Thursday, October 3, 2013

SEARCH THE DARK available now!

SEARCH THE DARK, my latest Amish suspense novel, is available today in stores and online. Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite!


By Marta Perry



A thin shaft of moonlight penetrated the shadows under the trees, turning the surface of the pond to silver. Strange, that the place should look so serene. No one knew; no one even imagined that murder happened here.

A shadow stirred within the densest shadows. Foolish to come here, but on sleepless nights the lure was too great. Stand here for a few moments, that was all that was needed. Remember.

It was safe enough. No one knew, no one watched. The darkness hid everything, just as it had hidden what had been done here twenty years ago.

Accident, they’d all said. The locals knew how dangerous the dam was where the stream emptied into the pond below. Only a few feet high, but in times of heavy rain the dam could produce a current as strong as any riptide.

The boy had been careless, people had said. An Amish kid, maybe drinking, maybe showing off, trapped by the dangerous water and drowned. The Englisch spoke of putting up a fence; the Amish said it was God’s will. Tragic, but understandable.

The secret lay forgotten for twenty years, until those two stupid women had come together again. They’d been children when Aaron Mast died, but they’d loved him. They talked, they wondered, they asked questions.

Well, for all their questioning, what they’d found was a good reason to call Aaron’s death a suicide. Tragic, wasn’t it? The village had buzzed about it again for weeks, but now even the talk slipped away like a leaf on the current.

No one thought of murder. No one would. But if the unthinkable happened…well, there might have to be another death at Parsons Dam.

The shadow stirred, stepping toward the water for an instant, and then slid back into the darkness and melted away in the night.










Chapter One


“You are the only one who can find the truth, Meredith. You must do it.”

Meredith King stared in dismay across the small cafĂ© table at her cousin Sarah. With her hair drawn tightly back under her kapp and her simple Amish dress, Sarah seemed an unlikely person to be urging her cousin to investigate a death that had occurred twenty years ago. But worry had driven lines around Sarah’s normally placid blue eyes, and she reached one hand across the table in pleading.

“I’m not sure what I can do.” That came out sounding much less definite than Meredith had hoped. “Aaron drowned twenty years ago. There’s probably nothing left to learn.”

And a small-town accountant shouldn’t be anyone’s idea of a crusader. Her weekly coffee klatch with her Amish cousin had turned in a direction Meredith had never anticipated.

“But it was your looking into what happened that summer that brought about this talk of Aaron killing himself. Yours and Rachel’s,” Sarah added. “You’ve already found out so much—surely you can discover the rest of it.”

Meredith couldn’t argue that she’d resurrected the talk about Aaron Mast’s death, no matter how she might want to. When her childhood friend, Rachel Weaver Mason, had come back to Deer Run several months earlier, they’d started reminiscing about the events of that summer when they’d been ten and had shared a childish crush on the Amish teenager.

Aaron had been the hero of the imaginary world they’d created that summer. But the world had come crashing down when Aaron died in the pond below Parsons Dam. What started as harmless wondering about the events of that summer had also ended in uncovering the probability that Aaron had committed suicide.

“I’m sorry we ever started poking into it,” Meredith said, guilt settling across her shoulders like a heavy blanket. “We certainly didn’t intend to cause grief to his family.”

“Please, Meredith. I can’t go asking questions among the Englisch, but you can.” Sarah gestured to her Amish dress as if in explanation.

True enough. An action that would be unthinkable for an Amish matron was possible for Meredith.

“Besides, you know as much as anybody about that summer, following Aaron around like you did.” Sarah must have sensed her hesitation and pressed on. “I know you were just a girl, but you didn’t forget our Aaron, ain’t so?” The possessive way Sarah spoke suggested that Aaron had meant something special to her.

“Aaron was a friend of yours, then?” She should have realized that Sarah, ten years older than Meredith, would have been about Aaron’s age.

“Friend, ja.” Sarah’s gaze seemed to lose focus, as if she looked into the past. “More than friends, once.” She shook her head, becoming again the mature Amish wife and mother. “But this talk of suicide hurts so many people. The Aaron I knew would not do such a thing.”

“Sometimes we don’t know others as well as we think.” For example, she’d never guessed that there had been any love in Sarah’s life other than her husband, Jonah. “Even if I can think of a way to find out more, you might not be happy with the result.”

“If Aaron really did this thing, I will bear it.” Sarah’s voice was firm. “We all will. But we must know for certain sure.”

Meredith was silent for a moment, trying to find a way to refuse. She didn’t want to bring still more heartache to people who’d already suffered so much.

But Sarah was the closest link she had to her father and the Amish side of her family. For their sake, she couldn’t refuse to do as Sarah asked, could she?

“I’ll try,” she said at last. “I don’t know if I can help, but I’ll try.”

“Denke, Meredith.” Tears shone in Sarah’s blue eyes as she clasped Meredith’s hand. “Da Herr sie mit du.”

The Lord be with you. She’d certainly need the help if she were to solve a twenty-year-old mystery.


Monday, September 23, 2013


Here are the winners of a free copy of Danger in Amish Country: Lisa Stifler, Vivian White, Dianne Christopherson, Rita Stone-Conwell, and Mary Ellen Ashenfelter.

I've just e-mailed the winners. If you haven't already given me your mailing address and your name is on this list, please send you address to me at

Thanks for joining in!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Giveaway!

Enter now for a chance to win a free copy of my latest release, an anthology from Love Inspired Suspense called DANGER IN AMISH COUNTRY. Just send me an e-mail with your name to me at I'll draw five winners at noon on Monday.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Here are the winners of the drawing for an autographed copy of HOME BY DARK: Linda Ortiz, Donna Repher, Tracy Jobe, Brenda Wheeler, and Barbara Thompson. Thanks for joining the fun!

Next month I will be doing two book giveaways, for DANGER IN AMISH COUNTRY and for SEARCH THE DARK. Hope you'll check back in September!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Giveaway!

It's time for another book giveaway!

Since SEARCH THE DARK, the second book in the Watcher in the Dark series, will be out from HQN Books in October, I'm giving away five free copies of HOME BY DARK, the first book in the series.

If you'd like to enter, please send me an e-mail at to let me know. I'll draw the five winning names on Monday, August 19th.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lydia's Hope available now!

If you haven't already seen it in stores, Lydia's Hope, Book One of the Lost Sisters series, is available now.  Here's an excerpt:

Chapter One 

Lydia Beachy continued to tuck the log cabin quilt over her great-aunt, hands moving gently but automatically as she struggled to make sense of what the elderly woman had just said. Great-Aunt Sara’s mind must be wandering, for sure.

I still remember your mammi playing with you and your two little sisters in the apple orchard.

The apple orchard part made sense. The orchard was still there, still producing apples for Lydia and her husband and little boys. But she didn’t have any sisters.

“You must be thinking of someone else, Aunt Sara.” She patted her shoulder, just as she’d have patted Daniel or David when they lay down for a nap. “Rest now. A nap every afternoon, that’s what the doctor said, ain’t so?”

Aunt Sara flapped her hand as if to chase away the doctor’s words. “I’ll just close my eyes for a minute or two. You and your sisters, ja, and the apple trees with blossoms like clouds. Three sweet girls Diane had, that’s certain sure.” She smiled, veined lids drooping over her china blue eyes, and in an instant her even breathing told Lydia that she was asleep.

Sharp as a tack, she is. Mamm’s voice seemed to echo in Lydia’s ears. She and Daad had brought Great-Aunt Sara to stay with them after she’d been hospitalized with pneumonia, even though she continued to insist that she’d be fine in her own little place.

Stubborn, that was the word for her great-aunt. She was always wanting to be the one who helped out, not the one who received help.

Great-aunt Sara had another role as well…that of family historian. She was the one who could tell the children family stories going back many generations and never miss a name or a date. But why would she say something so obviously wrong about Lydia’s own family?

Lydia’s forehead furrowed as she slipped quietly across the wide wooden floorboards of the house where she had grown up. Her great-aunt was confused, surely. Illness and age could do that to the sharpest mind.

But she’d said Diane. Lydia’s birth mother was Diane, and she’d always known the name even though she didn’t remember her. Diane had been married to Daad’s brother, and Daad and Mamm had adopted Lydia when they’d both died in an accident.

Those birth parents had always been misty figures in her mind, like a pair of Amish dolls with features she couldn’t see. She saw them as young and happy one minute and gone the next in the accident Lydia didn’t remember, even though she’d been involved as well and five at the time.

When she’d fretted at not remembering, Mamm had always soothed the worry away. It is God’s way of making it easier for you, Mamm would say. The accident was a terrible thing, and it’s better for you not to remember.

The memories kept Lydia company down the bare, narrow stairs of the old farmhouse where she’d grown up. Coming back here was like returning to her childhood, but home was where her husband and children were now. She turned left at the bottom as she always did, her steps taking her into the kitchen, the heart of any Amish home.

The square farmhouse kitchen was as spotless as it always was, the long wooden table maybe a bit empty-looking now that all of them were grown and mostly out of the house. April sunshine streamed through the window, laying a path across linoleum faded from so many scrubbings.

Mamm always had a calendar of the wall over the table for decoration as well as use, and this year’s had pictures of frolicking kittens. A few violets had been tucked into a water glass on the window sill, a reminder that spring had come to Pleasant Valley at last.

Mamm was bending over the oven door of the gas range, pulling out a cookie sheet. The aroma of snickerdoodles mixed with that of the beef pot roast that was stewing in the Dutch oven on top of the stove. Mamm looked up, her cheeks red from the warmth of the oven, and slid the tray onto a waiting cooling rack.

“Cookies for you to take Daniel and David,” she said, probably needlessly. Daniel and David would be dumbfounded if Lydia came home from Grossmammi’s house without some treat she’d made for them. It was a thing that never happened.

“Denke, Mamm. That will be their snack after they get home from school.”

Lydia hesitated, wondering if she should speak. Her great-aunt’s words kept going round and round in her mind. They made no sense. And yet, Aunt Sara had sounded perfectly rational.

Mamm glanced at her, face questioning, and closed the oven door. She dropped a crocheted potholder on the counter.

“Was ist letz? Is something wrong with Aunt Sara?” She took a step toward the stairs, as if ready to fly up and deal with any emergency in her usual capable manner.

“No, no, she’s fine,” Lydia said quickly. “She’s sleeping already.”

“Ach, that’s gut. Rest is what she needs most now, even though she doesn’t want to admit it.” Mamm reached for the coffeepot. “Do you have time for a cup before the boys get home from school?

Lydia shook her head. The words seemed to press against her lips, demanding to be let out, even though she felt a reluctance that was surely odd. She could talk to her mamm about anything.

“Aunt Sara said something I didn’t understand.”

“Ja? Was she fretting about the hospital bill again?”

Mamm’s brown eyes, magnified by her glasses, showed concern. Hospital bills were nothing to take lightly when, like the Amish, a person didn’t have insurance. Still, the church would provide what was needed when the family couldn’t manage. That was the Amish way.

“It wasn’t that.” Lydia’s throat was suddenly tight with apprehension, as if some unknown fear clutched her. Just say it, she scolded herself. She’d always been able to take any problem to Mamm, and Mamm always had an answer.

“Aunt Sara was talking about my mother. My birth mother, I mean. Diane.”

“Ja?” The word sounded casual, but the lines around her mother’s eyes seemed to deepen, and she set the coffeepot down with a clatter, not even noticing it was on the countertop and not the stove.

“She was…she must have been confused.” The kitchen was quiet, so quiet it seemed to be waiting for something. “She said that Diane had three kinder. Three little girls. I thought certain sure she…”

The words trickled off to silence. She couldn’t say again that Aunt Sara was confused. Not when she could read the truth in Mamm’s face.

“It’s true?” The question came out in a whisper, because something that might have been grief or panic had a hard grip on her throat. “It is true.”

Mamm’s face seemed to crumple like a blossom torn from a branch. “Lydia, I’m sorry.”

“But…” The familiar kitchen was suddenly as strange as if she’d never seen it before. She grasped the top of the closest ladder-back chair. “I had sisters? Two little sisters?”

Mamm nodded, her eyes shining with tears. “I’m sorry,” she said again. “You didn’t remember, and so we thought it best not to say anything. We didn’t want you to be hurt any more than you already were.”

Hurt. Lydia grasped the word. She’d been hurt in the accident that killed her parents. She knew that. She’d always known it. Her earliest memories were of the hospital…blurry images of Mamm and Daad always there, one on either side of the bed each time she woke up.

“Sisters.” With three younger brothers, she’d always wished she had a sister. “What were their names?”

Mamm moved around the table toward her, as cautious as if she approached a spooked buggy horse. “Susanna. She was not quite three at the time of the accident. And Chloe, the baby, just a year old.”

Lydia pressed her palm against her chest. Her heart seemed to be beating very normally, in spite of the pummeling it had taken in the past few minutes. She had to hear the rest of it. “They died in the accident, too?”

Silence. She saw in her mother’s face the longing to agree. Then Mamm shook her head. “I’m sorry,” she said again, as if she couldn’t find any other words. “They were injured, but they healed. Like you.”

“But…” Lydia’s mind kept tumbling, her thoughts rearranging themselves and breaking apart again. “I don’t understand. What happened to them?”

Mamm pressed her fingers to her lips for a moment, as if to hold back the words. “They went with different families. I’m sorry. We didn’t want to split you up, but…” Her voice broke, and it was a moment before she went on. “Since you didn’t remember, it seemed best not to tell you.”

“Best not to tell me?” Lydia’s voice rose as she echoed the words. A wave of anger swept away the pain for a brief moment. “How could it be best for me not to know that I had two little sisters? Why were we split up? Why didn’t you take all of us? Why?”

“Lydia, hush.” Mamm tried to take her arm. “It’s going to be all right.”

Lydia pulled away. This was not something Mamm could make better with hugs and soft words.

“You have to understand how difficult it was.” Mamm’s voice was pleading. “There were your parents dying out there in Ohio, and the three of you kinder in different hospitals, and the rest of the family frantic to get there—“ Tears spilled over onto her cheeks, choking off her words.

Ohio, yes. That rang a bell in Lydia’s mind. The accident had taken place when her family was in a van on the way to a wedding in Ohio. Mamm had told her that once, when Lydia was of an age to ask questions and wanted to know more about the accident.

“I don’t understand. You should have told me.”

“Just sit down and calm yourself. Your daad will be home soon. He can explain.” Mamm reached for her, her face and voice pleading.

Lydia wanted to step into her mamm’s loving arms. She wanted to feel the comfort that had always been there. She wanted to hear Daad’s deep, soothing voice chasing her fears away, as he’d done when she was a child having nightmares.

Her breath seemed to catch in her throat. She had relied on them always, just as Daniel and David relied on her and Adam. Now it seemed she couldn’t trust them at all.

The urge to flee nearly overwhelmed her. She had to get out of this house that had always been her sanctuary.

“I can’t.” Tears threatened to clog her voice, but she wouldn’t let them flow, not yet. “The boys will be home from school soon. I must be there for them. We’ll have to talk later.”

Tears nearly blinded her, but her feet knew the way to the back door without the need to look. She was vaguely aware of Mamm’s voice, protesting, urging her to stay, but she couldn’t. She had to think this through. She had to talk to someone she knew she could trust.

She had to go home to Adam. Adam was her rock. He would know what to do.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Amish America Conference

Last week I attended a conference at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania on Amish America: Plain Technology in a Cyber World. The conference was sponsored by The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, which is a center for research and study of the Amish and other Plain groups.

What a fantastic event! I can't begin to tell you how exciting it was to be with a group which shares my interest. A number of Plain people were in attendance as well as scholars and medical personnel, and every coffee break and meal was a chance to chat and learn.

One of the highlights for me was a tour of Amish businesses which are using technology of different sorts in order to be competitive in the business world. We visited the Leola Produce auction, where farmers bring their produce and flowers which are then sold at auction to grocery stores and some roadside markets. I followed buyers around, listening to their reactions, and also chatted with several Mennonite women who had brought in produce. The green and yellow squash was so beautiful I wanted to take some home, but since I was going back to a college dorm, that didn't make much sense!

We also visited an Amish greenhouse which grows vegetables by aquaponics. They have a thriving business and were growing vast amounts of Bibb lettuce which will be sold to the Whole Foods stores. When we stopped at a machine shop, I was fascinated to learn that the employees, who were doing highly technical work in some cases, typically came to work there while in their teens and with only an eighth grade education. They learn by working alongside the older workers, and one of the company's successful innovations was actually the idea of a fourteen-year-old boy!

The tour ended with a wonderful lunch in an Amish home. After we'd been stuffed with chicken pot pie, meat loaf, potatoes, beans, homemade pickles and applesauce, home-baked bread, cake, and pie, our hostess and her daughters sang for us.

The following days were a blur of seminars, presentations, lectures, and discussions about so many aspects of Amish life that I couldn't begin to recount them all. I was especially pleased to hear Valerie Weaver-Zercher's presentation of her recently released study of Amish romance novels, "Thrill of the Chaste: The Secret Life of an Amish Romance Novel."

Linda Byler, author of many Amish romance and young adult novels, also met with an interested group, and we discussed the amazing growth and appeal of Amish fiction. If you haven't read any of Linda's novels, you really should. As an Amish woman herself, she really knows her subject!

I came home filled to overflowing with ideas and eager to get back to work on my own current book!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Do you have a sister? If so, you know that despite quarrels, envy, frustration, and all the other negative emotions that siblings can arouse so easily, a sister is still a treasure. Your sister is the person with whom you never have to pretend. She’s seen the worst in you, and she loves you anyway!

As we get older, we discover that our sisters are the only ones who truly understand where we come from, the only ones who know what it was like growing up in our families.

What if you were an adult when you discovered that you had not one, but two younger sisters you didn’t remember? That’s the unimaginable truth that confronts Amish wife and mother Lydia Beachy in my new book out on June 4th from Berkley Books: Lydia’s Hope, The Lost Sisters of Pleasant Valley, Book One. With no memory of her birth parents or the tragic accident that took their lives and her memories, she has loved the aunt and uncle who adopted her as if they were her parents. Now, it seems, they’ve hidden a secret from her all her life. She has two younger sisters: Susanna, who was adopted by an Amish couple in another community, and Chloe, who was raised by their wealthy grandmother among the Englisch.

Angry and confused, Lydia first seeks out Susanna, but stops short of telling her the truth. To track down Chloe, she enlists the help of a neighbor who has spent some years in the Englisch world. Meanwhile, Lydia’s husband is keeping a secret of his own. Lydia yearns to be united with the sisters she has never known, but will revealing herself to them tear their lives apart…or enrich them beyond all imagining?

The story of the three sisters will conclude in Susanna’s Dream, The Lost Sisters of Pleasant Valley, Book Two, which will come out in February, 2014. I hope you’ll enjoy the sisters’ stories.

My own dear sister, Patricia, passed away on December 31, 2012, just as I was writing this series, and she has left such a hole in my heart. Thinking of her lent a special poignancy to writing these particular books, and I’m sure I’ll never look at them without seeing her dear face.

Please, take a moment to get in touch with your sister, just to let her know you're thinking of her.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt

Wow! The scavenger hunt was great fun, wasn't it? Each time we do this, more people participate.

The grand prize winners will be announced soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to announce the winners of my extra contest. I had said that I would give away 5 copies of Home By Dark, the first book in my new Amish suspense series, but there were so many entrants that I decided to up the number to ten.

I have sent e-mails to the winners, but I'll list here the names of the ten winners, just in case the message doesn't reach them. They are: Judy Stewart, Kristal Singletary, Sarah Penner, Bonton, Lori Ramos, Ladette Kerr, Heather Nicholson, Kate Steiner, Linda Finn, and Leilani Hornberger. If you're on this list, please e-mail me at or with your complete name and  mailing address. The signed books will go out this week.

If you are not on the list but you'd like to receive a signed bookmark and my brochure of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, send your name and address to me. And to receive my e-newsletter, sign up at


Thursday, May 16, 2013



Welcome to the 2013 Summer Scavenger Hunt! This hunt has 32 stops and runs 5/17-5/19/13. You can make the loop, reading unique content from 31 different authors, and if you complete the loop, and fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #32, you'll be in the running for an iPad Mini (loaded with all our books), or one of two runner-up prizes---all 31 of our new releases in paperback. In addition, some authors are offering additional prizes, so be sure to read each post thoroughly to be in the running for all that are available. The contest is open internationally.

If you've JUST discovered the hunt, I recommend you begin at the beginning, Stop #1, found at But you can also begin here, and keep on rolling. Just be aware that you have to have the COMPLETED phrase in order, which you construct gathering the clue at each stop, within 24 hours of email notification from Lisa Bergren that you won. If Lisa doesn't hear back from you with the correct phrase within the time limit, she will move on to the next winner Rafflecopter draws. Ready? Here we go...


I am so pleased to host my friend and gifted author, Leslie Gould to you. If you haven't yet sampled
Leslie's wonderful Christian fiction, you are in for a treat. She is the award-winning author of sixteen novels, including the #1 bestseller and Christy Award winner The Amish Midwife, co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. Her latest release is Adoring Addie, inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
Leslie lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. Visit her at, and

Today, Leslie is going to share with you the things the Amish have in common with Shakespeare!

Three Things the Amish and Shakespeare Have in Common
By Leslie Gould

1.      The Reformation

In 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland the first reformed Protestant congregation of the Reformation was formed. Adult believers baptized each other (as opposed to infant baptism) for the first time in 1000 years. The movement prospered and was referred to as the Anabaptists, branching off into the Mennonites and eventually the Amish. Both groups were greatly persecuted, resulting in over 5,000 martyrs.

(Hendrik Eemkensan was burned at the stake in Belgium during the early 1560s for his faith.)

During the early 1530s, inspired by the Reformation but motivated by political and personal reasons, Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church. In 1536 he was confirmed as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Besides being a product of the Renaissance, William Shakespeare (born in 1564) was also influenced by the Reformation.


2.      The Bible


Studying scriptures is what led Martin Luther to start the Reformation  in 1517 and then to the Anabaptist group in Switzerland rejecting infant baptism for believer baptism. The Amish also aimed to follow Christ’s teachings as revealed through the Bible.



Shakespeare also read the Bible, as is evident by at least 1,200 references to scripture in his plays. The biblical book with the most references is Psalms. Others include Genesis, Matthew, and Job. It is assumed that up to 1598 Shakespeare used the Bishops' Bible, and after that the Geneva Bible. 


3.      Patriarchal societies


All of Shakespeare’s plays are set in patriarchal societies. Some argue that he was a misogynist while others claim he was a “feminist in sympathy.” Regardless, most of his female characters are seen as property who are expected to sacrificially obey the patriarchs in their lives.

The Amish are also a patriarchal society, based on Ephesians 5:23, For the husband is the head of the wife… However, the Amish families I’ve spent time with want what is best for all of their children and work diligently at training them, both spiritually and occupationally.


The first book in The Courtships of Lancaster County series, Courting Cate, was inspired by The Taming of the Shrew, while Adoring Addie was inspired by Romeo and Juliet.


What is your favorite Shakespeare play? Do you think it could be retold as an Amish novel?





Leslie Gould's new release, Adoring Addie,  is the second novel in The Courtships of Lancaster County series, inspired by Shakespearean plays. Shakespeare and the Amish?! Jah, the Bard and the Plain folk have more in common than you might think.
It is available at bookstores or online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors and elsewhere.



Write down this clue: and entertain 

Have it written down? Great! Now head on over to Leslie Gould at STOP #21  for the next clue! Thanks for stopping by!


I'll be giving away 5 copies of my latest Amish Romantic Suspense novel. Just leave a comment below with your e-mail address for a chance to win a copy of HOME BY DARK by Marta Perry.

Friday, May 3, 2013


You won't want to miss the Spring/Summer Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, coming on May 17-19! I know many who participated the last time asked when we'd be doing it again, so mark  your calendars. This year we have a terrific list of 31 participating authors, representing a great cross-section of Christian fiction.

Besides the opportunity to be introduced to some new-to-you authors, you'll also have a chance at winning prizes. The Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad Mini with all 31 books loaded on it, and 2 runners-up will receive all 31 books in paperback. Additionally, some authors will be giving away surprise extras on their sites.

How to participate?  For all the crucial information, go here:

Don't miss it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Amish Fiction to Enjoy!

I'm so pleased to introduce you to my talented writing friend, Kathy. Kathleen Fuller is the author of over twenty-five novels. Her latest book, Letters to Katie, is the third book in the Middlefield Family series, and releases May 7, 2013. Kathleen lives in Geneva, OH with her husband and three children. For more information about her books, visit
I'm sure you'll enjoy her latest book, and if you'd like to download the first three chapters of Letters to Katie, click

 Meanwhile, here's an excerpt just to whet your appetite!

 Letters to Katie

Chapter 1

            “Oh, Katherine. This is so schee.”


            Katherine Yoder smiled at her best friend, Mary Beth. She’d spent hours working on the baby quilt, making sure the tiny stitches were as perfect as possible for Mary Beth’s new baby.  “I’m glad you like it.”


            “Of course I do.” Mary Beth touched the soft flannel quilt, running her fingers over the pale yellow, blue, and peach blocks. Each block had a ragged edge, a new pattern she hadn’t attempted before. The simple style was well suited for a baby, and Mary Beth’s was due within a few weeks.


            “I love it.” Mary Beth folded the quilt and placed it on her knees, her expanded belly barely allowing the space. “Danki for such a beautiful gift.  Although I don’t see how you have the time, working so many hours at the restaurant.”


            All I have is time, Katherine thought. She pushed the self-pity aside and managed a smile. She didn’t want to ruin the moment between them with jealousy. Unlike Mary Beth Shetler, Katherine didn’t have a husband—and soon a child—to take care of. Outside of working at Mary Yoder’s and helping her parents at home, her only other pursuits were her sewing and needlework.  She was always busy, yet longed for something different. Something more.


Apparently God had other plans. 


            Mary Beth managed to rise from the chair in her tiny kitchen. Her husband Chris had built the four-room home behind Mary Beth’s parents’ property. The dwelling resembled a dawdi haus, and likely would be used as such once the rest of Mary Beth’s siblings—Johnny, Caleb, Micah, and Eli—married and left home. But for now, the tidy, cozy home was enough.


            And more than Katherine had.


            Mary Beth placed the quilt on the table. “I’m glad you came over. Since I’ve gotten so big, I haven’t gotten out much.” Her light blue dress draped over her bulging belly.


Katherine’s eyes widened. “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”


            Nee.” Her friend laughed. “But I look like I am.” With a waddling gait she moved to the cabinet. “Do you want anything to drink?”


            Katherine shook her head. “I can’t stay too long. I wanted to make sure you got the quilt before the boppli arrived. I have to work later today.”

            “Maybe just a few minutes?” Mary Beth went back to the table and sat down. She reached for Katherine’s hand. “It’s been so long since we talked. ”


            “We’ve both been busy.” She squeezed her friend’s hand. “And you’ll be even busier in a few weeks.”


            Ya.” A radiant glow appeared on Mary Beth’s cheeks. “But I don’t want us to drift apart. You’re mei best friend.”


            Katherine released her hand. “And I promise I’ll be the best aenti to your boppli.”


            “The baby has plenty of onkels, that’s for sure.” Her smile dimmed a little.


            Katherine frowned. “What’s wrong? It’s not the boppli, is it?”






“Chris is fine too. We’re happier than we’ve ever been.”


            “Then what is it?”

            Mary Beth sighed, but she didn’t reply.


            “You know you can tell me anything. If something’s troubling you, I want to help.”


            Her friend looked at Katherine. “It’s Johnny.”


            Katherine’s heart twisted itself into a knot. She glanced away before steeling her emotions. “What about Johnny?”

            “Are you sure you want to talk about him?”


            “I’ve accepted that there’s no future for us. What I felt for Johnny was a childhood crush.”


A crush. The truth was, Katherine had loved Mary Beth’s twin brother Johnny for as long as she could remember. For years she held out hope for a chance, however small, however remote. She had clung to that dream as if she were drowning and it was her only lifeline.


            But not anymore. 


            She sat straight in the chair, brightened her smile, and said, “What’s going on with him?”

            “He’s been acting. . .different.”


            “What do you mean?”


            “Distant. Partly because he’s been working so many hours at the buggy shop.  Mamm said she barely sees him except for church service. He leaves early in the morning and comes home late. But when he is around, he’s quiet.”


“That doesn’t sound like him,” Katherine said. “Do you think he’s keeping something from your familye?”


Something. . .or someone?


Despite Katherine’s vow not to care, her heart constricted again at the thought.


“I don’t know.” Mary Beth’s brown eyes had lost the warmth they’d held moments ago. “He’s becoming like a stranger to me. To all of us. We’ve drifted apart.” Her smile faded. “Like you and I have.”


            Katherine shook her head in protest.  “You know I’m always here for you.”


            Tears welled in Mary Beth’s eyes.


Katherine drew back. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”


            “I’m always crying.” Mary Beth wiped her eyes. “It makes Chris ab im kopp. Hormones, I’m sure.” She sniffed, wiping her eyes. “I’m glad we’re still best friends.”


            Katherine hugged Mary Beth. “We always will be.”




         Johnny Mullet put his hands on his hips and surveyed his new property. Four acres, a small house and an even smaller barn. All his.


         The sad little farm didn’t look like much. But by the time he finished fixing everything up, no one would recognize it. He glanced at the empty pasture on the left side of the house. Tall grass, green and dense, swayed against a southerly breeze. He planned to purchase that acreage, too. Expand, and make his horse farm something he could be proud of.


         If only Daed could see. . .

          At the thought of his father, the grin faded from his face.


         Hochmut, his father would say. Pride.


         The worst character flaw any Amish could have.


         But was there something wrong with feeling satisfied after hard work? After a job well done?


         This wasn’t about pride. It was about independence. Making a good living. He’d seen his family struggle. He didn’t want that for his future. A future that, God willing, wouldn’t include only him.


         With the hazy orange sun dipping below the horizon, Johnny hopped into his buggy and headed home. Ten minutes later he pulled up to his parents’ house. He was late for supper. Again. He quickly put up his horse and hurried into the house, sliding into his seat just as his father closed his eyes for grace.


         After prayer, his mother passed his father a platter of ham. He speared a slice with his fork, peering at Johnny as he did. “Late day at work again?”


         Johnny picked up a roll from the basket on the table. He drew in a deep breath. “Nee.”


         “Then why are you late?”


         “I bought a farm.”


         Silence. Johnny glanced around the table. Caleb’s mouth dropped open, and Micah’s fork was poised in mid-air. Even six-year-old Eli gave him a funny look.


         “You what?” His mother’s eyes went wide with shock.


         “You know that house down the road a piece? The one with the barn in the back?”


         “You mean that shack?” Caleb shook his head.


         Micah scooped up a forkful of green beans. “Calling it a shack is a stretch.”


         Their father cleared his throat. The boys ducked their heads and kept eating. He turned to Johnny. “When did you do this?”


         “Signed the paperwork yesterday.”


         “Where did you get the money?”

         He was already tired of the third degree, but he had expected no less. “Savings. From my job at Gideon Bender’s.”


         “You must have gotten it for a song,” Caleb added. “Or less than a song. Maybe just a note.” He chuckled.


         “Caleb.” His father shot him a silencing look before turning to Johnny again.  “I wish you had consulted me first.”


         “I’m an adult, Daed. I didn’t think I had to.” Seeing the flash of hurt in his father’s eyes, he added, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”


         “I hope so.”