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Have you had an opportunity to meet Kelly Irvin? If not, you are in for a treat! I’m excited to have this sweet lady visiting again today with her newest release, Through the Autumn Air. Plus she’s offering to give away a copy! But before we begin, let’s take a quick peek at the story.
The mother of ten and a widow of seven years, Mary Katherine is a bundle of energy, always willing to step in and help her friends around her Amish community. Now that her last child is married, she pours her abundant creative spirit into writing stories, even as she speaks aloud to her late husband every day. Her dream is to open a bookstore with an English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned store instead. When her old school friend, Ezekiel, offers her a position as a cook in the restaurant he opened after his wife died, she knows she should accept. But does she really want to spend her time slaving over a stove?
When a mysterious English stranger breaks into her house to make himself a sandwich one autumn night, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to Ezekiel. They both see that Burke is need of more than a meal, and Ezekiel offers him the job at the restaurant.
As they set out to care for their new friend, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find themselves often working together. Mary Katherine is drawn to Ezekiel, but she remembers the terrible risk of giving her heart to someone. Can two people in the autumns of their lives and so well-versed in the pain of loss put the past behind them and trust in the hope that comes with each new season?
Welcome back, Kelly! I’ve enjoyed hearing about each of the books in this series. 🙂 Do you have a favorite character from Through the Autumn Air? Why is this character your favorite?
I feel guilty because I love several of the characters in Through the Autumn Air, but I do have some favorites. Mary Katherine, the heroine of the story, and Ezekiel Miller, the hero, are close to my heart. Mary Katherine is a widow and the mother of nine grown children. My readers met her in the first two books when she provided support, love, and an occasional kick in the behind to Bess and Jennie, when they needed it. She’s the heart of the widows’ group at the center of the Every Amish Season series. Now that she’s an empty nester, she’s set her heart on opening a bookstore with an English friend who is a librarian. Mary Katherine writes her own stories. She’s creative, independent, feisty, and generous to a fault. And she talks to her dead husband all the time.
Ezekiel owns a restaurant called the Purple Martin Café, which he named for his dead wife’s favorite bird. Ezekiel has been a widow for a long time. He’s wrapped himself up in running his restaurant and being a father and grandfather. He’s kind, thoughtful, and generous. They’re perfect for each other. Neither can imagine themselves remarried. They’re still in love with their spouses after all these years. How to get them together is the big question.
How fun to focus on an older hero and heroine! But that whole “getting them together” business sounds complicated… Who is your favorite secondary character in Through the Autumn Air and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
I do. My favorite secondary character is Burke McMillan. Burke makes a dubious entrance into the story by breaking into Mary Katherine’s house to make himself a ham sandwich. I know that sounds terrible, but Burke has a tragic past and he’s wandering around lost until he stumbles into a certain bossy Amish woman’s house. Burke is not your typical burglar. He’s a former Navy chaplain, educated, well read, and well spoken. The perfect project for Mary Katherine. And subsequently, for Ezekiel. Trying to “fix” Burke brings them together in surprising ways. Before it’s over, you can’t quite tell who is whose project!
He sounds like an intriguing character indeed. Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?
I go back and forth on this. I’ve always been a print book person. I love holding the book in my hands and turning the pages. When I’m picking out books I like to read the back cover and then thumb through it to get a sense of the style. The experience is tactile. However, as I’ve aged, I’ve had more and more difficulty reading because of failing eyesight. I read in my favorite chair in the living room and I keep turning on more lights. The nice thing about e-readers is that they’re lighted and you can enlarge the font. I’ve had to concede that this works better for me if I want to read in the evenings—which is the best time for me to do it. I’m done writing and TV is so awful these days I don’t want to waste precious time on garbage. (Can you tell I feel strongly about this?)
I completely agree! Good books are a much better use of my little bits of downtime. Speaking of good books, what are you reading right now?
I just finished reading Try Darkness, the second book in the Ty Buchanan series by James Scott Bell. I’ve read some of Bell’s books on the craft of writing, but never his fiction until now. I love the “hard-boiled detective” mysteries so I decided to give his legal thrillers a try and I love them. Not only for the stories, but for his well-developed characters and Raymond Chandler style of writing. Also, I write a lot of male characters and I like to read fiction by male authors to get a better feel for how to make them realistic. I have two romantic suspense novels contracted with Thomas Nelson Publishing so I’m reading a lot in that genre right now. My TBR pile includes books by Colleen Coble, Carrie Stuart Parker, and Cara Putman.
Uh oh — more to add to my wish list. Actually, I’ve been wanting to try one of James Scott Bell’s, so it’s encouraging to know you’re enjoying them! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
I mentioned that I’m juggling Amish romances with romantic suspense right now. Both of the romantic suspense novels are written. The first one, Tell Her No Lies, releases in January. I’m so excited about this book. It’s set in my adopted hometown of San Antonio and shines a light on the issue of homelessness that faces every urban area in the country. I just came back from a research trip to northwestern Montana and I’ve begun writing the first book in a new Amish romance series. The book is entitled Mountains of Grace. Readers will be hearing more about this series later. I still have one more book to release in the Every Amish Season series. That is With Winter’s First Frost, so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself!
You’re a busy lady! I can’t wait to hear more about these stories as they release. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Kelly!
Your turn! At the risk of overwhelming our to-read lists, what are you reading right now? Are you enjoying it?
More about Kelly:
Bestselling novelist Kelly Irvin is the author of the critically acclaimed Amish of Bee County, Bliss Creek Amish, and New Hope Amish series. Her newest release is With Winter’s First Frost, the final novel in the four-book series Every Amish Season from Zondervan Publishing. Her work has also appeared in several Amish anthologies, including An Amish Heirloom, An Amish Market, An Amish Summer, An Amish Christmas Love, and An Amish Christmas. She is also the author of two romantic suspense novels from Thomas Nelson Publishing, Tell Her No Lies, and Unmasked. Kelly is a retired newspaper reporter and public relations professional who lives with her husband in Texas. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two ornery cats.
You can connect with Kelly online:
Also by Kelly:
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy—and the possibility of love?
It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship. Fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.
Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.
Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?
In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.
Through the Autumn Air Giveaway:
Kelly has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of Through the Autumn Air. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.