Why I Created This Series
Retrospective thoughts are so powerful, aren’t they? Now that I’m an adult I often look back on my adolescence and think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” As a YA author, I read a lot of books in my own genre, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Though many of the secular YA authors are brave enough to talk about the tough stuff, not many Christian authors go after the real world difficulties that face our young people. The passage of time constantly rips through generations creating new problems and situations. The world that my children are growing up in is very different from what I experienced, and the challenges that they face as Christians are also different. The Desires & Decisions series was born out of the need for me to able to address these controversial topics with my own children. Olive, a teenage girl growing up in Southern California, serves as the lens of perspective as we see almost everything from her point of view. Her world provides a safe, fictional place for Christians to flesh out these thoughts and think through what the Bible teaches about topics like racism, bullying, loving one’s neighbor, what real love is, addiction, and same sex attraction.
Meet Olive Callis, the protagonist from the Desires & Decisions series. Navigating through life as a twelve-year-old girl growing up in Southern California can be tricky. Embracing the ginger, sci-fi loving, introverted girl God created her to be — well that’s even trickier. Join Olive on her quest to figure out who God wants her to be, while dealing with the social pressures and problems she encounters at school, church, and in life in general.
Newfangled (eBook Available for Free)
After a rocky start at a new school, Olive hopes she can find a few friends to help win her crusade to survive the most awkward years of her life. Junior high beckons. But when she angers the class bully, her transition into public school is anything but smooth.
Though Olive prays for faith, she feels betrayed by God when things go from bad to worse. Then, when good things finally happen, the mean girls dial their torture up a notch. As Olive battles self-awareness and surging hormones, will she find stability through the promises of Christ?
At home, her father’s work injury causes even more stress to seep into Olive’s life. When suspicion is confirmed as foul play, she must fight even harder to trust in a God that has promised never to leave His children.
Join Olive as she journeys through the gambit of teenagedom. Can she it make it through the semester without losing her faith?
Just when Olive feels her life come together, it threatens to fall apart. Isn’t junior high supposed to be fun? After Olive’s controversial, award winning essay is published in the local newspaper, she receives threats from a stranger. When intimidation escalates to hate crime, can Olive find victory through God’s brand of love? Will the local police figure it out before someone she loves gets hurt by the mysterious stranger who wants to silence her voice?
But that’s not all she has to deal with. When Olive’s aunt gets engaged, the joy is evident until her aunt realizes that prince charming isn’t perfect. As her aunt’s struggles worsen, the tension puts pressure on every member of Olive’s family.
When it comes to her first crush, Olive is still confused. How does God want her to deal with their budding relationship? Is there any choice that won’t result in Olive’s broken heart? Olive is more desperate than ever to understand real love.
Olive’s best friend needs her now more than ever, but can she piece together everything in time to help him?
When an anonymous email circulates through Normandie High, everything Olive knows about her family, church, and friends will change. In the midst of controversy, Olive finds she has been entrusted to protect her best friend and his secrets, though revealing them would make her life much easier. Meanwhile, she struggles to figure out what the Bible teaches about homosexuality while the members of Revive church lobby accusations back and forth, threatening to cause a church split.
In a twist that even Olive couldn’t anticipate, family relationships waiver as Olive tries to decode her mother’s mysterious behavior. When the past stirs up new accusations against Olive’s family, she learns that some secrets are more painful to reveal than others.
Though a helpful guy in Spanish class has her attention, Olive realizes that boy problems are the least of her worries. Can she balance drama, schoolwork, and still be the supportive friend and daughter God wants her to be?
Resplendent (Coming 2019)
What’s next? Olive prays about her next step in life as she finishes her last year at Normandie High school. Her dad, Tim, has been suspiciously absent lately, and she doesn’t know whether it has to do with the surprise he’s planning for her graduation present, or something more troublesome.