3/27/20

Sea Glass Cottage





The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne. Ontario: HQN, 2020. 376 pages. ****

Olivia Harper is a witness to a crime and is having a difficult time moving forward from this horrific event. When Olivia's mother falls off of a ladder and requires her help, Olivia must overcome her fears and return to her hometown. Revisiting a place she couldn't wait to leave, Olivia is reminded of the friends, love, betrayal, and heartbreak left behind. Running her mother's plant business, Harper Hill Home & Garden, gives Olivia a new appreciation of the hard work and time required to keep a small business afloat. It doesn't help that her mother is the guardian of teenage Caitlin who seems to be belligerent and rude to everyone especially Olivia. Everyone has something to hide and secrets to be kept including handsome Cooper Vance, her sister's best friend and the brother of Melody, Olivia's best friend.

An easy to read book of friendship, love, and secrets. The story of each character and their connectiveness unfolds logically and it is easy to get lost in the story. I am reading this ARC while under a voluntary isolation (due to coronavirus) and it is the perfect story to escape from local and world news. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and story line. Cape Sanctuary seems like the perfect place to visit and live, it's the town where everyone helps and looks out for each other. The perfect book for summer and beach reading.

I received an ecopy for review. 

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews.

For more information: https://www.raeannethayne.com

#theseaglasscottage 

3/18/20

The Other Mrs.


The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica. Ontario, ParkRow Books, 2020. 364 pages. ****

Sadie and Will Foust have inherited a house on a tiny coastal island in Maine. Will's sister committed suicide and left him her house and teenage daughter. Moving is a culture shock for Sadie and her two sons, especially living with sixteen year old, Imogene. When a neighbor is murdered and the investigating officer confronts Sadie as to where she and Will were on the night in question, Sadie begins to question all of the people in her life including her son and husband. Someone is lying and Sadie begins to question her own sanity.

I love psychological thrillers and this one is no exception. Kubica weaves a wicked tale of evil and manipulation. Told in alternating voices, the reader is left to guess as to how and whom those voices belong to. I read this book in one day while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. It is great escapism and engrossing enough to forget everything else. Netflix has made a deal for The Other Mrs. Details at https://deadline.com/2019/03/netflix-the-other-mrs-movie-deal-mary-kubica-1202579365/

I received an ecopy for a review.

Mary Kubica Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of five novels. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children. Her first novel THE GOOD GIRL was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. For more info, https://marykubica.com.

#psychologicalthriller #theothermrs #mentalillnessfiction #mysteryandsuspense

3/2/20

2020 Monthly Color Challenge - March




March - Oriole (Orange)








To download March's pattern, go to Pattern by Jen's Blog. I love this color combination and contrast. My Tula Pink black and white is playing nicely with each month's color. 



Make sure you trim your sections to the sizes specified. Best Press in my spray bottle from Amazon helps!


I have a group of friends who meet often to sew together at my house and one of my friends contributed this holder for the ironing board. It is available from Amazon and I highly recommend it. No more spray starch rolling off of the ironing board.


Jen demonstrates an easy way to make several flying geese at one time. Go to her websites for hints and a tutorial to make this month's block.



I like it!


I have done the Monthly Color Challenge for the last three years and I think this one is my favorite!


Check out the other bloggers:
Anja Quilts
Pamela Quilts
Patterns by Jen
Dragonflys Quilting Design Studio

Follow me on Instagram- kathy.nester

#2020monthlycolorchallenge #Marchoriole #Marchblock #2020monthlycolorchallengemarchblock

2/19/20

There There


There There by Tommy Orange. New York: Knopf, 2018. 290 pages. *****

It is essential to read the Prologue before jumping into this story. Orange introduces us to his 12 characters, Urban Indians who are unknowingly connected and on a collision course with each other at the Big Oakland Powwow. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Daniel Gonzales creating guns on a 3-D printer and using the money from their sale to purchase a drone and virtual reality goggles. Guns created this way can go through metal detectors without setting off an alarm. Tony Loneman discovers that bullets hidden in socks and thrown over the wall also beat the detectors at the Powwow.

Told in alternating voices and first and third person, this book could be very confusing, but it isn't. Their voices are clear and strong and it isn't difficult to separate the main characters. Orange builds the suspense and while it is apparent that the action is going to happen on the day of the Powwow, it's hard to predict exactly whose paths are going to cross. I wrote some notes as I read with descriptors of each character and why I thought that they might be important. The Prologue sets the stage and explains where the Indians have come from and how they have evolved into  "Urban Indians." Orange has provided a different perspective of what we believe happened at the first Thanksgiving.
Having heard comments from friends and other reviews, I didn't expect to like this book and wondered whether the committee for choosing the One Book One Philadelphia book read it in advance. (I can't imagine recommending a book for a Book Club without reading it first, so having read it, I'm sure that they screen each prospective book) My friends are meeting on Tuesday to discuss it and I am curious as to what their opinion will be on this book. I think I get it, however, I'm not sure if I can articulate what I understand. There's a part of me that thinks Orange could be writing about any members of a culture that has not moved beyond alcoholism, drugs, abandonment, lack of education and unemployment. We have been grappling as a nation with these issues forever; there are no easy answers. I suspect that this book will be a topic of many discussions and readers will either love it or hate it. I'm glad that I read it, it's not something I would have chosen on my own, but I was hooked as soon as I met Tony Loneman. I recommend you read it and decide for yourself.

The Book Group met to discuss this book and the consensus was some liked it and some didn't. Questions centered around the spider's legs, the many relationships among the characters, the 3d gun and the plan to thwart the metal detectors and will it be made into a movie?


There There was chosen as the One Book One Philadelphia choice for 2020. One Book, One Philadelphia is a signature program of the Free Library that promotes literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue by encouraging the entire greater Philadelphia area to come together through reading and discussing a single book. There There is accompanied by the One Book youth companion titles If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (grades 5-8), and When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett (K-3). For more information on this program visit the Free Library of Philadelphia and Facebook

Awards:
One of the 10 best books of the year—The New York Times Book Review
A finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize. 
Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize
Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Winner of an American Book Award

Tony Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. Tommy currently lives in Angels Camp, California, with his wife and son.


#onebookonephiladelphia #therethere #UrbanIndians

2/12/20

Temperature Quilt

February 12,  2020
I gave a demo to my Quilt Guild on my temperature quilt. 




January 8, 2020

August, September, October, done!!!


January 6, 2020

This quilt is not as easy to construct as I thought it would be. I cut the black in-between strip the size I thought it should be based on 31 squares at 2.5 = 62.5 inches. When I laid it out, the squares strip was about 1 inch bigger than the black strip. Back to the sewing machine to adjust some seams. I was more careful with second strip of squares and it was better. Not exactly straight! I did the flying geese method of making 4 at a time. I carefully cut and sewed and I’m disappointed in the result. The points are close to the edge and the pattern says to trim them down, 2 of them aren’t even the size I am supposed to trim them down to. I may be remaking them.



January 4, 2020

Temperature Quilt

I am intrigued by the concept of a temperature quilt, One records the highs, lows or averages for every day in a given year. I also read about making one recording the temperatures from my birth year. Wunderground Is an amazing website/App that will give historical temperatures by locale.
I decide to make one using the average temperatures in my first year of life. This isn’t as easy as I think it should be. I saw a quilt with the colors in it that I wanted my quilt to have, but I needed a pattern. A friend posted this quilt pattern on FB and I loved it.

The store where I went to purchase my fabrics had it in stock, sold! The pattern is "Showering Stars designed by Robin Pickens. My husband was sweet to extrapolate the daily data from Wunderground into an Excel spreadsheet.


These are my fabric choices.


I decided to use the colors in the same order for each month, but to record the temperatures independent of the other months. So the same color in each row will not necessarily be the same temperature. The highs and lows for each month will be unique and this will enable a more colorful quilt.

I found this cute little 2.5 square ruler in my rulers. It makes it really easy to cut the fabric.


Since the colors are so close in value, I decide to separate them into plastic bags and assign a number to each fabric.



This is my first row, August 2nd to August 31st. There are a few duplicate squares next to each other, but I think I am going to like it. I chose a black Kona cotton for the background, "Pepper." There will be strips of it in between the colored rows.


#temperaturequilt

2/9/20

a family of strangers


a family of strangers by Emilie Richards. Canada: Mira, 2019. 484 pages. Reader's Guide. *****

All of her life, Ryan lived in the shadow of her much older perfect sister, Wendy. When Wendy calls asking for help and swearing Ryan to secrecy, Ryan drops what she is doing and rushes to take care of her two nieces. Not having children of her own and having had a traumatic break up, Ryan is unprepared to take care of two little girls who seem determined to guard their secrets. When Wendy's story starts to fall apart and someone tries to break into her sister's home, Ryan discovers an unusual locked medicine cabinet and a safe disguised as a circuit breaker box.  Ryan uses her skills as a true- crime podcaster to try and find out if Wendy is in danger or is she on the run because she is guilty? Ryan begins to realize she doesn't she really know her sister, and she begins to question her relationship with her parents. Is anyone telling the truth?

I received this book as a monthly choice of the Whimsical Wings Book Club (Book Hive FB Book Club) and I really enjoyed it. I was drawn in from the very beginning and read it in one day. Perfect escape from life reading, Richards "good sister gone bad" plot is refreshing and will keep you guessing until the very end.

This is my favorite book that I have received so far from the Book Club to read.

Emilie Richards is the author of seventy plus novels which have been published in more than twenty-one countries and sixteen languages. Her most recent novel is A Family of Strangers, a June 2019 trade paperback and hardcover release from Mira Books. Emilie has won the RITA from Romance Writers of America and multiple awards from RT Book Reviews, including one for career achievement. She regularly appears on bestseller lists, and ten of her books have been made into television movies in Germany. Emilie lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband in the winter and Chautauqua, New York in summer.

#afamilyofstrangers #whimsicalwingsbookclub #bookhivebookclub #mystery

2/7/20

The Bermondsey Bookshop



Check out the other Bloggers on each day!






The Bermondsey Bookshop: A heart-wrenching saga of love and loss in 1920s London by Mary Gibson. Head of Zeus, 2020. 313 pages ****

Set in 1920s London, this is the inspiring story of Kate Goss's struggle against poverty, hunger and cruel family secrets.

When her mother dies and her father leaves to find his fortune, Kate is raised by Aunt Sylvia. Her Aunt and cousins are particularly cruel to Kate who is cold, given barely enough food and forced to leave school to work in a foundry. It is there that Kate makes friends and learns a trade.  The factory where she works lays off people seasonally and Kate must search for a way to make money to eat and pay her rent. Kate's only choice seems to be to borrow money from an unscrupulous money-lender while looking for work. 
A job cleaning a most unusual bookshop, where anyone, from factory workers to dockers, can learn to read and then buy books cheaply opens up a new world for Kate. Even on her darkest days, she holds onto the dream that her father will return and save her from squalor and hunger. Kate has two love interests, Johnny, her childhood friend, and Martin, who wants nothing more than to save her. When Kate finds her father, she isn't prepared for the flashbacks to her mother's death and the violence that she unleashes. 
Based on the true story of the Bermondsey Bookshop, this is a grim look into poverty in the 1920s and the hopes and dreams of the people who survive it.
This historical fiction opens a window into the past without sugar coating the grimness, hunger, and violence towards women and intolerance towards the physically disabled. Kate's hope and goodness shine throughut the story and serve as an inspiration to her friends and co-worksers. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Gibson's characters ring true and add a realism and relevance to the time period portrayed. This is the first one of Gibson's books I have read, however, it won't be the last. 
I received an ecopy for review.
Mary Gibson was born and brought up in Bermondsey, south east London. After a thirty year career in publishing, she took the opportunity of early retirement to write a book of her own. Her d├ębut novel, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, was inspired by the lives and times of her grandparents in World War One Bermondsey. It went on to become a top ten Kindle best seller and was selected for World Book Night 2015. 
Twitter handle: @MaryGibsonBooks
Facebook: @MaryGibsonBooks
Website: marygibsonauthor.co.uk

Follow me on IG @kathy.nester (I am a quilter also, so be prepared to see quilts!)

#thebermondseybookshop #historicalfiction #1920slondon 





2/1/20

January 2020 books

February 1, 2020

I saw this idea in a Facebook Group, I wish I could remember where so I could give them credit. For every book that you read during the year, you put  a dollar in a jar and at the end of the year, you buy new books with the money! Win-win!

I found this pretty glass jar at Marshall's and added my $5.00 this month.



During the month of January, I read and reviewed 5 books.

The Dilemma by B. A. Paris ****

When You See Me by Lisa Gardner ****

The Nowhere Girl  by Nicole Trope. *****

Hindsight by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen ****

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl  by Catherine Ryan Hyde *****

On to February, I'm reading The Bermondsey Bookshop and enjoying it so far!



2020 Monthly Color Challenge - February



February - Indigo Bunting - Teal



Indigo Bunting



This is an easy pattern and you can find it at  Pattern by Jen's blog


The teal fabric isn't photographing well,  looks more blue in the picture.



The most important step in this block is to trim the sections to the correct size. 



Lay out the block to make sure the squares are in the correct order. I sewed one row upside down and didn't notice until I photographed it. 





I found these plastic boxes at Michael's and they are the perfect size for this project.



Check out the other bloggers for this month:
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Create with Claudia
Sweet Boater Chick
So This is Kentucky

Don't forget to Link Up your block each month to be eligible for some fanatastic prizes from our sponsors! (details on Jen's Blog

Sponsors for January through March are:

Quilters Chic - PDF Pattern
3rd Story Workshop: Andrea Jackson - Book: Gemology
For the Love of Geese - PDF Pattern
Quilters Dream Batting - Dream Fusible 80/20 - 60" x 60"
Andover Fabrics - Fabric Bundle -  Giucy Giuce's DECLASSIFIED
Warm Company - Warm and Natural - Needled Cotton Batting 45" x 60"
Make Modern Magazine - 6 month subscription
Patterns By Jen - Superior Thread S-Fine 30
Patterns By Jen - Tucker Trimmer


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram - kathy.nester

#2020monthlycolorchallenge  #februaryteal #indigobunting

1/25/20

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl


Brave Girl, Quiet Girl: A Novel  by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lake Union Publishing, 2020. 300 pages ***** Publication Date May 19th, 2020.

Brooke is a single mother living with her difficult mother and her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Whatever Brooke does somehow never measures up to what her mother thinks should be done. "Buckle your seatbelt" "take Etta out more" Brooke and her mother are constantly arguing over Etta's care and whose car is safer. Her mother sees the whole world as being dangerous even though they live in a nice part of West LA. One night Brooke buckles Etta securely into her car seat but leaves her own seat belt undone because she was wearing a big, long sweater, and it kept getting caught. Brooke stopped at a red light when it happened. A man moved fast towards her side of the car and before she could react, her window shattered. A hand opened her car door and pulled her from the car. Brooke sat in the middle of the highway and watched her mother's car drive away with Etta in her car seat in the backseat. Every mother's nightmare!
Later that night, Molly, a teen estranged from her family, living on the streets, sees a baby in a carseat on the sidewalk. Molly can't believe her eyes and her first thought is to find a phone and call the police. Not as easy as it seems, markets are closed, no pay phones anymore and people living on the street don't have cell phones. Molly realizes that she is now responsible for the baby and must keep her safe.

Brooke and Molly's lives are totally different but the one thing that they have in common, they are both looking for a home and family where they belong and are accepted. Drawn together by this horrific act, Hyde has created a heart-stopping story of love, acceptance, and friendship. I am not a crier and do not cry easily, but this story really touched my heart. Hyde portrays the good in people even in the midst of evil. Mr. Rogers once said" When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Catherine Ryan Hyde shows us the helpers and inspires us to be the good.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my favorite "go to" authors. I know when I sit down to read one of her books, I am going to love it! Each one of her books is distinctly different from the other and a treat in itself. Make sure you add this one to your TBR list and preorder it so you don't miss it!

I received an ecopy for a review.

Other Hyde books that I have read and reviewed:
Have You Seen Luis Velez?
Just After Midnight
Heaven Adjacent

To read more about her: http://www.catherineryanhyde.com


#bravegirlquietgirl #psychologicalthriller

Hindsight



Hindsight (Kendra Michaels Book 7) by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2020. 369 pages. ****

In this latest book in the series, Dr. Kendra Michaels is asked to use her unique powers of observation to investigate a murder at her beloved Woodward Academy. Kendra spent the first twenty years of her life blind before gaining her sight via a revolutionary surgical procedure. Her years at the Academy afforded her an excellent education, lifelong friends, and life skills. Kendra is something of a superstar at the school because she works for the FBI and she gained her sight, Olivia on the otherhand is the real hero because of what she has accomplished while blind. Kendra begins her investigation into two seemingly unrelated staff member murders while trying to protect the students and the Academy. Using her enhanced senses, Kendra sees and smells things that others don't and has an advantage over the other investigators. This ability comes in handy when Kendra becomes a target of the murderer and the police and FBI can't seem to help her.

The books do not have to be read in order, however, the relationship between Kendra and Lynch evolves with each book in the series. I love reading this series! Fast-paced, action-filled, enough suspense to keep me guessing. I look forward to book 8.

I received an ecopy for a review.

To read more about this Mother - Son writing duo...Interview from the Miami Herald.

#mystery #hindsight #thriller

1/20/20

The Nowhere Girl


The Nowhere Girl by Nicole Trope.  Bookouture, 2020. 287 pages. *****

Alice has a husband who loves her and three beautiful sons, if you didn't know her secrets, you would say she has it all. She wants her children to know that they can count on her and she will always be there for them, unlike her childhood, where she had no one to protect her.

Molly is studying personal stories of child abuse for her next short story when one of the Blogs, My Secret,  awakens something in her that she just can't shake.

Margaret, a drunk, feels judged by society and her daughters. It's not her fault that there isn't any food in the house, she's going to get her act together as soon as she finishes this last drink. Vernon's not so bad, he brings them food and her an occasional bottle. Margaret understands that she makes him so mad that he hits her.

Told in the alternating voices of the three women, this psychological thriller hooked me from the very beginning. Alice's first email, "I know what you did," left me guessing as to who did what and how  someone else knew. With its many subplots, you will feel like you are on a roller coaster and not want it to stop. No spoilers here, the ending ties everything together perfectly!  This is my first book by this author, however, it will not be the last.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Nicole Trope is a former high school teacher with a Masters Degree in Children's Literature. In 2005 she was one of the winners of the Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development. In 2009 her young adult novel titled I Ran Away First was shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize.

#thenowheregirl #childabuse

1/14/20

Big Lies in a Small Town



Big Lies In A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. 353 pages. ***** On sale today! 

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.

#bigliesinasmalltown

1/9/20

When You See Me


When You See Me by Lisa Gardner. (Detective D.D. Warren Book 11) New York: Dutton, 2020. 328 pages. ****

In this latest psychological thriller, FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren build a task force, which includes victim Flora Dane, and true-crime savant Keith Edgar in an effort to investigate disturbing finds in a small town in the hills of Georgia. Were there more victims of deceased kidnapper Jacob Ness? Arriving at the town something feels off, why does the manager at the hotel tell them they must leave and the local B and B cook and employee disappears? As Flora and Keith grow closer, they renew their efforts to discover where Jacob Ness held Flora, girl’s bodies are discovered and questions are asked as to whether Jacob could have had an accomplice.

Lisa Gardner only gets better and better with each Detective D.D. Warren book. Often when an author is prolific in a series, the main character feels stale or not as exciting as in the early books. Not in this book, the suspense and plot twists will keep you guessing until the very end. Gothic elements - hidden rooms and tunnels, town secrets  - all add to the question of who can be trusted? Loved it and didn't want it to end.


Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.

For more information about Lisa, check out her website www.lisagardner.com.