ABOUT THE BOOK:
Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?
In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s love by even thinking that way?
Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place for one reason—to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. But can he bring himself to trust a woman again?
Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town's teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat--and one thing becomes obvious: God is bringing them all together for a reason.
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I’ve often heard that there is no better childhood than an Amish one. Mary Ann Kinsinger had such a childhood. She was raised in a happy Old Order Amish home in western Pennsylvania. A born storyteller, Mary Ann started a blog, A Joyful Chaos, as a way to capture the joy of her childhood.
A Joyful Chaos quickly gained a following among those who want to know more about the Amish. Here was a blog of a woman who had recently left the Amish church, but without bitterness or rancor. Just the opposite. Mary Ann’s blog captures what readers are looking for in Amish fiction books: charming family memories, a caring community, a collection of fun, quirky characters, all cast in a rural setting. And yet it’s real! All true.
One day, I e-mailed to ask if she was thinking of writing a book. “No,” she wrote back, “but I might be interested in collaborating.”
Fast forward a year or two. My friendship with Mary Ann continued to grow. So did her blog’s presence: A Joyful Chaos was receiving over 30,000 hits a month. It caught a mention in The New York Times. Mary Ann started a Facebook page. Remember, this was a woman who had stopped her formal schooling at eighth grade! But her education never stopped.
The time seemed right. We submitted a fiction series proposal for children, ages 8-12, to my publisher, Revell Books, inspired by Mary Ann’s childhood. Revell said “Yes!”
The Lily books are more than just another good children’s series—they’re a little slice of America, a peek into the world of a happy Amish family, fun and foibles. I have a hunch that children of all ages, 5-95, will quickly grow attached to Lily. But do you know what has surprised me the most about writing these books? Lily’s parents, Rachel and Daniel Lapp. Based on Mary Ann’s own parents, this young couple is the quintessence of wisdom and maturity. In Book 1, you’ll read a nail biting story when a difficult neighbor insists the property lines are incorrect and aims a shotgun at Lily’s father. Papa responds by…oh…I won’t spoil it. I’ll let you find out for yourself.
, book 1 in ‘The Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series, releases on October 1st and will be available wherever books are sold. Lily has a website, , that will be interactive for children: coloring pages can be downloaded, ask Lily a question, get recipes from her family, information about Lily’s parents and brothers and friends.
"Hope for the best and prepare for the worst" was written by Thomas Norton an English poet and politician (1532-1584).
Ignatius of Loyola wrote something similar, which I prefer: "Pray as if everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on oneself."
I have a tendency to worry. A lot. I imagine all the things that can possibly go wrong with all sorts of scenarios, especially those involving my family members. These two pieces of advice above, help me to overcome the worry and fear I contend with.
I often think to myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” And then I go about figuring out how best to handle the answer to that question. Sometimes the answer is just plain old preparation. Having several jugs of extra water on hand in case the well pump goes out, candles handy if the power goes out, a family meeting place if there are communication problems, and liberally applying insect repellent when going outdoors in the early mornings and evenings are just a few of the examples that come to mind as I write this.
To paraphrase a quote by Lin Yutang: Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have prepared for the worst. I hope you never have to deal with "the worst," but best to have a back-up plan, just in case.
Do you have an example of how you achieve peace of mind through preparation?
An unplanned pregnancy. An absent father.
Can love really endure all things?
Danielle Kent is anything but Amish. Just her luck to fall in love with an Amish guy. Now she’s 18, pregnant, and hopeful that the child’s Amish father—Matthew Lapp—will do the right thing and marry her. She knows Matthew plans to leave his Colorado settlement for a life in the Englisch world. But that plan never included a baby.
When Matthew walks away from her and their unborn child, she has nowhere to turn. Her unlikely friendship with Levi offers some comfort—yet they have so little in common. This wasn’t the plan she had for her life, and she’s never felt so alone. She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Doesn’t want to be Amish. Doesn’t want to trust God.
And yet…God has plans beyond what her mind can imagine…loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never goes away but endures forever.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FIRST CHAPTER!
Available for pre-order anywhere that books are sold
Coming October 2012
Hi Everyone and Happy Monday!
I've been busy finishing up my latest contemporary--The House that Love Built. Here's a bit about it:
Brooke has only loved one man.
Owen’s heart is filled with bitterness.
Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?
In the small town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising six-year-old Meghan and ten-year-old Spencer on her own two years after her husband's death. Being a single-mom and running the family’s local hardware store keeps her busy. While Meghan longs for a daddy, Spencer has threatened to run away if Brooke even goes out on a date. But the last thing on Brooke’s mind is falling in love. When a stranger moves to town and buys a house with a mysterious past, Brooke can’t contain her curiosity. As she spends time with the new owner, she wonders if maybe God is giving her another chance at happiness.
Owen Saunders fled the big city to start over in a small, rural town famous for baking the world’s largest gingerbread man. Then he bought an old house to restore—for all the wrong reasons. If anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart in the aftermath of his failed marriage. With little hope and lost faith, Owen is tempted by happiness when he meets Brooke, but his heart remains sealed shut.
As they learn more about Owen’s house, one thing becomes obvious to both of them: God has put them together for a reason.
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER HERE.
AND -- as promised -- I'm going to give away one Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of His Love Endures Forever! This is book #3 in the Land of Canaan series, and it releases in September! One winner will be chosen from comments that are left ON THIS BLOG ONLY. So, if you are reading this on Amish Hearts, Facebook, or anywhere else...please leave a comment here for your chance to win. Please consider subscribing! Winner will be announced here this Friday! Good luck!
An unplanned pregnancy. An absent father. Can love really endure all things?
Danielle Kent is anything but Amish. Just her luck to fall in love with an Amish guy.
Now she’s 18, pregnant, and hopeful that the child’s Amish father—Matthew Lapp—will do the right thing and marry her. She knows Matthew plans to leave his Colorado settlement for a life in the Englisch world. But that plan never included a baby.
When Matthew walks away from her and their unborn child, she has nowhere to turn. Her unlikely friendship with Levi offers some comfort--yet they have little in common. He’s Amish, she’s not. She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Doesn’t want to be Amish. Doesn’t want to trust God.
And yet.God has plans beyond what her mind can imagine . . . loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never goes away but endures forever.
What do you think? Could this be Layla in Need You Now?
Photo credit: NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner
Huge brown eyes, long blonde hair, long sleeved shirt tucked into jeans. A possibly mid-forties cowgirl that “could have walked straight off the set of any western movie.” Beautiful, tall, graceful.
More about Layla from Chapter One:
She gave her horse a little kick in the flank, then eased through a gate that divided her acreage from Brad and Darlene’s. She closed it behind her from atop her horse and headed toward the large house on top of the sloping hillside. Coming from town, the spacious estate was fully visible from the road and her youngest daughter called it the ‘mansion on the hill.’ The rest of the family took to calling it that too. In comparison to their rundown farmhouse, Darlene supposed it was a mansion. Both homes were probably built in the late 1800s, but Layla’s was completely restored, at least on the outside, with fresh yellow paint and white trim. A split-rail, cedar fence also surrounded the yard, and toward the back of the property, a bright red barn lit up the hayfield not far from a good-sized pond. A massive iron gate—that stayed closed most of the time—welcomed visitors down a long, winding driveway. And there were lots of livestock—mostly Longhorns and horses. If the wind was blowing just right, sometimes Darlene could hear faint music coming from the house.
What do you think? If, and that’s a huge if, they were to make a movie of Need You Now, would Layla look like this model? Which actress would you cast to play her role?