I’m excited to have author Shelley Shepard Gray on the blog today. She’s the author of the Amish Brides of Pinecraft and is visiting today to share the fourth book in the series–A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft.
Before we dive into her book blurb and excerpt, please check out her guest post because she’s sharing 10 Amish spots to visit. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Afterward, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway!
Take it away Shelley…
Litfuse: Top 10 Amish Spots to Visit
We wanted to do something a little different for guest posts this time! Would you share 10 of your favorite Amish spots (quilt shops, bakeries, restaurants, covered bridges, farms, etc.) that you’ve visited? The places don’t need to be in the same Amish community. And if you have pictures of any of the places, we’d love to share them. Let me know if that sounds good to you!
- Sugarcreek, Ohio. I’ve written 7 books that take place in Sugarcreek. It’s also where my Amish friends live, so I’ve been here quite a bit. When I think of my very favorite Amish communities, this lovely, adorable town always comes to mind first.
- Adams County, Ohio. This is the community that is just an hour away from where I live. It’s where I saw my first buggy. There’s also a lovely inn there, called The Murphin Ridge Inn, where my girlfriends and I have stayed at many times for writers weekends. There is also a covered bridge here, which is fun.
- For next year’s series which will be set in Charm, I visited Keim Lumber. It’s huge and has just about everything anyone would want. It’s also just about the prettiest lumber retail store you could find!
- Walnut Creek Cheese Shop. This is my very favorite place to shop in Amish country. It’s a massive place, which everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade ice cream, books, jams, and gourmet cooking supplies. There is also a terrific mix of Amish, Mennonite, English and tourists inside.
- Pinecraft, Florida. I recently discovered Pinecraft and have now visited there two times in two years. It’s located in the heart of Sarasota. Amish from all over the country visit here in the winter. The best place to visit in Pinecraft (for me, at least) is Yoder’s Best. Pie. Ever.
- Siesta Key, Florida. This is the beautiful beach just about a ten minute drive from Pinecraft. It’s listed as one of the best beaches in America. It features silky white sand, few people, and warm water. What more could a person want, especially in February?
- Shipshewana, Indiana. About five years ago, I went on an Amish Country Tour with authors Vannetta Chapman and Amy Clipston. We got to ride in the Shipshewana Christmas Parade! Being the parade was a hoot. Seeing the beautiful area, all covered in snow and twinkling lights? Amazing.
- Crittenden County, KY. I wrote four books set in this southwestern county in Kentucky. The area is remote, a little bit wild, and the people couldn’t have been kinder or more helpful. The town in the heart of it is Marion. Very close is Paducah, which has a large quilt fair every year.
- Berlin, OH. If someone has never been to Amish country, I often tell them to visit Berlin. There are lots of shops and restaurants here. It’s a lot of fun. My favorite place to visit here is the Gospel Book Store. It’s in a building that also houses a grocery store and pharmacy. The Pioneer Trails buses pick up and drop off Amish here, too. So it’s fun to imagine going on a bus trip with them down to Florida for the winter!
- Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek. As you might imagine, I’ve eaten at a lot of Amish restaurants! I have to admit that this is probably my favorite. They had a chicken pot pie that is phenomenal. Sitting in a booth at Dutch Valley brings back a lot of great memories.
Though puzzling, her friend’s well-meaning words enabled her to refocus. Falling apart now wouldn’t help anything and would only serve to make things worse. She had to be strong. Picking up her stride, she walked into the gathered crowd, then stopped abruptly when the inn finally came into full view.
What a sight it was!
One of the parlor windows was broken, the front door hung wide open, and uniformed officers stood scattered around the lot as yellow police tape kept the onlookers at bay.
As she looked from one officer to another, panic set in again. She couldn’t determine who to approach.
So she scanned the crowd for familiar faces, for anyone who might be able to give her some indication about what had happened. But most folks, unfortunately, simply looked shocked.
Then she spied Zack Kaufmann. She’d gotten to know him and his family well a couple of months ago when he’d been courting one of her guests.
“Zack?” she called out as she made her way over to him.
He stepped forward, waving a tan arm above his straw hat. “There you are!” he exclaimed as he looked her over. His usually bright blue eyes were shadowed with worry. “The police have been waiting for you.”
She pressed her lips together to keep them from trembling and drew in a shaky breath. “Zack, what happened? Do you know anything?”
“As far as I can tell, it looks like you’ve had a break in.”
“A break in?” It didn’t even make sense. She’d never heard of any sort of crime happening in Pinecraft. Why, some people even left their doors and windows unlocked! Not her though. This inn meant everything to her.
Zack looked as if he was attempting to figure out a way to reassure her when his eyes lit up on someone approaching her from behind. “Oh, gut,” he murmured. “Officer Roberts, this here is Beverly Overholt. She owns the inn.”
“Runs,” Beverly corrected absently. Until earlier this year, she’d believed she’d owned the inn, having inherited it after her aunt’s passing. Now she knew that Eric Wagler was the actual owner. Her aunt had merely been renting the property and now Beverly just managed it for him.
Immediately, a new dread coursed through her. Oh, how was she going to tell Eric what had happened? And when she did, what was he going to say? Would he blame her for this mess? Though she had no guests this week, she certainly hoped no one had been nearby and gotten hurt. Staring at the building, she bit her lip so hard she drew blood. What had actually happened?
too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.