A Heart Set Free

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blond standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

But in the Virginia countryside, Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . . and love will finally set her heart free.

In 2017 A Heart Set Free won the Selah Award for Historical Romance.


What people are saying:

“Loved the whole of it. Location, plot, Heather, Matthew and the sweet children. Worth your time and your money and looking for more from this author. … Real issues handled well with scriptural messages of wisdom and familiarity from my upbringing. Not preachy but with Traditional values good works and sensitivity.”

“Historically accurate, and compelling in detail of landscape and characters, I read this in one sitting. The storyline unfolds beautifully, helping us understand the characters natures and fears and as this writer’s skill with words and story take us through the strengthening of hearts and hope. You will root for the main characters, and contemplate your own life and faith as you share in their sorrows and their joys. A delightfully rich read.”

“Such a beautiful love story. First & foremost, the love story we can have with our sweet Lord & Savior; this book is a great reminder of all the wonderful gifts we can not only have, but can expect through His awesome love for us, His children.”

“This is a wonderful story! It has just the right amount of intrigue, romance, and adventure to keep the reader turning the pages – one of those books I didn’t want to finish too quickly, but didn’t want to stop reading.”

“If you’re interested in early American history, a lovely romantic tale and the true freedom God offers, this book is for you!”

“Well worth reading! Charming characters and plenty of story to keep you turning the pages.”


A Heart For Freedom

By 1775, the conflict has escalated between Loyalists and Patriots throughout the colonies. The Stewarts’ ordinary and the surrounding Virginia countryside are not immune from the strife, pitting friends, neighbors, and families against each other.

Matthew Stewart has avoided taking sides and wants only to farm, manage Stewarts’ Green, and raise his family. But political tensions are heating up and circumstances and connections convince him that he should answer a call to aid the Patriot cause … with conditions.

Heather Stewart, born and raised in Scotland, has witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. Threatened by the prospect of war, she wants only to avoid it, and protect the family and peace she sought and finally found in Virginia.

The journey the Stewarts take is not an easy one and will involve sacrifice, and questioned loyalties. Lives and relationships will be changed forever. Ultimately the knowledge that God is faithful will equip them with the courage to face the future … with a heart for freedom.

In 2019 A Heart For Freedom won the Christian Indie Award for  Historical Fiction.


What people are saying:

“The story unfolds with rich historical detail woven throughout the story-line bringing to life an emotionally charged, heartwarming story with realistic characters who face many challenges, heartaches and grief, joys, dangers and intrigue, forgiveness, love and enduring faith.”

“This was a beautiful and heart-wrenching novel that I loved! It was a beautiful story and I fell in love with the characters. So much that I want to know more about what happens next!”

“You may have a new appreciation for our American freedom after reading A Heart For Freedom! The characters are well written, and you will feel like you are experiencing the birth pains of our country.”

“A well-written story that captures the lives and day-to-day struggles of a family facing the uncertainties and hardships of war. Poignant and heartfelt, a compelling read.”

“The plot is gripping, the emotions are real, and the result is an inspirational historical novel that is thoroughly enjoyable.”

“A Heart for Freedom is a superbly written early Revolutionary War novel, a sequel to A Heart Set Free by Janet Grunst. From the first page, my throat tightened as I knew bad things were going to happen to the family I had quickly grown to respect. With grace and tact author Janet Grunst allows the readers to experience the fear, loss, and hope of that time in American history.”

“This fast-paced novel grabs your attention at page one and keeps it all the way to the end. This page-turner will have you flying through the pages.” 

“A Heart for Freedom is both historically and spiritually rich, a poignant reminder of the high cost of freedom that we continue to enjoy today.”




Setting Two Hearts Free













Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

Setting Two Hearts Free Releases October 6, 2020

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The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection










The Year without Summer

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother.

Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive.

Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

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What People are Saying:

“An excellent collection of short stories with varying themes involving Highlanders. Four very different stories, each depicting the challenges that face these Highland men. I enjoyed each of the writing styles and loved the plots that were creative and imaginative.” 

Novella compilations often disappoint. The Highlanders most definitely does not! Each of the four stories was so different from the others, yet all had the Scottish dialect and believable characters. One took place in Scotland, one in Scotland and Ireland, and two in the US but all in different time periods. Each had its own element of faith, handled in a tasteful way that was not preachy but authentic. I would read The Highlanders again and recommend it to anyone who loves good, clean Scottish Romance.”

“This collection of novellas is not your typical Laird of the manor stories. Instead, the common Scot takes the spotlight. All four heroes are every bit as appealing as the Scottish nobleman. The time setting for this collection ranges from the French and Indian war to the early 1900s.”

“Each author did a wonderful job coming up with very different characters. Not cookie-cutter romances, but individual stories of people in difficult circumstances, trying to forge a better future despite the troubles that follow them from the past.”

This four-story collection by talented authors J’nell Ciesielski, Naomi Musch, Janet Grunst, and Jennifer Lamont Leo proved to be a wonderful medley of faith, romance, and history featuring the “braw” lads and lassies of the Scottish Highlands! Each story in The Highlanders anthology is uniquely told in a different historical time and land, yet all captivated me with their endearing characters and compelling drama—I discovered two new-to-me authors as well, and look forward to reading more from them! What a delightful way to be transported to the past and enjoy a taste of the Highlands. I have no doubt other Christian historical fiction fans will love these stories, too!”

“One of the reasons I love reading historicals is being able to lose myself in other times and places. I also like learning about other people’s histories. Scots migrating to Ireland is something I never knew. I particularly enjoyed Janet Grunst’s The Year Without Summer. Overcoming prejudices we’ve inherited are the hardest to release because of their connection to someone we love. Yet Molly’s journey from inherited hate to open-hearted love was most satisfying.”

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