It Happened One Summer

Betty Thomason Owens

I love to write, but long before I started, I loved to read. Reading provided a pleasant escape from a sometimes not so pleasant life.

But all the experiences of my life prepared me for what lay ahead; telling stories. Some of my characters resemble me in character (intentional play on words).

Amy Emerson is one of those. When we first meet her, she’s a hard-headed young woman whose main desire is to be free. She chafes at discipline, hates being told what she can and can’t do. So, she plans an escape. She has the money, why not? (Let me interject here: Amy resembles me in all but the money part. That’s a dream of mine, but it never happened. Also, the dance scene. Dreamed of, but never happened.) 🙂

What Amy doesn’t know, and doesn’t count on: someone out to get dear, old Dad. Someone who’ll stop at nothing to bring him down. In her blind innocence, she plays right into the hands of my antagonist.

Just to make it interesting, I created a love interest. Amy despises him at first, and some of my readers weren’t too sure about him (until later). She resists, mainly because she suspects her dad approves of him. Whatever Dad approves must be avoided at all costs!

But Matthew Wordsworth is a patient man. His military background pays off in several ways as he navigates the troubled waters of Amy Emerson’s life.

Did I mention this all takes place one summer in the 1940s? That makes it truly fun.

Rebecca’s Legacy is the final book in the Legacy series. Each is set in subsequent decades. Amelia’s Legacy takes place in the 1920s. This book stars Amy’s mother, Nancy Sanderson, who becomes Nancy Emerson, as the book progresses. Carlotta’s Legacy takes place in the thirties, with Nancy’s best friend, Rebecca Lewis at the lead. And yes, she’s the Rebecca of Rebecca’s Legacy. These are historical novels with a good mix of romance and suspense.

Click to Tweet: It Happened One Summer, about the book: Rebecca’s Legacy, by Betty Thomason Owens via @InspiredPrompt and @batowens #bookgiveaway #RomanticSuspense


Rebecca’s Legacy

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress about the greatest legacy? Amy Juliana Emerson might be a cultured debutante, but she’s doing her best to follow her mom’s rebellious footsteps. Her desperate attempt to escape her father’s control, however, comes at the worst possible time. Robert Emerson has received a threat against his family in an attempt to take over his company, Sanderson Industries. To guarantee his willful daughter’s safety, he sends her to work on a produce farm run by her Aunt Rebecca. Maybe her quiet strength and unconditional love can work on Amy, keep her from becoming the prodigal daughter she seems insistent on being.

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to make sure his daughter stays in line. His only interest in the beautiful girl is purely part of his job. Purely. Amy considers him a fuddy-duddy which suits the situation perfectly, allowing him to stay close to her without concern for her losing her heart to him. And his own heart … well, his feelings didn’t matter. This was business.

Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home and away from Dad’s protection. Rebecca’s influence begins to change her feelings about everything, even about Matt, but Amy might find she’s playing into the hands of the enemy.


About Betty: Who am I? My friends say I’m creative, loyal, thoughtful and funny. I’m a storyteller. A word-weaver, writing stories that touch the heart. If I was an artist working with oils, I’d want to paint scenes so real, you’d think you were looking at a photograph. They’d include minute details that grab your attention and pull you into the picture. My characters could be your next-door neighbors. They’re open and friendly. They include you in their conversations. My themes include the grace of God, forgiveness, restoration, and redemption, but most of all, love. For years, my tagline has been: Love is the Legacy. That’s my desire, to leave a legacy of love.

www.bettythomasonowens.com

How it All Began

Harriet E. Michael

Many authors and writers will tell you that they have wanted to become a writer since childhood.

That is not my story.

For me, it all began with a crisis in the life of someone I love. My friend faced the challenge of her life and I found myself walking beside her, praying and wanting to understand prayer better.

As I pondered the topic of prayer, I happened to be reading in the book of Psalms in my personal devotions. I noticed something about prayer. The petitions the various psalmists make to God are almost always centered on God, rather then their needs. If you look for this trend you will find it there, and throughout the Bible.

If someone prays: “Help me because ___,” or “Answer my prayer because ___,” the reason stated usually has something to do with God rather than the psalmist. (Because of one of God’s traits, like His love, or faithfulness, by His power, or for His glory.)

An example of this would be asking God to heal someone because He is the Great Physician, full of loving-kindness, or because He is faithful and answers His people when they call on Him, rather than because of whatever issue you may be dealing with, or pain you may be suffering.

This discovery was a “Wow!” moment for me which prompted me to conduct my own personal Bible study, from Genesis to Revelation, looking at all the instances of prayer I could find. I kept a journal as I did this.

Four years later, I had a book written.

The manuscript was named a finalist in a national contest, “The Women of Faith” (2011). The manuscript won me a writing contract with Pix-N-Pens Publishing (PIP), the nonfiction arm of Write Integrity Press. Once the book was published, my friend Shirley Crowder wrote a study guide for it, which won her a contract with PIP as well.

IMG_0487 prayer book and study guide

Shirley is a lifelong friend of mine. She lived across a dirt road from me in Nigeria. Now, she’s a Biblical counselor and also leads Bible studies with women’s groups. When she read one of the first copies of my book, she whipped up the study guide for it, fully intended for use only in her own personal ministry. She sent it to me for my approval and I loved it, so forwarded it to my publisher, who also loved it. She contracted with Shirley to publish it.

After that, Shirley and I decided to do some co-writing. To date, we have a four-book series on prayer—Prayer It’s Not About You, Study Guide to Prayer: It’s Not About You, Glimpses of Prayer (a devotional), and Prayer Warrior Confessions (an anthology compiled and partially written by us). We are also under contract for a 5-book devotional series, only one of which is currently out—Glimpses of the Savior.

Harriet with Shirley Crowder, signing a writing contract!

… and it all started with adversity—a crisis, pain, anguish as I stood by a hurting loved-one. God is in the business of turning ashes to beauty. That is exactly what He did when He turned my friend Shirley and me into authors.

Click to Tweet: “…it all started with adversity—a crisis, pain, anguish as I stood by a hurting loved-one. God is in the business of turning ashes to beauty. ” Harriet E. Michael via @InspiredPrompt #MarchMadness #amwriting #giveaway

Today, my loved one is doing well, and my book is blessing many. Since its publication in May 2016, several groups in various parts of the US have used this book and study guide for their Bible study. In fact, this month, a Sunday school class of around 30 people are just beginning a Bible study using it.

It can be used in a group setting or for individual study. Here is the link to my author page where you can purchase these books or any of the others that Shirley and I have collaborated on: Harriet’s author page.

3 Questions Wednesday with Allison Wells

Allison-Wells-3Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Allison Wells to the Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Allison.

Who is your favorite author?

I would have to say that my favorite author is Liz Curtis Higgs. I first read her novel Thorn in my Heart years ago and was fascinated with how she told a story. I was so enthralled with how she worked a Biblical story (that of Jacob, Leah & Rachel, in this case) into a work of fiction set in 18th century Scotland. I’ve read all of her novels and all of her Bad Girls of the Bible books, and have been fortunate enough to have emailed back and forth with her a bit as well.

Ms. Higgs is a true inspiration for any first time author and I would call myself extremely blessed to have one fourth the success and reach she has.

She is one of my picks also 🙂  Next…

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

I have been fascinated with the story of Esther from the Bible for over fifteen years. I have read numerous books, both fiction and non, about her life. I would love to write book after book about her life, each with a different angle. Did she ever fall in love with Xerxes? How did she feel about being chosen? Was her stomach in her throat as she approached her husband? There are so many angles, one could get lost in them for a lifetime.hand-3248672__340

The story of Esther is such a wonderful read.  Love this idea! Last question…. 

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would love to spend the day with Grace Walker. She’s the mother of my main character, Abby. Grace was born at the turn of the twentieth century, married young, and has birthed seven children. Maybe her life seems a little mundane, but she’s seen a lot in her lifetime.
Grace’s character isn’t explored too deeply in War-Torn Heart, but she’s a wonderful woman I’d like to get to know better while sitting on her front porch with a glass of sweetened iced tea. I think we would just tell stories back and forth all day while watching our little world float by.

Sounds like an a great day.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Click to tweet:   An interview with author Allison Wells at the Inspired Prompt blog.   #amreading #War-TornHeart #AllisonWells

Readers, Allison will give away a kindle copy of  a War-Torn Heart.  Please leave a comment to be entered.

Abigail Walker, a young woman from rural South Carolina, is on the cusp of womanhood, aching to be able to run wild as the younger children do, yet yearning for things she has yet to understand.

Awkward and unsure of herself, Abby is flustered when she meets Harvey Nicholas, the nephew of a family at her church and a cadet from Clemson College. As summer begins, Abby finds herself constantly in the company of Harvey and falling quickly in love with him.

As rumors of war begin to reach the States, Abby begins to fear what may come for her older brother and Harvey. Once Pearl Harbor is bombed, the boys are eager to protect their home and the women they love. But will Abby and Harvey’s love be able to withstand distance, rumors, loss, and hurt? Or will the war be what tears apart Abby’s heart?

War-Torn Heart is a Kleenex-box book with a story of hope, of love, and of perseverance through World War II, which will make readers cry, scream, and long for more.


Allison-Wells-3

Allison Wells
Allison is a graduate of Clemson University and she has lived in the Upstate for twenty years. She is married and has four amazing children. Allison is a freelance writer for a number of Upstate publications, but is usually found taking her children from one activity to another. War-Torn Heart is her first book.

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Writing Prompts and Novels

By Jennifer Hallmark

In May 2012, three ladies, Betty Thomason Owens, Christina Rich, and myself,  joined together to start a blog.

This one.

Over almost seven years, the blog has evolved and changed for the better. But we’ve always kept one aspect the same: writing prompts. I believe for many writers, prompts can lead to a great story.

My debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, began life as a short story written from three prompts:

  • Faded coveralls
  • Dusty baseball cap
  • Wedding dress designer

I wrote the original short story on November 13, 2008 and it contained only 756 words. When I shared it with others, it evoked strong emotion. Friends wanted to know what happened next. So I turned it first into a novella, then a novel. Eva Marie Everson, the acquisitions and managing editor at Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, showed interest at a writer’s conference. I sold Firefly the book in October of 2017 and on June 15th, Jessie’s Hope will release.

All from three writing prompts.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mom and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.

With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer Smith, has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.

Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles–including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather–highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?

I love all my characters and the story. I hope you will too. Since I can’t give away a copy of the book during March Madness, I’ll offer a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment. Then, if you’d like, you can purchase some of the books my fellow bloggers are offering this month. 🙂

Click to tweet: Make sure to check out the Inspired Prompt every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in March and win some great books and other prizes. #MarchMadness #giveaway

And on June 15th, take a moment to shop online for my book. I’ll share the links as soon as I receive them.

Thank you from the Inspired Prompt crew for all your encouragement and support!


Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and fantasy, an interesting combination that keep the creative juices flowing. She’s published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations.

When she isn’t babysitting her six grandkids or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on one of her two blogs. Or even watching American Ninja Warrior.

 

Writing to Inspire

I have loved reading and writing from the moment I learned to do both. I wrote my first song when I was twelve, my first poem at fourteen. Later, I wrote about life. I never thought those scribbled notes of reflection would one day become a book of encouragement for others.

What the book is not

TreasuresofHopeFrontFinalWhen thoughts of telling my story bounced around inside my head, I kept pushing the idea aside. I refused to write a book about a hopeless situation. I didn’t enjoy reading those kinds of books so, why on earth would I write one? Who would want to read it? But when I couldn’t shake the idea, I set aside my WIP and prayed about the project. My goal in writing the story was to help others. And in doing that, I didn’t feel like the book should be about my story but HIS story.

So, I recalled the facts without sharing all the details. I concentrated on the aftermath and what victims of abuse and injustice deal with as Christians. Aren’t we supposed to forgive? What about justice? How do we let go our anger? How can we overcome fear? How can we move forward? How can we help others in our situations? How can we silence the lies inside our heads? How can we live a victorious life?

I think I accomplished my goal.

About the book

Treasures of Hope: Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past is about overcoming the lies we believe about ourselves, whether those lies come from another person or the enemy of our souls.

During my journey, I found answers through the lives of women I’d heard about all my life but never connected the dots to how their lives pertained to my situation. Through Rachel, Sarah, Rahab, Hannah, and Esther, I discovered hope. In the chapters, I addressed intimacy, identity and purpose, fear, worth, and victory. I also included chapter questions, encouragement, and recommended songs and books. Although it is a memoir, readers have used it as a Bible study and a devotional.

I hope you find it inspiring no matter your situation.

Click to Tweet: I hope you find Treasures of Hope inspiring no matter your situation. #hope #bookgiveaway @GailJohnson87

 

 

About Gail

Gail Johnson enjoys sharing her passion for life and Christ through the power of the written word. Whether it’s through stories, articles, or songs, she invites her reader and listener to “taste and see” the hope she has found in a faithful God and loving Savior. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the author of Treasures of Hope, Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past, a memoir.

You can learn more about Gail at gailjohnsonauthor.com