Love Blooms in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As Jo Fussner keeps the Marketplace humming, her heart dances with a joyous secret. Jo and Michael Wengerd, a shy nursery owner from a nearby town, have fallen hopelessly in love. When Michael buys a courting buggy, Jo is sure a proposal will follow. But she’ll have to work hard to gain her mother’s approval—because the widowed Drusilla Fussner is convinced that marriage will bring her daughter nothing but heartache.

To win Jo’s hand, Michael enlists his father’s help in convincing Drusilla to give the marriage her blessing—and perhaps even open her heart to new happiness of her own. . . . But just as Jo and Michael’s hope for their future grows, an even bigger obstacle looms. The Amish elders vote to forbid any maidel from working once she marries. Now Jo must choose between the beloved store she’s put her heart into, and the man she can’t live without. Conflicted, Jo will have to trust that anything is possible when true faith guides the way.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Jo Fussner gripped the pew bench in her excitement, thrumming with joy as she gazed across the center of the room at Michael Wengerd. As newehockers, they had front row seats at Molly and Marietta Helfings’ double wedding, which was about to begin now that the church service had concluded. In his black pants and vest, with a white shirt that glowed in the March sunshine that streamed through the window, Michael looked so handsome and elegant that Jo still wondered what he saw in a bulky, big-boned woman like her. But the love shining in his gray-blue eyes as he returned her gaze had the power to make her feel beautiful beyond belief.

Michael might’ve stayed in Queen City over the winter to make things easier for me, but his face still reflects his deep feelings for me—his belief that we should be together. It’s a miracle even more special than springtime, Lord, and for that I thank You!

When Bishop Jeremiah Shetler smiled at Marietta and Molly, the brides rose from the pew bench. In their dresses of deep teal, adorned with aprons made of crisp white organdy, they looked fresh and lovely as they centered themselves before the bishop with their grooms on either side of them. Pete Shetler appeared as nervous as Jo had ever seen him—until Molly’s reassuring smile brought the dimples back into his playful grin. Widowed nearly a year ago, Glenn Detweiler offered his elbow to slender Marietta, who took it with a dreamlike sigh as he placed his hand over hers.

Lydianne Christner, another of the twins’ side-sitters, leaned closer to Jo. “It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for!” she whispered happily. As the bishop’s fiancée, the pretty blond teacher was anticipating her own wedding in May, after school let out.

On Lydianne’s other side, redheaded Regina leaned forward to share her excitement, as well. “And your turns are coming!” she put in. “Last year at this time, who could’ve believed that every one of us confirmed maidels would find the man of her dreams?”

About the Author:

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 60 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Kensington, Kobo, , ChristianBook, or Target.

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A Day in the Life…Charlotte Hubbard – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition to the GC, the author would like to select one female reader’s name to use in her upcoming book, HIDDEN AWAY AT PROMISE LODGE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day in the Life…Charlotte Hubbard
Do you ever wonder what novelists DO, really? I bet you can recall that wonderful TV show, Murder, She Wrote, where we watched mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (played by Angela Lansbury) solving murders as she wrote her novels on a manual typewriter—and I can tell you first-hand that my life has never been as fascinating as Jessica’s!

For me, most days are a lot alike. I’ve always written from a home office, no matter where we’ve moved for Neal’s job, so the past couple of years still look a lot like they did when I was first selling Western romances in the mid-90’s. I still concoct fairly detailed synopses of my books before I write them. I still have a dog-walking schedule that gets me out several times a day (because my border collies, all 3 of them consecutively, have had mental clipboards where they check off each walk and daily activity, in order!) And, as I celebrate a 46th anniversary this month, I am still the chief cook, head of housekeeping, and social secretary. The homes and cities have changed over the years, but my basic life has not—until Neal retired, that is. THAT was a major shift in my routine!

Nowadays, I get up around 5 a.m., shower, and feed Vera before taking her outside for walk #1. My Retired Guy gets up around 7, so I often use that “free time” for laundry, meal prep, and organizing my day. After breakfast comes Walk #2, and then I head to my office. I tend to emails and other writing business, and then I work on the current book. Right now, because I’ve just turned in a book (#6 in the Promise Lodge series) as well as a Christmas novella (for AN AMISH CHRISTMAS STAR, due out in the fall of 2022) I’m writing these blog posts for my virtual tour as well as getting ready for my postcard mailing, newsletter, and other promo activities for CHRISTMAS COMES TO MORNING STAR. Frankly, I would rather be working on my next book, but promotion is one of those necessary evils all novelists must do.

I head upstairs around 11:30 to fix lunch, and after we eat, Vera takes us on Walk #3. I do another work stint in my office before heading upstairs to feed Vera around 4:00 and prep supper. After supper we do Walk #4, which is always followed by a trip to the backyard for a short Frisbee game…which often ends up with Vera chasing a squirrel into the woods behind our home. She eventually returns, thank goodness! Unless I’m behind on my book, I tend not to work after supper. I usually do other stuff around the house, play my piano or crochet, read awhile, and then head for bed shortly after 9 because, yeah, 5:00 comes early the next morning!

I don’t work on Sundays (we’re back at live church now, and I’m delighted about that!), and usually not on Saturdays unless I need to write to remain on schedule for my book. Does it seem like I spend a lot of time NOT writing?! You’re right! Because if I spent every spare moment glued to my computer, I would quickly burn out. I’ve been a published writer since 1991—have had nearly 60 books published now—and I’ve learned to get out there and live Real Life, which includes taking some nice trips every year (at least until the pandemic kept us all at home).

At this rate, I can write 2 full-length books a year. This year, I’ve also squeezed in that Christmas novella, because we’re not traveling yet. Before Neal retired, I wrote 3 books a year, but you can see where a lot of my time goes these days, now that I no longer have the house to myself all day long! Sometimes I also need to work on edited manuscripts my editor sends me. And as I approach the end of a series or a contract, I’m also concocting the next books/new series I hope to sell.

Not a very glamorous life, as you can see! But my schedule is flexible, and I really enjoy writing these Amish stories. I hope you will enjoy CHRISTMAS COMES TO MORNING STAR. Thanks for reading this post, and for reading my books!

Founded by five unmarried and enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace in small-town Missouri is preparing for a joyous Christmas season. But will the holiday also bring
unexpected tidings of love?

Twin sisters Molly and Marietta Helfing are eagerly anticipating Christmas, with Marietta fully recovered from cancer and their noodle making business thriving. But Molly clearly misses having former tenant Pete Shetler and his rambunctious dog, Riley, around. Marietta can’t ignore Molly’s feelings for Pete—or the anxiety it stirs within her. Convinced her illness has made her unmarriageable, Marietta wonders what kind of life she’ll have if her sister marries—despite Molly’s promise never to leave her behind. . .

Then a fire destroys the home of Amish neighbors and Molly and Marietta graciously make room for widower Glenn Detweiler, his dat, and his two young boys. When Pete returns to help the family rebuild, Molly relishes her reunion with the handsome carpenter, while Marietta delights in mothering Glenn’s boys—and is surprised by her poignant bond with their quiet, brooding father. Soon everyone is wondering if this season will bring the blessing of a merry double wedding to Morning Star . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt

When she glanced at her sister, who was placing a strip of noodle dough into the roller, Marietta noticed a rare frown on Molly’s face. “Penny for your thoughts, sister.”

Molly shrugged. “Sure is quiet without Riley and Pete around.”

Marietta’s eyes widened at her sister’s wistful remark. For several months, Pete Shetler and his golden retriever, Riley, had rented one of their two dawdi hauses. Pete had done some much-needed maintenance around their farm—while his active young dog had mostly dug up Mamm’s flower beds, chewed the belts on their noodle making equipment, and found other trouble to get into.

Pete had moved into his uncle’s house, however. Although Marietta appreciated the return to a quieter routine without their renter, she sensed Molly had secretly adored the muscular blond carpenter and his rambunctious dog.

“Maybe you should pay Pete a visit,” she suggested. “I bet he’d be tickled if you took over a pan of noodle pudding—”

“Why would I do that?” Molly blurted. “It’s not as though anything would come of a relationship—even if Pete took the hint and asked me out.”

“Why not?” Marietta paused, hoping to express her concerns carefully. “Just because I’ll never marry doesn’t mean you should forfeit a potential romance. Sure, Pete’s clueless most of the time but he seems trainable. And he’s awfully cute.”

“Let’s not forget that Pete refuses to join the Amish church, so a romance would be pointless—even if he knew the meaning of the word,” Molly shot back. “Truth be told, I like Riley better than Pete, anyway. I intend to remain here on the farm with you, sister, like we’ve always agreed upon. We’re turning thirty-five next month, so why would I want to change my life—and my attitude—to accommodate a husband?”

About the Author:In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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Buy the print book from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Chapters Indigo, IndieBound, Kensington, Target, The Book Depository, or Walmart.

Buy the book at Kindle, Kobo, or Google Play.

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First Light in Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Founded by five enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a joyous success. What’s even more remarkable is the gift the business bestows upon each of these unmarried women—the unexpected blessing of love . . .

Leaving Flaud’s Furniture to teach at the community’s new school is a joy for Lydianne Christner. Old Order Amish, but new to Morning Star, she’s grateful that the congregation trusts her with the position—but she panics when handsome Bishop Jeremiah Shetler asks about the life she left behind. If anyone discovers the secret she’s hiding, she would, quite rightly, be shunned.

A widower, Bishop Jeremiah admires young Lydianne’s youthful energy and skill with the children. He’s also curious about her past, and the burden he senses on her heart. When his request to court her is refused, he’s stung, and lonelier than ever. It isn’t until a crisis prompts a tearful Lydianne to confess to him that Jeremiah is faced with a choice that requires all of his faith—and teaches them both that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Hope fluttered like a butterfly in Lydianne Christner’s heart as she parked her rig in the pole barn just north of the new white schoolhouse. It was barely dawn and she was more than an hour early for her interview with the members of Morning Star’s school board, but she needed time to collect her thoughts and plan her answers to the questions she anticipated from the five men who would decide her future. It had been a spur-of-the-moment decision when she’d blurted out her wish to apply for the teaching position at the members’ meeting after church a week ago—but in the days since, Lydianne’s soul had reconfirmed her impulsive outburst.

She really wanted this position. The trick would be replying to the school board’s questions without hinting at the very personal reason she wished to become Teacher Lydianne. Did she stand a chance?

Sighing nervously, Lydianne stepped onto the front stoop of the schoolhouse and opened the front door.

Her heart fluttered at the sight of fresh white walls, low-maintenance tan flooring, and rows of new metal desks and chairs—the front row filled with shorter desks for the youngest scholars. The white board that covered most of the wall behind her awaited whatever instructions she would write with a variety of colored markers, and the built-in bookcases at the back of the classroom would soon hold a small library as well as a collection of textbooks. Sturdy tables along the side walls would provide space for class projects. A stairway led to the lower level, where the scholars would hang their coats and store their lunch buckets when they came in each morning.

The prospect of beginning a new job—a new life—in this fresh setting filled Lydianne with an even greater excitement than she recalled from when she was a scholar, buying paper and supplies as she anticipated each new school year. Even at twenty-three, she loved learning new things and she eagerly looked forward to passing on her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and arithmetic to—

“Ah—gut morning, Lydianne,” a familiar male voice pulled her from her musings. “Somehow I’m not surprised that you arrived early.”

About the Author:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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Order the book at Amazon (ebook}, Amazon (print), Amazon UK (ebook), Amazon UK (print), Amazon CA (ebook), Amazon CA (print), Amazon AU (ebook), Amazon AU (print), Amazon FR (ebook), Amazon FR (print), iBook, iBook UK, iBook CA, iBooks AU, iBooks NZ, Barnes and Noble (ebook), Barnes and Noble (print), The Book Depository, BAM, Chapters Indigo, Google Play, Indiebound, or Kobo.

 

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Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When four maidels join forces to turn an abandoned barn into an Amish marketplace, the unmarried women have community in mind. But their fledgling enterprise promises to reap surprising rewards for each in turn, including the gift of unexpected love . . .

For Regina Miller, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a chance to share her secret work with the world—without revealing herself. Old Order Amish forbid the creation of art without purpose, but without a husband, Regina has been free to explore the joy of painting in her attic. Yet when Gabe Flaud’s curiosity leads him to speculate that Regina herself is the painter, the full weight of their community’s judgement falls on her shoulders. When Gabe stands up to defend Regina, questioning the Order’s restrictions, he reveals his own guilty secret and is shunned along with her. Forced to turn to each other for companionship, the young couple must learn to balance their own needs with their deep faith … and a love that will show them all things are possible.

Enjoy an Excerpt

April had painted the Missouri countryside with a palette of vibrant greens and gentle pastels only God Himself could create. The pastures were lush with new grass, and the dogwood and redbud trees added splashes of pink, cream, and fuchsia to the untamed landscape. Jo Fussner and her four maidel friends were on their afternoon walk, soaking up the midday sunshine. An occasional car passed, but otherwise, Morning Star seemed to be nodding off for its Sunday nap.

As they reached the edge of town, Jo gazed at a dilapidated white stable that sat back from the road. The plank fence around it was also in a sorry state of disrepair. The harsh winter hadn’t done the stable any favors, and Jo thought the place looked sadder than usual as the breeze riffled some of its loose shingles.

The wooden sign posted on the fence alongside the gate startled her. “Did you know this place was for sale?” Jo blurted. “I haven’t seen this sign before.”

“Me neither,” Molly Helfing replied. She glanced at her rail-thin twin sister, Marietta, who was recovering from chemo treatments. “Last I knew, the Clementi fellow who owned this property died in the nursing home—”

An idea was spinning in Jo’s head—an adventurous, totally impractical idea—as she gazed at the long white stable with its peeling paint and missing boards. Her longtime friends would think she was ferhoodled, yet her imagination was running wild with possibilities.

“The Clementi kids must’ve decided to sell the place rather than keep it in the family,” redheaded Regina Miller remarked. “I can’t think it’ll bring much, though, run-down as it is.”

“Anybody who bought it would have to invest a lot of money to make it usable as a stable again,” Lydianne Christner said with a shake of her head.

“But wouldn’t it make a great place for some shops?” Jo blurted out. “You Helfings could sell your homemade noodles, and Mamm and I would have more space to display our bakery stuff and our summer produce—and we could get other local folks to rent spaces, and—and it’s on the main highway! Think of how much more business we’d attract here than we do at the roadside stands in our yards.”

Her friends stared at her as though she’d sprouted a second head.

About the Author:

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Website | Facebook

Buy the ebook at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, iBooks, iBooks UK, iBooks Canada, iBooks Australia, Barnes and Noble, iBooks New Zealand, Kobo, or Google Play.

Order the print book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Chapters Indigo, IndieBound, or The Book Depository.

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Light Shines on Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

For abandoned wife Annabelle Beachey, Promise Lodge is a refuge where she’s gained confidence and self-sufficiency. But she and the others are dismayed when newly arrived Bishop Clayton King claims the community is too progressive and sets out to change its ways. Worse, her husband, Phineas, returns, expecting her to give up her faith as he has. And he won’t leave Promise Lodge without her…

But little by little, Annabelle’s determination and new forthrightness make Phineas realize his mistakes—and truly hear his wife for the first time. Meanwhile, Annabelle finds herself feeling compassion—and even renewed love—for her newly humble, more caring husband. And as Bishop Clayton’s attempt to control Promise Lodge threatens everything its residents have built, Phineas and Annabelle must work together with unshakeable courage to save their new home—and their opportunity for forever happiness.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Annabelle Beachey gazed at the happy couple standing before Bishop Monroe Burkholder to exchange their wedding vows, she fought tears. During the four months she’d spent in an apartment at Promise Lodge, she’d become good friends with the bride, Frances Lehman, and she’d acquired a lot of respect for the groom, Preacher Marlin Kurtz. The love light on their faces shone as a testament to the devotion that had grown between them during their summertime courtship—a brilliant example of how God worked out His purpose through the lives of those who kept His faith, even after they’d been widowed.

Annabelle sighed with the rightness of it all. The women around her dabbed at their eyes as Preacher Marlin repeated his vows in an endearingly confident voice, gazing at Frances as though she were the only woman in the world. Folks here were still in awe because Marlin had bought back all the furnishings Frances had consigned to an auction in May, thinking she had to sell everything to get by because her first husband hadn’t left her with much.

My husband didn’t leave me with much, either. He just left me.

About the Author:

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

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Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon AU, iBooks, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, iBooks AU, iBooks NZ, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

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New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Recently widowed after twenty years of marriage, Frances Lehman is only just tasting the freedom and opportunity that her Promise Lodge friends enjoy. So she’s not about to be pressured into marriage by her widowed brother-in-law, even if she and her daughter have no real means of support. Much more promising is her new friendship with Preacher Marlin Kurtz, though their respective families don’t see their relationship as proper . . .

When Frances suffers a serious injury, she’s determined to prove she can recover—and remain independent—without burdening Marlin. Now, with his steadfast belief in real love tested, Marlin’s hope is that Promise Lodge’s irrepressible residents can help him restore Frances’s joy—and that faith will show them a way to turn their fragile second chance into a blessed and abiding future together.

And don’t miss the first three books in the Promise Lodge series!

Enjoy an excerpt from New Beginnings at Promise Lodge

Frances shaded her eyes with her hand, enthralled with what she saw. “It doesn’t seem like you and I have walked such a long distance, yet from here, the lodge and our homes look like part of a toy village.”

“We’ve come a long way,” Marlin remarked softly. “I’m glad you’ve walked with me, Frances. Our community has taken on even more of a glow because I’m seeing it through your eyes.”

The tone of his voice made Frances’s pulse thrum with an unusual sense of energy, as though the preacher had something on his mind besides the view.

We’ve come a long way.

# # #

Allen treasured Phoebe’s rapt expression and the closeness of her slender body as she leaned against him. He’d given her a gift by showing her Promise Lodge from this hilltop vantage point.

“What about that parcel of land behind the Lehman places?” she asked dreamily. “We’d have a beautiful view of the lake. What do you think, Allen? Should I ask Mamm if I can have it?”

Allen’s throat closed with a sudden case of nerves. He eased away from her, pretending to look at something near the lodge so she wouldn’t see how she’d startled him. Their relationship, which had felt so comfortable over the past week, now gave him the sensation that an invisible halter had been fastened around his head—and that Phoebe was holding the lead rope.

About the author: In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.


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Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, iBooks, iBooks UK, iBooks Canada, iBooks Australia, iBooks New Zealand, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Google Play.

Order the print book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes and Noble, BAM, IndieBound, or The Book Depository

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A Simple Question by Charlotte Hubbard – “Did You Know” and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times—and in the face of an unexpected homecoming.

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts—blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer—not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Rosalyn Riehl walked alongside the county highway pulling a cartload of Christmas wreaths, she gazed up at the sky in surprise. When she’d left home a few minutes earlier, the sun was shining but now low, gray clouds were rolling in and the wind picked up—and for a brief moment tiny pellets of hail pelted her.

It’s going to be a tricky winter, she thought. The weather seems as crazy and mixed up as I feel.

Rosalyn adored the holidays—Thanksgiving was only a week away—yet the thought of the approaching winter made her sigh. Her youngest sister Edith lived across the road with her husband, Asa, and their twins, and her younger sister Loretta was sharing the bedroom down the hall with her new husband, Drew, so Rosalyn felt like the odd woman out. All her life she’d longed for a husband and a family, yet at twenty-eight she saw no probability of fulfilling that dream.

Her cheeks tingled when the season’s first snowflakes met her cheeks. It’s a gut thing I have my new job at Simple Gifts to look forward to, Rosalyn thought as she made her way up the hill toward the store housed in a huge red barn. Working for Nora on Wednesdays and Saturdays sure beats dealing with Loretta and Edith’s moony-eyed gazes and happy chatter about being married to the Detweiler twins whenever we’re all together.

It wasn’t that she begrudged her sisters their happiness. She just wanted some of her own.

About the Author: Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

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Buy the ebook at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon AU, iBooks, iBooks UK, iBooks CA, iBooks AU, iBooks NZ, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Google Play.

Order the print book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Chapters.Indigo, IndieBound, or The Book Depository.

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Critique Groups and Contests? No Thanks. by Charlotte Hubbard – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Critique Groups and Contests? No Thanks.

Although a lot of writers feel they benefit from belonging to a critique group, I’ve never been one of them. I don’t like group members—especially if they haven’t published any full-length fiction—telling me what they either love or would “fix” about the pages they’ve read because you come away with such a mix of advice, and their opinions often contradict each other! What are you supposed to believe?

Same goes for entering contests. Unless the contest judges are editors of a publishing house looking to acquire new authors, the comments and critiques really don’t count for much, the way I see it. Other readers, no matter how well-intentioned, are just giving their opinions, after all. They have no stake in the fate of your book.

I admit it: I’m a bit thin-skinned and I dislike criticism. Over the years, I’ve come to believe my own gut intuition about which elements of a story I should include—and I believe my sense of storytelling is right for the fiction I create.
Do I get revision letters and requests for changes from my editors? You bet I do. Some of the books you’ve read—including A MOTHER’S GIFT—are different in print from the manuscript I originally turned in. Originally, Leah raised deer to sell to a hunting lodge—and I know an Amish family in Jamesport, MO who actually does this for income. My editor felt some readers would be offended or upset about the fate of these deer, so in the final version, Leah raised cattle instead. I trust my editor’s judgment, so I rewrote those parts of the story. Her sensitivity overruled my authenticity.

Here’s my final answer about critique groups and contests: the only person who gets to have an opinion about my work is the one who signs my checks.

Does this sound arrogant? Maybe it is. But if you’re a struggling writer, maybe that piece of writing advice is exactly what will free you from the frustration and confusion that comes from listening to too many voices that drown out your own. Pay attention to feedback from agents and editors who are interested in your work—because they know the market and your genre’s requirements—but otherwise, shut out the noise of other people’s opinions. What do they know?

For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.

Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties.

Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As Lenore Otto sat on the bed with Leah, wistfully watching the dusk of late November fill her daughter’s room, her heart was torn. The two of them had shared this evening ritual of talking and praying since Lenore’s husband, Raymond, had died last year. It had always brought her a comforting sense of peace, along with the certainty that she and her daughter would move forward with the plans God had for them. After all the cleaning they’d done and the preparations they’d made to host Leah’s wedding festivities the next day, she was ready to relax—but she needed to speak the words that weighed so heavily on her heart.

Tomorrow, when Leah got married, their lives would follow separate paths. Lenore knew she would be fine remaining on the small farm alone, making and selling her specialty quilts. She supposed some of her qualms about her daughter’s marriage plagued every mother . . .

Lord, I wish I could believe my Leah’s reaching toward happiness rather than heartache.

Before God’s still, small voice could respond to Lenore, Leah let out an ecstatic sigh. “Oh, Mama, it’s a dream come true,” she murmured. “Starting tomorrow, when I marry Jude, my life will finally be the way I’ve always wanted it. My waiting is over!”

Not for the first time, Lenore sighed inwardly at her daughter’s fantasy. As she returned Leah’s hug, savoring these precious moments in the room where her little girl had matured into a woman of twenty-eight, she didn’t have it in her to shatter Leah’s dreams. No mother wanted her daughter to forever remain a maidel, yet during these final hours before the wedding, Lenore thought she should try once again to point out the realities of marrying Jude Shetler. Jude was a fine, upstanding man any parent would be pleased to welcome as a son-in-law, but as a widower he carried a certain amount of . . . baggage.

About the Author:Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

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A Simple Wish by Charlotte Hubbard – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Making rugs for the Simple Gifts store has taught Loretta Riehl that an unassuming pattern can reveal surprising depth. People, too, have a way of defying first impressions. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but the handsome craftsman has gained the community’s respect for his upholstery skills and commitment to making amends for his mistakes. As her new brother-in-law’s twin, he’s joining the family for dinners and Sunday visits, and Loretta can’t deny enjoying his attentions.

If only her dat were willing to let a little joy into his life. Cornelius Riehl grows sterner with each day, and Drew suspects there’s more to his moods than missing Loretta’s late mamm. Hoping to fulfill Loretta’s wish to live in a peaceful, happy home again, Drew sets out to learn the truth. It’s a journey that will bring to light painful realities—but also the chance to forge a new, honest, and loving future together…

Enjoy an Excerpt

Ordinarily, the shaded front porch was the coolest place to spend a July afternoon, but the sweat trickling down Loretta Riehl’s back had nothing to do with Missouri’s heat and humidity. Will Gingerich, her former fiancé, sat on the other end of the porch swing from her, and his back-and-forth motion was becoming so quick and jerky that she could barely guide her toothbrush needle through the loose knots of the rag rug she was making.

“The biggest mistake I ever made was to let your dat end our engagement, Loretta,” Will said urgently. “I should’ve stood my ground. I should’ve believed that our love was strong enough to withstand my losing the farm to my brothers.”

Loretta swallowed hard, fearful of where this conversation was leading. She’d been devastated when Dat had come between her and Will a couple of years ago, but she’d accepted it as her father’s will—which was second only to God’s will. “Who among us has ever stood up to Dat and won?” she asked in a tight voice. Her hands were trembling as she drew the strip of sage green fabric through the next rug knot with her needle. “I cried my eyes out and pleaded with him again and again, but he was convinced you weren’t gut enough—that you could never provide me a home.”

“He was wrong!” Will declared. “I should’ve insisted that you and I could live at your place—back when we were in Rosewood—the way a lot of newlyweds do until they have the money for a home of their own.”

Loretta stifled a sigh. Why was Will thinking this way, when they both knew they would’ve been miserable living under Dat’s roof after Mamm had died? Even with her sisters, Edith and Rosalyn, to support them, their marriage would’ve gotten off to a rocky start.

About the Author: Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

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A Simple Vow by Charlotte Hubbard – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Simple Vow.inddHoused in a rustic red barn, the Simple Gifts crafts shop celebrates the talents of the Amish of Willow Ridge—and the faith that inspires them. For the acceptance of simplicity opens the path to love.

As far as Edith Riehl is concerned, the baby twins thrust suddenly into her arms are a heaven-sent gift. Unable to conceive, she longs to be a mother with a home of her own. She’s going to abide by her promise to handsome Asa Detweiler to take care of them while he looks for their real father. And even if her domineering dat Cornelius refuses to countenance Asa’s suit, she can only pray the bachelor’s honesty and persistence will uncover the truth—even as he’s kindled an impossible hope for a love of her own…

Asa can’t understand why anyone would think he would be so dishonorable as to father babies and then abandon them. He’s determined to clear his name—but Edith’s caring ways also inspire him to help heal her wounded spirit and earn her trust. In the face of heartbreaking deception, he and Edith must find the strength to understand, forgive…and claim their own hearts’ joy.

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

After taking a hot shower to soothe his aching body, Asa put on one of Luke Hooley’s plain green shirts and then pulled on a pair of his trousers. He and Luke were nearly the same size, and Asa was grateful that his host had loaned him some clean clothes. Despite a killer headache, he chuckled at the assortment of bold prints hanging in the closet—and the fact that some of Luke’s shirts and Nora’s dresses matched. Not every Mennonite husband would be pleased that his woman had sewn such striking garments for him, but Asa suspected Hooley was too enamored of his attractive redheaded wife to fuss about it.

Nice people, these Hooleys. Luke offered me a room and Nora brought me food from the wedding.

Asa gathered his grass-stained clothes from the bathroom floor. He eased down the wooden stairs in his bare feet, aware of every aching muscle and joint in his body. Andy Leitner had told him he was awfully lucky he’d landed in tall grass rather than on gravel, and that he hadn’t hit his head on a nearby tree. Even so, Asa chafed at the local nurse’s order to lay low for a few days until they could assess how bad his concussion was—and until his horse was checked out by a vet. He had an entire set of antique bedroom furniture waiting to be restored in his shop—not to mention his mission of finding some Gingerich guy . . . whose first name had escaped him.

Asa shuffled carefully between the tightly arranged pew benches that filled the main level of the house, in awe of how many guests must have attended the wedding this morning. When he got to the kitchen, he lifted the foil from a glass casserole pan sitting on the counter. He inhaled the rich aroma of sauced pulled pork, several pieces of grilled chicken, and a huge mound of mashed potatoes that had been hollowed out to hold enough baked beans for three men. Next to the casserole pan sat a plate with two pieces of peach pie and a big wedge of wedding cake.

These people know how to put on a party. Asa tossed his dirty clothes aside and then opened drawers until he found a fork. He closed his eyes over a mouthful of the pork and let out a blissful sigh. It was an effort not to wolf down the food as a dog would, hungry as he suddenly was. He didn’t bother finding a plate or taking his meal to the table. As he bit into a chicken leg, he didn’t even care that juice dribbled down his chin—

“Anybody home?”

Asa stiffened, the chicken leg suspended in front of his mouth. Had someone called to him through the screened front door, or was he hearing voices as a symptom of his concussion? Maybe someone had come looking for Nora or—

“Asa? Are you in there?”

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ASimpleVowMany moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Ramona.

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