Friday, December 18, 2020

Dear Abby - Merry Christmas and a Blog Break

Ho, ho, ho, dear friends!

I wanted to stop by and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  I am planning to take a blog break until the New Year.  I know this is a quieter Christmas for us all, but I wish you happiness, and health, and good things always.  I appreciate your visits and especially appreciate the kind friends who leave comments here.

Today's pictures are some of my Christmas photos over the years.  The one above is from 2014 and it is my Momma's favorite -- it is her wallpaper on her phone.

The picture below is from 2017.  Momma says I look angelic here -- but I am not sure about that!

This picture from 2018 involved some negotiation. I am wearing, as you may notice, not just a Santa suit but a HOODIE. I was not at all sure about the hoodie.

However you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to visiting you in 2021!

Love to you all,

Abby xoxoxo

Friday, December 11, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Christmas Wiener Wonderland

Dear Friends,

I have been busy helping Momma with work this week, so I'll make this post short and sweet.  I found a video that I really love and I hope you will enjoy it too.

In this short video you will meet Munchkin, a 17 year old dachshund.  She has a front yard decorated as a true wiener wonderland, with a number of light-up dachshunds for Christmas.  Munchkin's person is interviewed and she says that Munchkin is not so sure about all those big decorations in her yard. I thought about it, and I have to agree with Munchkin - I am not sure what I would think if this happened to me in person.  However, since I am enjoying this from afar, I think the Christmas display is wonderful!

Here is the video:

What do you think? Do you have any special pet theme holiday decorations?


Abby xoxoxo


Book Review and Giveaway - A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert

My Review

Librarian Amy Webber is balancing work and planning her wedding to fiance Richard Muir when she gets involved in solving another murder.  This time the victim is a rival of family friend Kurt Kendrick. It seems the victim and Kurt were both trying to purchase the same rare book.

I wanted to read A Deadly Edition because I love this cozy mystery series.  I was especially intrigued by the rare book storyline, since I sell vintage books.

There is so much to enjoy about this mystery and the rest of the Blue Ridge Library series.  I love the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains setting, Amy, Richard, and their friends and family, and there are even lovable cats!

The rare book details, like the following description (eBook location 847) are wonderful: 

"I opened the Kelmscott Chaucer facsimile one more time. Staring at the beautifully decorated title page reminded me of something I’d just typed into my notes— a quote from a letter Edward Burne-Jones had sent to Charles Eliot Norton in 1894: Indeed when the book is done, if we live to finish it, it will be like a pocket cathedral … And it had been exactly that— a magnificent edifice captured on paper, a work that captured the soul of two great artists. Something rare and wonderful."

Amy is one of my favorite amateur detectives. She is smart and has a great deductive instinct. I enjoyed watching her solve the mystery and following the turns before the killer was revealed.

I recommend A Deadly Edition and the rest of this series for fans of cozy mysteries, and especially for anyone who enjoys small-town locales and library settings.  

Book Synopsis

‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”

The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.

Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancĂ© Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick. 

Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.  

Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.

Author Bio

Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links

Website (includes blog):

FB author page:


Amazon author page:



Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Blue Ridge Library Mystery series:






Booklover’s B&B series:




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Book Review and Giveaway - Abide With Me: A Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery by Jane Willan

My Review

Abide With Me is a mystery set at a convent in Wales. An abbey of Anglican nuns adds ten new young nuns from Los Angeles just as a reporter is writing a story about the convent.  When the young reporter, Claire, is found dead mysteriously, Sister Agatha works to solve the crime.

I wanted to read this novel because the convent setting was appealing and unique.  The author is a minister, so I knew she would bring some extra substance to the story.

This is my first book in the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn series. It read fine as a standalone but I look forward to going back and catching up with the previous books.

Sister Agatha is one of my favorite protagonists that I've encountered this year! She is smart and courageous and warm-hearted. She wants to be a mystery writer and starts a murder notebook to collect clues in this case. There were details in the story like:

"She turned her attention from the window to the wall above her desk and the two note cards she had taped up nearly a year ago: 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given unto you.' Matthew 3:6. She closed her eyes and said a swift prayer. Then, opening her eyes, she read the other card. 'The secret of getting ahead is getting started.' Agatha Christie" (eBook location 839).

I especially loved Sister Agatha's special relationship with the elderly Shetland pony at the convent. She and the other sisters are taking good care of him, but his health is declining due to age and she isn't quite ready to let him go.

A younger nun, Sister Gwenydd, who is the convent's chef also assists Sister Agatha in solving the mystery. There were some fascinating details as this case unwound, including medieval miniature Bibles! I learned things I didn't know while reading this novel, and I always love that.

The mystery is well plotted and it kept me guessing. There was some unexpected suspense and danger!

I highly recommend Abide With Me for fans of traditional or cozy mysteries. I am already looking forward to reading more of this series! 

Book Synopsis

Change is afoot at Gwenafwy Abbey. Ten new nuns from a convent in Los Angeles join the community of Anglican sisters bringing energy, youthful enthusiasm, and more electronic equipment than Sister Agatha could have imagined. The arrival of the new nuns brings something else to the Abbey—a bit of unexpected notoriety. Claire MacDonagh, an ambitious young reporter for The Church Times, interviews the new sisters for a feature story. Murder is the last thing on anyone’s mind when Claire is found dead on the beach, her mobile phone in the sand. A tragic death, says Constable Barnes. A selfie gone bad. Meanwhile, Sister Agatha is unconvinced and puts on her detective’s hat, only to find herself in the midst of a tangled murder mystery. Her suspect list includes everyone from the new sisters to Reverend Mother to the beloved archbishop of Wales. Time is running out as Sister Agatha uncovers a shocking reality. Will she reveal the truth hidden in an ancient document before it is too late?

Author Bio

Jane Willan wants to live in a world where everyone has time to read their favorite books, drink good coffee, and walk their dog on the beach, but until that can happen she enjoys life as a pastor and writer. When she’s not working on a sermon, or hiking with her husband, Don, you can find her rereading Jane Eyre, binge-watching Downton Abbey, and trying out new ways to avoid exercise.

Author Links

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Goodreads –

Purchase Links – AMAZON 


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Friday, December 4, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Retriever Makes Leaf Jumps!

Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good week! It is getting colder here since I last wrote. We still have lots of leaves. I walk on a leash, so I don't take giant leaps into leaves (and I probably wouldn't do this anyway) but I do love the way the leaves sound crunchy when I walk through them. 

I have one of my favorite ever dog videos to share with you. It is a 3 minute visit with Stella. Stella is a retriever and she LOVES leaves. In this video she jumps into leaves on her own, with a dog friend, with children friends, and even wearing butterfly wings!  Stella has her own Youtube channel, and I have it bookmarked here now:  Dog Named Stella (Youtube).

You will find this happy video here:

If you have a dog, does he or she have an interest in walking through - or jumping in - leaves?

I would love to hear from you in the comments, and wish you a good day!


Abby xoxoxo

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock

Book Synopsis

Will six strangers find hope, love, and family at Christmas? A collection of three historical western short stories to inspire love and warm the heart.

“Christmas Mountain”

In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.

“Teton Christmas”

Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.

“Lily’s Christmas Wish”

Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?

If you love inspirational romance and heartfelt holidays, then you’ll enjoy this trio of stories as we remember the true meaning of love any time of the year.

“Ms. McClintock has a true genius when writing beauty to touch the heart. This holiday treat is a gift any time one needs to remember the true meaning of love!” —InD’tale Magazine

“The cold nips at your face and delicious Christmas cake leaves you wanting more.” —M. Ann Roher, Author of Mattie

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Indiebound | Bookshop | Large Print

Author Bio

Award-winning author MK McClintock is devoted to giving her readers books laced with adventure, romance, and a touch of mystery. Her novels and short stories take you from the rugged mountains of Montana to the Victorian British Isles, all with good helpings of daring exploits and endearing love stories. Her works comprise multiple series, including: Montana Gallaghers, British Agents, Crooked Creek, and Whitcomb Springs. She enjoys a peaceful life in the Rocky Mountains where she is writing her next book.

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One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a wool blanket from England, a Christmas candle, a tote/shopping bag, and treats!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on December 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.