The Stitching Post Quilt Shop is the setting for the weekly gathering of a group of women who come to sew, but leave with lasting friendships. The first book in the series, The Calico Heart, was nominated for a RONE award for Best Contemporary Book of 2013. Patricia Kiyono and Stephanie Michels are pleased to announce the release of the second book in the series, The Friendship Star Quilt.
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 Brad and Jennie’s lives. But her past threatens to destroy their relationship.
Anne checked her watch. The store officially closed in ten minutes, but she’d leave it unlocked until the rest of the group arrived. At the sound of the door opening, she looked up to greet the newcomer. But her guest wasn’t a customer or a quilter.
Instead, a little blond cherub about six or seven years old stood in the doorway, studying the store with wide eyes.
“Do you need something, sweetie?” Anne asked.
The little girl turned soulful blue eyes in her direction. “It’s raining outside, and my daddy hasn’t come to pick me up yet. Is it okay if I wait in here?”
“Sure. Where was your dad supposed to pick you up?”
“The ice cream shop next door. I was at Suzy’s birthday party, but everyone else is gone now. And the ice cream man turned the lights off so I couldn’t stay there.”
“He turned the lights off while you were still waiting?” Anne had met George Connors many times in the two years she’d worked at The Stitching Post. She couldn’t imagine the shop owner behaving so cruelly.
The child nodded. “He told me I had to wait outside.”
Anne poked her head out the door and glanced at the ice cream shop. Sure enough, Freeze! was dark and empty. “Well, come inside. I won’t make you wait in the rain. What’s your name, honey?”
“Jennie… Jennie Carmichael.”
“My name is Anne, Jennie,” she told the child, giving her a reassuring smile. “Would you like me to call your father and let him know you’re here?”
“Yes, please. I have his phone number.” The little girl shrugged off her pink-and-purple flowered backpack and pulled a worn slip of paper from the front pocket.
Anne took the paper, squinting at the number scrawled on it. “Where does your dad work?”
“At the high school.”
“Is he a teacher? School was out a long time ago.”
“Daddy always stays after school to do work. Especially when there’s a concert or something. He’s the band director,” she added with a note of pride.
“Okay, let’s see if I can reach him. What’s his name?”
Anne nodded and dialed the number on the Jennie’s paper. After several rings, a deep, velvety voice answered.
“Rivertown High Band Office.”
“Is this Brad Carmichael?”
“Mr. Carmichael, this is Anne Brown at The Stitching Post on Wilson Avenue. Your daughter is in our shop waiting for you.”
“Jennie’s there? She’s supposed to be at the ice cream shop for a birthday party until—oh drat! I’m so sorry. I’ll be right there. Thanks for calling.”
The loud click told her he had disconnected in a hurry.
Anne put the receiver down and smiled reassuringly at the child. “Your dad is on his way now. Would you like something to drink while you wait?”
“No, thank you. The school isn’t very far away, so Daddy will be here soon.”
Anne was impressed with the girl’s manners. “All right. Would you like to sit down? I can clear off one of these low tables. You can sit on it like a little stool.”
Jennie shook her head. “Thank you, but I’ll just wait by the door so Daddy will see me in here, if that’s okay with you.”
The Friendship Star Quilt is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, as well as other ebook outlets.
Stephanie Michels is giving away a $5 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us about a book series that you enjoy. Good luck!
Patricia Kiyono retired from public school teaching, and is now an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University, where she instructs future teachers. Born in Japan, she lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from their five children and nine grandchildren. In addition to writing, she enjoys sewing, scrapbooking, playing in local bands and orchestras, and taking care of grandchildren.
Stephanie Michels considers herself a “Jill of All Trades.” During her corporate career, she worked as a computer trainer, advertising copywriter, personnel agent, radio DJ, magazine columnist, and a financial planner among other things. She recently left those behind in order to focus on writing full time.
Raised in Michigan, she lived in South Carolina, Missouri, and Germany, before returning to the Mitten State to raise her family. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her reading or spending time with family, friends, and Beta Sigma Phi sisters. The Friendship Star Quilt is her second novel with writing partner, Patricia Kiyono.
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