A Lesson for her Heart

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Sylvia Lantz needs a place to call home. More than that, she needs answers. Years ago, after the death of Sylvia's father, Erma Lantz uprooted Sylvia from their Amish community and moved to Pittsburgh to live among the Englisch. Erma has never told Sylvia why they left. Sylvia only knows she doesn't fit in with the fast pace of city life. Only a few classes away from obtaining her college degree, and fleeing from both a terrible student teaching job and a broken romantic relationship, she retreats to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the only place she ever felt secure and whole. Now she just needs to convince her Onkel, the bishop, to allow her to stay.

Blacksmith Nathaniel Heiser doesn't like doing business with the Englisch. But the bishop and deacons have asked him not only to showcase his hand-wrought items at the farmers' market with other local artisans, but to sell them every weekend. Interacting with the public, especially the tourists who frequent the booth, is not his strong suit. So when the bishop suggests that Sylvia work with him, Nathaniel knows he should be relieved that he won't have to deal with customers all by himself. If only his helper was someone other than Sylvia. She might be lovely in her Amish clothes, but she's been away from the community so long, she's no longer one of them. He gave his heart away once to someone who was tempted by the ways of the outside world, and he's not about to let that happen again.

Just as Sylvia is beginning to make a life for herself in Wheatland, she is called away when her mother breaks her leg. As difficult as it will be to leave the community where she knows she belongs, leaving Nathaniel will be far worse. But perhaps Erma's accident is a blessing in disguise. Before Sylvia can fully commit to the Amish faith, she must face the mistakes of her past, and perhaps in the process help heal the old rift between her Mamm and Onkel.

When Sylvia returns, stronger and wiser, she'll need to convince Nathaniel that she's there to stay. If she can, they'll forge a path into a bright future of faith, honesty, and love.

The Characters

Being the eldest child often means having more responsibility. With four younger siblings, Sarah Beth has a firm understanding of the weight she must bear.

After the passing of her Grossmammi -- a loss almost as devastating as the one the King children endured 12 years earlier when both of their parents were killed in a harvesting accident -- Sarah Beth, 24, is left to look after her special needs sister, Cora, 17, and only brother, Toby, 14. As for her 12-year-old twin sisters, Lovina and Luann, other family members felt it would be best for the girls to live with relatives in another church district, decimating the King family once again.

Family is everything to Sarah Beth! And she is determined to get hers back together ... even if that means putting off her thoughts of courtship and starting a family of her own. But why does her heart beat wildly when she meets her handsome new neighbor, Elias Stutzman? Is she drawn to the allure of his deep blue eyes ... or maybe it is the secrets they are hiding?

Life has been anything but easy for Elias ... abandoned by his Mamm who jumped the fence to Englisch life when he was just a kid ... passed along from one distant relative to another ... running with the wrong group of "friends" who always kept him on the outer edge of their circle.

Now, at 29 years old, Elias longs to be accepted for the hardworking man he is today and leave his past behind him. Hickory Meadows, known for its welcoming folks and strong sense of community, could give him the home he has always dreamed of having -- and possibly a family of his own.

But the shocking damage done to his buggy shop soon after his arrival makes it very clear that he is not welcome. Elias knows only a few people, so who would try to run him out of the church district? Maybe it was just a bunch of bored kids. Perhaps he pushed Sara Beth, his attractive new neighbor with the feisty spirit, a little too far. Or has someone from Elias's past discovered his new life?