Spinning Back in Time

The Spaniards brought sheep to America in the early seventeenth century, something I’ve never thought about as a resident of one of the biggest cattle states in the union. Sheep and goats in Texas?! Sacrilege!

But seeing that the Spaniards also introduced horses, cattle, and pigs into the area, it shouldn’t surprise me that they brought along sheep and goats too. Folks have to have something to wear and something to make it from—what better than wool?

You might be wondering why I, an author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction novels, am interested in what the Spanish Conquistadors brought to America. Well, I’m playing around with writing historical romances too. I’ve written a few historical pieces—a couple of short stories, and a novella that will release in a collection in August—but now, I’m working on a full-length novel to be part of a multi-author series. It’s all in the planning stage, and for now I’m mostly doing a feasibility study. I’m to write a novel set during the battle for Texas independence from Mexico. I’m from Texas, right? I’m supposed to know all this.

Eh, not so much. It’s been a while.

So I’ve had to do a lot of research, not just of the era and its socio-political climate, but of the common, ordinary things people did back then. The little things that people would have engaged in during their dialogue. What kept their hands busy? What did they do during ordinary days?

This past weekend, our town had a little event to celebrate East Texas’s history of sugar cane syrup production, which was great and fascinating and all, but the part of Texas where my story is set wasn’t likely to be raising sugar cane. It is perfect, however, for cattle, sheep, and goats.

Hence my interest in the spinning wheel.

The one pictured above is a “great walking spinning wheel,” one of the earlier types, though I don’t know if it’s the kind the Spaniards would have used. They were brought down into Texas from the American northeast. Until this past weekend, I had no idea how a wheel worked, but the woman who demonstrated it allowed me a chance to spin some wool into yarn (so cool!).

Ingrid, the woman illustrating the process, divided some carded wool—Leicester that day, though, again, I don’t know if the Spaniards would’ve had that kind of sheep. She took a much smaller portion than shown in the picture and wrapped it on the spindle. Then, after a few turns to show me what to do, she let me at it.

With my right hand, I turned the wheel clockwise while lightly holding the wool in my left. The large wheel spins the spindle where strands of wool twist into strands of yarn. Next, I changed the angle of my left hand, and instead of twisting the yarn, I began loading it onto the spindle.

You collect the yarn on the spindle until it’s full (or you have to quit), then it’s ready to be unwound on a “weasel,” pictured at the left.

Each full revolution of the weasel equals a yard, and after you have so many yards, you remove the yarn and have a skein.

At each complete revolution, a gear in the weasel snaps a stick, making a popping sound. You know how many yards you have when “Pop! goes the weasel.”

Back in the day, this could be done for the household only or for sale or trade. While the men worked outside, tending herds of whatever, women contributed to the household income by creating things, including yarn and woven products to sell.

And while they spun their yarn, they would talk amongst themselves. How fun that while I write about them, I get to decide what they talked about. I think I’m going to enjoy writing historical fiction!

 

 

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2018 Favorite Novels

According to Goodreads, I set my goal for 2018 at 36 books. What was I thinking? Between those I edit and those I write, I don’t have time for pleasure reading. By the end of the year, I logged in a pathetic 19 books, only one of which is nonfiction writing-related.

In my defense, though, this doesn’t include the NF books I read to my legally blind mother. Her preference tends toward religion and politics. I think I read four books to her this year, not including two of mine, bringing my total to 23.

The bulk of the books I read for pleasure were Historical Romance, unusual for me. I also read YA fiction and Fantasy/Christian Supernatural along with a couple of Women’s Fiction novels.

I put my favorite first, but couldn’t resist giving room to the others–in no particular order. It was a very good year for HR (tap the cover for the links).

I really loved this book. Not only did I enjoy the development of the characters’ romance, I enjoyed reading about a part of America I’m unfamiliar with, complete with the activities, careers, lifestyles associated with that area. Naomi did a wonderful job with her descriptions. For historical romance lovers, this one is a definite must.

Speaking of being whisked away to another place and time, Michelle Griep is a wonder at providing her readers with a bit of escapism. Her writing is often lyrical, with a rhythm and life that I love, and her research is impeccable, considering she goes to England to do it. The Innkeeper’s Daughter has it all—romance, mystery, suspense. Like all of Michelle’s books, it’s definitely worth the read. It ties with Naomi’s for top billing in historical romance.

Others I enjoyed this year are:

One HR novella collection was a lot of fun this year and included authors I wasn’t familiar with. I’m a huge fan of Pegg Thomas, but this collection introduced me to Candice Sue Patterson too–and now I’m a fan of hers.

These were all great reads. If you like Historical Romance—English, American, deep past or more recent—you’ll love all these books.

The two Young Adult books I read were as different as day and night. One was an action/adventure, and the other was more of a new-future political thriller.

Mardan’s Heir, a novella in the Mardan’s Mark Epic Fantasy Adventure Series is a total escape and completely fun read. It ends with a cliff-hanger, but Kathrese promised put the sequel out quickly. All her books in this series are great. You don’t have to be a young adult to love them.

I loved The First Principle. Kind of a political thriller for young adults, but like most YA I’ve read, its audience isn’t limited to the young. Marissa Shrock takes all the socio-political changes going on today to their logical conclusion and shows the impact on a near-future society. Christian YA fiction at its finest.

 

I hit the jackpot this year in Fantasy/Christian Supernatural. But The Wrong Enemy wins as my favorite in this genre this year.

What an intricate look at the effects of guilt and non-communication. What a great novel of God’s love and forgiveness!

I didn’t realize this one was part of a series, but when I have time, I intend to go back and read them all. Jane Lebak has a new fan in me!

Among the other greats include K.M. Wyland/Weiland’s smash hit, Wayfarer, the making of a superhero.

All three of these were really good. The Harbinger series with Billy Myers, Frank Peretti, and Angela Hunt is totally engrossing. I haven’t read them all, but the ones I have read were fantastic.

Of the Women’s Fiction novels, I don’t know which I like the best. As Waters Gone By reads more like WF, but I didn’t know what else to call Liar’s Winter. The two are entirely different in style, and both are so wonderful, I don’t know which to give top billing. So—here they are:

Book of the Year for 2018

I can’t help being fascinated by this novel. The best part is that it’s Book 1 of the Emancipation Warriors series. I’ve added the entire series to my wish list.

There ya go. Not all the novels I read last year are here, but this is the bulk of them. I had fun in 2018 with all my books. I wonder what 2019 will bring? I know one sad-but-true thing: I won’t get to read all the ones I want to.

 

 

 

 

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New Releases by ACFW Authors!

January 2019 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Amish Romance:

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston — Enjoy a year of beautiful seasons in this new story collection, as young Amish couples manage a community garden and harvest friendships and love along the way. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Courting Her Prodigal Heart by Mary Davis — Pregnant and alone, Dori Bontrager is sure her Amish kin won’t welcome her—or the child she’s carrying—into the community. And she’s determined that her return won’t be permanent. As soon as she finds work, she’ll leave again. But with her childhood friend Eli Hochstetler insisting she and her baby belong here, will Dori’s path lead back to the Englisher world…or into Eli’s arms? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Contemporary Romance:

Her Hope Discovered by Cynthia Herron — Charla Winthrop, a savvy business woman seeking a permanent lifestyle change in small-town Ruby, Missouri, learns that things aren’t always what they appear when she takes up residence in a house steeped in charm and a hint of mystery. Rumor has it that Sam Packard the town carpenter is her go-to guy for home remodeling, but can Charla convince him to help her—with no strings attached, of course? Alone far too long, Sam’s prayed that God would send him a wife and a mother for his daughters. However, the new Ruby resident is hardly what he imagined. A new place to call “home,” the possibility of what might be, and the answer to someone’s prayers unite this unlikely pair with the help of the town’s residents. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Cozy Mystery:

Murderous Heart by Lynne Waite Chapman — Freelance writer, Lauren Halloren pens popular magazine articles extoling the comfort and security of small town America. And Evelynton, Indiana treasures its wholesome small town values. Ask anyone. Streets are safe to walk. People look out for one another. Marriage vows are treasured. Murders are solved. In this third volume of the Evelynton Murder series, Lauren, along with friends, Clair and Anita stumble over another body. The partially mummified remains turn out to be an Evelynton resident. But how, in this close knit community, could a woman be deceased for over six months without being missed? (Cozy Mystery from Winged Publications)

Historical Romance:

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham — Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Homeward Journey by Misty M. Beller — Finally free from her dead husband’s addicted lifestyle, Rachel Gray and her young son set out for a new life in the wilderness of the Canadian territories. She is reluctant to accept help from another man, but after a bear threatens her son’s life, she agrees to accompany two God-fearing brothers who are traveling to the same area. Slowly, she begins to trust the one named Seth. Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he had more in common with her husband than she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Stepping into the Light by Candee Fick — With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in a marriage alliance between a disfigured recluse of the Gunn clan and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

 

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse — Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska. The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated. The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

Devotion by Olivia Rae — Injured and unable to make his living by the sword, Sir Theo de Born needs to secure his keep by becoming an educated man. As he finds himself falling for his reluctant teacher, he learns of her plan to leave England before the winter sets in. How can he convince her to stay and fulfill her promise while protecting his heart? Denied her true love and sent away to a convent, Lady Rose de Payne has no choice but to accept to become Sir Theo’s teacher. However, she has a plan to escape the confines of her new prison and start fresh in a different country. As the chilly winds blow, her resolve begins to waver. Will she abandon Sir Theo to a miserable fate or will she give up her dreams to make his come true? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)

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And the winner is . . .

Did you know about my Clean Read Giveaway? It included a copy of A Southern Season and a bar of specialty, homemade soap from Brea Rose Soap Garden, called “Coastal Mist” to honor my novella in the collection, Ice Melts in Spring.

If you didn’t know about the giveaway, then you should check out my website occasionally at lindawyezak.com (notice the “w.” My blog address doesn’t have it) and look under the “Extras” tab. In fact, if you went there and signed up for my “Coffee with Linda” newsletter, you’d get notice of giveaways right in your mailbox!

And now for my announcement . . .

The winner of my Clean Reads Giveaway is

CHARLENE WHITEHOUSE

Charlene, be sure to send me your address so I can send out this great set to you!

By the way, y’all. I’ve tried Brea Rose Soap and love it! Dolly Vogel makes some of the cutest bars of soap chock full of skin scenting and softening ingredients that feel totally luxurious. And they’re so cute!!! If you haven’t seen her site you need to. She has a Facebook store, and considering she has over 56,000 followers, she must do pretty good.

And for those who would like to read A Southern Seasonthe Kindle version is free this week! Be sure to grab it!

 

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Christmas Special: A Southern Season

Look what’s FREE on Kindle!!!

Since my publisher put this up, I have no idea how long the ebook version of A Southern Season will be free, so grab it while you can!

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Especially for Writers

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Trad vs. Indie–again

Which route should I go? Traditional publishing or indie?

I’ve been battling with this question from the very beginning. Well, not quite. My “very beginning” was a couple of years before indie publishing started becoming an acceptable and viable option. Before then, I was an avid fan of the traditional route.

But within the past few years, we’ve seen networking and service-and-support sites for indies multiply exponentially and become amazingly effective. Freelance editors,  cover designers, formatters, distributors, marketers, and promotional sites, all geared for the DIY author, have made going solo lucrative for the right people.

If you invest enough of your own money, and if you know how to work the logarithms and logistics of the various publishing sites, and if you’re a constant presence in social media, and if you rub your nose just right, you might succeed. Depending upon your definition of success, that is.

I’ve read articles supporting both sides of the story: traditional vs indie. This morning, I read “Stay Away From Traditional Book Publishing,” by Dean Wesley Smith. The article enumerates every single reason most indies—myself included—want to stay indie, primarily control and ownership.

I also read Steve Laube’s “Goodbye to Traditional Publishing?” in which he tackles the complaints of one author with a major publisher who sold 170,000 copies of her book and earned only $20,000 in royalties.

Roughly 11c per book.

Granted, he admitted that publisher pays its authors below the industry standard, emphasizing the house is a nonprofit entity. It must earn a profit to remain in business. Not sure that argument works as a defense for short-changing authors. Very few major publishers are in the business out of altruism, yet they manage to pay the average.

But Laube doesn’t really cover the question of royalties in the article. Instead, he concentrates more on the number of sales the author made. Sales translate to readers, which, if you’re good, translate to a fan base. Probably not the whole 170K, but perhaps a good percentage of it.

With the sales of all my indie and traditional titles combined, I’ll tell you now, I don’t have that many fans.

I already know why I enjoy being indie, and my reasons include many of the ones Smith uses to argue against going traditional. But Laube offers this:

If you wish to wave goodbye to traditional publisher and go Indie (independent) I believe the first question to ask is whether or not you want to start a small business. Just like an entrepreneur.  Those authors who are entrepreneurs are ideally suited for the self-publishing route. The [sic] understand the energy it takes and pitfalls ahead.

The second question is whether they can sell enough copies to make it all worthwhile. And are also are [sic] willing to take responsibility if a book fails.

Apparently, I stink at being an entrepreneur. So far as I can tell, the only ones who don’t stink at it (1) take the time to sift through and understand the mountain of ever-changing information out there and (2) are Type A personalities.

The question of whether an indie can “sell enough copies to make it all worthwhile” is just short of moot when you look at the traditionally published author who made only 11c per book. Using a per-book measurement, I make considerably more. Once the initial expenditures are reimbursed through sales, indies don’t pay a percentage to a publisher and agent, so the bulk of their royalties can go back in their pockets (or, if they’re smart, get reinvested into their businesses).

Like it or not, the marketing aspect of this business lands on the unknown author’s shoulders whether they’re trad or indie. Even if I went with a top five publisher, I can’t expect the marketing budget offered to someone like Nora Roberts. So if I decide against going indie because I hate marketing, I’ll still find myself in the same swamp.

Let me summarize: I love having control and ownership over my books and keeping the bulk of my royalties, even though I stink at the very thing I’d have to do anyway regardless of how I’m published. So I should probably stay indie, right?

Still, my wobbling self keeps going back and forth. What’s pushing me over the edge this time is the 170K sales. Not that every author can expect this, but as long as I’m indie with a Type B personality, I don’t think I can expect anywhere near this. Traditional publishers have access to retailers I don’t have. True, bookstores are closing left and right, but bookstores aren’t the only outlets, and ebooks are great, but they haven’t fossilized print novels as once expected. The TV didn’t kill the radio, the microwave didn’t kill the stove, and ebooks haven’t killed print.

Another thought is that the larger traditional publishers pay advances. Granted, they aren’t as big as they once were, and they aren’t likely to be large at all for a new-to-them author, but having a lump sum up front could go a long way if invested in a publicist or an effective marketing campaign outside what the publisher itself provides.

I’ve been indie for a while now, and I’d like to see how those on the other side of the debate live. I believe I’ve established enough credibility over the years that I should be able to land a star agent and a major publisher—and if not, then the debate between indie and trad will be settled. But I think I’ve made up my mind. Once I finish my newest WIP, I’m going to shop for an agent.

2019 should be an interesting year.

 

 

 

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Especially for Writers

This is me now. Two novels started, one bouncing around in my head, and a dangerous let’s put it off until January attitude.

By the way, my Clean Southern Fiction giveaway ends December 17. Sign up for the drawing to win a bar of Brea Rose Soap Garden’s Coastal Mist Soap and a copy of A Southern Season.

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Step-by-Stepping: Cut the Dross from Your Writing

I read my Tosca Lee newsletter for writers this morning, and right there, under the label of #4, was the paragraph I’ve been trying to tell my clients for quite some time:

Cut anything that does not move the story forward.  

What she describes next is what I call step-by-stepping:

The motions of every day life are exactly that: every day. You would not write “I unlocked the front door and closed it behind me, dropped the keys on the counter and turned on the lights,” unless these actions had unusual or special significance—i.e., it’s a very tense night because a killer is on the loose, and is in fact about to jump out from the closet. Instead, you would sum them up with something like: “After I got home…”

While Tosca’s topic was dialogue, this applies to narrative too. And what she says “you would not write” is exactly what I’ve seen in manuscripts I’ve edited. Sometimes it’s every bit as detailed as her example shows, and sometimes it’s just two steps: “he turned and . . . ” or “she reached out and . . .” or “he opened his eyes and saw . . .”—a real doozy if we’re in his POV, because it’s telling. Just show us what he saw.

Allow your reader to assume things. If the character is actually doing what he turned to do, the reader will assume he turned to do it. If the character is touching something she reached out for, the reader will assume she reached out to it.

I know where the inclination to step-by-step comes from. We see in our heads what we want to put on the page. The drama unfolds in our minds, and we want to present every nuance of it to the reader. It’s like trying to write every single movement an actor makes in a scene. Here’s the problem: what takes the actor a couple of seconds to do on the screen makes for boring reading.

So, as Tosca said, unless those actions have “unusual or special significance,” cut them.

The one caveat to this is if you’ve made a big deal about the action ahead of time. For instance, if you’ve made it a point to tell the reader the characters are fifteen feet away from each other, and all of a sudden he’s caressing her cheek, then you have to move him to caressing distance.

But sometimes, step-by-stepping is made necessary because of an unnecessary preamble.

Say you made a big deal about an action ahead of time. Was that action necessary, or dross? If it was an action beat, for example, could the beat be eliminated? Could it be replaced with inner thought? Eliminating the beat may demand that you strengthen the dialogue, which is a bonus. That’s preferred anyway. Using an inner thought could strengthen characterization, which is a bonus—especially if that thought contradicts the dialogue.

Always aim higher, stronger, than everyday actions.

What if we’re moving our characters from one place to another? How important is the ride itself? Is it filled with tense, vital dialogue or just description of the scenery outside the window? Is the vehicle being tailed? Side-swiped? Bumped? Or is it just a nice little drive?

Unless illustrating the ride from point A to point B is vitally important to the plot or characterization, cut it. You can segue your characters to their new location or simply use a scene break and put them there. Describing how they get there is irrelevant.

If you tend to exceed your word count, eliminating the step-by-step dross will help considerably. These few examples don’t begin to cover the kinds of things that can be cut without injury.

However, adding them in to increase your word count will only weaken your manuscript. There are so many other ways. Choose a better one.

 

 

 

 

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Christian Releases for December 2018!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher — Jessica was pregnant and facing divorce when her husband and daughter were killed in a car accident. Withdrawing from friends and family, she feels far away from God. Then months later she receives her great-grandfather’s Bible at her grandmother’s funeral. Ridley has suffered his own loss. Bitter over disgrace at his job, an ended career, and subsequent breakup with is girlfriend, he retreats to a vacation property owned by his parents to lick his wounds and hide from the press. Thumbing through the Bible later, Jessica journeys through the aged margin notes, back to faith and wholeness. And the broken roads they have followed bring Jessica and Ridley to each other as well. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Historical:

Three Christmas Novellas by Mary Connealy — Three Christmas Novellas in one volume: Long Horn Christmas, The Sweetest Gift and The Christmas Candle. (Historical, Independently Published)

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller — Can a runaway marriage ever be redeemed? Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn’t turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn’t know where—or if he’s ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they’ll forgive her.Along the way she will learn how relationship with God can bring restoration and hope, and find the answers she needs both for her husband and her future. (Historical, Kregel Publications)

Child of Light by Annette O’Hare — While praying for her own Christmas miracle after five years in a childless marriage, Margaret offers aide to a destitute and expectant young woman during the holidays. She is condemned for her decision to help a woman of ill repute and must face the consequences of doing what is right. Will Margaret’s prayers for a child of her own be answered this Christmas or does God have something else in store? (Historical from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson — Inspired by a Gripping True Story from World War II’s Daring Doolittle Raid–Japan, 1948: A prostitute seeks her revenge; a war hero finds his true mission. (Historical from Mountain Brook Ink)

 

Historical Romance:

The MissAdventure Brides Collection by Mary Davis, Cynthia Hickey, Kathleen E. Kovach, Debby Lee, Donna Schlachter, Marjorie Vawter, and Kimberley Woodhouse — Seven daring damsels refuse to let the cultural norms of their eras hold them back! Follow along as they trek the wilderness as a fur trapper; teach in the backwoods; campaign for women’s rights; breed llamas; drive cross-country; become a hotel tour guide; and pursue art. Will they meet men who admire their bravery and determination? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Kiss Me Once Again by Gail Kittleson — When Glenora Carson’s first love perishes along with the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona on December 7, 1941, she locks away her heart and her dreams of attending college on scholarship, instead choosing to hold down the home front by helping out the family business – Carson’s Garage. The grease-stained overalls don’t do much to compliment her female figure, but they cover her female heart well enough. That is, until Hank Anderson, a wounded warrior back from battle, walks into the garage and into Glenora’s life. Is an old maid’s future Glenora’s fate, or will Cupid throw a wrench in her plans? (Historical Romance from WordCrafts Press)

Stagecoach to Liberty by Janalyn Voigt — Can a desperate young woman trust the handsome Irish stranger who wants to free her from her captors? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

 

 

Amish Romance:

The Amish Sweet Shop by Laura Bradford, Mary Ellis, and Emma Miller — It’s almost Valentine’s Day at Beechy’s Sweets, where the Amish gifts of love and faith are even sweeter than the home-made candy. In The Sweetest Courtship by Emma Miller, bachelor Jacob Beechy is a master candy maker whose mother longs for grandchildren, so she sets out to find him an assistant confectioner during the Valentine’s holiday—and a wife. In The Sweetest Truth by Laura Bradford, Sadie Fischer can’t see beyond her scars from a barn fire, but there’s a young man who sees only sweetness when he looks at her, and he’s sending her Beechy’s chocolate and mysterious gifts leading up to Valentine’s Day. In Nothing Tastes So Sweet by Mary Ellis, Pregnant widow Hannah wants to buy her English employer’s hardware store, but ends up following a clue from Beechy’s to clear a man’s name—and finds a partnership in work, faith, and love. (Amish Romance from Kensington)

Amish Christmas Memories by Vannetta Chapman — When a young Amish woman collapses in the snow shortly before Christmas, Caleb Wittmer rushes to her aid. Only, “Rachel” remembers nothing of who she is. Now his family has taken in the pretty stranger, disrupting Caleb’s ordered world. He’s determined to find out where she belongs…even if Rachel’s departure means saying goodbye to his old-fashioned heart forever. (Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Quilt for Jenna (Apple Creek Dreams #1) by Patrick E. Craig — On her way to win a quilting competition—and a ticket out of Amish life, Jerusha finds her God, her missing husband, and a lost little girl in the heart of the Storm of The Century. (Amish Romance from P & J Publishing)

The Road Home (Apple Creek Dreams #2) by Patrick E. Craig — Adopted into an Amish family as a child, local historian Jenny Springer is looking for the parents she never knew. When Jenny meets Jonathan Hershberger, a drifter from San Francisco who lands in Apple Creek fleeing a drug deal gone wrong, she is intrigued by this Englischer with an Amish name, and offers to help him discover his Amish roots. While Jonathan discovers his need for home, family, and a relationship with God, Jenny finds more than she hoped for—truth and love and the knowledge that you can go home again. (Amish Romance from P & J Publishing)

Jenny’s Choice (Apple Creek Dreams #3) by Patrick E. Craig — When Jenny’s husband disappears in a terrible boating accident, she returns home to Apple Creek, Ohio and her adoptive parents. Working through her grief, she pursues newfound writing dreams and is presented with a possible romance with a handsome young publisher, until the elders of her church confront her consideration of going outside her faith to pursue her dreams. At the same a faint hope that her husband might someday be found alive holds her heart in the past. (Amish Romance from P & J Publishing)

Minding the Amish Baby by Carrie Lighte — Amish store clerk Tessa Fisher isn’t ready for marriage or a family—until a baby girl is abandoned on her doorstep. Now Tessa and her gruffly handsome landlord, Turner King, must mind the baby together. And soon Turner and the sweet-cheeked kind are burrowing into Tessa’s heart. But with secrets between them, can the temporary family find a way to stay together forever? (Amish Romance from P & J Publishing)

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