Here it is – Book 11 of the Nurse Hal Among The Amish series. Available in a couple days on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.com. For the month of July this book and ebook as well as all of by other books and ebooks will be on sale at Smashwords.com for half price. Give my selections a look through and see if any of them interest you while the price is right. Bender Creek Bridge's Troubled Waters synopsis The longest year of Joy Petermeyer's life is just about over. Nurse Hal's stepson, Daniel Lapp, is due back from Tennessee in August, and they planned to get married. Only according to his Aunt Ida's letters, Daniel is having a good time in Tennessee working with his Uncle Marvin's horses and dating an Amish girl named Arlene. Joy worries that Daniel isn't coming home, and decides she has to move on. Her only friend is Melinda Esch. One night, they go on a camping trip which ends up tragically. Joy is determined to never have anything to do with Melinda after that night. Just when she considered her life was in bad shape, Daniel's friend, Jimmie Miller invites Joy to step out with him to the teen singings. Joy is welcomed back by the Amish teens after months of avoiding the singings. That date with Jimmie leads to a picnic and horseback riding dates. Summer is fun again, and Joy realizes she has developed deep feelings for Jimmie. To Joy's surprise, not even her romance with Jimmie goes well. Samuel Nisely, Jimmie's stepfather, tells Joy to stay away from Jimmie as long as she is promised to Daniel Lapp. Even if Daniel doesn't come back to Iowa, Joy might not be able to see Jimmie ever again as long as Samuel Nisely says Jimmie can't date her. This series of events turned summer into the worst one of her life again, and it all started with Bender Creek Bridge's Troubled Water. Chapter 1 “I am going to have a bobbeli.” After a time of silence while Joy Petermeyer and Melinda Esch practiced their fancy work, Melinda burst out with that startling statement. Her hands shook slightly after making the revelation. She bit her quivering lower lip as she laid the dish towel, snugged in a metal embroidery hoop, in her lap. The pillowcase in Joy's embroidery hoop slipped from her fingers to her lap as her mouth flew open. For once she was speechless as she leaned back against one of two large limestone boulders wedged together. A gentle breeze blew a sprig of her bright red hair down over Joy's eyes. She moved the hair until it stayed behind her ear while she collected her thoughts. On the bank of Buggy Creek, Joy's special place consisted of those two rocks shaded by a stand of plum trees. Joy used them as backrests. This was the spot in her uncle and aunt's pasture where she chose to go when she wanted to be alone. As well, it was the spot she shared with her friends. “Please run that statement by me one more time?” Joy had been hypnotized by the ripples slapping against the creek bank. She worried about how high the creek was going to rise, knowing water could soon flood the pasture. With that worry on her mind, she hoped maybe she hadn't heard Melinda correctly. Melinda focused her attention across the creek at the timber to avoid looking at Joy. Her voice flattened to just above a whisper. “I am going to have a bobbeli.” Joy gave a disbelieving gasp. “A baby! No way!” Melinda slowly nodded a yes. She nervously pushed her gold-rimmed glasses back to the bridge of her nose as she leaned against the other boulder. Joy studied the dark-haired girl's fine features to see if she was serious. When her eyes lit on Melinda's swelling middle, Joy noted the dress fit way too snugly. A new life was taking form in her friend. What popped into Joy's head was that at seventeen Melinda was way too young to have and care for a baby. As for herself, in a couple of weeks, Joy would be sixteen. Her thought about her age was she was still too young to be responsible for a baby and so was Melinda. “You have knocked the wind out of my sails. I must admit I noticed you were putting on weight, but I never dreamed the cause was pregnancy. How long have you known about your situation?” Melinda wrapped her denim jacket around the front of herself to stop Joy from staring at her stomach. “A few months now.” “Like how many?” Joy demanded as she looked straight at Melinda. Her friend shrugged. “Maybe close to four months.” Joy huffed, “Is this Ben Beiler's doing?” “Jah, but I share the blame,” Melinda took a deep breath through her open mouth, showing her crooked teeth. “We spent too many nights alone in Bender Creek timber.” “When are you and Ben getting married? Time is ticking away toward your due date,” Joy pointed out. “I am not getting married, and I am kronk about it.” Melinda's trembling mouth fine lined as she tried not to cry. “You have the right to feel sick. Why forever not aren't you getting married?” Joy pushed, looking astonished. “That's what happens next when an Amish girl is expecting, isn't it? An English girl too for that matter.” Melinda's shoulders sagged. “When I told Ben about the baby, he said this was my problem. He has no intention of marrying me. I have not seen him since I told him, so I reckon his mind has not changed.” Joy slapped her leg. “Daniel was right about that guy. Before he left, he warned me Ben Beiler was bad news.” “When Ben started taking me out my mutter told me Ben is full of the deibel and I should stay away from him,” Melinda muttered. “I hate to judge a person I don't know, but I believe Daniel was right when he said Ben was no good, and your mother is right to say he is a devil. So what are you going to do?” Joy quizzed. “I do not know yet.” Melinda's dark brown eyes filled with the tears she had tried so hard to prevent. Joy scooted closer and put her arm around Melinda's shoulders. “Do your folks know about your --- uh --condition?” Melinda laid a hand on her belly. “That I am pregnant? You might as well say it. I have gotten used to the idea. I had to. My mutter does know because I told her. I had no other choice because I have no idea what I should do. I needed her help. Mamm says we are not going to tell my father unless we have to. She does not know how he will take the idea of me being second-hand goods. She fears he might be harder on me than either one of us would like. He is a very strict man.” “It seems to me, he's going to be able to see for himself before much longer. Don't you think?” Joy pointed out. “Jah, but Mamm says ferleicht she will come up with a plan before he figures it out. I will leave the solution up to Mamm. She usually knows what is best.” Melinda picked up her embroidery hoop and circled the rim with a finger. Sadness crept across her face. Joy grimaced. “Doesn't sound like your mother is too sure what she can do to help you if perhaps is her best answer. I'm so sorry you're going through this difficult time. Is there anything I can do to help you?” Melinda shook her head. “Nah, not right now anyway. Just do not tell your family or anyone about my secret. I would rather no one else knew. It's just that I have been so upset I had to share my trouble with you, my friend.” “If that is what you want, I won't say a word. Cross my heart and hope to die.” Joy went through the motion on her chest. Melinda's problem wasn't hers to talk about. Sure, she'd keep the girl's revelation to herself, but Joy worried about what was going to happen to her friend. The girl wouldn't be looked on in a favorable light from now on when her secret was revealed. Behind Melinda's back, the Amish community would always call her second-hand goods. That term still popped up when Plain people spoke about Bobby Keim's wife Priscilla. Bobby married her, knowing her baby was the result of rape by a no-good Englisher. Even though the incident wasn't her fault Plain people looked down on her. Now she had been married to Bobby Keim for some time and was expecting his baby soon. You would think that would make a difference in their opinions, but some people didn't seem to want to forget Priscilla's past. A week later in early May, Melinda went to the phone shed at the intersection near the Esch farm and called Joy. She invited Joy to go horseback riding with her on that warm afternoon. Joy agreed and offered to meet her at Bender Creek Road turnoff on the Lapp-Bontrager Road. Joy let her shiny, black horse, Raven, trot, enjoying the slight breeze that bounced her bright red braid back and forth. Ever since Daniel Lapp left, she had let her hair grow. Just before Daniel went away, she told him when he came home this August, after a year in Tennessee, she'd be ready to marry him. Hal Lapp had given her lessons in Pennsylvania Dutch and instructions on how to pass the catechism classes. When the time came, she'd pass the classes expected of her by Bishop Bontrager so she could join the church and become Amish. After that, Daniel Lapp and she would wed. First neighbors next to her uncle's farm were Eli and Mary Mast, a young couple about Emma and Adam Keim's age. Their two small girls were hoeing in the garden. The fair-haired little beauties, with beaming smiles, glanced up and waved at Joy. Joy noted the saying dangling from the Mast's black mailbox was Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they are there. On the fence post next to the driveway was a sign painted with block letters that stated For Sale Eggs Fresh Vegetables Fruit No Sunday Sales The last line was added for the benefit of Englishers who didn't know that the Amish didn't do business on Sundays. Mary Mast had a large flock of hens, so she probably had plenty of eggs for sale right now. The vegetables would be ready soon, and the fruit afterward throughout the summer. Behind the garden was an orchard with apples, plums, cherries and peaches. The trees were beautiful to behold as each variety of fruit took turns blooming. As she rode past the Nisely farm, Daniel's friend, Jimmie Miller, raised his hand in a wave and continued on to the henhouse with a five-gallon bucket of water. The breeze caused the sign under the Nisely mailbox to flutter. It read, Great peace they have that love the Lord. At the intersection was Chicken Plucker Jonah Stolfus's dairy farm. Jonah was hooking his six golden draft horses up to a disk in front of his new dairy barn. Across the road from the barn, Davie Stolfus was coming out of the house. He waved and walked away, dragging his left leg along. Daniel told Joy he broke his leg in a riding accident, and his leg didn't heal right. First place on the Lapp–Bontrager Road was Bishop Bontrager's farm. Jane Bontrager stopped hoeing in her garden and straightened up to rub her back. Joy waved at her, and Jane waved back. The sign under their mailbox said God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Reading all the mailbox signs made Joy want to paint one for their mailbox. She'd have to talk to Aunt Nora and find out if she had a favorite saying. As Joy rode past John and Hallie Lapp's farm, she right away noticed the yard was quiet. Their three smaller children, Redbird, Beth, and Johnnie must be taking a nap. Their dog, Biscuit, must be napping under the porch swing. Maybe he was getting hard of hearing. Otherwise, he would be barking at her. Suddenly, memories of how badly she missed Daniel came rushing in on her, creating a ladened weight in her chest. Joy pushed the thought away. Daniel wasn't here. As much as she missed him, she just couldn't dwell on him right now. If she didn't put him out of her mind, the sad feelings would ruin her whole afternoon. Joy reached the Bender Creek Road turnoff before Melinda did. She dismounted and stretched her legs. In a few minutes, Melinda came trotting down the road on her red horse, Sam, waving a greeting. They rode along Bender Creek Road with their horses at a walk so they could talk. Melinda said, “I have been thinking. We should have a change from camping out by Buggy Creek this summer. Try a new place, ain't so?” Listening to the horses' hooves clip-clop on the hard dirt road, Joy shrugged. “I am perfectly willing to camp in a new spot. Have you got a place in mind on your farm?” “How about we camp out here in Bender Creek timber?” Melinda suggested, rubbing her fingers up and down her reins. “That is a perfectly horrible idea,” Joy declared. “Those beer keg parties the teens attend get pretty rough. They never know when the sheriff is going to send his deputies out to raid a party. I don't want to get mixed up in one of those raids and get arrested. That would send Uncle Jim and Aunt Nora ballistic for sure.” “You are right about that. My folks would not be happy with me either.” Melinda rode quietly for a time like she was giving what Joy said proper thought. “Doesn't look like a good idea to go wading in the swimming hole right now,” Joy joked as she pointed toward the tumbling water. Melinda frowned. “Jah, we would drown for sure if we tried.” “I've watched the water rise in Buggy Creek the last few days. If the creek goes over its banks, I may have to move my sheep, the horses and cow up by the barn,” Joy shared. When they reached the red covered bridge across Bender Creek, Melinda arched her back and rubbed it. “After we walk the horses across the bridge, I need to stretch my legs before we ride on. For some reason, I have been getting cramps in my right leg calf.” “Fine with me,” Joy agreed. The wooden floor of the bridge made the horses' clip-clops thud twice as loud. The girls felt safer, leading their horses through the bridge. When the noises made the horses nervous, Joy and Melinda rubbed their faces and talked soothingly to them. That was enough to keep the horses calm. About midway through the bridge, the horses became used to the noise. They figured out nothing was going to harm them. Once they were off the noisy, wooden floor, the girls led their horses over to the side of the road where they could graze grass and calm down. Joy became enthusiastic as she took in the timber scene around them. “I love spring so much. That's when Mother Nature creates new births; leaves on the trees, wild flowers in the timber and ditches, and baby animals are born for us to watch.” When Melinda didn't reply, Joy glanced toward her friend. Melinda was rubbing her stomach, and her face puckered up like she might cry. “I'm sorry, Melinda. That was an unconscious slip of the tongue on my part. I will try to remember to be more considerate of your feelings from now on.” Melinda drew in a deep breath. “It is all recht. I have to be strong and not think everything said is aimed at my problem.” Joy focused on the dirty water as it rushed under the bridge, making an angry sound. Snow-melt and spring rains had filled Bender Creek as full as Buggy Creek was at home. Near them was a narrow trail into the timber. Joy studied it for a moment. “Looks like someone has been using that trail on a regular basis. The grass has been tromped down. Must be hunters using the path, but I don't think there are any animals or birds in season to hunt right now. It can't be fishermen. River's too full to catch fish.” Melinda nodded and faced her friend. “Joy, I was down that trail recently. I have something I want to show you. Sort of a surprise. Follow me and lead your horse down the path.” She clucked her tongue and pulled on her horse's reins. “Come on, Sam.” Joy looked worried. “Are you sure we can make it with the horses? The underbrush is bound to be extremely dense to get horses very far down the path.” Melinda nodded. “We can make it fine I promise. I have been down this path a few times recently, leading Sam.” She led the way. Joy noted the path did look like it had recently been beaten down for a long ways. The flattened plants in the path had wilted to a dark green color. Joy talked soothingly to Raven when his ears laid back. Her horse was leery of these strange surroundings as bushes tickled him on one side or the other. As they passed under a hickory tree, a squirrel, flattened on top a high limb, barked an angry warning. Raven's head bobbed up. He was on the alert. Joy rubbed his nose. “Easy, Raven. Mr. Squirrel isn't going to bother us. He just wants to warn us to be nice while we walk by his home.” Joy didn't like upsetting Raven. “Melinda, are you sure we can make it through this timber with the horses? I hate to work to hold onto Raven when he's upset. This underbrush and the noises are making him nervous. How much farther are we going?” Melinda glanced back over her shoulder as she kept walking. “Jah, we can make it fine. Like I told you, I have led Sam down this path before. We do not have much farther to go. I promise.” Melinda stopped about five hundred feet into the timber. “We can tie the horses loosely here so they can graze.” She tied Sam to one of the large limbs on a dead log. Joy walked Raven a few feet away from Sam and tied him to another limb. The horses relaxed. Their minds were on snipping the tops out of tender ragweeds, mayapples and pink lady's-slipper orchids around their feet. Joy frowned as she watched the patch of flowers eaten and trampled. If there had been anywhere else to tie the horses, she'd have suggested it. Melinda turned when Joy didn't follow her. “What I want to show you is just on the other side of these multiflora rose bushes.” Melinda parted the branches and disappeared behind the bushes. Joy followed. They stepped into a small clearing. Melinda pointed to a large log. “Sit down for a moment so we can rest.” She eased down and ran her finger up and down the tight seam on the side of her purple dress. “I will be taking the seams in my dresses out again soon if my belly keeps growing.” “You surely will have to enlarge your dresses since I'm sure you will keep growing. I wonder if there is enough seam left to make that dress as big as you will need it.” When Melinda gave her a quizzical look, Joy added, “But I'm no expert about having a baby.” “Nah, and I know I am not,” Melinda said softly. Joy surveyed the open grassy area. “You said you had been here before. Had hunters been using this clearing for a camp? From the way it looks, it has been kept cleared.” Melinda licked her dry lips and fingered one of the ties on her prayer cap. “Nah, the hunters do not know about this clearing, I am pretty sure. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. Remember I said we needed a new place to camp just for a change. This clearing is the place I was thinking about. Lately, I have taken the time to clear away the underbrush and redd up the camping area. I made the path large enough to bring our horses in here with us.” “You have been busy. That was a lot of work for you to do in your condition.” Joy contemplated the area, still doubtful. “Ach, it did not take me long to get rid of a few months' growth. Ben and I had the place looking like this last summer. Ben did most of the work that time,” Melinda admitted. Joy stared at her. “You camped out here with Ben Beiler?” “Nah, we did not camp. We just came here to spend time alone. Mamm and Daed would not have let me stay here all night with Ben,” Melinda said. “I should think you would have such bad memories about this place now that you wouldn't want to come near it,” Joy retorted. “I do not have bad memories about this campsite,” Melinda retorted. “I have always liked coming here.” Joy looked around. “I'm not sure this clearing is perfectly safe for two girls to camp in alone. Not like in my uncle's pasture or near the pond on your farm.” “I know you sounded before like you had doubts when I mentioned camping in Bender Creek timber. That is why I wanted you to see this spot before you made up your mind. This is a big timber, and we are the only ones who know about this clearing. We are far away from the picnic clearing where the keg parties happen. No one would even know we are here. Recht?” Melinda asked, looking hopefully at Joy for her approval. “Well, maybe,” Joy relented. “I wanted a special place like you have. Joy, I chose this for my special place.” Melinda waved her hand in a circle. “Does this meet your approval? Please say jah.” “I truly think everyone needs a special place to call their own. It's just the Bender Creek area is usually so public in the summer. People come just to see the covered bridge and cross it,” Joy reminded Melinda. “People come to see the covered bridge during the day. They would not come after dark. This area is quiet at night when we would be camping here. Take it from me. I have been here enough in the evenings to know what I am talking about. Please say jah.” Joy's stand softened as she saw Melinda's hopeful gaze. “It is your right to pick your special place. I guess if you are happy with this clearing I should be, too. Right now we have to watch the water level. Soon this area may be under water.” “Gute, I will call you from the phone shack when I have a free time to go camping and set it up with you. It is so much fun to camp out when we do it together, my friend. I am looking forward to camping in this new spot in the timber.” Melinda stood up. She was satisfied now that she had persuaded Joy to go camping there. “I have rested long enough. We can go back to riding before the afternoon is gone. My mutter will worry if I am late getting home to do my chores.” Once they were on Lapp–Bontrager Road again, Joy said, “You want to stop by my cousin Hallie's farm with me. We won't stay long. It's just that I haven't visited with Hallie and her children for two weeks.” Melinda eyed Joy with a gleam in her dark eyes. “You sure we are dropping by to visit with Nurse Hal, or is that just an excuse to see if she has had a letter from Daniel Lapp lately.” Joy narrowed her eyes, not liking to be teased about Daniel. Melinda grinned and winked at her. “Maybe a little of both.” Joy admitted sheepishly. If the first chapter sounds interesting, get the rest of the story at the above mentioned places and don't forget to leave a review so others know you read my book. Enjoy Author Fay Risner
Two hens in waiting in the barn. They should hatch June 18th. Both are fenced in to keep the little goats from tromping on them. I'll put the one in the box behind the gate in the loft chicken room, because I can carry that box up the steps. As soon as the one in the hay feeder hatches I'll give her chicks to the hen in the chicken room. Setting hens don't get along when they are put together. They are territorial so they fight, but they don't mind adopting another hen's chicks. I feel lucky to have made it almost three weeks without a raccoon or opossum raiding the barn and stealing these hens. Usually, they would show up about now so I have my fingers crossed (not really) hoping for a safe delivery for both hens.
I love watching the animals and chickens at my place. My observations turn into moments in my books which add realism to the characters' stories. One morning last week I pulled foxtail out of the daylilies and bluebells. I knew about the tunnel through the bluebells, because I saw a hen using it. I'd glanced in the plants as I walked by but didn't see any eggs so I figured the hen was looking for bugs. While I was weeding I found the nest behind the bluebells. The hen is in for a surprise when she comes back to lay again. I made sure the eggs were gone. That was not a good place for a hen to start a family with wild animals roaming across the yard in the night. That afternoon about four PM, as usual, my husband and I were sitting on the front porch, me drinking ice tea and he drinking coffee. A blonde feathered hen with a bright red neck and head eased over to the bluebells and ducked into the tunnel. In a few seconds, she came back out, looking confused, as if she was wondering where she had put her nest. She walked along the bluebells to the clumps of daylilies and entered again to take another look. This time she came out of the bluebell tunnel "mad as a wet hen" and expelled some x-rated caws as she announced whoever took her eggs better bring them back. Then she stalked away. The next afternoon, the hen came back and made a trip into the bluebells to see if her demand had produced the eggs. She came back out right away and quietly left with a subdued sense that this is a hen's fate in life, laying eggs that always mysteriously disappear.
Mi versión en español de El final del arco iris – Enfermera Hal Entre el Amish Standard Fay RMi versión en español de El final del arco iris – Enfermera Hal Among The Amish – el segundo libro ya está disponible en Smashwords como libro electrónico y libro en rústica. Fay Risner, en el Libro dos de su serie de Enfermeras Hal Amish, vincula el mundo moderno con el modo de vida atemporal de los Amish cuando la enfermera Hallie Lindstrom se enamora del viudo Amís John Lapp. Esta es una mirada fascinante a dos culturas diferentes en un intrincado y rico tapiz de un ambiente Amish tradicional en el sur de Iowa. La forma de vida sencilla de Amish, basada en la fe, las convicciones y la honestidad, se entrelazan en esta historia de amor entre una mujer inglesa y un hombre Amish. Hallie Lindstrom, Enfermera de Salud en el Hogar, tiene el pelo rojo cobre, afición por los pantalones vaqueros y posee un sedán de cobre que inhibe la aceptación de la comunidad Amish de ella. Luchando con su decisión de convertirse a Amish, Hallie se da cuenta de que si le permiten casarse con John Lapp, las posesiones mundanas que ella valora tienen que ir. Viudo amish, la paciencia de John Lapp con Hallie se agota cuando ella se molesta por haber ayudado a una bonita viuda de los Amish, Roseanna Miller, en su granja. John señala que el total rechazo de Hal de las costumbres inglesas y la total obediencia hacia él es la única forma en que se casará con ella. Teme que su amor por ella no sea suficiente para mantenerla en la fe Amish si ella no puede seguir su camino. Stella Strutt, obstinada Old Order Amish, está decidida a deshacerse de Hallie convirtiendo a la comunidad en su contra. Hallie tiene que decidir si es lo suficientemente fuerte como para renunciar a su estilo de vida para ser Amish por siempre, hacer una vida en la comunidad administrando una clínica médica en la granja de Lapp y soportar a Stella Strutt hablando mal de ella y la clínica por la eternidad . Mi versión en español de El final del arco iris – Enfermera Hal Among The Amish – el segundo libro ya está disponible en Smashwords como libro electrónico y libro en rústica. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/796790
Every quilt has a story. Most quilts made by homemakers is made from scraps of material. In my case, I’ve been using material inherited from my mother as well as my own pieces. The quilts I’m putting together now will be wedding gifts for great nieces and nephews. Some times I think I should have started sooner. They have grown up way too fast. This quilt's story is packaged with the quilt as part of the gift. On the back of the quilt is the Made With Loving Care from Fay Risner label and the date embroidered beside it. It was my thought that this quilt and the others might serve as heirlooms for the recipients. This queen size Iowa Wild Rose quilt pattern was designed by Fay Risner. The wild roses and leaves were hand embroidered by Fay Risner and blocks constructed to match the size of the diamond blocks. This was done in February and March of 2016 while Fay was confined to her recliner due to a foot injury. The wild rose is Iowa's state flower. Years ago, wild roses bloomed alongside the roads and in the ditches. Over time, the roses have disappeared after the ditches were sprayed with weed kill. So if you come across a wild rose bush, stop and take a good look at it. That plant will be gone the next time you pass that way. Or, you can do what I did. Dig that plant up and transplant it into your yard where you can enjoy what is now a rare flower. A forgotten embroidering stitch called twilling is now making a comeback and was used as a frame around the rose blocks. Fay saw the twilling stitch for the first time while at the Rose Festival Quilt show in State Center, Iowa with Kathy Wisecarver in 2017. She googled the stitch on the computer, and practiced it so she could use it to frame the roses. The diamond blocks were made from vintage, fifties and sixties material and passed on to Fay Risner by her 97 year old aunt in Centerville, Iowa who had been given the blocks by a friend. They were constructed in to a twelve inch block by that friend which sped up the sewing on the quilt top. It took Fay Risner three weeks to cut the rose block pieces and sew the quilt top in her spare time in 2016. Working in the evenings while watching television, Fay hand quilted the quilt in two months time - November and December 2017. It took her another week in January 2018 to buttonhole stitch with embroidery thread the butterflies in the diamond blocks. It's Fay's belief, since she loves butterflies, that every flower patterned quilt should have a few butterflies in the design. May this quilt keep you warm and give you fond memories of Fay Risner
I am Fay Risner, an independent author. Over the years, I’ve built up a fan base for my books. The positive comments from readers please me and bolster my ego. I have email contact with many of the people who buy my books. Sometimes, we chat about what is going on in our lives. We have become cyberspace friends. Some of them send me Christmas cards. It makes me smile when the card says Merry Christmas followed by when will your next book be ready to buy. Don’t forget to put me on your mailing list. The feedback from people after they read my books let me know they enjoy my writing. That spurs me on to self-publish another book. Years ago, I came across a list of one hundred and fifty agents that I could email three chapters of a manuscript. I did it. I had many replies from agencies that didn’t handle Amish romance fiction. Five agents replied they liked my story but had as many authors as they could handle at the moment. They had to turn me down. That was my first and last try to find an agent. I have remained independent with my bookstore online and my books for sale in the usual places. I became a legit publisher and published two books for relatives. In each of my books is written Booksbyfay Publisher with my email address. Not too hard to do a little searching, and anyone who is interested can find my phone number. In May of last year, I found a message on my answering machine from a man who said he was a marketing agent for a publishing company. The company’s name was muffled, but the man’s name and his phone number weren’t. He said his book scout pointed out one of my books in a foreign language had potential. The agent stumbled over pronouncing the title of the book and apologized for that. For one second, I thought the man wanted to talk to me about being my agent. Before I called him back, I decided to google the man’s name and research him. His name would be connected to the publisher he worked for so I would have that information, too. You would think the head marketing agent for a publisher would be easy to find. He wasn’t so I ignored the call. Now fast forward to August of last year. Another marketing agent called and left a message. I clearly heard the publishing company, his name and phone number. This agent wanted to discuss the same book the previous agent was interested in. His book scout told him the book had potential. Much of what the man said sounded as if he used the same script the other agent used. More google searches and I came up empty handed so I ignored the call. That is until I answered the phone one day and found I was talking to the agent. He said foreign books were in demand. He wanted me to fly to Miami, Florida to a book fair and talk to people about my book. I listened politely, and my answer was no. He didn’t estimate what this promotional trip was going to cost me or what I would owe his company and him. As we talked, he brought up my books on Amazon. Maybe if I wasn’t interested in the trip, I might hire his company to publish my books and make my book covers. I declined. So far, I am out very little upfront by publishing at Create Space and designing my own covers. The agent wasn’t ready to give up on me yet. He said he might call back. I said I’d be glad to talk to him, but my answer would still be no. He hasn’t called. Recently, a woman agent from California called. Her book scout pointed out one of my western books had potential. She asked if I knew Amazon was giving my book a favorable ranking. I said no, but I didn’t bother to point out to her that book hasn’t sold a copy in years. The rank on Amazon would match my book’s no sales. She wanted me to go to a book fair in New York. I could meet someone who wanted to turn the book into a movie? I shouldn’t pass up the chance to promote the book. I’d only be paying a share of the expenses. She didn’t say what the dollar amount might be. I told her I wasn’t interested several times. Finally, she asked if she could send me her proposal by email so I could look at it since she went through the information fairly fast. I said sure. I’d like a chance to look at what she emailed me. That proposal didn’t come. This was a friendly, persuasive young woman I was talking with, but I politely said no thank you. Did I believe her sales pitch about my western with the great ranking getting published or made into a western? My thought was she needed her book scout to have suggested one of my other books if the agent wanted to sound creditable. Anyone can look up the ranks for their books on Amazon and find out she wasn’t telling the truth. Besides, western movies are rare these days. A script writer would have to work hard to turn my G-rated western book into a manuscript a movie producer would approve for today’s western movies. So my final words were thank you for calling, but I’m not interested. Right away I googled the agent and her publisher. This time I found the company has a site, and the agents are noted for their scams so stay away from them. If you, the writer, didn’t contact an agent about a manuscript, beware of agents that calls you and seems eager to help you sell your book. You will hear repeated phrases like great rating on Amazon, book scout, book fair, no limit to the book’s potential even a movie. If you are interested, ask the agent questions. Hang up and research the agent and publisher. You can always call them back if you decide they are legit. My last words to the agent from California was though I had to turn her down, I’d be sure to tell others that an agent called me. That’s what I’m doing. Although, I’m afraid I mislead the agent to think my conversations about her call were only going to be with family and friends.
I'm excited to tell readers about the sale of my books for half price -for this week only- at Smashwords.com. I have a wide variety of books so check out all of them and see if any interests you. My Amish series starts with A Promise Is A Promise - set in Iowa. The book is in German and Spanish now. If you like that book there are nine more that follows about the Lapp family near Bloomfield, Iowa. My Amazing Gracie Mystery series is set in early 20th century in Iowa. Join Gracie Evans and her friends in her quest to solve mysteries in her small town. Find Christmas stories, romance, westerns and if you want a short read try my novellas. Now is the time to see if you like my books while they are all half price for this week. Enjoy Fay Risner
During the Great Depression, Rachel felt lucky to be teaching school in Oklahoma. She was eager to start her second year as soon as summer ended. She tried to think positive. She was one of the lucky few to have a job even though she was sadden by the circumstances everyone in the United States faced. Travelers were on the road going from place to place, looking for work. Migrants were hopping on and off trains and camping in a grove of trees near Rachel's house. She felt nervous when they knocked on her door asking for a handout. The bright moment that summer was when her friend, Mary, came to visit for two weeks. The confusing times were when the good-looking sheriff showed up, using the excuse he wanted to keep Rachel safe or ask her out on a date. The sad times were how life ended violently for discouraged people that were Rachel's neighbors. What worried Rachel most was how to During the Great Depression, Rachel felt lucky to be teaching school in Oklahoma. She was eager to start her second year as soon as summer ended. She tried to think positive. She was one of the lucky few to have a job even though she was sadden by the circumstances everyone in the United States faced. Travelers were on the road going from place to place, looking for work. Migrants were hopping on and off trains and camping in a grove of trees near Rachel's house. She felt nervous when they knocked on her door asking for a handout. The bright moment that summer was when her friend, Mary, came to visit for two weeks. The confusing times were when the good-looking sheriff showed up, using the excuse he wanted to keep Rachel safe or ask her out on a date. The sad times were how life ended violently for discouraged people that were Rachel's neighbors. What worried Rachel most was how to cope with the appearance of UNEXPECTED VISITORS! Book and ebook can be purchased at Amazon, kindle, Barnes and Noble, Nook, and smashwords.com
Thanks, NaNoWriMo! For the seventh year in a row you have jump started me into writing a book, finishing it within the deadline and editing it in December. Now that book is published. My Historical Cozy Mystery is titled Who Killed The Schoolmarm. It is book number 10 in the Amazing Gracie Mystery Series. Gracie Evans and the other elderly residents living at Moser Mansion Rest Home for Women in Locked Rock, Iowa aren't happy with the school board's pick for the new schoolmarm. The young woman has been seen dating Locked Rock's eligible young bachelors. Lois Harwood said Cecee Morgan claimed she caught the new teacher flirting with her husband. They live next door to the teacher. Lois Harwood drove past a buggy rocking back and forth late one evening in the country and recognized Hubert Hadden and the schoolmarm acting unseemly so she said. Lois spread the news, and from what she heard from others, she says the schoolmarm had been ridden more often than all the horses in the town's livery. The town's respectable ladies are up in arms enough to go to the school board members and complain before school starts. The board needs to fire Connie Greene and hire another teacher. Too late! The Moser Mansion women go for an evening walk and find the schoolmarm's body in a marsh outside of town. Now if that young woman was getting along so well with the men in Locked Rock, Who Killed The Schoolmarm? The book is in large print and ebook at the following locations. Smashwords has the ebook and paperback https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/769617 Amazon paperback https://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-Schoolmarm-Amazing-Mysteries/dp/1981849351/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513959517&sr=1-2&keywords=Who+Killed+The+Schoolmarm Amazon paperback large print https://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-Schoolmarm-Amazing-Mystery/dp/1981893016/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513959517&sr=1-3&keywords=Who+Killed+The+Schoolmarm Kindle edition https://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-Schoolmarm-Amazing-Mystery-ebook/dp/B078GWTVJZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513959414&sr=1-1&keywords=Who+Killed+The+Schoolmarm
Having written a book during NaNoWri Mo contest for seven years, I love the challenge of writing 50,000 words by the last day in November. This time I was had over 51,000 by the sixteenth day. According to the site's stats, I have 363,754 words written for the contest in the last seven years. Before I published each of those books, the total was more. Email from the staff of NaNoWriMo We're so proud of you. This November, you set a goal to write 50,000 words in a month... and now, here you are, in December, goal achieved. The great Ursula K. Le Guin said recently, "One of the troubles with our culture is we do not respect and train the imagination. It needs exercise. It needs practice. You can’t tell a story unless you’ve listened to a lot of stories and then learned how to do it." We don't know anyone who respects the imagination quite as much as y'all do. You've dedicated the last thirty days to training your imagination, strengthening your diligence, and honing your creative perseverance. And now, with your imagination freshly exercised, the great, boundless, natural question: if you can do this, what else could you do? The sky's the limit. Thank you for writing with us. We hope to do it again soon (the "Now What?" Months are coming up, wink wink, nudge nudge)—after your well-deserved rest. Proud to be your writing sidekick, Tim, and the NaNoWriMo staff Coming soon Who Killed The Schoolmarm Synopsis Gracie Evans and the other elderly residents living at Moser Mansion Rest Home for Women in Locked Rock, Iowa aren't happy with the school board's pick for the new schoolmarm. The young woman has been seen dating some of Locked Rock's eligible young bachelors. Lois Harwood said Cecee Morgan claimed she caught the new teacher flirting with her husband. They live next door to the teacher. Lois Harwood drove past a buggy late one evening in the country and recognized Hubert Hadden and the schoolmarm acting unseemly so she said. Lois spread the news, and from what she was hearing from others, she says the schoolmarm had been rode more often than most of the horses in town. The town's respectable ladies are up in arms enough to go to the school board members and complain before school starts. The board needs to hire another teacher. Too late! The Moser Mansion women go for an evening walk and find the schoolmarm's body in a marsh outside of town. Now if that young lady was getting along so well with the men in Locked Rock, Who Killed The Schoolmarm?
Sometimes writing short stories seems as hard to write when trying to keep to a word limit as writing a book. When a theme is needed for a short story that's to be submitted to a contest that makes my mind search even harder to come up with the story. I entered the short story Teapot On Whistler Street, which I have enlarged for this book, in the Arkansas Writers' Conference in 2004 in the Geneva Crook Memorial category. Tea Was A Predictor Of Many Things In days gone by when brewing a pot of tea, all sorts of predictions were made. If the lid of the pot was inadvertently left off, then a stranger was expected to call at the house. If you forget to put the tea into the pot before pouring in the boiling water, it was a very bad omen indeed. The rest of the day you would wait for something to go wrong. If you make the tea too weak, you would lose the friendship of someone close to you. You never wanted that to happen. If you brewed it too strong, you would make a new friend. So bitter though the tea was, you eagerly awaited the appearance of this new friend. And it was very unlucky to stir the tea in the pot. If you did you would certainly quarrel with someone. Synopsis for Book Anna Winters buys the cottage of her dreams. The yard is full of blooming roses which lends color and fragrance to the place. When her elderly mother, Joyce Winters's dementia worsens, Anna takes her in. From the start, Joyce says the house has bad vibes and doesn't like living there. When she finds a china teapot covered with roses at the back of her closet, she is adamant a woman named Emily wants the teapot placed on the fireplace mantle. One night behind Joyce's closed bedroom door, Anna overhears her mother in a conversation about the teapot with the imaginary Emily. She worries about her mother's failing mental health. To prove her mother is imagining Emily, Anna investigates the house's previous owners. She finds thirty years before a woman named Emily Carson owned the house. One old newspaper in the library's archive has the front page headline Emily Carson Murdered In Her Home. Town's First Murder In A Decade. Does the teapot have the power to present its deceased owner, Emily, to Anna's mother? Is there really a Haunted Teapot On Whistler Street? Look for Haunted Teapot On Whistler Street in Amazon ebook in Kindle store https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Haunted+Teapot+On+Whistler+Street paperback in Barnes and Noble ebook in Nook paperback and ebook sold on smashwords.com www.smashwords.com/books/view/740342 Enjoy your summer reading Fay Risner
A woman that has worn many hats in my life time. Join me here and find out about those hats.