A DREAM REALIZED
by Laura Hilton
I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. I know I was “born” reading. I could read full-sized books in kindergarten. Unfortunately, I had a teacher who forced people to read “in their grade level” and she made me put older books back and pick out The Cat and the Hat and such. I was sooo happy when we were finally allowed to go into the rest of the library to pick out books. In third grade my teacher assigned a short story for us to write. I wrote and wrote and wrote. My story was not so short when I finished it! I’m sure it wasn’t worth reading, I was an eight or nine year old, but that fueled my love of writing.
I’d been married for a number of years and had three children when I decided it was time to get serious about my writing. I considered myself a good writer, and well, of course, publishers would be beating down doors to publish my books! I found a magazine in the library and read it and learned about American Christian Romance Writers and I joined at that point.
Well, I learned that publishers weren’t beating the doors down for my books! They sent form letter rejections. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them—after all, my mother thought they were good. (Smile) But ACRW (now American Christian Fiction Writers) offered some writing classes and I think the best help, critique groups. I also discovered book reviewing which helped me study the craft, to see what worked and what didn’t.
I was able to find a great agent and she was really encouraging. My rejection letters turned from form letters to actual letters that explained why they were rejecting me…which I learned from. My agent said that is a good thing. And then she gently made a suggestion toward genre when my particular genre became unpopular. I considered it, knowing I have Amish blood in my ancestry and I love reading Amish stories, and I wrote a proposal—three chapters and a synopsis and short blurbs for two more books. Sent it off to my agent and didn’t think about it again until the phone rang. My agent said “I think its happening. These two publishers asked for the whole.” The next morning the phone rang again—my agent. “She said this other publisher asked for the whole, but Whitaker House offered a three book contract.” Okay, I was floored. But very blessed. God is good.
by Laura V. Hilton
Whitaker House, April 2011
Becky Troyer has committed the ultimate sin, and finds herself on the edge of her Amish community. Jacob Miller believes he was sent to the Old Order Community in Missouri to help out a distant cousin. Instead, he discovers he was part of an arranged swap--sending men from his Pennsylvania district to the Missouri district to bring new blood into the Amish community. Becky dreams of marriage, but doesn't dare hope that anyone would choose her--not with her history. Can God use the lies that have affected Becky and Jacob to bring them together? Or will Jacob rebel and head home to his first love?
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 her children. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Her publishing credits include Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past from Treble Heart Books; a devotional in a compilation from Zondervan; and the first book Patchwork Dreams in her Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House will be released in April 2011, the second book, A Harvest of Hearts in September 2011, and the third in April 2012. Laura has her business degree from Ozarka and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.