Today I'm so thrilled to have the wonderful author and my fabulous friend Diane Craver posting! On a day that celebrates love, Diane knows all about love, sacrifice and happiness. She's one of the most fantastic people I've ever been blessed enough to know and I am sure you'll love meeting her and you'll LOVE LOVE LOVE her books! Leave a comment and be eligible to win the drawing for a $10 Amazon GC and a PDF copy of A Joyful Break. Welcome, Diane!
Amish Courtship & Excerpt of A JOYFUL BREAK
Thank you, Regina, for featuring me here on your wonderful blog!
Before I wrote my first Amish romance, A JOYFUL BREAK (Dreams of Plain Daughters, Book One), I did a lot of research so thought it might be fun to share the courtship traditions among the Plain people.
When a boy turns 16, he’s given an open-topped courting buggy so he can attend chaperoned social gatherings and meet an appropriate girl. The main event for meeting a potential partner is the Sunday evening hymn singing, when Amish teenagers from several districts get together. The boy and girl who are courting usually ride in the buggy back to the girl’s home for a chance to talk. Other structured social events provide ways for young Amish men and women to meet partners and spend time together. There are Sunday afternoon gathering and evening youth get-togethers, along with barn raisings, frolics, sports activities (sledding, volleyball) and picnics. The boy is allowed to escort the girl he is courting in his buggy to these events.
About A Joyful Break:
After her mother’s untimely death, a twenty-year-old Amish woman has a difficult decision to make: Choose to break from the Plain community and her boyfriend to live in the English world permanently...or join the Amish church.
Samuel’s blue eyes widened. “So you’re going to Kentucky, then to the beach. We can go to the beach for our honeymoon. I’ve always wanted to see the ocean.”
Interesting. She didn’t recall him ever saying he wanted to go to the beach. “We won’t go. Something will happen. Besides few Amish couples go on a honeymoon. We’ll be busy cleaning up after the wedding for several days. Judith would kill me if we didn’t spend our honeymoon weekend at home to help clean up. And have you forgotten how newlyweds travel to relatives’ homes each weekend? That takes months to visit everyone. I guess you’ve been around too many English folk in your shop and heard about their honeymoons.”
“That’s true. We don’t want to miss out on collecting our wedding gifts. Of course, a lot of these gifts are furniture and quilts. I plan on making all our furniture.” He rubbed his chin. “I’d like to go to the beach before my beard gets too long so it’d have to be soon after we marry.”
She smiled at him. “Then I can go to the beach again, but right now I need to go before I’m baptized. I want to do my rumschpringe.”
He raised his eyebrows in disbelief. “You did your running around with me when you were eighteen. We experienced the English world together then.”
She sighed. “I went to one baseball game with you to see the Cincinnati Reds. That was all I did for my rumschpringe.”
“Did you forget Kings Island when I kissed you for the first time?”
“I guess I did.” She’d been shocked when he’d kissed her at the amusement park. The Amish stressed to their young people that the courting couple shouldn’t have any physical contact. Not even kissing or holding hands. Although it wasn’t proper, she’d liked his kiss. She decided to tease him a bit. “Your kiss at the baseball game must have been better. I remember it the best.”
He took a big drink of pop. “I bet my kisses would be sweeter on the beach.”
“I have to tell you the truth. I’ve taken care of my siblings for a year since my mamm died. I love them but need to take a break and experience different things before I commit to our way of life. I want to feel the sand between my toes and see the blue ocean. And I can’t wait to see the dolphins play in the water.” She lifted her arm and waved her hand across the rolling fields. “I love our country scenery but at the same time, I’m tired of the green grass and hills. I want to see something different.”
Review snippets for A JOYFUL BREAK:
“ I am a big fan of Amish romance. The struggles Rachel goes through make this story well worth reading, allowing the reader to connect with Rachel and others, as if it was their own life. Definitely a to-buy book.” Coffee Time Romance
“ Diane Craver’s book transports you to the world of an Amish Girl - her dreams and her conflicts. ” M. Beaugrand
“ Thank you Diane Craver for this wonderful book. ” Rebaka
A JOYFUL BREAK is available in paperback and ebook!
Thank you for visiting, Diane and Happy Valentine's Day. Friends, remember to leave a comment and be eligible to win the drawing for a $10 Amazon GC and a PDF copy of "A Joyful Break".