Friday, December 15, 2023

Author Interview: Home from the Storm by Laurel Blount

Home from the Storm JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Home from the Storm by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Home from the Storm

Title: Home from the Storm
Johns Mill Amish Romance #4
Laurel Blount
Release Date:
December 26, 2023
Genre: Inspirational Romance Amish

In this stirring Amish romance about love and second chances, a shunned man returns to protect the wife he left behind—and falls in love with the family he never knew he had. 

After a senseless loss, hotheaded Caleb Hochstedler left his Amish faith and his young wife to seek justice. Two years later, he tracks his parents’ killer back home to Johns Mill, where he’s astonished to learn he’s the father of twins. Now he's determined to protect his children and the woman he still loves—if she’ll let him. 

Her new husband’s abandonment broke Rhoda Lambright’s heart and proved her father, the bishop, right. Such a stubborn man could never be happy among the peaceful Amish. When Caleb unexpectedly returns, Rhoda is caught between her rock of a husband and a very hard place. 

Her church forbids divorce and requires forgiveness, so Rhoda lets Caleb back into their home. But can she ever let him back into her heart? One thing’s for certain sure. This second chance will take all the faith they can find.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub


The rosy-cheeked girl he’d married had turned into a woman. Rhoda’s features were sharper, and the innocent softness he remembered was gone.

Guilt rolled in Caleb’s chest. Their marriage hadn’t been kind to her. It hadn’t done him any favors, either. He’d hurt her by leaving. She’d hurt him by staying.

It had been a mistake, just walking in the bakery like this. The shock of being in the same room with Rhoda after all this time had hit him hard. He couldn’t seem to move or speak. He couldn’t do anything but stare at her.

She stared back, her face blank and stunned.

He should say something. The problem was, he had no idea what. He’d been driving all night, pushing past exhaustion with truck stop coffee and determination. All he’d wanted was to get here, see Rhoda face-to-face and reassure himself that she was all right, that Trevor hadn’t gotten to her first. He had no idea how he was going to explain this, no idea how to get her to listen to him.

All he could do right now was look at her. Because even with that new hardness in her face, when she’d gone white as a sheet, her brown eyes huge, Rhoda was still the prettiest woman he’d ever laid eyes on.


Hearing her whispering his name again cut at him.

Ja, it’s me, Rhoda.” It was the first time he’d spoken an entire sentence in Deutsch in a very long time.

Except, of course, in his dreams.

More Books In This Series

Shelter in the Storm   

About the Author

Laurel Blount

Award-winning author Laurel Blount writes inspirational romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart! She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals.

An enthusiastic multi-tasker, Laurel writes for both Berkley/Penguin Random House and Love Inspired/Harlequin. She’s a Publishers Weekly best-selling author and the recipient of ACFW’s Carol Award, The New England Reader’s Choice Award and GRW’s Maggie Award. She’s represented by Jessica Alvarez of Bookends Literary Agency.  

Home from the Storm is Laurel’s twelfth book—and more stories are in the works! Stay tuned!

Connect with Laurel by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Author Interview with Laurel

Q: What was the inspiration behind Home From the Storm?

Laurel: What a great question! I think Home from the Storm was inspired by the ideas of love and forgiveness—and how those things might play out in difficult times.

We often hear that “love conquers all.” But does it really? For example, what happens when two very different people fall in love and get married in spite of their differences? And what if their “opposites attract” love is then further tested by a tragedy?

That’s what happened with Caleb and Rhoda Hochstedler in Home from the Storm. Caleb was the town troublemaker, always skirting the church rules, but he fell head over heels for Rhoda, the Amish bishop’s devout daughter. When Caleb’s parents were killed by an unstable Englischer, the church—and Rhoda—expected him to follow the guidelines of their faith and forgive. But forgiveness was the last thing on Caleb’s mind—he was determined to bring the killer to justice.

There’s no doubt these two young people love each other, but is that love strong enough to bridge the widening gap between them? Home from the Storm explores that question.

Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

Laurel: It’s always so hard to figure that up! My book writing is done in spurts—first I write the rough draft, then it goes through lots of edits and revisions—and often I’m also working on another book at the same time! My best estimate would be that I spent about seven months writing Home from the Storm.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Laurel: It’s hard to pick! But I do love the character of Abram, the new bishop of Johns Mill, and I especially love what he tells hard-headed Caleb at one point in the story:

“Gott has great need of such men as you, Caleb, given the world we live in. Men who stand up for what is right, no matter the personal cost. Men”— Abram winked—“who will guard the fences well. Of course, there is a cost. Such a man will have a hard time submitting his will, even to Gott. But . . .” The bishop leaned forward and tapped his finger on the desk, punctuating each word as he spoke it. “Submission. Is. Necessary.” He leaned back in his chair. “A man’s greatest strength is always also his greatest weakness. What Gott wishes to use for His purposes, the enemy will always try to turn to his own. It is up to you to prevent that by following the Lord as faithfully as you can.”

Q: What do you hope readers take away from Home From the Storm?

Laurel: This is a story about family and about forgiveness—and all the hard, gritty heart-work that requires. I think we all struggle with forgiving people who’ve hurt us, and I hope that seeing how Rhoda—and especially Caleb—work through their pain will spark some thoughts about how we deal with our own wounded relationships.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Laurel: Hmm—that’s a toughie! I love to share about my life, so if readers subscribe to my monthly newsletter (and I hope they do!) there’s probably not much they don’t know about me! But here’s something—my grandmother used to dance with Winnie the Pooh! She was from Cedartown, Georgia, the birthplace of Sterling Holloway. He was the original voice of Pooh, and when he and my grandmother were in their teens, they were both excellent dancers. She said there was never any romance between them, but they often paired up at parties because they danced so well together and they always had, as she put it, a “grand time.” As a little Winnie-the-Pooh loving girl, I loved listening to her stories!

Q: How long ago did you start writing?

Laurel: I’ve always loved to write, and as long as I can remember I’ve written stories. But I started writing professionally in 2015 when I sold my first inspirational romance, A Family for the Farmer, to Love Inspired.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Laurel: There are so many things I enjoy about this career! If I had to pick just one thing, I’d say it’s being a part of the writing community. Being able to spend so much time interacting with readers, other authors and editors—people who love books every bit as much as I do—that’s a dream come true for me and a privilege I don’t take for granted!

Q:  Do you prefer to read eBooks or physical copies?

Laurel: I love both! I love the feel of a “real” book in my hands, but I also love the convenience of eBooks. (My husband loves that I can fit thousands of eBooks on one small device—otherwise he’d spend all this time building me more bookcases!)

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Laurel: Eight very large ones! And they are all stuffed to the gills. I also have stacks of books on nightstands and end tables, a Kindle crammed with books and a very well used library card!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Laurel: So many things! I love to cook, and I find baking bread particularly relaxing. I enjoy long, thoughtful talks with friends and family over cups of tea or coffee. And of course, I also love reading!! I’m never happier than when I have a good book to read, a hot cup of tea, and a friend to talk it over with!

Thanks so much for letting me visit with you today!

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win print copies of Shelter in the Storm, Strength in the Storm and Courage in the Storm plus a $25 Amazon gift card!

Home from the Storm JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 11, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 18, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours


  1. fun interview! Loved Laurel's answers :) Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. Love the interview! Makes me want to read the books!

  3. Truly enjoyed the interview and the excerpt.

  4. Thank you for being part of the blog tour for "Home from the Storm". Enjoyed the interview with Laurel Blount. It's always such a delight to learn more about both book and author.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. Great interview. This looks really good.

  6. This sounds like something I’d enjoy reading!