Brainstorming An Aww Moment For Your Character

Photo by Caesantana

Photo by Caesantana

Do you have a moment you dread, but never admit to anyone? Maybe it is something that reminds you of a past hurt. These are the perfect opportunity to create an aww moment for your character.

By flipping a dreaded moment into a sweet memory you can create something beautiful.

One of my favorite examples is in the movie While You Were Sleeping.

At the beginning of the movie we see Lucy missing her father and keeping an empty passport that she never gets stamped. That empty passport is sad for her because it represents all of the dreams she never fulfilled.

In strolls Jack with the perfect romantic thing to do, making sure her passport was stamped.

What about your characters? Do they have sad memories that could be turned into something sweet?

Brainstorming An Aww Moment For Your Character:

1. Make a list of things your character dislikes, a dark moment in their past, or something that brings out negative feelings for them.

What is special about this episode clip from While You Were Sleeping is that it is one of her deeper wounds we see in the beginning of the story. Rachel Hauck taught the emotional tug book ends can provide in your story and this is a perfect example.

2. Select a few of these and flip them to the positive. For example, I disliked getting the mail before I met my husband because of a negative experience I had. My husband left roses in my mailbox. This softened my heart toward him and created the warm fuzzy moments of romance on our journey.

3. Add the extra brush stroke. During the movie clip we see them leave on a train at the end. That is the extra sweetness that makes us sigh.

What is your favorite aww moment in a movie or book?

Music Monday – Brother Let Me Be Your Shelter

Lately I’ve been listening to the new album Live From the Woods by needtobreathe. It’s the recording from a show performed at The Woods at Fontanel last September. And I was there!

What an amazing show it was.

If you’re not familiar with needtobreathe . . . well, you’re missing out. But instead of giving you their entire story, let’s suffice it to say that the band from South Carolina includes two brothers, Bear and Bo Rinehart. At the show last year, Bear, the older brother and lead singer, shared the story behind my favorite song on the album, “Brother.”

It seems that after years in the band together, multiple studio albums, and years of touring, these brothers found themselves at odds, competing instead of building each other up. Fighting instead of supporting each other. It all reached a head as they returned home for 6 weeks. Bear said that during that time, he and Bo didn’t speak. At all. You see, they’d let the band become more important than their relationship. But after six long weeks, Bear went to Bo prepared to tell him that he was willing to give up the band, but he wasn’t willing to give up his brother. Bo had written a similar speech for Bear.

Thankfully the band was salvaged. More importantly the brotherhood was. And Bo wrote a beautiful love song for his brother.

My favorite lyrics are:

Everybody needs someone beside ’em
Shining like a lighthouse from the sea

I think this applies to more than just brothers. We’re made for community and to build each other up. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

I’ve been feeling this more keenly in my writing life of late. When the night winds of deadlines and rejections drive in, friends in my community have kept me on my feet and moving forward. I’m four-times blessed by the other women of this blog–Michelle, Jill, Jess, and Pat. When I’ve been overwhelmed with deadlines or fearful of new adventures, these women have come alongside me, praying for me, lifting me up, encouraging me.

I also try to get together with a local group of Nashville writers once a month or so. We don’t have organized meetings so much as eating brunch and talking about writing and the industry. Every Tuesday I meet another writer friend for dinner so that we can catch up and then spend an hour writing and cheering each other on.

These are just a few of the sisters who have become my shelter in the midst of the writing storm. I’m so grateful for them all.

What does your community (writing or otherwise) look like? Who is the lighthouse pointing you home?

Prize Patrol / All About Love / Super Sleuth Answer: We GOTCHA

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

Drumroll….. It’s time to  announce our winners for Colleen Coble’s new book The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and our Super Sleuth winner from January-March.

But first, the answer to yesterday’s Super Sleuth Challenge:

The answer to We Gotcha is A…he wore a GPA monitor that he’d stolen from a previous burglary. Ha!

If you guessed right, be prepared that you could be our next Super Sleuth Winner. Our Next winner after today will be announced at the end of April.


Colleen Coble - The Inn at Ocean's Edge Winner is...

Colleen Coble – The Inn at Ocean’s Edge Winner is…

The Winner of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is… Doreen Marr! Congratulations!


The Super Sleuth Challenge of February- March is. . . Joanie Bruce! Your Prizes are:

Sabotaged by Author Dani PettreyNavy SEAL Noel by Liz Johnson

    And a $10 Amazon Gift Card


Now that we have given away our prizes, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you about someone very special to me. Someone as different from me as night and day. The love of my life. My husband.

Do you think opposites attract?

I do, because I did. I love language and the arts, hubby loves numbers and science. It does make for some interesting conversations though.

Can You Tell Which One Is My Husband?

Needless to say this picture is a bit older. . . just like I am. I’m in the second row, two from the left. My hubby is in the first row, first on the left.

I remember the wonder of when we first met. The roses in my mailbox, musical productions, and candlelight dinners.

Somewhere between there and now came four kids and lots of adventure. We’ve had a few disagreements because we think so opposite, but I am grateful that he balances out my strengths and weaknesses.

How about you? Is your sweetheart opposite of you? Do you think opposites attract? Does it drive you as crazy as it does me?

Super Sleuth Wednesday: We GOTCHA!


Morning everyone and welcome to another Super Slueth challenge where one answer is correct and two are fiction. You choose which answer you think is right and whoever has the most right guesses at the end of the month wins a book!

So let’s play!

In Lakeland a string of burglaries occured with as much as $90,000 stolen, not to mention a disaster left in the wake. But how did the police prove he committed all the crimes?

A. The thief wore a GPS monitor that he’d stolen and it proved he’d been at each scene at the time of the burglaries.

B. He left a “calling card” by tagging the walls with red paint and leaving his initials.

C. The man used the bathroom in each home and left his fingerprints behind when turning off the sink after washing his hands.

Which do you think is the real answer? Have fun! 

Also, have you signed up for my newsletter? I’d love for you to swing by my website HERE and sign up! Right now, you’ll receive a FREE book, Just the Way You Are, but it’s only free for limited time. You’ll also be getting 2 more free books for being a subscriber this year!

Just the Way You Are by Jessica R. Patch

photocredit: freedigitalphotos

Colleen Coble’s “The Inn at Ocean’s Edge” – And A Research Trip To Remember

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors! Her plots and visual imagery are outstanding and The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is no exception. The book takes place along the coast of Maine.

For your chance to win a copy of Colleen’s new book, write one interesting fact about Maine in the comments below. We will draw a name to be announced on Thursday.

Over the past few years I have had the delight of being able to meet Colleen and become friends. Today as part of a celebration of this new release, I’d like to share some pictures of her research trip to Maine where the inspiration for this book began to breathe words.

Let’s start with a sneak peak:

“The sea was near. Though she couldn’t see it, she smelled the salt air and heard its roar as it hit the rocks close by. The branches around her held scary shadows. The forest was thick here, and she put her hand on the rough bark of a tree that smelled like Christmas. Mommy had told her to stay far away from the rocks.

     But which way are they?

     It was too dark to tell. She was afraid to move for fear she’d tumble off a cliff.” 

Already we are hooked into the story with the Prologue. The suspense of this story kept me guessing as I read. Small pieces of a greater puzzle were revealed a piece at a time, so I could hardly stand to put it down.

So where did Colleen come up with the setting of “The Inn at Ocean’s Edge?” In a trip to the coast of Maine. Who said writer’s research can’t be fun?




“One thing I loved about Maine was the terrific ice cream and the way I could get even gluten free lobster rolls! Yummy!”

~Colleen Coble





A surprise for many readers is that some of the characters in The Inn at Ocean’s Edge will also be featured in Denise Hunter’s next Christmas release.

Highlights of the book I found as a reader:

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

Photo sent by Colleen Coble

*The unique occupations of the hero and heroine’s family really drew me in. Claire’s father is the CEO of the Hotel Tourmaline. Luke’s family owns a cranberry farm and he also works with baby orcas.

*Two old mysteries interwoven together.

*The sizzle of the romance on the page between Luke and Claire.

*The twists and turns of the plot.

*The beautiful imagery Colleen weaves makes you feel as if you are sitting at the ocean shore.

*The characters come alive on the page with their very distinct personalities.

A sneak peak at a taste of back cover copy:

“In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the Island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year- and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing.”

I highly recommend this book as one of your spring/summer reads!

For your chance to enter the drawing for a copy of Colleen Coble’s new book The Inn At Ocean’s Edge, leave a comment telling something about the state of Maine(if you look something up really quick… that still counts).



Beyond Me: Music Monday

by Jill Kemerer

One of my favorite songs right now is “Beyond Me” by Toby Mac. It sums up how I feel about life right now. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised this year. Saturday, my mom threw a launch party for my debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, in my small hometown.

She’d called me out of the blue to say she wanted to throw a party for me. So we brainstormed and decided on an afternoon meet & greet. My aunts made sandwiches, my uncles helped set up, and my daughter helped sell my books. I had a wonderful time. I’m so blessed to have them!

A month before, I sent out press releases to several newspapers, and the paper that serves the area ran an interview of me. All of this wasn’t due to my writing or my book. It was part of something bigger. I can’t explain it, just that I had a gut feeling it was always about Him.

Several people I’d never met drove half an hour away to come to the event. I love that! Grinning, I shook my head, amazed at how God sets things up. As the song says:

“You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach. Call me to waters a little too deep. Oh, I’ve never been so aware of my need, you keep on making me see, it’s way beyond me.”

He’s reminded me over and over this year that He’s all powerful. He sets up situations for us. He puts people in our path. He sends a smile, a hug, a phone call right when we need it. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open–I love God’s surprises!

If writing feels beyond you–listen to this song! It’s not!

What is way beyond you right now? Give it to God and see what He does!

Have a wonderful day!

Super Sleuth Challenge – Criminals With A Less Than Brilliant Plan

Photo by flipton

Photo by flipton

Welcome back Super Sleuths!! This Friday we will announce the Super Sleuth Winners for February and March. Be sure to stop back to see if you are the best of the sleuths these past few months.

Every month or so we pick a story of less than brilliant criminals. These are the poor souls who should really pick a different profession. Today’s criminals are just such a pair that I want to scream, “Don’t quit your day job!”

Any self-respecting criminal knows that you need a way to hide your identity if you are going to commit a crime. There are many ways one can hide their identity. These two criminals came up with their own unique plan.

Two men in hooded sweatshirts showed up at a man’s house to rob him. The man was dating a former ex-girlfriend of one of the men and he wanted a bit of revenge with a monetary spin. They finished the job and took off in their getaway car.

The police stopped their car a few blocks away since it matched the description the caller gave in reference to the robbery. The two men were brought to the station for questioning and later booked for robbery.

Their unique disguise surprised law enforcement officials.

How did the men disguise themselves?

1. They covered the lower part of their face with socks they tied around their head.

2. They painted their faces like clowns and wore red noses.

3. They used ripped black garbage bags to cover their faces with holes for the eyes and nose.

4. They colored their faces with black permanent marker.

Friday we will return to share the answer and our winners. Lesson for today, DO NOT mix a brilliant criminal plan with alcohol!

Leave your guesses below for a chance to be April’s Super Sleuth Challenge Winner!