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By: Lewis, Beverly
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
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Twenty-seven-year-old Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The single young Amishwoman is a closet writer with a longing to be published something practically unheard of in her Lancaster County community. Yet Joanna's stories aren't her only secret. She also has a beau who is courting her from afar, unbeknownst even to her sister, Cora, who, though younger, seems to have suitors to spare.
Eben Troyer is a responsible young Amishman who hopes to make Joanna Kurtz his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet with his only brother off in the English world, intent on a military career, Eben's hopes for building a life with his dear Joanna are dimming, and patience is wearing thin. Will Joanna ever be more than a bridesmaid?
|Release Date: September 11, 2012|
Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish country: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned, at the age of five.
"My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years," Bev says. One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music," penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. "Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things," she says.
Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993.
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage Of Lancaster County, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."
Asked if she is surprised by the popularity of her work, Lewis says, "The sales response for my work is astonishing, but even more heartwarming are a thousand letters a year pouring in from readers." Fans describe how her books have "touched a nerve, creating a curiosity about the Old Ways of the Amish . . . a yearning for a simpler life and return to traditional values in the mainstream society, where an impersonal, high-tech lifestyle reigns paramount," she explains. Bev still takes time out of her busy schedule to answer her readers' letters.
Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev’s tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 70 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, where they enjoy hiking with their three grown children, two granddaughters, and two grand-dogs. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."
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