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New Release Review and a Conversation with Shelley Shepard Gray, Author of A SON’S VOW (A Charmed Amish Life #1–with a Giveaway!)

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Welcome, Shelley! What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I’m not Amish but I live near an Amish community in southern Ohio.

2) I love to read and usually read several books a week.

3) We have two rescue dachshunds which are very spoiled.

4) I have two children in their 20s who say they weren’t as spoiled as the dachshunds. <g>

5) I have a terrible fondness for donuts. This is a problem!

Donuts? A problem? Perish the thought! 😉


Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The last time I drove through Charm, I stopped in the lumber mill and asked for a tour. As soon as I realized that the mill employs hundreds of people, many of whom are Amish, I knew the mill would be a great setting for a series. The hero of the book, Lukas Kinsinger, is the type of hero I’ve been wanting to put in a novel for some time. He’s take charge, handsome and kind of swoony. I thought he was a wonderful-gut counterpart to the heroine of the novel. She really needed a hero!

Yes, she did! But I’m glad she also stood up for herself too. Every heroine needs a chance to BE her own heroine! 🙂


How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I published my first novel in 2000. Since then, I’ve sold over fifty books for several different publishers. I started writing while I was teaching elementary school. I thought it would be a fun hobby. In a lot of ways, I still consider my job to be a very fun hobby. I really enjoy writing.

That’s great!

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I always work on more than one book at a time. Right now I am finishing up An Amish Family Christmas, which is the last book in this year’s Charmed Amish Life Series and A Wanted Man, which is the second book in a western historical series I write for Zondervan/Thomas Nelson. This year, I’ll have out all four books in the Charm series as well as The Loyal Heart, which is the first book in my Texas Heroes series.

Yay! I can’t wait for more Charm books! (And darn it, now I’m going to have to look into your other series as well…there goes the TBR again!)

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Oh, gosh, I’m not very good at things like this, but how about:

A Son’s Vow is romantic and unexpected. Give an alpha Amish hero a try! #AmishLove”

Works for me! Thanks again, Shelley!

Read more about Shelly and her newest release, A SON’S VOW, below!


Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


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The Charmed Amish Life #1
Shelley Shepard Gray
Releasing on January 26, 2016.
Avon Inspire
Shelley Shepard Gray’s first book in her Charmed Amish Life series is set in the quaint Amish village of Charm, Ohio, and tells the stories of the Kinsinger siblings who are each struggling to find both forgiveness and love in the face of tragedy.
Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s
lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.
Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five
lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.
Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?
SUCH a sweet romance–it also dealt with some very serious issues: grief, anger, abuse, forgiveness, and starting over–it did so beautifully, and I found myself tearing up so many times as I neared the end of the novel.

I really liked Darla’s character. At the beginning of the story, she’s still feeling overwhelmed with the turn her life has taken, and she seems to just stand back and let people dump on her–her brother Aaron, her neighbor Mary–but by the novel’s end, she’s sticking up for herself and letting others know she’s not anyone’s doormat. Though she takes some strength from Lukas, she doesn’t allow him to fight all her battles for her. I also appreciated that she wasn’t willing to marry just for safety or convenience–she held out for love, as every good heroine should.

Lukas could be a bit overbearing at times, but at heart he was a worthy hero. He did what he did from a place of love, and I liked that he was the first one to try and re-establish his lifelong friendship with Darla. (Even though it took him long enough to figure out that he really wanted something more from her–but that’s why God gave him sisters, obviously!)

I’m absolutely loving the people of Charm, and can’t wait for more of the series to come out! (Please say Hannah’s going to have a book–she’s one of my favorites!)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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