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Research Trip Part 2

So my impromptu trip to Amish country in Lancaster, PA couldn’t have gone any better. I had great weather, rode in an 033Amish buggy (with a stop at a farm for homemade cookies), took a tour through Amish farmland (with a stop at a roadside Amish shop with all sorts of homemade items…and copies of my books–which was super cool to see). The tour driver matched my excitement at seeing the books there and a) took this picture of me and b) made a point of introducing me to the Amish girl working behind the counter.

I learned a lot on this trip, but also realized that if this writing gig doesn’t work out, I could easily land a job as a tour operator in Amish country with all the knowledge I’ve tucked aside since starting my Amish Mysteries.


One cool thing from this trip was seeing the “honor code” many Amish utilize with their road side stands. This picture on the left is of one such stand. Everything has a price but no one is there to run the stand. They just have a box for the money should a person decide to purchase something.

Their faith in humanity is really something special. Makes me want to live in their world for a while, you know?

Anyway, I’ll be posting more tidbits (both here and on my Laura Bradford Author Facebook page)  from my trip over the next week or so. Hope you enjoy the information.

Any questions?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

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And I’m Off…

I’m off on a make-up research trip to Amish country this morning.  My trip got cut short a week ago when I got sick on my meds, so I’m going down for just the day to finish things up.

I’ll be back tomorrow with pictures and stories. :)

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

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Fall Fun and Stuff

We had a fun weekend around here thanks to some nice weather. Friday night, we saw a dinner theater show (fun!), and on Saturday morning we did a corn maze (fun!). The farmer at this particular farm made the maze in the shape of an old truck.  When you’re in it, it doesn’t feel like that, but the map was spot-on. Made me wish we could go up in a helicopter just to see it from above.   002

I met up with a childhood friend for lunch yesterday (always a good time), and just enjoyed not working for a few days (although I am mulling the next storyline in my head).

Anyone do any fun fall activities this past weekend?

And, on an unrelated front, has anyone seen THE JUDGE yet?  It looks really, really good.

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

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Bits of Bits

Bits time!

1) Morning person/night owl?

2) Coffee or tea?

3) What one song is guaranteed to get you bopping around in your chair if not on a dance floor?

4) Least favorite insect?

5) Favorite zoo animal?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays | 7 Comments

Talk Prep

Hit “send” on my copyedits at 1 a.m.


Another monkey off my back.

Now I need to come up with a plot for Amish # 5.  I have a few vague thoughts knocking at my writerly-brain, but nothing strong yet.

In a few weeks, I’ll be giving a big talk for the Connecticut State Library Association’s Support Staff conference. My subject? Writing multiple cozies at a time.

I’m kind of hoping you can help with questions. What kinds of things are you curious about in terms of authors (cozy or otherwise)? I’m hoping those will help me address ones my audience might have, too.

So can you help? If so, fire away!

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under Writing Thursdays | 4 Comments

A Weekend Jaunt

As I think I mentioned, we flew to Ojai, California for a family wedding over the weekend. I wasn’t feeling up to par when we arrived, but it didn’t take long before the sun, the temps, and spending long awaited time with loved ones began to work their magic.

Earlier this year, I was in Monterey, California (absolutely beautiful area) and it struck me, this time, just how much the terrain varies throughout the state. This trip brought mountains with an almost desert-y type feel (even though there were houses everywhere) whereas the one in March brought stunning views of the Pacific coast and lots of sea life!  The wedding we attended on Saturday evening was literally on a mountain with stunning views in all directions.

We flew in Friday night and back out Sunday night (my first Red-Eye!), and it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was kind of fun to “jet off” to California for a weekend… :)

The culmination of that trip wrapped up the second of our crazy October/November weekends. Still lots more to go.

So how about you? What was a fun weekend-only trip you’ve taken in the past? Where’d you go? What did you do?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays | 2 Comments

On My Nightstand…

I’m back. Sorry, again, for going AWOL on you this past week.

This week, I’ll be reading the copy edits on SUSPENDERED SENTENCE and reading through my file of Amish clippings in preparation for starting on book #5.   When possible, I’ll try to get some more pleasure-reading in, too.

While on the way to California this weekend (family wedding), I was able to get started on a book I’d purchased a week or so ago.  It’s called MAINE by J. Courtney Sullivan (so far, so good). Getting lost in the pages for a few hours on the outbound flight helped distract me from some of the lingering icky-ness related to the debacle with the new meds.

What are you reading?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under Reading Tuesdays | 2 Comments


Popping in real quick to apologize for my surprise absence the latter part of this week.

I was trying a new medicine for my MS and it didn’t go well. I’ve been very sick. I made the decision to stop taking it and am counting down the minutes (and hours) until I feel human again.

I’ll do my best to be back online after the long weekend.

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under odds and ends | 5 Comments

Research Time

For the next few days, I will be immersing myself in all things Amish as I work through the copyedits/First Pass of Amish # 4 (SUSPENDERED SENTENCE–release date: March 3rd) and spend all of about twenty-four hours in Amish country (I’ll be visiting a few Amish farms/homes and even going on a buggy ride!).  I’ve found that spending time with the Amish is very important (for me) in writing this series. Since their world is so different than mine, it really helps to step out of my own and into theirs for authenticity, tone, etc.

I’ve gone down prior to writing each book so far. A few times, I’ve had a pretty fleshed out plot in my head and used the trip as a way to fill in the background. Other times, the plot has come to me during my visit–something I’ve heard or learned sets off that “what if?” reflex.  This time, I have some possibilities, but just need to wait and see what happens when I get there.

I always take a notebook of questions with me, and if I have a chance to ask some of them, I do.

So tell me, what is something you’d like to  know about the Amish life? Maybe I’ll get a chance to ask the question.

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under Reading Tuesdays | 4 Comments

Ahhhh, Fall

One of my favorite parts of the latter half of the year is the opportunities to decorate the house (inside and outside) in a way that always makes it more cozy.

Now that it’s October, I get to put out all my fun Halloween/Fall decorations–most of which I leave up right until Thanksgiving (Harvest-y time, so why not, right?). Then, once Thanksgiving is over, out comes  the Christmas stuff (my absolute favorite time of all). When the house is decorated the way it is at Christmas, I can just sit on the couch for hours basking in that warm, cozy feel. Makes me happy.

So anyway, I took advantage of a relatively quiet day yesterday to put out my Halloween/Fall stuff and snapped a few pictures of my favorite things to show all of you.

009  This is the small bookcase in the living room. I’m a huge scarecrow fan (the happier their face, the better).

And the pumpkin bucket? That will have Halloween candy in it by the end of today. :)

008 The witch’s hat here on the left is actually a chip/dip thing. You lift up the hat, and the dip bowl in inside the brim of the hat. Cute, huh?  Two years ago, we had a “fall fest” here with friends and I made “bone” bread sticks. The break sticks went around the brim, and the dipping sauce went in the bowl. It looked cute and they were really yummy!

The candy corn table runner that the hat is sitting on, was made for me by a very sweet reader who knows how much I love candy corn! It gets a place of honor every year when I am decorating!


As already established, I love scarecrows. The boy scarecrow has been with me for at least five years now. The little girl scarecrow is my 2014 Halloween purchase. She’s sweet, isn’t she? Such a happy little face!!!

DD # 2 arranged them this way outside the front door and I think she did a really cute job!

As for the rest of the house? Scarecrows, candles, pumpkins and even a “Fall” tablecloth has transformed what was “regular” house in to a happy autumn retreat.

So that’s how I spent part of my Sunday.

How about you? Any fun decorations out yet?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)

Posted under Dreamer Mondays | 5 Comments