Founded by five enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a joyous success. What’s even more remarkable is the gift the business bestows upon each of these unmarried women—the unexpected blessing of love . . .
Leaving Flaud’s Furniture to teach at the community’s new school is a joy for Lydianne Christner. Old Order Amish, but new to Morning Star, she’s grateful that the congregation trusts her with the position—but she panics when handsome Bishop Jeremiah Shetler asks about the life she left behind. If anyone discovers the secret she’s hiding, she would, quite rightly, be shunned.
A widower, Bishop Jeremiah admires young Lydianne’s youthful energy and skill with the children. He’s also curious about her past, and the burden he senses on her heart. When his request to court her is refused, he’s stung, and lonelier than ever. It isn’t until a crisis prompts a tearful Lydianne to confess to him that Jeremiah is faced with a choice that requires all of his faith—and teaches them both that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.
“Miss Christner, we’re pleased to offer you this teaching position,” Bishop Jeremiah said as he grasped her hand, “and if you need time to consider your answer—”
“Oh, no, I’ll be happy to accept!” Lydianne interrupted gleefully. “Denki so much for considering my application. What I lack in experience, I’ll make up for with careful preparation and my love of learning. I won’t let you down.”
“That thought never entered our heads,” the bishop put in. “And with Lorena Flaud and Clarence’s Lucy being in their final year of school—and with their sisters right behind them—you’ll have plenty of eager assistance as you teach the youngest ones the basics of reading and arithmetic. I anticipate a productive—and fun—year for our scholars.”
“This is so exciting!” Lydianne said as she shook each man’s hand in turn. “Maybe this sounds silly, but I still love the smell of fresh packages of notebook paper and new bottles of glue, and the joy of opening a fresh box of crayons—thinking of all the drawings and reports and projects that lie ahead of us.”
As she left the schoolhouse and drove down the road, Lydianne floated on a cloud of euphoria. After she turned off the main county highway to head for home, she paused at the sight of a little blond girl chasing a butterfly on the front lawn of Tim and Julia Nissley’s place. With the sunshine shimmering on her golden hair and upturned face, six-year-old Ella Nissley looked for all the world like a little angel. Her laughter rang out as she ran and reached eagerly for the butterfly, followed closely by a little brown puppy that yipped and yapped.
Lydianne’s heart overflowed with a wave of emotions. Her dream had come true: she would now be Ella’s teacher. But she would have to be very, very careful. Ella was the apple of her adoptive parents’ eyes, and Lydianne had no intentions of interfering with their happy family.
No one else, including Tim and Julia, knew that Ella was the newborn baby Lydianne had given up when she’d been an unwed mother.
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About the Author:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.
The tour dates can be found here