Daily Archives: April 7, 2013

Mailbox Monday – April 8, 2013

mailbox.mountainWelcome to this week’s Mailbox Monday and which is hosted by Mari at Mari Reads this month. Visit the dedicated blog for the meme to see the complete tour schedule in the right sidebar.

This week I got three intriguing books in my mailbox:

SwimmingToElbaSwimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone (Penguin, April 2013) is translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. This novel is described as a “provocative international bestseller about two young girls growing up fast in a failing industrial town on the coast of Italy.” Anna and Francesca, both just shy of their fourteenth birthdays are growing up on the beaches of their gritty town where “the glittering resort island of Elba taunts them from across the bay.” On the brink of high school, adulthood, and ambition they each set off on their own. As their choices take them to a painful crossroads, the girls must reconnect if they have any hope of escaping their small-town destinies. The publisher writes: “Frank, sensual, and evocative of the Academy Award–winning film Cinema Paradiso and the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Swimming to Elba is a harrowing yet redemptive meditation on politics, family, sex, and the lasting power of friendship.

Silvia Avallone lives and works in Bologna, where in 2012 she graduated in Arts. She has published poems, articles and short stories. Her debut novel Swimming to Elba (published under the title Steel in Italy) won the Campiello Opera Prima, the prize Flaiano Fregene, the Città di Penne, and was ranked second in the Strega Prize 2010.

LightInTheRuinsThe Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (Doubleday, July 2013) is set in Florence during the mid-20th century. In 1943 the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe they are safe behind the walls of their villa. But when two soldiers, one German and one Italian, arrive at the villa…the tranquility of the Rosatis, including an eighteen-year old girl named Christina, is shattered. More than a decade later, Investigator Serafina Bettini is hiding her haunting memories of the war. When she is assigned to a serial killer case with the Florence Police Department, she finds herself unwittingly digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.

Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Sandcastle Girls, Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, and Midwives. His novel Midwives was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and three of his novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. Learn more about Bohjalian and his work by visiting the author’s website.

DaddysGoneDaddy’s Gone A Hunting (Simon & Schuster, April 2013) is the latest suspense thriller by Mary Higgins Clark. In this novel a dark secret from a family’s past is exposed and threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly. When the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City explodes into flames in the middle of the night, the ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery. What, if anything, does the tragedy have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years. Mary Higgins Clark “presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer.

Mary Higgins Clark is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written thirty-two suspense novels; three collections of short stories; an historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges and two children’s books. She is the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five suspense novels.  More than 100 million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone, and her books are worldwide bestsellers. Learn more about Higgins Clark by visiting the author’s website.

Did any wonderful books arrive in YOUR mailbox this week?

Kool Kaleidoscope Quilt


*Click on any photo to enjoy a larger view

I finally finished this very Kool Kaleidoscope quilt which I made using Ricky Tims’ book. The process is much easier than it looks (I actually pieced the top in a weekend because it is obsessively addicting). I decided to use black and gray as the inner borders to add depth to the quilt.


I used fabric from my stash which includes a fair amount of Kaffe Fassett (including some shot cotton and stripes). The solids in the quilt are Kona solids.


This quilt measures 55″ X 54″ and uses Warm and White batting. The back is pretty simple -two coordinating fabrics from Kaffe Fassett’s collection of fabrics.


I quilted this one with straight converging lines (using masking tape to help me get it right). I didn’t worry too much about spacing – I just did what felt right. I also outlined the star in the middle with some stitching.

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I really enjoyed making this quilt and it was great fun to watch the whole thing evolve. This is a quilt which will brighten up any room in the house!

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Sunday Salon – April 7, 2013

Sunday Salon

April 7, 2013

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of The Sunday Salon. Visit the Facebook Page for links to other bloggers’ posts. Last week my husband and I took a fabulous trip up to Portland, Oregon for a wedding…and then came home via the Columbia River Gorge and highway 97 through Bend. The scenery (and weather) was magnificent!

Mt.Hood (800x534) MultnomahFalls (342x512)

That’s Mount Hood from Highway 97 (on the left) and Multnomah Falls (click on either photo to enjoy a larger view)

GoneGirlBecause of my travels, I didn’t get a whole lot of books read. But I did finish Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and, surprisingly, I really liked it (read my review). We’re discussing this one over on the Bookies Too Yahoo group if you want to join us. I liked the unreliable narrators, the dark twists and turns and the exploration of a really, really dysfunctional marriage. This novel was long listed for The Women’s Prize for Fiction which does surprise me. It seems an odd choice for that award. On the other hand, it also got nominated for an Edgar Award which feels much more appropriate!

Paradise Guest HouseI also finished reading the beautiful new novel by Ellen Sussman – The Paradise Guest House. I’m touring this novel on April 16th for TLC Book Tours, so you’ll have to wait for my review (I’ll also have a copy of the book for giveaway to US and Canada mailing addresses at that time). If you want to read other reviews of the book before then, check out the TLC Book Tour page.

AllYouCouldAskForMy current read is also for TLC Book Tours. All You Could Ask For by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg is about three women. So far, I’m enjoying it. Greenberg writes from the female perspective with a decent amount of insight into what makes women tick. My review of this book will post on April 22nd, so I hope you’ll come back to see what I thought.

TrajectoryofDreamsI’ve also started reading The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton which is an odd little book about a sleep technician stalking astronauts. I’m not sure I’ll finish this one. I’ve set it aside for now while other books are getting more of my attention.

What about you? Have you been reading some good books lately? I hope so!