Bookworm Girl and a Young Botanist

Both my diamond painting work in progress, and the book I am currently reading are about girls with wonderful passions. For “Bookworm Girl,” “Reading is where it all begins.  With a sweet hairdo, some smart glasses and a comfortable little dress, “ she reminds us that “we lose ourselves in books, and we find ourselves there too.” ~Anonymous*

In This Poison Heart by Kalyan Bayron, Briseis can also get lost, but in her unique power to grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms in a blink of the eye. The plants also respond to her moods. However, this power can be deadly. Can she learn to control her gift, and conquer the dark forces descending around her? **

The age level for the novel is 13-17, so I am using this as an opportunity to go back (way back! 😊) and remember myself as a teenager.

I am intrigued by both, and they wonderfully compliment each other!

*Diamond Art Club
** Taken from Product Description in Amazon

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I Won The Gift Box!

I just love book release parties, whether they are in person, or virtual. Recently I was so excited to win the Gift Box for the Virtual Book Release Party for Island Queen by Vanessa Riley, presented by Brown Book Series! The videos say it all!

First: My response to hearing I won!
Second: Unboxing the Gift Box

This was an awesome gift box!
Novel: Island Queen by VanessaRiley!
Brown Box Series:
Watch the Virtual Book Release Party: Start at 4:45
Vanessa Riley on Twitter: @VanessaRiley

⬅️ My Response to hearing I won!

Unboxing the Gift Box!
Watch the Virtual Book Release Party: Start at 4:45

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Expressions of Kitty Love Through Diamond Art

The canvas caught my attention because of the beautiful kitty, and the pretty, yet solemn looking lady. I couldn’t resist creating my own. She has such a sad look about her, but the kitty looks so loving and supportive. As I worked on the canvas, I could hear the kitty telling her, “I’ll always be there,” which is why I selected this music.

Most cat owners will tell you that many cats feel and express love, however, some research suggests we are projecting our own emotions on our cats.  Other research has found strong evidence that cats are sensitive to human emotional gestures.

Midas, my Main Coon, will meow, “Stop please!” when I laugh out loud, or clap my hands.  If I keep it up, that meow turns to an ears down, demanding yowl!  If I sigh, or cry softly, he will come and jump on me, and look at me with concerned eyes.  

I recently had a bout of vertigo.  I am sure my behavior looked strange to Midas as I stumbled around, losing my balance, as I felt the room spinning and settled on sitting in my chair for hours with my eyes closed.

Midas stayed close to me for the entire day, preferring to be on my lap, and periodically requesting I open my eyes by gently batting my face and hands as if to say, “I’m here. You’ll be alright.”

Kitties can make you feel better even if you’re having a bad day because they love you unconditionally.

Do you have a “Kitty Cuddles” story?  I’d love to hear it!

Interested in Diamond Art Club’s “Kitty Cuddles?” Click here for more information.

Kitty Cuddles by Christine Karro

IG: Silverchevelure

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Leisurely Productivity In Action!

2 minute read

Audiobooks are a great compliment to diamond painting, and visa-versa. I am feeling particularly productive today because I added shopping by Instacart.

I am retired, so my use of the word productive may be different than those who work.
Websters Dictionary Definition of productive:

1: having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance productive
2: effective in bringing about
3a: yielding results, benefits, or profits b: yielding or devoted to the satisfaction of wants or the creation of utilities

Based on these definitions, I think my use of the word productive would fit all three of these definitions, so the difference probably lies in how others perceive my productive.

If you are retired, you’ve probably been asked more than once, “so what do you do all day?” When I say, “ work on my diamond art, read and listen to audiobooks, walk…. just to name a few….” I get looks that say, “That’s all?” “That sounds boring…” or “You have the nerve to sit around enjoying your hobbies and and retirement benefits without contributing any real work to society!”

Yes, I do! Just because people are retired doesn’t mean we can’t be productive. As a matter of fact, I think feeling productive helps older retired individuals stay positive; feeling good about ourselves. Ohh, and one more thing! I worked for over 40 years, and earned the right to enjoy the leisurely benefits of retirement!

So with that, enjoy my video clip of productivity in action! 😉

Diamond Art: “”Nefertiti” by Maddie Manzano/Diamond Art Club
Audiobook: Song of Wraiths And Ruin by Roseanne Brown
Drill Pen

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My Diamond Painting Called “Saxophone” Sizzles! Pops!

46 seconds completing “SAXOPHONE!”

The saxophone is my favorite instrument. Whether I am listening to jazz, blues, neo-soul, or r&b, if there is a 🎷, it will catch my ear.
So I had to create my own masterpiece by Olha Darchuk/Diamond Art Club

Diamond Art Club’s Description:

Mix the impassioned melody of cool blues and sultry purples with the colors of intense, brassy yellows. And in the center of all this red hot jazz lies the seductive sounds of a soulful saxophone. Feel its palpable energy and revel in its sassy, sparkling spirit.

Seductive…. sultry.. brassy and sassy indeed! Check out my last 46 seconds of completing “Saxophone” and of course, I had to add some 🎶 🎷!

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There is a story to be told with “Willa!”

I have joined the “Diamond Art/Diamond Painting craze with my first canvas by Myka Jelina/Diamond Art Club called “Willa.” I have been doing needlpoint and cross-stitch for years, and was intrigued that this was considered a combination of cross-stitch and paint-by-numbers. Who would think there could be so much joy in applying colorful resin rhinestones (“diamonds”) to a pigmented canvas! The results are dazzling, and like needlepoint and cross-stitch, I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Description from Diamond Art Club:

Stretch your mind and set your inner soul free by breathing in the swirling, relaxing incense of inspiration.  Meditate on your worldly observations and record all your thoughts in a place secrets are keep internal. 
~ ~
By the time I was about one-third through the piece, I was ready to adopt Willa as my own daughter, decided to change her skin color to match my own, and savored every inch completed. The striking blue hat! The gorgeous inkwell! Ohh, and that animal print!

I have been reading a number of fantasy books lately (check out my goodreads 2021 Reading Challenge,) so I was eagerly ready to imagine “Willa” as a young adult fairy (do you see her wings?) drawing pictures of herbs she uses to creat potions and spells, and what good would she use them for.

There is a story to be told, and I might try my hand at writing a novella on the adventures of Willa!

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My Book Rating System

I rate book with DNF – ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars based on each of the following:

1. Readability
– Well written?
– Strong chapter beginnings and endings
– Well developed characters
– Page turner?

2. Engagement
– Was I fully engaged? Did I lose myself in the read?
– Was it hard to put down?

3. Emotional Investment
– Was I emotionally invested in the characters? 🥺😱😳😡😳😝🤗

4. Originality 💡
– Was there something new, unique and exciting about it?

5. Insightful/Enlightening?


Note: Books that I do not finish: I had a lot of issues with the book, characters and plot. I disliked it so much that I didn’t even want to rate it 1 star.

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Book Review: Pale by Edward Farmer

Edward Farmer’s engrossing debut, Pale, begins in 1966 in the burning heat of Mississippi, when Bernice, whose husband left with all their savings and didn’t return, accepts her brothers invitation to join him in working on a cotton plantation.

She is slowly immersed into a household full of secrets, deception, revenge, and downright cruelty, which revolves around two young brothers who come to work on the plantation. One becomes a pawn to enact revenge, and the other is mistreated, lied to, and trapped by the choices of others. 

As the story slowly unfolds, we see that for some, there is a perceived thin line between servant and slave, and how revengeful choices can define and change lives through generations.

People who like novels set in the south, will love the author’s rich descriptions of rural Mississippi, including the cotton fields, jacaranda, cicadas, and pestering summer heat. What a great debut!

Thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC!

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Book Review: The Missing American

Kwei Quartey’s newest novel, The Missing American, opens with a sniper assassination of a Ghanaian presidential candidate, and then we are introduced to Emma Djan, whose dreams of a promising career in the Ghana Police Service are dashed when she tearfully refuses an offer of a position in Homicide in return for sex.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police who relieves her of her duties, suspects “something happened,” and refers her to the owner of a detective agency where she is immediately hired.

Her first case is that of a missing American named Gordon Tilson, a lonely widower who has fallen in love with a Ghanaian beauty named Helen, whom he meets on the internet. Excitedly, he decides to go to Accra to see what destiny holds for the two of them. To his dismay, he soon finds out there is no Helen, and he has been scammed out of thousands of dollars. Then Gordon goes missing. 

Now Emma needs to solve this case for the client, Derek Tilson, and prove to her new boss that he made a good decision in hiring her as a private detective.  However, there are those who will not only thwart her efforts, but kill to keep their secrets.

The novel takes the reader deep into internet scams, fetish priests and corruption, while also offering a look into Ghana’s food, people and culture. This is not a fast-paced crime novel, but is deliberate, and the pieces all tie together at the end. 

I liked Emma and was glad to see that even with a new job where it was extremely important that she prove herself, she still made regular time to volunteer for a very special cause.

Crime fiction readers will enjoy the novel and be treated to the cultural rhythms of Ghana. I look forward to The Second Emma Djan Investigation.

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January ‘21 Reads and Ratings

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune The Patriarch by Brandon Massey
Awakening by Nora Roberts Dispossession by Tayari Jones

The Patriarch was suspenseful with a wallop of supernatural! Finished the 3rd book in The Broken Earth Trilogy, and thought I would take a month break from fantasy/speculative fiction, then Awakening was ready to borrow on Libby, so I changed my reading order. How many times does that happen to you? Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson was a DNF, but not because it wasn’t well written. I was reading it in early January, and at 25% I got depressed, and put it down. I think it, combined with what was going on in the news was just too much for me. Instead, I started The House On The Cerulean Sea, and it was a refreshing getaway! I do plan on finishing Yellow Wife, but whoosh, it is an emotional read!

The Patriarch was suspenseful with a wallop of supernatural! I finished the 3rd book in The Broken Earth Trilogy, and thought I would take a month break from fantasy/speculative fiction, then Awakening was ready to borrow on Libby, so I changed my reading order.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson was a DNF, but not because it wasn’t well written. I was reading it in early January, and at 25%, I got depressed, and put it down. I think it, combined with what was going on in the news was just too much for me. Instead I started The House On The Cerulean Sea. It was a refreshing getaway, and my favorite read for January! I do plan on finishing Yellow Wife, but whoosh, it is an emotional read!

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