Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quilts of Love Series

by Anita Mae Draper

Welcome to our coming out party, and
 Congratulations, Jennifer AlLee!

It seems like it's one party after another around here, and that's what happens when you receive a cloudburst of God's blessings. I'm thrilled with my Inky sisters' success and wish them many more books to come.

As introduced in yesterday's post, Jennifer's new release is
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas and is part of the exciting and new
Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press.

The making of a family quilt is the common thread running through this series, but it doesn't confine itself to one genre. Abingdon Press says the Quilts of Love series is ...

A wonderful new Christian fiction series featuring contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery ... Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family history. Featuring contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery, you will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Abingdon Press has done a great job making information about the series available to readers.

All the books in the series can be found at where you'll see pages like Jennifer's,  A Wild Goose Chase Christmas:

A Wild Goose Chase Christmas
Quilts of Love Series
By Jennifer AlLee

A quilt, a secret message, a dog,
and a possible treasure make for
an unforgettable Christmas!

Abingdon Press
ISBN-13: 9781426752490
Publication Date: Nov 2012

Back Cover Blurb of A Wild Goose Chase Christmas

Upon her grandmother's death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure.

Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the "treasure map," they're determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren't enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt.

What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?

The pages allow you to read an excerpt to see if the book interests you. It also shows sources for both print and ebooks.

I have to admit that I'm not a dog person, yet the dog on Jennifer's cover - a Jack Russell terrier, no? - reminds me of the TV show, Wishbone, that we watched back in the 90's. I really liked Wishbone because he'd go on a different adventure somewhere on history on every show.

If you're on Facebook, you can zip over to the Quilts of Love page where you can find book descriptions, photos, and news of reviews. You can also add your own comments about the books or the series itself.

Abingdon has put out this book trailer for the Quilts of Love series over on their YouTube channel. If you like Abingdon Press, you might want to subscribe to their channel. If you do, they'll send you an email every time they add a video to their channel.

As I said before, the Quilts of Love series centres on a common theme - a quilt.

I have a quilt my Finnish grandmother made which is about the size of a lap quilt since it's bigger than a crib quilt, but smaller than one for a single bed. I used it as a lap quilt because I love the vibrant colours, but the squares began to separate. We look at it now instead of using it.

Some people hang their quilts on the wall, or folded on a quilt stand.

During my mother-in-law's recent visit, we spent a couple days talking about genealogy and going through old photos and albums. Before she left, she gave me a bed cover which had been hand-embroidered by her mother. This bed cover will be admired until I have a guest room to put it in.

So here's my question for you today...

Do you have a favourite quilt or blanket? Do you use it, or just admire it? Why is it your favourite?

Leave a comment on any Week of Jennifer post
 this week and we'll enter your name in a drawing
 for a copy of Jennifer AlLee's, 
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas.


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quilts as Story

    All art is about story.  The Mona Lisa?  There's a mystery in her smile.  Michelangelo's David?  He's standing there with his sling, ready to slay Goliath, fearless and determined.  Art evokes emotion.  Art puts ideas into the viewer's head.  Quilting may not have the status of painting or sculpture, but it is still art.  Even the humblest of quilts tell their own stories.
Remembering my Dad's service in WWII
    Certainly, quilts began as something primarily utilitarian, merely a means of warmth.  But over the centuries, quilters have elevated that means of warmth to an art form.  Even those basic utilitarian quilts tell a story of their own.  Why did the quilter choose this material over that one?  Was it all she had available?  Was it longer lasting or more economical?  What appealed to him about the pattern or the layout?  What sort of personality did the quilter have?  Reserved?  Traditional?  Iconoclastic?  Meticulous?  Whimsical?
For my favorite team:  The Dallas Stars!
    But, beyond those quilts that served as warmth and love for the quilter and his or her family, there are quilts that deliberately tell a story.  Quilters often design their projects to tell about someone's life, a special anniversary or birthday or other memorable event, a hobby, a cause, or a political point of view.
Prosperity is Just Around the Corner
    One of my favorite "political" quilts is Fannie B. Shaw's Depression Era quilt, "Prosperity is Just Around the Corner."  When asked about it, she said, "Every time you picked up the paper or heard the radio, (President Hoover) would talk about the good times just around the corner.  He would make it sound so good.  I wondered if I could make a picture of what he was saying and what he meant.  I couldn't get it off my mind."
    The quilt shows people from all walks of life (even the Donkey and Elephant from the major political parties) peering around the corner, looking for those good times.  And in the middle is the farmer (Mr. Shaw) working hard to keep feeding the nation.  Now that's a story quilt!
A Friendship Quilt
    Back in the days of the pioneers, when going west meant it would be a long time (if ever!) before loved ones were reunited, friendship quilts were popular.  Quilters made blocks with space for signatures and quotes to be inked or embroidered on them to remind the recipient of the family, congregation or town he left behind.
Crown of Thorns Block
    Similarly, the fabrics used in a quilt could tell a story in themselves, especially for immigrants from Europe and beyond.  "This was your great aunt's dress.  Your cousin's shirt.  Your grandmother's wedding gown."  And, with those fabric reminders, the story of that great aunt or cousin or grandmother could be recounted and passed down.
    And, of course, quilt blocks themselves can tell a story.  There are many based on Bible stories, like Garden of Eden, Crown of Thorns, Jacob's Ladder, Job's Tears, or Joseph's Coat.  No doubt, little girls being taught to quilt were also taught the stories behind those block names.  And later, when they wrapped their own children in the quilts they made, they would tell those stories again and again.
    So next time you look at a quilt, ask yourself, "What story does this quilt tell?  What ideas does it put into my head?"  The answers might surprise you!

    Of course, we are here to celebrate the release of a story about quilt (which no doubt has a story of its own!):  Jennifer ALlee's A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, the latest from Abingdon Press's Quilts of Love line.  Congratulations, Jen!

Are you a quilter?  Or do you have any old family quilts?  What stories do your quilts tell?

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, as well as Letters in the Attic and The Key in the Attic, contemporary mysteries. Her new series of Drew Farthering Mysteries will debut in the Summer of 2013 with Rules of Murder from Bethany House.  A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jennifer AlLee. Book Release Party!

Pull up a chair inside or out on the deck. Don't worry about feeling underdressed (I happen to be in sweats at the moment)  In a moment, you'll find out who this lovely woman is!

Welcome to the Party!

I know. I know. 
We are partying fools this month! 
Lisa, Gina, Dina and now Jen.

This week we are celebrating

the release of Jennifer ALlee's

Have you heard about the brand new Quilts of Love line from Abingdon Press? If not, you will!

We've moved the party to the west coast because of The Storm.
That fabulous Manhattan apartment I'd picked out is on the 31st floor and if the electric goes water...
So, I've rented out a nice little Malibu beach house for the week.

If we can ask Bradley Cooper to serve Red Velvet Cake, I figured I could afford a beach house on the earnings from my last modeling assignment. (It was for Halloween and I didn't spend more than five minutes in MakeUp! Who knew?)

We didn't bother with Halloween decorations.  Orange is not my color, darling!
But we've done a little Christmas decorating and we've got the holiday music playing out on the deck.
The deck. That view! Those eyes. I mean. What a view!

Ho ho ho!

 Yes, we have a nice buffet of healthy foods. After all it's California and I haven't had guacamole since...yesterday.  Please! Mingle!  And try one of the desserts on our dessert table.!


Our wait staff is eager to assist, but they are taking turns decorating the tree,  cooking and keeping the kitchen clean (I love that part!). And
taking walks along the beach. Sigh.

Some guys just look so at home in the kitchen, don't they?

  and in case you are wondering who Jen pictured for her 
Christmas hero in A GOOSE WATCH CHRISTMAS...

"Hey Girl! Yeah, you. You didn't think I'd miss your party, did you?"

Did you notice our little Hollywood theme today?  
A lot of it has to do with this woman, the lovely Marie Staats
She happens to be the inspiration for Grandma Isabella in Jen's story...

A real Hollywood gal who danced in Show Biz until she met the man of her dreams...
   Don't you love these photos?


Stop by throughout the week as we celebrate Jen's release with a look at the history of quilts as an art and form of story-telling, and some more on Abingdon Press. We'll be here all week celebrating!

All this sugar is making my heart race...

We wish you the best on your latest release!

Leave a comment on any Week of Jennifer post
 this week and we'll enter your name in a drawing
 for a copy of Jennifer AlLee's, 
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Love in Three Quarter Time - a book review

by Debra E. Marvin
I’m pleased to recommend a book I had the chance to read last year and again just recently: 
Dina Sleiman’s Love in Three Quarter Time, 
available this month as the first book from the new Zondervan First line.
Virginia 1817. Just when Constance Cavendish, the belle of Richmond, is most sure of a successful future with handsome plantation heir Robert Montgomery, her world falls apart with a friend’s betrayal.

Five years later, with no father, income or home, the Cavendish sisters and their mother face a future of genteel poverty—and they are not doing well. A fine gentleman caller is hoping to remedy the situation by marrying the lovely Constance, but she has other ideas. No longer the fiery center of society, Constance is made practical by circumstances and decides to use her only skill and pursue an occupation. Taking on a trade drops her from polite society but she has no choice and sets out to become a dance instructor. (A popular occupation at the time for European men, not young ladies of breeding.)

To avoid the disdain of her neighbors, she seeks employment in another county, and finds it. Not just any family of daughters, but the sisters of Robert Montgomery, the man who abandoned their relationship when her father fell in disgrace.

Constance must succeed and swallows the last of her pride. Robert is the last person she wants to see.

Likewise, Robert is shocked when he returns home to find her pretending to be an English dance teacher. A rush of conflicted feelings, including guilt and regret, surface for the woman he’d once planned to marry.

In a setting of the early south, during the Federalist period of Jefferson’s Virginia, revolutionaries now seek to fight for personal rights – rights of slave owners, or rights of slaves? Along the way, Constance meets a fascinating man unlike any she’s known before. Handsome Lorimer is an compelling itinerant preacher who encourages her in a new discovery of faith by showing her insights into the world of slavery, and insights into her true self.

Constance’s sisters and her unlucky beau back at home round out a cast strong enough to fill this rich setting of history, plantation life, dresses and dances, and the interaction of classes and race.

This is much more than a historical romance about a heroine forced to rebuild her life. Dina’s writing is beautiful and the many facets of the story and its character left me with little desire to put the book down.  Constance grows through each new revelation, and allows God to guide her through the dance of life even if she is unsure in her choice of partner.
Constance had never experienced anything like the entry hall of Monticello. More a museum for curiosities than any sort of proper foyer. Maps, artwork, Indian feathers and artifacts, even a wall covered with antlers. The double faced clock featuring a system of weights to track the days of the week was nothing short of a scientific marvel.
She had thought the interior architecture would be similar to White Willow Hall since the brown brick exterior with white columns and dome seemed to match. But this home featured soaring ceilings and balconies unlike White Willow’s more basic two story construction—Jefferson’s fascination with light, space, and time evident throughout. As she toured the statues and the griffin frieze, she clung to Lorimer’s arm.
Robbie bounded through the front door, full of energy for the first time in weeks. “Good evening, all,” he called.
            At that moment the elegant, dark-haired Patsy Randolph, daughter of President Thomas Jefferson and hostess of Monticello, entered through a side hallway into the enormous two story room.
            “Welcome to Monticello. Mr. Beaumont, Mr. Montgomery, Lorimer.” She offered her hand to each of the gentlemen for a kiss, then turned to embrace the ladies.
            “And you must be the Miss Cavendish I’ve heard so much about.” Mrs. Randolph had a warm, motherly air about her.
            “All good, I hope.”
            “Of course.” 

I love the fact that Zondervan First is offering fiction of this quality for a very reasonable Ebook price, $3.99, and I am very happy to recommend this book! Please visit our week's worth of posts about Dina, the faith journey in this novel,  the new Zondervan First line, and C.J. Chase's  post on the evolution of the Waltz. It's been another great  Release Party week!

Love in Three Quarter Time is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and

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