Category Archives: Shipshewana Series

Excerpt 1, MW

Material Witness, Excerpt #1

Today I thought I’d share a short excerpt from Material Witness. This is from Chapter 10 (page 121). Melinda has learned that her son, Aaron — her handicapped son — is in danger. She’s hurried home to warn her family, but when she arrives no one is there.

As Ginger nudged Melinda’s hand searching for a treat, it was plain from her labored breathing to the way she shuffled her feet that she actually needed some water and a few minutes rest.

So Melinda unharnessed her from the buggy, pulled her into the coolness of the barn, and dropped a cup full of feed into her Continue reading

Everything Amish

Blogging and Everything Amish

So how do you like the new look of my blog? The blue reminds me of  kitchen curtains, and the brown and orange remind me of fall. : ) I hope this will be a nice, comforting place that you enjoy visiting.

So I gave the blog a facelift, and you’ll notice a few other changes as well. Continue reading

Max

Material Witness and Max

One of my favorite characters from my Shipshewana Amish Mystery series is MAX. When Callie first shows up in Shipshe (Falling to Pieces), she finds she has inherited a quilt shop and a dog.

Max goes a long way toward helping Callie find her way. He provides her stability, unconditional love, and he protects her. He’s everything that we want our pets to be.

In Material Witness, Max is once again a main character. From page one when Aaron witnesses a murder to the dramatic conclusion, I included Max. He’s often at Callie’s side, but he also befriends Aaron. The boy learns to depend on him in the same way that Callie has.

This Wednesday I’ll have a very special give a way that has something to do with Max. (No, I’m not giving away a real dog.)

So what about it? What does your pet mean to you? And if you don’t have one right now, tell me about one you had in the past.

Blessings,

V

p.s. — Material Witness is now available! Also, you can still sign up for last Wednesday’s give away. Simply click home and then scan down to the post before this one.

MW, Contest #5

Material Witness is HERE!

That’s right. Book 3 of my Shipshewana series has released this week. So if you’re purchasing from an on-line vendor, they are in stock. Ebooks are downloadable. Audio book is available. And if you’re shopping at your local bookstore, they should arrive any day.

What fun! Can you tell I’m excited? I’m ready to bake a CELEBRATION CAKE!

I thought this week we’d have 5 winners for our contest. Each person will receive:

Five books and five winners. Does that sound good? I also wanted to let you know that I’ll be in Shipshewana, Middlebury and Grand Rapids signing books next week.

09.10.12 Book signing at Middlebury Community Library 6-8.

09.12.12 Book signing at J. Farvres, Shipshewana, IN 2-4.

09.13.12 Book signing at Byron Center Library, Byron Township Branch, Grand Rapids, MI 6:30-8:00.

If you’re in the area, I would love to meet you.  I realize that many of you do live in different areas. So for this week’s contest, I thought it would be fun to comment with your email address and where you’d like to see me have a book signing.

As always, you have the opportunity to enter the contest more than once by sharing the information from this blog with your friends. If you do, leave me a 2nd comment stating that you shared.

The contest deadline is next Tuesday evening (CST), September 11th. The winner will not be announced until the following Saturday, September 15th.

Our winner from last week was CATHY McGUIRE, and I’ve contacted her by email. If your name is similar to Cathy’s, but you didn’t receive an email then it’s not you. Please try again! I’ll continue having contests for another couple of weeks, and we have a big surprise give away planned for Facebook. Stay tuned to this blog and facebook for details.

Blessings,

V~

p.s. — You can order your copy of Material Witness from CBDB&N, or Amazon. It is also available at your local bookstore. You may purchase all 3 books in this series for a special discount price from CBD. Why not purchase your own copy, then if/when you win a copy you can give one away to a friend!

John Wayne

Material Witness and John Wayne

Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com/PictureLake

On this week’s give-a-way the prize is a copy of  Material Witness and a photo of John Wayne. So what is up with that? How can John Wayne have anything to do with an Amish book?

I’m glad you asked! Writers find ideas in all sorts of places. When I was writing Material Witness, a movie had recently been filmed near our town — True Grit. We were all very excited, as some of our local people were “extras.” What fun! Matt Damon even stopped by to purchase flowers at our local florist.

So I started watching old John Wayne movies, and the one that caught my attention was The Cowboys. What a great movie! The boys who help John Wayne move a herd of cattle are young, impressionable, and hard workers. They’re not strong, not when the movie begins. And they don’t have any experience. But they are hard workers.

All of which reminded me of my main character, Aaron, who is the “material witness.” It seemed natural to include this movie as part of my plot, but you’ll have to read the book to see how I did it.

John Wayne … he’s something of a national treasure. I hope you enjoy his role in my new novel.

Blessings,

V

p.s. — Material Witness will release on September 4th! It is now available for pre-order from CBDB&N, and Amazon, in paperback and e-book. You may also purchase all 3 for a special discount price from CBD. I would LOVE for you to purchase a copy, then if/when you win a copy you can give one away to a friend!

MW, Contest #4

Win a John Wayne photo, Material Witness, and more

Are you ready for a new contest? ONE WINNER will receive the following items:

Why John Wayne? I don’t want to give anything away. Order a copy of Material Witness and find out! And maybe we’ll talk about it this Saturday.

In order to enter this contest, you need to leave a comment below on this blog.

As always, you have the opportunity to enter the contest more than once if you do at least one of the following:

  • Promote this contest on your Facebook wall by posting a link
  • Click the Pin-it button to the right (posts on your Pinterest board)
  • Click the Tell-a-friend button to the right.
  • Write a review for one of my books on Amazon.com
  • “Like” one of my books on Amazon.com
  • Encourage your friends to enter this contest

If you choose to do one of the following tasks listed above, please leave more than one comment below and tell me which task you completed.

The contest deadline is next Tuesday evening (CST), September 4th. The winner will be announced on my Wednesday blog, September 5th.

Our winner from last week was DARLENE KEITH, and I’ve contacted her by email. If your name is similar to Darlene’s, but you didn’t receive an email then it’s not you. Please try again! More contests coming soon. Stay tuned to this blog and facebook for details, and thank you for supporting Amish fiction.

Blessings,

V~

p.s. — Material Witness is now available on audio book. The ebook and paperback will release on September 4th. You can pre-order from CBDB&N, and Amazon. You may also purchase all 3 books in this series for a special discount price from CBD. I would LOVE for you to purchase a copy, then if/when you win a copy you can give one away to a friend!

Story Quilts

Material Witness, Story Quilts

Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com/ancestral

Do you love a mystery? Material Witness begins with a tragic event on the night before the fall festival opens.  Who did it? Why would they? And why would Callie, Deborah, Melissa and Esther become involved?

I won’t answer those questions for you, but I WILL tell you that the opening scene is very important–the scene where the girls receive 3 antique quilts.

Can quilts tell a story? Can they hide a secret message? Wikipedia says maybe. Most often story quilts refer to the Underground Railroad.

Some abolitionists were active in the Underground Railroad helping runaway slaves get to safety. There are stories that certain quilts were used as signals to help the slaves in their flight to freedom. The idea that a log cabin quilt would be hung on the line of a safe house was one. More recent stories tell of certain quilts being used to tell the slaves what they needed to do to get to safety. This all sounds quite romantic but historians are divided on the theory and legend. (from Wikipedia)

I did a lot of researching on this topic. I visited the pages for the National Quilting Association and The International Quilting Association. I read several books on the subject, and I still can’t give you a definitive answer.

I like the idea though, and it does seem probable that anyone COULD hide a message in a quilt. So the story of Material Witness took at turn I didn’t quite expect. I hope you enjoy it.

Remember, you can still put your name in the hat to win Wednesday’s give-a-way, which includes a small quilt.

What do you think? Do story quilts exist?

Blessings,

V

p.s. — Material Witness is now available for pre-order from CBDB&N, and Amazon, in paperback and e-book. You may also purchase all 3 for a special discount price from CBD. I would LOVE for you to purchase a copy, then if/when you win a copy you can give one away to a friend!