A Worthwhile Holiday Story #FridayFunReads #BookReviews #Inspiration

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An Irish Country Christmas

by Patrick Taylor

 

What Amazon Says

 

Patrick Taylor’s New York Times and USA Today bestseller, An Irish Country Christmas, celebrates the season in this third novel of his beloved series.

Barry Laverty, M.B., is looking forward to his first Christmas in the cozy village of Ballybucklebo, at least until he learns that his sweetheart, Patricia, might not be coming home for the holidays. That unhappy prospect dampens his spirits somewhat, but Barry has little time to dwell on his romantic disappointments. Christmas may be drawing nigh, but there is little peace to be found on Earth, especially for a young doctor plying his trade in the emerald hills and glens of rural Ireland.

Along with his senior partner, Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, Barry has his hands full dealing with seasonal coughs and colds, as well as the occasional medical emergency. To add to the doctors’ worries, competition arrives in the form of a patient-poaching new physician whose quackery threatens the health and well-being of the good people of Ballybucklebo. Can one territory support three hungry doctors? Barry has his doubts.

But the wintry days and nights are not without a few tidings of comfort and joy. Between their hectic medical practice, Rugby Club parties, and the kiddies’ Christmas Pageant, the two doctors still find time to play Santa Claus to a struggling single mother with a sick child and not enough money in the bank. Snow is rare in Ulster, and so are miracles, but that doesn’t mean they never happen.

 

My Thoughts

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Taylor last year when he appeared as a guest on Writing Works Wonders. I found him just as delightful as his books.

An Irish Country Christmas didn’t disappoint me. Like An Irish Country Cottage, one of the later books in the series that I read a couple of years ago, it made me long for the good old days when doctors made house calls and were readily available to answer questions and address concerns about medical conditions.

Despite the hassle of the doctors’ busy practice, the consternation caused by the new doctor’s presence and unorthodox methods, and the hardships patients faced, I found myself laughing many times while reading it. Patrick Taylor’s characters are well-developed, and the way he draws readers into his story makes this another hard book to put down.

One nice thing about this series is that you can read each book as a stand-alone because plenty of background information is given. The down side is that if you, like me, have already read An Irish Country Cottage, , you might think the endingto An Irish Country Christmas will be different. Nevertheless, it will surprise and delight you.

I know it’s Christmas Eve, and the last thing on your mind right now is reading another holiday book. But I assure you this is a worthwhile read. You can put it on your list for next year’s holiday season. Merry Christmas!

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In case you missed my interview on local radio station KROE that took place on Monday, you can click here to listen to a recording. My actual interview starts about four minutes and 18 seconds into it. Enjoy!

Now, I have one exciting event to announce, and I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of it. Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner are now absolutely free as part of the Smashwords end-of-year sale, which will run until December 31st. You can click here for more information and to download these books.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Playing Ball with the Dog #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

At the park, we took turns throwing the ball for Squeakers, who never tired of retrieving it and bringing it back to us. I got some good pictures of him and even made a little video of him barking at a squirrel he’d chased up a tree.

“Sarah will love this,” I said when I showed it to the others.

“Last night,” said Grandpa, “the way you said that Miss Sarah had appendicitis, I thought you were going to be a doctor. But you’d also make a pretty good photographer.”

“Last night, you said you wanted to be a writer,” said Grandma.

***

So, is Natalie’s diagnosis of Sarah’s condition correct? Why did she tell her grandmother she wanted to be a writer? You’ll find the answers to these questions in my new novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me.

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above excerpt with her six-sentence story prompt for this week. You can participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations by clicking here.

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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Novel Portrays Idyllic Irish Small-Town Life #Friday Fun Reads

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In light of our recent St. Patrick’s Day celebration, I would like to share an oldy but goody book review from a couple of years ago. Happy reading!

An Irish Country Cottage

By Patrick Taylor

Copyright 2018.

 

This story takes place during the late 1960’s and is about three doctors. Although it’s part of a series, it can stand alone. In the Irish community of Ballybucklebo, Dr. O’Riley organizes a relief effort to help a family who lost everything in a fire. Dr. Laverty and his wife are trying to conceive a child, and Dr. McCarthy, a trainee, suffers from a lack of self-confidence. The Protestant-Catholic conflict provides an ominous backdrop to this portrayal of idyllic small-town life.

This book reminds me, in a way, of the James Harriott stories except that the patients are people, not animals. Funny things happen that will make you laugh, and there are serious moments that may move you to tears. I like the way the author interjects Irish culture into this story. He tells us that in Ballybucklebo, everyone gets along, whereas in the rest of Ireland, people are duking it out over religion and politics.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues that aren’t resolved in the end. Not wanting to give you any spoilers, I won’t tell you what they are, but I’m sure you’ll find them when you get to the end of the book. I hope a sequel is forthcoming. Meanwhile, I suggest you let this book take you back to the good old days when doctors made house calls. Don’t you wish those days still exist?

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Cut Loose of the Misuse of the Mispronounced Name of Dr. Seuss #Friday Fun Reads #Reblog

When I was a kid, I thought Dr. Seuss was a real doctor and wished I could see him instead of our regular pediatrician. Have you ever wondered how Dr. Seuss got his name, and why it’s pronounced the way it is? Well, here’s Commonplace Fun Facts to answer these questions.

 

Via Cut Loose of the Misuse of the Mispronounced Name of Dr. Seuss

 

 

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Theme from MASH #Monday Musical Memories

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.The song I’m featuring this week is from one of my favorite TV shows, which ran in the 1970’s and 80’s. In case you’re not familiar with MASH, it’s a situation comedy about a group of doctors, nurses, and other personnel at an American mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) in Korea during the war in the 1950’s. At the end of the last season, the war ends, and everyone goes home, some changed as a result. I reviewed the novel on which the movie and TV series were based here.

In the show, characters like Hawkeye, B.J., and Radar share a powerful message that sometimes, you have to laugh at things that aren’t necessarily funny. The theme song has words, but they’re depressing. So, I’m giving you the instrumental version I remember so well from when I watched the show weekly and reruns nightly when I was in college. As a fan, I had a t-shirt and trivia game. My favorite character was Hawkeye, one of the doctors, played by Alan Alda. I hope the theme song brings back memories for you as it does for me.

How about you? What was your favorite television show when you were growing up? Who was your favorite character in the show? Did you have any memorabilia?

 

New! The Red Dress: A Novel

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

 

My Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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