The Body Keeper by Anne Frasier

  • Posted on June 9, 2019 at 6:11 pm

The Body Keeper (Detective Jude Fontaine Mysteries #3)The Body Keeper by Anne Frasier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jude Fontaine continues her remarkable career as a homicide detective, this time braving one of the brutal winters for which Minneapolis is so well known. But even the harshest of winters won’t keep the bodies away.

As I’ve come to expect from Anne Frasier, this book is one that begs to be devoured, not letting you go until you’ve finished. The plot is filled with intricate twists and turns with one doozy of a surprise at the end. I enjoyed every moment of intrigue and character development and, as always, I can’t wait to see what comes next from the mind of this talented author!

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The Final Trade by Joe Hart

  • Posted on May 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm

The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)The Final Trade by Joe Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am able to strongly empathize with the main character, Zooey. She has been through so much and has had to make some very difficult decisions that are terrible to live with. She is an amazingly strong but flawed woman in whom it becomes easy to invest. This plot is full of “two steps forward, one step back” for the group, a balance between bad and good. It’s excruciating mentally, especially as you become further and further invested in the characters, but it sinks the hook in deep and drives you to keep reading until the wee hours of the morning. Just like the first book in the series, I found this one hard to put down. Be aware that there are violent and gory scenes, so if you have a vivid imagination and are able to envision the scenes playing out, you should be mentally prepared. But if you read the first book in the trilogy, you will know what to expect.

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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

  • Posted on April 16, 2019 at 9:43 am

Orphan TrainOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author is new to me and I wasn’t entirely sure how well crafted the story would be. The timelines are beautifully intertwined as the characters, Molly and Vivian, interact in real time and also traverse through Vivian’s complex and dramatic history. Vivian’s story is all the more incredible having been based loosely on real events during that time period. To realize that actual people had these experiences in their lives is stunning and poignant. It’s also lovely how the two women build a meaningful relationship that is mutually beneficial. All of the information at the end of the book regarding the history of orphan trains and interview with the author was interesting, but slightly excessive. Just be aware that when you have finished the actual story, your Kindle will still register a good percentage left to read.

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2019 Stitching Goals

  • Posted on January 21, 2019 at 5:50 pm

Once again, this year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases and any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)

Arezzo by Nora Corbett — Make significant progress on stitching.

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2019?

Complete stitching on at least 6 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible, like:
– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2

Recap of 2018 Stitching Goals

  • Posted on January 20, 2019 at 5:52 pm

This year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases. That’s one vice I can’t give up. And any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles — Complete stitching. (This is small, but over one and tedious. I need the incentive to finish.)
** Stitching completed on July 14, 2018 **

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Leilani the Hula Dancer by Nora Corbett — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on June 17, 2018 **

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)
** Failed. Some stitching completed, but nothing significant **

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)
** Failed. Pulled out and re-kitted, but no stitching completed **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2018?
** Forwarded to 2019 goals **

Complete stitching on at least 8 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.
** Nine projects completed **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
** Textile Heritage Collection – Fuchsias Scissor Keep **

– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2

2018 Stitching Goals

  • Posted on January 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Permanent link to goal tracking page: http://www.jennamagee.com/weblog/?page_id=3081

———————

This year’s goal is to stitch from stash, with minimal outlay for new designs and DMC that needs to be replenished, with the exception of Just Nan releases. That’s one vice I can’t give up. And any Mirabilia/Nora Corbett designs that may be discontinued that I don’t already have. Otherwise, I want to avoid buying fabric, specialty fibers and embellishments, where possible.

———————

Mele Kalikimaka by Monsterbubbles — Complete stitching. (This is small, but over one and tedious. I need the incentive to finish.)

Water Wonderland by Joan Elliott — Make significant progress on, if not complete, stitching. (This gift is so long overdue that I’m sure the recipient has completely forgotten about it.)

Leilani the Hula Dancer by Nora Corbett — Complete stitching

Bonsai and Buddha by Dimensions — Make significant progress on stitching. (I like this piece and would like to rescue it from my long-standing WIP pile.)

Fairy Moon by Mirabilia — Make some progress on stitching. (Another long-standing WIP.)

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing (provided I can afford it)

Complete stitching on at least 8 Just Nan designs in my stash. This should help me to work through my extensive Just Nan stash.
– Just Nan – Over the Top – Grow Pincushion (Side 1)?
– Just Nan – Over the Top – Grow Pincushion (Side 2)?
** Three projects already completed. **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
– Daydreams Petite in Glass – Crystal Creation?
– Textile Heritage Collection – Fuchsias Scissor Keep?
– Hermanson Hardanger – Russian Inspired Ornament #2?

Recap: Stitching Goals for 2017

  • Posted on January 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm

I rediscovered my love of all things hardanger this past year, completing a grand total of 22 hardanger pieces! I can hardly believe that number myself! This really helped to kick my stitching mojo back into high gear. I didn’t manage to finish any large pieces, but I did complete plenty of smalls and finished several long-standing WIP pieces, as well. I foresee this trend of small project stitching and completion continuing through 2018.

My total for 2017 is 39 finishes! I think this might actually be a record for me.

—————–

Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Make significant progress on stitching
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Lizzie-Kate – Dog Lessons for People — Make significant progress on stitching
** Failed. Didn’t touch it **

Nordic Needle – Flower Garden — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on May 1, 2017 **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Restart and make significant progress on stitching
** Stitching completed on September 5, 2017 **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Send to Jill Rensel, along with his purple brother, for framing in 2018?
** Forwarded to 2018 goals **

Nora Corbett – Leilani the Hula Dancer — New start in July; complete stitching
** Failed. Made significant progress on stitching, but did not complete **

Complete stitching on at least 2 Just Nan designs in my stash. This includes new starts as needed to work through my Just Nan stash.
** Five Just Nan pieces completed **

As many hardanger pieces as I feel like.
** Twenty-two hardanger pieces completed **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
** Seven additional WIPs completed **

Stitching Finishes To Date

  • Posted on July 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

Surprisingly, my mojo came back with a vengeance this year. Mostly because I rediscovered my adoration of all things hardanger. I’ve stitched so many bookmarks, it’s now a running gag. And any new visitor to my home who reads is encouraged to take one so I don’t keep them all for myself. 🙂

I need to go back and fill in the exact names for some of my more recent finishes, but I am up to 25 for the year and there are still many months left on the calendar. I even started a new large(-ish) sized project – Leilani the Hula Dancer by Nora Corbett. This is due largely in part to the fact that my lovely friend Jenn gifted me with all of the DMC threads and a beautiful piece of fabric for this design. All I had to do was supply the overdyed threads (which I substituted out of my stash) and the Mill Hill beads/treasures. No brainer!

Because I’ve mindlessly stitched so many hardanger bookmarks, I need to look up the details on some of the last ones I’ve done:

  1. Wisteria Tassel from the Stitched and Beaded Tassel Ornament Collection by Mill Hill — Finished January 8, 2017
  2. Willow Dragonfly from the Dragonfly Pin Collection by Mill Hill — Finished January 22, 2017
  3. Not All Those Who Wander by weelittlestitches — Finished January 23, 2017
  4. The Peacock Stitching Chair by The Cat’s Whiskers Design/Janie Hubble Designs — February 20, 2017
  5. Celtic Swirls by Ink Circles (purple) — March 6, 2017
  6. Strawberry Emery by Janie Hubble Designs — March 19, 2017
  7. Hardanger Card Club – August 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — April 15, 2017
  8. Hardanger Card Club – September 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — April 15, 2017
  9. Hardanger Card Club – October 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — April 15, 2017
  10. Hardanger Card Club – April 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — April 15, 2017
  11. Hardanger Card Club – January 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — April 15, 2017
  12. Hardanger Beginnings Flower Garden Design by Susan Meier and Roz Watnemo — May 1, 2017
  13. Hardanger Card Club – November 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — May 6, 2017
  14. Sampler Bookmark #1 from Sampler Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle — May 11, 2017
  15. Bookmark #4 from Elegant Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle — May 13, 2017
  16. Sampler Bookmark #4 from Sampler Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle — May 13, 2017
  17. Bookmark #1 from Elegant Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle — May 16, 2017
  18. Sampler Bookmark #2 by Nordic Needle — May 17, 2017
  19. Bookmark #5 from Elegant Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle (blue and black) — June 4, 2017
  20. Bookmark #5 from Elegant Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle (purple) — June 4, 2017
  21. Sampler Bookmark #3 from Sampler Bookmarks in Hardanger Embroidery by Nordic Needle — June 6, 2017
  22. Lorelei Lamb by Just Nan — June 11, 2017
  23. Bookmark ??? from ??? by Nordic Needle — June 24, 2017
  24. Hardanger Card Club – ???? 2010 by Roz Watnemo, Nordic Needle — June 24, 2017
  25. Bookmark ??? from ??? by Nordic Needle — July 4, 2017

Stitching Goals for 2017

  • Posted on July 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

My stitching mojo seems to have returned, even if it’s primarily small projects so far, so I figured I would set a handful of goals and see what happens. I’ve already managed to complete one!

—————–

Joan Elliott – Water Wonderland — Make significant progress on stitching

Lizzie-Kate – Dog Lessons for People — Make significant progress on stitching

Nordic Needle – Flower Garden — Complete stitching
** Stitching completed on May 1, 2017 **

Teresa Wentzler – Sun Dragon (Turquoise) — Restart and make significant progress on stitching

Nora Corbett – Leilani the Hula Dancer — New start in July; complete stitching

Complete stitching on at least 2 Just Nan designs in my stash. This includes new starts as needed to work through my Just Nan stash.
** One complete **

As many hardanger pieces as I feel like.
** No problems here! **

Knock out some other WIPs, if possible.
** Two complete (maybe three?) **

Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig

  • Posted on April 23, 2017 at 10:15 am

Brew or Die: A Java Jive MysteryBrew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery by Caroline Fardig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will admit that jumping into the middle of a multi-novel series doesn’t always yield the best results. While authors aim to write each book in such a way that anyone can drop in at any time and still get the gist of things (and this book is no different), I feel that there is a richness to the characters that is lacking by not having the full background.

Overall, I liked this book, but I did find it slow in parts. The middle of the book is where authors tend to not be able to hold my attention, as was the case here. The story line was quite complex, with multiple mysteries at once and the interleaving of many relationships, so it became mired in a too much detail in some spots. I suspect a broader brush could have been used to fill in the investigations and kept a faster pace. The problem may well have been that there were too many mysteries happening in one book to really be effective in the storytelling of all of them.

I would consider going back and reading earlier books in the series to learn more about the main characters. I would definitely recommend starting at the top with this one.

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