Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Change of Heart: A Review And a Giveaway!


Twenty years ago I visited Amish country in Pennsylvania and became fascinated. I have loved Amish fiction every since.

For fans of Amish fiction, Good writes an easy to read story that brings likeable characters into play, causing the reader to hope for love even in the midst of their trials.

Lydia is the "good" big sister, watching over the family and making sure that everyone else is doing what they need to do. When her sister leaves with an Englisher, she finds herself struggling with how to convince her to come back to the family.

Caleb doesn't appreciate Lydia's sister distracting his brother from med school, so he is an unlikely ally for Lydia. However, there's just something about him.

As her Mammi has surgery, her family faces the flu, and tragedy occurs, Lydia must try to stay true to herself even as she struggles with finding Caleb attractive.

I would give this book four stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction and a good lighthearted romance. The book was well-written, easy to follow, and the characters were likeable and well-developed.


About the Book

Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during Rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.
When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. Will she stay true to her faith even if it means giving up the man she loves?
About the Author

Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1T35q5p  Visit Rachel at:
Website: www.racheljgood.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Hi, I’m Rachel J. Good, inspirational author of heartfelt tales of faith, hope, and forgiveness.
I’m excited to launch the first book in my Sisters & Friends Amish series, Change of Heart. Although I’ve been writing for many years and have about 30 books out now, this is my first inspirational novel. I’m busy editing book 2, Buried Secrets, and writing book 3, Gift from Above. And I’m planning the next three books in the series.
I’ve been asked how I came to write Amish novels. For that, I have to credit my agent Mary Sue Seymour, who suggested it to me. I loved the idea because I’d lived near Lancaster, PA, and had always been interested in the Amish. Although Mary Sue went to heaven a few months ago, just before the book launched, I feel her presence in my life as I write. She believed in me as a writer and encouraged me to work on this novel, which she quickly sold.
Lydia’s story in Change of Heart has several connections with my real life. The first is that I’m the oldest in my family and have two sisters, and so does Lydia. We both feel responsible our younger sisters. Lydia’s younger sister, Emma, gets in trouble during Rumschpringe. (And no, her wild sister doesn’t resemble either of my two younger sisters.)
The second connection with my life is the spiritual lesson Lydia learns in the book. I wanted Lydia’s journey to be not only a struggle between faith and love, but also a personal inner journey from self-righteousness to seeing with God’s loving eyes.
Oftentimes, goodness and spirituality can be a source of pride, and it can also be used to justify being judgmental. Lydia’s sister Emma points this out to her, but in my case, it was my young daughter who piped up, when I was complaining about someone at church, and said, “She sounds just like you, Mommy.” Ouch!
That day I came face to face with the truth that often what I criticize most in another person is often a flaw or a sin I’m overlooking in myself. As Matthew 7:3 (NIV) says: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” I wanted Lydia’s story to reflect that truth.
The Amish try to avoid the sin of hochmut (pride), but Lydia, without realizing it, is secretly proud of her own spirituality. It often saddens me that, as Christians, we spend more time criticizing others outside the faith or with different lifestyles or beliefs, but very little time examining our own unloving and judgmental behavior. I’d like to see us become more like Jesus, who ate with the “publicans and sinners,” and showed love to everyone, instead of condemning them.
Lydia is also forced to choose between staying in her faith or leaving it for love. I, too, faced a similar challenge many years ago, so I wrote those scenes from my heart. I hope Lydia’s story touches hearts, and that readers come away reassured that although we can’t always see the larger picture, God can, and He’s working out a wonderful plan for us. Our present circumstances might seem dark, but He knows the final results. We need to trust Him even during the challenging times, because “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

Blog Stops

July 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 15: Bigreadersite
July 16: Blossoms and Blessings
July 17: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
July 18: Bukwurmzzz
July 19: Christian Bookaholic
July 20: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
July 21: Singing Librarian Books
July 22: Quiet Quilter
July 23: Texas Book-aholic
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 25: Red Headed Book Lady
July 25: Cassandra M’s Place
July 26: His Grace is Sufficient
July 27: cherylbbookblog

GIVEAWAY!!!
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away lots of fun prizes, including copies of her books and even a box of Whoopie Pies from Bird-in-Hand Bakery. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ed1

7 comments:

  1. Great Guest post, Rachel! Thank you for the interview!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! So glad you stopped by!

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  2. Thanks for sharing & being a part of this blog tour Lauren!
    rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Robin, You've been awesome!!Thanks so much!

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  3. Thanks so much for having me, Lauren!

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  4. Can't wait to read. Thank you! God bless!

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! Special blessings to you as well.

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