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

Book Preview: Until I Love Again by Jerry Eicher

In this excerpt from Until I Love Again (the second book in the St. Lawrence County Amish series by Jerry Eicher), Susanna Miller is on an outing with Englisha Joey Macalister, against the wishes (and knowledge) of her parents…

Enjoy the preview!

(P.S. Want a glimpse at the first book in the series, A Heart Once Broken? You can read an excerpt HERE!)


Joey smiled and took her hand. “Come,” he said. “Let’s walk by the river and find a nice spot to sit and eat away from the others.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Susanna said with a quick glance over her shoulder. Henry had backed off and joined the others. It was right that she should spend what could be the last evening of her rumspringa with Joey, Susanna told herself. She already knew the others disapproved, so what greater damage could she do?

The tinkle of the flowing water filled Susanna’s ears as they walked along the bank. Her hand grew warm in Joey’s tender grasp. She smiled up into his face and leaned against his shoulder. Was he more than a friend? Maybe he could be someday, if only their relationship would be allowed to continue and grow. But that could never be.

“How about here?” Joey asked. He didn’t wait for an answer before he lowered himself onto the grass.

Susanna smoothed her dress before she followed Joey’s example. A desire to pull off her shoes and run her feet through the spring grass came over her. But did she dare? Yah, she would. With a quick motion, Susanna set her sandwich on the bank and slipped off her shoes. The socks came next. Susanna didn’t look up at Joey as she moved her feet through the grass. When she dared glance at his face, his smile was all the answer she needed.

“We used to do that in the summertime when we were kids,” Joey said. “But we got away from the practice. Looks like you hung on.”

“It’s not something to let go of,” Susanna said. “That’s what our people believe.”

“For once I like an Amish custom.” Joey grinned. “Nice feet.”

Susanna reddened and tucked both of them under her dress. “You shouldn’t say things like that.”

“What? Complimenting your feet? Come on, Susanna. Is that so wrong?”

“I guess not,” Susanna managed. “Thanks for caring enough to find me tonight. I was hoping you would.”

“Well, we missed you at the house last weekend, so we were beginning to wonder. Is something going on I should know about?”

“I…” Susanna began but then stopped. “Let’s not talk about it, please. Let’s enjoy the evening and this moment.”

“Then there is something going on.” Joey studied her face. “Please tell me, Susanna. I would hate to think you won’t come by the house as often…or any more at all. Is it something we’ve said or done? Do your parents object? Would it help if I spoke to them?”

Susanna shook her head. That was the exact wrong approach. But how could she explain? Susanna began again. “I…really can’t tell you. Not now. Not at this moment.”

“Well then, will you promise me you won’t disappear without a trace?”

“You know where I live.” Susanna forced a laugh. “You can always stop by.” There, she had said the words despite her misgivings, but she simply couldn’t help herself. She didn’t want this to end. Not tonight. Not ever.


Excerpted from Until I Love Again by Jerry Eicher

Until I Love Again Sharable 1

Cheese and Bacon Frittata Recipe

Jerry Eicher just launched a brand-new series (The St. Lawrence County Amish) with the release of A Heart Once Broken! To celebrate all things Jerry Eicher, we asked our Facebook fans to vote for a recipe they’d want to try from the cookbook he co-wrote with his wife, Tina:

  1. Baked Blueberry and Peach Oatmeal
  2. Cheese and Bacon Frittata
  3. Old-Time Cake Donuts

The winner is…the frittata!

You’ll find the cheese and bacon frittata recipe below, as well as on our Facebook page and Pinterest recipes board.

If you want to try more Amish recipes, you can pick up a copy of The Amish Family Cookbook today!


Book Preview: A Heart Once Broken by Jerry Eicher

In this excerpt from A Heart Once Broken, the first book in a brand-new series by Jerry Eicher, Rosemary Beiler gets her chance to serve at a wedding alongside the handsome Amish man she admires: Ezra Wagler.

Enjoy the preview!


Rosemary’s mind drifted to the future. What would it be like to have a conversation with Ezra right after saying the wedding vows with him? The thought left her dizzy, and Rosemary tried to focus on the faces around her. Lydia and her cousin Enos had the table at the other end of the barn. Lydia noticed Rosemary’s glance and waved. Rosemary waved back.

“You’re doing very well today,” Ezra said when they paused to catch their breath.

“You’re just saying so,” Rosemary said.

“You’ve said that twice now,” he scolded. “I mean what I say.”

“Thanks.” Rosemary tried to smile. “I’m trying, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with you.” There, she had said the words.

Ezra appeared pleased, but no doubt he was used to such compliments. Didn’t both of the Troyer cousins shower him with attention?

“You undersell yourself,” Ezra said, as if he read Rosemary’s thoughts. “You shouldn’t, you know.”

“Stop saying such things,” Rosemary responded, her gaze on the floor. “You’re embarrassing me.”

Ezra chuckled. “Get used to it. You’re old enough to hear such true things about yourself.”

Rosemary gave him a quick glance. “I’ll try.” Now she had turned bright red again.

Ezra’s chuckle grew deeper. “And you have plenty of spunk.”

“Do you like spunk?” Rosemary asked without thinking. “I’m sorry, Ezra. I had no right to ask such a bold question.”

Ezra laughed. “There’s nothing to be sorry for. I love the way you are. You have nerve, for one thing. You’ll go places. As they say, the early bird gets the worm.”

“So now I’m a bird?” Rosemary pretended to frown.

“A pretty bird.” Ezra’s eyes twinkled.

“Ezra, don’t,” Rosemary said, wishing he’d say it again.

Ezra smiled and whispered, “Come, Rosemary, it’s time to serve dessert.”

He said her name with such tenderness that Rosemary had to look away.


Excerpted from A Heart Once Broken by Jerry Eicher

The Fun and Fabulous Christmas Gift-Giving Guide for Amish Fans

Who wouldn’t love a good book for Christmas? Wonder no more about what to get your friends and loved ones—just find the closest description below and away you go!

*Disclaimer: Of course, we can’t guarantee someone will love their gift. But seriously, what’s not to love, right? We hope you enjoy browsing this fun Christmas gift-giving guide. Who knows? You might even find a little treat for yourself, too! Just click the image or one of the links below it to find a site where you can purchase a copy of the book.

* * *

Amish Reader Gift Guide 1

1. For the foodie who wants some “yum” with their fiction, we recommend…Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 2

2. For the Amish fiction lover who’s read it all and wants something new, we recommend…My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould!

(Note: This story is about another Protestant group called the Huguenots. Learn more about the similarities and differences between the Amish and the Huguenots in this article by Leslie Gould!)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 3

3. For the friend who needs to believe in miracles this Christmas, we recommend…Anna’s Healing by Vannetta Chapman!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 4

4. For the ebook aficionado who loves sweet novellas, we recommend…Amish Christmas Memories by Jerry S. Eicher, Mary Ellis, and Murray Pura!

(Note: This is an ebook-only collection of three previously published Amish Christmas novellas titled Susanna’s Christmas Wish, Sarah’s Christmas Miracle, and An Amish Family Christmas.)

Kindle | Nook | Christianbook

P.S. Did you know you can gift ebooks via email? Read this article to see how to gift a Kindle book from


Amish Reader Gift Guide 5

5. For the teacher or student who knows the value of a good education, we recommend…An Unexpected Match by Gayle Roper!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 6

6. For the incurable romantic who likes a lot of drama with the sweet, we recommend…Miriam and the Stranger by Jerry S. Eicher!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 7

7. For the loved one who has always dreamed of living the simple life, we recommend…My Life as an Amish Wife by Lena Yoder!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 8

8. For the curious soul with lots of questions about Amish culture, we recommend…Plain Answers about the Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 9

9. For the one who wants to be inspired in her faith, we recommend…The Amish Book of Prayers for Women by Esther Stoll!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 10

10. For the cook who knows the way to your heart, we recommend…99 Favorite Amish Recipes by Georgia Varozza!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House


Amish Reader Gift Guide 11

Bonus: For the child or grandchild who shares your love of the Amish, we recommend…Blossoms on the Roof by Rebecca Martin!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook | Harvest House

* * *

Happy Christmas shopping!


Book Preview: Miriam and the Stranger by Jerry Eicher

In this excerpt from Miriam and the Stranger, the final installment in Jerry Eicher’s Land of Promise series, Miriam is introduced to the visiting minister, whose gaze and words leave her flustered. Why is Mose really in Oklahoma?

Enjoy the preview!


As Miriam approached the other end of the married men’s table, Deacon Phillips looked up to say, “Well, if it isn’t Miriam Yoder, our schoolteacher, serving the tables today. What a blessing you are.”

“Don’t say that so loudly,” Miriam whispered back. Heat crept up her neck. The visiting minister was sitting right beside Deacon Phillips.

Deacon Phillips chuckled, and the minister turned around to look up at Miriam. The tender look from earlier in the day filled the man’s face. “So this is Miriam. I thought she might be the woman I was told about.”

Yah, our very own Miriam,” Deacon Phillips said with a grin. “And Miriam, this is Mose Stoll, from near your area in Possum Valley. He’s visiting us for a while.”

“Hello.” Miriam choked on the word. What was she supposed to say?

Gut to meet you,” Mose said, the tender look still on his face.

Deacon Phillips continued as if Miriam wasn’t present. “She’s as faithful a member of the community as one could wish for, Mose, and a gut schoolteacher on top of that. I don’t know what we’d do without her.”

The bowl of peanut butter slipped from Miriam’s fingers and dropped to the table with a loud bang. Her face must be blazing. What on earth was Deacon Phillips up to? Why was he singing her praises to this strange man?

Mose regarded Miriam with a steady gaze. “The Lord guards the hearts of men and maidens alike,” he said. “It’s gut to know His work produces such comely results.”

Deacon Phillips chuckled again. “Yah, like my own frau, Katie, Miriam is a jewel. Any man who can capture her heart has done well.”

“I can see that, ” Mose said with a nod. “This Miriam has been blessed by the Lord indeed.”

Miriam fumbled with the last peanut butter bowl and nearly dumped the contents into Mose’s lap. What had gotten into Deacon Phillips? In a quick motion, Miriam pushed the bowl away from the two men. It slid across the table and stopped with a clink against the red beet dish. Splashes of red juice went airborne and then landed on the tablecloth and spread out in a slow stain. Several bearded men looked up with surprised expressions on their faces. They had been involved in their own conversations and hadn’t heard the flattery about her. Well, they would have to think her a clumsy klutz. She was not about to explain. With quick steps Miriam fled back to the kitchen and slipped into a corner to calm her nerves.

This wasn’t like Deacon Phillips at all. Nor was it like a visiting minister to pay so much attention to an unmarried woman—unless the man was here on a search for a frau. Miriam’s hands tingled. Could this be true? Was the minister on a search for a frau to replace one who had passed away? He was too old to have never been married. And he didn’t appear nervous around women. That could mean only one thing. He had been married before to a godly frau who had honored and obeyed him.

Miriam tried to breathe deeply. The married men’s table still needed attention, and she was in no condition to help. But surely she was wrong about the visiting minister. No Amish man of such high regard would simply appear in a community and pick her out of the crowd.

“Get a grip,” Miriam whispered out loud. Thankfully none of the other women heard her in the loud bustle of the kitchen, but she would have to go back. Miriam filled her hands with bowls again and headed for the married men’s table—at the other end this time.


Excerpted from Miriam and the Stranger by Jerry Eicher

You can order the book now on the Harvest House website or your favorite book retailer!


Book Preview: A Blessing for Miriam by Jerry Eicher

A Blessing for MiriamLess than a month to go until the official release of A Blessing for Miriam, Book 2 in Jerry Eicher’s new “Land of Promise” series!

Join Miriam and Wayne in Aunt Fannie and Uncle William’s kitchen in this exclusive sneak preview…


Miriam listened as Wayne told the story at the kitchen table with great expression. “We were in the barn that evening for our chores, and Joy had this bunch of little kittens who were just beginning to stagger about. They’d already learned that we give them fresh milk during chore time, so they’re out waiting with their mother for their treat. Of course, they can’t sit still—and even more so with the sleepy spring flies buzzing around. At first they only snapped at them, but soon they got to swatting with their little paws, followed by tumbles over each other. Esther and Joy couldn’t stop giggling, and I had to join in myself. It was that funny.”

Miriam looked away from Wayne’s face as the story continued on. Wayne was here for lunch, and somehow the subject of kittens had come up. Wayne had jumped in with this story, but at the mention of Esther’s name, Miriam flinched. At least Esther had only been on the sidelines. Miriam tried to put the image of Esther and Wayne laughing over kittens out of her mind. There was no reason she should be jealous. She had vowed she wouldn’t be.

“They are the cutest things, I must admit,” Wayne concluded. There were chuckles all around the table. Even Uncle William seemed to have enjoyed the tale.

Moments later a knock came from the front door and silence fell in the kitchen, except for Uncle William. He started to get up, muttering, “I wonder who that is in the middle of the day?”

Aunt Fannie motioned for him to sit. “I’ll get the door.” She rose and disappeared into the living room.

Whoever had arrived couldn’t be a big deal. Not much happened in Oklahoma on Saturdays. Everyone moved slower as they got their work done and prepared for Sunday services. Today, even the Englisha had slowed down, as business in the nursery had been light all morning. Miriam had helped out a few hours and then returned to the house to work in the kitchen. The row of pecan pies on the counter was a testament to her morning’s labor. They looked delicious, but she hadn’t dared taste one. She noticed Wayne’s gaze drift toward the waiting pies too.

“I hope they’re gut.” Miriam wrinkled up her nose. “I had to rush.”

“I know they’ll be gut!” Uncle William declared without hesitation.

“You can be sure of that,” Wayne echoed William’s sentiment.

Miriam stared at the line of pies. “Looks can be deceiving, you know.”

“They weren’t with you,” Wayne teased.

Miriam gave Wayne a grateful smile. She’d written Mamm this week about the proposed wedding in October. She was sure Mamm wouldn’t turn her down, so the matter was settled. She was Wayne’s promised one, and she would soon be a married woman. She took a deep breath and thought of Wayne’s kiss the other Friday night. Wayne wasn’t plentiful with his kisses, but he would be once they were married. She was sure of that.

Wayne nudged Miriam under the table. “What are you thinking?”

Heat rushed into Miriam’s face.

Thankfully Aunt Fannie saved the moment when she reappeared at the kitchen doorway. “It’s for you, Miriam, and it sounds serious. You’re to call home at once.


Excerpted from A Blessing for Miriam by Jerry Eicher

You can order the book now on the Harvest House website. (And don’t forget to pick up Book 1, Miriam’s Secret, if you have yet to begin this series full of twists and turns!)


Recipe: Roasted Green Beans

On Tuesday (St. Patrick’s Day) our Facebook fans were asked to vote for the “green” recipe they’d prefer out of three options:

  1. Zucchini Casserole
  2. Apple Caesar Salad (with crouton recipe)
  3. Roasted Green Beans

And the winning green food is…Roasted Green Beans!

This recipe comes from The Amish Family Cookbook by bestselling author Jerry Eicher and his wife, Tina:

Roasted Green Beans Recipe - Amish Family Cookbook

What’s your favorite way to serve green beans?

New Releases—February 2015

We’ve made it to the second month of 2015! And with this new month comes some brand-new Amish/Mennonite books from Harvest House Publishers for your reading pleasure.

Which one(s) are you most excited to read?

February 2015 Fiction Releases

New Amish Fiction

The Amish Clockmaker (Book 3 in The Men of Lancaster County series)

Purchase your copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |


Miriam’s Secret (Book 1 in the Land of Promise series)

Purchase your copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

February 2015 Mennonite Releases New Mennonite Children’s Books

When School Bells Call (Book 3 in the Farm Life series)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |


Autumn Days (Book 4 in the Farm Life series)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

February 2015 Nonfiction Releases

New Amish Nonfiction

The Amish Book of Prayers for Women

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

(P.S. Don’t forget that you can enter to win a copy of The Amish Book of Prayers for Women by clicking HERE and leaving a comment on that post! Winner to be announced February 13th.)


Our Amish Values

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |


Recipe: Ella’s Beef Casserole

On Tuesday our Facebook fans were asked to vote for the recipe they’d prefer out of three options. With the release of the first book in a new series by Jerry Eicher in February, this month’s recipe options featured characters/stories from some of Jerry’s other series:

  1. Aunt Betty’s Country-Fried Venison (from A Hope for Hannah)
  2. Ella’s Beef Casserole (from A Wedding Quilt for Ella)
  3. Rebecca’s Oatmeal Pancake Mix (from Rebecca’s Promise)

And the winner is…Ella’s Beef Casserole! Sounds like a hearty dish for a potluck or big family dinner, don’t you think?

You can find the casserole recipe (taken from The Amish Family Cookbook by Jerry & Tina Eicher) on our Facebook or Pinterest pages.

And don’t forget that Miriam’s Secret, the first in the “Land of Promise” series, is releasing in a little over a week!

Which book/series by Jerry Eicher is your favorite?