What I admire most about the Amish faith is the emphasis on forgiveness. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve always had a tendency to hold grudges, and moving past that has been a struggle. In TURNING HOME, I loved writing about a woman who has the best reason in the world to hold onto anger, but who discovers how wondrously freeing it is to forgive – to be able to breathe freely again, to open herself to love.
I’m excited about TURNING HOME, the first in a series of Amish romances. It’s a big change of pace for me, although I’ve always loved turning in new directions. I’ve published well over a hundred books, from a children’s picture book to young adult novels, two historical mysteries, and contemporary romantic suspense and romances.
What’s always interested me most as a writer is what comes after trauma or a dramatic change in on our lives. How do we pick ourselves up after a loss or painful experience and go on? Although I’ve always enjoyed writing suspense, secretly I have my eye on what comes next. When it’s all over. What does this new knowledge of how you reacted, how vulnerable you felt, have on the choices you make, how you now feel about yourself?
So, I’m not always as upbeat as I could be, but I was primed to write TURNING HOME. I had this character in my mind, waiting for me to tell her story. She was getting impatient, but I couldn’t figure out how she could find the peace she needs to allow her to love a man and start a family, something that has eluded her. Not until my wonderful agent mentioned that an editor was looking for a new series of Amish romances did I see my way.
My hero and heroine were a mismatch from the beginning. After some years away from the Amish faith, Luke Bowman has come home and made a commitment. The draw he feels toward this woman from the outside world, a woman who is forbidden to him, is disturbing, to say the least. Julia Durant had never set eyes on an Amishman until she flies to northern Missouri to visit her brother, and decides to stay. Once she takes a job working with Luke and his father, the two can’t avoid each other. Add a young child whose life has been so difficult she refuses to speak, and I’ve laid the path home for Julia and Luke, while I explore the push-pull between the Amish faith and way of life, and the modern world.
I hope their story gives you somewhere close to the joy I felt writing it.
In this tender Amish romance, an Amish man who is returning to his community and faith is drawn to a young woman who is still reeling from past wounds.
When Luke Bowman returns to the Amish faith after years of being away from home, he does so with absolute conviction. Those feelings are shaken when he meets Julia Durant, a non-Amish woman who works at his family’s furniture-making business. Despite his instincts, Luke is drawn to Julia, and although Julia is still recovering from a brutal assault when she was a college student, she is drawn to Luke as well.
As Luke and Julia grow closer, and their fragile friendship grows stronger, Luke wants to be with Julia, but the reason he came home–his faith–is now the thing keeping them apart. Luke and Julia will have to decide whether their relationship can survive this divide, and whether the home Luke has made in the Amish faith is one that’s fit for two.
The author of more than ninety books for children and adults, Janice Kay Johnson writes about love and family—about the way generations connect and the power our earliest experiences have on us throughout life. An eight-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA award, she won a RITA in 2008 for her Superromance novel Snowbound. A former librarian, Janice raised two daughters in a small town north of Seattle, Washington.