An Easter Message



This is the ocean view I gazed at on Easter morning, eight years ago. Something caused me to wake in the pre-dawn hours and I grabbed my Bible and nestled on the sofa in our hotel room for my own private worship service.


Less than four hours later, I got the call.

“I’m sorry, Kellie. It’s your dad,” a close friend whispered over the phone. “He’s gone.”


Some of you have faced losing someone you love. You know what I felt in those next seconds. The instant regret at not having a chance to say goodbye. To tell him what he meant to me. The crippling pain knowing I couldn’t simply call him. He was no longer there.

People who knew me in my younger days shake their confused heads when they learn I’ve become a Christian. Images of me winning at beer pong and (well, let’s skip that part) still wander through their minds. “Kellie? She’s a Christian now?”


My debut novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, asks an important question.

Is death the end?

Because of what happened on that first Easter, I have the hope of seeing my dad again. That’s worth living my life differently. It’s worth having people think I’m small-minded, not open to progressive social ideas. It’s worth bending my knee and submitting my will to His.

It’s not religion. It’s climbing into Jesus’ lap, recognizing I don’t belong there, but knowing I’m welcome and loved by the one who made me.

If there was a Facebook emblem I could post on my profile page this week that said I’m a Christian, I’d sign up. Not to be divisive, but to acknowledge my faith. It’s not about me judging others, or acting better than anyone. It’s simply saying I know where I’m going after I die . . . and I’m grateful.



MOTHER OF PEARL is the story of a mother who risks everything for her daughter. Available at your favorite bookstore, or at Amazon.


A Christmas Wish for my Readers


There, I’ve said it. No holiday brings me more joy than the celebration of the Savior’s birth.

As a child, I grew up in a wintery wonderland not far from Sun Valley, Idaho. Close your eyes a minute and imagine riding on a sleigh pulled by horses over glistening snow. Or, think about a Christmas afternoon spent on a frozen lake showing off new ice skates.

Back then, I couldn’t imagine a fake tree. Every year my dad would pile kids from neighboring ranches into his truck and we’d go cut trees.  Ladies from down the road made popcorn balls and Mom filled my sock with yummy hard ribbon candy and orange jelly wedges on Christmas morning.

My childhood holidays were magical.

Now, I live in Dallas.

No snow.

No real tree.

My parents have passed on and my sister lives hundreds of miles away.

But, this year I look forward to something very special. Something that almost tops my childhood memories.

There’s a furry spring horse that whinnys and makes clopping sounds when you press his ear waiting by our tree.

On Christmas morning, my husband and I will watch our little two-year-old grandson climb up and take the ride of his life.

I can hardly wait.

Tell me . . .  what are you excited about this season?




When the Heart Breaks

I started (and stopped) this blog post several times. You see, I’ve had a bit of a hard week. I lost something I loved very much. And, writing is hard when your eyes keep tearing up.

Last Thursday, my 2.7 pound Yorkie slipped into our pool and drowned. My husband found her. We were both devastated. While not on the tragedy level of losing a family member, little Ava was deeply tucked inside our hearts, and the unexpected goodbye sliced our emotions like a knife.

Even so, I’ll find my footing again. Despite the hurt, the days ahead will grow steadily brighter.

Until then, I can’t help but ponder how often women face unexpected, life-changing misfortune. Someone out there lost her job this week, or received a foreclosure notice. Another gal signed divorce papers. Perhaps one of you opened the door to a law enforcement officer with bad news.

No one escapes the hard things in life.

And, when we encounter these situations . . . where do we turn?



MOTHER OF PEARL (Abingdon Press) follows the story of Barrie Graeber, a mother who faces incredible loss, and who discovers she must recognize her own vulnerability and learn to trust in something much bigger.

Releases SEPT 1, 2012. 

Let the Olympic Games Begin (or Not)

Unlike most people, I hate watching the Olympics.

When I recently expressed this view at dinner, my friends gasped.  How could anyone not like the Olympics? “That’s just plain un-American,” they claimed, with frowns painted across their faces.


Let me explain.

I’ve never been a person drawn to athletics, preferring to bury my nose in a good book over watching sports on television.  Oh, I like the opening ceremony, but that’s because I enjoy all the pomp and circumstance, the music, the broadcasted stories behind the athletes.  But the actual competition? Yawn…..

As a novelist, I do pay attention to why so many other people glue their eyeballs to the fierce competition of these athletic events.  I may be wrong, but perhaps the popularity stems from the same reason I love novels.

There is something about a person fighting to attain a goal against insurmountable odds and winning that strikes a cord in all our hearts. We love wondering what that feels like. What if we could do the same in our own circumstances?

No matter if you live vicariously through your favorite athlete with gold medals wrapped around his/her neck, or you relate better to a heroine maneuvering through the pages of a novel to a satisfying conclusion  . . . humans striving to break across the finish line calls to the deep part of our souls and reminds us the race matters.



The football coach went too far with her daughter, now this mother is willing to risk everything she holds dear to bring him to justice.

MOTHER of PEARL releases Sept 1.

Pre-order yours today!

Let’s Pretend

Don’t you love this photo?  Who doesn’t want to be a fairy princess?

I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho. Often, my busy mother would shoo my sister and me outside to play. A heavy list of chores needed done without us around her feet complaining, “I’m bored.”

Didn’t take us long to come up with ways to entertain ourselves, especially through the summer months.

We pretended.

Some days, we imagined ourselves doctors in a busy hospital filled with patients (i.e. the lambing sheds and chicken coop).  Or, we played farmer and used our dad’s garden hose to irrigate our tiny dirt fields lined with rocks.

Occasionally, we donned our suits and sunglasses and swam in the cattle trough letting visions of palm trees dance in our minds. (PS – don’t use Jergen’s hand creme for tanning lotion unless you want a sunburn you’ll not soon forget!)

My favorite game was Academy Awards. Glammed up in our mother’s nightgowns and high heels, we’d march forward and accept Prell Shampoo bottles (our version of the coveted Oscar statue) and blow kisses to our adoring fans (the fence posts).

I’m often asked how I come up with stories for my novels. The easy answer is this:  I go inside my head and pretend. I imagine being someone else and what I’d do, and how I’d feel if this or that happened.

I think most novelists would say the same.  We’re inspired by our imagination.



As a debut novelist, I admit to closing my eyes and pretending I’m a New York Times bestselling author. What would THAT be like?


Want to help me find out? Pre-order your copy of MOTHER OF PEARL today!