Tuesday, September 01, 2015

THE BIRDHOUSE - Laura V Hilton - One Free Book

Welcome back, Laura. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I have recently signed another three book contract for another Amish series, set in Jamesport, Missouri. The series is tentatively titled New Beginnings and are about Amish starting over in Jamesport.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married for 28 years (in December) to my wonderful husband, Steve. We have five children (two boys and three girls), three are adult, and two are still at home. I homeschool through highschool. My husband and my middle daughter are my first readers, editing as I write, and my youngest son offers suggestions to make it more exciting. Not that I follow them! He’s into sci-fi and fantasy—not Amish romance.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
My initial response is, not really, but yes, it has, some. I don’t read as much when I’m under deadline so it takes a bit longer to read a book start to finish. My family has taken on some review responsibilities, my two youngest reviewing children, tween, and young adult books, and my husband taking on medical thrillers, military thrillers, and other genres he’s interested in, to help keep my blog active. I also notice that when something works and a book grabs me and hangs on tight, I go back and dissect it to see what that author did that worked and how I can learn from it.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on the first book in the New Beginnings Amish series, and that is tentatively titled The Amish Firefighter I was thrilled to discover that Amish are actually quite active as EMTs and Firefighters in some districts.

What outside interests do you have?
I love lighthouses. As a Michigan native, I grew up around the Great Lakes, the lighthouses, and the Coast Guard. So Michigan history is an interest. I currently live in Arkansas so we’re doing a lot of Civil War studies and cavern studies, not to mention native crafts. We’re trying candle making and soap making. My oldest daughter has learned basket weaving with natural materials (grasses, reeds) and my youngest son has made several brooms.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes that is decided for me. I initially thought I would do one series in a different area, but I have readers requesting stories of secondary characters, so I’m doing at least two series in an area now. I choose Seymour (Webster County) Missouri because Seymour is about two hours away and I drive through it when we go to visit my husband’s family. He also has an aunt (not Amish) who lives in Seymour. I choose Jamesport because I always wanted to visit there. And recently we visited another Amish district in Missouri which piqued my interest.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Not sure He would be considered *historical* but God. I have a lot of questions for Him. If not them, then either Mary or Martha. I would like more details of their stories.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I think I would’ve looked into ways to keep in shape/fit as I write. It’s hard to carve time out of a busy life to go on daily walks and long periods of time in a chair tends to take it’s toll.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To give it to God. He’s got it. And stop trying to jerk it back and handle it myself.

I think we all suffer with that problem. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Put your bottom in a chair and write.
2. Join a critique group.
3. Don’t write a word without giving it to God first.

Excellent advice. Tell us about the featured book.
Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers.

Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back.

When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?

Please give us the first page of the book.
The hairs rose on the back of Greta Miller’s neck, and her skin prickled the way it did whenever someone stared at her. She should be used to the attention. Used to feeling like a caged circus animal, with all the tourists who came into the Amish Country Store. But this seemed different somehow. She turned away from the boxes of cereal she’d been unpacking, and her eyes met Joshua Yoder’s penetrating gaze.

He stood stock-still, not ten feet away, his hand holding his hat slightly above his head, as if he’d stopped mid-lift. His blue eyes narrowed.

Her mouth went dry. Her chest hammered.

“Greta….” He lowered his hat to his side and approached, a smile slowly forming on his lips.

Nein. She couldn’t deal with him and those emotions today. Or any day. She fled down the aisle and ducked inside the door marked “Employees Only.” She would find some work to do in back until her shift ended.

As she dashed past the employee break room, she glanced at the clock. Fifteen minutes till she got off. He should be long gone by then. She wiped away a renegade tear.

After Greta clocked out, she made a few purchases—a bottle of olive oil, a jar of yeast, a fresh pineapple, and several avocados—and surveyed the store. Nein sign of Josh. She sagged with relief.

“Bye, Greta.” Her cousin Rachel waved from the cereal aisle, where she’d taken over the task of unloading boxes.

Greta waved back on her way out the door. “See you tomorrow.”

 Greta stepped outside and into strong masculine arms that swept her up against a solid chest …

I sure want to find out what happens next. I’m sure my readers do, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Here are purchase links for my books:

Deeper Shopping: http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

Thank you, Laura, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Deanna Stevens said...

Oh my! The first page has me hooked! I need to read this one!
Dee From NE

Melanie Backus said...

I would love to read this one! It sounds wonderful and I love the cover.thank you for sharing!

Melanie Backus, TX

sm said...

I am intrigued by bird houses and really like the cover of your book. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com California

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Laura, in my small farming community, we have several Amish gentlemen who serve in our volunteer fire department and the Amish ladies donate a quilt each year to be auctioned off at the Annual Fish Fry in October. This auction helps fund the fire department and these quilts often bring $1000.00.
Connie from KY
cps1950 at gmail dot com

GrandaddyA said...

I enjoy reading Amish books by various writers because of the different locales, variations in their lifestyle from place to place, etc. I think this series set in Missouri will be quite interesting.
Edward A in VA

Trixi said...

Ahhhh....that first page drew me in like a bee to honey!! I now NEED to find out what happens, lol!! What a cliff hanger ;-) Laura, I sure did enjoy your author interview here and learning about your family. How they have taken to reviewing books! I have also just started to review books and am on several author street teams to help promote their work. It's a very satisfying job for me, I feel like I am giving back to an authors hard work & dedication!! I love to write reviews & spread the positive word out there & hopefully draw a few new readers to that author. It's a very satisfying feeling :-) Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "The Birdhouse". I think you can tell that I am very excited for the chance!

Trixi in OR

rubynreba said...

I always enjoy Amish books. The Birdhouse looks like my kind of book!!
Beth from IA

Mary Preston said...

I love Amish fiction. Looking forward to this.

Mary P


Anne Payne said...

Great cover, Laura! I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Anne, rural NC

kim hansen said...

Nice Cover. North Platte NE

Diana Flowers said...

Loved the interview, first page sneak peek, the cover, everything! I bought Laura's Snow Globe & another book of hers -- I think I would pass out if I won one! lol

Diana in SC


Anonymous said...

I would love to read Laura's new book about the Amish of Jamesport. Amish fiction is my favorite genre to read.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann in NY

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

sm said...

I would love to read your book! sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jackie Tessnair said...

I love your books Laura.I am looking forward to reading this one.Thanks for sharing.Jackie Tessnair N.C.

Terrill R. said...

I just had to go to Amazon and check out your other books and now, I want to also read the previous two books in this series. They sound like beautiful and heartwarming books.

Terrill - Lynden, WA

Emma said...

THE BIRDHOUSE sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

lollipops said...

thank you for entering, every one!

Connie, my next book is going to be called The Amish Firefighter. You'll have to get one to donate to their auction! It comes out in April.

Anne Rightler said...

I would love to win your book. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
Lots of different states represented!
Anne from Brighton, MI

lollipops said...

Anne, I used to live in Ravenna, Michigan. :)

lollipops said...

Mary, I love to read Amish Fiction too. :) Especially contemporary Amish.

Diana, good luck!

Deanna Stevens said...

I do enjoy Amish Fiction & this sounds like a good one!
Dee in NE

lollipops said...

Good luck, Deanna! I love the small picture by your name with the rose. So pretty.

Thank you, Jackie! Hope you win!

Mary Ellen said...

Sounds like a very interesting read. I would love to add this book to my collection. I live in central Pennsylvania.

Brenda Arrington said...

Thanks for the chance to win this great sounding read. I love Amish fiction.

lollipops said...

Thanks for stopping by, Brenda and Mary Ellen! Hope you win!

Melanie and SM I love the cover too! Thanks! Good luck!

susanlulu said...

What a TREAT it would be to win this book! I've been wanting it. I love Amish fiction!!!
Susan in NC

Pam said...

Your first page is definitely an attention grabber! I was also interested in your remark about finding time to exercise. One of the best things I did was let our youngest son move back home with his dog. I can't sit around and do nothing anymore because she needs to be walked (and walked...and walked). I wasn't crazy about the dog in the house idea but now, when he moves back out with her, I might have to get one of my own! :)

Pam in Ohio

lollipops said...

Thanks, Pam! Yes, our dog needs walking too. Often.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love this authors books ! I really look forward to reading this one !

Deanne in Pennsylvania

lollipops said...

Thanks for entering and for your kind words, Deanne