Dear Readers,

What has your heart?
 
My family does. My writing buddies. My Bible study group at church. My dachshunds! The list goes on and on.
 
Wide Texas plains under a low, blue sky. The foothills of Colorado, scented with pine and fresh snow. Standing on the deck of a cruise ship at night and seeing about a million stars.
 
And being in Sugarcreek.
 
When I was asked to write another series set in Sugarcreek, I didn’t hesitate for a second! The original series, Seasons of Sugarcreek is pretty special to me. It was the first time I ever wrote a book set in a ‘real’ place. It was the first series where I plotted out multiple books before I wrote a single word. It was also the first series when I cried over a character! (Oh, that Lilly Allen!)
 
To me, Sugarcreek is everything that says family and faith and beauty. It’s rolling hills covered in snow. It’s warm spring days and fields and fields filled with corn stalks in late October.
 
From door to door, it takes me three and half hours to get to my favorite hotel there. By half-way, the worries of home have slipped away. By the time I get off the highway and head northeast on a two-lane road, I’m relaxed and filled with anticipation.
 
And by the time I see the Alpine Village and the brick factory and my Amish friends and am eating pie at the Dutch Valley Inn? Well, all I can say is that I’m usually the gal with the very big smile! Sugarcreek has my heart.
 
I hope you will find something to like about Sugarcreek, too!
 
Thanks for Returning to Sugarcreek with me.

Shelley

The Latest from Shelley's Journal

A Visit to NYC

Posted at Aug 12, 2014 7:07 am

My husband and I returned from New York City on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, he flew out on a business trip. I’m still unpacking and trying to get motivated to take a big bag of dresses and suits to the cleaners! Last night Tom on the phone, Tom asked why it always takes me so long to put everything away. It might be because I’m lazy, but I think the real reason is that I’m usually sad to put the trip completely behind me. I truly love to travel.

This most recent trip is no exception. It was busy! Really busy! I love that.

One of the highlights was discovering through Facebook that Tiffany, my best friend from junior high and high school, happened to be in New York on business! Just a few hours after her husband and I exchanged texts, Tom and I were sitting in a cafe at Rockefeller Center with Tiffany, her husband Mark, and their two boys. Later that evening we had dinner with one of my husband’s best friends from boarding school. Monte and his fiancee drove three hours just to have dinner with us! It’s amazing how some friendships can be picked up again in just minutes.

New York City, August 2014 190

Another highlight was the day spent at the Harper Collins building on Thursday. The folks there recently completed a move (honestly, I don’t know how they did it!) and there are books galore! Not just recent titles but collections of books from several decades of publishing. Being the reader that  I am, I would have been content to merely wander around every floor and look at all the old books. My favorites? The signed Agatha Christie novels! Oh, and the meeting room on the children’s book floor decorated by Harry, the Dirty Dog.

I love Harry!

I love Harry!

While there, Alaina and Chelsey helped me make a couple of short videos. We laughed a lot~and I also tried my best to talk about my books. It was very fun and something I’ll never forget.

goofing around at the video shoot with Chelsey and Alaina. We're trying to do selfies without me moving from where they arranged me!

goofing around at the video shoot with Chelsey and Alaina. We’re trying to do selfies without me moving from where they arranged me!

We also got to visit with my husband’s family and go to a fancy NYC wedding. No wonder I’m still pretty tired!

This week, however, it’s back to writing, which truly is one of my favorite things to do. I’m beginning a novel this week, A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn. This is the third book in next year’s Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series. I truly love the process of writing a first draft. I write it fairly fast, and give myself permission to try out different names for characters, misspell words, and end scenes abruptly. As I continue the book, I’ll go back and fix things up again and again and again. But for now, it’s simply making things up, which is fun for me.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wishing you many blessings today.

shelley

 

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