Meet Connie Cross from Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens

June 19, 2015

Annabelle's RuthToday, I am very pleased to welcome Connie Cross, the heroine of Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens. Having just finished reading the novel myself, I have only the highest praise for the story, the author’s writing style, the characterization, and the message.

Before we chat with her, I’d like to share a bit about her story from the book’s back cover “blurb:”

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again. Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee. How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock?

Connie, please tell us a little about your life growing up in Maui. What is your fondest childhood memory? What would you rather forget about your childhood? Oh my. Life on Maui. It is surely one of the most beautiful places on earth. Where the wind always blows. It’s very green. Black earth—blue ocean—do I sound like an artist now?

After World War II ended, Dad retired from the Navy. He bought a farm near a small village in the area of Makawao. It had once been part of a sugar plantation. He put us to work in the fields. He did his best to train the laziness out of us. I would rather forget those days. But the hardships I faced made me who I am today, so I can’t despise them.

In many ways, I had a rather idyllic childhood. While he was still in the Navy, Dad was away much of the time. My mother was never a very energetic person. At the age of five, I was already looking after two baby sisters. We played outside most of the day unless it was raining. My fondest memories are actually from that time. Mom’s people worshiped nature. She would wander out at night and sing and dance in the moonlight. She said this would give her good fortune. Sometimes, my sisters and I would join her. We’d sing at the top of our lungs and dance until we dropped.

How did you meet Joseph? Was it “love at first sight?” After high school I moved to Kahului. I found a summer job in a local movie theater to earn money for my trip to the mainland, where I hoped to attend college. The theater was a popular spot for sailors to hang out on a Friday night. One night, a slightly inebriated sailor made a pass at me, which I ignored. He became angry at me, actually pinning me against a wall. Another sailor came to my rescue. He towered over the perpetrator, ordering him to leave the premises or be reported, or something like that. Joseph was my rescuer, and yes, it was love at first sight.

What trait do you find most admirable in others? Several come to mind, like honesty and integrity, but I think the most important one is love, as Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 13.

Do you prefer cross-stitch and quilting or tending a garden? Why? Tending a garden. Because I love the smell of freshly-turned soil. I love planting seeds and watching them grow. But most of all, I love to harvest the fruit and vegetables and then eat them.

Connie, is there anything you’d like to tell us about yourself? I’m not really fond of talking about myself. I’m glad you can’t see me blushing right now! Who I am today—the woman I’ve become—is because of the love of a very special woman. Annabelle Cross took me under her wing. She led me to Christ, but she didn’t stop there. She showed me by example, how to live, and how to be a godly woman. This is why I stayed with her. And God has blessed both of us, healed our broken hearts, and filled us up again.

About the author:

Betty OwensBetty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the online magazine, Imaginate. Annabelle’s Ruth is the first novel in the Kinsman Redeemer Series for Write Integrity Press. Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (also Write Integrity Press). She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

You can learn more about Betty and connect with her at the links below:,

Meet the Characters in Rachel Allord’s Mother of My Son

October 30, 2014

Mother of My SonMother of My Son is a beautiful, well-written story of redemption, forgiveness, and God’s unconditional love shown through His children. The author employs natural realistic dialog, and keeps the plot moving to the end which makes for a page-turning read. Rachel Allord reaches deep into the hearts and souls of her characters, so that you are intimately involved in their struggles, heartaches, and joys.

One of the most endearing parts of the story to me is when Beth’s husband says, “I’m in your corner,” and she replies, “And I’m in yours.”

One of the most glaring truths is that behaviors are passed from one generation to the next. However, when one allows Christ to take over, things change.

This debut author has clearly hit this one out of the park, and I highly recommend it!

Meet the Characters:

Amber Swansen, in shock, horror, and desperation, made the biggest mistake of her life. But so what? She’d always been told she was a loser—by her mother, no less. Her dreams of becoming a designer shattered, she struggles with what life brings her way the same way her mother does—with a string of boyfriends. True to her and her mother’s track record, one relationship is as toxic as the next.

Grandma Ginny hadn’t seen her granddaughter in fourteen years and prays for Amber every day. Although Amber sees her as a “holy roller,” Ginny becomes her granddaughter’s rock.

Beth Dilinger befriends Amber, gently guiding her toward the Savior. The worlds of both women threaten to explode when unlikely and bizarre facts are inadvertently exposed.

Michael Dilinger, Beth’s son, is soon going off to college in another town. Will Beth be able to cope with the inevitable empty nest?

Gretchen is Beth’s older sister, most trusted confidant, and mentor. Occasionally, she enjoys throwing a curve ball to her sister in an effort to get her out of her comfort zone and help her to grow.

Margaret Swansen, Amber’s mother, holds on to bitterness and resentment and seems to enjoy passing these emotions and attitudes down to her daughter.

Meet the Author:

Rachel AllordRachel Allord grew up as a pastor’s kid, vowed never to marry a pastor, and has been contentedly married to her husband, a worship pastor, for nineteen years. She holds a B.A. in English education and is privileged to be both a biological and adoptive mother. Her stories and articles have appeared in MomSense, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and various other publications. Mother of My Son, her debut novel, released in May 2013 through Pelican Book Group (Harbourlight). She resides in Wisconsin where she avidly consumes coffee, sushi, and novels– preferably at the same

Rachel, Do you have a favorite scene in this book?

One of the most personal scenes for me is when Beth is ripping up shag green carpet and scraping glue as she grapples with her infertility and hopes that the room in which she’s laboring will one day be a nursery. This is the most auto-biographical scene in the book. I tore up green carpet. I spent the summer scraping old glue, all the while wishing for my baby. By the time we came home from China with my baby girl, the floors of that room were sanded and beautiful and the room was ready.

 What is the most recent “curve ball” you’ve encountered? 

Homeschooling. Although I’ve taught in the public school and tutored home- schooled students, this is the first year I’m homeschooling one of my own. Life is totally different this year. It’s good, challenging, rewarding… all rolled into one. A definite curve ball for me.

What is most interesting thing you have learned while doing research for this book?

That I’m more like Amber then I originally thought. Even though she’s my protagonist, in the beginning I had a hard time connecting with her. I didn’t even like her at first which is a problem because if I didn’t like her, why would my readers? But as I continued to write and dig and pray I came to realize that even though our growing up experiences are totally different, and even though I haven’t walked in the same dark and desperate places she has, I’m just as much in desperate need of God’s grace and forgiveness.

 What is the most rewarding thing about being an adoptive parent?

This is going to sound terribly obvious but her. My daughter is the reward. Just as I feel fortunate to have been given the chance to give give birth to my son, I’m so thankful we were able adopt, to experience the fierce emotions that come with taking a child not of your own flesh and allowing God to knit you together as a family. Adoption is complicated, it comes with a lot of complicated emotions both for you and your child, but it’s so rich and spiritually profound. It’s messy but beautiful, much like the rest of life, but with all that said, I just love my daughter. I’m so grateful I get to be her mom.

Who are your favorite authors? Is there an author who has had a strong influence on your writing?

Close friends know I try to weave “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Les Miserable” into just about any conversation, so Harper Lee and Victor Hugo are at the top of the list. I’m also a fan of Leif Enger and Jodi Picult. As far as the author whose books I turn to to “mentor” me in terms of how tell a killer story while dishing out spiritual truth, I’d have to say Francine Rivers. Her books are old friends and as silly as this sounds, I fantasize about having coffee with her. 

 Do you have a favorite season of the year? What’s special about it for you?

I love fall. Even though it’s the season when, technically, everything is dying, it’s gorgeous and the paradox of it all is poetic. Fall always feels like a new start for me. Not to mention Wiscsonisn puts on some pretty spectacular displays of color.

 What is your favorite family activity?

Travel. Just about anywhere. We’ve been known to sell blood to pay for our travel addiction. Truly, we have.

What are you working on now? I’m nearly done with a novel that examines questions like…. what do you do if you meet your soul mate but you’re married to someone else? Is there even such a thing as soul-mates? Can a dead marriage be resurrected? What causes women to run away from their marriages? It’s a bit quirky, down to earth and, I pray, thought-provoking. I love this mix of flawed by earnest characters and I love how symbolism emerged during the writing process.

How can readers connect with you? You can find my blog, send me a message, or find out about upcoming books and speaker information at  You can also find me at or

Meet the Characters in Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden with Author Interview

January 22, 2014

Into the WhirlwindThis is one of the most outstanding and fascinating historical romance books I’ve ever read.  The historical aspect of the story adds depth and dimension, while providing details of some the issues people faced post Civil War and during and after the Great Chicago Fire. The characters are as interesting and complex as the plot, and I felt as if I really knew them by the time I finished reading the book.

 Meet the Characters:

Mollie Knox inherited the 57th Illinois Watch Company from her father, and her life has been totally focused on the business and its employees ever since. Her concern and sense of responsibility for her “family” coupled with her faith presses her forward to overcome the devastation caused by the tragic fire. One cannot help but admire Mollie’s tenacity as she struggles to rebuild her business and her life.

Some of the employees of 57th Illinois Watch Company:

Frank Spencer – The blind attorney for the 57th is like a second father to Mollie.

Ulysses Adair lost a leg during the Civil War and, like the other faithful employees of the 57th, depends on the 57th Illinois Watch Company for his livelihood.

Alice Adair, wife of Ulysses and artisan, creates stunning designs for the watches.

Declan McNabb, metal polisher for the company, has post-war panic attacks.

Zack Kasmarek has admired Mollie from afar for three years. As the powerful attorney for the prestigious Hartman’s department store, he knows how to get what he wants. His obligation to the rich owner of Louis Hartman may jeopardize his chances with Mollie when he’s required to make an offer to purchase the 57th  from Mollie—“an offer she can’t refuse.”

Jozef and Joanna Kazmarek –Zack honors and protects his immigrant parents who have made it their life’s work to try to help restore autonomy to Poland, the country they loved and in which they were born.

Colonel Richard Lowe has his sights set on Mollie, is a handsome, cultured, heroic soldier.  He intends to help Mollie rebuild her business—and win her heart.

Sophie, homeless and hungry, is rescued from the fire by Zack and Mollie. Stubborn, demanding, and impatient, I was conflicted as to whether I wanted to hug her or choke her.


Elizabeth Camden is author of four published novels and four non-fiction books. She has won RITA, Christy, and Daphne du Maurier awards for her writing. She was kind enough to allow me to interview her so you can get to know her better.

Elizabeth Camden Pat: Elizabeth, I know you’ve written some nonfiction books. How long have you been writing fiction?

Elizabeth: I started writing fiction around seven years ago.  Five of those years were “practice years” while I learned the ropes.  It took a while before I had something that was ready for prime time.  My first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill, was published in 2011, and I haven’t had time to take a breath since.

Pat: Which do you prefer writing: fiction or nonfiction?

Elizabeth: Although they seem similar, writing fiction and nonfiction are very different art forms.  I enjoyed the rigor of academic research that is necessary for nonfiction, but oh….the creativity, the adventure, the sheer exuberance of writing novels is surely my favorite.

Pat:  What inspired you to write historical fiction?

Elizabeth: My background as a research librarian gave me a leg-up in this area.  Research does not intimidate me, and I think I had a natural advantage when I tackled historical subjects, but I wouldn’t mind writing contemporary novels someday.  Right now there are practical considerations in building an audience that require I continue writing historical novels for a while, but perhaps someday I’ll have the opportunity to release some contemporaries.

Pat: How do you choose what historical events you write about?

Elizabeth: I like the late 19th century because I am naturally drawn to heroines who are working in the professions.  The late 19th century was an era where women were beginning to go to college and serve in respectable careers.  It was also an era that has the whiff of glamour and nostalgia for an earlier era, but with attitudes that are not so alien to modern sensibilities.

Pat: How much time do you spend researching for a book?

Elizabeth: After I pick a topic (which is usually something hugely vague like “a late 19th century catastrophe” or “a medical mystery”) I’ll start reading books about the era until I can hone in on an interesting angle.  Then I read more targeted books.  All this takes around six months.

Pat: What resources do you use in your research?

Elizabeth: Are you familiar with Google Books?  This is priceless for people writing in my era.  A few years ago Google began the noble, somewhat quixotic quest to scan the world’s books into the internet.  Because of copyright concerns, they began primarily with 19th century books, which means I can get my hands on what I need to know from the comfort of my living room.  For example, my current book is set in Washington D.C., 1891.  Low and behold, I was able to find a copy of the Rand McNally tour guide to Washington from that year (  This guide book gives me maps of the city, rates for local streetcar service, local attractions, really….almost anything I need to know.  This is merely the tip of the iceberg.  I use Google Books to hunt down historically accurate cookbook recipes, medical beliefs, slang, and curious facts to pepper throughout the book.

Pat:  What’s coming next?

Elizabeth: My next novel is called With Every Breath, and is due August 2014.  Here’s the blurb:

Washington D.C., 1891.  In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston has a respectable job as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough.  A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, so why did he track her down after more than ten years apart to recruit her onto his medical team?  In a daring move, Kate agrees to Trevor’s risky proposal to work side-by-side in a quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a disease so deadly it could kill anyone coming too close.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, she begins falling in love with this fascinating man…but she soon learns his terrible secret.  Meanwhile, a shadowy enemy lurks in the background, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear.   A story of courage and betrayal, triumph and redemption, Kate and Trevor will risk everything to overcome the barriers between them.

Pat: Elizabeth, that sounds exciting and a book that I won’t want to miss.  Thank you so much for visiting us here!

God’s Plans vs. My Own, a Devotion by Jennifer Hallmark

January 21, 2014

Jennifer Dison HallmarkIt is my pleasure to welcome author Jennifer Dison Hallmark to my blog today. I’ve gotten to know Jennifer through our blogs, Facebook, and most recently working together on A Dozen Apologies. More about than later.

God’s Plan Vs. My Own

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 I longed for adventure, a writing voyage of sorts. So in January of 2006, the quest to wear the title, writer/author, began. Yes, it was time for my life-long hobby to magically transform into a career. So I stepped out and signed up for a local class offered in creative writing. You too can be published. I had a lot to learn.

Eight years later, I’ve witnessed my fourth short story published, and three of them paid me. I finished writing novel three in my YA trilogy and novel one in my contemporary women’s fiction. I’m seeing my first publication with the inspirational romance novella, A Dozen Apologies. The expedition has been wonderful, but slow.

As I plod along at what seems like a snail’s pace, I came across words I wrote at the beginning of this journey, words that have carried me through when times were hard and doors didn’t open. I share these in hopes that any new/unpublished writers will focus on the positive from the start and not falter along the path. By the way, this works for any new venture. Just reword it to fit.

(1)  If I am never published, I can still improve my writing and learn from the study.  I can share with the church newsletter and my friends and they can benefit.

(2)  If no one wants my work, but God asked me to write, then I am obedient and He is glorified.

(3)  God has given me a talent to write and I enjoy writing.  There is so much to write about in the world and if God opens the door for me to write, He will equip me to meet deadlines.

(4)  If I am successful, I can glorify God with my writing, give more in tithes and offering, and reach others with the written word.

(5)  If God opens the door for me to be published, He will strengthen and equip me to write more things.

God has already done far above what I could ask or think. I thought published novel with a year or two. He thought new friends, rising above fear, travel, magazines, internet devotions, and a closer walk with Him. His plan is better, don’t you think?

 Father God, thank you that You’ve planned my steps and continually point me to Your path. Help me follow as close to You as I can. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Hallmark: writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes.

Her website is Alabama-Inspired Fiction and she shares a writer’s reference blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! with friends, Christina, John, Ginger, Dicky, and Betty. She and Christina Rich share an encouraging blog for readers called The Most Important Thing.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max.



Facebook author’s page




Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up.

A Dozen ApologiesIn college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

One  chapter at a time is being posted on the website of Write Integrity Press. It started yesterday.  You can visit, catch up on the fun, and vote for your favorite hero. Then, on Valentine’s Day, you can find out which hero “gets the girl.”

I hope you’re as excited as we are about this collaborative adventure!

Meet Eileen Hinkle Rife, author of Second Chance

March 8, 2012

It is my pleasure introduce to you Eileen Hinkle Rife and her newest book, a novel, Second Chance.  As fellow members of American Christian Fiction Writers, we share the love of writing and Christian values. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of her book!

An alumna of Christian Writers Guild and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Eileen has published several non-fiction books, written newsletters, a marriage column, and over ten church dramas. Her byline has appeared in magazines, such as Discipleship Journal, Marriage Partnership, Mature Living, Christian Home & School, Drama Ministry, and ParentLife, as well as other print and online publications. Her fiction works include Journey to Judah, Restored Hearts, and Chosen Ones in the Born for India trilogy, and a stand-alone novel, Second Chance.  She and husband, Chuck, conduct marriage seminars in the States and overseas. Her favorite pastime in this season of life is dancing with hubby, spending time with her daughters and sons-in-law, and playing with her six grandchildren.

Second Chance: A poignant story of middle age, surprising friendships, and unexpected places. Inspired by Eileen’s own journey through the empty nest and her daughter’s and son-in-law’s work with inner city teens.  Mave Robertson, a recent empty nester, wants the fire back in her marriage, but her husband, Jerry, remains aloof. Is he having an affair? A midlife crisis? When a neighbor suggests she “get a life,” Mave accepts the challenge and volunteers at an inner city teen ministry where she is thrown into a culture of drugs, gangs, and unwed teen moms. She soon discovers someone she can help, but might he also be the cure for both her stale marriage and her crumbling relationship with her father?

Read the Reviews:

Dareece Jackson, a teen from the projects, wants something in Mave’s purse…and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

“Gently unfolds the truth that sometimes, the best is yet to come, from unexpected people, and places, and hearts.” —Sandra Byrd, author of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

“Transcends race and reaches the extremes—from suburbia to the ghetto, from guilt over a loved one’s murder to a marriage gone dull. With a dash of humor for balance, Second Chance will speak to your heart, no matter your station in life.”—April W. Gardner, author of the Creek Country Saga; Sr. Editor of the literary site, Clash of the Titles

“Refreshing and thought-provoking.” —Jennifer Slattery of Novel Reviews and Clash of the Titles

“Transports readers into the worlds of two very diverse characters. With laughter, tears, and sighs, you’ll enjoy every turn of the page.” —Fay Lamb, author of Because of Me, Treble Heart Books

“Lovingly crafted imagery and dialog will carry you into the lives of two very different families and show you what forgiveness really looks like.” —Lisa Lickel, author of Meander Scar.

You can purchase a copy of Eileen’s books in paperback or eBook at, Barnes & Noble, or wherever fine books are sold.

Learn more about Eileen at:

Growth of an Author: Getting to Know Fay Lamb

February 25, 2012

 I am honored to share with you today my interview with Fay Lamb, author of the recently released romantic suspense book, “Because of  Me.” I’ve known Fay for a number of years, and worked with her as a fellow staff member at our church. I have been privileged to be able to read several of Fay’s works. It is Fay to whom I am grateful for introducing me to the American Christian Fiction Writers organization and for becoming my mentor in writing. And it is God to whom I am thankful for sending such a wonderful Christian friend my way.

 Fay, when did your start writing seriously?  Since I’ve been writing most of my life, this is a good question. I didn’t get serious about it until I was in my late twenties. I wrote seriously as a teenager and a young adult. One of the stories I’m still working on was started when I was a teenager. However, in my late twenties I realized that God had given me this desire to put words on paper and some natural ability because He had a job for me to do. I also knew that in everything we do, we are to do it mightily for the Lord. So, leaning upon Him, I began to get serious, to study the writer’s craft, and to produce work that I felt glorified my Lord and Savior. Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t had setbacks, because I have, but God has seen me through them.

What is your biggest challenge in writing, aside from finding a publisher?   The biggest? I think it was an internal struggle to accept the fact that writing is a ministry and a career. I’ve been busy all my life, working outside the home, raising two sons and a husband, and busy in church with projects others felt were my “calling.”  When I finally decided that the only two things in my life that came before my writing were God and my family, writing went to the top of my to-do list. My service to the Lord became a much wider spectrum than the local church. Yes, local church service is important, but sometimes, well-meaning people believe they know where God is leading you when—and here’s the secret—they really don’t have a clue as to what God’s doing in your life. I was listening to others and not to the Lord, and I was miserable. Eventually, God was the One who took me out of those other ministries. That day came when I broke down in front of my pastor and said, “I’m done.” Those were two of the most powerful words I’ve ever spoken, and probably two of the hardest. I don’t like to give up on anything. I hate to let anyone down, but that day I gave it all up. I know I hurt the feelings of people I love, and it destroyed some relationships, but sometimes when we’re working against God’s will for us, He will bring us to the end of ourselves. On that day, that’s where I was. Once I fell into line with the path God had for me, I discovered that God’s main ministry for me is to work with writers at all levels of their career, and the doors to my own writing opened wide.

How long have you been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)?  I’m not good with dates. When I first became a member, the organization was called American Christian Romance Writers. I dropped out for a time and quickly learned that there is no place better for a Christian writer to learn and to fellowship than at ACFW.  I rejoined in 2007, and I don’t think I’ll ever be foolish enough to let my membership lapse again.

What was your role in the formation of the Scribes critique group?  Well, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I was looking for a place to serve within ACFW. I started under the old critique system. That system wasn’t working because individuals were actually put into groups with individuals they didn’t know. Groups were falling apart, and ACFW really wanted to establish some meaningful critique relationships for its members. The newer system started in 2009, and to be honest, I thought, “This is never going to work.” I’m very happy to tell you, that I was wrong. The large group system is one of the best offers ACFW has for its members. In the large group of 275+ individuals, writers are meeting others with the same goals: publication. They come together and the goal becomes: publication for each other. In the large group, friendships are formed, and those friendships often result in the formation of small groups under the Scribes’ system.

What is your favorite “how-to” book on writing? Without a moment’s hesitation I would tell any writer to buy a copy of James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. I love Mr. Bell’s teaching and especially the fact that he uses movies to make his point. I’m a fan of his LOCK system which is set out in the book as well. Often when I see authors meandering through a story, I suggest the LOCK system. It’s a panster and a plotters best friend because it resides somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, allowing creativity while you’re essentially building a lose outline of your manuscript.

What do you see as your most helpful “lesson learned” about writing?   Deep point of view. It takes your story to an all new level. It’s the writer’s answer to a camera’s lens. With deep point of view, you get inside your point-of-view character’s head and you experience the story through him or her. The deeper you get into that character’s head, the more your readers are going to feel as if they are that character and not simply on the outside of the story looking in.

What is your favorite comfort food?   Now, that’s a question I know that you know, Pat. You’ve been to The Moonlight Drive-In enough times with me to know I take comfort in ice cream. Or is it the fried pickles. Maybe it’s their wonderful sweet iced tea. Well, let’s just say all of the above.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?    Well, I tat, but I haven’t been doing a lot of that. I think spending time with friends. I have some gal pals who keep me from being too much of a hermit. I’m able to act silly with abandon around them when we get together on Saturday nights to watch television, discuss our favorite actors—and recently my son gave me a Wii. I suspect I’ll have lots of fun with the gal pals beating up on me in the Wii games.

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition editor for Pelican Book Group, offers services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is available at all book retailers and Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing, A signed copy of her book may be purchased from her through her website,

Fay’s passion is working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.  In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

About “Because of Me”

This book is not your typical Christian fiction.

Michael’s fiancée, Issie Putnam, was brutally attacked and Michael was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s home to set things right.  Two people stand in his way: Issie’s son, Cole, and a madman.  Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart and protect him from the man who took everything from Michael so long ago?

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