The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Entertainment

October 15, 2012

Amish Christmas focus of author’s 50th novel

BLOOMSBURG — The current popularity of all things Amish apparently took both book publishers and the Amish themselves by surprise. “Three years ago, a top publisher of Christian fiction was widely quoted as saying the interest in Amish fiction had passed,” said local author Martha Johnson, who writes as Marta Perry. “But the genre is still growing, with more books released every month. Perhaps in an age of instant communication, 24 hour news, and fast-paced technology, readers enjoy escaping into a quiet, close-knit community that seems content to turn its back on the speed of modern life.”

Johnson’s 50th published book, “Naomi’s Christmas,” the seventh book in her best-selling Pleasant Valley series, is the story of an Amish beekeeper whose life is rocked by changes in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Her protagonist, Naomi Esch, finds that even the worst upsets can sometimes lead to unexpected joys.

Johnson will sign copies of her latest book at Cloak and Dragon Bookstore in Bloomsburg from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.

The book also includes information on how the Amish celebrate Christmas, recipes for favorite Pennsylvania Dutch cookies, and directions for making a Christmas craft.

Drawing on her own Pennsylvania Dutch family roots and a lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania, the Main Township resident enjoys using the local area as an inspiration for her settings. Johnson has created both the Pleasant Valley Amish series for Berkley Books and an Amish-set suspense series for HQN Books. More than 5 million copies of her books are in print.

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