- Tell us about your newest release-
The Christmas Quilt is a story of quilting, family, and God’s grace. I adore this book and have never written anything quite like it as it centers around the making of a quilt (a 9 patch crib quilt), and it also contains nine small stories within the novel – one to go with each of the quilt panels.
- Is this book part of a series?
It’s actually part of 2 series! The book is part of the Quilts of Love series, which you can read about at http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com/. There are some wonderful authors writing these books. Each book centers around the making of a quilt, and you’ll find stories from all genres—mainstream, romance, historical, contemporary, women’s fiction, and of course one or two Amish. This book also continues the story of A Simple Amish Christmas, my first Amish book. We’ll be back in Mifflin County, PA and once again rejoin Annie and Samuel.
- Did you learn anything new while you were writing this book?
I did! I learned how to quilt a little better. It was impossible for me to write so much about quilting and not try my hand at it. I’m very much a beginner, but I do enjoy trying. I also had a woman in our town who is a fabulous quilter look over the manuscript, so I’d be sure to get the details right. I ended up dedicating the book to Martha, because she was a huge help to me.
- This is a Christmas story?
Yes, it is. It takes place in the weeks before Christmas. You’ll definitely see the difference between how most of us celebrate Christmas and how the Amish do. You’ll also read the story of how Christmas can be difficult at times, but God is still in control. Even when we’re worried or heartsick or physically ill, God cares for us.
- Give us an example of one scene from the book that you particularly liked.
Annie’s family holds a special benefit auction to help with unexpected medical expenses. I told this scene from Adam’s point of view, and I had a lot of fun playing with what men notice versus what women notice. I also love this practice of the community coming together to help each other. We see this in all communities—not only Amish. It’s very encouraging when people help one another.
- And we do see returning characters?
Oh yes. Annie’s entire family is there, and we also see Kiptyn again, the young boy who is in the opening scene of A Simple Amish Christmas. I had lots of readers write me about Kiptyn, and I think they’ll be happy learning the details of his life.
- What’s next for you?
I actually have 2 books releasing in March of 2014. The first is Murder Simple Brewed which is set in Middlebury Indiana and is a new cozy mystery series. My second release is a novella in the Amish Garden collection.