Growing up as the baby of the family, Mary Alford spent her youth making up stories to entertain herself. By her teens, she was writing fiction, and now as an adult she has published several romantic suspense and sweet romance titles. Her latest is Amish Country Kidnapping (Love Inspired Suspense): For Amish widow Rachel Albrecht, nowhere is safe—unless she trusts the Englischer she once loved. In this exclusive interview, Mary tells us a bit about the book, shares what’s special about her main characters, and reveals what it took to get the details right…
No spoilers, Mary, but what can you tell us about Amish Country Kidnapping?
Set in the Montana Amish Community of West Kootenai, (also known as Rexford), someone is targeting Amish widow Rachel Albrecht’s family and she has no idea why. When she wakes up to find a stranger standing over her with a gun, Rachel’s fighting instincts come alive and she manages to escape her kidnapper, but not before discovering her younger sister Eva has been taken.
Running for her life, with her assailant closing in, Rachel finds herself rescued by the one man she thought she’d never seen again. The person who broke her young heart at seventeen is now a deputy sheriff.
Noah Warren always regretted the way things ended between himself and Rachel, but his father insisted they leave their home near the Amish community when Noah and Rachel’s relationship turned serious. As an Englischer, he convinced Noah there could never be a future for him with Rachel.
Now, with dangerous men coming after Rachel, unraveling the truth behind the attacks is like peeling back layers of an onion. Just when they think they’ve reached the end, another twist takes Rachel back to a forgotten memory locked away in her mind. One that proves key to saving her sister’s life.
Keeping Rachel alive and finding Eva is critical, yet old feelings and regrets rise to the surface reminding Noah of the life he once wanted for himself and Rachel. The one he still longs for. But is it too late for them?
Tell us about your main characters, Amish widow Rachel Albrecht and Englischer deputy Noah Warren. What about these two made you want to tell their story?
I love Rachel’s courage. She survived so much loss in her life, and yet she keeps fighting for happiness. And Noah has overcome a lot of things as well. After his father forced him to end his relationship with Rachel, Noah went through a rebellious stage. He married someone just to get back at his father. But when his wife died in a car accident, everything changed for Noah. He turned his life around, found God, and joined the sheriff’s department.
Noah’s change reminds me that no matter what we’ve done, God is still the God of forgiveness and second chances.
What kind of research or background did you need to get the details right in the story?
Writing a book with Amish characters can be very challenging. The Amish way of life is far different from the Englisch world. Hard work, family, a simple existence without modern conveniences has an appeal to many readers. I wanted to make all those things come to life in Amish Country Kidnapping.
Though I’d written a couple of Amish stories before penning Amish Country Kidnapping, I spent hours online researching for this book. Thankfully, there are many resources available to assist, such as Amish America, a website that has a wealth of information about the life as well as the different communities around the country. In addition, I read numerous books. One, in particular, was Plain Answers About the Amish Life by Mindy Starns Clark. This book provided interesting and helpful insights into the Amish way of life.
Finding information on the West Kootenai Amish of Montana proved a bit more challenging. I loved that the community is close to the mountains. For me, it helped to set the stage for suspense. I found the contrast between such ruggedness existing close to an innocent way of life intriguing. I hope the readers feel the same way.
What spiritual themes run through the book?
Good definitely triumphs in Amish Country Kidnapping. But along with that theme, there is a thread of forgiveness woven throughout as Noah realizes he’s been holding onto his past mistakes when God has already forgiven him for them. Just like He has us.
I so love that nothing we can do will ever separate us from God’s love. And I can relate to Noah’s struggle to let go because I think we all find it difficult to stop beating ourselves up over our mistakes.
What do you hope readers will take away after reading Amish Country Kidnapping?
I hope readers will enjoy Rachel and Noah’s struggle to overcome their past and find happiness as much as I did in writing this story. And I hope I did the Amish genre justice.
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Amish Country Kidnapping
Love Inspired Suspense
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