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Amish Snow

Amish SnowAt the tender age of sixteen, Amish youngsters can choose to partake of the world’s pleasures during their infamous Rumspringa (literally, “running around”); fast cars, drugs and wild sex. About half of these naive, sheltered kids recklessly fling themselves into this church-sanctioned wildness, but almost ninety percent give it up and rejoin the comfort and security of the rigid Amish way of life.

The vast majority of Amish are hard-working, God-fearing, family-loving citizens. But within the closed Amish community there are abusers, virtually unknown to the outside world. In this Über-Religious, ‘husband-is-the-head-of-everything’ secretive sect, they usually go unchallenged and unpunished.

Fifteen-year-old Ezra Neuenschwander finally reaches his breaking point. He strikes back at his violent, alcoholic father, knocking him down to the ground, an unforgivable sin.

Ezra flees to Philadelphia on the midnight bus, totally unprepared for the chaotic streets of 1964 Philadelphia. Smart, young, now ex-Amish, he must learn fast or perish.

Amish Snow is the engaging tale of young Ezra Neuenschwander’s rocky journey from victim of an abusive Amish home life to successful businessman. Set in the heart of perilous Philadelphia in the 1960s, this universal story of one boy’s coming of age will keep you guessing as he must continue to reinvent himself. Filled with the unexpected, with intrigue, adventure and romance, Ezra’s courageous story will win you over as he feels his way in the “English” world.

It’s a tale of loss, of redemption, of the triumph of the human spirit, coming of age in a dangerous time. And in the face of evil that divides us, it clings firmly to the common bonds of human experience to show the truth that unites us.

The second edition of Amish Snow has been released, and is available in both print and Kindle versions. Both are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


  1. Roger says:

    An ex-Amish man that I do not know contacted me after seeing the website and story line, and asked if I would be interested in his story. I told him I was interested, and he sent me a most poignant accounting of his tortuous decision to leave the Amish faith, mainly around health issues.

    If you are ex-Amish, or Amish, or know someone that is, I would love to hear from you. Or, simply comment on this man’s story. Other than deleting their names, here is the unedited email. I can almost hear the clipped singsong accent so characteristic of the Amish manner of speaking:

    Hello Roger;
    I was born in Canada. Then we moved to new york state lived there for 10 years
    Then in 1990 we moved to michigan.But threw those years i would get sick all he time.
    I thought after i got married to my wife it would stop it got worse.Be cause the amish life stile of using either kerosene,white gas or like camp fuel,and propane.for lights was the lights mostley. that i got poisend in the brain that i almost shot myself because of all the fumes from the propane to top it all of.We had a freezer fridge 2 lights in the house and then in my wood working shop i had 2 lights a unvented heater and 6 used propane tanks that i used to run my shop tools. it was the fumes that made me sick i got
    letter from my doc to take to the elders that i need electricty for every thing that i use propane for the elders said no.i went to my nees and repented all my sins to God asked him to be my savior. soon after that i asked God if i should put our phone in the house he
    said yes i got three caught with the phone in the house from the elders so when they came and asked why i put phone in house i said God told me that i can they didn’t beleive me at all they wanted me to confess in front of the whole church i said no.they
    harassed us so much that i didn’t know how to make them stop my brother said something about if you confess to them they’ll stop harassing you.i wrote them a letter stating that
    i’ll confess but also kmew in my heart that it was wrong for me doing it so when i went on my knees to confess i have no idea what i said because i seen the deval sitting on the church bench laughing his head off after it was all done wife and i looked at each other i said were going home.after that happened i was doing wood working for this buiness so on
    the way there there was this church God told me call that pastor i didn’t do it after awhile
    evrey time i went past do it so i said okay lord i will it has been the best thing ever.this was
    all before 2005 the elders were still coming over they didn’t stop comeing even after i confessed
    for the phone in house they just found something else that we were doing wrong and still not belaeving a word that we said i started to go pastors church it was not a amish church
    but i felt God love and still do in the the spring of 2005 i told my wife i have to go
    that church that is were God wants me there every sunday she was still going to the amish church after awhile i seen how much love was in the church i wanted her to join me she
    didn’t do it. i thought thats allright she has a uncle that not amish but his wife is. so one night as i was sleeping God came to me in a dream and said she has to go with me i said three times well she has a uncle thats not amish i woke her up and told her what God said
    she still did not go so i push and shoved her to go with me i was real mean about it i evend complaned to pastor about it the answer he gave i have no idea what he said but this what
    i heard shut up an behave your self so i did iwent on my knees and said God i am no longer
    going push my wife i will let him do it in three weeks she started going to church with me been there ever since. in the spring of 2005 we went to idaho to work and fix my health
    but before i forget my dad also died thru this time to. but before we went my mother got married again so they came over and my wifes folkes came over telling us that we can not
    go to idaho they puting all the blame on me so i said wife wants to go to they asked is that true
    she said yes it is after we got back the elders came back to us they wanted to talk to my wife i said no while this was going on she said its your job to talked to the elders i do not want to talk them they did not beleave me i told them do you want to have this marriage
    broken do you want it on conscious but they almost did before now they have left us alone
    now. she’s driving now forabout a year. i still get sick but not as bad i got into house that was loaded with black mold that takes awhile to get it out of my lungs that happened this summer please don’t use our names

  2. Roger says:

    After quite a few months, the second edition of Amish Snow has been released, and is available in both print and Kindle versions. Both are available on Amazon, and should be on Barnes & Noble shortly.

    I’m not sure why I chose a story about an Amish kid crossing over into the English world for my first novel. Probably partly because I’m familiar with the Amish, but also because I’ve always been intrigued with stories that challenge assumptions and break with stereotypes, and boy, does Rumspringa challenge our assumptions!

    The story line in my second novel, Yield Spread, is also a topic I’m familiar with; the world of banking and mortgage lending. Playing with other peoples’ money is an intoxicating ride, and we’ve seen its inevitable consequences in the last few years. This isn’t the first time we have been brought to our knees due to the reckless behavior of the banking community, nor will it be the last, but in our freewheeling financial world, we tend to ignore history. Yield Spread is the story of a man you’ll love to hate, JP Mallot, and the forces that enabled and even condone his behavior and its bitter consequences.

    Yield Spread will be out sometime in December, 2010.

    Ciao, Roger

  3. shelly says:

    i just luv the amish im talking to wanda alot

  4. Roger says:

    Yeah, I like Wanda too…

  5. Maria says:

    Dear Mr. Rheinheimer,

    thank you so much for writing this excellent novel – I really enjoyed reading it!
    The only thing that disturbed me a little was the fact that, according to your references, when he leaves home in 1964, Ezra is 15 years old, and then – in 1970, that is, 6 years later – you write that he is only 19 years old (Chapter 13, line 14). Maybe I confuse something here, but it would just be nice to get an explanation :-).

    Best regards,


  6. Roger says:

    Hi, Maria, thanks for your kind words. I just emailed my editor, and it looks like we both missed that. I have to admit I usually look up movies on the Internet to see what kind of things viewers catch that the editors miss, and now it has happened to me!


  7. alicia says:

    hola soy alicia megustaria entrar en un pueblo amish que puedo hacer para entrar soy de españa

  8. Roger says:

    Hola Alicia, un amigo ha escrito esto por mi porque no hablo español muy bien. Yo no soy Amish pero probablementa pueda dirigirla a alguien quien la pueda ayudar a encontrar una de estas communidades si lo desea.


  9. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work!

  10. Roger says:

    Thank you for your kind remarks. Most of the site design was done by my talented daughter Katie, with recent input by Camila, my publicist. Hope to hear from you often!

  11. Roger says:

    On April 6, the Fed implemented a new rule affecting mortgage loan originator compensation. While the new rule was well intentioned, intending to protect the consumer, or a nefarious plot by big banking to control every aspect of all financial matters, depending on your views, it will result in making mortgages more expensive. We’re already seeing that. In Washington state, we had somewhere around 15,000 licensed loan originators before all the rule changes, down to around 2500 now. No doubt some of them needed to go, but for those of us remaining, the time to successfully take a loan from application to closing has quadrupled, because of all the new rules. And, I can tell you from personal experience that the new clarifying rules implemented by the federal government have left borrowers more confused than ever.

    Here is a well written, clear illustration of compensation before and after the new rule:

    My latest novel, YIELD SPREAD, due out in about a month, follows a banking family in Seattle. Click on the Yield Spread tab at the top of this page for a summary.


  12. Roger says:

    Police: Amish Man Sent Nude Photos To Girl
    Posted: 6:13 pm EDT June 22, 2011

    CONNERSVILLE, Indiana — There are new details on the sexting sting which put an Amish man in jail.
    Connersville, Indiana police said Willard Yoder sent more than 600 text messages, nude pictures and videos to a 12-year-old girl that he had never met.
    Authorities said he picked a random phone number to find the girl.
    When she got the messages, she took the phone to her parents.
    The girl’s mother, who’s identity has not been released to protect her daughter, kept communicating with Yoder until police set up the sting operation.
    The woman credits her daughter for the arrest.
    “She is the hero in all of this. Had she not have done the right thing and brought the phone to us, it would never have went to the point that it went to and he would be on the street,” said the Connersville mother.
    Police arrested Yoder as he rolled up in a horse-drawn buggy.

  13. sue Leech says:

    Hello, I enjoyed the article here and your book really looks good. I review books and have done a few Amish ones. Amish families are just like any family, there are some not as good as you want them to be. I am referring to the incident in Ind..

    I lived around Amish for most of my life and these incidents are rare but not ruled out completely.

  14. Roger says:

    I agree with what you are saying Sue. Any group of people this large is going to have some bad actors, but at least the Amish have a guiding light they model their lives around.

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