About Christmas at Rose Hill Farm:
Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn’t who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It’s time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy’s cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos’s wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can’t forget Billy.
When a “lost” rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That’s his plan. The only catch is that he’s having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can’t get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.
As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy–and Amos, too–that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.
Excerpt from Christmas at Rose Hill Farm:
A pale thread of gray seeped over the windowsill, wakening Bess Riehl with its strange light. Outside, a limb tapped the eaves. Disoriented, still fuzzy from sleep, she lifted her head to peer out the window and gasped in delight. Overnight, Stoney Ridge had been blanketed with deep snow, transformed into a world of pristine white. Just in time to make the day, this Sunday, all the more special. Not just any Sunday, but the day her engagement would be announced at the end of church. Published, as they called it. And in less than two weeks, she would be married.
Married. She was going to be a married woman. This Christmas, she would be married. For the rest of her life. Absentmindedly, she put her hand against the frosty windowpane to feel the chill. Her insides felt as quivery as her cold fingertips.
Was it normal to feel all trembly inside, scared and excited and filled with strange feelings? She hoped so, because whenever she thought about the bishop announcing her name today in church, she felt light-headed, slightly dizzy, a little nauseous, and terribly worried about fainting. Bess was what her grandmother used to call a nervous little thing, as jumpy as a dog with fleas. Twenty now, she couldn’t deny the truth of that, but she was definitely bolder than she was at fifteen when she lived for a summer with Mammi at Rose Hill Farm. Bolder, certainly, and yet Bess still preferred to be invisible in any group setting. Such as . . . church.
If she couldn’t handle having her name announced in public, how would she be able to survive her wedding day? She dropped her head. She had no idea. None at all.
But she wouldn’t be alone. Amos would be there too.
Amos Lapp. Her thoughts drifted off to him and a smile eased her anxiety. He was so kind, was Amos. They had met, years ago, through his cousin Billy Lapp, whom Bess refused to allow herself to think about for more than a moment or two, once or twice a week. Mostly, she wondered where Billy was and if he ever thought about her. And what he thought about her. And why he left.
Stop. Stop it, Bess!
There. She expunged Billy Lapp from her mind and went back to thinking about Amos, whom she adored. Not Billy, whom she didn’t.
Used by Permission from Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell, 2014).
Read the entire first chapter of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm here.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Revealing, The Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her latest book, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm released September 2nd. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is the host of the Amish Wisdom blog, as well as a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She also offers readers a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, that delivers a daily Penn Dutch proverb. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Purchase Suzanne’s books here.