• Books

    Friday is THE Day!

    My debut novel, Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise, launches this Friday, December 1!

    What am I doing about it? Well, to be honest, Friday I’ll be going to work at the newspaper I manage. Hey, gotta keep the lights on, right?

    But Saturday is another thing! On Saturday, I have an author event at Kerns Home & Garden Christian Bookstore Christmas Open House & Book Signing! My book will be available for sale, and I’ll be signing copies. (This seems very strange; I haven’t been asked for an autograph since I played Ursula the Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid!)

    Kern’s is located at 2438 Canton Rd., Akron, Ohio. I’ll be there from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., so if you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello! There will be five other terrific Christian authors signing their books as well! We’d all love to meet you.

    I’m not entirely sure what to expect this first time, but I’m feeling optimistic!

    And for an extra measure of fun, I’ll be holding a drawing for a tiny painting of the sweet orange kitty from my book, Ginger Snap! All you have to do is sign my notebook and leave me your email. Eventually, I plan to launch a newsletter, and the folks who give me their emails will be the first to get that.

    Just remember, I’m a writer, not a painter, Jim! (Extra points if you get the Star Trek reference!)

    Here is the painting I’ll be giving away at Saturday’s event! I hope to see you Saturday at Kern’s in Akron! And if you can’t make it, please consider going to, or Books a, or Barnes &, or (possibly the best deal!), and purchasing Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise. And if you love it, please leave me a review at, or Good

    Thanks! Hope to meet you Saturday!

  • Books,  My Writing Journey

    Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise Releases Three Weeks from Friday!

    Ruth's Ginger Snap Surprise

    From the “Heart of the Amish” series, published by Barbour Publishing, comes Book Two of the series, which launched in September with Mindy Steele’s wonderful book, “The Flower Quilter”, which is set in Shipshewana, Indiana.

    “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” is the second book in the series, and takes place in the fictional town of Willow Creek, in the real Holmes County, Ohio.

    This is my first published book, and I couldn’t be more excited. It seems as if every day I get more thrilling information from my publisher about this amazing journey.

    Most recently, I learned that my book will be part of a blog tour in a partnership between Barbour Publishing and Celebrate Lit!

    “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” will be featured by a different Celebrate Lit blogger every day from December 9 to December 22!

    I’ll post the blog post from the previous day each day during that period here, on my blog.

    I’m so honored that all these people are going to read my book, and then take the time to post about it. Hopefully, they’ll all like it!

    Here is a list of the bloggers who will feature my book on their popular blogs for a day:

    You can read more about this very cool, online book tour, at

    Ouch! (That was just me, pinching myself again to make sure this is all real!)

    Have you pre-ordered your copy of “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” yet? It’s available from a number of places, including, Barbour Publishing,,,, Barnes &, and in Christian bookstores! And I just discovered that my second book in the series, “Mary’s Calico Hope”, is ALSO available for pre-order. I’d be honored if you picked up a copy.

    I’m doing a happy dance! 🙂

  • Books

    New Amish Romance, “Ruth’s Gingersnap Surprise”, Releases December 1 from Barbour Publishing!

    Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise, book two in the new Heart of the Amish series from Barbour Publishing, Releases Digitally Nov. 15; and in Print December 1!

    Countdown to Book Release Day Has Begun!

    As a brand new author looking forward to the release of my debut novel, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise”, everything is new to me! I keep hearing other authors, my agent, my editors and the wonderful folks I’ve met on various reading sites talk about terms that are unfamiliar to me.

    Getting a book published involves a steep learning curve.

    One of the things I recently learned about was the author’s street team.

    Don’t know what that is? Neither did I until recently! An author’s street team is a group of lovely people willing to take the risk of reading a book by an author – in this case, a totally unknown author, me! – and then going online to various sites and reviewing the book.

    It’s one thing if you’re reviewing the latest from your favorite author; but in this case, for all these folks know, it could be terrible! (I promise, it’s NOT!)

    Exciting developments! The wonderful Connie Spradling Lynch from the Keeping Up With The Amish group on Facebook, has helped me put together my very first “street team”.

    To these brave, selfless souls, I say THANK YOU! Because getting reviews (hopefully positive) out into the world as a book releases is essential to the success of that book.

    It motivates Amazon and other such sites to keep that book in front of the public eye. It may influence readers who have never, ever heard of an author to take a risk on their book.

    The Street Team doesn’t pay for the book; and when they review it, they say so clearly – that they’ve been given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    That being said, if you are someone who, despite never having read anything I’ve ever written before, decides to purchase my book, and you love it? Please go leave a nice review at, and maybe a few other places.

    If you hate it – say nothing! (Hee hee!)

    Hopefully the fact that my agent and editors liked my book means most of you will, too. But you never know! Right?

    Do you think I may have a case of first-time-author jitters? I really think I do!

    Only nine more weeks until my book releases online, and 11 until it releases in print!

    Oh boy oh boy! The Countdown has BEGUN!

  • Books

    Heart of the Amish Book One Releases Sept. 1!

    Mindy Steel’s “The Flower Quilter” Available now for Pre-order!

    I know I’ve mentioned – a few times, lol! – that my very first published book, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise”, is part of a brand new Amish romance series soon to release from Barbour Publishing – right?

    Well, if you’ve missed that fact, tune in! I’m one of three lucky authors of Amish romance to be chosen to write two books each (so far – we’re all hoping for more!) in this series, which is called “Heart of the Amish”.

    My sister authors are both well-known Amish romance writers, with a number of published books to their credit. They are Mindy Steele and Lisa Jones Baker.

    Mindy has the first book in the series, which will be released in paperback on September 1. Here is the link to her book, “The Flower Quilter“.

    I’m reading the book now, and will soon do a review of it here, and in other useful places!

    Here is a synopsis of Mindy’s book:

    “Barbara Schwartz was born into a family of quilters, but she would rather eat dirt than partake in another quilting frolic or sew on another binding. When her parents send her to Indiana to help her grandmother in her quilting shop, she finds herself amongst a very different community. It’s only one summer and then she will be back in Kentucky where she belongs.

    Melvin Bontrager’s world stopped six years ago when his parents died. Now when his only means of providing for his widowed sister and niece is threatened, Melvin finds his landscaping business disappearing too. When spring delivers a newcomer who is immune to his salty moods, Melvin does something he has never done before, accepts help. 

    What blooms is the last thing Barbara ever expected, and everything Melvin could ever want.”

    Go pre-order your copy today so you won’t miss out on the first book in this fun new Amish series! Then you’ll be all ready to read mine in November!

    My own book releases in paperback on Dec. 1, but I see it is coming out on Kindle in mid-November! You can find it on, too.

    The third book in the series, “The Quilt Room Secret”, by Lisa Jones Baker, releases in the spring. More on that soon! And then we each get to do a second book! Blessings on blessings.

    To see images of the real Quilt Gardens in Indiana, part of the inspiration for Mindy’s book, check out This image is from that site.

  • Books

    Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise Releases on Kindle Nov. 15!

    Brand new Amish romance author Anne Blackburne’s debut novel releases from Barbour Publishing!

    Hmmm…it seems that this link does not work yet, here…yet I just tested it by purchasing the book myself! It works. If you’re interested, go to and input “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” by Anne Blackburne, and you’ll be taken to the correct page. Sorry the link won’t work here!

    That’s two weeks before it releases in print! I can’t wait. As soon as I have info on book signings in the Southeast and Central Ohio areas, I’ll let you know.

  • Books

    Introducing my Fellow “Heart of the Amish” author, Mindy Steele.

    The Heart of the Amish is a new series coming out soon from Barbour Publishing. The initial six books will be written by three authors, although one of them is still a mystery to me! Hint hint: I’m one of the remaining two!

    My book, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise“, will be published second in the series, releasing on December 1, 2023. I’m also fifth, with my second book, tentatively titled “Mary’s Calico Hope”, releasing in the late summer of 2024. I just signed the contract with Barbour for that one!

    The first author whose book will be released in this series is Mindy Steele, who is already the author of a number of sweet Amish romances. You can find her on

    Mindy’s first book in this series, titled “The Flower Quilter”, promises to be a fun read! It’s about a young woman who is just sick of quilting – and finds herself heading off to – you guessed it! – do more quilting! It will release in September, so be sure to look for it. It promises to be the first book in what I believe will become a popular new Amish series.

    Happy reading!

  • Books

    It’s Cover Reveal Day for “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise”, my new Amish Romance from Barbour Publishing!

    Here it is! My brand new cover for my very first published book, “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise,” available soon from Barbour Publishing.

    As a first time author, I wasn’t sure what to expect in a book cover. We’ve all seen covers we love . . . and some that aren’t so great. My editors at Barbour Publishing chose the artist for my cover, and a few months ago I sent them all the information I could about my characters and their situations to help the artist design something that would work with my vision. Since I had no further input, I resigned myself to accepting with grace whatever I might get in the great cover lottery.

    So imagine how thrilled I was to open my email and find this beautiful cover waiting for me! I couldn’t have imagined anything more perfect. The artist has perfectly captured Ruth’s joy and the comfort she gains from her fluffy pal, Ginger Snap.

    I can’t wait to hold my book in my hands! It will release widely on December 1, and will be available in Christian book stores and mainstream book stores such as Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble, as well as through online outlets such as

    “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” is already available for pre-order in paperback from Soon I’ll have a link for the Kindle version. Here is the link for the paperback, should anyone wish to own it.

    I can’t wait for you to meet Ruth and Jonas in person, and find out how they overcome the roadblocks standing in the way of finding a second chance at romance! You’ll love them, and Jonas’s sweet daughter, Abigail, along with a cast of relatable characters including their elderly friend Lydia and Ruth’s fluffy pal, Ginger Snap!


    Official release date: December 1, 2023