Anne Brown loves her job at The Stitching Post Quilt Shop in Grandville, Michigan, but she keeps a suitcase packed so she can leave at a moment's notice. Living under the radar, she longs for a normal life, but settles for listening to family stories told by the friendly ladies of the quilting club who meet at the shop on Tuesday evenings. When she meets Brad, the handsome band director of an area high school and his adorable daughter, Anne begins to hope for a happily ever after of her own. But someone has far different plans.
Brad Carmichael is juggling the demands of his job as band director at Rivertown High School with trying to be a better father to his daughter. When Brad is late picking Jennie up from a birthday party, the pretty young clerk from the local quilt shop comes to his rescue. Kind-hearted and talented, Anne becomes a vital part of his and Jennie’s lives. Until her past threatens to destroy their relationship.
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Let's get to know the authors! Please Welcome
Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself.
Stephanie Michels – I was raised on the west coast of Michigan but lived in several other states (and a short stint overseas) as an adult. I came back to Michigan to raise my three children, who are now grown with kids of their own. I started writing as a very young child and spent part of my working career writing advertising and training manuals for a large Midwest retailer. I also wrote several how-to articles for various magazines and was a monthly software reviewer for Compute! Magazine. However, fiction is the love of my life. My first romance The Calico Heart, co-authored with Patricia Kiyono, is about a group of women who meet at The Stitching Post Quilt Shop. It was published by Astraea Press in January 2013. The next book in that series, The Friendship Star Quilt is coming out in April of this year. I have also written Trouble in Paradys, a fantasy romance for Resplendence Publishing.
Patricia Kiyono — my grandparents moved to Michigan from Japan about a hundred years ago, and though I love living here, one of my favorite things to do is travel. I spent 28 years teaching in the public schools near Grand Rapids, and now teach part-time at Grand Valley State University, which gives me more time to write and take care of my grandchildren. The Friendship Star Quilt is my ninth romance title.
When was your first book published?
Stephanie: January 2013
Patricia: July 2011
Are you currently working on anything?
Stephanie: I’m working on several books currently, Cruisin’ for Love, a romance that takes place on a cruise ship, a cozy mystery that takes place in the shoe industry (I love shoes!), and also a Christmas story in The Stitching Post series.
Patricia: I’m working on a couple of Stitching Post stories, as well as two sequels for Christmas Wishes.
Why did you decide to become an Author?
Stephanie: I’ve always loved reading and at an early age, I realized I liked to make up elaborate “let’s pretend” scenarios for my playmates and I. Soon, those evolved into telling stories for my friends then evolved further into writing stories to amuse myself and them.
Patricia: I’ve always been a rabid reader, but after suffering through a poorly written book I challenged myself to write a better one. Once I retired from full-time teaching I pursued that goal with even more energy and haven’t looked back.
Who and what inspired you to write?
Stephanie: My parents always encouraged my reading habit, especially when I was ill as a small child and spent a summer bed-ridden. They taught me to read then encouraged me in my own efforts at writing stories. I owe them so much for their patience and love. But, tongue-in-cheek, I always like to thank “Carolyn Keene”, the pseudonym of the man who wrote the Nancy Drew books for my fascination with mysteries. Many of my stories also have a bit of mystery or suspense in them.
Patricia: My father was one of the most intelligent people I’ve known, and he once told me, “If you want people to listen, you need two things: something worth saying, and the ability to say it well.” He guided me through endless essays and writing assignments, always insisting on proper spelling and grammar. He didn’t live to see my first book published, but even now when I write I can hear him whispering in my ear, “Are you sure that’s what you wanted to say?” I think I pursued writing because I wanted to make him proud of me.
When you are writing to you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
Stephanie: I know a lot of authors like to listen to music while they write. I even know one who creates a separate playlist for each of her books. It really works for her, but I don’t usually listen to music or the TV when I write. The lyrics tend to distract me. If I do listen to anything when I write, it is Steven Halpern’s Creativity, The instrumental music seems to make words flow for me when my mind is blocked.
Patricia: I suppose it’s odd, since I’m a musician, but I usually write better in total silence. When there are lyrics, I listen to the words. With instrumental music, I’m a critic. Steven Halpern’s Creativity works sometimes, as long as I’ve had enough sleep.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
Stephanie: I fall in love with a different character in every book. Currently, I’m very fond of two supporting characters in Cruising for Love. Cass and Patrick seem to want to take over the book though, so I’m having a bit of a challenge with them, too.
Patricia: My favorite character is whichever one allows me to see into his or her head. Sometimes they’re not good about sharing.
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
Stephanie: Most of my characters are like a cake, made up of many ingredients. I take traits and mannerisms of people I know (or have heard of) and add a few quirks to make them good guys (or villains), and hope they come out the way I want. The only time I purposely put a real person in a book was as a result of a contest I ran. The winner and her husband got to be named as characters in the book.
Patricia: Many of my characters are patterned after people I know. Most of my heroes have one or more of my husband’s characteristics, but since he doesn’t read my books he hasn’t noticed.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Stephanie: It’s a toss up between Gone with the Wind and Forever Amber.
Patricia: Bride of My Heart by Rebecca Winters.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.
Stephanie: No matter what your age or shape, your happily ever after might be waiting right around the corner.
Patricia: I think Stephanie summed it up nicely.
Previous titles (Click on title to go to the Amazon page)
Where to find Stephanie and Patricia
Thank you Patricia & Stephanie for taking the time to share with my readers at Genuine Jenn!
Time for some Giveaways! Two winners!
Patricia Kiyono would like to offer winners choice of one of her e-books & Stephanie Michels is offering a $5 Amazon or B&N card again winners choice!
For a chance to win, please leave a question for either Stephanie or Patricia. They will do their best to answer! And for another chance to win, be sure to visit Lynn Spangler's blog on Monday, April 14!
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~