Thursday, March 8, 2018

An Amish Resource for Writers!

By Debby Giusti

Writing Amish suspense is an exciting challenge. I just submitted Amish Christmas Secrets, the fourth book in my Amish Protectors series for Love Inspired, to my wonderful editor, Emily Rodmell. Amish Rescue, book three, will be available in April and book four will follow in October. The series features three sister who face danger in the North Georgia mountains. Two of the sisters are trafficked. The other sister searches to find them and ends up captured as well. All three of the women rely on Amish heroes to help them survive and outsmart the bad guys who try to do them harm. 

When writing the stories, I drew from my association with the Amish while living in Ohio and Pennsylvania as well as research trips I’ve taken to various Amish locations. I particularly enjoyed visiting Holmes County, Ohio, last August. While there, I stopped by The Budget office in Sugarcreek. 

Founded by John C Miller in 1890, The Budget
at that time had 600 subscribers and a yearly subscription
cost of 50 cents.

The Budget is a newspaper that, according to their masthead, serves The Amish-Mennonite Communities Throughout the Americas. The weekly National Edition, to which I subscribe, features news submitted from local correspondents in 950 Amish or Mennonite communities around the US and Canada. International communities in Israel, Africa, England and Ireland are also represented. The 40-plus page publication includes recipes, a listing of benefit auctions and fundraisers, showers and cards of thanks in addition to obits and advertising. A Local Edition is also available and features news from Holmes and Tuscarawas counties along with the correspondence found in the National Edition.

An Amish home open for tours. Notice
The Budget on the propane-fueled lamp table.

The Budget is a great resource. From its pages, I learn when farmers plow and plant their fields, what they’re raising and weather conditions and how the weather impacts their crops. I’ve learned about cutting ice from the frozen lakes for their ice houses and fund raisers, such as mud sales to benefit their fire departments. The correspondents share details about social gatherings, weddings, births and deaths.

Amish farm in Holmes County, Ohio.

The Amish and Mennonites frequently visit families in distant locations, which is noted in the newspaper. When I need to create an Amish character, I scan The Budget to find that perfect name for my hero or heroine or secondary character. It also provides the locations of Amish communities across the country that I can visit or include in my stories. The Budget gives a glimpse into the Amish way of life with their love of family, their sense of community and outreach and their trust in the Lord.

A buggy ride in Holmes County, Ohio.

 Have you read The Budget? If so, you might know that the youth in Tustin, Michigan, held a “work bee at LaMar Millers’ to cut firewood and do some sewing.” That same day “men were working on getting the roof on Elmora’s washhouse.” Mrs. Henry Detweiler wrote from Atlantic, Pennsylvania, that the Mullets “lost their buggy horse. He had gone to get the benches on Sat. and had just come home when the horse fell over and died. It must have been a heart attack, or was it old age, as it was already 24.” In Carrier Mills, Illinois, “the Ervin Yoder family gathered at Samuels’ for their annual butchering.”


Whether you’re a writer or a reader, have you found unusual resources that provide helpful information for your writing or other line of work?

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti



Amish Rescue
By Debby Giusti

Hiding with the Amish

Englischer Sarah Miller escapes her captor by hiding in the buggy of an Amish carpenter. Joachim Burkholder is her only hope—and donning Plain clothing is the only way to keep safe and find her missing sister. But for Joachim, who’s just returning to the Amish, the forbidden Englischer is trouble. Trapping her kidnapper risks his life, but losing Sarah risks his heart.

Pre-Order HERE!






26 comments:

  1. I'd read it! I've never been to an Amish community, but I ride the train alot, especially through Iowa, and I've often shared cars with families. Looking forward to your books.

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    1. How interesting, Pamela! Buses are often used by the Amish in the middle and eastern part of the US. In the winter months, tour buses take them to Pinecraft, FL, a favorite vacation spot for plain folks!

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  2. I haven't read it, but it sounds like an interesting newsletter. Thanks, Debby.

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    1. It's actually a newspaper, Mary, that's mailed to subscribers across the country and into Canada. The Amish and Mennonite folks can keep up to date with friends and happenings in other communities by reading the news in the various towns and areas.

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    1. Thanks, Christine. I've gleaned a lot from its pages!

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  4. It's always great to find wonderful resources.

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  5. How wonderful, Debby. I love your pictures. They really show the Amish life. Thanks for sharing with us. Amish books are so popular these days.

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  6. What a wonderful resource, Debby! Your visits to Amish communities sound delightful, too!

    When I was researching my historical romances, I found so much help from the historical society in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where my stories were set. The volunteers there were so generous in helping me find whatever specific information I needed.

    Looking forward to reading your book!

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    1. The folks in Ohio were so helpful, Myra! I need to consider using historical societies too. Thanks for reminding me!

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  7. Fascinating resource, Debby. I try to attend the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver every year for my research, and this weekend I'm going to the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo to cheer on three of my sister's sanctuary horses in the Equine Comeback Challenge. Horse trainers take "impossible" cases and, with daily work, turn them into working horses. Afterwards, they'll all be up at auction and find new, wonderful homes.

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  8. My daughter used to be a typesetter for The Budget so she would spend hours typing up all of the handwritten letters.:) Glad you liked our little town... home of the World's Largest Cuckoo Clock!

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    1. Hi Michelle! How interesting that your daughter typed the letters. I'm sure that could prove a challenge at times. I love the newspaper and the town. Yes...the World's Largest Cuckoo Clock. I hope to return in the not-too-distant future. I left my heart in Holmes County! :)

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  9. I will subscribe to The Budget, Debby. I love reading about real life Amish as I'm writing my second in a series now. Thanks. Love the pictures and the news quotes.

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    1. You can subscribe online, Lenora. Next year, I plan to take the Local Edition so I can read about the happenings in the area. Plus, all the Amish community information is included as well.

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    1. The paper is fun to read and filled with info I can use in my books!

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  11. Very informative. I love research. My dad always said I had an insatiable appetite for knowing things. LOL. Guess that's one reason I write. Thanks for this, Debby.

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    1. Most of us can spend far too much time doing research! Love the internet and all that is available to us through our computers.

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  12. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Debby, I didn’t realize this newspaper existed. Fascinating post!

    Janet

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  14. I read about The Budget in many Amish books and picked up a copy when I visited Shipshewana. It very interesting and was going to subscribe but had forgotten. I thought it would be helpful in my Amish research. Thank you. Book sounds fascinating.

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