Book Review: Hope by Fay Lamb

By Jennifer Hallmark

Today, I’d like to take a few moments and tell you about Fay Lamb’s newest book, Hope in the Ties That Bind series.

Wow. I really am amazed how much better each book in this series has been to me. The book, Charisse, started the journey and her second book, Libby, will always have a special place in my heart. This latest release, Hope, is even stronger.

I had a difficult time reading it at times because the main character, Hope, is dealing with a serious disease. My BFF Rose had Leukemia and the writing was so well-done that at times, it brought back memories. But grieving is not a bad thing, at times, and I felt a sense of release when I finished the book.

I’m not going to say a lot more because I don’t want to give away the story, but you’ll get to see Charisse and Libby again in this third book of the Ties that Bind. And there is yet one more book to go. Hurry up and write, Fay! 🙂

Make sure you read every book in the Ties That Bind series, especially Hope. You’ll be glad you did…


Hope

Hope Astor is literally a starving artist, living off the good graces of her friends as she seeks help for the fatigue that has plagued her for over a month. Dr. Daniel Duvall is a noted oncological surgeon whose life hasn’t been the same since losing his sister in a car accident the year before.

When Hope receives her diagnosis, she understands that her carefree artist’s lifestyle has left her without any options to save her life, but her friends try to convince her otherwise. They persuade Hope to seek treatment from the best doctor she knows. Trouble is, Hope is the reason Daniel’s sister is dead, and she doesn’t think saving her life is on his list of priorities.


Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories that remind the reader that God is always in the details. Three of the four books in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series, are available: Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, and Everybody’s Broken. Hope is the third book in The Ties that Bind Series, which also includes Charisse and Libby. Fay’s adventurous spirit has also taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay will be: Frozen Notes, Book 4 of the Amazing Grace series, and Delilah, Book 4 from The Ties that Bind.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook and on Goodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor.


Book Release Day for Not Alone

Not AloneI’m excited to announce that Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted With Infertility and Miscarriage is available today. This book compilation gave me the opportunity to talk about a very difficult time in my life: the miscarriage of my first child. Though I was able to have two children after that, the pain is still there. If you know anyone who has struggled with miscarriage or infertility, this book can give them hope.**

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage

Our society understands how terrible the loss of a child is when that child is out of the womb, but what about when a child dies before birth? Or what about the emptiness that comes when a very-much-wanted child is never even conceived?

These quiet, private losses are hard for those who have not experienced them to understand. And these losses leave those who have suffered them feeling alone in their grief.

Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage is a resource both for those who have suffered through these experiences and for their friends and relatives, who want to understand what their loved ones are going through.

This collection contains true stories that are:

  • sensitive, and yet honest
  • angry and raw, but not despairing
  • unique, and yet relatable

The contributors to this book are male and female, old and young, some who eventually had children and some who never did, and yet despite their differences, they share a common grief and a common faith.

No experience of miscarriage, infant loss, or infertility is like any other, yet by reading these painful and hope-filled stories, you’ll be comforted by knowing there are others who understand the journey you’re on, the loss you’ve suffered, and you will find that even though your loss is uniquely yours, you are not alone.

Purchase your copy at:

Kalos Press 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

**This book is a clean read, except for two essays which contain a couple of curse words.

 

Being Part of a Multi-Author Book Collaboration

Fay Lamb  (1)By Fay Lamb

I love multi-author collaborations. Not those usual books where four or five authors are asked to submit different novellas as a collection.

I much more prefer the Write Integrity Press style of novella, where anywhere from six to a dozen authors are lined up to write one story about one hero or heroine and bring a leg of that hero or heroine’s journey to life.

Having been involved in all five of these unique ventures, I can tell you they are fun to write and to market. Authors are usually solitary creatures, but not so when you’re working with a group of writers who each put their words onto the pages and meld them together into a cohesive tale that many readers say they would never know without the cover with the author’s names printed on it that the story was written by more than one person.

Write Integrity Press started this format with two Christmas novellas: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt and A Ruby Christmas. The tradition continued with a Valentine story that has now blossomed into a three novella series: A Dozen Apologies, The Love Boat Bachelor, and our latest story Unlikely Merger, which will be offered free on Kindle beginning tomorrow, July 1 through July 5.

I’m often asked two questions about my involvement in the projects:

How do you come up with the storyline?  I’m happy to say that the job isn’t always mine. In fact, I’ve only had to come up with one storyline, and that was for A Dozen Apologies. The idea was born out of an old board game girls used to play entitled The Dating Game. Girls would play for the chance to open the door on the board to see who their dates would be. From there, I thought of a sorority type who used to date men and drop them publicly. After losing her job and realizing she’d been played by her boyfriend who got the job she coveted, Mara Adkins discovered Christ, and realized that she owed apologies to the men she had wronged. Mara’s journey took her through a variety of odd jobs, and twelve different men who handled her apology in twelve different ways.

With each novella, the fun part begins when the authors are lined up and sometimes contests are done to introduce new authors. They are given details of the story that help to keep it cohesive, and then they are asked to create a character and a location that becomes uniquely theirs.

How do so many writers write a story that reads as if it had been written by one individual? To this, I have to say it’s done by hard work. The process starts with the author who is responsible for the main character. For example, Jerusha Agen was the author of Brent Teague, one of the men to whom Mara owed an apology.

Write Integrity Press is great about finding ways for readers to interact with projects and with authors. In this series, the readers are not told which author wrote which hero/heroine. We do this because the individual characters are voted on to get the hero/heroine. Write Integrity wants the chapter hero to get the vote and not the author. Poor Brent. He came in second place in the voting for Mara’s hero. He was heartbroken, and Jerusha decided to get him a volunteer job as chaplain on a cruise ship. She purposely didn’t tell him that it was a romantic cruise dubbed the Love Boat. Jerusha provided each author involved a detailed description of Brent, told us where the Love Boat might make port, and asked us to introduce him to a potential heroine.

When the deadlines were made (no laughter, please—everyone knows I’m the troublemaker for these when it comes to deadlines), Jerusha read through, and she very painstakingly made sure that Brent’s demeanor remained true to his personality. Otherwise, the authors simply told their little leg of the journey. Mercy Lacewell came in second in the voting for Brent’s heroine. You’ll have to read the book to see who won Brent’s heart.

The authors of all three novellas are excited about the latest novella, Unlikely Merger. The voting has closed, and with tomorrow’s free release, the readers will find out which hero stole Mercy Lacewell’s heart and which author wrote which hero. I hope you’ll take a look.

Unlikely Mergercover of unlikely merger

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

Fay Lamb is an editor, writing coach, and author, whose emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt,A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and the newest adventure The Love Boat Bachelor. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind.

 

 

Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens

betty owensToday I’d like to say welcome to my friend, fellow author, and blogger, Betty Thomason Owens.

Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Now for the first question:

What inspired you to write Annabelle’s Ruth? Where did this idea come from?

Betty: I’ve always loved the Book of Ruth. I’ve read it many times, seen several of the movies. A couple of years ago, I’d just read through the book again and I wondered, what if I wrote a story similar to Ruth’s, but set in more modern times? Say, the 1950’s, and what if…

That’s really how it began. Then I had the idea to blend in elements of my mother’s early life, a story I’d heard throughout my childhood, but more often now, as she ages. Mom was 17 when she met my dad, a sailor temporarily stationed in the Puget Sound. He was 19—they were both just kids! They eloped, and Mom ended up with his family in West Tennessee, far away from her home in Seattle. Far away in many ways. A step back in time, a different culture. You can read more of the story here in a blogpost I wrote.

That was the beginning. The characters I developed were loosely based on people I’d met near the location of the book, both friends and family. And it’s mostly written in southern—one of my favorite languages.

My favorite language also.  Please tell us…

What was the inspiration for Connie’s character?

Betty: Well, first of all, Ruth. She’s actually a combination of the Ruth character in the Bible, and a couple of real people in my life. I named my character Connie, short for “Constance,” because of her determination to stick with Annabelle. My first inspiration came from my mother, who made a similar long bus trek in the early fifties to marry my dad. Like Connie, she suffered culture shock, since life was quite different among my dad’s family.

The other inspiration came from a cousin, who happened to inherit a dark complexion from her father’s side of the family. She had thick, curly, black hair and dark brown eyes. She tanned especially well after a hot West Tennessee summer. So the kids at school teased her and called her an unkind name. She went home in tears. I’d heard that story many times. Why did I choose to bring this element into the story? Because prejudice is a fact of life for so many.

 It is and we’ve seen too much of that in the news lately. 

That brings up a question. Why the element of prejudice? Isn’t it cliché, when writing about the American South?

Betty: It can be cliché. But it’s not just stereotypical of the South. Unfortunately, it’s typical of the world. I chose to include prejudice and exclusion, so I could show love and inclusion.

Great answer. The next question comes from my Bassett Hound, Max. 🙂

I love the character of the dog in the book. Is he based on a pet you owned at one time?

Betty: Hi Max! I love dogs, especially a loyal pet like Samson. He dropped on the scene as I began writing Alton’s character. I guess Alton needed a good dog. I’ve always loved hounds. They are so reminiscent of my visits to my grandmother’s house. Lying in bed at night, I’d hear the coon hounds baying. I’m fond of beagles, but the “Blue Tick” coon hound’s coloring always drew my eye.

So what’s next for you, what are you working on now?

Betty: Right now, I’m marketing this one and also another collaborative novel, Unlikely Merger, for Write Integrity Press. I’m finishing up the second book in the Legacy Series for Write Integrity Press, Carlotta’s Legacy. Then I plan to write the second book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Annabelle, her neighbors, and family. I intend to visit the real-life Trenton this summer and do some additional research. You can check my Pinterest page for Annabelle’s Ruth to see pictures from the actual town. I’ll be updating that after my visit.

I can’t wait for the next book. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Anabelle’s Ruthannabelles ruth

“If you think you can come back here and throw yourself on my mercy, you are quite wrong.”

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? 

Betty 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.
http://bettythomasonowens.com

https://twitter.com/batowens

https://facebook.com/betty.owens.author

https://pinterest.com/btowens

https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com

 

Traveling with Others

PheeBy Phee Paradise

There’s no one I’d rather travel with than my family. We live pretty far apart, so family gatherings are a joyful mix of catch up and memories. As missionary kids, some of our memories are of road trips across Mexico and some of our adult gatherings have been once in a lifetime trips to other parts of the world.

In one trip, my mother, sisters and I met in London for a road trip to Edinburgh. We hadn’t planned it to be a book tour, but Mother taught us all to love reading, so it was inevitable that we recognized places from our favorite books. In London, we looked for the Bird Woman from Mary Poppins on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral and shopped in Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop. While driving north through the Cotswolds we watched for Hobbits and stopped in Oxford to visit the Bird and Baby Pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met with the Inklings to discuss their writing. Naturally we also toured Lewis’ college and home. Later on the trip we were sad that we didn’t have time to visit the moors of Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden. During our hours in the car driving across England, we took turns reading the Narnia books aloud.

Another trip was a search for our family roots with extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings flew to China to visit the places my grandparents lived and worked as missionaries. My mother and her sisters and brother had grown up there and the rest of us soaked up their memories as they relived their childhood. They had played in the entrance to the Forbidden City, walked on the Great Wall before it was restored and enjoyed tanghulu, their favorite sugary treat. Most of the places they had lived were gone, but we found the church where their parents had served. We talked with people who had known my grandparents and remained faithful to their Christian faith through the turmoils of Communist China. What a joy it was for the entire family to see our heritage come to life and recognize the awesome God who keeps His promise that His Word will not return void.

God has blessed me with a loving, godly family and I love traveling with them. But being with them reminds me that I’m part of the larger family of God and I love traveling with them on our earthly journey too.

Unlikely Mergercover of unlikely merger

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

Phee Paradise was blessed to be a missionary kid and loves to share that experience in her writing.  In Miracles at Midnight, she edited her father’s stories about his years on the mission field where he saw God change lives for the Kingdom. Phee has also contributed to several books, including A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and her latest, Unlikely Merger. She prays that her work will be used by God to His glory.  You can read some of Phee’s stories at http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=42864

Unlikely Merger Will Soon be Here!

cover of unlikely mergerI’m so excited! The newest novella compilation that I’m a part of is Unlikely Merger published by Write Integrity Press. It’s the sequel to A Dozen Apologies and The Love Boat Bachelor. Here’s the blurb and cover:

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

It’s a great story that will release in all its splendor on July 1st, free for five days. But for now, it’s not quite finished.

Why not?

Because you, the reader, get to vote for the ending that you want.

On June 8th, the chapters will start being released one at a time on Write Integrity Press. Follow the chapters and extra blog posts, tell others, and share our links. The 11 chapters will be posted one per day through Friday, June 19. Then, you have the chance to vote for your favorite bachelor.

Your favorite bachelor wins the heart of Mercy Lacewell. So go ahead and read your chapters, pick your hero, and then voting opens the morning of June 20th.

Here, on my blog, I’ll be showcasing some of the authors of Unlikely Merger as they talk about traveling, corporations, movies, and other fun topics connected with the book. The first author will be Carole Towriss and she’ll join us on June 9th so don’t miss it.smile

Take a moment and leave a comment on any of the blog posts that pertain to Unlikely Merger and on July 1st, release day, I’ll draw from the comments for one lucky winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

A wonderful story for free, your choice of a bachelor, and a gift card.

Stay tuned.