So, Who Published Sophie’s Quest, Anyway? A Pretty Fascinating Person!

Sunpenny Publishing Group has been conducting a series of interviews with all of their authors (led by Val Poore, a barge-living woman in the Netherlands, who is pretty fascinating herself!)

The authors come from all over the globe. What is interesting about Jo Holloway, our publisher, is that she herself seems to come from all over the globe!

Read more about her interesting life in Africa, sailing the Indian Ocean, and more:

I know one thing is for sure–I’m very grateful that she developed a fascination for sailing somewhere along the way, because that is one thing that helped her be interested in Sophie!

Speaking of Sophie’s Quest, if you know of anyone with a Kindle, it’s on sale right now for just 99 cents.

Click here for the link!


Posted in Faith | 2 Comments

Picking at a Societal Scab

Those scabs. Hard and crusty on top, raw and bleeding underneath–and oh, so hard to keep away from! Especially when they were big, say from tripping on the sidewalk and skinning your knees, and especially when I was little. I couldn’t stop picking at them, even when it hurt.

We recently switched from one provider to another for our TV, and we discovered channels we never knew existed. One of these, AHC (no idea what it stands for, but we call it “America’s Hitler Channel” because documentaries on Hitler’s life seem to be playing all the time), has become like a scab I can’t stop picking at.

I’ve always known about Hitler’s atrocities, of course, and will never forget the scenes I was shown at school on a big screen of the staring, skeletal bodies being rescued from a concentration camp, along with piles of hair and shoes and other haunting images. But now, as an adult, I find that I’m drawn to watch documentaries of Hitler’s early days, and his rise of power.

Questions keep surfacing: How did nice German people, Christians, many of them, not recognize a monster and stop him before it was too late? How did they start calling him their savior of all things? How did they go along with demands to teach German kids to hate, mock, and eventually exterminate their Jewish neighbors and former playmates?

And, like a scab, a really deep and painful one that I can’t stop picking at, I keep watching the scenes of brutality and systematic murder that go far beyond even the horrific images I saw a school child. If that wasn’t enough, I keep checking books out of my library and reading those, too: Irena’s Children, Escape from Warsaw, Hitler, and others.

Why torture myself? Several reasons, if I can even put words to it. I want to know the depths to which humans can drive themselves and others, and not forget. I want to empathize with those who were hurt, to read about the thousands of children who were left to fend for themselves after their parents were dragged away, to wonder if I would have had the courage to stand up against those who were committing such crimes against humanity. I’ve been too aware through this unprecedented political season that I’m basically a chicken when it comes to expressing views I know others–others who are important to me–will disagree with.

Mostly, I want to remain aware of the ways that a divided society can attack itself.

We, my dear readers, are a divided society right now. Refugees fleeing terrible situations are not as welcome here as they were a few months ago. Some children in my own city are scared to go to school because of worries about bullies or immigration status, and people within my own circle of acquaintances don’t agree on what should be done about just this one issue, let alone all the other things that divide us.

I miss the days when an argument could be called a “good old argument.” People duking it out with words as they tried convince one another through the merits of their points. People who, schooled in the Ten Commandments, at heart recognized that the other person was loved by God and made in His image, no matter how much they disagreed with one another.

Do we still believe that? I had to wonder this week when I read an article saying that James Dobson, a Christian church leader, was advocating for all Christians to leave the public schools. I hope that it was “fake news.” Because otherwise, it’s a call to abandon all those beautiful children who are made in God’s image, wherever they come from. It’s a call to abandon the amazing school staffs who valiantly work to educate ANY child who comes through the doors, no matter how prepared or unprepared for school they are. I’d like to see James Dobson try to do what all the educators at my school pull off on a daily basis.

Maybe more of us should be picking at our World War II scabs. Maybe, just maybe, Christians are missing the challenge–and opportunity–of our generation.

Posted in Faith | 4 Comments

New Book Title Revealed!

Val Poore, Sunpenny author from the Netherlands, honored me with this interview for the Sunpenny blog.

Click and read, esp. you Pacific NW dwellers/lovers, for the title of a brand new book Jeff and I wrote together.

Here’s a hint: mount-rainier-and-familyThis picture of Jeff and me and our daughters was taken at Van Trump Park, part of the setting of this new book! Make your guess in the comments before reading the interview!

By the way, this was a hours-long, hard slog up and up and up. One of my prouder moments that I actually made it! We even saw bears!


Posted in Interview, Writing | Tagged | 5 Comments

New Book Hints, and Introduction of a New Blog Series!



Did you know? Sunpenny authors come from Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, and many more interesting places. I’m blessed to be one of them through the Sophie Topfeather series!

Val Poore, a Sunpenny author who writes about life on a boat in Europe’s canals (children’s stories and memoirs), is about to launch a new blog series about her fellow authors and how their local environments and communities have helped shape their writing. Seeing that these people come from all over the world, it’s bound to be a very interesting series!

Click on the link at the end to read her introduction to the series, and then look here for the Sunpenny author interviews in the days and weeks to come. I’ll be reposting them on my website. For the first interview, I’m honored to say, she chose me! (For those who subscribe to the Sunpenny blog and my website, my apologies! You’ll be getting it twice).

Read the interview through (when it’s posted in a few days) for a sneak preview of a new book that my husband, Jeff, and I actually researched and wrote together about a very special place here in the great Pacific Northwest! It’s due out in May, and we’ll be releasing the cover and all the details as soon as we can. For those of you who have noticed a distinct lack of blogging from this corner of the web, this new book is a big reason why. It was a lot of work! (But really fun!) Here’s a hint: doing the research involved a lot of trips to Ashford, Washington. Do you know what’s in Ashford?

Click on the link for Val Poore’s introduction to her Sunpenny interviews and some fun pictures of the London Book Fair, where some of us got to meet!

Posted in Writing | 1 Comment

Your Work Plus God’s Silence Equals God’s Mighty Plan?

Why is God silent sometimes? Whether or not you’re a writer, you may have wondered this at some point in your life. If that’s you, check out my guest blog post that fellow Christian writer, Dawn Kinzer, asked me to write for the website she helps coordinate, Seriously Write. Then take a look around the rest of her inspirational website!

Click on the link below for the post!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! I am thankful for many things this year, especially my family, but also for the kids who are telling me that they have read Sophie’s Quest three times and they can’t wait for the sequel (released today on Amazon!). Their love for the book and its characters feels especially sweet this year as I reflect on the journey–including periods of puzzling silence–that got the book into their hands.

Blessings to each one of you!

Posted in Faith | 4 Comments

Corrected Time for White Center Library event on NOV. 21st

Please note! If anyone is planning to attend the reading and craft night at White Center Library on Nov. 21, 2016, please note that the correct time is 6:30 to 7:30.

There won’t be any books for sale at this event (the first book in the series is, however, available at the library for check-out). Please come to the BOOK LAUNCH PARTY on NOV. 26th for books! 3:30-5:30 at Page 2 Books in Burien.


Posted in Faith | 2 Comments

Can an Owl and Mouse Help Save a Divided Community?

Please see below for a corrected time for the NOVEMBER 21st event at White Center Library.

You’re invited to a BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!

Sophie Topfeather, Superstar!, the sequel to Sophie’s Quest, is nearly here, and will be available for sale and signing at several locations in November and December. Please stop by to say hello if you are close to one of them!

More information on that, but first, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the beautiful cover by illustrator, Maggie Kneen:


After a promising start, Sophie and Timley learn that being friends and keeping their new faith now that they’re back in the Park is not going to be as easy as they hoped. It is a surprisingly timely story that helps all of us (me, included), have faith that God can be trusted–even when things look grim, and that there is hope for a divided community.


Here’s the schedule:

Nov. 12th at Page 2 Books (ONLY SOPHIE’S QUEST WILL BE AVAILABLE, if you need it before the sequel comes out!). I will be there from 2:00-4:00 with cookies and crafts and signing of SOPHIE’S QUEST. You’ll be able to pre-order the sequel.

Nov. 21st (No books available at this one–just a reading and crafts) at White Center Library at 6:30 to 7:30 pm  TIME CORRECTION!!

Nov. 26th at Page 2 Books in Burien, from 3:30 to 5:30–Come for a party! Door prizes! Cookies! Crafts! Book-signing!

Dec. 3rd at Snohomish Event Center for the One Strand Holiday Marketplace–10:30 to 2:30.

Dec. 17th at Learned Owl Bookstore in Hudson, Ohio, from 1:00-3:00 for a book-signing.



Posted in Being a Good Neighbor, Faith, Loving our Neighbors, Sophie Topfeather, Sophie Topfeather, Superstar | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

99-cent Kindle Sale of Sophie’s Quest Today!

Hi Blog Friends!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Sophie Topfeather, Superstar!, the SEQUEL to Sophie’s Quest, my publisher is running a 99-cent Kindle sale of the first book!

Here’s the link:

This is a great chance to tell your friends about the series, including book club organizers, Sunday school teachers, church, school, and public librarians, and bookstore owners. They can try it out for almost nothing and see if Sophie and Timley and friends can help the children in their lives learn to be better neighbors in our diverse world.

Thank you in advance for passing this along to anyone who might be interested in helping our world be a better, more compassionate place. (Besides, it’s my birthday this week, and I can’t think of a better present than for friends to tell someone else about the series!).

Watch this space and on Facebook and Twitter for the cover reveal and details of upcoming book launch events. It’s all coming up SOON!

This could also be a great chance to check out Sophie and Timley’s Bible Time if you haven’t already (see the link on the top of the website). It’s the same study that Sophie and her friends do as the sequel opens. I only hope that putting it into practice doesn’t cause YOU as much TROUBLE as it CAUSES THEM!!

Have a great day!


Posted in Sophie Topfeather, Writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rain and Leaves are Falling! Are you Glad?

Hi blog friends!

It’s been awhile! Sorry about that–I took the summer off to work on a book project that I can’t wait to tell you about. The sequel to Sophie’s Quest, Sophie Topfeather, Superstar! is also ALMOST ready to announce! The cover will be released soon (yes, art by the same, wonderful, Maggie Kneen!!), and then the book, with all the balloons and fanfare and event invitations it requires. STAY TUNED!

In the meantime, the rain is back in Seattle, and I noticed leaves changing colors and blowing in the wind when I went grocery shopping this morning.

I always feel excited about school starting up and seeing all the kids and my colleagues again, AND I always wish I could make summer last just one more day. How are you feeling about the change of season?

My pastor (Pastor Allison) recently had some fascinating things to say about the end of summer and why we might be secretly glad that the rain has returned. It was great, and I thought you might like it, too!

Click on the link below, then scroll down to Sept. 4, 2016 “Deep Rest.” (Sorry, I couldn’t get a direct link):

Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts!

I can’t promise regular blogging quite yet with final revisions, etc. in the near future, but hopefully, soon. In the meantime, God bless!


Posted in Faith, Life transitions | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Choking Back Tears at Fred Meyer?

pushing a shopping cart

Doesn’t feel like there’s much we can do these days against the tidal wave of anger and senseless violence that keeps crashing all around us. Anguish seems to be everywhere! Pushing my grocery cart past the seasonal clearance aisle on my way to the fruit and veggies, I caught myself just before breaking down. Sobbing seems the only reasonable response, right?

Suddenly, it felt like the most important thing in the world to reach that shredded cheese package for a lady in the wheel chair, and to tell her that it was my pleasure to do so.

I said hello to the young cashier, and was truly glad to learn that he didn’t have to work over the Fourth of July holiday and had fun with family and friends.

I decided to make my husband happy by getting the car fueled up and ready for whatever we might do on Saturday, instead of making him do it in the morning.

I bought two more potted plants to decorate my patio, because the world might be going crazy, but flowers are still beautiful!

I even waited for the car that was backing out of the parking lot space, even though they had stopped and looked like they expected me to go around them.

Call me crazy, but when we can’t do anything about the “big things,” doing every “little” thing I could do made me feel a tiny bit better. Not save the world better, but better.

Perhaps little bits of kindness can spread and produce a tidal wave of its own. Are you with me?

 . . . make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.



2 Peter 1:7.

Image credit:

Posted in Being a Good Neighbor, Faith, Loving our Neighbors | 5 Comments