Morning Star

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When four maidels join forces to turn an abandoned barn into an Amish marketplace, the unmarried women have community in mind. But their fledgling enterprise promises to reap surprising rewards for each in turn, including the gift of unexpected love . . .

For Regina Miller, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a chance to share her secret work with the world—without revealing herself. Old Order Amish forbid the creation of art without purpose, but without a husband, Regina has been free to explore the joy of painting in her attic. Yet when Gabe Flaud’s curiosity leads him to speculate that Regina herself is the painter, the full weight of their community’s judgement falls on her shoulders. When Gabe stands up to defend Regina, questioning the Order’s restrictions, he reveals his own guilty secret and is shunned along with her. Forced to turn to each other for companionship, the young couple must learn to balance their own needs with their deep faith … and a love that will show them all things are possible.

Read an Excerpt

April had painted the Missouri countryside with a palette of vibrant greens and gentle pastels only God Himself could create. The pastures were lush with new grass, and the dogwood and redbud trees added splashes of pink, cream, and fuchsia to the untamed landscape. Jo Fussner and her four maidel friends were on their afternoon walk, soaking up the midday sunshine. An occasional car passed, but otherwise, Morning Star seemed to be nodding off for its Sunday nap.

As they reached the edge of town, Jo gazed at a dilapidated white stable that sat back from the road. The plank fence around it was also in a sorry state of disrepair. The harsh winter hadn’t done the stable any favors, and Jo thought the place looked sadder than usual as the breeze riffled some of its loose shingles.

The wooden sign posted on the fence alongside the gate startled her. “Did you know this place was for sale?” Jo blurted. “I haven’t seen this sign before.”

“Me neither,” Molly Helfing replied. She glanced at her rail-thin twin sister, Marietta, who was recovering from chemo treatments. “Last I knew, the Clementi fellow who owned this property died in the nursing home—”

An idea was spinning in Jo’s head—an adventurous, totally impractical idea—as she gazed at the long white stable with its peeling paint and missing boards. Her longtime friends would think she was ferhoodled, yet her imagination was running wild with possibilities.

“The Clementi kids must’ve decided to sell the place rather than keep it in the family,” redheaded Regina Miller remarked. “I can’t think it’ll bring much, though, run-down as it is.”

“Anybody who bought it would have to invest a lot of money to make it usable as a stable again,” Lydianne Christner said with a shake of her head.

“But wouldn’t it make a great place for some shops?” Jo blurted out. “You Helfings could sell your homemade noodles, and Mamm and I would have more space to display our bakery stuff and our summer produce—and we could get other local folks to rent spaces, and—and it’s on the main highway! Think of how much more business we’d attract here than we do at the roadside stands in our yards.”

Her friends stared at her as though she’d sprouted a second head.

About the Author:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.


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Zebra Books
July 28, 2020
ISBN-13: 9781420145120
ISBN-10: 1420145126

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