Annie, Celia and Lynn are all that are left of the Relief Society quilting class, but they are still determined to make baby quilts for the new mothers at church. Annie, who is just south of eighty years old, calls the quiltsters (short for quilting sisters) together to ask for more. She wants to make lap quilts to give to some of the “forgotten” oldsters she sings to each week at the nursing home—something to wrap them in love at Christmastime. It’s a good idea, but the trio discovers that life and making quilts don’t always go as planned.
The quiltsters discuss recipes and quilting ideas including a crocheted cat mat to use up their fabric selvage and trim scraps, all of which they share in the book.
Sarah and Brian meet at the university. Their first date is after Sarah’s First Saturday Block of the Month class she attends with her mom at the local quilt shop. Their romance grows, and they plan their future together—a plan that will require them to be separated for six months before their wedding. But, can they bear to be apart that long?
What wraps together this Christmas tale? The Fourteenth Quilt.
turned to face Brian only to see him already turned towards her, studying her
face. As he leaned his head forward, she leaned in to join him in a quick kiss.
She could tell by the way his arm tightened around her he planned to kiss her
again, this time longer and deeper. Her lips parted, longing for the kiss that
promised to be so sweet only catch sight of a car entering the traffic circle
on her right. With an instinct borne of her shyness, she pulled her head back
as her eyes followed the car as it traveled the road in front of her, aware
Brian had picked up on her mood and his eyes joined hers. Together they rotated
their heads as they watched the vehicle travel three-fourths of the circle and
exit behind them.
Excerpt #5: (First kiss)
|Courtesy of Francois Thomas|
Sarah and Brian turned towards each other on the bench and once again studied each others' faces. Sarah smiled as she watched the light of Brian’s laugh in his eyes.
“You’re not getting out of my kiss that easily, Sarah,” he teased. “No cars in the area. No one walking the streets.”
Sarah’s smile widened as she slid her arms around Brian’s neck and leaned in to kiss him. It was the sweet kiss she had anticipated. She forgot about the heat on her legs, the perspiration causing her arms to stick rather than to slide. She forgot to care whether or not her nose was turning red on top or was dotted with beads of sweat. All that mattered was Brian and their kiss.
As the two separated, Sarah’s eyes studied the hint of a smile playing around his mouth. Then he clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“Wow, Sarah,” he finally said as he looked away.
About Robyn Echols:
Robyn Echols has been writing since she was in junior high school. By choice, she spent most of her evening hours in her "dungeon", as her mother called her downstairs bedroom, writing stories, only joining her family in front of the television upstairs when her favorite programs were playing. She has spent hours learning and teaching family history topics, and focuses on history from a genealogist's perspective of seeking out the details of everyday life in the past.
Now Robyn resides with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite” and has fun researching and writing the books that she hopes will interest and entertain her readers. She writes Young Adult/New Adult and contemporary fiction under Robyn Echols and adult historical romance under her pen name, Zina Abbott.
The author is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.
Quilt Gateway blog (See posts for September 2015)
Author Interview Questions
1. What inspired you to write in the first place?
I have always loved to read and write. I was sort of a dreamy child who made up stories in my head. I naturally progressed to writing my stories down so others could read them.
2. What inspired this particular book?
Although much of this book is pure fiction, the main plot is based on real events. At the time I worked with my two friends to make lap quilts for the local rest home I had no idea what would happen, especially that last week before Christmas. We had some crazy experiences. In other words, who could make this stuff up? It was only when I looked back on the real fourteenth quilt and realized the many lives it touched that I sensed its significance. I said, “Someone needs to write a book about this.” So, I did.
3. How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy reading, mostly fiction, but often non-fiction, particularly history. I love to quilt, although it does not rate as high as reading. I used to garden, but now I am writing more I don’t have the time. Last, I enjoy going on road trips, particularly into the mountains. Research trips are almost as much fun as writing the books set in the localities I’ve researched. I also work at the family history center and participate in my church, the local genealogical society, quilt guild and the local Daughters of Utah Pioneers. I attend way too many board meetings…..
4. What literary character do you most relate too?
I don’t think in those terms so I have no idea. I do know of most of the prominent people I hear quoted, I enjoy quotes from Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein the most.
5. What is the thing you struggle most with when you are writing and how do you defeat it?
The more I publish, the more time I spend marketing my books: blogs – including on group blogs –Facebook, Twitter, blog tours, making promotional hand-outs – all the things needed to get my name and the name of my books out there so people know what I have to offer. I defeat it by keeping on top of my calendaring, making templates for visuals to use and reuse on Twitter and Facebook, and keeping an organized filing system on my computer not only of my research and other resources, but also of my promotional and publishing deadlines.
6. If you could spend a day inside one book, what book would it be and why?
I try to spend a little bit of every day inside one book or another, whatever I’m reading at the time. The book I most like to get into is the one I’m writing at the moment.
7. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the main characters?
Considering this particular book was based on many actual people, I guess the obvious answer would be…. Frankly, I much prefer to read and write, so I watch very little television and rarely go to movies. I have no idea who could play the three old quilters. For the young couple, Sarah and Brian, there are some wonderful young actors and actresses, but I don’t know their names. Someone else would have to do the casting.
8. Do you listen to music while you write? If so what kind?
Nope. I like it dead silent.
9. What is your writing snack of choice?
Do I have to limit it to just one? Chocolate, crackers, Craisins, yogurt, cheese sticks, and soda.
10. Which of your personality traits did you write into one of your characters? (Accidental or deliberate)
My tendency to be a little sarcastic. I try to be tactful when I speak – a trait that does not come naturally to me – but in my mind I’m often thinking something entirely different. In The Fourteenth Quilt, Lynn is a little like that.