A new novella collection of sweet, summer romances from some of our favorite Amish authors!
A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray
When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham’s arrival, however, he realizes he’s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?
Summer Storms by Amy Clipston
Ariana is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna’s brother Tobias, who happens to be Jesse’s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna’s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.
Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller
Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known—and loved—her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.
One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin
Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. Find Shelley on her website: ShelleyShepardGray.com; on Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray; Twitter: @ShelleySGray.
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at AmyClipston.com; Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks; Twitter: @AmyClipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.
Read an Excerpt
An Amish Summer
By Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2017 Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin
All rights reserved.
"Huh," Sherry said, disappointment thick in her voice. "I thought Pinecraft would look different."
As Sharon Kramer followed her little sister out of the Pioneer Trails bus in the center of the small vacation community, she hid a smile.
She supposed, for someone as lovely and full of life as Sherilyn — or Sherry to pretty much everyone who knew her — Pinecraft, Florida, was somewhat of a letdown. From here, it wasn't all that picturesque or darling. It looked a bit weather-beaten and stuck in a time warp.
Then, too, they weren't near the beach or even Pinecraft Park. They were standing in the middle of a large, crowded parking lot next to a tiny post office. Another bus was parked nearby, idling listlessly, casting off noxious fumes and no small bit of heat. That extra blast certainly wasn't needed, given that the hot July sun was already beating down on them all.
"It sure is hot," Sherry continued. "Really hot."
It was so hot and humid Sharon could practically see steam rising from the pavement. But her main concern was that her sister sounded so disappointed, especially after all the exciting letter writing she'd been doing with her secret pen pal for six months, Sharon decided to try to console her a bit.
"Even the best vacation spots have parking lots. I bet the rest of Pinecraft is just as charming as everyone said it would be."
"Maybe. I don't know, though."
As Sharon scanned the great number of people who had come out to meet the bus, she added, "Oh, who cares? I know you don't. We both know you didn't come here to take in the sights."
Stretching her arms out in front of her, Sherry nodded with a sheepish smile. "You're right. I'm sorry. I think I'm just tired. And neahfich."
"Nee apologies needed. I feel nervous too. And it was a long trip. I didn't sleep more than a few hours of it."
"I'm exhausted too," Sharon's best friend, Vera, said as she tumbled out of the bus. Her arms were full of the two dozen items she'd claimed were necessities for the hour drive from their Amish community in Adams County to Cincinnati and the sixteen-hour bus ride from Cincinnati to the center of Sarasota, Florida. "I can't wait to get unpacked, organized, and take a nap."
"There's nee way I want to do any of that right now," Carla declared. She was the fourth and final member of their group. "I'm excited to see everything. And to get a peek at Sherry's mysterious pen pal." She turned to her best friend. "NOW are you going to tell us his name ... finally? All we know is that you met him at the wedding in January."
"Oh, all right," Sherry said. "His name is Graham Holland, and he's from Sugarcreek."
Vera frowned. "That name doesn't ring a bell."
"Maybe you'll remember him when you see him. We met a lot of people those couple of days in Shipshe."
"I remember meeting Graham, but I don't remember exactly what he looks like," Carla said. "Do you, Sharon?"
Sharon shrugged. "The name sounds kind of familiar, but there were over four hundred people there. I don't think I could match any of their names with faces. They've turned into a blur in my brain."
"It's nee wonder. Six months ago you were still getting over your breakup with John Marc," Sherry said. "You didn't pay much attention to anything."
"That is kind of true." Less than two months before that trip to Indiana, she and John Marc had called off their relationship. It had been obvious that, although they were both nice people, a future together wasn't meant to be. Sharon had supposed they were both disappointed about how things worked out in the end.
That belief evaporated when, just a week before leaving for Indiana, Sharon saw John Marc flirting with Viola, one of her good friends. Then, days later Sharon learned the two of them had been quietly flirting with each other behind her back even before Sharon and John Marc broke up. Neither had wanted to hurt her feelings, they claimed, so they hadn't said a word.
Which, honestly, made no sense at all. John Marc had still cheated.
She'd been so embarrassed — and angry too. She'd alternated between fuming and crying the whole journey to Indiana. Watching that happy couple recite their vows had felt excruciating. Though she had nothing but good wishes for them, witnessing their ceremony was a reminder that she was a long way from celebrating her own wedding day. She'd been so melancholy and hurt she'd barely talked to anyone.
The only person she remembered in any detail was a man with sandy-brown hair and blue eyes. He'd been SO nice and kind, and a little flirty. Handsome too. And for a few minutes, he'd helped her forget her disappointment and hurt. Ever since then she'd wished she could remember his name. But she couldn't remember anyone's name from that day, and she'd never even mentioned the incident to Vera, let alone to Sherry.
Sherry, on the other hand, had been her usual self, making friends right and left. She'd come home with a list of people she wanted to correspond with, having boldly asked the host family for all their addresses. As the months passed, Sherry told Sharon about some of her pen pals, including the mysterious man she'd just identified as Graham Holland. But Sharon had never paid too much attention since they all seemed like strangers to her.
As they waited for the bus driver to open the luggage compartments under the bus, Sherry scanned the area nervously. "Do you think he's here? He said he wouldn't come on account of the crowds. And I told him in my last letter, assuming he got it, that I'd see him at the inn. But maybe he's here."
"If he said he was going to skip this zoo, I bet he did," Vera said in complete confidence. "There must be over a hundred people here, all milling around. I'd avoid it if I could."
Sharon said nothing, but she nodded at Vera, letting her know she privately agreed with her.
Sherry shook her head in exasperation. "You girls have nee sense of adventure. I shudder to think what's going to happen to you when I'm settled and you have nee one to organize adventures."
"We'll miss you prodding us. For sure," Sharon said, thinking she really did need to start being a bit more like her little sister.
It was all because of Sherry's strengths as a correspondent that this whole trip had gotten off the ground. She and her mysterious man had begun writing letters to each other, and soon they were writing every week. Five months later, the two of them set up this trip for July, with Sharon, Vera, and Carla joining Sherry. Two of his friends were accompanying him here, too, as well as some others from his circle. Now they also knew they all hailed from Sugarcreek.
Everyone had rented rooms at the large Orange Blossom Inn, and they were going to spend the next two weeks enjoying the beach and all the sights the area had to offer.
Of course, Sharon also knew her twenty-year-old sister was privately hoping her many months of letter writing to Graham Holland were going to blossom into a summer romance.
Although their parents had at first not wanted them to go, in the end they encouraged it. They knew both their daughters needed this trip to Pinecraft, giving them some time away to figure out what to do next in their lives. Sharon was completely over John Marc's betrayal and was eager to meet new people. And though several men they knew had been attempting to call on Sherry, she wasn't interested in any man except the one she was writing letters to.
As the four of them walked to the side of the bus, where the driver and two burly men were unloading the luggage stored underneath it, Sherry was looking over her shoulder, scanning the thirty or so people standing closest to the new arrivals.
Suddenly Sherry gripped Sharon's arm and whirled them both around. "I think that's him! He must have decided he couldn't wait to say hello at the inn. Isn't that something?"
"Well, I think that means he's smitten," Sharon said, teasing her sister with a smile. She really was happy for Sherry. She had such a good heart, and it was so romantic to imagine that she and this Graham had fallen in love through a series of letters.
Still staring across the parking lot, Sherry gave a little squeak, "Oh my heavens ... It looks like he's trying to find us." When she turned to Sharon, a dozen imagined insecurities flickered across her face. "Do I look okay?" She ran her hands over her apron.
"Of course. Even after our long bus trip, you look perfect." Sherry was animated — like she always was, especially when she was excited. Her dark-auburn hair was falling out of its pins, Her green eyes were sparkling. And her slim, athletic build was showcased in her clothes, She looked like she was ready for anything.
"You look wunderbaar," Vera said with a wink. "I'm certain this Graham is going to be real excited to spend more time with you. Why wouldn't he want to?"
Sherry brushed her fingers down the skirt of her pale-yellow dress. "I hope you're right, I'm going to be so embarrassed if he's disappointed. You know how some memories are distorted. He might have remembered me being prettier."
"He won't be disappointed," Sharon said. "Please don't think such things. You are lovely, and more fun and vibrant than most girls we know, Just be yourself, You're a wonderful-gut person."
Looking marginally more optimistic after that little pep talk, Sherry turned to Carla. "Will you walk over there with me?"
"Try to stop me," Carla teased as she grabbed Sherry's hand and led her through the crowd.
As they snaked their way through — Carla's coral dress and Sherry's yellow one mixing with the vivid colors of the other Amish summer dresses — Sharon smiled. Carla and Sherry were best friends and set off each other in the best ways. Carla was boisterous yet looked like a timid, perfect doll, Sherry, on the other hand, looked like a modern-day Amish Anne of Green Gables, ready to experience all Pinecraft had to offer.
Sharon laughed. "What I would give for even a tenth of their exuberance."
"We're only five years older than our sisters," Vera said, "but they make me feel old as the hills."
"Well, older and stodgier. Look how cute and fresh they look too. I, on the other hand, feel like a wrinkled mess."
Pressing her hands on her hips, Sharon leaned to one side. "Me too. And I'm stiff and sore. Sleeping on a bus is not comfortable."
"Sharon, tell the truth," Vera said a minute later as she returned from retrieving her and Carla's suitcases from the bus. "Were we ever that impetuous?"
"I know I wasn't. Maybe you were?"
Vera laughed. "Maybe I was when Stefan and I first started seeing each other."
"If you were, he must have liked it. After all, you are an engaged woman now."
Vera stood a little straighter and smiled. "That I am. And you are a maid of honor."
Sharon smiled back. She didn't want to do or say anything to spoil Vera's happiness, but being only a maid of honor wasn't exactly what she'd been hoping for a year ago.
She helped Vera locate the rest of their bags, said good-bye and thank you to the bus driver, and then the two women put all their belongings in a neat grouping so no one would accidentally walk off with them.
The hot Florida sun felt as though it was toasting her skin, and she was already sweaty and in need of a shower and a change of clothes. She also needed a couple of hours' sleep in a real bed.
"Now that we have all our bags, let's go see if we can round up those girls and get to the inn," Vera said. "I need a nap."
Scanning the thinning crowds, Sharon smiled. "You read my mind."
"There they are. Boy, Sharon," Vera murmured, "I didn't remember those guys looking like that. Did you?"
Sharon turned her head and followed her friend's gaze. And then she felt like gulping.
Sherry and Carla were standing with two men. They were chatting with them like they were long-lost friends. Long-lost best friends.
And the man standing closest to Sherry was not only smiling at her, but appeared to be intently listening.
He was easily the most handsome man Sharon had ever seen.
Her stomach dropped. He was also that man! The only man she remembered meeting at the wedding.
"Vera, you remember them? Do you know their names? I talked to one of those guys for a while the morning after the wedding."
Vera adjusted her glasses. "Really? Which one?"
Sharon realized the meeting that had been blurry for months was slowly becoming clearer. "I think he was that man with the sandy-brown hair. The man standing closest to Sherry. Do you by any chance remember his name?"
"Sure I do, now that I've put the name and face together. I did meet him at the wedding. That's Graham Holland."
His name was Graham. For a few minutes he'd made her feel special, helped her forget how her dreams of marrying John Marc were over, how John Marc and Viola had hurt her. He was the man she'd thought about from time to time since, and had kicked herself over not remembering his name.
He was her sister's pen pal?
She was starting to feel sick.
It didn't matter to Graham that he'd flirted with both sisters. He simply made a choice between them, exchanging letters with Sherry, dismissing Sharon as if they'd never met.
What kind of man did such a thing? Worse, what kind of sister was she for feeling even the smallest bit jealous?CHAPTER 2
Graham wasn't exactly sure why he'd decided to come greet the Pioneer Trails bus after all. Maybe it was because he was so eager to see Sherilyn. Maybe he was simply tired of his buddies, Matthew and Toby, asking questions. He'd been fairly secretive about his pen pal, never even agreeing to tell them what she looked like.
Or maybe it was because he was too nervous to be completely alone when he and Sherilyn were first reunited.
Whatever the reason, he was now thoroughly confused. Sherilyn looked nothing like he remembered. The Sherilyn he'd recalled had light-brown hair, green eyes, and lovely, high cheekbones. She had a reserved air about her, almost tentative. She made him feel as though she needed a friend, and that friend should be him.
But this Sherilyn was the girl he only now remembered talking to a few times at the wedding. She was redheaded, freckle-faced, rather petite, and bold — not his usual type at all. Definitely not the picture he'd had in his mind all this time, flattered that she'd obtained his address and initiated their letter writing.
How had his memory been so wrong?
Now, after exchanging a few minutes of awkward conversation — a smile plastered on his face, desperately trying to covering up his dismay when she'd said, "Hi, Graham! It's me, Sherilyn!" and listening to her regret that he hadn't received her last letter — he was wishing he had anywhere else to go. He needed a few minutes to wrap his mind around the fact that he'd been writing to this near stranger.
"Oh! Now that the crowd has started to thin out, I see our sisters," Sherilyn said to Graham as she moved a step closer to him. Almost as if they were a couple.
He scanned the area. "Where are they?"
"There. The woman with the rose-colored dress is my sister, Sharon, and the woman in the violet-colored dress and wearing glasses is Carla's sister, Vera. Vera is Sharon's best friend."
He scanned the area, then froze as he realized that, while he might not have remembered this woman beside him very well, he definitely remembered the woman in the rose-colored dress.
He almost sighed in relief. Maybe he wasn't going crazy after all.
"I see them too," Carla called out. Seconds later, she groaned. "Uh-oh. They're standing near all our suitcases and bags. Sherry, we better go help them."
Turning to Graham and his friend Toby, Sherilyn said, "Would you guys like to come over and say hello, or just wait to meet the girls when we get to the inn?"
"We'll go over so we can help you with the bags," Toby said. "There's nee way we're going to let you carry everything on your own."
"That's so sweet of you."
"That's because we are sweet," Toby teased.
Excerpted from An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin. Copyright © 2017 Shelley Shepard Gray, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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
ContentsA Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray, 1,
Summer Storms by Amy Clipston, 99,
Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller, 187,
One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin, 287,