Beyond romance novels: Amish and Mennonite women tell their own stories in Homespun

July 31, 2018

Beyond romance novels:
Amish and Mennonite women tell their own stories in Homespun

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Ever wish you could visit with a group of Amish or Mennonite women over a cup of coffee? In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women In Their Own Words (August 2018), edited by Lorilee Craker. Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns. Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings about hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God.

“These essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church,” writes Craker. “There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even amid doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters ‘beloved.’”

Chapters include stories such as a woman who struggles with feeling inferior to her sister; a woman longing for a baby; and a hilarious tale of a woman who accidentally bought stretchy material to sew her husband’s pants. Each woman’s story unveils a hidden side of a community many are curious about. Writers include Linda Byler, Sherry Gore, Lovina Eicher, Lucinda Miller and dozens more.

Behind Amish romance novels and tourist spots and television shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. In Homespun, readers no longer have to wonder what life is like for Amish and Mennonite women. They can read real stories from real lives.

Editor Lorilee Craker is the author of thirteen books, including Money Secrets of the Amish; Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me; My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman; and the New York Times bestseller Through the Story with Lynne Spears. Connect with her at LorileeCraker.com.

Homespun is available from Herald Press for $15.99 (paperback) and $12.99 (ebook) at 800-245-7894 or at www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877-846-1593), Parasource (800-263-2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Lorilee Craker, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540-908-3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

Sarah and Mandy, books 7 and 8 of Ellie’s People, released

SarahJanuary 13, 2016
News release

Sarah and Mandy, books 7 and 8 of Ellie’s People, released
Herald Press republishes Mary Christner Borntrager books

HARRISONBURG, Va., and KITCHENER, Ontario—The popular series of Amish novels for young readers, Ellie’s People, continues with the rerelease of books 7 and 8, Sarah and Mandy, from Herald Press. The series, enjoyed by all ages, has sold more than half a million copies. Author Mary Christner Borntrager grew up Amish and drew on her own experience for these classic stories of faith and Amish life.

In Sarah, Sarah Troyer finds her peaceful Amish childhood disrupted by difficulty. Her mother is ill and the family’s hired help treats Sarah unfairly. When two tragedies hit Sarah’s family, they threaten to overwhelm Sarah’s trust in God. Sarah is faced with a choice: to let grief and resentment triumph, or to find her way to a new place of hope and love.

MandyBook 8, Mandy, follows the story of Mandy Schrock. Mandy’s brother has special needs, and many in the Amish community love and care for him. But Mandy finds herself caught between caring for her brother and dealing with some who tease him. When calamity strikes, Mandy wonders if she is to blame. Guilt and grief bring questions, but God’s grace and redemption provide a counterpoint as Mandy learns through her experience.

Fans of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book series are one audience for the family saga of Ellie’s People, with its traditional communities and courageous characters who face adversity. Earlier books in the series—Ellie, Rebecca, Rachel, Reuben, Polly, and Andy—are also available from Herald Press. The new editions of Ellie’s People feature updated language for today’s readers. Each book includes a family tree for the series and a Pennsylvania Dutch language glossary.

Mary Christner Borntrager was born to Amish parents near Plain City, Ohio. She based the stories of Ellie’s People on the people and places of her Old Order Amish childhood and youth. Always a storyteller, she turned those skills to writing these family novels of faith.

Sarah and Mandy are available for $9.99 USD/$11.49 CAD each from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org, as well as at bookstores.

MennoMedia Staff
Hi-res photos available

for more information on the news release
Melodie Davis
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org

 

 

Gather around the Amish Table shares recipes and stories from Plain life

GatherAroundTheAmishTableNews release
August 19, 2015

Updated Herald Press cookbook adds recipe photography

HARRISONBURG, Va. and KITCHENER, Ontario.—“It’s one of the blessings of life to share ourselves with each other.” So writes Old Order Mennonite compiler Lucy Leid in her introduction to Gather around the Amish Table, a cookbook released by Herald Press in August.

Gather around the Amish Table is an updated edition of Leid’s previous compilation, Countryside Cooking & Chatting released by Herald Press back in 2006. In light of the perennial popularity of Amish and Mennonite cookbooks, editors updated and retitled Countryside Cooking & Chatting, added new full color photography, and retested and revised recipes.

Originally Leid gathered recipe submissions and stories for the book project via Die Botschaft, a weekly periodical popular in her community as well as other Mennonite and Amish communities across the United States. In the book’s introduction, she describes her goal in the creation of the book: “There are so many cookbooks around, but I wanted a cookbook with stories in it, too, with the kinds of sharing I enjoy from Die Botschaft.”

Recipes vary from family sized dishes to the 120 pies and 50 pounds of roast beef required for a barn-raising. Accompanying the recipes and simple step-by-step instructions are stories submitted by the same cooks who shared their recipes.

14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-65 14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-57Leid has included her own kitchen tips spread throughout Gather around the Amish Table, from adding wheat germ to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches healthier to suggestions about how to use water left over from boiling eggs.

Melissa Engle was food photographer with Cherise Harper serving as food stylist. The two women also worked on recent Herald Press cookbook updates: Mennonite Community Cookbook 65th Anniversary Edition, Extending the Table Revised Edition, and Simply in Season 10th Anniversary Edition.

Leid lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where she and her husband run an evergreen nursery and belong to a local Old Order Mennonite church community, the Groffdale Conference, and use horse and buggy transportation.

“As I paged through the recipes and poured over the photos in Gather around the Amish Table, I found myself thinking again and again, I’ve just got to try this! There are so many recipes in here just waiting to become new family favorites,” says Georgia Varozza, author of Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook.

Midwest Book Reviews says the book is a “prized and thoroughly ‘kitchen cook friendly’ addition to the family cookbook shelf.”

Lovella Schellenberg, one of the authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook, says of Leid’s compilation: “Reading through the treasure of recipes allows a glimpse into the home life of a community that gathers around the table for fellowship, with thankfulness for the bounty that God has provided them.”

Gather around the Amish Table is available in paperback for $19.99 USD from MennoMedia at 800-245-7894 or www.MennoMedia.org, as well as at bookstores everywhere.

14-07-10 Amish Cookbook-35

MennoMedia Staff
High resolution photos available.

for more information on press release:
Melodie Davis
News manager
MennoMedia
540-574-4874
MelodieD@mennomedia.org