Friday, May 31, 2013

Jamie Carie: Trusting God And Diving In

Everyone's Story welcomes author Jamie Carie. I've admired Jamie for years, at awe of how she makes history spring to life off the written page. Now she's breaking into contemporary romance with her novel RUSH TO THE ALTAR. I'm delighted she's my guest this week and I'm sure you will be as well. Jamie shares an excerpt from her new release as well as answers a few questions. She looks forward to hearing from you.

Book Giveaway:
Jamie is offering to one randomly chosen commenter an e-version of her novel RUSH TO THE ALTAR. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 7th, between 4-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!

                An Excerpt from Jamie's New Release:

RUSH TO THE ALTAR by Jamie Carie


The phone rang with a soft trill, breaking the quiet of the evening.
Maddie lifted her head from the story she was reading to Max as her mother answered it. She paused to overhear who had called, ruffling Max’s hair.
“How are you doing, Sasha? How’s your mom? Umm-hmm…that’s good.” A short pause ensued while Gloria walked into the living room. “Oh, she’s just reading to Max. I’ll get her. Hold on.”
Maddie rose, taking the phone. “Mommy will just be a minute, sweetie.”
Max, at twenty-six months—okay, okay, two years old; it was just hard to let go of the month-counting stage—shook his head and held up the book. “Read it, mommy.”
“I’ll be right back, Max.” Maddie gave her mom a pleading look and walked toward the back door, the clear night air and a moment—alone—with a phone call of her own.
“You’ll never guess what happened.”
“Hi, Sasha.” Sasha never started a call with “Hey, it’s Sasha, what are you doing?” or anything normal like that.
“Of course it’s me. Who else? Anyway, guess what happened!”
Who else, indeed? Maddie hadn’t connected with many of her old friends since moving back home and was thankful Sasha, her best friend from high school, had picked right back up from where they had left off. “You know I hate guessing games. Just tell me.”
“Oh no, this is too good. Three guesses at least.”
Maddie groaned. “You won the lottery.” Deadpan voice.
“You always guess that first. Come on. Be creative.”
Maddie smiled. “You had a blind date last night. Turns out he’s a doctor and wild about you. He proposed.”
Sasha laughed. “Now that’s more like it. But no, try again.”
Maddie laughed. “You won tickets to the Ice Capades!” Mock excitement laced her words, but she couldn’t help her smile.
“Oh my gosh. You’re so close!”
“Really? Tell me.”
“Okay, are you sitting down?”
“Yeah. Of course. Any news this important would have me sitting down.” Maddie plopped down on a wobbly lawn chair, leaned her elbows onto her knees and grinned into the phone. “No more stalling. Out with it.”
“Okay, okay. You know that morning radio show I listen to like a groupie? Well, all of my hard efforts have finally paid off. I won tickets to a Racers game!”
“Basketball?” Maddie couldn’t help the deflated tone after such a buildup.
“What’u mean basketball? It’s the religion of the Midwest!”
“Shhhh. My mother might hear you.” The smile was back in Maddie’s voice.
“You have to go with me! Front row seats and everything.”
“Really? Front row?”
“Well, maybe not front front row. Maybe we won’t be able to feel the flecks of sweat off their brows or anything like that, but close seats, great seats.”
“Oh, Sasha, I don’t know…”
“Now come on, Maddie. You haven’t been out in weeks. You need to have some fun.”
Maddie sighed into the phone. “Yeah, maybe, but a basketball game? I can think of ‘funner’ ways to play my babysitting card.”
“Do you know how many guys I could ask out with these tickets? And I called you. You are my priority.”
Great, just what she needed. Another person’s responsibility. Like moving back in with her parents wasn’t bad enough. “Listen, Sasha, I appreciate it, really, but why don’t you ask Rob? He’s a sports fanatic. He would love it.”
“Out of town again,” Sasha explained in a disgusted tone.
“What is it this time?”
“Something stupid. His mother had a sneezing attack or some such crisis. He doesn’t do anything without her approval. I’m really ready to call it quits, Maddie. I don’t think I can hang on much longer unless there are some real changes.”
“Sounds worse than I thought. I’m sorry, Sasha. Maybe you should start dating again. What about that guy at work? Chad, wasn’t it? Ask him to go. It might be the beginning of something.”
Sasha snorted into the phone. “Didn’t I tell you? He went out with Lana, the five foot nine, 120-pound receptionist with long blond tresses. I don’t have a chance.”
“Well, you never know. Racers tickets might just do the trick.”
“Yeah, well, if he didn’t notice without the tickets then I don’t want him noticing with them. So, you’ll be my date, right?”
A brief pause. “Okay, if my mom can babysit. When is it?”
“Next Saturday. And Maddie, don’t paint your face blue or anything, okay?  I want to get on TV and all, but not that badly.”
Maddie threw her head back and laughed. “It’s the price you pay for dragging me out. You know what a crazy fan I am.”
As their laughter died down the silence grew long and serious.
“How are you doing, Mad, really?”
“You mean, am I thinking about him?”
“Not as much. Not hourly anymore.”
“Oh, girl.”
“It’s just that…Max looks so much like him.”
Another pause.
“Sometimes he’ll look up at me from his breakfast cereal, grinning at something funny on the box, that goofy grin that I know so well…and I…I just stop inside. Everything stops. Oh Sasha, I wish he didn’t look so much like Brandon sometimes, and yet I feel so awful for wishing that. I should be thankful. You know, to have something so real to remember him by, and yet,” her voice lowered to a near whisper, “I wish Max looked like me. Am I so terrible to wish that?” She swallowed back the tears from her throat.
“Of course not,” came her voice of reason. The voice that had saved her countless times from tipping over the edge of grief these past few months. “But someday you’ll be glad. Someday it will all make sense.”
“Really? I don’t see how.”
“I know. I know.”
Another pause.
“Love you, Maddie.”
“Thanks, Sasha. Love you too.”
They hung up.
It was how they ended every call these days.
Sasha and Maddie made their way across the crowded isles to their seats in the huge arena at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, stepping over purses and feet, squeezing between knees and people’s backs as best they could. Laughing, they finally arrived at the only two empty seats around and plopped down.
“Can you believe these seats? I told you they would be great,” Sasha gushed.
“Everything’s so huge. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before.”
“Just wait until the players come out. They will be giants from here.”
“I just wish I liked basketball.” Maddie made a comical face. “I think I would enjoy this more.”
“Shhhh.” Sasha looked around at the people near them. “That’s like saying ‘I wish I liked God’ in church. You gotta pretend, girl.”
Maddie compressed her mouth tight and said through barely opened lips, “Okay, okay, I forgot.”
A loud buzzer rang and the announcer began the evening’s presentations in a booming voice. Maddie saw that all the major networks’ television crews were there, along with the local stations. A DJ sat behind a long table loaded with equipment, queuing up the music. The excitement rose as the Racemates entered the stadium looking even more tanned and beautiful in person, if that was possible. And then everyone came to a fevered pitch as the players arrived, their names in lights with giant photos of them on the flashing screen overhead in the middle of the arena.
A popcorn vendor stepped close and Sasha motioned for two, paid for them and sank back into her chair with a contended sigh. “This is gonna be great.” Her dark brown eyes were glued to the players as the opposing centers made their way to the middle of the court for the first tip-off.
“I knew they would be tall but what was God thinking?” Maddie asked in awe. “He was thinking they would play great ball,” Sasha answered without taking her eyes off number 14. “Can you believe how tall he is?” She said it quietly, so only Maddie could hear over the roar of cheering as the Racers won the tip-off. Maddie poked her in the arm and answered back with a laugh. “Now I get it. You are crushing on one of the players. Who is he?” Maddie looked at number 14 and nodded her head. He was tall, dark and incredibly handsome.
“Jake Hart. And I’m not crushing. I’m just impressed by his…by his…rebounding stats. That’s all.”
Maddie laughed. “Sounds like you’ve been studying.”
“Just a little internet research. I wanted to be educated for the game and got a little…sidetracked.” Sasha grinned and shrugged, a woman who rarely felt the bite of guilt, which was one of the many reasons Maddie loved her so much.
Sasha sighed. “He’s even better looking in person.”
“Well, why don’t you ask him out?” Mock innocent tone.
“Yeah, I’ll just get his phone number after the game.” Sasha had the sarcasm down pat. “He’ll just hand it over the heads of all the interviewers when he notices how beautiful I am.”
“You are beautiful.”
Sasha, Asian-American, with her coffee-creamy skin and the sloe-eyed slant of a courtesan, sighed louder in mock long-suffering. “Only to those who know me.”
“Well, that’s the best kind. Lots of people are only beautiful until you know them.”
“Aww, shut up. You’re going to make me cry right here under all these bright lights.”
Maddie grinned and stayed silent for a while, taking in the game, the squeaking sneakers, the blaring horn that marked their plays, the power of the players’ movements, as if they had figured out some secret weapon against gravity. It didn’t take long to become totally immersed, her heart pounding when they approached the basket, praying it would go into the little round hoop, clapping and cheering with the fans all around her, becoming one of them.
It was surprising. How caught up she became, how immersed and loving the feel of being a part of something so big, so wonderful…so united, as if she had stepped into a perfectly harmonious moment of time.
A loud horn blared, signaling the end of the first quarter. Maddie turned to ask Sasha if she wanted to go and get something to drink when there was a tapping on her shoulder and a squeal with her name attached to it. Turning, she found herself looking into the slightly older face of a high school friend she hadn’t seen in years.
“Maddie! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s you.” She edged around an irritated fan and squeezed into a nearby seat behind them. Grasping Maddie’s hand, she squeezed it tight. “How are you? Are you in town for long? I heard you live in Muncie now.”
She obviously hadn’t heard about Brandon’s accident. “Um, I’m great. In town for a while. It’s so good to see you. What are you up to now?” Please God, let her talk about herself.
Barb raised her eyebrows and nodded her head with her typical exuberance. “I started my own dance academy a couple of years ago, which is doing really well. Kids mostly, but we’ve pulled together an adult team, up on the northeast side of town. It’s been lots of fun.” She laughed, a little self-consciously. “Lots of headaches too, but you know what I mean.”
“That’s so great. You always wanted something like that. I’m really happy for you.”
“Hey.” She paused, looking at Maddie with a considering gleam in her eyes. “This is going to sound strange, I know, but you were always such a great dancer in show choir and a quick study, too. My team, the adult team, is doing a little halftime show. We were supposed to be here,” she motioned around them, “in the main court, but somehow they overbooked and bumped us to the practice court. We’ll be performing for some kids from Coburn Place; it’s an awesome facility for abused women and children. Anyway, it’ll be very low key and since one of my girls couldn’t make it…well, we could really use another dancer to fill the spot.”
Maddie shook her head, eyes wide. “No way. I haven’t danced like that in years. I don’t even know the routine.”
“We’ll have twenty minutes to warm up. I could teach you.”
“Barb, you’re crazy.”
Barb leaned in. “It’s some older moves. Not so different from some of the stuff we used to do in high school. Come on, it’ll be fun. And think of the kids. Their moms are trying so hard to make life normal and great for them.”
Barb didn’t know it. She couldn’t know it. Of course, she didn’t know she had just played the ace card. Maddie knew all about trying to make things feel as normal as possible. Knew about that moment when Max was about to ask about his father again, and how she would jump in with something, anything to distract and distance them both from the truth. There wasn’t any other reason under heaven that could have made her say yes, except that one.
And Barb had said aloud what she hadn’t even voiced.
Maddie hesitated and then nodded. “Yeah, okay, if you really need me.”
Sasha gasped, grabbing her arm. “Are you joking?”
Maddie turned to Sasha. “It’s in a practice court, for the kids. What harm can it do?”
Sasha nodded, understanding lighting her eyes. “I get it. Okay, go break a leg, or not, or whatever it is they say.” Then, grumbling under her breath, “Leaving me here all alone with my popcorn and glimpses of Jake Hart so you can go be on TV. I’m so abused. See if I ask you to a game again.”
Maddie grinned and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Thanks. And I am not going to be on TV, silly. I would die first.” Turning to Barb she said, “Halftime is coming up soon, isn’t it? Can we get into the court now? I will need all the time I can get.”
Barb nodded. “They’ve assigned us a practice room that we should be able to get into. Come on.”
The two wriggled through the crowd to the aisle, dashed up the stairs to the main level and hurried down the long corridor to the designated room. There were already a couple of the dancers inside.
Maddie could only blink in horror at what they were wearing. Like Olivia Newton-John throwbacks from the eighties, each woman sported matching pastel headbands and leggings with coordinating leotards and white tights. Worse, some of them should have known that their leotard-wearing days were long behind them. What had Barb been thinking?
“I’m not wearing that!” It came out of her mouth before she had time to stop and think how it would sound. Quickly, to smooth it over, Maddie added, “Barb, we didn’t think about the costume. I can’t dance. I don’t have anything to wear.”
Barb grasped her arm and pulled her further into the room, making Maddie feel like a fish on a hook. “Oh, we have several extra outfits,” she assured cheerily. “Just go over to that box and dig around in there. You’ll find something.”
This wasn’t happening.
Maddie slowly walked over to the box, crouched down and plowed through spandex and polyester blends. Sure enough, there were extra leotards in her size—medium. She might have been able to fit into a small before Max was born, but after a year of breastfeeding, her chest had never gone back down. Was there a sports bra in here? Oh no. She suddenly remembered she was wearing her black lacy bra, the one she hadn’t worn since Brandon’s death, and didn’t know exactly why she’d put on tonight, except that she had wanted to pretend to need it. It was going to show through the pale pink leotard for sure. God help her, with her D cups bouncing around in black lace showing through pastel pink…she was going to look like an eighties streetwalker in this getup.
It’s only for the kids, she reminded herself. They won’t notice. I’ll be in the back. I’ll make sure to be in the back.
There was a small screen set up for changing and Maddie rushed behind it before too many of the other girls showed up to change. Everything fit, kind of—too much cleavage for comfort. On the bright side, she’d been doing her exercises and her thighs shouldn’t jiggle too badly in the tights, but a headband? Did she really have to wear the silly headband?
She shook her long, wavy hair out of her ponytail and put the headband on the best she could without a mirror and stepped out from behind the screen.
Barb came over and whistled. “Boy, good thing we are in front of young children or we would have to change the rating on this show! You look phenomenal.”
“I very much doubt phenomenal is the word to describe this outfit. What’s with the Olivia Newton-John look?”
“We’re called the ‘Eighties Ladies.’ Gives us a marketing edge, you know. Something to set us apart.”
“I can see that.” Maddie tried not to sound as appalled as she felt.
“Come on, you look great. Now let’s work on the routine before the others get here.”
Barb plugged her phone into the speaker’s dock and turned up the volume. To Maddie’s further despair, I Will Survive started to blare from the tiny speakers. She wanted to ask if that was really an appropriate song considering the audience, but Barb had begun to shake her hips and move to the music and Maddie could only attempt to follow along and learn the steps as quickly as possible.
Slapping her palms to her hips and twisting around for the first time in ten years, she glanced at the ceiling briefly. “You owe me for this one.”
She talked to God a lot these days, and not much of what she said was very nice. 

Questions for Jamie
You describe yourself on your website as a novelist who believes in the power of story to touch hearts and change lives. How do you see your fiction accomplishing this?

I had a pretty traumatic childhood. My parents became a big part of the Charismatic movement that was sweeping the US and Canada in the 70’s and 80’s which had cultish leanings and was very legalistic among many other issues. I struggled with night terrors, partly due to the fact that we often had deliverance services in our basement with the sounds of demons screaming as they came out of people! As you can imagine, that was terrifying to a seven-year-old. There were many other misuses of power and lots of abuse. I developed an anxiety disorder and was barely functioning as a grade school student. Around the forth grade, I discovered books. Stories became a salvation of sorts to me and helped me survive, so you could say I have a lot of experience with the “power” of stories being very real in my life.

It is my greatest desire that my stories provide hope in God’s love for people and His good plans for their lives despite trauma and pain and suffering. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit imbues the words and makes them come alive with His presence so that they become alive to that particular reader’s circumstances and mind-sets. Words are powerful, powerful enough to change someone’s life for the better.

You're known as a historical author setting novels in the eras of the American Revolution, Pioneer, Alaskan Gold Rush, and the British Regency and Swashbuckling Pirate times. Now, with RUSH TO THE ALTAR you've ventured into contemporary. Any common denominator between all these stories with their varying times?

Not really. I love history and love researching different time periods and settings. Starting a new book or series is one of the best parts of being an author because I get to dive deep into a new world. Rush to the Altar had a unique beginning. It started as a fever dream. Have you ever had one of those? They are really vivid and long and you remember the details when you wake up! Well, I was really sick with the flu and literally dreamed the first six chapters. I wrote it all out longhand in a notebook shaking with a high fever and chills, but I didn’t want to forget it because it was the funniest thing I’d ever dreamed. When I got better, I wrote the story in four months – quick for me. It was a lot of fun to write a contemporary! It sat on the shelf for a few years and then, after my series which was three books in eighteen months, I needed to switch gears and do something light and fun. I pulled out Rush to the Altar and laughed all over again as I read it. I ended up rewriting the last third and then published it myself, which is another adventure in itself!

What has your writing taught you about the world we live in?

Interesting question. The writing process itself has taught me to have faith in myself and in God. It’s a bit intimidating, that first, blank page, no matter how many books you’ve finished. But I have to trust the talent God gave me and dive in. It never fails to work. Something magical happens and that feeling, that process, makes it all worth it (cause this is a tough business!!).

The publishing process and having stories out in the marketplace has been an education as well. People have so many different perspectives and desires. I’ve learned not to try and please any one person, just follow God and whatever He has put (wrought – produced through all those trials.) in my heart to write. If I can write a story that I want to read over and over again, if it can continue to speak to me and change me, then I’m thirlled.

What has your writing taught you about yourself?

That I’m stronger than I think I am. When I signed my first three-book deal I was afraid of a lot of unknowns. Deadlines! Finishing a book in eight months when it took me two years to write my first two. Public speaking! I still struggle with some anxiety and dread the public speaking part that comes with my work but I’ve done it. Joyce Meyer (I love her) says that courage is “doing it afraid”. What she didn’t tell me is that sometimes I still fail when I force myself to do something afraid. It’s not always a HEA (happily ever after) and I’m a big fan of those. But I’m learning, and growing, and still trying. I want to be courageous in this business that I’ve ended up being a part of. Failure or success, I’m curious and excited to find out what is on the other side of continuing to be courageous.

Jamie's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Visit with award-winning author Jamie Carie on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)

Bestselling historical author, Jamie Carie, releases contemporary romance. (Tweet This)

Find out why Jamie Carie believes words have power to change lives. (Tweet This)

Jamie Carie: I have to trust the talent God gave me and dive in. (Tweet This)

Author Bio:

Jamie Carie is an award-winning, bestselling historical and contemporary romance novelist. She is the author of Snow Angel, a USA News Book winner for Best Romance, a ForeWord Magazine award winner and a RITA Awards® finalist. Her third novel, Wind Dancer, was a 2010 Indiana State Library Best Books of Indiana finalist. Jamie lives in Indiana with her husband of twenty-five years, three sons, a giant dog named Leo and their newest addition, a Siamese/Snowshoe cat named Luna who runs the house.

You Can Contact Jamie At:
The official Facebook page for The Forgotten Castles series:


  1. Well, after that excerpt, I may not can wait until Friday! Great story and I loved getting to know Jamie. Okay. Don't put my name in...I couldn't wait. :-)

    1. Always a fond hello to you, Pat! So... does this mean you just purchased Jamie's new novel? Good for you. I'm sure this will make her smile.

    2. Yep, I bought it and plan to start reading tonight!

    3. Happy reading, Pat ♡

  2. oh wow, I am reaLLY interested in reading this book! thanks! Rhonda
    rhonda_nash_hall AT comcast DOT net

    1. Nice to see you, Rhonda. I appreciate your visit. You're now entered in Jamie's Giveaway!

    2. Thanks, Elaine,love your blog!

    3. Rhonda, thanks for making my day! I feel as if I just received a hug over the miles ♡

  3. This book sounds so good! Thanks for the interview Elaine. I really like your blog I had a good time looking around.

    1. Mary, thanks for visiting on Everyone's Story. Hope to see you again! And thanks for the sweet words.

  4. Thanks for purchasing my book, Pat! I hope you enjoy it!
    Thanks too Rhonda and Mary and good luck on the contest!
    xoxo~ Jamie

  5. Fabulous interview, Jamie. What a journey. Congratulations on Rush To The Altar!

    1. Tamara, nice to see you here ♡ I too admire Jamie for all those roads she's traveled down to get where she is today. Hope to see you again.

  6. What a great interview! I really enjoyed getting to know Jamie. Words are very powerful and make a profound impact and I really appreciated how Jamie shared her desire and approach to writing. "Liking" her pages and shared this blog post on Twitter! :-) Blessings!! Love to be entered into the giveaway.

    Rhonda (Ritty) :-)

    1. Rhonda, thanks so much for your visit and your blessings of spreading the word on Jamie. Wow! I truly appreciate the plugs. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview as well.

      Hope to see you here again--wishing you a great day.

  7. Another week ends, another begins here on Everyone's Story. Thank you, Jamie, for guesting on my blog this past week. You've had your hands full, yet you've been a trooper for remaining faithful to what I hope is a growing audience for your contemporary novels, in addition to your historical-based stories. Blessings in all that you do.

    Thanks too for the great giveaway of your new release, RUSH TO THE ALTAR. The lucky winner of your novel is...

    Rhonda, of Rhonda's Doings. Congratulations, Rhonda. Both Jamie and I will be in direct contact with you shortly.

    Hope everyone will visit with my next guest!


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