A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray – Guest Post + Giveaway


ChristmasBrideatPinecraft PB CA Christmas Bride in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray
Amish Brides of Pinecraft #4
Avon Inspire

Christmas has come to Pinecraft in bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final Amish Brides of Pinecraft novel, an uplifting story that proves anything is possible when you follow your heart.

When manager Beverly Overholt’s beloved Orange Blossom Inn is broken into, she’s shaken to the core. The inn has been her whole life since arriving in the quaint Amish vacation town of Pinecraft, Florida. Hoping to repair what’s been lost, Beverly calls Eric Wagler, the inn’s handsome owner. To her surprise, he promises to be on the next flight out of Philadelphia.

Ever since her fiancé jilted her, Beverly’s been closed off to love. However, with Eric things feel different. She can’t help but be hopeful that their work relationship will turn into something more—even though they are from different worlds. She grew up Amish and is now Mennonite. Eric, on the other hand, grew up on the city streets of Philadelphia. How could they ever find common ground?

But as Beverly and Eric put the inn back together, prepare for Christmas, and even witness romance blossoming for another couple, the trust—and love—between them grows. Will Christmas bring a second chance for Beverly? And if it does, will she be brave enough to take it?

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Top 10 Amish Spots to Visit

1) Sugarcreek, Ohio. I’ve written 7 books that take place in Sugarcreek. It’s also where my Amish friends live, so I’ve been here quite a bit. When I think of my very favorite Amish communities, this lovely, adorable town always comes to mind first.

AdamsCounty 006-M2) Adams County, Ohio. This is the community that is just an hour away from where I live. It’s where I saw my first buggy. There’s also a lovely inn there, called The Murphin Ridge Inn, where my girlfriends and I have stayed at many times for writers weekends. There is also a covered bridge here, which is fun.

3) For next year’s series which will be set in Charm, I visited Keim Lumber. It’s huge and has just about everything anyone would want. It’s also just about the prettiest lumber retail store you could find!

4) Walnut Creek Cheese Shop. This is my very favorite place to shop in Amish country. It’s a massive place, which everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade ice cream, books, jams, and gourmet cooking supplies. There is also a terrific mix of Amish, Mennonite, English and tourists inside.

5) Pinecraft, Florida. I recently discovered Pinecraft and have now visited there two times in two years. It’s located in the heart of Sarasota. Amish from all over the country visit here in the winter. The best place to visit in Pinecraft (for me, at least) is Yoder’s Restaurant. Best. Pie. Ever.

6) Siesta Key, Florida. This is the beautiful beach just about a ten minute drive from Pinecraft. It’s listed as one of the best beaches in America. It features silky white sand, few people, and warm water. What more could a person want, especially in February?

7) Shipshewana, Indiana. About five years ago, I went on an Amish Country Tour with authors Vannetta Chapman and Amy Clipston. We got to ride in the Shipshewana Christmas Parade! Being the parade was a hoot. Seeing the beautiful area, all covered in snow and twinkling lights? Amazing.

8) Crittenden County, KY. I wrote four books set in this southwestern county in Kentucky. The area is remote, a little bit wild, and the people couldn’t have been kinder or more helpful. The town in the heart of it is Marion. Very close is Paducah, which has a large quilt fair every year.

9) Berlin, OH. If someone has never been to Amish country, I often tell them to visit Berlin. There are lots of shops and restaurants here. It’s a lot of fun. My favorite place to visit here is the Gospel Book Store. It’s in a building that also houses a grocery store and pharmacy. The Pioneer Trails buses pick up and drop off Amish here, too. So it’s fun to imagine going on a bus trip with them down to Florida for the winter!

10) Der Dutchman Restaurant in Walnut Creek. As you might imagine, I’ve eaten at a lot of Amish restaurants! I have to admit that this is probably my favorite. They had a chicken pot pie that is phenomenal. Sitting in a booth at Dutch Valley brings back a lot of great memories.

Excerpt #3

At Eric’s urging, she’d given herself a week’s vacation. She’d wanted a little time to sleep late, shop, and relax before the next round of guests arrived for Christmas. Taking a week off had sounded like a wonderful idea, especially since she knew how full the inn would be the rest of the month. But now she wondered why it had ever sounded good at all.

Why had she ever thought she needed a break in the first place? If she’d had guests, no one would have dared to come inside. Her mind continued to race. Or, had someone been watching the inn? Had they known it was empty? It was such a disconcerting thought that she couldn’t bear to dwell on it.

“Good to know.” Officer Roberts punched something into his phone. “We’ll do our best to find those responsible, ma’am. But in the meantime, when you’re ready, we’ll need you to walk through the inn and tell us what’s missing.”

He continued on about fingerprints and motives, police reports and pawn shops, but none of what he said made much sense to her. Not that it mattered. Beverly was done listening. She really couldn’t take anymore. Someone had ruined her livelihood. She felt as betrayed as she had when she’d discovered her fiancé had fallen in love with her best friend all those years ago.

Taking a deep breath, she tried to push those thoughts away. This wasn’t the time to revisit those painful wounds.

“Are you going to be all right?” Zack asked. “Do you want me to get you a glass of water or something?”

“I’m fine,” she said at last and tried to mean it.

Because she had no choice.

“Your insurance should cover the damage,” Zack said quickly, as though not having to worry about the financial repercussions would ease her mind. It didn’t. Insurance money could not replace the most valuable thing stolen from her today: her sense of security.

But Beverly nodded anyway. “Jah. I imagine it will.”

“Do you want me to call Eric for ya?” Leona offered. “I don’t mind.”

She looked at Leona and shook her head. “Nee. I’ll do it.”

“Who’s Eric?” the officer asked.

Beverly said, “He’s the owner of the inn.” But in truth, he was more than that. During the last few months, he’d also somehow become the best friend she’d ever had.

She only hoped when he heard her news that would still be the case.

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