Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Something to Stitch About…Stitching Goals for 2017




I have so many embroidery and cross-stitch projects that I’ve bought then just stashed in my sewing boxes and bags that it’s starting to get ridiculous. So, I decided that one of my goals for 2017 would be to tackle some of my stitching projects and so Something to Stitch About was born.

 

I’m going to be realistic with my goal and aim for 5 finished stitching projects by the end of the year. If I manage more, that will be great but 5 seems reasonable.



Projects I want to finish

 

o   Wolf Mum and her pups
o   Life is Sweet Apron
o   Frosty Memories Lap Quilt
o   Beauty and the Beast Pillowcases
o   Magpie cross-stitch

 

My Projects and Progress

 

Here’s what I’m currently working on….A wolf mum and her pups. I’ve been working on this one for nearly 2 years…
 
 



Do you embroider or cross-stitch?
Do you have projects you need to catch up on?  
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts



Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist - and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers give him grief for his compulsive list making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery MacTavish....  

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation - and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.  

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of BoonsBoro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected - and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last…. 

Series: Inn BoonsBoro #2 | Publisher: Brilliance Audio | Narrator: MacLeod Andrews  | Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Ratings: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Reading Through Nora Roberts

So this is the second book in the Inn BoonsBoro trilogy and I was thrilled to be back in the world of the Montgomery brothers. While I enjoyed Avery and Owen, this book felt a little lackluster to me.
 
Here’s what’s going on. Owen and Avery have been friends since childhood, now they’ve finally stopped fighting their attraction and decided to see where things will lead. Although, due to things that happened in her past, Avery is hesitant to fully allow her feelings for Owen to surface and Owen will stop at nothing to convince her they’re meant to be together.
 
Owen and Avery was such a fun couple. He lives by schedules and lists and she’s more of a spur of the moment type so they had that opposites attract thing going on and I loved watching that play out.
 
I really liked Owen. He’s was a solid, dependable guy who loves his family and will do anything he can for them. Plus, I’m a total sucker for organized guys. I struggled with Avery. I completely understood where she was coming from but the way she handled things didn’t gel with me and I ended up not liking her at times. I also found her to act a bit immature and annoying, especially when she was with Hope
 
There was still quite a bit of information thrown in about the inn. While it wasn’t as annoying or distracting as it was in book one—I guess I knew what was coming with inn descriptions this time—I still felt that it could have been carved down so more time could have been given to the characters.
 
Okay, so this is probably going to sound a little silly, but my favorite thing about this book was Lizzie, the ghost. More of her story was revealed and I found her to be interesting.
 
This was my second time listening to MacLeod Andrews narrate. While I knew what to expect with his narration style, I still found that his female and child narrations came off as whiney. I do enjoy his male narrations although I would have liked to have seen more of a distinction between Owen and Beckett. Out of his narrations for all three Montgomery brothers, Ryder is the only one that had a different narration style.
 

 
Overall, this one wasn’t a bad book, I thoroughly enjoyed Owen and Avery, but it was lackluster and left me wanting more.




 
 Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy
2-The Last Boyfriend
3-The Perfect Hope

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sign Up: 2017 Outlander Series Reading Challenge


 
Are you addicted to the television series but haven’t read the books? Or have you had the books sitting on your shelf but haven’t picked them up yet? Maybe you want a chance to re-read the series. Well, here’s your chance! Dust off those copies and join the 2017 Outlander Series Reading Challenge.

 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Timeframe: January 9th, 2017—December 31st, 2017
 
Goal—To read through the Outlander Series and the shorts.
 
What Counts
Ø Books must be read in 2017
Ø Re-reads count
Ø All formats (print, digital, or audio) count
 
Who can join? Anyone.
Ø Bloggers, set up a challenge post and link it below.
Ø Not a blogger? It’s okay, just set up an Outlander Series Reading Challenge shelf on GoodReads.
Ø Make sure you join the Facebook group, because fun mini-challenges and giveaways will be posted there. You’ll also have the chance to meet and interact with other Outlander fans who are participating in the challenge.  
 
Check In Posts: Will be the last Friday of each month with the exception of November.
January 27 | February 24 | March 31 | April 28 | May 26 | June 30 | July 28 | August 25 | September 29 | October 27 | November  30 (Thursday)| December  29 (Final Check In Post)

Check In Giveaways will be random, so please check the blog every month.



Bloggers, grab the button to let others know you’re joining in
 
grab button for 2017 Outlander Reading Challenge
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Nonbloggers, please leave a comment letting me know you’re joining in.


Add your link
 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2016

 

I have to say, I’m not too upset about bidding 2016 adieu. It was one of those years I gladly pushed out the door. Although, even with the lows of the year, there were still some pretty neat thing about 2016. Like getting out an exploring my area—I didn’t check out as many places as I would have liked, but it was a start—and wearing a corset—seriously I applaud the women through history who wore these things and survived! 
 
 
2016 was a weird reading year. I had a lot of DNF’s this year and some were from authors whose work I normally love. I also expanded my genres adding in some thrillers, contemporary literature, and getting back into non-fiction, gothic romance, and cozy mysteries.  Out of all the books I read and reviewed, only one earned a 5-Cup rating.
 
Here are my favorites from 2016
 
Non-fiction
Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart 5 Cups Audiobook
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson
 
Thriller
Edge by Tiffinie Helmer 
 
Cozy Mystery
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
Death and the Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris
Teetotaled by Maia Chance
A Scone to Die for by H.Y. Hanna
 
Contemporary Literature
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
Finding Fraser by KC Dyer
 
Contemporary Romance
Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason
Waking up with A Billionaire by Katie Lane
Run to You by Rachel Lacey
The Next Always by Nora Roberts
I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre
A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay
A Texas Cowboy's Christmas by Cathy Gillen Thacker
 
Gothic Romance
House of Glass by Jen Christie
 
Paranormal Romance
Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper
White Tiger by Jennifer Ashley



 
What books topped your 2016 list?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday {#61}: The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek







“Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.





First off, isn’t that the cutest cover? I would love to have it as a print to hang on my wall. Anywho, I’ve been having so much fun with this series and the fictional town it’s set in.
 

Title: The Chocolate Cure
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Release Date: January 12, 2017
 
No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!
 
New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.
 
But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.
 
The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could be Maddie’s professional salvation. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on





 


 
 
What are you lovelies waiting on?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Reading Through Nora Roberts Challenge


 
I’m revamping and updating my Reading Through Nora Roberts Challenge. I’m not really changing anything challenge-wise, just cleaning up the post, switching the comment box over to Disqus, and adding new graphics.
 
So on to the challenge info…
 
How did this challenge come about, you ask? Well, years ago, I read a Nora Roberts book—I can’t even recall the title—and for some unknown reason, I decided to avoid her books like they had the plague.
 
At the start of 2014, I was walking through a bookstore and the cover of Dark Witch  caught my eye. The cover called to me and I just had to pick it up. When I spotted Nora Roberts was the author, I nearly put it back down but it seemed the book had a hold on me and soon I was the owner of a Nora Roberts book…the first Nora Roberts book I had purchased in ten years.
 
On the drive home from the bookstore, I had a bit of an argument with myself. It went something like this: ‘You know you’re not going to read it. The cover was all nice and shiny and it had that new book smell, that’s why you picked it up. It’s a Nora Roberts book, you know you probably just wasted your money. That book is just going to sit on your shelf and collect dust.’  
 
That night I made a pot of tea, sat down in my comfy chair, and decided to give Dark Witch  a go. And guess what, lovelies? I was hooked from the very first page. I couldn’t put it down and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning finishing the book.
 
Then I got to thinking, if I liked this book, perhaps I should give her writing another try and it actually prompted me to start my own personal reading challenge, ‘Reading Through Nora Roberts’.
 
There is no set time limit to this challenge. I plan to read them whenever I take a fancy to pick one up or when one arrives for review. And there’s no set format that I’m sticking to, the books can be print, e-book, or audiobooks. When I finish one, I’ll post a review. Depending on the book, the reviews could be mini reviews or long reviews. And I’m going to be realistic, there’s probably going to be some of her books I won’t like and some will probably be DNF’s.
 
I’m open to recommendations so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments or send me an email. If you want to join in on the challenge, just leave a link in the comments or on one of the monthly challenge updates I’ll post.

 
The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
 
Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy
2-The Last Boyfriend
3-The Perfect Hope
 

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay



'Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she's determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself...
 

After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it's harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime.

 

Series: Chapel of Love #1| Publisher: Forever | Genre:  Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher| Rating: 4 Cups

Hope, healing, renewal, romance, and a dash of Christmas magic made this such an amazing book.

 

Here’s what’s going on. Willow’s been away from her hometown for quite a while. Returning after her world was turned upside down and branded as a ‘troublemaker’—something she never wanted to be known as—Willow’s struggling to figure out what to do with her life. Since the death of his wife, which happened to be Willow’s best friend, David Lyndon has been struggling with trying to raise his eight-year-old daughter, find some way to enjoy Christmas, figure out a way to get rid of the inn that was his wife’s project, and still run for office to appease his political family. Although when Willow starts showing interest in the inn and the goddaughter she’s more or less ignored, David starts paying attention to her.

 

Willow and David were two of my favorite characters. They’re both wounded and hurt and they have a lot of healing to do. I really wanted them to help each other heal, grow, and figure out what they wanted to do with their lives. And what made them both so interesting is the fact that their families are polar opposites. Her mother is a vegan hippie always up for a good protest and David comes from a long line of wealthy politicians always up for rubbing elbows with those who can help further their careers.

 

Children in romances can either make or break the book and, thankfully, Natalie made this book. I really enjoyed watching Willow grow close to Natalie. The little girl is in need of someone on her side. Of course, she has her maternal grandmother, but, since the death of her mother, she’s been missing someone that will sort of step into that roll. I also enjoyed watching David figure out how to be a father to Natalie. I mean, he loves his daughter, but because he was more or less raised in a family that never showed loved, he doesn’t know how to comfort or show his daughter what she means to him. So it was nice to watch him figuring it out.

 

There were so many secondary characters in this book. Most of them I enjoyed, some I wanted a house to land on them. They were just hateful things that I really wanted to see be put in their places. Sadly, it didn’t happen.

 

Overall, I really loved this one. Hope Ramsay is such a delight to read and A Christmas Bride is an amazing start to a new series.



 
What makes a Christmas romance stand out to you?
 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: Gabriel's Angel by Nora Roberts



All Gabriel Bradley wanted was solitude. But when a very pregnant - and very beautiful - woman ended up at his remote cabin during a blizzard, desperate, alone, and on the run, the modern-day Scrooge couldn't turn her away. For Laura brought him the gifts of passion, hope, and life - he needed only the courage to reach for it.

 

Publisher: Brilliance Audio | Narrator: Todd Haberkorn  | Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Ratings: Story: 2.5 Cups Performance: 3.5 Cups

 
Challenges Read For: Reading Through Nora Roberts

Have you ever had a book you’re just not sure of? Well, that’s what’s going on here. I mean, it wasn’t a bad book. Unrealistic? Yes. Was I head over heels for it? Nope. Did I enjoy it? Parts of it.
 
The just of the story is that Gabe rescues a pregnant woman from a blizzard. He’s staying at a remote cabin trying to avoid people while dealing with the grief of losing his brother. Laura is running from her ex-in-laws who are determined to take her baby once it’s born to replace the son they lost. So, Laura and Gabe are stuck in the cabin together and soon bond over the birth of her son. Then to protect both Laura and her child, Gabe decides to marry her and take them back to his mansion. Mixed in with all of this is Gabe finally finding inspiration to paint again and Laura questioning everything everyone does and then pouting about it.
 
So, I liked Gabe. He’s sort of broody but mores in the artistic/painter type not the dark-walk-along-the-moors-looking-for-the-ghost-of-your-ex-lover type. He’s a very solid guy and, even though he’s got his own emotional mess to deal with, he’s still willing to step-up and help out Laura and her son.
 
Laura was just down right annoying. I mean, there were times, few and very far between, when I thought that Laura was starting to turn into a likable character but those hopes were quickly dashed by the way she constantly questioned everything that Gabe did or thought. And she would sort of go off for no reason at all. She would come up with these random thoughts then accuse Gabe of doing it. Laura was just too much for me.
 
The romance just wasn’t solid for me. There was an attraction, but I didn’t feel an actual romance developing. To me it seemed that Gabe, while he honestly wanted to protect Laura and her son, it almost seemed as though he fell for her to help him get through his grief. And Laura, I think it was just a matter of finding someone that would help her hide from her ex-in-laws. It never seemed true to me.
 
Overall, this one was just okay for me. It’s not one of her stronger short stories. And I had a few problems with the way everything was just sort of done and dusted in the blink of eye such as legal problems that just disappeared overnight.


I really enjoyed the way Todd Haberkorn narrated the book. It was my first time listening to him and I found his voice to be riveting. And I even enjoyed his female narrations.  What I had trouble with was the audiobook itself. The volume was really low on this one, even with it turned up to the max.



 
 
What’s your favorite Nora Roberts book?