Today’s highlight is the inspirational Amish romance novel The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard.
As Charlotte does her virtual book tour, she will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn 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!
A little bit about The Christmas Cradle:
For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.
Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…
Excerpt from The Christmas Cradle:
Very early Saturday morning Ben entered the Sweet Seasons kitchen and went immediately to the oven, where Miriam was pulling out a large pan of cinnamon rolls. “Are ya supposed to be liftin’ this much weight?” he asked as he took the pan from her. “Yesterday Andy reminded me—again—that ya need to find help if you’re gonna keep workin’. And it would be better if ya weren’t workin’,” he added emphatically.
As he set the hot pan on a cooling rack, Miriam sighed. “I’m not helpless, Ben,” she insisted. “What would I do with myself if I weren’t in this kitchen? It’s another month and a half until the baby comes—and it’s not like I haven’t given birth before.”
Although Old Order wives weren’t to work outside the home, Miriam’s dedication to her café was one of the reasons he loved her, so Ben spoke more gently. “I’m lookin’ after ya, followin’ Andy’s orders,” he replied. He kissed her, caressing the bulge of her sweet belly where their baby was kicking. “Plant your backside on that stool. What else can I do for ya?”
“For starters, you can tell me what you’re doin’ here so early of a Saturday morning, Mr. Hooley,” she teased. She perched on the tall stool beside the counter to mix the powdered sugar in her big glass measuring cup with milk. As she drizzled the white frosting over the hot rolls, Ben’s stomach rumbled so loudly they both laughed.
“I came to see if my woman would feed me something before I shoe Josiah’s mare,” Ben said, following every hypnotic swirl of the frosting as it soaked into the warm rolls.
“Puh. You didn’t sleep any better than I did last night, for thinkin’ about those kids.”
Ben smiled. His wife of ten months had figured him out long ago, so it was useless to refute her. “It’s that supper club that’s got me wonderin’,” he muttered. “Considerin’ how Higher Ground’s not nearly as big as Willow Ridge—and it has a diner already—how do ya suppose a second restaurant’ll survive?”
“And what on earth is a supper club?” Miriam eased one of the fresh rolls from the corner of the pan. “It sounds like a place that might have members, so only certain folks would be goin’ there to eat. But what do I know?”
When she’d laid the fresh cinnamon roll on a piece of paper towel and placed it in front of him, Ben kissed her loudly on the cheek. “Well, girlie, ya know how to make the best food a fella ever sank his teeth into, and ya make my heart dance. What else matters, really?”
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community in Missouri, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.