No, I’m not predicting the end of the world. I have super powers but that isn’t one of them. 🙂 

Nope, today is the last day you can receive my FREE Christmas novella. So click on the link at the top right corner and SUBSCRIBE to be Patched In! I’ve got a lot of fun news and some more FREE stuff coming for you. But only subscribers have access to FREE perks! 

I know you might be thinking, um…I don’t read Christmas books when it’s not Christmas. Okay, save it! Read it this next holiday season. Maybe you’re thinking, I don’t read Christmas books at all. Okay, don’t read it. But other things are coming so join my newsletter and emailing list and I promise never to give your address away, SPAM you death, or kill your puppies. See. I’m nice like that. 

Now, here’s a peek at the story. 

rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas Hope that brings them
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
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.

Creating an Atmosphere of Faith

Can you create an atmospher of faith? I’m talking about that today on Thoughts On Plot. You don’t have to be a writer to create this kind of atmosphere. 

When we constantly tell ourselves we can’t do something, when we let every negative word said about us rule our thoughts, we’ll never succeed. We may never even try. 

Maybe you’re about to throw in the towel today. Maybe you’ve given up on a dream because someone (or so many) has told you it can never be done–at least not by you. Maybe you’re in a state of paralyzing fear and can’t move forward, even a baby step. 

It’s time to create an atmosphere of faith. 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“Watch, stand fast in the faith,be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

Now, come by Thoughts On Plot and see what creating an atmosphere faith can look like. 

You still have time to enter and win Falling For Texas a contemporary romance by Jill Lynn. Click HERE to enter.

Have you subscribed to my newsletter, The Patched In? There’s only a short time left to receive my FREE Christmas novella before the offer ends. Also, a sneak peek of my new novella is coming to those are patched in this week! So join  now! CLICK HERE. 


Giddy Up with Jill Lynn!

Howdy partners! I say
that because today’s book is set in Texas. I doubt Texans really say that but
whatevs. I’m so stoked to have Jill Lynn on the blog today. I had the chance to
read her debut Love Inspired novel, and it was wonderful, fun, deep, emotional.
All sorts of good vibes coming out of this book! Let’s play a round of our favorite
game with her and her cast!
Would You Rather…
…go back in time and change something in
the past or know something important about the future?
Jill: Neither! Might
sound crazy, but I think everything happens for a reason. And if I knew
something about the future, that would totally mess with me!
Olivia: As you get to
know Olivia, you’ll find she’d do anything to erase the past. Until she begins
to realize that God can use it for good.
Cash: Though Cash
doesn’t hide things like Olivia, he definitely has things to let go of. I’d
have to say change something in the past for him also. Although… he’d love to
see that his sister Rachel’s okay in the future. Tough one!
…spend a week in the mountains or a week
on the beach?
Jill: Beach. Hands down,
no question. J
I love, love the beach.
Olivia: I have to say
mountains for Olivia because she’s moved to Texas in the book and is missing
her Rocky Mountains.
Cash: Mountains. I don’t
see Cash as a beach sort of guy. J
…unearth secrets or bury lies?
Jill: I’m going to say
unearth secrets. And on that note, I must digress into a story. When my son was
around four years old, he had a week when he wasn’t eating very well. I wasn’t
sure what was wrong, but when it came to meal time, he just wouldn’t eat. He
wasn’t hungry. At the end of that week, I found the wrappers for some Z bars
under his train table. When I started looking, I found wrappers stashed
everywhere in our basement. He’d eaten almost a whole Costco-sized box of bars
over a few days. While I was laughing inside, we had to work and work to get him
to tell us the truth. He actually got disciplined more for lying more than he
did taking the bars. I always tell my kids they’ll be in more trouble if they
lie than if they tell the truth. (Me here: That is our rule too!)
Olivia: Bury lies. She
definitely doesn’t want her past found out!
Cash: Definitely unearth
secrets. He’s not a fan of lies of any sort and would rather hear the truth.
Thanks for playing,
ya’ll! Now, Jill, tell us what inspired this story?
Before I became a stay
at home mom, I worked at a crisis pregnancy center. Shame is so prevalent, and
I wanted to write a story of a woman starting over hoping to leave the past
behind, eventually realizing that she doesn’t need to because grace covers
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a second
book to submit to Love Inspired. It’s about the younger sister in this
book—Lucy. Her story is about learning to accept help, and I have to say, she’s
been a fun character to write.
What is your story about? 

Raising his orphaned
teenage sister isn’t easy for Texas rancher Cash Maddox. The girl tests his
parenting—and patience—at every turn! But when he asks new teacher Olivia
Grayson for help with his sister’s grades and attitude, Cash realizes he’s
facing the toughest trial of all. He made a promise that he wouldn’t date and
get distracted from his mission of being a good father figure. Yet Olivia’s
quick wit is drawing him unexpectedly closer to the caring beauty every day.
Could it be time to make a new vow…one that’ll last a lifetime? 
Jill Lynn writes
contemporary inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired, with her first
book, Falling for Texas, available now. She has a Bachelor’s degree in
Communication from Bethel University and is a member of American Christian
Fiction Writers. In 2013, Jill won the ACFW Genesis award. She lives in
Colorado with her husband and two young children and has a penchant for great
books, boots, and thrift stores.
with her at

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Letting Up on Leah

So, I’m a romantic. I can’t help it. I think I was born this way. Or my mom at least contributed by allowing me to watch endless soaps from birth to like 4 years. But that might be my love for melodrama not romance. That’s another blog post. Or a trip to the therapist’s couch. Either way.

I am a romantic and there’s something about this story that makes all gooey inside. Jacob is coming to Haran after running from his older brother (twin by a minute) Esau. 

 “While Jacob was in conversation with them, Rachel came up with her father’s sheep. She was the shepherd. The moment Jacob spotted Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, saw her arriving with his uncle Laban’s sheep, he went and single-handedly rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. Then he kissed Rachel and broke into tears. He told Rachel that he was related to her father, that he was Rebekah’s son.” Genesis 29:9-12 MSG

Let’s not miss Rachel was a Shepherdess. I think that’s cool. Anyway, Jacob rolls this stone away single-handedly! A stone that took all the shepherds to do. Talk about a major adrenaline rush! She’s coming toward him with her hook in hand, sheep all around, and she’s beautiful. Knocks the breath right out of him and gets his blood pumping so hard he does rolls that joker away. And my heart pitter-patters. I’m instantly rooting for them!

Then Jacob asks for Rachel. He’s been struck by her since the moment she stepped into the pasture.

“Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved.” Genesis 29: 16-17 MSG

Okay, we might say here that he’s going on looks alone and that’s shallow and that would be. But I think it was more, because he always loved her best. She was the most important to him. And he was willing to work 7 years for her. 

“So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.” (v. 20 MSG)

Pitter patter! It only felt like a few days! 

But then his uncle tricks him and he ends up marrying Leah. He must have been sloppy drunk on the wedding night to mistake them but it happened.

And he was sorely disappointed. I wonder if Leah begged her father not to make her do this as she worked to tug free from his arm. “He doesn’t love me, Father! He loves Rachel!” But deep inside, I wonder if maybe she was taken with him all along. Wishing he loved her enough to put down 7 long years just to make her his. She was the eldest. She should be married first. 

And poor Rachel, like Cinderella locked in her room, maybe she banged on the door and wept and shouted. Seven years she’d gotten to know this man. Builded up to this one moment. A mild-mannered man (says so. Esau hunted but he stayed in the tents and was a mild mannered man). Gone. In a night.

However, Laban did give Rachel to Jacob for 7 more years. 

And to be honest, I just want Leah out of the picture so Rachel and Jacob can be together. I don’t want him married to her, sleeping with her, or having children with her. I’m disgusted that he would! I don’t care if it’s culture! He worked 7 years for Rachel! He loved Rachel. 

But this read around, I felt terrible for Leah. How miserable to know that you’re unloved and unwanted. You’re decent to sleep with and have some kids with, but his time and attention other than an occasional night belonged to someone else. 

Ever felt unwanted? Unloved? Miserable? Wishing life could be different? That you were adored and cherished and thought of. Ever envied someone else for having those things?

“When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.”” (v.31-32 MSG)

But he didn’t.

“She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect).” (v. 33-35 MSG)

Years have gone by and Rachel has gotten the lion’s share. And her womb has stayed closed.Therefore, she became envious. In fact, she kind of turned into a pimp. Yeah, she pimped out her husband for some love-apples (mandrakes). 

“One day during the wheat harvest Reuben found some mandrakes in the field and brought them home to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah, “Could I please have some of your son’s mandrakes?”
Leah said, “Wasn’t it enough that you got my husband away from me? And now you also want my son’s mandrakes?”
Rachel said, “All right. I’ll let him sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s love-apples.”
When Jacob came home that evening from the fields, Leah was there to meet him: “Sleep with me tonight; I’ve bartered my son’s mandrakes for a night with you.”” (30:14-21 MSG)
What a dysfunctional nightmare. 
Today, my heart isn’t rooting for Rachel and Jacob. It’s rooting for Leah. It’s rooting for me–when I feel rejected or let down. When I feel like others have it better than me in any area of my life.  Today, I’m rooting for you–if you’re feeling unloved, unwanted, shunned.
And I’m here to tell you, that God HEARS. SEES. CARES. And He loves you. Just like He heard, saw, and cared for Leah.

Summer Stalking

Guess what? I’m really excited to be a regular contributer at Michelle Lim’s Thoughts on Plot! Today, we’re taking the Super Sleuth Challenge. One true story. Three different ways the villain could have been caught with one right answer and you get to try and guess!

It’s a lot of fun and this particular challenge takes place right outside my back door in Memphis! So pop over and play. If you leave a comment you’ll be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card! 

photocredit: freedigitalphotos/gualberto107

Lakeside Redemption

Do you believe this? I do. What a beautiful quote from my friend Lisa Jordan’s newest release, Lakeside Redemption. 
“Can a woman
forget her nursing child,

And not have compassion on the
son of her womb?

Surely they may forget,Yet I will not forget you.

 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of
My hands;…” Isaiah 49:15-16 NKJV
God’s love for us is intense. So intense that He’s carved our names into His palms. He can’t uncarve them. He doesn’t forget us, even when we feel like He has.
what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God
didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition
and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything
else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with
God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger?
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of
God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be
able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not
trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying
threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of
this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that
nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or
low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get
between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced
us.” Romans 8:36-39 MSG
Nothing can keep us from God’s love. What I love so much about fiction is while the characters and even the setting might be pretend, the message is truth. It’s hope. It’s grace. And it can help us see God in a way we didn’t before! So I encourage you to pick up Lisa’s book either online or any in bookstore (they’ll only be in paperback on shelves this month then you’ll have to order it as an ebook or a paperback online). 
Here’s a peek! 
Buy the book! 
Zoe James is starting over. She’s worked hard to get past
the foolish mistakes that landed her in trouble four years ago. Now the young
mom is back in Shelby Lake and ready to reconnect with her son. When she bumps
into old friend Caleb Sullivan and his two adorable girls, she sees the
possibility of a happy future. Caleb has always secretly loved Zoe, but her
turbulent past brings up tough memories of his own. As they spend time together
training his girls’ new puppy, Zoe and Caleb will learn that if they can
forgive themselves, they might have a chance at a new life— and new
Visit @lisajordan on twitter,
facebook, and her website

If you were sitting in one of those chairs on the cover of the book, who would you be sitting next to and what would you be chatting about?