Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Mystery Lovers Contest & HOPE!

"Hoards" of my blog fans are crossing their fingers and breathlessly awaiting this announcement.  ;)  So I shall delay no longer.  WHO is the winner of the Chocolate Mystery Lovers Contest?

Sweet hubby picked a random number from 1-10, and our very own Kate, of AnxiousDog fame, won the coveted Chocolate Mystery Lovers Contest!   She receives this fun book, Knit, Purl, Die that I reviewed in a previous post, and a few other surprises I shall throw in just to make her smile.

Now my plan was to include a deliciously, decadent chocolate gift in that package but I'm not sure if Kate's low carb way of life allows for that.

Kate has transformed herself since I've known her.  She has always been beautiful, smart and a good friend with a great heart.  But she has now added skinny super model to the list.  Well, to be honest, I don't know if she is modeling professionally but she COULD!  She is an inspiration to me to continue my quest for LESS of me.  So... Kate... drop me a line and let me know if it's okay to include chocolate?

Thanks to everyone who participated.  Truly.  It's much more fun to have a contest when people actually enter to WIN!  And I plan on hosting more fun giveaways in the future so stop by again to see what amazingly fun thing might be next.  (I LOVE giving away prizes!)

I've cut this post short to make room for something that is weighing heavy on the minds of Missourians today.  It's been in the news but I don't know how widespread that news has been so I will share this.  Joplin, MO is just a little over an hour away from me and they were hit very hard with a deadly tornado this weekend.

Convoy of Hope is an organization based out of Springfield, Mo.  They have provided very real help to people in need around the world, and they are now working in their very own backyard providing much needed help to survivors of this disaster.  

I'm sure many at Convoy of Hope and the other rescue workers have connections to people in Joplin, which makes the relief effort that much more heartbreaking.  

If you would like to help, please give whatever you are able to Convoy of Hope or any of the other organizations listed in the ABC News article provided in the link above.  Most of all, please PRAY.  Many families are still awaiting news about the welfare of loved ones in Joplin.

To everyone who has faced or IS FACING life shaking events...

 1GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.
    2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,
    3Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 46 Amplified Bible
My friends, God is VERY present in your life.  He is not just mildly interested in your hurts, needs, troubles or disasters.  He's really HERE with you and His track record for helping in times of trouble is "well-proved."  He is committed to help you with every bit of who He IS... holding back nothing.  He is here with you at the epicenter of your need.  You can trust Him to help you in your time of trouble.  I'm trusting in God today.  I hope you are too.

With Love,


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Knit, Purl, Die!

The sun is yawning bright in the heavens.  
God's most pure azure blues sleepily stretch across sky.
And a cashmere soft breeze whispers... "come play"

I'm ready to dig my bare little piggies
into warm grains of sand,
 settle myself into a secluded spot,
with an ice cold glass of tea,
and escape into one of my
 favorite guilty pleasures.

Most everyone I know reads literary works or self help books found on... New York Times Best Sellers, Oprah's Book Club, and College Reading Lists... I prefer what I call chocolate mysteries.

No need to equip yourself with a tablet and highlighter, the pages of chocolate mysteries are best turned with care-free, chocolate stained finger tips.  You don't learn anything from them.  You are not a better person for having read them.  You really can't gather quotes from them to amaze your friends or paste on Facebook.

However, you CAN escape to distant places.  Meet interesting people.  Match wits with really smart people whilst solving a classic "who-dun-it." AND goodness and justice always WIN! 

Two fun books I just finished reading are classic CHOCOLATE MYSTERIES.  But these books by Anne Canadeo, have a few little extras that make them a really fun read for knitters.  They are called Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries.  The common location they share is a seaside community (reminds me of my roots in Sunny Southern California) which is home to the bustling yet homey knitting shop and hangout known as the Black Sheep.  

The members of the local knitting group seem prone to awfully bad luck, though, having already had several murders and I'm only two books into the series.  lol  

What I love... 

There is no bad language and the murders are NOT graphically described in vivid detail.   And there are no lurid sex scenes.  Not everyone is a saint though.  Obviously, or else there wouldn't be a mystery to solve, or any interesting characters to implicate.  

This is not the quality of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, or Hercule Poirot but it is a fun read for those who enjoy matching wits in a story that won't keep them up at night or give them nightmares.   It's just fun, light, entertainment. (If you find murder mysteries entertaining.  lol)

Brownie Points... 
(Brownies are a favorite of this chocolate lover.)

I've given this book extra brownie points for the patterns and recipes in the back which allow you to knit the projects and taste the food they enjoy in the book.  How fun is that?! 

Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries

I suggest starting with #1  While My Pretty One Knits (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries)

While My Pretty One Knits (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries)This one showcases a notorious rivalry between knitting shops that ends in murder.  

People are falsely accused.  Red herrings are thrown out to confuse you.  But we knitters are not to be fooled with!  We figure out the solution before the police do, whilst knitting complicated patterns with fabulous yarns!   

Of course we do!  

I just closed the book on Knit, Purl, Die (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)

Knit, Purl, Die (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)I started this one on a get-away I shared with my hubby last winter.  It was a charming bed and breakfast.  Just an overnighter, but both hubby and I enjoy reading on vacation, so I bought this book just for the title!  Love it... Knit, Purl, DIE!  lol  

I must admit that I didn't get very far in reading it, only having one evening and all.  I actually ended up getting the ebook version to finish reading on my phone.  I always forget to bring a book along but I usually have my phone with me.  

This charmer brings the evil doer even closer to the safety of the Black Sheep knit shop.  I don't want to spoil it for you but I did change my mind a few times as to who the guilty party was.

I only have one complaint ;)  

The central character in Knit, Purl, Die is described as "a cougar" having scored a much younger husband and she seems to have undergone all sorts of cosmetic enhancements needed to keep her AGE from showing.  I pictured this woman as MUCH OLDER than the 52 year old woman we discover her to be.  REALLY?!  52?  Is that really OLD now?!!! 

Well I put aside my bruised pride and determined to enjoy the story anyway.  It proved to be a fun read too.  

A Contest!  You could be a winner too!!!

IF YOU READ THIS REVIEW CLOSELY, you'll notice that I ended up with BOTH the ebook and the paperback copy of this book.  So I thought I would have a...


In 1 WEEK, MAY 24th, I'm giving away my paperback copy of...


Knit, Purl, Die (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)

to 1 lucky winner!

You do NOT need to be a knitter to enter the contest or to enjoy this book.  All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post and you will be entered to win.  (The winner will be drawn randomly by my sweet hubby.)

What's next?

A Stitch Before Dying (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)I think I shall follow this fun group of knitters on their next adventure A Stitch Before Dying (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)

Today I leave you with a thought from my Bible reading yesterday.  I was reading from the Amplified Bible and I came across this verse in Psalm 97 vs 11.  (Emphasis is mine.)

LIGHT is sown for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and strewn along their pathway, and JOY for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].

These are rich rewards for pursuing a godly life.  

* No matter how dark or evil the world around you may seem, no matter how difficult or impossible or bad your situation may appear, when you belong to God, HE is in control.  Your job is to concentrate on living right, WITHOUT COMPROMISE, and God will get you through safely.  You will find your difficult path strewn freely with light (direction, hope, insight, wisdom, comfort.)  You will clearly see the goodness of God in your difficult situation that others often miss.

* Having an upright heart to me means having a clear conscience.  It means, being a person who seeks to DO what is right in God's eyes, not just outwardly for others to see, but from the center of who you are.  Yet, that same person acknowledges her failures humbly and promptly asks for forgiveness and receives it freely.   That is a person who is able to live in unfettered JOY!  No hiding in shame or feelings of deserving misfortune.  Instead, the person with the heart that is right with God KNOWS, CONSCIOUSLY KNOWS, that she is the blessed recipient of her Heavenly Father's FAVOR and PROTECTION.  He has her best interest at heart.  And she KNOWS God is worthy of complete trust, like a newborn knows nothing but trust for the mother who gave her birth.

My prayer for you and for me is that we will daily live that good and godly life, marked by LIGHT and irrepressible JOY!

Thanks for stopping by my cottage.


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