Friday, May 26, 2017

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dachshund Vs. Crab

Dear Friends,

As summer is just around the corner, I will be making some short, fun posts on my blogging days.   I plan to share some videos, some cute pictures, and maybe a dog theme book review or two as well.

Today I have two fun videos to share.   They feature a little rescued dachshund named Madeline.  Madeline went to the beach and met a CRAB.   I have never seen a crab, and am not sure I would like to meet one!  Madeline was very brave and she went back and forth checking out the crab and trying to make friends.   There are two videos about her adventures.

If you have a pet, have they ever had an unusual animal encounter?  I would love to hear about it in the comments, below.

I have seen a rabbit, chipmunks, and squirrels up close.  I am curious about them but do not chase or bark.  Chipmunks move very fast and they get my attention to most.  Recently some deer were spotted nearby and I would be curious to see them, I think.

I hope you have a good weekend!

Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson

Book Synopsis
From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.

In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it’s an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review 
Goodnight from London tells the story of Ruby Sutton.  She is a young American journalist who moves to London as a correspondent in 1940.  The novel details her life and work in the city, including the enormous stress of life during the Blitz.  She meets a handsome military captain, Bennett.  They both have secrets, and they slowly get to know each other and share their pasts as the war moves on.

This is a fascinating read about life in London during World War II.  Jennifer Robson is one of my favorite historical fiction writers, and she does a fine job at capturing the feel of the city during wartime.  The historical details are fascinating!

Ruby's work as a correspondent is especially interesting.  She faces the dual challenges of being a woman in a man's field, and being an American working in another country.  I found the details of her work, with interviews around the London area, especially compelling.

I loved the characters in this book -- Ruby's editor Kaz, her friends Vanessa, Vi, and Bea, and especially Bennett.  The friendship and slow blooming romance between Ruby and Bennett is so moving and beautifully written.

There were many plot twists and turns, as one would expect in a novel set from 1940 - 1945.  I felt they were very well done, and found Goodnight from London a really engrossing read.

Goodnight from London will surely be on my list of favorite books of the year.  I recommend it highly for other fans of historical fiction.   Five stars!

Author Bio
Jennifer Robson is the USA Today and #1 Toronto Globe & Mail bestselling author of Somewhere in France, After the War is Over and Moonlight Over Paris. She holds a doctorate from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto with her husband and young children.

Find out more about Jennifer at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Synopsis
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

Audio Clip

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance.


Connect with Sarah

Website | Facebook | Twitter

One lucky reader will win a copy of A Stranger at Fellsworth.  The giveway ends 6/2/17.  The winner will be notified by email, and needs to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed directly to the winner by the author or her publicist.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Watching The Detectives by Julie Mulhern

Book Synopsis
Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?

With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:

Author Bio
Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions. 

Author Links
Webpage –
FB –
Twitter –
Goodreads – 

Purchase Links
Amazon Paperback  Amazon Kindle  kobo  B&N

(5) E-Copy of The Deep End by Julie Mulhern
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Friday, May 19, 2017

Dear Abby - Animal Related Collection - Beth's Whale Collection

Dear Friends,

Welcome back to my blog!   I am happy to have a visit from my friend Beth today.  She has brought a really fun animal collection to share!   You may remember Beth from her previous visits to tell her cat Scotty's dramatic rescue story and to share the story of her beautiful bunny rabbits, Cadbury and Woodbury.

Abby:  Thank you for visiting, Beth!  I heard you have a wonderful whale collection.  How did you get interested in whales?

Beth:  I fell in love with whales the summer before I turned 15, when my parents took me to Hawaii for our vacation. Whales seemed so beautiful and majestic to me. I'm interested in every kind, but I think my favorite is the humpback whale. 

Abby:  They are really beautiful!   What whale treasures did you bring to share?

Beth:  Here are the whales in my glass front cabinet.

I have some prints of whales (Prince of Wales ha!) up:

These are in our "beach bathroom."

Some of my mugs:

And some of my books:

I cross-stitched this.

Abby: Beth, thank you so much for visiting!  I love your whale collection.  Your cross-stitched picture is especially beautiful! 

I also would love to share photos of Beth's pets.  Here is Sully, his cat, and Scotty: 

Scotty (the princess)



They are all so beautiful!  Beth, thank you again!  I really enjoyed your visit today.

Friends, if you would like to leave a message for Beth, you can do so in the comments below.  If you would like to share pictures of your animal related collection, please let me know (with your email). 

Thank you so much for visiting!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - True to You by Becky Wade

Book Synopsis
Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

My Review
Nora Bradford is a genealogist who runs a historical village.  She meets John Lawson, a former Navy SEAL who wants to find his mother to find answers about a new health concern.  They seem like opposites, but find much in common through a growing friendship and shared faith.  John already has a girlfriend, and Nora is wary of relationships after a heartbreak three years ago.  Will they find a way to make romance happen?  

I loved this book!  Nora was a character that I truly liked - and related to.  She is the kind, smart middle sister in her family, unlike her creative and beautiful older and younger sisters.  I really liked the family dynamics in this book as well.

John is also such a strong and sympathetic character.  I admired him, and also really was pulling for romance between Nora and John!

I liked Nora's fascination for a Downton Abbey-ish series, and the way it played into the story.  I enjoyed the way the chapters ended with texts and Facebook messages.

I found the genealogy and mystery of John's mother very interesting as well.  I loved seeing Nora and John work together to solve the mystery as their connection deepened.

True to You is the first book in a new series, A Bradford Sisters Romance.  I am already looking forward to the next books in this series.  This was a delightful, well written novel with characters I really cared about.  I can't wait to read more!

Recommended for fans of women's fiction, contemporary romance, and Christian fiction.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dear Abby - Pet Related Collections: Barbara's Dachshunds, Guinea Pigs, and Cats

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to introduce you to my friend Barbara.  You may remember her from visits she's made in the past - telling the rescue story of Zeus the cat, remembering her beloved dachshunds Auggie and Billy, and introducing her pet family: Oz the dachshund, Zeus the cat, and guinea pigs Radar and Magenta.

Abby:  Barbara, thank you for visiting.  How did you begin your pet related collection?

Barbara:  Our first dachshund, Auggie, joined our family in February 1995. Shortly after his arrival my passion for collecting "all things dachshund" started. At first it was just the odd thing here and there. Dachshund items seemed more difficult to find at that time.  Over the years my love for our big red long dogs grew, as did my collections. I am always on the hunt for something new. But, now friends and family also contribute dachshund treasures for holidays and special occasions. It might not be the most organized of collections, but we are surrounded by bits and pieces all through our home. No matter where we stand there is a dachshund sharing our space. Whether they bark or just represent our much loved canine family members, they always make me smile and help to brighten the darkest of days!

Abby:  Oh, I like that!  Very well put.  What do you collect?

Barbara:  Everything tastes better when served in a dachshund mug. True confession: I always take my biggest dachshund mug with me when we travel and stay in a hotel. I like to enjoy my morning coffee and afternoon tea this way!

Every dachshund home needs one of these. Enter at your own risk.   😉

Many of these special treasures were given to me by friends and family. They all hold a special place in my heart.

Here is one of our most loved dachshund treasures!  This is Low Rider. He is an all time favourite in our family. When you push a button, he plays the song after which he was named. His body moves up and down, his head nods and his tails wags. No one can watch without smiling and laughing. He might be meant for Christmas, but he stays out in our dining room all year long!

I have seen people on social media who have dachshund ornament themed Christmas trees! So far this is my collection, but I hope to find more. Every year I scour the shops, but this is all I have found so far. They are always placed front and centre on the Christmas tree though.

Books, bags, stuffies and even a cushion! Never too many and I love them all!

Here are a few items that are representative of our other pet family members, guinea pigs Radar & Magenta, and kitty Zeus.  Guinea pig collectibles seem harder to come by. Our kitty collection has just begun!

Abby:  Thank you so much for visiting, Barbara!  I really loved seeing your collection.  You have a great variety of pet treasures.  I have to admit, I especially like the fun Low Rider dachshund!

I can't resist adding photos of Barbara's beautiful fur kids.


Dear friends, you can leave a message for Barbara in the comments below.  If you would like to feature your own pet collection, please let me know in the comments too (with your email - thanks!)

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you have a great weekend.


Abby xoxoxo