Friday, March 13, 2015

Amish Authors

Here's a fun look at some of your favorite Amish authors and their preferences, with huge thanks to Kathy Fuller for compiling it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Pleasures


While the cold winds blow and the snow piles up, what do you enjoy doing? Winter is, for many of us, a time to catch up on the pleasures we don't take time for when the warm sunshine beckons. I'm sure reading is near the top of your list, as it is mine! I've been re-reading a number of old favorites this winter, enjoying some that are newly available on my Kindle. And I'm reading my way through a stack of Rita books as I near the end of my judging time period.

During the winter, we usually have a jigsaw puzzle spread out on our coffee table, and anyone who comes in is welcome to put a few pieces in to share the fun. Here's a picture of the great Amish scene jigsaw puzzle my husband gave me for Christmas. It even prompted him to suggest that an Amish buggy repair shop would be an interesting occupation for one of my characters!




I've been enjoying sewing this winter, as well, and teaching my grandchildren how to use the sewing machine. We've made some great projects together, to say nothing of having a lot of fun! Do you have a favorite hobby to share with children or grandchildren?


 

 


And then there are the projects that I feel must be done at our vacation home while we're here. This year that included a first for me--making a slipcover for my recliner. Harder than I expected, but I'm fairly pleased with the results. I think a few wrinkles are inevitable if it's going to be removable!

Hope you had a productive winter--or a restful one--or whatever your spirit needed this year.

Blessings,

Marta

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BOOK INSPIRATION

Hear about one of my favorite B&B inns – and the inspiration for my new novel, WHERE SECRETS SLEEP, on #AmishWisdom today: http://bit.ly/1zCOkm2 



Friday, February 20, 2015

WHERE SECRETS SLEEP WINNERS!

Here are the ten winners of WHERE SECRETS SLEEP: Jewli (soaring.eagler@outlook.com), Carolsue (Digicats@sbcglobal.net), Leslie Beiser McKee, Celeste Wright Lacey, Heidi Nordby Cantrell, Maryellen Manley Young, Donna Groth Potozcek, Carol Welscher, Sandy Shearer, and Peggy Atlkins. Winners, please send your mailing address to me at mpjohn@ptd.net, and I'll get your books out as soon as possible. Thanks for playing, everyone! And congratulations to the winners!

Monday, February 16, 2015

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

This week I'll give away ten copies of my upcoming Amish romantic suspense novel, WHERE SECRETS SLEEP. To enter, either leave a comment below with your e-mail address or e-mail me at marta@martaperry.com.

I'll draw ten winners on Friday, February 20th, at noon. I hope it's your lucky day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Coming Soon!

My new Amish Romantic Suspense novel, first in a new three-book series, will be available in stores and online soon. Don't miss WHERE SECRETS SLEEP!

Here's a look at the story:


In Amish country, not everything is as simple as it appears.

After a terrible betrayal, Allison Standish flees Philadelphia for the small Amish community of Laurel Ridge to claim an unexpected inheritance. Allison intends to sell the mansion housing various shops—until she meets Nick Whiting, a single father and tenant of Blackburn House, who challenges everything she believes about her estranged grandmother and the Amish community.

Strange stipulations in her grandmother’s will soon bring distant relatives and seething townsfolk to Allison’s door. As anonymous threats escalate, Nick grows protective of Allison, and she finds herself falling for the handsome carpenter… But then she discovers her grandmother’s death may not have been accidental, and someone wants Allison gone. Permanently.

And here's what Publishers Weekly has to say about it:

Abundant details turn this Amish romantic thriller launch into a work of art. The intricately constructed plot features relatable, believable characters faced with realistic struggles both large and small. This is an excellent beginning to what promises to be a series of rewarding, satisfying novels.
STARRED REVIEW.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

POST-HOLIDAY RECIPES

We all have our favorite holiday recipes, but how about afterwards? I'm no longer excited about making cookies or a gingerbread house, but I do look forward to using up the leftover Christmas turkey and leftover New Year's ham. I feel deprived on the rare occasions when we go somewhere for those dinners so that I don't have leftovers!

My favorites are probably the soups. There is something very satisfying about cooking down a turkey carcass or ham bone to get the nice rich broth. (Incidentally, I note that popular culture now calls this "bone broth." We always just called it broth, because that was the only way to get it!)

Several people have been kind enough to ask for my recipes, so here are two--one for turkey and one for ham.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
 
Either boil down the turkey bones for several hours or use prepared chicken broth. You can also make this soup with chicken instead of turkey.
 
Melt 1 stick of butter in a soup pot over low/medium heat. Stir in 1 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of chopped celery, and 1/2 cup of chopped or shredded carrots. Saute gently so that they are cooked but not browned. Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and saute a few more minutes. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the veggies, stirring constantly. When it begins to bubble and thicken, slowly pour in 5-6 cups of turkey or chicken broth, continuing to stir. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
 
Add 1 package of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix or prepare your own. I prefer using the Uncle Ben's because it includes delicious seasonings. Add 1-2 cups chopped turkey or chicken. Simmer for about an hour. This may thicken more than you like as the rice absorbs the liquid, so I usually add water or broth as needed. Enjoy!
 
 
Ham, Bean and Potato Chowder
 
Cook the ham bone in boiling water for about an hour. Remove from soup pot and pull away the meat, removing the fat and chopping the meat into bite-size pieces.
 
Strain the broth as needed and put 3-4 cups into the soup pot. Then add 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom or celery soup. Stir in 4 potatoes, chopped, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, and 1/2 cup of chopped celery. Allow to simmer for about an hour, then add 1 cup of corn and 1 can of drained white beans and bring to simmer again. Put 1/2 cup of water into a cup and add 1/4 cup of flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually add this to the soup, stirring as the soup thickens. Season with 1 T dried parsley and black pepper to taste. (I seldom add extra salt, as the chowder is salty enough.) Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender. This chowder can also be made in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
 
I made this for our football-watching meal along with hot cornbread. Perfect after a season of over-eating!