Friday, July 22, 2016

Read a New Book By Rachel Good and Enter Her Contest!


About the Book:
Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during Rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.
When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. Will she stay true to her faith even if it means giving up the man she loves?
My Thoughts:

It is no secret that I love the Amish fiction genre, thus when this book was offered for review purposes, I immediately "jumped on the band wagon". 
Rachel Good is an author with whom I was a bit familiar, but wasn't quite sure what I  would discover about her writing. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. This book is typical for this genre. It was well written and maintained my attention throughout. The message that shines through all the challenges and trials that the characters experience, is one of hope and the importance of trusting God to see one through difficult bumps in the road.  This is the first in a series entitled "Sisters and Friends". I am now anxiously awaiting the next book. 

The characters are realistically and well developed. I found myself easily identifying with  both Lydia and Caleb. Their worries and concerns were very real to me, as they went through the very difficult Rumschpringe period of their younger siblings. The task of keep a sibling safe  and happy, even when they believe they know what they are doing, was one that became worrisome to me, as a reader. This coming of age which is very common in the Amish community is one that I have a hard time coming to terms with. Thus, I fought the battle alongside these families. 

The plot moves at a steady pace , with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. There seems to be a dip in the road every time Lydia and Caleb get their hopes up. However, the positive message of faith, forgiveness and hope shines through every trial. Second chances are always available. We just need to reach out and take them. 

I would highly recommend this book to all lovers of inspirational Amish Fiction. Don't miss it! 

This book was provided by CelebrateLit in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Link to purchase book: http://amzn.to/29EzaJu
About the Author:
Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1T35q5p  Visit Rachel at:

Enter the contest:
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away lots of fun prizes, including copies of her books and even a box of Whoopie Pies from Bird-in-Hand Bakery. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ed1

Blog Stops

July 15: Bigreadersite
July 18: Bukwurmzzz
July 22: Quiet Quilter
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog

Guest Post from the Author:
Hi, I’m Rachel J. Good, inspirational author of heartfelt tales of faith, hope, and forgiveness.
I’m excited to launch the first book in my Sisters & Friends Amish series, Change of Heart. Although I’ve been writing for many years and have about 30 books out now, this is my first inspirational novel. I’m busy editing book 2, Buried Secrets, and writing book 3, Gift from Above. And I’m planning the next three books in the series.
I’ve been asked how I came to write Amish novels. For that, I have to credit my agent Mary Sue Seymour, who suggested it to me. I loved the idea because I’d lived near Lancaster, PA, and had always been interested in the Amish. Although Mary Sue went to heaven a few months ago, just before the book launched, I feel her presence in my life as I write. She believed in me as a writer and encouraged me to work on this novel, which she quickly sold.
Lydia’s story in Change of Heart has several connections with my real life. The first is that I’m the oldest in my family and have two sisters, and so does Lydia. We both feel responsible our younger sisters. Lydia’s younger sister, Emma, gets in trouble during Rumschpringe. (And no, her wild sister doesn’t resemble either of my two younger sisters.)
The second connection with my life is the spiritual lesson Lydia learns in the book. I wanted Lydia’s journey to be not only a struggle between faith and love, but also a personal inner journey from self-righteousness to seeing with God’s loving eyes.
Oftentimes, goodness and spirituality can be a source of pride, and it can also be used to justify being judgmental. Lydia’s sister Emma points this out to her, but in my case, it was my young daughter who piped up, when I was complaining about someone at church, and said, “She sounds just like you, Mommy.” Ouch!
That day I came face to face with the truth that often what I criticize most in another person is often a flaw or a sin I’m overlooking in myself. As Matthew 7:3 (NIV) says: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” I wanted Lydia’s story to reflect that truth.
The Amish try to avoid the sin of hochmut (pride), but Lydia, without realizing it, is secretly proud of her own spirituality. It often saddens me that, as Christians, we spend more time criticizing others outside the faith or with different lifestyles or beliefs, but very little time examining our own unloving and judgmental behavior. I’d like to see us become more like Jesus, who ate with the “publicans and sinners,” and showed love to everyone, instead of condemning them.
Lydia is also forced to choose between staying in her faith or leaving it for love. I, too, faced a similar challenge many years ago, so I wrote those scenes from my heart. I hope Lydia’s story touches hearts, and that readers come away reassured that although we can’t always see the larger picture, God can, and He’s working out a wonderful plan for us. Our present circumstances might seem dark, but He knows the final results. We need to trust Him even during the challenging times, because “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the nice review, Karla! I appreciate you hosting me!

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  2. Great review. I loved the book as well. She writes such inspiring stories.

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    1. Thanks, Deana! So glad you enjoyed the book!

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  3. I really enjoyed your thoughtful review! Thanks for sharing Karla!
    rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. It was a lovely review! And thank YOU for being a cheerful face at each blog stop, Robin!

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