Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Plain Widow by Diane Craver


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About the Book


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Book: A Plain Widow
Author: Diane Craver
Genre: Amish romance
Release Date: March 10, 2017

Molly Ebersol’s life changes in a few minutes when an arsonist torches their barn. Her husband, Caleb, rushes inside the burning barn to save his horses. Although Amish firefighter, Jonathan Mast, tries to save Caleb, he fails. Suddenly Molly becomes a widow.

A month later, an anonymous person gives money to cover the lumber and food expenses for the barn raising. One late night more money is left for Molly on the porch. The fire investigator wonders if the arsonist feels guilt about Caleb’s death and is responsible for the money gifts.

During the continued investigation, it’s learned that Caleb had secrets he kept from Molly. She is crushed by what Caleb did before meeting her. How could the love of her life kept his English past from her?

Her new neighbor, Jonathan, helps her to make the difficult transition from wife to widow. Although Molly develops feelings for Jonathan, can she ever trust him to be truthful to her? She isn’t sure she can fall in love again. Her trust in relationships is shattered because of Caleb’s past actions.


My Thoughts:

A Plain Widow is a story that is about a young wife who unexpectedly loses her husband in a barn fire.  The author writes with such emotion and we get a glimpse into what Molly is going through.  Not only does she have a young son, but she is expecting another child.  I felt for her as it seems that her independence is on the verge of going away.  Understandably, she does not want to move back in with her parents, (though they are very good to her and love her), she does not want to move in with anyone else, nor does she want to marry the first widower to ask her.  She does have very real concerns in how she is to keep up with her house payments and support herself and her two young children.

As if that is not bad enough, she finds out about some things in her husband’s past that do not put him in a good light and unfortunately he is not there anymore for a confrontation.  We get glimpses of this particular Amish town and customs and their Englischer friends and surrounding community.  There is also a mystery about the barn fire and if it was set on purpose thus resulting in the death of Molly’s husband. 

I appreciated the author’s thorough research of the Amish lifestyle and her notes regarding it and the list of words and their meanings in the beginning.  For sensitive readers, there are a couple of uses of bad language in one instance.  I enjoyed this story and its slower pace of a young Amish woman and her struggles through a difficult time (one I cannot even imagine) and her guarded steps into new love.

I received a copy of this book for free.  I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped up textbook. After Diane graduated from the Ohio State University, she became a schoolteacher and play director.

She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. Diane says that it took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, she started writing nonfiction and was published. Later, Diane decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. They were blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live at home. Their other children live close by. Diane has four adorable grandchildren. Her favorite vacation is going to the beach with the whole family.

Non-fiction articles of Diane’s have been published in Woman’s World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today, WritersWeekly.com, and other publications. Several of Diane’s books have been a reviewer’s top pick from Night Owl Reviews as well as receiving 5 star reviews and A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain Daughters) received the CTRR Reviewer’s Recommend Award from Coffee Time Romance and More.

Diane gives thanks daily to God for all her blessings.

Guest Post from Diane Craver


Back in 2012, when I told our adult children I had written my first Amish book, they looked surprised. In the past I had written contemporary Christian romance, but I had never mentioned anything about researching the Amish faith for my future books. My great-grandfather was a Mennonite minister, but I never knew him. My mother shared stories about his faith and his strictness in raising children. With many similarities between my great-grandfather’s faith and the Amish beliefs, I was drawn to learn more about the Plain life.

Another influence came from my father. While growing up in Findlay, Ohio, my father respected and enjoyed talking with the Amish from Kenton, Ohio. As a farmer, he used both work horses (something he had in common with his Amish acquaintances) and a tractor. In my book, A PLAIN WIDOW, my character, Jonathan Mast, is from Kenton. Unfortunately, my children never knew my father, but they learned how precious he was to me from reading my book, A GIFT FOREVER.

Now several books later, I am still writing Amish fiction. I feel blessed that God directed me on this writing path. A wonderful aspect of writing in this genre is finding Amish recipes to prepare in my kitchen. One of my favorite recipes is also my character Molly’s specialty in my new release. This Amish recipe is an easy bread to make and takes around twenty minutes to prepare.

Delicious Amish Cinnamon Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)
Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans. (Basically pour 1/4 of the total batter into each pan.)
Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. Or until toothpick tester is clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Blog Stops


April 22: cherylbbookblog
April 25: Pause for Tales
April 25: Bigreadersite
April 29: Just Commonly
April 30: A Greater Yes

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Diane is giving away a set of the Dream of Plain Daughters Series (4 book series) and a $20 Amazon gift card. If the winner is outside of the US, ebooks will be substituted.

RUNNER-UP: A copy of AMISH BABY SNATCHED, the first book in The Bishop’s Daughters Series and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54a



5 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great story from a fantastic author. Best wishes with this book and all your work, Diane. And the Amish bread sounds truly delicious! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gina,
      Thank you so much for visiting here and for your lovely comment. The Amish bread is yummy and easy to make. I appreciate your awesome support and interest in my books. :)

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  2. I am so looking forward to this book by Diane

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  3. Hi Dina,
    Big thanks for all your support for my writing. Have a great evening!

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  4. I love that the author did her research. That definitely makes a huge difference in the believability of a fictional world. This character is put through really difficult times and I'd like to find out how she overcomes her loss.

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