Monday, July 18, 2016

Troubled? Worried? Have you lost hope?

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

We all hope for things. If our flowers need watering, we hope it will rain. If we have a picnic scheduled, we hope it will be sunny. We all hope life will be easy. Hope in the Bible is different than this kind of hope of wishing something would happen or wanting something.

What is Hope?

In the New Testament, the word hope is translated from the word elpizo. Elpizo means confidently trusting in and waiting for something or someone. The book of Hebrews calls it an anchor for our souls.

Hebrews 16:19-20 (NIV) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf…

What is Our Hope Built On?

The old hymn says “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” That pretty much sums it up. Our hope is built on the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God came to Earth to die on the cross for our sins, to rise from the grave in victory, and to ascend to Heaven. We also confidently hope that He is one day coming again.

Romans 5:2 (ESV) Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Hope in Christ Brings Peace and Joy

When our hope is in Christ instead of in our circumstances, that kind of confident expectation bring us a peace the world can’t understand and a joy that doesn’t depend on everything happening exactly right. We can rely upon Christ to work things out for our good. That relieves us of the pressure to fix things we can’t fix.

Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

In my soon to be released novella, Resurrection of Hope, Vivian visits a friend named Hope who has just lost a child and was told she couldn’t have children. Here’s a short excerpt from that scene.

Vivian swallowed. "I… I don't know what to say. I expected to find you distraught after what happened, but you seem to be… almost cheerful."

Hope's eyes closed and her head tilted back into the pillow. "I have my moments. Trust me." She opened her eyes and smiled. "I keep my hope in Jesus Christ, and He gives me the peace I need to get through this."

Vivian held back a snort. "How can you of all people talk of hope knowing you'll never have any children?"

Hope pressed her lips together as she propped herself up on her pillow. "If my hope rested on having children, then you're right. There would be no reason, but my hope is the kind they talk about in Psalms. 'But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.'"

Book Blurb:

Resurrection of Hope

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancĂ© dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancĂ©’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Resurrection of Hope is available at these online stores:

Bio: (for shorter bio, use only first paragraph)

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 37 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera on her website at

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.

Word Sharpeners Blog:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What do you know about epilepsy? A significant part of this book,

By Ada Brownell

In my soon-to-be released book, Peach Blossom Rancher, one significant character is a medical doctor who had a seizure after a head injury. Dr. Dillon Haskill has been in the state asylum four years. He’s housed in a crowded ward, but he helps James Cook, a teacher, sent to the asylum because he’s paralyzed, and Pete, a young boy with Down’s Syndrome who often is abused by other patients.

In the early 1900s people like these three were thought to be imbeciles or demon possessed.

The only time I’ve seen a person have a seizure was during a high school graduation. The newspaper I worked for published reports on Graduation ceremonies, including snippets of the valedictorian’s speech.

A shrill scream pieced the air, and several people ran to the girl, dressed in a graduation gown. I wasn’t close, but from where I stood, a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, I saw her become rigid, shudder and shake violently. She appeared unconscious.

The people around her, I think paramedics, two or three on each side, picked her up and carried her out, and in only minutes all was quiet and the celebration continued as if nothing happened.

Later, someone told me the school prepared for such an event. Sometimes the girl’s seizures were triggered by excitement.

I’ve known parents who had a child plagued by seizures, and they could tell in advance when one was coming on and they’d take the person to a private area, and in a fairly short time it was over.

The seizures began in one of the young men I knew when he had a high sustained fever as an infant, which caused brain damage. Doctors then often called what happened convulsions.

Throughout history seizures were not well understood. Even in the early 20th Century people afflicted by  convulsions were often thought to be demon possessed. Then it was thought to be a form of insanity.

In 400 B.C. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, offered another view of epilepsy, that it was just another natural disease and could be treated through natural methods.

In a report from the psychology department of North Dakota State University, Robert Bentley Todd in 1849 was the first to present the electrical theory of epilepsy. John Hughlings Jackson in 1873, however, is credited for devising the theory. When Hans Berger invented the electroencephalogram in the 1930s, during an epileptic seizure the EEG showed the problem originated in the brain and was electrical.

Drugs were developed and over the decades a number of effective treatments became available, including surgical removal of a damaged section of the brain, and today even a device similar to a heart pacemaker sometimes helps.

I learned about epilepsy and the different treatments as a medical reporter. But another thing I learned is that epilepsy is a specific condition and seizures can be caused by other problems such as brain tumors and other events.

I interviewed a Christian psychiatrist about the difference between mental illness and demon possession in his patients.

“It’s sometime difficult to determine the difference,” he said. “But I pray for them all.“

The bottom line seemed to be that mental illness and seizures are a physical problem that occurs in the brain, while demon possession is a spiritual problem.

I think you will enjoy Peach Blossom Rancher.

Here’s the book summary:


The Peach Blossom Rancher, an historical romance

Sequel to The Lady Fugitive, second in Peaches and Dreams series

By Ada Brownell

A handsome young man with a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect.

John Lincoln Parks yearns for a wife to help rebuild the ranch and eyes Valerie MacDougal, a young widow.

Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor who he constantly fusses with? This neighbor who has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?

Look for the release July 2016 by

Also available on Amazon


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Child's Salvation: I Want to Tell Him One More Thing

By Ada Brownell

“I want Jesus to come into my heart,” my 5-year-old daughter announced after she’d said her nightly prayers.

Now that Carolyn is in heaven, I love the memories of precious times like that. She was a special child, but all of our five children are special in their own unique ways. Carolyn had perfect pitch, which we didn’t recognize until she was nine years old.  When she was 3 years old she picked out “Jesus Loves Me” on a little toy piano similar to Schroeder’s in the Peanuts cartoon.

By the time she was seven or eight, Carolyn was playing difficult Bach and Beethoven music. She wasn’t much older when she began accompanying her older brother when he played trumpet solos. Then in her teens, she became pianist for a gospel group in which I sang. She exactly copied professionals who accompanied groups that sang the music we used. She’d sit down on the floor, listen to a recording, take a few notes, and was ready.

She played the piano for our church choir while she was in high school. One of her big accomplishments and great moments was Denver churches’ If My People event in honor of our nation’s 200th birthday in 1976. A mass choir from many denominations sang, and she was accompanist. The event was held in Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver that seats 10,000 people--and it was packed.

Carolyn, still a teenager, had another couple of exciting events at Red Rocks. She was a fan of the gospel pianist Dino Kartsonakis, and he was on stage where she prepared for choir practice at the biannual General Council of the Assemblies of God.

It was hot in the amphitheater and we’d brought an ice chest of snacks and she had a large cup of ice.

“Where did you get your ice?” he asked.

“My family brought it. I’ll get you some.”

At the same event, the piano hadn’t been delivered to the Red Rocks stage. Composer/arranger Ralph Carmichael asked if anyone in the choir had perfect pitch so they could practice without accompaniment. Carolyn didn’t volunteer. She didn’t like to flaunt her talent, but her friends told.

So she hummed on the needed note. The people near her picked it up and hummed, and soon everyone in the choir had the pitch, just as if someone had brought a pitch pipe. They practiced with no problem and I’m sure Carmichael—and Carolyn—were happy the piano arrived in time for the service.

A few weeks later Carmichael sent her a big packet of autographed music in the mail and a note thanking her for giving the pitches.

I was all excited and when we walked into the house after the celebration. I told everybody, “Carolyn shared her ice with Dino and gave the pitches to Ralph Carmichael!”

Carolyn said, “It wasn’t like that.”

“No?” I asked, confused.

“Well, it’s just that you’re so dramatic!”

She could tell you what note a vacuum sweeper hummed on, the washer motor’s pitch, and fill bottles with varying amounts of water and play a tune on them.

Her great sense of humor often set me back. Since she was the oldest daughter, I often asked her opinion.

“What do you think of this?” I handed her an article I planned to submit to a Christian magazine that I’d pounded out that day on my typewriter. It was in rough form. I wasn’t much of a typist.

Carolyn proceeded to read all my typos aloud, creating words no one heard before or since, and then she laughed so hard she rolled on the floor with the mirth. I had to smile. So much for her opinion on my piece.

It probably was about that time that Carolyn started the trend to pronounce words backward. I couldn’t do it, but the other children picked it up and did it, too. I guess since I spoke Pig Latin, they did me one better.

Another time I asked her opinion when I spoke at a women’s special event she attended.

“Did I do okay?” I asked.

“You know, Mom,” she said, grinning and touching her neck. “When you talk, you have this little double chin right here that wiggles every time you open your mouth.”

I really miss those humorous jabs now. Although she never told me, I heard later from people she worked with in a publishing house how proud she was of my writing. Even her friends, some that I’ve met recently, said she bragged on me.

As any parent is of their children, I was proud of her.

Our family revolved around Carolyn because of her caring spirit and her humor. She babysat the younger children often while I was transporting a child to an allergy shot or other appointment. I had surgery not long after Jeanette was born, and she was as comfortable with Carolyn as she was with me. They had a close bond.

We missed Carolyn being so far away when she attended college in California and married a classmate whose home was in San Jose.

Seven years later she was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer. In only two months she was gone.

The previous day she prayed with us and sang from her bed and went to heaven peacefully. She had listened to gospel music in her hours at home alone when she was dismissed for a short time from the hospital between treatments. “It is Well With My Soul,” by Sandi Patti was among her favorites that filled the house and her heart. That was in 1990.

Her spiritual journey with the Lord began on her knees at age 5, when she asked Jesus into her heart as I knelt next to her beside her bed. Afterward, she jumped under the covers and I kissed her goodnight.

“Oh,” she said, throwing the blankets aside and kneeling again. “I want to tell Him one more thing.”

Amazing that even a child can have intimacy with God, and continue the relationship throughout life and for eternity. I’m looking forward to a grand reunion!
Copyright Ada Brownell 2016

Note: I share some of Carolyn's story in my book Swallowed by Life

Shorter swallowed summary

Peter wrote, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables...but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16).

Jesus is alive!

SWALLOWED BY LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

By Ada Brownell

Do you believe you could live with someone else’s heart or kidneys, but not without your body? Evidence shows we’re more than flesh. The author, a prolific religion writer and retired medical journalist, talks about the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration; mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.

Review: “It was wonderful how the author merged the medical with the spiritual.”


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The historical freedom heritage of the United States

By Ada Brownell

Excerpted from her book, God in American History

An express rider on a galloping horse brought the news of the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Lexington in Philadelphia on April 24, 1775.

            The rope of the huge bell in the State House was yanked and the dongggggg,

donggggg, dongggg, dongggg, dongggg entered every shop, crossed the greening fields to farmers behind horses and a plow, inside to kitchens where women were baking bread and feeding children.

            Each person dropped his work and ran into town where the bell was still ringing when they arrived in the Yard below the State House.  Eight thousand of them came.[1]

            In those days, there were no television news programs. Although there were newspapers, it was hours before news in print could get to the people. The bell told them something important was happening at that moment.

            There in the State House Yard that day, all 8,000 people called by the bell pledged themselves to defend their lives, their property and their liberty against all attempts by the British to take them away.

            Although cracked the first time it was rung -- broken by a stroke of its own tongue, or clapper -- and recast, and still cracked and repaired, the Liberty Bell has a great history.

            The bell called people to talk about taxes imposed on them by the British.  It called out the good news when the Stamp Act, a form of taxes, was repealed.  But more taxes came, such as a tax on imported tea.  The people wanted freedom from England. They boycotted, which means they refused to buy imported products, and eventually they had the famous “Boston Tea Party” where they dumped imported tea with tax on in into Boston Harbor.

            The Liberty Bell called people together for such things as unfurling of the first national flag.

            The bell donggged and donggged at high noon on Monday July 8, 1776, when the first Independence Day celebration began.  People believed its glorious music was proclaiming liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants. Other bells joined in harmony, and some writers say the ground shook with the noise and there was no silent place at all in Philadelphia that day.  But suddenly the metal stopped ringing and people stood silent as the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

            Yet, the British wanted to capture Philadelphia and take away people’s freedom. People continued to worship God in the way they wished. “Quakers” populated much of Philadelphia, a religious denomination known today as the Religious Society of Friends. They were nicknamed Quakers because of a saying by George Fox, “Tremble at the Word of the Lord,” or from their habit of shaking with emotion during their worship to God.[2]

            The Quakers met with violent persecution by the Church of England before they immigrated to America.  Many were put in prison. In 1656, there were seldom less than 1,000 Quakers in prison. Children continued the meetings when all the adults were locked up.

            In the New England the Quakers still met with persecution.  Some were put in prison or flogged and driven out of town.  Four were hanged, including a woman, Mary Dyer.

            So people, even in America, needed people to hear the bell’s message, “Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land, to all the inhabitants thereof.”

            The new country was at war with the British, known as the “Redcoats.”

            One day the people realized if the British took control of the Liberty Bell, it would be melted and made into bullets. So the bell -- and all bells in public buildings and churches -- were taken down and hidden.

            The Liberty Bell --- then called the Independence Bell -- was moved to Allentown, where it was tucked away under the floor of Zion Reformed Church.

            But there was no battle in Philadelphia. By autumn, the bell was back. But it announced no celebrations until Oct. 24, 1881 when it was yanked and yanked to announce the surrender of Cornwallis and the end of the Revolutionary War.

            The records says, “The bell was rung at 12 o’clock this day to announce to the people the surrender of Cornwallis to the Confederate arms of the United States and France -- a day of the most intense interest, joy and rejoicing of the people.  The standard of the state was hoisted to the peak of the belfry over the State House.  Four pieces of artillery responded to the pealing of the Bell and all the city bells answered.[3]

            At last there was a formal proclamation of peace and the War of Independence ended in 1783. The bell at last could ring and announce freedom was accomplished.

            The bell was rung at the opening session of the federal convention in 1783, and the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.     

            It rang at George Washington’s birthday party, and cracked again, even after being repaired.

            Because of the role it played, the Liberty Bell became the symbol of freedom.

            But the words on it, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10) weren’t accepted by everyone.

            Even some of the early settlers of this country were not ready to hear that message. As one author said, “All right to quote the Bible, but to act accordingly would be a most disquieting idea.”[4]

            Today, men and women still try to limit our freedom, even freedom of worship.

            It is up to me and you to proclaim liberty throughout the land today, because the Liberty Bell is silent.  It is on display now at Independence Hall in Washington, D.C.

Tour guides will tell you the bell’s story, but its message now needs tongues of flesh.

            We now must ring the news of liberty across the land, and use that liberty to tell others they can live forever if they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the greatest news anyone can hear.

   Copyright Ada Brownell 2016        

[1]Old Liberty Bell, by Frances Rogers and Alice Beard, J.B. Lippincott Company, New York, 1942.
[2]Encyclopedia Americana
[3]Old Liberty Bell
[4]Old Liberty Bell, page 24.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Since I'm involved in things related to the release of my new book, Peach Blossom Rancher, I'm rerunning this article which appeared in The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and a similar article in The Springfield News-Leader in Missouri. 

By Ada Brownell

Perhaps this writing is banned because it speaks of love, adultery, theft, murder, tall tales and cursing. It has been the subject of many court cases.

Yet, the words are wrapped in shalts and thou shalt nots. They are The Ten Commandments.

I wonder why people hate them so much. They blame separation of church and state, which isn't in the Constitution. The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and it doesn't mention state or church. "Church" would single out Christians.

Beyond the Constitution, there a deeper reason the document is hated. Our society is on a feeding frenzy of all things sinful. It's entertainment and some lives revolve around the prohibited attitudes and activities.

Lying and cheating is common.  Too many practice adultery, which is interpreted as any sexual activity outside of marriage. Thieves and murderers come out of unexpected places. Americans have killed approximately 55 million unborn children.

No wonder a percentage of our society doesn't want to hear or see "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal.

Hearing the commandments triggers guilt. So ban the document.

The first four of The Ten Commandments have to do with loving and respecting God; the last six surround loving others. Breaking one hurts us or someone else.

All kinds of benefits are available for loving God, among them eternal life. We profit from not being stupid enough to worship an idol. The reason we shouldn’t use the Lord’s name frivolously, but show respect, is because it is a powerful name, especially in prayer. The Bible says demons tremble at the sound of it (James 2:19).

"Honor thy father and thy mother" is the only commandment with promise: That we might live long on the earth.

We're told when we break one commandment we are guilty of all” (James 2:10). If we don't “love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves,” as Jesus said (Matthew 22:37), we often end up crashing into them all.
The commandments are great guidelines to live by, and the reason laws were based on them.


  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8.   Thou shalt not steal.
9.   Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet.
--- Found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5

Ada Brownell's Amazpm Author Page:

Ada Brownell is a free lance writer and retired newspaper reporter. Her latest book is Imagine the Future You, a teen motivational Bible study. Her blog:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


My great-grandson, Stone

Here are seven things I hope after I’m gone my children and grandchildren will remember learning at my feet or hearing about.

1. Accept Jesus as Savior and follow God's Word. Those two things are the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

2. Guard your mind. Put good things into your head, and refuse to open your brain to propaganda, lies, lustful movies, filthy conversations, etc.,. Resist exposing yourself to evil—and realize once planted into your brain you might never forget filth. Plant God’s Word into your mind, and scriptures will also stay with you—possibly all your life—encouraging, blessing you and increasing your faith..

3. Love God and others, especially those in your family and in the household of faith. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

4. Choose your friends wisely.

5. Develop your talents, and do and look and be your best.

6. Establish goals and work willing with your hands. When you see a need or something that needs to be done, do it now. Don't wait until tomorrow.

7. Have fun, good friends, laugh often, enjoy your life seeking for the fruits of the spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, self control—and always be ready for the return of Jesus Christ with your sins forgiven and under His blood.

LAST, a word from my mother for her grandchildren: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last.

5. Develop your talents, and do and look and be your best.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Light and Momentary Troubles? Seriously?
By Kelly Irvin

“God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”

It’s nice to think that, right? Feels good to know God’s got this. However, it’s a nice saying that is not exactly scripturally based. This was one of the points brought out in a blog I read this morning listing ten things Christians say that are not biblically based. The author makes the point, what about Christian martyrs, for instance? What about all the folks who die of disease every day even though they prayed to be spared? What about the parents who lose children they desperately want or the would-be parents who desperately want children and never conceive their own?

Scripture says God will walk through our travails with us. He’ll take our right hand and lead us. (Isaiah 41:13) (Psalm 73:23)

But Scripture also says we will have trouble in this world. I spend a lot of time thinking about this fact these days. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer (notice how I capitalize it like it’s a formal noun. A formidable noun) in January after a diagnosis of primary lateral sclerosis (with symptoms like Lou Gehrig’s disease but generally not considered fatal) in November following spinal fusion surgery the previous year for severe scoliosis that caused nerve damage and affected the way I walk. I prayed and prayed to have the first thorn in my side removed. It didn’t happen. In fact, my physical woes grew in severity until they reached critical mass with a life threatening, Stage 4 disease.

God brings you to it, but does He bring you through it?

What he gives us is life eternal, bought and paid for by his only son. We live in a broken world, broken by our own sin and inability to see what is right in front of us. God’s love and his forgiveness and his grace. His willingness to forgive us over and over again, no matter how many times we stumble.

For now, I suffer with all my anxiety and my fear and my weakness. Because I want to be cured, I want to walk freely. I want to see my grandkids grow up. I want what I want. I’ve been blessed with effective chemotherapy and surgery provided by a fabulous medical team. My doctor says the disease can be managed and treated, but not cured. I want it cured so I can get on with my hopefully long, long life. Statistics say it’s not likely. And if I do live for years, I’ll like be in a wheelchair with limited use of my arms, difficulty speaking, and eventually difficulty eating without choking. A bleak future I try hard not to dwell on and one my husband still denies is within the realm of possibility. But here’s what God tell us:

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If, like me, you’re facing a debilitating degenerative disease or a disease that threatens your very life, take heart. These are light and momentary troubles that achieve for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Seek peace and joy now. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles and spoil today. Live in God’s world today and leave tomorrow to Him. Easier said than done, I know, but it beats being miserable. I know!

Peace and Joy

Write to me at I love hearing from readers.

Kelly Irvin – Biography

Kelly Irvin is the author of The Saddle Maker’s Son, the third novel in the Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins. It follows The Beekeeper’s Son, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it “a delicately woven masterpiece.” She is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

A former newspaper reporter and public relations professional, Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors.

Rebekah Lantz feels betrayed and abandoned. Tobias Byler is bound by regret. Can two young runaways from a world away teach them the healing power of a true family?
Rebekah isn’t like her sister Leila, but no one seems to believe that. Ever since Leila made a decision that has haunted her family and their small Amish community, Rebekah has been held to a higher standard under her mother’s watchful eye. Boys avoid her. She simply longs for the chance to be a wife and mother like the other girls.
 Tobias Byler only wants to escape feelings for a woman he knows he should never have allowed to get close to him. Moving with his family to isolated Bee County, Texas, seemed the best way to leave his mistakes behind. But even a move across the country can’t stop the past from accompanying his every thought.
A surprise encounter with two half-starved runaway children forces both Rebekah and Tobias to turn their focus on others far more desperate.
In doing so, they discover the key to forgetting the past may open the door to the love  and the future they both seek.

Kelly Irvin


Instagram: Kelly_Irvin

ACFW Carol Award finalist and ECPA best-selling author

The Saddle Maker’s Son

Available for pre-order now