Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday 56 #4 for me


Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.


Behind Gabe, I could see Mac's face.It was stoic, unreadable, but he was concentrating on me, on what I was saying to Gabe. When I caught his eyes, his face turned neutral again. 


Until Next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Julia's Chocolates - Two Challenge entries for the price of one





The 2013 Ebook Challenge is sponsored by Sarah at Workaday Reads. Encouraging readers to expand past just physical books to embrace ebooks in all forms, whether on Kindle, Kobo, computer, or any other reader.  The levels are below:  I signed up originally for the CD level, but have read more so am working on the DVD level. 
  1. Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
  2. CD – 10 ebooks
  3. DVD – 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick – 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive – 75 ebooks
  6. Server – 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain – 150 ebooks
This is the 16th book  that I have read for this challenge. 

Julia's ChocolatesJulia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first began, I had reservations about this book. I thought the protagonist was timid, self-centered and ineffective. I knew what her ailment was and thought she should have understood and sought some help.

As the story progressed I more clearly understood who Julia was. I started to really appreciate her and her Aunt Lydia. Her small circle of friends in Golden were special in their own way too. This is a great story of friendship, love, acceptance and community. It could become one of my favorite books of 2013.

I haven't read any other Cathy Lamb novels, but I intend to in 2014.


View all my reviews

It also makes the 3rd book in the November Food Feast challenge. I read Caramel and Magnolias, Broken Dishes and Julia's Chocolates for that challenge. Those little mini challenges are great fun.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday - More Benni Harper




Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph or maybe two of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph (or2) of the current book you are reading.


I am on a mission to complete the Mega Mix Challenge. I have 4 books to read to finish the Benni Harper Mystery series of author Earlene Fowler. I am torn between wanting to complete the challenge and not wanting to complete the series. That's a bit weird, isn't it? Here is the first paragraph in the prologue of installment #12.

Delectable Mountains
Earlene Fowler
Berkley Prime Crime Books 2005

I was six years old when my mother died. For a long time afterward, the sweet and earthy magnolia scent of her  would permeate my dreams. No matter what I was dreaming about, good or frightening, my mother's smell would waft through my nighttime adventures, infusing them with her unseen presence, reassuring me even through their darkest moments. I never told anyone about this. I felt that, somehow, my mother had found a way to communicate with me from heaven even though I knew from the down-to-earth practicality of my Baptist Sunday School lessons that it was likely impossible. Still, I have heard it said more than once that with God, nothing is impossible. Is it so hard to imagine that He, in His infinite compassion, might have, for a moment in time, comforted a scared little girl with her mother's familiar scent? 

So, would you read on?  Have you ever become so attached to a character in a series that you didn't want the series to end?

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Monday! What are you Reading? Julia's Chocolates


This meme is a widely participated in site. Click on over to Book Journey to see what Sheila is reading and what everyone else is reading. Beware though, according to Sheila this meme will result in an ever towering TBR stack or a list that just won't quit. 


This week I will finish Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. It is the November read for Love of Reading group on Good reads. 
    Goodreads Synopsis:

"I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota. I don't know why that particular tree appealed to me. Perhaps it was because it looked as if it had given up and died years ago and was still standing because it didn't know what else to do..."
In her deliciously funny, heartfelt, and moving debut, Cathy Lamb introduces some of the most wonderfully eccentric women since The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and The Secret Life of Bees, as she explores the many ways we find the road home.
From the moment Julia Bennett leaves her abusive Boston fiancé at the altar and her ugly wedding dress hanging from a tree in North Dakota, she knows she's driving away from the old Julia, but what she's driving toward is as messy and undefined as her own wounded soul. The old Julia dug her way out of a tortured, trailer park childhood with a monster of a mother. The new Julia will be found at her Aunt Lydia's rambling, hundred-year-old farmhouse outside Golden, Oregon.
There, among uppity chickens and toilet bowl planters, Julia is welcomed by an eccentric, warm, and often wise clan of women, including a psychic, a minister's unhappy wife, an abused mother of four, and Aunt Lydia herself--a woman who is as fierce and independent as they come. Meeting once a week for drinks and the baring of souls, it becomes clear that every woman holds secrets that keep her from happiness. But what will it take for them to brave becoming their true selves? For Julia, it's chocolate. All her life, baking has been her therapy and her refuge, a way to heal wounds and make friends. Nobody anywhere makes chocolates as good as Julia's, and now, chocolate just might change her life--and bring her love when she least expects it. But it can't keep her safe. As Julia gradually opens her heart to new life, new friendships, and a new man, the past is catching up to her. And this time, she will not be able to run but will have to face it head on.

Filled with warmth, love, and truth, Julia's Chocolates is an unforgettable novel of hope and healing that explores the hurts we keep deep in our hearts, the love that liberates us, the courage that defines us, and the chocolate that just might take us there.

   When I finish, I will start on the #12 in the Benni Harper Mystery series from Earlene Fowler. It is :


Goodreads Synopsis:

When the musical director of Benni Harper's church is called away, Benni gets "volunteered" to take over a children's play already in rehearsal. But the production comes to a screeching halt when Benni discovers the body of the church handyman right in front of the altar.
With a growing cast of suspects, and a small girl as the only witness to the crime, Benni must unravel a plot of theft and murder before it's curtains for her.
The coming week involves this reading and of course Thanksgiving dinner at our house. This year again  it will be just my DH and MIL.  I will cook, my MIL is nearly 90, so she doesn't help although she always offers.  We will keep it simple. A small turkey breast with Giada's cranberry orange glaze, sweet potatoes, our family's special holiday salad and of course pie.  
Wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving or if you don't celebrate....a happy week. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, November 23, 2013



Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads . To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky (at West Metro Mommy). Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.



Most of you who read my blog know that in addition to books, quilting is a passion of mine. Lately though I have lost my love for quilting. I don't understand what exactly happened, but I am trying to re-kindle the feeling I once had. That being said, I wanted to share the quilt I made for my newest great grandchild. The Winnie the Pooh images are from a panel that I cut apart. Then the smaller squares are some Pooh themed fabric and some that color coordinated. The back is a soft dark brown minkee. For those of you who don't sew, think stuffed animal fabric. The good kind! It turned out really well and Joseph's mommy likes it too. 





Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Julia's Chocolates




Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the first paragraph or maybe two of her current read. Anyone can join in. Go to Diane's website for the image and share the first paragraph (or2) of the current book you are reading.


I left my wedding dress hanging in a tree somewhere in North Dakota. 

I don't know why that particular tree appealed to me. Perhaps it was because it looked as if it had given up and died years before and was still standing because it didn't know what else to do. It was all be itself, the branches gnarled and rough, like the top of someone's knuckles I knew. 

These are the first two paragraphs of a book I hope to start this weekend. Would you continue? Or would you have to read a bit further before deciding?

 
Julia's Chocolates
by Cathy Lamb
Kensington Books




The Cover blurb:  Life is waiting.
                            Take a bite.

 This is the November read for the group, Love of Reading on Goodreads. I had a hard time finding a copy before I finally bought it on Amazon. It was not in our library, not in our local bookstore. It wasn't even available on inter library loan from the other libraries in our area. When I first look at it on Amazon it was $5.99. When I finally decided I could not get it elsewhere, I went back to Amazon and it was $8.06. Does that mean other people were purchasing it?  I wonder?


Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Ebook read, 9 more to go.


Caramel and MagnoliasCaramel and Magnolias by Tess Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't know what to expect from this book. It was featured on Bookbub,either free or for .99 and I was drawn to the title. I guessed it was a love story, a chick lit kind of book. I was in for a surprise.

The prologue introduces us to a young girl named Alicia Johnson, who live in the Pacific Northwest in a small town and a woman with ice blue eye in purple glasses.We are meant not to like her.  In the locker room at the HS, Alicia's friend Lola says she has a way for Alicia to make some money for masseuse school but she has to keep it a secret.

As the book begins we meet Cleo Tanner, a Montessori teacher and a young woman who doesn't think much of herself. Her best friend Sylvia is married but unhappy. Sylvia want a baby and can't conceive. Malcom, her husband, could care less but goes along with in-vitro anyway. Cleo and Sylvia have a bestie named Nick. He has been their friend since HS.

This is a story of friendship, of love, of family. At first I was unhappy with the mystery of how the young girls were introduced to a way of making money to provide for their dreams. I wasn't sure where the story was taking me. But finally, the characters come to life, their lives intertwine to give us a great story.

I'll read Tess Thompson again.



This is my 16th ebook this year, on my way to 25 before the year is out. Last week when I posted my review of The Husband's Secret I wondered if Sarah at Workaday Reads was going to host this Challenge for 2014. Well, on her post dated 11-16-13, she announced that she was!  Hooray!  I will definitely do this one again. No pressure, just read the books on your electronic device, or download new ones!! Review and link when you can and go for your goal.  My kind of challenge!

Please join Sarah and the rest of us by signing up at Workaday Reads. This is the link to the sign up post. the instructions are there too.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy





 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. As she says, it’s “a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!”


I am in the middle of Broken Dishes by Earlene Fowler. This is #11 in the Benni Harper Mystery series. I am trying to complete this series as part of the Mega Mix Challenge that is hosted by Love of Reading on Goodreads. Also, the November Mini Challenge in that same group needs to be Food or Feast related. I chose the easy level, 3 books with titles that are related to food. I read Caramel and Magnolias by Tess Thompson, and now am finishing Broken Dishes. Next I will read Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. Cathy Lamb's book is also the November read for Love of Reading group. So yea for multi-tasking.!! 





What are you reading this week?  Link up with Sheila at Book Journey and share you current reads. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Snapshot : The sewing machine has been humming!




Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky (at West Metro Mommy). Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.




In the last few weeks I have been working on finishing some projects. My plan for 2014 is to use up what is in my stash and finish projects that I have purchased and not finished. A plan to downsize and git r done!

All 2013 I have been taking part in a BOM from Shabby Fabrics. I have shared a few of them in past posts.
They come from designer Kathy Schmitz and are complete with fabric and backing. I only need to supply the batting and the sewing thread, and a scrap of fusible web. Here is August and November. They all fit on a standing frame that I display on top of our entertainment center. I am working on stitching December to have it ready by Dec 1st or no later than the 10th.

Also this fall, I worked on a seasonal banner set that has 4 parts, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. It was in the Quick Quilts magazine 2011. I have done Summer and here is Fall:
 This was made with fabrics from my stash. I did not purchase anything.  The same with the large table runner shown below. You can see the scrappy binding and even the backing piece was in my fall basket on the shelf. I did have to buy a piece of batting for this one. It is 27x36 and the largest batting I had in my stash had a chunk cut out of it. *sad face*   But I did purchase some fusible tape so I can put my batting scraps together for future projects.

This pattern is called Log Cabin Pumpkins and is from Suzanne's Art House. I purchased the pattern from Pinewood Cottage, the quilt store in Story WY during Story Days. I used all fabrics from my stash. 
At last but not least is the Turkey banner from Patchabilities. This is also from my fabric scraps and I completed it last year, but really like him, so every year he gets hung up too. 
You can't tell here, but our living room walls are sage green and all this fall decor looks good in here! This space between our front hall closet ( to the right) and the stairway edge (to the left) always has a seasonal banner occupying it. 

So I have been busy and I have also read or listened to 13 books since the first of October and during the month of November I am going to work part time for my former employer while the Admin. Assistant is off on medical leave.  Whew!  When I list it all, it seems overwhelming. But you know my mantra:

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

So until next time, 
SB&SH


Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday 56 and another one in a series.


Below are the rules posted at Freda's Voice, sponsor of this Friday meme. I have only participated a few times, but it's a fun way to see what others are reading and to get a feel for each book. Hope you will click on over to Freda's blog and link up your Friday 56. 

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

275812



page 56
Broken Dishes by Earlene Fowler
A Benni Harper Mystery  #11

"Oh, yes, " Hud said. " Benni and I are also dear old friends." He crossed his arms over his chest. " I should have realized if there was some kind of odd murder scene, you'd be involved."

This is number 11 in a 15 book series. It is one of my challenges in the Mega Mix Challenge in the Love of Reading group on Goodreads. I am hoping to finish that challenge before the end of the year. *fingers crossed*. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Amy Einhorn Books Perpetual Challenge from Beth Fish Reads

A couple of years ago I happened on the blogging world. Completely by accident I found my first blog,  Beth Fish Reads. I was so captivated by Beth's love of books and her ability to review books. It is something I struggled with then and still struggle with so I decided to participate in some of her challenges. I chose the Amy Einhorn Books Perpetual  Challenge because I had already read The Help by Kathryn Stockett and because it wasn't timed there would be no pressure. So I ordered 6 selections from her lists and began. I have fallen woefully behind, but have read some of the selections.

The following is a recent review from the 2013 list of Amy Einhorn Books.

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cecelia, Tess and Rachael have part of their lives in common. Cecelia happens upon a letter written many years earlier by her husband and address to her to open if he dies. As she ponders whether to open in now, her husband is very much alive but away on business, her life unfolds around her. It intermingles with Rachael's life, at her daughter's elementary school. The PE teacher at the school grew up in the area, even dated Rachael's daughter, Janie. Tess grew up there too and is now home while she sorts out the news of her husband's affair with her cousin and best friend Felicity. Tangled webs are woven and must surely destroy lives. Or must they?  

I loved this book. Liane Moriarty's characters were very real to me. They experienced feelings that we all have experienced at one time or another. They know of guilt and anguish, of love and hate, of ambivalence and abhorrence. They are human.


This was also an ebook on my kindle, so it satisfies another challenge that I participate in. I originally decided to try to read 10 EBooks. I completed that level so the next level was 25, I may not make the goal. But I have a lot of books on my kindle and seem to keep downloading more!  You can participate too, though you might just want to wait and see if this challenge in sponsored again in 2014.  I will look for it. If you want to check it out, just go to Sarah's blog  Workaday Reads and see what everyone else is reading on their electronic device.

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy,




Monday, November 11, 2013

Sharing my love of books......audio that is!




The world can change forever in a single...

SPLIT SECOND

Michelle Maxwell has just wrecked her promising career at the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight for the briefest moment, and the man whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air. Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. Eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service agent allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the candidate he was protecting was gunned down before his eyes. Now Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge.

Drawn into a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, the two discredited agents uncover a shocking truth: that the separate acts of violence that shattered their lives were really a long time in the making-and are a long way from over...


My thoughts:
Michelle Maxwell is a tough, strong and caring woman. She is an Olympic athlete, comes from a family of police officers and is out to prove she just as good as any man. She doesn't give up without a fight and she fights to the last breath. As the events unfold that look like the end of her career with the Secret Service, she decides to visit Sean King to see if she can figure out if the events that ended his career in the Secret Service are connected to hers. She instinctively feels that they are.

I like both these characters. This audio book was narrated by Scott Brick, and although he did all the voices, male and female, it was easy to follow. 

My husband and I listened to this together and we both have become David Baldacci fans. The plots are relatively easy to follow and much harder to figure out. I for one, did not have the villain in this one pegged til the very last minute. 

We are anxious to continue with the second book with King and Maxwell as the main characters. 

I really enjoy listening to an audio book. I can work on my hand stitching. While we listened to this one, I completed a block of the month stitchery that I was working on. Continued working on a Christmas project I started a couple of years ago, and put the hanger sleeve on my September stitchery block of the month. I will share pictures of those projects later this week. I am also working this month at my former employer. I have been away from there for 2 years but they needed help while an employee is on medical leave. Boy, it has been stretching my memory bank and I am tired. 

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday 56 My Second Time.....The Year of Fog.



Freda's Voice says this is Week 151, but it only my 2nd time participating. Join us at Freda's Voice
to share your Friday 56

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

Since it is 6:40 am and my DH is still sleeping, I will grab a book close at hand. Here goes.....


" No female child of Emma's approximate height is exempt from my curiosity and my hope. I wander up and down the hills of Noe Valley, peering into the faces of children on their bikes."

I read this book several years ago and it is still in my bookcase. I have tried to encourage others to read it, but when I tell them about it they are reluctant.  It is "gripping" "compulsively readable", but it also beautifully written and ultimately a story of hope and love. 


Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of  new-to-me words from some of my recent reads. 



From Sunshine and Shadows by Earlene Fowler:  "Beebs and Millee recently signed up as docents at the folk art museum."


 docent  noun -    
     1.  in some American universities, a teacher or lecturer not on the regular faculty.
      2. a tour guide and lecturer; as at a museum. 

In this example, I am sure Earlene Fowler meant the second definition. I was pretty sure what it meant based on the usage, but I wasn't sure. 



From The Husband's Secret  by Liane Morarity, 

"Was she on her way over to spruik Tupperware?"

spruik  verb - 
   Austral archaic slang, to speak in public ( especially of a showman or salesman)

It was difficult to find this definition. I had to look in the "free dictionary". 


"One man tried to abseil out of his apartment window, and the firemen in West Berlin tried to catch him with a safety net, but he missed and died."


abseil  intrans verb - 
   to rappel :  to descent at the end of a rope. 

This one is German in origin. From the American Heritage Dictionary.    ab (down) + seil (rope)

This one was pretty easy to discern from the use in the sentence, but it was new to me. 



What about you, did you know any of these?  Did you find some new words in your recent reading? 


Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


      

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading?



Sheila over at Book Journey  sponsors this weekly meme. There is great participation, so go to her blog and visit the others participating  - be warned 
though… this meme tends to add to your reading list!



This week I am working on several books. Usually I don't read more than one book at a time, but occasionally I venture into that chaos.

I finished my book club's November read, so decided to start The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty on my Kindle. It was recommended by a close friend and the title really caught my interest. What is his secret? An affair, did he murder someone, is he really someone else?? So many options. It is really the story of 3 women in Australia whose live converge later in the story. So far, there has been a letter found accidentally that read" read on the event of my death", a confessed affair with her cousin, and another secret yet to be revealed.

I needed to work on completing the last leg of the Mega Mix Challenge from the Love of Reading Group at Goodreads, so I started #10 in the Benni Harper series by Earlene Fowler.  Benni and Gabe have moved into a new house, her best friend has recently been married and bought the local bookstore, her grandmother Dove is newly married too, and now her favorite mystery writer, Emma Baldwin has moved back to San Celina.  Gabe's friend Luke, from his LAPD days, has arrived in town on a mysterious assignment. What will Benni get herself into this time?

And my husband and I took a short road trip to attend a friend's daughter's wedding in a neighboring state, so we always try to do an audio book. I try to pick one that will hold his interest while he drives, so I usually opt for a David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, or John Grisham. Not my regular authors, but I like them OK. Our trip did not take enough time to listen to the whole book, so we will finish it this week instead of watching Sitcom TV, which he hates. I will work on some hand embroidery and that way, get 2 things done at the same time!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy