Friday, November 20, 2020

Dear Abby - Thankful (With Vintage Pictures)

Dear Friends,

I would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  This year I am so thankful:

... for my health after having a bit of a hard time with Cushing's.

... for my Momma who is home with me and takes care of me every day.

... for the colorful leaves outside that crunch when I walk outside in fall.

... for good friends like YOU who visit here and who send encouragement and kind words.

Thank you, dear friends!  I will be taking next Friday off but wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Love,

Abby xoxoxo

PS - The pictures this week are from Calling All Girls magazine, 1962 and 1960. Those old timey dachshunds knew how to have fun! 



 

Book Review and Giveaway - Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rashe


My Review

Flirtation and Folly is a historical novel set in the Regency period (London, 1812).  It is the story of Marianne Mowbrey, the responsible but plain sister in a rector's family.  Marianne has the opportunity to visit her wealthy aunt in London and have a season. She is excited about London and determined to find a husband in order to change her life.

I wanted to read Flirtation and Folly because I enjoy historical fiction and love the Regency period.

I must say that this book exceeded my expectations! I thought it would be an old fashioned historical romance, but it also was a novel about Marianne's expectations of London and her changing view of herself and her life.

The writing is engaging and the historical details are finely drawn.  I like the touches of realism, like Marianne's first introduction to London:

"Here at last, here at last! The carriage rolled to a halt, and Marianne Mowbrey climbed out, avoiding a pile of slush that nearly swallowed up her worn half-boots. She turned in a circle, lips parted in wonder as she took in the figures moving past her. The clop of horse hooves and squeaking of carts from the street drowned out other sounds, allowing only the occasional cry of a hawker to rise up in front of the genteel row of houses in a better part of London. The odour of decaying vegetables from a nearby cart mingled with the grit of coal dust in the air , making every breath an unpleasant sensation" (eBook location 48).

Marianne encounters a number of new people in London - some positive and some not as much (i.e. some of the catty women in society). Over the course of the novel she learns to accept her true self ... as she also finds her happy ending.

I recommend Flirtation and Folly for fans of historical romance, and especially for anyone who enjoys the Regency period. 

Book Synopsis

Marianne Mowbrey is a responsible country rector’s daughter who longs for the novelty and excitement she reads about in novels. When her crusty Aunt Harriet agrees to give her a Season in London, Marianne vows to dazzle the world, win a husband, and never go home again. But the Londoners who determine social success are inclined to pass over plain Marianne in favor of her beautiful, reckless younger sister.

In a world of ambition, fashion, flattery, and deceit, how can Marianne stay true to her real self—when she is not even sure what that real self is?

Available on Amazon


Author Bio

After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth Rasche taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, the ‘garden of America.’ (At least, she has only ever heard Arkansas called so.) She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), Bath, and of course, London. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect.

Elizabeth Rasche is the author of The Birthday Parties of Dragons and her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest. Flirtation & Folly is her first historical fiction novel.

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Flirtation and Folly


 

Book Review - Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott (American Wonders Collection)


My Review

Nothing Short of Wondrous is a historical novel set in 1886.  It tells the story of Kate Tremaine, a widowed single mother who runs a small family-owned hotel in Yellowstone Park.  When Lieutenant William Prescott comes to patrol the Park, he meets Kate and there is an immediate connection.  There are some real dangers, though, that must be overcome before they are safe and able to move forward.

I wanted to read Nothing Short of Wondrous because I loved the first book in this series. I am fascinated by the history of the National Parks and enjoy the old fashioned storytelling of these books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!  Kate Tremaine is a heroine to pull for -- strong, determined, a wonderful mother, someone who has compassion for protecting animals (endangered bisons) and the environment.  Will is someone who has a mystery in his past, but he proves time and again that he is a caring, strong person.  I really enjoyed their love story.

As a lifelong animal lover, I really appreciate the animal protection theme in this book as well.

Regina Scott has a real gift for combining lively storytelling, engaging characters, and descriptions rich with period detail.  There are place descriptions like:

"
The Geyser Gateway salon had high ceilings with massive wood beams holding an oil lamp chandelier. She’d recently lowered, cleaned, and refilled the lamps herself, so they glowed with a golden light. The fireplace was of stones gathered from the Firehole River, the grays, rusts, and tans complementing the wood of the walls. The burgundy upholstery on the two curved-back sofas flanking the hearth had been brushed, the blue-and-burgundy-patterned rug on the floor beaten. Through a wide archway directly ahead, the six tables— four big enough to seat eight guests apiece— were draped in smooth white linen Pansy had ironed only yesterday, and most of the ladderback chairs stood ready to receive their guests for dinner" (eBook location 224).

I highly recommend Nothing Short of Wondrous for fans of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and the National Parks. Do yourself a favor and read the first book in the series as well. You are in for a treat!

Book Synopsis

It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.

Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. As they work together to protect the park and stand firm through injustice and tragedy, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control.

Author Bio

Regina Scott is the author of fifty works of warm, witty historical romance, including A Distance Too Grand. She was twice awarded the prestigious RT Book Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of thirty years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Bulldog Who Loves Metal Bowls


Dear Friends,

Happy almost-weekend to you! I hope you had a good week. All is well here - it has been warmer than usual and I sure have enjoyed extra walks all week.

I have a fun little video for you today. It is about Theo the English Bulldog. Theo loves metal food bowls. They are his favorite thing in the whole world!  He loves to carry them around like a security blanket.  His dad knows how much Theo loves the bowls so he has about 50 bowls in the house for Theo to find and enjoy!  This story really makes me happy, and Theo is very cute.

Here is Theo with some of his favorite bowls:

Does your dog have a special toy or security blanket? I have a fuzzy puppy toy that belonged to my brother Barney.  I like to sleep with it.



Thanks for stopping by today! I look forward to visiting again here next week.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


Book Review - The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano


My Review

The Love Note is a historical novel set in Victorian England. Willa Duvall is a doctor's daughter who longs to become a doctor herself. When she finds a mysterious love note in an old writing desk, she goes to Crestwicke Manor as a nurse in order to look for the story behind the letter. This move leads her back to her childhood sweetheart, Gabe Gresham, and his family. Willa misplaces the note and everyone who finds it imagines that it is for them, with many unexpected consequences. As Willa balances her affection for Gabe and her desire to become a doctor, she comes closer and closer to solving the mystery.

I wanted to read this novel because I have enjoyed earlier books by the author Joanna Davidson Politano. I love Victorian settings and found the idea of an old note found particularly appealing.

The Love Note started a bit slowly for me but once Willa found her way to Crestwicke it became impossible for me to put the book down! The setting of the old, almost gothic, manor was dramatically evoked and there is a large cast of characters who are touched by this letter and the mystery.

I love the juxtaposition between Willa's scientist's mind and her longing for Gabe, like this passage:

"Huddled over John Snow’s Infectious Diseases and Germ Theory in the dimming light that evening, I marked passages about microscopic pathogens on medical instruments and forced myself to concentrate. I glanced up at my patient, who silently stabbed at her cross-stitch project in an ornate striped chair by the hearth. When Gabe appeared in the yard below striding toward the stables, all concentration disintegrated. Moments later, his stallion burst from the doors and galloped toward the hill. I felt a tug on my heart. Meet me at the ruins." (Kindle location 770).

The Love Note was a wonderful read and will surely be on a list of my favorites for this year. I enjoyed Willa as a character and admired her intelligence and determination.  I loved Willa and Gabe as a romantic pairing.  (Gabe is one of my favorite recent book boyfriends!)  The setting is gothic perfection.  The Love Note is a must read for fans of historical fiction, gothic settings, inspirational fiction (handled with a light, deft touch), and historical romance.

Book Synopsis

A forgotten letter. A secret love. A vast estate.
Can one determined woman put the pieces together?

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

Author Bio

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, and Finding Lady Enderly. When she's not homeschooling her small children, she spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.

Book Review and Giveaway - The Tobacconist's Wife by AnneMarie Brear


My Review

The Tobacconist's Wife is a historical novel set in 1855 Yorkshire. Thea Goodson marries in haste after her father's passing. She thought that Ernie Goodson was a kind man but after their marriage she discovers that he is an abusive brute who is also involved in thievery.  She struggles to keep their tobacco shop running when Ernie suddenly goes away.  During this time she also discovers an unexpected connection with Adam Fitzwilliam, who sets up a custom furniture shop next door.  Thea longs to find peace and happiness in her life and a way forward.

I wanted to read The Tobacconist's Wife because I was intrigued by the Victorian setting and was particularly interested in the lives of shop owners during this time.

The period details in this book are fascinating! I especially found the tobacco shop and small Victorian town details interesting.  The author does a wonderful job at setting the scene with descriptions like:

"A large window looked out onto Coney Street, one of the busiest shopping streets in York, but it was the interior that easily drew her attention. On both sides of the shop were floor to ceiling shelves of glass and timber, showcasing boxes of imported cigars, snuff boxes and pipes. Leather chairs were placed in the corners of the shop, for customers to sit and ponder the selections. A highly polished timber floor and matching countertop gave a warm welcome to the discerning customer. Shelving ran the length of the back wall, behind Thea, and beneath the counter was a large glass display area full of everything a man might need to enjoy his tobacco: pipe cleaners, pipe stands, engraved silver cigar cutters, matches and flints, cigar cases, leather pipe cases, crystal ashtrays" (Kindle location 137).

The descriptions of Thea's abusive marriage were at times difficult to read. Ernie was a thoroughly horrible person;  I kept reading, pulling for Thea to find a way out to safety.

There were a number of twists and turns in this novel, and they kept me up reading long after my bedtime. I really liked Adam, who was seeking his dream to become a cabinetmaker in the midst of his own family issues. The scenes with Thea and Adam were my favorite in the book.

I would recommend The Tobacconist's Wife for fans of historical fiction, especially anyone who enjoys Victorian settings and stories of women overcoming - with some historical romance as well.

Book Synopsis

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.

But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.

That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…

Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

The Tobacconist’s Wife is the latest book from AnneMarie Brear, the highly acclaimed author of bestselling The Slum Angel. Perfect for fans of Catherine Cookson, Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.

Available on Amazon


Author Bio

Amazon UK bestseller and award-winning Australian author, AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, historical research for her novels, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

For more information please visit AnneMarie Brear’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks of The Tobacconist's Wife! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Tobacconist's Wife

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Murder in the Piazza: A Maggie White Mystery by Jen Collins Moore


Book Synopsis

Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband’s expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie’s left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a policeman who’s decided she’s the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep the tour up and running while she tracks the killer and works to clear her name.


Author Bio

Jen Collins Moore is the author of the Maggie White Mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mystery Weekly, and she is the editor of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest newsletter. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, as well an established marketer and entrepreneur. A transplanted New Englander, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two boys.

Author Link:

https://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

Giveaway

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Wiener Dog Cake


Dear Friends,

How are you and how is your week going? I am having a good week. It has been cool here but we are going to get warmer weather for the next week, which means extra walking time outside. Hooray!

I have a really fun video to share with you today. (Thanks, Shari, for sending this link to me.) It is a Wiener Dog cake. Yes, you read that right. It was created by a baker from Sideserf Cake Studio.  She was inspired by a real dachshund named Oskar. She created a cake based on a picture of Oskar lying in bed with a blanket. She molded Oskar's head out of molding chocolate. By the time she was finished the cake really looks JUST LIKE a dachshund! I especially like his little paws sticking out of the edge of the blanket.  He looks so cozy!  Momma says the cake is way too cute to eat.  I am not sure that I agree with her.  (My philosophy:  all food is good!)

Without further ado, here is the dachshund cake video:



What do you think?  Would you eat the cake or just admire it?

Thanks so much for visiting me today. I hope you have a great day!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo



Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Fair Trade (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert


Book Synopsis

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.  

With the one-year anniversary of the now-successful Barks & Beans Cafe approaching, siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield set up an iced coffee booth at the state fair. Taking a break from brewing, Macy bumps into Carolina, a long-lost childhood friend who’s now sitting pretty as a country superstar. Macy tries not to fangirl too hard when her old friend extends an invitation to meet the rest of the Carolina Crush band before their opening show.  

But when Carolina falls victim to not one, but two near-death experiences, Macy takes it upon herself to find out who has it in for her old friend. Fortified with plenty of roasted corn, cinnamon rolls, and her brother’s signature iced maple latte, Macy takes to the Ferris wheel to get the lay of the land from the air. She discovers too late that this year’s fair isn’t all fun and games…but she’s already locked in for the ride. Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! 

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade


Author Bio

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries set in her home state of West Virginia. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect what they love.

You can find all her books at heatherdaygilbert.com.

Author Links 

Webpage: http://www.heatherdaygilbert.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherdaygilbert

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7232683.Heather_Day_Gilbert

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-day-gilbert

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heatherdgilbert 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherdaygilbert/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heatherdgilbert

Purchase Link – Amazon

Giveaway

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Thursday, November 5, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Broadcast 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton


My Review

Broadcast 4 Murder is a cozy mystery set in Arizona. Phee Kimball works for a detective agency along with her boyfriend.  She becomes involved in solving a crime when her mother stumbles upon a dead body. Phee's mother Harriet has just started a cozy mystery show on a local radio station.  Unfortunately, murders begin happening at the station on her first day of work.

I wanted to read this novel because I have enjoyed the previous Sophie Kimball mysteries that I've read.  I am a dachshund person and love Harriet's dog, Streetman, a Chiweenie (dachshund-chihuahua mix) with lots of personality!

I really enjoy this series. It has a refreshing blend of mystery with some little wry humorous asides. This book has the same lively tone, and it was fun to read!

There is also a bit of a mystery from the past, since the scissors that stabbed the first victim previously belonged to a local teacher who died 20 years ago.  I found that aspect of the mystery particularly intriguing.

This is a well paced mystery with several viable suspects.  I enjoyed Phee's detective work, and already am looking forward to the next book in the series!

I recommend Broadcast 4 Murder - and the Sophie Kimball mystery series - for other fans of cozy mysteries.

Book Synopsis

All of Arizona’s Sun City West heard Sophie “Phee” Kimball’s mom scream bloody murder, but it’s up to the reluctant sleuth to find the killer . . .  

Phee’s mother Harriet is going to be a star! At least, that’s how the Sun City West retiree describes her chance to host a live radio program of her book club’s Booked 4 Murder Mystery Hour on Arizona’s KSCW. But instead of chatting about charming cozies, Harriet ends up screaming bloody murder over the airwaves after discovering the body of Howard Buell, the station’s programming director, in a closet—with a pair of sewing shears shoved into his chest.  

The number one suspect is Howard’s ex-girlfriend Sylvia Strattlemeyer who believed she was going to host a sewing talk show before Harriet was offered the spot. But not only do the fingerprints found on the scissors not match Sylvia’s, they belong to a woman who passed away twenty years ago at the age of ninety-seven. Now, with the whole town on pins and needles, it’s up to Phee to stitch together enough clues from the past to uncover the identity of a killer in the present . . .


Author Bio

J.C. Eaton is the wife and husband team of Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, authors of the Sophie Kimball Mystery Series and the Wine Trail Mysteries. A New York native and former middle school principal, Ann has published eight award-winning and highly acclaimed YA time travel mysteries. James is a U.S. Navy veteran and retired tasting room manager for a large upscale New York winery. Visit their Website at JCEatonMysteries.com. –This text refers to the mass_market edition.

Author Links

Website: www.jceatonauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

Giveaway

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Friday, October 30, 2020

Dear Abby - Vintage Halloween Dog Photos

Dear Friends,

Boo! It is almost Halloween. Do you have special plans this year?  My Momma said there will not be trick or treaters this year, so we are going to enjoy a movie and some fun time at home.  I am not a big fan of people knocking at the door (especially again and again!) so I am not complaining about this.

I wanted to share some vintage Halloween photos that feature dogs.  The first is my favorite.  It is a little girl dressed up as a clown - and her Chihuahua is right beside her, in a clown costume as well!  I bet they got lots of treats!

This photo features a boy dressed up for Halloween.  I am not sure what he is supposed to be but his costume seems to advertise dog food!  His dog is very cute and has on a costume that says CARNIVAL.

This photo features another little clown -- who also has a dog dressed up as a clown.

This very young child is dressed up as an elf and her dog did not have to wear a costume!  Now that is a good Halloween.

Here is a cute little Boston Terrier in a sailor costume!

This is one of my favorites - a pretty Cocker Spaniel wears a witch's hat and carries her own Jack O' Lantern for treats.


I hope you enjoyed these photos and hope you have a very Happy Halloween!   I look forward to chatting with you again soon here.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


Book Review - National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime


My Review

National Geographic's Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Road Trips (Second Edition) is a big, beautiful coffeetable book. It is organized thematically:

Hills and Mountains

By Sea and Shore

Rivers, Valleys and Canyons

The Road Less Traveled

Village Byways

Urban Excursions

Driving Through History

Gourmet Road Trips

Each road trip is on a separate page with a description of the trip, a map, a photo, and basic information (roads, driving time, when to go, planning).

I wanted to read Drives of a Lifetime because I am a lifelong road trip fan!  I was very curious about this book and knew there would be some fun new ideas here.

Wow! This is an amazing book for a road trip fan. As someone who has traveled a lot in the south, I had to look up southern road trips to see information on road trips I am familiar with. For instance, Crossing Chattahoochee is a road trip through Helen, Georgia with an excursion to the gold rush town of Dahlonega.

There is, of course, a page devoted to Route 66, which is one of my "bucket list" road trips. It is illustrated by a beautiful photo of an old diner lit with a neon sign.

Drives of a Lifetime has worldwide road trips.  I wish that the book was divided into American trips and international trips;  I am a leisurely American travel fan, and would have loved the flow of information about American road trips grouped together. 

Drives of a Lifetime is such a gorgeous book and it is going to please lots of travel fans!  It would be a wonderful gift idea for anyone who loves road trips.

Book Synopsis

This lavishly illustrated travel planner features 500 of the world’s most memorable driving experiences, from legendary Highway 1 in California to Japan’s famous Irohazaka Winding Road.

Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s legendary travel writers, Drives of a Lifetime spans the globe to reveal the best celebrated and lesser-known road trips on the planet. Inside this fully updated and revised edition–featuring more than 20 new drives–you’ll find routes through spectacular landscapes, ideas for quick getaways, leisurely journeys of discovery, and revelations of secret worlds beyond Google Maps. Some are legendary long-distance odysseys; others are easy day trips close to home, taking you down charming local byways. All will inspire you to pack up the car and hit the road. The possibilities are endless: Take Colorado’s San Juan Skyway for a 10,000-foot climb over towering mountain passes. Or travel the ancient Silk Road on an expedition across Central Asia and through time. Or why not drive the perimeter of Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise with many beaches along the way? Whatever your taste and budget, you’ll find plenty of routes tailored to your interests. Alongside detailed descriptions, full-color maps guide the way and planning tips help you make the most of your journey; top 10 lists offer quick, easy side trip ideas. Beautiful, informative, and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Paws for Concern (A Canine Confections Mystery) by Amy Hueston


Book Synopsis

Life is good for Samantha Armstrong. She left her cheating boyfriend, settled into her cozy cottage on her Aunt Mary’s Palm Beach estate and is finally opening Canine Confections, her dream dog bakery on the ritzy Worth Avenue.

But Samantha’s happy new life goes doggone crazy when Palm Beach resident and pastry shop owner Whitney Goodwin is found dead on Canine Confections’ floor, whisking Samantha into the middle of a murder investigation. The only bright spot is that she finds herself adopting Whitney’s loveable dog Sweet Pea.

As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the shopkeepers on Worth Avenue are the target. Samantha’s impatience won’t let sleeping dogs lie. She takes it upon herself to move things along by padding around town with Sweet Pea and sniffing out clues to clear her name and Canine Confections’ reputation—before it is too late …

Includes a recipe from Chef Sarah Deters at the test kitchen of Three Dog Bakery, the original bakery for dogs!


Author Bio

Author Amy Hueston writes mini-mysteries for Woman’s World when she isn’t writing mysteries and suspense books. Paws for Concern is the first book in A Canine Confections Mystery series.

Author Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.hueston.73
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyhueston/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HuestonAmy
Website: https://amyhueston.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20626879.Amy_Hueston

Purchase Links  – AmazonB&N 

My CD Download on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Talk-Love-Amy-Hueston/dp/B08C252M8D

Giveaway
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Friday, October 23, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Two Talented Birds

 

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week! Is it cool where you live yet?  It still is warm and nice here, and I have enjoyed many sunny walks outside this week.

I have not one but two fun videos for you this week!  Both feature talented birds.  I have not met any birds up close and personal, although there are lots of birds in the green space where I walk, and I like to watch them.  I never have tried to chase them;  I just find them interesting.  They are so different from dogs and cats.  I guess you could say I am still trying to figure them out.

One short video features a cockatiel singing opera. This little yellow bird is named Yogi and he bobs along a bit as he sings.  He is very dramatic!

The other bird is an African Gray parrot named Einstein. He is trying really hard to whistle the theme song from The Andy Griffith Show. I know this song well because my Momma loves this show and I have heard it on TV a lot.  Einstein gives several tries before he gets a strong whistle out.  I think he does a good job!

Does your dog or cat like birds?  Or do you have birds along with other pets?   My Momma had parakeets for years and loves birds.

I hope you enjoyed these short, happy videos.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo



Book Review - Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter


My Review

Autumn Skies, the third book in the Bluebell Inn series, is set at a small, family-owned bed and breakfast in North Carolina.  Grace is the youngest of three siblings running the inn. She is working to start her own camping/outfitter business.  When Wyatt comes to stay at the inn they immediately click.  Wyatt's family lived in the house that is now a B&B years ago and he has deep roots in the town of Bluebell -- and a family tragedy from the past to deal with.  As they become friends, hiking and camping, working together to find Wyatt's past, Grace and Wyatt become closer and romance begins. However, he is a Secret Service agent and his work has him stationed far from Bluebell. How will they resolve this conflict?

I wanted to read Autumn Skies because I have read and enjoyed all the Bluebell Inn books. They are southern fiction, set in a picturesque small town, and often deal with the past as well as the present. These are all components I enjoy in novels.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Grace is a likable protagonist. She is smart and independent with a kind heart toward others.  Wyatt is more reserved, but as Grace gets to know and like him, the reader does too. The past issue that Wyatt deals with, his mother's murder years ago, is so tragic and I was really pulling for Wyatt to find closure and peace.

Bluebell Inn is almost a character in the book;  it is such a warm, vividly depicted place. I love descriptions (and history!) like this: 

“'The Bluebell Inn has the distinction of being the town’s very first inn,” Molly said. “It was built in 1905 and featured ten bedrooms. Early on it was even a stagecoach stop. And starting in 1957, it housed the post office. We actually uncovered the old mail slot when we were renovating and found an old love letter—there’s a long story there, but I’ll spare you. 'The inn’s been several things over the years, including a saloon, if you can believe it. In the sixties—the lake’s real heyday—other hotels opened, but the Bluebell Inn remained the place to stay.  In 1978 it was bought by Governor Jennings and turned into his family lake home. Then my parents purchased it, and my siblings and I had the pleasure of growing up here. Our parents dreamed of turning it back into an inn during their retirement. But sadly, that wasn’t to be. They passed away unexpectedly four years ago. But my siblings and I took it upon ourselves to fulfill their dream'" (Kindle location 1937).  

I highly recommend the Bluebell Inn series. It is a warm, diverting series set in a charming town with likable, sympathetic protagonists. Autumn Skies is a fine addition - and finale - to the series. 

Book Synopsis

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Author Bio

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

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Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Firefly Warriors Club (Texas Boys Adventures) by Susan Count


Book Synopsis

They chase a light and then it chases them.  

When a mysterious light entices twelve-year-old Davy and his bothersome cousin, Anderson, into the woods, they discover the forest is alive with wonder. Firefly magic dazzles the boys, and they vow to save the insects from destruction.  

Then a fire rages in the forest. Despite the cousins’ creative efforts to help the firefighters, the situation for the fireflies plummets from grim to dire. As the blaze consumes the fireflies’ habitat, the young warriors despair.  

They enlist the support of the neighboring farms to protect and save the habitat of the magical treasures. If only there was—even one left.


Author Bio

Susan Count writes for the joy and entertainment of young readers. She is a best-selling, award-winning author of the Dream Horse Adventures Series. Susan confesses to being overly fond of brownies, and horseback riding on forest trails. The Firefly Warriors Club was written for her three grandboys who wanted an adventure of their own. What’s a fairy grandmother to do, but wave her magic pen and create.

Author Links 

Website – http://www.susancount.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/susancount/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SusanCount

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/susancountauthor/

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/susancount/

Purchase Link – Amazon

Giveaway

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