Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you for being part of my blog community.  I appreciate you all, your kindness and your comments.

Abby and I will be taking a blog break, but I plan to return for a review and giveaway on December 1.  Dear Abby will also return on December 2.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway - Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post

Book Synopsis
Will an unplanned detour finally guide Grant home and find love with an honest, funny, and undeniably appealing reporter named Jami? Find out in a heartwarming romance by Carol J. Post, Trust My Heart. Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible. After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—but as the two draw closer as they share their dreams, misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust.

My Review 
Trust My Heart is a heartwarming small town novel.  It begins with Jami breaking up with her overbearing boyfriend and starting her career as a small town reporter.  Her work leads her to Grant, who has returned home to liquidate his grandparents' estate.  Jami wants to write about the estate, and sparks fly as the two get acquainted, and sort out what they are looking for individually ... and maybe together as well.

This is such a charming novel.  Trust My Heart has so many elements I love.  It has a small town setting in the Smoky Mountains.  There is an old, abandoned family mansion to explore.  It has truly likable, relatable characters in Jami and Grant.  It has a heartwarming romance.  And it even has two adorable rescued dachshunds!  It would make a perfect Hallmark movie. 

Trust My Heart was a perfect weekend read.  I enjoyed it so much that I am already sure I will reread it again in the future.   Make some cocoa, find a warm blanket, and curl up for a delightful visit with characters and a town you will enjoy.

Giveaway
Join Carol in celebrating the release of Trust My Heart by entering to win her $75 Cozy Cash Giveaway.


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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Trust My Heart
  • A $75 Visa cash card
  • A basket full of goodies made in North Carolina to keep you cozy in the cooler fall weather
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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 23. The winner will be announced November 28 on Carol's blog.


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I received a copy of this book from Litfuse.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Dear Abby - Happy Thanksgiving

Dear friends,

I hear that next week is Thanksgiving!  That means yummy food and the National Dog Show.  It also is a nice reminder to be thankful for good things in our lives.

Readers, I am thankful for YOU.  I have loved the wonderful stories and photos you have shared of your fur-kids in Rescue Spotlights and Pet Meet and Greet posts here.  I enjoy every single comment that you leave, especially the ones about your pets.

Thank you for visiting my blog and for loving animals and for supporting rescue!

Today I will just share a few vintage Thanksgiving images with you.  Above, you will see a girl eating turkey while her dachshund watches.  (He has a bone to chew on.)  It is a cover illustration of Calling All Girls magazine from the early 1960's.

Below you will find a vintage postcard showing two black and tan dachshunds meeting some turkeys.  I wonder how that went?!


This vintage Thanksgiving greeting card features two little puppies playing on a great big pumpkin.  That looks like fun!


This is another vintage greeting card (1940's).  It shows a little terrier dog actually riding on a turkey!



Thank you again for stopping by!  What are you thankful for this year?  If you have pets, do they get special treats on Thanksgiving?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


Book Review and Giveaway - The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Ace Collins

Book Synopsis
Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins' new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas. Download a free sampler of the book by clicking here

My Review
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a lovely devotional, perfect for the Christmas season.  There are 31 short devotionals, one for each day of December.  

I love the format of this book.  Each day includes a scripture, a short inspirational reading, the lyrics to a Christmas song or hymn - along with interesting background about the song, and a simple recipe or craft activity.   

I really like the variety that the daily readings offer.  I have long been interested in the history behind hymns and classic Christmas songs, so I found this feature in the book particularly fascinating.

The writing is inspiring, and perfect for the Christmas season - a time of love and warmth.  I highly recommend this beautifully written devotional book.  I look forward to enjoying it this Christmas season, and in future years as well.  

Giveaway
Join Ace's Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.


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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 21. The winner will be announced November 22 on the Litfuse blog.


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I received a copy of this book from Litfuse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

Book Synopsis
Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Author Bio
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieChaseAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliechasebooks
Website: http://juliechasebooks.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14957369.Julie_Chase?from_search=true

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     BAM!       IndieBound

Giveaway
(3) digital prize packs of books 1&2 in Julie Anne Lindsey’s Geek Girl Mysteries  
A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder, book 1, A Geek Girl’s Guide to Arsenic, book 2  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dear Abby - Pet Meet and Greet: Charlie and Baxter

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week!  We FINALLY are getting cooler weather here.  It is starting to really feel like Fall.

Today I would love to introduce you to Charlie and Baxter, two handsome Bichon Frise dogs.  Their mother, Lindsay, was kind enough to stop by the blog for an interview.  Lindsay blogs at The Flynnigans, and you'll find more Charlie and Baxter there.



Abby: Who are your pets (names, breeds, ages)?

Lindsay: Charlie 9, Baxter 8. Both Bichon Frise. Both share the same mother and father, they are just a litter apart.


Abby: Is there a story behind any of your pets' names?

Lindsay: Charles Xavier Flynn - Charles after my late grandfather, Xavier after Professor X in X-Men and Flynn is our last name.

Baxter Burgundy Flynn - Baxter because my husband wanted to name him Buster and I refused because I didn't think Buster suited the name being white little fluffy dog, so in the end, Baxter it was. :) His middle name was inspired by Ron Burgundy in the Anchorman movie.


Abby: What is the funniest thing your pets have done?
Lindsay: I can't say that one time in particular stands out in my mind, but the boys are constantly doing funny things and making my husband and I both smile and laugh.

Abby: Have your pets had any adventures?
Lindsay: The boys have never been on a plane but they do enjoy getting down and dirty camping with us usually once a year.

Abby: What do you and your pets do for fun?
Lindsay: We have play dates with friends or at my mom's house (she has three bichons). They love being doted on and loving on Mommy and Daddy. They love snoozing and Charlie loves watching tv.

Abby: Do your pets have any favorite, special toys?
Lindsay: Charlie isn't particular with his toys. He has a basket of toys, some he played with back when he was a puppy that he still gravitates to.


Baxter is pretty indifferent as well. He will play fetch with you whereas Charlie will typically look at the object thrown, then back at you as if to say, "what?". Lol

I would say, though, of all the toys and money we've spent over the years, nothing compares to their love of our freshly worn socks all balled up. That is heaven to them. Lol


Abby: What are some special things your pets can do?
Lindsay: We've always taken pride in teaching them both to sit, down, shake a paw (both sides), high five and twirl like a circus animal all roughly by the age of 4 months, the twirling trick taking longer than the others.


Another thing we are proud of is Charlie's modeling career when he was 6 months to two years old. We had so much fun taking him to photo shoots and auditions but it was hard work, and had we wanted him to get into it more, we would've had to hire a handler, and at that point you have to question whether you want your dog as a family pet or you want them to be a working dog, both different from the other. It's just a whole different lifestyle when you have working pets that are constantly working, going to auditions. It was exhausting but a lot fun nonetheless.

Baxter also had his hand at modeling last year; he won the month of September 2016 for a local dog calendar contest. :)

Abby: What are your pets' most lovable qualities?
Lindsay: Charlie is dubbed the social butterfly of the two boys, he loves all kinds. Baxter is the more reserved boy until he gets to know you and then once he does, he's Mr. Softie. They are both such funny, sweet, smart and loving little gentlemen. :)

Thank you, Lindsay, Charlie, and Baxter, for stopping by today!  I loved hearing about the boys' modeling career and the fun they have.  I love their full names too!   Readers, you can leave comments and questions for Lindsay in the comments, below.

If you have pets who would enjoy being spotlighted here, please let me know!  Be sure to leave your email in the comments if you want to do a spotlight.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo




Book Review and Giveaway - Beauty and Attention by Liz Rosenberg

Book Synopsis
The riveting story of one brave young woman’s struggle to free herself from a web of deceit.

For misfit Libby Archer, social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the mid-1950s don’t work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents, and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her uncle’s Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the stifling McCarthy era at home.

Across the Atlantic, Libby finds common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she hopes to become. Fraught with betrayal and long-kept secrets, as well as sudden wealth and unexpected love, Libby’s journey toward independence takes turns she never could have predicted—and calls on courage and strength she never knew she had.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books a Million | Barnes & Noble

 

My Review

Beauty and Attention tells the story of Libby Archer.  It is the mid-1950's and her father has just passed away.  She decides to leave her home in Rochester, New York to visit relatives in Ireland and seek a new life with more options.

 

The novel is a retelling of Portrait of a Lady, which I have not read since college.  From what I recall of the Henry James novel, I thought the parallels were interesting and very well done.

 

The writing is beautiful.  Liz Rosenberg has a gift for lyrical storytelling, with lovely descriptions, well drawn characters, and smart dialogue.  I loved lines like:

 

 "'I want to see the world,' Libby said.  She leaned closer, hands clasped together in a gesture of appeal, as if to convince her guests.  'I thought it might comfort me.'

 

'The world is not necessarily a comforting place,' said the old woman, curving her veiny hand over Libby's and patting it.  'But I wish you luck.  Indeed I do'" (pp. 6 - 7).

 

I love historical fiction, and have always been fascinated by the 1950's.  The historical details in Beauty and Attention were especially well done, and are sure to please other fans of historical fiction.

 

This was a fascinating read, and I only wish it had been longer!  I look forward to reading other books by Liz Rosenberg in the future.

Author Bio

The author of more than thirty books for adults and young readers, Liz Rosenberg has published three bestselling novels, including The Laws of Gravity and The Moonlight Palace. She has also written five books of poems, among them 2008’s Demon Love, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and After Great Grief, forthcoming from the Provincetown Arts Press. Her poems have been heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Rosenberg’s books for young readers have won numerous awards and honors and have been featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. A former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Rosenberg teaches English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Binghamton with her daughter, Lily, and a shih tzu named Sophie. Although she has homes in New York and North Chatham, Massachusetts, her heart is still in Ireland.

 

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a copy of Beauty and Attention.  The giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada, and ends on 11/18 at midnight.  The winner will be notified by email, and will need to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed from the author or her publicist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Dear Abby - Pet Meet and Greet Spotlight: Hansel, Gretel, and Rosalie

Dear Friends,

I am happy to introduce you to three of my dachshund friends.  They are Hansel, Gretel, and Rosalie, and they live with their mother Sheila.  Sheila is another Doxieposse friend, and she is a great dachshund person.  I love the beautiful photos she has shared, and the stories about her sweet doxies.  I think you will, too!

Abby:  Who are your pets (names, breeds, ages)? 


Sheila:  Hansel & Gretel, Miniature Dachshunds, 14yrs old
Rosalie Lillian, English Cream Longhair Dachshund, 6yrs old

Sheila adds more background for Hansel and Gretel:  "They are a bonded brother and sister who were the only survivors of their litter and weighed ½ pound each at birth. They have had a multitude of health problems. I had a vet once tell me they should have been put down as puppies but I said no. I took them from what I considered a bad home breeder."

Abby: Is there a story behind any of your pets' names?

Sheila:  Hansel & Gretel were named by a co-worker who was from Germany and suggested it because of the German breed.

Rosalie Lillian got her name from the Twilight character Rosalie Lillian Hale who was described in the books as a beautiful blonde.

Abby: What is the funniest thing your pets have done?

Sheila: Gretel is very mischievous and an instigator.  She once climbed a baby gate, shredded everything she could get into, then climbed back over the gate to make it look like someone had broken in, made the mess then left.  That day I had not put away the paper products after grocery shopping so she had a good time.  She’s chewed the bottom fabric on her love seat, she will pull over trash cans, nose around in any bag on the floor, etc.  That is why they are crated when I’m not home. 

Hansel hates riding in the car so bad he once got stuck behind a toilet trying to hide.  I also found him inside an old dog bed once. He somehow managed to get in the part that was full of stuffing and made a huge mess in the process.

Abby: Have your pets had any adventures? 


Sheila: Not sure unless you consider the time they tried to chase the rabbit when I let her loose and bedlam ensued or the time they tried to help me catch the parakeet that got loose in my apartment or the time I caught them with their paws in the guinea pig cages rocking them back and forth or the time I lost my mind thinking I could handle taking 6 dogs outside on leashes at once while dog sitting.
Abby: What do you and your pets do for fun?

Sheila: They love riding in the car (once you get Hansel in the car). Gretel even learned how to put her paws on the automatic window button so the window would roll down.   They also loved going to visit their Nana all I had to do was say the word Nana and they run to the door and start barking to leave. 


Abby: Do your pets have any favorite, special toys?

Sheila: Rosalie has a thing for socks to the point she tries to get the ones I’m putting on to wear with shoes.  

Hansel & Gretel have a favorite blanket and will pout when it’s time to be washed. They also love soft squeaky toys of any kind.

Abby: What are some special things your pets can do?

I can put food on the floor and say "Leave It" and they won’t touch it. This is a command we still utilize from our obedience days.

Hansel has always put his nose on my ankle when he needs to go outside.

Gretel has an overbite (her bottom jaw didn’t grow correctly) and this made her able to whistle.  

Rosalie will hold my hand with her paws or if I’m sitting she’ll climb up, wrap her paws around my neck for a hug.

Abby: What are your pets' most lovable qualities?

Sheila:  Without a doubt the unconditional love I receive every day.
Aww - that is a wonderful quality!  What wonderful stories about these beautiful doxies!  Sheila, thank you so much for visiting today.   Friends, you can leave questions or comments for Sheila in the comments section below.

I only have one more Pet Meet and Greet on my upcoming calendar, and would LOVE to include your pets.  If you are interested, please just leave your email in the comments.  Thanks!

Wishing you a great weekend!   Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo