Trusting God in the Deep Waters

I admit, I’m a terrible swimmer. I still hold my nose and if shoved under, I will surface choking and coughing. I might be able to save my life and I’d hope one of my kids if necessary, but anyone my size or bigger…you’re just not gonna make it. 

The shallow end was my preferred territory as a kid. While my siblings jumped off docks and into deep water, I was content to sit near the shore and play in the sand. Okay, that’s a lie. I wasn’t content. I pretended to be content. In the marrow of my bones, I longed to run and jump off the dock and into deep waters. I dreamed of diving off the diving board with friends at camp. Instead, I lied (yes at church camp, clearly I needed it) and said I wasn’t following the herd. I talked people out of diving off the diving board with some of my words. I held others back from the deep waters…because I was too afraid to take the plunge.

In my relationship with Jesus, I’ve played too many years in the shallow end and watched too many friends enjoy the deep waters. 

The deep waters are a place where you can’t see beneath you. Can’t touch. Can’t see land. Without markers, how will you find your way back to shore? Deep waters contain vicious beast that want to devour you like sharks, jelly fish–okay not devour but definitely sting–among many other freaky creatures.

But Jesus call us to deep places.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.'” Luke 5:4 NLT

It’s in the deep places, if we’re obedient, we find our truest calling and passion. It’s where our lives become a testimony. Where we can walk over waves. Where we drown in grace and are buoyed by faith.

Simon Peter didn’t want to go out into the deep. But because he did, they hauled a major load of fish. So much the boat nearly sank. NEARLY.

“Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’

‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:28-29 NLT

It was in the deep waters where Peter walked with Jesus.

Fear is a hindrance from launching into the deep.

Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of (fill in the blank). 

In my new release, Deep Waters, my heroine is terrified to trust God due to past hurt and failure. She’s watched too many people suffer and refuses to suffer too. Maybe you can relate to Caley.

It’s easy to say we trust God in the shallow waters where our feet touch and we’re delusional enough to believe we have full control of our lives, our situations, and our circumstances. 

“The truth is we’ll never know until we launch out and allow our faith to be tested. Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:3 MSG

Question: Is there an area in your life that God is calling you into deep waters? Would you be bold enough to share it? I’ll be praying for you.

I’m giving away a copy of Deep Waters. Paperback for U.S. citizens and e-book for those of you abroad! 

 

 

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Win a Kindle Fire and a Signed Copy of Final Verdict!

BUY NOW

Hey everyone! Welcome to my new website. I’m so in love with it and can’t thank Jason Walker at Website Ministries enough for his amazing design, patience, and nailing my vision. I highly recommend him if you’re in the market for a new website or even an upgrade.

Also, today not only marks my new online home, which I hope you’ll peruse, especially my BOOK CLUBS page which is full of bonus features and extras for all the books that have released, but today is RELEASE DAY for Final Verdict! And to celebrate…

I’m giving away a Kindle Fire and a signed paperback copy of Final Verdict to one winner. U.S. Only. 18+  This is no April Fool’s joke! The contest is open for the entire month of April! I’ll draw a winner and email them/announce it here May 1st!

You could win a kindle fire, a signed copy of Final Verdict and this bracelet (there’s a bracelet in the book and it’s important!)
 
Here is a closer look at the bracelet! The Love centerpiece fits easily into the bracelet. It’s a magnet and Beckett’s famous line to Aurora: “You and me. We’re magnets from here on out.” I love the symbolism and a big thanks to Gayle Adams, a Magnabilities Consultant and friend who donated this precious piece.
 
 

Final Verdict is about a sheriff and a defense attorney. Talk about opposites attracting. Tell me, if you had to choose to be a prosecuter or a defense attorney, which one would you choose and why? 

 

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On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

…this author gave to me…
10 copies of Concealed Identity!


And 10 adorbs Christmas ornaments but that didn’t rhyme so…
I am so excited to be a part of the 12 Days of Christmas! Just look at the graphic to see how amazing it is! Each day a new author will be giving away a fun prize (books included) and YOU could win! All you have to do is enter the giveaway below!

My newest book has some Christmas elements in it. For example, my heroine, Blair Sullivan is obsessed with Christmas (she has reasons) and that’s why she’s named her antique store It’s a Wonderful Life. She even has a bell above the door so an angel can get its wings (like, she knows this isn’t real, it’s nostalgia) and her sweet little shop that’s set in the quaint and quirky small town of Hope, TN is decorated like Christmas 24/7. Yeah, my hero,  Holt finds it weird but as he gets to know Blair and falls in love with her, he discovers it’s rather endearing.

DEEP-COVER ASSIGNMENT 
After Holt McKnight’s criminal informant disappears, the DEA agent must go undercover to get close to the missing man’s sister, who may know more than she’s letting on. But when Blair Sullivan’s attacked, it’s up to him to protect her—without blowing his cover. Blair isn’t sure she can trust her new neighbor, Holt. After all, the last charming and handsome man she fell for was her late husband, and he turned out to be the brother of a ruthless drug lord. Yet when it’s clear the target on her back is somehow linked to her past, she has no choice but to accept Holt’s protection. Even if getting close is the last thing her scarred heart can handle.

Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to enter again (enter each day if you want!) to receive Gabrielle Meyer’s, A Family Arrangement! CLICK HERE to go to her website. 

Have you missed the chance to enter to win on Day 1 or Day 2? Well, here you go! Go enter!


DAY 1 Win Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson 
DAY 2 Win Watercolor Dreams audio book (digital download) by Sherry Kyle

Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament? If so, share in the comments. If not, tell me your favorite Christmas song or carol!

Okay, now enter to win! 
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Real Talk with the Cast of Protective Duty

Buy the book!

Hey ya’ll! I can’t believe Protective Duty is out in the world! So many of you who read Fatal Reunion asked about Eric Hale and I’m so excited to share his story with you. I decided to get chummy with my cast of characters and get some real talk. But I’m not asking the questions. Nope. Instead, my Patch Pack team who helps me spread the word about my books through word of mouth, reviews, and other cool ways asked most of these babies and they were so fun. 

Shout out to my Patch Pack! I love ya’ll so much. Thank you for all your support, the laughs, the conversations on our facebook page, and the prayers. I treasure each one of you. 

So let’s get on with the show, shall we? 

This first question comes from Susan Snodgrass and it’s for Eric.

Eric: Awesome. I love being first. Susan, thanks! 

Me: You don’t even know the question yet.

Eric: So.

Me: Susan asks why you think you’re a Jedi.

Eric: Maybe you should ask Luke Ransom. I don’t want to seem all puffed up….Okay, I’ll tell you. I have this thing I do where I give a suspect the look. I stare him down and will him to speak and he does. I can make just about anyone talk. But I kind of get Luke. Not Ransom. Skywalker. I mean he had a pretty intimidating father. Like mine. Of course, my dad never cut my arm off, but then he wanted me to use it play pro golf so there’s that. Also, when I was five, I was vicious with a light saber. Just sayin’. 

Me: Susan, I don’t know if that answers your question or not, but there ya go. The next question comes from Gayle Adams and it’s for Newton! Yes, the puppy. Aw. Newt, were you scared when the truck tried to run ya’ll over?

Newton: I peed a little. A lot really. I’m a pup. I have a hard time holding it in. Just ask Bryn. Sorry about the kitchen…and the carpet. Really. I’ll get better. 

The next two questions come from Charissa Kerley.

Bryn, do you watch Star Wars movies with Eric?

Bryn: I have seen Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi–the original trilogy with him when we dated ten years ago. I have seen them multiple times. By multiple I mean too many to count. When I found out Eric’s partner at the precinct was Luke Ransom I thought, “How many times has Eric said, ‘Luke, I am your father.'”

Eric: Actually, that’s the first thing I said when I met him.

Me: How did he respond?

Eric: I got the eyebrow raise and, “So about this case…” 

Bryn: As far as the new movies…truth is I didn’t see them because seeing them without Eric hurt too much.

Eric: Well guess what we’re doing Friday night, babe?

Bryn: Thanks, Charissa, you’re a real peach. *inserts heavy sarcasm*

Charissa: Eric, what is your favorite Star Wars movie? 

Eric: Empire Strikes Back. Hands down. One hand if you’re Luke. Hey wasn’t that a movie? One Hand Luke.

Bryn: That was Cool Hand Luke. With Newman. 

Eric: Riiiight. Yeah. 

Me: Okay, moving right along. The next question comes from Denise Hershberger. It’s for Bryn. When did you start swimming?

Bryn: I was probably two. I always loved the water. We were in Florida, I think. And I just jumped in and of course my dad jumped in, panicked…but I rose to the top and just swam. All by myself. After that, my parents put in a pool and I did take lessons. After that it was history. 

Eric: I was twelve if anyone wants to know when I started swimming. 

Bryn: Nobody does. 

Eric: Harsh, babe.

Me: Susan Tuttle asks Eric, if there was a worldwide licorice shortage what would be your next vice?

Eric: I can tell you it won’t be Kale. Oh man, I couldn’t imagine that. I’m totally stumped. Meatloaf, maybe.

Bryn: Oh jeez! How about Dum Dums?

Eric: I’m feeling some subtext here. 

Bryn: Must be your Jedi senses.

Eric: Probably so. Good call, babe.

Me: Susan also wants to know if you’d fall for Bryn if she has an allergy to licorice. 

Eric: I’d give it up cold turkey. Because I like kissing Bryn way more than eating licorice. And she can make meatloaf…now.

Bryn: *rolls eyes*

Okay, ya’ll thanks for joining real talk! I hope you’ll buy the book and check out this fun and crazy cast! 

Beach Read Prize Package Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Protective Duty, my 2nd Love Inspired Suspense, just released on Kindle today and the paperback releases on shelves and online retailers June 7th! I’m so excited to share Eric Hale’s story with you. 

To celebrate, I’m giving away a BEACH READ prize package to one winner! 

Included is: A fun beach bag, beach towel, bandana, flip flops (will get the size from the winner after the drawing ends), a sweet tea and sunshine tumbler, and a signed paperback copy of Protective Duty! Yay! 

All you have to do is enter for a chance to win below! U.S residents only, 18+ 

Buy the BOOK!
HIGH-RISK REUNION 
Minutes into FBI profiler Bryn Eastman’s first case since a near-fatal shooting, a brazen serial killer sets his sights on her next. Now her life—and career—is in the hands of her new partner, Detective Eric Hale, the man she once loved and lost. Racked with nightmares of the shooting and regrets for the tragedy that tore her and Eric apart, Bryn doesn’t want Eric to discover the secrets she carries—but she needs him. Seeing Bryn brings back memories Eric can’t control. Memories of a once-in-a-lifetime love. But the tough detective knows their only path to a second chance goes straight through a relentless killer…one who won’t quit until he counts Bryn as his fifth victim.

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Real Talk With the Cast of Fatal Reunion

Welcome everyone to Real Talk. Today, I’m featuring Homicide Detective Luke Ransom, Dojo owner and world martial arts competitor Piper Kennedy, as well as Homicide Detective and all-around-funny guy Eric Hale and a cameo appearance from Mama Jean (Piper’s grandma), and an unruly doberman. Yes, I may or may not be doing some dog whispering today. Stay tuned.

Fatal Reunion releases TODAY or as I like to put it, Luke and Piper and the gang have come to life and are out in the world. Memphis to be exact as that’s where this story is set. 

Blues. BBQ. Elvis. Jerry Lee Lewis. Memphis is a city like no other. And Luke Ransom and Piper Kennedy are people like no other. 

Let’s chat with Piper first. She’s less patient than Luke and gets antsy when things are movin’ and groovin’. 

Welcome, Piper! 

Piper: Thanks for having me, Jess. It’s kinda cool coming out into the world and not stuck inside your head. That, my friend, is a freak-show.
Jess: Um…thanks? You matriculated from there, you know.
Piper: Yeah…you’re proving my point. I admit, I’ve been a total freak show. My whole past is a freak show.
Eric Hale: If we’re going to talk about freak shows, I have great story. It involves Luke–
Luke Ransom: If it takes place prior to 2015, it’s off the table, Hale. 
Jess: Okay, let’s all just focus here, people! Piper, tell us your first thoughts when you saw Luke after all those years?
Eric: Or…people could just read the book and experience it as she does.
Jess: True.
Piper: It was surreal. A whole wave of emotions. Completely overwhelming. He smelled really good.
Luke: Thanks, love. 
Piper: That’s your cue to talk about how I equally smelled as good.
Luke: You equally smelled as good. *wink wink”
Jess: Luke, when you realized that Mama Jean had been hurt, did you really think Piper was involved. I mean, dude, that’s her granny.
Luke: *glances at Piper* *Piper nods for Luke to be honest* I did. I didn’t think she actually hurt Mama Jean. I know she wouldn’t, but indirectly…yeah. I thought she was involved and it scared me. A lot.
Jess: Because you wanted her to be innocent or because you’d have to face her after a decade?
Luke: *sighs* Both. Definitely both.
Eric: I’d like to point out that I, too, smell good. What? I need some screen time.
Jess: Okay, Eric. Question: Were you at all jealous of Luke and Piper’s relationship? Because you mentioned it must be great to have a woman who wasn’t afraid of the job but fought along with you. 
Eric: I did say something along those lines. I guess I was. I remember a great love like that. Kinda tanked and I don’t want to talk about why–
Jess: You won’t talk about your sister’s death either. Would you now? Openly? On Real Talk?
Eric: *pulls a Twizzler from his coat pocket* Let’s talk about what makes this licorice so freaking delicious instead. I have a few theories and the artificial flavoring isn’t one of them.
Jess: Point taken. But your story opens up live in June and everyone will see it unfold then.
Eric: Then we talk about it then, Jess. Lay off. Or I’ll sic The Force on you.
Luke: You are not a Jedi!
Eric: Got you to talk didn’t I? About Piper.
Piper: What’d he say?
Eric: Nothin’ you don’t already know, Kung Fu Piper.
Doberman: Ruff! Growl…..
Jess: Sorry, dude. What did you think when Piper tossed a blanket over your head.
Doberman: I was mad at first but then I was thankful she didn’t whop me upside the head. 
Eric: So to thank her, you took to an officer’s leg like a chew toy? 
Doberman: I’m a fierce dog. It’s what I do.
Jess: Mama Jean, you’ve been quiet in all this. Any thoughts?
Mama Jean: I’ve said it before. God does amazing things. He brought my Piper back and  changed her life. Through pain. Healin’ won’t come without some pain.
Piper: Amen. Not that I loved the pain. But it’s t

rue. 

Luke: That it is. 

Eric: You know what else is true?

Luke & Piper: You’re not a Jedi!
Eric: Tell them, Jess. It’s your job as my sire.
Jess: This isn’t a vampire novel.
Luke: I’m so glad. I live scary every day. I don’t need anything else. 
Piper. Ain’t that the truth. But God is bigger than the scary. I’ve learned that, too. 
Jess: So what’s next for you guys? 
Piper: Wedding bells of course and a nice long caribbean vacation with no crazies coming after me.
Luke: You chased a few crazies yourself. Scared me half to death if I recall. You and your Bruce Lee moves.
Piper: Hey, someone hurt Mama Jean. No one hurts Mama Jean.
Eric: No one puts Baby in the corner either.
Jess: *snort* That’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining me. You can connect with Luke and Piper…and Eric who has delusions of being a Jedi, when you purchase a copy of Fatal Reunion. e book or paperback. And Eric’s story, Protective Duty, can be preordered on Amazon. 
Purchase Fatal Reunion:

Preorder Protective Duty:
Amazon

Do you have a question for one of the characters? Or moi? 


Catch me over at Susan Tuttle’s blog Steps. I’m sharing a devotion. CLICK HERE.

And join me and 5 other Love Inspired Authors January 7th from 7-9 CST on Facebook as we celebrate our releases by giving away FREE books and prizes! 

Win 1 of 5 Advance Copies of Fatal Reunion

Guess what? Tis’ the season and I’m feeling merry! So merry that I’m giving away FIVE advance paperback copies of my debut novel, Fatal Reunion on Goodreads! All you have to do is click the “enter giveaway” button for a chance to win. U.S. only. *see giveaway details for more information.

The giveaway is going on today through Wednesday, December 30th! Share the love and tell your friends! 
Merry (early) Christmas, ya’ll.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fatal Reunion by Jessica R. Patch

Fatal Reunion

by Jessica R. Patch

Giveaway ends December 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

ONE FREE ADVANCED COPY OF FATAL REUNION!

It’s December 1st and I’m in the Christmas spirit. So I’m giving away 1 advanced paperback copy of my novel, Fatal Reunion, which releases in January! 

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is comment.

*U.S. residents only
*giveaway ends at 12:00 p.m. (CST) Thursday, December 3rd. 

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

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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