Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Knit Lit Review & Giveaway: Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber

Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing Debbie Macomber's new book, Hannah's ListHannah's List is the latest of The Shop on Blossom Street Series books.  And although I have indeed read the entire series, even those who have read only one, all, or none of the series will be able to enjoy this book.  A great stand alone book, it mentions characters from previous books, but does not rely on them to tell the story.  I found it to be a heart-warming book about love, loss, and new beginnings.  Here's a synopsis of the book:

A grieving widower receives an unexpected gift of love from his late wife on the anniversary of her death in HANNAH’S LIST (MIRA Books, May 2010, $24.95 U.S /$27.95 CAN.), the emotionally powerful new novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.  Connected to her bestselling Blossom Street books (SUMMER ON BLOSSOM STREET, TWENTY WISHES, BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET, SUSANNAH’S GARDEN, A GOOD YARN and THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET) this story continues her moving exploration of the complex relationships among family and friends.

In the year since his wife, Hannah, passed away, Dr. Michael Everett has been inconsolable.  Unable to carry on living any semblance of a normal life without her, Michael has avoided contact with friends and family and filled his empty days with work.  So he’s shocked when his brother-in-law, Ritchie, hands him a letter Hannah had written before she died; apparently she’d instructed Ritchie to deliver it to Michael on the first anniversary of her death.

In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request: she asks Michael to marry again and become the father he was meant to be.  Knowing his reaction, Hannah gives him a gentle push by suggesting three women—each of whom, she says, would make an excellent wife and companion.

Michael’s heart isn’t in it, but he decides to carry out Hannah’s final wish by contacting each of the women.  He soon discovers that he is not the only person dealing with a broken heart.

The first woman on Hannah’s list is her cousin, Winter Adams, owner of the French CafĂ© on Seattle’s Blossom Street.  Winter is passionate about three things—food, cooking and fellow chef Pierre Dubois.  But Winter and Pierre—both uncompromising perfectionists—have had a stormy on-and-off relationship and are currently in the “off” phase.  Winter’s miserable with and without Pierre.  Maybe Michael will provide an alternative…?

Leanne Lancaster is the next woman on Hannah’s list.  Leanne is the oncology nurse who cared for Hannah in her last months.  Like Michael, she is coping with her own sense of loss over the dissolution of her marriage.  Her husband, Mark, embezzled $25,000 from a charity organized by the hospital where Leanne works.  With Mark sentenced to a prison term and unwilling to explain his actions to his wife, Leanne felt she had no option but to ask for a divorce.  But what Leanne really needs most is closure.  Without understanding his motives, Leanne is unable to reconcile with Mark or move on without him.

The final name on the list is Macy Roth.  Macy is everything Michael is not—artistic, spontaneous, eccentric and always late for appointments. Hannah felt that Macy’s effervescent personality might encourage someone as serious as Michael to learn to laugh again.  Macy is a collector of strays—cats, dogs and even people.  Michael can’t believe Hannah added Macy to her list; the only way he’d fall for her is if opposites really do attract.

As he spends time with each woman, Michael realizes that Hannah’s list may end up saving four lives, not just one.
 Giveaway Details & Rules:
  • One Grand Prize Winner will receive:
    • a $50 Visa Gift Card to enjoy additional Debbie Macomber titles!
    • AND a copy of Hannah's List
  • Two Additional Winners will each receive one copy of Hannah's List!
  • This giveaway is open to US residents, age 18 or older
  • Each participant must include an email address so they can be contacted should they win
  • Giveaway runs May 19 - June 2, 2010.  3 winners will be chosen via random number generator and announced June 3, 2010
  • Leave me a comment to let me know what your fave Debbie Macomber book or series is.  If you haven't yet read any of Debbie Macomber's books, leave me a comment to let me know which of her books or series you'd be interested in reading
  • Follow my blog!  Leave me a comment to let me know that you are a blog follower for an additional entry!
  • Follow me on Twitter.  Leave me a comment to let me know that you follow on Twitter for an additional entry!
  • Tweet about it!  Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post in your tweet.  Come back and leave me a comment with a link to your tweet for an additional entry.  You may tweet as often as you like.  Each tweet may be counted as an entry.
  • Blog all about it!  Write a blog post announcing the giveaway with a link to this post in your blog post for 5 additional entries.  Come back and leave me 5 separate comments - 1 for each.  Be sure to include the link to your blog in comment #1.
  • Pop my blog button on your blog sidebar for an additional entry!  Come back and leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can check it out!
Disclosure: I received a free review copy as well as promotional materials for this review.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Project: ElleMyra Shrug


I started the ElleMyra Shrug today.  I'm knitting it in Cascade Baby Alpaca (Color - Mimosa).  It has a provisional cast on (hence the differently colored yarn).  This is 2 repeats of the Leaf Lace Rib Stitch portion of the pattern.  It knits up really quickly.  I have another 5 repeats before the next portion of the pattern.  So far, it's a fun, fast, and easy knit.  I can't wait to see how it develops.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Finished: Stockinette Stitch Shrug


Stockinette Stitch Shrug by Lion Brand Yarns knit in Red Heart Soft Yarn (Lt. Heather Gray)

I finished this shrug at 3p ON Mother's Day - not a moment too soon.  Then I took a quick pic and popped it in a gift bag and took it to my mom!  LOL!  I made a few changes to this pattern (NOTHING earth shattering).  First, I knit it in acrylic yarn so that it was an easy care garment for my mom.  (And she's allergic to wool)  Then, upon finishing the knitting portion of the shrug, I did a sc border around the entire garment.  This made seaming a snap.  I also used sc to seam the sleeves, giving it a more sturdy seam.  My mom wanted a work horse garment.  A sweater she'd wear daily as she reads on the couch or cuddles up with her iPod.  So I purposely went for sturdy construction.  Thus the crocheted border and seams as well as the acrylic yarn.  Now, if you want a finer, invisible seam, it's better achieved with a tapestry needle and some yarn.

This picture makes the collar look wonky, but I went to great pains to be sure that it is completely straight and the seams align perfectly.  And thanks to my engineer hubby watching me construct the garment, I was extra concerned with perfect lines.  So the pic is misleading.  I wish I had taken more pictures.  And of course, my mom did not want to be photographed for my blog.

This was a simple and relaxing knit.  It's a versatile garment.  The stockinette stitch is not challenging and to a more advanced knitter may seem boring at times.  But it was a nice knit when I went to knitting group - I didn't have to think.  And when I go to knitting group, I tend to talk more than knit dontcha know.  ;p

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