Monday, December 2, 2013

An Amish Miracle / Giveaway!!! / Interview with the authors

Answer the question at the end to enter for a giveaway of An Amish Miracle.  Be sure to leave contact information.  USA only, sorry. 

Authors: Mary Ellis, Ruth Reid, Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
December 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8870-7
Genre: Amish novella collection

Three Amish women experience miracles when all seems lost. 

Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn’t a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.

Always His Providence by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?

AN AMISH MIRACLE is a collection of romantic novellas set in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Three Amish women are going through difficulties, each of a different sort. Ms. Ellis’ story has Hope who is still mourning the loss of her son to adoption. Ms. Reid’s story has Rosa who is facing losing her home due to delinquent taxes, and she’s unwilling to accept help from others. In Ms. Wiseman’s tale, Becky is an outsider in her community due to her weight issues.

This collection by three very talented Amish authors is different that while the stories all have Christmas themes, they are not toted at Christmas stories. That is secondary. Also, the hardships the characters face are all overwhelming  I felt the characters’ depression—which is a sign of good writing.

If you are looking for an Amish novella collection for yourself or a loved one or friend then AN AMISH MIRACLE is a book to consider. Three stories in one book. And if you like this book, you’ll want to check out Mary Ellis’, Ruth Reid’s, and Beth Wiseman’s other books. Includes Reading Group Guide and Old-Order Amish Recipes. 15.99. 384 pages.

Interview with the authors --- 

Beth Wiseman’s:
Tell us a little bit about your story in An Amish Miracle.

Always Beautiful follows eighteen-year-old Becky Byler on a journey of self-discovery.  She's been overweight all of her life, and as she stands before a rushing river, unable to swim, Becky considers taking her life, even though it goes against her beliefs.  She cries out to God, asks him for a miracle--to be thin and beautiful.   When her prayer is answered, food and temptation lose their hold over her and she drops an amazing amount of weight.  Finally, she is pleased with how she looks.  But does she like the person she has become?  And has the man who has loved her all along been right under her nose?  It's a story about how we see ourselves, how others see us, and the real meaning of beauty.

While you were writing An Amish Miracle, do you think it mattered where the book was set?

I think this story could have been set in any Amish community.  I chose Paradise, Pennsylvania because I am familiar with it and have friends there.  Vanity and pride are traits that latch on to all of us, whether we are Amish or not, wherever we live.

Will we know what happens to your character after the end of the book? 

Yes--that beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder.  :)

Where do you like to write? 

I tend to start a book in the recliner in my living room.  As I get closer to deadline and need fewer distractions, I move to the recliner in my office.  Bottom line, I'm a recliner-person when it comes to writing, lol.  But, when it is crunch time, I have two places I like to go--to stay with friends in Colorado or to the beach. 

Award-winning, best-selling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but her most recent novels, Need You Now and The House that Love Built, are contemporaries set in small Texas towns. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's highly-anticipated novel, The Promise,is inspired by a true story.

Ruth Reid’s:
What are you reading right now? 
That depends on which room I'm in. I usually have five or six books going at the same time. I read a lot of non-fiction books (David Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness). I'm also reading Vannetta Chapman's book Murder Simply Brewed. Great book BTW.

What is your current work in progress?
I'm currently working on book two of the Amish Wonders series; however, it's still untitled at this time. 

What would be your dream vacation?
My dream has always been to spend time on a working cattle ranch. I want to ride all day and sleep under the stars next to the campfire. 

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I grew up in northern Michigan. I love using Michigan as the settings for my books because it gives me the chance to go home--even if only in my imagination.  

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.

Mary Ellis’s:
What three things about you would surprise readers?
When I worked as a legal secretary, people were constantly asking me for (free) legal advice.
b)I have been known to mess up brownies from a box mix. Once I used so large a pan, the brownies were only a half-inch thick. No one knew what they were at the church potluck.
c)I love walking around my yard, talking to myself, while gathering sticks and branches for the burn pile. I'm usually working out the next scene in my head. Thankfully, I live on 3 acres of woods with no close neighbors.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?I love doing anything wet--swimming, snorkeling, wading in the creek behind my house, canoeing, white-water rafting (during my younger years), or just walking the beach, now that I'm not so young. As long as water is involved, I'm joyous.

 What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? 
 Time-management. Whatever I happen to be working on--writing a chapter, researching the next book, promoting my current release--there always seems to more to do at the end of the day. I need to prioritize: Do the urgent tasks first, and proceed by order of importance. Then when I full out of time (or steam!) I won't panic.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
May I offer two pieces of advice? First develop a thick skin. Plenty of rejection lurks around the corner, ready to pounce, for authors at every stage. You can't take a bad review or anything else personally. Secondly, don't throw in the towel when you get discouraged. Dreams do come true for those who don't give up.

Mary Ellis grew up close to the eastern Ohio Amish community, Geauga County. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Mary is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author as well as an ACFW Carol Award finalist and runner-up for the 2010 Holt Medallion Award.

To enter giveaway answer this question:   

What was your favorite thing to find in your Christmas stocking as a child?  


Lane Hill House said...

an orange ~ the only time they were available, or at least ended up at our house! Loved to find that orange at the toe of my Christmas stocking.
Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

chris granville said...

Sounds like great book
In a christmas Stocking I would like to find something I could use, that I could accomplish something with
God bless you

Cheryl Baranski said...

oranges & m & m's

Judy said...

You know, I remember the brown paper bags filled with candy, nuts and fruit that we received at church every year but I don't recall that we had any stockings while growing up. But if we would have, candy would have been my favorite thing to have in them! I still have a love affair with chocolate!

Thank you for the interviews with Beth, Ruth, and Mary. Their novellas sound really good. I can relate to being overweight and wondering where the next $1 will be coming from to pay bills, taxes, etc. after my husband passed away; however I have never given up a child but this story certainly intrigues me.

Thanks Laura for the interviews and this giveaway.

Judy B

Jeanie Kenkel said...

That's tough. My stocking was different every year, but I think there was always candy. And I always like that.
I can be contacted through my Blogger profile. Thanks!

Michelle Broeker said...

We didn't always do stockings when I was growing up. But my favorite stocking gift when we did was a Barbie.

Carolyn Jefferson said...

To be honest we never had Christmas stockings, but if I did I'd have liked to have had anything, but coal.LOL!
Would love this book.
Carolyn Jefferson

Lori said...

My favorite thing in my stocking was those Books that you open up and they had lifesavers in them. The book sounds veru good.

Karen Misiaszek said...

My favorite thing to find in my Christmas stocking was a new Golden Book for my mom to read to me at bedtime. She use to read to me every night and we continued this tradition with our two children beginning at 6 months old. It is a great way to relax before going to sleep.

Carol Q. said...

I loved to find the tangerine. back then they were only available for the holidays

Lisa Stifler said...

This is a fun question to answer. As a kid going through my stocking was almost as fun as opening the presents. This one time of year it was always fun getting the things that always seem to be in my stocking every Christmas but couldn't wait to get. Silly putty, slinky and life saver books were three of my favorite things to find in my stocking. Thank you for this chance to win a copy of this book, it sounds like a wonderful story. We all at times in our lives find ourselves at that desperate place crying out to God when we are at that breaking point. Blessings to you this Holiday season! email-

dkd6470 said...

Merry Christmas! My favorite thing in our stockings that we got as kids was candy, of course. Candy was not a staple in our house growing up. However, during the holidays my parents made exceptions :) email:

Rhonda's Doings said...

we only did Christmas stockings one year as a child.....and mama put those chocolate creme drops in mine and I love those!!!

loretta said...

Maybe it's been too long, I can't remember us doing stockings. Surely we did? I can remember mom buying us one of those net stockings with candy in it, but not putting one up on the mantle.

Susan Johnson said...

I don't really remember what was in my stocking growing up, but there was probably some candy. If there was I'm sure it was my favorite.
susanmsj at msn dot com

susanlulu said...

Well, evidently, my parents were not big on stockings. We hung ours each year, but they were always empty, so we stopped expecting them to be full. Loads of candy was always on the table for ALL of us to enjoy! That was OK with us!

MsRubyKat said...

A big juicy orange! They always seem to taste so good at Christmas time.
Karen G.

Marilynn Walton said...

chocolate drops candy

Mary Ellen Ashenfelder said...

My favorite thing to find was candy especially chocolate :)

Staci said...

Anything! Christmas morning was so exciting as a child.

Anonymous said...

My dad always filled our stockings with oranges and several kinds of Christmas candy. I always looked forward to that Christmas Stocking. Since he is no longer with us, those memories are very special each year.

And I missed this book when it was offered to review, so I would really love to win it!

Cherie Hamby Kasper said...

Mostly we only had oranges or nuts in our stockings, but I did love the oranges.

~Cindy~ said...

ohh that is easy great grandmother always gave us a stocking every year and it had a snow globe in it..I loved those things..
Cindy Loven
from Cindy's Book Reviews...

Kay from NY said...

I've always liked the candy and almonds. We kids always had our underwear stuffed in the stockings!

Diana montgomery said...

The thing I liked most was the big peppermint stick from my Grandma Bea. She is with the Lord now and I still have to have one every year. They remind me of her. Our stocking usually had fruit maybe a coin and peppermint stick from Grandma Bea.