Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

About the Book

Book:  Annie’s Hope

Author: Merrillee Whren

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: September 27, 2022

The Village of Hope: A community built on service and love

Annie Payton hopes for one thing—to regain custody of her children. She believes the Village of Hope’s lawyer will give her this chance until she learns that lawyer is Ian Montgomery, her ex-husband.

Since Ian has turned from his life of substance abuse, he’s all about helping others, but he doesn’t know if he can help his former wife. Her betrayal still brings him pain, and most people at The Village don’t know about his past relationship with Annie.

As Annie and Ian’s lives intersect, can she show him that she’s clean and sober and wants a second chance not only with her children but with him?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels. Please visit her Website and signup for her newsletter and connect with her on Facebook.


More from Merrillee

One of my writing goals is to set at least one book in every state in which I have lived. So far I have written books set in Washington State, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, Montana, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. I still have to write books set in Illinois and Arizona to complete my goal. Just for fun I’ve gone astray and have written a couple of Christmas novellas set in Maryland, where my older daughter lives. The third book in the series, Puppy Love and Christmas Cookies is ready for preorder.

Annie’s Hope is one of my books set in Georgia. It is the first book in The Village of Hope series. We lived in the Atlanta area for nine years when our daughters were in elementary and middle school. I have many found memories of that time. One of the things I remember is a ministry there that served older adults and had children’s homes. When I got the idea for this story, I thought of that ministry. I also have friends who served many years at a children’s home in Oklahoma. I expanded on those ministries to create The Village of Hope, a multifaceted ministry, a place that provides hope, love, and a helping hand for those in need. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” This verse fits Annie’s Hope perfectly.

Because I’m what they call an organic writer, I don’t plot my stories. I start writing and see how things unfold. I start with a set of characters and wonder what if. In the case of Annie’s Hope, I wondered how a divorced couple might find love with each other again, despite hurt and betrayal. I’m always thankful that somehow God brings everything together when I write a book.


It is always nice to read the first book in a new series by this author. It reminds me of a spring day as flowers start to bloom. It is a reminder of a new beginning like Annie is hoping for in this story. I love the theme of the  book which illustrates forgiveness, second chances and hope for a future . I loved the faith that was spread throughout the book as we witness how God can change people and show them grace and unconditional love.

Annie has had a hard life overcoming addiction. It is hard once that stigma is placed on you. People will remember you  as an ex-addict and some will not trust you. Annie is praying that she can get her children back and have a fresh start in life.  The Village of Hope is where Annie begins her journey. She has a place to live, a job and a lawyer to help her with regaining custody of her children. There is one little obstacle. Her ex-husband works as a lawyer at The Village of Hope. 

Ian was brought up as a preacher’s kid which can be difficult at times. I know the  pressure that puts on children because I was a preacher’s kid as well.   It seems like I was under a microscope with people waiting for me to do something wrong. Ian followed Annie down the  trail of addiction when they were young and married. His life has now changed, but will he give Annie a chance to prove she has changed? He has memories of their past and his emotions are hard to contain. The word trust and Annie don’t go together in Ian’s mind. 

Something that really spoke to me in the story was how Annie continually worried if she was strong enough to stay sober and if she would ever gain Ian’s trust. I loved when Ian told her, “Don’t think about trouble. Think about the good things God has given you today.”  I needed to hear that myself. I become so focused on what could happen that I forget to thank God for the things that he has done for me. Annie needs to stop living in the past and become confident of who she is now. 

I hope you have plenty of tissues as you read the book. The author reaches  deep into our hearts and shows us how God can save us. We may go through trials but He will never leave us. Annie has made mistakes but one person took the time to minister to her. Those words spoken to her changed her life. As I was nearing  the end of the book, I  had to wipe tears away as I witnessed how God used Annie during a very dangerous situation. Her compassion showed as she herself shared with someone how their life could change if they gave theirselves to God. I witnessed miracles of reconciliation, forgiveness and best of all God’s mercy. 

I am excited for this series and can’t wait to read the next book coming out. This book goes on my favorite books for 2022. Thank you to the author for reminding me that nothing is impossible for God. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

lakesidelivingsite, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Susan K. Beatty, Author, November 6 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, November 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool,Academy, November 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 11

Britt Reads Fiction, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 14

SusanLovesBooks, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16


To celebrate her tour, Merrillee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of A Match to Call Ours!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Sounds like a story I will enjoy reading.

  2. Congratulations on your release of Annie's Hope, Merrillee, your book sounds like a wonderful romance for me to enjoy and I like the cover! Good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks for sharing it with me!

    Thanks, Texas Book-aholic, for sharing your review!

    Have an awesome day!

  3. The cover is really cute, thanks for the review.

  4. Sounds good. Thanks for your in depth review.

  5. This sounds like a really good book.

  6. Seems like a good read

  7. This is one emotionally charged and challenging reunion romance. Certainly sounds like a good story.

  8. What an interesting romance read-- I can't wait to get started! Thanks so much for sharing it.