Monday, May 16, 2011

EXCERPT: Kaydie by Penny Zeller

Since the death of her abusive husband, Kaydie Kraemer’s life has been easier, but she’s wary of men and builds a wall of protection around her, staying with her sister McKenzie as she awaits the birth of her baby. Haunted by her painful marriage, Kaydie is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind—the same grace that works in the heart of ranch hand Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

Jonah opened the door and stepped inside the house, and that’s when he saw her. Sleeping peacefully with a miniature baby quilt-in-progress spread across her lap was Kaydie Kraemer, McKenzie’s younger sister. Her head rested against the back of the fancy blue chair McKenzie had ordered from Boston; her long, wavy blonde hair cascaded over her right shoulder; and her petite, stocking-clad feet were propped on the bottom rung of a nearby chair. Her slender arms were folded across her belly, and her rosy lips were parted slightly as she breathed with a soft, feminine snore. Jonah stopped for a moment to take in the sight, struck by the beauty before him.

Jonah knew something of Kaydie’s past and of her marriage to a cruel husband named Darius. He knew she’d suffered at his hands, and that he had died in a bank robbery gone awry. From what McKenzie had told him, Kaydie’s married life had been anything but peaceful. However, reclined in the chair—which looked completely out of place in the otherwise rustic, sparsely decorated living room—she had an aura of peace about her that tugged at the deep recesses of Jonah’s heart.

He glanced at the fireplace and saw that the fire had gone out, save for the small glow of an ember hidden in one of the black logs. Kaydie must have been sleeping for some time. Was she cold? Should he cover her up with a blanket? Jonah gulped at the unexpected concern he felt, and he debated whether to go back outside and return later so as not to continue violating Kaydie’s privacy. Where was everyone else? His mind returned to the noises he’d heard in the barn. No doubt Zach and McKenzie were out there with Davey. McKenzie took as much delight in swinging from the rope in the barn and falling into the hay pile as Davey did.

As quietly as he could, Jonah walked over to the table and set down the box of goods. He then turned and tiptoed toward Kaydie, pausing for a moment to pick up the large crocheted blanket from the wooden chair next to the fireplace.

When he reached Kaydie’s chair, he carefully lifted the small baby quilt she had been working on and replaced it with the larger, much warmer, crocheted blanket. He spread it gently over her shoulders, hoping not to disturb her, and made sure it covered her completely. Next, he would stoke the fire, he thought as he smoothed out the blanket. He knew next to nothing about pregnant women but figured it was important to keep them warm.

The blanket nearly covered Kaydie’s legs when she opened her eyes and gasped. “What are you doing?” she exclaimed.

Jonah stood up straight and held up his arms defensively. “Kaydie! Uh, you were sleeping, and I…uh—”

“Get away from me, please,” she said, her voice trembling.

“I…uh, all right.” Jonah took a step back from her and watched as she leaned back as far as the chair would allow and pulled the blanket tightly around her. “Kaydie…” he began, intending to explain himself.

“I don’t know what you were doing, but please leave,” she said.

“I walked in and saw you sleeping. The fire had almost burned out, so I thought I’d cover you with a warmer blanket. I—I didn’t want you to be cold.”

“I wasn’t cold,” Kaydie insisted.

“That’s good,” said Jonah. “I was going to get the fire going again, too.”

“Do you make a habit of sneaking up on people, Mr. Dickenson?” Kaydie demanded…

Excerpt from pages 27, 28, & 29 of Kaydie by Penny Zeller, © 2011, with permission of the publisher, Whitaker House ( 

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  1. Hello Sid~
    Thank you SO much for posting an excerpt of Kaydie on your blog. I really appreciate your encouragement of other writers and your help in spreading the word about Christian fiction.
    Have a wonderful week!
    God Bless,
    Penny Zeller

  2. Wow,
    This sounds like a wonderful book. It's funny how we put up defenses around us to keep others from hurting us. It's not easy. We only see bad after that.
    And like the blurb says, It will take God to soften our hearts and give us the healing to trust again.

    I wish you much success with this book, Ms. Penny.

    Teresa K.
    tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo dot com

  3. You are welcome, Penny. Your book sounds interesting.

  4. Hello Teresa~
    Thank you so much for stopping by Sid's blog. What a blessing he has been to other writers in posting excerpts!

    I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the excerpt. I loved showing how depending on God in everything and giving Him our hurts and brokenness paves the way for His healing. Kaydie and Jonah really had to learn to trust, especially to trust God.

    Have a wonderful day and thank you again for your encouragement!

    Penny Zeller

  5. This is a really good book and just as good as McKenzie. I loved Kaydie and Jonah.
    cant wait for the next book in the series.
    What I like is how Penny deals with the issues Kaydie has from her first husband who was so abusive.

  6. Jenny, you are a sweetheart! Thank you for the awesome compliment about my book. You have a great blog and I always appreciate your encouragement of Christian authors.