Monday, November 14, 2011

A HARVEST OF HEARTS - Laura V Hilton


Welcome, Laura. Why do you write the kind of books you do? 
I write Christian books because I am a Christian, I live my life for Christ and I want to do what would be pleasing to Him. I write romance, because Jesus is the persistent lover—He loves us and He wants us to be with Him forever. Romance is also my favorite genre.  I write Amish because like many other people, I am in awe of the Amish and their lifestyle. It’s also a way to rediscover my own Amish heritage.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
 The happiest day of my life, other than when I came to know the Lord—wow. That’s a hard question. The day I married my husband—twenty-five years ago this December! Or maybe the day each of my five beautiful children arrived, alive, with all five fingers and all five toes.  Or the day my husband surrendered to the ministry, graduated from seminary and accepted his first call from a church… So many to choose from. God is good.

How has being published changed your life? 
There is a lot more marketing involved than I’d imagined. I am by nature a very quiet, shy person, and so far, I’ve had four radio interviews. I know that isn’t many to someone like you, but for me, in less than one year—wow.

What are you reading right now? 
At this very moment, I’m reading a Love Inspired suspense by Susan Sleeman The Christmas Witness. Scary! After that, I have a historical to read, The Promise of Deer Run by Elaine Marie Cooper. And the third book in my to-be-read pile is by a dear friend and a favorite author, Mary Ellis, A Marriage for Meghan. I’m looking forward to reading Mary’s book!

What is your current work in progress? 
I’m working on the first book for a new Amish series.

What would be your dream vacation? 
Oh, this is hard too. Right now, I would love to take a few months and travel up to two or three different Amish communities on the way up to Michigan, then I have a spot on the shore of Lake Superior where I’m considering setting a historical romance. Do you have a RV I could borrow?  Big enough for five to seven people? Because most, if not all, of my family would want to come along.

How do you choose your settings for each book? 
Well, when I wrote the first Amish series, I considered that all the Amish stories were set in either Pennsylvania or Ohio. (Not the case anymore. I see Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, etc.) But even though my relatives were from Pennsylvania, I decided that the Missouri Amish were much closer to home (two hours drive) and so would be easier to research.  Plus, Missouri was an untapped Amish area.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Hmm. Well, there’s this Beachy Amish lady who is on Facebook that would be fascinating to meet with. There’s this male nurse at the local hospital that grew up Amish, but left…  There’s a grandmother of another friend of mine who is Amish… There are a lot of fascinating people.  I could also mention some of my favorite authors as someone I’d love to spend an evening with.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? 
I have many interests, but like I said earlier, I have a husband and five children. I home-school.  Reading and writing are the hobbies I pursue. The others, I haven’t done in years. Maybe someday. I used to love cross stitch. I have a friend who sits in church and does her cross stitch while she listens to the sermons. I still have small children and would be bumped a lot. Probably making a mess of any stitching I tried to do. Plus, it’d probably be frowned upon for a pastor’s wife…

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? 
Living in Grand Central Station, the most difficult obstacle is being able to initially focus on my story. Once I get there, I’m good.  I have no office, so thus no escape from activity in this home. Not that I’m complaining. I love my family.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
If God has given you a passion for it, He’s given you permission for it. 

Tell us about the featured book. 
A Harvest of Hearts Book 2 of the Amish of Seymour series

Matthew Yoder volunteered to be part of the swap of Amish men from his Old Order Pennsylvania Amish Community, to the Amish community in Seymour, Missouri.  There is nothing for him in Pennsylvania, as the youngest of twelve children, and the lack of farmland around Lancaster County, he felt he could make a better future in another district. Shanna Stoltzfus has been raised Amish, and couldn’t wait for her rumspringa so she could pursue her education. She hated having to quit school in the 8th grade to stay home and learn everything that makes a home run smoothly. But now she has earned her GED and is taking college courses, but her family is begging her to come home; her little sisters miss her. And there’s something about newcomer, Matthew Yoder that draws her attention.  But is it enough to give up her dreams of education and join the Amish church?

Please give us the first page of the book.   

Chapter 1
Shanna Stoltzfus felt something brush against her hair, just above her left ear. She swatted at it. When she touched flesh, she jumped, her attempts to pray forgotten, and raised her head from the steering wheel to see maple-stained fingers, complete with calluses and a small cut.

The hand pulled back. “Is something wrong? Are you hurt?” a deep voice asked.

She looked up into incredible gray eyes belonging to a drop-dead-gorgeous Amish man. He grasped his straw hat in the long fingers of his right hand. His light brown hair shone with natural blond highlights. She’d paid big bucks for streaks like those. He also had a strong, clean-shaven jaw. Nice. Too bad he hadn’t been around when she’d been Amish. She definitely would have noticed a hunk like this. Might even have considered staying.

“Lost, maybe? I can direct you back to the main road. Where did you want to go?”

“Anyplace but here. Mexico sounds good.” She swallowed her trepidation and aimed what she hoped was a wry smile at him. When she reached for the door handle, he stepped out of the way. “You must be the houseguest Mamm mentioned in her letters. Matthew Yoder from Pennsylvania?” She swung her legs out of the car and extended a hand. “I’m Shanna.”

“Shanna.” He seemed to freeze. A little smile played on his lips. “Shanna,” he repeated.

She didn’t know quite what to think. He said her name as if it meant something special. Then, he blinked. “I’m Matthew, jah.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?  
On twitter, I’m Laura_V_Hilton, but I’m not very active on there yet.  You could also look up Author Laura V Hilton on Facebook, or you could visit my blog: http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com

Thank you, Laura, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Harvest of Hearts (Amish of Seymour V2)


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

37 comments:

Robyn said...

I am totally amazed that you manage to homeschool 5 kids AND pursue a writing career. Way to go!!! Can't wait to read this book.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
NE

Patty said...

It would be interesting to read an 'Amish' book set somewhere other than Ohio or Pennsylvania!

All the best in your writing career!

Patty in SC

Marianne said...

Wow..Laura, when do you sleep? Are all your children school age? Would love to win this book. Thanks Lena and Laura for the giveaway

mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com
from Peace River Country, Alberta

wfnren said...

Laura you are one busy lady! Thank you for doing this giveaway.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Salena Stormo said...

Just sending a shout out to Laura. This book is on my shelf ready for me to absorb myself in it! Best of luck Laura!

Diana Flowers said...

I'm with the others...when DO you sleep?! I can barely find time to do everything and I am not an author and my kids are grown; just don't know how you do it all. Would love to win this book! Thanks!

Diana from SC

dianalflowers[at]aol[dot]com

Dora Hiers said...

Oooh, Laura, you hooked me with that first page. I'd love to win A HARVEST OF HEARTS.

Dora Hiers
In beautiful NC

lollipops said...

Thank you, Dora.

Patty, yes, there is an Amish community in Missouri. I thought it'd be fun to write one outside of PA and OH!

Marianna and Robyn, yes, I sleep. :) Two of my children are in college (but live at home.) The other three are 16, 9, and 6. So, yes, all school aged.

Thanks for the shout out, Salena.

Thanks for entering, wfnren and Diana.

And thanks to you, Dora. :) Good luck!

Lourdes said...

Wow! Great interview! Looking forward to reading the book. Would love to win.

Lourdes from Huntington Long Island in NY

lollipops said...

Thanks, Lourdes, and thanks for the follow on twitter and facebook.

RubyKat said...

Would love to win Laura's book. Please add my name to the drawing. Thank you.
Karen Gervais from Troy, NY
kmgervais@nycap.rr.com

Barbara Ann said...

I would LOVE a chance to win a book! My hubby would love it too -- my book budget is mighty tight this year.

Here in the Richmond, Virginia area I have a circle of friends that really enjoy Amish fiction, so if I win the book would be seen by many, many eyes!

barbarabeers at verizon dot net

Barbara Ann said...

I would LOVE a chance to win a book! My hubby would love it too -- my book budget is mighty tight this year.

Here in the Richmond, Virginia area I have a circle of friends that really enjoy Amish fiction, so if I win the book, it would be seen by many, many eyes!

barbarabeers at verizon dot net

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

California

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

scottsgal said...

I've really started to enjoy the Amish books and learning about their culture
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at aol.com

lollipops said...

Barbara, my book budget is limited too. Good luck.

Thanks to everyone for entering, Rubykat, Scottsgal, and Linda

Anonymous said...

It would be such fun to win...a great birthday surprize!!!
quiltenbea@yahoo.com

Anna Sanford said...

Very very interesting, I would be estatic to receive such a wonderful book. Just from what I have read I am itching at reading some more.

Jane said...

It's wonderful to read that a person such as you, do home-schooling and are married to a preacher! How very wonderful your you!! I wish I could walk in your shoes for a day!! I love all series Amish....they are faith based and totally heart-felt. I look forward to your newest A Harvest of Hearts:) Please include me in your drawing. God Bless
Jane .... Glen Burnie, MD

Patsy said...

Would love to read "A Harvest of Hearts". Can't wait for your new Amish series. I love reading anything Amish.

from South MS

plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks

I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Faith's Grandma said...

Sure sounds like a book I would love to win.....thanks, Faith's Grandma/Oh

Ingrid said...

Thank you for the Interview , I enjoyed it, I love reading Amish books, looks like I found a new Author in you, looking forward in reading your Books. Please enter me in your Contest.

I live in S. Illinois
ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

beemama said...

Lena, thanks for the interview.
Laura, I really admire what you have accomplished while homeschooling your children. I too homeschooled our 5. Hard work, wonderful rewards.
Shirley in Mississippi
beekeeper5(at)bellsouth(dot)net

lollipops said...

Shellie, do you raise bees? My third book has a beekeeper in it.

Ingrid and Patsy, I hope you enjoy my books too.

Good luck, Faith's grandma, Anne and Jane.

Happy birthday, quiltenbea!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book.It sounds great.Thanks....jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

Patricia said...

I remember when my house was like Grand Central Station. Now that my kiddos are grown I feel like a recluse. I miss all the activity now.

I have found that Amish books are one of my favorite in Christian fiction.
I am still confused about why they allow the rumspringa.

plb1050 at gmail dot com

Abigail said...

Enter me!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

rubynreba said...

Enjoy Amish books. Thanks for the chance to win this!
Iowa

Sarah said...

Please enter me in the drawing!!
Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless!
Sarah Richmond
Blanch,N.C.

Nathanael Richmond said...

Please enter me in the drawing!
Thanks for the chance to win.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch,NC.

Bakersdozen said...

I woould love to read this. I live in S. CA.

lollipops said...

Good luck to Abigail, Patricia, and Jackie...

Patricia, they allow the rumsringa because they know their way of life is different -- and they want the children to embrace it, knowing what they are missing. Doesn't make much sense to me either, but that is their reasoning.

lollipops said...

Good luck to RubyNReba, Sarah, Nathanael, Sharon, and Bakersdozen!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Aizess said...

Oh! Seems like a really gut read:-) Please enter me in this giveaway. I would so enjoy winning this book!

I live in New York

lollipops said...

Good luck, Aizess. I hope you'll enjoy the book --