Monday, September 22, 2014

Chunky Infinity Scarf



I found this beautiful scarf pattern over on Craftsy the other day.....it knit up quickly, and is nice and cuddly!  The pattern is FREE so I'll share the link with you HERE.  One note though, I first knitted it up with the 5 strands of yarn like it calls for, but it felt too stiff, so I knitted a new one with only 4 strands....much much better!  Share your photos if you make one of your own!






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Friday, September 19, 2014

CFBA: The Curious Case of the MIssing Figurehead

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
by
Diane Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning novelist Diane Noble writes stories that tap into the secrets of the heart.

With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.

For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She recently finished writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one, The Sister Wife, and book 2, The Betrayal, which are published by Harper Collins/Avon Inspire, are now in bookstores.

Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.

ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s Passionate about Solving the Case ... with the Town’s Life-Long Bachelor

El Littllefield runs The Butler Did It catering. It’s the perfect cover for her to solve “who-done-its” (nothing too dangerous, please!) in this small university town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While catering her most important event yet—a fancy retirement dinner for Dr. Max Haverhill, life-long bachelor and history dean—countless guests fall ill, a 200 year-old relic is stolen, and her best friend vanishes. All in the first hour.

As El and Max race to solve the mystery, they discover there’s more to their relationship than simply solving the case. Welcome to Eden’s Bridge—the perfect small town setting for big intrigue, romance, and humor.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Curious Case of the Missing Figurehead, go HERE

MY THOUGHTS
When I looked at the cover of this book I thought it screamed "FUN" ....and yes, it was fun!

This is the first book in this series...so it will be fun to follow along on this sleuthing trail.

A whodunit with witty characters who tell the story in their point of view, which may take a bit of time to get used to, but well worth it.  From dinner guests becoming ill, to missing people and relics, this story is fast paced and just plain enjoyable.

Cannot wait for the next book in this series.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cake Decorating

Do you bake and decorate your own cakes, or do you buy them at the store?  Waaaay, back when my daughter was born I decided to take Wilton classes so I could do my own.  I thought store bought tasted awful and the decorating usually left quite a bit to be desired.  So began my journey!

I took Wilton levels 1-3 and went crazy!  My nieces and nephews love to 'order' their birthday cakes from me....they call me the 'Cake Lady'...not very original I know..but it works!


After 18+ years of cake decorating, word has spread that I make cakes, I now get occasional orders, which is kind of fun, just yesterday I posted an ad on a local face book group and received 2 cake orders within 30 minutes, kind of exciting.

So, I thought I'd share some of my cakes with you...I like to do a lot of gourmet style cakes, I highly dislike fondant, guess I'm old school that way.

Cupcakes are fun too!



How about you, do you decorate cakes?  Want to share any tips, photos, favorite flavors?  I'd love to hear from you!

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CFBA: Thief of Glory

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thief of Glory
WaterBrook Press (August 19, 2014)
by
Sigmund Brouwer


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sigmund Brouwer is the best-selling author of nearly thirty novels, with close to 4 million books in print. Based on his inspiration for Thief of Glory, which Sigmund wrote as a way to learn and honor the his parent’s stories, especially of his father’s boyhood in a Japanese concentration camp, Sigmund leads The Chapters of Our Lives memoir seminars across the United States and Canada. Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan and has two daughters.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A boy coming of age in a time of war…
the love that inspires him to survive.


For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Thief of Glory, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS
War. Love. Hope. Faith.  This story is an amazing Historical Fiction read filled with amazing detail and will cause you to laugh, as well as cry as you follow along with the incredible characters in this story.

This is one of those books that grab you and transport you right into the very book itself, when it ends you'll find yourself missing your new found friends.

A learning experience that you will not want to miss.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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Friday, September 5, 2014

CFBA: Driftwood Tides

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Driftwood Tides
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 1, 2014)
by
Gina Holmes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes is the founder of Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW bestseller. Her sophomore novel, Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose.

ABOUT THE BOOK

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore. When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Driftwood Tides, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS
Wow...this book was fabulous.  A page turner that kept me engrossed for hours.  Who needs to eat, clean or do anything else when they have a book this great in their hands!?

The characters were so down to earth and believable that you could be reading about your neighbor, your friend or a relative.  Of course, some characters are warm and fuzzy, while others take a bit of time to warm up to, but that's ok, it's not fun when everyone is charming and likable.

The way that author, Gina Holmes, writes about this tough subject is amazing, you will most definitely want a box of tissue nearby, no worries, you'll find yourself smiling too, but this book will stir up your emotions.

Can't wait to see what Gina has up her sleeve for her next book, it can't come fast enough!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from CFBA

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Review: A Grand Design

Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, A Grand Design by Amber Stockton. Who hasn't struggled to let painful memories go and move into God's healing? You’ll be sure to love this heartfelt and encouraging tale set on historic Mackinac Island.

Celebrate August’s release by entering to win a Kindle from Quilts of Love and RSVPing for the "Fall into Fall" Facebook author chat party.


Quilts of Love Kindle HDX Giveaway, Amber Stockton, A Grand Design

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 16th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog. Plus make sure you RSVP to the October 7th author chat party with Amber Stockton and Robin Caroll for an evening of book chat, quilting tips and tricks, prizes, and more!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on October 7th!



New From Quilts of Love || A Grand Design
A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

A Grand Design, Amber StocktonWhen Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?



Find our more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love website.

Amber Stockton

Amber Stockton is an award‑winning author, a national speaker, and a direct‑sales brand partner with Nerium International. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and a son, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. Three of her novels have won annual reader’s choice awards. Find out why readers love her by visiting her website AmberStockton.com.

Find out more about Amber at http://amberstockton.com.






MY THOUGHTS
Another stand alone book in the Quilts of Love series.  This book will take you to Mackinac Island, MI when time moves a little slower with only bikes, horse drawn carriages and your own two feet to get you around.


Alyssa has some catching up to do when she returns to her beloved island where she hasn't visited her grandma for 15 years....she's understandably nervous.  Alyssa learns to relax and have a bit of fun, how can she not with her best friend along....and the two men they meet on the boat ride over!


How does this tie into a quilt?  Well, grandma has her own agenda, one that will take Alyssa down memory lane, as well as form new ones.


A fun, cozy read.  If you've enjoyed this series, you'll be sure to enjoy this book as well.


*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Litfuse publicity.


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Review: A Bouquet of Love


Cover Art
She didn't expect to fall in love--but roses aren't the only thing blooming on Galveston Island
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her boisterous Greek family--especially her father--has other ideas. They've all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant located on the Strand--directly across the street from iconic pizza place Parma John's--and they want Cassia's full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston's premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family's faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into this former Rossi's good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .


Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas.

Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.

MY THOUGHTS
A sweet, fun, romantic read....probably more on the goofy side if you factor in Cassia's crazy father!  Have you ever wondered what happens when you mix a few Greeks and Italian's?  Passion....loud, crazy, fun passion...that's what.

Cassia is in quite a bit of a tangle, she loves her family, but she loves flowers as well and is quite ready to cut back on the Gyro making....but she smartly fears her father...I would too if my father wore super hero costumes!

If you've read any of the other books in the Weddings by Bella series you'll meet up with some old friends, and learn to love even more new friends....definitely a stand alone story, but so fun you'll want to read them all.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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