Shannon here: Amish romance author, Mary Ellis shares an excerpt from her latest release, A Plain Man plus a chance to win a copy. Comment on any post dated April 2 – 4 to enter the drawing. Deadline: April 12th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Mary:
Excerpt from: A Plain Man (the scene in which they meet)
“Good to see you, Caleb. This is my first chance to welcome you home.” She locked eyes with him, much to his chagrin.
“Thanks, Josie. Gut to be back.” Caleb studied the back of Adam’s head. Gut to be back—as though he’d been vacationing in Florida?
“Josie, sit up here with me and the driver.” Sarah instructed through the open window. “Adam can crawl into the back with the men.”
As Josie Yoder climbed onto the front seat, Cal said a silent prayer of thanks. Praying hadn’t been a habit for a long while, but he thanked God Josie wasn’t sitting next to him. Now he would have thirty minutes to pull his act together.
Once they arrived at the pancake breakfast, true to his father’s prediction, the line snaked out the door of the elementary school. But customers chatted and laughed as though waiting hours to eat was normal. The Beachy party of five took their place in line in a crowd of seventy-five percent English, twenty-five percent Amish. Always the hostess, Sarah kept conversation lively, finding ways to include James, Josie or him.
Caleb had just begun to relax when the rowdy locals behind them caught his attention. From the corner of his eye, he assessed the group—three muscle-bound young men with their overly made-up girlfriends. The men talked as though they wanted the world to hear them, while the women giggled shrilly. Must Englischers be so loud? Cal tried his best to ignore them and concentrate on Adam’s story about coaxing a bull back behind the fence. Then Caleb overheard the Englischer’s taunt clear and true.
“Do you suppose there’s only one Amish barber in town, or do all the barbers learn only one haircut?” Laughing, the three girlfriends stole not-very-subtle glances at them.
Cal felt heat start in his chest and spread up his neck, but he focused on Adam. Adam either didn’t hear the comment or was able to ignore it. Sarah pulled Josie closer to her side as though closing ranks.
“I know there’s only one clothing store in town. They dress so much alike, I don’t know how they tell each other apart.” That particular remark came from the shortest of the men.
Caleb pivoted around to face them while his fingers bunched into fists. Five years of living in the city had taught him to be cynical, wary, and defensive—three traits frowned on in Amish society. He took a step toward his adversaries, but Josie Yoder grabbed his hand, halting his progress.
“If my stomach grumbles any louder, I won’t be able to hear myself think,” she said. “Could we skip pancakes for now and buy one of those giant funnel cakes? A booth is selling them near where the van dropped us off.” Her dark lashes fluttered while she spoke.
“Great idea,” said his sister. “I’m starving too. We can either check this breakfast line later or chow-down solely on junk food. I vote for the latter.” Sarah began dragging Adam in the direction of the vendors and craft tables. Adam continued his tale about the wily bull without interruption. Josie didn’t release his hand as they fell in step behind them.
“Smart thinking to shake those troublemakers.” James whispered to Cal, joining his other side. “I saw plenty of Amish women at those food booths. Besides, I eat tons of pancakes with maple syrup at home.” His spirits hadn’t been daunted in the least by the English thugs.
Caleb relaxed his shoulders and released his breath. “I could go for one of those greasy funnel cakes. I’ve been eating way too healthy since moving back.”
“Gut, that means I won’t have to share any of mine.” Josie swung their arms like children on a playground.
Cal smiled at the prettiest and most clever woman at the Shreve pancake festival. His temper had reared its ugly head, but Josie had diffused a bad situation. Even if the lovely Miss Yoder never spent another minute in his company, Caleb Beachy would remain forever grateful.
About Mary: Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her last series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently working on a three-book series of historical romances set during the Civil War for Harvest House Publishers. The Quaker and the Rebel released in January. Her current release is A Plain Man. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.Learn more and connect: http://http://www.maryellis.net//, http://www.maryeellis.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236
About the book – A Plain Man:
The Prodigal Comes Home
Though Caleb Beachy tried the Englisch world for some years, he is a Plain man at heart. But when he decides to return to the Amish lifestyle, he discovers there’s more to embracing his faith and reconnecting with the community than merely driving a horse and buggy and giving up his Levis.
Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left. All grown up now, she gives Caleb hope for the future and reminds him that while his faith may have wavered, God never left his side. But will past mistakes end up destroying their fledgling romance before it really has a chane to begin?
Delight in the story of a wounded heart finding joy, health, and healing in God’s infinite grace.
Come back April 4th for Mary’s Amish recipes!