Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cozy Christmas Reads: Laura's story

Interview with Laura Hilton, author of The Christmas Admirer:

Alexis: What inspired you to write The Christmas Admirer

Laura: My publisher was interested in another Christmas story, this one set in Jamesport. I had two characters left unclaimed at the singing after a wedding in The Amish Wanderer. One of them had her story told in Love by the Numbers, coming in February. I wondered at the other girl’s story and started writing it.

Alexis: Did you go on a research trip for writing this story? If not then describe what you did to make it believable. 

Laura: I did go on research trips. I went to Jamesport initially when I researched for The Snow Globe and took pictures. And I went to a glassblowers shop in Springfield, Missouri to research that. 

Alexis: Benaiah Troyer is an interesting name for your story’s hero. How did you create it? 

Laura: Benaiah is a biblical hero who became King David’s bodyguard. He has quite an interesting background and like King David has killed his own share of lions. 

Alexis: Describe Benaiah. What’s he like? 

Laura: Share his personality, passion and flaws. Benaiah is the artistic type. Quiet, yet strong. He loves creating, he loves his family, but he doesn’t have enough faith that God will care for his needs—let alone everyone he’s responsible for. I know I can relate and I’m sure others can. 

Alexis: Susanna King is the heroine of your story. What’s she like? 

Laura: Describe her personality, looks and heart. Susanna is driven. She wants what she wants and she will try to do it by hook or by crook. Which puts her and Benaiah and her father at odds because she’s butting heads with them. She has honey blond hair, greenish-grey eyes and is average height. 

Alexis: Why does Benaiah love Susanna? 

Laura: Benaiah has loved Susanna since they were twelve and she helped him memorize lines for the Christmas play. They were best friends growing up which grew naturally into love. 

Alexis: What is it about Benaiah that draws Susanna into a relationship with him? 

Laura: She admires how he always put her first, how he treated her and her grandmother, and like I said, their friendship grew naturally into love. 

Alexis: Why does marrying Susanna feel like “an elusive dream” to Benaiah? 

Laura: His parents died, leaving him responsible for four younger sisters and his grandparents. He has a very limited income, little money for extras, and his home is a rundown rental. He doesn’t want to give up her life of ease and plenty to live in his reality of hardship. Not only that, but Susanna’s dad, a widower, is remarrying and moving him—and Susanna—to another state.

Alexis: How has the pain of Benaiah’s past shaped his present? 

Laura: It made him grow up and put the needs of his family before his own. 

Alexis: Why is Susanna’s “greatest desire” to marry Benaiah? 

Laura: They’ve been together since they were twelve. They’ve courted since they were sixteen. They were promised to be married in the fall the year his parents died and changed it. Her love for him didn’t die. But she had to convince him she was willing to do whatever was necessary to win him.

Alexis: What are the unique roadblocks that Benaiah and Susanna face on their journey to happily ever after? 

Laura: Susanna’s dad is moving to Iowa, Benaiah is losing everything—including his job since he works for Susanna’s dad—and his home, and reality is scary. 

Alexis: What is the significance of gingerbread houses in this story? 

Laura: I read a story once that included love potions and out of curiosity I looked up the ingredients. They are basically almost the same as for gingerbread. And since it is Christmas and a gingerbread house is a tradition in our family, that was a fun addition. It also worked into the faith message on Susanna’s part. 

Alexis: What was your favorite part of writing The Christmas Admirer? Why? 

Laura: Benaiah and Susanna were such fun! Being madly in love but being forced apart yet together added tons of tension. 

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember most about this story? 

Laura: The faith message is up to God, but what I came away with is God is bigger than the strongest lions you may face.

Alexis: What is your favorite Christmas holiday treat (food or beverage)? Why? 

Laura: My maternal grandma came from the Amish and she had these wonderful old fashioned sour cream cookies. I love them. We make some every year. 

Alexis: Do you have any closing comments? 

Laura: Thank you for joining us, I hope you have the Merriest of Christmases with you and yours. 

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Laura! Merry Christmas!

Author bio: 
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost 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 and Putting on the New. 

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.

Book blurb for The Christmas Admirer:

Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that?  

Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. 

Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. 

Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. 

But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah? 

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This looks like such a sweet story! Never had a Christmas admirer! Oh wait, do husbands count? If so, then he is totally mine!

  2. I have never had a Christmas admirer but wish__ oh well this spunds like an awesome read hope to win thanks and God bless!

  3. Not that I know of. lol But I do admire my Jesus every day and especially at Christmas as we celebrate His BIRTH once again!

  4. Never had a Christmas admirer! I am looking forward to reading The Christmas Admirer. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

  5. I've never had a Christmas Admirer. I loved reading this book and want to reread this month.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.