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Writers’ Spaces Wednesday: Jessica R. Patch

Writers Spaces Wednesday

I’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.

Jess color headshotJessica R. Patch is one of the funniest people I know–ask her about the time she prayed with her husband in church. Add in her sweet spirit, sunny disposition, and her incredible love for the Lord, and you have a friend for life. I love her to pieces. Plus, we’re fellow agency mates and Love Inspired authors.
She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense when she’s not talking friends into going on adventures in the name of research or watching way too much Netflix. Her debut novel with Love Inspired Suspense releases in early 2016.
You can connect with Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.
Jess, so glad you’re hanging out with me today. Tell us about your writing space.

My writing space is a cozy corner by my bed. I don’t have a separate room for an office so this works out nicely. Just my desk, my comfy office chair and everything I need to work!

Jess Patch 2

I love how you’ve created a cozy writing space. What makes it special for you?

I’m here so often, it’s my one little place all to myself. During the day, it’s quiet because my children are at school and my husband is at work, so I don’t have to worry about interruptions.

I totally understand about interruptions. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

Probably my bulletin board. When I look up, I see a few things that make me happy such as the people I pray for across the world. Project Rescue is a ministry dear to my heart so I love looking at that and it reminds me to pray. The people I’ve sent Bibles to, two post cards from missionary friends, Scripture verses I pray before I write, and a couple of mementos made by friends.

Jess Patch 1


I love your bulletin board. What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

I need my Spotify playlist going, post-it notes, and a clean desk. I hate writing when it’s cluttered!

I can’t stand a cluttered desk when I write, either. Share a typical writing day.

I get home around 7:30 a.m. from taking my kids to school and I spend about an hour doing housework and forcing myself on the treadmill. I write better when I know my house is clean or at least straight. I’m at my computer by ten at the latest and I write straight on until I leave to pick my kids up at 2 p.m. (of course I take breaks for social media, food, and hot tea since my doctor won’t let me have coffee anymore—the jerk 🙂 )After my kids get home and settled, I write about another hour before it’s time to fix dinner. I write 5-6 days a week on average.

If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I would choose a room that looked out into the woods and opened up to a screened-in porch. I’d want a couch and a comfy chair, and enough wall space to hold my monster white board and book covers! 🙂

Definitely! Tell us a little about your latest release.

Just the Way You Are - High ResolutionRight now, my second novella Just the Way You Are is FREE to newsletter subscribers, but only until April 22nd. It will then be available for purchase on Amazon. So sign up! Here’s a little bit about the story:

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?

Jessica, thanks so much for sharing your space with us today! Readers, remember to subscribe to Jess’s newsletter to receive this fun novella with the great cover before time runs out! 

Readers, Jessica has a heart for Project Rescue. What mission or charity tugs at your heart?

Lisa Jordan
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Writers’ Spaces: Carla Laureano

Writer Spaces WednesdayI’ve always been fascinated by other writers’ spaces. Some of my writer friends have beautiful offices. Others frequent their favorite Starbucks, Panera, or local libraries to write. Some write at their kitchen tables or living rooms. Because I love to see where others create, I’ve started Writers’ Spaces Wednesdays.


CL_Stairs_Full_96dpiI invited my friend Carla Laureano to share about her writing space and a typical day for her. I “met” Carla through a Facebook group we’re both a part of, but after reading her debut novel, Five Days in Skye, I knew I needed to meet her in person. That happened this past September when I rudely interrupted a conversation she was having with a writer/book reviewer so I could introduce myself and get a long overdue hug. In addition to being a very sweet person, she’s a gifted writer.

Carla is the author of the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (as C.E. Laureano), as well as the RITA® Award winning romance Five Days in Skye. She’s an avid cook, an enthusiastic but untalented singer, and a thwarted world-traveler. She currently lives in Denver with her patient husband and two rambunctious sons.

Connect with her at: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Tell us about your writing space.

When we moved into this house, my office was in our finished basement, but in the winter, it is freezing! Last year, when my two boys decided they wanted to share a room, I took over my youngest’s bedroom upstairs and turned it into a writing space.


Win for you! Basements can be way too cold. What makes it special for you?

Besides the fact it’s warm? Just kidding. I love the fact I have a room big enough to incorporate my favorite books and art prints, a dedicated space to work, and a comfy chair for research reading or reviewing galleys. Plus, now my sons’ parakeet has joined me, so she won’t be lonely while they’re gone.

Your office is gorgeous. What is one element of your space that makes you smile?

My accent colors make me happy! I recently decided I needed a hint of spring with all the tan and white, so I bought a cheery ottoman and pillow…and then found some file folders printed with reproduction silk patterns in the same color. I feel so cheerful whenever I walk into my office decorated in shades of coral and aqua and yellow.

I love your colors. That ottoman is gorgeous. What are your “must-haves” when you sit down to write?

Something hot to drink on my mug warmer, water with a slice of orange in my favorite cup, my planner (to jot down things I need to do so I’m not tempted to get up when I’m supposed to be writing), and my laptop. Depending on where I am in the writing process, I might have a stack of reference books, too. Music is optional. Sometimes I can’t write without it; other times, it’s too much of a distraction.

Share a typical writing day.

I drop my kids off at school across town first, so by the time I get home, it’s about 8:45. I make coffee or tea and get myself settled at my desk, where I let myself check in with my writer friends about their plans for the day (my version of water cooler chat). I try to get down to work by 9:15 or 9:30 and then write until 1pm when I break for lunch. Then it’s back to work (often promotion or social media) until 3 when I need to leave to get the kids. This only gives me about six hours in a work day, so depending on my deadlines and commitments, I typically work another hour or two after my boys go to bed, usually emails, social media, or blog posts. When I’m fast-drafting a book, I only let myself call it a day after I’ve gotten my word count in—which is usually about 2000 words—regardless of whether that takes me two hours or twelve.

You seem very organized and disciplined with your time. If you could choose the ultimate writing space, where would it be?

I want one of those little cabins in the woods you see on Pinterest all the time…or maybe a tiny trailer house. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a mobile 150 sq ft office with bathroom and kitchen and a loft area for naps and reading? Yes, I need to figure out how to make this happen…

Those tiny homes are adorable! Tell us a little about your latest release.

ForsakenCityCoverBeneath the Forsaken City is the second book in my Song of Seare Celtic fantasy series. My protagonists Conor and Aine have just barely escaped Seare with their lives, but they are quickly thrown into as much danger as they left behind. Meanwhile, things back home become increasingly dangerous as their enemy seeks to destroy anyone who can stand against him. I’m told by early readers that this book is non-stop action with lots of surprises… which is possibly the best compliment I can get!

Carla, thanks so much for giving us a peek inside your writing world. I’m so excited to see how this year unfolds for you!

Readers, what aspect do you find most fascinating by a writer’s life?

Lisa Jordan
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Lakeside Sweethearts Book Cover Reveal

Last Wednesday I opened my computer after work and received a sweet surprise: the cover for my third Love Inspired book that releases in June–Lakeside Sweethearts. 

Lakeside Sweethearts Book Cover

 Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

I’m so thrilled they chose a dock for the cover art because it’s where Agnes and Ian spend a lot of time building their relationship. Plus, the lanterns and sunset create a romantic atmosphere. I absolutely love this cover. I hope you do too…and Agnes & Ian’s story. 

Your Turn: What elements do you like to see on book covers?

Lisa Jordan
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Blog Takeover: Writing About Life

C_avatarHi there!

I’m Carolyn, a friend of Lisa’s, and I’m here as a self-invited guest blogger.

Lisa and I spend a lot of virtual time together. We discuss almost everything. How tired we are. How cold our feet have been this winter. How much I want to eat cookies and cupcakes. How much she loves to watch NCIS. We lift each other up. We complain to each other. We celebrate together.

For a few weeks we’ve been discussing blogging (amidst the cupcakes and the weather gripes). I recently had a blog makeover and upgraded my space. That motivation along with a few snow days that popped up during January and I think I’ve got my blog clicking along nicely. I scheduled a few posts, had ideas for a few more, and generally enjoy writing. I like blogging. In my line of work as a librarian I like to think that someone is reading it and getting at least one small idea from what I have to share.

On the other hand (as I confess for Lisa), her blog is not something she really enjoys. She likes the blog, but doesn’t love doing the actual blogging. Occasionally she has a post she mentions that she enjoys writing, but that hasn’t happened recently. When I ask her what she blogs about she says, “love and marriage.”

Oh boy.

It’s not that I object to love and marriage!

But when Lisa and I talk most days we discuss other things she is interested in. Did you know Lisa is a scrapbooker? That she’s knitted something for just about everyone she knows? I don’t know how she keeps up with her crafty nature along with her day job and her writing job.

And recently Lisa has a new puppy!! Which she is going to post a picture of right here…

photo (1)

See! Precious! Penny is adorable and Lisa is like any new puppy-mamma and has news to share!

I read a lot of blogs and Twitter and what I love about blogs is when the genuine nature of a person comes through. I don’t read a large quantity of author blogs, but I read a few. My favorite author blogger writes some about writing when it is a thought she has to share that she is passionate about. She also blogs dialogue her toddler twin nieces are saying when they are being silly, and shares about her experiences while taking trapeze lessons! What I love about my favorite authors on Twitter is when they post about their obsessions with bacon or how they’re surviving this chilly snowy winter and aren’t sure they can be around their school-aged kids one snow-day longer!

I don’t follow because they are writing about the same things their books are about. Maybe I’m the only one…but I doubt it.

I follow authors on blogs and Twitter because they are authentic about sharing whatever real moments in their lives they feel comfortable sharing in ‘public.’

I think Lisa has felt like her blog space here is an obligation as a writer. That she’s required to share wisdom and experiences directly related to writing or to her writing focus which is love and marriage.

Except…as writers the things we do outside of writing influence our writing the most. Otherwise writers would all be writing about writing. But instead writers are writing about life. About the little things that come together to make life exciting and meaningful. I’ve challenged Lisa to keep her blog updated but to avoid the pressure of writing about the same things she writes about professionally. Instead I want Lisa to have more fun writing about the little things that make life meaningful.

Like puppies!


Lisa here: Umm, so my blog was taken over by one of my all-time favorite people on the planet. Carolyn and I met online over 12 years ago when we bonded over a mutual interest. She read my first novel when it was still in the newbie writer stage…and we’re still friends. Man, that was some awful writing. 

In most realms Carolyn is an elementary school librarian who blogs at and tweets at @carolynvibbert. But that’s all just an act because the real Carolyn reads a lot of YA lit, fluffy romance, and Christian fiction. She also whines about cold feet in the winter, and eats too many cookies no matter the season.

Your Turn: What are your favorite things to do, other than anything book related?

Lisa Jordan
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Catherine West: What’s Your Definition of Family?

Today I’m excited to host Cathy West, my friend and agent-mate. I met Cathy for the first time through ACFW and tried not to covet her residence–she lives on the beautiful island of Bermuda. 

Catherine West in an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at

Hidden in the Heart is Cathy’s second novel and can be purchased on Amazon: Hidden in the Heart


Once upon A time, because all great stories start out that way, a baby was born. As that baby grew, her Mom and Dad read this book to her.

As the little girl got older, she came to understand that she was adopted. Her Mommy and Daddy weren’t able to have children of their own, but God gave them the little girl, and made them a family.

Sounds like the makings of a happily ever after novel, right?

Well, that little girl was me, and yes, I did have a happily ever after, but it took a while for me to get there.

Growing up adopted was not always easy. Yes, I knew my parents loved me very much, after all, they picked me, how could they not? But deep down, I knew there was someone else, someone with no face and no name, who had given me life. Someone who, perhaps, didn’t love me quite as much as she was supposed to. Didn’t love me at all, really, because she gave me away.

Childhood thoughts are complicated, and often made light of. I never acknowledged those thoughts about my birth mother out loud. Never thought I should. Or could. And then one day, long after I’d married and had my own children, I was hit quite out of the blue by a fierce desire to know. 

For the first time in my life, I really wanted to know where I came from. And I prayed for the courage to find out. Because if I’m honest, it would have been easier to stuff down that feeling, brush it off as fleeting fancy, pretend it didn’t exist, and get on with life. But the longer I pondered, the stronger it became. When dreams are denied, they simply grow bigger.

With the support of my family and prayer partners, I embarked on the search that would change my life. I found my birth family. I found all the answers I needed, and God gave me the grace to accept them, and to know that in all things, He truly works for good.

Family is often too simplified. Mom, Dad, siblings, aunties and uncles and cousins…but family means so much more than that to me.

Family means home. Love. A place you can go any time and know you are wanted. Whilst I had a wonderful family growing up, and still do, I have gained extra family, and I am so grateful for each one of them.

My personal journey of search and reunion was not without heartache, but I have learned much through those times, and truly grown closer to God. I did not intend to write my story, but after a few years, friends encouraged me to do so, and Hidden in the Heart was born. I am so excited to have this book to share with you, and I’m always happy to talk adoption! 

Your Turn: What’s your definition of Family? 

Lisa Jordan
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Guest Blogger Casey Herringshaw: Not Always Waiting Patiently…

Casey Herringshaw is one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I know. We met through My Book Therapy, then in person at ACFW–American Christian Fiction Writers. She has a heart for Jesus and celebrating others.

She is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town more densely populated with cows than people. Taking the words and stories God has placed on her heart and putting them on paper is one of her highest passions in life. Casey is a member of ACFW. You can connect with her through her personal blog, Writing for Christ and her writing related group blog, The Writer’s Alley


I’m not a patient person.

Shoot, I just admitted one of my biggest flaws on the World Wide Web. But, I’m not. Never have been. My mom tells a story of me as a teeny bopper, cranking up the volume on the stereo between the silence before the next song.

Nope, patience is not my favorite skill and one I don’t employ often enough. But ask me about my publishing journey and I’ll gladly tell you I’ll wait as long as I have too. I’ll closet myself in the back corner, throw away the key, and edit until Christ comes back…instead of submitting, for fear I’ll send out an inferior product.

Ask me about any personal romance or love life and ooo baby, the patience flies out the window.  Suddenly I’m not so eager to refine who I am in Christ, not anxious to truly become the wife and child of the King I need to be, instead I want to jump in with two feet now…why have to spend all that time waiting?

As I sat here thinking about writing this post, I started comparing my two “goals” as you would have it. I would love to be published, but I’m willing to work and refine my craft until it becomes as good as I can make it—I’m willing to take all the time I need. But when it comes to romance and marriage, I’m not as willing to put in that patient work and effort. I mean seriously, at twenty-one, who doesn’t want to be snatched up and given a special new name? Suddenly I’m not so eager to spend as much time as I need.

Welllll…problem is God is saying wait. It’s not the right time. And if I’m not okay with that, I’m going to have a miserable existence. My question so often to myself, is why can’t I just accept His timing like I can with my writing?

If I’m willing to make my writing the very best it can, I should be just as willing to put in the time and effort to perfect my life in Christ.  Let’s face it, we are all works in progress, crafted by the Master’s hand, but we can only crafted as far as we allow ourselves to be sculpted to His will.

Maybe it won’t be this year. Maybe it won’t be next year, but like with my publishing future, I have to keep editing, keep revising and keep praying that God will mold me into the image of His love and perfect match for my future husband.

Will you join me? Revising, waiting, praying…patiently.

Your Turn: Is waiting a struggle for you? How do you get through it? What area of waiting are you in right now? How is God helping you?

Lisa Jordan
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Who Supports Your Dreams?

I received a phone call at the end of June letting me know Lakeside Reunion is a finalist in the ACFW-sponsored Carol awards! I was thrilled, excited, overwhelmed, humbled, then slightly disappointed when the contest coordinator said I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone.

“No one? Not even my editor or agent?”

“No one.”


“Well, you can tell your husband, but that’s it. You can’t share the news until the finalists are announced in July.”

I received that phone call two hours after I had received the call from Hubby’s new company offering him a job. I couldn’t wait for Hubby to get home–first to hear about his job offer details (I had texted him so he could call the HR office), then to share my news. 

He was thrilled for me.

Hubby has been a huge supporter of my writing dream since he learned I always wanted to be a writer. Without his support, I couldn’t succeed to where I am today. He helps pick up the slack around the house when I’m on deadline. He’s an impressive Errand Boy. He supports me emotionally when I’m going through a writer rough patch. 

I’ve heard stories from women and men whose spouses or significant others don’t get their writing. They are unsupportive and the writer feels so alone in an already solitary journey. 

My heart aches for those writers because support on the homefront is critical to have a full-bodied dream become reality.

Hubby doesn’t always get my writing, but he appreciates it. He gave me the greatest gift when he read my first novel.  

I can’t grow as a writer if I don’t have his support.

Your Turn: If you’re married, in what ways your spouse support your writing dream? If you’re single, who supports your writing?

Lisa Jordan
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Guest Author Jordyn Redwood: Humor Me

I’m thrilled to have my friend, debut suspense novelist Jordyn Redwood as my guest blogger today! Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at

Jordyn’s debut novel, Proof, released June 1 from Kregel Publications. 

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it’s the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find–and punish–her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

You can buy your copy of Proof here. Jordyn is giving away a copy of Proof to one commenter. Please leave your email address with your comment. 


Don’t we need humor in life to make it through? Life is hard. I have two very serious jobs. I’m a real life pediatric ER RN and a suspense novelist. Those can be heavy days but they can also be fun days—by using a little humor to get through.

Marriage is no different, right? Humor is necessary. What are some of the funniest things that have happened between you and your spouse? To take a break from discussing serious subjects: like death, trauma, and writing suspense—I thought I’d take a humor break and share some funny highlights from my married life.

Do you find that opposites attract? That’s the truth with my husband and I. He’s the quiet introvert. I’m the more outspoken extrovert. He gets queasy at the site of blood. Obviously, I do not. What we have seems to work—as we’ve been married almost fifteen years.

During our dating years, we were set to see a movie. I drove to his place and let myself in—and then sat there fuming when he was nowhere to be found. This was before the age of everyone having a cell phone. Finally, his phone rings. I answer. He’s on the line. “Where are you?” He asks. “Where are you?” I ask right back. He says, “I’m at your place!”—“Well, I’m where you should be.”

Other funny moments? Let’s see—teaching kindergarten Sunday school with his ex-girlfriend. Well, we can laugh about that now.

My husband likes to trim his own hair. One day, he mistakenly forgot to put the spacer on the clippers and took a swipe. Without much introduction, he comes into the living room and asks me, “Can you fix this?” with one bald stripe down the middle of his head.

I burst out laughing so hard—I still crack up thinking about it. ER nurse honey—not hairdresser extraordinaire.

Sometimes, you need those lighter moments in life to get you through serious novels, too. I have a very dry sense of humor. My debut medical thriller, Proof, deals with some very serious subjects and I thought whilst writing the ms—I really do need some moments of levity.

Hence, the humorous pairing of my odd couple detectives, Nathan Long and Brett Sawyer. Nathan means business. He’s serious and organized—bordering on an undiagnosed case of OCD. A southern gentleman. Brett’s the laid back easy type—maybe plays a little bit loose with the rules to get the job done. Often, their interactions provide comic relief in Proof. Let me give one example: an elderly woman with some questionable underwear choices serving them tea with a heavy dose of liquor during an interview. You may think that would never happen. Well, just recently I had a 14y/o show up just in his skivvies—at the ER. That’s right—just the white cotton briefs. And let me say—he was not deathly ill. Plenty of time for that young man to get dressed.

Your turn: What about you? What’s the most humorous thing that’s happened in your married/dating/writing life? I’d love to know—could end up in my next book. Names withheld—of course. 

Remember to leave your email address with your comment so we can contact you for your mailing address should you win a copy of Proof

Lisa Jordan
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