Shannon here: Patrick E. Craig shares insight into his real life romance, pluse an excerpt from The Amish Princess. Comment or answer the questionin this post to enter the drawing for a signed PRINT copy of any one of the six books in The Journals of Jenny Hershberger—A Quilt For Jenna, The Road Home, Jenny’s Choice, The Amish Heiress, The Amish Princess, or The Mennonite Queen—winner’s choice. Deadline: March 21st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Patrick:
Taking the long way to Love
When I was a pastor, I once counseled two young people that wanted to get married. She was a believer, but he was not. Like the character in this story, his name was Jonathan. My wife and I spent many days with this precious young couple, doing our best to share the Lord with Jon, but he seemed impervious to the pressing of the Spirit. One day, Jon and Sherry were telling us about their lives, how they had lived in so many different places, and done many different (often wild and dangerous) things, before finally coming to California and meeting – by ‘coincidence’, they said.
Suddenly something occurred to me. I drew a rough map of the U.S. on a piece of paper and had Jon and Sherry put a dot on all the places they had lived before they met. Then I had them connect the dots. Both of their meandering trails led to one spot – a little town in California. Then I took the map and I said to Jon, “Do you know how I know God loves you?” He looked at me strangely and then said that he didn’t. I traced his journey with a pencil as I said, “I know He loves you because over the years, He led you through all these places in your life, watched over you and kept you safe, so that at this time in your life, He could bring you to California and give you Sherry to love.”
Well, I saw the penny drop. Jon stared at the map and then at his lovely fiancee’ and then at the map again. A huge smile broke on his face and then he said, “I guess God really does love me.”
As I look back on that session with John and Sherry, I realize that God did the same thing for me, He brought me from Walla Walla, Washington, through Seattle, down to the Haight Ashbury in the 60s, then to my own recording studio in San Rafael, California, where I had a saving encounter with Him in 1984. After that I abandoned the rock and roll lifestyle and went to a Bible College in the backwater town of Novato, California. And there when I was 41, I met my wife, Judy, the woman who would become my true love and life partner. And we have been married now for 32 years.
Coincidence? Some say coincidence is God choosing to remain anonymous; others say coincidence simply means you’re on the right path. Often in writing, coincidence is regarded as a weak literary device – a quick way to advance a plot or move characters from one place to another without the need for a clever storyline. But when we look at our own lives — especially those of us who believe God is real and that He has a plan for us — don’t we discover a life-long thread of coincidences that have moved us ever onward toward a specific purpose for our lives? And if God is the Author and Finisher of our faith, would He use a weak device to write our story?
In this blog, I am featuring my latest romance release, The Journals of Jenny Hershberger. It is a six book eBook compilation of all my Amish novels. And the interesting thing about this anthology is that every story line has the same thread—two people who travel a long road to get to the point where they discover their one true love. Not all the stories are happily-ever-after tales, but in all of them, the characters find the one great love that God has planned for them throughout their whole lives. And for all you romance readers, it is my wish, and I am sure it is God’s wish that sometime in your life you would experience that same kind of love.
Excerpt from The Amish Princess by Patrick E. Craig:
In the early afternoon the boys were making their way back to camp when they heard a commotion along the riverbank. They pushed through the crowd and saw a group of Indians coming out of the woods and down to the encampment. They led packhorses loaded with furs.
Joshua stopped. “They must be here to trade, Jonathan.”
“Or spy out the defenses of the fort.”
The Indians were led by a tall, imposing man with a long rifle. He had a headband with three feathers, a long cloak draped around his shoulders and buckskin leggings tied with thongs. His powerful muscles rippled as he walked. His face was impassive, yet he radiated power and leadership. Behind him walked a pure black horse. Seated bareback on the animal was a young girl. She had coal-black hair and was dressed in a white, beaded leather dress. The girl’s most amazing feature was her eyes. They were deep brown pools set in a beautiful light-skinned face. She did not look like the rest of the Indians in the group. A scout that had been with their wagon train was standing close to them. He pointed to the tall chief and the lovely child. “That ’ere is Wingenund, the greatest of the Delaware chiefs. And that be his daughter, Opahtuhwe, the White Deer.”
Jonathan frowned. “I thought we were at war with the Delaware.”
“Aye, but Wingenund is here under a flag of truce. He wants the British to enforce their laws about further settlements in Ohio. There is to be a big council and all the chiefs are coming.”
Joshua pulled the man’s arm and pointed to the girl. “Why does she have pale skin?”
The man laughed. “She’s part French. They say she is the granddaughter of a great French general. When the general was visiting America years ago, the Injuns stole his ten-year-old daughter. She grew up with the reddys and married a great chief. Spring of Water, Wingenund’s wife, was their daughter and Opahtuhwe is Wingenund’s child.”
Joshua couldn’t take his eyes off the girl. Although she was young, the bloom of a coming loveliness rested lightly on her features. The boys crowded closer and Joshua caught the girl’s eye. She glanced his way and then Joshua was lost in the deep pools of her eyes. She looked at Joshua for a long moment and then Jonathan caught her attention. She looked back and forth between the two brothers, so alike as to be indistinguishable. The beautiful eyes widened for a moment and then a shy smile stole across her face. She turned away quickly. The Indians passed and Joshua stared after the girl. Jonathan punched him on the shoulder. “What’s wrong, brother? Cat got your tongue?”
“She’s the most beautiful girl I ever saw.”
Jonathan spit on the ground. “Aw, she’s just a kid! And she’s a reddy.”
But Joshua and Jonathan had looked upon the White Deer of the Lenape. And they would never be the same.
Joshua goes on to love White Deer for his whole life. He meets her again when he and Jonathan are taken captive by the Deleware tribe. He leads her to Christ which sets up the conflict and the resolution for the rest of the story. So God led Joshua’s family all the way from Europe and into the Ohio wilderness where he meets the woman he will love forever. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
About Patrick: Patrick E. Craig is a traditionally published/independent author. In 2013, Harvest House Publishers published his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and his own imprint, P&J Publishing, published the first book in the series, The Amish Heiress, in 2015. Heiress remained on the Amazon Top 100 best sellers list for seven months in two categories. The Amish Princess was released in 2016, enjoyed the same type of success, and will be followed by The Mennonite Queen in April, 2019. In 2017 Harlequin purchased the print rights for The Amish Heiress for their Walmart Amish series. It will be released under the Love Inspired imprint in April 2019.
Recently Patrick obtained the rights to the Apple Creek Dreams series and re-released it through P&J Publishing. The series includes A Quilt For Jenna, The Road Home, and Jenny’s Choice. His latest romance release, The Journals of Jenny Hershberger, is a six book eBook anthology of all his Amish stories. All his books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major retailers. Patrick and his wife, Judy, make their home in Idaho. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. Learn more & connect:
About the book – The Journals of Jenny Hershberger: This is the complete box set of the six books in Patrick E. Craig’s two Amish series, Apple Creek Dreams, and The Paradise Chronicles. The box set contains A Quilt For Jenna, The Road Home, Jenny’s Choice, The Amish Heiress, The Amish Princess and The Mennonite Queen.
Can’t wait for the drawing or interested in Patrick’s other books.
Get your copies now! Patrick’s books – Amazon
Question for Readers: Do you think meeting your spouse or an important person in your life was a coincidence or did God play a part? Share a little about that.