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GENRE: Amish/Inspirational Romance
For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.
Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…
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EXCERPTS (Exclusive Excerpt)
As Dan and Leah moved through the line, Josiah noticed that a black-haired man with a close-clipped beard, piercing eyes, and a commanding presence had taken a plate. The stranger stood for a moment, assessing the various pans of food on the buffet line. His face eased into a debonair smile as he leaned closer to speak to Savilla. “Do I understand correctly that you are in charge of these fabulous side dishes while Josiah grills the meat?” he asked in a melodious voice.
Savilla returned his smile, and then gestured for Adam and Matthias to pull their loaded wagons into the space behind her. “Jah, we stick with what folks seem to like best. Nothing fancy, just gut food.”
When the man’s focus shifted to him, Josiah got a prickly feeling in his stomach. The charm that had oozed while this fellow spoke to his sister was hardening into an expression of extreme ill-will.
“Hiram Knepp,” Matthias muttered. “What brings you to this party?”
“If you figure to bother Annie Mae and the rest of our family, ya better get on out of here,” Adam said sternly.
In a flash Josiah realized he’d made a couple of huge mistakes: hooking up with Knepp in the first place, and then not contacting him as Ben had recommended. He also knew he was about to start paying for his lack of judgment right this moment. Was it his imagination, or had the whole dining area—where a couple hundred people were eating—gone totally silent?
“My business doesn’t concern you, Wagler,” Hiram replied in clipped tone. “I have an agreement with Josiah Witmer, who signed on to cook for me in Higher Ground. It seems he’s made himself right at home in Willow Ridge instead, and I demand an explanation.”
Savilla’s face had gone pale but she found her voice before Josiah did. “The way I understand it, Mr. Knepp, my brother merely talked with you over the phone. So—”
“We stopped in Willow Ridge because we got lost in a snowstorm,” Lena spoke up behind Josiah. She came to stand beside him, glaring up at Knepp. “And since then, we’ve been told that things in Higher Ground aren’t the way you made them out to be.”
“This wedding party’s not the time or place to be bringin’ up such business, and you know it, Hiram.” Ben, who’d been chatting with folks at a nearby table, stepped up beside Savilla, crossing his arms as he scowled at Knepp. “We’ve told ya not to return here, so you’d best move along.”
Hiram’s smile turned menacing. “And I’ve told you that I’ll go wherever I please, Hooley,” he shot back. He sneered at Josiah. “Cat got your tongue, Witmer? I’m hearing from everyone except you—excuses that have nothing to do with your agreement to cook at my supper club.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community in Missouri, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.
The Christmas Cradle is book six in the Seasons of the Heart series.
Charlotte Hubbard has done it yet again. She has written another book that is so riveting and moving that I didn’t want to put it down. Characters that will capture your heart and are sure to delight you. There is so much love, laughter, tears and unexpected happenings that you won’t know what will happen next. I felt as though I was part of the story I was so caught up in it. Be sure to kick back, relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of sweet tea.
Be sure to order your copy of The Christmas Cradle today. 5 stars.