Friday, September 4, 2015

Dear Abby: Recent Dachshund Pictures from Pinterest

Dear Friends,

I hope you have had a wonderful week, with fun plans for Labor Day weekend!   Because it is a holiday weekend, I'll keep my post short and sweet today.

I like to help Momma find fun doggie pins at her Pinterest page.   I help with the boards Cute Dogs and Dachshunds.  As you can imagine, I have a lot of opinions!

Here are a few doxie pictures that I love from the past week or so.

Vintage children's book illustration of a dachshund riding on a turtle:


Truer words were never spoken: 



A vintage dachshund book, translated as Nicki and the Red Butterfly:



A dachshund puppy napping with her sock puppy:



A vintage photo of a dachshund drinking from a water faucet (I love this!):


A vintage Christmas card featuring a dachshund playing records with his person:

A dachshund who has the right idea about bed:



I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!   Would love to hear from  you in the comments, below.  I only have a few questions stored here to answer, so would really love more questions for Dear Abby.

Thanks and love to all,

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - Decorum by Kaaren Christopherson

02_Decorum

Decorum: A Novel by Kaaren Christopherson

Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Kensington Publishing Corp.
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Pages: 425
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
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Kaaren Christopherson's brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world's most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras--as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine...

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city's settlement movement. But a young woman of means can't shun society for long, and Francesca's long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn't blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do...

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O'Casey--an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel--and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.  

Rules Of Decorum

A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter.

If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

The mode in which the avowal of love should be made, must of course, depend upon circumstances. It would be impossible to indicate the style in which the matter should be told... Let it, however, be taken as a rule that an interview is best; but let it be remembered that all rules have exceptions...

PRAISE

“Reminiscent of Washington Square but with a more modern heroine, Decorum illuminates the dark world beneath New York society. …” - RT Book Review, 4 stars

“Christopherson provides the reader with a fully-realized world of brazen and aspiring women, ambitious men and strict expectations regarding how to conduct one's private and/or social life. The characters are so beautifully drawn that I felt like I could start casting the mini-series the minute I put the book down. And, this book would make a wonderful TV series with settings ranging from early New York City to the Canadian Rockies. …I loved every minute.” - Nancy, Goodreads reviewer

“…the novel is remarkable in its similarities to the work of Edith Wharton. The reader feels drawn into a world of glamour, glitz, and supreme hypocrisy. Everything is permissible as long as one does not get caught. It is a drama of manners and the stakes are high—one misstep could mean social oblivion. … This novel will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who enjoy period novels such as Age of Innocence and The Portrait of a Lady." - The Historical Novel Society

“New York, 1890, and the glitz and glamor of the time and setting, are the backdrop for this novel about a young heiress who suddenly finds herself alone in the world. I loved how each chapter began with a rule of etiquette based upon the societal norms of the time. The story gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like to live among the wealthiest and most prominent citizens. Of course, all is not perfect, for the heroine must maneuver her way through treachery, greed, and scandal to find which of the two men in her life is her true love. I thoroughly enjoyed how the characters interacted, and how authentic they felt to me. Lots of wonderfully rich descriptions of places and gowns really brought the era to life. … I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New York in the Gilded Age. A good historical read!” - Mirella Patzer, Historical Novel Review

”A fantastically engaging book with everything you need for a really good read, probably best summed up as the American Downton Abbey meets Jane Austen. It starts a little slowly, but when it gets going, it really is difficult to put down.

The plot and the various subplots are fascinating, with so many twists and turns, it never stops weaving a new thread. You constantly feel that the story will be coming to an end, but then there is more... and more... and more.

The characters are well-developed, credible and, though not always likeable, possessing some magical quality that makes us feel like we know them so well. The central character manages to make herself someone to admire and someone we almost want to dismiss at the same time, whilst she metamorphoses throughout the novel, constantly changing on her journey of discovery. She presents a sense of strength and courage as she is faced with the most heart-wrenching and, often, downright embarrassing situations, yet she wins through in the end, despite overwhelming odds against a woman at this time.

Throughout the novel, there is a quality that makes it feel like a movie—and this would make an excellent movie, without a doubt. The pace is just right and it keeps you gripped until the end. Excellently written and a thoroughly enjoyable read.” - Annemarie Macken, Goodreads review

"In this remarkable first novel, Christopherson takes us back to 1890s New York -- to tell a tale so pitch perfect it hurts. Bridging the divide between historical fiction and literary fiction, the story of the rising immigrant Connor and the unlikely pairing with orphaned socialite/settlement house worker Francesca is beset with conflict from her devious fiance Tracy, Connor's lover the scandalous Blanche and Francesca's meddling guardians the Jeromes. Some of the most gorgeous scenes are set in an art warehouse examining paintings that have just arrived from Paris, a hat shop, a delightful tea house and of course, tangled in the bedsheets! Between murder, trials, and lies, this tale takes us to Argentina and Louisiana, Ireland and Chicago, the lower east side to the upper west side and finally to a real resort in Banff Canada where our unlikely pair will finally get a chance. Or will they?" - Booksmart, Amazon review

My Review 


I love historical fiction, and have always been interested in the Gilded Age.  For these reasons, I really looked forward to reading Decorum.

Decorum does a fine job of evoking New York in the 1890's.  The historical details are rich and fascinating.  I particularly like the framework of the novel provided by quotes from an antique etiquette book, the 1881 edition of Decorum: A Practical Treatise of the Etiquette and Dress of the Best American Society.
  
Francesca is a sympathetic character, and the story shows the limitations and difficulties for a woman in the 1890's, even for women of privilege.  Her backstory was both sad and compelling.

Connor was my favorite character in this book, and I felt the story really came alive when he was featured.  I liked the way his story was interwoven with Francesca's.

Edmund was, as intended, a highly unsympathetic character.  As the book went on, I grew a little frustrated that Francesca did not seem to see his true character.  

This novel is dense with detail and characters, and I found it moved slowly.  I continued reading because I am so interested in the historical setting.  I enjoyed reading about Francesca and Connor, but there was a lot of back and forth with viewpoint and focus on different characters' lives, especially early in the novel.  

Decorum will interest readers who love historical fiction, who are interested in the Gilded Age, and who love an intricate novel with lots of character detail. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
03_Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?” So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

For more information visit Kaaren Christopherson's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 24 Review at Bookish Spotlight at The Lit Bitch  
Wednesday, August 26 Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway at History Undressed  
Thursday, August 27 Spotlight at Passages to the Past  
Friday, August 28 Review at Book Nerd
Monday, August 31 Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, September 1 Review at A Book Geek Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Wednesday, September 2 Review at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, September 3 Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Friday, September 4 Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Monday, September 7 Review at I'm Shelf-ish Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books  
Tuesday, September 8 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, September 9 Review at Queen of All She Reads Spotlight at Please Pass the Books
Thursday, September 10 Spotlight at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Friday, September 11 Interview & Giveaway at The Bookdragon Spotlight at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 14 Review at Griperang's Bookmarks
Tuesday, September 15 Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Guest Post at Books and Benches
Wednesday, September 16 Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Thursday, September 17 Review at Kinx's Book Nook Spotlight at A Literary Vacation  
Friday, September 18 Review at Jorie Loves a Story Review at Just One More Chapter Review at To Read, or Not to Read 04_Decorum_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL
I received a copy of this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Author Interview and Giveaway - A Geek Girl's Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey

A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder
(The Geek Girl Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Carina Press (August 31, 2015)
Publication Date: August 31, 2015
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
ASIN: B00XPTDGXG
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Synopsis:
IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.

Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.

Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he’s closer than she’d ever imagined.

Birdhouse Books Interviews Julie Anne Lindsey



Birdhouse:  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Julie:  I’ve dabbled in writing all my life, I just never knew it was a real job until a few years ago. After the birth of my third child, I needed something that was just for me, and I turned to writing. I discovered a whole world of aspiring authors out there and the Internet connected them. I had instant friends and purpose (aside from nursing new borns and changing diapers). I started writing in 2009 and haven’t stopped.
Birdhouse:  What was your favorite book as a child?
Julie:  Anne of Green Gables. My dad read it to me before bed until I was old enough to read it to him. I also adore Alice in Wonderland. I’m mildly obsessed, actually.
Birdhouse:  What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Julie:  I’m a dedicated outliner and time manager, so I write a chapter every day. I reread it when I finish, tighten it up wherever I can and send it on to my writer bestie who gives it a round of critique. As for quirks? I like to write in silence. No music. No background noise. I also like to snack (so I can think) and I drink copious amounts of coffee (so I don’t fall asleep at the keyboard).
Birdhouse:  What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?
Julie:  While creating this book, I learned that 2015 is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. I’m now planning a party in celebration.
Birdhouse:  Who are your favorite authors?
Julie:  Janet Evanovich and Gemma Halliday are my top two modern authors, but the complete list is long and changes as I discover new stories.
Birdhouse:  What is your next writing project?
Julie:  I keep a full plate, so at the moment, I’m writing book one of a new mystery series (that I hope will find a home), and also putting the finishing touches on an issue-driven YA which will release next summer. I’m also polishing a proposal for a pet project based in New Orleans.
About The Author
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s the author of The Patience Price Mysteries and a number of YA novels. A self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun, Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.

Author Links
Julieannelindsey.com
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