Let’s Chat! Author Kelly Irvin

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Author Kelly Irvin!

Prepare to be blessed. Multi-published author Kelly Irvin writes Amish stories that never fail to surprise and delight. Gather ’round for tidbits about her latest release, Beneath the Summer Sun.

**Kelly is offering a print copy of Beneath the Summer Sun to someone who joins our chat below. **

**Congratulations to Jackie Tessnair, winner of the drawing for a print copy of Kelly’s Beneath the Summer Sun!**

When a Character Has a Mind of Her Own by Author Kelly Irvin

Jennie Troyer, the heroine in my new release, Beneath the Summer Sun, took me by surprise. She had the audacity to have a mind of her own. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, so it’s not unusual for me not to know what happens between the beginning and the end of my stories. That’s part of the fun. But Beneath the Summer Sun is different. I thought I knew how Jennie’s life would go. She’s a thirty-seven-year-old widow raising seven children on her own. I thought I knew what was best for her, but Jennie had other plans.

The Birth of Author Kelly Irvin’s Every Amish Season series 


First, here’s a little backstory. This series, Every Amish Season, will encompass four books, one for each season—of the year and of life. The series had its birth in a blurb in The Budget newspaper in which an Amish scribe listed the annual statistics for her district: births, deaths, baptisms, graduations, weddings, etc. She included the number of widows and widowers with these other important statistics. She singled them out.

Author Kelly Irvin Imagines 

This made me try to imagine what life would be like as a widow in a community built around husband-wife-family. (Click to Tweet!) So from my fevered imagination came Every Amish Season. The series focuses on four widows in Jamesport, Missouri, who become close friends and support each other in this unexpected season in their lives.

Upon a Spring Breeze begins with twenty-something Bess, a pregnant newlywed who faces a terrible tragedy. I knew where the story would go when I started writing.

Same with Jennie in Beneath the Summer Sun. She would have her second chance at love. At first, she wants no part of it. That’s understandable. She harbors a terrible secret from her first marriage. (Click to Tweet!) Snake-bitten, she’s afraid and feels guilty. Jennie wants to make it on her own, even though the district elders and her family want her to marry again. She’s still young. Her children need a father. Although she understands these facts, her heart is dead-set against it.

I knew all this when I started writing. But I didn’t know how much her story would affect me. The choice she has to make is as hard for me as it is her. Both men who profess to love her have good hearts. I also see a lot of myself in Jennie. I didn’t have good role models growing up and distrusted love. As a child, I watched difficult relationships limp along on the verge of shattering, but never quite exploding. (Click to Tweet!) I didn’t want to live like that. As I wrote Beneath the Summer Sun, I found small details from my childhood slipping onto the page. They’re woven into the tapestry as Jennie’s troubled marriage is revealed.

From Beneath a Summer Sky by Author Kelly Irvin

“The kinner were afraid of him. They were always tiptoeing around him. They never knew what might set him off. A rip in their clothes, a kapp not properly starched, a chore not done to his satisfaction.” Jennie’s stomach lurched just as it used to do when the thunderclouds gathered, dark and fierce, in Atlee’s face. She put her hand to her mouth, willing her stomach to settle. She breathed and let it drop. “Too much noise at the supper table. The clicking of the fork on the plate when they cut the skin on the sliced tomatoes bothered him. I started peeling them before I served them. Chewing too loud bothered him. Cold food and food too hot or meat too tough set him off. Crumbs on the floor that didn’t get swept up.”

Author Kelly Irvin’s Own Love Story

Early memories of not so blissful matrimony colored my view of love and married life. (Click to Tweet!)  I wanted both, but I made terrible choices and they never worked out. When I turned thirty, I decided God didn’t intend for to me to marry. I should be happy in my single status. God had other plans for me. That year, 1988, I met the love of my life. Next month we’ll celebrate thirty years of marriage. The things I learned as a child about the complicated dance between men and women, I’ve applied to my marriage, to parenting, to loving, and to my stories.

Author Kelly Irvin Beneath the Summer Sun

Jennie Troyer’s Time of Suffering

Jennie can’t understand why she had to suffer. Likewise, I often felt the same way. God could have given me a “normal” childhood. However, the question is whether we believe God is good. I do. Also, do we believe Scripture that says in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him? (Romans 8:28) I do. As hard as it is to go through these experiences, they give us character, empathy, and compassion.

Author Kelly Irvin
See. I have refined you. Isaiah 48:10

“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

As Jennie learns, God knows what He’s doing. I’m reminded often of the saying, “God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” Because of life experiences, I know He is the God of all comfort. I’m able to give comfort to others through Jennie’s story. (Click to Tweet!) In the end Jennie makes her choice. It’s not the choice I thought she would make, but maybe she’s even more like me than I realized.

Final Thoughts from Author Kelly Irvin

Finally, I hope Jennie’s story will resonate with readers. It wasn’t an easy one to write. But Beneath the Summer Sun is a story of second chances and hope. We can use both.

Author Kelly Irvin
Taste the Lord and see that He is good. Psalm 34:8

Lord, You invite us to taste and see that You are good. Only You can blend the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tart that makes us Your unique creations. As readers and writers, we ask You to utilize the avenue of Christian fiction to communicate Yourself in myriad ways and to make You sweet on our tongues.
Bless each word Kelly writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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34 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Kelly Irvin

  1. I can so relate to the story line of this book. Trusting yourself after ending up in a bad marriage is hard, especially one that is abusive. God will lead us to the truth and Being the oldest of 7 , I can relate to big families and I have 7 of my own children, been thru divorce and remarried. Can’t wait to read this book !
    Linda Marie Finn

     
     
    1. It’s wonderful to “meet” you here, Linda! I’m sorry the deadline for the drawing for Kelly’s book had passed by the time I read your comment, but I hope you’ll be able to read Kelly’s books anyway. You’ll be blessed. Please visit again. New author every Wednesday 🙂

       
       
  2. Lucy Reynolds

    I’m so looking forward to reading this. I enjoy Kelly’s books so much. I was a single parent of two, I can’t imagine raising seven. Blessings

     
     
    1. I was also a single mother of two. In photos those years I look so thin, haggard, and worn out 🙂 I can’t imagine rearing seven by myself either. Kelly has hit the bull’s eye on this series. Thanks for dropping by. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. Me neither! My parents had five kids and that was tough!

       
       
      1. Lucy Reynolds

        My parents each came from families of 11 children. They were each the 10th child.

         
         
        1. Gasp! But then when I look back at the records on Ancestry.com, I’m dumbstruck by the # of kids people had. EEEEEGADS!

           
           
  3. Brenda Andrezeywski

    Enjoyed reading this post about Kelly Irving! Haven’t read this one yet; but it’s being added to my list!! Kelly, once again ya cracked me up!! So she has a mind of her own…picture popped in my head of ya sleeping & she’s sitting at your computer typing her own story!! God bless ya sweetie

     
     
    1. Love the picture you painted, Brenda. Now I’m cracking up! Thanks for stopping by. Please come again. God bless you and yours real good!

       
       
    2. Sometimes I wish that were possible–especially when I’m not sure where my story is going. Some times characters say the darndest things! LOL

       
       
  4. Ellen P

    I can’t wait to see what happens in Jenny’s life. I like that Kelly says Jenny has a mind of her own!

     
     
    1. 🙂

       
       
  5. Kelly Irwin’s comments about her character Jennie’s own idea of how to live her life made me laugh. I’m not considered a “pantser,” so I’m often surprised when one of my characters has the nerve to step outside my outline and to stand up for themselves. This series is on my list! Thanks Kelly and Linda.

     
     
    1. Hi, Clarice, my friend. So good to see you in our circle today. Kelly and her writing are completely delightful. Don’t you just love the idea behind this series? You and many other women can relate. Many others of us will relate in the future. I’m grateful I can slip this series onto my bookshelf and return to it in days to come. God bless you real good!

       
       
    2. It’s so exciting when they speak up for themselves, isn’t it, Clarice? I love it when a new character shows up out of nowhere. I’m astonished and tickled pink!

       
       
  6. Ellen P

    I recently finished reading Upon A Spring Breeze and am looking forward to reading Beneath the Summer Sun! I absolutely love Kelly’s writing! I just discovered her books a month or so ago and have already read several. Makes me feel like I’m in Amish Country, my favorite people and places to visit. Thank you for all your hard work Kellie ❤️God Bless you❤️

     
     
    1. Ellen P

      I know your name is spelled Kelly, I have a friend Kellie and auto correct changed my spelling and I didn’t notice 😊

       
       
      1. 🙂

         
         
    2. Hi, Ellen P. I’m so glad you joined us today. I’m totally with you in loving Kelly’s writing–especially the idea that undergirds this series. Please visit again. New author each week, beginning on Wednesdays. God bless you!

       
       
      1. Ellen P

        Now that we’ve met, I look forward to seeing the new authors you will be hosting. See you on Wednesday 😊God Bless

         
         
    3. Thank you, Ellen. You’re so sweet. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my stories. I love hearing from happy readers! God bless you too!

       
       
  7. Donnia Duane

    This was beautiful

     
     
    1. Hi, Donnia. I agree. Kelly’s posting is beautiful. I loved working with it, adding the photos, etc. It gave me such pleasure and fulfillment. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I know you’ll love Kelly’s latest release. God bless you!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Donnia!

       
       
  8. Jean Dixon

    This sounds like Jennie is alot like myself I would truelly love to win this book and see how God works in her!

     
     
    1. Hi, Jean. The names Jennie and Jean not only look and sound familiar, but apparently, you share even more in your hearts and minds. Isn’t it cool how God does that through a writer like Kelly? I know you’ll enjoy this latest release of Kelly’s. God bless you!

       
       
  9. Jackie Tessnair

    I loved reading this blog post.Thanks Kelly for sharing.As I was reading your words I kept thinking this is another example of it is all in God’s timing . I wanted to read this book from the beginning but now after this post I am ready to read it right now.Thanks again!

     
     
    1. Hi, Jackie. Welcome, new reader friend! So happy the post inspired you to read Kelly’s latest as soon as possible. Her books—like Kelly—are full of wonder and joy and realness. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. You’re right, Jackie. It’s all about God’s timing. I hope you enjoy the book!

       
       
  10. Marilyn

    Beautiful interview with Kelly Irvin with her sharing personal tidbits and behind the scenes to pen Beneath the Summer Sun.
    Thank you for sharing. Blessings to both of you.

     
     
    1. Seeing you here always makes me smile, Marilyn. We simply MUST meet someday 🙂 Thank you for joining in and encouraging Kelly and me. God bless you real good!

       
       
  11. Deana Dick

    Beneath the Summer Sun sounds so good. I can’t imagine being a widow with seven children. I love reading about second chances. I was given a second chance when I divorced my hubby and we remarried a year and a half later. Being shown what what unconditional love and forgiveness is helped me find my way home. It is now 34 years later and we are still like newlyweds. I look forward to reading your new book.

     
     
    1. Kelly Irvin is wonderful—both as a person and a writer. So glad you’re getting an opportunity to get to know her. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. My parents married, divorced, and remarried a year later. They’ve been married more than 60 years total now. It’s not easy for them, but they certainly show us what the meaning of the vow is. You don’t give up and walk away when it would be so much easier. I’m so glad you received your second chance at love and a beautiful marriage.

       
       

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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
lynewomentalk
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

Kelly Irvin_booksigning2
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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