Author J. M. Hochstetler

Bringing History and Faith to Life

J. M. Hochstetler (Joan M. Shoup) was born and reared in central Indiana, the daughter of Mennonite farmers. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic languages. She has published three novels: One Holy Night, a retelling of Jesus’ birth in a modern-day setting that released in April 2008. Daughter of Liberty and Native Son, books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series are set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, is scheduled for release in March 2009.


Joan’s interest in the American colonial and Revolutionary War eras grew out of the experiences of her Anabaptist ancestors who immigrated to America from Europe seeking religious freedom. With her cousin, author Bob Hostetler, she is writing a novel based on the massacre of three of their Amish Mennonite ancestors on the Pennsylvania frontier during the French and Indian War, the Indian captivity of the attack’s survivors, and their eventual return home.


An alumna of Indiana University, in the mid 1990s Joan worked for The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, assisting with the development and production of Freedom Speaks, a weekly television program on PBS devoted to First Amendment rights. She was subsequently an editor with Abingdon Press for twelve years.


In 2006 Joan felt a strong calling from the Lord to found her own small press, Sheaf House Publishers, to publish outstanding inspirational fiction. The doors quickly began to open, and in April 2008 Sheaf House released its first book, One Holy Night, well ahead of the schedule Joan originally envisioned. Books by two new authors followed in September and October respectively.


Joan sees Sheaf House as a Spirit-anointed ministry to readers, both believers and seekers, and the Lord is powerfully blessing her efforts. New projects are scheduled into 2010, including Joan’s own Wind of the Spirit (March 2009), and My Son, John by multi-published Christian author Kathi Macias     (April 2009).