Grace Series, Renewed by Grace

Sneak Peek: First 3 chapters of Renewed by Grace

My fourth book will be available in just days now!

It’s hard to believe but I’m so excited for you to read Andrea’s story. April 30th might seem like a long time to wait, and I know it’s hard so I thought with this post I would give you a sneak peek at the first THREE chapters in the novel!


Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,


Sneak Peak


March 1990

“Mom, please read another chapter. Pleeease?”

Andrea looked into her son’s green eyes and could see they were still red from crying earlier in the evening after James fussed at him to quit practicing the trumpet. He had yelled the noise was giving him a raging headache and then stormed out of the living room.

“It’s late, Joshua. You have school tomorrow.”

Joshua leaned forward, his eyes shining. “I know, but Skip’s in danger of being captured!”

Tousling his hair, Andrea smiled to see her serious little man acting like the five-year-old he really was. “Okay, but only one more chapter… no matter what happens. Deal?” She gave him her mother stare as she said, “You’ve got that big sight word test tomorrow.”

“Deal!” Joshua laid back down, snuggling under the sheets covered in spaceships and planets. “I like numbers more, but I don’t really have to study.”

Rolling her eyes, Andrea picked up the book again. “Don’t tell me that!”

Shifting on the side of the bed, she opened the latest Kip novel to the next chapter and began to read out loud. “Kip struggled to unlock the bulkhead door, muttering under his breath Neptune should be here. ‘What’s the point of having a genius talking dog if he isn’t around to help you…’”

As Andrea continued the next chapter in the Skip Saturn series, she wondered if the baby she was carrying would be good for both Joshua and James. Rubbing her still flat stomach, she thought, it’ll be nice for Joshua to have a constant friend since we move around so much with James’ job in the military. I was going to tell James at dinner tonight, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

After Kip had escaped once again, Andrea tucked her little man in for the night.

“Goodnight, son. Sleep well and say your prayers.”

“Night, Mom. You’ll read again to me tomorrow night, too, won’t you?” His eyes were shining in expectation of further adventures.

“Yes, my little astronaut.”

Turning off the light, she watched Joshua settle in and made sure the Superman nightlight was on, before making her way to her bedroom. Right before dinner, James had gotten a call that sent him rushing over to base headquarters for an emergency, and she didn’t expect to see him that night. She put her robe at the foot of the bed in case Joshua called out for her and climbed under the covers.

Andrea reached into the drawer of her nightstand and grabbed a paperback novel she had shoved all the way to the back. She opened up to the last page she had read and muttered, “I have to be up early too and can only read one chapter myself. After I drop Joshua off at school, I’ve got that committee meeting to plan the annual Marine Corp gala. If I’d known I’d be pregnant during the event, I wouldn’t have volunteered to head up the entire thing.”

Two hours later, the novel almost finished having read five chapters, Andrea closed the book and put it in the back of her nightstand drawer. Oh, Lord, it’s after eleven. I can’t believe I stayed up so late reading Mark Lawson’s latest sci-fi novel!?! Who would’ve thought how much I’d enjoy the adult series of Kip Saturn. No one would believe I’ve loved reading science fiction since I was a teenager, but something about the man’s writing makes me think I’m watching a movie, not just reading a book. Taking a sip of water, she paused placing it on the nightstand. I’ve read two novels in this series, but something’s different about this one. I’m struggling to put it down.

Not surprised James wasn’t back, Andrea turned off the lights and snuggled under the covers. Lord, please let this baby be good for our family. James and I discussed not having another child right now, because he’s going on tour in a few weeks

Sighing, Andrea turned over to grab his pillow to smell his aftershave. Lord, I trust You have a plan for this unexpected blessing. Help me to follow the path You have for our family. Amen.

Feeling at peace, Andrea fell asleep with his aftershave filling her senses. When James got home right before dawn, he smiled to see his wife holding his pillow, and gently moved her closer to his side to wrap his arms around her. Falling asleep was always better with Andrea in his arms and with only a short time until he had to be back on base and then gone away on another tour, he wanted all the time with her he could get.

Mark’s Journal Entry – March 28, 1990


I’m not the best at talking and I’m new to this praying thing, so I thought I’d write out my thoughts in this journal Maggie gave me for Christmas. Last week, she gave me a chance to have Christmas with Kip under her and Rick’s supervision, because she said she had seen a real change since January after I was saved. I truly believe it was a miracle after everything I’ve done. I know it’s only because of You my ex-wife is giving me a second chance with my son. Thank You for this unexpected second chance!

I’ll try to always be honest in these journal entries and consistent, too. If I can write on my novels most every day, then well, I can write to You as well.

My editor contacted me this afternoon and said my writing must have greatly improved because the publishing house is getting a lot of positive feedback from my novel that launched last week. David was astonished when I gave him the newest Kip novel months ahead of schedule. I don’t know what happened, but after I was saved in January, I had all this energy. I went to my room and wrote everything out. It’s never come so easily before, and I know it was because of You, too.

Please help me to be not just a better writer, but a Christian author who needs to be held to a higher standard. People reading my books should be led to You, not away from You. Help me to be the man of God You want me to be.

I want my son to be proud of his father, and I know it means I’ve got to keep walking the walk of faith. Please help me not to disappoint my family.

Sneak Peak

Chapter One

September 2013

 “Come on Andrea! Just four more and you’re done.”

Andrea lifted her eyes, sweat shimmering on her forehead. Trying not to glare at her physical therapist, she muttered, “I’m tired, Matt, and this was a looong session for this fifty-year-old lady.”

“Yes, but it’s your last one.” Matt looked at the petite older woman and marveled at her energy even after the few complaints she’d made during physical therapy.

“You can do it, Mrs. Andrea. I’ll do four more if you will.”

Andrea looked over at the young boy who spoke and smiled. Lord, thank You for sending this sweet boy to encourage me through this painful process. I couldn’t have made it through without him.

“Ok, Noah. Just for you, I’ll do four more!” Winking at the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy, she struggled through her last few exercises, before collapsing in a chair. “I thought with this being my last session, you would’ve taken it easy on me!”

“I can’t help how well you’re doing, Andrea. You’ve been a great patient. You’ve done beautifully and could probably run a 5K.” Matt handed Andrea a towel, before giving Noah a high five. “Good job, Noah!”

Kristy, Noah’s physical therapist said to the boy, “You’re done for the day, Mr. Noah. I’ll see you next week.” Noah giggled at the young woman calling him mister and gave her a high five before grabbing his bookbag. Kristy called to the back of his head, “And don’t forget your exercises.”

Matt hugged Andrea, before he said, “Keep up with your exercises too, and remember to be mindful of your hip.” Making notes on her chart, he continued, “Your body will tell you when you need to slow down. Be sure to walk every day.”

“Thank you, Matt. You’ve been great.” Pushing her curly brown hair out of her face, she smiled throwing him the soggy towel. “I wouldn’t be back to normal so quickly without your help.”

“You did the work. I just showed you what to do.”

Noah waited by the door for Andrea to get her purse before following her outside to sit on the bench. It was still warm for September, and Noah liked being able to spend so much time outside. When we lived in Chicago, it was usually freezing by now.

Andrea sat down next to Noah and sighed. “I’m going to miss seeing you two times a week, Noah. You’ve been such an encouragement to this old woman.”

Noah smiled while shaking his head, “You’re not old, plus you’re fun. I like all your stories.”

“You’re just easy to talk to and I do love talking about my boys.”

“I want to meet Josh and Jacob someday. They sound like fun. I’ve always wanted a pet frog, but Mom says no pets until I’m older.”

“I’d love for you to meet my sons. I think they’d like you, too.” Andrea hugged the little boy, before looking away. I haven’t seen Jacob in so long, I don’t know if I’d even recognize him.

Shaking her head over the sad thought, she changed the subject by asking, “Is your Grandpa picking you up today?”

Noah nodded, “Yeah, he’s been writing all morning, but will pick me up this afternoon since my parents are working.”

“It’s good he can do that.”

Looking out for cars, she was hoping to finally meet the grandpa Noah raved about day after day. All she really knew was he was trying to write a science fiction story based on Noah and the little boy was excited to have books written specifically about him. It was talking about science fiction that allowed us to bond. Noah was shocked to learn this fifty-year-old woman knew so much about sci-fi.

Glancing sideways at the smiling boy, she thought, I’m not sure what the publishing world looks like, but I hope the boy knows it will probably be small. I imagine it’s hard to get into the traditional publisher’s market. Glancing at Noah, she sighed, But, I’m sure he’ll be happy with whatever his grandfather does. I’ve never seen a boy adore his grandfather more than Noah does.

“Mrs. Andrea?”

“Yes, Noah?”

“Will you come to my birthday party?”

Andrea’s smile went from ear to ear. “Of course, honey! I wouldn’t miss it. When is it?”

Before Noah could reply, Andrea’s phone rang. She mouthed to Noah, “just a sec” and then said, “Hello, Bailey!” She paused before asking, “What did Josh do now?”

Noah watched her on the phone and prayed his grandfather would arrive soon. He had been trying to get them to meet since Mrs. Andrea started physical therapy with him in July. Now it was September, and he was out of time. Today’s her last day! Come on, Grandpa. You can’t miss meeting her this time. It’s the last chance we’ve got.

“Noah, that was Bailey. I’ve told you about her running the catering part of Taste & See with me. I need to go, we’re catering an event for the youth silent auction tomorrow and I’ve got to grab a few things my son forgot. Apparently, he went to the grocery store to buy baking powder and brought home baking soda instead. Bailey’s practically in tears. I need to get the shopping done quickly and get home before they kill each other.”

Noah laughed, but only thought, that sounds like my dad, he forgets stuff all the time.

Standing up, Andrea hugged Noah. “You’ll be okay waiting for your Grandpa?”

The little boy nodded, unable to hide his frown, “Bye, Mrs. Andrea.”

Watching her walk away, Noah groaned. How will I get her to meet Grandpa, now? As she drove away, he waved goodbye. Oh, no! He slapped his forehead as her car pulled out of the parking lot. I forgot to tell her my birthday!

Moments later, a dark jeep pulled in front of Noah and honked. The little boy hopped off the bench to wave at his grandpa. “Grandpa, you’re late!” He said with his hands on his skinny hips.

“I know, bud, but there was a bad accident on the highway and I was stuck.” Mark was surprised to see his grandson so upset. Noah’s usually very go with the flow, easy going.

“I wanted you to meet my friend Andrea, but she left already.”

“Sorry, bud. Next time.” This upset over a girl, that’s new!

Noah hung his head, “This was her last day of therapy.”

“Ohh!” Understanding dawned on him that his grandson’s crush wasn’t going to be there anymore. Poor guy, no wonder he’s sad. Mark wanted to cheer him up asked, “Well, won’t you see her at school?”

“GRANDPAAAA! I told you she DOESN’T go to my school.”

“Umm!” Mark put the jeep in gear. “Well, we’ll think of something. I mean would Kip Saturn let his friend go off to another planet without ever seeing her again.”

The little boy’s eyes shined bright. “No, he would have his faithful Neptune track her down.”


“I invited her to my birthday party, but I don’t have her address to mail her an invitation.” He tossed his backpack in the floor of the jeep, “I didn’t get to tell her when it is or it’s about space.”

“Well, I’m sure we can track it down. We’ve got time, your birthday’s not until mid-December.” Turning onto the highway, Mark asked, “Milkshake before we go home and you do your homework?”

Fist pump into the air, Noah shouted, “YES!”

Mark turned toward their favorite ice cream place and wondered about the child named Andrea, who had his grandson so mesmerized. He’s never had a crush on a girl before, always saying they had cooties. I may be fifty-three, but I remember girls and cooties. I guess this means my little guy is really growing up. Listening to Noah sing along to the praise and worship CD he had playing, Mark sighed, oh to be young and in love.

 Sneak PeakChapter Two

“Andrea, would you hand me another one of Bailey’s muffins? They’re so good.”

Andrea stood to grab the box from the table laden with goodies and smiled while passing them to Laura. “They’re really yummy. Bailey made them for Josh. They were his favorite growing up.”

“I can taste the peanut butter, but what else did she put in these things?”


Nodding, Laura took another bite. Trying not to frown, Andrea wondered for the twentieth time that morning what was going on between her business partner and oldest son. They had been dating since July and everything was fine until Viviane and Cole’s wedding in September. Now the first Thursday in October, it looked like Bailey and Josh had an awful fight and weren’t speaking to each other. I feel so helpless, Lord.

Staring out the window in the fellowship hall at church, Andrea thought to herself, I still don’t even know what happened. Bailey said she doesn’t want to put me in the middle, but I’ve seen her red-rimmed eyes too much for my liking. I have a feeling Josh did something stupid. He can be so stubborn sometimes.

“Andrea? Andrea? Are you listening?”

Shaking her head, Andrea turned to one of the ladies speaking to her. “Sorry, Betty. I was thinking about something.” Forcing herself to focus on the plump matron in her seventies, Andrea prepared herself for something wild. Betty Lu Richardson never does anything halfway and she’s been unusually quiet for this month’s widow’s meeting.

“I said I need to ask you a question.” Pursing her red lips, she cocked her head so her large gold earrings clinked, a serious look on her face, she said, “I wanted to know if you think two years is long enough to wait before I start dating again?”

Andrea choked on the sweet tea she was drinking and tried to hide her shock. The woman’s in her seventies and wants to start dating?!? Oh, Lord!

“Betty Lu Richardson are you out of your mind?” Beverly, another member at Great Hills Christian church cried out, causing the rest of the group of women to turn toward their end of the table.

“Well, I’m NOT getting any younger.” Betty slapped her hand on the table, causing her drink glass to shake. “And that nice Dr. Kline has been flirting with me for over a month now.”

Clearing her throat, Andrea asked, “Dr. Kline?” Frowning, she continued, “Dr. Kline, the retired doctor who tries to diagnosis everyone with some terrible ailment?” She pictured the older gentleman, balding and usually in suits too big for him with brightly colored bow-ties.

Nodding her head, Betty’s earrings jangled loudly. “Yes, he’s been flirting with me for weeks now before church service. I think he wants to ask me out and I think… well… I think I want to say yes.” Frowning, she said, “Up until now, I always changed the subject when he starts asking me about my plans for Friday night.” Looking at Andrea, while nervously shredding her napkin, she asked, “Do you think, it’s too soon?”

“Well…” Andrea paused. Lord, why is she asking me? I can see she’s upset, she’s so worried over it which isn’t like her.

Beverly piped up, “If you have the energy and so does, Dr. Kline, I say go for it.” Looking at Andrea and Laura sitting beside each other, Beverly pointed at them, “It would be good if others in this group would start dating, too!”

Laura slouched down in her chair, but Andrea gave a half shrug. “I’m too set in my ways. I like going where I want and doing what I like.”

“Don’t you get lonely?” Betty asked, everyone focusing on Andrea waiting for her reply.

“No,” Andrea frowned. Do I, Lord? When Bailey and Josh were dating, I did have more free time, especially since Bailey became a partner in the catering business and everything doesn’t rest all on my shoulders… but I’m still busy and active… it’s just at night sometimes… Shaking her head, she thought, But now I’m staying in the little mother-in-law suite off the main house, I don’t feel lonely rattling around in that big house in the evenings… Right?

One of the other ladies piped up, interrupting her thoughts. “It’s not for everyone to date again. I mean, look at Delia Anne, she’s been a widow for over thirty years.”

Another lady in the group, who had been widowed for a few years called out, “That’s true, it isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t want to be married again either.”

As the ladies debated dating or not, Andrea watched Laura quietly stand and begin to clean the food table from their lunch meeting. Looking at her watch, Andrea saw it was almost two, but thought it was a bit early for Laura to start packing up. She must be upset. She’s never talked about dating again, and the young widow’s only twenty-seven years old.

Walking over, Andrea helped Laura begin to clean the dishes. Whispering quietly, Andrea asked, “Are you okay, Laura?”

Laura looked up with a half-smile, her blue-gray eyes sad. “Yes, I just didn’t have anything to contribute to the conversation and I know our meeting will be over soon.”

Andrea only nodded putting lids on containers. “It’s okay if you don’t want to date. Age shouldn’t have anything to do with dating.”

“Thanks,” Laura paused to quickly to wipe away a tear. “I’ve never really talked about it, but my marriage with Blake wasn’t the best. I’m not sure if I ever want to be married again. I don’t know if I can go through that a second time.”

Sending up a prayer for the hurting young woman, Andrea reached out to squeeze her hand. “If you ever need to talk, just you and me, please feel free to call me.” I guessed as much from the way she’s reacted around men when we’ve gone out to lunch together. I always thought her husband might’ve been abusive, but she’s never wanted to talk about it.

“Thank you, Andrea. I’m not quite at a place where I can talk about it.” Sighing, she admitted, “Even though it HAS been two years already.” Placing a lid on a plastic container, she moved a bit closer to whisper, “Blake’s family wants to move here to see more of their grandson. They’ve been visiting almost every weekend to look at houses. I’m too stressed right now to deal with much of anything.”

“Your mother mentioned your in-laws at the silent auction last month.”

“Yes, she’s angry I won’t stand up to them, but they lost their only son and my son, Brian, is the only grandchild they have.”

“That sounds like a hard place to be in.”

Laura nodded, “It is.” With a sigh, she continued, “I’m praying for God to show me what to do. They’ve looked at so many houses, I don’t know if they’ll ever pick one. I can’t keep having them at my place all weekend… I have a guestroom, but it’s hard having so many people in my little three-bedroom apartment. I’d been looking for a house, but we moved back to Cartersville so quickly after Blake’s death. Well…I took what I could find fast, but I really want Brian to have a home with a yard.”

“You poor thing.” Hugging Laura, Andrea sent up another prayer. “I’ll be praying God works out this whole situation.”

“Thank you.”


Turning around, Andrea saw Betty walking up to her, only a little taller than Andrea’s own five-foot height in heels. Stopping in front of the two ladies, Betty looked at her with a large grin on her face. “I’ve decided I’m going to let dear Dr. Kline ask me out this Sunday.”

“Well, that sounds like a good idea,” Andrea said handing the woman her empty dish.

Betty took the plate and smiled at both Laura and Andrea. “Thank you for your input, because I value your opinion. Since you started this widow’s group at the church, I’ve felt more connected to people… less lonely. I look forward to the first Thursday of each month.” Bobbing her head sent her earrings clinking, “I’ll see you Sunday.”

With a quick wave goodbye, the feisty woman marched out already planning on buying a new outfit for this Sunday. Andrea watched her go and wondered if she would ever consider dating again. She snorted, Maybe I’ll just get a dog instead.  I could go to the humane society and get an older dog who would have a harder time finding a home. It would help me to continue walking more like my physical therapist wanted and keep me company at the same time.

Pleased with her decision, Andrea finished cleaning up and waved goodbye to the ladies as they left. When it was only her and Laura, Andrea reminded her, “Don’t forget to call me if you need anything, even if all you need to do is vent to someone. I’m happy to listen.”

She smiled looking out the window. “I never told anyone this, but shortly after I married James, I really struggled to get along with his mother.” She leaned against the table, “That woman was positively hateful to me, especially when James was on tour. She and James’s father were divorced and she took her hurt and anger out on me.”

Andrea remembered it as if it were only yesterday. “One day at church, I met this sweet woman who saw me break down in the bathroom because I was so overwhelmed having to meet her for dinner later that night. She held me while I cried and let me vent to her when I needed it… it marked a change in my life. I KNOW God sent her to me when I needed someone.”

Tears in her eyes, Laura hugged her. “I’m glad God put you in my life. I’ve never talked to anyone about Blake, not even my parents. I think they had suspicions, but I lived far away when I was married, only moving back after Blake died…”

Laura leaned back, sighing, “I do need to talk to someone, but I’ve got to get Brian from school.” She paused, hesitating, “Could… could we do lunch next week sometime? I’m going to need to start talking about things or I know I’m going to blow up sometime when Blake’s parents are here.” Sighing, Laura muttered, “They remind me of him in some ways with their violent outbursts and arguing.”

“Of course.”

Smiling, the ladies made their way out with one last hug. Andrea prayed for Laura as she drove off. Lord, please help me to be a friend to her. I don’t know why she pulls at my heartstrings, but she does. I can’t ever understand what she’s been through, but I do want to help her in any way I can.

Turning toward the outskirts of town, Andrea decided not to drive straight home but drove to the Etowah Humane Society. I think it’s time I find myself a dog.

Mark’s Journal Entry – October 3, 2013


I had a really good writing day today. I’ve been going all around Cartersville and surrounding areas to find places to write when I’m stuck or can’t seem to settle down to work at home. I’m glad I followed Kip and Becka down to this little, but fast-growing town. Now I’m settled in this tiny rental house, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I know my son and his wife, Becka, like having me near to help with the kids because of their crazy work hours. Being a doctor and children’s counselor, they have hectic schedules and need the flexibility I bring with my open schedule. Plus, I enjoy seeing Noah and Eva every day and being able to watch them grow up.

Noah reminds me so much of Kip at that age. His birthday’s in December and he’ll turn eight. When Kip turned eight, I was already divorced from his mom and she had severely limited my contact, not letting me see him alone. I was furious back then, angry she took my son away and wouldn’t let me see him when I wanted. Angry my own father was gone and I couldn’t resolve anything… angry at myself for becoming just like my old man.

Maggie was right to keep Kip away from me, and things worked out for the best. She’s happily married to Rick, and he’s been a great stepfather to my boy. I consider their daughter April, my niece and she even calls me, Uncle Mark.

Being honest with myself, right now, I feel restless in a way I’ve never felt before. It’s strange how I’m content with things, but still, wonder about more… maybe I just need to focus on the new book series based on Noah’s name. I’m probably just mixed up about that, since I’ve been writing Kip Saturn stories for most of my adult life. I’m sure that’s it!

I know Noah’s birthday is coming up and he’s begging me almost daily to find a way to get an invitation to his little friend, Andrea. Lord, I could use Your help with this one, because I don’t know how to track down a child without looking like a dirty old man.

Help me, please.

I hope you enjoyed this SNEAK PEEK.

Renewed by Grace
The Fourth Novel in the Grace Series

Available April 30th