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Saturday, July 9, 2022


Abigail’s Amish life has always followed a certain path . . . until an Englisch woman disrupts all she’s known to be true.

Growing up Amish, Abigail Bontrager often felt like a square peg in a round hole. Her pie crusts always turned out tough. Her stitches always ran crooked. She was clumsy. Not ideal for an aspiring Amish wife and mother, but her faith and love of her family, which are so much more important, are solid. Plus, her relationship with the attractive and kindhearted Owen Kurtz is moving in the right direction.

Owen is part dreamer, part entrepreneur. His friendship with Abigail has gradually blossomed into a sweet and loving courtship. Inspired by the hope of a future with the girl of his dreams, he decides to take the next step in building a business of his own—in the promising new industry of growing sunflowers.

When an outsider claiming to be Abigail’s birth mother abruptly enters her life, Abigail’s world comes crashing down. Confused and upset, she is determined to discover who she really is. Her journey of discovery leads to the possibilities of a new life waiting for her in the Englisch world. But is this new life really worth giving up everything and everyone she’s known? How can Abigail and Owen follow their hearts—and God’s plan—when these new paths now lead them into the unknown?

In this second book in the Amish Blessings series, bestselling and award-winning romance novelist Kelly Irvin shares an inspiring story of following your heart while trusting God to lead you into your future.

Praise for The Warmth of Sunshine:

“Just like the title, The Warmth of Sunshine is a lovely and cozy story that will keep you reading until the very last page.” —Kathleen Fuller, USA Today bestselling author of The Mail-Order Amish Brides series

  • Sweet and thoughtful Amish romance
  • Second in the Amish Blessings series, but can be read in any order:

    • Book 1: Love’s Dwelling

    • Book 2: The Warmth of Sunshine

    • Book 3: Every Good Gift (Available February 2023)

  • Book length: 102,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs


I really liked the storyline and thought the author did an amazing job of showing readers how we will sometimes be tested in our faith. I was taken by surprise when Abigail learns she was adopted twenty years ago. There are so many thoughts running through her mind as she tries to understand that  her life is forever changed. What would you do if you suddenly found out that you were adopted? Abigail is in turmoil facing her biological mother while trying to hold her emotions in check. You can tell that she has this curiosity about this woman who says she gave birth to her.  I think Abigail feels a little betrayed and lied to by her parents. It must have been hard for them to keep this secret for so long. The author lets us see Abigail struggling with what the right thing is to do. Should she go see this other family she never knew existed? How will it affect the only family she has ever known? Will it cause friction in her relationship with Owen? 

Owen had this wandering spirit about him. He likes working with his father but he is restless and has this dream to farm. He can feel the soil in his hands and picture the crops as they grow. His heart is not fulfilled  and he knows he must follow God’s direction. His talk with Abigail about her situation was hard but I thought he gave her wise advice. As much as he wants to tell her to stay, he has to let her go to find out where God wants her. Owen is very mature in his thinking but deep down there is pain and a yearning to have a family. 

The mention of sunflowers in the  story made me smile. My favorites flowers are daisies and sunflowers. When I would visit my granddad on his farm every summer I was surrounded by sunflowers. It felt like they were smiling at me as they stood tall and beautiful. I learned through the story that they are used for oil and birdseed. It doesn’t take much space to grow them and they are good for the land. I appreciate the author doing her research to give  readers an idea of how to grow sunflowers and how they are profitable, Owen wants to have a sunflower crop but his dad doesn’t think it will be enough to support himself and a family. 

This may seem strange to those who have read the  book, but I really liked Eric who is Abigail’s biological dad. He has a good head on his shoulders and wanted to make sure Abigail knew he wanted to keep her and regrets their  decision. If I was Abigail I would be feeling a little more secure knowing that I was wanted. When he tells her that they will slow down getting to know her I applauded him. As they discuss the past he says , “Or maybe we had to go through trials in order to find our way back to each other.”  Well that  stopped me in my tracks. Just think of all the trials you have been through. Did they lead you back to where you were meant  to be? 

The author showed me what it was like to believe in yourself and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Abigail is an inspiration for all those who don’t feel like they fit in. We have to go through trials sometimes to discover where God wants us to be planted. I loved how the story takes us through second chances, patience, being content with who you are and forgiving even when it is hard. 

“A faith not tested would be weak faith.”

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The review is my own opinion.

Best-selling novelist Kelly Irvin's latest Amish romance, Love's Dwelling, debuted in July. The first novel in the Amish Blessings series takes place in Yoder and Haven, Kansas. The series takes a look at adoption in Amish communities. It follows the Amish of Sky Country series, which featured Amish communities in Northwest Montana affected by wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres in the state in recent years. The first book, Mountains of Grace, debuted in August 2019, and delves into the impact on not only an Amish man and woman, but also a smoke jumper, a sheriff's deputy, and a young English woman forced to confront her past because of the fires. 

Kelly also writes romantic suspense novels. Her most recent forays into this genre include Her Every Move and Closer Than She Knows, both set in San Antonio and South Texas. Publishers Weekly says of Closer Than She Knows, "this brisk, smoothly written thriller from Irvin pits court reporter Teagan O’Rourke, a murder mystery lover, against a cunning and vicious serial killer. Fans of serial killer fiction with a Christian slant will be satisfied."

Of Tell Her No Lies, The Library Journal says, "Irvin creates a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end. Known for her Amish novels, this two-time Carol Award finalist shows that her talents span subgenres from tranquil Amish stories to rapidly paced breathless suspense.”

Kelly is also the author of the Every Amish Season series, which included four books that chronicle the lives of Amish widows who are in different seasons in their lives. These women are linked by life altering experiences that bring them together as wives, mothers, and grandmothers in the small town of Jamesport, Mo. The first book, Upon a Spring Breeze, received critical acclaim from the Library Journal: "A moving and compelling tale about the power of grace and forgiveness that reminds us how we become strongest in our most broken moments."

Kelly Irvin is also the author of The Amish of Bee County series, which includes the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper's Son. Publishers Weekly called the first book in the series a beautifully woven masterpiece and Romantic Times Magazine called Kelly a storyteller extraordinaire. It was followed by The Bishop's Son and The Saddle Maker's Son, which is an ECPA bestseller.

A two-time ACFW Carol finalist, Kelly's novellas have been included in numerous anthologies, including An Amish Summer, The Amish Christmas Gift, An Amish Market, an Amish Christmas Love, and Amish Quilt, An Amish Reunion, An Amish Picnic, and An Amish Christmas Bakery.

She also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both published by Harvest House Publishers. Love Still Stands, the first book in the New Hope series, debuted in September 2012, and the follow-up, Love Redeemed, released March 1, 2014. The final book in the series, set in Branson, MO., was A Plain Love Song, released in July 2014. 

The Bliss Creek Amish series, set in Kansas, includes To Love and to Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love's Journey Home. 

In the New Hope series, familiar characters from Bliss Creek move to Missouri to start a new district and a new life.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Sisters in Crime. 

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly wrote nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, where she was exposed to culture and language that serves as fodder for her fiction writing. She has written hard news, features, entertainment pieces, restaurant critiques, editorials, and weekly columns. Writing awards include the Silver Star Award from the Texas Mental Health Association for articles pertaining to mental health and numerous awards in news, feature, and editorial writing from the Texas Press Association and Texas Press Women.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson. 

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for more than 30 years, and they have two young adult children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies.

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