Wednesday, June 5, 2019

                  MAY/JUNE BLOG 2019
              "There is no friend as loyal as a book." 

                                Ernest Hemingway

As you know I've been a book lover all my life. Books got me through a hard childhood, made me passionate about learning, and today I have books stacked up in my bedroom that give me a sense of comfort and security no matter what is happening in the world or in my life. I so enjoy going from room to room and running my fingers over my large collection of books I love. What memories are on those shelves. I even have books from my childhood and my diaries. Hemingway said a mouthful. I do wonder what his book collection was like. As for mine, there is always room for another book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, if it is well-written and/or well- illustrated it will find a home with me. I'm a bibliophile with a very strong emotional attachment to books as an art not their monetary value.

In this Blog I will introduce you to places and people with the love of the book as art and brought their dreams to life for you and I to enjoy, admire, and inspire us to believe in our own dreams. Don't give up even if you are over 90!  Years ago and woman in her 90's got her first book published, a book she had been working on for many, many years. That was her dream and she made it!  It became a bestseller. 

Now let's take a peek at other dreamers.

                VISITING A HEAVENLY BOOK SPOT -   

Books are at the center of my life. As my daughter always says, "My mother's way of decorating is to add another bookshelf." I claim that remark as true.  I'm also always looking for new and interesting places, ideas, and needlework ideas to write about, investigating 'new stuff" for this blog. Not only do I dig into my files, books and the internet but I love visiting places to do with books and needlework.

But this time, this article began with a call from Christi Buchholz, who introduced herself as the customer service representative for Roswell Bookbinding. To my surprise, I discovered that this company has been located in Phoenix, Arizona, about a 20-25 minute drive from me, for nearly 60 years. Here I was in the book
business and didn't know about this company known all over the world and selected for many memorable binding projects including the St. John's Bible Project (a grand-sized Bible all done in the calligraphy of Donald Jackson.) More of that monumental project later in this blog. You see the Roswells' had a dream for a business and a love for books as an art.

Christi encouraged me to come on over and tour the entire 5000 square foot building and see the entire process of creating my beloved books. So on the 14th of May I happily drove to Roswell Bookbinding, anxious to meet Christi who would take the time to personally tour me.

What can I say about a perfect morning other than the tour was way above all my expectations?The minute Christi and I stepped into a large conference room with wall of shelves full of amazing past book projects completed I was in book heaven.  She kindly showed me some of the more exotic and complicated projects such as a copy of Mickey Mouse's suitcase specially made to hold books, an Adidas shoe box, explained how Rockwell was awarded the high honor of binding the St. John's Bible. I wanted to stay there for days instead of hours but there was so
much more to learn.

Over 100 people work there and were some of the most welcoming people I've ever met. They graciously allowed me to watch them

Hand Sewing a Book

Working on a Cover
work and explained their jobs. I learned about foil stamping and dye cutting, what a signature was (page count is very important with offset presses where the total pages must be multiples of 8,16, or32), choosing between gloss lamination or matte lamination in paperbacks. I watched machine book sewing with large spools of white thread unwinding continuously and hand stitching.  

You can feel the pride in their work and love of binding the minute you walk into the building. Here are people taking paper, leather, vinyl, cardboard, glue, thread and other miscellaneous materials and turn that into amazing books. How wonderful to see your hard work turn into something beautiful and lasting. 

Because of my research and historical novel, The Secret Codices - ($15.95 -20%discount applies), I've been trying to make time to learn the Coptic binding that was used on the books in the 4th century A.D. that feature in my book. I've put that off long enough. I've decided I've got to make an appointment for that happening like I do for the dentist, doctor, etc. When I learned about these discovered books in Egypt I wanted to go see them and write about them. My book relates the heroic efforts of a small band of 4th century Egyptians to preserve these forbidden texts and translate them into the Coptic language. The story is told by a female scribe, tutored by her grandfather, the famous teacher, Epimachos. Her journey to save these codices leads her on a dangerous adventure spanning the length of Egypt from Alexandria up the Nile to the mountains in the south near Nag Hammadi. I did four extended stays in Egypt to research them. But I have more to write about. That's my dream.

I hope many of you are considering making a book on your needlework with pictures and information on it for historical purposes. Look at all the needleworkers of the past whose art is now written about and displayed. Who knows?  So we have the best information on that process, I've included some books below on book binding. 

I've seen excellent needlework books fail, simply because the front covers and back covers were done poorly. It has been shown that people choosing a book to read look at the front cover, then the back cover, and then read the first few paragraphs of the book and then at illustrations, diagrams, or photographs if these are included.
If designing a book it takes great planning and foresight.

Hazell, Rachel - Bound: 15 Beautiful Bookbinding Projects - This author is an expert on binding and shares her knowledge with an accessible collection of creative bookbinding projects using different techniques for cutting and folding as well as stitches such as ladder, the Silt Book, A concertina with Pockets and the Three-Hole Pamphlet Stitch, which can then be developed further to create unique and personal handmade notebooks for yourself and as gifts. $22.99

Hollander, Tom and Cindy Hollander - Introduction to Bookbinding and Custom Cases: A Project Approach for Learning Traditional Methods - This step-by-step guide by experts in binding bring you valuable beginning and intermediate level skills, using their trademark hands-on approach, this couple explain the basics of the craft, then guide you through instructions and photos to help you succeed. You'll master the pamphlet book style, the flat-back book, the round-back book, and the construction of slipcase book protection. Along with formulas to help you navigate making your own custom-size books, an extensive glossary of bookbinding terms and a list of many of the authors' handmade books and boxes provides inspiration.  $35.00

Kyle, Hedi and Ulla Warchol - The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structure - Hedi has been described as a book structure magician and in this book she shows
you step-by-step how to create her unique designs, using folding techniques. Projects include flag books, blizzard books and more including nesting boxes. Gorgeous photos of her work including novel notions and accoutrements. $29.99

Watson, Aldren - Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction (Revised) - This Dover publication brings us expert, illustrated guide to creating fine books by hand;. Materials and equipment, basic procedures, rebinding an old book, plus 8 more projects: dust

jacket binding too. Through the illustrations by the author, cover materials, tools, and equipment (including making your own) you will become proficient in this craft.  $16.95

                         ST JOHN'S BIBLE PROJECT
         "One of the extraordinary undertakings of our time"
                                  Smithsonian Magazine

The Smithsonian Magazine says so much about this incredible book project in so few words. And it was one man who caused this to ever be possible. Donald Jackson, the Queen of England's calligrapher and longtime friend of St. John's Abbey had a lifelong dream of creating an illuminated Bible. As a young boy he loved the feel of a pen in his hand and took that love of writing and drawing to its highest level. In 1996, Donald

Jackson presented his idea (and passion) to give to the world a complete handwritten Bible done on parchment and quill. The project began in 1999 and the production was completed in 2011. This wonderful dreamer designed a special script for this project, and saw the project through to completion. Calligraphers were chosen to work with him and a mixture of techniques from ancient illuminated
manuscripts were used, calf-skin vellum was selected, gold and platinum leaf and hand-ground pigments, and Chinese stick ink.

The only modern equipment used on this monumental book project was a computer to plan the layout of the Bible and line-breaks for the text. The size is impressive as well being two feet tall by three feet wide (when open) and is divided into seven volumes.


You've seen the covers in the Roswell Bookbinding article above, now I will let this work of art speak for itself.

As for Donald Jackson, his love of book art has consumed his life. He didn't chose a simple path for his art, he took it to the highest level he could.  It took him from the 1970's to almost the 21st century to be heard. The planning, the hard work, the pressure to make his vision come to life and be perfect must have been draining so I feel he had to focus on the love of his art and not the pressure. 

If you want to learn more about this one-of-a-kind book art project or want to see where the replicas of this Bible are being exhibited please go to:

                   "It is through art, and through art only,
                 that we can realize our perfection"
                                         Oscar Wilde

I must include this wonderful hand created book from 400 years ago by Thomas Trevelyon, a man of some mystery, not of the upper classes or royalty. He seems he was a skilled scribe and pattern-maker who had a great access to woodcuts, engravings, almanacs, chronicles, emblem books and took his talent, knowledge and love of book art to create his own. He did not do this for reward or public admiration, he simply had a passion in him to use his talent to create something for his family and close friends to enjoy.  How surprised he would be to discover his works are in the Folger Shakespeare Library and is considered one of its greatest treasures. In fact, this is their only book to enjoy an exhibit devoted to it. How about that Thomas Trevelyon?

We are not talking a small work of art. The facsimile edition, that I am a proud owner of is massive being 18 inches tall and weighing over 17 pounds. It is printed on archival paper, Smyth sewn, and bound in cloth-wrapped boards with a reinforced spine and a full-color dust jacket and I love the bookcase that holds it. In addition to the 594 pages illustrated by Trevelyon, this volume includes a new introduction and indexes to poetry, scripture, subjects, images, and Trevelyon sources.


The highlight of this book is the wonderful Elizabethan embroidery designs - over 100 pages of them. These delicious embroidery patterns are ready to transfer to material and be stitched - about 290 designs. Such a wonderful source for embroiderers in love with Elizabethan embroidery. I've shown some of these in this article for your pleasure. 

This book is still available.  New with bookcase - $750.00 (only 10% discount on this since it is short discounted.  The mailing will be $18.00

Thank you, Thomas Trevelyon.


BLOG BOOK PICK: Goldwork Masterclass by Alison Cole a designer of beautiful embroidery and books.

"With a needle and thread Alison Cole magically turns fabrics in Art Masterpieces."   -  Ruth Kern -

Last blog I selected a pick recommended by Alison Cole, the wonderful embroiderer, teacher, and writer of award-winning books on needlework. This month I'm excited to announce her forth-coming book due out in August, Goldwork Masterclass: Adventures in Metal Thread Embroidery.  This book, she writes, "has been written for all who love the joys of Goldwork. Each chapter of this book looks at a different aspect of Goldwork - from traditional to contemporary. Starting with a little of its rich history and the materials and padding beneath, through to the glittering threads and techniques for their application - this book takes goldwork apart to give you the inspiration to create your own beautiful metal thread embroidery."  If you order by July 10th, 2019 you can purchase this book at the discounted price of $45.00 PLUS your usual 20% discount. Afterwards, the price will revert to $54.95 but you still can count on the usual 20% blog discount.  (our discount code: Bks19)

Alison's other "classic books" are still available and are listed below. But first, I want to meet this incredible, dedicated embroiderer, designer, and teacher. She lives in Australia, but teaches around the world. I so enjoyed meeting this delightful redhead at one of the embroidery seminars. She's a delight and her classes are filled as soon as announced. She has received the Florence Monod Award for excellence and a Commendation for Stitching Excellence from the Embroiderer's Guild United Kingdom for their 'Picture This' competition to name just a few of many, many awards and honors she has compiled to date. Her Stumpwork Masterclass helped her win a commission for Christian Dior. Then another commission - embroidering on the Monash university Chancellor's robes. In 2017 her book, The Embroiderer's Little Book of Hints and Tips received a Gold Medal at the Independent Publisher Awards in New York, USA.

Alison took her love of needlework to an incredible level of excellence. Don't miss visiting her website and view her awe-inspiring needle art. Her website

Alison's Other Great Books:

Stumpwork Masterclass - This 208 page soft cover publication that is for beginners and experienced stitchers and contains information on all aspects of this beautiful form of embroidery that she teaches in her beginner and intermediate classes as well as the masterclass. The main focus here is the techniques found on historical pieces of Stumpwork, she also encompasses modern techniques. Alison takes Stumpwork apart and looks at its history and each element that makes it up from motifs such as flowers and animals to stitches and neede-lace.  $49.95

All That Glitters - In her first book Alison features the embroidery techniques of Goldwork and Stumpwork and features a text book of requirements and techniques as well as a project section with designs - both framed and free standing pieces - suitable for both those new to Goldwork and the advanced embroiderer. Laid out with clear diagrams, color photos and hints and tips, this is an important book for embroiderers.  $39.95

The Midas Touch - Alison features sections on Basic Supplies and Requirements, Techniques and a Project section of eleven projects that range from small beginner pieces for beginners to larger, more complex designs for more advanced embroiderers. It is laid out with clear diagrams, color photos and hints and tips. $39.95

Embroiderer's Little Book of Hints and Tips - This is a workbasket-sized 144 page soft cover book with a concealed internal spiral-binding so it opens flat. Alison includes sections on everything from setting up a workbasket through to framing your finished embroidery. It has special sections with hints for Goldwork and Stumpwork embroidery as well as general stitch hints and fudges, hints for photography and going to classes. At the back are needle identification pages with actual size photos of needles for comparison.   There are some blank pages for you to enter your personal notes. $40.00


Barrett, Gina - 20 to Stitch; Fabric Buttons - Create 20 unique, shaped fabric buttons for use as embellishments or accessories. Learn to make 20 button designs using fabric as an embellishment to a garment or as a piece of jewellery or accessory. Gina Barrett uses techniques such as stitching, embroidery and beading, and provides shaped templates for those projects where the user may need more assistance. The buttons are all worked at a small size, so will require limited materials and thread for a polished finish. All these buttons can be created easily by following Gina's straightforward instructions and stitch diagrams.  $9.95

Bateman, Lorna - Embroidered Country Gardens - Embroider elements of an idyllic English country garden in this beautiful book suitable for beginners as well as accomplished embroiderers. Lorna walks you through a variety of stitches including raised and textured stitches, teaching you to embroider individual flowers with them and how to incorporate these into an original garden motif. This book includes an A-Z of English garden flowers, how to stitch them, how to stitch common garden insects, and how to embroider iconic garden imagery such as birdbaths and garden ornament. Lorna also includes hints and tips to help you develop your own skills and unique styles. She features over 8 elaborate and practical projects to stitch, including a pencil case, tape measure cover, thimble pip, glasses case and thread catcher. Full-size pattern insert for making a bag in which to keep the individual projects is included. Lorna focuses on raised embroidery techniques and textured stitches.  $26.95

Giordano, Chloe - The Embroidered Art of Chloe Giordano - Take a walk through the stunning stitched world of renowned embroiderer Chloe Giordano. Taking each project from conception through to completion, see how Chloe plans her designs, chooses and blends colours, selects threads, and finally stitches in order to create her beautifully detailed embroideries. Packed with Chloe's guidance on every aspect of the process, including hooping and framing, this book will inspire you to create stunning thread paintings of your own. In the second part of the book, wind your way through a beautiful gallery of Chloe's work showcasing her popular intricate embroideries that celebrate wildlife both big and small. All are accompanied by back stories and inspirations behind the piece, offering a fascinating and exclusive look into the mind and mastery of the embroiderer. Chloe has a huge following online with over 243,00 followers on Instagram and 44,000 followers on Facebook.  $29.95

Haggard, Brian - Blended Embroidery - Preserve family memories with new quilts that lovingly tie together the past with the present. Learn how to comb through bits of history and reimagine them into wall art, sewing notions, and more! Gorgeous embroidery adds richness to these vintage hybrids. Full instructions for five projects, fifteen stitch techniques, and a gallery full of ideas will help you think outside the box and create a cherished new piece for your home.  $27.95

Ishii, Sachiyo - Pocket Pompoms: 34 Little Woolly Creatures to Make - Our author brings us 34 really cute pocket-size creatures with sections on materials, tools, and basic techniques, you have all you need to get your started. Learn how to make the pompoms, attach them to each other and needle felt on features such as faces, ears, arms and legs - adding the features is where their characters really come to life! All the pompoms can be made from scraps of yarn in your stash and each design uses only small amounts. You can be up-to-the-minute with plastic pompom makers or keep it traditional with the cardboard ring technique. $14.95

Ishii, Sachiyo - 20 to Knit Pocket Pets - Sachiyo is back with a new collection of 20 great projects including a baby penguin, a koala bear, a guinea pig and a squirrel. All the projects are accompanied by clear, easy-to follow patterns and photos. There is a useful page of basic techniques at the start of the book, including making up, stuffing, and simple decorative surface stitching. Easy to make.  $9.95

Newton, Deborah, Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters - This is the most trusted resource on finishing techniques for knitting. Compiling her sage wisdom from more than 25 years of experience. She uses a straightforward approach that empowers knitters to create professional-looking garments and accessories. She patiently takes her student-readers through blocking, seaming, buttonholes and bands, zippers, edgings, pockets, and other embellishment - and carefully demystifies it with detailed photos, tips and tutorials. As a bonus, 15 patterns for sweaters, jackets, and scarves, many with variations, illustrate the newly learned techniques.  $22.95

Okamoto, Keiko - Keiko Okamoto's Japanese Knitting Stitches: A Stitch Dictionary of 150 Amazing Patterns with 7 Sample Projects - The author is known around the world for her wide range of innovative designs including new takes on classic forms full of interesting embellishments such as fringes, pompoms and garlands. This is the first time her famous book is available in English. Projects include a cardigan with charming crocheted strawberry garland, a multi-colored, fringed neck wrap, a pair of funky, sculptural arm-warmers - toasty and multi-textured; a charming Fair Isle knitted basket bag, a pair of fluffy, cuffed mittens, an elegant A-lined textured wool sweater suitable for any body type, a chic Nordic-patterned short coat.  $18.99

Search Press Studio - 100 Little Crochet Gifts to Make - These 100 projects from some of their best-selling crochet authors covers a wide variety of themes from beautiful crocheted flowers, beanie hats, Christmas crocheted projects, cute bears, lovely hearts and stylish purses. Special stitches used are explained in detail, and yarns are described in generic terms, so crocheters can use what is available to them, wherever they may live. They are simple enough for experienced beginners and will also appeal to seasoned crocheters. The tools and materials are inexpensive and widely available. $19.95

Shippee, Melissa - Beautiful Beadwork From Nature: 16 Stunning Jewelry Projects inspired by the Natural World - Drawing from the shapes, colors, and beauty of the natural world, this award-winning designer has fashioned a wonderful collection of wearable art. From delicate earrings made of graceful beaded flowers to a show-stopping crystal fringe necklace inspired by ancient stalactites, each striking project uses popular materials such as seed beads, crystals, and Czech glass beads. Along with illustrated step-by-step instructions.  $27.95

Shore, Debbie - Sew Outdoor Living: Brighten Up Your Garden with 22 Colourful Projects - Using easy-to-follow photography and simple instructions Debbie shows you how to sew beautiful items for outdoor living. Sew decorative accessories for the patio, such as seat cushions and bunting, create practical items such as a BBQ tool roll and picnic caddy, and even make a child's teepee. Perfect for people of all abilities who love sewing and enjoy their gardens, or who want to make a gift for someone who does.  $17.95

Yu, Han - Bead Embroidery Chinese Style: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide with Inspiring Projects - This author is one of the world's leading experts on bead embroidery, regularly showing garments at Fashion Week, and for state dignitaries and celebrities as well as teaching and lecturing workshops across China. She includes 25 unique embroidery designs and a step-by-step guide to 30 unique projects that incorporate traditional Chinese art and design elements. You will learn over a dozen embroidery stitches for single-bead, multi-bead, free stitches, layered stitches, and more. Small-scale embroidery projects include jewelry, coasters, pouches and more. More advanced projects, include makeup bags, lamp covers, and wall art. $24.95

Wolfe, Victoria Findlay - Playing with Purpose: A Quilt Retrospective - Take a deep look inside the evolution of one of today's most important modern quilt artists. Always fascinated by color, pattern, and design, Victoria found her life's true joy in quiltmaking. From a young age, a wandering spirit compelled her to become "an artist". Today, her diverse and exciting body of work stirs quilters worldwide to dig deeper, take risks, and experiment with fabric. This beautifully photographed retrospective contains photos of more that 100 of her inspiring quilts, as well as the stories behind them.  $39.95


Blake, Bethany - Something Borrowed, Something Mewed (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) Daphne Templeton's sister Piper is getting married - and their mother is getting carried away. She insists on hiring Sylvan Creek's top event planner, Abigail Sinclair, who proposes a Statue of Liberty - inspired bridesmaid dresses. WIth all the bickering among the families, Daphne's glad her only duty right now is pet-sitting for Abby's cat, MS. Peebles. At the tension-filled dress fitting, the abrasive wedding planner is found strangled by a garter - a weapon both borrowed and blue.  Now Daphne is ready to get involved to help solve a murder.  $7.99

Cahoun, Lynn - Sconed to Death (Cat Latimer Mystery) - Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble because she insists Cat's best friend Shauna stole her recipes - Cat marches into the shop to confront her. But Dee Dee's about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson FInn - a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver's most eligible bachelors - has been found dead in her bakery. Cat is warned by the chief of police not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat's determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts. $7.99

Connolly, Sheila - Murder at the Mansion ( Victorian Village Mystery) - This author has published over thirty mysteries, including several New York Times bestsellers. This is a first in her latest series. Katherine Hamilton never wanted to return to her dead-end hometown. But when she is called in to help save Asheboro from going bankrupt, Kate can't refuse the generous offer. One day while touring the old Victorian mansion, Kate stumbles over a dead body. Impossibly, the victim is none other than Kate's high school nemesis, Cordelia Walker. Soon Kate is drawn deep into the history of the old mansion. What secrets are hidden within its walls-and can the truth be discovered before the killer comes for Kate herself?  $7.99

Dratch, Dana - Seeing Red - (Red Herring Mystery) - A reporter like Alex Vlodnachek can't say no to investigating multiple murders in a tale in which the discovery of several dead bodies is upstaged by many other complications. Alex's freelance career is catching fire and her relationship with B and B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She's even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn. But something is off. When Ian's father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper ask her help. When Alex, an intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B and B's basement and a "reproduction" Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner. With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster - and some very nasty characters. Can see find Ian's father before it is too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?  $7.99

Greenlaw, Linda - Slipknot: A Jane Bunker Mystery - Now back in print this is the first installment in Greenlaw's mystery series. Jane returned to Maine to escape the mean streets of Miami. Surely whatever crimes are committed in this tourist-filled seaside town won't involve anything as dark or seedy as did in the Sunshine State. It's a bit of a shock, then, when Nick Down AKA the town drunk, turns up dead - and it's not the simple accident that everyone assumes it to be. Now it's up to Jane to get involved although only two things are certain: nothing is what it seems, and the whole town is in each other's business. Before she became a writer, Linda was the captain of a swordboat, the career that earned her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm and a portrayal on Isle au Haut, Maine, where she captains a lobster boat.  $7.99

Smith, Karen Rose - Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery) - Restaurant critic Derek Schumaker, notorious for his bitter reviews, is about to visit Daisy's Tea Garden, and Daisy and Aunt Iris are simmering with anxiety. A bad word from this reviewer and her business might stall but Daisy tries to stay confident. After all, how can her resist her cucumber sandwiches with pimento spread - not to mention the cheesy cauliflower soup and more. Schumaker takes a to-go order when the afternoon tea service is done, which Daisy hopes is a good sigh. But when he perishes from a seizure, it looks as if his food was dosed with poison . When she discovers whispers of scandal in his past - Daisy has quite an assortment of suspects to sift through. Delicious recipes included.  $7.99

Sefton, Maggie - Dyeing Up Loose Ends - (Knitting Mystery) - Kelly is happily busy with her son Jack, now a rambunctious four-year-old preschooler. Jack keeps his mom on her toes and drinking all the coffee she can handle. Kelly splits her free time between Pete's and Lambspun, where her fellow knitter love hearing all about Jack's latest exploits. The Lambspun's crew is horrified when a murder occurs in their midst - and Julie is the victim. With her sleuthing instincts on full alert, Kelly starts asking questions. The well-liked waitress may have had enemies no one knew about, or she could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Friends at Lambspun soon learn that the answers are knottier and more shocking than they ever dreamed.  This series includes a recipe and pattern.  $7.99

Young, Kate - Southern Sass and Killer Cravings - For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Now Marygene Brown has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she finds not all is peachy. She has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the man has been poisoned Marygene must find the killer. $7.99  


If this was your first visit I'd like to introduce you to our book business of over 26 years. During this time we've set up many bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll go to work to find it for you whether it is in-print or out-of-print.

Call us Monday thru Saturday at: 602 - 943-0738. If you get the dreaded message machine please don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll get back to you ASAP. Or you can e-mail me at:  Or mail your order to: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

MOST IMPORTANT! Remember to look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order from this blog or the previous ones. 


LAST SMILE:  I saw this on a bumper sticker when I was stuck in traffic:  "Blessed are the quilters for they are the Piecemakers". 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

           (Psst! - Remember to find the hidden discount code and get 20% off any new book you order.)

                       "Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow
                           Which thy frozen bosom bears,
                        On whose tops the pinks that grow

                            Are of those that April wears!
                        But first set my poor heart free,
                        Bound in icy chains by thee.
                                John Fletcher (1579-1625)  
Hurrah for Spring! We in Phoenix have a very short winter and long spring. Some trees start getting leaves in February and flowers start being planted in March. I left the icy cold winters and chilly springs of Long Island for the desert and have never once regretted the move.  It's April now and I smell citrus blossoms especially in the evenings.  Hah!  Love it!

As I was putting together this blog I began to wonder why we call spring, spring.  So I had to research where that came from. And now I have some answers.  It all started in the 14th century when this season of the year was called springing time which in the 15th century got called springtime and then in the 16th century was again shortened to spring.  As you probably guessed the name for this season came about because plants were springing into new life. Before the 14th century the season was simply called Lent.  I also discovered April probably comes from the verb aperire meaning "to open", of course, referring to new life opening up.

I can't imagine anyone not loving spring.  I know I do. The days get longer and color comes back to world.  We also have a custom called spring cleaning.  We open our windows to let the fresh air in  and hopefully get inspired to clean our houses with gusto and hit the garden to freshen up our lawns and plants especially the flowers.  We hit the nurseries for seeds, mulch, and new plants and enjoy the outdoors.  We feel renewed. Spring is like a promise we can start over and make everything new again.  So that brings me to write about color.

Color Me Pink (Romantic) What's Your Color? 

Can't have spring without the pinks of flowers that I love but I would have never guessed in a million years I was truly a pink until
until I read the book, Color Harmony Workbook: A Workbook and Guide to Creative Color Combinations - now out-of-print but available inexpensively on-line. I had convinced myself I disliked pink after I worked with someone who pushed a nasty shade of brilliant pink on everyone that made my eyes hurt. I ended up burying that color deep within my psyche and refused to let pink have a chance to explain itself. That is until over 20 years ago, my daughter, Donna and my aid Pam had a meeting to select the colors we wanted to represent what Ruth Kern Books stood for. They immediately brought up pink. All those bad feelings about that color rose to the surface. I shrieked, "I don't even like pink."  Pam and Donna were adamant that color represented not only me but my feelings about my book business. I kept saying, "I don't think so."
They scurried about gathering up samples of colors and finally the unreasonable part of my brain shut up and I got past the "pink" incident of years ago. I forced myself to look at pink in a new way. In the end, as you know, pink was victorious - a variety of shades of pink from a light pastel to darker hues. Hands down it was pink, although I was still doubtful,

Then I came upon the above book and discovered Donna and Pam had picked correctly. They knew me and my love of this business so well, they had zeroed in on pink and had refused to back off.  The book I mentioned above was not an in-depth color theory book, although theory is explained briefly. Instead colors are divided into emotions and terms such as powerful, rich, dependable, calm, romantic and professional. Each term or emotion and some photos showing how the color can be used to represent calm, earthly, magical, or whatever. Of course I immediately went through every section of the book including the tips for graphic, interior, and fine art using a particular color and the color swatches to mix and match. After hours of study I was truly a pink!

Why I was, was the interesting part. Pink is a romantic color that can be gentle and evocative of early spring, the text told me. Yes, I did love the colors of spring. Red, it added, is the hue that is the basis for a romantic color scheme. The eye is drawn to pink because of its red hue. But pink attracts attention where red demands it. Pink is the color of Venus, the goddess of love.  That was me! A lover, not a fighter. I could never be a high power saleman. I wanted people to enjoy their book experience, to know that we are "book lovers" and a friendly business here to help them. We are eager to hear what books they love reading, that we love books too. Book lovers know what they want; they just want to deal with a place who can help them find it and that person will be honest about a book when asked. And, like me, book lovers tend to love creativity and be involved with interests.

I wanted to know more. Pinks, she said, could create a mellow, inviting intimate, comfortable and comforting atmosphere. Pinks are less showy people than reds. ( I prefer the background to being on stage. However, I do love doing presentations on books and book history since books are the center of attention. Pinks are more cautious and can be soft, tender friends. Pinks are nostalgic. Yup! That's me. For heavens sakes, why hadn't I recognized that pink was my color. Then I read this Joseph Alber's quote, "While human auditory memory is excellent - a melody is often repeatable after hearing it only once or twice, our visual memory, in particular the memory of color, is quite poor." I was intrigued and relieved by his words. Other people, many people, in fact, had a hard time selecting colors too- appropriate colors, that is. I wasn't alone in being color-selecting deficit. Although I may never be an expert, through study, I could better myself in the area of color selection and get my color confidence up where it belongs.

What's your color?  love to hear about your choice.  By the way, the TNNA has chosen the color Living Coral, as the color to take over 2019. They describe this color as "an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with gold undertones." Hmm. Meanwhile, have fun perusing the below list on color.

Barbe, Karen - Colour Confident Stitching: How to Create Beautiful Colour Palettes - Whether you are a beginner or more experience, any stitching project, no matter how simple, can be enhanced by a well-chosen color palette; however, many people are nervous or even afraid of color. Barbae makes choosing and creating color palettes a fun and enjoyable part of the design process, guiding us through color theory as well as choosing and using color more instinctively. Includes five stitching projects that will encourage us to explore color and build confidence through exercise and experiment. $24.95

Brandeis, Susan - The International Thread: A Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch - Communicate your ideas using line, shape, color, and texture with this reference and how-to exploration in one. Whether your particular interest is pictorial, portraiture, abstract compositions, or actual text, you can "say" almost anything with thread. More than 350 color photos translate the techniques of drawing, painting, and good composition into the word "stitch" and "Try this! projects inspire your own individual approaches. Including the role of machine stitching, this design resource, learning tool, and inspirational reference helps practitioners at all levels, whether beginning student, dedicated amateur, or professional. Take a lyrical - but logical - journey of skill building, and begin to stitch internationally and express your creative vision.   $39.99

Brown, Christen - The Embroidery Book: Visual Resource of Color and Design - 149 stitches - step-by-step guide - Enjoy the tranquility of slow stitching with this step-by-step, visual guide to 149 embroidery stitches, motifs, and extras. Go beyond basic color theory-robust charts and take the guesswork out of choosing thread, silk ribbon, buttons, beads, and trims. Then take your embroidery to the next level with luxurious seam treatments and stunning stand-alone designs! This best-selling author's traditional and contemporary techniques are showcased in a colorful gallery of crazy-quilted projects.  $27.95

Burr, Trish - Colour Confidence in Embroidery - I have to include this book by Trish Burr because it is all embroidery and color. She shares with us how color affects embroidery, how it can bring needlework to life and more. From color selection and blending to choosing complimentary colors and creative contrasting and shading, it highlights a variety of techniques for surface and counted thread embroidery projects. Just a look at the cover shows you she knows her color stuff. More than 200 stitched examples with DMC thread keys, plus color schemes and projects such as roses, fruits, and birds will inspire you.  $34.95

C and T Publishing - Ultimate 3 in 1 Color Tool - New! Includes CMYK and RGB formulas, plus Hex numbers for web site design improved! Larger color swatches and expanded guidelines for use. 24 color cards plus an in-depth instructional guide make color planning easy. Handy, take-along sixe-refer to it at home, in your studio, or while shopping. Based on the Ives Color Wheel. $19.95

C and T Publishing - The English Color Wheel - 9 inches in size - This simply easy to read rotating color-wheel will help you select
color and fabric. The color wheel explains basic color relationships such as primary, secondary, intermediates harmonies, monochromatic, complimentary, analogous and triadic.  $8.99
Ditto for the Mini Color Wheel - 5-1/4 inch - $4.19

C andT Publishing - Essential Color Wheel Companion -  This wheel was designed by Joen Wolfrom because of popular demand. It is a durable color-accurate double-sided multi-purpose color wheel (12"x12"). One side of the wheel features 24 pure colors with 4 essential color-plan wheels for each color. The opposite side shows a arrange of each pure color's tints, shades, and tones. Pure color wedges are slotted so you can audition colors (fabrics, paint swatches, etc.) alongside of them to ensure a perfect match. $14.95

Fassett, Kaffe - Kaffe Fassett's Adventures in Color: This author has inspired thousands of people around the globe with his colorful work in fabric, knitting, needlepoint, patchwork, painting and mosaic and is considered a visionary in the use of color and pattern. With his coloring book, he shares 36 pieces of his own beautifully rendered line art plus 10 color tutorials complete with samples he created himself. Fassett's line of art ranges from Japanese kimonos, Turkish Palaces, and Ikat Robes to Chinese dragons, French coffee bowls, and Indian paisleys. This adult coloring book offers 36 coloring plates and 10 inspiring tutorials.  What a way to experiment with color!  $15.95

Finlay, Victoria - Color: A Natural History of the Palette - I hope this book never goes out-of-print. Victoria discovers the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors. For example: Cleopatra used saffron -- a source of the color yellow -- for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue "ultramarine" paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn't afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today has come from the blood of insects. She includes a quote from Picasso, "There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." Ready to learn more? Visit with this author and her book. Get ready to understand color in this world from a new perspective. $18.00

Finlay, Victoria - The Brilliant History of Color in Art - Here she is again. Written for newcomers to the subject and aspiring young artists and even needleworkers of course, she takes us across the globe and over the centuries on an unforgettable tour through the brilliant history of color in art. Her rich narrative is illustrated in full color throughout with 166 major works of art -- most from the collections of the J. P. Getty Museum. She brings us eye-opening details. What a journey. $24.95

Khandelkar, Narayan, Victoria Findlay, Trinder, Kingston, et al. - An Atlas of Rare and Familiar Colour: The Harvard Art Museums' Forbes Pigment Collection - The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums encompasses over 2,500 of the world's rarest pigments. Museum director Edward Forbes started the collection at the turn of the 20th century, in order to preserve the early Italian paintings he had begun to collect. Over the years, the collection grew into a huge apothecary of bottles and beakers, as other art lovers and color experts donated their own pigments. This collection continues to grow, and regularly helps experts across the world to research and authenticate painting. This book examines the contained pigments and artifacts - their provenance, composition, symbology and application. It also explores the larger related fields of chromatics, the historical narrative of art and chemistry, and the innovations with which we have sought to better illustrate our aesthetic and expressive compulsions. Note: Victoria Finlay, a renown British color author, did the foreword, and whose books on color are in this list did the forward.  $38.00

Pink, Tula - Tula Pink Coloring with Thread - Embroidery meets color-by-number! This book translates the phenomena of coloring books and Tula Pink's distinct style into the trending craft of hand embroidery. Included in this boo are more than20 original designs by Tula herself to be stitched and used in a variety of ways. With a complete stitch guide, you can fill in your designs however you choose.  $21.99

Saito, Yoko - Yoko Saito's Japanese Taupe Color Theory: A Study Guide - This celebrated Japanese quilt artist, teacher, author and shop owner shares how she began to lay the groundwork for creating a color palette now coined as "Japanese taupes." In this book she walks you through the simplicity and complexity of taupe colors, revealing how to lay the groundwork for creating color collections to achieve the look you want. Find 20 color collections, shown in traditional and or original blocks, and step-by-step instructions on taupe color theory. Additionally she includes 37 projects with instructions include handbags, sewing items, and cushions.  $37.95



Alison Cole lauded this book so I had to investigate and fell in love with the three-dimensional embroidery of Julie Kniedl . In this lovely volume Julie has created twelve spectacular botanical pieces. All use simple stitches and a handful of techniques to create elegant and realistic interpretations of natural subjects. Each project is captured in glorious photography and detailed instructions are provided for every step.   $36.00   

Because of this book of three-dimensional embroidery botanical flowers I had to include this gorgeous book as well, The Golden Age of Botanical Art by Martyn Rix - Images produced in the study of plants have always held a fascination for those who love nature. This volume brings together the stories of the explorers and the professional artists who recorded for posterity the flora that they encountered on their expeditions. It delves into the sketchbook of explorers in the Himalayas and follows the voyages of those who found new worlds and specials as far apart as Russia and South America. Special features cover key figures in the botanical art world including such greats as Ehret and Bauer, as well as distinguished collections, such as that of Mutis at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid. Rarely, or previously unpublished images from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and other archives from around the world reveal how these illustrations made a significant contribution to our understanding of the world and the glories of nature.  The author is a botanist and has a PhD in Botany from the University of Cambridge and has made his own expeditions around the world to collect new plants for gardens.  Who knows you might add new plants and flowers to your embroidery.   $34.95


Brown, Christen - Beaded Embroidery Stitching - Add dimension and luster to your sewing projects! Inspired by the magic of beads, buttons, and charms, Christen shares 8 stunning beadwork projects from brooches and bracelets to wallhangings. A handy visual guide to 125 bead embroidered and bead woven stitches categorized each stitch by style, with a second alphabetical index to keep at your fingertips. A robust project gallery will inspire crafters of all skill levels, from embroiderers and sewists to crazy quilters, mixed media artists, and jewelry makers. So put more sparkle in your stitches.  $27.95

De Graaf, Rianne - Colourful Wayuu Bags to Crochet and Weave - Colorful, functional and fun - these striking crocheted Wayuu mochila bags have the best combination of features! Using the technique of tapestry crochet, there are 10 stunning bags to make, with the characteristic woven shoulder straps, and drawstring cords. Some of the bags are also embellished with pompoms and tassels. Using the traditional geometric patterns and shapes of the Colombian and Venezuelan Wayuu people, each bag is unique and you can make them in your own choice of colours. There is a comprehensive techniques section at the beginning of the book to help you get grips with tapestry crochet, and a section at the end showing you how to make the beautifully woven straps and also the drawstrings, using the Kumihimo technique. The woven straps could also easily be made on their own as trendy belts for trousers and shirts. Using very simple stitches, with easy-to-follow patterns and widely available 100% cotton yarns, these bags are too beautiful to resist. So pick up some yarn and hook and try it!  Clear instructions and easy-to-follow patterns.  $15.95

Lapierre, Corinne - Folk Embroidered Felt Birds - This popular author creates a charming range of 20 exquisite folk embroidered felt birds, including a swan, a hen, a goose, a partridge, an owl, a dove, a peacock and a flamingo. Wonderfully made in lovely, soft colors, the birds are filled with toy stuffing, and embellished with folk-style surface embroidery in different- colored threads. The stitches include chain, feather, fly running, blankets, French knots and satin stitch. There are also bead and sequin embellishments on some birds. The book also includes pretty hand-drawn step-by-step illustrations and there are same-size templates at the back of the book for all designs. The birds all have optional ribbon hangers for displays.  $15.95

McWhinney, Jenny - Hedgerow Sewing Suite: Haberdashery Bag and Thread Holder; Hedgehog Pincushion and Knitting Needle Case - Start stitching right away with iron-on transfer designs. Sew four delightful zakka-style projects to help corral sewing and knitting supplies, including a sewing bag with an adorable spool tree motif, a drawstring thread holder adorned with little colorful spools, a hedgehog-themed pincushion, and a knitting needle holder. The PatternPlus pack includes instructions, iron-on transfers, patterns and motifs for all four projects, so you can easily mark your designs and get stitching.  $22.95

Montano, Judith Baker - Judith Baker Montano's Essential Stitch Guide - Globally recognized needlework expert Judith Baker Montano shares 180 stitches and 70 combinations in this improved and updated second edition. Featuring even more traditional embroidery stitches, silk ribbon stitches, and crazy-quilting combinations, this beautiful handbook has an updated section of free-form inspiration for improvisational work. With full-color illustrations and advice for lefties, the essential reference goes far beyond the basics.  $26.95

Pierce, Val - Knitted Rabbits - have fun with these 20 cuddly bunnies to knit with easy patterns that cover fluffy bunnies to finger puppets. Using a mix of yarns and weights, from fluffy and textured to cottons and naturals, Val leads us through all that is needed to create different looks and how to maximize bunny personality. The patterns are suitable for beginners and more advanced knitters, with techniques ranging from easy basic stitches to more decorative ideas. Includes neat photos of these different bunny characters.  $14.95

Popova, Tatiana - The Textile Artist: The Seasons in Silk Ribbon Embroidery - Our author, a leading embroiderer in the world, includes 20 beautiful designs, techniques and inspiration along with her teaching you the essential techniques and stitches you need, including traditional ribbonwork and thread embroidery, as well as new ways of working that she has developed herself to make silk ribbon embroidery easier.  The second part of the book is devoted to 20 stunning projects inspired by the seasons, each accompanied by numerous step-by-step photos, diagrams and instructions. These include vibrant floral arrangements as well as romantic and whimsical designs such as hearts, owls and posies, and there are ideas for seasonal gifts such as an Easter wreath, a Wedding Day heart and a Christmas star. Then of the designs feature full-size images to can and print on your fabric before embroidering. Book works for those new to ribbon and the experienced embroiderer.  $26.95

Quail Studio - A Beginner's Guide to Intarsia Knitting - Learn how to create bright and colorful knits using the intarsia method of color knitting. It guides you effortlessly through the process of choosing colours, preparing yarn bobbins and working out yarn quantities through the basic intarsia techniques such as joining new colors and working from charts. At the end of the book there is a great collection of 11 gorgeous projects including a fox-themed cushion, an eye-catching chevron scarf and a show-stopping star blanket all designed with the beginner in mind. Whether you prefer vibrant, multi-colored knits or more muted tones, this easy-to-follow book will teach you all you need to know to crate contemporary colorwork.  $15.95

Ranae, Natalie - Macramé at Home: Add Boho-Chic Charms to Every Room with 20 Projects for Stunning Plant Hangers, Wall Art, Pillows and More - This author will guide you step-by-step to create stunning designer art pieces to adorn any space with boho vibes. From contemporary plant hangers to elegant wall hanging to practical home accents such as pillows, rugs and floor poufs, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to get an impressive result with your very first project. The 20 projects include detailed photos and instructions for every step, and each project features a variation at the end that changes the look, for a total of 40 potential designs. Featuring a practical guide to common knots and patterns, no other DIY macramé book offers this much variety and instruction for designer pieces.  $19.99

Schaefer, Kim - Whimsical Wool Applique - Cozy up to wool applique with fifty colorful garden blocks to mix and match! Best-selling author Kim Schaefer shares seven easy fusible applique projects to teach you embroidery basics or to bring your hand stitching to the next level. Layer luscious butterflies, birds, and flowers of wool on top of cotton fabric, then add the embroidered finishing touches to whimsical quilts, pillows, and home décor projects. Finish seven cheerful hand applique wool projects like wall quilts, table toppers, pillows and more.   $24.95

Shaw, Kathy Seaman - Stunning Stitches for Crazy Quilts - You don't have to be a master embroiderer to create beautiful crazy-quilts seams! With 480 seam designs to inspire you, you'll learn to stitch with uniform spacing for a professional appearance. Line everything up perfectly with five pages of full-size stitch templates and dozens of step-by-step illustrations. Then dress up embroidery thread with sparkly beads, buttons, sequins, and silk ribbon embellishments for endless creative combinations!  $29.95

Vaine, Janice - Hand Embroidery: Stitches at-a-glance - A great reference guide that features a complete step-by-step how-to for 30 favorite stitches. Backstitch, stem stitch, and dozens of stitch options and long with tips and techniques. Needle and thread charts for handy reference.  Book size is: 4x6 inches.  $8.50

Wasilowski, Laura - Joyful Stitching: Transform Fabric with Improvisational Embroidery - Dive into Laura's delightful world of embroidery and learn how to create small, free-form embroidery pieces that are alive with color and texture. With instructions for 21 embroidery stitches and 6 projects, all in Laura's signature colorful, whimsical style, you'll transform a flat, plain surface into a joyful, design-packed art piece. Stitch on wool, felt, or silk, and enjoy the simple pleasure of slow-stitching. Includes a gallery of display ideas.  $19.95


Not too many years ago two great needlepoint stitch books were published by Dream House Ventures: Stitches ala Carte and Stitches ala Carte: Book II -The Lost Stitches by Lynda Richardson.  I had carried them, of course, but with so many new books coming and going, even though they were best sellers by word of mouth, I lost track of them until one of our book friends asked for them.  Shame on me! But I went looking for them and discovered that Lynda was very ill but her husband was in the process of getting a distributor for them.  Now there is a distributor. Hoorah! So Lynda's classic stitch books have come available again and I am carrying them. I'm so sorry for Lynda's serious illness but thrilled her books will speak to who she is. 

I would like to share what she wrote about needlepoint that has stuck with me since I first read it.  She said she was at a National Needlearts Show and standing with a group of women bemoaning the rise of knitting and fall of needlepoint. Another woman passing by heard their remarks. She commented, "In 20 years that scarf you knitted will be in the rag bag; but that needlepoint piece you stitched will become a family heirloom." Whoever that woman was I applaud her.  Someday your needlepoint will become became of someone's else's family history. And I hope these two wonderful books by Lynda will be too.

Stitches a'la Carte - Book I -  This book is 5 1/2 x 9 inches in size and is spiral-bound so you can lay the book open to the graph you want. Speaking of graphs they are large and the stitch patterns come with names like: Garden Maze, Counting Stars, Stars and Bars, and more - in fact 63 stitches in all plus her little stories sprinkled throughout.  $30.00

Since her first book was so well received and she was begged to write a second book, she finally decided to do it and loved the process. 

Stitches a'la Carte - Book II - The Lost Stitches - Lynda used her beloved first book as her guide for her second book. Again, large graphs, same-size book and spiral-binding. I love the stitch pattern names - Apple Pie Crust, Dance Steps, Leaded Windows, and more - again 63 stitches in total. I've enjoyed her little stories, again sprinkled throughout.  $30.00


Beadventures gives you the chance of learning beading with great beading experts while experiencing the world. How cool is that! Below I've included several trips they are doing this year:

Cruise the Midnight Sun to Alaska - Anchorage Workshops with Laura McCabe - June 9th - 16th 2019 - Experience the beauty of Southeast Alaska by cruising with Holland America out of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. After disembarking from the ship,  you'll travel by rail to Anchorage for a week's stay where you'll learn about Alaska under the midnight sun. You'll then join local beaders for three workshops with the incredibly talented, Laura McCabe.  I was in Holland during the midnight sun and loved it!

Malta and Sicily Italy - September 9th - 22nd 2019 - They write, "Those who went on our Beadventure to Sicily in 2016 and had such a great time asked to do it again. Internationally renown bead artist Sabine Lippert again will be part of this great trip, along with Maggie Meister, Beadventures' expert on everything Italy. You'll visit Malta and Sicily, two beautiful islands in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  Wish I had the time to go!

For more information go to: or give them a call at: 907-258-2331.  Their website is gorgeous!


Adams, Ellery - Murder in the Reading Room (Book Retreat Mystery) - Storyton Hall, Virginia is a paradise for book lovers who come from all for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renown resort in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery. Jane's boyfriend is missing and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina's historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she's there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she's also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful, that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.
When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway's lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim.  $7.99

Buckley, Julia - Death Waits in the Dark (Writer's Apprentice Mystery) - It's summertime, and Lena and Camilla are busy working away while a town vandal runs amok. Things get even more complicated when Jane Wyland pays Camilla a not-so-friendly visit and gives her an ultimatum; reveal Camilla's husband Jane's family secret, or she will. Lena assures Camilla are busy working away while a town vandal runs amok. Things get even more complicated when Jane Wyland pays Camilla a not-so friendly visit and givens her an ultimatum: reveal Camilla's husband James's family secret, or she will. Lena assures Camilla that nothing will come of the woman's threats, since the family has no secrets to hide. When Jane Wyland is later found dead, they're convinced that whatever secret she was planning to expose led to her death. With Lena's assistance, Camilla is determined to solve the case before the finger points at her.  $7.99

Carlisle, Kate - Buried in Books (Bibliophile Mystery) - Brooklyn has it all covered. She's triple-checked her wedding to-do list, and everything is on track for the upcoming ceremony with the love of her life, security expert Derek Stone. Not everyone has been as lucky in love as Brooklyn. Her old library college roommates Heather and Sara lost touch twelve years ago when Sara stole Heather's boyfriend. Brooklyn was caught in the middle and hasn't seen her former besties since their falling-out. When they both arrive in town for the annual librarians' convention and then show up at her surprise bridal shower, Brooklyn is sure drama will ensure. But she's touched when the women seem willing to sort out their differences and gift her rare copies of The Three Musteteers and The Blue Fairy Book. Brooklyn's pre-wedding calm is shattered when one of her formerly feuding friends is found murdered and Brooklyn determines that one of the rare books is a forgery. She can't help but wonder if the victim played a part in this fraud, or if she was targeted because she discovered the scam. With a killer and con artist on the loose, Brooklyn and Derek -- with the unsolicited help of their meddling mothers -- must catch the culprit before their big day turns into a big mess.  $7.99

Chien,Vivien - Murder Lo Mein (Noodle Shop Mystery) - Lana Lee's stake in her family Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she's manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland's Best Needle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win -- at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off.  Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first.  $7.99

Elliott, Lauren - Prologue to Murder (Bookstore Mystery) - Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name -- but "Miss Newsy" at Boston's Greyborne Harbor's local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She's pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June's body's found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie's not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body.  It's a good thing the guy she's dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated with a lanky blonde reporter from the Los Angeles shows up. She's trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple .. as if Addie doesn't have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite the rumors, Addie doesn't know a thing about the murder -- but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself.  $7.99

Griffo, J.D. - Murder in Tranquility Park ( Ferrara Family Mystery) - Since Alberta Scaglione inherited her spinster aunt's Cape Cod collage she's been enjoying the good life in Tranquility with her black cat, Lola. When she and her friend, Jinx, stumble across a hidden treehouse and a dead body they take a detour into solving a murder. $7.99

Ehrhart, Peggy - Knit one, Die Two (Knit and Nibble Mystery) - Knit and Nibble's numbers are growing! In addition to a litter of adorable kittens, the knitting club just welcomes their newest member, Caralee Lorimer, who's learning to knit for her upcoming role in A Tale of Two Cities. According to the amateur actress the behind-the-scenes drama at the theater is getting downright catty, and Caralee wants a reckoning for Arborville's pretentious suburbanites. Her claws are out, and just like her character in the play, Caralee is ready to name names. But before she can finish snitch stitches, Caralee is killed in a suspicious theater accident. Someone thinks they've staged a perfect murder, but Pamela and her knit and Nibblers are ready to pounce on the real killer -- before it's curtains for anyone else!  $7.99

Sennefelder, Debra - The Hidden Corpse (Food Blogger Mystery) - Former reality TV baking show contestant and recent divorcee Hope Early is trying to find her recipe for success as a food blogger -- but murder keeps getting in the mix. When Hope's elderly neighbor perishes in a house fire, she can't help but feel somewhat responsible. Only the day before, Peggy Olson had called her over, having burned a pot on the stove while she was sleeping and filling the house with smoke. In fact, she couldn't even remember cooking. Clearly, it was dangerous for the woman to live alone. But it turns out she wasn't alone. When a second body is discovered in the basement of the burned house, suddenly what appeared to be a tragic accident is beginning to look like premeditated murder. As rumors spread like wildfire, Hope is determined to sort out the facts and smoke out a killer, but she might be jumping from the frying pan straight into the fire.  $7.99

Wait, Lea - Thread on Arrival (Mainely Needlepoint Mystery) - Ike Hamilton is a part of the Haven Harbor community just like anyone else, though he's fallen on hard times and has to make do on disability checks and deposit bottles. Most of the locals do what they can to help him out, and needlepointing partners Angie and Sarah are happy to see him at the annual Blessing of the Fleet, honoring all those lost at sea over the centuries. But when harmless Ike is stabbed, suspicion quickly falls on a troubled teenage boy who's new in town. Angie's convinced that young Leo is innocent -- but if her didn't do it, who did? Turns out Ike may have appeared simple-minded, but he knew a few secrets that someone might have murdered him to keep quiet. Angie sets out to trace Ike's bottle-collecting route to find to find out what he witnessed -- and for this killer, there may be no redemption.  $7.99

Next issue will be out by May 12th 2019 and feature lots of new books and out-of-print books. Please remember to join us.  Have your drink of choice (mine's tea) and a snack to enjoy while you peruse our blog!

If this was your first visit, I'd like to introduce you to our book business of over 26 years. During this time we set up bookshops for the ANG and EGA seminars and a variety of other needlework organizations as well as doing this blog.

Can't find a certain book? Please give us a call and we'll try to find it for you whether it is in or out-of-print.

Call us Monday through Saturday at: 602-943-0738. If you get the dreaded message please don't be shy about leaving a message. I'll get back to you ASAP. Or you can e-mail me at Or mail your order to: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

MOST IMPORTANT!  Remember to look for the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book your order from this blog or the previous ones.