Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: March 8, 2011
Paperback, 352 pages 
Fiction, Women's Fiction
ISBN: 978-0446509237

My Review:
Why I read this: I sew and I was intrigued by the title and the blurb.

My thoughts:  Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing is everything I thought it would be and so much more.  It's a light, fun story with interesting characters, yet there is a serious tone to it as well with lessons learned, love and friendship.  But I think the main thing is this book is a pleasure to read from start to finish.  I found myself feeling like I was right there among the characters, and sharing life and love with them while learning Miss Scarlet's patternless sewing method.

If you don't sew or aren't crafty - don't worry - this book is about so much more than sewing or crafting.  It is a thread that runs through the book but it does not take over.  It's just like that extra added bonus for those of us who do sew.

The characters are outstanding.  I loved Scarlet and watching her grow and learn through this book.  She is so spunky and sure of herself that I want to be her when I grow up.  I like that she never lets her spunky side go even when times are hard.  I like to hear how she dresses and found descriptions of her house, her clothes and her family to be a lot of fun.  I also love Mary Theresa and see a lot of myself in her as she is in the beginning, so tight and order driven.  I love how she changes and grows and learns to let go a little and becomes a whole new person while staying true to herself.  It's a tough process but I loved her as she changed.  Rosa is also an amazing character - the little old lady with spunk who attends the class and captures everyone's heart.  Add to that two teenage sisters and Olivia, who is spunky in her own way and uses her life lessons to help teach Scarlet and Mary Theresa lessons along the way.

The plot is wonderful as well - will Scarlet get the money to go to her dream sewing internship?  That seems to be the main question along with wondering if she will stay true to herself and also who exactly is Rosa?  I love how the plot weaves the lives of the sewing classmates lives together and how they all become friends out of class - friends that will help each other when situations are bad.  There are some very humorous scenes in the book, I laughed and laughed at times and at other times I was so touched I was in tears.

What else can I say - I loved this book - it's a great women's fiction book.  It's the tale of life, love, family and friendship and everyone learns valuable lessons.  Ms. Cano-Murillo weaves this magic tale in a wonderful way that had me turning page after page to see what would happen next to the members of the sewing class and Miss Scarlet.  I can't say enough about the feel-good quality of this book.  It's just one of those books that you sigh with happiness at the end and then you want more and more of the characters.  I would say these characters will stick with you for quite awhile, and feel like friends when the book is over.  Thank you Cathy Cano-Murillo for your wonderful book and I look forward to more fiction titles in the future!

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless SewingSometimes to find your life's true path, you have to stray outside the lines . . .

Scarlet Santana is never happier than when creating fabulous fashions for women of all shapes and sizes. Now, after years of hard work, she finally has the chance to live her dream and study under the hottest designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, teaching a type-A working mom whose rigid parenting style is causing her family to unravel and an enigmatic seamstress with a mysterious past.

But as stitches give way to secrets and classmates become friends, the women realize an important truth: There is no single pattern for a good life. Happiness is always a custom fit.

About the Author: 

With a life motto of “Crafts! Drama! Glitter!” Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo is a creative force of nature. A former syndicated columnist for The Arizona Republic, she is the founder of the award-winning Web site, and the author of seven nonfiction craft books and a Web series on Kathy has a Crafty Chica line of art supplies that are sold nationwide. She also has been featured in numerous media outlets such as The New York Times Magazine, NPR’s Weekend Edition, USA Today, Bust, and Latina magazine. She has shared her crafty ideas on local television, as well as on Sí TV, HGTV, and DIY network. She has been writing stories longer than she has been crafting. Inspired by Judy Blume and Erma Bombeck, she caught the literary bug in grade school, where she used to draw a picture and then write a colorful story to go with it. It’s a creativity exercise she still practices to this day! Kathy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, two kids, and five Chihuahuas.

Crafty Chica's photostream on Flickr
Crafty Chica YouTube Channel


The publisher (Hachette Books) is giving away a package that includes 1 copy of Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing & 1 copy of Waking Up in the Land of Glitter to two lucky entrants from my blog.  US/Canada only, no P.O. boxes.  Simply fill out the form below and I will draw a winner next Saturday, so the giveaway runs through 3/18 a 11:59pm EDT.

If you can't see the form, you can find it here.

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.