Friday, April 9, 2021

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Funny Prank


Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by today.  A special thanks to friends who leave comments - they make me so happy and I appreciate them!

Today I have a short and fun video shared by my friend Michelle. Michelle loves animals and especially beautiful poodles. This video was put together by the South Australian police as an April Fools Day joke.  The narrator talks about how the police force is moving away from German Shepherd dogs for police work and towards using dachshunds because they are little and easy to lift and can climb under things to investigate. It is all very silly and made me laugh!

Here's the video - hope it gives you a chuckle too:

On the run today ... with a head's up that I am taking next week off from blogging. My Momma doesn't have a book review next week so we are both going to take a week off from blogging.

Have a wonderful day!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo



Book Review and Giveaway - The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (Food Blogger Mysteries #4) by Debra Sennefelder



My Review

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much is a cozy mystery featuring food blogger Hope Early. Hope finds herself playing detective to help solve the case of a missing person. Her high school friend Devon's mother disappeared twenty years ago. Devon has started a true crime podcast and asks Hope to help solve the mystery.  As Hope investigates, more murders occur and she finds herself in danger.

I wanted to read this novel because I love "foodie" books, was intrigued by the blogging theme, and find missing person cold cases fascinating.

This is the fourth book in the Food Blogger Mysteries series. I have not read the earlier books and had a hard time keeping up with all the characters in this novel. A cast of characters page would be tremendously helpful. I suspect this is a novel best read in order with the series, not as a standalone.

The book is well written, with strong descriptions.  Hope's food blogging was very interesting, and there is even a section with delicious sounding recipes, including Three-Cheese Lasagna, Rustic Apple Pie, and Sugar Cookies.

There were a number of possible suspects and the mystery kept me guessing! Hope discovered the murderer's identity before I did.

I always love cozy mysteries that feature pets, and enjoyed Bigelow, the rescue dog, and Princess, the cat.

I think that cozy mystery readers who also have an interest in cooking or blogging will be especially interested in The Corpse Who Knew Too Much

Book Synopsis

Food blogger Hope Early takes on a cold case that’s heating up fast . . . Building on her recipe for success with her food blog, Hope at Home, Hope is teaching her first blogging class at the local library in Jefferson, Connecticut. She’s also learning about podcasts, including a true-crime one called Search for the Missing, hosted by Hope’s childhood friend, Devon Markham. Twenty years ago on Valentine’s Day, right here in Jefferson, Devon’s mom disappeared and was never found. Finally Devon has returned to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother—and she asks Hope to help. The next day Hope discovers Devon’s apartment has been ransacked. Her laptop with the research on her mother’s cold case is missing, and Devon is nowhere to be found. When her friend’s body is later discovered in a car wreck, Hope is convinced it’s no accident. Clearly, Devon was too close to the truth, and the cold-blooded killer is still at large in Jefferson. Now it’s up to Hope to find the guilty party—before the food blogger herself becomes the next subject of another true-crime podcast . . . Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!


Author Bio

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. 

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links – Website & Blog Facebook Instagram

WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/2lQwSNi

NEWSLETTER: http://bit.ly/2jBx9oV

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: http://bit.ly/2qjwHyT

INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/2EQh6da

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble –  KensingtonKoboGoogle Play

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win the book The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (print book). This contest is open to readers in the USA and Canada. Giveaway ends at midnight 4/15/21. Winner will be notified by email and needs to reply within 48 hours or another name will be drawn. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway   


 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy


Book Synopsis

Heiress Evangeline “Lindy” Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy as her mother’s ultimate ambition is a royal title for the family name. But literature fascinates Lindy far more than ballgowns, and she spends all her free time in the library, the only room in the Fifth Avenue mansion where she can safely indulge her passion for reading and find refuge from the prying eyes of her mother.

Jack Winthrop is studying for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and has been invited to use the Lindemayer’s library for his studies. His sole experience of upper-class young women has occurred at his uncle’s church, where he has found these young debutantes universally featherbrained. When he meets Lindy, he is pleasantly surprised to discover she has wide-ranging interests and is highly intelligent. Although cautioned by his uncle to stay away from her, he finds Lindy a kindred spirit and over animated discussions of books and life, they fall in love.

But to reach happily ever after, Lindy will need to challenge her mother’s long-laid plans, and weathering the approaching storm will take more backbone than she even knew she had.

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

When she’s not writing, Renee Facetimes with her twin grandbabies, and lives in Kentucky with her husband and two mutts. She enjoys reading, antiquing, and collecting pottery.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win an eBook of The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy! Two eBooks are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Test of Gold


 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Dear Abby - Vintage Easter Cards With Dogs

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter and Happy Spring! I found some sweet vintage Easter cards, postcards, and children's book illustrations that feature dogs. They make me happy and I thought you might enjoy them too.

This postcard has a dachshund popping up to meet a friendly bunny rabbit.

 

Vintage Easter postcard with a circus theme -- one of the dachshunds is dressed like a clown!

A little girl dresses her cocker spaniel in an Easter bonnet. They are surrounded by chicks!

The next two postcards feature a little brown and white dog meeting a friendly chick. This dog looks like one of my dog friends, so I especially like these cards!


A vintage Easter card with a hound dog delivery boy:

I believe the same dog is pictured in both the following postcards. He found some giant Easter eggs!


Two little Jack Russell terriers watch a chick hatch on this postcard.

A Jack Russell Terrier eats a carrot that two bunnies want!

This vintage Easter postcard features a big Saint Bernard and a little girl.

A Scottie dog takes some Spring flowers to a friend:

A dog, cat, and bunny rabbit are painting an Easter egg when a chick hatches. What a surprise!


I hope you enjoyed these photos! Wishing you a wonderful weekend, whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or just enjoying Spring.  💗

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


Book Review and Giveaway - The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch


My Review

The Indebted Earl is a historical romance set during the Regency period (1814 England). Captain Charles Wyvern is a Naval captain who feels guilty that one of his friends, Major Rich Richardson, lost his life while saving him. He decides to visit Rich's fiance, Lady Sophie Haverly, to express his sympathy. He arrives as Lady Sophie is losing her home, and he jumps in to help her. This coincides with Charles becoming an Earl, and they travel together, along with Rich's mother, whom Sophie has been living with, to the coastal estate that Charles has inherited. When he discovers he has also "inherited" three young charges, he proposes a marriage of convenience to Sophie, who accepts. There is a mystery at the estate as well as a slow building romance between Charles and Sophie.

I wanted to read The Indebted Earl because I read, and enjoyed, the first book in this series (The Lost Lieutenant). I have not read the second book (The Gentleman Spy), but had no problem catching up with this novel. I think it would work fine as a standalone.

I love historical fiction and enjoy the Regency period. Erica Vetsch does something unusual in this series, which focuses not just on the female protagonist, but on the male lead as well. I feel this adds an extra nuance to the storytelling.

Captain Charles Wyvern is a wonderful romantic lead - strong, caring, and complex. Sophie has a bright, sunny personality, and they are well matched in their differences. Their romance builds at a slow but sure pace and it was so enjoyable to read.

There is also a strong mystery storyline as Charles uncovers a smuggling operation at the estate. He has worked his whole life to uphold the honor of his country, and suddenly he finds his new home is involved in a dangerous criminal operation!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Indebted Earl. I recommend this book (and the series) to fans of historical fiction, and especially to readers who enjoy Regency romance.

Book Synopsis

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business--or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life--especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man's grieving fiance and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.


Author Bio

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Giveaway


Friday, March 26, 2021

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: Dachshund Puppy Eating a Banana


Dear Friends,

Good day to you! I hope you are having a good week. We have had lots of busy-ness here, but I still found some time to relax on Youtube with animal videos (especially dogs, of course!).

I found a super short video that makes me happy AND it makes me hungry. When you watch you will see why. A little dachshund puppy eats a banana. She actually holds the banana in both her paws and eats it like a person. 

I have a very steady, same diet because of Cushing's but the one people food I do get bites of is bananas. I LOVE them. Do your pets like bananas, or any other fruits or vegetables?

Here is the happy little puppy eating a banana:

I hope you enjoyed this short video as much as I did.

Have a great day!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


 

Book Review - It's Never Too Late by Kathie Lee Gifford


My Review

It's Never Too Late is an inspirational biography by Kathie Lee Gifford, who uses examples from her own life on how to grow and reach for your dreams, even when facing big obstacles.

I wanted to read this book because I liked the idea of an inspirational book focusing on motivation and working toward your dreams.

Before reading It's Never Too Late, I mostly was familiar with Kathie Lee Gifford from her time as a Today Show host. This book serves as a biography, from her teen years to the present, so readers will learn a lot about her background and life. There are some very sweet, touching chapters of the book about her first love, a handsome surfer, her marriage to Frank Gifford, and especially about Kathie Lee's parents and their lives as they aged.

I thought the book would have more motivational content and perhaps a bit less biography, but I still found it to be an inspiring read. I particularly liked:

"A wish and a dream are not the same. You can sit around and wish all day long about wanting this and wanting that. But that’s not gonna get you anywhere if you don’t dream up a plan and then act on it" (eBook location 43)

and

"I’ve often been quoted as saying, “In order to make dreams come true, you have to put legs, arms, feet, hands, and wings on them.”In other words, you have to work your ever-lovin’butt off to get the job done. Of course, you also have to have a plan and a talent in whatever field that you want to be successful in. But with blood, sweat, and tears, it can be achieved. Most people are not willing to sacrifice sweat and tears, much less blood. Even though that’s very graphic, it does amount to that" (eBook location 45).

The book is told in short chapters. Each chapter is prefaced by lyrics to songs by Kathie Lee. There is generally a short biographical anecdote (told in lively and engaging fashion) and an inspirational nugget to learn from the incident.

It's Never Too Late will be of interest to readers who enjoy a light inspirational read, and especially for fans of Kathie Lee Gifford.

Book Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Former Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford draws on stories from her remarkable life to weave together a beautiful reminder that whatever circumstances we face, God is still dreaming big for our years ahead.

When Kathie Lee Gifford stepped down as cohost of the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb, you might have thought her best days were behind her.   It turns out, she was just getting started. As Kathie Lee says, “I’m not retiring; I’m refiring!”

Taking us from her Chesapeake Bay childhood when she first heard God’s calling, to her skyrocketing fame with Regis, to her decision to leave television for Nashville, Kathie Lee inspires us to pursue what really matters. Because it’s never too late to forgive, to dance the cha-cha, or to make a difference in the world.

God placed His dreams in your heart for a reason. And like Kathie Lee, you might just discover that the best is yet to come. Whether you’re an empty nester, newly single, navigating a career change, or just eager for any change, Kathie Lee helps you hear God’s loving calling because It’s Never Too Late to . . .

  • Begin Again
  • Make Sparks Fly
  • Leave a Good Thing
  • Have a Party
  • Change the Ending, Then Change It Again

Is it time for you to rewrite your story, unearth your hidden passions, and live with a renewed purpose? It’s never too late.

Purchase Links

Thomas Nelson | Amazon |Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Author Bio

Kathie Lee Gifford, four-time Emmy Award winner, is best known for her eleven years cohosting the popular fourth hour of the Today show alongside Hoda Kotb. Gifford continues to pursue her dreams as an actress, singer, songwriter, playwright, producer, and most recently, director. She has authored numerous books, including her most recent children’s book, The Gift That I Can Give, and four New York Times bestselling books, including The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi.

Connect with Kathie Lee

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Fiery Girls by Heather Wardell


Book Synopsis

Two young immigrant women. One historic strike. And the fire that changed America.

In 1909, shy sixteen-year-old Rosie Lehrer is sent to New York City to earn money for her family’s emigration from Russia. She will, but she also longs to make her mark on the world before her parents arrive and marry her to a suitable Jewish man. Could she somehow become one of the passionate and articulate “fiery girls” of her garment workers’ union?

Maria Cirrito, spoiled and confident, lands at Ellis Island a few weeks later. She’s supposed to spend four years earning American wages then return home to Italy with her new-found wealth to make her family’s lives better. But the boy she loves has promised, with only a little coaxing, to follow her to America and marry her. So she plans to stay forever. With him.

Rosie and Maria meet and become friends during the “Uprising of the 20,000” garment workers’ strike, and they’re working together at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25, 1911 when a discarded cigarette sets the factory ablaze. 146 people die that day, and even those who survive will be changed forever.

Carefully researched and full of historic detail, “Fiery Girls” is a novel of hope: for a better life, for turning tragedy into progress, and for becoming who you’re meant to be.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of twenty-one self-published novels. She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and can’t imagine ever leaving it. In her spare time, she reads, swims, walks, lifts weights, crochets, changes her hair colour, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Fiery Girls


 

 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Dear Abby - Cute Dachshunds From Pinterest

Dear Friends,

Hope you are having a good week!  We've had a lot of rain here and it gave me extra time to stay indoors and browse Pinterest.   I found some very cute dachshund photos and wanted to share them with you.  (Pinterest is a great place for dog pictures!)

This dachshund is ready for Spring with a wreath of flowers:

This handsome black and tan dachshund is just relaxing. What a face!

No, Momma, I do NOT want to wear pajamas.  (Cute as long as it doesn't give our people ideas.)

I can tell that this doxie is thinking some very Deep Thoughts.

Just a pretty dachshund out for a walk on a nice day!

Look what arrived in the mail!

These pictures made me happy and I hope you enjoyed them too. I hope your day is sunny and warm!

Love,

Abby xoxoxo


 

Book Review and Giveaway - The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper


My Review

The Girl in the Painting is a historical novel set in Australia. Most of the book takes place in the early 1900's (1906 - 1910's) when Jane Piper is placed by her orphanage in the home of brother and sister Michael and Elizabeth Quinn. When Jane goes to an art exhibit with her Aunt Elizabeth, Elizabeth has a panic attack and ends up sobbing on the floor. Jane works with her Uncle Michael to unravel the mystery of what has upset Elizabeth so profoundly. The book flashes back to the early years of Michael and Elizabeth as they traveled from England to Australia as children.

I wanted to read this novel because I enjoyed the author's previous book The Woman in the Green Dress.

This is a fascinating and unusual read. The complex story is set primarily in early 1900's Australia but flashes back to the childhood and youth of Michael and Elizabeth Quinn. Jane is a brilliant child/young woman who is a math prodigy. Her deductive skills come in handy as she works to find out the mysteries of Elizabeth's childhood that is impacting her present.

There are so many intriguing aspects of this novel - the gold fields where Michael works in his youth, the life of Chinese-Americans in Australia during this period (seen through a close friend of Michael whom Elizabeth becomes interested in), life at the auction house, the role of women during these times. I also found the artist Marigold and her work fascinating. For instance:

"She peered more closely. A weathered church tucked into the fold of the hill surrounded by ancient headstones, tilted like old men’s teeth, every patch of lichen highlighted. Several sarcophagi, chipped and worn, and to one side a large circular burial vault. Jane moved a little closer. All the other pictures had cards next to them describing the painting, but not this one. There was something about it that appeared familiar. She glanced over her shoulder. Mrs. Witherspoon was nowhere to be seen, so she hoisted the picture from the hook, turned it around, propped it against the wall, and crouched down. A small piece of paper glued to the back rewarded her ingenuity. Marigold Penter, The village church, 1889, oil on canvas And then she remembered. The wife of the self-confident man who’d annoyed Michael at the gallery in Sydney. It must be one of the pictures he’d been talking about. She studied the vibrant colors and wide brush strokes, the way the light glanced off the church windows, and the long shadows thrown by the circular vault, then she spotted the girl, almost hidden beneath the wide branches of a tree. She could hardly tell the color of the clothes the girl was wearing, all a pale gray-blue, almost as though she were fading away. It looked as though Lucy had spilt bleaching powder all over her." (eBook location 1108).

I found the mystery in this novel very intriguing and ended up reading it in just two days because I wanted to know what happened next. There were twists and turns and twists again. 

I recommend The Girl in the Painting for fans of historical fiction and especially for anyone interested in Australia and historical fiction involving art.

Book Synopsis

A young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

Tea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist’s Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girl in the Painting


 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - Queenie's Place by Toni Morgan


Book Synopsis

Queenie’s Place, set in rural North Carolina in the early seventies, is the story of an unusual sisterhood between a thirty-something white woman from California and a fifty-something black woman from the south.  From the moment Doreen Donavan sees the “Welcome to Klan Country” sign outside Goldsboro, North Carolina is one culture shock after another. She thinks the women she meets on the military base, where she and her family now live, are the dullest, stuffiest, most stuck-up women she’s ever run across, and frankly, they don’t think much of her either. She’s hot, miserable, and bored. Then one day, BAM, her car tire goes flat, right in front of a roadhouse outside the town of Richland, near where MCB Camp Puller is located. Inside, Queenie is holding forth at the piano. The place is jumping. Besides the music, there’s dancing and the best barbecue in North Carolina. Doreen’s husband, Tom arrives and must practically peel her out of the place. Queenie doesn’t expect to see Doreen again, but Doreen comes back and their unlikely friendship begins. Without warning, Queenie’s place is closed, the women accused of prostitution and bootlegging. A born crusader (she cut her teeth demonstrating against the Vietnam War—yes, even with her husband over there), Doreen quickly dons her armor and saddles up. Things don’t go quite as planned.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Author Bio

A longtime military spouse, TONI MORGAN has lived in many parts of the US and also for nearly four years in rural Japan. There she had the good fortune to work part-time in a Japanese pottery factory. That rich experience led to the first in her WWII trilogy ECHOES FROM A FALLING BRIDGE, which gives a unique view of life in rural Japan during the war. Second in the trilogy is HARVEST THE WIND, partially set in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho’s Magic Valley. The third in the series is LOTUS BLOSSOM UNFURLING, which continues the saga after the war ends. She also wrote PATRIMONY, and TWO-HEARTED CROSSING, companion books set in Montreal Quebec Canada during the Quebec Separatist Movement and 20 years later, in northern Idaho. Her novel QUEENIE’S PLACE is a 2019 National Book Award in Literature nominee. Her short stories have appeared in various literary magazines and journals, and her short story “Tin Soldier” was included in MOORING AGAINST THE TIDE, a creative fiction and poetry textbook published by Prentice Hall. Her most recent release is BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, a collection of short stories, including Pushcart Prize nominee “The House on East Orange Street” and the aforementioned “Tin Soldier.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win a set of signed paperback copies of Toni Morgan's WWII Trilogy!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Queenie's Place



Friday, March 12, 2021

Dear Abby - Videos Abby Likes: A Dachshund Dog Race


Dear Friends!

I hope you are having a good day! It is feeling more like Spring here every week, and I hope you are getting warmer weather where you live too.

I haven't had a lot of time online this week but I did find a fun, action filled (!) video to share with you. It stars Crusoe, one of the most famous dachshunds. He is in a dachshund dash race with three other dogs: Titan, Rain, and Jellybean. (I really like the name Jellybean!) There is a fun moment at the starting line when Titan stretches out to rest. The race is exciting and fast, though! Crusoe wins a gold medal and he falls asleep during the medal ceremony.

Here is the video for you to enjoy:

There are dachshund races across the country, often at rescue fundraising events. I've never been to one. I wouldn't want to race but might enjoy watching. Have you been to a dachshund race before?

Hope you have a good day! Thanks for coming by.

Love,

Abby xoxoxo



Book Review and Giveaway - Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan


My Review

Rhapsody is a historical novel set in the 1920's - 1930's. It tells the story of Kay Swift, a pianist who is married to banker James Warburg when she meets and falls in love with composer George Gershwin.

I wanted to read this novel because I love Gershwin's music and was curious about a book exploring his life. I also find the time period and setting (primarily New York City) intriguing.

This read started slowly for me as it filled in Kay's backstory. It picked up speed when she met Jimmy (James Warburg), and especially when George Gershwin entered the picture. By that point I was thoroughly engrossed in the storytelling and sat and read the rest of the book in an afternoon. I wanted to know what happened next!

The author does a wonderful job at setting the scene with music details, famous friends (like Dorothy Parker and Adele Astaire), and descriptions of the entertainment world and society life in the 1920's. There are vivid scenes like:

"The Century Theatre was closed to the public during the day. But the doorman recognized Jimmy, whose family had financed construction of the building, and the elevator operator whisked them up in his polished-brass cage to the enclosed portion of the Roof Garden Pavilion, where a disk was spinning on the Victrola while maintenance employees swept the floor and set tables. Eddie Cantor, backed by an orchestra, sang— Every lyric writer since the world began Has put in overtime in raves about the moon. And when the animals descended from the Ark They sang a song that rhymed with June And tune and spoon. Apart from the restaurant staff and the invisible singer and his orchestra, Jimmy and Katharine had the spacious glass room to themselves. As they proceeded to a table at the far end of the room, Katharine wondered whether Jimmy had not prearranged the entire scene, including the music. It all seemed too picturesque and dreamlike to be entirely spontaneous" (eBook location 1009).

Kay is a complex character - ambitious in a time when this was not encouraged for women, married to one man but in love/obsessed with another. I especially loved the detail of Kay reading The Great Gatsby and seeing some parallels between her fascination with Gershwin and Jay Gatsby's obsession with Daisy Buchanan.

One of the hallmarks of a good historical novel for me is learning more about historic figures or a different time period. Rhapsody provides a unique glimpse at NYC in the 1920's and Gershwin's life - both personal life and his artistry and work.

I enjoyed Rhapsody and recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially for anyone interested in music, the 1920's - 1930's, old New York, and the life of George Gershwin.

Book Synopsis

One evening in 1924, Katharine “Kay” Swift—the restless but loyal society wife of wealthy banker James Warburg and a serious pianist who longs for recognition—attends a concert. The piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The composer: a brilliant, elusive young musical genius named George Gershwin.

Kay is transfixed, helpless to resist the magnetic pull of George’s talent, charm, and swagger. Their ten-year love affair, complicated by her conflicted loyalty to her husband and the twists and turns of her own musical career, ends only with George’s death from a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight.

Set in Jazz Age New York City, this stunning work of fiction, for fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, explores the timeless bond between two brilliant, strong-willed artists. George Gershwin left behind not just a body of work unmatched in popular musical history, but a woman who loved him with all her heart, knowing all the while that he belonged not to her, but to the world.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound


Author Bio

Mitchell James Kaplan graduated with honors from Yale University, where he won the Paine Memorial Prize for Best Long-Form Senior Essay submitted to the English Department. His first mentor was the author William Styron.

After college, Kaplan lived in Paris, France, where he worked as a translator, then in Southern California, where he worked as a screenwriter and in film production.

He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his family and two cats.

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Giveaway

We have 2 paperback copies of Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Rhapsody Tour