Monday, November 25, 2013

A Week of Thanksgiving

There's much to be thankful for at Coffee Cups and Camisoles...most of which is YOU! Anne and I have talked many times via phone, Skype, and Facebook chat about how much we enjoy our blog and friendships with you.

So THANK YOU for blessing our lives as loyal, faithful readers and friends--some of which have sent us books, cards, and prayers. We appreciate all your outpouring of friendship. Anne texted the other day "what would we have ever done without the Internet?" In a time when the Internet can be the gateway to all things awful, it has also proven to burst wide the door of the body of Christ and His church so we can embrace from afar our brothers and sisters.

Anne and I are both going to take this week off from the blog (*sob*). Anne needs to focus on family as her baby girl comes home from college and she celebrates her last Thanksgiving with her high-school son before he graduates. As a Dir. of HR in a retail environment, I have a long work week with a quick blip of Thursday off before I work on through Saturday night to support the front line staff facing the wickedness of Black Friday greed and frenzy.

But we'll be back with a vengeance next weekwith the winner of Carrie Turansky's novel, a big announcement, and more heartfelt musings and meanderings that are so prevalent when a good cup of coffee is poured and shared between friends.

God's utmost blessings on you and yours this Thanksgiving!!

What are you most thankful for?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Report: The Governess of Highland Hall

We invite you to chat about the book for the opportunity to win a free copy next week.

In a few words, Turansky's novel is:
~~Downton Abbey meets Sound of Music

If you love the charm from the upstairs downstairs world of turn of the century England--you will love this story.

When Julia Foster returns from India due to her father's failing health, she must secure work to support her family finances and takes a position as a governess at Highland Hall. She is faced with the challenge of four entitled, ill-tempered charges and is moved by the estate's preoccupied Sir William Ramsey.

When the estate's master Ramsey has been widowed and left with the care of his two children and his deceased's cousin's two daughters, an overwhelming debt threatens to ruin the future for everyone at Highland Hall.

Julia is torn by her hope to return to India as a missionary, her doubt of achieving success as governess, and the growing connection with the master of the house. William is surprised to find his world is most at peace when Julia proves able and willing to share his burdens--but she is downstairs staff, and he's the master.

Will Julia and William find a way to salvage each of their family legacies? 
Will Julia return to India, or has her mission been transformed? 
Can William find a way to choose Julia's steadfast love over the wealth and power swirling around Highland Hall's future?

Hop over to Carrie's website and learn more about her writing and future publications. Carrie has been writing since 1999 and has published several short stories, essays, and devotions. Two more books in the Edwardian Bride series are expected to release in 2014 and 2015.

Readers: 
Are you Downton Abbey fans? 
If so, have any of you cheated and watched the next season online?
How many of you grew up patiently waiting for the annual airing of Sound of Music?

Winner of last week's book by Jen Turano is: BOOKLOVER!

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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.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The History of Pit Bulls

My extended family lived on the drug infested borders of Mexico and therefore, I was raised with a horrific aversion to anything pit bull. They were killers, reactive, and deadly to man. One of the weeks I visited there, a young child was killed by an aggressive attack from a pit bull and another a man lost his hand when they couldn't pry the jaws of the pit bull apart from its relentless bite.

Imagine my surprise, when I started researching the idea of the "nanny dog" for my next book and uncovered a plethora of pit bull loving ancestors who not only owned them as pets but entrusted them with the protection of their children! They were trained to love the children to the ultimate and became fierce protectors and companions to the little ones who snuggled and cuddled them on a daily basis.

And it wasn't just the wealthy who owned pit bull nanny dogs, but the poor over the wealthy often chose the pit bull as the wealthy tended toward the more "good looking" dog that would enhance the visual and not just protect.

Oddly enough, the pit bull nanny dog's opposite was the pit bull in the dog fighting ring. Trained in the late 1800's and early 1900's for the ring, pit bulls became some of the fiercest most bet upon dog in the outlawed sport. Solely trained to kill other dogs, these pit bulls were also non-human aggressive. Because of their ability to lock jaw and maintain such a violent death grip, trainers in the dog fighting arena were careful to build the trust and loyalty of the dog, while encouraging its hatred toward its own species.

Enter in abuse, starvation, and an overarching sense that all men-but-the-trainer are evil, and you
have the drug dog known by me as a child. The pit bull became man's enemy at the hand of man. I still run for my life when a drug-dog enters my cousin's yard. You never know when they're on the attack. Yet, when I visit my Admin Assistant's home, I'm barraged by the fierce loyal love of three engaging and slobbering pit bulls who only reinforce the Victorian age philosophy that no dog can love as much as a pit.

And let's not forget, the pit bull was the mascot of American war recruitment in both World Wars and were even known to be war heroes.

SO as my nanny-dog research continues, I hail the pit bull as a loving and vivacious family dog who, in more cases than not, became the best friends to many a 19th century child.


Do you have a favorite dog? A loyal friend who you've never forgotten? Are you a dog lover? :) 

_____________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turkey & Sweet Potato Pie


What's your favorite Holiday food?

Hands down it's turkey and sweet potato pie for me!
It's sort of like Mennonite Girl meets Southern boy--all in one meal!

I love this pic, my Dad is the boy beside my grandpa.

When I got married, I knew how to cook a ham and cut up a chicken, but I had no clue how to roast a turkey. Growing up, Thanksgiving was a holiday that was more full of deer hunting than turkey dinners. I was probably out in the garage watching Dad bring in the deer instead of in the kitchen helping Mom with the food! (yep, I was a tomboy) Don't get me wrong, we ate turkey. But my memories are more of Dad cleaning his gun, laying out his hunting clothes, waiting for him to get home from the woods--which was as important as the meal that followed.

So after I married Ted, he and his buddy, Duane, followed the same hunting ritual I was used to during the Thanksgiving holiday. It was Duane's wife, my dear friend Jayne, who insisted we teach ourselves how to roast a turkey. It looked difficult, but we were pleasantly surprised and delighted that we could easily rival our mother's cooking skills with a little practice and the help of step by step instructions from Esther H. Shank's Mennonite Country-Style Recipes & Kitchen Secrets. My copy of that cookbook, given at our wedding, is nearly falling apart!

Jayne and I have taken turns cooking the bird ever since. That was twenty-one or so years ago, and I think we missed only a few holidays with them. So, last year I insisted my daughter not leave the house for college without having the excellent skills of turkey roasting! There's nothing like the smell in the house on the day the turkey roasts, no matter the occasion. It brings many warm memories to remembrance.


Sweet Potato Pie is a close second to turkey. And you have to pronounce it with a little Southern twang in your voice--it makes it taste better!



Ted's Aunt Pam made this sweet potato pie when we visited them in Florida at Christmas in 1997. I'd never tasted or even heard of this recipe before--it wasn't in the Mennonite cookbook for sure! (definitely Southern) Our sweet potatoes were always candied with marshmallows and I hated them. But Aunt Pam's recipe was divine!

Aunt Pam's Sweet Potato Pie
2--30 oz Sweet Potatoes drained and mashed
1 1/4 c. white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla
1 stick butter melted

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, milk, vanilla, and butter. Mix well. Place in 9x13 in greased pan.

Topping:
2 c. chopped pecans
2 c. brown sugar
6 T. butter (do not melt)
2/3 c. flour
Blend until crumbly with a pastry blender. Place over the potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min until bubbly.

And like Julia Child says: "Everything is better with butter!"  It's true in this case. 
What's your favorite holiday food or food memory?

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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.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Celebrating Other's Successes

Why do feel we must berate and belittle other's success? View it as a threat? Assume that person didn't walk through fire to get there? COMPARE? Maybe it's because we feel their success devalues our own? Or perhaps they're rubbing our faces in it while we walk around in limbo wondering who tattooed LOSER on our foreheads?

I was struck by a couple examples this week. 

1. I saw a post about a health fitness guru who looked nary a day over 21, had three children under the age of 3 and if you wanted, you could run a spoon over her abs and play beautifully toned music. The accusation toward this well-fit beauty is bragging. Well, maybe somewhere she did brag. I went on her site. I didn't see it. What I read was a woman who went through years of eating disorders, extreme self-esteem issues, desperate to find love ... hurt, pain, agony. Now she's publicly celebrating her rise from her personal dismal pit. Her poster asks, "What's your excuse?" It's poignant. I have a lot of excuses. In reality, I can make time to look like her. I can cut back on my sleep. I can eat better. If I want to, I can. I choose not to. That's my fault--not hers.

And yet we hate her for looking hot. Hate you, lady, hate you, braggart. Fail, why don't you? Don't make me out to be a loser and don't take joy in your accomplishments!

2. Someone was bemoaning being a stay at home mom the other day. The mounds of laundry, the children grappling at her ankles, her unfinished bathroom, the craft pile on the kitchen table, then she rejoiced in the fact she was able to take her kids to the water park for an afternoon of fun!...really? Take all that and add 40+ hours of full time work on top of it and WELCOME TO MY LIFE LADY!! After I heaved a patient sigh and bit back every ounce of sarcasm, I went home. To my stay-at-home plus work like crazy youth pastor husband. Frazzled. Dishes were done. Toys were hanging off the ceiling fan. Mounds of his projects that would keep him up until midnight. Laundry all over the bed. Kids as cranky as ... well ... yeah.

Yet I dealt with three people threatening to quit, put out 50+ fires, wrote policies, all so I could bring home the bacon and here is my house--a wreck--and I have to clean it up too? Not to mention people say I should be home with my kids like a good mother. I watch while my husband shovels supper in his mouth, packs his stuff up and scrambles out the door for a meeting leaving me with child on hip and another one yelling, "Watch me MOMMY!" as she slides across the kitchen floor in a spray of milk from her sippy cup. Today was a success because we're a family. A functional, working together to make things work, family.

And we hate working moms who have so much "alone time" away from the kids. Must be nice while I'm stuck here at home doing laundry everyday and my life amounts to nothing. And we hate stay at home moms who get overwhelmed by keeping a house clean 'cause they're too busy wasting time on Pinterest. Must be nice to be home all day while I'm stuck making money.

Comparisons are evil, friends. Suckers of joy. And it makes us into bitter people. Proverbs states that "bitterness dries up the bones". It does. And it colors our lives green with envy or hate. WE ALL have our stories. Our personal pains. That I had the stamina to make it through something that seems heavier than yours is ... well, the grace of God. SO why am I taking pride in it? OR lauding my trials over your successes and saying you're a jerk or I'm a loser or ... or ... or ...

Frankly. We ALL have a story. And when we achieve a success, whether it's folded laundry, getting home on time from work, or losing 20 lbs, why can't we rejoice with each other instead of listing out the twenty reasons your a dumdum for bringing up your success in the first place?

SO LET'S STOP with thinking we've walked in the other person's shoes. We haven't. We don't know the conversations that took place behind closed doors to bring that person to where they are today.

The woman who cried into her pillow at night because her daddy told her she was fat.
The wife who weeps at how hard her husband works just so she can be home and invest in her children.
The wife who works hand in hand with her husband to make ends meet and still have a cohesive home life and ministry.
The skinny lady who still thinks she's gargantuan.
The homemaker who feels like a failure.
The working mom who just misses her kids.
The writer who can't land an agent.
The writer who DID land an agent.
... insert your story here ...

They're all stories that make up God's big book of humanity waiting for the day to be perfected. In the meantime, we can rejoice with each other, or become haters.

Today, I choose to be a lover...a lover of the souls God created and the beautiful successes all around...how 'bout you?

Here's to stay at home moms who keep their head above water.
Here's to working moms who maintain sanity saying 'goodbye' to their kids every morning.
Here's to people who dropped 20 lbs.
Here's to people who made it out of bed this morning.

...or rather.. HERE'S TO GOD! Who gives us the grace to have any success at all. It is His. His successes. His glory. For the great I AM. Shame on us, for trying to to make it our own.

Ok. I'm done. 'nuf said.

_____________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Report & Giveaway: A Talent for Trouble, by Jen Turano

Well howdy doody!! The heroine's spark in her eye on the book cover completely captures the firecracker that graces -- er -- charges all over these pages.

If you are captivated by fast dialogue, hair-brained heroines, snark, and outlandish dresses of the late 1800's, then you'll not be disappointed in this latest by Jen Turano.

No one could ever accuse her of having boring characters. Although, I was a tad bowled over in the beginning it all evens out in the end and thank goodness for a British male hero of aristocracy to balance out an all-American-woman.

Felicia is determined she was ordained by God to marry a minister. But that determination falls into pieces along her ridiculous froo-froo of a wardrobe. Grayson is struggling to find his place in America with his Chinese daughter and shady history. Felicia is hyper-active, Grayson is all staid and proper. I'm not sure I've ever seen America and Britain collide with such--ferocity--since we dumped a load of tea into the Boston harbor.

It's romance, wit, light plot, and crazy all rolled into one. This book is energizing enough you could probably read it on a treadmill and burn more calories that without it. 

If you were a heroine in the 1800's, would you have been witty? staid? socially proper? outlandish? bullheaded? or compliant? Do share your 1800's persona with us for a chance to win A Talent For Trouble.

______________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday's Coffee

I've been practicing relaxation this week.

So much of life is a huge to-do list.

Even sitting on the couch reading, the back of my mind keeps calculating--how long can I sit here before I will feel too guilty to remain here due to the amount of tasks remaining on my list?

It's why camping and vacations are good--because you can't reach your to-do list from there. On vacation, you cannot attack your dust bunnies, or do eight loads of laundry, or look at your fridge and think about how you should clean the rotten veggies out of the veggie drawer.

But what's it to the dust bunnies and fermenting veggies if I drink one more cup of coffee, or read another chapter in my book? I'll have three less gray hairs if I can just get this relaxation thing working.

Pull up a chair. Get your coffee on. Crack the pages of your favorite book. Let go. Breathe. Just for a while.
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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.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

19th Century Identity Theft?

What if....someone stole your land deed?

I was researching ancestors in Somerset, Pulaski County, KY, this week when I came across old deeds from 1825.

The old deeds look something like this one.

It reads in land lingo like this: "April the 22nd day, 1822 surveyed for Ivy Lankford, 50 acres of land by virtue of a Kentucky Land office warrant no. 8559 lying and being in the county on the waters of White Oak Creek beginning on a Black Oak and Hickory said Lankford's old corner on Stephen Combs old line N4W34 to a Black Oak his corner N51 E92 to a stake lying on Charles Buster's line, his line N34 W22 to a White Oak marker to a line..." 

Surveyors of the times drew the first maps, chainmen made measurements and drove stakes. They checked elevations and documented landmarks.

It's hard to imagine a life where lines are drawn and described by trees, shrubs, and creeks. What if a tree or shrub died? What if the creek flooded or rerouted itself? What if the Land Office burned down--there was no online copy in "the cloud" right?

A land feud would ensue.

What if the recorder misspelled a name, or spilled an ink blot over a critical identifying part of the document? What if a deed is lost? or stolen? 

Was there 19th century identity theft?

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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
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Find me on: Goodreads
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bustles & Hot Air Balloons

I've been researching "dress code" - or rather dress styles of the late 1800's - the period in which my book is set. All I can say is, "WERE THEY CRAZY?"

I know beauty is ... important. But seriously. The bustles they attached to their behinds sometimes stuck out as much as two feet. TWO FEET? Of course, I don't need a bustle to accomplish that effect, mine's natural. Apparently large appendages strapped to the back in 1885 was ... beautiful. Just give me some extra yards of fabric and I can fake a bustle just fine. But I least I can sit on my "bustle". I have yet to figure out how the ladies of the day SAT. Except for the specially designed, backless chairs.

And layers. Let's talk layers. Layers of today equals a cami, covered by a blouse or tee, and maybe a light sweater. Unless you're my friend ... she knows who she is ... who wears a total of NO LESS than 6 camis layered because she gets cold. Can I just say, my dear sweetie, BUY A SWEATSHIRT? :) The layers of yesteryear had enough material in them to make a hot hair balloon - and trust me, with those bustles some of them looked like they were trying.  Skirt, skirt lining, petticoat 1, 2, and 3, camisole, and let's not forget the suck-me-in-til-I-can't-breath corset. I'm wondering how they survived in the summer. It wasn't like they could stick an electric fan up their skirts for air movement. I would have been the shocking lady of the day - I would have ripped off my bustle ... wait... never mind, mine is natural, I forgot ... well, I would've ripped off about 6 layers and run around in my camisole rather die a slow death of heat exhaustion in exchange for beauty that my great-great-granddaughter would one day think was reedunkulous.

I wonder what we wear now that my great-great granddaughter will scoff at?

But it is still a fun research project ... needless to say, I will not be rushing out to make hot air balloons anytime soon.


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

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

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 199The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. 10They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.…


"When my father said jump, we said how high." Have you heard those words? 

My father was a junior high math teacher, and we were very much in tune with "that voice" and when it was serious business.  We had a real respect, some may say fear, for our father's way of doing things.  Things like "keep your commitments" and "keep your word." Things like teaching me I could choose  to do anything I wanted, but I couldn't be free of the consequences. Things like: "be responsible" and "remember who you are." Those are the things I remember learning.

Some may say the times have changed, or no one does it like that anymore. 

No, it's 1950s or the 1980s, but there is something inherently good about boundaries. Good and bad. Right and wrong. There's something pure about not wanting to fall out of favor with my father that created something good in me.

Something sweet. Something I chose. 

And so it is with my heavenly Father. Choosing to follow His statutes is sweeter than honey. 


We just harvested our honey this month, and it's tradition to taste that first sample of the harvest together. It's sort of like wine tasting. Is it rich? Is it full? Is it minty? Is it clover? Dark, light? 

But no matter the judgement, it's always sweet. Exquisitely sweet. Like none other. 
So it is when we walk in the way the Lord has set for us.

And if you find you've wandered far from the way set for you, come back. 
Come home and taste the sweetness of the Father's love.

P. S. After I scheduled this to post, I realized it's Veteran's Day. And though I'm a Mennonite pacifist (seriously--I should have given today's post to Jaime!), I want to express my gratefulness to those who've sacrificed for the freedoms I enjoy. God Bless you and your families, may you find peace in your souls and your lives.
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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
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Winner of Melissa Jagears Novel

Hey all! It's been a crazy week so forgive us for not having a book report today.  But I can announce Bonnie Roof is the winner of Joanne"A Bride for Keeps" by Melissa Jagears!
Weeeee!
Hope you all have a blessed weekend.  Anything special on docket?

What's in Your Coffee?

I think this is why I appreciate my Admin Assistant so much. Every morning I get to work, the coffee is made, my mug is washed, creamer well stocked and coffee stir sticks ready and waiting.

Do you have someone special in your life who understands your need for coffee and the need to have support to even get to your coffee??

Happy Thursday!!


______________________________________


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
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Epiphanies ... for better or worse

I've had an early morning epiphany. The kind of epiphany that makes you want to pour yourself another cup of coffee and lift it in the air as a toast. Don't you just love discovering things about yourself? Well, maybe not when you discover you've imbibed in too much chocolate this week and the scale is screaming at you to get it off it, you're hurting it! But, the kind of self-discovery thing that makes your life a whole lot easier?

I embarked on a journey to rise one hour before I had to in order to write. Having an 18 month old in the house - HOLY COW IT'S HAILING OUTSIDE! - (yes, I have have ADD and am easily distracted) - anyway - having a 18 month old in the house doesn't lend itself to writing when I get home. He's actually quite self-entertaining and I COULD write, but then what kind of mommy would I be? Work all day then work all night. Not to mention my 3 year old daughter, going on 17. Now there's a girl who wouldn't forgive me for replacing her with my  books. She'd grow up to write a book about me and it wouldn't be fiction. It'd probably be titled, How I Wish I Knew My Mother or The Mother I Never Knew or God Help Me. Seriously.

So, I rise at the break of dawn - well, 6 AM really. What can I say? I'm a quick fix in the morning. 20 min bathroom time and out the door with my amazing self. Ugh. Yes. My epiphany, you ask? I realized that I've been composing each chapter of my current book that I'm writing for NANO (it's a writer thing--writing 50,000 words in your book in 1 month) in my head. I didn't know I could do that! I write it out word for word in my head - bathroom time helps with this, and brainless paperwork time, and making dinner time. Then, in the morning, I can pound out the chapter without a ton of thought. WOWSERS! This morning I wrote 1800+ words. In an hour. I'm a machine. Vroom Vroom!

That's my epiphany. That I can write in my head. I'm not sure that adds in my favor as far as the rest of the world is concerned. It probably just reinforces the opinion that I'm verging on crazed idiot. But, for those of you who write, you may share in my joy ... or you may be saying ... "yeah, and just wait until you get a bad case of writer's block". And for those of you who read, well now you know I should be institutionalized just as you'd thought. Oh well, I shall rejoice while I can.

What's your epiphany today?


______________________________________


Jaime Wright - 

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

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm Thankful For...

If my mother raised me to be anything--it was to be thankful.

Every night at bedtime when she said our prayers with us, we regularly thanked God for our beds and a roof over our heads.



She would thank God when there wasn't a huge semi barreling down on our tailpipe as we made the turn off the highway to our house. She thanked God for sleep and that our bodies were made to heal.

The sense that life, health, food, and shelter should never be taken for granted was ingrained in us by my mother. Nothing is assumed. Everything is extra ordinary. We aren't immune to anything. It takes work to keep our hearts soft as flesh in a world of stone and pain.

Tonight I'm thankful for a soft pillow and a bed, and a van that keeps running. I'm thankful for the whisper of my Sustainer, whose breath lifts my wings yet again each morning.

What are you thankful for?

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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
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Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter

Monday, November 4, 2013

Little Hands Move Big Mountains

Discouragement. We all face it. It comes in waves or it settles on our shoulders with the weight of coffin bearing it down. With discouragement comes the fear of death. Death of the physical, of the dream, of the lifestyle, of the hope.

I've been discouraged lately. I hide it well. Humor can mask mounds and mounds of self doubt and questioning. For me it usually finds its subject in the form of my dreams. I'm a dreamer and I've wished on so many Disney stars since I was a child that I know it's one massive marketing lie and nothing more. Tinkerbelle never graced my windowsill and my fairy godmother retired the year before I was born.

My dreams? Simple. To publish a book. But rejection letters who tell me my characters are weak or boring, and long lapses in silence from other agents who are either super busy or completely unimpressed with my book, make me start wondering ... how long do you chase a dream? When do you just ... stop. Not quit. No. Not throw in the towel. Just ... realize maybe this isn't what God designed for you? Maybe-- MAYBE--you're squandering time from some other mission He has in store?

So, in the car after church yesterday, I stuffed my Kokomo Jo and Peter Pan into their car seats to haul them to my parents. Daddy was busy at church. Life had sucked the energy from me. I think it's time ... to hang it up. It's a hobby, my writing, and that's it. Face it. After ten plus years, how much more clear does God have to make it.

I turned on Spotify so the kids could listen to music (and not ask questions) while I pity-partied in the driver's seat. Mighty to Save performed by Michael W. Smith came on. In the rear view mirror, I saw a flash. A flash of gray and yellow polka dot. My eyes could barely focus. There, buckled in her 5-point harnessed car set, sat Kokomo Jo, her right hand outstretched to the ceiling of the car singing, "You can move mountains, miiiiiighty to save, miiiiiighty to save. Author of salvation ..."

YOU TRY DRIVING AND NOT CRY when you see your 3 year old lost in joyful abandon. This picture is the closest I can find of one of her expressions that match her joy yesterday. (child on the right)

Author of salvation. Writing MY story. The MASTER WRITER! And here I am trying to read the ending before the middle has been written. I drove on, blinking back tears. It's not for me to determine time or place or right or wrong. If I am in God's will, there is no "wrong". My writing and pursuing publication isn't sacrificing my family or denying God or doing anything in opposition to where He has placed me. It also doesn't guarantee a published book. But God is USING it...in conversation, to touch lives, to share HIS story ... so in the end, what IS a book bound and rotting with decay in eighty years in comparison to what He's doing with my writing right now, in me, in others, in my friendships with Anne and other dear hearts.

He is mighty to save...to save us from ourselves and set our feet on a ROCK. No guarantees other than He will move the mountains....as evidenced by a little hand waving in praise and a little voice hollering out her words of insatiable, contagious praise.

Check it out for yourself today:




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Jaime Wright - 

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

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Report: A Bride for Keeps, by Melissa Jagears

I picked up a new author for kicks based on the recommendation of some influential people on Facebook. See? Facebook influencing does work when you're supporting the purchase of your favorite author's books! :)

Anyway! It was a pleasant introduction to debut author Melissa Jagears and her new novel from her Unexpected Brides series.

Book #1 is a mail-order-bride story with the over-arching theme of finding acceptance in spite of your past. That acceptance being from man and God both and the value you can find in a redeeming grace, even in the midst of flawed love.

If you love mail-order-bride stories, you'll enjoy this one. It made me want to drink some peach-cinnamon tea with a big patchwork quilt. It was heartwarming, well paced, and touching.

Everett, our hero, has struck out with getting married. Surely after three times a failure, mail order brides are not for him...in spite of his well-meaning and interfering friend.

Julia had yet to find someone who is NOT enamored with her pretty face and what it has to offer and instead can see into her heart. Being her father's pawn has left her wounded and jaded, and surely no man will ever truly love her. So why risk it? Marriage by mail requires nothing but hard work and loyalty--no love included.

It's a beautiful tale of love. If you're looking for a hard driven plot, this won't deliver on that. This is the romance you'll cherish for just that, romance. This is the book you'll treasure for its soft woven Spiritual threads and gentle promises.

So leave a comment about why YOU would have considered being a mail order bride in the 1800's or better yet -- why you WOULDN'T have :)...

*Disclaimer 1: I sheepishly admit the copy I have to give away was sat upon by my 18 month old and son and now sports a crease in its cover. So if you are forgiving of the pre-purchased giveaway copy being sat upon by a delightful little Peter Pan, then please enter our contest :)

* Disclaimer 2: Open to citizens of the USA only -- we don't always do this, but unfortunately, this month, I have to limit postage costs :)

Library Lady, Janet--you are the winner of the free give away. Watch for an email this week!


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

Find me on my NEW WEBSITE: www.jaimewrightbooks.com
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