Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Love Song for Louella by Marsha Hubler

Twenty-five-year-old Amish Louellen Friesen finds herself falling in love with forty-year-old Dr. David McAndrew, a widower with two children, for whom she cleans house regularly in Mapletown, Snyder County, Pennsylvania. There’s only one problem. Louellen is already married to Eli Friesen.
Louellen has some love for Eli, but because of her church vows, sets out to be the best wife and mother she can be, especially when God blesses them with little ones. However, after three years, there are no children. Louellen is devastated, and Eli becomes bitter, feeling trapped in a marriage that has produced no offspring even though he knows that he has the medical problem, not his wife. Although he treats Louellen civil in public, at home he ignores her needs, and their wedded life is nothing but a disappointment to both.

What should Louellen do? Turn her back on her husband and her Amish Ordnung? Should she leave, become English, and marry Dr. McAndrew, a man who has promised her the moon? What causes Louellen and Eli to be shunned by their Amish Ordnung?

Book Excerpt



Marsha Hubler
Chapter One

“Watch out!” Dr. McAndrew yelled, and in an instant, Louellen Friesen found her slender frame in the man’s embrace, his strong arms breaking the fall that would have landed her face first in his afternoon coffee.
      As usual, Louellen had not been paying attention to what she was doing on this spring housecleaning day. Her thoughts were engrossed in the beautiful piano music piping softly from the CD speakers, and she’d been humming the now familiar tune she heard every Saturday during the past year. Reaching up to polish the cut glass chandelier above the dining room table in Dr. McAndrew’s home, she had stretched a little too far, and the stool had slipped away. As she lost control, her can of cleanser and cloth went flying as the stool toppled and smacked loudly on the oak hardwood floor.
Yipe, yipe! McGruff, the family Scottie, scrambled away from the noise, his nails clawing in vain for a grip on the slippery turf.
“I’ve got you!” Dr. McAndrew said, his arms wrapped tightly around Louellen’s waist.
“Lou, are you all right?” Andrea McAndrew rushed in from the kitchen, hands embedded with flour paste. “What were you doing, playing chicken with that fancy light?”
“What’s happening?” Jenna yelled from the adjoining den. “I can’t get my homework done with all this racket,” she joked.
Dr. McAndrew answered as he steadied Louellen. “No worry, girls. Our housekeeper took a little spill, but I caught her just in time. She sure knows how to get my attention away from my coffee and newspaper. Go back to your report, Jenna.”
“Is Gruffy all right?” Jenna asked. “It sounded like the roof fell in on him.”
“He got a good scare,” Andrea yelled from the kitchen, “but he’s okay. No problem.”
Louellen gasped for breath as she regained her balance and pulled away from her employer’s arms. His touch, first ever and accompanied by the sweet smell of his expensive Canoe after shave, stirred something deep inside Louellen’s heart that she didn’t expect. For a moment, she focused on his gorgeous wavy, blonde hair and handsome face and then quickly lowered her gaze. Never before had she allowed herself to look into this man’s gentle brown eyes, although she had studied him from a distance. Hands shaking, she adjusted the white mesh kapp covering her auburn hair then ran her hands down the sides of her navy cape choring dress. She shifted her green eyes to the dog sitting nearby with a puzzled look on his face as if to say, “What happened?”
 “Gruffy, kum.” Louellen’s voice quivered as she bent down and snapped her fingers.
The dog, ears laid back tight, waddled to Louellen. She snuggled him against her chest and patted his head. “I’m sorry I scared the wits out of ya.” His tail wagged fiercely as he stared at Louellen with all-forgiving eyes.
Andrea rushed back into the room, her hands washed clean of flour paste. She knelt down and tickled McGruff under his chin. “He’ll survive. Lou, you sure know how to liven things up around here.”
 Louellen smoothed her dress again and looked at Dr. McAndrew. “Jah, that’s me. Never a dull moment with clumsy Louellen Friesen.”
“You’re not clumsy, Louellen. Accidents happen,” Dr. McAndrew said. “I’m just glad you aren’t hurt.”
“My silly mind was too far from the task at hand,” Louellen said, glancing at the CD player. “I must learn to concentrate on my work. Jah.”
“I heard you humming along with Andrea’s CD.” Dr. McAndrew wagged his finger at her and smiled. “You like that kind of music, don’t you?”
“Jah,” Louellen admitted, “but our Amish ways don’t permit us to play or even listen to anything like that. Bishop Mueller says that kind of music is of the devil and is made with instruments of evil.”
“Your people believe music like ‘Serenade’ by Schubert is evil?” Andrea released a subtle laugh. “They should hear what most teens are listening to today. It would make their toes curl. And, Lou, if you ever want to hear this piece done ‘up close,’ let me know. That’s one of my practice CDs from a couple of years ago. I’ll give you a live performance on our Baby Grand anytime you’d like.”
“Anytime,” Dr. McAndrew added. He stared at Louellen with a warmth that she had never seen from a man before.  Her racing heart and thoughts transported her back to  rumschpringe, her running wild days seven or so years ago when she lived loose with the Plain boys. But never had she met anyone who made her heart melt. Not like this.
Face flushing, she covered her mouth with her hands and muttered, “Please forgive my clumsiness. I am truly sorry.”  She glanced at Andrea whose face betrayed a twist of humor, then Louellen stepped farther away from Dr. McAndrew. “I am so ashamed.”
“Now, Louellen,” Dr. McAndrew said, uprighting the stool, “first of all, there’s no harm done. Second, I’ve asked you to call me David.”
“Yes, Dr. David. I’ll try.”
Dr. McAndrew released a hearty chuckle. “Just David, Louellen. Not Dr. David.”
“Oh, Lou, don’t take life so seriously.” Andrea coiled her long blonde curls behind her ears and turned toward the kitchen. “I’m just glad you aren’t hurt. Now c’mon. Forget the cleaning for a sec and help me with this schnitz pie recipe you gave me. I think I added too much flour, and I don’t like sour cream. Do you think I could leave the cream out? Maybe I’ll make a shoofly pie instead. What do you think?”
“Well, I—” Louellen turned toward the kitchen.
David touched Louellen’s shoulder. “Are you sure you’re okay? I don’t want anything to happen to my number one housekeeper.”
Louellen allowed herself to gaze into the man’s eyes again as his touch sent tingling sensations up her spine. Every word he spoke thrilled her heart, and she loved being with his family in his home, with him. She loved feeling safe and so cared for, so needed. Suddenly, just like she had fallen off the stool, Louellen felt herself falling hopelessly in love.

But he must never know, Louellen promised herself as she hurried into the kitchen. And, Gott in himmel, forgive me. My husband must never, never know.

About Marsha:

Marsha Hubler, author of the best-selling tween Keystone Stables Series, lives in central PA with her husband and two dogs. Her latest published works, THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY SERIES and THE SNYDER COUNTY QUILTING BEE SERIES 2 SHORT STORIES,  Amish/Mennonite fiction by Helping Hands Press, was created out of Marsha’s friendship with many Plain Folk who live in Snyder County. She has 17 books in print and dozens of articles and short stories.

A frequent speaker at writers’ conferences, she has a passion to help beginning writers get their work primed for publication. Visit Marsha at her website, http://www.marshahubler.com and her blog that features writers’ tips for all genres and Amish and Mennonite traditions: http://www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

To purchase Marsha's book:

Marsha Hubler is giving away a copy of Love Song for Louellen.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


cjajsmommy said...

I seem to always be the early bird at the Barn Door! I very much want to read "Love Song for Louella." cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com
Deb Ragno

Anonymous said...

This book looks very interesting. How will it end? Hmmmm guessing I'll have to get the book to find out!

Keep writing! :)

Diana Flowers said...

I would love to read this post surgery! Am getting my stack together -- Kindle and paperbacks! :) Thank you for the opportunity!


Anonymous said...

I think "Love Song for Louellen" will be an enjoyable book.

patucker54 at aol dot com

Emma said...

I am looking forward to reading LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN.Thank you for the opportunity to win.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com. I enjoy reading your books.

Anonymous said...

Hello Marsha. i have wanted your Love of Snyder County books ever since I first saw it but was never able to get it. So I would be so happy to win your book. Thanks for the give-away. Thanks Sandra for hosting Marsha. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Anonymous said...

Hello Marsha,
I love mysteries. I also love Amish stories. This book looks to
be a very interesting one.
Thank you for this opportunity.

Joyce Guard

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