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A Simple Winter: A Seasons of Lancaster Novel [Kindle Edition]

Rosalind Lauer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

As a budding journalist with a major newspaper, Remy McCallister is eager to prove herself. While investigating an unsolved crime, Remy winds up in the tightly woven Amish community of Lancaster County, the last place she would ever expect to find herself. The story leads her to Adam King and his ten younger siblings, who are trying to sustain their warm, loving home in the wake of the murder of their parents. Although Remy tries to remain professional, she is captivated by the Kings. With her own mother gone and her father disengaged from their relationship, Remy longs for a home and a family just like that of these good, simple people.

Suddenly patriarch of his large family, Adam struggles to do the right thing for his siblings, his community, and his God. He neither wants nor needs the complications that spirited Remy brings. But as much as he tries to push her away, even as he counts all the ways this lovely outsider cannot possibly remain in his world—or in his heart—the wondrous light she shines upon his troubled soul cannot be denied. Adam can only pray for the strength and the faith to get this Englisher girl out of their lives for good.

Snowbound with the Kings, Remy experiences the wonder and the chores of a simple winter among the Plain People, as well as the friendship of their warm community. When her peaceful interlude ends, does she dare to reveal a killer in their midst, knowing that she may lose the love of this special family and this remarkable man?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


“This book has it all: faith and family, mystery and inspiration.  You won't want to put it down.  I loved every word.”—Debbie Macomber
“A promising start to a new series. The homespun feel and clash of cultures is sure to appeal to fans of Beverly Lewis and Mindy Starns Clark.”—Library Journal

“Readers looking for a chaste and cozy fireside read will enjoy the leisurely pace as Lauer delves into the placid lives and unwavering faith of the Amish.”—Publishers Weekly 
“Enjoy a story of warm romance, mystery and faith in A Simple Winter by Rosalind Lauer. This is a simple and sweet story of family and faith set amid the Amish life. Those looking for a cozy romance should look no further.” –Parkersburg News & Sentinel 

“You could call this book a spiritual romantic suspense but I would call it just plain good.”—Night Owl Reviews
“As intricately and uniquely developed as a dazzling snowflake, the very talented Rosalind Lauer has crafted a fascinating tale of unsolved murder, romance and community that immediately pulls you deep into this inspiring story right from the get go to its very moving and satisfying conclusion. Lauer sets out a complex and layered tale that is totally captivating and definitely sets the bar high for Amish romance stories….A SIMPLE WINTER is a wonderful reading treat you definitely will not want to miss!”—Fresh Fiction
“A wonderful story…Sharp characterization and a little bit of mystery color the pages in a novel that you will not put down or soon forget.”—Romance Reviews Today
“A heartwarming tale . . . Ms. Lauer demonstrates that life holds no bounds, and though there are obstacles, if something is destined to be . . . it will be.”—Reader to Reader

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


January, eleven months later

Adam King hoisted the wooden bench from the wagon and lowered it to his younger brother’s reach. “Go on and grab the end there, Simon. Think we can carry this in together?”

“Ya.” Simon’s face lit at the prospect of an adult task as he gripped the end of the bench. The boy’s crooked smile shone like a break in the clouds.

At last, Simon was coming around. As Adam navigated into the living room of his uncle’s house, which had been emptied of furniture for the benches, he considered the boy’s recently renewed interest in family events. Nearly one year since the murders, and at last his brother was showing signs of progress.

Simon had been silent for months after the deaths of their parents, a tragedy that had hit him particularly hard as he’d been the only witness. Last summer when the boy finally started speaking, there’d been only basic words--yes, no, denki. Over time, Simon had volunteered more conversation, but the boy rarely mentioned the traumatic episode. When he did he seemed confused about details, saying that a bear was to blame. Sometimes it worried Adam, who felt sure that one day Simon’s memories would overflow like a bucket of milk, and memories from that terrible night would spill forth. So far that had not been the case. So Adam contented himself with the occasional string of words from his kid brother, and the sure knowledge that Simon would be shadowing him when he wasn’t off at school or doing other chores.

Inside the house the rugs had been pulled up from the floor of the large room, and from the gleaming wood floors and shiny windows it was evident that the women had been hard at work cleaning the space for tomorrow’s preaching service. Come the morning, dozens of buggies would line the lane, along with men and women dressed in their Sunday garb for the preaching service, which was held in members’ homes or barns, weather permitting. Although this was not Adam’s home, he and his siblings were happy to help his uncle and aunt, Nate and Betsy King. In the future, Adam hoped to hold a preaching service at his own house, but right now the preparation would bog down his sister Mary, who would be responsible for cleaning, cooking, and baking for more than a hundred members.

“This is the last of the benches from the wagon,” Adam told Uncle Nate, who was supervising the setup.

“Right over here.” Nate motioned Adam to a space near the windows, and they lined up the bench with the others, completing the last row of one section. “That should be enough seating for the women. Good work.” Nate clapped Simon on the shoulder.

Simon straightened and brushed his hands together, such an adult gesture for a small boy.

“And look, you’ve been growing, ya?” Nate’s eyes twinkled as he assessed the boy. “How old are you now?”

Simon steeled himself, his lips tensing as he pronounced the word: “Nine.”

“So I thought.” Nate’s voice was gentle, as if he understood how difficult it was for Simon to participate in conversation. “Have you started going in with the boys on Sundays?”

“Not yet,” Simon said, meeting his uncle’s gaze. “Mamm wanted me to learn the Loblied first.”

Adam touched his brother’s shoulder, pleased that the boy had responded so well. “Mamm made us all learn the hymn before we could walk with the boys.”

“Ah, a family tradition.” Nate nodded.

In their congregation, going in with the boys was a rite of passage boys experienced after their ninth birthday. At Sunday worship services men and women sat on opposite sides of the room, and members entered in a specific order, with ministers first, married men next, followed by women with the little ones. Then boys and young men entered as a group, as did girls and young women. Age nine was the time when a boy got to leave his mamm’s side and walk in with the group. It was considered a privilege for a boy like Simon to walk in with the boys--a rite of passage--though their mother had required that they first learn to recite the Loblied, a hymn sung in High German during every service.

“So . . .” Nate clapped his hands together. “You are learning the hymn?”

“Ya,” Simon said solemnly.

“We’ve been practicing,” Adam said. With Simon’s reluctance to speak, it was hard to tell how much of the hymn the boy had learned.

“Gut. You keep working, Simon,” Nate advised. “Practice until you hear the song in your heart, ya?”

Simon nodded, his shiny hair bobbing.

Nate lifted his bearded chin, his dark eyes scanning the room. “Our work here is done, though I can’t say as much for the women in the kitchen. Last I heard, Betsy was making another chocolate cake.”

“You can never have too much chocolate cake,” Adam said.

“Speak for yourself.” Nate patted his round belly, his ruddy face relaxed with a gentle smile. “Mary will probably be a while yet in the kitchen. Before you go, I have a problem in the barn I could use your help with. One of the doors is rotting, I think.”

“Let’s have a look,” Adam said with a nod, noticing that Simon, too, was nodding with interest. My shadow, he thought as Uncle Nate uttered “Kumm,” and led the way out to the barn.

When Nate pointed out the wobbly door, Adam extracted his pocketknife and pressed it to the wood. The blade sank right in, like a knife in butter. “Dry rot.”

Simon’s eyes grew round with interest. “Can I try?”

“As long as you’re careful.” Adam handed him the knife, and both men watched as Simon pressed it easily into the soft wood.

“Ya, it’s rotten,” the boy agreed.

Adam tapped the door, then the strip of wood overhead. “The door is fine, but the frame must be changed. The hinges and hardware can probably be saved. If you want, I’ll measure now and cut the wood in my shop.”

“When you have time,” Nate said, tipping his hat back as he watched Simon poke the wood once more. “You’ve got a list of chores as long as the day, and you’re still a young man, Adam. I hear you’ve barely attended one singing since you returned to us. You must give these young women a fair chance to win you over, ya?”

The smile froze on Adam’s face, his jaw aching with regret as he sensed where this conversation was heading. “I can handle the door repair, Nate. You don’t need to worry about my social life.”

“But what of the singings? Will you be attending tomorrow night?” He nodded over at the corner of the barn, where Adam’s teenaged cousins cleaned the stalls. “Ben and Abe are in charge of preparation. You wouldn’t want to disappoint them, ya?”

“Of course not,” Adam agreed, nodding at his cousins, who seemed to be making a game of hockey out of a cow-patty puck. At seventeen and nineteen, Ben and Abe were at the prime age for singings, casual youth events intended to give young people a chance to socialize with other Amish their age. Their age. If Adam attended tomorrow night, he would no doubt be the only person there in his mid-twenties. “But the singings . . . they’re not for me, Uncle.”

Nate’s mouth puckered. “How else will you find a wife?”

It’s hard to find something when you’re not looking for it, Adam thought as he rubbed his clean-shaven jaw. He didn’t want to be disrespectful to his uncle, who had kept their farm running for the past year. Hardy, genial Nate King was a gifted farmer who could turn a handful of soil into a bag of beans, seemingly in the blink of an eye. Whenever Adam had a question about the farm, Nate had the answers and explanations as to why potatoes were too labor-intensive to grow or when it was safe to put tomato plants in the ground. Nate’s support was a blessing. But pressure like this . . . this Adam could live without.

“Was denkscht?” Nate prodded in the language used in conversation among Amish. “What are you thinking? Perhaps you already have someone in mind . . . a courtship I’m not aware of? I know, it’s none of my business, but in some ways it is. If your father were alive, he would have had this talk with you long ago, ya?”

“Uncle Nate . . .” Adam paused when he glanced down and saw that his younger brother was hanging on their every word. “Simon, do you want to see if Ruthie is still out by the pond with the others? I’m sure you could borrow a pair of ice skates.”

Simon shook his head. The boy was staying right here.

“Adam?” Nate prodded. “Are you trying to change the subject?”

“That would be great.”  When his uncle squinted critically, Adam added, “Just trying to be honest.”

Nate’s low chuckle was full of mirth. “I appreciate that, but I do worry about you, Adam. Gott will provide, but we must have our eyes open to see His gifts. What you’re doing, trying to manage a family without a wife, it’s like trying to plow your fields without a horse. Everything is one hundred times more difficult.”

Adam grinned at his uncle’s inadvertent comparison between wives and plow horses. “Ich vershteh,” Adam said. “I understand what you’re saying. But right now, I’m not interested in going through courtship.”

Besides the fact that he felt far too old to parti...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1460 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B008NX2B9O
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4X74E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,790 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Adam King left the Amish several years ago during his rumspringa, but always intended to return home someday, but never knowing the right time to walk away from his successful woodworking business in the "English" world. When he learns his parents were murdered in their buggy and his little brother was a witness, Adam immediately boards a train and knows it is time to return home for good and raise his 10 brothers and sisters and keep the family farm running. On the train, Adam meets Remy returning from being forced from her school by her unemotionally attached father who cares very little for her. Together they half share their stories and make a connection. They go their separate ways, only a year later to meet at a farmers market for a brief moment and sparking a conection.

Remy, a journalist decides she wants to do a follow up story on the King murders and tries to track down Adam at another farmers market only to collapse with a seizure in front of his family and ends up going to stay with the King family for a few days because of her inability to drive and nowhere else to go. Remy feels a real connection with the King's and her and Adam have something they try to deny, but Adam is Amish and baptized now and can't fall for an Englisher. Remy returns home with an insider look at the murders and tragedy and grief the family, especially the grief the little brother is going through, but is unwilling to use the information without Adam's permission so she drives out to the farm againto get permission, but is weary of how to approach the subject of her job. A snow storm begans and Remy is stuck at the house again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable Novel! March 31, 2012
This was the first Rosalind Lauer novel I read; I had ordered A SIMPLE SPRING through the VINE program and once it arrived, I realized that it was part two of the Seasons of Lancaster novels. So, I had to order A SIMPLE WINTER from the local library. Readers must read A SIMPLE WINTER first, then A SIMPLE SPRING. Otherwise, you may sit and wonder about what they're talking a about and some of the pieces of A SIMPLE SPRING won't fit as well.

This novel focuses on Rebecca, known as Remy, an English woman who works for her very controlling father at a newspaper...oh and by the way, her father (whom she calls by his first name since nothing about him is paternal) owns the paper, as well as many other huge money-making machines. All Remy wants to do is find her own path, but Herb (her father) keeps trying to push her into his idea of what she needs to be. Herb has been married three times; this newest stepmother of Remy wants nothing to do with being her stepmother. Remy's mother died when she was very young; she really wishes she had a family. None of her father's money - he purchased her an apartment, car, and of course, gave her the newspaper job - none of this is filling the emptiness that Remy feels.

She receives a job assignment to write a story on a crime, nearly a year old of a double-murder in Lancaster. While doing this job, she learns about the way that the Amish live and becomes close to the King family, whose parents were killed, and to Simon, the young son (he was eight at the time) who was with his parents at the time of the murder.

OK, that's enough of the story! I don't like to spoil things for potential readers.....grab this book and read it.....then grab A SIMPLE SPRING. I'm sure that Lauer will be writing A SIMPLE SUMMER pretty soon, if she's not already working on it!

Definitely a recommended read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book very much July 14, 2014
A thoroughly enjoyable and believable story; albeit somewhat predictable. I think I read too many mystery novels because I was able to identify the murderer the moment he was introduced. This is not a knock on the author, it's just that, for some reason I said, "he's the murderer". I don't know why, I just knew. Too many Agatha Christie novels, I guess. Anyway, I enjoyed the book very much. I have read a few other stories of Englishers becoming Amish because of falling in love with an Amish person and many of them made no sense. In this instance Remy's embrace of the Amish lifestyle made sense because she "fell in love" with the lifestyle first. She found a simple joy and peace within the King family that she had never known and wanted to find out more. The Plain life seemed to provide something that had been missing, seemingly all of her life, a sense of belonging. This was BEFORE anything happened between her and Adam. As was expected, "things" progressed between her and Adam but then there was a silly contrived, senseless, and totally predictable split with Adam which is why I only gave it 4 stars. The story of her conversion though, hangs together and makes sense because she then returns to investigate the life within the Amish community for herself and to see if it was for her, separate of any feelings for Adam. A very good read, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book November 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm in the middle of this book now and so far it's been really good. Just finished the book "A Simple Autumn" on my kindle. Should have read this book 1st but didn't know and that book was really good, so I have no reason to think this book won't end just as good as it started or the other book was. Highly recommend to anyone that likes these kind of books.
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