The First Mistake

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. 319 pages. ****

Alice's life is stable after falling in love and marrying her second husband. Her husband, Nathan,  is a partner in her very successful business started with her deceased husband, Tom. She has two beautiful daughters and a best friend to share her secrets with. She and Beth can tell each other anything and when Alice becomes suspicious that Nathan is cheating on her, Beth listens and supports her. Nathan swears nothing but business is going on when he travels to Japan and at the same time he is pressuring Alice to sign a million dollar deal. Alice doesn't know what to believe when she finds a receipt for a couples massage, and flowers addressed to another woman are delivered to the house. The florist claims Nathan ordered them. Is Nathan having an affair with someone in the office? Alice wonders why hasn't it worked out for her best friend to meet her husband? Is Tom, her first husband, still alive or is someone impersonating him on Facebook and posting current pictures of her children?

Jones strength is in presenting every day events that are not what they seem. Alice is tortured by her distrust of Nathan and the evidence against him is mounting. The marketing campaign for this book is amazing. The book arrived with an additional cover, see above, and it really piqued my interest. There are many subplots within the main story, Alice suffered from depression when Tom disappeared, is she paranoid and delusional about Nathan? Is Beth the good friend that she seems to be? Why is Nathan so determined to seal the deal to build in Tokyo? Jones drops hints along the way that no one is whom he seems to be and leaves the reader guessing as to what is really going on. It's not confusing, just intriguing. I don't want to spoil the ending, but prepared to be surprised. I did guess part of the plot, but in true Jones style, there is a final twist to the story. I look forward to future thrillers by this author. Her books are standalones, so be sure to read her first book too.

Her debut novel: The Other Woman 

SANDIE JONES has worked as a freelance journalist for more than twenty years and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly, and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel. Follow her on FB /RealSandieJones... Twitter @RealSandieJones



Born Bad

Born Bad (Manchester Trilogy Book 1) by Heather Burnside. London: Head of Zeus, Ltd., 2019. 355 pages. Paperback. ****

From 1973 - 1984 Adele spends her childhood studying and trying to stay out of trouble. With an alcoholic abusive father who beats her mother regularly, a sadistic younger brother and a depressed tranquilizing taking mother, Adele doesn't have a chance.  The one person in her life that she can count on is her Grandmother, who brings her salve and long pants to help with Adele's chapped legs. Her Grandmother is appalled by the stench and filth in her daughter's home and visits often to cook and clean up. Adele doesn't look for trouble, but it often finds her. Whether she is defending her brother or herself against bullies at school or standing up to her father during one of his drunken rages, Adele continues to study and try to better herself.  When her brother goes to prison for burglary, her mother becomes more dependent on her. Will Adele be able to escape her legacy and achieve her dreams or will her family drag her down with them?

Burnside has created a horrifying realistic story about family violence and loyalty. She paints a picture that rings true from beginning to end. Adele buries her anger until she explodes and then is horrified at her behavior. I can't wait to read the second book in the Trilogy, Blood Ties and find out if Adele is able to escape her past and start over.

I received a paperback copy for a review and am one of the stops on a Blog Tour for this book.

Heather Burnside grew up in Gorton, a working-class area of Manchester famed as the original location for the TV series, Shameless. She moved from Gorton to Longsight and spent her teenage years on one of the toughest estates in Manchester. During the 1990s the estate became the headquarters for one of Manchester’s predominant gangs. It regularly featured in the local press due to shootings and drug-related problems. Heather draws heavily on this background as the setting for many of her novels.

After taking a career break to raise two children Heather enrolled on a creative writing course. During that time she had many articles published in well-known magazines and went on to run a writing services business before focusing on her novels.

Heather now works full-time on her novels from her home in Manchester which she shares with her two grown-up children. To learn more about Heather and future books: https://heatherburnside.com


Preemie Quilt/Playmat Challenge

Brandywine Valley Quilters Preemie /Playmat Quilt Challenge 2019

Update! The final count is 215 preemie quilts!

They were delivered to three area hospitals: Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, Jefferson Hospital and Chester County Hospital.

Update on the Challenge...We collected quilts each month and are ready to deliver to two area hospitals tomorrow, CHOP and Jefferson. Frankie is exhausted from counting and boxing the quilts.

With one month until the August 13th deadline, we have collected 140 quilts!!!

All of the quilts have been labeled, washed, dried, bagged and boxed. They will be headed to two local NICUs at area hospitals.

Each year Brandywine Valley Quilters challenges its members to create a quilt based on a theme.
Past themes have included a crayon, diamonds (for our 30th Anniversary), collage, and a book. After past events members have stated that they do not have any more wall space or they didn't like the theme. This year, we decided to make it a "charity" challenge. 
Members have been challenged to follow certain guidelines and create quilts to go over the incubators in a NICU. Each Guild member who contributes a quilt will be entered in a drawing for a 25.00 gift card. Our Goal is 100 quilts!

Our president has created labels to be attached to the quilts and they are gorgeous!

Backed with a fusible adhesive, they can be easily ironed on and stitched around.

I decided to make a quilt over the weekend using these 10 inch precuts and a pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Double Slice Layer Cake. Very easy to make, but I wouldn't use directional fabric again.

Quilted on my HQ Sweet Sixteen, it turned out super cute! If you would like to learn more about the Brandywine Valley Quilters Guild, hop on over to here

#brandywinevalleyquilterschallenge #preemiequiltchallenge #preemiequilts 



Shamed: A Kate Burkholder Novel (Book 11)  by Linda Castillo. New York: Minotaur Books, 2019. 304 pages. **** Available July 16, 2019.

In this newest Castillo novel, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is drawn into solving a murder and child kidnapping within an Amish community. While collecting walnuts with her two granddaughters at the abandoned Schattenbaum farm, Mary Yoder is stabbed to death and one of her granddaughters is kidnapped. Kate interviews the granddaughter who witnessed her sister being dragged from the farm and all she can get out of her is that it was "Da Deivel." The devil. With the clock ticking and no suspects, Kate soon learns that the isolated Old Order Amish Community has many secrets to hide. Kate discovers that the child taken has special needs and has been diagnosed with Cohen Syndrome. Based on something her sibling lets slip, Kate begins to suspect that this family of 8 children is not what it seems. What are the community and family hiding and will Kate be able to get the answers that she needs to find Elsie and return her to her family?

I have read all of the other Kate Burkholder books and eagerly began this one. The story drew me in from the very beginning and did not disappoint. Castillo is gifted at setting up the story and letting it unfold. The murder and kidnapping seem unrelated to other events occurring in the Amish community until Kate makes the connection and reveals past crimes. A fast-paced, suspenseful glimpse into Amish life and into the mind of a violent killer. No spoilers here, you'll have to read it yourself to discover if Elsie is found safe.

I received an ecopy to review.

Originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set, Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer--and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen.  She's published thirty books for three New York publishing houses and won numerous industry awards, including a nomination by the International Thriller Writers for Best Hardcover, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys trail riding, and dabbles in barrel racing.  She resides in Texas with her husband, two rescued Blue Heelers, and two Appaloosa horses.  She's currently at work on her next novel, a thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder.

Visit her website https://www.lindacastillo.com, contact her at books@lindacastillo.com.

#Shamed #Amishfiction


2019 Monthly Color Challenge - April

April - Glory Of The Snow 

You can find the pattern and directions at Patterns by Jen.

I am using fabrics from my stash, so the fabric is not an exact match. I do love the grunge dots and they will appear often in this quilt.


 Sewing the blocks together is easy if you trim your units as you go.
This is a relatively easy block to make. 
Remember your scant 1/4 in seams!

Be sure to visit the bloggers for April:

Devoted Quilter

Quilts by Joanne

123 Quilt

Masterpiece Quilting

#2019monthlycolorchallenge #aprilgloryofthesnow #aprilblue