Sometimes life experiences have a funny way of showing up in the books we write. The first time I noticed it was after Book 1 in the Sisters & Friends Amish series, Change of Heart, was published. Lydia, the oldest sister in the family, deals with guilt when her sixteen-year-old sister, Emma, is in an accident.My sister told me reading the book brought back painful memories. Until she said it, I hadn’t realized I’d included our family story in the pages. I was the oldest sister in a family with three girls, and when my sister was sixteen, she’d been hit by a car. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been aware of that while I writing the story.
After that, I paid a bit more attention to my storylines. In my latest book, The Amish Midwife’s Secret, the second book in the Love & Promises series, I’d created a romance between Leah, who was studying to be a midwife and whose family owned a natural products store, and Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town who stressed science and medicine. Because I’d never had an interest in medicine (I practically faint at the sight of blood, and my husband had to get up with our sick kids at night), I assumed this story had no connection to my life.
As I wrote about their conflicts, I didn’t see any parallels to my life. Kyle champions hospitalization and medicine; Leah pushes home births and herbal remedies. Kyle doesn’t believe in God; Leah’s whole life revolves around her church and faith. Plenty of sparks fly between them. So far, no relation to my life. (Well, except for the sparks that flew between me and my husband when we were dating – of the romantic kind, of course!)
But when I got to one of the delivery scenes, memories came flooding back. I’d had my two sons at home with an Amish midwife. Not only did I have firsthand experience with the subject, I also remembered the feelings I had during those births, and writing those pages reminded of the herbal teas my midwife had me drink. No wonder I’d made Leah an expert in natural remedies.
How about you? Have you ever found yourself described in the pages of a book you’ve written or read?
An Amish midwife and an Englisch doctor must embrace their differences to rescue a baby in need in this uplifting romance that will "capture your heart and leave you smiling" (Amy Lillard, award-winning author).
Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he's offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return... and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn't quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her traditions with his modern medicine...
The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences... if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.
"The Amish Teacher's Gift might have been the first book I've read by Rachel J. Good, but it won't be my last." - Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author
**The Amish Midwife’s Secret can be purchased at Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Meier’s, and other stores as well as online at these sellers and at ChristianBooks.com. For international readers, Book Depository offers free worldwide shipping.
About Rachel J. Good
Rachel J. Good turned to writing to keep her sanity when she had 5 children under the age of 8. Squeezing in writing between changing diapers, settling sibling quarrels, and wiping runny noses proved impossible, so she became a night owl. Writing from 10 PM to 3 AM, Rachel cranked out more than 40 books for children and adults under various pen names, but Amish novels have become her favorite. To keep her books authentic, she enjoys spending time with Amish friends, doing chores on their farms, babysitting their children, and attending family events.
Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House & Harlequin), Love & Promises (Hachette/Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and the forthcoming Surprised by Love and Unexpected Amish Blessings (Kensington). She also has several anthologies in print as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Book. To learn more about Rachel, you can visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.
If you enjoy learning about Amish life and want to follow along on her research trips to Amish country, you can join her private Facebook group, Rachel J. Good’s Hitching Post.
Rachel can also be found here, and she’d love to connect with you: