March 2018 Book Winner!

Congratulations to DiAnn Firack who just won our March give-away book!

DiAnn, we’ll get you your copy of Kate DiCamillo’s delightful novel, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, as soon as possible!

Happy Reading!

Posted in Books I Love, Free Books!, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

March 2018 Free Book!

One of my favorite children’s books is THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo. You may recall that Kate DiCamillo also wrote BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, another of my favorite children’s books. Our give-away edition is a beautiful hardcover embossed with the John Newbery Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children.

From the inside cover flap: “This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other’s lives. And what happens then? Reader, it is your destiny to find out.”

Perhaps it’s your destiny to win this book! To have your name included in our Wednesday, March 14 drawing, just answer this question: Despereaux is in love with music, stories, and a princess. What are you in love with?

Posted in Books I Love, Free Books!, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Winner of our February 2018 Free Book!!

Congratulations to Mary Storey who won a copy of Lisa Wingate’s incredible novel, BEFORE WE WERE YOURS. Mary told us in her post that as a child she was happy and helpful. That must have been a great childhood, Mary!

Happy Reading!

Posted in About You, Books, Books I Love, Free Books!, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 2018 Free Book!

This past December, I read and fell in love with Lisa Wingate’s beautiful novel BEFORE WE WERE YOURS, and I knew I had to share it with all of you. From Paula McLain’s review on the back cover, “Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power. That Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society could actually exist, unraveling the lives of countless children, stealing their pasts and changing their futures, will give you chills…”

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS is a novel that reads like a true crime book, yet it ends gloriously, as all my favorite novels do! Our give-away copy is a new hardcover edition.

To have your name included in our Wednesday, February 28 drawing, please answer this question:
Use one or two words to describe yourself when you were a child. For example, shy, bold, adventurous, creative, rebellious, silly, happy, sad….

Happy Reading,

Posted in Books I Love, Free Books! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ah, Vacation!

This year, February will be a vacation time for my husband and me. I won’t be around too much on line or on my blog. Usually during a winter vacation, we seek sunshine. When we return, I’ll have photos to share.

Meanwhile, where is your favorite place to vacation?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corsets and Lace: Bandoline

Let’s face it. When it comes to hair products, we are spoiled! Before I began writing this post, I raided my bathroom storage shelves and these are just a few of the products I found:

During Victorian times, both women and men often sported or supported elaborate hairstyles, and for men that included some pretty amazing mustaches and creative beards. You didn’t just jog on down to the corner store and buy what you needed to keep your hair in style, you usually made your own concoctions. Even in the fancier Victorian homes, personal valets and ladies’ maids whipped up the necessary ingredients.

One of the most popular and common mixtures was Bandoline. It basically served the function of today’s hairspray, but it was spread over curls and coiffures with the fingers. Bandoline could be purchased, but, as some unhappy women discovered, commercially manufactured Bandoline sometimes contained contaminated ingredients that might change the color of the hair — or worse! Bandoline’s primary ingredients varied over the years, but some type of glutinous substance was necessary. In many homemade recipes, quince seeds hold the place of honor. Various perfumes — rose water or vanilla, for example — were added to mask the scents of other “active” ingredients.

I’ve never been good styling my hair. The easier the better. How about you? Elaborate or simple? Do you use hairspray or other products?

(Top photo, Sue Harrison, Common Domain. Next photo, “Vanity” by Gustave Leonard de Jongh, Common Domain.)

Posted in GILT a Novel, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Your Life & Mine: Treasured Memories

Holidays are often the times we accumulate some beautiful memories. This Christmas, my daughter-in-law thought to take a photograph of our granddaughters with their great grandfathers, my dad (far right) and my husband’s dad (far left). Both fathers are in their 90s and a very present part of our everyday lives, so sometimes we forget how unusual and wonderful it is to have them with us.

Did you make any special memories in your family this past 2017, during holidays or during regular everyday days?

We are blessed. I hope you are, too.

Love and Happy New Year,

(Photograph, copyright 2017, Tonya Harrison)

Posted in About You, Family, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January 2018 Free Book Winner!!

Congratulations to Jennifer Wilson McCracken, winner of our January 2018 Free Book!
Jennifer tells us that her favorite type of music is classic rock. I hope you also will enjoy a bit of Mozart!

Jennifer, please message me your address and I’ll send your book ASAP!
Happy Reading!

Posted in Free Books!, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

January 2018 FREE BOOK!

During all the commotion of the Holiday Season, I did manage to get a few books read. MARRYING MOZART by Stephanie Cowell was one of them. I immediately knew it was a book I wanted to share with all of you, and what better way to share than to include it in the 2018 Free Books? Our free copy is a hardcover edition, brand new.

From the cover flap copy: “Mannheim, 1777. The four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded artistic life in a ramshackle house. The sisters struggle with [their] marriage prospects as well as their musical futures — until one evening when twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their home and their lives. Eighteenth-century Europe comes alive with unforgiving winters and yawning princes, scheming parents and the enduring passions of young talent.”

This is a magical book, beautifully written, and well researched. I think you’ll enjoy it from the first page to its surprising (and true) conclusion.

To have your name included in our Wednesday, January 10 drawing, answer this question: What is your favorite type of music, or do you have more than one?

Posted in Free Books!, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Corsets & Lace: A Victorian Christmas Menu

During Victorian times, if you lived in a wealthy family, the Christmas feast was much more elaborate than most of our feasts nowadays. I found these Victorian Christmas menu items online and thought you might like to steal some ideas for your own Christmas celebration. Or not!


Appetizers: Blue Point Oysters; Olive Tray; Seared Scallops; Radishes and Sardines; Baked Camembert with Pears
Soup Course: Bisque of Clams; Cream of Asparagus
Fish Course: Trout; Baked Salmon with Sauce Hollandaise; Turbot in Lobster Sauce
Entrée: Roast Goose with Wild Rice Stuffing; Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing; Roasted Lamb with Truffles
Accompaniments: Roasted Potatoes; Mashed Potatoes; Roasted Root Vegetables; English Peas
Salads: Lettuce; Waldorf Salad; Cranberry-Orange Relish; Cranberry Sauce
Hot Rolls with Butter
Palate Cleanse: Lemon Sherbet
Dessert: Plum Pudding with Hard Sauce; Mince Pie; Chocolate Mousse; Cherry Tart with Meringue

Each year, when I was a child, our “Aunt” Lillian Tost sent us a beautiful plum pudding with the requisite hard sauce. (She was actually the Grandmother of our Cousins, and not really related to us at all, but we loved her!) The paternal side of my mother’s family settled in the New England area in the 1600s. Perhaps that’s why oyster dressing was also a tradition at our home in Michigan. To please my husband’s side of the family, I serve regular turkey stuffing as well!

Do any of these items grace your Christmas Holiday Table?

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, God Bless You and Yours!

Posted in Christmas, Sue Harrison Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments