Celebrate Lit: The Flower Quilter
About the Book
Book: The Flower Quilter
Author: Mindy Steele
Genre: Amish/Christian Fiction
Release Date: September, 2023
Barbara Breaks from Amish Tradition to Express Her Artistry
Full of faith, hope, and romance, this new series takes you into the Heart of Amish country.
Barbara Schwartz was born into a family of quilters, but she would rather eat dirt than partake in another quilting frolic or sew on another binding. When her parents send her to Indiana to help her grandmother in her quilting shop, she finds herself amongst a very different community. It’s only one summer and then she will be back in Kentucky where she belongs.
Melvin Bontrager’s world stopped six years ago when his parents died. Now when his only means of providing for his widowed sister and niece is threatened, Melvin finds his landscaping business disappearing too. When spring delivers a newcomer who is immune to his salty moods, Melvin does something he has never done before, accepts help.
What blooms is the last thing Barbara ever expected, and everything Melvin could ever want.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Mindy Steele is the award-winning author and bestselling author of over a dozen novels and novellas in Christian fiction. Raised in Kentucky timber country, Steele has been writing since she could hold a crayon on the wall and lives in northeastern Kentucky—where many of her stories are set.
More from Mindy
The Story Behind the Story
I’ve connected with many wonderful readers since my debut in 2021 and while attending my first multi-author and reader event in Shipshewana, Indiana, I was blessed to finally meet many of them in person. I connected with my amazing assistant, my Mississippi fishing buddy, and the golden girls who have been with me from the beginning. God handpicked each of these women and I am so thankful he did.
I knew before leaving home I would not be writing about Shipshewana or the touristy areas considering I love our small rural communities, but you know what they say about thinking you know everything. . .
I was charmed at a little Bed and Breakfast and further charmed by Bridgett the owner. After touring the Amish Market and a few other memorable sites, my husband and I spent an afternoon with our dear friends Barb and Mel. Barb insisted I see her favorite place, the Krider Fair Gardens. Being a lover of flowers and gardening myself, I was entranced. I walked over every inch and stored its details in my heart. I even called my mother.
I quickly learned the quilt gardens were signature in Indiana, sprawling along the Pumkinvine Trail and covering multiple counties. From May to September, thousands come to photograph the designs that change each year. There is even an app for that now.
I had learned so much about Amish gardens and greenhouses from my neighbors who had family-owned greenhouses which I wrote about in An Amish Flower Farm.
It was also a no brainer that I would include quilting into the story. I love to quilt, much more than my dear sweet heroine needless to say.
I was especially happy to include the quilt shop, just a block down from The Blue Gate and the owner was thrilled her shop was the inspiration to Anna Beechy’s quilt shop.
Writing about two different Amish communities was a fun challenge made easy thanks to dear friends from both. Especially Anna Mae, the best garden tea maker north of Ohio who never let my questions bother her.
What was most memorable about writing this book over all others?
I had no desk!!!
I love writing about new things not explored yet, and well…my writer heart was ready to start before we even got home. Often, I let an idea percolate a few days, but this story unfolded like a favorite re-run and I knew all the words. It was time to get writing, but suddenly we had covid and hours turned to days and weeks. It was a scary time as my husband struggled with it terribly, but we got through and then Hurricane Ida struck the south and my husband was called up. I decided to travel with my husband and son to deliver Fema Relief.
My family needed me, and I needed to write this book!!! So, in pure Mindy fashion, I packed up my notepads, extra fine tip pens, and did both.
The draft of The Flower Quilter was written in the back of an old semi that leaked like a strainer as we delivered trailers and supplies from Kentucky to the hardest hit areas of Mississippi and Louisiana nonstop for nine days.
I hope to never try that again, but no matter what we encountered, those gardens of Indiana, keep popping up and adding a little sunshine to the chaos around me. God sure knows how to keep beauty in focus when everything gets turned upside down. He also knows how to take our worst traits and turn them into something remarkable.
I hope you love this story and my take on the gardens as much as I did. Thank you for being part of the tour!!! And may God bless and keep you!
lakesidelivingsite, September 26
The Avid Reader, September 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 27
Lighthouse Academy Blog, September 28 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Texas Book-aholic, September 28
She Lives To Read, September 29
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30
Mary Hake, September 30
Connie’s History Classroom, October 1
Christina’s Corner, October 1
The Book Club Network, October 2
Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 2
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 3
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 4
Books I’ve Read, October 4
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 5
For Him and My Family, October 6
Elly Gilbert, October 6
Cover Lover Book Review, October 7
Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Holly’s Book Corner, October 9
Splashes of Joy, October 9
To celebrate her tour, Mindy is giving away the grand prize package a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
I recommend this book.
Not only is the author well-versed (from what I can tell) in Amish culture and language, but she demonstrates a talent in writing characters who are well-developed and in need of redemption. Aren't we all?
This is the story of a young woman sent by her mother from Kentucky to help her grandmother in Indiana. Turns out, though, that the grandmother doesn't so much need help as give it. The grandmother in her loving way helps Barbara learn that her gifts are just as valuable as the quilting women in their family is known for.
On the other side, you have an almost thirty-year old hero who is trying to support his sister and niece after a series of tragedies in the family.
They both need God's love, and maybe each other's.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit tours, but the opinions are my own.
Readers: Do you enjoy reading about cultures different from your own? Any recommendations?