Tuesday, November 29, 2016

THE AMISH PRINCESS - Patrick E Craig - One Free Book

Bio: Best-selling author Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. In 2011, he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book in the series, The Amish Heiress, was published by P and J Publishing in August of 2015 and remained on the Amazon bestseller lists for seven months. The second book in the series, The Amish Princess, will be released in December. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.

Welcome, Patrick. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I was actually challenged by an editor at a major publishing house to send him a one-sheet. He wanted an Amish story or a quilting story, so I sent him the idea for A Quilt For Jenna, and they bought the story. And that's what launched me on my journey as one of about six men writing Amish fiction.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my wife Judy was the happiest day of my life.

How has being published changed your life?
I always wanted to write books. I spent many years as a professional musician writing songs. Then after I came to the Lord I went into the ministry and became a teaching pastor, but my dream was always to write fiction. When I got my first book published it gave me a reason to focus my life and my energy on writing and so that is now the main thing I do.

What are you reading right now?
I've been reading a lot of Louis L'Amour books. I had never read them before but when I discovered that the man had sold millions of adventure stories I decided I should check him out. A bookstore in our town was going out of business and we found about fifty Louis L'Amour books for fifty cents each. So I have read through the Sackett series and about fifteen of his other books.

I read Louis L’Amour books when I was growing up. Loved them. What is your current work in progress?
Now that The Amish Princess is finished, I am moving on to the last book in The Paradise Chronicles series. It's titled The Mennonite Queen and it's set in the sixteenth century in Germany. It's the story of a Polish princess who runs away with her Mennonite stable boy but eventually has to choose between him and saving her country.

What would be your dream vacation?
My wife and I would love to visit New Zealand, especially after we saw the Lord of the Rings movies which were all set in that beautiful country.

Visiting New Zealand and then Australia is on my Bucket List. How do you choose your settings for each book?
When I first started writing an Amish Quilting story, I researched the places where there were a lot of Amish Quilters. I discovered a town in Ohio, Dalton, that had the biggest quilting fair in the country. As I looked at Dalton on the map, I discovered a small village named Apple Creek about ten miles away. I decided that would be a perfect setting for a series and so the Apple Creek Dreams series was born. In that series, one of the characters ended up finding long lost relatives in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and so that became the focus of my next series, The Paradise Chronicles. The setting for The Amish Princess was born out of my love for several of Zane Grey's books, which were set in the Ohio wilderness in the revolutionary war period.

Another of my favorite authors when I was growing up was Zane Grey. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I'd love to sit with Dr. Ben Carson and just talk to him about the next several years in this country under a new, conservative administration. I am hoping that Dr. Carson will have a lot of influence in the new government.                   

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Fishing, music, traveling in our trailer.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult obstacle is staying focused on a specific writing goal each week. My mind tends to wander so I need to really kick myself to keep up with writing every day. So I get up around 5:30 every morning. I sit at the kitchen table in a straight-backed chair and drink a big cup of coffee.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
The most important thing a new writer can do is learn your craft. Go to conferences, get books on writing and study them, read authors you like, and authors that have been recognized as good writers. Then listen to the Lord for the story He wants you to tell and then write it. Don't worry about getting published, just write. Then when opportunity knocks answer the door.

Tell us about the featured book, The Amish Princess.
Opahtuhwe, the White Deer, is the beautiful daughter of Wingenund, the most powerful chief of the Delaware tribe. She is revered by her people–a true Indian princess. Everything changes when the murderous Delaware renegade known as Scar brings three Amish prisoners to the Delaware camp. Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger are twin brothers that Scar has determined to adopt and teach the Indian way. The third prisoner is Jonas Hershberger, their father, who has been made a slave because he would not defend his family. White Deer is drawn to Jonathan but his hatred of the Indians makes him push her away. Joshua's gentle heart and steadfast refusal to abandon the Amish faith lead White Deer to a life-changing decision and rejection by her people. In the end, White Deer must choose between the ways of her people and her new-found faith. And complicating it all is her love for the man who can only hate her.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The smell of death was everywhere in the steerage area of the schooner Charming Nancy. Jonas Hershberger gagged at the stench as he made his way up from the hold. He could not stand being below decks one minute more—seeing the white, tear-stained faces of grieving fathers and mothers and hearing the moans of the dying. He passed by Bishchopp Kauffman on his way forward. The once-energetic leader of their flock now sat silently, staring at the shroud-wrapped body of his youngest child. The bishchopp looked up at him and shook his head. He whispered something to Jonas.
Jonas leaned closer. "What, Bishchopp?"
The man took hold of Jonas' arm with a painful grip. "He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels."
Jonas pulled his arm away and stood staring at the man for a moment, and then he turned and blindly groped his way to the ladder that led upwards toward the fresh air and escape from the horror below.
The Amish people on board the ship had not expected such trials when they left Lomersheim near Wurtemburg that spring. Indeed, the Hershberger family and those who traveled with them had been full of joy as they prepared to depart. After the Palatinate and nearby areas had been repeatedly invaded by the French, the Anabaptists living there had struggled with the devastation and famine that followed, as well as the constant threat of religious persecution. When the man who represented William Penn came to their village and told glowing tales of Pennsylvania—the rich farmland, the mighty forests, the rivers teeming with fish, the abundance of game and most of all, the freedom from tyranny and death at the hands of other Christians, Jonas' father, Mathias, had leapt at the chance to emigrate.
So the Hershbergers set out on their journey with others from their village. In the spring of 1737, they journeyed to Rotterdam and there they joined a group of Amish people who were to board the Charming Nancy and set sail for the new world. But trouble found them before they even started. On the twenty-eighth of June while they were still in Rotterdam getting ready to set out, Bishchopp Kauffman’s daughter, Zernbli, died. On the twenty-ninth, the ship went under sail but enjoyed only one and a half days of favorable wind. Then on the seventh day of July, early in the morning, the Zimmerman’s son-in-law died. The travelers landed at Plymouth, England, on the eighth of July. During the nine days the ship remained in port, five more children died.
And so it went. As the endless days on the gray-green sea crept by, the list grew longer. Lisbetli Kaufmann died, followed swiftly by four more. On the first of August another of the Bischopp’s children, Hansli, died, then five more children died. On the twenty-eighth, Hans Gasi’s wife died. During the voyage of eighty-three days, one in nine of the passengers succumbed and the Charming Nancy became a death-ship. Jonas had watched his father and mother work themselves into exhaustion nursing the sick and praying for deliverance. And now, at last they were coming to Pennsylvania.

Jonas climbed up the last steps of the ladder and staggered onto the deck. The ship was slowly making its way against the current. He felt the fresh wind that was moving them upstream and smelled the fields that lay on both sides of the great river. His hair whipped in the chill breeze but he did not want to go below deck again, not ever. It was so good to see land again. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Then he opened them and began to look more closely at the shoreline. As the ship rounded a promontory, he saw a small figure on the bank. It looked like an Indian boy with a basket slung over his shoulder. He wore a breechclout and leggings that covered his nakedness. The boy stood silently, staring at Jonas as the ship passed. Jonas waved to him but the boy did not wave back or make any sign. Then the boy turned and disappeared into the tall grass lining the shore.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Where can readers purchase my books?
http://tinyurl.com/n6sfagg Amazon

Thank you, Patrick, for sharing this new book with us. I've not read any historical Amish books.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds fascinating! I hope to get to read it soon.
Connie from KY

Patrick E. Craig said...

Connie, It's coming soon. Should be available a week before Christmas.

Melanie Backus said...

What a book! It sounds like a book not to be missed. I love the cover!

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lena for interviewing Patrick, Hi Patrick. What a great sounding story. I love Indian stories and Amish stories. So hoping to get lucky and win your book. May GOD bless both of you. Maxie ( Texas )

Patrick E. Craig said...

Hi, Maxie. Good luck!! And, Melanie, the cover was done by Chris Garborg who has designed all five of my Amish book covers.

rubynreba said...

I love Patrick's Amish books. Please enter me!
Beth from Iowa

Unknown said...

I've read his other books and have been impatiently waiting for this one. Christine from Arizona/California. I split my time.

RT said...

In Alaska instead of Arkansas, but at negative 7, this reads like a book I want to read. Snuggled in tight against the weather, ready for new books to read, loved your prior books Patrick. In a village in Alaska, feel very kin to the Amish, the town only has water because of a school here, so theycome for the heat, water and things we take for granted.

Diana Flowers said...

I would love to read this! I love Amish historicals and there isn't too many written. Suzanne Woods Fisher has a good Amish historical series out right now, but aside from her I don't know of any others. Question for Patrick: How do you write a woman's POV and get it right? We're pretty complicated as you well know! lol

Diana in SC


Unknown said...

Wow this combines two of my favorite genres - historical & Amish. I also have Australia & New Zealand on my bucket list! Thanks for the great interview. Elaine from Wisconsin

Patrick E. Craig said...

I so appreciate all the positive feedback. Looking forward to having The Amish Princess published and available.

Abigail Mitchell said...

This book looks very intriguing! Would love to read it.
Abigail in Clarksville VA

Anonymous said...

I live in Davenport, Iowa. This book looks really great.

kim hansen said...

Sounds good. North platte Nebraska.

SavingsInSeconds said...

I like Amish historical fiction because it usually has more interesting information than a typical romance has.
Dianna in TN

Terrill R. said...

It seems likes it's been such a long wait for this second book in the series. I was introduced to the first book through Lena's blog and now again it's her blog sharing the news of the second book. I'm so looking forward to it.

Terrill - WA

Patrick E. Craig said...

Terrill, It has been a long wait - one of those years where everything happened except being able to write. I assure you that the next book, "The Mennonite Queen" will not take so long. :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Kathy F said...

This book sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read it!
Jenison, Michigan

Patrick E. Craig said...

I've been getting great feedback from my editor and my proofers. So I'm excited to have it finally released.