Monday, September 30, 2013

Need Some Perspective?

Has your To-Do list given you tunnel vision?

Can't see beyond the pile of laundry cluttering the pathway through your laundry room?

Wading through the piles of junk mail to find that one parent letter from your son's teacher--the one that says you owe a payment on a field trip----today?

Can't remember the last time you had your car serviced, your oil changed?

Hoping your husband or the little people in your life will help rake the piling leaves that will over-run you this Fall?

Has your To-Do list overtaken you, chewed you up, and spit you out this week? Attacking you with more on your list, faster than you can check them off?

Ever wonder if anyone else ever changes the toilet paper roll but you? Or put the toothpaste lid back on? Or do you wish you had someone in your life to clean up after? Little fingerprints. A dirty coffee mug. An empty jar of Jif peanut butter littering that counter you just cleaned. Wishing your nest was full, or that you had a nest at all?

Sometimes we could all use just a huge dose of perspective.
Well, I can anyway.

A few months ago, we made reservations with friends at a campground an hour away from home. We penciled it in. But of course, when the time arrives, we can think of a thousand other things we could be doing instead. By Friday night when my husband and I got home from work, we had two hours until dark--and hadn't packed a thing. We kept our doubts to ourselves and set about the rush to prepare, but in my head I was seriously wondering--was worth it?

As we pulled out the drive and down the road--it was finally the moment I'd waited for--driving away into the sunset.

And then I looked back and felt it--perspective....

No matter where we are in life, no matter who we are, if we are citizens of God's kingdom we can rejoice in being a part of a much larger story than or own piddly To-Do list. We can rejoice that we are not alone.

So when you need perspective, sometimes it takes:
--pressing onward when you doubt it's worth it.
--a shot of humor, or several shots of hilarity
--spending a little time with others

Oh, and S'mores always help!  The little get away was SO worth it! 

But mostly, don't forget (Philippians 3:20-4:1): 
"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!"

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Report: Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz

Leave a comment, like our author pages on FB, or follow our blog for a chance to win a free copy this week.
The second in the Ballantyne Legacy series, Love's Awakening has been on my wish list since I first had a sneak peek at the end of the first in the series,
Love's Reckoning. I've been savoring this amazing novel all week, stretching it out, not wanting it to end.

In a few words, it was:
    ~~A Riveting & Sweeping Saga
    ~~Lovely & Winsome
    ~~Trademark Laura

Plot & Setting: In the spring of 1822, Ellie Ballantyne comes back home on the winds of a storm to her family home in Pittsburgh, but the upturned trees aren't the only things unsettled in the valley where the Monongahela meets the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers. Though the Turlock clansmen continue as powerful slaveholders and whiskey magnates, the handsome Jack Turlock tests the loyalty of Ellie's roots and her deep ties to her father's abolitionist views. Determined to find her place in the world, her heart is captured when one of her students turns out to be Jack's younger sister. When the suspicious rival clan brews up a plot to claim victory over the Ballantyne's legacy, Ellie is deeply entangled between the two sides. Will she betray her family and side with the enemy?

Hero: Roguish, yet soft enough to hope redemption can plant a root in his heart. Jack Turlock is a twelve on a one to ten scale of the swoon-ometer! He had me on page 86 at "I'm here Ellie." Check out Laura's Pinterest template for him: Jack Turlock Template.
Heroine: Ellie, the cover says it all. Elegant. Lovely. Innocent. Like a rose you hope won't get crushed between the thorns of the clan.

Themes: What will happen when choosing love means siding with the enemy? How will Ellie resolve the ties that pull her two directions? And will Jack be able to shed the identity of his violent clan for freedom's sake? Laura paints amazing pictures of loyalty, freedom, and powerful illustrations of salvation, paid debt, liberation, and new life.

Favorite line: "As the old saint Whitfield said, we are immortal until our work is done."
Favorite secondary character: Chloe.

About Laura Frantz: 

I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.
My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Reader Questions for this week's give-away of a free copy:
Did you know the Underground Railroad was alive and well in 1822?
What is your favorite Laura Frantz novel?
Have you ever been to Pittsburgh?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's Your Show?

Ok. It's Fall Line Up season. I cannot afford to spend hours watching TV. Although I DID write my last book DURING TV shows, I think I can probably cut down on some editing time by actually CONCENTRATING on my first draft. :)

So not only did we cancel extraneous Satellite channels (and saved $80/mo), but I chose 3 shows we would DVR and watch together. Isn't my husband great? He may rule the remote, but he let me rule the line up! :)

My first two picks:

One night of TV together (parents of little children and who can't leave home EVER date night)

I love NCIS everything. Call me a junkie. I'm horrified Ziva is leaving this year. Can I get an AMEN?!

My third pick:

Sunday night when my mind is blown from 4 evenings of straight up writing

I LOVE Once Upon a Time. It's like all my fairy tales and adventures of a kid wrapped into an adult package and made "ok" again. I'm in love with Captain Hook. What can I say? I'm sorry?

BUT I HAVE A CONUNDRUM!! Monday night my husband was occupying the family room with a couple from church for marriage counseling. So I was editing my heart out upstairs when ALAS my computer ran out of battery and my charger was downstairs. I couldn't interrupt the session.SO I turned on TV. Blacklist. Never heard of that show. Fine. I'll watch its premiere episode because it doesn't interest me so I won't get hooked.



I'm trying to figure out if I have time to squeeze in another show and make it an even 4.

Do any of you watch these shows? Are you anti-TV-waste-of-time? What's your fave for the upcoming season?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reader's Poll: Name That Book

Last week on the Books & Such blog we were asked what authors we most wanted to emulate and why, or for what quality. Wendy pushed us to identify our literary heroes, and it made me think...

I’d love to be as winsome with words and story crafting as Laura Frantz. I’d be satisfied publishing just one book if its heroine were as captivating as L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, or as amazing as Catherine Marshall’s Christy. I would feel successful about shining a light in the darkness if I could entice the lost to hope like Francine Rivers did through Redeeming Love.

But it's the last one I named that has lingered in my mind this week:

I’d be thrilled if I could bring the smoldering fires of difficulty reading to a blaze that surpasses the challenge like Janette Oke did for me, and J.K. Rowling has done for my children.

I never read well as a child, and I know there are many others out there like me.

I pronounced every word, touching it with my finger, and even then sometimes my brain didn't process it right. In first grade I plummeted from the top reading group to the bottom while everyone whizzed past me. I knew the right answers in reading group but couldn't get it across my lips faster than anyone else--and got precious little candy rewards while the others in my group were getting cavities.

By the end of first grade I had to take summer school to help me with my reading. It did help and I slowly progressed--ever aware that I was different than other kids. I hated Sunday afternoons. My mom would be deep in a Leon Uris book the size of the last Harry Potter book. My dad would be buzzing through Louis L'Amour books. My brother was buried in Star Trek, Encyclopedia Brown, or Tolkien.

Me? I read nothing for fun. Big. Fat. Zero. Reading was simply not fun for me. We visited the library often, yet nothing much held my interest, and I was soon embarrassed to take home the little kids books with pictures that I had enjoyed more easily.

By the time I was in freshman English, I had a near panic attack when the teacher announced that after Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, we would have nine weeks of speed reading! It did push me to improve, but I still felt intensely aware of the loud noise of my peer group whizzing past me. I was able to read some required books for book reports, but I'd resigned myself to believe that I was never going to be a reader. I would never devour words.

However, mid way through that freshman year, my grandmother gave me Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly. I can still see the pink spine, the image on the cover. It was a six hour drive home from grandma's northern Michigan home--and I was hooked before we were south of Petosky. I soon combed the church library and begged to go to the book store at the mall. Finally, I was devouring George MacDonald books and I realized it had happened.

I was finally a reader. 

by permission:

It was as if I'd graduated, been allowed entrance to an exclusive club. And the first time my college English teacher pulled me aside and pronounced that I had a way with words, I nearly dissolved into a puddle of tears on the spot--there was hope for me and words after all! 

So here's the question: What book pushed you into becoming a reader, never to return again? 

My husband and children had similar stories of difficulty learning to read. For my daughter it was Samantha in the American Girl series, when she came downstairs long after bedtime, book in hand, eyes twinkling, saying "Mama, I couldn't help it, it just sucked me in." For my son it was Harry Potter. 

Tell us about your love for reading. Tell us if your children ever suffered with reading difficulties.


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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Revisiting Horror

I revisited a horrifying place in my mind. A cold, empty place I visited a few years ago. As I walked the gravel walks of Dachau Concentration camp I actually wanted to hear the voices of the dead speak their horrors, so that I would not forget. That man is innately good is a philosophy I cannot believe here and Scripture is confirmed in my mind that "surely I was sinful at birth" (Ps. 51:5). The evil callousness of mankind compared to the justness and righteousness of God is astounding in a place such as Dachau. One enters the gas chambers and you can almost hear the panicked cries of confusion from the ghosts that linger there.

Where is hope, in a place such as this? IS there hope in a place such as this? It seemed like the hopeful dead whispered to me and urged me forward, and there, in the strangest place, you come across a peaceful yard. It is fenced in and an old Nazi guard tower is its entrance. But there, at the end of earthly hell, is a nunnery. A place of solitude, worship, forgiveness ...

I don't think it's an accident that it is there. It's the reminder of Christ's promise "IN this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world". It's not a promise against persecution, but a promise of hope that can be seen at the end of whatever trial we experience.

I was struggling a few years ago with some issues--like relocating to a different state for my husband's job, the possibility of never having children, and the idea that I may never be a successful writer. My biggest struggle was frustration and guilt over struggling at all!! When I compared my trials to the trials of those at Dachau they became minuscule. But, yet I struggled, and I judged myself for struggling. Until there came a Wednesday evening at youth group that we had an old elderly man share of his experience during the Holocaust. His accent was so thickly German you had to strain to understand him.

I was so ashamed with guilt over my petty worries after his blazing horrors. In a rare moment, I found myself crying in public. Then the unthinkable happened. He approached me. This Holocaust survivor sought me out in the crowd. I didn't want to look him in the face for his aged, rheumy eyes to see my pettiness. He grabbed my hands and pulled me so close to him I could feel his breath on my face. He captured my eyes in his stern and sincere gaze. He shook my hands for emphasis, squeezing them in earnest concern. He said the only thing he knew to say clearly in English: "Jesus will take care of you! Jesus will take care of you!"

In that moment, I knew he communicated that one cannot compare trials, for all trials are different from different perspectives. But the one hope remains the same, "Jesus will take care of you!" I went home changed that evening. I had received a blessing from a Holocaust survivor. The blessing was permission to struggle but a blessing of hope.

There is hope today in Dachau, and there was hope there over fifty years ago. That hope is eternal and is shared, no matter the trial or persecution. No matter the pain. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!

Winner of Jody Hedlund's "Rebellious Heart" is.... LOREE HUEBNER!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Report: Rebellious Heart, by Jody Hedlund

Sigh. What a love story! Just when you think an author can't top her previous, Jody did. I mean her stuff keeps getting better and better. I can't wait for future books too. But enough of the future ... the present is HERE!

Rebellious Heart takes us back into the times of abused bond-servants, British red coats, Yankee smuggling, and love divided by rank. Jody definitely took us deep, as she always does, into the history of the era, before the war for Independence broke out in fervor.

"He's guilty of murder." The judge's voice echoed through the meetinghouse. "I hereby sentence him to be hanged."

What better opening line can you get, but that? Instantly, you'll be drawn into the story. The murder of a nameless woman, cut feet, abused body, and an old man who is a very unlikely culprit taking the blame. A handsome but poor lawyer insistent of the defendant's guilt. A wealthy old woman broken. A young education-hungry granddaughter enamored not by the handsome lawyer, but by the written word.

Sheesh ... everything is in this. Closet romance (you'll understand when you read the book ;), spy games, underground tunnels, and a bad guy you just want to draw your bayonet on and skewer him. It's not a creepy book, so don't be dismayed if you don't like uber scary villains. But it's suspenseful and keeps you reading under the covers with your flashlight. Again, not because you're scared but because you don't want to wake your husband. ;)

SO! The good news is Jody is graciously giving away a copy! The bad news is, there's only one :) So enter to win below. The winner will be announced Monday morning! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Facebook Coffee Party over Jody Hedlund's New Book!

This is your official invite to join me for a Facebook Coffee Party today!! I'll be sharing about Jody's new book, how we first met, and more! THREE entries into Jody's book drawing for everyone who attends. AND I'm giving away a coffee sample pack!

Where: Jaime's Facebook Page
When: 11 AM CST
How: Visit my page, like it if you haven't already, and you'll see the directions in a post!

See you there!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Virtual Coffee Party & Conference Recap

 Coming home off the writer's conference is like coming home from church camp. A rather bewildered feeling that wait -- didn't everyone else experience the same high I did? Ah, well. That old song, "back to life, back to reality" is playing in my brain. But reality is a blessing. My Kokomo Jo and Peter Pan are all about mommy being home and I can't count the amounts of hugs and kisses and loves. I'm also back at work, and I am blessed to say I love my job and the people in it, so I'm stoked.

But today!! I'm thrilled to announce we're coming out of
conference with a BANG! Jody Hedlund is releasing her latest and greatest novel and man oh man oh man oh man, it's phenomenal! I'm thrilled to share she's hosting a GIVEAWAY of her new book on Friday here at the CCC Blog and so today and tomorrow, I'm hosting a virtual coffee party!

Here's how it works:

  1. Leave a comment today about your favorite coffee flavor for one chance to win.
  2. Meet me at my Facebook page tomorrow Jaime's Facebook Page at 11am CST for a Facebook coffee party!! I'll be there, hope you are too. Instructions will be posted at 10:45am so you know how on earth a Facebook coffee party works! I'll give you insight into Jody's new book, share how I first met Jody, and we can all tip our coffee cups to a great new book!
  3. POST A PIC on my Facebook Page of your favorite coffee mug for an extra entry into the book drawing
  4. Come back Friday for my complete book review and a chance to win!

SOUND GOOD?! I mean what better way to come out of conference week than a coffee party with great friends and a chance to win a future best seller! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Final Moments of ACFW

Coming home from ACFW is like coming home from summer camp after a week, and somewhat like Moses coming down from the mountain. We're all still glowing, but no one at home got to share what we shared. So here's a bit of a glimpse. 

It was another full day of networking, agent & editor appointments, and pitching our manuscripts. It culminated with the final Gala and Carol Awards--which is like a mini ACFW Emmy awards. Fancy dresses and top hats. Famous authors, and wanna-be authors. So many dear dear women of God, serving Him with their stories and words. And some great men, like Frank Peretti and so many others. 

One of the best parts is the Genesis Awards when the winners are announced for each category of unpublished authors. We anxiously awaited to hear of our friend and crit partner, Laurie had won. What a great time, because everyone at ACFW was a winner in my book!

Jaime, Anne, & Laurie

So proud of Laurie for her Genesis Award!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday at ACFW Conference

Anne, Jaime, Amy Clipston,  & Becky Wade
Out to eat after a long day of pitching
Julie Jarnigan, Susan Crawford, Kara Isaac, Jaime, Anne, & Laurie Tomlinson

It was a full day of pitching, networking, worship, storytelling, and sessions. Now it's time to wind down after supper out with the girls, and some Harp & Bowl prayer time at ACFW Indy.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday at the ACFW Conference

Hey readers!  We're so glad We can bring you with us this weekend.  Last night was great.  Got to hang out with sheer amazingness.  Writers,  both published and unpublished, and just....hang. No book pitching or smooching up to agents.  Met a neat agent at dinner, just told stories and hung out and guess what... agents are human.  Shock.  I know.

Anne is amazing.  She made coffee this morning... fresh ground. I'm lolling in bed sniffing it as it brews.

This morning we go to a 4 hr class to learn how to pitch our books. Basically that means how we answer the question, "what's your book about? " not fun when your book is 100,000 words long and you have to summarize it into something that snags attention in 30 seconds.

So off we go. After coffee of course.  Here's some pics of last night. Or great friend and amazing author Sarah Sundin hung out with us too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

We're here, we're here!

Nervous giggles commence!

Pic Of today

On our way!  Stopped for coffee!

Day 2 of ACFW togetherness!

Anne and I are up and at em. Anne is feverishly printing out least minute stuff.  I loaded the car for Indy. We've had our first cup of coffee.  Going to stop in Nappanee for breakfast and coffee then on to Indy. Get ready!  THE CCC GIRLS ARE ON THEIR WAY!

... in hopes of not sounding self absorbed. ... How's your day?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Together Again!

Hey everyone!  Anne and I are together!  She's packing for conference as I blog.  I'm blogging on my phone as I hike through her beautiful woods and get my full of country before we hit downtown Indy tomorrow.  Don't forget to follow our Facebook pages.  Giveaways are going on as we speak!

On my way!

Im parked at a gas station on my way to Anne's and the 5 hour jaunt.  Can't wait to see her!  Got packed ... suitcase full of coffee supplies andshoes. ...and here I go!

Ready, Set, Go!

Stay tuned. Later today we will begin posting our journey. Today is the "GO" day!!
ACFW or bust!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Behind the Scenes at a Writer's Conference

 Jaime Says: Ok!! It's here!! The day before I leave for Indiana and Anne's house and conference and girl time and book time and PANIC time!

I'm showing off my amazing one-sheet created by my marketing director at work. One-sheet: a one page decorative sheet with back cover copy similar to what you would read if you went to a book store and picked up a book and read its back cover. My bio is also on there. Bio: who I am. :)

Here's your insider view to my back cover copy:

Tessa Weston dreams of being a wife and a mother. When she rescues an infant boy from a shipwreck, it appears one of her dreams may come true. But as her father’s spiral into insanity leaves her struggling just to keep his lighthouse functioning, the town council insists that an unmarried woman has no place as a lighthouse keeper or mother.

Doctor Michael Schwartz, the town’s physician, is adamant that Tessa’s father is losing his mind and needs to be institutionalized as her father’s deliriums are coupled with random attacks on her life.  Tessa dives into discovering the mystery of the lighthouse in a desperate attempt to prove that her father is not delusional.  Against all her instincts, she turns to Michael for help to uncover the secrets of the lighthouse and save the infant from being banished to an orphanage.
The lighthouse seems to have other ideas. The secrets it clings to may cost Tessa and Michael more than their pride—it may cost the lives of the very ones they seek to save.

Will Tessa find strength not of herself as she dodges the dangers of the lighthouse?

Can Michael overcome abandonment and betrayal to find that healing comes only through love itself?

I also wrote up a proposal. Rarely, will you actually give out a proposal at a conference. There's usually not enough time or immediate interest to warrant an actual handing over of paper. However, it's always good to have handy (just in case) and sometimes you get a request for parts of a proposal, so I can dissect it if needed.

I'll be packing tonight. Yes, I am taking my coffee pot and grinder and 2 lbs of coffee. No, I am not joking. It's either that or budget $25/per day at Starbucks and after 6 days, yeah ... you do the math. I'm taking my skinny jeans and English riding boots in case I feel European. I'm taking my boot cut jeans and Chaco flip flops in case I feel like being myself. I'm taking heels which is a waste of valuable space 'cause bets are on whether I step out of character and wear the dumb things or not.

I'm leaving behind ... my heart (Nate) and beats (Kokomo Jo and Peter Pan). Prayers appreciated. I'm known for becoming insatiably homesick to the point of walking around with tears streaming down my face and people digging sedatives from the bottom of their pill boxes for me. Not kidding. Well, kidding about the sedatives, but everything else is accurate.

Behind the scenes starts NOW!! I'll be posting to the blog on the run. There may even be more than one post a day (mainly pics with captions). Also, hop over to my Facebook page and "like" me ( I'll be posting there too WITH chances to win various prizes throughout the week. I mean, why shouldn't you have fun at conference too?

Adios! I'll see you tomorrow when I get in my car and begin the jaunt to Anne's house!

 Anne Says:

I'm cleaning house for Jaime's arrival! I'm making mental lists of the fun we'll have the night she arrives. I have an assortment of coffees ready including decaf Pike Place Roast to brew before we run off to Red Box to check out the movies. I hope to find Austenland, and check out any period films that might be out on Netflix. I have chocolate. I have tea. I'm dreaming of a visit to our local coffee house, or antique store.

I've struck gold. After hours of Pinterest and Esty browsing through pages and pages of cool Victorian  period costumes--all of which have 22 inch waists--I'd given up on wearing anything interesting for the costume dinner at conference. But alas, I struck gold--black gold that is. I found a $10 skirt that will double for my outfit on costume night, and then for my elegant semiformal wear for the banquet. I only wish I had the cash for the accessories--an antique doctor's bag I saw at the antique store--slobber, slobber.

See you through the week as we share our fun. Hop over to my Facebook page and click the "like" at so we know who you are and have a chance to win a surprise.

Monday, September 9, 2013

ACFW Countdown! 3-2-1-GO!

Winner of Dani Pettrey's book STRANDED is ... KARI!! 

Jaime and I are on the countdown this week for the annual ACFW national conference. We are nearly more excited that for Christmas! Why more than Christmas?

Because we know that God is already at work--laying the groundwork for His Truth to go out into the world. And for men and women of faith to encourage one another along the way.

by permission:

This conference is bathed in prayer. We've spent 40 days in prayer leading up the start of conference--not to mention all the nights we have tossed in bed wondering if we are crazy. All the appointment selections with writers and editors and agents of their choice have been prayed over. There is a prayer room running 24-7 during conference, dedicated to lift our hearts to the Lord. We will worship together several times each day throughout the conference. I'm particularly looking forward to the Harp & Bowl worship session late at night where the Spirit leads, Scripture is shared, and it's been amazing to see God move. I can't wait to take Jaime with me this time.

Last time Jaime and I went to ACFW Indianapolis was in 2010 there were nearly 600 participants. Imagine--God working in 600 lives. Then imagine His reaching out beyond those 600 lives to touch the lives around them with the written word and relationships. If each person touched 100 lives, that would be 60,000 lives touched!!

So you see why we are more excited than for Christmas!?

Oh Lord, we bow down at the work of Thy hands in the hearts of your people. We humble ourselves and the work of our writing and offer it to You. We lift the hearts of this hurting and broken world where mothers and fathers are missing, where the children feel alone are left untaught about life in Your Kingdom--and we offer the stories of our hearts and pray that lives may be changed with stories of the transforming power of Your love.

Psalm 95 (NIV translation):

1Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
8“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,a
as you did that day at Massahb in the wilderness,
9where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’

Oh Lord, we pray that You will soften the hearts of this generation. Amen.


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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Report & GIVEAWAY: Stranded, by Dani Pettrey

Labor Day weekend is good for some things...and one of them was starting and finishing Dani Pettrey's "Stranded". You all know what a HUGE fan I am of this lady and her books. I mean, c'mon, it takes me well out of my historical genre and deep into suspense. I'm LOVIN' IT!

Heartbeat stand still. This was a page turner like no other. I even ignored my children for it. Yes. My daughter watched about four hours of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. She wasn't complaining and neither was I.

Disappearing women. Cruise ship. Murdered husband. Kayaking. Hot hero ... ahem ... maybe that was a spoiler. This book is so involved it's hard to even review for fear of giving something away.

So. Hero? Killer. Well, actually he's not a killer, but he's ... oh sheesh. This review is going nowhere fast. I'm just blubbering. Gage and Darcy make a great couple on the hunt for Darcy's missing friend, evading white water accidents and being thrown overboard.

Do you like cruises? You might think again once you read this book. And, it's recommended you don't read it before bed when you're home alone. In the dark. Like I did. It's not smart.

Here's the back cover blurb:

Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further. 

The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble. 

He'd love to just forget her--but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

Sold yet? I'd say so!!! Tell me what your ultimate wild outdoor adventure would be and I'll enter you to win your own copy!! (Winner's announced Monday, 9/9!)


Jaime Wright - 

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

Find me on Twitter
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Let There Be Books, and There Were Books, and it was Good

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you gave up books for Lent? Not that it's Lent, but work with me here. Have you? Yeah. Me neither. In fact, sometimes I'm glad I'm Baptist and we don't follow Lent to the letter. At the risk of sounding ridiculously superficial and shallow, the idea of giving up books (either writing or reading) is terrifying!

I'm at work today and as such, my mind is wandering to the TBR pile of books in the corner of my living room at home. I want to just bury myself in the pile and never come out. It would be Nirvana ... for a moment. But imagining that pile gone - it's grievous.

I'm also thinking it might be nice to get sick. To rest on the couch with my lap top ALL DAY and work on my first draft of my WIP. More Nirvana? Nah. I'm not Buddhist. Baptist. I'm Baptist. But, still ... what if I couldn't write? What if writing didn't exist, or imaginations were scorned, or fiction was contraband?

It's a terrifying thought - a world without literature - what would your reaction be if suddenly, there was no fiction and all you had left was a thick copy of ... nothing?

(Leave a comment and be entered to win Dani Pettrey's "Stranded" -- visit on Friday for a complete book report and chance to enter again!)


Jaime Wright - 

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

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Pollyanna Sorta Week

I never knew Pollyanna could be so obnoxious! Apparently, my personality isn't the sunny, lollipop type that sends everyone in my wake into smiling spasms. I'm more of the wisecracking, stinker that raises an eyebrow and chuckles as I get away with mischief. Sigh. I'll never wear a yellow bow in my hair, be able to pull off ringlets in my hair the size of toilet paper rolls, or be sugar and spice and everything nice. My mother tried. She dressed me in pink until I gagged. Hence my predominantly green, black, and brown wardrobe. My Admin Assist throws a party anytime I wear a girlie color - I guess blue is a girl color now. ;)

I declared this POLLYANNA week and by gum, I'm going to keep trying. Although slicing the sarcasm from my vocab is nearly as impossible as suddenly speaking fluent Russian. Niet. But, I can smile. I can smile like my cheeks can't stretch far enough. In fact, I smiled so much yesterday I swear my cheeks touched my earlobes. Try it. It's a feat in and of itself.

I smiled like Pollyanna at the grocery store. I think the cashier may have been suspicious of drugs, but the bagger was an older gentleman who rarely gets thanked. He stared at me in shock as I bubbled over and over with nauseating smiles and oohed about the paper bag. I love paper bags. So crinkly, so papery ... so not plastic ... so not ... saving trees. Anyway, by the time I got done smiling with the efficiency of Happy the Clown, he was smiling too. And I do believe he skipped a few hops and jumps to the next aisle. See? Pollyanna.

Have you given someone a Pollyanna moment this week? I'm not done either. Once the grocery store drops the drug charges, I'm off to smile some more - it's a natural high - and healthy too. Even if you look ridunculous in a yellow hair bow.

(Leave a comment and be entered to win Dani Pettrey's "Stranded" -- visit on Friday for a complete book report and chance to enter again!)


Jaime Wright - 

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

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Real Life Heroine

She was a spinster in the truest sense of the word. Her elderly body had crippled into an osteoporosis crouch, while her permed hair had faded into a dull brown with very little gray and the curls clung to her head in a bob reminiscent of 1950. Her horn-rimmed glasses might be the only pair left in the universe, but perched on her hooked nose perfectly, while her deep-set eyes fought the blueish shadows under her bottom eyelashes. She had never married. He broke her heart and left her for another woman. After that, she devoted herself to God with nun-like devotion in the shadows of her Baptist church.

Dorothea was my grandmother's first cousin. She attended all our family gatherings and regaled us with tales of the missionaries she wrote devotedly, with her reedy voice and wordy explanations. She never got annoyed with anybody. Her patience seemed limitless, her questions were endless, and she was on a never-ending quest to know you - inside and out. There was no surface with Dorothea - only depth.

I was thirteen when Dorothea adopted me. Apparently, she saw the piles of Nancy Drews going on the second and third read-around. She owned a bookstore. A Christian bookstore. At thirteen, that meant nothing to me. What were Christian books anyway but long commentaries penned by RC Sproul and Dispensationalist evangelists? Heady, Gothic works of such mastery of the English language that their message was lost in a plethora of adverbs and adjectives. And in the midst of Nancy Drew and a deep aversion to Charles Spurgeon, Dorothea placed a yellow-bordered book in the hands of a fiction-hungry thirteen year old girl.

I devoured Janette Oke. Well, not literally, or she wouldn't be writing today. But I devoured her words. With the hunger of a child deprived of food. Dorothea brought me a present-wrapped book for the next few weeks until all of the Love Comes Softly series had been eaten and digested. Sigh. Back to Nancy Drew? No. NO! Another gift-wrapped paperback from the this amazing place called a "Christian Bookstore". It was book #1 in the Seasons of a Heart series. Janette Oke wasn't done writing!! And Dorothea wasn't done either ...

For the next eleven years,  I received gift wrapped books - always gift wrapped. Gilbert Morris, Janette Oke, T. Davis Bunn, Michael Phillips, Beverly Lewis, Tracie Peterson, the list goes on ... Dorothea introduced me to all the veterans of Christian fiction. Dorothea WAS a veteran of Christian fiction - and she wrote her legacy on me.

I will dedicate my first published work to Dorothea ... and I hope God will let her peer down from Heaven, without her horn-rimmed glasses because she no longer needs them. In the meantime, I will gift-wrap a book for a thirteen year old reader in my youth group. She needs to be introduced to Janette Oke, I do believe ... it's time to carry on a tradition.

(Leave a comment and be entered to win Dani Pettrey's "Stranded" -- visit on Friday for a complete book report and chance to enter again!)


Jaime Wright - 

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

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