You just returned from your spring book tour. What was an interesting aspect about this tour?
This tour began in a challenging way—due to my broken right ankle two weeks prior to leaving for North Carolina. On top of that, on the way there, I was stranded in Atlanta the day after 500+ flights in and out of there were canceled due to weather. I’m so thankful for Lori Jones, the attentive and caring Delta flight attendant who stayed with me for hours after she clocked out in Atlanta. I am truly grateful for this amazing young lady who cared enough to see to it that I got on the final flight of the night (2:30 AM) to Raleigh, so I could start my tour last Friday morning at the LifeWay Store there. I cannot thank Lori enough for caring in such a tangible way—unheard of!—and she wanted to be the one to wheel me down the jet way and onto the plane, which arrived at 4:40 AM, prior to my first event that morning.
What is your favorite part about speaking at book signings?
I always fondly recall the many readers who shared intimate details of their lives with me—aspects of my stories that have helped them through chemo treatments, the passing of a spouse or child, a shocking financial reversal, or a desperate spiritual drought. And the dear woman who canceled her daughter’s long-awaited doctor appointment to come to my presentation at Liberty University one of the evenings so she could talk quietly with me. I’m thankful for them, and for the bookstore owners and librarians who made the tour possible by hosting me so graciously.
There were so many, many points of sharing that took place, and I’m grateful to God for giving me the courage and strength to do this book tour. On that note, I’m on the mend and will soon be out of the “walking boot,” and wholly back to normal.
Let’s talk a bit about your novel that just released. The Ebb Tide is set in a New Jersey beach community—not your typical setting for Amish fiction. What inspired the unexpected location?
During my childhood in Lancaster County, I fell head over heels for the Jersey Shore, where I spent some wonderful summer weekends. Cape May in particular was a favorite destination. While on a recent book tour, I revisited this most charming seaside town and felt compelled to claim it as the setting for this book.
Readers may be surprised to realize that Cape May and other eastern coastal towns are popular vacation destinations for the Amish and other Plain visitors. The Amish may travel less frequently than we Englishers do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take the occasional short trip outside of farm country—although the protagonist in this story would like to travel much farther than that!
Can you tell us more about that main character?
Sallie Riehl has long dreamed of seeing more of the world beyond her cloistered Paradise Township, Pennsylvania, community. At nineteen, Sallie is at the age of baptism into the Old Order church, and her family is eager to see her settle down. But when a well-to-do family offers Sallie an opportunity to nanny for the summer in Cape May, she accepts, even though it means forgoing baptism yet another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Sallie leaves home anticipating a summer unlike any she has experienced before . . . one that will challenge her in ways she hasn’t anticipated.
Any hints about what you are working on right now?
Of course! Now that I’m back from my tour, I’ve been working on my next stand-alone novel, one that will release this September. The Proving tells the story of Amanda Dienner, who hasn’t spoken to anyone in her Old Order family in years, including her twin sister. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked to learn that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County’s most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. But naturally there’s a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be Mandy’s if she is able to successfully run it for one year. Not one to be deterred, she accepts the challenge, then has to deal with the potential fallout when she realizes the inn’s loyal clientele expect an Amish hostess!
I’ve also been reviewing illustrations for The Beverly Lewis Amish Coloring Book, complete with Scripture passages and gems of Amish wisdom. Readers on the tour were very excited to hear that it will be coming this September!
Enter to win a copy of The Ebb Tide below!
Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family.