Hey, Ruthy here, and I'm so excited to talk about Wishing Bridge, about the 4th book, about pandemics, brick walls and pushing through.
"Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge" is the beautiful story of a young woman-- a formerly Amish woman-- in search of the twin babies taken from her nearly five years before.
Rachel Stutzman has escaped a harsh Swartzentruber community in the North Country of upstate New York. She's left the heartless rules, the joyless days and the tough retributions of an overly strict and power-hungry bishop. With the help of an elderly friend, she's come to Wishing Bridge, NY, a picturesque, rolling community abutting the beautiful Southern Tier of Western New York. Rachel knows an Amish couple adopted a pair of baby girls over four years ago. Are they her babies? Is it her beloved Mary and Miriam? And how can she get them away from the rigors of a church that's done her wrong all of her days? And how can she be attracted to a strong, rugged deputy sheriff, a man of law and order, when her primary purpose is to get her children back?
And so begins Rachel's relocation to a town that combines wishes and prayers to make dreams come true.
But getting this book done didn't come easy because the last 18 months have seen a series of life-, nation-, and world-altering events. Covid hit... and amid a world thrust into a pandemic, lives changed, timing changed and things went all catawampus as the world hit "tilt" on the pinball machine of expectation.
We kept our farm open and people loved it, but getting supplies in was a trick of creativity because supply chains were severed by lack of workers and doubt. Which means time spent hunting things down, getting them in stock as shipping ground to a halt. What should have taken minutes sometimes took hours.
I taught 5th grade to two precious kids 3 days/week throughout the 2020/21 school year, until the end of April... and loved it, but that cut into writing time. Still, I'd do it again in a heartbeat because millions of American children didn't have a Grammy taking charge of their learning and to me, a lover of children, that equates with a high crime... although my kids in Catholic schools attended class 5 days/week with no bad results.
The same grandparents who were told to avoid their grandchildren (to limit viral spread) in spring of 2020 were babysitting those very same grandkids six months later as parents went to work and schools remained shuttered. I know this first-hand because they brought them to the farm. The irony of that was not lost on me. A divisive election added a whole new level of drama and a chain of misinformation coming from multiple facets of government meant that people couldn't trust what they were being told. Now that's great story fodder, but the reality of mixed messaging means more time, hunting for truth.
As the publishing industry released people from jobs due to decreasing sales and relocated out of lofty Manhattan offices, the overload of work for remaining editors interrupted the supply chain of approvals, edits, and scheduling snafus. All of that then required a "catch up" mentality put on authors.
And on a personal level my dear friend was facing end-stage cancer and my elderly mother-in-law was struggling with declining health. That meant Farmer Dave needed to be there, with his Mom and here, planting, tilling, spraying, working. God love him, he did it, but that made for more juggling plates... and yet we did it, working together, accepting help, and staying positive.
I ran triage. Simply speaking, I put Wishing Bridge (an indie book) on hold, fulfilled my contracts, and knew that when I could get back to Wishing Bridge I would... but kids, family, repercussions from Covid fallout and contracts took priority.
Being a writer means juggling business with life. Writers need the self-discipline to get the jobs done in a timely manner with whatever life hands you. But as an author who has always been able to work ahead of the game, being behind the eight ball was a new experience. We got through... but I saw sides of industry people that increased my publishing awareness.
It feels good to be finishing this beautiful story. It feels good to be back in control of my work, my career, my destiny. It feels good to be planning out my next two years (I work on a two-year calendar so that I don't over-book the time I need to write) and to breathe...
It was a long and rocky road to get here. Maybe that's what makes this upcoming release so special. I knew what I had to do and I did it, so finishing this beautiful story was the reward! It was the frosting on the cake, the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae.
The poignant story of Rachel and her search for the babies taken from a nineteen-year-old nearly five years before shows how a mother's love knows no bounds nor boundaries. "I will not leave you orphaned..."
Despite her harsh church upbringing, Rachel clings to a few Biblical wisdoms. And as the goodness of Wishing Bridge surrounds her, she begins to see people, life and even the Amish community through different eyes. But at what cost to her, her daughters and to the people of Wishing Bridge?
This book releases in two months. November 22, 2021... After a long wait.
I hope the wait will have been worth it. I hope folks love the story, love going back to my favorite fictional town and reacquainting themselves with so many good people!
As for me, being able to finish this story was like the best reward... like a finish line at the end of a long race. But also a wonderful lesson in putting first things first. A lesson I hope I've passed on to others at home... and here.
Author of over 60 novels and novellas, and owner of a popular Western New York pumpkin farm, Ruthy Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate, coffee and all things pumpkin anytime of year. She writes romance, women's fiction and mystery and loves them all. Friend Ruthy on Facebook, stop by her website ruthloganherne.com and she loves to hear from readers and writers at email@example.com.