Celebrating Over Coffee With.....

Celebrating Over Coffee With…..Rachel J. Good

**Kelly De Lance, you are the winner of our giveaway.  Enjoy your book! Thank you to everyone who participated!***


Hi Rachel, thank you so much for joining me for coffee this morning.  I have my coffee ready and am looking forward to getting to know you better!

What drew you to Amish fiction?

I grew up near Lancaster, PA, and had relatives who lived there, so I’ve always been interested in the Amish and fascinated by their lifestyle. When my agent, the wonderful Mary Sue Seymour (who recently passed away), read an inspirational novel I was writing, she asked if I’d ever considered writing about the Amish. I told her about my lifelong interest in the Amish and soon set to work on my first Amish novel, Change of Heart.

As I wrote, I learned so much about Amish ways, so I have several more books in the Sisters & Friends series coming out. Right now I’m editing Buried Secrets, about Emma, the second Esh sister, and writing Gift from Above, about Sarah, the youngest Esh sister. I didn’t want to stop after only three books, so I have several stories planned about their friends and relatives. I try to spend time in the areas where I set the books so I get my setting and details right. I’m also grateful to have an Amish beta reader who checks my facts.

Your coloring book is so inspirational. What inspired you to create it?

Amish Quilts Coloring BOOKOriginally, I wanted to create something to use for giveaways when my Amish novel came out, so I looked at what readers of Amish novels enjoyed doing. Cooking and crafts seemed to be high on the list of their favorite activities, and many loved the beauty of Amish quilts. I thought about designing some quilting patterns, because I enjoy needlework and quilts. But as I was studying the patterns, one of my friends gave me an adult coloring book. It sparked the idea of doing a quilt coloring book because even people who don’t quilt could color the patterns.

Once I had that idea, I decided that rather than having blank backs on each coloring page (in case markers bleed through), I’d like to add something uplifting for people to think about while they color. Amish proverbs seemed the perfect choice to go with the quilts. I had a lot of fun selecting the proverbs. I wanted to be sure they made people smile, but also improve their lives. One of my favorites is “Keep your words soft and sweet in case you need to eat them.”

One thing that made me happy is that people have told me that coloring relaxes them and even sometimes eases pain. Best of all, some readers are using their coloring time to pray for others. What a wonderful way to not only help yourself feel better, but to make the world a better place.

For readers who prefer less intricate designs, there’ll soon be a new version of Amish Quilts Coloring Book with larger designs. Those will be easier to use for quilt patterns too. And an Amish Quilts Coloring Book 2 is in the works. I found so many wonderful designs when I was doing my book tour in Lancaster, PA, I started sketching out the next book.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I recently heard someone use the term “plontser,” as a combination of plotting and pantsing. I think that’s the best description of my writing style. Before I start, I have to know my beginning and my ending, along with some key scenes along the way. Once I have those in place, I like to write to see how my characters will reach those milestones. They usually surprise me, which is always fun. And many times, random details I jot down in early chapters turn out to be significant later. I didn’t plan that; it often just happens. I suspect if I outlined all the story twists and turns, I’d miss out on that serendipity.

In your book Change of Heart, Lydia seems to be put in difficult situations in order to protect her wild sister. What inspired this story? Did you have a sibling that you protected growing up?

 Lydia is the oldest of three sisters, and so was I. As the firstborn, I was expected to be responsible and set a good example for my siblings. I know how heavily that duty can weigh on older children, so I gave Lydia a rebellious younger sister to protect. I do want to make it clear that my sisters didn’t act out the way Emma does, but I wanted to explore what would happen to a family if one daughter went wild during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time.

Do you enjoy cooking? Do you make Amish recipes, and do you have a favorite?

I like to cook, although with my book deadlines, my husband often does the cooking now. My favorite part of cooking has always been baking – making bread, bagels, English muffins, pretzels, sticky buns – anything using yeast. There’s something soothing about kneading dough, and patience in waiting for it to rise. And the aroma of it baking… so warm and welcoming and  homey. It fills the house with peace. When I bake, I feel a kinship with the Amish, who traditionally baked everything from scratch.
I love many Amish recipes. If you’d like to see some of my favorites, check out my Amish recipe collection on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.Launch Party foodcom/racheljgood1/). Recently, I had a wonderful launch party for Change of Heart at Cupboard Makers Books, and my caterer friend Maria Lebo, whose mother came from an Amish background, made the food—cracker pudding, lebanon bologna rollups, apple butter and church spread sandwiches, red beet eggs, chow-chow, and mini whoopie pies washed down with lavender-scented lemonade. All the food was tasty, and everyone exclaimed that they’d never had such delicious whoopie pies or better chow-chow. There’s an art to making chow-chow, and Maria has perfected it. Recipes for both of those and June’s Famous Cracker Pudding can be found in the back of Change of Heart, but I’ll share the Whoopie Pie recipe here, in case you haven’t ordered your copy yet.

Whoopie PiesWhoopie Pies

 Cookie Ingredients

2 c flour

1 c granulated sugar

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c buttermilk

1/2 c water

1/2 c vegetable shortening

1 egg

1 egg yolk

Filling Ingredients

1/2 c vegetable shortening

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

3 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare cookies in medium bowl, stirring together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, water, and shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Turn up to medium speed, and beat for 2 more minutes. Add the whole egg, and yolk, and beat on medium for 2 additional minutes.

Drop by rounded teaspoons on an ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes or until the top springs back lightly when touched in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling, combine shortening, flour, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add 1 1/4 c of powdered sugar and beat well. Add the milk. Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. Beat well, until light and fluffy.

To assemble, spoon about 2 teaspoons of the filling onto half the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies and sandwich together.

WARNING: These whoopie pies are addictive. I guarantee they’ll be the best ones you’ve ever tasted!

Rachel photo webRachel J. Good writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. A former teacher and librarian, she began writing while raising her five children. In addition to having articles and books in print under several pen names, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. For information about her books, newsletter, and appearances, visit her website at http://www.racheljgood.com, and she’d love to connect with you online:





Change of Heart is available at ChristianBooks.com and Amazon. The Amish Quilts Coloring Book is available through Amazon.

About Change of Heart

Change-of-Heart_Good_webLydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during Rumschpringe, causing the family
major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.

When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. Will she stay true to her faith even if it means giving up the man she loves?

Would you like  to meet Rachel along with Amy Clipston? Check out the flyer below!

Flyer - Clipston and Good June 2016 (1)

To celebrate Rachel having coffee with me this morning, she is giving away one copy of Change of Heart. Enter by answering the following question in the comments below, “Do you like to cook? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?”

This giveaway ends on Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PST.

Thank you for joining us today!

68 thoughts on “Celebrating Over Coffee With…..Rachel J. Good

  • Deanna Stevens

    No, I am not a good cook.. Lasagna is about the only thing my family asks for that I can do well.. The Whoopie Pie sounds delish!

    • I love lasagne! Must be good if the family requests it. Whoopie pies are yummy!

  • Kelly De Lance

    Yes I enjoy baking too but seem to not do much of it. I am praying for God to bring Comfort and Healing to my heart as baking makes me feel so lonely. My parents and Grandparents are with the Lord now. Baking brings a lot of memories.

    • I know what you mean about memories making baking difficult. Two things I do that seem to help — 1) sing praises and thank God for the time I had with those special people, and 2) bake for others. I either invite them over to share (so many other people are lonely) or I make something to take to a shut-in, a neighbor, a friend who’s having a difficult time, or to a nursing home. That always lifts my spirits.

  • Nancy Griggs

    I’m not so much interested in cooking any more. I have a lot of my mothers recipes. She grew up near Amish country. I have a shoo-fly pie recipe that she made.

    • How wonderful to have some treasured recipes. If you’d be open to it, I’m sure others would love to know her recipe. I’m sure it’s delicious.

  • Kathy Jacob

    I loved this interview! Change of Heart and the series sound great! I also like the idea of bigger spaces to color in the coloring book!

    I don’t like to cook. I do it well, but I don’t have enough time to plan, so it’s not enjoyable. Thanks for sharing the Whoopie Pie recipe!

    • Thanks, Kathy! Hope you get to read Change of Heart. The new coloring book should be out by July. 🙂

      It’s hard to enjoy cooking when you’re pressed for time, but it’s great that you’re an accomplished cook. I’m sure you make many people happy when you cook, even if it’s under a time crunch.

      Hope you enjoy the Whoopie Pie recipe!

  • Kristina Kohler

    I like to bake more than cook..

    • I agree, Kristina! Do you have something you especially enjoy baking?

  • I like to cook and bake, but my husband is better. Since we are empty nesters we cook together. A new recipe I like is poppyseed chicken with noodles.

    • How wonderful to have a husband who cooks with you! That could be a lot of fun! Your recipe sounds delicious. Would you be willing to share it?

  • Linda Romer

    I love to cook ♡ I make asian turkey wraps and my children love them. Very simple.
    2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
    1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
    1 half tsp. Sriracha
    Mix together and set aside
    3 quarter cup finely chopped onion
    3 minced garlic cloves
    Cook 2 minutes in 1 Tbsp. Canola oil
    1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
    1 Lb. Ground Turkey
    Cook 7 minutes
    Stir in soy sauce mix
    Cook 1 minute more
    Serve in bibb lettuce leaves

    • Oh, yum! That sounds delicious, Linda!! Thanks ever so much for sharing!

  • I love to cook and bake. My simple fast go to recipe is called Mexican Holdover. My mom used to make it.
    One secret to making this a fast recipe is buying ground meat in bulk and browning it all at once. Drain the grease. Then I place it in freezer bags in approximately 1 pound packages.

    1 pound ground meat browned
    1 onion diced
    1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
    1 can condensed cheddar cheese or nacho cheese soup
    1 can of Rotel tomatoes
    1 package of fritos
    shredded cheddar cheese.

    Brown meat and onions.
    Add soups and Rotel tomatoes. Heat until warm.
    Layer ground meat mixture with fritos in a oven safe or microwave safe dish.
    Top with cheddar cheese. Bake just until the cheese melts.

    My brother used to eat this hot or even cold for breakfast.

    • Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jan, and your tip about freezing the meat. That would make for quick and easy meals. This sounds like the perfect dish for a church supper or to feed hungry kids.


      I don’t understand about your tomatoes.
      but would like to try your recipe.

      • Karen, Rotel tomatoes are a brand name. They’re canned tomatoes, but they have diced green chilies in them. If you can’t get Rotel in your area, you could probably used regular canned tomatoes and add some chilies for added spiciness.


        • Mary Herrnstein

          oohhhh….I don’t do spicy…would replace with plain tomatoes…

  • Connie Saunders

    Yes, I enjoy cooking and I tend to go with comfort foods. Mashed potatoes, green beans, fried chicken, cornbread and gravy. In the winter, I prepare a lot of oups or chili.
    Thanks for sharing Rachel’s thoughts

    • Those sound good, Connie. Comfort food is especially nice in winter. I love smelling chili or soup bubbling on the stove.

  • Elaine Shorb

    I will say I used to love to cook when I was married. But, now, being single, I do not like to cook for one. I enjoy baking for holidays and family reunions.

    • I imagine it’s not easy cooking for one, Elaine. I have a friend who prepares lovely gourmet meals for herself in large quantities and then freezes them in individual portions. She says it makes her feel special when she sits down to eat them. And she always uses her good china. Sometimes it’s nice to pamper yourself. Glad you have family events you can cook for.

  • Lucy Reynolds

    I love to cook and bake. I hoard recipes. Thank you for the chance. God bless.

    • So glad you enjoy cooking and baking, Lucy! I like to collect recipes too.


    I use to be a great cook and I loved to cook for the family but the last ten years I only have myself so I am learning to use a crock pot.
    I love to still make liver an fried onions an a salad for dinner.

    • A crockpot is nice and very convenient, Karen. My father loved liver with onions.

  • I love cooking! We are trying to expand our dinner choices so I try to look for new recipes. Pinterest is my best friend ?. I love baking even more! I haven’t shared recipes that much, however I m often complimented on my lasagna, chili and pasta salad!!

    • Pinterest is great for recipes! Glad you have some delicious favorites that people love, Jessica!

  • Connie Scruggs

    I love to bake!
    You can look up one of my favorite recipes on the Hershey website. It’s their Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Icing.
    It is a delicious, rich cake

    • Ooo, I’ll have to check out that recipe! Thanks so much for sharing, Connie!

  • Frances Cavallo

    I am a pretty good cook…I have taught Spanish Cooking…in the Adult Community School…and really enjoyed it…then I owned an Italian Deli…and a sandwich shop which the turned into a pizzeria/restaurant…so I do cook up Italian Food really good!!! I am a sweetahic…and my favorite cookie…is a gooey butter cookie…which I make well and are very easy to get together!!! I also make a mean Ricotta Pie…I won first place…at the US Post Office Annual Picnic/Bake-Off…it was the very first time I made it and it was awesome!!! Thanks so much for this opportunity!!! Have a wonderful, Blessed Day!!!

    • Wow, Frances, you sound like you have lots of wonderful cooking experience. The butter cookies and Ricotta pie sound delicious. Do you have any recipes you’d like to share? If so, I’m sure we’d all enjoy them.

  • Frances Cavallo

    I do wish so very much…that I could go to your Free Event…maybe one day…you could make it to Florida or Missouri…my two biggest hangouts!!! My husband used to own the food businesses with me…that I talked about in my first post, but, unfortunately…he passed away in 2008, so now, cooking has lost its zest in a way!!! I only really enjoy cooking or baking…when I am doing it for others…it makes me feel so wonderful!!!

    • I wish you could come too. I’d like to make it to Florida for sure. And maybe someday to Missouri. Sorry to hear about your husband, but I hope you get a chance to share your talents with others.

  • Frances Cavallo

    I am so sorry…I didn’t put everything into one post…you have my permission to combine the three of them…I kept having to come back because I kept remembering other thoughts!!! I apologize…have a wonderful day!!!
    ***what I wanted to ask you…I have been trying to find a copy of your Amish Quilts Coloring Book…I already rated it on Goodreads…it looks absolutely wonderful!!! And I would be so honored and blessed to be able to have it!!! Could you possibly help me to obtain a copy of it…I would appreciate it so much…please help me!!! Thanks so very much!!! God Bless You and Your Family!!!

    • Thanks for the Goodreads review. Please private message me on Facebook & we can talk about the coloring book.

  • Paula Jeffers

    I love to cook. I love trying new recipes.

  • Jan Hvizdos

    I love to cook and bake and do even more when I am stressed. I truly enjoy finding a recipe at the back of an Amish novel. It’s a great way to experience another wonderful Amish recipe. I have never read your novels and would love to experience your writing style.

    • Cooking is a good way to relax. I hope you get a chance to read my novels, Jan.

  • Linda D. McFarland

    Baking was always my favorite thing. Also, enjoy making my favorites like spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti, sauerkraut and weiners….thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Justina Wilson

    Yes I love to cook and find it fun as long as I don’t have to many picked eaters. I use to cook alot more when first married but then when the kids wouldn’t even try what I made it became kid food all the time. Now they fix what they want. I do love baking and still do that, no surprise that my kids loved that. I make homemade New York Cheesecakes (Like Juniors) alot. Even sold them to a restaurant for awhile but the restaurant was loosing money on them cause the staff kept eating them before they could sell it. Lol that made me feel good but was hoping for some income from it.

    • It’s a struggle cooking for picky eaters — I know what that’s like! Sounds like those cheesecakes were quite a hit!

  • Carla Moore

    I enjoy cooking with my granddaughter an teaching her family recipes. We love to color together.

    • How wonderful that you’re building memories with your granddaughter. I’m sure she’ll always remember those special times.

  • I enjoy cooking and my favorite recipe is a chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese casserole that my family enjoys. I would love to read your book Rachel. Amish fiction is my favorite genre to read. Thanks for the chance.

    • That casserole sounds delicious, Merry. I’m glad you’re an Amish fiction fan. Good luck.

  • Trying new recipes is great, isn’t it, Angie? And I’m with you; I prefer to bake too.

  • I like to cook, my favorite is chicken and sausage gumbo, I also like reading your books.

    • Thanks, Diana! I’ve never had chicken and sausage gumbo, but I bet it’s good.

  • Loretta Shumpert

    It seems that it’s really more economical to eat out anymore.
    I take it in spells, eat out for awhile, cook at home for awhile 🙂

  • Becky McCoy

    I like to cook but don’t cook very often anymore. I retired from working in a school cafeteria for 23 years, and with just my husband and I at home now, we eat out a lot! I do love to cook for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Recipe for whoopie pies sounds wonderful. Thank you!

    • After working in a cafeteria, I bet eating out is a nice break, Becky. Hope you enjoy the whoopie pies!

  • Mary Herrnstein

    no favorite recipes….but they always want my “big ole country breakfast”… especially in the summer when they have time to work it off afterwards…bacon, sausage, ham, eggs (how you like ’em) biscuits, gravy (home-made) toast, jelly (usually Welch’s grape) cottage cheese, cranberry sauce, pineapple, oops…forgot fried potatoes or hash browns…fresh sliced tomatoes..cold milk and plenty of juices…and when I’m feeling really in the mood…blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls or donuts…Keeps me busy all day…we usually eat around noon or one…spend the rest of my day cleaning up…leisurely…with a tall cold glass of sweet tea…and just one more bite of “something”…and feeling blessed!

      • Mary Herrnstein

        when I was growing up…my Aunt owned a big farm…all her kids had homes around her on the same land…when we visited in the summer…everyone would gather at her house… she always had something on the stove and something on the table…but she still had time to sit and visit with us…I don’t know how she did it…but I learned early that the kitchen was the center of the home…she always told us…if you leave her place hungry…it’s on you…usually she had bags of food ready for us to bring with us when we came home…their’s was a working farm…and she did all her meals like this…I don’t remember ever being to her house when there wasn’t food ready…my mom was the same way…although she didn’t cook all the extras my aunt did…and we lived in the city…but there was always plenty to feed anyone who showed up… there were only four of us after I married and got my own home…but I could never seem to cook for just us…all my recipes were for “the more the merrier”…guess old habits die hard…

  • Susan Fletcher

    No, I really don’t like to cook too much. My late husband was the cook. I’m a teacher who works 12+ hours daily, so I usually grab something quick and handy. I do bake some blueberry things in the summer from my blueberry bushes.
    Susan in NC

    • I can imagine you wouldn’t feel like cooking after working such long hours, Susan. Bet those blueberry recipes are delicious.


    sure would like to own this book have been waiting for it to come out and now from everything I have been reading I am going to try some of those receipts.
    I love reading every thing about the Amish an I wish I could cook like they do.
    thank you for this chance.

    • Hope you can get the book, Karen. I also wish I could cook like the Amish. I treasure the recipes I have.

  • I'm not much of a cook. I don't have any recipes to share because of that.

    I’m not much of a cook. I don’t have any recipes to share because of that.

    • That’s OK. Glad you could join us! Can you leave a name in case you win?

  • Jackie Tessnair

    I love to cook and baking is my favorite.I am always looking for new recipes to try.I have tons of recipe books,especially amish ones.I am looking forward to trying the whoopie pie recipe you have posted.Thanks for sharing.

    • Hope you enjoy making them, Jackie. Sounds like you’re quite an experienced cook.

  • Thanks, Barbara! Hope you like these as much as the ones you get in Lancaster.

Comments are closed.