Feb 28, 2017

Art Elements February Component of the Month

I have never been a fan of hearts that haven't been tried.  Guess that I was born cynical, or perhaps had my heart too scarred before I made it out of childhood. Anyways, hearts that have been broken and patched together are so much more interesting than the bright and shiny ones.

I consider myself very lucky that I was one of the names pulled out of Jenny's hat when she was offering readers of Art Elements the chance to work with one of these gorgeous polymer  Kintsugi hearts.   I have been a bad girl and not keeping up as well as I should on my blogs so just sneaked in under the wire as far as when I needed to apply.  You should have seen the smile when I received that email.

Jenny actually gave us a choice of colors and since I couldn't decide just which one I liked best, I asked her to surprise me.  It's that white beautiful with the gold leaf?  This is a heart that has a story to tell.

And I wanted to make sure that its story was sure to catch everyone's attention so I added some vintage gold glass beads and some creamy bone beads.  Simple, elegant and sure to be on center stage.

Now that you have seen what I made with one of Jenny Davies-Reazor's hearts, be sure to check out what everyone else has come up with! Perfect way to unwind on a busy Tuesday.  And if you would like to pick up one for yourself, just click here.

Art Elements team: 
Lesley Watthere.
Feb 27, 2017

Book Review: The Devil's Daughter

Growing up in a small town isn’t easy, especially when you’re the daughter of a local cult leader. Ten years ago, Eden Collins left Clear Springs, Montana, and never once looked back. But when the bodies of murdered young women surface, their corpses violated and marked with tattoos worn by her mother’s followers, Eden, now an FBI agent, can’t turn a blind eye. To catch the killer, she’s going to have to return to the fold.

Sheriff Zach Owens isn’t comfortable putting Eden in danger, even if she is an elite agent. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to her. As calm and cool as she appears, he knows this can’t be a happy homecoming. Zach wants to protect her—from her mother, the cult, and the evil that lurks behind its locked gates. But Eden is his only key to the tight-lipped group, and she may just be closer to the killer than either one of them suspects…

* * * * *

It seems to be a theme with girls escaping their small towns and coming back as women when tragedy hits.  THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER adds to that theme with Eden being the daughter of the local cult leader.  Some of the things that Eden reveals that were done to her was enough to make me shudder.  

Ms, Robert has done a great job of ratcheting up the tension right off the bat and then backing off a bit to give the reader some breathing room and time to get to know the characters.  And I did enjoy getting to know the guarded Eden and mothering Zach.  We even get a chance to meet Eden's partner Vic who I am sure has his own story.  I would love to get to know Eden's boss Britton better also though right now he is just a voice on a phone.

I really enjoyed reading THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER and feel that my readers will also.  I would steer younger readers away however because some of the cult's practices are fodder for nightmares.

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

Feb 26, 2017

Art Bead Scene Febuary Monthly Challenge

The Two Crowns
Sir Frank Dicksee
Oil On Canvas

One of my goals this year is to participate in Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge every month.  That goal was almost derailed by Boo's health issues but I did manage to make it into the studio last night to finish up this necklace. 

I just love this month's inspiration!  It's so lush and extravagant.  I really like the play of the colors against the black in the background.  I had a lot of fun digging through my beads to find some that would do justice to this piece of art.  I knew that I wanted to bring in the gold against the black in the painting and I wanted to find beads that would pull in at least one more color.

I found a set from JKD Studio that fit my needs to the tee.  It's that focal gorgeous!  It has a textured design similar to the gold decorations on his armor and has both the gold I wanted along with the blues from one of the dresses and his armor.

I also used some polymer rounds from JKD Studio with the gold and the blue.  The black is brought into play with the black agate nuggets.  Finishing it all off is a golden clasp celebrating the flowers in the painting. 

This is a heavier and bolder necklace then I usually make but I am very happy with it.  There are times when you just need to be as bold as a knight or go home. 

P.S. JKD Studio is no longer making the beads but she is having a clearance where you buy one and you get one free.  Be sure to check out the beautiful beads she has for sale.


  • I was planning on adding more to last week's Ramblings especially about our potluck but life got in the way.  It was a small group and I knew that one person wasn't going to be able to bring anything so I made up a big batch of beef stew.  It's a good thing that I did since one of our folks forgot to put his dish in the car.  The look on his face when he opened up the trunk to grab it was priceless.
  • I ended up spending most of the day at the Emergency Vet with Boo on Sunday.  She hadn't been eating and when she did, she wasn't keeping it down.  Apparently there are some issues with her liver and we are trying to run down what it causing it.  Thank the Goddess for pet insurance as I will get most of the costs back.  Still she has been staying in their ICU and it's strange not having her with me here at work and sleeping.  She has been my constant companion for the past fourteen years.
  • It has been a hectic week with finally getting Boo back and then her deciding that she didn't want to eat any longer.  Spent a couple days forcing her to eat baby food by squirting it into her mouth but I think that I am starting to really see an improvement in her.
  • Found a new favorite podcast which deals with historical crimes.  It's called Most Notorious and I really enjoy how the host draws out the authors that have written books on these crimes.  It's well worth checking out.  Here is the link to its Facebook page.  
Feb 24, 2017

Book Review: Law and Disorder

Trust the enemy?
Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man—and he's holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor's eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can't let Kody die. He won't. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.

* * * * *

I just love a romantic suspense that you can just sink into with great characters that make the story come alive.  LAW AND DISORDER is just such a book.  Kody is a spunky heroine is who is willing to risk her life for others.  Nick is undercover as one of the gang of kidnappers but he is doing everything that he can to make sure everyone makes it out alive, especially Kody.  Appleby is insane but highly functioning and obsessed with an old treasure.  And he is sure that Kody is the key to finding it.
This book is fraught with danger and tension not only from the men that kidnapped Kody and her friends but from the surroundings themselves, the Florida Everglades.  Not knowing if you are going to be shot or eaten by an alligator puts a real damper on the situation.  Adding to that is the fact that Kody feels as though she is going insane because of her attraction to Nick who as far as she knows is a criminal.

I do feel that my readers who enjoy a romantic suspense will enjoy this book.  I really liked the characters and the setting itself.  There is some violence but no graphic sex.

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

Feb 21, 2017

Book Review: The Trapped Girl

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

* * * * *

Another home run from Robert Dugoni! This whole series have been fantastic and THE TRAPPED GIRL is no exception.

This book is set mainly in Seattle and I really appreciate Mr. Dugoni's knowledge of this area.  I am a local and through reading this book, I even found an attraction that I wasn't aware of.  I plan on checking out the lighthouse on Alki the next time I am in the city.  

This book, and series, is based on Tracy Crosswhite who is a Seattle Honicide detective.  And she sure come across some unusual cases.  And I have to admit that I really enjoy watching her solve those cases but even more than that, I have enjoyed watching Tracy grow and change throughout the series.  She has learned that she can depend on others, that friends can become a family and that she isn't too old or set in her ways for love.

I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys mysteries and police procedural books that feature a kick ass heroine.  Who knows,  you might find a new place to check out in Seattle also. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Feb 19, 2017


  • Finally started to get accustomed to my new glasses.  Took longer this time with them causing dizziness and headaches.  I can definitely see better far away,  up close though I have to slide them down my nose.  Getting older and blinder is a bitch.
  • I had a funny feeling that once menopause hit, I wouldn't be dealing with a lot of hot flashes since those are caused by a loss of hormones.  My hormone level has always been low though.  One thing that I have noticed though is that my internal thermostat seems to be stuck on warm which is a total change for me.  I used to freeze anytime the temp was below 70 and now I am running the fan in the winter because I am too warm.
  • I think that one of the best things that I have done is to join the Red Hat Society.  I tend to be a recluse by nature and this forces me to get out of the house to experience life and have fun.  I went out this last Saturday to a Pirate themed party and had a blast.  I just wish that I could still dance and enjoy music without paying for it the next day.
  • I think that I have found a new favorite thing. For some reason, on Tuesday my fibro was acting up so badly that wearing clothes hurt & sitting taking calls at work was an exercise in pain. I had won a voucher for a Chinese foot massage better known as reflexology.  Within 20 minutes of the session beginning, my nerves calmed down. What blessed relief!
  • Finally got a halfway decent pic of my hair. Love the slight purple tint. 
Feb 17, 2017

Book Review: A Merciful Death

FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…

* * * * *

I really enjoyed A MERCIFUL DEATH especially because it gave me new insight on the prepper movement.  The way that Ms. Elliot portrays it makes total sense and it causes me to wonder why more of us don't take part in it at least as far as having food put aside.  I am thinking that I might want to have enough canned goods for my family set aside just in case.

This book is mainly character driven and I love the characters especially Mercy.  She is a modern woman who makes the most of today's conveniences to do her job yet if world ended tomorrow, she is ready for that also.  She has a strong sense of justice that both tortures her and drives her.  She is also someone that I would love to have a friend.  I am really looking forward to seeing more of this lady and hopefully Eagle's Nest's police chief Truman.

This book has a great pacing with the tension and danger increasing throughout the story especially when they discover that some older crimes might have bearing on the current murders.  I really do think that my readers who enjoy romantic suspense would enjoy A MERCIFUL DEATH.  

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

Feb 16, 2017

Book Review: Framed and Burning

The Dreamslippers are a family of PIs who solve crimes using their ability to 'slip' into your dreams. But that isn't easy. In Framed and Burning, they have to defend one of their own. Someone sets fire to Mick Travers' art studio, killing his assistant, and Mick won't give an alibi. His sister is convinced he's innocent, but her granddaughter and the police aren't so sure. Was it really Mick, or is something even darker behind the fire?

* * * * *

FRAMED AND BURNING is a different type of mystery in that it delves in the world of the dream.  Amazing Grace, her granddaughter Cat and her brother Mick all the ability to share the dreams of others.  It can be heart wrenching but it also has the ability to give them clues to investigate.  

When Mick's studio is burnt down, his friend and assistant Donnie happened to be asleep there.  Now Grace and Cat are trying to find out just why someone would burn down the studio.  Did Donnie have someone looking to kill him or was his death accidental?  They are out to clear Mick's name but he isn't being cooperative.

I really enjoyed this book.  It's a mystery but it is also a story about family and how we interact with them.   Grace and her brother haven't been close for years.  Seeing them interact and become close again is a true treasure.

I think that my readers who enjoy mysteries with a touch of the 'other' will love this book.  I plan on going back and picking up the first book myself.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Feb 15, 2017

Book Review: Tangled Up

Storm chaser Max Grady can already feel it: there’s a tornado coming to his hometown of Chance, Nebraska. Max is going after it, and the only person he wants by his side is police officer Bree McDermott, fellow adrenaline junkie, his best friend, and the woman Max has secretly been in love with for years. But when a close call with a tornado leaves them lip-locked, Max knows that the danger is only beginning.

Bree is always up for excitement. Her close and sexy encounter with Max is unlike anything she’s felt before, and she wants more. As they work together to help clean up Chance, the air between them crackles with sexual tension. But Bree has a tendency to look ahead to the next thrill, and Max knows it. Now they’re all tangled up as they chase the strongest force of nature on earth: love.

* * * * *

I fell in love with the town of Chance Nebraska and how the residents all pull together when another tornado hits the town when I was lucky enough to read the first book in this series, Twisted Up.  This time around, I was lucky enough to learn more about Max & Bree's story which had been hinted at before.

Ms. Nicholas' strong point is definitely her characters.  You can feel Max's longing for what he feels  that he can never have.  Bree's confusion about her changing feelings about her best friend come through clear.  And you just fall in love with both of them and the town itself.

I do recommend TANGLED UP to any of my readers who enjoy a contemporary romance.  In fact, I highly recommend reading the first book in this series TWISTED UP if you haven't had the opportunity to do so yet.  

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own. 
Feb 14, 2017

Year of the Jewelry Project

I really haven't forgotten to share the designs that I have been making.  I have just been running behind since I have been trying to get used to my new glasses.

My latest design features some gorgeous vintage lucite and glass.  It also has some polymer beads and a gorgeous spring green stone.
Feb 12, 2017


  • I am sure that you have noticed the lack of Ramblings last Wednesday.  The reason for that is with my new work schedule, it is easier for me to put it out on the weekend.  So until that work schedule changes again, I will be putting it out every Sunday.  That way I can include the happenings for the last week.  
  • We don't tend to get a lot of snow here but someone or something decided that we shouldn't mourn the lack.  The pic taken above was a few hours after it started.  We ended up getting almost 6 inches at my house.  I am glad that I am lucky enough to work in my basement.
  • The cold and the wet definitely did a number on my fibro though.  It hates moisture though the cold definitely doesn't bother me as much as it used too.  If being warm all the time is a sign of approaching menopause then I am all for it though sleeping with the ceiling fan on in the middle of the winter is kinda strange
Feb 10, 2017

Book Review: The Dry

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

* * * * *

What happens to us when we are children can come back to haunt us and Aaron Falk finds this out when he is asked to investigate the death of his childhood friend.  It is being pegged as a murder suicide but something just doesn't sit quite right with Aaron about that ruling.  

While this book is set in the present, we are taken back quite often to the past in Aaron's memories as they are triggered by circumstances.  Normally the time changes bother me but Ms. Harper has done such a wonderful job with these flashbacks that they really enrich the story.  We are able to see how the past really reflects on Aaron's present when he returns to Keiwarra.

I found that the characters really come alive in THE DRY and enjoyed seeing how the people had changed from Aaron's memories of them to the current day.  The book is set in a small town in Australia which is so different from  my experiences that it is like stepping into another world.  Thank goodness for google as I was able to familiarize myself with some of the insect life that is mentioned in the story.  

I highly recommend THE DRY to any of my readers that enjoy a good mystery with a surprising and satisfying conclusion.  Some of the scenes described might be a bit too graphic for a younger audience as we are discussing a murder so be advised.  There is no graphic sex scenes however.

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

Feb 8, 2017

Book Review: Gone

Three years ago, Alec and Raegan McClane lived every parent’s worst nightmare: their one-year-old daughter, Emma, was abducted from a park when Alec turned his back for just a moment. Emma was never found, and presumed dead. The crushing trauma, plus Alec’s unbearable guilt, ended the couple’s marriage.

Now a four-year-old girl matching Emma’s profile is found wandering a local park. Alec and Raegan are heartbroken to discover she’s not their daughter but are newly motivated to find closure…and each secretly feels desperate to be in the other’s presence again.

Alec suspects his vengeful biological father is behind Emma’s disappearance. But as Raegan investigates other abductions in the area, she sees a pattern—and begins to wonder if Emma’s kidnapping is actually linked to something more sinister.

As Alec and Raegan race to uncover the truth, a long-burning spark rekindles into smoldering passion, and they realize they need each other now more than ever.

                                                                  * * * * *

Talk about a book that you won't want to put aside!  It deals with some hard issues including addiction, child abduction and whether love remains after the loss of a child.

Ms. Naughton has done a such wonderful job with the characters that you will find yourself caring what happens to them.  Will Alec be able to cope with opening himself back up to Raegan?  What will happen to her if he starts drinking again when they finally find proof that Emma is dead?  Can they trust each other and their love after their loss?  I found myself rooting for them both and wanting to smack Alec along side the noggin more then once.

I really recommend GONE to any of my readers who enjoy an emotionally charged romantic suspense.  You can't go wrong with this book and this series.

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

Feb 7, 2017

Bead Peeps Swap-N-Hop Partner


I just adore blog hops where we are assigned a partner & we swap beads. It makes it even more special when that partner is someone that I have been following for a while such as Betony Maiden of Bead Wenches. 


I just love her use of colors, textiles & wire. It's a whole smorgasbord complete in our piece by Bethony.   I wanted to show off some of her designs before I post a teaser of what I will be sending her. 



And below is a teaser of what I am sending out to her. I can't wait to see what she makes with them. 

Feb 6, 2017

Book Review: Every Dead Thing

Tortured and brilliant private detective Charlie Parker stars in this thriller by New York Times bestselling author John Connolly.

Former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker is on the verge of madness. Tortured by the unsolved slayings of his wife and young daughter, he is a man consumed by guilt, regret, and the desire for revenge. When his former partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker finds himself drawn into a world beyond his imagining: a world where thirty-year-old killings remain shrouded in fear and lies, a world where the ghosts of the dead torment the living, a world haunted by the murderer responsible for the deaths in his family, a serial killer who uses the human body to create works of art and takes faces as his prize. But the search awakens buried instincts in Parker: instincts for survival, for compassion, for love, and, ultimately, for killing.

Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and a pair of bickering career criminals, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the humid bayous of Louisiana, a trap that threatens the lives of everyone in its reach. Driven by visions of the dead and the voice of an old black psychic who met a terrible end, Parker must seek a final, brutal confrontation with a murderer who has moved beyond all notions of humanity, who has set out to create a hell on earth: the serial killer known only as the Traveling Man.

In the tradition of classic American detective fiction, Every Dead Thing is a tense, richly plotted thriller, filled with memorable characters and gripping action. It is also a profoundly moving novel, concerned with the nature of loyalty, love, and forgiveness. Lyrical and terrifying, it is an ambitious debut, triumphantly realized.

* * * * *

Let me say first off that this book was much longer I expected.  That is one of the downsides of reading an ebook is that I can't just eye it and figure out how long it will be.  That being said, this book is well worth reading.  There are some slow times as Mr. Connolly did much deeper into the criminal psychology then the ones that published lately.  This book really hearkens back to the mysteries of the yesteryear.

There are really two cases in this one book.  In the first part, Parker, or Bird as his friends call him, is attempting to find a missing woman and stumbles into a case of child abduction that has been going on for years.  Just as he finishes that one off, he receives more information about The Traveling Man, the person who killed his wife and child.  

This book is rather dark for the most part but there are some area of comedic relief mainly provided by a couple of Bird's friends, Angel and Louis, who are a gay couple and criminals that Bird had become friends with when he was a cop,. 

I really think that my readers who enjoy thrillers and old style mysteries will enjoy EVERY DEAD THING.  I really like the hero Bird and his sidekicks so I will be following this series.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Feb 4, 2017

Pine Ridge Treasures Color Hop

One of my goals for this year is to make sure that I share more of my jewelry with you, my readers. One of the ways to reach that goal is to participate in more jewelry blog hops.  Those unfortunately are getting harder and harder to find as people just aren't taking the time to blog anymore.  Now while I love Facebook and Instagram, my main reason for starting a blog in the first place still remains which is to get an archive of what I have been doing with my jewelry. 

So thank goodness for Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures and her blog hops.  The premise of this hop is that we were given a choice of colors and Lisa sent us out a little kit to create with.  And as you can tell, I chose the color green and I also remembered to take a pic of the kit itself.  Mine contained lots of green stones, ZnetShows glass pearls and crystals, and some silver beads and connectors. 

I started small and made some earrings using the crystals, the silver beads and green roundelles.  These will be donated to Ears To You.

Next up was my necklace.  I have received quite a few of those silver connectors and never managed to find a use for them.  Well this time around, I was determined and used one for a focal along with some of the green beads.  I really like how it turned out and I think that I will make a few more using different stones.

I finished it up using some of the larger green and white stone beads along with some chain.  I am rather pleased with the necklace though not so much with the picture.  The stones wanted to blend with my background. 

Now that you have taken a look at what I came up with, be sure to check out the rest of the eye candy.  We all received different kits so there is sure to be a variety of designs.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Gloria Allen, Gloria AllenDesigns
Marde Lowe, FanciMar Designs

Feb 1, 2017


  • I definitely have a new color crush!  Purple!  Isn't my new purple toaster just darling.

  • Malls are definitely on their way out.  I know that I tend to avoid them simply because of the crowds.  I might have to rethink that though.  The pic above was taken at 7 pm on Monday.  Definitely no crowds.  And they had some good sales but that wasn't what I was there for.
  • I have to give Apple credit.  I purchased an IPad almost two years ago and the touch screen was no longer as responsive as it used to be.  So I got online and made an appointment for their Genius Bar which happened to be in the mall.  The gentleman that helped me ran a few tests and I ended up walking out with a new IPad.  Brought it home, went through the set up procedure and within an hour, I was back up and going.  It even brought back the book I was in the process of reading.  Easy Peasy.
  • I received such good service that I am going to save up my pennies and get myself a Mac laptop for my next computer.  I just wish that they were quite so expensive.