Love and Buggy Rides (previously published in An Amish Harvest)
Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret—and lead them to a life together?
A Home for Lindsay
From Amy Clipston’s beloved Kauffman Amish Bakery series comes Lindsay Bedford’s story. Lindsay is happily looking forward to the day she becomes Matthew Glick’s wife and is excited for the plans he has for the house he will build her. So, when Matthew suddenly calls off the wedding, she is blindsided. She knows there is more to the story than what he is telling her, but will he open up and let her in on his own heartbreak?
Where the Heart Is
Tobias Smucker is back home, and it’s no secret he and his father are still not on the best of terms. But what is surprising is that his little sister’s best friend, Mariella, has been harboring her own secret feelings for Tobias. With her help, he begins to unravel a family mystery and learns that everyone has their own hidden depths, including his father.
Love Birds (previously published in An Amish Market)
While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?
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|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
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Read an Excerpt
Janie Lantz sank down onto a wooden picnic table bench at the far end of the parking lot, next to Old Philadelphia Pike. The fresh, cool September breeze held a hint of the autumn weather on its way to Lancaster County as she opened her lunch bag and unwrapped her turkey sandwich. Before taking a bite, she glanced back at the Lancaster Buggy Rides and Souvenirs shop. Rows of pumpkins lined up in front of the store and orange and brown wreaths hung on the door and windows.
So far her first day as a cashier at the shop had gone well. But though she enjoyed talking with the tourists, her aching feet made her thankful for the opportunity to sit down while she enjoyed her lunch.
of hooves drew her attention to the highway. She recognized the long gray buggy full of tourists as one of the buggies her boss owned. Throughout the day, the buggies took tourists on rides around the Bird-in-Hand area. She hadn't met the three buggy drivers yet, but she'd seen the Amish men from a distance earlier in the day when they were standing by the stable next to the store.
Janie took a bite of her sandwich and watched the driver start to guide the buggy into the driveway leading to the parking lot.
Suddenly a silver sedan sped up behind the buggy. The car's driver appeared to be looking down at something in his hand — just before he looked up and hit his brakes.
Then, almost as if in slow motion, the car slammed into the back side of the buggy, shattering the right rear wheel and causing the buggy to teeter. The buggy shifted awkwardly and then fell on the right rear corner, sending the driver and a few passengers on that side tumbling onto the ground. The car behind the buggy had come to a stop.
Janie gasped in horror as she jumped up from the bench, dropping her sandwich and knocking over her bottle of water. She rushed across the parking lot to the store's main entrance, reaching the door just as two customers were coming out.
"Excuse me!" Janie yelled. "Do you have a cell phone?" One of the women nodded as she stared at Janie with confusion on her face.
"Would you please call nine-one-one?
There's been an accident."
Janie pointed toward the driveway, and both women turned, taking in the scene.
The woman who had nodded pulled out her phone and started punching in the numbers.
Janie burst through the front door and spotted her boss, Craig Warner, talking to her coworker, Eva, near the cash register in the center of the large store.
Janie ran to them, beckoning for Craig to follow her. "Craig! Craig! You need to come quickly! A car hit one of our buggies while it was turning into the driveway. It just happened. I'm sure people are hurt."
"Eva, call nine-oneone,"
Craig instructed as he started walking.
"Tell Bianca to find the first-aid kit and get the ice packs from the freezer."
"Okay." Eva's brown eyes widened as she nodded and grabbed the store phone to make the call.
Craig hustled toward the door and Janie trailed behind him. "I asked a customer to call nine-one-one too."
"That was a good idea."
In his midforties, Craig was tall and fit. Janie was nearly jogging to keep up with his long strides. She knew his brown eyes, which matched his hair and goatee, had to be filled with worry for his driver and customers.
Once outside, Craig groaned as the accident came into view. "Oh no. This is much worse than I hoped."
A shiver raced up Janie's spine as she took in the scene playing out in the driveway and parking lot. A crowd had gathered around the broken buggy and car, which had a smashed front bumper and headlights. Sirens already blared in the distance, announcing the approach of first responders.
Craig rushed over to the buggy and joined someone helping an older woman sitting on the ground with a bloody gash on her forehead. A middle-aged man and woman sat on the ground as well, looking bewildered as the customer who had called nine-one-one for Janie knelt beside them. One young man was already helping some of the passengers to nearby benches. The horse looked spooked, but not injured, and two men were doing their best to soothe it.
The driver of the car still sat behind the wheel, looking stunned as a man leaned in, no doubt asking if he was all right. She guessed the driver was around nineteen.
At first glance, Janie thought most of the passengers' injuries seemed to be minor, but no one could be sure until EMTs arrived. As Janie wrung her hands, wondering what else she could do to help until then, she turned and nearly walked right into a man who towered over her by several inches. She immediately recognized him as one of the buggy drivers she'd seen that morning.
He was helping the remaining two passengers climb out of the buggy, but Janie could see he was favoring his left arm. Blood seeped from a cut on his head as well, streaming down the side of his face, a stark contrast to his paled face and dark brown hair.
"Take your time," he told a woman as she climbed down to the ground. He grasped her arm with his right hand and grimaced as she leaned on him.
Once the woman was safely out, he swayed slightly, closing his eyes for a moment as if trying to regain his balance.
Janie came closer. "Are you all right?"
He gave her a brief sideways glance. "Ya, I'll be fine."
"Your head is really bleeding," Janie warned. "I think you need to sit down."
"I'm okay," he insisted before turning toward the last passenger. "Give me your hand, and I'll help you down."
When the woman hesitated, he offered her a shaky smile. He was clearly trying to ignore his injuries. He swayed again, and Janie held up her hand to grab him. But then she stopped, not wanting to appear forward.
"I won't let you fall," he promised his passenger. "We need to get you out of this buggy before the other back wheel collapses."
The woman took his hand, and again he grimaced as he helped her down. He let a young man who had been leading the passengers to the benches take over, then placed a shaky hand on the side of the buggy for support as the blood continued to trickle down his cheek and drip onto his gray shirt.
"Please listen to me," Janie pleaded, her voice thick with worry. "You need medical attention. Look." She pointed at the red spots dotting his shirt.
He glanced down at his chest and then met her gaze. His eyes were honey brown. "I'll be okay. I need to take care of my passengers."
"I don't think you should —" Before Janie could finish, the man took a step and then staggered. Janie grabbed his arm, steadying him. "Lean on me, and I'll get you to that picnic table over there," she instructed, nodding toward the table where she'd been eating lunch. "I'm Janie Lantz. This is my first day working here."
The man followed her instructions, and she slowly led him to the picnic table. He sank down onto the bench and slouched back against the table.
"Danki," he muttered, squeezing the bridge of his nose. "I don't know what happened."
"You need medical attention," she repeated, taking a clean handkerchief from her apron pocket. "Now, sit here before you fall and hurt yourself worse, and press this against that cut to stop the bleeding."
Before Jonathan could take the handkerchief, Craig rushed over. "Jonathan! What happened?"
"I'm not sure." Jonathan shook his head and rubbed his left arm. "I thought I signaled before I turned into the driveway, but the driver hit us out of nowhere."
"Janie, Jonathan needs a bandage for his head," Craig said. "Would you please go find Bianca?"
"Ya." Janie turned to Jonathan and handed him the handkerchief. "Wait for me here, okay?"
"I can't just sit here." Jonathan shook his head. "I need to take care of my passengers."
"I'll check on everyone," Craig promised. "And the EMTs should be here any minute. Let Janie take care of you."
Jonathan hesitated, then blew out a deep sigh. "All right."
Janie touched Jonathan's shoulder. "I'll be right back."
The sirens became deafeningly loud as two ambulances, a state police cruiser, and a fire engine steered into the parking lot. The firemen and EMTs began assisting the injured passengers and the two state policemen approached the driver of the car.
Janie saw Bianca rushing toward the chaos, her auburn ponytail bouncing behind her. Janie raced over to her.
"Bianca, Jonathan fell out of the buggy and has a gash on his head. We need some supplies for him."
"Sure. Take what you need while I distribute these ice packs.
Just leave my kit on that bench there."
Janie gathered an alcohol wipe, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads, and a large bandage. When she returned to the picnic table, Jonathan looked up at her. His bright brown eyes stunned her. She'd never before seen eyes that resembled the honey she purchased at the Bird-in-Hand Farmers' Market.
"Let me look at that wound," she said, taking away the bloodied handkerchief and examining Jonathan's forehead. "I'm going to clean it with alcohol and then put on some ointment and a bandage. Are you allergic to antibiotic ointment?"
Jonathan gave her a blank look. "I don't think so. Are you a nurse or something?"
She looked incredulous. "No, of course I'm not a nurse, but I helped take care of mei onkel Raymond until he passed away in the spring. He was weak from dialysis, and I took care of his wounds a few times when he fell." She cleaned the gash with the alcohol wipe, and he sucked in a breath. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right," he said softly, his eyes squeezed shut.
She cleaned the blood off his face, applied ointment to the wound, and covered it with the bandage.
"I did the best I could, and it doesn't look too bad despite so much blood. But you should still have a doctor look at it in case you need stitches," Janie said.
"Danki," he said, again softly, absently rubbing his left arm.
"Do you think your arm is broken?" she asked as she slipped the wrappers from the bandage, alcohol wipe, and ointment into her apron pocket.
Jonathan glanced down at his arm. "The impact threw me out of the buggy, and I landed on it. I don't think it's broken, but it hurts. It might be sprained."
"I saw you fall." She pointed at her abandoned lunch bag behind him. "I was sitting here eating lunch when it happened."
"You saw it?"
"I thought I signaled before I started guiding the horse into the driveway. Did you happen to notice if I did?"
"You did." She nodded. "I saw your blinker." She started to tell him the driver wasn't paying attention when his face contorted with anguish.
"I can't believe it. I was so careful." He seemed to be talking to himself instead of to her.
Maybe she should wait to tell him the rest until after he had calmed down a little. Besides, she'd already confirmed he signaled his turn, and that alone made him completely innocent.
"Can I get you anything else?" Janie asked, stepping closer to him. "Do you want me to see if I can find some ice for your arm?"
"No, danki. I'll be fine." Jonathan glanced around the parking lot. "I hope everyone is all right. I thought it was safe when I slowed to turn. I never expected that car behind us to hit the buggy."
Janie sank down onto the bench beside him, determined to ease his obvious distress. The man was shaking. "From what I saw, it wasn't your fault. You did signal before you turned." She pointed at his arm. "I really think you need to get your arm examined before you think much more about this." She spotted an EMT talking to one of the passengers nearby. "Do you want me to get an EMT to look at it?"
Jonathan shook his head again. "No, there are people who need help more than I do."
"Jonathan." Craig appeared in front of them. "One of the police officers would like to get your perspective on what happened. He's on his way over."
"Sure." Jonathan cleared his throat.
Janie stood. "I'll see if I can help anyone else." She stepped away and headed toward Bianca. She hoped she'd have a better opportunity to tell Jonathan and Craig what else she saw later.
Jonathan tried in vain to will his body to stop shaking, but he continued to tremble like a leaf caught in a windstorm. His arm throbbed, and the wound on his forehead stung. He took in the tumultuous scene around him and it all felt surreal. His passengers were receiving medical attention from a group of firefighters and EMTs. One of the passengers was lying on a stretcher, and others had bandages on their heads or arms.
His stomach pitched as trepidation seized him. How could he have allowed this to happen? How could he put his passengers' lives at risk?
Less than thirty minutes ago, he was enjoying giving another tour around the Bird-in-Hand area. For nearly a month, he'd been working as a buggy tour driver and relishing every minute of it.
He'd originally come to Bird-in-Hand for a short visit with his grandparents, but when Craig Warner, his grandparents' next-door neighbor, had offered him the job, Jonathan decided to stay through the end of November. He was not only making money to help his grandparents, but avoiding going home to Mechanicsville, Maryland, for a while longer.
"Jonathan?" A police officer — a balding, portly, middle-aged man with graying brown hair and dark eyes — broke through his thoughts. "Would you please state your full name?" Pen poised, he was ready to take notes.
"It's Jonathan Omar Stoltzfus," he said, then spelled his last name.
"What do you remember from before the crash?" the officer asked.
Jonathan ran his hand down his face. It was all a blur. Why couldn't he think straight?
"Just take your time," Craig said as he sat down next to Jonathan on the bench.
"We were coming back from the tour," Jonathan began, his voice shaky. "I thought I had signaled to turn into the parking lot. As I started to turn, I felt the jolt of the car hitting the rear right wheel, and then the back of the buggy collapsed and I was thrown to the ground. As soon as I got my bearings, I jumped up and started helping the passengers."
The officer was silent as he wrote frantically in his notebook, then asked his next question. "What is the route you take for the tour?"
Jonathan explained the route and the officer wrote that all down too.
"How long have you worked here?"
"Almost a month."
"Had you ever given buggy tours before you started working here?"
"No, but I'm a cautious driver. I always put my passengers' safety first."
The officer nodded and then fired off a few more questions.
"I'll be in touch," he said when he was finished. "I'm going to talk to a few of the passengers and find out what they saw." He pointed toward Jonathan's arm, the one he hadn't realized he was still rubbing. "You should get that looked at."
"He's right," Craig said as the officer left. "I want you to go to the hospital and get an X-ray. I'll get someone to drive you."
"Thanks." Jonathan glanced around the parking lot, and his eyes found Janie.
Jonathan studied her as she leaned down and said something to a man before placing an ice pack on his knee. Jonathan had never met an Amish girl with red hair before. Janie had been so attentive when she'd tended to his head wound. Craig mentioned last week that he had a new employee starting today, but Jonathan hadn't seen Janie until she approached him after the accident. Something about her intrigued him, but he pushed those thoughts away as Bianca came up to him and Craig.
"Jonathan, Janie told me you took a hard fall from the buggy. How are you?"
"I'm fine." Jonathan tried to shrug off his injuries even as his arm continued to throb.
"I think he should go to the hospital for an X-ray," Craig said. "I need to stay here. Would you take him?"
"Of course I will." Bianca's brow furrowed with concern. "You look like you're in a lot of pain, Jonathan. We should get going."
Jonathan followed Bianca to her SUV. As he walked past Janie, she gave him a concerned smile, and he nodded before climbing into the car.
Jonathan couldn't get the picture of the damaged buggy and injured passengers out of his mind. Later that evening, as he sat at the small kitchen table in his grandparents' modest two-bedroom cottage on his uncle's farm, the feeling of dread that had taken hold of him earlier that day continued to consume him. He kept wondering what he could've done to prevent the accident.
His tour had seemed so typical, but then it turned into a horrible nightmare. What had he done wrong? Janie said he signaled, but was she right? Witnessing the accident must have been upsetting for her, maybe enough to think she saw him signal when he hadn't.
Excerpted from "Amish Sweethearts"
Copyright © 2017 Amy Clipston.
Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Love and Buggy Rides, 1,
A Home for Lindsay, 101,
Where the Heart Is, 183,
Love Birds, 271,