Katie’s Choice has launched and it’s time now to view the incredibly awesome cover for the third installment in the Clover Ridge Series. Here it is…Gabriel’s Bride
We here all love the Amish. At least I assume you do or else you wouldn’t be reading this. But each of us has something special they love most of all about these conservative and inspirational people.
I can remember the first time I heard about the Amish. I was young–still young enough to be living at home–though I can’t remember my exact age. I thought the person who was telling me about the Amish was not telling me the truth. How could these people live without electricity? Wear old-fashioned clothes and drive horse and buggies? In the 20th century even. How was this even possible? But I started reading up on the Amish and found out what I could, which wasn’t a lot. (Keep in mind here this is before the internet and the world was a much larger place.) But I found out one very important thing–the Amish were real.
I still have that same awe about them now–one that makes me nearly tongue-tied whenever I have the opportunity to talk with them. (I know, right? Me speechless!) But to me they are that special, frozen in time. And yet not. They see the world around them , but they (for the most part) choose not to live in that manner. Instead they carve out their life in an old fashion way that is both commendable and charming.
So I’ve asked myself why I find the Amish so intriguing and each day my answer is different. But the gist of it is always the same. Community. I love the fact that they live together, depend on themselves, each other and God for almost all that they need. How much better a place the entire world would be if we paid more attention to community instead of just ourselves.
What is it about the Amish that intrigues you?
Seven weeks in and I’m still not sure about the the TLC show Breaking Amish. I have to admit that it’s not about all the wonderful things that I admire in the Amish. It’s not…charming. I’ll go one further and admit that most Amish fiction is heavy on the charm. But that’s what I love about writing it and reading it. The Amish offer me a real escape from my own reality. A place filled with God fearing neighbor-loving people who are taking life at their own pace.
But what about shows like Breaking Amish? I find it like a train wreck, I know I shouldn’t stare, but I can’t take my eyes off of it. Even if it lacks the charm of my fiction of choice.
Have you watched the show? Do you love it? Hate it? Or like me, does it male you want to dig out your copy of The Shunning to watch again?
I’ve said it before, I think that Amish fiction is so popular because it gives us hope that the world could move a little slower and be a little less complicated.
Well, if you’re among those of us who wish for a more simple way of life, we have a new blog for you.
Come visit Not Quite Amish where several authors of Amish fiction gather to talk to fans about more simple, everyday English living. There’s also an Amish convert and a ex-Amish woman for many different views on the simple life.
So come join me and some fabulous authors at Not Quite Amish. You’ll be glad you did!
I’ll admit that I spend a great deal of time thinking about the Amish. Even when I’m not writing. And naturally the question comes to mind, “Could I make it in the Amish world?” Could I live without electricity computers and all the other modern conveniences that we have today. My honest answer is a definite maybe. LOL
After the ice storm of ’07 when my family lived without electricity for seven–yes, that’s *seven*–days, I know I can survive without electricity. Not having a phone in the house could be tolerated. I could even give up my cell phone. I don’t watch television all that much and I know I would miss the internet. I love nail polish and shoes, but what would be the hardest thing for me to give up? Books. That is to say being able to read whatever I wanted when I wanted. Losing that freedom would be very hard for me.
What’s the one thing it would be the hardest to give up if you were to join the Amish faith?
Back in November of last year, sixteen Amish men and women were arrested for cutting the beards and hair of their Amish neighbors. The sixteen are members of a break away sect led by Samuel Mullet and have been accused of being a cult. (Click here for more information http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/us/7-arrested-in-hair-cutting-attacks-on-amish-in-ohio.html?_r=1&ref=us) They are on trial now.
These members of the Amish church aren’t saying that they are innocent, but that they did it out of compassion for the victims, trying to bring them back into the fold. The sixteen are members of a break away sect led by Samuel Mullet and have been accused of being a cult. But the formal charges include conspiracy, destroying evidence, and hate crimes. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/us/lawyers-say-amish-charged-in-beard-cutting-attacks-acted-out-of-compassion.html
I find it incredibly sad that when we hear about the Amish in the news, it is always bad news. I’m certain that people who live in states with a higher population of Amish residents hear more good than bad. But what about the rest of us–those states with small communities or none at all? Could somebody please report some good news? I definitely think it’s time. Or maybe that’s why we love Amish fiction so much. Thoughts? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.
I was poking around the internet as I am prone to do searching out a topic for today’s blog post. I came across a site for the PBS special American Experience: The Amish. I’ve seen the show, found it informative and provoking, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. (for more check out–http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/amish/)
On the site, I found a blurb about the show mentioning how the Amish are “rooted in the past.” But what really intrigued me was this question: “What does our fascination with the Amish say about deep American values?”
To me it says a lot.
I have a friend who believes that values and behaviors are like a pendulum that swings back and forth with the ages. Right now we are flying close to one side and it won’t be long before we swing back the other way to a more conservative time. I’d like to think my friend is right and simpler times are coming. The Amish give us hope that we can survive without all the modern conveniences, that we could go back to a simpler time. And that American values are still there, lurking just underneath the surface, waiting for a chance to be re-discovered.
What do you think? Could you go back to a simpler time?
I think and plan by the day. Okay, sometimes by the week. so I guess it’s not great surprise when something sneaks up on me and I’m caught off guard.
Saving Gideon will be released in 35 days. 35 days!! I. Am. So. Excited. Here’s a little peek at Saving Gideon. Enjoy!
~*~*~*~ An Excerpt ~*~*~*~
Three dogs lay in the sunshine just before the cool, shadowy entrance to the barn—a beagle, a black and white border collie, and a spotty dog she guessed was some sort of heeler. None of them moved anything save a small wag of their tails as she passed them by. Her furry friend was nowhere to be seen.
Avery stopped just inside the door, taking a moment to let her eyes adjust to her new surroundings. It was dim even with the top half of the Dutch doors open on the other end. She could say one thing about the barn…it was neat. Fresh smelling, clean hay was scattered across the packed dirt floor and perfumed the air as she trod on it. And it was big, with a trussed roof and expansive loft stretching the length of the barn. And empty…except for a lone cow in one stall and Molly and Kate housed just to the left and opposite the tack room.
Okay, that was three things, but Avery was so proud of herself for remembering the term “tack room” that she wasn’t keeping count. She’d had an “uncle” over in Ft. Worth, one of her father’s associates, who had a sprawling ranch with lots of horses and such. Avery had gone out there once and toured the barn and rode a gentle mare…and she’d loved it. It was just so far out of Dallas. She often thought of going again, but there never seemed to be enough time. There was always a party to go to or a ribbon cutting ceremony or some sort of such.
He was sitting off to one side in the corner of the wide wooden stairs, so quiet and still that she almost didn’t see him at all. Or maybe the fact that he was just sitting there instead of milking a cow or throwing some hay that confused her. He seemed to be taking the slower pace of the Amish culture very seriously.
“I—” she started, unsure of what to say now that she had actually found him. “I was looking for you.”
“And you found me.” Louie V. lay at his feet as if he had found a new master in Gideon Fisher.
“Right.” Avery rocked back on her heels, enjoying the prickly feel of the straw beneath her feet. “I came to see if I could help you with anything.”
“No.” Simple man, simple answer.
“Yeah…well…okay. I just thought I could do something. I feel okay, you know. Farms are busy places…aren’t they? I mean, isn’t there always something to do, sun up to sun down and all time in between?” Why was she rambling?
“Well, then…what can I do?”
“It’s the Lord’s Day. We only do what’s required of us on Sundays.”
Avery nodded. “Right. I was wondering about that. Church and all. I mean, if you need to leave…” She couldn’t very well go with him dressed in her clothes or his.
She wasn’t sure, but she thought Gideon’s eyes hardened just a fraction, hiding that vulnerable light which crept into them when he thought she wasn’t looking.
“You don’t have to stay here for me.”
“Okay,” Avery said, not really believing him. She waited for him to load up another excuse, but he didn’t.
After several tense heartbeats, she turned to go. A pile of quilts and a pillow stacked on the landing next to her host captured her attention. She didn’t know much about horses or the soft equipment they used, but these surely didn’t look like horse blankets. And she had never heard of a horse needing a pillow. For anything.
She turned to face him. “Did you sleep here last night?”
“Here. In the barn.”
Gideon crossed his arms over his chest, his nonchalant pose of earlier vanishing in one fluid motion. “And what’s it matter to you if’n I did?”
“Well…” What truly did it matter to her where he slept? “It seems sort of silly to me that I slept on the couch and you slept in the barn and nobody slept in that big old bed in there.”
“It’s not silly.” He stood and even with the distance between them, Avery was impressed by his formidable height. “We are not married. We are not chaperoned. The elders will be vexed enough to discover you’re here with me. Sleeping in the house…” he shrugged. “That is not something else I need on my conscience.”
“What isn’t something you need on your conscience?” Avery eyed him warily.
“Compromisin’ your good standin’.”
Was he serious? “Because I’m here with you…alone.”
Gideon nodded. “Jah.”
He was serious! And Avery was touched.
“But I’m an Englisher,” she said remembering the term she’d heard Jack use to refer to non-Amish folk.
“Jah,” Gideon agreed. “But you are still a woman.”