Thursday, January 29, 2015


Today I am happy to post a small exerpt of Amy Lillard's new book, Courting Emily.  If you recall, I posted a review of this book previously - Courting Emily review.  So if you want to read a bit more about the book, just click on the above link.  I hope you enjoy the Courting Emily blog tour!


Welcome to LEG #8 of the Courting Emily blog tour. This is our last excerpt stop. If you are joining in here, it’s probably best to follow the link below and go back to the first blog so you don’t miss anything. Remember: one lucky winner will receive a purple-themed basket filled with some of James Riehl’s favorite things.

Now on to the next segment…

(To go back to the beginning-- )

“Joy does, too. He needs to be up and moving.”
“He falls,” Elam protested.
“At least let him sit at the kitchen table.”
Just like that his charitable feelings toward Emily evaporated. “Two days of coming here to help does not make you an expert on handling my father.”
She crossed her arms and raised herself up, but she still hardly reached his shoulder. “I never said it did.”
Gut…jah…you keep that in mind.” He wanted to say more, but the words failed him.
She pushed past him and into the house.
Elam stood for the longest time staring at the door and wondering how it all went so wrong.

One last stop to wrap it all up.

But first, don’t forget to leave a comment here to be eligible for the drawing. Don’t know what to say? Tell me your favorite season. (Mine is anything but winter. Actually it’s the fall. I guess because I’m a September baby.)

This contest runs January 29, 2015--February 5, 2015. Any comments left after midnight EST will not be eligible for the drawing.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Marta Perry and Patricia Davids have teamed up to each write a Christmas themed novella which are combined into An Amish Family Christmas (Harlequin Love Inspired Publisher).  Both novellas are deliciously romantic and definitely not a book you will want to put down.  Readers also win by having two complete stories within one book.  Regardless that Christmas is five weeks behind us, this is a fascinating quality book to read any time of the year.

The first novella in the book is Heart of Christmas by Marta Perry, a top notch Amish writer of romances and mysteries.  Heart of Christmas tells the story of Susannah Miller, a 30 year old single Amish teacher at Pine Creek Amish School in a small valley community in central Pennsylvania for the past twelve years.  Ten years ago she was jilted a month before her wedding when Toby Unger left their community and moved to Ohio.  Toby got married in Ohio within a year and had two children, William and Anna, before his wife died.

Now Toby and his children have come back to live with his folks in Pine Creek.  Susannah becomes the teacher for William and Anna, both of whom are troubled as a result of their mother’s death.  With Toby in town, one thing after another happens to Susannah to the point that she is about to lose her job as school teacher.

The book transposes the caring within the Amish community for one another versus the desires of just one school board member with bad motives.  Readers will question whether good can win out over a powerful, yet misguided school board member.

The next novella, A Plain Holiday by the inspiring author Patricia Davids, tells the story of Sally Yoder from Hope Springs, Ohio who is spending her Rumspringa working as a nanny in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The children, Kimi age 11 and Ryder age 8, that Sally watches are selfish, materialistic and entitled, just like their parents who decided to spend Christmas alone in Paris.  It is decided that the children and Sally will spend two weeks with the children’s grandmother who owns a large ranch.  Unfortunately the Amish boy, Ben Lapp that broke Sally’s heart, works in the stables of that same ranch.

Ben, soft spoken and helpful, follows the Amish way of life and has stayed on the straight and narrow path, while Sally previously ran around with a wild group of teens.  Sally always felt she could never be a good and faithful Amish woman like Ben deserved.  Sally has a problem with meekness and struggles with her faith.  Will Ben and Sally be able to mend their prior differences and begin a friendship?

Both Patricia Davids and Marta Perry are undeniably gifted in drawing their characters into people that readers can relate to and enjoy.  They make us care about what happens next. What a gift!  An Amish Family Christmas was published on October 14, 2014.

Monday, January 19, 2015


The Eicher's always air dry their laundry.

For a very long time I have followed the lives of the Michigan Old Order Amish family, Lovina and Joe Eicher and their eight children.  Lovina took over the weekly column that her mother wrote for Kevin Williams about 12 years ago.  Kevin's website is and Lovina's column had been known as The Amish Cook.  Well I don't have all the details on why Lovina and Kevin stopped their long term partnership, but now Lovina has partnered up with MennoMedia and started writing a weekly column which I just found today.

The Eicher family animals.

Lovina Eicher has a nice, comfortable style of writing and gives a wonderful glimpse into Amish living.  Her eight children range in age from age 20 down to age 8, so she also writes about her children and their activities.  If you are interested in the daily lives of the Amish, Lovina writing will give you great insight.  Every column also includes one or two recipes of genuine Amish cooking.  The columns I looked at included writing about weddings, family get togethers, medical emergencies, diary of an entire day, canning, chicken butchering, camping vacations, pie baking, and so much more.  And photos are also included in the columns online, not of people's faces of course.

Lovina is sewing new dresses for her girls to wear to a family wedding.

Here is the website to view all of Lovina's columns since she started with MennoMedia on July 1, 2014 -  She titles her website "Lovina's Amish Kitchen" and it is a true must read for those of us who study and enjoy reading about the Amish.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I am leaving tomorrow morning on a last minute short cruise in the Caribbean.  My sister found this cruise on Royal Caribbean for $109 for an outside cabin so we couldn't pass it up.  The weather in the Caribbean this coming week is pretty cloudy but it will be in the upper 70's/low 80's.  Doesn't that sound fantastic?  It sure does to this Ohioan.

So to all my northern friends and readers, I wish you sunny days, no snow, and no ice, except in your iced tea.  If that can't be, sit a little closer to the fire or your space heater and put on multiple layers of clothes so you at least feel warmer.

Coming up once I get back will be book reviews of The Matchmaker by Sara Price and I may be late with this one but it sure was good, The Amish Family Christmas by Marta Perry and Patricia Davids.  I may also have a delicious recipe for these cold winter days.

Blessings to you all and wishing you warmth,

Monday, January 5, 2015


Jennifer Beckstrand has knocked it out of the ballpark with the fourth installment of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, Huckleberry Spring (Kensington Publishing).  The series is filled with humor alongside sweet romance in these Amish genre novels.

Everyone’s favorite grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth, are undertaking another matchmaking.  This time it is their grandson, Ben Helmuth, to awkward yet lovely, Emma Nelson.  Ben and Emma had been engaged previously but Ben unexpectedly broke things off and moved away to Florida.  He comes home from Florida when his grandparents summon his help while Felty recovers from various surgeries that Anna has drummed up.

At the same time that Ben is settling in to help on the farm of his grandparents, Anna asks Emma to help her grow a prize winning large pumpkin.  Emma agrees to help and then sees that Ben has come back home.  She will be stuck seeing him several times a week and her heart still has not mended from when Ben broke their engagement with no explanation.

Ben wants to make sure Emma always has a good life, even if he will not a part of her life.  His clumsy attempts at “helpfulness” do nothing but upset Emma further.  She overhears that Ben has asked different fellows from their district to ask her out and cries her eyes out feeling unlovable due to her being so accident-prone.

This book is filled with appealing characters with wonderful storylines.  Anna Helmuth is still cooking her unusual meals and is knee deep in scheming to make her matchmaking take hold.  Poor Felty Helmuth suffers the consequences of Anna’s schemes but in the end, Felty is the one who helps resolve the stalemate between Ben and Emma.

There is a double happy ending to Huckleberry Spring which will truly delight readers.  Between the laughter, romance, and conflict, this book is hard to put down.  Hopefully this series will continue for a good, long time.  These characters never get stale and always entertain.  Jennifer Beckstrand has the rare ability to infuse interesting characters with growth and spirituality.  Huckleberry Spring will be published on January 27, 2015.