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Home for Christmas: An Amish Christmas Love Novella
Home for Christmas: An Amish Christmas Love Novella
Home for Christmas: An Amish Christmas Love Novella
Электронная книга156 страниц2 часа

Home for Christmas: An Amish Christmas Love Novella

Автор Ruth Reid

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When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательThomas Nelson
Дата выпуска12 сент. 2017 г.
ISBN9780718027254
Home for Christmas: An Amish Christmas Love Novella
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Автор

Ruth Reid

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth, the Amish Wonders, and the Amish Mercies series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at RuthReid.com; Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid; Twitter: @AuthorRuthReid.

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    Home for Christmas - Ruth Reid

    Copyright

    Home for Christmas

    © 2017 by Ruth Reid

    All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

    Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.

    Thomas Nelson titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.

    Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The NIV and New International Version are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.® And from the King James Version. Public domain.

    Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

    Epub Edition July 2017 ISBN 9780718027254

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    CIP data available upon request.

    Printed in the United States of America

    17 18 19 20 21 LSC 5 4 3 2 1

    Contents

    Copyright

    Glossary

    Chapter 1

    Chapter 2

    Chapter 3

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 8

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 12

    Chapter 13

    Chapter 14

    Chapter 15

    Chapter 16

    Discussion Questions

    Acknowledgments

    An excerpt from The Christmas Cat

    About the Author

    I dedicate Home for Christmas to my Dad, Paul Droste. Dogs

    have always been an important part of my life, and growing

    up, I was very blessed to have a dad who I could convince we

    needed another four-legged family member. Thank you, Dad!

    Glossary

    aenti: aunt

    boppli: baby

    bruder: brother

    daadihaus: grandfather’s house

    daed: dad or father

    danki: thank you

    doktah: doctor

    Englisch: English, non-Amish

    Englischer: anyone who is not Amish

    fraa: wife

    geh: go

    gut: good

    haus: house

    hiya: a greeting like hello

    hund: dog

    Ich geh sehe: I go see

    Ich: I

    jah: yes

    kaffi: coffee

    kalt: cold

    kann: can

    Kann Ich spiele mitt Lulu?: Can I play with Lulu?

    kapp: a prayer covering worn by Amish women

    kinner: children

    kumm: come

    kumm mitt mich: come with me

    lumba babba: baby doll

    mamm: mother or mom

    mei: my

    nacht: night

    nau: now

    nay: no

    nett: not

    onkel: uncle

    Ordnung: the written and unwritten rules of the Amish; the understood behavior by which the Amish are expected to live, passed down from generation to generation. Most Amish know the rules by heart.

    Pennsylvania Deitsch: the language most commonly used by the Amish*

    reddy-up: tidy up

    rumschpringe: running-around period when a teenager turns sixteen years old

    spielen: play

    wilkom: welcome

    Chapter 1

    Ellie Whetstone glanced at the GPS map displayed on the dashboard, then over at her faithful canine companion, Lulu, the standard poodle seated on the passenger side of the RV. Another five miles, and we should finally be there, girl.

    The estimated thirteen-hour drive from Oak, Pennsylvania, to her aenti’s farm in Posen, Michigan, ended up taking closer to sixteen hours. Lulu didn’t seem to mind the drive, even after the grueling weekend she’d spent benched during the National Dog Show. Ellie preferred the show-n-go events where the dogs were not required to remain on their assigned bench, and the handler was not expected to be present to answer spectator questions whenever they weren’t in the ring. But Lulu relished the limelight. The standard apricot poodle, wearing her continental clip, loved attention from the photographers too. When she won Best of Breed, Lulu held a slight tipped-up-nose pose for the cameramen, something Ellie hadn’t taught the three-year-old.

    Ellie yawned. The final few miles of any trip always seemed the longest, and the change of Daylight Saving Time last week hadn’t helped either. Ellie still hadn’t reprogrammed her brain that in mid-November dusk fell sometime around six. Her headlights flashed over towering pines as the country road took a turn. She glanced at the GPS map again to see if this road in no-man’s-land was still taking her the right direction. Maybe she should have told more people about her plan to drop off the grid in northern Michigan for a while—at least until February, which was when Lulu had her next big competition. Lulu had accumulated enough points at the various conformation events throughout the year that she qualified for Westminster without having to compete in Orlando at the Eukanuba National Championship. An incredible accomplishment for a twenty-nine-year-old handler, or so she’d been told. But Ellie was determined not to let it go to her head. Lulu was an exceptional dog.

    In five hundred yards make a right turn, the computerized female voice of her GPS instructed.

    Ellie followed the directions, pulling into the long driveway. The vehicle’s headlights illuminated several outbuildings as she came to a stop. She let out a long breath and with it some of the road fatigue and overall exhaustion from a demanding show schedule and Lulu’s recent competition.

    Destination reached.

    I figured that out, Ms. Atlas. Ellie pressed the button on the GPS to discontinue the journey, then reached over and patted her companion on the head. We made it, girl.

    Lulu yipped, anxious to stretch her legs.

    Although Ellie hadn’t seen the farm she’d recently inherited, from what she could make out, the exterior resembled the other farms they’d passed along the way. A large barn faced the south side and several outbuildings of various sizes nestled between bare-branched trees. Tomorrow, when she had better light, she would explore the buildings. She turned off the engine to conserve fuel. The gas gauge had dipped low since she turned off the main highway. Ellie popped open the center glove compartment, fished out a flashlight and the keys she’d received in the mail from her mother along with the notice of her aenti’s death, then climbed out of the RV.

    The chilly northern Michigan air sent shivers down Ellie’s spine as she let the dog out the passenger’s side. She shined the flashlight on the house. It had a nice-sized wraparound porch, a selling point. Wooden chairs. Aenti must have spent time sitting on the porch in the summer. She climbed the porch steps while Lulu dallied close by, sniffing the shrubs next to the porch. Ellie tried several keys, but none of them seemed to fit the lock. She considered rummaging through the RV for a bobby pin or something to jimmy the lock, or at least going back for her coat. The weather forecast had predicted snow. Nothing unusual for halfway through November, but her lightweight sweatshirt wasn’t enough to keep her teeth from chattering. Ellie wiggled the doorknob, and with a slight bump of her hip, the door opened.

    Lulu bounded up the porch steps with renewed energy. She nudged her way past Ellie and began sniffing around the kitchen, then beyond.

    Ellie shined the flashlight on the wall next to the door in search of the light switch, then remembered her mother, a former member of the district, talking about how the Amish didn’t believe in modern conveniences such as electricity and hot water. She circled the room with the light. The wooden cabinets were plain yet held a polished shine. The counters were well worn and free of clutter. A hand pump at the sink and oversize wood stove gave the place rustic charm.

    Lulu’s nails tapped the wood floor as she pranced back into the kitchen, a stuffed Amish doll in her mouth. What did you find, a new toy? The dog pressed the faceless doll against Ellie’s hand. Lulu wanted to play, but all Ellie could think about was crawling into bed. Ellie opened a cabinet next to the sink, removed a drinking glass, then placed it under the pump spigot.

    Hmm. Nothing like pioneer living. She inspected the iron contraption, then set the flashlight on the counter and took hold of the cold pump handle. With the first crank on the handle, the flashlight rolled off the counter, hit the floor with a thud, then rolled under a kitchen chair. Another hard crank and water gushed to the surface.

    Ta-da! Ellie lifted the glass to her mouth but then lowered it. For all she knew the water was gunky with a rusty-orange buildup from lack of use. Aenti Bonnie had passed away three months ago, and the letter Ellie had received gave little information on how she’d died or how long she’d been ill. As Ellie knelt on the floor to collect the flashlight, Lulu pushed the toy in her face. Not now, girl.

    Heavy footsteps sounded on the porch outside the kitchen door, followed by a garbled muttering of undecipherable words.

    Still holding the stuffed toy in her mouth, Lulu’s low growl was muffled.

    The door opened, bringing a gust of icy northern air into the kitchen. Ellie peered between the legs of the chair and caught a glimpse of knee-high rubber boots.

    Hello? a man said, lifting the lantern in his hand higher. Anyone here?

    Ellie tightened her grip on the flashlight, then with her free hand grasped Lulu’s collar. For her large size, the poodle wasn’t much of a guard dog; she hadn’t even dropped the toy to make her growl heard.

    As the shadowy figure stepped farther into the room, Ellie jumped up, aiming the flashlight at the bearded intruder. Who— who are you?

    Ezra Mast lifted his hand to block the bright beam of light aimed at his eyes. He couldn’t get a look at the Englischer, but judging by her stammering voice, he’d surprised her.

    I’m Ezra Mast.

    Wha-what are you doing here?

    I live here. He staggered blindly but froze midstep at the sound of a big dog’s growl. For some reason, the brazen woman inside his house didn’t bother him, but a dog—that was a different story. "Why are you in mei haus?"

    With a raspy huff, she lowered the light. Rats!

    Rats! Where? he asked, interrupting her rant about some GPS woman misdirecting her. This was the time of year when furry critters started looking for where they would nest for the winter. Of course, they almost always camped in the barn, feeding on spilled grain.

    I’m positive I plugged the correct address in—Where’s what?

    The rats, he repeated sternly.

    The dog, chomping down on his daughter’s doll, curled its lips, exposing a full set of teeth.

    Lulu, stop. The woman clicked her fingers and the dog sat. "I said rats because, well, it’s an expression of—You have rats?"

    It’s a farm, so yes—sometimes. He drew

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