Humble Pies and White Lies

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Thanksgiving is only a week away, and Liz Eckardt plans to make a delicious, home-cooked feast for her guests at the Olde Mansion Inn while she revels in the holiday festivities in Pleasant Creek, Indiana. Residents eagerly await the pumpkin pie bake-off and the national spotlight it will shine on their small town when the event is broadcast on a popular TV show. Mary Ann Berne, Liz's good friend and fellow Material Girl, is expected to win the pie contest, but one of Liz's guests is also a strong contender. 

With the cameras rolling and everyone in town watching, the judge tastes the final round of pies. But when she takes a bite of Mary Ann's pie . . . she chokes and collapses to the floor.

Someone poisoned Mary Ann's pie, and Liz and the other Material Girls quickly set out to find the culprit. But who would want to harm the judge? As they desperately search for answers, they discover numerous secrets and lies, old high school conflicts that have never been resolved, and simmering resentments ready to boil over . . .

During this season of thankfulness, Liz witnesses estranged families attempting to reconcile while she strives to make the holiday joyous and memorable for her family and friends. Will they all have a reason to be thankful this year, or will it turn out to be a Thanksgiving they would rather forget?

The Characters

Liz always loved and admired her mother, Abigail. She was an amazing, hard-working woman and role model. It is no surprise Liz inherited Abigail's determination and strong work ethic, earning Liz a successful career as one of Boston's most prominent attorneys. But even so, at 40 and with Abigail's recent death, Liz is running on empty.

When she inherits an old diary from Abigail's childhood after her mother's passing, Liz is stunned to read about the life Abigail had growing up in an Amish community. She'd never mentioned any of it to Liz. Ever. Why would her mother keep such a big secret?

Determined to find out what caused Abigail to abandon her Amish life at the age of seventeen, Liz leaves Boston and moves to her mother's hometown of Pleasant Creek, Ind. While she settles into the quaint and friendly community as the new owner of the Olde Mansion Inn, Liz is careful to keep her connection to the Amish a secret ... at least for now.

Will Liz's journey bring her the answers she longs for about her mysterious heritage ... or send her straight into harm's way?

Liz didn't realize when she bought the inn that she was also "inheriting" the resident lazy-yet-lovable English bulldog, Beans. She doesn't have the heart to give him away, so she adopts him into her new life. Although he spends most of his time sleeping by the front door, Beans still manages to get mixed up in the mysteries of Pleasant Creek.

Known for her delicious home-baked apple pies and impressive quilting skills, Mary Ann is one of Pleasant Creek's most loved citizens. She is also the proud co-owner of Sew Welcome, the fabric shop located on the first floor of the Olde Mansion Inn. Having lived in Pleasant Creek all her life, can Mary Ann help Liz learn more about their Amish neighbors and track down the true identity of her mysterious family?

An accomplished and sometimes wildly creative quilter, Sadie co-owns Sew Welcome with Mary Ann. Shrewd, and salty-tongued, 70-year-old Sadie says exactly what she thinks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. Sadie takes a liking to Liz right away, often treating Liz like one of her own children. With a bit of a reputation for being a busybody, Sadie always seems to know everything going on in Pleasant Creek. It's nearly impossible to keep a secret around her, but Liz must be careful not to reveal her real reason for coming to Pleasant Creek until the time is right.

Jackson is the handsome mayor of Pleasant Creek who also owns Cross Furniture Co., a local business that employs many of the Amish men in the area to help handcraft high-end wood furniture. Jackson is well-liked in the community and stays very involved in everything that goes on in town. From the moment they meet, he is attracted to Liz, but senses there is more to her than meets the eye.