Friday, January 23, 2015

A STITCH IN CRIME - Cathy Elliott - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m reading A Stitch in Crime right now. If you love a mystery filled with quirky characters, you’ll love this book. All the quilts and antiques add a special spark to the setting, too.

Bio: Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer in northern California whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from quilting and antique collecting to playing her fiddle with friends. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren. Cathy’s previous plot-twisting works include A Vase of Mistaken Identity and Medals in the Attic.

Welcome, Cathy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Though my characters are a mix of many people, real and imaginary, there could be a bit of me in each one - but often enhanced. For instance, I sometimes procrastinate. But my protagonist, Thea James, is a chronic procrastinator in every way. She’s like Scarlet O’Hara. She’ll do it tomorrow.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once answered the phone at work with my bad Swedish accent, attempting a joke on a colleague. “Yah, shure … und kin I help yer?” But it wasn’t my friend on the line; it was a patron calling for assistance. What could I do? I couldn’t tell her I was goofing off.

I made a madcap decision and stayed in character, continuing my “Hans and Franz” show. “Yah, yah. I tink yer neetin’ duh reference desk. Yust holt on dere, und I’ll transfer yer call.” Acting as normal as possible, I transferred the call amid incredulous stares from nearby staff. Then upon hang up, I fell apart laughing with embarrassment and relief. The incident would become break-room fodder by the end of the day.

When I was in college, I worked the college switchboard. I was on duty when the tail end of a hurricane was fast approaching our campus. After hours of answering one frantic call from a parent after another, I went to the cafeteria for supper. I bowed my head to bless the food, and without thinking said, “Hello, Ouachita Baptist College.” I’m sure even God laughed right along with my roommates. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The day author Cindy Martinusen Coloma read a chapter I had written and told me I’d better get myself to the Mt. Hermon conference and submit a proposal. ‘Til then, only my mother admired my written words.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love mysteries - both cozy and suspenseful; true crime and police procedurals; thrillers – espionage and political; romance - especially historical, gothic, or Edwardian; and classics best. If it’s written well, I’m in.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In truth, I do seem to work very well under pressure. But when life overwhelms, the old song line, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus” works for me. I can take it slower and trust it will all get done because He is my Rest.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing names is all joy for me. Thea’s name came years after watching Middlemarch, adapted for TV by the BBC. I remembered the character of Dorothea Brooke, her sense of justice, her kindness, and her quest for meaningful work. Rosamund, her sister, called her “Doro” but I preferred Thea for my beloved protagonist. In A Stitch in Crime, her proper name is Dorothea. My story reveals she was named after the Middlemarch character, much admired by Thea’s mum.

In addition, I used the name Rosie (from sister, Rosamund) as Thea’s sister, too. It seemed only right that Mum would name both her girls after these characters. In Middlemarch, Rosamund is the sister with the heightened sense of fun. Rather like Thea’s nutty sister, Rosie.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Birthing a baby or birthing a book? Hmm. It’s no contest. Raising my children takes the prize. Though I’m mighty proud of my books, too.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Like many girls, I grew up a horse lover, reading Walter Farley, copying the Wesley Dennis illustrations in Marguerite Henry’s Misty books, and riding whenever I could. So … perhaps I’d be a horse. A gentle mare that carries children and adults alike with a smooth gait; one that loves to run and work and graze in green fields. I’d be a high-stepper and prance with pride and carry myself with elegance. Maybe a Palomino … so I could see if blondes really do have more fun!

What is your favorite food?
Oh, dear. I’m afraid it’s ice cream. But I don’t keep it in the house; it’s too much of a favorite.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of confidence. I’ve pushed a couple of great projects to the side because I’ve let fear of failure overtake me. But when I look back and see the hard things I’ve accomplished on this writing journey, the successes that have come with perseverance, confidence rushes back. Then, I’m anxious to meet the challenge and prove to myself that I can do it!

Tell us about the featured book.
Thea James thought working as co-chair for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza would be a natural extension of her antique business. But while organizing the busy week’s premiere events would make anyone frayed, she doesn’t expect a complete unraveling!

At the opening soirée, local matriarch Mary-Alice Wentworth is knocked unconscious and robbed of her diamond brooch. Soon a rare quilt—the main attraction and a rumored key to great riches—goes missing. Those who signed up to help Thea are strangely no help at all. What more could possibly happen?

Amid a cast of colorful characters and a tight schedule of garden galas, tea parties, and televised socials, everything is falling apart at the seams – and nothing is quite what it seems. Can Thea sew everything back together?

"...Fans of inspirational fiction will enjoy the funny, feel-good whodunit."
Publishers Weekly Review - November 7, 2014

“...Fans will want to add this gem to their keeper shelf.”
RT 4-Star Review - November 12, 2014

Please give us the first page of the book.
Perhaps if she simply avoided eye contact.

Thea James turned her back on the partygoers, paying attention to the dessert buffet instead. The Quilt-Without-Guilt Guild had surpassed their Christmas potluck standard. Among a bounty of petite cakes, cookies, puffs, and bars, Thea found her own offering, a plate of blueberry tartlets. They appeared untouched. Strange. She pulled them to the front of the culinary display.

“Thea! Why are you hiding out in the desserts when I need your help?” The familiar voice of fellow guild member, Heather Ann Brewster, hinted at desperation.

Turning with reluctance, Thea morphed into hospitality mode. “Blueberry tartlet?”

“What?” Heather Ann viewed the diminutive dessert, gave a small shudder, and then had the grace to look apologetic. “Ah ... no, thanks. I haven’t browsed the appetizers yet. Anyway, I can’t think about food now. I’m too upset.”

Thea shoved her reluctance aside. “What seems to be the problem, Heather Ann?” This time.

“You know the publicity banner we had made? The one advertising the quilt show next weekend? The one supposed to be hanging over the entrance to Old Town?”

Excerpt from A Stitch in Crime. © Cathy Elliott. Publishing by Abingdon Press. UBP.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to connect with your readers, Lena! I have a website (and Occasional Blog) and am a true devotee of Pinterest. Or you can see what I’m up to on Facebook. Links below.

Website & Occasional Blog -

Thanks so much for having me, Lena. A lovely experience!

And we're so glad to have you here, Cathy.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Stitch in Crime -
A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series - Amazon
A Stitch in Crime: 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:


Deanna Stevens said...

I've been in the position of putting on quilt shows & this book sounds like something I'd truly enjoy reading :)
dee from NEBR

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one, Lena. It sounds like a great read!

Melanie Backus, TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Great interview! Sounds like a fun read!

Beth in Montana

Jennifer Essad said...

Hello, I'm Jen in central Florida, Winter Park - I enjoy being outdoors, reflecting on my day

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like an interesting story that I would enjoy reading.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'm entering for a chance to win this book, not for myself, but for my sister, Randi. She'd love this book!
J.C. -Indiana-

Cathy Elliott said...

Thanks, folks, for your interest in A Stitch in Crime. Love reading your comments, getting a little intro to "future readers." (I hope!) I wish you could all win a copy. :-) But to the winner, please enjoy!

Melissa Oldaker said...

Thanks for the interview. It sounds intriguing.

Melissa O in NC

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lena for hosting Cathy. Enjoyed this interview. I love the Quilts of Love books. Would love to win Cathy's. Maxie from Texas
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Mary Preston said...

A fun title & a fabulous first page thank you.

Mary P


Cindi A said...

Sounds like a fun twist to a quilting story. Ü
Thanks for the chance to win a copy of A Stitch in Crime.

Cindi Altman from Pennsylvania

Pam Graber said...

Thanks for interviewing this author. I enjoyed learning about a new to me writer. Would love to win.
From Ohio.

Pam Graber said...

Thanks for interviewing this author. I enjoyed learning about a new to me writer. Would love to win.
From Ohio.

Anne Payne said...

Fun interview! Love the quirky voice thing. We sort of do this at our house all the time :)
Would love to read your book and share it with my MIL, who is a quilter and mystery buff.

Anne, rural NC

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I just love the storyline of this novel and I enjoy query characters so much, it brings the book to life.

I live in Canada.


Sheila Deeth said...

I keep meeting quilters. Though I'm sure I shall never be one, I'd love to read this. Sheila in Oregon

Lyndie Blevins said...

I love quit themed books, thanks for sharing..
Lyndieb Duncanville T

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an interesting story. I just discovered the Quilts of Love series and would I would enjoy reading Cathy's book.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in NY

Library Lady said...

My downfall is ice cream especially when I'm reading a book.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Mama Cat said...

Great interview! Love mysteries with a bit of romance, as well as reading about quilting (esp since I am needle and thread challenged!) Would love to read this book! We live in Phoenix AZ

Jan Hall said...

I enjoyed this interview. I can imagine being on the phone and hearing your accent. LOL Jan in sunny west Texas

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Cathy Elliott said...

LOL! I thought twice about revealing my embarrassing Swedish role play to you all. So, thanks for being kind. Confidentially, Thea (my protagonist) has plenty of quirks herself. I'm not alone in craziness....

RW1010 said...

I sure love this cover! Thanks for the chance to win!

Robin in NC

Melissa M. said...

I like mysteries (and quilts)! :)

-Melissa M. from TN

Lourdes said...

Thank you for the interview would love to win.

Lourdes Long Island NY

Pam K. said...

This sounds like a really fun mystery. I like books, especially mysteries, with quirky characters. Cathy is a new to me author. Thanks for the introduction and the chance to win A Stitch in Crime.


kam110476 said...

I have enjoyed every one of the books in the Quilts of Love series and A Stitch in Crime sounds no less fascinating than any of the rest of them!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

kam110476 said...

I have enjoyed every one of the books in the Quilts of Love series and A Stitch in Crime sounds no less fascinating than any of the rest of them!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I've recently been looking into making quilts and have some of the supplies. Now I just need to start some projects. Looks like a book I would enjoy.
Beth from IA

Sm said...

Collecting all the Quilts of Love books to read. I really like the series and have not read this one as yet. Sm CA. wileygreen1( at)yahoo(dot)com

Donna E said...

I've gone to a couple of quilt shows, but have never been on the arranging end. But even attending, I'd hate to think one of the quilts would go missing ---

Donna in Dewey, Oklahoma!!

donna {dot} durnell {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

Anonymous said...

This so interesting! Shelia from Mississippi

Anonymous said...

That should read sounds so interesting!Shelia from Mississippi

Merry said...

A mystery, quilts and quirky... sign me up!
Merry in MN

Britney Adams said...

What a fun interview! Thank you for the chance to win A Stitch in Crime.

Britney Adams, TX

Jen Scott said...

This sounds like a great book. I live in Indiana (in the Midwest of USA).
Thank you for the giveaway!