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!


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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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.



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.

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