The Fabric of Love by Cara Lynn James

IMG_1306-2 copyGood morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Cara Lynn James to the Inspired Prompt.

Hi, Cara. So glad you could join us. First question:

Tell us a little about yourself?

Cara:  I was born in Hamden, Connecticut where I spent the first 23 years of my life. My parents split when I was just a baby, but I have younger siblings (3 sisters and a brother) from blended family situations. I don’t pay attention to adjectives like “step” or “half” when it comes to my siblings. They’re my siblings, and I love them.

Thanks to visiting my dad on the weekends, I was in church every Sunday and grew up learning the Bible. I also started going to a Christian school in the fourth grade. But while I professed Christ at 9 years old, I pulled away from my faith in my teens and early twenties and made a few bad decisions. Once I hit what I considered bottom, my best buddy Chris invited me to come to live with him in New Hampshire and get back on my feet. It ended up being a great decision as God used the experience to draw me back to him and I rediscovered the faith I’d discarded. I’d been writing all along, and now my faith influenced the things that came out in my work.

New Hampshire has certainly had its ups and downs for me, but the one constant has been God, and He has been absolutely faithful through it all. I’m thankful for a God I can completely surrender to, and I’m thankful for the gracious blessings He grants me in this life. He just keeps giving, though I never could deserve it, and I’m now a published author.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Cara:  Once I finish the rough draft, I love editing because I enjoy finding just the right words. Editing seems so much more manageable than actually writing the first draft. That’s a sprawling, messy process. But I also like that, too, because it’s very creative and I’m never quite sure where the story is going. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not.

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 How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Cara: I’m embarrassed to say I have six half-finished books resting in my computer. My only excuse (and it’s not a good one) is I often get bogged down in the middle and tired of the story. If only I could go from the beginning, skip the sagging middle and sprint to the end. I’m half-plotter and half-panster, although I’m trying hard to plan ahead and avoid tumbling down rabbit holes. So far I’m partially successful.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Cara:   I’d have a serious talk with myself about how wonderful writing can be as long as I keep learning the craft and practice what I learn. I’d always accept criticism graciously, and develop the discipline to finish a project. My advice would be to steel myself against rejection, rejoice with every success, large or small, and never compare myself to others. Be as happy for my friends as for myself when good things happen. (Actually, I am and I think that’s very important.) There’s no room for envy. I’d try to make a lot of writer friends because they’re the ones who understand me and listen enthusiastically to my chatter about characters, plot, edits, etc. They understand the joys of writing and commiserate about the inevitable disappointments along the way. They ‘get it.’ And lastly, be generous and helpful with other writers.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Cara:  One common trap is publishing a book before it’s ready for prime time. With self-publishing so easy, aspiring authors have to be sure to study their craft and have patience while they’re learning. Be grateful others will critique your story and don’t be defensive if you disagree with their comments. They’re trying to help. Try to stay focused and not let yourself get overwhelmed or discouraged.

What does literary success look like to you?

Cara: Success means writing what God wants me to write, enjoying the process, having readers and interacting with them. Making a little money along the way never hurts either.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Cara:  I’m contracted for three inspirational novellas, two historical romances and one contemporary. 

The first novella is The Fabric of Love, a story set in a small Connecticut town around the turn-of-the-century. It’s about a young widow who struggles to support her mother and three kids. Against her will, Eliza Baldwin and Clark Henderson, the town’s new storekeeper, quickly fall in love. Eliza needs a job so she’ll be able to send her son to a private school, her late husband’s dearest wish. But the headmaster’s wife doesn’t believe in women working outside the home. Should Eliza confront society’s conventions and work in Clark’s store anyway? She’d risk her son’s acceptance at the school and the possibility of an academic scholarship. But more importantly, should she shed the familiarity of widowhood and move forward into a new life with Clark?

The other historical romance is The Innkeeper’s Promise which, not surprisingly, is about an innkeeper who tries to convince her business partner stay and help her manage the inn when he’s anxious to expand his horizons and move on. Despite their conflicting goals, they fall in love. Can they compromise and reconcile their differences?

The third novella is my first contemporary story set in New England. A young home stager snags a job to freshen up a kids’ summer camp so the owner can sell the property and make a good profit. The owner’s grandson hires her and they quickly fall for each other. But can their romance continue when he’s offered the presidency of his grandfather’s company in Arizona? They both have life-altering decisions to make and despite their growing love, it’s not easy.

Thanks so much for joining us!

Click to tweet: Cara Lynn James talks about the writing journey and her latest book, The Fabric of Love #amreading #CaraLynnJames #writingsucess


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Cara Lynn James writes historical romance often with a twist of mystery and occasionally contemporary romance. She is an award-winning, multi-published author of four Gilded Age romances, Love on a Dime, Love on Assignment, Love by the Book and A Path toward Love. Her first novella, The Fabric of Love, will be published September 31, 2019, on Amazon, and will soon be followed by The Innkeeper’s Promise and Staging a Romance, her only contemporary novella to date.

She’s been a finalist in many writing contests including Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest which led to publication. She won the American Christian Fiction Writers Noble Theme award in the historical fiction category.

You can find her on Facebook and at her website caralynnjames.net


The Fabric of Love

Eliza Baldwin, a young, bereaved widow, and mother of three struggles to support her family and save enough money for her son’s private school tuition. 

She’d like to take a job, but in her small Connecticut town in 1900, working outside the home is not acceptable for the widow of a once prosperous attorney.

Loyal to the memory of her late husband, she wants to fulfill his fondest wish to send their son to Whitfield Academy. But that’s out the question unless she can find the tuition money. Her best option is to rent a room in her spacious home to a respectable, god-fearing woman. But when Eliza advertises the room, the only person interested is a handsome male stranger.

Reluctantly, she rents the renovated space over the stable to Clark Henderson, the new owner of the Whitfield General Store. Right from their first meeting, Eliza and Clark feel a strong attraction toward each other. Yet, despite their growing feelings, Eliza believes any romantic relationship would show disloyalty to her late husband.

When Clark asks her to accept a position in his store, the headmaster’s wife makes it perfectly clear that working will jeopardize the boy’s acceptance at school.

Clark offers Eliza love and a chance to shed her widow’s weeds and genteel poverty, but she’s unsure about what the Lord has in mind for her. Will she reject Clark’s love and his kindness and hold fast to her old, familiar life? Or will she defy the headmaster’s wife and take a step forward into the future with Clark?

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide by Linda Brooks Davis

2018_03-06_Davis_LindaBrooksGood morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m pleased to introduce you to author Linda Brooks Davis this morning. Linda is talking about the writing process. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Linda: I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother with 73 years (and pounds) under my belt. I was born in 1946 on a farm in Raymondville, a small community in the southernmost tip of Texas—the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Living in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s included such drastic changes in the world at large that you could say while I will growing up, the country moved from the Cleaver household in “Leave it to Beaver” to the Bunker home in “Archie Bunker”—and beyond.

I earned a Bachelor Degree in speech pathologist from Abilene Christian University in 1968 and many years later, a Master Degree from Houston Baptist. I was an employed-outside-the-home military wife and mother in the ‘70s and ‘80s and retired in 2008 after working with individuals with special needs forty years.

My husband Al and I have a son and daughter who are both veterinarians practicing together in San Antonio, Texas. We adore our six grandchildren.

Although i enjoyed writing all my life, I began writing in earnest when I retired in 2008. It didn’t take long to realize I had a lot to learn, so I set out to do just that, filling my study with books on writing and well-written novels, attending workshops, retreats, and conferences, and submitting samples for critique.

My efforts were reward in 2014 when my novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, won the Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel Contest. It was published in 2015 and won the 2016 ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel.

I have subsequently released Book 2 in The Women of Rock Creek series: The Mending of Lillian Cathleen and Book 3: The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. I also have A Rock Creek Christmas Novella Collection, which includes novellas covering the space of time between Books 1 and 2.

At present, I’m working on a third Christmas novella to include in the Collection and am brainstorming about two new series, which will be sent in the Rio Grande Valley of Teas from the ‘20s to the ‘70s

What do you love most about the writing process?

Linda: By far: the research. I have to curtail my time researching so that I have time and energy for writing!

The writing of scenes is my next favorite part of the writing process. I do not enjoy the planning or outlining. In fact, I’ve begun to plot by the seat of my pants more now than I ever dreamed I would. I refer to a loose (and I mean VERY loose) outline with only 4 or 5 key “landmarks” and then let the creative juices flow to fill in the scenes between the plot points.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Linda: I don’t do “unfinished” well. Can’t seem to leave it alone. So I’d say I have unpublished, unfinished ideas still rolling around in my head.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Linda: Write on a fixed daily schedule. Get the story down, not worrying about making it perfect at first. Submit to contests; the feedback is invaluable. (Even submit to freelance editors if you can afford it. They are a wonderful source of knowledge and expertise.) Get into a writing/critique group.

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What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Linda: (1) Separating oneself from other writers. (2) Allowing yourself to have a thin skin; never allow yourself to be offended; it isn’t worth it. (3) Fear of rejection.

What does literary success look like to you?

Linda: I began my writing journey shortly after my first grandchild arrived in triplicate form—two boys and a girl. They struggled for life in the NiCU 3 months, and I sat beside them. During that time of duress, I vowed to the Lord I would devote the remainder of my life to them and that I’d leave them a legacy of faith in writing. When my daughter said she was naming her daughter Ella after my grandmother, I knew I would write a novel with a heroine named Ella

That said, honestly, just fulfilling my vow is literary success to me. The cream on top of the cake is hearing readers tell about how they were emotionally moved and encouraged or their faith inspired by my stories Hearing such feedback is affirmation of my original vow and encourages me to continue.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Linda: In 1924, my ancestors migrated as a clan from Oklahoma to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where they worked in back-breaking cotton fields and clearing thick, brutal brush from wild lands to prepare it for farming. Those folks left mighty big footprints to follow, and I’d like to write a series dealing with some of the struggles they endured in their time and place.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Linda Brooks Davis shares lessons learned in her writing journey #LindaBrooksDavis #TheAwakeningofMissAdelaide @InspiredPrompt


The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

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Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. She’s a philanthropist who is adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the Great War—and the Great Influenza—knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

When her Italian music instructor and mentor dies, he leaves her a sprawling ranch and villa in the Maremma district of Tuscany. This location proves ideal for her covert operations during the Great War. 

Having risked her life and security for her country, Adelaide welcomes the end of global hostilities in 1918. And she anticipates a continuation of her dream life—a bright return to the opera stage and a flourishing future as a land and cattle baroness.

But before the ink on the armistice dries, Adelaide’s world begins to crumble. The influenza pandemic creeps into the Tuscan hills and over the villa’s walls, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Adelaide contracts the dreaded virus and awakens as if fin a nightmare with her rare operatic voice ruined and with fresh questions about her life and loves, her faith and future, and God’s plan and purpose. 

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials. 

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?


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Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared on a farm in Raymondville, a small Rio Grande Valley community in the southernmost tip of Texas. Linda earned a Bachelor Degree in Speech Pathology from Abilene Christian University and a Master Degree from Houston Baptist University. She retired in 2008 after forty years as a special educator and administrator. Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren, three of whom are triplets. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

Linda’s debut novel, best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland (Book 1 in The Women of Rock Creek series), is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award. It subsequently won the ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma and released in December 2016. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910. It released in 2017 as a prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, best-selling The Mending of Lillian Cathleen (Book 2 in the series), which is set in 1914 and released in October 2018. Book 3 in the series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, released in July 2019.

Social Media Links:

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Contact Links:

Website

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Purchase Links:

The Calling of Ella McFarland

A Rock Creek Christmas Collection

The Mending of Lillian Cathleen  

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide 

A Worthy Heart by Sara Beth Williams

Headshot photo 1 reducedGood morning, friends! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. We’re excited to have author Sara Beth Williams talking about writing tips and her newest release, A Worthy Heart. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Sara Beth: I am married, with two spunky little girls, and I love to read, play guitar, and anything else that involves creativity. We reside in northern California.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Sara Beth:  I love the ability to create. Creating imagery, creating characters, creating emotional responses, all with words. It’s so much fun. I love also the process of self-discovery. A lot of writing really involves telling the world some kind of truth that comes from your own life experiences, even if it’s well hidden.  

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Sara Beth:  Too many! I think I have four, now that I can say I finished this 2nd book in my series  finally!

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If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Sara Beth:  Do NOT sit on your first draft and edit it to death. Finish it all the way through.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Sara Beth:   Editing everything over and over and over before it’s necessary. along that same note, NOT hiring a professional editor before you submit to a publishing house or agent. Also working on too many projects at once. Wanting to hurry the process of publishing up. 

What does literary success look like to you?

Sara Beth:  I think if I can earn my keep writing books – as in the money I earn is paying for me to continue to market and write more books, then I will consider myself successful. 

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Sara Beth:  I have just finished my 2nd book in my contemporary romance series, and am finally beginning revisions for my third in the series! A young man who loses everything he’s ever wanted is plagued by anxiety and grief. To climb out of the pit of his despair, he might have to admit he loves someone other than the woman he wanted to marry.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Sara Beth Williams shares her writing advice and her latest book, A Worthy Heart. #amwriting   @InspiredPrompt


A Worthy HeartA WORTHY HEART BOOK COVER

Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular houseguest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life. 

 With only a part time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close—not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,

 Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt. 

When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?

A Worthy Heart newly released …Click here to buy now


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Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a loveable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

 

 

Whom Shall I Fear? By Anne Clare

Today we’d like to welcome blogger and author, Anne Clare, to the Inspired Prompt blog to discuss her new book.

Glad you could join us, Anne! Tell us a little about yourself.

Anne: Hello, and thank you for letting me visit today! I’m Anne Clare. My husband, three children, and I live in the beautiful (if drizzly) Pacific Northwest.  After six years as a stay-at-home-mom, I am just stepping back into part-time teaching. I also serve as a church organist/pianist and choir director. I’m working on convincing my children that hiking is fun.

My main writing focus is sharing stories of the Second World War. I research and write about true tales on my blog- thenaptimeauthor.wordpress.com -and use the research to write historical fiction.  I’ve just released my first novel, Whom Shall I Fear?

What do you love most about the writing process?

Anne: First of all, I love it when I find time to write! Between parenting and my other responsibilities, finding quiet time to focus enough to tell a coherent story is always a small victory.

I also love the “aha” moments- those moments when I find just the right piece of history, just the right character motivation, or just the right phrase to make everything in a post or story come together.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Anne: I have a second WWII novel drafted out. I’m excited about the plot and characters- POW escapes, troubles from their pasts to overcome, all kinds of excitement- but it needs a considerable amount of research to make certain that all of the excitement is plausible!

The third book exists only in my head.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Anne: Stop using the “tab” key for paragraphs and double spaces after periods! Reformatting all of that will be a real pain later! 🙂

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Anne: I think it’s very easy in this world of “instant information” to get overwhelmed by all of the writing advice out there and to compare our writing journeys to others.

  1. Not all online advice is good.
  2. Everyone’s journey looks different.
  3. You’ve got to follow that path that God’s given you, not the path He’s given someone else.
  4. For those of us with young kids, that might mean that some days are productive writing days, others are “clean up your kids’ vomit and just sit and rock them” days. There’s no shame in either one.

What does literary success look like to you?

Anne: Keeping up consistent blogging for two years and getting a novel to publication are two huge milestones that I’m thankful to have reached. Continuing to write, and to write pieces that I’m proud of, pieces that matter to me and to my readers, are my biggest markers of success.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Anne: As of right now, it’s a summer of research, and I’m seeing where that leads me. I’ll keep my blog updated however- I’d love it if you’d stop by to check out what I’m up to!

Thanks for dropping by, Anne. And readers, Anne would like to offer a copy of her ebook, Whom Shall I Fear? to a reader who shares what their favorite historical fiction era is in the comments below.


Whom Shall I Fear?

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All that Sergeant James Milburn wants is to heal. Sent to finish his convalescence in a lonely village in the north of England, the friends he’s lost haunt his dreams. If he can only be declared fit for active service again, perhaps he can rejoin his surviving mates in the fight across Sicily and either protect them or die alongside them. 

All that Evie Worther wants is purpose. War has reduced her family to an elderly matriarch and Charles, her controlling cousin, both determined to keep her safely tucked away in their family home. If she can somehow balance her sense of obligation to family with her desperate need to be of use, perhaps she can discover how she fits into her tumultuous world. 

All that Charles Heatherington wants is his due. Since his brother’s death, he is positioned to be the family’s heir with only one step left to make his future secure. If only he can keep the family matriarch happy, he can finally start living the easy life he is certain he deserves. 

However, when James’s, Evie’s and Charles’s paths collide, a dark secret of the past is forced into the light, and everything that they have hoped and striven for is thrown into doubt. Weaving in historical detail from World War II in Britain, Italy and Egypt, WHOM SHALL I FEAR? follows their individual struggles with guilt and faith, love and family, and forces them to ask if the greatest threat they face is really from the enemy abroad. 

Buy: Amazon (paperback)

Amazon (ebook)


Anne Clare lives in the gorgeous green Pacific Northwest of the United States with her husband and three children. As well as reading and writing about the Second World War, she keeps busy teaching part time and serving as a church musician. Find her on Facebook or Twitter.

April and May Winners on Inspired Prompt

Whoops! In the busyness of my regular and my writing life, I have forgotten to announce some of our latest winners. But never fear, there are always plenty of cool prizes to giveaway on Inspired Prompt…

 

April

  • Susan Neal has gifted Janice Garey a mailed copy of 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. Congratulations!
  • Melissa Henderson has won a copy of Sheila Ingle’s book, Tales of a Cosmic Possum. Woo hoo!
  • Jennifer Slattery is blessing Amanda Hardin with a print copy of Restoring Her Faith. Way to go, Amanda!
  • Anne Clare has won Delilah by Fay Lamb by leaving a comment. Yay!

May

  • Allen Steadham has gifted an e-book copy of Mindfire to Anne Clare. Woo hoo!
  • Jarm Del Boccio will gift a copy of The Heart Changer to Caryl Kane.  Congratulations!
  • Katie Clark has given Regena Wallace a PDF copy of  Whispering Tower. Yay, Regena!
  • Sue Davis Potts is blessing Tracy Crump with a print copy of her book, 101 Life Lessons from Uno. Congrats!
  •  Ginny Cruz is giving an autographed copy of  Mud Holes and Magnolias to Lisa Worthey Smith. Way to go!

We really do love our readers at Inspired Prompt. Please visit often and say “hi!”