Plain Deception

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Liz Eckardt is more grateful than ever that the discovery of her mother's secret Amish history brought her to the idyllic town of Pleasant Creek, Indiana. Her work at the Olde Mansion Inn gives her a deep sense of fulfillment. She has been welcomed and embraced by her newfound family, and she's constantly kept in stitches thanks to her new friends in the local quilting group, The Material Girls. The hustle and bustle of the inn's opening has finally settled down, and Liz is able to enjoy the so-called "simple life" at last.

That is until Beans, her notoriously lazy bulldog, pulls her into a new mystery when he uncovers a freshly buried stash on the inn's property -- an old love letter, a Civil War era photograph ... and human bones! 

Liz is determined to get to the bottom of the macabre find, but exactly how deep will she have to dig to learn the truth?

She enlists the help of a local historian but quickly learns that history's mysteries aren't so easily solved. It seems that Emma, the young woman in the old photograph, had a hidden life of her own -- secrets that someone, all these years later, clearly wants to keep buried. Whatever happened to young Emma? And who is trying to keep Liz from digging up the past? 

With the helping hands of the Material Girls and Pleasant Creek's handsome mayor Jackson Cross, Liz slowly unearths the clues that will lead her to the heart of the matter, and to a local family's secret that has been buried deep for over a century.

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.