Tag Archives: patricia kiyono

The Calico Heart – Guest Post by Bestselling Author Patricia Kiyono

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

~Author Unknown

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I’ve always loved to sew, and once I retired from full-time teaching I was able to join the quilting group at my church. We meet twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday, and make lap quilts to distribute to the chaplain at the hospital, the veterans’ home, and other charities. It’s been a wonderful way to make new friends, provide a creative outlet, and to my husband’s delight, a way to use up some of my fabric stash!

I love the challenge of taking a pile of fabric in coordinating colors and creating a new and different design. The group’s rules are that the quilts are 40 inches by 40 inches and be made of cotton fabric. The tops can be made using any pattern we like – so that opens us up to a lot of creativity.

It should be no surprise that when I decided to start writing a series, my thought went directly to my quilt group. Here is a diverse group of women, coming from various walks of life, at different ages, bound together by a love of sewing. I thought about the various patterns used in quilting – Log Cabin, Around the World, Sunlight and Shadows, Amish Heart – and immediately a myriad of stories popped in my head! I shared the idea with Stephanie Michels, my critique partner and friend, and she came on board with the idea. Since she’s my plotting guru, she’s great at taking my mishmash of ideas and putting them into a coherent set of storylines. And so the first book in our Stitching Post series, The Calico Heart, was accepted by and recently released at Astraea Press. ~ Patricia Kiyono

Here’s the blurb:

On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she’s dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest child is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.

Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.

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The Calico Heart is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook outlets.

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Patricia Kiyono can be found at her blog, on facebook, and twitter (@PatriciaKiyono)

 

StephanieMichels

Stephanie Michels can be found at her blog, on Facebook, and her website

 

The Samurai’s Garden — Guest Post by Author Patricia Kiyono

I’m pleased to welcome wonderful author Patricia Kiyono back to Child of Yden, as she discusses how her rich family heritage found its way into her latest release. Enjoy!

~ S.G. Rogers

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, S.G! I’m very excited about the release of The Samurai’s Garden. In writing this, I drew on my own Japanese heritage, and I thought today I’d share a little bit about it.

Growing up, we celebrated American holidays like our friends and neighbors did. My dad, though he was of Japanese descent, was born and raised in America, so our home looked much like everyone else’s, except for a few touches that my mom, who lived in Japan until she married her Japanese-American soldier, insisted on. In our living room, beautiful kimono-clad dolls posed in glass cases. In various places of the house, streamers of origami cranes attested to her belief in their ability to grant wishes. And occasionally, when I got home from school, I’d hear the stereo playing recordings of traditional Japanese songs.

In one corner of the living room was a small case with a picture of my deceased grandparents. It had a candle in front of it, and every day mom would put fresh water and fruit. Sometimes she would put a small bowl of rice there, too. She would bring the food and water, ring a little bell, and then bow. This was the family shrine, or obutsudan. I didn’t know much about the traditions surrounding these rituals. Maybe it’s because I didn’t ask. My brothers and I just accepted these actions as part of mom’s life.

Now that I have a home of my own, I realize these rituals were an important part of who mom is. My living room also has touches of Japan. I have a two-foot tall Japanese doll in a glass case—a wedding gift from my relatives. She stands in a place of honor, next to my piano. She’s a reminder of where I came from. This reminder was one of the reasons I needed to write a story full of the traditions and history of the land of my birth. And so The Samurai’s Garden came to be. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about them, and about the characters who bring these traditions to life.

Blurb:

Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior. But his world changed when Japan’s feudal system was abolished by the Emperor. Now, he must find a new vocation. Disillusioned with fighting and violence, he travels alone, going north to the island of Hokkaido.  Many other samurai wander through the country and are known as ronin. Some have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.

Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers.  The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects — except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.

When Hiro, tired of his wandering, encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in exchange for a place to stay.  Working on the land, Hiro finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.

This time, he’s fighting from the heart.

The Samurai’s Garden is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, blog, facebook, and on Twitter (@PatriciaKiyono)

Aegean Intrigue Interview! Mystery on the Greek Island of Paros

UPDATE:  AND THE WINNER IS…KAY!

I’m here with author Patricia Kiyono and her main character, Francine Vasileiou, of Aegean IntriguePatty has graciously offered to give away a digital copy of her novella, so leave a comment below for a chance to win!  The winner will be selected just before midnight, EST, on Friday, March 23rd.  Good luck! ~ S.G. Rogers

Back Cover Blurb: Someone has been stealing priceless Greek artifacts and it’s Alex Leonidis’ job to uncover the thief. His prime suspect is beautiful archaeological graduate student, Francie Vasileiou. His plan is to join in an archaeological dig and catch her in the act. All he has to do is keep his mind on his job, and not on the way his lovely suspect warms his heart. He’s learned the hard way not to trust fragile-looking women who seem to need his help.

Francie wants to get her PhD and become an archaeologist, like her famous father. The sudden invitation to participate in a dig on the beautiful Greek island of Paros is a wonderful opportunity. She has no time for distractions like Alex, the handsome Project Director. Experience has taught her to stay clear of handsome, charismatic Greek men.

On the shores of the Aegean Sea, Alex and Francie work together, searching for treasures from Greece’s past. While pursuing their goals, they discover some of the truths they had believed to be carved in stone may have been flawed.

Welcome, ladies! Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Let’s talk to Francine first.  Francine, why do you think Patty choose you to represent her?

I think it’s because she thinks I’m a lot like her. Her parents aren’t famous, but I’ve traveled a lot, like she has. She’s also spent a lot of her life in schools, and she doesn’t have a lot of patience with people who don’t put forth the effort to do a good job.

So you’re a world traveler?  Tell us more!

I think I’m your average college student, really. I’ve always loved going on digs all over the world with my father, and in order to do that as a career I need to get my PhD in archaeology. I’ve spent a lot of time in Montreal with my mom’s parents and in Greece with my father’s family, and I went to college in LA, so I feel like I have three homes.

Wow. Tell us where you live and what draws you there?

I’ve lived in lots of places, but right now I’m going to school in Athens. This is where my father used to teach, and I wanted to earn my PhD here. And Professor Theo, my father’s friend, was here.

Is there anything you wish Patty had kept her mouth shut about?

I suppose the whole mess about why my parents aren’t a part of my life any more. That’s kind of humiliating, and it makes me sad because I still love both my parents.

Tell us about Alex. What drew you to him?

He’s a very dynamic personality. He’s a leader, but he’s also a good listener.

What really pushes your buttons?

Incompetence. Laziness. So many times I wanted to smack Yannis. Not only did he not know what he was doing, he waited around for someone else to do things, or for someone to tell him to do it.

What’s your perfect day…and why?

Digging in the dirt until I find something left from an ancient civilization. Sharing it with the people around me. Being able to learn something about the world that the user of that artifact lived in.

What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear would be to give my heart to someone who will crush it again. That’s already happened with my parents, and with Leandros (my college boyfriend), and I don’t think I could survive it another time.

Thank you Francine!  Now, Patty, it’s your turn.  Why should readers be interested in Aegean Intrigue?

I went to Greece in the spring of 2008. As part of her degree in writing, my youngest daughter did a Study Abroad program on the sunny island of Paros. Of course I HAD to visit—just to make sure she was okay, you understand. My husband is not a traveler, so I talked a good friend into going with me. I was in awe of the living history there and the way it is incorporated into every day life. The people there KNOW their history and are willing to share it with everyone.

I can’t say that I’ve always had an interest in archaeology, but I’m a history buff, and digging for artifacts is part of that. Of course, visiting the ancient ruins on Paros as well as in Athens, I wondered about the people who do that type of work. So I bought some books while I was in Greece and checked out several online sources when I got home.

As far as why readers should be interested, I think the central message of the story focuses on the way we treat our significant others. Sometimes this is a cultural issue, but when women are treated poorly, it bothers me. This was something I noticed in Greece. My daughter commented on it, and when I got home I read more that confirmed it. Traditionally, Greek women are not encouraged to be independent. Especially on the island, local women were not seen outdoors after the supper hour. They were at home. Being a very independent woman, this bothered me. And I decided to write a story that showcased not only the beauty of the island, but the dynamics between the men and women there.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win!

BUY Aegean Intrigue at Amazon, BN.com, or Astraea Press.

One Kind Word

There is a Japanese proverb that says:  One kind word can warm three winter months.  In the wake of the devastating tsunami that ravaged Northeastern Japan this past March, author Patricia Kiyono wanted to offer more than just a kind word.  She partnered with publisher Astraea Press to write a novella, the proceeds of which would benefit the victims of this horrific disaster.

Back Cover Blurb:

When Andy Tanaka finds an old wooden chest in a storage shed on his family’s flower farm, he can’t wait to share his discovery with his best friend, Leigh Becker.

Inside the dusty lacquered chest are a pair of swords, some Japanese clothing, and a mysterious scroll, which could provide links to his samurai ancestor. They find someone to translate the scroll and then research the significance of the other items, intent on ensuring the legacy isn’t forgotten.

In the process, they learn not only about samurai history, but also some surprising truths about themselves.

The Legacy ($1) is available at Astraea Press, Amazon and BN.com, and other outlets.

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Meet Patricia Kiyono:

“I love to travel. I guess it’s because I’ve been traveling most of my life. When I was about eleven months old my parents decided to move to a faraway land called America. We settled in Michigan, where Dad grew up. But we kept close ties with our relatives in Japan. Even though long distance calling was expensive, Dad insisted Mom call her family on a regular basis. And there were long letters, written on blue sheets called aerograms. We had English speaking cousins in Okinawa, and we’d exchange letters, pictures and cassette tapes with them.

I remember Mom struggling to understand things people said to her, and being frustrated when she couldn’t make other people understand what she tried to say. I remember older people who actually blamed us for the loss of relatives who died in World War II and refused to associate with us. But for the most part, people were interested in our differences, and were very supportive.

Money was tight in our home, so we didn’t go away on a lot of vacations, but one memorable summer Dad packed us all in the car (I have two younger brothers, so there were five of us) and we took off on a trip to see several places in the eastern part of the country. We went south to Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, then up to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and then farther north to Niagara Falls before going through Ontario, Canada on our way back home. I was around twelve years old then, old enough to take pictures and treasure the souvenirs we picked up.

I think the thing I treasured most about that trip was meeting and learning about people in new and different places. While traveling, we met other families visiting these sites from all corners of the country. We learned we all have the same goals for our lives, the same hopes, dreams and fears. And we got an idea of how much there is to see in this world.

In high school I got the opportunity to visit Europe with the American Youth Symphony. Again, I loved visiting places I had read about: the Swiss Alps, German castles, and the Tower of London. But more than that, I enjoyed meeting and talking to people from all over the world. People who looked and sounded different than us, but who shared our love of life and all it has to offer. People who want peace, and harmony in their lives.

So now I’m retired (sort of) and have more time and resources to travel. And in between my trips I write. There is a whole world of fascinating people out there, and their stories are waiting to be told. My job as an author is to make their stories come alive, giving you a taste of their world, and making you believe in them.” – Patricia Kiyono

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Patricia has many projects in the works.  In the upcoming novella, Aegean Intrigue, someone has been stealing priceless Greek artifacts, and it’s Alex Leonidis’ job to uncover the thief. She’s also working on a Christmas novella, as well as a full-length historical novel about Andy Tanaka’s samurai ancestor.  To follow Patricia, go to her website, blog, or Facebook.