Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seekerville Wecomes Back Jessica Nelson



Mmmmm. Just saying the word makes me smile (and my husband cringe).

While contemplating the beauty of this natural treat, I had an epiphany. 

Chocolate is so much more than bliss in my mouth. More than an antioxidant-rich dessert. It’s even more than a weight-loss regimen. You heard me right. Breaking news: People who consume chocolate on a regular basis are more slender than those who don’t.

Here’s the link. Read it and grin. 

Anyhoo, while it’s obvious to me that chocolate is a healthy, natural part of my daily diet, I recently realized there was more I could learn from chocolate. 

A few months ago I was able to tag along when my husband and his crew went to Costa Rica to film a fishing show. While the men worked…I’m a little embarrassed to say, but a friend and I completely lounged around. By the pool. Reading. We were also blessed to be able to go on a few tours.

One of the tours was to a nearby finca. A Costa Rican farm. The tour included all sorts of natural herbs and fruits that grow in Costa Rica like pineapple, garlic and …drumroll…chocolate trees!

That’s right, my Seekerville friends. Chocolate actually grows on a tree. The lovely owners of the finca took us through the process of how chocolate is made and it struck me recently that I, as a writer, am really a cacao bean.

Cacao beans nestle inside these big pod-like things that hang off the tree. When you break the pods open, the beans are covered with a white, gooey substance and have a fruity scent. Totally un-chocolatey. Writers are like this when we begin our journey. We hide our talents and dreams, even our possibilities, as we grow in our little writer pod. And then one day— KABAM— God or circumstance or our own will cracks that pod open and out we tumble. White, mushy lumps that look nothing like the writer we’re sure we’re destined to be.

After being freed from the pod, the cacao beans are put in a shallow box where, exposed to heat, they become mushy. At this point the chocolate ferments. This is kind of like when we writers get lost in our world of new writing. You know, that place where the story is fresh (maybe we haven’t learned the “rules” yet) and we keep writing and writing and it feels awesome. 

 When the fermentation has finished, the cacao beans are spread out on wooden racks (at least in Costa Rica). Beneath a warm sun, the leaf-covered beans dry. While the beans are drying, all the mushy stuff (including worms and insects) drop off them. About a week passes and finally, the rich scent of chocolate is in the air. At some point, a writer must get laid out to dry a bit. To toughen up and harden. I think a valuable critique group helps dry us up and get us ready for what comes next…

 The chocolate is ground into shavings. Put through a crushing machine. Can anyone say rejections? Edits? Ouch!.

But guess what? After the crushing, the chocolate is ready for use. Its aromatic flavors are in the air. All it needs is a little sugar and milk. (Contest finals, Compliments…Contracts) Once the tour ended, our kind hosts brought my friend and I to a table set with fresh fruit from the farm and bowls of warm just-made chocolate sauce. Talk about delicious!

*disclaimer* This post is how I remember the tour and I can’t vouch for accuracy in my description or terms. For a more detailed, professional perspective on how chocolate is made, check out this cool site on All Chocolate.

So where are you in your chocolate phase? What natural processes remind you of the life of a writer? How does it inspire you?

 Jessica Nelson, in keeping with her romantic inclinations, married two days after she graduated high school. She believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.

Today Jessica has two treats for Seekerville commenters! Chocolate and a copy of her April Love Inspired Historical release which garnered 4.5 Stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews.   (Check out the trailer here.) Two winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. This was great! See, chocolate is good for the writer's soul!

    I have the book, and bought another for a friend. :)

    This piece of cacao bean is being crushed by edits... hoping for something delectable at the end.

  2. Sorry, how rude of me.

    I'm setting out a pot of chocolate macademia nut coffee.

  3. GREAT post, Jessica! I couldn't read some of it because the melted chocolate descriptions had me drooling so I had to snap out it :) Love how you connect that process to writing, very clever and sweet!
    I enjoyed the pictures also, good stuff. Your Breaking News comment definitely had me grinning, woo hoo for chocolate!!!!
    Thanks for sharing about your trip to Costa Rica, sigh, so nice.
    Blessings to you and Seekerville!!

    Virginia, is that flavor available in instant coffee??? Yummy!!!

  4. Wait, wait, wait. Did anyone else read Jessica's link? About chocolate being slimming?

    My only problem with the study is the typo - the article states "It found that those who ate chocolate a few times a week were slimmer than those who ate it less frequently."

    It's so OBVIOUS - it should read "a few times a day". I mean, who in their right minds eats chocolate only a few times a WEEK?

  5. Now that I have that off my chest...

    Great analogy, Jessica! I'm being dried and crushed and dried again...but what a great aroma! I love my job, even when the negative comments come. After all, they're so much better than the comments I was getting only a year ago :)

    I'm waiting for the dessert phase...

    (And my son called me a pod person just today. Coincidence? I think not.)

  6. Hi Jessica:

    ”So where are you in your chocolate phase?”

    I think I may be in the bitter-sweet stage.

    I really enjoyed reading your post. It made me hungry to read a romance set in Costa Rica. Do you think you will use your experiences to write a book? I’d order it right now.

    BTW: people who drink the most diet soda are the most overweight. People who eat chocolate most frequently probably are not worried about their weight. I just wonder what the results would be if they only counted bingers who eat a whole lot of chocolate but not all that often. : )


    P.S. I also like romances set on ranches.

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  7. LOL Tina and Jan!!! *still laughing* oh my gosh, you ladies always bring out the laughter here :) Jan, I agree. The frequency of eating chocolate should be a few times DAILY, I believe for writers that frequency increases without consequence....just saying :)

  8. What a fun post. I'm about to put myself in the crusher. Not exactly looking forward to it. Hopefully I'm a tender bean and not too much crushing is necessary. :)

  9. What a fun post, Jessie. Love the comparison of writing to chocolate. Suh-weet!

  10. Oh, I was just thinking of most romantic lines and this one popped to mind:

    "Death did not wait, it came when it pleased, and she would have this kiss."

    From Jessica's wonderful book! Is that a heart-wrenching line or what??

    Now, off to find chocolate. (Which her heroine also loves... Hm. I wonder where she got that?)

  11. What a fun post. Chocolate is part of my daily diet. So glad you shared this.
    Jackie L.

  12. Hi Mary! Of course it's good. Did you ever doubt? LOL I am certain you're going to have something delectable. :-)

    Hi Kara! lol on the drooling! I feel you.

    Tina!!! Don't die. Chocolate is supposed to make you smile, not die! lol

  13. Hahaaaaa! Jan, you're cracking me up. I totally agree!!! That's so weird about your son too....I'm glad you're enjoying the stages and all ready smelling great. :-)

    Hi Vince, maybe someday I'll set a book there. I'm not surprised about the soda fact and you're probably right about the weight thingy.

  14. Good morning, Jessica. I took my class on a tour of a chocolate factory last year. We were reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The factory we visited was noting like Willy Wonka's, but it did have a gift shop. I think that was everyone's favorite part. Yum!

    Anyway. They showed a movie about how chocolate is grown and processed. Fascinating.

  15. Melissa, don't worry, crushing is necessary and well worth it. But you know, they say the kind of chocolate made depends on how long it's been drying.

    Hi Keli! *waving*

    Heeheee, Virginia, I'm glad you liked that line. Now that I'm reading it...it feels kind of melodramatic. LOL Of course, she had to justify kissing him, right? 'Cause he's so kissable. *grin*

  16. Hey Mary, that sounds like a wonderful tour. :-)

    Yay! Jackie, I really do think it's beneficial (the right kinds, doses, etc) Kind of like medicine. *wink*

  17. Hi Jessica, Dont enter me as I have read this wonderful book.
    I have heard there may be a chocolate shortage in a year or so.
    I do like chocolate and thinking maybe I need to eat more!
    I am not sure doing a tour would be good the smell of chocolate would make me want to eat more.
    (unless it does the what the lavander farm did to me with lavender. the smell of it being distilled is so strong to this day lavender makes me feel sick)

  18. I have this book and cannot wait to read it, Jessica!!!!

    Grinning, just thinking about romance, chocolate and Love on the Range!

    Gotta take care of the puppies, but I had to stop in quick, see how I'm analogized to a delicious bean THAT I LOVE.... and smile at how cool it is that I have your debut novel!!!

    Yippee ki yi yay!!!!

  19. Loved your book! But you know that. No need to be in the drawing.

    Ah, chocolate. I am in the dried out stage, the very beginning as I am getting ready to send my fiction manuscript to several folks. But I have been through the cycle before in creative non-fiction. Blessed to make it to the final product.

    It is going to be hot here today! So I am offering chocolate milkshakes and frozen mochas!

    Blessings, Jessica!

    Peace, Julie

  20. sadly, i'm still in the pod phase or just broken out with the white gooey stuff. at least i know what is in store for me.

    Q: how long of a drying time for dark chocolate? that's my favorite...

    one of the rare few who doesn't have your book yet. sounds like i'm really missing out. so many great books, so little time...

    nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

  21. LOL -- seriously creative and addicting analogy of a writer's journey though I think I'd be happier the rest of my days WITHOUT the visual image of worms dropping off my chocolate. That wasn't nice, Jessica. Some things are not meant to be shared!

    And guess what I have in my toppling TBR pile? Can't wait to read it, so don't enter me in the draw!

    Gasp! Did Ausjenny just say there's going to be a chocolate shortage in a year?! I need to stockpile!

  22. Jessica--I love the thought that chocolate helps keep people slimmer. An especially good thing for writers who spend a lot of time with BIC. :)

    The analogy of how chocolate is made and how a writer is formed is fun to read about. What similarities there are. I think I'm in the drying out phase. Getting some critiques on my writing/story and remaining teachable.

    Thanks for sharing today, Jessica!

  23. Jessica--I love the thought that chocolate helps keep people slimmer. An especially good thing for writers who spend a lot of time with BIC. :)

    The analogy of how chocolate is made and how a writer is formed is fun to read about. What similarities there are. I think I'm in the drying out phase. Getting some critiques on my writing/story and remaining teachable.

    Thanks for sharing today, Jessica!

  24. I can't believe we got this far and no one mentioned the 'little fruity' description.
    hmmmm. Fruits are seed bearing cases like apples and peppers, so .... does that make chocolate a fruit?

    well, if nothing else, writers are a little bit fruity from start to finish and I must be in the drying part again as I'm on forced hiatus. I think it's a good thing to be away from your manuscript, that's for sure.

    Jessica, I'm out of cocoa powder so I can't even go make any thing chocolately to eat...ugh. I'm smelling the love, though!!! I'm so happy for your debut!
    Thanks for the tour.

  25. Of course, BESIDES the chocolate we require a little info on THE BOOK.

    Tell us how you were eating chocolate and came up with the plot.

  26. What a wonderful post! I'm between dried and crushed - getting a bit of both, I think. And KNOW I'm not ready for dessert yet (though I wish I were!!).

    And for some odd reason, I REALLY wanna go eat a Cadbury Creme Egg! ;)

    You're awesome with the analogies, Jessica. Please enter me :)

  27. Oh, Jessica! You have made my day! I love chocolate, and I CAN'T WAIT to tell my husband that chocolate will help me lose weight! He won't believe it, but I'm going to tell him anyway. LOL!!!

    Chocolate is my favorite thing, next to writing.

    I can definitely relate to those phases of writing. Especially the Crushed phase. LOL! I still am getting some of that. As well as the Dried Out phase. But right now I'm basking in the Dessert Time phase! Getting a second final in the Christy Awards is definitely dessert! (Thank you, God! You are awesome!)

  28. LOL at you, Deb Marvin! Yes, we are definitely a little fruity! LOL

  29. Virginia teased me with that awesome line from your book, Jessica, so I checked it out on Amazon. Wow, it sounds so good!!! I may have to snag it for less than $4 on my Kindle!

  30. First time out of the gate and this Jessica Chocolate Nelson scored a 4.5 on RT Book Reviews. Awesomeness!!!!

  31. What a fun blog, Jessica! Now let's bring on the Dove chocolates! And to think, it's good for my diet. Once in a while. I like often better.

    I love your analogy. Only a true writer could compare a cacao pod to writing!

  32. Oh no, Jenny, do NOT tell me there will be a shortage. *fainting away*

    Hi Ruthie!! Have fun taking care of those sweet puppies. :)

    Hi Julie, yum, thanks for bringing those delicious drinks. I hope the crushing results in a beautiful product (that includes an advance and bookstores, *grin*). Best wishes to you and congrats for making it to this stage!

  33. Hi Deb,
    I'm trying to remember. I think less drying for the dark? Hmmm. I'm pretty sure that website Tina linked to says how the different times of drying produce different flavors. It's sooo interesting. I know exactly what you mean about too little time to read! It's tough. Thanks for commenting. :-)

  34. Hahaahaaa, Kav, I thought it was gross too. I'm sitting there, sweating, waiting to eat some chocolate, and the tour guide tells us there are worms...yuck! lol

    Hi Jeanne! Good for you for hitting the drying stage and getting crits. That's so helpful and I think being teachable/flexible with our stories is one of the greatest traits a writer can have.

  35. Oh my goodness, Debra!!! YES, I Love the thought that chocolate is a fruit. LOL!!! I'm totally going to look that up. Thank you so much for your support! I can't wait to read your work someday. :-)

    Hahaaa, Tina, I don't know if I was eating chocolate as much then. I used to write in the guest room while the kids napped, which is where this story was originally written. In Microsoft Works, too. lol

  36. Hi Joanne! Thanks for the sweet comment. :-) I hope these phases make you the best chocolate you can be!

    Melanie, CONGRATS on the Christy!!!! That is awesome. :-) And you know what? *grin* I READ that article to my husband. I had to make sure he knows what's up, esp. since he disapproves of my chocolate habit. Teeheee!

  37. Melanie,
    I hope you like it! I don't know if it's awesome, but it was fun to write. :-)
    Tina, you are so sweet and I'm so thankful for the stars they gave me. Except now I'm nervous about my next book. lol The pressure is on!

  38. Teeheee, Cara, I agree, often is better. :-)

  39. JESSICA!!! What a FUN ... and INSPIRING ... post!! LOVED the analogy!!

    And WHOO-HOO, GIRL ... a 4.5 from RT right out the gate??? I am still aspiring to one of those, so you go, girl!!

    As far as my chocolate "phase," I'm in the crushing stage at the moment with edits, but hopefully the end result will taste a lot sweeter than the original!!

    Can't wait to read the book, girl!!!


  40. Jan, I'm with you!! The more chocolate, the better!

    Seriously, I eat chocolate at least once a day if not twice. Usually for dessert after lunch and dinner.

    But only one or two SMALL pieces, and usually DARK chocolate.

    Or a tiny bowl of semi-sweet baking chips. I'm talking no more than 10 chips.

    And savor them. Let them melt in your mouth until they're nothing more than a delicious, gooey blob.

    Oh, see what you've done, Jessica??? I completely forgot the point of your post, which is the natural process a writer goes through in developing her skills and talent.

    Um . . . I'm sticking with the chocolate metaphor.

  41. I'm glad the kids like chocolate muffins cause after reading this that's what's for breakfast.

    Great post, you can't ever go wrong with chocolate! Please put my name in the drawing for your book. Unlike most everyone else I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

  42. Great news on Chocolate ~ I'm ALL in LOL!

    Those pods may not be hardened like nuts but that's what they remind me of....and personally I believe writers are nuts (yours truly included!)

    Why do we put ourselves through the agony of being dried and crushed?

    Because like chocolate (or like fine gold or pure silver in a crucible) we have something sweet and good and pure to offer!!

    So "be brave" Seeker Friends and don't quit no matter which stage you're in!

    Personally I'm in all stages LOL.... writing, waiting on acceptance or rejection, being crushed by edits and revisions on another story so I can re-submit it.... pure HEAVEN! ;-)

    Good luck and God's blessings!

  43. Julie, You're a 4.5er in my book, For Sure. :-) As thankful as I am for it, I'm also well aware that it is very subjective.

    Hahaaa, Myra! You eat chocolate in a very smart way. Better than me. I need to take tips from you. And you're very slender, so look, it's working! lol

  44. Ooh, Jamie!!! Chocolate muffins are GENIUS. I need to make those. I think my kids wouldn't be able to contain themselves. *grin*

    Me too, Pam, me too. So writers are nutty and fruity. Hahaa, I love being a writer! lol

  45. PS: I'd love to be in the drawing!


  46. Very interesting article! What better to go with chocolate than a good book, it sounds great.


  47. Great post, jessica. I felt some worms and insects drop of me just reading it!!!

  48. Also, I'm dieting, so your post is fairly cruel!

  49. Debra, for heaven's sake, go back and look at the picture. Chocolate isn't a FRUIT! It's a leafy green vegetable!

  50. No, Jessica. It's only subjective when they give you a 2. If they give you a 4.5 it's because they are genius. Geni? What is the plural for Genius? Oh, Grammar Queen?

  51. Mary, what exactly are you eating on this diet?

  52. So now that you've sold, what's your writing schedule, Jessica?

    Pay the kids to go bother the neighbors? (tried that one myself)

  53. Jessica,

    I love this topic! Chocolate! The best food God ever created! And to think it's good for us, too. Not sure Weight Watchers would agree, but what do they know! Thanks for sharing!

    Please include me in your drawing.


    Carol N.

  54. Mary, ewwww! And the chocolate is hiding in that nut. *grin*

    Tina, I bow to your wisdom. Teehee! I wish I could pay someone. lol
    My writing schedule right now is WONKY. I'm not happy with it. Where's my Lindor?

  55. Jessica,

    I love this topic! Chocolate! The best food God ever created! And to think it's good for us, too. Not sure Weight Watchers would agree, but what do they know! Thanks for sharing!

    Please include me in your drawing.


    Carol N.

  56. Carol, lol, God supercedes Weight Watchers, right?

  57. woo hooo Jessica,

    Congrats on that book which looks so inviting.

    Loved the analogy of writing to cacao beans.

    Didn't you love Costa Rica? It was one of our favorite countries we visited. Loved the coast.

    Thanks for posting here in Seekerville. Have a fun day.

    Are you going to Desert Dreams?

  58. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to chocolate so I'd have to use another analogy!

    Include me in your drawing and if I win, I'll pass along your chocolate to my husband who GLADLY accepts all my chocolate :)

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

  59. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for the glimpse into Costa Rica and how chocolate is made. Who knew?

    I'm on chocolate overload these days after Easter. It's deadly to have a big bag of M&M's beside you as you write!

    Don't put me in the draw as I have your lovely book on my TBR pile! Looking forward to it!


  60. Loved the chocolate post, especially the comparison with writing. Like others here I love chocolate. I heard that report and circulated the link a few weeks ago. I hope I made more friend with it on FB. A few yrs. ago I took a tour of the Hershey plant here in PA. I thought I learned some about the process, but your description was even more interesting. I'll wait until after lunch for the chocolate treat though. All the very best, Jessica, with your debut.

  61. Hey Sandra,
    Yes, Costa Rica is amazing. I adore it. Where is Desert Dreams being held?

    Valri, I think I remember you saying that before. Are you allergic to actual cacao or the stuff they put in? Or caffeine? I'm sure your hubs will appreciate your offering. :-) (if you win)

  62. Hi Susan, too funny about those M&Ms. :-)

    Hi Pat, thank you so much for your well-wishes! Your link must've been the one I saw. So glad you posted it!!

  63. Wish I had time to read through all the comments but...


    That's what I need today.

    Love the post.

    Now must grade tests. I'd much rather hang out with y'all and have a choco fest.

  64. For many years I was allergic to chocolate. However, I have been eating one small piece of dark chocolate a day (for health benefits) and have had no allergies! So please enter me for the chocolate and your great sounding book! Thanks!!

  65. Carol, enjoy!!

    Carol S, if you win, remind me that you can eat dark. It sounds like you're allergic to something in the chocolate (something added) rather than cacao itself. :-)

  66. I love the comparison between writers and chocolate. Now, excuse me while I go eat some choclate...


  67. I'm eating salad.

    With sunflower seeds.

    But dreaming of chocolate.

  68. Jessica, you have permission to give us blatant self promotion!! This is YOUR day.

    Tell us all about your book!!!

  69. Jessica, what seems like melodrama in your mind, writing the story, was very powerful to me! Grief makes us want to bare our hearts and stop pretending we're fine. She needs him. Just perfect!

  70. Tina, if I had any writing neighbors that I know of, I would think that's what's happening at my house. But as far as I can tell, all the extra kids around here have moms on facebook, ha! :D

  71. Have fun, Gwen! :-)

    Ruthy...mood killer there. lol

    Tina, what do you want me to tell? lol That I adore my hero and think he's super sexy? And I wish I was bold and bright like my heroine? I'd love to eavesdrop, but I'm too afraid of getting caught. *grin*

  72. Oh Virginia, what a sweet comment! :) Yes, she does need him and he needs her. *happy sigh*

  73. Hi Jessica!

    Well, you made me go to the vending machine already! You're a bad (but delicious!) influence!

    I think I'm in the drying out stage. Getting feedback, learning, brushing up some parts before preparing to be crushed to bits.

    BTW, I did a story about a chocolate/candle shop last year, and the owner lets anyone have a sample piece of chocolate just for walking in. Since I was writing a story on the business, she let me sample just about everything in the case, to sweeten me up. I am happy to report that she was very pleased with the story (not that the chocolate played a part in it at all...)

    Haven't read your book, so please put me in the drawing!

  74. Welcome back, Jessica! If money can't grow on trees, I'm delighted chocolate does!! I found your post fascinating. I knew very little about my favorite dessert, except chocolate is good for us. Isn't it amazing that something good for us is delicious? And aren't you clever to compare the writer's journey to the cacao bean's journey from pod to palatable! Love it! Upon occasion I still feel like a fell out of the pod, lumpy and white. A day at the beach helps. LOL

    I'm reading and enjoying your book! Congrats on the 4.5 stars!!


  75. Let's see. Inquiring minds really want to know.

    Was this your first book?

    Are there going to be more books set in this area?

    Why did you pick this setting?

    Does your hero have single friends for us??

  76. I was at Walmart this morning. I would have picked up your book, had I known it was out! I looked on Amazon and saw it had wonderful reviews!!

    I told someone yesterday I was going on a diet, except for chocolate, because all my clothes are getting too tight. I will not deny myself chocolate. :)

  77. Stephanie, what a super cool store!! I love that you featured it in your story. That's such a good idea. :-)

    Hello Miss Janet! I never knew where chocolate came from either. I mean, I knew it was a bean but had no clue it grew on a tree. Fascinating stuff. :)

  78. LOL Donna! Yes, I refuse to deny myself chocolate too. Teehee!

    Sheesh, Tina! Are you sure you're not an investigative reporter? *grin* Actually, I love your questions and am flattered that you want to know. ;-)
    1. Yes, this is my first book. Orignally written in 2006, rough draft finished in 2007.
    2. My WIP is set in Harney County, Oregon
    3. I chose it because it was gorgeous and the flu didn't hit as hard there (it's also very remote, perfect for a hottie agent to hide in, heehee)
    4. I do believe Trevor has some single friends. Hmmmm. You're sparking some delish ideas here. *grinning*

  79. Dried out. Definitely a seasoning of toughening up, my psyche as well as my writing process.

    But since we're talking chocolate, does it matter? I'm good with dark chocolate any time, any where. Add some almonds or coconut and it doesn't get much better.

  80. Please enter me for your book, or the chocolate.
    Congratulations on your 4.5 stars. Stars, I like chocolate stars but I like kisses more!

  81. Thanks Jessica! Fun post today, and I loved the comparisons you made with chocolate and writing. ~ Your book cover is beautiful--CONGRATULATIONS!!! ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  82. Thanks Jessica,

    Repeat after me... I am chocolate, I am chocolate. I was found clinging to a tree and someone, God perhaoa, pulled, broke me, ground me, fired me up and made me something wonderful. And sinfully rich and decadent in my writing.

    And I am good for you, too. Now don't run each other over trying to get to my chocolatety goodness works of fiction.


  83. Jessica, I loved learning all about chocolate on a vacation I went on once too :)
    Thanks for the reminder to go and eat some right now! ;)

  84. The next question that begs to be asked is what are you working on next???

  85. Yeah, Jessica, what are you working on next? Give it up, girl.

    I'm too late for morning coffee fixin' today. At this rate I'll get fired.

    Plan to do some book visits later this week, so will look for yours.


  86. Got everything graded and entered in the computer.

    Came home.

    Had chocolate.

    May need more later ;).

    I love the way you compared the chocolate process to writing. I'm somewhere between drying out, getting crushed with a touch of dessert.

    The book looks great - will have to check it out next time I'm at the store :).

  87. Mmmm! I think I could eat a cacao bean in its natural state (minus the pod thing), because that is how much I love chocolate! And dark chocolate is my favorite, so there you go. ; )

    I guess I’m in the Dried Out/Crushed segment, only my “rejections” have only been in contests, so I feel like there’s a minor league version of the Crushed division, leading up to the rejections from agents/editors. :p

    I love tales about debut novels, AND chocolate, so put my name in the hat.



  88. Oh goodness, leave it to Jessica to figure out that chocolate and writing have so much in common. :-)

    But really, if Mary Connealy's right and chocolate really is a leafy green vegetable, then surely eating chocolate is just as healthy as eating a salad, right?

  89. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. One for the chocolate and one for your book. What a beautiful cover. I would be happy winning either gift. :)

    I also loved your comparison of your life to a cacao bean. Very creative!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  90. I really need to eat more chocolate. But I would need to shop for it in small amts several times a week. I tend to eat it all!

    Your books sounds delightful and love the cover.


  91. Jessica, sorry I'm so late! Love the info about chocolate, and your pics were wonderful. I didn't know how chocolate was processed. Worms and insects? Really? Oh yuck!

    I'm so excited about your debut! Congrats to you and high five to LI for recognizing your talent. Continued success in all things...

    Hugs, too!

    Chocolate as well.

    Without worms or insects.

  92. Milk chocolate is so yummy:) please, enter me! Clp1777(at)aol(dot)com

  93. Jessica, I love anyone who says chocolate is good for the soul and will help you lose weight. LOL! You are my kind of gal!

    I love you comparisons and can relate to the entire process. Especially the crushing.

    BUT without that crushing we'd never have the sweet rewards.

    Wise woman, you are Jessica. Wise and very tasty : )

  94. Oh, Jessica, this post was absolutely delicious! lol

    Go chocolate!

  95. I knew absolutely nothing about how chocolate was made. What an eye opener! Thanks for detailing the process needed for this essential staple of life. :)

  96. Desert Dreams is in Scottsdale, Arizona. For some reason I was thinking you lived here in Arizona.

  97. Tina and Helen, working on Mary's story (she's a secondary character). Satisfied? :-P

  98. Hahaa! Y'alls comments on chocolate and stuff is cracking me up! :-) It is an essential staple. Wise words. lol

    Sandra, nope, I'm in Florida. Not quite a desert. *grin*

  99. Haha! Great post, Jessica! I read it and scrambled to find some leftover Easter candy. Currently munching on peanut m&ms, which is funny, 'cause I'm not crazy about peanuts, but cover them in chocolate, and suddenly they're irresistible.

    This is the best chocolate analogy I've heard. Writers=chocolate. Perfect! I think I'm in the drying out stage. Not the funnest, but not the hardest, either, and it's definitely helping me learn and grow.

    P.S.Your book trailer and cover look great!

  100. I love it! As a new follower of this blog, I'm sold! Chocolate is one of the best friends a writer can have. :) Oh, and I'm definitely still in the Cacao bean stage.

  101. Chocolate & a great read - life is good.


  102. Count me in for this giveaway! Yummmm!

    I love that chocolate is not only beneficial, but educational!! :)

  103. I was away from home this week, and missed all the great posts here until today. I enjoyed your post, Jessica.

    There's a choc company in our town that sells medicinal chocolate. They call it the Chocolate Regime and the owner insists that it's more healthy than traditional chocolate. All I know is that it's very dark and delicious and only two points per piece on Weight Watchers, and the servings are at least four nice bites so it lasts a long time in your mouth. I'm spoiled, I know. :)