Here’s something you probably don’t know about me. (Unless you know me personally). My husband and I used to be bookstore owners. We owned a Christian bookstore, part of the Lemstone Books chain of eighty-something Christian bookstores in the US. They were based out of Chicago and every August, Mike and I hopped a plane and flew to Chicago for the annual Lemstone conference and Christmas buying. It was a great seven or eight years of our lives, except for those seven or eight Thanksgivings before Black Fridays, as we spent the majority of our time those Thanksgving days getting the store ready for Christmas.
Those Lemstone years were the years I was birthing and rearing little ones so I really was not at the store very much. When I was there, you could see the disappointment on the faces of the teens that came in wanting to talk to my super nice and super informed husband on all the latest Christian bands and music. It’s fine, it really didn’t bother me, but when I see some of those teens that are now adults around town, I like to hold that over their heads. And really, who can be offended? It’s true, my husband is one of the nicest and smartest people I know.
Here’s another thing you may not know about me: I’ve always wanted to write a book. For the longest time, I wanted to write a middle-school age book. (Back in my day, it was Junior High) It was going to be about a girl who goes to summer camp. Things would happen, lessons would be learned, camp would be the best thing ever.
In those early days at Lemstone, I discovered a new author, Robin Jones Gunn, and she caught my eye because she was writing a series for young teens that reflected so much of what I wanted to write too! The Christy Miller series began with twelve books, seeing Christy from about age thirteen through her high school graduation. As time passed, Gunn wrote Christy Miller, The College Years, Christy and Todd the Married Years and in the last year or two she has completed Christy and Todd The Baby Years. I’m a little behind now on the series but I did just recently finish Book Two in the Married Years, Home of our Hearts.
Semi-newlyweds, Christy and Todd experience the realities of young adulthood while walking through financial anxieties, faith-testings, family dramas and friendships. In Home of our Hearts they travel across the world for two very special weddings; Todd’s father has finally found the love of his life and is marrying in the Canary Islands and Christy’s best friend Katie is getting married in Kenya. Christy experiences all of the culture and sacredness of both ceremonies and begins to wonder if she and Todd are in the right or best place for them to serve God. I have one more to read in the Married Years to find out.
I’ve enjoyed this series over the years so much. I like moving through them slowly, always knowing there is another one I have to look forward to reading.
Gunn has written many other series as well. The Glenbrook series is a great romance series for the twenty-something reader, and The Sisterchick Series is a great adventure series for the middle-aged woman. If you never get to travel the world, you can always read a Sisterchick novel and get a great glimpse of the food and culture of other countries; Holland, Mexico, Finland, France, Hawaii, Italy, England and Australia!