Sunday, March 19, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 11

Mar 12: 28
Mar 13: 25  Snow from 2:00 am - 7:00 pm
Mar 14: 23
Mar 15: 31
Mar 16: 41
Mar 17: 32 *St. Patrick's Day* Snow from 10:00 am - noon, Rain from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Mar 18: 39 Rain from midnight - noon

When doing the row for Thursday (March 16), I ran out of yarn about a foot from the end of the row. I had already looked for more yarn at both Meijer and Walmart, but neither store had any. I looked online and almost everywhere it was "Sold out". I finally found a 3 pack of the correct yarn on Amazon. It was supposed to arrive on Sunday, but in the meantime, I couldn't do any more rows for the week. I was happy to see my package waiting for me when I got home from church so I could get my blanket up to date. But when I took the yarn out, it was darker than the yarn I had originally even though they were both "Light Sage". Argh!! When I was searching for this yarn, I saw one that looked the right color but was lighter than "Light Sage" and since that was what I had, I got that. I should have gone with the visually correct one instead of the one with the correct name. So I will have to order a new skein and wait some more and now I have 3 skeins of yarn to do something with!

A foot short of finishing my row 

My new yarn doesn't match!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Murder for the Time Being" by Joanie Bruce

About the Book

FINAL - Murder for the Time Being Front 72dpi
Click to purchase your copy

Book: Murder for the Time Being
Author: Joanie Bruce
Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016
“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”
Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?
Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.
Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

About the Author

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Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

My Thoughts

I have not read any books by Joanie Bruce before, so I didn't know what to expect, but wow, the book starts right off with suspense and action! The book kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen next. I kept coming up with theories of what was going on and then something else would happen and I would revise what I was thinking. The faith element was nicely done and a good presentation of the Gospel is given. There were a lot of different point of view characters. In order of their first personal point of view, they were: Cindi Grover, Lexi Wynn, Drew Sheffield, "Fizz", Craig Patrick, Diana Wynn, "DQ", Travis Wynn, Joe Kellogg, Marcus Powers, Sid Barlow, Dr. Abel Cassidy, and Jacob Wynn. Some of them had more "screen time" than other characters, but they each had at least a section told from their view point. Even when you were following the "bad guys", you still didn't know what was going on, which added to the suspense and mystery. There were a few things that seemed a bit too coincidental, especially near the end of the book, but it did wrap up the story and give it a happily ever after. I look forward to reading more books by Joanie Bruce.
Guest Post from Joanie Bruce
Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.
In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.
This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.
After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 16: A Reader’s Brain
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
"Murder for the Time Being" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ambassador International (November 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620205777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620205778
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1389 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ambassador International (November 29, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M5GV05N

I got a free copy of this book for the tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 10

Mar 5: 46
Mar 6: 57
Mar 7: 59 Rain from 2:00 am - 7:00 am
Mar 8: 45
Mar 9: 41
Mar 10: 29
Mar 11: 28

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Buried Secrets" by Rachel J. Good

About the Book

Buried Secrets_Good

Book: Buried Secrets
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.
Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.
But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

My Thoughts

"Buried Secrets" is the second book in the "Sisters and Friends" series. As with most books that are part of a series, I recommend reading "Buried Secrets" after you read the first book in the series, "Change of Heart". If you read "Buried Secrets" alone, you will be just as surprised about Emma's past as she is when it comes to light. I really liked Sam and Emma's relationship and how it grew. He was so kind and thoughtful toward her. I felt sorry for her as she floundered to know who she was and how she felt like she made problems wherever she went. I was happy to see mending of relationships and personal spiritual growth for the characters. I didn't want to put the book down and I can't wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out.

About the Author

rachel-photo-web-1Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her websiteFacebookauthor pageTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.
In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.
Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.
Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.
I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.
Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.

Book Excerpt
Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.
Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.
“Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.” 
A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.
Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.
“Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.
“I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.
The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”
“I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.
“There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.
“Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.
Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.
He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”
“Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.
Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”
Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.
 I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

March 9: autism mom
March 13: Bigreadersite
March 15: Carpe Diem
March 16: Splashes of Joy
March 20: A Greater Yes
March 22: Rhonda’s Doings
March 22: Karen Sue Hadley


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

"Buried Secrets" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Sisters and Friends (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Realms (March 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629989533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1629989532
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1652 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1629989533
  • Publisher: Realms (March 7, 2017)
  • Publication Date: March 7, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HX2U3SQ

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Temperature Blanket - Week 9

It is hard to believe that I've been doing my temperature blanket for more than 2 months! Since this week saw the end of February, I thought I'd update my comparison count for how many colors my blanket has compared to the 'standard' chart. Also, I had several people ask how to know when one month started and another ended, so I decided to do the first day of the month using half double crochet instead of single crochet, but then I forgot to do it! I remembered about it the day before, but didn't remember again until 3 days late! Maybe I'll remember for April.

Feb 26: 41
Feb 27: 49
Feb 28: 53 Rain from 7:00 am - 9:00 am and from 6:30 pm - midnight
Mar 1: 53 Rain from midnight to 2:00 am. Snow from 4:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mar 2: 31 Snow from noon - 2:00 and 11:00 pm - midnight
Mar 3: 27
Mar 4: 32

Using my temperature scale, I had the following number of days of each temperature. (The first number is for just February and the second is cumulative for the whole year)

 < 9 :   0/0
10-14: 0/2
15-19: 0/2
20-24: 3/4
25-29: 1/5
30-34: 3/10
35-39: 6/17
40-44: 6/8
45-49: 3/4
50-54: 1/1
55-59: 3/4
60-64: 3/3 
(11 colors)

Using the more common scale, I would have ended up with:

 <  22: 3/8
23-32: 4/13
33-43: 12/27
44-53: 4/5
54-66: 6/7
(5 colors)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review: "Redeeming Grace" by Jill Eileen Smith

This book was interesting because it starts when Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon, and Chilion are still in Bethlehem. It was interesting to have them have a "back story". We also meet Boaz and his wife. I didn't even think about the fact that Boaz might be a widower when he met Ruth.  The book has three sections. The first is when Naomi and her family were in Bethlehem and their time in Moab. The second section covers when Naomi and Ruth go from Moab back to Bethlehem and the final section starts when Ruth goes to the threshing floor to talk to Boaz about being a kinsman redeemer. I liked how Naomi taught Ruth about God and the Isrealites' culture. The book is written in 3rd person and follows Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. I really liked how the book showed the characters' struggles, insecurities, and weaknesses but how they learned to trust God, have faith, and obey.

"Redeeming Grace" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Daughters of the Promised Land (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800720369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720360
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 7042 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800720369
  • Publisher: Revell (February 14, 2017)
  • Publication Date: February 14, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway: "Shine Like the Dawn" by Carrie Turansky

About the Book

Click to purchase

Book: Shine Like the Dawn
Author: Carrie Turansky
Genre: Historical
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

My Thoughts

I really liked  Nate and his desire to follow God and do what was the right thing to do even if others around him pressured him not to. I liked Maggie, too, but was a little perturbed with her and her stubbornness to see that Nate didn't abandon her when her parents died.  I really didn't like Mrs. Harcourt, but I suspect it was meant that you wouldn't! I found the book to be easy to read and it flowed well. I still wished I could read faster so I could find out what was going to happen. The book is written in third person point of view and it is written from the view points of Nathaniel Harcourt, Maggie Lounsbury, and Lilly Neatherton. Besides the main romance between Maggie and Nate, there is a couple of side stories which include Lilly's love story and the mystery about what really happened to cause the boat to sink which killed Maggie's parents and sister. I really liked the faith thread woven through the book and how things worked out in the end. 

About the Author
cturansky-2CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

By Carrie Turansky

MaggieinHatOne fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwa2e59191fde836985dfd98f399afeae46rdian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.6ca0c7f3f38874b8095d6884c2fd52f6

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

68e75a1cae2f5eb955404bdff990157cMotion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.
I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?
Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.
Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Like to my Facebook Author page:
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post:

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews
February 21: Bookworm Mama
February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews
February 22: Book by Book
February 23: Bibliophile Reviews
February 23: Smiling Book Reviews
February 23: A Readers Brain
February 23: Faithfully Bookish
February 23: Lane Hill House
February 24: Back Porch Reads
February 24: The Scribbler
February 24: I Hope You Dance
February 25: Stuff & Nonsense
February 25: The Power of Words
February 25: A Greater Yes
February 26: cherylbbookblog
February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 26: Splashes of Joy
February 27: Genesis 5020
February 27: inklings and notions
February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 28: Karen Sue Hadley
February 28: Neverending Stories
March 3: Pause for Tales
March 3: Mary Hake
March 4: Radiant Light
March 6: Baker Kella


To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

"Shine Like the Dawn" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah; Uncorrected edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429401
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.4 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 4131 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1601429401
  • Publisher: Multnomah (February 21, 2017)
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2017
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English

I got a free copy of this book as part of the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received.