Monday, March 31, 2014

Serena Miller ~ Fearless Hope

I'm welcoming Serena Miller to Ink Dots this week. In the early 1990s, Serena joined a writer’s group and met several multi-published authors who taught her that becoming an author didn’t involve magic, but it did require years of hard work. 

In 2008, Serena signed with Sandra Bishop of McGregor Literary Agency. In 2010 her book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio was published by Summerside Press. She has since written six more inspirational novels for Simon & Schuster and Baker Books. Two of her novels have won national awards. A non-fiction book on Amish Parenting will be available in 2015.     

She also had the honor of watching Mission Pictures International turn her first book into a made-for-television movie which will air on the Up Tv station on June 1, 2014. Serena and her husband live in Southern Ohio where they and their family have served in full-time ministry to their home church for the past twenty years.  

Fearless Hope ~ When Hope Yoder loses her husband, she is left trying to support her two small children—and one on the way—however she can. She ends up taking a job as a part-time housekeeper for the Englisch man who has bought the farm that once belonged to her family.
Logan Parker is a bestselling crime fiction writer from New York City who accompanies his fiancée on a trip to Holmes County, Ohio, but the trip takes a strange turn when he sees an Amish farmhouse for sale. Intrigued by a strong sense of familiarity, he enters the house and is overcome with a feeling of deep peace. He’s never been to Ohio before, but something in this house feels right, and he purchases the farm to use as a retreat. Something about the peacefulness of the house frees him from the crippling writer’s block that threatens to ruin his career, and something about the quiet Amish woman who comes to clean his home makes him less and less excited about returning to New York and the woman he is supposed to marry.
Slowly, Logan and Hope are drawn together, and when they discover that they share a strange past, they must decide how that affects their future. Will Hope overcome her fear of embracing love again?

Serena Says...
If I could explore anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... Machu Pichu. It’s an ancient site on a mountain top in Peru with the most amazing stonework and buildings. Friends showed me their photos from vacationing and I’ve wanted to go ever since. Sounds wonderful! My daughter explored Mexico's ancient ruins in February. I hope you get to visit there, soon. 
The best thing I did today is... I visited an Old Order Amish family early this morning where I buy milk twice a week. The big news was their daughter’s wedding yesterday. Four hundred wedding guests were fed a homemade sit-down chicken dinner. The family was exhausted, but very happy. WOW! Now that is some wedding celebration. I bet they were exhausted. (I'm a little jealous of your farm fresh milk purchases, Serena.)
A secret pleasure of mine is... Sometimes, when I’ve written my word count for the day, I’ll reward myself by packing a sandwich, a thermos of coffee, a thick blanket—and then hiking back through our woods to a small river. It’s beautiful and quiet and I can spend hours there with my dog and a good book.   
I wish I could relive... a family vacation at Ice Lake, Manitoulin Island, Canada with our three sons. It was around dawn, we were in the middle of the lake, and suddenly the fish started biting like mad. Our three-year-old only had his little Mickey Mouse toy fishing rod, but we put a hook on it and he started reeling them in, too. The fish fry that evening outstanding. Too funny! 
When I was a child I dreamed I would... someday live in a two-story house, with a wrap-around-porch and most importantly….it would have a real bathroom with indoor plumbing!( I did not like our outhouse. I was too afraid of snakes!) I’m happy to report that thanks to my husband’s hard work and building skills, that’s exactly what we have.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... As a child, I was alone a lot and often had long conversations with trees. I made up lots of stories to tell them. They were excellent listeners and seldom interrupted. I hope they didn't freak you out too much when they 'interrupted.' 
I have one giveaway copy of Serena's Fearless Hope. To enter, please leave a comment below. Tell us about the biggest wedding celebration you've attended. Or the smallest. Or the most unforgettable. The winner will be announced on Friday. 
For me, it was my uncle's wedding in the early 70s. I was a 6 year old flowergirl with a stack of new and scary duties, including a long walk up a steep flight of stairs in a floor length dress, clutching a basket of flowers when all I wanted was my mum's hand to help me up. My faded memory of the day is sweet, until I remember those stairs. 

How about you? What's your wedding story...? 

Good luck and happy reading,