Official Cover

Of Katie’s Choice!

I know you may have seen it before, but never quite like this. (Okay, I’m being dramatic, but we did make a few changes. Maybe I should post them side by side and let you see the differences like those puzzles in the Highlights magazine. LOL)

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My New Friend

What a great weekend I’ve had! I’ve got a new friend. Her name is Sarah and she lives in Inola. She bakes, sews, and works outside her home. I met her at the flea market when we went ‘junking’ this past Saturday.

Sarah is Amish.

Why am I so excited? Because I’ve tried to talk to other Amish women and get to know them better, but they can be understandably guarded. The outside English world can be very judgmental. These women who go out of the community to make money for their families are brave and must protect their image and beliefs. But with Sarah, something clicked. We chatted about books and Amish authors, recipes and her bakery. I could have stood there and talked to her all day long.

We’ve already made plans to return next weekend to see if she’s there. I’m going to take her a copy of Saving Gideon and try to talk to her some more. All I can say right now is thank you, God, for that impulsive decision to ‘run down to the flea market’ and see what was going on. I had a great time with my family, found a couple of Christmas presents, and made a great new friend. Happy weekend!

Charmed, I’m sure.

Seven weeks in and I’m still not sure about the the TLC show Breaking Amish. I have to admit that it’s not about all the wonderful things that I admire in the Amish. It’s not…charming. I’ll go one further and admit that most Amish fiction is heavy on the charm. But that’s what I love about writing it and reading it. The Amish offer me a real escape from my own reality. A place filled with God fearing  neighbor-loving people who are taking life at their own pace.

But what about shows like Breaking Amish? I find it like a train wreck, I know I shouldn’t stare, but I can’t take my eyes off of it. Even if it lacks the charm of my fiction of choice.

Have you watched the show? Do you love it? Hate it? Or like me, does it male you want to dig  out your copy of The Shunning to watch again?

Could You Be Amish?

I’ll admit that I spend a great deal of time thinking about the Amish. Even when I’m not writing. And naturally the question comes to mind, “Could I make it in the Amish world?” Could I live without electricity computers and all the other modern conveniences that we have today. My honest answer is a definite maybe. LOL

After the ice storm of ’07 when my family lived without electricity for seven–yes, that’s *seven*–days, I know I can survive without electricity. Not having a phone in the house could be tolerated. I could even give up my cell phone. I don’t watch television all that much and I know I would miss the internet. I love nail polish and shoes, but what would be the hardest thing for me to give up? Books. That is to say being able to read whatever I wanted when I wanted. Losing that freedom would be very hard for me.

What’s the one thing it would be the hardest to give up if you were to join the Amish faith?

Release Day!!!

I really can’t tell you how excited I am! Today is the release day for Saving Gideon!!

It’s also the last day to enter to win one of three copies of Saving Gideon. Just leave me a comment. Tell me how excited you are that it’s October. Or who your favorite football team is. I don’t care.;) Just let me know you stopped by.

Happy Release Day, everyone!

4 Stars from RT Book Reviews

Just received word that Saving Gideon received 4 stars from RT Reviews!!! Here’s a quote:

“A sweet love story with characters who are grieving for different reasons but are brought together by chance and, in the process, help each other get over their pain and deepen their faith in themselves and God. Amy Lillard is a wonderful writer and honors the Amish and their faith with her novels.” RT Book Reviews

Yep. You got it. I’m walking on clouds!

It’s Time For Some Good News

Back in November of last year, sixteen Amish men and women were arrested for cutting the beards and hair of their Amish neighbors. The sixteen are members of a break away sect led by Samuel Mullet and have been accused of being a cult. (Click here for more information http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/24/us/7-arrested-in-hair-cutting-attacks-on-amish-in-ohio.html?_r=1&ref=us) They are on trial now.

These members of the Amish church aren’t saying that they are innocent, but that they did it out of compassion for the victims, trying to bring them back into the fold. The sixteen are members of a break away sect led by Samuel Mullet and have been accused of being a cult. But the formal charges include conspiracy, destroying evidence, and hate crimes. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/us/lawyers-say-amish-charged-in-beard-cutting-attacks-acted-out-of-compassion.html

I find it incredibly sad that when we hear about the Amish in the news,  it is always bad news. I’m certain that people who live in states with a higher population of Amish residents hear more good than bad. But what about the rest of us–those states with small communities or none at all? Could somebody please report some good news? I  definitely think it’s time. Or maybe that’s why we love Amish fiction so much. Thoughts? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.

Countdown to ACFW

To tell you that I’m not excited would be *such* a ‘falsehood’ as my English Lit teacher used to say. I am incredibly excited. In just a little over  two weeks, it’ll be time to head to Dallas to the ACFW Conference. For those not familiar, ACFW stands for American Christian Fiction Writers.

Really I’ve got a lot to be excited about. One, it’s my very first conference. I’ve been saying for years that I was going to attend a conference. It’s strange that I’m finally making good on those self-made vows. Two–I’m going as a published author. (God is good.) Three, I’m finally getting to meet some great people who have joined my life in the last couple of years. Like my agent, my editor, and all the great friends I’ve been connecting with online. And fourth, my first book signing. Squeeeeee!!!

9 fabulous authors and ME!

So if you’re going to be around,  please stop by and see us. I’d really appreciate it.

Oh,  and did I mention that the signing is on my birthday? <BIG GRIN> Yep, there’s a lot to be excited about! <><

Amish vs English

I was poking around the internet as I am prone to do searching out a topic for today’s blog post. I came across a site for the PBS special American Experience: The Amish. I’ve seen the show, found it informative and provoking, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.  (for more check out–http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/amish/)

On the site, I found a blurb about the show mentioning how the Amish are “rooted in the past.” But what really intrigued me was this question: “What does our fascination with the Amish say about deep American values?”

To me it says a lot.

I have a friend who believes that values and behaviors are like a pendulum that swings back and forth with the ages.  Right now we are flying close to one side and it won’t be long before we swing back the other way to a more conservative time. I’d like to think my friend is right and simpler times are coming. The Amish give us hope that we can survive without all the modern conveniences, that we could go back to a simpler time. And that American values are still there, lurking just underneath the surface, waiting for a chance to be re-discovered.

What do you think? Could you go back to a simpler time?