About Me

   My name is Haley, also known on various social networking sites as Haleyknitz (I'm an avid knitter), Victoria (Victoria's riddles) and Jim Victoria on Facebook (...long story there).


I’m nineteen, waiting for my prince, I have homeschooled almost all my life and I love it. My family owns Art and Materials in downtown New Bern, NC. I attend Western Carolina University full time, and I am majoring in English with a concentration in Professional Writing. My plans for after graduation are still vague, but I'm considering publishing or editing.


I'm a Christian, though I'm not sure of my exact age of conversion. This does, of course, affect some of my reviews, so please be aware that I come from a Berean Christian perspective (Acts 17).


My favorite things to do are knitting, reading, bike riding, writing books, classical French and Russian ballet, horse back riding, designing websites, baking and decorating cakes, and playing the piano and the recorder by ear (I'm a jack of all trades!). My last name is mispronounced so many times (because it's French) that I don't mind anymore, so don't feel bad if you have no idea how to say it. I've got just enough Irish blood in me to explain the pale skin, green eyes, and hair that doesn't want to be red or brown but must be both. I'm a bit of a quirk, and have a tendency to ramble on... and on... and on... I talk to the voices in my head (don't get too scared I promise they won't hurt you) and when I get inspired to write a book, it takes over my life.



(online editorial reviews)


Lydia Dare series

My Unfair Lady


(quoted by the author)

Gifts of the Heart

The Light The Dark and Ember Between


The Diabetic Pastry Chef

Thumbing Through Thoreau

"No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win kindles, iPods, and get free books!

“It's the age-old tale:     
Boy meets girl.     
Boy stalks girl.     
Girl already has a stalker.     
Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

Guest post from Graham Parke:

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come! Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:

  • ‘Unspent Time’ exclusive short story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate
(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again.) Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod! Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed! Find out how to attend HERE.

You mean women are women, not men? We're supposed to be this way?

I'm reading a book called Captivating, about why women are the way we are. and by that I mean why we always feel like we're "too much but not enough at the same time" and why any time that any man tells us that we look even the slightest bit nice, it makes our day. maybe our week. Shoot I still feel good from last Thursday when a guy-friend texted me and told me I looked nice.

Captivating is helping me understand why, even though I'm trying to learn what it means to be single and serve God, why I still yearn to be married and loved and pursued. why it doesn't matter if it's a friend's 14-year old brother who thinks I have a nice smile or a 40-year old man in books-a-million who thinks I look too good in those jeans, or a person who I'm not particularly attracted to, if some man thinks I look nice, I feel special and desired and adored. why even when a guy likes me and I don't like him back, I still allow myself to be around him, because I want to feel pursued. and why I pretended to marry my best friend when I was three. (I swear I don't think anyone will ever let me live that down.)

and the constant question that goes through my head every day: what's so special about me anyway? why me? what makes me important? the answer is simple: God made me special, and He made me the way I am. I don't think, even after reading the first few eye-opening pages, that I fully understand that statement.

I look forward to reading the rest of this book. I'll certainly post my thoughts on it when I finish.

New mitten pattern

You guys know I'm addicted to knitting mittens :) here is the pattern I made for my Grandma for Christmas.

gma mittens

Grandma's Mittens



Review: Knitting Mochimochi

Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi 
by Anna Hrachovec
Genre: Knitting
ISBN: 9780823026647
Published June 29th 2010 by Watson-Guptill
Rating: 4

The first time I saw this book, I thought "what on earth… seriously?" I flipped through and wondered who on earth I would make a knit TV for, why I'd ever make a knit pig in a wig, and what I would do with a knit sky scraper. But as I looked through it, I began to think about certain people, and how much they'd love the little things in this book. I mean, really, who wouldn't love a pair of slippers that look like they're eating your feet? Not only are there a bunch of adorable little creatures to knit, there are instructions on how to create your own stuffed creature pattern.

Recommendation: Intermediate to advanced knitters who have knit just about everything else, and are ready for something different.

Tour: Closure

I'd like to welcome Rie McGaha to The Life and Lies today for her virtual tour for Closure!


1) Why and when did you begin writing?

I have been writing as long as I can remember. I made up stories before I could write and when I could write I wrote poetry, stories, etc. I wrote my first full length story in the 8th grade. It was about a lady from Boston who came to the wild, Wild West to teach school and fell in love with the local sheriff. I have no idea what happened to it or what the title was. I wish I had saved it though because I'd like to see how my 13 year old mind worked!

2) What inspired you to write Closure?  

I had a few issues in my past that I needed a little closure on. Since I couldn't kill anyone myself, I eviscerated them in fiction!

3) How did you come up with the title?

Once you read the story you'll see it's pretty self-explanatory. Closure was actually the only title that fits. 

4) What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?

I guess everything can be a positive or negative influence in one way or the other but as far as other authors go, it's always been positive. I love James Patterson, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Anne Rice, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon and many others. Each one has their own voice and style and each has been an influence in a different way but all positive. 

5) How do you go about researching for your books?

Thankfully we have this thing called the internet that is chock full of information on every subject. That's a lot different than the days when research was done in libraries using books, microfilm, magazines and newspapers.  

6) Did you base any of your characters on real people?

In Closure I did use real  people as characters, I also used some real events but I'll leave the readers to guess which is real and which is fiction. 

7) What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?

The most exciting part of course is getting a new contract. Every time I get a new one it's just like the first one. The hardest part for me is the promotions I have to do. It's not gotten easier at all and I still dread it! 

8) Do you have any other books planned in the future?

Absolutely. On Oct. 9th DEEP WITHIN MY HEART will be released from Silver Publishing. This one is an action adventure historical pirate romance! In March, ONE GOOD MAN  from eXcessica publishing will be released. This one is a bbw, contemporary romance set in Biloxi, MS. 

9) Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I love all my characters. My favorite character though is in one of my early works called DEADLY DREAMS from Noble Romance Publishing. His name is Lucius McKenna and he's a really bad, bad man! 

10) What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?

Don't let the rejection letters discourage you. Keep writing no matter what because eventually you are going to meet the right publisher at the right time who is going to get you in a way no other publisher did and you're going to get that first contract. 

Just for fun:

1) What are your ten most favorite things?  MEDIA KIT author picture

1. Margarita Thursday's at our house...you never know what day it's going to show up

2. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning

3. Baking goodies for my family

4. Wine Wednesdays

5. My grandchildren

6. My children

7. My dogs

8. Riding the motorcycle with my husband

9. My husband

10. Life ( and these are in no particular order!)

2) What do you do when you’re not writing?

Usually taking care of grandkids, dogs, husband, baking, cooking, gardening, hunting, fishing, or crocheting or sewing....I guess it depends on my mood! 

3) Do you have any pets?

I do. 3 cats and 8 dogs. 

4) What are your favorite (and least favorite) foods?

I have a lot of favorite foods like tacos, pizza, lasagna, etc. but my absolute least favorite and won't eat it even if it was the last food on earth and I was starving is macaroni & cheese. I like macaroni and I like cheese, but put em together and yuk!! 

5) Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I write in bed with the TV on. 

6) Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Not usually food, but I do like a cup of coffee or tea, or a margarita, depending on what I'm trying to write! 

7) If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?


8) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?

My favorite has always been English and I hate math with a passion.  [Note from Haley: I'm actually seeing that this is a pattern in many of the authors I've interviewed!]

9) What book are you reading right now?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare [Great book, great series!!]

10) Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

My 33rd grandchild is due in May. Thank you for having me on your blog, it's been great.


Thank you Rie! Here's a little more about Closure: Cover Closure

High in the hills above Albuquerque, New Mexico Detective Zachariah Ellison arrives at the scene of a murder, and not just any murder, but one that definitely falls into the “gruesome” category even for a seasoned cop like Zach. When another body is found murdered in much the same fashion, Zach knows he’s got a serial killer on his hands, and to top it off he’s got an assistant district attorney hounding him about the case. As Zach tries to investigate the crimes while sidestepping nosey Amy Logan, a third body is found and Zach hasn’t a clue as to whom the perpetrator might be.

Amy Logan has worked hard to put herself through school and pay for law school on her own and now that she’s secured a position as assistant district attorney in Albuquerque, she’s determined to do everything she can to be the best prosecutor this office has ever seen. And as if luck was following her, she’s been assigned to the biggest homicide case the city has ever seen. The only problem she’s having is the homicide detective who’s leading the investigation—Zach Ellison.

Creative Writing Club

In creative writing club we had to create a scenario, swap it with someone, then write how we would survive the scenario we got from the swap. here is mine.

1.       We're on vacation to Southern Canada in January. We were  going to skiing. It didn't happen.

2.       We missed our first flight. We caught a second one. We arrived at the destination and it had been taken over by Japanese ice demons. We were attacked and driven out, all we have left is  rope, our clothes, some canned food, and one half empty lighter.

3.       There are demons everywhere. They can't fly or climb. So we climb a tree, build a woven mattress between the branches with the rope, and live up there until March.

4.       When plants start to grow, we collect leaves and branches, build a huge wall around the tree, and light it on fire. Not only does this keep the ice demons away, but it attracts the mounted police and they come and recue us.



college is awesome.

Three quick reviews

Warm Knits, Cool Gifts by Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter

Genre: Knitting
ISBN: 9780307408730
Published: October 5th 2010 by Potter Craft
Rating: 4.5

Sally and Caddy share 35 of their inspiring family-friendly designs in this new pattern book filled with classic and colourful designs, expert technique tips and tricks and heart-warming personal stories. There are plenty of projects for everyone on every knitter's gift list: babies and children; husbands; and, of course women's garments and accessories. There are appropriate pieces for all occasions, from a hooded scarf to wear on winter walks to jumpers perfect for a cosy Christmas morning brunch. The beautiful photography, clear and encouraging instructions and diagrams and inspiring stories will make this another must-have knitting book for Sally and Caddy fans.

Great variety! there are kids clothing patterns and toys, sweaters and other patterns for men, feminine patterns, lace, scarves, coats, sweaters, Christmas ornaments and stockings, and nearly everything else you can think up. I love so many of these patterns and am so excited to make some of them.

Recommendation: The skill level ranges from second project for a beginner to advanced lace.


Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris
genre: Craft, humor
ISBN: 9780446557030
Published November 2nd 2010 by Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 4

America's most delightfully unconventional hostess and the bestselling author of I Like You delivers a new book that will forever change the world of crafting. According to Amy Sedaris, it's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In her new book, SIMPLE TIMES, she sets the record straight. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life's more pleasurable and constructive leisure activities, Sedaris shows that anyone with a couple of hours to kill and access to pipe cleaners can join the elite society of crafters.
You will discover how to make popular crafts, such as: crab-claw roach clips, tinfoil balls, and crepe-paper moccasins, and learn how to: get inspired (Spend time at a Renaissance Fair; Buy fruit, let it get old, and see what shapes it turns into); remember which kind of glue to use with which material (Tacky with Furry, Gummy with Gritty, Paste with Prickly, and always Gloppy with Sandy); create your own craft room and avoid the most common crafting accidents (sawdust fires, feather asphyxia, pine cone lodged in throat); and cook your own edible crafts, from a Crafty Candle Salad to Sugar Skulls, and many more recipes.
PLUS whole chapters full of more crafting ideas (Pompom Ringworms! Seashell Toilet Seat Covers!) that will inspire you to create your own hastily constructed obscure d'arts; and much, much more!

Sedaris' newest book is incredibly inspiring. This craft book really does not have many explicit instructions, more like pictures and just enough information to get you thinking. Most of the projects I could figure out myself just by looking at them, some I had to think about a little more and work through it in my head, and a few I knew I'd have to actually find a pattern somewhere or create one. It's definitely more an inspiration book than an instruction book—although there are some awesome looking recipes, and they do have specific instructions. The lack of clarity in instructions is the only reason I give it four stars and not five.

Also, Sedaris' humor is a lot like her brothers, David Sedaris. It's mature, and there are a few sections in the book I wouldn't want my younger sister to see. The book is almost more a humor book than a craft book—there is a lot of verbiage, but it's worth reading. Sedaris is hilarious in her own twisted slightly morbid way. 

Content/Recommendation: few photos of what looks like extremely painful morbid injuries, and a section with sex. Ages 18+


Recipes for a Beautiful Life by Julie Keye and Madaline Hall
Genre: spa/health, inspirational
Published November 17th 2009 by BookSurge Publishing
ISBN: 9781439249703
Rating: 3.5

Calling upon verses and Psalms from the Bible, these inspirational messages are framed by breathtaking color photography of nature's splendor, including sun-drenched deserts, white-capped mountains, and people of all ages and ethnicities. A charming addition to these messages is a sumptuous array of natural recipes for the enhancement of a woman's beauty and relaxation, using simple ingredients found in one's home. A life open to God and filled with the beauty around you, sharing it with those you love, and finding time to relax so that you can be the best you can be: these are the "Recipes for a Beautiful Life".

Some of the verses had photographs that didn't match very well, and a few of the verses were so out of context that the meaning was much different. Only about one fourth of the book was recipes, and I'd have liked to see an even distribution between photographs and recipes. Content-wise, there were plenty of them, but they weren't formatted very well so they didn't take up much space. It gave an uneven feel to the book. The recipes themselves were great, though.


Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.