The Amish Christmas Candle

Friday’s Feature: The Amish Christmas Candle by Jennifer Beckstrand

If you haven’t read my Honeybee Sisters series, you will want to read it before my new series, The Petersheim Brothers, comes out in June. The Petersheim Brothers live in the same town as the Honeybee Sisters, and there’s plenty of Aunt Bitsy to go around. If you love Aunt Bitsy, you’ll love Andrew, the first book in The Petersheim Brothers series which comes out on June 25.

Here is a little taste of Aunt Bitsy’s humor from The Amish Christmas Candle:

The Amish Christmas Candle by Jennifer BeckstrandThe door opened about five inches and a mangy black and white cat darted outside, hissing and growling as if there was something very frightening on the other side of the door. Levi jumped back as the cat ran between his legs. A second cat, orange marmalade and smaller, shot out of the house and chased down the porch steps after the first one. Just when Yost thought they were done, a third kitty with a brown striped coat strolled out of the house, brushing her thick fur against Levi’s trousers as she passed. Levi glanced up at Yost and grinned. Yost’s heart melted, and he smiled back. Levi wasn’t too grown up yet to take delight in a parade of cats.

Bitsy Kiem opened the door wider and looked past Yost and Levi as if they weren’t there. “Don’t come crying to me if you freeze to death, you dumm cats.”

Yost couldn’t help but chuckle. Bitsy had her fingers wrapped around the barrel of a shotgun while the butt of the gun rested on the floor, and she leaned on it as if it were a cane. Her prayer covering, or kapp, sat askew on her head and one of the pins that held the kapp in place stood straight up, perpendicular to her scalp. Any sudden movement and she would skewer herself. Her salt-and-pepper gray hair was tinted a light shade of periwinkle purple and more than one strand poked out from beneath her kapp as if she and her cats had been having a pillow fight.

A quick glance told Yost she wasn’t sporting any tattoos, at least on the skin he could see. He cleared his throat. No good would come of thinking of the skin he couldn’t see.

Even with lavender hair, Bitsy didn’t look especially wicked or even particularly unpleasant. Bitsy was fifty-three, exactly two years younger than Yost. They shared a birthday—a fact that had made them instant and unlikely friends years ago in school. The years had been good to her. A few wrinkles congregated around her eyes, but the lines were softer around her mouth. There was good humor in her face, even though she was scowling fiercely in the direction of the cats.

Yost tried for a friendly lilt to his voice. “How many cats do you have?”

Bitsy waved her hand as if swatting her cats into the trash bin. “Ach! Too many. People call me ‘the cat lady’ behind my back. I’d let you take one home, but Rose loves those cats, and it would break her heart if one or two of them disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the night.” She cocked an eyebrow, tilted her head to one side, and looked at Levi. “Gute maiya, Levi Weaver. You’ve grown an inch since gmay last Sunday. If you’d pull your shoulders back, you’d probably clear five feet.”

Levi didn’t like being told what to do, but he straightened his spine slowly so that Bitsy might not notice he’d taken her advice.

Bitsy tilted her head to the other side and studied Yost like a lice-infested horse. Her eyes sparkled with amusement and maybe a hint of something else. Annoyance? “Well, Yost Weaver. This is the first time you’ve set foot on my farm in fifteen years. It must be a special occasion.”

Jennifer Beckstrand is the award winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in list of top ten inspirational books for 2014. Visit for recipes, upcoming events, and news about books and giveaways.

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