Saturday, December 15, 2012

Away in a Manger

From Matthew 1: 18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Part of the theme of my series has to do with strangers coming to Karsten Field and finding it more of a home than the place they left behind them. There is a much more famous story about a family looking for someplace safe and from that, I borrowed some inspiration.

I want to wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season!

An Amish Home - Volume 5: Away in a Manger is available now

Come for a visit to Karsten Field with these Biblically inspired stories of home and family.

Best-selling author George Michael Loughmueller goes back to Karsten Field for a new serialized novel. Almost eight years after his journey began, Allan and Mary now have two children, Benjamin and Ruth, in their Amish Home.

In Volume 5 –Away in a Manger, The families of Karsten Field gather with their new English friends for a special Christmas celebration. Not everyone in this Amish Home feels the same about sharing such a significant day with outsiders, but Ben Abrim believes God brought them together for a reason.

The festivities are interrupted by the arrival of more strangers that bring a new understanding to the meaning of Christmas. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The same, but different

"An Amish Home - Volume Four - Life on Canvas"
is available today and I wanted you to know I did something a little different.

In my stories, one of the things I focus on is how outsiders can spiritually benefit from the Amish. "An Amish Journey" was about Allan Howarth giving up everything to move to Karsten Field, which literally set him free. With "An Amish Home", I am exploring some different interactions with Englishers through the eyes of Allan's five-year-old daughter, Ruth. She is still at an age where she does not see all of the differences that might keep adults from avoiding each other.

"Life on Canvas" is the fourth part of the story and focuses on Margaret, a recently widowed home-maker. She makes a discovery in her attic that forces her to ask where God is in her life. Taking some inspiration from the story of Abraham and Isaac, Margaret must decide what she will sacrifice. The people of Karsten Field may help her answer that question.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Find It Here

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost."  - Luke 15:4-6

And that is my sole inspiration for An Amish Home - Volume 3: The Lost Sheep. I started these stories, not quite knowing which way I was being guided. I do often rely on Divine Intervention in my writing and sometimes do not discover the story I am telling until it is told.

An Amish Home, as it turns out, is the first part of the story of Ruth, Allan Howarth's youngest daughter. In this series, she is five years old. That alone provides a real challenge for me. Trust me, I know plenty behaviors of a five year old girl. The challenge is seeing the world through her eyes. I have to tell the story through that unique viewpoint, but still be relatable. I have to share her thoughts and feelings without making her too old, too mature. I hope I have captured some of her sense of wonder for you.

What I have done in The Lost Sheep is expanded the story of Ruth. First, there is a brief retelling of the first two stories through her eyes. Then the precious little sheep literally gets lost.

I also introduce Ruth's special friend. I believe children are blessed with a sight (and foresight) that we sometimes lose as adults. She has been given a gift, which will be explored as the series continues.

As always, please come to my Facebook page ( Please post on my wall and share your thoughts and feelings - about my stories, or whatever is on your mind. I am happy to share prayer requests amidst posts of me rambling about my stories.

Here is the link for An Amish Home - Volume 3: The Lost Sheep 

 If you notice on the left of my blog posts, an author friend of mine helped make those nice spinning things where you can get all of my stories. Please click on them too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't Get Lost

That is important to me. It really is.

When you have a child, that is something you think about a lot. As a parent, we have to plan, prepare and teach our children everything we can to protect them. Sometimes, that is all we can do and sometimes that is not enough.

I have probably always known this, but becoming a father has reinforced it. There is one thing more, and it should be the first thing. Trust God.

I could put bars on the windows and my daughter on one of those child leashes, but the main thing is to believe God will be all the protection I need. In my writing, I refer to His plan. I could hire armed guards, but if that is not His plan, then it would not matter.

That brings me to the latest story in my series “An Amish Home”. This story is called “The Lost Sheep” and, by now, you probably can guess the premise. I thought when I wrote the first two “Amish Home” stories that they were not connected. Maybe they would be some nice stand-alone short stories. What I realize now is that they are Ruth’s stories.

Ruth is the five-year-old daughter of Allan and Mary Howarth, the main characters of “Set Free: An Amish Journey”. In my new story, we get to look back at the first two stories and see the events through her eyes. That will bring us up to the point of “The Lost Sheep”. It is going to be a little scary for me to write that part of the story. We don’t want to think about something bad happening to our children, but sometimes we can’t help it. 

As a storyteller, I have the opportunity to deal with thoughts and feelings through my characters. I can explore those ideas and find peace in imagining what God has in store for me. Instead of wasting time thinking about the negative, I can devote myself to the positive.

With God as my shield, I am a happy man.

Now, if you haven’t already, I invite you to come meet young Ruth –
An Amish Home – Volume 1 - The Flood -
An Amish Home – Volume 2 – Attainable -
An Amish Home – Volume 3 – The Lost Sheep is coming soon

Also, I would love to hear from readers on my Facebook page –

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reading and Inspiration

Recently, I received an email asking me what I read and what influences me?
With a full time job in the wonderful world of retail sales and a beautiful daughter growing faster than a weed in the spring, I feel like I barely have time for anything else.
These days, I try to squeeze in a story from some of the very talented authors here at Trestle Press: Karen Vogel, Sarah Price, Crystal Linn & Roger Rheinheimer (sorry for not listing them all – there’s too many). Other than that, most of what goes in front of me does not have more than a fourth grade reading level. So, lately, I’m inspired by children’s Bible stories and Disney fairies.

I grew up on American classics. As you can tell from my work-in-progress, Amish Wonder, one of my favorites is The Wizard of Oz. I also have a nice collection of James Bond stories. Not the originals, the ones by John Gardner. Thus far, most have not been mangled into movies.
They say a writer has to read. Maybe that’s why I call myself a storyteller?
If I win the lottery, I would spend some time at the library playing catch up. There is a growing market of Christian fantasy that intrigues me.
My true inspiration comes from God and the stories about my grandfather. I try to blend that with what is happening in my own life and in the world today.
I tend to stay a little on the private side, but I hope this gives you some insight into me!

Your friend,
Laughing George

Please visit me at
or read my blog at

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gothic Cathedrals and the Art of Melodrama by Mark Carver

As the seeds for The Age of Apollyon were taking root in my imagination, I read Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In addition to being a fantastic story, that book opened my eyes to the breathtaking marvels of Gothic architecture. I’d always been a casual fan of cathedrals (who isn’t?) but after finishing Hugo’s masterpiece, I was determined to incorporate the Gothic church and all of its accompanying melodramatics into my own writing.

 The Age of Apollyon doesn’t aim for the same heights as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I never intended to write a massive, sweeping epic to ring throughout the ages – I just wanted to create a rip-roaring horror/action novel with all of the creepy, gothic-y goodness I could muster. So I chartered the Good Ship Google and set out on a virtual journey through dozens of cathedrals and churches, searching for the proper settings for my scenes. It was quite an endeavour, because I had to find several churches that fit descriptions I had already written. But with the power of Google Images and Wikipedia at my fingertips, I was able to find everything I was looking for.

A total of seven churches are featured in The Age of Apollyon. Not all of them fall under the umbrella of Gothic architecture, but they all contain rich history and dramatic atmosphere. Three of them, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and the Milan Cathedral, are quite famous, while the others are less well-known. And, I must confess, not all of them emerge from the book unscathed. Yet each church plays an important role in the story, and though I’ve never visited them personally, I strove to capture what I imagined their unique personalities to be like. It was a tiring ordeal that devoured countless hours, but it was the most fun I’ve ever had doing research. Sometimes just staring (and drooling) over photos of these architectural masterworks was enough to inspire entire passages of writing.

My love affair with historic churches continues in the sequel to The Age of Apollyon entitled Black Sun, which I am currently writing at a feverish pace. These books aren’t only about churches and cathedrals of course, but for my money, it doesn’t get any better than a ferocious gun battle in a soaring candlelit sanctuary.

Or maybe I’ve just watched too many movies.

The Age of Apollyon will be available from Trestle Press in October. In the meantime, check out the official website, and “Like” The Age of Apollyon on Facebook.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Triangle of Blessings: Amish, Writing, and Readers

A guest post from Sarah Price

I was first introduced to the Amish when I was only eight years old. It was my grandparents who took me to Lancaster County, PA. I sat between them on the front seat of their Cadillac, bouncing up and down with excitement as we passed each horse and buggy. 

My grandparents came from a long line of strict Old Order Mennonites. Back in the early 1700s, our ancestors escaped persecution and travelled across the ocean to accept William Penn’s offer for free land in Pennsylvania.  I often think about that journey and how terrified they must have been. Seeing the shores of Europe disappear over the horizon, facing an uncertain future in an unknown land…how courageous they were and how unfaltering in their faith in God. 

There is something magical about the Amish. In today’s world of technology, information overload and crazy schedules, there is something to be said for a people who manages to maintain a simpler way of life.  A people who takes care of each other. A people who lives for honoring God through their daily routines.  How can you not fall in love with such people? They are truly blessed. 

Likewise, I consider myself a blessed person. For almost twenty-five years, I have been staying among the Amish. In the beginning, I found an Amish family that rented out an apartment over their mule shed. For several years, I would rent the apartment and travel back and forth from my home to their farm. In later years, I was introduced to an Amish woman who rented me a room in her home. Through these connections, I have been permitted the rare opportunity to straddle the fence between my current world and this of my ancestors. 

There is another blessing in my life (and I believe we all have many). I have been blessed with the desire to write. Since I was a child, I wrote books. It was my passion, my dream. I love writing, telling stories that entertain and inform. It’s in my blood. I believe that a true author writes for that reason: they have a passion to write. That’s it. It’s as plain and simple as the Amish. 

The beautiful thing is that I have been blessed to combine the two: my passion for writing and my passion for the Amish. It’s a marriage made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned.  Like my friend, colleague, and fellow author, Karen Anna Vogel, my knowledge of the Amish comes from first-hand experience. It allows me to write authentic books, books that are rich in true knowledge of the Amish, a special knowledge that I love to share with my readers. 

That brings me to my final blessing, one that is so important to me: the readers. How fortunate it is that so many wonderful people desire to know the Amish and to learn about their faith! These readers are faced with so much stress: busy lives, illness, uncertainty, and hardship in a time of economic distress. It is such a blessing to know that, even if only for a few hours, they can slip away from this stress through the stories that I love to write. 

I invite you into my world, to pick up one of the many Amish books written by wonderful authors that are available in bookstores and online, and to sit back in order to escape, even if just for a few pages.  Who knows? Maybe you, too, will find some relief from the everyday stress in your own life as you explore the world of the Amish through our eyes. 

Follow Sarah Price on Facebook at or on her blog at

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Woman in the Corner

Thank you for having me on your blog today. I really appreciate it.

I guess when it comes to promoting myself, I am the woman in the corner of a room with a glass of fizz holding a bookmark, hoping someone will notice. 

So here's my bookmark, and I'm drinking a mug of tea!

My name is Amanda J Ward and I am the author of The Thrilling Adventures of Pann Haggerty; a short story series about an Englishwoman of a 'certain' age who takes a year off to travel around America in an RV in search of new experiences and perhaps love. They are fun and quirky, and the best compliments I have had is that my mother, mother in law and daughter have read them. Which is really amazing.
I have a full length novel out in September called Without Saying A Word.
'The good guy gets his girl! After being in love with his older neighbour Laura since they met a year ago, Rhean Tate, Viscount Kirkleigh seizes his chance to make her his, when her past reappears threatening her and her children’s safety. This thirty-four year old male virgin, whisks her into marriage vowing to protect and cherish Laura and her family, with his name and noble family connections.
Will Laura feel overwhelmed by Rhean and run away. Her abusive marriage left her with scars on the inside as well as on the outside, or will she allow her barriers to crumble and be the woman and wife they both deserve'

I live in England with my husband, our three young children and two mad cats called Arthur and Merlin. I write mostly romance, but am dipping my toes in a few uncertain waters such as a regency time-shift which is all planned out. This is the first story in the Fitzroyal novels set around three siblings and their widowed mother.

A couple of years ago I entered New Voices run by M&B. I also entered last year with Her Reverend Majesty, about a vicar who marries a king of a foreign country and has to choose between her vocation or love. Unfortunately although a lot of people were complimentary. It didn't make the final.  So, later on that year I joined NANO where Laura and Rhean's story was being written. I managed to finish it early this year and I had an R&R from one publisher. However, when I was asked by Trestle to submit, I got an immediate response to could they have it. Roll on September when Bonkers in Boston and Without Saying A Word come out.

I'm by no means a regular writer. I don't have a set time of day when I can write. Each day in my home is completely different as to how, when and if I can get anything done. The past few weeks have been manic as the kids have been off school. It's only now in the week before they go back, that I am able to catch up and do reviews etc.
I am a HUGE reader. I have been reading since I can remember, and there were times when I am sure my mother despaired at me for hoarding books under my bed. Before my father died, we used to go to the library together every Saturday, with me trotting after him pulling the shopping trolley. He would fill it up with war books. My grandmother was a reader of romantic fiction. I found some in her spare room one day when I was eight and snooping. Since then I have been hooked. My favourite series is still the Temptation line of Harlequin books, but there are authors I am exceptionally loyal to. I adore historical fiction and royalty books. I have dvds about them and biographies lining my bookcase. Phillippa Gregory, Anne O'Brien, Marguerite Kaye, Michelle Willingham and Sophie Perinot top my list there.

My influences writing wise come from my friends, and also what I like to read and watch. I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls, Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Sci Fi and Big Bang Theory fan. 

When I write Pann, for some reason, I see it as a sitcom. I think that's the best way to describe the series, and I like working to a deadline for some reason. The worst thing about me is that I procrastinate like mad. It is really dreadful. Finding other things to do rather than sit in front of the screen and get words to appear on it from my head. For some reason I love working in peace and quiet. I guess it's because I talk to myself when I type and the looks I get from my children and husband, and the cats too are very offputting.  Yes there are days when I feel I have no talent for writing and that what I do is absolute rubbish. How do I cope? I walk away from what I'm doing for a time.

Any advice? Don't give up.

Here is an teaser from Pann Haggerty Volume three Bonkers In Boston.

Hope you enjoy it!.

When Joe came back to the meeting house for her less than half an hour later. He was laden down with bags. Hoping he got the right things for her, upon seeing the sight before him, stopped dead, lifted his face to the sky and whispered "Oh Jeez not this. Not here. Not now"

For standing on the steps was Pann. She had a union jack cap on her head and and a frilly apron around her. She was handing out slices of cake and plastic cups of tea to anyone that would take it. A broad smile lit up her pixie like face and she was obviously having a fantastic time. Laughing and chatting to tourists and residents alike.

"What do you think you are doing Crazy Lady?" Joe said slowly.

"Well, duh" Pann mocked him. "What does it look like. I'm having a tea party. Where better to have one. Than here!" She announced taking a bow. Cutting a piece of sunken, lopsided cake, Pann put it on a napkin and handed it to Joe.

"I knew you were up to something" Joe muttered taking a bite of the cake. It tasted much better than it looked.

"You can't have a tea party without cake" Pann said stubbornly.

Joe took a deep breath.

"Wrong revolution darlin. That was the French one" He informed her.

"And the tea party?" asked Pann, totally confused by all the history being thrown at her.

"To do with taxing of tea. Crates of it were thrown overboard and into the river" 

"What an absolute waste of perfectly good tea" Pann sniffed. She sat down with her own cup and munched on her cake. 

Joe couldn't resist taking a photograph of her.

"Say Tea Party" he teased. Pann stuck her tongue out at him. Joe continued taking photographs anyway. 

 She pulled up her jeans at one point exposing red socks.

"Pann what are you wearing?" 

"Red socks. You said Boston was the home of the red socks. So I am wearing them because I'm in Boston".
"Pann, you crazy Englishlady. When I said Boston was home to the red socks, I meant the Red Sox. A baseball team" Joe said slowly and carefully so she would understand.

"Baseball" Pann thought for a moment. "Is that like rounders?" 

"You have to be kidding me! You've never heard of baseball?" Joe's voice was incredulous.

"Of course I have. You hit a ball with a round stick. Then run around the field and touch bases. That's rounders" The tone of her voice dared him to argue the toss.

"What about football?" Joe decided to open the can all the way.

"Rugby" Pann countered


"Football" Pann was evidently enjoying her banter with him. 

He sat down on the steps and put his head in his hands. 

"Save me from crazy Englishwomen" He pleaded to no-one in particular.

"Sorry pal. You're on your own" Came a retort from a passer by. 

Pann sat down beside him and snuggled up. She gave a sigh of happiness.

"That was fun" She giggled girlishly sipping another cup of tea.

Well there you. A sneak peek at what Pann is like. If you want to read more, you can catch up with Pann on.

in the US

im on facebook at



Kooks Nook

and my website

and of course email me at

Thanks for having me and hope to hear from readers soon!