USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She 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 is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & Promises
, Sisters & Friends
, Unexpected Amish Blessings
, Surprised by Love
(2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country
– as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books
. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart
, Love’s Christmas Blessings
, Plain Everyday Heroes
, Love’s Truest Hope
, and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (Fall 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough.
More from Rachel
Phobias and Faith
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27b KJV)
In every book I write, I like the hero and heroine to experience character growth. I think it’s important that they change and become different. So, in His Unexpected Amish Twins, Micah faces several life-changing events. First, his life is turned upside-down when he becomes the guardian of his niece and nephew, seven-year-old twins. Although he loves the children dearly, as a young, single man, he isn’t quite ready to handle his lively, rebellious niece and his silent, withdrawn nephew, especially not when he’s grieving himself.
But with the help of horse therapist, Hope Graber, Micah puts aside his own pain to concentrate on caring for the twins. But Micah is also hiding a deep-seated phobia.
As a child, he had a terrible experience, one that scarred him for life. One that still haunts him and terrorizes him. One that may destroy his future relationship with Hope.
Getting over fear is never easy, and Micah prays for strength. But it isn’t until he’s forced to make a choice – give in to his fear or save a life – does he push past that fear.
Like Micah does, we often go through life hiding our fears. We make excuses not to do something that frightens us. When a fear turns into a phobia, it can become paralyzing.
For me, public speaking was my greatest fear. I managed to avoid it until I was asked to do a simple two-minute introduction each month for the Christian Women’s Club. I didn’t have to answer right away. They asked me to pray about it, and let them know my answer in a few days.
If they’d asked for an answer right away, I would have made an excuse. I had four small children and an ill husband. But the truth was – I was scared. Not just scared, but petrified. Petrified about even standing in front of an audience.
When I discussed this opportunity with my father, he suggested God might be giving me a chance to get over my fear because He had something greater for me to do in the future. My first thought was that it had better not have anything to do with public speaking.
Dad encouraged me to take a speech class, so I signed up for one. Eight people attended this informal course in the teacher’s living room. The first night we had to give a two-sentence introduction of ourselves. We didn’t even have to stand up.
I went last. My turn came, and my mind went blank. I couldn’t even remember my name. With prompting, the teacher got me to stumble through my name and hometown.
Our assignment for the following week was to prepare a three-minute demonstration of one of our hobbies. We could use notes and props. I mumbled through the speech, rushed out the door to my car, and vomited in the street. Yes, I was that frightened by public speaking.
I told my father I planned to quit the class, but he encouraged me to continue. And several months later, I stood in front of the women’s club. My eyes blurred, and I couldn’t see the people in front of me. I hurried through my memorized two-minute introduction clutching my note cards in case I forgot the words. I had no idea what I said, but several people mentioned that they liked it. And I went on to do it every month for two years.
And my father was right. God did train me for a future job. Wouldn’t Dad be surprised to know that, as an author, I speak in front of audiences around the country? He died before my first book was published, but I suspect he’s up in heaven cheering me on. And I could never have done it without God’s help.
Micah and I both had to learn to trust God’s promise: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1: 9 NIV)
Rachel Good never fails to deliver a compelling, soul-searching Amish novel. “His Unexpected Amish Twins” has become my new favorite, and admittedly part of the reason I chose to read it is because it had twins in the title; twins have always fascinated me, and I always wanted to be one. Of course, being familiar with the author’s works, I also knew that it would be a good read, and I was not disappointed!
This novel provides ample indications of how God works out so-called coincidences, and how He makes good out of even the most devastating of circumstances. Hope Graber just happens to stumble upon a collision between an Englischer car and an Amish buggy, and her actions have lasting repercussions, both for her and for her father and her loved ones. This brings up another aspect of Amish life that I hadn’t really considered before, the tip for being gracious and kind regardless of circumstances or personal feelings for those, even among the Amish themselves. The Amish struggle with temptation is ultimately no different than ours.
I love the use of hippotherapy in this story, and it fits into the plot and direction of the novel so well. Both horses and dogs can help people heal, as can other animals, and I am delighted to read about horse therapy and find it explored in a novel, particularly an Amish novel. Not only that, but the fact that adults and children both can benefit from equine therapy. It demonstrates the versatility of equines and how important they are to both Amish and English alike.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
For the Love of Literature, March 4
Maureen’s Musings, March 5
The Avid Reader, March 5
Through the Lens of Scripture, March 6
Texas Book-aholic, March 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7
For Him and My Family, March 8
janicesbookreviews, March 8
Inklings and notions, March 9
deb’s Book Review, March 9
Blossoms and Blessings, March 10
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 10
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 11
Vicky Sluiter, March 12
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 12
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 13
Splashes of Joy, March 14
Bigreadersite, March 14
Artistic Nobody, March 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Blogging With Carol, March 16
Genesis 5020, March 16
EmpowerMoms, March 17
My Devotional Thoughts, March 17
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 VISA gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.