The Whispering Sentinel

It is said ‘you can’t go home again’, but after a cancelled wedding and the death of her father, Sandy Martin makes the decision to do just that when she returns to her hometown of Bradford Mills. She buys her grandmother’s old house, and in the process of remodeling the house with an old friend, Tom Brannigan, Sandy discovers her house has a story to tell. While she continues an internal struggle to find the faith and relationship with God she’d had in the past, she begins a journey to find not only her history, but that of another.

This is a true ‘coming home’ story that will touch your heart.

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Home Groupies II

Like its predecessor, Home Groupies II is a ‘thought for the day’ book in the form of a novella. The lives of the core characters give rise to the daily messages.
Also like its predecessor, Home Groupies II has a message, characters, and a plot. I know you will enjoy all three again.


“If a tree falls on you in the woods, but nobody else hears it, you still get hurt.”
“Today I will remember a smart body at rest in a good place tends to stay at rest in that place.”
Surprise and Suspicion
“What’d you do?” my wife asked as I handed her the flowers.
“Nothing,” I said. “Can’t I buy you flowers without being accused?”
“No – what did you do?”
“I bought you some flowers,” I said. “Because I love you.”
“OK, you’re forgiven,” she said, taking the flowers.

Today I will do something nice for someone.
(Even if they’re likely to question my motives.)
Living in a cat house
At three in the morning a paw to the eye, a tiny head butt, and a loud meow awakened me. I muttered something I wouldn’t want my kids to repeat. After I scratched his ears, our cat curled up next to me and went to sleep, apparently drifting off in mid-purr.

I will not always be in sync with those I love,
but giving them a little attention goes a long way.
A stitch in time keeps you out of the gutter
I was tired when I got home, but the sun was shining and the gutters needed to be cleaned. Peering into the gutters, I almost fell from my ladder. The coagulating gunk made me think Mother Nature had gone on a bender and vomited onto my roof. Rotten leaves, the slime that grows on rotten leaves, and bird droppings, in combination with petrochemicals leeching from the shingles, had combined into a toxic gel. I thought briefly of putting the ladder away and pretending I had already cleaned the gutters. Then I thought about the slime, a bolt of lightning, and the birth of a new life form, one bent on destroying roofs everywhere. I also thought of water overflowing the gutters and getting under the eaves, possibly damaging the roof and walls of my house. Cleaning up that mess would be ten times harder than cleaning out a gutter. I remembered when I was a kid it took me forever to figure out what “a stitch in time saves nine” meant.

Some things need to be maintained, sometimes maintaining them takes effort.
I will make the effort today to avoid a bigger mess tomorrow.
Liar, liar, pants on fire
Sharon called to tell me her farmhouse burned to the ground. She escaped unharmed. No animals were hurt. The only losses were the decrepit building, an old bed, and some pots and pans.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “Is there anything I can do?”
“No, there’s nothing to do. I’ll just miss the place.”
“A lot of your friends will too,” I said, ignoring my commitment to rigorous honesty.
“Really?” She said, obviously pleased to have company in her misery. “What will you miss?”
“Lots of things,” I said. Using a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night. Picking ash out of my food. Wondering if the red eyes I saw were those of one little field mouse, or of the advance scout of a rat army searching for a quick meal before overrunning the nearby town. “The smell of the fireplace.” Which I also enjoyed in my suburban home, along with its light switches and flush toilets.

Sometimes kindness trumps brutal honesty, but it’s a slippery slope.

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Above and Beyond


An Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Christian Historical Fiction

Winner of the coveted John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and a Finalist in the USA BEST BOOK AWARD contest.

A raging war
An unexpected love
A selfless sacrifice
Above and Beyond is a romantic tale of two people thrown together by war, and torn apart by Destiny.

Confederate spy Sarah Duvall risks all to help cavalry officer Douglas Benton escape a trap set by the Yankees. Will his love be enough to bring her back? Or will a promise he made keep them apart forever?

Confederate spy SARAH DUVALL lives alone and reviled in her war-torn homeland of Virginia. Pretending to support the Union cause, her friends and family have no way of knowing she is secretly providing valuable information to the Rebels.

Cavalry commander DOUGLAS BENTON would much rather flirt with a woman than work with one. When he discovers that the virtuous and devout Sarah Duvall is the spy who has been providing him with valuable intelligence, he fervently resists the arrangement.

But Benton is forced to recognize that there is more to being a good soldier than leading a cavalry charge. When Sarah makes a selfless sacrifice, he learns a valuable lesson: That faith is more important than glory—and love more important than life.

“Jessica James has a gift for reaching into the past and bringing it back to life.” – Tiffany Kohler

“Another great story with lots of imagery, intrigue, and intricate details. The words are like magic.” – Julia Miller

Suitable for mid-teens and up.

The Wooden Indian Resurrection: Coming of Age in Middle Age



Three girlfriends, one betrayal, three decades of bitterness, and one showdown that changes everything in this resurrection of a beaten-down woman who discovers “that we must face – not run from – our deepest fears.” Jean Snedegar, BBC Radio and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Deborah, a modern Native American, is as dead as the wooden Indian she impersonates at work. She festers with bitterness from a stab-in-the-back by white high school girlfriends that led to her arrest and exile, and the shattering of her romance with a white boy she secretly planned to marry. Years pass, and Deborah’s former girlfriends discover her and mysteriously beg for help. No way will she help them, but if she confronts them, will she finally be free from her past? And after wasting her life, is it too late to become who she’s meant to be?

Deborah’s search for wholeness is a journey of coming of age in middle age, of realizing she can love passionately again. Her redemptive path leads to a thrilling ending that leaves readers with the hope that their lives, too, can be transformed.

The manuscript won awards from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Pikes Peak Writers and is perfect for readers of Jamie Ford, Sue Monk Kidd, and William Kent Krueger. Amazon categories: women’s fiction, historical fiction, inspirational fiction, literary fiction, and wholesome romance.

“The story captured me so I could hardly wait to read another chapter.” Vickie Brennan Dykes, Akta Lakota Museum, Chamberlain, South Dakota

“Just as the wounding of one affects us all, so does the healing of one. That’s a story we need to hear.” Patrick Dorn, Denver arts critic, playwright, and author

“A compelling and relatable tale. Teenagers who are struggling with their sense of self will identify with Deborah, and adults in middle age who are evaluating the course of their lives will find solace in Deborah’s resurrection.” Argus Leader

“An epic drama set within themes that make Dakota ‘Dakota.’ A delicious read.” Thomas A. Dempster, former South Dakota State Senator

“This story of a woman’s journey to confront her past and heal old wounds will resonate with readers and have you cheering for Deborah Running Bear.” Cindy Myers, “The View from Here”


“Trish Hermanson pulls together different cultures, generations, religions, and personalities as she tells a captivating – and inspirational – story of torn relationships and new hope. Scenes of tragedy give way to humor and then high drama.” South Arizona Dave

“Anyone who knows what it is to wage a war against yourself could connect to Deborah’s feelings of inadequacy, hurt, and self-blame. Very fresh. The romantic aspect was very well done.” M. Rubright

“I lost sleep because I couldn’t wait to see what happens next.” Gerri Thomas

“The vividly described, engaging characters are still with me three weeks after finishing the book. It was definitely a page turner and I absolutely loved it!” P.A.H.

“Our book club used it, and it brought up great discussions on themes of forgiveness, redemption, and second chances.” Elizabeth

“This book reminds me of Jan Karon’s father Tim in the character of Will Standing Bear, who is the philosopher of the Running Bear family.” DJ

“Be ready for an ending you never saw coming.” Amazon Customer

“It brought back memories of awkward high school days we can all relate to.” Amazon Customer

“Hard to put down. Plot keeps you guessing and reacting–a bit of a rollercoaster.” Michelle

“An absolute must-read.” Eric Stallsworth