"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, December 31, 2012

Saving Gideon Giveaway and Guest Post by Author Amy Lillard

Welcome everyone! This week I want to introduce you to ultra-talented author of Amish Romance, and another of my Seymour Agency sisters, Amy Lillard! Amy's debut novel is titled Saving Gideon. Like me, Amy is repped by the awesome Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency. Now grab a cup of your favorite whatever, or a munch, and settle in. We're also doing a giveaway!

Author, Amy Lillard

Doesn't Amy have the prettiest blue eyes?

I going to ask Amy a few questions, so we get to know her better, then Amy has an insightful post for us.

But first:

THE GIVEAWAY - Amy has generously offered to give away a copy of Saving Gideon, and I'm throwing in a Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is answer Amy's question at the end of the post in the comment section, or my New Years question at the end of the blog post. For those who have trouble commenting on Blogger, leave your answer on my Facebook Author Page. The winner of Amy's book and the gift card will be drawn at random next Sunday, January 6, 2012, at 9pm CDT, and announced on next week’s blog post.


~ Saving Gideon ~

Gideon Fisher wants only one thing out of life— to be left alone.  This is not the Amish way, but he’s devastated after the death of his wife.  He has lost his faith.  He buys a farm on the outskirts of the district and pulls away from his community.  But when a freak spring snowstorm brings a beautiful Englisher to his farm, what choice does he have but to let her in?
Dallas socialite, Avery Ann Hamilton is intrigued by the Amish farmer who pulls her out of the snow and into his austere life style.    Poor little rich girl, Avery has just gone through—–yet another—–bad breakup.  Every man she meets only wants her for her father’s money.  All she has ever wanted is to be loved for herself.  Avery soon discovers that the Oklahoma Amish country is the perfect place to hide out and heal her broken heart.
But she finds a peace in those back roads that she’s never felt before.  Now her life has purpose and meaning as she connects with God and those around her.  But it has even more as she begins to care for this man who needs both love and forgiveness.
Gideon never wanted to live again much less fall in love, but Avery finds her way into his heart, showing him the beauty of life and God’s greatness.  But as the feelings between Avery and Gideon grow, can they overcome their dissimilar lifestyles or will their sheer differences pull them apart?
available October 1, 2012
B&H Publishing
Welcome Amy! So glad you stopped in for a visit!

Thanks Loree! Glad to be here.

So Amy, how long have you been writing? Is this your first novel?
I guess you could say that I've been writing my whole life. I remember making up stories as early as the first grade. But when I got an A on a descriptive paragraph in junior high, I was hooked. I have been writing seriously for about twenty years (it almost hurts to  say that). Like every author, I suffered set backs and rejections before finding where I really belonged in the literary world.

What is the inspiration behind the book?
I have always wanted to write a story with a tortured hero, a man who loved a woman so deeply that after her death he finds it nearly impossible to put one foot in front of the other and live. Only Gideon's faith keeps him going though he feels that it's gone as well.That's where the story started. After I had Gideon developed, I had to find a heroine spunky enough to bring him out of his own world and make him start living again. 

Is there a sequel or series planned?
There is a series. Katie's Choice, the second in the Clover Ridge series is scheduled to release May 1 of 2013. Katie Rose Fisher is Gideon's sister.

They say that there is a bit of each of us in all of our characters. Which character in the book is most like you, and why?
Most like me...hmmm. I suppose, Mary Elizabeth, Gideon's niece. She's a little chubby, a little chatty and loves animals. We have those things in common, but it's Rachel Yoder, the heroine of Gabriel's Bride (working title) who's most like me. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until February of 2014 before you'll get to meet her.

What do you read for enjoyment, Amy?
Actually I read all sorts of books. Though my favorites are contemporary romance novels. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Elizabeth Beverly and Susan Andersen. That's not to say that my mom and my sisters can't talk me into reading a women's fiction or chicklit. And of course I read Amish fiction and have a few favorite authors in the Love Inspired line from Harlequin.

Now please welcome Author, Amy Lillard, as she gives us a glimpse into her writing, Amish fiction, and Saving Gideon!

 What to Do When Your Muse Is Fixed to a Different Setting

by Amy Lillard

I have to admit that I didn’t start out writing Amish fiction. The initial idea was something of a surprise. Write an Amish book? At first, I thought the notion to be crazy, but the more I mulled it over, the more appealing it became.

Saving Gideon is a first for me in many ways. It’s my first Amish book, my first published book, and the first book that I didn’t rely exclusively on my muse to develop.

See, all authors have what we call a muse. It’s that little voice that whispers in our heads and hearts and says things like “What if…?” and “why don’t you…?”

Now my normal muse talks to me about different things than Amish fiction. I don’t live in the Amish community and see them every day to fill my thoughts with “Amish what ifs.” So she needed a bit of prodding to help me get together not only one idea, but three.

The idea started with Gideon. I had his name before I had anything else. If I was going to write an Amish book, I wanted my hero’s name to be Gideon. And I wanted him to be a loner, which is unusual for the Amish. So I made him a widower, grieving and on his last leg (spiritually speaking). Gideon has hidden himself away from the community and everyone who loves him.

Gideon with all of his hurts and scars needed to have a heroine who could stand up to him and help him—after all, the title is Saving Gideon. But everything I knew about the Amish had me deciding that Gideon’s one true love had to be English (non-Amish as they call them). An Amish woman would not stand up to an Amish man the way Avery does Gideon. A Plain woman would not push him back into life, ignoring his protests and somehow bringing him into the sun again.

Gideon isn’t the only one who makes life changes. I had some surprises in store from my never-wanted-for-anything-in-her-life heroine—God. For as she pulls Gideon back into his community, she also finds out for herself how wonderful God’s love can be. A hole that she has ignored her entire life is finally filled and all thanks to Gideon.

But no good romance is the same without sacrifice. In order for an Amish widower and a Dallas socialite to fall in love and make it work, someone has to give up their way of life, their family, friends, and everything they cherish. But is it possible for two people from such opposite worlds learn to make it one? You’ll have to read and see. My one hint is that this is a romance—in the contemporary sense of the word. But if that’s not enough for you, I’m giving away a copy of Saving Gideon to one lucky commenter this week. Just answer this question: What would you give up to have the love of your life?

Thanks so much to Loree for having me here today and thanks to everyone who stopped by. Your participation is much appreciated. Happy Reading! 

Thanks for stopping in, Amy! It's been really fun! I have one last question for you, and for everyone...

What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year?
In 2013, I'm hoping and praying for a new contract for the next three stories in the Clover Ridge series. And I also have a couple of other ideas tucked up my sleeve, but I'll have to see where the year takes me before I can say more.

You can find out more about Amy Lillard at her website: http://amywritesromance.com/
Follow her on twitter @AmyWritesRomnce
Like her on Facebook: 


Between you, me and the gatepost,



Gwendolyn Gage said...

Hi Amy and Loree! Happy New Year! What would I give up? Hmmm. Well, one year I had to give up my house to save my marriage--sounds weird, but long story. ;-) And this coming year, I am praying for my difficult family situation to resolve in some way, and hoping to have two of my manuscripts ready for querying.

Jessica Nelson said...

To have the love of my life, I hope I'd give up almost anything.
This book sounds very good!!! The romance is my kind of read. LOL

Please enter me!!! Congrats on the contract too!

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview, Loree. Amy's book sounds intriguing. My hope for the new year is to get my PB/Storybook picked up, or self-published. All the best in 2013!

Loree Huebner said...

Gwen, Jessica, and Victoria, all great thoughts and hopes for 2012. Thanks for stopping in! Happy New Year!

Judy said...

I have the love of my life now. What did I have to give up to be with him? I had to give up being single. I told God after my husband died from a brain tumor that I would NEVER marry again. Hmmm, God had other plans!! He already had someone picked out for me. John just so happened to be the teacher of the adult sunday school class that I attended! Who would have ever figured!! He persued me and won. He told me that God brought us together. How could I argue with that?!

Loved the interview and would love to win a copy of "Saving Gideon." This book sounds like a great read! I can't wait.


Stacy Henrie said...

I like the premise of this book! I recently read my first Amish novel - I know, I'm a little behind :) - but I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing, Loree and Amy.

Unknown said...

I do believe I would give up practically anything to keep
the love of my life. We have been married since the day before I graduated high school. I couldn't imagine my life without him. I would walk away from modern comviences for him. I love him with all my heart.


ya2sabe said...

Hi Amy and Loree! Amy, the book sounds great! Can't wait to read it!
To have the love of my life I would give up stuff, comforts, all the things money can buy, because when it comes down to it, those things aren't important. What really matters are the things money can't buy: health, values, etc. and above all, my walk with God.

Loree Huebner said...

Judy: Welcome here! Thanks for sharing your story! You just never know what God has in store around the corner!

Stacy: I've only read 3 Amish novels. Each one left me full of love and hope.

Cheryl: Beautiful how love grows and makes us feel about our spouse, and what we would sacrifice to keep it. Thanks for sharing about your wonderful marriage.

ya2sabe: Amen! You are so right about what's really important - the things that money can't buy.

Judy, Stacy, Cheryl, and ya2sabe, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed reading your comments!

Cheri S. said...

I already have the love of my life. We will celebrate 14 years this April and I'm truly thankful for him every day.

Just this year I realized that it's my duty and responsibility to be the best I can be so that we can enjoy spending as much time together, as healthy as possible. So, I had already decided that I was going to give up excess which contributes to weight gain (in my case anyway) and laziness which contributes to health problems (I don't have yet but will if I stay on this path). Instead, I'm going to eat and exercise in balance so that the love of my life and our three little byproducts of that love can enjoy a healthier, happier, more balanced life from here forward.

Thank you for this opportunity.


In Him,

Cheri :)

Jody Rigle said...

I married the love of my life, coming up on thirty years in April. I would love to win this book and top it off with Starbucks. Perfect contest. thank you and god bless

Loree Huebner said...

Cheri: Congrats on 14 years! Hubby and I are working on a healthy New Year for us too.

Jody: Wow! 30 years! Congratulations! Hubs and I just had our 25. Your name is in the hat for the drawing! I will announce the winner tomorrow!

Thanks for popping in and sharing!