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Elizabeth Bennett, William Shakespeare, and the Terminator

Once in a while, a movie or book or play comes around to sweep me off my feet and remind me how glorious love is. I write and read romance to experience those amazing feelings again and again. Here are three of my favorites.

Movie: Almost 30 years ago, I was living in the Chicago area in a tiny married-student apartment on the campus of Northwestern University. My husband was going to graduate school, and I was pregnant with my second child. It was a very long winter, and I was stuck in an apartment the size of a postage stamp…

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August 1, 2015  |  Amish, Romance, Uncategorized, Writing  |  58 Comments

Recipe for Amish Layered Jell-O Salad

Here is the recipe I promised from my Amish friend Priscilla Stoltzfus from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Her mother in-law makes this salad every Christmas.

Fancy Three-Layer Jell-O Salad

1st Layer:

3 ½ cups water

2 3-oz. packages of lime Jell-O

1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple crushed, drained

2nd layer:

1 pint whipping cream

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

Juice from the drained can of pineapple.

3rd layer:

2 3-oz. packages of cherry or strawberry Jell-O

3 ½ c. water



1st layer:

Boil water. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add pineapple. Pour into oblong cake pan or Jell-O mold and chill.

2nd layer: Soak gelatin in pineapple juice. Cook according to gelatin directions…

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December 4, 2014  |  Amish, Christmas  |  15 Comments

Favorite Thanksgiving traditions

Here are some favorite Thanksgiving traditions from some of your favorite Amish authors.

Jennifer Beckstrand: My idea for this activity can be found here:

On Thanksgiving, we put five kernels of corn on everyone’s plate and read this little remembrance of what the pilgrims went through. This short activity really puts the sacrifice of the Pilgrims into focus. I love this country and know that God guided the Pilgrims and other explorers to come here to set up a free land for a free people. Please feel free to copy.


Below is an extremely simple and yummy recipe for Turkey Curry. My mom used to…

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November 12, 2014  |  Faith, Family, Inspirational  |  1 Comment

Enter to win one of nine 4-book prizes.

I have teamed with eight other Amish authors to bring you a fabulous contest! Go to any and all of our Facebook pages, like our page if you haven’t already, and leave a comment where you see the blue graphic (below) and you will be entered to win one of nine 4-book packs from these authors. Here are the Facebook page links, and good luck! Winners will be drawn on Nov. 10!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236…/Amy-Lillard…/177732292332322


November 4, 2014  |  1 Comment

Buy A Plain Malice and Give Back to Those in Need with Guest Amanda Flower

By Amanda Flower

The original publisher of my Appleseed Creek Mystery Series decided that it wants to go in a different direction that did not include publishing fiction. As a result, they canceled all of their fiction series. Sometimes this happens in publishing. For me it meant the end of my popular Appleseed Creek Mystery Series, which was disappointing. However, I was most worried about the abrupt ending because I left my readers hanging at the end of book three, A Plain Disappearance. I knew I had to give my readers a proper ending about Chloe and Timothy, so I decided…

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October 24, 2014  |  Amish, Faith, Inspirational, Uncategorized, Writing  |  1 Comment

To Viola. Be Still my Soul.

A cute reader wrote to me about the words to “Be Still my Soul” which is the song that has such an impact on Kate in “Kate’s Song.” Viola, I hope you see this blog. I tried to respond to you, and the email address you gave me doesn’t go anywhere. (I hate it when that happens!) So, I wanted to post the words here for you and anyone else who is interested. This song has always meant so much to me, especially in times of trouble and stress. Here are the words, and God bless!

“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von…

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October 20, 2014  |  Amish, Faith  |  2 Comments

Who would you like to meet?

If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would it be? What about a religious figure? I worry that if I spent the day with some important historical figure, they would wish this annoying woman would quit tagging along after them. Let’s see what our authors have to say.

If you could spend the day with any religious figure besides Jesus, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Beckstrand: I would like to meet Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus. I like to think I’m a lot like her, careful and trouble about many things! But she was also…

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October 15, 2014  |  Faith, Inspirational, Romance, Writing  |  2 Comments

You are my inspiration. Who are? You are.

I’m always curious as to what inspires people to write. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. It’s exciting and completely satisfying. I asked my Amish author friends who or what inspired them to become writers. You’ll find their answers enlightening.

And watch for our book giveaway contest coming in November.

Who/what inspired you to become a writer?

Mary Ellis: Louisa May Alcott inspired me to write fiction. Little Women remains my all time favorite book. I own 3 copies, including a very early 1895 edition that’s almost twice as long as the currently published editions. I am Jo March at heart.

Shelley Shepard Gray: I’ve been a…

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September 17, 2014  |  Amish, Inspirational, Romance, Writing  |  8 Comments

If I were in the movies…

All the authors I know have a very distinct picture in their minds of what their characters look like before their books are ever written. I usually search the internet for faces that I want to represent my characters. I asked my Amish writer friends who would play the lead characters in their latest books. You will see that we’ve really done some serious thinking about this. I also asked everyone to cast themselves in a movie. Who would play YOU if they made a movie of your life?

Think of your latest book. Who would you have play the main characters if…

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August 26, 2014  |  Amish, Humor, Writing  |  3 Comments

Battle scars and war stories

Even though most of us sit at the computer all day trying to write clever prose, we Amish authors do get out and do stuff occasionally. And sometimes we hurt ourselves. I asked my distinguished panel of Amish author friends to tell me about their most prominent scars and how they got them. You will be happy to know that even after quite a bit of trauma, Mary Ellis isn’t any crazier than the rest of us. :) And Amy Clipston should probably get a medal or a standing ovation.

Amanda Flower: My most noticeable scar is on my right thumb. Last Christmas…

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July 8, 2014  |  Amish, Humor, Writing  |  5 Comments