Monday, June 19, 2017

Next Blog: August 19th 2017

I've been involved with a critical care/hospice situation - good friend with no family.  But there will be a blog on the 19th.  Thanks for understanding that is a little late.

                   MAY/JUNE BLOG 2017
  It's Summer! The time most people vacation or laze about on a beach. Here in Phoenix there is usually a large exodus to San Diego, Ca. or up in our mountains near Flagstaff, Az. 

As for me I don't mind the heat - this week should heat up to 120 degrees then go back to more normal temperatures.  But it is so dry it doesn't bother me. The monsoon season will begin with humidity getting into the picture usually in the 30 to 40 percent range but when the humidity comes in the temperature drops and as far as I'm concerned it is much more uncomfortable.  

But high temperatures or not, humidity or not, I have my books! Hope you do too whether at the beach, the woods, or in air-conditioning I love to read and discover more books for this blog.  So sit back and relax wherever you are and discover some new books (and classics) and make time for reading as well as needlework.  

Don't forget to find the hidden discount code that allows you a 20% discount towards any books in this blog.                  


I speak of her in the past tense but she is still very much alive and enjoying life but sadly she is no longer doing her silk ribbon and embroidery business since her beloved Andre died. As she writes in her blog, "For those of you who that are widowed, you will understand the toll it takes. Losing a spouse involves not only unbearable grief but also, tasks and burdens that were previously shared becomes your and yours alone at the same time losing the companion with whom you shared your thoughts, fears and joys."

But the hope is she might return to a smaller version of it at some time. However, her books are still available but let me introduce you to the Queen of silk ribbon embroidery. 

Di closed her shop in May of 2016 after 28 years to come to terms with a life changing event. She reveals she has always been into crafts since childhood from painting, pottery, stained glass to silk painting and among others the fiber arts.  But once she started with silk ribbon embroidery it took over as the craft she wanted to focus on. She writes, "Whether it is working on my blog, creating new designs for my books, teaching online, working on new concepts or painting ribbons, there is not a day in the week that I do not do some craft or another."

Most weekends, she says are for spending time with nature where she gets inspired to create new designs and concepts.  And what a nature she has for that. She lives in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, close to the Kirstenbosch Gardens, that is possibly the most beautiful garden in Africa.  Her and her husband moved there in 2007 and never looked back.

She has exhibited her work in many countries, written numerous books, taught silk ribbon embroidery online and in person. Anybody who has their own business knows it is a commitment of working from early morning to late in the evening at least six days a week. Di did that for 28 years and in 2016 realized she was exhausted and needed a rest. I think she's earned it. But hopefully she will come back to us one day with more inspiration and a smaller version of her business. (Discount code: Summer17)

Below are a listing of her books still available in the States.  Each page of each book is a piece of who Di has been and still is: a passionate needle artisan. Welcome to her world.

A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - There are 17 panels in this wonderful sampler and 60 different elements, with a clear stitch gallery to guide you. Flowers and creatures from all over the world are included. Each flower and insect is shown systematically with great photos. There are panels for beginners, intermediate and advanced embroideries; in fact, this book is an ideal learning tool for embroiderers wishing to learn from the beginning. Gorgeous!  $25.95

Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - this is a design consisting of twelve panels that are each explained with step-by-step photos and instructions including a comprehensive guide to all needles, thread, and ribbon required. Di includes several new techniques for experienced embroiderers and a stitch glossary with 40+ stitches done in colorful illustrations.  $25.95

Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery & Stumpwork - Five fairies been wonderfully done not only in ribbon embroidery and stumpwork but also for needleworkers who love three-dimensional embroidery - whether a beginner or advanced stitcher. These wonderful designs are accompanied by easy-to-follow, close-up photos and step-by-step instructions. Learn how to make delicate stumpwork wings in organza and silky threads, make applique leaves and petals, create charming insects, embroider hair and clothing and find how she creates three-dimensional designs using colour, texture and shapes. This book can be used for needlecraft projects.  $29.95

Little Flowers in Silk and Organza - this 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. Learn to produce a gorgeous poppies, sweet strawberry blossoms, delightful daffodils and a ring of daisies. Or enjoy creating magnificent wild roses, chamomiles and meadow grass in 3D, lisianthus and lavender, with butterflies and ladybirds and much more. Di has packed this book with information and many techniques for the beginner and advanced. All completed projects are smaller than A-4 size and templates of all the original designs are included, with easy-to-follow instructions on how to layer the embroidery and stumpwork to achieve the exquisite 3D effect. She includes a range of step-by-step photos as well as a complete gallery of stitches. $24.95

Roses in Silk and Organza Ribbon- There is a flower for every occasion. Techniques include 16 different roses, blooming amongst a latticework of rosebuds, leaves and stems. Learn how to make rose petals and rose hips, sepals, stems and leaves, spent roses and stamens, and gorgeous little birds, a bird's nest, beautiful butterflies, bows and wisteria. 60 new techniques, some easy, some more complex.  $24.95

A Few Other Great Silk Ribbon Books

Montano, Judith Baker - The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery -
Included are how-to's for more than 40 stitches, photos of works by 12 contemporary needle artists who specialize in silk ribbon embroidery, and 12 projects designed by the author to show you how to do this fascinating three-dimensional art form  $22.95

Search Press- A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery - This is a practical and inspiring guide to creating more than forty dazzling designs using ribbon. Step by step photos and clear instructions take you through all the stitches and techniques. Accomplished embroiderers have compiled advice on choosing ribbon fabrics, needles and frames, as well as a host of tips and hints. Templates, a pattern key and a comprehensive index make this a must-have manual. $19.95

         "Oxymoron - Figure of speech that uses seeming contradictions; realm or domain of the impossible."  from Webster's Dictionary

As I sit at my desk going over a very long "to-do" list my mind snags on the words, historical fiction. My mind snags easily, too easily sometimes, when I discover something I want to know more about. Right now, its the expression historical fiction, that at first thought seems an oxymoron to me. How can history be fiction? Or fiction a history?  I chew on this for a bit. I do know that straight history can sometimes go down dry and tasteless. Just the fact, ma'am, just the fact. That great for research but many readers like their history in a story form and that's where the fiction comes in.

A good historical novelist will not twist the history out of shape, nor the setting, nor the real historical character true nature. Instead they take all of that and then with using the insight of good research and their talent for telling a story and breathe life into the time and people they are writing about. That's what keeps us up at night,  unable to put the book aside. And history told this way seems to stick in our heads. We remember a story better than lists of dates and places. So perhaps historical fiction is not a contradictory figure of speech. In fact, I've written a historical novel myself. In weaving through history I sense an order to all things both bad and good and even indifferent. I like to imagine I see my own life clearer, the world I live in clearer, and what I want to accomplish in my own life clearer through those who came before me.

I love historical fiction and have written an historical novel, The Secret Codices, coming out on July 10th, thanks to my wonderful editor, Andrea Foster. 

Nag Hammadi Library
In the mid 1940's ancient manuscripts were discovered buried in an earthenware jar at the foot of a mountain near the small southern village of Nag Hammadi. Who buried these codices no one knows for sure, but when translated these books proved to be early Christian texts that the church claimed was heretical. My historical novel, The Secret Codices relates the heroic efforts of a small group of fourth century Egyptians saving and translating these banned books into the Coptic language, the language of Egyptian Christians. They believed what the later poet Heinrich Heine wrote in 1821: "Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people."  

The story is told by a physician's scribe, Ankhesenna, a brilliant scholar tutored  by her  blind grandfather, Epimachos, once a famous tutor in Alexandria who asks her to take on the dangerous task of translating these books. She agrees. This decision leads her into a dangerous adventure spanning the length of Egypt.  She also witnesses the burning of the Alexandria Library by rogue Christians in fear some of the books were "pagan". This is an act of terrorism that cost us, future generations ancient histories, mathematically writings and other important literature.

I thoroughly researched this time period, including traveling to Egypt alone four times and living there for a period of eighteen months. I traveled the length of Egypt, went to monasteries, sailed on a felucca to a Nubian village, rode a camel across the Southern Desert with Sudanese camel drivers, visited museums including the Greco-museum in Alexandria and the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo that have the collection of books I've written about. I've a collection of about 100 books about Egypt, wrote to Marvin Meyer, who was at the site of the books were found. He was kind enough to send me his dig reports. I've also read his books.

My editor wants me to write two more books featuring these characters so I have begun this project for a three book series called, The Children of the Light.

I am taking pre-orders now for the first book. It retails at $15.00 with a 20% discount for readers of this blog.  Just find the discount code in this blog and call or write me by e-mail or postal mail. All that information is at the bottom of this blog. 

  Accident: "An event that takes place without one's foresight or expectations."  Webster's Dictionary

I was taking a friend of mine , who no longer drives, (she's 96) to a medical appointment. This was her first appointment with this dermatologist so neither of us knew anything about Dr. Deborah Mendelson.

Up to the second floor of the medical building we go - the building the usual cold glass and marble and open the door to the doctor's office waiting room expecting , you know, the usual chairs in a row, table with magazines, some paintings on the walls, perhaps a water cooler. Instead, we were greeted by a waiting room, halls, and examining rooms hung with quilts - large, colorful ones, beautifully designed and sewn giving this medical office a feeling of being home, at peace, secure. Even my friend, not at all fond of the medical profession felt at ease.

I went up to the receptionist and asked, "Where did all these quilts come from?"

"The doctor", I was told. "She's made every quilt in this office."

I wandered through this unexpected "exhibit" even peeking into empty examining rooms and immediately felt all the love and patience that went into these gorgeous quilts.

When my friend was called, I went into the examining room with her - not the usual cubby hole of a room but a nicely presented room of some size with quilts on two of the walls. We hadn't met the doctor yet, but I already knew one thing about her, she has a wonderful eye for color.

We had only settled in for a few minutes when the doctor appeared, her demeanor, like her quilts, very welcoming, comforting, with her assistant close behind, wheeling in a computer: a computer the doctor never touches or looked at. I was impressed as I have a horror of the doctors who are constantly dealing with a computer instead of looking at the patient. I had (in my past life) over thirteen years in the medical field and knowing what it takes for an accurate diagnosis, will never go to one who does that. In fact, I have two friends who sought a new primary care physician, walked out on such a doctor when he never acknowledged them and went directly to his computer and started to fiddle with it. How can a doctor form a relationship with a patient and SEE what the person is showing him or her while he is looking at a screen?

After introductions, with this friendly, smiling doctor, I complimented her on her quilts, expressing she had a great eye for color.

She thanked me warmly. "There last four years or so I've really learned much about color."  She was pleased I noticed.

I discovered she took up quilting sixteen years ago and got hooked with this wonderful, creative way to relax. She said I could do this article and take photos. I was ecstatic. 

When I checked out her office hours I noted she starts seeing patients at 6am so a working person, who is trying to "squeeze" in an appointment in their own hectic schedule can go before work.
6 am? She's a morning dove, I realized. And she still has time for quilting. Me, I'm not even stirring at 6 am! I'm a night owl not a morning dove but I made up my minds right then and there while sitting in that lovely examining room thinking about her seeing patients that early I should never complain that I don't have enough time for my own creative projects. Dr. Mendelson, without knowing it, inspired me to get moving earlier in the day, cut out the trivia, and focus on the creative. What a happy "accident" this visit had been.  Here's to all the happy "accidents" in life.  I hope you enjoyed mine. Now enjoy yours.

Since Dr. Mendelson has such an eye for color, I've included books on color below including books on the psychology of color since we use colors to express our feelings.  I'm feeling blue.  She's red with rage.  He's green with envy.  I'm in the pink.  Enjoy getting into colors. Also I discovered fire trucks are now starting to be painted yellow because that's the color most visible to our eyes.  Have fun learning more about this fascinating subject.

Birren, Faber - Color Psychology and Color Therapy: A Factual Study of the Influence of Color on Human Life - This is the full reprint of the 1950 Edition. This author devoted is life to color and it's effects on human life. After writing around 25 texts on the topic, it would be safe to say his work is considered with high respect among color experts and psychologists around the world. His work has a strong focus on linking how humans perceive colors to how it makes them react. He even touches on how it affects the mentally ill.  $24.95

Birren, Faber - Principles of Color: A Review of Past Traditions and Modern Theories of Color Harmony - This is an elementary work on color, dealing with traditional principles of harmony as well as advanced principles derived from modern studies of the psychology of human color perception. The author tells a well-organized story of how to achieve harmony with color, beginning with a chapter on color circles and proceeding to a straightforward discussion of traditional principles of color harmony and how they were accepted in the past.  $17.95

Wells, Jean - Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting - In this updated edition of best-selling Intuitive Color & Design. Jean's workshop assignments get your creative juices flowing, giving you the challenges to expand your quilting horizons. Start by learning to see line and color; study the nuts and bolts of design; develop your color work and composition; and when you get stuck, there's expert advice on problem solving. Design and piece spectacular, free-form quilts you'd never have guessed you could create.  $29.95

Elliott, Andrew, et al. - Handbook of Color Psychology (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology) - Color science has progressed to the point where a great deal is known about the mechanics, evolution, and development of color vision, but less is known about the relation between color vision and psychology. Top scholars in the field provide rigorous overviews of work on color categorization, color symbolism and association, color preference, reciprocal relations between color perception and psychological functioning, and variation and deficiencies in color perception. This is an essential resource for anyone interested in color psychology in both theoretical and applied areas of study.  $250.00


Brown, Christine - fast2mark Embroidery Stencils, Essential Collection - From popular author and crazy-quilting and embroidery expert Christine Brown comes this collection of four easy-to-use stitch templates (90+ designs), just position the stencil where desired and mark your designs with a quilter's pencil to get your embroidery off to an accurate start. The expert instructions and tips in the complete how-to booklet will give you confidence in where and how to make your stitches, while the decorative and inventive designs add an unexpected creative element. Laser-cut durable, translucent, medium-weight plastic, the stencils are easy to handle and create perfect marking every time.  Create an endless number of unique designs to embroider: hearts, flowers, baskets, butterflies, spiderwebs, vines, feather stitches and more.  $23.95

Dye, Gilian - Introducing Bone Lace: A Beginner's Guide to Working Early Bobbin Lace - As the author writes in her preface: " A decade of working 16th and 17th century bobbin lace has lead to a realization that the techniques are simple compared to many in later laces, with a freedom of working that provides plenty of room for experiment." This book is suitable for complete beginners and would be of interest to textile researchers and those involved in re-enactment or costumed interpretation for the 16th and 17th centuries. Includes winding bobbins, working diagrams, color pictures of lace and more. Great compact book for a great place to start.  $27.00

Eldelheit, Marlene - Barberini Tapestries: Woven Monuments  of Baroque Rome -  This book is the result of an intense conservation effort, which restored these magnificent works of art to their former glory after a fire burnt two of the tapestries and damaged four more in 2001 - accompanied by two important exhibitions on American's East and West coasts this year. These tapestries are fragments of history: they were once displayed at St. Petyer's Basilica and in the Sistine Chapel. Covering over 2800 hundred square feet, this series is one of the grandest monuments of 17th century Rome.  The final chapter is dedicated to technical aspects of the panels, recounting their recent conservation.  $60.00

Rowan, Emilie - 500 Bead Weaving Patterns for Bracelets - Weaving beaded bracelets on a small bead loom is easy, and with the 500 patterns in this book you can make all kinds of creative designs. From bold graphic prints to animals and flowers to retro or southwestern designs, there are plenty of patterns to suit your style. Each pattern shows how many and what color beads are needed and the placement of every bead so it's easy to complete any bracelet you choose. You can switch up the bead colors - so many options will keep you coming back for more.  $24.95

Jamar, Tracy - Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns: Contemporary Techniques in Fiber - Learn to use traditional fabric techniques in modern ways. Fiber artists are experimenting with and combining techniques like never before, and this book gives detailed instructions on the rediscovered techniques of folding, shirring, gathering, bundling, quilling, and more. These techniques can be used to create rugs, wall hangings, clothing, bags, and even jewelry. The techniques are explained and illustrated, and patterns and instructions are given for seven projects.  $21.95

Smith, Rebekah - Seasons of Wool Applique Folk Art: Celebrate Americans with 12 Projects to Stitch - The author of the best-selling Wool Applique Folk Art presents a treasure trove of 12 seasonal wool applique projects, with 3 for each season. Presented in a lovely antique color palette, these simple and elegant projects include a journal cover, pillow cover, wallhangings, storage boxes, table rug, and more. Includes an updated chapter on the collection, and storage, and use of wool. $29.95

Tirico, Deborah Gale - A New Dimension in Wool Applique - Baltimore Album Style - Learn this author's distinctive applique style while you honor the legacy and history of Baltimore Album blocks. With luscious felted wool and textures as rich as the history they depict will-known motifs for 9 applique projects from table rugs and pillows to pincushions. Perfect techniques such as trapunto, layering, stuffing, needle-slanting, and beading with this complete visual guide, which includes full-size templates and tips.  No turned edges!  $29.95


I was really happy to see these three titles back in print. 

Lee, Margaret - The Art of Chinese Embroidery - Within these gorgeous pages are the answers to unlocking many of the secrets of this unique stitching style. Equipment and materials are described in detail and the 25 core stitch techniques are fully explained, providing the embroiderer with a strong solid foundation. Seven beautiful projects are included, designed to allow a steady progression and a thorough understanding of the concepts and practices of this style of embroidery.  A pull-out of embroidery designs in the back of this book.  $34.95

Chamberlin, Ruth - Beginner's Guide to Goldwork - First published in 2006 and is now back by popular demand by Search Press. Our author aims to teach us how to create beautiful goldwork motifs, which together form an impressive sampler to show off all our work. Covering a range of designs, stitches and techniques with templates throughout and examples of the author's inspiring work, this book provides a firm basis on which you can build future projects.  $19.95

Pearce, Carolyn - Home Sweet Home: An Embroidered Workbox -  Another favorite of mine and an international phenomenon that has captured stitchers all over the world. This charming English cottage, beautifully decorated with a garden of stitches, opens to reveal a liftout tray and 9 gorgeous accessories and includes storage for all your notions. The color photos are delectable and detailed instructions make this an irresistible book you'll treasure for a lifetime.  $34.95


                "Murder though it have no tongue, will speak with the most miraculous organ."   Shakespeare - (Hamlet)

 What is that most "miraculous organ"? Having read Hamlet decades ago, I will guess the heart or the brain. It takes both to solve this most horrendous of crimes. When a life is stolen it can never be replaced. The ripple effect of murder spreads out over the family and the community and all of us when we read about it in the paper or see it on television. Who would do such a terrible thing? Why did they do it? If it is a random act then we all feel at risk. I think the retelling of real murders are so popular on television is that we want to know the answers to those questions.

Perhaps we want to see the murderers so we can learn to pick out good people from bad people. The problem with that is that many times the murderer is the one you'd least suspect. It is shocking to discover that seemingly "normal people", nice people can be guilty of murder. Since a murderer does not usually look any different than anyone else, we usually miss an important clue in solving the case. But thank goodness some great sleuth does not. They see what we do not and we are forever grateful to the detective for taking a murderer off the streets. There is usually some trace of the murderer at the scene of the crime such as a fingerprint or DNA.

If not, then the crime becomes harder to solve but not impossible. The heart and brain of a seasoned detective will draw conclusions about the character of a murderer and from a list of possible suspects will end up pointing a finger at the guilt party. Crime solvers must also look at the victim. Why was that person picked to die? What did the victim have the murderer wanted, or was blocking the murderer from? 

I've included some new sleuth who rely on their gut feelings or hearts and their brains to uncover some nasty murderers. See if you can find the "red herrings" and other clues to beat the murderers at their own game.

Alexander, Ellie - A Crime of Passion Fruit - Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jule's estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come abroad his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carols but Jules can't resist an all-expense-paid trip. Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters when a dead body finds its way onto the itinerary. Why can't anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carolos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?  $7.99

Cochran, Peg - Sowed to Death - The country fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan especially for food and lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer's Daughter. She's submitting jams and jellies she's created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon. But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby's neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.  $7.99

Eaton, J.C. - Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery #1) - Sophie "Phee" Kimball is not a cop. She's a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunket is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate. $7.99

Ferris, Monica - Knit Your Own Murder - She's back with another needlework mystery. The Monday Bunch and other local knitters are participating in a fund-raising auction to save a community center, creating a growling pile of stuffed animals and toys right in front of the auctioneers as the audience bids. Among those contributing the most knitted goods is temperamental businesswoman Maddy Hanover -keels over halfway through the event. After she is pronounced DOA, an autopsy reveals that Maddy had been poisoned. But how? And by whom? One of the prime suspects is her ruthless business rival, Joe Mickels, who lost a bitterly contested property bid to Maddy. When Mickels pleads his innocence to Betsy, she reluctantly believes him. But if Betsy is going to uncover the real murderer's identify, she must first untangle the knots Maddy made in her relationships throughout her life.  Free knitting pattern included.  $7.99

Hollis, Lee - Death of a Lobster Lover - Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell is off on a girls' getaway with her two best friends. But soon they'll have to get away from a killer. The quaint fishing village of Salmon Cove, Maine, seems like the ideal location for a girls' weekend with her friends Liddy and Mona. Liddy's on the rebound from a breakup but when she meets a handsome tourist, it looks like a little romance might liven things up. Unfortunately Liddy's new sweetheart is found dead on the beach the next morning at the town's Lobster Bake, next to an overturned cooking pot. The liberated lobsters may be scrambling back to the sea, but Hayley's not about to let a murderer escape so easily. To crack the case, she'll need to blow the lid off some serious undercover activity or risk becoming ensnared in a killer's traps. Includes seven detectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen! $7.99

Hyzy, June - Grace to the Finish - Now that Grace Wheaton has officially been named heir to Bennett Marshfield's fortune, her usually busy schedule has become a juggling act. In addition to duties at Marshfield Manor, she's bankrolling her roommates refurbished wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. Grace is excited to check out the rustic space with Bruce and Scott. But that excitement turns to dismay when they stumble upon the body of the banker involved with the sale. Grace wants to solve this mystery quickly so that her friends new venture won't be overshadowed by an unsolved murder, but she's got even more to balance when her troubled sister, Liza, is released from prison early. Liza's first stop is Marshfield Manor and her first priority is grabbing a bite of Bennett's  for herself. Grace has to keep her greedy sister at bay and catch a killer before her new life comes crashing down around her. $7.99

Swanson, Denise - Lions and Tigers and Murder, Oh My - Opening up a dime store in her hometown of Shadow Bend, Missouri, Dev thought she'd left the wilds of city life behind her. But she's about to discover that even rural life can be beastly. Handsome private investigator Jake Del Vecchio has rented the office space on the second floor and Dev now finds herself embroiled in his first case, which involves Gabriella Winston, the missing wife of wealthy philanthropist Elliot Winston. Elliot is determined to open a wildlife park on the edge of town but is facing all sorts of angry opposition including Gabriella. After the Winstons have a bitter fight, Gabriella disappears, and their house is ransacked. The authorities are quick to claim Elliot killed his wife, but Dev's not so sure.  $7.99


I hoped you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't heard of us before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business over 25 years and besides this blog have set up book shops at both the ANG and EGA Nationals and regional seminars and worked with other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title is in or out-of-print. We have a website as well as this blog:

Questions? Give us a call Monday through Saturday at 602-943-0738 between 8am and 6pm. Yes, we in Arizona are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If the phone goes to message I'm probably in the middle of helping Mark, my bedridden husband or taking books to the post office. PLEASE  don't be shy about leaving a message. I will return your call ASAP. If you prefer you can e-mail me at: To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021.

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

I look forward to having you return to this site.  New Blog: August 19th.

Friday, April 14, 2017



Happy Spring! 

Welcome to my favorite time of year that brings not only leaves, flowers, and warm weather but new books. I love perusing new catalogs and websites for new titles. So welcome to my "finds" and see if there are titles you want to add to your library. And don't forget - all books are 20% off when you find the discount code hidden somewhere in this blog.  So grab yourself a cup of tea (or coffee), a snack and enjoy the blog and find the code! 


I've never met Laura Perin but I feel I know her through her designs and have followed her needlework designs for years. And have sold countless copies of her Blackwork Pattern book since it published in 2005. What is loved about this reference guide is her collection of over 600 stitchery patterns showing one-color, two-color, and three-color variations, intended specifically for blackwork designs and that in the back of the book is a gallery of finished designs in multiple colors. Most of us know that blackwork was very popular during the Elizabeth I Period. So I had a to include the queen decked out in a wonderful costume with great sleeves and bodice of great blackwork designs. These designs are still used and treasured today.

Laura mentions in her introduction that in her collection of blackwork patterns, beautifully graphed, "is an abundance of organic, floral, and natural patterns rather than abstract or geometric designs." Laura confesses as having collected more floral patterns because that is what she enjoys using them for clothing,flowers or abstract collage areas, she says she prefers patterns that have a softer organic look to them.Take a look at Elizabeth I again, her blackwork costume has florals. This wonderful spiral-bound blackwork resource book is a bargain.  $42.95

I need to mention here, Laura has a cyber class coming up: Daffodil Time. However time is limited to join in.  The registration period is open now and ends on April 30th.  The class begins in late May. All the information you need is on her website: I love the design since daffodils are a personal favorite. And it is spring!
Contact her : 650 - 823-5373 or e-mail her at:  Or check her website:

Laura divides her wide variety needlework designs into seven catagories and I will show an example of each:

The American Quilt Collection -
Color Study: Liberty Star

The Blackwork Collection -
Blue and Gold Angel

The Impressionist Collection -
Prairie Star

The Kimono Collection -
Autumn Leaf Kimono

The Sampler Collection -
Halloween Wreath

The Secret Garden Collection -

California Poppies

The Western Collection -

Mallard Collage

I hope this taste of her designs leads you to visiting her website at:


According to Webster beauty is a quality present in a person or thing that gives intense aesthetic pleasure of deep satisfaction to the mind or to the senses such a work of art. And I will add such as needlework. What makes some designs in needlework so appealing and others not?  Over the last 20 or so years I have viewed countless juried needlework shows, looked at thousands of book covers, seen a number of fashion shows. I've discussed this subject with many people and find and found many things effect opinions on what is beautiful or not. I would not presume to tell anyone her or she is wrong but I do know what "I" like, my personal taste in things just as they do. 

One thing definite, the cliché that beauty is in the eye of the beholder seems to hold true. We get a taste of someone else's perception of the world when we look at a painting, listen to music, read a book and others needlework. And of course the reverse is true when they look at something we chose to wear, chose to needlework, chose to put in our home. I purposely put some of Lauren Perin's designs in the above article because those designs are something I'd stitch and I like her color choices. To me, color in a design, clothes, decorations, walls, etc. is very important to me.  I am "color fussy" I guess. I'm also "word fussy" and "music fussy" and "art fussy".  Maybe most of us are.  So who's right?

When writing a story or book if I get thinking what would others like I get stuck so I back up and try to focus on my theme, research, and the characters themselves. Then I can make progress.  We all create our own world in the midst of everyone else's. That's perception. Our eyes are camera that allow us to see the world and then our brain interprets what the eyes focused on. That creates our perception. If you have five people at an accident scene each person will have a different perception of what happened making eye witnesses not always the most reliable sources. Why? Our eyes play tricks on us. Think of optical illusions. We are not always in control of what we see. Psychologist know that it is possible to "prime" a person's perception to a particular direction. What is priming? That happens when you engage in a familiar activity, so familiar you don't think about it. If you are asked to do a variation (ever so slight) an error will occur. Just think of the truck driver who because he was texting, killed 10 people on a bus.

But lets get back to needlework. Think of a piece of paper or fabric. Whether we're an artist or a needleworker, the main idea is to transform something three-dimensional to that two-dimensional flat material and make it LOOK three-dimensional so it will give the ILLUSION of being real flowers, animal, people, and scenes.  We know how it should look but how do we get that down on a flat surface. Carl Purcell, in his book, Your Artist's Brain: Use the Right Side of Your Brain to Draw and Paint What You See - Not What You Think You See -$26.99, 
says, "enjoy the scenery, view the world in terms of shapes and edges, tie everything together with unifying value patterns make drawing fun." He also says, "see values correctly, search for relationships of angle, size and position, define form with line and angle, size and position, and explore the RELATIONSHIP between objects and space, everything together with value and patterns. This is what every needlework designer has to consider. Molly Bang, in her "Picture This: How Pictures Work" shows us in pictures and words how shapes make us perceive things in certain ways. Using the tale of Little Red Riding Hood as an example, Molly Bang
uses boldly graphic artwork to explain how images - and their individual components work to tell a story that engages the emotions.  If you want to see how our brains tell us things like what is scary and what is beautiful. This is a classic.  $22.99

Now we address the issue of color. I've seen some designs I thought were great but the colors used made me blink. I walked away from that design UNTIL I saw it in different colors. I've seen the choices made for needlework book covers where I knew because of the cover that book would sell very little. Yet inside were wonderful projects that would have made an inviting cover. Over the years I discovered I was right 8 out of 10 times.  Perhaps those selecting a cover had no experience in the needlework field. That would definitely make a difference.  Their perception came from a different place. Their idea of beautiful cover clashed with needleworkers idea of a great design. Their training came from a different field of study.

This brings us back to us. Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but maybe we need to keep learning and seeing things from various perspectives. Didn't Beauty in Beauty and the Beast come to see the Beast as a beautiful person? Who ever thought a giant soup can painted by Andy Warhol would become an icon in art? Who ever
thought that paint splashed on large canvases would be considered art? Yet, Pollack did something he wanted to do in painting and took the art world by storm. Van Gogh, a favorite of mine, starved and suffered for his vision of the world in paint and died never knowing how much his work would be loved by millions. I know, some of you don't like Van Gogh, but the minute I saw some of his art on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a twelve year old it spoke to me. Why, I can't say. It just connected. I saw plenty of other painting but I kept returning to his art. I've

visited his museum in Holland twice as an adult and I still get that same feeling.  When I heard Don McClean sing "Vincent" his tribute to Vincent Van Gogh I recognized at once he captured my feeling about Van Gogh's paintings (and for me his wonderfully written letters to his brother). These are some of McClean's lyrics:

      Starry, Starry Night
      Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
      Swirling flowers of violet haze
      Reflecting Vincent's eyes of china blue
      Colors changing hue.
      Morning fields of amber grain
      Weathered faces lined in pain
      are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

      Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
      How you suffered for your sanity
      How you tried to set them free
      They would not listen
      They did not know how
      Perhaps they'll listen now.

We may not have the talent of Van Gogh but we do have our own visions and designs to create.  I know I do.

What about you?  Do you have any needlework designs you vision on canvas? I guess us creative people need to learn to not hide their light under a bushel.  Many of us (me included) need to develop a courage to share our visions of the world and beauty. I've learned to ask myself: Do I need an attitude adjustment or are my creative ideas perfectly fine, thank you? Is my business or writing reflecting what I feel or am I using bits and pieces of advice from people that are good for them but bad for me? Am I afraid to express my real creative self because I fear criticism?

I know as stitchers we can worry over whether we've used the "correct" stitches and end up having another UFO (unfinished object). Jean Hilton applauded her own mistakes and her students'. She put her feelings about mistakes in her great book, Stimulating Stitches. She wrote, "Please note I have put quotations around the word "mistake", to stress that when errors happen you can often make something new and different out of that error that can lead to a new combination of colors and fibers, to a new pattern of stitches or to a new way of thinking." Jean saw mistakes could be beautiful. Jean was taught to stop and think which created an analytical personality. Her philosophy is one of "what if". Her stop and think is very similar to my "thinking time" where I stop and meditate on what I'm trying to do. I definitely relate to Jean's encouraging us to enlarge our perceptions of what works and doesn't work. Bravo! 

I think Jean was encouraging us to appreciate that what we call mistakes might contain something beautiful but to listen to our inner self and confidently present it to others.  I'd love to see what you have created.  I have a historical novel due out in the next thirty day - The Secret Codices that takes place in the 4th Century A.D. in Egypt and the brave struggle to save writings doomed for Roman bonfires. I was nervous about sharing this book but my editor really loved it and has encouraged me to write a follow-up. And to think I was sure it would be rejected!  Whenever I get discouraged I take Jean Hilton's Stimulating Stitches off a shelf and reread her message.  I highly recommend it for all artisans especially those designing in thread. 


Momma Mia! What a Great Project! 18 Little Guys (Jean Hilton) and Rockaway (Tony Minieri) are brought together in one project.

This version of Rockaway was stitched by Jim Vestal. When Tony Minieri saw it displayed at Callaway School of Needleart in January of 1991, he was as pleased with it as many others have been and gave his permission to use Jim's photo on the cover of these instructions. Jim's Rockaway, which combines his perfect stitching and his exquisite sense of color, has won many awards across the country. What an inspiration!  Pick and choose your Little Guys from the 18 Jean stitched.   $50.00   (Discount Code: Remember to use this code (Mary17) for a 20% discount for this book and all the other new books listed in this and past blogs.)

Other New Titles:

Adams, Sean - The Designer's Dictionary of Color - This book is considered a groundbreaking guide to the origins and design use of key colors from an award-winning designer. The author provides an in-depth look at 30 colors key to art and graphic design. Organized by spectrum, in color-by-color sections for easy use, this book documents each hue with charts showing color range and palette variations. Chapters detail each color's creative history and cultural associations, with examples of color use that extend from the artistic to the utilitarian. This book opens up the world of color for all those who seek to harness its incredible power.  $24.95

Aldridge, Kelley - Royal School of Needlework: Raised Embroidery - This book features an introduction to the RSN and its prestigious heritage it reveals the history and context of raised embroidery and showcases galleries of inspiring raised embroidery work. This is primarily a practical, instructional guide that offers a complete grounding in the techniques you need for this embroidery. It also contains a comprehensive stitch guide and leads the reader through each technique using clear step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow expert guidance. The book contains three beautiful projects that put these techniques into practice and showcase additional advanced techniques.  $35.00

Chamberlain, Ruth - Beginner's Guide to Goldwork - This popular and enduring book was first published in 2006 and is still held in high regard today. It now returns as a Search Press Classic, with the addition of a preface by the illustrious embroider and world-renowned blogger Mary Corbet. Ruth Chamberlain aims to teach the reader how to create beautiful goldwork motifs, which together form an impressive sampler. Covering a range of designs, stitches and techniques, with templates throughout and examples of the author's inspiring work, this book provides a firm basis on which the embroiderer can build future projects.  $19.95

Cetti, Livia - The Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformations - Cetti will teach you how to play with size, shape, color, and texture to create 25 vibrant single stems in a variety of natural shapes - globes, spikes, bells, saucer, rectangles, cones, and arcs - including hydrangeas, coral charm peonies, honeysuckles, and paperwhites. Then, you'll use these elemental shapes to build the 15 bright, abundant arrangements, including bold wreaths, bountiful bouquets, fantastical gilded wall art, and blooming garlands. Introducing never before seen techniques for dyeing paper and creating moldable leaves and petals.  $24.95

Ciotti, Donatella - Soutache: How to make beautiful braid-and-bead embroidered jewellery and accessories - Soutache is the traditional craft of creating jewellery and embellishments from looped and stitched soutache braid. In this colourful book the author provides the guidance and inspiration you need to create beautiful contemporary designs for bracelets, necklaces, earrings and a whole host of adornments and fashionable accessories. Using a few, readily available tools and materials, embroiderers, sewers, and jewellery-makers alike will soon be creating eye-catching statement pieces in jewel-like colours, incorporating beads and gems for added opulence.  $17.95

Hill, Michele - Stitching with Beatrix Potter - This book gathers together 10 easy yet elegant projects celebrating the life and talents of Beatrix Potter. With 10 applique and 6 embroidery designs, even beginning stitchers can work with hexagons to crate a beautiful embroidered quilt, stitch up a cushion based on The Tailor of Gloucester, applique a wool storage box, and construct a beautiful wedding quilt based on one from Beatrix Potter's home. Plus, all-of-the-designs can easily be adapted - just add a dash of imagination to create bags, appliqued pinafores, or embroidered gifts. Stitch by hand and by machine. Learn about the life and work of Beatrix Potter with historical vignettes. Amazing applique tips from best-selling author of William Morris in Applique and More William Morris in Applique.   $22.95

Merrill, Jane, Gail DeMeyere and Karen Ben-Horin - The Sweater: A History - Originally knit as underwear, the sweater is a practical garment with homely beginnings and has evolved into a fashion statement. The book traces the sweater's 300 year history telling the story of its construction, national traditions, fads and fashions, and accessories. Learn about the panoply of yarns, Nordic patterns, buttons, vintage collars, runway designs, manufacturing, and today's exploration of form, structure, and material of this hand craft.  $39.99

Miller, Lesley Ellis - Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion -  Cristobal Balenciaga (1875-1972) remains one of the most revered and enigmatic of fashion designers. Here, marvelous illustrations reveal why he is renowned for exceptional tailoring, sculptural shapes, deft manipulation of textiles, and an dramatic use of color. His glamorous clientele included Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Pauline de Rothschild, Ava Gardner, and Marlene Dietrich; many of his clients dressed only in his creations. This book also looks at the Spanish-born couturier's designs and business practice, and places him in the context of the time, looking at the country in which he learned his trade and international fashion scene. 160 color illustrations.  $45.00

Owen, Roderick and Terry Newhouse Flynn - Andean Sling Braids: New Designs for Textile Artists - Learn to make the decorative braids used in the sling-making traditions of Peru Bolivia; this detailed guide, including400 step-by-step photos plus hundreds of diagrams, teaches the technique and over 100 designs for weavers, craftspeople, jewelry designers, basket weavers, and others interested in using braids for embellishment. In-depth detailed instructions are given, along with clear diagrams; recommended braiding yarns for lings and kumihumo; detailed set-up, making, and finishing instructions; and many fascinating contemporary applications. This book introduces a new piece of equipment, the core frame, and gives instructions for making it from wood and dowels. When the core frame is used with a braiding stand and bobbins, a wide variety of core-carrying braids become accessible to kumihimo braiders. Most of the braids, from 4 to 40 strands can be made on a braiding card/disk, and 50 patterns can be made on the stand without a frame.  $39.99

Moad, Elizabeth - Paper Folded Flowers - With step-by-step photos for guidance, Elizabeth shows you how to make 21 simple, yet effective paper flower embellishments, from greeting card adornments to flower bunting and decorations that brighten your home. Learn how to apply simple folding techniques such as origami, kirigami and teabag folding to create beautiful blooms. These projects range from straightforward concertina-fold flowers to elaborate and elegant paper roses.  $15.95

Paper Panda - Paper Panda's Guide to Papercutting - Paper Panda (Louise Firchau) is a papercutting superstar with thousands of fans eager to purchase her distinctive and highly sought after papercut designs. In this book, she shows you not only how she

does these designs, what inspires her and how she works, but how to do the 20 papercut projects she's included here along with a template, which is reproduced at full-size at the back of the book. The designs are simple enough for beginners, though interesting enough to inspire more advanced papercutters. The projects themselves include cards, decorations, and mounted and framed pictures to hand on the wall, all using a variety of coloured and patterned papers to show them off.  $24.95

Mystery Corner 

Please meet Kathleen Bridge

The minute I saw the titles of the mysteries she's written I was hooked for they take place on Long Island, New York where I was born and raised. I wondered if she came from there too. But no, she was born in El Paso, Texas.  But she lives there now and is an antiques and vintage dealer and has contributed to Country Living Magazine. Her mystery series: Hamptons Homes and Garden Mysteries take place in the posh Hamptons where the rich and famous like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and others still playtoday. The Hamptons have been called, "the playground of the rich and famous."

I didn't grow up in the Hamptons but I feel very fortunate to have been raised in the fifties on Long Island a place full of great history, great schools, great beaches and  farmlands and an easy trip by train or car to New York.  Long Island is one of the bigger islands in the USA but is only 12-20 miles wide and 118 miles
long, hence the name "long".  The native American name for Long Island is Paumanok, meaning 'The Island that pays tribute" and was occupied by a number of peaceful tribes before the Dutch and English arrived in the 1600's.  Houses of that time period still are inhabited today. Many towns took Native American names. 

Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Airfield, Garden City Long Island on his famous 1927 flight from there to Paris. Captain William Kidd took port there and the book Jaws was written because the author, Peter Benchley, was on a fishing boat enjoying deep sea fishing when a giant great white shark was caught off Montauk, Long Island.  The North Shore of the island has been called the Gold Coast as it is dotted with mansions, former homes of the wealthy such as the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts, Getty, and more current Billy Joel, the singer and songwriter. 

I grew up in Hempstead, Long Island where churches were from the Revolutionary war and the cemeteries had ancient headstones from the 1600's. I loved the white sand Jones Beach, visiting the mansions, taking school trips into Yankee Stadium, The New York Times, and the UN.  My mom took us to the Bronx Zoo, the great museums of New York City, the Planetarium, Radio City Music Hall for shows with the Rockettes and sent me on to plays on Broadway with four of my friends as birthday parties.  We were hardly rich and famous but I grew up appreciating the arts, history and what this island world had to offer.

Why did I leave Long Island?  The weather! I was not made for snow and ice, fog, rain, and high humidity.  My great uncle George sent yearly subscriptions to Arizona Highway during my childhood and I devoured each issue discovering where I truly belonged: in the dry heat with many Native American cultures, the Grand Canyon and Sedona among other wonderful places to visit. So here I am many years later with no regrets and still loving my adopted home of Arizona. 

Long Island will always have a special place in my heart so I was happy to discover this mystery series by Kathleen Bridge.  Now I can visit parts of Long Island through her.  I hope you will too. 

Better Homes and Corpses Mystery #1 - After Meg Barrett found her fiancé still has designs on his ex-wife, she decided it was time to leave her job at a top home and garden magazine in New York City to go to Montauk, Long Island, only to find decorating can sometimes lead to detecting. In between scouring estate sales for her new interior design business, Cottages by the Sea, Meg visits swanky East Hampton home of her old college roommate, Jillian Spenser. But instead of seeing how the other half lives she learns how the other half dies. Jillian's mother, known as the Queen Mother of the Hamptons, has been murdered. When Meg helps inventory the Spensers valuable estate for the insurance company, she finds herself in the thick of things. Cataloging antiques and art loses its charm when Meg discovers that the Spenser family has been hiding dangerous secrets, which may have furnished the murderer with a motive.   $7.99

Hearse and Gardens - Mystery #2 - To keep her mind off the legal battle over the oceanfront cottage she's trying to buy, Meg agrees to help het friend inventory and clear out furniture from the Montauk estate of wealthy art broker, Harrison Falk. But the job takes a terrifying turn when Meg discovers a skeleton in a hidden room of one of the estate's many bungalows.  $7.99

Ghostal Living - Mystery #3 - Ghostal Living - The first Sag Harbor Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair is right around the corner, and meg has her hands full decorating rooms at the Bibliophile Bed and Breakfast for wealthy rare book collector Franklin Hollingsworth. Rumor has it Hollingsworth is in possession of an unpublished manuscript written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When that manuscript's authenticator is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Meg suspects a killer is on the loose. Rare books start disappearing from the Bed and Breakfast and Meg sees a connector between the stolen books and the deceased authenticator. With the fair looming, she finds herself caught up in catching a killer and thief before another victim is booked for death.  $7.99


Cattrell, Bailey - Daisies for Innocence - (Enchanted Garden Mystery #1) - Ellie's life has blossomed in Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents and Nonsense, a custom-made perfume store. Her skills with aromas and botanical essences --some from her very own garden. Her perfumes can evoke emotions, bring about change, or simply make people happy. Customers are flocking to the store to buy her wares or just sit in her beautiful garden, sip tea and enjoy homemade cookies. But she smells trouble when she learns that her part-time assistant Josie is dating her ex. And before she can tell Josie to beware of his charms, she finds Josie dead in the Enchanted Garden. $7.99

Nightshade for Warning (Enchanted Garden Mystery #2) - Ellie's business is booming and she even lives right next to the garden with her corgi, Dash, and her cat, Nabokov, in a compact, tiny house. She is excited to hear that a journalist is going to write a feature about her home and garden life for a national magazine. But the journalist is found dead, and suspicion falls on the last person to see him who happens to be Ellie's brother's girlfriend. So before everything goes to seed, Ellie must rely on her powers: observational and otherwise - to pick out the real killer from an every-expanding bouquet of culprits.  $7.99

Harris, Sherry - Tagged for Death ( A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #1) - Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn't easy, but that's what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah's therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career. After returning from a very successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, DJ who now happens to be Ellington's chief of police. It that's not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it's up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer.  $7.99

The Longest Yard Sale - ( A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #2) - When Sarah turns Ellington, Massachusetts into New England's largest garage sale for a day, it's the small town's biggest event since the start of the Revolutionary War. Then a painting goes missing and the lifeless body of an Air Force officer is found in Carol Carson's painting studio, his face framed with the murder weapon - a metal picture frame. Sarah is definitely on this case but it's not easy sorting through increasingly strange clues that point to cheating spouses. $7.99

All Murders Final! (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #3) - Sarah begins a new step when she starts her virtual garage sale. But what began as a fun way to run garage sales during the long New England winter has become a nightmare of managing people and putting out fires. Online, she can avoid the crowds --but not the crazies. When a client is murdered, its time for Sarah to seek the help of her ex--CJ Hooker, chief of police. Together they search online and off for the killer. Can they solve this crime before someone else gets tagged?  $7.99

A Good Day to Buy - (Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery #4) - When Sarah's estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep asking her not to tell anyone he's in town --especially her ex, the chief of police-- the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife -- her clients, the Spencers. All Luke will tell Sarah is that he's undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she'll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex..   $7.99

Cochran, Peg - Dead and Berried - (Cranberry Cove Mystery #3) - It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms. When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame. In trying to clear her friend's name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori's venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much. With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.  $7.99

Cox, Mollie Bryan - Death Among the Doilies (Cora Crafts Mystery #1 - For thirty-something blogger Cora Chevalier, small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, seems like the perfect place to reinvent her life. Shedding a stressful past as a counselor for a women's shelter, Cora is pouring all her talents -- and most of her savings into a craft retreat business, with help from close pal and resident potter Jane Starr. Between transforming her Victorian estate into a crafter's paradise and babysitting Jane's daughter the new entrepreneur has no time for distractions. Especially rumors about the murder of a local school librarian. But when Jane's fingerprints match those found at the grisly crime scene, Cora not only worries about her friend, but her own reputation. With angry townsfolk eager for justice and both Jane's innocence and the retreat at risk, she must rely on her creative chops to unlace the truth behind the beloved librarian's disturbing demise.  $7.99

Cox, Mollie Bryan - No Charm Intended (Cora Crafts Mystery #2) - Settling into her new life and career in small-town Indigo Gap, North Carolina, Cora Chevalier is preparing to host a "wildcrafting retreat" at her Victorian home. But then beloved nanny, Gracie Wyke goes missing. Amidst Cora leading guests in nature hikes, rock painting and making clay charms, she and her business partner, Jane, team up with Gracie's boyfriend Paul, to launch their own investigation. They take Paul in believing he's not the suspect the police believe him to be but as they discover new clues and a body turns up at a local abandoned amusement park, they begin to question their decision.  $7.99


I hope you enjoyed your visit. If you haven't heard of you before I'd like to introduce you to our business. We've been in business over 25 years. We set up book shops at both the ANG and EGA Nationals and regionals and other needlework organizations.

Can't find a certain book? Give us a call whether the title is in or out-or-print. We have a website as well as this blog. It

Questions? Give us a call Monday -thru Saturday (602-943-0738) between 8am and 6pm. Yes, we are the people who never change our clocks forward or backwards. If it goes to message I'm probably in the middle of helping Mark or taking books to the post office. PLEASE leave a message and I will return your call ASAP.  If you prefer you can e-mail me at: To reach us by mail: Ruth Kern Books  7235 N. 9th Avenue, Phoenix,AZ 85021.

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

I look forward to having you back:  New blog: June 15th 2017.