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The Hawaiian Quilt

The Hawaiian Quilt

by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter


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When an Amish girl visits Hawaii, she discovers her calling. . .

Mandy Frey has always longed to see Hawaii, so before joining the Amish church and considering marriage with her boyfriend Gideon, she convinces three friends to join her on a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands.

But when Mandy and one of her friends miss the cruise ship after a port of call on Kauai, how will they adjust and get back home? Captured by the enchanting scenery and culture in Hawaii, their vacation turns into an extended stay. Special friendships are soon made, but home, family, and Gideon await Mandy back in Indiana.

Will time away from the Amish community change Mandy's view of the world, her faith, and true love? Does a Hawaiian quilt have the power to bring two hearts together?

Find out in this brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634092241
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(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 nation's 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 

Jean Brunstetter became fascinated with the Amish when she first went to Pennsylvania to visit her father-in-law’s family. Since that time, Jean has become friends with several Amish families and enjoys writing about their way of life. She also likes to put some of the simple practices followed by the Amish into her daily routine. Jean lives in Washington State with her husband, Richard Jr. and their three children, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish communities in several states.  In addition to writing, Jean enjoys boating, gardening, and spending time on the beach. Visit Jean's website at  

Read an Excerpt

The Hawaiian Quilt

By Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63409-988-2


Los Angeles, California November 1

As Mandy sat with her friends, waiting to board the cruise ship that would take them to Hawaii, her thoughts went to Gideon. It had been difficult saying goodbye to him before their driver took them to the train station in Elkhart. She felt bad about his negative reaction when she'd told him she planned to make this trip with her friends. She should have said something sooner, so he would have been more prepared for her departure.

Diverting her thoughts, Mandy watched the young boy sitting across from her, bouncing in his chair while drinking a can of orange soda. He spilled it down the front of his shirt and started howling and kicking his feet.

Patiently, the child's mother got up and took him by the hand to the restroom.

Mandy leaned close to Barbara and whispered, "That little guy is sure a handful."

"Jah. I don't envy his mother. He'll probably keep her plenty busy on this trip."

Mandy listened to the steady hum of voices around her. The terminal was filled with an air of excitement, but her thoughts returned to Gideon, remembering his hurt expression as he held her hand. "I don't want you to go, Mandy, but if this is what you want, then you have my blessing and ought to follow your heart. I'll be here when you get back, and then we can talk about our future."

Mandy didn't know if her future was with Gideon. They'd been courting over a year, and she'd suspected for some time he wanted to propose marriage. He'd no doubt held back because she hadn't committed to joining the church. Since every couple planning to get married in an Amish community must first join the church, there was no point in him proposing until they both had been baptized and become church members.

I may feel ready when we return from this trip, she mused. If I do, then I'll take classes to prepare for church membership.

Ellen snapped her fingers, causing Mandy to jump. "Our number's been called. It's time to board the ship."

* * *

On the Cruise Ship

"Ach, this room is much smaller than I thought it would be, even if it is nicely decorated. It's not much bigger than the two tiny rooms we had on the train that brought us to California." Barbara's eyebrows rose as she made a sweeping gesture of the room they'd been assigned. "And how are the four of us supposed to sleep when there are only two beds?"

Mandy shrugged. "Maybe someone made a mistake and gave us the wrong room." She couldn't imagine how these arrangements would work. Their travel agent had told them the room they'd booked would sleep four, and it included two bunk beds. They'd either been misinformed or someone made an error. Perhaps two other people on the ship had been shown a room with four beds. They needed to get to the bottom of this before they unpacked their suitcases.

"Look, there's one of the Pullman beds! The other one is up there, too." Sadie pointed to the ceiling above one of the small beds on the floor, and then to the other. "Remember, our agent said it would be similar to a top bunk bed, except instead of being held up by posts extending from a bottom bunk, it's supported by brackets attached to a wall. It can be folded up into the ceiling when not in use to create more space in the room."

"It's certainly folded up right now." Ellen raised her head, squinting her blue eyes. "How are we supposed to get the beds down from the ceiling?"

"We won't have to worry about putting them up or down, because one of the ship's attendants will pull the beds down for us at night and raise them again each morning when our room is serviced." Sadie's tone was typical — so matter of fact.

Mandy couldn't help grinning. Leave it to Sadie to know all the details. Even at home, whenever the four young women planned to do something together, Sadie made sure of the details. She was usually responsible for making all the arrangements, too. Last month when the girls got together to do some sewing at Sadie's house, she'd made certain everything was laid out before they arrived. She had even provided them with needles, thread, and scissors. All Mandy, Ellen, and Barbara had to bring was the material they planned to cut and sew. Sadie prepared a casserole for their lunch that day. The smell of it warming in the oven had greeted them as soon as they'd entered the house.

Barbara cleared her throat, bringing Mandy's thoughts to a halt. "I hope I don't have to sleep in one of those upper bunks. I'd feel claustrophobic being so close to the ceiling."

"Me, too," Ellen agreed. "And I'd be worried about falling out."

Mandy folded her arms. She didn't want to sleep on a top bunk, either, but this problem would be resolved sooner if she volunteered. "I'll give it a try. How about you, Sadie?"

Heaving a sigh, Sadie gave a nod. "Since we've settled the sleeping arrangements now, why don't we unpack?"

"It can wait awhile. Right now, I want to take a tour of the ship." Smiling, Barbara pointed to the door.

"I'm all for that!" Ellen pushed a strand of golden-blond hair back under her white head covering and moved toward the door, no doubt as eager as Barbara to check things out.

"Let's go for a walk and look at what's available for us on a few of the outside decks. I'd like to see if there are any good books in the library, too," Sadie suggested. "Afterward, we can head up to the room where lunch will be served buffet style."

Feeling a gurgle in her midsection, Mandy placed both hands on her stomach. "Thinking about all the food that'll be available to us on this cruise makes me hungerich."

"I hope we don't run into bad weather or rough waters during our trip." Barbara placed both hands on her stomach. "It wouldn't be fun if any of us got seasick."

Mandy wrinkled her nose. "I don't even want to think about getting grank."

"How about this." Sadie lifted her hands above her head, yawning nosily. "The first person who gets sick has to buy the rest of us lunch when we get to Maui."

All heads turned to look at her with furrowed brows.

"Okay, guess it's a bad idea. Let's just relax and have fun."

* * *

It took awhile to find their way up to the room where they would be served dinner each evening, but with the help of one of the ship's attendants, they finally made it. Mandy was glad when she and her friends were seated at their table a few minutes before 6:00 p.m., which was when the meal was supposed to be served. They would sit at this same table for all their evening meals during the cruise. They'd also have the same waiters.

"I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not used to having a four-course meal for supper." Ellen placed a linen napkin across her lap.

"Me neither." Mandy glanced at the fancy dishes, noticing the blue vine pattern on the rim, and several pieces of silverware beside each plate. She hoped she wouldn't mess up and eat with the wrong utensil or accidentally drink from her neighbor's glass. That would be so embarrassing.

"I'm still full from all the food we had for lunch." Barbara groaned. "Not sure I'll be able to eat all my dinner."

Sadie tapped Barbara's arm in a motherly fashion. "Eat what you can."

"I don't like to waste food. Sis en sin un e schand."

Ellen rolled her eyes. "Wasting food is a shame, but I don't think it's a sin."

"Probably not." Barbara raised her slim shoulders in a brief shrug. "I can only imagine what my mamm might say if she were here right now and I didn't eat everything on my plate."

"Well, none of our mothers are here, so we should relax and enjoy ourselves." Sadie reached for the salt and pepper and sprinkled some on her salad.

After they prayed silently and began to eat, introductions were made among those sitting closest to them. Since the same people would be seated at their table every evening, Mandy thought it was a good idea to get acquainted.

"Are the four of you nuns?" the young Asian woman sitting on one side of Mandy asked.

"No, we are not." Sadie spoke up. "We're Amish."

Blinking rapidly, the woman tilted her head to one side. "Amish? But I thought by the way you prayed and the plain clothes you wear ..."

Mandy stifled a giggle as Sadie shared a brief history of the Amish and their way of dress. "Nuns dress different than we do," she added.

As the meal progressed, Mandy and her friends discussed what an adventure it was being on the ship and how eager they were to get to Hawaii. From what Mandy's cousin told her about the Big Island, which would be the last island they visited, each day would be filled with many things to see and do. Of course, with only one day spent on each of the islands, they'd have to pick and choose what sights to see. They could either sign up to go with one of the tour groups or strike out on their own. It was logical to go with a group. But since they had to be back at the ship by a certain time each day, they'd have to make every minute count and see as much as possible.

If we ventured out on our own and didn't make it back in time, we could become stranded, Mandy thought, while cracking the crab shell on her plate. We'll need to make sure it never happens.

The first three courses of their meal were delicious, but filling. When it came time for the last course — a scrumptious-looking strawberry cheesecake — Mandy was too full to eat it. Their waiter came by the table and offered to box it up so she could take it back to her room. Mandy declined, saying she wouldn't be able to eat anything more tonight. Between breakfast in the morning, a buffet lunch around noon, plus tomorrow's evening meal, she didn't think she'd have room to eat much else. Maybe I won't have a big lunch every day, she thought. Tomorrow, I may try some pizza or a hot dog at one of the snack areas I saw earlier today.

* * *

"For a while I thought we weren't going to find our room," Ellen said as the four of them prepared for bed. "This ship is so big, and with several dining rooms on board, it's easy to get lost."

"I know." Mandy sighed contently as she brushed her long hair. "But it's worth getting lost to be able to say we were on this enormous boat."

"The dining room looked so nice. It's amazing how many details were put into the design of the ship's interior." Barbara sat on one of the twin beds, removed her hairpins, and placed her head covering on the nightstand next to her bed.

"Shall we play a game or sit and talk awhile?" Ellen asked.

Sadie yawned. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm mied and more than ready for bed." She glanced at one of the bunks overhead, which had been dropped down from the ceiling while they were out of their room. Two ladders had also been set in place, making it possible to climb up to the beds.

Mandy wasn't eager to sleep in either bunk. She'd had a terrible experience sleeping on one when she was younger and had ended up on the floor with a bruised tailbone. But at least the attached side rails on these bunks should keep her from falling out. "Which bed do you want, Sadie?" she asked.

"It doesn't matter to me. Why don't you choose?"

Mandy picked the bunk above Ellen's bed, and after telling her friends good night, she climbed the ladder and settled in. She didn't get up in the middle of the night most of the time anyway, so other than feeling cramped, she would manage. The mattress wasn't too bad — a littler firmer than she'd like, but it would have to do. As tired as she was, she didn't even care.

Curling up against her pillow, she closed her eyes and prayed for her family back home. She also prayed for Gideon and asked God to give her a sense of direction about whether she should join the Amish church or not. Before drifting off to sleep, Mandy prayed, Heavenly Father, please keep us safe on this journey, and may we return home with many wonderful memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.


When Mandy awoke the following morning, she felt strange — almost as though someone had rolled her around while she was sleeping. She could sense the ship swaying and knew the sea must be rough. What a contrast from the calm of last night. She pushed her sheets aside and climbed carefully down from her bunk. Once her feet hit the floor, she rubbed her eyes, trying to clear her vision.

"Sis mer iwwel." Ellen groaned from her lower bunk.

"If you're sick to your stomach, it's probably from the rocking of the ship." Mandy looked at Sadie and Barbara who were already up, but not dressed. "Do either of you feel seasick?"

"So far, I'm okay, but we should probably put some of those motion-sickness drops behind our ears, in case the rest of us do start to feel grank. It's a good thing I brought this along." Sadie took the bottle out of her traveling case and dabbed some behind both ears, then passed it to Ellen, who did the same. When Ellen was done, she gave the bottle to Mandy. After she'd put drops behind her ears, she handed it to Barbara.

"If I'd have known last night this would happen to me, I would have put some of the drops on before going to bed." Ellen sat up, clutching her stomach. "I won't be able to eat anything, feeling like this, but you three should get dressed and enjoy the breakfast buffet." Moaning, she continued holding her stomach.

"I wouldn't feel right about leaving you here alone." Barbara looked out the window and grimaced. "The rain is coming down hard. What a way to begin our day."

"I wouldn't feel right about leaving Ellen, either." Mandy opened the satchel containing her personal items and removed a homeopathic medicine she'd brought along. "This is for nausea and dizziness." She handed it to Ellen with a fresh bottle of water. "If it doesn't help, let me know, and I'll see what's available from the ship's infirmary."

Ellen took the remedy and reclined on her bed. "I'll be fine by myself while you're eating breakfast." She reached for the sheet and blanket, pulling them up to her shoulders. "I need to lie here awhile. I only wish the ship would stop moving so much."

Mandy looked at Sadie and Barbara, and when they both nodded, she hurried to get dressed. By the time they were ready to leave the room, Ellen was sleeping.

"Hopefully, she'll be okay," Sadie whispered. "One of us can check on her as soon as we're done eating."

As they headed out the door, Mandy turned to look at Ellen again. She wanted to stay with her childhood friend, but since Ellen had insisted everyone go to breakfast and couldn't be helped while she was sleeping, Mandy quietly stepped into the corridor and shut the door. She'd make sure to eat quickly and not be gone too long.

* * *

Ellen woke up with her stomach churning. She sat up for a moment, but the feeling didn't go away. All at once, her throat constricted, and she covered her mouth. Jumping out of bed, she dashed to the bathroom, barely making it in time. When the vomiting subsided, her ribs felt sore, and she was exhausted. With her stomach empty, and a feeling of shakiness, all she wanted to do was climb back in bed. Will this ever go away? How long am I going to be seasick? Sure hope I don't feel like this the whole cruise.

Tears welled in Ellen's eyes as she lay staring at the ceiling, still fighting waves of nausea. So much for those anti-nausea drops and homeopathic medicine. Maybe they would have helped if I'd taken them sooner.

Hearing a knock on the door, Ellen pulled herself off the bed. Since she was still in her nightgown and knew she looked a mess, she hoped it wasn't one of the ship's attendants. When she opened the door a crack, she was surprised to see Mandy.

"Sorry if I woke you. I forgot my room key," Mandy apologized.

"It's okay. I was awake."

"I ate a quick breakfast and brought these back for you." When Mandy stepped into the room and closed the door, she placed several packets of saltine crackers and a can of ginger ale on the small table between the beds. "How are you feeling? Did the homeopathic remedy help at all?"

"Not really. I threw up while you were gone, and I still feel a bit woozy and nauseous." Ellen sighed deeply. "Sure hope I don't feel like this the rest of the way. We still have three more days before we get to our first stop on Maui."


Excerpted from The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter. Copyright © 2016 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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