Friday, November 1, 2019

Dear Abby - Otters and Pumpkins

Dear Friends,

Happy November to you!  Although it is after Halloween, I have a few special pictures including jack o' lanterns that I want to share with you.  One of my friends sent me these and I liked them so much I saved them to share with you.  They are all pictures of otters enjoying pumpkins.

I like otters!  They are shaped a lot like dachshunds and are close in size.  I think they are silly to like water so much, but I am glad it makes them happy!

This little otter reaches into a pumpkin. I wonder if he has hidden a treat inside?

An otter going trick or treating!

 Lots of otters and lots of pumpkins:

Only two pumpkins for all those otters!

My favorite -- one otter has made a little pumpkin house.

Here are a few fun facts I learned about otters:

Otters are part of the weasel family.

Some otters spend most of their time in the water, while others like both land and water.

A group of otters can be called a bevy, lodge, romp, or family.  If there is a group in the water they are called a raft.

Baby otters are called pups, kits, or kittens.

Sea otters have the thickest fur of all animals.  It keeps them warm even in very cold water.

Sea otters sometimes hold hands while sleeping in the water so they don't drift apart.

Otters eat 15% - 25% of their body weight in food every single day!  (Now why does that not work for dogs as well?!)

I hope you enjoyed these photos, and wish you a happy November!  Thanks for visiting my blog today.


Abby xoxoxo 

Book Review and Giveaway - The Highlander's Christmas Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Book Synopsis
In bestselling author Vanessa Kelly’s irresistible Clan Kendrick series, Christmas in the Highlands means family, celebration—and for one brother, the beginning of a passionate adventure . . .

Being thrown over by the man she expected to marry was humiliating enough. Now that Donella Haddon, grandniece of the Earl of Riddick, has also proven a failure as a nun, she has no choice but to return to her family’s estate. The brawny Highlander sent to escort her is brash, handsome, and the only thing standing between Donella and a gang of would-be kidnappers. But the scandal in her past can’t be so easily outrun . . .

Wealthy widower Logan Kendrick was expecting to meet a plain, pious spinster—not a gorgeous, sharp-tongued lass who can hold her own in any ambush. Though she’s known as the Flower of Clan Graham, Donella is no shrinking violet. In fact, she might be the perfect woman to bring happiness back to his lonely little son’s life, just in time for Christmas. But first he must protect her from ugly gossip and a mysterious threat—and convince her that their wild, unexpected desire is heaven sent.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

My Review
The Highlander's Christmas Bride is the story of Donella Haddon and Logan Kendrick.  Donella has been asked to leave the abbey where she had hoped to spend her life as a nun.  Logan is sent by her family to help her safely travel home.  Sparks fly as they get acquainted - although they seem unlikely as a romantic couple.

I wanted to read this novel because of the Regency period and Scottish setting.  Both elements were important parts of the novel, especially as Regency propriety met the wild Scottish countryside. 

I enjoyed Donella as a protagonist. She is independent for the times and looking for her place in the world after leaving the convent:

"It was perplexing, because she used to be good at things, whether it was managing a large household, helping the local vicar in his charitable work, or excelling at her studies and music.  These days she seemed to be stumbling about in the dark without a clue to do next" (p. 21).

Logan is also at a crossroads.  His wife passed away, leaving him with a young son to raise.  

Although Donella, the former nun, and Logan, the Scotsman adventurer, appear different on the surface, they find a place of real connection.  This makes their story particularly enjoyable to read.

I especially enjoyed their adventurous trip from the convent to Donella's home -- set with danger and some comical subterfuge as Donella masquerades as a young man.

This is my first read in the Clan Kendrick series.  It worked fine as a standalone, although I would enjoy going back to catch up with the first book in the series.  

I recommend The Highlander's Christmas Bride for fans of historical romance, and especially for anyone who enjoys a Scottish setting.  It is a fun read!

Author Bio
Vanessa Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated in a number of contests, and she has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her books have been published in nine languages.

Vanessa’s latest book, The Highlander Who Protected Me, was a USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and BookScan bestseller. Her Renegade Royals Series was a national bestseller, as was The Improper Princesses Series. My Fair Princess was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month and is a USA Today and BookScan bestseller. The Highlander’s Princess Bride, book 3 in the series, was a Barnes and Noble top 50 bestseller.

When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling books with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.
You can find Vanessa at or at For all of Vanessa’s latest news and contests–and to receive a free story–please sign up for her newsletter on her website.


Clan Kendrick Facebook Group | Facebook Author Page | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away signed copies of THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE and THE HIGHLANDER WHO PROTECTED ME + a $20 Amazon gift card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. 

The Highlander's Christmas Bride

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews

Book Synopsis
The mysterious Alex Archer returns to England in Book 3 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.

She Needed A Husband…

It’s been three years since Laura Hayes’s father died, leaving her and her invalid brother to subsist on the income from the family’s failing perfume business. But time is swiftly running out. What she needs is a husband, and fast. A noble gentleman who can rescue them all from penury. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the village, he seems a perfect candidate. But Alex Archer is no hero. In fact, he just might be the opposite.

He Wanted a Fortune…

Alex has no tolerance for sentiment. He’s returned to England for one reason only: to find a wealthy wife. A country-bred heiress in Surrey seems the perfect target. But somewhere between the village railway station and the manor house his mercenary plan begins to unravel. And it’s all the fault of Laura Hayes–a lady as unsuitable as she is enchanting.

From the beaches of Margate to the lavender fields of Provence, a grudging friendship slowly blossoms into something more. But when scandal threatens, can a man who has spent his entire life playing the villain, finally become a hero? Or will the lure of easy riches once again outweigh the demands of his heart?


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterBookBubPinterestGoogle+, and Goodreads.



During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a signed paperback copy of A Convenient Fiction by Mimi Matthews! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.  


Giveaway Rules 

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter. 

– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. 

– Only one entry per household. 

– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. 

– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. 

A Convenient Fiction