Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meet Amish Author Laura V. Hilton




I'm excited to host Laura V. Hilton on the blog today! She is one of my critique partners, so I am thrilled to be able to welcome her to Stitches Thru Time. 
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.
 
Welcome Laura! We're so glad you could visit us today. Where did the inspiration for your story come from?   
Simply put, from God. Bethany was a very minor character in three of my books set in Jamesport, Missouri (all stand-alone books) and I had a blurb I proposed to my publisher. When it came time to write the story I prayed about it and waited for him to give me the opening sentence.  Sometimes, it comes right away. Sometimes, it takes a little longer. So, my girls and I had to go to the county seat for some reason and we were listening to the radio. One of the lines of one of the songs that played said “The sky is falling and I’m searching for someplace to hide.”  I scribbled it down on a paper and that became my opening line. I started writing. I don’t plot, I just see where the story goes. And it turned out that I was writing a story loosely based on my Amish grandparents story.


What is your main character’s greatest fear?   
Without giving anything away – another person.


What was the most fun thing about writing this story?  
 The bits of humor that found its way in. And Bethany  has wanted to tell her story since the beginning when she made a one-time appearance in The Snow Globe. She patiently waited… until it was her turn in Amish Wanderer


How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing? 
 I couldn’t write without faith and spirituality. They are such an important part of my life, they are who and what I am. And what I am about. Him. So He brings in the faith message and usually when it comes out, is “Wow.” It is so amazing how God works.


What is your favorite thing about writing Amish romance? 
 It is such a fun sub-genre to write!  It can be contemporary romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction, suspense…. Etc, depending on the author.  So far, mine are all contemporary romance. Plus, I get to explore my family history as I write.


What are you working on next?  
I am currently writing an Amish novella that will come out around Thanksgiving.  Then I am writing a contemporary romance novella, also coming out in November. After that is (hopefully) a full-length Amish novel that will come out in fall of 2018.


I've had a sneak peek at that novella too, and readers are going to LOVE it! Thank you so much for being with us! 

About Laura's book:


Bethany Weiss has been fascinated by Silas Beiler since he spent a couple of years in Jamesport, Missouri, before he and his family moved to another Amish community. They hadn’t kept in touch, but she hasn’t forgotten the friendly young man who brought her lemonade and took her home once from a Singing years ago. When she finds a man sleeping in her family’s barn, like Jesus sleeping in the hay, she is stunned to recognize Silas. He’s left the Amish and is backpacking across the country. She talks him into staying, at least until after Christmas.

Silas’ family has never been happy living in one area for long, and their vagabond ways are wearing on him. He’s lived in Amish communities all over the nation, moving whenever his daed became disgruntled with the leaders, and he’s looking for some sense of stability. His intentions are to make it back to Pennsylvania and stay with his Englisch onkle and his family—and pursue an education. Will Bethany be the one to bring Silas in from the cold? Or will he continue on his way to his extended family and become Englisch?
 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman


Looking Glass Lies: A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.
For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.
But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.
The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

Heidi here. Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman is an amazing, amazing read. I’m not gonna lie, some if it was hard to read, really hard. It’s a raw read with vulnerable characters, I think that was why I cared so much for them and kept turning the pages to see what would happen.

Cecily Ross returns home to try to heal from a painful divorce. But, for awhile, she continues down the same road of believing the lies in her head.

This powerful book really makes you stop and think about what lies you believe about yourself. What lies society is telling you. Who you can trust. Grab your copy today!


Note: Until May 1st, Goodreads has an electronic copy giveaway. Also, I did an interview with Varina awhile back, check it out here,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, no sugar added



Heidi here. Are you looking for yummy desserts with no sugar added? Well, this is one recipe you'll want to try. Note, you can freeze these muffins. Feel free to microwave each muffin for 10 to 15 seconds before eating ~ tastes like it just came from the oven!

Ingredient List:

4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 cup oil

1 1/2 cup Splenda
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 cups flour

2 3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  • In a mixer, lightly mix together first 3 ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, use a spoon to mix dry ingredients starting with splenda, nonfat dry milk powder, and flour. Mix those three items well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in this bowl.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour into greased mini muffin cups and bake at 350 for 12 to 18 minutes. Makes 48 mini muffins. Yummy!