Some interesting tidbits about the Amish of Kentucky

Happy Wednesday, readers. Today I’d like to share with you some interesting tidbits I learned from Linda Hitchcock, lifelong Kentucky resident and friend to several Amish and Old Order Mennonite families. One of her good friends works as a “driver” for those who usually use horses and buggies to get around. Her peak driving months are post harvest, from mid-October until around mid-March, when most crops have been planted. The Amish will still drive for doctor and dentist appointments and major grocery shopping trips. But the long-distance travel for weddings and visiting relatives isn’t done, except in rare emergencies like funerals. This driver mentioned that the ultra-conservative, Schwartzentruber Amish, are much quieter during these trips. They don’t make jokes or laugh much, and do not sing along the way. The less conservative Amish sing on long trips and aren’t inclined to be so serious. In Kentucky, most Amish weddings take place during the late fall and winter. January, particularly around New Year’s, is a very popular time for weddings! Drivers of the Amish get their business by word-of-mouth, and often take their clients great distance to North and South Dakotas and beyond, staying with the relatives as their hosts. Amish as now living in thirty states, along with Canada.

Next week I’ll share some other interesting things I learned about their gardens and home-run businesses. Have a lovely week and great Labor Day weekend!  Happy reading!  MaryLittle Bit of Charm, A

We have a consensus, and another winner

Good Monday Morning, readers,

Thanks to all of you who left me a comment after last week’s post. I had been curious about a Christian’s viewpoint on horseracing, and in particular, gambling on races. I asked the questions: Can a devout Christian be a devotee? (of racing) What about plunking down two dollars on your favorite to win the race?  I loved reading your responses. My next book, A Little Bit of Charm, deals with a young man who breeds and raises a colt to be a winner. His devoutly religious dad takes exception to Jake’s obsession with racing, particularly the expense of training a horse to contender status. His new Amish girlfriend, a lover of horses herself, also disagrees with plenty in Jake’s new lifestyle.

I have always loved horseracing, and once laid a two-dollar bet on Winning Colors to win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (She did, by the way, but I only bet on her because she was a filly!) Most of you felt: A little gambling in moderation will not hurt, but anything excessive, or anything at all if you can’t afford it, should be avoided. I watched the Preakness this past Saturday. No money was involved. I loved watching those sleek Thoroughbreds do what they’re bred to do. But alas, they’ll be no Triple Crown winner. Oxbow won it, denying Orb his second jewel.

And finally, Maria Kulscar, your name was drawn as the winner of Love Comes to Paradise, book 2 in the New Beginnings series. Please contact be at maryeellis@yahoo.com so I can send that out to you.  Mary

Any readers fans of Thoroughbred racing?

Happy Monday, readers,Little Bit of Charm, A

This Saturday is the annual running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland. Orb, the winner of the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago in Louisville, will be vying for the second jewel of the prestigious Triple Crown. The third and final stakes race will be the Belmont Stakes in New York, three weeks later. I will be watching on TV, routing Orb on to victory. None of my hard earned money will be at stake, however. I love watching horses race, pure and simple. I attended the Preakness once, years ago, and the Kentucky Derby four times. I enjoyed myself thoroughly at each event. These days, fighting traffic and mega-crowds is no longer quite so appealing. Alas, I’ve become a couch-potato Thoroughbred racing fan. Over the years, I’ve encountered other Christians who take exception to horseracing in general, and betting on races in particular. In book three of my New Beginnings series, I explore a young man’s dream of raising a Thoroughbred colt to contender status as a three-year-old. His devout Christian father grabbles with the son’s obsession with racing, both the cost of training and the lure of potential riches. His young Amish girlfriend grabbles with Jake’s obsession with money, period. I had so much fun writing this story, and learned something about myself along the way.

I’m curious about my readers’ opinions on horseracing. Can a devout Christian be a devotee? What about plunking down two dollars on your favorite to win the race?

To celebrate A Little Bit of Charm being sent to the printers this week, I’m  giving away a copy of Love Comes to Paradise to someone who leaves a comment. Please give me your two-cents worth. And have a lovely week! Contest open to US and Canadian residents. Mary

Happy New Year and here’s our winner of Amy’s book

Happy New Year, readers, and I hope 2013 is off to a good start for you and yours.

Here’s our winner of Saving Gideon by Amy Lilliard….Johnda Scott! Johnda…you’re the next winner on Home Thoughts of a great piece of Amish fiction. I will be contacting you privately.

I am pleased to announced book three of the New Beginnings series is done and being sent to my editor at Harvest House today! I am tickled pink to get it done on time. A Little Bit of Charm will be released this summer.

Book two of the series, Love Comes to Paradise, has received it’s first editorial review from Romatic Times Magazine. They gave it 4-stars! Here’s the capsule version: The second New Beginnings novel is a sweet, adorable love story with credible characters who want a fresh start and to leave painful memories behind them. They encounter unexpected obstacles and rely on their faith to help them break through those obstacles. Ellis gives the Amish culture the respect it deserves, and her research on the Amish way of life shines in each of her stories. Thanks so much, RT magazine.

And finally, book one of the series, Living in Harmony, is still on sale in e-book version at all e-distributors like christianbook.com, amazon.com, b&n.com and i-Tunes. It’s under 3 bucks but today is the last day if you haven’t read this one yet.  On Monday, I start something fresh which will take me back to my beloved Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio. In the meantime, enjoy these fresh first days of a new year.    Mary

Living in Harmony on sale for E-readers

Happy day-after-Christmas, readers,

I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but here in Ohio (central and northern) we’re getting a blizzard at the moment. What a good day to stay indoors and build a fire in the fireplace.

And if you’re looking for something to do while you’re shut in, (especially if you got a new E-reader for Christmas…) my latest book, Living in Harmony,  is on sale in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and the Sony Reader.  From now until January 2nd, Book One of the New Beginnings series is under 3.00 at all participating distributors, including Amazon, CBD.com, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc. In fact, Amazon has it for 2.44. What a deal!

Living in Harmony won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction by the Christian Manifesto.
So if you’re fond of Amish fiction, now’s the time to pick up my latest for cheap.
Book two of the series, Love Comes to Paradise, will release end of January through the Internet, and by February 1st in stores.
In the meantime, be safe, stay warm and dry, and off the roads if they’re nasty.
Mary

We have a winner of Rebecca’s Rose, folks….

Happy Tuesday, Readers,

Without further ado, we have a winner in the drawing for Rebecca’s Rose by Jennifer Beckstrand. Drum roll please…Mary Ellen Ashenfelder, you are the lucky winner. I’ve met this writer and she is a lovely person, beside a great writer. So Mary Ellen, if you would contact me via email (not on the blog) with your mailing addresses, Jennifer will send a copy of Rebecca’s Rose out to you.

here’s my email address: maryeellis@yahoo.com

Here in Ohio, it’s raining and showing the first signs of fall. Yes, our furnace has already been on because I am a freeze-baby! Today I’m back to work, trying my best to make headway in Book 3 of the New Beginnings series, A Little Bit of Charm. Keep the faith, readers, and always make time in your busy days to read!