Friday, May 4, 2012

Laura Hilton: Amish Fiction Author and Advice On Your Passion and God's Permission

Everyone's Story welcomes Laura Hilton this week. Laura is the author of the Amish of Seymour series, as well as a devotional and two stand-alone novels. Plus, she's a pastor's wife, a mom who homeschools and a breast cancer survivor. Can we say amazing? I'm sure this is an understatement!
                 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Book Giveaway:
Laura is offering one copy of her novel PROMISED TO ANOTHER to one randomly chosen commenter who leave an email (for contact purposes only) within the comment. For a sneak preview, an excerpt is below.


“May I take you home from Singing?”
Annie Beiler’s breath hitched and her gaze shot from the dusty tips of her powder blue tennis shoes to the drop-dead gorgeous man standing not three feet in front of her. Unfortunately, his tentative smile wasn’t aimed in her direction.
Nein, Joshua Esh’s hazel eyes were locked on Rachel Lapp. Though Annie had to admit Rachel was cute with her strawberry blond hair and the green dress that perfectly matched her green eyes.            
He was what her Englisch friends called a player, for sure. Everyone talked about how he never took the same girl home from Singing twice. But maybe that meant he would eventually make his way to Annie.
Rachel’s face lit up. “Danki, Joshua. I’d love a ride.”
Annie scowled. And when he did get around to asking her, she’d reject him. Seems someone should have the willpower to. Even though Rachel had talked about him and his ways earlier that evening, it appeared that she had only been suffering from jealousy since Joshua hadn’t asked her first.
Okay, to be honest, Annie did feel a bit envious too. Make that more than a bit. Not mainly because of Joshua, although he played a huge part of it. But partially because none of the men swapped from Pennsylvania had ever offered to give her a ride. Not a single one.
She didn’t think she was that unfortunate looking.
Annie brushed past Joshua and Rachel and left the barn. Maybe she shouldn’t have gone outside, because she did need a way home unless she planned to ride with another couple. But she didn’t think she could stand there alone by the barn doors, hopeful, when all the buwe she noticed didn’t seem to know she was alive.
Like Joshua Esh.
Especially Joshua Esh.
Annie kicked at a rock and winced when it didn’t budge.
“Annie? Is that you?” A male voice came from the darkness in front of her.
She jumped. She recognized that voice. Just hadn’t expected to hear it. Not in a month of Singings. She frowned. “Luke?”
“Jah.” He moved enough to come into the circle of light from the lanterns hanging around the barn.
Annie planted her fists on her hips. She wouldn’t make the mistake of falling for Luke Schwartz twice. Not that she’d fallen for him the first time. It was just—he’d asked. And a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Right? Okay, he wasn’t what she wanted, wouldn’t make her top ten list of dreamy Amish men, but he was better than nothing. She pulled in a deep breath, steeling herself. “What are you doing here?”
“Ach, that’s a wonderful way to welcome me. I’m home.”
She stilled, hope building, despite her internal warnings. “For how long?” She didn’t want to spend her life alone. Didn’t want to rely on the kindness of other couples for rides. Didn’t want to be the only girl left unattached, unaccepted, unwanted.
But then again, she didn’t want to settle for just anyone either.
Luke didn’t quite meet her eyes. “You wound me.”
Ach. Not for gut, then. The pencil fell from behind her ear and she stooped to pick it up, careful not to glance at him as she rose.
“Never without that ever present pencil, I see.”
She winced, hating that he mocked her. Okay, she probably shouldn’t take a pencil to Singing, but what if she wanted to write something down? The name of a book she’d like to read, or something she wanted to mention to the scholars. Maybe even the initials of her number one dream guy. One who stood somewhere nearby, but didn’t pay any attention to her. One who didn’t know she was alive. She didn’t dare glance away from Luke. “Sarcasm doesn’t suit you.”
He sighed. “May I give you a ride home? Looks like things are breaking up.”
“I’m sorry, but I already have a ride. Maybe another time?”
Luke laughed. “Right. I heard how popular you are. Having to beat the buwe off with a stick, ain’t so?”
Annie stiffened. “So, you couldn’t pay rent on that run down trailer and ran home to your parents, jah?”
Someone moved up beside her, and she glanced that way. Whoever it was didn’t register. What she did notice was that everyone had gathered around her and Luke, watching their exchange.
She was in enough trouble, only allowed to continue teaching on probation. All she needed was for one of these eavesdroppers to go home and tell their folks. She’d be out of a job so fast a racing horse and buggy wouldn’t be able to keep pace. She searched for something to say, something to diffuse the situation.
Luke’s glance slid from her to whoever offered wordless support. He sneered, then backed up a space. “Well, since you have a ride, I’ll just see you later then. Good to see ya, Annie.”
She forced a smile. “Glad you’re back, Luke.”
He turned and disappeared into the darkness.
 Joshua stood beside Annie for a moment. Silent. Wishing he could say something that would be a salve to her hurt. He felt the pain radiating from her as she watched the red-headed man walk away.
That whole situation confused him. He’d been attracted to Annie since the moment he met her, but when he fished for more information about her, he’d been told she was taken. Off limits. All but engaged to Luke Schwartz. And that Luke had vowed to return for her again someday. Apparently that day was now.
Annie hadn’t been waiting with baited breath.
 Joshua didn’t know exactly what that meant.
He only knew what he wanted it to mean.

A Few Questions For Laura:

If you were to bullet-style your self-description, how would you prioritize who/what you are and why?
  • Wife and mom, first and foremost
  • Writer 
  • Church member
  • Book reviewer

Your new release, HEAING LOVE, has the hero, Shane, walking in two worlds: although Shane has returned to his native Amish country to work and to live, he is determined not to practice his childhood faith. Do you think there are a few people across the many denominations of Christianity that also walk this tightrope?   

Oh, absolutely.   There are so many unchurched people in the world – and at one time most people attended…

Have you been a big fan of romances/love stories before venturing into writing them? What is it about these stories that capture your heart? What do you hope to offer your readers in your stories?  

 I love contemporary romances and Amish romances, and always did want to be a writer. They say to write what you love. I hope I give my readers an escape from the pressures of their world, and a brief glance into the life of my characters. And if God has anything to say to their life and situation, through my stories, I’m blessed. 

How do you juggle being a (pastor’s) wife, mom to five children, and a full-time author? Do you still do all the laundry?--LOL   

Actually, yes, I do. But all the kids know how. My sons take care of all the outside work and most all the dishes, and when I’m writing, they do the cooking too. But I usually do the laundry in the morning while I’m still “waking up” and not creative. 

You’re also known in the industry as writing book reviews. Has this helped you sharpen your author’s tools, and if so, how?  

I know what works and what doesn’t.  And I learn from reading them. 

Have you found yourself giving out any Mommy-advice to your kids through the years and then actually using this same advice on yourself regarding publication?   

If at first you don’t succeed, try again – or if God has given you a passion for it, He’s given you permission for it. 

Author’s Bio:

Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past from Treble Heart Books; a devotional in a compilation from Zondervan; and the first book “Patchwork Dreams” in her Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House released in April 2011, the second book, “A Harvest of Hearts” in September 2011, and Promised to Another in April 2012. Laura has her business degree from Ozarka and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Links to find Laura:

Facebook:  Author Laura V. Hilton
                     Laura Vernet Price Hilton
Twitter:  Laura_V_Hilton


  1. Enjoyed the interview. I think most writer's write what they've enjoyed reading.

    I enjoy Amish fiction and hope to be a winner!

    Deborah M.
    debbiejeanm at gmail dot com

  2. Wow, Laura, I don't know how you find time to write with all your responsibilities. I love Amish mysteries and romances, so I'd love to win your giveaway. Thanks for sharing today.

  3. Just popping in to say you'll love the book.

  4. A warm welcome to Deborah and Jane, and another welcome back Caroline. So glad you visited. Jane, sounds like you're already a fan... just what I'm sure Laura enjoys hearing ♡

  5. Thank you so much, Jane! Caroline, I'm blessed to write around the family. If I needed quiet I'd never do a thing. Deborah, yes, I think that's true!

    Thanks for having me, Elaine

    1. And for the record... looks like Laura is "Lollipops" ☺

  6. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    Very nice conversation! Thank You! Terri Clark (

  7. Great interview! Of course I would like to read the book!

  8. If at first you don't succeed try again---that applies to book giveaways, too, I hope? lol! For I have tried to win this wonderful looking and sounding book without success. Thank you for the opportunity to try to win it...again. ;)


  9. Welcome Terri, Mary, and Diana. It's getting very exciting here in this little but growing corner of the world.


  10. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    Laura, I'm looking forward to your new book! Hope to win!

    Karen Schulz

    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

    1. A fond hello, Karen S.!

    2. AnonymousMay 06, 2012


  11. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    Enjoyed the interview, also like seeing the scripture on the side of the blog. Hope to win this book, will certainly read it.
    Loretta S

  12. Would love to win and read this book....Great interview.Thanks...

  13. Excellent Interview Elaine!
    Thanks Laura for letting us get to know "you"! Would love to win a copy of the book!
    Allyson L

    allysonlangworth at gmail dot com

  14. Loretta, Jackie, and Allyson--a big hello to you! Thanks for the visit. Glad you enjoy the scripture on the side of the blog, Loretta. I look at that every morning at 4 AM before I leave for work--helps to put things into perspective for me. And Jackie & Allyson, thanks for the feedback.

    Hope to see you again.

  15. Really enjoyed Laura's interview! Also loved the excerpt from her book, "Promised to Another". Would love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest.
    Mary Ellsworth

  16. Thanks for stopping by everyone! And Good luck! Diana, there's also a giveaway for Promised to Another on Trish Perry's blog too.

    1. I entered that one, lollipops, and didn't win. :( The winner (who I AM happy for by the way) was announced in my email this morning.

  17. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    i would love to win, this sounds like a good read,

  18. I'm a huge fan of Amish fiction, and I'd love to win a copy of this book. Thank you for offering this giveaway!

  19. Kathleen Greffin PoppMay 05, 2012

    Liked the interview. Would really like to win your book. I can't get enough Amish fiction.

    1. Kathleen Greffin PoppMay 05, 2012

      forgot to leave my e-mail

  20. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    would love to win a copy of your book. love amish fiction diane papke

  21. Welcome to "Anonymous," Kathleen, Nancee, and Diane ♡

  22. AnonymousMay 06, 2012


  23. Laura and Elaine, thank you for this super nice review and Laura, i wish you the best of sales with your book.

    1. Hi, Jude. I'm glad you stopped by this evening & enjoyed Laura's segment. Hope to see you again.

  24. Thanks everyone for stopping by. Good luck to everyone. Thanks Karen!

  25. AnonymousMay 07, 2012

    Your novel sounds absolutely wonderful and thank you for your generous gift of talent to share.

  26. Thanks for popping by for a visit, Bobbe.

  27. Another week now wraps up at Everyone's Story. Thanks you Laura, for an awesome week. With the number of hits and commenters your segment has received it's safe to conclude that 1) you already have a fan club of happy readers, 2) you're gaining new readers, 3)
    Amish Christian fiction is well read & appreciated, and 4) your writing career is truly blessed and will continue to head that way. I'm really happy for you ♡ Thank you for being my guest.

    This is the most amount of commenters vying for an author's book giveaway that Everyone's Story has seen! And, the lucky winner is:

    Loretta!! Congratulations, and happy reading. A private email will be sent to you shortly.

    Hope everyone comes back for more visits.



  28. Hope everyone is having a very nice memorial day weekend so far. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,pa

    1. Richard, a hearty welcome to Everyone's Story. Your visit today means so much to me! Hope you're having a pleasant holiday weekend as well.

  29. I have waiting it seems like for ever to get book at library so maybe I will have more luck winning one sure hope so
    thank you Karen s at


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