Today’s special guest is Naomi King. She’s talking about her Amish inspirational romance novel Emma Blooms at Last.
During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Naomi will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to one randomly chosen winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
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.
Blurb about 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.
Excerpt from Emma Blooms at Last:
Emma slipped into her coat and bonnet and crossed the snow-packed road. The mercantile’s parking lot was jammed with cars and buggies, and when she stepped inside the store she was amazed at the number of folks who’d come to Cedar Creek to shop. As she made her way toward the yard goods section, Emma paid close attention to what the kids and teenagers were wearing on their heads. To her surprise, even a few young men sported the kind of knit hats with earflaps and pigtails that Abby had mentioned—and none of the caps were in the dark, dull colors that filled her yarn bin.
Emma found an instruction booklet for earflap caps that included a couple of other styles, as well. What a treat it was to shop for yarn in such fresh colors! The basket on her arm was soon stuffed with variegated and solid skeins in neon pink, lime green, aqua, lavender, and bright white. She hoped Abby was right about people wanting her homemade hats, because she’d have to make several of them to earn back what she’d be spending.
“You’ve got quite a collection of colors here!” Gail remarked as she rang up Emma’s order. “I bet I know what you’ll be doing this weekend.”
“Jah, you guessed it,” Emma replied. She didn’t want to reveal her plans for these flashy colors, because everyone who crocheted had met up with patterns that didn’t turn out the way they looked in the pictures. Even so, just imagining the different styles of hats she wanted to try made her itch to start one right now, instead of eating supper. And wasn’t that something?
What is your favorite quote?
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abe Lincoln said that, and I’ve found it to be so true! The longer I live—the more people I meet—I believe that the happiest, most successful people (success being whatever that person decides it is) are that way by choice. It’s not that these folks have fewer tragedies or less illness or no unfortunate events in their lives, it’s that they meet these obstacles with an “I can handle this” mindset, and move forward from there. I try very hard to behave this way, and to spend my time with people who have positive, upbeat attitudes. Attitude is everything! I think I’ve always been wired this way, and that’s a blessing. I’m just a naturally happy person who looks for that silver lining in every cloud.
If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
My husband and I love to travel, and because we have a 40th anniversary in 2015, we have booked a 15-day Viking River Cruise on the Danube to celebrate! As Neal retires and has more time for longer trips, I anticipate that we’ll venture into the Mediterranean, the South Sea islands, and I would love to visit Australia and New Zealand if it didn’t mean an 18-hour flight to get there. We’ve taken many ocean cruises, and I enjoy being on these trips so much that anymore, I don’t really care where the ship’s going as long as I’m on it!
I also enjoy short chick trips with my best friend: our birthdays are close together, so instead of exchanging gifts we pick a little town to visit for a day or two each year. One year we went to Pipestone, MN, which is where, for centuries, Native Americans have quarried for the red stone they make their ceremonial pipes from. Even though it was cold and rainy, we had a wonderful time! We’ve also been to Eureka Springs in Arkansas and Spirit Lake in Iowa. Let’s just say there’s never a dull moment and never any dead air once the two of us get together! We’ve known each other since we were eight. I won’t do the higher math for you, but it’s been a loooong time since we met in Angel Choir at church, where her mom was our choir director.
I graduated from college with a double major in English and library science, and a minor in French, with a secondary teaching degree. The year I got out, Missouri had just passed a law saying that schools had to have a certified librarian (not just volunteer moms, which was the norm in a lot of schools), and I landed a K-12 school library job in the tiny town of St. Elizabeth, Missouri.
Talk about culture shock! I grew up in a suburb of Kansas City, so moving to a town that had fewer people than were in my graduating class—and renting an apartment right across the road from the school—was quite an experience for a 21-year-old...which meant I was only 3 years older than the seniors. And because the study hall was in the library, my first priority was being the babysitter. I also taught a class of 7th grade English.
I got engaged that year, thank goodness, and went on to be a school librarian in a couple of Iowa towns after I got married. Taught French in those schools, and did story hours with all the elementary classes at one of them. All in all, the 10 years I spent as a school librarian took me to 5 schools, mostly because my husband was changing jobs a lot and we’d move. By the time we reached St. Louis, where you had to substitute an entire year in order to be hired at a school, I decided there had to be an easier way to go crazy—I did not want to sub, as this was the 80’s and guns and knives were showing up in kids’ lockers.
Luckily I sold my first story to True Love magazine (a confession mag) in 1983 and decided to keep at it. Never looked back. Sold my first book in 1990 and, except for a 7-year dry spell when I couldn’t sell squat, I’ve been a full-time novelist ever since.
Who would you most like to be stranded on a desert island with? Why?
Seems to me Captain Jack Sparrow would be a fine, fine companion on a desert island. He’s resourceful enough to locate buried treasure and to get the attention of a ship that could rescue us—or he’d know where the rum cask was so we wouldn’t care about getting the attention of another ship. And if he became just plain old Johnny Depp again, that would be OK, too.