Saturday, January 31, 2015

If my boys were just a little bit younger...

You've heard me moan about the lack of cute things to sew for my boys. If it had come out just a few years earlier,  Sew and Play: Handmade Games for Kids would have been the perfect solution for our family!  Snakes...crabs...monsters....bugs.... These games would have been right up their alley!

There are boats and horses and stepping stones to spread across the rug and follow to the castle... Oh, and pancakes to to toss, avoiding the burnt one.


The projects range from very simple to what-am-I-thinking? (You know I'd be making the bugs and crabs!)  Each set of game pieces will work for several variations of the game, so you can go ahead and make it while your little ones are still too young for complex games and switch to the school-age set of rules later.



I'm tempted to make the pancake game for myself, but I think my son's speech therapist might get more use out of it. She's always looking for good games for little ones -- and in addition to being gender-neutral (not a bandwagon I've chosen to hop onto), these don't feature the latest cartoon characters so they've got that timeless quality to them.

Martingale provided me with an electronic ARC.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/30/15}




Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.








Thursday, January 29, 2015

In the Skein vs In the Sock

If you've been reading my blog for the past year or so, you'll know that I'm making a serious dent in my stash of self-striping sock yarns. I bought a bunch when I first fell in love with sock knitting, then decided I preferred solid yarns and textured knitting patterns... 

Then last year hit us and I realized that self-striping sock yarn was the perfect mindless stress-reducing knitting. A dozen pairs later, I went out and bought more of it....and there's still no end in sight. 

This is my third pair this year -- and it's only January 28th.  I want to knit something more fun, like those cabled owl socks I posted about yesterday, but those require a different kind of knitting time.


Yarn - Patons Jacquard Aqua

Once again, the yarn in the skein looked completely different from the yarn in the socks. It was on clearance, so I wouldn't have researched it in advance anyway, but I've found a neat trick on Ravelry. (This only works if you're signed in. I know that not everyone wants to join every site out there, but I hugely recommend Ravelry as a knitting resource.)

Search for the yarn by name -- in this case Patons Jacquards. Now scroll down a bit to Popular Colorways and find the one you're interested in.



Click on the projects link next to that color and you'll  see how that yarn behaved in everyone else's projects!  This is one of my favorite features, especially when I've got a yarn that's doing something I don't like or expect.



For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times. For more finishes, check out  Finish it Up FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop?, and Freedom Fridays.

The Milk Glass in the Hutch

For someone who never laid eyes on Pinterest, my grandma had a Pinterest perfect house with tablescapes and seasonal decorations and all kinds of interesting bric-a-brac. I wanted to take a picture of the milk glass because it's been in this hutch for as long as I can remember, through more houses than I can count.  Now that she's gone, I don't know how long the collection will remain together. 


When I was growing up, Grandma had envelopes on the bottom of furniture, indicating what was to go to who when she died. But she didn't keep any of that furniture until she died. There's the hutch...and the oak table, which as far as I know don't have envelopes.... I  could probably count one one hand the big pieces of furniture that I remember from my early childhood.

She'd buy great antiques, keep them for a little while, then sell those and find neater ones. I could probably learn a lesson from that. Not every piece of furniture has to stay in the family forever. (Just to be clear -- family pieces have stayed in the family. It was the auction and thrift store finds that were temporary.)

How about you? Do your vintage treasures just pass through the house? Or is it like our house where they're absorbed and never allowed to leave?

This post is linked to Thrifter Share, Ivy & Elephants, Knick of Time, Thriftasaurus,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Problem with Challenging Projects...

I'm sick of mindless stockinette and k2p2 ribbing. I wanted a challenge. But it's quite a jump from a project where the whole thing is in my head to this...


This sock has five charts -- the cuff, the leg, the heel flap, the toe transition, and the toe. Yikes! I'm two repeats into the cuff ribbing and already starting to wonder how much I want a cute pair of socks with owls on them. Two repeats through the cuff, I can finally see where the stitches are supposed to fall. That makes it easier.

But that mindless stockinette is starting to look fun after all.

Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest tells a sad true story. British Heiresses Dora and Claire Williamson were searching for their mostly imagined illnesses when they learned of the fasting cure practiced by Doctor Linda Hazzard. Locals called her sanitarium Starvation Heights  and many of her patients, especially those with money and no dependents, died as a result of her methods. Before Dora manages to send for help, her sister Claire has starved to death and Doctor Hazzard has taken control of their jewelry and bank accounts, having declared Dora incompetent and made herself the woman's guardian.

The actual story fascinated me -- how could two healthy, educated young women fall prey to something that crazy? -- but the second half of the book, which covers the trial, dragged on and on.

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Movie Night

Saturday night, Teenage Daughter and I rented a movie. It was one that we've both been wanting to see... and it was a definite reminder that when you pick a movie based on a neat title and poster image, sometimes you wind up watching Sharknado. 

As Above, So Below was worse. About twenty minutes in, my attention shifted from the movie to the embroidery and I sewed along to my daughter's disbelieving critique. 


 There were cultists, and a broken piano from one character's childhood, and a burning car....all in the catacombs beneath Paris.  Oh, and a magic rock that sometimes healed characters and sometimes didn't. (We read the Wikipedia article -- apparently the whole point of the movie was that they were looking for the philosopher's stone.)



I did get two new squares for the Garden Party quilt, and my daughter and I had fun picking the movie apart, so it wasn't a total loss.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Afraid of the Pretty Fabric

This fabric has spent years in my "too good to cut" pile. Now, the top may be headed for my "too good to quilt" pile.  Does anyone else have one of those? 


There's no real reason for me to be afraid to quilt this one. The top wasn't hard to put together. It's a utility quilt for my son. Given past experience, that means it'll be loved and abused and some wobbles in the free motion quilting will soon be the least of my concerns.

But the fabric is pretty. What is it that's so scary about pretty fabric? Except maybe the memory of what I paid for it....

This may be the year I seriously tackle my small stash of fabrics that are too special to cut into.

This post is linked to Patchwork Times and Monday Making.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Synchronizing the Planners

Teenage Daughter walked in on this project and asked if I was synchronizing my planners. Yup, that's it exactly.  Ever year, I copy the important stuff from my old planner into my new one. 


Except this year I'm copying from 2013 because I can't find the planner for 2014. I spent more time last year looking for that one than actually using it. But I didn't start many new UFOs, so it'll probably turn out just fine.

It'll turn up, and when it does I'll compare the lists and add whatever got left out.

Weekly Stash Report 

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 34 yards
Net Added for 2014: 34 yards

Yarn Used this Week:  400 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 800 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Added for 2014: 800 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/23/15}




Take a look at this little quilt that Deanna from Wedding Dress Blue linked up last week!  She used some existing half square triangles and combined them with a backing fabric she already had. Aren't baby quilts just the best way to use stuff up?



Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.








Thursday, January 22, 2015

The House My Great Grandmother Lived In

This framed picture hangs on my Grandparents' bedroom wall. I'd seen the image before, and have a copy of it somewhere myself because it's just so neat. That's Great-Grandma and her husband and their oldest daughter... in 1905. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. 


Remember this picture that lives on my fireplace mantel? Great-Grandma painted it that same year. When I first brought it home,  I did the math and realized that she'd been seventeen when she painted it. And I assumed that she was a teenager, still in high school... because that's what "17" conjures up. 



 At seventeen, Great-Grandma was married, lived in a sod house, and had a toddler. 


This post is linked to Thrifter Share, Ivy & Elephants, Knick of Time, Thriftasaurus,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

{Yarn Along} Using Up More Sock Yarn



This is Knit Picks Essential in Meadow Multi. A few years back, I saw a picture of the skeined yarn in a catalog and had to have it.... I did cast on and start a pair of socks and then that false start got buried in an unused knitting bag for a very long time.  


When it turned up, I'd already pulled out the needles to start another project. I frogged what was there and cast on again. Four days of high stress knitting later, I was half an inch away from a finished sock. Five days after that, I had a finished pair.



Angie Curtis is called home to her grandmother's house in Harbor Haven, Maine, because her mother, missing since Angie was ten years old, has finally been found, dead in a local man's storage locker. When the man who represents Mainely Needlepointers, the business started by her grandmother and a group of friends, drops dead in her grandmother's guest bathroom, Angie finds herself with two unrelated murders to solve. Twisted Threads presents a pair of intriguing mysteries, and Angie is deeply involved in both of them.

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times. For more finishes, check out  Finish it Up FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop?, and Freedom Fridays.


Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an ARC.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why do we lock up our sewing machines?


When I got a look at my new-to-me sewing machine, my first reaction was "Neat -- it's got the keys."

That was immediately followed by "Why would I want keys for my sewing machine case?" Assuming, of course, that it wasn't locked.

Featherweight cases have keys. So does this mid-70s Viking and Mom's old bentwood case.  Some treadles have keys.

WHY?  My husband and teenage son tell me that it's to keep it from falling open while you're carrying it, but wouldn't a good latch work just as well for that?


Monday, January 19, 2015

Design Wall Monday

Years ago, the little boy who is now Teenage Son saw this fabric on a shop hop and urged me to buy some and make him a quilt. I bought 2/3 of a yard. It was as far as I felt I could stretch the budget that day, or maybe that was the pattern repeat. I also bought some textured solids from Joanns. 

Time passed and I don't know what the original plan was. I'm sure it was pretty vague. Now there's a new plan -- 


The piano key border will go down both sides and I'll do some sort of pieced blocks in the corners. And, because I've never done a flange before, I decided to give that a try.


New plan is that this will be a good quilt to do some intricate freemotion quilting on. 'Cause why not make the too-good-to-cut fabric into a too-good-to-quilt top?

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Undertaker's Daughter






I enjoy reading memoirs, getting a glimpse into someone else's life. The Undertaker's Daughter caught my interest when I saw the description, which compared it to Six Feet Under.

Here's the cover copy:

What if the place you called “home” happened to be a funeral home? Kate Mayfield explores what it meant to be the daughter of a small-town undertaker in this fascinating memoir evocative of Six Feet Under and The Help, with a hint of Mary Roach’s Stiff.

The first time I touched a dead person, I was too short to reach into the casket, so my father picked me up and I leaned in for that first, empty, cold touch. It was thrilling, because it was an unthinkable act.

After Kate Mayfield was born, she was taken directly to a funeral home. Her father was an undertaker, and for thirteen years the family resided in a place nearly synonymous with death. A place where the living and the dead entered their house like a vapor. The place where Kate would spend the entirety of her childhood. In a memoir that reads like a Harper Lee novel, Mayfield draws the reader into a world of Southern mystique and ghosts.

Kate’s father set up shop in a small town where he was one of two white morticians during the turbulent 1960s. Jubilee, Kentucky, was a segregated, god-fearing community where no one kept secrets—except the ones they were buried with. By opening a funeral home, Kate’s father also opened the door to family feuds, fetishes, and victims of accidents, murder, and suicide. The family saw it all. They also saw the quiet ruin of Kate’s father, who hid alcoholism and infidelity behind a cool, charismatic exterior. As Mayfield grows from trusting child to rebellious teen, she begins to find the enforced hush of the funeral home oppressive, and longs for the day she can escape the confines of her small town.

In The Undertaker’s Daughter, Kate has written a triumph of a memoir. This vivid and stranger-than-fiction true story ultimately teaches us how living in a house of death can prepare one for life.

Kate is unlike anyone I've ever met or read about. As a  young child, she was afraid to use her grandfather's outhouse at night, longing to return to the her parents' house, the funeral parlor. She had her own Miss Havisham, a local businesswoman who dresses only in red and opens her mansion to only a rare few.

I've got to admit, this book had me in tears, especially when the author's father responded to a call from a young mother, alone and in labor, who'd called the funeral home because the hospital refused to send an ambulance out the icy road she lived on.

Although the book tells the stories of countless funerals, it doesn't dwell on the icky details. Similarly, the author shares intimate details of her childhood without making me feel like I know more than I should. I absolutely recommend this one!

Disclosure -- the publisher provided me with an ARC.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/16/15}

I love this little quilt that Kathy from A Quilting Chick linked up last week. Just look at the pretty colors -- and those spurs!




Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.








Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Banded Gecko Socks

That picture is a Sonoran Alligator Lizard, but Banded Gecko sounds catchier an they've got the same kind of stripes. There just wasn't a picture in the book to compare my socks to. 


I knew I'd seen a reptile somewhere that looked like these stripes!


These aren't my favorite socks, but I'll wear them. The yarn (in case anyone wants sock that look like a southwestern lizard) is Patons Kroy Socks, colorway Buckthorn Stripes. I've used a lot of this yarn over the past few months and loved it, but my second skein of this one was splitty. No idea why -- it was new from the store, so there weren't any storage or age issues.

I'm linking up to Yarn Along and Patchwork Times. For more finishes, check out  Finish it Up FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop?, and Freedom Fridays.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekly Stash Report

Thank you for the prayers. I've told Grandma how many of my friends are praying for her, and I think it brings her comfort. If anyone has tips for dealing with muscle spasms and could send me a private email or leave a comment on this post, I'd really appreciate it. The hospice nurse says we're trying everything, but I keep hoping we can come up with some better tricks.

Hubby has been to the orthopedist and doesn't need surgery. This is the same doctor who fixed his ankle last spring and he doesn't know what the urgent care radiologist was talking about. That's such good news! Now we're waiting for another xray later this month and hoping he can get back to work soon.

The winner of the Feta Attraction giveaway is Kiki W, who wrote:
 Looks like a great cozy mystery. Can't wait to read it. 

Some gorgeous solid yardage came home with me this week. It wasn't a planned purchase, but the price was right and the colors will be perfect for some projects I'm hoping to start once my life shifts back towards normal. The sewing machine of my dreams found its way to me by a very roundabout route that took a dozen years or so. The Banded Gecko Socks are done... I'll tell you about all of that when I have the time and energy to write the posts.

Weekly Stash Report 

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 34 yards
Added Year to Date: 34 yards
Net Added for 2014: 34 yards

Yarn Used this Week:  400 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 400 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Added for 2014: 400 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/9/15}




Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.








Wednesday, January 07, 2015

{Yarn Along} More Stockinette

I still haven't found a chunk of quiet time to pick out a sock pattern an figure out the chart so that I can cast on. This is the time for more mindless sock knitting, because that's easy to squeeze in if you keep your project close.


See that half finished sock on top? Everything from the second light stripe to the needles was knit on Monday -- during Quinn's speech therapy appointment, while waiting for take out Chinese food, while watching The Incredible Doctor Pol on Netflix with Hubby. Stockinette adds up fast. A few more days, and I'll be able to cast on with some prettier yarn. I'm looking forward to that!

My latest read is Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman. She's the author of the Mommy-Track mysteries that I enjoyed so much a while back. I hadn't realized that she had written other books and grabbed this one from the library as soon as I found out about it. It's not your usual book of Mommy essays, filled with the expected chapters about dirty diapers and sleepless nights.

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times.



 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

What do You do With Leftovers?

I try, not always succesfully, to cut only as many pieces as I need for a particular quilt. If I'm working with squares, I don't fuss. Whatever is left over can go in the box for another quilt down the road. But if I'm cutting a shape or size that I'm not likely to use again, I'm more careful.

With Little Letters, I was making up the pieced borders in my head and had no idea how many pieces I'd actually wind up using. I wound up with a little pile of nine-patch bits. It was hardly any fabric at all, and even I could have  tossed it out without feeling a pang of guilt. 

But my mind doesn't work that way. I sewed them together and within the hour, I had a new mug rug. 


Sure, I could have tossed those bits. But it feels a lot better to make something cute with them!

What do you do with your leftovers? Toss them, or make them into something.....or save them for "someday?"
For more finishes, check out  Sew Much AdoFinish it Up FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop? , and Freedom FridaysWonderful at Home  Sew Can She 

Monday, January 05, 2015

A New Project for the New Year

Quite a few years ago, I fell in love with a spool quilt and started setting aside fabrics for it. They were all tiny dots, or tiny things that were close to dots. I don't know why I never made more than four blocks.


Then, a few years later, Bonnie Hunter posted her Spoolin' Around Leader/Ender Challenge. I was still making Cheddar Bowties, but I pulled out my original spools. In my memory, they were a reasonable size, not these huge 6 1/2" blocks. I told myself that I needed to finish my bowties before I started playing with spools and tucked it back away.

But now that quilt is done and I'm ready to start some new projects. I'm so much happier with the 3 1/2" blocks I started making yesterday!



Just look at the difference between these blocks. If I'd finished the original quilt it would probably be in the back of a closet, because the more quilts I make, the tinier I like my pieces. Maybe I can find that bag with the original fabrics and add those to the mix, but I'm not gong to make myself crazy looking for them. 


This post is linked to Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Clean Slate and Big Plans

I had plans. I was going to make it through the holiday season, pack away the ornaments, and start on some new projects. I was in the mood for a challenge.  2015 was going to be a better year. 

A couple of hours  after I wrote yesterday's post, my husband fell and broke his toe. The urgent care doctor sent us home with two of his toes taped together and one of those awful printed sets of instructions that doesn't really answer any of your questions. Half an hour later, he called back to tell my husband that a radiologist had looked at the Xrays, the break extended into the foot, something about loose bone fragments, something about surgery, and that he needs to see the orthopedist as soon as possible. So we're holding our breath until Monday, when we'll find out when he can even get an appointment. And holding out until the pharmacy opens at 10 am, because by the time we left urgent care, they were  closed. 


I think I do need a challenge to distract myself a bit.

Not sure if these patterns are more than I can handle right now, but sometimes focusing on patterns and techniques can really help. If I turn out to be over my head, I an just unravel it and start over. 

But first I've got to settle on a pattern. 

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Added for 2014: 0 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 0 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Added for 2014: 0 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Please Pray for my Grandmother

My eighty-eight year old Grandma is in her last days. I wasn't going to say anything here on my blog, because I don't feel like it's my story to tell, but late last night I decided that I've been being stupid.

I've got wonderful online friends who I know would pray for her if I just asked. So I'm asking.

I know she can't be with us for much longer. Her kidneys and heart are failing. She's home now, with her dog and her husband of sixty-eight years.  I'm praying for them both, and that Grandma will have moments of clear thinking, because there are still things that she wants to get done, And I'm praying that when she does leave us, it's peacefully.

New Knitting Needles!

I was so thrilled to get these for Christmas!


I already owned two full sets of the Harmony 6" dpns, but I've been coveting a set of Sunstruck, which is a paler version of the same needles. Dark yarns don't show up well on the Harmony needles. 
See the difference? It's even more noticeable in my knitting corner in the dead of night. 


 I've been making do with a couple of sets I bought at the LYS when Judy did her Pooling Sock Yarn Challenge a couple of years ago,but those aren't not nearly as nice to work with. The points aren't as sharp and the needles themselves aren't as smooth.

Sometimes it's hard to decide whether to keep making do with what you've got on hand or go out and get something that will work better. I'm so glad my mom made the decision for me and bought me these for Christmas!

Friday, January 02, 2015

{Guest Post} Susannah Hardy, author of Feta Attraction

Looking for this week's Let's Make Baby Quilts linky party? Just click here!

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to read Feta Attraction in time for today's post, but I'm looking forward to it.

Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.

When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.

Today I've got Susannah Hardy here to  share her thoughts about cozy mysteries. Be sure to read down to the bottom for the giveaway -- she's offered to give a $10 gift certificate to either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to one of my readers.





Hi, Michelle! Thanks for having me here today to talk about my debut mystery novel, FETA ATTRACTION, book 1 of the Greek to Me Mysteries.

So why are cozy mysteries so popular, and why do they matter?

For one thing, the reader always knows more or less what he or she is going to get—or not get—in a cozy mystery. One can always count on there being an engaging heroine (sometimes a hero, but overwhelmingly cozy sleuths are women), a victim, and a complex mystery with lots of suspects who each have their own reasons for wanting the victim dead, all set in a community the reader comes to know and love. Cozies generally come in series, so we get to revisit the characters (at least, the ones who don’t end up dead or incarcerated!) and the community more than once. I just love it when a new book in a favorite series comes out, so I can catch up with old friends and see what’s happening in a place I’ve come to know. Not that I’d necessarily want to live there—strangers often end up dying, LOL!

Other things you can count on in a cozy? You won’t find any gratuitous sex or violence. Sure, the basis of the story is a murder, but it happens off-stage. Death is sometimes accidental (perhaps victim and killer are arguing and it becomes physical, and the victim falls and hits his head), or deliberate, but the killing is not done in an excessive way. No multiple gunshots or stab wounds, and the killer isn’t hopped up on drugs or mentally ill. Nor will you find that the ultimate solution to the mystery involves anything other than the clues the reader has been given throughout the story—no surprising Mafia connections or drug cartels popping in at the last minute. No, the reasons for a murder are always personal—to someone. And romance? If there is one, it develops slowly, over several books.

There is a comfort in this kind of story. Aside from the familiarity of the setting and characters and the fun of trying to figure out what happened along with the amateur sleuth, a cozy mystery offers the absolute promise of justice.  Killers do not get away, they get what’s coming to them, and the community is safe again (at least until the next book). Our real-life world doesn’t always offer cut-and-dried, no-shades-of-gray justice.

That’s why we need cozies—to remind us that fairness and right can prevail, and we don’t need to see a lot of blood and gore to understand that. And that’s why I’ll keep reading them—and writing them.

It’s been a pleasure to be here today!

Links:

Amazon
Facebook 
Twitter

Bio:

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenage son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

For a chance to win a $10 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks (winner's choice), leave a comment on this post before 11:59pm January 8 2015. I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner and Susannah will send you your prize.

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