Oct 29, 2016

Pine Ridge Treasures French Countryside Blog Hop





Some of my favorite memories from when I lived in Europe was the time I spent in France.  Now admittedly most of my time was spent in the cities but I do recall the beauty of the countryside on our way to Paris.  When I was there, it was spring and the flowers were just coming to life.  So beautiful that I had to join in on the fun.



I actually remembered to take a picture of my kit.  A lot of it didn't fit my memories of France so I put them aside to use later.  And use them I will especially those black glass saucers.  Never seen those before and they have such a ancient feeling to them.



I did however snatch up those larger lilac crystals and make up a pair of earrings.  The heart dangles are also from my kit.



And you know me, I couldn't resist the black glass pearls from ZNetShows.  This necklace actually pays tribute to the beautiful lights in Paris.  And black pearls are so tres chic.

This was such a great kit and I know that I will be making more with it in the future.  Now be sure to check out what the other designers have come up with.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love 
Oct 28, 2016

October Art Bead Scene Challange


"Dragonfly Lamp"
By Émile Gallé, late 1800's- early 1900's
French Art Nouveau, Cameo Art Glass


One of my goals this year was to participate in as many of Art Bead Scene's challenges as I possibly could.  I think that I missed one simply because I just couldn't find any inspiration in the picture that was chosen.  This time around there was no concern as I adore Art Nouveau and we all know my love of dragonflies.



Now I didn't have anything that yellow and purple as I still not sure of that color combo but I did pick up a dragonfly focal by Jean Christen, or as she is better known Clay Genie, when I was at Bead Fest.  I was so excited to find some of her work as it has been getting harder and harder to find.  I wasn't even able to locate a place to purchase online.



I paired this lovely ceramic focal with Czech fire polished beads and finished it off with some bone beads to bring out the cream color in the focal.  This is a longer necklace so perfect for sweaters or tunics.

If you would like some more info on the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenges, just click here.
Oct 27, 2016

Magic Potion Special Challenge




I do love this time of year as the veil thins.  Samhain is without a doubt my favorite Sabbat.  It is filled with memories of fun, partnership, dancing, candy and goodbyes.  Oh and of course potions.

I didn't even try to resist when Andrew Thornton announced that he was doing another special challenge for Samhain, or Halloween.  Jewelry is the perfect way to celebrate and Andrew's challenges are always the best especially when the ingredients for the potion are a complete surprise.




Well almost a complete surprise as I could tell that there was going to be a lot of purple.  Fine with me as I didn't used to be a fan of purple but I have been drawn to it more and more since I joined the Red Hatters.  I have been picking up a lot of purple clothing and I need more jewelry to go with it.  And all the red to go with it and that focal, I was in total love as soon as these ingredients arrived.



I just love this focal.  To me, it radiates wonder and magic with the moon, stars and spiral.  Perfect for a witch's holiday and a must have for my potion.  And all that vintage plastic and lucite...



To bring all of my ingredients together, I added in some waxed linen and red glass beads.  I stirred and said all the appropriate incantations as I knotted it all together.  Surprisingly lightweight due to the lucite, this is a necklace that I can see myself wearing just about anytime that I want to add a bit of magic to my day. 

To check out what the other designers did with this kit, just check out this Facebook group, Allegory Gallery Design  Challenges.
Oct 25, 2016

Book Review: Death and Her Devotion




It should be the happiest weekend of Officer Stevie Taylor’s life. She’s finally going to marry Police Chief Zane Duncan and live happily ever after in Solitude, Oregon. But all wedding plans grind to a halt when a dead body is found at a nearby campground.

* * * * *

I really like the town and the inhabitants of Solitude.  I got a chance to become familiar with them in earlier books so a quick novella was the perfect length for this episode but only if you know the players.  DEATH AND HER DEVOTION has a lot of secondary characters, a lot of action and not a lot of room to go in depth  with what makes everyone tick.

We do get a chance to really get to know Stevie as she tries to solve a crime and get married all at the same time.  Both Stevie and her groom Zane were secondary characters in earlier novellas and fully deserved their story being told.

I do recommend this novella to any of my readers who have been following the happenings in Solitude.  I loved this episode and am very happy that Montlake Romance is going to continue with these mini-series of novellas.  To find the earlier books on Amazon, just click here

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Oct 22, 2016

Book Review: Throne of Novoxos





The brave warrior, Prince Comron Van Laven, lays at death’s door after a near fatal transport crash. His life is in the hands of his mortal enemy who does the unthinkable…she saves him…in so many ways. Together the two must battle for survival against the harsh elements, deadly assassins and vicious animal attacks. But that’s only the beginning of their struggles.

Once rescued, they must confront the bitter enmity that exists between their worlds, in addition to the dark family secrets threatening to destroy them. Bound by their deep bond, the two embark on a new odyssey where all forces have turned against them and are seeking their lives. But with the help of some shadowy mercenaries, the two just might make it to the throne of Novoxos to stake their royal claim and defeat their enemies.


* * * * *

I so love a good space opera filled with space and land battles, impossible relationship and interstellar politics.  And I do have to say that the THRONE OF NOVOXOS has all of those and more.  

When I first started reading the book and met Comron I was immediately taken back to Dune but that impression didn't last for long.  While there are politics, they seem to be more approachable then the ones in the old sci-fi standby.  And to tell you the truth, I found Comron to be a bit of an ass.  I know that a good portion of that is his upbringing by his insane father but still.

The character that I really liked is the one that Comron fell in love with Vaush.  She is down to earth and just wants to make the world, or in this case worlds, a better place for everyone to live.  So of course she saves Comron even though their families are deadly enemies because that is the type of person she is.

I really enjoyed THRONE OF NOVOXOS with its fast pacing, interesting characters, an unauthorized love and danger around every turn.  I do think that my readers who enjoy space opera will enjoy it. There are a few sex scenes but nothing too graphic so this book would work for older teens as well as adults.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 21, 2016

Book: Review: The Honorable Heir




An American heiress and widow of a rakish English earl, Catherine has returned to New York high society determined to make amends for the scandal she caused when she crossed the Atlantic to elope with her best friend’s suitor and win the title of Lady Bisterne. But a ruined reputation isn’t the only thing that’s followed her home: Lord Tristram Wolfe, the rightful heir to the Bisterne estate, has vowed to track down his family’s stolen jewels—gems he’s certain Catherine stole.

Catherine has more to think about than charming, handsome Tristram and his accusations, even if he’s beginning to change her mind about never returning to England. Back at her family’s Tuxedo Park estate, she resolves to restore her honor by earning the forgiveness of her best friend and protecting her younger sister from other fortune-seeking Englishmen with dubious titles, all while abiding by the etiquette of the Gilded Age.

Yet when Tristram’s quest takes a dangerous turn, she must decide whether to follow the rules or save her accuser’s life.


* * * * *

I really hate writing a review where nothing stands out on a book.  Yes I enjoyed reading THE HONORABLE HEIR but that was for the time period then the characters.  I enjoy reading how many constraints society placed upon people in the past.  There were some beautiful descriptions of surroundings which makes sense as New York can be beautiful in the winter.

What I found lacking in this books were the characters.  We do get to learn a bit about the main characters but there are hoards of secondary characters that do contribute to the storyline yet wit the exception of Catherine's sister, I couldn't tell you who was who.  I don't like having to go back through a book to find out just what this person has done because they are so unmemorable that it just didn't stick in my mind.  

I also trying to wrap my mind about the idea that any self respecting woman would fall in love with someone who is continually accusing her of being a thief and attempting to kill him.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

This is one book that I wouldn't feel right recommending to my readers.  There are just too many well written historical romances out there so I would give this one a pass.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


Oct 20, 2016

Book Review: The Sinner





I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place… 

I'm a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone.

I've come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I've been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?


* * * * *

I found the main character in this book, Amelia Gray, to be quite interesting.  She works as a cemetery restorer for a couple reasons with the main one being the peace and solitude.   Unfortunately the second reason which as the ghosts tend to interfere with her peace.  She is really hoping that this time around will be quiet so that she will have the time she needs to get over John Devlin.  

It seems that lately her hopes just don't come true and she finds a woman who was recently buried alive.  Amelia also discovers that her old nemesis. Darius Goodwine is about asking for her help in protecting his daughter.  

I very much enjoyed THE SINNER which is the fifth in the Graveyard Queen series.  I do feel that I would have gotten more out of the book if I had read the previous ones as it did refer back to earlier happenings quite often.  It does however stand on its own so don't stress if you have had the opportunity to read the earlier books.  

I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy a dark twist to their paranormal.  It does get dark at times but there is no graphic violence or sex so its up to you if you feel your kids would enjoy this book.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 19, 2016

Ramblings




  • I have been spending a lot of time playing Dragon Age.  It's a great escape from reality while I deal with losing Kharma.  I am still looking around for him when I get up in the morning so that I can feed him.


  • I have always been spending time coloring. It's something that I can do upstairs so as a bonus, I also get to spend time with the hubby.  I picked up a coloring book with a black background and I wasn't too sure just how the gel pens would work with it.  I have to admit that I am very happy with the results.  Those aren't the metallic pens but they still seem to glow.

  • My muse has started to peep her head out again. I was afraid that she would stay in hiding for longer but taking a look at the kit that I picked up from Allegory Gallery piqued her interest.
  • FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King finally became available to check out.  I was actually disappointed in this book.  Part of what I loved so much about the first book in the series, MR MERCEDES, was the characters of Bill Hodges, Jerome and Holly.  Well they didn't show up in this last book until the last third of the book.    I did find this book interesting but I am not quite sure that it should be part of the Bill Hodges series.

  • My monthly subscription from Bargain Bead Box arrived and it is all autumn colors.  You know those ones we don't get here in Washington.  I just loved the colors and all that brass.

  • I did managed to get a couple designs made up.  These earrings will be donated to Ears To You.

  • This necklace will be going up for sale at Shaiha Designs.  Just loved the contrast of the red agate with the soft green of the serpentine beads.
  • So excited!  Tomorrow I will be going to the Tacoma Bead Fest!  I have met so many wonderful people in the jewelry community that I will get a chance to meet in person.  I will be doing up a separate blog post on it and hopefully I will remember to take lots of pictures.
Oct 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Season

English: Chef Pepín Slow Cooker
English: Chef Pepín Slow Cooker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One of my favorite things about fall is all the wonderful stews, soups and other meals that you can make by tossing everything into the slow cooker in the morning and forget about until time for dinner.  I work from home so I am able to enjoy the aromas of the foods wafting through my home. 

In my house, my husband is the main cook and it took a while to convince him of the wonders of a slow cooker as he has always been one of these cooks that likes to fiddle with the food which is a definite no no with this style of cooking.  He does make up the most delicious stews and soups.  There are occasions however when I just have to get into the kitchen and cook myself.  

One of my favorite recipes is one that I picked up years ago and I don't even remember where.  It's really easy and wonderful over rice.  I do advise however to not make extra as it does get rather salty as it cools down.

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken

1 pound chicken parts with bones (thighs or breasts)
1 cup orange soda
1 cup low salt soy sauce.

Put the chicken in the slow cooker and pour the other ingredients on top.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Serve with rice.

Yeah it really is that easy.  I tend to use boned breasts as I don't care for dark meat but the thighs will remain moister. 

Do you have a favorite slow cooker recipe that you would like to share?

Oct 14, 2016

Book Review: Off Season




Winter winds off the Atlantic have turned the tourist mecca of Seaside Creek, New Jersey, into a ghost town. Dr. Christina Paxton, however, is growing accustomed to living with ghosts. Recently widowed, the emergency room physician has returned to the shore with her young daughter, house-sitting a sprawling beachside Victorian home. One night, her two-year-old calls her by a name that makes Christina’s blood run cold and sends her thoughts spiraling back thirty years.

Deeply unnerved, and certain someone else is in the house, she flees with her child into the cold night, only to come face-to-face with Chief Harris Bowers, a former classmate with whom Christina has a complicated history. Now divorced, Harris hopes to mend their past, but Christina is wary of being played for a fool again. As threats emerge, Christina and her small family find themselves in grave danger. It seems there is no one she can put her trust in—least of all herself.


* * * * *

Chilling.  Both the weather in New Jersey during the winter and the book.  I found OFF SEASON to be an excellent thriller with touches of insanity with a strong romantic element between Christina and Harris.

Christina is a young widow who has dealt with insanity after the birth of her daughter.  When she comes home after her husband's death, she isn't quite sure if she is dealing with a genuine treat or if she is going insane again.  That is until Harris finds proof that someone is out to get her.

The pacing is delicious with is racing along filled with danger interspersed with enough slowdowns to allow the reader to catch their breath and the romance to grow between Christina and Harris.  Dialogue flows and at times is witty.  The danger is real and you will never guess who the actual villain is.

I highly recommend OFF SEASON to any of my readers who enjoy a good thriller filled with both physical and psychological threats.  There is some violence though nothing extremely graphic.  And if you are interested in checking out other books by Ms. Thompson once you finish OFF SEASON, just click here.  
Oct 13, 2016

Book Review: Beautiful Maids All in a Row




Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.

The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.

The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past.


* * * * *

Even with all of her issues brought on by the murder of her husband, Dr. Iris Ballard is the best at profiling serial killers.  So when her ex-partner keeps running into brick walls, he turns to Iris for help.  And the game is on.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book.  The dynamic between Iris and Luke is filled with tension, regrets, friendship and attraction.   Both characters are fully developed with both strengths and weaknesses on display.  With so many of our returning soldier having PSTD, I enjoyed reading about a heroine with that issue.

I found the villain in this book to be particularly chilling.  He knew just what buttons to push and with whom to be able to continue his gory games.  But it does only take one mistake.

I really enjoy BEAUTIFUL MAIDS IN A ROW and am crossing my fingers that Ms. Harlow continues this series.  I do recommend it to any of my readers who enjoy thrillers with strong female leads.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 12, 2016

Ramblings




  • It's been a hard week filled with pain both emotional and physical. I take Tramadol for the pain of my fibro and I rarely take as much as I have proscribed so when my vet recommended that I give Tramadol to my older dogs for pain, I gave them some of mine. Well I didn't notice how low I was running & ran out. Had to go almost a week without so there was enough for the kids. 

 
  • I also had to goodbye to Kharma. His good days were finally gone. I should have let him go a week earlier but I had to have time to sat goodbye. He will always be remembered as both the ferocious Pomeranian Devil who bit the butt of a guitarist and the sweet old man that he mellowed into. 
  • I guess that I should feel guilty about not even venturing into my studio on my 'weekend' but I lost myself in playing Dragon Age. Finally got the PlayStation so I could finally play the last update in the game. I am not even a video gamer but I just love that game. 
  • Been having fun browsing the internet looking for skulls. There are so many cute skull items out there. 
  • Got to love it when your power company suddenly decides to take you off budget billing for no reason. I could have understood it if I was behind but I was actually paid ahead. Arg....
  • Hate it when I don't have a book to listen to and I am not in the mood for podcasts. Well actually I have lots of books to listen too but I am waiting for the second book in a series to become available & I just know that if start something else, it will. Probably while I am in the middle of it. And while I tend to to a couple books at a time, I limit myself to one audio & my podcasts. So instead I will whine. 
  • I am going to be joining a couple friends to go to Bead Fest this coming Friday.  So looking forward to it especially since it is actually in Tacoma.   It has always seemed that all of the bead shows are back east so I am really excited that they are bringing one to the West Coast.  Just being able to see and fondle all the gemmies and the art beads.
Oct 11, 2016

Book Review: Legal Wolf's Mate




In Legal Wolf's Mate, taking on a pro bono murder case isn't a problem for a lawyer who enjoys a challenge. Discovering that his new client is his mate? A tad more complicated. Gavin has no intention of settling down, especially not with a woman accused of murder, but once he sets eyes on Megan, his fate is sealed.

* * * * *

Looking for a quick, sexy read?  Well look no further then LEGAL WOLF'S MATE.  It will fit the bill, or in this case brief, to a tee.  

While a shorter read as a novella, Ms.Langlais has done a wonderful job to developing the main character, Gavin and a fairly good job of Megan who seems to be a chameleon.  Full of danger, witty dialouand sexual tension, I finished this book in record time.

I do recommend this book to my readers who enjoy a sensual shifter story.  I don't want to say too much as I don't want to give away the story however.  There are some graphic sex scenes so I don't recommend it to younger readers though.

Book Review: Small Great Things





Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.


* * * * *

I tend to read to escape.  I love to be taken away to another world, another time or another reality.  So I don't tend to read a lot of novels that cause me to stop and think about myself and my world view.  I am really glad that I decided to take the leap and request this book for review.

I am old enough to remember the in your face racism.  I even endured it when I dated a gentleman of a different race down in the South back in the 80s.   I have been lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest for several years and didn't realize the extent to which it still exists.  

But then I am white.  I have never had to worry about whether the color of my skin would cause me to be passed over for a promotion.  When I turn on the television, a good majority of the actors are going to be the same race as I am.  I have friends that are black but I never really sat down and thought about how different their lives from mine today.  

SMALL GREAT THINGS is one of the best books I have read ever and I recommend it to any and all of my readers.  It will pose questions that really deserve to be answered if all of us are going to have equity in our country.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Oct 9, 2016

Mermaid Lagoon Jewelry Challenge





My name is Shai and I am addicted to jewelry challenges.  One of my favorites has always been the ones from  Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery fame.  It used to be that we had the opportunity to check out all but the mystery component which Andrew would make from hand. 



This kit was a complete mystery.  Oh we knew the theme and the basic colors from the banner above but that was all.  Complete trust in Andrew and his sense of color and style.  And boy was that trust rewarded.  Not one but two beautiful polymer focals along with  vintage lucite and glass.  There is also a full strand of chips that I didn't identify.



That mermaid was whispering that she wanted to be part of a long necklace.  And I had been planning on doing a charm necklace for quite a while so the two went together like..well peanut butter and chocolate.  I also used some of the glass and lucite that came with the kit both to make charms and to decorate the chain itself.



I also used a couple of the beautiful lucite beads and some ceramic starfish drops from Firefly Design Studio.  I had won those drops a few months back and had been waiting for the perfect beads to use with them,






I hope that you enjoyed seeing my latest creations.  The necklace will be put up for sale but I am keeping the earrings for myself.  If you are interested in the necklace, let me know.  There is always a discount before I add it into the store.

Book Review: Girl Number One




A young woman, out jogging in the woods, finds a body.

Eleanor Blackwood discovers a woman's body in the same spot in the woods where her mother was strangled eighteen years previously. But before the police can get there, the body vanishes.

Is Eleanor’s disturbed mind playing tricks on her again, or has her mother’s killer resurfaced? And what does the number on the dead woman’s forehead signify?


* * * * *

 I enjoyed reading GIRL NUMBER ONE.  Eleanor is such a great character.   She has had some truly awful things happen to her but she refuses to let them rule her life.  And her friends are as wonderfully portrayed.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about the book was its setting.  It is set in Eastlyn which is a small village in Exmoor.  The lifestyle is so different from anything that I could experience here in the States except through books like GIRL NUMBER ONE.  And it is nice to be reminded that murder can happen anywhere no matter the size of the city, or in this case village.

The pacing is perfect!  Slow enough in places to absorb the village life and fast enough to put the reader on the edge of their seats.  And the ending...well let's just say that I hadn't been right on who I thought was the killer.  

I do recommend GIRL NUMBER ONE to any of my readers who enjoy mysteries set in delightful locations. There are some grisly scenes so perhaps not appropriate for the younger readers.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.



Oct 5, 2016

Ramblings




  • Well we started out my favorite month of the year.  I love October because we still have some beautiful days here in the PNW and the temperatures are cooler.  And this month always starts out with the Northwest Tea Festival at Seattle Center.
  • I swear that I am cursed. I always sign up for a least two classes at the tea festival and I am always late for the first one.  This year I decided to take some afternoon classes starting at 1:45.  I left my house at noon and between being held up by a draw bridge and trying to find a parking spot, I didn't make it to the festival until 1:55.

  • On the bright side, the missed class gave me enough time to stop by the various vendors.  I was specifically looking for iced teas and I was really pleased that few vendors actually had samples of iced teas.  This was the first year that I saw that.

  • I am about to shoot myself at work.  My numbers are falling like rocks and if I can't keep them up, I end up having to work in the office.  That is a fate almost worse then death since all the noise really messes with my fibro. 
Oct 3, 2016

Book Review: Good Earls Don't Lie




Lady Rose Thornton never expected to find a half-naked man in her garden. The handsome Irishman claims to be the Earl of Ashton, but was he truly robbed by thieves? Or is he merely an impoverished stranger lying to her?

After losing everything during the potato famine, Iain Donovan is searching for a wife whose dowry will save his estate. Lady Rose is beautiful, witty, and unable to walk, after an illness stole her strength. Rose agrees to help Iain find a wife, if he will help her learn to take her first steps.

As their friendship takes root and blossoms into something more, secrets about Iain’s birthright threaten the growing feelings between them. He has no right to love a woman like Rose, who deserves a better life than he can give her. Rose believes that there is more to Iain than a broken past, and she brings light to his shadows.

And within the walls of a secret garden, sometimes miracles can happen…


* * * * *

I just love it when I am able to find new to me authors through reviewing.  In this case, it's Michele Willingham.  She has actually written quite a few historical romances and after reading GOOD EARLS DON'T LIE I am very happy to have found her.   

Set during the Irish potato famine, Iain Donovan, Lord Ashton, has come to find a wealthy heiress to help save his estate and his tenants.  What I really enjoyed was how we are given a taste of how this famine effected anyone that was Irish from the tenant farmers to the Irish nobility.  One of the best parts of reading historical fiction is being given that look back in time.  

Both Rose and Iain are great characters that are extremely well developed.  In fact, all the characters are well written and I am looking forward to reading more about these personalities in the upcoming books in this series.  

Smooth pacing, witty dialogue, interesting characters and a peek back in history, there isn't anything not to like about this book except that it ends and I have to wait for the next.  I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy historical romance.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Oct 1, 2016

Pine Ridge Treasures' Favorite Things Blog Hop



I have had so much fun with the Pine Ridge Treasures Favorite Things blog hop that of course I had to join in this time around.  And since it has been a while since I have posted any PTR hops, I thought that I should cover how it all works. Pine Ridge Treasures is a Facebook group ran by the wonderful Lisa Lodge and Lisa will decide on a theme for the hops or challenges.  She then announces these themes and sells kits for us to use to make up these designs.  We usually get a hint about what will be in the kits but it really a mystery until we open up the package that arrives.  If this sounds like fun, just click on the link and ask to join.

This time around, the theme was some of Lisa's favorite things to use to make jewelry. Par for the course, I took pictures of the kit but for the life of me, I can't find them.  I so need to find a better way to organize the pics that I take on my phone. 



But I do have pictures of the jewelry that I made and we won't talk about the fact that I couldn't find them either and ended up having to retake them.  Or actually one of the necklaces that I made.  I actually made two but in retaking the pics for the second, I decided that I wasn't happy with how it draped after being in a bag for a couple months so I am going to restring it on a different material.

One favorite thing that I have in common with Lisa is a love of glass pearls.  They are just the perfect bead for knotting up for fashion jewelry.



But I didn't want to go with the typical pearl look so I went grunge instead.    Or goth holiday.  Either could fit.  That wonderful artisan polymer focal is from JKD Studio, another of my favorites.  The pearls and the crystals were part of the kit. 



Now several of us designers joined in on this hop.  And hopefully some of them were able to find their pictures of their kits.  Be sure to check out what they made also.  And comment.  Comments are great to read. 

 Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot