Shannon here: Kelly Irvin shares insight into her latest Amish Romance, A Long Bridge Home, along with an excerpt, & a chance to win a copy. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Feb 22nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
Romance of a different kind by Kelly Irvin:
I always struggle when I sit down to write these articles about Amish romances. The Amish show their love and affection in much more subtle, yet incredibly romantic ways. They don’t have elaborate weddings. They don’t go to exotic destinations for honeymoons. They don’t wear wedding rings. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those things.) The Amish are romantic.
As I thought through the romance between A Long Bridge Home’s Christine Mast and Andy Lambright, it occurred to me that their biggest romantic gesture was their willingness to let one another go because it might be what’s best for them. They allow each other to forge their own paths through changes wrought in them by circumstances beyond their control. They know it’s necessary in order to find their way home.
Christine’s family, along with all the residents of West Kootenai, Montana, are forced to evacuate because of a
wildfire bearing down on the tiny community. Christine has no experience in the world. Her family moves to Kansas, but she stays behind to work in her uncle’s general store in nearby St. Ignatius. Andy goes home to his family’s farm near Lewistown. Their plan is to return to West Kootenai as soon as the evacuation order is lifted so they can marry.
God has other plans. For the first time, Christine is exposed to a world different from her own. Andy is brought face to face with the reason he left home. They both are rocked by unexpected challenges and events.
St. Ignatius is located on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Raymond Old Fox, who shops at the store, befriends Christine. She begins to learn about the spiritual life of the Native American Indians who lived in the region thousands of years before Lewis and Clark explored it. For the first time she’s forced to examine what she believes and why. Is it true that people can be good, kind, honorable, and even spiritual, but not go to heaven? How can a loving God allow such a thing?
Andy and Christine each contend with their own crisis of faith and
they’re no longer sure they are meant for each other. Andy’s hurt when he finds out Christine is spending time, however innocent, with another man. Christine is devastated when she learns the secret Andy has been guarding about his past. The moment comes when they decide to trust each other to walk the long bridge separately that will take them home.
It’s hard, it hurts, and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. It’s also terribly romantic. They’re willing to give one another the space to strike out in opposite directions in order to affirm their faiths while asking God to safeguard their true love.
Now that’s a Godly romance.
Excerpt from A Long Bridge Home by Kelly Irvin:
Gott knows what’s in a person’s heart. That’s what Christine’s dad always said. How surprised would Andy be if Christine hopped from her bike and jumped into his arms? Rather than shocking him half to death, she settled for a sturdy wave. He plowed to a stop in the intersection, hopped from the buggy, and strode toward her with a frown on his tanned face.
“I couldn’t believe it when your daed said you went to work this morning with the preevacuation notice hanging over us.” He punctuated the statement with emotions—anger, worry, fear, love—in that gruff voice that never failed to send goose bumps hiking up Christine’s arms. “You should’ve been on the first wagon out of here.”
As usual her heart took a quick vacation from beating as she stared up at his unlined face with his forest-green
eyes, high cheekbones, and full lips. His normally crisp, clean blue shirt sported dark sweat stains. His pants were dirty. If only she could do his laundry. He towered over her, but so did most people. He said he liked that she was short and he never took advantage of it by treating her as if she were a child because she looked like one. “I was at DeeDee’s cleaning when they got the call.”
“Get in. My boss got the same call. I’ll put your bike in the back.”
Andy didn’t wait for her to agree. He waggled his fingers at Donut—so named because he’d never met a doughnut he didn’t like—and the dog hopped from the front seat into the back with a soft woof. Christine slipped from the bike and climbed into the buggy. Donut’s snout nudged her arm. She swiveled and petted the gray German shepherd’s grizzled head. “Jah, it’s gut to see you too, hund.”
Andy settled next to her and snapped the reins. “Your daed was headed back to the house. He asked me to come get you.”
“Do you think he knows about us?”
About Kelly: Best-selling author Kelly Irvin’s latest Amish romance is A Long Bridge Home, the second book in the series, Amish of Big Sky Country. She 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. That 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 six 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 four inspirational romantic suspense novels, Over the Line, 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.
About the book – A Long Bridge Home:
After her community in the awe-inspiring Montana mountains is suddenly consumed by a raging wildfire, one young Amish woman finds herself in a new town where she’s introduced to the Native American culture of the Kootenai people.
When the Mast family is forced to evacuate their Montana home, Christine chooses not to move with her family to Kansas. Instead, she wants to stay closer to home and to her beau, Andy Lambright, who has yet to ask for her hand in marriage and who seems to be holding tightly to secrets from his past.
Now, living with her aunt and uncle in St. Ignatius, Christine is on her own for the first time in her life. While working in her uncle’s store Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, and he introduces her to his rich native culture with strong ties to the earth and nature. Despite the warnings of her aunt and uncle, Christine is inexplicably drawn to Raymond, and her mind is opened to a history and heritage far different from her own.
With her newly expanding horizons, Christine wonders if she can return to the domestic life that is expected of her. Her heart still longs to be with Andy, but she isn’t the same person she was before the fire, and she wonders if he can accept who she is becoming. Has too much distance grown between them? Or can they bridge the gap from past to present and find their way back together?
Question for Readers: Have you ever been forced to leave extended family, friends, or loved ones behind because your family had to move?
Come back Feb 14th for Pat Jeanne Davis!