Tuesday, June 18, 2019

We {{Heart}} New York and its Amish by Jo Ann Brown

I’ve been friends with Tracey J. Lyons for more than a decade, but today is the first time that we’ve both had a book coming out at the same day from the same publisher. My book The Amish Widower’s Twins is set in Washington County in northeastern New York.

Her book A Love for Lizzie is set almost eight hours west in Chautauqua County in the southwestern corner of New York. These settlements are two among the more than twenty that have been established in the state since the early 1950’s.
Tracey’s book is her first for Love Inspired and her first Amish romance. My book is the fourth and final book in the Amish Spinsters Club series. But we both agree that we are delighted with our book covers.
Both of us are writing about Old Order Amish communities, but there are some definite differences. Tracey’s settlement of Miller’s Crossing was established in the 1970’s and is a daughter settlement of one in Geagua County, Ohio (in the northeast portion of the state). My brand new settlement in Harmony Creek Hollow was settled primarily by families from Lancaster County, but also from other states (including Delaware and Indiana). While the older settlement has its Ordnung, the unwritten rules by which the community lives, one of the challenges for my characters has been creating a new Ordnung for their settlement as they decided on color of their buggies and shape of the women’s kapps (head coverings) and other details that are vital to their community.
While southwestern New York has slow rolling hills that lead toward the Great Lakes,
Washington County shares a border with Vermont and enjoys amazing views of the Green Mountains.
Both are traditional farming areas with a scattering of small towns which is a primary reason the Amish were drawn there. And probably why we were drawn to write in these areas, too!
We were amazed, because we never mentioned it to each other, that we both have main characters with the surname of Miller. My hero is Gabriel Miller, and her heroine is Lizzie Miller. Actually it’s not surprising, because Miller is one of the most common names among the Old Order Amish. But the similarities don’t end there. Both Gabriel and Lizzie have a single sibling, which is unusual for Amish families, which tend to run to a lot more kids!
Now both Tracey and I are each working on another Amish romance while we enjoy the release today of the print books. The ebooks will be available July 1. The audio book for The Amish Widower’s Twins is also available today.
So join two friends today while we enjoy a unique celebration!


  1. That's amazing, Jo Ann. A small world, indeed. Both covers are lovely. Congratulations to both you and Tracey on your upcoming releases.

  2. Those twins......soooo adorable. Another book to add to my list!

    1. Aren't they cute? My hubby thinks they look like they're cooking up trouble...probably because ours did at that age!

  3. Jo, can you believe it's been almost twenty years since our books sat on a store shelf next to each other? What fun this is!

  4. What fun to have a book out with a buddy! Pretty covers! I've been to Lancaster Co. in PA. The pictures you took of with the Green Mountains is beautiful. I'd like to see that part of the country one day.


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