Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I was asked to join another Amish author to write a Christmas anthology, and I asked my agent permission. She contacted Whitaker House for permission and they wanted to do a Christmas Amish story.  

I had a conversation with my editor there and she said that she wanted it set in Webster County and characters from all the previous books revisited. So I thought about that awhile. 

The obvious answer was the hero. My hero, Abram, in Awakened Love had a twin brother named Abner who moved to Montana – What if Abner went to visit Abram in Seymour, Missouri, to meet Abram’s new wife, Katie? Ahh, his story was born. 

That left the heroine.  I thought about that, and God directed me to an article about Amish going deep sea fishing… What if her fiancĂ© goes fishing on Lake Michigan during his rumspringe (running around time)… and dies?  And what if she is hired as a mother’s helper in Seymour (to another character set) Matthew and Shanna from A Harvest of Hearts. 

I wrote the blurb - A White Christmas in Webster County (September 2014, Whitaker House)

Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in town and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place? 

After my agent submitted it to Whitaker House, I concentrated on my next contracted book.  The call came on December 19—my wedding anniversary. My family was going to Jonesboro, Arkansas to go Christmas shopping, and my agent called while we were on the road. 

I was so excited! I wanted to write this story. But it meant that I had to quit writing my contracted book, write this one, and then go back to the other, as this one had a much nearer deadline. 

Award winning author, 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.

Laura on the Web; 
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

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