Rosalind Lauer is the author of A Simple Winter, A Simple Spring, A Simple Autumn, and the novella A Simple Crossroads. She grew up in a large family in Maryland and began visiting Lancaster County’s Amish community as a child. Lauer attended Wagner College in New York City and worked as an editor for Simon & Schuster and Harlequin Books. She now lives with her family in Oregon, where she writes in the shade of some towering two-hundred-year-old Douglas fir trees.
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Excerpt from book:
“Don’t leave me.”The woman lifted a withered hand from the white bedsheets, reaching for Haley. “You’re the only one who listens.”
Haley Donovan held the patient’s hand yet again, gently stroking the mottled skin on her wrist. “Mrs. Pendergrass, I would love to stay, but you know I have other patients to take care of.”
“I know that, but you can’t say no to an old woman who needs you. Now, be a doll and get me my handbag from the closet.”
As Haley reached for the purse, her nail caught on a sharp edge of the small cubby, snagging it. She winced as she handed over the bag, her supervisor’s voice haunting her.
Keep your nails trimmed and short. Don’t let your vanity get in the way of patient care.
“What’s the matter, princess?” the old woman asked.
“Nothing.” Haley looked away quickly, not sure what bothered her more--tearing her nail or being called a princess. Was it because of her blond hair? Her long legs? Too much makeup?
People were so quick to stereotype her as a dumb blonde, and the princess thing . . . that just rubbed her the wrong way. Graham had called her princess, and he’d fully intended to take care of her as if she were a queen.
A queen trapped in a castle.
If she had stayed with him, she wouldn’t have to be here now, emptying bedpans, breaking nails, and ducking her supervisor. She would be well rested, well dressed, and well manicured. A fair princess, destined to follow her husband’s decisions and dream his dreams.
No . . . that wasn’t the life Haley wanted. But sometimes she wondered if she was really cut out for hospital work. Patients like Mrs. Pendergrass made Haley wonder if she was doing the right thing, trying to be a nurse. She didn’t mind giving the woman a sponge bath and brushing her hair and listening to her stories of how things used to be. But the woman, who seemed fit as a fiddle, was monopolizing her time. Haley couldn’t do anything to help Mrs. Pendergrass, and with two other patients waiting for care, Haley felt tension mounting.
She wasn’t cut out for this. Already she was a failure in her profession, and she wasn’t even out of nursing school yet.
It seemed to be a pattern in her life now. Failure in love. Failure in school. Failure in life.
No, that wasn’t entirely fair. She was giving it all another try, with some major changes. She’d returned to school and she was trying to make a positive difference in the world.
She tuned in to what her patient was saying, another story about her daughter and grandchildren who had moved to Pittsburgh. Her heart ached for this woman’s loneliness, but if Dr. Swanson found out that Haley had already spent so much time with one patient, she would be in big trouble.
“You won’t want me chattering in here when your show is on. It starts in ten minutes.” Haley showed Mrs. Pendergrass the TV remote and the call button, and then reminded her to drink some water.
“But you’ll come back?” the woman asked, her face awash with worry.
Haley sank her teeth into her lower lip as shePraise for Rosalind Lauer and A Simple Faith
“The lives of four people converge in the wake of a horrific accident in the small Pennsylvania town of Halfway. . . . As the four connect, faith, hope, and love begin to bloom. . . . Lauer’s new Amish series launch is sure to be a hit with fans of her ‘Seasons of Lancaster County’ series.”—Library Journal
“A lovely story of two sweet couples, this story will warm your heart and spirit.”—The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
“Sweet, touching . . . The Amish culture, religion and way of life feel accurately depicted.”—RT Book Reviews
“[Lauer] definitely sets the bar high for Amish romance stories.”—Fresh Fiction, on A Simple Winter