Free Excerpt from Phoebe’s Gift!


In this exciting excerpt from the second book in Jerry Eicher’s Peace in the Valley series, Phoebe’s Gift, Ruth, the community schoolteacher, has been secretly developing a relationship with a man from the Englisha world. As this is highly forbidden, her reputation and job would be lost in an instant if her Amish community were to find out. One night, her boyfriend, Ethan, is supposed to pick her up under the cover of darkness. When he doesn’t show up, Ruth’s mind starts running wild—until she accidentally learns a secret that distracts her from her own pounding heart…

Ruth paced and waited. She walked down to the junction and back again. She dialed once more with the same result. How could he know she called from the phone shack? He wouldn’t know the number, so he would pick up. Unless…Ruth took a breath. The pain was too much. There must be some explanation. Ethan had never done this to her. His word was his word. They trusted each other. They were friends. They would work through this. Yet he wasn’t here. She must give him the benefit of the doubt. The dawn would arrive, and he would have an excuse that made sense.

The barn door across from the road burst open, and the lantern light spilled across the yard. Ruth gasped and threw herself behind the phone shack. Thankfully, the thin plywood sides kept out the light and could hide her securely. Unless she already had been seen? In which case, there was no ready explanation for why the community’s schoolteacher would hide behind the phone shack at ten thirty on a Friday evening. The Yoders would have a field of gossip about that, and Deacon Matthew would become involved.

There was no way she could talk herself out of this situation. Perhaps the hour for the truth had arrived. The moment would be a relief in a way. No more sneaking around. She would be out of a schoolteaching job on Monday morning, but she could join Ethan in his world without a backward glance.

Ruth held her breath as footsteps approached and entered the phone shack. Numbers were punched, and the faint ring of a phone reached her ears.

“Hi, sweetheart,” the youngest of the Yoder boys, John, said plainly enough.

Ruth stilled a gasp. Now she was listening to a private conversation. Could things get worse?

“Yah, I’m missing you too,” John cooed, “but I can’t get away tonight. Tomorrow night maybe.”

John wasn’t of rumspringa age yet. The boy couldn’t be more than fifteen. Maybe fourteen. Hadn’t he been in school last year in the eighth grade?

“What are you doing tonight?” John continued sweetly. “Thinking about me?”

There was soft laughter. Apparently John was having endearments whispered into his ear.

Did Emil Yoder approve of his youngest son’s early foray into rumspringa? Did Emil even know? Ruth’s mind swirled, and her anger stirred.

“You’ll be picking me up down at the junction then,” John was saying. “The usual time, yah? Dim your lights. Don’t forget.” There was silence for a few moments, then, “You’re sweet, dearest. The sweetest and the best.”

Young John had a sugar tongue for sure. He’d be able to talk milk out of a bull cow.
Ruth dug her fingers into the ground. She had to keep her anger in check. Nothing would be gained by an explosion, and no explanation would save her reputation—unjust though this all was.

John was wrapping up his conversation. “You sleep tight now, dear heart. Love you. Remember that. Always and forever.”

Ruth heard deep chuckles and a kissing sound coming through the receiver. She stilled a bitter protest as the phone clicked and young John laughed. “Isn’t she the sweetest? They don’t make Amish girls like that.”

Ruth’s fingers twitched. She wasn’t going to move. She couldn’t.

His footsteps faded away along with the glare of the lantern he’d brought with him. Ruth peeked around the edge of the phone shack, and when the light went behind a clump of trees, she fled down the road. Here she was, running away when John was at fault. But if he ever learned that she had listened in to his conversation, her reputation wouldn’t survive even though she was the community’s schoolteacher.

Ruth paused to catch her breath at the junction. There was still no sign of Ethan. He wasn’t coming. She might as well face the facts. She knew he answered his phone even when he was on emergency calls. He didn’t want to speak with her tonight. She might as well bear the pain. Right now there was only numbness from this rejection, this dashing of high hopes and dreams. Not once in her life had she known a man who truly loved her. Tears stung again as Ruth pushed her feet southward toward home. Only, Leroy Fisher’s place wasn’t home to her. Nowhere was home. Not really. The north, the south, the east, the west—what difference did it make?
Will Ruth find that her Amish community really is home—or will she give it up for a chance with Ethan in the Englisha world? Pick up your copy of Phoebe’s Gift today!

Free Excerpt from Silvia’s Rose!

silvias-rose-sharableFollowing the death of her husband, Esther Stoltzfus has moved to a new community with her daughter, Diana, and has caught the eye of the handsome minister, Isaiah Mast. A practical woman, Esther has never desired romance or anything more than a stable love from her marriage. But when Isaiah begins courting her, his romantic efforts leave her feeling emotions she has never before experienced. One Friday evening, Isaiah asks Esther to be ready for a surprise at 5:00 sharp. She has no idea what to expect, but she is certainly excited for whatever Isaiah has up his sleeve…


Esther tiptoed to the front window and sneaked a look around the drapes. Isaiah had Diana up on his buggy seat and was in an animated conversation with her. He gave Diana the reins to his horse, Echo, and turned to head toward the house. Esther ducked out of sight and stilled the sharp intake of her breath.

A few moments later, when Isaiah knocked on the front door, Esther jumped. What was wrong with her? She had turned into a nervous teenager. She pasted a smile on her face and opened the front door.

Goot evening, Isaiah.”

He grinned. “Ready to go, I see.”

“If only I knew where I was going. I’m in my apron. Will that do? And what about supper on the stove?”

“We’re just going for a little drive in my buggy,” he said with a warm smile. “If you don’t object, that is. Diana seems all for it.”

“Then let me check on the food, and I’ll be right out,” Esther replied.

“I’ll be waiting,” he said, turning back toward his buggy.

Esther hurried into the kitchen and slid several of the bowls into the oven. She then raced out to the buggy and joined Isaiah on the seat with Diana between them. Isaiah winked at her.

“Giddyap!” Diana shouted, still holding the reins.

Isaiah had his hands over Diana’s, allowing her to help direct Echo as they went down the driveway and pulled to a stop at the highway.

“Now we want to look either way,” Isaiah told Diana, “to see if there’s any traffic coming. Can you do that?”

Diana peered around Isaiah’s arms on each side and sang out, “There’s nothing coming.”

“Then let out the reins,” Isaiah instructed, and Diana complied with a look of rapture on her face.
They continued on for several more minutes before Isaiah spoke up. “Well, I suppose we should turn back. Your mamm’s supper is getting cold, I’m sure.”

“I want to go on,” Diana protested.

Isaiah frowned. “Sorry. We can’t tonight, but we should do this more often. Don’t you think?”

Diana’s head bobbed up and down.

After a quick glance over his shoulder, Isaiah took the reins into his own hands and expertly spun Echo around on the road.

“That was fun,” Diana chirped.

Esther glanced away to hide her tears. This was Lonnie’s child, and Isaiah handled Diana tonight as if she were his own—with the same deftness and confidence that a real daett would display. She hadn’t known how badly she wanted this to happen.

“You have been wunderbah tonight,” Esther whispered in his ear. “Thank you.” She gave his arm a quick squeeze and smiled down at Diana.

Isaiah said nothing, but Esther was sure his eyes were moist. Arriving back at her house, Isaiah turned in the driveway and parked by the hitching post.

She gave him a sweet smile and waited until he had tied Echo to the hitching post before she took his hand. With Diana’s in her other one, they headed toward the house.

Was this what falling in love felt like? She didn’t know, but her heart pounded with joy tonight.



Pick up your copy of Silvia’s Rose from your favorite online bookseller! It’s the first book in the Peace in the Valley series, and we are hosting a summer read-along for the whole series this month on the Amish Reader Facebook page. Follow along with us, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for your chance to win the whole Peace in the Valley series and a $50 gift card to purchase a beautiful rose bush!



August Read-Along!


Hello, Amish Readers! Welcome to another beautiful month of summer. Hopefully you are all enjoying a little extra free time and getting caught up on some wonderful reading! Isn’t the picture above beautiful? One of our friends recently visited Lancaster County and snapped that photo right outside of her hotel!

This month, Jerry Eicher’s newest series, Peace in the Valley, is available for purchase! Even better, the books are all on sale from your favorite online retailer. On the Harvest House Publishers website, they are 50% off! Jerry Eicher is a longtime favorite of Amish fiction fans, and we are very excited that he has now authored 30 books.

We want to celebrate with Jerry, so we are hosting a fun read-along throughout this month for the entire series! Starting August 7, we will be reading one book per week for the following three weeks. If you want to read a little more slowly, that’s okay! Though we will be sharing questions for discussion on the Amish Reader Facebook page, we’ll make sure there aren’t any spoilers. We’d love for you to join the read-along on Facebook and share your favorite moments or quotes, and maybe have some nice conversations with other Amish fiction fans!

In addition, we have a wonderful giveaway this month for one lucky reader! We’ll be sharing the details in the next few days on the Facebook page, so keep your eyes open.

Each week, we’ll be sharing an excerpt from each book in the Peace in the Valley series, starting next week with Silvia’s Rose. But for now, here’s what you can look forward to from each book…

Silvia’s Rose (Book One)

Esther Stoltzfus considers herself to be down-to-earth, the way most Amish women do. Her marriage to her deceased husband was one borne out of practicality, and Esther sees no reason why God won’t replace what He was taken away.

When Esther moves to a new community with her daughter, Diana, she meets the handsome minister Isaiah Mast, who has experienced his own loss and appears to be a logical fit to complete their family. But everything changes when Esther is introduced to Joseph Zook, her widowed neighbor down the road.

While tending to his treasured roses, Joseph tells stories of his passionate love for his late wife, Silvia—stories that stir a place in Esther’s heart she never knew existed. What if she and Isaiah could have the kind of love Joseph and Silvia shared?

In the meantime, Joseph gets his own second chance at love with the eccentric Arlene King, even as he knows he will never find another frau like his beloved Silvia.

Silvia’s Rose is a beautiful story filled with redemption, romance, and risking it all for the reward of true love.

Phoebe’s Gift (Book Two)

Phoebe Lapp’s grandmother was anything but ordinary. Before her death, the eccentric elderly woman purchased three Assateague ponies, seemingly for no reason. But after her passing, Phoebe learns of her beloved grandmother’s wish to start an Amish pony farm in a lovely little valley near the Adirondack Mountains for hurting Englisha children. That dream now lies with Phoebe if she decides to fulfill it, but a teaching position is available as well. Which path should she choose?

Further complicating her decision, before her passing, Grandma Lapp asked a neighbor, David Fisher, to be involved in running the farm and help Phoebe. David agrees, but his sister Ruth has yet to abandon her rumspringa, and the only reason she hasn’t left the church already is because of Grandma Lapp’s kindness. Unbeknownst to Phoebe, David has secret hopes of attracting her affection, but Ruth’s decision to stay or jump the fence could make things difficult for him.

Phoebe knows she has choices to make—whether or not to honor her grandmother’s legacy and what to do about David’s growing attentions toward her. But she’s not alone. God is with her every step of the way.

Mary’s Home (Book Three)

Mary Yoder’s life couldn’t get much better. She’s engaged to be married, spring is in the air, and love is in her heart as she looks forward to the fall wedding she’s always dreamed of.

Six months later on a crisp November morning, Mary awakens in a lovely little valley near the Adirondack Mountains on what was to be her wedding day, heartbroken and alone.

Her sister, Betsy, tries to protect Mary from the romantic overtures of Stephen Overholt, a longtime Amish bachelor. Betsy is considering jumping the fence for the Englisha world and encourages Mary to follow.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Gabert, an elderly Englisha grandmother, launches her own matchmaking effort on behalf of her grandson Willard, who is a missionary to Kenya and nursing his own broken heart. She hopes that Willard and Mary can find comfort in one another despite the fact they come from two different worlds.

As Mary struggles to accept the Lord’s will, she must determine whether or not one of her potential suitors can give her the future that was denied her.


Don’t all those stories just sound wonderful?

Pick up your copy of each book today, and happy reading!

Tasty Muffins for Summertime!

Try a Tasty Amish Recipe Today!


Summer is the perfect time for fresh blueberry muffins! Enjoy this recipe from Georgia Varozza’s fantastic cookbook, 99 Favorite Amish Breads, Rolls, & Muffins. A printable version is available at the link below!

Click here for a printable copy!


Book Preview: A Letter from Lancaster County

Kate Lloyd’s book A Letter from Lancaster County is available this month! Enjoy this small taste, and then visit your favorite retailer to pick up your copy!


What Happens When the Bonds of Sisterhood are Broken?

Rose Webster longs for a husband and children, but her sister, Angela, has all that and still isn’t happy. When the siblings receive an invitation to visit their aunt in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish country, Rose and Angela relish the opportunity for a vacation and a fresh start for their friendship. But when Rose pursues a promising, new relationship with Amish bachelor Glenn Yoder, a man whose charms also stir an unsettling longing in Angela’s conflicted heart, the two sisters are forced to confront the rift that threatens to divide them.


Angela looked ready to pounce on me when I waltzed into Aunt Silvia’s house singing.

“Where have you been?” she demanded.

“I was at Glenn Yoder’s.” I basked in the sound of his last name, which would suit my first. Rose Yoder had a nice lilt to it.

Hold on there. I’d better not get ahead of myself. Glenn had revealed he was contemplating joining the Amish church, a lifetime commitment, which wouldn’t include me unless I did too. A highly unlikely occurrence. According to Glenn, few non-Amish successfully joined. Would I even contemplate the radical lifestyle, not to mention learning the language? And where did God fit in?

“We got busy talking and doing chores,” I said. Playing hooky, getting to know each other. “I helped feed his chickens.”

Angela must have been dumbfounded, the way she stared. “It was fun looking for eggs. To think the ones you just ate were freshly laid. I fried them over easy. The way Glenn likes. Plus two slices of eight-grain toast, light on the butter, and homemade raspberry jam.”

She gaped. “You cooked for him?”

“Yeah. You didn’t know I could make a mean breakfast, did you?”

Her cheeks blotched red. “Sounds fun.”

“It was. Just my cup of tea.”

“What else were you doing?”

“Nothing outlandish.” In the course of conversation, Glenn had mentioned he was tired of his bachelor’s life. He’d like to spend his evenings and vacations with someone. And he was open for kids, if it wasn’t too late.

“Rosie.” Angela gathered my attention like the sweep of a broom. “I’ve been waiting here to apologize, but you’re making it difficult.”

“If you’re apologizing for our verbal tussle yesterday, I was the one doing most of the yelling. You don’t owe me a thing. I overreacted.”

“I should have responded with patience, not anger.” Angela sounded like she was reciting a prepared speech. “I was so mad at the way things were turning out. Helpless is a better word. Everything’s gone wrong.” Her lips formed a grim line. “Maybe discovering Aunt Silvia was sick… No, that’s not it. It’s my fault. It’s me. I’m changing.”

“You too?” My mouth widened into a grin.

“Are you making fun of me?”

“Not at all. I can relate. Last month I was walking around like a robot. Today I feel like a million bucks. I really do.” I was too happy not to let it show. “It’s not only Glenn. Although he’s part of it.”

Angela’s pale face wore a mask of misery. I scolded myself for causing her pain. It wouldn’t hurt me to be kinder.

But I had to ask, “Do you have the hots for Glenn?”

She coughed a false laugh. “No, don’t be silly.” As if on stage after final curtain call, she turned away, her loose hair swinging to conceal her features. “This is a ridiculous conversation,” she said over her shoulder. “I’m married.”

“What does that have to do with anything? That’s like closing your eyes and plugging your ears during a storm and then claiming it’s a clear day.”

“Don’t worry about me.” Her voice waned as she retreated from the room. “My eyes are wide open.”


Can Rose and Angela move past their differences and recapture the closeness they had as children? And will Angela’s secret affection for Glenn thwart her sister’s best chance at finding true love?


Pick up your copy of A Letter from Lancaster County today!

Amazon       Barnes & Noble        Christianbook

Book Preview: What the Bishop Saw

what-the-bishop-sawIn this excerpt from What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman, Bishop Henry Lapp struggles with the thought that he must use his special gift to provide a clue to the mystery hanging over his community. Enjoy the preview!


Henry went to his rocker and picked up the family Bible. It had belonged to his father, and his father’s father. The text was in German, which was as familiar and natural to him as any Englisch text. He thumbed through the worn pages, stopping now and then to read a passage that caught his eye.

He found the verses on talents and gifts Emma had referred to.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given… Servants of Christ… entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.

They were verses he’d read and shared with others, many times, but they did nothing to ease the trouble in his heart. There was something else he needed to read, something an unconscious part of his mind, or his soul, was yearning for. He found it in the first chapter of Philippians, verse six:

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Did he believe it? Was this promise meant even for him, at the ripe old age of sixty-four?

It had all begun so long ago, when he was a young lad of twelve. Staring out the window at the light fading across the valley, Henry could still hear the crack of the bat. He’d never actually felt the impact as the ball slammed into his head, but he had heard the gasp from those watching the game. They’d known before he did. In fact, it was weeks later, when he finally woke up in an Englisch hospital, that his parents told him about the blow to his head and what doctors were calling a traumatic brain injury.

Henry read the passage again. The words weren’t a suggestion, but rather a commandment. A description of a fact. Being confident of this. There was no room for doubt or questioning. And who gave such confidence? Who gave all things? Their heavenly Father.

He bowed his head and prayed that his heart would reflect a confidence in the provision and purpose of Christ. He petitioned God to use what had begun so long ago, to use this gift, for His glory. He pleaded with God to complete the good work He had begun. He allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to his heart and his mind and his soul.

Opening his eyes, Henry was surprised to see that the sun had fled and darkness had settled across the land. He stood and turned on the lantern in the sitting room as well as the one in the kitchen. Walking to his desk, he pulled out two pencils and several sheets of the oversized paper he used when he plotted out his large garden.

It might be that he’d need a few attempts to get it right.


Excerpted from What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman

Discover the bishop’s gift and solve the mystery in What the Bishop Saw

An Amish man's straw hat hangs on a red wooden barn door

Carrot Cake Recipe (From What the Bishop Saw)

what-the-bishop-sawIn addition to a solved mystery, the end of What the Bishop Saw includes a handful of tasty recipes! Earlier this week we asked our Facebook fans to vote for a recipe from the book they’d like to try:

  1. Apple Cinnamon French Toast
  2. Green Bean Casserole
  3. Carrot Cake

And the winner is…Carrot Cake!

You’ll find the carrot cake recipe below. And if you’d like to try more recipes…and indulge in a cozy mystery…be sure to check out What the Bishop Saw!

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Vannetta Chapman is the author of several novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series and Anna’s Healing. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a Carol Award winner and a multi-award-winning member of Romance Writers of America. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas Hill Country.

Visit her at


Book Preview: The Amish Widower by Virginia Smith

In this excerpt from The Amish Widower by Virginia Smith, widower Seth Hostetler tries his hand at carving his newly formed clay canister. But his teacher and the Englisch woman who helps run the shop have very different thoughts on the final product…

Enjoy the preview!


Something about this canister seemed wrong. I sat back, fingering my beard, and tried to pinpoint the cause. Not wrong, exactly. Unfinished? Yes, that was it. Somehow the perfect symmetry and precision of the shape did not fit this canister. It was too…well, too plain.

Though Elias nearly always added a simple carving to decorate his pieces, I had not yet attempted the technique. I opened my mouth to ask for advice, but my teacher had slipped out of the room while I worked. I heard his low voice, muffled through the curtain, and Leah’s quiet response.

I took up Elias’s carving tool and tested the sharp end with my thumb, all the while studying the smooth surface of my canister. Though I’d watched him many times, I’d never handled the knifelike tool myself. With my breath caught in my chest, I lowered the metal edge until it barely rested against the clay. What design to carve?

A pattern appeared in my mind, and with it pain stabbed at my heart as though I’d turned the tool on myself. The pattern was from the quilt my Hannah had made for our marriage bed.

I closed my eyes and let pain wash over me while the design burned the insides of my eyelids. When I could see nothing else, I opened my eyes and pressed the sharp tool into the clay.

Time slipped by unnoticed. The canister became my focus, duplicating Hannah’s pattern in every detail. Finally, I carved the last piece of clay away, smoothed the final rough edge, and set down the tool. I straightened, pressing a fist against an ache in the small of my back. My vision, focused so long on the close work in front of me, blurred when I lifted my head and glanced around the workshop. What was the time?

I called toward the curtain. “Elias?”

He and Leah appeared.

“You’re finished, ya?” The old man’s smile melted from his face when his gaze lowered to my work. “Seth, what have you done to the canister?”

I looked at the piece on my wheel. The pattern was precisely what I’d hoped to achieve. If this piece were placed beside Hannah’s quilt, no one could doubt that the designs were identical. But instead of etching the decoration on the outside of the clay, I had cut all the way through. Ornamental, perfectly shaped holes covered all sides of the piece that could no longer be called a canister.

“I—” Words deserted me. The piece looked exactly like I wanted, but it was useless.

My perfect canister, ruined.

“Nothing can be stored in that.” Elias waggled his fingers in the pot’s direction. “It will pour out the sides.”

A knot formed deep in my throat, threatening to block the breath from my lungs. Why had I spoiled my work? My palms itched to snatch it up and dash it to the floor, the urge strong to see it lying in broken shards at my feet.

Leah stepped away from Elias, her gaze fixed on my pot. “Maybe that’s the point.”

“What do you mean?” Elias asked. “What point?”

She reached out, her hands halting inches from the piece while she turned an unspoken request for permission my way. When I nodded, she picked up the ruined canister and turned it slowly around, examining it from all angles.

“The design is beautiful. So intricate and delicate.”

Just like the quilt that had covered my wife and me as we learned to love one another. The lump in my throat expanded, and I struggled to breathe past it.

“If you put a candle inside, light would spill out all around.” Leah turned sparkling blue eyes to me. “Imagine how beautiful that would look in a dark room.”

Whether because of her enthusiasm or the reverent hush in her tone, my breath eased. The image she described showed clearly in my mind’s eye. My Hannah’s pattern, projected all around a room, casting a beautiful light to illuminate the darkness.

Elias cocked his head and studied the piece critically. “Who would want to buy such a thing?”

“I would.” Leah pulled the canister to her chest, though gently. “In fact, I will.” Her gaze slid to me. “If you will allow me to?”


Excerpted from The Amish Widower by Virginia Smith

Rustic Baking Soda Bread (From 99 Favorite Amish Breads, Rolls, and Muffins)

Add a simple side to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner (or any meal!) with this recipe for Rustic Baking Soda Bread from Georgia Varozza’s new cookbook, 99 Favorite Amish Breads, Rolls, & Muffins. St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday, March 17th. We hope your day will be filled with delicious food and special moments with friends and family!

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Georgia Varozza enjoys teaching people how to prepare and preserve healthy foods, live simply, and get the most from what they have. Visit her blog to learn more.


Book Preview: Always Close to Home by Jerry Eicher

In this excerpt from Always Close to Home (The St. Lawrence County Amish series by Jerry Eicher), Lydia Mast is daydreaming in the quiet predawn hours as she awaits business at her uncle’s roadside stand…

Enjoy the preview!


Hopefully Uncle Henry hadn’t seen Milton smile at her after the service. Uncle Henry already knew too much of what there was to know about Milton and her. Milton was friendly, but things hadn’t moved any further. They talked to each other around the farm, but that also seemed more like business than romance. If truth be told, she still felt shy about Milton and her feelings for him.

Laura, on the other hand, hadn’t cared if the whole world knew about her relationship with John. Hadn’t Laura kissed John in public on the day of the barn-raising—well, almost in public? Lydia could never do that. Love was a private matter kept in one’s heart. She’d probably swoon with Milton’s first kiss—if there ever was one.

Soft footsteps came up behind Lydia and she whirled around.

“Thought I was sneaking up on you?” Milton teased.

Yah, because you were,” Lydia shot back.

Milton wasn’t fazed. “Penny for your thoughts on this fine morning?”

Heat flamed into her face, and Lydia looked away. Thankfully the darkness was still a cloak.

“Cat got your tongue?”

“I can speak perfectly well,” she said. “Just don’t go sneaking up on a girl when she’s alone.”

Milton gave her a wicked grin. “I was walking along the road like a normal human being, and there you were, all dreamy-eyed. No doubt thinking sweet thoughts of someone special. Who would the lucky man be?”

Lydia took a deep breath. “That’s none of your business.”

Her face was fiery red again, she was sure. She had to work around Milton until Christmas, so she had to get used to him. Somehow!

He was sober-faced now. “I’d be greatly honored,” he said, “if it was me you were thinking of.”

She said nothing in reply. She certainly wouldn’t admit her feelings. It was bad enough her face was red.

“It is a nice moon,” he said with a nod toward the horizon. “I guess you don’t have to tell me who the man is, but…”

“I do agree, the moon is nice.” Lydia grasped for the escape route, but Milton wasn’t thrown off his trail.

“I know one thing, Lydia. The moon and you make me dream things.” He looked toward the horizon again as a shadow crossed his face. “But life doesn’t always let our dreams come true, does it?”


Excerpted from Always Close to Home by Jerry Eicher