Authors: Mary Ellis
HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS
Scripture quotations are taken from the
New Living Translation, copyright Â© 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189 USA. All rights reserved, and from the Holy Bible, New International Version
. Copyright Â© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.â¢ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Cover by Garborg Design Works, Savage, Minnesota
Cover photos Â© Chris Garborg
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to events or locales, is entirely coincidental.
LIVING IN HARMONY
Copyright Â© 2012 by Mary Ellis
Published by Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon 97402
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Living in Harmony / Mary Ellis.
p. cm.â(New beginnings series ; bk. 1)
ISBN 978-0-7369-3866-2 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-0-7369-4286-7 (eBook)
1. CouplesâFiction. 2. AmishâFiction. 3. MaineâFiction. I. Title.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, digital, photocopy, recording, or any otherâexcept for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
“If the Lord would tarry another hundred years, what kind of world will we leave to our children?”
Old Order Amish father of ten, Waldo County, Maine
“The Amish are a tremendous asset to our community.
They are restoring the agricultural vitality to the land I grew up on.”
lifelong area resident and son of a farmer
Thanks to local resident Jim Kenney, and Ted and Rhonda Barnes and their daughter, Sarah Poulin, of Farmer's Corner Restaurant, of Troy, Maine.
Thanks to Diana Avella of the Copper Heron Bed & Breakfast for opening her lovely home to me and answering all my questions.
Thanks to Rosanna Coblentz of the Old Order Amish for the delicious recipes.
Thanks to Peggy Svoboda for traveling with me during what seemed like the hottest summer in recorded history, and thanks to Rosanna Huffman, dear friend and fellow writer, who helped find the perfect Scripture.
Thanks to my agent, Mary Sue Seymour, who had faith in me from the beginning, and to my lovely proofreader, Joycelyn Sullivan.
Thanks to my editor, Kim Moore, and the wonderful staff at Harvest House Publishers.
Finally, a special thank-you to Lewis, Kenneth, Ervin, and other members of the Old Order Amish community of Waldo County, Maine, for providing general background information and agricultural detail for my novel. Though Waldo County is real, Harmony is a fictional town.
he rain's finally stopped. We're late. I'd better get you home before your father comes looking for us carrying his squirrel rifleâthunderstorm or no.”
“Hmm,” replied Amy. John's attempt at humor fell short of its mark.
“With my next paycheck, I should have enough money for a load of insulation to be delivered next week,” he said with great animation. “I'll check the total weight. If it's not too heavy for my flatbed wagon, I'll pick it up at the lumberyard with your
's Belgians. That will save us the delivery charge.”
“Mh-hmm,” replied Amy, trying to shake off the odd sensation snaking up her spine. It was probably the two lemon bars she ate after the sloppy joes. Sweet and spicy didn't always set well in her stomach.
“And I'll pick up one of those fancy whirlpool tubs with at least a dozen water jets and also a tanning bed so your
won't get so pale during the winter months.”
“That's nice. Whatever you think would be best for the
addition.” Amy laced her fingers together and pressed both palms down on her roiling belly.
John Detweiler pulled on the reins and steered the open buggy to the side of the road. “What has you distracted, Amy? You haven't heard a word I've said since we left the cookout and singing at the Lapp farm.” His expression revealed concern rather than irritation.
Amy straightened against the bench seat, grinning as his previous words took root in her mind. “
she apologized. “I don't feel quite right. I should watch the combination of foods I eat at get-togethers instead of nibbling on a dozen different treats.” She offered an apologetic smile. “I do believe
would frown on the Jacuzzi and tanning bed ideas, so just stick to insulation.”
They laughed companionably as John checked for traffic and then guided their buggy back onto the roadway. “At least I got your attention.” He patted her knee. Even though her legs were covered by a pine-green dress and black apron, it was still an inappropriate gesture.
But Amy didn't scold him for his affection, because everyone in the district knew they would announce their engagement this autumn and marry in Novemberâthe traditional wedding season in Lancaster County. She opened her mouth to ask him to explain his house addition plans when the acrid smell of wood smoke assailed her senses.
“Fire!” she gasped. Alarm turned her voice into a childish squeak. Her mild sensation of unease quickly escalated into full-blown dread.
“Easy, now. We just left a bonfire and s'mores roast. Who's to say some
isn't doing the same thing over the next hill?” Nevertheless, he clucked his tongue to the horse to step up the pace.
As they rounded the bend in the road, Amy saw a streaky
orange glow reflected against low-hanging clouds. “Oh, dear Lord,” she gasped, half standing in the buggy. “Bonfires don't light up the entire sky, and that's the direction of our farm!”
John gently pulled her down to the seat. “There are plenty of houses in that direction, Amy. Let's not get worked up until we know for sure.” He spoke words of assurance, yet his tone wasn't very convincing.
She squeezed her eyes shut and began to pray. Over and over silently in her head, she pleaded for the blaze to be a brush fire, or perhaps an abandoned ramshackle barn torched by the volunteer fire department for training purposes. Every few years the fire marshal scheduled an exercise and invited all surrounding fire departments to participate. Amish and
arrived with lawn chairs to watch the volunteers battle the flames.
“Git up there,” John shouted, slapping the reins with urgency. The Standardbred complied, breaking into a fast trot.