Shannon here: Amish romance author, Kelly Irvin shares insight into her real life and fictional romance. Her answer to the fifth question made me cry. What can I say? I love a man who supports his wife’s writing habit. Every time you comment on any post dated Feb 13 – 17, your name goes in the drawing for a copy of her latest release, To Love and to Cherish. Deadline Feb 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
Real Life Interview:
- What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you?
I don’t know if others will see this as romantic but it tickled me to death. On our 10th anniversary, by husband surprised me with a king-sized cherry wood sleigh bed. When we got married, I had no furniture and we couldn’t really afford to buy furniture, so we kept his water bed. I went through two pregnancies sleeping in a water bed. My second child weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces when he was born, so you can imagine how hard it was for pregnant me to get myself out of that water bed. I think Tim saw it as the last vestige of his carefree bachelor days, but I really hated it. So he gave it up and bought me a real bed. I love my king sized sleigh bed to this day—fourteen years later.
- Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic vacation destination?
We love to rent a condo on the Gulf of Mexico beach in Port Aransas. We spend all day on the beach, eat seafood (and Tim has to have fried pickles!) or barbecue steaks with the sound of the ocean and the sea gulls around us. In the evening, we like to sit on the balcony and watch the water in the moonlight. Sometimes we take a flashlight and walk on the beach at night so we can see all the night life that comes out after dark. We both love the ocean so it’s the perfect getaway for us.
- What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
He still likes to hold my hand at Lowe’s, especially in the garden and lawn section. It cracks me up because I know how happy being in a hardware store makes him.
- Who is most romantic, you or your spouse?
Neither one of us tends to be all kissy face and calling each other lovey and darling, but he shows it in the things he does, in the way he takes care of the house and the yard and the way he likes for us to go out to dinner or spend a day driving through the Hill Country. I tend to let business and chores get in the way while he remembers to let that stuff go and spend time together.
- What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
When I first decided I really wanted to take a crack at my dream of being a published novelist, I wanted to go to Glorieta writing conference in New Mexico. We didn’t really have the money and Tim was a little skeptical about whether it would be worth it in terms of the money and the time away from family and home. I wouldn’t spend the money unless he agreed to it. On my birthday, he gave me an envelope with a paper inside that said “IOU for one trip to Glorieta, New Mexico, all inclusive of airplane tickets, hotel reservation, and conference reservation.” It also had a “mock” newsletter in it that announced Kelly Irvin had published her first novel with many more to come. It was just the first of many, many things he has done to nurture my dream of being a published novelist. He does my web site, creates bookmarks, invitations, postcards, and reminds me to update my status on Facebook. He tells everyone he knows about my successes and he holds me when I cry over my rejections. No one has been a bigger supporter of my dream.
- What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
In 24 years of marriage, I think it’s been a cumulative thing of letting him be who he is and trusting him to be who I know he is. He’s a social extrovert. I’m not. He likes to go out with friends on Friday night. I don’t. I’m perfectly happy sorting laundry and making popcorn while I watch Blue Bloods on Friday night. But I don’t hold him back or try to make him like me. He has his interests and his friends and I always know he’ll come back to me.
- Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
Tim’s parents had a small cabin in the mountains near Timberon, New Mexico. We got married in February so it had snowed quite a bit there. We spent a week virtually snowed in, and we had a wonderful time. Tim’s birthday is Feb. 18 so we celebrated it during our honeymoon. I made him the first of many angel food cakes with chocolate frosting, which is his favorite. We hiked in the snow, went into Cloudcroft to eat one night, visited the Carlsbad caverns in Carlsbad, N.M., but mostly we stayed in and enjoyed having a whole week to ourselves.
- Where is the most romantic place your hero and heroine have ever been?
This is an Amish romance so what qualifies as romantic is very different than in mainstream romances. Amish folks live in a closed community and work hard to keep themselves apart from the rest of the world. Emma has known Thomas her whole life. It’s when they realize that friendship has turned to something more that the romance begins. I think that’s often true in real life. Someone you’ve known as a friend begins to mean more to you over time. Romance blossoms. Bliss Creek is a small, rural picturesque town where Thomas takes Emma for a nighttime buggy ride. They stop at the creek and take a walk on their first “date.” Emma shows off her ability to skip stones. Thomas brings a blanket and they sit together under the night stars. That’s romance the Plain, simple way.
- What simple gesture does your hero do that melts your heroine every time?
Emma loves the way Thomas cares for his children. She’s surprised and touched when he tells her he baked bread for her parents’ wake. He tells her he does a lot of things he never did before his wife died because he wants to do everything he can to bring his daughter up as his wife would have done. She imagines this tall, roughhewn man with an apron on, checking the bread in the oven, and she’s intrigued by the difference between his appearance and what’s in his heart.
- How soon after meeting the hero did the heroine know he was the one?
Thomas has watched Emma from afar for a long time. His wife passed away of cancer four years before this story begins. Thomas’s heart has healed and he’s very lonely. He is much older than Emma, though, and he’s afraid he’s too old for her. Her father told him as much so he’s been determined to be her friend, even though his heart wants more.
- How soon after meeting the heroine did the hero know she was the one?
Emma has always thought of Thomas as her brother’s friend and the father of two of her students. It’s not until her sister points out that Thomas “has courting written all over his face” every time he looks at her, does Emma realize there could be something between them. To complicate matters, her old beau Carl has returned and declared he still loves her. You’ll have to read the book to find out which way she turns.
- Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
Thomas is steady and solid and a man of few words, but his heart is enormous. He loves Emma so much, he’s willing to step back and simply be her friend if that is what she wants from him. Because he has loved and lost, he values all that a loving relationship means—the closeness, always having someone to talk to, having someone to rely on. The desire to have that is in conflict with his natural reticence and inability to express his feelings. He’s an unlikely romantic, but one nevertheless.
- What is the most caring thing your hero has ever done for your heroine?
Thomas goes with Emma to the house to tell her younger sisters and brother about their parents being in an accident. He walks along side her on that long trek up a dirt road to the Shirack house, providing support, knowing how traumatized and heartbroken she is. When she tells him he’s a good friend, he’s determined to be exactly that—a good friend—even if she never wants more from him. He loves her so much, he just wants to be close to her, however, she’ll let him.
- What is the most caring thing your heroine has ever done for your hero?
When Thomas’s daughter is lost at night during a winter storm, Emma goes with him to find her. Not to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say, Emma’s strength and her ability to shoot are put to the test on that dark night.
About Kelly: Kelly Irvin is the author of To Love and to Cherish, an Amish romance due to be released by Harvest House Publishing in February. The follow-up in the Bliss Creek Amish series, A Heart Made New, is slated for release in September. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, published in 2010 and 2011 by Five Star Gale. A former newspaper reporter, she is a public relations professional. She and her husband live in Texas along with two semi-adult children, three cats, and a tank full of fish. Find out more at www.kellyirvin.com.
About the book: How Do You Forgive When Your Heart Is Broken?
It’s been four years since Carl left. Four years since he left the safety of the small Amish community for the Englisch world. And in four years, Emma’s heart has only begun to heal.
Now, with the unexpected death of her parents, Emma is plunged back into a world of despair and confusion. It’s a confusion only compounded by Carl’s return. She’s supposed to be in love with him…so why can’t she keep her mind off Thomas, the strong, quiet widower who always seems to be underfoot? Could the man she knew only as a friend be the one to help her to heal?
In a world that seems to be changing no matter how tightly she clings to the past, one woman must see beyond her pain, find strength in God, and open her heart to trust once again. Find out more at www.amishreader.com.
Come back Feb 20th for Military Suspense author, Ronie Kendig.