I’ve been struggling with what to write ever since Dru asked me to guest here today. But I’ve finally decided to go with a basic introduction…

My name is Claire Weatherly. I moved to Amish country’s Heavenly, Pennsylvania about nine months ago. In the beginning, it wasn’t an official “move.” It was more of a visit—to see my Aunt Diane.

Diane owns Sleep Heavenly, a bed and breakfast.

At first I wasn’t going to come at all, as I was wallowing in self-pity following my divorce. But Diane has always held a special place in my heart and I couldn’t refuse her or the promise of her TLC.

So I came.

And I stayed.

Now before you go thinking I’m weak, let me explain why I never went back to New York.

New York was my ex-husband’s world. I tried to fit in with his fast paced lifestyle, his always-networking friends, and his own blind-to-all-else career aspirations.

I, in turn, ate a lot of cold dinners by myself, spent many weekends walking around the park by myself, and celebrated our fifth and final anniversary…you guessed it…by myself. Five years of that and you start to doubt yourself—who you are, what you want, whether your own dreams even matter.

Diane, and the peace I felt the moment I stepped foot in Amish country, set me straight. Before I knew it, I was opening my very own specialty gift shop right in the heart of Heavenly, and hiring my first employee—a young Amish woman named Esther.

In the past month or so, Esther has become my friend…as has Eli, the young Amish man she has a crush on. We dress differently, and we follow a different set of rules, but at the core, we’re still people. People with dreams and fears and hurts.

Take Esther, for instance. Esther fancies a life with Eli. But Eli has a temper—one that’s gotten in trouble with his Amish community more times than one can count.

Then there’s Martha, Esther’s mother…who has a tie to the new police detective in town yet can’t acknowledge it for fear of being shunned.

And then there’s me. Claire. Someone who wants nothing more than to heal her heart, yet now finds herself torn between two worlds…

One with Amish ties that can’t be realized, and one with Amish roots that can’t be severed.

Sounds a bit harried, doesn’t it?

Now imagine what all of that’s like when a dead body is thrown into the mix…

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of HEARSE AND BUGGY to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends June 8. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Claire Weatherly is the protagonist in Laura Bradford’s brand new Amish Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin). HEARSE AND BUGGY, the kick-off book, debuted June 5th and is available in paperback and e-book. The second book in the series will release in March 2013. For more information about HEARSE AND BUGGY or its creator, visit Laura’s website at: www.laurabradford.com. Once there, you can read the first chapter, check out all of Laura’s other books (including the SOUTHERN SEWING CIRCLE MYSTERIES she writes as Elizabeth Lynn Casey) and a few other neat things.

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