Today is a special day for someone who has become a good friend, Karen Anna Vogel. The beautiful thing about the Internet and Facebook is that we, authors, can connect with our readers and fans as well as other authors. The authors of Amish fiction are no exception and have a lovely bond among most of us. Karen Anna Vogel is a special class act. And, even better, she’s just a genuinely kind and nice person which makes liking her even easier!!! 😀
Today is the wedding of Karen’s daughter (congratulations Karamarie and Josh!!!). So, to celebrate, I asked Karen (in advance, of course) to provide me with a guest posting for her new book. As many of you know, Karen Anna Vogel new novel just came out this month. It’s called Amish Knitting Circle Christmas: Granny & Jeb’s Love Story (here are the links to the book on Amazon.com and BN.com). She’s been so busy with her daughter’s wedding and being a grandma soon, I asked her why she decided to take on a writing assignment at this time.
Here’s what she said:
My dad passed away on Christmas Day, 1996, so I know about holiday grief and depression. In the story, Jeb goes through the first Christmas without his parents, and he deals with lots of emotions. I want readers to see how to grieve, having learned so much about the process myself. Most suicides happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I have readers of all ages who are readers, some of them with the problems in Amish Knitting Circle such as cutting, spousal abuse etc. I get concerned and hope that they don’t sink any further by reading this Christmas book.
What bible verse helps you with holiday depression?
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. Isaiah 61:1 (NLT2)
This verse is just full of hope. So brokenhearted over my dad, I clung to this scripture. At first I focused on He came to comfort the brokenhearted and then I started to see how Christ wants to set captives free. So, my husband and I started getting involved with poverty ministry. We’ve been volunteer advocates for Compassion International for thirteen years now. Third world poverty is cruel, especially to children, and we hope to make a difference…to see these children set free through knowing Christ’s love and meeting their basic needs.
Also, my dad loved kids, and even had a mailbox decorated with “Letters to Santa”. I remember as a preschooler feeling so proud of the fact that my dad really knew Santa Claus and was asked by the man in the red suit to be his helper. When I got a letter from Santa Claus in the mail before my friends, I knew why; my dad was the second in command up there in the North Pole 😉 Well, I love kids too, so our family also does shoebox ministries of all sorts, hoping kids living in poverty will know they’re not forgotten, God is not mad at them, and they’re loved.
Can you tell us what Amish Knitting Circle Christmas: Granny & Jeb’s Love story is about?
Well, the Smicksburg settlement was founded in 1963, so I wrote it being that year. Lots of fun with words by the English like “dig it”. An Englisher says to Jeb, “Hey, man. Do you dig it?” Jeb scratches his head and asks, “Dig what? Where?”
I think I had too much fun writing this.
Here’s the synopsis:
Granny Weaver started a knitting circle believing women are stronger spun together, just like her wool. But she was young once with her own struggles. In 1963 Deborah Byler is twenty-one and has turned down seven marriage proposals from hopeful suitors in Millersburg, Ohio. At her parent’s request, she goes to live with relatives in the new Amish settlement in Smicksburg, Pennsylvania, praying she’ll find a match. Jeb Weaver lives in a strict Swartzentruber Amish settlement, and he can no longer abide under the rules of the Ordnung. His older brother left the family farm and settled in Smicksburg, and convinces Jeb to do the same. When Jeb meets Deborah, he finds her too liberal and outspoken. Deborah thinks Jeb’s judgmental and a complete stick in the mud. Their constant clashing makes sparks fly. Will an African American man, who hitchhikes around the country to attend Martin Luther King Jr. marches, help Jeb and Deborah see their own prejudices?
I hope you enjoy this book as much I have (I’m reading it now and loving it! I’ll be posting a review both on my blog and on Amazon later this week).