‘Emma Blooms at Last’.
Romance is in the air during the fall wedding season in the Amish community of Cedar Creek. But while one loving couple prepares to tie the knot, Amanda and Wyman Brubaker’s large family faces a threat from outside their happy circle…and must learn to pull together.
Recently wed Amanda and Wyman Brubaker are thrilled that their children from previous marriages have blended together to form a strong family. But when the construction of Wyman’s new grain elevator is delayed, making the project more expensive than anticipated, Amanda’s determination to rally the kids into taking on work to improve the family’s finances comes into conflict with Wyman’s sense of responsibility as head of the household….
Meanwhile, as James Graber and Abby Lambright prepare for their long-awaited nuptials, folks gather from far and wide. Amanda’s nephew Jerome has long been smitten with James’s sister Emma and wants to seize this chance to woo her. But Emma’s been burned once and is twice shy of trusting the fun-loving, never-serious Jerome. As Emma and Jerome struggle to understand each other, and find the courage to make a leap of faith, the Brubakers face a bigger challenge than they first anticipated and begin to discover just what it means to fight…the Amish way.
“It’s been way too long since I hitched up a sleigh,” Jerome said as he lightly clapped the reins on Sparky’s back. “I don’t think this one’s seen the snow since Uncle Atlee passed, and that’s a shame. Are you warm enough?”
Emma burrowed deeper beneath the quilts Jerome had draped over them. Now that she was settled on the plush old seat, leaning into Jerome as the sleigh tilted slightly on the downhill lane, she felt happier than she had in a long time. The full moon was beaming down from a blue velvet sky dotted with diamond stars, making the snow-blanketed pastures glimmer all around them.
“I’m cozy. And I’m having a really gut time,” Emma replied with a contented sigh. “Night rides are the prettiest, especially now that the wind has died down.”
“Jah, it’s a perfect evening,” Jerome replied softly. “I’ve been hoping for more time alone with you, well—since the day we went shopping, Emma.”
As she thought back to that day she’d spent trying to escape Jerome’s attentions, Emma let herself relax . . . allowed the breeze from the accelerating sleigh blow away her former objections to the handsome man who was driving it. The clip-clop of Sparky’s hooves on the snow-packed road settled her heartbeat into its rhythm while the warmth they shared beneath the quilts soothed her after a day of surprising guests and revelations. “Denki for giving me another chance, Jerome,” she murmured. “You were right at the wedding. I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities to go out and have fun.”
Interview with Naomi King
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Criticism meets you at every turn when you’re a writer, even after you’re multi-published for years. For this interview, I’m going to discount the type of negative, irrelevant “reviews” you get on Amazon and other sales sites online. It’s been a whole new education, learning that there are people out there with nothing better to do than trash your books in public, most likely without reading them.
As far as legitimate criticism goes, my agent and editors have most often told me that my stories don’t deal with enough conflict. While I understand, mentally, that you don’t have much of a story without conflict, emotionally I really abhor conflict and confrontation. Like Abby Lambright in my Home at Cedar Creek series, I’m a peacemaker. So I have to make a real effort to build in enough conflict, especially between the hero and heroine, to keep my work salable.
I’ve also been told that I don’t follow the “rules” of the romance genre—and frankly, I don’t always consider that a bad thing! I’m not sure those same genre expectations are as strong for these Amish stories, where readers want so much more about the culture and characters’ day-to-day activities, but it’s still important to develop a mature, loving relationship between my heroes and heroines. Love is the greatest power in the world, and whether it’s God’s love or a couple’s love, I strive to create scenes and situations that show love overcoming difficulties in believable, uplifting ways. That sort of love transcends any “rules” the publishing industry can tell you to follow!
What is your favorite kind of food? Favorite thing to cook/bake?
Oh my, what’s not my favorite food?! About the only things I refuse to eat are sushi, okra, and Brussels sprouts. If we’re out for breakfast I like pancakes, because they’re always better than I make at home. In recent years
I’ve taken to ordering more broiled fish and snazzy salads because the bread and pasta just aren’t doing me any favors. I’m short and I sit all day, and when the metabolism went south with the hormones several years ago, it got a lot harder to keep the weight off.
I also bake nearly 100 dozen Christmas cookies each fall/winter to share with family and friends. When we lived in Jefferson City, I donated more than 25 dozen of those cookies for the Christmas Eve services, but now that we’ve moved, I’ve cut back on how many I bake. I’m big on making muffins and homemade soups, too.
A couple of years ago when the doc got concerned about my blood pressure, though, I went on the EAT TO LIVE diet at her recommendation. Yup, I went vegan for about eight weeks. Dropped about 20 pounds, but the biggest thing I did for myself was get off the sugar, the Sweet-N-Low, and most processed foods.
Once I got out of that “sweetness” habit, I found it much easier to stay away from those cookies I love to bake (my husband, bless him, is not into bean cuisine or platefuls of salad and veggies) and to forego the bread. My cholesterol went down a lot, my blood pressure improved, and my doctor was ecstatic. I’ve added back things like yogurt and some fish and poultry, but I still eat a lot of vegetarian stuff except when we go on vacation. Even then, I’m not the party girl I used to be and I try to eat less. But you know…chocolate is a plant-based food! And dark chocolate has all those flavonoids that are so good for you. 😉
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Naomi King writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Home at Cedar Creek/One Big Happy Family series. Like her series heroine, Abby Lambright, Naomi considers it her personal mission to be a listener—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls—and to share her hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and frugality are hallmarks of her lifestyle: like Abby, she made her wedding dress and the one her mom wore, too! She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, Naomi loves to travel, try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Naomi, whose real name is Charlotte Hubbard, now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie, Ramona.
One Big Happy Family, Book 2
NAL Trade (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-13: 9780451417886 •• ISBN-10: 0451417887
The Book Depository •• http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9780451417886
Amazon •• http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0451417887/
Barnes & Noble •• http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9780451417886
B-A-M •• http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780451417886
Chapters •• http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/a/9780451417886-item.html
IndieBound •• http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780451417886
Powell’s •• http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9780451417886
Kindle •• http://www.amazon.com/Emma-Blooms-At-Last-Family-ebook/dp/B00INIJJA8/
Nook •• http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emma-blooms-at-last-naomi-king/1118739023?ean=9781101608432
iBooks •• https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/emma-blooms-at-last/id828761041?mt=11