Monday, July 31, 2017

Bring on the Next Half Century!

Anne here.
Don't worry, I'm not going to list fifty reasons why fifty is nifty! But in looking at the first half century of my life, I'm thinking the next half century will be fun because there are certain benefits to being in the second half of life.


Let's face it, there are some things we don't have to do over! I don't have to be an awkward teenager ever again. I may have to reinvent my view of life as life stages move along, but I won't have to choose a career path again, and if I live a healthy average life span I won't have to learn to walk again or worry about potty training for several more decades, lol (theoretically!).

I hope to be a life-half-full-type person in the next half of life. Let "golden" be as golden as it can be with priceless moments and friendships! While I'm grateful that wisdom does eventually come with age, I'm particularly glad to have more meaningful friendships than I've ever had in my life. In that regard, fifty is pretty nifty.

So despite black balloons and colonoscopy reminders, I shared chocolate cake, chocolate covered fruit, texts from the kids, dinner out with friends, and a beautiful summer day with Ted on my fiftieth!

A few shout-outs to the ones I love:
Special thanks to my Sister-Chucks for being you, and "getting me."





Special thanks to my #ChooseJoy Church Ladies for how you make my life richer.


Special thanks to my husband, family, and my office staff!



Thanks to Barbour Publishing for making a dream come true, can't wait to see what my first book signing will be like this Saturday, August 5th from 11am to 2pm. Hope to see some friendly faces! And I can't wait to see what the writing journey might be in the decades to come.


And just for kicks, I've decided if I need a new hobby to keep life full of joy in this second half of life, I choose learning to play the cello like these guys!


So, bring on the second half of life!!
-------------
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
Find me on: Instagram

Friday, July 28, 2017

Author Interview & #Giveaway: @JessicaPatch

We love have Harlequin Love Inspired authors here on the CCC blog and today is no exception! Jessica Patch has returned to tell about her latest suspense novel. We think you'll find it intriguing...

_____________________________________________


Thank you so much for visiting us today here at the CCC blog! Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?

Deep Waters is the first book in a new series (The Security Specialists) with Love Inspired Suspense. I’ve always been obsessed with the Pinkerton Agency and I wanted to model something similar, but not on such a grand scale. I came up with a private security company made up of former soldiers (mostly SEALS). The plot developed out of my niece’s love for sea turtles. Since I began writing she has begged me (relentlessly) to write a book about sea turtles. I kind of got sick of the whining about it. J



Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why? That’s tough. I love them all and enjoyed them all. I’d say Shepherd but the word “enjoy” doesn’t seem right since he’s a complicated man with a tragic past. Many times my heart bled for him. Maybe the most enjoyable was Wilder Flynn, the CEO of the security company. He was introduced in Final Verdict and will make appearances in Deep Waters and Dark Web before getting his own story in Deadly Obsession. He’s fun to write because he’s snarky and charming. His dialogue is a blast!

  
Can you tell us about a scene that you wrote and eventually deleted? It’s always fun to know of the little details that didn’t make the cut J I typically don’t delete scenes. Snippets of dialogue and narrative get cut in revisions, but once I have the plot, I pretty much stick to the scene development. That’s probably boring. Sorry!
  

How did you decide on the setting/location for this novel? Well, sea turtles require um…an ocean
and beach for nesting. I chose Florida and then decided on using a fictional small town since I couldn’t get to somewhere like Tampa or St. Petersburg for research. I came up with Turtle Bay, Florida.

  
What made you pick these specific names of your main two characters? My heroine, Caley Flynn is clearly from a strong Irish background. I wanted an extremely feminine name. I chose Caley because it means “slender” and that describes her. Shepherd, my hero, was named that because it’s who he is. Lightman comes into play with his first name and with Jesus: Shepherd and Light.
  

Moving on from your story, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What’s your least favorite household chore and why? My least favorite chore is folding and putting away clothing. I have no good reason. I just don’t like it.

  
What are your hobbies outside of writing? I enjoy thrift shopping or perusing the roads for tossed furniture so I can refurbish them. Much of my furniture has been acquired this way. I’m working on making headboards out of shutters for my daughter and her room mate as they’ll be embarking on college this fall!

Summer is upon us, and full of events. Are you doing anything special this summer season? Since my daughter graduated, we’ll be taking her to Universal Studios this summer and to fulfill one of her childhood dreams—swimming in open water with dolphins! I’m especially looking forward to watching that and to visiting Harry Potter’s world at Universal. We’re also doing a lot of dorm shopping and hanging out since it’s our last summer before she goes away.

  
We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing? My faith affects everything I write. I see the world with eyes of Christ’s hope and that message always rings loud and clear in the stories I tell.

  
Tell us a little about a day in the life of you? Wake up time? Lounging in your jammies all day, drinking coffee, living the luxurious life of a writer ;) Yes, the life of a writer is super glamorous. I sleep late and my housekeeper makes sure my kids are off to school. She does my grocery shopping and dinner meal preps so I can wake up easy and take my time with writing. I usually meet a group of friends for lunch three times a week and I schedule a spa day every Friday. Oh wait. You said reality. Not fiction. I’m an early riser. Most days (not summer) I am up by 5 a.m. It’s coffee and time with Jesus. Then time to pack my son’s lunch and wait on him to come downstairs to go to school. I take him and am home by about 7:05 a.m. (that’s super specific, huh?) I do a little house work and sometimes exercise, or run to the grocery store, then I’m in my office by 9. I write from 9-2 with breaks/lunch/laundry—ugh and I pick him up and maybe work an hour more before I start dinner. I don’t work evenings or weekends unless my husband is working late or mowing our nine acres on a Saturday—that gives me added writing time since he’s busy and my kids rarely wake in the summer or weekends until noon! I’m the mom that lets them so I can have extra “me” time. LOL Judge not!
  

We have a bit of a war going on here at the CCC blog. Anne and Jaime LOVE coffee and Erica and Gabriella enjoy a joyful cup of tea. What is your preference? Help us break this tie… I can’t do that! I love both. I’m a coffee girl in the morning and a tea girl in the afternoon!


And a few fun and quirky questions always reveal of lot from our authors who visit. So, first, if you were to take a boat down the Amazon river, what would you be most interested in seeing? I wouldn’t be on a boat going down the Amazon. But if I were, I’d want to see monstrous snakes and colorful birds. Also, Tarzan. I really would like to see him. ;)


If you had a choice of living in any era other than the present, what would you choose and why? I wouldn’t. I like that I can do what I want including vote and I’m quite fond of air conditioning, modern medicine, and a toilet system. But if I HAD to choose, maybe the roaring twenties.


We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:
He faced her. Her skin had turned ghostly white. “Ever play hopscotch?”
“Why?” she asked, caution in her tone.
Shep motioned with a tilt of his head to the edge of the roof.
Caley’s sight went straight to the other side of the roof and she rushed over, peering down into the alley that separated the buildings. Sweat popped on her forehead, mouth agape, head shaking furiously. “I can’t do that. I can’t jump across there. I’m not a soldier! I study turtles!”
“Slow and steady ain’t gonna win this race.”
“No! Just…pop `em the minute they come up. You’re a sniper! You can do that.” Her voice reached window-cracking volume and she flailed her hands wildly.
“Caley,” he said, his voice low and calm while inside he was reeling. “I’m not going to do that.” Not that it hadn’t crossed his mind, but she might get caught in the crossfire, and he wouldn’t risk it. “And you don’t really want me to.” Caley would never condone killing no matter who it was. That wasn’t who she was. But she was panicking. And if she didn’t try her best to relax, she’d hesitate on the jump and plummet to the alley below.
Time was thin. Any minute they’d make it upstairs. Into the office. And that would be that.
“You’re a Flynn. You can do it. I know you can do it. Trust me.” Why should she though? He’d put her in this predicament.
She licked her lips, wrung her hands together. Blew a breath. “I’m gonna be sick.”
No time to patty-cake anymore. He hardened his tone. “You’re gonna jump to that building and you’re going to make it.” He’d give her no choice.

  
Visit my website and choose your preferred retailer to purchase Deep Waters. Check out the Deep Waters EXTRAS on the BOOK CLUBS page and connect with me via the social media links! If you enjoy freebies, contests, giveaways and interested in book news, please sign up for the Patched In emails/newsletters too!

I’d love to give away a copy of Deep Waters! Enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win! U.S. only for paperback. E-book copy for abroad.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Some #Gilbert&Sullivan for your #Bookshelf

Jaime here!

I know! I've been AWOL this summer. So sorry about that. It's all about to change! :) *Hint: stay tuned for some changes to the CCC blog starting in August!

Meanwhile! I've been finalizing my book The House on Foster Hill releasing from Bethany House Publishers in December and writing book 2, The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond. AND! I've also been escaping in great novel adventures by some fun authors.

My latest is The Captain's Daughter, Jennifer Delamere's first release with Bethany House Publishers, although not her first novel.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.


This novel will delight lovers of anything Gilbert and Sullivan. A rich history intertwines with the backstage setting to create a fine, well written historical novel. Descriptions are lovely, the story pleasant and consistent with a historical romance. The plot is light and consists mostly of the heroine's grafting into the life of the stage. If you're looking for a novel that mixes English stage and light romance, this is the book for you. 

I'm challenged at times to read outside of my box. This novel was outside in that the plot was very much the lives of the characters over action and drama. That being said, it was thick with history, well-crafted, detailed, and wonderful writing. For anyone who loves historicals with romance and immersing themselves into unique settings and arenas, this book is definitely not going to disappoint.

So, that being said! Why not? Who wants to win a copy? I'm giving mine away to anyone in the United States. (Sorry. International postage slayed me last month).

Just leave a blog comment and tell me what intrigues you about this novel! I'll draw a winner next Tuesday!


Jaime Jo Wright
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures atjaimejowright.com.

Web site: www.jaimejowright.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaimejowright
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaimejowright 
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jaimejowright 
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/jaimejowright 
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/13916081.Jaime_Jo_Wright

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Fun in Maine!

Anne here.
Summertime is vacation time! Summer vacations are some of the best memories. Many of you are on a school schedule and still view summer as a time to get away. Even though my kids are out of the house, my husband teaches school and our schedules are still on a school schedule.

Every year we haggle and dream about what vacations we want to take for the coming year. I've dreamed of vacationing in Maine for years, but every time I'd bring it up for the vote, it got hacked down. My hubby would argue that I could see trees and forests anywhere, why drive that far? But, but...I'd whine. So this year, to my total surprise he called my manager at work, arranged for time out and announced that he was taking me to Maine! I was filled with glee of course, because he also said that he would oblige me to stop at any historical thing I wanted to see. My mind raced with possibilities.

We drove there and back some 2000+ miles (he drove the entire trip!). We stopped in North East, Pennsylvania, at a B & B and drove interstate 90 all through New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine where we stayed in Wells.









We enjoyed lobster rolls, antique shops, a walk along Ogunquit Beach, and an off broadway show at Ogunquit Playhouse, Bullets Over Broadway, with an appearance by Sally Struthers. We also found an out of the way organic farm, spent the day in  historic York, Maine, found an Irish restaurant, and discovered that "fine" antiques out east can mean rare old pieces at exorbitant prices!






From there we headed to Freeport, Maine, and spent most of the day at L.L.Bean headquarters, ate Ben & Jerry's, then drove north to Rockport after stopping at an Italian restaurant for a little non-seafood cuisine, because every meal except breakfast had been seafood, which we loved!






In Rockport, we stayed at a cute little place where they served continental breakfast on a large deck surrounded by lovely flowers. We spent most of a day on Lincolnville Beach, an afternoon at the Lighthouse museum, and hit up a string of antique stores.



We noticed that the history on the coast is very old, dating back in many towns to the 1600's. At the organic farm, we learned that it had been owned by the same family since they immigrated and it had a family cemetery that held stones dating back to the 1700's--no need to research Ancestry.com when all your ancestors are in your back yard! We also noticed that many places have piled rock walls very similar to all around Ireland, and many antique stores had pieces that have probably been around the east coast for centuries. Also, it's not generally blazing hot there. All in all, we had a wonderful trip!

Readers:
Where are you headed for summer vacation?
What's on your bucket travel list?
Anyone else been to Maine?
-------------
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
Find me on: Instagram

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Meet Author Jaime Jo Wright - The Fisherman's Nymph

When I was asked to be a part of another Barbour novella collection, I was thrilled. Barbour Publishing is such a fabulous publishing company and working on another delightful novella was just up my alley to compose during the long, cold Wisconsin months of this past winter.

It was a no-brainer for me that I wanted to set my characters deep in the heart of Wisconsin's northwoods, a place I love to travel every summer. I have spent many a summer canoeing the Flambeau River (on which "The Fisherman's Nymph" is set), swimming in the rapids, camping on its shores, and swatting away its black flies.

So Abby was created. A melancholy soul who cherishes her privacy along her river, fishing the Flambeau's off-shoots with the newer-to-fishing style, fly fishing. She's an artist, a woodswoman, and above all, a loyal daughter who finds reconciling the recreational boom of the wealthy to outdoor sports appalling when so many in the world could put that money to much better, more charitable, uses.

Charles Farrington the Third is a flirt. It almost lends him toward a special kind of immaturity--the flippant kind. It's as if the world is his play to play and blinders hide his eyes from the realities of a harsh world. A world Abby cannot escape, even in her refuge along the Flambeau river.

As their worlds collide, sparks fly, and first impressions prove how very false they can really be.

Yes, I have spent many hours fly-fishing, like our heroine Abby. The streams and strategy to catching a trout takes finesse and much study of the waters. It was so fun to write this into Abby's vision, and so challenging to show Charles' unappreciative  spirit for the sport.
Hopefully, you will all enjoy a jaunt to the northwoods and even some fly-fishing experiences with Charles and Abby. You don't have to love fishing to be caught up in their romance, hook, line, and well . . . nymph.

Do you know what a 'nymph' references in association with fly-fishing? Have you ever fly-fished or been interested in fly-fishing? What are your thoughts about flirtatious heroes and the women who love them? :)


Jaime Jo Wright
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures atjaimejowright.com.

Web site: www.jaimejowright.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaimejowright
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaimejowright 
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jaimejowright 
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/jaimejowright 
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/13916081.Jaime_Jo_Wright



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Meet Natalie Monk - Author with @Barbourbuzz

A Little-known Confession

Hello everyone! I'm excited to be here today and thrilled to be included in the Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection. A huge thank-you to the CCC girls for having me over and hosting this fun blog blitz!

Many things have been shared about the Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection such as historical research and character inspiration, but I wanted to base today’s blog on something I’ve never shared before: the personal inspiration behind the spiritual thread in my novella For Richer or Poorer.
First, here's a little more about the story:


In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant and housemaid Marcella Lipski must marry wealth…so she dons her employer's discarded ball gowns and goes husband hunting at Newark's tourist spots. There are a few problems, though. Ella's shy. She knows nothing of the rules governing American high society. She'll lose her job if she's recognized. Oh, and she can't speak a speck of English. When a poor-but-mysterious cart driver catches her eye, she must protect her heart at all costs. She won’t leave her family hopeless.

Woody Harris has no desire to be rich, and he lives out his faith by giving most of his possessions away to the street kids on his freight route. When his horse spooks and bowls over Ella, inflicting bruises, Woody offers her free conveyance for a week and starter lessons in English as compensation. He's soon charmed by her innocent, farm-girl ways and her concern for "his" kids. But by the time he learns Ella will only marry for money, it's already too late for his heart. (Check out Woody and Ella's character inspiration photos on the collaborative Of Rags and Riches Pinterest Board!)

While there are many fun things going on in the surface story, (from hiding family scandals, to playing the imposter to secret conversations in confessional booths), the subjects requiring me to draw from deeper personal experience were the characters’ spiritual journeys.

The summer before I wrote this novella, my dad resigned his church of thirteen years and went into itinerant preaching ministry until the Lord gave him further direction. Next thing you know, I get the unmistakable conviction that I should quit my job as a piano teacher and follow my parents in music ministry as we did years ago when my dad was a traveling revival evangelist. At this point, none of us knew what God had planned or how He would open opportunities for us to make a living this way. This not knowing, this walking by faith, despite circumstances that encouraged us to cling to known securities, provided the living-by-faith theme for For Richer or Poorer.

My Polish heroine, Ella, tries to work through problems in her own strength. She has admirable qualities of determination, perseverance and a willing heart, which tend toward a flawed desire to control her circumstances, especially as they affect her family. While writing her story, many times I wanted to look up at God and plead the fifth. I myself struggle with a yen for control and am too eager to invite God into my plans instead of asking Him to take over. I often lead out into defeat. But then He proves Himself time and again, despite my fears, and grows my faith as He guides me into battles that He fights for me, providing the victory as He vanquishes my doubts.

My hero Woody believes he can't fix anything no matter how he tries (whether in his relationships with his family and the heroine or with the orphans he feeds). Throughout the novel, he learns the importance of faithfulness (continued obedience to the known will of God) even in the face of unchanging obstacles.

If you’re wondering how things turned out for my family, my dad now pastors a church in his hometown (his long-time dream) where I am the church pianist and will begin piano lessons again this fall. During our year of “walking by faith,” the Lord worked as we obeyed Him, providing for every need and allowing my family to participate in areas of ministry we never dreamed would be opened to us. He is faithful.


Natalie Monk is an award-winning writer of historical romance. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. A preacher’s daughter from South Mississippi, Natalie loves porch swings, old movies, and meeting readers through her website: www.nataliemonk.com. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

What about you? Have you ever faced a situation that seemed to be hopeless until faith and perseverance finally broke through? Have you ever struggled with circumstances until you gave up control to God and He gave you the victory in His own time and way? Respectively, what helped you press on or brought you to surrender?

Don't forget to enter our Rafflecopter drawing for your chance to win a loaded Kindle Fire!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, today's the big day for our Facebook Party! Just click on this link to RSVP and Facebook will remind you when it's time to get started.