The campground was almost completely deserted. Granted, it was the end of September in the Cascade Mountains but we didn’t see anything too outrageous about the fact we were having one last weekend for the year. My husband found a huge chunk of oak and that evening we had a wonderful, warm fire. Considering how chilly it had gotten, we enjoyed it thoroughly.
Before we retired for the night, he attempted to put the fire out and finally resorted to practically drowning the wood. At last, there was no more danger of fire, so we went into the tent to sleep.
The next morning when we awakened, it was almost down to freezing! It was so hard to drag ourselves out of our sleeping bags, but we knew we would soon have a fire and would be able to warm up.
Or not. The fire pit and the wood were so waterlogged it was next to impossible to get anything burning. The morning was so cold, my husband was dancing around to keep his circulation going. Amidst my shivers, I was laughing hard.
We learned an important lesson that weekend. Make sure you always check the weather report before going camping!
by Laura V. Hilton
Published by Whitaker House
Publication Date July 10, 2018
Genres: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction, Action/Adventure, Clean Romance
Setting: Michigan Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
When Bridget Behr and her family migrate from a bustling Amish community in Ohio to the remote and isolated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they’re met with an ugly surprise: the house they had bought sight unseen is an uninhabitable wreck. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to live in tents until the house and barn are rebuilt. Bridget can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault her family moved—and is too afraid to trust anyone, especially the flirtatious, overly-friendly Amish man who lives next door.
Gabriel Lapp has made Michigan his home out of necessity, but can’t wait to move back to Florida with its sunshine and warmer temperatures. But when Bridget’s family seeks refuge with Gabe during a fierce thunderstorm, he can’t help but feel a tug of responsibility for them—especially the girl with the dark green eyes.
Just as Bridget is finally settling into friendship, a new life, and maybe even love, a devastating forest fire ravages the county, destroying both land and the Behr's dreams. Now Bridget and her family must decide: will they leave behind the ashes and start anew in another Amish community? Or will they dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County?
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Bridget’s daed had made a big mistake. In an attempt to get his daughters away from a creepy stalker, he purchased land and a house in Northern Michigan. Sight unseen. So the family ended up having to live in tents. In Michigan. In November!
What a book! I was laughing and then pondering and then swooning and then laughing again. And I kept marking lines to create quote images; far too many to use without being sued for plagiarism. Seriously, Gabe and Bridget were such a fun couple to read about. Also fun were the subtle plays on Bridget’s family name, Behr.
I was drawn in by Gabe’s flirtatious, cocky, arrogant and yet insecure ways. His behavior, a cry for acceptance and attention from his dad, was so painful and yet touching. I really loved the way that he still had a heart searching for a relationship with God; that he was willing to really talk to the bishop and the way that things ended up working out between Gabe and his daed.
Bridget’s dad’s temper was quite amazing, but not necessarily in a good way. He kept saying things he regretted later but had so much pride it was hard for him to apologize. I enjoyed seeing how God worked in his heart, especially when he was so angry with Noah. Again. And again.
It is interesting to realize how the Amish have such an appearance of holiness and a close relationship with God, but they often know so little about Him or even the Bible. The very fact that Bridget feared that she would get into trouble for even wanting to read the Bible was shocking.
It made me smile to find out where the quote I saved from Plain Everyday Heroes came from about calling the black lab Butterscotch. Yes, I read the books in the wrong order but it just may have made that even more fun doing it this way. I’m glad that Noah got his own story there. I might have to re-read it now despite having just read it. . .
One of the things that I enjoy about Laura V. Hilton’s Amish stories is the life that is in them. Maybe it is the other Amish stories I have read but it seems like most are very serious with the characters being very staid and proper. This author’s characters are playful, they have fits, they tease and have thoughts sometimes bordering on “improper” (yet totally clean) about those of the opposite gender. Like real people.
Preview of Firestorm
Laura Hilton’s Firestorm Pinterest Board
(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
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!!
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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away:
Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize: “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cf87/firestorm-celebration-tour-giveaway