Reader Question: Are the Amish Healthier?

Amish facts/history, Amish photos Comments: 36

This week we have a reader question to answer. I love those! The question is–

Are the Amish healthier than most? It seems like they would be …

That’s a really great question. My sense of things after visiting Amish communities for 10 years is YES. After all, they’re out in the sunshine, they’re not tied to a computer, and they eat more naturally.  Their life is simpler, and so it must be better. Right? I decided I better do a little research.

Erik over at Amish America had a blog post about this very thing. Erik has a lot of contacts in the Amish world, and I trust his opinions. If you read his post here, you’ll see that his answer to the question is a resounding “Maybe, sometimes, in a way.” Ha! I can completely relate to that answer.

Erik also quotes a Time Magazine article that claims the Amish stay healthy even in their old age. This makes sense to me. If you’ve read much Amish fiction, you know that as the Amish age they usually move to a Dawdi Haus, a smaller house on their child’s property. They’re still involved with the family, they’re still helping around the house, and they’re eating good, regular meals. Those things all have to help someone who is elderly.

When I’ve talked to the Amish about this there were a few things that stood out:

  • Diabetes and heart disease are as prevalent in Amish communities as Englisch. This is largely due to their high carb diet.
  • Allergies are almost non-existent. I’ve read several pieces on this, and doctors don’t know if it’s because there’s no carpet and drapes in the home, if the children simply develop better resistance to allergies because they’re outside more, or if it’s something else.
  • One of the strangest things I came across is that there is very little if any incidence of autism among the Amish. Again, doctors aren’t sure why. Is it the lack of technology? Or something genetic?

I think we all know that being outside and stressing less would be good for our health. We see the Amish do it, and we wonder if we could. The answer is yes, but it’s harder to do so in the Englisch world. It’s hard to turn off the news and go outside.

So what about you? Do you think the Amish are healthier? 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 Alice Boor, PJ Kappe, and Cori Dahmen.  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

  • I wanted to reach out to my KindleUnlimited friends, so I’m going to rotate a series in and out of that program. For the next 3 months, Coyote’s Revenge and Roswell’s Secret will only be available through KindleUnlimited, or you may purchase them from Amazon. On October 17th, I’ll pull them out and put another series there. Hopefully we can reach more readers this way and keep everyone happy. If you read on other platforms, no worries. CR and RS will be available Wide again on October 17th.
  • I’m participating in several cross promotions this month. There’s a fun Women Solving Crimes, that includes my cozy Dead Wrong (on sale for $2.99 through 7-26-20). There’s also a Beat the Summer Heat promo that includes Security Breach, my latest collection of 4 cyber novellas. And lastly a Get ’em While They’re Hot promotion that also includes Security Breach.
  • My entire Bishop series will go on sale in ebook format (all vendors), on 7-28 and continue for about a month. Each book will be priced $1.99, so check that out!


COVID Hobbies

Author life, Contest, crafts Comments: 29

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 knitting a few years ago.  Honestly, there’s just something very soothing about it. Isn’t this little dress cute? I don’t even have any grandchildren, but I’m sure I’ll find someone to gift it to.

Gardening. I also have thrown myself into more gardening this year. Now these sunflowers are just a fluke. They popped up, and we decided to leave them for the birds. But I also have squash, cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers and tomatoes.

It’s so much fun to go outside and pluck a few things for dinner. I didn’t have the time to really dedicate myself to gardening before quarantine, but now I look forward to spending a little time in the morning and a little time in the evening in my garden.

Reading. If you know me, you know I’m a big reader. Since I was pretty young, I’ve always toted home a stack of books from the library. I’m still doing it too! Recently we went camping along the Medina River in the Texas Hill Country, and you know I spent most of my time sitting and reading. lol. It’s peaceful though, and I love the way a book can take me away.

So what about you? Are you “hobbying” a little more with COVID? 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 Terri Schmidt, Kimberly Kiesey and Gerri Moore.  Ladies, you should receive an email from me or from my assistant, Kristy Kreymer–so check your email!



Announcements for this week


  • Security Breach will release in paperback and ebook next week. This is a compilation of all 4 of my cyber novellas. They’re good clean suspense stories with a light thread of faith in them. If you haven’t tried them, check this out! And I’ll be sending out the paperback link next week in my newsletter. For now, the ebook link to all vendors is here.
  • I just saw the first draft of my cover for Dead Broke, and I can’t wait to share it with you. This will be the second release in my Agatha’s Amish B&B cozy mystery series. The cover should be finalized in the next few days. It’s fun, fun, fun.
  • I have a Goodreads giveaway going on for Security Breach. It ends on July 7th, so if you’re a member of Goodreads, enter now! Of course you’re free to purchase a copy for a friend while you’re waiting to see if you win.


Blessings All Around

Christian fiction, Christian living, inspiration, New Release, Uncategorized Comments: 20

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.
  • I’m participating in two cross promotions this month. All Kinds of Cozy Mysteries includes my book, Dead Wrong.  Love on the Run is a collection of Christian suspense stories and includes my book, Hidden.
  • I also start work on Dead Broke this month, the second release in my Agatha’s Amish B&B cozy mystery series. I hope to share a cover with you soon!


Giveaway: Security Breach

giveaway, Pebble Creek Series, romantic suspense, Special Sale Price, Uncategorized Comments: 21

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.

If you’ve been following along with Nora and Randall’s adventures, you know that I’ve been releasing them in novella form (Fading Into the Night, Midnight Strike, Daybreak, and on June 8th High Noon). These are fun, clean, suspense stories with a touch of faith.

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.

A Quarantined Texas Spring

Author life, Texas Comments: 11

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.

What Is an ARC?

Amish fiction, Author life, Christian fiction Comments: 38

Today I thought I’d talk to you about ARCs. Why?  Because I have some to give away!

In publishing, the word ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. These are books that are sent out to a variety of people:

  • final proofreaders
  • reviewers
  • bloggers
  • professional book review sites/magazines

It’s understood that these are not the final copy. You might find Continue reading

New Amish Romance Release

Amish fiction, Christian fiction, fiction spotlight, Love Inspired Books, New Release, Shipshewana Series Comments: 86

I’m doing the snoopy dance today. Why, you ask? Because today my 5th book from the Indiana Amish Brides series is available in stores. The ebook will release on Feb. 1, but until then you can order print copies from the usual culprits:

Amazon       B&N       Harlequin

It will also be on shelves in most neighborhood Walmarts.

For some reason I keep embracing Continue reading