The appearance of main character, Maggie, was based on Nancy Phiv, a friend of the author and illustrator. Nancy also named Maggie.

The Secret of Happiness, written by Pella author Karen Fitzsimmons and illustrated by Rowena Hoover, is the latest children’s book published by the Write Place. Brought to life by Hoover’s vibrant watercolor illustrations, Fitzsimmons’ book tells the story of Maggie, a young teenager who wishes for true happiness while blowing out the candles on her birthday cake.

After making her birthday wish, Maggie is determined to discover what it means to be happy. She gets a new car, goes shopping, and makes lots of friends. She even becomes a famous rock star. But, in spite of all her success, Maggie begins to wonder: is there more to happiness than being wealthy and popular?

“My goal with this book is to show young readers that there is more to life than material wealth,” said Fitzsimmons. “I want readers to see that the best path to happiness is helping others and accepting the love of Jesus into your heart.”

The Secret of Happiness is Fitzsimmons’ first book. “I was inspired to start writing a year and half ago while I was praying,” remembered Fitzsimmons. “I asked God, ‘What would you like me to do?’ I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, ‘I want you to write books and use your creativity to spread my Word.’ Since then, I have had so many ideas, and I give all my gifts to the Lord. I know He is the reason for this time in my life.”

Karen Fitzsimmons is a graduate of Central College and has worked as a teacher and a photographer. She plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Secret of Happiness to a variety of non-profit organizations, including Life Outreach International: STOP Human Trafficking and the Reformed Church in America.

The Secret of Happiness is available for purchase at our bookstore. It is also available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com.

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