Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Emma Baker & Luke Davis ~ EVERY WINDOW FILLED WITH LIGHT ~ by ~ Shelia Stovall

I’m Emma Baker, a young childless widow. I’m the Weldon Public Library director and my mother, Virginia Willoughby, is the mayor of Weldon, Kentucky. I’ll never achieve Mother’s idea of perfection as I’m a bit awkward.

I grew up in my grandparents’ home with my mother, as my father abandoned us when I was a toddler. It’s been my lifelong dream to be a part of a large, boisterous family like my best friend, Casey.

My husband, Chris, and I inherited Grandfather’s old Victorian home. Still, before we could build a family, Chris was accidentally stabbed to death by one of his students, leaving me to spiral into a pit of despair.

It’s been two years since Chris’s death, and my grief has stifled any interest in romance—until I met Pastor Luke Davis. But when I learned Luke is counseling Winston Meador, my husband’s killer fresh out of jail, my temper ignited. It wilts me to know that I haven’t come close to forgiving the boy. I say the words, “I forgive,” but my heart will not yield.

Before Chris’s death, I’d never experienced hate. I love children, and it pains me to suffer this angst toward a young man. I often deal with kids who need more parental supervision hanging out in the library. If only I could take them home and give them the love and attention they deserve.

I’m Luke Davis, an associate pastor of a large congregation in a community that neighbors Weldon, Kentucky. I’m committed to working with troubled teens because I grew up feeling unworthy and unloved. My mom abandoned me when I was eight years old, and my alcoholic grandmother made it clear she didn’t want me around. If Pastor Bob hadn’t introduced me to my heavenly father, I’d probably be dead or in prison.

A long time ago, I had a fiancée, but I struggled to balance church responsibilities and personal relationships. When I refused to accept a large home from my fiancée’s parents as a wedding gift, she broke our engagement because she claimed I loved God more than her. She was right. I’ve accepted the only family I’ll ever have is my church family.

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Author, Shelia Stovall will be gifting a signed copy to someone who comments on this post.
Be creative in your comments, readers. 
Drawing is to be held Wednesday evening, April 14, 2021

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My Story Genre:  Women's Contemporary Christian Fiction

My Story Released:        April 2, 2021
                                    A brand new release!

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The Author of My Story:   Shelia Stovall

Shelia Stovall  is the director of a small-town library in southern Kentucky, where only strangers mention her last name, and the children call her Miss Shelia.

It tickles her to see shocked expressions when folks learn she’s traveling to Africa—again. She’s the worst missionary ever, but God continues to send her to the ends of the earth as He attempts to mold her into something useful.

Shelia is a country girl who relishes eating a bologna sandwich at a country store just as much as savoring an elegant meal in a posh restaurant.

Shelia and her husband Michael live on a farm, and she enjoys taking daily rambles to the creek with their three dogs. Spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, is her all-time favorite thing. The only hobby Shelia loves more than reading uplifting stories of hope is writing them. 

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Meredith Jaynes ~ Borrowed Lives ~ by ~ Carol McClain

Introducing ~ Meredith Jaynes

Rosemary lay on my belly and stared at me with her big blue eyes. On the top of her misshapen noggin, a shock of red hair stood up in spikes accenting the hematoma the doctors assured me would go away in a few days.

Blood smeared her forehead. Cheesy white vernix dotted her blotchy skin.

My daughter. The most beautiful child ever born.

“Our baby.” John leaned his head near mine. He ran his finger over our newborn’s fingers. The huskiness of his voice conveyed his awe and wonder.

Never had we been so in love—and don’t tell my mother or my sister they were right about forgetting the pangs of childbirth once Rosemary entered the world. I’d never hear the end of their “I told you so’s.”

I learned this from over twenty years of experience. And most recently, they nagged the grace of God out of me when I dropped out of college and married John. Fortunately, this little one waited a year after our nuptials to arrive, or else I’d be accused of a shotgun wedding.

Warm lips caressed my forehead. “Were we worth the forfeit of your dreams?"

I tore my gaze from my child and found John’s warm, brown eyes. Dark lashes and brows made everything about him safe and warm and heaven. I laid my finger on his lips. “I have no regrets.”

His smile?

Oh, melt my heart!

“Besides, we’ll have plenty of time for me to complete my studies after a million babies and an eternal honeymoon.”

The nurse scooped up my daughter for her last Apgar assessment. Losing her heft from my belly left me chilled. I studied every movement the nurse made. Having Rosemary gone this brief moment felt like a lifetime.

I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now.

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Carol will be gifting a single EBOOK to one who comments between 
Thursday 4am Eastern~March 25 to Wednesday 6pm Eastern~March 31st
Drawing to be held after 6pm

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My Story Title:   Borrowed Lives
   Book 1 of the Treasured Lives

My Story Genre:  Contemporary

My Story Has Released:   Is on sale NOW!

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The Author of My Story:    Carol McClain

 Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work. Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and two pint-sized goats, Peanut and Buttercup, who must be bottle fed. 

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  Get Connected:

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Ruth Becker ~ In ~ THE STARS IN APRIL ~ by ~ Peggy Wirgau

Ruth Becker

I love my life here in India. My parents are missionaries, and they came all the way from America to our village of Guntur before I was born. Born in 1900, I’m now twelve years old, and I have a four-year-old sister and a little brother, who’s almost two. My father, Reverend Becker, is the director of the mission orphanage, and without that position I have no idea how I would have met my best friend, Sajni. Papa found her wandering the streets when she was six and I was four, and we’ve been friends ever since. Mother cares for us at home and likes to complain about India’s heat, the food, the customs, and the reptiles—all the things I love the most.

But now that the doctors have told Mother to take my brother back to America so he can get well, I think she sees it as her chance of escape. When Papa told me the news that we’d all be going and he had to stay behind, I tried to get him to let me stay as well. The Spring Festival is coming soon, and I was to play a violin solo! How can he make me give that up, not to mention leave him and Sajni and all I hold dear?

It doesn’t matter that he splurged on second-class tickets for us on a brand-new luxury liner called Titanic. That is, if we ever reach England. And it doesn’t matter that Papa and I will continue our recording of the night skies from our different vantage points in our Sky Reports. How can he let me go?

Tomorrow, we have a stifling train ride to endure and then a four-week voyage from India while I do nothing but babysit my siblings. I miss Papa and India already! How will I ever survive?

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Author, Peggy Wirgau, is generously offering a single signed copy of
 to someone who leaves a comment (US ONLY)
Drawing is to take place on Wednesday evening ~ March 24, 20

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         My Story Title:   THE STARS IN APRIL

      My Story Genre:

          My Story Releases:   March 27, 2021

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                The Author of My Story:    Peggy Wirgau


  Peggy Wirgau is a Michigan native and now lives in Delray Beach, Florida. She loves bringing history to life for readers.

Peggy has written for Appleseeds, Insight, Learning Through History, and contributed to Why? Titanic Moments by Yvonne Lehman. Her blog features in-depth Titanic stories, and her followers include descendants of the ship’s real-life victims and survivors.

A graduate of Michigan State University and George Mason University, Peggy is an active member of ACFW, SCBWI, Historical Novel Society, and Great Lakes Titanic Connection. She loves to travel, especially to New York City and Mackinac Island, Michigan, where she explores historical sites. Peggy is also a Registered Nurse. She and her husband have two adult children.

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Melody Carmichael and Zeke Solomon ~ Mishaps Off the Mainland ~ by ~ Tabitha Bouldin

My name is Melody Carmichael, but everyone calls me Mel. I grew up on the Independence Islands, and there’s no other place I’d rather live. We have our own version of paradise here. I own a mobile pet grooming business called Zoomin’ Groomer. It’s a dream come true, getting to spend my days grooming pets. My truck’s a bit of a klunker though. I’m impulsive and I bought it because a friend was selling out and offered me a sweet deal. I had to call Zeke just the other day and ask him to come help me fix the generator. I’m worried I made a mistake, taking all this on. I thought the truck was God’s way of saying this is what I should do, but now I’m not so sure. On the days when it seems like everything is going wrong, I keep reminding myself that this is what I’ve always wanted. There’s nothing better than helping pets and their owners. I have a soft spot for the strays, and I spent several years working at the animal shelter, grooming animals to help them get adopted faster.

Don’t let her kid you. She still spends most of her Saturdays at the shelter. I’m Zeke Solomon, by the way. I grew up in Atlanta but came over to Merriweather Island to visit my grandmother. Well. That’s partially true. I needed to get away from the city for a while. My dad’s a bigwig in the business world. He started his own company when he was my age and now he expects me to join him in the company. That’s not me. The whole office thing. Not my style. I’m planning on opening a carpentry business and staying here on the islands, far away from Dad and the business. He keeps calling me, but I’m avoiding him. Avoiding the confrontation. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s hard to tell him no. I don’t want to disappoint him, but I can’t live that life. So I’m hiding out here on the islands, helping Mel find my grandmother’s dog, since she let it escape.

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Tabitha is offering an autographed copy of Mishaps off the Mainland to one commenter ~ US only ~
Drawing will take place Wednesday evening, March 17, 2021

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  Our Story Title: Mishaps Off the Mainland

    Our Story Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Our Story Released:  November 24, 2020

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The Author of Our Story:   Tabitha Bouldin

Tabitha Bouldin has a bachelor's degree in creative writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been writing since 2015. When she's not homeschooling her kids, you'll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha's genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

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 Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Tamar Kaplan & Neelie Visser ~ A Song for her Enemies by Sherri Stewart

Hallo. That’s hello in the Nederlands language, but a lot of people call it Dutch. My name is Tamar Kaplan. I really don’t like to say my name. It seems to evoke the most puzzling reactions. The worst was the time my so-called friends at school burst out laughing at some private joke when someone called out, “Tamar.” I asked my mother about it later that night while she was doing dishes. I said, “Eema, what’s wrong with my name?”

She dried off her hands on a dish towel and took off her apron. “Nothing, sweetie. It’s a lovely name from the Bible.” When I pressed for more information, she waved a dismissive hand and said we’d talk about it when I was older.

Well, I’m older. And I’m facing the biggest challenge of my life in less than an hour. As the understudy for La Traviata’s Violetta, I’ll be playing the lead soprano role, since Margot huffed out of rehearsal when the producer made a comment about her weight.

I’ve been waiting for this night forever. Nerves invade every part of me. The producer doesn’t think I’ve experienced enough angst in my twenty-one years to play the role of a middle-aged courtesan. Angst? Sure I’m young and still live with my parents and brother, Seth, above the family’s jewelry shop in Haarlem, but there’s something about my religion that makes people back away. And I’ve seen the word, Juden, written across shop windows as if it were a terrible thing. And there’s those Nazi soldiers standing on street corners. Papa says not to worry about them. They mean no harm.

Fifteen minutes to curtain. I need to focus on playing Violetta, and I should pray, though it seems God is so distant. Maybe He doesn’t care about Nederland. Still, I will pray for angst, and maybe He will answer my prayer.


My name is Neelie Visser. Ever since Frans died last year, I’ve been wandering aimlessly around our house on the canal, wishing I had someone to talk to, something worthy to do with my free time. I still chat with Frans as if he were in the room, but my words seem to echo off the walls. Jan comes home once in a while. He’s always in such a rush, but I make him sit for a meal because he’d getting much too thin for a nineteen-year-old college student.

Jan is involved in something dangerous. Mothers know things like that. I’d bet a plate of boterkoeken he’s involved with the Resistance. It doesn’t surprise me since he always had a heart for the underdog, even if he got in trouble for defending them.

There’s talk among the other violinists at the opera that things are going to get worse here in our country. How could they get any worse? The ration card is depleted in a month. And neighbors are afraid to stop for a chat—they just hurry past with their heads down. I’ve seen the debris outside looted shops on the Barteljorisstraat, and nobody does anything. Haarlem has always been a proud and tidy town. Well, I will do something. But what can a forty-two-year-old second-chair violinist do? Maybe Jan will have some ideas when he comes for tea.

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My Story Title:   A Song for her Enemies

My Story Genre:  Historical Romance

My Story Released:   March 1, 2021 
                                   NEW RELEASE

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The Author of My Story:    Sherri Stewart

Sherri Stewart writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She’s authored five novellas and a dozen novellas.
Her former careers as principal, French teacher, flight attendant, and immigration attorney have provided many storylines for her books. 
Sherri’s passion is traveling to the settings of her books—Israel, the Netherlands, France, and closer spots around the US. 
A recent widow, she lives in the Orlando area with her strong-willed dog, Lilith, and her son, Joshua, who can fix anything. 
She shares recipes, tidbits of the book’s locations, and pix in her newsletter. Subscribe at

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Tammy ~ Gifts of Grace ~ by ~ Kathy McKinsey

“Grandma, I don’t wanna be a doctor!”

I was seven, and my older twin brothers had just left for college, both headed for medical school. My father was a surgeon, and my mother was an ER doctor. I’ve always figured that when it came to me, all the genius cells had been used up.

For most of my growing up years, the bus dropped me off after school at the house of my Grandma Pearl, my mom’s mother.

Today had been a rough day. I’d spelled every word on the spelling test wrong, and the teacher made me come to the chalkboard and write every word ten times. When I tried to count by tens to 100, I kept forgetting and threw in 35, 65…

“Grandma, I’m dumb.”

Throwing myself into her arms, I sobbed like my dog just died.

“All right, sweetie, that’s enough.” Grandma sat me up on her lap and handed me a clean handkerchief. “Wipe your face.”

“Do I have to be a doctor?” Hiccupping, I blew my nose.

“No, ma’am. God’s got some other special plans for you.”

My family didn’t go to church much, but Grandma did. If I was at her house on Sunday, she took me to church with her. I loved when we had snacks at Sunday school.

Grandma often read me stories from the Bible too. Now, she picked up the Bible story book with lots of pictures and flipped through the pages.

“Remember David?” She pointed to the shepherd boy. “He wasn’t as big or impressive as his older brothers, but God chose him to be king.” She moved on and came to the picture of baby Jesus in a feed box.

“Mary was just a plain village girl, but God chose her to be Jesus’ mother. And Joseph was just a simple carpenter, but he became Jesus’ adopted father.”

She tipped my chin so I could look up at her. “Two things, my Tammy. You are not dumb.”

I opened my mouth, and she laid her fingers over my lips.

“And, if you don’t want to be a doctor, that’s all right. God has some other really special job in mind for you.”

I knew my parents loved me, but they were busy with their careers. Much of my time was spent with Grandma. She helped me become more confident with my homework. She taught me to drive. She stayed up all night with me, preparing for college entrance exams.

When Karl and I decided it would work for our family, for me to be a stay-at-home mom, Grandma was the role model I wanted to be like.

After we were Christians, I knew I had the most important job in the world—teaching my children to love Jesus.

But now what? The kids are grown. They don’t want to hear my advice about decisions in their lives.

And right now, looking at my heart, I don’t want them to follow after me anyway.

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My Story Title:   Gifts of Grace

My Story Genre:  Women's Fiction
                               Collection of Novellas

My Story Releases:   February 23, 2021 (Just 12 more days!)

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Author Kathy McKinsey is offering ONE SIGNED COPY TO A U.S. RESIDENT

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The Author of My Story:    Kathey McKinsey

Kathy McKinsey  grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for more than 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl.

She’s been married to Murray for 33 years, and they have five adult children.

She’s had two careers before writing—stay-at-home-Mom and rehabilitation teacher for the blind.

She lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dog.

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Christina Jones ~ Writing Home ~ by ~ Amy Anguish

Hi. Christiana here, though most call me Chris. Here I am in my dream city, where I’ve been ever since graduating college. My dad and his best friend always talked of Huntsville, Alabama, and I knew it was the place for me. I found a cute little one-bedroom apartment, a job as a receptionist at a pediatric clinic, and a nice congregation to worship with. You’d think I’d be happier, right?

And yet, here I am, with boxes still packed around the living room, nothing hung on the walls, and no one local I can call a friend. My best friend, Tina, still lives back in Tennessee, and she begs me to move back every time we talk. But I can’t. My brothers have a bet going as to how long I’ll stay here before tucking tail and coming home.


Tennessee doesn’t feel like home, either. No more than Huntsville. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was homeless. And yet, I know I’m not. I have a mailbox downstairs where I collect my bills and junk every day. And sometimes even a letter from Jordan.

Now there’s someone who knows what home is. He’s living on his family’s property in Louisiana, working his dream job of being a nurse practitioner, and leading singing at the congregation where he grew up. How did we meet? Tina. He’s her cousin, and when I started looking for a pen pal, she suggested we’d be a good fit.

I didn’t think I’d ever try being a pen pal again, but stumbling over that box of Gran’s old letters a few weeks ago really inspired me, I guess. We’ll see how long I stick it out this time. Growing up, I didn’t make it more than a few weeks.

Maybe if I find a picture to hang on my wall, it will feel homier. Or maybe, I just need to give up and let my brothers be right for once. Ugh. Who wants to do that?

I wonder if Jordan would have any ideas to help me feel more at home here in the place I always wanted to be.

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Amy has generously offered to gift a signed copy to someone who comments below!
Drawing to be held next Wednesday evening (January 27, 2021)

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My Story Title:   Writing Home

My Story Genre:  Contemporary Christian Fiction

My Story Released:   January 19, 2021 (Brand new release this week!)

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The Author of My Story:    Amy Anguish

Amy R. Anguish grew up a preacher's kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

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Follow Amy at or

Learn more about my books at

And check out the YouTube channel she does with two other authors, Once Upon a Page (

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Thursday, January 14, 2021


I'm so happy to be able to show the contest results for the prize of a SOWN IN PEACE BOOK MARK 

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Our winners are:                    

James and Anita Braden    

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How much can one wounded soul take?

Victoria (Tori) Archer has the heart of a soldier. Taken down by an IED during her fourth deployment, she’s permanently separated from her military career and left with physical scars as well as PTSD. Moving back to her hometown of Three Rivers, Michigan, she’s forced by circumstances to live with an irascible and unsympathetic aunt. Tori’s battle with pain, horrific memories, and loss of independence creates a deep yearning for peace. Will God grant her even a small measure of it?

Retired Military Dog Handler Griffin (Griff) McKay turns to training dogs at his farm for wounded warrior therapy, desiring to bring former military men and women emotional and mental healing. Implementing his plan proves to be more difficult than visualized with the arrival of one stubborn soldier. Why has God placed that particular warrior in his path?

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Thursday, January 07, 2021

NEW YEAR CONTEST: PHOTO FUN ~ Sown In Peace by Joy Avery Melville ~ Character Gift

Heroine, Tori Archer and Hero, Griff McKay have a drawing coming up~

To enter it, you must~

1 ~ Own a copy of Sown In Peace (ebook or paperback)

2 ~ Send me a photo of you holding your copy (kindle, pdf, or paperback)
      make it a FUN and/or QUIRKY photo!

Send it in jpg form to me, Joy Avery Melville via email to


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Winner will receive: The Unique Bookmark that has a miniature of the book with the storm charm depicting the inset of the cover. (See book cover below for detail)

This bookmark really works in any book!

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 Story Title:   SOWN IN PEACE

 Story Genre:  Christian Contemporary Women's Fiction 
                               with Romance

 Story Released:  August 27, 2019

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The Story's Author:   Joy Avery Melville

Award winning author, Joy Avery Melville’s heart’s desire is to be the author God has called her to be by sharing Him with readers in such a way they long to have a deeply committed personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

Fully intending to write Historical Romance—had in fact— she had no plans to deviate from that. God had something else in mind for that ‘call’ He’d made on her life back in 1967. A mere eighth grader at the time, she had no clue about the topics she’d be drawn to write about.

Surrendering to the genre God placed on her heart has given Joy new insight into the hearts and lives of those who too often hurt in silence.

The settings of Joy’s books are near where she lives in Schoolcraft, Michigan with her husband of nearly 47 years and their 2-year-old Yorkie, Is-A-Bella Bindi, (Is-a-beautiful little girl) who thinks she’s a much larger breed with tomboy tendencies.

Joy loves to hear from readers and will respond!

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