“I can’t believe my eyes. Is that who I think it is?”
Ezra Stoltzfus looked up from the new buggy he’d been admiring. His older brother Joshua had done an excellent job with the courting buggy he was building for his son. It was low and sleek, exactly what Ezra’s nephew Timothy would want when he was ready to ask a special girl to let him take her home from a singing.
He was about to ask Joshua what he was talking about, but then he looked through the large glass window at the front of his brother’s buggy shop in the small village of Paradise Springs. Every word fled from his mind.
It couldn’t be. Not after all this time. It had been ten years.
Getting out of a family buggy in the parking lot of the line of shops connected to the Stoltzfus Market was a slender woman dressed plain in dark purple. From beneath her black bonnet, her white kapp peeked out along with her golden hair that glistened in the spring sunshine. A small, black dog jumped from the buggy and stayed close to the woman as she spoke to someone inside. She smiled, and he knew.
It was Leah Beiler!
He couldn’t have forgotten Leah’s heart-shaped face with the single dimple in her left cheek. Not if he tried, and the gut Lord knew how much he’d tried for the past ten years, since she and her twin brother, Johnny, left Paradise Springs. They’d gone without telling anyone where they intended to go. They hadn’t come back.
Did her family know she was back? They must, because she was driving Abram Beiler’s family buggy. He recognized it by the dent where his neighbor had scraped a tree on an icy morning a few months ago and hadn’t gotten around to bringing it in to Joshua to get it repaired. Why hadn’t Leah’s daed mentioned that his kinder were home? They’d spoken three days ago when Abram came over during milking to talk about the selection of a new minister for the district at the service on the next church Sunday. Abram had mentioned he was going to be away at a horse and stock auction west of Harrisburg for over a week and that he hoped he’d be home in time for calving, because several of his cows were due to deliver soon. How could Abram have talked of those commonplace things and never mentioned his twins had come back after so many years away?
Jo Ann Brown has been creating characters and stories for as long as she can remember. Her first stories were populated with her friends and sisters. She wrote her first novel in high school, and it happily resides in the very back of her file cabinet. Fast forward through college, serving in the Army as a quartermaster officer, getting married, and increasing her blessings with three children…and Jo Ann sold her first book in 1987. Since it was published in 1988, she has sold over 100 titles and has become a best-selling and award-winning author. Romantic Times called her “a truly talented author.” She currently writes Regencies for Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and Amish romances for Love Inspired as Jo Ann Brown. She has always lived on the east coast, but now resides in Nevada with her husband and a very chubby cat.
Jo Ann’s latest release is Amish Homecoming.