Naomi Miller: Let’s Chat

 

Welcome, everyone!

Naomi Miller

Naomi Miller is our honored guest blogger this go-round.

This author mixes up a batch of intrigue sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, English & Irish characters (so far) and adds pinches of mystery and romance.

Naomi focuses on writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences. When she’s not working diligently to finish the next book in her Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series, Amish Sweet Shop Romance series, Windy Gap Amish Romance series, and Amish Suspense series, she enjoys traveling with her family.

She also tries to make time for attending writer events, workshops and conferences. One of her favorite joys is meeting her readers. She’s traveled from Tennessee to South Carolina, across to Alabama and Mississippi, up to St. Louis, then to Indiana, Illinois, and finally over to Ohio to meet readers and make new friends. She’s looking forward to making a trip to Pennsylvania next year.

Naomi MillerNaomi also enjoys singing inspirational/gospel music, taking daily walks, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. She’s giving away Blueberry Cupcake Mystery to 3 blessed individuals who join our chat circle.

Now, here’s Naomi Miller in her own words. (You’re in for a treat!)

~ ~ ~

Years ago I wrote a suspense novel. It started out as a cute little Amish story with a sweet romance. I had an idea. A plan. And a course. 

I wrote the story. And halfway through, my course was derailed. My plan was wrecked. 

A New Course for Naomi Miller

But I kept writing. 

Naomi MillerI followed the new course, curious as to where it would lead me. Then I finished it and put it away. Even though I had succeeded in writing something I never intended to write, it was not at all what I wanted to write at that time.

What I wanted to write was something sweet. I could not let go of the sweet story line that I had originally planned, the story that would let someone read through it and afterwards be left feeling happy, free, calm, relaxed. I felt very strongly that what our world needed at that moment (and probably still does) were more sweet stories.

Naomi Miller
So, I wrote a sweet cozy mystery… and another… and another… until I had six books in the series. Six stories about hope, love, family, and forgiveness. My daughter calls them Comfort Food Cozies. 

Naomi MillerI didn’t plan to write six stories, but each time I finished one and it was published, just days later, readers were contacting me or posting on Facebook, asking when the next book would be out. Clearly I was doing something right–something readers wanted (and hopefully needed). By the time the third book was released, readers began asking me when I was going to release a cookbook containing the recipes in the books.

Naomi Miller Cooks up a New Idea

Each time I immersed myself in Katie’s little world, I thought about the idea of a cookbook. To me, it felt like a wonderful idea, but I admit I could not understand how anyone would really want to buy a cookbook from me. (If you’d like a copy of The Abbott Creek Cookbook, it’s available for pre-order on Amazon.)

Truthfully, I always feel shocked and somewhat amazed when people buy my books… read my books… enjoy my books… and ask for more.

Naomi MillerI can only believe that this is all a part of God’s plan. It’s the only thing that makes sense, the only way I can understand how so many people enjoy reading sweet, cute, short novels from a grandma who only started having her books published at an age when most people are thinking about retirement.

I‘m also working on a new story… an Amish romance with our favorite characters from Abbott Creek, and there are more stories to be written about the wonderful community of Abbott Creek.

Naomi Miller Naomi Miller Naomi Miller  
Naomi Miller Naomi Miller Naomi Miller  

So stick around… there’s more to come.

Naomi Miller Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Naomi-Miller/e/B01E4B05HS/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NaomiMillerAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naomimillerauthor/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/382228.Naomi_Miller

Website: naomimillerauthor.com  Family Friendly Fiction Filled with Grace, Faith, and Forgiveness

E-Mail: naomimillerauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: AuthorNaomi Amish cozy mysteries

My relationship with my Savior is the most important part of my life! If there is one thing in my life I would like to do better, it’s to be able to witness of how awesome God is working in my life. Jesus makes all things possible! He makes life worth living! He’s everything to me!  
~ Naomi Miller

14 thoughts on “Naomi Miller: Let’s Chat

  1. Roxanne Cruz

    This sounds like a fun series with the right mixture of faith, mystery and sweetness. Thank you for introducing me to a new author. Best wishes and blessings on you both.

     
     
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Roxanne!

       
       
    2. Thanks, Roxanne. I hope you’ll check them out… and be blessed by them.
      Naomi

       
       
  2. Thanks Linda, for featuring me (and my books) on your blog. You are a blessing to me!
    God bless you,
    Naomi Miller

     
     
    1. It has been my honor to feature you, Naomi.

       
       
  3. Your titles bring a multitude of mind pleasing thoughts to my brain. Food has always inspired the human being. I am no exception. I am intrigued with the cookbook. I always associate the Amish Friendship bread with the Amish people. I received my first batch when I was a very young public school teacher. May God continue to bless you with inspiring stories.

     
     
    1. Hi, Jane. Thanks for your encouraging words.

       
       
    2. Thanks, Jane. We worked hard to make the cookbook interesting as well as beautiful. I’m hoping it makes a thoughtful gift, too.
      Naomi

       
       
  4. Beverly Knudsen

    I love Amish Country stories!! I also sometimes enjoy suspense and adventure from a Christian world view. I am very intrigued by your Cozies!!

     
     
    1. Welcome, Beverly! Thanks for stopping by.

       
       
    2. Thanks, Beverly. I hope you’ll give them a try.
      Naomi

       
       
  5. Lorel Kline

    Reading what you wrote was such and encouragement. How I long to have that kind or relationship with my Lord and know that it is only me that is standing in the way. Your books sound delightful. Thanks so much for sharing. May God continue to use you to encourage and delight your readers for a long time.

     
     
    1. You encourage us also, Lorel. Thanks for stopping by.

       
       
    2. Lorel,
      I am honored by your reply; you (and readers like you) are the reason I write!
      God bless you,
      Naomi

       
       

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Join Our Chat With Author Kelly Irvin

Welcome, friends!

Today we’re visiting with multi-published, two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, Kelly Irvin, who pens Fiction Punctuated by Faith

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Author Kelly Irvin

Kelly has a rich story to tell, so gather ’round as she tells us a bit about her journey. Join the chat below and you’re eligible for a signed copy of Kelly’s latest Amish romance, The Saddle Maker’s Son.

~~~

Pre-Author Life of Kelly Irvin

Home Town Roots
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Kelly with her sister and mom in Kansas

I was born and raised in the small rural community of Abilene, Kansas, which has as its claim home of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Library and Museum, the Greyhound Hall of Fame, and being the county seat. I’m one of five children in a working class family. We lived on “the wrong side of the tracks,” and we learned to stick close together.

A Close Family

My dad taught us all sports and I have good memories of playing sports growing up. I wanted to be a professional baseball player. Or a writer. My sister and I had a “newspaper” in grade school and I wrote poems, plays, and short stories. In high school I served as editor of the newspaper and then of the yearbook.

I was a shy kid who dressed funny. (My dad was very conservative at a time when the sixties and seventies fashions were in full swing.) So I lived in books and found my niche in journalism.

College Years

In college I spent a year and a half at the University of Costa Rica as an exchange student, learning Spanish and acquiring a larger world view. A friend and I returned to the States via bus with our big red backpacks that identified us as a gringas everywhere we went. It was a wonderful, surreal experience.

Adult Life

newspaper-973049_1280Eventually I graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and began working as a newspaper reporter. I always wanted to write fiction, but as a working class kid I was also very aware of the need to be able to support myself. For years, writing nonfiction satisfied me.

Getting Started

Then I married a TV news photographer and we moved to San Antonio where we proceeded to have two children back-to-back. The dream of being a novelist seemed farfetched. I worked full-time in public relations, went to volleyball and basketball games, and science fairs, and sold Girl Scout cookies. I loved being a wife and mother living in the ‘burbs, but as year forty-five arrived, it dawned on me if I didn’t make my move soon, I would never realize my dream.

So I sat down and wrote my first book in 2003. It took another two years to find an agent and five years to publish my first book.

Debut Experience of Kelly Irvin

A Deadly Wilderness by Kelly Irvin

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A Deadly Experience, Kelly’s debut

Now I feel as if I had two different “debut” experiences. My agent, Mary Sue Seymour, worked hard to sell my romantic suspense novels early in my career. It took three years, but she never gave up. She sold A Deadly Wilderness to mainstream publisher Five Star Gale in 2008. They publish library quality hardbacks sold primarily to libraries. There’s no widespread circulation to bookstores or much marketing, but I was over the moon. I spent many, many happy hours in my hometown library as a kid. To have my book in a library was the thrill of a lifetime. A perfect circle. 

Opening that box of books and seeing my name on a hardback was an incredible high. So was pulling the book off the shelf of my local library. Having one of my co-workers tell me she’d checked it out, read it, and loved it, blew my mind. Publisher’s Weekly called A Deadly Wilderness “a solid romantic suspense debut novel.” Sales were good. I was ecstatic.

No Child of Mine

Then Five Star Gale bought the second book, No Child of Mine. I learned so much from the experience. For example, try not to put much stock in reviews. Publisher’s Weekly panned No Child of Mine, saying it was “full of unhappy Christians. The only likeable characters were the children.”

Hurt would be putting in loosely. Sales weren’t great because librarians refer to magazines like Publisher’s Weekly to help them choose what to buy. I learned it takes a tough skin to be a published author. (Tweet That!) 

I love those books and I’ve proud of them, but nothing more was forthcoming in terms of romantic suspense sales so Mary Sue suggested I step outside my comfort zone and try Amish romances.

Amish, a Change of Direction for Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin_booklaunchkellywposter
To Love and to Cherish, a different kind of debut

Although I was reluctant at first, I eventually took it as a challenge and gave it a shot. Mary Sue sold my first manuscript to Harvest House Publishing before I finished it. I finally broke into the CBA with the The Bliss Creek Amish series: To Love and to Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home. To Love and to Cherish was the beginning of a new writing direction for me and one that has been wonderful.

Kelly Irvin_saddle-maker-final
Kelly Irvin’s latest novel

Then came The New Hope Amish series: Love Still Stands, Love Redeemed, and A Plain Love Song. And now The Amish of Bee County series: The Bishop’s Son, The Beekeeper’s Son, and The Saddle Maker’s Son.

Realization of a Dream

Seeing my books in bookstores. Having The Beekeeper’s Son and The Saddlemaker’s Son final in the ACFW Carol Awards Contest. Signing on with HarperCollins Christian PublishingBecause I took a chance. It just shows you never know what doors will open for you. You simply have to take a leap of faith.

A Determined Journey

Since I sat down to write that first book thirteen years ago, so much water has passed under that bridge. My kids were in middle school then. I remember Nicholas standing on the stairs, calling, “Kelly, Kelly,” because he couldn’t get my attention with “Mom,” I was so engrossed in my writing. It was so hard to balance a full-time job with motherhood, being a wife, and having my writing dream.

I arrived at work at 6:30 in the morning so I could write before my work day started. I ate my lunch at my desk so I could squeeze in some writing time. Nights, weekends. My husband and my children gave me the space to do that. They sacrificed so I could go to writing conferences. So I could reach my dream. I was and am so blessed.

Now I’m retired and write full-time. The kids are grownup and married. I have two grandchildren and my daughter Erin lives in Virginia with her sailor husband. I miss those days when they were close and all the fun we had as they grew and became who they are today. 

Encouragement and Advice from Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin_family-1150995_1280
Hug your loved ones.

My advice? Never lose sight of what’s important. Reach for those dreams, but don’t forget to hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them every day. Strike a balance. Persist. Believe in your dream. And never lose sight of the One who has blessed you with the words.

~~~

Lord, we stand in awe of You, the Great Storyteller. We writers and readers of faith-driven stories bow in humility at Your blessing of words. And the privilege of sharing Your story. Let us never lose sight of the One who has blessed us with words. ~ For Jesus’ sake …

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54 thoughts on “Join Our Chat With Author Kelly Irvin

  1. Thank you, all who participated in this chat. How wonderful to know readers out there in far-flung places are sharing in the words Kelly writes and gleaning from her messages.

    THE WINNER OF THE DRAWING IS …

    Cynthia Fernstaedt Martinez! Congratulations, Cynthia!

    P.S. Cynthia, please send me a message through this site’s Contact Linda form.

     
     
  2. Jan Hvizdos

    The Amish Bee County series really looks like a great Amish read. I’m so glad that you”drifted” to the Amish fictional novels and now include them in your writing genre.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Jan. Thanks for participating!

       
       
    2. Thanks, Jan. I love hearing from readers who enjoy my books!

       
       
  3. Betty Hallett

    Would love to have this book

     
     
    1. You’re entered! Thanks for commenting, Betty. Kelly and I both appreciate the support.

       
       
  4. Loretta Shumpert

    So interesting to read this about you Kelly. Everyone has a background and now I know a little about you 🙂

    Please enter me, would LOVE to read your book.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Loretta! Thanks for participating.

       
       
  5. Hi, everyone.
    The drawing will be Tuesday morning. Winner announced by that afternoon!

     
     
  6. Debbie Rhoades

    What a lovely blog post and interview! I gobbled up both of the previous Bee County novels, and they were absolutely wonderful. I love reading books where I learn something new, about a new area of the country, and you deliver. thank you for the chance to win!

     
     
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Debbie. Good luck to all on the giveaway!

       
       
      1. Lesa Harden

        I would like to know if I’m in the drawing for this book?

         
         
        1. Yes, you’re entered, Lesa! Thanks for participating! The announcement of the winner of the drawing will be Tuesday.

           
           
  7. Lesa Harden

    Would love this book, i love reading Amish books.

     
     
    1. Lesa, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. You’re entered!

       
       
  8. cathychaney

    Would love to win a book.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Cathy! Thanks for participating.

       
       
  9. Kelly,

    You are an amazing woman! I had not read about your road to publication before and to know that you are now writing while battling health issues is even more astounding. Your heart, strength, and humility all radiate through your writing and social media presence.

    Bless you!
    @AmandaGeaney

     
     
    1. Kelly’s handling of her health issues has been inspiring to all of us. Thanks for joining our chat, Amanda. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Amanda! You are so kind. I love reading your Tweets! Blessings to you!

       
       
  10. Cynthia fernstaedt martinez

    Absolutely love your path in life and how wonderfully grounded you are in faith and family!

     
     
    1. Love having you as part of the chat, Cynthia. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. Thanks, Cynthia!

       
       
  11. Jackie Tessnair

    I enjoyed this post!I love Kelly’s books.I am looking forward to reading this book.Keep on writing these awesome books Kelly.

     
     
    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment, Jackie. You’re entered!

       
       
  12. Karen Martinitz-Eudaley

    I was hesitant to read Amish stories but Kelly’s are so well written I can’t put them down. I was on her yearbook staff at good old AHS but I picked the pages with pictures so I would not need to write very much. This is the one book left I gave not purchased so I would love to win.

     
     
    1. How wonderful that you knew Kelly way back when, Karen. Love it. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. Karen, you are so sweet! I’m so glad you enjoy these books.

       
       
  13. Susan Fletcher

    Very nice post that told me things I didn’t know about the author.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining in the conversation, Susan. You’re entered in the drawing.

       
       
  14. Loretta Shumpert

    It was very good to read a bit about you, Kelly. I imagine that you are happy that you are retired so you can devote as much time as you wish to your writing. I would love, love to have a book written by you.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Loretta. Good to have you with us.

       
       
  15. Lucy Reynolds

    I have the first two, so it would be wonderful to have an autographed copy to complete my set. Thank you for the chance. Love reading Kellys books and following on FB. Have a blessed evening ladies.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Lucy. Happy you joined our chat.

       
       
  16. Debbie Hazelton

    You are so blessed, Kelly with your family and fulfilling your dream of becoming an author of some wonderful books. Thank you for the chance to win. Have a blessed day.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Debbie! We love having you in our chat circle.

       
       
    2. Thanks Debbie. It really is a dream come true!

       
       
  17. Myrtle Thorn

    Would love to add The Saddlemaker’s Son to my bookshelf. Thank you for this wonderful chance

     
     
    1. Thank you for joining our chat, Myrtle. You’re entered!

       
       
  18. Reading about Kelly Irvin’s path to publication reminds me that God has laid out a different route for each of us. It’s fun seeing how he works in our lives. Well, most of the time. Sometimes patient is a challenge. But I’m glad Kelly was patient because now, through her stories, we’re in on her reward!

     
     
    1. Patience was never my strong point, Clarice, but then God gave me babies 17 months apart! He does have a sense of humor!

       
       
  19. Kat

    I love the book cover and would really enjoy adding this to my home library!

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Kat! Thanks for joining us!

       
       
  20. Kelly Tyree

    I love Kelly Irvin’s books! It is so neat to learn her history. I would love to win an autographed copy of her book. Her books have helped me to grow to love and respect the Amish community.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Kelly Tyree! Thanks for your encouraging remarks.

       
       
    2. Thanks, Kelly! So glad you like them. And the Amish!

       
       
  21. Betty Hallett

    I would love to win this book. Thank you

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Betty!

       
       
  22. Pamela Pavkov

    I was a tomboy played all the sports as well as the boys but no teams for girls back then. I loved reading books in the crook of a tree which I was told wasn’t lady like. In high school I took a Journalism class, loved writing and became editor of our school paper and a weekly page on Saturday in the local paper. I would love to win an autographed copy of your book. I enjoy your books alot.

     
     
    1. Let’s hear it for the tomboy readers! You’re entered in the drawing, Pamela!

       
       
    2. Sounds so familiar, Pamela. I’m glad you like the books. That’s what a writer likes to hear!

       
       
  23. Angela

    I would love to be entered to win the book.

     
     
    1. You’re entered, Angela!

       
       
    2. Good luck, Angela!

       
       

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