Friday, August 17, 2018

We All Need a Valley of Hope





This month, Harlequin released my novel, Valley of Hope. Well, technically, it’s a re-release since I originally wrote this novel in 2013 and self-published it.

Sarah Price's Amish Romance, Valley of Hope, at Walmart
Sarah Price's Amish romance, Valley of Hope, at Walmart
For over 35 years, I’ve been writing romance novels. Seeing a novel published and sitting on the bookshelves of a store, especially Walmart, is always a thrill.

But especially for this book, Valley of Hope.

You see, in most Amish romances, the Amish are depicted as living idyllic lives. They smile as they do chores, they fall in love by fence posts, and they live happily ever after.

Having grown up in a Mennonite family, I’m very familiar with the culture of conservative Mennonites as well as Amish. When I was nineteen, I found an Amish family who took me in and let me stay with them. For years I would spend summers and spring breaks at their farm. Later, an older Amish woman let me rent a room from her and I spent several years with her, going back and forth to Pennsylvania from my life in New Jersey.

And I know that not all Amish romances begin with the sweet meeting by the fence post.
In Valley of Hope, the fourth book in my Amish of Lancaster series, Samuel Lapp is a headstrong young man who, while on rumpschpringe—that period of freedom before Amish youth take their kneeling vow—prefers to hang out with Englischers. He loves Mary Ruth, but he’s wrong when he thinks she will wait for him forever.

What I loved about writing this novel was how it depicts the inner turmoil some of the youth go through when involving the process of making that final commitment to join the Amish church. Not a lot of people realize that there are two types of Amish: those who are born into the community and those who join the church. Not all of those who are born Amish actually become Amish.

Sarah Price's Photo of an Amish Farm in Pennsylvania
An Amish Farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Photo Credit: Sarah Price
Samuel Lapp isn’t certain that he wants to become Amish and give up the good life. Only he comes to learn that what he believed was exciting and fun isn’t as ‘good’ as he originally thought. Isn’t that something we can all relate to? How many times have we thought we wanted something, worked hard to achieve it, and when we obtain those goals, we realize that we aren’t as happy as we thought we’d be.

Does Valley of Hope have a happy ending? Well, most of my novels do. But surprises happen along the way because…well…that’s life. It’s full of surprises, just like the real world of romance and life. And just like the real world, sometimes we all need a valley of hope in times of indecision. 

Sarah Price is the author of over 40 novels, several of which were on the ECPA Bestseller Fiction List. She runs the Amish Fiction Authors blog at http://www.amishfictionauthors.com. Her own website is http://www.sarahpriceauthor.com.   


3 comments:

  1. This has been an interesting read to me! I haven't read any Amish stories. (Shhhhhh! Don't tell on me!) But now I just might have to!

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