Things I Never Told You(114)

By: Beth Vogt

Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series published by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at


Which sister did you most identify with in Things I Never Told You: Payton, Pepper, Jillian, or Johanna? Why? If you have a sister or sisters, how would you describe your relationship(s): supportive or competitive—or a blend of both?

Were you an athlete in high school or college or part of another group or organization that influenced your identity? Did you have a coach, teacher, or other mentor who had a significant impact on your life? How did those experiences shape who you are today?

If you’ve ever grieved the death of a family member or close friend, what helped you deal with the pain? Was there something—a book or a Scripture verse or a song—that ministered to you?

Jillian is closer to Harper than she is to her sisters, Johanna and Payton. How has a good friend made a difference in your life when you’ve faced a trial?

What did you think of the “positive thoughts” jar that Harper made for Jillian? Would something like that be helpful to you during a tough time? What thought would you add to the jar?

Payton and Jillian both see examples of times when Johanna means well but causes hurt in the way she tries to take charge or impose her own solutions. How do you handle a loved one—a friend, a sister, or other relative—who is more strong-willed or opinionated than you and, while attempting to help, hurts you or overlooks your feelings or desires? Have you ever been a “Johanna” to someone? What was the result?

After Pepper’s death, Payton gave up many of her goals for the future and chose a different path for her life. What dreams did you have when you were younger that changed or were lost along the way? If you had the chance, would you pursue those dreams now? Why or why not?

Zach Gaines struggles to share his faith with Payton. How and when do you talk to others about what you believe about God? When someone talks to you about their faith, how does that make you feel?

Payton kept a secret from her family for ten years. How do you feel about secrets—are they necessary or are they destructive? When do you think a person should keep a secret?

As identical twins, Payton and Pepper shared a unique bond, but they began to grow apart when Pepper started exploring ideas of God and faith. Have you ever felt betrayed, as Payton did, by a change in someone you love? Were you able to navigate that change to keep the relationship? If so, what helped you?