Friday, October 30, 2015

Interview and #Giveaway with Award Winner Author: Lisa Carter

It is so fun to feature new authors, and Lisa Carter is new to me (Jaime) as well! Although I was there when she won an award for romantic suspense this last September. Super cool! So, join me in getting to know Lisa, her writing habits, a bit about her and her latest book. And, of course, there's a giveaway!

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· How did you begin writing?

I told myself stories as a child to fall asleep at night. I thought everyone did this until I discovered in elementary school, this might not be perceived as normal for the rest of the school population. But I became the neighborhood child who entertained my friends and organized epic retellings of prairie schooners in space, aka whatever I had watched on television lately—Daniel Boone, The Wild West, Star Trek (the original), or Gilligan's Island. Yeah, I know I'm dating myself. It was only after I turned 45—dating myself again—and my children were in middle school that I got serious about writing down the stories swirling in my head—a scary place—to pursue a career in writing. My first novel was published in 2013. Seven novels and counting, it’s been a whirlwind of adventure.

· Take us through a day in the life of you, the author (because some us picture you rise from bed, calmly pour your coffee, sit in a sunny little alcove, and write for eight hours before getting ready for a luxurious dinner out with your special someone) ;)
I begin my writing day as soon as my youngest daughter heads off to high school each morning—before 7 a.m. Yes, I often stay in my pajamas, writing and/or editing until my laptop needs recharging and I take a quick shower. I write on the couch, at my desk, or in a special chair in my reading alcove—I move around during the day a lot for a change of scenery. I try to end my writing day around 3 p.m. if deadlines allow when my daughter returns from school.

· Tell us where you got the idea for your latest book and why you developed a passion to write it?


I’m going to be honest with you—I’m not sure how this story came to be on the printed page. Sure, I’m the one who typed the words. Sure, I’m the little girl who refused to leave the Cherokee exhibit at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Every single year . . . And sure, my first encounter involved coming face to face with fake Cherokee Indians on board the Tweetsie Railroad when I wandered too close to the staged Indian attack as a 3-year-old. Raised tomahawks leave an impression—fake or not. But hence, my fascination—to the best of my recollection—with the Cherokee and with the larger Native American population began. That’s it in a nutshell. Thank you very much, Tweetsie.

I am not Native American. Nor am I a wannabe. Just fascinated and intrigued by their persistence and perseverance to survive despite overwhelming odds. I got cold shivers when I read about the Snowbird Cherokee and how they’d escaped the mass roundup during the Trail of Tears. I realized the 180th commemoration of the Trail was on the horizon, and I intended as always to write about what fascinates me most—the modern-day Indian and their juxtaposition into the larger American culture.

But somehow in the process of creating this contemporary novel, the characters from 1838—Sarah Jane and Pierce, Touch the Clouds and Leila—were born. They just came to me. Whole and complete. Their story is a kind of metaphor for the journey of the human condition. Lost but in Christ found once more.

· Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

Linden’s grandmother, Marvela, is an absolute hoot. Her golden years reunion romance forms a secondary subplot, illustrating that sometimes love is so wasted on the young and foolish. She and love interest, Ross Wachacha, get the best lines in the book. Like Ross’s sage advice to his nephew and story hero Walker Crowe—“If you ever want to get a woman, boy, you got to learn to talk more. And once you get one, then you’ve got to learn to hush again.”

· What is the most important takeaway from your book that you hope your readers see?

This story became—for me—about how far God’s mercy reaches. For truly, the farther we’ve traveled together, the sweeter will come the end. All this to say, this story is not mine, but one of those things which, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, is God’s story. An eternal story of His mercy and grace to all who’ve been broken and felt abandoned by the guilt of their transgressions or the pain of loss. God invites those who’ve ever felt unwanted, unloved or weary to come. Because in Christ there are no outcasts. My prayer is that readers would discover this God of all peace and all comfort. He is a God who offers grace in the hour of their greatest need. And Beyond.

· If you were to be offered the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to back pack deep into the heart of the Swiss Alps, which would you do and why?

I would climb Mt. Kilimanjaro because I don’t just write adventure, I try to live it, too. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year with a bucket-list trip to the Amazon jungle and a hike to Machu Picchu.

· And while you’re on this grand adventure, would it be necessary for you to have coffee or tea? (‘cause we’re split evenly in preference here at the CCC blog)
Since Kilimanjaro was once under British rule, I’d have to go with tea. But wait—Tanzania also grows some of the world’s best coffee . . . I’d have to try both. And who knew, but in the Amazon and Peru, I had the most amazing hot chocolate of my life—not so amazing considering Ecuador and Peru are exporters of cacao/chocolate.

· If you had to write your novel long-hand, would you use a fine point Sharpie, a roller ball pen, a fountain pen, or a pencil?

I’d use a fountain pen.

· Your favorite flavor of pie … because we’re heading into pie season!

I love visiting an heirloom apple orchard not far from the Great Smoky Mountain setting of Beyond a Cherokee Trail. This time of year I’m all about apple pie.

· What are you currently working on in the book world?
My seventh romantic suspense novel, The Stronghold, releases in March. My second in a contemporary Coast Guard series, Coast Guard Sweetheart, releases in May. And my first attempt at a true historical romance, Lassoed by Marriage, is part of a novella collection due out in January. I can be found most days writing one manuscript, editing another story and marketing yet a third.

· Lastly, will you leave us with a snippet from your book that is one of your favorites and gives us a glimpse into its pages?

Initially on opposite sides of the 180th Trail of Tears commemoration, Linden and Walker have slowly found common ground as their friendship and attraction for each other grows. After an exhilarating motorcycle ride aka first date on the Cherohala Skyway high above the Cherokee National Forest, they’ve shared some personal things up on the mountain and have now returned to the valley town of Cartridge Cove. They were getting along so well . . . until they’re not. A misunderstanding erupts about the festival.


“And you, Walker Crowe, have got the nerve to accuse me of having personal issues?” Linden’s voice rose a decibel.

Walker flipped the visor down veiling his eyes. “Much as I’d love to stand here all night in a shouting match with you, I have better things to do.”

“Fine. Me, too. Sorry to have wasted your afternoon and your gasoline. Don’t let me keep you from important tribal business a stupid outsider like me couldn’t begin to fathom. Emmaline’s right. You are a jerk.”

Maybe the king of jerks. Could she pick ‘em or what?

His only reply was to do a three-sixty and gun it as the back tire hit street level.

“Idiot,” she yelled at the disappearing red taillight.

She grabbed her purse out of the trunk where she’d stored it when she’d been dumb enough to take a motorcycle ride with a raving lunatic. She slammed the lid shut.

“Creep.” She stalked up the sidewalk between the driveway and porch. “Loser.”

She took the three steps in a single bound to find her grandmother ensconced in a rocker and drinking sweet tea out of a crystal goblet.

Gram gave Linden a cat-swallowed-the-cream smile. “My, my, darlin’. What you two must have gotten up to this afternoon to put such a fear inside that young man?”

“Me?” Linden lobbed her purse at the door. “I guess you heard all that.”

Gram set the glass with a tiny ping onto the side table. “Honey Girl, half of Cartridge Cove heard ‘all that’ just now.”

Linden frowned as her grandmother’s words registered. “Scared? Him? What’re you talking about?”

Marvela patted the armrest. “Got too close would be my guess.”

“Somebody ought to knock some sense into that man’s head.”

“Typical of a Wachacha.” Her grandmother snorted. “Typical of the male of our entire species, if you ask me.”

“If you’re implying he and I . . . ? Give me some credit, Gram.” Linden tossed her head. “He’s a moron.”

Marvela laughed, the sound like a bird trilling across the deepening twilight. “Has there ever been anything more irresistible on this earth, Honey Girl, than a man who doesn’t think he needs a woman?”

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About Lisa ...

Lisa Carter's novel, Under a Turquoise Sky, won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Her latest, Beyond the Cherokee Trail is a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times September Top Pick. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. She loves to hear from readers.

Website: http://www.lisacarterauthor.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beyond-the-cherokee-trail/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821807.Lisa_Cox_Carter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.carter.1272



Beyond the Cherokee Trail

The farther the road you’ve traveled . . . the sweeter the journey home.

When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on—literally—into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago.

Though at odds over the commemoration, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. Together they face an adversary whose implacable hatred can be traced to the events of the Trail, a dark chapter in America’s westward expansion. Walker must thwart the enemy who threatens the modern-day inhabitants of tiny Cartridge Cove—and targets the woman who has captured his heart.

Because more important than knowing where you’ve come from is knowing where you’re going.


Enter to win this super cool book
!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Hello, Gabrielle here.

I need to just start by saying: it snowed here in Minnesota yesterday! I know I have to shake my fist at the sky like any good Minnesotan, but the truth be told, I love the first snowfall of the year. I like the change of seasons in general, however, it's that looooooong period in between the first snowfall and the first gust of warm wind that gets a little old.

This week has been jam-packed with writerly things, and somewhere in the midst of it all, I realized I've officially "arrived" at the destination marked Writing Career. Over the course of this week, I wrote over 30,000 words on my manuscript, I compiled a proposal, I created a Street Team of twenty-five awesome ladies who have agreed to help spread the word about my upcoming release, I conducted a week-long giveaway on my Facebook page, I started filling out the very detailed art fact sheet for the cover art on my Love Inspired Historical releasing in September 2016, and I went to a writing meeting with dozens of other Minnesota writers, including our very own Erica Vetsch.

Erica took this picture of me at the MN History Center where
we met before the MN ACFW Meeting to visit the new
exhibit Suburbia!
The thing that continues to play through my mind is thankfulness. I am so thankful that I get to live my dream. I'm thankful people are supporting me and willing to help. I'm thankful for friendships with other writers and readers. I'm thankful for a husband who sacrifices every day to help me live out this calling. I'm thankful for my children who cheer me on. I'm thankful for my community and my church and all my local friends who believe in me. I'm just brimming with thankfulness.

But I think that's the point. Or, at least, I hope it is. God is so good, and even when things aren't going the way we hope or pray, He's still good and He's still in control, and He still longs for a thankful heart. I could easily get bogged down in all the to-dos of this calling, and lose the sense of awe and joy, but with my heart turned toward thankfulness, it's almost impossible.

It doesn't just apply to my writing life. It applies to all those areas that I prayed and asked God to give me the desires of my heart. My marriage. My children. My home. My friendships. With many blessings, come many responsibilities. When I start to complain about those responsibilities, I can get bogged down and lose sight of the joy they offer. But I don't want to do that. I want to live a life of praise and gratitude toward God, enjoying all the blessings He gives.

Psalm 50:23 ESV: "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly. I will show the salvation of God!”

Hebrews 13:15 NIV: "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name."

Your Turn: I'd love to hear what you're thankful for this week!

**We have a winner from my post last week!! Kara Grant has won a surprise gift. :) I'll get it in the mail soon.**

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day by Day

Music. I listen to music while I write, usually a movie soundtrack. I listen to music in the car, usually a country station or one of my cds. I listen to music when I clean the house.

I grew up in the Church, so I grew up with music. Great hymns of the faith, choruses, children's songs, instrumental. Singing in the choir at school and at church. Music.

My family, my kids especially, marvel at the number of songs I know. Quirky, silly, deep, classic. I know all kinds.

But some of my favorites are hymns. And one of my favorites is the hymn "Day by Day."




Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.


Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.



The Swedish original text of this hymn was written in 1865 by Carolina Sandell, a prolific hymn writer. Though she wrote hymns throughout her life, she was especially productive in the years following the sudden drowning of her father, which she witnessed in 1858. “Day by Day” is one of two hymns for which she is widely known in America; the other is “Children of the Heavenly Father.”




Do you have a favorite hymn?


I'm visiting Seekerville today, and I would love to see you there!
http://seekerville.blogspot.com/ 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Become an Olympic Writer - Idea Sparking NaNoWriMo with Author @MichelleLim24

Jaime here! I am taking the week off from blogging to write my novella, so my dear friend, Michelle Lim is guest posting on my behalf. Many of you have commented or private messaged me that you're interested in doing your won writing. If you are one of those, then this blog post is for you!! If you're a reader with no interest in writing :), that's OKAY! :) Read this for fun to see the agony us writers put ourselves through.

Oh and one more thing: WINNER of my novella, some coffee (or tea), and a bookmark is: BRITNEY ADAM!

Michelle, take it away! :)

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Do you get excited about the Olympics every time they are on television? I am virtually hooked!

It never ceases to amaze me the incredible talent and determination of these world athletes. They will continue to fight for the finish line, even if they are so injured there is no way to get a medal. This type of perseverance wins Gold metals when injury doesn’t interfere.

How about you? Have you thought of becoming an Olympic Writer?

Not much of an athlete? That’s alright. There is a different kind of intensive training for writers. NaNoWriMo or the celebration of November where authors write a novel in thirty days.

Maybe you’ve tried it before. Maybe not. It isn’t for the faint of heart. But you can become an Olympic writer and finish the thirty-day novel journey with success!

How to Become an Olympic Writer:

*Set flexible goals. If you want to find success in writing a novel in a month it is important to set goals that flex a bit with your ups and downs. What can be flexible with NaNoWrimo?

Set a weekly goal that will get you on track to reach your monthly goal. Each individual day inside of that week should reflect your own rhythm. Not every day in your life is as optimum for writing. Know that you will fail if you don’t have at least a day off a week? Adjust your word count to give you a day off.

Be flexible inside of each week. It will increase your weekly word count.

*See it as a plot draft. Expecting perfection or anything close to it on this kind of power drafting will only lead to frustration and a low word count. Recognize that it is merely getting the basics of character, scene, and plot on the page. It will not be the rich piece you publish. You can go back and edit later.

*Gather the right resources. Moments along the way will threaten to weaken your resolve. Plan ahead to have resources at your fingertips to get you back on track. One resource that can help you along the way is my new book release.


My newest release: Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a
Novel in a Month is a great way to help you spark your novel. Why?

Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month accompanies an author on a thirty-day novel journey. Daily idea prompts assist authors in finding the inspiration to write. With personal experience insights and goal setting reflections, this book is the perfect resource for the writer who wants to write a novel in a month, or the author looking for a resource for their everyday writing journey. What you will find in this incredible resource:

*A weekly inspirational focus to get you ready to write

*Daily Idea Sparks to spark your creativity and get you writing

*Mini writing craft tips that enhance your writing

*Daily Mid-day Milestones with thought-provoking questions to improve writing habits

*Weekly Check-Ups to retune your process to set you up for success


Join the Idea Sparking adventure:

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What is the hardest thing you have ever done?

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s Genesis winning romantic suspense is represented with Books & Such Literary Agency. Michelle’s New Release - Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month releases October 27th for $0.99 Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories. Connect with Michelle on Facebook, Twitter at @MichelleLim24, or my blog at www.thoughtsonplot.worpress.com

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pinteresting Library Rooms

Yes, I confess I have a board on Pinterest for my dream room: My Library Room. Click to browse.

Men have man-caves. This is my woman-cave dream: to have a library room where I can read and write. Oh, and did I mention--sit in silence staring out the window?

We have a room in our home that is finally on the verge of becoming a new library room.
I can't wait to sit in it with my coffee, laptop, and a pile of books. Or snuggle with a cup of tea in the evening during the holidays when my daughter is home from college.

Here's my favorite library pin:

Readers: what about you?

You don't have to be a writer to love a great reading room! Do you dream of a library room?
How would you decorate it? What are your favorites?

Let's vote. Pick your favorite.

#1 Green and neutral?

#2 Woodwork shelves & hardwood floors?

 Or #3, Yellow and buttery warm?

#4  More of a book-nook feel?

#5 Or something in between?

We'd love to see pin links to your favorites! Vote here and share.
I'd love to browse your library boards!
-------------
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, October 23, 2015

Spend some time with Janice Thompson #Giveaway

Today, we are pleased to introduce you to the illustrious Janice Thompson! We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have!!

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 How did you begin writing?

My first venture into the writing world happened in 6th grade. I’d read every available Bobbsey Twins books and needed another one to read. . .so I wrote one! Of course, I didn’t understand the
word ‘plagiarism’ at the time, but that’s okay! I wrote my first real book in 1994 but didn’t see any of my books in print/publication until 2000. Talk about patience!

Take us through a day in the life of you, the author (because some us picture you rise from bed, calmly pour your coffee, sit in a sunny little alcove, and write for eight hours before getting ready for a luxurious dinner out with your special someone) ;)

Oh boy. I think I actually laughed out loud at this question. I’m a very busy gal. Besides being a caregiver for my mom, I run a bakery (Nina’s Cakes and Cookies) out of my home. I’m also a night owl, so most of my writing takes place later in the day. I have an office and it’s loaded with books. Actually, if we’re being totally honest, it’s loaded with everything under the sun. I can barely turn around in there. I spend hours shifting from my desk, to my recliner, to my porch swing, to my bed, where I do my best work late at night, curled up under the covers. I love it when the house goes quiet at night. What a delicious time to write! Of course, I toss the writing out of the window on Fridays and Saturdays when I don my baker’s hat and apron.

 Tell us where you got the idea for your latest book and why you developed a passion to write it?

My latest book (Every Girl Gets Confused) just released this week. It’s the second book in the “Brides with Style” series from Revell. Book one (Every Bride Needs a Groom) released six months ago. The idea for this series came from my agent. A guy. Yep, you read that right. A bridal shop idea from a guy. And guess what?! It’s a fun, crazy, wacky story, filled with romantic twists and turns. The story begins in Fairfield Texas, one of my favorite small towns in our great state (Texas!) I’m particularly partial to Fairfield because one of my dearest friends lives there. The premise for the series is this: small town girl (Katie Fisher) enters a Dallas-based bridal shop contest and wins the dress of her dreams. Only one problem. . .she doesn’t have a fiancĂ©. Oops! What’s a girl to do?

Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

My favorite character is Katie’s Aunt Alva. She’s a kook! I don’t want to give away too much, but Aunt Alva has a fun romantic thread in book two. Ooo-la-la! Nothing like a little romance in the golden years!

What is the most important takeaway from your book that you hope your readers see?

God always has better plans for us than we have for ourselves. We might think we’ve got it all figured out, we might set our own plans in action, but God’s plans are bigger, better, happier, healthier and better suited to us. We can trust Him, even when things don’t appear to be going our way.

If you were to be offered the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to back pack deep into the heart of the Swiss Alps, which would you do and why?

Hmm. I once offered my readers an opportunity to go on a Titanic cruise with me. . .a virtual cruise. Because I have arthritis and could never consider either of those things, I would have to do it all virtually! We’d backpack into the Swiss Alps from the comfort of our own living rooms. I’d set up a group on Facebook and invite readers to join me. They’d post pictures of the terrain, the wildlife, their gear, and so on. We’d talk about survival methods and even post recipes for our meals. Sounds like fun, right?

And while you’re on this grand adventure, would it be necessary for you to have coffee or tea? (‘cause we’re split evenly in preference here at the CCC blog)
Tea! I love English breakfast tea, thank you very much. (She says, with her pinkie extended!)

If you had to write your novel long-hand, would you use a fine point Sharpie, a roller ball pen, a fountain pen, or a pencil?

Ouch. My poor hand is hurting already. I’ve been struggling with Carpal Tunnel syndrome for the past few weeks, so I’m cringing as I answer this question. I would use a roller ball pen. I love the idea (and the look) of the Sharpie, but Sharpies tend to run out of ink. And there’s that weird squeaky sound they make as they’re running dry. (Fingers down the chalkboard. Eek!!!) Yep. I’ll take the roller-ball pen, thanks! (Would someone please pass me a wrist brace?)

Your favorite flavor of pie … because we’re heading into pie season!

Here’s a funny twist: As I said above, I run a bakery out of my home. I make cakes and cookies, but not pies. (Isn’t that funny?) I’ve never conquered a decent piecrust. That said, I would choose coconut cream pie—the kind with the whipped cream and toasted coconut on top. (Great. Now I’m craving coconut pie!)

What are you currently working on in the book world?

I’m editing the final book in the Brides with Style (Revell) series. It’s titled Every Bride Has Her
Day. I’m also crafting several Bella Novellas (novellas featuring Bella Rossi Neeley from my Weddings by Bella series). Many of my books are traditionally published, but some of the newer ones are indie published through kindle. I’m on a learning curve, but what a blast!

Lastly, will you leave us with a snippet from your book that is one of your favorites and gives us a glimpse into its pages?

Here’s a little scene from Every Girl Gets Confused. To set this up: Katie and her aunt Alva are driving from Fairfield to Dallas, where she now works at the bridal shop. As she drives, Katie is carrying on a conversation with a customer through her car’s Bluetooth. When the call ends, Aunt Alva informs her that she needs to make a potty stop, so Katie pulls off at a gas station. The following scene takes place as Alva returns to the car.

Alva approached the car holding two sodas and two candy bars. She opened her door and grinned as she passed some of the goodies my way. “Figure I owed ‘em my business, since they loaned me their toilet.”

Well, if that didn’t make a girl feel like eating chocolate while drinking a Diet Root Beer, nothing would. We sat in the parking lot a moment as we nibbled on the goodies.

Alva wiped a glob of chocolate off of her lip and tossed the candy bar wrapper into the bag. “Not trying to be nosy, but who was that gal on the radio?”

“Radio?” I gave my aunt a curious look.

“Well, sure. Her voice was coming straight through the radio. Strangest thing. . .it was almost like she was talking to you. Never heard of a radio that worked like that before. But I suppose there’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand about technology these days.”

I bit back the laughter as I said, “It’s a Bluetooth.”

“Bluetooth?” She pulled down her visor and gazed into the little vanity mirror, her mouth wide open. She seemed to be examining the inside of her mouth. Afterwards, she glanced my way and shrugged. “Don’t see anything on my teeth at all, Katie Sue. It was only on my lip. And it wasn’t blue. It was chocolate.”

“No, I meant. . .” Oh, never mind. I put the car in gear and headed back to the highway, determined to get this show back on the road.

“So, that gal on the radio talk show. . .she’s part of a wedding story or something?”

“She’s a bride-to-be and is getting her dress from our shop.”

“Well, that’s what it sounded like to me, but I couldn’t be sure. Pretty good PR for Cosmopolitan, having a big radio star like that onboard. And she’s coming all the way from San Antonio?”

“Yes.” No point in explaining the rest.




STAY CONNECTED with Janice:

Website: www.janiceathompson.com

Facebook: JaniceHannaThompson

Twitter: booksbyjanice 



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Thursday, October 22, 2015

1,000+ Facebook Followers!

I've been having a blast this week celebrating on my Author Facebook Page. Last week I reached over 1,000 likes, so this week I'm thanking all my fans by giving away one surprise gift each day!

I had so much fun trying to figure out what to give. I finally decided on my novella collections for Monday and Tuesday, my favorite stevia-sweetened chocolate Wednesday, and my favorite drink (iced tea!) today. (Shh...don't tell Jaime and Anne. I've heard a rumor that they like coffee better.) On Friday, I'm giving away a basket full of these items, and extending a special invitation. If you aren't a Facebook fan, I'd love for you to stop by and click like so you're entered in the big drawing for Friday!

It blesses me to surprise someone, especially when they least expect it. I know I enjoy getting a treat out of the blue. One of my favorites was a letter my husband and I received from an anonymous writer during Lent.


I felt (and continue to feel) unworthy of this letter. But it brought me to tears knowing we've impacted someone's life in a positive way.

That's how I want my readers to feel. You positively impact my life in so many ways. I could not follow this dream without you! I hope and pray I can convey my appreciation to you daily.

In the spirit of surprise giving, I'd love to offer a special gift here today, as well. Enter the Rafflecopter below, and if you're name is chosen, you'll get a fun surprise gift in the mail from me! I'll announce the winner next Thursday.

Thank you, from the bottom of my writer heart. :) I hope we have a long and happy friendship.

Your Turn: Have you ever received a surprise gift? Have you ever given one?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mercy

Have you read the newspaper? Watched the newscast? Scrolled the headlines online? Taken a peek at your Facebook feed?

It is so easy to become overwhelmed with all the negativity, the evil, the downright stupidity in the world today.

We're killing our babies, shooting up schools and theaters and military bases. We're applauding sinful behavior and punishing godliness. Things that in my childhood were not even whispered about are now trumpeted from the rooftops and being inserted in elementary school curriculum.

A war hero who fell on a grenade for his comrades receives no attention from the media, while a basketball player-turned-reality-tv-star overdoses in a brothel and we are given hourly updates on his condition.

Things are so messed up.

It seems as if we are back in the time of the Judges when everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Which, oddly enough, got me to thinking about mercy. God's mercy. Mercy that means NOT getting something bad that we deserve, as opposed to Grace which is RECEIVING something good that we don't deserve. (BTW, God is good at BOTH these things.)

Do you realize that when God does not judge the earth as we deserve, it is His mercy?

God is long-suffering toward His creation, giving them time to repent and turn to Him. When He delays His return to earth, He is being merciful.

Do you also realize that when God does judge the earth, it is His mercy?

Many times through out history God has judged the earth. The Great Flood, The Dispersion at Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah,The Plagues of Egypt, The Fall of Jerusalem, and so many more times, God displayed His mercy by not letting evil continue unchecked.

It isn't often that the answer to both sides of the issue is the same thing.

"God, why don't you return and put an end to this suffering? Why is sin running rampant?"

And He answers, "It is because of my mercy."

"God, why did you judge the world that way?"

And He answers, "It is because of my mercy."

Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Announcement & Cover Reveal! Including a fun #Giveaway! @BarbourBuzz


Welp! Some of you may have caught the drift if you follow me on Facebook. I am knee deep in a new novella project titled, "Gold Haven Heiress" and guess what? It IS contracted! Which means, in August 2016, you'll be able to read it as a part of Barbour's "California Gold Rush Brides" collection!

Now, because it's a pleasant romance novella collection, I refrained from killing off any of my characters by a murderous suspect wearing suspenders. (Gawsh I love historical suspense!). BUT, it's full of the cheeky wit that you'll find in my upcoming novella in March, "The Cowgirl's Lasso".

I'm excited about Gold Haven Heiress for several reasons:

1. It's going to stretch my writing skills as my heroine is a broken soul, so her wit and sass will not be as evident. (That's going to come in from a different special lady in the novella).

2. My Coffee Clutchers have been helping me research! This is a group of special readers who have committed to walk with me on this journey and man, are they the best. I have pages upon pages of helpful research to wade through to make this story accurate. Sort of spoon feeding me the history. I'm so spoiled. The Clutch is totally making this novella a team effort.

3. I already have the cover!!!!!!!!! :) So I get to reveal it to you, with a little disclaimer that it's going back to redesign so my first name is spelled correctly -- Jaime Jo instead of Jamie Jo. ;)

Wanna see??? Do ya, huh? :) Me too. I want to share. I'm slightly berserk with excitement.

Here it is! (I had to take a screen shot on my phone 'cause it came as a pdf, not a graphic file).



What's it about? Here's some of the copy I sent my publisher to introduce them to the idea of "Gold Haven Heiress":

When a soiled dove settles in a gold mining ghost town, her private world is threatened by a wealthy miner whose intent to rebuild the town might also save her heart.
Although THALIA SIMMONS might face starvation by staying in the washed-up gold mining town, the memories hiding in its abandoned buildings are her motivation to begin again. When she was tossed aside from her life as a soiled dove, after being disfigured by a drunken client, she found hope as the miners moved on to newer earth and left behind a place she could call her own.

JACK TAYLOR meant to become wealthy, and he did. But with his newfound riches came the stark awareness of the deadness of his faith and the emptiness in his soul. With his lust for riches evolving into distaste for material things, Jack scouts out new territory in which he can invest his money and bring life to those who have suffered in the quest for gold.

When he discovers the abandoned town of Gold Haven, more than the name draws him to its empty buildings. The land surrounding it shows promise for the growth of barley, and if he can spend his wealth on reviving the town and bringing in commerce, he prays it will also bring the disheartened to Gold Haven to find a peaceful, new beginning.

But one person challenges his conviction to embrace all the disillusioned and lost. Thalia wasn’t supposed to be hiding in the tiny little garden behind the ghostly saloon. He wasn’t expecting her to douse him with a bucket of water and demand he leave her “property”, but most of all, he wasn’t intending to fall hard for a used-up prostitute.

Is it possible there's an inheritance far greater than gold, or is Thalia destined to remain empty, like the ghost town she inhabits?


So that's it! In a nutshell! It's what I'm working on and having a blast doing!

So today, enter to win a drawing for a copy of "Gold Haven Heiress" when it releases! (You're just gonna have to wait until August)! :) Help me celebrate, and while you wait, I'll send the winner a super cute, vintage bookmark handmade by my mother-in-law, and some coffee (or tea - your choice).

a Rafflecopter giveaway ____________________________________________________________


Jaime Jo Wright
author of spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense


COMING SOON!

March 2016, "The Cowgirl's Lasso", The Cowboy Bride's Novella Collection, from Barbour Publishing

August, 2016,"Gold Haven Heiress", The California Gold Rush Brides Collection, from Barbour Publishing

Visit Jaime's web site: jaimejowright.com
Email Jaime - jaimejowright at gmail dot com
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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Blank Page and the Mystery of Faith


Every time I look at a blank page and set my fingers on this keyboard, I'm amazed what pours forth.

Somewhere between nothing and something, a mystery happens that presses me onward.

In life, in work, at my day job, mornings are like this. A blank page before me.
Sometimes I stand outside the exam room door, a patient with questions awaiting on the other side...and I feel this same mystery at work. Yes, of course I've trained, studied, and practiced my science. But somehow, when I leave the office at the end of the day...I know it.  Art, mystery, and faith happened today. And you can't measure that. You can't chart that. You can't prescribe it. My left-brained logic-loving self knows this and is secretly happy for the mystery of it.

When I start my day. Whether a blank page, or a at the verge of opening that exam room door to see who sits beyond....my mind wants a prescription for "doing it." Step one. Step two. Step three. Voila.

But faith and mystery aren't like that. People aren't like that.

Even Christ's death and resurrection are reduced to flatness and logical unbelievability when left to the left brain to explain with a formula.
Because God's mystery of being present in that moment of the man-Jesus, and the God-Jesus, is just beyond my comprehension. But I want it. I want to believe. I desperately need to know at the end of my day, that there was never a blank page. There was never a pat answer. There was only a grand, unexplainable mystery of faith and love that happened that day long ago. I need it in every day, in every breath.

Because only then, when I open my mouth to speak, when I set my hands to the keyboard, when I look into the eyes of a child, or a parent, or a grandmother with a cancer diagnosis---only then can I rejoice that He indwells me and I get a mere glimpse of His glory as it passes by. Only then can I lay my head on the pillow at night and breath peace, and wake to a new day.

Matthew 17:20The Message (MSG)
20 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”


I can't explain it. But I believe it.
And I will keep setting my hands upon the keyboard.
I will stand ready to open my mouth and trust that somewhere between nothing and something, that His glory will appear and resurrect me...and 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.
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Interview and #Giveaway with @ElizabethYounts


Today, we feature Elizabeth Younts. I'm excited too, because I can say she is my favorite of all Amish writers because to me, she appeals to the historical side of me as well as the romance. If you love Amish books, you will ADORE Elizabeth's. If you're not an Amish book fan, I will say that you must try one of Elizabeth's. So let's meet her, hmmm? :)

_____________________________________________

· How did you begin writing? 

I was always book obsessed and loved writing little stories. I started writing my first novel around age eleven. Around that same time I learned that my great aunt had written my great grandmother’s life story—His Protecting Hand by Molly Zook. I was determined that someday I would write my own grandmother’s story. Little did I know that by the time I was ready to indie publish Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl, the Amish genre was thriving. My grandmother’s memoir ushered in my desire to write Amish Historical Fiction. The Promise of Sunrise series was born!

· Take us through a day in the life of you, the author (because some us picture you rise from bed, calmly pour your coffee, sit in a sunny little alcove, and write for eight hours before getting ready for a luxurious dinner out with your special someone) ;)

Oh boy, a day in the life of this author looks nothing like most, I suspect anyway. When I wake up, after hitting snooze on my iPhone alarm a few times, I’m first wondering if anyone has taken out our new puppy to go potty. A little over the first half of my day is our homeschool time. I have a daughter in 3rd grader and a daughter in K4. Between lessons I try to get snacks, clean up, laundry, and randomly answer emails. The afternoon usually could be anything from a few school lessons that may not be finished, a craft, appointments, housework, play date, or messing around way too long on social media. We have dinner as a family around the table every night, unless my husband is working late, and then after the girls are in bed—my office hours begin. Then I work until I fall asleep in my chair then I go to bed and start it all over the next day. I don’t work every night. I give myself some time off and then I add in some Saturday day times depending on deadlines.

· Tell us where you got the idea for your latest book and why you developed a passion to write it?


I’m passionate about history and about my heritage. Being born in an Amish family gives me a different perspective in writing. Pennsylvania Dutch is my first language and I don’t remember life away from my Amish family. My life has always been braided together with the Amish church…but still so vastly different. As a military wife I am very devoted to our military service members—but I come from a long line of conscientious objectors. This was my first inspiration for The Promise of Sunrise series. Promise to Keep is the third in the series. As with the first two the story itself is inspired from my own family. My cousin had a daughter, Jenna, that was healthy and sweet but showed some developmental delays. My mom, a deaf interpreter, noticed it and encouraged her parents to have her hearing tested. Sure enough, Jenna was hearing impaired. It was a very interesting journey to observe the Amish church embrace Jenna’s additional needs: therapies, learning sign language, and, eventually, Cochlear Implants. My mom’s name is Esther and this was the initial inspiration for Promise to Keep


· Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

This is really hard! I really love Joe and Esther so much but the story would never have happened without Daisy! But Joe and Esther truly make this story. Joe struggles with PTSD and has many regrets but he wants to be the man and father that we would all be proud of. Esther has never had anyone fight for her. She’s always taking care of everyone else. After several offers of marriage, she’s chosen to remain single. She is just not the average Amish woman but is realistic and authentic at the same time. Bringing these two characters onto the same page was exciting and brought about a new kind of tension to the series.

· What is the most important takeaway from your book that you hope your readers see?
One of my early readers had experienced a great loss in her life just before she received a copy of Promise to Keep—she decided to still take the time to read for me despite her grieving. She reached out to me after she finished the book and said that the message about overcoming and still blooming in the midst of loss was what she needed. I didn’t write with a didactic message for every reader but I did my best to fold truths within the plot and kept to relatable characters. I simply hope that the reader will take home the message they needed based on their circumstances.

· If you were to be offered the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to back pack deep into the heart of the Swiss Alps, which would you do and why?

I’d say the Swiss Alps. I’m not sure I’d ever be physically prepared for such an adventure but I would love to believe that I could do it…and it would be so beautiful!

· And while you’re on this grand adventure, would it be necessary for you to have coffee or tea? (‘cause we’re split evenly in preference here at the CCC blog)


Coffee! I really am becoming quite a tea drinker also…collecting a variety of loose teas and coming up with interesting combinations. BUT, even with all that, I’d still choose coffee. I’m admittedly a coffee-snob since we have been roasting green coffee beans from around the world for over ten years!

· If you had to write your novel long-hand, would you use a fine point Sharpie, a roller ball pen, a fountain pen, or a pencil?


I think I’d start out using a super sharp pencil but I’m always disappointed with the smearing and then would end up using a ballpoint pen. It would have to be a Uni-ball Jetstream or a Pigma Micron (similar to an extra fine Sharpie only a million times better).

· Your favorite flavor of pie … because we’re heading into pie season!


Seriously, this is an unfair question. With all my Amish roots, pie is one of the food groups! Since I have to answer, I’d say if it’s my mom’s pie—cherry or pumpkin. If it’s my Aunt Lucy’s pie—pecan. If it’s my Aunt Emma’s pie—Lemon-sour cream. Now my mouth is watering…….

· What are you currently working on in the book world?

Honestly, a lot of publicity for Promise to Keep. I love this story and really want to share it with the world. I am working on several other things but I’m not able to share just yet. Boo-hoo!

· Lastly, will you leave us with a snippet from your book that is one of your favorites and gives us a glimpse into its pages?

I went through sections of Promise to Keep for a bit before I decided on this short passage. I really can’t set it up for you too much because it would give away too much…but I hope you like it anyway.

He is speaking to Esther in this short scene.


Joe looked away and stared into the sunset until his eyes burned.

“I can’t stay.” Joe’s heart shrunk into itself and beat only half beats at a time now. Pain. But he had made too many mistakes with her already and with his night terrors—he couldn’t bring her home. “I’m not good for her. I’m not good for you.”

___________________________________________

Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch. She lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.

www.elizabethbyleryounts.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizabethBylerYounts

www.periscope.tv/ElizabethBylerYounts

https://twitter.com/ElizabethYounts

https://instagram.com/elizabethbyleryounts/

https://www.pinterest.com/ElizabethYounts/



Enter to win the "Promise" TRILOGY!





___________________________________________


Jaime Jo Wright
author of spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense


COMING SOON!

March 2016, "The Cowgirl's Lasso", The Cowboy Bride's Novella Collection, from Barbour Publishing

August, 2016,"Gold Haven Heiress", The California Gold Rush Brides Collection, from Barbour Publishing


Visit Jaime's web site: jaimejowright.com
Email Jaime - jaimejowright at gmail dot com
Like Jaime on Facebook
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Meet Jaime on Pinterest
Don't forget Instagram

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Power of a Decision


"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..." Deuteronomy 30:19

From the moment I get out of bed, to the moment I get back in, I'm faced with hundreds, some days thousands, of decisions.

Some are as simple as what necklace should I wear today? What clothes should I pull out for the boys? Should I organize that closet today, or wait until tomorrow? What should we have for dinner?

We're all faced with those decisions and we usually make them without even really thinking too hard.

But everyday we're also confronted with bigger decisions that have much more impact on our lives. Am I going to choose to be in a good mood today, or let my emotions run amok and make everyone suffer? Am I going to listen to my children when they come to me with their troubles, or am I going to keep working on the computer and put them off until later? What television shows will I invite into my house? What conversations will I have with my husband and children? Will I respond to that friend who called for help, or will I pretend I didn't get the message?

Every day we're making decisions that impact our lives and either produce life or death in our relationships, in our careers, in our homes and in our faith. Some decisions don't appear to be a big deal, but they're bigger than we give them credit for. The words that come out of our mouths, the actions we take, the things we spend our time and money on, the activities we commit to - all of the decisions we make add up and define who we are - and, more importantly, they strengthen and encourage, or weaken and tear down parts of our lives.

I think so often people walk through life and never really ask themselves these questions: Who do I want to be today, tomorrow or in ten years? Am I making life-filled decisions, or death-filled ones? Am I investing life into my relationships, my career, my home and my faith?

I can make any decision I want - it's the gift of freewill - so I must choose wisely. Each decision is packed with purpose and carries in it the power of life and death.

One way I've discovered to make life giving decisions is by bearing the Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), because the Fruit of the Spirit represents life. Fruit is produced by a living plant and has in it seed to produce more plants. When we bear fruit (by the choices that we make) we are planting seeds into our relationships and life. If we're bearing love, then we are planting love. If we are bearing kindness, then we are planting kindness. The reverse is also true. If we're bearing anger, bitterness, resentment or fear, that's what we're planting.

Because God asks us to bear the Fruit of the Spirit, we know that through the strength of the Holy Spirit we can do it and do it well. It's a decision we make every day. It's not always easy to be kind or loving, but it's possible and it produces life. So choose life, that you and your decedents may live.

What about you? Do you think about the power you have in making every day decisions?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Signs of fall



“Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know the ordinance of the Lord." Jeremiah 8:7


This morning as I was driving to the coffee shop to get some writing done, I passed a small lake. Geese dotted the surface. Now, this isn't an unusual sight here in Rochester. I've heard it said that there are more geese than people in Rochester, and there are 100K plus people in Rochester.






(These are some of the geese on Silver Lake here in Rochester. The water never freezes thanks to a power plant dumping warm water into the lake all year.)


However, though geese on a lake in Rochester isn't an unusual sight, I was reminded that fall is here and many birds are migrating to warmer temperatures. I was reminded that nobody tells the birds when to go. They just know. God has gifted them with instincts that signal when to move on.




I was also reminded of God's faithfulness to us in changing the seasons. Seed time and harvest, summer and winter, spring and fall. He never fails. Unlike Narnia, where it was always winter but never Christmas, God has set the seasons in motion, and by Him all of it consists and continues in order.


The above verse, about how the birds understand the seasons and that God is faithful, and yet His children don't remember His truths was a good for me today. God's faithfulness is all around us, everywhere we look, in every aspect of our lives. The changing of the leaves from green to brilliant reds and oranges, the briskness of the wind, the scudding of the clouds across a gray sky, and yes, the honking of the geese as they wing their way to warmer temperatures, reminds us of our Mighty God.









Our maple hedge in the fall.




What have you seen this fall that reminds you of our God?

Erica Vetsch:
Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Do you prefer Bittersweet Tragedy or Happy Ever After?

No one wanted Danny to die in the movie Pearl Harbor. In fact, when Danny died, I threw my shoe at the TV, gasped like a dying whale, and used up my Puffs Plus with Lotion like there would never be another box made in my lifetime.

Check it out: (there is a bit of war graphics so be cautious if you don't like that sort of thing)



If you watched that scene, we all know why we don't want the hero to die. It's heartbreaking, heart rending, and we feel the loss as if they were our own. Typically, by the time the hero gives his last breath, we have traveled with him through an entire novel (or movie) and more than the just the hero is lost.


Striving for something. A hero is reaching for something, needs to conquer something, or is overcoming insurmountable obstacles. In the movie Pearl Harbor Danny already lost his best friend Rafe, or so he thought -- he fell in love with Rafe's girl, and then Rafe returns from being MIA to find his girl committed to Danny. It's betrayal of the worst sort. Not just to Rafe, but to Rafe's memory. Danny wants his best friend to return, but insurmountable turmoil both emotional and the toil from war, keep them from overcoming the bitterness. Until this last scene, when Danny gives his life for Rafe and Rafe shows forgiveness and grief as he tells Danny that Danny is going to be a daddy. "No -- you are". It's the ultimate love, the ultimate gift ...

As a writer, I'm trying really hard to learn the balance of a great hero. Heroes, frankly, come way easier to me than writing heroines. No clue why. But I do try not to off my hero if it's not necessary. Really. Because most of the time it doesn't add to the story -- sometimes my story can be richer if the hero, you know, lives!

BUT! In Pearl Harbor, it was necessary to communicate the horror of war, the sacrifices our heroes made in one of the darkest times in American history, and -- one of the boys had to get the girl, they couldn't both have her. 

Which brings to mind Nicholas Sparks. He's certainly carved out his niche of faithful followers. But in reality, a lot of readers want to escape reality and not dwell in the sadness that is grief and loss. But even in Sparks' novels, the character's death serves a purpose. Without it, the story could not happen. But I swear, every one of his novels is riddled with that bittersweet, throw your shoe, type of romance. And he's a best selling author.

So as a writer, here is my question for you as a reader: How do you feel when a main character dies in a novel? Are you a Sparks reader, or not? 

I'm just trying to gauge that balance between the bittersweet tragedy vs. the happy ever after, as both seem to be very popular.

Talk to me! Tell me what you think!




_________________________________________

Jaime Jo Wright
author of spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense

COMING SOON!

March 2016, "The Cowgirl's Lasso", The Cowboy Bride's Novella Collection, from Barbour Publishing

August, 2016,"Gold Haven Heiress", The California Gold Rush Brides Collection, from Barbour Publishing


Visit Jaime's web site: jaimejowright.com
Email Jaime - jaimejowright at gmail dot com
Like Jaime on Facebook
Friend Jaime on Twitter
Meet Jaime on Pinterest
Don't forget Instagram

Monday, October 12, 2015

House Rules: Leave Right

House Rules.

Twenty-seven years ago when Ted and I were just engaged, we attended a seminar at our college where the speaker was a psychologist who told stories about relationships and communication. Something pretty good for young adults planning on marriage to attend, right? 


I don’t remember what we thought it would help us with the most. I think we had pictured lecture style outlines about savvy points for conflict management, communication do’s and don’ts, and the like.

I don’t think I took notes. There were no outlines. Only stories.

And the one point we remember most was….leave right.

I don’t recall all the proper details, but the gist of the story was that this white bearded sage, trained in his profession, had had stiff words with his wife and sauntered off to bed, leaving her to stew in her easy chair. Upon waking the following morning, he at first thought she’d been quite angry to not have come to bed at all, when instead, she’d passed away in her sleep right where he’d left her. He went on to talk about making peace and parting well and its importance in relationships.

Leave right. Part well.

That story resonated with Ted and I. Our families had always pretty much hugged each other good-bye upon parting. But we were at the threshold of setting up our house rules. We were on the verge of starting our own traditions. And not being the quiet acquiescing type of personalities, we agreed that when disagreements arose, we’d never stomp off, leave, and part without some effort to say words of agreement to forgive. Though at times those words were only, “I love you dear, but I sure don’t like you right now.” We agreed to give each other space when upset, but not so much space that allowed for soured parting as much as it was up to us.


When we leave for trips, we gather in a circle, or reach back to link hands with the kids in the back seat and pray. Even our grown children offer each other a parting hug or kiss. I love that. 

Start well. Leave well.

And put the rest in His hands.



Readers:

Do you have house rules in your family?
Please share!
How do your children take your "house rules" to heart?

Addendum: Forty-five minutes after I posted this last Monday, I received news of the premature death of a dear friend's thirty year old son. He died suddenly the day after he'd celebrated his 30th birthday with his friends and family, and then flew to Mexico with his expectant wife for a vacation. Please. Take every moment as a sacred possibility, and every parting as a promise to keep holding on well, even if you don't "feel it" in the moment. Please pray for my dear friend and beta-reader and her family during the days ahead.
-------------
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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Find me on: Goodreads