Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Laurel Blount & Strength in the Storm

Posted March 24, 2022 by meezcarrie in Amish, Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Laurel Blount, romance / 15 Comments

Strength in the Storm JustListen Blog Tour

Welcome to the Audiobook Blog Tour for Strength in the Storm by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Laurel on the blog today to share one of the fun things about writing Amish fiction!

Strength in the Storm audiobook

Narrator: Stina Nielsen

SERIES: Johns Mill Amish Romance #2
GENRE: Amish Romance / Christian
PUBLISHER: Books On Tape (audiobook)
RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2022 (audiobook)

In this touching Amish romance, a brokenhearted woman and a steadfast man discover that the safest place to weather tragedy is in each other’s arms.

After the murder of both her parents, Emma Hochstedler returns to the small community of Johns Mill, hoping to resume her quiet existence. Reclaiming her place proves harder than expected—especially now that a movie is being made about her family’s loss. But then, an old friend offers her a lifeline that gives her new purpose.

Amish builder Samuel Christner is the biggest—and the strongest—man in town. In fact, the gentle giant has only one weakness—Emma. Even though she broke his heart, he won’t let his childhood sweetheart face her troubles alone. He hires Emma as a nurse for his elderly aunt…and finds himself falling for her all over again.

But while romance blooms, storm clouds gather. And when darkness falls, it will take all Sam’s strength—and all their love—to see them through.


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by Laurel Blount, author of Strength in the Storm

I’m so happy to be here visiting JustRead talking about two of my favorite things—books and food! Is that the perfect pairing or what? (Okay—add in a little coffee or tea. Those are important, too—especially first thing in the morning!)

You know, that’s one of the fun things about writing Amish characters—lots of opportunities to show some good, old-fashioned cooking—and eating—going on. There’s something so comforting about old-timey dishes, isn’t there? I think it’s the simplicity (nobody used to worry about carbs or butter) and the sheer yumminess of them (probably also connected to that pesky carb/butter combo!).

You can’t rush most older recipes, either. They take their own sweet time—and I find that they force me to slow down, too. And you know what? I kind of like that—it gives me a chance to catch my breath in a busy world.

In my new Johns Mill Amish story, Strength in the Storm, Emma Hochstedler takes time to bake sourdough rolls for a family that needed some loving encouragement. I don’t know about you—but some fresh, homemade bread would sure have encouraged me! Just the wonderful smell of it baking is enough to lift my heart. Sourdough is one of my family’s all-time favorites, so, I thought—just in case you could use a little boost yourself—I’d share my tried-and-true recipe with you.

I love the fact that this recipe is done in small steps—and that the time frames are flexible. It allows me to fit it into my schedule more easily. I appreciate the silky feel of this dough. Kneading it provides wonderful stress relief—plus a perfect opportunity to listen to an audio book like Strength in the Storm while your hands are busy! And since it makes three nice loaves—or a huge batch of rolls, there’ll be plenty for you to share. What a beautiful opportunity to splash a little kindness around!

(Emma borrowed a cup of starter from her sister-in-law Naomi, but just in case you don’t have an Amish sister-in-law, I’ll tell you how to make your own batch of starter! And, by the way, if you love recipes and all sorts of book goodies, be sure to sign up for my newsletter! We’re always baking and reading there! )

Happy baking, sweet friend!

Emma’s Sourdough Bread:

Begin by creating your starter:


½ cup instant potatoes
2 cups warm water
½ cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 pkg yeast

Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water. Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Keep at room temp 24 hours. Put starter in fridge for 3-5 days, then feed:

Feed starter with the following:

½ cup sugar
1 cup warm water
3 TBSP instant potatoes. Mix well and add to starter.

Let stand out of fridge all day, 8-12 hours, so it can bubble. Take out one cup to use in making bread and return remaining starter to fridge.

Feed every 3-5 days.

Note: if you forget to feed your starter regularly, it may not bubble when you finally feed it. No worries. Sprinkle about 1/8 tsp of yeast into the starter, and it should jump start it again!

To make bread:

In a large bowl, make a stiff batter of:

¼ cup sugar
½ cup corn oil
1 TBSP salt
1 cup starter
1 ½ cups warm water
6 cups bread flour

Grease another large bowl. Put dough in and turn over to coat with the oil. Cover lightly with foil and let stand overnight.

Next morning, punch down dough and knead a little. Divide into three parts, put in a greased loaf pan. Let rise another 4-5 hours or more. (All day is fine). Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from loaf pan and cool on rack.

We also frequently make rolls—just divide the dough into balls and put on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise, then bake. These usually take about 25 minutes in the oven—but that may vary depending on the size of your rolls. This bread freezes well, too!

Laurel Blount

Award-winning author Laurel Blount writes captivating 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. Connect with her at

CONNECT WITH LAUREL: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Strength in the Storm JustListen Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 21, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on March 28, 2022. 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 the policies found here.


This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to listen to the audiobook of Strength in the Storm by Laurel Blount?

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15 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Laurel Blount & Strength in the Storm

  1. Bea LaRocca

    Thank you for sharing your guest post and sourdough bread recipe, I can’t wait to give it a try. I love your book cover and synopsis, this is a must read book and series for me

  2. Kay Garrett

    Love this author! Enjoyed the interview and can’t wait to try to recipe.

    This book is awesome as is the whole series.

  3. Roxanne C.

    Thank you for the recipe, Laurel! I was thinking that I should find a recipe for sour dough, and now I have one. Shelter in the Storm is on my TBR.

  4. Eva Millien

    Great guest post and the recipe sounds delicious, Laurel, your book sounds like an excellent read for me and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular weekend!

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