Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in turn for an honest review.  Unfortunately I thought I downloaded it and I didn't, so it expired! So I bought it. Anyway, that aside, this was a very good book! I don't usually read young adult novels but this one sounded interesting.  It was very interesting! I read it in just a couple of days; I did not want to put it down.  It kept me guessing and assuming, and then proved me wrong. There were some surprises for sure. A very good and fairly quick read!

Alex and Nova have been best friends since grade school.  Both from financially strapped families, they have little in common with the spoiled "cakes"- rich kids, that come to visit with their families every summer.  Then one of the cakes goes missing, and later turns up dead, found with a foxglove in her mouth.  And another cake goes missing..

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher, in turn for an honest review.  Many of you may have heard of Tess Gerritsen  because of her "Rizzoli and Isles" series.  This book was not from that series but just as good; in fact I have never read a book with a plot similar to this one. 

Violinist Julia Ansdell is traveling in Italy when she happens upon a handwritten piece of street music in a music book she bought.  It is like nothing she has ever seen or played before; when she plays it she is entranced.   She finds though that when she plays it her daughter acts strangely, seeming to do almost evil things.  She researches the origins of the music, as well as taking her daughter to doctor after doctor, but everyone seems to think Julia is the crazy one.  Her research takes her back to Italy.  Shortly after she arrives there she finds people seem to want her dead.  But why?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finally a stitchy post!

Sorry it has taken me so long..I keep getting engrossed in books and my stitching gets laid aside. :( I am trying to make a better effort to fit some stitching in each day, even if it's just on my lunch break. So here is my progress on the tavern as of today. I will probably work on it some more after I finish this post. 

My mom and dad were here to visit this past weekend.  We had a great time as always, and it 
went by much too fast, as always.   We had originally planned to go to Wilmington, but due to circumstances beyond our control, our plan was foiled.  We still had fun though-went out for breakfast and walked around downtown here in town, went to the mall for a bit, then just relaxed at home and had a nice dinner.  The next day we went to church then did a little more shopping after eating some lunch.  DD and I have birthdays coming up so they bought us some presents, then we headed home and rested our feet.

 I have taken a short break from Netgalley and am reading a book actually from my bookshelf that I haven't read yet; Echo Park by Michael Connelly.  It's pretty good so far.  Fortunately it has been a little easier to put down than some of the others I've read recently, so I actually get a little stitching done.  We'll see if it lasts..

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mrs. John Doe by Tom Savage

I'm sorry, I know I have been having a lot of book reviews lately and not a lot of stitching. I  just keep finding all these great books to read and get so engrossed I just want to keep reading.  Then I don't get any stitching done. Is anyone else like that?

This book was brilliant.  I had never read any books by Tom Savage before I read this one.  I was not disappointed.  I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in turn for an honest review.  This book was like none I have read so far.  I hesitate to even write a summary as I don't want to give too much away.  Nora Baron is called to England to identify the remains of her husband, who has died in an accident.  After doing so she is prepared to take his remains and go home, when someone tries to take her purse- someone she saw watching her on her flight over to England.  From there ensues an action-packed story with many twists and turns; I wished I had had a block of time to just sit and read the whole thing at once.  I definitely will be reading more of Tom Savage's books. This was an excellent story.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Cluttered Attic Secrets by Jan Christensen

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.  It was a fun story and I was surprised by how the story panned out, which is a good thing. It is about a woman named Tina, grown but still living with her mother and uncle.  She is a professional organizer but evidently used to be a psychiatrist or psychologist. This comes out later in the story; I'm sure if I had read the series from the beginning it would have been spelled out. One night she is called by her best friend Leslie.  Leslie lives in an old Victorian house that has been left to her by her aunt.  It has been in the family for many, many years and has generations of stuff in the attic.  Although her aunt was a neat and organized person by nature, the attic is a disorganized mess.  Leslie decides to start going through it and hears unusual sounds, and thinks she sees an apparition of some sort. Leslie calls Tina to ask her to come help her and also help investigate as she is a bit afraid.  Then a man turns up murdered in the side yard of her house. The story goes from there, Tina and Lisa doing some investigating on their own, and eventually calling in the police.

This book is a part of a series and was the first one I read. I'm still on the fence if I will read another. I understand I read an advanced copy of the book, but there were many typos and at times the characters changed names, as well as other mistakes. I am curious if the other books are the same.  The main character, Tina, also kind of got on my nerves, though I can't put my finger on why.  Would I recommend it to someone? I'm not sure.  I see others have given it four and five star reviews, so others obviously liked it more than I did.  Overall not a bad book; I think if I liked "Tina" better I would maybe read another in the series.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Imagine waking up from a nap and your baby, and every trace of her, is gone. There are no signs of forced entry. In addition to that, you do not remember this until after waking up in a hospital where you find you have been in a car accident where you may or may not have tried to harm yourself.  But you remember nothing. Not the accident, not why you were in the town your accident occurred in, not the events leading up to your accident, only that your baby is missing.  This is what has happened to Estelle Paradise.  The book follows her as she tries to find her baby, while dealing with postpartum depression and some very dark thoughts.  A bit dark at times, the book was still very good and kept me guessing as to what happened to baby Mia.  I was provided a free copy of this e-book by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

Monday, September 21, 2015

She's Not There by P.J. Parrish

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley.  This book grabbed me from the first page and did not let me go! Now I had never read a book about an amnesiac but I don't think it would have mattered if I had.  Amelia wakes up in the hospital battered and bruised and cannot remember how she got there, or much of anything else.  Then a man comes that tells the nurse he's her husband, and she has a feeling she needs to get away from him though she doesn't know why. From there the story is fast-paced and suspenseful all the way to the end.  Make sure you have a lot of time open when you start reading this book because you will not want to put it down.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.  This was a fun "cozy" mystery with the central character being Lucy Stone, a grandma who lives in a quaint small town in Maine. During the town's fall pumpkin festival a man is found murdered, and Lucy's husband Bill was the last one to see him alive.  The police seem convinced that Bill did it, so it is up to Lucy to do some sleuthing and prove his innocence.  I enjoyed the fall theme of the book and it was light reading.  It also had no bad language or sex scenes which was a nice change.  It was an enjoyable book and I will probably be reading more in the series.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Busy busy..

Well, it's been a crazy month and a half.. my daughter's friend came to stay with us for three weeks in August, followed by my mother-in-law who left today.  Both very nice visits- it's going to seem strange without and extra person around!  While my mother-in-law was here we visited Emerald Isle, NC and stayed over night. Our house was right on the beach.  It was the first time we had ever done something like that and it was just lovely!  One of the most relaxing times I had ever had, and I'm sure my pictures will show you why. ♥

Couldn't keep my son out of the water!

Can you spot the crab in this picture?

I didn't get any stitching done, even though I did bring it.  Did a lot of walking on the beach,  got in the water a bit, even talked to a couple who had their sweet Corgi there! The house we stayed in didn't allow pets, so we couldn't bring Ginger and Kona.  Their Corgi was sweet, she even brought her ball to me to play fetch. ♥  I hope to go back soon! 

I have been working a little on the tavern, hoping to get more done now that things have settled down a bit.  I have kind of put my other stitching by the wayside but may work on my Maryse freebie once in a while since I only have to finish the border.  It's kind of funny- the copyright date on this tavern pattern is 1977- I was only 5 the year it was printed!

Ginger and Kona have been their usual silly selves.  They always love when we have company.  Here is a photo of them pouting when they were shut out of the kitchen.  My mother-in-law and the kids were making cookies and deviled eggs.

So pitiful! 
I recently downloaded an app to my iPad called "Retype" -it's usually a paid app but I happened to find out about on a day that they were offering it for free.  It's fun to play with.  I took a picture of Ginger when she was sleeping on her back one day and made this-

I thought it was kind of funny. ☺

Well, that's about the latest here- hope to be on a little more now.  Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!  Thanks for sticking with me. ♥

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  It was a sweet story with enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. I liked the Christian element of the story, and also appreciated the fact that there were no sex scenes or bad language. It was very refreshing!

A brief summary-Brook has been brought up in the palace of Monaco, rescued as a baby by an opera singer from a carriage accident that killed her mother.  She is British by birth, and as she comes of age her friend Justin helps her find her true family.  What she finds is a wonderful surprise that also has its difficulties.  It is a lovely story that has romance, mystery, and suspense!

(I know I promised a stitchy post- will have one soon!)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sloughing The Skin by Dr. Sonja Strode

I was provided and advanced reader copy of this from and the publisher for an honest review.  This book was very well written; almost too well written.  It contained a lot of details that didn't feel especially relevant to the story.  When reading you feel you are in the main character's mind, for most of the book.  That is all well and good but then you are privy to every random thought and every minute detail of the remodeling/rehabilitation of their cottage. Some of the details were relevant to the story and others were not.   There was also no real excitement to the revelation of the secrets that were being kept by the neighbors.  I would have like to see the main character a little more involved and a little more suspense.  I did,  however, enjoy the descriptions of the countryside and so forth that the author gave.

(Stitchy updates coming soon!)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Gone But Knot Forgotten by Mary Marks

I was provided an advanced reader's copy of this book via Netgalley. This was a sweet but serious cozy mystery, not too fluffy but not too graphic either.  Martha Rose is saddened and shocked when she finds out an old(very rich) friend of hers has passed away, and made her the executor of her estate.  Martha finds the manner of her friend's death suspicious, and many questions start arising as she goes through the estate, questions that may even put her in danger.  This was a fun but page-turning read, with a cast of quirky but real characters that kept me entertained throughout.  This is a book in a series and I plan to read the others now!

Monday, August 03, 2015

A little stitching..

I had a busy weekend-dd had a friend come in from out of town to stay with us for a while- had to make a trip to the airport, did a little lunch, a little shopping while in the "big city."   Yesterday was church, grocery shopping... and when we were getting ready to leave the grocery store a lady gave dd some coupons for Bath and Body Works that expired that day.. one for a free item.. so later we made a trip to the mall.  I don't think I did any stitching yesterday.  

I did get a few stitches in today on "Chowning's Tavern"  on my lunch break; I am hoping to work on it again in a little while.  This is what I have done so far.

I'm almost done with "It's Winter Time" by Maryse- just have the border to do and a little backstitching.
Actually I do have a little more done than this- the word "time" and a little bit of the border around the white border.

I have a new addiction- (like I needed another one)- found out about this app from Japan, "Neko Atsume"- and basically you leave food and toys out for cats and they come visit you and leave you silver and gold sardines. Which you use to buy more food and toys for the cats. ☺ I like it cause it is low maintenance.. in fact if you wait a while, or even overnight for instance, you check it in the morning and there are all kinds of sardines the cats left- you collect them though from a part of the app- they don't leave them strewn all over the place. ha ha.  The app is really cute and surprisingly fun.  Here is a screenshot.
And as you keep using the app, "rare" cats pop up here and there- like this baseball cat-
Yes, I am easily entertained. ☺ Just a kid at heart I guess. As you can see in the above photo I needed to fill their food. Not many cats show up if there isn't food out.  Anyway, just something a little fun I thought I'd share.  If you by some chance want to check it out, don't look it up by it's name. I didn't find it that way- I looked up the company that makes it in the app store- "Hit-point" and it was the first app listed. It has an icon with a white cat face in it and a yellow border.

I have read another book via netgalley.  I am loving that site! I will post a review soon.  It was a cozy mystery, based on a lady who likes to quilt. It was really a great story; I read it in just a few days.  I hope y'all don't mind me posting book reviews on the blog as well.  I know at least some of my followers like to read as well as stitch. ☺

Well, that's it for today! Hope everyone has a blessed week.
Tracey ♥

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Water of Life(Uisge beatha) by Daniel Marchildon

I was provided a free copy of this (e-)book by the publisher via, in return for an honest review.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was well researched and went easily from past to present without confusing the reader. I will say the family tree of the families in the book, will be very helpful! The story begins in present day, with Elizabeth Legrand,  a woman who is determined to open a Scotch whisky distillery in her small hometown with only about thirty inhabitants, and create a Scotch whisky better than any other, even those made in Scotland. It tells the story by bouncing between past and present, to tell the story of the Glen Dubh distillery, and the scotch itself, which seems to cause heartache and chaos wherever it is present, despite its amazing taste, and euphoric feelings it gives to the drinker. Even though the story went back and forth between past and present, it was easy to follow and very well written. It described perfectly all locations where the story took place, mainly Scotland and Canada.  You could even almost taste the whiskys in the book, they were described so well.  It made me want to try Scotch whisky again, to see if I missed something the first time I tried it.  It was a haunting story and very entertaining.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Dogist by Elias Weiss Friedman

My first Netgalley review! When I saw that this book was "photographic encounters with 1000 dogs", I had to check it out.  I was not disappointed. This book made me wish I had a place to display books in my living room, so that when this book comes out I can buy a copy and set it out for all my friends to enjoy.  It will not be published until October so I have some time. I honestly thing even those who are not dog lovers and or people who love to take pictures(like me) would enjoy this book.  It included photos of dogs of all different breeds, with all different expressions and emotions, and a few with special stories.  A lot of the photos are just taken as he comes across owners and their dogs, but in the case of some of the tougher cases, he actually sets up times to meet with the dog and gain their trust, so he may photograph them.  He really captures the soul and personality of the dog.  Some photos made me laugh, and some brought me to tears.  A wonderful book for any animal lover.  I have already added it to my Amazon wish list so I won't forget to buy it when it comes out. It comes out in the month of my birthday so maybe I will get lucky and someone will buy it for me. ☺This book was an advanced copy provided to me by Netgalley for review.  I highly recommend this book!

Sunday, July 26, 2015



Hope everyone's summer is going well! Here, well, it's hot! Today wasn't as bad as some days but it was still right toasty.  I did get out and play with the pups a little bit; I took my phone out to take some pictures but of course I forgot. Kona loves playing fetch and is very quick in getting the ball back to me! He keeps me busy out there! I did get this picture of him when I was *supposed* to be cleaning our spare bedroom. Ahem.

 But in my defense I did clean it up some yesterday! It has become quite a catch-all room.  Books, craft stuff, files, magazines, etc. I was trying to sort through some of the clutter. I did yesterday but today just felt a little over-whelmed(and maybe a little lazy.)  

I did accomplish a couple of things today stitching-wise.  One of my Facebook stitching groups has a Quick Stitch Weekend once a month, where we find a small design and try to stitch it in a weekend.   This month I found an old Pine Mountain pillow kit I got years ago.  I think my daughter originally wanted me to buy it so she could stitch it.  Well she hasn't stitched in a long time and doesn't really seem to have an interest in in anymore, so I stitched it for her as a surprise while she was with friends this weekend. In fact I am still waiting for her to get home and see it. ☺ 
I hope she won't be upset that I stitched it instead.

I also pulled out some frames my dad had made for me- I wish I would have written down which designs I had him make them for- and framed an old finish. It was the only one I was pretty certain belonged to one of the frames.
It's "Snow Tired" (duh) by Homespun Elegance.  Now I have to figure out what the other frames go to.  

I am currently working on a couple of different things- a Grilles by Maryse freebie- "It's Winter Time"( a little wrinkled, sorry)-
And a piece for a friend- "Chowning's Tavern" (an actual place in Williamsburg, VA). I don't have much done on that one yet; hoping to put a few stitches in it tonight.

I recently discovered  It's a site where you can request to read certain books before they are available for sale.  The authors rely on you for an honest review of their book and you post that review on their site as well as blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.  I am giving it a shot and reading my first book The Water of Life by Daniel Marchildon.  I will let you know how it is!

Well, since I started writing this, my daughter has returned home. Once she saw the pillow she remembered the kit. She did not seem upset at all that I had stitched it. ☺ 

If I am going to stitch I better get to it. Here is a little picture of Ginger as a sign-off.
She's like "Mom, you are taking a picture of me again?"

God bless!

P.S. Finally finished Brooke's Books Summer House a little while back! Here it is-

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Busy busy..

Well first things first- the Alamo is complete and delivered to it's owner. She loved it!

I have been working more on my other projects- I did a weekend project-

 Made some progress on my LK sampler-
 And been plugging away at my (mostly) "lunchtime project." 

Kona and Ginger did both get fixed- they healed well. :) Kona messes with his stitches quite a bit so he had to wear the Cone of Shame. This is actually the first one- he managed to get around this one so we had to get a taller one. 
 Ginger was a good sister though and still helped by washing his face and ears. 

Kona experienced his first snow the other day- he enjoyed it, even though he doesn't look like it in this picture.
We are supposed to get some more tonight-several inches- we'll see what happens.

On Tuesday I had a snow day home with the kids-I decided to try my hand at making some liquid soap using bar soap. It was super easy and made a ton. It was a little slimy 'cause I used a Dial glycerin bar. Next time I think I will use Yardley lavender soap. I love that stuff! We had some Ball jars so I got pumps  and made them into soap dispensers. 
 There are some other recipes on Pinterest for lotion and stretch mark cream. I may try those at some point too!  I recently bought some homemade sugar scrub at a local store and I just love it. It kind of inspired me!

Oh, I almost forgot- I have finally started putting beads on thi project too! I have had it stitched forever.
Sorry the photo isn't that good.

Well that's about it here.. Will post again soon!

Friday, January 23, 2015


Yes, it's me! I'm still here.  I have been working more on the Alamo and I am happy to say I am very close to finishing! Only have the backstitching left to do- and a couple of stitches I have found that I missed.
I have also been working on a winter freebie that I started some time ago- I thought I took a picture of it but I can't find it!  
A facebook stitching group I'm in has WIP Wednesdays- so on Wednesday I put a (very) few stitches in this-
I don't remember what I was doing/watching while working on it but got distracted, so I didn't get very far.

I have been doing lots of reading lately- came across this great app called Scribd! There are a ton of books on there and I got a three month free trial. After the trial is up, it is only 8.99 a month I believe.  It is very worth it because there are so many books available on it, and I am the type of person that has so many books that I want to read, I try to buy books used or cheap and get rid of them once I've read them. (With the exception of classics and a few books that I really really love.) So this app is going to save me a ton of money.   I said I was always going to be a paperback girl but now I have finally ventured into the world of e-books. It's not so bad after all.  DH got me an iPad mini for Christmas, so now I can have books with me wherever I go, and it's a bit more compact!

I am still getting the ipsy bags- I love them! It's like giving myself a present every month. And if there is something in it I don't like, usually my daughter does. ☺ This was my bag this month-
This month was a full size eyeliner, a full size lip balm, a full size eyeshadow, a tube of pink shimmer cream(I use it as a light blush), and a sample with multiple uses of daily moisturizer.  Not bad for $10+ tax.  If you're interested please click here to sign up. ☺ You also can get points on your account for sharing your bag on facebook or going to the site and leaving feedback on the products in your bag. The points can be cashed in for extra products. ☺☺

I did something new this year- I started a happiness jar.  Has anyone heard of it? I saw it via a facebook post.  You get a jar and every day on a little slip of paper write something that made you happy that day, even if it's just a little thing.  Then at the end of the year go back and read all the things that made you happy. ♥  I confess I have been slacking a little bit the last week or so. I keep forgetting about it. I put it on my night stand now so at the end of the day I will remember to do it.

Please pray for my furbabies next Friday- they are both getting fixed.  They have been having a little aggression toward each other and we are hoping it will help.  Overall they still get along really well, but have occasionally been having fights- real ones where they actually draw blood!   I have gotten some advice from friends with multiple dogs and other Corgi owners as well and several said to fix them.  We did not plan on breeding them anyway so it needed to be done and done soon.  Much as I would love a bunch of little Corgi babies running around, I do not have any dog breeding experience.  And I would probably want to keep them all. ♥ I can't afford that!

I have been loving my drives home lately- this is the time of year that the sun is setting as I drive home so I see many beautiful skies!  Here are a couple-

DH went to a fishing expo a few weekends ago- while he was there he saw a man selling hedgehogs and send me this picture-
Look at that cutie! I have wanted a hedgehog for a long time.  I thought maybe he was going to buy me one- but alas- when he went to find out how much they were the man was gone. :( Oh well, maybe next year? hee hee..

Well... that's the latest!   I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and new year! We had a very nice one- my mother-in-law was visiting and we had a great time.

I will sign off with my sweeties- they were wanting my Life cereal when I took this. 
Not the best photo because of course they both moved!

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

I know, not much stitching lately but I have been on a roll reading books!  I was recently given the opportunity to read this awesome novel,...