A Writerly Update

Well, hello there Reader Friends!

It’s been awhile, yeah?

I thought I’d hop on the ol’ website and jot a quick writerly update. I hope this finds you healthy and sane in the midst of such bizarre and trying times. 

Several years back, I sat down and wrote The Gifting Trilogy, and ever since, I’ve been an author torn between two genres: Young Adult of the semi-peculiar variety, and Contemporary Fiction of the faith-based variety. I love them both dearly, with a note in my phone filled with story ideas for each one. After a year-long writing hiatus in 2018, I decided I would take a good crack at the YA. 

I have one completed manuscript under my belt (which my agent has categorized as young adult near-future thriller), and have spent this past year working on another in the same-ish wheelhouse. 

The good news? I’m having a whole lot of fun, especially with my current manuscript, which has been pretty darn angst-free. A gift from above, truly. Especially in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. 

The uncertain news? I don’t know when exactly I’ll get to share these stories. Like everything else, the publishing world is in major flux at the moment. But here is what I do know: At some point, I will get to share them. 

Which leaves me with two quick things:

  1. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to ask, “What’s next?” I love that you’ve found my books and have enjoyed them enough to want more!

  2. When the times comes, I for real cannot wait to share more about these two book-babes of mine!  

Stay safe, Reader Friends! Stay sane, and healthy, too!

Much Love,

National Orphan Awareness Month


They are disastrous. Sometimes deadly. They tear through a community, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

Now let’s imagine for a second that someone–a meteorologist, let’s say–invented a technology that allowed us to stop tornadoes before they formed.

Only instead of putting our time and resources into this technology, we let it linger in the shadows while we focused the majority of our efforts on tornado clean-up. It’s sad, of course, when a tornado destroys a community. But there’s something so tangible about going into a neighborhood, rolling up our sleeves, and helping these people who have lost so much.

Um … that would be ridiculous, right?

We just wouldn’t do it. If there was a way to stop the traumatic thing from happening, we would opt for that route 100% of the time. Preventative care is the way to go. Maybe that’s why our insurance is so great about covering preventive care. It not only makes sense, it’s cheaper, too. 

And yet, when it comes to the orphan crisis, our efforts seem to focus on clean-up instead of prevention.

November is National Orphan Awareness Month, and according to UNICEF, there are 153 Million orphans around the world. It’s a staggering, jaw-dropping number. It’s a number that inspired my husband and I to adopt.

What we didn’t know at the time? A statistic that isn’t as familiar? 83% of those orphans have at least one living parent, many of whom are vulnerable mothers born into the cycle of extreme poverty. Desperate to feed their children, they take their children to an orphanage, where they will most likely receive one meal a day. Those children are then classified as orphans, and many get swept into the adoption industry, a billion dollar industry.

I don’t know about you, friends, but this wrecks me more than a little. I cannot fathom being in this situation. I’m not okay with it. I’m not here for it. No mother should have to make the choice between keeping her child or feeding her child.

And so, I have become passionate about a very specific, very powerful form of orphan care:

Preventative Orphan Care. 

How does this work?

We care for orphans by caring for vulnerable mothers. We attack the orphan crisis by targeting one of its biggest, ugliest roots: Global Poverty.

This is why I started The Lokumu Project, friends. When we give a mother employment, when we empower her with entrepreneurship so she can care for her children, we are validating her God-given dignity and we are keeping. families. together.

Look, I’m not saying adoption doesn’t have its place. Obviously, I wouldn’t say that. My husband and I adopted. It is most certainly a piece of this puzzle. What I am saying is that there are ways to care for the orphan that have nothing to do with adoption and everything to do with family preservation.

Family preservation prevents the trauma that inevitably occurs when a child is separated from his or her birth family, and its way more cost effective, too. For $1000, a vulnerable mom is able to go through our entire year-long program. A program that educates, trains, mentors, and provides capital (with accountability) so this vulnerable mom can successfully launch her own small business. And with this small business, she can support her family. 

The average international adoption (for one child) costs anywhere between $20,000 to $40,000. Friends, with that money we could help twenty to forty women. Families. Through viable employment and sustainable income, these women can afford school tuition for their children. And if anything has the power to stop the cycle of poverty in its tracks, it’s education. Not to mention, when pour into local, impoverished economies, we can change entire communities.

Right now, The Lokumu Project has six women waiting and ready to enter the program. We just need to get them fully sponsored. In an effort to do so, we are running an Orphan Awareness campaign in the month of November. Our goal? Raise $2000. Once we hit $2000, our incoming cohort will be fully sponsored (and I can take a nice, long break from all of this fundraising and everybody, including myself, said AMEN 😝).

If you’re looking for a way to fight for the orphan, if you’re looking for a way to keep families together, if you know anyone whose heart aligns with the work we’re doing, please share. And please consider donating to our campaign. Every little bit helps. TRULY. Every little bit. Also, I’m a volunteer. I don’t take any payment. Ryan and I are going to Congo in February to meet these women and check on the program on our own dime. Which means all of your money goes to the Congo to help the vulnerable families we support, and all of it is tax-deductible. 

Your donation means the world. So do your prayers. Together, we can make a difference in this world. <3

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. – James 1:27

A Broad Shouldered Hero

Today I have the immense pleasure of introducing Jessica R. Patch to you, my fabulous readers! Jessica is not only a good buddy, but a wonderful writer and today she’s popping in for a visit. Make sure to sign up for her newsletter to receive a FREE novella, Hope Under Mistletoe. It’s one I’ve read AND adored. So without further ado, here’s Jessica. . .


Do you ever feel the weight of responsibility? Like a truck is unloading a barrel of wet cement right on top of your shoulders. Things like:



Elderly parents/grandparents


Buying groceries


Mowing grass

Cleaning house

Committee meetings




Toting children to games/extracurricular activities

Insert responsibility here: ______________

One thing after another and we find our hearts sinking into the quicksand of too much too fast. Not to mention surprise catastrophes and worries that pile on top of responsibilities. Things like:

Medical issues

Cancer or (Insert sickness here)


Natural disasters

Broken plumbing

Roof leaks


Marital affairs


Job loss

Car breaks down

Insurance goes up

Insert catastrophe here: _______________

It’s amazing we’re not all walking hunched over. In my novella, Hope Under Mistletoe, Eden Snow (the heroine) has a lot piling up on her plate. She’s a Christian, but she doesn’t seem to know quite how to just let it go. From her shoulders to His.

Here’s a little excerpt:

“Hey.” Audrey rested her hand on Eden’s shoulder. “It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”

“It’s not, Aud. It’s not!” She stormed off and jumped into her truck. Nothing was going right. Her father was stealing her sleep, the burned down church stole her joy, living in the parsonage was stealing her mind, a dumb teenager probably stole baby Jesus, and playboy Knox Everhart might be stealing her heart!

One thing that’s universal about romance novels is a hero and his broad shoulders. We love it, don’t we, ladies? The physique is nice, but the truth is broad shoulders represent strength. And no matter how independent we are (I’m all for independence) we still desire strength. Some help to carry the load.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NLT

We don’t have to carry the load on our shoulders. But Someone can. He came, the Word made flesh. If the government of the entire world rests on Jesus’ shoulders, then all of those cares and concerns you have can easily slide from yours to His.

No one can carry them like Jesus. No one has broad shoulders like Jesus. No one is more heroic and protective, loving or understanding as Jesus. Not a man in a novel, movie, or TV show.

It’s okay to let go. It’s okay to pour out how you feel. It’s okay to release the frustration. And admit you just can’t do it. You’re just too weak.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV

He cares. Throw it on Him! Don’t let pride keep you from it. Don’t hold back. He is your Wonderful Counselor. Your Mighty God. Your Everlasting Father and He is your Prince of Peace. Anybody need some peace? I thought so. Me too.

You can get through it. I can get through it. And we can do it by letting Christ do what He was born to do.

Name one thing you know you need to cast on Jesus, but for some reason can’t seem to do. I’ll be praying for each one of you. That God will help you overcome pride, fear, of whatever it is that may hinder you. And I’ll be praying He gives you the strength to cast that care on Him.

If you’d like to read Knox and Eden’s story in Hope Under Mistletoe, it’s FREE to all my newsletter subscribers. Simply visit HERE to sign up. Once you confirm your subscription to my newsletter, you’ll receive a welcome letter with a Kindle or PDF link. Click on whichever you prefer and Voila! It’s all yours.

Also, check out my Hope Under Mistletoe Pinterest page and snoop around town, see who I cast as the characters and enjoy some of the book scenes!


Jessica R. Patch writes inspirational romantic suspense and contemporary romance. A passion to draw women into intimacy with God keeps her motivated, along with ice-cold Perrier and adventurous trips in the name of research. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or teaching the new & growing believer’s class at her church, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, embarrassing her daughter in unique ways, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to wonderful dishes she’ll probably never cook. She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

You can connect with Jessica on: Facebook, Twitter @jessicarpatch, and her BLOG

Hope Under Mistletoe

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

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 customers.

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.