Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Seasons & Visions

Recently I was browsing a literary agent's blog about writing frustrations. Basically she was talking about roadblocks writers hit along the road to publication. As a beginning writer, there are many speed bumps, one being: "am I really doing this?"

Any time someone tries something new, that urge to pinch yourself and give up is strong. A new job, going back to school, parenting, marriage--they all have moments in common when overwhelming questions seem to blur the original vision. I've seldom met anyone who mapped out the events and dreams of their life, and decades later live to tell that it went exactly as they planned and imagined. But I see that in writing, as in life, there are seasons of growth and stretching.

Our pastor reminded us this week of the importance of vision. He reminded us of Proverbs 29:18: "where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction." 

Based on Habakkuk 2: 1-3, he stressed:
--waiting and watching for God's direction
--remembering that "a vision" implies "to see" a vision, a dream, or image
--the revelation must be written down
--the revelation waits for the appointed time
--be patient for it to come to pass

He also admonished:
--"Vision is birthed through prayer and seeking the face of God."
--"Fear is a vision killer."

As Jaime and I prepare our manuscripts to present at ACFW's (American Christian Fiction Writer's) conference in September, we wait for the vision. We seek God's will. We write down our goals and presentations. We've studied the presenters, agents, and editors. We've been shaking with fear, wondering if this will be our season, praying not to be crushed if it's not.

We keep our eyes on God--the WORD. The One who was, and is, and is to come. The One who was in the beginning.

What vision do you need? For your life? 
For your work, family, marriage?
Are you taking the time to fall before the face of God to seek His vision?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spotlight on Nappanee's Local Bookstore


If you live in a big city or metropolitan area, you no doubt have reasonably good access to the larger chain bookstores. But most of rural America is struggling to maintain long established, privately owned local bookstores. I stopped by our local bookstore to take a look and ask the owner what keeps her going in Nappanee, Indiana.



Light of Grace is locally owned by Jolene Stutzman since 2010, and her business is going strong. The store is located in Coppes Commons, where Nappanee's historic kitchen cabinet factory is in restoration for local businesses to set up shop. Once known as Coppes Brother's Planing Mill, established in 1876, Nappanee became the premiere manufacturer for the kitchen cabinet known as "The Hoosier". Cabinets are still manufactured here, but the original buildings are in disuse until recently when John Mast Construction had a dream for its restoration.



I love the bookstore experience for the "real feel" where I can browse the pages of the books while I sip on a latte. Light of Grace can hold its own for those who expect a books-and-drinks experience. Not only is the next shop over the local bakery, but they also sell specialty coffees at Main Street Cafe. And I'll bet the large bookstore chains can't boast a tea shop in addition to a coffee shop. The Teapot & More offers a small dining nook that will kindle memories of the Victorian age--but you certainly can't get this experience from a Kindle or a Nook!



Jolene tells me she is able to stay solvent in her business by selling gifts in addition to books. She projects about 75% of her business is from gifts while 25% is from book sales. Because Nappanee is in the heart of northern Indiana's Amish country, tourism helps her sales, yet she states it's hard to determine the percentage of her sales to locals versus tourists. However, she believes a large portion of her supporters are local buyers over the age of 40 who still like to buy books the old fashioned way.



Jolene says a large share of her  buyers are the elderly who do not own a computer and still buy a lot of cards to mail to their family and friends. Jolene is what we would say here as either Amish or Conservative, wearing a plain handmade dress and covering, so I did not ask to photo her. She tells me about 50% of her customers are Amish and Mennonites, and thinks they buy more books in general than other people. Many who love to read Amish or Bonnet fiction might believe the Amish actually read these works, but many do not read the fiction written about them. To them, perhaps fiction is stranger than truth.

Jolene tells me she has done two book signings with authors, the most recent was Mesu Andrews. She sold nearly fifty books and felt this was worth her and Mesu's time. She has a nice selection of Christian fiction and nonfiction, but I pre-ordered one she didn't carry. I hope to support her rather than Amazon.com since my to-be-read pile is tall enough to wait until the book arrives.

How do you support your local bookstores to preserve the experience of reading in the nooky space between the stacks until you've kindled your imagination long enough to satisfy your escape?

Comments by owner Jolene Stutzman used by permission.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's In the Little Things

Good morning, Monday...
No better way than to start the day with an inspiring story of making a difference with the little things. How will you impact those in your week?

Check out this man's tale and be encouraged to have a million lollipop moments for Jesus this week!




______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest

Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Report: On Distant Shores - By, Sarah Sundin

Ahhhhh, another wartime romance, complete with bombs, nurses, and -- pharmacists? 'Cause, yeah, Sarah Sundin, when I think of World War II I think of pharmacies. It was inevitable, really ;)

On Distant Shores is another keeper on my book shelf. But then, all of Sarah's are. Being a lover of everything World War II, it's like reading history sandwiched between great fiction.

Characters: I have to give Sarah credit. One thing I watch for with seasoned authors is repetitive characters. Meaning: characters who start having similar personalities as other characters in their previous novels. Sarah does a very good job of keeping them different. While Georgie was a great female lead, I have to admit I really loved Hutch, the war pharmacist. I mean, what girl doesn't swoon over a pharmacist in uniform?

Setting: Sicily. A romantic land torn by bombs and leaving orphans in their wake. I enjoyed the starry skies Georgie and Hutch shared, as well as a heightened sense of awareness of the pharmacy tent, the nurses role in flight, the racing for your life from live fire, and transporting glass bottled meds over deep rutted roads in a jeep.

Plot: It's war. That's enough plot. But Sarah doesn't rely on just history to color her novel. She really does take us into the pharmaceutical side of the war. Who would've thought of that? I mean, I just assumed medicine appeared in crates and random doctors distributed them during the war. I had no clue. I also love the orphan thread she interlaced into the book. A new one for Sarah, as (at least I don't remember) she hasn't taken the route of weaving in children into her stories. I enjoyed Lucia and her snappy Italian baby browns.

Overall it's a winner. As always. I love Sarah's books. They keep me enthralled from cover to cover! 


And head over to Sarah's
Blog where you can meet her and enter to win a copy!  




______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday's Coffee: L.S.D. (not really)

I'm SO not a runner. I'm a walker.

I don't have fancy Nikes or a jogging suit. I have more body fat than any runner should be allowed. I'm pretty sure I'd be disqualified in a long distance marathon after five minutes. We had a great laugh together when my cousin visited this weekend and presented me with a house gift:

Do you see the label: "Runner's High, get high before your L.S.D. Run." Seriously, what is IN this coffee? Then in small print I see it: Long, Slow, Distance. 

Long. Slow. Distance. It's just the thing I need to make it to my writing finish line before ACFW writing conference in September. I think the idea is basically--slow and steady wins the race. Yep, that's what I need. I'm sweating it to finish up edits, and the preparations that go with queries for agents and editors. This is supposed to be fun, right?

But did you ever see a runner looking like it was fun? Not me. 
Coffee--yes. Running--not so much. Writing?--I'm working on it, one step at a time. And now I'm armed with all I need to reach the finish.

What about you? Do you run?
What makes it fun?
Do you have goals this year? Personal or otherwise?
How are you reaching them?

(Disclaimer: in no way is this post intended to endorse the use/abuse of LSD or other harmful or otherwise illegal substances)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guest Blogging at Rittywrites

Today I'm guest posting for Rhonda Ritenour's blog: Rittywrites

We are talking about what writing, metaphors, and Jesus have in common.

Come on over and join us there, because it's such a fun group to chat with----and there's a Starbucks giveaway! And there's something for both coffee and tea lovers.



If I could master one thing in my writing, I'd choose---Metaphor.

Why?

It comports meaning, transports the mind, inspires hope and illuminates the soul.
It changes. It invites. It whispers.

What is metaphor? Doesn't that take you right back to visions of your 7th grade English teacher lecturing at the chalkboard? (I happen to love my 7th grade English teacher--Ms. Yoder, I'll never forget)

That distant memory should bring to mind comparisons of metaphor to simile. While simile uses the phrases "like" or "as"--metaphor compares two different things that by that comparison conveys a meaning not obviously or previously noted.

Jesus used simile all the time: "the Kingdom of Heaven is like"  --- a mustard seed, a hidden treasure, etc.
Or in poetry, we see it: "My love is like a red, red rose, that has newly sprung in June."~by Robert Burns

We might even say that in novel writing simile is too cliche, such as the phrase "as quiet as a mouse". It shows us something, but overused and uninteresting we pass over it unmoved.

But metaphor compares two different things to communicate meaning. Sometimes it is quite simple, like this example:   "Tommy is the lion king of his class." Tommy is a boy, not a lion. We think of lions as strong, and the lion king as the strong leader of his pride. Now we think of Tommy in a much different light. We now know something about him without saying or telling us "Tommy is strong."

But I'm really not wishing to capture the talent of the metaphor on a one sentence scale. I'm dreaming of it on a much grander scale of story telling. Or perhaps we should call it "story-showing" because I think capturing the metaphor on that scale has something to do with the "show don't tell" skill set.

For example, "Bill's teeth were hardened blue cheese nuggets, speckled with green and black." Now, when I read that, I see it! Not only do I see his teeth, I see a haggard old miner, aged beyond his actual years, teeth rotting out, beard unkempt, hair dried and brittle from poor health, but a grin bigger than Texas as he holds up a nugget of gold--his condition a price he's willing to pay for his treasure. This is much more interesting than being told "Bill's teeth were rotten."

But enough of grammar, the master of metaphor in my life is Jesus.

We studied John 13 recently in Sunday school class. Jesus says to Thomas, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one can come to the Father but through me."

The Way. Hmmm--what does that really mean?? If He would just tell us plainly how to follow Him, we could go there. But even we can understand when Jesus tells Thomas its not that simple. He came to show, not tell.  His whole life is his Way, and the Way of the Father. Love, faith, hope, forgiveness. Like Thomas we see things so simply. Why love someone who doesn't deserve it? Why have faith in something unseen? Why hope for the impossible? Why forgive when the other doesn't deserve it? And furthermore why forgive, since I have a right to remain angry because I was right and he was wrong? We know what's wrong, we know what's right, but like Jesus' disciples we often just don't understand. We are aware of this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil--we see the good and the bad but feel helpless to grasp for the Tree of Life--to break our sorry cycles of misunderstanding, to be shown a more excellent Way. To be drawn into greater Truth than we know, a richer Life than we live.

Eugene Peterson, author of The Jesus Way describes metaphor:

"Metaphor does that, makes me a participant in creating the meaning and entering into the action of the word. I can no longer understand the word by looking it up in the dictionary, for it is no longer just itself. It is alive and moving, inviting me to participate in the meaning. When the writers of scripture use metaphor, we get involved with God, whether we want to or not, sometimes whether we know it or not."

My simple prayer for my writing is that God will help me show that He is the Way.

I want to show not tell. People have been told and lectured until the life has ebbed out of them, crammed down their throats until they choked on it. We don't need more telling. We want more showing. More metaphor. Something we can sink our teeth into and find sustenance. Transported to a place of transformation that invites us to deeper understanding of Love, Hope, Faith, and Forgiveness.




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Celebrities & Prayer

Yesterday the world celebrated the birth of the new member of the Royal Family but I'm still reeling from the death of Cory Monteith.

This talented guy, a main character on the hit show Glee, was found dead in his hotel room last week from a heroin overdose. I'm a huge fan of the talent on Glee while not a huge fan of its moral premise. Something in my heart aches--and it hasn't gone away.

I feel grieved. Connected to him. It's not because I'm a rabid fan and have posters hanging in my office. Maybe it's my writer's mind. The idea of anyone passing away alone is heart-wrenching for me, even if they were high. It's not because I grieve the loss of talent, or the waste of a young life, or even the fact that Season 5 will go on without him.

It's because I grieve for the pain and struggle he bore. The upbringing that left him without the guidance he needed to avoid the demons of heroin. I grieve for the pain he probably felt, the guilt he had when he disappointed himself, the emptiness he tried to fill.

Most of all ... I am moved to tears because of his soul. Cory Monteith still exists--very much so. The questions plague me. Literally. Plague me. Did someone reach him? Did anyone tell him of Jesus, share with him God's sacrificial grace? Did he understand the walk of faith? Did he know he was in need of a Savior? Please don't argue that his lifestyle didn't show it, nor does the show on which he acted. There are varying levels of depth for every Believer. I'm sure if my life was spread on a tabloid you see it riddled with public sins. Be careful of casting stones. Yet in the scheme of things ... the odds aren't in his favor. And the whole argument that he lived a good life sort of goes down the tubes with the heroin overdose. So if you're one to argue the theme that we're all good and that justifies our way to Heaven...it fails here.

I am poignantly reminded that "for by grace are we saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works lest anyone might boast". Was Cory saved by grace? Had he recognized his need for a Savior, maybe even in the last desperate moments alone? Or had the world who adored him ... ignored him?

Hollywood has got to be a sucky place to find Jesus. He's there, but who puts celebrities on their prayer list? Who targets them for prayer? Who sees them as needy people with personal pains, struggles, and tragedies? Eternity isn't something to mess with and yet, do we as followers of a grace giving Lord think these leaders of  culture are beyond saving? So liberal that we're disgusted and turn our backs? Do we not see them as people but as characters on a TV show or in a movie? Are we outraged because they champion gay rights?

I learned something when I was kid. It was a valuable lesson that to this day, I hold dear to my heart. I watched a movie with Mickey Rooney in it. I fell in love with Mickey Rooney that day--in a Spiritual way. I asked my Dad if he was going to Heaven. My Dad replied he would if he knew Jesus and had submitted his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Even as a kid I knew this was a high calling. Mickey needed to meet Jesus. He didn't need his political views corrected first, he didn't need to set his life straight first, he didn't need the Bible slammed against his forehead first ... he just needed Jesus first. So at eight years old, I began to pray for Mickey Rooney. I've prayed for him quite often through my life. And Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson, and Angelina Jolie ... and ... I never did pray for Cory Monteith. I grieve that opportunity lost.

In the end, Biblical principles are Truth. But grace isn't given once you've changed your heart. Grace is given  as a heart is changed. We all fall short of the glory of God, yet the judgment celebrities fight so hard against is the dismissal we so easily give to them. I rarely agree with their moral stands, I believe God has laid out principles for us to follow for His glory. But they are souls--PEOPLE that God created. He can throw the stone, for He is without sin, not me. 

I will pray ... for other famous sinners just like un-famous me, who sit in their hotel rooms on a dark night and fight the haunting temptation that will take their breath and bring them to stand before GOD. Will they know Him? Will HE know them? 

Do you pray for celebrities? What famous person has God laid on your heart?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Blessed Quietness

I must have been created with  a hefty need for quietness. Or perhaps everyone is created with the same need and only some take the time for it?

I crave quietness after forty hours of talking to people all week. The first place I go after work this summer is my back patio. It's the sanctuary in the chaos, the heaven in my everyday world.

This weekend, the words of this hymn kept rolling through my mind as I watched these butterflies and studied the amazing patterns painted on their wings that beat without a sound.


Blessed Quietness


Joys are flowing like a river,
Since the Comforter has come;
He abides with us forever,
Makes the trusting heart His home.

Refrain:
Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
Blest assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea, *Jesus speaks to me, [*He speaks peace to me,]
And the billows cease to roll.

Everything is turned to gladness,
All around this glorious Guest;
Banished unbelief and sadness,
All is perfect peace and rest.

Like the rain that falls from heaven,
Like the sunlight from the sky,
So the Holy Spirit given,
Falls upon us from on high.

What a wonderful salvation,
Where we always see His face!
What a peaceful habitation!
What a quiet resting-place!

~by Manie P. Ferguson, 1897

Take some time for quietness this week.
See what God speaks to you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter


Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Report: Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman

Chemistry: Explosive.
Hook: It'll reel you in like a patient steady fisherman who sets the hook just at the right time.
Take Home: Love can't be bought, but it does cost. And sometimes--like in poker---you have to go "all in" to discover the true prize.

Story: Jilted by a fortune hunter in her Texan home town, Cassidy McClare escapes to her Aunt's San Francisco home for the summer. With her family fortune dried as a dust bowl and her heart trampled to shreds like a cow-pie in a Texas stampede, Cassie is ready to hogtie the next pretty boy fortune seeker to cross her path. Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper, is ready to gamble all to marry well for the fortune he'll need to save his family. But he never imagined he would have to gamble his heart, and Cassie never imagined she'd get duped twice! Will Jamie find the grace to discover Cassie's true treasure when he discovers she's poorer than he is? Will Cassie find a way to fully trust a man she loves?






My Reaction: It starts with a bang, then draws you in slow, but sure. Julie is a master, layering in the story threads. Be patient, there's a twist you'll be glad you waited for--no spoilers though--you have to read it yourself! Oh and: (pic on right--spotted on the Carnival Liberty), I took it cruising on the boat with me, it's a great read for vacation!






Julie Lessman: Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 14 RWA awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books atwww.julielessman.com.



Comment for a chance to win a copy:
(Continental U.S. only)

Have you ever been to Texas?
Have you ever been to a Rodeo?
Discerning in love can be tough: What was the single one thing that convinced you, "he was the one for you"?



 
     

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Best Coffee Purchase This Year

Every year I invest in something coffee related. Because I'm cheap, I've yet to get that $200 Bunn coffee maker I've been eyeing. So I decided to settle for my $30 vacuum sealing Thermos.

OH MY GOSH. Best purchase this year. I pour my hot java in this at 8 am and at 5 pm it is still burn my tongue hot!

AMAZING. WORTH EVERY PENNY.

And THAT is your coffee word of the day :)

What's your best purchase of 2013? 



______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Exaggeration in Writing

Last fall I was sporting Angelina Jolie lips. (See pic to the left), Sort of looked like botched Botox only worse. Big plastic lips that peeled. $800 dollars later, I found out I was very allergic to my new shampoo and hairspray. (woulda thought I could've figured that one out WITHOUT the dermatologist).

One thing it did though was exaggerate my physical features...to the point where my co-worker winced every time she saw me and practically forced the phone into my hands, yelling, "WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR DEDUCTIBLE!"

Exaggeration is painful sometimes--it can totally blow things out of proportion and damage. BUT! In writing ... (insert evil laughter) ... I can exaggerate anything I want. One thing I learned at the infamous ACFW conference, was take your craziest scene, exaggerate it, and see if the story tension doesn't up and get even more interesting.

After some (very little) deliberation, my heroine at the time, went from runaway to pregnant, unmarried runaway, in the 1870's. It earned me an entire manuscript read-thru from a fantastic editor at a publishing house I'd die to be a part of. While it didn't earn me publication (yet) I was the recipient of some amazing interaction with said publisher and she taught me so much more about making a manuscript even richer. g

Think of "exaggeration" in books you've read recently. Karen Witemeyer's "Stealing the Preacher". An outlaw kidnaps a preacher for his daughter. Dani Pettrey's "Shattered". A little sister tries to redeem her brother from murder charges--while falling for the detective who arrested him. Premises that take the usual and make it bigger.

My latest book? The daughter of a lighthouse keeper must save her father from the lighthouse's haunted secrets--before she falls in love with his doctor who wants to have him institutionalized.

What books have you read recently that use the art of "exaggeration" to enhance a story? Does exaggeration have its place in real life?


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pinterest Vote: There's a Story Here

In the midst of editing my current manuscript, I'm thinking of ideas for my next story. The pictures below aren't the actual idea I have next, but they do make my curiosity churn. I love cruising Pinterest for pictures that snag my interest and create ideas that might form a great story. Sometimes it's a face. Other times it's a situation, or a place that gets my imagination rolling. 

So, let's vote. Which picture do you think has the most potential to create the best story?

1. Coffee Shop Romance, got-to-love-it! Heroine sits in cafe to escape something terrible in her life for an hour and finds this at her place after getting up to warm her coffee. How does she find mystery man? What story shall the mystery man have?
















2. I'm in love with this photo. It just screams story to me. This Kodak girl looks like the adventurous type. Is she cataloging nature scenes when she falls into the water? Does she capture  a piece of evidence on her film that puts her in danger? Is there a hero watching from afar?














3. Women at a paper mill in Wisconsin. The one on the right is not wearing work clothing. Is she visiting her mother who works there since her father passed away? Does she bump into her hero there? What if this socialite's mother dies as well, forcing her into the life of the working class? What will her hero be like?








4. This is a fascinating image. I'm thinking Reconstruction era. Perhaps this hero is from the South and this is his son. Perhaps he was an unscrupulous man before the Civil War, but the battle has created a conscience in him. Having lost everything, his child is his one chance to redeem all his wrongs. He moves West to resettle. But what woman would marry him now?













These pictures are all from my Pinterest board, There's A Story Here. Stop by and visit. Take a look at other photos that strike your fancy and get your creative curiosity flowing. 

Which picture do you love the most?
What story lines do you see?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Start Your Week With Prayer

I saw this prayer list posted a few years ago and love this prayer list as I start my week. Thought I'd share today and hope your Monday starts off on the right foot


John 3:30: That I would decrease and Jesus would increase in me, fully take over.

Ephesians 5:18 and Galatians 5:16: That I would be filled with the Spirit and walk by the Spirit.

Philippians 1:6: That I would be confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.n

Psalm 24:4 That I would have clean hands and a pure heart.

2 Corinthians 10:5: That I would take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Psalm 121:7: That the Lord would protect me from all evil and keep my soul.

Ephesians 6:10-18: That I would be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. That I would put on the full armor of God, that I may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

And of course, Ephesians 3:20: That God would do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, for His glory, honor and praise!

May your week be filled with joy and peace and ... coffee ;)  What can Anne and I pray for you on this week?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Report: Stealing the Preacher, by Karen Witemeyer

Oh yeah! The wait between Karen's books are WAY too long. 

The refreshing thing I liked about Karen's latest is the premise. An outlaw steals a preacher for his daughter so she can revive their community church? It was new, fresh, and unique. Of course, that's one of her trademarks. There's not anything cliche about her novels and I really appreciate that.

Joanna and Crockett are great characters. Crockett, the manly man preacher and Joanna, the evangelizing daughter of an outlaw. It was fun to have a preacher who's instincts aren't to be a peacemaker in all situations and Joanna's character was the epitome of a daddy's girl even though she couldn't justify a thing her father had done in life.

The book had a solid message of faith. In fact, it was very blatant, and I enjoyed that. The sub characters were rich and satisfying.

Yeppers!! I loved Karen's new book and you'll not regret putting this one on your TBR pile!

I'm whipping through today's book report because I'm on my way out of Chicago and headed home, so I'm stealing my own little something (personal time) to get this to ya! So have a great weekend and we'll see you back at the CCC blog next week! What's on the docket for your weekend?

______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

Find me on Twitter
Find me on Facebook
Find me on Pinterest

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday's Coffee: Cruising

I've hardly exchanged sea legs for terra firma, but that swaying feeling has finally left me.

My first thought while I packed my bags last week was--oh, no, how will I get my coffee in the morning? So the first morning, I set off to find the walking track and the coffee supply. Last week's coffee was great, not because the brew was stellar quality, but because the view off the back of Carnival Liberty was intoxicating. I realized, as I snaked my way to the back of the boat to an empty area, that I was craving a quiet spot on the boat.

For me, the first coffee of the day means quiet reflection and meditation. I was glad to find a place for quiet solitude on the boat along with several thousand other people aboard.

After a week of being deprived of my Starbucks, I was beginning to miss my Keurig. And tonight while Skyping with Jaime, I made her slobber over my newly acquired Honduran coffee. I can't wait to try it.

When I visited Jaime in February, she shared her precious Guatemalan coffee. Delish! So, I bought not one bag, but two bags of Honduran coffee to be sure it would last until I can share some with Jaime when she makes a pit-stop here on the way to ACFW.

What about you, have you ever had a great brew while traveling?
Something a little different that you fell in love with?
Do you have morning routines of solitude you miss when you don't get them?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The "Ah" Factor: When You've Got "It"

They say when you've got "it" you'll know it, but if you haven't--well, it just can't be manufactured or conjured.


On our Carnival cruise last week, we were sweetly addicted to this Melting Chocolate Cake. It was so amazing I didn't even want to swallow it. As it hit my mouth, all I could think was--Ahhhhhhhh, now that's chocolate! I just wanted it to sit on my tongue and savor it's creamy texture and cocoa flavor. It rivaled any chocolate dessert I've ever tasted on this planet. This dessert was the bomb--the it of all desserts.

So last night my husband was cruising the internet searching for "it" and made an imitation that turned out like this:


It was good, but not quite it (sorry babe, but thanks for trying!).

Of course when Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God, they had it in the fullest sense. Everything since then has just been a cheap imitation--glimpses of images that reflect what we were intended to have.

But when we hear it again, see it again, feel it again, or taste it again--we know it--Ahhhhhhh. Satisfaction. Whole-ness. Holiness. Filling. Our thirst is quenched, if just for an instant.

And so it is with eating and vacationing--that we seek to experience it for just long enough to sustain our belief until the next time--to know and believe that there is something greater we were meant to be and have. And so it is with romance too--a lovely reflection of God's sacred romance with His creation.

It's the same with reading and writing. We've all read books that were good, or so-so, or even worse, just meh or even blech. Then, once in a while we pick up a book, peel back the pages and feel it---Ahhhhhh--I've been touched. Inspired. Moved. I've been given a glimpse. I even have the feeling the author must know part of my nature or personal experience in life. Sweet satisfaction. When it happens, I set the book down and inhale deeply, letting it settle on me. I want it to sit there on my spirit for a moment before it passes--just as I wanted that melting chocolate cake to fill my senses for as long as possible. Because it might be awhile until it comes along again.

What are your favorite it books?
Who are your favorite it authors?
What, in your opinion, creates the it factor?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hello Chicago! From Back Yard Hick

Here's me in Chicago on my week long work trip. I got the fantastic 11th floor view of the parking lot ala balcony. Score! There's an el cheapo coffee pot in my room with equally la cheapa coffee. And the mattress rivals granite for comfort. BUT! It's a 5 star hotel and spa...yes, really ... so I'm going to IMAGINE it's more lush than the Radisson I stayed in at Milwaukee in January.

Do you ever go someplace where you feel totally OUT of place? I spent the day in downtown Chicago. I'm sure it was all presumed on my part, but I felt like the world's numero uno (I'm into Spanish quips today) hick. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised if my Chaco flip flips were banned from their Starbucks. (even if I DID pay $65 for them).

Regardless, I made the most of my free day sans employees and
children. I edited, answered some work emails, drank coffee, and edited some more. All the while acutely aware of the brunette beside me who made a size zero look fat and wore her orange silk camisole like a $200 investment.

I don't even know what brand my brown t-shirt is .... and suddenly my $35 Maurices blue jeans seem ... blech.

Did I say I didn't care? I really didn't. It's time Chicago got invaded by a bow hunting writer who climbs rocks for fun, pulls ticks from my shirts (to Lindsay Harrell's horror) and eats venison sausage for lunch. I'm not a vegan, I don't wear a size zero (or 10 for that matter) and my eyeglasses were bought on Zenni Optical for $35. So there.

But boy of boy did I have a doozy of an idea! I'm exploring the concept of premises for books. Probably because I have to summarize my current manuscript into a one line summary (easier said than done). Here's the premise I came up with for today's novel idea (pun intended):

1895 - When the daughter of a Northwoods logger finds herself transplanted into the uppity district of Milwaukee - she tries to survive the hardships of elite society as she's ensnared in a war between liquor barons and their two very eligible bachelor sons.

Just a thought from today's Back Yard Hick, brought to you by:
Woodland Ticks - We've Got Your Back
and by Pine Tree Sap and Soak - It'll Get You Out of Any Sticky Situation

Any new travel spots spark novel ideas in your brain lately? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Love of God


  1. This last week I was absent from the blog and the internet. I had the privilege of spending the week on a cruise in the Western Caribbean to celebrate our 25th anniversary. During that week, my son and was in Phoenix, AZ with our church youth group, and my daughter stayed home to work. Yesterday are family of four all converged once again for a worship service where the youth shared what God had done in their lives at youth convention. 

The events of the week were fresh in my heart during worship.


On the second day of our trip, I realized as my son flew, and my husband was scuba diving, and my daughter was working with children all week as staff at church camp--that I had one in the sky, one on land, one on the sea, and one under the sea. Yet, God was with each of us--IN each of us. The same moon and sun He created shone upon all of us.

I was struck by our amazing God, who goes wherever we go--not just "with us" but IN US. There is no where we can go, that He is not there. Not to the heights of the skies, nor the depths of the seas. 

The enormity of His love for us culminated when the youth sang this beloved hymn this morning. Let it sing to you, and seep into your spirit as you read.


  1. The Love of God by Frederick M. Lehman in 1917
  2. (vs. 3 by Rabbi Mayer in 1096)

  3. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  4. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  5. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.


Tears and emotion clogged my throat when we got to the third verse, "could we with ink the ocean fill...."  After spending a week on the ocean, in the ocean, and beneath its surface--witness to its massiveness, its vastness, and how much life teams beneath its surface--though it was amazing, God's love is even more so.

I pray you can find a few moments this week, to look at God's vast creation, and know deep in your spirit--that His love is far greater than His creation. 

His love is boundless.

And if you want to know the history of verse 3, check out this link: Nickel Notes

Winner of choice of Lena Dooley's book: Paula O.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter