Monday, November 19, 2012

Rosemary Opens Her Heart by Naomi King (Guestpost, Spotlight)


Another spring reminds the Amish of Cedar Creek, Missouri, that for everything there is a season.

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.

To find out more about Naomi, please visit her at http://www.naomikingauthor.com/.



Guest Post:
Cute Kids and Heroic Dogs

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 give him.

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.

Rosemary Opens Her Heart is available on Amazon:







Don't forget to visit and enter to win an Amazon Gift Certificate!
Thanksgiving and Gratitude for you.
Enhanced by Zemanta

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Donna, for devoting time and space to my books, posting them with buy links, and helping me promote online! I so appreciate what you've done here on your blog! ~Charlotte/Naomi

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so very welcome Charlotte. My buy links seem to be acting up - I think it's the Amazon link. I love your books. Donna

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it! I read each and every response, and I love hearing thoughts and opinions from fellow bloggers, readers, and authors. If you have a blog, please leave a link so I can visit you back. Thank you.

I try to answer most comments, so if you would like to read my response, please visit often. Or, just click the "Email follow-up comments to [...]" box before publishing, to receive notification of new comments.

If you have to leave a comment anonymously, don't leave one at all. I will delete it. Own up to your thoughts.