On Sale: July 26, 2011
Featuring: Nate MacKenzie; Sarah Kauffman
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Against the peaceful night sky, a barn burnsâ€¦
Sarah Kauffman sought permission from her church elders to
paint murals on a few of the Amish community's barns. Each
was designed like an oldâ€“fashioned quilt square,
representing a piece of the Amish traditions Sarah loved.
The works of art were intended to draw more tourists to the
Home Valley in the struggling economy. But instead, they
invited a menace. One by one, each barn is set ablaze and
The arson fires spread fear through the communityâ€” amongst
Amish and Englischers alike. Now Sarah wonders if she's
being punished for her pridefulnessâ€¦or whether there's a
more malevolent will at work.
As an outsider, arson investigator Nate MacKenzie struggles
to investigate the crime scenes while adhering to Amish
ways. With Sarah as his guide, he warms to the Plain People
and their simple ways. As the fires rage, beliefs are
challenged, a way of life is questioned and family secrets
are exposed. In the aftermath of the destruction the people
of the Home Valley must join together to raise their barns
and their hopes for the future.
54 comments posted.
Re: Fall From Pride
I grew up in Pennsylvania and visited the Pennsylvania Dutch community as a child with my family on many occations. I was raised in the inner city and as a child believed that these people must be crazy to not be moving forward with the rest of the world. Oh was I wrong. If I could go back in time I think I would have rather been raised in a community like that. It is amazing how your world view changes as you age and I know I look back now thinking I was so wrong about a lot of things. As I remember it the people there always seemed more at peace with themselves and they were happy and generous.
(Patti Paonessa 6:40pm August 7, 2011)
I love reading the stories about the Amish and their culture. Have lived in Pennsylvania my whole life and visit the Lancaster and Pennsylvania Dutch areas at least twice yearly. Would love to win this book!!
(Stephanie Strausberger 3:48pm August 11, 2011)
The Amish culture is so fascinating. I live in Ohio but we
have family friends that live near Amish country in PA. It
is always so interesting to see how a culture lives without
all the modern advancements when we are so handcuffed to
technology. I am excited to read the new book.
(Jason Jones 12:32pm August 19, 2011)
Hi Karen! I met you a few weeks ago and was so intrigued! I'd love to read this book.
(MaryAnne Banks 12:14pm August 20, 2011)
I grew up in western PA, our school bus had to pass the buggies every morning!
(Deborah Myrick 12:51pm August 20, 2011)
I lived in Northern Ohio for 6 years and one of my favorite memories is of visiting the Amish. I was young but can still remember the peace and tranquility that seemed to be such a large part of the community. Wouldn't it be nice to have those feelings spread.
(Denise Boyd 2:48am August 20, 2011)
Hey Karen! When I read the first book of yours then I knew that you were one of my favorite authors. Haven't found anything that hasn't suited me yet. Would love to win your book. I live in Mo. and the little town of West Plains is growing by the minute. I don't live too close to the Amish altho I have been told some live near us. I am homebound pretty much so don't get out and about. There are several that live north of us and you see them in Springfield about 100+ mi.They have an interesting way of life. Love to read about them.
(Lela Fox 5:13am August 20, 2011)
I live near an Amish community so look forward to your series.
(Marjorie Carmony 6:55am August 20, 2011)
Thanks for all the great comments so far. The Amish certainly make good neighbors. I admire the fact that, although they focus on their own, they also help others. I know of barn raisings and other time- and money-consuming things they have done for their Englische neighbors.
I just visited a lavender farm to research book #3 in this trilogy. (FALL FROM PRIDE is book #1) Research never looked or smelled better! Author Karen Harper
(Karen Harper 7:05am August 20, 2011)
hey there..i actually did not read any of your previous books,
but i just wanna make a try on this..
(Ravi Teja 8:24am August 20, 2011)
I have not had any personal interactions with The Amish but I a have enjoyed many stories about them and look forward to many more.
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 8:28am August 20, 2011)
The very success of the simplicity of Amish life gives much food for thought. They are an insular, self-sustaining society. However, without "The English" to protect that way of life and guard the American homeland, the Amish would surely fall prey to America's enemies. We need them to remind us of vanishing values, and they need us to ensure that their way of life can continue. An endlessly fascinating codependency!
(Virginia Campbell 8:29am August 20, 2011)
Hi Karen, I only started reading Amish fiction a few months back when a neighbor loaned me a Beverly Lewis book. I was hooked on this fascinating way of life. I'd love to visit one of the Amish commmuniities someday. For me, I think the appeal is the closeness among the community members & how the families truly care for each other. The slower pace of life sounds so very appealing compared to our hectic modern way of life also. I'm looking forward to reading your new book. I have your other books on my tbr shelf.
(Kay Martinez 10:07am August 20, 2011)
Virginia Campbell: Your comment about the Amish/English codependency is very true. Especially since they are pacifists, they need the mainstream culture to protect them at times. I was shocked to learn that there are some hate crimes against the Amish, which I focused on in one of my earlier Amish novels, Dark Harvest. Some "English" really have beefs against them and pick on them to various degrees.
(Karen Harper 10:23am August 20, 2011)
We have a little Amish Village not too far away from us and we love to visit. They make amazing food and quilts. And sometimes I envy their way of life as mine is always too busy!
(Dawn Staniszeski 11:43am August 20, 2011)
Several years ago, while visiting a friend in PA, she
introduced me to a Amish family - it was quite a fascinating
experience. Would love to read your book!
(Birgit Lehner 11:57am August 20, 2011)
(Holly Marzoni 12:00pm August 20, 2011)
It is always fascinating to read about another culture or value system.
(Pam Howell 12:18pm August 20, 2011)
I live in Northern Minnesota and I don't think there are any Amish near us---so I can only learn about them through books like yours.
(Sue Farrell 12:51pm August 20, 2011)
I live in Northeast Iowa, and I see Amish all the time in town. I love stories about the Amish.
(Wilma Frana 12:58pm August 20, 2011)
Karen, I grew up in Starke County, Ohio. When I got married my mother and I went to the Amish community near us and talked with a woman about making my wedding cake. It was three layers with an extra side cake to freeze. It was made with farm fresh eggs and milk. It was beyond my hopes and dreams in beauty and the taste. I found out after the fact, that when she delivered the cake to the reception hall, it was in cake pans and she actually decorated right there. Cost $27.00 and she was apologetic for having to charge so much. Their farm was family maintained and the kids did all the small farm chores happily and proudly.
I wish you success in your books.
(Rosemary Simm 1:14pm August 20, 2011)
You've definitely sparked in interest in the Amish. I live in Kentucky and recently visited a Shaker establishment. I think I'll put the Amish on my list of places to visit. Thanks for the post and I would enjoy reading one of your Amish books. Linda
(Linda Leonard 1:20pm August 20, 2011)
I, TOO, AM FASCINATED HOW GROUPS WHO LIVE IN THE MODERN WORLD, BUT ARE "NOT OF" THE MODERN WORLD COPE..PARTICULAELY IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS WITH THE FLDS..HOW WONDERFUL THE AMISH COPE IN COMPARISON!..I AM IN IT TO WIN IT!
(Silvana Moscato 1:32pm August 20, 2011)
In Ohio there's plenty of Amish on farms without electricity. My cousins live near Coshocton and let the amish bid first on tools and equipment at auctions and just may let it go for a lower price than usual. My mom has wooden kitchen chairs made by the Amish and they're sturdy with a nice line to the design.
(Alyson Widen 1:35pm August 20, 2011)
I love reading about the Amish people. Your book sounds
great,thanks for giving me a chance to win it.
(Linda Hall 2:03pm August 20, 2011)
We have some Amish people living about 30 miles or so from us. I haven't had a chance to really investigate that area, since I'm pretty new to where I'm living as well. I've always been fascinated with the Amish, as well as had a deep respect for their lifestyle. I think it boils down to love of God, love of Family and love of their Community. That is what's kept them strong as a people all these years. I admire them greatly for it. I am looking forward to reading your book very much. I always tend to gravitate to books regarding the Amish.
(Peggy Roberson 2:29pm August 20, 2011)
We have an Amish community located about 15 miles from us in Evansville, WI. I've never visited the area where they live, but have seen them shopping at our local Goodwill store several times. In late fall, they tend to buy lots of thermal long underwear, flannel shirts, fleece, heavy socks, etc. in preparation for their families for the cold winter months and also baking pans (for all their homemade goods--which they also sell). They are thrifty and very organized in everything they do. They do travel in groups in vans (not by horse & buggy). I do not see any horse and buggys when they come to our city to shop for their necessities. They are quiet people, very softspoken and their children are respectful to their parents and siblings. Something that is getting lost in today's society. They dress in their long dresses, bonnets, and black boots and that has never changed over the years (except they have added some color to their dresses which are very plain). They are interesting and many people do notice and observe because they stand out. I look forward to reading your new book with all the research you've put into it to write it's contents!
(Linda Luinstra 3:25pm August 20, 2011)
The Stories about the Amish are very interesting
(Gary Bronstein 3:41pm August 20, 2011)
First of all, this book sounds really good and it's
definitely on my must-read list.
I find the Amish quite fascinating, ever seeing the movie
Witness, even though I've never read a book about them
before. Only a week or so ago I saw a documentary about an
Amish family, conveying to another -less strict, but still
very strict- religion and they were shunned by their
families, even their mother and dad.... I found that so hard
to imagine that as a parent you can completely shut your
child out, just because you choose to follow a different
religious path than they had mapped out for you. I think
that part is what stayed with me most; not their lifestyle
or 18th century ways, but the fact that a mother completely
abandoned her daughter because of religion.
(Lia van Rooden 3:42pm August 20, 2011)
I am continually amazed at the admirable attitude of oooperation among the Amish rather than the American focus on individualism and competition--which, of course, has its good points too.
Like several of you, I am fascinated by small groups of people who manage to live within the mainstream. To Linda Leonard: You mentioned the Shakers of KY. They intrigued me so much I wrote a novel about them called Circle of Gold, which takes place in historic Kentucky, partly at their community of Pleasant HIll, where people can still visit today. No wonder they died out, as they were celibate, among other reasons. --Karen Harper
(Karen Harper 3:44pm August 20, 2011)
We're about 4 hrs. away from the Amish in PA. On my husband's side we have relatives that are Mennonites but they are cousins that I've only met some of them once. I have shopped at a few of their towns and everything they make seems to be of wonderful quality. Our uncles drives the 4 hr. trip one way just to buy their gorgeous hanging flower baskets every spring.
(Jeanne Sheats 4:15pm August 20, 2011)
Horses are my passion so I love seeing the Amish working the draft horses in the fields and driving their horses to town. They also bake the best baked goods-Neopolitian Angel Food Cake, pies of all kinds, cookies-yum! Not to mention their jams and cheeses. There are several small communities of Amish about an hour from me and I love visiting Lancaster PA. Last year we visited a harness shop which was not open to tourists; but I own a mare that drives so we went in and talked to a young Amish man about harnesses and horses, he was so polite and helpful. I love reading about lifestyles that are different from mine.
(Jody Hollenbeck 4:30pm August 20, 2011)
I know the Amish way of life seems romantic, but it'd be very difficult for me to live without at least a few of today's modern conveniences. Still, I admire and respect a people who can band together in faith and community in a way few groups can.
(Deborah Rosen 5:19pm August 20, 2011)
I go to the Lancaster, PA area every year. I love the tranquility and simplicity of such a life.
(Mary Smith 5:20pm August 20, 2011)
When I was growing up I visited my brother in PA. I would watch the carriages pass his home on their way to town. We also went to see how they live. I found in very interesting even as a youngster. Now, I wouldn't mind living such a simple life.
(Constance Biller 5:28pm August 20, 2011)
Hi Karen - Would love to read your new book. The Amish have a simple way of living; but, it seems they have more time for each other....we need to take lessons.
(Lois Imel 6:11pm August 20, 2011)
I'm from New Brunswick, Canada, and do not know very much about the Amish, I'm sorry to say, but this books seems really interesting.
(Dianne Arsenault 6:41pm August 20, 2011)
I live right up the road from Lancaster County, PA. The Amish have always been around since my childhood at farm markets all over the area. We shop at a country store in Lancaster County often and see the Amish and Mennonite people there. I am a sewer and have found the Mennonites who work at the store are a great resource for home sewing questions. I appreciate their peacefulness and seeming contentment with life. But as we all know nothing is all what we can see. The hate crimes are very real as some of you will remember the school girls who were murdered not long ago in one of their small communities. Their food is delicious and anything you buy will be the best quality. I enjoy reading the books set in Amish communities and especially like the ones that are realistic. Good luck with this new trilogy!
(Mary Perry 6:52pm August 20, 2011)
I think part of the fascination with the Amish, for me, is regarding how they live by such strict and seemingly simple standards. When you read about a twist or rip in this belief it becomes intriguing to find out exactly where the issue came into the picture!
(Colleen Turner 8:43pm August 20, 2011)
I enjoy reading about Amish people. They seem to be so nice, honest and pure. I value their work ethics and strong family unity. I can't wait to read this book.
(Christine Arcidiacono 9:11pm August 20, 2011)
The book sound intriguing .
(MaryEllen Hanneman 10:15pm August 20, 2011)
the book sounds like a wonderful story and i can not wait to start it.
(Tammy Ramey 10:25pm August 20, 2011)
I have read all of Karen's Amish books and enjoyed seeing
how the Amish live. It helped me understand when the
schoolhouse shootings happened--how the Amish do not believe
in violence and were able to forgive the man who killed
I love reading about the quilts most of all, though. I have
always loved quilts--wish I could make one-but I have no
(Kristi Pyeatt 11:45pm August 20, 2011)
I'm not sure that I've seen much of Amish country, though I lived in Manitoba where there are Hutterites who are somewhat less strict than the Amish, and I now live in Ontario where we have Old Order Mennonites, as well as more liberal Mennonites. Only recently have I gotten a more intimate look at the Amish through Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder mysteries. I think I wouldn't do too badly in any of these societies, though I'm sure there is one thing I would miss--books. And I also understood how the Amish could forgive the perpetrator of the schoolhouse shootings. It is perhaps also one reason why I still can't understand the insistence on the right to carry arms in America. I'd rather be killed than shoot, even just to hurt someone.
So far, Karen, I've only read your Elizabeth I books. I'll definitely have to look into your other books as well.
(Sigrun Schulz 4:06am August 21, 2011)
Oh yes. I'd love to get a closer look at the Amish language. Some of it is clear, pure German, but some of it is total gibberish to me. I've been meaning to look up the Amish language for some time now.
(Sigrun Schulz 4:09am August 21, 2011)
The Amish do fascinate. I know only a little, but would certainly love to know more.
(Mary Preston 5:41pm August 21, 2011)
Thanks, Lynn, for adding your comments. I looked up "Amish language" on Wikipedia and got a little bit more insight into the language. I emigrated from Germany with my parents and then spent all of the 70s back there in the Stuttgart area, which is apparently close to some of what they call "Amish" German. After reading that they made the vowels into diphthongs, I could see a little more resemblance. I'll also look up some of the sites. Thanks again, Lynn, for taking the time to respond.
(Sigrun Schulz 12:06pm August 22, 2011)
Here in Northeast Indiana there are several areas of Amish. The closest to me are in Allen County. My uncle used to drive van loads of Amish around. I have known some people who married reformed Amish. They never declared themselves and so were not shunned by their families and others. One young man died and his funeral was in the reformed church, but, then, for his parents and family still Amish they had the traditional (long) Amish graveside service. In Nappanee there is a place called Amish Acres which has exhibits to show what the Amish life is like. What got my sis and me was that (even tho' were are not Amish) we KNEW and had seen relatives use a lot of the equipment! Guess our older German relatives were even more parsimonious than we thought...using the old stuff instead of buying the new stuff. The guide thought that we were whispering about the stuff because we didn't know what it was. She kept saying if you have any questions, just ask. Finally, we had to confess that even though we weren't really old enough to know what and how to use the stuff (as English) we did anyway.
I love that they have the grossmutter houses next door instead of packing everyone off to assisted living and nursing homes.
I guess some of this is why I am fascinated by the Amish and love to read the books. I love learning new stuff about all kinds of people. :)
I guess this is way more than you wanted to know....
(Penny Mettert 5:31am August 22, 2011)
I too live in Ohio and at one time had the Amish build a barn on our farm.
(Shirley Nienkark 11:58am August 22, 2011)
I wrote a fairly long comment about the Amish here in NE Indiana. It's not here? Anyway, there is a place called Amish Acres at Nappanee that has exihibits that show the way the Amish live. (It also has a great restaurant.) I like the way they have the gross mutter house close by so their older people don't have to go to assisted living or a nursing home.
The book sounds very interesting.
(Penny Mettert 3:04am August 23, 2011)
It's really interesting to hear about all these varied Amish settlements! One thing I've learned researching these books is that the scattered settlements do have differences. The bishops can decide to do things their way to a certain extent. This even means such "small" things as the way men may cut their hair or wear particular types of suspenders. Also, different communities adapt to the modern world in different ways. In Texas and a few other western states where they must farm huge areas to make a profit, sometimes machinery (not horse drawn) is permitted. They can adapt to technology when necessary. They seem stuck in history, but in some things they change and so survive and even prosper.
(Karen Harper 6:39am August 23, 2011)
I had never seen anyone from the Amish community before I moved to Southern NJ. I have been priviledged to sit and chat with a young woman who works at one of the local Flea Markets,who was nice enough to answer some of the questions I had. It amazes me.that even though they are"out" in the "English" world working,they are still holding onto the beliefs and way of life they have had for centuries. I will admit though,I am saddened that because of the dwindling numbers of Amish,and the high demand of product,they no longer do the woodworking in the old style,but now use nails,screws etc. I wish them the best,hope they prosper without losing who/what they are.
(Lynnmarie Doherty 6:41pm August 23, 2011)
About 1 month ago I read my first fiction book regarding the Amish. I am now hooked.
(Monique Santos 10:38pm August 24, 2011)
My grandmother here in Michigan lives near a fairly large group of Amish. We have stopped and bought bread from them, she has ordered different things made in their woodworking shops, and I always find them fascinating yes for all of the reasons you listed. I would love to read your books, as I have not read many books based on the Amish with story lines such as yours!
(Brenda Rupp 7:18pm August 28, 2011)
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