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Saturday, April 15, 2023

About the Book

ook: Dreams of the Heart

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: March 7, 2023

Sometimes the hardest battles take place in the heart.

Poverty and abuse at the hands of her drunkard father leaves Hannah Bane trapped and alone. Without hope, she prays for a miracle just on the off-chance God will hear her. Will the handsome new deputy, who seems to be watching her every move, be Hannah’s one chance to escape the only life she’s ever known?

For as long as he can remember, John Mark Eliason has wanted to be a deputy sheriff. When a job opens in the nearby town of Poplar Springs, he eagerly accepts, but finds his greatest mission won’t be tracking down criminals and bringing justice to the ruthless Wyoming town, but saving a beautiful young woman he barely knows.

Will an unexpected answer to a difficult situation show how love can endure—and even thrive—in an unconventional situation? Or will fear and uncertainty keep two hesitant hearts apart?

In the sequel to Forgotten Memories, author Penny Zeller weaves a tender tale of faith, romance, and humor in a memorable story that reminds us God hears every prayer and has a plan for every life.

Wyoming Sunrise Series
Prequel: Love’s New Beginnings (Lydie and Solomon’s story)
Book One: Forgotten Memories
Book Two: Dreams of the Heart
Book Three: When Love Comes (December 5, 2023)


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.

Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. Her desire is to assist and nurture women into a closer relationship with Christ.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Penny is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and on Facebook at To subscribe to her monthly newsletter with book news and other fun morsels, please go to


More from Penny

A handsome deputy sheriff.

A woman in search of freedom.

An unconventional situation.

These three statements sum up the faith, tender romance, and plentiful humor found on the pages of Dreams of the Heart.

Some highlights during the writing of this book:

  • I conducted a lot of research on sheriffs because John Mark, one of the main characters, is a deputy sheriff in the small and lawless fictional town of Poplar Springs in 1894.


  • Many of us have heard of famous Old West lawmen such as the Earp brothers (Kansas, Texas, and Arizona), Doc Holliday (Arizona), and Pat Garrett (New Mexico). In my research, I also learned of a Wyoming Territorial sheriff named Christopher Castle who, with his deputies, noted the amount of money an outlaw had in his pocket when arrested. Later, when a fine was assessed, it was that exact amount.


  • A fun fact: some of the duties for Old West sheriffs included keeping the peace, collecting taxes, issuing liquor licenses, keeping the streets clear of dead animals, and cleaning up manure.


  • There is a brief Wild West shootout in Dreams of the Heart inspired by an historical Wyoming character’s experience.


  • John Mark carries a Colt Peacemaker revolver. While writing the book, I accidentally typed in “Colt Pacemaker”. Glad I caught it, although I’m sure it would have given my editors a laugh.


  • John Mark’s favorite cookie, the sugar cookie, is believed to have its origins in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and was named the “Nazareth cookie”. Enjoy the following recipe for the cookies mentioned in the book.





Lydie’s Sugar Cookies


Combine the following:


½ c. butter

1 c. sugar

1 egg

¼ c. milk

½ tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking powder

2 c. flour


Roll out on floured board with rolling pin and use cookie cutters.


Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes.


This has been a nice story about a marriage of convenience. I liked how the author didn’t write a typical story where the  bride travels to another town to marry a stranger. We meet Hannah who has suffered abuse all her life  from her Pa. He is as mean as they come and forces Hannah to wait for him every night outside the saloon. She barely has any food to eat and her clothes are so threadbare that  at any time they could become rags. Hannah knows what poverty is like and she dreams that someday she will have a better life. I loved her deep faith and how kind she was to everyone.  

John Mark is hardworking and places himself in danger each day as deputy sheriff. There is always someone breaking the law which keeps him busy. I liked that  his father is a preacher and John Mark goes to him for guidance when needed. After seeing how mistreated Hannah has had to endure he devises a plan to save her from her Pa. It is a great plan if he can convince her Pa to agree to the terms. 

I loved how the author shares the emotional side of both characters as they find themselves in a situation that may be uncomfortable for them . I admire John Mark for stepping up and rescuing Hannah and being honorable. His selfless act in will save Hannah from more abuse if he can keep her Pa away from her. 

There is a little action in the story with a gunfight that shows how John Mark cares for Hannah and will risk his life for her. It is a beautiful story where two people learn to trust and how Hannah never gave up on her dream for a better life. 

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

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 12

Lakesidelivingsite, April 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 13

Vicky Sluiter, April 14

Texas Book-aholic, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 17 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 17

Connie’s History Classroom, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool, April 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 20

For Him and My Family, April 21

Holly’s Book Corner, April 22

Mary Hake, April 22

Splashes of Joy, April 23

Cover Lover Book Review, April 24

Pause for Tales, April 25


To celebrate her tour, Penny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

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


  1. Hello Deana! Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Dreams of the Heart. I'm honored you enjoyed the book. Thank you also for being a part of the blog tour. Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. Love your books. I’m honored to review your books.

  2. This sounds both exciting and sweet!

  3. This sounds like a book that I am really going to enjoy.

  4. Although there is some heartbreaking circumstances in the story, it sounds like it will include growing trust, caring, faith, and eventually love.

  5. Deana, Thank you for sharing your excellent review. Penny Zeller is a new-to-me author.