Ready for something new? How about an Amish suspense? If that sounds like an intriguing combination, then I’d like to introduce you to Patrick Craig! Patrick’s newest novel, The Amish Princess, will be releasing in November, but he’s anxious to share it! To entertain you while you wait for the release, he’s also offering to give away a copy of the first book in the series, The Amish Heiress. Before we meet Patrick, let’s take a quick look at this new story.
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 Deleware renegade known as Scar brings three Amish prisoners to the Delaware camp. Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger are twin brothers that Scar is determined to adopt and teach the Indian way. The third prisoner is Jonas Hershberger, who has been made a slave because he would not defend his family against the Indians because of his stand against violence. 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 undying love for the man who can only hate her.
Welcome, Patrick! This sounds like a fascinating twist for an Amish story. What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?
In my first Amish book, A Quilt For Jenna, Jerusha Hershberger hears the story of her great-great-great-grandfather, Joshua Hershberger from her grandmother, Hannah.
Hannah handed the second book to Jerusha. It was small with a plain leather cover.
“What’s this, Grandmother?” she asked.
“This is the story of Jonathan and Joshua Hershberger,” said Hannah. “It tells of the choices the twin brothers made after Indians massacred their family near Fort Henry on the Ohio, and what effect those decisions had on generations of Hershbergers. One brother, Jonathan, forsook the Amish church and he and all his descendants went out into the world. The other brother, Joshua, stayed in the church and remained faithful, even under the most difficult conditions. Joshua was your great-great-great grandfather. It was his grandson, my father, who came to Apple Creek in 1860 as a boy. It is because Joshua stayed true, that you are here today.”
In my second book, The Road Home, Jerusha’s adopted daughter, Jenny Springer, meets Jonathan Hershberger who she discovers is the great-great-great-great-grandson of Jonathan Hershberger, the twin who married an Indian princess and left the Amish faith. So I thought this book would be a great opportunity to tell the story of both brothers and the Indian Princess and tie it into the family that is the centerpiece of both the Apple Creek Dreams series and The Paradise Chronicles series.
What a great way to connect the stories! Do you have a favorite character from this book? Why is this character your favorite?
Opahtuhwe, The White Deer, is definitely my favorite character. White Deer must make the choice between her family, her way of life, and her culture, and believing in the Lord. In this way she faces the same difficulties many of us faced when we heard the gospel, took up our cross and followed him. Many of you reading this were rejected by family and friends when you became a Christian. For many, especially those of a different faith, choosing Christ can be the most difficult choice. For White Deer the decision led her on a trail of sorrow, but in the end she becomes a shining example for her people.
I love characters who set strong examples for us! Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Joshua Hershberger, the brother who keeps his faith and his trust in the Lord through every desperate situation, is a strong character and I was just thinking about how I could work him into his own book.
I’m sure he has quite a story to tell, too. It sounds like his choices were not always easy, either. Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
When I was a kid, one of my most favorite books was Betty Zane, by Zane Grey. It was set at Fort Henry in the Ohio territory, now the site of Wheeling, West Virginia in the same time period as The Amish Princess. I read that book dozens of times and the characters became very real to me, so real that I even included some of them as side characters in this book. If I was transported back in time, I feel like I could find my way through the forest surrounding the Fort. So when I discovered that Apple Creek, the setting for my first series for Harvest House, was only one hundred miles from Fort Henry, it was easy for me to write a prequel and set it right around Fort Henry.
How fun! What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
We live in a very crazy mixed up world. The only thing that will really help people to make it through is a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. So as a writer I have two imperatives. One is to, somewhere in my story, present the gospel of Jesus Christ in a simple, clear, concise manner, without preaching so that people can hear the truth and decide what they are going to do about it. The other thing I want to do is to preserve our wonderful language. So I take every opportunity when I write to use words that will stretch people, get them out of the texting mode that most people live in today, and make them aware that real communication is everything.
You’ve taken on quite a challenge with that one… 😉 Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Well I have several but certainly Philippians 4:6&7 is one of them. Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. It helps me to remember that God is still on the throne and prayer changes things.
Absolutely! Sometimes we say prayer is “all we can do,” but really it’s the best we can do! If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
God is in charge of your writing. If He has a place for your book, He will show you the way. In the meantime, practice your craft every day, go to writing conferences and learn the art of writing.
Great advice! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Patrick!
Your turn! What is your favorite verse (or one of them), and why is that one special for you?
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. He spent the next 26 years as a worship leader, seminar speaker, and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the western United States. 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&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 the fall of 2016. Patrick and his wife Judy make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.
Also by Patrick:
Rachel Hershberger’s life in Paradise, Pennsylvania is far from happy. Her papa struggles with a terrible event from the past, and his emotional instability has created an irreparable breach between them. Rachel’s one desire is to leave the Amish way of life and Paradise forever. Then her prayers are answered. Rachel discovers that the strange, key-shaped birthmark above her heart identifies her as the heir to a vast fortune left by her Englischer grandfather, Robert St. Clair. If Rachel will marry a suitable descendent of the St. Clair family, she will inherit an enormous sum of money. But Rachel does not know that behind the scenes is her long-dead grandfather’s sister-in-law, Augusta St. Clair, a vicious woman who will do anything to keep the fortune in her own hands. As the deceptions and intrigues of the St. Clair family bind her in their web, Rachel realizes that she has made a terrible mistake. But has her change of heart come too late?
‘The Amish Heiress’ Giveaway:
While you eagerly await The Amish Princess, Patrick has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of The Amish Heiress. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.