Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Plain Widow

A Plain Widow 

The Bishop's Daughters #2

ebook, paperback

by Diane Craver

  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Publication Date: March 8, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • ASIN: B06XHS6C2S

Molly Ebersol’s life changes in a few minutes when an arsonist torches their barn. Her husband, Caleb, rushes inside the burning barn to save his horses. Although Amish firefighter, Jonathan Mast, tries to save Caleb, he fails. Suddenly Molly becomes a widow. 

A month later, an anonymous person gives money to cover the lumber and food expenses for the barn raising. One late night more money is left for Molly on the porch. The fire investigator wonders if the arsonist feels guilt about Caleb’s death and is responsible for the money gifts. 

During the continued investigation, it’s learned that Caleb had secrets he kept from Molly. She is crushed by what Caleb did before meeting her. How could the love of her life kept his English past from her? 

Her new neighbor, Jonathan, helps her to make the difficult transition from wife to widow.
Although Molly develops feelings for Jonathan, can she ever trust him to be truthful to her? She isn’t sure she can fall in love again. Her trust in relationships is shattered because of Caleb’s past actions. 

My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, A PLAIN WIDOW is the first book I've read by Ms. Craver. It is also one of the few books I've read mentioning an Amish firefighter.  

Molly's barn burned and her husband died a result of the fire. I'm not sure if this book is a romance or if it's a romantic suspense. The fire chief is investigating the fire, everyone wants to know who done it, and Jonathan is under fire for volunteering for the fire department -- or is it just something to pick at him for because the bishop is single and wants to marry Molly? 

If you aren't familiar with a lot of Amish customs and why they do things, this book goes into detail about the beliefs and reasons behind them. But you also have to keep in mind that Amish rules differ from district to district, depending on the bishop and what he believes. 

While part of the book does read as an information dump, and the rest is told rather than shone, fans of Amish fiction will be interested in reading this. Will Molly marry Jonathan or the bishop? Who started the fire and why? Was it murder? Or just a terrible accident? There are lots of secrets coming to life, lies that have been told, and some of it is unexpected. 

If you are interested in other books about Amish firefighters, there is one by me (The Amish Firefighter) and I think I read one recently by another author, but I can't remember who right now.  In most Amish communities, volunteering and giving back to the community is encouraged, and Amish work as firefighters, EMTs and other emergency services. 

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted 
out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school 
she would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a 
propped up textbook. After Diane graduated from the Ohio State 
University, she became a schoolteacher and play director.

She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they 
married three years later. Diane says that it took her that long to 
convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in 
southwestern Ohio, she started writing nonfiction and was published. 
Later, Diane decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. They 
were blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were 
born with Down syndrome and live at home. Their other children 
live close by. Diane has four adorable grandchildren. Her favorite 
vacation is going to the beach with the whole family.

Non-fiction articles of Diane’s have been published in Woman’s 
World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome 
Today,, and other publications. Several of Diane’s 
books have been a reviewer’s top pick from Night Owl Reviews as well 
as receiving 5 star reviews and A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain 
Daughters) received the CTRR Reviewer’s Recommend Award from 
Coffee Time Romance and More.

Diane gives thanks daily to God for all her blessings.

Guest Post from Diane Craver

Back in 2012, when I told our adult children I had written my first 
Amish book, they looked surprised. In the past I had written 
contemporary Christian romance, but I had never mentioned 
anything about researching the Amish faith for my future books. 
My great-grandfather was a Mennonite minister, but I never knew 
him. My mother shared stories about his faith and his strictness in 
raising children. With many similarities between my great-
grandfather’s faith and the Amish beliefs, I was drawn to learn
 more about the Plain life.

Another influence came from my father. While growing up in Findlay, 
Ohio, my father respected and enjoyed talking with the Amish from 
Kenton, Ohio. As a farmer, he used both work horses (something he 
had in common with his Amish acquaintances) and a tractor. In my 
book, A PLAIN WIDOW, my character, Jonathan Mast, is from 
Kenton. Unfortunately, my children never knew my father, but they 
learned how precious he was to me from reading my book, A GIFT 

Now several books later, I am still writing Amish fiction. I feel blessed 
that God directed me on this writing path. A wonderful aspect of writing
in this genre is finding Amish recipes to prepare in my kitchen. One of
my favorite recipes is also my character Molly’s specialty in my new
release. This Amish recipe is an easy bread to make and takes around
twenty minutes to prepare.

Delicious Amish Cinnamon Bread

(Makes 2 loaves)


1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and 
baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans. 
(Basically pour 1/4 of the total batter into each pan.)

Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 
of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining 
'batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. Or until toothpick tester is clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Blog Stops

April 22: cherylbbookblog

April 25: Pause for Tales

April 25: Bigreadersite

April 29: Just Commonly

April 30: A Greater Yes


To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Diane is giving away a set of the Dream of Plain Daughters Series (4 book series) and a $20 Amazon gift card. If the winner is outside of the US, ebooks will be substituted.

RUNNER-UP: A copy of AMISH BABY SNATCHED, the first book in The Bishop’s Daughters Series and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Diane Craver said...

Thank you, Laura, for featuring me on your blog during the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour. I haven't read your book, THE AMISH FIREFIGHTER, but it is on my list. In fact, I learned about your book when I saw it posted on a FB Amish group page. It was after I had started writing A PLAIN WIDOW.I hadn't realized there was another book about an Amish firefighter. :)

Dina said...

Hi Diane, I am a little behind on your books, but have enjoyed several as you know

Diane Craver said...

Hi Dina,

You were one of my first readers to support my writing. Thank you so much for reading my books. And it is hard to keep up with everything. Hey, if you follow me on BookBub, you will learn when my Amish books are discounted. It seems BookBub only gives me ads for my Amish books so far. :)

As soon as I get a newsletter started, I'll see if you want to be a subscriber and will have book news for readers.

Have a blessed Sunday! Off to granddaughter's birthday party. She's 2.