Friday, February 23, 2018

Dear Abby - Favorite Movie Dogs: Lassie

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week!

We talked about Lassie before as a TV dog (you can read that blog post here:  Famous TV Dogs:  Lassie), but before Lassie was on television, she was in the movies.

Lassie Come Home was a 1943 MGM movie starring Roddy McDowell and collie Pal.  When Lassie is sold to a wealthy man, she finds a way to return home to the boy who loves her.
Son of Lassie (1945) continues the story with the same boy, now grown up.  It is about Lassie's son who becomes a "war dog" during World War II.   This movie stars Peter Lawford and June Lockhart - who later appeared in the Lassie TV series.

Courage of Lassie (1946) is about a collie named Bill who loves a young girl (played by a young Elizabeth Taylor).   He is separated from her and becomes a war dog.  However, he finds his way back to the home he loves.  This movie costars Frank Morgan, the wizard from The Wizard of Oz.
Hills of Home (1948) is about a Scottish doctor who has a dog named Lassie.  Lassie is afraid of water, but fights this fear to rescue the doctor.  The doctor in this movie is played by Edmund Gwenn, who played Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.

The Sun Comes Up (1949) tells the story of a former opera singer (Jeanette MacDonald) who lives with her dog Lassie and bonds with a young orphan in the Brushy Gap area of the Smoky Mountains near Asheville.

Challenge to Lassie (1949) is about a collie so devoted to her deceased person that she does not want to leave his grave.

The Painted Hills (Lassie's Adventures in the Goldrush) is a 1951 movie about a collie who wants to find revenge when her person is murdered.

In all seven original Lassie movies, the role was played by Pal.  Pal was a male Rough Collie who lived 18 years (1940 - 1958).  

There are also later Lassie movies after this series of 7 collie films:  Lassie's Great Adventures (1963, made for TV), The Magic of Lassie (1978), and remakes of Lassie in 1994 and 2005.

Have you seen any of the Lassie movies, or the Lassie TV series?   I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review and Giveaway - The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

Book Synopsis
Broken-down walls and crumbled stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own. What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved old woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a forgotten castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to present in three time-periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

My Review
The Lost Castle is a historical novel set in three time periods:  the present, World War II, and during the French Revolution.  In the present day it tells the story of Ellie and her grandmother.  When Ellie finds a mysterious picture of her grandmother at a castle in 1944, she goes off to France to solve the mystery of the photo for her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's.  The story also flashes back to Ellie's grandmother, Viola, in the 1940's, and further back, to the story of Aveline in 1780's France.

This is such a lovely, complex read.  I loved the layers of history, the characters, the story that builds as it moves back and forth in time.

The castle itself is almost a character in this book.  It is referred to as The Sleeping Beauty castle and there is a lot that is apt about that name.  Cambron writes:

"Vi had come upon a storybook castle first, the ruins of stone walls enveloped in a thick layer of ivy.  She'd rather have hidden there, to get lost in its crumbling secrets and forget the world for a time.  Maybe sleep in one of the lofty rooms and imagine the soirees that had enlivened it centuries before" (p. 28).

The writing is beautiful.  I knew I would love this book from the epigraph that sets the tone:  "If I'm honest, I have to tell you I still read fairy tales, and I like them best of all" (Audrey Hepburn, p. x).  The descriptions bring the castle and the characters to life.   Kristy Cambron does an especially good job at delineating very different characters in vastly different times.

I loved every minute of The Lost Castle, and am sure it will be one of my favorite reads this year.  I cannot recommend this novel highly enough for fans of historical fiction.  Five stars!

Author Bio
Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy’s first Bible studies, THE VERSE MAPPING SERIES, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development from a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and could probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

Visit Kristy online at, Twitter: @KCambronAuthor, Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author, Instagram: KristyCambron.


Connect with Kristy

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Kristy Cambron is hosting a giveaway on Instagram -- click here to see all the info!  (Ends 3/13/18)
I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.