The Great Lakes Collection
I was a fifth generation Swedish Minnesotan before I married my military man and wandered for a while, finally settling in the land of Packers and bratwurst. In the Great Lakes books, I bring my readers to the land I know and love best – the most remote areas of Northern Minnesota and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as the small towns and big cities of the Midwest. It’s a beautiful part of the country! The inhabitants of these places are a diverse and eclectic (sometimes eccentric) group – and usually very nice people. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
When Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, starts looking for his biological parents, he discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches. The deeper he digs, the more Ben would rather cover it all up again and pretend he never met them. After all, he’s got a pretty comfortable life: his parents help out financially, and his nanny – who isn’t exactly what she appears to be – takes excellent care of his home and children. He just started a new job as a physical therapist assistant, and in another year, he’ll be a fully-certified physical therapist. Life is good.
Something shady is going on at Great Lakes Therapy Services, though, and Ben is soon caught up in a dangerous network of fraud and deception. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect his children, even if means sending them away in the care of their nanny and a grandfather they’ve never met.
Ben’s comfortable life is raveling. Can he find the courage to stand firm and do the right thing? Can all of them learn to move past the past and move forward in faith? Baggage Claim is a story of unexpected relationships, healing, and family.
When Lisa Marsh is roped into serving Thanksgiving dinner at the local community center, she encounters hundreds of children, lively teenagers, stubbornly independent veterans, eccentric elderly people, and a particularly rude and scruffy homeless man named Pete. The evening ends in disaster, but when her best friend challenges her to reach out and help other people, Lisa decides to take on the project of reforming Pete – whether he likes it or not. Her plan is simple: Help him find a job and become respectable. All he needs is a helping hand and some guidance. And a shave. Definitely, a shave.
Pete is willing to work, especially if it means spending time with the pretty volunteer, but her tactless determination to “reform” him makes him dig in his heels. Her creative ideas for employment become increasingly outrageous, but every time he tries to put an end to her meddling, she charms him with her good intentions and willingness to serve others.
Lisa finds herself unaccountably attracted to her vagabond protégé and irresistibly entangled in the lives of the other people she meets at the community center. Before she knows how to stop it, her one small service project snowballs into an extraordinary Christmas ministry that just may change her life forever.
Hope for the Holidays
If you read Snow Angels, you might remember Pastor Micah Neresen from The Blessed Church of the Sacred Lamb and Holy Lion. He’s about to meet his match in Hope for the Holidays, the third book in my Great Lakes series. Carrie Parker is a new broom at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center, and she’s gonna sweep him right off his feet.
Newly arrived from her home in the Congo and armed with a brand-new degree in nonprofit management, Carrie Strough is eager to organize and improve the Unity Plenkiss Community Center. Unfortunately, no one wants to be organized, and only Micah Neresen, the charming and handsome pastor of the local church, is interested in her plans. Or is he just interested in her?
With a cast of lively and eccentric characters including a homeless vet with PTSD, a con man, an elderly couple with an over-the-top Christmas display, a feisty committeewoman with a past of her own, and a police investigation, Micah and Carrie wonder if there is any hope for the holidays this year!