I am so excited to host Kelly Irvin today. I am a HUGE fan, so this is quite a treat for me!
Two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed Amish of Bee County, Bliss Creek Amish, and New Hope Amish series. Her newest release is Beneath the Summer Sun, the second novel in the four-book series Every Amish Season from Zondervan Publishing. Her work has also appeared in four Amish anthologies, An Amish Market, An Amish Summer, An Amish Christmas Love, and An Amish Christmas. She is also the author of two romantic suspense novels with a third scheduled for publication in 2019. Kelly is a retired newspaper reporter and public relations professional who lives with her husband in Texas. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two ornery cats.
Her newest release, Beneath the Summer Sun, promises to be a wonderful read, just like her other titles.
Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry. Can she overcome a painful secret and open her heart to love?
It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.
Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.
Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?
In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.
Doesn’t Beneath the Summer Sun sound so good? I can’t wait to read it! I asked Kelly a few questions and she was gracious enough to answer them, even though I know her schedule must be busy, busy, busy.
What is your favorite scene or line from your newest book? It’s hard to pick one line, but I really like this quote from Leo: “I’m not just building a chair. I’m building a part of someone’s life. A rocking chair lasts for generations, if it’s made right and sturdy. It’s passed down and its stories go with it.” This really says a lot about Leo. He’s a carpenter with a big heart. He puts that heart into every piece of furniture he builds.
You’ve written many books. How do you find fresh ideas? I’m not always sure where the ideas come from. Sometimes I think God writes them on my heart. I see news stories on TV that strike a chord with me or I’m reading The Budget newspaper with all the articles written by Amish scribes across the country. Sometimes it’s a Bible verse that speaks to me about a theme of forgiveness or the sin of worry. Ideas seem to arrive when I need them!
If you could offer advice for a new author or writer, what would you say? Hone your craft. Join organizations for writers, join a critique group, read writing books. Polish your story. The most important piece of advice is to keep writing. You can’t improve your writing if you don’t work at it. Go to conferences and fellowship with other writers for support and encouragement. Pray about your writing journey.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse? If so, what is it? Micah 7:18-19 really speaks to me as a sinner who has been fallen down many times and been forgiven each time. God’s grace is so enormous and so undeserved:
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
What’s next for you writing-wise? I’m thrilled to have a new 2-book contract with Thomas Nelson to write romantic suspense novels. The first book, Tell Her No Lies, debuts in January 2019. I’ll continue to write Amish romances, but it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to write something completely different. I love reading mysteries and suspense so I’m having a ball writing these stories.
Anything else you’d like to add? I want to thank the readers who have supported my reading journey and have been so encouraging over the years. It’s such an honor to write for them.
Thank you so much, Kelly, for sharing your time, advice, and insights with us. I am looking forward to your romantic suspense novels too! I figure anything you write is gold. If you readers haven’t checked Kelly Irvin’s books out yet, I highly recommend them. Beautiful prose, strong characters, and meaningful story lines make them well worth your time. You can learn more about Kelly and all of her books at her website www.kellyirvin.com.
I will see you back next week to begin my next series, Spring Suspense, with author Carole Brown.