Bookends: Amish novels will be topic at Bridge of Hope luncheon - LancasterOnline: Book Reviews

Bookends: Amish novels will be topic at Bridge of Hope luncheon

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Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 5:15 am

New Amish romance novels are being released every few days, it seems. Some even land on The New York Times’ best-seller list.

Why do so many novelists set their stories in Amish Country? What do the Amish think about becoming the heroes and heroines of Christian fiction?

Valerie Weaver-Zercher, author of “Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels,” and Amish romance writer Linda Byler, author of the Lancaster Burning and other series, will present their perspectives as keynote speakers at The Bridge of Hope National Spring Gala Luncheon.

It is set for 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Palm Court, DoubleTree Lancaster and includes silent auctions in support of the organization working to end and prevent homelessness of single mothers and their children.

For tickets, $40 each or $300 for a table of eight, call 1-800-670-4673 or visit

The authors will be signing books after the event.

Teacher writes self-help book for children

Caleb worries about a lot of things. His hands are often sweaty, his heart is beating quickly, and his stomach is upset.

When Miss White, his fourth-grade teacher, suggests a way to deal with his worries, Caleb isn’t sure it’ll help.

The children’s nonfiction self-help book “Go Away Worries! Put Them in a Worry Jar” is based on events from the life of author Michelle White. With a doctorate in education and experience teaching at both the elementary and college levels, she has successfully used worry jars for many years with both children and adults.

The Lebanon County resident will sign her latest book from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1700-H Fruitville Pike, helping kick off April Educator Appreciation Week there.

White, who injured her spinal cord in a powered-parachute accident and uses a wheelchair, is also the author of other children’s books about overcoming obstacles, “New Opportunities: Spiney the Porcupine” and “ScubAbility.” Learn more at

Civil War writers appearing in Lititz, Gettysburg

The 60,000 lives lost on one battlefield will be the focus when J. David Petruzzi, author of “The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses,” addresses the Lancaster Civil War Round Table at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Road.

His book includes orders of battle for more than three dozen engagements, with synopses, photos of commanders, original full-page maps of the fighting (by co-author Steven Stanley), charts and graphs compiled from primary sources.

He is also co-author with Stanley of “The Complete Gettysburg Guide,” the 2009 recipient of the U.S. Army Historical Foundation’s Award for Excellence, Reference Category. He advised and acted in two television docudramas and was recently selected as historical adviser for the upcoming miniseries “To Appomattox.’’

The program is free to the public; call Micky Kraft by Wednesday for more information: 392-4976.

•Narvon resident J. Arthur Moore will sign the four books in his Journey Into Darkness series of children’s novels about the Civil War from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Gettysburg National Civil War Battlefield Museum’s bookstore. He will also share photographs and talk about the boys who served during the Civil War.

Aaron's Books turns spotlight on local authors

The Local Author Spotlight Night will shine on these writers from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Aaron’s Books, 35 E. Main St., Lititz.

•Hershey resident Laura Barta, author of the children’s book “My China Travel Journal.” It’s the story of two children flying kites with their new Chinese friends, spotting strange vegetables at the market, and renaming their school the Chinese way. The author has lived on four continents and traveled the globe with her children.

•Central Pennsylvania native outdoorsman Robert Miller, author of the thriller, “The Cogan Legend.” It’s about a mysterious stretch of towering hills, swooping trees and narrow roads that claims the life of a young woman whose friend barely escapes with her life, and a lot of guilt as she is unable to recall what happened that fatal day.

•Retired WGAL-TV personality Bill Saylor, of Millersville, author of the memoir “A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to a Career.”

•Rebecca Thatcher Murcia, of Akron, author of “Seeking Saúl: An American Mother’s Journey to Colombia,” about taking her sons to live in their late father’s native Colombia for a year.

Book sale set in Mountville

The Friends of the Mountville Branch Library has a book sale set for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Mountville Church of the Brethren, 60 Clay St. (directly across from the library).

There will be books for all ages at low prices. Parking is free, credit cards are accepted, and refreshments will be on sale. Visit to learn more.

Novelist/memoirist visits E-town

The author of the fiction and nonfiction books “Lawnboy,’’ “Famous Builder,’’ “The Burning House” and “Unbuilt Projects,’’ Paul Lisicky will talk about the craft of writing at 4 p.m. and read from his work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at Bowers Writers House, Elizabethtown College.

Lisicky, who teaches at Shooting for the Moon Spiritual Development Center, Snydersville, has a new memoir, “The Narrow Door,’’ coming from Graywolf Press in 2015.

Pete the Cat is prowling libraries

Pete the Cat costume character will be prowling around the county’s public libraries April 11-19.

The “cool dancing cat’’ is the main character in a series of best-selling children’s picture books written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.

In one of them, “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,” Pete walks down the street in new shoes that change color as he steps in big messes. But it’s all good, as the book asks young readers about the colors of different foods and objects.

The schedule includes Salisbury Township Branch Library, Gap, 10:30 a.m. and Moores Memorial Library, Christiana, 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; Lititz Public Library, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12; Adamstown Area Library, 10 a.m. and Manheim Township Public Library, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15; Manheim Community Library, 10 a.m. and Quarryville Library, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16; Milanof-Schock Library, Mount Joy, 10:30 a.m. and Lancaster Public Library East-Leola Branch, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17; Eastern Lancaster County Library, New Holland, 11 a.m. and Ephrata Public Library, 4 p.m. Friday, April 18 ;and Strasburg-Heisler Library, 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19.

Contact the nearest library to register for a program.

Prospect for gold is topic

Thar’s gold in them thar Pennsylvania hills and other land formations, according to geologist Jeri Jones.

Jones will discuss “Gold in Southeastern Pennsylvania” at a Millersville Area Historical Society meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 12, in the Millersville Municipal Center, 100 Municipal Drive. It’s also the title of a book Jones co-authored with Donald Schmerling.

Jones’ presentation will cover the history of gold in the area, where to look for gold in a stream, what type of geology is needed for gold to be present, and key locations where it has been found here.

The York native, a researcher in earth and space sciences for 34 years, owns Jones Geological Services and is a faculty member at Messiah College and a consultant to several area quarries.

The presentation is free to the public, with donations appreciated. For more information, call Phil Gerber at 872-8837 before 5 p.m. or email him at

Book illustrator talking at PCAD

James Bennett illustrated best-selling picture books by Jerry Seinfeld (“Halloween) and Carl Reiner (“Tell Me a Scary Story, But Not Too Scary”).

The award-winning Bucks County illustrator will talk about his work at noon Tuesday, April 8, in the atrium at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. The event is free to the public.

Bennett also has produced art for a variety of national magazine covers, The New York Times, RCA Records, American Express, Paramount Pictures, Citibank, Hasbro and Milton Bradley.

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