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Authors: Anna Schmidt

Mother's Promise

BOOK: Mother's Promise
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What People Are Saying About The Women of Pinecraft Series:

“Amish fiction fans will be swept away by Schmidt's captivating story of love, the importance of dealing with grief and caring for others, and how God can help and guide even in the midst of life's storms.”

—Christian Retailing

“A new series about Mennonite and Amish cultures with memorable characters who just want to help people. Schmidt is a wonderful storyteller. She invites readers into a world few outsides get the chance to experience.”

—Romantic Times

“As a lover of contemporary rom-coms I don't often reach for books that straddle the fence of time, sticking buggies and horses next to modern convenience. Yes, I'm speaking of that great-selling, over-published subgenre of the inspirational market known as: Amish fiction.

“I'm not (usually) a fan.

“The new series by award-winning author Anna Schmidt, however, doesn't fall into the tidy Lancaster County box we've come to expect from cardboard-cutout Amish romances. In
A Stranger's Gift
, Book 1 in The Women of Pinecraft series, Schmidt has broken new ground by creating intelligent, original characters and setting her novel in Sarasota, Fla., within the Conservative Mennonite and Amish community of Pinecraft (yes, it is a real place!). Plain folk on the beach? I did not see that coming.”

—USA Today

“A Stranger's Gift is an inspirational, uplifting romance that beautifully demonstrates both the strength and kindness of the Mennonite people. Even as a hurricane rages across Florida's Gulf Coast, even as her hometown faces destruction from the wind and water, the heroine works to help those in need. No matter what she must face in the aftermath of the hurricane and in her heart, the faith she has in God doesn't waver.”

—Melanie Dobson, author of
Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa

“This fast-paced novel (
A Stranger's Gift
) takes you on a journey into Florida's Mennonite community that you won't soon forget. Schmidt's characters come alive as their world crashes around them. You won't be able to stop turning pages until you reach the satisfying end. Can't wait until the next in the
Women of Pinecraft
series.”

—Mary Ellis, author of
Abigail's New Hope


A Stranger's Gift
, Book 1 of Anna Schmidt's Women of Pinecraft Mennonite series, is an engaging tale of loss and redemption, set against the background of hurricane season on Florida's Gulf Coast. Mennonite aid worker Hester Detweiler finds her courage and faith challenged by the devastating loss suffered by stubborn loner John Steiner. Schmidt crafts a fascinating picture of Mennonite life in an area that has been little explored in Plain fiction, and readers will be delighted with this new entrant in the popular genre.”

—Marta Perry, author of
Vanish in Plain Sight
and
Katie's Way

“Anna Schmidt takes us back to Pinecraft, Florida, and her Women of Pinecraft series with this compelling novel (
A Sister's Forgiveness
) set in this Mennonite community. It's a story about love of family, dealing with death and anger and finding forgiveness. It's about learning to seek forgiveness from others and to give forgiveness. In Tessa's journal she questions what mercy is and asks if that is what forgiveness is really all about. Your heart will be blessed by this story.”

—Viki Ferrell of Fresh Fiction

“I do believe Anna Schmidt is one of my new favorite authors. Her books differ in style and content than most others in the Christian genre that I read. Redemption is a strong element and the characters dwell on things other than romance. These characters face real-life problems and struggles. I recommend this series, The Women of Pinecraft.”

—Sally Riley, The Friendly Book Nook

© 2012 by Anna Schmidt

Print ISBN 978-1-61626-236-5

eBook Editions:
Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-62029-634-9
Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-62029-633-2

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes, except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without written permission of the publisher.

All scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

For more information about Anna Schmidt, please access the author's website at the following Internet address:
www.booksbyanna.com

Cover design: Kirk DouPonce, DogEared Design

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.

Printed in the United States of America.

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Epilogue

Discussion Questions

About the Author

Acknowledgments

Writing any story means finding “partners” to guide the process especially in those areas where the author is admittedly no expert. As with other books in this series I am deeply indebted to my Pinecraft/Sarasota friends Rosanna Bontrager, Doris Diener, and Tanya Kurtz Lehman. In addition I could not have brought the medical pieces of the story together without the assistance of Lois Pearson, Suzanne Berg, Barbara Oleksy, Jill Wiench, and Jim Greear. My thanks also go out to editors, Rebecca Germany and Traci DePree, as well as to my agent, Natasha Kern—a dear friend and unwavering cheerleader. Finally not one of the books I have written could ever have come to light without the constant love, support, and encouragement of my husband, best friend, and life partner, Larry.

Prologue
Ohio, Late Autumn, 2010

R
achel Kaufmann stood at the end of the lane that led to the farmhouse and waited for her husband to return from harvesting the last of the winter feed corn. It was coming on darkness and the wind that had come out of the southwest all day had shifted north.

She pulled her shawl over her white prayer covering and wrapped her hands in its folds. She had left her gloves back at the house, so anxious had she been to share her good news with James.

For several years she had helped supplement their farming income with private-duty nursing jobs, but now she'd been offered a full-time job as school nurse for their rural district. The nursing degree that she'd completed just before she and James married would finally be used to its full potential. She knew that her husband would be as pleased by the news as she was.

What could be keeping him?

She shivered a little and stamped her feet to offset the damp and cold as she peered into the lengthening shadows, listening carefully for the sound of the old tractor he would be riding back to the farm. It had rained steadily for days now, and the fields were awash with standing water. Twice that week the tractor had gotten stuck and James had had to abandon the work, but that morning he'd been confident that the strong overnight wind had done its job so he'd headed back to the fields.

She heard a car approach and knew it was a regular vehicle, not the tractor she longed to see coming around the sharp curve in the road. Headlights swept over her as the driver slowed and turned onto the lane.

Her sister-in-law, Rose, rolled down the passenger-side window. “Rachel? Is that you?”

“Of course it's her,” James's brother Luke snapped irritably. “Who else would it be?”

“Just waiting for James,” Rachel said. She drummed her fingernails on the back window, drawing the attention of the four children crowded on the backseat and waving to them.

“It's freezing,” Rose protested as she wrapped a shawl more tightly around her shoulders. “Get in.”

“No. I'm all right. I'll wait.”

“Better you come on back with us and help Mom get supper on the table.” Luke was not making conversation. He was—as usual—giving an order that he fully expected to be obeyed.

“James will be along soon.” Rachel met her brother-in-law's eyes.

BOOK: Mother's Promise
8.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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