Author Post by Susan Lantz Simpson

Is there something that you truly love to do but can’t seem to find the time to do it? I have always enjoyed needlework and used to knit and crochet. When my daughters were small, I knitted sweaters, mittens, and even bunny slippers for them. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time recently to indulge in this relaxing, enjoyable hobby. I must have at least five projects in various stages of production stuffed in bags in a closet. I’ve promised them I will complete them – one day.

When a friend introduced me to her alpacas and the beauty of alpaca fleece, my longing to retrieve my knitting needles soared to new heights. I love watching the alpacas in the field and talking to the ones that approach the fence. I knew they would somehow have to end up in one of my stories. And I could spend hours in my friend’s little alpaca store where she sells the warmest and softest socks, gloves, scarves, sweaters, and blankets made out of – you guessed it – alpaca fleece. I have purchased already-constructed items, but I have also selected skeins of fleece. I will knit that scarf, even if it takes me forever!

In The Promise, Phoebe Yoder is an accomplished knitter and enjoys creating useful but lovely gifts for her family and friends. She has fallen in love with her English neighbor, Dori Ryland’s, alpacas and hopes to one day own some of the adorable, prissy-looking animals of her own. Dori introduces Phoebe to the alpacas and teaches her all about raising and caring for them. She introduces Phoebe to knitting with alpaca fleece.

Working with Dori and knitting help Phoebe focus on something other than her family’s nightmare that she believes she has caused and on her inability to forgive herself. The alpacas give Phoebe a sense of purpose and peace. They also bring her closer to Ben Miller, who is as crazy about the alpacas as she is. Will their love of the quirky, fuzzy-headed animals lead them to a different kind of love? You will have to read The Promise to discover the answer!

My friend Dana’s alpacas

Photo Credit: Holly Mackesy

In the beautiful spring warmth of Southern Maryland’s Amish country, love always finds a way to bloom . . .

Like most Amish young women, Phoebe Yoder has dreams—but not of a courtship—at least not yet. She dreams of caring for the tender-hearted alpacas at her Englischer neighbor’s farm, and learning the business herself. But that longing falls away the moment her baby sister goes missing. In that horrifying instant, desperate for her sister’s safe return, she whispers a promise to Gott: she will give up her dreams and marry Micah Graber, a man she doesn’t love, but who is determined to make her his wife.

Benjamin Miller hasn’t been back in Southern Maryland for long before he meets Phoebe and begins to imagine what a fine life they could build together—beginning with an alpaca farm of their own. But he can see that Phoebe’s brash vow is all she will consider, no matter what her heart wants. As Ben falls for her gentle manner and sweet, sad eyes, he comes to understand his daunting task: to convince Phoebe that together, they can make a new promise that will never be broken . . .