Friday, September 12, 2014

A GRAND DESIGN - Amber Stockton - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’ve known Amber for over a decade and watched her bud and blossom as an author. I found A Grand Design to be a delightful romance, woven around a hand-made quilt and Mackinac Island. This book is an easy read that will take you out of your stressful day to a place to relax and enjoy a good story.

Welcome back, Amber. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was raised in a household where both parents believed in Christ, so for me, the transition from following the faith of my parents to making it my own personal faith was a natural progression. I accepted Christ at the age of 7 after a Sunday school class where the teacher read a story about Jesus never leaving you and being a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I had 2 brothers at the time, one older and one almost born, and my older brother teased me or tormented me more than befriended me, so a friend better than that appealed to me. J Three years later, I was baptized in a friend’s swimming pool, and I’ve never looked back.

Wow, Amber. I asked Jesus into my heard when I was 7. I didn’t know we had that in common. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Wow. Only 4? That’s not going to be easy, but I’ll give it a shot. Let’s see. First, I’d invite Tamera Alexander because she’s so full of grace and wisdom, and she knows how to tell a fantastic story. Next would be Jeff Olson (author of The Slight Edge) because he has a phenomenal knack for taking concepts that might be difficult to process or understand and breaking them down into manageable bites that are easy to apply to your life. After him would be Linda Windsor because she took the time to mentor and encourage me in the early stages of my writing career, and she isn’t afraid to give a harsh critique if a piece of writing needs it. Leaving the best for last would be Tracie Peterson because she and her husband were the reason I got published in the first place. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. I began as a reader of her books who contacted her and that led to another amazing mentoring relationship with a lady so full of God’s grace and love, it’s a challenge to not love her.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
Yes. I began presenting workshops on writing once I’d sold several books, but that has blossomed into speaking at women’s retreats, seminars, at conferences, and even doing a few podcasts here and there. My list of topics is always changing, but my core ones are available on the Speaking page of my web site ( I grew up embellishing stories and being able to hold a captive audience. Guess I never expected that to turn into a flourishing writing and speaking career. Amazing how God works … even when you don’t realize it.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
This isn’t easy, because I don’t embarrass easily. Not to say my face doesn’t turn several shades of red in moments of embarrassment, but I can usually laugh it off or turn the focus elsewhere. I do suffer from an incurable case of foot-in-mouth disease, but owning that makes it easier to handle when embarrassing moments happen. There aren’t any stories of falling down the stairs, tripping up the stairs, spilling food or drink all down the front of me, bad hair days, etc. But one memorable moment came at an annual ACFW conference when Brandilyn Collins (our MC) decided to announce the coming arrival of my first baby to everyone attending the general session. My husband and I met because of ACFW, so our story at the time was frequently shared and told on the email loop or at the national conference. This particular year, I was serving in a volunteer capacity as I usually do and walked into the meeting room just as Brandilyn was making the announcement. She explained how we met and fell in love because of ACFW then proceeded to announce our joyous news. Of course, I wasn’t sitting with my husband at the time. He was clear across the room, so when Brandilyn talked about the joy of adding a baby to the love we shared only to see we weren’t even sitting together, it made for some fun remarks from the witty MC, and many at the conference teased us for days afterward. It’s one of those “you had to be there” stories.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
Oh, definitely. And I’d tell them to write the book. Don’t delay, don’t dawdle. Get it done. There’s an immense feeling of accomplishment when you get to that last page. Everything you wrote might never see a printed page, but at least you can say you did it! Someday will always be out there, but goals are never accomplished by waiting for someday.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Grand Design is a light-hearted contemporary romance which serves as a nice escape for a few hours. Here’s the blurb:
A fun getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs … if only she can let go of her past.

Fifteen years ago, Alyssa Denham stopped taking her annual summer trip to Mackinac Island, refusing to tell anyone the reason she avoided the island she loved as a child. Now here she is, unexpectedly on the island for two weeks with her best friend, Libby, trying to keep her secret buried.

Alyssa’s grandmother, who lives on the island, has asked Alyssa and Libby to help piece together a friendship quilt she had started years earlier. Their quest takes them to the homes of some of her grandmother’s long-lost friends, giving Alyssa amazing insight into her grandmother’s life … and attracting the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman.

Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will she finally learn to trust and let God heal her fractured heart?

Since I’ve read the book, please give us the first page for my readers.
“I hate the month of June!”

Alyssa Denham shouldered her way through the revolving door to her office building and onto the concrete sidewalk, her arms laden with bridal shower grab-bag gifts. She should have tossed most of the stuff, or found an unsuspecting coworker and bestowed the gifts on her as a random act of kindness. Three office bridal showers in the first three weeks of April. It had to be a record.

The predictable wedding invitations arrive in her inbox, and she still didn’t have a date for the events. Some of it was her fault. It shouldn’t bother her, but it did.

I don’t have a date, period.

Every year for the past five years, whenever a wedding occurred for someone she knew, it happened in June. And this year was no different. If June was her least favorite month, then April followed as a close second. As Alyssa stepped out from under the overhang, the light drizzle falling most of the day changed to a steady rain
“Perfect,” she muttered, looking up and down the street for a taxi to the train station. She usually walked, but the gift bags and little wrapped items she carried made the idea impossible. The six blocks would feel more like sixty.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a web site at, but I’m also on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Pinterest ( )

Thank you, Amber, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Grand Design -
A Grand Design: Quilts of Love Series - Amazon
A Grand Design: Quilts of Love Series - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Amber Stockton said...

Lena, thank you so much for hosting me here. Hard to believe it's been nearly 13 years since we met! So many years, so many books for us both. :) I'm honored to be a guest here, and I'll promoted it out on social media to draw in some new readers for you. Thanks again! I'll check back here and there throughout the next week.

Deanna Stevens said...

I love all these quilt books! Another one I'd so enjoy reading...
dkstevens from SE NE

Susan P said...

Love this interview! I love that you are so involved with the conference where you and your hubby met. :)

Merry said...

MacKinac Island sounds like an awesome place I'd love to visit someday. Please add me for A Grand Design, thanks.
Merry in MN

Anonymous said...

My sister loves these kinds of books.
J.C. -Indiana-

sm said...

I really enjoy the Quilts of Love series and Mackinac Island and would love to read your new book. sm, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Diane B said...

Amber, "Grand Design" sounds like a great story to be immersed in! Hope I can win it to enjoy a fantastic journey in my mind through your words! :)

I live in SC.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds really good. I look forward to reading it.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jackie Tessnair said...

I love these quilt books.O would love to win this one.Thanks for the chance.Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the first page thank you. Love the cover.

Mary P


Judy said...

I really enjoyed the interview with Amber. It thrilled me to learn that both of you accepted Jesus into your hearts at the age of 7. After reading what this book is about, I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Judy B from Indiana

Jan Hall said...

What a great story and a reminder to take the time to learn more about our parents and grandparents while they are still with us. It is amazing how much our perspective changes when we know more about them.
Jan H in sunny West Texas148

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

PriviesAndPrims said...

I've just been to a wedding, so I'd love to read about this one!


Patsy said...

Oh, I wish I could quilt! Looking forward to reading this book.
From MS

sm said...

Amber, I like the plot of your book, A GRAND DESIGN, where the girl visits her family to piece together her quilt and inadvertently her life. I would enjoy winning and reading your book. I especially like the Quilts of Love series. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Emma said...

I am looking forward to reading A Grand Design.I enjoy reading your books. Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

Mama Cat said...

Would love to read this book - sounds awesome! My home state, going back to help her grandmother and meeting her friends, a place I missed seeing when I lived there - thank you for the chance to win! Jeanie in Phoenix AZ

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

kam110476 said...

Hi Tiffany & Lena! I've been looking forward to A Grand Design since I first heard about it over on the Christian fiction historical blog last year! I love anything Mackinac Island related!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks great! Enter me!
Blanch, NC

Amber Stockton said...

It's been hit or miss for the past 5 years Susan since my kids were born but I still volunteer wherever I can.

Amber Stockton said...

It is amazing Merry. I hope you do get to visit.

Amber Stockton said...

Diane, several of the reviews have said they feel like they're right on the island while reading. :) Here's to the mental journey.

Amber Stockton said...

Wow all the way from Australia, Mary. Thanks for stopping by.

Amber Stockton said...

Yes. Over 30 years serving Jesus. I wouldn't change a thing.

Amber Stockton said...

Well it's finally here Kristen. :)

Sharon Timmer said...

Love these books - I am from Maumelle, AR.

traveler said...

Interesting interview. Your books are delightful. NM. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

sounds good! Shelia from Mississippi

Gail H. said...

Great books!
Gail - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

kec200 said...

I can't quilt but I love reading stories related to them. My sister has made all of us sisters our own quilts to take on our sister trips together. There are 4 of us. They are all very different, just like us and just like us they are held together with love! Wendell, NC

Frances Cavallo said...

I would love to visit Mackinac Island someday! I love handmade quilts and have been up to Amish Country to look at the beautiful quilts there!!! I live in Deltona, Florida, in the good old USA!!! Good Luck Everyone!!!

Frances Cavallo said...

My email address is I need some of your readers help! I am on disability and have been very sick. I spend more time in hospitals and doctors than at home! I love to read and I have read all of the Amish/Christian Fiction that they had in my small library and they will not be purchasing any more very soon! If anybody out there has any books that they can afford to get rid of, please let me know! I am even asking anybody who might have a used Kindle or Nook, to possibly donate it to me, and i would have access to hundreds of books! Please help me if you can!!! God Bless Everyone and I pray that someone can help me!!! Have a Blessed Day!!!

Bonnie Traher said...

So happy to meet you Amber. I live in West Nanticoke,Pa It is in Northeast Pa.

RW1010 said...

I really enjoyed this interview & the excerpt! Thanks for sharing with us Amber & Lena!

Robin in NC

Britney Adams said...

I love the Quilts of Love series and am eager to read A GRAND DESIGN!

Britney Adams, TX