When I was a caregiver for my elderly in-laws, it stirred up a passion in me against the aging process and the pain and humiliation which accompanies it. I became well-acquainted with care centers and assisted living facilities. As our mothers developed dementia, laughter helped hubby and I deal with the troubling situation. In Covered Bridge Charm, Carly is a caregiver at a Mennonite assisted living facility. Many of the humorous antics I’d observed over the years found their way into this book. The story is a tender one laced with humor.
Of course, foremost, it’s a love story.
I take an annual trip with my two sisters and brother. Two years ago, it became a research trip for this book. We had so much fun doing the covered bridge tour near Sweet Home, Oregon, which helped me plot the bridge clues into my story.
We toured a Christmas tree farm and learned everything Adam (character) needed to know for his family’s tree farm.
But the most fun was finding the perfect locale for Carly’s little yellow cottage. We found a darling street close to one of the covered bridges which had been restored and moved to Sankey Park. We mapped out her bicycle course because, believe me, a lot happens when Carly’s peddling around Sweet Home on her pink wheels with her pet rabbit, whether she’s trying to match-make or recruit volunteers for the facility.
I love feisty heroines and steady sweet heroes who are brave enough to love them.
Also, endearingly quirky characters.
When Carly’s plans for a new volunteer program at Sweet Life go awry, she shifts her focus to one lonely resident named Martha. Adam Lapp, a wood shop instructor at Sweet Life Retirement Center, reluctantly joins with Carly to search for Martha’s lost love for a surprise reunion between them at Martha’s upcoming 85th birthday.
As Carly and Adam explore the carvings of an old covered bridge to trace the elderly man’s whereabouts, Adam tries to resist the mutual attraction growing between them. But when the elderly man’s nephew takes a romantic interest in Carly, Adam must decide where his heart truly lies. Soon, new clues sweep them all in a harried race to the finish line where love is the ultimate prize.
The best thing about writing is connecting with readers. I hope you’ll follow me on social media or give me a personal email from my website.
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Dianne Christner writes light-hearted Christian Fiction. After writing historical fiction for Barbour Books since 1994, she recently penned some Mennonite fiction works. Plain City Bridesmaids was on the EPCA Bestsellers list for several consecutive months. Her newest release, Covered Bridge Charm sprang from her experience as caregiver for her elderly in-laws. Raised Mennonite and having Amish relatives—her grandfather was a preaching Beachy-Amish bishop and her husband’s parents were once Amish—she brings authenticity to her Amish fiction. She now worships at Christ Church of the Valley—a nondenominational church.
Dianne resides in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband of forty-one years. They love the warm desert lifestyle. They have two married children and five grandchildren. She says, “Writing is a lonely job so I LOVE reader interaction.”