Category Archives: Contest

COVID Hobbies

Author life, Contest, crafts Comments: 30

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

Snack Time

Christian authors, Contest, Facts about me, giveaway Comments: 185

8 Favorite Foods

Writers spend a lot of time alone. It’s part of the job! The only way you can think through your characters, straighten up your plot, and write the book that God has given you to write is to go into your office and get it done.

But I like learning about my readers. I like meeting people and finding out interesting things about them. This week, let’s talk food.

I have some favorite food categories–like chocolate. Isn’t that a food group? That and coffee! So I thought I’d share 8 of my Continue reading

Keeping Christmas Simple

Amish Holidays, Contest Comments: 39

Nativity Christmas ornaments on gold.
I believe that one reason Amish fiction is so popular is that we all long for simpler times.

For me, that’s especially true during the holidays. I enjoy being “out and about” to celebrate the season, but not if there’s a large crowd. And my heart longs to spend time at home, curled up in front of the fire with my family. So what can we learn from the Amish about Christmas preparation?

  • People over things. During the weeks before Christmas, there’s a lot to get done. But maybe not all of that “stuff” has to be done. If you have a choice between rushing around decorating or shopping…vs spending time with a friend/family member, choose the second.
  • Don’t overspend. Culture teaches us that we can make our loved ones happy if we just find the perfect gift, but is that true? Gifts are symbolic of how much we care for someone, and there are other ways we can show we care.
  • Take time for the spiritual. This is a holy season, but often things related to our faith get pushed to the back burner in the rush and worry of Christmas. This year take time to attend a local service, read the Christmas story from your Bible, and pray.
  • Surprise someone. So much of what we love about the holiday is seeing joy in someone else’s eyes and feeling like we brightened their world. Reach out to a neighbor, an elderly person from your church, or a struggling young family. This doesn’t have to cost money. You can bake a plate of cookies.
  • Rest. Too often when the holidays are over we find ourselves exhausted and depressed. This year vow to take care of yourself, to rest when you need rest, to curl up in front of the fire when you need peace, and to take care of yourself physically by eating right and exercising.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us a way that you have learned to simplify the celebration of Christmas.



Announcements for this week:

  • My short story, Christmas at Pebble Creek, is free on all e-readers. If you haven’t read it, please give it a try!
  • A Simple Amish Christmas and The Christmas Quilt are now available in paperback, ebook, and audio book (including A Simple Amish Christmas was my first Amish book and one that is still special to me.
  • Quite a few of my books are currently on sale in both paperback and ebook. You can visit my author page at AmazonB&N, and CBD for details.
  • I’m participating in the Amish Wisdom giveaway. You could win a copy of Sarah’s OrphansCheck it out here.

Street Team and an Audio Book Give-away

Amish fiction, Amish Holidays, Contest, Street Team Comments: 27

Happy August. Many of you are headed back to school–teachers, administrators, aides, office workers, maintenance folks. As a retired teacher, I want you to know that we appreciate you! If you’re not headed back to school, but you know someone who is, tell them THANK YOU.

Now to introduce you to 2 more of my street team members.  Also at the end of this blog is an audio book give-away, so please read to the bottom!

Rosemary F.

Rosemary F.

Rosemary F.

  • Which one: Ice cream or cake? tough decision, but it has to be  ICE CREAM!!!!
  • What is your favorite scripture verse? Be strong and courageous, Have no Fear and do not be troubled, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  JOSHUA 1:9.  I remind myself when I’m feeling anxious or afraid.
  • Which would you prefer? A European vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation? My dream is to visit  IRELAND!!  I want to see the rolling green hills and the quaint villages and pubs;   and perhaps a leprechaun or two.   That is a goal to work towards.
  • Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?  I would definitely go without internet, as I need my phone in case my family needs me at any time, or if I just feel the need to chat with one of my children or grandchildren.

Barbara T.

Barbara T.

  • Which one: Ice cream or cake? Ice Cream
  • What is your favorite scripture verse? Psalms 121: 1-2
  • Which would you prefer? A European vacation or a relaxing Caribbean vacation? European Vacation
  • Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone? No Internet

Now for our give-away! A Simple Amish Christmas has released in audio format, and I have some free codes to give away. This was my very first book. It released in 2010 and is still one of my bestsellers. It’s guaranteed to cool you off while you listen!  I will give away one copy for every 25 comments I receive – please share this blog with a friend, on email, twitter (click button below), or Facebook, then leave a comment that you did so. You’ll be entered to win!



Street Team and a GIVE away

Contest, Street Team Leave a reply

I wanted to introduce you to 2 more of my street team members. This year we have 20 members, which is a lot of folks for me to keep in books – but I am LOVING it. Also at the end of this blog is a give-away, so please read to the bottom!

Sonja H.

Sonja H.

Sonja H.

  1. Hamburger or hotdog?
    Definitely Hamburgers, with all the “stuff” that goes on them.  Unfortunately, no cheese for me anymore as dairy gives me major sinus issues.  Boy I miss ice cream!
  2. Beach or theme park? Theme Park, going to Disneyland in a week with the grands!
  3. Favorite hobby? Genealogy, finding my past and lots of Germans and Polish peoples’ past history.  So interesting!
  4.  Someone you look up to, and why: My mom, she has been through so much in her earlier years and survived some difficult times during WWII and now is struggling to be a caretaker for my father who has some serious health problems.  Even at her age, she is very devoted to her family and would do anything for them.

Continue reading

MFB and a Give-away

Amish fiction, Amish Village Mystery series, Amish Village Series, Contest, fiction spotlight Leave a reply

mfbMurder Freshly Baked has released! It should be arriving at your local store soon, and it is available now through all on-line outlets as well. You can find all the purchase links here.

A few things I want to share with you about this book:

* I had a lot of fun researching PIE

* One of the subplots for this book is about cancer research and treatments

* You will also get to meet Mocha, a service dog who helps people with PTSD. This was truly amazing, and everything you read about Mocha is true. You can learn more about ICAN here.

* This entire series takes place at the Amish Artisan Village, a fictional location based on the Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana.

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Elaine Rieder & a Give-away

Amish fiction, Contest, Street Team Leave a reply

As some of you know, I have a Street Team. These folks help me promote my writing. They read my books, post reviews, share items on Facebook, and pass out bookmarks and postcards. They basically encourage and support me! This is my 3rd year having a street team, and I love it.

10580135_724252174322075_7173584914297367213_n-2This week I wanted to feature one of my members, Elaine Rieder. Elaine began on the street team in January. (Street team members Continue reading

Amish Cradle Give-away #2

Amish fiction, Amish Novella Collection, Christian authors, Contest Leave a reply

IMG_3340My co-authors and I have been having a lot of fun with the release of An Amish Cradle. This book was chosen as a top 20 romance by Amazon, and we’ve had some stellar reviews. Thank you! It’s always good to know when your writing is touching folks.

This week I’m giving away a small quilted wall hanging that I purchased locally (it’s 12″ x 12″) as well as a copy of An Amish Cradle.

baby CollageNow for some fun. I have pictures of my co-authors’ children. Let’s see if you can figure out Continue reading