Tuesday, May 13, 2014


What happens when four outstanding Amish genre authors combine their talents in one book, each producing a novella with the common background of gardening?  Readers end up with four heartwarming stories that will capture their hearts.  As an added bonus, there are recipes at the end of the book!

Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman begins with Rosemary, age 21, living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, stuck taking care of her father and siblings instead of being out having fun, ever since her mother died when Rosemary was 17.  She briefly dated Saul when she was 16, but broke things off with him after three months with no explanation.

Saul accidentally runs into Rosemary’s father, Wayne, during a rainstorm sending Wayne to the Emergency Room with a broken ankle.  Saul, feeling guilty, volunteers to finish Wayne’s alfalfa seasonal planting on the farm.  Rosemary is bound to run into Saul while he is working on her family’s farm.  They both are attracted to each other but Saul doesn’t want to be hurt again by Rosemary, and Rosemary is keeping secrets as to why she can’t have a relationship with Saul.  Beth Wiseman wraps up this novella with the understanding that all things happen according to God’s time frame, in His time, with His plan.

Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller has Rachael in Middlefield, Ohio taking care of her widowed grandfather. Neighbor Gideon is painfully shy and too afraid to ask her out for fear of rejection.  Gideon is drawn to Rachael’s independence, work ethic, and of course, her beauty.  Gideon’s sister decides to help him get the courage to ask Rachael for a date.  The plan doesn’t exactly work the way Gideon hopes it will, but does Kathleen Fuller somehow manage to bring Rachael and Gideon together?

Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer takes place in West Kootenai, Montana where four Amish bachelors from back East come out to Montana to live for six months to fulfill the residency requirement to receive their hunting license for fall hunting season.  One of the bachelors, Eli, lives next door to Sadie, a young Amish woman from Indiana, who came to out to Montana to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousins after her parents died.  All Sadie has left to remember her parents by are her mother’s garden journal and precious heirloom tomato seeds.  In order to get closer to Sadie, Eli agrees to help Sadie with her vegetable garden.  Through this novella, Sadie learns to “ask for help and then accept it, not only from those around her but also from God.”  Additionally, Tricia Goyers gives us this beautiful insight, “What I tried to hold onto I lost.  What was given up – shared – is the only thing that was saved.”

Where Healing Blooms by Vanetta Chapman introduces us to Emma of Shipshewana, Indiana, in her 50’s, recently widowed, living with her mother-in-law, Mary Ann, also recently widowed.  Next door lives Jimmy, an old friend of Emma’s who has come back to Shipshewana.  While Jimmy and Emma are working in her garden they spot an Amish teenage boy running from Emma’s barn.  They discover the boy’s bedroll, camp stove, and clothes stowed in the barn.  What will Emma do with this runaway Amish boy?  Can Emma’s garden become a place where healing blooms, not just for runaways but for herself and others who need assistance?

An Amish Garden was published March 18, 2014.

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