Category Archives: writing

Quilt Artist to Word Artist

What happens when your brain has “quilt overload?”

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Sometimes a quilter just needs to take a break from quilting. A break from planning, cutting, and stitching. We need to get away from the sewing room, for just a bit. Completely away, no quilt meetings, no quilt magazines. What do we do when we need that break?

Read?

Now there are several authors who write books with quilts in them. They are good books, in fact I will be reviewing some of them later this summer. However, for something completely different, a book that is pure enjoyment, allow me to introduce Mariam Kobras, former quilt artist turned word artist.

I told someone the other day that  my review could be short, sweet and simple, “It’s a good book, buy it and read it.”

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Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for much of a blog post, or tell you anything about the book.  Naomi Carlsson is a “poor little rich girl” in one sense, but she is so much more. Her parents own the world-famous Carlsson Hotels and she is expected to take over the running of them.

Yeah, right. Remember when you were eighteen? Did you have dreams? Did they coincide with what your parents, or society thought you should do? What did you do? WAITING FOR A SONG is Naomi’s story of growth, and independence.

Everyone expected her to become engaged today. After all, it is her eighteenth birthday and her soon-to-be fiance has been waiting years for her to be old enough. Except, she’s not sure she wants to marry him, and there is not a crown prince available for her. Which is a good thing, since she doesn’t want to marry a prince either.

Naomi isn’t the demure little thing her parents and future husband, Seth want to make her into. When Seth, knowing she loves to ride, gives her the gift of a horse, a pedigree Arabian, it reinforces Naomi’s idea that he isn’t the man for her. Especially since her favorite mount is a stallion Apollo. She thinks the Arabian looks like a puppy and has no interest in it. Shouldn’t the man she marries know her and understand her love of Apollo, and how she would view the difference between the two horses?

The horse issue is one more piece of evidence that those who profess to love her don’t know her and only view her as possession, something valuable and needing to be safe guarded at all costs. She feels as though she’s bound with golden shackles, and smothered in loving protection Naomi is her own person and knows her own mind. From riding Apollo and feeling the wind in her hair to following her dream of song writing Naomi begins to find her way out of the maze of concern and protection her parents have hidden her in.

WAITNG FOR A SONG, is Naomi’s story. It’s more than a romance, it’s more than a coming of life story. It is a story we are all know and have experienced to some degree. It is also a bit of a fantasy, imagine running away from  home in style, aboard a jet plane and having the opportunity to see some of your fantasies come true.

Would you take that chance? Would you leave behind all that is familiar to you for the adventure of the unknown?

Unlike most books that are part of a series, WAITING FOR A SONG, which is Mariam’s fourth book (I think, I’ve lost track,) stands on its own and does not need the previous books to be understood, or enjoyed. Although, if you haven’t read the earlier books, now you will want to.

Photo on 5-2-14 at 4.37 PM #3

 

For a change of pace, take a break from quilting and read the entertaining works of quilt artist turned word artist, Mariam Kobras.

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Reading Break for Quilters

Song of the Storm book cover Calling all quilters. The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, it’s too hot for sewing. If you’re ready to take a sewing break and read I have the perfect book for you. SONG OF THE STORM is book three in the Stone Trilogy by Mariam Kobras.

With another captivating episode in the Jon and Naomi Stone saga, author Mariam Kobras has quilted her magic. SONG OF THE STORM,  the last (maybe) book in the Stone Trilogy continues with the real-life characters, conflict,  love and tragedy.

Life with a rock star isn’t easy, but hotel empire heiress, Naomi is determined to build a life together with her soul mate, rock star Jon Stone. Jon is just as determined. However, just as in our lives, their road to happiness is often rocky and the baggage both carry from the past, too many times,  gets in their way. Good news, that another child is on the way leads to more insecurities for both of them.

The book isn’t just about Naomi and Jon though. Their lives are intertwined with family and friends who also have issues. A subplot of the book revolves around one of those close friends, Jon’s manager Stan.

Stan has long-held a one-sided love for Naomi. When he meets Maya, he believes he’s found Naomi’s replacement. Except, happiness isn’t always easily achieved. Maya has a maturity well beyond her young age. She realizes long before Sal does that their love is not made to last. Will Stan find a lasting love? Only readers of SONG OF THE STORM, and the author of course, will know.

The reappearance of Naomi’s parents adds more tension to the story. They have little belief in their son-in-law, and often display concern for their only daughter’s safety, both physical and emotional. Given their background, and knowledge of the past, it’s easy to understand. Yet, this reader, wanted them to just love their daughter and accept her marriage. However, since that rarely happens in real life, it felt right that they continue to suspect their son-in-law and the marriage.

In the middle of all of the tension, and emotional confusion we are reminded that family, friends, and love are what is truly important when the characters are forced to deal with the real-life tragedy and drama of the September 11 attack.

Wherever you were, the emotions you felt that day will return as you are taken back to that unforgettable experience. However, Jon, Naomi, their family and friends remind us that hope and love are eternal.

SONG OF THE STORM  is a perfect read while you take a break from sewing and quilting. You can curl up on the couch under the air conditioning and continue the journey with Naomi and Jon. If you haven’t read book 1, THE DISTANT SHORE, and  book 2,  UNDER THE SAME SUN, no worries, this book stands alone. Although you WILL want to get book one and two, because you won’t be ready to let them go and you’ll want more time with them.

WARNING!! Do not read this by the pool if you are also watching young children. You will be pulled into the story and forget where you are. Leaving children unsupervised around water is not recommended. However, if  there are no children present, read and allow yourself to be whisked away.

For more reviews, or to meet Mariam herself, check out her blog at  where all the links for the blog hop can be found.

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Mother’s Day Reading Gift Ideas

Writer? Quilter? What am I? Both, and a few other descriptions also fit. As most of you know, this blog struggles to find its identity. Is it about writing? Is it about quilting? Is it about my faith?

In truth, it’s a little of all three, I just haven’t found the right formula for it yet. Today I’m sharing some great reads for you. Mother’s Day is coming, and what better gift than a book, something that will allow her to transport herself to another time, and/or place, relax and be entertained all while staying and taking care of her family. It’s the perfect gift.

Of course, shopping in the quilt store is a fantastic option. However, books are a close second. If the mother in your life doesn’t quilt, the book moves up to first place.  Here are some book ideas for  you to consider:

Devoted to Quilting (mine, imagine how it got on the list) = a collection of quilt stories. Each story includes a Bible verse and prayer, making it a perfect devotional. It is also just a fun read, and educational since each story also includes a quilting/sewing tip. You can see the picture of it on my side bar.

Devoted to Quilting 2 (mine again, surprise, surprise) – More quilt stories. This one has more quilts from friends and fewer family quilts. Otherwise it’s much like the first Devoted to Quilting.

Romance, The Spice of Life. Not mine, but I do have a story in it. This is an anthology, a collection of short stories. Like a good meal, life needs a little spice to make it amazing, and romance is the perfect spice. There are six genres included, romantic suspense, nostalgic romance, inspiration romance, paranormal romance, historical romance (ahem), and a contemporary romance. The mother in your life is sure to have a favorite genre represented, and she’ll love all the stories.

Grave Secrets, by Linda Trout. A baby disappears. A husband murdered. Sara Adams searches frantically for her infant daughter and must turn to insurance investigator Morgan Daniels. Except, Daniels is sure Sara murdered her husband. Will helping Sara find her daughter also help him prove she murdered her husband? Will helping her prove her innocence and uncover the real killer? On top of all that the man is devastatingly handsome. Sarah must be careful.


Preserving Family Legends, M. Carolyn Steele.  There was a time when family lore was passed down from one generation to the next. It was a form of entertainment as well as education for the younger family members. However, life has changed, and many of those family legends are left gathering dust in the attic of life. Carolyn’s books helps us not only find those stories, but write them in an entertaining fashion for our children and grandchildren. It must be entertaining, both for the reader and the writer, after all who wants to write, much less read, a laundry list of marriages, births, divorces, and death?

Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge, Gloria Teague. A nostalgic look of growing up in the fifties in Tennessee. Although, the setting could of been anywhere in the United States, the stories revolve more around the people and the experiences of one little girl between four and five years old. If you grew up in the fifties you’ll love this book for the memories it invokes. Because, really, who hasn’t done the “switch dance?” If you weren’t lucky enough to grow up in the fifties you’ll love this look back at a different time and way of life. Each story stands alone, and the book can be read in snatches of time if necessary. However, Gloria weaves such entertaining, and exciting tales that you’ll find yourself flipping to the next story rather than putting the book down.

Navajo Rose, Kat O’Reilly, the pen name of  Jen Nipps.  From the back of the book :

“Antiquities poachers send Native American arts’ enthusiast Paige Douglas the Navajo Rose, a stolen tribal artifact. Can she trust Ricky, her high school crush, to help her return it? For that matter, can she trust herself around him?

Detective Richard Travis is determined to help Paige return the Navajo Rose in spite of — or perhaps because of — his growing attraction to her. But can he do it while maintaining his professional integrity and reining in his libido? And what if he can’t let her go when they’re done?”

 

 

Wilda’sOutlaw, Velda Brotherton. From the back of the book:”Calder Raines and his outlaw gang may be more than Wilda Duncan bargained for. All she wants is to escape an unwanted marriage, but she finds herself in the arms of a tantalizing man whose warm kisses arouse a storm of forbidden desires. Calder never wanted to rob banks, but it’s a family tradition. When he embraces the alluring redhead, passion conquers good sense and he imagines a life he cannot have. Will Calder return her to the man she is to marry before she gets hurt? Can Wilda set things right and prevent Calder’s arrest?”


 

 


Challenges

A blog challenge has been delivered and I have accepted it. Two, in fact.

First, is the blogging A to Z. Bloggers are challenged to post on their blogs every day in April and those post must follow the alphabet. Every post will be about something that starts with that day’s letter.

Which means Monday, April 1, this blog will be about applique. A is for applique. So it will go, every day, for the entire month. Well, every day except Sundays. With Sundays out of the lineup there are 26 days in April. Coincidentally, there are 26 letters in the American alphabet. Pretty handy.

That’s challenge one, to blog every Monday through Saturday following the alphabet.

Challenge two is from The Ultimate Blog Challenge.

That goal is to simply post every day. This time every day includes Sundays. The goal for April is to post every day. Every. Single. Day.

Stay tuned for Monday, the day of Applique, and the first day of a month of daily posts.

Have you taken any blog or life challenges lately? Did you succeed? Did they help you reach your goal?

Life Unedited

It’s been much too long since I’ve played with the little kids over at Gypsy Mama. I say “little kids” because Lisa Jo, my hero and the hostess of Five Minute Friday, is young enough to be my daughter. Most of the bloggers who join up are too. Oh sure, some of us grannies play, but mostly it’s the young’uns.

I love the Five Minute Fridays. I love reading the posts of those who play, and I love the idea of writing for five minutes with no editing. The prose might be broken, mispellings, horrible punctuation, or just random sentences that don’t belong. I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because that’s life. Life is unedited.

We patch the holes of pain, put on makeup to hide our blemishes, comb and style our hair just right, and choose our dress carefully before going out. We attempt to hide the holes of our mistakes, the cracks of pain. Life is unedited, and unplanned. At least by us.

Now, my five minutes are up.  I’ll go back to Gypsy Mama, and play with the others (read some of their posts.) Come and join us. You can write or just read. It’s fun.

New Day, New Week, New Year

The new If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.   — Mary Pickford.

As far as this blog is concerned, falling down is letting it go dormant for days, weeks at a time. Still, I keep trying to post on a consistent basis and follow a schedule. To jump-start my plan, I’ve joined The Ultimate Blog Challenge. The idea is to post every day in January.

Since I forgot to post on January 1, that’s already not happening. Which means the new goal is to post almost every day in January, thirty days out of thirty-one isn’t bad.

The current schedule for the blog is:

Monday Meetings, posts with book reviews, interviews or profiles of authors, quilters, or both. Since my current WIP, Follow The Sun, is considered a historical I’m taking the challenge to read more historical novels. To help and encourage me, I’ll be linking up with Historical Tapestry for the 2013 Historical Fiction Challenge. My goal is to read ten historical novels this year. Thanks to Becca at Lost in Books for steering me to Historical Tapestry.

Tuesday Tutorials, most weeks this will be a round-up of 5 tutorials from other bloggers. Once a month or so there will be a tutorial from me.

Wednesday, is middle of the week progress report.  This is where I try to keep myself on track and post my progress with my writing, sewing, reading, and book sales.

Thankful Thursday, a recap of the past seven days gratitudes listed with Twitter’s Five Daily Gratitudes hashtag.

Friday I will be linking up once again with The Gypsy Mama and  participating in, Five Minute. Current plans are also to include writings from Absolute Write’s Sunday night  Flash Fiction challenge.

Saturday is showing and sharing. Pictures from the previous week, whether that means hanging out with writers, speakers or quilters. Also, pictures of quilts and other sewing projects either completed, or worked on during the week.

That’s one of my goals/resolutions for this year, to blog more consistently. It’s a new year, anything is possible.   Are you joining any linky parties, or taking any challenges? Bring on the new year!

Following a schedule topic schedule is difficult. I will attempt, however, if a linky party comes along that piques my interest, it will mess with my “editorial calendar.” Some days may have two blog posts, like today, because the computer and/or internet wouldn’t play nice and let me post.

I have other goals and resolutions for this year, and will probably be sharing them as the year progresses. For today, the goal is to post daily on this blog. Did you make any goals or resolutions? How are you doing this first week?

Mariam Kobras- Word Scraps Create Novel- Under the Same Sun

What happens when a quilter starts writing?  Scraps of fabric make beautiful quilts, word scraps create wonderful stories. At least in the hands of former quilter, Mariam Kobras.

Mariam has gone from sewing scraps of fabric together to form a warm, comforting, cover to stitching words together to create an entertaining, enjoyable read.  Under the Same Sun, is the second in The Stone Trilogy, and follows Naomi, Jon and those close to them as they try to regain control of their lives after the shooting of Naomi. The event  affected  them all in different ways. Added to the mix is Naomi’s desperate wish to have a second child and her difficulty in conceiving.

Mariam’s characters and situations, while figments of her imagination, are real and she could be telling the story of their lives were they actual living, breathing, people instead of just “real” characters from her fertile imagination.

She expertly stitches events and feelings together to form a tapestry that one can almost reach out and touch. Her descriptions are beyond good. She writes with layers, much like a quilt.  Each sentence another stitch in the written quilt, the story.

Mariam’s beautiful sensory descriptions of each new venue allow her readers, even the most frugal of us, to feel as though we’ve traveled the world with Naomi and Jon. Whether we are dancing on a lakeshore in Geneva with them, shopping at Harrods in London or decorating her house in Brooklyn, with Naomi, we are there. We can see the area, feel the smooth wood of the Steinway or the rough cobblestone road, the local aromas waft around us, as the sounds mingle with those of our real surroundings.

Real life drama fills the book and the resolutions are satisfying and make sense.

Sometimes in reading the story I wondered, “how did she know about that?” Because a portion of my life so closely followed the happenings in the book. There are so many real life situations in the book, that most people will be able to relate to at least one of them. Even if we have no idea what it’s like to be a rock star and have more money than we could possibly need.

While Under the Same Sun is the second book in the series, it also stands alone. That is you can read it and understand who everyone is without reading The Distant Shore, but why would you want to? Reading the books are a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

And of course, Mariam needs to buy a Porsche. How can she do that if we don’t all rush out and buy both books?

I am so happy  to be a part of Mariam’s blog tour, that way I got to read the book sooner. I’d been looking forward to reading it as soon as I finished, The Distant Shore. Now, I am eager to read the final book. Oh. My. Gosh. It won’t be out until next year !

This was the sixth stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the Amazon.com bestseller list on its first day on sale!

There’s only a few left, so order yours now, then while you’re waiting you can go to our blog and click the link to read the first two chapters for free.

But first, write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to win one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)! You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog. You won’t regret it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 10/23, Mariam will be visiting Carrie Bailey.  Join us there!

Check our blog for the full calendar and more details!

about the author: Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Join Mariam on Facebook,  her blog, and her publisher’s website.

I am linking up with The Nester during the month of October and posting about one subject each day (more or less). My subject is “scraps”.  Check out her website for other blogs writing on the subject of their choice.