Tess Hilmo

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Tess Hilmo

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Tess Hilmo Thanks for the question, Lina. A few things came together to give me the idea. I love Southern literature and thought a Southern murder mystery would…moreThanks for the question, Lina. A few things came together to give me the idea. I love Southern literature and thought a Southern murder mystery would be fun to write. I set it in Arkansas because that is where my father's side of the family is from and I was able to connect to that part of myself through researching the area. Then, since I was thinking to set the novel in the South, the memory of a great-great Uncle I have came to mind. Uncle Will was on my mother's side and was an itinerant preacher in the South (though he lived in the 30's not the 50's). He was born Quaker but struck out on his own and was a general faith travelling preacher. Like Reverend Love, he also had five children. Anyway, growing up, my mother spoke of him from time to time and I would often think how hard it must have been as a child of a travelling preacher....moving around from town to town. Uncle Will's wife kept a great journal and I was able to read it as part of my research for the novel.

The name "Reverend Love" is actually a nod to my mother. I have many memories of cleaning the house on Saturday mornings. She would put on a record (are you old enough to remember record players??) and we would all clean together. One song I liked was Neil Diamond's "Hot August Nights". In the song, there is a refrain that is something like, "Love, Love, Brother Love's travelling salvation show. Grab the old ladies. Pack up your babies and everyone goes...everyone knows...Brother Love's show." So, I named my character Reverend Love as a fun play on that memory and as a nod to my great mother and our Saturday morning cleanings :)(less)
Tess Hilmo Karen,

Thank you for this great question! It was a couple of things coming together that inspired Skies Like These. First, my husband and I had a…more
Karen,

Thank you for this great question! It was a couple of things coming together that inspired Skies Like These. First, my husband and I had a combined birthday party (our birthdays are just a few weeks apart). We invited family and friends to join us for a chuckwagon dinner in the beautiful mountains by our home. It was so much fun! While we were there, one of the cowboys told us some fantastic stories about Butch Cassidy and I sat there, surrounded by friends and family, thinking "Wouldn't it be fun to write an upbeat cowboy novel that included some of these stories?"

Then, just a few months later, we took our family on vacation to Zions National Park. By chance, the house we rented for the week had a flat roof with a ladder on the side and two beach loungers up on top (just like Aunt Elise's roof!). We climbed that ladder every single night and watched the stars for hours. It was breathtaking. Western skies are like no other skies and something in me longed to pay tribute to that fact.

Finally, if you ever go to Zions National Park, you might notice a dog ranch on the main road of the town. When I saw it, I was further inspired and the story came together in my head -- right there on the road.

It's interesting to me how our normal, every day life can inspire us in directions we might never imagine. But, I guess that's the point of the novel ... we are truly guided by the by world around us :)

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Average rating: 3.97 · 912 ratings · 321 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
With a Name like Love
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 809 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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Skies Like These
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 103 ratings — published 2014 — 4 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

I can't say thank you enough to everyone who took the time to come to my launch party for my latest novel, Skies Like These. It was so fun to meet new readers and connect with old friends. If you are far away or were unable to attend, here is a summary of the fun:


candy station! with Butterfingers in honor of Roy, the main boy character in the novel - you got to choose candy sticks and a super... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on August 28, 2014 16:36 • 35 views

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With A Name Like Love (Children's Books)
1 chapters   —   updated Jul 03, 2011 10:42PM
Description: With A Name Like Love is a page turning, middle grade murder mystery full of heart and soul

Tess's Recent Updates

Tess Hilmo is now friends with Corabel Shofner
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" can you think of a better way to celebrate a birthday?? and I can't believe you remembered the specific date...amazing. "
Tess Hilmo voted for 1 books on the list Books Set in Wyoming
Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo
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Tess Hilmo wants to read
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Blue Birds
by Caroline Starr Rose (Goodreads Author)
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Tess Hilmo wants to read
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
Red Butterfly
by A.L. Sonnichsen (Goodreads Author)
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Tess Hilmo rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd (Goodreads Author)
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This novel was beautifully written. I loved it. I was surprised to read the epilogue and learn so much of it was based on actual people - it took on even greater meaning. Highly recommended.
Tess Hilmo rated a book 5 of 5 stars
The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
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This has been in my TBR pile for too long - and I don't know why it took me so long to get to it but I adored it. A really wonderful middle grade read.
Tess Hilmo rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Lion in the Lei Shop, The by Kaye Starbird
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The story is interesting enough but the writing is what I enjoyed most. Beautiful descriptions and characterization.
More of Tess's books…
“But some people are broken. They don't know anything other than hatred... It's like their heart gets going in the wrong direction early on in life, and they can never quite manage to bring it back around to love. It's a sad thing and we should have compassion for them. Think of the joy they are missing in life.”
Tess Hilmo, With a Name like Love

“Be careful when you listen to people called they, Olivene, her daddy said. They often tell lies.”
Tess Hilmo, With a Name like Love

“Ollie though how her daddy once said sometimes people do things out of ignorance more than meanness. That's what Ollie took this woman to be - ignorant of God's love more than mean-spirited towards others.”
Tess Hilmo, With a Name like Love

Polls

What book should we read in September?

You may write in titles, provided the book is a 2015 Newbery contender and already published.

 
  22 votes 27.8%

 
  22 votes 27.8%

 
  12 votes 15.2%

 
  8 votes 10.1%

Brown girl dreaming (write-in)
 
  8 votes 10.1%

 
  4 votes 5.1%

 
  1 vote 1.3%

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord (write-in)
 
  1 vote 1.3%

The Night Gardener (write-in)
 
  1 vote 1.3%

79 total votes
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“Argue for your limitations and they're yours.

Richard Bach”
Tess Hilmo

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Pamela Hey Tess...Thanks for accepting my friend request.


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