Friday, March 24, 2017

Dear Abby - Remembering Special Pets: Thelma Lou, Lucy, and Barney Fife

Dear Friends,

I have an extra special Remembering Special Pets feature today.  My Momma is visiting to share memories of special Dachshunds in our family. 

Abby:  Momma, thanks for visiting on my blogging day!   Would you please tell my readers about the family pets you want to remember?

Thelma Lou and Barney Fife
Trish:  I am here to share memories of Thelma Lou, a miniature longhair black and tan dachshund (1991 - 1999);  Lucy Ricardo, a red small standard dachshund (1999 - 2010);  and your special friend Barney Fife, a red standard dachshund (1997 - 2014).

Thelma Lou
Abby:  What are some happy memories of Thelma Lou, Lucy, and Barney Fife?   I loved Barney Fife, and have heard lots of nice things about Thelma Lou and Lucy, who were here before I was born.

Lucy Ricardo and Barney Fife
Trish:  Thelma Lou was a sweet girl, but also very sassy.  She would be walking outdoors and then decide she had walked enough, and would just stop until she was picked up!  Lucy was another sweet and sassy girl.  She had very soft fur, like velvet, and a musical voice.  When she was excited it sounded like she was singing scales.   Barney, as you know, was the sweetest, cuddliest dog in the world.  Barney had three sisters in his lifetime: Thelma Lou, Lucy, and you.  He loved you all!

Lucy Ricardo and one her many pink toys!
Abby:  Do you have any funny anecdotes?

A young Barney Fife
Trish:   I have lots of great stories!  Thelma Lou loved food.  She stole my dinner a couple of times.  Once I had a veggie sub sandwich and I went into the other room for some iced tea.  When I got back, the bread was there but the cheese and lettuce were missing ... except for one little bit of lettuce at the corner of her mouth.

Lucy was a princess.  She loved attention, loved pink toys, sweaters, dressing up ... and when I got out the camera, she was always ready to pose.  I have lots and lots of pictures of her for that reason!

Barney Fife was the sweetest boy in the world, but he was also stubborn.  When he didn't want to do something he would make a noise that sounded just like, "uh-uh, uh-uh."   Barney loved toys!  He never tired of playing ball and playing with plush squeaky toys.  He also loved meeting other little dogs, and when we went to dachshund picnics, he would position himself near the entrance so he could greet every other dachshund that he saw.

Barney Fife
Abby:  I really enjoyed visiting with you today.  Is there anything else you would like to share?

Trish:  I am so blessed that I had these special pups in my life.  Thelma Lou and Lucy Ricardo were both puppy mill rescues, and because of them I developed a passion for rescue and strong feelings about puppy mills.  They both had health issues and shortened lifespans as a result of their puppy mill breeding.  Barney Fife was truly the perfect dog.  He was devoted to his sisters and to me.  Abby, he really loved you, and was so happy when you came to be a very special member of our family.

Barney Fife and Abby, just days after their first meeting.
Abby:  That makes me so happy and a little sad at all once!  Thank you for sharing their memories here today.

Friends, if you would like to leave a message, I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Thank you so much for visiting today!


Book Review and Giveaway - Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty

Book Synopsis:
For Patricia Curren, the summer of 1978 begins with a devastating discovery: an unfamiliar black pearl button in the bed she shares with her controlling husband, Jack. Seeking the courage to end her desolate marriage, Patricia spends a quiet summer alone on beautiful Kiawah Island. But when she meets Terry Sloan, a collegiate tennis player trying to go pro, their physical attraction sparks a slow burn toward obsession.

Once Patricia and Terry share closely guarded secrets from their pasts, they want more than a summer together. But their love soon fractures, as a potential sponsor takes an unusually keen interest in Terry—both on court and off. And when single, career-driven Lynn Hewitt arrives, other secrets must surface, including the one Patricia has kept from Terry all summer.

An intimate portrait of the folly of the human heart, Breaking and Holding explores buried truths that are startlingly unveiled. What’s left in their wake has the power not only to shatter lives…but to redeem them.

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My Review:
Breaking and Holding is a southern novel set in 1978.  It begins with a betrayal.  While on vacation on Kiawah Island, Patricia realizes that her domineering older husband is having an affair.  Saddened and confused, Patricia decides to stay on the island for a while when her husband goes home to New York.  She meets Terry Sloan, a handsome young tennis player, and their romance begins.  But there are secrets that will be revealed, and things will change over the course of the summer and beyond.

I was very interested in this novel because the author is from my family's hometown, Savannah, and I was also intrigued by the southern island setting.   The time period (late 1970's) was another big plus.

The author does an amazing job at establishing another time and place.  I loved the 1970's island setting.  I also enjoyed the tennis details!

The descriptions are evocative.  For instance:

"As August began, I saw the sparkle in the sand disappear.  The line of the horizon vanished in the thickness of the air.  The ocean, reflecting the hazy gray sky, was a tub of lukewarm bathwater, sure to leave a scummy ring if drained.  Storm clouds teased with afternoon rumbles but gave no rain, no relief" (p. 159).

I found the characters compelling.  Both Patricia and Terry are complex but flawed, and there are some important secrets kept.  I felt anxious at times, knowing there would be an unraveling because of the secrets, but I kept reading quickly on to learn the rest of their story.  There were a lot of twists on the way!

I recommend Breaking and Holding for fans of women's fiction, southern fiction, 1970's settings, and especially for anyone who is looking for a compelling and unique summer read.

Author Bio:
Judy Fogarty lives, writes, reads, and runs on the historic Isle of Hope, in her native Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois and has served as Director of Marketing for private golf and tennis communities in the Savannah/Hilton Head area, including The Landings on Skidaway Island, Berkeley Hall, and Callawassie Island. She is a devoted (even rowdy) tennis fan as anyone who has ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) of watching a match with her will attest. Breaking and Holding is her debut novel. She is happily at work on her second, and as always, enjoys the invaluable support of her husband, Mike, and children, Colin and Sara Jane.

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Breaking and Holding.  This giveaway ends midnight, 3/31/17, and is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada.  The winner will be notified by email and needs to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed directly from the author or her publicist to the winner.

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