Jerry Camery-Hoggatt, Ph.D., is professor of New Testament at Vanguard University, in Costa Mesa, California. A professional storyteller, he is the author of the highly-acclaimed Christmas stories When Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four (in trade adult and children’s picture book editions) and Givers of Gifts; plus Irony in Mark’s Gospel and Grapevine: A Spirituality of Gossip. His passion is theology and storytelling, which he believes are meant to go together. Jerry and his wife, Shaleen, are the parents of three children.


A grandfather’s song turns a diner into hallowed ground, like a church. A contrary girl with a gypsy heart feels the tug of home. A mother, far away, confronts impossible expectations. And a truck driver named Jedidiah keeps his foot on the gas to sweep you into an unforgettable story of belonging and grace.

Readers looking for a meaningful, powerful read on a winter’s evening or with the family will love the rich 1960s nostalgia captured in the Midwest of Jedidiah’s and Ellee’s story; the peace found when family strife boils over, and the gentle reminders of the influence and effect every life has on another.

My Mother’s Wish is an unforgettable, powerful tale that ends on a memorable Christmastime note, but will be cherished and reread year-round for its bold message of grand hopes, impossible expectations, and the gift of grace that comes in between.

You can purchase a copy of My Mother’s Wish at:


My Mother’s Wish is the story of Elee McKutcheon, a young midwestern girl who has always walked to the beat of a different drummer. The only thing she has ever wanted was to be recognized for who she really is rather than who her mother wants her to be or a duplicate of her older sister.

The story is both humorous and compassionate as it highlights people and incidents that shape Elee’s life. Elee’s climactic experience at the Comeback Cafe and with Jedidiah opens her spirit to true acceptance and grace.

My Mother’s Wish is a short but profound look at the importance of love and acceptance. It will probably take more than one read to really plumb the depths of all the treasures this little book has to offer.