About the Book
Title: The Amish Teacher’s Gift, Book 1 of the Love & Promises Series
Author: Rachel J Good
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.
With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. Yet with no time to court and a family secret holding her back, how can she allow herself to fall in love?
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About the Author
Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Rachel loves to travel and visit many different Amish communities.
Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friendsseries, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. In addition, she has stories in the anthologies Springs of Love and Love’s Thankful Heart.
She’d love to have you visit her website, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Bookbub. Rachel also enjoys meeting readers and will be doing talks and booksignings around the country this year. To find out more about Rachel and her books, you can sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1qwci4Q
Guest Post from Rachel J. Good
Sometimes as an author, stories call to you and beg you to write them. This story first tugged at my heart after I spent time with an Amish friend’s special needs child. I thought about writing a book to show how the Amish treat each child as a gift from God. After meeting a hearing-impaired teen girl with Down’s syndrome and seeing how she was encouraged to live up to her potential, the idea grew stronger. This girl later became Martha in the book.
Then at an auction, I watched a young Down’s syndrome boy help the auctioneer by delivering the goods to the bidders. His straw hat tilted a little crookedly, but with a broad smile on his face, he carefully matched items with the correct bidder. He looked so proud of himself and proud to be able to do such an important job. I sat there at the auction and jotted notes for the novel.
Once I knew the topic of the novel, I began my research by visiting Amish schools for special needs, attending auctions to support them, and touring the Community Care Center, where Amish and Mennonite children and adults with special needs get amazing help. The young man in the wheelchair who showed us around was an awesome guide. We peeked into an exercise room, a therapy room, a craft room, several classrooms, a cafeteria, and my favorite—a multi-sensory environment. This room with dark walls lit only by a small row of twinkling Christmas lights had a ball pit (with the plastic balls like some fast food restaurants have in their play areas), a plush recliner, blankets, headphones, and a hammock. Autistic children at the center found this room a great calming atmosphere. I knew this room had to have a place in the book.
I visited a teacher who taught autistic children and learned a lot about programs, therapies, and teaching techniques. After learning the cutting edge techniques she used, I was surprised to realize that the Amish had adopted quite a few of them for their classrooms. I chose a hearing-impaired boy for the hero’s son because I had a nephew with hearing problems, so I could incorporate some of the struggles he had into the story.
I wanted this series to be about the healing power of love, so each book will deal with a different type of healing. When something touches my heart like this, I always pray it will touch the readers’ hearts too.
I love books that take on topics that are sometimes sensitive but important to write about. This book is one that not only shines the light about special needs children, but shows readers how each day can be filled with joy and accomplishments. The author has really done an excellent job of explaining how special each child is. I loved Ada because she has compassion, patience and unconditional love for the children. She doesn't see their handicap, but instead recognizes their need to be accepted and loved. Ada has her hands full with her students and I'm not sure I could be as patient as she is. It doesn't help that she is also raising her siblings since her mamm passed away. My heart went out to her and I wanted to tell her how much God loves her. Each child is special to Him and I know Ada feels the same way.
Widower Josiah is raising his six year old son Nathan and trying to deal with his hearing loss and tantrums. Nathan can be a handful at times, but Josiah is determined to show his son how much he loves him. I wonder what Josiah thought as he met Nathan's teacher for the first time? Ada is only nineteen and it looks like she has her hands full with the other students. I'm glad Josiah trusted Ada enough to leave his son that first day of school.
The author is very knowledgeable about Amish and the details make you feel as if you know them. It was very interesting to learn that the Amish men don't wear any other hat except what their community allows. I mention this because as a roofer, Josiah is required to wear
a hard hat. What happens when he tells the owner that he can't wear the hat because it is against his beliefs?
As I read the story, I began to understand had difficult it can be to have special needs children. There is no time to rest and you always have to be ready for anything. The children in the story each have different disabilities but all need that extra time to show how much they are loved.I admired the characters who cared for these children and especially liked how the author gave us a glimpse into the lives of these special children. During my time as a children's pastor I have had two special needs children in the classroom. One was deaf and the other one was autistic. Reading this story reminded me of how much my heart went out to the parents of these children. I didn't feel sorry for them, but rather admired them. Their interaction with their child was pure . Ada has that gift as a teacher and I began to like her more as the story continued.
The story is a beautiful reminder of patience, love and how one person can make a difference in someone's life. There is a bit of romance in the story that I liked because it wasn't rushed. Ada and Josiah each have misgivings about being together and the author explores that in a touching way. There is so much to discover in this wonderful story and I was sad to see it end. I was curious throughout the story why Nathan seemed to be afraid of his dad. The answer is quite interesting and made me cry. The author has opened the door to a group of children that are often forgotten about by writing a story that captures their innocence. This is one story that you don't want to miss. Get ready for tears as Ada and her students capture your heart.
I received a copy of this story from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of a tote, an autographed copy of The Amish Teacher’s Gift, and an autographed copy of Hearts Reunited!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee3/the-amish-teacher-s-gift-celebration-tour-giveaway