Saturday, August 23, 2014

Amber Stockton's "A Grand Design"


 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?

Amber Stockton’s ”A Grand Design”

Ever since childhood when I first saw the film, Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) and Christopher Reeve (Superman), I dreamed of visiting Mackinac Island (pronounced Mak-i-naw). If you want to step back in time and experience a little of life in the past, Mackinac Island won’t disappoint.

Once the writing bug bit me, I searched for a good story to set on Mackinac. It took two years after sending the story to my agent before I received a call telling me I’d just sold the book to Abingdon’s Quilts of Love line. This made me pause for a moment. Then, I replied, “That’s great, but there isn’t any quilt in that story.” She told me she’d added the quilt in order to submit it for consideration.

Grateful, but also perplexed, I now had to rework the entire premise and add in a quilt to be the unifying theme throughout the story. And I needed to do that in less than 6 months. Not an easy task for someone with absolutely zero quilting experience. The closest I’d ever come to a quilt was purchasing one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when I was in college. I don’t even know how to sew much more than buttons and a straight line. Add to that having two little ones (ages 3 and 5) underfoot all day, and the time to write becomes quite a challenge. But I’ve never let that stop me before!

A sale is a sale, right? And who was I to balk at having to rework my entire story? So, I set my mind to my task, consulted a friend who I knew quilted as a hobby, and wrote the book. After several months—and writing around a major home project of replacing our carpet with hardwood floors on one whole level—the story once called Adventure Island became A Grand Design and releases August 2014 from Abingdon.

Mackinac Island is vehicle-free, and transportation is limited to bicycles, horses, or walking. Utilizing your footwear allows you to take things slowly and investigate anything that piques your interest. The setting allowed me to bridge the gap between my previous historical novels and this contemporary one without losing the readership interest in all things historical. Though I haven’t walked away from writing historical, I am exploring other options to keep the writing steady. After all, an author is only as good as his/her next book.

Laying aside all this backstory, I had a fantastic time writing this book. Exploring the island, experiencing everything right along with my characters, and seeing the island through their eyes became an adventure in and of itself. Early reviews have come back stating this is my best story yet. But I'll let you decide.  Thanks for stopping by today and taking this journey with me.

For more information, visit these sites: www.mackinacisland.org, www.mackinac.com, www.michigan.org/hot-spots/mackinac-island, and www.grandhotel.com.

Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood. Today, she is an award-winning author and speaker who has partnered with Nerium International (stutas07.theneriumlook.com) in the anti-aging industry, helping others look younger and live better. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have one girl and one boy, and an Aussie/retriever mix named Roxie. She has sold fourteen books so far and is represented by agent Sandra Bishop. You can also find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberStockton) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/AmberStockton) as well as her web site (www.amberstockton.com)


For your chance to win Amber's book, answer either of these questions: 1) Where would you love to go if you could have your choice of any destination? 2) When was the last time you let a fear (either big or small) keep you from enjoying something life had to offer?