Friday, January 15, 2021

Dear Abby - Videos That Abby Likes: Buddy Mercury, the Piano Playing, Singing Beagle

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week!   My week has been busy. I went to the vet for my three month ACTH test for Cushing's.  This is a test where I get bloodwork, have a shot, and then wait an hour before there is yet more bloodwork.  After the test is over I always go home, climb up in the bed, and sleep for the rest of the afternoon. This week was no different.

Today Momma got a call from the vet with the very good news that my test results show I am doing well and the medication I am taking for Cushing's Disease is working well.  Hooray!  This means I don't have to go back for my next test for six months, instead of the previous three. I am very happy about this and am doing a little bit of a happy dance today.  (This means I spin around and get a treat!)

Today I would like to introduce you to a dog I discovered on Youtube. His name is Buddy Mercury and he is a piano playing, singing beagle. He's very handsome and has a sweet face.  He stands up on his back paws and plays the piano with his front paws.  As he plays, he does some deep, soulful howling. I think he's very talented!  Buddy has a Youtube channel and also a Facebook page. Did I mention he is also a rescue dog?

Here is a short video of Buddy serenading viewers:

What do you think? We are beagle fans at my house, and I think Buddy is pretty great! 

Wishing you a good day! Thanks for stopping by to visit.


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder Can Haunt Your Handiwork (A Haunted Craft Fair Mystery) by Rose Pressey

My Review

Celeste Cabot is an artist visiting the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina for an arts festival. When touring the house, Celeste stumbles onto a body. She becomes involved in a search for the killer and also creates a painting inspired by the events, which turns out to come with a friendly ghost.

I wanted to read Murder Can Haunt Your Handiwork because I was intrigued by the mention of Celeste having a pink vintage Shasta camper and a Chihuahua named Van (short for Van Gogh). I love vintage campers and small dogs, and enjoyed both these aspects of the story, as expected. (Van is very lovable!)

This is my first time to read a book in the Haunted Craft Fair Mystery series and it worked fine as a standalone. The author did a good job with character introductions and I was able to jump right in and enjoy the novel from the start.

This is a light mystery that combines murder, a little romance (Celeste has two potential boyfriends), some family fun (with Celeste's eccentric family), and even a paranormal element, since Celeste's paintings often come with visiting ghosts.

The mystery aspect of the story was well done and the author gave just enough clues to help the reader solve the crime along with Celeste.

Murder Can Haunt Your Handiwork was a fun, fast read. I would recommend it for fans of light paranormal cozy mysteries.

Book Synopsis

A Gilded Age ghost helps psychic painter Celeste Cabot catch a killer . . .  

Rising up against the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Biltmore Estate is a magnificent mansion in Asheville, North Carolina, built as a summer home for George Washington Vanderbilt II—yes, of those Vanderbilts—during the Gilded Age. Nowadays, it’s the site of an annual craft fair. Unfortunately, it’s also about to become a crime scene . . . 

Celeste is hard to miss as she pulls up with her pink and white Shasta trailer and adorable Chihuahua, Van Gogh—Van for short. But before she can show off her artwork at the fair, a tour guide is found strangled by a velvet rope barrier and a valuable painting goes missing. With a rogues’ gallery of sketchy suspects, Celeste welcomes the help of a pair of handsome detectives—and a ghost with a special interest in the case . . . 

Includes tips and recipes!

Author Bio

Rose Pressey is the USA Today bestselling author of the Haunted Craft Fair Mysteries and the Haunted Vintage Mystery Series. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires, and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties. Yeah, she loves Elvis. She can’t help myself. Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son, and three sassy Chihuahuas.

Author Links

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Purchase Links  – Amazon  – B&N  – Kobo – Google Play  – IndieBound 


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Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) by Paula Darnell

Book Synopsis

Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn’t easy.  

After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda’s afraid that she’ll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she’s accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery. 

Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner’s members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?

Author Bio

Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She’s also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.

Author Links

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Twitter –

Goodreads –

Bookbub –

Purchase Links

Amazon – Apple Books – Barnes & Noble – Kobo


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Friday, January 8, 2021

Dear Abby - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, dear friends!

I am happy to be back. I've missed catching up with you here. I hope your holidays were happy. Mine was nice - very relaxed. I got some new toys and treats (love both of those, of course!) and spent LOTS of time with Momma - that is the best. 

Here are a few photos from Christmas day. I am relaxing with my new toys, a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (thanks to my dachshund friend Emily!) and a Gumby doll.

I am actually napping with my head on Rudolph here. I love to cuddle my toys like this.

By evening I was feeling excited about the day and ready to play again:

I'll keep this first 2021 post short and sweet. I look forward to visiting with you here during the upcoming year.


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - Beauty Among Ruins by J’nell Ciesielski

My Review

Lily Durham is an American socialite. Her parents, frustrated by her frivolous behavior, send her overseas during World War I. Lily volunteers with her cousin at a makeshift convalescent home in a Scottish castle. There she encounters the dashing but melancholic castle owner, Alec MacGregor, and they become involved in a series of mysteries that threaten the future of the castle.

I wanted to read Beauty Among Ruins because I love the 1910's time period and I was intrigued with the Scottish castle setting.

This is my first read by J'nell Ciesielski. I enjoyed her writing style and especially liked the way she set the scene with descriptions like:

"Inside it was difficult to keep anything on her face but awe. Gleaming mahogany floors opened up to a three-story great hall. Light filtered through the high-arched windows and scattered over the blue-and-gold rug and dark wood furniture. Oil paintings of kilted men with swords drawn and storm-ravished moors lined the walls. Centuries of masculine strength gazed upon all who dared enter, but a cold stillness hung in the air. As if the life were sealed behind the beaten stones." (eBook location 177).

Both Lily and Alec were a bit hard to get to know at first;  Lily comes across as flighty in the early chapters, and Alec seems very gruff. However, as they begin to open up to each other, I saw new depths in both characters and came to like them both very much -- pulling for them to come together and find happiness.

I enjoyed the mystery aspects of this novel as well; it added something unique to the story. This novel has a unique and appealing blend of romance, historical fiction, and mystery.

I recommend Beauty Among Ruins for fans of historical fiction, and especially for anyone who is interested in the World War I time period.

Book Synopsis

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Author Bio

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

Learn more at You can also find J’nell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.


We have 5 paperback copies of Beauty Among Ruins up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on January 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Beauty Among Ruins