What’s your idea of taking a risk? Bungee jumping  or helicopter skiing off the highest peak? Scuba-diving in shark infested waters the way my husband does? I’ve got to wonder why people attempt such daredevil activities. Seeking a thrill and an adrenaline high? Pushing the boundaries and proving they’re invincible?

Double risks for this wasp exterminator! Glad it wasn’t my hubby.

Does taking a risk always have to be of a physical nature? On closer inspection, some of those seemingly brave people appear more confident risking their lives and physical injury than facing a personal challenge, such as in humility attempting to repair a relationship.

The characters in A Letter from Lancaster County, my newest novel, all take risks of a personal nature, thus exposing themselves to possible pain or rejection they’d avoided for many years. The instigator bringing the family together is Aunt Silvia, who took a gamble when she invited her nieces Angela and Rose to visit, and later when she confesses her troubled relationship with their mother. Not to mention revealing her lost love. But she doesn’t disclose their mother’s secret …

Older sister Angela took a giant risk when she accepted the invitation and then insisted her estranged sister Rose accompany her on this dubious journey. Angela had problems enough of her own. Rose risks accepting the invitation even though she figured she’d be miserable the whole time in her sister’s company. Can she risk revealing the true cause of her pain, which still plagues her inner thoughts and feelings?

All three women risk rejection in a number of ways. During the course of the book, each confronts her greatest fear. Some psychological and some physical. Which would be harder for you?

Would you risk crossing this narrow bridge in a buggy?

An author writes her or his novel and then faces the arduous process of risking rejection from agents and publishing houses. Once published, 5-Star reviews on Amazon and other online vendors are like savoring chocolate-covered caramel, but negative reviews can be tough to swallow. I try to shake the dust off and move on. Good reviews are a lovely gift to any author and make it more likely she or he will be able to sell more books in the future. Writing is well worth the risk for me.

Would you take the risk of driving a buggy in snarled traffic?

Watching the saga of Hurricane Harvey unravel on TV, I’ve seen people risk their lives to save strangers and their pets. I guess we all take risks, although some seem more heroic or reckless than others. Are you a risk-taker? For me, vocal auditions were the scariest risks, and then later getting up on stage and singing, realizing some people in the audience might think my voice stinks. Or I might forget the words. Never happened, fortunately.

What is your comfort level when it comes to risks?  I met a young woman yesterday who had fallen off her son’s dirt bike and injured her shoulder and hand badly. Dirt bikes are definitely out of my comfort zone. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Was it on a physical or personal level? Have you regretted your timidity and wish you’d plunged in and given the endeavor a chance?

Enter to win this lovely and useful Amish-made Quillow from Lancaster County, PA

Please leave a comment to enter to win this lovely and useful Amish-made Quillow from Lancaster County, PA, plus a signed book. Your choice of newly released A Letter from Lancaster County, or one of my novels from the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy: Leaving Lancaster, it’s sequel Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish. Winner has three days to respond. US and Canada.