Posted in Christmas, family/marriage

8 great Christmas gift ideas for wives

8 Christmas gifts for wives

It’s the all-important question that has perplexed husbands for centuries…what do you get for your wife for Christmas? Last week I listed five things not to buy your wife for Christmas. Read on for eight excellent suggestions, in no particular order, for all budgets that she’ll love.

1. A massage. The benefits of massage are numerous. It relaxes sore muscles, assists in stress relief, rounds out a fitness program, and improves the quality of life for those with diseases. Nearly every person can benefit from a massage.

2.  A book. Does your wife have a favorite author? Has she been eyeballing a book at the bookstore? I couldn’t not suggest a book since I’m an author myself! If your wife loves to read, but you’re not sure what book she’d like, a gift certificate from a local or online bookstore would be a great gift.

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3. A month’s worth of housecleaning. What woman wouldn’t love a break from housecleaning if only for a month? Why not hire a cleaning service to come in for a month and lighten your wife’s load? Trust me, she’ll appreciate this, and it will for sure earn you  “husband points!”

4. A vacation…just the two of you. No, it doesn’t have to be a seven-day vacation to an all-inclusive island resort. A weekend getaway at a bed and breakfast works too. Ask a family member or friend to take care of the kids, before sweeping your wife off her feet by planning a getaway for just the two of you. Be sure to plan this ahead of time and have the date set in stone, as life gets busy. You don’t want her Christmas gift to get forgotten.

5. Purchase a pamper kit. Choose a day and declare it your wife’s pamper day. She will be ushered first to the salon for a manicure or to have her hair done. Second, she will be treated to a no-interruptions bubble bath. That means that if you have small children, take them out for a Daddy Day while your wife relaxes. Third, she heads to the massage therapist for a much-needed massage (see #1). Fourth, take her out to a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant. Pull this off and I guarantee your Christmas will be very merry!


So, what if you’re short on cash during these strained economic times? Check out these economical suggestions that can mean so much:

6. A coupon book. You may have heard of this one before—it’s a homemade coupon book full of kind things to do for your wife. Cleaning her car inside and out would be a kind gesture, especially if the constant hauling around of children and pets has left the floor in your minivan stained and dirty. Offer to check her oil, check the tires, fill it full of gas, and wash the outside as well. Other suggestions can range from lovey-dovey romance coupons to thoughtful items (use your imagination here, guys!) There is no expiration date, and perhaps some coupons can be used more than once.

7. A promise to grow in your walk with the Lord together. Offer to pray with her and study the Word together. Plan, on a weekly basis, to put the Lord as the top priority in your marriage and watch how He changes you both for the better!

8. Renew your wedding vows. Have you been married any length of time? How about a renewing of your wedding vows? It doesn’t have to be fancy. Enlist your pastor’s help and have a small wedding where you rededicate your lives to each other.

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There you have it. Now hurry…you only have a few more shopping days left! Oh, and Merry Christmas!


 Other posts you may enjoy:

5 things a man should never buy his wife for Christmas

5 things moms need

do you stand out?

subscribe to my newsletter

leaving a Godly legacy

14 items to include in a DIY car emergency bin

5 ways to make your child feel loved

Posted in about my books, about the books, book giveaways, Book News, Book Spotlight

Cover reveal for Love’s New Beginnings and a chance to win!

I am super excited to announce the cover reveal for Love’s New Beginnings! Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? Mountain Peak Edits & Design is responsible for this beautiful cover and I couldn’t be more thrilled about this prequel to Forgotten Memories. And I’m giving away an ebook download (see below for more details)!


Where it all began…

Lydie Beauchamp recently moved with her aunts—sisters Myrtle and Fern—to the untamed Wyoming Territory. When a teaching position in nearby Willow Falls captures her attention, can she leave her aunts, one of whom just suffered a broken heart, and embark on this new adventure? Will she find the courage to persevere in the midst of challenges, one being a handsome challenge named Solomon Eliason?

Reverend Solomon Eliason has the goal of making a difference. Hired as the pastor of Willow Falls, he must convince the congregation that he is able to undertake the role of a reverend. When he’s nominated to be the adult in charge of the annual prank tradition at the school, he embraces the idea, thinking the new teacher will be an elderly crotchety woman like his former teacher. What he doesn’t realize until it’s too late is that the teacher is far from crotchety and elderly.  When Lydie and Solomon’s paths cross in an unexpected way during the prank tradition at the Willow Falls school, can Solomon redeem himself in the eyes of the lovely new teacher?

Take a glimpse into where it all began with Lydie and Solomon’s story in this tender tale that reminds us that God can and does use willing hearts for His purposes. 

Love’s New Beginnings is part of the Wyoming Sunrise Series, which includes Forgotten Memories and Dreams of the Heart.

It’s available for preorder for 99 cents and releases just in time for Christmas!

And I’m giving away an ebook download on Kindle to a lucky winner on the day of release. Entering is easy, peasy, quadruple easy and fast as in, all you have to do is add it to your Goodreads TBR to be entered! Go here to enter. (Open to U.S. residents only).

Thank you for celebrating with me!

Join me next week for our regularly-scheduled encouraging blog posts.

Posted in about my books, about the books, book giveaways, Book News, Book Spotlight

a couple of freebies and an amazing giveaway

I’m taking a brief break from my usual posts to share a couple of tidbits of exciting information.

First of all, I’m super excited to announce that Love in Disguise is part of Celebrate Lit’s April Showers Bring May Flowers Books Giveaway! Entering is easy and you could win 40+ books or a $500 Amazon card.

Go here to enter:

Can you imagine winning all of these amazing books? Or having $500 to splurge at Amazon? Be sure to enter and be sure to share the details with your friends!

Second, I wanted to share with you that I recently received word that two of my books will be available for free download. The first, Love from Afar, is free today (Wednesday, April 13) and tomorrow (Thursday, April 14) only.

Here is the blurb for Love from Afar:

What happens when two little sisters become self-appointed matchmakers?

Best friends Tillie and Lula are tired of watching Tillie’s older sister and Lula’s older brother admire each other from afar. Determined to bring their siblings together, they hatch a most brilliant plan. After all, it’s perfectly acceptable to indulge in mischief if it’s for a good cause, right?

Meredith Waller has an excellent reputation as a wedding dress seamstress in the frontier town of Ellis Creek in 1880s Montana Territory. There’s just one problem: all of the wedding dresses she has sewn have been for others. The eligible bachelor options—or at least decent eligible bachelor options—are next to nil in Ellis Creek, and Meredith worries spinsterhood is God’s plan for her.

Gabe Kleeman has recently returned to Ellis Creek. In those three years away, his affection for Meredith Waller, a woman he’s admired from a distance since their former school days, has remained steadfast. But Meredith doesn’t know Gabe exists, and if he doesn’t figure out a way to use the mouth God gave him to tell her his intentions, Meredith may never know.

Can Tillie and Lula’s clandestine plot bring two lonely hearts together?

Love from Afar is a fun and sweet romance novella with plentiful humor and a glimpse into 1880s Montana.

Go here to get your copy.

Second, mark your calendars because Henry and Evaline will be free for one day only: Saturday, April 16. If you are looking for a fun romantic novella that takes place in 1960 and also includes plentiful humor, be sure to download Henry and Evaline. Fans of Love Under Construction will appreciate Gram’s starring role.

The blurb is as follows:

What happens when an entire town becomes involved in a matchmaking scheme?

Evaline doesn’t know what to think when her mother volunteers her for the Bible club helper position. What she does know, however, is that she is most unimpressed when Henry Gregory, the Bible club leader, mistakes her for one of the participants. Who knew a quiet man of faith could have such an ornery streak?

Henry never met anyone quite like Evaline Browning. The petite librarian volunteering as a Bible club helper is a lot of spunk in a small package. But the more he’s around her, the more he fears he’ll lose his heart. Could this be the woman God has planned for him?

Soon, Evaline and Henry find themselves caught in a matchmaking endeavor. Polls, well-meaning gossips, and more shenanigans ensue as the residents of Chokecherry Heights do their best to convince Evaline and Henry they’d make the perfect couple.

Travel back in time for a peek into the life of one of Chokecherry Heights’ most beloved characters.

Go here to get your copy.

As always, feel free to spread the word and share about these freebies with your friends. (By the way if you would like to receive occasional newsletters with information about giveaways, free books, happenings, and other fun morsels, please sign up for my newsletter here).

My goal as a Christian author is to encourage and bless others with clean faith-based love stories where faith, romance, and humor abound. This goal could not be accomplished without the dedication and encouragement of readers —thank you.

I’ll be back here on the blog later this week to celebrate Easter with you. Until then, have a wonderful week!

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Other posts you may enjoy:

9 ways to show your kids you love them

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it’s release day!

what is love?

a huge thank you to readers

Posted in about my books, about the books

It’s release day!

Finally, the big day for my latest contemporary Christian romance has arrived. As an author, it always seems like the release date for a new book is far, far into the future. While we never want to wish time away, waiting for our characters to come to life in the form of a book can sometimes feel out of reach.

Today is the big day for Love Under Construction. A tender and uplifting Christian contemporary romance, the main theme I chose to wove throughout its pages is relying on God in all circumstances.

Be sure to return next Monday, as I’ll be listing all of the exciting details about my mini blog tour, taking place from December 6-11. I’m joining with fellow authors and hosting a few giveaways of Love Under Construction, offering some insights into the book, and answering some fun interview questions.

Also, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a guest today on Author Julie Arduini’s blog at where I’m talking about the inspiration behind the character, Cynthia Brady.

Without further ado, below is the blurb for Love Under Construction. It is available in both paperback and ebook format and can be found here.

Thank you for joining me in celebrating my new release!

She builds websites. He builds houses. Together, can they build a family for two orphans?

Irelynn agreed two years ago to help raise her best friend’s twins should anything happen. When she is called upon to fulfill that agreement, there is only one problem—Irelynn must share the responsibility with the arrogant but handsome Quinton Gregory. Quinton takes the role of raising his niece and nephew with all seriousness. He will do anything for the twins, even if it means putting up with the beautiful but stubborn Irelynn Brady.

When forced to be in each other’s presence far more often than is comfortable, things slowly begin to change. Will the unexpected attraction between Irelynn and Quinton become a love under construction?

Posted in book giveaways, family/marriage, guest posts

Guest Post: I’ll Never Get My Life Back (and a chance to win Disney tickets!)

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

My friend and fellow writer, Jessie Gunderson is my guest this week. She and her family are in the process of adopting two beautiful children from Ethopia. Jessie is holding a fundraiser on her blog where you can help out and have a chance at winning a pair of Disneyland tickets.  She’s also giving away a second place gift – your choice of one of my books (McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference, or Hollyhocks).

This is such an awesome opportunity to give two children a chance at a forever home!

I’ll Never Get my Life Back

By Jessie Gunderson

I’ve never thought of myself as the mothering type. I was the girl making mud pies and riding horses. The delight I experienced once I started having kids surprised me but I still longed for a day when they’d be grown up and I’d get my life back.

One day I was thinking about God’s profound love for us and how Jesus gave up his life so we could live and I began to change. I realized I couldn’t love God and despise His creation. I prayed for Jesus to show me how to love people.

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The Gunderson family

I’ve been a mother eleven years this December, learning how to love, surrender my agenda and the perfectionist tendencies, and grow to a place where I no longer want a different life. Isaiah 58:10 says to spend yourself. And as I studied God’s selfless character, I realized that’s how I want to be.

I delivered a little boy, my fifth child, at our home in the woods and I knew that our family wasn’t complete. God revealed over the next year and a half, His plan for further growing our family to include internationally adopted children. We’re currently in the process of adopting a 5 and 7 year old brother and sister from Ethiopia. She wants to be a judge when she grows up and he wants to be a runner. The journey toward them is immense and the heart change has taken me a lifetime but I no longer want out. I want to surrender to Christ’s strength and lean on him so I can spend myself loving the least of these.

Don’t forget to stop by Jessie’s blog to read about how you can help the Gunderson family bring home their two newest members of their family and in doing so, have a chance to win!

Posted in Uncategorized

Help me come up with a name for my next series!

I am in the process of writing a new historical romance series and have asked for input on what to name the dog in my third book. Out of the 39 names that were provided by my readers, five finalists have been chosen by my highly-esteemed elementary school dog namer daughters.

The five finalists are –






So, which one should be chosen for my main character’s dog? Keep in mind two little girls in my book are naming the dog (a male mutt) for the main character. Go to to vote before tomorrow afternoon and help me choose the name of the dog in book #3 in my next series! The dog name with the most votes wins! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

McKenzie now available on Kindle!!!

We interrupt this blog for some exciting news! “McKenzie,” which released in September 2010 in paperback in now available on Kindle! Wooo hooo!

Check out all the details here: