Friday, June 23, 2017

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Dachshund is Reunited With His Favorite Toy

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week and staying cool!  I have an extra special dachshund video to share with you today.

In this short (1 minute) video you will meet Finn the dachshund.  He had a favorite toy named Piggy when he was a puppy.  He chewed the toy up but his person found another toy just like it -- five years later!  Finn is so excited to meet Piggy again that he makes some of his puppy noises again.   It is a very sweet video.

If you have a pet, does he or she have a favorite toy?   I have several favorites and like to cuddle with them.    One is a Lamb Chop toy in a little Santa hat. 

The other is a little fuzzy tan dog toy that belonged to my late brother Barney Fife.  I love it very much and like to take a nap with it.

I hope you have a good weekend!  Thank you for visiting my blog.


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - The Light in Summer by Mary McNear

Book Synopsis

It’s summertime on Butternut Lake, where the heat of noon is soothed by the cool breezes of the evening, where the pace grows slower, and sometimes, just sometimes, the summer light makes everything clearer… 

For the lovely Billy Harper, Butternut Lake is the place she feels most at home, even though lately she feels the only one listening to her is Murphy…her faithful Labrador Retriever. Her teenage son, Luke, has gone from precious to precocious practically overnight. Her friends are wrapped up in their own lives, and Luke’s father, Wesley, disappeared before his son was even born. No wonder she prefers to spend time with a good book, especially ones where everything ends in perfection.

But Billy is about to learn that anything is possible during the heady days of summer. Coming to terms with her past—the death of her father, the arrival of Cal Cooper, a complicated man with a definite interest in Billy, even the return of Wesley, will force her to have a little bit of faith in herself and others…and realize that happiness doesn’t always mean perfection.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review
The Light in Summer tells the story of Billy Harper, a small town librarian in Butternut Lake, Minnesota.  She is a single mom dealing with a rebellious 13 year old and the recent loss of her father.  When Cal Cooper comes to town after his recent divorce, the connection between Billy and Cal is immediate.  Will they be able to build a relationship that helps them both heal?

This is a lovely summer beach read about good people trying to make their way in the world.  There is so much I enjoyed about this book.

The small town Butternut Lake setting is delightful.  I read the first couple of books in this series and enjoyed them, and then picked the series back up with The Light in Summer.  This book would work fine as a standalone for anyone new to the series.

I love that Billy is a librarian and she really loves books.  She goes out on her porch at night and reads Jane Austen to relax.  She loves suggesting books for library patrons, and even recommends my favorite series (Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace) to a young girl.

Cal is a strong and likable man, and I really liked his relationship with Billy.  It was based on friendship and mutual respect as well as romantic sparks.  I loved these characters together and was pulling for their happiness.

The story of Billy's son Luke and his attempts to find his place in Butternut Lake as he enters his teen years with friends and with his missing birth father is a touching aspect of the book.

And there is even a lovable dog -- Murphy the yellow lab, who is so warm and empathetic that Billy has silent conversations with him out on the porch each night.  

The Light in Summer is such a heartwarming, uplifting book, perfect for a leisurely summer read.  I recommend it highly for fans of women's fiction, small town fiction, and contemporary romance.

Author Bio
Mary McNear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Butternut Lake series, writes in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. Mary bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

Connect with Mary on Facebook.

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

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dachshund Puppy and a Mirror

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week and staying cool.  It is very hot here and I am enjoying extra time on my soft dog bed in front of the big box fan in the study.  Of course, this also gives me extra time to look for dog videos to share with you.

I found this video yesterday and enjoyed it a lot!  This silly dachshund puppy sees herself in a mirror -- with a fun reaction. 

If you have a dog or cat, have they ever seen themself in a mirror?  How did they react?  I have been in front of a mirror but have never been very interested in my reflection.  Go figure!

I hope you have a good weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - Sweet Tea Tuesdays by Ashley Farley

Book Synopsis
Three best friends met every Tuesday for twenty-six years. And then they stopped.

From the author of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series comes a novel of friendship, family, and hope.

When new next-door neighbors Georgia, Midge, and Lula first assembled on Georgia’s porch in Charleston for sweet tea, they couldn’t have known their gathering was the beginning of a treasured tradition. For twenty-six years they have met on Tuesdays at four o’clock, watching the seasons change and their children grow up, supporting each other in good times and in bad. With their ambitions as different as their personalities, these best friends anticipate many more years of tea time. And then, one Tuesday, Georgia shares news that brings their long-standing social hour to an abrupt halt. And that’s only the beginning as unraveling secrets threaten to alter their friendship forever.


Purchase Link


My Review
Sweet Tea Tuesdays tells the story of three friends named Lula, Georgia, and Midge who met on Georgia's front porch every Tuesday for 26 years for sweet tea and a visit.  When life changes suddenly one summer, their friendship is tested.  This novel tells the story of their friendship as well as their individual stories.

There is so much that I enjoyed about this book.  It is set in Charleston during the summer, and Ashley Farley captures summer in the south perfectly.  (I will admit that the constant mention of sweet tea made me make crave - and drink - more sweet tea than usual!)

At its heart, this is a book about friendship.  Lula, Georgia, and Midge have been great friends for many years.  They have been together through ups and downs in their marriages, through watching children grow up, and finding their own place in the world with work and life passions.  I really liked these three women.  The author did a beautiful job at delineating the characters and giving them each a unique voice.   The book is told from different viewpoints -- each of these women, as well as Lula's youngest daughter.

There is warm and unexpected kindness and some heartbreak in Sweet Tea Tuesdays.  I would recommend it for fans of books like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe or movies like Steel Magnolias.  It was a wonderful summer read that found me reaching for the tissue box a few times.  Put this one on your summer reading list!

Author Bio
Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you’ve read the last word, then she’s done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review - Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson

Book Synopsis
High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn't long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who's determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends--who also happen to be brothers--vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.

My Review
Nicole Anderson is teaching art in Seattle when she gets an opportunity to spend a summer in Savannah.  A family friend offers her the chance to housesit for the summer and mind her art gallery while she is on vacation.  Nicole's summer turns out to be very exciting - with interesting work in a beautiful, historic city and with romantic possibilities involving two old friends, who happen to be brothers.

I grew up in a family that was originally from Savannah, and I lived there as a little girl.  I always say that part of my heart will always be in Savannah, and this book made me long to spend time there!  Melody Carlson did a wonderful job capturing the unique charm of this city, with old stories (including a couple of ghost tours), historic houses and architecture, and some of my favorite places like Forsyth Park and The Pirates House restaurant.

Nicole is a very likeable character.  She is a kind person who wants to help others, including a struggling teenage girl who is part of the family she is housesitting for, and a decidedly difficult gallery coworker.  I really liked her relationship with Ryan, which started as an old friendship.

Under a Summer Sky is a sweet, heartwarming novel, and it makes a wonderful summer read.  I recommend it for fans of women's fiction and contemporary romance ... especially in a unique, picturesque setting.  I have not read the previous books in this series, but Under a Summer Sky worked well as a standalone novel.

Author Bio
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, the Life at Kingston High series, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

For more information about Melody visit her website at

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads.