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Amish Group Reads > February's Book - Dark Harvest by Karen Harper

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Please join us this month in reading Dark Harvest by Karen Harper.

Dark Harvest (MIRA) by Karen Harper

Widower Luke Brand is a leader in the peaceful Amish community of Maplecreek. But now his people are under attack from unknown assailants -- and the main target appears to be the children. Although the community is reluctant to turn to the outside world for help, a particularly vicious assault leads Luke to the local police.

Policewoman Kat Lindley is running from the big-city job that nearly got her killed, and from the memories of the abused boy she failed to save. Now she agrees to undertake a dangerous masquerade within the Amish community, desperate to save Maplecreek's children.

Together Luke and Kat are determined to bring justice to the perpetrators, while struggling to suppress the unspoken and forbidden feelings growing between them. But when the case takes a deadly turn, Kat must race to uncover the menace that threatens the people she has grown to deeply respect -- before Luke becomes the next target.


Feel free to post your comments about the book and any questions you think would be good for group discussion. Our group reads tend to be a rather informal affair so just chat away! Spoilers are perfectly fine but it might be a good idea to type ***SPOILER*** at the start of your post to alert any members who haven't finished the book if you're mentioning a major plot point that should be kept secret - especially early on in the month when some of us may not have finished the book yet!

Happy reading!


message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments Since I'm fairly new to Goodreads, it took me a while to locate this discussion group. I'm excited some of you are reading DARK HARVEST. It's part of my Maple Creek Amish trilogy, but all of these books are also stand-alones. I am really enmeshed in all things Amish right now as I'm writing a new Amish trilogy and am on book 2 of it--and in the muddle (the middle) of the book, the hardest part for me. Do any of you avid readers have advice for an author to keep the middle of the book lively? Happy reading! Author Karen Harper


message 3: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Thanks for joining us Karen! I will be starting this month's read next!

As dfor keeping the middle of a book lively, I like a little twist to the story or a conflict/challenge that the characters have to overcome.


message 4: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Hello Karen!

I have one suggestion that is related, but kind of not related at the same time.

Also, you may have no control over it whatsoever.

However, it can't hurt to check!

I know many of us are Kindle/e-reader users and we would love to see your series available for Kindle. :) If you have any control over that or are able to suggest it to your publisher I know we'd all love the chance to get copies for our Kindles/e-readers :)

Camille


message 5: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Okay I am starting it! But I just finished Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson about 5 minutes ago. I think I need to quilt or knit for a while before starting another book. I need to absorb it first.

OMG, that book was AMAZING! If you were lucky enough to grab it when it was a kindle freebie, READ IT! If not, it is lendable and I am willing to lend it out.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments For Camille. I'll check with my publisher about the Kindle e-books. I know all my books are available in e-format through Mira Books, but I'm not sure about the Kindle angle.

Karen Harper


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Ooh, I just read the synopsis and that book does sound good, Diane!

I'm looking forward to starting Dark Harvest, after reading so many romance novels last month I'm in the mood for something with a bit of suspense and mystery for a change!


message 8: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I started it last night. Didn't get very far as I was not feeling well. Hoping to read more today. Kind of stuck on reading on my kindle though. I read so much faster using my kindle.


message 9: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (daneliha) I may be one of the last ones reading this because my hubby found me a used one cheap, but it has to come all the way from England. But I'll get it eventually :)


message 10: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I just barely got notification that my library got it in today, so I won't be starting it for a little bit either! Plus, I want to read the first book first.


message 11: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
I just finished the first book and I really liked it!


message 12: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I got tired of waiting for the first book which I still haven't received, so I went ahead and started the 2nd book.


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
Kristy, I just started yesterday too. The copy I have is the old style paperback -- you know, not as tall, not as wide, but thicker! I like the feel of the new size better in my hands.

Now that I've complained about the size, I guess I should at least say that I'm enjoying it! Passing Kat off as Katie from Intercourse should be good.


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments Karen Harper here. The history of this trilogy is that I wrote book #1 about ten years ago--DARK ROAD HOME. It was really popular and my publisher asked if I could make it into a trilogy. I said OK as long as the 3 books could also stand alone. This is what's usually called a 'continuity' series, that is the hero/heroine do not spill over into each book, but something links the books--in this case the setting and some of the minor characters. The series in regular (small size) mass market paperback did well, so the publisher has put it out again in larger trade pb with new covers. Meanwhile, I'm writing a new Amish trilogy which begins this Aug. That will also be a continuity series, but I'd say it will be better to read the new one in order. With the DARK Amish series, it doesn't matter that much.


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
Karen, thanks for sharing that with us.

Being able to get this kind of information from the author is just one of the reasons I enjoy being part of this group‼


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Thanks for the info, Karen! I'm looking forward to getting started once I've finished my current read. My library only had the first in series but I was able to get a copy on Amazon Marketplace. Hopefully I can go back and get #1 from the library at some point. I like the idea of a continuity series - sometimes it's nice not to worry about spoiling any details by reading books out of order.


message 17: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I am on page 120 of 388 of Dark Harvest by Karen Harper. I read two books at once because I don't carry a paperback with me anymore. I carry my kindle with me everywhere I go though.


message 18: by Gail (new)

Gail (widowretiredyahoocom) | 83 comments Thanks Karen, I am really enjoying Dark Harvest and am on chapter 8!


message 19: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I am on chapter 8 too.


message 20: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Just started this and can't put it down!


message 21: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments I haven't read much yet - 38 pages!

This weekend I was hoping to jump into it but I did not get around to it. I made a quilt this weekend (it will be posted on my blog tomorrow) and did taxes for 2 people plus knitted a scarf while watching tv in the evening.

I am hoping to get reading this week since I have NO PENDING PROJECTS RIGHT NOW! Don't get me wrong, I love having the extra money to spend, but I am hoping for some quality me time so this does not start to feel like work. I got paid $90 for a lap quilt plus $80 for doing the taxes. I'll take it and spend it!


message 22: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments Well, I am on chapter 10. It's kind of slow reading.


message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) I'm really enjoying reading a suspenseful Amish book for once, a nice break from all the romances I've read lately! Plenty of authentic Amish detail too, it's nice to see that the author knows what she's talking about and hasn't just chosen an Amish setting to make the mystery a bit different. In the back of my copy it says that Karen is from Ohio, so I'm guessing she's familiar with the Amish settlements there.


message 24: by Marg (new)

Marg (margpelan) | 17 comments I just finsihed Karen first book. It was very very good. I am waiting for dark Harvest to come from ebay -- so anyday now. I dropped by our town's very small used book store and found Dark Angel.


message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
I'm finding that work is getting in the way of my reading. I want to know how it ends but I keep getting interruptions! Last month was so nice with the couple of snow/ice days we had here.


message 26: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
We finally got another snow day today it makes 22 for us. We have already made up 8 days. They added 30 minutes more to our school day each day and we went a Saturday another Saturday this week if weather lets us go.

I can't wait to read the second book. The first one was so good. I love the trying to figure it out part with a touch of romance!


message 27: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments Hi, especially to Rachel. Yes, I live about 2 hours from Holmes County in Ohio, the largest Amish community in the country. (It's not Lancaster, PA anymore.) We go there quite a bit and have for years. In my author's notes at the end of the books, I usually explain my love for the Amish. The only book I didn't set there (though I admit I fictionalize the name of the town and county so I can change a few things) is DOWN TO THE BONE. It's also an Amish setting but it focuses on Ohio Amish who have gone out from the large settlement to find affordable farmland. It's set in western OH near Bowling Green, about 30 miles from where I grew up in Toledo. DOWN TO THE BONE has been out for a while and may be hard to find. I'm trying to get my publisher to re-issure it. --Karen Harper


message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
I never should have had that cup of coffee at a meeting last night. I was wide awake -- hubby fell asleep in his recliner -- and I just kept reading. Next thing I know I only have one chapter left! Kept thinking "Oh, maybe it's..." over and over again, and at one point I was sure it was someone else. Thanks Karen for a surprising read! I'm glad that Dark Harvest was our February read.


message 29: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I'm glad people are enjoying it! :) We really have had great luck with our group reads. :)


message 30: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) I just finished the book this morning (I was struggling to keep my eyes open 50 pages before the end last night!) and loved it! Currently in the process of writing a review. I didn't suspect who was behind the hate crimes at all, there were far too many suspects. And I loved the ending :)


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: " I didn't suspect who was behind the hate crimes at all, there were far too many suspects."

I agree with you... but I thought one person more so than anyone else, and I was wrong.


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Barbara wrote: "Rachel wrote: " I didn't suspect who was behind the hate crimes at all, there were far too many suspects."

I agree with you... but I thought one person more so than anyone else, and I was wrong."


Same! At least I managed to figure out one of the red herrings near the end.


message 33: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments Hi All,
I am still reading Dark Harvest. I am about 60% through with it. I am on chapter 15. I hope to finish by the 23rd.


message 34: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) It looks like everyone will be finishing up soon - looking forward to seeing what everyone thought of this one, and if they were surprised by the ending!


message 35: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments I have not finished it yet, over half done though. I cannot believe what happened during the funeral procession. I was shocked!


message 36: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Same! It totally took me by surprise, and made me really angry. I guess I got too involved in the characters!


message 37: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I am 77% done with Dark Harvest, chapter 19. I am trying to read 2 chapters a day until I finish. Hopefully by Friday or Saturday I will finish.


message 38: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1574 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Same! It totally took me by surprise, and made me really angry. I guess I got too involved in the characters!"

I got angry too Rachel. I just hope that's never happened to anyone.


message 39: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I haven't even started it yet (YIKES!) but hopefully while on my plane flight on Thursday I can read a HUGE chunk! :)


message 40: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments from author Karen Harper: About hate crimes against the Amish. Being a real admirer of the Plain People, I was really surprised to learn they do have enemies. The Amish have a saying, "It's not all cakes and pies," meaning they have problems too, and hate crimes against them can be one of them. In my first Amish series, I took one problem for each book: DARK ROAD HOME, cars hitting buggies; DARK HARVEST, hate crimes; DARK ANGEL, genetic diseases among their people since they intermarry. Thanks for reading!


message 41: by Gail (new)

Gail (widowretiredyahoocom) | 83 comments Hi Karen, I am reading Dark Harvest and loving it! I hope to finish it this weekend! After that though I need to take a break from Amish reading because someone gave me "The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest" and I'm going to read that next!
But thanks for such a great book in Dark Harvest!


message 42: by Kristy (last edited Feb 17, 2011 12:27PM) (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I finished the book. It was okay. I gave it 3 stars because it was too easy to put down. Not my style I suppose. But it was definitely good. I kind of got into it towards the end of the book.
When Katie suspected someone, I wondered if she was right.


message 43: by Karen (new)

Karen Harper | 31 comments Author Karen Harper here: It is a challenge to write suspense novels set in Amish country, because the tendency with that setting is to just enjoy--the sights, the food. And the people themselves are so peaceful and forgiving when mystery/suspense/thrillers need CONFLICT and lots of it. Also, it means almost always have in "import" the badguys and badgals, which gives the reader an early leg up on who to blame. But I love the challenge and that culture. It does make for a great cultural clash novel.


message 44: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I have not decided whether or not I will read the first book. It could be better than the first, but I'll see about reading it in several weeks after I read some of my kindle books.


message 45: by Lorie (new)

Lorie | 1324 comments Mod
Just finished loved the book. THe first one was great too, but I think this one kept you guessing to the end better. Can't wait to read her other stuff. I have the third book and the Shaker one. Just wish it was on the Kindle.


message 46: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Jodie wrote: "I really enjoyed this book. I think it kept me guessing up to the last minute, then surprised me again. You can read my full review on Mom's Pace, but I think the only thing I had a hard time belie..."

I did wonder how Katie managed to fool them into thinking she was Amish, but I guess it was because the "bad guys" just didn't understand the Amish, and because she had very little contact with them.

Karen, thanks for the insight on "importing" bad guys - considering the incredibly low rates of crime committed by the Amish, I can see how this is almost always necessary!


message 47: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) Okay guys, we're nearing the end of February and this book discussion has been far too quiet this month! I know I've been busy flat-hunting, starting my second semester and being buried under deadlines, but I did really enjoy this book! It was a nice change to read a mystery rather than a romance.

How about everyone else? Love it? Hate it? Just think it was OK? Talk!! :)


message 48: by Marg (new)

Marg (margpelan) | 17 comments I enjoyed this book very much as I did with other 2 in this series. I wish I had read them in order as even though the main characters and theme are different in each book reading the third one before the second one was a mistake as there are some references to what happened eg the marriage of the main characters in book 2 happens at the beginning of book 3. I am wondering if ALL of Karen Harper's other books are also clean? I am looking forward to reading Down to the Bone (found a copy on ebay -- there were a number of them on ebay if anyone else is looking for it)


message 49: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments For some reason, I just could not get into it. Maybe it is because I recently learned to knit and I have been doing that a lot lately, I don't know. I will admit that once I had 100 pages left, it pulled me until and I had to finish it quickly. I did like the resolution to who did and who helped. Nice! Beware of funny looking mushrooms! LOL!


message 50: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (riverunbroken) | 250 comments I had a hard time getting into it also. But I pushed myself to read it. It was way different than what I am used to though. For me, it was Just Okay.


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