I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
An Amish Country Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King
Mass Market Paperback
Synopsis: “The Christmas Visitors”: For spirited Martha Coblentz and her twin Mary, the snow has delivered the perfect holiday and birthday present to their door—handsome brothers Nate and Bram Kanagy. But when unforeseen trouble interrupts their season’s good cheer, it will take unexpected intervention—and sudden understanding—to give all four the blessing of a lifetime.
“Kissing the Bishop”: As the New Year’s first snow settles, Nazareth Hooley and her sister Jerusalem are given a heaven-sent chance to help newly widowed Tom Hostetler tend his home. But when her hope that she and Tom can build on the caring between them seems a dream forever out of reach, Nazareth discovers that faith and love can make any miracle possible.
My review: What a better book to read this time of the year than an Amish book with a Christmas theme. This is a great book to get you in the mood for the season and there are some great recipes in the back of the book to enjoy as well. These two stories are part of the Seasons of the Heart and Home at Cedar Creek series but you can read them as stand alone stories and still enjoy them just as well. I love that the stories are set in Missouri as well since I am also from the Midwest. Another thing that was fun to read was about the twins and how they ended up falling for brothers. This book was a quick read that you don't want to put down and will have done in one weekend. I suggest picking this book up right away.
About the Author:
I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life, and most folks don’t realize that several Old Older Amish and Mennonite communities make their home here, as well. The rolling pastureland, woods, and small towns along county highways make a wonderful setting for Plain populations—and for stories about them, too! While Jamesport, Missouri is the largest Old Order Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River, other communities have also found the affordable farm land ideal for raising crops, livestock, and running the small family-owned businesses that support their families.
Like my heroine, Miriam Lantz, of my Seasons of the Heart series, I love to feed people—to share my hearth and home. I bake bread and goodies and I love to try new recipes. I put up jars and jars of green beans, tomatoes, beets and other veggies every summer. All my adult life, I’ve been a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and we hosted a potluck group in our home for more than twenty years.
Like Abby Lambright, heroine of my Home at Cedar Creek series, I consider it a personal mission to be a listener and a peacemaker—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. Faith and family, farming and frugality matter to me: like Abby, I sew and enjoy fabric arts—I made my wedding dress and the one Mom wore, too, when I married into an Iowa farm family more than thirty-five years ago! When I’m not writing, I crochet and sew, and I love to travel.
I recently moved to Minnesota when my husband got a wonderful new job, so now he and I and our border collie, Ramona, are exploring our new state and making new friends.
You can visit her website at www.CharlotteHubbard.com
Her latest book is An Amish Country Christmas.
Visit her website at www.charlottehubbard.com.
Here is my interview with Charlotte:
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This anthology features two novellas—one with two “young and restless” couples, and one with two couples falling in love in mid-life. The teenagers—a set of identical twin girls and a pair of brothers—fall in love at first sight in “The Christmas Visitors”. . . even if the boys aren’t always sure which sister they’re with! I had so much fun writing “Kissing the Bishop” because Jerusalem and Nazareth Hooley are in their fifties, and are old maid school teachers who figured they were beyond the stage where any worthwhile men would consider them attractive. The message here is that love and romance are for folks of any age! The Christmas settings make these romances all that much more festive and joyous.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been a reader, and was good at language arts from early grade school—became an English teacher and a school librarian when I got out of college, so the “word” thing has always been a part of my life and work. My very first published story appeared in True Love, the confession magazine, after the death of one of my high school students inspired me to explore my feelings in a fictional form. That was back in 1984—and I’ve been scribbling ever since, with more than 70 confession stories and more than 35 books published so far.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The covers of my books are always designed by the publisher’s art department, although I’m usually asked to suggest some images or seasonal details. My editor and I both love sleighs, and when she came up with the concept for this anthology that features a story by each of me (I write an Amish series as Charlotte Hubbard and another one as Naomi King) we immediately agreed that a sleigh should be on the cover and figure prominently in the stories. The sleigh that ended up on the cover is not the curved-back, upholstered, romantic style of sleigh featured in these two stories . . . but you go with what the art department gives you sometimes.
Who is your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
In “The Christmas Visitors” Beulah Mae Nissley, who my At Home in Cedar Creek readers recall as the gossipy, rather sharp-tongued owner of Mrs. Nissley’s Kitchen, can be a difficult character to like because—like aunts and grandmas we all know—she gets cranky when the younger generation doesn’t follow her rules or appreciate the efforts she goes to. Older readers will no doubt relate to her because they know how tired and maybe achy with arthritis they get after being on their feet, cooking all day. However, this story gives Preacher Abe Nissley a chance to shine as her good-natured husband who recalls how he, too, broke a few rules when he was courting Beulah Mae many years ago.
What do you think is the best/worst thing about being a writer?
Writing keeps your mind VERY active—and in these days when writers not only have to write their books but also do a lot to promote them, a writing career can call upon organizational skills and technology skills that might not come so easily to us. While I love the creative part of concocting the plot and characters, and the actual writing, sometimes the pressure to promote in person and online can take over your life. I’m promoting THREE books this fall, all while writing a full-length book that’s due in December. Sometimes I go around in a lot of circles trying to be sure I’ve done all the copy edits, blog posts, appearances—and Facebook interacting—and other things each day brings me. But even on a too-busy day, writing is still more appealing to me than any other job.