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An Amish Christmas Quilt
by Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long, Jennifer Beckstrand
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kaffman and her two children…or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts—and work a miracle for a lifetime?
A Perfect Amish Christmas
Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
“Are we ready? I think our Nativity’s going to be a huge success, with such a heavenly little angel and a regal king,” Rebecca said as she grinned at each of the kids. “And how’s our main attraction?”
Emmanuel, cradled in Mary’s arms, wiggled when Rebecca smiled down at him.
“He’s been fed and changed, so he’s ready,” Mary replied. She smiled at the little parade walking up the Hooleys’ lane. “And here come our shepherds and the other wise men and angels. Everybody looks really gut, Rebecca. We couldn’t have done this without your help.”
As Rebecca murmured something in reply, Mary lost track of it. A tall, broad-shouldered man in a flowing brick-red tunic was striding up the lane toward her, and while she couldn’t see his eyes, she sensed Seth was looking right at her . . . just as she was gazing at him. Thank you for this night, Lord, as we celebrate the birth of Your son and the beginning of our new life in Willow Ridge, Mary prayed quickly. Help me be your faithful handmaiden, as the Virgin Mary was so long ago.
“Let’s hope this works the way I envisioned it,” Rebecca said as other folks began to gather from around town.
Mary turned just in time to see a star-shaped balloon rise into the air, on a long ribbon tied to the light post—and when Rebecca turned on the second lantern, which was aimed skyward, the star glowed and sparkled. Miriam, Ben, Bishop Tom, and the Zook family all let out a delighted oh!
“Folks will be able to see that from quite a ways off!” Tom said. His face shone with boyish wonder as he gazed raptly at the shimmering star above them.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the
Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?
Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and is represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.
She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.
You can find out more about Jennifer and her books by going to her website: jenniferbeckstrand.com or visiting her Facebook page: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans.
Kelly Long was born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania. There was an Amish hitching post at the small grocery store in her town. She loves to write Amish romance and is the author of novel, Sarah's Garden, the novella Amish Christmas Expanded Edition with some other great Amish authors, Amish Love with Beth Wiseman and Kathy Fuller, and Lilly's Wedding Quilt--the sequel to Sarah's Garden. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children.
Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while I was still a school librarian—I sold my first story to True Story magazine. This launched me into writing about seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and I’ve been a slave to my overactive imagination ever since. My stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way I’ve proposed them: I love it when unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, because they keep me guessing right along with my readers!
I love touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with my border collie Ramona—although it’s humbling, having a dog smarter than I am! I’m an ordained Presbyterian deacon, and I devote a lot of time to singing in my church choir and to practicing/performing with our percussion ensemble. I’m celebrating more than thirty-five years with my husband, who—bless him—has never once suggested I get a real job!
Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30305
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781617735547
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Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30377
The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
I had a wonderful holiday in Pennsylvania and Ohio last year, and stayed in Amish country. I was fascinated by the glimpses of Amish life I saw, harking back to earlier, gentler times, with a voluntary lack of modern tools technology and convenience, and their dedication to God. These three stories reflect these ideals and also subtly bring across the true message of Christmas.
I thought each of the three stories in turn was my 'favourite' but in truth, by the time I'd finished the book I realised the three were so different, although linked together by the common theme of a 'Christmas Quilt' that it was quite impossible for me to choose between them. They each bring something special and delightful to the theme,each quilt serving its own unique purpose in the plot, and each story is a lovely illustration of the true meaning of Christmas.
The first story, 'A Willow Ridge Pageant',by Charlotte Hubbard, is rich in symbolism and the story begins with the main character, Mary, a young, pregnant widow, nearing the final stages of labour and stranded in a buggy in the snow with her two stepchildren.The relationship between Mary and her stepchildren is really touching, as are the feelings Seth has for Mary and her new baby, whose arrival into the world he helps bring about,and a gentle romance between Mary, and Seth the carpenter gradually develops throughout the tale. The climax, featuring a Christmas pageant of the Nativity story, brings about a reconciliation, and hope for a new future.
'A Christmas On Ice Mountain' by Kelly Long has a haunting 'Romeo and Juliet' quality. Two former best friends, John and Luke, have turned into lifelong rivals, and not spoken for years, although none of their family or friends really know what their quarrel was about. However, their children, Laurel and Matthew fall in love despite their fathers' enmity, and conduct their romance in secret, desperate to marry, but unsure how to gain permission to do so. The matter is resolved in a way neither of them could have anticipated, and there is a final twist when the reason for the two men's quarrel is discovered and they realise that twenty five years of bitterness could have been avoided. Christmas is a time for forgiveness and healing.
The third story ' A Perfect Christmas' by Jennifer Beckstrand, features grandparents Anna and Felty Helmuths. Anna is determined to bring her grandson, Gideon and Dottie Schrock togther in what she sees to be the perfect match. However, all Dottie cares about is organising the perfect Christmas for her mother, who is recuperating from cancer. She carefully plans for the Christmas celebrations and organises a party, to which Gideon is not invited. When all her carefully laid plans go awry, Dottie comes to realise that a perfect Christmas is not about perfectly folded napkins, beautifully iced cream horns, or even the lovely Christmas quilt for her mother that she has been so painstakingly working on, but is about the Christchild, family - and love;
This anthology of three delightful and heartwarming stories is perfect for getting into the Christmas spirit and reminding us of the Holy First Christmas, and would make an ideal Christmas gift.
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