"Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner."...... I hope you'll stick around for my "Lucille Ball/Gracie Allen" adventures. It promises to be a wild ride.
Zanna Lambright is finally marrying Jonny Ropp, and friends and family have come from far and wide to celebrate. Among them is young widow Rosemary Yutzy, mother of toddler Katie, whose husband was tragically killed last fall. With a willing heart Rosemary has taken over care of her in-law’s family and continued to run a baked goods business from home, but privately she still mourns her lost Joe…and is unprepared for the changes that are coming…
Rosemary’s father-in-law wants to merge his lamb-raising business with Matt Lambright’s—a move that will require the Yutzys to relocate from their nearby town to Cedar Creek. Moreoever, it will bring Rosemary into constant contact with Matt, who is making no secret of his romantic interest in her. The challenges of contemplating a future unlike any she expected are overwhelming for Rosemary. And although Matt is strong and kind, his courtship is so persistent, she often wants to run the other way. As Rosemary struggles to see beyond her immediate joys and sorrows, will she embrace the outpouring of welcome and support from the people of Cedar Creek…and accept this new chance to open her heart to a more abundant life?
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.
As ROSEMARY OPENS HER
HEART goes on sale this week, I’m going to reveal a sneaky way I love to
manipulate readers. I’ve used it in several books before, but the appeal is
universal: no matter what sort of story you’re telling, cute little kids hook
readers’ hearts. And when you add in valiant dogs who come to the rescue just
when those little kids are in deep, dark danger, it’s an unbeatable combo. Kids
and dogs just go together—especially in faith-and family stories like these
Amish series I’ve been writing.
Travel back with me, to
those thrilling days of yesteryear…do you remember watching “Lassie” on TV
(black and white, back in the day)? Do you recall how just hearing the theme
song of that show made you rush to the living room to catch the latest
adventures of Timmy and his faithful collie, Lassie? You knew darn well that
sometime during the show, Timmy would get into a dangerous situation and Lassie
would drag him out of the pit or defend him from a predator. Or, that noble,
intelligent dog would rush back to the house and bark and bark until someone
there realized Timmy was in deep doodoo and needed more help than Lassie could
The technique still
works! And I use it ruthlessly in ROSEMARY OPENS HER HEART.
While Rosemary, a young
Amish widow, already has plenty of conflict on her plate, her toddler Katie is
the light of her life—and the life of the party, far as how this story unfolds.
Matt Lambright (we met him in book 1, ABBY FINDS HER CALLING) meets Rosemary at
a wedding and wham! He has to know
more about that attractive stranger in black. But it’s playful Katie who
started the ball rolling by toddling over to him and wanting to play with his
two Border collies, which meant Rosemary came into the scene looking for her
wandering child. See how a three-year-old blonde set up the whole romance with
a giggle and a finger in her mouth?
Rosemary, however, wants
nothing to do with Matt—or any other man. She lost her husband in a hunting
accident and moved in with his father Titus to run the household and help with
Titus’s twelve-year-old daughter, as Titus’s wife had died shortly before his
son did. It was a noble gesture on Rosemary’s part, but now she’s trapped.
Titus, who raises sheep, decides to partner with Matt and combine their flocks,
so Rosemary must decide: will she make the move to Cedar Creek, or stay behind
on her own? It doesn’t help one bit that everyone is telling her little Katie
needs a father, and that Rosemary should come out of mourning and live again.
Long story short: during
the move, Katie’s innocent wanderings lead her into the sheep pasture, where testy
ewes are watching her…ready to charge
if Katie messes with their lambs. Matt and Rosemary realize the little girl has
disappeared but she could have toddled anywhere on either of two farms—crossed
the road and gotten hit—
But the Border collies
save the day. And when Matt scoops that little girl into his arms and gives her
a talking-to about how badly she’s scared everyone, Rosemary realizes that
maybe this young fellow who’s been pursuing her so relentlessly has a few
points in his favor. It’s a gratifying story to tell, all about Amish families
coming together to help each other. And just like when each TV episode of
“Lassie” came to an end, you can heave a sigh of relief that all will be well.
Rosemary might be the title character, but it’s her daughter and Matt’s dogs
that pull readers through the story by their heartstrings.
Thanks for your interest
in my books! You can find excerpts and more info at www.NaomiKingAuthor.com.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, and many blessings to count in the
coming holiday season.