scrapbook books

Scrapbook Novel: Maybe Kinda’ Sorta’? Well, It’s Free for Kindle Right Now

I saw on Amazon that this Kindle book is free right now: An Avalon Christmas: A Holiday Novel

It caught my eye because I’ve read other books by Darien Gee before, including “Friendship Bread” and “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society”. In fact, I blogged about them HERE and HERE.

But here’s the thing: While “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society” was about – OBVEE! – scrapbooking, the novel “Friendship Bread” which pre-dated and set up the characaters for it, wasn’t. Now there’s another “Avalon” book and I don’t know, therefore, whether it’ll be scrapbook-related or not. I skimmed the Amazon page description, reviews, etc. and still cannot tell.

Either way, for free and because I enjoy this author, I’m giving it a try. We’re expecting a big storm this weekend. Sounds like the perfect time to curl up with some vanilla coffee and a sweet new book. If you’d like to do the same, you can get the book HERE. And, remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book!

ETA 12-15-14: I wrote to ask the author, Darien, if there was any scrapbooking included in her new book. Here is her reply: “An Avalon Christmas doesn’t have scrapbooking in it but there are a few familiar characters you’ll probably recognize! Happy holidays to you and your readers!” I’ve started reading Avalon Christmas anyway and it seems to be a book of short stories. I don’t know if all the stories will tie together at the end or remain separate but they’re nice stories either way. I like to read happy, encouraging stuff this time of year and that’s how this book has been so I recommend it :)

Scrapbook Novel: Winner of New Scrapbooking Mystery! And a Scrappy Prize, Too :)

In THIS post, you were offered 2 chances for a prize and now it’s time to see if you won!

The winner of THIS . . .

. . . is Teri!!!!

Teri Pannesi
NOV 21, 2014 @ 11:14:46
I have this book on my wishlist on amazon!!! I love her books!
It’s funny that scrapbooking is our obsession and thankfully since I can’t scrapbook in bed (yes, I’ve tried) I can instead read about scrapbooking!!!

Yes, I put 20 numbers into Random.org and he (or she?) picked number 1.

Congratulations Teri! I hope you enjoy the book.

Thank you to author Laura Childs for providing a free copy of her book for this giveaway. If you’d like to buy the book, you can find it HERE.

As for the scrappy prize – first of all, thank you SO much for all the kind and helpful and constructive comments about Scrapbook Obsession Blog. I really, truly appreciate your input and will take all of your suggestions to heart. I want this to be a place YOU feel at home, and where YOU want to read and comment and hang out. So THANK YOU.

The winner of the scrappy prize is . . . Nadine!!

Nadine Palmer
NOV 23, 2014 @ 21:24:40
I have never read a scrapbooking novel, but I love mysteries, so Laura’s book would address my three addictions – reading, preserving memories while being creative, and enjoying a whodunit!

And now on to your other questions . . .
1. I love the redesign of the blog. As other readers have shared, the type size is superb. I don’t mind the white at all. It reminds me of a just painted white picket fence! Pops of color would be nice at times, but the white color to me is very clean and calming.
2. I just started reading your blog in January of 2014, and off the top of my head, I don’t know where I discovered you! I love all you do, but I especially appreciate your posts about HSN scrapbooking shows. I used to get reminders from HSN but they haven’t been coming through lately. I usually buy a few items but mostly enjoy listening and watching all things scrappy. I tell my husband and daughters it is my time to relax and have fun!
3. As another reader said, it would be neat to see some tutorials or project sheets on the blog. However, there is a ton of that type of scrapbooking stuff on the web and what you bring to the table is your unique sense of humor and information on so many other aspects of the industry. I would be interested in your recommendations on where we can find cool projects, etc. I am a “mini album junkie” and any new takes on them would be fun to read as well.

Thanks for asking for our opinions and ideas!

It was so hard to choose from all the great comments – thank you ALL again.

Teri and Nadine, please send me your mailing address and I’ll get your prizes out soon! Also, Nadine if you could please send me a little idea of your scrapbooking tastes so I can send you a prize you’ll like (e.g., family, boys, travel, blues and greens, Christmas, Project Life, etc.) Thanks! scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

Happy Friday and here’s to a scrappy weekend!

Scrapbook Novel: Who Wants to Win a Copy?!?

I’ve been lucky enough to again receive a copy of a new scrapbooking novel to give away! I know how much you love these :)

This time, it’s Gossamer Ghost (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by LAURA CHILDS.

{You can see other posts I’ve done about her books HERE, including a post where YOU got to ask questions of Laura and she answered them for you!}.

The prize is in hardcover because the book just came out in October 2014. All you do to enter is click on Comments under the title to this post and leave a Comment :)

The comment can be about anything but if you’re speechless today, here are some ideas:

– What do you love about scrapbooking novels?
– How many scrapbooking novels have you read? Have a favorite?
– How do you like the way my blog re-design is going (be honest!). Is the “all white” too hard on the eyes? Other suggestions or comments?
– How long have you been a Scrapbook Obsession reader?
– What types of things would you like to read about here that I don’t cover (or cover enough?)

Because I’m so curious about those last 3 questions, I’ll send out a lil’ scrappy prize to someone who thoughtfully answers one (or more) of those – and you’re still eligible for the book, too.

DEADLINE: Sunday, November 30, 2014 at midnight PST
*Open to mailing addresses in the US only

Winners will be announced the following week. Please make sure when leaving a comment that it includes a way to reach you if you win – a link to your blog, your e-mail, etc. Book winner will be selected by random draw. I will hand-pick the scrappy prize winner.

PS: If you’re too anxious to wait for the giveaway (or would prefer a Kindle version instead of a hard copy), the book is available NOW for sale RIGHT HERE. If you’d like to check out other Scrapbooking Mysteries by Laura Childs, you can find them all HERE.

Please tell your scrapbooking and mystery loving friends about the contest! You can use the Share buttons below to easily post to your social media :)

Thanks for entering and sharing!

Scrapbook Obsession Weekly Roundup 09-21-14

This week, I finally reached 100 Followers on Bloglovin’ – whoo hoo! I’ve been at 99 FOR-EH-VURRRR. Ha ha, it just makes me smile :) So *THANK YOU* 100th Bloglovin’ Follower, whoever you are!

There’s a scrappy novel on sale for Kindle HERE. It’s part of a series; you can see all the books HERE.

The Project Life app I talked about HERE is now available! It’s getting rave reviews on the scrapbook message boards. You can get it HERE. Really helpful FAQs from Becky are HERE. It’s only $2.99 and includes some of the Project Life card designs; you can buy others for a reasonable cost. I can’t wait to play with it! How about you?

Here are the Fall 2014 Pantone colors as shared by October Afternoon:

I kinda’ like them. I can see some really pretty color combos in there – like Aluminum + Royal Blue + Misted Yellow. What do you think of this season’s Pantone colors?

Have a great week!

Free Scrapbooking Kindle Book! {Pssst! You Don’t Need a Kindle to Read It . . . }

Heya! I just got this e-mail from Lain Ehman who does True Scrap (and makes 6-figures in the scrapbooking industry on her own, by the way . . . so she’s an idol of mine).

Anyhoo, I wanted to share it ‘cuz I know you love reading about scrappy things as much as I do. She and the instructors from True Scrap 6 have a fun little KINDLE BOOK available! {What’s True Scrap 6? Read my blog entry here}.

Something cool to tell you about! The True Scrap 6 instructors and
I have just released an e-book on Amazon that shares some of our
best tips for motivation and inspiration in your scrapbooking. It’s
called “Profiles in Scrapbooking,” and it’s available as a Kindle
download for F-R-E-E for a limited time!

Regularly $2.99, this short volume includes profiles from each of
the True Scrap 6 instructors, where we talk about our tips for
breaking through those stagnant times, new discoveries about our
own crafting, and more!

Pretty darn cool, huh?

Just click on the book title to download it for FREE! “Profiles in Scrapbooking: Inspiration, Wisdom, and Advice for Your Memory-Keeping Journey”

If you don’t have a Kindle or other e-reader, don’t despair. You don’t actually need one to download and read Kindle books. I *know*, right?!? You just need a computer, smartphone, or tablet and use the Kindle app. You can download that and find all the info RIGHT HERE on Amazon.

Just a note: At the end of the book, there’s a coupon code to save $20 off True Scrap 6 which is held in mid-October. But if you click the link above to my blog entry about TS6, there’s a coupon code there for the same amount (if you don’t want to read my scintillating post, here ya’ go: use HERO by 10-10-14 to save $20).

I just downloaded my copy. Guess I know what I’m doing at lunchtime today! Happy Scrappy Reading :)

Scrapbook Obsession Weekly Roundup 09-07-14

- So love to see our scrappy girl ELSIE making waves in the big world!

– Time for Lain’s free September scrapinar. Just click here for more details and sign up, if you like. If you can’t make the scrapinar time, you’ll get a free replay to watch at your leisure – but you have to register beforehand.

– Have you seen these YEARBOOK PRINTABLES by Project Life? What a fun and easy yearbook you could make for thuh kiddo!

– I just ordered THIS scrappy goodness from ScrapbookSteals.com . . . so cute and fun!

– Have you heard what new thing the owners of BASIC GREY are up to? It’s so super cool you have to CHECK IT OUT!

Enjoy your week!
xoxo

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Mother Was a Scrapbooker. Heh.



*Picture from Smithsonian Magazine

Yeah, that was my main takeaway from THIS article from the SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.

JUST kidding. Sheesh.

My actual takeaway was that scrapbooking continues to serve the same purpose for many that it did hundreds of years ago. From the article:

It let them take this ephemeral media, find the best parts, and give them permanence—and gravitas—by pasting them into a book.

This especially reminds me of today’s fascination with “Project Life”-type scrapbooking – where we’ve gone back to taking receipts, clothing tags, one-off photos, etc. and making them “special” by putting them in albums.


*Layout by SCRAPPYJEDI.com

The Smithsonian article does a great job of contrasting paper scrapbooking of the past and present with the way many now choose to document their lives – via social media (heathens!). It was an enjoyable read about the history of our hobby. Please check it out, then come on back and let me know your thoughts.

That reminds me . . . I saw that MEGAN HOEPPNER is offering a CreativeLive class this week called “FROM APP TO ARCHIVE: SOCIAL MEDIA SCRAPBOOKING” kind of combining these 2 ideas.

Small world, huh? Or something like that. Anyway, just thought you might want to check out the class. I’m signed up to watch it live for free. If you love it, you can purchase the class and have lifetime replays plus the extra resources.

And CreativeLive has a sale going on through July 25 (Megan’s class is $49 vs $79) so you can watch the free preview and if you love it, buy it on sale. It’s a great time to check out all their other classes, especially the ones in the “CRAFT & MAKER” category, including Becky Higgins’ amazing CL class on Project Life. I’ve been a CreativeLive junkie since first seeing Becky on there and this is the first time I’ve seen them run a sale – so jump ON it, chickie!

Happy Learning, Lovie ….

Scrapbook Novel: “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society” $1.99 for Kindle



I noticed that “The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society” by Darien Gee is only $1.99 for Kindle on Amazon right now. I don’t know how long that price will last so snap it up if you’re interested!

In THIS post, I talked about why you should read “Friendship Bread” by the same author first if you can.

Happy Scrappy Reading!

Scrapbooking Idea Book: “Simple Patterns for Papercrafts and Scrapbooking”



HERE is a new special issue from Papercrafts Scrapbooking I thought you might be interested in:

What caught my interest – and you’ll only remember this if you’re a long-time scrapbooker – is that I wondered if it was anything like my favorite scrapbooking idea book of all time: “EASY PATTERNS FOR SCRAPBOOKING”.

Yes, the date on that blog entry is April 2007!

I’ve used that book SO many times over the years, it’s the only one I’ve actually worn out. The idea goes along with my favorite online scrapbook class ever, “THE PERFECT COLLECTION” by Shimelle Laine. The basic idea of both is starting with a fixed set or collection of papers and cardstock, then cutting them according to patterns before assembling your pages.

I have such a hard time these days paying $15 for idea books that are essentially the thickness of what $6 scrapbooking magazines used to be. I mean, I get it. They don’t have as many ads, the industry is not great right now and they have make money, etc. But it’s still hard, LOL! Especially not knowing what exactly it entails. Here’s the description:

Save time, money, and effort using these fun formulas with an economical array of supplies. Starting with supply lists, cutting diagrams and sketches, you’ll see how to create layouts, cards, tags and even a gift bag with just a few sheets of cardstock, some embellishments, and a fiber or two. You’ll find tips to “step up” the patterns by adding a tool, stamp set, or technique, plus examples that show the versatility of each one no matter what theme, age or gender interests you. Jump into this clever and practical way to use patterns in your paper crafting today!

I also wish it was JUST scrapbooking and not papercrafts, cards, etc. {Hey, did fibers come back and I didn’t get the memo?!?! Shooks, I gave all of mine away}.

I figured, well, I’ll just get the DIGITAL ISSUE. Well, uh, NO! It’s the same price – $15. Sheesh. I don’t pay hardcover price for a Kindle book and I’m not paying hard copy magazine price for a digital version either. Oh well.

If anyone gets this idea book:

1. Come give us a review or link to one on your blog, please!
2. Can I buy it from ya’ when you’re done? Heh heh.

Scrapbook Novels: ALL the Books I Read in 2013

Please forgive me for being NSBR here (non-scrapbook related) as I try to remember all the books I read this year and put them in 1 place. I was keeping track in Project Life but, errrr . . . let’s just say that fell through. I’ve got some saved to my Pinterest books board but didn’t start that until late in the year. I have some on my Kindle account and some that I posted on the Two Peas weekly reading thread. But I’m scattered, baby!

{Yeah, I know there’s Goodreads but I hardly ever get over there and find the site to be a bit of a rabbit hole}.

I’ll put a brief review, a link to the book in case you’re interested, and will come back and add books as I remember them :) I’ll put the scrapbook novels first so, if you don’t care about regular novels, you can at least see the good stuff before you leave me :) And if you hang out ’til the end of this very long entry, there’s a special book I want to tell you about.

Gilt Trip (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs
It’s a scrapbooking novel so of course I’ve already talked about it! Check it out HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Cropped to Death (Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) and Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn
Yep, wrote about these already, too! You can find the entries HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Scrappy Cupcake Angels by Kristah Price
You guessed it! Wrote about it HERE :)

Friendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee
This is kinda’ scrapbook-related in that it’s the prequel to The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. I read “Avalon” first, not knowing that it was the same characters from “Friendship Bread” but with a lot more of a scrapbooking spin. So if you’re going to read “Avalon”, read “Friendship Bread” first. The characters are great and it’s a sweet story.

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel
Do you have those “comfort” books and movies that, no matter how down or tired you feel, they can make you feel better so you read/watch them over and over again? That’s “Italian for Beginners” and “Roman Holiday” for me. Which are intertwined, interestingly <3

The Boy Next Door aka “The Guy Next Door” by Meggin Cabot (who became Meg Cabot, of The Princess Diaries fame)
This is from 2009. I think I’ve read it 3 times now. I’m a sucker for a book written in e-mails and texts (see Coco Pinchard and Holly’s Inbox below, hee hee).

Holly’s Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham
Another re-read. Holly is fun. That’s it, plain and simple.

Ciao, Bella: A Novel About Searching for Beauty and Finding Love by Ryan Phillips
I started reading because of the Italian title but turns out . . . it had NOTHING to do with Italy, LOL. Sweet, slightly religious story of a woman trying to find her purpose in life along with the right person to share it with.

The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard: A Funny, Feel-Good Romantic Comedy by Robert Bryndza
Kooky, silly, British rom-com. Not believable but that’s okay.

Apart from the Crowd by Anna McPartlin
A nice story set in Ireland of two people struggling through life while falling in love, as friends first. You root for them the whole way.

Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
I loved her novel The Dive From Clausen’s Pier but the main character in Songs was SO whiny, it was hard to get through. I kept waiting for some revelation or A-ha! moment where she finally bucks up, but it never really came. Disappointing.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Another re-read for me. If you’ve lost a loved one, I think it resonates more . . . makes you think about what’s on the other side and what your beliefs are about Heaven.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I re-read this lovely book in preparation for the sequel coming out this year, Fly Away . . . and then I never read “Fly Away.” Dork.

{Not able to grab a cover image; leave it to Zuckerberg to be the difficult one!}
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
I was late to the game on this one. I realize it was only one side of the story but if even 1/4 of it’s true, he’s not a very nice person :(

Carry the Oneby Carol Anshaw
One of those “one moment can change everything” books. Some very flawed but lovable characters.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Loved this book! A story that spanned time and location and kept me reading to figure out how all the stories fit together.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spetzi
True story of a serial killer in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I love everything Italy but their justice system is cray-cray. Great read and it stuck with me for a long time.

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox
Speaking of the cray-cray Italian justice system, I’ve felt from very early on that this poor girl was being railroaded. This is the first time she’s been heard from directly and she explained a lot of the false accusations and assumptions about her. She’s a bit of an “odd duck” but not a killer, no way.

Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer
Beachy + fluffy + sisters = nice escapism.

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I started this book on a car trip and let’s just say, when we arrived and I had to stop reading, I was bummed :( I finished it in 2 days. I met and married my husband within months so I could really relate to how deeply they loved in such a short time. And the relationship that developed with her mother-in-law was lovely <3

The Sea Glass Sisters: Prelude to The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
As a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, I could relate to the main character and her guilt over a call gone wrong. Even when it’s not your fault, you feel tremendous guilt. I’m also a beach lover so I enjoyed hearing about the storm, beach life, etc.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’m glad I read this before too much of the hype was out there. Everyone talked about being disappointed in the ending but I don’t now how ELSE is could’ve ended. Looking forward to the movie version, due out in 2014!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I remember telling my librarian that this book was frustrating me because there were all these disparate stories that seemingly had nothing to do with each other. But rest assured, they’re all tied nicely with a bow by the end. And while I thought there was a point I “had it all figured out,” I was wrong. Which is cool. I *want* to be surprised by books.

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Not my usual kind of book but so glad I read it. It made me want to live on a lighthouse island, for one thing, LOL! Very well written and gives you a lot to think about – the meaning of and what constitutes “family” and also how dangerous secrets are.

The Marriage Pact by MJ Pullen
Cute and fluffy read about guy/girl friends who pledge to marry each other if they’re not married to others by the time they turn 30. The main character has a long affair with a married man which I hate reading about but she does come to see all the reasons it was so very wrong.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Very touching, sad, and hopeful at the same time. I fell in love with the 2 main characters, flaws and all. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison
WOW. Very interesting book. I’m just glad I don’t know people like this in real life! They both drove me crazy in different ways.

The final book is a special one and I’ve read it twice since November:

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Yes, it’s a book about prayer and spirituality. But I think unless you’re really offended by those topics, you would enjoy it. Anne is SUCH a gifted writer. She puts big concepts like prayer, gratitude, amazement, and pleading for help into such real, everyday, meaningful terms that you can relate exactly to what she means. I came away – both times I read it – laughing, appreciating life more, feeling sadness for people’s suffering but peace at the same time. I think it’s an especially good read for SCRAPBOOKERS because we’re already the types who want to savor our “moments” and realize how quickly time passes, how blessed we are even in our struggles, and are looking for meaning in how we live our lives.

So PLEASE read this book! It’s quick but powerful. I think you’ll love it like I did.

Okay! So that’s what I read in 2013. Phew! With all the research, copy/pasting, and writing, this post took me several hours to write, LOL. I know there are more books and will add them as I remember. I also read maybe 15 non-fiction books that I won’t bore you with – about dieting, health, blogging, working at home, that kind of thing.

I didn’t realize how MUCH I had read until I now see the books all in one place {28 and counting}. Pretty cool :)

Did you tally your books for the year somewhere? We’d love to see your list! Or did you have any favorites or books you hated? Whether scrapbook-related books or not, we’d enjoy hearing about YOUR reading in comments. Feel free to leave a link to your blog post, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc. if you like.

Scrapbooking Novel: Interview with Laura Childs, author of “Gilt Trip”

As I posted HERE, Laura Childs has a new book out called Gilt Trip (A Scrapbooking Mystery).

I had a contest to win a free copy of the new book. To enter, I asked you to post a question you’d have for the author and, boy, did you guys come through! So many great questions. {The book winner was posted HERE}. I submitted them all to Ms. Childs but honestly expected her to choose just a portion of them to answer. Well, she’s one generous lady because she answered them all!

And here you go: An interview *BY YOU* of Ms. Laura Childs, author of many scrapbooking and other novels:

Q: Do you try all the different projects that your main character does, or does someone tell you about them?

A: I try most of the projects, particularly ones that are a little complicated, just to make sure they’re doable. On some of the simpler projects that get repeated and repurposed – such as memory boxes, pillow boxes, cards, etc. – I already know they’re easy to do so there’s not much experimentation on my part.

Q: Had no idea there were scrapbooking novels out there. I’d love to know how you thought about starting a series of books involving scrapbookers.

A: After my first Tea Shop Mysteries were successful, I decided I wanted to write a crafting series, too. This was about ten years ago and scrapbooking was suddenly the hottest thing going. I talked to scrappers, worked on a few pages myself, and did lots of research. Boom – I discovered that I loved the craft and saw that there was a huge number of scrappers who might enjoy the books. The rest is history.

Q: I love your scrapbook series as I’ve read a few so far. I would like to know what you like to scrap about?

A: I mostly scrap about travel and dogs. I’m lucky that my husband is a professor of Chinese and Japanese art history, so we travel to Asia quite frequently. And the dogs (Chinese Shar-Pei) are an endless source of cuteness!

Q: Since you are a writer, is there a lot of journaling in your scrapbooks – or do you just let the photos tell the story?

A: I’m right in the middle. I’m a big believer in fun captions. Yes, a photo tells a story, but you can always use a kicker to punch things up!

Q: Have you ever lived in New Orleans? And how do you determine what scrapbook project the ladies will work on in the book?

A: I’ve never lived in New Orleans, but I’ve visited many times and have friends who’ve taken my husband and I to the float dens, parades, and Rex Ball. As far as determining what project my ladies will work on, sometimes that depends on timing (if it’s Mardi Gras it must be masks!). Usually I try to include projects that I think are new and exciting or very eye-catching.

Q: How did you get started writing mysteries around scrapbooking? And what’s your favorite type of scrapbooking – digital, hybrid, all-paper? Do you go to crops?

A: Like I mentioned earlier, scrapbooking just caught my eye when the whole phenomena started to explode. And I am clearly an all-paper scrapper. I love collages and mixed media in particular. I don’t go to many crops anymore – between writing three different series there’s just not much time.

Q: Do you have to research details of crimes or is it something that comes naturally for you?

A: You know, a lot of my crimes are really based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories. And I think the most interesting crimes are the ones that are slightly upscale and timely – like art thefts, jewel heists, real estate scams, stock market ponzi schemes. Well, you get the idea!

Q: I have only read two of your books, but love them. Something comfortable about reading about our favorite hobby. I would love to know if you have time to scrap and if there is a certain type of page you enjoy creating.

A: I don’t have a lot of time to scrap anymore between the three different mystery series. But when I do scrap, I like to do very artsy, almost contemporary looking pages. Either lots of white space with unusual typography or photos that have been in some way enhanced or embellished (think wild streaks of paint or aging with tea).

Q: I love the books series and am awaiting the 11th book! Will Carmela’s BFA Ava Gruiex ever find a steady beau?

A: I really don’t know. I try to keep all my plots a little loosey-goosey when I write, so the story can sort of unfold in a fun, exciting way. Sometimes I’m typing along and a character will just pop in without prior notice, or the story will take a wild twist. That the fun of writing! So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Ava.

Q: I love Laura Childs and have been reading her books since the first one came out. She always writes about new and interesting techniques. I would love to know what her “can’t do without” scrapbooking item is?

A: Hmm, that would have to be my set of acrylic paints. There’s nothing like painting your own page background or doctoring up a photo to make a scrapbook page memorable.

Q: I’d love to know if Laura gets time to scrapbook since this book series took off.

A: Not too much time, unfortunately. But lately I’ve been stealing time away from my writing to work on altered books. So much fun!

Q: Gilt Trip sounds like a great read! I would like to know if Laura considers cooking another creative outlet?

A: Absolutely, I do! In fact my two other series, the Tea Shop Mysteries and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, are culinary mysteries with plenty of recipes!

Q: I would like to know how Laura finds the time to scrap, research, and write such wonderful stories? What is her secret to finding this balance in her life?

A: Oh my, the fact of the matter is I haven’t found balance in my life. I’m always under the gun, always trying to write another few pages or edit a manuscript or rush off to a book signing. I write 6 days a week and wake up at night with ideas that I’m compelled to write down. I wish I could figure out a better balance, but then I’d have to give up one of my three series. And they’re dear to me, like children – awful to let one go!

Oh Em Gee, wasn’t that a fun read!?!?! I just love her. What a neat lady. I’m so happy she continues to write about scrapbooking for all of us to enjoy. It makes me feel like we scrapbookers are important and not forgotten, kwim?

I have to admit, I haven’t read “GILT TRIP” yet {and I feel so “gilt-y”, bwahahaha} because I’ve been busy reading business e-books and websites {I’m starting a new venture as a Virtual Assistant / Blog Helper!}. But reading this interview has made me grab my copy of the novel and commence to reading! I’ll give my review when I’m done :)

Would love to hear what you think of “Gilt Trip” as well – please leave your review in Comments below!

Scrapbook Novel: “A Sweethaven Christmas” by Courtney Walsh Only 99 Cents for Kindle Right Now!

I read on Courtney Walsh’s blog today that her third novel, “A Sweethaven Christmas” is only 99 cents for Kindle! Woot! I love when scrapbook novels go on sale :) You can get it HERE

She doesn’t say when it expires so I wouldn’t hesitate – just DO it!

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

The women of Sweethaven are reunited for a small-town Christmas!

It’s holiday time in Sweethaven, but things don’t go quite as planned for these scrapbookers. Lila is thrown for a loop when a woman claiming to be her sister arrives in town. As she begins digging into the woman’s claims, Lila uncovers things about her family she may never be able to accept or forgive.

And after the girls find an old scrapbook on Adele’s bookshelf, she is reminded of her first love, a Sweethaven boy whose heart she broke so many years ago. With help from modern technology, Adele arranges a reunion with this man. And when Campbell sees Luke with a ring, she isn’t sure whether to be happy or terrified. Are wedding bells in her future? For Jane and Meghan, Sweethaven is filled with the promise of something new—as well as good friends, a new scrapbook and a little holiday magic!

In case you want to read Courtney’s 2 other scrapbook novels, here they are:

Book 1 (02-16-12): “A Sweethaven Summer”

A faded scrapbook reveals secrets that reconnect old friends in a place called Sweethaven. Campbell Carter has come to Sweethaven in search of answers about her mother’s history. Just before losing a battle with cancer, Suzanne Carter sent letters to childhood friends from her hometown of Sweethaven, Michigan. Suzanne’s three friends — Lila, Jane, and Meghan — haven’t spoken in years, yet each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together as girls. Suzanne’s letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets from the past, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored — just as Suzanne intended. A Sweethaven Summer is the first book in the Sweethaven series, followed by A Sweethaven Homecoming and A Sweethaven Christmas.

Book 2 (07-30-12): “A Sweethaven Homecoming”

An autumn surprise brings an old friend back to Sweethaven… The Sweethaven Circle is back—and so is the friend they thought they’d never see again! Country music star Meghan Rhodes has moved on with her life, leaving Sweethaven and its painful memories in the past. But when she is confronted on national television with her ex-husband’s plan to file for sole custody of their twins, Meghan takes the first flight home, back to the charming lakeside town full of regrets and relationships that need mending. As Meghan searches for forgiveness—as well as the ability to forgive—she is overcome with the need to make things right with her children, her ex-husband, her mother and even the friends she’d convinced herself she no longer needed. But is she too late? The Sweethaven Circle is together again as Meghan works with Campbell, Jane, Lila, and Adele to begin a new scrapbook for memories yet to be made. A new chapter in the Sweethaven series, A Sweethaven Homecoming explores the strong bonds of friendship, the power of forgiveness and the importance of unconditional love.

Now, I don’t want to hear any excuses like, “But but but but … I don’t HAAAAVE a Kindle! Boo hoo, poor me.” Because you don’t even need a Kindle to read it, see? You can download the Kindle app for free to your iPhone, Droid, iPad, computer, etc. Or you can get it for Nook. Or if you hate those e-reader thingees, you can get the paperback copies for a reasonable price :)

So most of us have a nice long Thanksgiving weekend coming up here. How about snuggling up with these 3 wonderful scrapbooking novels, a cozy blanket, and a nice cup of tea or Joe? Sounds super good to me! Goodness knows we’re going to be too tired from all the cooking, cleaning, and tryptophan to do much else. Lawdee.

I’ve read “Sweethaven Summer” and, because I need to read things in order, looks like I’ll have to get “Sweethaven Homecoming” {$7.69 for Kindle right now, not bad}, and then I can get to “Sweethaven Christmas” which I just picked up. I mean, 99 cents . . . what, am I crazy?

Have you read any of the Sweethaven novels? Reviews welcomed! Which ones are you going to pick up now?

WINNER! Signed Brand New Scrapbook Mystery Novel “Gilt Trip” by Laura Childs

Last week, I held a CONTEST to win a signed copy of the new book, GILT TRIP (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs

Thank you so much to all who participated by leaving comments on that blog entry and were entered to win. You scrappers came up with such interesting questions to ask Laura, who I’ll be interviewing soon!

I used Random.org to generate a number and now it’s time to announce the winner:

jackie November 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm
love her books! I have her first 3/4 and need to get the ones that came after that..and would love to win this one! thanks for giving us a chance.
jackie from beautiful southwest Virginia

Jackie has been notified and is super excited to receive the book. Jackie, I hope you’ll stop by with a review once you’ve finished reading! I hope to post a review as well.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy of this book, you can find it RIGHT HERE.

YAY! Love scrapbook novels! Love giving them away! Happy Day :)

GIVEAWAY! New Scrapbook Mystery Novel

How would you like to win a copy of a BRAND NEW scrapbooking mystery novel signed by the author?!?!!

Yeah, I know, right? Pretty exciting. Here’s your chance to win this book:

GILT TRIP (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs

Here is some information about the book and the author:

Scrapbook Store Owner Moonlights as Amateur Sleuth in Gilt Trip

Carmela Bertrand, heroine of the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries series, is one busy lady. Her scrapbook store, Memory Mine, is not only a haven for papercrafters but also a destination for New Orleans’ elite looking for custom cards and announcements for their society events. She has a handsome police officer boyfriend, and a social calendar filled with the city’s best social events. And, as if that weren’t enough, in her spare time – Carmela solves crimes!

For her accomplishments, the Romantic Times awarded Carmela Bertrand their Reviewers’ Choice “Best Amateur Sleuth” award for 2012, for the 10th book in the Scrapbooking Mysteries series, Postcards from the Dead.

In the newest installment in the series, Gilt Trip, Carmela attends a fancy ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ party for New Orleans business tycoon Jerry Earl Leland. But in the swirl of champagne, Zydeco music, and bad behavior, poor Jerry Earl is murdered and stuffed inside a clothes dryer. Since Carmela discovered the body, the grieving widow latches onto her and begs for help in solving the crime.

Halfway between a cozy and a thriller, Gilt Trip offers mystery and romance, in a setting peppered with scrapbooking references, and steeped in the sights, sounds, and smells of the French Quarter and its intriguing residents. In case all of the book’s decadent cajun meals make you hungry, there’s recipes for Big Easy Brownies, Cajun Chicken, and Crockpot Meatloaf.

Gilt Trip, the 11th book in the New York Times bestselling Scrapbooking Mysteries series, was released in hardcover by Berkeley Prime Crime Books on October 1st (2013). Postcards from the Dead, the series’ 10th book, was released the same day in paperback.

About the Author: Laura Childs is the author of the New York Times bestselling Tea Shop Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and Scrapbooking Mysteries series. She’s been making scrapbooks, cards, memory boxes and collaged cigar box purses for 15 years and describes her creative style as varying from conservative to funky. She’s also a believer that “the more layers the better” in her projects.

I’ll have the opportunity to interview the author, Laura Childs, which is also very exciting! I want to ask her questions that YOU want to know the answers to so I figured – why not tie the contest and interview together?

HOW TO ENTER BOOK GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below with a question that you would like to ask of “Gilt Trip” author Laura Childs. That’s it, easy as pie. No Twitter, no Rafflecopter helicopter stuff, just a comment. For reals.

DEADLINE: Sunday, November 10, 2013 at midnight PST
*Open to mailing addresses in the US only

Please make sure when leaving a comment that it includes a way to reach you if you win – a link to your blog, your e-mail, etc. Winner will be selected by random draw. Thanks and good luck!

PS: If you’re too anxious to wait for the giveaway (or would prefer a Kindle version instead of a hard copy), the book is available NOW for sale RIGHT HERE. If you’d like to check out the 10 other Scrapbooking Mysteries by Laura Childs, you can find them all HERE. Happy Scrappy Reading!!

Scrapbook Novel: “Scrappy Cupcake Angels” by Kristah Price

After my LATEST POST about loving to read SCRAPBOOK NOVELS, I was very blessed to be contacted by another author asking if I’d like a copy of her book! Of course I said YES. What, am I crazy?

The book is called “SCRAPPY CUPCAKE ANGELS” and it’s written by KRISTAH PRICE.

Nothing can quell Angeline Dunwich’s excitement as she stands before Wattle Lane Keepsakes. As she opens the door to her scrapbooking shop for the first time, Angeline hopes to encourage the residents of her small New Zealand town to explore their creativity and capture memories. Little does she know that Wattle Lane Keepsakes will very soon become the weekly destination for four women drawn to scrapbooking for widely different reasons.

Every Thursday Angeline teaches the Scrappy Cupcake Angels how to find joy through scrapbooking, and each of the four learns to confront her fears and to understand what is important in life. As Grace works on a scrapbook for her mother who has dementia, she wonders if it will help her mother cling to her last memories. Tegan scraps her travel photos with an insatiable wanderlust while contemplating where her heart really belongs. As Jodi creates beautiful layouts of her daughter, she questions whether any of her efforts will help mend her broken family. Kayla finds it easiest to express herself through her art, but secretly speculates whether she will ever gain the confidence to realise her dreams.

As Angeline opens her home and her heart to her new friends, only time will tell if the Scrappy Cupcake Angels can help her overcome her own greatest fear and fulfil a lifelong dream.

Okay, you know I’m always honest with you. The title and cover of this book threw me off. I . . . erm . . . judged a book by its cover and assumed because they are so – what? – cutesy? – that I wouldn’t like this book.

But again: I was wrong. {I know, I know, it happens occasionally!} This week, I started reading it anyway and I’m really enjoying it! It’s not cutesy at all, at least not so far. I’ve met the owner of the store on the opening day of her shop along with the 4 ladies who will become her close friends. And I look forward to getting to know them all better.

This scrapbook novel has no murdered CK Hall of Fame’ers, no big mystery to be solved, just a nice story about friendship and scrapbooking. I love that it’s set in New Zealand which is a country I don’t know much about but have always been intrigued by.

So I just wanted to let you know about this book. It’s only $3.99 for Kindle right now and I don’t know how long that price lasts.

I noticed on Kristah’s site that she said:

I am currently working on a second Wattle Lane Keepsakes novel, which is centred around a new main character, but includes some of the same characters from Scrappy Cupcake Angels.

Yippee! I hope it’s coming out soon. I have a feeling when I finish this book, I’ll want to keep reading more. And when I do finish, I’ll write a complete review and find out from Kristah how Book 2 in this series is coming along :)

I got the Kindle version and you can also get it in hardcover (kinda’ pricey?) and paperback. If you read this book, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Happy scrappy reading!

Scrapbook Novel: “Designed to Death” Now Available … and Part One in the Series on Sale!

I love to read scrapbook novels, don’t you? This summer, I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of a new scrapbook mystery novel; I talked about it HERE.

Well, it’s book release time!! “DESIGNED TO DEATH” by Christina Freeburn is available as of today 09-10-13.

ETA: Originally I couldn’t find “Designed to Death” for Kindle so I asked the author about it and she had great news – it’s available today for Kindle too! Amazon wasn’t linking it to the hard copy for some reason. But never fear, YOU CAN GET IT HERE! For only $2.99.

From Amazon:

SMALL TOWN INTRIGUE, TWISTS & TURNS, AND PLENTY OF HEART…
“Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell or worse, a funeral.

“Designed to Death” is book 2 in the Faith Hunter “Scrap This” mystery series. To make this day even better, book 1 in the series – “CROPPED TO DEATH” is on sale for Kindle right now, only 99 cents! I asked the author how long “Cropped to Death” will sell for 99 cents and she said through 09-16-13. So don’t hesitate . . . go grab it right now before you forget!

Here’s my quick review:
I love reading series. “Designed to Death” picks up picks up right where “Cropped to Death” left off. The setting and many of the characters remain the same. I like that continuity and didn’t feel I had to spend any time getting to know these people because I was already comfortable with them.

There’s another murder and the main character, Faith, seeks to solve it in her usual saucy, sarcastic style {hmm … wonder why I relate to her so much?}. The romance also continues and in this book, Faith makes a choice between her two suitors. {I have to admit I was disappointed in her choice, lol}. The story is again filled with scrapbooking references that the scrapbook obsessed will appreciate and identify with. She takes the term “a new use for washi” to new heights!

One thing that cracked me up about this book is the role that a scrapbook message board plays. I’m a very active member of the TWO PEAS in a BUCKET message board (among others) and I think the author Christina must be there a lot, too! She has scrapbook message board behavior down to a T! If for nothing else, you have to read this book to LOL about scrapbooking MB’s being outed. Tooooo funny! Loved it.

Christina also wanted me to tell you that she’s working on Book 3 in this series – “Embellished to Death” – and it’s scheduled for release at the end of April 2014. Woot!

Make sure to read BOOK 1 and BOOK 2 in the Faith Hunter “Scrap This!” mystery series in the meantime so you’re ready for Book 3 in the spring!

Happy reading :)

Scrapbook Novel: “Cropped to Death” On Sale and “Designed to Death” Coming Soon!

I was recently contacted by author Christina Freeburn. She let me know that she has another scrapbooking mystery novel, to be released in September 2013. The book is called “Designed to Death” and it’s Book 2 in the Faith Hunter Scrap This series. {I blogged about Book 1 HERE}.

She’s such a sweetheart and will be sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of the new book when it becomes available in a few weeks. I’m very excited! {Want to see the cover for the new book? It’s right HERE}.

To prep for the big event, I’m re-reading the first book in the series, “Cropped to Death”.

Here’s a synopsis of “Cropped to Death” from the Amazon website:

Former US Army JAG specialist, Faith Hunter, returns to her West Virginia home to work in her grandmothers’ scrapbooking store determined to lead an unassuming life after her adventure abroad turned disaster. But her quiet life unravels when her friend is charged with murder, and Faith inadvertently supplied the evidence.

So Faith decides to cut through the scrap and piece together what really happened. With a sexy prosecutor, a determined homicide detective, a handful of sticky suspects and a crop contest gone bad, Faith quickly realizes if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next one cropped.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all! Cropped to Death is the first book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions.

Would you like to join me in reading “Cropped to Death” (Book 1) before “Designed to Death” (Book 2) comes out in September? Well, you’re in luck! The Kindle version is on sale from June 21 thru June 30 for ONLY 99 CENTS! Click RIGHT HERE to get your copy instantly.

Remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download this book and read it. Just use the FREE Kindle app on your iPhone, Droid, iPad, or even on your computer. Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

I’m 29% through my re-read of “Cropped to Death” and am enjoying it all over again. The writing is excellent. There’s a murder, some romance (2 men fighting for her attention!), scrapbooking contests, an LSS setting, and more – all written by someone who you can tell actually scrapbooks and stays current with the hobby. Enjoy!

PS: Christina is now working on Book 3 in this series, called “Embellished to Death.” Yippee!

Scrapbook Magazine: New Online Scrap Mag!

As a scrap mag ho, I’ve been in serious withdrawal with the demise of most of the hard-copy scrapbooking magazines.

{Darn economy! Stupid Pinterest! Lame-o digital scrapbooking! LOL}

So I was very happy to discover a new online scrapbook magazine called “LIFE. PAPER. SCRAPBOOK.” It’s from those fab Aussies but features scrapbookers from all over the world.

HERE is their first issue.

HERE is their website.

I know, I know. You can thank me later. {I love Starbucks gift cards, Pashmina scarves, and turkey jerkey, in that order}.

Here is what they’re about, from the LPS website:

Life. Paper. Scrapbook is an Australian quarterly, online publication that is dedicated to showcasing designers from all around the world to inspire each other, explore current trends and techniques and most importantly to celebrate our love of scrapbooking and paper crafts. This is a place to share our style, designs and creations with like minded crafters from around the world.

“Life.Paper.Scrapbook” has it all, including:

New products
Mini albums
Traditional layouts
Info about featured scrappers
Project Life layouts (yeah!)
Just a few ads
and a simple yet lovely layout

What’s not to love? The first issue was 100 pages of pure yumminess. Next issue is scheduled for June 2013, with project submissions due by 05-31-13. Tick tock, get on that, would ya’? I expect to see some of my own peeps in there next time, mmm kay?

So go sit in the bath with your iPad and get all wrinkly while you check out this great new addition to your life.

Cheers!