Hi Patience and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, One Snowy Night!
Hi, everyone! I’m thrilled to be here!
To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about this book?:
One Snowy Night is a second chance love story set around a group of women quilters in small town Alaska.
Please share your favorite lines or quote(s) from this book:
Absence did not make the heart grow fonder…but proximity did.
“Yes, I’m sure Donovan loved me.” And this would be the hardest part for Hope, being truthful about something that hurt so much. “But Ella, sometimes love just isn’t enough.”
What inspired this book?
I was thinking how tragedy can shape who we are, change our story from what we thought our life was going to be, into something we never imagined.
How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?
I get to know my characters by making a storyboard of pictures first. While I’m working on that, I also figure out where they live. But I mostly get to know my characters by writing them. My characters always surprise me, which is something I count on! I call those little surprises…‘magic.’
What was your favorite scene to write?
This is a hard one. I have so many favorite scenes! I guess I’ll choose Hope’s defining moment, when everything changed for her, the night her sister died.
* A snippet from this scene
By the time I left the party, visibility was horrible, nearly a whiteout.” Hope wouldn’t let Donovan drive as he’d had too much to drink. Sixteen-year-old Beau was three sheets to the wind, too. It was left to Hope to get them all home safely.
“But you’ve driven in snow your whole life. What’s the big deal?” her daughter prompted.
“There was a moose. He charged into the road in front of the snowplow.” Hope took a deep breath to get the next words out. “The snowplow hit the moose and sent it flying toward my side of the road.” If only she’d had better reflexes to swerve and miss the bull. The biggest if only of her life.
Hope didn’t remember too much after that, only what the snowplow driver had told her and the state trooper at the hospital. She’d often wondered if she could’ve saved her sister if only she’d been prepared—stopped the bleeding, kept Izzie from going into shock. It was one of the reasons Hope was adamant about teaching her daughter survival skills, beyond hunting and fishing, although those things were very important, too. Alaska was wild and anything could happen.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
The most difficult scenes to write are the emotional ones, which are my favorites. I like a challenge. My favorite difficult scene is when Hope finally gets some resolution with her mother.
* A snippet from this scene
Her mom nodded. “I hope you can forgive me for how I behaved.”
Hope’s eyes filled with tears. “Yes. Of course.” Motherhood had given Hope insight into a lot of things, but mostly into the past. When Mom shunned her seventeen years ago, it wasn’t because she didn’t care for her anymore; Mom was just drowning in grief.
Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?
This book is definitely in my wheelhouse. I like to write heartfelt, emotional reads that have both humor and depth.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
I hope everyone can see how important it is to forgive ourselves, that we don’t have to spend a lifetime beating ourselves up for the things we did in the past.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
Currently, I am working on the edits for Once Upon a Cabin, book #2 in the Sweet Home, Alaska series, which releases November 30, 2021.
Also, today I received a new contract to do a fabric line for my Alaska series! Yay!
My first fabric line is for my Kilts & Quilts® series, which is available in stores now.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: One copy of One Snowy Night. The winner chooses either a paperback or an ebook.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you have a favorite place in Alaska, either from a visit, from reading a book(s), or a television show or movie? Please share.
Do you own a favorite quilt? Please tell us about it.
Excerpt from One Snowy Night:
Hope is married? It never occurred to Donovan that she’d find someone else. Someone that’s not me. His stomach suddenly cramped as if he’d done a hundred crunches.
But he was being ridiculous. He’d dated a lot of women. No one seriously, though. No one that had been like Hope. No one he’d cared for as much as her.
And Hope has a kid? He just couldn’t shake the feeling of regret that he’d missed so much. For all he knew, Hope had a slew of rug rats at home. By the looks of the daughter he’d seen—a teenager!—Donovan had probably only been gone two minutes before Hope got hitched.
She hadn’t changed a bit. Except she was too skinny and had a worry line between her eyebrows. She’d matured from a pixie into a woman. Her dark brown hair was a bit longer—just past her shoulders—but still straight, still the color of hot chocolate. Back then, she’d dressed nicely, but her long-sleeve green polo with the Hungry Bear logo had seen better days and her jeans were very worn.
“Donovan Stone! As I live and breathe,” Piney exclaimed. She might act like she wasn’t expecting him, but Mr. Brewster knew, and if he knew, the whole town did by now.
“Hi, Ms. Douglas.”
Piney air-batted him. “Stop with that nonsense. I’m just plain Piney.”
There was nothing plain about her. She glowed in her yellow peace sign tee shirt and long psychedelic skirt.
“How have you been . . . Piney?” She hadn’t changed much, either, just a few extra wrinkles, a few extra pounds, and her dark hair was gray now.
Piney raised an eyebrow. “I’m the same. I’m not the one who’s been out in the world, making something of himself. I read about you in a Forbes article on Hope’s computer.”
Hope. There was that name again. And where had she gone while he was picking out dog food?
“Who’s your friend?” Piney asked.
Donovan didn’t want to talk about the dog. He wanted to talk about Hope. But Alaskans had a special relationship with their dogs. “Mr. Brewster brought this Bernese Mountain Dog by. I’m calling him Boomer.”
She patted Boomer’s head and laughed. “He’s going to make a great work dog for you at the lodge.”
Why did everyone assume he was staying? “Well, here’s the thing—”
“I’ve got some chew toys in the back.” Piney stepped from behind the counter. “You’re going to need them. Follow me.”
He did as he was told, but he planned on finishing his sentence before getting the dog anything else. “I’m only here to put the lodge and hardware store on the market.”
“Oh, here they are.” Piney handed them over as if she hadn’t heard him. “I’d get him at least a couple.” She glanced down at Donovan’s feet. “You don’t want to turn your fancy loafers into chewed leather, do you?”
Donovan took four, deciding not to waste his breath on convincing her of his intent. She’d figure it out—they all would—when he headed out of town for good. He frowned, wondering what he was going to do about getting Boomer a new home. The puppy whined.
“Can you ring me up while I take him out for a minute?” Donovan asked.
“Sure.” Piney pulled a box of Greenies from the shelf. “You might as well get these, too. You’re going to need these to help clean his teeth when he’s a bit older.”
“Fine.” Donovan walked to the front and then out the door. Boomer took his sweet time finding the right place to take a whiz. The temperature was dropping and Donovan still had other things on his list.
The dog finished and Donovan picked him up, holding him like a football this time, and headed back inside.
Piney was bagging up his dog-related items. “We don’t have single-use plastic bags in the store. You’ll have to buy a few of these for your things. Hope makes them out of old shirts and jeans that folks in Sweet Home are done with. Would you like to choose your bag?” There was quite a variety—pink flowers, blue checks, camouflage.
“Whatever is fine.”
Piney gave him the one with the pink flowers and a purple striped bag. He should’ve chosen.
And since Piney was pulling a fast one on him, he decided to pump her for information. “Who did Hope marry?” Donovan figured it had to be a local boy. Maybe Jesse Montana? That was who she’d dated before.
Piney raised a knowing eyebrow. “That’s really not for me to say. You’ll have to ask Hope.”
“You better take some food with you. I have reindeer sausage left over from the lunch crowd. And some salmonberry pie. It’s good. All the sweeter since I had to fight off a bear for those berries.”
He was getting hungry. “I could just get some cheese and crackers.”
“I won’t take no for an answer.” Piney was out from behind the counter again and heading for the diner part of the store. “Grab yourself a bag of chips to go with your dinner. We’ll get you fixed right up.”
Donovan acquiesced. “Do you have enough reindeer sausage for two hungry men?”
Piney looked around, as if someone else had snuck in the store without her seeing.
“It’s my business manager—Rick. Didn’t he stop by here?”
“Don’t know. Maybe Sparkle or Hope took care of him.”
“Anyway,” Donovan said, “Rick is here helping me wrap things up.” Maybe Piney would take the hint this time.
“Sure, I have plenty.” She opened the lid of one of the steamers. “Forget the chips. There’s a couple of baked potatoes in here. Just the thing for hungry men.”
A hot meal did sound good. “Thanks, Piney.”
She finished packaging up his dinner on paper plates covered with aluminum foil before walking back. As she got close, Boomer started sniffing, as if there might be a manly meal in there for him, too.
Piney grabbed the camo bag this time and put the plates inside. “I wouldn’t give him any reindeer sausage, no matter how much he begs. It’ll be too spicy for him.”
Donovan looked down at Boomer. “Did you hear that? No reindeer sausage for you.”
The dog looked away, as if pretending not to hear.
Donovan handed her his credit card. “Where does Hope live?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“On Rescue Drive.”
Where the cheap rentals and trailer park were. Donovan felt sorry for her that she’d married a man who couldn’t take care of her.
Piney handed back his card. “You know we have grocery delivery, if you need it. Just give me a call.” She passed him a business card.
“I’m not going to be here long enough to need groceries,” he said, driving the point home.
Once again, she didn’t respond.
Donovan gathered his homemade bags. “Thanks for dinner.”
She laughed. “Don’t worry. I put it on your card.”
“I expected you would.”
“See you soon,” Piney said.
But Donovan didn’t think so. He might be curious about what Hope had been up to, just to fill in the blanks. That didn’t mean he wanted to come face to face with her again.
If he needed groceries in the meantime, he’d order them online and have them delivered from Whole Foods or something. He could even go a little hungry.
But when he got Boomer settled into the vehicle, he couldn’t help but pull a U-ey and make his way to Rescue Drive. The cabins were even more run-down than he remembered, the trailer park more shabby, too. He shouldn’t have come. It made him feel awful. He made his way back to the main drag and headed out of town, anxious to put Sweet Home behind him.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
A woman struggling to raise her daughter alone in a small Alaskan town finds her simple existence upended when the father of her child returns. . . .
Sweet Home, Alaska, was once a thriving, idyllic town, where A Stone’s Throw Hardware and Haberdashery and the Sisterhood of the Quilt were the cornerstones of the community. Then, in one fatal moment, two young lives were cut short, and everything changed. Now the Stone family businesses have closed, the diner is in the red, and the population has dwindled to 573.
After the tragic accident that took her sister’s life, Hope McKnight discovered she was pregnant, and gave up her dreams of college to raise her daughter. When Donovan Stone returns to sell his family’s properties and to cut final ties with Sweet Home, he’s shocked to find Hope still there–and a single mother. The pull between Hope and Donovan is as powerful as ever. But so are the secrets and lies stemming from that long-ago tragedy. Will they be able to overcome the past, or will the heartbreak of bygone days destroy their love again?
Meet the Author:
Double RITA® Finalist and award-winning author Patience Griffin has been writing and sewing her whole life but didn’t discover her love of quilting until her late thirties. She decided the best way to acquire her first quilt was to make one for herself.
At nearly the same time, she started commuting three and half hours a day for her dream engineering job. To pass the time on the long drive, she got hooked on audiobooks—especially books with love stories. Within a couple of years, she was writing stories of her own. It was no surprise to her family and friends when she combined her love of quilting, her small town roots, and her obsession with her Scottish heritage.
She has gained some recognition with her September 11th Story Quilt which has toured the country as the property of the Pentagon. She has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering but spends her days writing stories about hearth and home, and dreaming about the fictional small towns of Gandiegow, Scotland and Sweet Home, Alaska.
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