I write. I quilt. I cook. I take photographs. What else is there?

Friday, February 20, 2015


And that's my big announcement.  I'm giving away one copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's new book, Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule.  I'm also giving away three pins from the Elm Creek series.

The rules are super simple.  Leave me a comment on this blog, telling me which of the prizes you'd like and which Chiaverini book is your favorite so far.  My favorite is The Giving Quilt.

The contest closes next Friday, February 27th at midnight EST.  The winner will be announced Saturday morning.  (You didn't honestly think I stayed awake that late, did you?)  And yes, I ship overseas for this.

COMING MARCH 3, 2015: Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jennifer Chiaverini's New Book

COMING MARCH 3, 2015: Mrs. Grant and Madame JuleThe Story:  In 1844, the shy Missouri belle Julia Dent met Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant, a brilliant horseman and reluctant soldier. The two fell deeply in love, but four years passed before Julia’s father permitted them to wed. The groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony.

Despite her new husband’s objections, Julia kept as her slave another Julia, known as Jule. Since childhood they had been companions and confidantes; Julia was gifted with prophetic dreams, which Jule helped her interpret. Julia secretly taught Jule to read, while Jule became her vision-impaired mistress’s eyes to the world. But beneath the gathering clouds of war, the stark distinctions between mistress and slave inevitably strained and altered their tenuous friendship.

As Ulysses rose through the ranks of the Union army during the Civil War, he often summoned Julia and their four children to join him at military headquarters. The general’s wife rarely failed to bring her favorite maid along, tearing Jule from her own beloved husband, whom she had secretly married in defiance of the law. Both women risked certain danger as they traveled to and from the field of war, but for Jule, the hazards of travel also brought knowledge and opportunity.

Even as Julia Grant championed the Union cause and advocated for suffering women on both sides of the brutal conflict, she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind federal lines—until the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation inspired Jule to make a daring bid for freedom.Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle the singular relationship of these two remarkable women, bound by light and shadow.

What People Are Saying:  “[Chiaverini’s] depiction of the essential decency of some of our nation’s early leaders is a high point.” 
-- Booklist

"Chiaverini's fans will love this light historical romance."

“­Chiaverini’s eye for detail coupled with an ability to breathe life into her characters ensures an engrossing period piece that does not fail to both entertain and inform.” -- Library Journal

My Review:  I found this book every bit as wonderful as the Mrs. Lincoln books.  The details were what made it for me.  And the characterizations brought Jule and the rest of the characters to life.  I enjoyed it immensely and couldn't put it down.

Stay tuned!  Friday, I'll be making an exciting announcement!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

GIMQ Finished!

Yes, it takes me that long to quilt one these days.  That's what happens when you can only work 1/2 - 1 hours 3x or so a week.  But, at last, it's done!!!  I'm so excited!

I put flannel on the back, cotton batting in the middle.  Cotton thread in large tropical flowers and leaves.

This is my winter quilt for my spare bed.  In a land that is all snow for 7 months of the year, it'll be nice to think tropical.

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