That means my new book, A Mother for His Children, is now available at all of your local outlets!
BTW - if your Walmart is like mine, the Love Inspired Historicals won't appear on the shelves until the middle of the month. You can either be patient, or go online to Harlequin.com or Amazon, or your favorite online retailer.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Ruthy also has a book out this month! His Montana Sweetheart is available everywhere :) or you can go online again: Harlequin.com.
Why do we enjoy Love Inspired romances so much?
I think a big part of it is because we love stories about home, family, traditions - new and old, new beginnings, second chances, and God's grace.
A Mother for His Children was inspired by a story in my own family.
This is my great-grandmother, Bessie Schrock (on the far left), with her family.
|Notice G-G-Grandpa Eli's plain clothes. His parents|
were the first generation to leave the Amish, but they
didn't leave the plain clothes behind.
And this is my great-grandfather, George Sherck (on the far left) with his family.
|The Shercks weren't quite as "Plain" as the Schrocks,|
but G-G-Grandpa Isaac never wore a tie.
Eventually George and Bessie met. He courted and she accepted.
Even though he did complain that the whitewash on the tree trunks in the front yard of the Schrock home made his good suit dusty. :)
They had children - my grandmother Ethel and her sisters, Myrtle, Dorothy, Eunice and Ruby.
And in 1928, Ethel married my grandfather, Guy, and they had children. My Dad and his brother and sisters - John, Martha, James, Waneta and Nancy.
But they never let the bonds of the past loosen too far - family is too important.
For as long as anyone can remember, the Sherck family has been meeting every year for a family get-together. (Can you really call it a "reunion" for a family as close-knit as this one?)
|Sherck family, 1938|
Not just Grandma, Grandpa, children and grandchildren. As many generations as possible shows up for this reunion.
When I was growing up, I thought this was normal. I thought every family had close ties like this. Then my world expanded, and I started wondering what made my family unique.
I've decided that a lot of it comes from our family heritage and Amish/Mennonite background. Both of my great-grandparents descended from Anabaptists that were persecuted in Switzerland in the 1600's. The two families came from small towns in the Emmental region of Switzerland only a few miles apart.
The years of persecution, being imprisoned for their faith, ultimately exiled from their homes and taking the long and dangerous journey to a new land cemented bonds in Amish and Mennonite families that are unshakable.
The Sherck reunion is this coming weekend. I won't be there to enjoy renewing family ties - but I'll certainly be thinking about them.
And the food.
You knew I'd bring this around to food, didn't you?
Yes, I'm going to share a recipe, but you have to know it was hard to choose. The only dish I remember from my childhood was the homemade ice cream for dessert. Lots and lots of ice cream, made in hand-cranked ice cream freezers.
And someone usually brought cracklin's - but they were too rich for little girls (just like Laura was told in The Little House in the Big Woods).
I do remember the tables being so full of good food you could never try everything. There's one dish that sticks in my memory, though: Three Bean Salad. You can never go wrong with a good Three Bean Salad!
This is a repeat recipe, but it's perfect for this time of year:
Jan's Three Bean Salad
1 can green beans, drained
1 can yellow (or wax) beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 small onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
1/4 cup green pepper, cut in 1/2" chunks
1 cup Italian salad dressing (the easy option)
Or for a more authentic Amish flavor, make this dressing:
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes. Drain the excess salad dressing before serving.
Do you enjoy family reunions?