Monday, February 15, 2021

~ GREAT ESCAPES THE HERITAGE HEIST ~

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~ GREAT ESCAPES BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'THE HERITAGE HEIST'  --
AUTHOR DIANNE ASCROFT
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio + Unique Author Guest Post &
Book Giveaway~ 
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The Heritage Heist (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft

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About The Heritage Heist

 

Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series  
Publisher: Independently Published (December 15, 2020)  
Paperback: 278 pages ISBN-13: 979-8581502389  
Digital ASIN: B08QMHW6DD 

A fall fair, a cornered craftsman, an heirloom heist. When an antique quilt that is a cherished part of Fenwater’s past disappears from the market before her town’s fall fair, it’s up to Lois to resolve the quilt quandary.

Middle-aged widow Lois is enjoying her second season in her new town and her century house, away from the dangers of big city life in Toronto. She can’t wait to experience her first old-fashioned fall fair, complete with hot apple cider. But when the local market is burgled, her enthusiasm for the upcoming festival plummets. During the break-in one of the security guards is badly injured and an antique quilt, on loan from the museum, vanishes. Her friend, Bruce, designed and built the display case and has one of only two keys to secure it. That makes him a prime suspect in the theft. Lois won’t let Bruce’s reputation, nor the trust his customers have in the bespoke furniture maker, be damaged by the allegation. She’s determined to piece the clues together to find the quilt, clear Bruce’s name and save a piece of Fenwater’s history.

And so begins a week of deepening friendships, hot apple cider, calico cats, backseat shenanigans, hazy housemates, and few puzzle pieces to work with, set against the backdrop of a rustic market building amidst stately stone architecture, the crackle of flames in the hearth, a blaze of colour on leafy residential streets and the scintillating scent of cinnamon.

The Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series is set in rural Ontario, Canada during the early 1980s.

A tale for fans of Cindy Bell, Leighann Dobbs, Dianne Harman and Kathi Daley.

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About Dianne Ascroft

                                               

Dianne Ascroft writes the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, set in rural Canada, and The Yankee Years historical sagas, set in WWII Northern Ireland. She has a passion for Ireland and Canada, past and present. An ex-pat Canadian, Dianne lives on a small farm with her husband and an assortment of strong-willed animals.

Her previous fiction works include An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

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Crafting 'The Heritage Heist’s' Cover

by Dianne Ascroft

Every writer knows that their book cover needs to be eye-catching to entice readers to pick it up and look inside so I welcomed the chance to have input into creating the scene on the cover of The Heritage Heist. I especially enjoyed finding the right quilts to be included. Can you guess where I got them from?

Not sure? Well, then let me tell you. My closet. That’s right. As I write this, all the patchwork quilts on the cover are piled up in my closet. And I made each of them. Since the novel’s plot revolves around searching for a stolen quilt, I figured they would be perfect to incorporate into the cover design. So, I pulled them out of the closet, photographed them and used a little graphic magic to give them an illustrated feel.


Take a look at the front cover of the book - at the table where the quilts are piled up. We’ll start with the bottom one (brown and green). That’s a quilt I made to cover the worn old sofa in my first house. My furniture wasn’t shiny and new but I could spruce it up a bit with my own needlework. 

The next one (burgundy, pink and grey) is a lap quilt I made for my mother to keep her warm in the nursing home where she lived for several years, and the purple, green and pink one on the top is a lap quilt I made for my grandmother to snuggle under in her armchair in the living room while she watched her favourite tv soaps. After my grandmother and mother passed on their quilts came back to me. They hold treasured memories of my family so I was delighted to be able to include them in the book cover. It was an added bonus that my mother’s quilt is burgundy because that is my main character Lois Stone’s favourite colour. I know she would approve of it being on the book cover. 

Of course, the quilt that is central to the plot of this book isn’t a patchwork quilt like most of the ones on the cover. It’s a wholecloth quilt.Have you heard of wholecloth quilts? Many people haven’t.

Wholecloth quilts are made from plain-coloured fabric, usually white, with intricate patterns handstitched into the material to produce the design. Today the top layer is made from one piece of fabric. Several strips of fabric sewn together were needed for early wholecloth quilts because the looms of the era were not wide enough to weave fabric of the required width to cover a double bed. One of the regions in Great Britain that has a strong tradition of this type of quilting is the Scottish Borders.

Fenwater, the fictional Canadian town in my novel, was founded during the early 1800s by settlers who came from the Scottish Borders. When I learned about this area’s tradition of wholecloth quilting, I knew I had to work it into the plot of one of my novels. It made perfect sense that settlers would bring their craft with them to the New World, so this is where the initial idea for the plot of The Heritage Heist was born.

Each British region where the craft flourished had its own distinctive motifs for their designs. In the Scottish Borders town Hawick, they favoured a ‘broken heart’ and thistle motif. In this design, the stitching never meets at the top of the heart to complete the shape. Often the focus of the design is a large central heart, surrounded by a repeated hearts and thistles motif. Scales or large daisies called ‘gowans’ are stitched into the fabric between the motifs and along the border.

I modelled the antique quilt in The Heritage Heist on this design. My character Lois is awed by the exquisite workmanship in the beautiful counterpane and she keenly feels its loss when it’s stolen. She is even more perturbed when one of her friends becomes the prime suspect in the theft. 

I’ve been a keen quilter for years and I really loved having the chance to weave one of my favourite hobbies into the plot of this story. I was also delighted to incorporate quilts that have special meaning to me into the book’s cover. I hope readers will enjoy the image on the cover and the story.

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Author Links --
Website: http://www.dianneascroft.com  
Twitter: @DianneAscroft  
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Purchase Links: US: Amazon  
For other countries: https://books2read.com/u/4XLYBN  

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me share how I got the images for my book cover with your readers, June.

    Dianne Ascroft

    ReplyDelete

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