Monday, January 25, 2016

Aloha to Patience Griffin and THE ACCIDENTAL SCOT - Audio Book


January 25th marks the annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns. Find out about his life and poetry, the Burns supper, and this year’s festivities at this link

To celebrate Burns Supper, I invited Patience Griffin, author of the Kilts and Quilts series set in Gandiegow, Scotland, as by guest today.  

The Joy of Being Read To

Who as a child didn’t love to be read to? As the fourth child in four and half years, the adults around me were so busy that when someone did read to me, it was a huge treat. I remember cuddling with my grandmother in her padded rocking chair—the same grandmother who taught me to sew—with her reading Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. Leaning against my grandmother, hearing her heartbeat while she read, I fell in love with the cadence of story as it came alive.

My love of stories-being-read-aloud continued into elementary school. Sadly, at around fifth grade, teachers quit reading to us. When I hit high school, I thought I’d outgrown hearing stories until my sophomore year, when a new English teacher arrived on the scene, shaking up the establishment. Her first rebellious act was to move the straight columns of desks into a circle, with her occupying one of them. Because she was part of the classroom circle, she felt more like an equal than a superior. When she announced she would be reading various books aloud throughout the year, a collective groan went up across the room. But within minutes of the opening lines of Pigman, she proved to a bunch of fifteen-year-olds that we weren’t too old to have storytime.

We loved it! She educated us about mental illness in Lisa, Bright and Dark, how things can go terrible wrong in Lord of the Flies, and showed me a different life from my small town roots in the The Outsiders. Because no one had read to us in so long, we soaked it up. The words poured over us, calming our teenage angst, nurturing our souls. Being read to fed my need for story and touched me way behind high school as I’m sure it touched my fellow classmates, too. 

After high school, life got busy. Work. Marriage. Then Reading to my own kids—Goodnight Moon, The Friendly book, Little Critter, Little Women, Harry Potter—you get the picture. Then there was university—yes, I finished my two engineering degrees as a single mom of two, but reading to my kids was always a priority. The next time that I would be read to was when I took an engineering job, commuting three and half hours a day.

Oh, the wonder of audiobooks!

It was as if heaven opened up and dished out a heaping helping of love in the way of story. I ate it up. Story became my addiction. I couldn’t wait to get on the road in the mornings, or leave work in the evenings to find out what the characters were going to do next. Though I was a huge letter writer growing up, and I knew that one day I would write non-fiction, it wasn’t until I devoured audiobooks that I got the fiction bug…especially in writing it.

Last year, after the release of my debut novel, To Scotland with Love, I was ecstatic when I found out that my book was going to audiobook. I think I jumped around and hooted and hollered for a full fifteen minutes! This fall I found out the rest books in the Kilts and Quilts series will be in audiobook as well. I never dreamed such a wonderful thing would happen to me!

At quilt shows, I speak with many quilters—men and women—who love to listen to books while they work. I love to listen to books when I walk, but my favorite by far is on long road trips. Books, snacks, and hours of listening time; there’s nothing better!

On December 1st, The Accidental Scot, book four in the Kilts and Quilts series was released, and its audiobook came out on January 21st for your listening pleasure. PhD, my husband, is my biggest audiobook fan. He thinks Kirsten Potter, the narrator, is the best. I have to agree with him. For a sample, click at this link.

How do you feel about audiobooks? I’m always surprised at those who don’t listen to them on a regular basis; but then I remember, if it wasn’t for my long commute, I wouldn’t have been as exposed to audiobooks the way that I was.

What are your favorite books that you’ve listened to, either as a child, or as an adult, either in audiobooks or in person?

For your chance to win one of five Mp3 copies of THE ACCIDENTAL SCOT, please enter below. (US only. Sorry to my international friends.)


Award-winning author Patience Griffin has been 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 Scottish romances into novels. 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 town of Gandiegow, Scotland.


Christmas in the small village of Gandiegow brings holiday cheer—and a chance for love between two strangers…

When her father is injured in an accident, Edinburgh engineer Pippa McDonnell comes home to Gandiegow to take over the family business, the North Sea Valve Company. Now she’s working overtime trying to fix NSV’s finances and find the cash to get her father proper medical care.

One possibility is to accept a partnership with MTech, an American firm desperate to get their hands on her da’s innovative valve design. He was against bringing in outsiders, but Pippa is desperate enough to at least listen to MTech’s charming representative Max McKinley.

As Christmas approaches and with the help of Gandiegow's meddling quilters, Pippa and Max slowly find themselves attracted to each other. Max seems honorable, but is he there to steal the valve design…or Pippa’s heart?

Check out my review of THE ACCIDENTAL SCOT at this link.

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  1. I've not heard an audiobook. I really enjoy doing the reading myself.

  2. Oh I love the part about your grandmother reading to you! That explains why your books flow as if they were meant to be read aloud.

    Lovely post. One of my fondest memories is of my mom reading to me at night before bed. Sweet times on the mountain with Heidi or running through the pastures with Black Beauty.

  3. I don't usually listen to audiobooks.

    I think I still have my copy of Lisa, Bright and Dark!


    1. dstoutholcomb...I should get a copy of Lisa, Bright and Dark and read it now.

  4. I don't listen to audio books very often. I used to listen to them more often when I had to drive in stop and go traffic, which I don't have to do anymore. This is a great series. I have the paperback copies.