Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear Abby - Celebrating Special Pets: Miguel Luis

Dear Friends,

My good friend Dianne is visiting again today from Mexico.  Today she has is sharing the story of her wonderful 14 year old dachshund, Miguel Luis.  I have known Miguel for years online through a dachshund group, and I think you will enjoy getting to know him better here today too.  Dianne has visited before, to remember her dachshund Lili Marie and to share the story of Miguel and Lili's life together.  

Abby:  Thanks for stopping by!  What pet would you like to introduce at my blog today?  

Dianne:  Miguel Luis is a standard (22 pound) black and tan dachshund who is a native Mexican – born in Ensenada where we live on January 13, 2003.  Naturally he’s bilingual!  Actually the day I picked him up at 8 weeks old I went with a friend and as we were driving home I could feel he was frightened  Then it occurred to me we were speaking English and all he’d heard in his little life was Spanish.  So I put on a Spanish language radio station and he calmed down 

Abby:  What are some happy memories of Miguel?

Dianne:  He has been the best dog I’ve ever had…ever.  He is sweet, loves people, goes along with whatever I want him to do.  He is by far the perfect dog!  Everybody loves him and loves his name (He was named for my favorite Mexican singer, Luis Miguel!) 

Abby:  Do you have any funny anecdotes?

Dianne:  One evening we were having an incredible sunset so I grabbed my camera and walked outside to get a picture, not knowing that he walked out behind me.  I took my picture, went inside and locked the door.  About ½ hour later, I realized I hadn’t seen him in awhile and it finally occurred to me that he may have followed me out.  I opened the door and there he was, sitting right in front of the door, waiting for his dumb mama to come for him.

Abby:  I enjoyed visiting with you today.  Is there anything else about Miguel Luis you would like to share? 

Dianne:  Miguel’s 14 years old and I know he won’t be with me forever so I’m treasuring the time I get to have this great guy around.

Abby:   Dianne, thank you so much for visiting!  I'm so glad you have Miguel, and I am delighted to know him too.  I love it that he is bilingual!  And I'm so glad he followed you home after you went out to photograph the sunset!

Friends, you can leave comments for Dianne and Miguel in the comment section below.  If you want to feature a beloved pet here, please let me know with your email.  Thanks!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Book Synopsis
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival.

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

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Purchase Links

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My Review
The Orphan's Tale is a historical novel set in 1940's Germany and France.  It is the story of two women.  One of them is a young woman named Noa.  Her parents pushed her out of her home after she became pregnant, at the age of 16, by a Nazi officer.  She is forced to give up her baby, and works long hours at a railway station.  The other woman is an aerialist named Astrid who works in a traveling circus.   

Noa finds a railway car of Jewish babies being transported to a concentration camp.  Missing her own baby, she takes one of the babies from the railway car and runs away into the cold and snowy woods.  Her travels take her to the winter home of a circus where Astrid works.   The kind owner of the circus takes Noa and the baby in with the understanding that she will learn to work on the trapeze in order to earn her keep.

Noa and Astrid move from an antagonistic start to a reluctant friendship.  Their bond deepens as they share secrets when the circus goes on the road from Germany to France.

The circus is struggling in a time of sadness and unrest.  It is comprised of an eclectic mix of workers and performers.  As Astrid says, "The circus has no borders" (p. 106).

This is such an exceptionally moving novel about the surprising strengths and courage of everyday people in the darkest times.  I really cared about Noa, Astrid, and baby Theo and I stayed up into the wee hours transported to another time and place as I read their story.

The book is told in alternating chapters by Noa and Astrid.  The author moves skillfully in this transition, and these characters are strongly written.

The historical details about circus life are also fascinating.  Pam Jenoff vividly captures day to day life in a small traveling circus.

The Orphan's Tale is a book with many twists and surprises, from the beginning through the epilogue.  I found it very engrossing and recommend it highly for other fans of historical fiction.

Author Bio
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.


Connect with Pam

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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

Vintage Easter Card Giveaway from Birdhouse Books

I love Easter!  It is one of my favorite holidays.  So of course I love finding and listing vintage Easter cards in my shop, Birdhouse Books.

I have a wide variety of cards listed.  They make a sweet gift, tucked into an Easter basket or inside an envelope, and they are beautiful framed!

Whether you prefer bunnies ...

or chicks ...

or ducks ...

and whether you like vintage cards ...

or postcards ...

there is something for everyone at Birdhouse Books!

You'll find all these cards at:

Birdhouse Books on eBay 
Birdhouse Books on Etsy
Birdhouse Books on Bonanza

I am hosting a vintage Easter card giveaway.  You can win one Easter card or postcard of your choice under $10.  I will be glad to ship it to you or the recipient of your choice.  You will find all my Easter cards under $10 on eBay:  click here to see Easter cards.  

I will draw a winner on Tuesday, 3/28/17.   The winner will be notified by email and needs to respond within 48 hours. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting and good luck!