Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: Falling for the Beast by Victorine E Lieske

Aribelle takes a job cleaning the house of Thaddeus Walker. Thaddeus is known to others as mean, rude, scary and mysterious. Aribelle does not know what to think of this secretive man. The more she spends time with him, she realizes his soft side. Thaddeus tries to keep up his tough exterior, but finds himself being more and more attracted to Aribelle. He cannot let this happen!

Falling for the Beast is my favorite retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I really did not know how I would the book when I first heard about it. I probably did an eye roll or two, thinking to myself, "Not another one!". But that all changed when I started reading. For Aribelle and Thaddeus to be complete opposites, they sure did have great chemistry together. The story is a little bit mystery, little bit paranormal, and whole lot of clean, sweet romance. I loved it!!

100 stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: A Lady in Disguise (Daughters of Hampshire #3) by Sandra Byrd

A Lady in Disguise is the third addition to Sandra Byrd's Daughters of Hampshire series. In this book, Miss Gillian Young investigate the death of her father. She takes a position of principal costume designer at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal. She uncovers shocking secrets her father had. Do these secrets hold the key to what happened to him and why he was killed? She begins suspecting everyone that may be involved including, Lord Lockwood, who she has developed a romantic feelings for. The closer she gets to the truth to what happened to her father, the more she finds herself in danger. Deciding she wants to find the real killer, she takes on a disguise hoping it is not too late before someone else's life comes to an end, including her own.

A Lady in Disguise is a perfect "who done it" story. The suspense was quite intense at times and I was surprised with all the twist and turns that was involved. A reader will be guessing all the way to the end to what really happened to Gillian's father. I admire Gillian's determination and strength throughout the whole story. 

I really enjoyed this book and I think this is definitely my favorite of the series. 

Five stars 

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is of my own honest opinion.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Double Review: Andi Saddles Up / Andi Under the Big Top (Circle C Stepping Stones #1 / #2) by Susan K Marlow

Andi Saddles Up is the beginning of Susan K Marlow's whole new series, Circle C Stepping Stones. It follows after the Circle C Beginnings series. In this book, Andrea "Andi" Carter, celebrates her ninth birthday. She's finally old enough to ride her beloved palomino, Taffy. She wants to learn to trick ride like her old friend Riley used to do, but her dear old brother, Chad, isn't having it. She meets a new friend, Sadie, whose pa is arguing with Chad over land. Can these two still be friends?

My daughter was so excited when I got this in the mail. I am not surprised when she wanted to read it for our nightly story time right away. We enjoyed Andi and her new friend, Sadie. There is a good lesson to learn and a good reminder to me that adults can learn a lot from children.

A great start to a new series. My daughter and I can not wait to continue our nightly ritual with book two.

5 stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% of my own honest opinion.

Andi Under the Big Top is the second installment from Susan K Marlow's new series, Circle C Stepping Stones. It is summertime now and the circus is coming to town. Andi is excited to see the show. She meets a new friend, Henry Jackson, a little boy that works and travels with the circus. Andi finds out he's a runaway and wants to help him get back home. Helping him could cost her more than realizes!

My daughter and I happily added this book to our nightly reading time. It was fun to imagine what a traveling circus was like in the 1870s. And poor little Henry. We were rooting for him to get back home. We enjoyed this story and it's lesson, but enjoyed book #1 more. Looking forward to when book #3 releases.

4 stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% of my own honest opinion.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Grace and the Preacher is set in Fairland, Kansas, during late 1882. The town awaits the arrival of the new preacher, Reverend Dille, Grace Cristler's pen pal. The two had been writing letters to one another for months. Theophil Garrison find himself on the run from his cousin. The cousin that talked Theo into a train robbery that failed. The cousin was arrested and Theo was able to flee before capture. While Theo was on the run, he finds fatally ill Reverend Dille and traded identities with him. Will Theo be able to pass himself off as Fairland's new preacher?

Like all of the other books written by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Grace and the Preacher is full of faith and inspiration. There are scenes that just give me the giggles and others that warms my heart. There is, also, some action and adventure.

I really like Theo and Grace and enjoy them together, making me root for them until the end.

I highly recommend this sweet, inspiring and  fun story. This is a definite must read.

5 plus stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review of my own opinion.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

What IS Locker Hooking?

Several years ago, I walked into a quilting store to purchase fabric. When I walked in, I came across a variety of items, some were the size a pot holder and others of a small rug. I have never seen anything like it and was intrigued. I asked the owner about them. He eagerly told me that they were done with the technique called Locker Hooking. And he even took the time to show me how to do it. I could not believe how quick and easy it was to do something so beautiful and unique. I was hooked!

So, "What IS Locker Hooking?" is a question I am asked about a LOT! I have a hard time explaining what it is because it is a combination of many other needle arts: Latch Hook, Crochet, Cross Stitch, Rug Making, Quilt Making.

The canvas used is what is used in latch hook and rug making.

The tool used is called a Locker Hook. It has a hook on one end that looks like one used in crocheting, while the other end has a large eye like that of a needle.

Yarn, wool or strips of fabric (my favorite) is used to pull from the back of the canvas to the front.

When pulling the yarn, wool, or fabric to the front, it makes a loop like many would make in other needle crafts. These loops are locked in by a continuing piece of twine.

Patterns can be used or could easy be created by using squares like in cross stitch. Really, a pattern doesn't even need to be used. Just use whatever strips on hand and go!

The finished projects are sturdy enough for washing and can be used for years!

This is one of my first pieces when I was learning to locker hook. No pattern was used, just strips of fabric that I had on hand. It is 13 in x 15 in and only took a couple of hours to make.

The possibilities is endless on what you can do with locker hooking. I have made rugs, wall hangings, coasters, hot pads, potholders, pillows, and even Christmas ornaments. A few pieces I made were made by using clothing, bed linens and curtains that belonged to beloved family members who had passed away. Which were great gifts to others in the family. I have enjoyed creating my own designs, including using actually photographs to make those designs.

Has anyone else ever heard of locker hooking before? What do you think of it?

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Murder Is No Accident by Ann H Gabhart

Murder is No Accident is the third installment from Ann Gabhart's series, Hidden Springs Mystery. Maggie finds herself in quite a situation when she sneaks into an old Victorian mansion. Two people are murdered in the house and her life is, also, threatened. Sheriff Michael Keane must catch the killer before another life is shortened.

I enjoyed this cozy little mystery of who done it. I was surprised to find out how the mystery was solved. I liked Maggie from the beginning and felt so bad for her for what she went through in the story. I, also, enjoyed Sheriff Michael and his developing romance with Alex. I am hoping there is another upcoming release in the future from the series, so I can read more about these two.

I found this book to be a great read and hope to read more of the series in the future, as I have enjoyed the whole series so far.

Highly recommended.

5 plus stars.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice #3) by Jody Hedlund

For Love and Honor is the third of Jody Hedlund's Young Adult series, An Uncertain Choice. Lady Sabine carries a secret that could ruin her life. On that could put her into extreme danger, accused of being a witch and even unable to marry a nobleman. Sure Bennet returns home to protect his home from attacks that will more than likely will happen from those who want repayment of his debts. Debts he is unable to pay for. He finds the only way out us having to marry a wealthy noblewoman. Can these two really trust one another to have an honest relationship or will their secret tell them apart?

First off, look at that cover! Is it not one of the most gorgeous book covers? I just love it! The book is set during the Middle Ages, with plenty of adventure, action, suspense and romance. I love love love this story! It is definitely my favorite from the An Uncertain Choice series.

This Young Adult novel has everything a reader expects from any Jody Hedlund book. A beautifully well written sorry, full of faith and inspiration.

A must read that I highly recommend.

100 stars

I received this book from the author but was not required to write a review. This review is of my own opinion.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Courageous Love (Circle C Milestones #4) by Susan K Marlow

Courageous Love is the fourth book from Susan K Marlow's Young Adult series, Circle C Milestones. It is spring 1885 in San Joaquin Valley, California and Andrea "Andi" Carter is enjoying life. She enjoys helping on her family ranch, Circle C, racing and stunt riding her horse, Shasta, with the help of her lifelong friend and wrangler, Riley Prescott. Andi and Riley finds a cut in a fence where her brother's calves are held, not knowing things are about to get interesting and even dangerous.

At a family party, a brick is thrown through a window with a note attached warning to the family. This is followed by a fire and other danger ahead for Andi and though she loves. Who will come to her rescue before it is too late?

Courageous Love is targeted for the young adult audience, but that does not mean a middle-age reader, like me, would not enjoy it. Which I did! The action, adventure, and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not help to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. I have been following Andi from the start and she still manages to make me giggle with her antics. The ending has quite a surprise I did not see coming at all! I loved it!

5 plus stars

I received this book from the author but was not required to write a review. This review is of my own honest opinion.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: Her Motherwood Wish by Keli Gwyn

Her Motherhood Wish is another fun read by Keli Gwyn. On the way to work at the Double T Orphanage, Chip Evans and Caroline "Callie" Hunt, find two newly orphaned children, Ruby and Jasper. Not only did they find them, they became their caretakers!  Chop does not want to get too close to Callie or the children because he doesn't want to mess up his future plans. On the other hand, Callie has fallen for the children......and Chip! How is that suppose to fit nto her own plans?

Her Motherhood Wish is one of the reasons Keli Gwyn is among my favorite authors. I thought Chip could be infuriating to me and I felt like he needed some good sense knocked into him. I wanted to scream at him and say, "Look what you have right in front of you!" But then he shows his soft side and I see why sweet Callie was falling for him.

I thought this book was great. There was a little mystery and suspense to make this sweet and clean story a perfect mix.

Highly recommended.

5 plus stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is of my opinion.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

The Lessons of Heirloom Quilts

In honor of her upcoming 105th birthday, I want to dedicate this post to my Beloved Grandma Molly. She passed away in 2011, 6 months before she would've turned a century old. She lived at home, mostly alone up until a month before her death. She is an inspiration to me and I miss her dearly. She loved to cook for her family and was a lifetime quilter. When I was little, she would show me her old trunk full of quilts she and her mother had made over the years. She would tell me stories about the quilts, which led to more stories about her, Granddaddy Hancil, her parents, grandparents, and her 14 brothers and sisters. Granddaddy passed away two months before their 72nd Anniversary.

When I see a quilt, I think of Grandma Molly.

For my 13th birthday, she gave me a Butterfly Quilt she had made when she and Granddaddy were married in 1933. I loved that quilt! After several years, the old fabric started deteriorating and was in desperate need of repair. By that time, Grandma was up in her years and was unable to fix it.
One day, I happened to see a quilting show that was doing an episode on how to repair a 1930s Butterfly Quilt. That’s when I knew I should try repairing the quilt myself. I found reproduction fabrics of the era and proudly repaired it. When Grandma saw it, she couldn’t tell where the repairs had been made.

After her passing, I inherited her old trunk full of quilts. When I opened that old trunk, I was flooded with old memories. What a beautiful gift to receive. In that old trunk were many old quilt tops. One that she called a Crazy Quilt. I always loved that top because it had a couple of pieces of fabric of the old fashioned Mickey Mouse on it. I quickly went to work making that top into a quilt.

Another treasure I found was a quilt that was made out of silk ties. This quilt was made by Grandma’s mother. The silk ties had belonged to Grandma’s brother, Joe. Grandma always said that she thought the quilt was 90-100 years old.

Finally, I found 16- 24×24 inch Dresden plate squares that Grandma made out of old feed sacks. I had to do something with those squares! I was even having dreams about them. I decided to piece these squares into a finished quilt and quilted it by hand. I started this project September 2012 and finished October 2013. For a beginner, I thought it turned out great.

Over the last year working on the quilt, I spent a lot of time thinking about what Grandma went through to get those Dresden plates together. You can see 2-3 small pieces of fabric sewn together to make one little section of the plate.

To me those small pieces had a lot significance
1. During the Depression era, you appreciated what God gave you and never took it for granted. Something we all could learn from.
2. Little things that seem too small and worthless can lead to something bigger, better, and beautiful.
3. Dream big! No matter where you start, dreams do come true.

Portions of this post was featured at Mona Hodgson's Blog

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: Her Baby's Protector by Margaret Daley and Susan Sleeman

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Her Baby's Protector is a book with two novellas. These novellas include:

Saved by the Lawman by Margaret Daley. Officer and ex-Marine, Chase Walker, must protect widowed family court judge Kate Forster and her infant son after someone attempted to kidnap the baby. This is a good, action-packed, suspense-filled, clean and romantic short read.

Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman. Bree Hatfield finds herself taking custody of her best friends' daughter, Ella, when they were tragically killed. Bree believe they were murdered, even when it was ruled as an accident. She contacts her ex-boyfriend and Navy Seal, Clint Reed, for help. I loved watching these two together and what they will do to protect little Ella. Another good, clean, suspenseful and romantic short read.

Highly recommended.

 5 plus stars

I received this book from the author but was not required to write a review, which was of my own opinion.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Welcome to the new blog, Locks, Hooks and Books! 

This is where I will be blogging about what I love: Books, Family and Locker Hooking. I will be posting reviews for books and family friendly products, share my current locker hooking projects and do an occasional giveaway.

Please be patient as I figure how everything works and start posting on a regular basis. I look forward to interacting with my followers soon. 💓💓💓💓

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