Shannon here: Amish romance author, Kelly Irvin shares an excerpt from her latest release, A Heart Made New, plus a chance to win a copy. Comment on any post dated Oct 15 – 19 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Oct 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Kelly:
Excerpt from A Heart Made New by Kelly Irvin:
[Annie] cracked six eggs, one after the other, into a separate bowl in quick succession. The quick snap of her wrist, the clean break, the efficiency of the movements made her feel better somehow. This was something she knew how to do. She was in control.
“Annie, are you listening?” Sadie tapped a flour-coated finger on the counter. “You are right where you belong.”
“I know.” She added two of the eggs to Gracie’s bowl and four to her own. “Stir.” She put a hand on the girl’s wooden spoon. “Gently. You don’t want raw egg all over your new dress.”
A big grin on her face, Gracie slapped a chubby hand on the green dress Annie had made for her the previous evening. After the scene at the quilting frolic, it had soothed Annie to sew. The whap, whap sound as she pumped the treadle sewing machine with her bare feet always made her think of Mudder.
“Pretty. Pretty.” Gracie crowed. “Gracie pretty.”
Pretty wasn’t something Plain women aspired to be, but Annie understood the sentiment. “Very nice. Now stir. Gently.”
“You have such patience. You’ll be a good mother.”
At the sound of David’s voice, Annie’s arm froze in mid-stir. Her heart sped up, just as it always did. It betrayed her every time. His words sunk in and the usual ache caught in her throat, then spread until she could barely swallow. Surely, he knew how she longed for that day. Didn’t he think of having children with her? Apparently not, if he could make such an off-handed remark.
She inhaled the sweet, lovely scent of baking bread. One. Two. Three. Breathe. She could be as off-handed as he. Without haste, she laid the spoon next to her bowl, and turned. “Good morning. I didn’t know you were here.”
His gaze collided with hers. Something in his dark eyes said he wasn’t as nonchalant as she first believed. She refused to drop her gaze. The seconds stretched, stretched, then seemed to snap back. Something there in the deep brown of his eyes mesmerized. He felt something. As much as he denied it, she could see it there in his eyes. She took a step forward. He shook his head slightly, cleared his throat, and the want—the yearning—disappeared, swallowed up by regret. Then he bent over to let bags of sugar slide from his shoulders to the floor. The moment was lost in the thud of their weight against the wood. He began to stack them.
“I came in through the back.” His voice sounded oddly hoarse, like he had a cold. “Our shipment arrived.”
“So I see.” Annie glanced at Sadie. She could’ve said something. A faint smile on her wrinkled face, David’s mother appeared engrossed in shaping the loaves and placing them in the greased bread pans. Fine. No help there. “Why are you stacking those here, instead of in the back?”
“Because I don’t want you two trying to carrying them up here.”
“I’m quite capable of carrying a bag of sugar.”
“From the sounds of it, you need to add a heaping helping of that sugar to your coffee this morning.” David headed toward the storage room door. “Have you ever heard the expression you gather more flies with honey than vinegar?”
“Who wants flies in honey anyway . . .” She didn’t bother to finish the sentence. He’d already disappeared through the door. “Men.”
“Men.” Gracie swung her wooden spoon through the air in an enthusiastic flourish. “Men.”
A glob of flour and egg landed on Annie’s cheek.” “Gracie!”
She grabbed at the spoon and missed. More of the sodden mess deposited itself on her dress. What was the point of wearing an apron if it didn’t cover anything? She took another swipe and managed to wrestle the spoon from the girl. “You have to keep the spoon in the bowl, little one.”
Gracie’s face crumpled. “My spoon. My spoon. Want my spoon.”
“Like this.” Annie stuck the offending spoon into the mess in Gracie’s bowl. “Stir, stir, stir.”
“Stir, stir, stir.”
Gracie reached for the spoon. Her arm hit the gallon of milk on the prep counter. It toppled. Annie dove. Too late. The plastic container smashed into the floor. Its contents poured out in a glug, glug, glug sound. Milk splattered on Annie’s face, her apron, her shoes.
Angry words flew to Annie’s mouth. She pressed her lips together, forcing them back. Accidents happened.
“Milk. I need milk.” Gracie clamored down from her chair, her bare feet making squelching sounds in the puddles. She squatted and slapped her hands in the liquid around her. “Drink milk?”
Annie put her hands on her hips. Sadie appeared at her side. “I think three may be a tad too young for cookie-making.” She laughed, a deep-in-her-belly laugh. “What do you think?”
Annie couldn’t help but join her. The laughter felt good.
“You all have gone completely daft.” David dropped a bag of flour next to the sugar. “You’re standing there laughing while that stuff dries. What if a customer comes in?”
Always the practical one. That was David. At that moment, Annie wanted to shake him until she could shake a little imagination, a little sense of adventure, a little fun, into him “You’re—”
As if on cue, the door opened and the bells over it dinged.
About Kelly: Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series, which includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, which is slated to release in October 2012, and Love’s Journey Home, which will debut in January 2013. 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 member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. For more than eighteen years, she has worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-four years, and they have two young adult children. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.
About the book – A Heart Made New: In the second novel of Kelly Irvin’s Bliss Creek Amish series, readers will be delighted to return to a town and a family they’ve already come to love.
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. (#2 in the Bliss Creek Amish series by Kelly Irvin – Harvest House Publishing -Release Date: Oct. 1, 2012)
Come back Oct 22nd for Sharon Srock!