Today is my book birthday! I’m so excited that Amish Christmas Memories is now available in stores. (The ebook will release on 12-1, so hang on dear e-readers.)
I can’t say that in 2010 I imagined releasing 30 books in 8 years. At the time, I was thrilled that someone wanted to publish A Simple Amish Christmas. I think it’s fitting and right that my 30th release should also be a Christmas story.
I’m often asked why people read Amish.
“I don’t get it–what’s the allure?”
For me Christmas is a perfect example of why we admire the Amish lifestyle. It’s at Christmas that many of us feel rushed or stressed, financially strapped, tired, lonely, and maybe even a little sad. I think those emotions are all normal, and sometimes it’s because in our minds we imagine a fairy-tale Christmas. For me it’s a cross between It’s A Wonderful Life and Elf.
Amish fiction, and especially Amish Christmas books, remind us that this is a holiday about our faith, that it’s okay to keep things simple, and that the best way to fight loneliness is to be a friend to our neighbor. Those are just a few of the topics I tackle in Amish Christmas Memories. So what about you? What’s your favorite type of Amish story? Leave a comment and one winner will be pulled to received an autographed book. Last post’s winner was Gail H.
Announcements for this week:
- We’ll be celebrating my new release with a “12 days of Christmas” giveaway on Facebook and Twitter. So if you’re on either of those sites, feel free to join us. The giveaways will begin on Monday, November 26th.
- We’re having another sale in my VCReader’s Boutique. Click here to browse my items and remember that I add new items several times a week. Use coupon code HOLIDAY15 for 15% off, and it’s always free shipping. All crafted items now let you CHOOSE which book you’d like to go with it.
- I’m going to Ireland, and I’d love for you to go with me. This trip is for writers, friends of writers, or readers who want to come and hang out with me and Amanda Flower. Details here.
As fall settles over the Texas Hill Country, my thoughts turn to good books and old friends. Not such a strange combination, if you think about it.
I love to read in the fall. (Confession–I love to read all the time.) When the weather turns cold, I like to make a hot cup of tea or coffee, grab a book, and curl up in a chair. I can disappear there for hours on end. Sometimes it takes a good friend to tug on my arm and remind me Continue reading
Some of you may have seen my announcement on Facebook that I’ve signed a contract with Harlequin/Love Inspired for 6 additional books in my Indiana Amish Brides series. I’m beyond excited and grateful. So today, I thought I’d share with you a peek into what’s Coming Soon …
The following are all working titles and subject to change!
- Book 3 – Amish Matchmaker
- Book 4 – Her Amish Cowboy
- Book 5 – His Second Chance
- Book 6 – For Richer or Poorer
- Book 7 – Her Secret Child
- Book 8 – Amish Blessings
- Book 9 – Trouble Times Two
All are Amish romances that focus on faith, family, and God’s grace in our lives. They’ll release over the next 4 years. I want to thank each of you. The fact that you read quality Christian fiction helps publishers choose to promote that type of fiction. We couldn’t do it without you!
Comment below with the first Amish book you remember reading, and I’ll draw one winner to receive an earlier release from my book closet. Our winner from the last post was Pamela Bain, who I’ve already been in contact with. (If your name is Pamela and you didn’t receive an email from me, it was a different Pamela.)
Announcements for this week:
- We’re having a sale in my VCReader’s Boutique including autographed copies of my newest release with quilted bookmarks for only $7. Click here to browse my items and remember that I add new items several times a week. Enter discount coupon Back2School20 for 20% off your entire order now through the end of the month.
- Three of my Amish mysteries are on sale this month in ebook format for $1.99 – A Perfect Square, Murder Simply Brewed and Murder Freshly Baked.
- I have a new rafflectoper giveaway going which includes 6 autographed books and a book bag. Click here and scan down for details.
I’m so happy to announce that A Widow’s Hope is now available in stores! (The ebook will release next Wednesday, August 1st). This is my first Harlequin/Love Inspired book, so I thought I’d tell you Continue reading
I‘m so happy to share with you the cover of my first Harlequin/Love Inspired book. Isn’t it beautiful?
And here’s the back cover blurb:
His scars are visible.
Hers are hidden…
An Indiana Amish Brides match
After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart?
This week I wanted to share with you pictures from the Amish community in Monte Vista, Colorado. If you’re receiving this blog in your email box, you might need to click on the link in order for the photographs to show. Who the Bishop Knows, the last of my novels set in Monte Vista, officially released on March 6, and I’m so pleased at the response. Thank you to everyone who Continue reading
Who the Bishop Knows will officially release on March 6, so today I thought I’d share with you what happens when a book releases. There was a time when a book release meant a flurry of signings at bookstores and possibly a book tour. Times have changed though, and in our virtually oriented world, book releases look Continue reading
Have you ever been to the San Luis Valley? It’s the setting for my new release, What the Bishop Saw which is now available where ever books are sold. Today I thought I’d share some information about the area. Continue reading
My newest release, Sarah’s Orphans, is about a young Amish girl who is abandoned by her mother, left to raise her siblings, and then finds two homeless children. Today I thought I’d share the “story behind the story.”
- I started out with this question. As Christians, are we still responsible for caring for orphans? I mean there are a lot more government/charity programs than there were in Jesus’s day. Orphanages in the US are rare, and there are long waiting lists for parents seeking children to adopt.
- I spent a lot of time on the national and state websites for adoption. One thing I learned is that currently there are 400,000 children living in the U.S. without permanent families. Of those 100,000 are eligible for adoption.
- Of course we can’t all adopt a child right now, for various reasons–health, economics, etc. So how can we help?
- I also learned that the Amish have adopted in the past. Here is a great story of adoption within their faith, and here is another describing adoption outside of their religion in the past.
- Of course I visited Cody’s Creak (which is actually Chouteau, Oklahoma), and had a wonderful time talking to the Amish and taking pictures.
The children in this story really won my heart! Of course it’s not an easy path to blend two families together, but my goal was to show that God can use each of us in a special way, and we can all find a small way to minister to others.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any questions about Sarah’s Orphans?
Announcements for this week:
- Anna’s Healing, the first full length book in the series and a Christy Award finalist, is still on sale for $2.99 at Amazon (ebook).
- Anna’s Healing will soon be available in large print. So if you prefer large print books, pass this along to your local library and ask them to purchase it.
- Deep Shadows is now available in print and ebook. **Amazon ** B&N ** CBD. And the price has stayed below $9 for most vendors, so get your copy today! CBD is offering the print book for 47% off — only $7.99
- I will be at the Jewett Quilt show next weekend. If you’re in the Waco, Texas area, stop by and say hello. I’ll also have autographed copies of all of my newest releases for sale.
- Also, my Fall Rafflecopter giveaway will be live tomorrow, and I think you’re going to love this month’s Prize Package. Details and entry form will be on my main webpage tomorrow, so stop by and check us out!
So I tried an experiment last week. I unplugged. Completely. I didn’t check my email, or log into Facebook. I didn’t tweet, and I didn’t post pictures to Instagram. Wow!!! This was a big step for me. (I did pre-post some things to Facebook and Twitter, so you know…no one would forget me.)
Have you ever done this? It was eye-opening for me. I had reached the point where I was “checking things” constantly. Even late at night, or first thing in the morning. I learned some awesome things:
- The world doesn’t end when I don’t read the news
- My head got quieter, like, there was peace and quiet in there
- I had to talk to people when I was in line at the store
- At first I kept reaching for my phone, and then I’d realize that I didn’t need to touch it if it didn’t ring!
- I spent more time with friends, family, and my pets, and I was more “present” while I was with them.
Now I’m not saying that any of these things are bad, but for me the habit was out of control. So how can you unplug? It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal. You could just reduce if you feel it’s overwhelming you. But where do you start?
- Make the decision to only check your e-mail once a day. If anyone needs me urgently, they’ll call.
- Go on to Facebook once a day and scan quickly. You don’t have to read/like/comment on every post. Just tag in and out.
- If you TWEET or INSTAGRAM, you don’t have to do that every day either. Every meal doesn’t have to be shared. You don’t have to take a selfie at every event. It’s actually kind of nice to keep some things private.
- It’ll only feel strange for the first few days.
- Spend the time you would be on-line doing something else–pet your dog, work on the craft project you abandoned, finish a book in your TBR pile. Do the things you like to do.
So how about you? Have you ever tried to unplug? Why or why not? And what was the result? There’s a comment button next to the title of this blog. If you’re receiving it in email, just click on the link and then look next to the title. I’d love to hear from you!
Announcements for this week:
- Brian’s Choice is on sale for 99 cents. This is a lovely 76 page novella that introduces my Plain & Simple Miracles series.
- Anna’s Healing, the first full length book in the series and a Christy Award finalist, is on sale for $2.99.
- An Amish Harvest will release in 6 days, and my publisher is offering a TREAT BOX to the first 100 readers who pre-order.
- Deep Shadows is now available in print and ebook. **Amazon ** B&N ** CBD. And the price has stayed below $9 for most vendors, so get your copy today!
Also, my Rafflecopter giveaway is live, and I think you’re going to love this month’s Prize Package. Details on my main webpage, so stop by and check us out!