Want to escape the intense heat of the late Texas summer? I did, without leaving our Midlothian climate.

The temperatures are cooler in Shipshewana, Indiana, where author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components readers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last pages of the book.

On her interesting Website, vannettachapman.com, the author describes, “birthing a book,” posts free giveaways on her blog and recommends fiction she enjoys reading. Chapman writes, “The first thing you need to know about me is that I write fiction full of GRACE. Every plot is different. The characters change. Some of my books are mysteries, others are novellas, and some are romances. But they all are stories of light, hope, and truth. Stories that at least for a moment touch the deepest places in our heart.”

The Shipshewana three-book series will take you to a quilt shop where English and Amish characters encounter murder and romance, while the author weaves just enough of each character’s story into the book to keep the reader’s interest throughout the trilogy. The Pebble Creek series focuses on an Amish school teacher and the challenges from the English world on the historic community.

Numerous awards from Golden Quill, Carol Awards and Southern Magic writing organizations speak to the quality of Chapman’s work for the Christian fiction genre.

I found her research and detailed writing of the “plain” ways of the Amish culture to be fascinating.

She is a master at inserting faith-filled encouragement without quoting scripture or spouting judgment in her dialogue. Her characters even surprise the reader with unpredictable behavior that changes the course of the plot. And, it is pleasantly snowing in the Indiana Amish countryside while Texas is still inching past the sunny century-mark on the heat index.

Chapman’s seven novels are available at Meadows Library, and in print and eBook form from retailers.  Each book tells a story that involves family and community. Her characters are not perfect, but seem more like real people, each given opportunities to rediscover hope.


Susie Casstevens serves as the librarian for the AH Meadows Public and High School Library. Contact Susie at 972-775-3417 ext 1061 or visit the web at library.midlothian-isd.net