Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trading Secrets Review

Trading Secrets by Melody Carlson (YA story)  is the story of Micah, an English girl, and Zach, her Amish pen pal.  In the fifth grade Micah's class sent letters along with their pictures to Zach's school in order for the children to become pen pals.  However, the Amish school teacher removed the pictures before allowing the Amish children to pick their pen pal.  Zach though Micah was a boy based on her name and the contents of her letter (Micah was a tomboy).  Micah never corrected Zach on his mistake and now they are seventeen.  Zach wants to come and see Micah on spring break.  Micah is nervous and not sure how to tell Zach the truth about her gender.  At the last minute Zach cannot come to see Micah because of spring planting.  So Micah decides to go see Zach and help with the planting on their farm.  She dresses in boyish clothes and baseball cap and heads to “Amishland” as Micah’s friend call it.

It is interesting to see what happens between Micah and Zach.  Micah provides Zach with new opportunities as well as insight into himself and his family.  It is a good story, but not as good as Melody Carlson’s Christmas stories (which I love).  Happy Reading!
I was provided a free copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hello from the Gillespies!

Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney is a very interesting book.  It tells the story of Angela, her husband, Nick, and their children (what a group they are too).  Every year Angela sends out a Christmas letter to all their friends.  She normally does what many people do around the world--she tells half-truths and embellishes wherever she can!  However, this year, Angela's heart is not into it.  The family has had a rough time and she feels like venting.  So for the fun of it, Angela writes a letter and tells the truth.  She never intends for this letter to be seen by anyone but herself.  Just as she is finishing the letter an accident happens with her son, Ig.  He cuts off his finger and she has to rush him to the hospital.  The family all shares one computer (something that would drive me nuts).  Her husband, Nick, goes to use the computer and sees the letter.  He thinks he is helping by sending out her Christmas letter on time.  Unfortunately, Nick never takes the time to read the letter. The book covers the year after the letter and how the family changes, copes, and comes back together as a family.  If I had this family, I think I would have run away screaming.  Angela has the patience of a saint and I can certainly understand why she has such awful headaches.  I love the ending of this book.  The author tied up all the story lines nicely and left us with a good ending. This book was a delight to read.  I hope you take a chance and read it and love it!   I did receive a free copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read Program. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First Impressions By Charles Lovett

I belong to a wonderful program by Penguin.  It is called First to Read.  Every month they offer books that have yet to be published.  You can enter the drawing to win or use your accumulated points to guarantee yourself a copy of the book.  One of the easiest ways to earn points is to log into the site every day (gets you 5 points)!  You can also win points by reviewing the books and writing about the books on social media sites.  I used some of my points to guarantee myself a copy of First Impressions by Charles Lovett.  I love Jane Austen and really thought I was going to enjoy the book.  Here is the review that I submitted:

First Impressions by Charles Lovett looked like it was going to be good, but I was disappointed. This book goes between two different time periods.  The earlier with Jane Austen and Richard Mansfield and then later with Sophie Collingwood.  As a lover of books, I thought I would really enjoy and love reading this book, but  I did not.  I love Jane Austen and that time period, but just not this book.  The book did not flow for me and I found it difficult to read this story.  I was just glad to finish reading the book.  Of course, not all books are going to appeal to all readers.  That is what makes each of us and each book unique.  Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read Program.

Other people have read the book and loved it.  I think it just depends on the person and what they like to read.  I have just finished reading Relatively Dead and Seeing the Dead by Sheila Connolly.  Both are great books.  I will be reviewing Seeing the Dead on my blog within the next couple of days.

I hope everyone is having a great week!  If you have time check out Crafty Secrets blog.  They are currently having their monthly challenge.  Have a great evening!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten

I just finished reading Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara utman, and Sarah Sundin.  Here is my review on this book.

Where Treetops Glisten is a delightful book.  It contains three romantic, Christian Christmas stories about the Turner family siblings and is set during World War II.  The prologue sets the stage for the story.  Starts out with the Grandmother getting the family house ready for Christmas.  In the Turner family is the grandmother, mother, father, and their three children.  Each story revolves around a different sibling.  There is then a epilogue at the end of the book that wraps up all the stories.  I really enjoyed the first two stories in the book.  They were sweet and romantic with a lovely Christmas spirit.  The third book was more religious and had more serious overtones.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  It was an easy book to read and can easily be finished in a couple of hours.  I will look into reading more stories by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin.  If you like romantic Christmas stories, you will enjoy this book.  It will definitely put you into the Christmas spirit.  I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

I also just finished reading Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber.  It was a cute story, but I found that the ending was too quick.  It left the story a little unfinished.  I hope that she will write another story with some of the same characters so that their story lines will be finished.  I would like to know what happens with veteran and the young man who just got out of jail. 

So many wonderful books came out this week. I think I purchased ten new books.  My favorite so far is One Potion in the Grave by Heather Blake.  Delightful cozy mystery series with magic. 

How did everyone enjoy craft day on HSN?  So many wonderful new products on the market.    The Cricut Explore looks interesting.  I have a Silhouette machine, though, and I am not sure if I need another cutting machine (though I have a lot of Cricut cartridges).  I like that you do not have to use the overlays or cartridges anymore.  My favorite new gadget on the market is the Craftwell eBrush Airbrush System with Accessories.  It uses your markers to airbrush with stencils, die cuts, or just to color a page.  It is like the Tim Holtz Distress Marker Spritzer Tool only on steroids!  Check out this tool if you get a chance on  If you like to purchase to purchase the latest craft supplies (especially Tim Holtz products) and want a great price, please check out Molly's Square.  They get some of the latest products and have a great prices.  Molly's Square is based out of Florida.  The shipping is also reasonable. 

I am trying to find time to work in my studio.  We had to rearrange our house recently and my studio is a little bit of a mess.  I am trying to get everything organized.  The room I got is bigger, but some of the old furniture is still in it.  So I have a bigger room but with less space!  I hope that makes sense.

Keep crafting and reading!  Have a great weekend.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Plaqued by Quilt

I just finished reading Plagued by Quilt by Molly MacRae and it is wonderful.  I was very fortunate to win a free copy of the book from the author.  Molly MacRae had a contest on FaceBook.  People had to correctly identify what she was holding in a picture.  Molly was holding flax heckles/hackles.  They are like very big dog brushes (only with tines like iron nails).   Here is the review that I posted on Goodreads.

Delightful new addition to the Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery. Kath stumbles upon another murder (literally) and then sets out to solve the mystery with the help of her friends in the TGIF (Thank Goodness It's Fiber) Group and Geneva (her resident ghost)! What a great group of characters. They also stumble upon two skeletons that have been buried out at the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm. Poor Kath also has to deal with Clod again. They really need a new sheriff in their town. The murder was not easy to solve and I loved the unique murder weapon. I hope you enjoy Plagued by Quilt from Molly MacRae as much as I enjoyed it. I received an Uncorrected Proofs copy from the author which I won it in a contest on FaceBook.         

If you love cozy mysteries, please try Molly MacRae's Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery!

For those of you that love papercrafting, please check out HSN starting at midnight.  It is a 24  hour Craft Day Event!  I have gotten many wonderful item from HSN with their flexpay.  Check it out!

Have a great week!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Stillness of Chimes

I just finished reading A Stillness of Chimes.  It is a Christian Fiction book.   Here is the description of the book by

What if the pain of the past revealed an unknown sacrifice that changes everything?
When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to Prospect, Georgia to settle her recently-deceased mother’s household, the last thing she expects to encounter is a swirl of rumors about the father she lost to the lake twelve years ago—that he has reportedly been seen around town. Elliott Gantt’s body was never found and he was presumed dead.

Reeling from the sharp loss of a parent, Laura must now grapple with painful memories surrounding her father’s disappearance and the sense of abandonment she experienced after his death. Life-long friend and former beau Sean Halloran wants nothing more than to protect Laura from the far-fetched stories of Elliott’s resurrection and to care for her, but he has his own reasons, troubling echoes from his childhood, to put Elliott’s disappearance to rest.

Working together, Laura and Sean begin to uncover the truth, one mired in the wooded peaks and deep waters of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Prospect. Can they fathom how many secrets the steep hills hold? With surprising facts revealed, will Laura be able to understand the sacrificial choices made that forever changed her life? And can love and a peace with God be rekindled in her heart after so much time has passed?

Sounds good right?  Wrong.  Here is my review:

When I saw the book description for A Stillness of Chimes, it looked like a book I would read and enjoy.  However, this book was not enjoyable.  It was like trying to walk through mud.  I had a hard time getting into the book, but I persevered. 

The story is about Laura, a teacher, coming home to clear out her recently deceased mother's house.  She returns to hear rumors that her Father, who died twelve years previously, might still be alive.  There is also a best friend, best friend's little sister, and her ex-boyfriend (who wants to get rid of the ex part). If that is not enough, you have a violent man, a woman with OCD and theft issues, and an affair.  The story just does not come across as believable.  The transitions between characters and scenes are bumpy.  When I started the second chapter, I thought I had opened the wrong book.  

I really wanted to like the book, but instead it was a chore to read A stillness of Chimes.

Please note that I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  Blogging for Books is a great site.  You get free books in exchange for your review.  If you love to read, please check them out. 

I also just finished Yarn over Murder by Maggie Sefton.  I will write a review of it soon.  Back to my chores.  Have a great weekend.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

I'm Back

I am sorry that there have not been any posting for quite some time.  I have been ill and am just starting to feel more like myself.  I have Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and a few other things.  Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to many narcotics.  I discovered this when Florida changed their narcotic laws.  I have, though, found a medication that helps, but you have to have a special doctor to prescribe it.  The medication is called Suboxone.  It is a wonderful medication.  It does not have the side-effects that you normally associate with narcotics.  Now that I can move about a little more, I am looking forward to getting back in my studio.

One thing has kept me sane during the last year and that it books!  I have got to read so many wonderful books.  I am currently reading:

Tempest in a Teapot (A Teapot Collector Mystery) by Amanda Cooper 

Here is the summary provided by

Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for…

When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother’s cozy shop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson’s upcoming bridal shower.

Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be’s choice of venue—like Cissy’s grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy’s fiancĂ©’s mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list…

I have just started reading the book today, but I am enjoying it.   I will let you know more when I am finished.

I just finished reading Ten Beach Road, Ocean Beach, and Christmas at the Beach by Wendy Wax.  I really enjoyed these stories.  They are about three women who lost all their money to a Ponzi scheme swindler, Malcom Dyer.  For partial restitution they received a mansion called Bella Flora in Passa-a-Grille, Florida (near St. Petersburg).  It is right on the beach, but in serious need of a renovation.  The story tell of how they get to know each other and remodel this beautiful home.  Madeline, Avery, and Nicole are the primary characters along with Kyra (Madeline's daughter) who gets pregnant by a married movie star.   The second book shows the ladies remodeling a home in Miami Beach and working on a remodeling show.  Ocean Beach was funny and delightful.  There is a very sad part at the end though.  Christmas at the Beach is a novella (meaning a very short story).  Short it is.  It is told through the viewpoint of Kyra.  Interesting viewpoint but way too short.  I am looking forward to the next book in this series, The House on Mermaid Point coming out on July 1.

I am going back to my cookie baking now and then off to read and relax.  I will be back again soon.

Happy Reading and Crafting,