Return to Peaceful, Wisconsin and read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
Book 1: Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love
Book One Friendship Heirloom: Persistence
Zoë Rossdale is the clumsy girl who always has her elbows, feet, eyes, and brass-red hair going in the wrong directions. She floats around in her own world, comfortable there alone, only to be jarred back into the real one when her obliviousness gets her in trouble again. After a lifetime of being evaluated critically–first by her own father, and then by everyone around her–and found wanting, she’s trying to change…for her own good. She’s reaffirmed her commitment to Christ and vowed not to do any of the stupid, possibly illegal, things she’d done for years on the pitiful excuse of surviving. After nearly being fired from the only job she could get to keep her from starving and living on the streets, she’s going to school once more and trying to do better for her über-patient boss. And she’s allowed her best friends to talk her into getting contacts, some new clothes, and a more flattering hairstyle. They tell her she looks beautiful, but she feels more like a dodo bird than ever before–until she literally runs into the only man she’s ever gone loopy over.
Curt Bertoletti has spent years trying to forget the seriously messed-up Zoë and her embarrassing ways. The only person who’d ever approved of the ditzy klutz was his mother, and his mother has become relentless in her cause to get him married and settled down. Surely that’s what conjured the appearance of Zoë…Zoë, who looks so little like the girl he remembers. Even as he vows that he won’t stray again–out of weakness or whatever it was that had him stone-gone over her before–he can’t help remembering how well he and Zoë fit together. They’d truly been two abnormal peas in an even stranger pod. But no other woman had ever gotten that misty look in her eyes when she looked at him, or kissed him like she’d forgotten anyone or anything else existed. No other woman made him so happy, so mad, so sad, and so content. Though he’s walking stronger in the Lord than he ever has before and he finally knows what he wants in life, he’s convinced Zoë Rossdale is not it–matchmaking mother or no matchmaking mother. So why can’t he forget her and be done with it?
For better or worse, Zoë will always be Zoë–the clumsy girl with her dress tucked into her pantyhose, toilet paper stuck to her shoe and trailing in her wake, the girl whose idea of falling in love is to stand at the edge of the precipice, throw out her arms and confidently jump into a free-fall. If Zoë will always be Zoë, the only question left is, can they both live with that fact? Forever?
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-14-1 ASIN: 1329900472 Word Count: 64, 188
Book 2: Michael’s Angel
Book Two Friendship Heirloom: Courage
As the unwanted son of a mother who killed herself to escape a life she couldn’t bear another second and then being passed around from one foster family to the next, each less sympathetic than the one before, Michael Fremont has had it drilled into him from birth that he’s not worth anything…certainly not worth saving. Then he met the angel next door. LeeAnn Wagner was as small and fragile as a china doll, the unfortunate offspring of a couple more volatile than gasoline and a lit match.
Together, Michael and LeeAnn escaped the horrors of their childhoods and gave their lives to the Lord. But Michael had realized that his love and needs for LeeAnn were only growing beyond his control. Feeling like a coward, he did the only thing he could to save her from his possibly unwanted desires: he joined the military. There he’d made close friends in Christ and unburied the very discipline and willpower he’d struggled to grasp while he was with LeeAnn every minute of every day.
Never once during their years apart does Michael forget his angel…or forgive himself for leaving her just when she seemed to need him most. The last thing he expects upon honorable discharge is to find that the frail creature he’d reluctantly left behind for what’s felt like a lifetime has discovered her own considerable strengths, abilities, and deep, inner happiness. Can she forgive him? Can she ever get over the scars of her past to see him as the man of her heart? One worthy of an angel?
LeeAnn has loved Michael since the moment his gentle eyes met hers. When he left, she thought she’d never survive. But she’d realized soon afterward that she needed the separation as well–to become the fearless, godly woman he requires, now more than ever; to become what he’s been to her right from the start: a healer and guide, a light in the darkness, a friend who would never abandon or destroy. And maybe now that she and Michael are whole, not hiding from the world, barely able to imagine surviving together or apart, they can become lovers…
But LeeAnn isn’t sure how to fully overcome a past that refuses to remain in her darkest nightmares. Even as she and Michael’s most fervent, uncertain dreams are coming true, the harbinger of her childhood is waiting in the shadows, murderously intent on taking away everything she’s ever wanted.
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-33-2 ASIN: B013AFCOUK Word Count: 70, 251
Book 3: Forever and All That Jazz
Newlyweds Jasmine Pepowski and Wesley Horace find out that her sickly father can no longer live alone without assistance. Wes is barely coping with the extreme changes marriage has wrought as it is. Then her father discloses a shocking truth: Her mother walked away from her family to return to her career. Even as her father and Wesley advise her to leave the past in the past, Jazz has to know if her mother has regrets about her choices before she drops yet another life-changing anvil on her husband’s already aching head.
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-59-2 ASIN: B01DMJHXA0 Word Count: 67,676
Book 4: First Comes Love
Book Four Friendship Heirloom: Responsibility
At the age of fifteen, Chad Feldmann and Winnie McBride made an impulsive choice that led to pregnancy. Now, years later, they have a precious little girl, they’ve both graduated high school, and they’re married. But all is not well in paradise. As much as Winnie loves her daughter, she can’t forget the life she’d expected to be living. Her dreams were pushed aside ruthlessly, kicked in the dirt and all but buried with pregnancy and motherhood. While they were both caring for their daughter and trying to finish high school before they got married, she and Chad lived platonically and it’d seemed to her that they were both struggling and making sacrifices to move forward wisely with their lives. Once they’re married, she discovers that Chad has used the college fund his father set aside for him to pursue the dreams he’d always imagined for his life. She’s working two jobs and taking care of their child. She can’t see that Chad is doing his part, sacrificing for their life together, anymore. The less he’s there for them, the more her resentment grows.
Chad blames himself for the reckless choice made when he and Winnie were kids. He believes he should have protected the girl he loved–even if it meant protecting her from him, until they were both ready for forever. All he wants now is to build a life with Winnie, but he doesn’t know how to do that without unintentionally taking away her dreams. In some ways, he expected to lose her from the moment they discovered she was pregnant, and that expectation hasn’t lessened at all in the years since. He knows Winnie isn’t happy, knows she’s pulling further and further from him, and he can’t figure out how to stop the inevitable. They’ve done everything backwards–the baby carriage, then marriage–and somehow he has to remind her that, regardless of all the wrongs committed, one thing has been true for him for as long as he can remember: First came love.
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-19-6 ASIN: B00XNCDQGC Word Count: 89, 544
Book 5: Perfect Reflection
Book Five Friendship Heirloom: Perception
Elaina Houston has had it drilled into her from birth that she has to look picture-perfect, act, speak and perform perfectly. When she couldn’t live up to the impossible expectations of her parents, she threw herself away–and paid a horrible price for her destructive surrender. But she has a second chance to turn her life around, and she won’t ever let another person decide who and what she needs to be. Even as she colors outside the lines, her internal conflicts prevent her from experiencing peace over the slightest failure. In part, that’s why Ethan Lynwood, her co-worker, best friend and all-around handyman, is so good for her. Ethan expects nothing from her and he seems to accept her just the way she is, even when she’s a mess…even when she’s a mess…maybe especially when she is.
Ethan’s spent his lifetime making stupid mistakes–because he’d believed his own wisdom was infallible. He found out the hard way that God is in control and we all need humility, humanity, and a helping hand. And sometimes the most accurate reflection comes from accepting that we’re not perfect but we’re loved unconditionally anyway.
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-34-9 ASIN: B0146XHSA6 Word Count: 86, 423
Book 6: Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby is the follow-up to Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love. Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Falling in Love begins the tale of Zoë Rossdale, the clumsy girl who always has her elbows, feet, eyes, and brass-red hair going in the wrong directions. Curt Bertoletti has spent years trying to forget the seriously messed-up Zoë and her embarrassing ways. Even as he vows that he won’t stray again, he can’t help remembering how well he and Zoë fit together. They’d truly been two abnormal peas in an even stranger pod. For better or worse, Zoë will always be Zoë–the clumsy girl with her dress tucked into her pantyhose, toilet paper stuck to her shoe and trailing in her wake. If Zoë will always be Zoë, the only question left is, can they both live with that fact? Forever?
Clumsy Girl’s Guide to Having a Baby continues the tale of clumsy girl Zoë, back, married to the love of her life, Curt, and setting off on another crazy adventure–maybe the most fun and dangerous of all. Having a baby!
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925191-48-6 ASIN: B01B5U5WUG Word Count: 83, 641
Book 7: All Good Things
Book Seven Friendship Heirloom: Purity
All good things must come to an end, but bad things continue forever?
Vashti Samuels, Rozlyn Gosnik, and Justice Adams grew up together as the children of lawyers at Adams, Samuels & Gosnik General Practice Law Firm in Peaceful, Wisconsin. The three were best friends all their lives. Together, the three of them traveled the globe and went on all the adventures a restless, reckless tomboy like Vashti could desire. Never once did she realize Roz felt only jealousy and animosity for her because she believed Justice was attracted to her when Roz had loved him single-mindedly all her life. The truth came out after Vashti and Justice changed their minds about continuing with their three-musketeer plans to become psychiatrists, transferred to law school, and Justice made a surprising move on Vashti that Roz walked in on. Abruptly, Roz made her true feelings known. Their friendship fractured, and Vashti couldn’t make things right no matter how hard she tried. Meanwhile, Justice and Roz began a stormy relationship that ended in a volatile marriage.
In the years that follow, Vashti has harbored a silent attraction to Justice since their unexpected encounter, but she hasn’t allowed herself to think of him as anything but the best friend she lost to her other best friend. In her own personal life, she’s never had much use for romantic relationships. When she was lonely, she had all the friends–male or female–she could ask for. The few times she’d felt more for the men in her life hadn’t worked out and, truthfully, she hadn’t wanted them to.
When Justice ends up in the hospital after Roz commits suicide and nearly extinguishes her husband’s life in the process, he makes it clear Vashti is the last person he wants to hold his hand during his convalescence and grief. His life has always been spent in the middle between Roz and Vashti and, even with Roz’s death, he’s not free of her censure. He isn’t sure he’ll ever be free, certainly not to admit that he’s always been intimidated by Vashti, the über-independent, self-confident knockout that he’d had almost as many feelings for as he had for Roz. Vashti insists she only wants to be friends again, but deep down she knows if she can’t have his heart she’d rather have nothing at all.
GENRE: (Contemporary Inspirational Romance) ISBN: 978-1-925574-35-7 ASIN: B07LDM9ZKL Word Count: 71,673