Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Little Shift Dress by Favorite Little Things

I haven't sewn or crafted for so long - my crafty post was in March, the embroidery wrapped tangle free headphones. I've been on a roll this week, and I started off by finally sewing the pattern I had cut out in March - the Little Shift dress by Favorite Little Things - times 2! I was worried that the little dress might not fit anymore, but actually they both turned out a bit big which means they will fit next summer too.

I made little SweetPea's dress a size 2 with the size 3 length because both my girls are on the small side. It can be worn the way it's meant to be sans belt, but it is very baggy and the one strange thing about the dress in her size is that the neckline is so big, even though there's a button closure at the back. I'm hoping another size up in growth will fix that. Petunia is 10 and I made her a 9/10 and it's very baggy. It might be wearable without the belt next year, but it's huge. I was disappointed, but then again it'll fit for longer. I tried cinching in the elastic tighter before I fully secured it but it just made the dress hang funny.

The dress is easy to make and the directions are nice and clear, which is good when you're paying a premium for a pattern. The fabric is from my cousin in Tanzania, the same as I one of the Runaround Bag from. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out and the girls love them, so that's a big plus.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Firewall by DiAnn Mills

book review of Firewall by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House) by papertapepins

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

I have been a fan of DiAnn Mills for a few years now and so I had to read this book, even if the synopsis didn't really jump out and grab me. I was pleasantly surprised by this fantastic suspense story! There were a lot of factors that could really have messed it up - i.e. the fact that it starts with Taryn's marriage shattering at the beginning of the story. How would she handle getting over that before moving on with the obvious new love interest. That, and other big questions I had were dealt with expertly. The focus of the story is more so on the mystery, which it should be.

It's not a breezy, quick read by any means, but more of an intense, 'smart' thriller. I didn't fully understand all the tech talk about the software but that just made it a little more realistic for me. That never happened when it really counted, I understood most of it. It's just kind of like when an author pops in the occasional word from another language in a story.

Fantastic, well done, keep them coming! Loved the cover, too!

This book was provided to me by Tyndale Publishers and Netgalley for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Tyndale!

Author Bio
DiAnn Mills
DiAnn Mills
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook (, Twitter (@DiAnnMills), Pinterest (, and Goodreads (

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

For Love Or Country by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

book review of For Love Or Country by Jennifer Hudson Taylor (Abingdon Press) by papertapepins

For Love or Country, Book 2, The MacGregor Legacy

One spy. One commission. One Love.
He must risk it all to save everything.

Wilmington, NC, 1781

(During Revolutionary War)

At the height of the Revolutionary War, Tyra MacGregor is successful at thwarting the British Army with her colonial spy efforts. But her sleuthing ways come to a screeching halt when Captain Donahue "Hugh" Morgan puts her under house arrest.

Hugh is intrigued by this courageous spy the natives call "War Woman." She's more daring than most men and is intelligent in defending her convictions. Even more impressive to Hugh is the strength of Tyra's unshakeable faith in God.

When Tyra his life during an attack, Hugh vows to return the favor. Before he can intervene, however, she is caught by his superior officer and imprisoned. Soon Hugh's honor, faith, country, and love are on the line. Can he risk it all to save everything?

For Love Or Country is the second book in the MacGregor Quest Series. The first book follows Tyra's parents as they sail from Scotland and eventually settle in the states to raise a family. The Revolutionary War is now in full swing, and unlike many of their countrymen who have also settled nearby, the MacGregor family joins the fight to keep the freedom they cherish in their new country. Tyra's father and three of her brothers are fighting against the British, and she has secretly joined the rebel patriots as well. All of that becomes far more dangerous when a wounded British soldier is brought to her and she nurses him back to health. He is then stationed in their home to keep an eye on their activities.

Hugh and his brother joined the army to escape the life of poverty they were born into in England. They wanted to make something of themselves and earn respect and a place in society.  He is fighting out of loyalty to his country and because he is a man of his word, not out of any major conviction about the reason for the war and his convictions are sorely tested as he comes to know the MacGregors.

I enjoyed the story, although it wandered a bit from time to time. I appreciated that knowing the right thing to do in the difficult situations that war can put you in required thought and prayer and some amount of struggle for the characters, and things did not always go easily for them. It's a clean historical romance, and the author has obviously done a lot of research into her subject.

This book was provided to me by Upon The Rock Publicist and Abingdon Press for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.

About the Author

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction set in historical Europe and the Carolinas. Her books, which include Path of Freedom, Highland Blessings, and Highland Sanctuary, have been critically acclaimed by publications such as RT Book Reviews and USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Visit Jennifer online at

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