What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kelly Irvin and Free Books!

Can a close-knit group of Amish friends help a new widow and mother find her way back to hope, joy, and even the possibility of love?

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the e-copy of Finding Love, by Toni Shiloh, is:


Congratulations! We'll email your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Kelly Irvin, author of the Amish contemporary romance, Upon a Spring Breeze (Zondervan, April 2017).

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 latest work is Upon a Spring Breeze, the first novel in the four-book series Every Amish Season. Her work has also appeared in two Amish anthologies, An Amish Market and An Amish Christmas.

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 cats.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I have a phobia of snakes. If I found one in my house, I would have to move.

Oh, yes. I'm with you on that. I've mentioned here before that, in my last house, I once found a very large, shed snake skin in the basement. No snake. WHERE was he? I shudder just remembering it.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Upon a Spring Breeze.

After a devastating year, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.

Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.

Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.

When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy—and the possibility of love?

What is it about Bess that will make your readers care about her?

Readers will relate to Bess’s struggle to rearrange her life to fit her new circumstances. She never saw it coming, and now she has to trust God that her life will still have meaning.

What kind of brainstorming do you do at the beginning of your novels?

With Amish romances, I start with my heroine and what obstacles she faces in life and in her spiritual walk. I do the same with the hero. What keeps them apart and what brings them together? I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer so I don’t outline. I’m always amazed at what happens to my characters as I write the story. The backstory frequently writes itself. I love it when they do something that surprises me.

I have a lot of respect for seat-of-the-pants authors. I'd wander around aimlessly if I tried that.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

People might be surprised to know I don’t read a lot of straight romance. I’m a huge romantic suspense and mystery reader. One of my favorite new-to-me authors is Laurie R. King, who writes the Mary Russell—Sherlock Holmes series in which Sherlock is married. I recently finished The God of the Hive and loved it. I love how she’s remained true to the Sir Conan Doyle character and style while adding this strong, intelligent, and astute female character to the mix. Much more fun to read, I think.

I absolutely loved the Sherlock series on BBC. Watson's wife, Mary, was a sharp cookie in that version. 

What are you working on now?

I just finished a novella for the Amish Heirloom collection that will release in April 2018. I’m about halfway through the third book in the Every Amish Season series. It’s called Through the Autumn Air. The second book, Beneath the Summer Sun, is in line-edits right now. Lots of balls in the air!

Where else can readers find you online?

Twitter (@Kelly_S_Irvin)

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

I’m writing a series in which the heroine in each book will be from an older generation (mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, etc.) How do you feel about featuring older heroines? Does their age matter to you?

Thanks, Kelly, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Kelly has offered to give away a signed copy of her book next week. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Kelly's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, as well as my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Lori said...

I follow you by email.
this sounds like a wonderful book for of romance and lifes lessons.
hmmm...no the age of the character really does not matter. It might be intriguing and new to have an older lady as the main character. All of us, no matter what age, are on a road to find happiness and hope and love. I look forward to seeing what your next book will be.
quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

Cathy said...

What a striking cover! As I enjoy perennial gardening, perhaps it is even more specifically appealing, to draw my interest. I enjoy reading about all age groups, particularly as I am now over 50. Most books target main characters in their 20's to 30's. I can see some story limitations if one has most of the characters as g-grandparents - probably no softball matches, etc., and if the characters are farmers they are probably not as agile or active in the heavy chores typical of that life.
I am also a subscriber. dobeworld at sbcglobal dot net

Gail H. said...

I enjoy reading about main characters that are older. Lots of good wisdom there. And we older ones have struggles too. I'm caregiver for my elderly mom and she's quite opinionated and critical. That could work as part of a storyline. I've read and reviewed Upon a Spring Breeze and I enjoyed it. I know the Amish look after their own but I'm not sure I could continue to live with inlaws after my husband passed. That would be hard.

Natalie Kreitzman said...

Well let's see now. The only way for older Amish to fall in love is typically to have a spouse die. So many memories, both good and bad. I prefer books about young love--young people who have so much hope and so many dreams. It's so much nicer to read about people who haven't necessarily experienced death, heartache, illness and trauma.
Young love is beautiful. It typically follows the process of baptism into the church. I like books that encourage a beautiful spirit and a youthful heart. Please enter me!!!!!!!!! Thank you and have a blessed day.

Linda L. said...

I would love to see more older main characters in romance Amish book. Thanks for asking!

Unknown said...

I don't think age matters when you write about characters.

Unknown said...

Age doesn't matter to me in novels. I like to read about all age groups! I think that's what makes books so interesting. It would be boring for all books to have the same age heroines.

Anonymous said...

I think it is great to feature the older people as heroines and heroes! Shelia Hall sheliarha64(at)yahoo(dot)com

heyjudybat@gmail.com said...

Using older heroines and heroes is perfectly fine with me. Young love is wonderful but there is always room in everyone's heart for a second love. I should know! I love reading your books and pray for your health daily. I'm just happy that God is in control with our lives.

Judith Smith heyjudybat(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love your books. God bless. jrs0350 @ yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I was always partial to reading about younger heroines, but in the last several years I have been mixing it up and it is a nice change to see an older generation of heroines. Different perspectives in life. More experience in the things of God. I can't wait to read this new series from Kelly. Xoxo

Jean D said...

Would love to see the older ppl portrayed as heroes or heroines age doesn't always mean your not capable ty jean dot dixon at hotmail dotcom

Paula Shreckhise said...

I think an older heroine would show how older women can mentor and encourage younger women and new brides. They have the experience and wisdom to do so and don't they deserve a second chance at love , too-- if they are widowed?
I subscribe to this blog. Thanks. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

Unknown said...

Great interview! Really looking forward to reading this book!
Age doesn't really matter to me. I just enjoy a good read that draws me in!
Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of this book!
jtabalk (at) hotmail (dot) com

Vicky said...

I love to see "older" romances! We all know that romance doesn't die just because you're over 21. Go for it!!!

Tonya Robinette said...

I am in my mid fifties, and I absolutely love reading about older heroines and older romance.I get tired of always reading about 20 year olds that know nothing about life. I think mature romances are very beautiful, as they are not based on the superficial, but on the beauty we have inside. grace_soo_amazing(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ellen Wycuff said...

I would love to see Amish Fiction with older romances. I don't think I have read many of any of them. Can't wait to read your New series! Jolen1021@gmail(dot)com

diannekc said...

I enjoy "older" women in romance stories. The age of the main character really doesn't matter to me. It's the story that matters.

Virginia said...

I enjoy older women in books. They tend to know more of what they want.

Unknown said...

I don't think that age matter

Kelly Irvin said...

It looks like the consensus is that readers like stories with older heroines and heroes. So glad. They're interesting to write and their experiences add a rich layer to every aspect of the book. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Unknown said...

Age does not matter to me. As long as it is interesting i will read it.

Sally D said...

I am not particular about ages as long as the story flows well. An older key main character is great! I feel that there are too many 18-22 year-olds as if they are the only ones that are interesting.

Trish Perry said...

I love seeing these varied responses to Kelly's question! I don't think I've ever been turned off to reading any book because of the heroine being older. Story is key!

Be sure, readers, to leave your email address in your comment if you want to be entered in next week's book drawing.

ReadingMama922 said...

I would love to see older heroines in more stories. Thank you so much for the chance! ReadingMama922 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

The age of the heroine does not matter to me. I enjoy out of the ordinary characters. donnaeharmon@yahoo.com

Brenda said...

Age doesn't matter to me as long as it's not for just kids. As long as it's interesting I'm ready to read. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

Trixi said...

I for one would love to read more books with older heroines! :-) What a great idea.

Lovely interview!

teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com
I'm also a subscriber Trish. Thanks for the giveaway!

Carol Carman said...

The age of the heroine doesn't matter one whit to me! I'm "older" (67) and God blessed me with "new" romance and love only 7 years ago, so I have to encourage someone like that! We all have struggles and things we'd prefer not to have to deal with, but it's part of growing and maturing, no matter WHAT age we are. What matters is approaching those struggles with the attitude or mindset that God wants us to have as we look to Him for answers and comfort.

Kelly Irvin said...

Those struggles make for interesting stories, too, Carol!

Jackie Tessnair said...

I love your books Kelly!Age doesn't matter to me in a book,as long as the story is good,I can read it.Thanks for sharing in this post.



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