FF: What inspired the story in your book?
While this is a stand-alone book, I fell in love with my characters in a prior series. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. I brought back Lizzie and Esther, the elderly widows who own The Peony Inn in my Amish Inn Series. I felt like I knew them so well that the story just blossomed organically. This was truly one of my favorite books to write.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
There are five main characters in this story. The first two are Lizzie and Esther, the characters I mentioned from my Amish Inn series. They are known matchmakers for others in the community, but when they both become smitten with their new renter, Benjamin, the tables are turned. Benjamin’s granddaughter, Mindy, and her new friend, Gabriel, play matchmaker for the trio, leaving the reader wondering which widow will capture Benjamin’s heart. Along the way, Mindy and Gabriel find themselves becoming more than friends. I love writing double-romances, but in this book, one of those romances is a love triangle.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Without a doubt, Benjamin surprised me the most. He was new on the scene, and Lizzie and Esther were interested in him romantically, which brought on bouts of jealousy, but also showcased the love the sisters have for each other. Since I didn’t really know Benjamin, I wasn’t sure who he would choose—or if he would—as a love interest. I figured if I was surprised, then my readers would be too. And Benjamin surprised me in a lot of ways, lol.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Readers want to be entertained. If you can infuse the faith, hope, and love into a story, really touching people’s hearts, then I believe that is a powerful way to share the truth.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
My next book is titled An Amish Christmas Gift, and it will release just in time for Christmas. It’s a short story that includes some yummy Amish recipes. It’s a romance but also focuses heavily on the mother/daughters’ relationships as the family faces their first Christmas without their beloved husband and father. It poses the proverbial question, is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
The Amish Matchmakers is set in the small town of Montgomery, which is in southern Indiana. I have family there, and I was fortunate that they have Amish friends. The Plain folks don’t all dress the same or necessarily interpret the Ordnung (the rules the Amish live by) the same way. Each district is different, and when I begin writing in a new area, it’s important to meet with the Amish families there to make sure I’m being accurate. If I have questions, I can follow up with them, but the heavy research comes before the first book set in that area. I’ve penned quite a few books in Montgomery, so there isn’t as much research to do anymore, which leaves me with more time to spend with my grandchildren.
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
This can be a challenging question to answer sometimes, but it’s easy for this book. Love can find you at any age, and things aren’t always what they seem.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
I have probably mentioned this before, but the challenge remains the same—finding subjects that haven’t already been covered. Yes, it’s true that a hundred authors could take the same plot and structure the story in completely different ways, but I try to find new and fresh ideas to build upon.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
Oh dear. Is this a trick question? I’m kidding, of course. There are just too many to list. Can I just say that every book I’ve read and enjoyed has inspired me in one way or another? Maybe it was the plot, or I saw a hint at the author’s personality while reading, or there was a message for me within the pages. I read in a lot of genres, and I’m inspired by different books and authors in various ways.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
I don’t think that I have wrote a book that didn’t include some personal part of my life or an experience I’ve had. In that aspect, my faith and world view continue to grow as I grow as a person and in my faith.
The Amish Matchmakers
Amish Inn Series
Genres: Amish Romance
Release Date: October 17, 2023
Widowed sisters Esther and Lizzie are the town innkeepers—and the town matchmakers. But when a new tenant moves into a guest cottage at their Peony Inn, the sisters are shocked to discover that maybe this time, one of them might finally find a match of her own. Retired dentist Dr. Benjamin Stoltzfus has signed a six-month lease at the cottage—and gentle Esther and spirited Lizzie are in a surprising competition for the kind doctor’s affections. Dr. Stoltzfus doesn’t appear to be Amish, but his last name and his mysterious background have the sisters guessing—and open to the possibility of finding love again.
Things really heat up when Benjamin’s granddaughter, Mindy, comes to visit. Escaping her big-city life in Texas, Mindy has moved to Amish country to be closer to her grandfather and to embrace the simpler life she has longed for. But she’s unprepared for what happens when an attractive young Amish man, who spends time at the inn helping out the widows, runs his lawnmower right into her little red sports car. Sure, Gabriel is cute and funny and nice—but can a romance between an Englisch girl and an Amish boy end well?
As Mindy and Gabriel find themselves thrown together time after time, they forge a friendship and start making matchmaking plans of their own. Which sister would be better for Mindy’s grandfather—Esther or Lizzie? And as the two young people put their energy into playing Cupid, it looks like love and the life they’ve both dreamed of might also be finding them.
Buy The Amish Matchmakers from the FF Store HERE!
Buy The Amish Matchmakers from Amazon HERE!