Showing posts from December, 2011

Phyl's 5 Phaves for November

November was a great reading month. I read quite a bit, helped in part by Thanksgiving travel that saw me trapped in the car for hours on end (I'm a good in-car reader as I let my DH do all the driving). I really liked almost everything I read and it was not easy to pick my top 5 for the month. The "winners" include not one, but TWO "chicks in pants" historicals. Loved them both.

5. SEAL of My Dreams by various authors. This anthology was released on Veterans Day and I was happy to purchase it as the proceeds go to a worthy cause. The stories in the book are quite short and some are better than others. Overall, I really enjoyed this. They are a wonderful tribute to the sacrifices that military service members make on behalf of our country.

4. Sea Change by Darlene Marshall. Besides being a very nicely done romance, this book was a fascinating look at life at sea during the early 19th century. This was the first of the two books I mentioned above featuring a her…

T-shirt quilt for 2011 Brenda Novak auction

My 2011 contribution to the Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research was to make a t-shirt quilt for the winning bidder. The winner gave me a pile of old t-shirts and I turned them into a twin-sized quilt. This turned out to be an especially fun thing to do, because this pile of old t-shirts represent special memories for their owner. It was interesting to get a small glimpse into the life of the winner.
My first task was to turn the shirts into blocks. Because the motifs were of various sizes, I had to do some planning. Fortunately the winner was willing to let me design this however I liked. Being a tad anal, I decided I wanted a symmetrical look to the quilt. I also did my best to balance the colors, although that orange t-shirt did throw things off! I created 10 12-inch square blocks and then 4 blocks, all 15 inches wide, but of varying heights. Here is the layout I decided on:

I had a discussion with the winner. We decided green would make a nice background for the shir…

TBR Day. Christmas at Candlebark Farm / Michelle Douglas. 2010

I found this on my Kindle when looking for a holiday-themed book for this month's TBR Challenge. I have no idea what prompted the purchase. But when I saw it was Australian-set I thought it might be fun to read a Christmas story set down under where it is hot and sunny right now (as opposed to cold and rainy like it is here).

Keira Keely is a young woman, 10 weeks pregnant thanks to an IVF procedure. She has no man in her life and is looking to have a baby now because a medical issue could prevent her from getting pregnant later in life. She has taken temporary lodging at Candelbark Farm while she arranges the sale of a house she'd inherited from a great aunt.

Luke Hillier is a widower with a 15-year old son. Luke has to work long and hard to keep his farm running; he's renting out a room to earn a little extra cash.

This book is full of some fairly common themes or stereotypes:

Kiera is sunny and optimistic about almost everything.Luke is gruff and anti-social.Luke can…

Coming Home for Christmas / Carla Kelly. 2011

Christmas-themed books are a popular staple this time of year. The frequently-used themes of home and family are popular images we like to associate with the holidays. Often, though, circumstances force people to be away from loved ones at this time of year, and the three novellas in this collection explore that idea. Although the title includes the words "coming home," only the 3rd story involves a journey home; the first two stories take place far from the leads' homes.

Carla Kelly has put together a wonderful collection of stories here that involve three members of the same family, each from a different generation. Thomas Wilkie is a British Naval surgeon stranded in San Diego in 1812. The second story is about his widowed daughter, Lilian, who is one of Florence Nightengale's nurses in the Crimea in 1855. And the final story is of Lillian's son, Wilkie Wharton, an American army doctor assigned to Fort Laramie in 1877. In each story, Christmas is approaching. …