Shannon here: Kelly Irvin shares her inspiration for her latest Amish Romance, With Winter’s First Frost. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: March 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
Small gestures lead to sweet romance by Kelly Irvin:
Do love languages change as we grow older, our bodies age, and our ability to love matures? With Winter’s First Frost’s Laura Kauffman, a widow and great-grandmother who is seventy-three years old, would say yes. She may walk a little slower and have trouble sewing because of her arthritis, but otherwise she hasn’t slowed down a bit. In fact, she’s still taking on jobs—like helping out a family with new, premature twins whose cantankerous great-grandfather finds old age to be a challenge. How Laura approaches Zechariah’s situation reflects how romantic love can grow from small gestures and simple, thoughtful gifts.
Writing Laura and Zechariah’s love story gave me the opportunity to explore new love in the winter season of life. Some things are the same. When a man suddenly realizes he likes the color and sparkle of a woman’s eyes. Or a woman feels the goosebumps scurry up her arm when a man’s fingers brush against her skin.
In some ways it’s different. Laura is a wise woman who has experienced tragedy and loss. She understands how Zachariah feels—alone and adrift without his first wife, frustrated by the disease that has taken his independence, and wondering why God continues to leave him on this earth.
So she does the simple things. She plays checkers with him by the fireplace on a cold winter night. When the jerkiness caused by his Parkinson’s disease sends the checkers flying, she simply picks them up and starts the game again. She encourages him to slip away from his grandson’s house and visit a friend even when his family wants to keep him at home and “safe.”
When Laura must seek out her granddaughter and try to convince her to return to her Amish community, she asks Zachariah to go with her. The gesture communicates that Laura values his insight and wisdom. His family has unwittingly made him feel useless by taking away the work in his life. She gives him back his sense of worth.
When he burns himself starting a fire in the fireplace, Laura tends to his wounds with such loving care, Zechariah can’t help but acknowledge—to himself at least—the growing attraction he feels for her.
How does Zachariah show Laura he has feelings for her? He offers a Christmas gift of birding binoculars. It’s a gift that means so much more. Zachariah’s favorite pastime is birding. He wants to share with her this passion. He wants to spend time with her.
For his birthday, Laura arranges for the two of them to attend a volunteer bird count at Swan Lake—one of Zachariah’s favorite events. There, they share their first kiss in the cold, snowy winter wonderland. It’s a magical moment made possible because they communicated their feelings through small, but thoughtful gifts.
It’s the sweet, beautiful language of love—at any age.
About Kelly: 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.
About the book – With Winter’s First Frost:
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.
Can’t wait for the drawing or afraid you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers:What is your love language? In other words, how do you show others you love them?
Come back March 5th for Annette M. Irby!