Saturday, June 30, 2012
Interview with Ruth Reid / Giveaway / Review of Brush of an Angel's Wings
Answer Ruth's question to be entered in the giveaway. Be sure to leave contact information.
What kind of research did you do for Brush of An Angel’s Wings?
Outside of typical Amish research, I talked with farmers about problems associated with calf delivery, and my long-time best friend, Anita Merchant helped tremendously with answering my trucking questions. She and her husband have owned a trucking business and sawmill for a number of years.
How did you come up with the plot for Brush of An Angel’s Wings?
I don’t consider myself a good cook, so I thought it would be fun to write a story of a young Amish woman who would rather work in the barn than be stuck in the kitchen. I also wanted to show how anger and jealously gives a foothold to the enemy and the spiritual battle that takes place when God dispatches His angel.
Share a brief blurb about the book.
He doesn't plan to stay Amish. She doesn't have a plan. Then an angel draws their hearts toward God . . . and each other.
A buggy-racing champion, a hardworking field-hand, and a terrible cook, Rachel Hartzler does not fit her Amish community's standards for an eligible bride. Hurt by their rejection and still grieving the loss of her brother, Rachel is ready for change.
She's not, however, ready for Jordan Engles. Rachel's father hired him to help tend the fields so Rachel can learn to cook and sew, thus increasing her chances of finding a husband. She can't understand why her father doesn't want her help and blames Jordan for trying to replace her beloved brother.
Jordan plans for his time on the Michigan farm to be short. Before his mother passed away, he promised her he'd give her Amish roots a chance. Upon her death, uncertain about what else to do, he came to stay with his Uncle Isaac in Hope Falls. He's curious why his mother left the community she obviously loved. But it doesn't take Jordan long to conclude that the strict lifestyle and the three-hour church services are not for him.
But there isn't just human interaction at play. Nathaniel, an angel of God, sees the potential in Jordan and Rachel's hearts from heaven's perspective. His goal is to shepherd them toward the path of healing and love.
When tragedy strikes, then strikes again, this angelic being is sent to guide them toward the healing and abundant life promised in God's Word - if only they will listen.
What role have your life experiences played in the characters and/or the situations you develop in your books?
The time my family lived on a farm, and I owned horses has provided the backdrop of many of my stories. I may never have the opportunity to live on a farm again, but my characters will.
Do you see parallels or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?
Over the years, there have been difficult times when my faith has had to stretch. However, God has always seen me through! His love feeds an unfailing hope. Each character’s story I write, I want to show how pressing through the tough times will lead to an even deeper level of commitment and faith in Jesus Christ.
How has your passion for reading impacted your writing?
I’m drawn to stories that can move me to tears and cause me to laugh out loud. I strive to deliver the same experience in the books that I write.
Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time?
I write in my office. Sometimes I don’t come out until wee hours of the night and other times I get up in the middle of the night and write until daybreak. I tend to work best when I set word count goals. It pushes me to not only reach the goal, but write a few hundred words more. The other thing I do is leave the story where I know what the next scene will be. It saves time looking at a blank page if I can open my document and not have to think about where to start.
What provides your inspirations during that time – i.e. do you go out in nature, do you seek to be in a busy place with people or in a quiet library, etc.?
Music is very inspirational. I love to listen to Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Kutless, Aaron Shust, Jeremy Camp. could fill the page of songwriters and music that inspired me.
How have social networking sites, even including email, etc. impacted your writing? Do you find the internet to be a helpful or harmful resource in research, advertising, reviewing, etc. your books?
I know social media works—I just haven’t figured out how to use it to its fullest. I like communicating through email over FB and hands down I would rather sit and visit over a cup of coffee. You can’t replace true laughter with LOL. Teens may think so, but I want to hear the inflection in someone’s tone.
Do you use these tools such as Facebook as a means of observing the behavior of others which could be the basis of a character, or are you of the ‘old school’ that relies more on personal relationships and “human” touches?
I probably could copy/paste the above response. When I want to observe behavior, I go to the mall or a theme park and people watch. I will say that my husband is better at eavesdropping. Any time we go out to eat, he listens to the conversations in the booth behind him than to me. He tells me he’s gathering research for me—I’m pretty sure I talk too much.
Ruth Reid lives in Dade City, Florida with her husband and three children. She is the bestselling author of The Promise of an Angel and Brush of Angel’s Wings. You can find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Ruth-Reid/183828688320022
Ask a question for the readers to answer to be entered into the giveaway
In Brush of an Angel’s Wing, Rachel struggles with cooking. Do you find cooking a chore or an adventure?
Title: BRUSH OF ANGEL’S WINGS
Author: Ruth Reid
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Inspirational/Amish/spiritual warfare
He doesn’t plan to stay Amish… She doesn’t have a plan….
Rachel Hartzler is a buggy racing champion, a field hand, and a terrible cook—everything an Amish woman is not supposed to be. Rachel is grieving the loss of her brother, and desperate to be the son her father needs—but is rejected by all possible suitors for her tomboyish traits.
Jordan Engles is English. His mom left the Amish years ago to marry his father, but she wanted him to “sample” her Amish roots. Jordan agrees, but he plans to only stay for a short time. He’s hired by Rachel’s father to help tend the fields so that Rachel can learn how to cook and sew as well as other wifely traits so she can hopefully find a husband.
Jordan is convinced that the strict life of the Amish is not for him, not only that but he and Rachel are at each other’s throats. But there is more at play here than just hearts. Spiritual warfare is also at work. And each must work through their own tragedies and listen to the quiet voices directing them through their thoughts.
Ruth Reid is the talented author of The Promise of An Angel, the first book in the A Heaven on Earth series. BRUSH OF AN ANGEL’S WINGS is the second book in the series, but it easily stands alone.
I was privileged to be in Ms. Reid’s critique group during the writing of this book and it was a pleasure to read the final, published version of the rough draft that I read. This story has really grown and expanded from the initial copy that I read, the characters becoming stronger and the spiritual forces more real.
Both Jordan and Rachel are young and sometimes have foolish thoughts and actions, but this makes them both more real. Rachel’s father strives to be a good influence, gently guiding both of them, especially Jordan as he lacked a stable father figure in his life.
If you like books about Amish, Ms. Reid has a unique and innovative approach to writing about them. Mixed with the angelic and demon forces that inherit the spiritual realm of our world, it is unlikely you’ll read another Amish book written in this style. Pick up BRUSH OF AN ANGEL’S WINGS for a book you won’t soon forget. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $15.99. 350 pages.