“Whisper” is a Refreshing Blend of YA Mystery, Romance and Paranormal

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One hundred years after Elise Stewart dies at Lakeview Academy, her journal is found by Halle.  It’s not just Elise’s words that seem to haunt Halle…Elise herself seems to be making an appearance.  Can Halle and her friend, Leigh, right an old wrong and put Elise’s troubled spirit to rest?  Or will Halle be haunted by Elise’s whispers for as long as she’s at school?

“Whisper” is a good solid YA combination of mystery, paranormal and romance.  While Leigh and Halle work to solve this mystery, they also struggle with all the normal issues of friends, popularity, boys and studies.  Well-written, with a good solid set of characters, “Whisper” will engage readers from the beginning.  “Whisper” provides excellent reading for strong middle grade readers and up.  I found it to be a very enjoyable read, fresh and entertaining despite the predictable elements and just generally a fun book to read.

If you’re looking for a book for a younger reader and want something fresh and engaging that mixes mystery with romance and a touch of paranormal, then “Whisper” may be just what you’re looking for!

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review.  The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“The Dancing Master” is an Enjoyable Romance

51qwwO9n85L__SS300_Alec Valcourt was a respected dancing master in London until his father ruined the family’s fortunes and future.  Forced to restart life in the home of his uncle, Alec takes the only job he can find as a clerk in the home of the Lady Amelia Midwinter.  Lady Midwinter has a peculiar and particular disdain for dancing and forbids it in the small town of Beaworthy.   Of course, as is necessary in any Regency-style romance, Lady Midwinter has a lovely and discontented daughter who longs for the revels of London and society but is forced by her mother to live a life that is several sizes too small.

While “The Dancing Master” isn’t going to take any prizes for the most surprising of plots or most unusual plot twists, it is a good, enjoyable, well-written romance that will give the reader just the kind of read you want from a romance novel.  Julie Klassen spins an engaging tale with well-conceived characters and just enough mystery and tension to move the story along to a predictable but satisfying conclusion.  After all, the conclusion of true love conquering all is what we are looking for, right?  If you’re looking for a romance novel to take you away from the humdrums of real life for a few hours, you’ll enjoy “The Dancing Master.”  I certainly did.

The book was provided to me by the publisher for this review.  The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Blades of Valor” Brings the Immortals Series to a Satisfying Conclusion

blades-of-valor“Blades of Valor” Brings the Immortals Series to a Satisfying Conclusion
Picking up where “Martyr’s Fire” left us with Thomas still unsure who he can trust and still searching for answers, “Blades of Valor” opens in the Holy Land. With Isabelle stalking him with murderous intent and Katherine still a cause of doubt in his mind, he must negotiate his way through this foreign and often hostile land to find the answers he seeks.
Sigmund Brouwer weaves a skillful and entertaining end to this tale of Thomas of Magnus while leaving the series open to continue. The plot twists and turns like a desert snake and keeps the reader interested throughout. This is an excellent series for fantasy fans in the middle school grades as well as high school. The characters are interesting and well-defined. The pacing is good and the action is entertaining. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend “Blades of Valor,” although I would advise you to read the first three in the series first.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

What’s Your Super Power? Blog Hop and Giveaway

I have to admit, I was a little stumped when Madam Samm suggested we do something celebrating our “superpower.” And with embroidery…hmmm…well, I’m game, I thought, and I signed up. Then, I mulled. And mulled some more. After all, I know what isn’t my superpower (think cleaning and/or organizing) and embroidery sure isn’t it. I mean, I cross-stitched about a hundred years ago but not much embroidery in this millenium. Then, looking around my house, it became obvious!

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Seriously, if you came to my house, you’d understand.  There are books all over!  I have a six-foot built-in bookcase in the living room with a smaller bookcase in the entry.  A bookcase in the kitchen, two in the upstairs hallway,  one in each daughter’s room, another in our room and three in the sewing area.  All of them are full to bursting and, with only a couple of exceptions, I’ve read every book.  I purposely didn’t pretty the shelves up before I took this picture because I wanted you to see the overcrowding going on here!   There’s a Kindle, too, which I love as it is a portable bookcase that fits in my purse! When I want to learn something, I find a book.  If I need to escape my life for a while, there’s nothing like a good book.  If I’m lonely, I have shelves full of old friends.  I’m a fast reader, too, which helps me get through lots of books in very little time.  (My oldest daughter is even faster than I am.)  So there it is, my superpower. So, my thanks to Madam Samm, Pauline the Quilting Queen, and DMC, our sponsor, for putting this all together.

I’ve got a small giveaway, before you hop along.  I’ve got these two fat quarters (forgive the poor photo quality, they are lovely in person) and all you have to do is leave me a comment.  Mr. Random will draw at the end of the hop and, yes, I’ll ship internationally.

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If you need a subject for a comment, how about a favorite book?  I’m currently enamored with “The Fault in Our Stars,” “The Host”, and I always go back to the Harry Potter books when I just have a few minutes to read but not enough time to get caught in a book. It’s like going back for a quick chat with old, good friends.

Here’s the rest of the hop schedule…thanks for coming by!  Oops!  I forgot to add that you can find the bookcase block at Block Central.  I combined two copies to make my shelf a little longer!

Beth

 

TUESDAY APRIL 15
 
WEDNESDAY APRIL 16
THURSDAY APRIL 17
 
FRIDAY APRIL 18

 

 

Triangles…or is That Trying Angles?

On a whim (which is how I decide to do 90% of my quilt projects), I decided to join the Triangle Along over at the Sassy Quilter. Now, I haven’t gotten all my rows sewn but here’s a quick look at what I have so far. Unfortunately, I should have used my up and down arrow pins because I think I got the first row started the wrong way and I’m going to have to do some ripping or row rearranging to get rid of the triangles that accidentally matched up with the same color. Trust me, they didn’t do that when I had them set out on the floor!

??????????Now that I look at it again, I didn’t have three yellows bunched together that way, either….sigh.  Well, if I don’t like it, it can always be the back of something else!  Check out the rest of the triangles over at the Sassy Quilter Link  Up.

Happy quilting,

Beth

“The Devil Walks in Mattingly”

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Jake Barnett hasn’t slept in weeks. Phillip McBride, dead for 20 year, is haunting Jake’s dreams, threatening the fragile peace he has worked out in his life. His wife, Kate, fears for him while trying to put her own past behind her. Death is coming closer to both of them and to the town of Mattingly…can they put the past behind them and meet this threat or is the threat because of their pasts?
Billy Coffey paints a thoroughly intriguing story that blends supernatural thriller with Christian fiction in a story that will grab the reader from the very beginning and delivers a surprising ending. The characters are well-developed, a trait sometimes missing in suspense, and easy to become attached to. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I’m not going to say much about the plot except to say that it went in a direction I wasn’t prepared for. Overall, I’d give “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” a 4.5 for creativity, originality and good solidly written suspense. As an added bonus, this book would be appropriate for strong readers in the high school and upper middle school range. (It’s probably too violent for lower grades.)
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

Fabric Happens…Sunday Stash Report

We’ve clearly established that I have trouble saying “no” to fabric in any circumstance but sale and/or thrift store fabric…well….

The three on the right are treasures I found when I went to the thrift store to find some baby toys for the most adorable little one that I watch two days a week.  Then, Saturday, I got to go to the Clark County Quilt Show and met one of my online quilting friends in “real time.”  Two of those cute fat quarters will be a giveaway for the Superpower Blog Hop that starts this week.  Check back and I’ll have the whole schedule up tomorrow.  (You can read more about it here.)  I’m not giving away any hints about my superpower except to say that it is sure not saying “no” to fabric!

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I’m linking this up to the Sunday Stash Report and hopefully, next week you’ll see one of these fabrics in action!

Happy quilting!

A Bit of This and That and Some Goal Setting

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Well, this is as far as I got on the car quilt.  I finished up the blocks and cut lattice and started putting the top together.  It’s not finished but that’s a lot further than I was! Luckily for me, my #11 UFO is to make another sewing machine cover.  (I need a total of two more and then we’ll have all the most used machines covered.)  I’ve made one with the featherweight on it, one ruffled and I’ve got an idea of what I may do on this one.

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As far as the Triangle Along, I got less than a quarter of my triangles cut but I’m hoping to fix that this weekend.  Of course, I’ve still got two other quilts to finish, too, but who’s counting?

Ok, so we’ve established that I’ve got a bit of a problem saying “no” and I have a huge soft spot for scraps.  This is what happened when I dropped in a the quilt shop while my older daughter was at an appointment.  I was sucked right in by a lovely basket of scrap pieces.  Just for fun, I laid they on my table and here’s what all I found…

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My table is a yard wide by 2 yards long so that was a lot of scrap! I did actually cut them all down and put them in my scrap user bins.  There’s nothing like adding some fresh colors to your scrap bins.  I’ve decided that I need to start planning  my first quilt from the bins, the 2.5″ strip drawer is looking pretty full and I love all those scrappy trips that I’m seeing all over.  However,  finishes first…right?  Sure….

Happy Quilting!

Beth

P.S.  I’m linking this up to the goal setting party over at the Lovely Year of Finishes and Connie’s UFO Party on Pinterest.

 

Flags on a Stick Blog Hop (and a giveaway.)

It’s my day! Well, mine and some other wonderful, talented stitchers. As always, I’m honored to find myself in such talented company and oh, so grateful to Madame Samm and Thearica from Pig Tales and Quilts for orchestrating all this fun and to our sponsor, Flags on a Stick. Now, I have to say in the spirit of full disclosure that my flag grew a tad bigger than intended. I started out with 11×17″ drawing but I did the whole thing freehand piecing and well, fabric sometimes has a mind of its own! I’m still excited by my little flag which displays my motto for Spring.

??????????I had to catch a shot between rain showers so the lighting isn’t the best of but it says, “Bee Happy” across the top.  I like the play on words but I also like the idea that happy is something we decide to be, not a circumstance we find ourselves in.  And speaking of happy, I’m so happy you hopped by today!

Also showing their creations today are the following fabulous and talented people:

Bumbleberry Stitches

Quilted Delights

Red Quilts

On the Banks of Frog Creek

Words & Stitches - you are here!

K and S Sweets and Stitching

I know you’ll want to see every stop!  And, now, since you made it this far…how about a giveaway?  I’ve got another 1/2-yard of blue fabric to give away.  (I liked this one so much that I bought a fairly good-sized piece of it but I’m keeping the last piece for me!)

DSCN2822Just leave a comment about anything although, if you have a motto, I’d love to hear it.  I’ll have Mr. Random draw after the hop is over and, yes, I’ll ship internationally and, no, you don’t have to be a follower (but you can if you want!)

Do know that I read each and every comment and will try to respond but something life just gets away from me.

Happy quilting!

Beth

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No…

Did you ever watch the musical Oklahoma?  I loved that movie as a kid and my favorite song was, “I’m just a girl who can’t say no.”  Which pretty much sums up my relationship to new projects.  So, when Jennifer at the Quilted Cat mentioned a triangle quilt along over at the Sassy Quilter….well, I know what I should have said but instead, I dove into my fat quarters and came up with these.  The photo’s not great, the colors really do look better in person.

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I’m planning on a smaller version of the quilt but the quilt is all equilateral triangles and I’ve really never done much with them so I thought I’d learn a little something new.  It’s not too late…why not dig through your stash and join in?

Happy quilting,

Beth