In the Pacific Northwest, a drought is a cause for celebration. Last summer we endured the least rainfall since 1951. In truth, we had plenty of water to keep our lawns green, but paid summer prices, and our well up at the beach did not go dry.

Kate Lloyd and Piper

I love the arrival of autumn. As I’m writing this the temperature hovers in the 50s. Our trees are just beginning to change colors, nothing dramatic yet. It’s raining but I need to walk Piper. 

A Lancaster Family Christmas released on September 28. The reviews have been fabulous. I want to thank everyone who has purchased or downloaded a copy, requested a copy at their library, and left an online review. Love those reviews! Even so-so reviews help me become a better writer.

As an author I enjoy weaving threads of truth with fiction. (BTW: My grandmother was a weaver.) I have visited Lancaster County often and feel comfortable writing about it, although the area and its Amish and Mennonite population is ever-changing. I continue to check my facts through my family and friends, many of them Amish. I greatly respect them, and I endeavor to be realistic when I portray the Amish knowing many are avid readers and may pick up my book. I just loved it when a Lancaster County resident exclaimed that she knew exactly where I was writing about in one of my many Amish novels.

Early autumn along Discovery Bay, WA.

A Lancaster Family Christmas is fiction, but here are some facts.


Piper is our real cairn terrier, like the one in the Wizard of Oz! Although not quite as brave as I portray her, she is loyal to the max and is a Mama’s girl. My husband plays second fiddle.

I have Mennonite relatives living in Lancaster County who helped in this story. My relatives are warm and inviting but they don’t own a dog or horses.

I am a member of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.

Lancaster County is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ll leave it at that, lest I write a whole post about what I love about Lancaster County!

I have visited NYC many times and the Metropolitan Art Museum’s gift shop often. The restaurant’s chicken Marsala really is delish. My favorite period of art is Impressionism.

Two of my family’s barns burned. Terrible losses that I wanted to keep alive in my writing. My favorite cousin, Alex, in Connecticut described the ordeal when her parents’ magnificent barn was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

Another truth is that I am awestruck by the Amish community’s dedication to each other as exhibited by barn-raisings. The Amish never cease to amaze me.


Diana Manzella is a fictional character, her first name borrowed from a Diana who has never been to Lancaster County.

Diana and my other characters took me on a journey, not the other way around. The story was outlined in my mine but often surprised me. Fun!

This is not an every-day Mennonite/Amish romance. I wanted to write something unique that would keep the reader turning the pages.

I also wanted to share with you that I’m currently writing an Amish book, but I write slowly so please be patient. I admire writers who can write one-hundred-miles an hour, but that’s not me.

Leaves turning color against a blue sky in Port Gamble, WA.

I hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy the marvelous autumn days no matter where you live. I love to walk with Piper, my time to admire the changing of seasons, and I adore reading. What would I do without a stack of books by my bed?

Enter for a chance to win an Amish-made doll named Lizzy from Lancaster County, PA, a set of my favorite covered-bridge themed notecards, a signed copy of one my books, including my newest book, A Lancaster Family Christmas, and a bookmark. Good luck to all who enter!

Winner will be announced on October 19 and has three days to respond. US only.