Kelly Irvin – Excerpt – Part 3 of 3

Shannon here: Amish romance author, Kelly Irvin shares an excerpt from her latest release, Love’s Journey Home, plus a chance to win a three book set of her Bliss Creek series. Comment on any post dated Feb 11 – 15 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Feb 23rd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:

Excerpt from Love’s Journey Home by Kelly Irvin:

Isabelle wiggled from Helen’s grasp.

“Pony!” Her hands flailed and she plodded in the direction of a wagon that had pulled into a parking lot on the other side of the street. “Pet pony.”

“Not now.” Gabriel called. “Don’t go in the street, little one.”

Isabelle looked up at Helen and smiled. “Pony.”

“Jah, pony.” Helen waved at Luke, Emma’s oldest brother, and his wife Leah who were directing their burgeoning flock as they hopped from their wagon that Luke had outfitted with rows of wooden seats for his big family. “You made it. The route is almost full.”

An unsmiling Leah returned her wave with a barely noticeable flick of a hand. “We’re late as always,” the other woman called as she hoisted baby Jebediah on to one hip and rousted her twin girls from the second row seat. “I forgot the basket and we had to go back—”

The high, tight whinny of a horse interrupted Leah’s words. Helen glanced east toward the beginning of the parade route. Was it time? No band music, loud and festive, signaled the start of this annual parade.

Instead a buggy, swaying from side to side, raced down the middle of the street, the horse pounding in a frantic gallop.

“What is . . . who is . . .” Helen’s questions were caught up in the murmurs of the crowd that immediately began to escalate. Plain families didn’t participate in the parade. They only came to watch in anticipation of the fireworks display to follow. “Who’s buggy is that?”

The horse looked familiar. Daed’s Morgan? She still thought of him as Daed’s Morgan even though her daed had passed in April. She couldn’t get a good look at the driver of the buggy. His hat covered his face. Then he stood and snapped the reins. One hand went to his hat and lifted it high. He whooped and yelled, “Yeehaw, ride’em, cowboy!”

The voice. The face. The face so like George’s. Her cheeks suddenly hot, hands shaking, Helen started forward into the road. “Edmond? Edmond! What are you—”

A hand grabbed her arm and jerked her back so hard she tumbled into the quilt and landed atop Abigail. A knee gouged her back. With a startled cry, the girl scooted to the left, causing the other children to scatter. Tangled in her long skirt, Helen scrambled onto her knees, fighting to see over Daniel, Isaac, Samuel, and the other boys who jumped to their feet.

Gabriel dashed into the street and swept Isabelle, who had continued on her beeline toward Luke and Leah’s wagon, into his arms just as the horse and swaying buggy whipped past them, wheels rattling on the asphalt. Gabriel’s momentum carried him to the far curb. He stumbled, dropped to his knees, but kept the little girl securely wrapped in one long arm. The buggy, still swaying wildly, bolted past them and disappeared down the street.

Gabriel popped up, whirled, and marched back toward them, Isabelle still dangling from his arm like a stuffed doll.

“Who was that?” He panted, furious red blotches on cheeks that had gone white. He seemed oblivious to his daughter’s giggles. “He nearly ran over Isabelle. He could’ve killed her.”

“I—”

“Police. Stop. Stop that buggy now!” Police Chief Dylan Parker raced past them on foot, dodging people who had spilled into the street to watch the buggy continue its flight toward Bliss Creek’s city limits. The police officer’s hat blew from his head, but he didn’t halt. “Edmond Shirack, stop now!”

Sirens wailed. Flashing blue and red lights came into view. One of Bliss Creek’s three police cars gained on Chief Parker, swerved around him, slowed and then halted long enough for Parker to jerk open a door and climb in before picking up speed again.

The noise of the crowd grew. Laughter mingled with questions and curious bystanders turned their gaze on the Plain families who had congregated in one spot along the parade route.

Helen fought the urge to cover her face. She felt Emma’s arm come around her shoulder and squeeze. She straightened and lifted her chin.

“You’ve met my daughters.” Helen rubbed the spot on her arm where Gabriel had jerked her aside and gazed up at him. “That was my son Edmond.”

About Kelly: Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series, which includes To Love and To Cherish,  A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, which released February 1. She recently signed with Harvest House Publishing for a three-book spin-off series entitled the New Hope Amish. 

Kelly has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, published by Five Star Gale in 2010 and 2011. 

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, winning the Silver Star Award from the Texas Mental Health Association and numerous awards in news, feature, and editorial writing from the Texas Press Association and Texas Press Women. 

Kelly now works in public relations. She and her husband of twenty-five years live in Texas. 

Book 1 – To Love and to Cherish: 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 only knew 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, this one woman must see beyond her pain and open her heart to trust once again. 

Book 2 – A Heart Made New: Annie Shirack is trying to fight her feelings for David Plank, a young Amish man who’s struggling with an aggressive case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. David loves Annie too much to let her into his life, only, he fears, to leave her.

When a homeless young woman named Charisma and her two-year-old daughter, Gracie, show up in Bliss Creek, Annie welcomes them into the Shirack household and tries to help them establish a new life. But all the good deeds in the world can’t change the ache in Annie’s heart…or help her forget the man she loves.

Book 3 – Loves Journey Home: It’s been seven years since her husband died, but Helen Crouch is doing fine. She’s selling her jams at the bakery and making a living. But her whole world goes topsy-turvy when a new family moves to town. Gabriel Gless has brought his children to Bliss Creek to escape the worldly influences in Indiana. Helen and Gabriel have so much in common—the loss of their beloved spouses, the experience of raising their families alone, their rock-solid faith—so why can’t they speak without arguing? 

And that’s not all that’s going on in Bliss Creek this summer. In the middle of a drought, the going on in Bliss Creek this summer. In the middle of a drought, the community is must decide whether to establish a new settlement. As families say goodbye, each one must find the faith to follow the Lord’s direction.

Come back Feb 18th for Jordyn Redwood! 

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