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Posts Tagged ‘Dianne Christner’

Dianne Christner’s New Book, “Covered Bridge Charm,” is Charming.

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The character who often steals the page in Dianne Christner’s new book Covered Bridge Charm is soft and fluffy and full of mischief. Not words commonly used for a handsome, romantic protagonist, but this character isn’t even human–he’s a rabbit–so these descriptions are apt.

The character I fell in love with in this sweet romance is Cocoa, the rescued bunny who provides comic relief and gentle nudgings for the couple who drive the storyline, Carly and Adam. Cocoa is a character close to my heart because he is a rescued animal who has an important role in this delightful book. Cocoa is even featured on the front and back of the book riding in Carly’s bicycle basket.

Although, Covered Bridge Charm is set in Oregon, as I’ve been reading it, images of Union County pop into my mind. First of all, the book features covered bridges. Union County has become a tourist destination for our covered bridges. Joe and I were even lucky enough to have dinner on The Pottersburg Bridge during the 2015 Covered Bridge Bluegrass Festival. So I’m having no trouble bringing the bridge scenery to life in my imagination.

Secondly, the book focuses on Carly’s challenges trying to improve the lives of the residents at the Sweet Life Assisted Living Facility where she works. As soon as I began reading about the people at Sweet Life, I was reminded of Edgewater Place here in Plain City.

The appeal of Covered Bridge Charm is the interwoven storyline of how women across generations face struggles involving faith and independence to find love and happiness–something we can all relate with regardless of our religious upbringing or background. Carly hopes to reunite Martha, a resident of Sweet Life, with her long lost love who she met at one of the local covered bridges when she was a girl. On her quest to find Martha’s old friend, Carly’s relationship with Adam blossoms as they explore the covered bridges seeking answers.

I first learned about Dianne Christner’s writing a few years ago when she wrote a series of books that were set right here in Plain City, Ohio. The drugstore even got a mention in the second book in the series, Something New!

The books, a trilogy called Plain City Bridesmaids, feature Mennonite characters and a love story set against a Mennonite background. The tag line for the series is: “Fall in Love the Mennonite Way.”

Christner, who currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, was raised Mennonite and uses her memories of her former way of life to make her stories ring true.

Like Christner’s other books, Covered Bridge Charm is a warm romance that invites readers into a world of faith and family and a view of falling in love “the Mennonite way.” Even if you were not raised in a Mennonite church, many of the situations and characters will feel very familiar.

To find out more about Dianne Christner, visit her web site HERE or her blog HERE. Her blog contains a recent posting about how she came up with the ideas for Covered Bridge Charm. Read it HERE.

You can also read about all of Dianne Christner’s books including the series, Plain City Bridesmaids, on her Facebook page HERE.

Buy your copy of Covered Bridge Charm by going HERE.

I want to thank Dianne for sending me a copy of Covered Bridge Charm. It was a wonderful surprise to find a book in the mail–probably the best surprise anyone could send to me. I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in Carly and Cocoa’s lives and cannot wait for more charming adventures from Dianne’s imagination.

“Something Blue” is Book Three in the Plain City Bridemaids Series.

Just this week, I received my copy of Dianne Christner’s new book, Something Blue, in the mail. The official launch date is August 1, so I always feel a guilty pleasure about reading a book that is not available yet to the rest of the world. I have to thank Dianne for affording me this lovely luxury!

Something Blue follows the story of Megan Weaver, the third member of the “Three Bean Salad” who we were introduced to with her friends Katy Yoder and Lil Landis in Something Old and Something New, the first two books in the Plain City Bridesmaids series.

These stories are lovely romances that invite readers into a world of faith and family and a view of falling in love “the Mennonite way.” Set here in Plain City, the books feature many landmarks recognizable to anyone who has journeyed our highways and back roads (Something Blue even includes the July Fourth parade downtown!). The books also bring to life many characters that Plain City residents will find familiar, even if they were not raised in the Mennonite church.

The stories’ appeal, however, beyond the setting and the interesting lead ladies, lies in the common struggles each young woman faces to find love and happiness–battles that all of us encounter regardless of our faith or background.

Megan Weaver’s struggle is presented in the choice she must make between two men in her life–the new interim pastor of Big Darby Conservative Mennonite Church, Micah Zimmerman, who she has an unsettling past with, or the non-Mennonite missionary pilot, Chance Campbell, who acts as her temporary boss at Char Air, the charity airlines she works for. With Micah, Megan will stay within the bounds of her Mennonite family and church. With Chance, she will fly off on new adventures well beyond the Mennonite world.

I think it is telling that Dianne chooses the names she does for the two men: Micah means “one who is like God,” while Chance definitely is a big chance, a leap into the unknown.

I am happy to now know the stories of all three of Dianne’s Plain City bridesmaids. I can’t wait to see where Dianne’s writing will go from here. Will she stay in Plain City, Ohio, following the characters we have grown to love? Or will she lead us on other magical journeys to places a bit farther from home?

In any case, I’ll be waiting for her next book–no matter where it takes me.

You can read the review I wrote about the second book in the series, Something New HERE.

And “Like” Dianne and The Plain City Bridesmaids series on Facebook HERE.

Author, Dianne Christner, Will Be at a Book Signing Event at Der Dutchman on April 21!

Dianne Christner, author of the Plain City Bridesmaids series that is set here in Plain City, will be stopping in Plain City to promote the series’ first two books, Something Old and Something New. She will be available to sign books from 5 pm to 7:30 pm on Saturday, April 21, at Der Dutchman Restaurant and Carlisle Gifts.

The third book in the series, Something Blue, will be available in August.

You can read the blog postings I did previously about Something Old and Something New.

I have to thank Dianne who kindly sent me an advance copy of Something New for my reading delight after I reviewed the first book in the series here on this blog and we emailed back and forth. With the book was a very nice note from Shalyn Sattler, a representative from the publisher, Barbour Publishing. The letter said, “You are receiving this gift in appreciation for something you’ve done to enrich Dianne’s life, whether it was kindness, inspiration or simply the pleasure of knowing you.”

What a lovely thing to say!

I hope to stop by on Saturday to meet Dianne in person and have her sign the copy of the book she had sent to me. If you don’t have the first two books in the series, please visit Dianne on the twenty-first and purchase copies for her to autograph. Then prepare to slip into stories featuring people and situations that you’ll find very familiar from living in our little village. You’ll keep turning the pages as the characters become friends, weaving their way through places in Plain City that you’ll recognize as home.

“Plain City Bridesmaids” Series Continues with Book Two, “Something New” by Dianne Christner.

Dianne Christner is back with the second book in her Christian romance fiction series, Plain City Bridesmaids. Following the first book, Something Old, the second book is Something New.

As I mentioned in my first posting about this series, the books are set right here in Plain City and feature the tag line, “Fall in Love the Mennonite Way.”

Something New will be released on February 1 and you can pre-order your copy now on Dianne’s web site HERE.

The synopsis for Something New introduces many pitfalls on the journey to find love: Lil Landis envisions a life outside her Conservative Mennonite home. But when she pursues a culinary career, problems on the family farm beckon her home. Veterinary student, Fletch Stauffer has goals of his own which take him undercover at the Landis farm, where falling for spunky Lil will jeopardize his plans.

I actually had a chance to read an advance copy of Something New and I was pleasantly surprised to find the characters contemplating a visit to Plain City Druggist (yes, the drugstore is featured in the book!). Lil’s mom is told, “Over at Plain City Druggist, they sell some herbs that pep folks up.” We certainly do!

Beyond the pharmacy, Dianne also features a ton of local landmarks in the book, including Darby Creek, the Shekinah Festival, RANCO, Dublin Methodist Hospital, and Rosedale Bible College. It was exciting to be reading and suddenly recognize a location or a place. The Ohio State University and a couple of trips to Columbus also feature into the plot.

Besides being a romance and a sketch of life in Plain City, Ohio, Something New also looks at the premise of factory farms and many animal issues with a fictional farm animal sanctuary located in the Plain City of the book. One of the main characters (and Lil’s romantic interest), Fletch Stauffer, is an OSU vet student who loves animals and works tirelessly with the farmers in the novel on their behalf. As most of you know, I am a huge animal lover and this was a thoughtful story line that I found to be educational without being preachy.

Dianne got not only the flavor of Plain City correct, but the Mennonite characters, as well. Many of the people in Something New reminded me of customers and friends and even one or two of our employees (who often wishfully daydream about trading in their skirts for contemporary blue jeans). I loved the characters of Lil and Fletch, both of whom seemed realistic and like people you might meet on the streets of Plain City.

I want to thank Dianne for not only mentioning Plain City Druggist in Something New, but for allowing me to read it before it was even published. I found myself pulled in to the story and finished the book in just two days. I can’t wait to read the third installment.

The third book in the series, Something Blue, will be available in August 2012. You can read the intriguing synopsis HERE.

Even if you aren’t from Plain City, the Plain City Bridesmaids books will make you wish you were.

And if you are lucky enough to call Plain City home (like me), you’ll be happy to see our little village so lovingly portrayed. Plain City becomes almost a character itself in this series.

Dianne, who was raised Mennonite, draws on her memories to make the characters and scenes in her books vividly accurate. Her husband was raised on a farm in Plain City and attended a Conservative Mennonite church in the area. Dianne also writes about her former Mennonite life on her blog, which you can find HERE.

Check out Dianne’s Facebook page for Plain City Bridesmaids, too, HERE. Dianne features lots of neat contests and giveaways on her Facebook page.

Dianne will also be in Plain City in April on a book tour. I’ll let you know more details on her time in the area as April approaches.

“Something Old” by Dianne Christner is the First in the “Plain City Bridesmaids” Series.

Something Old, the first book in a new series by romance writer, Dianne Christner, is set in Plain City, Ohio. Yes, right here in our little home town.

The series is called the “Plain City Bridesmaids” and features Mennonite characters and a love story which is set against a Mennonite background. The tag line for the series is: “Fall in Love the Mennonite Way.”

Christner, who currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, was raised Mennonite and uses her memories of her former way of life to make her stories ring true.

Something Old will be released on August 1. The second book in the series, Something New, will be released in February 2012, followed by Something Blue in August 2012.

To find out more about Dianne Christner, visit her web site HERE or her blog HERE.

You can also read about the series on the Plain City Bridesmaids Facebook page HERE.

The Plain City Public Library will, of course, have a copy of Something Old available for interested readers as soon as it is released.