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We hear frequently about Amish in Pennsylvania and Ohio. I’ve heard of them in Oklahoma and Texas. Are there Amish who live in your state? I’m happy to have Laura Hilton visiting again today to share her newest novel, Firestorm. You might be as surprised by her discovery as she was! But before we get to that, let’s take a quick peek at the story itself.
Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.
Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.
As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.
Welcome back, Laura! What inspired you to write this series or Firestorm in particular?
I needed a new series, and I thought a settlement in Michigan might be fun. I read one series set in the Upper Peninsula, but could find no evidence there really was one, so I kind of gave it up, but then my son in the Coast Guard was stationed there, and lo and behold, there are Amish. We found them. I think it was a God-thing because when I gave up on the idea He moved.
He does tend to provide information in His own timing, doesn’t He? Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
Oh, Gabe is so fun. He’s funny, caring, out-of-the-box, and does things that are not necessarily traditional Amish things.
He sounds like he’s trying to find himself… Who is your favorite secondary character in Firestorm, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Agnes is a secondary character who wanted her own story – and I am writing it now – releasing in February 2019 – The Amish Candy Maker.
How fun! Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
Yes, I’ve been there many many times, from a child on, most recently less than a month ago. It is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – God’s country – and as I said above, I wanted a series set there.
The Upper Peninsula is definitely a beautiful area! Did you do any traveling for research? If so, could you tell us about it?
I went to visit my Coastie son and his bride and visit the area. We did touristy stuff, but we saw Amish in many different areas and drove through the area where they lived. My daughter-in-law bought butter, and eggs, and some jam. We didn’t since we were traveling.
Do you have personal experience with any of the events in Firestorm, and if so, could you share about that?
No, I personally don’t, but God put people in my life who did. A man in my church suffered from the same leg injury Gabe got, my son fought wildfires when he lived at home, and many many other things.
All those experiences certainly provide great story ideas! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Laura!
Your turn! Have you been to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Did you know there were Amish living there?
More about Laura:
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over 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.
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.
You can connect with Laura online:
visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
Laura has generously offered to give away a copy of Firestorm (winner’s choice of paperback or e-book format). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.