Oct 31, 2014

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop!

I'm really grateful I read these books. I'm also glad I had the chance to get to know the authors behind the wonderful stories. Because of that I'm giving my readers the chance to get to know their work as well. There will be 2 winners. The first prize is $12 to spend on books, either from Amazon or the Bookdepository, an ebook of choice from my favorites and happy mail. The second winner will receive an ebook of choice from my favorites and a set of bookmarks.

I will announce the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international. Good luck!


The Literary Blog Hop Giveaway!

Reading has been a passion of mine for a long time and a good, complex story makes me happy. I will never lose my love for literature. It's why I siged up for this hop. I'm giving away $16 to spend on books of your choice. They have to be literature and I can both send kindle books or paperbacks from the Bookdepository. The winner will also receive a bookish surprise.

All of my giveaways are international. I will announce the winner on twitter or via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. Good luck! This is a hop, so have fun entering the other giveaways as well.

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I'd Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom's Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

Dystopian Giveaway Hop!

I've read a few dystopian novels and liked most of them. I think there's a lot more I can discover about the genre which is why I hope you will recommend me your favorite dystophian reads.

My top 3:

1) The giver is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. I loved the other books as well. I'm a big fan of Lois Lowry and was very impressed by this quartet.

2) Never Let Me Go is special. It isn't an easy book to read, but the story is both amazing and slightly creepy. I felt so bad for the main characters and kept hoping they would be all right.

3) What I liked best about Inside Out and Outside In is the world building. The main character is brave and determined and the ending is great, quite unexpected too.

I'm giving away $16 to spend on Dystopian novels. You can choose between the Bookdepository and amazon. Both paperbacks and kindle books are possible. Of course I would love it if you'd choose one of these three books, but if there's another book you'd love to receive that's fine too. If you can find more than one book for the $16 that's all right as well. All of my giveaways are international.
I will send the winner a message via email or on twitter, if I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. Good luck!


Trashy Crafter is my Etsy Seller of the Week! & Giveaway!

My Etsy Seller of the Week is Kimberly. Her shop Trashy Crafter is amazing. She's written a great guest post for me, so you can find out more about her fabulous project and wonderful jewelry.


Books are magical, they give you the ability to go on a jungle safari one minute and

a deep see dive with mermaids the next, but what happens when books has gotten

lots of love from years of use? The pages get creased, dog-eared and ripped, the

bend or even start to fall off. That’s where my Mom Helen and I come in, and this is

where the story of Trashy Crafter begins. 

My names Kim, and I have pretty much been a crafter since I was old enough to hold

scissors in my hand and not eat the Elmer’s glue. As a little girl I would come home

from school each day, and as long as my homework was done I could create crafts all

afternoon at my Grandmas house until my Mom and Dad came to pick my sister and

I up after work. My Grandma made beautiful crafts and sold at lots of holiday craft

shows, crafting ran in my blood and it was bound to become a part of my life some

way or another. 

One day while I was in my senior year of college and my Mom and I went to the local

thrift store. While there we noticed they had these auction bins out front of the store

full of damaged and outdated books. We found out that when books would not sell

at the thrift store because of being damaged or outdated, they auctioned them off,

and if the folks sifting through the auction bin thought could not sell the book or it

was too damaged it was just thrown away.

Needless to say my Mom and I were heartbroken that all those beautifully

illustrated children’s books were just thrown away... so we grabbed about 25 books

each in our arms and took them home. I was really busy with school at the time, so

the books sat in the corner of my room for about 3 months. I was trying to think of

a useful thing to turn the books into when it hit me! I was very lucky to have a 3rd

grade teacher that was very crafty, her name was Mrs. Bryant. She had taught us

how to roll magazines pages into paper beads (I’m sure many of you have done this

in girl scouts or grade school). I made my first few beads and knew from then I was

hooked, the most magical part about it to me is that you not only create beautiful,

colorful unique beads made from something that was going to be thrown into a

landfill, but you know what book or item it was made from! 

Everyone has stories, and connects with them so well, the reason we continue to

create recycled book beads, map beads and sheet music beads is that when people

purchase a set at a local craft show or online they have a story behind what they

wear.... Perhaps they went on a road trip across the country, and that map bead

bracelet they wear reminds them of the fun they had, or they had a band teacher

that taught them to play an instrument, so they give them a sheet music bracelet as

a token of appreciation... or even a gift for a mom or teacher that read you a book as

a child that connected with you and stayed in your memory to this day. As humans

we all connect universally with stories, and it’s a beautiful thing to throw away, so

my Mom and I plan on fighting the good fight and continuing to turn old books into

beautiful, wearable works of art.

Our Process:

My Mom Helen and I gather the books from a lot of different places, sometimes we

find them in cardboard boxes outside of library’s, in thrift stores on the clearance

shelf or in the bins, and even get books, maps or sheet music donated from folks

that love and support our mission. Once we gather all of the books we measure and

hand cut the book pages into long narrow triangle strips and roll them one at a time

onto lollipop sticks. Once they are on there we coat each bead 3-5 times depending

on the thickness of the paper. Once that is done we spray them with a matte finish

and then we start to make them into the finished jewelry. We purchase damaged

necklaces and bracelets from the local thrift store and strip them apart to repurpose

the beads. We create the jewelry with a mixture of the paper book page beads we

made along with the repurposed beads. Once that is finished, we hand cut recycled

cardboard bracelet holders and place the book labeling on to each set so folks know

what book their bracelets were made from.

 Kimberly has generously offered a Harry Potter bracelet. One very lucky winner will receive this great prize! 
If you like Kimberly's shop and the giveaway, please show your appreciation by liking her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TrashyCrafter

This giveaway is international. I will contact the winner by email or on twitter. If I don't receive a reply within 60 hours I let rafflecopter draw someone else. Good luck!

Oct 30, 2014

Hush by Anne Frasier

What's your greatest fear?

It's criminal profiler Ivy Dunlap's job to unravel the psyches of the most dangerous men alive. None haunts her dreams more than the killer who took her son's life sixteen years ago, then silently disappeared into the dark. Now an urgent request for help from the Chicago police has reawakened Ivy's greatest nightmare. The Madonna Murderer has returned to fulfill his calling. This time Ivy understands the killer and will face her greatest fear to stop him from killing again.


When Ivy gets the phone call she's been waiting for for many years it means that she has to go back to the United States, to Chicago. She's a criminal expert and the police need her help to solve a difficult case. The Madonna Murderer is back. At first Max isn't happy with Ivy's assistance. He's a good detective and he doesn't want to take anyone by the hand while he has so much work to do. When he finds out who she really is his opinion about her changes drastically. Together they go after the killer. He's smart, he doesn't leave any traces and he keeps killing innocent single mothers and their babies. It has to stop and Ivy's understanding of his character and personality is probably the only advantage they have. She has to use it well, but that also means she's taking dangerous risks...
In Hush the reader sees the story from different points of view. I admire the fact that it was never chaotic. In this story it actually worked rather well. I got to know both Ivy and Max, plus some other members of the police force and Max's son. Every situation has more than one side and it was great to read about all of them. The Madonna Murderer is such a creepy guy and it was sometimes uncomfortable to get to know more about him. Which is exactly how it should be, it made the story gripping and it constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. It's clear who has committed the murders as the murderer has his own voice. The tension is in the when, the where and the how. I kept wanting to protect all the good guys. I sometimes even forgot to breathe while I was reading. The cover does the book justice, I think it's eerily beautiful. If you like thrillers about serial killers Hush would definitely be the book for you. I've read quite a few and I think Hush is one of the best.

Lavender is back!

I'm back. It's been a while since I've told you any stories about my life. When my sister's husband suddenly passed away I needed to be there for my sister. Jason came back from Australia and we've been supporting Dawn as much as we can. She's moved in with my parents, so my mother can watch the children when they get home from school. Dawn is back at work and is trying to carry on, but I can see how heartbroken and devastated she is. She didn't want to stay in the house where she built so many memories with the love of her life. I spend many nights sleeping in her room, because she doesn't want to be alone. As a family we're strong, but grief is such a mean thing. There's nothing we can do to make it go away. The same goes for her three children who have lost their father.
Besides taking care of my sister I've also been busy with Lizzy's wedding. We found her a beautiful dress and I think she's going to be the prettiest bride I've ever seen. It will still be a couple of months before they will say yes to each other as they're getting married on Valentine's Day. We've booked the venue, ordered the invitations and went dress shopping at at least ten different bridal shops. I loved all the different dresses and can't wait to get married! I need to find myself a potential husband first and that's not my strongest point. Maybe someone else should select my boyfriends from now on. My brother and Sandy want to get married as soon as possible as well, but they don't dare to tell Dawn yet. I'm so happy for them. Life can be great and unfair at the same time and having both a heavy and a light heart is such a strange feeling.
I love working together with Aislyn, she's such a sweet girl. I'm still not completely used to being someone's boss, but I'm improving. Soon I will have another staff member to guide. They've hired an intern, who's going to do some research and together we have to come up with a plan to improve our marketing strategy. Events clearly help to get more visitors and we want to organize several small things every week. It's great to come up with plans and I'm enjoying the buzz and the new attention as well.
I've been on two dates. They were all right, but nothing special. I think my musician friend Roy will be back from his world tour soon. I can't wait to see him, but I don't want to get my hopes up. We've been keeping in touch via Skype and it's been so much fun to find out more about his life and his personality. My brother has been to one of his concerts and afterwards they had a beer together. I didn't know it, but they've met before at soccer matches, so it was no coincidence they ran into each other. He would love to see us together as he thinks Roy is a great guy. I'm not sure he's ready for any commitment though. He loves his freedom. To be honest I'm quite enjoying mine as well. It's great to go out with friends and to read a book when I want to. With Calvin I stayed in too much, I love going out and my life changed into something that didn't suit me when I was with him.
Tomorrow one of my new author friends will have a talk and signing session at the bookstore on the floor below the library. I can't wait to go. Afterwards she will also come upstairs to talk about her writing and she's promised that ten aspiring writers will be allowed to attend a special master class. I bet the lines are going to be really long. Fortunately I'm the lucky person who has to supervise it. I have to make sure everything goes according to plan and when it does I can sit down and join the class.

It's nice to be back. As you can see I'm sharing a picture of myself with you. It was nice to share a face with Suzanne, but it's time to have my own. I think it's showing my best features and I love my bright green eyes. This is the real me and I'm proud of it.

Here you can find out more about the artist: https://artworkbygabrielle.wordpress.com/commissions/

3000 Twitter Followers Giveaway!

I have 3000 twitter followers and I'm very happy with that, so I'm celebrating with a giveaway. I love twitter, it's a great site to find friends and to connect with my readers.

The winner will receive books worth $12 from the Bookdepository or Amazon. Paperbacks or ebooks, it's the winner's choice. I will also send a lovely surprise gift. I will contact the winner on twitter or by email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours after the announcement I will draw another one. There are plenty of free entry options, so everyone will have a chance. This giveaway is of course worldwide.

Lavender Loves We Love Stitches

Today I'm sharing another great Etsy shop with you. We Love Stitches sells the most amazing plushies and felt jewelry. 

I like this shop because of the very precise handiwork of the items. They all have been made with so much love and attention and it shows.

This shop is great for anyone who loves kawaii. I like every item and it was hard to limit the number of photos for this post.

You can find the facebook page here: 
It would be great if you could like it. 

Enjoy shopping!

Oct 29, 2014

Guest post from Sheryl Browne!

Hi everyone,
As some of you may know, I am a published author.  Always on the lookout for ways to help authors get published, I decided to try a new venture myself this month and submitted a book to Kindle Scout, currently “scouting” for unpublished books to be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less. They are currently welcoming submissions for English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres.
Initially, you have to submit a complete manuscript, great cover, your bio, author pic and a little information about yourself. Kindle Scout then “use all of these materials to build you a Kindle Scout campaign page”. Once you submit, you will hear from Kindle within 1-2 business days (longer if there are lots of submissions) whether your book has been approved and, if so, the expected launch date of your campaign. As it’s a case of nothing ventured… I thought I’d give it a go. You can find out more about it here https://kindlescout.amazon.com/submit  (including a link to Q&A and the Kindle Press Submission & Publishing Agreement). It might be that it’s just right for you!
Book Blurb:
An officer and a gentleman, Justin Buckley-Golder doesn’t hesitate to propose to his pregnant girlfriend. Trying not to linger on the bloody senselessness of war, to block-out the flashbacks, the day his former fiancĂ©e blew his world further apart, Justin trusts Ashley completely. She seems to know intuitively when he needs to lie quietly, her warm body up close and the silence of a battle-free night like a soft blanket around him; to just hold her. Ashley, though, is not all that she seems.
To err is to be human, but can Justin come to terms with the hardest thing ever a man can forgive a woman?
Needless to say, in an environment where we all scarcely have time to breathe, your support is tremendously appreciated. Here’s to other authors out there hopefully finding another avenue to share their books with the world.
Thank you! Keep safe all.
About Sheryl
Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal - and a little Ohhhh la la! Sheryl Browne brings you poignant, witty modern romance.  A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl now has six books published and has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Author Links

Pumpkin Day!

The Spider's Attic

I love pumpkins and when my friend AJ suggested I'd do a pumpkin day today I couldn't wait to get started and spent hours watching the most gorgeous pumpkin items on Etsy. Enjoy!

Olga Shestova
Soap Much Love
Jenny Penny Creations
Tenere Delizie
Plush Plus
For The Cross Jewelry
Insou Jewelry
D'Rae Designs
Penny Michelle

Lavender Loves Anekkashop

I love Anekkashop's beautiful amigurumi. I'm sharing them with you, because they are so cute!

The photos are gorgeous. I love the way Anekka presents her creations. 

It's like each photo tells its own story. That's a fun way to show items. 

Anekka makes fabulous dolls as well. This one is my favorite, because I think the braids are adorable and she has a sweet face.

What I also like about these amigurumi is the colors, they're bold and they look great together. The contrasts really work.

Anekka has a facebook page and it would be great if you could like it: 

 You can also find her on twitter, @anekkahandmade, where she regularly posts her new items.

 Have fun shopping!

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