Monday, December 12, 2016

Second Chance by Natalie Ann

On her 18th birthday Mallory disappears without a trace from the home she shared with her drug addicted mother and her mother's second husband.  Twelve years later her almost boyfriend and next door neighbor catches sight of her while he is visiting his grandmother. After he confronts her, she slowly starts to trust him and they start to rebuild their relationship.
It's no secret to anyone who reads my reviews or my blog that I really like Natalie Ann's books.  She writes touching stories about flawed people with real life problems.  She writes about people who could live next door, the people you see in the local coffee house.  They are not made out to be superheroes.

This is book one in a new series set in Lake Placid.  All of the books in the three series by Natalie Ann are standalone but they do have continuing characters, so the reader "keeps up with" the people from past books.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

All I Want for Christmas by Jenny Hale

All I Want for Christmas is the perfect book to read at Christmas.  Author Jenny Hale has chosen the ideal location, added the angst of a life changing decision, and mixed in characters the reader can relate to.

After Leah's beloved grandmother dies Leah learns that her grandmother has left her estate to Leah and David a boy she knew growing up. David's family owned the estate until his grandmother sold it to Leah's grandmother. It was used by both families as  destination location for events, and Leah plans to continue in that practice.  David, however, has become wealthy during the intervening years and wants to turn the estate into a single family home.

When Leah and David reconnect he offers her one million dollars for her share of the house.  She is torn because moving there has always been her dream, but the chance to give her daughter a better chance at life is strong.  While Leah struggles with her decision, the house fills up with family and friends who plan to spend their last Christmas together at the estate.

I enjoyed the story and watching the relationship grow between Leah, David, and Leah's adorable daughter, Sadie.  If you are looking for an entertaining winter read, grab a quilt, a cup.of hot chocolate, and this book.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Christmas Cake Cafe

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson is a good book and I enjoyed the main theme. I liked Jen and Jon.  I liked Jen's half sister most of the time because she was definitely a big catalyst in Jen letting go of the pain of her past.  I found Jen's two friends and travel buddies people I would avoid if ever I were to meet them.  Together they were too loud, too out there, and way too full of themselves. I mean who travels with only a suitcase full of clothes that can't be worn in public, and dancing on tables is fun when you are in college, but not when you are pushing 30.

I enjoyed reading about the village, the shops, the townspeople, and the budding romance between Jen and Jon, and I wish the author had spent more time on them and Jen's coming to terms with her parents divorce.

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Engaged in Danger

Jamie Quinn solves mysteries with a difference.  She is a single practitioner divorce/family practice lawyer who doesn't usually take on the high profile cases.  Then Nan Glasser walks into her office and says she wants a divorce.

Nan's soon to be ex husband is one of the well-known lawyers in town, and he has blocked every legal office in town from helping Nan.  He is also up to a whole lot of no good.  With the help of her best friend, Grace, Jamie is determined to help Nan.

Barbara Venkataraman has an engaging writing style.  She makes the reader feels as if Jamie is telling you the story.  The characters are real, as are the situations they get themselves embroiled in, and believe me trouble finds Jamie wherever she is.

I am enjoying reading a series where the main character isn't tripping over a body in chapter one.  It's not that I don't enjoy those books too, it's just that small towns don't really have a murder once a week.  Jamie's crimes that she must solve are different and entertaining.

I will definitely keep reading (or listening to)  the Jamie Quinn mysteries, if not just to keep up with the direction of the characters.  Could be fun!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Every Which Way Crochet Borders

When I was a kid my grandma embroidered pillowcases and she crocheted borders around the opening.  She never used a pattern and her borders always fit with the design on the pillowcase.  I love them and cherish them 40 years later.  The borders in this book are like the borders of my grandma, but the author wrote them out in easy to follow instructions.

The patterns look easy to follow and the pictures are great.  Anyone who is looking for a way to spice up their fancy work (as grandma called it) can benefit from this collection.

I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky

Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin is the second installment in this bewitching story. Whereas Piper and Gabe were the main characters in Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky in this book it is Gabe's sister and brother who are dealing with star crossed lovers, and for an added bonus the hotel manager, Mark.

Neve has left her superstar actor because she doesn't think she is right for him and returns to run the hotel for Gabe.  Luckily for her, Oakley, does not agree and follows.  Mark finds Ivy stuck in a ditch and feels an instant attraction, unfortunately, Ivy has a past to get through before moving forward. Luke and Audrey are the easiest couple to unite, they just need time and space.

I love the setting and magical ambience of the books.  They are the perfect Christmas reads and lighten the mood of a winter evening.   The couples are a little stubborn and need to be led to their happy endings, but you know they will get there.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fatal Frost

Fatal Frost by Karen MacInerney is the latest in the Dewberry Farm cozy mystery series.  In Fatal Frost, Lucy is dealing with two new goats, two visiting parents, one boyfriend's ex-wife, the impending Christmas holiday, and a dead body.  She's also dealing with a sheriff deputy who doesn't like her one bit and a best friend who is under arrest for the abovementioned murder.

The author knows how to keep the interest of her reader and doesn't let on who the guilty party is until the very end of the book.  This is true in all of the books in all three of her series.  I recommend all three to anyone who likes great characters in unique situations.  She really knows how to keep the reader interested.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Fatal Frost

Fatal Frost by Karen MacInerney is the latest in the Dewberry Farm cozy mystery series.  In Fatal Frost, Lucy is dealing with two new goats, two visiting parents, one boyfriend's ex-wife, the impending Christmas holiday, and a dead body.  She's also dealing with a sheriff deputy who doesn't like her one bit and a best friend who is under arrest for the abovementioned murder.

The author knows how to keep the interest of her reader and doesn't let on who the guilty party is until the very end of the book.  This is true in all of the books in all three of her series.  I recommend all three to anyone who likes great characters in unique situations.  She really knows how to keep the reader interested.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Recipe for Love by Katie Fford

It's Top Chef set in the English Countryside.  But instead of Padma being the star of the show, we have a delightful contestant and a growing love story.  We also have the villain of the show, the win at all costs, beautiful Cher.  Another difference is these are, for the most part, amateur chefs.

Zoe Harper is the young, sweet contestant who wants to win so she can open a deli.  Cher is the rich, beautiful snob who wants to win so she can become a television star and sabotage is definitely an option.  Gideon Irving is one of the judges and the very pregnant Fenella Gainsborough is hosting the competition at her mansion/hotel which is in transition.

This is the third book by Katie Fford I have enjoyed reading.  She writes of gorgeous countryside locations and her characters are well-drawn and real.  Her plots are all very different and enjoyable.  Recipe for Love does not disappoint the reader.

I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde is another charming story by an author who is fast becoming one of my favorites.  She writes of beautiful locations, interesting characters, and one of my favorites is her characterization of children.  I love that her children are smart, witty, and still children.

Emily is a midwife who gets tired of fighting the powerful doctors in her town. In order to get away, she takes a sabbatical and goes to Scotland to help her pregnant best friend and her best friend's husband by spending the summer cooking on their touring puffer boat. While their she meets delightful senior citizen, Maisie, and the very handsome widowed doctor/brother in law of her best friend and his daughter, Kate.  Kate and Emily become fast friends and there is an instant attraction between Emily and Alisdaire (hunky doctor).

I recommend this, and other books by this author, to all who like to escape to far off locations and enjoy a good story with a bit of love attached.  You won't go wrong.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery

Christmas at the Village Bakery is the ideal winter read. I loved the location and the premise.  I liked most of the people, or in other words, I liked the people I was supposed to like and hated Tori's uptight snob of a mother (the jury is still out on her father).

Tori and Spencer are a newly engaged couple who return to his quaint English hometown from Colorado where he is an exchange teacher in the school where she teaches.  The plan is to spend Christmas with their respective parents and his boyhood friends.

When her extremely snooty mother arrives, she does her best to try to break up Tori and Spencer. Of course, his free spirited, liberal leaning, parents with a tendecy to drink too much and speak to freely, don't help Spencer's case.

The village people are friendly and helpful.  The bakery and pub are cozy and the small town atmosphere made me want to visit (except for the snow, I hate snow).

All in all, I enjoyed Christmas at the Village Bakery and the author's writing style.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jamie Quinn mystery collection

This set includes the first three books in the Jamie Quinn mystery series and I found them unique, amusing, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Since there are three complete books in this Audible collection, I will give an overview of my impressions and then review each book separately on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N for interested listeners. I will say I enjoyed each book equally.

Jamie Quinn is a 30 something family practice lawyer, who is still recovering from the death of her mother. She works with a thrice divorced PI named Duke, has a great boyfriend named Kip, and a best friend from law school named Casey. These are the main characters in the book.

In between her cases, boyfriend, and caring for her late mother's cantankerous cat, Jamie is looking for her father.

The narrator is great, with one exception, her characterization of Duke's voice was like nails on the chalkboard. Of course it is possible that this is the way the author pictured Duke, he is a tad bit flaky. I would definitely listen to more books she narrates.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Semi-Sweet Hereafter by Colette London

The Semi-Sweet Hereafter by Colette London
Colette London has penned a great cozy mystery set in England about an American woman who travel the world helping bakeries improve their menu items, especially those containing chocolate.  If you have a sweet tooth and are trying to cut out desserts, you may want to read at your own risk, because these sweets sound amazing (and there are recipes in the back!!!!!).

The plot of this story is well crafted and there are a plethora of suspects (my one complaint about the book, too many people).  The main character is fun loving and daring, she has earned the loyalty and respect of her bodyguard/good friend and her financial wizard.  These two men have her back and are able to reel her in when the takes too many chances (something that just seems to come naturally).

Another great thing about this premise is that the main character travels to great locations so if she stumbles on a dead body it is not the tenth dead body in small-town America, so unrealistic.

If you like cozy mysteries, I recommend this author.  I was given this copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I honestly liked it and plan to go read the others in the series to discover the backstory.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin

Delightful is how I would describe Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin.

 The hotel is where I want to spend Christmas, New Years, my birthday, and your birthday for the rest of my life.  The staff is helpful, the scenery is amazing, the townsfolk are artists, the reindeer run wild and steal the guest's sweets right out of their hands, and Rudolph is quite the ladies' man, er reindeer.

Piper arrives on Cranberry Island unaware that her childhood best friend/boyfriend has taken over his uncle's island and has turned it into a winter paradise.  On the most devastating day of her life, Piper walked out on Gabe and his family without saying why she was leaving and disappeared for twelve years. Now she's back to review the hotel for a magazine and finds Gabriel and his adorable, Frozen obsessed, four-year old daughter Wren.

This is the story of love and forgiveness for Piper and Gabriel. Can they put the past behaving them and learn to love again. I recommend reading Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin to find out the answers.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

All About You by Natalie Ann

All About You is the latest and the last in the All series by Natalie Ann and if you love a happily-ever-after falling-in-love story about normal (albeit gorgeous) people, you can't go wrong with this author. Each of these books is a stand-alone story with characters from the previous books showing up at a family picnic, party, wedding, or to offer good advice. The first book about these characters is Road to Recovery (there are four books in the Road series and six in the All series).

All About You is the story of Finn, a single father raising four year old Trey, after his wife walked out on them when Trey was an infant and Olivia.  Olivia is a jewelry designer and is in the process of opening a high end shop, Finn is a fireman who works for Harper's Construction on his days off.  They meet because Finn is working of the remodel of Olivia's shop.

Of course there are challenges; Trey is very shy, Olivia is very rich, and Finn has a very evil ex-wife, but these are the plot twists that keep the reader reading.

I have truly enjoyed the books is these series and look forward to what the author comes up with next.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The House on Honeysuckle Lane

The House on Honeysuckle Lane is, in my opinion, the story of how three flawed people deal with the deaths of both their parents and the resulting grief.  Anyone who has siblings and has lost a parent knows that everyone deals with grief in their own way and time.

Danny is the youngest child and the only son.  He is also the only child who remained in the hometown and he took on the responsibility of his mother's care after his father died. He also took on the entire care of the house on Honeysuckle and the estate.

Emma is a successful investment advisor, who chose to strike out on her own instead of joining her father in his firm.  She is the sibling who has it the most together, having ended a ten year relationship before coming home for Christmas.

Andie is a well known self help author and speaker.  After suffering with debilitating postpartum depression, she left her ex-husband and toddler daughter to strike out on her own and become successful.  Her daughter is very angry at her for missing her 20th birthday and is grieving the loss of her grandmother.  Also, the mother named the daughter after the philosopher, Rumi, and that was confusing as Andie quoted them both.

Fourteen months have passed since the funeral and Danny asks his two older sisters to come home and make decisions on what to do with the estate and spend Christmas together as a family.

I liked the story, the small town, and the secondary characters very much.  Bob, Andie's ex-husband and best friend, is great, as is Emma new love interest.  Danny is hard to like throughout most of the story, but he really is suffering the most and just trying to keep it all together.

It took me awhile to get into the book, but about half way through I started to really want to know where they would end up. I think anyone who has lost a beloved parent will find themselves in each of these siblings. It can be cathartic.

Friday, August 12, 2016

On The Market by Rachel Herron

This is, in my opinion, going to be another great series for Rachel Herron. She writes interesting characters, in unusual circumstances and makes the reader hope for a happy ending.

In On The Market, Felicia is the on set producer for a reality television company.  Liam is one of the three Ballard brothers the company wants to star in a dating/real estate-construction show. In other words, three hunky and handy brothers plus three women who want to buy houses and have them fixed up and hopefully love happens during the process.

Liam is a real estate broker/agent and Felicia arrives in town in order to check out three properties and get the brothers to sign their appearance contracts.  She falls in love with one of the houses and decides to be the buyer/possible bride.

Then the fun begins.

On the Market is as good Ms. Herron's Cypress Hollow series, which I read several years ago and enjoyed very much.   I can't wait for the other two Ballard brothers get their chance at love.  And by the way, any book with a Star's Hallow comparison is going to win me over.

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Vacation Bride by Vicky Loebel

Thoroughly enjoyable story.

For the reader who enjoys The Bachelor and other reality television shows, this is the love story for you. Of course, the winner's prize in this story is you get to marry a billionaire or you get $25,000.

Chris was the poor relation in the extended Anderson family until his rich uncle's family dies in a helicopter crash and Chris inherits the family fortune.  Although Chris buys the island resort his parents owned until his father died when Chris was very young, he continues to work as the maintenance man and ignore his fortune.

When Chris' cousin approaches Chris with the idea of the reality show, Chris reluctantly goes along with the plan to get help fixing up the resort and for the publicity.  The cousin will be the billionaire bachelor.

Anna's friend signed her up for the show and she is chosen. She agrees to go because her father has been very ill and could use a vacation in the sun.  Not to mention the medical bills and having to close their bakery because of lack of funds.  Anna doesn't want the husband, but she's happy to compete for the money.

Vacation Bride is a fun read, with well written characters and nice scenery.  The twelve bridacudas (well several are nice women) have to compete to stay on the show and the audience gets to vote for their favorites.  The competitions are funny because some of the women have the win at all cost attitude.

I was given a copy of Vacation Bride from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Saving Sara by Nicola Marsh

When Sara's daughter, Lucy, died, Sara withdrew from everything and eventually moved to her recently deceased grandmother's house in Redemption.  When five-year old Olly's mom went into rehab for alcoholism, her brother, Jake, took Olly in,  Fortunately for Olly, Jake had no idea what to do with a five-year old, so Jake called his aunt, Cilla in Redemption and asks if they can come for a visit.

This is their story of how they all begin to heal from tragedy and circumstances beyond their control.

Olly is smart as a whip and you can't help but fall in love with him.  All he wants is his mom and a family of his own.  Sara, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with Olly or any child for that matter.  She also does not want to get involved with Jake, who is maybe the most damaged of all of them after an accident he feels is his fault.

The author draws the reader into their lives by making them so real.  I could feel Sara's pain from the very first page and could cheer for her as she took each step forward through the process of healing and beginning to live again.  Olly bring all of the adults together as they try to help him deal with the temporary loss of the mother he adores, and as Jake learns to help Olly he begins to heal himself.

Great characters, several interesting plot lines, and a surprise ending.  I highly recommend this book.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Undertones by Maggie Jaimeson

Really good story about a musician who gets the chance to join a band on the last day she'd given herself to succeed.  Then she meets a man who helps her heal from a very abusive two year relationship.

The book was good but the characters could have been clearer.  One other drawback was I had no idea of how the time was passing and the ending was a bit abrupt.  Still a good book overall and I plan to read about the rest of the band.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fatal Affair by Marie Force

I really liked this book and can't believe that I missed this series.  It reminded me of the In Death series by J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) in that the main characters were made for each other and the crimes are complex and not easily solved.

I have read several books by this author and enjoyed them all, but they were, for the most part, romances.  This book is full on crime solving with a good love story in the background. The secondary characters add to the success of the book and the political undertones were very topical.

Joe and Samantha met six years ago and spent a wonderful night together.  When her called her the next day and several days thereafter she was not given the messages.  He gave up thinking she was not interested and she just thinks he was not interested.  When Joe's boss and best friend, Senator John O'Connor is murdered, Joe and homicide police Sergeant Sam come together to solve the crime.

This is such a good book and I'm sure I will be enjoying the rest of the series.

I was given this book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.  Thank you NetGalley.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Death Among the Doilies by Mollie Cox Bryan

Great start to a new crafting  cozy mystery series.

Cora is a counselor at an abused women's shelter.  When her childhood best friend shows up at the shelter with her five year old daughter and when Cora's anxiety attacks overwhelm her, Jane and Cora join forces to open a crafting seminar workshop.

As the plans for the first week long workshop draw near, Jane becomes a person of interest in the murder of the town librarian.

The author has mixed in quite a few characters, so the story starts rather slowly.  I like the characters, the location is great, the mystery finally crafted and mysterious, and the cops aren't idiots (always a plus).

Very enjoyable book, I look forward to more in the series.

 Instructions for the craft projects are included in the back of the book.

This book was given to me through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer of Love by Katie Fford

I am exhausted.  Why you ask?  Because I stayed up until 3:30 this morning reading Summer of Love.  The book was that entertaining.

Summer of Love is the story of a couple who meet at a party and just click.  They spend the whole evening talking and then she goes home with him. They know that time is short because he is leaving the next day for an extended exploration..  He leaves and nine months later she gives birth to a baby boy she names Rory.

Five years pass and Sian and Rory relocate from London to the country. The first person she meets is Fiona and they become friends.  Fiona has a little party to introduce Sian to a few people. Half way through the meal, in walks Fiona's son, Angus.  Sian knows him as Gus and Rory doesn't know him at all, but Gus is Rory's dad.

This is a great story, made even better by the location.  Yes, the plot line was predictable, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

My First Knitting Book

I knit, in fact I learned to knit about 45 years ago while I was in grade school.  But I stopped knitting for about 30 years and only picked it up again when it seemed like everyone around me was knitting socks. I really love all the new tools, patterns, and techniques and the yarn choices are incredible.

Anyway, why is someone who knows how to knit reading a beginning knitting book?   I am always being asked to teach people to knit and, while it is easy to teach the basics in an hour or so, once they go home they need a book to help them.

My First Knitting Book could definitely be that book.  It's not too big to carry around and it has everything the new knitter needs to know.  The pictures are clear, as are the accompanying instructions.  Not only that, but Hildegarde Deuzo, the author, has included some easy projects.

My favorite project is the egg hats and scarves.  While I freely admit I'm not planning making hats for eggs, those hats would be adorable on my great nieces Barbie dolls.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cracked to Death by Cheryl Hollon

Cracked to Death is very readable.  The author drew me in immediately and I just loved the subject matter (the glass work, not the murder), possibly because stained glass is one of my hobbies. In the introduction the author said she relied on experts, and it shows.

The characters are well drawn and likeable.  This is not the first book in the series and I haven't read the introductory book, but I definitely will. Savannah's new relationship is perfect for her and I look forward to seeing where it leads.

The author has included in this series a young man with Asperberger's Syndrome. Based on people I know with Asperberger's, the author has fairly represented their issues.

Another thing I like in this cozy is that Savannah has a good relationship with the lead police detective. So many times, the police are made out to be bumblers who need help to solve the crimes.

All in all, this is a great book and I highly recommend it.  I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wedding Bell Blues

Wedding Bell Blues was a good book.  The drawback for me was that I had not read the first book in the series, so I didn't know the backstories on the characters.  I will definitely go back and read the first book, because I want to get to know the quirky characters.

This book fulfills all my requirements for a good cozy mystery.  Good location (for some reason I just love small towns), friendly people with flaws, a main character in a relationship, and an off the wall crime.

I can see these characters developing as the series progresses.  I look forward to following them as they do.

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.  I honestly enjoyed reading the book.

Friday, June 17, 2016

All my Love by Natalie Ann

I really love this series. The characters are all searching for something, running from something, hiding from something or someone, or just trying to get through the day. Just like it is in real life.

Jordyn's mother died leaving Jordyn all alone. No family, no close friends, and no reason to stay where she was. Jordyn never knew her father and her mother never spoke of him. She did impress upon Jordyn that you never replied on anyone but yourself.

With no ties to bind her to Florida, Jordyn packed up and moved to upstate New York, because when she was packing up her mom's stuff she found some hints about her father and wanted to meet him.

Drew is the electrical contractor who comes for rewire Jordyn's new old house. For the first time, Jordyn has made a friend.

All My Love is their story. It's the story of two people discovering where they are, who they are, and where they are headed. It's a feel good story, as are all the books in this series, but there is nothing bad in feeling good. These are characters you are routing for.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies

This is the second book edited by Judith Durant that I have seen and this one is just as good as the first. When you look through Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies, you are going to start looking for babies to crochet for and if you don't crochet, you'll be wanting to learn. 

My niece is pregnant and I showed her the pictures in the books and we both loved everything.  I think my favorite is the hat with bunny ears or the Pink Camouflage Cap.  Possibly it is the Spring Petals Bonnet or the Baby Crocs,  It could be the In the Woods Vest or the Six-Button Vest.  You get the idea, everything is adorable, affordable, and doesn't take much time to finish.  The perfect gift for a friend, neighbor, co-worker, and especially a new addition to the family. 

The instructions are clear and concise. The glossary has descriptions of how to do each stitch, which is especially helpful to a new crocheter.  If you are not a crocheter, but you know someone who is, I think this book would be a great gift. 

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cable Left, Cable Right by Judith Durant

This book is amazing. 

I have knit for many years and only once tried cables (and that was back in the 70s).  Having recently started knitting again after not knitting for about 30 years (so many different crafts, so little time), I really wanted to do something with cables, but I just had to get past my mental block.  I even set doing something with cables as a goal a couple of years ago, but just never followed through. 

Judith Durant's instruction book, Cable Left, Cable Right has not only given me the confidence to know that I can knit cables, but I can't wait to at least try some of the more intricate patterns. The instructions are concise and the pictures are perfect.  The author even makes graphs look and sound easy.  I cannot recommend this book more highly to people who want to learn how to knit with cables or for the more experienced knitter who wants to jazz up their projects.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Margeau Chapeau

I don't remember exactly when I started knitting, but it has been more years than I want to admit to. I've been knitting so long that I just frogged a sweater I started in 1977. I guess you could say I took a really long knitting break, about 30 years, to be exact.

Then I retired and moved away from the friends I'd made throughout my career. In an effort to make new friends, and because everywhere I went, people were talking about knitting and especially knitting socks. I'd never tackled socks, but I was intrigued and decided the best way to kill two birds with that one stone, was to take a class. I was hooked.

I started knitting socks, then graduated to hats too. I love knitting hats. They are quick to finish and people love them. They are also a good take along project and easy to donate to charity.

Margeau Soboti has written an excellent instruction manual/book. She has included some great patterns that I know my family will love and that I will enjoying knitting.

Charlie Chevron is definitely my favorite of the collection, but there are several patterns for every taste. Margeau Chapeau is a knitting book for all skill levels.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Letters for Scarlet by Julie C. Gardner

Letters for Scarlet will stick with me for some time.  It is the story of three friends who met in grade school, bonded as a trio, and tells what can happen when two of the three become a couple.

Scarlet is the one who is left out when Corie and Tucker fall in love.  On the night they graduate from high school Tucker and Corie tell Scarlet that they have fallen in love and also that Corie has decided not to go on to college with Scarlet.  Scarlet is, of course, devastated and they go their separate ways.

Ten years later Corie, who is unable to get pregnant, receives a letter a teacher makes them write to their 28 year old selves and also gets a call from Scarlet's (who is unmarried and pregnant) estranged mother who tells Corie that she needs to get Scarlet's letter to her.  Instead of getting Scarlet her letter, Corie starts to write Scarlet and pour out Corie's pain and sorrow, knowing that Scarlet will never get the letters.

This book touched me.  The characters are damaged and raw, they are all basically getting through life by putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to trip. I found tears in my eyes on several occasions as I was reading and it also brought back all those pains that most of us suffered with in high school.

There are many funny moments in the book, but for me it told mostly about how damaged people can be on the inside, while carrying on as if nothing is wrong on the outside.

I know these are characters in a book, but I can't help but wish them well. 

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

All I Want by Natalie Ann

Once again Natalie Ann has added to the All Series with a great romance, but this one has a twist that will tear at your heart.

Sean felt an immediate reaction to Carly the first time he saw her. Carly, on the other hand, seemed to avoid him like he had a communicable disease. When Carly's best friend marries Sean's business partner (read All the Way, you won't be disappointed), Carly and Sean are thrown together and romance ensues.

This is such a great series. It started with The Road to Recovery and All I Want is book four in the second series about the same group of friends and relatives. I have read each book and enjoyed each and every one. You don't need to start at the beginning of the series to figure out what is going on, but I am glad I did. It's enjoyable to read how each couple is progressing.

I would have purchased this book no matter what because I like the series, but I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are solely my own and I was not compensated in any way.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher

The Island Escape is the story of two women and how life can change with the blink of an eye.  It also has one of the best first lines ever written, "I was wearing the wrong bra to be sitting in a police cell".  I mean, is there really a right bra for jail?

Roberta comes from a rich, snooty family and Octavia was a free spirit scholarship student when they met in elementary school.  They became lifelong best friends, even though they are polar opposites.  When Roberta's husband has her arrested for (justifiably in my opinion) hitting him with a pan, the first person she calls is Octavia.

Octavia's husband is no prize either, but at least he's not an abusive bully.  As the book progresses we watch both women deal with their changing lives.

I really liked this book and found myself reading until very late, because I had to know what was going to happen nest.  It was interesting to read about people not so unlike every other middle-aged woman I know, who try to do the right thing, but aren't always successful.

The author billed this as a feel good romantic comedy, but I'm not sure that is how I would describe it.  There is a lot of hard time before either Roberta or Octavia get the happy ending they deserve.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sunday morning talk shows

I love the Sunday morning talk shows and have been watching them forever.  I am one of those people who still misses Tim Russert, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Tony Snow.  Maybe I'm the only one, hmmmm.  

Anyway, last Sunday I decided to post my interpretations on Facebook.  I got lots of comments, but my main purpose is to be just a little snarky, not take sides.  Except for Donald Trump, if you like Donald Trump, you might just want to stop reading now.  Here's my take, copied from Sunday's post on Facebook:

Listening to Face the Nation and trump is on complaining about how the other candidates are being mean to him. His second complaint is the IRS picks on him and no one else. Third point is he couldn't possibly hire American workers in Mara Lago (I really don't know how to spell that and don't care enough to look it up). because it was the hot season and they were temporary jobs. You know because all of us soon to be great again Americans are too lazy to work in hot weather or take temporary jobs, not because he refuses to pay minimum wage. 

What a great way to start Sunday. I'll be coming back with more funnies for y'all later as my Sunday news programs progress. Whether you like it or not, it seems.

Marco Rubio believes that the only reason trump is beating him is that the media wants Hillary Clinton to be president and he (Rubio) will win the delegates when you (the ungreat Americans) wake up and realize that trump is a con man. 

 I think Senator Sanders has gotten the younger generation involved and aware of the process. As for the kids in school, I wonder how high school teachers are dealing with this. I remember Senior American Government and cannot even imagine the poor teacher dealing with this election cycle.

Peggy Noonan's voice drives me BSCrazy. Usually I stop watching a program when she is on, but the mix on the panel is pretty good today.

Time for This Week with George Stephanopolis (I don't know to spell that, but is wife is funnier than all get out).   Great panel, good variety. Something for everyone.

TrusTed says the reason trump has not released his tax returns is that a) he's giving to Planned Parenthood or b) he's in the mob. Other than that, he was boing.
And Chris Christie is next. Is it too early for a stiff drink (10:15 a.m. here on the west coast).
Per Chris Christie, the media is just picking on trump by asking him questions about Social Security. Shame on the media.
Time for Meet the Press. Although I may take a break soon.
Governor Kascish is sounding just a bit snarky on State of the Union, which one of you told him he has no chance?
 Jeff Sessions is endorsing trumpy. hahahahaha just one more weird tool in the toolbox. Trump says we are the boss in America, I say "you're fired".


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wooed by You by Sophia Knightly

Wooed by you is the story of Linc and Isabel.  Linc is a tough alpha narcotics detective and Isabel is the ex-wife of a now deceased drug dealer.  They met after Isabel's ex was killed in a motorcycle accident and he came to investigate if Isabel knew anything about the drug activity. 

Time has passed and Isabel finds a briefcase buried in her garden, she immediately calls Linc, who shows up to talk to her and take the drugs.  The attraction between the two of them is instantaneous, but Isabel is not going to get involved with anyone who puts his life in danger, because she has her daughter, Suzie, to protect.

The author has written a really good story about how a person can get past their preconceived impressions and let go of past pain.  She captures Suzie perfectly as a precocious child who is looking for a father figure.  

If you like a love story with a little bit of crime/drama, you will enjoy this book.  Linc is your macho hero, Isabel is your damsel in distress, and happily ever after is the goal.  But don't think Isabel needs or wants Linc to save her, she is completely able to save herself.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review .

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mother Knows Best by Karen MacInerney

I read the first book in this series and loved the characters. Margie is trying to survive day-to-day with a husband who was in love with another man (now deceased) but trying not to be gay, a six year old daughter who thinks she is a dog and only eats white food, a vegan mother who thinks she can fix everyone's problems if they will just cut all the chemicals out of their diets, and an office in the back of a waxing salon.

Margie is working as a private investigator for the colorful Peaches, unfortunately they appear to be bumbling their way through every investigation. When Peaches calls Margie at 3:00 a.m. to help her move a body, they find themselves in the middle of a full out police investigation with Margie's best friend as the suspect.
Then there is the pregnant pot bellied pig Margie is tasked with getting back from their client's ex-husband, who stole Bubba Sue (yes, Bubba Sue). Bubba Sue may be a pot bellied pig, but she is way too big for the cat carrier Margie brought with her for transport home. Well her head fits inside, but that's about it., and Bubba Sue is kind of mean.

If you enjoy funny situations and characters, who are trying really hard to get through each day, this is definitely the series for you. I recommend you start with the first book of the series (Mother's Day Out) which introduces the characters and why they are where they are in their lives. It is well worth your time.

Karen MacInerney writes likable characters. Margie Peterson is not her only series, she also write The Gray Whale Inn Mystery series (also excellent) and recommended (by me).

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Unlucky in Love by Jill Sanders

Kristen was cursed by the sister of an ex-boyfriend when he decided to go on a date with Kristen instead of attending the sister's birthday party, but really her bad luck with the opposite sex started long before the curse, when she was eight. 

Now she's all grown up and still having a bad time with relationships.  Take for instance the fact that her new boyfriend stole all of her stuff while she was at work.  And I mean all of her stuff, even her clothes.  And it's not just bad luck with boyfriends, the author throws in a bunch more mishaps to make the book interesting and keep the reader reading.

When Aiden Scott shows up at her place of work, no one knows that his real purpose of being there is to check out the company that the owners have asked him to buy.  They are ready to retire and Aiden is the son of one of their friends.  When they meet there are sparks, and that is when the story blossoms.

I have read a couple of books by Jill Sanders and I like them.  Unlucky in Love is one I would definitely recommend for someone looking for a light read with a HEA ending.  The characters are well written and likable, the minor characters are also likable and you know that they will be getting adventures of their own some day soon. 

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.