Yesterday at church one of the hymns we sang was about having sufficient grace and mercy.

In one of those moments where a thought hits you with a sudden force, I realize how incredibly true those words were. I’ve never been through anything when I didn’t have a sufficient supply of grace and mercy.

I liked this image of two street signs intersecting, one way leading us to mercy, the other to grace.

And I liked the idea of the two intersecting. I think that happens right when we need them most.

It made me think of this image:


Even in the darkest, coldest places, a light still shines on, especially where there is mercy and grace.


And I loved this quote. I fail. Over and over and over again, yet there that wonderful mercy is.

And every time I stumble, grace is there to catch me.

Some people say grace is getting something we don’t deserve while mercy is not getting something we do deserve.

I’d agree with that. I’m flawed. I’m human. I’m needy and I make mistakes (so many mistakes), but no matter what, there is that beautiful grace and tender mercy wrapping around me and helping me continue.

May your week be full of grace, mercy, and love.

Aboard Providence

A warm welcome to Keely Brooke Keith with her new release!

Aboard Providence - Cover

A voyage aboard Providence changes Jonah’s plans, but can it change his heart?


In November 1860, Jonah Ashton boarded the Providence with a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to medical school in Pennsylvania before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he didn’t count on was getting lost at sea… and Marian Foster. When they finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?

Watch the book trailer here.

Aboard Providence ~ Excerpt

Jonah Ashton held two letters, one in each hand, as if the gravity of their messages bore physical weight and his open palms were the pans of Lady Justice’s scale. The papers felt deceptively equal and light, but the words written on them produced heaviness in his chest that could not be ignored. He sat on the edge of his bed in the musty room at the back of his aunt’s fine Philadelphia home and glanced up at his classmate.

Frederick straightened his starched collar in the dressing mirror. He raised an eyebrow at Jonah. “Well?”

“Well what? I must go home. I haven’t got a choice.”

“Of course you do. Stay and fight the allegation so you can finish the medical program.”

Jonah shook his head and studied the letters for the twentieth time. One letter, written in the scurried script of a concerned professor at Penn’s Medical School, warned of a possible criminal charge and adjured Jonah to prepare his defense; the other letter summoned him to his father’s estate in Accomack County on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. He blew out a shaky breath and pointed at the Spencerian scroll of his father’s closing command. “He said to come home at once. He believes the tension between the States will escalate since Lincoln’s been elected. He’s been talking about settling land in South America and I knew he expected me to go with them. I didn’t think it would be until after I earned my degree.”

“Why would someone of your father’s wealth and connections want to leave it all behind and sail to South America?”

“His inherited wealth and connections mean nothing to him, but he has always dreamed of…” Not wanting to paint his father as impetuous, he changed his explanation. “There are unsettled islands off the eastern coast of South America. They are beguiled by the challenge of establishing a new colony.”


“Mine and seven other Accomack County families. They are a closely knit church. The minister descended from Swiss Anabaptists. He and my father share traditionalist Christian views and are determined to start a peaceful settlement on virgin soil.”

“An adventurous notion, however, your father’s timing could not be worse for you.” Frederick stayed in front of the mirror, pinching the waxed tips of his mustache. “If you leave the city while accusations loom, it will solidify your guilt for everyone at Penn—except me of course. You could be expelled. Stay here and defend yourself so you can earn your degree with the rest of us.”

“I wish it were that simple. I’d be worthless as a physician without a degree, but if I disobey my father’s command, I will upset him and might never see my family again. I cannot disappoint him, especially after all he has done to ensure my education.”

Frederick shrugged. “My father believes Virginia will vote to secede from the Union and he wants me back in Richmond soon, but I wouldn’t leave town if I were facing a criminal charge. And neither should you. You’ve worked too hard to let something like this tarnish your reputation.”

“But without an alibi, there might be little chance of a favorable verdict.” Jonah wiped sweat from his temple then raised the letter of warning. “It is true. I was the last medical student seen with the patient. But that doesn’t make me guilty. I would never force myself on any woman, especially not an ailing one. This is simply an opium user’s feverish hallucination.”

“But that opium user also happens to be the college provost’s wife, and if you leave, her accusation will stand.”

“Such a charge would ruin my career.” Jonah refrained from looking Frederick in the eye. “Not to mention, a trial could end in conviction and sentencing. I’ve done everything right my entire life and now I’m being accused of the unimaginable.”

Frederick spread his hands. “The woman has no proof. It probably won’t go to trial if you stay and cooperate with the investigation.”

“And not say goodbye to my family? Or worse yet, let them hear about the charge just before they leave the country forever? That would be too upsetting for my parents. I cannot part with my father on bad terms; it would torment me. And I have four younger siblings, all of whom look up to me. I couldn’t bear the guilt. No. They are setting sail in a few weeks. If I were charged, I would not be able to leave the city.” Jonah’s trembling fingers folded his father’s letter in precise quarters and he stuffed it into his breast pocket. He crouched near the fireplace, gripped a fire iron, and stoked the burning logs on the grate.

“What are you doing?” Frederick asked.

“I haven’t been charged yet. I’m going to Virginia, but only staying long enough to say goodbye to my family. They know how important my medical degree is to me, so maybe they will understand that I cannot go with them. I won’t tell them about the allegation. I will return to fight this charge, and my family can sail to South America without hearing of the scandal.” He pulled his silver watch from his vest pocket, wiped its spotless surface with his shirtsleeve, and checked the hour. “There is still time to make the night train.” His already fluttering stomach churned. “You can keep all this to yourself, can’t you?”

“Not if I am subpoenaed.” Frederick glanced at the closed bedroom door and lowered his voice. “I won’t perjure myself.”

“I’m not asking you to. Just don’t tell anyone I have left.” Jonah tempted the flame with the edge of the warning letter. The fire’s orange tongues licked at the paper and caught it ablaze. He dropped the burning letter on the log and stared at the stationers’ watermark as the frantic warning blackened and withered before it turned to ash. He lifted his chin toward the door. “Is anyone in the hallway?”

The knob squeaked as Frederick cracked the door. He put his ear to the chink for a moment and then closed the door again. “No. It sounds like the servants are in the kitchen. Are you really leaving the city right now?”

Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith available October 2016 from CrossRiver Media.

What other authors are saying about the book:

“A delightful adventure reminiscent of Swiss Family Robinson, Aboard Providence is one of those novels that will stick with me because I feel I’ve lived it. A captivating, well-researched, and deftly written tale I can confidently recommend to a wide range of readers.” –Heather Day Gilbert, author of Amazon Norse bestseller God’s Daughter

“With vivid settings and multi-layered characters, Keely Brooke Keith whisks her readers off on a page-turning journey, not just across the ocean, but within the heart. You won’t be able to put Aboard Providence down until the final word is read and then you will long for more.” –Brenda S. Anderson, author of the Coming Home series

“A blend of history and romance with a compelling inspirational message, Keith expertly weaves an intriguing tale. Fans of the Uncharted Series won’t want to miss this journey.” –Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

“Keely Brooke Keith is a master storyteller, weaving adventure, love, and wonderful characters into a vivid story that will take readers on an unforgettable voyage to a new place. Full of inspirational messages and tales of God’s love, readers will find themselves longing for more. Keely’s story teaches all of us that the journey is just the beginning!” –Christina Yother, author of the Hollow Hearts series

Buy Links:

CrossRiver Media


Or order from your favorite bookstore!

Keely Brooke KeithAuthor Bio:

Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

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Find Keely’s books online:


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Into The Storm


Months ago, I had to make a hard decision in choosing between two writers’ conferences I wanted to attend. As luck would have it, they were both scheduled for the same weekend.

One was in the Southwest, the other in Seattle. The Southwest conference was where many of my beloved writer friends would gather. The Seattle conference was one where I wouldn’t know anyone.

After much debate and agonizing, I decided to attend the one in Seattle because there were several workshops I really wanted to take.

Fast forward to last Thursday. I would fly out that afternoon to Seattle. Only, when I turned on my computer that morning, my newsfeed was full of info about a storm hitting Seattle over the weekend.

Not just any storm. Words like “storm of the century” and “tail of a typhoon” were bandied about, making this girl suck in a gulp of panic. What kind of crazy person leaves the safe, warm comfort of their home to fly into something like that? Would my flight be canceled? Should I just stay home?

Captain Cavedweller convinced me all would be fine and I should still go.

So I did.

It should probably be stated at this point that I hate to fly. It combines several elements of things that I don’t do well with: confined spaces, heights, and motion sickness.

Due to the weather in Seattle, our plane was delayed from taking off. With each minute of the delay, I think my anxiety went up another notch.

Finally, we boarded the plane and took off. From my seat near the wing, the lights outside the plane gave me a great view of the blinding rain coming at us sideways while wind buffeted us from every side. About half way through the trip, a gust sucked the plane about 30 degrees upward to the left, to the point passengers were scrambling for a handhold to keep from falling onto their seatmates. (And if you don’t think it was bad, they didn’t even allow the airline hostesses to get out of their seats the whole trip.) In between my prayers, I contemplated how my friends in the Southwest were doing… where there was no chance of typhoons.

The disturbing turbulence continued the rest of the way to Seattle and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we touched down on the runway.

A hired a town car service rather than take a shuttle or cab (the shuttle made about twenty stops before it would have reached my hotel and the town car was cheaper than the taxi!). It was nice to walk into the baggage claim area and find a man dressed in a nice suit waiting for me, holding a sign with my name on it. He took charge of my suitcase and led me out to a big, black SUV that made me feel like I was part of some gangsta movie. (Yeah, it was kind of cool.)

As the rain continued to pour down with blinding force, it made me glad I was not driving the twenty-odd miles to the hotel where the conference would take place and that we were in the big SUV.

I reached the hotel much later than planned, checked into my room and went to bed.

The next morning, I spent five minutes trying to figure out how to turn on the shower. The piping looked like some middle school science project gone awry with two hoses: one going to a hand-held shower wand, and the other to a big showerhead. After turning every knob that moved, I finally got the shower wand to work. (Not the best way to start the day, but better than no shower… and yes, I could have called the front desk, but I didn’t want to be THAT insane guest who couldn’t figure out how to make the shower work.).

Since I’d missed dinner due to the flight delay the night before, I splurged and ordered room service. $40 (with tip) for cold toast, rubbery eggs and really good bacon (still haven’t quite recovered from that sticker shock!).

From there, though, I forgot about turbulence and rain and stupid showers and exorbitantly priced breakfasts. I went to my first workshop, met the amazing woman assigned to be my “conference buddy,” and immersed myself into the role of student as I learned from some fascinating teachers.

Cocooned at the hotel’s conference center, I didn’t notice the wind or the rain creating havoc outside. People lost power in areas nearby. Waves crashed into buildings. Places flooded. But we were isolated from the heart of the storm.

Other than the stupid shower (which I mastered the second morning! Ha!), everything was so fun, interesting, and incredible.

I met so many generous, funny, kind, smart people. The classes I took were informative and thought-provoking. And I won a great prize in a raffle that I’m super excited about.

Despite how crazy it seemed to fly right into the storm, I’m so glad I went.

Sometimes, it’s in those stormy, scary places were we find just what we need to come out better on the other side.


For the most part, I’m a shy introvert who likes to stay home and hide out in my writing cave with my imaginary friends – aka my book characters. (And yes, I did just say that.)

I spent the past four days away from my writing cave around a bunch of fun, interesting, exciting, adventuresome, talented, amazing people. (And I’ll write more about that later this week.)

But what I noticed during the course of the weekend, was how good it felt to let go of all the “need to dos” and “don’t have time fors” and just enjoy a new experience (that will ultimately benefit my writing in ways I can’t possibly foresee).

There were so many moments of grace, so many little blessings, I came home with a very full and thankful heart.

Sometimes, it’s a good thing to abandon our routine and find ourselves in a place where we can enjoy those little moments of grace. I don’t think it was the fact that I was somewhere new and different that inspired those moments as much as it was the fact that I decided ahead of time to open my heart and mind to whatever might come my way.

As you go through this week, may you find many special moments of grace that touch your heart and bring you joy.


A few weeks ago, I wrote about finding the grace in letting things go.

Today, I was thinking about the grace we discover in holding on… not to things we need to let go, but to things we’ll regret losing if we don’t hang on for all we are worth.


The other day, I went outside to get the mail and noticed a praying mantis trying to cling to the side of the house near the front door. It didn’t seem like a good place for him to be, so I broke off a stem of lavender and held it for him to climb onto.

When he did, I moved him over to the lavender plant. Within seconds, he’d latched onto two stems with those powerful legs and wasn’t letting go.

He was still clinging to those stems hours later when Captain Cavedweller came home from work. CC was going to move him to a spot in the backyard, but the praying mantis clung to that lavender plant with every bit of strength he possessed, refusing to be moved.

It made me think about the times I need to be more like that praying mantis… to be so tenacious about hanging on to a something, I can’t be moved by the variety of external forces that would try to force me to let go.

For any of you who are struggling today to hang on, I’m cheering you on. Be tenacious, be determined, be full of faith – and cherish the grace that comes in holding on when it would be so easy to just let go.


Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.

After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.

A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Pre-Order Link:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cVw4ED

Take advantage of the 99 cent pre-order price!



“I thought I heard you calling for me,” Miko said, climbing down a ladder on the far end of the building with an arm full of berry crates.

Rock rushed to help her. By the time he threaded his way through the packed contents of the building, she was already on the floor.

“That’s quite a car,” he said, taking half the berry crates from her and motioning to the convertible.

“Thanks. I bought it when I was still gainfully employed,” she said, walking over to the car. “I fell in love with the color the first time I saw it and started saving my money to buy one. When the weather’s nice, it’s fun to drive with the top down.”

Rock gaped at her. “It’s your car?”

Miko grinned. “Is that a hint of disbelief I hear, Captain? Not only is it my car, but I know how to change the tires, check the oil, and siphon gas out of my dad’s car when my brother, Tommy, borrows it and brings it back empty.”

He laughed, setting down the crates and wiping his hands along his trousers before touching the car. “It is a beaut. What’s this color?”

“Laguna maroon. Papa calls it the luna moon mobile, but I still think it’s one of the prettiest colors out there.” Miko opened the driver’s side door and motioned for Rock to climb in.

He sank into the leather seat and inhaled the aroma as if it was the most expensive perfume.

“Like it?” Miko asked, bending down to better see his reaction to the car.

“You bet!” He settled his hands on the steering wheel, forcing his injured fingers to curl around the wheel.

“If you like the outside of the car, you’ll probably be more impressed by the eight cylinders under the hood.” Miko released the hood latch and Rock slid out to study the engine.

He whistled and smirked at Miko. “What’s a girl like you doing with a car like this?”

“Anything I want,” she said with a sassy grin. “At least it used to be that way.”

Rock sobered and closed the hood, using the hem of his T-shirt to wipe away the smudges made by his fingerprints.

“I didn’t realize you had cars here. I was trying to figure out how to catch a ride on the bus into Portland.”

“By all means, drive one of the cars wherever you need to go.” She pointed to her grandparents’ sedan. “Papa and Mother must have sold their car or it would be here, too. Granddad wouldn’t care if you take his.” She cast a taunting look his way. “Or, if you think you can handle it, you’re welcome to drive mine.”

His raised an eyebrow at her dare as he lifted the berry baskets and followed her out the door. “Is that an invitation or a challenge?”

“Maybe both.” She turned and sauntered away, casting a flirty smile at him over her shoulder.




Untangling Christmas

I promised a few weeks ago that I’d share about designing this cover.

Originally, I thought it would be fun to have a guy all tangled up in lights on the cover. The only images I could find, though, didn’t put me in mind of Mike, our hero.


Yeah, scratch that plan and go back to the drawing board.

So… after searching and searching and searching, I finally chose this photo from a stock photo site.

The man and the woman embrace against wood 3254.

Obviously, it needed a little work.

First, I removed the background.

Then I got rid of his braid or whatever you want to call that thing on his head. And I shortened the sideburns, changed the color of his pants and gave him legs.

I still haven’t quite figured out what to call the outfit she’s wearing – A bridal negligee in the woods? Whatever it was would never do for my sweet Taylor’s character. She got a lacy blouse and a red tulle skirt. Oh, and I added legs to her, too. Then I switched the blond hair for red.

The thing I loved about this photo, though, was the look of love and emotion on her face. And that’s why I chose it.

After adding a wall and door, and a few Christmas trees, I still wanted something with the tangled lights on the cover.

That’s when I found some clipart for the string of lights. It worked so perfectly to string through the text on the cover.

And there you have it!