Sunday, February 15, 2015

When 2 Become One

It's nice when two loves come together.  For me it's been my love for quilting and reading that has combined to give me this wonderful mix of ooey gooey of happiness.

This week I have some books for you that are based on both of them.  The first one is Quilts of Joy: Stories of  Hope From the Patchwork of Life by Mary Tatem and illustrated by Kevin Ingram. It was released by Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in 2010.

From the Back Cover: (provided by

Draw these stories around yourself like a well-loved quilt Quilters flip through books and magazines and sort through scraps of fabric when planning a new quilt. But when God created you, he took more time and care than even the most careful quilter. Through inspiring stories based on twelve beloved quilt patterns, Mary Tatem uncovers the joy we have in God and the hope of beautiful things yet to come. You'll enjoy stories featuring the following quilt blocks:

Pickle Dish, Pine Tree, Bear Claw, Crazy Quilt, School House, Drunkard's Path, Tumbling Blocks, Le Moyne Star, Love Apple, Mariner's Compass, Rose of Sharon and Wandering Foot

Whether you're a quilter or quilt lover, Quilt of Joy will reassure you of God's faithfulness and his desire to bring blessing to your life.

"You don't have to be a quilter to appreciate Mary Tatem's Quilt of Joy. Take a stitch toward sewing joy into your life every day by reading one of Mary's treasured insights. You'll be pleased you did!"--Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author, A Mending at the Edge and Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft.
Mary Tatem is the author of The Quilt of Life. A Bible school teacher, Girl Scout leader, PTA leader, mom of four, and grandmother of fifteen, she speaks to women's groups and churches on marriage, family relationships, and the grace of God. She lives in Virginia.

I got this book through my local library on the recommendation from Ms. D of Canada when she posted it on my Facebook page back on the 1st of November. It took me a while to track it down but it was worth it. This book was an easy read with each story being only a couple pages long. So it makes the prefect bedside reader.  On those nights that I was really tired, I could read one or two before shutting my eyes.  Yes - there is a God/religious/spiritual theme to the book, but overall it didn't have that overly heavy "bible-up-side-the-head" feeling to me. The balance was well done and made for an enjoyable rhythm.  The illustrations depicting a quilt in the front of each section was beautifully done by Kevin Ingram. If you follow this link, you will get a sneak peak from; where you can get it in book format & Kindle format.  I also found out that this on one of several of her Quilts of series. Which I'm actively searching for by request through Mel-Cat program at my library. With this book I would heartily give it a 5 out a 5 star rating and plan to enjoy more of  Mary's books.  Thank You Mary for providing a wonderful mix of my 2 favorite past times together and leaving me an overall pleasant feeling and "Joy" that your book provided.

Next I have the final installment of Nora Robert's Cousins O'Dwyer Series: Book #3 - Blood Magick. The world of enchantment crosses borders and time traveling comes to life in the series once again.  It could have you believing in fairy tales again.

From the back cover: (provided by

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

This was another great series from Nora Roberts.  There is no doubt that she is a fabulous author and shows it to us time and time again. For this trip we move about in a lovely setting of the land of fairies, hereditary magic and the emerald green rolling hills of Ireland. The word "Enchanting" comes to mind as I read the series. The author has a way of showing you the scene as it comes off the page, that is wrapping you up and transporting you into the story like few authors can.  She brings her characters to life by giving them realism. You see the trials and tribulations that each one has and all that they must go through to conquer them.  Time and time again I have to salute her for keeping me back book after book, series after series. Nora will always find space on my book shelves.  So huzzah!!  Without doubt or hesitation I give this book & series 5 stars.  I wait with bated breathe for her next series.

Now let us venture into another realm. The realm of Non-Fiction.  I had a parenting book catch my eye even though my children are not in my household per say.  Again it's religious based but I didn't let that hender my choice to read it.  Now this one I received through Bethany house Publishers a division of Baker Publishing group and Net Gallery in an actual book form.  Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo. 

From the Back Cover: 

Find Your Own Mothering Style

Trying to follow someone else's rules for mothering can take the joy out of being a parent. But Mothering From Scratch shows you how to develop your own style that helps you be the best mom for your kids.

Full of solid biblical truth, this book will help you
· explore your personality and examine your strengths and weaknesses in order to find what works for you
· tap into the resources surrounding you and get mentoring and support from other moms
· push past the fear of change or doing it wrong and allow room for grace in your mothering

Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo provide a flexible, customizable approach to help you discover your optimal parenting style.

Here is a book that I wished I had had 20+ years ago.  Maybe things would have been different with me and my 2 daughters. I also have to admit that I was a child trying to raise children at the young age of approximately age19 with the birth of my first  daughter.  Failure, frustrations, tears coupled with bad choices was my life back then.  This book could have helped me realize that there was no manuals are handed to you at the hospital with each birth.  That all the books should have been suggestions and was setting me up for the ultimate failure.  This book had me in tears as I read on.  The guidance of a higher Being was there.  The way the book is set up has a chapter that starts a personal look from each of the authors with "Lovin' Spoonfuls" that offer up a little prayer or encouragement are peppered throughout the chapter and followed up with "Stirring Your Thoughts" and "Let's get Cookin'" at the end of each chapter also.

"Stirring Your Thoughts" are a series of thought provoking questions that make you stop, thinking and realize where your thoughts are really at.  Give give you a moment of reflection & the chance to be REALLY truthfully to yourself.  This would be a wonderful tool for those "Mommy & Baby" groups or State ordered parenting classes.  But you could also use them as an one-on-one reference book and should be given out by ALL hospitals.  Especially young mothers like me back in the day.  "Let's Get Cookin" are lines of guidance or suggested plans of actions that help you along in your everyday life.  

I found that the book had a calming effect.  It didn't feel like it was being pounded into my head like a some overwhelming school course that force feeds you all the material that the "big Experts" believed to be the PROPER way a child should be raised. Just because they are the claimed "experts" they know what is best fr you & your child(ren). 

I will recommend this book to those with children, thinking of having children or know someone who is having child(ren).  It richly deserves to be a vital part of a parents book shelf. This deserves a 4.5 stars out 5. And I will passing this book onto my oldest daughter to guide her along the path of parenting.

This book comes to me through Net Gallery for the exchange of my honest opinion.  The view above is that of my own and should be taken with a grain of salt.  I hope that you will take the time to pick up a copy to read.  Thank You for allowing me to share my thoughts on it with you.

That is my reviews for the week but I have plenty more to share with you.  I'm currently reviewing a couple of quilting books from the library and my own personal stash.  So be sure to come back for those reviews in the near future.  Until next time...



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