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While writing Blessed Transgression, I became so emotionally intimate with Victoria Unruh and her family that they became my close friends. As the story unfolded in my heart and mind, I’d often discuss my characters’ behaviors with my husband. “Do you know what Herman did today?” “I can’t believe what Reverend Hahn said to Ada.” “Poor Lucy. She just breaks my heart.”

In the story, Herman Unruh attended the Mennonite seminary in Goshen, Indiana, when he was a young man. My real-life father also attended that seminary. One day, I was speculating to my husband that Herman and my dad must have been at the seminary around the same time. “Honey, Herman isn’t real,” my husband said, tapping my skull. “He’s just in there.”

When I completed Blessed Transgression, I couldn’t bear to part ways with the Unruh family. Hence, I decided to write a sequel entitled, Hope’s New Season. I promise redemption for Ada, possibilities for Lucy, and a better life for Herman.

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