Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reindeer Cupcakes

Aren't these cupcakes adorable? My daughter-in-law made them for our office Christmas party.

Every year we look forward to her creations and we're never disappointed. The Reindeer Cupcakes are a chocolate cake mix and then she added the decorations, with just a little help from a precious four year old.

A few of us were chatting about how creative she is and realized that we all talk a good game, but we're not so good at the follow through. Fortunately we get to look forward to her creations for every occasion. <big grin>

Friday, December 16, 2011

Card #13–Sympathy Card

Sympathy cards are the hardest to make or buy.  There is no way this little folded piece of paper can ever convey the feelings you want to send.  We do the best we can.

I just had reason to have a sympathy card for a friend and this is what I came up with:


I like that it’s not overly glum, but at the same time it’s not a happy sunshine card either.



Inside of the card – a beautiful saying and I needed to put some lighter cardstock over the chocolate brown as there’s no way any writing would show up on this brown.


Supplies Used for Card:  stamps are from the Close as a Memory set from Stampin’ Up; patterned paper from Basic Grey; ink is Tim Holtz Distress Ink… I believe Tea Dye

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Dinner Party with Friends

Last night I met a group of my girlfriends for our 1st Annual Christmas Party at Olive Garden.  Good food, wonderful ladies and GIFTS – LOL!  It was an incredibly wonderful evening.

Cindy, our organizer, is truly a gifted hostess.  She had several games and activities ready for us and the evening was so much more than “just having dinner together,” though that too is a wonderful thing to do.  When we first got to the restaurant she had a santa hat at each place setting and do you know each and every one of us wore them?  So fun to have friends that don’t mind a little silly – even in public!

One of the moments that will always stand out in my memory is reading the story of Christ’s birth together.  Cindy had little cards that each had a verse printed on them and she had us pass them around.  Each person was to take 2 or 3 cards and we ready the verses in number order.  I seriously got tears in my eyes listening to my cherished friends reading this story.

We also did our version of the “dirty santa” game.  I made another fat quarter gift bag and found the cutest little ceramic gingerbread man measuring spoons at Pier 1.



Aren’t they they cutest? 

When I got home last night I still had my santa hat on and Keith looked at me, chuckled, and said “looks like you had a really good time!”   Yes… I really did!   Smile

Monday, December 12, 2011

JOY Ornament

This has seriously been the most relaxed, stress-free Christmas season that I can remember.  In fact, Saturday I was able to enjoy the day with friends, even though Christmas is only two weeks away!

We had lunch at a place that reminded me of a tea room, though it really isn’t.  We had paninis, chicken salad sandwiches and I had a sweet potato cupcake for dessert.  Good food and good friends!

The front part of the place is a gift shop, so naturally there was some shopping afterwards.  I needed to find an ornament to give to a friend at Sunday School the next day and was delighted to find one I thought she would like.



Now one of the reasons I wanted to share this isn’t so much for the story of my fabulous Saturday, but to point out how easy it would be to make this ornament since we are all about the crafting.  The red ribbon was velvet, little rhinestones all around and I’ve seen the blingy letters at the craft stores.

So cute…. and she LOVED it!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Sticker Soap Pump

I’ve said before and I’ll repeat it often – I *love* Pinterest and blogs for inspiration!  So much creativity that everybody  shares and then the not as creative types like me can recreate and enjoy with our families.

This particular item I’ve seen time and again and I finally took the 10 minutes – I kid you not – to sit down and make one.  I like it enough that I’ll likely do one for every season.



A Christmas soap pump!  So easy peasy and FAST to make.  I used the big box store brand of hand soap and peeled off the front and back label.  Next a bit of Goo Gone took off the remaining bits of glue so that there was a clean bottle to work with.

I used stickers with a clear background, but I don’t know that it’s any kind of requirement.  And last a jaunty bow around the neck.  I think I would prefer ribbon a bit less wide, but this is what I had in Christmas colors and didn’t want to buy any more.  You can barely tell in the photo above, but I also put a star sticker on the top of the pump.



Ta da!  Super fast and it makes me smile every time I go to wash my hands.

Now to watch for more 50% off sticker sales and get ready for the next season!


** Linking to Get Your Craft On, Take-A-Look Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Topsy Turvy Tuesdays, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Inspired By You Wednesdays

Saturday, December 03, 2011

{Saturday Stumbles} 12/3/11

‘Tis the season!  Is your mind filled with gift buying/creating, wrapping and presenting?  I <big puffy heart> gifts for my friends and family and love this time of year.  My gifts might not always be the gift they’ve always wanted or the just perfect gift, but I guarantee it always comes from the heart.

So for the past few months I’ve been pinning all sorts of amazing ways to wrap gifts on my cleverly named Pretty Packages board on Pinterest.  If you want more information on anything below just click on the photo to go to the original site.  And leave them a comment letting them know how awesome they are.  :)


green bow

Isn’t this bow simply gorgeous?  The site has step-by-step instructions.


map gift wrap

This gift wrapping is more subtle, but I think it would be especially awesome to match the map to the recipient’s favorite place – or dream vacation spot.


Pyramid Box Bow

A different way to tie bows – from M. Stewart herself.


vintage packages

I encourage you to click through to this one – she has several gift wrapping ideas and they are just stunning.  I look at the picture above and while vintage is the first word that comes to mind, I think genteel is also in there.  Ladylike.  Beautiful.


HK gift bag

Of course a cute idea for the Littles – or my friend Dawn!  This is so darling and looks to be so easy to do.  Click around on her site and look at the rest of the Hello Kitty party she’s posted.


paper candy pouch

A little less formal – and wouldn’t they be fun stocking stuffers?  Or maybe little gifts for office friends, neighbors, etc.?

I saw this on Pinterest and when I clicked over to the blog – well I’m the newest follower.  Don’t you just love finding a blog that has the same taste on things that you do?  Doesn’t mean I’ll get all this stuff done, but it sure is fun to look at their ideas!

Enjoy!  And if you’re on Pinterest let me know so I can follow you!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Card #12–On Your Feet Again

A friend of mine had to have surgery and of course that means a card.  I didn’t really find a stamp I liked among my many, so I started looking online at digital images to do a hybrid card. 



I got the cutie pie turtle image and the heart in a set at Digiscrapkits and am so in love with her cute little face!  I put it together in Photoshop Elements and typed in the saying.  Printed it twice so that I could cut out the turtle again and put her on pop dots – of course adding some Stickles for some bling.

Hope the card brings a smile to my friend’s face!   Smile


Supplies Used for Card:  Turtle and Heart from Turtle Crush 1 Clip Art; Copper Stickles; Spring Moss cardstock by Papertrey Ink; white ribbon Stampin’ Up

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Early morning on Black Friday some of the girls wanted to brave the crowds at the Big Box Stores.  I stayed home with the 2 Littles, Brooklyn and her cousin Kaitlynn so that we could do a craft.

I’ve looked all over my bookmarks and can’t find the original site to credit – and really I’m shocked that I must not have pinned it.  I’ll keep looking though.

What we made were Stuffed Turkeys!


The instructions were to take a small plastic container (I found mine at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon) and use brown fun foam in the shape of a peanut for the turkey head.  I let the girls cut their own and since they are 4 they wanted to do it their way – and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.  They had quite a bit of fun doing the cutting.

We glued on googly eyes and they cut orange noses from fun foam.  The tail feathers are pipe cleaners folded over and twisted together, then taped to the back. 

Our turkeys were ‘stuffed’ with m&m’s.  And of course, as grandmas sometimes do, I said something that became one of those family sayings.  The girls were VERY interested in eating the m&m’s and I told them they couldn’t eat them all because they would go crazy with all that sugar.  Later I heard Brooklyn telling her mom that m&m’s make you crazy.  sigh….   4 year olds can be quite literal!

I really think this concept could be used for other holidays and animals.  Perhaps a Rudolph for Christmas with his red nose, antlers and cute felt tail!


{Review} Lost Melody by Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith








Lost Melody
by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith
312 pages
Zondervan Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The beautiful piano sitting in the corner of Jill King's apartment begs to be played. For over a year, it has sat untouched, ever since a terrible accident shattered Jill's ambition of becoming a concert pianist. The ragged scar on her left hand is a cruel and constant reminder of the death of her dream. But another dream is about to come to life---an unexpected, horrifying dream that will present Jill with a responsibility she never wanted. And choices she never wanted to make. Hundreds of lives depend on Jill's willingness to warn her small, oceanside town in Nova Scotia of a nameless, looming disaster. But doing so could cost Jill her reputation, jeopardize the political career of the man she loves, and ruin their plans for a future together. The fate of an entire community hangs in the balance as Jill wrestles with the cost of heeding one still, small voice.

If you would like to read a chapter excerpt of Lost Melody, go HERE.


MY REVIEW:  This book was so very unlike anything I’ve read before… and I loved every minute of it!

Still putting her life back together after a terrible accident, Jill begins having a very disturbing dream.  A sense of urgency leads her to question whether the dreams could be from God – or are they merely a product of her subconscious?  And is she ready to put everything she holds dear on the line on the off chance that the dream is real?

This book was so thought provoking and I love it when a fiction book can do that.  Even better, the authors also provided an alternate ending, which also led to thought.  Very great book!


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:  Lori Copeland lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. Lance and Lori have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and six wonderful grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. Lance and Lori are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.

Lori began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that Lori began writing for the Christian book market. To date, she has had over 100 books published.

Virginia Smith is the author of more than a dozen Christian novels and over fifty articles and short stories. Her books have been named finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Award, and ACFW's Carol Award.

A Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, Ginny's messages are always well-received by a variety of audiences in conferences, retreats and churches across the country. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ginny and her husband, Ted, enjoy exploring the extremes of nature – snow skiing in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, motorcycle riding on the curvy roads in central Kentucky, and scuba diving in the warm waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.


** Thank you to CFBA for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Favorite Christmas List App

It’s been two weeks since last I posted and really after going that long it’s hard to do the first post back.  Thanksgiving was absolutely fabulous for us and I’m still editing pictures, so until that’s ready I’m going to share a recent find.



This is the screen shot from the App Store for Better Christmas List.  Right now it’s on sale for only 99 cents and I am thrilled with it so far!

In the past I would write the list of who all we were buying Christmas gifts for on paper.  As we came up with ideas those would be written in, then as they were purchased I would circle the gift, then highlight it as it was wrapped.  This app does all that and also keeps a running total of what you’ve spent per person and per “group” that you’re buying for.

This is the first year I’ve used it, but one thing that looks great to me is the ability to archive the year and be able to access it next year, thus eliminating that pesky buying the same gift or even buying the same type of gift for a person two years in a row.

I love technology……   Smile


** This is my opinion and not any sort of sponsored post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

National Bundt Cake Day–Almond Poppyseed Bundt

Can you believe there’s actually a day for this – who knew???  I *still* say Bundt in the voice of My Big Fat Greek Wedding – anybody else?

The Food Librarian has been leading up to National Bundt Cake Day with her I Like Big Bundts posts – 30 Bundts in 30 Days!  I really, really admire somebody with that kind of ambition and even more than that… the follow through.

I used to make an Almond Poppyseed cake periodically and it was one we loved.  Cannot find the recipe anywhere, so I headed to Pinterest to see what I could find.  I’m very pleased with this recipe and hopefully by putting it on the blog I’ll be able to find it again!



I first thought to leave the glaze off the cake because as I get older I’m finding that I like things a little less sweet.



Seriously – doesn’t this look better?  One nice thing about making a cake that is based on a cake mix is that they always turn out light.



This cake is drool-worthy…..


adapted from Double the Deliciousness

1 Lemon Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 T poppy seeds
1 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 and grease/flour (I used Crisco spray) a bundt pan.

Mix all ingredients together until smooth, then pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes.  Place your platter on the top of the bundt pan and invert.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1 t butter, softened
about 2 1/2 T milk

Mix all ingredients together on high speed. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the cake and enjoy!


** Linking to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Monday, November 14, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery–Fabrics Are Ready!

So here I go again, starting a new project when really nothing has been finished in a while.  Sometimes though temptation is just there and you have to go with it.

Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville fame is starting a new mystery this Saturday (y’all still have time!!!) and I succumbed to peer pressure and pulled fabrics for it.  I’ve never done one of Bonnie’s mysteries, but I have seen many examples across the interwebs and they are absolutely stunning.

This mystery is called Orca Bay and Bonnie shared the photo that was her inspiration.  She’s also given out the fabric requirements and that’s it so far.



3 Bolds and 1 Neutral – and I should have posed these fabrics a little differently for the photo.  The tans are my neutral and the azure blue, hot pink and blacks are my bolds.  Very, very excited about the colors, which all came from stash!  I will admit to shopping with a friend recently and buying a few tan fat quarters, but since they didn’t have time to sit and marinate I’m calling it all from stash.  Justification – that’s what we do!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Card #11–You’re So Tweet!

One of the common misperceptions of handmade items, including cards, is that it will save you money.  That might be true in the long run, but I’m here to tell you that buying supplies for a card can be rather costly.  We come up with lots of ways to justify it and really the bottom line is that it’s an enjoyable hobby and therefore needs no justification.

But I won’t tell you how much the supplies for my cards cost….

When I bought the items for this card the scrapbook gal and I had a big laugh over me telling her everything was for one card.  And I do know that the stamps and markers will be used for years to come and if I genuinely cared I suppose I could figure out how many projects they are used on and then divide it out.

As if…..



A friend did an amazing thing for me in recognition of Joe and I couldn’t let it go by without sending a card. 

I had a lot of fun making this one – paper piecing the little girl’s dress, using the Copic markers and the colors – oh the colors!  Rather a retro, vintage feel and I just love it.

Oh and on another note – the card holder?  Got that while antiquing with a friend.  I learned that this is called a “frog” and is used at the bottom of a vase to hold flowers in place for an arrangement.  A day spent with a friend can be fun AND educational!


Supplies used for card:  You’re So Tweet set by My Favorite Things; buttons and pattern paper by October Afternoon; Very Vanilla cardstock by Stampin’ Up; blue cardstock by Bazzill


* Linked to Card Makin’ Mamas Be Thankful Challenge, Inspire Me Friday at Joyful Stamper

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Review} A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander


A Lasting Impression
by Tamera Alexander
426 pages
Bethany House Publisher


A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.


MY REVIEW:  Let me confess up front – the cover of this book made me fall in love with Claire.  What woman doesn’t sometimes imagine herself wearing one of the beautiful ball gowns from the Civil War era?  And this one was spectacular.

That aside, the story inside was wonderful.  Claire Laurent leaves a bad situation and just happens to fall into a dream world.  As liason to Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, who is trying to reclaim her place in society, Claire is delighted to find that Belmont is filled with artwork beyond belief.  Claire works very hard to prove herself worthy of the position, and at the same time starts to fall in love before she herself even realizes it.

While this is a wonderful love story and “girl making a new life for herself” book, what I find myself remembering most is the sentence that God speaks to Claire at a critical time in her life.  I won’t give it away here, but I’ve been applying it to different aspects of my own life and it brings fresh perspective.  The combination of great story and a new way to look at life makes this a splendid book.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

For more information please visit www.tameraalexander.com

Enter to win one of Tamera's fabulous prizes and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/15!

** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fat Quarter Fabric Gift Bag

Sometimes it’s not so much what you’re giving somebody, but how you give it.  And sometimes how you give it is the entire reason for the gift!

I saw a tutorial for a fabric gift bag made from half a fat quarter and couldn’t wait to try it out.  My original plan was to make these bags for all the girls that went on a recent retreat, but unforeseen circumstances kind of paralyzed me as far as crafting went and I didn’t get them done.

I did manage to finish one of them though and as luck would have it a dear friend happens to adore halloween, so gift it I did!



Too cute!  I’m not kidding when I say it took so little time that I swore I must’ve left out a step.  The only thing I will change from the tutorial when I make more is to use my serger on the inside of the bag.  Using that method will cut even more time off the total.



This is what the bag looks like when it’s finished, before it’s stuffed and posed.  The ribbon is actually sewn into the seam, which means any time you use this bag it’s ready to go – no more looking for something to tie it with!



And since I couldn’t possibly give her an empty gift bag I did some of the old standby “pretzels dipped in melted candy coating chips”, then topped with seasonal sprinkles.


** Linking to Fabric Tuesday, Get Your Craft On, Sew Cute Tuesday, Too Cute Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Friday, November 04, 2011

Turning 50!

Oh yes, I turned 50!  My first indication that I was going to be celebrating a milestone birthday was getting an “invitation” in the mail to join AARP.  They are sure Johnny On The Spot with that aren’t they???

And wouldn’t you know – we forgot the camera!  Fortunately all our phones have cameras, so we weren’t totally in the dark.


Birthday K&E

We celebrated in the manner I love more than anything – with my family!  I chose Cracker Barrel as the restaurant of choice and Keith came home with a balloon bouquet, which I loved!!!  We got a LOT of looks from other customers when we set up all the stuff at the table.


Birthday Tiara

This picture shows the tiara, lei and buttons that he also got for me.  The tiara says Birthday Queen and I love it!!!  He also brought pointed head birthday hats for everybody to wear – you can see little Brooklyn looking at me wearing hers.

This flower and awesome little vase was from my daughter – isn’t it unique?  I love it!


Birthday Group Photo

Our waiter took a group photo and even though it’s pretty out of focus I still love it.  So much love sitting at this table right here!

Having never celebrated a birthday at Cracker Barrel I didn’t realize what they would do, but I did get the birthday song from the wait staff (and Brooklyn loved that!).  Our waiter kept saying over and over that I was celebrating my 29th birthday and I kept correcting him and saying no, I’m 50 today.  I guess I’m not one of those that has to pretend about age – I’m happy about all my 50 years!!!

By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves. - Marie Dressler

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find - at the age of 50, say - that a whole new life has opened before you. - Agatha Christie

50 years: here's a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren't doing what you love, then what's the point? - Jim Carrey

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. - Muhammad Ali

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Our Sweet Dog

photo (4)

One week ago we found out that our beloved dog Joe had Lymphoma.  We weren’t given any sort of timeframe or anything and just knew we would love on him and make him happy.

One week later we had to make the hardest decision of our lives.  His health went down so rapidly it was hard to believe.  When we went to the vet he wasn’t even able to walk in, he had to be carried.

I have to tell you – this house is way to quiet and still now.  By habit you do so many things, then tears come to your eyes when you realize that whatever it was will never happen again.

We had eleven and a half years with him…..  and now we miss him terribly.

A few links to previous Joe stories and pictures:

Joe Loves the Lake

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcake Fail

The Halloween Experiment

Joe’s Birthday and New Hairstyle

Brooklyn and Joe at Christmas

Morning Routines

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Burp Cloths using the Embroidery Machine

My sister-in-law is down this weekend because we have a baby shower to attend!  My cousin’s son is expecting their first (a boy!) so there will be much rejoicing.

I wanted to share the burp cloths that my mom made because I think they are so cute. 



Mom uses her embroidery machine and finds the most darling little patterns.  I love that these are so unique and the dragon is just too cute for words.  For those of us without an embroidery machine (insert sad face here) I’m sure we could come up with something cute to applique in place of the embroidery.



Mom sews on a strip of ribbon and then does a satin stitch at the burp cloth edge.  Simple and it really makes it so special.


Close up photos of the embroidery:

SONY DSC                     SONY DSC

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family Dinner for Lynne’s Birthday

I keep thinking back to the evening of The Birthday Dinner with so much contentment and happiness.  I dearly love that our family enjoys being in each other’s company so much.  We laugh and tease and my cheeks hurt by the time the evening ends!

A few pictures to share…..



We got to the restaurant first and opted to wait in the truck.  Next came the Birthday Girl and she climbed into the back seat to chat.  The Boy (how she often refers to her boyfriend when talking to us) was next to arrive and joined us.  We decided since it was a Kodak moment we’d test out the timer feature on the camera.



Lynne’, aka Birthday Girl, and little Miss B while we waited for our order to arrive.  I’m not sure what Brooklyn was telling Lynne’ in this picture, but from the look on Lynne’s face she’s not buying it!



After dinner she opened her gifts and Miss B was quite interested in this, though she wasn’t really all that impressed with anything that Lynne’ got.



Keith and I being silly with the “hold your camera out at arm’s length in front of you” self-portrait.



Everything I read about photography says not to do staged photos.  Phooey on them - I will enjoy looking back at the group that met this night!  Standing between Lynne’ and Keith is Alicia, one of Lynne’s roommates.  This photo took several tries with the camera self-timer….. and with people entering the restaurant through the door behind us!



I had told Keith on the way to the restaurant that I was going to start a new tradition and get a photo of me and The Birthday Person every year.  He did tell me it can’t be a tradition on the first night you think it up, but I didn’t worry much about that.  Note to self for future pictures – set the purses aside.  ;)   Other than that I love this picture of my daughter and I.

This was truly one of those moments in time that warms a mother’s heart.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Review} Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Baby It's Cold Outside

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
by Susan May Warren
309 pages
Summerside Press


ABOUT THE BOOK:  Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.

It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.

Read an excerpt here and find out the story behind the novel


MY REVIEW:  “Oh the weather outside is frightful…”  But it manages to bring five people together for some unintentional, intense time together.  That time seems to be exactly what each of them needs, even if they might not have known it before.

Each character is instrumental in bringing about changes in thoughts in somebody else within the house.  Preconceived notions are put to the test and they question some of the things they believe – both in themselves and in those with them during the blizzard.

Such a very good book!  The characters are so easy to love, the time period of right after the war and watching love bloom make this a new favorite book of mine.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com.

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside</ a>! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One festive winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.