About the Book
Christmas Comes To Morning Star
Founded by five unmarried and enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace in small-town Missouri is preparing for a joyous Christmas season. But will the holiday also bring
unexpected tidings of love?
Twin sisters Molly and Marietta Helfing are eagerly anticipating Christmas, with Marietta fully recovered from cancer and their noodle making business thriving. But Molly clearly misses having former tenant Pete Shetler and his rambunctious dog, Riley, around. Marietta can’t ignore Molly’s feelings for Pete—or the anxiety it stirs within her. Convinced her illness has made her unmarriageable, Marietta wonders what kind of life she’ll have if her sister marries—despite Molly’s promise never to leave her behind. . .
Then a fire destroys the home of Amish neighbors and Molly and Marietta graciously make room for widower Glenn Detweiler, his dat, and his two young boys. When Pete returns to help the family rebuild, Molly relishes her reunion with the handsome carpenter, while Marietta delights in mothering Glenn’s boys—and is surprised by her poignant bond with their quiet, brooding father. Soon everyone is wondering if this season will bring the blessing of a merry double wedding to Morning Star . . .
When she glanced at her sister, who was placing a strip of noodle dough into the roller, Marietta noticed a rare frown on Molly’s face. “Penny for your thoughts, sister.”
Molly shrugged. “Sure is quiet without Riley and Pete around.”
Marietta’s eyes widened at her sister’s wistful remark. For several months, Pete Shetler and his golden retriever, Riley, had rented one of their two dawdi hauses. Pete had done some much-needed maintenance around their farm—while his active young dog had mostly dug up Mamm’s flower beds, chewed the belts on their noodle making equipment, and found other trouble to get into.
Pete had moved into his uncle’s house, however. Although Marietta appreciated the return to a quieter routine without their renter, she sensed Molly had secretly adored the muscular blond carpenter and his rambunctious dog.
“Maybe you should pay Pete a visit,” she suggested. “I bet he’d be tickled if you took over a pan of noodle pudding—”
“Why would I do that?” Molly blurted. “It’s not as though anything would come of a relationship—even if Pete took the hint and asked me out.”
“Why not?” Marietta paused, hoping to express her concerns carefully. “Just because I’ll never marry doesn’t mean you should forfeit a potential romance. Sure, Pete’s clueless most of the time but he seems trainable. And he’s awfully cute.”
“Let’s not forget that Pete refuses to join the Amish church, so a romance would be pointless—even if he knew the meaning of the word,” Molly shot back. “Truth be told, I like Riley better than Pete, anyway. I intend to remain here on the farm with you, sister, like we’ve always agreed upon. We’re turning thirty-five next month, so why would I want to change my life—and my attitude—to accommodate a husband?”
About Charlotte Hubbard
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.
Author Interview With Charlotte Hubbard
How do you pick your character’s personalities or looks?
Because I’ve been writing Amish romances in series for more than 10 years, I’ve created and described dozens of characters within their families and communities. As I keep my handwritten “bibles” for each of these stories and series, I check to be sure I’m not duplicating names of main/anchor characters. I also create a collage of magazine photos for each series, with a picture for each character that gives me a reminder of his/her basic looks—because it’s impossible to keep everybody straight with memory alone!
Personality-wise, characters all have a specific function within a story—they each have problems to solve or themes to carry out from their unique point of view to make the overall story compelling enough for you to want to read it! And of course the hero and heroine have to possess traits that sometimes conflict—maybe on an emotionally explosive level—before they find their happily ever after. Even though they’re fictional people, I try to give characters quirks or habits or jobs or emotional situations that make them feel real on the page.
What is your favorite genre to read? What is your favorite genre to write? And why are they your favorites?
Because I write Amish fiction these days, I don’t read it for recreation. I don’t want to unintentionally copy what other authors do in their stories, and I want my characters and story situations to feel fresh and different from what everyone else is writing (and scads of authors write Amish fiction these days!) Back in the 90’s, I wrote racy Western romances and before that, stories for the old confession magazines, but I enjoy the Amish stories I’m writing now the best. I like writing about small towns and people who have admirable work ethics and faith-focused families. And I like tackling the issues Old Order Amish folks sometimes have when their artistic talents or personalities clash with the strict rules of their church communities.
I read a lot of different genres and favorite authors for fun, but historical mysteries are my hands-down favorite. I don’t usually solve the murder before the heroine of the story does! But I love escaping into the 1800s or early 1900s, being sucked into the period details that shape the mysteries.
Do you have a favorite author?
My favorite author at any given time is the one who can make me “sneak read” short snatches of a book when I’m supposed to be doing something else! Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight mysteries have held my interest through the entire series of more than 20 books—very few authors have entertained me for that long! I’m currently engrossed in Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mystery series, mostly because I’ve read all of her Royal Spyness stories and am eagerly awaiting the next one!
What are your hobbies other than writing?
I love to travel (and am SO looking forward to cruising again when the rest of the world opens up from the pandemic). I also embroider tea towel sets, and I crochet afghans, and I love to try new recipes—partly because I put recipes in some of my Amish series, and I have to know they’ll turn out right! And then there’s Vera, our Border collie, who refuses to be ignored and takes us for several walks each day.
Do you have a genre that you would never write?
You’ll never see my name on sci-fi, horror, or fantasy fiction, because I’ve never been interested enough in those kinds of alternative worlds to read them, much less write about them. I would dearly love to write a mystery series, but I’m not very adept at concocting red herrings and twisty murder plots that would measure up to what’s already being written.
What is one thing you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing?
Oh my, when my husband retired 5 years ago, my writing routine had to change drastically. After more than 20 years of having the house all to myself while he worked 8-5 (and traveled out of town some) it was a jolt to have him home—even though he sincerely tries not to disrupt my work. Thank goodness I anticipated that my time would not always be my own anymore, and I cut back from writing 3 books a year to writing 2 books. A fun thing about his retirement, however, has been that we can take longer trips, so I plan my writing schedule around those now!
What was your favorite book growing up?
I was reading constantly when I was growing up—and I cut my reading teeth on Dr. Seuss. Later I recall Jane Eyre and Gone with the Wind as favorites that stood out from that list of classics you were supposed to read before you went to college!
What did you do before becoming a writer?
I was a school librarian (K-12) and taught some English and French, depending on which school I was at. We moved a lot for my husband’s jobs in those early years, so I worked in 5 different small-town Midwest schools during my 10 years of teaching.
My Thoughts on Christmas Comes To Morning Star
This book is one of my Favorites by Charlotte Hubbard now. I loved the setting (going back to Morning Star is always a pleasure!) and it was perfect timing for me to read this one, I needed a happy story.
The combination of characters was great, and I loved Molly and Marietta they were typical sisters, and their reactions were believable and realistic. I also really enjoyed the male counterpart characters they were earnest, funny, and I enjoyed getting to know them 😊 All the characters had great growth in the story, and I loved watching them throughout the pages.
Overall, one delightful story fill with special moments and the Christmas spirit. I recommend reading it. 5stars.
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
Charlotte Hubbard be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition to the GC, the author would like to select one female reader’s name to use in her upcoming book, HIDDEN AWAY AT PROMISE LODGE.