Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quilts of Love series ~ A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga, © 2014

Red Cross

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.

A baby quilt touches many hearts as it travels from family-to-family and through generations.
After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.
    Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.
    Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

A Promise in Pieces is a beautiful story of hope and love.

2000. Spring*summer*autumn*winter ~*~ the four seasons of our lives. Will I ever look at them the same? Looking back, I wonder sometimes, as I watch the young life of my family around me. My memory takes me away at times. To those days long ago, hearing the gunshots ring out, and the groans around me. Especially one young man, Gareth. I told him I would take a message back to his wife, Mattie. Mattie. I think of her now. Mattie, dear Mattie. I think of all the children, newborns, I have wrapped in the quilt she gave me ~ the baby quilt of hope.

It was 1943. My  friend, Eva, and I signed up for the Army Nurse Corps. The night before we had listened to a father talk about his son and not getting letters from him anymore. My father said I was named after Clara Barton, the nurse who began the American Red Cross.  I am Clara Anne ~ so, of course, I would want to serve others with my nursing degree. But... I left home without my parents' approval or blessings. We were shipped overseas. Shipped is the right word! I experienced being seasick, and what homesickness was too.
Red Cross
... we were protected by the Geneva Cross on our uniforms––the red Greek cross on a white background declaring all nurses neutral.
    --A Promise in Pieces, 33

1945 France. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound... Gareth was singing while semiconscious on the tent floor mattress. As he lay dying, he dictated a letter to his Mattie. As I wrote it down for him, he had me promise I would hand deliver it to her in New Orleans. That night I began believing in God again.

Excerpt from page 46:
   On our days off, Martha and I biked the curved roads of France.
   We became friends shortly after Gareth died, and with Eva gone, too, I was sore alone. So we biked, come spring, as the war raged on. We biked on our days off to villages around Normandy, and we played with the children we found, spent time with women whose houses had been bombed, and bought crusty loaves of French bread to hand out and cheese and meat, and it felt good to be giving in this way. To be outside, in the country side of rolling green, and to remember life beyond war.
The French countryside (by Chris (archi3d))
Such an exceptional story told in first person. Clara shares memories she had lived vividly to her grandson, Noah. Do you know the stories of those who are very important to you? Clara's journey brings her home to make amends with her parents, move on to her own beginnings at Mrs. Bailey's room and board, and patient Oliver.

I thoroughly enjoyed the writings of Emily Wierenga, in a gentle telling of Clara's life and those around her. Clara touched many other lives beyond what she might have intended, just by being herself, doing what she knew to do.

Emily Wierenga is a former editor, ghostwriter, freelance writer and staff journalist, a monthly columnist for The Christian Courier, and the author of Save My Children (Castle Quay Books, 2008), Chasing Silhouettes (Ampelon Publishing, 2012) and Mom in the Mirror (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013). Emily resides in Alberta, Canada. This is her first novel.

click here to enjoy chapters 1-3 of debut novel by Emily Wierenga ~ A Promise in Pieces

***Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group for inviting me to be part of the book tour for A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga and to Abingdon Press for sending me a copy to review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Win a “Women Helping Women” $200 Shopping Spree from @TheQuiltsofLove & @Emily_Wierenga | “A Promise in Pieces” Giveaway!

The latest Quilts of Love release, A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga is receiving glowing reviews.

Emily is celebrating the release of her debut novel with a "Women Helping Women" shopping spree giveaway.

  One winner will receive:
  • $200 to spend at Emily's favorite shops, Noonday Collection & Vibella (Click through to learn more about how these companies exist to make a difference in the lives of women!)
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 10th. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog on May 12th. Then be sure to stop by the Quilts of Love Facebook page on May 29th for the "Quilting Bee" Facebook party with Emily and other Quilts of Love authors. RSVP for an evening of book chat, quilting tips & tricks, prizes, and more!

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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