Sarah's Garden, A Patch of Heaven Series #1Sarah's Garden, A Patch of Heaven Series #1
Kelly Long
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( Expected to ship on or about 03/02/16. )
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Shy Sarah King is happiest when working in her Amish kitchen garden. But her life changes when she meets Englisch veterinarian Grant Williams. Believing that she must choose between her family and forbidden love, Sarah prays for wisdom as she quilts a picture of her struggle. The Lord is guiding Sarah---but will she listen? 320 pages, softcover from Nelson.

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Kelly Long
Kelly Long is the author of Sarah's Garden, the first novel in the Patch of Heaven series. She was born and raised in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. She’s been married for nearly 25 years and has five children.

Favorite Verse: Exodus 18:18 (NASB) is my favorite—“You will surely wear out…for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.”  This verse applies to parenting a child with autism, to writing, marriage, and all of my life.


 Our Interview with Kelly Long


What is your favorite Bible verse?

Exodus 18:18 (NASB) is my favorite—“You will surely wear out…for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.”
This verse applies to parenting a child with autism, to writing, marriage, and all of my life.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve been married to my best friend, my high school sweetheart, for nearly 25 years. I love to teach English, have joy in my children, and find true peace in the living aspect of God’s Word. We live in  Georgia.

What inspired you to write about the Amish?

I grew up around the Amish of North Central Pa., deep in the Allegheny Mountains. They are a people of rare work ethic, generosity, and regularly exemplify God’s grace.

Do you have any connections with the Amish community?

I have a great reader/consultant who has a wonderful sense of humor and rare insight into human nature. He is a member of an Old Order Amish community and keeps me straight about all things Amish.

Is any part of Sarah’s Garden factual?

Road-side stands packed with goodies, whoopee pies, quilts and things of nature are factual to where I grew up. Kitchen gardens, quilting through stages of life, and a deep appreciation for family are all factual as well.

How closely is Sarah’s Garden based on your own life experiences?

At least 2/3rds of the book comes directly from my own memories of the Amish and the mountains.


How did you choose the location for the setting?

The location was simply where I grew up. Pennsylvania’s North Central Amish communities represent both Amish and mountain or mountain valley peoples—and this is what I know best.

How long did Sarah’s Garden take you to complete? 

Writing the book itself took about 2 months, but rewrites took up just about equal time…so about four months altogether.

What is the symbolism for the title Sarah’s Garden?

Sarah’s Garden has layered meaning in its connecting of the Amish to the soil or nature, the art of planting through which they express themselves, the intimacy of a personal garden and what it means to share that with someone and the potential for abundant growth and new beginnings in life and relationships.

Do you have a favorite character in Sarah’s Garden? Why?

I like Luke, Sarah’s brother. He’s a typical brother—says the wrong thing sometimes, loves his sister when he’s aware of her, and ultimately has her best interests at heart.

How much research did Sarah’s Garden take?

Researching the layout of a typical kitchen garden and its plants took the longest…probably a good two weeks of researching.


What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Sarah’s Garden?

I learned how the Amish covered hospital bills as a community instead of having individual insurance.

How many books will be in the Patch of Heaven series?

To date, there should be three.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

It’s hard to be a mom to two special needs children and write. I need to go to a lot of therapy appointments and have to make myself write in snatches whenever I can.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I like the potential that exists to connect with readers and maybe make their days go a little better or to possibly provide them with some insight or encouragement.

What writing clubs or organizations do you belong to?

I belong to the Writer’s View and a private critique group in Marietta, Ga.

What were your favorite books as a child?

I loved a series of picture books about “Harry” the Cat, and I enjoyed Understood Betsy as well as All-of-a-Kind Family.

What is your writing style?   (Do you outline?  Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants?   Or somewhere in between?)

I mentally outline or play out the scene in my head like a movie then write it literally. I will also write in a non-linear fashion and do chapters ahead and then go back to catch up.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

Frequently, yes they do. If they don’t, then I feel the story isn’t working well.


What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’ve finished two novellas with Beth Wiseman and Kathleen Fuller, A revised version of An Amish Christmas and An Amish Love. And, I’m due to finish the sequel to Sarah’s Garden in mid-June 2011.

Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?

My sixth grade teacher, Bob Dwyer—still teaching.  He made me see that writing is a process and work, not a muse-driven art.

What message would you like your readers to take from Sarah’s Garden?

I’d like readers to know that the potential for renewal always exists with God.

What is your greatest achievement?

My magnum opus is being a mother.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

I want to write to serve the Living God by bringing truth, darkness, and hope into the light of readers’ minds.

What do you do to get away from it all?

There is no away.  Once you sign on with God’s crew, you don’t get off the ship.  Maybe you just take a swim now and then.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I appreciate the chance to share with readers!


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