Howdy friends. If you’re wondering why it’s been a while since you heard from me, I’ve been having major website problems. Ack! I’m hoping you receive this, but it would help me tremendously if you commented below so that I know it’s going out to everyone.
So what’s this about a new release? Yes! The Amish Christmas Secret released earlier this month, and it should be stocked at your local Walmart for at least another week. You can also purchase on-line from Amazon, B&N, and of course Harlequin.
Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy. You pushed this release onto the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for 2 weeks in a row. Nice! I’m going to keep this short, as I’m not sure my website is delivering correctly. Again, comments are appreciated. If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a box of books.
With school starting back in most areas, I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve learned about Amish schools.
School are still mostly one room school houses. A local farm will donate a corner of the property and families within 1-2 miles will help to build the structure as well as pay for the teacher’s salary (which is small). Remember, this is in addition to regular “Englisch” local school taxes which every property owner pays. And some Amish students (especially in the upper grades) do attend Englisch schools. It depends on the district.
Teachers are not “trained” as we think of it, but they do apprentice under an experienced teacher before they’re left to teach on their own.
Students attend 1st through 8th grade at which point they choose an apprenticeship. They may try several before they settle on what they want to “do.”
Students get a lot of outside time including a 20 minute break in the morning, a full hour at lunch, and a 20 minute break in the afternoon. I spoke with an Amish teacher who assured me that this helps resolve most behavior problems. Ha ha ha. The students are worn out!
The older children help the younger children grade their homework. This helps the older students to review skills, and it helps the younger children to be taught the skill by more than the teacher. At the end of the week, students help to clean the schoolroom. Also, if the teacher is out because she is sick, then the local community “fills in” – this could be grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. Each person will volunteer for half a day. Teachers are usually single Amish women, but they can also be Mennonite teachers (male and female).
One group of Amish children took the California Achievement Test. The 8th grade Amish students scored on level with the 12th grade Englisch students in reading, writing, and math. However they scored much lower in science. If I remember correctly, the history scores were lower too. Amish schools do focus on reading, writing and math–though they’ll touch on other subjects such as history.
Amish are known to be life-long learners. Because of that, you’ll often see them at local libraries, checking out books and yes–using the computers. We can talk more about that on the next blog if you’d like.
So what do you think? Does Amish school sound fun to you? Leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a box of books. They’ll be “back copies” which means books that have been previously released (earlier in the year or even in previous years). I’ll sign them generically, and if it’s something you already have you can gift it to a friend or library.
Our winners from the last blog were Lisa Sapp, Robert Jeffries, and Cecilia Young. Ladies, you should have received an email from me–so check your email! If it’s not there, send me an email through the Contact button at the top of this page. And if anyone else has a Reader Question, send it to me via the Contact button, and I’d be happy to try and answer it.
Announcements for this week
Dead Broke is now available for pre-order in ebook format. I’ll have the print link up soon. This is book 2 in my Agatha’s Amish B&B series, and I’m super excited to share it with you. Order from Amazon or other retailers.
That’s a funny title. Right? It’s not like COVID is a hobby, but I do find myself spending more times on hobbies than in the past. Maybe it’s because my brain is tired, or maybe it’s because I need something that is a little more encouraging and optimistic than the evening news.
I have lots of hobbies. Maybe too many, if that’s possible. But I’d have to say my top 3 hobbies are the following:
Knitting. I’m sort of knitting like a crazy person. I’ll write 500 words, then go and knit a few rows. I’ve long been a “crafter,” and I rediscovered my love of Continue reading →
Some days it’s hard to see the blessings in life. When that happens to me, I take a walk. Looking at all God has created, well it lifts my spirits. So today I thought I’d bring you some of the things I’ve seen the past week or so that reminded me of God’s care.
Yes, we have new fawns in the neighborhood, and sunflowers in the backyard, and geckos on the wall. Need more convincing of God’s love and provision?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. ~Psalm 19:1
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. ~Psalm 104:24
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. ~John 1:3
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:10
So be encouraged my friend. Be encouraged. What have you seen in nature recently that encouraged you? Leave me a comment below and I’ll pull one name to receive a box of books!
That’s right. I’m giving away a box of books with each blog. They’ll be “back copies” which means books that have been previously earlier in the year or even in previous years. I’ll sign them generically, and if it’s something you already have you can gift it to a friend or library. Our winners from the last blog were Pamela Hargraves, Judith Smith, Kay Garrett, Paula Parker, and Peggy. Ladies, you should receive an email from me or from my assistant, Kristy Kreymer.
Announcements for this week
I have two new releases this month. The first is a 2-in-1 with the fabulous Dana Lynn, and you should be able to find it at your local Walmart (or online). The second is the final story in my Cyber Division series–High Noon. These novellas can be read in any order, and I’ll be releasing a compiled version containing all 4 in print and ebook next month.
How’s your quarantine going? I hope that everyone is finding a comfortable spot between total lock-down and full days “out on the town.” Here in small town Texas, things are moving on as normal as we can manage, though we’re still being super careful.
I’ve been busy writing, writing, writing. You can click here to see all of the books releasing between now and October. Two are reprints, three are brand new releases, and one is the compilation Security Breach.
Now for the first time, you can order all four novellas in one print book or ebook. (Yes, I said PRINT BOOK–have to show some love to my paperback peeps.) Security Breach will be available July 8th, so today I thought I’d give away 4 print copies. If you think you’ll have time to read and review this book before July 8th, leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll choose winners in ten days and contact you for your mailing address. These are Advanced Reader Copies and have “Not for Resale’ on the front, but otherwise it’s the very same book that will release in July. And if you’d like to pre-order a copy, you can find all the links here … except the paperback link which isn’t live yet. It will be on July 8th though!
I pray that this summer finds you with days filled with sunshine, nights sprinkled with laughter, and the peace that only our heavenly Father can bring.
Announcements for this week
My indies are now back at their regular price (though all are $4.99 or less). You can see my entire book list here.
My 4th cyber suspense novella, High Noon releases on June 8th.
I’m participating in one cross promotion this month. Danger In a Small Town features 19 clean Christian suspense books, including my romantic suspense, Protected.
My Pebble Creek Series is on sale this month. This Amish romance series is set in a less-well-known community in Wisconsin, and if you haven’t read the books I think you will enjoy them.
How are you, my friends? Personally, I have good days and bad days. I don’t mind admitting that, and I can’t even really pinpoint the cause of those bad days. They just are. So I breathe deeply, nap if I need to, try and get some sunshine, and remember God’s care and provision. I also knit a lot! Those things helps, and fortunately the bad days don’t last forever.
Today I thought I’d share some pictures of our Texas Spring. Even during quarantine, the wildflowers still bloom, the rivers run, and yes–my dogs insist on a walk.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into what my spring has looked like. I’d love you to reply and tell me something that is NORMAL in your life.
Announcements for this week
I’ve reduced the price of 8 of my indies (including my latest Amish mystery, Dead Wrong) to 99c. You can see details and links here.
I have a new release–Daybreak that is on sale for $2.99. This is novella #3 in my Cyber series. Each story can easily be read as a standalone. I’ll have information on a paperback version after book 4 (High Noon) releases this summer.
I’m participating in two Booksweeps Giveaways. The first is a Dystopian and Science Fiction giveaway (including my book Deep Shadows). Details here. The second is Crime Fiction & Thrillers, and includes my book Roswell’s Secret. Details here. Note, some of the books given away in this contest are mainstream fiction–though you can always trust that mine are either Christian fiction or clean fiction.
You can also check out this cross-promotion of Christian fiction that includes strong women characters. My book in this promotion is Roswell’s Secret, a clean romantic suspense. View the entire list of books here.
It’s a little hard to believe that it’s only been 3 weeks since local and national government began issuing “shelter-in-place” orders, stores changed hours or closed, and many churches switched to on-line services. Wow. A lot has happened in 3 weeks.
It seems that you don’t quite appreciate the power of community until you’re separated from it. Quarantine has been a whole new experience for most of us, and even though we’re not physically together, I’ve been very encouraged to see Continue reading →