Friday, April 6, 2018

Dear Abby - A Dachshund Museum in Germany

Dear Friends,

I am interrupting my dog movies series for an important news bulletin -- there is a dachshund museum opening in Passau, Germany!   It has been all over the news this week, and I am grateful to my friends Shari and Dave for sending me links and info.

This Dackel Museum is owned by a couple, Seppi Kueblbeck and Oliver Storz, who are dachshund people.  They have displays of new and vintage dachshunds of all types -- over 2000 dachshunds on display!  The photos and videos are impressive.   

They have items like signed sketches by Picasso of his dog Lump, and Waldi, the dachshund mascot from the 1972 Olympics.

Pablo Picasso and his dachshund Lump

Waldi, the official mascot of the 1972 Olympic games

This is a nice slideshow of photos from the museum.   The forward arrow is quite small on the right side of the photo.  The museum is impressive -- I love the displays!   Click here to visit the museum via photos:   dachshund museum slideshow.

Here is a link to the museum's official site.  It is in German, but even if you do not speak the language, you will enjoy the photos:  Dackel Museum.

Here is a short video about the museum, the owners, and (of course, most importantly!) their dachshunds - it looks amazing!

I would love to hear from you in the comments.  Wishing you a great weekend!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Review - High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Book Synopsis
Some families are filled with so much love they can’t help but drive each other crazy.

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama's family—folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at. 

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this. 

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet and predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring. 

My Review
High Cotton is a southern novel set in the small town of Pinewood, Mississippi.  Shay Henke is at the heart of the novel.  She receives an invitation to a family reunion at the same time that she reconnects with her high school crush.  And then there is a lot of family drama, especially from a secret her sister-in-law asks her to help keep and her younger twin cousins, who seek her advice.  This is the first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion Series.

This was a really enjoyable read!   The author, who has clearly spent a lot of time in the south, captured small town southern life perfectly.  I am a native southerner and loved that aspect of this book -- the southernisms of the language, the pacing, the food, the family dynamics.

The book is told in alternating chapters by different members of the family.  At first I was a little wary of this, because it really seems to be Shay's story at heart, but as the novel went on I really got to know the other characters (Missy, Punkin, and Sally) as well and cared about them.  I enjoyed their storylines and seeing the way all the stories fit together.

The dialogue was particularly strong in this novel.  I could just visualize scenes, like a movie, because it was so engaging and well written.

I recommend High Cotton for fans of Southern fiction, women's fiction, and Christian novels.  I am already looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

I received a copy of this book from Gilead Reviewers.  

Book Review - The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamare

Book Synopsis
London, 1881

He Never Expected to See Her Again. Then She Appeared with a Most Unexpected Request. . . .

Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor--a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It's only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women's medical school. He's supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he's made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

My Review
The Heart's Appeal is the second book in the London Beginnings series by Jennifer Delamare.  I enjoyed reviewing the first book, The Captain's Daughter, last year (see review here). 

The Heart's Appeal is set in Victorian England.  It tells the story of Julia Bernay, who travels to London to study medicine.  She has worked as a nurse but wants to become a doctor, a field that is just beginning to offer some opportunities for women in the 1880's.  As she travels to the university, a train accident changes her life.  She helps an injured passenger, a lawyer named Michael Stephenson.  Their lives becomes entwined, especially as they become friends (with a romantic interest!) and as Julia finds that Michael is working on a lawsuit that threatens the university where she is studying.

I found this novel absolutely fascinating.  I knew nothing about women in medicine in Victorian England and found that aspect of the book immediately interesting.  It took so much courage and determination for women to pursue a career in medicine at that time.

I really liked the character of Julia.  She is independent, brave, and also very caring.  Michael is also an admirable character.  Julia is guided by faith and Michael is guided by a sense of propriety and the desire to do the right thing.  

There was a brief glimpse of Rosalyn from the first book in this series, but the novel really focuses on Julia.  It would work as a standalone read, although I recommend the first book in the series, The Captain's Daughter, highly as well.

The historical details and sense of time and place is very well done and sure to please fans of historical fiction.

My only quibble is that the book ended a bit too soon, right in the middle of a dramatic scene.  I wish it had continued a bit longer!

I recommend The Heart's Appeal, and this series, to fans of historical fiction and Christian fiction.

Author Bio
Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House.