Monday, November 19, 2012

Autumn Winds by Charlotte Hubbard (Guest post)

Autumn Winds (Seasons of the Heart)
The leaves are falling and there’s a chill in the air in Willow Ridge, Missouri, the quaint, quiet Amish town where love, loyalty, and faith in the Old Ways are about to be put to the test …Winds of change are blowing through Willow Ridge, and they're bringing a stranger to the Sweet Seasons Cafe. At first, widowed Miriam Lantz has misgivings about Ben Hooley, a handsome but rootless traveling blacksmith. But as she gets to know the kind-hearted newcomer, she wonders if his arrival was providential. Perhaps she could find love again - if only there weren't so many obstacles in the way. With Bishop Knepp relentlessly pursuing her hand in marriage and the fate of her beloved cafe at stake, Miriam must listen to God and her heart to find the happiness she longs for, and the love she deserves.

Charlotte Hubbard

Naomi King
I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life, and most folks don’t realize that several Old Older Amish and Mennonite communities make their home here, as well. The rolling pastureland, woods, and small towns along county highways make a wonderful setting for Plain populations—and for stories about them, too! While Jamesport, Missouri is the largest Old Order Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River, other communities have also found the affordable farm land ideal for raising crops, livestock, and running the small family-owned businesses that support their families.

Like my heroine, Miriam Lantz, of my new Seasons of the Heart series, I love to feed people—to share my hearth and home. I bake bread and goodies and I love to try new recipes. I put up jars and jars of green beans, tomatoes, beets and other veggies every summer. All my adult life, I’ve been a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and we hosted a potluck group in our home for more than twenty years.

Like Abby Lambright, heroine of my new Home at Cedar Creek series, I consider it a personal mission to be a listener and a peacemaker—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. Faith and family, farming and frugality matter to me: like Abby, I sew and enjoy fabric arts—I made my wedding dress and the one Mom wore, too, when I married into an Iowa farm family more than thirty-five years ago! When I’m not writing, I crochet and sew, and I love to travel.

I recently moved to Minnesota when my husband got a wonderful new job, so now he and I and our border collie, Ramona, are exploring our new state and making new friends.

To find out more about Charlotte, please visit her at

Guest Post:

You wouldn’t think inspiration for an Amish novel would come from a trip to Lowe’s, but that’s exactly where the idea for the four little goats—and then the two maiden aunts—in AUTUMN WINDS came from!

You see, I was hanging around Lowe’s waiting for my husband to find his home improvement stuff, just gawking at the book and magazine rack to kill time. I was partway into writing this book about Miriam Lantz and her wonderful new love, Ben Hooley . . . wondering how on earth they were going to get Bishop Hiram Knepp off Miriam’s case, when voila! I spotted a book about raising goats! I didn’t know a thing about goats, and didn’t know how they would play into the story, but instinct told me that if I took that book home I wouldn’t be sorry.

From out of nowhere (which usually means it’s a direct lightning strike from God) I got the idea that goats would be just the diversionary tactic I needed to waylay Hiram’s unwanted attentions—and along with the goats came two old maid school teacher aunts. We all know how you can’t tell those women what to do! And, as it turned out, Hiram Knepp was no match for Jerusalem Hooley and the four little goats she brought him as a gift when she and her sister Nazareth came to Missouri with their nephews, the Hooley brothers.

What followed was sheer magic, and more fun than I’ve ever had with creating characters. From the first moment they appeared on my page, Jerusalem and Nazareth were so alive and so funny—and so outspoken—I knew AUTUMN WINDS wouldn’t be the last story they appeared in. Hiram, too, was more smitten with Jerusalem than he cared to admit . . . enough that he sort of makes a fool of himself. But then, everyone around Miriam is just grateful that the bishop has backed off, while Hiram’s oldest daughters are glad for the way the Hooley aunts take charge of their four youngest sibs as only old schoolteachers can do.

But because Bishop Knepp has been a villain my readers, my editor, and I love to hate, I certainly couldn’t let his attraction to Jerusalem run the easy, satisfying course. Nope. The arrogant bishop of Willow Ridge will dig himself deeper into trouble in WINTER OF WISHES (comes out 9/13) just as Jerusalem and Nazareth have inspired sweet romances with far more worthy men in AN AMISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (comes out 10/13).  

So, see? Who knew, when I entered Lowe’s on that ordinary evening about a year ago, that I would be taking home such extraordinary inspiration for many Willow Ridge story lines to come?  I hope you’ll enjoy the Hooley sisters as well as the fine, fun story Ben Hooley creates with Miriam Lantz in AUTUMN WINDS. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when a spirited, forty-year-old widow finds love with an attractive (and rather mysterious) younger man? 

I will be reviewing Autumn Winds this fall. I hope you'll follow my blog for this and more reviews.

Autumn Winds and many other books by Charlotte Hubbard can be found at

Don't forget to visit and enter to win an Amazon Gift Certificate!

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