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You might think novelists lead glamorous, high-fashion lives, but your assumptions might be all wrong when it comes to my life! For example:
**I don’t hang around all day in silk pajamas and kitten-heeled slippers, sipping wine. When you have a dog in Minnesota, spending all day in any sort of jammies doesn’t make sense—unless you enjoy being cold, or you want your neighbors to talk while you’re out for all those potty walks.
**I don’t have long, beautifully painted nails. A lifetime of playing the piano/organ, playing Frisbee with the dog, typing for hours at a time, gardening, and washing a lot of dishes make long, polished nails out of the question for me. Too high maintenance. My nails are always clipped short and out of my way. During sandal season, however, I love to get pedicures and show off my toes—because I don’t type with my toes.
**I don’t have pierced ears. Besides having a bit of a needle phobia, I’ve never understood the glory of having someone punch a hole in your earlobe and then warn you against infection. I do, however, enjoy wearing wire “cuff” earrings and vintage clip-on earrings I find in antique stores.
**I don’t have any tattoos. See the needle phobia thing, above—and again, the allure of having ink injected into your skin escapes me. Also, I tend to tire of things, and unless you want to remove several layers of skin to erase it, a tattoo is forever.
**I dislike the bare-legged look with skirts. I know, I know—modern women prefer to skip the panty hose. When we were in Paris last spring, I was really happy to see so many French women wearing hosiery of some sort, plain or patterned. Their legs looked so chic instead of, well—naked.
**I don’t wear high heels. Back in the day, I rocked some fairly tall wedges or stacked heels, but not anymore—and never stilettos. I can twist or break an ankle just looking at those things. I’m only 5’1”, and I’m good with staying close to the ground!
**I don’t dress entirely in black—unless concert black is required for a choral performance. Black drains the color from my already pale face, and I find it depressing. Sure, black pants are a wardrobe staple, but I wear them with bright colored tops, jackets, and accessories. Color makes me feel happier and more alert.
There you have it, the low-down on my high-fashion lifestyle!
Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties.
Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.
Jeremiah Shetler leaned his elbows on his kitchen table, gazing earnestly at his younger brother—who, at thirty-three, was surely old enough to know better about what he was getting into. “Last chance to see reason, Jude,” he stated bluntly. “If you go through with this wedding tomorrow, you’ll be signing on for a lifetime of sorrow and regret.”
Jude’s dark eyes flashed with resentment. “Sounds more like my marriage to Frieda—God rest her soul,” he added quickly. “Why can’t you let me find my happiness with a woman who won’t keep secrets? A woman who adores me and makes me laugh?”
“Leah’s a nice girl, jah,” Jeremiah said with a shake of his head, “but she’s clueless about such basic activities as putting a gut meal on the table—”
“Why are you telling me this?” Jude demanded.
Jeremiah exhaled forcefully. He’d never understood what Jude saw in Leah. He could only assume that his widowed brother was so desperate for affection and companionship that he was willing to settle for a woman who’d never progressed beyond being the tomboy daughter Raymond and Lenore Otto hadn’t taught much about a wife’s responsibilities.
“Have you ever eaten a meal Leah cooked?” he challenged. “Vernon Gingerich has told me that any time he’s visited the Otto home, Lenore’s been bustling around in the kitchen and Leah’s been in the front room chatting with him and her dat. And at our family dinners these past months, Leah’s cleaned up the dishes, but I’ve not seen any signs that she knows how to operate a stove.”
“Lenore does the cooking when Vernon visits because he’s her bishop, and she enjoys cooking for a man now that Raymond’s gone,” Jude explained impatiently. He raked his hand through his disheveled dark waves, glancing downward with an anguished sigh. “Come on, man. You know how it is to lose a wife—and you don’t even have kids to look after. Doesn’t the loneliness—the need for adult conversation—eat you alive at times?”
Jeremiah looked away, his heart pierced by the blatant reminder of Priscilla’s absence. After three years of living without her, he did indeed know how the silence of nights alone clawed at a man’s heart like a relentless beast. But he needed to pursue his present purpose before Jude made the biggest mistake of his life.
Kindle UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073NPM8G8
Kindle Canada http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B073NPM8G8
Kindle Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B073NPM8G8/
iBooks UK https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-mothers-gift/id1254897917?mt=11
iBooks Canada https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/a-mothers-gift/id1254897917?mt=11
iBooks Australia https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/a-mothers-gift/id1254897917?mt=11
iBooks New Zealand https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/a-mothers-gift/id1254897917?mt=11
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Charlotte_Hubbard_A_Mother_s_Gift?id=MI0qDwAAQBAJ
Order Print Book:
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ISBN=1496712188,br> Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ISBN=1496712188
Barnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781496712189
Chapters Indigo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/a/9781496712189-item.html
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