Today’s guest is one of my favorite authors! She creates rich characters and friendships in her stories that draw you in and make you care for each of them. She is a truly gifted writer and I am so excited to welcome her here today. The first book in her new Amish Mystery series was released yesterday. Hearse and Buggy is an awesome story. She is here to give us a little insight on how the new series was born. Ruth from the Shoo Fly Bake Shoppe in Heavenly, Pennsylvania has sent us some virtual sweets to eat, so relax, help yourself and help me welcome Laura Bradford.
Thanks Lori! Hi Everyone!
For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved the smell of all things new—new cars, the first few drops of a spring rain, new erasers, new babies…
If I stop and think about it though, it’s not the smell of new that appeals to me as much as the new beginning part…
New car = new places to travel.
First few drops of a spring rain = new flowers to smell and new puddles to splash in.
New erasers = fixing mistakes that come from having the courage to try.
New babies = vast potential and the comfort of hope.
So I guess it’s really no surprise that I’ve been beside myself with excitement over the launch of my brand new endeavor, the Amish Mysteries. Hearse and Buggy, the first title in the series, released this week and I couldn’t be any happier.
As a little girl, I remember being fascinated by the rare sighting of an Amish child—their clothes, their shoes, their life so different that mine. But unlike the momentary gawking you’d expect from most kids when faced with someone or something so different than their norm, my fascination was one I was eager to explore. Why did they wear those hats? Why didn’t they wear a pretty necklace? I mean, they look just like us, but they dress, they behave, they live so differently.
Little did I know, at that time, that one day I’d not only be in a position to find those answers, but also live that life…at least by way of my writing.
My work on the Amish Mysteries allows me both opportunities.
Two different times over the past year, I’ve traveled down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to learn everything I can about the old world Amish in that area. I’ve toured homes, read books, observed their comings and goings, and listened as those far more knowledgeable than me share their wisdom. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. And I want to learn more.
My series’ protagonist, Claire Weatherly, enables me to live alongside the Amish just as she does—learning their ways, and drawing them close as I do.
I’ve been excited about every book I’ve ever written for one reason or another—a particular plot, a favorite character, a picturesque setting. But Hearse and Buggy (and all of the Amish Mysteries) have jettisoned that first-book excitement into a different stratosphere altogether.
I love the world I’ve created inside Heavenly, PA. I want to work in Claire’s gift shop. I want to be nearby when she and her Amish employee, Esther, are talking. I want to catch my breath along with Claire when Detective Jakob Fisher (former Amish) and his long ago childhood friend, Benjamin Miller, walk by. I want to try Ruth Miller’s Shoo Fly Pie.
And I want to see where these characters take me—and my readers—in the books to come.
I hope you’ll take the journey with me.
About This Author
Laura Bradford is the author of the new Amish Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin). Hearse and Buggy, the first book in the series, is now available. For more information about Laura (and her work on this series as well as the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), visit her website: www.laurabradford.com. There, you can read chapter one of Hearse and Buggy and stay apprised of Laura’s events and all news pertinent to the series (including some fun Amish facts on the “extras” page).
Hearse and Buggy
(An Amish Mystery)
Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Heavenly, Pennsylvania has become home to Claire Weatherly. She lives with her aunt Diane who runs Sleep Heavenly Bed & Breakfast. She has left behind her old life in Manhattan and find herself the owner of Heavenly Treasures on Lighted Way where she sells Amish crafted items. Her store is right next to the Shoo Fly Bake Shoppe where Ruth Miller bakes up and sells her tasty treats.
Ruth is a Amish woman with two very protective brothers, Eli and Benjamin. They try to keep a close eye on both her and her business and they are very upset when she seems to be the target of someone doing their best to frighten her by leaving notes and breaking milk bottles on her porch.
The town is shocked when the former owner of Claire’s shop is found murdered in the alley between the two stores. He was not liked by many and had been accused cheating the Amish artists who consigned their works with him to sell. The accusation was made loudly and heard by many. The accuser was none other than Ruth’s brother Eli.
The detective on the case is Jakob Fisher. Jakob was brought up Amish and after his Rumspringa returned and was baptized. Then he decided her really wanted to work in law enforcement so he left his Amish roots behind. Because he was baptized and then left he was shunned by his family. The family that is part of the Heavenly Amish Community. He hits several roadblocks as he tries to investigate the murder because the Amish won’t talk to him. Clare has made friends with many in the Amish Community and offers to be his go-between.
The peaceful town of Heavenly is not very peaceful as Clare finds out much more than she wanted about her neighbors. There is much more going on here than just a few bottles of spilled milk and she is determined to get to the bottom of it!
Laura Bradford is an amazing author! She has created captivating characters in an unique setting that I just know you will love. The Simple Life of the Amish is fascinating to many as we wonder how these people who look just like us live the way we do. Laura is giving us a chance to see how the Amish and the English live and work side by side.
Clare has a young Amish woman working for her and she sells the treasures crafted by her Amish neighbors. The Amish have shops up and down the way. Lighted Way connects the two ways of life. Tourists come to Heavenly to learn about the Amish culture and purchased their goods. Heavenly, Pennsylvania sounds like a little slice of heaven, well except for the dead body and a bit of vandalism.
A wonderful complex mystery with a variety of suspects!!
The author has also laid the groundwork for a little romance. The men that send tingles through Claire and Esther has a crush.
We also need to see what happens between Jakob and his family. Sixteen years have past and there is a great divide.
Think is now my favorite cozy so far this year! If you love cozies like I do you will love this book and like me you will eagerly waiting for the next book in the Amish Mystery Series as soon as you finish this one. Hearse and Buggy is a Heavenly Treasure!!!
Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries !
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End June 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday With Laura Bradford (Giveaway too!)”
This is going to be a great book. I love the cover
I had a chance to read an excerpt of this book and really enjoyed it…so much that I immediately preordered the book and having already received it, put it at the top of my TBR pile.
I read what you let me! I love it , and cannot wait to read the it in its entirety.
Hi, This sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to reading it. Dee
Thank you for the giveaway and for writing the interesting-sounding book. I am pretty fascinated with the Amish culture.
I do love to read Amish novels. I would especially love to read my first Amish cozy. This one seems so exciting with a gift shop and a place named Heavenly, Pa. I would like to one day taste a Shoofly pie. Thank you for the interview and the review.
I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish people too. We live about 20 min. away from an Amish town, Kalona, IA . The Old Order Amish use horse & buggies, don’t have electricity & wear the traditional clothing. They hire a driver when they need to come to Iowa City for something. I like visiting their Stringtown Grocery outside of town for homemade baked goods, pastas & spices. The little shop doesn’t has gas lighting & gas powered refrigerators. The shops in the town of Kalona are more modernized.
I can’t wait to read “Hearse & Buggy”… An Amish cozy, how cool is that! I also plan to read the other series you write under the name of Elizabeth Lynn Casey!
Like the title, the book sounds good too, lol!
I’ve really enjoyed all of the research I’ve done so far on the Amish for this series. Already looking forward to going back to Lancaster county in the fall to work on # 3 (# 2 is already written and will be out in March).
Thanks for all the enthusiasm, everyone!
Laura, I love your comments on “new” things especially the eraser. That eraser could be extended to include all sorts of endeavors. Just making the attempt at something new despite fear of failure, could be part of that “eraser.” Until very recently in my life I have lacked the self confidence needed to just blunder on with my life eventho I might fail. I have always played it safe. Now that I’m a grandma and can look back on my life, I try not to have too many wishes that include the statement “if only.” Instead, I’m allowing myself to branch out and try new things, knowing that not all will be successful. I will remember your “eraser” comment as I stumble on!!
Another new author and book for me to check out. Can’t wait to read this one.
I have friends who have visited the Amish Country in Pennsylvania and have plans to vacation there one day. My only problem is I’m from Brooklyn, and the Amish mode of dress is very familiar to anyone who lives near and or deals with the Chassidic community here. I look forward to reading your new book at my first opportunity.
On my post above I meant to say, “The little shop has gas lighting & gas powered refrigerators.” (Since they don’t believe in using electricity.) Geez, I couldn’t figure out a way to edit.
Mary Ann, we don’t know if we don’t try…at least that’s the way I try to look at most things.
And Barbara, I figured that’s what you meant! 🙂
looking forward to reading the book, sounds great!
thanks for the giveaway
Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it! I too am fascinated by the Amish and have never read an Amish mystery. This one looks perfect!
I have always been intrigued by the Amish life-style–so I think I’ll really enjoy this cozy.
Great post – this sounds like a wonderful book!
What’s your favorite part about the Amish way of living?
This sounds like a fun cozy with an intriguing mystery.
Thanks for the giveaway.
It sounds like Heavenly would be near Bird in Hand or Intercourse, PA. When we last went to Bird in Hand we got to tour Amish Country. It was interesting to see that they find ways to exist without changing too much. Use of solar power or generators not connected to the grid or battery operated devices help them in the shops. I think being from PA I would enjoy this book and know I will read it sometime.
Love the cover and the name of the book. Sounds like a great story. I really enjoy Amish books.
I luv Luaar Bradford mysteries
This series sounds wonderful! I’ve read several Amish books lately and find them to be quite enjoyable so am looking forward to Hearse and Buggy. I’m impressed with all the research that you do!
I kist love coz-mysteries. Love the cover. I think this is going to be a great book.
I can’t wait to read this book. It sounds very good.
I love Amish readings and this one is another I would love to win. I live in Pennsylvania and got to Lancester where alot of Amish people are. I love seeing them and am so interested in their cooking and ways. Thanks for a great giveaway
This book sounds terrific.
Laura your new books sounds like a winner. I can’t wait to read it.
Thank you for the chance to win
Never read a Amish book before
I enjoyed your interview, and I’m looking forward to reading your new book. I love Amish fiction, and a friend told me about your book, so I looked for a review. It’s a definite “must have.” Thank you for offering a giveaway of your book!
Sounds like a great read!!! Can’t wait to read it!!! Congrats on ur new book!!
This sounds like a great new series!
Can’t wait to read this. Putting on my wish list. Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks.
Laura~ I enjoy books about the Amish community. This fictional story sounds like an interesting read. What amazes you in your research? I find their non-worldly way of living in
the 21st Century unique and how it keeps going from generation to generation. Thank you for offering your new book as a giveaway 🙂
I love the title!
can’t wait to read Hearse&Buggy, Laura!! congrats & good luck!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!!
Hi Laura~ I can sure see why you’re excited about this new beginning! (I love the smell of new pencil’s as well- signify’s a new school year is starting with so much to learn!) Hearse and Buggy sounds wonderful and I would love to win a copy and start following a brand-new series!
I read a lot of cozies and Amish fiction and some historical romance. This book sounds perfect to me. All those genres make me feel soothed inside!
I’ve never been to Amish country although I live close by in New Jersey. However I used to have a horse farm where I bred Thoroughbred horses and trained horses and riders for equestrian sports. I also occasionally worked at a Standardbred training farm where they trained Standardbred racehorses. Amish folk would sometimes come to adopt retired racehorses to retrain for use as buggy horses. I would love to read this book to see another side of Amish culture.
Sounds like a great read. I love the cover! Thanks.
I read a lot of mysteries but haven’t read any Amish fiction. This sounds great and I’d love to read it.
I love a great mystery on a warm summer night
love to win just love a good book to read
I love Amish and cozy mysteries so I know I will love to read your book Laura. Have on my wish list. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
Love cozy mysteries, and living near Amish country, I am always interested in their
I have always been fascinated by Amish culture. Thanks for such a great giveaway!
I enjoy stories about the Amish. I’m looking forward to reading this one!
I cannot wait to read this one!
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