Saturday, October 15, 2016

AMISH CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS WINNERS!

Congratulations to the winners of AMISH CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS! They are: Patricia Bond, Jasmine Augustine, Elaine Rieder, Metta Diaz, Marsha Karr Cole, Karen Riley, Paula Pallante, Courtney Bogunia, Sue MacIvor, and Nancy Farley. Please e-mail me at mpjohn@ptd.net or marta@martaperry.com with your mailing address as soon as possible. Thanks for playing!

Best,
Marta Perry

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Time to give away copies of AMISH CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS! Just leave a comment or e-mail me at marta@martaperry.com with your name and e-mail address. I'll post the winners on Saturday, October 15th. Good luck!


Monday, October 3, 2016

AMISH CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS



AMISH CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS will be in stores on October 18th, and we're hoping it's a blessing to you during the Christmas season. A double volume, Amish Christmas Blessings contains two holiday stories: my "The Midwife's Christmas Surprise," and Jo Ann Brown's "A Christmas to Remember." Here's a little about our stories:

Holiday Greetings From Amish Country 
The Midwife's Christmas Surprise by Marta Perry 
Three years ago, the man Anna Zook hoped to marry left her and their Amish community for the English world. Now devoted to proving her abilities as a midwife, Anna has given up on marriage and children for herself. But when Benjamin Miller returns, now a changed man, can delivering a Christmas baby reunite these two hurting hearts? 
A Christmas to Remember by Jo Ann Brown 
When a little girl leads shop owner Amos Stoltzfus to an Amish woman in distress, he rushes them to his family's farm. "Linda" has no memory and doesn't know if the sweet child is her daughter or even her kin. As Christmas arrives and Linda's identity is revealed, will Amos be able to claim his holiday guests as his own?


And read on for an excerpt from "The Midwife's Christmas Surprise":

THE MIDWIFE’S CHRISTMAS
A Novella by
Marta Perry

Chapter One
     If the door to the exam room at the birthing center hadn’t been ajar, Anna Zook would never have heard the hurtful comment.
     “…so long as you’re the one to catch the baby, and not the Zook girl. She’d too young and inexperienced to be birthing my first grandchild.”
     The door closed abruptly, cutting off anything else that might be said, but Anna recognized the speaker—Etta Stoltzfus, mother-in-law of one of her partner Elizabeth’s clients. Despite the fact that Anna had been a full partner in the midwife practice for over a year, many in Lost Creek’s Amish community still saw her as the quiet, shy girl she’d been when she began her apprenticeship with Elizabeth.
     The December chill outside seemed to seep into her heart. Would the people of Lost Creek ever accept her as midwife, or would she always be walking in Elizabeth’s shadow?
     Anna tried to concentrate on the patient record she was reviewing, but the doubts kept slipping between her and the page. It was natural enough that folks turned to Elizabeth, she told herself firmly. Elizabeth Miller had been the only midwife in the isolated northern Pennsylvania Amish settlement for over twenty years. It would just take time and patience for them to accept her, wouldn’t it?
     The door opened, and a little parade came out—Etta Stoltzfus, looking as if she’d just bit into a sour pickle, her daughter-in-law, Dora, who looked barely old enough for marriage, let alone motherhood, and Elizabeth, whose round, cheerful face was as serene as always.
     Small wonder folks trusted Elizabeth—she radiated a sense of calm and assurance that was instantly soothing. Much as Anna tried to model herself on Elizabeth, she never quite succeeded in doing that.
     A blast of cold air came into the outer office as the front door opened, and Anna spotted young James leap down from the buggy seat, clutching a blanket to wrap around his wife.
     Elizabeth closed the door behind them and turned to Anna, rubbing her arms briskly. “Brr. It’s cold enough to snow, but Asa says not yet.”
     Anna nodded, knowing Elizabeth, so confident in her own field, trusted her husband implicitly when it came to anything involving the farm. Maybe that was the secret of their strong marriage—the confidence each had in the other.
     “You heard what Etta said, ain’t so?” Elizabeth’s keen gaze probed for any sign that Anna was upset.
     “Ach, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.” Anna managed to smile. “Naturally Etta feels that way. She’s known you all her life.”
     “Then she ought to trust my judgement in training you.” Elizabeth sounded as tart as she ever did. “I think Dora might be happier with you, being closer to her age and all, but she’s too shy to venture an opinion different from Etta’s.”
     “It will all be forgotten when they see the baby. When are you thinking it will be?”
     “Most likely not until well after Christmas.” As if the words had unleased something, Elizabeth’s blue eyes seemed to darken with pain. She glanced out the side window toward the farmhouse, making Anna wonder what she saw there other than the comfortable old farmhouse that had sheltered generations of the Miller family.
     “Elizabeth?” Anna stood, moving quickly to put her arm around her friend’s waist. “What is it?”
     “Ach, nothing. Just foolishness.” Elizabeth shook her head, but she couldn’t disguise the tears in her eyes.
     “Tell me,” Anna said gently, longing to help.
     The older woman brushed a tear away impatiently. “Nothing.” She bit her lip. “It’s just…this will be the third Christmas without Benjamin.”
     The name struck Anna like a blow to the heart. She forced herself to concentrate on Elizabeth’s pain, not allowing herself to recognize her own. “I know,” she murmured. “Perhaps…” Anna tried to think of something reassuring to say, but what was there?
     Benjamin, Elizabeth and Asa’s third son, had walked away from the Amish faith and his family three years ago. And her. He’d walked away from her, as well.
     “I’m sorry,” she said finally, knowing how inadequate it was. Elizabeth didn’t know there’d ever been anything between her son and her young apprentice, and that was probably for the best, given how things had turned out.
     Elizabeth sucked in a breath and straightened. “Asa doesn’t want to talk about Ben’s leaving. I try not to burden him with my sorrow. But oh, if only our boy would come home to us.”
     “Maybe he will.” Did she wish that? For Elizabeth’s happiness, for sure. But for herself—how would she manage if Benjamin did come back?
     “I keep praying. That’s all I can do.” Elizabeth pressed her cheek against Anna’s for a moment. “Ach, I must get back to the house and start some supper. Are you coming now?”
     Anna shook her head. “I’ll finish cleaning up here first.”
She’d lived with the Miller family since she’d come from Lancaster County as apprentice to Elizabeth. Each time she’d suggested she might find a place of her own, it had led to such an outcry that she’d given up, knowing Asa and Elizabeth meant it. They treated her as the daughter they’d given up on having after their four boys. How could she walk away from that?
Once Elizabeth had gone, Anna moved slowly around the four-room center, built by Asa and his sons so that Elizabeth would have a place close to home for meeting patients. Still, many of their mothers preferred having babies at home, so the two of them spent hours each week traveling from one Amish home to another.
When she found herself rearranging the stack of towels in the cabinet for the third time, Anna forced herself to recognize the truth. She was avoiding the thing she didn’t want to think about—the beautiful, painful truth of her relationship with Benjamin.
Anna stood at the window, but she wasn’t seeing the frigid winter landscape. Instead she looked up into the branches of the apple tree in the side yard, feeling the soft breeze of a summer evening brush her skin.
She and Benjamin had come home from a family picnic at the home of Ben’s grandparents, and they’d loitered outside for a few minutes, watching the fireflies rise from the hay field and dance along the stream.
Ben had been telling her a story of climbing to the very top of the apple tree in response to a dare from one of his brothers. He’d fallen when a branch broke and broken his arm, but he didn’t seem to regret it, laughing at the memory. That was Ben, always up for a dare.
She’d shifted her gaze from the branches to his laughing face, meaning to chide him for such foolishness, but her gaze became entangled with his, and her breath caught, the words dying.
Ben’s eyes, blue as a summer sky, seemed to darken as he studied her face. His gaze had lingered on her lips. And then his lips had found hers, and a totally unexpected joy exploded inside her.
She’d never known how long they’d stood there, exchanging kisses, laughing that it had taken them so long to recognize the feelings between them. When she’d finally slipped into the house and up to her room, she’d held the warm assurance of his love close against her.
And the next day he’d been gone, leaving only a note for his parents saying he was going to see something of the world.
Anna tried to shake off the memories. She seldom let herself relive them, because the aftermath had seen so painful. No one knew about her and Ben, so she’d had to pretend that her pain was only for Ben’s family, not for herself.
After three years, it should have become easier. One night—that was all she had to block from her memories.
A final check around the center, and she was ready to go. She was just slipping on her coat when she heard a car pull up by the front door.
Anna frowned. One of their Englisch clients? No one was scheduled to come in today. She could only hope it wasn’t an emergency.
Footsteps sounded on the porch, and she hurried to the door. She flung it open almost as soon as the knock sounded and stumbled back a step, the familiar room spinning around her.
The man standing on the porch wore boots, jeans, and a black leather jacket zipped up against the cold, but he wasn’t an Englischer. He was Benjamin Miller.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

HOW SECRETS DIE BY MARTA PERRY

HOW SECRETS DIE, book three in the House of Secrets series of Amish romantic suspense, will go on sale next week! To whet your appetite, here's an except: 


HOW SECRETS DIE
By Marta Perry
Chapter One

A cemetery should be a place where people were buried—not where they died. Kate Beaumont, confronted so unexpectedly with the place Jason had chosen to end his life, stopped the car in mid-traffic, earning an irritated honk from the driver behind her as he was forced to come to a halt as well.
The driver circled her, looking annoyed but refraining from the rude gesture she anticipated. Apparently drivers were a bit more polite in a small town like Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, than they were in the city. Her hands were shaking, and not from the sudden stop. She pulled off the road near the stone wall that encircled the cemetery.
Ridiculous, to let just the sight of the place send her into a tailspin. She was tougher than that, wasn’t she? But while she could face down a recalcitrant politician or an irate citizen while in search of a story, she couldn’t maintain that level of detachment where her younger brother’s death was concerned.
Kate took a long breath, fighting to still the tremors that shook her. She focused on the scene facing her, assessing it as she would when thinking of the word picture she’d create for a newspaper article. Laurel Ridge’s cemetery covered the top of a rounded hill at the eastern end of town. Spreading maples, their leaves already turning color, shielded gray tombstones. Some of the stones were worn and tilted, their lettering eroded, but the whole place had a well-tended air, the grass mown, beds of gold and burgundy chrysanthemums blossoming here and there.
Which was the stone Jason had leaned against when he’d taken that fatal dose? She could find it, she supposed, since the name had shown clearly in the newspaper photo she’d scanned online. But looking at the spot wouldn’t lead her to any answers.
Movement reflected in the rearview mirror startled her, and her stomach tightened as she realized a police car had pulled up behind her. Great. All she needed was to draw official attention to herself before she’d even begun her task.
An officer slid from the vehicle and started toward her. Taking a firm grip on her nerves, Kate planted a smile on her face and hit the button to roll down her window.
She was about to speak when a closer look at the man’s uniform gave her another shock. M. Whiting, the lettering on his pocket read. McKinley Whiting, then. Chief of Police in this backwater town, and the man who’d dismissed her little brother’s death as just another druggie overdosing himself.
Kate gritted her teeth, fighting to keep her feelings from showing in her face as she looked up at the man. Tall and lean, he had dark hair in a military-style cut and a jaw that spoke determination. He didn’t affect the dark sunglasses so many cops did, and his brown eyes studied her, missing nothing, she felt sure.
“Are you having car trouble, ma’am?” His voice was a bass rumble.
“No, not at all. Is there a problem?”
“You can’t park here.” He nodded to the No Parking sign directly in front of her fender. “If you’re interested in the cemetery, you can turn in at the gate just ahead. You’ll find a gravel pull-off where you can park if you want.”
“I don’t.” Kate’s tone was sharper than she intended, but she couldn’t seem to control the spurt of temper. “Can’t a visitor to your town stop to get her bearings without being harassed?”
Reading the surprise in his face, she clamped her lips shut before she could make matters worse. She’d overdone it—lost her cool and let her feelings show. The last thing she wanted was to raise the suspicions of the local cop before she’d been in town for five minutes.
“Sorry,” she muttered before he could speak. “I didn’t mean…”
“No problem.” He said the words easily, but his brown eyes were watchful. “I wasn’t trying to harass you. If you’re lost, I’ll be glad to help you find your way, Ms.…”
He left it hanging there, obviously intent on learning her name. Well, at least it wouldn’t connect her with Jason Reilley.
“Kate Beaumont.”
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Beaumont. I’m Mac Whiting.” She could see him stowing her name away in the filing cabinet of his mind. “Coming to visit someone here in Laurel Ridge?”
“No.” Guilt and grief was a powerful combination. She should have. If she’d come to visit Jason the summer he’d spent here, maybe he’d still be alive.
That was the danger of loving someone. It hurt too much when you let them down.
Whiting’s eyes were probing again. If she’d worn a sign, she probably couldn’t have been more obviously hiding something.
She swallowed hard and tried for a normal tone. “I’ve been driving for several hours. I just thought I’d find a place for lunch.”
He nodded, again with that watchful look. Protective, that was what it was. As if his town might need protecting against her.
“Turn left just ahead, and you’ll be on Main Street. There’s a café a few blocks down on your left, across from the Bed and Breakfast.” He pointed, leaning against the car as he did so, and she had a sudden sense of masculine power in his nearness. “I can vouch for the food, and the prices are reasonable.”
She hadn’t expected that casual reference to the Bed and Breakfast, and it shook her. Would it be the same one where Jason had stayed when he came to Laurel Ridge? If so, it was going to be one of her first stops.
“Okay, thanks.” She managed a cool, dismissive smile. “I appreciate the recommendation.” She turned the key, her fingers brushing the silver dragon charm Jason had given her, and put her finger on the window button.
Whiting looked at her for a moment longer, and then slowly stepped back so she could close the window. She put the car in gear, glanced behind her, and pulled out. Whiting was easy to see in her rearview mirror. He’d pulled out a notebook and was jotting down her license number.
She doused a flicker of anger. A search of her license wouldn’t tell him anything except her address in Baltimore. She’d never been arrested, so a query to the police there wouldn’t help him, even if he went that far.
But this encounter had clearly shown her that she’d have to do better. True, she hadn’t expected the first person she’d meet in Laurel Ridge to be the policeman who’d been quoted in that article about Jason’s death. She might be excused for losing her grip just a bit, but it was unfortunate. She’d raised his suspicions before she’d had a chance to do a thing.
But what difference did it make in the long run? Sooner or later she’d have to divulge the relationship between her and Jason. If she didn’t, she’d have no reason for asking questions about him. She’d toyed with the thought of claiming to be writing a newspaper story about Jason’s death, but that didn’t sound credible even to herself, not after over a year had passed.
Kate made the turn onto Main Street and drove down it at a sedate speed, reading signs as she went. There, ahead of her on the left, was the café Whiting had mentioned, and on her right the Bed and Breakfast. She slowed, peering toward the rear of the white clapboard building, and caught a glimpse of a small building nearly hidden by the trees. That had to be it—the cottage where Jason had lived during his three months in Laurel Ridge.
And next to the Bed and Breakfast rose the imposing Italianate building that was Blackwood House, where Jason had worked. The place where he’d lived; the place where he’d worked. That was where she had to begin.

She hadn’t been here when Jason had needed her, but she was now. She’d find the answer to the question that haunted her, because if she didn’t, she’d never be satisfied. What had happened in this seemingly quiet, peaceful town that had led to her brother’s death?

Friday, June 17, 2016

BOOK WINNERS!

THE WINNERS OF HOW SECRETS DIE are: Lorri Jones Graves, Ann Elmore, Alice English Boor, Linda Critcher, and Alberta Kliem. Congratulations! I'll email you today to ask for your address. Be sure to respond, so I'll know where to send your book.


Monday, June 13, 2016

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Book giveaway time! I'll be giving away five copies of my new release HOW SECRETS DIE this week. To enter, leave a message with you name and e-mail address or e-mail me at marta@martaperry.com. I'll announce the winners on Friday, June 17th at noon. Good luck!



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

SCAVENGER HUNT WINNERS!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Here are the overall winners in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt: First: Crystal Balzer; Second: Jackie Wisherd; and Third: Becky Mickels.

And the winner of a set of any three of my books is: JENNIFER GREEN!

It was a terrific hunt, with lots of participation and many prizes. We hope we'll see all of you again next time!

Blessings,
Marta