Archive | February 2014

Amish + Quilts = Reader’s delight!

A Quilt for Jenna

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In this first book in Patrick Craig’s Apple Creek Dreams series,readers will follow Jerusha Springer’s  journey out of tragic circumstances to a new life of hope.

Jerusha has spent months making the most beautiful quilt anyone in Apple Creek, Ohio, has ever seen, and she knows it’s going to take first prize at the Quilt Fair in Dalton. The prize will be her ticket out of the Amish way of life—away from the memories of her dead daughter and her tormented husband. But on the way to the Fair, she gets caught in the Storm of the Century and Jerusha’s driver crashes their car. While the driver goes for help, Jerusha is led by someone, or something, to the side of a lost little girl.  By the time the storm clears, Jerusha finds there is a greater prize to be won than money and blue ribbons.

A beautiful story of loss….and redemption.

A touching tale of three people who have lost their way.  In “A Quilt for Jenna,” Patrick Craig deftly contrasts the peaceful Amish lifestyle with the harsh World War II Guadalcanal battlefield, tied together with a lovely message of sacrifice, humility, and forgiveness. I was entranced.  Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of “With Every Letter”

A good storyteller takes a fine story and places it in a setting peppered with enough accurate details to satisfy a native son. Then he peoples it with characters so real we keep thinking we see them walking down the street.  A great storyteller takes all that and binds it together with, say, a carefully constructed Rose of Sharon quilt and the wallop of a storm of the century that actually happened.  A Quilt For Jenna proves Patrick Craig to be a great storyteller.  Kay Marshall Strom, author of the Grace in Africa and Blessings in India trilogies

Patrick Craig writes with an enthusiasm and a passion that is a joy to read. He deals with  romance, faith, love, loss, tragedy, and restoration with equal amounts of elegance, grace,  clarity, and power. Everyone should pick up his debut novel in Amish fiction, turn off the phone and computer and TV, and settle in for a good night’s read. Craig’s book is a blessing.”  Murray Pura, author of “The Wings of Morning”  and “The Face of Heaven”

MY REVIEW

The first fact I learned and liked is that Apple Creek is a real place in Wayne County, Ohio; a small village that is home to a large Amish community since the mid-1800s.  Although author Patrick Craig had not been a resident there, he knew the history “like the back of his hand.” Deep research of family having been settlers in nearby areas in early days added to his fascination of Apple Creek being known for the creation of quilts by talented quilters competing in the largest quilting fair in nearby Dalton, Ohio.

Even though the characters are fictitious, each became real to me and alive in my imagination.  Patrick Craig’s engaging story begins on Thanksgiving Day 1950.  Jerusha Springer is living in heartbreak over the loss of her child Jenny, confusion over her husband Reuben’s disappearance after Jenny’s death, and struggling with her belief that she has fallen from God’s love and grace.  The quilt Jerusha has just finished has been sewn with intrigue and emotional memories with each stitch.  She wonders if she is sinning before God with excessive pride over her quilt, but she cannot willingly suppress her feeling of deserving the grand prize when it is entered in the Dalton Fair.

Young Reuben Springer, a devout Amish man, went against the Ordnung by taking part in WWII by joining the army along with best friend Bobby Halverson.  Mr. Craig’s story is written about real events not ordinarily told in Amish fiction.  I appreciate this thought process from the male point of view.  His style was the hook of interest for me as the story went from different angles moving past and forward with each character.  Reuben is a good man, tortured and dismayed over the war, most of all for not receiving forgiveness from Jerusha and the Amish community.  Englischer Bobby, best friend to Reuben and Jerusha is one hero in this story that won’t be forgotten by this reader.  Henry, another hero adds to the excitement of Jerusha’s journey.  The snow storm that immobilized and paralyzed the region was real. Historians have called it the Great Appalachian Storm or even the Blizzard of the Century.  Apart from the possible guidance of angels and the perceptible company of the Holy Spirit within each heart – I can only tell you to be prepared for many surprises in Patrick Craig’s intention to touch hearts.  I hope I have unveiled enough to sway your interest in reading this excellently written story, but I am not prone to much detailing – that is for the reader to find individually.

This story is a masterpiece of writing and the plot is creatively coordinated – where else can Patrick Craig extend above this work of art?  It is my intention to find out by reading his newest book “The Road Home” which is already been graciously provided to my TBR list by Mr. Craig’s publisher.  Thank you, Patrick Craig, for one of the most beautiful reading experiences I have enjoyed.  Your readers will be hearing from me again! 

ABOUT AUTHOR PATRICK E. CRAIG…….

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Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next twenty-six years as a worship leader, seminar speaker and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the Western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches in Northern California, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. He has recently signed a three book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his “Apple Creek Dreams” series. The books are historical Amish fiction and the first book, “A Quilt for Jenna,” will be released January 1, 2013. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next twenty-six years as a worship leader, seminar speaker and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the Western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches in Northern California, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. He has recently signed a three book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his “Apple Creek Dreams” series. The books are historical Amish fiction and the first book, “A Quilt for Jenna,” will be released January 1, 2013. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Patrick has an extensive background as a writer. Throughout his school years he edited high school and college newspapers. In 1964 he won a national editorial contest sponsored by the Wall Street Journal for an editorial he wrote on the death of President Kennedy, and, in the same year, acted as Senior Editor for a special issue of the University of Washington Evergreen during a summer internship for High School Editors. After a year at Whitman College, where he was a journalism major, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area where he became a fixture on the local music scene.

As a professional songwriter, he wrote with and for such artists as Bill Champlin (Chicago), David Jenkins (Pablo Cruise), Buddy Miles, The Tazmanian Devils, and many others in the secular music industry. His songs were recorded by such artists and music groups as West Coast Natural Gas, Indian Pudding and Pipe, Joey Covington’s Fat Fandango, The Sons of Champlin, The Tazmanian Devils, Buddy Miles, David Jenkins, Laura Allen, The Fairfax Street Choir and in Europe by the Swedish Band Seid. He had two music albums released on Warner Brothers records, and contributed to best selling albums by artists such as Chris Isaak and others. Recently a compilation of his early work was released in Switzerland as a specialty music album.