Clarice G. James: Let’s Chat!

Welcome, everyone.

Clarice JamesClarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction. Her four novels, Party of One, Doubleheader, Manhattan Grace, and The Girl He Knew, are woven together with colorful threads of humor, faith, romance, and mystery.

When Clarice G. James isn’t writing, she’s reading, encouraging fellow writers, or organizing author events. She and her husband David, a short story writer, live in Hudson, New Hampshire. Together, they have five children and ten grandchildren.

We Cannot Out Give God by Clarice G. James

About four months ago, I scheduled two back-to-back author talks and one book signing on Cape Cod for the first week in December. I was especially excited because I was raised on the Cape and had lived most of my life there.

The trip from my home in New Hampshire would involve an overnight stay, so I enlisted the help of my friend, Deb. In lieu of a paycheck, I gave her the title of “Road Manager” and promised her a hotel with a pool. She does love her a nice pool.

Clarice James
I
n addition to the hosts inviting their contacts, many people responded positively to my email invitations and social media posts. I’d even re-connected via Facebook with some of my former high school classmates who’d expressed interest.

And these are just the people I know about! I thought.

My bookmarks were printed, my author talks polished, and my outside signage was perfect to entice unsuspecting passers-by. I packed my books in multiple bins, even gift-wrapping many in time for Christmas. As my hopes grew, I’d add more books to my bins “just to be sure.”

Clarice G. James: The book tour to beat all my previous book tours!

Despite my expectations, I did my due diligence. I checked and double-checked with those in charge of each event to make sure we were still on before I confirmed my hotel reservations. Their answers were always a variation of, “Oh, yes! Can’t wait! Thank you so much! We’re so looking forward to it!”

Then, the night before I was to leave, I opened this email: “Hello Clarice, I am sorry to say due to an issue with our newsletter that went out late, we do not have anyone signed up for your talk here tomorrow at 1:30. If we could reschedule for a later date that would be great. All the Best.”

All the Best? Seriously?

I was disappointed … and perturbed. Dropping my head in my hands, I prayed. Deuteronomy 1:15 came to mind: “Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten.”

What are you trying to tell me, God?

I sensed I was supposed to go despite the dismal outlook, so I took a deep breath and typed: “I hope you will reconsider. Perhaps an email can go out today to let members know? Or a Facebook post? I’d be happy to help in any way I can.”

The host reconsidered, and I was on my way—albeit a little less puffed up than before.

Clarice James

We arrived twenty minutes prior to the start. A cluster of my former high school classmates were waiting at the entrance. I hadn’t seen these women since our graduation five decades ago. The truth is I hadn’t even known them that well in school and had never made much attempt to keep in touch with anyone from my class.

Another friend, who’d brought a guest along, waved to me from across the parking lot. When we entered the building, four other women were waiting inside. A minute into my talk, my sister-in-law slipped in.

Unexpected Delight

The total count of 15 was less than the grand number I’d fantasized about, but they sure made up for any lack by their enthusiasm. Those who had read some of my books had brought them for me to sign. They talked about my characters the same way I did myself. I have never been more encouraged by an audience’s response.

Since half the group was made up of my classmates, I mentioned our former English teacher who had inspired me to write. I was stupefied when a woman raised her hand and said, “He’s in the next room giving a talk now.”

“He is? Here? Now?”

Once the eighty-something-year-old teacher concluded his talk, he joined us. I was able to thank him in person after all these years. When I showed him his name in the Acknowledgements of my first novel, he seemed genuinely touched.

Clarice G. James: How good is God?

When Deb and I checked into our hotel, the front desk clerk informed me that I’d booked two rooms instead of one. She corrected my error right then, saving me an aggravating phone call. As a treat, we had the nice, warm swimming pool to ourselves!

The next morning, we were about 1,000 feet from the next venue when I got a call: “I’m so sorry. Only three people signed up, and two cancelled this morning. Do you want to reschedule?”

I chuckled and said, “One person is good enough for me! I’m on my way.”

The program director and her receptionist joined the lone guest for my talk. By the end of our time there, I knew beyond doubt that we were all there to encourage this one woman. She’d signed up as an attempt to break through her grief and loneliness during this difficult time of year. I’m pretty sure I did as much listening as talking that morning.

Unexpected Bonus!

The program director plans to consult with other Cape Cod directors to have me back for a Sheer Joy of Writing workshop in the spring.    

Clarice James

The next event—a book signing at a friend’s café—started off slow. In fact, my friend had even forgotten I was coming that day. Humility strikes again! Deb and I enjoyed lunch, then set up the book table. While waiting for someone, anyone, to come by, I prayed, Lord, please show me why I’m here. 

A few feet to my right, a middle-aged woman sat with a young adult male who was in his own world texting a friend.

I leaned over and joked, “Would you like a book to read until he’s done?”

She laughed, then before I knew it, we were in a conversation about her life and the daily challenges she faces: an autistic son, a five-year-old adopted daughter, and a demanding job. I don’t know if anything I said helped, but sometimes it’s enough to know someone cares.

Soon after our conversation came to a close, one by one, four longtime friends entered with wide smiles on their faces. We spent the next hour catching up.

What If?

What if I’d pouted and canceled? What if I’d listened to the world’s wisdom and made this trip about audience size and sales? Instead, I paid heed to the Lord’s leading and was rewarded with a passel of early Christmas gifts:

  • A fun road trip with a good friend.
  • A reunion with classmates.
  • The privilege to thank a mentor.
  • Mutual support and encouragement.
  • Five-star service from a three-star hotel.
  • The chance to listen and offer comfort.
  • An opportunity for a speaking engagement in the spring.
  • Laughter.
  • Hugs.
  • Joy.
  • Yes, even some book sales!

When will I learn I cannot out give God? 

During this Christmas season and in the coming New Year, I pray we all take the time to appreciate God’s gifts, designed specifically for us and wrapped in his love and faithfulness.

Clarice James

God’s best to you and yours in 2020!

Clarice G. James

How to find Clarice G. James:

Email: cjames@claricejames.com.

Website: www.claricejames.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarice.g.james

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClariceGJames

~ ~ ~

Lord, please bless each word Clarice G. James writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

25 thoughts on “Clarice G. James: Let’s Chat!

  1. Carmina Lavergne

    I love your story and positive attitude. Your immediate disappointment was replaced by many blessings. All to often, we only see the end goal and if it goes out of reach, we miss the blessings along the way. You couldn’t have had a better outcome and that’s because you set aside your goal and listened to God, prompting you to go anyhow. Thank you for sharing this with us.

     
     
    1. You’re welcome, Carmina. We never know what God has in store for us until we open our hands and hearts.

       
       
  2. Thank you for sharing your story with humility and honesty. God always rewards our obedience, which you so beautifully demonstrated. As “ministers of God’s truth,” we do need to remember the importance of sharing with anyone, and even ONLY one. Loved your post and would enjoy reading your books. ❤️

     
     
    1. Welcome to our circle, Joan. I, too, appreciate Clarice’s humility and honesty. I enjoy everything Clarice writes. I hope you’ll join our chat again.

       
       
    2. Thanks for commenting Joan. It’s taken me years to recognize that MY plans are not always HIS, and that HIS are always better.

       
       
  3. Loved your post. I am gathering ideas to use when my first book comes out in May
    I hope to meet you at the family reunion in November

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Christy. And thank you for your encouraging words.

       
       
    2. Hi Christy, I plan to be there in November. May is an excellent month for a book to debut! Congratulations. 🙂

       
       
  4. I appreciate your transparency in sharing this, Clarice. Clearly the numbers are not the highest goal; one person genuinely impacted can have lifelong, even eternal, consequences. Thanks for the reminder.

     
     
    1. Hi, Lori. Welcome. I, too, appreciate Clarice’s transparency in sharing this story. I love everything Clarice writes.

       
       
    2. Thanks, Lori. We’ve got to go into this writing business with open eyes to see what our amazing God has for us! It may not be what we expect, but more than we deserve.

       
       
  5. Lisa Renee

    I enjoyed your story about your talks. Yes, this writing journey isn’t always about the numbers and sales.

    It’s great when you hear from readers how they were blessed and related to your characters. Happy it turned out well !

     
     
    1. Watching how the Lord works always blows me away!

       
       
    2. Hi, Lisa. Welcome. Glad you enjoyed Clarice’s story. She’s fun!

       
       
  6. Ruby Sterling

    This was a cool little read!! Looking forward to reading your books!! Be blessed!

     
     
    1. Thanks for taking the time to read the post. I know this is such a busy time for all of us. I love watching God direct his ways.

       
       
    2. I agree. This was a cool little read. Hope you get to read Clarice’s books. She’s great.

       
       
  7. Dawn

    Let’s try this again…lol I’d live a free book. Any will do since I haven’t read any of yours. Thank you for having this drawing!!

     
     
    1. Thanks for taking the time to check out my post, Dawn. If you win the drawing, I’d start with the first one: Party of One.

       
       
    2. Welcome, Dawn. I know you’ll enjoy anything from Clarice. She has quite a gift for humor.

       
       
  8. Laura Hamby

    This was a great read. You may never fully know the impact you had on those you had contact with during your time there, especially the woman grieving. Books have been such a blessing to me all my life but especially when my son was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and then since he died 9 years ago.
    I look forward to reading your work.

     
     
    1. Laura, I’m sorry for your great loss. My parents knew what it was like losing a child. My sister was killed by a drunk driver in 1995. I deal with some manner of death in all of my books. Most readers can relate.

       
       
    2. It’s so nice to have you in our circle, Laura. God bless you in 2020!

       
       
  9. Thanks, Linda, for inviting me to post to your blog. You are a faithful servant!

     
     
    1. I love shining the spotlight on you, Clarice!

       
       

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Clarice James Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite

Welcome, everyone!

Clarice G. JamesClarice G. James writes Smart. Fun. Relatable fiction. She makes my hit parade of favorites by producing writing perfection and keeping me smiling, chuckling, and laughing out loud at her wit in the midst of serious subject matter. That’s called a gift, folks.

I met Clarice in cyberspace four years ago when Christy Brunke, Clarice, and I were the three winners of the 2014 Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel Contest. We saw our novels appear in print in 2015, and our friendships developed over the cyber waves.

I count Clarice as a big part of my contest prize. Her writing is exemplary, and so is her friendship. My favorite of Clarice’s books (so far) is Manhattan Grace, which I’m giving away as an ebook to someone who joins our chat circle below.

A Tidbit of my Take on Manhattan Grace

This 5-Star story captured me from Page 1. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized with an opening involving a fire, a Cape Cod playhouse, and a dream up in smoke? And who wouldn’t be captivated by subject matter like Messianic congregations, mohels, Metropolitan Opera stars, Moldovans, and a jewel thief from Palm Beach?

Clarice’s unique wit, understated and, frankly, plain funny, shines from the beginning–right in the midst of heart-rending subject matter. Right away the reader discovers clues to the author’s humorous take on life in its glory and its foibles. Just wait . . . 

Manhattan Grace


W
hen a door opens for Gracie Camden to leave Cape Cod and move to Manhattan as a nanny for a Juilliard drama instructor, she fully expects God to use her acting talent and launch her to stardom. She’s been here been six months. What’s taking him so long?

Seymour Kaufman relocates to New York City from Iowa due to a shortage of mohels (circumcisers) in the tri-state Messianic congregations. Secretly, he hopes to explore a deeper relationship with Metropolitan Opera star and fellow Moldovan, Polina Zelenka. Seymour is conflicted when he meets her less complicated, widowed cousin.

Meanwhile, fresh from Palm Beach, the Chief plans to cap off his short yet lucrative career as an international jewel thief with a multi-million dollar heist during the Met’s gala in Polina’s honor. His usual modus operandi is to work alone—but this time is different.

While Seymour celebrates every closed door by believing God will open a better one, Gracie whines and wonders why God doesn’t bless her plans. Gracie finally learns success is not about making it big in the Big Apple, but about living God’s perfect plan for your life.

If you want an excellent read that touches your heart and your funny bone, Manhattan Grace by Clarice G. James is just the ticket.

Books by Clarice G. James

 

How to Find Clarice

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~ ~ ~

Lord, You are the Great Gift-Giver. We thank You for the unique gifts You’ve given each of us and the rare ones like Clarice’s that we can all enjoy. Please bless each word she writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake

4 thoughts on “Clarice James Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite

  1. Alicia Haney

    Enjoyed reading this, the book sounds awesome! Thank you for sharing. God Bless you all.

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining us, Alicia. Your name is in the hat! God bless. Linda

       
       
    2. Thanks for commenting, Alicia. Linda, with her gift of southern hospitality, made me feel quite special. Love this woman!

       
       
      1. And I love you, Clarice! So glad we “met” in cyberspace. I’m tickled to be highlighting you.

         
         

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