As an Ohio girl, I’ve always been aware of the Amish. Every year during my childhood, my family would make an annual trip to Holmes County around Easter. We went to enjoy the scenery, eat, and shop. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories. I can see my dad now loading his plate at the Amish salad bar at the Der Dutchman. He especially liked the pickled and mustard eggs.
I love England and have been there many times. It’s one of the few places I’ve visited that I’m always eager to see again. However as a child, I couldn’t wrap my head around why the Amish called us English. I told my parents, “I’m not English. I’m American.” Around the age of seven or eight I knew all about the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, and George Washington. My grandpa signed me up for an American history children’s book of the month club. Each month, I eagerly awaited the next book and read it cover to cover when it arrived. It confused me when the Amish said we were “Englischers.”
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned the real reason why. There’s actually a very simple answer. The Amish call us English because we speak English. Pennsylvania Dutch is the Amish’s first language. They start learning English when they start school around age five or six.
Now the Amish use “Englischer” for anyone who is not Amish or Mennonite whether or not they speak English as their first language. Right now in Holmes County, Japanese tourists may overhear the Amish calling them “Englischer” and wonder why…
Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.
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About the book:
When Angela Braddock inherits her late aunt’s beautiful Amish quilt shop, she leaves behind her career and broken engagement for a fresh start in Holmes County, Ohio.
With her snazzy cowboy boots and her ornithophobic French bulldog, Angie doesn’t exactly fit in with the predominantly Amish community in Rolling Brook, but her aunt’s quilting circle tries to make her feel welcome as she prepares for the reopening of Running Stitch. On the big day, Angie gets a taste of success as the locals and Englisch tourists browse the store’s wares while the quilters stitch away. But when Angie finds the body of ornery Amish woodworker Joseph in her storeroom the next morning, everything starts falling apart. With evidence mounting against her, Angie is determined to find the culprit before the local sheriff can arrest her. Rolling Brook always appeared to be a simple place, but the closer Angie gets to the killer, the more she realizes that nothing in the small Amish community is as plain as it seems….
Book Two Murder, Simply Stitched coming June 2014…
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Congratulations to susanlulu, winner of a copy of The Quaker and the Rebel, by Mary Ellis! Thank you to all who entered!