House of Living Stones

Anthems of Zion series – Book 1

“Absolutely, astoundingly, incredibly good.”
– Gretchen Roberts

“This is Mitford plus.”
– Richard C. Resch

“Katie Schuermann gets it!”
– Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher

“An earthy and joyful story-teller.”
– Rev. Mark A. Miller

“A myriad of delightful qualities.”
– Adriane A. Heins


“Welcome the characters of House of Living Stones into your home,
and they’ll find a way into your heart.”

In the small college town of Bradbury, change doesn’t come often, and it certainly doesn’t come easily. There, things are predictable and comfortable. At least, they were, until Pastor Fletcher hires Emily Duke as the new choir director at Zion Lutheran Church and sets in motion a chain of events that turns the life of his congregation upside down.

The crusty church secretary, Mrs. Scheinberg, must learn to adjust her curmudgeonly ways. Zion’s talented but difficult organist, Evan Ebner, must face reality. Even Emily, as the new girl in town, must come to terms with her past in order to make a new life for herself in Bradbury.

Join Emily, Pastor Fletcher, and the rest of Zion’s quirky flock as they learn how to live life together in Christ.


“Anyone who has said of small town life, ‘You can’t make this stuff up’ has been proven wrong by Katie Schuermann. If the people of Lake Wobegone were to fall in love with a book, it would be House of Living Stones, where the odors are strong, the pastor is good-looking, and the writing is all above average.”

– Rebekah Curtis, wife, author, editor, avid reader

House of Living Stones is a delightful Lutheran homage to Anne of Green Gables, complete with colorful characters who break the eighth commandment like pros, a heroine both sinner and saint, and a portrait of small-town life that reads like a caricature but is all too real. Katie Schuermann’s writing elevates “ordinary” church life to the extraordinary, alternating whimsical hilarity with poignant real-life-under-the-cross moments that will have you laughing, crying, and wanting more of Emily Duke, Pastor Fletcher, and the whole Zion Lutheran gang.”

– Gretchen Roberts, digital marketer, pastor’s wife, nearly lifelong Lutheran,
avid reader of fiction, and Anne of Green Gables fan

“Schuermann builds the reader’s affections for the Bradbury characters in such a way that you should not be surprised to find yourself including some of these blessed souls into your own daily prayers, only to remember, embarrassingly, that these are not real souls at all. And yet, they are very real. The widows, the mother hens, the lonely singles, the gossips, the meddlers, the jilted—they are all around us, in our congregations, our families, and in our own personalities. The names and faces are different, but the sins and the robe of righteousness that cover us all are the same.”

– Rebecca Mayes, wife, mother, blogger, author

“House of Living Stones is an absolute delight! How refreshing it is to read for pleasure and then find it to be also wonderfully edifying time spent. This is Mitford plus…where Schuermann brings the reader into the joys and some serious challenges of a small town parish called Bradbury. You will love the writing, the story line, the characters, and the humor. But I believe what truly excels here is this writer’s love for and understanding of God’s grace for all and what that boundless grace means in day to day living. Sit down with some Chamomile or Merlot…read and enjoy!”

– Richard C. Resch, Kantor and Professor Emeritus, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne IN

“A Lutheran Jan Karon? Yes, Katie Schuermann! House of Living Stones is an enlightening, spiritual, fun read with Schuermann introducing Lutheran love for Divine Service music and simul justus et peccator. But most of all, the forgiveness of sins highlights the pages. This is the start of a great series, set up to expand into many volumes for your reading delight, for sharing, and for gifting!”

– Rev. Rod Zwonitzer, KFUO’s Book Talk

“Katie Schuermann’s venture into fiction breathes a breath of fresh central Illinois air as her pen travels along a road less traveled…Her talk of life and love, meddling and music, rebellion and reconciliation in the fictional college town of Bradbury, Illinois, is entertaining as well as insightful. She is an earthy and joyful story-teller – neither sterile nor pedantic, but wistfully and winsomely she interweaves a story of chorister, pastor, parishioners and townsfolk with the certainty of Christ’s forgiving love and the prospect of romance wafting through this Midwestern atmosphere. This was a delightful diversion and a helpful and practical account of living that I can’t help but recommend.”

– Rev. Mark A. Miller, president, Central Illinois District LCMS

“Katie Schuermann gets it!…not only what goes on behind the scenes – and the masks – in a congregation, not only how to negotiate the treacherous genre of Christian fiction, which is so often syrupy or contrived or idealistic, but, much more important: how Christ transforms real life in a still fallen – and frequently funny! – world.”

– Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II, Concordia Theological Seminary

“A charming story about life in a small congregation in rural Illinois, with the rare feature of a choir director as one of the main characters. The view-from-the-pew (or choir loft) perspective is reminiscent of Mark Schweizer’s Liturgical Mysteries series, and the down-home Lutheranism of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon. Schuermann’s tale is sure to draw knowing nods and smiles from readers.”

– Kevin Hildebrand, Kantor, Concordia Theological Seminary and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church & School


Mentioned in Publishers Weekly!

Issues, Etc.‘s Book of the Month for October 2014

Concordia Publishing House’s press release

Promo video

“CID Author’s Debut Novel” in The GatePost (page 4)

2015 Christy Award Finalists Announced


House of Living Stones on Daring Lutheran

Hilary’s Reviews – House of Living Stones” on goodreads

“Liver Aerobics” on Becky’s Book Addiction

“Book Review: House of Living Stones on Richard P. Shields’ Believe, Teach, and Confess

“Review of House of Living Stones on Rhonda’s Doings

“Book Review: House of Living Stones on kleckmusic

“Lutheran Heritage Comes Alive in Novel” in Northern Light by Alicia Rolland

House of Living Stones: Book Review and Giveaway” on Pure Creative Joy

House of Living Stones Review on Through Clouded Glass

Book Review: House of Living Stones on Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

“Summer Readin’ – Fiction Fun” on Marie MacNary  

“Anthems of Zion Series by Katie Schuermann” on Saddle Shoes and Sassy Sisters