It is quite possible that Laura V. Hilton could be my favorite author of Amish fiction. Although her characters are mostly Amish and her stories are set in Amish communities, I like how there is not so much emphasis on the rules and regulations according to the Ordnung. In Firestorm, a time or two Bridget wonders if certain expectations are the same as in her previous community and more than once Gabe is certain he will be reprimanded by the pastors. Yet overall, Hilton’s books are real life stories about everyday people who live and love and make mistakes just like you and me.
Firestorm is filled with unexpected problems from the very beginning when Bridget’s family is unpleasantly surprised by the condition of their new home that was purchased sight unseen. Fortunately the community rallies to help get things into shape but one accident after another slows their progress. The characters are vivid and so realistic. Several of them struggle with common human failings such as pride and low self-esteem but as they walk through difficulty and tragedy, the Lord sharpens and heals them. Despite all the difficulties and tragedy within its pages, Firestorm contains a good measure of humor that helps keep it from getting too dark.
I particularly liked the powerful scene during the fire when Gabe understood the true power of God, perhaps for the first time. This author’s books are the perfect blend of drama, romance and faith. If you haven’t read anything from Laura V. Hilton, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Firestorm, the first volume of The Amish of Mackinac County series.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
- Title: Firestorm
- Author: Laura Hilton
- Genre: Christian Amish
- Release Date: July, 2018
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
GUEST POST FROM LAURA HILTON:
I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time.
Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)
Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written.
Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.
I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.
Thanks for reading Firestorm!!
Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
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