I’m often asked about how I decide where to set my novels. Sometimes, like with Pinecraft, I choose a setting based on a conversation. Other times, such as with the Families of Honor or the Crittenden County books, I discover something that spurs my imagination while doing research on the internet.

For this year’s series set in Charm? It seems I couldn’t stay away from it.

Charm is a very small village. It’s nestled near Sugarcreek, Walnut Creek, and Berlin. This means I’ve driven through it numerous times. I’ve even gotten hopelessly lost in the middle of it. Once, I was so turned around by the winding roads surrounded by acres of farmland that I had to stop and ask an Amish man for directions.

But then last year two things happened: I discovered there is a popular store in Charm called Hershberger’s. They sell all sorts of things there…and just happen to have cute little goats that climb on the top of their barn. You can even feed them, which I enjoyed probably a little too much. Soon after that experience, I learned all about Keim Lumber Mill. A beautiful, amazing complex that is both a lumber yard and retail store. 

It seemed a popular tourist attraction and a family owned lumber mill were all I needed in order to make up a new series. Well, those two things and the fact that I had some of the best fried pies ever in Charm!  

I hope you’ll enjoy visiting Charm with me through the eyes of the Kinsinger family.  This fictional family happens to own a very large lumber mill that serves as the backbone of the community.   They-and several other families in the area-are recovering from a tragedy. Everyone just happens to have more than a couple of secrets.

I so enjoyed writing these books. I fell in love with the rolling hills and the quaint schoolhouse and the goats, too. I hope you will enjoy The Charmed Amish Life Series as much as enjoyed writing it. And, if, by chance you have the chance to visit Charm before I do? Have a cherry fried pie for me. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.



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Charm Girlfriend Getaway 2016 Activities

Posted at Feb 25, 2016 9:38 am

We are excited to announce the weekend activities for the 2016 Charm Girlfriend Getaway.  Men and women are invited to join us.  We would love to see you for the entire weekend, but you are more than welcome to choose which activities you would like to attend. 

Please RSVP by May 1st by visiting this link:  http://doodle.com/poll/ebqs8gb2pbt6navi


2pm     Yoder’s Amish Home Tour.  http://www.yodersamishhome.com/

              6050 SR 515,  Millersburg, OH  44654

              We will tour two homes, a barn, and the school. 

              Admission also includes a buggy ride.

              Cost:  $9 or $12, depending on the number of guests.

6:30pm      Welcome Gathering.  Location TBD.



10am       Choice of one free tour:

  • Keim Lumber Company with Shelley Shepard Gray.  http://www.keimlumber.com/

          4465 OH-557, Millersburg, OH 44654

  • Helping Hands Quilt Shop with Vannetta Chapman.  http://helpinghandsquilts.com/

          4818 St Rt 39, Berlin, OH 44654

*Guests are invited to visit Heini’s Cheese Chalet on your own following the Keim Lumber or Quilt Shop tours. They offer free tours to the public on a daily basis. 



Noon to 2:30pm    Author Luncheon and Book Signing at Der Dutchman

                                      4985 Walnut Street, Walnut Creek, OH 44687

Enjoy a buffet lunch with Shelley Shepard Gray and Vannetta Chapman.  They will speak and also welcome guest authors Kathleen Fuller, Amanda Flower, and Mary Ellis. 

A group book signing will be hosted by Gospel Book Store.

Cost:  $17.59 buffet lunch, including beverage and dessert.

3pm      Tour Behalt Cyclorama at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center

                5798 Co Rd 77, Berlin, OH 44610

                Cost:  $7.75 to $8.75, depending on the number of guests

7pm        Chat with Authors and Readers.  Location TBD.


BERLIN RESORT     http://www.berlinresort.net/

5330 Co Rd 201, Millersburg, OH 44654

  • A block of rooms has been reserved at the Berlin Resort for $109.95 for guests staying two nights.  To reserve a room, contact Maria at maria.silva@harpercollins.com
  • Only staying one night?  Please call the Berlin Resort for room rates.  (330) 893-3000.

Please RSVP by May 1st by visiting this link:  http://doodle.com/poll/ebqs8gb2pbt6navi

If you have any questions, please email Laurie at Laurie4ssg@gmail.com.  We look forward to seeing you in Charm!


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