I’ve just moved to Appleseed Creek, Ohio a few days ago, and I already have a roommate but not because I wanted one. I’m not sure how it happened. I was driving my Siamese cat Gigabyte and me down a country road to a rural community when we came across teenaged Becky Troyer. Two unseemly-looking thugs were harassing her. I offered her a ride as an escape from them, and the next thing I know she told me she was moving in…and that she ran away from her Amish family.

How could I turn her away when I was so much like her when I was a teen, estranged from what little family I had and seeking a new home when the Greens took me in? I had my reasons to leave my family, and I’m sure Becky had hers. She was alone and needed help. I gave it to her. However, the question nagging me at the back of my head was, “Why did Becky leave the Amish community?” I planned to ask her when the time was right.

As I dressed for the day, I decided to bring up the topic over breakfast. I stepped into the kitchen to find enough food on the kitchen table to feed a college football team. Becky piled pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, ham, and sausage on heaping serving trays. She cooked like she had her large Amish family to feed. I’d tried to tell her there were only two of us—three if you count Gigabyte—and we would never possibly eat everything she made. It was no use; she just kept baking, broiling, and frying. My cat had no problem with Becky’s culinary ambitions and transferred his feline loyalties from me to Becky the moment she picked up a spatula. How can my dry cat foot that smells like feet compete with fresh country ham?

While aware of Becky flying around the kitchen, double checking that each dish was perfect, I ate what I could of the meal. She was a beautiful and sweet girl. Not a rule breaker. I doubted she’d even jaywalked across the town’s square.

She finally took the seat across from me at the table. “I’m going to try some new places to look for work today.”

“Good. Keep trying. Someone will give you a job.”

A black cloud crossed her face. “The Amish won’t. They don’t want anything to do with me.”

My question about her leaving the Amish was on the tip of my tongue, when she said, “My brother Timothy will be over tonight to faucet on the back of the house. I hope you don’t mind.”

I swallowed, remembering how I made a fool of myself in front of her handsome brother the night we met. “Sure. That’s fine. It’s nice of him to help out.”

She studied my face. “You’re all red. Is something wrong?”

“Nope. All good.” I stood, needing to compose myself. Now was not the time to ask Becky my questions. “I’ll see you tonight after I get home from work.”

“Great! I will have a big surprise for you when you get home.”

I left without asking what that surprise was. In hindsight, I should have, I know that I should have…

You can read more about Chloe in A PLAIN DEATH, the first book in the new “Appleseed Creek” mystery series.

** Thanks to the Amanda, I have one (1) copy of A PLAIN DEATH to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends July 5. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Meet the author
Amanda Flower is an Agatha Award-nominated mystery author. She writes cozy and Amish mysteries for B&H Publishing as herself and for New American Library as Isabella Alan. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook and Twitter.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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