Friday, September 25, 2020

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Self-Feeding Basset Hound

Hi friends!

I hope you're having a great week.  I have had a busy one, but I wanted to stop by briefly to share a video I really liked.

One of my friends sent me this video of a basset hound who is self-feeding.  He carries his own food bowl around, climbs onto the sofa with it, and settles in to eat.  I think he's very smart!  I am a little too short to do this, so I'm very impressed.

I hope you enjoyed this little video!  I'll be back next week with something fun and animal related.

Have a good weekend!


Abby xoxoxo


Book Review - The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

My Review

Emma Daley lives in Arizona, where she works as a substitute teacher while trying to make it in the music business. Since her parents are overseas, she joins her best friend Gillian for a house swap over the Christmas holidays. She travels with Gillian's family to Colorado.  There she meets Tyler Prescott.  He is a successful songwriter, but Emma believes he is the caretaker for the beautiful mountain home she is visiting. As she learns to ski, plays music with Tyler, and spends time with him, she finds herself falling in love.  However, a jealous best friend and mistaken identity complicate romance.

I wanted to read The Christmas Swap because I have read several of Melody Carlson's Christmas novels and really enjoyed them.  Her books have a fun, light Hallmark movie feel.

I liked Emma as a protagonist.  She is sweet, kind (and diplomatic when needed!), and working hard to make a success in music.  I also liked Tyler.  They were a perfect match from first meeting, and I enjoyed their story.

However, I was not a fan of Emma's friend Gillian, who is a thoroughly unpleasant, difficult person.  (I can't imagine why Emma would want to be friends with her!)  Gillian's mother is just as bad.  Gillian is a very big part of this novel and she took some of the enjoyment for me.

I also didn't see as much of a Christmas theme as anticipated. The winter ski area sounded beautiful, and I liked the setting, but there was very little actually about the Christmas holidays.

This was a short read and very fast paced.  Readers looking for a light wintry romance will enjoy it.

Book Synopsis

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade.

West Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and to get better acquainted, he poses as the caretaker of his own house. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things get . . . messy.

Author Bio

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the...

Continue reading about Melody Carlson


Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Remember Me: A Spanish Civil War Novel by Mario Escobar

Book Spotlight

Amid the shadows of war, one family faces an impossible choice that will change their lives forever.

Madrid, 1934. Though the Spanish Civil War has not yet begun, the streets of Madrid have become dangerous for thirteen-year-old Marco Alcalde and his younger sisters, Isabel and Ana. When Marco’s parents align themselves against General Franco and his fascist regime, they have no inkling that their ideals will endanger them and everyone they love—nor do they predict the violence that is to come.

When the Mexican government promises protection to the imperiled children of Spain, the Alcaldes do what they believe is best: send their children, unaccompanied, across the ocean to the city of Morelia—a place they’ve never seen or imagined. Marco promises to look after his sisters in Mexico until their family can be reunited in Spain, but what ensues is a harrowing journey and a series of heartbreaking events. As the growing children work to care for themselves and each other, they feel their sense of home, family, and identity slipping further and further away. And as their memories of Spain fade and the news from abroad grows more grim, they begin to wonder if they will ever see their parents again or the glittering streets of the home they once loved.

Based upon the true stories of the Children of Morelia, Mario Escobar’s Remember Me—now available for the first time in English—explores the agony of war and paints a poignant portrait of one family’s sacrificial love and endurance.

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Author Bio

Mario Escobar Golderos has a degree in History, with an advanced studies diploma in Modern History. He has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects. He is the executive director of an NGO and directs the magazine Nueva historia para el debate, in addition to being a contributing columnist in various publications. Passionate about history and its mysteries, Escobar has delved into the depths of church history, the different sectarian groups that have struggled therein, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. He specializes in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans.

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During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of Remember Me by Mario Escobar! 


To enter, please use the Gleam form below. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.  

Remember Me