How to Get My Goat
By Isabella Alan
After I finished graduate school and got my first real job as a college librarian, I decided to write a life list of everything I wanted to accomplish in my entire life. The list was long with over fifty goals. I typed it up in fancy colored fonts and taped it to the wall in my first apartment.
Number seventeen on that impossibly long list was “Own a Goat.” I’m not kidding. I’ve always loved goats. Back then, I saw no reason why I wouldn’t someday have a little hobby farm with a goat sidekick.
It was easy to see then why I would believe goat ownership was possible. My library was tucked away in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. My apartment was across the street from a cornfield. Many of my neighbors had pigs, chickens, cows, and just about every barnyard animal you could imagine. I want just one goat. I didn’t think it was too lofty of a dream.
However, my circumstances changed, and I had to move back to the city where I grew up to take care of my family—a choice I have never regretted. Unfortunately in the city, goats are frowned upon. My goat dreams were over. Or were they?
The best thing about being an author is living vicariously through my characters. What better place for a memorable goat than in my Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries? For Murder, Simply Stitched the second mystery in the series, I created Petunia the Nubian Goat. Petunia is the goat I wanted but could never have in real life. She’s smart, mischievous, and spends a good part of the novel escaping from her pen and disturbing the crime scene. In the end, I suspect, things worked out just like they were supposed to when it came to my goat dream. Through researching how clever and destructive goats can be, I’m a lot better off having a fictional goat rather than a real one.
As for that list of fifty-some goals, I’ve achieved many of them, probably more than the average, but eventually, I tossed the list. I’m still have goals—some of which are unrealistic—but I’ve learned if I don’t reach every last one of them it won’t be the end of the world and any of those I don’t achieve I can make come true through fiction.
Enter to Win an Amish Charm Bracelet from author Isabella Alan (aka Amanda Flower)! Click here to Enter!
Isabella Alan is the pen name for Agatha Award-nominated author, Amanda Flower.
Murder, Simply Stitched:
An Amish Quilt Shop Mystery
2nd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (June 3, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
E-Book File Size: 1504 KB
When Angela Braddock enters her quilts in an Amish auction, she never expects one of her neighbors to end up going, going, gone….
Angie is finding her niche as the new owner of her late aunt’s Amish quilt shop, Running Stitch. But as the summer is winding down, so is business. To bolster support for the shop, Angie decides to sell her quilts in the Rolling Brook Amish Auction, including some of her aunt’s most prized works.
The quilts promise to be a hit—but the gavel comes down on the lively event when Angie stumbles upon the body of township trustee Wanda Hunt behind a canning shed. The cause of death: a poisoned blueberry fry pie from Rachel Miller’s bakery table. Now Angie’s closest friend is a murder suspect. With Angie taking the lead, she and the other women of her aunt’s quilting circle set out to patch together the clues and stop a killer set on shredding the simple peace of Rolling Brook.
Includes Quilting Tips!
This story had me laughing out loud from almost page one. Let’s just say that thanks to a certain goat named Petunia Angie’s entrance to the auction grounds was quite eventful. Things get more serious when Petunia was back in her pen and Wanda’s body is found.
Alan again has given us Englischers a glimpse at Amish life. Holmes County is a place tourists visit to purchase Amish made goods and see their simpler lifestyle. There are Englischers in town as well but they are clearly outnumbered. While Angie is not Amish her aunt married an Amish man so she knows both ways of life and she has many Amish friends. When one of those friends is in trouble she will do absolutely anything to help them. These friendships really make these stories shine. The four legged characters are fantastic too and their antics will absolutely make you smile.
The author has written a strong mystery that had me guessing the whole way and when I started to see where that final twist was taking me I realized it made perfect sense. In addition to solving the mystery she left us with a little cliffhanger. All I can say is that we only have to wait until December for Murder, Served Simply so I will forgive her this time 🙂
A perfect cozy escape. A simple setting with engaging characters and dialogue, and mystery pieced with just the right about of suspense, humor and romance.
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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.”