Friday, November 21, 2008

Show Ever!!

My mother and I whip up some sourdough biscuits like Noah made for Elizabeth in Chapter Three of Snow Angel.
Check it out here.

The bloopers are hilarious!!!!

Snow Angel Recipies

Basic Sourdough Starter Without Yeast

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
Mix all ingredients. Place in a loosely covered container and refrigerate several days until doubled in size. May take 4-14 days. Ready to feed and use when doubled.

Basic Sourdough Starter With Yeast

2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Warm Water
1 Package Yeast
Mix all ingredients. Let stand uncovered in a warm place overnight or up to 48 hours. The longer mixture stands the stronger the ferment. After fermenting the starter is ready to store. Feed once before using.

Sourdough Feeding

1 Cup Flour (all purpose)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk

  1. Feed every 5-7 days or it will die.
  2. Keep in tight covered container in refrigerator.
  3. Do not use the day it is fed.
  4. Always leave 1 Cup of starter to feed.
  5. Feed every day if you want to build your supply. Just don't use the day you feed. (Donna feeds hers after she measures what she wants to use).
  6. If some watery substance appears, just stir it in and use.

Part Three of Karen's Questions About CBA Publishing

Check out part three of the conversation! She asks, "What do YOU think holds publishers, editors, and writers back from writing the kinds of books they want to do? The kinds of books many of you have said you want?" Visit her blog to see the entire article.

More comments about this at Cara Putman's blog.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Questions From Karen Ball

Today Karen asked her readers the following: "First, I want to know who you think today's Christian fiction reader is? Why do you think s/he reads fiction? What are you hearing from the readers around you about the books they're reading? And, if you care to share, what novel have you read lately that lived up to your expectations?" Go here for the article and all the comments. Here was my reply. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Boy, some tough questions. To be honest, I don't know very many "readers." A lot of my friends are too busy and tired at the end of the day and would rather be entertained by the TV for an hour than pick up a book. (I do this too!) Sadly, the true book lovers have shrunk in the middle and younger generations, I think, giving way to other types of media. But there are still a lot of books being sold every year, so readers must be out there. As to what they want? I guess we could look at bestseller lists? I don't really have a clue.

My favorite fiction in this last year was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

It's written in a free form prose that reminds me more of a very long poem. McCarthy breaks the rules but the result is so compelling, gripping, hauntingly beautiful that I had to put it down at times to emotionally recoup so that I wasn't walking around the house like a shell-shocked zombie. It truly plunged me into another world.

Whether light and funny or dark and dangerous, I want to get lost in the story and fall in love with the characters. That's what I look for in fiction.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Makes A Christian Novel - Christian?

My editor, Karen Ball, has a lively discussion going on at her blog about what makes a Christian novel "Christian." There are lots of great comments! I thought I would copy/paste mine here.

I agree with Crystal's comment on the movie Braveheart. When I think of Les Misérables and how the priest loves and forgives Jean Valjean, giving him a redemption chance of forgiveness, or the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo, when Edmond loses all hope in prison and the old man, Faria, painstakingly teaches him, encourages him, and finally gives his life helping him dig out, I think the Spirit of Christ - more than interwoven in the story - it becomes the backbone of the story.

Romans 8:9 (NIV) "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

As a writer I must be directed by "the Spirit of Christ" to have any chance of portraying a story that is both real, relatable, righteous and redeeming. When my sin nature gets in the way (and it does! I thank God for my editor!!) I allow some of that junk (be it obvious like graphic sex or obsinities or subtle like flat characters, badly written "fake Christianease" dialog, etc.) to spill into the story. This requires my full surrender of "my story" to seek out and know "His story."
When John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother's womb as Mary neared with Jesus in her womb - wow - that is our reaction when we meet with the Spirit of Christ whether in a book, a film, a work of art, a play, another person, a sunset…anything that is filled with HIM. It's more than hope we gain, it's our eternal Groom, our Saving Grace. How lovely that God has imprinted His likeness in our spirit and that it craves Him and leaps for joy when we see a glimpse of Him in His creation.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where Do My Characters Come From?
I'm asked this question quite a bit so I thought I would try to answer it today. When I begin a new story I have an idea of who my main characters are but it isn't very fleshed out. It's hard to describe, but it's more of a feel for them.

Maybe this will help explain it. You know when you meet someone for the first time? Do you get a feel for who they are right away? I usually do. It's more than a first impression - more like a peek into their spirit, their heart. This isn't to say I know everything about them right away! I just get a feel for who they are and that leads me to what they might say or do and how they might act and react.

Maybe this is something that actors/artist/writers/musicians (basically artsy people) have a knack for, I'm not sure. But I take this "feel" for someone and transfer it to my character. I don't fill out those character development sheets (I tried that once and it took all the joy of discovery out of the process for me). Instead, I just go with this gut feel and then watch in amazement as they come to life. That's the fun part!!

Also, I think there is a little of me in most of my characters! LOL! Some characters, like Jane in Snow Angel, closely match my personality and how I handle difficulties and trauma. Other characters, like Serena in The Duchess and the Dragon, are more a melding of some favorite people in my life (my sister!). But the best thing is when a character suddenly becomes real and takes off on their own. It’s like having a child. You see some of yourself in him/her and then they do something or say something that totally surprises and delights you. That’s when God’s vision for the character really shines through.

I'm thinking Scarlet Johanson looks a bit like Emma, the character I'm currently creating.

What about you? If you write, how do you create your characters?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Check Out A Character Spotlight of Elizabeth (from Snow Angel) at Relz Reviewz!

My friend Rel has had another great idea! She is spotlighting hero and heroines from all our favorite novels on her blog at:

This week she is spotlighting Elizabeth and Noah (and the actresses and actors who might play them). This is so much fun!

Also!! There is a new interview for The Duchess and the Dragon at another great blog: A Christian Writer's World . . . Characters Who Grip Your Heart. Comment on the interview for a chance to win a free copy!!

Side Note: If you would like a signed copy of Snow Angel or The Duchess and the Dragon to give out as Christmas presents email me at jamie_@jamiecarie_._com (no spaces). I only have a few Snow Angel's left in my personal stash so hurry if you want one. ($10.00+shipping).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fall 2008 - NEWSLETTER

Wind Dancer Hits Stores In Two Months!

Raised in the small frontier town of Vincennes, Isabelle Renoir longs for a life of purpose and meaning. She dreams of the day when she can escape the simple life and embrace the feeling that she is destined for something rare and wonderful. Unable to fit in with the women around her, Isabelle feels more at home in the woods with her long rifle grasped in her right hand and a wicked-looking knife tied up under her skirts. Escape turns tragic, though, when her first true adventure leads her into a trap. She wakes to a nightmare: Wounded and alone, her brother is missing, as is the man who has joined them, a stranger named Samuel that she can't seem to forget.

One of the Long Knives of the great George Rogers Clark, Samuel Holt is a guardian, protecting and providing for the scattered Colonial forts dotting the Northwest Territory. He keeps his scalp attached with finely honed skills in weaponry, stealth, and cunning. When war becomes inevitable, Samuel joins friend Clark in taking the important posts along the great Ohio River. He hadn't planned falling in love again anytime soon, but then he never imagined Isabelle, a raven-haired temptress who dances in the moonlight. But in this man, with his golden hair and piercing amber eyes, Isabelle has met her match. And when the Shawnee take them prisoner, intent on assimilating them into their tribe, both must rise up to meet their greatest challenge and plumb the depths of their faith. Together they might be able to escape captivity-captivity of body and captivity of soul.

This book was one of the most difficult I've ever written. Isabelle is one of those people who know who they are - their created self - and is determined to live that out. But God allows her to go through some really hard things in order to build her back up in the way that He wants her. The strength she has at the beginning of the book becomes a beautiful masterpiece that He made "in His image" for eternity. For me, it is a gripping and challenging tale that God is using in my own life, reminding me of the safety and completion that comes in surrendering (total and complete) to Him. Check out the book trailer and more info on Wind Dancer at

Pre-order Wind Dancer today at Amazon CBD LifeWay and your local bookstores!

Congratulations to our August, September and October winners of a copy of The Duchess and the Dragon . And the winners are:
Audrey Larson
Lisa Gordon
Eva Silkka
(Remember , all you have to do to be automatically entered in each month ’s drawing is subscribe to this newsletter! So please pass this along to your family and friends!)

I'm really excited about the book The Love Dare . My husband and I have been married for twenty years and honestly, we have a pretty solid marriage. God intervened on our behalf to get us together (it's a pretty amazing story and someday I'm sure I will write about it) but we've had our difficulties over the years too. When I came back from the BAM (Books A Million) convention I had two copies of this book with me. We started doing the devotionals/dares last week and wow! It's been eye-opening for both of us. It's like looking into a truth mirror and seeing all the selfishness and pride and fear looking back.
Some of the dares have been encouraging, like the one on jealousy. We have been each other's greatest cheerleader and have encouraged each other in our goals and dreams. So that wasn't too painful. Others have been challenging, like the appreciation room vs. the deappreciation room. I have to admit to writing past failures on the walls and bringing those up (out of my fear) when we are heading into a decision or direction that didn't turn out so well in the past. For me, it always goes back to the same thing: Am I going to trust God to take care of my emotions in the face of sin (mine or his) or am I going to try to control a situation so that I don't risk getting hurt. How liberating to trust God completely in the good and bad! And how difficult!
Lately, the Lord has been showing my how His joy can be my strength. Nehemiah 8:10 "This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." I pray that the Lord will fill us with his joy and that we all might live in that strengthened place in Him.
  • Jamie wins scholarship through the Cec Murphey Publicity Scholarship : I am blown away by God's provision and plans for this next book! God has blessed me with a publicity scholarship worth $5,000.00!! Cec Murphey is the author (with Don Piper) of the bestseller, 90 Minutes in Heaven , and many other books. He has an amazing heart for the Lord and is a wonderful speaker too! His website is
  • New Friends: In winning the publicity scholarship, I have had the great pleasure to meet Twila Beck and Jim Rubart. Jim has a book coming out next year entitled ROOMS. I've read the first half and can hardly put it down. Aside from being a great fictional novelist, Jim is a marketing expert. You can read the blog he shares with Laura Chritianson at for solid, smart advise "that'll help you polish your writing, blogging and marketing skills."
  • Favorite Fan Email for this month is . . . “Dear Jamie, I have been listening to The Duchess and the Dragon on audio during my commute this week. Before I proceed, let me tell you that I'm an avid reader who has tended to stay away from Christian fiction because of my frustration with the lack of good stories. Lately, I've been convicted to only spend my time with things that edify me so I've tried again. A co-worker has always talked so passionately about your books, and recently another good friend of mine described Duchess as "unbelievable" so I thought I'd give it a shot. I have thoroughly enjoyed it -- I sit out in my car long after I get home just to keep listening. I look forward to reading "Wind Dancer" as well. Great Job Jamie! Lauralin
  • B&H Fiction: Check out the great fiction from my publisher B&H at their new fiction portal here -
  • Wind Dancer in Walmart: I've heard a rumor that Wind Dancer might make it into Walmart stores sometime this spring! Please be praying with me for this! It would be HUGE!
  • New and improved website . . . again! Visit and let me know what you think! Lots more content and a poll!
  • Love's First Light - I just turned in my forth book to my publisher, B&H. It will be out June 2009. The cover is stunning! My favorite so far!! The book trailer will be on my website in the next week - check it out!
Please help spread the word! If you enjoy my books, please tell your family and friends! And forward this newsletter on to anyone you think might be interested in reading inspirational, historical fiction! Grass roots - word of mouth - marketing is the BEST! Thanks so much!!!