Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

Beverly Lewis was born Beverly Marie Jones in the heart of Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She began her artistic career with piano lessons at age four and at the age of five she made up lyrics to the "little fingers" piano pieces she learned and she started writing at the early age of age of nine with short stories and poetry. Her first manuscript was a semi-autobiographical story about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled "She Shall Have Music." She went to Evangel University and became a schoolteacher. Beverly is married to David Lewis and they have three grown children and three grandchildren and they live in Colorado.

Even though Beverly began writing at an early age she did not pursue it as a career until her own children were well into middle school. Her first work was published in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book was published in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans, later retitled Big Bad Beans and it is book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books. In 1997, Beverly began her adult fiction writing career with her first book in the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, with The Shunning. The story is a suspenseful tale of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student.

Beverly has gone onto to write over 80 more books for children and adults, with her adult books focusing mostly on Anabaptist heritage and the Old Order Amish. She mainly focuses on writing series, with her latest series being “Home to Hickory Hollow.” Her latest book The Photograph is coming out in September 2015 and focuses on Eva Esch and her sisters as they face the predicament of either finding husbands or being shipped off to live in Indiana with an elderly aunt.

Beverly's fans describe how her books have touched their hears and created curiosity about the Old Ways of the Amish and their simpler life and return to traditional values in the mainstream society in today's impersonal, high-tech lifestyle. Her character-driven novels focus on people who are searching for universal truths just as many of her readers are. Her books offer a faith-based solution to the problems of the human condition.

Several other authors whose stories are also prominently faith-based include Cindy Woodsmall, Suzanne Fisher, Beth Wiseman, Dale Cramer, Lori Copeland, and Lynn Austin.

So if you are looking to read heartfelt stories about strong characters living, surviving, and loving in simpler times and places you should give Beverly Lewis a try.