Today I’m thrilled to welcome Kelly Irvin as she shares insights to her latest series.
For writers, letting go of characters can be almost as hard as it for readers—maybe harder. We create them, cajole them, humor them, and ultimately convince them to tell their stories. I’ve spent the last few years of my life living with a group of Jamesport widows in my head. Four novels and two novellas worth. Bess, Jenny, Mary Katherine, and Laura have given me great joy and some colossal headaches during the creation of the Every Amish Season series. Now, with the debut of With Winter’s First Frost—Laura’s story—on February 5th, I have to say goodbye to them.
The original idea for this series was to explore the lives of widows within an Amish community. I read an article in The Budget newspaper that included statistics for the year—births, deaths, number of scholars, number of weddings, and number of widows. It interested me that they included that statistic. It must be hard to find a new way to fit into a community where families are built around a husband-and-wife unit. Widows are expected to remarry after a time. To learn to love again. What a great opportunity for romance entanglements in the world of fiction!
And romance at any age. Every Amish Season series is exactly that. Each book features a widow in a different season in her life. Bess is a young woman, pregnant with her first child. Jenny, mother of seven, is in her thirties. Mary Katherine is a grandmother and new empty-nester. In Winter’s First Frost, we have Laura’s story. She’s a great-grandmother who finds unexpected love in the winter of her life.
Helping Laura find love was a joyful writing journey for me. Love is different as we age, but it can still ignite the stars in the sky and blow our socks off. It comes with wrinkles, gray hair, and aches and pains. Love at any age offers sweet kisses, hugs, and holding hands. As I entered the sixth decade of my life, I had the opportunity to explore how love has changed for me and my husband. I’ve been married to him more than half my life now. What a gift from God! I hope reading this series give readers, in whatever season they are living, equal joy and opportunity for self-examination.
About the book:
With the coldest season comes the warmest of second chances.
At age seventy-three, Laura Kauffman knows she is closer to the end of life than the beginning. If God willed it, she would join her beloved late husband soon. Even so, Laura wonders what purpose God might have for her in this winter of her life—and why this season seems so lonely.
Widower Zechariah Stutzman is facing his own barren season, despite the great-grandchildren swirling around him. With his Parkinson’s worsening, he had no choice but to move in with his grandson’s family, though now he feels adrift and useless.
When Laura offers to help with Zechariah’s five great-grandchildren after their mother has a difficult childbirth, Zechariah is unsure how he will adjust to the warm but tart demeanor of this woman he has known since grade school. But soon Laura and Zechariah learn they are asking God the same questions about loss and hope. And they begin to wonder if He is providing answers after all.
With Winter’s First Frost reminds us that God’s purposes always bear fruit—and sometimes love is sweeter with age.
Best-selling author Kelly Irvin is the author of the Every Amish Season series from Zondervan/ HarperCollins, including Upon a Spring Breeze, winner of the 2018 Readers’ Choice Award in the long romance category. The series follows the Amish of Bee County Series, which included The Beekeeper’s Son, subject of a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “an intricately woven masterpiece.” Among her other works are novellas in four collections. She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest House Publishing. She has also penned three inspirational romantic suspense novels, Tell Her No Lies, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
Kelly’s novels, The Beekeeper’s Son and Love Redeemed, were finalists in the 2015 and 2016 contemporary romance category of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Awards Contest.
Kelly is currently working on a new series entitled Amish of Big Sky Country. The first book in that series, Mountains of Grace, debuts in August. Her next romantic suspense novel, Over the Line, will debut in June.