"Tessa understands teenagers better than any book I've ever read."

-Amazon Review


Coming Soon: 

FALLEN LEAVES, Book 2 of "The Purple Moon Series" (illuminateYA) - October 26, 2018




There's something special about spending time at a coffee shop with a friend--engaging in a meaningful conversation, then leaving refueled and ready to tackle the rest of the day. What if your quiet times with God energized you the same way?

Coffee Shop Devos offers a warm atmosphere that will inspire you to discover your God-given purpose and live to your greatest potential. Choose your devo flavor in the Menu of Contents based on your current need. Then lean into deeper intimacy with Christ through reflection and prayer. Along the way, you'll pick up tips and recipes for making your own coffee-shop beverage--regular or decaf--to enjoy while you read. And don't forget to share your journey with your friends! #CoffeeShopDevos

Each of the 180 challenging and motivational devotions will leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated--almost as though you've shared a steaming pot of brew at a coffee shop with your Creator.

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2014 debut novel selah finalist

2014 ya fiction selah finalist

Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. 

That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?

"Tessa offers a glance at the complex and all-too-commonly dysfunctional nature of relationships--to self, to family and peers--especially as we're learning to navigate the world on our own. Nimbly, she also interweaves hope amidst suffering; promise amidst frustration; restoration and wholeness among chaos and confusion; and endurance and vibrance among the throes of life. Purple Moon feels like the perfect side-hug to my teenage self, which reassures me I'm not alone, but knows I'm highly hormonal and not in the mood to romanticize life's messes."

~ Alyson Stoner, musician; actress in Cheaper by the Dozen, Camp Rock, Step Up



2017 ya Moonbeam award medalist

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom's rebellion. But now that she's seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother's suffocating rules, experience what it's like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal's granddaughter, he's determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over "project meetings" (more like opportunities to match her lyr-ics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie's left to wonder--did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma's control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

"Realistic and relatable, UNWRITTEN MELODY takes readers on a satisfying journey of self discovery as the characters struggle through the confusion of first love and their fear of striving for their dreams, and attempt to identify the unique songs of their hearts." 

~ Betsy St. Amant, multi-published author of Confessions of a PK, Return to Love, and A Valentine's Wish

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Just like God's people in the Old Testament longed for freedom from captivity and oppression, God's children today long to be free from spiritual bondage. Powerful enemies such as fear, anxiety, anger, and loneliness war against our souls, but Christ empowers us to break their chains. Freedom doesn't have to be a distant dream. It can be our reality. 


Does your soul long to be free? Twenty authors have joined forces in this compilation to offer strategies for freedom by sharing personal stories, meaningful Bible verses, and chain-breaking principles. There are even some short stories. Discover the strategies you need to break free from spiritual bondage and to form your own battle plan for victory. With God's work and our cooperation, strongholds can crumble, chains can be broken, and freedom can usher in God's peace and joy.