When Pastor Eli Daniels’s wife and brother ran away together, he was the one who lost—his family, his church, and his faith. All he has left are his four-year-old daughter and a little church in the world’s smallest town. But he still has his speaking talent, and with it, he’s sure he can build up their numbers so he can catch the attention of another mega-church. He needs to be back in the big time, where he belongs.

Glory Matthews voted against hiring the new minister. He’s single and handsome and more charismatic than any man has a right to be. He’ll draw every man-hunting woman around. And because he’s used to the big time, he won’t stay long . But when Eli is with his daughter, he’s down-to-earth, loving and everything she could want, and Glory’s heart melts like a forgotten candle burning in the night.

If it’s one thing Eli doesn’t need, it’s Glory Matthews. She’s head-strong, pretty, faithful and doesn’t seem to be fazed by his “celebrity.” But Glory is also everything he could ever want, and somehow this Jordan Valley miss, just might help him find his faith and mend his heart.

I have three other books published as Susan Shay  but now I’m writing under my maiden name.


Here’s the story: 

One year I decided to try NaNoWriMo. Know what that is? It’s where you whip out a fifty thousand word manuscript during the month of November. Kajillions of writers do Nano (or at least start it) so I thought I would, too. I wanted to be finished before Thanksgiving, so I did the math in order to know how many words I’d have to write a day to reach that goal.

And I was on top of my goal. I had more than enough words to reach fifty thousand by Turkey Day.

And then, about halfway through my manuscript, I awoke one day and in the black of the e-a-r-l-y morning, I had an epiphany. 

I want to be remembered for my writing, but for a different kind of book.

So I set that manuscript aside, and started writing (not nano-ing) a totally different book. One my dad could appreciate. One I could share with my young nieces without them having to hide it from their mamas. One I could point anyone to and say, “See that? I did it (with help from my friends)  and I’m so glad I did!”