Blog Tour Stops
March 22: Quiet Quilter
March 23: Singing Librarian Books
March 23: Heidi Reads…
March 24: Splashes of Joy
March 24: Mary Hake
March 25: cherylbbookblog
March 25: The Power of Words
March 26: Reading Is My SuperPower
March 26: Just Commonly
March 27: Giveaway Lady
March 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
March 27: Cassandra M’s Place
March 28: Through The Open Window
March 28: Lane Hill House
March 28: Marilyn Ridgeway
March 29: Daysong Reflections
March 29: Rhonda’s Doings
March 29: Debbie Dusty Deliberatons
March 30: A Greater Yes
March 30: Diana’s Tea Time Reviews
March 30: Simple Harvest Reads
March 31: Texas Book-aholic
March 31: A Holland Reads
April 1: Blessed and Bewildered
April 1: Bukwurmzzz
April 2: Southern Gal Loves to Read
April 2: For The Love of Books
April 3: Blossoms and Blessings
April 4: Books! Books! Books!
Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher
If you think you have a pretty clear idea of what an Amish bishop is like—stern, authoritative, patriarchal?—have another think. David Stoltzfus in The Imposter is warm, kindhearted, a reluctant farmer, and quite attractive!
Sound like an unlikely character for an Amish novel? Maybe so, but David Stoltzfus is modeled after a bishop I met, years ago. This real-life bishop might be the most intelligent, thoughtful, spiritually sensitive, and well-read man I’ve ever met. We spent a morning talking Bonhoeffer in his Spartan living room, warmed by his woodstove.
I wanted to present the character of a bishop that best represented this man I’d grown to admire. So when it was time to create a proposal for a new series, I suggested ‘The Bishop’s Family,’ staring David Stoltzfus who was loosely based on this particular bishop.
David Stoltzfus is a handsome, widowed father of six who runs a local bulk food store. His children are surprisingly nonconforming, outspoken, and fiercely protective of their clan. The real-life bishop is a farmer, happily married with four independently minded children, and looks…well, to be candid, he looks a little like Benjamin Franklin.
But here’s what they have in common: they both love to read, they love their families, and they love the work God has given them of tending a flock.
The Imposter begins as David Stoltzfus moves his family to Stoney Ridge for a fresh start, a new beginning. Things don’t start off well: his eldest daughter, Katrina, faces a crushing disappointment, his prodigal son Jesse has a bent for troublemaking, and then David realizes something fishy is going on in the little church.
A new life awaits the Stoltzfus family, but not the one they expected. Or wanted. But they are needed in Stoney Ridge, each one of them. Even Jesse. 🙂
I hope you’ll feel as though you’ve made some new friends as you get to know David and his children. One thing I can promise: this bishop’s family will surprise you.
A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . .
Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose.
What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She’s been deceived once before, and she isn’t planning on experiencing it again.
Suzanne Woods Fisher writes the kind of Amish fiction I love to read. Charming but realistic characters (flaws and all!), humor, heart, and truth I can apply to my own life.
From the opening lines of the prologue – “Surprises come in two shapes – good and bad. This one, though, felt indeterminate.” – I was hooked by Suzanne’s writing voice. She weaves subtle humor between profound truths and packages it all in an engaging style that keeps readers absorbed from cover to cover.
As the story unfolded further and I met each character, I quickly fell in love with Stoney Ridge and its residents. (The author has written other books set in this community, but this series stands alone. I have not read the other books – yet – but didn’t feel my understanding of this particular book was impeded in any way by this lack of pre-knowledge.) David Stoltzfus is my favorite character in The Imposter – followed very closely by Hank Lapp whom Fisher wrote with on-point comedic timing. David is full of wisdom, discernment, and faith… and his insights are worth writing down and keeping close for future reference! And then there’s Birdy, in all her endearing clumsiness … Katrina, with her heartbroken courage … Jesse, and his bigger-than-his-age vocabulary… spunky, independent Thelma … the other Stoltzfus children full of personality … and handsome, dog-adopting, widow-protecting, Katrina-befriending, book-boyfriend-becoming Andy. Each character in The Imposter adds strength to the novel in his/her own way and ensures that readers will be waiting impatiently for the next installment in the series!
Speaking of next installments 😉 while a thread or two of this particular storyline was tied up nicely by the end of the book, there are still several open-ended subplots going on that left me gobbling up the teaser preview for The Quieting included in the back. Argh. Is it May yet? Because I really need to know what’s going on with the folks in Stoney Ridge!
Bottom Line: If you’re like me and prefer your Amish fiction to have some realistic flaws to its characters – without sacrificing their charm – then you will enjoy The Imposter. The cleverly-selected title, which could be applied to any number of people in Stoney Ridge, adds yet another dimension to the talented writing style evident throughout. The reminder to let God write your story is one that anybody – Amish, non-Amish, even someone just curious about Jesus – can embrace and take to heart. Fans of Shelley Shepard Gray will find another author to love in Suzanne Woods Fisher – and readers will be eagerly counting down the days until The Quieting’s release & the chance to catch up with these new friends.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne is graciously giving away a Kindle Fire 7! Click below to enter!