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Amish Apple Harvest (PAPERBACK)

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Paperback, Book 11 The Amish Bonnet Sisters

As harvest time approaches, Levi evaluates the apple orchard's future.
Favor is tired of being overlooked and ignored, and so does something that shocks everyone. Meanwhile, one of the girls has another surprise entirely.
Will Cherish make the right decision when she learns the success of the harvest is in her hands? How will this impact on Florence's goals to gain back control of the orchard?
Two of the sisters have found love, but will one of their boyfriends be tempted by the surprise visitor staying with the girls?

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Chapter 1.
“Hmm, this is from Florence.” 
It was after breakfast when Cherish heard Levi’s booming voice coming from downstairs while she was still upstairs in her bedroom. She wondered what he was talking about. What was from Florence?
She stopped brushing her hair and tossed the brush onto her bed, twisted her hair into a rope and hastily pinned it up, donned her kapp, and tiptoe-raced to the top of the stairs so she could hear better. 
“From Florence? Are you sure it’s not addressed to me?” asked Mamm.
“Nee. It clearly says Mr. Levi Bruner on the envelope, and all it says on the back of the envelope is that it’s from Florence Braithwaite. No return address.”
“That’s because we know where she lives. Go on, open it and see what she says. I don’t know why she didn’t come here and talk to you herself. It’s madness to send a letter when she’s living right next door. Don’t you think so?”
Levi was quiet for a moment. “It depends what it says.”
“Hurry and look,” Mamm urged. 
“Give me a moment. Where’s that letter opener?”
“I’ll get it. It’s got to be around here somewhere.”
Cherish wondered why Levi couldn’t open the envelope without an opener. Then, she recalled all the nicks and cuts on his fingers from something he’d been doing in the orchard. She didn’t remember what.
There was some clattering and some banging, then she heard paper being ripped. After a few silent seconds, Levi said, “Remember the other day, Wilma, how we talked about selling the orchard?”
Cherish was horrified. Selling the orchard? Who did he talk with about selling the orchard? Not them. Not her sisters, and not herself. 
“Jah, what of it?” Mamm asked.
“Typical,” Cherish said under her breath. They’d been discussing selling the orchard. That was something Cherish thought would never happen and it shouldn’t. The orchard should’ve been passed on through the family through the generations. Not treated as something to sell like one would sell a used buggy.
Levi spoke again, “Florence is saying she and Carter will buy it if we ever wanted to sell.”
Florence was inquiring about buying the orchard. If she bought it, then that wouldn’t be too bad. Who better to take over the orchard? At least it would be run efficiently.
Then it was Mamm’s turn to speak. After a loud scoffing sound from the back of her throat, she said, “They must have bags of money. They bought the Jenkins’ place too, and I’ve heard it cost them a fortune for Eric Brosley to prepare the ground for them at their place, and for Eric and his men to plant their whole orchard. I heard that Carter didn’t even lift a finger, and neither did Florence.”
Mamm was hardly being fair. Florence had been pregnant back then and Carter was running his corporation. If they had enough money, why wouldn’t they pay workers?
“Jah, but the Jenkins’ orchard is small compared to ours. Would they pay the kind of money we’d want?”
Irritation rippled through Cherish. Her father never would’ve dreamed that his beloved orchard would fall into another man’s hands. And, Levi of all people—that was even worse.
“I’m sorry, Wilma, but I wouldn’t sell to Florence and her husband. You don’t think I should, do you?” Levi asked Wilma.
“Nee. Not likely.” 
Cherish was troubled when she noticed Levi had said, he wouldn't sell to Florence, and asked did Mamm think he should sell. He didn’t say we. Had Mamm handed over the entire orchard to him? Was it solely in his name? No one had ever talked about things like that with her or her siblings. If it was true, it was a dreadful thing for the entire family. A true disaster.
“What are you doing?” Favor had crept up on Cherish where she’d been listening at the top of the stairs. 
Cherish turned and scowled at her. “Shh. I’m listening in.”
“To who?” Favor whispered back. 
“Just be quiet so I can hear.” Now they were both crouched down listening to their mother and stepfather. 
Wilma continued, “We should find out what this place is worth.”
“What place?” Favor whispered in Cherish’s ear.
“This place—Dat’s orchard, our orchard.”
“Jah, now keep quiet so we can hear the rest.”
“I’ll come up with a plan,” Levi said, “If I do sell, I’ll need a place to put the money.”
Cherish scowled. He was talking about the money that should be going to her and her siblings. 
Favor nudged Cherish. “It’s not his to sell.”
“That’s the thing. It might be.”
“Nee. It wouldn’t be.”
“He’s talking like it’s his. How do we find out for certain?” Cherish whispered back. 
“There must be some kind of paperwork around here somewhere, if it’s official that Mamm signed it over.”
“Good thinking, Favor. We need to have a look around when they go out, and see what we can find.”
“Nee, that wouldn’t be right.”
Cherish frowned at her sister trying to be good. “That boat has already left the shore with things being done right around here. What’s not right is Levi having anything to do with the orchard, so it’s even worse if he owns it, don’t you think? It should be ours. We should all own the orchard, or just Mamm should. What’s it got anything to do with him?”
“Sounds like you dislike Levi.”
“Of course I don’t.”
“Oh, Cherish, that’s so sad.”
“I said, I DON’T dislike him,” Cherish hissed, still trying to be quiet so they wouldn't be overheard.
“I know what you really mean.”
“No you don’t. Not exactly.” Cherish had no time for arguing, and why should she like anyone her mother married? It wasn’t as though her opinion had been sought before her mother had married him. 
She brought her finger up to her mouth signaling for her sister to be quiet. Then she noticed there was no more talk coming from downstairs. Cherish walked partway down the stairs, with Favor quickly deciding to follow, and they saw there was no one in the living room now. Levi and Wilma must’ve moved to the kitchen. 
Favor and Cherish both crept down the remaining stairs, crossed the living room, and stopped out of sight at the kitchen doorway. 
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to sell. What would we do?” asked Wilma amidst the sound of clanging plates. 
“When we visited the expert, my eyes were opened to how much work an orchard is. Particularly one like this, one of this size. It’s not just work at harvest time. It’s work year 'round. We haven’t been keeping up.”
“We kept telling him that,” Favor whispered. 
Cherish nodded to Favor.
“The girls haven’t been out there every day collecting the windfall apples. They only do it when they feel like it.”
“That’s my fault I suppose. I’ll have to keep on at them about it.”
“You shouldn’t have to, Wilma. They should do it themselves.”
“Florence had to tell them every day and she checked on them to make sure it was done,” Mamm said.
“I can’t do it all, Wilma. Neither can you. You have the household to run. They’re old enough to know their responsibilities and do their assigned chores without us constantly telling them. We’ll have to work out what this place would be worth before we think about it further.”
“Ach, good idea, Levi.”
Cherish wasn’t surprised that her mother’s idea of moments ago had now become Levi’s.
Then their mother and Levi went on to talking about something else entirely. 
Cherish grabbed Favor’s arm and pulled her out the front door, closing it softly, and walking until they were well clear of the house. “We have to tell Joy and see what she thinks.” 
“Jah, let’s. She’ll know what to do.”
They hurried through the yard to where Joy and Isaac’s caravan sat behind the barn. When they saw the door was closed, Cherish knocked once and opened it to see a very sleepy-looking Joy in her housecoat lying down on the bed. Isaac had already left for work.
“Joy, get up.”
Joy sat up frowning at them, then stretched her arms over her head and yawned. “What is it?”
“Something dreadful has happened,” Favor said as she followed Cherish in. Both girls sat on the edge of their sister’s bed. 
“Tell me.”
They repeated everything they’d overheard. 
“And, Levi says he wouldn’t sell to Florence and Carter,” Cherish said. “So that’ll mean we’ll all be homeless and the orchard will belong to a stranger. I thought it would stay in the family forever.”
Joy frowned. “This isn’t good. It’s not going to be as easy as that horse we got Fairfax to buy when it was really for Florence and Carter. We can’t do that with something as big as an orchard. When will he look for a buyer? Is he just thinking about it, or is he actively looking for a buyer right now?”
“Who would know with Levi?” Favor said.
“Favor’s right. He can change his mind really quick. He said he wants to find out what the place is worth.”
“Should we go see Florence and tell her of Levi’s reaction to her letter?”
“Should we?” Cherish asked. 
“It can’t hurt and it might help them,” said Joy. “Let’s go.” 
As soon as Joy got herself dressed, the girls set off across the Baker Apple Orchard to the next-door property. 
“I can't wait until Hope finds out about this. I wonder what she'll have to say about it.” Favor tried to keep up with the others.
Over her shoulder, Cherish said, “She’d be just as upset about it as the rest of us. But we shouldn't mention it to Bliss because it involves her vadder.”
“She'll find out eventually,” said Favor.
“Jah, but we shouldn't let her know how upset it makes us. She’ll get so worried that she’ll need to talk with someone about it and that someone will either be Mamm or Levi. She has no other friends apart from us.”
“And Adam,” Favor said. 
“Jah, the man she stole from me.”
“Oh, Cherish,” Joy said, “She didn’t steal Adam.”
Cherish closed her lips tightly together. Then she changed her mind. People should know the truth. “I know I did wrong and I confessed it to Bliss. Adam Wengerd only came back to this community because of the letter I wrote pretending to be Bliss. I was the true author of the letter, not Bliss. By the time she’d gotten around to telling him the truth, he’d committed himself to her.” Cherish groaned. “It’s a shame he’s such an honorable man. He didn’t want to hurt Bliss. And that’s the true reason he’s with her now.”
“Stop it, Cherish!” Joy said. “That’s not true. They are well suited and while the letter might’ve drawn him back, it was Bliss herself and her sweet nature that he fell in love with.”
“And it serves you right too,” Favor added. “Your deception didn’t work for you this time even though it usually does.”
“Why are you two being so hateful toward me? It’s so unfair.” Cherish stomped ahead of them both.
Her sisters giggled at her, which made her even crosser. Once they reached the dividing fence between the two properties, Cherish had calmed down. She held the wires apart and each girl slipped through. Then Joy held the wires for her.
To throw attention off herself, Cherish brought up Bliss again. “It's weird how Bliss has got a close relationship now with Mamm. You’d think Mamm was her true mudder.”
“And isn’t that good?” asked Joy. “It's nice for her to have that relationship with another woman since her own mother died.”
Cherish agreed even though deep down she was resentful of her stepsister’s relationship with their mother. Mamm always blamed Cherish for everything bad that went on, whereas Bliss could do no wrong in Mamm’s eyes. It just wasn't fair.
“Does Hope know about Levi wanting to sell the orchard?” Joy asked.
“Nee. I don’t think so. We’ll tell her when she gets home from work.”
“Ach,” said Joy. “She probably won't even care. All she's thinking about these days is Fairfax.”
“Jah,” Cherish agreed. “Fairfax this, Fairfax that. I wish Fairfax never lived next door.” 
Joy said, “You're only saying that because he liked Hope rather than you.”
Favor giggled. “You threw yourself at him too, as well as Adam, and a few others that I won’t even mention.”
“I never did. Fairfax was just a friend. Even he’ll tell you that. Sure, he’s handsome, but I never said to anyone that I liked him. It’s nothing like how I feel about Adam. I saw him and I put my claim on him and Bliss knew it. She was right there beside me.”
“Enough nonsense talk,” Joy said. “Let’s just concentrate on why we’re going to see Florence.” 
Cherish wasn’t happy about keeping quiet. She was still annoyed by Favor’s words. She had to put her straight. “Besides, Favor, Fairfax was an Englisher and why would I have wanted one of those?”
“He’s not now,” Favor said. “Well, officially, he won’t be soon.”
“Both of you be quiet,” Joy said as they approached Florence and Carter’s cottage. 
“I think he’s nice,” said Favor. “Really nice.” 
“He is,” said Joy. “Now, Cherish, when we get inside, you talk first. You were the one who overheard what was said.”
“Okay. Carter’s car is here. That means they’re home.” Cherish ran in front of them and leaped up onto the porch without her foot touching the two front steps. Then she banged on the door before she gave thought that baby Iris might be asleep. 
Carter opened the door, looking at each of them in turn.

FAQs Series Reading Order


Book 1 Amish Mercy

Book 2 Amish Honor

Book 3 A Simple Kiss

Book 4 Amish Joy

Book 5 Amish Family Secrets

Book 6 The Englisher

Book 7 Missing Florence

Book 8 Their Amish Stepfather

Book 9 A Baby For Florence

Book 10 Amish Bliss

Book 11 Amish Apple Harvest

Book 12 Amish Mayhem

Book 13 The Cost of Lies

Book 14 Amish Winter of Hope

Book 15 A Baby For Joy

Book 16 The Amish Meddler

Book 17 The Unsuitable Amish Bride

Book 18 Her Amish Farm

Book 19 The Unsuitable Amish Wedding

Book 20 Her Amish Secret

Book 21 Amish Harvest Mayhem

Book 22 Amish Family Quilt

Book 23 Hope's Amish Wedding

Book 24 A Heart of Hope

Book 25 A Season for Change

Book 26 Amish Farm Mayhem

Book 27 The Stolen Amish Wedding

Book 28 A Season for Second Chances

Book 29 A Change of Heart

Book 30 The Last Wedding

Book 31 Starting Over

Book 32 Love and Cherish

Book 33 Amish Neighbors

Book 34 Her Amish Quilt

Book 35 A Home of Their Own

Book 36 A Chance for Love

Book 37 Her Amish Wish

Book 38 Amish Harvest Time

Book 39 Whispers of Change

Book 40 Her Hopeful Heart

Book 41 Return to Love's Promise

Book 42 Amish Circle of Blessings