Monday, August 22, 2016

SEE  YOU SEPTEMBER 20th with New Blog


Welcome!  Whether you are joining us for the first time or you are a long time follower I welcome you.

Why Is August, August?

I picture August lying on its side with a tongue hanging out exhausted from the summer heat, hectic vacations, and unfortunate fires and floods. But it has a grander background than that. 

As our month of July, August is named after a Roman. This time it is for the great Emperor Augustus after he defeated Marc Anthony and Cleopatra and became the emperor of Rome. The Roman Senate decided he should have a month named after him.  Since he entered Rome in victory three times and since Julius Caesar had a month thirty-one days long so should Augustus. So here we are, after all Augustus couldn't have an inferior month.  Gee, how scientific!  By the way, that extra day was taken from February so February is stuck with 28 days most years. Poor February!

Now the flower for August is actually two: the Gladiola and the Poppy with lots of meanings: the Gladiola for strength of character, sincerity, generosity, natural grace and for the Poppy eternal sleep, imagination and oblivion. 

Remember the Wizard of Oz when they all fall asleep in the poppy fields? But the poppy like the gladiola is a pretty flower.  Let's forget the opium dens of old and negative uses of this flower and think of the people this
flower has helped.

The August birthstone is the peridot, the light lime, gentle gem that  is also known as the Evening Emerald.  The stone is legended to ward away evil and nightmares, giving one peace and progress in life. It is also considered the perfect gift for a couple's 16th anniversary. It was found in ancient Egypt and called the Gem of the Sun.  Although I'm not born in August I love this gem that reflects different shades of green with a dash of yellow in it.



This is a story about silk but the famous silk worm will not be mentioned.  How can that be you are probably wondering?  Well just keep reading and discover a fascinating story about another silk-making critter I'm now going to introduce you to. It is a spider known as the golden silk orb-weaver. It genus name is Nephila which in Ancient Greek means "fond of spinning". This spider has existed on this earth for 165 million years with an known fossilized specimen. This species are widespread in warmer regions all around the globe including Australia, Africa, Costa Rica, Asia, and areas of both North and South America.  In the United States they have been found throughout the coastal southeast and from North Carolina to Texas. Rats! I was hoping these spiders could be found in the warmer parts of Arizona, especially where I live in Phoenix.  But apparently not so I can't go spider hunting and find one.

What gives this interesting spider its name is simple: the yellow threads of their webs shine like gold in the sunlight.  This spider use this yellow color to attract bees and in shady areas can act as camouflage. Apparently research shows that the golden silk orb-weaver can adjust the pigment intensity from light levels and color to deeper shades.

Their webs are wonderful creations but due to wind, rain, etc. the spider is kept busy replacing damaged areas of the web. Yes, be careful if you are spying on this spider as its venom is not lethal but can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory troubles or even muscle cramps.  But you know us humans, we have to experiment with "stuff".  And the web of the golden orb spider has received its share of tests.  What was discovered is the silk is strong, strong enough, to be an excellent scaffold material. There are fishermen on the indopacific coasts that roll these webs into balls and throw them into the water where it opens up and catches bait fish.  Ingenious!

Even more ingenious are the experiments to produce garments from this spider silk but it will never be financially feasible to produce silk garment en masse.  Simon Peers, a textile designer and another gentleman in 2004 worked three years with 1.2 million golden silk orb-weavers that were nicely let go after their silk was gathered while these clever men were able to produce a shawl that was on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in 2009.  A few years later they created a cape, that along with the shawl, were on exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  I don't know about you but I would have loved to be there. Well, with that background on this special spider I hope you enjoy the photos of the cape made the silk of the Madagascar Golden Orb spider.  I hope you are as amazed as I was.

Below in honor of silk, I've listed a number of books on silk of all kinds.  Sorry no books on spider silk.

Cox, Ann - Beginner's Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery - This classic teaches how to create beautiful flowers using silk ribbon embroidery techniques that includes foxgloves, roses, hydrangeas, delphiniums, primroses, geraniums, irises, poppies and much more. Only a few stitches are needed to create exquisite designs. All the techniques are explained using step by step photos and instructions. There are also full instructions on how to paint and stencil fabric backgrounds. Suitable for beginners and experienced embroiderers. This classic has been redesigned to appeal to the modern embroider.  $12.95

Editors of Sixth and Spring Books - Noro Silk Garden - Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Noro's popular Silk Garden yarn with this elegant collection. Made in Japan, Silk Garden is a truly unique yarn consisting of 45% silk, 45% kid mohair, and 10% lamb's wool. Featuring sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, and more, these designs all showcase the yarn's hand-dyed, vibrant colors and luxurious texture.  $24.95

Hansen, Valerie - The Silk Road: A New Documentary History to 1400 - What was the Silk Road exactly? It conjures up a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different - and far more interesting. Our author describes the remarkable archeological finds that revolutionized our understanding of these trade routes. Hansen explores eight sites along the road, from Xi'an to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zorastrianism.  This book offers a selection of excerpted primary sources in each chapter. The wide-ranging sources include memoirs of medieval Chinese monks and modern explorers, letters written by women, descriptions of towns, legal contracts, religious hymns, and many other things. A final chapter provides coverage of the Silk Road during the period of Mongol rule.  $49.95

Hanham, Clare - Beginner's Guide to Silk Shading - Learn how to transfer a design, prepare the fabric, frame up and then work silk shading. Learn to create four exquisite designs, featuring climbing leaves, tulips, a butterfly and dog roses. Both beginners and experienced embroiderers will be inspired by this beautiful guide to silk shading.  $15.95

Meller, Susan, Don Tuttle, Photographer, Robert Kushner, essayist - Silk and Cotton: Textiles from the Central Asia That Was - The traditional textiles of Central Asia are an unknown treasure, now revealed in this book. Straddling the legendary Silk Road, this vast region stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Gobi Desert in the east and is home to hundreds of tribes. Whether nomadic or sedentary, its peoples created textiles that related to every aspect of their way of life, from ceremonial objects marking rites of passage to everyday garments to practical items for the home. Author Susan Meller has spent years assembling the extraordinary collection of 590 textiles illustrated in this book. She documents their history, use and meaning.  $60.00

Miller, Lesley Ellis - Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book 1764 - I featured this book sometime ago, but I thought this was an appropriate time to bring it back.  In 1764, British Customs confiscated a book containing hundreds of silk samples of different qualities from French agents who were attempting to sell them illegally in London.  The merchant's sample book acquired in 1972 by the VandA may be this very book, a fascinating record of the 18th century French and English silk industries and their commercial practices. Along side a faithful reproduction of the whole album, Lesley Miller sets in context the role of the book as a marketing tool from the premier European silk-weaving centre of Lyon and as a model for Spitalfields manufacturers. This publication makes accessible the contents of an extremely rare and fragile object. Translations of French inscriptions, identification of how samples have migrated from one page to another, and technical analysis of some of the silks, as well as a glossary and biographical data on the Lonnais suppliers make this an invaluable resource for historians, collectors. and designers.  $60.00

Van Niekerk, Di - Little Flowers in silk and Organza Ribbon - This great step-by-step project book is all about making little flowers in silk and organza ribbon. Using a combination of thread, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork and other techniques, you can produce gorgeous poppies, sweet strawberry blossoms, delightful daffodils and a ring of daisies. Or create magnificent wild roses, chamomiles and meadow grass in 3D, lisianthus and lavender, with butterflies and ladybirds and so much more. For both beginning and advanced . All completed projects are smaller than A4 size and templates of all the original designs are included, with easy0to-follow instructions on how to layer the embroidery and stumpwork to achieve the exquisite three-dimensional effect. She includes an extensive range of step-by-step photos as well as a complete gallery of stitches make it virtually impossible to go wrong.  $24.95 

Yasuda, Anita - Traditional Kimono Silks - This swatch book is an inspiring visual tour of elegant fabric designs using beautiful  historic kimono remnants from Japan's Showa Period (1926-1989). More than 400 photos and detailed captions provide information on motif identification, Japanese history and cultural traditions. The book is organized around favorite Japanese motifs, including cherry blossoms, peonies, maple leaves, bamboo shoots, waves, and clouds. It will be a source of ideas and inspiration for collectors, designers, quilters, and historians. A glossary of related terms, antique fabric resources, and a substantial bibliography point the way to further reading and study.  $34.95

If you want a good story about silk here it is:

Estes, Kelli - The Girl Who Wrote in Silk - The smallest items can hold centuries of secrets. Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core - and force her to make an impossible choice. Inspired by true events, Killi Este's brilliant and atmospheric  debut serves a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.  $14.99


Needlepointers Alert!!

I borrowed the picture from Carole Lake's site so I could show you these two great books she and Michael Boren collaborated on:  Twisty Stitches: String Art for Needlepoint:  Vol. I was all about the Amadeus-Jessica Stitches - twisty stitches that are often referred to as "Hilton Stitches". This first volume contains the Amadeus Stitch through the Jessica Stitch.  $54.95
(discount code: Ken16)

Twisty Stitches: String Art for Needlepoint: Vol. II - contains the Mistake Stitch through the Walnetto Stitch. These two volumes are full of curve stitching. As these authors explain this technique was invented by an Englishwoman in 1904, that produces curves and other flowing shapes by means of a series of perfectly straight lines.

As in all the Boren, Lake books there are wonderful directions, color graphs and both are spiral-bound for easy use. 

The second book will be released on September 15th 2016 and if you order BEFORE August 30th the retail price is only $41.95 after that date it will be $54.95.    All copies will be shipped right after the release date on September 2016.


I received a message that a new book is available that combine's Jean Hilton's 18 Little Guys with Tony Minieri's border, Rockaway in a single volume. For years you had to buy these separately and pick one of the Little Guys and now you can get the whole package for only $50.00.  Give me a call and don't forget your 20% discount.  Just find the discount code in this blog.

Bates, Susan - Beautiful Stitches: Over 100 Freestyle Embroidery Motifs - Susan turns her design talent to free-style embroidery. The designs in this book illustrate her love of color, pattern and detail. This book contains over 100 motifs and focuses on a variety of subjects, such as birds, flowers, and
the natural world. She also includes trendy motifs that feature lettering, fashion accessories and travel. The book uses simple stitches, all clearly explained in the tools and techniques sections. The diagrams are in full color and each project is beautifully photographed.  For all levels of stitches.  $21.95

Carlessi, Maria Angela - 3D Origami: 15 cute creatures to making using modular paper triangles - 3D origami is a new and original technique that doesn't require and special skills - just a little patience. While traditions Japanese origami is a well-known technique, this clever adaption uses individual triangular folds to construct impressive, modular designs. Our author shows you how to create a colorful range of animals and creatures. There are 15 projects to choose from including rabbits, owls, squirrels, dogs, cats and even a tortoise. Each project comes with detailed instructions making them easy and fun for papercrafters of all skill levels.  $13.95

Fassett, Kaffe - Kaffe Fassett's Bold Blooms - This renowned textile explores flowers as a source of inspiration for patchwork and needlepoint in this new quilting guide and needlepoint pattern collection. For the first time ever he shares a behind-the-scenes look at his fascinating creative process, shedding light on how he creates the vibrant fabrics, quilts, needlepoints, and ribbons, floral displays, and paintings. He brings us a passionate ode to flowers in the form of 18 quilts and 7 needlepoints divided into color moods ranging from neutrals and soft pastels to rich, dark tones. Accessible to all skill levels, the designs on each page will inspire you to see how much more colorful and alive your needlework, quilts, and creative projects can be.  $35.00

Fraser, Stephen - The Spoonflower Handbook - Designing fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap used to be the stuff of dreams. Only a few select creative got to do it, and it required formal training and significant financial investment. But times have changed, and today anyone with a computer, internet connection, and ideas can upload a file and order their own fabric or paper, printed affordably one yard or more at a time. At the forefront of this revolutionary DIY movement is Spoonflower located in North Carolina. They have produced designs for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide. This book is written for both new and experienced users of this print-on-demand technology and covers everything from equipment to software to working with photos, scans, repeats, vector files, and more. $27.50

Kennedy, Katherine - Alphabets for Swedish Weaving and Huck Embroidery - Adding names and dates to these techniques create a unique one-of-a-kind item that is sure to be cherished for years to come. Whether you are just beginning or have been stitching for years, you will find this book to be an invaluable resource for customizing your hand-stitched pieces for yourself or to give as a gift. There are 11 unique and fun projects in this book plus numerous border patterns that can be used to embellish any number of pieces.  $21.95

Pailles, Lionel - Chanel: The Art of Creating Fragrance: Flowers of the French Riviera - Since Chanel No. 5 is one of the perfumes I love (the others are Ombre Blue, Ombre Rose and Tabu) I had to include this book. Chanel No. 5 has been made with flowers from the same picturesque patch of land between the Alps and the Mediterranean, known as the Pegomas Valley, since the perfume was created in 1921. Every year hundreds of pounds of flowers are cultivated, picked and distilled, following secret traditions. For the first time, the artisanal techniques used to create the world's most coveted perfumes are revealed. The six-volume collection contains a book on each of the main five flowers from which all Chanel perfumes are made - centifolia rose, iris, jasmine, geranium, and tuberose - with the first book profiling the creators and detailing the process. This beautiful and lavish gift set offers a fascinating look into the storied brand of Chanel and the art of making perfume. $200.00 

Summer, Rachael - Stitched Textiles: Birds - Birds are an enduring theme in art and textile work and this book will appeal to any textile artist interested in exploring their design possibilities. Featuring a range of birds including much-loved garden blackbirds, characterful chickens, cute and curious puffins and cheeky seagulls, this book captures these feathered friends in a range of habitats.  It covers the design process itself, from inspiration to final design, and provides information on the materials used and step-by-step demonstrations of a whole range of techniques including dyeing, using dissolvable fabric, using found objects, piecing, and stitching.  This book is broken down into three chapters: Creating character, depicting a scene and Telling a story. Each chapter contains two-step-by-step projects and a gallery of other inspiring, vibrant pieces. The purpose of each chapter is to capture a different aspect of the characters of the birds we love to watch, either in our gardens, as pets, or in the wild. Very much aimed at the contemporary textile artist, this beautiful book is designed to inspire and encourage.  $29.95

Murder, Murder, Read All About It! 
It is so fun to "bump" into an author that is original and interesting with a eye for the different.  I was looking for a particular book and I stumbled over Christine Trent.  Since she writes historical with a mysterious twist I had to find out more about her.  We share similar traits: at three she drove her mother crazy with wanting to be read to ALL the time. Like my mother, Christine's mom got her going on books on her own. Like Christine I have a huge collection of book (not counting the ones I stock for you).  I am jealous of her two-story home library - mine is all on one story. She loves libraries but doesn't use one as she HAS to own books (as I do)so she spends more time at library sales than in the stacks.  I don't own a Kindle or the likes because I have to be surrounded by books and consider them very precious.  Christine too, considers books valuable and has taken the time to add a huge library onto her house.  I love her attitude.

She also writes historicals and since I love them too (and have one with an editor), I had learn more. Her latest mystery/historical series she's written, I've included below. I find the Victorian heroine, an undertaker absolutely fascinating.  Christine thoroughly researches her facts and her and her husband travel to England regularly for her research. She has received wonderful reviews for all her books so I'm diving into the series. If you want to learn more about Christine visit her website:


Lady of Ashes - In 1861 London, Violet Morgan is struggling to establish a good reputation for the undertaking business that her husband has largely abandoned. She provides comfort for the grieving, advises them on funeral fashion and etiquette, and arranges funerals., Unbeknownst to her, Graham, who nurses a hatred for America since  his grandfather soldiered for Great Britain in the War of 1812, becomes involved in a scheme to sell arms to the south. Meanwhile Violet receives the commission of a lifetime: undertaking the funeral for a friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But her position remains precarious, especially when Graham disappears and she begins investigating a series of deaths among the poor. And the closer she gets to the truth, the greater the danger for them both.  $15.00

Stolen Remains - After establishing her reputation as one of London's most highly regarded undertakers, Violet Harper decided to take her practice to the wilds of the American West. She and her husband are summoned back to England, where she is honored to undertake the funeral of Anthony Fairmont, the Viscount Raybourn, a close friend of Queen Victoria's who died in suspicious circumstances but his body disappears. She and Scotland Yard begin the search for his earthly remains Violet own investigation takes her from servants' quarters, to the halls of Windsor Castle, to the tombs of ancient Egypt to get to the truth. As Publisher Weekly says, "Rich with historical incidents and details." Mystery Scene Magazine raved, "A book you can sink your teeth into, with characters you'll fall in love with."   $15.00

A Virtuous Death - Queen Victoria, still mourning her long-dead husband Prince Albert, has found solace in John Brown, an enigmatic palace servant who dabbles in the occult and keeps the grieving queen entertained with his tarot card readings. Undertaker Violet Harper is invited to attend one of Mr. Brown's infamous readings, during which he implies that Buckingham Palace will soon be shrouded in death's dark veil. Well acquainted with death, Violet shrugs him off as a charlatan until his sinister divinations begin to prove true.  $15.00

The Mourning  Bells - As one of London's most respected undertakers, Violet Harper has the new duty of accompanying coffins from various undertakers on the London Necropolis Railway for respectful funerals and burials in Surrey. But on her first trips, the mournful silence of the train is shattered by the shrill ringing of a coffin bell - a device that prevents a person from being buried alive. Inside the noisome coffin Violet finds a man wide-eyed with fear, claiming he was falsely interred. When a second coffin bell is rung on another trip Violet grows suspicious. She voices her qualms to Inspector Hurst of Scotland Yard, only to receive a puzzling reply that, after all, it is not a crime to rise from the dead. Is this all merely the result of clumsy undertaking, or is there something more sinster afoot. Determined to get to the heart of the matter, Violet uncovers a treacherous plot and villains who will stop at nothing to keep a lid on her search for the truth.  $15.00

Death at the Abby - While on a much-needed respite with her husband in Nottinghamshire, undertaker Violet Harper is summoned to Welbeck Abbey by the Fifth Duke of Portland to prepare a body. His Grace is known as the "mad duke" and Violet has more than an inkling of why when she arrives at the grand estate and discovers that the corpse in question is that of the duke's favorite raven, Aristotle. Many of the duke's servants believe a dead raven is a harbinger of doom, and the peculiar peer hopes to allay their superstitious fears with an elaborate funeral for his feathered friend. But Aristotle's demise is soon followed by the violent murder of one of the young workers on the estate. Wishing to avoid any whisper of scandal, Violet wonders if the manner of the raven's death might provide a crucial clue in solving the crime.  $15.00

A Grave Celebration - Undertaker Violet Harper and her husband are attending the long -anticipated opening of Egypt's new Suez Canal, which has been masterminded by the brilliant French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps. Fireworks, galas, and canal cruises are all part of the planned festivities at stops along the way. But when two men are found murdered, it becomes obvious that there are malevolent forces among the revelers who will stop at nothing to keep Violet from discovering the truth.  $15.00

Other Mysteries to Solve

Bolin, Janet - Seven Threadly Sins - Fashion turns killer in the latest novel of this series. While Willow Vanderling has certainly never wanted to be a model, here she is, voluntarily strutting her stuff in a charity runway show in outrageous clothing, all to support the Academy's scholarship fund. But the lascivious, mean-spirited director of the academy, Antonio, is making the fashion show a less-than-fabulous affair. After Antonio plays a shocking prank on Willow and her friends that doesn't exactly leave the ladies in stitches, he mysteriously winds up dead--and someone is trying to pin the blame on Willow. Now she must do whatever it takes in order to clear her name, even if it means needling around other people's secrets.  $7.99

Buckley, Julia - Cheddar Off Dead - (Undercover Dish Mystery #2)- Caterer and cook Lilah Drake is up to her elbows in deadly trouble in this latest mystery by the author of The Big Chili. The Christmas holidays are one of Lilah's favorite times of the year, filled with friends, family, and, of curse, tons of food orders for her covered dish clients. But Lilah's Yuletide cheer ends when she sees a most Grinch-Like crime; the murder of a Santa in a school parking lots. It turns out the deceased Kris Kringle was a complicated tangle of naught and nice, with a long list of people who might have wanted him dead. And whoever did the deed wants to make sure that Lilah keeps quiet. Now, Lilah's will have to team up with her former fling, Detective Jay Parker. to unwrap the mysteries of a deadly Christmas killer and stay alive long enough to ring in the New Year.  $7.99 

Cahoon, Lynn - A Story to Kill (Cat Latimer Mystery) - A new series from the author of the Tourist Trap Mysteries! Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado hosting writers retreats in the big blue Victorian she inherited, much to her surprise, her carousing ex-husband. The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among the first guests. Cat's high school sweetheart Seth, who's fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat brings on mixed emotions for Cat. But it's her uncle, the local police chief, whom she'll call for help when there's ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun.  $7.99

Cochran, Peg - No Farm, No Foul (Farmer's Daughter Mystery #10) - This is set on a picturesque frame in Michigan, where Shelby McDonald runs a popular lifestyle and cooking blog, "The Farmers Daughter", Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.  Her peace is shattered when the minister's wife is murdered on Shelby's property during a fund-raiser for a local church. Shelby's good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself.  $7.99

Coyle, Cleo - Dead to the Last Drop - This bestselling author brings us another mystery in her Coffeehouse Mysteries. When the White House asks coffeehouse manager and master roaster to consult on a Rose Garden Wedding, she uncovers long-simmering secrets that threaten to boil over. First a State Department employee suspiciously collapses in her coffeehouse. Then the President's daughter goes missing. After another deadly twist, Clare is on the run with her NYD detective boyfriend. Branded as enemy of the state, she must uncover the truth before her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness come to a bitter end.  $7.99

Day, Maddie - Grilled for Murder (Country Store Mysteries #2) - Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business. Our author is a doctor in Linguistics and an Agatha nominated and Amazon-bestselling author and is a talented amateur chef.  $7.99

Flowers, Jean - Cancelled by Murder (Postmistress #2) - Cassie Miller returned to her sleepy hometown in the Berkshires to start over as the new postmistress. But she soon finds that dead letters are nothing compared to murder victims. With a massive storm about to hit North Ashcot, Massachusetts, threatening floods and widespread wind damage. Cassie is forced to close up the post office along with the rest of the local business owners and residents, who are battening down the hatches and bracing themselves for the worst. Although the storm proves not to be as bad as predicted, fabric shop owner Daisy Harmon is found dead, seemingly killed by a fallen branch. But the police quickly determine that her death had nothing to do with foul weather and everything to do with foul play. After Daisy's widowed husband approaches her to help solve his wife's foul play.  47.99

Gerber, Daryl Wood - Grilling the Subject - Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author. As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father's neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire,
the rodeo revelry is extinguished. Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors properties including Jenna's dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it's up to Cary Hart's dutiful daughter to clear up his name before the killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals.  $7.99

James. Miranda - Digging Up the Dirt -This New York Times bestseller is back with more of those sleuthing Southern belles, the Ducote sisters.  Angel and Dickce Ducote, busy with plans for the Athena Garden Club's spring four of grand old homes, are having trouble getting the other club members to help. The rest of the group is all a-flutter now that dashing and still-  eligible Hadley Partridge is back to restore his family mansion. But the idle chatter soon turns deadly serious when a body turns up on the Partridge estate after a storm. The remains might belong to Hadley's long lost sister-in-law, Callie who everyone thought ran off with Hadley years ago. And if it's not Callie, who could it be? As the Ducotes begin uncovering secrets, they discover that more than one person in Athena would kill to be Mrs. Partridge. Now Angel and Dickce will need to get their hands dirty if they hope to reveal a killer's deep-buried motives before someone else's name is mud.  $7.99

Sweeney, Leann - The Cat, The Collector, and the Killer (Cats in Trouble Mystery) - This New York Times bestselling author is back. A cat collector is suspected of murder. Jillian Hart and police chief Tom Stewart are enjoying peaceful, newly weeded bliss in Mercy, South, Carolina, until a woman is found wandering the streets one night. She's in her night clothes, disoriented, and carrying a kitten in a tote bag. A search of the woman's house reveals many more cats, a maze of cardboard boxes and a dead man. Although the evidence suggests the frail woman is the killer, Jillian doesn't believe she's capable of such a crime. The dead man had many enemies in town, which means finding the real murderer may prove to be its own cat and mouse game.  $7.99

Maddock, Nancy - Paint the Town Dead - From the national bestselling author of "Basket Case" comes the second mystery starring the crafty and cantankerous Silver Six. Leslee Stanton Nix thought moving to small-town Lilyvale, Arkansas, would be about as thrilling as watching paint dry. But keeping up with her retired Aunt Shrry and her troublemaking housemates collectively known as the Silver Six has proved to be as exciting as it is exasperating. To kick off the grand opening of their craft shop, the handcraft Emporium, Nixy and the Silver Six invite Doralee Gordon to teach a gourd painting class. Doralee's spirit gets squashed when her ex-husband crashed the class with his new fiancee, but things really messy when the bride-to-be later turns up dead. Now it's up to Nixy and the silver Six to use their melons to find the killer before someone else gets painted out of the picture.  $7.99

Vallere, Diane - A Disguise to Die For - No sooner does former magician's assistant Margo Tamblyn return home to Proper City, Nevada to run Disguise Delimit, her family's costume shop, then she gets her first big order. Wealthy nuisance Blitz Manners needs forty costumes for a detective -themed birthday bash. As for Blitz herself, his Sherlock Holmes is to die for - literally - when, in the middle of the festivities, Margo's friend and party planner Ebony Welles is caught brandishing a carving knife over a very dead Blitz. Margo is left to play real-life detective in a town full of masked motives, cloaked secrets, and veiled vendetta,  $7.99

Vallere, Diane - Suede to Rest - The author skillfully blends two mysteries in this smart and engaging tale that will keep you guessing to the end. Her knowledge of the fashion business adds an extra layer of authenticity.  $7.99

I couldn't resist adding this fascinating historical novel: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - Engaging the service of a miniaturist to furnish a cabinet-sized replica of her new home, 18 year old Nella Oortman, the wife of an illustrious merchant trader, soon discovers that the artist's tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways.  This all takes place in 17th century Amsterdam.  The wonderful reviews go on for pages for this first-time writer.  $16.99

Introducing Ruth Kern Books

I hope you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't visited us before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business nearly 23 years and have set up needlework bookshops at both the ANG and EGA national and regional seminars and other needlework groups as well as being available on the web.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call Monday thru Saturday at 602-943-0738 and if I don't answer I'm probably in the middle of helping my husband, Mark with M.S. or at the post office mailing books, so please, please leave a message and I will return your call ASAP. Or you can e-mail us at: or rkernbooks3 To reach us  by mail: Ruth Kern Books 7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.  Love to hear from you.

Important!! Don't forget to find the discount code in this blog that gives you a 20% discount on any new book you order.

Have a good month.  Enjoy the rest of summer.  See you in September.