My Interview with Linda S. Clare ~ A Sky Without Stars

A Sky Without Stars

Linda S. Clare


You may purchase a copy here:

Can a quilt bridge the gap between two cultures?  

After her husband is killed on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Frankie Chasing Bear wants a fresh start. But in 1951, relocating through the US government’s Relocation Program didn’t just mean a new town; it meant a new way of life. Frankie quickly learns that raising her son, Harold, to revere his Lakota heritage, will be a challenge in the white man’s world. Searching for a way for her son to respect his ancestors but also embrace a future of opportunity, she begins a Lakota Star-pattern quilt with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it—something that will not let him forget where he came from.

A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt nor her new life come easily to Frankie. Federal Agent Nick Parker, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. She’s already struggling to understand Nick’s culture, how can she embrace his Christian faith? Will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient for her son’s quilt—and life itself?    

 Linda S. Clare is an award-winning author of books, essays, short stories, and poems. She edits and mentors writers and is a frequent conference speaker and church retreat leader. She and her husband have four grown children. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their three wayward cats.

Thank you Linda for coming and sharing with me today, especially on short notice. I wanted to share you and your story with everyone, I myself have Native American Heritage, Iroquois on my moms side of the family.  I am very taken by your love for the Lakota Children and your desire to help them and be a blessing to them.  I think it is a blessed thing when God calls us to help others. The lord has surely touched your heart for these people. May he bless and prosper you in your endeavors to do so.~

Please tell us a bit about your background and how you started as a CBA writer.

 I started out writing poems and articles, studying at the feet of some wildly talented writers who have become very successful: Melody Carlson and Heather Harpham Kopp.

~ Exiting , I wrote poems years ago and had not thought to have them published, you have encouraged me….

How did you come up with the concept for A Sky Without Stars?

 I love to write about Native Americans. Lakota Star patterned quilts are used by the Lakota to honor their members in “giveaway” ceremonies like naming ceremonies, births and marriages. When I learned that the star pattern is also called “Star of Bethlehem,” it was a natural for me to link the two ideas in Frankie Chasing Bear and Nick.

~ My Grandmother Fisher took up quilting in her later years and now I am learning and doing more myself this year. I think quilts add so much to our lives and carry the stories on into the future.

Do you have an Indian heritage?

Yes, but I only learned of my Cherokee/Choctaw connections when I reunited with my birth father about twenty years ago. My paternal grandpa was born in 1897 in Salisaw, Oklahoma, practically on the Cherokee reservation.

~ I still have my own heritage to learn of and from, it can be exciting.

What made you decide to write an historical novel based in the early fifties?

 The early fifties were a time of great change in America—both positive and not so positive. For Native Americans, the times were challenging, as the US federal government sought ways to get the Indians off the payroll by enticing them with a Relocation Program. This program promised training and/or good city jobs if the Native Americans agreed to move off the reservation. Unfortunately, the promise wasn’t realized much of the time, either stranding Indians with little formal education/skills or forcing them back to the rez. 

~ I have my own thoughts and frustratons on those issues as well and allowing them to build Casino’s here in NY state wasn’t the answer to making things right, it is only leading to the downfall of others.

How do you feel being a believer has influenced your writing ?

My main characters (including Frankie Chasing Bear) need to live out their faith questions. Sometimes they’re so wounded that they question God’s Love for them. This in turn causes me as the author to seek out the real Living God—I cannot accurately portray something so fundamental as belief if I am not firmly hidden in His Wings. I keep my relationship fresh with worship, prayer, community and Scripture reading. The characters must also find their way home. This mirrors my own faith journey, one of twists and turns, questions and thank goodness, real answers I can believe in with all my heart—that of Jesus’ loving salvation.

~ Praise the Lord for Salvation ! His free gift to us is the most important thing in life.

Who is your favorite Author ? and Why ?

Hard to narrow it down! I tend to love women’s fiction—especially realistic stories of people struggling but overcoming. I like Jodi Picoult and Sue Monk Kidd, but also love long-time pal and coauthor, Melody Carlson’s young adult stories. I have recently discovered Billy Coffey, a Christian author who’s fabulous! I have to be immersed in the fictional dream of the story and if the characters are underdeveloped (or censored) it doesn’t ring true to me.

~ My favorite’s so far are Julie Lessman and Joanne Bischof !   I guess its the Moral Purity and Old Fashioned values I hold.

What is your favorite Drink when Reading?

I like to tell folks I have only one vice (LOL) and it’s Diet Dr. Pepper. I drink it shamelessly.

~ I can say I gave up Pepsi many years ago and only drink Ginger Ale !

Favorite Dessert or special treat ?

I don’t drink while reading (or driving!) as much as I love to gnosh while reading. My weakness is Paul Newman Fig Bars but I usually settle for no-butter popcorn.

~ To funny, I have since a girl loved Fig Newtons !

Do you have any pets ?

Do I! At one point my bio said “five wayward cats and two dumb dogs.” Right now we’re down to three wayward cats and the same two dumb dogs, although Bella the teacup Chihuahua would beg to differ.

~ We have some ferral cats here who adopted us !

Linda head shot 2013 (519x640) (519x640)

Linda S. Clare is the author of women’s fiction, including The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon 2009) and upcoming A Sky without Stars (Abingdon 2014). She teaches writing at a community college and for George Fox University and lives in the Northwest with her family and three wayward cats.

@Lindasclare on Twitter.

Day 5: Civil War Era Quilt Book Author Kathleen Tracy

Today I want to introduce you to An Author of some of the very best Civil War Quilting books and Patterns, she also makes jewelry. The Book ” The Civil War Sewing Circle”  I ordered recently to use with my daughters in their sewing lessons, which will be part of our history lessons as well.  You all know that this year, one of my goals is to learn to quilt better, so I have joined Kathy’s Quilt Group ” Small Quilt Talk ”  smallquilttalk  on Yahoo Groups for making small quilts. You will find the link near the end of my post.  I hope you will take a look at the wonderful patterns and books Kathy has on her site and don’t forget to download her free ones for lessons for your Little Ladies !


The Civil War Sewing Circle

Women’s quilting played an important role in the Civil War. My latest book focuses on the role of quilting in women’s sewing circles – quilts made for the soldiers,  fundraising  and friends. When the Civil War began, women quickly organized groups to send blankets, quilts and clothing to support the enlisted men. It was this experience – organizing the making of, distributing and raffling off of quilts for the cause – that led to important changes in women’s roles and had a huge impact on the women’s rights movement after the war. Filled with eloquent excerpts from letters written to and from soldiers and wonderful historical photos that capture the time period so well.The Civil War Sewing Circle contains patterns for 16 appealing projects, including large quilts, doll quilts, a pincushion, sewing box, and needle case, all perfect for your reproduction fabrics.RemberingAdeliacover.jpg.w180h234

Remembering Adelia

 Remembering Adelia was inspired by the diary that was kept by a young woman during the Civil War. Adelia Thomas’ diary had been locked in a trunk in a family’s attic for over 100 years.  I came across it at a local historical society several years ago while I was researching photos for my last book, Prairie Children and Their Quilts

Upon glancing through the diary, I discovered that Adelia was a quilter and I became fascinated with her journal entries about daily life on a farm in northern Illinois in 1861, the year the Civil War broke out. I knew I had to tell her story and design quilts to go along with it.

Remembering Adelia 
features a number of large quilts as well as charming doll quilts and is full of 19th century quilting traditions.
American Doll Quilts

Celebrate the sweet, centuries-old American tradition of antique doll quilts with stories of the past and heirlooms for the future. These simple projects will capture the charm of yesteryear for a child—or the child within.Sixteen designs represent doll quilts made during different periods in American history, starting with the colonial period and moving through the Civil War, the Victorian era, the Great Depression, and World War II.  Explore our country’s quilting traditions while you learn some very basic blocks and simple piecing techniques to make simple little doll quilts much like the ones children learned to make long ago. Create authentic-looking doll quilts for your favorite 18-inch doll or just have fun with your reproduction fabric scraps.Projects in a range of sizes up to 20″ x 22″ include an embroidered medallion quilt, a crazy quilt, Civil War era quilts and needle cases, an Amish quilt and a friendship pillow easy enough for a child to make.Also includes information on fabrics and designs popular during the different historical periods. 
Prairie Children & Their Quilts

What was life like for children growing up on the prairie? Inspired by actual children’s diaries from the American frontier, this follow-up to the bestselling American Doll Quilts gives complete and easy directions to create small, antique-style projects as you read about the lives of pioneer children and their families.

 Fourteen patterns spotlight popular quilt designs from the nineteenth century

• Projects include a signature quilt, a game-board quilt, a schoolhouse quilt, a log cabin quilt, an African American  quilt, a prairie doll apron, and a schoolgirl sampler

• See vintage photos of prairie children, and read actual diary entries from children who traveled with their parents to settle in the West 

You can purchase any of these books and Tracy’s pattern on her website…

I started quilting by making quilts for my daughter’s dolls and made my very first small quilt from a Martingale & Co. pattern book I picked up in 2000. This sparked an interest in quilting history and led to the publication of American Doll Quilts in 2004.  I look to antique quilts for inspiration in making simple little quilts and hope that my books make the past come alive for some of you and also give you a connection with quilters from long ago. My third book,Remembering Adelia, came out in March 2009 and the newest one, The Civil War Sewing Circle, was released in January 2011.

Before turning my hobby into a career, I was an editor in the publishing industry for over 20 years. I live in Illinois with my husband, two children and our two dogs. I love reading, gardening, cooking, making simple beaded jewelry with a scrappy look and, of course, dogs.   

Kathleen’s Blog:

Kathleen’s Website:

Kathleen’s Social Media Links:

Kathleen’s Esty’s shoppe:

Kathleen’s Yahoo Quilt Group:

Kathleen’s Blogger Profile:

Today’s Quilt Pattern  Todays Winner is  AMY C !!!!!


Giveaway: Each Day I will be offering a different Quilt E-pattern.

This e-pattern will be emailed to the winner  by me, I have purchased these special for this weeks giveaways !

They are sold by  

So you want to know how you win right…Here it is !

Each thing you do will get you 1 entry ok…

1.  Like my facebook page and leave me a comment telling me you have done so here in comments.

2.  Follow Me on Twitter and leave me a comment here telling me you have done so.

3. Follow Me on Pinterest and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4.  Leave Me a comment here  telling me about your family quilting adventures or  a quilt in your family.

Please Leave a separate comment for each entry.

There will be a daily drawing (winners announced at the end of the week and at the end of the week will be the surprise drawing.)

The person who comes each day this week and comments daily, will be entered in a Special Surprise Giveaway ! ( Something Special from Me)

Blessings and Much Love,


Do you love Historical Fiction ? Quilting and  Old fashioned Times

Well I think you would love this book series

The Quilted Heart Omnibus by Mona Hodgson


Please join me Thursday to hear more about this wonderful book !

Pre-order your copy today in Paperback or Kindle !

Coming Soon ! ” Until That Distant Day ” by Jill Stengl


Jill is  having a wonderful giveaway on her site !

~Go Enter ~

I am also delighted to offer a bundle prize of ten print novels and novellas, including my award-winning Faithful Traitor, several novella collections, and my three-book Longtree series. These will all be autographed! (US and Canada only, please.)

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Paris, France
Colette DeMer and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.
But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?    You can read the opening of the  first chapter  and see just how exciting it will be !
Coming April 25, 2014

About Jill

Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful North woods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms  for  her next novel.

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