Thanks so much for visiting Destination Amish, Kelly! Tell us about your new book The Warmth of Sunshine.
The Warmth of Sunshine is the second book in my series Amish Blessings set in Yoder and Haven, Kansas. The series visits three women who are touched in some way by adoption. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Growing up Amish, Abigail Bontrager often felt like a square peg in a round hole. Her pie crusts always turned out tough. Her stitches always ran crooked. She was clumsy. Not ideal for an aspiring Amish wife and mother, but her faith and love of her family, which are so much more important, are solid. Plus, her relationship with the attractive and kindhearted Owen Kurtz is moving in the right direction.
Owen is part dreamer, part entrepreneur. His friendship with Abigail has gradually blossomed into a sweet and loving courtship. Inspired by the hope of a future with the girl of his dreams, he decides to take the next step in building a business of his own—in the promising new industry of growing sunflowers.
When an outsider claiming to be Abigail’s birth mother abruptly enters her life, Abigail’s world comes crashing down. Confused and upset, she determined to discover who she really is. Her journey of discovery leads to the possibilities of a new life waiting for her in the Englisch world. But is this new life really worth giving up everything and everyone she’s known? How can Abigail and Owen follow their hearts—and God’s plan—when these new paths now lead them into the unknown?
In this second book in the Amish Blessings series, bestselling and award-winning romance novelist Kelly Irvin shares an inspiring story of following your heart while trusting God to lead you into your future.
What is the message you want readers to take away from reading The Warmth of Sunshine?
Finding out who we truly are is a journey. It doesn’t happen all at once. Biology plays a role. Environment is critical. Family is so important. But ultimately, it’s up to each one of us to take control of our lives and be who God expects us to be. Praying and listening for God’s plan will guide us on the path that leads us to the life He wants for us. Family is so much more than bloodlines. God knows that and He gives us the family He knows we need to become who He wants us to be.
What is your favorite thing about writing Amish fiction?
Writing Amish fiction forces me to stretch in my own faith walk. How would I react in certain situations? What do I believe? How am I displaying my faith to the world? Each of my series has been set in a different Amish community. The Amish don’t have a central church. Each district makes its own set of rules. I do a ton of research as I try to accurately reflect their beliefs and the way they live their lives in each community. It’s a big challenge, but it also requires me to examine my own faith and the way I live my life.
What’s next on your writing to-do list?
I’m writing the first book in a new series set in Virginia. It’s entitled The Heart’s Bidding. The series features three brothers who are auctioneers in a family business. The heroines each deal with disabilities in some form. The stories touch on how the Amish lovingly impress children with disabilities, as well as how Amish adults with disabilities adapt in their communities. As someone with limited mobility acquired later in life, I find this topic one that is close to my heart.
These next questions are for fun!
Favorite Amish community to visit?
That’s a hard one. I’ve visited each of the communities featured in my series, but I still want to visit some of the more well-known locations. I’ve yet to go to Lancaster County or Ohio or Pinecraft. Of those I’ve written about I’d say I really enjoyed Jamesport, Missouri. We visited during the July Fourth weekend so we could attend their massive July 4th school fund-raiser auction. Amish folks from across the state attend. It’s a wonderful opportunity to observe and learn.
Fry Pie or Whoopie Pie?
Whoopie pie—I love frosting!
Buggy or scooter?
Buggy. Driving through the countryside at a leisurely pace with the sound of horse’s hooves clip clopping would be lovely. You have time to see the sights.
Barn raising or quilting bee?
Quilting bee. I’d like to sit and listen to the women talk while they sew. Plus, I’d like to learn how to quilt. The end product is so beautiful!
How can readers connect with you?
Kelly Irvin is the author of more than 30 Amish romance and romantic suspense stories. Her latest Amish romance series set in Yoder, Kansas, is Amish Blessings, with the first book, Love’s Dwelling debuting in 2021. Book two, The Warmth of Sunshine, releases in July 2022.
She has also penned seven critically acclaimed romantic suspense novels, including Trust Me, which debuted in February 2022.
Publisher’s Weekly said of the novel:
“(In this) whirlwind romantic thriller . . . Irvin follows the characters through twists and turns, writing through the lens of faith and broken faith, while illuminating a bridge across shattered relationships to second chances.”
She is the author of the Amish of Big Sky Country series, which focused on three Amish communities in northwestern Montana affected by devastating wildfires. These included Mountains of Grace, The Long Bridge Home, and Peace in the Valley.
The first book in the Every Amish Season series, Upon a Spring Breeze, won the 2018 Readers Choice Award from the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of Romance Writers of America in the long contemporary romance category.
She is also the author of the Amish of Bee County series that includes The Saddle Maker’s Son, The Bishop’s Son and The Beekeeper’s Son. This last novel received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” The Beekeeper’s Son was a finalist in the national 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest in the romance category. Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series.
Among her other works are novellas in eight anthologies with other best-selling Amish romance authors.
Kelly’s novel, Love Redeemed, was a 2015 finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards contest.
The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than 30 years, including 10 years as a newspaper reporter. She retired in 2016 after working 22 years in public relations for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. She is a member of ACFW and Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers. In her spare time, she blogs, reads fiction, and loves her family.