Posted in Reviews 2013 Wisconsin Author

Review: The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

the spymistress
The Spymistress
Dutton Adult
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Historical Fiction
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953623
E-Book File Size: 2576 KB



Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time…

Set in Virginia during the Civil War. When the state had seceded in April 1861, Elizabeth Van Lew dedicates herself to do anything she can to defy the new Confederate regime.

A fiction story based on a real woman that few people know about. Chiaverini takes us into the life of a woman inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
We know Jennifer Chiaverini for her wonderful Elm Creek Quilt series. This is her second book away from the series the delves into a special woman in history. I absolutely loved Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.

Again she has intensely researched and brought us a story of another strong woman with courage and intelligence that put her life on the line to fight for this great country. She was a spinster, losing the man she loved way too soon. A woman who had no vote. A woman abolitionist, Unionist, loyal to President Lincoln living on the wrong side of the civil war. An independent woman who fought to give even a small amount of care and comfort to the Northern soldiers being held prisoner, many times with her mother by her side. 

There is a lot of content in this book. Each battle, each setback, each triumph. Elizabeth Van Lew was a smart, cunning woman who could think on her feet and was able to make Confederates believe what she was doing was good for the South while passing information and more to the North. The woman seemed to have no fear. 

The author’s story may not match to what others have written about Elizabeth Van Lew.  I have seen her referred to as “Crazy Bet” in other books covering this time but Chiaverini explains that her “crazy”  manner may have just been a way to avoid suspicion.  

I love the way this author writes but I have to say I enjoyed Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker more than the Spymistress. While both very worthwhile reads this one just had so much information I felt until overwhelmed at times. It is a very interesting and though fictionalized it is very educational. Jennifer Chiaverini has a way that makes her characters jump right out of the pages and you forget that these happenings they are enduring really took place.  I am so proud this writer calls Wisconsin home.

just you and a friend


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the sixteen volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and four books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics. For more information about Jennifer, please visit her website at

Jennifer may be coming to a bookstore near you. Check out her event schedule here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2013 Wisconsin Author

Spotlight: Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini with Review and Giveaway

mrs. lincolns dressmaker

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Historical Fiction
Dutton (January 15, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953616
E-Book File Size: 716 KB

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

This story tells of the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley. Lizzie, a slave who bought the way out of slavery for both herself and her son did so using her sewing talents. She went on to sew for some of the elite woman in Washington D.C. When Mrs. Lincoln moved to The White House she chose Lizzie over many applicants to be her her personal “modiste,” responsible not only for creating the First Lady’s gowns, but also for dressing Mrs. Lincoln in the beautiful attire she created for the first lady. Their friendship quickly evolved and she became part of the fabric of the Lincoln White House. She was there to see Mary through the loss of her son and the assassination of her husband.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Chiaverini has written an in depth look at an important time in history from the women’s point of view as only she can. It is well researched and flows smoothly into the reader’s heart and mind. This being her first novel away from her characters in the Elm Creek Series there were a bit of growing pains in places. She is writing about real people and tries to keep all the facts straight even though the book is fiction which can be extremely difficult. Readers should know this is not a quilting or a quilter’s story but Lizzie does create a quilt from the scraps leftover from her creations for Mrs. Lincoln. This is a very small part of this novel.

The author has a reputation of writing strong woman and Elizabeth Keckley is one strong woman. She definitely went above and beyond for Mrs. Lincoln. Chiaverini has captured her excellently and it is easy to forget Lizzie was a real person. Her insight into Mary Todd Lincoln was enlightening as well. Reading stories like this one are superb ways to learn more about the people the history texts forget about or only mention in passing. 

This book is everything I expect a Jennifer Chiaverini novel. Wonderful characters in a fascinating time and exciting places.  Fans of historical fiction will absolutely love this book. I sure did!! I can’t wait to read her next novel due out in October. The Spymistress features Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union loyalist who was a spy for General Grant.

a perfect escape


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent






Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Picture by Steven Garfinkel
Picture by Steven Garfinkel

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker chronicles the friendship between First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, who was born a slave and earned her freedom through her skill with a needle. What brought this story to your attention, and how did it inspire your first stand-alone historical novel?

More than a decade ago, I was researching antebellum and Civil War era quilts for my fourth novel when I discovered a photograph of an antique masterpiece. Arranged in the medallion style, with appliquéd eagles, embroidered flowers, meticulously-pieced hexagons, and deep red fringe, the quilt was the work of a gifted needleworker, its striking beauty unmarred by the shattered silk and broken threads that gave evidence to its age. The caption noted that the quilt had been sewn from scraps of Mary Todd Lincoln’s gowns by her dressmaker and confidante, a former slave named Elizabeth Keckley. I marveled at the compelling story those brief lines suggested—a courageous woman’s rise from slavery to freedom, an improbable friendship that ignored the era’s sharp distinctions of class and race, the confidences shared between a loyal dressmaker and a controversial, divisive First Lady. What I would give, I thought, to have been present as Elizabeth Keckley measured Mary Lincoln for a new gown, to overhear their conversations on topics significant and ordinary, to observe the Lincoln White House from such an intimate perspective. From that moment, my interest in their remarkable friendship was captivated, and it never really waned.

Readers may be surprised to learn that Elizabeth Keckley was not only an accomplished modiste and businesswoman, but also a published author. Was meeting a historical figure through her own words different than encountering her via more distant historical sources?

A few years after I learned about the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt, I was researching a Civil War novel set on the Pennsylvania home front when I realized that many of my secondary sources cited the same work—Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, a memoir published in 1868 by Elizabeth Keckley. Struck by the familiar name, I immediately found a reprint and plunged into her story, which told of her harrowing years as a slave, her difficult struggle for freedom, and her ascendance as the most popular dressmaker of Washington’s social elite, including the new president’s wife. Sewing in the Lincoln family’s chambers within the White House, dressing Mrs. Lincoln for balls and receptions, Keckley observed Abraham and Mary Lincoln in their most private, unguarded moments, and with them she witnessed some of the most glorious and most tragic events in the nation’s history. Reading the story of her life in her own words made her experiences more immediate and more compelling, and for a long time afterward, I longed to delve more deeply into Elizabeth Keckley’s history, to learn about the woman she was beyond her friendship with Mary Lincoln, to discover what had happened after the closing passages of her memoir, and to uncover the details of everyday life in wartime Washington she had omitted.

President Lincoln is often characterized by his calm, thoughtful, and wise demeanor. The same, however, can’t be said for Mrs. Lincoln. In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, you paint a picture of a complex, yet fascinating woman with mood swings and emotional outbursts but who also possesses a strong and confident presence.  Can you describe your insights on her character? Why is she such an intriguing person, not just in your book but also in history?

Despite the volumes of historical and psychological research devoted to Mary Lincoln, she remains an enigma. She was the first wife of a US president to be called First Lady, and she was then and remains to this day one of the most controversial. Regrettably, descriptions of her tend to fall into the extremes of caricature: She is either portrayed as an unstable, shrill, vicious, corrupt shrew who made President Lincoln utterly miserable, or as a devoted wife and mother and a brilliant, shrewd, political helpmeet whose reputation was savaged by biased male historians. As a friend and confidante who observed Mary Lincoln closely in moments of triumph as well as tragedy, Elizabeth Keckley knew her as a real woman, full of flaws and virtues and surprises like any other. It was this far more nuanced woman that Elizabeth Keckley depicted in the pages of her memoir, and since Elizabeth Keckley is my narrator, I shaped the character of Mary Lincoln according to her perceptions.

Mrs. Lincoln chose Elizabeth Keckley first for her superior dressmaking skills; later for her confidence and friendship. Despite differences in temperament, status, and race, each woman made profound sacrifices for her country. Was it shared experience that cemented their bond?

Shared experiences certainly strengthened their bond, and for as long as their relationship endured, it was, for the most part, mutually beneficial. Mary Lincoln provided Elizabeth Keckley with opportunities for social and economic advancement she probably could not have even imagined during her years as a slave, while Elizabeth offered Mary the loyal, steadfast friendship she craved but had always found so elusive. But Mary assumed that the faithful Elizabeth would keep their shared experiences confidential. Loyalty meant everything to Mary, which is why their friendship could not survive the publication of Elizabeth’s memoir. Elizabeth claimed to have written her memoir in part to place Mary “in a better light before the world,” but since she was determined to write the truth, her portrayal was often unflattering. As publication day approached, Elizabeth worried that she might be criticized for revealing too much about the private lives of President Lincoln and the First Lady. “I have been prompted by the purest motive,” she defended herself in the book’s preface. “A breach of trust—if breach it can be called—of this kind is always excusable.” Understandably, Mary did not agree, and her sense of betrayal was so profound that she abruptly severed ties with the woman she had once considered her “best and kindest friend.” For the rest of her life, she rebuffed Elizabeth’s attempts to reconcile.

History has a way of offering its lessons in the way of recognizable trends and patterns. Elizabeth Keckley’s story was largely lost to history, yet it has recently been restored, through efforts to restore her gravesite, and now your novel. What do you regard as her legacy? 

Certainly her writing is a significant part of her legacy. Despite the vitriol of her critics and Robert Lincoln’s efforts to rid the world of Behind the Scenes, Elizabeth Keckley’s memoir, so denounced in its time, is today respected for its invaluable insights into the Lincoln White House. The influence she had upon President Lincoln—not in any official role of advisor, but rather through her presence and conversation, making him better aware of the needs of the African-American community—and how it might have informed his opinions and thus guided his policy decisions is another. Another part of her legacy—perhaps impossible to measure—springs from her role as a teacher, not only in her later years, when she worked as a domestic arts instructor at Wilberforce University, but also and especially when she taught sewing, reading, and other important skills to the former slaves living in Washington’s overcrowded refugee camps. She helped countless numbers of women gain the skills and knowledge they needed to build better lives for themselves and their families in the new world of freedom.

Entertainment Weekly has recently described President Lincoln as “having a moment.” Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed film Lincoln has renewed interest in this renowned figure in American history. From your experience in writing about him and his era, what has brought his Presidency back into cultural consideration?

Although interest certainly has escalated recently, Abraham Lincoln has always loomed large in the American imagination, perhaps because his story is so quintessentially American—from humble beginnings, through hard work and perseverance, he rose to success and renown. His tragic assassination just as the dawn of peace rose above the horizon only enhances his legend, because we will forever wonder what might have been, what else he would have accomplished had he lived. He consistently ranks at or near the top in national surveys rating the presidents on their greatness, their achievements, their leadership, and even those who disagree with his methods acknowledge that he saw the country through its most serious national crisis. The story of his presidency is especially relevant today, as the United States grapples with many of the same issues President Lincoln faced—matters of race, of the gulf between socioeconomic classes, of the role of government and the presidency, and of the challenge of fostering democracy in a nation of deeply divided citizens.

Your New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series has frequently drawn on history to great acclaim, and your passion for the American people, their struggles and triumphs, shines through. What is it about the antebellum and Civil War eras, especially, that intrigues you as a writer?

The antebellum and Civil War eras were a tumultuous and transformative time for our nation, showing the best and worst of humanity in stark contrast. Looking back, we discover great moral failings alongside true heroism in the struggle for justice, equality, and freedom. My personal heroes are people who face adversity with moral courage and dignity, whose hunger for justice and compassion for others lead them to stand up for what is right even at great risk to themselves. My favorite characters to write about either possess similar qualities, or are given the opportunity to summon up these qualities and do what is right but fall short. What slavery, the Underground Railroad, secession, and the Civil War say about our country—that we are capable of both great moral failings and tremendous goodness—resonates strongly even today, perhaps especially today, and as a creative person, I am drawn to explore and try to understand that conflict.

What is your next work of fiction? Can readers expect to meet another remarkable yet little known figure from America’s past?

My next novel, The Spymistress (Dutton, October 2013), will explore the suspenseful, clandestine life of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union loyalist who was General Grant’s most valuable spy in her native Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital during the tumultuous years of the Civil War.

I loved this book and would really like to add it to my Keeper Shelf
but I am going to share it with one lucky person.
Thank you to the people a Dutton for this copy!
The book hits shelves in exactly one week
so this is going to be a quick giveaway
so if you haven’t won the copy you can rush out and purchase the book!


There will be no Bonus Entries to give everyone a fair chance.

Winner will be notified by email and will be posted in the sidebar of this blog.
Good Luck Everyone!!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Reviews 2012 Wisconsin Author

Review: The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Giving Quilt:
An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

20th in Series
Dutton (October 30, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525953609
Jacket Design by Monica Benalcazar
Jacket Quilt by Janet Miller/The City Stitcher

The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel


The week after Thanksgiving is a very special time at Elm Creek Manor. It is Quiltsgiving! A week were quilters come and make quilts to give to Project Linus.

Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper starts the week by asking the quilter’s “Why do you give?” Each quilter has their own reasons for coming to Elm Creek Manor at this time and most have trouble answering Sylvia’s question. As the week goes by they bond together making the quilts, sewing love and comfort right into each wonderful quilt. The friendships also bloom and burdens are lifted. The Giving Quilt will remind us all: Giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the recipient, and while giving may not always be easy, it is always worthwhile.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Visiting Elm Creek Manor is like wrapping yourself in a warm cozy quilt. This story was a pure joy to read.

Chiaverini brings back all the characters we love and introduces to a wonderful new group of quilters too. She sews together their stories in a way that seems effortless and yet is so inspiring. These stories always leave me wanting to gather fabric and lose myself stitching a quilt, something I haven’t been able to do since my accident, but this story invoked another thought process all about giving. Why do I personally give and how? Can I give more?

It was Michaela’s story that really touched my heart. I immediately went in to mother mode and wanted to protect her like I would do for my own daughters. So young and so strong and then stronger through the support she found making new friends at Elm Creek. If I would have been her age, a leg in a cast, I would have never pushed ahead to attend this week long quilting event. But she does and she has given me a push I probably needed to search out ways to do sew and quilt again someday. That asking for help to do something you love is important and maybe I may never be able to do it myself again but I plan to teach my daughters and try to revive my passion and pass it on to them.

Each character is different with various problems they are facing at home. Everyone that reads this book with find one or more characters they can identify with and understand.

A heartwarming and powerful story. A perfect read for this time of year that reminds us that giving and helping others can be more than a holiday event, it should be a year round happening.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Jennifer Chiaverini here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2012 Wisconsin Author

Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini

Sonoma Rose (Elm Creek Quilts)
Published by The Penguin Group
An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
18th in the Series
Available Today!

What a Beautiful Cover!

In previous editions we were reminded that some of Sylvia Berstrom’s relatives had migrated to California. Sonoma Rose starts with a little of that history, picking up where The Quilter’s Homecoming, that was published in 2007 left off.

We meet Elizabeth Bergstrom Nelson’s  friend, Rosa Diaz as the country is coping with all the restrictions of Prohibition. Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease currently afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Her abusive husband refuses to take them into the city so the children can see a doctor. His mind is clearly on other things, like his fancy car and keeping secrets about his business dealings from his wife. When an act of violence shatters Rosa’s resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is the Jennifer Chiaverini I love to read. I think she lost her way a little bit wrapping up the current characters in The Wedding Quilt.This story shines a brilliant light on her masterful storytelling talent.

This is Rosa’s story. She is yet another strong female heroine created by Chiaverini that has you engaged from the moment we step back into her life. You will feel a wide range of emotions during her story, anger, fear, hope and joy. The bonds of friendship are as strong as all the other books in this series. The power of love from a mother’s love for her children to the enduring love between a man and a woman are woven wondrously through these pages. This story was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t put it down.

Jennifer Chiaverini has created some very memorable fiction characters and has allowed us to go along with them on the journeys not only in current time but into the past and into the future. I am really wondering what is next in this series. I have loved all of these characters and will miss them if this is where the journey ends. I sincerely hope she has some more Elm Creek Quilts stories in that big sewing basket of hers.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Reviews 2012

The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Published by Dutton
An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
18th in Series

It’s September 2028 and Sarah’s daughter is getting married. Chiavernini takes us back in time as Sarah’s thoughts are filled with brides of Elm Creek Manor past and present-the traditions they honored, the legacies they bequeathed, and the wedding quilts that contain their stories in every stitch.

Sarah is also working on the perfect Wedding Quilt for her daughter complete with loving messages from all the guests of the wedding.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As you know by now this is one of my favorite series. I love it when the author takes us back in time for the history of Elm Creek Valley and the when she writes of the wonderful Elm Creek Quilters. The Wedding Quilt has left me very sad and conflicted.

I know this is not the last Elm Creek Novel because I have an advance copy of Sonoma Rose right here on my desk, but while it is billed as an Elm Creek Quilts Novel, from a glance it doesn’t look like it features any of our favorites or connects to their history.

All of the current ladies’ history was wrapped up in The Wedding Quilt. The author put together snippets from past books and added a few pages to tie up all the loose ends. I feel like I have lost my fictional friends.

While Jennifer Chiaverini is an awesome writer and writes wonderful stories featuring very strong women, the was clearly not her best work. I feel there could have been several more books written with these characters. When I received this book I thought The Wedding Quilt would be about Anna and Jeremy’s wedding who came together at the end of A Quilter’s Holiday. I was shocked to find the wedding for one of the twins just born in real time. There is no way to go back.

I know sometimes the author’s work doesn’t necessarily go in the direct they would like, publishers and others have a great deal of input. I wish she would have just taken a break from the characters her readers had come to love and let us know she was headed in a different direction either with the series or an entirely new project. I have read several other reviews since finishing of people who also were shocked or disappointed in this installment. When you read a series through 18 books you become attached to the characters and the way it wrapped up just feels wrong.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Published by The Penguin Group

An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
17th in the series
Paperback Edition Available February 7, 2012

In 1862 Water’s Ford, Pennsylvania is a busy place. Most of the men are off to war to fight for the Union. The woman are rallying to support the cause. They are holding fundraisers, sending bandages, food and supplies. They are using their needles to make quilts to send to hospitals. The also create a very special quilt that will reach out well beyond Water’s Ford.

Gerda Bergstrom takes on Southern sympathizers in the pages of the local newspaper. Anneke Bergstrom deals with her husband pacifist beliefs and does her best to hide her shame. Constance Wright supports her husband as he tries to enter the war effort despite the color of his skin.

The quilters anxiously await letters from their husbands, sons, and brothers which they share with each other at their circle meetings. The community is drawn together as they hope and pray the war will end soon and their men will return home soon. The woman are gaining a new independence that will “alter the patchwork of life in the Elm Creek Valley”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
An incredible personal look at the Civil War through the eyes of the soldiers and women who wait at home. These gripping individual stories brought together through this powerful piece of fiction give us a very relate-able picture about how the war effected those in a fight to save the Union.

I truly enjoy when the author steps back into the past to give us the history of the Elm Creek Valley. The battle scenes were captivating to show the real rugged truth of battle. The men took on more of a roll in this story while the women also really emerged even stronger than in previous stories. I especially liked the part of the story about the quilt that went to the battlefield.

Chiaverini is a strong storyteller whether writing historical or contemporary fiction. If her name in on the cover you know you are assured to read a treasure.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Wisconsin Author

The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Aloha Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (Elm Creek Quilts Novels)
Simon & Schuster
Elm Creek Quilt Series
16th in the Series

Bonnie escapes the winter in Pennsylvania and her soon to be ex-husband to visit her college friend Claire in Hawaii. While there she is going to help her set up a retreat similar to the Elm Creek Quilting Camp. Bonnie loves the calm of Hawaii but everything doesn’t go smoothly, especially when her husband starts to fight her for half of her share of Elm Creek Quilts.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was my JUST FOR FUN book this month. This is one of my favorite series for many reasons. Before my accident one of my passions was quilting, the books in this series inspired me so much. Jennifer is a Wisconsin author and doesn’t live too far from me. We have never met and probably never will but I feel a bond to her through her stories. I may not physically be able to create the quilts with my hands but my mind is always creating quilts I hope to help my family make in the future. Once a quilter, always a quilter.

This book is unique in that it is full of Hawaiian history, with stories of not only how quilting came to the islands but a lot about the whole Hawaiian culture.

While this is Bonnie’s adventure the rest of the Elm Creek Quilters are an important part of the story. Part of this story actually takes place at the same time as the Elm Creek Quilters are celebrating A Quilter’s Holiday.

This is one of the series I have gotten behind on, but it one of the series I plan to catch up on for the Finish The Series Reading Challenge. The newest story Sonoma Rosecomes out February 21 and I just received an advanced copy so I will have to get busy reading!

I hope all of you are finding time to read Just For Fun! Remember the GoodReads group for this challenge closes to new members January 31. If you don’t have your topic set up accepting the challenge you will not be eligible for any prizes. If you haven’t signed up there is still time. Just follow this link for details or Click on the Just For Fun Challenge tab at the top of this page.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.