In this third installment of the Amish Forever continuing series, it is that formerly magical time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Except this year, Ava is torn with the loss of her father, and her growing preoccupation with the mysterious stranger who pulled her from the fiery wreck and then vanished. She spends hours in her upstairs bedroom window brushing her long hair, seeing the stranger behind every tree, darting to the barn, waving. Christmas is approaching, and Ava spends a lot of time in her room making little presents for friends and family. One night, as she hand sews, she thinks she hears small taps on her window. At first she ignores them, thinking they are frozen snow pellets, but the sound increases and Ava realizes the sky had been clear when she walked up the stairs earlier. She goes to her window and slowly raises the simple gray shade. Her heart stops. Below her in the moonlight is her beloved stranger, her Freund! She flies down the stairs as quickly and quietly as possible. The last thing she wants is Aunt Rachael to know her hero has arrived. She carefully opens the rear door and almost leaps down the three rear porch steps, stopping in front of this handsome man. He looks exactly as she remembered, complete with the thin, tidy moustache and an almost symmetrical face. She is excited, relieved, and shy all at the same time. “Hello,” she whispers quietly, “I’m Ava.”
Roger Rheinheimer spent the first eighteen years of his life in northern Indiana. His father was the only doctor for a small town of 1200, and had a hitching rail on a side street by his office for the Amish patients. His father bought an eighty acre farm, and Roger and his older brother worked it, raising cattle and growing crops.
While he was still in high school, Roger learned woodworking skills from Elmer Schlabach, his Amish mentor. They built houses in the old-fashioned tradition, from hand-mixing the concrete for the foundations to hand-nailing the shingles. The only phase they did not do was the electrical. To this day, Roger enjoys using his wood crafting skills, making acoustic guitars and furniture.
Roger earned an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Psychology from a small private college in the Shenandoah Valley, took a Creative Writing class, loved it, and published a short story called My Brother. He was a regular contributing writer to the college newspaper.
Roger has two novels in print and ebook, Amish Snow and Yield Spread: a novel.
Crystal Linn is a free-lance writer and award-winning poet who teaches a variety of creative writing classes. Her third book, Poetry for Friends, is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2012. She lives in the greater Seattle area where she enjoys reading mysteries, writing poetry and sailing with friends and family.