An Amish Woman Finds Love in Hawaii Ellen Lambright mourned when her best friend, Mandy, moved from Indiana to Hawaii. But now Ellen has received the Amish church’s permission to go to Hawaii and help Mandy through challenging times. Rob Smith works on the Williams family’s organic farm, far from his past mistakes and burning regrets. When Ellen befriends Rob, the attraction is mutual, but her commitment to the Amish faith stands between them. Could a heartfelt discovery lead to forgiveness, reunion, and love? Or is Ellen’s destiny waiting for her in Indiana? Find out in this sequel to The Hawaiian Quilt from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)|
About the Author
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Read an Excerpt
Two weeks later
Ellen was up by six and ready to face the day. After Mandy and Ken left for Kauai, she'd brought some of her things from home before new guests arrived. With people coming and going, someone had to be in the house at all times.
Once in the kitchen, Ellen fixed a piece of toast with apple butter and heated a cup of her favorite tea. She appreciated the door separating the kitchen from the dining room. The noise of her breakfast preparations would hopefully go unnoticed, and neither of the guests would be disturbed.
Ellen nibbled on the toast and watched the sun slowly climb into the sky. The Lord can surely create beautiful sunrises and sunsets. But I can't sit here all day, taking in the view. Ken and Mandy are depending on me, and it's time to start breakfast for the guests who arrived last evening.
After she finished eating and had put the dishes in the sink, Ellen spotted the neighbor's cat darting through the yard with a sparrow in its mouth. Poor little bird. Wish that feline would go after mice and leave our feathered friends alone.
When the cat disappeared, Ellen double-checked the menu she'd planned for the middle-aged couple who'd checked in last evening. She would serve them scrambled eggs and sausage, sliced bananas mixed with vanilla yogurt, and blueberry muffins with sweet creamy butter. There were also two kinds of juice in the refrigerator. She glanced at the clock. I need to hurry.
* * *
After spending most of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon scurrying to get everything done before another set of guests arrived, Ellen felt tired. She went into Ken and Mandy's room, where she'd been sleeping since they left, to freshen up before her friend Sadie Kuhns arrived.
Two boxes of Christmas decorations sat in the corner. A few days after New Year's, Ellen had helped Mandy and Ken take down the simple holiday trimmings and box them up for next year. But in the rush to get Ken and Mandy packed and to the airport, some of the boxes didn't get put away. "In one of my spare moments, I'll need to get those in the attic."
Turning from the decorations, Ellen eyed the bed longingly. She wished she could take a short nap. But with Sadie coming soon, there was no time for rest.
Things hadn't slowed down as much as she'd expected, and Ellen had soon realized it would be difficult to run the place without Mandy's help. So she'd asked Sadie to help out whenever she could. Since her friend worked weekdays at the hardware store in Shipshewana, she was available most evenings and Saturdays.
Ellen smoothed a few wrinkles in the lone-star quilt covering the queen-sized bed. Mandy's mother had made it, as well as several others for the guest rooms. Most of the rooms were decorated with an Amish theme, so it was appropriate to have homemade quilts on all the beds.
Ellen glanced at the calendar on the far wall. It was hard to believe Ken and Mandy had been gone only two weeks. It seemed much longer. But it was a good thing they left when they did. Ken's father had died three days ago, and his mother and brother needed emotional support, as did Ken.
When Mandy had called the other day, she learned that Ken's brother, Dan, had taken their dad's death harder than anyone, and he could barely function. This meant most of the duties at the organic chicken farm fell on Ken's shoulders. Mandy had also mentioned that it could be a few months before they returned to Indiana. Ellen hoped they'd be back before spring. Things slowed down during the winter months, but tourists flocked to the area during the rest of the year, keeping hotels, B&B's, restaurants, and gift shops in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties very busy.
With only two guests in the house this morning, Ellen's load had been a little lighter. But this afternoon, another couple checked in, so Ellen was glad she could count on Sadie for extra help.
After changing into a clean dress and apron, Ellen stepped into the hallway. Glancing at her reflection in the entryway mirror, she saw the telltale signs of exhaustion beneath her blue eyes, in addition to worry lines creasing her forehead. Even her blond hair didn't look as shiny as usual. Truth was, Ellen wasn't sleeping well, and her energy level was at an all-time low. How much longer would it be before Mandy and Ken returned? Could Ken's brother handle the family business on his own, or would he end up hiring someone to help out?
Ellen hadn't said anything to Mandy, but she hoped Ken's mother might sell the organic farm and move to Indiana. Ellen couldn't imagine living so far from her parents and siblings. She figured it must be difficult for Ken too. Someday, when he and Mandy had children, it would be nice for the little ones if they lived close to both sets of grandparents.
Studying her reflection, Ellen tapped her chin. I wouldn't want to be separated permanently from my family or friends.
The months Ellen had spent with Mandy on Kauai had been difficult, despite the beautiful scenery surrounding them in every direction. Had it not been for the companionship of Mandy, as well as the kindness of Luana and Makaio Palu, Ellen would have given in to depression during their unexpectedly long stay. She'd always been close to her family and missed them terribly during the months she'd been gone. Ellen had developed a special bond with Luana. The generous Hawaiian woman was as beautiful on the inside as her outward appearance. Her caring, gentle spirit was exactly what Ellen needed, being so far from home.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanson stepped into the hall from their guest room, pulling Ellen out of her musings.
"We're going out to eat an early supper." Mrs. Hanson, a silver-haired woman in her midsixties, gave a rosy-cheeked smile. "Do you have any restaurant suggestions, Miss Lambright? This is our first time visiting the area, and we're not sure which establishment to choose."
"If you're looking to stay fairly close to the B&B, then I would suggest Das Dutchman Essenhaus. They have many good choices on the menu, as well as a buffet with a variety of delicious food. Of course," Ellen added, "there are several other nice places to eat as well."
"We appreciate the suggestion." Mrs. Hanson put her hand in the crook of her husband's arm. "Shall we seek out the closest restaurant, dear?"
He nodded agreeably, then called over his shoulder as they moved toward the door, "Thank you, Miss Lambright. When we get back, we'll let you know how we liked the food."
Ellen smiled as the pleasant couple stepped outside. Of course, most of the guests who came here were kind and polite. Ellen couldn't recall anyone saying anything negative during their stay at the Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast.
"Guess I'd better head for the kitchen and fix myself some supper." Ellen snickered as she padded down the hall to the kitchen. Since no one else was in the house, it didn't matter if she talked to herself. But she'd have to be careful not to do that when guests were present.
* * *
Soon after Ellen started washing her supper dishes, Sadie knocked and entered through the back door.
"Sorry for being late. I had some errands to run for my mamm after I got off work, and it took longer than I expected." Sadie's hazel eyes, with flecks of green, seemed to sparkle as she removed her heavy jacket and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair. Her pretty auburn hair couldn't be seen under the black outer bonnet she wore on her head.
"No problem." Ellen lifted a soapy hand. "As you can see, I haven't started the breakfast casserole I'm planning to serve to the guests tomorrow morning."
"I've eaten your delicious casserole before, and I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as I did." Sadie removed her outer bonnet, placed it on the chair, and picked up a dishcloth. "I'll dry and put the dishes away, unless there's something else you need me to do."
"I could use your help with the casserole, but let's get the dishes done first."
As Ellen and Sadie completed the task, they talked about the weather.
"It's sure nippy out there," Sadie said as she placed a plate in the cupboard. "Makes me wonder if it might snow yet this evening."
Ellen glanced out the window at the darkened sky. "I hope not. I have another set of guests coming in later, and the roads could get icy if it snows."
Sadie bumped Ellen's arm and gave a playful wink. "It is winter you know. Most people expect a little snow this time of the year."
"True." Ellen sighed. "I wonder if Mandy has been able to take a little time to enjoy the beautiful weather they're no doubt having on Kauai. I should have asked when she called the other day."
"I'm sure even though she's busy helping Ken's mother with things, she's been able to spend some time outdoors in the sun." Sadie reached for a glass to dry. "The balmy weather was the one thing I enjoyed most when we visited the Hawaiian Islands."
"Same here. Although the beautiful flowers and colorful birds made it special too." Ellen pulled the drain plug, letting the water out of the sink. "Well, that chore is done. Guess I'll set out the ingredients for the breakfast casserole." She made her way to the refrigerator and paused. "Unless you'd like to have a cup of tea before we start the preparations."
"That does sound nice. I'll put the teakettle on the stove." Sadie got the water heating, while Ellen placed two cups and some slices of banana bread on the table.
As they ate their snack and drank the tea, Sadie brought up the topic of Mandy again. "You don't suppose Ken and Mandy will decide to stay in Hawaii permanently, do you?"
Ellen shook her head. "I'm sure they have no plans of staying. If they did, Mandy would have said something when we last spoke." She reached for a piece of the moist bread and slathered it with creamy butter. "She did say Ken's mother really needs their help right now, so it could be a month or two before they return to Indiana."
Sadie raised her pale eyebrows. "That's a long time for you to run the bed-and-breakfast on your own."
Ellen pointed at Sadie. "You're here helping me, so I'm not completely on my own."
"But a lot of work will fall on you when I'm not able to be here. Have you considered hiring someone full-time? Maybe one of your sisters could help out."
"With the exception of my younger sister, they all have jobs, and Mom needs Lenore at home to help with chores." Ellen took a sip of tea and set her cup down. "Besides, so far I'm able to manage on my own. And once Mandy and Ken get back, we won't need anyone else."
"You have a point." Sadie fingered the edge of the tablecloth. "Let's hope they get back before too many people make reservations and you end up with more responsibility than you can handle. Not to mention that with me working at the hardware store all week and helping out here evenings and Saturdays, it could end up being too much for me too."
The phone rang, and Ellen excused herself and stepped into the hall to answer it. "Pleasant View Bed-and-Breakfast. Ellen Lambright speaking."
"Hello. This is Tammy Brooks, and I'd like to make a reservation. It will be for my husband and myself, as well as our little one. Do you have any vacancies for this Friday and Saturday night? We'll be attending my aunt's funeral Saturday morning, and we haven't been able to find suitable accommodations."
Ellen found it hard to believe that all the hotels and other B&Bs in the area could be booked, but she gave the woman the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the couple had a baby might be a problem, since the policy here was to rent only to adults. And she couldn't lie to the woman, because four of the six rooms were vacant this weekend.
"Umm ... would you please hold on while I check on this?"
"Yes, of course."
Ellen set the receiver on the entryway table and rushed back to the kitchen. "There's a woman on the phone who wants to make a reservation for this Friday and Saturday night." She moved closer to Sadie. "The only problem is, they have a baby, and we're not set up to accommodate children here."
Sadie rubbed the bridge of her nose. "You could borrow a crib and set it up in the parents' room."
"Jah, but what about the policy of no children?"
"Did you tell her that?"
Ellen shook her head. "She sounded desperate for a place to stay, so I thought I'd get your opinion before I responded."
"What do you think Mandy would do if she was here?"
"I'm not sure, but I believe she might make an exception."
Sadie patted Ellen's arm. "Then my advice is to follow your convictions."
"Okay, I will. After all, it's only one little child. What could it hurt to let them stay a few days?"
Ellen was surprised when she heard a vehicle pull in at ten thirty Friday morning. Check-in for guests wasn't until three in the afternoon, and she wasn't expecting any deliveries.
Going to the front door, she watched as a young couple got out of a minivan. The dark-haired man opened the sliding back door and took a small boy out. As the family headed for the B&B, Ellen stepped out and greeted them on the front porch. Thinking they might be lost and in need of directions, she asked, "May I help you?"
"I'm Tammy Brooks, and I made a reservation with you earlier in the week." The blond woman gestured to the man beside her, holding the little boy's hand. "This is my husband, Ned, and our two-year-old son, Jerry. We're a few hours early, but if it's possible, we'd like to check in now."
Ellen rubbed her forehead, wondering what to do. The Brookses' room wasn't quite ready. Worse yet, their child was not the baby she had expected.
She continued to massage her temples. How would Mandy handle this is if she were here? She probably wouldn't have to deal with it, because she would have said no in the first place.
"Well, your room isn't ready, but I suppose it would be all right if you wait in the living room while I make the bed." She glanced at the little boy. "Will your son be okay sleeping in a crib? I set one up in your room, because when we talked on the phone you said he was a baby."
Tammy shook her head. "No, I said we have a little one."
"Sorry. I assumed you meant a baby." Ellen couldn't remember when she'd felt so rattled. She had gone against the "adult only" policy, and now she would be hosting a couple with a toddler, not a baby.
She opened the door wide and stepped aside so the guests could enter. "Please come in."
"I'll go out to the van and get our luggage." Ned looked at his wife. "You and Jerry need to get inside out of the weather."
"Yes, it is a lot colder here than I expected." Clasping her son's hand, Tammy led the blond-haired boy into the foyer. Ellen took their coats and hung them on the coat tree. They followed her into the living room.
"This home is lovely. I like the Amish theme." Tammy gestured to a quilted runner on the coffee table. "I guess it makes sense, with you being Amish, that you'd have this type of item here."
Ellen shook her head. "I can't take credit for any of the decor. My friend, Mandy Williams, and her husband, Ken, own the B&B. I just work here."
"Oh, then I look forward to meeting them." Tammy took a seat on the couch and lifted Jerry onto her lap. He leaned his head against her chest and stuck his thumb in his mouth.
"Actually, Ken and Mandy are in Hawaii right now," Ellen explained. "I'm in charge of the B&B until they get back."
Tammy heaved a sigh. "They're lucky. I'd give anything to be on vacation in Hawaii right now."
"They're not on vacation. Ken's parents live there, and his father died of a heart attack recently."
Tammy lowered her gaze, stroking the top of her little boy's head. "That's too bad. I'm sorry for their loss."
"Yes, it's been difficult for them."
"As I mentioned when I made our reservations, my aunt passed away. I'm sure there will be lots of tears shed during her funeral tomorrow."
Ellen slowly nodded. Saying goodbye to a loved one because of death or even miles of separation was never easy. She thought about the loneliness she'd felt when she and Mandy were in Hawaii, so far from their Amish family and friends. At one point, Ellen had begun to feel as if she was never going home. Mandy, however, seemed to adjust well to her Hawaiian surroundings. For a while, Ellen had wondered if her friend might end up staying on Kauai. She was glad when they both returned to their homes in Indiana. Then Mandy found Luana and Makaio's missing quilt by a strange coincidence, so she returned to the island for a time. That was when Ken proclaimed his love for Mandy and decided to move to the mainland so they could be married.
Excerpted from "The Hawaiian Discovery"
Copyright © 2018 Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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