Shannon here: Amish romance author, Laura V. Hilton shares a romantic excerpt from her latest release, A White Christmas in Webster County. Answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Sept 13th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Laura:
A White Christmas in Webster County
“Would you kiss me?”
Mercy Lapp stumbled to a halt. She looked up from the list she’d been perusing and into a pair of beautiful, twinkling blue eyes. They belonged to a clean-shaven Amish man who held out a pair of plastic vampire teeth on a Halloween clearance rack. They were brown, crooked, and ugly. He moved them closer to her.
Her stomach lurched. “Ewww. Nein!”
He chuckled, then glanced around.
She followed his gaze. They were alone in the aisle. She turned her attention back to him, surprised to find him falling to his knees in front of her, his hands clasped together as if in prayer, the package of teeth dangling from his fingertips.
“Have mercy!” He puckered up in an exaggerated kiss.
She blinked. None of the Amish men back home acted like this. So bold. So…tempting.
“Please? I’ll never get kissed by a pretty girl if I have teeth like these.” He lifted his hand and shook the package.
She wrinkled her nose. “Enough already, jah?” She tried to look away from those yucky teeth but got distracted by a dimple in the bu’s cheek.
He reached forward and fingered the hem of her dress—a bold move—then gazed up at her with an inquisitive expression as she stepped away. “An Amish-style dress. Pink. Camouflage. You aren’t from around here, are you?”
Mercy’s face heated. “Uh, nein. But…well, I just got here. I took a job advertised in The Budget for a mother’s helper, and I haven’t had time to make any new dresses. And Shanna, the woman I’m staying with, just laughed and said it’d probably be a gut thing to add some color around here anyway. I’m from Shipshewana.” Her words tumbled out in a rush.
He slowly straightened to his full height, and she had to tilt her head back to see his face. “Shipshewana, really? Me, too. I’m here visiting my twin brother, Abram.” He licked his lips as he returned the unopened package of false teeth to the display of clearance items. “I’m Abner Hilty.”
Abner Hilty? She hadn’t grown up in his district, but she vaguely remembered seeing him and his twin brother at various frolics. She never would’ve recognized him if he hadn’t introduced himself. He’d filled out. Broader shoulders than she recalled. She eyed his upper arms. She couldn’t tell much about his muscles, given his casual stance and his long shirtsleeves. Not that she should think about such things.
“I see a spark of recognition in your pretty hazel eyes.” He leaned closer, studying her. “And you look familiar. I’ve seen you before.”
“Don’t tell me—I’ve got it,” he said. “It’s…Mary? Martha? Marianna?” He shuddered. “Nein, not her. Miriam? Melinda? Melissa? Mercy? Jah, Mercy! Mercy Lapp.”
“I’m impressed.” She smiled, flattered, even though he’d had to run through a list of names before guessing hers.
Abner chuckled. “Don’t be. Your eyes lit up when I said it.”
“Still impressed.” Mercy backed up a step. “I need to buy the items Shanna needs and go to the grocery store. Her ehemann, Matthew, is running other errands in town, and I don’t want to keep him waiting.”
Abner grinned. “Happy Thanksgiving, Mercy. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
She doubted it. An unexpected flicker of disappointment shot through her. She squashed it. She wasn’t here for a relationship. “Maybe.” She looked at her list again. Primarily supplies to make homemade laundry soap: Borax, Fels-Naptha or Ivory bar soap, Arm & Hammer™ Super Washing Soda….
Abner’s fingers grazed hers. Sparks shot up her arm. She jerked away in surprise.
“Hey, I mean it. McDonald’s sometime? I’ll treat you to a…a pumpkin spice milk shake, if they’re still available. If not, then an eggnog one.”
The invitation evoked mixed feelings. She and Paul used to order pumpkin spice milk shakes, but never eggnog. Paul didn’t care for the taste. Mercy did.
She nodded. “Jah. Jah, fine.” She’d like the treat, but she was still settling into her new job and doubted she’d have enough free time.
“You want a firm date? I see doubt in your eyes. Very expressive, they are. How about Friday? I’ll pick you up. Give me directions.”
About Laura: Award winning author, 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 three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press.
She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, begins in November 2014 with The Snow Globe, The Postcard in June 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015, and A White Christmas in Webster County (Amish) releasing in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.
Learn more and connect: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/, http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/, twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
About the book – A White Christmas in Webster County (September 2014, Whitaker House):
Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan.
Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him.
Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in town and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place?
A Christmas Romance. A chance for a new beginning. Then her past is resurrected.
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Question: What genres of inspirational fiction do you read most?
Come back Sept 8th for Valerie Comer!