Monday, February 25, 2013

Simply Crochet: Simply Wonderful!

Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Everyday


When I got my review copy of this book I was more than a little excited. My friend had a copy and had shown it to me, making me instantly drool. I was not disappointed as I sat with my e-reader and thumbed through the pages. I immediately set upon a crochet hook and began to ponder the great projects set before me.

The cover piece is what really hooked me. (No pun intended.) The Iced Ascot scarf is simply lovely and has an easy pattern that works well with both written and charted instruction. As someone who is learning to do both, this was awesome.

The other cool thing about this book are the helpful hints with each project. Like, how to organize yarn to find something for seasonal use. Nice idea to set things up by fiber. I had always done it by color, or whatever giant bin or box I had available.

The next piece that grabbed me was the twist cowl/wrap. You can make it to be either and it is light and airy. Here in Texas, that is a must have for the spring and summer months. Too much and you are yanking it off your neck before long.

The Emma Lace Scarf had me transfixed. It was inspired by a Victorian leather belt and worked in two directions. Done in a red Marino, this is a stunning piece.

If you've always wanted to experience Tunisian crochet, then the neck lattice on page 41 is going to be a small project that is worth the try. I bought myself a hook and am about to see how it goes. Stay tuned for pictures as I go!

As the book goes on you get projects for more than one ball and each of them is a work of art. From a tapestry basket to some quirky hand puppets and my favorite, the giselle vest, you can't miss with this book.

If you love to crochet, then this is the book for you. Great gifts or just for yourself, this collection has practical and whimsical ideas to keep you hooking for quite a while.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Potter Craft: Two Titles To Warm the Winter Away

As long as men have had sweaters, women have borrowed them. In BOYFRIEND SWEATERS (on sale 12/18), knitwear designer Bruce Weinstein bridges the gender gap by offering 19 boyfriend sweaters and accessories that are uber-comfortable, stylish, and sized to fit both him and her. Featuring techniques knitters love, including reversibles, cables, Fair isle, and herringbone, these designs will look great on men and fabulous on women.

Kids can’t resist adorable stuffed animals, and KNITTED FARM ANIMALS (on sale 12/11) offers a whole barnyard of them! Knitters of all skill levels will fall in love with designer Sarah Keen’s collection of 15 furry and feathered critters, including a pig, pony, cat, llama, mama duck (with ducklings), and more.

These two books have been fun to review because they both cover some really great projects.

Boyfriend Sweaters pokes fun at the old adage that if you make your boyfriend a sweater, he won't be your boyfriend for long. Not with these sweaters and projects! New stitches I had never encountered before delighted and inspired me. The Reversible Herringbone Scarf on page 103 was particularly interesting. I love herringbone on a sampler and having it on a scarf is awesome!

Other projects with new stitches and stories that will make you laugh and keep you inspired fill this book. I enjoyed reading it very much and may have (almost) conquered my fear of sweater making. The thing I enjoyed most was the sense of humor and attention to detail all through the book. It was a fun read and I can't wait to start on my own Herringbone scarf.

Knitted Farm Animals has a cute collection of 15 adorable farm animals. The baby chicks are the cutest things ever and perfect for a quick Easter present for someone you love. The directions are easy to follow and each row has an end amount of stitches to shoot for. (Great for those of us who still need those type of pointers.) Lol. Perfect for young children, these patterns are full of cheer and just waiting to brighten someone's day.


Overall, both of these Potter Craft books are a great addition to my knitting library. If you are searching for a sweater set for his and hers or just a cute one for yourself or a husband or boyfriend, then Boyfriend Sweaters is perfect. The different techniques of texturing are wonderful and the how to sections are worth reading.


Check out more amazing titles from the Potter Craft website.
I received these titles for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Vows Virtual Book Tour

The Vows Trilogy by Catherine Bybee- Amazon Bestsellers in Time Travel and Historical Romance

Binding Vows 

Duncan MacCoinnich’s task… Travel to the twenty-first century Renaissance Faire, deflower the Druid virgins, and go home. Only his job is not so easily accomplished with the virgin in question, Tara McAllister.

Time is running out. The evil is closing in on them both.

Tara finds Duncan irresistible after what was supposed to be a mock Hand-fasting binds them.

When Duncan whisks her to his home in Scotland she could accept that. But, can she forgive him for taking away her modern life when she finds herself in the sixteenth century?

And is it love they feel? Or something else?

$2.99 (limited time at this e-book price) - Print Amount TBA

Silent Vows

Myra, a medieval virgin druidess, flees five hundred years into the future to escape death at the hands of a cursed witch and lands in the arms of a handsome but cynical twenty-first century cop.

Officer Todd Blakely knows Myra is hiding something , but can't resist her innocent charms. Destiny throws them both into a world of intrigue and mysticism. Can Todd be the true white knight she needs? Or will magic and the winds of time tear them apart?
$3.99 e-book - Print TBA

Redeeming Vows 

For her own safety, modern day, single mom, Lizzy McAllister is forced to bow to the medieval men who surround her when she's thrust back in time to the sixteenth century against her will. When Lizzy finds herself trapped in time with Fin, the one man she finds both irresistible and maddening, she agrees to combine forces with him to rid Scotland of the evil witch, Grainna. Finlay MacCoinnich's attraction to Lizzy sizzles the very air they breathe.

Tearing down the solid walls the woman has built around her won't be easy, but he's willing to do anything to keep her by his side. When a spell cast by their deadliest foe throws them forward in time, will they manage to find their way back in time to save their family from peril?

And will Lizzy willingly stay in his time, or abandon him altogether?

$3.99 e-book - Print TBA

The Vows Trilogy Excerpts

Binding Vows Excerpt:

"A lady is not safe out here by herself."
She stopped again. This time he didn't stop in
time and fell into her.

Hands at her sides, her chest thrust up next to
his; she gritted the words between her teeth. "A lady
isn't safe around you, either."

"Now, Tara." He tried pleading with her.

"Oh, don't you even, 'now, Tara' me." She
stepped to the side and started off in a different
direction. Walking in circles.

He let her walk for several minutes before
attempting to talk to her again. "I would be happy to
escort you on a walk, but we need to get you more
properly dressed." He knew the effect watching her
walk was having on him. He could only imagine
what his men must have thought when she had
stormed the courtyard in her shorts.

"You're a bastard, you know that,

He wanted to counter what she said but
cautioned himself against it. "Still, we need you in
more fitting clothes. If someone were to come along,
questions would be raised which would be most
difficult to answer."

"You should have thought of that before you
brought me here." She waved a hand in his general
direction. "Right now I don't give a crap what

"I told you how necessary it is for secrecy." He
turned to the Keep and noticed some of the men
watching to see what would happen. He needed to
put a stop to this and soon.

"Bite me."

A completely inappropriate image of him doing
exactly that popped in his head. A slow lazy smile
inched over his lips.

Unfortunately for him, Tara read his thoughts.
you might have to answer."

Silent Vows Excerpt:

"I want you," he whispered in her hair,
not willing to break their contact.

She stiffened when his words registered. "I

"You want the same thing, Myra. Don't try and
deny it."

"I don't know what I want. I've not ever..." She
didn't finish her sentence.

"Not ever what?"

"No one has ever kissed me the way you do. Let
alone anything more."

A virgin? Was that even possible?

"You mean you've never...?"

"Never." She lowered her head and removed her
hands from his shoulders.

"Hey." He caught her gaze. "It's nothing to be
embarrassed about." He kissed her again, briefly,
then placed a protective arm over her shoulders and
walked her home. "So are the men in Scotland

She laughed. "Nay."

"What then?"

"My father is very protective."

"Does your father know you're here?"

"Much to his dismay, but we had no choice."

Interesting, a protective father who sent his
daughter away to a different country without any
money. Something wasn't lining up.

They were within a block of his home when
Myra stiffened, and all color washed from her face.
She stopped and spun in a slow circle.

"What is it?"

"Someone is watching us."

"Some of the neighbors are busybodies."

"No, Todd. The one who watches wants more
than to gossip."

Now the hair on his neck stood on end. 

Redeeming Vows Excerpt: 

Her next two punches came fast, unexpected, one catching him hard on the
jaw. And it hurt. His brow rose. The muscles straining on her arms held
surprising strength.   

Fin sent his foot out to trip her.

She avoided it and waved him toward her. "Come on, Fin. Stop playing."
He turned his back to her, heard her approach, and swept her off her feet...
Within ten minutes, they were both panting. Liz's punch wavered. Fin caught
her fist and pulled it behind her back and her firmly up against his chest.
Her breasts heaved, and her breathing strained. The soft curves of her body
pressed to his. Liz reached up to the arm he used to hold her and called her
Druid powers. Fin felt his skin burn under her touch...

"Not fair, lass."

"Ever hear the term, all's fair in love and war?"

Aye, well, what were they?

When she came at him again he ducked, taking her down to the floor and
grabbed her hands and stretched them above her head where she couldn't apply
any fire or heat because her fingertips weren't touching him. Her eyes met
his, his body heavy on top of hers, keeping her from moving. But this
closeness, this contact was torture.

Elizabeth's gaze traveled to his lips dancing dangerously close to hers. He
smelled the sweet scent of her breath, knew without a doubt she desired his
taste as much as he did hers. He knew that taste, had it once before,
briefly. Wanted it even more now.

"You're quite a workout," she breathed the words to him, lifted her lips a
tad closer.

"As are you."

They lay there, staring at each other, neither willing to make the first
move. Stubborn. 

About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

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