Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Debra Torres & Forbidden Gift

Posted June 16, 2021 by meezcarrie in Amish, Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, Debra Torres, giveaway, mystery/suspense, romance / 39 Comments

Please join me in welcoming author Debra Torres to the blog today to chat about her debut novel, Forbidden Gift!

Debra Torres is an author of inspirational Amish fiction. She writes romantic suspense for readers who are looking for relatable characters dealing with raw and real-life issues. Her debut novel, “Forbidden Gift,” is a touching story of self-discovery, forgiveness, and healing set in a small Amish community in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

For 11 years, Debra and her family lived in rural Northwestern Pennsylvania where she observed the Amish in grocery stores – and the “buggy lanes.” For several of these years, Debra and her family lived on a 29-acre farm sharing the land with a herd of white face beef cows, two carrot-loving horses, and a barn full of cats. Here, Debra kept a large “kitchen” garden and learned from locals how to “put up” her produce.

You can connect with Debra on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. PLUS, sign up for Debra’s newsletter & receive her FREE Amish & Mennonite cookbook as a PDF!

Willow Brook: Secrets of the Pen #1

GENRE: Inspirational Amish Romance/Mystery
PUBLISHER: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
RELEASE DATE: May 18, 2021
PAGES: 279

What if your greatest passion was a threat to all of your family?

Johanna Yoder is Amish. Forbidden from writing by her Bishop. But she can’t keep the words from pouring out, and when she’s found out she faces an ultimatum that will crush her, no matter which path she chooses. And when Johanna discovers a secret that could tear her family and entire community apart, she must make a choice that could turn her Amish district upside down.

Reporter Judah Barton is on a climb to the top of his world, and he doesn’t have a care for the people he crushes under his feet on the way up. But then his newspaper’s finances are hit hard, and the answers that were always so easy to find have vanished. He vows to help his editor save the paper, no matter the cost. But then he meets a young Amish writer, and his life takes a turn in a way he never could have imagined.


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You can read my review HERE

Hi Debra! Welcome to the blog!

Debra: Summer. We spent 11 years in Northwestern, Pa. living among the frozen chosen and enduring 6 months of winter. Summer. Summer. Summer.

Carrie: hmmm… maybe I should have relocated to PA instead of GA… Winter is my friend. Summer is not lol

Debra: Both. I was always a “dog-person” until my landlord left a blue-eyed kitten in a banana box in our barn.

Carrie: awww ♥

Debra: I L-O-V-E tea – because, as I’ve heard and experienced: “Tea understands.”

Carrie: that’s such a lovely sentiment!

Debra: I go back and forth on this one. I prefer paper – but if I can get it cheaper – eBooks and I become fast friends.

Carrie: I’ve found ebooks are easier for travel & for reading in bed 🙂

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Debra: I think I would say writing. All kinds. I’ve written for newspapers, blogs, for the web, for marketing … and now a book! Words are it for me.

Carrie: love that!

Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?

Debra: Amish books, for sure – and then Christian fiction. But then back to Amish. 🙂

Carrie: appropriate for an author of Amish fiction haha – though I did love how you incorporated Englisch characters just as much in the story too.

Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Debra: A few years ago, I fell and broke my arm leaving a doctor’s office after dark. The parking lot was empty and I was lying alone on the concrete path. It was cold and I had left my coat in the car. After screaming out for God’s help, I called my husband. Minutes later, God sent two staff members my way who were leaving for the evening. It was a bad break – upper humerus. Not funny. At all. But…look for a familiar scene coming up in Book 2!

Carrie: oh no!!! I’m glad it worked out but ouch!

Q: Which of your main characters in Forbidden Gift is most like you? 

Debra: Definitely Kelly – Judah’s mom and the one who eventually takes over the newspaper. Kelly loves Jesus, and she loves to write, garden, and even has a brother named John. And… so do I!

Carrie: how fun!

Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?

Debra: My characters did a lot of dictating. Recently, while working on the sequel – there was one point where I was sure that Judah and Johanna were going to fight. But they worked it out. I was so surprised and a little proud of Judah for developing so much in the first book. What a guy!

Carrie: i can’t wait for the sequel to see what happens next with these characters & the story threads from book 1 🙂

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Forbidden Gift?

Debra: I want them to know that what Mammi Miriam says is true, “Everybody deserves another chance.” That means you and even the people in your life who aren’t making any sense right now.

Carrie: such a good reminder!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Debra: I am currently working on the sequel “Forbidden Truth” – Book 2 in this series Willow Brook: Secrets of the Pen

Carrie: yay!!!

Debra Torres is giving away a print copy of Forbidden Gift and a handmade book sleeve! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Forbidden Gift by Debra Torres?

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39 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Debra Torres & Forbidden Gift

  1. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    I enjoy Amish books and this is a new author to me therefore I’m curious. Blessings

  2. Roxanne C.

    I like Amish fiction and mysteries as well, and this story sounds good. I enjoyed learning about a new author as well.

  3. Lynn Brown

    I love reading about the Amish. The blurb sounds good. I like that it’s writing in her journals that is forbidden. Interesting. Thanks for the chance.

    • Donamae Kutska

      The book sounds interesting and intriguing to read. It seems emotional and I enjoy Amish books 📚 thank you for the chance 😊

  4. Megan

    This is a new to me author, plus, I love the idea of an Amish woman secretly writing for a newspaper. Sounds intriguing!

  5. Alicia Haney

    This book sounds like a very good read, Thank you for sharing about it. Have a great week and stay safe. Thank you for the chance.

  6. Carol Alscheff

    I enjoy reading Amish fiction and this sounds interesting. Whe. Amish and English worlds Collide.

  7. Shelby

    I love reading Amish stories as they usually explain Amish customs and sometimes have recipes.

  8. Brenda

    This is not my typical read, but lately I felt like I needed to expand my reading genres and this fits the bill. I actually is truly fascinated with the Amish, so this book is very intriguing. Looking forward to reading it. Thank you!

  9. Connie Porter Saunders

    This book sounds very intriguing and I especially enjoy romantic suspense!

  10. Irene

    Really enjoy reading Amish stories, especially the ones that have romance & some mystery involved! The characters seem so opposite that it will be interesting to see how they get together.

  11. Donna irvin

    I love Amish fiction! I enjoy new authors,series, stand alones…..
    I have been fascinated by the history of Anabapsists since childhood (for a VERY long time) and can’t wait to read this!

  12. Lenora Schmidt

    I absolutely love Amish books and I love suspense books. When I saw the title “Forbidden Gift”, it truly made me want to know what the gift is and why is it forbidden!!

  13. gewayne taylor

    I like to read Amish books read a lot but I have trouble seeing as good .. but would like to get one a copy

  14. Wanda Pommer

    I have been interested in the Amish pretty well all my life. I would love to go on a small vacation to Pennsylvania & visit with some Amish find out how they live without electricity & running water. How they survive the extreme heat & the frigid cold!!

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