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Guest Post from Suzzanne Woods Fisher
If you think you have a pretty clear idea of what an Amish bishop is like—stern, authoritative, patriarchal?—have another think. David Stoltzfus in The Imposter is warm, kindhearted, a reluctant farmer, and quite attractive!
Sound like an unlikely character for an Amish novel? Maybe so, but David Stoltzfus is modeled after a bishop I met, years ago. This real-life bishop might be the most intelligent, thoughtful, spiritually sensitive, and well-read man I’ve ever met. We spent a morning talking Bonhoeffer in his Spartan living room, warmed by his woodstove.
I wanted to present the character of a bishop that best represented this man I’d grown to admire. So when it was time to create a proposal for a new series, I suggested ‘The Bishop’s Family,’ starring David Stoltzfus who was loosely based on this particular bishop.
David Stoltzfus is a handsome, widowed father of six who runs a local bulk food store. His children are surprisingly nonconforming, outspoken, and fiercely protective of their clan. The real-life bishop is a farmer, happily married with four independently minded children, and looks…well, to be candid, he looks a little like Benjamin Franklin.
But here’s what they have in common: they both love to read, they love their families, and they love the work God has given them of tending a flock.
The Imposter begins as David Stoltzfus moves his family to Stoney Ridge for a fresh start, a new beginning. Things don’t start off well: his eldest daughter, Katrina, faces a crushing disappointment, his prodigal son Jesse has a bent for troublemaking, and then David realizes something fishy is going on in the little church.
A new life awaits the Stoltzfus family, but not the one they expected. Or wanted. But they are needed in Stoney Ridge, each one of them. Even Jesse. J
I hope you’ll feel as though you’ve made some new friends as you get to know David and his children. One thing I can promise: this bishop’s family will surprise you.
A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . .
Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose.
What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She’s been deceived once before, and she isn’t planning on experiencing it again.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Suzanne is graciously giving away a Kindle Fire 7! Click below to enter!