Sarah’s Saturday Smiles: Excerpt from First Impressions

An excerpt from First Impressions…what could be better? I hope this little glimpse into the lives of Frederick and Lizzie makes you smile!

first-impressions-quote“Pardon me,” a voice said.

Lizzie looked up, surprised to see Frederick standing behind her. “Oh,” she gasped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to block your way.”

“Indeed,” he said, his voice deep and stiff as his eyes stared over her head. “I’m quite satisfied there was no ill intent.”

She frowned at his words, so formal and unfamiliar. While she had plenty of family in Ohio and had cause to meet them on occasion, they had seemed no different than her own immediate family. This man, whom she judged to be close to thirty years of age, seemed too stiff and out of place. “You are with Charles Beachey, ja?”

He nodded his head but gave no formal introduction.

“Do you attend singings frequently, then?” she asked, trying to follow her sister Jane’s advice. After all, she reasoned, everyone deserved a chance.

“As infrequently as possible,” came the sharp reply.

It took Lizzie a moment to realize what he had said. She narrowed her eyes, digesting his words. If he had meant to leave an unfavorable first impression, he had truly succeeded. Between his stance and his words, there was nothing left to the imagination that this man, this Frederick Detweiler from the Dutch Valley in Ohio, thought himself too above others. And she knew that, without doubt, she did not care for him one bit.

There was nothing left to say so she merely stepped aside, permitting him to pass, her mind still trying to understand how any one individual could be so miserable and cold. No wonder, she thought, that he wears no beard. What woman would want to join with such a proud and unlikable man?


First ImpressionsClick on any of the retailers listed to purchase a copy of First Impressions :)

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Friday’s Fare: Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Pie

Today’s recipe is really yummy and super easy. I think you will enjoy this one!

Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Pie


1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can cream-style corn

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 package double crust ready-to-use pie crust

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the potato, whole kernel corn, creamed corn, hard cooked eggs, salt, pepper and milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Press one of the pie crusts in to the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Pour the hot filling into the crust. Dot with pieces of butter. Cover with the top crust, and flute the edges to seal. Cut a few slits in the top crust to vent steam. Place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Serve hot.

Wednesday’s Wanderer: Lyn Cote

Quakers and Slavery and Abolition by Lyn Cote

I don’t know if you realize it or not, but the Amish are just one of the several sects of “Plain People” in the US. The others are the Mennonites (Amish are a branch of this faith), Shakers, Amana, Hutterites, and Quakers. I am fascinated by this last sect which is just as old as the Amish. If you’re unacquainted with the Quakers, rent the old Gary Cooper film, “Friendly Persuasion,” or the older film John Wayne’s, “The Angel and the Badman.” Both excellent films which portray the Quakers, or members of the Society of Friends. They are most noted for their use of “Thee” and “Thy.” They are also pacifists and were at the forefront of social reform in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Recently on my “Strong Women, Brave Stories” blog, I featured videos on Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, an early English reformer, concerned with the plight of women in English prison. Here’s a link if you’re interested in what she managed to do. (Quite a lot actually!)

My upcoming September book, Honor,  is the first in my “Quaker Brides” series and my heroine, named Honor, becomes involved at the very beginning of  the Underground Railroad. I put up a board on Pinterest about Quakers and Slavery and Abolition. Here it is–if you’re interested. I also put up a board featuring the Underground Railroad use of Quilts as a code to guide the runaway slaves. You can view that HERE.

In September three authors will join me on my blog discussing these different Plain People, stop by!

Honor web friendly (1)When unexpected circumstances leave Honor Penworthy destitute after the death of her grandfather, she is forced to leave her Maryland plantation—and the slaves she hoped to free—and seek refuge with a distant relative. With no marketable skills, her survival hinges on a marriage arranged through the Quaker community to local glass artisan Samuel Cathwell. Samuel is drawn to Honor, but he has been unwilling to open his heart to anyone since scarlet fever took his hearing as a child.

A move west brings the promise of a fresh start, but nothing in Honor’s genteel upbringing has prepared her for the rigors of frontier life with Samuel. Nevertheless, her tenacity and passion sweep her into important winds of change, and she becomes increasingly—though secretly—involved in the Underground Railroad. Samuel suspects Honor is hiding something, but will uncovering the truth confirm his worst fears or truly bring them together as man and wife?

Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments in American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the lives of three brave heroines, fighting to uphold their principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of faith, family, and the heart.

Lyn Cote Headshot (1)

Author of over 40 books, award-winning author Lyn Cote writes contemporary and historical romance. Her homepage blog features “Strong Women, Brave Stories.” Visit her website/blog at and find her on Facebook, GoodReads and Twitter.

Monday’s Musing: Turning Amish (Week 4): Weed the Garden

Many years ago, an employer gave me some advice:

Weed the garden so your flowers can bloom.

time-to-weed-2Three days later, I resigned.

Isn’t that similar to what I’ve been doing…cleaning out closets, emptying drawers, organizing “stuff”?

My garden has been full of far too many weeds. If you look at your garden, sometimes you’ll notice that weeds mask themselves among the flowers. And while some weeds can be pretty and create a breath-taking backdrop, most of them are not very kind to the flowers that we actually planted!

This week, I’m going on a weeding binge. There is one last clutter-area in my house: the coffee table in my bedroom. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to eliminate piles of “stuff”: papers, mail, cords, things that I don’t know what they are. Just yesterday, I stared at the table and commented to my son that I should just sweep the entire tabletop into the garbage.

I didn’t.

Now I realize that it’s a weed. And I’m going to pluck it. If I don’t rip it out by the roots, remove its oppressive negative energy from my sight, it will grow and spread.

I give myself five days. After that, I’m weeding it…no excuses or hanging onto one item. Remember that the Amish focus on quality, not quantity. They keep a pristine and orderly household (well, usually) as if they know one little secret that most Englischers don’t: your environment reflects who you are.

I don’t mean that you have to have the biggest and the best in order to feel more powerful or successful. But if you hang onto things, things you don’t use or really need (like weeds), it says something about your own insecurities.

So this week’s challenge is for all of you to weed your personal garden. Let me know how it goes.  :D