Meet the Characters in Libby by Fay Lamb

August 29, 2014

 

 

Libby by Fay LambThe cover of this book brilliantly captures flavor of this contemporary romance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more appropriate book cover. The Ties Than Bind series continues with book two. Libby, the heroine’s best friend from the novel Charisse, has recently buried her mother to whom she’d been a devoted caretaker for many years. Now, at nearly thirty years of age, it was time for Libby to get on with her life.

Had you told me Libby was a “romance” novel, I might not have been so eager to read it. But since I know this author’s work, there was no question it would definitely be worth the read. This book is so much more than your typical formula romance. An overtly Christian novel, it is a story of integrity, faith, victory, and God’s grace. I loved it, and I connected with Libby on the very first page. 

Libby Overstreet saw herself as plain and uninteresting—not the kind of girl that could attract the man of her dreams. When she compared herself to the beautiful and glamorous Hope Astor, in her own opinion Libby couldn’t hold a candle to her.

Charrise and Gideon Tabor knew the beautiful soul of their long-time friend and believed in Libby. How could they help her believe in herself and make this meant-to-be match happen?

Evan Carter dared to think he could turn Libby’s head. But could he keep his issues under control, and would she even give him a second glance once she learned of his past, his flaws, and the baggage he carried?

Delilah James, is still a snappy character previously introduced in Charisse, and friend of Libby’s nemesis, Hope Astor.

Hope Astor, the artist and quintessential party girl seemed to have her eyes set on Evan Carter. After all, they’d been friends and attended parties together many times. Could her coaxing and temptation possibly turn Evan Carter’s head her way?

***

 I had an opportunity to talk with the author about Libby.

Pat: I think Libby’s inner self clicks with a lot of women, especially those of us who’ve suffered from a less-than-sterling self-image in the past, or maybe still do to one extent or another. Also, I know she was a support character in Charisse, but how did Libby materialize/develop in your mind?  

Fay: Libby introduced herself as a friend of Charisse’s that she’d grown up with in our hometown of Titusville, Florida, and she literally came on the line in a phone conversation that is still included in Charisse. Not the first one that opens the book (that conversation was added later). This conversation not only surprised Charisse. Libby threw me for a loop in that call as well.

Libby presented herself as shy and timid, but there was a strength about her that couldn’t be denied. In the phone call, which Charisse makes to Libby because she’s very upset and needs someone to speak to about a situation regarding the hero, Libby became a comedian. She played off Charisse’s problems and by the end of the conversation both Charisse and I were laughing.

The problem was, I knew (and the readers learn in Charisse’s story) that Libby is sheltered and lonely for friendship with others her age. Then why would she be the one to make Charisse laugh almost as much as Charisse’s hero, Gideon?

I was able to explore Libby further in her own story, and I found a mirror of myself in this shy heroine. She is probably the character most like me, except she’s stronger in her faith, kinder to her friends, and braver than I’ll ever be. Oh, and I’ve learned I’m really not shy. I’m an introverted extrovert.

Libby’s had a lot of hurt in her life, and someone did something to her as a small child that built up a false image that Libby carries about herself. She cloaks herself in that image, and it holds her back from her desires and for all the good things the Lord has for her. What she sees in herself is definitely not what Charisse sees when she takes on a daunting Judge Delilah James, what Gideon saw when she stood up to him and told him he’d better not hurt Charisse, and what Libby saw in the mirror when she looked was definitely not the face of someone no one but her mother could love. Evan Carter found her beautiful from the very moment he saw her.

Libby has to learn the lesson that many women need to learn, including me. God looks upon our hearts. He created us, and He doesn’t create junk. Each of us is a masterpiece in the Artist’s eye. I still joke about my looks, but deep down inside, I know that someday Jesus is going to hold up a mirror in front of me, and all I’m going to see is Him. I fail quite often, and I struggle with remembering, but today, while I am here on this earth before Jesus holds up that mirror, I pray that I might be a reflection of Him for in His reflection there is nothing but beauty, and I want to work hard at keeping that image untarnished.

***

 Fay Lamb author picFay Lamb’s emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has recently contracted with Write Integrity Press for three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, the first two books the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase, and Charisse and Libby, the first two releases in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series are available. Look for upcoming novels in both series as well as the first novel in her Serenity Key series.

Fay is a past-secretary for American Christian Fiction Writers. She served for four years as the moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. She is the past-president and a founding member of the Central Florida ACFW “Sonshine” Scribes and currently serves as secretary. Fay loves to teach workshops on the art of storytelling and her greatest passion is working with authors.

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 six grandchilden. Fay also spends much of her time in Western North Carolina where she enjoys writing and watching the ever-changing beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

***

 

You can learn more about Fay Lamb by checking out her website, www.faylamb.com, connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fay.lamb and www.facebook.com/TacticalEd. Fay’s books are available at www. Amazon.com and other book retailers.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Character Review of Kip Turner from Better Than Revenge by Fay Lamb

March 4, 2014

Better Than RevengeOftentimes, a support character provides depth, additional interest and an unexpected twist to a story. In Better Than Revenge, Kip Turner does just that. Today, I’m privileged to interview Kip and find out what makes him tick.

Kip, how did you meet Michael Hayes, and why were you mortal enemies at one time?
I met Michael through a mutual acquaintance, Tom Jervis. Jervis and I were planning a criminal act against a local authority, and Michael and his gal, Isabel—or Issie, as he calls her—joined us in planning the crime. Then Jervis and I discovered that Michael and Isabel were out to thwart our attempt. I did something pretty heinous, something I wish I could take back. I hurt both Michael and Issie terribly. I’d like to say it was because I wasn’t thinking straight, but that doesn’t make it right. I had a lot of hurt back then. A world of it. I guess I just wanted Michael to hurt as badly as I did so I took away from him what I had also lost.

How did you manage to forgive Michael after what he tried to do to you?
Well, after what I did to Michael, and to Isabel, I wouldn’t have blamed him if he never forgave me, but Jervis harmed a family member, and she let me know about it. She forgave me for bringing Jervis into our lives, and she begged me to talk to my pastor. It took a while for the pastor to get through to me, and it took a while for Michael to forgive me. Let’s just say that I had to show him forgiveness first. That’s what God used to open Michael’s heart. And I thank Him for that every day.

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I have a scar. A pretty ugly one. I’m sure people don’t want to even look at me at first, but I’ve gotten good at bringing them around. It isn’t really me I want them to see. I want them to see Christ in me. In order for them to do that, I need to get beyond that first impression. If they ask, I’m direct. It’s a good tool for evangelism.

How do you use this in a positive way?
I just don’t let it bother me. Soon they see past that barrier. I have a scar. A pretty ugly one. But God gave it to me via my best friend, and I’ll bear it if only to remember never to go back into the darkness of sin so deeply that I would ever harm another the way I harmed Michael and his gal. And like I said, if someone asks, I use it to share a story of profound forgiveness.

What in your life has had the most profound effect on you? Michael Hayes’ son called me “Uncle Kip.” I’d never let on to Michael. I’m tougher than that, but Cole really melted my heart with that one. Just the thought that the man who suffered so dearly at my hands, who lost so much, that his son would love me enough to give me that title…it’s beyond the imagination, as are all of God’s miracles.

What is your main goal in life now?
To live for Christ. To be His servant, and to follow His path for me. And well, I’d like to win at least one fishing bet with my brother-in-law, Ted.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d go back to the night eight years ago, and I’d hold a gun on Tom Jervis and not on Michael.

Michael, here: I understand what Kip is saying about that night. Some pretty awful stuff went down. Issie and I suffered through a lot of dark years, not only because of Kip and Jervis’s actions, but I made some pretty stupid mistakes myself. But I’m sure Kip will agree that when we trust in Him, He will turn our worse mistakes into the greatest blessing. Kip might love to hear Cole call him Uncle, but it isn’t nearly as powerful as hearing him call me Dad.

***

 Isabel “Issie” Putnam’s sole agenda was protecting her son, Cole— from the truth—and from the man who wanted to take away from her the thing that mattered to her most, just as he had taken something very precious from her eight years ago—something she could never get back. Issie’s family seemed to be working against her in favor of their own selfish desires, but Tom Jervis must be stopped. What did the family do to put Issie and Cole in more danger than ever, and could the family ever be reconciled?

***

 Fay Lamb author picFay Lamb works as an acquisition editor for Pelican Book Group. In addition to Better Than Revenge, she’s had Stalking Willow, Charisse, and The Art of Characterization published. She’s contributed to collaborative novellas from Write Integrity Press, including A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt. Several more of Fay’s books are due to release in the near future. At her website, http://faylamb.com, you can access her blogs, Inner Source, On The Ledge, and Tactical Editor, as well as learn more about Fay.


No Longer Afraid, A Devotional by Betty Owens

January 29, 2014

Betty OwensI am pleased to welcome Betty Owens to my blog today. Betty is a co-conspirator in the Mara Adkins adventure, A Dozen Apologies, along with ten other very talented authors. More about that later.

December 14th, 2012, I was sitting in a crowded theater. The Hobbit was about to begin. My heart was beating hard and fast––too fast. I had difficulty breathing. I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my life. Was I going to die?

I was having a panic attack. A few minutes into the movie, I left. This was just the beginning. I spiraled into a depression, worse than any I’d ever experienced. Christmas, usually a wonderful family time for me, was an ordeal to be endured. I had to do something.

I didn’t want to go to my family doctor. In the past, he’d put me on medication for depression and told me I would be on it for the rest of my life. I stayed on it for a month, then slowly weaned myself back off. I would not be a slave to medication. I didn’t like how it made me feel.

This time, I was determined to beat it with God’s help. I prayed. I read the Bible. I meditated God’s Word. Though I didn’t always feel like it, I forced myself to take part in fellowship with friends and family.

Throughout all this, a word kept popping into my mind. Electrolytes. I don’t usually like sweet drinks, so Gaterade was not something I wanted to drink––at all. I found one that was less sweet and drank several over the next few days.

Even though it was midwinter, I bundled up and got outside in the sunshine. I went for long, leisurely walks whenever weather permitted. In bad weather, I went to a mall or department store and strolled around. I made an effort to eat right, and drink more water. I took supplements like vitamin D3 and C. I scanned the aisles of our favorite health food store and picked out herbal teas and supplements specifically for depression. Among these, GABA, Tulsi, and Aswagandha.

I began to pray for others. Many of my Facebook friends were going through painful illnesses and losses. I spoke words of encouragement to them and not only promised to pray, I did pray.

Slowly, I began to improve. The days were not so painful. I slept most nights. But I was still afraid. Afraid the depression would never end. Afraid the panic attacks would return. Afraid I would lose control. Then one night, while I was meditating on God’s Word and praying, a scripture dropped into my heart.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18 NKJV)

I was immediately convicted. I had not trusted God with my healing or my future. When I spoke the verse aloud, something happened. The Word established itself in my heart and I was no longer afraid.

Over the next few days and then weeks, each time I felt fear, I focused my mind on this verse. Whenever possible, I spoke it aloud. It always had the same effect: peace. A year has passed. The holidays came and went. There’s been no return of the panic attacks or depression.

Final note: If you suffer from depression, do see your doctor. There may be a physical reason for your pain. Eat better, exercise, and don’t neglect your spirit. Feed your soul and your spirit the Word of God. Meditate in it, day and night. Find a scripture like 1 John 4:18 you can stand on. Go to church, whether you feel like it or not. And don’t whine to everyone who’ll listen about all your troubles. Focus on God. Reach out to help others. Pray for those around you.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, I did finally see The Hobbit.

 

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Betty Owens grew up in such exotic places as West Tennessee and San Diego, California. She presently resides in Kentucky with her husband of thirty-nine mostly good years. They have three grown and married sons living in the area, along with three daughters-in-law, four beautiful granddaughters, and two handsome grandsons.

Though she’d always had an interest in storytelling, her writing career began to take off in 1986. As a busy homeschooling mom, she needed an outlet for all the extra joy in the house. A few years passed, and she had several novel-length manuscripts squirreled away. After self-publishing two fantasy-adventure novels, she attended a Christian writers’ conference in Kentucky then later joined American Christian Fiction Writers, hoping to learn more about the craft of writing.

Now semiretired, Betty spends most of her time writing and studying about writing, critiquing other peoples’ writing, and caring for her mini-schnauzer granddog.

She can also be found here:

Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Website: http://www.bettythomasonowens.com
http://www.writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com

Betty most recently contributed to the collaborative novel A Dozen Apologies, which will be released as an ebook on Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to join the fun, visit http://writeintegrity.blogspot.com/.  Not only will you be able to get a head start on reading it, you will be able to vote on your favorite hero. Then the entire ebook will be offered free Valentine’s Day weekend, so you can see if your favorite guy gets the girl!

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


Who’s Behind All This? An Interview With Publisher Tracy Ruckman

January 24, 2014

Who's Behind All This? An Interview With Publisher Tracy Ruckman.


Who’s Behind All This? An Interview With Publisher Tracy Ruckman

January 24, 2014

Tracy Ruckman HeadshotIt is my distinct pleasure to welcome Tracy Ruckman to my blog today. As you read her interview, you will discover that God is the One behind (and ahead) of all the great things happening at Write Ingetrity Press. Thank you so much for visiting us today, Tracy.

Tracy, how long have you been writing yourself, and what piqued your interest in the craft?

In the mid-1980s, I wrote a letter to the editor of a Baptist Young Women’s magazine. For a year, nothing came of it. Then I received a letter apologizing for the delay, saying the letter had been lost, and that they liked it so much they wanted to pay me to use it as an article instead of a letter. I agreed (who wouldn’t?) and then they offered me a regular gig reviewing books. I was hooked, and began studying the writing craft at that time.

Would you share with us what encouraged you to begin in the business of publishing?

I lost my mind. Just kidding! Seriously, in 2009, my husband was forced into early retirement and we knew we needed to make some drastic changes in our lives. I decided to go back to college. I was already very involved with writers – I’d operated and grown the Pix-N-Pens blog since 2007, and we had also been offering online workshops for writers, so I was in a great place to be observant. Jeff Gerke had just opened Marcher Lord Press for fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction, and I began to wonder if I could do the same thing with a different focus. We prayed about it, and God just opened doors to make it happen.

How has God inspired, guided, provided, and sustained you in this endeavor?

Publishing is hard work. Writing is harder, and I stand in awe at the work of our authors. They work incredibly hard – not just with writing, but with marketing, speaking, ministry. And still manage to care for their families and friends. It’s all God. He gets all the credit, all the glory for everything we do. I just show up for work, and ask Him for guidance every step of the way.

What are your aspirations for Write Integrity Press and Pix N Pens Publishing?

We want to continue to publish two kinds of books – clean and wholesome books that may or may not have a strong gospel message, and for those who are already Christians or folks who are seeking a relationship, but don’t yet know it is the Lord they are seeking, books with a strong gospel message that point the way to Jesus.

My ultimate goal is to open a production company so we can produce clean and wholesome movies and television programs, many based on our books. I’ll earn my bachelor’s degree in May, and I’m in the process of applying for grad school, where I will seek an MFA in Screenwriting. I’ve been offered an opportunity to participate in a “Hollywood Experience” through my school this summer, and my best friend is trying to raise funds to make that happen. (Here’s the link: http://www.gofundme.com/65fh3w) For two weeks, a small group of us will be fully immersed in a Hollywood experience, learning from professional screenwriters, directors, producers from shows like The Ultimate Gift, Lost, Prison Break, and several others. This year’s focus is specifically on screenwriting, so it’s the perfect time for me to go. We desperately need Christian film makers putting their stamp on Hollywood. But we’ll see what happens with the fundraiser – if I’m given the opportunity to go, I’ll make the most of every second. If not, God must have something else in store.

What inspired you to begin collaborative books?

Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt FRONT Cover Late September 2012, one of our anthology authors pitched a Christmas book idea to me and I loved it. I asked some of our other authors if A Ruby Christmas FRONT COVER REVISEDthey might be interested in trying this experiment, and they all jumped at the opportunity. By December, we were publishing A Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt, and to our surprise, it became wildly successful. Our authors stayed on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestselling Authors list for eight straight days, beside such authors as John Grisham, Stephen King, Stephanie Myers. The book went into 16 different countries, and into the hands of tens of thousands – in just a few days. It was an incredible experience for us all, and it showed us the reach we actually have when we all work together. We also TOTALLY depended on God for every step of that project – and that made all the difference in the world. It was beautiful. And we were hooked! Now, we’re doing two collaborative novels a year – Christmas and Valentine’s, and a couple of us are toying with the idea of a summer idea as well.   Here are links to our websites:   www.WriteIntegrity.com, www.PixNPens.com.

A Dozen ApologiesThe authors of A Dozen Apologies have worked tirelessly on the writing and editing of this unique story, and even more on the marketing. So it’s going to be fun, and I just hope they all don’t want to shoot me after its over! Here’s a taste of the story of Mara:

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

In 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.

The full ebook releases on Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get a head start, come on over to www.WriteIntegrity.com, where you’ll have the opportunity to vote for your favorite hero.

Bio:

Tracy Ruckman is wife to Prince Charming, mom to two grown sons, servant to a spoiled rotten doggy, full-time student, and a traditional book publisher. In her spare time, she likes to squeeze in sleep, showers, cooking, and even occasional jaunts out into the public (usually the grocery store, farmers market, or writer’s conference) as time allows.

 


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 (http://bit.ly/1eHNEmf)  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.

Website http://www.jenniferhallmark.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenniferhallmark?fref=ts

Facebook author’s page https://www.facebook.com/authorjenniferhallmark

Twitter https://twitter.com/JenHwrites

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/jenlhallmark989/

                    ***

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 www.WriteIntegrity.com, 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!


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