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

New Book Alert (and an amazing giveaway)

We interrupt this blog for some exciting news…

Today is release day for Love Unforeseen!

I’m thrilled to share with you Tillie and Will’s story. It’s the second book in the Love Letters from Ellis Creek series, but can be read as a standalone.

One of the things I love most about Love Unforeseen and Love from Afar is that they are quick and fun reads. They are sweet romances filled with faith and humor, can be read in one sitting, and are a perfect temporary escape. Below is the blurb:

Will a best friend’s matchmaking scheme be successful?

Tillie Waller finds her life’s purpose in molding young minds as a teacher in Ellis Creek in the late-1890s. While she claims contentment, there is a part of her that longs to marry and be a mother, like her sister, Meredith, and best friend, Lula. But no matter. With her students and books, how could she ever be lonesome?

Willard “Will” Fairbanks has longed to return to Ellis Creek since the day he left the town with his family twelve years ago. When a job offer at Ellis Creek Mill beckons his return, Will eagerly embraces the opportunity. An added bonus? He hopes to reconnect with Tillie Waller, the girl he has always loved—the girl who never felt the same about him.

When Tillie encourages her pupils to write to pen pals in another town, she can’t possibly foresee how such an assignment will impact her own future. Her best friend, Lula, concocts a plan, unbeknownst to Tillie, for Will to become Tillie’s pen pal under a false name. Tillie forms a connection with her pen pal and even dares herself to fall in love.

When she falls in love with both Will and her pen pal, which one will she choose?

Will love unforeseen become a reality for Tillie and Willard?

In other news…

And speaking of sweet romances, Henry and Evaline will be free for download this Thursday and Friday. If you’ve been wanting to take a little journey to the 1960s for a fun visit and a peek into the life of one of Chokecherry Heights’ most beloved characters, here is your chance! Go here for your Kindle download.

Free free to spread the word!

Also, if you love giveaways, especially the chance to win 40+ books or a $500 Amazon giftcard, you’ll want to check this out. I am honored that my contemporary Christian romance novel, Love Under Construction, is a part of this phenomenal Celebrate Lit giveaway!

What’s better than a garden of flowers? How about a garden of books!

It is super easy to enter, and all of the details can be found here:

You will want to hurry because the giveaway ends May 14.

And finally, two items…have you signed up for my newsletter yet? All of the details can be found on the Newsletter tab on this blog.

Also, I’m starting a new Penny’s Peeps street team, and I’d love to have you join me. Interested in learning more? Go here.

Join me for my post Are you an Encourager or Discourager later this week, as well as a Saturday Spotlight with a new author friend. And coming up, I’ll be posting Movie Monday reviews for The Inspectors and God’s Not Dead: We the People.

Until then, have a wonderful rest of your week!

Before you go, check out these other posts:

5 ways to make your child feel loved

Happy release day!

11 ways to be kinder in 2022

the top 10 blog posts for 2021

a huge thank you to readers

resting in the arms of an unchanging God

15 scriptural reminders of God’s comfort

Posted in author interviews, Saturday Spotlight

Saturday Spotlight: A Heart to Cherish by Judith McNees

It’s Saturday and I am thrilled to once again welcome a fellow author to my blog!

Judith McNees is joining me today to celebrate her new release. Read on for all of the details and be sure to scroll to “The “Story Behind the Story”. Judith is an amazing person who has, and continues to, make a difference in the lives of children.

Be sure to join me again for another spotlight and later this week for my regularly scheduled blog posts.


Everyone leaves…including God.

That’s how Julia Price feels after years of being passed over in foster homes. All she has ever wanted is a family, but when she finds herself pregnant and homeless, her dreams seem further away than ever.

Strait-laced good guy Alex Morgan has waited his entire life for the woman God has prepared for him. When he makes it his mission to help Julia, he wonders whether she could be that woman. But why would God lead him to a pregnant non-believer?

As Julia struggles with issues of self-worth and trust, can she open her heart to both God and Alex? And can Alex trust their relationship to the One who holds Julia in His hand?


Contemporary Christian romance author Judith McNees lives in southwestern Michigan with her husband and four of their seven children, along with their three dogs. Her family loves to travel together, but she still believes that her home state is one of the most beautiful states there is. She is a proud stay-at-home mom, stepmom, foster mom, adoptive mom, and grandma, which gives her plenty of fodder for her writing. She holds a B.A. in English from Western Michigan University and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon.

The Story Behind the Story: Why I Wrote A Heart to Cherish

The first seeds for A Heart to Cherish were sown in my heart over a decade ago when my husband and I decided to become foster parents. In Michigan, all prospective foster parents are required to take classes called PRIDE, which stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education. Part of this training involved listening to a panel of former and current foster parents and foster children. During that panel, I learned that thousands of children “age out” of foster care without being adopted into families who can help them transition into adulthood. This puts them at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, and unwanted pregnancies.

This was a sobering revelation for me, as I’d had it in my heart to adopt older children for years prior to starting the foster care process. These are the forgotten orphans…the ones who were left orphans by a legal decision that stripped them of both their homes and their identities. Unfortunately, at the time our “birth” daughter was only three years old, and we were discouraged from taking in children who were older than the ones we already had in the home. God since gave me peace that the children we adopted were the group he had for us, but at the time, it was difficult for me to let go of the dream of adopting a teen.

Over the course of the next five years, we fostered a total of five children, three of whom we adopted, until our adopted daughter’s therapist recommended we stop due to her past trauma. In that time, I joined a number of support groups and advocacy groups and met other foster parents and former foster children who had been completely traumatized by a very broken system. I think that most social workers are doing the best they can, but with enormous case loads and legal constraints, the consequences of spending an extended amount in foster care, both for foster parents and children, can be quite damaging.

My heart went out to, and still goes out to, the children who are not adopted. My goal for my writing is to shed light on social issues that people go through in a way that is sensitive, yet still points to the hope of the Gospel. Since the book is ultimately a sweet Christian romance, it may not be as “hard hitting” as a story written for another genre or audience, but in writing my heroine, Julia, I was attempting to spotlight the extreme need for loving homes for these “system orphans,” even though the character herself is a true orphan who spent time in the system.

Former foster youth like Julia may be fortunate enough to be “adopted” into a found family as adults, but if you spend even a short amount of time looking up statistics for these kids, you’ll see that they aren’t always good ones like the fictitious family in A Heart to Cherish. If I can spur even one family into changing the narrative for a child in foster care, my work on this novel will have been worth it.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (NKJV)

Posted in about my books, about the books, Book News

It’s release day!

I am thrilled to announce the Release Day for Henry and Evaline! (Ebook releases today; paperback releases later this week).

And just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Release Day is always an exciting day for authors. It’s the day our characters finally come alive through hours of writing—many times long hours far into the night when we should be sleeping.

Readying a book to send off into the masses is not for the faint of heart. It involves hours of pounding on the keyboard, back-and-forth chat sessions with our editor, and reading the manuscript over a thousand times until we have it memorized. But it is so worth it to see the finished product and to share it with our readers.

Henry and Evaline is available in ebook format on Amazon by clicking here.

Below is the official blurb and some fun quotables. I hope you enjoy reading Henry and Evaline as much as I enjoyed writing it!


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.

Readers of sweet Christian romance will enjoy this faith-based novella with heartwarming and memorable characters. Can be read as a stand-alone or in conjunction with Love Under Construction.