A Grand Design

A Grand Design

New From Quilts of Love || A Grand Design

A getaway on a charming island may be just what Alyssa needs—if only she can let go of her past.

When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.

As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?

Find our more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love website.


  • How could I resist a book about my home state? I couldn’t. Plus, I’ve had an admiration for quilts and the people who make them for years. It’s a skill far outside my comfort zone. I’m not going to beat around the proverbial bush here. I loved this book. If I had one complaint, it was how far the mystery of what happened to Alyssa as a teenager went. It really wasn’t clear. Other than that, it was a wonderful read that left me eager to read the other books in this series. Who knows…maybe I’ll learn to quilt before I’m done!

  • This book was amazing! I love the quilt blocks Alyssa had to
    find in order to learn more about her grandmothers history. It was brilliant. The story and characters instantly grabbed me and as a Michigander, I couldn’t put this book down. It was well written!! Great read, I highly recommend this one!

  • redeemed says:

    A Grand Design is a fun read, full of romance and mystery. I thought the main character, Alyssa, was likeable and interesting. Her friend Libby was a big annoying at times but I think it made her mesh well with Alyssa. The plot was interesting. I love quilting so that part of the story really appealed to me. I love that Alyssa and Libby learned a little about quilting while they were with Alyssa’s grandmother.

  • My Thoughts About The Book: I have loved all the Quilts of Love series, but this one is my absolute favorite. I have traveled to Mackinac Island, where the story takes place, and understand the draw that Alyssa feels for the island. This story is one of those that once you begin reading it you feel as if you are one of the characters inside the pages of the story. The descriptions were so vivid that I actually pulled out my pictures just to make sure she was accurate. She was spot on. Stockton is quite a character developer and I cannot wait to read some more of her books. I could not put the book down and read it in one sitting. This is a must read even if you have not read any of the other books in the series.

    Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Litfuse and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • I have had a fascination for Mackinac Island since I was a kid so I was thrilled to discover it as the setting for A Grand Design. Stockton does a wonderful job of infusing the ambiance of the island throughout the story. I almost felt like I was on holiday right along with Alyssa.

  • A Grand Design was a very sweet story. The description of Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel were so beautiful and it did make me feel like I was right there.

    The romance between Scott and Alyssa was sweet. Alyssa had some big fears weighing her down from the past and Scott was so understanding and kind toward her. I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. I did wonder about Scott’s past relationship that had gone wrong. I felt that it was mentioned a couple of times, but then the details were never really explained. It would have been interesting to hear more about that.

    Overall, this was a fun, lighthearted read. I liked all of the main characters and the storyline was interesting. Since it is a Quilts of Love story, there is a quilt that is pieced together as part of the storyline

  • I LOVE this book! LOVE IT!

    What a wonderful idea! What a beautiful story. What wonderful interactions between characters and environment and memories of the past!

    And Amber’s descriptions of Mackinac Island make me want to hop on a plane today!

    This is a wonderful addition to the Quilts of Love line of books and a story that anyone who enjoys a good romance with a few bumps along the way – is sure to enjoy!

    I really enjoyed how well Amber wrote about Alyssa’s views on life and love. Too often we read about a jaded character who is completely hopeless and it doesn’t quite ring true when they finally are presented with love but Alyssa is simply someone who has had a rough time of it and she’s not sure what she even wants romance-wise.

    I also love how well Amber blends God in…

  • Where to start? I adored this book. It was like one of those rom-coms that put a smile on your face even after it’s done. I finished this book within a couple of hours because I simply couldn’t put it down! This was my first read from the Quilts of Love series and if A Grand Design was any indication of what the rest of the series is like…well let’s just say I can’t wait to get my hands on all of them!

  • This is a simple romance. It would be good for a night of escape reading. It is a quick girl meets boy, talk a little bit, confront an old hurt, and romance blossoms.
    Though it is part of a quilt series, we never find out what the quilt looks like, the pattern, or what is on the squares.

  • I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of Mackinac Island as I have always wanted to visit there. Very well written.

  • I was glad to be able to take the time to read this book because it was well written with great characters. It was a quick read and super glad that I got a chance to check it out. I am going to have to look up more by this author as well as more of the Quilts of Love series. I enjoyed the story of the island and it really made me want to visit there to see all the beautiful and peaceful sites that they were describing. I really enjoyed hearing them gathering the quilt squares and making the quilt because it showed all of the thoughtfulness that went into the quilt. I loved the whole story and was sad to see if come to an end but I know that anyone who picks it up with enjoy it as much as I did!!! I hope that you check it out soon!

  • A Rup Life says:

    There were so many parts of this book I loved! The setting was fabulous! I would love to visit Mackinac Island after reading this book. Alyssa wasn’t my favorite character at first. She was very insecure but with everyone else around her making up the slack – until she gets her confidence back – I found myself liking her more and more through out the book! Scott was a fabulous romantic lead! I was routing for him! I hope we see her Grandmother pop up more in the series! Lastly I loved the little bits and pieces of story about the quilt. Sometimes books with a craft theme element overwhelm the reader with too many details but Stockton had a beautiful balance with this one!

  • Wonderful book. The characters were very 3 dimensional. Have enjoyed this series from the different authors.

  • Moments says:

    Right away I was drawn into the story as Alyssa is a character whom is so easy to relate to and she became so real to me. Also, the storyline is so fun, imagine winning a bridal magazine contest when you aren’t getting married, much less even having a boyfriend? Added to this is the fact that the vacation is to a place where Alyssa has family and a history. I really enjoyed “sharing” this vacation with Alyssa and Libby as these two best friends are so fun and complement each other so well, as they are so different from each other and balance each other out so well.

  • Alyssa is a very likable character with realistic thoughts and dreams. It was easy to picture this beautiful setting and the characters within them. My only complaint is that the book was very short (more like a novella in length). The book is short enough to finish in one sitting unless you have the self-control to tear yourself away from it. The history and culture of the island was the perfect backdrop to this lighthearted romance.

  • I found this story to be kind of interesting as Alyssa wins a trip and helps put together a quilt. I had the idea of the story figured out early on, so the “surprise” was not really that big for me. There were times when I was engaged in this story and found it interesting, and there were other times when it felt boring.

  • Easy read. I found the island aspects and the whole hunting down quilt squares to be fastening. The pace was a little too slow for me at times and I did feel there were times when the plot lagged because of it…There were many things about the way Amber writes that I loved and some that I didn’t really like. I do LOVE her use of “it’s a God-thing”, I always use and love the statement because there are just things that happen and fall so perfectly together you know that only God could have made it happen! 🙂 I LOVE those moments when God’s care and orchestration are so evident in life! <3… Mainly there are two things that I think would have made this book better: 1.) a faster pace and 2.) if it had been longer.

  • A Grand Design is a quickly read romantic novel set on Mackinac Island. In this story, a return trip to the island after many years away revives old memories and pain for Alyssa Denham. With the help of her best friend, her grandmother, and Scott Whitman, Alyssa begins to break down some of the walls she has so carefully built to protect herself.

  • This review is for the book “A Grand Design” by Amber Stockton. This is another book in the Quilts of Love series. I am really enjoying this series. All of the books have quilting in common, but the characters and stories are completely different, and even written by different authors. This particular book is about Alyssa. She used to take a vacation every summer to Mackinac Island and then suddenly stopped one summer. Now, fifteen years later, she is back visiting her grandmother. Her grandmother sets up a goal for Alyssa to complete which has to do with quilting. Meanwhile, Alyssa keeps running into this guy Scott who she is trying not to get the hots for.

    I enjoyed this story although I did feel that it was a little more mysterious than necessary.

  • The description of Mackinac Island truly makes you want to go and visit to see everything for yourself. Alyssa is an interesting character in the book. it was easy to like her and walk through this story with her. She’s very believable person and you find yourself hoping she finds love. Scott, Alyssa’s romantic interest, was so sweet and understanding, although I would have loved to have learned a little more about his personal story.

    In all, it was a nice book and a good read!

  • I was especially excited to read “A Grand Design” because it takes place on Mackinac Island, which I have visited several times as I grew up in Michigan. It was fun to get to “revisit” the island, especially to get to know more about the residents rather than the typical tourist areas. I really enjoyed getting to know Alyssa, too, as well as the humorous camaraderie between her and her man-magnet friend, Libby. “A Grand Design” is a sweet romance in a beautiful setting.

  • A Grand Design is a sweet story of family and deep harbored pain but with a finishing resilience that is just perfectly added to complete the circle of love. The author makes you feel so bad for the lead character Alyssa and her plight and I felt like just giving the girl a hug.

  • I enjoyed how the quilt brought Alyssa and her grandmother closer. Amber Stockton is a wonderful story teller.

  • This is a delightful addition to Abingdon’s Quilts of Love series. Amber Stockton has created a charming story with engaging characters and placed them in a setting that makes me want to visit quaint Mackinac Island…..perhaps my favorite part of the story is the loyal and long-time friendship between Alyssa and Libby, different though they may be.

  • Alyssa is not one to normally take time off from work. Now she has won a trip for two to Mackinac Island. She only entered the contest because her friends dared her to. What’s she going to do now? The trip is intended to be a honeymoon. With no suitor in sight, she almost passes on the trip. Then decides to go ahead and take the trip with her best friend, adventure loving, Libby.

    While Alyssa is reconnecting with and helping her grandmother, she also has a journey of her own to go on. A journey to let go of her past, learn to trust again, and to look to God to heal her broken heart.
    Quilts of Love – A Grand Design is a fun, light read that will hold your interest and entertain you.

  • LyonsLady says:

    This is a wonderful addition to the Quilts of Love line of books and I have read several.
    What a beautiful story. I enjoyed the interactions between characters and the description of the environment. Amber shares Alyssa’s views on life and love. I also love how well Amber blends God into the story and never gets “preachy”. She makes Him approachable in a way that people today will find much easier to connect with than the harsh, angry God that so many people want to paint Him as. She just shows the reader that God is very much a part of the lives of our characters.

  • When I started reading this book I felt as if I’d gone to this island before. I know I’ve never stepped foot in the Grand Hotel.

    Alyssa’s been on the island before.

    But Alyssa and Libby had more adventures that were unplanned – including some not so pleasant times involving a secret from Alyssa’s past.

    Thank you, Ms Stockton. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from you.

  • When I read “A Grand Design” I felt like I was on the island with the main characters. The way the author wove events that really happened into this story it made me want to go there. I loved the storyline. This is a story of love, family and learning to move on with one’s life. –

  • Book by Book says:

    Amber Stockton tells a sweet, fun story and right now, I can think of nothing I didn’t enjoy about it.

  • I’ve seen the romantic movie Somewhere in Time with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve many years ago and have always been a fan of romance. Placing the setting of this novel right where it was filmed was a definite winner for me. From the beautiful descriptions of the hotel and grounds provides the readers with just the imagination to stir the longings of their romantic heart. It conveys that even though we carry around emotional baggage from things in our lives that have hurt us, we don’t have to continue to carry them. We can learn to let go and move forward into the new life that God has been planning for us all along. I think Amber Stockton did just that in showing how that can affect our ability to move forward in the future God has planned for us if we are willing to take that leap.

  • Another stellar addition to the Quilts of Love series!

  • This is another great book from the Quilts of Love series, the story told is an amazing story of love, forgiveness and grace.

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Mackinac Island, to witness the past meet the present in a beautiful setting. Amber Stockton made me feel like I was right there traipsing the island with Alyssa. The way she described the settings and crafted the character interactions had me lost in the story, as if I were traveling the island via carriage with them collecting quilt squares. I enjoyed following the twists and turns of the story, even if I wanted to smack some sense into some of the characters at times. 🙂

  • I liked this story in the Quilts of Love series. It was beyond being tourists and visiting a celebrated location, but rather a reacquainting of family from a different perspective. Both older and reflective, Alyssa and her grandmother are able to be open with each other and receptive for a future. As her friend, Libby, is more outgoing and there for a vacation, Alyssa is able to meet her past and move forward. This was an important turning point for her life. Because of the respect and relationship her grandmother had with other islanders, Alyssa, in turn, was remembered by those she visited to collect the quilt blocks. It brought a good remembrance of her youth and meeting those who knew her family. I would be interested in a second book by this author, where this one leaves off.

  • I would recommend this book to women, I have read a lot of the Quilt series books and they always have kept my attention and interest. I really enjoyed this short read, it is one of those books you read when you just want to relax and enjoy.

  • The book was well written and concise…something I’m especially drawn to these days. The story of Alyssa is one that held past heartache and refusal to think about the past. Winning an odd contest forced her to face that past, reunite with someone important in her life and ultimately, changed her whole life story.

  • This is a sweet story that reunifies a young woman with the grandmother she has estranged herself from. We discover the reason for their separation as the story progresses, and it is sad that Alyssa turned away from her family instead of leaning on them for support. The beginning of the book describes Mackinac Island as if it were a travel promotion- I would have rather learned about it gradually as Alyssa visited the location. Her love interest Scott was adorable and sweet, just what her character needed since she definitely had issues with men. The quilt block collection quest introduced several wise mentors for Alyssa who imparted loving words of advice.

  • I loved reading about Alyssa’s relationship with her friend and grandmother. Beautiful romantic ending.

  • Alyssa has some catching up to do when she returns to her beloved island where she hasn’t visited her grandma for 15 years….she’s understandably nervous. Alyssa learns to relax and have a bit of fun, how can she not with her best friend along….and the two men they meet on the boat ride over!

    How does this tie into a quilt? Well, grandma has her own agenda, one that will take Alyssa down memory lane, as well as form new ones.

  • Reading A Grand Design by Amber Stockton I got a sense of this could be me. Having been in a scary relationship before, I have been timid and basically a recluse. I was afraid to do things. Going places etc. So I totally relate to Alyssa. I give A Grand Design 4 stars. I thought it was a tad bit dry at times. However, it still kept my attention. I would love to head to an island and just bask in the sun, even if it is on one of the Great Lakes. Since that seems to take the money, I will just read about the Inn where Alyssa and her friend stay.

  • This is another great love story that of course has some very complicated problems from Alyssa’s past that she must overcome. This trip is a way for her to regroup and hopefully put it all behind her.

    Unfortunately, her abusive ex-boyfriend finds her again and tries his same old tactics but Alyssa has a savoir this time around and things don’t go quite the way that the abuser thinks it will go. And will Alyssa finally admit that her new friend just might be a keeper?

    The quilt might have been the excuse her grandmother gave in getting Alyssa to the island in the first place, but it ends up being a lasting memory of love in the end.

  • I have not read any of the other “Quilts of Love” books. It took me a few chapters to really get into the book. The plot was clear and I enjoyed the book for the most part. I have a few books that I KNOW I will re-read over and over again, but sadly…this book is not one of them, but it will still a okay book…it just didn’t reach out and grab me like other books have. If you are looking for a quick read, then maybe you will like this book.

  • I like it that it is a “series” without being a series. It does not matter if this is the first book that you are reading or the tenth one that you are reading. So pack your bags join Alyssa and her BFF to Mackinac Island for a two week getaway. Join Alyssa as she helps her grandmother with a project of piecing together a quilt.

  • The is the first book I have read by the author, Amber Stockton, and I’m impressed by her writing skills. She marvelously crafts and a charming heartfelt story with loveable characters and a dazzling plot. What starts out a simple two week vacation ends up in a quilting scavenger hunt. Overall, A Grand Design is a wonderful read and I recommend it others.

  • This is a great romance about meeting someone on a “vacation” and falling in love in a few days.

  • A Grand Design was really a sweet story. I loved getting to know Alyssa… especially as she finally came back to the island to reconnect with her grandmother after 15 years. I think the author did a wonderful job of getting the reader to feel how anxious Alyssa was over revisiting her past.

  • Veronica's 'Views says:

    The descriptions were wonderful and I felt like I could easily picture each scene described. The author also did a good job of keeping my interest in the story because I wanted to find out why Alyssa hadn’t been back to the island and also why her grandmother wanted her to collect the quilt pieces rather than doing it herself. The romance was cute and I liked the references to the movie, Somewhere in Time, which was filmed on the island.

  • If you love contemporary romance, you want want to miss A GRAND DESIGN. I am a huge fan of contemporary romances, and this one is awesome. Realistic characters you can’t help but care for, a grandmother with hurts of her own, two sets of friends who are as different as can be, and a dream-worthy hero.

  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton was another great book in this series of books. There has only ever been one book in this series that I didn’t like so this book had a lot to live up to.

  • This is the first book I have read by author Amber Stockton and it won’t be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed stepping onto Mackinac Island with Alyssa and Libby. This was a fun book with a hint of mystery, a hint of history and some romance tossed in too. The characters are well written, the story was intriguing and there was just the right amount of humorous flirtation between the main character and her love interest.

  • A Grand Design by Amber Stockton was another great book in this series of books. This was such a sweet story and I instantly fell in love with the characters and the setting.

  • Have you ever visited Mackinac Island? Me neither, but I have read several books set there, and Amber Stockton does a wonderful job with her imagery and descriptions. So well in fact that I would love to visit now. This story kind of puts me in mind of Grace Livingston Hill books, no deep dark plots with twists and turns, just a simple story, with God playing a keyrole in the lives of the characters. Alyssa’s story has me longing for more from Amber Stockton. Another great book in the Quilts of Love Series. 5 stars from this reviewer.
    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this revie

  • Tara Mitchell says:

    This was such a fun book to read, and it had one of the best endings I’ve read in a while. The main characters, Alyssa and Scott, are totally believable. Tons of dialog allowed me to feel as if I was there with the characters. I was rooting for them to overcome their pasts and come together. It was a quick read, and a great addition to the Quilts of Love series!

  • Fans of Amber Stockton will be delighted to read A Grand Design – the latest story in the delightful Quilts Of Love series from Abingdon Press! If you enjoy contemporary romances in picturesque settings, you will enjoy the respite that A Grand Design offers!

  • “A Grand Design” by Amber Stockton is a very sweet book that would be perfect for a summer or vacation getaway read. I actually finished the book in one evening and I felt like I had just spent the night watching a romantic comedy, with a hint of drama.

    When I was in Junior High I was addicted to the “Babysitter’s Club” books and the “Nancy Drew” series. My parents would get me a stack of those books for Christmas and I would finish them all in a week. I felt the same way about “A Grand Design”, in that it was so entertaining, fun and captivating, I wasn’t able to go to bed without finding out what happened. If I had a pile of books written by Amber Stockton, I would probably find myself sleep deprived in a matter of days.

  • A Grand Design is a wonderfully sweet romance and a nice addition to the Quilts of Love series.

  • A Grand Design was an easy read and not overwhelming at all in regards to book length. Though the book did deal with mature subject manner it was not a book I would be worried about my children picking up. The author told a story and kept it entertaining along the way without having to use any shock factors. I found this made the characters seem more “real” and they could have been anyone I know. Overall I really enjoyed the story and it actually made me a little envious that I do not have a home made quilt that has a story to tell!

  • I loved this book just as I have loved all of the previous Quilts of Love series. I fell in love with Alyssa and her grandmother(schemer that she is) and really enjoyed watched her come to love her island again. The growing attraction between her and Scott can only be allowed after she comes to terms with the past that haunts her. The past that suddenly has arrived again in her present. Can Scott banish the past and find love with Alyssa? Guess you’ll just have to read and see. Trust me when I say you won’t want to put the book down! I can’t recommend A Grand Design enough.

  • All of the characters are terrific and the plot is very enjoyable.

  • This was another great installment in the quilts of Love Series. It is sweet love story that held my interest. I was interested in the gathering of the different pieces of the quilt. Great story.

  • Amber Writes says:

    I loved the way the author described each setting, and it tied in well with the design theme of the book. Recommended for fans of Christian Fiction Novellas.

  • A Grand Design was a fun story. The island culture and background were pretty spot on. The author did take liberty with a few things I’m not sure I liked. Like to Grand Rapids to Mackinaw train. I’m sure it existed at one time, but not in my lifetime. I’m also not sure how I feel about the part of her past coming in. Would he really care 15 years later? Maybe. That end of backstory was tied up fairly quickly. I read it 3 times and I’m still not sure I fully understood how the brooch thing played out. I think she did several things on purpose though, because they were mentioned in the discussion questions at the end.

    Overall, I did enjoy reading A Grand Design.

  • I liked the friendship between Alyssa and her best friend. They are two different personalities that compliment each other. I enjoyed how the artist describes the islands beauty, it made me want to visit the area someday. I found this to be a nice romantic story with interesting characters like Alyssa’s grandmother who led a fascinating life.

  • A Grand Design was really well-written, and I fell in love with the characters right away and it was clean, fun, light-hearted read that will appeal to all fans of Christian romance. With the amazing details in the book, you will feel like you are right in the scenes experiencing it along with the wonderful characters.

  • It was a delight to see the basis of this book, being based on the book “Somewhere in Time” and the characters name was based on the movies character, “A Grand Design” was a romantic story that focused more on Alyssa than the quilts as the other series usually revolved around, creating a story that followed a woman facing both difficult memories and feelings in the last place she expected to find love.

    Although, I felt that the story seem to go through the storys conflict a little bit too fast, it makes up with the focus on Alyssa discovery about her grandmother, that she never really knew while at the same time, without directly implying it, how no matter what we face in our lives, Gods presence was always there for us.

  • Preslaysa says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed stepping onto Mackinac Island with Alyssa and Libby. This was a fun book with a hint of mystery, a hint of history and some romance tossed in too. The characters are well written, the story was intriguing and there was just the right amount of humorous flirtation between the main character and her love interest.

  • I have read all of the books so far in the Quilts of Love Series. This one by far has been my favorite. It’s the perfect mix of romance and comedy that will put a smile on your face even after it’s done. I finished this book within a couple of hours because I simply couldn’t put it down!
    A Grand Design is a refreshingly easy, fun, and uplifting read. It has a great story line, wonderful characters, picturesque setting, and effortless writing style. I immediately fell in love with Alyssa and Mackinac Island.

  • Write a Review

     characters available