Join My Launch Team!

Did you enjoy reading House of Living Stones? Were you ready to pack your bags and move to Bradbury after turning the last page of The Choir Immortal? Are you chomping at the bit to get an early peek at The Harvest Raise? Then, I want you on my launch team!

What’s a launch team?

It’s a posse of pleasant people who hang out with me online and help spread the word about the upcoming June 13th release of The Harvest Raise.

What does a launch team member do?

He or she reads an electronic advance review copy of The Harvest Raise, hangs out with me in a closed Facebook group, and spends the next couple of months getting family, friends, church members, hairdressers, librarians, book club besties, and people standing in line at Aldi excited about the conclusion of the Anthems of Zion series.

unnamedWhat does a launch team member get?

I’m so glad you asked. On top of receiving the electronic advance review copy of The Harvest Raise and admittance to the closed Facebook group, a launch team member also gets a limited edition rooster T-shirt, a map of Bradbury, a signed copy of The Harvest Raise, and…wait for it…a fowl towel.


Alright, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Individuals who like roosters and tractors and parsonages and pies. (Baking experience is not mandatory, but it is most welcome.)
  • fullsizeoutput_56acMen and women who look good in the colors yellow, green, and/or gray.
  • Bookworms who have already read and reviewed House of Living Stones and The Choir Immortal. (Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, public blogs, and all count.)
  • Active members of book clubs.
  • Social people who have an engaging presence on Facebook as well as maintain a Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat account. The more social media networks the merrier, and if you also write for a blog–you just might #WearTheRooster.

If this criteria applies to you, then please apply your criteria here.

And finally, my dear Bradburians: I wish everyone could serve on this launch team, but there are a limited number of spots available for this particular task. If you do not get chosen by the team, I’m looking forward to hanging out with you on the pages of The Harvest Raise come June 13th.

Thank you for your help!



#WearTheRooster Video Winners

Check the gate, everyone. The videos have been posted, and the results are in. The winners of our very first #WearTheRooster contest for The Harvest Raise are…

Best A Cappella Performance – Frances!

Best Children’s Choir – Christina!

Best Mother-Daughter Duo – Steph!

Best Footwork and Vibrato – Faith!

Best Family Ensemble (and portrait of Jesus) – Katie!

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who participated. It was a delight to be on the receiving end of your musical gifts.

Winners, please send me your mailing address and T-shirt size via the contact page of my website.

Stay tuned, everyone. There’s a second T-shirt contest baking in the oven, and you may very well be the next one to #WearTheRooster. Look for an announcement on Facebook later this week.

Win a T-Shirt!

fullsizeoutput_56acT-shirts are in for The Harvest Raise, but…they’re not for sale. If you want to #WearTheRooster, you are going to have to win one. Here’s how:

  1. Pick out your favorite Anthems of Zion song. (Download the music here.)
  2. Record a video of your performing the song. You can sing it a cappella or play it on the piano or on the recorder or on any instrument you choose. If you are not a musician, then have your children sing it. Or get your church choir to sing it or your cello-playing niece to record it. Honestly, anything goes. Just know that creativity matters. Sincerity matters. Musicality matters.
  3. Post your video on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram account. Be sure to tag me in it so that I see it. Also, please use the hashtags #AnthemsofZion, #TheHarvestRaise, and #WearTheRooster.
  4. Videos must be posted by Friday, March 24th, and a winner will be announced on Sunday, March 26th.
  5. You probably should think about whether you look best in gray, green, or yellow.

Happy music-making, and may the best video win!


Emmanuel Press to release second edition of He Remembers the Barren

Eight years have passed since I first began writing He Remembers the Barren, and the time is ripe for a second edition. I am thrilled to announce that Emmanuel Press will be publishing this revised, expanded edition.

Why bother with a second edition? I have grown in my knowledge and understanding of the topic of barrenness, both through personal experience and study, and I would like my confession of the theology of the cross in the book to proclaim more clearly how our heavenly Father disciplines us, His dear children, through the gift of suffering in this life. I also feel compelled to better and further address the topic of adoption and the ethical issues surrounding in vitro fertilization and other such procedures utilized in the field of infertility medicine.

Much of the original book’s content will remain the same, though I am making revisions – some minimal and some more significant – to every chapter. I am also composing new chapters as well as an appendix of shorter questions-and-answers addressing concerns frequently expressed by those wishing to have children and the loved ones who wish to serve them. The second edition will also contain discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making it more accessible for use in group study.

Look for He Remembers the Barren to be released early this summer.


New Podcast with Cheryl Swope, Author and Educator

It is always a pleasure to sit down and talk with the ever-elegant Cheryl Swope, author of Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any ChildEternal Treasures: Teaching Your Child at Home (with Rachel Whiting), and multiple resources for Lutheran classical education as well as the Simply Classical Curriculum for children with special needs.

Listen in as we chat about the ins and outs of writing books, designing a curriculum, working with a publisher, editing poetry, preparing and delivering presentations, and adopting, mothering, and educating children with special needs.

Reading group WINNERS announced!

Dear friends of Bradbury,

Thank you to everyone who applied to participate in my private reading group for The Harvest Raise! It was a delight to hear from all of you, and I find myself wishing my dining room were thirty seats deep. However, as I currently have only eight spots available around my table, necessity forced me to narrow the list based on my demographic needs for this particular story.

And the winners are (in no particular order):

1. Karin Crum from Lafayette, Indiana
2. Sheryl Eby from Bellaire, Michigan
3. Jo Fleming from Grand Rapids, Michigan
4. Julia Habrecht from Alexandria, Virginia
5. Heather Hojnacki from Red Bud, Illinois
6. Jane Jensen from Plainview, Nebraska
7. Amanda Korthase from Boyne City, Michigan
8. Vanessa Rasanen from Cheyenne, Wyoming

I am very much looking forward to the time – June of 2017, God willing – when the rest of you can join us in Bradbury. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. The book isn’t quite finished, yet.

Gratefully yours,


Win a spot in my reading group!

The deadline for my manuscript is nearing, Bradburians. You know what that means: it’s reading group time!

I will be hosting a private reading group of The Harvest Raise, the third book in my Anthems of Zion series, on Friday, November 18th – Sunday, November 20th, in my very own home. Food and drinks will be provided, though each participant will be responsible for getting his/herself to and from the reading group as well as providing his/her own lodgings.

I currently have eight spots available at my table. If you want to be one of those readers, email me through my contact page and tell me:

  1. your name, address, and phone number,
  2. your church,
  3. your current life’s vocation,
  4. which character you most relate to in the Anthems of Zion series,
  5. and why you should get to sit in one of those chairs.

Participants will attend a private meet-and-greet reception and reading session from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m on that Friday evening, a reading session from 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and a reading/discussion group session from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The deadline for submissions is October 8th. Winners will be announced on October 10th. Cheers!

Anthems of Zion

Pastor Fletcher of our beloved Anthems of Zion series is not just a poet. He is now a lyricist, too!

Kevin Hildebrand, composer and kantor of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, set Pastor Fletcher’s poems to music, and all four of the songs (both MP3 files and scores) are now available to you for FREE!

Simply click on the link below and enjoy!

The Ins and Outs of Recording an Audiobook

Have you met Craig Feichtinger? He is the Development Director of Lutheran Public Radio and also runs the board for the internationally popular radio show, Issues, Etc. 

What you may not know is that Craig also served as the sound engineer for my audiobook, House of Living Stones.

Craig and I sat down yesterday morning to answer your questions about the ins and outs of our audiobook experience – How long does it take to record an audiobook? How do you keep each character’s voice distinct from all of the others? What is the editing process like? – and so much more.

I hope you’ll have a listen and enjoy!

New Podcast on Writing Fiction

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Lisa M. Clark, author of Concordia Publishing House’s latest fiction release, The Messengers: Discovered. We discussed the ins and outs of writing fiction, meeting deadlines, expanding word counts, and balancing writing with motherhood and full-time work as an editor.

Have a listen and look for The Messengers: Discovered on May 17th!