Hope by Fay Lamb

I’m thrilled to welcome back to the blog, my friend, author extraordinaire, Fay Lamb. She helped me when I first joined the Scribes critique group as a newbie. I don’t think I could have made it without her constant encouragement. So what’s she up to these days? Let’s see…

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Fay: My husband and I have lived in Titusville, Florida, our entire lives though we didn’t met until we were in our twenties. We are actually fifth generation Titusvillians and two more generations (our two sons and our six grandchildren) follow us. We’re all still here in this small town where the building of a new bridge is entertainment, and don’t get us started on our new shopping center where everyone provides at least one update a day as to the progress. I think that our citizen’s interest in small-town life is pretty remarkable when you realize that Titusville is the gateway to space, and we have grown up watching rockets and space shuttles blast off and return from outer space. Our parents and grandparents were the generation that made those things happen, and Titusville, through it all, has remained small and neighborly.

My life has consisted of work as a court clerk, a legal secretary/paralegal, a church secretary, and various other jobs, including a stint in a mental hospital—working there, not voluntarily or involuntarily committed. However, at no time since my memory formed can I remember wanting to be anything but an author. School aptitude tests always indicated that I would be either a great librarian or an author. That should have been enough to lock me away, I think. However, every job I have ever undertaken proved good experience for my writing career.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Fay: I’ve never adhered to the admonition that writing in more than one genre can be fatal to a career. I do mainly write romance and romantic suspense, yet I do have a couple contemporary fiction novels I’d love to see published one day.

So, what draws me to the genre? True confession: when I first started out writing, you would never have gotten an admission out of me that I wrote romance. No, ma’am, not me. I wrote women’s fiction—oh wait—they told me women’s fiction doesn’t do well in the market. Therefore, I declared myself a writer of contemporary fiction so that someone might find an interest in it. Well, when I finished my first contemporary fiction novel, and edited it and edited it and edited it, one truth became blaringly honest. Anything without romance, no matter how much of a role it plays in a story, is boring. Since that truth struck me upside the head, I have never shied away from admitting I write romance.

So, if you’re trying to think this one out, I have an example for you. It’s a movie I love to loathe. I’ve never had any interest in the story. The mention of any of the sequels cause my eyes to roll back in my head, but my husband loves it, and sometimes I suffer my way through it with him. Think about Rocky’s story. If it had only been about boxing, if he hadn’t fallen in love with Adrienne, would the movie still be the same? Why did Rocky go the distance—what moved him forward? Without romance, the movie ended with him going down and not getting up. In my version of the thing, Rocky would have beaten the crap out of Apollo Creed and gotten the title, hugged Adrienne, lived happily ever after, and there would have been no need for any sequels. Romance, for better for worse, is the reason that movie works and for those **rolling eyes** sequels.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Fay: I do prefer to see where an idea takes me. With my novel, Hope, when my publisher gave me my deadline for the release date, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hope and her hero, Danny, had taken me almost to the very end of the book.
In my current work-in-progress Frozen Notes, I found I’d already written 70,000+ words when I was told of the due date for an autumn release. The difference between Hope and Frozen Notes is that the 70,000+ words need a quite a bit of revision. That can be the hard part about letting your ideas take you where they want to go, but I will admit, that the plot of Frozen Notes holds together. The tweaking I plan to do, though, will make it a much stronger book, conflict-wise.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Fay: I honestly believe that I answer this question in a different way each time it is asked simply because life is constantly changing for us or for those around us that depend upon us.

Currently, what I find the most difficult is sitting at my chair and keeping my bottom firmly placed. This isn’t because of my desire to get up and down and do other things, but at this time in my life, I am dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s, and that person is living in her own story world and pulling those of us who care for her into it with her daily. Therefore, bottom firmly in chair for me for more than thirty minutes at a time is a luxury.

But if you look at my answer to Question 3, you’ll find that God was never surprised by what would be happening in the life of my loved one or how it would affect my life. He’s actually made a way that thirty minutes at a time works for me right now, and I am grateful for that because, though I long for all the time in the world to write, the quenching of that longing will come at a great price, and I’m just not ready to pay that yet.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Fay: Alive and writing, if the Lord so wills.

Thanks for dropping by, Fay!


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.

Soar Like Eagles by Terri Wangard

terri-wangardToday we welcome my friend, Terri Wangard, to discuss her latest release, Soar Like Eagles.

Hi, Terri! How long have you been writing?

Terri: I first started writing in the early 2000s. A publisher had my manuscript of a contemporary romance for a year before saying no thanks. I’d started something else, but put it aside at that point. In 2008, I read Debbie Macomber’s Twenty Wishes, about a group of women who fulfill long-held dreams. I bought a laptop and started writing the original version of Friends & Enemies,, my debut novel.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Terri: A stack of letters found in my grandmother’s house came from distant cousins in Germany immediately after the war. My grandparents had sent them care packages.  I found the letters so interesting. When I decided to write again, I got the idea of creating a story for a German family in the war, using all the information I could draw from the letters. I don’t know what they believed regarding Hitler and the Nazis, but I created a family to be proud of.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

Terri: For Soar Like Eagles (Book 3 in the Promise For Tomorrow WWII series), I read a lot of memoirs from women who served as doughnut girls in the Red Cross. I also read many memoirs from airmen who served in the Eighth Air Force. Memoirs are my favorite references because of the incidents they describe and how they felt about them.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Terri: I’d never heard of the Red Cross doughnut girls until I was searching for something to involve my main character with. I love researching my topics and figuring out how, or if, I can use all these great anecdotes.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Terri: I’ve written a standalone World War II novel that’s waiting in the wings. Now I’m writing about in 1915 and the Lusitania. I have two other book ideas to go with it.

Thanks for dropping by, Terri!

Soar Like Eagles

soar-like-eagles-2x3She wants to do her part for the war, but struggles to maintain her ideals. He joins the air force, hoping to find peace.

Carol becomes a Red Cross doughnut girl, serving GIs and boosting their morale. Believing wartime romances are doomed to disappointment, she attempts to avoid entanglements and transfers to France, away from Chet, the airman she’s falling for.

Chet’s father always belittled him. Now a well-regarded navigator, he longs to prove him wrong. After he’s ditched in the North Sea, parachuted into France, and been called before a review, his focus changes to staying alive, and winning the Red Cross girl he keeps crossing paths with.

terri-wangardTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

Connect with Terri:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

Buy link:  http://amzn.to/2dMEDNJ

Soar Like Eagles won the First Impressions contest as a historical, but could be considered a historical romance.

Desire’s Promise by Karen Jurgens

picmonkey-photoToday we welcome one of our own Crew members, author Karen Jurgens, to discuss her latest release, Desire’s Promise.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Karen: I was born with a big imagination. Since there were twelve years between my older brother and me, I grew up as an only child. I spent my days different ways–  acting out plays, (especially about princesses and Knight’s in shining armor), playing school and house with my dolls, and devouring books (the Bobbsey Twin series was my favorite). After I learned how to write cursive, I penned the stories I acted out and have been writing ever since. My innate love of English carried me through a teaching career until I retired two years ago. Now I am a full-time author and blogger. I enjoy angling my writing so as to minister to my readers through scriptural answers to life’s trials.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Karen: I write contemporary Christian romance. Not planned—I just fell into it. Last year my local critique group had decided to publish an anthology with a Christmas theme, and I joined in. Since retiring from my teaching career, I miss my interaction with teens and have always wanted to make a difference in their lives for Christ. After re-editing and expanding my original novella into Desire’s Promise, it was clear that this story targets that age group. It was born out of my personal desire to see my daughters happily married to Christian husbands, just as I had set out to do that age. For young adults who are seeking a Christian mate, this story illustrates the miracles God can perform if you trust Him with your future.

Do you work from an outline or do you see where an idea takes you?

Karen: I do some of both. I am a plotter and a pantster. I first map an outline of the entire story’s main plot and characters. But as I create a scene, the characters come alive, like actors on a stage, and show me what they want to say. It’s funny how they become so real to me, even creating their own subplots. If I ever sink into writer’s block, I  give the scene back to the characters, although sometimes we have a tug-of-war. In the end, everyone is satisfied. There’s never a dull moment when the creative juices are flowing.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Karen: The hardest thing for me was learning how to write fiction. I had always been an expert in non-fiction and editing from my English background, but this is a new animal and harder than I expected. I had to take the time to research and read books about deep POV, beats and tags, and character development arcs. Then I had to learn all the current trends, such as adverbs are a no-no (which distresses me because I love them so), and cook up strong, exotic verbs to replace them. Although I was well acquainted with “show-don’t-tell,” I have to constantly police my writing so as not to violate that rule. I’m no expert yet, but it gets a little easier as I progress.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Karen: I see myself as an editor working for a publishing company. I have recently begun exploring this option and love it. It is so much more enjoyable for me to help writers to become better at their craft. That is where I have invested my entire career and am at my best. My ultimate dream? To someday even become a publisher.

Thanks, Karen, for the visit!

Desire’s Promise

Carlie Livingston is steering into her last year of college in desires-promise-ebook-1Oxford, Ohio, confident that she and Lance Holloway are headed to the altar after graduation. Those plans are wrecked, however, by her dad’s infidelity, causing her parents to walk through a messy divorce. Will she have the same fate if she marries her college sweetheart who comes from a secular family? Her mother insists she will.

She tests God’s Word by letting Him take the wheel of her life. But if God is in control, why are all her close relationships crumbling?  Nothing makes sense.

Just when it appears hopeless, Clay McKinney two-steps into Carlie’s life, promising to provide everything she’s looking for. But if he’s God’s answer, why can’t her heart release Lance? Where will her final destination be on this journey of trust?


karenjurgensharrisonKaren Jurgens, a Cincinnati native, has been a Texan transplant for thirty years and counting. As a lifelong writer, she has written stories since her elementary school days. As an adult, she wrote Christian fiction for her church’s newspaper as well as non-fiction that was published in a national magazine.

Since retiring from teaching in 2014, she has begun a new career as an author, blogger, and speaker within the context of Christian ministry. Her first contemporary romance novella, A Christmas Mosaic, was published in October 2015, and is part of a multi-author anthology, Warm Mulled Kisses. Her second novella, Desire’s Promise, was published in November, 2016.

Karen is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters—Meghan, a dietician, and Caitlin, a journalist. As an avid gourmet cook, she loves to go all out for holidays and family birthdays. She enjoys spin classes, reading the Classics, and playing online word games. Participating in several professional organizations, volunteering, Bible studies, and her invaluable critique group keep her actively engaged in her community.

You can follow her blog about scriptural answers to life’s trials at Touched by Him Ministries at www.karenjurgens.com.

eBook Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4PPF38

Fb Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheKarenJurgens

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenha00661653

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karen-harrison-52aa4071


Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons

Cynthia 3Today I’d like to introduce my friend, author and speaker, Cynthia L. Simmons. She and I first met at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference.  Her latest book is out and I’ve asked her a few questions…

Hi, Cynthia! How long have you been writing?

Cynthia:  I started writing for publication in 2004. During a difficult time homeschooling my disabled son, I came across stories from history that encouraged me to keep going. In 2 Corinthians 1, the Apostle Paul said God gives us encouragement so we can give it to others so I felt a strong obligation to share what I learned. Within a few months, I found a local writing group and worked on perfecting the art of writing.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Cynthia:  Jesus gave us an example of teaching through stories when he told parables. Plus, the material I uncovered fit well into the historical fiction genre. I’d already found ways to include scripture in my Bible studies, so I did the same with my novel. Several secondary characters actually lived, and I researched enough to show their personalities and their love for God.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

Cynthia:  I spent a lot of time researching. First, I went to libraries where I live and in Chattanooga (my hometown). I also visited museums that cover the era. My highest priority was finding and studying letters and diaries. I also used the internet to find books and archival materials.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Cynthia: The research was terribly fun. I particularly enjoyed learning the medical care of the day as well as herbal medicines since my background is nursing.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Cynthia:  I have a sequel and a prequel planned. Right now I’m working on biographical fiction of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of C. H. Spurgeon.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit, Cynthia!

Cynthia 3Cynthia L Simmons has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. Cynthia taught for over thirty years as both a home school mother and Bible teacher. She peppers her speaking with fascinating historical vignettes while delivering a riveting exposition of God’s word. Her presentations leave her audience uplifted and empowered. For women who want to grow deeper in their faith, she hosts Heart of the Matter Radio for women seeking the elegance of God’s wisdom. To learn more, visit her website. www.clsimmons.com.

Twitter – @CynthiaLSimmons

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.l.simmons.7

Heart of the Matter Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HrtMtr

Website: www.clsimmons.com

Homeschool Answers: http://homeschoolanswers.clsimmons.com

Google Plus: google.com/+CynthiaLSimmons


Pursuing Gold

pursuing-goldWith his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis. With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

michelle-griep-headshotToday we welcome historical and contemporary romance author, Michelle Griep, to discuss her latest release, The Captive Heart.

Hi Michelle! How long have you been writing?

Michelle: Since I first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space. Professionally, though, for the past fifteen years.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Michelle: I adore history. Not that I’d want to go back and live when outhouses were your only choice, mind you. So in lieu of that, I decided to write about it instead.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

Michelle: My best reference is a man named Hugh Lambert. He’s one of the curators at the Cherokee Museum in South Carolina. It’s a small museum, but he’s a huge wealth of information.

As for book references, The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of Revolution: The Journal and Writings of Charles Woodmason, was so valuable to me because it was written by a fellow at the time who was an itinerant reverend. He traveled the back country and wrote details in his journal, noting not only the flora and fauna but the people as well.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Michelle: Traveling to South Carolina and hiking the same area that my hero would’ve trekked. It’s gorgeous country, all lush and green.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Michelle: Currently I’m working on a 3 book Victorian Christmas series called Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Here’s a blurb for the first book, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. . .

Imprisoned unjustly, BENJAMIN LANE wants nothing more than freedom and a second chance to claim the woman he loves—but how can CLARA CHAPMAN possibly believe in the man who stole her family’s fortune and abandoned her at the altar? Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, each discovers that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters . . . and what matters most is love.

Thanks for taking time to drop by, Michelle!

The Captive Heart

captive-heart-cover-jpeg-copyThe wild American wilderness is no place for an elegant English governess.

 On the run from a cruel British aristocratic employer, Eleanor Morgan escapes to America, the land of the free, for the opportunity to serve an upstanding Charles Town family. But freedom is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and downright impossible when she’s forced to agree to an even harsher contract—marriage to a man she’s never met.

 Backwoodsman Samuel Heath doesn’t care what others think of him—but his young daughter’s upbringing matters very much. The life of a trapper in the Carolina back country is no life for a small girl, but neither is abandoning his child to another family. He decides it’s time to marry again, but that proves to be an impossible task. Who wants to wed a murderer?

 Both Samuel and Eleanor are survivors, facing down the threat of war, betrayal, and divided loyalties that could cost them everything, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . . Love.

michelle-griep-headshotMichelle Griep
’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery OUT OF THE FRYING PAN. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her onFacebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh


Today we welcome author Toni Shiloh to discuss her latest release, Buying Love.

Hi, Toni! How long have you been writing?

Toni: I’ve been seriously writing since I went back to school in 2010 to get my degree. However, most of my class assignments were for short stories, no more than 3,000 words. It wasn’t until 2014 that I made a New Year’s resolution to actually finish a story. That goal produced my first novella, A Life to Live.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Toni: I adore romance. I’ve been reading romance since I was young. As I got older and devoted myself to Christ, romance books began to lack something for me. Now I write to show the world how God can make relationships better.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

Toni: My latest book, Buying Love, releases October 27th. I set it into a fictional town so that I could have the places in my mind. However, I was inspired by a town I passed through on my way to pick apples with my two boys. It seemed so quaint. My fictional town, Maple Run, is filled with maple trees so I wanted that to be important. I ended up researching how to tap maple trees for the syrup. And of course, recipes you can make from it.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Toni: So the fun thing about Buying Love is I wrote it November 2015 during NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month). For those of you who’ve never heard of it, you have to write 50,000 words in one month in order to be considered a winner. I was really nervous but once I got in my zone, the words flew. At the end of the month I finished writing Buying Love. It was such a great experience and I met many great writers during that month.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Toni: I’m working on the second book in the Maple Run series. I’m not ready to leave the characters yet. 🙂 You may also see something from me in the spring of 2017. *wink wink*

Thanks for stopping in, Toni!

Buying Love

Will money ruin everything?buying-love-final

Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but no one has proposed. Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money.

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her?

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?

Buy link: http://amzn.to/2deXj91


Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the local Virginia Chapter.

You can find her on her Website, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.


Fractured Memory by Jordyn Redwood

Jordyn-35eToday we welcome Jordyn Redwood, pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by nightto discuss her latest release, Fractured Memory.

Hello, Jordyn! How long have you been writing?

Jordyn: I started writing when I was very young. As long as I can remember I’ve loved writing stories. One of the first pieces I ever wrote that I can remember was about a rabbit that had to go to the hospital. I guess I was always destined to be a nurse and an author.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Jordyn: I’ve always loved suspense. I love reading suspense novels and watching psychological thrillers.  I guess it’s built into my DNA since I’m also what’s called a “trauma junkie” who are people who love working in the ER. I guess it’s the thrill of getting that feeling of living on the edge without the risk of putting your life in danger.

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

JordynFractured Memory was a story drawn almost exclusively from my own experiences. This was done intentionally as this novel was written during a contest and had a very short deadline. That being said, I researched trusted internet sources for types of amnesia.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Jordyn: Since this book was for Love Inspired Suspense I got to develop my romance writing skills. This was both fun and a little terrifying because it’s hard to know when you’re first delving into romance what’s coming across as authentic versus what’s coming across as just cheesy. I definitely went to some friends who are also romance authors to make sure those scenes came across with the right touch.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Jordyn: Currently, I’m under a two book contract with Love Inspired Suspense so one of those novels will release next year. The first one asks the question—what would you do if the only doctor who could save your sister’s life disappears? I’d also really like to release an indie book sometime next year and am working hard to develop the skills needed to manage more than one book project at a time. Time will tell!

Thanks so much for dropping by, Jordyn!

Fractured Memory

Fractured MemoryUnited States marshal Eli Cayne saved Julia Galloway’s life once…and he’s prepared to do it again. But his task would be easier if she could remember him—or the murderer who almost put her in an early grave and seems to be hunting her once more. To protect Julia from the latest threat against her life, Eli has to consider the possibility that he put an innocent man in jail. Julia has no memories of the serial killer called the Hangman, though, and no reason to trust Eli. But with the killer getting closer, she must work with Eli to confront her past—and the feelings growing between them.

Jordyn-35eJordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two novels, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Awardand the 2013 Carol Award. Her latest novel, Fractured Memory, released July, 2016. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.