My 5-Year Pregnancy is ending!


Announcing an Imminent Book Birth, Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl


Book Birth Date: Launch party, September 14, 2019, Jacksonville, Florida


Book Blurb

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part à capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a dark cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.


You’ll find more than story in my memoir:

  1. Family tree, Longenecker and Metzler ancestry
  2. Glossary: My parents’ odd, but quotable, expressions
  3. Recipes from Mother’s and Grandma’s Kitchen
  4. Newspaper transcript of a traumatic experience in Grandma Longenecker’s teen years.
  5. Original artwork
  6. Family photo gallery


Today, I am celebrating my own birthday. Then comes the formal book launch on September 14, a mere 7 1/2 weeks from now. I feel excited and scared at the prospect.

In the coming weeks: more labor before delivery:

  1. Planning special launch events here in Jacksonville and then in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.
  2. Preparing to send advance reader copies to authors who are willing to read and review my book on Goodreads, Amazon, and other outlets. (Shipment due tomorrow, fingers crossed.)
  3. Keeping up with social media: Facebook, Twitter, and updating my Goodreads page. Click here: Amazon author page will appear later. Creating special guest posts with giveaways.
  4. Hosting on my blog other authors’ books which release this summer/fall.
  5. Organizing a Pennsylvania itinerary.
  6. Securing dates for presentations at book stores and libraries in my city and elsewhere.
  7. Following up with inquiries to advertise in publications.
  8. What did I forget? I gasp!


Our CPA, Irene Picca, holding a mock-up of “real” book. “You will get the first autographed copy,” I told her.


A Writer’s Third Act

Five years ago, I began taking a memoir-writing course to learn the craft of narrative in non-fiction. By any measure, I am publishing my first book, a memoir, at advanced maternal age. Once referred to as “geriatric pregnancy,” obstetricians classify women over thirty-five with the “advanced maternal age” tag. The fears are real: maybe their baby will suffer birth defects, autism, something worse?

When Shirley Hershey Showalter published BLUSH in her sixties, she referred to herself as an “elderly newbie.” When I remarked to one editor, Annie Tucker, that I’m in my seventies (disparaging myself), she pushed back with the comment that “Many of my clients are in their eighties and nineties.”

Wow! Picture my thoughts in cartoon balloons when I heard this amazing announcement: “I may not live that long!” “Where would I find the energy for the rigors of writing, editing, publishing, and MARKETING, for heavens sake?”

As proof of the latter, at age ninety-eight (Yes, I said 98!) Juan Carlos Marcos published The Last Corpsman based on 600 pages of war correspondence, including letters from his wife. Granted, he had a co-author, but STILL!

Featured on 1106 Design website


A much younger author friend, Jill Weatherholt, is releasing her third book soon, available for pre-order. I’m reading her new book, A Mother for His Twins, now and will post a review. She has offered to reciprocate.



Author friendships don’t seem to find age a barrier, a lovely discovery!

Young adult author, Darlene Foster, a Canadian writer who lives in Spain, features Amanda traveling the world, making discoveries and often solving a mystery. In her seventh book in the series, also releasing in September, Amanda travels to Holland.

Her book also is available for pre-order.




Like a plant, [one’s life] adds up “until it blooms, but even after blooming, after mid-life. . . . It keeps going because it has to start withering. Only in drying does the real fertility begin, the seedcase forming, and only then are the seeds available to be blown apart and travel and settle.      ~ Molly Peacock in The Paper Garden



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When is the right time to publish your book?

Comments, questions, or suggestions about my book or book launch welcome here.