Friday Feature, Interview & PRINT Giveaway: The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good

Please welcome Rachel Good to Book Reviews & More by Kathy.

Kathy: Thank you so much for chatting with us today. Can you give readers a little insight into your new release, The Amish Teacher’s Gift?

Ms. Good: The idea for the story came to me when I was playing with my Amish friend’s daughter, who is on the autism spectrum. Then I met a young hearing-impaired girl with Down syndrome at an Amish secondhand store. I wondered about their schooling, which led to researching and attending Amish special needs schools and centers.

In The Amish Teacher’s Gift, Ada Rupp is caring for seven younger siblings following her mother’s death. She’s busy with chores, learning sign language to help her hearing-impaired brother, and quilting to pay for groceries. Then the bishop asks her to teach at the Amish school for children with special needs, and although she’s happy to help, teaching adds more responsibilities to her heavy load.

Josiah Yoder has lost his wife, and he’s having difficulties communicating in sign language with his grieving six-year-old son. He’s grateful Nathan has Ada Rupp as his first-grade teacher because she goes out of her way to reach each child in her class. Impressed by her sweet nature and her ability to comfort his son, he’d like to court her.

Kathy:  Lead character Josiah Yoder’s son, Nathan, is deaf. Did you find it difficult writing about a character with a handicap?

Ms. Good: Actually, my nephew lost his hearing around age 3, just like Nathan in the book. I helped care for him when he was younger, so I know some of the struggles he experienced, which helped me create some of the difficulties for both Nathan and his dad. Even if my nephew hadn’t gone through all the experiences I wrote about, I tried to imagine his reactions to them if he had.

Kathy: What do you like the most about Josiah and heroine Ada Rupp?

Ms. Good: I love Josiah’s patience with his son. No matter how much Nathan acts out or causes difficulties, Josiah’s love never wavers. And even before he falls in love with Ada, Josiah opens his heart to her siblings. My pulse pitter-patters when I picture him reading bedtime stories to the little ones while they’re all cuddled close on the couch.

As the oldest child in my family, I always watched over my two youngest siblings, but I never had to take on as much responsibility as Ada did. She sacrifices her own happiness to care for her siblings as well as the children at the special needs school. I also like that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to reach every child in her classroom and ensure each one has the best environment for learning.

Kathy:  Could you tell us about the research you do to ensure the authenticity of your Amish characters?

Ms. Good: I feel it’s important to portray the Amish culture correctly, so I spend a lot of time researching each book. I have many Amish friends I visit to experience their life firsthand. I do chores on their farms, babysit their children, and attend events with them. I also have Amish beta readers who check my books to be sure they’re accurate.

For this story, I met Amish children with special needs, visited Amish schoolhouses, and toured a special needs center for Amish children. At the Community Care Center, a young man in a wheelchair showed me around, and I fell in love with the MSE (multi-sensory environment), a special room to help calm children. That room along with some of the center activities and teachers made their way into the book.

I also spent time with a teacher who works with children on the autism spectrum, learning how to help and calm them. Spending time with a good friend who has two special children gave me insight into some of the problems Ada might face.

I’m deep into the research for the next book, THE AMISH MIDWIFE’S SECRET, so you can imagine the exciting places and events I’m experiencing now. I’m really grateful to my Amish friends for welcoming me into their lives, introducing me to the people I need to know, and reading my books for accuracy.

Kathy: If you could time travel, what time period would you visit?

Ms. Good: It would be hard to choose just one period. I’d love to visit Imperial China (1500s-1700s) or spend some time with the Incas. Ancient Egypt fascinates me, but my favorite place might be the Kingdom of Ghana (8th-11th centuries), the center of trade routes in commodities such as gold, ivory, salt, and books. I’d enjoy being part of the hustle and bustle of the marketplaces, living in the elaborately built mud buildings, and hobnobbing with authors, philosophers, and scholars from around the known world. I’d listen and soak in all their knowledge, and I’d also buy every book I could get my hands on. (Something I’m guilty of in this century too.)

Kathy: What project(s) are you currently working on?

Ms. Good: The Amish Teacher’s Gift is the first book in the Love & Promises series, and it will be followed by The Amish Midwife’s Secret (Nov. 27) and The Amish Widow’s Rescue (2019). I’m doing edits to the midwife story, which is based on my research on Amish midwives. (I actually had an Amish midwife when my sons were born at home.) I’ve also been researching unusual childhood diseases inherited only in the Amish and Mennonite communities (and visiting places where they’re developing cures) and learning about herbal remedies used by my Amish friends and trying out those I’ve purchased in Amish natural products stores. I’m also writing book 3 in that series, which involves practicing canning, viewing (and smelling!) manure pits, and attending Amish viewings. Research isn’t always fun, but I find my readers appreciate these sneak peeks into Amish life.

In addition, I’m working on two other Amish novels, Gift from Above and Big-City Amish in the Sisters & Friends series for Harlequin Love Inspired, as well as completing two anthology stories for Hometown Heroes and Amish Christmas.

Kathy: I am very excited to read your next novels.Thank you so much for stopping by!

Ms. Good: Thank you for having me, Kathy. I really appreciate it. It’s been great being here.

Title: The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good
Love and Promises Series Book One
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Amish/Inspirational, Romance
Length: 384 pages


A Teacher’s Love

Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it’s not easy with a deaf young son who doesn’t understand why his mamm isn’t coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn’t sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she’ll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she’d always hoped for.

Read my review HERE.

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Author Bio

Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farms and attending family events. Rachel loves to travel and visit many different Amish communities. She also speaks at conferences and book events across the country and abroad. When she’s not traveling, she spends time with her family and writing. In addition to her Amish novels, she’s written more than 40 books for children and adults under several pen names. Find out more at

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Pinterest * Goodreads


I am giving away ONE PRINT copies of The Amish Teacher’s Gift (US Addresses ONLY). To enter today’s contest, fill out the form below. PLEASE NOTE: Contest is open to US mailing address ONLY. Contest ends 5 PM mountain time Monday April 30th.


The book for this giveaway was generously provided by Forever Publishing. Winner will be selected by Forever will mail the prize to the winner. not responsible for lost or misdirected packages.

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1 Comment

Filed under Contest, Friday Feature, Interview

One Response to Friday Feature, Interview & PRINT Giveaway: The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good

  1. Melody Kennedy

    Can’t wait to read this book.