Friday, October 16, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Read with Finnegan the Dog


Dear friends,

I hope you are having a good week.  I am continuing to feel better, and have been enjoying my favorite things, which of course include naps, petting, walks in the sunshine, and treats!

My friend Nora sent me a video that I think you will enjoy. It is from Clermont County Public Library and it features a special dog named Finnegan (known as Finn) who likes to read books.  He visits the library and helps children read. He is a 9 year old Pomeranian dog, and he's very handsome!

In the video, Finn sits with his person not at the library but by a swimming pool. He helps to read a children's picture book called Mister Bud Wears the Cone by Carter Goodrich. It is a story about a dog who has hotspots and who has to wear the dreaded cone. Finn does a great job at helping to read, and I also enjoyed the picture book.  It's about dogs, so of course it is the best!

Here is the video of Finnegan helping to read.  The storytelling (with Finnegan!) begins around point 4:38.

I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I did.  Hooray for Finn and his reading work!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


 

Book Review and Giveaway - The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd


My Review

The Light at Wyndcliff is a historical novel set in Regency period Cornwall.  It is the story of Evelyn Bray, who grew up at Wyndcliff, where her grandfather worked as steward for the estate.  When Liam Twetheway arrives with the announcement that he has inherited the estate, Evelyn's life suddenly changes. As well as uncertainty about her future, there are mysterious shipwrecks just off the property, and a young mother and daughter who are shipwrecked take refuge at Wyndcliff. This novel is both a mystery and a love story as Evelyn and Liam slowly grow closer together.

I wanted to read this novel because of the Cornwall setting. I loved the PBS series Poldark and found the book description and setting very appealing.

This is the third book in Sarah E. Ladd's Cornwall series. I have not read the previous books in the series, but had no problem enjoying The Light at Wyndcliff as a standalone read. (Of course, I now would like to read the first two novels too.)

The Light at Wyndcliff was a lovely, engrossing read.  The author does an especially good job at describing the setting, both Cornwall, and the estate of Wyndcliff.  I could picture both in my mind from the vivid descriptions in the book. There were passages like:

"This was what he’d waited for. Planned for. Now he was here in the master’s chamber, where he assumed every master had laid his head since the building was constructed well over a century past. As he loosened his neckcloth and began to unbutton his waistcoat, he moved to the window and looked down at the stable courtyard. An inky midnight mist obscured the cobbles and shrouded the grounds. With the exception of the occasional pop from the fire and the angry wind whistling through the window cracks, all was silent. The silence and solitude were surprisingly unwelcome." (Kindle location 370).

Evelyn is a very sympathetic protagonist.  She feels lonely and isolated in her life at Wyndcliff and this makes her growing connection with Liam even more compelling.  I loved the spark and slow building romance between Evelyn and Liam. He is also a wonderful romantic hero.  I will admit I stayed up late at night reading because I wanted to see what would happen between these two.

The mystery was also well done, with the strange lights at night and the shipwrecks.  This storyline was even more interesting because the shipwrecked woman and child were in such a perilous situation.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Light at Wyndcliff and recommend it for fans of historical fiction - especially for readers who enjoy Cornish settings and a fascinating mix of mystery and romance.

Book Synopsis

Set in 1820s Cornwall, this Regency romance evokes the captivating worlds and delicious dramas of Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, and Winston Graham.

Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks. The only survivors, a little girl and her injured mother, are rescued and brought to Wyndcliff Hall.

Liam Twethewey is just twenty-two when he inherits Wyndcliff Estate from his great uncle. His optimistic plans to open a china clay pit to employ the estate’s tenants meets unexpected resistance, and the rumors of smuggling and illegal activity challenge his new-found authority. Though wise beyond his years, young Liam quickly finds himself out of his depth in this land where long-held secrets and high-stakes agendas make no room for newcomers.

Brought together by troubling questions surrounding the shipwreck, Evelyn and Liam uncover even darker mysteries shrouding the estate. But as they untangle truths from deceptions, their loyalties separate them—and their budding love might not be strong enough to overcome the distance.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The Light at Wyndcliff! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Light at Wyndcliff 


 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Deadly Travel: A World War II Mystery (The Deadly Series) by Kate Parker


Book Synopsis

Travel to Berlin in 1939 is treacherous. Carrying out two clandestine missions in the enemy capital could prove deadly.  

When a Quaker Kindertransport chaperone is murdered in the East End of London, Britain’s counterintelligence spymaster tasks Olivia Denis to join the group rescuing children from Nazi Germany. Olivia must find not only a killer, but a traitor relaying sensitive material to the enemy.  

Once they reach Berlin, Olivia discovers she must rescue the family of an imprisoned British spy before she leaves the next day. An attack convinces Olivia the family’s two young sons are in grave danger, but where to hide them?  

Can she protect the boys before they become the traitor’s next victims?  

Deadly Travel, Book Five of the Deadly series, is for fans of World War II era spy thrillers and classical cozy mysteries, of intrepid lady sleuths with spunk and smarts. No explicit cursing, sex, or violence.  

Continue your journey today into Olivia’s world of intrigue in London in the days leading up to war.


Author Bio

Kate Parker caught the reading bug early, and the writing bug soon followed. She’s always lived in a house surrounded by books and dust bunnies. After spending a dozen years in North Carolina, she moved to Colorado. The Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but she’d developed a love of wide rivers, warmer and wetter weather, and fast-growing greenery that sent her hurrying back to North Carolina. 

Deadly Travel is the fifth book in the Deadly Series, and Kate’s plan is to follow it quickly with Deadly Darkness, both set in 1939 in the days leading up to war. There are at least three more of the Deadly Series coming that will bring the beginning of the war to Olivia’s doorstep. Kate reports that she is having fun creating new stories to entertain readers and chaos to challenge her characters.

Author Links

www.KateParkerbooks.com,   www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-parker,   www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123001.Kate_Parker

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Dear Abby - My Adventure at a Lake -- and Some Good News!

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week.  I had an adventure last week and wanted to share some pictures with you.  I had an ACTH test for my Cushing's syndrome. This is where I have bloodwork, get a shot, and then have an hour before I have more bloodwork.  (Then the test is over. That is the best part!)

Last week it was sunny and pretty on the day of my test.  My Momma and our friend took me to a park during the in-between hour.  I had not been there before and I loved it! 

There was a lake with lots of trees.  (They are just starting to turn colors here -- most are still green.)

There was a picnic pagoda and a path around the lake, so it was easy for us to walk and explore.

I saw a couple of egrets! They are very tall.

There were also a number of ducks on the lake!  I was very interested in them.

And there were geese! One of them was very interested in me but Momma picked me up before we could meet.  She said she trusted me but wasn't sure about the goose's intentions.

I loved standing on the little bridge and watching all this excitement!

It was a fun day!  Best of all, I have some very good news to share.  I got my ACTH test results this week and they were good!  I am taking medicine every 12 hours and evidently it is working and making me feel better.  This is happy news because it means I don't need another test for 3 months.  Whoopee!

I hope you have some good news and happy days this week.  I'll be back to visit again next Friday.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo



Book Review - Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler


My Review

Riley Reynolds is a successful romance writer. Unfortunately, her latest book was not as popular, and her publisher pushes her to write and promote a Christmas romance. When Riley goes on national television to promote her upcoming book, the interviewer catches her off guard and she makes a vague statement about her personal life that leads three of her ex-boyfriends to believe they are the one that got away.  When Riley travels to Colorado for a Christmas Camp to promote her book, all three ex-boyfriends arrive to sweep her off her feet ... although she is already interested in the handsome inn-keeper.

I wanted to read Christmas Ever After because I enjoyed Karen Schaler's Finding Christmas. This sounded like a fun, upbeat read.

Christmas Ever After is a very enjoyable cozy holiday read.  I loved the setting.  The inn has a Christmas theme, and each room has a special Christmas motif. Riley's room has a Santa motif:

"Inside her room were dozens of Santas. From a life-sized Santa cardboard cutout in the corner, to a collection of figurines on the dresser, to all the pillows on the bed, there were Santas everywhere. There was even an elaborate eight foot red-and-gold velvet Santa chair next to a real Christmas tree with Santa ornaments and a quaint stone fireplace. Hanging from the wooden mantle above the fireplace was just one red felt stocking that had Riley’s name embroidered on it. But it was the bed that Riley couldn’t stop staring at. It was a red Santa sleigh —an actual sleigh— that had been converted into a bed. And above the bed was a sign that read, Always believe." (Kindle location 1156).

The storyline about Riley and her three ex-beaus was fun to read. She finds herself being courted by her college boyfriend, her long time world-traveling ex-boyfriend, and her recent NYC boyfriend.  Meanwhile, she has an immediate spark with Luke, whose family owns the inn. I loved the rapport between Riley and Luke, and appreciated his love of the inn's long history.

There is even a lovable dog - Comet, a Bernese Mountain Dog who immediately befriends Riley at the inn.  (Lovable dogs or cats always add to my enjoyment of a light read!)

This story is told with humor and a lot of warmth, and it put me in a Christmas mood (although Christmas is still quite a time off!). I recommend Christmas Ever After for fans of romance, Christmas novels, and anyone who enjoys all things Christmas. (This book would make a great Hallmark movie!).

Book Synopsis

From Karen Schaler, the writer of the Netflix phenomenon A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp comes this new heartwarming holiday romance. Mamma Mia meets The Bachelorette in Christmas Ever After…

While promoting her next novel, a Christmas love story, author Riley Reynolds is caught off guard when she’s asked during a live national television interview how she can write about romance when she still hasn’t found “the one” herself. Scrambling for an answer, she quickly answers that she has had great love in her past and that love inspired her novels. Little does she know that this one offhanded remark will turn her world upside down. Three of her ex-boyfriends see the interview, and each, believing she’s talking about him, shows up for her Christmas Camp book event at the Christmas Lake Lodge, determined to rewrite his happily-ever-after with her! Over the festive weekend, Riley’s old boyfriends compete to win her heart, pulling out all the stops while planning the most romantic Christmas dates on the planet. Despite herself, Riley starts falling for each guy- again-but for different reasons. As Riley revisits each relationship and discovers more about herself, she embraces the magic of Christmas and finally finds true love and her own Christmas ever after…

Bonus Content: Christmas Ever After includes delicious original Christmas recipes and fun holiday crafts and activities.

Purchase Links  

Amazon | Bookshop.org | Barnes & Noble | Target | Walmart | Apple Books


Author Bio

Karen Schaler is a three-time Emmy Award–winning storyteller, screenwriter, author, journalist, and national TV host. Karen has written original Christmas movies for Netflix, Hallmark, and Lifetime, including the Netflix sensation A Christmas Prince, Hallmark’s Christmas Camp, and four books, Christmas Ever After, Finding Christmas, Christmas Camp, and Christmas Camp Wedding, earning her the nickname “Christmas Karen” in the press. Karen has also created a real-life Christmas Camp experience for grown-ups, held around the world, where she carefully curates and hosts magical holiday activities from her movies and books and the show Christmas Karen: Behind the Story. For Karen’s novel Finding Christmas she also wrote the movie. Traveling to more than sixty-five countries, Karen is the creator and host of Travel Therapy TV. All of Karen’s stories are uplifting and filled with heart and hope.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.