Amish Author Anna Schmidt and an Inspiring Story of a Strong Woman

When I started this blog in late November 2008, my focus was on featuring stories of strong women since that is my brand.

So many of the stories that other authors shared with me are too outstanding to lie unread in my archive. So once a month I’m going to feature one of these authors and their latest book.

Here’s Author Anna Schmidt from December 16, 2008.

“I could not have been more delighted when Lyn invited me to stop by her blog and post my thoughts on STRONG WOMEN BRAVE STORIES. The problem I ran into was trying to choose which woman in my life – fictional or real – to write about! I have been so privileged to be surrounded by many strong women throughout my life – women who have inspired me and given me the courage to face whatever came my way. Women who have become the models for my heroines.

I finally chose my oldest sister, Patsy. Patsy is more than a decade older than I am and her life in so many ways has been far more challenging than my own. Without going into details I have watched (and hopefully supported her) as she faced a devastating divorce, three grown children each with problems that tested her patience and her financial reserves, the need to work and attend graduate school so she could build a career in teaching in order to support herself (and those children), years that should have been her time to explore her dreams and follow her adventures when she put it all on hold for others, and then finally the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. As the disease took hold, she was forced to give up her home and move into a care center. For awhile she was able to maintain herself independently within that community, but then she suffered a series of falls – leading to head trauma and brain injury. Today she lives in a nursing center, spends her days in a wheelchair and has reached the point where she must be fed, dressed and otherwise attended by others. The falls robbed her of her ability to make sense of things, recognize people, state her needs.

And yet…

Because I live half a country away from her, my visits are infrequent (and speaking to her via phone or e-mail is not possible). So when I go to visit – as I did several weeks ago – I always prepare myself for the possibility that she will not know me. This was such a visit. It was clear to me that she was drawn to me, but could not put to mind exactly who I was. And yet we had a wonderful visit. We shared laughter and conversation (much of it making little sense). But as I looked past the gibberish into the eyes and the smile and the mischievous little grin that has always been her trademark, I knew that whatever the outer shell might be saying to others, my sister was in there. They brought her tray and I prepared to feed her, but an aide warned, “She won’t let you do that. She only lets us feed her.” The spoon was already halfway to Patsy’s lips so I went ahead and offered it. She took a bite. I asked if she wanted to try some milk. She nodded. And step by step we shared a connection through the simple act of one sister feeding the other. At the end of the meal when I had to leave I took out a piece of Godiva chocolate I had been saving for her. I offered it to her and the expression on her face when she tasted that delectable treat after the bland tastelessness of her regular fare was priceless. I laughed. She laughed. And she looked at me then and said, “So, what’s Larry been up to?”

Larry is my husband.

She knew me – maybe for only an instant – but an instant can be enough. I told her about a fishing trip my husband and I had shared. She laughed and when I left and bent to kiss her forehead, tears leaked down her cheeks – as they always do every time I visit her – whether she knows me or not. This is my sister – a strong woman whose story did not end happily ever after, but a brave woman who has faced incredible challenges and can still laugh, still relish the sweet taste of chocolate, still reassure her little sister with a look, a comment and tears when parting. My holiday wish for all of you is that you cherish the women in your life who, like Patsy, have made you stronger and braver. They are indeed the best possible gift! Happy holidays! Anna Schmidt

Here’s Anna’s Latest book. Click the cover to purchase.

 

She also writes Westerns, contemporaries and more. For more about her books, click this link .  Or this one http://www.booksbyanna.com/index.php

So that’s the first of my reprises. Hope you enjoyed it!–Lyn 

 

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Lyn Makes Zucchini Bechamel Casserole

fresh-zucchini-close-up-green-squash

Zucchini Bechamel Casserole

It’s summertime and the living is easy and the Zucchini is  plentiful! I found this recipe and gave it a try. My husband is still trying to decide if he likes it, (He ate it!) but I certainly did. And it’s different! I’ve added my adjustments in red since I CANNOT just follow a recipe as written! :-)–Lyn

Zucchini Bechamel Casserole

A French-inspired Egyptian casserole combining four main ingredients: zucchini, ground beef, mozzarella cheese and bechamel sauce. Easy and hearty! Your friends will beg for the recipe.

Author: The Mediterranean Dish https://www.themediterraneandish.com/zucchini-bechamel-casserole/

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6

Category: Entree

Cuisine: French/Egyptian/Mediterranean

ingredients

8 medium-sized zucchini, washed, dried, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 small yellow onion, minced

1 tsp allspice (I thought my dh would not take to this much allspice–he’s used to it in pumpkin pie not his zucchini casseroles! so I reduce to 1/4 tsp. I think that was too little. Next time I’ll use 1/2 tsp.(

1/2 tsp ground green cardamom I didn’t have this. Didn’t use it-didn’t miss it!

salt and pepper

olive oil

for bechamel sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

6 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 cups 2% milk, room temperature I used skim what i had.

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt

instructions

Preheat oven to 450F. Or heat up your grill outside and broil the zucchini slices there.

Arranged zucchini slices (cut in 1/2-inch rounds or lengthwise) in one layer in oiled baking sheet. Or grill. Use two or more sheets if needed, do not crowd zucchini. Season with salt and drizzle with olive oil.

Place in oven or on grill  for 15-18 minutes, turn over once midway through.When tender and slightly golden, remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350F.

Meanwhile, heat one tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Saute minced onion briefly and add ground beef. Season with allspice, ground cardamom, salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until meat is well-done (about 10 minutes). Set aside.

Prepare bechamel sauce. Begin with heating 1/2 cup olive oil. Add flour and cook on medium- low for 5 minutes or until smooth and golden. Raising heat to medium, add milk one-cup-at-a-time and whisk continuously. Cook for another 7 minutes or until mixture is smooth, begins to bubble and thickens a little. Remove from heat and let sit to thicken into a creamy bechamel.

In an oiled baking dish or large cast iron skillet, assemble cassarole. Place first layer of meat, then add two layers of zucchini. Now add meat and one cup mozzarella cheese.Top the casserole with an even layer of the creamy bechamel sauce.

Insert casserole into the now 350F oven or closed grill on medium for 45 minutes until the bechamel top turns golden- brown. Watch carefully, you do not want a completely browned bechamel.

Remove from heat and let sit about 5 minutes before serving.

THAT’S THE RECIPE–I’VE ALSO FOUND THAT I LIKE A BIT OF IT WARMED ON TOP OF MY SCRAMBLED EGGS IN THE MORNING!

I posted another zucchini recipe in 2015. If you missed it here it is. IT’S ONE OF MY OWN CREATIONS! AND A DH FAVE! ENJOY THOSE ZUCCINI!

http://booksbylyncote.com/SWBS/recipe/lyn-cotes-less-p…-zucchini-recipe

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Frontier Want Ad Bride Comes Out TUESDAY!

Frontier Want Ad Bride

 Frontier Want Ad Bride, August Love Inspired Historical

If you’ve enjoyed my “Wilderness Brides” series, here’s another book set in Pepin, WI, birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the setting of Little House in the Big Woods. I really tried to capture that “Little House in the Prairie” feeling with these books. And these books inspired me to write this series. Here’s a link to a video about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

http://booksbylyncote.com/SWBS/video/author-laura-ing…lder-inspiration

What do you think of TWIN MAIL ORDER BRIDES? Interesting????

Here are the buy links for all online retailers in print and ebook. for Frontier Want Ad Bride:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Want-Bride-Wilderness-Brides-ebook/dp/B01MS81AYN/

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/frontier-want-ad-bride-lyn-cote/1125453893?ean=9780373425358

IBooks Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/frontier-want-ad-bride/id1195540291?mt=11

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/frontier-want-ad-bride

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lyn_Cote_Frontier_Want_Ad_Bride?id=wnTpDQAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

 

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Where Honor Began ON SALE

Where Honor Began

My Prequel to my “Quaker Brides” series

is on sale this week. Click here to purchase.

 

How can unexpected visitors turn one’s world upside down?

Honor Penworthy, a young Maryland lady, tries to keep faith with a servant as close as a sister amidst family turmoil.

But the stakes rise higher when the war that seemed so faraway comes dangerously close to her and those she loves.

What a difference three days can make in one life–leaving a legacy of conflict but with honor.

 

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Lyn Reviews Patrice Greenwood’s A Masquerade of Muertos

A Masquerade of Muertos (Wisteria Tearoom Mysteries Book 5)A Masquerade of Muertos by Patrice Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great cozy mystery by Patrice Greenwood. Again the setting is Santa Fe, New Mexico and in particular the Wisteria Tea Room. Ellen Rosings, proprietress, agrees to rent her tea room out on Halloween as a favor to her “Goth” office manager, Kris. Kris’s Goth group is going to celebrate their special holiday by re-enacting Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.” Do I need to say more? Another murder at the tea room. And the romance between homicide detective Tony and Ellen takes another step forward. Great characters, great mystery, great romance! What else could a reader ask for?

View all my reviews

To purchse, click cover above.–Lyn

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July Book Blast on Sweet Romance Reads Blog

Sweet Romance Reads Blog Banner Short Looking for a book to read

by the pool? beach? park?

You might want to drop by the Sweet Romance Reads blog for our JULY BOOK BLAST. The book blast features FREE or 99 cent ebooks for the month of July–a new one is posted each day. Drop by and take a peek! Click here.–Lyn

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Patriots and Seekers series Independence Day Celebration–E-Book Sale

La Belle Christiane

In honor of Independence Day, I’ve put the first two ebooks of my Patriots and Seekers series on SALE.

La Belle Christiane is on sale Monday through Wednesday, starting at 99 cents Monday and rising each day. Click here to purchase.

A reader review: “This entire book was fascinating. Character development was strong enough to be convincing, and I felt as though I was watching history unfold. Obviously a lot of research was given, as the book made me feel as though I was walking alongside Christiane. Her humanity shone through her decisions over and over again. Ms Cote has done us a tremendous service in portraying our nation’s history in such an entertaining fashion. Many thanks for a wonderful read.”

Lady Sarah

 

Lady Sarah, is on sale Monday and Tuesday ONLY! Also starting at $2.99 on Monday. Click here to purchase.

A reader review: “Another of Lyn Cote’s “can’t put it down” treasures. Lyn Cote’s writing and historical presentation once again went way beyond my expectation. Loved how I learned about New Orleans before it was part of the United States. Nobody writes brave women better than Lyn Cote! Lady Sarah and her family were prominent people, even friends with President and Mrs. Washington, when a heart-breaking set of circumstances cause her to be scorned, shunned and forced to make a new life for herself far from family and home. I KNOW this first reading of LADY SARAH won’t be my last.”

Also I am offering the chance to win these books on Amazon. Here are the Amazon links.

 https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/7f79973d9527cac1

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/45832315f182d682

Click and enter! Happy Fourth of July!–Lyn

 

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Lyn Reviews Zara Keane’ Dial P for Poison

Dial P For Poison (Movie Club Mysteries, #1)Dial P For Poison by Zara Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first in the Movie Club Mysteries Series and the first Zara Keane book I’d read. WHAT FUN! I loved the heroine who is sassy and offbeat and very beliveable.

Maggie has just lost her snake of a husband and her job as a San Fran cop so she goes back to her father’s village on Whisper Island, Ireland, to spend a few months recovering from the twin disappointments.

Her aunt Noreen welcomes her with open arms and immediately puts her to work in hre Movie Club cafe. Too bad Maggie can’t cook or make coffee. However she does make a mean cocktail and unfortunatley her aunt’s swon enemy dies of poison during the first movie club she bartends for.

So Maggie can’t resist investigating and it’s good she does because the Garda on the island is none too sharp!
FUN! FUN! FUN! I’d rate this as PG13 but I wasn’t offended. I was entertained.

View all my reviews

 

To purchase, click cover below. 99 cents for the ebook!

SaveSaveSaveSave

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Lyn Reviews Patrice Greenwood’s An Aria of Omens

An Aria of OmensAn Aria of Omens by Patrice Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m really enjoying this serie–SO WELL WRITTEN! Ellen Rosings, the heroine, is such a nuanced lady and the love interest Santa Fe Detective Tony Aragon is so strong and intriguing. The supporting cast of charactrs, the workers at the tearoom and Ellen’s family and Tony’s are all so well portrayed.

After several dead bodies appeared in her Wisteria Tearoom in downtown Santa Fe, NM, the skilled author takes them to the opera to find a body. The mystery is a series of unexpected twists and turns with an ending I couldn’t predict! I hate it when I figure everything out. I love mysteries because I love surprises. If you haven’t started reading this series–WHY NOT?

View all my reviews

To purchase, click the cover below.

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Some Choices for the New Cover & $5 Amazon Gift Card

Here’s the old cover. Autumn's Shadow

And here are some new possibilities. Do you like the old or a new?

#1

#1

 

#2

#2

#3

#3

#4

#4

Here are four images I’m considering to replace the one on my present Autumn’s Shadow cover. This is a story with mystery and romance and my heroine struggles with a trying family while carrying great responsibility.

So which one do you think EVOKES the most reaction from you?

Which one touches your emotions? That’s what I’m looking for. A good cover grabs a reader’s attention and provokes a response.

I have my favorite but that might not be the best choice!

So please help me choose. Or should I just stay with the one I have already? Glance at the previous blog post and the featured image. Decisions-decisons!

If you leave a comment, your name will be entered into a drawing for a $5 amazon gift card so weigh in please!–Lyn

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