My name is Sadie Lehman. Like many other Amish teenagers, I embarked on Rumspringa—a period of “running around” or increased socializing, if you will. I had many friends in my youth group, but I spent most of my time with Leroy Beiler, Miriam Hochstetler, my best friend Elizabeth Troyer (Mamm said we were like two peas in a pod), and an English boy named Michael O’Neil.
Oftentimes, on a Friday night, we would meet Michael at the bridge. He would bring alcohol (all those sips made Miriam and Leroy act very silly), cigarettes (I do not know how Miriam could stand the smell), candy (I liked the caramel ones best), and music.
Oh, how I loved the music. . .
It made me happy, it made me dance, and it gave me something to concentrate on whenever Michael would smile at me. Elizabeth was sure Michael liked me. But I do not think so.
I did not talk very much when the five of us were together. I had fun, yes, but my fun came in watching my friends have fun. I do not think I was “shy” as Leroy often said. And I do not think I was “stuffy and boring” the way Miriam said. I was just mindful of the things Mamm and Dat would not want me to do.
Sadly, my decisions that last night managed to hurt my family, anyway.
For nineteen years, Mamm has waited for me to come home.
For nineteen years, Mamm has tried to imagine my life as an English woman—a choice she hadn’t expected but has learned to accept.
For nineteen years, Mamm has been allowed to think something that is not true.
You see, I am never coming back.
I am dead. My body has been buried not far from Mamm and Dat’s home all this time.
Mamm and Dat did not know this.
No one did.
No one except Leroy Beiler, Miriam Hochstetler, my best friend Elizabeth Troyer, and that English boy named Michael O’Neil.
Until now. . .
You can read more about Sadie and her “friends” in Suspendered Sentence, the fourth book in the Amish Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime/Penguin-Random House. The first book in the series is Hearse And Buggy.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 13 for the chance to win a print copy of Suspendered Sentence. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.
About the author
Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) has wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old. Today, she is the author of several mystery series, and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. Suspendered Sentence is her twentieth traditionally-published release. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends.