Monday, September 10, 2012

THE SHADOW ON THE QUILT - Stephanie Grace Whitson - One Free Book

Welcome back, Stephanie. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I don’t set out to write about a theme per se, but at some point in the process of writing, I seek to answer this question about my main character(s): What does she/he need to know about God? The answer to that question often leads to a spiritual them. Sometimes the understanding of what the book is “really” about doesn’t happen until I’m two-thirds of the way through a book. I’ll think, “Oh—this book isn’t about that. It’s about this.” It might be that “she” needs to know Jesus in a personal way or that “he” needs to understand forgiveness. When I realize that need, it’s always a very satisfying moment for me as a writer. Many of my books are about trusting God when it doesn’t look like He’s paying any attention at all to what’s happening in a life. I think The Shadow on the Quilt is more about forgiveness in its many forms. But I didn’t set out to write a book about forgiveness. I set out to tell a story.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
A Patchwork Christmas just released. Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and I each have a novella in that anthology. A quilt plays a role in the story. Judith’s is set in Amana (a whole cloth quilt), mine is set on the Nebraska prairie in a snowbound soddy (a doll quilt), and Nancy’s story happens in Gilded Age New York (a crazy quilt). My contribution allowed me to finally write a story that had been lurking in my story-telling brain for a very long time. This is the first novella I’ve ever published—and the first book to include a contest with its release. Lots of firsts for me!
The Message on the Quilt, the third Quilt Chronicles book comes out next spring.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Oh, my … what a question. Should I be “light-weight” and have fun with this … or be writerly and scholarly. HHHMMMM … “Light-weight” for fun answer: Blues musician Doug MacLeod, because his lyrics make me laugh and cry and feel better about life in general. Writerly/scholarly answer: Historian/author David McCullough, because he is my hero as a historical writer.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I think I gave you a very long list the last time you asked me. I’ll keep it simple this time:
Aunt Clara Brown, because in spite of the evil that was slavery, she managed to live agape love in a way that amazes and humbles me.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
When I was offered a publishing contract, I was self-taught when it came to story-telling. I didn’t know how to write a synopsis and I’d never heard of one-sheets. I had never been to a writing conference. I didn’t have an agent. But God still made it happen. I’m not saying that I was lazy or fatalistic. I’m saying that when the time is right for anyone, my journey to publication is proof that God will do what God will do. In the meantime, we do what we can do, and at the end of the day that boils down to “trust and obey.”
             I realize how very difficult that can be. Simple answers don’t always mean “easy.” But we “simply” need to keep writing. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep obeying. Keep on keeping on. “He who began a good work” in each one of us has promised that He will be “faithful to complete it.” We do our part of the job, and He does His.
            There’s a red notebook on the shelf in my office. The spine is labeled “Favorite Quotes.” Often when I get discouraged, I take it down and spend some time re-reading poems, Bible verses, and essays that have encouraged me over the years. If readers of this blog would like to receive a copy of one of the poems I read and re-read when I’m struggling, I’d be happy to send it. Just e-mail with “poem” in the subject line. I promise not to add you to a list or send spam. Only the poem.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Shadow on the Quilt tells the story of Juliana Sutton, a woman who appears to “have everything,” but who learns that much of her life is built on a false premise. When her life falls apart, she finds the courage to survive. This is (of course) a romance, and so readers also meet Cass Gregory, who lives with guilt over his own personal failings. Along the way, readers also meet Juliana’s elderly live-in aunts, prickly Theodora and sweet Lydia, and Cass’s sister Sadie who is “a caution.” The “shadow on the quilt” is a name on a signature quilt that haunts Juliana because of who and what it represents. This book came from my researching a small sign at a local cemetery which says H. of F. (that stands for the Home of the Friendless). Researching that institution’s real history inspired this book.

Please give us the first page of the book.

The Shadow on the Quilt
Stephanie Grace Whitson

Chapter 1

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
 I sink in deep mire, where there is not standing:
I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
Psalm 69:1–2

Lincoln, Nebraska
April 15, 1883

            Juliana Sutton stood before her husband’s mahogany dresser, staring down at the gold locket. What was it doing nestled in the leather box where Sterling kept his diamond studs? She glanced back at the bedroom door, feeling almost guilty for having found it. He was probably planning to surprise her. And it was lovely. Ah, well. She would pretend to be surprised and tease him about how she’d come to find it.

            “It’s not my fault my husband doesn’t pick up after himself,” she would say. “I was sitting at my dressing table brushing my hair before retiring last night, when something glinted in the lamplight. I glanced over and there it was, one of your diamond studs, languishing against the baseboard. It must have gotten lost when I … when we—” And she would blush, as she was blushing now, remembering her part in—things just last night. Her response to Sterling’s hand at her waist when he pulled her close. Her removing one glove before reaching up to rake her fingers through his hair. Her unfettered joy at his kiss.

            She turned the locket over in her hand. He’s had it engraved. She shouldn’t read the inscription, but now that she’d discovered it, she couldn’t help herself. And so, leaving the dresser drawer open, she retreated to her dressing table and held it close to the lamp and—gasped. She sat down.

            To my P.L.

            S. T. S.

            Her mouth went dry. She didn’t know anyone with the initials P.L. Sterling was Sterling Theodore, S.T.S.

Oh, my goodness. I can hardly wait to read this book. Thank you, Stephanie for sharing it with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Shadow on the Quilt (The Quilt Chronicles) - paperback
The Shadow on the Quilt (The Quilt Chronicles) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Ladette Kerr said...

Sounds like a great read!

Ladette in GA

Patty said...

A mystery to start out the book, sounds like a good read!

Patty in SC

Wendy Newcomb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Newcomb said...

I read the Key on the Quilt and loved it, I would love to win the second book, can hardly wait to read it. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Wendy in FL


aussie monica said...

All these books sound great, especially as I love historical fiction

Monica Ontario

Amada Chavez said...

OOO I LOVE the first page!!!

Please enter me!

Amada Chavez, NM

Amy Campbell said...

I am looking forward to reading this one!
Amy C

LadySaotome said...

Very smart posting that opening page. I'm hooked now!!

from the black hills of SD

scottsgal said...

sounds wonderful - thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL

apple blossom said...

sounds like a good book thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Liz R said...

Sounds great, please enter me!

Liz R in AL

Melody said...

If I was to choose someone to meet I think it would be a missionary from 50 years ago so that we could compare stories of THEN and Now.

from Donna, TX

Cathy Richmond said...

The Shadow on the Quilt and the Key on the Quilt are wonderful historical romances! Don't even wait for this contest - order them today!

MsRubyKat said...

I read The Key on the Quilt and it was great. Would love to win and read The Shadow on the Quilt. Thank you for the chance to win.

Karen from Troy, NY

Pam K. said...

I really enjoy reading Stephanie's books. The Shadow on the Quilt sounds like another good one. The little tidbit you gave us to read made me want more! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


Stephanie Grace Whitson said...

All your comments are so encouraging as I work on the third book in this series. Thanks, everyone. Melody ... are you on the mission field now? Where? Author Doris Elaine Fell would be a good one to compare notes with. She was in the Philippines as a young woman. She's a senior saint now and an amazing storyteller.

Judy Cooper said...

Stephanie writes the kind of books I enjoy. Thank you for the opportunity to enter. Judy Cd. in Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

would love to win a copy of this book.
angela from KY

marybelle said...

I do like hearing about the inspiration behind a story. The first page certainly made me want to read further.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

I really want to find out about the locket now!! This book looks very good!
Beth from Iowa

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story.

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Ginger said...

That snippet has me drooling. I look forward to reading The Shadow of the Quilt.

Ginger in AL

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Stephanie's historicals are some of my top favorite books!! Shadow on the Quilt sounds just as good as her others! What a way to leave me hanging...I can't wait to read it!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Binghamton, NY

Sarah said...

Enter me!!
God Bless!

Kevlin said...

Have this book on my wish list. I would love to try and win it. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Kevlin in NY

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win and read this book...sounds great.Thanks...Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Patricia said...

I have been wanting to read your book. Got it on my TBR list. Love to win a copy.

East Texas Piney Woods!

Norma S said...

Thank you for giving me a chance to win your book, it sounds great i can't wait to read it.Thanks again and God bless you.

Kay from NY said...

I would love to win and read your book. Sounds great. Thanks.

Kay, NY.

Veronica Sternberg said...

I love romance fiction! I'm in MN.

Diana Gardner said...

Looks great. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Marianne said...

i would love to win The Shadow on the
Quilt. i love all of Stephanie's novels, have quite a few of them, Key on the Quilt included. i really enjoyed it. Thank you Lena and Stephanie for the great opportunity!

Marianne from northern Alberta


Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me! Thanks!!!

Blanch, N.C.

Cindy W. said...

I love the cover of THE SHADOW OF THE QUILT and would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Cindy W. said...

I love the cover of THE SHADOW OF THE QUILT and would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Nancee said...

I'd love an opportunity to win a copy of this book. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Kristie said...

I know about keeping on, just keeping on. What choice to we have really? All we need is God's help to make it through another day. Sometimes it's hard to trust him and even harder to obey. I struggle sometimes but I'm here and today was a good day. I pray tomorrow will be a good day as well. Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.