It was a week before our show, You Can't Take it With You, opened and both casts were relaxing, awaiting our time to take the stage and perform. Times like that are perfect for getting to know your fellow cast mates. I turned to Jennifer and asked, "So, what do you do when you're not up on stage?"
I didn't expect her response.
"I write novels."
Not that she's not capable, but it's not everyday you run into, not only a fellow author, but a very successful one at that.
Turns out, the person playing my character's wife in the other cast has published seventeen novels. It's such a huge accomplishment. I asked what genre she writes. She responded Amish romance. Over the past couple of years, I've gotten to know quite a few local authors. I had not heard of her--probably due to the genre. You can count the number of romances I've read on one hand, and you can count the number of Amish romances I've read on no hands. Like she said, I'm "not in her demographic."
The next night, she brought me a couple of books to read and I gave her my collection of short stories. Last week I finished reading the second book in the Honeybee Sisters series, A Bee in Her Bonnet." I enjoyed it very much.
Yes, it's not my typical read, but well-written literature is enjoyable, no matter the topic. A Bee in Her Bonnet continues the adventures of the Christner Sisters, Lily, Poppy, and Rose. The second book in the series focuses mainly on the second sister, Poppy. She's head-strong, determined, and doesn't take guff from anyone. The story begins with Poppy's hand being caught in a rolled-up car window as she rides her bike. The hoodlums in the car begin driving away leaving Poppy in a precarious position.
Along comes Luke Bontrager, Poppy's neighbor and someone who is as head-strong, determined and non-guff-taking as Poppy. He saves Poppy from the baddies, to which he thinks Poppy would be grateful.
She's upset because she didn't get a good look at the boys in the car. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not familiar with romance novels or Amish history, but Beckstrand brought the world alive to me. We pretty much know the main characters (who can't stand each other in the beginning...) will find each other irresistible by the end. It is, however, a fun journey. There's humor mixed with understandable conflict as the two learn about each other and about themselves.
In addition to the budding love affair, there runs an undercurrent of mischief brought on my mystery troublemakers. That part of the story remains unresolved by the end of the second book. So, if you like romances, and/or Amish romances, you'll like Beckstrand's fun, sometimes funny story of these Wisconsin Amish sisters. And if you've never read anything like this, take it from me, you'll probably like it, too.