Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THE WOUNDED HEART BLOG TOUR: AUTHOR INTERVIEW, REVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
 THE WOUNDED HEART 
THE AMISH QUILT TRILOGY
BY ADINA SENFT

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When a business offer turns into something more personal, Amelia is torn between what logic tells her is right, and the desire of her heart.

A widow with two small children, Amelia Beiler is struggling to make ends meet. She is running her late husband's business, but it's not what she was raised to do, which is run a home. When she gets an offer for the business from Eli Fischer, she's only too relieved to consider it-especially when it looks like Eli's interest might include more than just the shop. But when she begins to experience strange physical symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it's difficult not to question God's will. If she pursues the treatment she believes in, she risks going under the bann. But how can she allow Eli to court her when she can't promise him a future?

Includes instructions to make the quilt block featured in the novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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. 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:  
1. Welcome, Adina Senft, and thank you for agreeing to an interview for BOOKIN‘ WITH BINGO. Is there any personal information you would like to start out with today?
I’d like to start out with a big thank you for having me on the blog! I was bitten by the writing bug when I was 8, when I turned in a short story about a ghost in a graveyard, and my teacher wrote on it that I’d scared her. Of course she was just being kind, but it opened my eyes to the fact that a writer could affect the emotions of her readers with words. That set me on a track that led to my first completed novel at the tender age of 13, a BA in Literature, an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, and over 20 published novels.

I live on the West Coast with my husband. In 1989 our house fell down in the Loma Prieta earthquake, after we’d been married just over a year. People told us that building a new house would have us divorced by the time the roof went on—and they actually started placing bets! I wish I’d taken a few of those bets, because 22 years later, we’re living happily in the house we built together, along with our flock of rescued chickens.

2. Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?
This idea—about a woman who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and finds out she has something else altogether—has been lurking in the back of my brain for years. If you’re like me, you know someone who is living with MS. Just in my own small circle, I’ve known five women who were diagnosed with it, one in my own family. Like my Amish heroine Amelia, one of these friends found out she didn’t have MS at all. But it wasn’t a cause for rejoicing—it turns out that what was causing the symptoms was nearly as scary as MS itself: mercury poisoning. And where did a modern, professional woman get such a thing? It’s not like she was breaking open thermometers and playing with the silver stuff. Nope. It was from the fillings in her teeth. Turns out the symptoms of mercury poisoning are shared not only by MS, but also by fibromyalgia. The chelation process is long and painful, and the return to health slow, but there is a return. 

As I saw my friend going through this experience, I knew I had to write about it. And that’s when The Wounded Heart came into being.

3. How did the title of your book come about?
My characters all carry a secret pain inside that is worked out through the course of the book. In Amelia’s case, she is a young widow struggling to run her husband’s business (not easy when you’re an Amish woman who’s been brought up to run a home and not step into public life) and raise her two small boys. Her wounded heart comes from the loss of the man she loved, and also from her determination to keep a gentle Amish man who comes into her life at arms’ length because, with the disease, she doesn’t want to be a burden to him.

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?
Some characters are a little like me, but most aren’t. That’s a big trap that novice writers can fall into—writing the “Mary Sue,” which is just the writer dressed up in costume. But we soon grow out of that, because it’s more interesting to write about people who aren’t like us, but whose conflicts and victories are their own and make the story better, more entertaining. I enjoy writing stories where a woman is at the center of the story. I’ve written plenty of male characters, too. The challenge is to put a good woman up against a man who is worthy of her and watch the sparks fly!

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?
My reading arc started in the 70s with the grandes dames of romantic suspense and gothic romance—Jean Plaidy, Norah Lofts, Mary Stewart. And I loved BritFic … I think I have every novel Elizabeth Goudge and Paul Gallico ever wrote. My aunt had a massive British library and I worked my way through it, one author at a time. Twenty years later, those books had soaked my consciousness to the point that I began writing romance with a touch of suspense. When I wrote my MA thesis along those lines, that was the book that was my first sale.

Right now I’m reading the fourth book in the Song of Ice and Fire cycle by George R.R. Martin. I haven’t read much fantasy other than J.R.R. Tolkien and my students’ work (I’m a graduate writing teacher), but this series is mind-bending. I’m also working my way through the Amish mystery series of P.L. Gaus and Linda Castillo. I adore mysteries and these are really well done. I’m a huge fan of Donna Leon’s mysteries set in Venice, and C.S. Harris’s Regency-set historical mysteries, not to mention the mistress of the genre, Elizabeth George. I can’t wait for her YA novels to come out!

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?
Right now I’m writing The Hidden Life, the second book in the Amish Quilt trilogy. Its heroine is Emma Stolzfus, who is over thirty and not married, and the caregiver for her invalid mother. Her internal wound is that she wants to be married and wants to be heard more than anything. So with the first option impossible (so she thinks), she tries the second and writes a book. And that’s when the trouble starts!

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
Well, as I said at the beginning, I rescue chickens. There is a chicken somewhere in every book I’ve ever had published—even if it’s only a pattern on the wallpaper :) At the moment I have twelve laying hens, who have come to me from all kinds of places. Rhoda, Sirius, and Dorie came from a lady who was too ill to take care of them anymore. My husband found Millie dodging cars on the onramp to the freeway, so he stopped to catch her and brought her home (she’s still phobic about cars. You just have to say the word car and she flinches.) Carmen and Aida were given to me by an opera buff who lost her home in the mortgage crisis. And Copper is my stalwart old lady, going strong at the age of nine (ninety in human years). Every hen is an individual, with her own personality and strong emotions. They’re wonderful little companions—and if they do jump on my keyboard when I’m working outside, it’s only because they want a snuggle!

8. Do you own an eReader of any kind and how do you feel about their impact on books, as well as you as an author?
I have an iPad that has fast become indispensable. Even my Luddite husband researches car parts on it :) I have the Kindle app and I download novels, especially when I’m getting ready to go on a trip. It’s a great way to try out new authors, and the instant gratification really appeals.

eReaders have changed the face of publishing, and more change is going to come. I’ve even dipped my toes in the self-publishing waters, putting up a steampunk novel and a vampire novel for Kindle and Nook as Shelley Adina, which is the name my teen readers know me by.

9. What is your advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
Don’t give up. This business isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re burning to tell a story, get all the training you can and tell it. Check university extensions and community colleges for writing classes. Take classes online. Focus on your craft until it becomes instinctive and the story flows through it. And then pull out all the stops, be true to the story in your heart, and write!

Thank you so much, Adina, for a wonderful interview. I know my readers will enjoy it so much. 

GUEST REVIEW:
Today's Guest Reviewer is Carol Wong who goes back as one of my first Guest Reviewers. Carol has also become a dear friend and I know I can always count on her to come through for me, no matter what is going on in her life and I hope she knows how very much I appreciate that. Carol's interest and dealings with the Amish community in her past made this a good book choice for her to review.  

Carol likes to write her reviews on her lap top in her craft room. She says, "When I read a book, I write down notes when something strikes me or a question that comes up. Later, I usually don't look at the notebook, the act of writing seems to put it in my head." 

Carol lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two cockatiels. She has a son currently working in Chengdu, China.

‘The Wounded Heart’ starts a thought provoking new series of three, the Amish Quilt Series. Amish fiction mostly concentrates on relationships, with other people and/or their spiritual dilemmas.  I chose this book because I had visited the Amish stores and a restaurant in Northern Indiana. I was impressed by their friendliness, honesty and politeness.  They live without many modern conveniences but that does not protect them from having complex problems as seen in this book.

The author, Adina Senft opens with a young widower, Amelia Beiler who is left with two young sons to love and care for. Amelia has two best friends who meet with her to work together on quilts. There is Emma who is single and feels like she was left behind when it came to getting the married and Carrie who has been married for ten years, but she has no children yet.

 The quilting meetings were special to the three because it took them away from the routine of their lives and they got to share with each other things that they didn’t feel like sharing with others. The meetings serve to tie the story together and bring out the thoughts and feelings of Amelia’s friends.

Amelia’s grief is fresh but others are urging her to get married but she is not ready.  She takes over her husband’s pallet store. Then suddenly one day, she starts to have shooting pains and numbness in her left arm. She begins to drop things and sometimes even collapses.  She sees different doctors and they all agree that she probably has multiple sclerosis. What kind of treatment should she take? There are several alternatives.
 

She can do what is approved of by the Bishops at the Council meeting but there are definite drawbacks to that. Will she instead choose to try the controversial treatment in Mexico and risk being banned? If she did the treatment in Mexico, how would she obtain the money? There is also a man who is interested in her romantically. Would it be selfish of her to love him and have him end up taking care of her later? She worries whether she would be going against God’s will with her decisions and how her decisions will affect others.

I love the author’s emphasis on relationships. You are plunged into Amelia’s turmoil in trying to make the right decision.  She had to consider what would become of her sons, the advice of her friends and the decision of the Bishops at the Council Meeting, and her own heart.  Her decision was not predictable and I was surprised by the ending.  While reading this book, you come to love and want to help Amelia. The writing is clear and straight forward and the story held me riveted to the book until the end.  
 
Amish sayings and Pennsylvania Dutch is sprinkled throughout the book.  There is a glossary for the Pennsylvania Dutch words used in the back, along with instructions for the quilt referred to in the book and also a Reader’s Group Guide.

I highly recommend this book for all readers interested in the Amish and also relationships of the community and friends.


Thank you, Carol. I am sure everyone enjoyed your review as I did.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO SARAH AND THE GOOD 
FOLKS AT FAITH WORDS AND HATCHETTE
BOOK GROUP, I HAVE ONE COPY OF 
THIS NEWLY RELEASED BOOK TO GIVE
AWAY TO ONE LUCKY READER
  
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT THE WOUNDED HEART THAT MADE YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK,  AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR ADINA SENFT FROM HER INTERVIEW ABOVE AND BY CHECKING OUT HER WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK, PLEASE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, COMMENT ON EACH WAY SEPARATELY.
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, OCTOBER 19
 
HERE IS THE LIST OF OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR. I HOPE YOU WILL VISIT AS MANY AS YOU CAN!

September 26
http://www.bibliophilesretreat.com
http://uselesscrafts.blogspot.com
http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com
http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot.com/
http://www.kittycrochettwo.blogspot.com
http://mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com

September 27
http://www.moms-pace.com
http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com
http://ashleysbookshelf.blogspot.com
http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com
http://a-long-the-way.blogspot.com
http://www.melanieski.blogspot.com
http://www.amusingreviews.blogspot.com

September 28
http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/
http://shoopettesbookreviews.blogspot.com/
http://libslibrary.blogspot.com
http://sugarpeach.wordpress.com/
http://www.frommipov.blogspot.com
http://southernsassythings.blogspot.com
http://detweilermom.blogspot.com
http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/
http://camys-loft.blogspot.com
 

116 comments:

lag123 said...

I want to read this book to see what choices Amelia makes. And I love to quilt!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I love the story of Adina's rescue chickens. I have a friend who rescues Westies and she is very passionate about that. I am sure that Adina is as well.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

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debbie said...

It is interesting to think you have MS, but find out it is something else. I would like to read the book.
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Teressa Oliver said...

There is so little we really know about the Amish faith it all seems so mysterious, and thats what makes this sound great to read
teressaoliver at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

Great review Carol! I think the idea of such a grave diagnosis possibly being wrong is a good storyline and I want to know what happens to Amelia.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I checked out Adina's blog from a link on her website...topics such as chicken molt are made to sound interesting!!
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Steve Capell said...

Carol, I really liked your review. I have read several Amish novels and have really enjoyed the Amish culture put into print. I would very much like to read this novel so I'm tossing my name into you bonnet and hoping for the best.

steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

Tore said...

Sounds like a really great read. I love reading amish books. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like a great read! I would love to see what she chooses.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

It was great to see that this author is reading the same book I've been reading too. :) THat's awesome. I love book connections.

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justpeachy36 said...

This book has two of the my favorite things in it. Amish values and quilting. I love to read Amish related fiction, I always find it inspiring and I love the idea of quilting. I have never tried it but I think it's a beautiful art form.

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I am a GFC and E-mail follower.

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justpeachy36 said...

I liked the part in the interview where you asked the author something people may not know about her and she described her love for rescuing chickens. I thought that was a very interesting fact.

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petite said...

this book sounds special and fascinating. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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The website is interesting and unique. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

mamabunny13 said...

I would like to win this book because I don't really know much about the Amish but I would love to and this book sounds good.
mamabunny13 at gmail.com

mamabunny13 said...

I think it's pretty cool that she plays the Celtic harp, and has a flock of rescued chickens.
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Margaret said...

I have only read one other amish story and I would love to read another. thanks for the giveaway!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

Loved discovering that the author is a Canadian and the other books the author has written via her website.

Margaret
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Adina Senft said...

Thanks for hosting me, Bingo, and thanks, Carol, for your lovely, thoughtful review. Can't wait to see who wins the book!

And hey, chicken molt IS interesting! LOL It's time to write, so I'm going to let the chickens out into the garden and join them. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Adina

Margie said...

Nice review! This looks like a many-layered book, with many important issues at its core. I am interested in learning more about the Amish.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

According to her website, the author has written under several pen names. She has earned many awards, including the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award.
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ann said...

I want to win because I love Amish fiction books

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ann said...

she loves to rescue chickens is something I learned about her

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rubynreba said...

I've always enjoyed books about the Amish and this looks like a very good one!

rubynreba said...

I liked how she encouraged everyone to thanks a teacher who meant a lot to them.

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Novel Chatter said...

I'm halfway finished with "The Wounded Heart" and I just put it down long enough to read more about it here. Great review!!!

rbooth43 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rbooth43 said...

I am Laughing because of Adina's comment abouts chickens. When I was about 10 years old , my farmer father one summer day brought me a baby chick. Then the next day a truck came with about fifty more to take care of as a summer project and for the eggs, and Sunday dinners. I had to take care of them on my own. Needless to say, I told my husband when we married, I never wanted chickens, except from the grocery store.

The Wounded Heart sounds like a great read!
Thanks!
Rebecca
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I'd like to find out what she decides to do and how the book turns out.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I think it's cool that she rescues chickens. We rescue dogs at our house.

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Anne Schroeder said...

Probably won't win this book, but it doesn't matter because I'm BUYING this book. Everything about it catches my curiosity. (And I have rescue chickens, too. We buy our eggs from Trader Joe's because they're all too old to lay.

Darlene said...

I'm curious how the story turns out!

Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Darlene said...

I'm an animal lover, so I think it's great that she rescues chickens!

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bloomerbear said...

I would love to read this because a friend I have has MS and they mistakingly diagnoised me with it too! I pity all these people that have it because the shot that they have to take is HORRIBLE

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks for the chance

Patricia said...

I find the dilemma of getting the treatment she needs and her religion very compelling. I'd love to read how this is resolved.

patricia dot mariani dot esq at gmail dot com

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Rachael's Reads said...

I think it's interesting that the story of the main character is coming from a place of grief. You don't find that often in Amish fiction. Looks awesome!

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Rachael's Reads said...

I loved the author picture!! She's holding a chicken! :) How cool is that? Absolutely the best author photo I've seen.

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