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Dorothea Lange Depression Photos


Growing up and living during my younger adult years in Illinois, I suppose I knew about as much about the Great Depression as anyone in my circles. Stock market crash. High unemployment. The Grapes of Wrath. Sometimes my mother told a story that drew me past the facts to the emotions. But it was after […]

Looking for a Valentine’s Read?


Today February begins. I did quite a bit of normal grocery store and Target kind of shopping over the weekend, and everywhere I went were reminders that February means Valentine’s Day. And it dawned on me I should let you know that my newest book, Peace Like a River, revolves around Valentine’s Day and little […]

Fresh Starts


Despite what you might think based on the title, this post is not about the new year or any of the familiar January themes. This is about a space I have not often found myself in the last several years. I’m not actively writing. But I’m actively dreaming up stories. In fact, I’m working on […]

“The peace of Christ be with your spirit.”

“The peace of Christ be with your spirit.”

I’ve been playing hooky. I admit it. I never did that when I was in school. Not even for senior ditch day. Not even for a mind-numbing class in college or a boring lecture in grad school. If I could take back all the days I went to class sick, I would. But even that […]

Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River cover flat

A couple of weeks ago I promised that as soon as I had the cover image for Peace Like a River, my first contribution to the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries series, I would share it. And here it is! This is what’s called a “cover flat”—you see the front cover, the spine, and the back cover […]

Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries

Olivia Newport Sugarcreek, OH

Today I hit a milestone. A couple of times a year, I have that moment where I hit the end of a first draft of a new book. And it’s a relief every time. Today I finished the first draft of my second contribution to the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries Series being published by Guideposts Books. […]

Hidden Falls Has a New Look

HF 1 The Disappearance cover

Some of you may remember the 13-part digital book Hidden Falls, which released about 18 months ago. Small-town warmth, mystery, secrets, characters to root for … I loved writing this downloadable story. I’m delighted that my publisher decided to repackage with terrific new covers and fewer downloads to get the whole story. So the gist […]

Don’t Take Work for Granted

Olivia Newport--The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow cover

Labor Day, traditionally the end of summer in the U.S., is more importantly remembered as a holiday that pays tribute to the labor movement of the late nineteenth century in celebration of workers’ social and economic contributions. Promoting workers’ rights was risky business in those days. After a series of states celebrated their own Labor Days, […]

Amish School–Why?

Amish School–Why?

Ever wonder why Amish children most often go to their own schools? I had the pleasure of answering this question–and explaining the backdrop to my latest Amish historical, Brightest and Best–over at Destination Amish. (And if you enjoy Amish stories but haven’t heard of Destination Amish, you’ll enjoy the entire site!) Click on through and […]

Something I Forgot to Tell You

Lancaster Farm

I may have forgotten to mention something. First, an exercise in logic. 1. Many fiction series are trilogies. 2. Amish Turns of Times was proposed as three books. 3. Book 3, Brightest and Best, recently released. So you might conclude: therefore, Amish Turns of Time is finished. In fact, I know some of you have […]