Category Archives: Shipshewana Series

Shipshe Hot Spots & a New Release

Shipshewana Series, Special Sale Price Comments: 2

Our 16 book anthology, Summer of Suspense is now available. So today I thought I’d share a little about the setting–Shipshewana Hot Spots.

No, I’m not talking about places you can find Wi-Fi in Shipshewana, Indiana. I’m talking about fun places to see. I recently visited the area, and I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts.

  • Shipshewana is a small town – see the flowers above? Not quite 700 residents (during market days that swells to as much as 30,000).
  • We stayed at the Bluegate, which is convenient, close, and lovely. There are a lot of places to stay in the area.
  • Keep your eyes open for phone shacks.
  • Yoder’s Department store is a fun place to visit.
  • Lolly’s Fabrics (in the Davis Mercantile) is also a favorite of mine.
  • You can have dinner in an Amish home.
  • The Pumpkinvine Trail is lovely. You can walk all the way to Middlebury, or you can walk a little and turn back.
  • Keep an eye out for Amish schools. You’ll know them by the playgrounds.
  • Howie’s ice cream is a real treat, and you’ll probably see some Amish families there.
  • Watch for produce signs. This one simply had a jar where you left your money, and the blueberries were delicious.
  • Essenhaus in Middlebury is also a fun stop.

I love visiting the areas I write about. Amish communities offer a special kind of peace and quiet–it really is like stepping back in time. If you have any questions about Shipshe, let me know. I’ll be happy to try and answer them. And remember, you can download your copy of Summer of Suspense now. My contribution to this collection is Fading Into the Night, an Amish suspense set in Shipshewana. The price for the entire collection will remain 99c until Sunday, August 11th, at which point it goes up to regular price. At this point it’s only offered in ebook format, but I hope to release mine with 3 other stories–in print and ebook–next spring.




Announcements for this week

  • I have new items in my VC Boutique Store. Check it out here
  • All 5 of my Wisconsin amish stories are for sale in one bundle for $3.99. That’s 2 novellas and 3 full novels for $3.99.
  • Dead Wrong is now at my editor’s. This new Amish cozy mystery series will release in September. I’ll provide buy links soon.
  • The Amish Christmas Matchmaker will be in stores the end of September. If you are a blogger/reviewer it is now available on Netgalley.

VC Book Spotlight, Shipshe

Amish fiction, Shipshewana Series Comments: 11

Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, VC Book Spotlight

shipshe3 newslLast week we talked about my newest mystery series, set in Middlebury, Indiana. Today I’d like to revisit my first mystery series, which was set in Shipshewana.

The first book in this series was Falling to Pieces, and while I was writing it I visited Shipshe for the first time. The town is a real mix of Amish and Englisch who live there. In a lot of ways, this changed the way I thought about the Amish because my first experience was of a community working well together.

The second book in the series is A Perfect Square. Funny story–I wrote this during the last year that I was a high school/college teacher. I teased my students about it, because the story opens with Deborah finding a teenage girl’s body in a pond. My kids thought that was a hoot.

Book three is Material Witness, and it’s really the story of Aaron, a special needs child. As the parent of a handicapped child, I’m fascinated with the way Amish deal with these situations.

These books are all available individually in print, and if you’re an ebook reader you can purchase them in a bundle now for only $10.99. I’m hoping B&N will also carry this bundled set. When they do, I will post the link on my webpage.

Have you ever been to Shipshewana?



Summer Photos, Week 2

Amish photos, Contest, Shipshewana Series Comments: 29

Photo #2, Summer Fun

For the month of July are having fun with photos. I’ll post a photo, and you all give me a caption. Then we’ll pick one of your captions as the winner, and you can receive a book of your choice. Last week’s winner was Patricia. I had a really hard time choosing. You all did good work! At the end of the month, I’ll post all of the photos again with the captions.

buggy 7

I took this second photo on one of my visits to Shipshewana. It always brings  a smile to my face when I look at it.

Remember to leave us a caption in the comment section.




Amish Book & Specials

Amish fiction, Amish Novella Collection, fiction spotlight, Pebble Creek Series, Shipshewana Series Comments: 6

Special Prices, Amish Books


Haven’t the last few weeks been fun? I loved having Lynette Sowell and Kate Lloyd join us. The winners for those two give-aways are–

              • Cathy Carmelle – Lynette’s books
              • Carol Bradford – Kate Lloyd’s books

This week I wanted to share with you a couple of specials. My novella, Where Healing Blooms is now available as an individual ebook at Amazon, B&N and all ebook retailers. This story was my contribution to An Amish Garden. I very much enjoyed writing Emma’s story, the story of a woman who God still has a plan for–in spite of the fact that she feels like she has lived her life.

Amazon and B&N are also running a First in the Series sale. According to my publishers, Falling to Pieces will be $1.99 through the weekend, and A Promise for Miriam will be on sale through next week. If you haven’t tried these books, I hope you will. If you have tried them, please share this post with a friend. And for you folks who only read paper books, I’ll have a special to share with you next week. We’ll also have Beth Shriver visiting us and giving away a book. So be sure to check back!



Back 2 School!

Amish fiction, Contest, Pebble Creek Series, Shipshewana Series

wisconsin school

The Amish Way – Headed Back to School

Of course it isn’t only the Amish who are headed back to school. Around the country, teachers are preparing for classes, mothers and dads are praying for a good year, and students are moaning the end of summer. I love this picture of a one room schoolhouse in Wisconsin – beckons back to simpler times.

This week I wanted to celebrate with you the return to school. Today’s Continue reading


Amish fiction, Pebble Creek Series, Shipshewana Series Comments: 13

wisconsin schoolAll Things Amish – Similarities

Last week we talked about the differences in Amish communities. Today let’s discuss similarities. Disclaimer: I haven’t been to all the Amish communities, but I do know 2 fairly well. Indiana is where my Shipshewana series is set, and Wisconsin is where my Pebble Creek Series is set.


  1. The schoolhouses looked very similar to me. They’re small and on the Continue reading

Excerpt 1, MW

Amish fiction, Shipshewana Series Comments: 12

Material Witness, Excerpt #1

Today I thought I’d share a short excerpt from Material Witness. This is from Chapter 10 (page 121). Melinda has learned that her son, Aaron — her handicapped son — is in danger. She’s hurried home to warn her family, but when she arrives no one is there.

As Ginger nudged Melinda’s hand searching for a treat, it was plain from her labored breathing to the way she shuffled her feet that she actually needed some water and a few minutes rest.

So Melinda unharnessed her from the buggy, pulled her into the coolness of the barn, and dropped a cup full of feed into her Continue reading


Amish fiction, Shipshewana Characters, Shipshewana Series Comments: 46

Material Witness and Max

One of my favorite characters from my Shipshewana Amish Mystery series is MAX. When Callie first shows up in Shipshe (Falling to Pieces), she finds she has inherited a quilt shop and a dog.

Max goes a long way toward helping Callie find her way. He provides her stability, unconditional love, and he protects her. He’s everything that we want our pets to be.

In Material Witness, Max is once again a main character. From page one when Aaron witnesses a murder to the dramatic conclusion, I included Max. He’s often at Callie’s side, but he also befriends Aaron. The boy learns to depend on him in the same way that Callie has.

This Wednesday I’ll have a very special give a way that has something to do with Max. (No, I’m not giving away a real dog.)

So what about it? What does your pet mean to you? And if you don’t have one right now, tell me about one you had in the past.



p.s. — Material Witness is now available! Also, you can still sign up for last Wednesday’s give away. Simply click home and then scan down to the post before this one.