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.

3 Questions Wednesday with You

Our regular 3 Questions Wednesday has met with a last-minute cancellation. So, since you’re here,

Who is your favorite author?

Tell us about your favorite author in the comment section. Or, maybe you’re an author. 3 Questions Wednesday is a wonderful way to promote a new release or even a book that’s been on the shelf a while. We have openings, starting in May!

Whether you’re Indie-published, or traditional, or even a wannabe-published, you can take part in our Wednesday interview.

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

Intriguing, right? Include your answer in the comments.

And about the book:

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

Use your imagination on this one. If you don’t have a book written, use a favorite character from your favorite book!

Now, you know what it’s like to take part in our 3 Questions Wednesday interview. What fun!

Want to schedule an interview? Click the “Contact Us” tab near the top of this blog and let us know. Something’s blowing in on the March winds! We have big plans for March. We’re giving away a book with every post! Each Monday and Friday during the entire month of March, you—dear reader—will have the opportunity to win a book. It’s March Madness!

So, keep us on your calendar, and be sure to come back next Wednesday for another 3 Questions Wednesday Interview. It could be your favorite author.

Writing Emotional Scenes

by Rose Allen McCauley

Randy Ingermanson aka “The Snowflake Guy” is the first teacher who started me thinking about the perfect emotional scene—one that makes the reader so identify with the characters that they can’t stop reading!

I’ve been a lifelong reader since the age of five. When I first started writing as an adult, I knew a little about plot and characters, but Randy’s premise is that if your readers can’t relate to your plot and characters it doesn’t matter. Why would they spend time reading about something or someone they can’t identify with? That set me off on a path to find and read as many emotive writers as possible.

This leads us to the first lesson in writing emotional scenes.

Read and study the writers who touch your own heart.

My favorite writer of emotional scenes and characters (along with many other readers!) is Karen Kingsbury. I met her at one of the early ACFW conferences and bought A Time to Embrace (about a marriage about to disintegrate) and the first book of the Redemption series (containing adultery and murder.) Although I didn’t have any personal experience with any of those topics, Karen wrote such believable, flawed characters, often with kind hearts, that I wanted to keep reading about them and rooting for them!

Another author whose characters I can easily relate to is Deb Raney.  Her first book was A Vow to Cherish about a woman with Alzheimer’s whose husband has many decisions to make. Again, I had never faced anything like that, but the love and caring between the husband and wife made me want to keep reading to see how they handled it.

I hate to even try to name other authors out there who write great emotional scenes because there so many of them, and we each have our favorites as well as favorite genres. If you are not sure whom you want to try, I suggest you ask a friend with similar tastes in books or look through a CBD catalog or read the back cover blurb in bookstores or the library or online.

A second lesson in writing emotional scenes is Show instead of Telling. Parts of all books have some telling for smoothness or brevity, so some narration or description is okay.

But, instead of: Mark was angry when he got off the phone with Sharon.

Try this: Mark punched the button to disconnect the call, pulled his arm back and let the phone fly in a pitch that would’ve made Hank Aaron jealous. The phone ricocheted off the couch and clattered to the floor.

“That woman!” he spat out.

A third way to keep the readability factor going is to use foreshadowing to show that something you mention in an earlier chapter is going to factor into a later chapter—just make sure you follow through with that promise!

A great example of this is what literary greats refer to as Chekhov’s Gun: “If in Act One you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act.”

Use objects, people, phrases, and even situations to set up your reader for what will eventually become a pay-off if they keep reading.

Great writers are also known for using evocative words to describe the scenery to suggest mystery or danger, so make sure you use all of the senses and keep editing until you find the perfect words to describe each scene or character.

Another way to keep your readers reading is to make characters have to decide between two, or more hard choices. We’ve all had to do that in real life, and so can sympathize with the character who has to make a hard decision—often one that is going to affect someone they care about.

Most of us like characters we can sympathize with, and some people even like characters they can love to hate! We all have different personalities, so keep experimenting until you find characters and writers who keep you coming back for more. To me, the main thing that makes me want to read the same author again is if I keep thinking about the characters after I finish the book, because they have become so real to me! Like the Velveteen Rabbit! I think that is the reason many of us love series.

I once read that Elmore Leonard wrote,  “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” I hope my thoughts will help you do that by using some of these tips to write emotionally charged scenes.  And if you are like me, you will find it is a lifelong pursuit!

Here’s a writing prompt in case you want to try to add some of these tools to your writing box:

Pretend you are writing the follow-up book to Where the Red Fern Grows, or Charlotte’s Web. Write the opening paragraph in a way that grabs your reader by the emotions. Feel free to share your work in the comments below. 

Click to Tweet: Most of us like characters we can sympathize with, and some people even like characters they can love to hate. Writing Emotional Scenes via @InspiredPrompt #amwriting #writingtips

3 Questions Wednesday with Kristen Hogrefe

Author Kristen Hogrefe

Welcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Kristen Hogrefe! This is an exciting and very busy week for Kristen, as her third book in The Rogues Trilogy released yesterday! Congratulations, Kristen.

Let’s see how she answers our three questions—

Who is your favorite author?

Kristen: Limiting myself to just one is nearly impossible, because I enjoy so many genres, but I consider Elisabeth Elliot one of my spiritual mentors. Her books, including Keep a Quiet Heart and Let Me Be a Woman, are ones I re-read.

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

Kristen: One day, I hope I’ll have the ability to research and write either a non-fiction or fictionalized account of my Uncle Billy’s story. I never met him, because he died in Colombia as a child, but through his childlike witness to the people group my missionary grandparents were reaching, many came to know Christ. My mom tells me that on his grave, a church was built. I think there’s a powerful story to tell, but I don’t know if I can do it justice. One day, I hope to be brave enough to try.

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

Kristen: I actually did have the opportunity to spend a full two weeks with a “character” from my book! At the very end of the story while Portia heals in Orvieto, she stays with an Italian woman named Maria who teaches her about Italian culture and serves as her guide. My real-life Italian friend and colleague Maria Constantine traveled with me to Italy so I could research the settings in The Reactionary. We spent several days in a lovely Air B&B in Orvieto. There, she taught me some Italian phrases and ultimately gifted me with a deep appreciation and love for Italy as we explored the city and surrounding areas. You can read more about some of our adventures on my blog at

Kristen Hogrefe is an award-winning author and life-long learner. Her books include The Rogues trilogy and Wings of the Dawn trilogy, and she also enjoys speaking events that allow her to connect with students, readers, and other writers. A Florida girl at heart, she says yes to most adventures involving sunshine. Connect with her online at


The Reactionary

The Reactionary by Kristen Hogrefe

Three friends. One broken world. One chance to make it right.

Gath survived the satellite explosions, only to encounter one of Felix’s plague initiatives. Somehow, he must recover, re-unify what’s left of their leadership team—and help them find a reason to hope.

Luther devises a diplomatic distraction to buy Portia time for her international mission and him an opportunity to rescue his scientist-father, tricked into operating Felix’s labs. Will he lose them both anyway?

Portia resents that Darius lied about their father, and defying her brother now might secure a much-needed overseas ally. But liberty for all could cost her future with the man she loves and any chance of reuniting her fractured family.