Monday, August 29, 2011

And the Winner of the Book Giveaway is . . . . .

Callie Nicole!

Using a random number generator, we find Callie Nicole is the winner of my book giveaway for the novel "The Girl in the Gatehouse"!!  Congratulations, Callie Nicole!  And thanks to everyone who participated and left comments, etc.! That was fun for me and I hope for all of you, too!

Callie Nicole, if you could please email me (see my email listed on the r.h. sidebar) your mailing address and full name I will be sure to get the book mailed to you within the next week or so.  I anticipate that since you said you are a Jane Austen fan, you will derive great enjoyment from this novel! You will definitely have to tell me what you think of it when you read it.

Will post again soon, but for now, ttfn!  Have a great day everyone!  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There's New Post and Info on My Quilt Site!

Hello All!
Just a heads-up that I made a post with some details about what all I am able to offer as far as quilts, blankets and x-large receiving blankets go!  I don't only design and create baby and toddler quilts, I can take orders for larger quilts but they are first-come-first-serve so please, don't hesitate to contact me if interested! There are a lot more details at my quilt site, so go to a{R}tisan Quilts!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

George Washington Carver by John Perry: Book Review

This book proved to have a lot of information on George Washington Carver, a man whose name I knew but little else besides the fact he had something to do with inventions surrounding cotton and peanuts and loved God.

I enjoyed learning a lot more about his life (the book went into a lot of detail about everything, not the least of which Carver's views on God, His Creation, etc).  I didn't know he was such a beloved educator at the Tuskegee College for Colored Folks, and I did agree with much of how he viewed the purpose and thus direction of education. However, the one drawback to me was the book seemed a little "dry."  I know not all biographies are going to be suspenseful or thrilling, but this one came across to me as more factual rather like a textbook.  I appreciated the information, but the style just seemed dry.  Perhaps it's just me, I don't know!  I would recommend it, with the warning that it is rather dry and longer than you'd think at under 200 pages.

A couple passages I really thought were interesting and uplifting . . .  "He [Carver] wasn't there to spoonfeed his students, but rather to encourage and guide them on their own journeys of self discovery. In an introduction .... Carver wrote that 'every teacher should realize that a very large proportion of every student's work must lie outside the classroom . . . The study of Nature is both entertaining and instructive' . . . " (pg 57)  And I also really appreciated this insightful quote from Carver: "To me nature in its varied forms are the little windows through which God permits me to commune with him, and to see much of his glory, by simply lifting the curtain, and looking in."  (pg. 61)

Thanks to BookSneeze for the free copy provided me for the purpose of my honest and original review.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Come See My Book Giveaway!!!

Hello Friends!

Recently I read a good and interesting book that I purchased on sale at Barnes and Noble (my favorite store of ALL stores thus far in my short life!).  It was entitled, "The Girl in the Gatehouse" by Julie Klassen.  Klassen is a Christian author, published by Bethany House.  And I want to give it away to one of you!!!!

This novel has a Jane Austen air to it, so for those of you who love the classics by Austen, you need to read this book!  It was sweet, as well as interesting because there are a lot of elements that keep you in relative suspense until very near the end!  If I tell too much more I will give it away I think.  But suffice it to say, the female protagonist writes novels in secret (it was frowned upon for women to write in her time), everyone she meets has a colorful past and secrets of their own beside her particular circumstances . . . and it ends with a bang!  :-)

I enjoyed reading "The Girl in the Gatehouse," but I want to pass it on to another person who would enjoy it as much or even more than I did! So . . . here's the scoop . . . to enter this giveaway, you will need to do just a few easy things:

1) Leave a comment on this post and tell me if you've read a novel by Julie Klassen yet AND if you are a fan of Jane Austen novels, or if you just want to be and so this novel is how you'd begin that lovely obsession!

2) Head on over to my other blog, a{R}tisan Quilts and leave a comment in response to my latest question/post on there, the one about what would you like to see featured in a quilt (can be anything, but in particular, what fabric designs, colors, or block designs etc).  Then check out the photos page on the same blog, go to the bottom of the page and tell me simply which of the fabrics featured on there so far (more to come!) is your favorite and why!

Easy enough, right?  :-)   I appreciate all of your input and I am excited to see which of your names will be drawn when the time comes!  You have until August 27th to enter!  In the words of a favorite novel I recently read, "Let the games begin!"  (courtesy of The Hunger Games of course!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To Love . . . and Love Again

Have you ever had a situation in your life that made you want to run and hide and recoil from any human contact, simply because you had been so severely wounded on a repeated basis by someone you used to trust and love? Then you will likely be able to understand some of what I have dealt with for a while now.

How am I to love . . . and love again?  I have asked myself this many times.  It's not that I do not desire to love the person who has repeatedly wronged or wounded me.  On the contrary, I want to love them and make that love an obvious, every day thing.  But they will not allow it.

Perhaps you are thinking, "Not allow it?  What could that mean? A person cannot possibly disallow someone from loving them, can they?"  Unfortunately, it seems they can.  Now I want to clarify: I do not mean that, in choosing to not be around this person and to instead love them from a necessary distance, that they are not loved at all. What I mean is, you can try and try to love another all you want until you have reached the end of your rope . . . until you cannot possibly stretch out toward them any father for fear of falling off the precipice yourself, but it doesn't guarantee that they will feel loved.  It doesn't guarantee that they will know love.  Even real, genuine, godly love straight from your sincere heart, from every fiber of your being.  It is my belief that, inasmuch as we must choose to love others, we must also choose to be loved.

Inasmuch as we must choose to love others, we must also choose to be loved.  Well, that is a rather bold statement, don't you think?  Perhaps this is how you feel.  But please, pause and think about the statement.  Do we not have to choose, every day of our lives, to love those God brings into our circle?  You are not human if you haven't experienced, some point in time, the exasperation of trying to love someone deemed "unlovable," or if you haven't felt what it's like to just about not love someone anymore because they are "old news" . . . and then make your decision to love based on your feelings.  All of us at some point have faced such situations.

My hope is that you choose to love.  Love and love and love yet again.  But turn that back on yourself.  Do you accept love when it is offered to you from another? Do you truly accept and gladly receive the love they offer you, big or small, bold or subtle, instantaneous or gradual?  Or do you wave it aside and move on as if you were never faced with the gift?

You can take it from someone who knows: giving your love over and over to someone who refuses to choose to be loved by you hurts.  It hurts terribly.  And it shouldn't ever, ever, I repeat ever have to be that way.  Not if we all choose to walk in love and to not only give God's genuine love to others, but choose to be loved whether in return, or simply as a complete gift with no strings attached.

Please think on this today.  Please think about the people in your life, those God has brought to you in one way or another.  Which of those choose to be loved by you?  Which are you choosing to be loved by?  Love . . . and love again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Convenient Fun of "The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck" by Kathleen Y'Barbo

If you would care to rate my book reviews on Blogging for Books, I would be grateful as reviews can help me increase the variety of books I can choose from and make various formats more readily available to me!  Just click on the "review here" highlighted line that accompanies every book review here on my blog, including this one!  All you have to do is mark the stars you think my review deserves, and your input is anonymous as well. Thank you! :) 

I didn't realize until after I completed this novel that it was actually the 3rd and final book in a trilogy about Charlotte Beck.  Apparently it is a good stand-alone novel, as well!

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck is a fun, easy, interesting read.  The faith parts become denser about 3/4 of the way through the book and into the end, without ever getting into much detail; they were rather skimmed over as far as how faith in God would affect Charlotte or her special man.  I think it would have been good to make faith a bit more of an "issue."  Otherwise, it was just fine.

The story is different in plot than any I've read before.  While there are definitely familiar aspects such as romance, struggles for power, the hard-headed and opinionated girl antagonist, etc. it is a different plot than one might expect.  I knew how it would end, but I did enjoy the book.  It took me a short time to read it all and I did catch myself laughing aloud a few times!  I would recommend this book as an entertaining, easy read that will lift your heart. To rate my review click here.

Please note: I was provided a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing for the purpose of writing a review.  All opinions expressed in my review are original and honest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Your Opinions are Sought!

Please drop on in my blog for quilts to give me your opinions on some questions I've posed on there about quilts and what you want to see featured in a quilt!  I want to see what folks look for and prefer!  You can read this short post and drop your opinions by way of comments here:What do you want to see featured in a quilt.

Thanks and have a great day! Talk to you all soon! :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Photos have been added to a{R}tisan Quilts!

Hello Friends!

Wanted to give you a heads-up that some photos have been added to my newest blog, a{R}tisan Quilts!  There are photos of a quilt I recently made that is bright and cheerful and an excellent weight for warmer months, especially.  There are also photos of some current fabrics I have.  There's a new post with additional details about what sets my quilts apart from your average blanket/quilt for your special little one! So please, stop in!

See you all soon!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stop in and See My Newest Blog! All about Quilts!!

Please stop in and see my newest blog.  It is still very much under construction with photos and descriptions and details to be added in the near future.  But I am selling the quilts that I design and craft, and they can be very personalized!  I will be working the most on baby/small children quilts at least for the foreseeable future.

Please stop in and also spread the word amongst friends and any folks you think might be in the market for buying personalized, beautiful, artisan quality quilts!  See you later . . . here and at a{R}tisan Quilts! 

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann: It is True to Name!

"'I'm just the weird one who remembers what I see. Especially faces.' 'Why faces?' 'In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.'" (Indelible)  This is what Natalie, the intriguing woman who crosses paths with the equally intriguing Trevor, faces every day.  To many, this unique eidetic memory she possesses is an intimidating and awful gift. To Natalie, it poses a handicap.  Till she meets Trevor.

Trevor is haunted with his own ghosts, past and present.  When he begins facing these ghosts he never tried to summon forth, his world -- and Natalie's along with him -- comes crashing in.  Will they both be able to face their own demons to see themselves and each other through to the other side, more whole than they were at the start? You will be surprised at how this book ends!

This book was, to borrow a cliche, a page-turner for me!  It had just the right amount of suspense, mystery, spine-chilling elements without being totally "spooky."  It also incorporated real faith - the kind that has questions and asks them - in a straightforward, yet quiet and non-preachy way.  The characters were solid and believable, really drawing me in.  The plot line was excellent.  The setting was beautiful.  The artistic and outdoorsy/sports elements discussed gave the impression the author really knew what she was writing about.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, man or woman, for a great, thrilling, satisfying read.

****If you would care to rate my review (it's super easy, you just follow the link and give my review however many stars you think it merits! That's it!), please do so by clicking here.  I appreciate an honest rating of my reviews, how well you think they are written, the content, the interest level, etc!  :)  

Please note: I was provided a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah publishing (Blogging for Books) in order to write a review.  All opinions expressed are honest and are my own.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Say "Yum" for the Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen!!

I will admit that initially, I was thinking perhaps "The Chocolate Diaries" would be only slightly original and a lot like the stack of devotional-type books I'd read; a bit trite or something, or too superficial. Yet, I really wanted to give it a try. Being visually drawn to lovely and eclectic book covers, I found the cover of this book particularly cute and whimsical and it made me want to read what was inside all the more.  SO glad I did!

This book is very down-to-earth and not theologically deep in that you don't have to try to wade your way through it.  The format, to me, is much like a good girlfriend, sharing her stories -- humorous and touching both -- with you over a cup of coffee and (of COURSE!) a piece of good chocolate or two!  There were times in this book I found myself giggling.  But there were also many, many points, stories, suggestions, and lists that touched me at the heart and either helped convict me or encourage me or both!  This was an enjoyable and helpful, REAL read from a truly genuine woman.  I loved reading it alone, and am quite sure it would make a fun, lighthearted and yet profound shared read for a Bible Study or such!

Try it for yourself -- and don't forget some chocolate!!  :-)

If you'd like to rank my review for "The Chocolate Diaries" on Blogging for Books (I would love it if you did!), please do so by clicking here.  To rank my other reviews, please click here for The God I Never Knew and here for Out of a Far Country.  Thank you for taking the time! 

Please note I was given a free copy of this book in order to write a review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing.  All opinions are honest and are my own.