Christmas Quilt #1, Rail Fence


This quilt has been in the making for a long time. I got the scraps, already cut into strips, at a rummage sale — oh, probably about eight years ago. Within a year or two of that, I had the top made — only to set it aside due to┬áthe busy teenage years of my children.

In 2015, I gave the top to a professional quilter to finish it for me. She never did. Months later, I finally got in contact with her and she’d fallen too ill to quilt anymore and didn’t have the energy to call me and break the news.

On to plan B. I would teach myself how to do free-motion quilting. Which I did. This is probably the third or fourth quilt I have done the free-motion technique on.

I gave the finished quilt to my son and his growing little family. I think it will be fun for their children to play I Spy with all the little conversational prints. “Hey, Johnny, betcha can’t find the JOY!” (Bet he can!)


Time Trap, by Danele Rotharmel


Eager to read the next book in the Time Counselor Chronicles, I implored Danele to send me a review copy so that I could share about it on my blog. Time Trap, book #2 in the series, is a recent release. I am sure anyone who read Book #1, Time Tsunami, will be just as eager to read this next installment.

Chapter one hooks readers with a shocking attack. Kept in suspense, we don’t know the why of it, or the identity of the attacker. That just makes you desperately want to keep turning pages. Wow, Danele can really do a violent scene well. You wouldn’t expect that from such a lovely feminine author ­čÖé

The fascinating characters are one of the most charming elements of this novel. So much humor (in the light of dire circumstance), and so much detail. The characters become dear friends and you don’t want to let them go. Several favorites return from the dazzling first book in the series.

This richly hued, rollicking adventure will keep you awake at night.

Do you have a favorite time-travel novel to share with my readers? Please leave the title in a comment.

Thanks, Susan




A Moonbow Night, by Laura Frantz

102_7375-1With a vividly detailed tale reminiscent of Jane Kirkpatrick’s historical fiction, Frantz’s newest release lives up to her fans’ expectations.

Author Frantz takes the reader on a journey into the wilderness during the early days of settlement in Kentucky (called Kentucke in the novel). She nails the setting and you may feel your toes tingling with frostbite as the characters move through a frigid, dangerous region, on a journey riddled with peril.

On a mission to survey the region, Sion lands in a wilderness outpost. An extremely welcome rustic inn holds the talented Temperance Tucker, the daughter of the proprietors.

Tangling with raw nature, the elements, and with fierce Indians who resent their arrival, the tension mounts as Sion and Temperance go through fiery trials.

Have you read any great historical fiction lately? Please share your favorites in a comment.

Thanks for reading! Susan



Feta & Freeways, Susan Baganz’s Latest Contemporary Romance

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Let me tell you…this one grabs you and won’t let go! I am blogging about this book for a writer friend, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one on its own merits — just thankful she gave me a copy for the blog so I could read it.

Baganz’s touch with romance is so deft, so real, so deep–I was sucked into the drama from the word go. The heroine is a bit of a waif, albeit a talented and resourceful one. The hero is a talented musician/song-writer with a successful band.

I like the second half of the book best, when the hero, Nikolas, and the heroine, Tia, take a series of halting steps toward one another. Also, toward the end of the book , we learn even more shocking information about Tia’s┬áfamily and early life. This reveal is riveting, and it wrapped up the story so well.

To top off the many likable aspects of Feta & Freeways, I mustn’t forget the fabulous setting. The story world revolves around┬ábands, roadies, publicity, etc. The author, Susan Baganz, certainly must have experienced this life, because she portrays it in great interesting detail. I never knew how much business sense and determination it takes to become a successful band and recording artist. Fascinating.

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Author, Susan Baganz

So, please accept my recommendation–if contemporary romance is your preferred genre to read, you will love it. Bye for now, Susan Karsten (Graciouswoman)

Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s: HOPE Prevails, Insights from a Doctor’s Journey Through Depression


This is a really good book on the topic of depression. This doctor found, through her own struggle with depression, that the cures she had been offering to her own psychology patients did not work!

She opens up painful chapters from her own life, and in so doing, lays out a different way to deal with depression. Her chapter on the underlying causes of depression really opened my layman’s eyes.

Bengtson covers deep topics such as worth, joy, peace, eternal destiny, and pain. She gives a helpful appendix on helping a depressed loved one. Each section offers bible verses to read, learn, and meditate upon. She gives the names of uplifting song recordings at the end of each chapter, too.

I recommend this as an excellent resource for laymen, professionals, and anyone suffering from depression.

I Wish He Had Come With Instructions, by Mike Bechtle


I went into reading this expecting some same-old stuff…ha ha, aren’t men and women different and it’s so funny. But this was far above that. It’s not written from a woman’s perspective, it’s not about male-female relationships, not full of advice, not opinion-based.

Rather, the author’s stated goal is to provide a glimpse into the mind of men so we ladies can strengthen our relationships with them. Bechtle┬áreally brings some fresh insight to the table. Even though the author falls into some cliches, such as: all men are messy/unclean, and all men want to go out and hang out with “the guys”, most of his thoughts are clearly understandable and many are helpful to contemplate.

The book is divided into 5 parts: The care and feeling of a man, How he thinks, How he acts, How he communicates, and How he grows.

One example of an interesting concept brought out by the author is that he differentiates between maleness and “stuff” (history/baggage). He also delves into what drives anger.

I recommend this as an interesting book, with much food for thought.

A Soldier Finds His Way, by Renie Onorato

What delight I had when reading this fine novel. Not only was it riveting and well-crafted, but I had given some early critiques to the author and that made it even more special.

When I saw what she had done with it to polish and refine it, I was blown away. It had been very good, but is now excellent and it is with great confidence that I recommend this romance (with good dollops of action/adventure) to all my reading friends.


A lady teacher, a car crash, a rescue, a little girl, a soldier with a wounded spirit. All these ingredients together are woven into a story that won’t let you go till the final page.

You will not be disappointed with the romance, the depth, the insights, the faith touches, all done with great sensitivity and realism. Very special.