Saturday, I used the time to reflect on how much I miss my mother who passed away ten years ago while I baked a cake. Her specialty was Angel Food Cake made from scratch. For decades, everyone in the family had a decorated cake for their birthday and other relatives asked my mother to make wedding cakes for them. I didn’t feel like I could live up to her great cakes so I didn’t try to make one while she was alive. However when we have an abundance of eggs, it seems natural to want to bake a cake just like my mother. Alas, it has taken me several tries to master getting a successful cake. The steps to putting the cake together is precise and takes time. Brought back memories of my mother scolding my brother and me ahead of time to not slam the door on our way outside because it would make her cake fall. She always seemed anxious to get us to leave the house so she could concentrate on a perfect cake. Now I can see why. If the way my cake disappeared on a table with three others I think the Mother’s Day cake must have been a good one. I came home with two small slices left.
Mother Nature provided a nice day now that our two weeks of rainy season is behind us. Looks like we’re starting summer which is going to be perfect for a visit by three of my cousins who live in Nevada, Missouri. I am so looking forward to their visit. As children we spent a lot of weekends together on my parents farm. We have lots of reminiscing to do when they get here.
Since we’ve had a warmer winter and spring in Iowa, we are a month ahead with plant growth. My flowers have bloom early, the trees are leafed out and my husband has already mowed the hay for the first time. So making hay is on the schedule for this week. That is one hot, itchy job I don’t look forward to.
In this post, I want to share with you how one reader feels about my Nurse Hal Among The Amish series. One of the things I love about being able to communicate by email with book buyers is I ask them to let me know what they think of my books. That feedback is so important to me. Keeps me on the right track with story lines that please the readers. I’ve been lucky that they respond with the nicest and very helpful suggestions. If you are just learning about my book business I must tell you I sell the books I write from my home as well as online at my bookstore http://www.booksbyfaybookstoreweebly.com . The books I sell at home I can sign which is a reason for customers to contact me personally. Besides that I’ve loved the one on one with the buyers from all around the country. We’ve gotten to know each other and chat quite often through emails in between book releases. If you like ebooks, my books are in the Kindle and Nook stores and on http://www.smashwords.com. Paperbacks sold on Amazon and smashwords.
Recently, I received this detailed review about my latest book As Is Her Name So Is Redbird which is the fourth in the Nurse Hal Among The Amish series. The readers says:
You can write another Hal story at any time now. I finished the newest one this afternoon. Annie’s shooting being accidental was a surprise twist. And I thought surely Eli and Mary Mast would receive Beth to raise since they lost their own baby girl. (That would have been a nice touch to the story and perhaps a predictable one. I didn’t consider giving the baby away, because I thought the Lapp family was attached to her, and she was a reminder of Annie who they loved like a daughter and missed. Now Nurse Hal will be raising two daughters which are like having a set of twins. This might lead to some hectic and funny stories in the future. Buy my books and find out.)
I really love Tom Turkey, so please don’t kill him off as he’s such fun. I loved the book, and I expected Stella would say no to Annie joining the Amish church.
Another thing I really appreciate about the Nurse Hal books is they are properly Old Order Amish with the outhouses and heating the water and heating with wood. I’m glad you didn’t give Hal a gas cooking stove but kept the wood one. Please don’t get rid of it!!! The one thing I don’t like about the Old Order Amish fiction that other authors write is that you can’t tell much difference between those Amish and Englishers as they have very modern appliances run by gas or propane and have indoor plumbing. Keep up the good work and keep Nurse Hal and her family very old-fashioned! I would guess some of Nurse Hal’s life is based on your own.
My reply is, Yes, I’d say some of the farm scenes are from my experiences. It’s easy to write about farm life since I’ve spent my life in the country with a few head of a variety of livestock most of the time such as cattle, horses, hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, turkey, chickens, ducks and more. From time to time, strange or funny events happened while I’ve been caring for these animals and birds so you see it’s easy to come up with moments in my Nurse Hal books that make the readers laugh.
I agree with the reader about liking the old fashion Amish. Years ago when I was first married my husband and I went to visit his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Arkansas. They still used the wood cookstoves and had outhouses. Of course, my parents had just barely put in a bathroom in our Iowa home so I was not long from the outhouse experience, but my mom had a gas cookstove for some time. I was small enough when the change in cookstoves came about that I just barely remember the wood stove. So when we ate with the Arkansas relatives I found I loved the flavor of biscuits, eggs and bacon as well as all the other slow cooked from scratch dishes the cooks prepared. Part of the appeal of those vacations were feeling like I’d gone back in time to a slower paced world that brought back memories of my childhood. Although the cooks were glad for to move into new homes with modern kitchens and bathroom, I missed that once a year visit back into the past.
When I first started my Nurse Hal Among the Amish series I did think about making the Lapp kitchen modern for Nurse Hal, but as long as she has Emma doing much of the cooking getting a gas cookstove got put on the back burner so to speak. That’s one of the things that has surprised me about being an author is the way the stories rule my thinking. I might be headed one direction and find myself taking the story another way. In this case, it’s a good thing I didn’t let John Lapp buy a gas cookstove.
If you readers really like the books you’re reading remember how helpful and important to the author it is when you leave a good review for the others to see. It helps the author’s book sales.
Have a good week.