Saturday, March 24, 2018

An Amish Tale With a Twist!

         Starting From Scratch
             By Kate Lloyd

About the Book:

An Old Flame Brings a Spark of New Hope
En Alt Maedel—an old maid.
At age twenty-nine, that's what Eva Lapp considers herself. And who could argue with her? Finding a good Amish husband at her age will be next to impossible. Plus, Eva's unwarranted bad reputation in Lancaster County precedes her. Maybe living the Englisch life would be better.
Squeezed out of her childhood home by her brother's boisterous family, Eva finds lodging and a new job managing a small café at a local plant nursery. But the challenge of her new position isn't enough to distract from her current predicament.
To Eva's surprise, her first love, Jake Miller, suddenly returns to Lancaster County. Flooded with emotions and filled with questions about Jake's past, can Eva trust what she's feeling?
Jake and Eva face many obstacles in their quest for a fresh start in the community, but perhaps with God's help, they can find the redemption they both desperately need.

My Thoughts:

This book has the most attractive cover!! It immediately caught my attention and drew me into guessing what it could be about, baking utensils, flour, and a display case full of goodies! Why is a young Amish girl looking at these delicious goods?? I have enjoyed all of the novels that I have read by this author, however, I must say that I think that "Starting from Scratch" is THE BEST!! It was unique in that it didn't follow my usual expectation of the Amish genre. It was NOT a girl meets guy, falls in love, type of story! In fact, it definitely was not a "love at first sight" romance.

The characters are so realistically and well described that I at once became part of their lives and walked alongside them in their rocky journey through life. I easily identified with Eva, a twenty nine year old single woman. After all, I, myself , was 35 when I married. The sense of hopelessness of finding a partner at her age seemed next to impossible. I, too, experienced that dilemma. Family problems abound as Eva attempts to become more independent. Leaving one's home and beginning a new life is not easy. It was difficult for Eva to face her challenges. I became totally engrossed while reading of her family problems, rumors and troubles that arise. She had so much to deal with and faced so much judgement from others. Her meeting with her first love, Jake, caught me by surprise, as she debated if she should trust him, despite a somewhat questionable past. I could feel Eva's struggle in deciding if he had really changed.

The plot moves at a steady pace with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader fully occupied from beginning to end of the novel. So many obstacles appeared in Jake and Eva's path. Could they ever get a fresh start in life ? Can people forgive and forget??? The description of this Amish community was so well done that I could picture the rolling hills and the well kept farms.

This is a MUST READ for all lovers of Amish fiction. To those who normally are not attracted to this genre, try it ! Kate Lloyd writes in her unique style that appeals to all. Her somewhat quirky characters leave you wondering what will happen next in their lives.

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author:
Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her best selling novels Leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish, the third book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy. Her novel, A Letter from Lancaster County, released July 1, 2017. Starting from Scratch will release April 3, 2018 and in and is available for preorder.

Kate is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate's first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate has worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur. For relaxation and fun, Kate enjoys walking with her camera in hand, beachcombing, and playing with her two young grandchildren.

Find out more about Kate Lloyd at her
Instagram: katelloydauthor
Twitter: @KateLloydAuthor 
Pinterest: @KateLloydAuthor

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Great New Addition to "The Amish of Hart County" Series by Shelley Shepard Gray!

        "His Risk"

By Shelley Shepard Gray

All I can say after reading this book  is "WOW!"  

This is the fourth book in "the Amish of Hart County Series" , however  can be easily read as a standalone book. As a fan of Shelley's novels, I picked up the book knowing that I would  enjoy it and it would be good, but this book simply blew me away!! I was captivated from the beginning to the end. It meets every requirement I have for the ideal read and then some!! It had magnetic qualities- pulling me into the story, and making me travel this tense journey of life alongside Calvin , the main character.

Calvin Fisher left his Amish community when  he was fourteen  and never returned. Until now!! It was only his brother's ill health that brought him back to Hart County. As this young man works to earn forgiveness , he meets Alice, a young nursery school teacher. AND .... the struggles begin as a romance develops, despite Calvin's deep, dark secret that could threaten his new found happiness. 

Alice knows that her attraction to this secretive  man is wrong. He is an Englischer now, as well as having  a questionable job. Calvin attempts to convince her of his worth , however, she fights the attraction toward him. After all, she is a faithful member of the Amish Community.

Suddenly, the small community in which Alice resides, is alive with criminal activity. Calvin fears that his double life has put everyone in danger, particularly one special young lady for whom he is developing deep feelings. Alice begins to doubt her feelings and wonder if she is wrong about her confidence in Calvin's honor. 

The characters in this novel are so realistically and well described that I immediately became part of their lives, living the highs and lows alongside them. Calvin became my hero!  He dealt with Alice is such a kind, loving manner while dealing with  his dangerous, threatening job. Alice is a sweet Amish girl who becomes my best friend. I wanted to give her a big hug and support her in her fearful experiences. 

The plot is one that kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page of the book to the last! It was full of unexpected twists and turns and kept my heart throbbing throughout. For those readers who love suspense, this is a book that should not be missed!! For those who love Amish Fiction, this is a unique book that will grab you and not let you go. 

Written in Shelley Shepard Gray's unique style, this book is a true winner!! It had a depth  that is admirable. There is much more than what is apparent on the surface. As you did deep within the characters' lives, you discover surprising and yes, shocking details. 

Definitely a five star book!!! What will this author come up with next??? This is going to tough one to beat!

This book was a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Fantastic Debut Novel by Teresa Tysinger!!! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

                 "Someplace Familiar"
                    By Teresa Tysinger

About the Book:

Release date: May, 2017
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.
Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project – and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts and discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

The cover of this book immediately caught my eye! There is something about it that calls to me saying, "READ ME!"  As Teresa Tysinger is a new author, the novel was an unknown territory to me. How glad I am that that cover caught my attention! Upon starting to read, I was whisked away to a place called Laurel Cove where I met and connected with some of the most interesting people.

The main characters, Livy and Jack were described in such a detailed and realistic fashion that it was very easy to identify with both . The author is very talented at creating characters that have depth and meaning. I loved the fact that she showed us bits and pieces of their childhood to understand where each was coming from. Both Livy and Jack had pasts that they had to deal with in order to attain joy in a new relationship. I have to admit, I love a good romance and this was one!!  These characters were not without flaws and had to learn to forgive themselves as well as others . 

The plot had just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. Tackling the subject of verbal abuse was done in a creative, sensitive manner . The Christian message of how forgiveness is a true healer comes through loud and clear. When one attains this, then a future becomes so much brighter and full of hope. 

  A VERY impressive debut novel!!
Teresa Tysinger, I will be waiting for more novels from you!! ]
This was a great read!!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. I was not required to give a positive review. 

About the Author:

Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. Her debut novel, Someplace Familiar, released this summer. She also is a contributing writer for the Fort Worth Moms Blog (part of the national City Moms Blog Network). A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.

Guest Post from Teresa Tysinger

Someplace Familiar began way back in 2014 when I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It was an exhilarating, albeit exhausting, experience! Since then, the book was workshopped with a critique group, had large portions rewritten countless times, pitched at workshops, edited by two editors, and even renamed (original title was Good Graces). After a lot of prayer, I decided that self-publishing would give me the greatest flexibility and control while being able to maintain my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and full-time communications director. It’s been a wonderful ride!
About the Inspiration for Someplace Familiar One thing I’ve learned about myself through writing Someplace Familiar is how much I am personally drawn to setting and place. The idea for the book was born out of my desire to introduce readers to the charming small-town life found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I went to college. Laurel Cove, the fictional town where the story is set, is directly based on my best friend’s hometown of Burnsville, NC. The other source of inspiration comes from my great-grandmother’s tiny bungalow home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long weekends and summer vacations spent there were full of imagination, adventure, and sweet memories. The scents of her garden, feel of the damp earth beneath my feet, slow pace matching gauzy curtains dancing in the breeze—it all is mirrored in the cottage home of Livy’s Gram in the book. The rest of the story formed around my desire to capture my childhood memories of this home that was so magical and safe for me.
About My Writing Style Here are a few ways I would describe my writing style: Sensory—I aim to provide readers with an experience that enlivens all of their senses. Relatable—It’s my hope that readers see themselves in realistic, flawed characters trying to make their way to discovering grace in a less than perfect world. Charming—Like any good southern fiction, there’s a good dose of charm in these pages.
My prayer is that Someplace Familiar will touch readers with an awareness of God’s grace even during circumstances and within relationships that feel hopeless. Restoration is possible!

Blog Stops

Just Commonly, March 1
Pursuing Stacie, March 1
Among the Reads, March 2
Bigreadersite, March 2
Quiet quilter, March 3
C Jane Read, March 4
Remembrancy, March 5
Book by Book, March 7
A Greater Yes, March 10
Carpe Diem, March 13
Simple Harvest Reads, March 14 (Guest post from Mindy)


To celebrate her tour, Teresa is giving away a grand prize of a gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book, an Original Painting by Author’s Sister (artist Cyndi Browning), and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Charlotte Hubbard Celebrates the Joy and Challenges of Motherhood in Her New Novel, "A Mother's Gift"!

      "A Mothers Gift"
    By Charlotte Hubbard


Charlotte Hubbard celebrates the joys and challenges of motherhood in this uplifting story, set amid the warmth and tradition of an Amish Missouri farm community.

For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.

Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage 
step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties. 

Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.

My Thoughts:

For those readers who are like myself and LOVE the Amish fiction genre, this book is a MUST read!! Charlotte Hubbard has become one of my favorite authors in this field. She writes with a clear knowledge of these Plain People and portrays them as they really are, filled with questions, problems, worries and times of joy, just as you and I have.  This is NOT your typical "cookie cutter" Amish story of girl meets boy, fall in love, get married..... You know what I mean! Charlotte brings us a story of the importance of faith and forgiveness within a blended family who meets many unusual and serious problems on their journey toward becoming a loving, caring, forgiving family! 

The characters are so realistically and well described that the reader easily becomes part of them, feeling every pain along this rocky road they travel. Leah became my best friend as I empathised with her problems with her twin step daughters! Oh, what quirky unique girls they are!! I felt for Leah as she fought a seemingly unending battle of trying to get these teen girls to accept her and love  her . Jude was the kind of man that we all wish to have as a husband, kind, supportive and oh so understanding. 

The plot was overflowing with unexpected twists and turns. There were surprising complications at every turn of the page. I was so engrossed within this book that  the world passed me by as I read! I have to admit that I read this book in two days!! No time for housework when I have a Charlotte Hubbard book in my hands!

This author shows us Amish life as it really is, with differing personalities and similar problems to you and I.  Leah exhibited a strength that I only wish that I had!  What love and forgiveness she maintained throughout the story !! God's love shines through and helps this family find comfort and forgiveness. 

This is definitely a five star book!!  Don't miss this superb tale!!!

This book was received as a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Fantastic New Read from Carla Laureano! Enter the author's giveaway!

           "The Saturday Night Supper Club"
                       By Carla Laureano

About the book:

Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.
Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

Click here to purchase your copy!About the Author
My Thoughts:

As Carla Laureano is an author new to me, I had no idea what to expect of her book. Would it interest me and hold my attention?? I am delighted to say that this book kept me mesmerized from beginning to end!! This novel has truly captivating powers to keep the reader engaged ! It not only tugged at my heartstrings, but educated me in the food science as I learned culinary terms  that I had never heard of before. 

The character descriptions were so realistic and vivid that I felt that I knew each one in a very personal way. They were so easy with whom to identify. Their challenges, hurts and accomplishments became part of me. I cried with them and rejoiced as well! As the main character , Rachel , cooked her way to happiness, I became knowledgeable about choosing the proper ingredients to make a creative, delicious dish. Yes, she educated me in a very unusual way!! 

The plot was intense at times and filled with unexpected twists and turns. This author created a very different storyline that stresses the need for God to be allowed to plan and carry out His wishes for our lives. We must put our trust in him. This Christian message is one that shines out throughout even the roughest, most hurtful times of life. 

This quick paced novel is definitely a five star book!! Don't miss this excellent read!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

pic_LGb_Laureano_CarlaAbout the Author:

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.
It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.
It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.
Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.
All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.
Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.
And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.
It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.
In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20
Just Commonly, February 20
Mommynificent, February 21
Among The Reads, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 21
Fiction Aficionado, February 22
Quiet Quilter, February 22
The Power of Words, February 23
Janices book reviews, February 24
C Jane Read, February 24
Faery Tales Are Real, February 24
All of a Kind Mom, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 25
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 26
Smiling Book Reviews, February 26
Splashes of Joy, February 27
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)
Radiant Light, February 28
Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28
Baker kella, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
Book by Book, March 1
Bigreadersite, March 1
amandainpa, March 4
By The Book, March 5
Pursuing Stacie, March 5


To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Great Read from Author, Laura Hilton! Thank goodness for second chances! Enter the author's giveaway!

"Love By the Numbers"
By Laura V. Hilton

About the Book:

Genre: Christian Amish fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.
Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.
When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?
 My Thoughts:

I must admit that the Amish genre is one of my favorites in which to immerse myself and forget reality for a while! Laura V. Hilton is quickly becoming one of my "go to" authors, for this very purpose. This new book is one that was not one of the typical Amish tale...girl meets guy, fall in love, get married, type of story. It was unique in its overall theme as well as in leaving some soul searching long after the book was finished. 

The underlying theme of second chances, overcoming one's hurts and injustices , are dealt with in a such a fashion , that the reader is left thinking of his/her own life. Just how difficult is it to forgive  and forget ???  Overcoming the past is not an easy thing to do, as this book shows us. The importance of forgiveness in order to walk in God's path is exhibited throughout this story.

The characters are so vividly and well described that I was quickly immersed in their lives. Their hurts became mine as both Lydia and Caleb became my very good friends. I do love a book that allows me to identify with the characters and this book certainly met that qualification. 

The plot was well developed and I was caught up in the story after having read the first chapter. There was unexpected conflict galore as each of the main characters had secrets in  their pasts that had to be addressed and dealt with. Until conflicts are resolved, healing cannot begin. God's grace gives us the power to have second chances. 

This was one book that I hated to put down.  I just had to know the final outcome of these dear people. This is a five star book!! I am eagerly waiting for Laura's next new creation!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. A positive review was not required.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author:

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background
March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background
On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family.
One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,
Laura V. Hilton

Blog Stops

Pursuing Stacie, February 13
Quiet Quilter, February 13
Red Headed Book Lady, February 13
Babs Book Bistro, February 13
Blogging With Carol, February 14
Among the Reads, February 14
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 15
SusanLovesBooks, February 16
Carpe Diem, February 16
Splashes of JoyFebruary 17, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
C Jane Read, February 20
Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 20
margaret kazmierczak, February 20
Bibliophile Reviews, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 22
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
cherylbbookblog, February 24
Simple Harvest Reads, February 24
Christian Bookaholic, February 25
Janices book reviews, February 25
For The Love of Books, February 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26
Bigreadersite, February 26


In honor of the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem
1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils
2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!
Click the link to enter!