Friday, October 19, 2018

Dear Abby - Videos That Abby Likes: Dachshund Who Sells Pumpkins and Watermelon

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week and enjoying Fall weather and Halloween plans!   I found a cute video to share with you today.  This features Doxie Din again.  In this video he dresses up and sells pumpkins -- and watermelons!   My favorite part of the video is when he actually gets some watermelon as a treat.

My Momma has no talent for carving pumpkins so I do not have much experience with jack o' lanterns.  I do, however, like watermelon!

I would love to hear from you in the comments.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Abby xoxoxo 

Book Review and Giveaway - A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn

Book Synopsis
Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.

When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.

Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.

As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.

My Review
A Crafter Knits a Clue is the first book in a new series, A Handcrafted Mystery.  Sammy (Samantha) Kane has moved back to her hometown of Heartsford, Wisconsin.  Her best friend Kate passed away and she has decided to continue Kate's work by running her store, Community Craft.  When another craft store owner is mysteriously murdered, Sammy works together with her sister and cousin to solve the case.  This puts her safety in jeopardy and does not please police detective (and possible romantic interest) Liam Nash.

This is a great start to a new series!  The first few chapters have a lot of needed exposition about Sammy and her friend Kate and Community Craft, Kate's store that Sammy has taken over.  The mystery happens early on and the pace really picks up then.

The mystery aspect of A Crafter Knits a Clue is especially well done.   There are a number of viable suspects and lots of little twists and turns.  I loved the idea of Sammy, Heidi, and Ellie continuing their childhood sleuthing as S.H.E. (their childhood detective agency name).   This lent a sort of Nancy Drew quality to the story that was a lot of fun.

I also liked the detecting the women did in Ingrid's spooky old house. (Ingrid was the murder victim.)  It was very atmospheric and my favorite part of the mystery.

The relationship between Sammy and Liam is appealing and their banter is fun to read.   I look forward to reading more of their story in upcoming books in this series.

The small town was charming and I could picture a number of the settings just from the descriptions in the book.  Of course, I also loved Sammy's Golden Retriever, Bara!

I recommend A Crafter Knits a Clue for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.  Readers who enjoy small town settings, crafting, or dogs will find the book especially appealing.

Author Bio
Holly Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born. Visit her @

Author Links
Website –
Facebook –
GoodReads – 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Great Escapes Book Tour.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland

Book Synopsis

For Napoleon’s stepdaughter, nothing is simple — especially love.

Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother’s dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother Josephine has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.

Where will Hortense’s future lie?

Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound


Praise for the Game of Hope

Gulland, who’s clearly done her research, includes plenty of documented moments and people from Hortense’s life, which cultivates a rich sense of atmosphere . . . Teen fans of historical fiction fascinated by the period will find plenty to appreciate here.” — Booklist

“Gulland has built a career writing historical fiction for adults … . Her pitch-perfect balance of lush period details and character-driven narrative shines again in The Game of Hope. — Quill & Quire

“[The Game of Hope] captures the essence of the period. It is not just a story about a girl; it is about the time; it is about the people whose lives she touched and about the changes spurned from the revolution. That is what makes it so grand and captivating.” — Cyn’s Workshop Review

“Sandra Gulland’s writing is enchanting and beautiful.” — Krimsuun Pages

Author Bio
Sandra Gulland is an American-born Canadian novelist specializing in historical fiction. She is the author of the internationally bestselling trilogy of adult books based on the life of Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte, as well as two novels set at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, translated into thirteen languages, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Sandra Gulland’s novels include The Josephine B. Trilogy, The Shadow Queen, Mistress of the Sun, and The Game of Hope.

Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon



During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Game of Hope to one lucky reader! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US Only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Game of Hope