As I drove home from visiting my mother-in-law yesterday, I listened to an oldies channel. I didn’t recognize some of the songs but enjoyed humming along with them.

I adore old, dilapidated barns!

What is it that attracts me to old-fashioned items, such as quilts, clocks, antiques, and Amish dolls? Even to aged people with their many interesting histories.

I bought this new clock because it looked old.

I am often asked where I find my story ideas. When I think about my recent novella, Unexpected Gift, one novella among three in an Amish Christmas Kitchen, I must admit to being unclear myself. The ideas seem to form inside my brain when I least expect them.

I could look at vintage jewelry all day!

I don’t want to give the story away to those who haven’t read my novella, but it is unlike anything I have ever written.  Researching the Amish is never ending, but writing the Unexpected Gift, I needed to research a subject you will become acquainted with as soon as you read the opening pages. Hint: The head of Seattle Police Department crime prevention was a great help to me. As were others who are knowledgeable in the subject of DNA testing.

It took me a while to become familiar with my characters and their secrets, but soon they were close friends. Beloved friends, in fact.

Kate Lloyd's December giveaway of 2 Amish made dolls

Enter for a chance to win these 2 Amish-made dolls.

Are you as drawn to these Amish-made dolls from Lancaster County as I am? Enter to win Rebecca and Mose, plus one of my signed books: either An Amish Christmas KitchenStarting from ScratchA Letter from Lancaster County; or one of 3 books from The Legacy of Lancaster County Trilogy — Leaving Lancaster, its sequel, Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish; or A Portrait of Marguerite.

US and Canada only, winner has three days to respond.