Release Day!

I’m so excited to announce that Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper is now available! I’m doubly excited because this is my first Amish mystery that is not part of a publisher’s series!  And I’m thrilled to be introducing you (well, some of you) to Kishacoquillas Valley , PA. If you’ve never heard of Kish Valley, you can check out some pictures I took on my visit there. (See Amy’s PHOTOS) It may be the most beautiful Amish community I have ever visited. It’s like a postcard.

And if you have heard about the Valley, you can find out more about Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper below.

Content to be unmarried and plain-spoken, Kathryn “Kappy” King is an odd-woman-out in the Amish community of Blue Sky, Pennsylvania. But she’s skilled at making the special kapps local women need to cover their hair. And she might be the only one who can unearth the danger hiding in this peaceful valley . . .

When Kappy’s neighbor, Ruth Peachey, turns up dead in her yard, everyone in Blue Sky believes it’s a tragic accident. Until the Englisch police find the gentle dog breeder was deliberately struck down—and arrest her mentally-challenged son, Jimmy, for the crime . . .

Jimmy’s sister, Edie, returns to Blue Sky clear his name, yet no one will speak to a shunned former Amish woman, much less give her information. Determined to help, Kappy starts digging for the truth among her seemingly-innocent neighbors. But suddenly a series of suspicious “accidents” threatens Edie and the Peachey farm—property Edie is determined to protect for her brother’s future.

Now, as danger looms large in the small community, Kappy must bait a trap for a killer snapping hard at her heels. And Edie must decide whether to make a home once more in the town she thought she’d left behind . . .

   

               

And as always, thanks for reading!

Be sure to come back and visit. Coming soon, I’ll be giving away autographed copies of Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper. But more on that later…

Until then, spread JOY!

Sweet Romance and Pink Apples

I’m so excited to announce that Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop is back! It’s up for sale in the kindle store and will be available in all e-markets as well as print very shortly! (Hopefully by the end of the week, if not before.) Yes, it’s back and it has a brand-new look. And a brand new ‘apple rating.’

But first the cover. Drum roll please…

I love this new look! I wanted something sweet and kind of soft to represent this new endeavor. I think this one has all that and more!

Okay, Pink Apples…

What do pink apples stand for? My ‘new’ heat level I’m calling sweet-ish romance.

When members of the industry—authors, editors, and agents—talk about a sweet romance, they’re referring to love scenes. Or lack of them. Sweet romances by definition have no ‘on the page’ sex. There might be implied relations, but these happen behind ‘closed doors.’ (Take ‘sweet as apple pie’ out of the equation. That’s referencing my style and tone.)

When I first started writing romance, I wrote love scenes into the books. Those were the kind I read so they were the kind I wrote as well. I’ll not tell you that writing a love scene is comfortable. But this was all I knew and if I wanted to write romance, I would have to get over my hesitation and write the scenes. For me that meant making the scenes necessary. Necessary in they had to be emotional, move the plot forward, and enhance the overall story.

Then I started writing Amish and inspirational stories and the two different kinds of books didn’t quite go together. What to do? My new style didn’t contain love scenes and I had firmly entrenched them into my previous books. In trying to find a solution, ‘sweetish’ romance was born. (Remember how God told me to be brave? I struggled with what He meant by that. Did He mean be brave and continue what you are doing? Or be brave and take a chance? I think He meant take a chance.)

Sweet-ish romance is a delicate balance. There are parts that could be classified as love scenes, but they are emotionally strong and physically vague. They are not a play by play of what happens between a man and a woman in private, rather a small nudge to let the reader know what’s happening without going into every detail.

Also language. Yes, there are a few curse words in my sweet-ish romances, but I was careful not to take them too far. (No f-bombs here.) Nor did I want my characters to take the Lord’s name in vain. I took out these references and replaced them with something less offensive.

I can’t say that ‘sweet-ish’ is the right heat level for every reader. There are some who will prefer the strong love scenes and some who will wish they had been removed altogether. But for the middle-of-the-roader, I believe you will find something here you’ll like.

There will still be other heat levels in my line-up. Amish and inspirational will continue to be Green Apples. Sweet romances will go on being represented by Yellow Apples. Red Apples will indicate books that do contain bedroom scenes, though I will express again, these are nowhere as sexy as today’s typical romance. (My husband calls them 2 ½ shades of gray.)

I’m also working on better explanations for the apple rating system to help readers navigate what’s right for them. Be looking for it in the weeks to come.

I hope you enjoy this ‘new’ heat level. And I hope that readers of clean romance will give it a try. If you are one of these readers, I would love to know what you think. You can contact me through the CONTACT ME page here on my website.

Thanks for reading!

 

More about Bravery…

Every year around Easter my husband, the Major, watches all of those splendid Cold War Biblical movies that had casts of thousands and would be impossible to make today. I tease him about watching them, but I secretly like them too.  Except for that one part in the Ten Commandments where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac.  First of all I hate this story in the Bible. Go ahead. Tell me it’s wrong to hate, but it’s disturbing to me as I am sure it is to most of you. Why would God give Abraham a son and then ask him to sacrifice him? I know, I know, I’ve heard all the arguments about devotion and obedience, but it seems unnecessarily cruel. But that’s just me. I’m human. I don’t always understand God. Not in the case with Abraham and certainly not when it comes to writing.

These days I feel a little like Abraham, asked by God to sacrifice his son. Just a smidge. Yes, I exaggerate. I’m a writer; it’s what I do. See, writing a book is emotionally a lot like giving birth. It takes months of worry, prayer, hopes, dreams, and preparations before this tiny miracle comes into the world. Then you have to give it over to the world–editors, readers, critics, and reviewers. Let me tell you it’s no easy feat. Even for the über-confident, there are always doubts.

Then you have me with God whispering in my ear to be brave. I thought I knew what it meant. Now I’m wondering if I was wrong.

Did He want me to change all my books to inspirational? Then why did the thought fill me with dread? Every time I caught sight of my writing schedule, I broke out in a cold sweat. Why?

I made it all the way through Ten Reasons Not to Date a Cop before the solid doubts set in. Was this what I was supposed to do? Or was it hard and that alone was filling me with concerns?

Every writer is warned throughout their writing life that the darlings will have to be killed. Those wonderful beautiful words that were strung together so eloquently will have to go. Be ready for it. Was that what this was about? Hanging on to my words?

Stephen King takes it one step further.

Yes, there is a danger in falling in love with one’s own words. But this was about more than that. I had spent a lot of time working on my rating system and getting it together for readers. Was it going to be confusing for readers to have a couple of my books still secular? And that’s not even completely correct. Some I could only take to the ‘sweet’ level–no bedroom scenes. But would that be enough? It wouldn’t be for the readers who wanted a ‘clean read.’ And it seemed a little…unfinished to me. See, I have a thing about ‘wholes,’ things being complete.

What was I supposed to do?

Ugh! I didn’t know! So I prayed about it, talked to Stacey, prayed some more. I walked, ate too many Rice Krispie treats, and prayed more. I even made my announcement of the changes to come. Then it occurred to me: was my uncertainty a sign? Had I misunderstood? Or was I just hoping that I did? Was this my sacrifice? Did God want me to accept his instructions, but not carry them through?

I’m still not 100% certain. I guess that makes me one of millions. There’s not much many are 100% about. So I’m in good company. But all plans of rewrites have been put on hold. I feel the need to go forward, not back. But more Christian/inspirational books? That’s definitely still on. I’m still not 100% certain what these books will be about. There are a lot of factors to be considered, contracts, time, and the ever-changing market.

Amish, historical, contemporary–I have stories in all three that I could write, but for now, I’m working on my contracted Amish books and Chase’s story. I’m still hoping to get that out before the end of the year. What will its rating be? I don’t know yet. It seems a little counter-productive to make it a green apple book when the others in the series are, and will remain, red apples. See? There’s that “whole” thing coming up again. And I’m not sure how–well, I can’t give everything away. Rest assured, I’ll let everyone know the rating when the time comes.

What about you? Have you ever had this happen, where you have been uncertain of what God wants from you? What did you do? I’d love to hear from you! Remember please to keep it positive and spread JOY.

Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday September 1, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 31, 2017.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.

I have 2 winners I need to announce today–one from last week and the second from the week before. But…my right hand (you don’t have to tell Stacey I called her that) has been working a lot this week and I have to get with her. Never fear, those winners will be chosen. And even announced. Sometime. Soon. Until then, thanks for reading! :)

The Good Christian

What makes a ‘good’ Christian? I’m asking, not telling. We hear that all the time, “So-and-So is a good Christian.”

I was raised to believe that being a Christian meant to be Christlike. Or at the very least to put every effort into striving to be Christlike. Yes, we are human and yes, we all fall short.

I even asked the question in my last blog. Because I have written things that are not considered ‘clean reads’ does that make me less faithful, less Christian?

It’s not an easy question to answer. And it’s possible that it doesn’t have an answer.

Give this a thought. By saying that someone is a ‘good Christian’ we are passing judgement. Hmmm…but we shouldn’t judge. Does this only apply when we judge to the negative? I don’t know. Though by passing even a positive judgement, we are creating a scale by which our friends, family, co-workers, even strangers are gauged. If So-and-So 1 is a good Christian, then it’s possible that So-and-So 2 is not as good, or maybe better. See what I mean? Even if it’s a positive statement, it can still pit two against one another.

But this post didn’t start out to be about judging. It’s about the differences in people and beliefs. And how we shouldn’t gauge others by our own beliefs. Wait…I guess that is judging. But how can we stop this behavior? How can we say I agree to disagree? Or maybe it’s why can’t we? Why does religion/beliefs/God have to be “my way or the highway?” Shouldn’t we let God be the judge of all things? The Good Book tells us to. And besides He knows more of what’s in each and every one of our hearts. To me that is the most important thing to remember.

Nothing brings out our judgement more than politics and traffic. Politics, I’ll steer clear of, but traffic? Why can’t we follow the golden rule? Someone may be driving slow because their car started giving them troubles and they are just trying to make it to the nearest gas station. Or maybe another is driving too fast because their spouse is sick/at the hospital/been in an accident and they are trying to get to them. When these things happen to us, we expect people to understand and yet we are often times not understanding in return. What a shame!

The internet can be the worst! It’s one of the greatest accomplishments in our lifetime and yet it may well be the breakdown of the family and social structure. People go online and splash mean and hateful comments to anyone who doesn’t hold their same view/dogma/upbringing then get angry when others don’t bow to their wisdom. Why can’t we read, dismiss if we don’t agree, and go on to the next post? Why must we stop and take the time to tear someone down before we proceed to un-friend them then talk about them in a PM on messenger?

Is it so hard to say, Live and let live? Why should it concern us if it doesn’t directly affect us or doesn’t hurt anyone else/the environment/a defenseless creature?

There are things on social media that bother me. My husband’s in law enforcement. I get offended a great deal by some of the mean comments put up. I grew up in Mississippi. Yes, I have an opinion on the Confederate flag. No, I’m not going to share it. It’s not worth the trouble and the heartache either stance would give me–not to my hometown friends or the ‘friends’ who are actually business acquaintances and grew up differently than I did. I have an opinion on global warming, North Korea, yellow meat watermelons, and the best breading for fried green tomatoes. Most of these I keep to myself, or I decide if it’s worth someone getting upset if I say something that might go against their own beliefs. Because I don’t want to stand behind my own thoughts? Not hardly. I simply don’t have the time to be on the computer all day, fending off rabid opposite-believers and defending my every word/thought/belief. I would rather write books that make people happy and bring joy into the world.

I can’t say that I follow this all the time. I wish I could, but like most I have good days and bad. I have times where I’m impatient, anxious, angry. But those are the times when we should take a deep breath and work harder toward that understanding peace. After all, we are only hurting ourselves.

And, yes, I would like to think of myself as a “good Christian,” but not if it means someone is less of one.

Thoughts? Comments? What do you think? Remember to please keep it positive; negative and/or aggressive comments will be deleted. This is meant to be a safe and open place. Spread JOY!

And please leave a comment. Share your thoughts and be kind. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amish Brides. *

The winner will be announced Friday August 18, 2017, on the next blog. Comments will be taken until midnight EDT Thursday August 17, 2017.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

*If you already have a copy of Amish Brides, be sure to still leave a comment. If you are fortunate enough to have your name drawn, I have plenty of other titles to share.

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Aren’t changes usually associated with the Spring? Spring has definitely sprung here in OK and changes are all around. My blog is no different. This week I should be talking about the Reading Challenge, but I had to adjust the schedule due to the news I’m about to share.

You may  or may not have noticed that some of my books are currently  unavailable. Here’s a list of affected titles:

The Wildflower Bride

Southern Hospitality 

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop

Blame It On Texas

With a few more changes waiting in the wings. But for now, here’s what’s happening.

The Wildflower Bride has gone out of print. Bottom line is a cover change. Thanks to our wonderful friend the Internet, books go out of print from the publisher and yet are still available from third party sellers and even distributors who have stock in the warehouse. You’ll still see the 12 in 1 volume, The 12 Brides of Summer, for sale, but you’re also going to have the opportunity to buy the e-novella in a special 1-in-1 version that hasn’t previously been released. I don’t have plans to put this book out in print, but I do have a few 4-in-1 copies that were compiled for Walmart, and I’ll be giving a few of those away in the upcoming weeks. Here’s what to look for:

The Wildflower Bride is a Green Apple rated book.

Blame It On Texas: Due to a change with the publisher, I now have the rights back to this contemporary, western novella. It too has undergone a small cover change, but the most exciting thing…? I am making this book available in print for the first time! Keep in mind that this is a novella so it’s short, and I’m doing everything in my power to keep the price as low as possible for my print readers.

Here’s what to look for:

Blame It On Texas is a Red Apple rated book.

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is in the same boat with Blame It On Texas. I am currently working to get it back onto the cyber shelves, but these things take time. And I never have enough of that! <g> It’ll most likely go up in e-book first and then in print. The good news is since I am offering this book myself, I’m hoping to be able to get the paper in at a much better price than before.

Here’s what to look for:

Ten Reasons Not To Date A Cop is a Red Apple rated book.

And that brings me to Southern Hospitality (and Southern Comfort) … the two books in the Hot Southern Nights Series will most likely be off the shelves for a bit longer than the others on this list. Southern Comfort is currently available, but will be disappearing in the next few weeks. It’s going to take a bit before I can get these back out, but never fear, they will be back and with their companion book, Southern Charm. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

I don’t have covers or anything to show you, but when I do, I’ll be sure everyone knows what’s coming. In the mean time, just be patient and I promise to make it worth your while. And so everyone knows, The Hot Southern Nights Series is a Red Apple rated series.

With the republishing of the Hot Southern Nights series, my pen name will be a thing of the past. I hope this isn’t confusing for anyone. If you ever have a question about a book, when something will be available, or even its rating and what that means, don’t hesitate to send me over an email. Since I write different genres and different ‘heat levels,’ I feel it’s extremely important to make sure you know the rating of the book you have in your hands. Since I work with different publishers the quickest way to check a book’s rating is right on my website.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for a reading challenge update. I’m doing my best to get caught up after reading my RITA books. I’ve knocked one more challenge book off my list, and I’m working on another two.

How’s your reading going this year? Are you living up to the challenge? Do you have a question for me about one of my re-releases? Leave me a comment below. Everyone who comments will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Small Town Summer Brides which includes my novella, The Wildflower Bride, as well as three more novellas by other great authors!

And as always, thanks for reading!

 

 

And don’t forget…Marrying Jonah releases tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release Day ~ Healing a Heart

healing-heart-3d-cover-2It’s here! Finally! It’s release day for Healing a Heart! In honor of the occasion, I’ve added a new excerpt. Hope you’ll stay and read a little more about Healing a Heart. It’s a sweet story about forgiveness, second chances, and leaving yourself open enough to find love again.

As cowboys, the Langston brothers of Cattle Creek, Texas, know it’s easy to mend a fence. Mending a broken heart, however, takes time…
 
Rancher Jake Langston prides himself on being the sensible type. But five years after the loss of his wife left him to raise their daughter alone, he indulges in a one-night stand with a sexy stranger. He thought he’d never see the woman again. Four months later, though, she’s standing in his drive with a big surprise.

Bryn Talbot wants nothing from the hunky cowboy who got her pregnant, but her Southern nature demands she at least tell him about it. When Jake’s family persuades her to stay for a while, she’s soon won over by their charms—and by Jake. But with the losses the two of them have suffered in the past, neither is sure if they’re ready to take the leap to forever…

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AMY LILLARD PINTEREST Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks  Amy Lillard readers group Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks  

 

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Leave a comment and be entered into this week’s drawing for an audio copy of Loving a Lawman.

When you read a series, do you always read in order, or do you read them as you find them?

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Release Day: TITUS RETURNS

Finally! December 27th is here! And I’m so excited to announce that Titus Returns is now available! All online retail outlets should have it available, and it will be popping up in Walmart, the grocery stores, and maybe even Target this week.

Titus Returns is a touching story about one man’s attempt to start over.

After being released from prison, Titus Lambert returns to Wells Landing, unsure how to begin again. He just wants to move past all the pain he’s caused. Mandy, his once-upon-a-time girlfriend, has married another but wonders now if she made a mistake. And then there’s Abbie King. Her twin brother Alvin died in the car wreck that sent Titus to prison. Abbie’s family has suffered since the accident, and Titus longs to help. But he soon discovers that he’ll have to learn to forgive himself if he truly wants to begin again.

Titus Returns is the fifth book in the Wells Landing Series and features characters from past novels as well as a few from the Quilting Circle novellas.

I’m thrilled that I can share Titus Returns with you today! It’s a pleasure and a blessing.

Happy reading!

Amy

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Release Day: MORE THAN A PROMISE

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WELLS LANDING QUILTING CIRCLE NOVELLA 2 Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks

promise pic 1At the heart of the Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, a women’s quilting circle rallies around a member who is suddenly alone, under unusual circumstances…
 
One of the only women in the quilting circle without children, Mariana Miller prayed to be blessed with a little one throughout fifteen years of marriage. But now, newly widowed, Mariana discovers she’s pregnant—with twins! How will she support herself and the babies, not to mention stay healthy when the doctor puts her on bed rest? As neighbors band together to help, Mariana is more grateful than ever for the Amish community. She especially looks forward to visits from Reuben Weisel, her late husband’s business partner and best friend. Reuben’s quiet strength comforts her—until he proposes marriage…
Honorable and loyal, there’s no doubt Reuben sincerely wants to provide for Mariana and the twins. Never married, he can now be a good husband and father. So long as the bishop approves, to wed him is a sensible choice—and an unexpected gift. But when Mariana discovers there is more behind Reuben’s proposal than she thought, their fragile agreement and fledgling love will be put to the test…

AMY LILLARD PINTEREST Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks AMY LILLARD READERS GROUP Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooksAMY LILLARD GREEN APPLE RATING Amy Lillard romance author http://www.amylillardbooks.com #AmyLillardBooks

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Why Apple Pie?

If you’ve cruised around my website or even hung out with me on Facebook, you’ve probably heard me talk about apple pie. More specifically, that my books are ‘sweet as apple pie.’  And some of you out there are scratching your head and asking yourself, “What do romance novels and apple pie have in common?” Maybe more than you think.

What does Apple Pie mean?

sweet as apple pie meme 2016Apple pie is my explanation of how all my books tie together. So in a sense, apple pie is my voice. All my books whether they are cozy mysteries, Amish romances, or even wacky romantic comedies have the same tone.

What is Apple Pie?

When I say Apple Pie what’s the first thing that comes to mind? American, oh yeah. Warm absolutely. And sweet. You got it.

Once upon a time when talking about romance sweet meant without love scenes. But now, “clean” is taking sweet’s place as the description for a book that doesn’t contain sex. And although only about half of my books are ‘clean,’ they are all ‘sweet.’

What is sweet?

Ever been watching a movie and it’s hard to see because it all happens at night, in the rain and there’s a serial killer on the loose who’s chasing the babysitter at a lonely house on a cliff-side overlooking the ocean? Yeah, well, that’s not my books. That’s not Apple Pie.

I say sweet. Others use warm, heart-warming, cozy, but they all mean the same thing: the warm-fuzzies. My books make you say, “awhhh…” And that’s just the way I like it.

How do you know what’s right for you?

apple blog meme 2Welcome to the Apple Pie Rating System! When it comes to my books, you have three choices: Green Apples, Yellow Apples, and Red Apples.

Of all of these, Green Apples are the most straight forward. Green Apples are clean reads with a Christian world view. In a nutshell, they are inspirational.

Yellow Apples are a little trickier. These books contain no described love scenes. This means either the characters don’t have this type of relationship or it’s off camera, so to speak. These books can also contain a bit of innuendo and maybe a little pillow talk. So if this sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, maybe the Yellow Apples aren’t for you.

Red Apples. Ah, the Red Apples. Yes, it’s true. The Red Apple books contain detailed (or described) love scenes. But to leave it at that is a disservice to my stories and to you, the reader. I jokingly tell people that my books aren’t 50 Shades, but there is still a great deal of sensuality levels between my books and E.L. James.

In a world that keeps getting sexier and less shamed to ‘show it all,’ I pride myself in writing books (yes, even Red Apple Books) that aren’t so much about the physical relationship but the emotional one instead.

If you’re completely against love scenes in books, Red Apple Books aren’t for you. But I hope that the rest of you might give one of my sexier reads a try and see what they are all about.

Where should you start? Love Potion Me, Baby is my suggestion. It’s a shorter book, it contains one love scene, and it’s all wrapped up in a charming romantic comedy. Oh, and did I mention that it’s only $2.99? Hope you’ll give it a try!

Happy Reading!

Amy

CLICK BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LOVE POTION ME, BABY

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And don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog post for the drawing. I’m giving away a copy of one of my books at the end of the month. All you have to do it leave a comment.

Not sure what to say? Tell me your favorite color apple. And whether it is for eating or reading! :)