Balancing Justice and Mercy

Hi Friends,

It’s been a busy month with the release of Shine Like the Dawn, and I’ve had lots of opportunities to connect with new reading friends. One question I’m often asked is, how does your faith impact your stories, and how do you weave in faith elements? So I thought I’d tell you about the spiritual themes from Shine Like the Dawn.

I’ve enjoyed writing several English historical novels set in the Edwardian era over the last few years including The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall. They all contain family drama, romance, and inspiration. But in my latest novel, Shine Like the Dawn, I decided to also include a mystery. And for my heroine, Maggie Lounsbury, solving the mystery becomes a very personal search for justice.

As I wrote the story I found inspiration in the theme verse, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, and your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5 – 6

Cragside, the inspiration for the hero’s estate, Morningside Manor

Maggie suffers a great loss at the beginning of the story, and her search to understand why it happened and who is responsible are key plot points in the novel. Maggie’s losses shaped her personality, and she has become stronger and more determined because of them. Those losses also hardened her, and she distanced herself from the Lord. She questions God’s love and justice, and is determined to find the answers to her questions herself. But through the kindness of the hero and wisdom shared by her grandmother, Maggie’s heart begins to soften. As she continues on her journey to solve the mystery she eventually sees the way God balances Justice and Mercy. This renews her relationship with God and opens the way for forgiveness and restoration.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Shine Like the Dawn and feel as though they’ve been swept away to Northumberland, England in 1903, but I also hope you’ll be challenged to explore what it means to forgive and reflect God’s mercy to those who have hurt you in the past. Those are lessons that touched my heart as I wrote this story, and I trust they will touch my reading friends too.

Shine Like the Dawn is available in paperback, eBook, and audio. The Dutch edition will release in June. To read the first chapter, purchase your copy, and see more images of the characters and setting please visit this page.

Until next time . . . Happy Reading,


The Gift of a Song

Christmas lights

Hi Friends,

Christmas is a wonderful season . . . but if you’re like me . . . sometimes you need to stop, take a deep breath, and receive God’s peace and joy. Last night as I drove home from Bible study realized I was rushing, and there was really no need. When I reached my neighborhood I slowed down to enjoy all the Christmas lights while I listened to Christmas carols on my car radio. It really made my heart happy to sing along and see the lights twinkling in the dark, cold night.


Do you need a break in all your Christmas preparations? I thought you might enjoy this beautiful song by the Piano Guys. I hope it lifts your spirit and helps prepare your heart for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!


Life in the Not So Fast Lane

Hi Friends,

It has been one week since I fell while gardening and broke my right ankle . . . and what a week it’s been! I am doing a little better each day, and I’m thankful to have ways to get around the house.

A rolling chair has been a great help in the kitchen where we have hardwood floors. I can scoot and roll around and reach most things. It’s awkard . . . but I am grateful to be able to get a glass of water and reach for a snack in the pantry without having to call my husband, who has been so kind and caring.

Here I am with my knee scooter.

Here I am with my knee scooter.

This knee scooter is a great invention, and it helps me move from room to room. It was tough to use at first because me knees were very sore from the fall, but as my knees healed, I was able to use the scooter and make tracks!

My church, Calvary Chapel Living Hope, in Robbinsville, NJ, has been a great help, bringing us meals, calling, praying, and even planting the rest of the flowers in my flowerbeds. I am humbled and very greatful for their love and support.

I want to say a huge thank you to all those who have sent cards, offered prayers, brought meals, or called to check on me. I feel very loved and cared for by you all.

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The View From the Couch

IMG_1047Hi Friends, I am spending a lot of time on the couch since I broke my ankle last Sunday. Here’s how it happened. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and I decided to spend some time working in my front flower gardens. I had purchased three flats of annuals to brighten up the yard, and I was anxious to transplant them. But first I had to clean out the old oak leaves and pull the wilted tulip and daffodil leaves. I find a lot of joy being outdoors, digging in the dirt, and coaxing blooms from my flowerbeds.

Our front garden is terraced, and I stepped up to pull some weeds, and when I stepped down I missed the lower row of bricks landed on the driveway with a crashing thud. I heard my ankle break, and I knew I was in trouble. Fortunately, I had my phone with me, and I was able to call my friend and neighbor who is a nurse. She came over and helped me, then I called Scott, and he came home and took me to the ER.

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