Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Spotlight - The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 348 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape. 

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear. 

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound


Praise for The Secret Life of Mrs. London

“The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion, and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.” —Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel 

“One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner.” —John Cox, Wild about Harry

About the Author

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel. 

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children's Home. 

For more information, please visit Rebecca's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dear Abby - Favorite Dog Movies

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a wonderful week!  We are having up and down weather here - cold then warm, dry then rainy - so it has been an adventure in dog walking here.

I have a new series coming up about Favorite Dog Movies and I would love to hear about YOUR favorite dog movies.

I'll share my favorites -- but look for longer posts about them in the future!  My all time favorite is The Ugly Dachshund.  It is a live action Disney movie starring Suzanne Pleshette, Dean Jones, a Great Dane, and of course, several Dachshunds!

I also love Lady and the Tramp.  Momma says it is her favorite childhood animated movie.  I say it is actually a love story (sigh!).

And then there is the great Disney classic 101 Dalmatians!

What are YOUR favorite dog movies?  I would love to hear about them so I can feature some of your favorites in future weeks.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

Book Synopsis

The inimitable Faith Fairchild returns in a chilling New England whodunit, inspired by the best Agatha Christie mysteries and with hints of the timeless board game Clue.

For most of her adult life, resourceful caterer Faith Fairchild has called the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford home. While the native New Yorker has come to know the region well, she isn’t familiar with Havencrest, a privileged enclave, until the owner of Rowan House, a secluded sprawling Arts and Crafts mansion, calls her about catering a weekend house party.

Producer/director of a string of hit musicals, Max Dane—a Broadway legend—is throwing a lavish party to celebrate his seventieth birthday. At the house as they discuss the event, Faith’s client makes a startling confession. “I didn’t hire you for your cooking skills, fine as they may be, but for your sleuthing ability. You see, one of the guests wants to kill me.”

Faith’s only clue is an ominous birthday gift the man received the week before—an empty casket sent anonymously containing a twenty-year-old Playbill from Max’s last, and only failed, production—Heaven or Hell. Consequently, Max has drawn his guest list for the party from the cast and crew. As the guests begin to arrive one by one, and an ice storm brews overhead, Faith must keep one eye on the menu and the other on her host to prevent his birthday bash from becoming his final curtain call.

Full of delectable recipes, brooding atmosphere, and Faith’s signature biting wit, The Body in the Casket is a delightful thriller that echoes the beloved mysteries of Agatha Christie and classic films such as Murder by Death and Deathtrap.

Book Details

Genre: Mystery
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 0062439561 (ISBN13: 9780062439567)
Series: Faith Fairchild, 24

Purchase Links:  
Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

My Review
The Body in the Casket tells the story of Faith Fairchild, a caterer who plans a big 70th birthday party for Broadway legend Max Dane.  The problem?  One of the guests wants Max dead.  Faith juggles her catering work and sleuthing to solve the mystery.

This is my first Faith Fairchild mystery, and I really enjoyed it.  I would like to go back and read the other novels in this series by Katherine Hall Page, but this book does work as a standalone.

The Body in the Casket is a wonderful traditional mystery.  I found the rambling old mansion setting fascinating and loved the description of the house.  I also enjoyed the theater details.  I worked in theater in my 20's and thought these details were particularly well done.

I loved the storytelling in The Body in the Casket.  The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing for quite a while.  The characters were well developed.  I especially liked Faith and enjoyed the different aspects of her life -- part time sleuth, caterer, wife, and mother.

There were some unique elements of The Body in the Casket that I particularly liked.  Faith received a list of guests from Max Dane's assistant early in the novel, so this also shared a list of characters with readers.  There are a number of characters (and suspects!) and I found this list really helpful.

There are also italicized glimpses into the lives of the guests/suspects.  The first time this occurred in the novel, I found it a little disconcerting because the style and perspective suddenly changed without a character attribution.  However, once I realized these were scenes involving the dinner party guests, I found them very interesting and appreciated what they added to the story.

The book also includes several recipes in a section cleverly titled "Have Faith in Your Kitchen."   The most intriguing recipe to me was Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth), a dish that includes Russet potatoes and apples.

The Body in the Casket is a very enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to other mystery fans.  I am off to explore the rest of the series!

Author Bio
Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-three previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts, and Maine, with her husband.


Catch Up With Our Author On:

Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Katherine Hall Page and Witness Impulse. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Katherine Hall Page’s The Body in the Casket. The giveaway begins on December 4, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of this book from Partners in Crime Tours. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust

Book Synopsis
Piper Prescott and Police Chief Wyatt McBride might have gotten off on the wrong foot but, over the past year, their interactions have evolved into a friendship of sorts. And when the body of Shirley Randolph is found floating in a fishing hole, their relationship reaches entirely new territory.

Shirley, the town’s Realtor of the Year, was also Wyatt’s suspected romantic interest, and now the residents of Brandywine Creek are speculating that Wyatt is responsible for her death. As the town council moves to suspend the handsome lawman, Piper springs into action to save his reputation and possibly his freedom. She enlists the aid of her BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, along with Wyatt himself, to help solve the puzzle and find Shirley’s real killer.

Pointing them toward high-powered real estate tactics and possible affairs, the investigation soon becomes personal when Piper’s shop, Spice It Up!, is burglarized, and she’s forced off the road late one night, narrowly escaping serious injury. Realizing that she must be close to uncovering the truth, and that the evidence against Wyatt is no longer circumstantial, Piper resorts to drastic measures to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice.

Author Bio
Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries  complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail has written five Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends.

Author Links

Webpage www.gailoust.comGail Oust Author on Facebook, and Goodreads.

Purchase Links
Amazon   B&N  kobo  Google Play  BAM

(1) Autographed Print Copy of Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust (U.S. Only).  Ends January 13.
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Friday, January 5, 2018

Dear Abby - Vintage New Year Dachshunds

Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

I am so glad to be back chatting with you.  I had a wonderful break with my Momma and am eager to visit with you here.   I have some fun plans for the upcoming weeks on my blog, but today I thought I would share a few vintage New Year dachshunds with you.

A dachshund helps her person blow up balloons on this Calling All Girls magazine cover, January 1960.

This Calling All Girls cover features a dachshund helping her person make noise (January 1963).

The rest of the pictures are from vintage postcards.  Some dachshunds sample champagne!

This dachshund contemplates a beverage.

These dachshunds find January 1 on a calendar.  (They also have some clover for luck!)

Another dachshund finds a calendar ... this time in an old fashioned basket.

These dachshunds make a snowman!

They even protect their snowman with an umbrella!

I hope you enjoyed these vintage images.  Please visit again next week - I have a fun question for you!

Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy New Year!

Abby xoxoxo