So excited and thrilled for the winner, my dear friend Laura V. Hilton.
In honor of her award, I did a quick interview with Laura, just to let you all know her a bit more.
Hi Laura, I am excited to share the news that you are the 2012 Laurel Award winner, how are you feeling about this?
I am completely stunned. I absolutely did not expect my book to win.
I know you very well, we have been friends for a long time and your one of the most humble people I know, so I would just like to tell you that I am proud of you, and that you deserve this award, your books are awesome. Just in case someone reading this is a new to your books, tell us a bit about the book, A Harvest of Hearts that won.
A Harvest of Hearts Book 2 of the Amish of Seymour series, September 2011, Whitaker House
Matthew Yoder volunteered to be part of the swap of Amish men from his Old Order Pennsylvania Amish Community, to the Amish community in Seymour , Missouri . There is nothing for him in Pennsylvania , as the youngest of twelve children, and the lack of farmland around Lancaster County , he felt he could make a better future in another district. Shanna Stoltzfus has been raised Amish, and couldn’t wait for her rumspringa so she could pursue her education. She hated having to quit school in the 8th grade to stay home and learn everything that makes a home run smoothly. But now she has earned her GED and is taking college courses, but her family is begging her to come home; her little sisters miss her. And there’s something about newcomer, Matthew Yoder that draws her attention. But is it enough to give up her dreams of education and join the Amish church?
So what is next for readers of Laura V. Hilton fiction?
A start of a new series, set in the same area. The Amish of Webster County. Healing Love is the first book in the series, and it's about a midwife that Shanna trained, Kristi Lapp. Shanna is mentioned in this story.
I know that lots of authors are under contract and often cannot talk about what they are working on, but is there anything you share about any books coming up soon ?
The Amish of Webster County series, book 1 Healing Love - releasing August 2012 by Whitaker House
Who knew Cupid had four paws? Amish midwife Kristine Lapp’s dog, Chinook, develops a slew of unfamiliar ailments that sends Kristi to Shane Zimmerman, their veterinarian neighbor. Shane's grandparents were Amish, but his dad left years ago in favor of education and marriage to an Englisch woman. After Shane's wife died in childbirth, Shane returns to Amish country to live and serve, but he’s determined not to return to the faith of his father. Prejudiced against the herbal and natural remedies that Kristi uses in her practice, the vet is determined to avoid what his eccentric neighbor cooks up. Can God use a loyal pet to mix a little old medicine with new and bring two neighbors past their differences so they can find a love with a positive prognosis?
The Amish of Webster County book 2 (title unknown) April 2013
Janna Kauffman loves grocery shopping for the house-bound in her Amish community. When Janna’s sister washes her hands of her rebellious daughter, Meghan, and sends her to live with her Amish relatives, Janna is spending less time shopping and more time explaining Meghan’s actions to police officer Hiram “Troy” Troyer. Formerly Amish Troy becomes a regular part of Janna and Meghan’s lives as Meghan continues to act out due to her Englisch mother’s rejection. Could God tame a headstrong teenager and help Janna and Troy find love in the midst of it all?
The Amish of Webster County book 3 (title unknown) September 2013
Katie Detweiler grew up Amish, never knowing she was adopted as an infant. Now an adult, her new job at an Mennonite bed and breakfast doesn’t bring about the euphoria she hoped for. Just as she’s getting the menu perfected, the Englisch family and severely ill sister she never knew existed enter her life and strain her Amish relationships. Plus, Katie suddenly has two different men vying for her attention—one Amish, one Englisch—and she wonders if one of them could be the man of her dreams. But when her Englisch sister’s health worsens, Katie must find a way to balance her heart, her job, and her faith while risking her own life for the sister she never knew.
You just took a family vacation and traveled through Amish country, were you able to have any experiences with the Amish there as you traveled through?
We went to two different Amish communities, one in Arthur, Illinois, and the other Shipshewana, Indiana. I didn't talk to any Amish in Illinois, though I did see them out and about. The Amish in Indiana that I spoke with were quite friendly. I got to handle a prayer kapp - which felt kind of paperish, and the black bonnet they wear over it when they go out (which is really stiff and hard), and I got to look at the Asbund or the song book they use in their services. I also went to an Amish bulk food store and that was interesting -- some of the Amish there can wear patterns, and one Amish girl had a pink camouflage dress on. I also went by a Singing. We didn't stay, but observed a little while.
Thanks for stopping by, I know this is a super short interview, but I just wanted to let you express to your readers and fans how you feel about winning this award.
Readers you can find Laura and more about her work at her blog http://booksbylaura.blogspot.com/