Monday, April 8, 2013

Surrendered Love by Laura Hilton

Book Blurb:
Janna Kauffman loves grocery shopping for the homebound in her Amish community. When Janna’s sister washes her hands of her rebellious daughter, Meghan, and sends her to live with her Amish relatives, Janna is spending less time shopping and more time explaining Meghan’s actions to police officer Hiram “Troy” Troyer. Formerly Amish Troy becomes a regular part of Janna and Meghan’s lives as Meghan continues to act out due to her Englisch mother’s rejection. Could God tame a headstrong teenager and help Janna and Troy find love in the midst of it all?


To read a chapter, go here:


Chapter 1

The police officer sorting though the Gala apples reminded Janna Kauffman of Hiram Troyer, but this Englischer couldn’t be her teenage crush. With a sigh, she focused at the display in front of her. Cabbage. She picked up a head. Homemade coleslaw sounded good to go with the hamburgers and baked beans she planned for supper. She put the cabbage in the cart, but couldn’t keep from glancing at the gut-looking officer again. Dark blond hair, cut in a fancy hairstyle, a trim build…Ach, she shouldn’t be noticing things like that about an Englischer.

Janna looked away but not before he glanced at her. She did a double take. She thought his eyes were blue, like Hiram’s, but she didn’t get a good view before he turned his back and walked away. Probably headed for the doughnuts. She smiled and turned her attention to her shopping list. Ten five-pound bags of carrots…

When she put the carrots in her cart, the hair on the back of her neck tingled as if someone were watching her. She turned, and caught the policeman’s glance just before it slid away. A thrill shot through her, that an Englischer might be attracted to her, an Amish woman, but she stifled it. His interest was a moot point. Of course, he might have just been curious about why she’d loaded so many carrots into the shopping cart.

He disappeared around the corner of an aisle. She turned her attention back to her list. A bag of oranges for Emma Brunstettler. Emma believed an orange a day kept sickness away. It seemed to work for her. Janna selected ten ripe ones and put them in Emma’s mesh bag. The hair on the back of her neck rose again along with her pulse. Her breath hitched.

She wouldn’t look. Instead, she turned to put the oranges in the cart, but missed the edge, and they went rolling all over the floor.

“Klutz.” A woman carrying a hand basket stepped over them and hurried away.

As Janna bent to pick up the first of the escaped fruit, she noticed a man wearing blue pants approaching. She hoped it wasn’t the store manager coming to yell at her. Or even worse, it might be the police officer witnessing her klutzy humiliation. She didn’t know which would be worse. She dared a glance up as he crouched and helped her pick up the oranges. The police officer. He grinned as he handed her the ones he’d collected. She stretched out a shaking hand for the fruit while trying to keep her burning face averted as she stuffed the fruit back into the bag.

His smile would have made her weak in the knees, if she weren’t already squatting. Even so, she put one hand on the floor to keep her balance.

He stood, picked up his few grocery items from the edge of a display, and turned to go.

She found her voice. “Danki.” He glanced back at her and winked. “Careful with those oranges. They’ll get you every time.” He strode toward the checkout lines.

She smiled as she noticed a box of doughnuts and a canister of coffee tucked under one elbow, a bag of apples in his hand. Janna’s heart rate accelerated more with his wink. She gripped the refilled bag in one hand and slowly straightened, watching him as he checked out, giving herself a silent, yet stern lecture for her ogling him the whole time.

An hour later, she pushed the cart, piled full with her bagged purchases, to her buggy, her thoughts still on the handsome police officer. She started to sort through the bags looking for the Yoder family’s groceries to put toward the back in her buggy, since they’d be the first home she came to on the way home.

“Janna Kauffman?” An Englisch man’s voice shattered her thoughts.

Janna’s heart stuttered. Was it him? She paused in riffling through the plastic bags in the cart beside her, and looked up.

A policeman approached. He wasn’t the one from the store.

 Her heart crash-landed somewhere in the vicinity of her toes. This one had dark hair, and sunglasses covered his eyes.

“I’m Officer Pete O’Dell.”

Janna tried to find a smile. “Is there a problem, Officer?”

He didn’t return her attempt at a smile. His lips didn’t even twitch. He opened his mouth, but as he did, another police car pulled to a stop beside her.

She stiffened, trying to prepare herself for whatever bad news they brought. She searched her mind for ideas. She knew she hadn’t double parked, and dropping oranges wasn’t against the law. Ach, maybe there’d been an accident.... Her rush of thoughts stopped as the police car door opened, and the blond officer from the store approached her, sliding his sunglasses down from the top of his head to cover his eyes. Ach, it was him. Her face heated, thinking of the shame of ogling him in the store after dropping all those oranges.

The blond officer looked at her buggy packed full of coolers labeled with the full names of Amish men. “Where’d you get all these?” He opened up the red lid of a cooler, labeled Elam Troyer—the father of her crush. That seemed like a slap in the face. The cooler was empty, except for a package of ice.

Janna sucked in a breath. Ach, they probably thought she’d stolen all the coolers. “I didn’t steal them. They gave them to me.” She waved toward the cart, still overflowing with plastic bags. “I’m doing their grocery shopping.” Embarrassed at being caught in yet another humiliating situation by the cute officer, she pulled her list out of her pocket and shoved it toward the blond.

He took it and perused it. Officer O’Dell shifted and glanced at his watch. “Do you know Meghan Forest?”

Renewed panic filled Janna. She hadn’t considered her niece being the receiver of bad news. She pushed down her fear and nodded. “Jah, she’s my Englisch niece.”

“Do you know where she is?”

“At the public school here in town.” At least, that’s where she was supposed to be. But if they were asking, then they needed to find Meghan to tell her about some bad news. “Did something happen to her mom?” She froze, dreading the answer.

“Your niece has been picked up for shop-lifting. We need you, as her guardian, to come to the police station,” Officer Pete O’Dell said.

“Excuse me?” Janna shook her head. This couldn’t be happening. “You’ve arrested Meghan for shop-lifting? She’s in school.” She glanced at the position of the sun, then looked for a watch. She found one conveniently located on the arm of the handsome officer. Almost noon. The officer still studied her shopping list, not contributing anything to the conversation.

“Well, apparently she decided to skip school today, Ms. Kauffman. Will you come with us to the station?” Officer O’Dell asked. It sounded like an order, as if she had no option.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Janna’s stomach knotted. But she stood there, staring at the plastic bags in the cart. She had perishables. She had to deliver the food first. Or at least sort it, and hope the ice would keep it cool while she handled the situation with Meghan. Otherwise she’d have to personally pay to replace the spoiled food. Besides, late or incomplete orders won’t help her business any. And here she’d thought the day was going so well.

“Now would be a good time, Ms. Kauffman.” Officer O’Dell grabbed a plastic bag from the cart and tossed it in the buggy.

Janna reached for the bag and pulled it back out. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Maybe he didn’t hear her the first time. “I have to get these sorted and in the coolers so they won’t spoil.”

“Go on, O’Dell. I’ll help her.” The blond policeman handed back her list. He ran his fingertip over Elam Troyer’s name written in black permanent marker. “What can I do?” His dark glasses turned in her direction as Officer O’Dell scowled and strode back to his cruiser.

Janna swallowed. She wasn’t Meghan’s parent—just one of her temporary guardians, until Sharon decided she was ready to take Meghan back home. She sighed. Since the police probably wouldn’t ask a parent to fly in to deal with this, she would be it. Unless Daed could do it… For a second, hope flared. Then died. Nein, Daed and Mamm had a driver take them into Springfield to visit someone in the hospital. As much as she hated it, she was it. “I don’t know if you can help,” Janna said. “I have this list and I need to pack the items into the right coolers. I tried to keep the orders separate in the store, but the bagger grabbed bags at random and piled them in the cart, so I still need to figure out who gets what.”

Normally, she was better organized, but this time, the police officer had taken her thoughts prisoner.

“Then, you tell me which cooler it goes into and I’ll put it in.”

She watched his eyebrows rise above his dark glasses. He really did seem familiar…

“Why are you doing their grocery shopping?” His finger tapped the lid of Elam Troyer’s red cooler.

She shrugged and decided to answer generally. The Troyer’s reasons were personal and none of this officer’s concern. “Various reasons. Sickness. Old age. Maybe the wife had a baby. Or maybe it’s a widower with no interest in shopping.” She looked through the contents of one bag, consulted her list, then handed it to the officer. “This goes to Elam Troyer.” She glanced at his name badge, pinned to his shirt. Troy Troyer. She didn’t know a Troy. But he had to be related in someway. She studied his face, wondering if the name meant anything to him. His expression remained impassive. Except for the tiniest flicker of a muscle in his jaw. It must be her overactive imagination.

To buy her book, go here:
Barnes & Noble

Laura's bio:
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, and Promised to Another. And the Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love. Surrendered Love releases April 2013, and the third book will release September 2013. A nonAmish book The Appalachian Ballad Quilt will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Laura is giving away a copy of Surrendered Love. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.  To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Anonymous said...
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Judy said...

I have read all of Laura's Amish fiction books and I'd be thrilled to win a copy of Surrendered Love. Laura has such a busy schedule, I'm amazed that she finds time to write at all! Laura is a breast cancer survivor and I am too! I feel we have something in common!

Judy B

cjajsmommy said...

What a thrill to see Laura Hilton featured today. Over the last fifteen years, Laura has become an online friend. Her previous books were wonderful and this excerpt is no exception. I am so excited that her new book is available. Please enter my name to win a copy. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Library Lady said...

We have Laura's books in the church library.
I would love to add "Surrendered Love" to our collection.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Janet E.

Patty said...

Great excerpt, I look forward to reading the whole book!


Diana Flowers said...

I have never had the pleasure of reading one of Laura's books, so please do enter me. Thank you!


Jo said...

I haven't read any of Laura's books yet but after reading this chapter, I do want to read her books. Thanks for the opportunity.


Nancee said...

Laura us a very talented Amish fiction author. She's one of my favorites!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Wendy Newcomb said...

This series looks like it would be really good and I love the covers.


Teela said...

Laura, How in the soooie hog have I missed your books??? (Oh yeah, hubby from Hot Springs!HA!) I would LOVE to read Surrendered Love, and as a Pastor's wife w/3 grown kids (praise the Lord), I do not know how you have accomplished so much and homeschooled. KUDOs,

Anonymous said...

I love Amish Fiction and would be so happy to win Surrendered Love. Thanks for the giveaway!

Katie J.

HomePlace Gatherings said...

Please pick me! I live in Amish Country and love to read about them.

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

ann said...

I love reading Amish fiction alot. I havent read any of Laura's books yet but would like to. thanks

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cindi A said...

I'd love to win a copy of Surrendered Love


Patsy said...

This book sounds great! Would enjoy reading it.


Anonymous said...

Caroline, thanks for this review. Susan seems to be one very busy lady. Don't see how someone can handle that many different things. Good for her. Always need more good books. Please put my name in the drawing.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

apple blossom said...

love this book cover please include me in the giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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