Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ghost Love By Nelli Rees

Welcome Everyone to my 1st posting for Bewitching Book Tours!

I'm so excited that I feel like I drank a post of coffee already this morning.  First off let me say a HUGE "THANK YOU" to Roxanne over at Bewitching Book Tours! She was subjected to a test of her patience while dealing with me during the making of this post for sure. I don't know if I would have made it without you, Roxanne. I have a new button on the side that will show you all the goods at BBT!
Bewitching Book Tours 

I'm going to share with you some great excerpts from 'Ghost Love', an introduction to the author; Nelli Rees and my review.  Also stick around for a chance to winning some Fabulous prizes!!  I am pleased to introduce you to Nelli Rees' 'Ghost Love'. 

Ghost Love 
Nelli Rees
Genre: Romance (with a hint of the paranormal)
Publisher: Phaze
Date of Publication: 20th January 2015
ISBN: ISBN-13 978-1-60659-849-8
Number of pages: 332
Word Count: 90,000
Cover Artist: Niki Browning
Book Description:
In the madcap, chaotic days when Communism crumbled in the USSR, Tonia meets and falls in love with Englishman, Peter Monroe. Despite the protests of her family and the more strenuous objections of the KGB Tonia agrees to marry Peter only for him to mysteriously disappear.
Twenty years later a life-toughened Toni must revisit these bitter-sweet memories when she finds herself and her daughters endangered by the consequences of that love affair.
In her despair Toni comes to realize that true love really does conquer all … even death.

Available at   Phaze Amazon BN ARe
Present Day: Dorset, England
Excitement being a kindred spirit to fear, Toni was undecided as to whether it was a trickle of fear she felt shivering down her spine or a trickle of excitement. 
As she sat staring at the screen of her laptop, the darkness shrouding the room seemed to draw in on her: her head swam, her palms became clammy. Tears welled up in her eyes. She blinked them away, hoping that by doing so the message on her screen would disappear. It didn’t.
Peter Monroe wants to be friends on Facebook
Hesitantly she maneuvered the cursor over the ‘connect’ button and pressed ‘enter.’ The screen mutated to show the Facebook page for ‘Peter Monroe.’ It was Peter! She recognized the profile photograph instantly. She’d taken it. She remembered posing him in front of the bandstand in Gorki Park on that spring day back in 1990, remembered laughing at the stupid faces he pulled, remembered the way his long chestnut hair flopped over his forehead, remembered…
How could she forget? He had been her one true love.
Love. A word made empty by misuse…by overuse. She wondered how many had ever endured the touch of real love, that soul-eviscerating sensation that comes when you know you have found your soul-mate. Very few, she decided. Perhaps this was all for the good: true love brought anguish in equal measure to joy. As the last twenty years had taught her, finding true love was a bitter-sweet blessing. Her fingers trembled as she typed.
Is it really you, Peter?
The reply was instantaneous
Yes…I’ve missed you, Tonia.
She couldn’t stop herself: the tears flowed down her cheeks.
She paused, terrified that what she would type next might cause this marvelous mirage to vanish.
But I thought you were dead?
The seconds ticked by, then:
I am. 
Now with a sneak peek like that, let's meet the author, Nellie Rees.

About the Author
Nelli Rees, born in Moscow, trained as a linguist and a musician. With her future husband Englishman Rod she worked and traveled around Russia, finally coming to live in England in 1998. Nelli has had several successful careers: recording a critically acclaimed nu-jazz album “Jazz Noir”, becoming an award-winning jewellery maker, writing a book “Glass Bead Jewelry Projects”, and doing all this whilst being a mother and a wife. “Ghost Love” is Nelli’s first novel and draws heavily on her own experiences as a young woman in Soviet Russia and the obstacles she and her husband-to-be faced during those difficult times. 
Video of Nelli performing "Falling In Love Again":
I had received an eARC from Bewitching Book Tours(BBT)in exchange for my honest review a head of time; so that I might share it with you today.  
What fascinated me about the book was the setting in the year of 1989. That was the year I graduated high school, George Bush Sr. became President, and Mikhail Gorbachev was the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 
The late 80's/early 90's - relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were fraught with tensions between the two superpowers. It is set in a time period that many of us saw and can relate to. Or know of someone like a parent, that also was when the revolution of technology had exploded as we entered a new decade. 
This book was a fast paced read that had me guessing to the end and left me sitting there with a surprised look and a dropped jaw. The unexpected twist was mind boggling. 
We start in Moscow,and we see things from Tonia's PoV. I found it appealing as Nellie builds the story around our main female character: Tonia, with the familiarity of her own personal background. I don't normally find many book with geographic location with the likes of this one. And I was able to visualize the scenes and the characters being built as if I was right there. The relationships with the other characters developing just like that in "real" life that has you understanding how the puzzle pieces come together at the end.
But don't go thinking that you have it figured out in the middle of the book. You will end up with a surprise or two. I was able to feel the shy blush associated a bud romance with Tonia as she meets and spends her time with Peter. But you can also cross scenes where you're feeling loss,anxious,happiness,terror,horror, sadness and empathy with not only Tonia, but the rest of the cast too. This paranormal thriller keep you come back for more. It's pages had me enthralled over the duration of three nights. I have to admit that in the first sitting, I knocked out 83 of it's 332 pages before my e-reader startled me after the third or fourth time it clunked me in the forehead as I keep falling asleep.  
Now the question is will there be a sequel? I certainly hope so!! I put in my plead for it right here and now Nellie. This book is able to cross several categories including: Young Adult, paranormal and suspense. It's a "clean read" that is more believability that we don't see much these days. But I can say that it has that feel of 'If I Stay' and 'Lovely Bones' to it and it would be in fine company with them.
Given that, I would confidentially give this book a strong 4.5 out of 5 stars. But of course that is my opinion,so I offer it up to you to check this book out for yourself. I don't think you will be disappointed at all!

Let me tell we have some FABULOUS prizes to give-a-way to some every lucky visitors!! There are 14 ... YES ...14! That is 14 prizes for my lucky readers from pretty jewelry items made with lampwork beads, to many things for us readers to enjoy like Signed copies of 'Ghost Love',and Nellie's bead book. For those Jazz listener there is a special little something there for you too!

Tour giveaways

Prize 1: "Pink Flowers" Necklace from Nelli’s "Jewelry for All Seasons" collection (handmade lampwork beads, sterling silver findings, crystals and hand dyed silk ribbon);

Prize 2: "Malachite Mystery" Pendant and earrings (handmade lampwork beads, sterling silver findings and chain, crystals);

Prize 3: "Tiger! Tiger!" Earrings (handmade lampwork beads, sterling silver findings, crystals);

Prizes 4-7: Bookmarks with glass bead ornamentation (handmade lampwork beads, crystals, steel dividers);

Prize 8: Signed paperback copy of 'Ghost Love';

Prize 9: Signed copy of Nelli’s book 'Glass Bead Jewelry Projects';

Prize 10 - 14: Signed promo copies of Nelli’s album 'Jazz Noir'.  


For even more chances to win this Great swag please visit BBT here:

So as I for now I bid you a fair "Adieu".  Please be sure to try for those wonderful prizes before you leave.  I love comments and try my best to reply to them all.  Until next time ...


Friday, May 22, 2015

Test, Test, UFO & Food

Well now that I got that other post out, it's time for a quilt posting.  I have been so busy this past month with some test patterns for Bea @ Beaquilter and Willow Bend Creations. I did two good size wall hanging pieces for the both of them.  I'm not sure if I can share the completed pictures quite yet, but I can show you pictures of the fabrics that I used used instead.


The pictures above are the fabrics that I used in the pattern for Bea.  That second picture is the focus fabric that has bees, dragonflies and butterflies along with the flowers. It is a Moda line by Cherie L. Strole and it is the "Nature Splendor"  I decided that instead instead of the blue-on-blue fabric (top right) on the back as I had planned, I went with the green (bottom left) that I used for a sashing, and binding.  In the end I have decided to give this pretty to my newest grand-daughter - Cordelia.  

You might remember her from this posting. Due to circumstances I have yet to meet thing little "Sweetness", as her mother calls her.  She is a half sister to Kendalyn. My daughter is still fighting the state and still trying to pay for Kendalyn's funeral from Oct. 2013. I keep hoping that this nightmare would end and would not mind if you add my family to your prayers. We sure could use all the positive thoughts that we can get.  I'll leave this subject for another time.  Maybe if I put my feeling on this out there, it might make me feel better my getting off my chest.

But any ways, I also did a pattern test for Willow Bends Creations. I received an e-mail that asked if I was willing to do a test for their Continuum patterns and templates.  They have a motto that states:

"Putting Quilted Art Within The
Reach Of Every Quilter!

And I couldn't agree with more!! This was a wonderful test pattern experience.  I chose to do the "Wild Life" set in the testing group. I actually had 90% of my fabric picked out before I was able to print the patterns. This was due to the fact that the gremlins that seem to have taken up residence some where in the house, and appears they killed my printer. I forgot to take pictures before I started, but I do have a picture of some of the scraps. I was really wanting to add a bit of brown as the sashing.  I ended up go with a with the solid green fabric instead since I was only working what's on hand

In fact my friend Mrs. Donna was wonderful and proved me the 2 yards of the pine tree boughs and cones when I announced I was doing this one. I had decided that I really want a stark background and the bright white fabric flowed nicely into the printed fabric.  Having done that the lighter green that looks like it's made with salt rock really pop. I have gotten the wall hanging done with the exception the quilting on the block backgrounds.  I have a couple pictures to share with you.


I think what I'm going to do is some nice and easy echo quilting around the Continuum applique and have an idea what I want to do to stitch the applique down too. But I want to do it by hand, so I'll do this while waiting for my son during his boy scout meetings this summer.  The fabric that I used for the Continuum Applique really does "POP". 

I was able to trace the patterns while watching TV  in one evening. Then I was happy that when it was time to cut out the blocks, they was transportable.  I did this while waiting for Mr Steve at a series of doctor appointments.  Like the website says " Easy, Fun and Beautiful".  I truly believe that.  It has been a long time since I worked with one of this patterns and I'm so glad to be a part of this test.  

Well that it's all that I have been working.  I have been inspired to work on my UFO's.  They are multiplying behind my back like those dust bunnies I've seen running about the house.  There was a challenge put forth by my friend Donna when she handed me a couple mini charms.  I was to make something with them and that was about all I was told.  So I decided to make my own pattern by adding 1 1/2 neutral fq's, a long scrap of plaid fabric, left over batting and a large piece of brown felt.  I had started it some time back and it would come out March 10th.  But as things tend to happen, it was pushed aside when I started the two test patterns.   Again!  But I was determined so this is what I came up with: Ribbon Dance. I used the pieces of batting that I sewn together and used the felt for the backing. Which I brought around for the back and hand stitched it down forming a binding.  It is simple as it was made with squares and half squares. I think this one will end up as a gift.

I'm currently working on another UFO that I was doing as a test pattern but I was unable to finish it at that time.  So I picked it back up again.  This one is interesting as I got this pattern from TQPM.  It's a paper piecing pattern and not my favorite method. I have found it challenging and time consuming.  It has me thinking that I got frustrated with it and that is the reason the it got pushed aside.  I have managed to miss cut things several times already again.  But I will have to get back to it I walked a way for two days.  This is my plan for this weekend.  I have one block section in half of the color pattern and then it's on to the other half of the color palette.

Form there I have two larger UFO's that are next on the list.  I want to get some of them done before I start my next new project.  It has been a monstrous task to keep too.  I have been deleting the e-mails with anything quilting pictures in them, so not to find anything that would cause a distractions to leave my path.  I'm still doing things like cross-stitching, hand quilting and I'm trying my first knitting project for my grand-daughter; Cordelia.  On most evenings you can find me in my little corner of happiness.

Yes ... that is the quilt that I'm currently working in the hoop at the moment. I have been know to cook too. I made lasagna on Mother's Day for myself and Mr Steve.  I even treated me to some wine in a glass that Ms. Christen had given to me.  


Then I made some Beef & Broccoli from the recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's blog .  It was easy, tasty and all mine.  LOL. I was able to enjoy this tasty recipe for 3 meals. 

I have also been doing a lot of reading as usual and I'll be tell you all that soon. I know I still have to get Part 2 together for you from the shop hop trip I went on about a month ago.  So be sure to on the look out for that too.  Until then ...


Sunday, May 17, 2015


There are days in my life where I wonder what some unknown person would perceive of me if they were cast in the role of a  "Peeping Tom". What would they see when they looked in the windows that is my life? 

How would their perception of me truly look like?  Would they have any pertinent information about me before I became the person they see before them?  Or would they be blinded-folded to my past history as they were told to draw their conclusions upon what they observe?  Basically judging the book by the cover in a fashion.  One can not simply "know" these things without the facts, because it is only part of the equation.  We humans are rather good at making judgements of other that surround us.  We are quick to speculate about one another, to believe rumors and take gossip as facts.  We all do it - I have done it.  And it got me thinking.

While the rains pour most prevalent around here, I spend my days doing a number of things, as a great number of us do.  They would almost seem indulgent in nature if one was to look in the window at me.  They would see me at the dining room table elbows deep in some sort of quilt related chore. Rather it be piecing on the machine or ironing fabrics that are not for wearing at all. This person might see me clacking away on my keyboard that is in front of the seeming lavish TV that is actually small in comparison to what other watch on.  This is where my senseless pecking belongs as I write up any number of things: from pattern testing feed back, to book reviews and connecting to friends & family in the ever changing world of social media.  It might look like I'm - by all appearances - just lounging about and partaking in leisurely endeavors of the long lost needle arts type things from a time that is not of our own.  A book might even be seen in my lap as I pet the cat on my lap as the house looks "lived" in. 

They might shake their heads with exasperation as they walk a way.  Thinking "how lazy that one looks to be." or some other far-fetched nonsense.  Thinking I should be out at a job, or that the house should be in a state of constant cleaning spic and span. And that I should be making such elaborated meals that would have a multitude of  courses to rival a Michelin Star restaurant.  Maybe in their minds, I should be capable of looking like the cleverly clad house wife, June Cleaver; in a size 4 crinoline skirts, pearls & high heel shoes, or any other of those TV sitcom 1950's house wives, as there is no reason not to in their minds. I should have a smile on my face, my hair carefully coiffed and in impeccable make-up as I joyfully push the brand new and latest model vacuum cleaner about. How disappointed they must be?

Instead they do find me doing all those things without the benefit of Mrs. Cleaver's attire.  I mean ... really?  No itchy crinolines or high heels here. That I'm not in the mood to subject myself to the sadistic ritual of  squeezing my toes in to shoes that also are causing blisters on my heels on a daily basis.  And don't get me started on the likes of panty hoses!  This was a man's invention and a devise to torture women in my opinion!!  Now don't get me wrong, I will wear the fancy attire when that situation deems it necessary.  But most days it's a t-shirt, a pair of sweat pants and a haphazard pony tail.

But what most people don't realize is I am the oldest of 3 daughters. My mother suffered from chronic and acute migraine headaches that would send her to bed for days on end.  Which means I was the one running the household at a young age. I learned how to plan a months worth of meals, do all the shopping in one trip with 2 shopping carts. I could  cook almost everything to mother's satisfaction, clean military style that could pass any unannounced white-glove inspections, do the laundry; rather it be on a wash board in the cement sink, the wringer washer that we had at one time or the more modern machines.  And then these were the bane of my ironing chores - my father's BDU's.  There at most times animals to care for, gardens that needed tending and a never-ending list of "to do's "; all the while going to school.  I also had to assist my sister's with their homework.  And not just high school. I'm talking almost all of my school career.  And then there is the fact we was constantly moving around all the time. 

I was working as a babysitter in high school for the neighbor and I was working "real" jobs too, when I was 15 thru a school program that had students working to clean up local schools and the grounds that they were on.  It was hard back breaking work.  I can still remember the rooms in the basement with broken desk sets, chalk boards. Then there was walls, lockers and bathrooms that needed to have the graffiti removed, every thing that needed fresh coats of paint and coal chutes that needed to be removed. These all nasty dirty jobs. And then I would have to walk home from one side of Ecourse to the other end.

Now when you look at me, you don't see the weekly injections that I have to do in order to function in my normal day to day world. You don't see the laser treatments along the lower spine I also endure for pain. You might see me limp or hear the sharp intake of air as things pop, pull or otherwise causes pain when I try to do the simple things like walking or standing.  How many times have you seen me fall because my knees or ankles gave way?  I bet you didn't see those 6 needles I had to endure when the doctor shoved into them my occipital nerves on my skull to block the headaches for 20 days at a one time. Or the tears that fell in the process.

You might not have noticed the small scar on my throat from a surgery six months ago that was done to remove half of my thyroid so that I could do the simple things like breathe, drink, eat, sleep or even take my medications.  It was also the main reason I weigh what I do these days. It's hard to exercise when all your joints are either inflamed or grating on each other because the cartilage is bugled or missing.  Let us not forget that the tingling & burning sensation in my hands & toes that feel like the are being attacked under the skin out of sight. Or that sometimes my right thigh feels like it was set on fire.  When I wake up - my arms and legs are numb. So while it looks like I'm just wasting the day away; the reality is I'm waiting for things to calm down so that I can simply sit up.

Now what might look like I'm a lazy person to some, they don't realize that I worked for 20+ years as a waitress, security officer at an automobile plant, a postal carrier, and mail sorter in the distribution plant while having 3 kids. That with 3 living children I had I experienced the grief and loss of 3 more. While I did not finish raising my daughter's and I'm now a single woman that shares custody of my son, I tried my best by them.  I have been a victim of all know types of abuse for almost 35 of my 43 years on this earth.  That putting my self "out there" is the most challenging thing I do on a daily basis.  Trust and  fear are difficulties that I deal with everyday. That I spent most of my life being invisible.  That "out of site - out of mind" was not a motto, but a life style of surviving. That being in busy, crowded places can send me in to a debilitating panic at a moments notice.  My eyes automatically finds more than one way in and out where ever I have to go. That I don't place my back to a door, but in a corner whenever I physically can. 

So if you see me doing things like not working at a J.O.B., and doing what appears to be a life of leisure in your eyes.  Just know that I deal with my struggles in my own fashion.  That doing these perceived luxuries are actually forms of therapy and was encouraged by my doctors. Rather they be physical or mental. Because so far, I have managed to stay out of the wheel chair that I would be in before my 30th birthday that was predicted in my late teens/early 20's. Or that the doctors figured I might not even be here in this world because I took the easy path in their opinion.  Just because I don't have a missing limb or any other visual handicap the can be seen, don't I'm not handicapped in some another means. 

I am in my own way a strong and determined person when I need be. I have fought tooth and nail for every breath I take figurative and literally.  I continue to fighting and will keep on doing so with my own inner physical and mental demons on a day by day basis.  There are things that happened that I wished didn't but it won't change how things are.  I have watched a man that I love struggle and then die from brain cancer. I watch my children in their own struggles - knowing that I can't do much more for them but to stand there and watch it happen.

So what you might see as you look in that window, is not my whole story.  While you may think you know me - you don't really know me.  As for me, I learning not to throw stones in a glass house.  I'm learning to change my perception of the people that I come across because I don't know their whole stories either.  I know that while my other half is not a movie star, we love each other in our own quiet way and that we are more companion material then marriage material.  I'm working it out while facing the reality of both of our health challenges.  My life these days is the result of all the decisions I made or didn't make in the past. They are the results of my cause & effects consequences that I did. Things will always be that way.

So now as I stand here, I ask you please put down you rocks and I'll put down mine; and either walk away or perhaps I'll ask you about those shoes that you walk in.  I think it's is time to work on changing what perceptions I might have and hope that you might too.

Until next time ...


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2 Dark Child's & The Diamond Ring

Books make the world go around.  

No matter what happens in a given day I know that at the end of it as I climb into bed, I can find a book to suit my mood.  And it's nice that my e-reader can hold 300 books on it on any given time.  At the moment I only have 90 on it.  But I also have many more waiting to be downloaded too. Probably enough to double down with out much thought.  In fact I'm reading at a pace that probably goes to 3:1 for books read and books reviewed.  I'm curious to find out if this happens with other reviewers. So guess what time it is?  That's right!! Review time!!

This week I'll start with a pair of books by Adina West.  She is the writer of Dark Child: Covens Rising (episode 1 & 2).  I received both of them from NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion.  These books are published by Momentum.

Description (Episode One)
Kat Chanter isn't your ordinary girl. And she isn't your ordinary vampire, either. The ruthless Directorate would go to any lengths to have her power – including murder. And when that leads to a war between races, Kat's fate becomes the ultimate prize …

Kat is done with being on the run, or so she hopes. A new pathology job in Paris is her big chance to start afresh, far from the Tabérin Directorate who want her dead. Sure, adjusting to life as a half-vampire, half-human hybrid in transition poses its own challenges, but it's nothing Kat can't handle … until the past starts to catch up with her.

When she's approached by one Tabérin male from her past, she can explain it away. But add in another territorial Tabérin with a new-found conscience and it's starting to get crowded on Kat's Montmartre window ledge. Past experience tells Kat to be cautious, especially in her vulnerable state. But how can she tell friend from foe?

Reading the series in episodes make me think I'm watching a weekly sitcom on TV. In fact as I was reading the book, that is exactly what I was thinking.  That this could be adapted on put on the CW channel. For those who are fimilar with the programming on CW would probably agree with me. They carry such programs as Supernatural and The OriginalsThis would be the prefect addition in their wheelhouse.  

But any ways. This episode was a great start for the series.  There is some debate as to how the speed starts out in the beginning, but I know that sometimes it takes a bit of time to build the plot line and the characters; so I didn't really worry about that.  The paranormal aspects is delightful and the pace is fast moving.  The plot is set for young adults, but I found it could be read by anyone that enjoys a good paranormal story line.  I have to say that I would give it a 4 out 5 stars.


In her dreams, she craved fresh blood. Warm human blood. And her incisors were long, sharp – able to bite through a fragile layer of skin with ease. What sort of monster does that make me?

Kat discovers that her presence in Paris isn't such a secret anymore. But if she has to battle the Directorate again, it seems she'll have much more support this time. Some of it from the most unlikely sources.
Meanwhile, teenage loner Ben discovers that he has much more in common with Yara Fortes, the girl of his dreams, than he ever hoped. But in a cruel twist of fate, the shared secret that links them together could also get them killed …

Again Adina was able to bring us back into the story with the second episode with out missing a beat. The events continue to progress as does the characters.  It is a smooth and a fast read just like the first episode. The development of the characters are strong and familiar. Yes - we see the same type characters in many YA books, but thankfully Adina didn't make them seem so cookie-cutter in nature.

Also it still has be thinking that I'm reading the script for a weekly TV sitcom. Just as I really get into the story, I'm left hanging with out the benefit of tuning in next week. I'm not sure how I feel about this being divided into so many episodes. So for now I'm looking for forward to reading the rest of the series. But I do wish that was all in one book. Other than that once again, I'll give this another 4 stars out 5.   

Both of these books came to me for free through NetGallery in exchange for my honest reviews.

The next book is The Diamond Ring: Book Three of The Unbreakable Trilogy by Primula Bond and published by
HarperCollins UK, Avon.


Sex. Love. Betrayal. And a very dramatic climax… The Unbreakable Trilogy reaches its unforgettable conclusion. A must-read for fans of erotic romance.

“You don’t know how beautiful you are, Serena. That’s the danger.”

Engaged to be married, life should be blissful for Gustav and Serena. It should be a time of happiness; a time to plan their wedding and their future together.

But the ghosts of Gustav’s past have returned to haunt him, and one in particular casts a dangerous shadow over their relationship.

Margot, Gustav’s bitter and twisted ex-wife, is determined to destroy everything that Gustav holds dear. Starting with Serena…

From the glamour of Paris to the exotic wilds of Morocco, The Diamond Ring will take you on a sensual, sexy journey like no other – with a finale you won’t forget.

So we finally have the final book in this trilogy by Primula Bond. We are transported back into the story and it feels like an emotional amusement park ride.  There is hatred, tears and everything in between. Margot was front and center with all her sadistic nastiness and the cat fight finally comes to a head as we had expected. 

Primula was able to wrap every thing up in a neat little bow by the end of the book.  This dark erotica is sexy with some voyageur scene and girl on girl action just like we seen in the previous books.  A word of warning, be careful; as you might and up with some tingling feelings your self.  Having said that this book/series is not for the YA audience and would be rated R in the movie theaters.  

I did find that this book was better written then the 1st two.  And I could see how Primula left herself some room to start another series with Polly and Pierre if she was so declined.  I could see this one being not quite a 4, but maybe more of a 3.75 stars out of 5.

Again please know that I got this free ARC from HarperCollins UK of Mischief Books in exchange that I give my honest opinion in return.

Well that is it for this addition of my book reviews.  So feel free to leave comments as always and until next time ...


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Quilts, Harlots and Dogs

The hits keep on coming!

The birds are chirping announcing spring it in the air. My it's nice that the weather is warming up.  It's still tolerable at the moment and that is nice. I'm still reading my little eyes in to the ground. I just finish doing a read-a-thon this past weekend and had great fun doing it.  I was on a quilter's shop hop last Thursday, but we still had 2 stories left to do in the thumb region. So me & Donna hit the road on Saturday and we were off.  I love to read when I'm in the car, so I brought my e-reader with me.  I did a great deal of reading as we traveled down the road.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters: Survival Guide For Fixing & Finishing Any Quilting Project

One book for this week is "When Bad Things Happen To Good Quilters" by Joan Ford.


ScrapTherapy is an innovative step-by-step quilt class and pattern series that has become extremely popular nationwide. The success of Joan's first two books has quilters, fabric and quilt-shop owners, and sewing enthusiasts clamoring for more.
From talking novices through the quilting process to helping more experienced quilters resolve complicated setbacks; this is the tool they need to troubleshoot and to get (and keep) projects back on track.

This book is chalked up with lots of wonderful tips and techniques to fix those things that sneak up and say "nanner nanner" while sticking it's proverbial  tongue out at you.  The book will have you fixing any problem that can or has plagued you and caused that WIP tossed a side and become the dreaded UFO.  Admit it we all have been there at one time or another.  

Joan leads us through all the common sewing machine feet that a quilter can encounter. To common machine maintenance, tools for the trade and other handy tips are offered throughout the book.  I would say this book should be in every quilters library for all the helpful information in it that could possibly turn those dreaded UFO's in to finished treasured pieces.  I would definitively give it 4.75 out of 5 stars.  And I can happily say that my local library now carries the book. Yeah!

Now I have a historical romance for you that takes place in 1410 AD Germany. This one I got from NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion, so please understand that this review is how I perceived the book.  "The Wandering Harlot" by written by Iny Lorentz & is from Amazon Publishing.


In 1410 in Constance, Germany, the beautiful Marie Schärer’s luxurious life as a merchant’s daughter is destroyed when her ambitious father arranges her marriage to a lawyer from the Black Forest named Rupert Splendidus. Her childhood sweetheart warns her of the attorney’s sly character and is tragically proven right the day before the wedding, when Rupert accuses Marie of unimaginable behavior and has her thrown into a dank dungeon, where she is brutally attacked by his henchmen. Unfairly condemned and banished from her home, Marie is forced to become a wandering prostitute to survive. The clever and kind Hiltrud befriends Marie, and the strong-minded pair sets out on spirited adventures—bedding counts, meeting scoundrels, and tricking foes—as Marie plots the ultimate revenge on the men who stole her honor and her family’s fortune.
Set against a richly detailed historical backdrop, this is the dramatic tale of one woman’s quest for vengeance, redemption, and real love.

This was my first time with this author and so begins my introduction to the 1st book of the Marie Series. Some times it's hard to find a good historical plot line set in this period. This piece of fiction has a good deed of accurate historical background to make it believable. The heroine is strong & determined when men ruled the castle, the land and the females in any fashion they deemed acceptable by their laws. The women were submissive ... at least most of them.  This is not your typical  story of love, princes and happy-ever-afters that we grew up believing.

No, this was more about the struggle of the female character - Marie must face when a greed is had by a nefarious lawyer. As we follow her, you can't help to feel a multitude of emotions along the way  with her. Times are hard in the 1410 AD, but it was good to see Marie pick herself up and face her challenges head-on. 

While the characters are complex, you come to understand what role each of them plays and I found them to be well written and realistic. I was able to see the seasons, places and events form with out feeling like I was missing some thing. It has a smooth flow and is well thought out.  Which is not always found in similar books. This story is long with it's almost 500 pages, it was nice to have all the relevant pieces come together as I went on.  The book has me thinking of Phillipa Gregory, George R. R. Martin and Ken Follett.  If you are into those kinds of story lines, then I recommend picking up this book.  It's gripping story line will keep you enthralled page after page. I would give this a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. And I am finishing up a few more books and then I'm going to be reading book 2 of the Marie Series. The title to that one is the " The Lady of the Castle".

For all you animal lovers out there here is that book that make you want to say "awwwww".  What book am I talking about?  I give you "Almost Perfect" by Diane Daniels Manning.  This ARC was given to me for free in exchange of my honest review from NetGallery and the publisher, Beltor- Author Buzz.



A YA novel about two unlikely friends, their dogs, and the competitions that bring them and their community together. (Kirkus Reviews)

An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .

Up to 100% of the author’s profits will be donated to charities serving animals and children. Visit www.dianedanielsmanning.com.

The story is full of emotions and helps with such things as the understanding, coping, the sense of lost, relationships, special needs and other coming-of-age issues.  The dogs in the story are not just extra fluff to make you go "aawww" but substantiates their presents in the story for the human characters. 

This was the sweetest story I have read in a long time. I have always enjoyed stories that featured animals.  I grew up with that like of James Herroit's "All Creature Great & Small" series. So when I came across "Almost Perfect" in Net Gallery's list, I jumped to the chance to read it.  I remember watching the Westminster Dog Show as a child and still do. I also know that it is one of "THE" biggest dog shows in the dog show circle. It's the equivalent of the the Triple Crown in the Thoroughbred world. It's no small chore to getting a dog to said show. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline once it is determined that the puppy is show quality.

We are taken down the path of the characters that reflects with realism throughout the book. In both, the main characters and secondary characters. This does include one cranky old lady named - Bess Rutledge; who flattens her was beloved & successful poodle kennel without going to the one show she dreams about the most. To Benny - an autistic, pre-teen boy  who wants to "make his mother proud of him" to get her attention and approval.

We also meet Bess's son - David, her twin sister -  Mona and Dr. Kate, the school psychologist and how they help with the development of the relationships of Bess & Benny as they are fraught with challenges. 

But most of all we have two other main characters in the book. They not be human but they show that love is unconditional. McCreery and Breaker some of the last of the famous Umpawaug standard poodles from Bess's kennel. 

Diane Daniels Manning uses the Westminster Dog show for the background as a leader board which establishes the such a presents in a world that most of us don't have a clue about. The setting helps us how those in the "business" make the choices that they do and how it has a ripple effect to those around them.  This book shows us what devotion can look like from both sides of the ring.  It's sweet, heart-felt story without it being too over the top sweet. It shows not only the failures one feels, but it shows the conflicts in a believability that resonates all the way through the book.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone. It touched on so many different aspects, that if 10 people read it; they all would take 10 different things away from the story line. I would have to give this touching plot line a full 5 out 5 stars. Thank You Diane Daniels Manning for bring us this near perfect book.  May I review for you again in the future.  And Thank You Net Gallery for allowing me to review that wonderful book too.

Well folks that concludes this addition of book reviews.  I have so many more to share with you so until then ...