Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MAYBELLE IN STITCHES - Joyce Magnin - One Free Book on this blog, Plus More

Bio: Joyce Magnin is the author of the Bright's Pond novels, including the award-winning The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. A member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship, Joyce is a frequent workshop leader and the organizer of the StoryCrafters fiction group. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Welcome back, Joyce. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love the idea of community and people working together to solve problems and support one another. So all my books have that in common. And I also believe that part of getting through life is keeping a sense of humor about things.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Well, I guess I’ve had several happiest days if you count the days my kids were born, the day I got my first book contract, the day I learned to ride a bike, the day my brother came home from Viet Nam, the day my daughter got married, the days she gave birth to The Adorables (my three grandsons). Yikes! Lots of happiest days. It is really hard to narrow down to just one—sorry.

The longer we live, the longer those lists become. I now how two great grandsons as well. How has being published changed your life?
Oh, boy, I’m certainly busier than I ever was. Getting a publishing contract is very validating for writers even though there are many days when I think I’m the worst writer in the world.

Don’t we all? What are you reading right now?
Books by Elizabeth Berg. I love her simplicity. Books on needlework and embroidery because I’m working on a book that uses embroidery as a symbol.

What is your current work in progress?
Working on a book called Counting Threads about a woman who runs a small stitchery shop.

What would be your dream vacation?
I want to go to Scotland and wander the moors and castles. Or a day to myself would be nice.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
They choose me. I love small towns so that’s where I set my books. The small towns I write about are pretty much an amalgam of all the small towns I’ve explored in upstate Pennsylvania.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My sister Elaine. I haven’t seen her in a long time.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Cross Stitch, video games, grandsons.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Self doubt. I never think I’m good enough. I overcome it by looking at past successes and listening to the amazing cheerleaders in my life.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write. Attend conferences. Persevere.

Tell us about the featured book.
A patchwork quilt holds together two hearts separated by miles of ocean and the Second World War. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

My newest great grandson is named Holden. Please give us the first page of the book.
October 1943
Chester, Pennsylvania

My dearest Maybelle,

Another long day has finally come to an end. We just finished dinner. Paxton is already snoring. He can sleep anywhere. I don’t have to tell you how sleep eludes me here. But, supper was good, lamb stew with potatoes and carrots. I had three helpings. I can’t tell you how or where, but we actually ate supper at a real house, not a foxhole. But now, I am in our tent, shivering because it is so cold and it makes me wish even more you were in my arms. I love you, darling, and miss you more than anything. I know you are worried, but don’t be. I’ll be home soon, I promise. I can hear artillery off in the distance, but if I listen real hard, I can hear your voice, singing the silly song you always sang. Oh, sorry, sweetheart, I have to go now. My sergeant is waiting for me. Some sort of (censored) duty. Good night, darling.

Your Ever-Loving Husband,

Maybelle slipped the V-Mail letter into her pocket and headed off down Ninth Street toward the Sun shipyard. The main reason she had taken the job was because she thought it would help take her mind off of missing Holden. And because most of the men had been sent off to war, they needed her. As it turned out, learning to be a welder repairing huge war ships did accomplish some of her goal, but it also accomplished something else. Maybelle had become a part of a small group of army wives whose husbands were fighting in Europe. A group that worked together, laughed together, ate together, and far too often cried together. Try as they might, the wives had a difficult time refraining from long talks of their husbands and the war. There was no use trying to hide their true feelings, although each and every woman was proud as punch her husband was doing his part. It seemed to be the motto on the home front. Do Your Part. Well, Maybelle certainly believed she was doing hers.

She lived only five blocks from the massive shipyard on the Delaware River in Chester—a small but bustling suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After Holden enlisted, Maybelle moved in with her mother. Maybelle and Holden had plans to move into one of the blossoming communities a little farther west. But for now, home with Mom and Bingo, her black mutt of a dog, was the best of all places for Maybelle. Still, she missed Holden more than anything. They had gotten married only two weeks before he shipped out for Europe. His orders came early. Six whole months early and so Maybelle and her mother scrambled to get the wedding organized in time. Pastor Mendenhall was more than accommodating. As a matter of fact, Maybelle was delighted the way the entire congregation, what was left of it, pitched in.

Maybelle could hear the shipyard whistle blow all day long from the house. The yard operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The whistle announced the numerous shift changes, lunch, starting and stopping times. She felt fortunate for having the day shift

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found at http://joycemagnin.blogspot.com or Facebook.
Thanks for visiting with me!

Joyce, it's always a pleasure to host you, and I love the Quilts of Love books.

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Maybelle in Stitches, by Joyce Magnin. Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it.

Joyce is celebrating the release with a $200 Modcloth giveaway. Enter today for a chance to spruce up your spring wardrobe!


  One winner will receive:
  • A $200 ModCloth.com gift card
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced on April 21st on the Quilts of Love blog!

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

Joyce, I recently discovered the ModCloth web site. I'd love to win a shopping spree there. I'm sure my winners would, too.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Maybelle in Stitches - Christianbook.com

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.


Jackie McNutt said...

Lena, Enjoyed the interview with Joyce.
The excerpt from her book is very interesting and I would love to read it.
Thank you from Ohio

Bluerose said...

I read Harriet Beamer takes the Bus awhile back and liked it so much, I look forward to getting into another of Magnin's novels soon! :)

Tammy (AL)

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Danie Walther said...

Sounds like it would be an interesting book

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this great interview with Joyce Magnin. I adore the Quilts of Love series and look forward to reading MAYBELLE IN STITCHES!

Britney Adams, TX

sm said...

I enjoy the Quilts of Love series and would enjoy reading this one also. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win. Angela in Ky

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

What a wonderful interview. The first book I read by Joyce was "Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise - A Novel of Bright's Pond." I was in love with Joyce's writing from that point on. I also really, really wanted to buy a trailer. Something my husband is continuing to encourage me in...slowly.

Prescott, AZ

Melanie Backus said...

The interview was great! Thank you for sharing. Maybelle in Stitches sounds like a must read.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

I know I am going to enjoy this story immensely.

Mary P


Judy said...

Thanks Joyce for the interview. I'm looking forward to Maybelle in Stitches!

Judy B from Indiana

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Mama Cat said...

This book sounds so interesting! this is a time period I began to learn more about through Anna Schmidt's current series, and enjoyed. Since I can't sew - barely buttons under duress - it sounds even more interesting! Thank you for the wonderful interview and chance to win! I live in Arizona.

PriviesAndPrims said...

I am very familiar with Chester, PA because I grew up very close to there. I've never seen a book set in that area before.
I currently live in Lancaster County, PA.
Will definitely be looking for this one!


Emma said...

wonderful interview.I am looking forward to reading Maybelle in Stitches.The excerpt sounds wonderful.Please enter me in contest.Thank you for the opportunity to win. PA.

Courtney Clark said...

I've heard so much about the Quilts of Love books, but haven't had the opportunity to read one yet. I'd love to win!

Courtney C. from AR

Merry said...

Maybelle in Stitches sounds touching, I'd love to win it!
Merry in MN