Shannon here: Donna Schlachter shares her inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, Testing Tessa (Book 1 of “Healing the Wounded Heart” series). Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a print (US only) or ebook copy. Deadline: August 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Donna:
I visited the Amana Colonies several years ago and wanted to tell a story set there. I knew this was the perfect setting where I could explore how an outsider would feel about the rules and restrictions of a communal way of life.
In 1868, Tessa, a Mennonite nurse, graduates from nursing school and is assigned to the Amana Colonies in Iowa because of her expertise in treating asthma and other breathing problems. As a former student at a women’s medical school, she knows more than most about respiratory diseases. She’s also had her fair share of heartbreak when, upon her mentor’s death, she was forced to abandon her dream of becoming a doctor. Will she be able to use her skills? Or will her gender keep her from helping those who truly need her?
Seth, a widower in Amana, is still nursing a broken heart from his sweetheart’s passing two years before. Now raising their invalid son Seth on his own, he wonders why God didn’t listen to his prayers for healing for his family. Caleb has been afflicted with the same form of asthma that killed Anna, and Seth stands by helplessly as his son fades away. Can he trust God and trust medicine, or is faith in one mutually exclusive of faith in the other?
About Donna: Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.
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Question for Readers: Have you ever visited a place where you would like to have lived at another time in history?
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