My latest book is Home to Paradise, the third in the Coming Home series for Abingdon Press. This is my fourth Amish series and my favorite so far.
I love writing trilogies because I get to tell three inter-connected stories. It’s fun to show what’s happened to the characters of previous books in the next story while writing it in such a way that you don’t have to have read previous books.
The Coming Home series is the story of three brothers who left the Amish community and went to live in the Englisch world. Three sisters loved them and have never forgotten them. One by one these sisters went after their man and now it’s Rose Anna Zook’s turn. John Stoltzfus has always been in her heart. Can she bring him back into the fold – back into his true home in the Amish community?
Excerpt from Home to Paradise:
Snow fell quietly, cold and white. Inside the big old farmhouse where Rose Anna had lived all her life it was warm. A fire crackled in the hearth, the only sound in the room.
Rose Anna glanced around the sewing room. Usually she and her three schweschders sat chatting and sewing with their mudder, sometimes singing a hymn as they worked. Today it was just her and her mudder.
She sighed. “So here you sit with your old maedel dochder, Mamm.”
Linda laughed. “I hardly think you’re an old maedel at twenty-three, Rose Anna.”
She knotted a thread, clipped it with scissors, and squinted as she rethreaded her needle. “I feel like one,” she said, pouting a little. “Both of my schweschders are married and so are lots of my friends. I have been a newehocker at so many weddings!” She made a face as she began stitching on her quilt again.
Rose Anna glanced up. “Ach, here comes my newly married schweschder.”
The three Zook schweschders were often confused for each other because they looked so much alike with oval faces, big blue eyes, and hair a honey blonde. They’d been born just a year apart so they’d grown up close. Rose Anna was the youngest—something her two older schweschders never let her forget.
“Mary Elizabeth, it’s gut to see you. Kumm, sit by the fire and get warm. You look cold.”
She leaned down and kissed her mudder’s cheek. “Lavina’s on her way up.”
Linda brightened and turned to look in the direction of the door. When Lavina walked in a moment later, her face fell.
Lavina laughed and shook her head. “You’re not glad to see me?”
“Well, schur,” Linda said quickly. “But I thought you were bringing my grosssohn.”
“He was fussy and stayed up most of the night, so now he’s sleeping.” Lavina sank into a chair. “Waneta said she’d mind him so I could get out for a bit. She told me she wouldn’t let him sleep all day so he’d keep us up again.”
“You look like you need a nap,” Rose Anna told her.
“It’s tempting, but I need to stay to my goal of finishing this quilt,” she said as she threaded a needle.
“Could he be teething already?”
Lavina shuddered. “I hope not. He’s not three months old yet. I’ve heard about teething from my friends.”
Soon it was like it had been for so long, everyone chattering and sewing, the mood as bright and cheerful as the fire. But Rose Anna felt a growing restlessness. She put her quilt aside, went downstairs to make tea for their break, and found herself staring out the kitchen window. The trees were bare and black against the gray sky. Snow had stopped falling, coating everything with a white blanket that lay undisturbed. She found herself pacing the kitchen as she waited for the kettle to boil. Finally, she knew she had to get out and burn off her restless energy.
“I’m going for a walk,” she announced when her mudder and schweschders came downstairs. She pulled on rubber boots and her bonnet, then shrugged on her coat. “I won’t be long.”
“But, kind, it’s cold out there,” her mudder protested.
“I need to walk. ’Bye.”
“She’ll be fine, Mamm,” she heard Lavina say behind her before she closed the back door.
Funny, her older schweschder reassuring their mudder.
I’m hoping you’ll want to read Rose Anna and John’s story – and see what’s happened to all the characters from the Coming Home series.
If you love Amish food, you’ll enjoy making some of the recipes I include in each of my books. Home to Paradise includes recipes from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including Amish Yumasetta, Creamed Celery (a wedding favorite there), Roasht, Amish Apple Butter Bars, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, and Shoofly Pie.
Be sure to comment below for a chance to win one of three free copies of Home to Paradise!
Purchase your copy of Barbara Cameron’s Home to Paradise here.
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award from RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Celebrate the final book in The Coming Home Series from author Barbara Cameron. Join Barbara and other readers on March 9th for a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EST (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Barbara will be chatting about Home to Paradise, answering your questions about the series and writing Amish fiction, and of course, there will be plenty of prizes too!
We hope you can join the fun. Bring your friends who love to read and who love Amish fiction! RSVP Here.
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