Archives For Suzanne Woods Fisher

swf-scavenger

Today, please welcome to my blog author Suzanne Woods Fisher!

Since book one, The Letters, in Suzanne’s new series, Inn at Eagle Hill, is about to release on August 1, Suzanne is hosting a scavenger hunt July 23 – August 1. And I’m one of the stops! Keep an eye on Suzanne’s blog for a clue as to that day’s scavenger-hunt stop and visit for a sneak peek at The Letters and the chance to win a copy of the book!

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“There’s an amusing storyline running through The Letters about an oh-so-proper Amish grandmother who allows her granddaughters to keep one book in the house (beside the Holy Bible and the Book of Martyrs, of course). The book is called A Young Woman’s Guide to Virtue and was published in 1948. The granddaughters find the book to be thoroughly old-fashioned and outdated, but surprisingly, they do pull wisdom from it as they navigate their own teenaged pitfalls. This grandmother had a way of getting her message across, loud and clear.

The Amish place great emphasis on the power of example. That’s one of the reasons children are included in all parts of Amish life—so they are constantly steeped in good modeling.

It’s encouraging to realize your example as a parent does go deep into your children’s development. Such awareness is a motivation, too, to be our best self at all times.

What changes for you today, knowing your child is watching and observing everything you do and say?” ~Suzanne~

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne is graciously giving away a copy of The Letters to one of my blog readers! Enter below & I’ll send the name of the winner to Suzanne. She’ll send out your copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Suzanne Woods Fisher 34About the author: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children’s series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her at her Facebook page and on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Fun Tip: Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your mobile device! Download the App here for FreeContinue Reading…

When it comes to reading, I’m a romantic suspense, police procedural kind of girl. But certain authors have won me over to their genres by the wonderful stories they tell. One such writer is Suzanne Woods Fisher, whose charming novels share the hopes, dreams, heartaches, and daily adventures of my favorite Amish characters. When I finish a Suzanne Woods Fisher novel, my heart has been satisfied, my mind has been refreshed, and I’ve been thoroughly entertained in the process.

I loved the tender hearts and gentle ways of the folks who peopled her novel, The Keeper. And I also enjoyed the touch of mystery in the plot.

What’s The Keeper about? Here’s the book blurb: Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding—again—she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin’ Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul’s cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.

Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind? Continue Reading…

Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Suzanne Wood Fisher’s new book. While you wait, why not sign up for her giveaway?

Suzanne is hosting a “honey of a giveaway”during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party! Continue Reading…

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas!

Enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from some of today’s most beloved writers (Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Sibella Giorello and more) as each contributor shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched lives during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND just for fun … there’s also a giveaway! Fill out this simple {form} and enter for a chance to win a beautiful pearl necklace and earring set ($450 value). Contest runs 12/14 – 12/25 and the winner will on announced on 1/1. (US and Canadian only) You may enter once per day.

Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Christmas of Kindness
~by Suzanne Woods Fisher~

“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” ~Amish proverb~

I do it every year.

I plan for a simpler, less stressful Christmas season and, every year, by Christmas Eve I’m exhausted! After our delicious and very-time-consuming-to-make traditional Swedish meal to honor my husband’s relatives (think: Vikings), it’s time to head to church. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the last few Christmas Eves, I have let my husband and kids head off without me. The pull to spend an hour of quiet in the house feels as strong as a magnet.

It’s odd. My children are young adults now. Wouldn’t you think that Christmas would be simpler? Instead, it’s just the opposite. Juggling schedules to share the grandbaby with the in-laws, trying to include our elderly parents at the best time of day for them, dancing carefully around recently divorced family members whose children are impacted by the shards of broken relationships.

The thing is: you can simplify your to-do list, but you can’t really simplify people. We are just a complicated bunch.

Here’s where I borrow a lesson about simplicity from the Amish. It’s easy to get distracted with the buggies and the bonnets and the beards, but there’s so much more to learn from these gentle people if you’re willing to look a little deeper.

Yes, they live with less “stuff” and that does make for a simpler, less cluttered life. But it’s the reason behind this choice that is so compelling to me: they seek to create margin in their lives. Not just empty space, but space that is available to nourish family, community, and faith. Their Christmas is far less elaborate than yours or mine, but what they do fill it with is oh-so-right!

Christmas comes quietly on an Amish farmhouse. There is no outward sign of the holiday as we know it: no bright decorations, no big tree in the living room corner. A few modest gifts are waiting for children at their breakfast place settings, covered by a dishtowel . . . waiting first for Dad to read the story of Christ’s birth from the book of Luke . . . waiting until after a special breakfast has been enjoyed . . . waiting until Mom and Dad give the signal that the time has come for gifts.

Later, if Christmas doesn’t fall on a Sunday, extended family and friends will gather for another big meal. If time and weather permit, the late afternoon will be filled with ice skating or sledding—and more food! )Always, always an abundance of good food.)

Faith, family, and community. That’s the focus of an Amish Christmas.

And it’s also how the story begins for A Lancaster County Christmas, as a young family prepares for Christmas. A winter storm blows a non-Amish couple, Jaime and C.J. Fitzpatrick, off-course and into the Riehl farmhouse. An unlikely and tentative friendship develops, until the one thing Mattie and Sol hold most dear disappears and then—ah, but you’ll just have to read the story to find out what happens next! Without giving anything away, I will say that I want to create a Mattie-inspired margin this Christmas season. Mattie understood that inconveniences and interruptions which come in the form of people (big ones and little ones!) are ordained by God, blessed by God.

Creating margin probably means that I won’t get Christmas cards out until the end of January, and my house won’t be uber-decorated. After all, something has to give. But it will mean I make time for a leisurely visit with my dad at his Alzheimer’s facility. And time to volunteer in the church nursery for a holiday-crowded event. And time to invite a new neighbor over for coffee.

Hopefully, it will mean that my energy won’t get diverted by a frantic, self-imposed agenda but by God’s agenda, the essence of true simplicity. And that includes taking time to worship Christ’s coming at the Christmas Eve service. You can hold me accountable! This year, I will be there.

***

I’m linking up with Winsome Wednesday and Living Well Wednesdays.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, The Search, and The Keeper, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Christy Award nominee and is the host of an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California. www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

UPDATE: A winner of the August Amazon Gift Card Giveaway has been emailed! Congrats, Renee C!

“God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depth can hold my small affairs. His hand, which guides the universe, can carry all my cares.” ~Amish Proverb~

Bonnet books (Quaker, Shaker, Puritan, or Amish) are bestsellers in the Christian fiction world, and many readers are especially fascinated by the Amish. They wonder how the Amish can withstand the call of modern culture with all its conveniences, entertainment options, career opportunities, expensive activities, varied clothing choices, and remain content with plain living.

Are the Amish happier, more fulfilled, and deeply satisfied because of their lifestyle? What’s their secret?

A sweet devotional book, Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher, reveals these “secrets” by sharing vignettes from the daily lives of typical Amish families.

As I read the book, I found myself admiring the Amish commitment to family and community. Several stories along these lines touched my heart. I loved reading about 101 year-old Cora, who was able to live in the same house where she and her husband were newlyweds because of the tender care of her grandson’s wife, Mary. In a small way, their story brought to mind Ruth and Naomi.

Mary was not actually related to Cora, but embraced caring for her, spending time with her, singing to her. And Cora’s whole family was with her in the end, surrounding the bed and singing her favorite hymn as she met the Lord in eternity.

My 81-year-old mother lives with me, but I do not care for her alone. Because of the volunteers at Meals-on-Wheels and some young aids from Office of the Aging, I’m able to teach full time at a Christian high school. I’m glad my mom can be with me and live as she chooses. But my mother’s life and mine have been very different, and it’s easy to overlook her opinions and suggestions as an out-of-touch old person’s attempt to stay relevant. This quick two-page story reminded me that Mom and I share the same roots and a common heritage. And that is what can bring us together.

This chapter exhorted me to . . . “Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little, but it needs that little so much.”

Also from the book: “The Amish provide a tremendous example of care and commitment to the elderly. Aging parents don’t go to nursing facilities; they are cared for at home. Right to the end. Imagine the sense of security an elderly Amish has, to be loved and values, by their own family, right to the end.”

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction and the host of a weekly radio program called Amish Wisdom, found at this link. Her book The Waiting is a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011).

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world.  When Suzanne isn’t writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby, she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you just can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. You can find Suzanne at this link.

***Thanks to the publisher and to Litfuse for providing this book for me to review. You can purchase this book and others by following this link to Suzanne’s Amazon Author’s Page.

I’m happy to be part of a blog tour for Litfuse, a company that promotes quality works of fiction and nonfiction by Christian authors. After you read my review of The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher, be sure to enter her iPad Promotional Giveaway. The winner bill be announced at Suzanne’s Facebook Party on February 3rd, which is explained at the end of this post.

Here’s the publisher’s summary of the book: Fifteen years ago, Lainey O’Toole made a split-second decision. She couldn’t have known that her choice would impact so many. Now in her mid-twenties, she is poised to go to culinary school when her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very Amish town in which her long-reaching decision was made, forcing her to face the shadowed past.

Bess Reihl is less than thrilled to be spending the summer at Rose Hill Farm with her large and intimidating grandmother, Bertha. It quickly becomes clear that she is there to work the farm–and work hard. The labor is made slightly more tolerable by the time it affords Bess to spend with the handsome hired hand, Billy Lapp. Lainey’s and Bess’s worlds are about to collide and the secrets that come to light will shock them both.

My take on the novel: We readers love a story that has the power to immerse us in an unfamiliar world while still touching on feelings we all experience and can relate to. Such is the case with Suzanne Woods Fisher’s stories. The rural Amish setting harkens back to simpler days yet the modern world provides plenty of familiar conflicts to keep the story hopping. So even though Lainey, Bess, Bertha, Jonah, and Billy spend their days choring without electricity, grafting roses, baking pies, and the like, the inner conflicts they deal with are relevant to any of us who have lost our way in life and need God’s help to start anew. The story is told in such quaint terms that there is never anything to offend–no matter how painful the subject that’s touched upon. And I love that when all the clutter of modern life is swept away, what’s left is a clear view of what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.

Suzanne

About Suzanne: In no particular order, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook—the latter two with sporadic results. Suzanne has loved to write since she was a young teen. After college, she started to write for magazines and became a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her family moved to Hong Kong for four years, just as the internet was developing, and she continued to write articles in a 44-story high-rise apartment, sending manuscripts 7,000 miles away with a click of a key.

After returning from Hong Kong, Suzanne decided to give her first novel a try. For four and a half months, she worked on an antediluvian computer in a cramped laundry room. She didn’t even tell her husband what she was up to. When the novel was completed, she told her family at dinner one night that she had written a book. “That’s why there’s no food in this house!” said her slightly insensitive sons.

Undaunted, Suzanne found a small royalty publisher for that book and wrote three more (all earned multiple awards). With help from an agent, she now has numerous books under contract with Revell. Also look for Suzanne’s Amish non-fiction, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, a non-fiction book of stories and examples about the Old Order Amish, as well as Amish Proverbs, and coming in Spring of 2011, look for Amish Values for Your Family. The Choice and The Waiting are the previous books in the Lancaster County Secrets Collection.

Writing, for Suzanne, is a way to express a love of God and His word. With every book or article, she hopes readers get a sense of what faith really looks like in the daily grind. She hopes they realize that life can be hard, but God is good, and never to confuse the two.

You can find Suzanne’s website at this link. You can purchase your copy of the book here at Amazon.com. Continue Reading…