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.