Simple Lies

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The quaint Indiana town of Pleasant Creek is bustling with activity as Christmas draws near. Boston native and innkeeper, Liz Eckardt, is learning to embrace her new home's holiday traditions and welcomes the slower-paced life at the heart of Amish country. The little town is brimming with yuletide cheer, and the brisk air is filled with the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies and the merry sounds of carolers. Liz is certain her godson Steve, coming home for the holidays from his military post overseas, will appreciate the comfort and joy that only a nice, simple country Christmas can bring.

Unfortunately for Liz, 'tis the season for unexpected mysteries and unwelcome surprises. Instead of her beloved godson arriving on the Olde Mansion Inn's doorstep, who should appear but Liz's troublesome ex-fiancé Matt, demanding a room and much of her time and patience. Meanwhile, frightening packages from a sinister "Santa" have been appearing on the doorsteps of several local businesses, each filled with a variety of unsavory items and a card bearing a single chilling word: "Heartless."

Are these cards accusations or confessions? Who could be leaving the ghastly "gifts" all around town? And is it merely a heinous holiday prank, or is Santa planning to bring something more ominous to the people of Pleasant Creek? With each new delivery, the contents of the packages become more and more disturbing, and Liz is determined to find out why the culprit is dead set on ruining Christmas for everyone. Wrapped up in the mystery, she calls on her dear friends in both the English and the Amish communities for help. Join Liz, the lovable ladies of the Material Girls quilting group, and the town's handsome mayor, Jackson Cross, as they try to find a way to bring the grisly gift giver to light, all while keeping the Christmas spirit alive.

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.