Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Results and a Winner from Last Week's Book Survey

Last Wednesday, I shared my favorite book in The Women of Lancaster County series (The Amish Bride) and asked for your favorites as well. All who weighed in were entered to win an Amish potholder and copy of The Amish Bride. The results of that survey are in, but before we delve into the data, it's time to announce the lucky winner of the giveaway.

Congratulations to ...


I hope you enjoy the potholder and book!

More Author Favorites

Also last week, I asked some of my author friends about their favorite books in their own series. You can find that list in my original post–plus here are a few more responses to that question...

Jerry B. Jenkins's favorite in his Left Behind series is book 3, Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist.

Gayle Roper's favorite in her Seaside Seasons series is book 2, Summer Shadows. Her favorite in her Amish Trilogy is book 3, The Decision.

Sharon Hinck’s favorite in her Sword of Lyric Series is book #2, The Restorer's Son.

Survey Results

So what did you, my readers, say were your favorite books in my various series? Here are the results...

Favorite book in the Women of Lancaster County series:

Favorite book in the Men of Lancaster County series:

Favorite book in the Smart Chick Mysteries series:

Favorite book in the Million Dollar Mysteries series:

Favorite series overall:

And Don't Forget

You can get a free copy of the audiobook version of Whispers of the Bayou by joining! So if you've been looking for an excuse to sign up, here it is.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Pick Your Favorites and You May Be a Winner

Enter to win this gorgeous Amish potholder plus a free autographed book! 

Choosing Favorites

Now that the Women of Lancaster County series is complete, which of the five in the series is your favorite book? A friend recently asked me this question, and my knee-jerk response was to say that that was like asking me which of the two kids in my family is my favorite child!

On the other hand, though I love my children equally, I have to admit that I often do have favorite books in my own series, including the Women of Lancaster County. Thinking I can't be the only one, I polled some author friends and found that they, too, sometimes find themselves with a special affinity for certain books within series they've written. Here are some examples:

Favorite v. Most Fun
In an interview for Amish Reader back in May, I was asked what seems like a similar question: Which book in the Women of Lancaster County series was the most fun to write and which was the most challenging (or rewarding)? 

This was my response...

The most challenging was probably The Amish Midwife, just because neither Leslie nor I had ever co-written before and hadn’t a clue how it was done. We also didn’t know each other, so we were having to navigate this complicated process while also learning each other’s styles and rhythms and methods. We managed to figure it out as we went, and our friendship blossomed in the process, but it’s definitely gotten easier with each subsequent book.

As for the one that was the most fun, it’s impossible to say because they’ve all been enjoyable in their own ways. The Amish Nanny was fun because our characters got to travel to Europe. The Amish Bride was fun because I loved Ella so much and found her entire tale quite compelling. The Amish Seamstress was fun because I really enjoyed the Amish-and-the-Indians historical elements, something that I’d known nothing about prior to the writing of that book.  Finally, The Amish Quilter was fun because the romance between Linda and Isaac was so intricate and satisfying to help construct.

If I’m really honest, the most rewarding moments of the entire experience came when The Amish Midwife hit #1 on the bestseller list and then went on to win a Christy Award! Somehow, sharing both of those high points with a co-author made them twice as nice.

That answer wasn’t difficult to come up with because, to me, there’s a big difference between “most fun” and “favorite.” The former brings to mind the writing process, which is easy to quantify. The latter, however, is more subjective because it's about how it felt to read the finished product.

Picking a Winner

From the Women of Lancaster County series, I’d have to say my favorite is #3, The Amish Bride. I can’t explain why other than to say that when reading the finished product, it felt special and resonated with me in a deeply satisfying way. I was pleased with the other four books in the series, but that's the one that gave me the most enjoyable read once all was said and done. 

How about you? Did you have a favorite in that series? How about in my other series?* I’d love to hear your picks–which you can give when you enter to win a free copy of The Amish Bride plus this gorgeous Amish potholder!  

If you haven’t read this or any of my other series yet, no worries, you can still enter the drawing! Simply click on the button below and complete the form. Then I’ll choose one entry using a random number generator and announce the winner here on this blog next Wednesday. You only have until midnight on Tuesday, August 28th, to sign up, so don’t delay.

Thanks for reading—and entering—and be sure to come back next week to find out whether or not you are the lucky winner!

*Just in case you need a little reminder, you can find summaries of all the books in my various series by clicking on each series title below:

Women of Lancaster County
Men of Lancaster County
Cousins of the Dove
Smart Chick Mysteries
Million Dollar Mysteries

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

40 Great Cookbooks for Book Lovers

Have you ever dreamed of tasting Turkish Delight, from The Chronicles of Narnia? How about fried green tomatoes from the Whistle Stop CafĂ©? Or Paddington Bear’s marmalade? If so, then this is the post for you!

In the following list of literary-related cookbooks, you’ll find recipes for all of the above, as well as…

            James and the Giant Peach Cobbler

            Jo’s gingerbread from Little Women

            Carrot pudding from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol

            Demetrie's Chocolate Pie and Caramel Cake from The Help

            Morning tea with Miss Marple

And much much more.

So grab a snack, settle in, and take a look through some of the tastiest books I know of for book lovers!

Cookbooks Inspired By Various Literary Works

Cookbooks for Mystery Lovers

Cookbooks for Jane Austen Fans

Cookbooks Featuring Specific Authors

Cookbooks by Amish Fiction Authors

Cookbooks Based on Children’s Literature

Hope you enjoyed the list, and happy cooking (and eating)!