The Family Tree

Friends, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing links to the Kindle Countdown Deal last week!  Sales were incredible for those four discounted books, and I’m hopeful that the holidays were just a little happier for those new readers who got a great deal on my books. I’m so excited about all that’s up ahead with even more books in 2016!  Eeee!

But before we get there, I have a little belated Christmas gift for you.   

You see, lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for a “Jenn Faulk books” family tree.  I did one a couple of months back, and it was all kinds of crazy and hard to follow.  So much so that my daughter, Ana, who granted me the use of her dry erase board for that particular little project, said, upon its completion, “Wow, that’s all kinds of complicated.”  True that.  I’ve been trying to think of a better way to do one since then, and I think I’ve come up with a solution.

I present to you a series of branches.  (You picture the tree.  Because I don’t have a paper big enough for it.)
Oh, and before I start, I’ll just warn you that if you’re not caught up with the books, you need to read with caution.  I’ll start at the beginning and will mention the books as I go, so when we get to your stopping point, please, for the love, STOP READING.  (Unless you want things spoiled.  Or unless you think that knowing these relationships going into the books will be more helpful.  If that’s the case, by all means, keep reading!)
We began with Resolutions

Three friends who weren’t related!  I made sure that Sara and Melissa were only children because I didn’t think I had time in Resolutions to touch on any of their family drama.  Little did I know that I would be doing myself a favor because who knows what their siblings would have done to complicate things, right?
Emily, however, had two siblings.

 

Jessica and Matthew.  By the end of Resolutions, all three Fisher children were linked to current spouses/future spouses.

 

Melissa also found love in Resolutions.

 
Sara didn’t, which meant that she had to in the next book, Different Stars!  (Obviously.)  Another family showed up in her story.  Riaan and Ana Marie Botha, along with Ana Marie’s brother, Willem Kotze.

Then, I jumped way into the future with Just Breathe.  Because I didn’t realize I was going to write twenty more books.  Eh.  Lo and behold, Emily’s brother, Matthew, had indeed married Shoko, and they’d had children who were grown adults and who, by the end of the book, were married/engaged themselves.  

 

That worked out nicely!
 
I went back to the past for the next book, Best Day Ever.  That book centered on a character that we briefly met in Resolutions.  She was there telling Melissa that she was going to fall over on her walk down the aisle and show everyone her business if the seams ripped on her dress.  Which was a fine, fine introduction to Chloe Thibideaux.
Who was even in the Thibideaux family?  Here you go…

 
And by the end of the book, she was married to Stephen.  Yes, Stephen Hayes, that hot, hot preacher from Resolutions.  You knew he’d show up again, right?
Then, it was back to the future.  Remember Emily’s sister, Jessica, who had all the little boys in Resolutions?  (Fun little tidbit.  Jessica talks about cereal cravings that she had with each boy.  If you look in Sam, Scott, and Seth’s books, you’ll see “their” particular cereals mentioned.  Seriously, go back and look!)  You first see them as grown ups in Even Still, where Abby joins them…

(And poor Jennie never got a book.  Which is a bummer.)
I went back to the past (whiplash much?) for the next book, Ready or Not.  Here’s where it starts getting complicated.  Sophie ends up with Willem, which makes changes on TWO branches.
And people start having babies, which makes it even more complicated.  (But fun, as a five year old Marie talks about never letting a boy have her Trix cereal… the same cereal Jessica craved when she was pregnant with Scott.  See what I did there?)
 
From there, it was A Little Faith, which only told us that Stephen and Chloe had two daughters, which we already knew about given the ending of Best Day Ever.  It also introduced us to River Fellowship Church in Florida and a family there, Brent and Kaci Smith and their daughters, Kaitlyn and Madison.  (Oh, the tangled web, y’all!)

 

Promises Kept was another “future” book.  It took us back to the Huntington family…

Chelsea mentions in that book that she’s connected to the Hayes family as well, as her first husband, Kyle, was Stephen’s nephew.  I didn’t take that any further… because I was pretty sure that everyone would end up related if I did.  (And Chelsea does meet Faith, who would have been Kyle’s cousin, later on in another book, and neither one of them says anything about it.  Sure seems like they would have met before then, huh?  Forgive me for that oversight, y’all.)
Beyond the Game finally had us returning to the Morales family, which has always felt to me like the “real” Resolutions family, since Emily started it all.  (And since Josh is my sweet husband’s fictional twin.  Awww….)
Just Friends started a whole new branch… kinda.  We met the Finn siblings in Even Still and Promises Kept both.  But since they weren’t related to anyone, it was all new!  (Sorta.)  Rachel ended up with Micah, who wasn’t a total stranger, because his mother, Natalie, was in Resolutions.  What?!  Yeah, she was Josh’s fifteen year old niece who showed up again in Best Day Ever as one of Chloe’s friends.  She actually mentions Chris, her future husband and Micah’s future father, in that book, telling Chloe that he’s a guy from her class who she’s been sharing Christ with and who has been supplying her with fuel for her urine-run car.  (Eww.  But yeah.)

 

A New Tune took us back to Namibia… or at least back to the characters there.  Marie ends up with Scott, who is no stranger to Sara, her mother, who knew him as a little boy back at Grace Community Church in Resolutions.  (She even mentions being his VBS teacher and catching him dancing on the tables and kissing the girls.  At three.)

Pure Fiction.  Finally, a book with just one connection… or not.  Because we’re back to the Finn family, with their connection to the Huntingtons and the Morales family both (Grant is best friends with Seth Huntington, and Micah is a removed cousin of Jacob Morales, who is also related to the Huntingtons), AND we’re back to the Florida family, which means a connection to the Hayes family.  Chloe shows up at the beginning and end of the book as Madison’s confidante.  (Does your head hurt?  Mine does.)
Home to You was another Huntington book.  And a Hayes book.  And no one is marrying their cousin yet!
 
And I just about had all those Huntingtons married off, with the exception of Savannah.  So, she got the next book, Something Better!  In Beyond the Game, she mentions going up to New York City to work for a man named Henry Booth.  (Remember?)  He turns out to be Hendrik Botha, otherwise known as Hennie…
From Here On Out goes back to Namibia, where Kait from Florida and Piet from Swakopmund meet… and somehow aren’t related already.  It’s a miracle, quite frankly.

 

Anywhere went back to the Morales family.  And what would be creepier than marrying the daughter of the man your mother dated while she was crushing on your father?  (Resolutions, y’all.)  It was sweet, even with that added bit of hmmm…

 

Happily Ever After came when I found myself saying, “I’ve run out of characters!”  What do you do when that happens?  You give someone a sibling.  Chelsea was the lucky one to get a sister named Cammie.  And who would Cammie find and fall in love with?  In From Here On Out, Kait talks about Paul Connor, the awful man who’s about to be elected as president of the convention.  Conveniently enough, he’s from Dallas, which puts him and his family in the same general area as Chelsea and Cammie would have been from, and even more conveniently, he has a son, David.  (And two daughters!  Two more books!  Woot, woot!)

Perfectly Pretend connects Hope and the Connor family to a new family — the Lucas family.  But the first brother from this family is a familiar character.  Craig was engaged to Faith Hayes and worked at River Fellowship.  He shows up in Home to You.  (And I gave him three brothers.  Three more books!  Woot, woot!)

 
Take Heart follows the next Lucas brother, Aaron. And, glory, Libby isn’t related to anyone.  (Which Aaron mentions!)

So Like Us goes back to the Connor family and tells Charity’s story.  John is also, blissfully, not related to anyone else.

Christmas Surprises didn’t tell us anything new, right?  Oh, but it did!  Natalie brought in the Kirkland family by falling in love… and you’ll be hearing about someone in that family again.  (I can’t say anything more than that.  Well, I can, but I won’t!)  Tis the Season revisited Piper from Something Better and Chad from A New Tune and Something Better.  (Don’t remember him from that first one?  He went on a date with Marie.  He was the seminary “dweeb,” according to Scott.)
And if you got Tis the Season and read the first part of the next book, The Plan… well, you’ve probably noticed a few more connections.  I won’t ruin the surprises, but there are a whole lot of books and more connections up ahead, starting very, very soon.
 
So, now that all of our heads hurt, I’ll leave you with this promise.  There are new books coming.  Soon.  (Like I said.)  There are also new blog posts coming.  Even sooner!  I can guarantee that my retelling of the Faulk Christmas Story of 2015 will be far less complicated than this family tree.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  Okay, so probably not.  It did get kind of hairy there for a  little while when I nearly went on a murderous rampage in the middle of nowhere Texas where approximately ten thousand people descended on one gas station and lost their ever lovin’ minds over beaver nuggets and jerky, prompting Wes to take the Jeep keys away from me and tell me that I was done with Christmas.  That foolishness had nothing to do with the sweet baby Jesus in the manger, y’all. 
 
But that’s another story for another time (and how). 
 
Until next time…

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