"The novels that I have read that are penned by
Jo Huddleston are sweet and clean romances...
The story lines are well developed, the
characters have dimension."
~Marianne, Amazon 5-star review

Jo Huddleston
I write sweet Southern romance novels, mostly set in the 1950s. The redeeming story of God’s pursuing love is the foundation in all my novels. Readers tell me my books aren’t preachy at all but are captivating, fast-paced, uplifting, and heartwarming stories of faith and family. In my novels you will find inspiration, hope, and gentle stories that are intriguing and entertaining. About my nonfiction books, a reader wrote that I offer spiritual tonic and hope.

See details about my books below.


That Summer (Book 1 in the Caney Creek Series)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance

The Great Depression brings devastation to the Southern Appalachians but love’s triangle survives.

To escape his poppa's physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous city life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart's door. Settled in town, Jim strays from God and way of faith his momma taught him. He meets a girl and loses his heart...and meets another girl and loses his willpower. Jim wrestles with social and moral dilemmas as he makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.

Beyond the Past (Book 2 in the Caney Creek Series)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance

Emmajean Callaway's life plummets from bad to worse. Can big brother, Jim, hold the imploding Callaway family together?

Jim Callaway looks forward to 1951 but he’s sidetracked when his sister and his best friend need his help. His baby sister, Emmajean, skids into jail on drug charges in Atlanta. She struggles to recover physically and spiritually with her lawyer’s help as he champions her inside and outside the courtroom. Jim’s nephew, Art, is one step ahead of the truant officer, wrecks his car, and officials suspect alcohol is involved. Art awaits his fate at the hands of the juvenile court judge. Jim and Caroline continue their bumpy journey as they seek realization of their dreams.

Read Chapter 1

Claiming Peace (Book 3 in the Caney Creek Series)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance

Facing her lowest moments, Callie’s life begins to crumble. As he’s done with others of his extended family, can Jim help her find peace?

Visit again the Callaway family and friends in 1951 who live in the Southern Appalachians of East Tennessee. Why did Callie have an appointment with a neurologist? Will she work her way through whatever lies ahead for her and her family? Does Emmajean’s attraction for the young lawyer, Terry, blossom further or die on the vine when he wants her to meet his parents? Can Caroline and Jim find happiness in their long-delayed marriage? You’ll meet some new characters as the Callaway saga continues. Follow the Callaway family throughout the Caney Creek Series—live their triumphs, sorrows, achievements, and losses.

Read Chapter 1


Wait for Me (West Virginia Mountains Series, book 1)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?

This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?

Trust Me (West Virginia Mountains Series, book 2)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance
West Virginia, 1960 
A mine owner. An elegant lady. 
Seductive voices that scoff at trust.

Loreen Fletcher has suffered heartbreak. She resolves never to trust a man again. She has earned a respected position with no help from anyone, especially not from a man. At thirty-six, Loreen knows loving brings inevitable misery, and she won’t pick at that scab again.

Claude Capshaw's life has taken another detour. Things that drove him no longer motivate him. Nothing fulfills him anymore--except that elegant lady at West Virginia University. Why won't Loreen trust him when he tells her he'll never betray her?

Read Chapter

Promise Me (Book 3 in the West Virginia Mountains Series)
A Sweet Southern Historical Romance

In 1960, civil discord in Vietnam fills the news. After his college graduation, Patrick Fitzgerald plans to join his daddy’s South Carolina accounting firm. But Uncle Sam may have another position in mind for Patrick—in the U.S. Army. His family’s affluence would be no match for the persuasion of the military draft

Adriana Montagna’s papá ekes out a living as a coal miner in the mountains of West Virginia. Can a lasting relationship form with Patrick, or will his wealth become a barrier between them?

Meanwhile, the fiber of America’s unity stands on the precipice, while its youth fight a no-win battle on foreign soil. What good can a young couple hope for at such a time as this?


Donna's Detour (California Bound Series, Book 1), a novella

When Donna Turner and two girlfriends leave Alabama in 1956 and head to California on Route 66, Donna runs out of money. Her girlfriends continue the journey to Los Angeles, leaving Donna in Needles, California where a dream-come-true adventure is about to happen.

She worshipped the ground he walked on when she was fifteen, and now he shows up at the diner where she works. Will he remember her or does he still think of her as her brother's skinny kid sister? Will Donna be confident enough in herself to accept her dream?

Betty's Blessing (California Bound series, book 2), a novella

Sometimes love shows up uninvited.

Betty Campbell catches Donna’s bridal bouquet but has no desire to marry, especially not to Greg Turner, whom she considers arrogant. When Greg travels from Alaska to California to be the best man in Tommy’s wedding, he plans to move on as soon as possible. Then Greg meets Betty and he’s drawn to her like ants to spilled sugar.

But Betty’s fiery blue eyes take exception to his every word and expression! Greg seeks to discover why Betty is so hostile toward him. Misfortune and misunderstandings trigger the couple’s concern for one another.

Betty’s Blessing is a sweet romance story of unbidden love, set in 1956 in coastal Southern California.

Mary Ann's Miracle, (California Bound series, Book 3), a novella

It would take a miracle to restore her trust in men.

When Mary Ann Williams was a teenager, her daddy fell from the lofty pedestal on which she had placed him. It will take a miracle to restore her trust in him and all men.

Orphaned Doug Palmer searched for a somewhere and a someone. When he enlisted, the U.S. Marine Corps became his somewhere. But until he met Mary Ann he’d never known anyone he wanted for his someone.

Proving himself trustworthy to Mary Ann will be a monumental task hindered by a roadblock named Roxie.

In spite of the possibility that Doug might be her prince charming, Mary Ann’s shredded and bruised heart is not easily given away. She must believe Doug’s words more than Roxie’s or her fairy tale will disappear.


Tidewater Summer, a stand-alone novel

Will Rose find the solitude she seeks during her island summer or is solitude what she really wants? 

A compelling story of one woman’s pursuit of restoration from physical abuse at the hands of her fiancé. Rose Marie Henley’s Great-Aunt Clara convinces Rose to spend the summer at her South Carolina beach house. 

Aunt Clara’s handyman sends his nephew to repair Rose’s water heater. Last year Rose would have been excited to see his over-the-top handsome nephew, Frank Sutton. But now she doesn’t want any man in her life again. 

Frank has an instant attraction to Rose. Can he break through her defenses? He’ll do anything to protect her, but will she open her heart to trust him? 

Read Prologue


Her Reason to Smile, a novella

A most eligible bachelor. A dignified woman.
The Perfect Pair?

Susan Lockwood is a serious-minded woman.

David Maxwell has never dated any woman more than six months—he becomes bored and continues to search for that someone who qualifies for the pedestal he’s reserved for her.

When David interviews Susan for a position at his company, they find what they’ve dreamed of in each other. David makes her smile, and that pleases her. Susan is like a tonic, bringing out the best in him.

A record-breaking snowfall and power outages hit Asheville. Stranded, Susan must stay at his mother’s and concludes David is tied to her apron strings. Not knowing he is attracted to Susan, she doubts she can overcome David’s dependence on his mother and accept his ideal job offer.

In 1958 in snow-covered North Carolina mountains, two souls meet only to bounce away from each other like bumper cars at the county fair…

Friendly Persuasion, a novella

They were buddies, not sweethearts…
In 1958, the job of an airline stewardess beckons Joyce Williams with its offer of travel and mobility. Being a stewardess would be her escape route from a boring life in her small hometown in East Tennessee. She would only return to her hometown if her best friend Wayne Mahan lived there instead of in Nashville—until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion. 

At the reunion when Wayne tells Joyce he’s always loved her, she fears he’s doomed their childhood friendship. Wayne must persuade her that God’s timing has finally brought them together as He planned.

Friendly Persuasion is a charming story of enduring friendship and genuine devotion. You will root equally for Joyce and Wayne!

Unraveled, a novella

Alice loses herself in grief and can’t find her way back.

In 1954, twenty-six-year-old Alice Patterson undergoes a pregnancy loss that affects everything and everyone she touches. Emotionally and physically drained, she must come to terms with her traumatic loss or risk losing her husband, her best friend, and her sanity.

Her best friend JayNell and her husband Paul offer Alice support and comfort. She persists in her grieving, which hinders her healing. The doctor advises there is no normal recovery period for what Alice has undergone. Time is her best ally.

In her small southern Mississippi town, her church Sewing Circle’s new project triggers an unsettling setback to Alice’s recovery. Afterward, she succumbs to suspicions of Paul’s infidelity that causes her collapse, from which she may not recover.

Paul’s unspoken goal is that they will recapture the love they held for one another on their wedding day. He’s hopeful that the approaching spring season will bring a reawakening of the Alice he married, as it brings a newness to all living things.

A sweet romance spiced with deception, set in 1959.

Jean Stewart and her mama stand firm to protect their family business from a big-city developer’s takeover. Oscar Wainworth sends his son William to convince the ladies to sell their property. William has an instant attraction to Jean, believes he shouldn’t be the one to discuss the sale with the Stewarts, and gives them a fake name. If they know he’s a Wainworth, he’s likely to find himself out on the sidewalk.

One lie leads to another until William may have dug a hole too deep to escape. By stealth, he learns that Jean can’t associate with anyone who is dishonest. To win Jean’s love, William must convince her that his lies flowed from good intentions.

This volume contains 5 short stories about family dynamics. The core of any culture is the family. It is into this core of family that a newborn first connects with the world. It’s where that baby learns about love—feels love from family members and later, sees examples of how he or she can love others. Harmony in a family unit is the bedrock of a thriving society. Indeed, the building of character or lack of such building begins within the family. These stories are fictional examples of varied family relationships.


"God is our able guide. He awaits our invitation to walk with us daily," reads the introduction to this volume of 120 morning  prayers. The prayers deal with down-to-earth concerns such as forgiveness, sorrow, faithfulness, and stress. These morning prayers can encourage you to release the concerns of the day into God's loving care.

Originally published by Tyndale House Publishers.

"Some nights while searching for sleep, I realize I blew it again somehow during the day. We can bring him our frustrations, and he will replace them with his cleansing and consolation," reads the introduction to this volume of 120 evening prayers. The book can help you review the concerns of the day with a comforting God. You can relate to these prayers as they deal with concerns as worry, criticism, indecision, aging, and loneliness.

Originally published by Tyndale House Publishers.

Join with Jo Huddleston in 70 conversational, devotional thoughts on God’s splendor. Her meditations sometimes challenge and sometimes console, but they usually help clear obstacles from your personal access to God’s power. His Awesome Majesty is written by someone who understands the troubling times other women face. In her words of hope, you can feel the healing caress of the Father, and enjoy personal contentment in his presence. Let Jo Huddleston remind you that God comes in our suffering and in our happiness, but always “God comes in awesome majesty.” (Job 37:22)

Originally published by Hendrickson Publishers.

Nothing is ever so perfect that a little improvement wouldn't be welcomed. This principle holds true for America. Our country probably never has been perfect. Far from it or our history wouldn't be speckled with war and depression and poverty and discrimination. But the pock marks of adversity can serve as stepping stones toward a better today and tomorrow.

Originally published by


Writing 101: A Handbook of Tips and Encouragement for Writers
by Jo Huddleston and Vickie Phelps

This informative guide will help you to maneuver the sometimes maze of writing. It offers help to answer frequently asked questions and gives direction to writing endeavors. This book presents an overview of improving your writing, boosting your creativity, dealing with editors in the marketing process, finding helpful resources in your specialty, and attending conferences. Writing 101 will become a timeless, informative writer’s handbook of answers and encouragement.

Simply Christmas: Memories, Traditions, and Stories of the Season
by Vickie Phelps and Jo Huddleston

Simply Christmas is an invitation to take a fresh look at the holiday. The authors share their thoughts on the season in hopes Christmas will be a time of joy and reflection for your family instead of commercialized chaos. 
   • Stories and poems of the season 
   • Decorating tips 
   • Recipes 
   • Devotions/Meditations for every day in December

Simply Christmas urges you to keep your celebration simple and grounded in the genuine reason for the holiday—God’s gift of His Son to the world.

How to Write for the Christian Marketplace

How to Write for the Christian Marketplace will show you how to write for Christian publications.

Writing for the Christian marketplace means reaching out to others through your written words. You will be able to touch people around the world with your message. Opportunities abound to share personal experiences and encourage others in their daily life.

By studying this book you can learn about many areas of the Christian writing field. Writing is a craft. Sharpen your skills and learn from our experience. Then you, too, may see your writing and your name in print in the Christian marketplace.

This is an excellent book of basics for beginner writers.