Monday, April 13, 2015

A Step Back in Time {+ Giveaway+}

Wicked Stitch by Amanda LeeIt’s a delight to welcome author Amanda Lee to Thoughts in Progress today to celebrate the release of WICKED STITCH, the eighth installment in her Embroidery Mystery series.

Here’s a brief synopsis of WICKED STITCH:

When murder strikes the small town of Tallulah Falls, embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer isn’t afraid of getting down to the knitty-gritty to clear her name.... 

        For most small-business owners in Tallulah Falls, the upcoming Renaissance Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy’s nemesis, Nellie, and her sister, Clara, it’s an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to make grudges a family affair and have set up competing booths right next to Marcy’s at the Ren Faire.
        When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth—strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting—Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling—and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn....

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Amanda who is here to talk about ‘A Step Back in Time’ and has a giveaway to share with us. Welcome, Amanda.

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire or a living history museum? I’ve been to both, and I find them fascinating. At the Renaissance Faire I attended with my family many years ago, my son was knighted Sir Scooby of Doo (because he was wearing a Scooby Doo shirt) by the queen. In lieu of a sword, she used a plunger. Minstrels played unusual instruments—one even played crystal water glasses. I talked plays with William Shakespeare, watched a chess match in which the playing pieces were human, and wandered through booth after booth of wares. The costumes were beautiful, fun, or both. 

The living history museum we visited was a working farm set in 1791. We learned about eighteenth century cooking tools and techniques in the log cabin’s kitchen. A costumed tour guide spoke of President Washington and asked what we thought of that upstart Andrew Jackson. I said I believed he’d become President one day, and the woman scoffed. We attended demonstrations of weaving, learned about the dye, medicinal, and culinary plants grown in the garden, and saw the Cotswold sheep.

In WICKED STITCH (an RT Top Pick!), embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is thrilled to be taking part in a two-week Renaissance Faire. Tallulah Falls residents will be able to reside in the time of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The RenFaire’s attractions are centered around the play, even down to Hecate and the three witches who are on hand to divine the future for faire-goers. 

Clara, a petty woman who has opened a competing shop next door to Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, has been assigned the booth next to Marcy’s. When Marcy comes to set up her booth, she peeps into Clara’s spot and realizes that something isn’t right. Clara is lying on her side in an overturned rocking chair. She has been strangled to death with the scarf she’d been knitting. Now Marcy has to get to the bottom of this most deadly yarn.


Readers please comment below on your experiences in “stepping back in time” for a chance to win a signed copy of WICKED STITCH
International readers will have the chance to win an eBook copy of WICKED STITCH gifted from their retailer of choice.

Amanda, thanks for joining us today and sharing your experience stepping back in time. I’ve attended Renaissance Faires in both Georgia and Texas and enjoyed them very much.

Now for those who aren’t familiar with Amanda, here’s a bit of background on her.

Amanda Lee (also writing as Gayle Trent) writes the Embroidery Mystery series which features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. 

Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

For more on Amanda and her writing, visit her website.

Now for my thoughts on this entertaining mystery……

Author Amanda Lee combines humor, suspense, murder, friendship, and a touch of romance for a well-blended story in her latest release, WICKED STITCH.

The small town setting adds charm and a touch of realism to the story. With vivid descriptions, Lee places the reader in the middle of the fun and excitement. The story flows smoothly at a good pace.

The characters are well-developed and likable. The bond among the friends is realistic and adds depth to the story. The pet tie-in is a wonderful touch readers can relate to.

While the story features an embroidery shop, readers don’t have to have a fondness for the hobby to enjoy the story. In addition, WICKED STITCH can be read as a standalone even though it is the eighth installment in the series. Lee gives just enough background new readers won’t be in the dark and returning fans won’t be bored with too much repeated information.

This delightful story will pull you in quickly and hold you spellbound for an entertaining read.

Wicked Stitch by Amanda Lee, Embroidery Mystery Book #8, Obsidian, @2015, ISBN: 978-0451467409, Paperback, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Amanda’s visit. Be sure to comment about your experiences in “stepping back in time” for a chance to win a signed copy of WICKED STITCH.

*This post contains affiliate links.


  1. I love this series! We have a fall Renaissance Faire near where I live in MN but I haven't been for many years. They are such fun - but exhausting for this senior.

  2. I have been to both. Funny your son was knighted with a plunger.

  3. I have never been to a Renaissance Faire but I'm sure it would be loads of fun!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  4. I have never been to any faire like that, would love to though. thanks for the chance :)
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  5. I have never been to a faire either. We do have one locally so I think I need to check it out.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  6. Mason - Thanks for hosting Amanda.

    Amanda - A Renaissance Faire is a fascinating context for a mystery. Thanks for sharing how this worked into your story.

  7. I haven't been to a Renaissance Faire, but we do have a log cabin village which consists of pioneer houses and set up like a village with demonstrations on cooking and candle making. It always fascinates me how people used to make use of everything unlike the throwaway society we've become. I look forward to reading Wicked Stitch.
    cozyintexas at Yahoo

  8. I used to love to go to local Rennaisance Faire in Indiana for many years. I have lots of pictures of the costumes, including a rollicking fight in the mud, they had great food and lots of wonderful booths to buy unusual things. Unfortunately it got to be too expensive for the winery to put on each here so that was the end but I have lots of great memories of it.

    When it comes to going back in time, I visited the Plymouth Plantation and really loved all the reactments. Outdoor bowling with wooden pins, gardens with heritiage plants and animals of the same breeds that were kept then. The best of all was people who researched the original settlers, taked and dressed like them. I got to talk to the person impersonating my great (can't remember how many greats) ancestor and ask her questions. I was supposed to pretend that I was back in time too. She ask Goodlady, how am I related to your? I couldn't very well say "Goodlady, I am your direct descendent! LOL I shall never forget talking to my ancestor (impersonator) Constance Hopkins Snow!

  9. I have started this series and am loving catching up. When it comes to stepping back in time the only time I have had the chance is visiting Williamsburg once years ago, I would love to get back there some day. There have been Renaissance fairs that have come here and every year we say that we are going to go but somehow the timing always ends up getting messed up. I will make it to one some day.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

  10. What a great interview. I have been to the Living History Farm in Iowa with my family. It was very well done, there are separate sections to the site, with farms/homes/etc set in the various time periods, including the farm of the future. Looking forward to Wicked Stitch, thanks for the chance to win!

  11. A most interesting interview and great feature. I haven't been to a Renaissance Faire but have been to Lower Canada Village which has replicated an entire village from the pioneer days. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I have read about the Faires but never been. Ditto the Living History. Perhaps we don't have them? If not, we miss out.
    The series sounds wonderful.

  13. I have done a few Renaissance Faires and always enjoy them. Wicked Stitch sounds like a fun read.

  14. I have been to a Renaissance Faire once, a very long time ago. Most of my experience going back in time has been fossil hunting with my oldest son.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  15. What an interesting thread to connect a series. Great idea.

  16. Stopping by to wave at Amanda/Gayle - I'm a huge fan!!

  17. The Renaissance Faire you went to sounds awesome! The cover and blurb for Wicked Stitch is wonderful. Congrats.

  18. Congratulations to Amanda! I've never been to a Renaissance fair, but I've always wanted to go.

  19. I've never been to a Renaissance Fair, but I've always been curious about them!

  20. Very interesting blog today thanks, I am looking forward to reading this it sounds very good, thanks


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