Christmas at Promise Lodge
by Charlotte Hubbard
GENRE: Inspirational Romance (Amish)
Promise Lodge's first wedding is cause for celebration—but the bishop's narrow-minded wedding sermon doesn't sit well with the Bender sisters, especially widowed Mattie Schwartz. She believes marriage and family aren't the only important gifts God gives--even if she suspects her tender feelings for Preacher Amos Troyer run deeper than simple friendship. Amos hasn't given up hope that stubborn, spirited Mattie will change her mind about taking another husband, but when an accident threatens to change his life forever, he wonders if the Lord has sent him a message. He'll need faith, hope, and charity to find the right path—and a Christmas blessing to convince Mattie to walk it with him.
When Mattie stepped out the dining room’s back door, leaving the laughter and loud chatter behind her, she savored the serenity of the sun-dappled shade. The huge old maple trees were dropping their leaves, so the grassy yard resembled a green quilt with a freestyle design in brilliant shades of red, gold, and orange. The breeze held a hint of winter, reminding Mattie that she’d soon be wearing her coat every time she stepped outside.
The row of brown cabins, which had served as temporary homes for incoming residents, would be closed up in a few weeks because they didn’t have any heat. Amos, Noah, and Deborah had devoted a lot of time to refurbishing those cottages over the summer. Preacher Marlin Kurtz and his kids, Fannie and Lowell, fourteen and twelve, were now living in the largest cabin while Marlin’s son and daughter-in-law, Harley and Minerva, were staying in another one—all of them awaiting the completion of a roomy new home on the double lot atop the nearest hill.
Mattie was pleased that the Kurtz family had joined them, because Preacher Marlin, a widower in his fifties, delivered salt-of-the-earth, thought-provoking sermons as only a man acquainted with the highs and lows of life could do. Marlin had asked the construction crew to finish his shop first—he built all sorts of wooden rain barrels, barrel furniture, and buckets that he sold through regional stores and a mail-order catalog. His daughter-in-law, Minerva, was a midwife—a welcome addition to any Plain settlement—and Harley’s herd of sheep already grazed the grassy hills he’d fenced off last month. When Mattie glanced toward the pastures, she saw Queenie lying at the top of a hill, keeping watch over the flock as though the sheep were her special responsibility. Mattie was about to head across the lawn to see if Amos had gone home when male voices made her stop to listen.
“ . . . you’ve pretty much guaranteed that Mattie won’t marry me now, because you provoked her with your sermon ultimatum.”
“I spoke the words God gave me. Family is everything in our faith—as you well know, Amos,” came Bishop Floyd’s reply. “It’s time for you to provide Mattie a home and a more fitting full-time occupation.”
Links for Promise Lodge
Links for Promise Lodge
Zebra (February 26, 2016)
ISBN-13: 9781420139419 •• ISBN-10: 142013941X
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.
Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40 years and their Border collie, Ramona.
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