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Knitting, Reads

Knitting Update & A New Read

Happy Wednesday!

I’m sharing today my current knitting project and my new read.

After the success of knitting my first ever baby blanket I decided to attempt to knit a hat and scarf set.

This hat will have a pom-pom when it’s complete. I love, love, love a hat with a pom-pom. I’ll be tackling the matching scarf next. I’ve been trying to knit this set for ages. Seriously. I’ve run into problems with the pattern. If I miss a stitch I can’t tell where and I can’t tell what row the mistake was made in. It’s been very frustrating for this new knitter but I’m determined to make these two items. So far, so good with the hat. 🙂

I just finished reading a book and now I’m diving into Death by Chocolate Lab by Bethany Blake. Death by Chocolate Lab is the first in the new series Lucky Paws Pet Sitting series and I’ve been looking forward to reading the book. I love the cover, especially the hound dog. He’s adorable. The series is published by my publisher, Kensington Books, and I’m looking forward to seeing the cover of my debut novel, which I believe will also have a dog on the cover.

What’s Death by Chocolate Lab about? It features a pPet sitter Daphne Templeton who has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

I love the premise and now I’m going to grab my tea and do a little reading before I have to get back to writing.

What are you reading today or what craft are you currently working on?


TBR Pile Grows and Grows

Don’t you just love a pile of new books? I do! These are all the books I acquired when I went to the writer’s conference. Some I received at the conference and the others were purchased at Barnes & Noble. Yeah, it was a good weekend.


Knitting, Reads, Yarn Along

Yarn Along

I’m so excited to be participating in my first Yarn Along. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other gals are knitting and reading. For my first Yarn Along post I’m sharing a new project and my current read.

For my project it’s take two. I began this baby blanket (it’s going to be a gift) last week and after a rocky start (it was labeled a beginner pattern, in truth it really should have been labeled intermediate/beginner knitter and luckily I have a friend who is a very experienced knitter to help me) it started to look like a blanket!!! I was loving every stitch…until…I realized there was a dropped stitch after finding a funky end stitch on a row, both of realizations came after the fact. Not being experienced enough to salvage the drop stitch and I had no idea how to deal with that funky, loopy stitch, I decided to pull out all of the stitches until  got to the dropped stitch. My thought was I would pick up that drop stitch and go forth. Knit on!


The blanket just fell apart, the stitches were coming undone and …it was a real mess.

I made the decision to pull out all of the stitches and start from the beginning.

That’s when it became a disaster.

Two yarns being pulled out led to a heap of knotted, tangled yarn. Yeah, that was fun.

Eventually I untangle, unknotted both yarns and I started all over again.

It’s finally starting to look like a blanket.



Now onto my current read.  This is the third book I’ve read in the series so far and I’m really enjoying the series. Jenn McKinlay has written a smart, cozy series with characters that engaging and the plots are well-crafted.


One more photo. While I was taking photos of the blanket and the book Susie joined me and saw the camera. So, she wasn’t going to be left out of the action. She posed and waited patiently for her close-up. Guess she wanted to show off her pigtails. She and Billy had just returned from the grooming appointment.


This has been fun sharing my project and current read. I’m looking forward to checking out the other Yarn Along posts. Have a great Wednesday!


Holidays, Reads

A cozy Christmas for all

Christmas is fast approaching and I’m reaching for Christmas novels to read.  How about you? I love a good Christmas book.  All the yuletide, festive, merriment with a heaping dash of murder and mystery. Fun stuff!Ho!Ho!Ho! Today I’m sharing four books I think you’ll enjoy.

Two years after she was accused of fraud, Miranda Vaughn is finally back to work. But instead of returning to her highly paid position as an investment banker, she’s selling discount make-up at Prospect Point Mall to make a little extra holiday cash. It’s not a great job, but Miranda wants to make this Christmas special for the people who stood by her during her trial and in the aftermath of her acquittal. Plus, keeping herself busy with work keeps her from thinking about her looming birthday. Or thinking about Jake Barnes, the federal agent who saved her life and then disappeared without a trace.

But strange things are afoot at Prospect Point, from the shady elves with the neck tattoos to the shadowy figures she sees in the parking garage. Is trouble following Miranda—again? And is that really Jake she keeps seeing in the holiday crowd, or is it just her mind, and heart, playing tricks on her?


‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before it’s too late…



As the holidays draw near in Caerphilly, Mother volunteers to take part in in a big Christmas-themed decorator show house—each room of a temporarily untenanted house is decorated to the hilt by a different decorator for the public to tour. Of course, Mother insists that Meg pitch in with the organization, and she finds herself surrounded by flamboyant personalities with massive egos clashing and feeling their professional reputations are at stake. Then the rooms start to be sabotaged, and an unfortunate designer turns up dead—making Mother a prime suspect. Can Meg catch the real killer in time to save Mother the indignity of arrest?

The brilliantly funny and talented Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. Cozies make excellent stocking-stuffers, and The Nightingale Before Christmas is guaranteed to put the “ho ho hos” into the holidays for the legions of fans hungry for another Christmas book featuring Meg Langslow. Donna has won many awards for this very popular series, and continues to come up with new hilarious adventures for her endearing heroine. The novel is full of superb screwball comedy as well as Donna’s trademark crisp plotting, not to mention bushels of holiday cheer–it wouldn’t be the most wonderful time of the year without it.



A huge collection of heartwarming, brain-puzzling, and character-driven traditional mysteries that’ll keep you entertained for hours. (At 213,000 words, this is 627 pages of reading material!) Plus, you can email to get a FREE Bonus File with recipes and holiday craft ideas. Celebrate the holidays with stories by these thirteen bestselling and award-winning authors: Joanna Campbell Slan, Neil Plakcy, Lois Winston, Annie Adams, Jenna Bennett, Nancy Jill Thames, Sara Rosett, Camille Minichino, Nancy Warren, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Teresa Trent.

Happy cozy reading!