Wednesday’s Wanderer: A Review From Lisa Bull and Giveaway!

How do I write a book review for a story written by my friend? That was my question.
Some pressure, huh? No.

No pressure at all because once I started reading An Amish Buggy Ride, all of my questions disappeared as I was transported to a farm in Pennsylvania. Once again Sarah Price caused me to forget about my life and lose myself in the lives of Kate Zook and Samuel Esh. She is a master at creating characters who are so real they become a part of me.

An Amish Buggy Ride
For me, relating to Kate is not difficult. She has committed what she considers un-forgivable sins and is tormented by un-forgiveness and an unrealistic self-view.
Her brother, David, feeds her feelings of worthlessness by constantly blaming her for and reminding her of a horrible accident which left him permanently injured. While his treatment of her is malicious, she allows him to continue because she feels she deserves his abuse.

Samuel Esh walks into her life and through gentle love and kindness begins treating her with respect and honor. He gives her value. He gives her time and teaches her to love and forgive herself while at the same time inches his way into her heart.

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It is a beautiful story which, to me, is a parallel story to the way God treats us. We often feel unworthy of our own forgiveness, let alone God’s. God wants us to understand that He accepts us no matter what we’ve done—that He thinks we are beautiful and valuable.

An Amish Buggy Ride is a story of mistakes, choices, forgiveness, relationships and love.

As always it is pure delight to have the opportunity to read Sarah’s story as she weaves her character’s lives in with our lives…to get to know them, while learning something about myself at the same time.

Thank you so much Lisa for this awesome review! Hugs my LRWF!!

Let’s do a giveaway. To enter leave a comment for Lisa :)

For an EXTRA chance share this post and leave a comment if you do.

Contest starts today Wednesday, October 29th and ends on Wednesday, November 5th .

Monday’s Musing: An excerpt from The Faces of Cancer

On May 31, 2013, I heard those three words. No one ever wants to hear those words. No one is ever truly prepared to learn that a silent killer grows within their body.

When I was growing up, we always referred to cancer as “the big C.” Adults talked about cancer in hushed tones, whispering so that children wouldn’t overhear. I’m not certain if the secrecy behind the topic of cancer was whether they didn’t want to scare the children or if they simply didn’t want to talk about it.

And then the pretty neighbor lady at the end of our street was diagnosed with “the big C.” On several occasions, my mother took me to visit her.

Once, just before Christmas, we took a photo of the three of us, outside in the snow. The woman was seated in a horse-sleigh with a blanket covering her lap. I stood beside her, a red knit hat on my head and my hand resting atop hers. I was grinning, she was smiling, and my mother stood behind us with a forced expression of holiday joy. Only in later years did I understand why: the woman died soon afterwards.

Fast forward forty years and here I am, hearing the very same words that my neighbor surely heard: We found cancer…

Many of you have read my fiction books. Some of you may be new to the name Sarah Price. What I want you to know this book is not fiction. It’s my story about dealing with cancer.

As such, I have written this book in the style of a commentary with more focus on explaining what happened to me in the hopes that someone else might find something—one little thing—that helps them through their own journey.

However, it’s important to know that every person handles that diagnosis in their own way.

The bottom line is that there is no cookie-cutter way to handling a life-threatening disease, whether you have it or someone you love has it. Everyone wants to provide a strong support system for the patient and to be that pillar of strength.

For that reason, I’ve also included an appendix that shares the thoughts from several people in my life who have traveled, and are still traveling, this journey with me.

Their words of support cannot, however, express the magnitude of love, prayer, and comfort that I also received from my friends and followers on Facebook. Each card and letter sent by one of my readers lifted my heart and my soul.

People sent scarves, prayer shawls, books, lipstick (pink, of course), umbrellas (ditto), and other little items that they saw and thought of me. What a humbling experience to receive so much love from so many people!

And, as I mentioned, I could feel the power of prayer coming from all over the country, even from several international countries. Those prayers reached me; I felt them and became stronger during my battle. I still feel them and I cannot thank everyone enough for caring about me and all of the other people diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses.

With this book, I hope that I can return some of that strength to others who have gone through or are going through the long journey of battling cancer. Unfortunately, we are all the faces of cancer.

PREORDER SARAH PRICE’S UPCOMING BOOK BY CLICKING HERE

All proceeds from this book will be donated to the TJ Martell Foundation the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. Print version available on November 15th.

Friday’s Fare: Beef Stew

This recipe is taken from my upcoming book – Plain & Simple Traditions: Amish & Mennonite Holidays.

Perfect for a cold night!

Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef (cubed OR uncooked mini-meatballs)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, cleaned and diced
  • 2 celery, cleaned sliced
  • 3 onions, chopped (can use pearl onions)
  • 4 tomatoes, diced (can be canned)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce if you don’t have it)*
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (for serving)
  • Optional spices:

Ground allspice
Marjoram
Thyme
Rosemary

*Another substitute for soy sauce or Worchester sauce:  Several drops of Tabasco sauce mixed with a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.*

Directions:

1.Combine all ingredients in a large pot (or a slow cooker)

2. Stir to combine ingredients

3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, without stirring.

4. Add parsley just before serving.

PREORDER SARAH PRICE’S UPCOMING BOOK BY CLICKING HERE

book-cover

Kate Zook’s Diary

Two Weeks Before An Amish Buggy Ride

Yesterday, I found David in the hayloft. He was sleeping instead of doing afternoon chores. I tried to wake him, but it was near impossible. He pushed me away and said something that wasn’t very kind. I left him there, a horse blanket covering him so he wouldn’t catch a cold, and finished his chores.

Daed saw me. I’m ever so grateful that he didn’t ask me where David was and why I was doing the barn chores. I don’t know what I would have said. It would break Daed’s heart if he knew that David was drinking alcohol so much.

At supper, Becca asked why David wasn’t there and Miriam commented about Ruth. I reckon everyone knows that secret, that they are courting. Only I knew that he was not visiting with Ruth and that he slept under a dirty horse blanket on a pile of hay. I felt terribly awful, knowing something and not telling Maem or Daed. I just don’t want them hurt. They seem preoccupied enough lately.

I’ll try to talk to David tomorrow when he’s feeling better.

sarah price

Wednesday’s Wanderer: Author Marta Perry

EXPLORING AMISH HISTORY

When I was working on the concept for my new series of Amish books from Berkley, I happened across some letters written by a young Amish man in the early years of World War II. I was fascinated, but also convinced that the idea wouldn’t fit into my stories. I write about contemporary Amish. I’ve never written historical fiction. It was impossible.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the idea wouldn’t go away, and as my imagination began to play with the concept, I realized that it wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d written about it! This was the seed that turned into my Keepers of the Promise series, with Book One, THE FORGIVEN, out now. In it,  a contemporary story entwines with a story from the main character’s family that happened during the 1940s.

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One of the problems I saw about writing something set in the past was that a few generations ago in rural America, the Amish weren’t that different from everyone else. To my surprise, that turned out to be an advantage. I’m old enough (Shh, don’t tell anyone!) to remember the ‘40s. One of my happiest adventures when I was a small child was visiting my aunt and uncle on the family farm. The farm was seven miles from the nearest village out a winding gravel road. No electricity, no running water, no inside toilets. My mother probably missed her modern appliances on those visits, but to a child, it was a fascinating time.

Uncle Harley took me to explore the cold cellar—a cave-like structure built into the side of a hill to keep perishable foods cold. Aunt Evelyn let me work the hand pump to draw water for cooking. And a bath meant heating up water on the wood stove and hoping I could get clean before the water got cold! At night, snuggled into a feather bed under  a handmade quilt, I watched shadows dancing on the walls from the flickering oil lamp until I drifted into dreams.

So when I began writing the 1940s sections of THE FORGIVEN, all I had to do was let my memories of those visits swim to the surface, until I could plainly see the farm where Anna lived—the clapboard house, barn, scattering of outbuildings, and the quiet peace that surrounded it.

But Anna didn’t live in peaceful times. For the Amish, the advent of the Second World War brought one of their most powerful religious beliefs into question. How does a pacifist live as a patriotic citizen in a time when the world is at war? For Anna, her family, and her beloved, the question was very real and very agonizing. And for Rebecca, looking back at her ancestor from today, the answers gave her the courage and faith to become another Keeper of the Promise.

 


publicity photoA lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania, where she still lives, and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led Marta Perry to write about the Plain People and their rich heritage in her current fiction series for Berkley Books and HQN Books. Marta is the author of over fifty books, with another eight books scheduled to be released over the next two years. The three-time Rita finalist has over six million copies of her books in print.

Marta is a member of RWA, Faith, Hope and Love, and Pennwriters. When she’s not writing, she and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening, and spending time with their six beautiful grandchildren.