Shannon here: Laura V. Hilton shares an excerpt from her latest Amish Romance, The Amish Christmas Gift (Book 2, Hidden Springs series). Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Nov 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Laura:
Excerpt from The Amish Christmas Gift by Laura V. Hilton:
Levi gave a curt nod, rose to his feet, and started down. “Okay then. I’ll show you the workshop. But other than an occasional cleanup, that isn’t your job.”
She followed him down the ladder. “I’m anxious to see it. I’m curious about those lions and tigers and bears that clerk raved about yesterday.”
What was it with some men communicating in grunts?
Abigail wasn’t anywhere in sight when Elsie peeked into the kitchen to say goodbye. Levi headed out the door so Elsie grabbed her sweater and bonnet, tugged them on, and followed him.
Darkness had fallen, but she could still see clearly from the Englisch neighbors floodlights.
He was halfway there by the time she stepped outside. Wow, those boots stunk. How had she not noticed them before? She stopped at her buggy long enough to grab her candy cane—hopefully, the taste would eliminate the smell—then she ran to catch up with him. He tugged open the barn doors, flipped on the gas lights, and stepped into what seemed an unnaturally quiet building. And then she remembered Abigail mentioning that they’d sold the cows. Probably the chickens too, since Elsie didn’t hear any clucking. No dog came to investigate.
There was only the whinny of a lone horse.
The barn smelled of sawdust, and Elsie smothered a sneeze. It emerged as a squeak.
“Bless you,” Levi said. He opened another door, turned that light on, and moved aside.
Elsie stuck the end of the candy cane into her mouth and stepped into Santa’s workshop.
She took in racks of wood, a pegboard of tools, and makeshift tables covered with toys. A wooden train, carved but not sanded or painted, half-filled with wild animals. A stable with horses and a partially finished bull that were sized for action figures or fashion dolls. Maybe for a toy rodeo. Rocking horses and toddler-sized rocking chairs. And that was with a quick glance.
“Levi!” She pulled the candy from her mouth and pointed with it. “Wow, this is amazing!”
“I’d forgotten how you always smell of peppermint,” he said, his voice strangled. “It makes me want…” He shook his head.
She broke off the curved end, still in the wrapper, and held it out.
After a moment’s hesitation, he took the end she’d sucked the color from.
“It makes me want to kiss you. But this will have to suffice.” And he stuck the candy in his mouth.
About Laura: Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over thirty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs. Her most recent series with Whitaker House is set in Mackinac County, Michigan, and includes Firestorm, The Amish Candymaker, Married to a Stranger, and The Amish Bachelor (July 2021). Her newest series is with Forever and includes The Amish Wedding Promise, The Amish Christmas Gift, and The Amish Secret Wish. It is set near Arthur, Illinois.
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. Learn more and connect:
About the book – The Amish Christmas Gift:
Run from rain, you get hail. Amish Proverb.
Levi Wyse works as a contractor by day, a toymaker by night. He sells his toys at a small Amish-owned gift shop in the Arthur area where he is teasingly called Santa Claus—year round—even though he looks nothing like the legendary character. All Santas have their elves, though, so Levi asks his sister to hire a receptionist/bookkeeper to manage his seldom-visited but very busy office. The poor woman who eventually works for him will have her work cut out for her, keeping track of his schedule, paying bills, taking orders, answering the phone, and organizing the clutter his thriving business has left behind. Since his office is in the home he shares with his sister, he might as well get double-duty and have his new elf do light housekeeping as her schedule allows. Just so long as she’s out of his home—and life—by the time he arrives at the end of each day.
Elsie Miller can’t seem to keep a job. She flopped at teaching in the Amish school since she couldn’t keep the students under control long enough for them to learn anything. At the restaurant, she dumped trays loaded with food and poured coffee on customers. And stocking shelves at the grocery store was plain boring. If she could ever find a job that involved organizational skills and talking to people, her life would be practically perfect. When her friend, Abigail Wyse, approaches her about working for her brother, Elsie is quick to agree. What could be better than managing Levi’s life? The poor man can’t even find an eraser when he needs one. She’d been a victim of his skills at losing things too many times to count. Like the time he misplaced her during a date.
Levi is in trouble. She’s everywhere. Ex-girlfriend. Love of his life. The last person in the world he wanted to see—ever. And now that she’s working for him, he can’t escape her. Her scent fills his office and he catches glimpses of her smile when he arrives in the middle of the day to pick something up. Besides, thanks to his elf placing an advertisement in The Budget, his toy-making business is booming and he’s required to spend more time in his workshop where he can’t escape her.
When an un-forecasted blizzard snows her in, she and his sister help him build toys. And now his emotions are a confusing jumble, like upside-down pieces of a 5,000 piece puzzle. Is Elsie a long-anticipated gift or has his heart become her plaything?
Question for Readers: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Come back Nov 10th for Michelle DeBruin!