My Current Books

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley
Title: Catherine's Pursuit
Series: McKenna's Daughters, book 3
ISBN-10: 1621360199
ISBN-13: 978-1621360193
BISAC: FICTION / Christian / Romance

"A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love." --Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island

The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.

Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.

Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?

And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?


Author: Lena Nelson Dooley, winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western fiction and the Selah Award for historical fiction
Title: Mary’s Blessing
Series: McKenna’s Daughters Series, Book 2
ISBN: 978-1-61638-617-7
BISAC: FICTION / Christian / Romance

“Lena Nelson Dooley paints a vivid picture of all the tragedies and triumphs of nineteenth-century life. The charming characters, godly themes, and tender love story will leave you wanting more and eagerly awaiting her next book.” —Margaret Brownley, New York Times best-selling author of Brides of Last Chance Ranch

When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Murray knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.
As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.
Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?

5 stars~
I really enjoyed this story and read it quickly. The writing was good and the style easy to follow, yet rich with language that evoked emotion. The prologue alone was enough to choke me up. Then the story launched into various dramatic situations that made me think about a few Little House on the Prairie episodes. Daniel was a sweetheart, but he had some maturing to do. I couldn't help pitying Mary's situation and how much responsibility she had, but at the same time I could see how much she needed her family to help fill that gap in her life that couldn't seem to ever be filled.

The spiritual and emotional ARC was well done for a number of characters including Mary's younger sister. I liked seeing her growth and also watching Daniel mature into a young man that could be trusted. The situation with Mary's dad was sad, but there was a lot of truth in what he said about our days being numbered. It's easy to forget that we won't all live to a ripe old age, but there is nothing we can do about that. Anyway, I liked watching this couple slowly rebuild their relationship, and witnessing Mary learning to trust Daniel again. It was a heartwarming story with a sweet ending. The best part was it never bored me but kept me reading. These days I am easily bored, so that's a clear sign that this novel is a good book.
--Michelle Sutton,

5 stars~
A Tender Heartwarming Read!
In Mary's Blessing, the second book in The McKenna's Daughters series, we are swept away to beautiful Oregon City, in the year 1885. It is here we meet our lovely red headed heroine, Mary Lenora Murray, who is fast approaching her 18th birthday. Mary knows she has been adopted, but doesn't know the circumstances of that fateful day when she was given to Melody and Kenneth Murray. Mary's adoptive mother, Melody, passes away when Mary is but eleven years old, leaving her father in the throes of grief from that day forward. Although he works the fields, Mary is left to the tending of her siblings, and the rest of the load that farming involves, and feels very much alone and unloved...until Daniel proclaims his feelings for her.
Twenty yr. old Daniel Winthrop, has had his eye on the comely Mary for years; ever since their families traveled to Oregon on the same wagon train, and is now ready to begin courting her. Mary is thrilled until a disaster occurs and Daniel becomes controlling, and eventually leaves her during her darkest hour. Will he come back, and if so, will Mary ever be able to trust him again? Will her father ever find peace for his troubled, heartbroken soul, and will Mary ever see herself as the blessing from God that she really is? When she finds out the circumstances surrounding her birth, what fact does she learn that leaves her astonishingly dumbfounded?
Lena Nelson Dooley paints another poignant, heartwarming story, rich in love and forgiveness, and realistic characters that will grip your heart. I loved the main characters because, though strong in character, they were not infallable. In many books the heroine is unrealistically brave and strong, but I like the fact that Mary cries when she becomes overwhelmed (that's what us women do best :)), and even complains to herself...another famous trait we women possess. :) I could totally relate to all of the characters, with their vulnerability, strengths, and wavering faith. With a strong spiritual thread throughout, as in all of Lena's books, and a satisfying conclusion, I can't wait to read the next book in this series. What a beautifully written story!
~Diana Flowers

Mary Lenora Murray grew up knowing she was adopted. In fact, her mother said she was 'A blessing from God'. But she hasn't felt like a blessing since her mother passed away. Her father has become bitter and distant. He's left her with the responsibility of caring for the home and her siblings. Then Daniel Winthrop, a childhood friend, begins to court Mary. She's thrilled at the possibility of a future with him and all that he could provide. Daniel treats her very well. But a disagreement between him and Mary sends Daniel running and Mary is left to handle things on her own. Will Daniel figure out what the Lord wants for him and Mary? Will Mary welcome him back or shut him out forever?

Mary's Blessing was a really enjoyable story. This author has an easy writing style that makes reading her stories a pleasure. Her descriptions made me feel like I was at the Murray farm and experiencing all the hardships along with them. One thing I really liked was all the interaction between Daniel and Mary. Daniel was a really great character but boy was I mad at him when he up and left Mary! Mary was a complex character, full of emotion and spunk. You could easily understand and relate to her feelings, emotions and reactions. Her father was someone I didn't really like very much but it certainly showed how prolonged bitterness can affect you and those around you. I also appreciated the example of how much of an impact a church family can have, in the life of another member, by helping them in their time of need. This is book 2 in the McKenna's Daughters Series and one I would recommend to those who enjoy a good historical romance. I'm looking forward to Catherine's Pursuit!
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 201
ISBN-10: 1616386177
ISBN-13: 978-1616386177


Maggie's Journey
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN 978-1616383589
Realms/Charisma House
October 6, 2011
McKenna's Daughters Series, Book 1

Maggie's Journey grabs you on page one with characters and events that reflect real-life joys and heartaches that change the characters forever. Make room on your "keepers" shelf! —Loree Lough, best-selling author of 80 award-winning books, including From Ashes to Honor.

A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her.
Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn't fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.
When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?
Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author with more than 650,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers—where she received the Mentor of the Year award in 2006—DFW Ready Writers, and Christian Authors Network. She lives in Hurst, Texas, with her husband of over 45 years.

Maggie's Journey, received 4 stars from Romantic Times Magazine.
Dooley begins the McKenna’s Daughters series with lovable characters finding out that who they thought they are is not really who they are. Readers are part of the characters’ journey to discover the truth. Dooley is a wonderful author who brings her characters to life - Romantic Times Magazine

Maggie's Journey appeared on reviewer Anne Payne's Top Books of 2011 list.

Winner of the Selah Award for historical fiction at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference


5 stars~
Simply A Lovely Story!

Lena Nelson Dooley takes us on a journey laden with beauty, love, deceit, and forgiveness---from Seattle, Washington, to Little Rock, Arkansas, as a beautiful, young woman, coming of age, sets out to find herself. Near the advent of her eighteenth birthday, Maggie Lenora Caine, happens upon a chest in the attic that turns her life as she knows it, upside down. For in the chest she finds proof that she was adopted, and no longer knows who she really is. She feels betrayed by the parents who gave her away, and the deceit of her adoptive parents, and wonders why she can never quite fit the mold set by her critical mother. Didn't her real mother love her enough to keep her?...and where does she really belong?

Maggie longs to be a dress designer, and with the permission of her parents, she sets off on a train trip to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, owner of a dress designing shop, accompanied by her longtime friend, and her father's business partner, Charles Stanton, and her young, widowed Aunt Georgia. Charles and Georgia immediately appear to be drawn to one another, much to Maggie's chagrin, for she has hidden feelings for Charles herself.

As she draws close to her grandmother will she find the answers she seeks? Will she accept her grandmother's offer to help her start her own dress company in Arkansas? What guilt has her adoptive mother been carrying inside for years, that has caused her to treat Maggie as she has?...and while missing her daughter so far away, will she be able to release it to her Heavenly Father? Can forgiveness and restoration come to mother and daughter after years of deceit and criticism, and will Maggie discover who she really is...and find romance as well?

This is a beautiful story of ultimate love and forgiveness as only Lena Nelson Dooley can write them. It was a relaxing read...not mad dashing excitement page after page, and I loved that for a nice change. Ms. Dooley  actually takes us from state to state, and her use of imagery is so impeccable, the reader will feel as though they have been on a trek themselves. I learned so much about the first trains and railroads that were built...who knew that could be so interesting? Her characters were so endearing, especially our young heroine, and wrapped themselves around my heart. And as always in Lena's books, there is a strong spiritual thread throughout, and a satisfying (lump in the throat, tears in your eyes) conclusion. Very well written, Lena N. Dooley!  
--Diana Flowers


Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN: 978-1935416746
Summerside Press
Historical Romance

All that glitters is not gold.

It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah. Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeline Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her reputation beyond redemption.

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, received the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in western fiction.
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, received 4 stars from Romantic Times Magazine.
Dooley knows the magic of a great love story and it shows in this book. The characters have to make some hard decisions they really don’t want to. They rely on their faith to help them get through. - Romantic Times, Magazine

Endorsements and reviews:

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel by Lena Nelson Dooley. It’s now one of my favorite Love Finds You titles. The story structure reminded me of Tracie Peterson’s style, but this author added her own personal touch to make it uniquely hers.

The writing style was smooth and intelligently put together. It was easy to read without feeling choppy. I got a bit misty-eyed a few times as well, which is not a frequent occurrence for me. That only happens when my heart is engaged, and in this case the author did a great job of making me care. The baby in the story was a big part of that bonding process. The author used that character well in connecting various situations and thus making my eyes water.

The theme of forgiveness was strong and beautifully written. I didn’t see any flaws or downsides to this novel. The spiritual thread was strong and flowed naturally, which is not often the case with historical fiction. The church setting enhanced the novel and I adored the elderly man, Phillip.

The hero, Jeremiah, was dreamy. Though he had his weaknesses, they didn’t feel contrived and just made him more intriguing and heroic to me. The heroine was strong in her own way, while remaining somewhat dependent like women tended to be in those days, especially women who had limited financial resources. Sometimes when I read a historical novel I get annoyed when the women seem atypically strong for that time period. This heroine was perfectly constructed in this case. I enjoyed spending time getting to know these characters. I highly recommend this book.
Michelle Sutton

"Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is a well-researched novel brimming with emotive conflict. Lena Nelson Dooley has crafted a historical romance that demonstrates that courage comes in many forms, but the courage to love is the most difficult of all." -- DiAnn Mills, author of Sworn to Protect and A Woman Called Sage

"Two strangers are presented with a 'golden' opportunity for love in this quintessential East meets West tale by well-loved author Lena Nelson Dooley. I found myself swept away by the beautiful writing and enmeshed in the lives of the players, who face many twists and turns in their journey toward the ultimate happily-ever-after. Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is truly one of the loveliest historical romances I've read in ages. Highly recommended." -- Janice Hanna Thompson, author of Love Me Tender and Swinging on a Star

I’ve plunged into the midst of your wonderful book, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico. I love the book—compelling plot and intriguing characters. Who couldn’t love that sweet ol’ guy, Philip or the wonderful Sneeds, or want to snuggle little Pearl, so thanks for doing a terrific job in painting your secondary characters! I also loved that you made Maddy an intelligent young woman who is growing up through her quandaries—and understanding so much more about the world. I admired Jeremiah for his love and protection of Philip (though I did want to kick Jeremiah in the keister every once in a while so that he’d notice Maddy.) But it was those little things that kept me reading…and hoping…that the two of them would get together. And that made the romance ever more satisfying! A brilliant job, done well, Lena!” – Ramona Cramer Tucker, former editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine, Virtue magazine, and edited books by many well-known authors including Lisa Beamer, Brock and Bodie Thoene, Sigmund Brower, and Deborah Raney

I struck it rich with this historical romance. I’d not read any of Lena Nelson Dooley’s books before, but because of her excellent reputation, I knew I’d be in for a treat, which I was. This story is well crafted from start to finish. The mining town of Golden, New Mexico is described so well, I felt I was there hearing the stamp machine, experiencing the heat of the sun-drenched summer days, and seeing the adobe homes echoing the soft colors of the desert landscape. What brings this story to life, though, are Dooley’s vibrant characters, with whom I enjoyed spending time. Strong but suspicious Jeremiah, warm and caring Maddy, and a host of secondary characters, including bighearted Philip, are likeable people. They pulled me into the story and were my fictional friends throughout. I longed to see good things come out of Maddy and Jeremiah’s struggles and found his faith journey to be a highlight. I highly recommend Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico and am grateful for my review copy. Lena Nelson Dooley is now on my favorite authors list. - Keli Gwyn, 2010 Golden Heart finalist

Lena Nelson Dooley's historical romance, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is ALL about love. Anyone who has studied the five different types of love--attraction (epithumia), romance (eros), affection (storge), friendship (phile), and selfless giving (agape)--will recognize examples of every facet of love in the characters Dooley created for her story. Surrounded by a vivid setting in the 1890s mining town, Madeline Mercer and Jeremiah Dennison interact with kind, lovable God-fearing friends, as well as selfish, conniving criminals, before finding one another. You'll find yourself turning pages far more swiftly than you might expect while reading a book set in this time and place. If you enjoy inspirational, historical, romantic fiction, you'll want to pick this one up. - Cecelia Dowdy , multi-published author

This book is well-written with a fast paced plot. But the thing I enjoyed most about this novel were the characters. It struck me how varied they were. Many times most of the characters in a novel seem very similar. Lena’s talent shines with the varied characters in this Love Finds You novel. I felt everything right along with them. And the setting . . . Part of the novel takes place in Boston and part takes place in New Mexico. She did an awesome job showing those two settings, specifically the differences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend you read it! - Heidi Main:

I’ve read two books in the Love Finds You series, and both have been a real treat. Lena Nelson Dooley’s Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico has a special meaning to me because for many years, I lived just over the mountain from this location. As I read this delightful book, the Wild West came to life for me again, along with sweet memories of the breathtaking scenery. But the best part about the book is its heartwarming story of love, redemption, and forgiveness. There is a huge surprise in this book, one that kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the “other shoe to drop.” I was not disappointed when another twist came along, making the road to Golden a pleasurable journey indeed. - Louise Gouge -


  1. "Love Finds you in Golden, New Mexico" was one of my favorite in the "Love Finds" series. I look forward to reading another one of your books soon!

    1. You might try MAGGIE'S JOURNEY. It's book one in my McKenna's Daughters series. Book two in the series, MARY'S BLESSING, will release in May.

  2. Scraps of Love ~*~ the story of Mother's Old Quilt sounds interesting to me because I am a quilter! ***s are my favorite! Or I sure would take a rain-check for book 3 to come out for Catherine's story!! I have not read any of the Love Finds You books...
    Thank you so much for this opportunity to be put in the drawing! Kathleen