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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Let’s Chat! Author Mary Hanks

Welcome, Mary Hanks! And welcome, Readers!

This week Mary Hanks treats us with a chat about her yummy Christian Romance & Marriage novels. Mary’s name appears on several books, each as beautiful as the former. 

You’ll want to get to know this author, so join our chat. Mary’s offering a give-away: all 5 ebooks in the Second Chances series. So be sure to comment below! 

*Congratulations to Kathleen Friesen, winner of Mary’s fabulous give-away: the Second Chances 5-ebook series!*

Pre-Author Life of Mary Hanks:

I am a firecracker, born on the 4th of July! When I was little, I thought the fireworks were all for me. Boy, was I disappointed to learn the truth!


Also, I consider myself an Alaska Girl. Even though I haven’t lived in the “last frontier” for quite a few years, its raw beauty still dwells in my heart. I love nature, whether hiking in the woods or traipsing across miles of beaches, and I’m sure that originated in my Alaskan experiences.

My earliest dream was to be a wife and mom. This year, Jason and I celebrated our forty-second anniversary. And I’m blessed with four kids, who are grown and on their own exciting journeys. So my dream definitely came true!

My second dream was to write books. I’m living that adventure right now.

How it all Began for Mary Hanks

Mary HanksWhen I received a typewriter for Christmas, at age thirteen, I began writing a book—a Walton’s-esque tale I never finished. But even our early attempts at writing are stepping stones in our path toward becoming an author.

At fifteen, I had the opportunity to write skits for youth services at church. It was my first chance to see my words come to life on stage. Over the next couple of decades, I worked with schools to create drama programs. I love Youth Theater, and I’ve had the privilege of writing and directing 20+ full-stage shows.

Mary’s Favorite Themes

My favorite genre for reading or writing is Christian romance with a marital-reconciliation theme. Every marriage will face storms. Jason and I have weathered our share. But when we came to breaking points in our relationship, we chose to hold on tight to each other and to not let go, and I’m so glad we did. Since then, or maybe because of those experiences, the writing themes God has planted in my heart are redemption, reconciliation, and love in marriage. The beauty of second chances still strikes a thrilling chord within me. (Click to Tweet!)

Mary E. Hanks: First Book and Debut

My first published book was Winter’s Past (2013). In this story, Ty and Winter have been divorced for ten years, but neither of them have forgotten the love they shared. Ty’s life has been radically transformed by God’s love, and he’s praying for a chance to make things right with Winter. When she comes to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to speak at a conference, he considers the opportunity to see her again a miracle. However, she’s still troubled by their past. Can she forgive the man she hasn’t been able to forget?

What’s up with Mary Hanks now?

Mary HanksIt’s been hard for me to end my Second Chance series. The characters are like my family. However, my fifth book, Season’s Flame, a story about a pastor and his wife who, after losing their church, struggle in their marriage, released in September. While Saying goodbye to the characters I’ve grown so fond of is hard, but it’s time for me to move on.


I’m eager to meet new friends (and a few enemies) in a town on the Oregon Coast. I can’t wait to go there and do the research! The first book in this series is about a woman who returns to the beach to start over. But sometimes coming back is just as painful as leaving in the first place.

We all need a second chance sometime, don’t you agree? (Click to Tweet!)

Being an Indie Author

I love being an indie author. I like making all the decisions and being the boss (after God) of my art and ambitions. While I hire out tasks, like graphic design work and professional editing, I’m a DIY lifer. I also appreciate being a part of the indie community. And I thank God for letting me see my dream of writing books come true.

Second Chance Series:

Winter’s Past
Mary Hanks

 

 

 

 

 

 


April’s Storm
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Dream 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn’s Break 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Season’s Flame 
Mary HanksHow can we find Mary Hanks?

I love sharing about God’s love, reconciliation in marriage, and chocolate!

Here are some of the places online where I hang out:

 Website

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

Lord, You are the God of Second Chances! What a lovely theme You’ve called Mary to write. We glory in Your ways that are beyond our understanding and our ways.
Bless each word Mary writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

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27 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Mary Hanks

  1. Thank you to everyone who participated in the responses, here, and also to those who read about my journey in the interview.
    Blessings. And happy reading!
    ~Mary

     
     
  2. Nadine Hapaz

    I’m an avid fan of Mary’s books. They are both interesting and inspirational. It was great to learn more about her life from the interview and I look forward to her future books. I’m grateful and pray many blessings. 💐🌹

     
     
    1. Thank you ever so much for joining us, Nadine. Your comments encourage us!

       
       
    2. Hi Nadine! So good to see you here. Thanks for your kind and generous comments. Blessings to you, my friend.
      ~Mary

       
       
  3. Good interview, Mary and Linda. These books look like the type my wife likes to read.

     
     
    1. Hi David! Thanks for stopping by and joining in the discussion. Blessings to you and your wife.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Hi, David. I’ll bet you’re right about Mary’s books and your wife. Maybe you’ll win the 5!

       
       
  4. Joan Shaver

    Hi, Mary, I have read all five of your books in the Second Chances series and love them…yes, the characters feel like family! Blessings on your new adventures and stories to come!

     
     
    1. Hi Joan! Thank you so much for always being so encouraging. I really appreciate your kind words and support. And thanks for sharing in this discussion too. 🙂
      Blessings.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Welcome, Joan. So glad you joined us.

       
       
  5. Ann Ellison

    Wonderful interview. This is a new to me author and I look forward to reading her books. What a wonderful giveaway.

     
     
    1. Hi Ann! Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the chance to get to visit with readers. Blessings on your journey.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Seeing your name always brings a smile to my face, Ann! Yes, Mary’s offering a wonderful giveaway!

       
       
  6. All God’s richest blessings in your endeavors, Mary. I will definitely be buying one of your books. Just seeing your comments about yourself and indie publishing, I feel more confident I have made the right decision…My first 2 books are about 2nd chances too, so we’re on the same page(oops! that was a little too clunky, wasn’t it?) Many blessings to you!
    Jane Quail (Pen name)
    Jane Waughtal

     
     
    1. Hi Jane! Thank you for joining in the conversation here. And thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you are writing about second chances also. We need more stories about God’s grace and His ability to change us–and our marriages. He brought about a beautiful healing in my life, and I like to share it through my storytelling.
      Blessings.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Hi, Jane! How exciting to see you in our circle! Love!

       
       
  7. I love second chances–and sometimes third and fourth! Great interview, Linda and Mary. Mary, visiting Alaska is high on my “bucket” list, and the Oregon coast is a favorite destination. You have great taste! I’d love to meet you through your stories.

     
     
    1. Hi Kathleen! Oh, me too! I must be on my 356th or so time of needing a second chance. 🙂 I hope you can go to Alaska. It’s so beautiful. Truly the “last frontier.” But the Oregon Coast is right up there in my esteem. I love it!
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Blessings.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Love seeing you in our circle, Kathleen!

       
       
    3. Congratulations, Kathleen! You’re the winner of the drawing! I’ll give Mary your email address. Happy reading!

       
       
      1. Congratulations, Kathleen! I hope you’ll enjoy this series. Blessings to you!

         
         
  8. Becky Smith

    I’m following Mary on all her social media sites, so I’ve obviously heard of this author. However, I have not yet read any of her books, but they are now on my list to read. Fun interview and, yes, we all do need second chances!

     
     
    1. Hi Becky! Nice to visit with you here. Thanks for joining the discussion. Yes, we all need second chances. I know I sure do! Blessings to you.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Hi, Becky! So wonderful to welcome you into our circle!

       
       
  9. Paula

    Thanks for sharing. These looks really interesting.

     
     
    1. Hi Paula! Thank you for stopping by. And thanks for your kind comments.
      Blessings to you.
      ~Mary

       
       
    2. Hi, Paula! So good to see you with us!

       
       

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