Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Monday 21st March 2016

An Exciting Announcement: I Have a New Book Coming Out! — #TellHisStory

happiness, The Happiness Dare

Ok. The cat is officially out of the bag.

I have a book coming out. In August. About happiness.

Yep. That dare we’ve been taking? It’s a book. It’s already written, and it has an adorable cover that makes me happy!

Meet The Happiness Dare.

happiness, The Happiness Dare

Fun fact: The words on the cover are made out of ACTUAL candy — licorice and yellow M&Ms arranged to form the book title. I love the designers at Tyndale Momentum!

I am so excited about this book. About a year ago, I took a fantastic dare toward happiness. I became intentional about finding happiness, cultivating happiness, and sharing my happiness with others. When I took that dare, I had no idea how important it would be in sustaining me during some really rough patches and dark valleys that were ahead of me.

This dare toward happiness made me feel new and warm and bright on the inside, like I swallowed a star.

Yet I have been awfully shy about telling you about this book. About a month ago, I invited you into #TheHappinessDare, and encouraged you to find and record your happy moments every day. But I didn’t tell you about the book.

I encouraged you to cultivate happiness even on the hard days, but I didn’t tell you about the book.

I began to share my happiest moments on Instagram and Facebook, with the hashtag #TheHappinessDare, but still … I didn’t tell you about the book!

But then other people started talking about the book. You thought to yourself, “I wonder if she wrote a book about happiness!” You were right. For the last few weeks, some of you have posted about my book on Facebook, after you found my book hiding over on Amazon. 🙂

But I still kept quiet.

Then yesterday, on the International Day of Happiness, Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com shared the book with her gazillion Instagram followers. I was giddy.

The Happiness Dare, Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom

This was the first time I’d seen a printed version of the book. I don’t even have one! (Crystal has what’s called an “endorser copy,” which means she’ll read it, and if she likes it, she’ll officially endorse it. More on that later.)

But I still didn’t tell you about the book! 

Then, last night, I told Scott: “I think maybe I need to tell people about the book.”

To which he replied: “Well, duh.”

So this morning, I sat down to tell you about the book. And I was still shy about it, fingers shaking. And that’s when a notification popped up on my iPhone screen:

“Crystal Paine is Periscoping about The Happiness Dare.” To her gazillion Periscope followers! (Periscope is a live video-streaming service. You can watch her broadcast by clicking here.) It felt like fireworks going off inside of my chest. She had so many kind things to say about the book, and then she encouraged her followers to pre-order The Happiness Dare. “I would highly recommend preordering a copy because I can already tell that this is going to impact my life at a deep, deep level,” Crystal said.  “I am talking this dare, and I want to put it out there publicly.”

So. It’s time to tell you about the book.

Would you consider pre-ordering? It’s available for preorder at most online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & NobleChristianBook.com and Walmart.

It will be in stores August 2.

Turns out that pre-orders are really important to making sure that online retailers have the book in stock. Pre-orders really set the pace for how well a book launch will go.

So, if you think you might want to buy The Happiness Dare, would you pretty-please consider pre-ordering? And if it wouldn’t be too much to ask, would you consider sharing this post on Facebook or other social-media channels?


IMG_0056 To celebrate, if you order five or more copies, I’ll mail you signed bookplates, personalized to whomever you wish, and signed by me. 🙂 You can put the bookplates (which are actually big stickers) on an inside page, after you get the books.

1 – Email me at Jennifer@JenniferDukesLee.com to tell me how many books you preordered, and thus, how many bookplates you need. (You can send the receipt if you like, but if it’s too much hassle, just tell me the number you preordered. I trust you. 🙂 )

2 – Give me the names of the people who will be getting the books that you preordered.

3 – Include your mailing address, so I can send the bookplates to you. Postage is on me. 🙂

4 – Offer expires March 31.

Regarding My Shyness About This Book

Some of you are wondering, “Why were you so shy about telling us, Jennifer? We are your friends!” To which I say, while blushing, “I know, I know. You’re right.” But it felt so early, like announcing that I’m pregnant at, like, four weeks! And then, when the book actually comes out, we’d all be like, “Man. She’s been pregnant for approximately forever!”

So there’s that.

And also? It feels so vulnerable to share. In the book, we talk a lot about how happiness can be such a vulnerable desire, and I share some stories that make me feel overexposed. In fact, this is the opening sentence of my book: “This book scares me.”

Yep. We explore the scary side of happiness! Who knew?

Anyway. I took a dare. I wrote a book. Both the dare and the book changed me.

It’s been a wild ride. And today — at last — I’m inviting you to ride along.

About The Happiness Dare

“Would you like to be happier?”

No matter who you are, or how you feel, chances are you would answer “yes” to that question. And Jennifer Dukes Lee was no different. For years, she wrestled with a constant, nagging sense that she just wasn’t as happy as she should be. At the same time, she felt guilty for wanting something as “shallow” as happiness. After all, doesn’t God only care that we find “joy” in our circumstances? Or is it possible that God really does want us to be happy?

Determined to get answers, Jennifer embarked on a quest to find out if our happiness matters to God and, if so, how to pursue it in a way that pleases him.

In The Happiness Dare, you’ll learn what she discovered, including how to:

  • Overcome the four biggest obstacles that stand in the way of your happiness
  • Understand the five happiness styles and how to maximize yours to not only be happier yourself, but to better love and serve those around you
  • Find your happiness “sweet spot”—so you can enjoy your own life and stop wishing for someone else’s
  • Discover what you can do in just five minutes a day to be happier

Will you dare to pursue happiness—and discover the secret to your truest, most satisfied, and most faith-filled self?

Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianBook.com and Walmart.

I love you guys!


Post includes affiliate link.


Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there! Our featured writer this week is Joy Lenton. She writes about the spiritual discipline of listening well. In all of the busyness of life, this post was just what I needed! Find Joy here. To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. 🙂 xo Jennifer


  • Faye

    Okay Jennifer, being a newbie to the blogging world …… how do I share this entire post on my blog https://thechickengrandma.wordpress.com/?

  • KristenStrong

    YIPEEEEEE! So happy to see this one making her debut, friend. Let the happiness revolution begin!! xoxoxo

    • I seriously don’t know how I would have done this one without you and Holley and Renee! So grateful for you guys. You are my Smile Squad. 🙂

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  • all the happy tears in my eyes reading this!!!!

    • I am so excited! Yet, I could NOT for the life of me figure out how to announce this book. Or when. Or all that. I am two-left-feet when it comes to this stuff. And now I’m all kinds of relieved to have it out there. Thanks for all of your encouragement and support during this process, Lisa-Jo!

  • Awesome!!! I will go preorder next thing! I saw the book cover when it was posted and wondered/hoped 🙂 You are a wonderful writer, I know the book will be so good! Love #thehappinessdare 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’m immensely grateful for this community of readers here. Your support means the world, and you all make this feel so much less awkward!

  • Then, last night, I told Scott: “I think maybe I need to tell people about the book.”

    To which he replied: “Well, duh.”

    Hahahaha…this really made me laugh out loud.

    • I’m so glad, Kelly. Thanks for popping in to say hello. 🙂

  • I am soon excited about this!

    • Me, too, friend! Sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner. I just felt so awkward, and couldn’t find the right words for this, and just felt super exposed, and all that. So thanks!

  • Awesome!!! I will go preorder next thing! I saw the book cover when it was posted and wondered/hoped 🙂 You are a wonderful writer, I know the book will be so good… Love #thehappinessdare 🙂

  • Jennifer, you bring such joy and happiness everywhere you go, in person and online! This is the perfect book for such a time as this – and you are the perfect person to author it!

    • I am so excited about this book. I feel relieved, in a way, that the cat is out of the bag. Whew!

  • A new book!!! Wonderful, Jennifer! I will preorder, for sure.

    • Thank you, Martha! I’m so excited. Grateful for your encouragement, and your book purchase. 🙂

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Well, Jennifer, with your giftedness and prolificness, I should have known (and I’ve heard hints of this, maybe even from you, that you were writing another book. Having a brief mentalpause moment! 🙂 ) DARE I say that I am soooooo HAPPY for you. I shall shortly head over to Amazon and procure a preordered copy….whenever they ship. This is so serendipitous to find out, given my little plug for your happiness blog the other day. I’ll also just march right over to my FB page and share the good news! Are Lydia and Anna doing a HAPPY dance over there….well, and of course, Scott your “Well, duh, Jennifer, it’s so obvious” man?! I know there is lots of happiness in the Scott household today (and always). But don’t get me started on this happiness-holiness dichotomy wonderful Christian teachers have been drawing (for as far back as I recall when I became a Christian in my twenties). Thank you for joining ranks with the likeness of Alcorn, Piper, and Thomas to lead us back to a wholeness view of Scripture re: this particular topic. I remain,
    Happily for you,

    • I’ve been meaning to tell you, and I am so sorry I haven’t. I’ve just been super shy about it. I extended the dare, but every time I thought about sharing the book, I got all nervous and fidgety!

      I loved Alcorn’s book. Confession: His book came out as I was working on mine, and I FREAKED. I thought to myself, “How am I going to write about Happiness NOW?????” But it turned out to be a blessing. Tyndale sent me an advance copy of Alcorn’s book, and I was able to quote from it many times in my book. Plus — of course — we have two very different styles. He has a strong theological approach, and my book includes lots of stories to go along with the theology of folks like Alcorn, Piper, Spurgeon, and more. Thank you for being a part of this impromptu celebration!

      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        Jennifer, just ONE thing I love about you is your depth of humility. No apologies needed–just my *happy* thrille-ed-ness that you are announcing this early so people can get on board. Isn’t that like our vast and multi-faceted Diamond God to instruct many authors to reflect just one little fragment of Him? But I really get this, Jennifer. I freaked over a journaling book that I found just after I’d landed my contract. *Why write it?* I thought. But God showed me that in the end, like you discovered w/ Dr. Randy, each author is different and coming from his own perspective and unique experiences. And glad God brought
        Alcorn’s book at the perfect time that he could help you. If you stop to think about it, he is writing on the shoulders of many, many others whom he liberally quotes. (And yes, Spurgeon–supremely depressed–wrote about happiness in only that style that he can. Loved that aspect). I’m thinking that maybe God has found such gloom among Christians, that He wants as many as possible to get on His happiness bandwagon…do you think? Love you so much, and congratulations!
        Oh, and the 2nd book I read years ago as a Christian was The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Quaker Hannah Whitall Smith (from 1800s). Have you read it? I’d highly recommend it.

  • Megan Willome

    Congratulations! Happy I get to read it soon, now that it’s in the preorder stage.

    • Thank you so much, Megan. Your Voxes were so helpful to me as I thought through some of those chapters we talked about.

  • Congratulations, Jennifer! I am so happy for you and for all of us. Thank you for announcing it. I had a feeling you would be coming out with another book. 🙂 Love Idol was so good, and this one sounds really good as well! I loved Crystal’s broadcast about it. The cover look is so cool and creative! I find it fascinating that they can actually put real candy on it. Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Crystal is such a blessing. I was so surprised (and very appreciative) of her words!

  • So excited for you, friend! We will be with you, cheering you on and daring to be happy right along side you for the duration of this book birthing process!!

    • Thank you so much. It’s been a joy to share this with you.

  • Congratulations on your new book!!! I’m so excited for you. And the book cover definitely screams “Happiness.” Can’t wait to preorder my copy. Looking forward to use that #HappinessDare on some Instagram moments!

    • Yes, the cover definitely screams happiness! 🙂 Thank you for joining in the dare.

  • Deborah Will

    Congratulations Jennifer.

  • karen

    Excited for you….and us! CONGRATULATIONS!

  • LL Barkat

    Congratulations, Jennifer. Stars in my eyes, smile on my face, warmth in my heart 🙂

    • Thanks for your kindness, Laura. You’re so good to me!

  • Christy Cox

    I just preordered my copy. Can’t wait to read it! This is totally something I need to focus on since I have become an empty nester and some days are just hard. Thanks for writing and sharing with us!

    • Grateful for your preorder, Christy. means so much. I loved writing this book, and I hope you love reading it.

  • Congratulations Jennifer!

  • Congrats!

  • Thanks for being brave:
    writing the book;
    putting out “the dare”;
    breaking the news!

  • Congratulations on the book! It sounds great and I love the cover!

    • I love the cover, too. Real candy! Arranged in the shape of letters!

  • So excited for you, and to get my copy!!

    Finding the joy and the beauty- it’s made a difference in my own life.

    • Thank you for sharing in my happiness, Ally. I really appreciate you.

  • Mary

    This is pure happiness! A new book by you! Can’t wait!

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  • Congratulations on the book Jennifer! I am so proud and happy for you…continued blessings for you and yours!

  • Congratulations on your new book! This is right up my alley! I love this topic since joy is one of my themes! Happy to share on social media!

    • So grateful for you, Betsy! And yes, you are a joy girl. I hope this message resonates with you.

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  • I cannot WAIT for this book! Gah! Congrats! Praying new things take place in the lives of those who take on the challenge!

    • Your excitement makes me smile. I absolutely LOVED writing this book. I hope you’ll love reading it!

  • Happy, happy, happy for you! And for us to get to share this with you too. Hugs!!

  • Jennifer,

    This is such a blessing to read and I look forward to adding one more book of yours to my reading library. And I am truly excited for you and for the many hearts who will be blessed because you took time to spend yourself in honesty and hope.
    Congratulations and praying for God to open doors that no man can shut!

    • I’m so grateful for you, Dawn. Thanks for sharing in my happiness.

  • Tara Ulrich

    Jennifer, so excited to read about your book. May we all learn to count our blessings and take the happiness dare.

    • Yes! So much happiness comes in the simple act of counting blessings. I have a chapter about that!

  • CONGRATULATIONS to you, Jennifer! What a tremendous blessing that I know God will use to encourage many hearts!! Thank you for your faithfulness to doing what God has called you to do. Our world is a better place because of it. God bless you!

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  • Abby

    How exciting! This book sound like such a blessing and I’m excited to read it. And I love your husband’s response. <3 Too cute.

    • He thinks he’s pretty funny. 😉

  • Congratulations!! The Happiness Dare, I can’t think of a better title for these days we are in.

    • Alecia,

      Thank you. That’s so much the heart of this book, too — a message for this time we are in.

  • Angela Howard

    Doing a little happy dance for you (but inside because I’m at the library and that would be weird!) Many people will find a new way of living and responding to their situations based on these principles. “A merry heart is good like a medicine!”

    • Thanks so much, Angela, for sharing in my happiness. It means the world!

  • You have to love how God orchestrates things for us. Maybe this goes under the “better than I could have asked or imagined” category!

    • I am still cracking up about our conversation on Instagram over these “labor pains.” 🙂

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  • Anna Smit

    Congratulations, Jennifer! Excited with you at how God will use this to turn us all to rejoicing in the gift of life, through both the easy days and the deep valleys.

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  • Yeeeep. Been keeping up with all posts and things related to your Happiness Dare. But haven’t delved in too deeply because I agree: it sounds scary. I wrote a little blog post years and years (and a couple of blogs) ago about being afraid of joy. Might be time to revisit that…. : ) Thanks for the nudge, I’ll be adding your book to my wishlist!! Thanks for blessings me with your words again, Jennifer!

  • Ginger Harrington

    So excited for you. And for me, cause I’m looking forward to reading this!

  • Sarah Elizabeth Frazer

    I’m soooooo excited for you!!! I can’t wait to read it! Sounds like something I definitely need to read. Love linking up with you every Thursday, and now I can’t wait to read more about your book! 🙂

  • Congratulations, Jennifer! I can’t wait to see the book! It sounds great. Have a blessed day!

  • Jennifer, I am so happy for you! I LOVED “Love Idol” and bought multiple copies to share as well with others. I am excited to read & order The Happiness Dare as I know it is going to be good 🙂 May God bless this one abundantly!

  • So very excited for you! I think you need a Book Shower to get ready 😉 Enjoy every minute!

    • great idea. we all buy books as her gifts…

      • imagine how fun that would be?!

  • Susan

    This is what I like the best: LIKE YOU SWALLOWED A STAR!!! What a great line!

  • This: “Will you dare to pursue happiness—and discover the secret to your truest, most satisfied, and most faith-filled self?” Yes and Amen! Jumping right in there with you, Jennifer! Can’t wait to read, devour and discover the fruit hidden within the pages of your new release. Just as ‘Love Idol’ has done, this will bless many and be life transforming. Way to go, girl!! Xx 🙂

  • Anita

    Congratulations on your book baby, my friend! May your ‘child’ go forth and bless the world with happiness and a new attitude :)!

  • Excited for you, Jennifer. I finally did read Love Idol (I was very late to that party due to the crazy crazy going on in my life.), and it was one of the best books I read last year. Looking forward to reading #2. Hugs

  • Meghan Weyerbacher

    I need this book for sure. Putting it on my Goodreads wishlist! Your Love Idol book was one of the first books I ever read in conjunction with other believers, where we sat around tables and let our walls down. I am excited to find out why you this book scared you too. Woooooo

  • I would’ve loved a four week pregnancy!! Congratulations – so fab. ordering one now. xx

  • Alisa Nicaud

    That’s awesome!! Congratulations! I look forward to reading it!

  • Laura Hicks

    Great news! I’m excited to read it.

  • Lynn Mosher

    Oh,Jennifer, you sound like me. Introvert! LOL I love your precious heart. I’m so excited for you. Your book sounds wonderful and I’m so glad you continued with it. I hope to be able to pre-order it. I know all those who read it will be blessed. I pray the Lord will bless you outrageously in all you do. 😀

  • When I read your post on ig earlier this week I thought, “She’s adorable!” You are, and I’m so happy for you and what God will do through your writing! Congratulations!

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  • Betts Keating – Author

    I know I am late to the party on this post, but I just wanted to say that I have been following you for a couple of years now and this was by far my favorite post from you. I loved how you shared your heart. I too am an introvert. I too am trying to remember that even though “It feels so vulnerable to share” that it’s so important to do it anyway! Thanks for reminding me to get out there!

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Looking for a little happy in your Christmas? I've got seven ways for you to find it, pursue it, and embrace it. Find seven videos on my Instagram. 💚❤️💚❤️🌲 pic.twitter.com/DpIBIdb64S