Katie Detweiler grew up Amish, never knowing she was adopted as an infant. Now an adult, her new job as cook at an Amish bed and breakfast doesn’t bring about the euphoria she hoped for. Just as she’s getting her menu perfected, the Englisch family and severely ill sister she never knew existed enter her life and strain her Amish relationships. Plus, Katie suddenly has two different men vying for her attention—one Amish, one Englisch—and she wonders if one of them could be the man of her dreams. But when her Englisch sister’s health worsens, Katie must find a way to balance her heart, her job, and her faith while risking her own life for the sister she never knew.
He’s hiding from a cold-blooded killer; her Amish identity has been stripped away. Both must find a way to balance their hearts, their jobs, and their faith while risking their lives for another.
“Today I met the man I’m going to marry.” Patsy Swartz’s singsongy voice was too chipper.
Katie Detweiler climbed out of Daed’s buggy and turned to lift the cooler from the back as her not-exactly-a-friend bounced up to her side. Katie braced herself to spend time with bubbly Patsy.
Her heart ached with a stab of envy.
Would she ever marry?
Daed snorted, in apparent disbelief. “Bye, Katie-girl. Have fun at the frolic.” He clicked at the horse, and pulled around the circle drive.
“The new bu in town,” Patsy squealed as if Katie had actually asked who. “He is sooooo cute! And I’m going to marry him. I’m thinking Valentine’s Day. Will you stand up with me? I’m asking Mandy, too.”
Marriage? The new bu in town? Why was she the last to know these things? Katie didn’t even know Patsy was part of a couple. Wait, she wasn’t. Just yesterday she moaned over the lack of interesting men in her life.
Katie shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. “Ach, stand up with you? Valentine’s Day? Jah, I can do that. What new bu in town?”
Patsy huffed. “Where have you been, Katie? There is a world outside that bed and breakfast, ain’t so?”
“When did you meet him? You didn’t mention him yesterday.” She adjusted her grip on the handles and started toward the haus.
“He’s visiting Micah Graber, a cousin or something. He’s here, right over… Ach, I see Mandy. I’ll tell you about him later.” She turned away and glanced over her shoulder. “You’re still standing up with me. Valentine’s Day. Write that down, Katie.”
Patsy ran across the driveway to where Mandy Hershberger stood by the open barn doors.
A Valentine’s Day wedding? Was Patsy serious? Most brides married between November to January, not February, when fields need to be prepared for planting. And wouldn’t the bishop have something to say about Patsy marrying a man she only knew for, what, half an hour?
Valentine’s Day was still a long ways off. It was only August. And Patsy probably would’ve moved on three times by then.
But he was here? This mystery man Patsy planned to wed? Katie turned around and scanned the buwe playing volleyball, looking for someone she didn’t know. She didn’t see anyone new. Or, maybe he just didn’t stand out. Patsy, getting married? If Katie knew her at all, she’d be promised to this new bu in a short time. What Patsy wanted, she usually got. Even if they did call a break several weeks into the relationship.
Katie sighed. It’d be nice if someone noticed her. And recognized her as a permanent part of his future.
She turned toward the haus to deliver the food. A long row of tables was set up inside the kitchen, already piled full. Katie set the cooler down next to the door and took out a plate of chocolate chip cookies. She walked over and put them on the table, at one end with the other desserts, then stepped back and surveyed the array of cookies and fried pies. Maybe she should’ve made something else besides cookies. But Daed wouldn’t mind if she brought the entire plateful back home.
“Hi, Katie.” Micah’s mamm came into the room. “Glad you made it. Micah’s playing volleyball, if you want to join in. His cousin Abram is visiting from
.” She smiled. “I’m sure you’ll want
an introduction.” Indiana
Katie wasn’t so sure, except maybe to see what was so special about this mystery man. It probably was nothing other than he hadn’t already courted Patsy, since she had gone with almost every other Amish bu in the district.
Ach, that was unkind. Katie found a smile. “Danki. I’ll find Micah.” Later. They’d probably see each other sometime. He usually made a point to say hi to her.
Katie took a step toward her cooler to get the rest of her food when the outside door burst open. She gazed into knock-‘em dead blue eyes belonging to the most handsome someone she’d never seen. She stared at the stranger, her mouth open. He shoved his fingers through his brown hair, dislodging his straw hat, and backed up.
“Micah sent me to get the coolers and the big picnic jugs.”
Lizzie Graber laughed. “Ach, they’re out on the porch. You walked right past them.”
His eyes met Katie’s again and he nodded in greeting. Her heart pounded loud enough she worried he’d hear it. “Sorry, Aenti Lizzie. Don’t know what I was thinking.” He shook his head and backed out of the room, his gaze still locked on Katie, then turned and shut the door.
Lizzie laughed again. “Those buwe are all the same. A pretty girl and they have to go check her out.”
Pretty? Lizzie believed he’d come in because he thought she was pretty? But he didn’t stay long enough to say hi. Or to ask her name. Not that it mattered. She probably would’ve been tongue-tied anyway. Katie straightened, willing her heart rate back to normal. A gut-looking bu she didn’t know. Micah’s cousin. That must be Patsy’s… whatever she’d call him. Her intended, since she said she was marrying him on Valentine’s Day. So why did it matter what he thought?
Her insides deflated like a popped balloon.
Katie studied the dessert selection again. Other than the chips in her cookies, there wasn’t any chocolate in sight—unless some of the fried pies were filled with the delicious comfort.
Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. And the Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love. Surrendered Love releases April 2013, and the third book will release September 2013. A nonAmish book The Appalachian Ballad Quilt will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.
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