Thursday, March 21, 2024



The Tangled Tale of the Woolgathering Castoffs 
 - Sharon Mondragon

"Father God, we ask you to remember all those who have loved ones who do not remember them. In the embrace of these shawls, may they be strengthened, encouraged, loved and known." Amen.

Rose Harker wonders if her knitting skills might provide a means of developing meaningful friendships a little closer to home. While she loves being a member of her church's Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl ministry, perhaps there were those at the Fair Meadows Retirement Community where she lives who might might benefit from the companionship that knitting (and praying, especially praying!) provided.

And so . . . she bravely takes her knitting public, assembling a small group with a common purpose, who soon realize that not only could "The Woolgatherers" (of course they had quite a heated contest to name the group) benefit from their common bond, but through prayer and observation they had the potential to bless the lives of a unique group of visitors who needed "a heavenly hug" more than most, for their beloved family members resided in the memory care unit.

What they discover in the process is rather life-changing! And in one instance, life-saving!

A fabulous continuation of the God "nudges" from the now infamous Prayer Chapel!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars


A humorous, heartwarming tale of love, loss, and the power of community

Fair Meadows Retirement Community might as well be a country club for most of the retirees enjoying the pool, golf course, and book clubs. But for the caregivers whose family members reside upstairs in the special Memory Care Unit, vacation is over.

Comforting these caregivers is exactly why the Woolgatherers group has formed. They make prayer shawls to support those affected by the heartbreaking reality of not being recognized by a loved one-people like Sam Talbot, who has been barely existing since his wife moved into Memory Care. He finds that his life has lost all color and meaning without her.

That's something the Woolgatherers can't bear to see. Flirtatious Jenny Alderman, cranky crocheter Edna O'Brian, kind Rose Harker, and the rest of the prayer shawl group weave him into the circle. Sam has no idea how he got tangled up with them, and he's no good at knitting. But when one member talks him into taking up his wife's old crochet hooks, he discovers that this one small gesture might just have the power to heal his life--or even save it.

Full of Sharon Mondragon's characteristic humor and heart, this book wrestles with the loneliness of being the forgotten spouse of a dementia patient, moving past the fear that the spouses often face into the love and compassion that can make all the difference. 
Kregel Publishing, January, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and library binding

And From Kregel Publishing, 2021, Don't miss...

The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady 
- Sharon Mondragon

"Made with love and prayer by the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry . . . You are not alone."

Such a comforting sentiment, tagged onto each beautifully designed prayer shawl. The four women of the Hope of Glory Community Church congregation who were faithful members of the ministry enjoyed a certain rhythm and routine as they met each week in the church's Prayer Chapel to knit and of course . . . pray. Unbeknownst to them on one fateful November morning, their local rector was poised to push his proverbial birds out of the nest and into the community while the chapel received a fresh coat of paint . . . meanwhile the regional bishop was considering whether or not Hope of Glory was even alive enough to survive.

When the foursome decides (one most begrudgingly) to move their ministry to a local shopping mall, they cause quite a surprising stir among shoppers and store employees alike. Soon simple prayer requests, written on napkins, form a pile each week on the table in the alcove where they gather to knit. Remarkably some of those requests materialize into persons, and the adventure that follows is nothing short of . . . an answer to prayer.

Prayer is a curious thing, does it change the petitioner or the receiver . . . or both?! This delightful story with its unique, colorful characters demonstrates so many things about the way a church is meant to operate largely outside of its walls, for it seems that Pete McIlhaney's "Father Knows Best" t-shirt was right all along.

* I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars

of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady

BackCover Blurb of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady:

A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.


Kregel Publishing, 2021 Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook  at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House


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