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.


Abby xoxoxo

Blog Review and Giveaway - Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie

Book Synopsis
They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

Their relationship is initially made in literary heaven but when Aaron loses his contract with a prestigious press, and Laurie’s novel is optioned by a major film studio, the differences in their literary sensibilities and temperaments drive them apart.

In a clumsy attempt to win Laurie back, Aaron employs the tropes of romance novels. Too late. She’s already taken up with Ross, a prolific author of Nicholas Sparks-like love stories. Initially Laurie is more comfortable with the slick and superficial Ross, but circumstances force her to go deeper with her writing and confront a painful past. Maybe Aaron and Laurie have more in common than they imagined.

In the tradition of the Rosie Project, Love Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between so-called low and high brow fiction.

READ an excerpt at Karin’s website, HERE.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


My Review

When I first met Aaron Mite in the pages of Love Literary Style, I'll admit I did not like him.  He represented the most insufferable English majors I knew in school, who waxed rhapsodic about "the canon," while sniffing at "genre fiction."


But then something unexpected happened.  Aaron met Laurie Lee, a bubbly romance writer, at a writing colony in the North Georgia mountains.  He believed that she was a prestigious literary author, and they began a romance that seemed both well matched and ill matched at once.


When they inevitably came apart, I was surprised how much I wanted them to get back together, to find a middle ground where they could both be happy - both together and with their own writing.  And this speaks to the skill of a talented writer, Karin Gillespie.  She created two disparate characters who could have been stereotypes and made them both likeable and multi-dimensional.


This is my second read by the author, and I really enjoy her writing style.  It is brisk and lively, with smart dialogue that moves the story along.   I also enjoyed the descriptions and settings in the book, especially as a native Georgian who lives in the same area as the fictional Laurie Lee.


I really enjoyed Love Literary Style, both for the story of Aaron and Laurie, and also for the insights on different literary styles and genres.  I recommend it enthusiastically to other readers.     

Author Bio

Karin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016.


Connect with Karen

Website | Facebook | Twitter



One lucky reader will win a copy of Love Literary Style.  This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada, and will end 11/11.  The winner will be notified by email, and needs to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be sent to the winner directly from the author or her publicist.  

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