Monday, June 12, 2017

Week #24: Amish Brides by Molly Jebber, Jennifer Beckstrand, and Amy Lillard

Jennifer Beckstrand
Spirited Suvie Newswenger has three marriage proposals—but not from the man she truly loves. No matter how lonely widower Aaron Beachy is, he seems determined to stay that way forever. Now, with help from his matchmaking great-grandparents, Suvie will do whatever it takes to rekindle Aaron’s hope—and spark happiness for a lifetime.

Molly Jebber
Madeline Lehman fears her fiancé’s family will never accept her because of her rebellious sister. She’s postponed her wedding to Joshua Stutzman until they see the truth. But when Maddie adopts her sister’s abandoned baby, can she and Joshua find a way to unite their families through forgiveness as well as love?

Amy LillardReba Schmucker longs to be a bride. And she knows her mischievous nieces just wanted to help when they “chose” Abel Weaver for her. But he’s the last man in the world she’d ever marry. There’s no way her independence and his stubbornness could ever get along—unless a sudden crisis somehow leads to understanding . . . and love.


Chapter 1 (Joshua's Bride, by Molly Jebber):


1885, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Madeline grinned, put a finger to her lips, and pointed to her daed in his plain coat and snoring on the front porch in his favorite rocking chair with a blanket half covering him. His straw hat lopsided on his head, and his brown hair covering his right eye. She pointed to the back door.
Joshua grinned and went outside with her. He clasped her hand. “Let’s go behind your daed’s shed by the weeping willow trees.”
She squinted and shielded her eyes shivered. She was tired of cold weather and anxious for spring to arrive. Anytime she was with Joshua, she was happy. He had a lilt in his step, smiled most of time, and didn’t let much get him down. He tackled his problems, and had faith they would work out fine with God’s help no matter how long it took. He’d been quiet and fidgety today at the church meal, and he hurried to their shady spot. Something was on his mind, but what? She stood in the shade. “What is wrong? You’re acting odd.”
He held both her hands and stared into her eyes. “Everything is fine.” He cleared his throat. “Beautiful Madeline, love of my life, will you marry me?”
She clapped her hands and jumped for joy. “Jah! Jah! Jah! I’d love to marry you!” She’d found the perfect husband, and they would be together forever. She’d tuck this eighth day of March in her mind as a special day to remember. “I’m so happy, Joshua.”
Joshua picked her up and twirled her around. “I love you, Madeline Lehman, soon to be Mrs. Stutzman. He set her on her feet. “Your daed granted me his permission the other night.”
Her daed loved Joshua, as if he were his son. He’d said so more than once. The two men had become fast friends. Her mamm would’ve loved Joshua. She could envision her mamm and her getting ready for the wedding. They’d have planned, cooked, and sewed to prepare for the special day together. Her mamm had been a strong women of faith and brought so much joy to their lives with her cheerful outlook on life and compassionate heart. She’d been patient with Catherine’s quick temper and curiosity about the world. Madeline was glad Mamm hadn’t known about Catherine’s leaving her Amish life behind for good.
She’d never forget the day she found mamm on the floor. She’d shaken her to rouse her to no avail. Mamm’s body was cool and her eyes blank and wide open. Her older schweschder, Catherine, had screamed and ran to fetch their daed. He’d rocked her mamm in his arms, and then carried her body to the wagon and drove to Dr. Wilson’s office. He came home and said the doctor didn’t know what took her life. It’d been over five years ago when they lived in Shipshewana, Indiana. She laid her hands in Joshua’s. “I wish Mamm were here to share in the most wonderful day of my life.”
“From what you’ve told me about her, she sounds like a loving and wise mamm.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to know her.” Joshua gently squeezed her fingers.
Two cats a few feet away meowing and chasing each other brought a smile to her lips, as she gathered her thoughts. She tilted her head and stared at their hands. “Did you tell your parents you were going to ask me to marry you today?”
“I did.” He dropped his eyes from hers.
“Please tell me what they said.” She frowned and stared at her hands.
“They asked me not to marry you.” Joshua gently lifted her chin until her eyes met his. “They’re afraid you’ll leave Lancaster like Catherine. As time passes, I’m certain my parents will grow to love you.”
“Joshua, maybe we should wait to wed.”
He swiped sweat from his brow with his shirt sleeve. “You are the fraa for me, Madeline. I won’t let them ruin this important time in our lives.” He tapped a finger to his chin and stared at the sky for a moment. He smiled. “Let’s ask the bishop to schedule a date in June. It’s not too far away, but we’d have enough time to invite everyone and plan the day.”
She sighed. “Joshua, we have to consider your parents request we not marry.”
He kissed her cheek. “As time goes on, mamm and daed will understand we are committed to each other forever, and they will regret wrongfully judging you because of Catherine’s decisions. I’m hoping Nathaniel will fall in love with a sweet Amish woman someday soon and take his mind off his past with Catherine. Then we can be one happy family.”
The love of her life had a positive outlook for problems. She’d be sad to delay their wedding. She’d throw caution to the wind and have faith everything would work out well. It was unfortunate Joshua’s bruder, Nathaniel, had fallen in love with Catherine, and she’d left without a word to him. But she wasn’t to blame for Catherine’s choices, nor would she do the same to Joshua. Mr. and Mrs. Stutzman were wrong. She just hoped Joshua was right.
“I’m going to visit the bishop tomorrow. I’d like to get on his schedule as soon as possible. I’m ready to start building our haus.”
Her heart swelled with joy. “You are a good provider. I’m blessed Daed moved us to Lancaster three years ago. I had prayed moving from Shipshewana, Indiana and kumming here would be a fresh new start for us.  I’m blessed to have met you, and your friendship with daed has helped him through his grief with Mamm and Catherine’s departure from us. I thought her meeting Nathaniel had turned her life around. I’m so sorry she hurt your bruder, Joshua.”
“It’s not your fault.  I’m confident my bruder will recover. He loved her, and he needs time to get over her. He’s burly, and because of his large stature, he’s mistaken for a hard man, but he’s a softie inside.”
“His soft voice amazed me the first time he spoke. You two don’t look anything alike, but your voices are similar. I’m surprised Nathaniel is two years younger than you. He looks older. Catherine is two years older than I am, but I always felt like the responsible one.” Joshua had average height and thin frame. Nathaniel towered over Joshua with his broad shoulders and muscular arms.
“You and Catherine couldn’t be more opposite. You’ve got blonde hair, and she’s got dark red hair. Your eyes match a dark blue sky, and hers match a green pasture. She’s always looking for adventure, and you’re calm, content, and enjoy the simple Amish life. My parents will kumme to realize what a faithful and loving Amish woman you are once we’re married and show them we are committed to each other.”
“I’m fearful they won’t accept me before the wedding. If they don’t, we must reconsider. It wouldn’t be proper for us to go against their wishes.”
He hugged her. “We’ll treat them with respect and pray to God to change their minds. At the same time, we’ll look forward to our wedding day.”
She blushed. “I love you, and I’ll be counting the days until my name changes to Mrs. Madeline Stutzman!”
Daed cleared his throat and came around the corner of the shed. “I thought I’d find you two here. By the glow on your face, Madeline, I assume Joshua proposed?” He grinned.
“He did! Oh Daed, I’m so happy!”
“I’m thrilled for both of you. I couldn’t ask for a better man to marry my dochder.” He slapped Joshua on the arm and kissed Madeline’s cheek. He chuckled. “Joshua, during the bishop’s message today, you couldn’t sit still. I had an inkling you were on pins and needles to ask Madeline to marry you this afternoon.” His eyes twinkled.
She smiled and nodded. “He took several bites of his food at the after service meal and pushed his plate away. He scrapes and devours every last bite of food on his plate at meals. I wondered why he didn’t have an appetite.”
“I waited a bit for my parents to change their minds, but I grew impatient and chose this afternoon to propose marriage to you. The minutes dragged by until after the church service and the trip back here to our special spot. Now we can tell everyone.”
“You must be hungry, Joshua. You barely touched your sandwich and beets. Kumme with me. I’ve got ham spread and apple tarts.”
Daed rubbed his slightly round stomach. “I wouldn’t mind a sandwich.”
They went inside, and the men sat and talked while she fetched the food. Setting plates and glasses of water in front of them, she sat at the round oak table next to Joshua. She loved listening to the two men discuss farming and life.
Knock. Knock.
“You two sit. I’ll find out who is here.” Madeline went to the front room across the wooden floor and opened the door. “Nathaniel, kumme in.” Mrs. Isabelle Stutzman often sent Nathaniel to her haus whenever Joshua was here. She concocted some excuse for him having to return home. It was a ploy to keep them apart.
Nathaniel avoided looking at her. “I’ll wait on the porch.”



Thank you for joining us. I hope you have enjoyed this peek into Amish Brides...especially Joshua's Bride, by Molly Jebber. Please leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for a free copy!




  1. Great first chapter and I love Amish stories!
    sallyshupe1 at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks so much, Sally! Good luck in the giveaway. Winner will be announced next Monday.

  3. Mary this looks like a really good book. Love to read. Love your blog.

  4. Congratulations to Sally Shupe. You are the this week's winner!!

  5. Thank you so much!! Cannot wait to read this one!


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