angela's beloved pup, Gizmo, that you see in the photo for our group, above.  Gizmo and Angela were guests here at my blog several times.  You'll find several of the posts here:  Gizmo visits Dear Abby.

Here are a few glimpses of what you will find at Doxieposse Pals.

These sound like good words to live by:

My buddy Oz enjoying a ray of sunshine:

A little dachshund humor (that pup deserves a trip to PetSmart!):

More dachshund humor, although I don't want to say I definitely agree with this:

My friend Gizmo in his toy basket!

And me cuddling my toys (they are my lovies):

A spoiled dog test.  Hmm, why is this right after the picture of me?!?!

Dachshunds enjoying a sunny day at the pool - ahhh!

My Momma says this may be true:

And, since it is Friday:

 I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook

Book Synopsis:
Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

My Review:
Read and Gone is the second book in the Haunted Library Mystery series.  Carrie Singleton works at a small Connecticut library.  She loves her work, has made friends with several coworkers, and even has a ghost friend -- Evelyn, who worked at the library years ago.  When Carrie's father, a reformed jewel thief, returns unexpectedly, her life is up-ended ... especially since her boyfriend is an insurance investigator who specializes in theft cases.   When there is an unexpected murder, Carrie works to solve the mystery.

This is my second read in this series.  I enjoyed both books, Death Overdue and Read and Gone, and look forward to future reads in this series.  The details of Carrie's life unfold in both books, and I would recommend reading them in order.

There is just so much that I enjoyed about this cozy mystery.  I loved the holiday setting, as Carrie and the library staff prepared for Christmas.  I like the continuing romance between Carrie and Dylan;  they are so well matched and their scenes together are great.  I also loved the glimpses of Carrie's family, especially her dad, Jim.

Evelyn continues to be a delightful character.  I have pictured her a bit like Aunt Clara in the Bewitched TV series, popping in as a very properly dressed older lady.  I found the way that Evelyn sent Carrie to visit her senior citizen friend in a nursing home very touching.

And of course I loved that kitty, Smoky Joe.  He even played a part in solving the mystery!

The mystery itself was well plotted and had enough possible suspects to make this a very enjoyable read.  

I highly recommend Read and Gone to fans of cozy mysteries, especially for readers who enjoy holiday mysteries and library settings.

Author Bio:
Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime. 

Author Links
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Great Escapes Book Tours.