Tess Hilmo

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Tess Hilmo

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October 2009


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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: 3.96 · 1,170 ratings · 385 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
With a Name like Love

4.01 avg rating — 948 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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Skies Like These

3.67 avg rating — 152 ratings — published 2014 — 4 editions
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Cinnamon Moon

4.04 avg rating — 70 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

To celebrate my new novel, Cinnamon Moon, which releases today (woot! chick-a-woot!) we are launching an Adopt a Chicken! classroom campaign

Any teacher who chooses the novel as a class selection or even as a teacher read aloud can email me and I'll send them a free...yep, totally free, author care package that includes:
1.a personalized letter to their students2. signed bookmarks for all studen... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 18, 2016 10:09 • 36 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 Laura Thomas
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Tess Hilmo rated a book it was amazing
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
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I'm a sucker for good historical fiction -- and this one is GREAT historical fiction. Loved every word.
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Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron
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This is one of those books you sit down and giggle through, think about, enjoy...and then flip the last page, sigh and say "Now that was just plain fun!"
Tess Hilmo rated a book it was amazing
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
Red Butterfly
by A.L. Sonnichsen (Goodreads Author)
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I was really looking forward to this novel and it did not disappoint. Lovely. Really, truly lovely.
Tess Hilmo finished reading
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Small Medium at Large
by Joanne Levy (Goodreads Author)
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One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
One for the Murphys
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Goodreads Author)
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Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
Ice Dogs
by Terry Lynn Johnson (Goodreads Author)
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Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Blue Birds
by Caroline Starr Rose (Goodreads Author)
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Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Blue Birds
by Caroline Starr Rose (Goodreads Author)
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beautifully written, this is a book you will want to share with those you love.
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Possession by Elana Johnson
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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

“Sometimes we have to meet people where they are, Ollie. Honor their desires, regardless of out own.”
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

Polls

What book should we read in August?

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

 
  21 votes 33.9%

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove (write-in)
 
  12 votes 19.4%

 
  11 votes 17.7%

 
  8 votes 12.9%

The Riverman (write-in)
 
  3 votes 4.8%

What the Moon Said
 
  3 votes 4.8%

What the moon said (write-in)
 
  2 votes 3.2%

what the moon said (write-in)
 
  1 vote 1.6%

Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner (write-in)
 
  1 vote 1.6%

62 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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