Wednesday, December 21, 2011


RT Reviews Top Pick - ****.5

The Wings of Morning has just received 4.5 stars from RT Reviews and has been named their Top Pick for February, 2012. Das ist gute, don’t you think? Here is part of the review from RT Times:

***Pura has created one of the finest stories of Amish fiction I have ever read. The WWI-era Amish religious practices engage the reader, as does the dramatic love story. It is a story of spiritual intimacy between an Amish man and his beloved. The reader will be applauding the exceptional writing and the cast of characters demands an encore performance.***

I’m grateful! Danke Schoen!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

before the amish were amish

Before the Amish were Amish

One hundred years ago, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was very little to distinguish the Amish from everyone else. Horses, carts, mules, buggies, horse-drawn plows, wood stoves – all rural Americans had them. As for telephones, the Amish used them from the start in the 1890s. It wasn’t until the telephone was perceived as a threat to community, as a means for gossiping about others, that it was removed from Amish homes. But other than that, all people looked pretty much the same in Lancaster County.

Then came the motorcar from Mr. Ford. The Amish debated it and finally rejected it – you could be a passenger in one, but you could not own one or drive one.

And then came the aeroplane. It was bad enough that the car took people very fast on the ground. Now the aeroplane could take you very fast in the air.

And on the heels of the plane and car and phone came electricity – harnessed, run through wires, and ready to hook up to your house and allow you to use electric fridges, electric ovens, electric washers – just about anything that had been done by hand for hundreds of years could now be done more quickly by a machine running on the power of the lightning storm.

No to the phone and no to the car. But what about the plane? What about electricity as a public utility?

The Amish discussed and debated.

Then came 1917. And America entered the First World War.

In a matter of months, it became clear that not having phones did not set the Amish apart – not everyone had them yet anyway. Nor did not owning a car – most Americans didn’t. Planes? Well, who had planes in their backyard? How many people had even seen one? Electricity? The war slowed down its arrival. It would not come to Lancaster County until 1919.

So there really was not so much of a difference between the Amish and their neighbors, not like the sort of differences that would be obvious in the 40s and 50s when most others did have cars, trucks, tractors, radios, electric ovens and, eventually, TV.

It was things that had nothing to do with phones and cars and technology. That was what set the Amish apart. It was what had set them apart all along. It’s just that few of the neighbors had taken much notice.

With the coming of a world war to America, they did.

The Amish did not fly the American flag. Did not celebrate the 4th of July. Did not permit their sons to enlist in the army or navy or in law enforcement. The men did not grow mustaches because that was what soldiers did. They did not support the war effort, did not buy war bonds, because war was wrong. And they spoke German. Just like the enemy.

That was what set the Amish apart in 1917. Not buggies or horse-drawn plows or cooking on wood stoves.

Beliefs set them apart. Their beliefs about how a person should live the Christian life. Which were at odds with how many other American Christians felt a person should live the Christian life.

Americans did not understand why there should be such a difference between themselves and the Amish. And some became angry.

That is where my book, The Wings of Morning, begins.

It will be published by Harvest House in February of 2012.

For those of you who pick it up, I hope it will be a profound and powerful read for you.

God be with you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

where to find my books in 2012

You will be able to find my books at the following stores in 2012. please support them since they are good enough to support me! Thanks!

Barnes & Noble -

Family Christian Stores –

Lifeway Stores –

Parable Stores –

Amazon –


Books-a-Million –

Monday, December 05, 2011

Publisher's Weekly ****review

Here are some excerpts from a starred review in Publisher's Weekly of my forthcoming book, The Wings of Morning. Published by Harvest House in Oregon it's due to be released in February, 2012.

Pura (Zo) has penned a meaty story dealing with complex issues as the impact of WWI and the Spanish influenza epidemic affect a Lapp Amish community in Lancaster, Pa., during 1917–1919. At a time when the Amish are still considering their position on innovations like the automobile, photography, and electricity in homes, Amish convert Jude Whetstone has been allowed to learn to fly. While his childhood friend Lyyndaya Kurtz dreams of marrying the aviator, his forced induction into the United States Army Air Service and deployment to Europe triggers a shunning that threatens the young couple’s future. Pura, who has been a pastor and author in Canada for more than 25 years, masterfully balances depictions of simple Amish living with the harm that can be caused when religious ideology overrides compassion and understanding. Pura’s nearness to historical and Amish accuracies makes for a plausible and intriguing tale. Pura’s previous works have been shortlisted for several literary awards; this entry into historical fiction is noteworthy as well. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2011