It’s Always Been You…FREE to subscribers

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that the last novella in the Seasons of Hope series is almost here! 

If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll be receiving it for FREE! It’s scheduled for November but you just might get it before October is up! 

I’m so excited about this story and this series. It’s been a fantastic ride and I appreciate the support of all you friends who are Patched In. You’ve really been a huge encouragement to me. Your positive feedback has been a boost of confidence, and I thank you. Sincerely.

If you haven’t subscribed (above right corner on the sidebar), you can now and receive this novella for FREE! The other books are available on Amazon at an affordable price! SEASONS OF HOPE SERIES. The first book is a Christmas book, so grab it up as the holidays are a-comin’! 

So here is the back cover blurb for the final novella: 

Successful bistro owner and worship leader, Sierra
Bradley appears to have it all together, but inside she’s a hot mess. Often
dictated by fear, Sierra regrets not eloping with high school sweetheart, Ezra
Alcott. Now he’s returned to Mistletoe to sketch behind-the-scenes portraits
for his sister’s wedding and Sierra has agreed to cater the event. With no
escape from crossing paths, she has to deal with the heartache of what might
have been.
Ezra Alcott left for France to make his mark on the
art world and nurse the pain of rejection. But somewhere along the way he lost
sight of the kind of man he wanted to become. Back in his sleepy hometown, he
realizes God might be giving him a blank canvas to start over.

If Ezra can find the strength to ask for a second
chance, and Sierra can trust God with the things she can’t see, they might be
able to paint a lifetime together. 
If you’ve read the prior novellas, I’d love for you to leave a short (doesn’t have to be a professional) review on Amazon and Goodreads. You can simply copy/paste the same review on both sites! This would really help this ole girl out! Thank you!
So tell me, what is your favorite season?

Gilmore Girls or From the Start with Melissa Tagg!

I am beyond stoked for today’s post. The fantabulous
Melissa Tagg is here and if you know anything about her, she’s a huge fan of
Gilmore Girls. So we’re going to play a few rounds of Would You Rather with her
and she has to choose from Gilmore Girls or her newest novel, From the Start! Oh yeah, it’s a blast! PS, I’m over on her blog today sharing comparisons in relation to my newest novella, Just the Way You Are, so hop over ther next! CLICK HERE.
Let’s do this!
Would You Rather…
…live in Stars Hollow (GG) or Maple Valley (FTS)?
ACK that’s so hard. But I’m going to go with Maple
Valley and here’s why: It’s in Iowa. As quirky and wonderful as Stars Hollow
is, it’s in Connecticut and I know no one there.
Then again, if Jess was there…
…go canoeing with Luke Danes (GG) or your very own star, Colton Greene?
Luke! I love Colton, I do. But he’s got this bad
shoulder from a football injury so what if we get stuck in the middle of a
river and he can’t row and the current is crazy and I’m too wimpy to get us
back to shore? Luke, to my knowledge, has no such injury so I feel confident in
his rowing abilities.
Plus, he could entertain me with one of his
anti-Taylor Doose rants. Plus, I appreciate his style—flannel shirts and that green
army-ish jacket. So that gives him an edge.
…sit in a town meeting under Mayor Taylor Doose (GG) or the Mayor of
Maple Valley who, if I remember correctly, used a megaphone in one of the town
meetings?
I like my mayor, I do. But other than his megaphone
scene, he’s a pretty brief shadow in From the Start. So I’m going to go with
Taylor because I would get immense enjoyment out of listening to him talk about
the dangers of ticks or the need for better leash laws or his intense
competition with the farmers market people in the Town Square.
…have a first kiss with Jess (GG) or Colton (FTS)? Oooooh! That’s gonna
be tough for you, isn’t it since you’re such a big Jess fan?!
Honestly, this is not even hard for me. I would
absolutely pick Jess. Thing is, I LOVE Colton. I really do. But he is so firmly
connected to Kate in my mind that I’d feel like a cheater if I kissed him.
Whereas Jess, last we heard from him, is happily unconnected. (Because stupid
Rory doesn’t know a good thing when she has it.) So I would feel zero guilt
about kissing him.
 
…hang out for a day with Lorelei Gilmore or Kate Walker (FTS)?
Kate Walker. I think Lorelai is awesome…we have some
striking similarities. But Kate…Kate would get me. Kate would understand my
deepest emotions and shallowest quirks. And she would talk about writing and
watch old movies with me. We’d totally bond.
…be best buds with Rory Gilmore or Hailey (FTS)?
Hailey, no question. Here’s the thing with Rory: By
the end of Gilmore Girls, she’s kind of an idiot. I’m sorry, but she makes the
most ridiculous decisions from season 5 on. Now, if we were talking strictly
early seasons Rory, I might have a different answer.
But the great thing about Hailey in FTS is that she
isn’t afraid to challenge Kate. We see it early on in the book and we see it
later on at the end of the book. She’s hugely influential in Kate’s life and
she’s wise. So I’d definitely go with her.
…have Richard Gilmore as a father figure or Kate’s dad, Case Walker.
Kate’s dad! Not hard at all to decide on that one.
Richard Gilmore is a wonderful character and we definitely get to see his
loving, caring side in Gilmore Girls. But…we also know he wasn’t all that
emotionally available or understanding as Lorelai’s father. And a lot of
Lorelai’s mistakes in the show are side effects of feeling unaccepted or
misunderstood by her family.
Case Walker on the other hand is, of course, not
perfect. But he is a wonderful listener. He’ll challenge his daughter, but
always from a place of love. He somehow manages to be stern and gentle at once.
And he sees past the fronts his adult kids put up.
…go to a Gilmore Friday night dinner or a Friday night football game in
Maple Valley?
Gilmore Friday night dinner! I’m sure a football game
would be fun, but a Gilmore dinner would include crazy amounts of wit and
banter and snark. And I would highly enjoy the awkward moments…highly.
…erase Logan Huntzberger from Rory’s life and make sure Jess stays in
the picture or go on romantic date with Logan Walker which includes a glorious
kiss at the end? (I’m torn here so I’m personally not answering ha!)
Oh my gosh! When I first read this, I thought the
second option was a romantic date with Logan Huntzberger and I was like, “Why
would you even ask me this? Logan Huntzberger is so far from my type it’s
hilarious. There’s not even a decision to be made here!”
Then I realized you said Logan Walkermy Logan. And
things got DIFFICULT. Because I adore Logan Walker and have an amazingly
unreasonable crush on the guy who portrays him on my cover (that I wish so
badly I could share!).
And yet, I love Jess…I will love him forever.
But you know, in my imagination, Jess DOES stay in the
picture for Rory. And Logan Huntzberger may not be my thing—not even a little
bit—but he does have his good moments and there are ways Rory does grow (I
suppose) from her relationship with him. (Even if mostly he just encourages her
stupid decisions and spends the bulk of his time on screen whining.) I don’t
think he needs to be entirely erased from her life.
So my choice is a romantic date with Logan Walker
which includes a glorious kiss at the end.
And now I realize half of this post has been talk of
kissing fictional people. I’m not sure how I feel about this…lol!
(Jess here) Well, I feel good about it so that’s what
counts, right? Great answers, Melissa! This was so much fun!
Okay,
friends, are you a Gilmore Girls fan? If so, we’d love for you to answer a few
of the questions in the comments. If not, who would you share a fictional first
kiss with?

Visit Melissa on Facebook, Twitter @melissatagg and her blog
Take a peek at From
the Start
then go buy the book! I loved it!

Buy the book!

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily
ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t
kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a
major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running
back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is
temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the
reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn
how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal
before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand
gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life.
An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives,
but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of
the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

A Taste of Texas w/ Julie Jarnagin

I am
so excited today to have my good friend Julie Jarnagin here. Julie is one of my
favorite authors too! And today she’s talking about her novella. Take it away,
Julie!
Hi,
everyone. Julie Jarnagin here. I’m so excited to be on Jessica’s blog today.
Jessica is one of those friends who can always make me smile even when I’m
having a bad day!
Do
y’all love comfort food as much as I do? When I think of comfort food, the first
thing I think about is the potlucks we used to have in the basement of my small
hometown church. The entire table would be covered in fried chicken, ham,
broccoli and cheese casserole, deviled eggs (someone always brought deviled
eggs), and more delicious dishes than I can list. And then there was the
dessert table! Coconut cream pie, Texas sheet cake, banana pudding…yum!
My
goal in writing my latest series, Taste of Texas, was to give you that same
feeling that I got at those potlucks full of great food and warm people. And
I’m having a blast writing them. These books are all set in central Texas and
have plenty of good food and cute cowboys. What could be better? 🙂
I
recently released the first book in the series, a novella titled The Art of Falling where you’ll meet
Heather, a cautious art museum fundraiser, and Wyatt, a bull rider with a big
heart. I actually wrote my upcoming novel Kiss the Cowboy first, but as I was
working on it, I realized that two of the secondary characters, Heather and Wyatt,
had their own story to tell. That’s where the idea for The Art of Falling was born.
What are some
of your favorite kinds of comfort food?
Below
is my mother-in-law’s famous chocolate sheet cake recipe.
Pat’s
Chocolate Sheet Cake
2
cups sugar
2 cups
flour
1
stick oleo
1/2
cup shortening
1
tsp salt
1
tsp vanilla
4
Tbsp cocoa
1
cup water
2
eggs
1tsp
soda
1/2
cup buttermilk
Mix
flour and sugar in a bowl. Bring oleo, shortening, cocoa and water to a boil.
Add hot mixture to sugar and four, mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix
well. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes in an 18x12x1 inch pan.
Icing:
1
stick oleo
6
Tbsp milk
1
Tbsp cocoa
1
box powdered sugar
1
tsp vanilla
Bring
oleo, milk and cocoa to a boil. Then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Frost cake
while still hot.
Here’s a peek at The Art of Falling
Heather Tornsten needs a man…a celebrity,
more specifically, for a fundraising gala for the Dallas art museum, where she
works. And what better headliner than bull rider Wyatt Lawrence? Although why
people idolize grown men who make their living falling off animals, she’ll
never understand.
When his mom was diagnosed with cancer,
Wyatt determined to focus on doing what she wants—like visiting some art
museum. But when his mom teams up with Heather Tornsten to get him involved in
a fundraiser, he knows he’s been set up. The more involved he gets with the
pretty events coordinator, the more he realizes falling off a bull is far
safer. Because falling for Heather–who has made it clear that she won’t risk her
heart on any man who courts danger–might break a whole lot more than his bones.

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational
romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and
ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing
husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy
quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from
the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction
Writers.  www.JulieJarnagin.com

It’s Been Awhile…Coffee with Jess A VLOG!

Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a vlog and today I want to share the inspiration behind the Seasons of Hope novella series that I’ve been working on. 

As of right now book 1 & 2 have been FREE (limited time) to subscribers, so if you haven’t subscribed to the Patched In newsletter, do it now and you’ll be receiving 2 more novellas for FREE this year. Right now both books, Hope Under Mistletoe and Just the Way You Are are available for purchase at Amazon

I say “know-vella” and I think up north it might be pronounced “nah-vella.” Well…I live near Memphis so it’s “know-vella.” Also, be aware, this is totally off the cuff, no retakes. Um…sorry? Not sorry. Okay, let’s chat about the inspiration behind the series. Get your coffee…settle in for just a few moments and let’s do this! 

What’s your favorite season and why? 

CELEBRATING JILL KEMERER AND HER DEBUT NOVEL

I’m thrilled to have my dear friend and debut author, Jill Kemerer with me today, to celebrate her Love Inspired novel, Small-Town Bachelor! I loved this book so much. Jill is quirky, fun, and the woman knows how to write romance! 

You can win a copy by entering the giveaway below!

It’s been an incredible journey for Jill and I’m so glad that I’ve been alongside her for the last few years.  

Let’s all settle in and have a major virtual party.

Chocolate. M&Ms. Champagne. Coffee. Yummy McDonald’s french fries! What’s your poison? Grab it and check out a sneak peek at Jill’s debut! And don’t forget to go buy it! Then we’re going to play a round of Would You Rather! 

Buy the book! 

When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in. Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She’s this city slicker’s opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can’t ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can’t imagine ever leaving her behind…

Ah! Doesn’t that sound great? Okay, let the games begin! 

Would You
Rather…
…be stuck alone in a tornado or with someone you love in a hurricane?
Jill: With someone I love in a hurricane! I’m a big
baby. I don’t want to be in a disaster all by myself!
Reed: Alone. In both.
Claire: I would want to be with all of my loved ones
in the hurricane, and I’d take my baby otters with me.
…work really hard at an interesting job or slack off at a boring job?
Jill: I have the most interesting job, and it’s a
pleasure to work hard at it. A boring job is NOT for me!
Reed: Slacking off isn’t in my vocabulary.
Claire: I worked one summer at my dad’s car
dealership. Talk about boring! Never again. I don’t mind hard work when it’s
interesting.
…be in constant pain or have a constant itch?
Jill: What kind of question is this, Jessica?? I don’t
like pain, and I don’t like itching. I’m adding a third. A constant massage. J
Reed: My recent experience with a broken leg left me
with both. I’d rather be in pain.
Claire: Neither? I guess the itch. But that’s like
asking if I want to eat moldy cheese or a rancid meatball. Both are pretty bad!
…go through life unable to ask any questions or unable to answer any
questions?
Jill: I have a big mouth. I like to answer questions.
But I ask a lot of questions too… Let’s go with being unable to answer
questions. I’m a mom. Asking questions is what I do.
Reed: As a project manager for a construction company,
I have to be able to ask questions. The answers show up in the end result.
Claire: Oh, this is hard! If I had to choose one, I’d
say I’d rather be unable to ask questions. I love being a sounding board for my
friends and family.
Love these answers! It was a good question! Ha! Jill,
tell us what you’re working on next?
Jill: My second book, Unexpected Family, will
be in stores in September, so I’ve been preparing for that! Unexpected
Family
is also set in Lake Endwell and features Claire’s oldest brother
Tom, who gets a life-altering surprise. I’m also polishing my third Lake
Endwell book, which is about Claire’s brother Bryan and his outdoor adventures
with the new girl in town. Thank you so much for having me today, Jessica!
I’m stoked to have you here. So proud of you, Jill!

Jill
Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full
time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with
her kids’ busy schedules.
Besides
spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals
and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two
children.  Jill loves connecting with
readers, so please visit her website www.jillkemerer.com
and find her on Facebookand Twitter.
Your turn: Answer one or all of the questions in the comments and don’t forget to congratulate Jill! 

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photocredit/freedigitalphotos stuartmiles

Creating a Killer Kiss!

Hey everyone! Join me over at Thoughts on Plot where I’m talking about Smoochic–creating killer kisses using music to set the mood!

You may not be a writer, but check out my process and maybe discover new music! 

Have you signed up for my newsletter? No? Well, you should or you’ll miss out on a FREE novella coming April 2nd to those who are Patched In! Just click on the signup button in the upper right corner. Easy peasy.

When Pastor Gabe asks
Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer
garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact
she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe
and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and
she has the past to prove it.

Gabriel Brookson wants out
of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more
than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for
this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

Of All The…NERVE!

Hey everyone and welcome
to Friday. Today, Bethany Macmanus is hanging out and playing a round of Would
You Rather with us as well as sharing about her new novel, NERVE!
Would You Rather…
…be super strong or super fast?
Bethany: Super fast! I’ve always struggled with time management, so it
seems like being super fast, by default, would help me with that.
Justin: Super strong. If I could cheat out of my nightly gym workouts,
it would really be a time-saver. Having buff cardiac muscles would be awesome
when I’m chasing down a hoodlum.
Wren: I agree with Bethany. Not so much on the time management thing,
but getting my pictures back to my editor faster than the other journalists
would be great. Then I would get first pickings!
… never
touch another human again or never touch a computer powered device again?
Bethany: The computer thing sounds great,
though I’m not sure how I’d do my job? Maybe write in notebooks and make
copies…but I think Xerox machines are computer-powered…doh.
Justin: Never touch another human again? I’d
die.
Wren: Yeah, I’d pretty much shrivel up,
especially knowing how my arms respond to touch.
… be
ignorant and happy or be knowledgeable and never fully content?
Bethany: Too much knowledge can be a painful
thing, anyway. Give me stupidity.
Justin: If that would mean I could solve my
cases when first presented with them, it would make my job very boring.
Ignorance sounds good to me, too.
Wren: Oh, but I’d know what was wrong with
my arms! Surely that would make me content. Okay, not to be super-spiritual,
but aren’t we never supposed to be fully content until we reach heaven, anyway?
Hmmm. I’m liking the knowledge thing.
Bethany, tell us about your book!  Okay!
It was created to save lives.

Now someone is using it to take them.
When Lauren
“Wren” Masterson discovers her deceased father’s medical invention
has been stolen from her childhood home in Florida, she never expects the officer
assigned to the case will be Justin Breck, who asked her out two years ago.
He’s changed
since then, seems like he’s hiding something. What happened to his openness,
his no-holds-barred, carefree attitude? She wonders how this new Justin could
possibly accept her imperfections, namely the persistent nerve disorder her
father’s missing invention might cure.
Justin is
learning the darker side of Doctor Masterson’s past life. The hard part?
Proving it to Doc’s adoring daughter, while attempting to win her heart. He
might have some history with her, but Doc’s lawyer, Connor Radcliffe, has more.
As bodies begin to drop around them, will
Justin and Lauren find the invention before the thief uses it to kill Lauren?
(Jess) Whoa! This sounds so great! What are you working on next?
(Bethany) The goal is to release the next suspense
novel in my Habitations series, Seven Sentinel’s Gate, this August. Wish me the
best! 😀 I’ve already revealed the cover on my website, if you’d like to check
over there.
(Jess) I do wish you the best! And, everyone, you can
connect with Bethany in several different ways:
Answer one or more of the questions in the comments! 

The #1 Hindrance to Writing a FAST First Draft!

Hey my friends! Today, the lovely Laurie Tomlison has invited me to hang with the Alley Cats and talk about fast drafting at the Writer’s Alley.

So come by and find out the #1 hindrance to writing a fast first draft! CLICK HERE

Also, have you subscribed to my Patched In newsletter? It’s easy-peasy and I won’t SPAM you. Not in your inbox and I won’t mail you a can either. Get Patched In and receive my exclusive Christmas novella for FREE as my thank you! 

A
rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas Hope that brings them
together.
 After widower Eden
Snow’s church almost burns to the ground, she’s compelled to find a temporary
place to hold services and Christmas cantata practices.
Has-been hockey player,
Knox Everhart, has a reputation for being fast on the ice and with women.
Except Eden. She’s always been a fascinating mystery to him, which is why he
agrees to let her use the back room of his bar—with one rule: No converting his
customers.

But when Eden brings
the church to the bar, it offers something the bottle can’t. Hope. And he finds
himself falling in love with a woman and a Savior he feels unworthy to pursue.
You still have time to enter the $20 Amazon Card give away! CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 








photocredit/freedigitalphotos(dot)net/pakorn 

Because I LOVE you!

Ever had a random stranger tell you they love you? I’m not talking about when you step aside in the grocery line so someone with less items can go first. Although, I have heard that. I have said that. 

I mean a stranger that says, “I love you.” And means it. 
Never happened? Really? Well, here you go: From me to you, I love you. 
Like I really do. I mean, not romantically, that’s creepy. I don’t plan to stalk you. But then I never plan my stalkings. *wink wink*
I write because I love it. I do. I feel compelled. But I also write because I love readers. I love you. If you’re not a reader, I still love you but you’ll never know because you’re not reading this. Point is, I do love you. I love you enough to spend hours penning stories that will entertain you, take you on a wild ride, open up doors of mystery, adventure, romance, new places, new foods, and most of all a chance to encourage you with real hope. 
I’m a fan of hope. I’m a fan of Jesus. And I’m a fan of writing broken and flawed people into the people I know God knows they can be. Not every character chooses hope. Not every character chooses change. Every person struggles. With fear. Doubt. Confusion. Helplessness. Bitterness. Rejection. Loss. Finances. Anxiety. (Insert anything here)
So yeah, I do all of this because I love it. And I love you.
And to prove how much I love you, I want to give you something for FREE! A story. You can’t buy it online. You won’t find it in bookstores. 

But you will find it here on my website. 
Simply subscribe to my newsletter and it’s yours (top right hand corner of the website). A Christmas story about fictional characters with real struggles. Real questions. Real doubts. Real fears. They wrestle. They win some. They lose some. And in the end, Hope wins out. 
I’d love to share this Christmas novella with you! After you subscribe, it will immediately come straight to your inbox! 
Here’s a peek:

A
rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas Hope that brings them
together.
After widower Eden
Snow’s church almost burns to the ground, she’s compelled to find a temporary
place to hold services and Christmas cantata practices.
Has-been hockey player,
Knox Everhart, has a reputation for being fast on the ice and with women.
Except Eden. She’s always been a fascinating mystery to him, which is why he
agrees to let her use the back room of his bar—with one rule: No converting his
customers.
But when Eden brings
the church to the bar, it offers something the bottle can’t. Hope. And he finds
himself falling in love with a woman and a Savior he feels unworthy to pursue.
 One other thing I’d love to share is my Hope Under Mistetoe story board! Meet the cast, and take a sneak peek around the fictional town. 

Do you like Christmas stories? What’s your favorite holiday and why? 




And to go one step further, if you share the news about the Patched In (newsletter) and the free gift, you’ll be entered to win a $20 Amazon card! Tis the season for shopping, right? 


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