Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the CCC Blog

HEY ALL!!!!  Anne and I want to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and blessed New Year!! 

We will be back with a flourish and renewed excitement to meet up with you hear at the blog on January 6th.  In the meantime, please interact with us on our Facebook pages ... we're there ALL the time!!! If you don't see posts from us, make sure you click "like" on the ones you do so we keep showing up in your newsfeed :)

Anne .... Visit here!
Jaime .... Visit here!

Meantime, the WINNER of Melissa Tagg's "Made to Last" ... is KRISTI M!
and the winner of Elegant Solution is ... GAIL H!

We love you all, you've been a tremendous blessing in 2013. From the autographed books you sent us, to the coffee cup cozies, to the personal emails, the Christmas email cards, and more!! Please keep visiting us in 2014 so we can know you better!

Love, Anne & Jaime

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Report: An Elegant Solution, by Paul Robertson

I stepped out of my comfort zone on this historical mystery. I have to admit, I'm a tad confused as to what genre it is exactly. While it definitely engulfs you in history, it's European and definitely not 19th Century. It's central plot is very mathematical and philosophically driven...which should've been my first clue that I had maybe stepped too far out of my comfort zone.

Now, before you think I'm dropping a 1 star rating on this, think again. I believe for the genre and audience it's intended, it's very well written. It's highly intelligent, sophisticated and intricate. It's intriguing to me that the author, a mathematician and scientist of natural philosophy embarked into the fictional world. In my experience, limited at best, mathematical equations root a person into a formula as does science. Yet, the author takes his reader on a mystery, murder, plotted story with mathematics being the competition.

So... my thoughts?


  • For a mathematical nitwit, it was very difficult for me to follow. 
  • The writing instantly struck me as philosophical so when I read the author's bio, it all made sense
  • The story is very detailed (as are mathematics), therefore for myself, I found myself chewing and chewing and chewing like one chews a carrot and not quite sure how to swallow
  • Prose--at times the writer's voice was poetic at times I had no idea what was being said/described
  • It's a thick book, wordy and heady
Do you have a super duper intellectual in your family? This might be right up their alley. Are you interested in light reading, this is NOT a sip coffee by the fireside book...unless, you're an intellectual :)

So, am I giving away a copy? In Coffee Cups and Camisoles tradition, I absolute am!! If you want to take a stab at an entirely different style of book, drop a comment and I'll pull a winner and announce it on Monday! :)

What types of books do you enjoy? Super light and fluffy or ones requiring an IQ higher than my own?


_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Do Doubts Loom?

Have you ever had doubts? That wilderness dry spirit where you read Scripture and it's as dull as drinking sand? I have. Not recently, but I have. Boring worship services, dull messages, and equally as painful Sunday School classes. But yet others were raving about the wonderful worship, the deep sermon, and I did not relate.

I picked up "Pilgrimage" by Lynn Austin recently. Guess what? I'm not alone. Neither are you. And this was a really unique book in that her pilgrimage took her to Israel, the homeland of our Savior.

For example, in response to her wade through Hezekiah's Tunnel she wrote, "We can step into the deep water, the darkness, the unknown--and trust God. At the end of the tunnel, we will emerge into dazzling light."

With Lynn, I've been visiting The Wilderness, the Jordan River, the Temple Mount, Galilee, and Jerusalem. How she busted out of her "claustrophobic pot" to "bear fruit".

So as I'm sitting over my coffee this morning, I'm considering a trip to the Holy Land. No. Not really. Not everyone can travel to the Promised Land to be rejuvenated. So how do we, at home, sipping our java, find a resurrected joy and flourish?

I think it's being open to hearing new viewpoints. I found one in Lynn's. So really, I know we do book reports on Fridays and yes, there's one coming tomorrow, but I had to let you all know about this one. It's beautiful in that it inspires a rejuvenation of your walk with our Lord and leads you into a Promised Land of your own Spiritual journey.

Have you ever experienced a Spiritual drought? Are you in one now? How do you push through the dust filled doldrums?

_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Downton Abbey Confessions

I have a horrible confession to make. I've already watched Season 4 of Downton Abbey. *Jaime shrinks* Yes. I did. I blame Facebook and the secret closed group that really isn't all that secret if you get invited to it. So really it's Jessica Patch's fault. Blame her. Yeah. Not me.

While everyone is hyping up for the first episode in January, I'm hyping up for the hyperlink to the 2-hr Christmas special that will set me up for next season in September 2014. 

The problem lies in the fact that I live vicariously through British television. The Paradise is another show I'm getting hooked on. That one is Laura Frantz's fault. I drink Earl Grey Tea. Erica Vetsch's fault. I salute the British flag every morning. My co-worker's fault. His office is decked out in honor of the Queen. I distinctly remember my jaunt across London on the top deck of the double-decker red bus (bucket list item checked off). Yes. We may have seceded from the nation 300 years ago or so, but inside me beats the heart of a Brit. Well. As far as Brit television goes. Reading about the Royal family makes me yawn.

Ok so ... SPOILER ALERT. No. Kidding. You almost shut the page down didn't you? :) :) :)

But, I know who these men are! Yes. I do. I know who they like, what they say, etc. etc.

I also know that those of you hooked on DA will be stunned by an especially wicked turn of events. Uh. Huh. Yep.

In fact, one episode might turn the faint of heart off from ever watching DA again. Don't worry. It gets better. I think.

And your favorite characters? They're all there in the end. Yep. And that's not a spoiler because DA was VERY PUBLIC in reassuring that no one dies this season. So rest easy ... the Baroness is still there in the end.

So as December winds down and you gear up for January's Downton Abbey opening, don't hate me when I'm already waiting for Season 5.

How many of you are Downton fans? Who's your favorite character? What's one thing you'd do if you could travel to the UK?


_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Priceless Gifts

Today is our 25th Wedding Anniversary.


We've been beyond blessed with all the moments that were once only dreams and prayers.


Emily' graduation, Ben's baptism blessing are just a few of the moments that hold priceless blessings.


And yet, we hope for continued blessings as we look to the next twenty-five years.

(Gerard Van Honthorst, public domain image)
When we look back, think of all the ups and downs--we can only imagine a future built on
the foundation of the one priceless gift of life in Christ.
Don't let these lovely pictures fool you, we know none of this would exist for us without Christ's love.
"He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found." 
It's never too late to build on such a foundation.

Thank you to all who've prayed for us, walked with us, counseled us, and laughed with us.
We love you.
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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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Sunday, December 15, 2013

She Walks in Beauty

Diann, second from left
Today I'm remembering ... honoring ... a beautiful woman who left an eternal imprint on my life. Diann Hunt.

Our story is one riddled with grief, sorrow, and bittersweet joy. I met Diann after the death of my first unborn baby. Colleen Coble introduced us via email. She described Diann as a prayer warrior with a heart that embraced the hurting. Embrace she did. From afar, she adopted my grief as my second baby slipped into eternity, and she mourned with me as my third joined its siblings in a mansion I felt God built far too early for them.
Never stop hoping in God's wondrous might. That was the message sent to me. But hope was hard to find in the shadows of three little ones my arms would never hold, my eyes would never behold, and my lips would never kiss.

I entered my fourth pregnancy with a promise. "We'll be praying!" Colleen emailed. "Diann prays every day! This baby WILL be born!" Right. Week 7 brought with it the same omen of death that had come with my others. Colleen called me. "Stop pacing, Jaime. Put your feet up. Call your husband. Get him out of that meeting and get to the hospital."
"Why?" I sobbed over the phone. "It's all over."
"No, honey," Colleen encouraged, "It's not over. I'm calling the girls. We'll be praying."
Awhile later an email came through on the way to the hospital. "We're praying! Diann is on her knees! Call when you know, even if it's midnight or later."

My husband called the doctor on our way to the ER. I found out later the doctor told him to prepare himself, the baby was most probably already gone. As I lay there, bleeding, weeping the loss of yet another child, I distinctly remember hearing Colleen's voice and even more clearly, seeing Diann...somewhere...this woman I'd never met ... on her knees.

Moments later the ultrasound tech said, "there it is."
"There is what?" I asked.
He shot me a bewildered look, clearly unaware we thought he was staring at the remains of a lifeless babe. "The heartbeat."
"The what!" My husband shot forward.
"The heartbeat." The tech replied.
All I could do was close my eyes ... a woman was on her knees, and God had heard her prayers.

Six months later I met this beautiful woman and her fellow trio of prayer warriors. Diann squealed. Cupped my womb in her hands and gazed deep into my eyes. "We did it!" she smiled.

My daughter was born December 29th, 2009.

A few months ago, Colleen emailed me. "Diann has been sent home, honey, please pray. We're all hurting."
I went to my weeping place. The shower. The safe zone where I can sob and no one asks questions. It was my turn. I sank to my knees and prayed.

And God heard my prayers. Several weeks later, he ushered Diann to His healing place. I know her family was aching, empty with loss. Selfishly, I kept envisioning something more peaceful than I'd ever known before in my life. My babies--the three--were now with the woman who had embraced my daughter with all the love and prayers here on this earth. Even though they'd been with Jesus the last four years, I felt--empty--as if I wasn't there when they needed me. When Colleen texted that they had ushered Di into glory, a part of me released tears I'd not known had been there. Finally. Someone to love on my babies when I couldn't be there.

Di's husband posted to her facebook that while they stood around her bed saying, "there she goes", others on the side of Glory, shouted, "here she comes". And I wept. I could envision my three little blondies, jumping up and down, waving wildly, and racing into the arms of a woman I'd trusted my children with through her prayers.

I have promised Diann I would be on my knees ... and I shall. For her babies are still here. So on my knees I shall be, sweet Di, until we can ALL jump and wave wildly and have the biggest chocolate party you've never seen on this earth!


_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Report & Giveaway: Made to Last, by Melissa Tagg

FUN STUFF!! Today we have a GUEST blogger, Laurie Tomlinson, here to review a FANTASTIC novel written by my friend and super duper writer, Melissa Tagg. I mean, can this get any better? AND we're giving away a copy! So enjoy Laurie's review, leave a comment, and enter to win a book that would make Ty Pennington scream, "ARE YOU READY?"

_________________________________


Hello, fellow CCC readers! I’m here to tell you a little about my friend Melissa Tagg’s debut inspirational contemporary romance, Made to Last, and what we can learn from it. I was fortunate enough to give Melissa a hug the day this released, and it’s been so much fun to witness her journey as a debut author.

About the book (from the publisher):

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, thaat's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, From the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiancĂ© who ran out on her three years ago.
 
When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

My take:

With a unique premise like that, how can you not pick this book up from the shelf? A reality television star with huge secrets trying to stay out of the spotlight. A reporter desperately trying to unearth her secrets. That kind of tension is explosive!

And I have good news: it’s a page-turner. You see, Melissa Tagg is pure genius in one of the top writing techniques, reader incentives. I’m not going to give you any spoilers, but in every scene, she delivers some morsel that makes turning the page irresistible.  (Do not, I repeat, do NOT start this book just before bedtime. You’ll be in for an all-nighter.)

Whether it’s a moment of pure goodness, a decision that amps up the tension, or a swoon-worthy encounter that sizzles from the page, this romantic comedy is can’t-put-down good!

You can find Made to Last:



ChristianBook.com (eBook on sale for $5.59): http://www.christianbook.com/made-to-last/9780764211324/pd/4211324?item_code=WW&netp_id=1133341&event=ESRCG&view=details

_____________________________________________


Thanks, Laurie!! I totally agree! It's romance at its best! Sheesh!! And I'm a historical romance fiction junkie, but Melissa Tagg captured the spirit of the behind-the-scenes of Extreme Home Makeovers with a hunky hero that gives Ty Pennington a serious run for his money. In fact, the men in this book are worth of their own books ...hint hint Melissa Tagg (book 2 maybe?!?) :)
I thoroughly enjoyed the character banter. The tension between the heroine and her hero(s) is awesome. I love the fact the heroine is plucky but vulnerable and let's admit, it's about time we get a heroine who knows how to wield a hammer and use a table saw!

Way to go Melissa Tagg! You knocked this one off the roof and to the moon!

...and here's just a tidbit about our dear guest blogger. You'll have fun getting to know her too as you check out Melissa's debut read! 

About Laurie Tomlinson: Laurie Tomlinson is a wife, toddler mom, and pre-published contemporary romance author from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is a member of ACFW and won the 2013 Genesis Award in the Contemporary category. Her work is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency.

She hit the jackpot with her critique partners.

Contact Laurie:


Web: LaurieTomlinson.com



_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday's Joe

Mrs. Claus has been busy, and she cannot run without some caffeinated fuel!

















And it's all Jaime's fault I've been hooked by Caribou dark brew! Two cups started my busy day of errands and Christmas shopping.


Then I had even more dark brew at the coffee shop with my baked oatmeal while I studied Outlining Novels while I had the vehicle serviced--my sleigh.


I dove deep into my story questions while I watched it snow on Main Street of my hometown, Nappanee, IN. It's not everywhere that you can drink coffee, hear Dutch spoken, watch buggies and truck loads of hay bales going by, and walk a block from your mechanic to the coffee shop. After that, I loaded my sleigh and headed off to shop. 

Thank goodness for an extra afternoon Caribou Joe and a five minute power nap, or I might have blown a gasket when a lady pulled out in front of me on an icy street and another lady proceeded to push herself between my cart and the item of clothing I was looking at without so much as an apology. With the power of Caribou and Jesus, I sealed my lips and dug deep to imagine some reason for mercy. But I think I only imagined enough to write them into my next story.

I made a point of being cheerful and patient to every one I met, but that lady is the reason I shop online as much as possible. I'm determined not to feel shoved, pressured, pushed, or manipulated into the world's idea of a kind of Christmas that steals joy and grabs for more and more selfishness. I'm so relieved I don't have anything else to go get! 

How are you surviving the Holiday Haze and Craze?
Is Jesus still the Reason in your Season?
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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, December 11, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Last week Facebook was all a twitter with collective anticipation of the new Sound of Music. I didn't watch it, but I loved the collective sense of excitement that I recall form my childhood when special shows only aired once a year. Christmas is a time of collective anticipation of hope, when we all look toward a time spent together to be thankful.

I can just hear Julie Andrews singing:

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things!

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes
Silver white winters that melt into spring
These are a few of my favorite things!"

Here are a few of my favorite things: 


Favorite Hymns


Snuggly Socks and Warm Fires


Fuzzy Flannels


Childhood Memories and Wonderment


Winterscapes

What are your favorite things?





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ramblings and Mutterings of a Writer

Hey all!! It's a happy Tuesday and I decided to spruce up the blog post with an optional "vlog". Meaning--watch at your own risk, I'm really bad on camera. Some of you have asked what happens after you sign with an agent, so I answer THAT burning question as well as discuss life as an agented writer.

I'm not going to wax eloquent here at the CCC Blog about the writing world on a consistent basis. Anne and I are far more down to earth and realize there's more to life than just writing and the world of. BUT!! Since some of you have indicated you really enjoy the behind the scenes look at what it is Anne and I do...I thought I'd elaborate some today on life after signing an agent.

So, here you are. If you're smart, you'll just leave a comment and bypass my ridiculous little video.



Burning questions of the day:

If you're a writer, published or aspiring, what has been one of the hardest challenges you've faced? If you're a reader, what is one major question you've always wanted to ask someone in the writing world?

_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, December 9, 2013

The Love of the Father

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, 24 million children in America -- one out of three -- live in biological father-absent homes. These statistics are taken from the U.S. Census Bureau.

It's been no secret to anyone who knows my husband, that he's been on the search for his bio-dad all his adult life. For him, it's been a haunting question without an answer. He's been blessed with many solid "fathers"--probably more than the average man has been. The image of all of them flash in my mind, Cal, Ron, Henry, Lee, Coach Dan Robinson, Wendell, Vernon, Aden, and Gil…to name a few. Because of the Father, and these men, my husband hasn't become a statistic on the long list of things that befall the fatherless. But that doesn't stop the haunting question….who is he?


We've done family research, he's done generational interviewing, and even genetic testing. All possible roads and bridges have been crossed to no avail. All options exhausted. Now it's in the Father's hands. He will write the next chapters--perhaps not until my hubby reaches heavens doors will he know that truth.

Saturday night, he drifted to sleep on the floor while tending the fire in the stove, only to waken cold and chilled. He stirred the ashes, and put on some kindling and stacked it full, drifting off once again--only to waken sweating before a roaring fire. By then it was after three in the morning, so he crawled to the couch until I woke him at eight.

He grinned through a sleepy haze, "I had a dream--I met my father."

He dreamed a dream. Had a vision, I think. They met. He saw his face, had a conversation, got to say all the things that mattered. It was calm, no angry words. He'd not known of Ted's existence, he said.

He'd be back, he said.

Such a lovely gift.


Ted called his friend on the way to church to have the "what's your lesson on today?" conversation. Brothers in Christ, talking about their Father. They do that almost weekly. Duane told him the lesson was about Gabriel coming to Mary to announce Christ's coming birth.

The question: 
Would you be a scoffer if someone told you they'd been visited by an angel?

Would you be a scoffer if the Father sent his son, and that Son lived and died for us--then promised--he'd be back?

Such a lovely gift. A Father. A Root. A Promise.

He'll be back.
Posted with permission and blessing from Ted.

__________

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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Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Report: Burning Sky by Lori Benton

We invite you to comment, ask questions, chat, join our Facebook pages or follow our blog. A free copy of Lori's book will be announced in one week. Last week's winner is Martha Sturm!

I've never been to the hills of New York's Adirondack Mountains except for in the pages of Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky--what an enjoyable journey.

~~Poignant & Heartfelt, romantic frontier fiction birthed from a time of torn loyalties and shifting allegiance. 

Two allegiances. Three men. All of them tearing at Willa Obenchain's heart.

Torn from her home at age fourteen, Willa is abducted by Mohawk Indians and renamed Burning Sky. While her family is caught between the settlers and the British Crown after the Revolutionary War, Willa's heart is branded by her Mohawk family. When the ravages of war and disease strip away her future with the Mohawk, she returns home to reclaim her parent's land.

But much has changed.

She discovers Neil MacGregor, a wounded Scotsman, collapsed on her abandoned land and feels compelled to nurse his wounds. Her parents have long been missing, and Richard Waring seeks to usurp her land, claiming her parents traitorous allegiance to the Crown. Willa feels hopeless to disprove Richard in order to keep her land and must find proof of her parents loyalties in a town where strong feelings against "savages" still abound. Her Mohawk brother, Tames-His-Horse, arrives to call her back to the People, pulling her heart to the man who first opened her spiritual eyes.

And much has been lost.  

Can Willa reconcile her two worlds? Can she shed the shield around her heart that threatens to keep her alone and isolated from all she seeks to recover? Will her resolve to live a solitary life remain strong when the gentle Scottish botanist helps to revive her farm and her future?



Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally. When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian.

Readers:
Tell us what parts of New York you've visited and what you loved about it.

Do the terms Tories or Loyalists ever confuse anyone when reading about 18th century history? If so, I encourage you to read the Author's Note blurb at the end of Lori's book before you begin the story.

What's your favorite thing about reading a story set on the frontier?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What's On Your Coffee Table?

 Occasionally, I read something OTHER than fiction. ;) I know! Shock, right? On my coffee right now are some great books that really are inspiring a meditative spirit within me. I'm not huge on the emotional side of faith --I know, another shock! ;) My personality is more direct, straightforward, and fact based--not I'm not mathematical, just ... uncomfortable in the array of emotions that come forth in a church service. ;)

BUT! There IS room for drawing close to my Creator and breathing deep of His promises and blessing. Blessings for the Evening is an AMAZING hard cover, small format book. (Great Christmas present!) The daily reads are swift but meaningful and chalk full of blessings.

One of my favorites: "May the Lord continue to fight for you while you rest in him. May He confuse the enemy's schemes against you. May He surround you with God-fearing, faithful friends and strengthen your resolve to live courageously. You're on the winning side! Sleep well." ...and it references an adjoining Scripture to rest in before you close your eyes. This one is a 5 star book and the pages inside are beautiful, photographic and peaceful. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

The other great read I've been digest is Pray the Scriptures. In fact, this is more of a journal/study workbook than just a straight read, which I wasn't expecting. It takes you through various themes like: Tripping Into Sin, Thirst for God, Preparing for Worship. Each theme has Scripture to support the concept and then work book space to internalize the Scripture into your prayer. It provides sentences for you to complete so you can really conceptualize how this passage fits into your life. I really enjoy the interactive aspect. And this too is a book a new Believer or an old, ancient experienced one can benefit from!

It's great to have devos and books such as these to grow my Spiritual walk. What are you using lately to draw you close to a mighty God, a loving Savior, and a humongous eternal hope?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Big News at Coffee Cups & Camisoles!


Me ready for conference
with my proposal in
hand!
Remember the blog posts Anne and I posted in August and September? Preparing for the ACFW writer's conference and the nervous angst about preparing pitches and proposals? And then ... the behind the scenes posts to the blog here and on our Facebook pages? Which btw, stop by and like them if you haven't--we keep going at all hours on those pages! (Jaime / Anne)

The preparation and flurry was all to further our writing dreams and pursuit of publishing our novels. Anne and her historical romance and myself with the same plus the element of suspense. We pitched--like crazy--at the conference. What is a pitch? It's 15 minutes of terror in front of an agent or editor with about half that time to tell them what your story is about and the other half to answer questions. Think of any of the music shows and auditioning in front of big name stars ...there's your Simon Cowell agent/editors who darn well know their stuff but scary the crazies out of you and pull no punches. Then you have your Randy Jackson's, kind, frank, firm. Truthfully? There are no Paula Abdul's. They don't have time to patronize you. In 15 minutes these experts know whether they're wasting their time with undeveloped talent or whether you've piqued their interest enough to ask for your proposal--or if you're luck--your full manuscript.

Both Anne and I had successful auditions!! Anne with requests for proposal submission AND full manuscripts, and myself the same. Thus has been the flurry of the last two months, revising, submitting, editing, panicking, praying ... maybe our blog posts have suffered a tad? You've all been faithful readers.

I received a rejection letter. My writing was incredibly awkward and I wasn't ready for the big time. Ouch. I recovered rather quickly--you have to have a thick skin in this business. Even Godly agents don't have the time to add flowers and perfume to ease the pain.

I took a vacation--to bow hunt. Think of it ... the silent woods, mums the word, no noises, me, waiting for the big buck ... and I look at my phone and see an email. From Mary. Who's Mary? I opened the email. "I loved your story. I'd like to talk to you about representation if you haven't already acquired an agent." WELL CALL ME CRAZY! It's a good thing I was tied into my tree stand 16' off the ground. It was a bad thing I couldn't move--couldn't make a sound--not hunting. I'd scare the deer! So I sat, shivered uncontrollably, and checked to see if Anne was online to chat. She wasn't. So I checked for Laurie, our other beloved writer friend. She was online.
"Laurie? Are you there?"
"yes"
"are you sitting down?"
"WHY?!"
"I'm in a tree standing, hunting, I can't scream, but I just got an email from Mary Keeley at Books & Such Literary Agency. She wants to talk to me about representation."
"OMG! JAIME! I just screamed so loud I scared my daughter!' (Laurie's daughter is 2. Poor toddler)

And then the self doubt creeps in. "Talk about". Mary said "Talk about". Not "I will represent you".
A week went by before we had our phone meeting. A week of questioning, doubts, crazy hope, and ridiculous amounts of chatting on FB with Anne and Laurie.

In the end ... the announcement is here for one of us ... I am official!! I have an AGENT!!! And now ... the waiting game continues. Anne still has submissions out there to be reviewed!! My prayer is she can post an announcement like this soon!!

What does this mean for me? It means I have someone intimately involved in the industry representing my book to the publishing houses. Guiding me, coaching me, negotiating for me. Maybe one day in the near future I'll be announcing a due date for my debut book release. In the meantime... enjoy the pics of the day I signed my contract with Books & Such Literary Agency. (and keep Anne's submissions in your prayers!)

I couldn't smile normal. Not when a lifelong dream
is realized!
My Mom and Dad who have been everything to me and
carried this dream in their hearts and souls right
along with me!
Jaime losing her mind with delirious joy--just a tad

The more professional pose. I sucking in my gut so I
wouldn't bust out laughing ... again!

A more natural family picture


_____________________________________

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 :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reader's Poll: Christmas Trees

Are you the kind of family that has a theme tree, or a collection of ornaments from every year since the beginning of time?

This year is our 25th year of celebrating Christmas together.  We are definitely the kind of family that collects ornaments and we love the eclectic feel to our tree. Ted's mom gave us a shellacked cookie ornament of a bride and groom 25 years ago for our first tree--how can you throw that away?


Are you the kind of family that cuts a fresh-cut tree, a pre-cut tree, or an artificial?

For twenty-four years we cut down our tree, but last year the place we went to closed down. So, we had a family vote and bought our first pre-cut tree. I love it. We usually turn on the Christmas music, put on our Santa hats and take turns hanging ornaments.


Are you the kind of family that decorates the tree together, or is there just one person assigned the task?


We had a great time with the kids, decorating before my daughter left for her last week of college before she has finals.

What ever your traditions, may you have a blessed week of preparing for Christmas--preparing Him room in your hearts.