It all started when I asked a kind of nosy question. A few years ago, I was sitting in my Amish friend’s kitchen having coffee with her and one of her daughters. It was late February and we were talking about the snow on the ground, the freezing temperatures, and how spring just couldn’t come soon enough.
 
Then I noticed how tan her daughter was.
I knew I shouldn’t ask why she was tan in February, but after a while I couldn’t help myself. With a smile, she told me that she’d just gotten back from a week’s vacation in Pinecraft.
I had never heard of it.
 
Right away, the conversation took a sharp turn. Soon, we were talking about Siesta Key and sugar-sand beaches. Riding bicycles instead of driving buggies. Smelling fresh flowers, eating strawberries, and playing volleyball and shuffle board.
 
It all sounded wonderful to me!
 
And it is. Pinecraft stole my heart last February when I visited. My husband and I walked on Siesta Key, visited Pinecraft Park, and stood in line at Yoder’s for slices of key lime pie. We had pizza with Amish friends and ice cream cones in the afternoon.
It was warm. It was beautiful. By the time we boarded the plane, I was already planning the Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series. It launches with The Promise of Palm Grove in February.
 
So, pour yourself a glass of iced tea, slip on a pair of flip flops, and get ready to be charmed by a lovely place located in the heart of Sarasota, Florida.
 
Maybe, like me, you’ll be anxious to return again and again.
 
With blessings to you,
 
Shelley

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A Glimpse Behind the Scenes: Cover Art by Gail Dubov

Posted at Jul 29, 2015 11:03 am

I’m so honored to introduce to you the designer of the cover art for A Wish on Gardenia Street, Gail Dubov. She was kind enough to share how she came up with the beautiful cover, and I thought you might enjoy learning about it, too.

A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET 2 (1) (1)

“A warm hello to you from Avon’s art department! I thought you might like to see the process in putting cover art together. It’s always a challenge to keep within the budget for ebooks but that adds to the fun of finding images that will make a cover work. 

Step 1

In the case of A Wish on Gardenia Street, I looked at photographs of the Pinecraft community (new to me, but very interesting) and tried to build a piece of art that came close to what Chelsey had asked for—an Amish woman walking down a street in the community.

A WISH bushesStep 2

I found an image of an Amish woman in a field and knew that she would work, with some photoshop tweaking. I thinned her out, shortened the sleeves and added arms to her.  (I found another) stock shot of a woman—I just used her arms!.  She was placed on the street with some shadow added to anchor her to the sidewalk.

A WISH Amish womanStep 3

I wanted to add a cottage to give it a sense of home.  I found a shot of a Pinecraft cottage and put it in the scene behind the fence.

A WISH PinecraftStep 4

Then, of course we needed gardenias. Gardenia blossoms from a stock house helped create the gardenia bushes to make the cover complete.

A WISH gardenias

It was really fun watching as this art fell into place. I think it made a perfect cover for the novella!

A WISH ON GARDENIA STREET 2 (1) (1)

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