Five Things to Know before reading Listening to Love

Hearts in Harmony—book 1 in the Amish Journeys series—introduces readers to southern Indiana and to a couple of very different Amish communities in and near the towns of Orleans and Montgomery. Several of the characters from Hearts in Harmony carry over into Listening to Love, continuing to explore these new areas. The correlation between these books is that they all dive into situations that aren’t usually covered in Amish novels. For Mary and Levi, their story centers around their love for music but also the way that families come together in a unexpected ways. Similarly, Listening to Love travels down a path rarely taken in Amish stories. To say too much would reveal spoilers, but I can tell you that there are two very untraditional romances occurring in Listening to Love.  

Listening to Love’s primary message is that there are good and bad people in every walk of life. Things aren’t always what they seem. The story focuses on the characters opening their hearts in ways they couldn’t have foreseen, accepting God’s will even though it wasn’t in their plan. The Amish are known to accept God’s will without question, but what about the Englisch characters? We are all humans with faults, misdirected perceptions, vulnerabilities, and qualities we aren’t always proud of—even the Amish, who are often portrayed in an unrealistic way. Listening to Love story explores the universal truths about all people, that we are more like our Amish friends than we might think, and vice versa.  

In a novel, the situation should be plausible, unless you are writing in a genre that allows for a lot more leniency (i.e. dystopian, fantasy, etc.). There aren’t very many people who truly follow through and convert to the Amish way of life. But, readers enjoy stories that enable them to escape through characters that stray from the norm. As related to the Amish, readers often envision themselves as someone seeking a simpler way of life, void of carpools, appointments, high traffic areas, cell phones, not having to wear makeup or worry about outward appearance . . . and the list goes on. When I write my stories, I strive to create a story that is plausible and believable, but I also hope to deliver a message and provide entertainment. 

No. But I had a specific purpose for creating Moses. And, without giving any spoilers, let me just say that my reason was—there are good and bad people in every race, religion, and geographic location. Poor choices, deception, and untruthfulness are universal. The Amish are not immune to their share of diversity when it comes to a person’s character traits and intentions.

Williams is a township in Lawrence County, Indiana. The Williams Dam is situated on the White River and is a popular fishing spot for locals, including the Amish folks. I’ve walked across the ‘Catwalk’ that stretches high above the rushing water below, but I only brought my fishing pole and bait one time. After looking at the enormous fishing rigs stretched for yards out into the rushing water, I opted not to join these serious fishermen (and women). My twenty-dollar Zebco from Walmart probably didn’t have enough line to even reach the water, and I’m fairly certain that if my line had become entangled with any of theirs, I might have been tossed over the side of the Catwalk. But since the dam is a hotspot for the Amish folks, it seemed a good place to include in my Amish Journey series.

Available for Pre-order

Available for Pre-order . . . An Amish Christmas Bakery: Four Stories – by Wiseman, Clipston, Fuller and Irvin Releases October 1, 2019
Publishers Weekly gave a nice review to An Amish Christmas Bakery noting “these compact, heartwarming romances will make for a nice holiday treat.”
Read the Full Review
I love this cover, don’t you?

My Next Book is Available for Pre-order

Listening to Love
He’s Amish. She’s Englisch. They are best friends, despite what the gossips say. But could the rumor mill know more than they do?

Englischer Natalie Collins looks forward to Friday night suppers at Levi and Mary Shetler’s house every week: delicious food, wonderful conversation with her Amish friends, and, best of all, the presence of Levi’s older brother Lucas. Natalie and Lucas have become best friends despite their different backgrounds. They share a love of books, and he is teaching her about God in a way that she can understand.

But the closer they become, the more opinions everyone seems to have. Levi and Mary, Lucas’s family, and even Natalie’s mother—whose own life is a mess at the moment—have concerns about their relationship. Why can’t everyone understand that it’s possible to just be friends? Besides, they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to be. Lucas would never leave the Amish faith, and Natalie is Englisch and pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine.

But when a terrifying accident happens, Natalie and Lucas are forced to confront their true feelings and decide if they can stay true to themselves and each other.

Publishers Weekly gave Listening to Love a great review.
“Wiseman is at her best in this surprising tale of love and faith.”

Christian Fiction Bestsellers, May 2019

BIG thanks to readers for putting four of my stories on the ECPA Fiction Bestseller List in May. My new novel–Hearts in Harmony (Book 1 in the Amish Journeys series)–is enjoying its second month on the list since it released in March. Her Brother’s Keeper, (Amish Secrets series) an older book that’s made a comeback, is also on the list. And my stories in two novella collections are on the list in An Amish Home and An Amish Reunion.

Work in Progress Update

“I love deadlines. I love order. I love knowing when to have things done, having a plan to get them done, and then I imagine I would love the feeling of submitting something on time. Life, however, has been an entirely different experience for me.” –  from Ralene Burke in a blog post at https://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/2019/05/tips-to-help-writers-manage-deadlines.html

I can so relate to this. I’ve got a full-length novel (book #3 in my Amish Journeys series) dueMay 15th, so I’m on serious writing lockdown. Life has a way of interrupting my disciplined, orderly plan. I’ve had medical appointments, bronchitis, judged a literary contest, and squeezed in time for family and friends as much as possible. Where does the time go? 

Never fear! A Beautiful Arrangement will be submitted to my editor at Zondervan very soon. ☺ Please forgive me, once again, for publishing the newsletter a few days late. ☺