What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Patrick E. Craig and Free Books!

The Mennonite Queen—an epic saga of forbidden love, bloody revolution, and powerful faith.

This week we're focusing on novelist Patrick Craig, author of the Amish/Mennonite historical novel, The Mennonite Queen (P&J Publishing, April 2019).

Patrick E. Craig is a traditionally published/independent author. In 2013, Harvest House Publishers published his Apple Creek Dreams series, which included A Quilt For Jenna, The Road Home, and Jenny’s Choice.

His current series is The Paradise Chronicles and the first book, The Amish Heiress, was published in 2015. It remained on the Amazon Top 100 best sellers list for seven months. The Amish Princess was released in 2017 and was followed by The Mennonite Queen in April 2019. In 2017 Harlequin purchased the print rights for The Amish Heiress for their Walmart Amish series. That book went into Walmart stores on April 2 2019.

Just recently Patrick signed with Elk Lake Publishers to publish his kids’ mystery series, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo.

Patrick and his wife, Judy, make their home in Idaho. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I was a singer in a well-known rock band and a Pastor.

Okay, Patrick, the tiny researching corner of my brain had to go snooping online. Very cool. 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Mennonite Queen.

Princess Isabella of Poland has been raised in a life of wealth and leisure. She is destined to marry a king but fate intervenes when she meets Johan Hirschberg, a young Anabaptist who works in her father’s stables. Johan’s strength, kindness, and faith win her heart and they secretly marry and flee to Münster, a city in Germany where Anabaptists have thrown off the yoke of persecution and taken control.

Johan joins in the revolution, but the excesses and sins of the leaders soon turn him away. Johan and Isabella try to leave, but Münster is surrounded by the troops of Catholic Bishop Prince Franz von Waldek, who has been paid to capture the princess. At the height of the battle, they escape and flee to Frisia where they are taken in by Menno Simons, the founder of the Mennonite church.

After two years with Menno they are captured by von Waldek and returned to Poland. There, Isabella must make a choice that will change the course of European history.

Wow, that's a fascinating point in history that I can't say I've ever read about. Intriguing.

What is it about Isabella that will make your readers care about her?

Isabella Jagiellon, Queen of Hungary, is a real historical character who actually wrote the first Edict of Religious Toleration in Europe. I have inserted her into a fictional history where she plays a role in the founding of the Mennonite church. She is bold, smart, lovely and loves the Lord. She is forced to make a choice that changes the course of European history, and that choice will endear her to all my readers.

Yes, both endearing and compelling. I'm sold.

Let’s fantasize—your publisher is sending you to explore the history and setting for a new novel. Where are they sending you? Why there?

I’m being sent to Ixheim, Germany, the town where the last Amish community in Europe closed it’s doors in 1937. I’m researching for a novel titled The Amish Menorah, a story about an Amish man who rescues a Jewish girl from the clutches of the Nazis. Look for it in 2021.

I usually ask this question as a "what if," but sometimes we hit on an actual work in progress, like The Amish Menorah. I hope you'll come back and tell us more about it when it becomes available! 

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Goodbye Darkness A Memoir of the Pacific War by William Manchester. I read it as research for my new book with Murray Pura and it is one of the best written books about the struggles and fears of the American Marines during the Pacific campaign in WW II.

What are you working on now?

Currently Elk Lake Publishing is getting ready to release the first book in my YA Mystery series, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo. It’s titled The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch. I’m also working on a World War II Novel, Far On The Ringing Plains, with my friend, Murray Pura.

I’m preparing to sign with Elk Lake for two new series. The first is Amor mi Tien (Love Keep Me), which is a three generational romance/historical series set in the time of The Wars of The Roses in England and France. The first book is titled The Roses of Agincourt, and will be finished early next year. I also have a thriller series, Maxfield Williams, starting in 2020. The first book will be Scars on Heaven. And then I have the second Punkin and Boo book, The Lost Coast, coming out in 2020.

Busy man! Where else can readers find you online?


The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Murray and I have been wrestling with a question about our new book, Far On The Ringing Plains. If a book has a Christian world view and is specifically Christian in its content and focus, but you want it to reach a general audience with a gospel they may never have heard before as opposed to more cloistered Christian readers, and it is about Marines in battle, is it okay to use rougher (not gross) Marine language and situations? Honest opinions, please.

Excellent question. Thank you, Patrick, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your novel. Readers, Patrick has offered to give away a free copy of his book. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to his question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


mnleona said...

Not sure what you mean by "rough". Using God in the word would not be acceptable to me.
I have always thought of Amish as being in the United States but not in Europe.

Lori91301 said...

First, what a timely book. I just returned from a trip with a friend (our husbands stayed at home) to Amish country, Lancaster, PA. We stayed on an Amish Farm and soaked in the peace and quiet. This was such an incredible experience. I'd love to read this book and see what life was like in Europe for the Mennonites. Interesting! As for "rough" language in a book to reach a non-Christian audience with a Christian message, I'm assuming there would be a turn-around for this rough talking marine. I think some language would be acceptable, but I personally don't like reading foul language in books (thus I read Christian authors mostly). But I see where you are coming from and perhaps if it is presented as a pre-warning to readers who are used to not having to experience foul language, it might be OK. I always check to watch for things like that before reading a book. Anyway, the new book sounds intriguing.
Lorigeorge at hotmail dot com

Joy B. said...

I think if it's a Christian book then it shouldn't have bad language in it. Maybe write it into the book by just saying that the person uses bad language and we know that is a sin, especially if it takes the Lord's name in vain. Also having lived next door to a retired Marine, who is a Christian, I have never heard any bad language out of him.

Patrick E. Craig said...

Interesting views, but I have had several Beta readers with military backgrounds (most of them Christians) tell me that without the "Marine" battle language the book would be inauthentic and most non-Christian or military readers would put it down.

Neesie said...

Tough question! I think most readers of Christian fiction would find "rough" language offensive, but authenticity would be to use it.

Neesie said...

Forgot to leave my email

Emma said...

I don't like reading foul language in books.

Licha said...

I think as long as it doesn't insult God in any way it is o.k. , God is only deserving of Praise. We hear ugly language every day and that is life, like I said as long as they are not insulting God. Have a great week. God Bless you all. Your book sounds very intriguing like a real page turner, the cover looks pretty mysterious ! aliciabhaney@sbcglobal.net

kim hansen said...

If the book is military theme then yes there should be rough language in it. Just not whole lot of foul language. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.


This would be a tough question but I agree with Kim and I would love to read this book Thanks for the chance! SARAHTAYLOR601973atYAHOOdotCOM

Beth Scott said...

And...I'm still working on you know who about you know what! 😁

Beth Scott said...

I'll try again..
1. Most are aware the language of the military is rough. I don't think you'd be gross about it.
2. May I be a pre reader for the Amish Menorah?!
3. Amor mi Tien sounds like it's right up my historical fiction alley!!

loretta said...

Knowing you and Murray Pura "somewhat", I know that the language would not be foul. But just how much you could use and not push the edge...?
Here's my solution:
As I read anything or on facebook and someone may not want to actually use a word they may use the first letter, followed by the correct number of blanks to complete the words. However, OUR MINDS FILLS IN THE BLANKS and we get exactly what was intended. For instance, d---.
You could use BS instead of the word, I feel that's acceptable. Also use hell as that is a literal place, not just a swear word.
That may be a way of pleasing most. There isn't a way to have it both ways, I don't think. A compromise of sorts. Make up a few words of your own, i.e a guy who uses the expression Oh, snap! Snap it!
Best of luck figuring it out and I definitely want to read it!

loretta said...

I believe google would have sent you my email?
Loretta Shumpert

Trish Perry said...

I read at least as much mainstream fiction as Christian fiction, so I'm not easily offended, as long as language isn't graphic or blasphemous. I know I would have no problem with the"rough" language you suggest, Patrick. It truly is difficult to instill authenticity in hard-edged characters and still not offend some readers. I wish you and Murray the best in that effort.

Patrick E. Craig said...

Remember, dear readers... I said rougher language not foul or gross. The one thing I won't do is use salacious language or take the Lord's name in vain. We did find a couple of replacement words and there are no graphic sexual scenes or references.

Patrick E. Craig said...

Beth Scott... Keep working on it. I guess I'll just have to get a best-seller this year so she can't afford not to. LOL And yes you can pre-read the Amish Menorah. That book may be involved in a project that was born in Shipshewana, I'll be saying mor about that later.

Vivian Furbay said...

What an interesting story! Sure would like to read this one. If I am blessed to win, Ii would like a print copy as that is all I can read. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

Derinda Babcock said...

I'm not sure what rough language means. Can you give an example?
Though I know Marines often use "rough" or bad language, I don't want to read this when I have a little time to read a work of fiction.

Patrick E. Craig said...

I hesitate to give n example here, since this is not the market nor the readers the book would be aimed at. If I say rough language, again, I do not mean gross or salacious, no purient sexual references, no taking the Lord's name in vain.

Patrick E. Craig said...

Also, remember that despite the "Marine" language we might use, the Gospel is shared clearly and boldly.

Trish Perry said...

I'm curious, Patrick, what kind of feedback you've received elsewhere with this question. Is this the norm for the average reaction?

I struggled in the past somewhat similarly, when wanting to write a novel that might be read by mainstream readers but would draw them to God (especially to Christ). So I've started with extremely lost characters who eventually find their way, but I was told many Christians won't read about those characters--they must have Christians. I've seen examples of inspirational-market novels since then that prove that argument wrong.

Patrick E. Craig said...

I've had mixed responses, Trish. Some Christians say they wouldn't read it, some understand the dilemma. But the General market is way bigger than the Christian market and we need to decide if we want to keep preaching to the choir or reach out to the lost. And if so, can you use everyday language without losing your salvation? Add in the fact that the most Christian publishers have moved toward Happily Ever After Romance which is not the reality of most folks without Christ. So we will continue with the project.

Trish Perry said...

Just as some churches focus on feeding the flock and some focus on outreach, some of our books are tailored specifically for those who already love the Lord, and maybe some of our books need to serve as vessels of outreach. I pray you and Murray feel lots of guidance in your project, Patrick!



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