Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton – Amish Romantic Drama

Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton
Image Used With Permission via Celebrate Lit.

Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton

If you’ve been with me for a little while, you’ve probably discovered my love for Amish books.  I’ve always been interested in the Amish culture.  When I read Amish books, I get lost in the stories and for a little while, I get to be part of their communities, part of their families . . . part of the Amish culture.  Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton is my latest adventure into an Amish story.

The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri.  Bethany Weiss is a young girl who can’t get out of town soon enough.  As a young woman in her early 20s, she’s suffered enough rejection for a lifetime.  Her father, the bishop, is in a mental hospital after committing a crime which hurt the community and “poured more salt” in Bethany’s still-fresh wounds.

One day, Bethany finds a “stray” in her barn.  At first, she thinks he is her abusive suitor, perhaps out jail.  Instead, the “wanderer” turns out to be her old boyfriend, Silas Beiler.

Will this “wanderer” in her barn mean a new life for Bethany or will it mean more pain to sting her ever-freshly wounded soul?

Silas has a colorful past of his own.  Did he grow up to be a man molded by the reputation of his family?  Will he hurt Bethany in the unthinkable way that her abusive suitor has?  Or, has he grown up to be an honorable man of God who will cherish Bethany?

Will Bethany find her way out of town – out of the circle of hurt that constantly surrounds her, leaving her to a hopeless future?

Will Bethany and Silas heal from their haunted past, their troubled present, to find a happy future together?

All the answers are within the pages of this highly recommended novel, Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton.

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Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton
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About the Author

Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton
Image Used With Permission via Celebrate Lit.

 Laura V. Hilton

Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

 Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.

But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.

So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.  

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)


Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton
Image Used With Permission via Celebrate Lit.

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away  Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1), a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


More Reviews of Amish Wanderer by the Celebrate Lit Community:

February 14inklings and notions
February 15A Rup Life
February 15D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 15Lane Hill House
February 16Daysong Reflections
February 16Blogging With Carol*
February 17Bigreadersite
February 17Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
February 18Rhonda’s Doings*
February 18Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 19A Greater Yes
February 19A Holland Reads
February 20Blossoms and Blessings
February 21Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
February 22A Baker’s Perspective*
February 22Splashes of Joy
February 23Moments Dipped in Ink
February 23Carpe Diem*
February 24Pause for Tales
February 24Quiet Quilter*
February 25For The Love of Books
February 25Donna’s BookShelf
February 26Christian Bookaholic*
February 27Giveaway Lady
February 27Autism Mom

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