I’m excited to share A Simple Prayer, the final book in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, with you. It was bittersweet for me to write this book. This series has been an emotional journey for me as I grew to know and love the characters.
While I was writing A Season of Love, the last book in my Kauffman Amish Bakery series, I actually shed a couple of tears when I finished the last chapter. I had grown so attached to the Kauffman family, and I worried I would never create a family that was so near and dear to my heart. Thankfully, I was wrong! While I wrote the books for the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, I quickly fell in love with Hannah and her family; Carolyn and Joshua; and Madeleine and Saul. I hope that you also have grown to care about the characters in this series.
I hope you’ll enjoy A Simple Prayer. Since it’s the last book, the story will answer some questions and solve a couple of mysteries that I created throughout the series. You’ll finally meet Ruth’s son Aaron and you’ll learn why he left the community all of those years ago. You will also see loose ends from other books tied up during the course of this story. I hope you enjoy the sneak peek of the attached chapter.
For those of you who are sad to read the last book in my Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, don’t fret! I’m working on a new series, and I’m excited to share more with you soon.
Excerpt from A Simple Prayer:
Memories flashed through his mind as Aaron Ebersol steered his pickup truck through Paradise late Tuesday afternoon. When he saw the old schoolhouse, he pulled over and thought about the years he spent learning with his peers in the one-room building. He took in the place, wondering if his brother had any children still attending there. Had Solomon’s family grown during the past seventeen years? He was certain it had.
Aaron put the truck in gear and drove to his parents’ house. His pulse pounded as he slowed to a stop in front and took in the property. Their house looked the same—an average-size, two-story white house with the green window shades typical in Lancaster County Amish homes.
His brother’s house, behind their parents’ home, was more substantial. When Aaron left, the house was already framed, so he knew the two-story home was nearly twice the size of his parents’ house. He remembered the plans included six bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, and two bathrooms. Solomon and his wife, Becky, wanted what every Amish couple dreamed of having—a place of their own to raise a large family.
Solomon had always seemed so certain of himself and his future. He was confident and serious, the opposite of Aaron. Solomon never doubted where he belonged in life or what path he should follow. Eight years Aaron’s senior, Solomon had joined the church when he was eighteen, married his childhood sweetheart when he was twenty, and started a family when he was only twenty-one. Solomon had figured everything out at a young age—not only would he help his father with the dairy farm that would one day be his, he would raise his family in the Amish church.
For a long time, the two brothers were close. Solomon was the best older sibling anyone could ask for. But then Aaron started getting into trouble with behavior his by-the-book brother couldn’t understand. How could he, when following all the rules had made his own life so perfect? By the time Aaron left, they seemed more like strangers than brothers.
Aaron spotted a man walking out of the largest of the red barns. He was sure it was Solomon, though he supposed it could be his son, Manny, who’d be nineteen by now. He considered climbing from the truck. Instead he sat still in his seat, unable to move. Something had kept him away from his family all these years, and he wasn’t sure he was ready to see any of them now.
© 2015 Zondervan, used with permission
Read the entire first chapter of A Simple Prayer here.