The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. IL: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2019. 308 pages. **** Reading Group Guide, Conversation with the Author.

Cussy Mary Carter is a strong independent woman who thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project works as a traveling librarian. Delivering books from the back of her stubborn, feisty, mule Junia, Cussy provides us a glimpse into a world of poverty, hunger, prejudice, and a people with an eagerness to learn. The only child of a hard-working coal miner, she is determined to stay single and to provide for herself. Her father suffering from a lung disease from working in the mines is equally determined to find her a husband to care for her when he is gone. It's the 1930s and medicine, money, and food are scarce, but the residents of Troublesome Creek look out for their own unless they are people of color. Cussy is the last of her people her skin a light blue, caused by Methemoglobinemia. Many are suspicious of her kind and prejudices run deep causing Cussy to take dangerous risks to deliver the books and find love and friendship along her route.

Richardson has skillfully woven the story of the traveling librarians together with the true blue-skinned-people of Kentucky. I was mesmerized by the life of the characters and stopped midbook to research. Richardson has provided black and white images from the Project, which adds to the story. As a retired librarian, I may be biased in my enthusiasm for her characterization of Cussy. Traveling on horses to deliver books has always seemed adventurous, but the reality of the suffering, hardships, and dangers experienced by the librarians is all too clear in this story. A woman of color traveling alone is an easy target for misguided religious men who are outraged by her mission and the subject of some of the books. I definitely recommend this book even though at times it was a difficult read. The hardships are intense and real. Add it to your "To Be Read" list but carve out some time to be totally absorbed by the story. 

To read more about Methemoglobinemia:


Images of the Blue skinned people of Kentucky

Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project:



Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in western North Carolina. She is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence and has partnered with the Navy globally to bring awareness and education to te prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the best-selling memoir The Unbreakable Child and is the founder of the tiny home Shy Rabbit, a writer/artists scholarship residency. Her novels include Liar's Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and the Sisiters of Glass Ferry.

#thebookwomanoftroublesomecreek #historicalfiction

2019 Monthly Color Challenge - October

October - Rose (Red)

To find this month's pattern, check out Jen's Blog.

Dark red and light red, not exactly sure what those colors are?

I pulled my reds...

These two reds seem to have the highest contrast, so we'll see how they play with each other!

My favorite tools and I am good to go... I love Karen Kay Buckley scissors with their serrated edge, worth every penny!

This is an easy block to construct and Jen's instructions are clearly written. Laying out the block before sewing helps keep the pieces in order.

 The block turned out perfectly.

Pip approves of how well the colors go together!

Visit this month's bloggers and checkout their blocks:

Patterns By Jen
Bear Paw Stitch & Design
The Quilted Diary
Kentucky Whittaker Creations
Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Follow me on Instagram to see all of my quilting endeavors! (kathy.nester)

#2019monthlycolorchallenge #octoberblock #octoberredroses


A Crafter Quilts A Crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery  (by Holly Quinn. New York: Crooked Lane Books, 2020. Recipes. ****

Sammy Kane owns and manages Community Craft, a retail store on Main Street in Heartsford, Wisconsin. It's the best shopping night of the year, the Fire and Ice Event, and Sammy has a brilliant idea to attract customers to her shop. She asked the vendors from Community Craft to be live-mannequins inside the storefront display window. The plan goes awry when one of the mannequins looks blue despite the bright lights. Sandy, her sister and cousin, in their childhood formed an investigative club nicknamed S.H.E. They decided to insert themselves into the murder investigation to discover who murdered their quilting friend, Wanda. Detective Nash is not amused when Sammy is kidnapped by the chief suspect and proposes a convoluted theory about a map and clues hidden in a quilt made by Wanda.

This cozy mystery provides a respite from everyday life. The characters are likable and predictable (in a good way) and will entertain you. The food mentioned in the book sounds delicious and Quinn has provided recipes and a quilt pattern. I will absolutely make Ellie's Meatball Soup and Sammy's Crustless Spinach Quiche. Well-written with just enough of a plot twist to keep the story from being like any other cozy mystery. Throw in a little romantic tension, and it's just right.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her third Handcrafted mystery. Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

#acrafterquiltsacrime #cozymytsery


Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies In A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. 353 pages. Publication Date January 14, 2020. *****

North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher is serving a three-year sentence in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center for a crime that she didn't commit. She took the fall for her law student boyfriend, the man of her dreams, while he left her at the scene of the crime and ran away.  All of her plans are on hold while she tries to survive prison life. Her life takes a change for the better when a woman and her lawyer show up with an offer that Morgan can't refuse. If Morgan agrees to restore an old post office mural, she will be immediately released from prison.   Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina.  Her mother recently died and Anna accepts. Anna soon finds herself immersed in the norms of the South and life in a small town. Prejudice runs deep and Anna naively thinks she can mentor a talented young black man and potential artist. The townspeople believe that a local portrait artist should have been chosen to paint the mural and resentments build until violence erupts and changes the course of Anna's life.

Told in the alternating voices of Morgan and Anna, Chamberlain weaves a spellbinding, disturbing story of betrayal, love, and friendship. I was immediately drawn into the book and loved every second of the story. Definitely a story that I will recommend to family and friends. Chamberlain gets better and better at her masterful plot lines. The characters came to life for me and I didn't want the book to end. Bravo!

I received an ecopy for a review.

Books by Chamberlain
Dream Daughter
The Stolen Daughter
Pretending to Dance

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 26 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind.



Teal Mini Swap 2019

The Teal Mini Swap is a swap to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer reasearch. Participation is capped at 500 and $5000 will be donated to OCRFA.

Two friends and I worked together today to create our mug rugs. They chose a pattern by Cheryl Lynch, "Philly Love", a paper pieced pattern. We reduced the pattern by 50% to create a 6 inch block.

I chose a Splendid Sampler October Bonus Block, "Wonderful Pumpkin" by Pat Sloan. The finished block size is 6.5 inches.

The fabric above must be used somewhere on the front of the mug rug. Selecting coordinating prints was fun!

One friend chose white as the background and her
coordinating prints as the letters.

The quilt block turned out beautifully!

The other friend chose a two fabric design. A totally different look!

I wanted to use the teal fabric in the pumpkin and auditioned a few color schemes.

The tendrils looked best in teal rather than the green I tried first.

This is such a fun pattern to make.

After I attached the heart o the back of it, I realized that it needed a label.

I'm happy with how it turned out and I mailed it to my swap partner today. I also made her a teal colored zippered pouch.

For more information about the swap, https://www.facebook.com/groups/312878735548587/.

#tealminiswap "tealmugrugswap #fightovariancancer #ovariancancerresearch

Book Hive Book Club - Whimsical Wings

Book Hive Book Club - Whimsical Wings

I've joined the Facebook Group, The Book Hive Book Club and have agreed to be in the Whimsical Wings sub Book Group. There are 12 members , 12 books, 12 months. I chose the book, "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" (reviewed on my blog here) and since I love flamingos, my journal had to include at least one. Choosing the book to read was easy, the journal not so much. 

Some of the questions running through my head:
  • Should the journal be thick? thin? It will have to be mailed with the book.
  • How many pages per person to estimate for them to write on? I tend to be succinct.
  • What if the pages run out? Should I include two journals?
  • Should I include a bookmark? hint...hint. What if someone dog-ears my book or writes in it?
  • Vacation is coming up soon, should I mail it before I leave? Get it all ready and wait til I come back? Give it to someone else to mail? 
  • I've been told my handwriting is illegibile. I never learned to print (thank you Catholic School education); will they be able to read my scribble? It really would be odd to type my thoughts, print, then cut and glue? 
  • What if the other readers don't like the book I've chosen? What if I don't like theirs? 
  • These are legitimate questions, right? Am I overthinking all of this????
Decisions, Decisions...

I received my September book early, Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton.

Loved it and reviewed it at http://pennyformythoughts-nona.blogspot.com/2019/08/glory-road.html

#bookhivebookclub #whimisicalwings #whimsicalwingsbookclub

Daddy's Girls

Daddy's Girls by Sarah Flint. (DC Charlotte Stafford Series Book 5) Aria: Amazon Digital Services, LLC, 2019. 287 pages. ****

In this latest psychological thriller, D.C. Charlie Stafford has an odd case on her hands. And it may be her toughest one yet.

Thomas Houghton's wife dies and he blames his daughter, Emma, for her very existence, which he believes, contributed to his wife's death. Drugged, delusional, and broke, Tom believes he has seen his dead wife and she has returned to him. The fact that the woman doesn't seem to know him, doesn't deter him from visiting her.

A burglar who isn't interested in valuables, the subject of Operation Greystream, he visits his victims in the dead of the night, gloved and masked. He targets the elderly, he doesn't hurt them and, if they beg, he won't take anything of real value.

But then 87-year-old Florence Briarly is found by her friend, cold to the touch and neatly tucked into bed. And Charlie realizes this case has taken a sinister, urgent turn. Now this stealthy burglar has had a taste of murder, it's only a matter of time until he craves it again...

This series gets better and better and with more than one main plot; you just want to keep reading until the book is done. Flint's books may be read as a stand-alones; however, you will want to read them all. Flint is able to get into the perpetrator's and the victim's head which creates the tension within the story. In true psychological fiction fashion, there is an unexpected ending (no spoilers here) and I love it when I don't guess the identity of the killer. Full of surprises, I can't wait to see what Flint writes next!

Mummy's Favorite  - Book 1

I received an ecopy for a review.

With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah Flint has spent her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters. To read more about Sarah's books, https://ariafiction.com/author/sarah-flint

#Daddysgirls #psychologicalthriller