Monday, September 05, 2011

THE WOUNDED HEART - Adina Senft - Free Book


Adina Senft grew up in a plain house church, where she was often asked by outsiders if she was Amish (the answer was no), she made her own clothes, and she perfected the art of the French braid. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania, where she teaches as adjunct faculty. 

Writing as Shelley Bates, she was the winner of RWA’s RITA Award for Best Inspirational Novel in 2005, a finalist for that award in 2006, and, writing as Shelley Adina, was a Christy Award finalist in 2009. Three of her books have shortlisted for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award for book of the year. Of her fiction, publisher and industry blogger W. Terry Whalin has said, “Readers will be lost in the vivid world that [she] paints with incredible detail and masterful storytelling.” 

A transplanted Canadian, Adina returns there annually to have her accent calibrated. Between books, she enjoys traveling with her husband, playing the piano and Celtic harp, and spoiling her flock of rescued chickens. These days, she makes period costumes and only puts up her hair for historical events and fun.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
LOL! This is a difficult thing to detect—sometimes friends have to tell me, and sometimes I can recognize it myself. In The Wounded Heart, I share Amelia’s independence of mind, and I also share her struggle in submitting those unruly thoughts to God. In The Hidden Life (June 2012), Emma, the heroine, is a writer. When she needed a typewriter to work on, I wrote my manual Smith-Corona into her story … and FaithWords subsequently put it on the cover!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Most of the quirks my husband has to put up with come about during research. I learned to ride a motorcycle and have a Class M license. I play the Celtic harp. I rescue chickens (you’d be surprised how many need rescuing here in Silicon Valley). But I suppose the oddest is that I have to be able to wear the clothes of a character in order to write her properly. When I was researching a Regency romance, I made a couple of Regency gowns. When I wrote steampunk, I made a Victorian gown, complete with petticoats, bustle … and goggles. And now that I’m writing Amish women’s fiction … well, let’s just say it’s amazing what you can buy on eBay!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I was eight. I wrote a school composition at Halloween about a ghost in a graveyard, and my teacher wrote on it that I’d scared her. She was probably just being kind, but I realized for the first time that I could change how people felt through writing. That was the beginning.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m a very eclectic reader. And I can’t read in the same genre that I’m currently writing in, either. So when I write YA, I read Amish fiction and romance. When I write Amish fiction, I read science fiction and mystery. My current favorites are historical mysteries, which I love. I’m so glad I have no inclination to write them, because then I wouldn’t be able to read them!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The chickens. I have twelve rescue hens at the moment, and there’s nothing like mucking out a chicken coop to ground you. They’re sweet, affectionate companions, and the whole world just has to go on hold for a moment when one of them tugs on my pant leg with her beak and asks for a cuddle.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
It depends. Amelia came to me already named in The Wounded Heart. Sometimes I want a name to have a specific meaning. I go to baby name books and websites to look up names that reflect a facet of my character’s personality. Now that I’m writing about the Amish, the pool of names is somewhat limited (you will not find an Amish teen named Madison or Courtney, for instance). On my last trip to Lancaster County, I dropped into a tiny, out-of-the-way Amish bookstore and picked up a copy of the Old Order Amish Directory 2010, which has tons of names currently in use for all generations.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Winning the RITA Award for Best Inspirational in 2005 for Grounds to Believe, the book of my heart, which was written as Shelley Bates.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Ha! I would be one of my own chickens J They have all the food and water they want, and the run of the yard, plus the neighbors bring them watermelon and corn in exchange for eggs. La dolce vita!

What is your favorite food?
You would ask me that an hour before supper. I like food, all kinds of it. But on a stormy night in November, you just can’t beat a pot of pierogies, slathered in sour cream and sprinkled with bacon and onions.

And I don’t even know what pierogies are, but I looked them up. They do sound delicious. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The first 100 pages are the most difficult for me. It takes a while to get deep into the characters and get some traction with their emotions and desires. Once I pass page 100, a switch seems to click in my head and it’s smooth sailing from there.

Tell us about the featured book?
The Wounded Heart was inspired by a couple of my friends who struggle with chronic disease. One of them nearly died, until she found out that what she thought was fibromyalgia and/or MS was actually something completely different—something curable. That triggered the idea, and setting it in the Amish culture, which has a different system of health care from ours, was a way to increase the conflict. The trilogy as a whole centers around three Amish women who are best friends, and throughout the three novels, they’re working on a quilt. My editor suggested that we include instructions to make the quilt in the back of each book, so that readers could make it along with the characters. So needless to say, I’m making it as I write! I really hope that people will post pictures of their quilts in the “Post Customer Images” section of the book’s listing on Wouldn’t that be fun?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Every piece of fabric held a memory.

Amelia Beiler paused in her sorting of scraps to finger a piece of purple cotton. Sometime last spring in a moment of resolution, she’d cut it up into squares, but she knew every mark. This piece had lain under Enoch’s suspenders—the cotton was worn down to the weft threads and half the dye had rubbed away. It had been his favorite shirt—the one she’d made for him in the weeks before their wedding ten years ago. The collar had never sat properly around his neck, so he couldn’t wear it to church, and the side seams had a maddening way of twisting to his left. But every time he put it on he’d kissed her and said, “You’ve wrapped me in love, Liewi,” and worn it to work in the pallet shop.

She’d learned a thing or two about sewing since then. And about love.

Her lips wobbled and, swallowing hard, she set the scrap aside. It was really only good for the rag bag. But maybe she’d make a quilt just for herself out of such pieces. After all, the things in the rag bag tended to be what you loved the most and wore out, didn’t they? Then she could be wrapped in love, too.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Come and see me at, or stop by my blog, “A City Girl’s Guide to Plain Living,” at .

Thanks, Lena, for inviting me over!

My pleasure. We need to have you back with the other two books.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

The Wounded Heart: An Amish Quilt Novel

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rebecca said...

I absolutely love the chicken.

Thanks so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Adina Senft said...

Thanks, Rebecca! The chicken's name is JoJo (aka the Queen of Everything) and she's convinced that my Facebook page is actually HERS. She even has fans :)


Anonymous said...

I dearly love your picture with your chicken that is too precious!I can't wait to buy this one! May God Bless you with many more wonderful books! I am from Pleasant Garden, NC! Dawn

Unknown said...

So you are Canadian, Adina. What part? i love it when people in the US ask me if i can say hi to their friend in Toronto (i live in Alberta). This sounds like a great book. i have helped Mom quilt 4 embroidered quilts in the past 4 years, and love to read about the Amish. Thanks Lena for another great post and giveaway! mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Alberta

Adina Senft said...

Wow, Peace River Country, Marianne! I lived in Calgary for six years, but I'm from BC. The last year in Calgary, it went down to 40 below (without wind chill) and my tires froze flat. After that, I picked up and moved to California, LOL!


Charity U said...

Haha, Adina, my sister would love that picture! She's seven, and very into chickens. :)

Please enter me!

Charity, NE

Mama Cat said...

I would love to win this! As someone who has lived with fibromyalgia for a number of years, reading a Christian book of coping with chronic illness, it is an inspiration - and brings me hope. Enjoy reading about Amish lifestyle, also.

Thank you for your ministry of writing!

I live in Arizona.

Anne Payne said...

I have 4 chickens I would love to give you...j/k! They're just old and spoiled :o)

Your book sounds so intriguing and I love the idea that the quilt instructions are included in the back. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

rural NC

CarlybirdK said...

There are so many things to love about this book. I would love to win a copy. Thank you so much.
Carly in NC

Diana Flowers said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this great book! Enjoyed the interview! I am terrified of chickens, would you believe that, Adina? Afraid they'll peck my eyes out...seriously!

South Carolina

Patsy said...

Oh my goodness, Adina sounds like a hoot! I bet there's never a dull moment. Like her idea of wearing the characters clothes. I bet that's fun. I would love to read her book.

from Southern Mississippi

Amber Schamel said...

I love quilting! And books! What a great idea!
Amber S.
Larkspur, CO

Abigail Mitchell said...

Sounds interesting, Please enter me in the drawing! Thanks!
Very pretty chicken, I live on a farm and we have chickens, milk-goats, cats, and 2 dogs.
God Bless!
Abigail Grace Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Nice chicken.
Sounds interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Ms. Mona said...

It's so cool that you rescue chickens....never heard that before....I know you don't eat chicken, but do you eat eggs ???Just curious.....would love to win this book, it sounds like a great one...Ms. Mona/Ohio

Anonymous said...

Please sign me up. This looks like a great book. My dad sufferes from fibromyalsia and it would be interesting to see how it plays out in an Amish setting.


Coolestmommy said...

The chicken is my favorite, too. It's a great photo. Thanks for the interview. I enjoyed getting to know you better and can't wait to read this book.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Faith said...

Great interview. And I totally agree the chicken is so cool!

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I absolutely have to read this book! Please enter me.

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda from Michigan

Adina Senft said...

You guys are all so kind! Can't wait to see which of you wins :)

Diana, a chicken would not peck your eyes out ... she would only do that as a last defense if she was completely terrified. If she's not used to being handled, just slip one hand under her feet so she feels secure, and she'll calm right down.

And yes, I do eat the eggs ... we don't have a rooster so the eggs are for breakfast :)

In the third book of this trilogy, The Tempted Soul, the heroine is childless and treats her chickens as surrogate children. I'm lobbying for chickens on the cover but so far the art department isn't going for it :(

Jo said...

I enjoy reading Amish books and like the idea of the story interweaving friends. Sounds like such a great book.


Courtney said...

I love Amish books and this one sounds great. I am intrigued to see the quilt making and to read about the friends making quilts! Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

"The Wounded Heart" sounds like such a precious story. I have to say, though, I love Buff Orpingtons, too!! Such a calm and friendly breed of chicken. We have 55 chickens, several breeds, and love them all! My middle daughter is the "Chicken Mama"! My youngest daughter carries the meanest rooster we have like a little baby around the yard and he loves it! Love our chickens! Thank you, Mrs. Senft, for the chance to win! Thank you, Mrs. Dooley, for another great giveaway!
Kelly Y. in Virginia

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks
live in ND

apple blossom said...

oops that which was on my paste wasn't my email

love to win thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Wilma said...

I love what I read & always look for good Amish stories. I also have fibromyalgia so find this story interesting.
Would love to win this book.


Wendy Newcomb said...

I am really wanting to read this book, thank you for the chance to win it.


Katie Marie said...

The Wounded Heart sounds like a neat read. I've read a few Amish books in the past, and enjoyed them. :-)

Katie from Florida

Adina Senft said...

Kelly, I love my Buffies! And you have 55 birds ... sigh, I'm so jealous :) My DH caps mine at 12 only because the coop doesn't have expandable walls.

But he's a rescuer, too ... one day last year I lost a bird, and that very afternoon he spotted a pullet dodging cars on the freeway on-ramp. He stopped, jumped out, and caught her, and brought her home to me. Picture this big woolly guy straight-arming the wheel of the truck, with a tiny red bird in the other hand, cuddled up to his chest. He's such a keeper :)

Unknown said...

Hi there!
I suffer from an incurable chronic neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. It causes 'severe' muscles spasms in my back and goes all the way down to my toes. Only 1 in 1 million people get this. They don't know why and it affects so few people, there is not enough money to research the disease like they should.
I would LOVE to read this book to see how these characters handle their chronic disease on a daily basis with the Lord's help. I have learned to rely on the Lord A LOT!! However, perhaps there is MORE I can do to help me better manage this disease.
This disease is a bummer because it keeps me homebound. I cannot drive, I cannot even ride in the car as a passenger as the movement of the vehicle brings on the spasms. The only place I go are to doctors' offices! The only time I go to the store is around Christmas to pick up odds and ends for my kids, and maybe once in the summer. My husband has to lug the wheelchair around, which has been hurting his back over this last year. He's 53, and has always worked physical labor, so . . .
I would LOVE to learn how the Plain people handle chronic illness. I have lost most of my friends and have almost no family left. It can be very lonely.
We have tried attending churches, but the ones around us do NOT seem conducive to people like me. At first they are glad you come, but then I don't know what it is? They don't really want you to attend much. I wonder if they worry about liabilities? Or Handicap accessibility? Most churches are accessible to the chapel/church, but getting into any other part of the church is NOT accessible. That is when they discourage us from attending any functions.
To top it off, it is very uncomfortable for me to sit in the wheelchair for a length of time anyway, so my husband and I have given up.
Quilts!! Oh quilts!!! If you only knew HOW MANY I have made!!! I started quilting when I was a senior in High School! My first quilt is a Sampler Quilt with Flyng Geese all around as the border. The funniest thing in the world is this: it is SOOOO long! It is LONGER than a California King Size bed! I don't know WHAT I was thinking??!! EVERY time my son and I make his bed, we laugh!! My future husband back then was over 6 feet tall, and I wanted our 'future family' to be able to snuggle under that quilt and watch TV & movies! I guess I figured it would cover 10 kids!! It is the funniest thing! When you tuck it under, it goes half way up to the top of the bed!! LOL!
I would LOVE to read this book! I will also write a review on it!!
I am SOOOO glad a book has been written, and an AMISH BOOK, at that! ABOUT CHRONIC DISEASE!!!! YEAH!!!!! I KNOW there will be scripture in there I will be able to use as well!! I look forward to that as well!
Do you know HOW MANY PEOPLE this will help?! LOTS!!!
Thank you SO much for this giveaway!! I will have to visit the Author's page and thank her for writing this book for those of us with Chronic diseases! HOW HELPFUL!!!
Thank YOU, again, for the gracious giveaway!!
Laurie Carlson
I live in Michigan!!!
Just a little north of me there is a large group of Old Order Amish!!! To bad it hurts to much to drive around in the car! Plus, these would be DIRT ROADS!! UGH!! OW!!!
Laurie Carlson

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds very interesting, please enter me in the drawing, Thanks!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

i would luv to see the quilts posted! makings of a great giveaway opportunity too...
i'd like to hear you play your celtic harp - reminds me of Maire Brennan..
glad to know you "return there annually to have her accent calibrated."- wouldn't want you losing your Cdn accent ! from one to another =)

misskallie2000 said...

I love to read books that are tender love stories and "The Wounded Heart" sounds like a great love story. I also love Amish stories.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway,.

misskalllie2000 at yahoo com

Georgia Peach

Anonymous said...

Just reading Amish and Christian books are so uplifting for me. I can't get enough of them. Thank you for the opportunity to try and win a copy of this book.
God Bless