Two years ago this Christmas, Sadie Bennett's beloved husband was killed in a tragic accident at the local sawmill. What was once her favorite time of year now haunts her, with its cheerful trappings a cruel reminder of the love she lost. The young widow would like nothing more than to hibernate until the festivities are over. When she finds herself assigned to the committee tasked with picking a Christmas tree for the town square of Little Hickman Creek, she begrudgingly agrees but determines to fulfill her duties to the bare minimum. As the search for a suitable tree gets under way, Sadie is dismayed to learn that one of her fellow committee members is a man she's worked hard to avoid. Reed Harris owns the local livery, and while he's friendly enough, good-looking, too, Sadie isn't ready to invest in another relationship. In fact, she may never be ready, unless a Christmas miracle manages to thaw her frozen heart.
Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. In 1975, she married her childhood sweetheart. Together they raised two lovely, wonderful daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, "Shar" loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family-her grandchildren, in particular! Shar launched her writing career in 2006 with the contemporary romance Through Every Storm, a Whitaker House release that was named a finalist for Book of the Year by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Following that was her acclaimed Little Hickman Creek series, consisting of Loving Liza Jane (Road to Romance Reviewer's Choice Award); Sarah, My Beloved (third place, Inspirational Readers' Choice Award 2008); and Courting Emma (third place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2009). Shar's next series, the popular Daughters of Jacob Kane, comprises Hannah Grace (second place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2010), Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann (third place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2011). Sofia's Secret concludes her latest series, River of Hope, which also comprises Livvie's Song and Ellie's Haven. Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings, television and radio appearances, and interviews. She loves to speak for women's organizations, libraries, church groups, women's retreats, and banquets. She is involved in Apples of Gold, a mentoring program for young wives and mothers, and is active in her church, as well as two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.