Friday, July 25, 2014

Rita Finalist Elizabeth Byler Younts

1.  Where were you born?
Promise to Cherish was my 2nd name, I was born with the name Miriam's Soldier in October 2012. My mom dreamed up this story while brainstorming real Amish stories with my grandma! I take place in the early 1940s during the height of World War 2.

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters? Do people say you're alike in any way?
There are only 3 of us. I'm the oldest. My younger sibling Promise to Cherish will be birthed in October 2014, she's really pretty. Our kid sister Promise to Keep is in the midst of a long gestation and preparing for birth in October 2015. I'm sure she'll be as pretty as the rest of us, but we haven't seen her yet. We have a half-sister that's called Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl...she inspired my mom to write more Amish Historical!

Are we alike? Well, we each have the same vein running through us that will give readers the chance to learn more about Amish conscientious objectors during a wartime. 

3.  What do you think made you a RITA finalist?
Sigh...maybe because I'm pretty? Oh, wait, I guess it wasn't because of my cover. {grin} I think it might be because I give the reader a new view of not just the Amish themselves but also about this peaceful group of people with the backdrop of World War 2. I come straight from an authentic voice of a former Amish girl who still speaks that fun German/English language Pennsylvania Dutch. The story is unique in it's historical context and readers love the realistic battle that Miriam experiences.

4.  Please share the backcover blurb for An Heiress at Heart...
When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down... It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wed­ding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning... 
When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an impor­tant decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry. 
Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fasci­nating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?


  1. Congratulations on your RITA final, Elizabeth. How clever to answer the questions from the perspective of your book. Took me a minute to figure out what you'd done, but once I did, I was captivated.

  2. I second that! Clever interview. Congrats Elizabeth!

  3. Congratulations and good luck, Elizabeth. I'm intrigued by your story blurb.

  4. Elizabeth,
    I was in the audience. How awesome that both finalists are great friends. Too fun.


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