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 How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?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

Targeting Your Writing Dreams

By Jennifer Hallmark

What is your writing dream? Children’s stories, Guidepost, or traditionally published novel? Do you have it in your mind? Now, what in the world should you do with your dream? You’ve come to the right place. Or should I say the write place?

Inspired Prompt is a blog for writers created by writers. Last month, we discussed all types of writing you can put pen to like devotionals, travel articles, newspapers, technical writing, and screenwriting.

Throughout August, we plan to share posts that take the July topic one step further: finding who you want to submit your work-in-progress to and how to go about it. We have three special guests who will also help you out. Michelle Medlock Adams, an author with over eighty books published, will discuss writing for children. Laurel Blount will teach us what it takes to write for Love Inspired and Dianne Derringer will talk to us about writing for The Upper Room and Christian Devotions US.

An important question to answer for every writer is “Who will publish my work?” There are many online and print publishers of magazines, articles, blog posts, compilations, and books. As a new writer, I tried out many places from literary magazines to devotion sites to children’s books. The mistake I made was not digging deep enough to see exactly what each publication wanted and needed.

Take devotions. I wrote in one style and sent it to many. I’m sure some were quickly rejected because I didn’t follow the guidelines. I even sent a query to one agent, then in re-reading the guidelines, realized I would instantly be rejected because of an error I made. Inspired Prompt will hopefully help you not to make those mistakes.

So, don’t miss a Monday or Friday post in August. You’ll learn a lot and maybe you’ll receive an acceptance letter from a publisher. If you do, please let us know. We’ll Snoopy dance with you…

Click to tweet: Inspired Prompt helps answer the question: Who do you want to write for? #authorslife #amwriting

Writing prompt: Pick one publication you’d like to write for. Take a full day to study their website, guidelines, and check out some of their past publications. Then take a leap of faith…

3 Questions Wednesday with Lindsey Brackett

BrackettLWEBHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author and speaker, Lindsey Brackett. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lindsey:  Currently? Lauren Denton and Patti Callahan Henry. Obviously I love southern women’s fiction but both of them capture prose like its poetry and there’s really nothing I love more than beautiful writing. My upcoming favorite author is my critique partner Kimberly Duffy. Watch for her historical fiction debut, A Mosaic of Wings, from Bethany House next summer! And I’ve always loved Lucy Maud Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Forever they are my inspiration.

Great authors, and we will keep a look out for Kimberly.  Next question…

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

Lindsey:  Recently I wrote a southern gothic novel that’s now out on submission. It’s set at my alma mater, Berry College, and explores the truth behind the legendary ghost story of “The Green Lady.” While researching, though, I fell in love all over again with the story of Berry and its philanthropic, feminist founder Martha Berry. Someday I think I’d like to fictionalize her story and honor this place that helped define the person I’ve become. 

But people keep asking if I’m done writing about the Coultrie-Halloway-Watson family and the answer is no. Their story is so deeply rooted in my own family’s story that I’m sure there will be another book someday that shares Annie’s story.

Both sound interesting 🙂 Last question:

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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?

Lindsey:  I’d love to spend the day with Lou and Liam on the tidal creeks of Edisto Island. During my research for this story, I was captivated by the environmental practices coming into play in my beloved Lowcountry. Never has it been so important to recognize the impact we have on our ecosystem. These places we love will pass away with overuse unless we—the ones who treasure them—subscribe to sustainable practices so the land and water can be enjoyed and utilized for generations to come. 

Of course after we worked, we’d settle in for a great Lowcountry meal. For me, however, this would have to not include shrimp. Sadly, I have developed a late onset allergy. Good thing I love scallops and crab—and those don’t seem to bother me as long as they aren’t fried with shrimp!

Oh how sad to miss out on shrimp! Coconut shrimp is my absolute favorite.  That sounds like a productive and rewarding day.    Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Lindsey Brackett talks about writing and a giveaway.  #amwriting #lowcountry 

Lindsey  Lindsey Brackett is giving away an ebook of The Bridge Between.  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing…


TheBrideBetween

The Bridge Between

Louisa Coultrie Halloway has returned home as caretaker for the family home on Edisto Island, but years before she left this world behind. Now she flounders to find her place. When Liam Whiting, a local professor studying tidal creek preservation, invites Lou to join his research team, she welcomes the opportunity for purpose.

David, her ex-husband, has followed Lou and their children to Edisto. As he finds his footing in this new life, their once strained relationship eases into a familiar rhythm—and he hopes for more.

But the past still has a hold on them all, especially in the presence of Grace Watson, whose son intends to marry Lou and David’s daughter. Somehow, Grace and Lou must let the past of a shared love settle between them.

In this idyllic setting, relationships, like the creeks, deepen and shift. Once more, Lou finds herself caught between the life she’s chosen—and the love that might be meant to be.


BrackettLWEBLindsey P. Brackett writes southern fiction infused with her rural Georgia upbringing and Lowcountry roots. Her debut novel, Still Waters, inspired by family summers at Edisto Beach, released in 2017. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters was named an INSPY finalist and the 2018 Selah Book of the Year. Her second novel, The Bridge Between, released July 31, 2019. Download Magnolia Mistletoe with newsletter signup at lindseypbrackett.com or on Instagram and Facebook

3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Lisa Worthey Smith. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lisa: I like books that challenge me to think and to make a difference in the world. For entertainment, John Grisham is a master story weaver. I enjoy untangling the mysteries and trying to discern who is telling the truth along with the main character. His legal series still ranks high on my “favorites” list.

Joel Rosenberg’s fiction is amazing. His stories that weave in plausible scenarios of how the coming events in prophecy might take place, are very thought provoking. I always spend a good bit of time researching Scripture while reading his books to verify the authenticity of prophetic themes he uses. I find that he is always right on track with the Bible. His ability to mesh those prophecies into current day events always intrigues me.

Relatively new author, Jim Miller, has a great action-packed adventure series—The Cody Musket series. His characters show courage and faith as they fight for causes we see in the headlines today. His action-packed books have relatable characters with flaws that only endear the reader all the more. His books remind me that to be a hero only requires we take action rather than sit on the sideline.

I also like nonfiction books about people who have done extraordinary things such as Same Kind of Different As Me and Kisses from Katie.

Sounds like you read a good variety 🙂

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

Lisa: I like to write about “ordinary” people and events, and find the profound within them. On my wish list, stories from preachers, teachers, and the first family—Adam and Eve. I am fascinated with the Jewish Pseudepigrypha with details about those early biblical figures. Although not canonized Scripture, I am using that information to make notes now about Adam and Eve and how they coped with life outside the garden for a possible biblical fiction book.

That would be an interesting topic…

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?

Lisa: Sprout, the olive tree who grew up in the Garden of Gethsemane from my biblical fiction/allegory The Wisdom Tree. He lived at a pivotal point in time and interacted on such a personal level with Jesus. If I were there with him, I would hope to see Mary—mother of Jesus. I would ask her to tell me about Jesus as a young man growing up and interacting with others. I would love to hear her thoughts, see Him through her eyes, knowing He was the Son of God. I can’t imagine having the words to express the emotions and wonder she felt.

The Wisdom Tree is a lovely book and meeting Mary would be enlightening. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

Click to tweet: Author Lisa Worthey Smith talks about favorite authors, the Bible, and her latest book. #TheGroundKisser #amreading

Lisa has graciously offered a print copy of The Ground Kisser to one reader who leaves a comment below.


The Ground Kisser

An inspiring story of sacrifice, courage, and perseverance, in the face of incredible odds. When you reach your promise land, you kiss the ground.

Saigon had fallen. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh’s parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for boat passage for all eight family members, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in Vietnam, or risk separating the family to give a child a chance to survive. They had only hours to decide.

Under the cover of darkness, two weeks after her twelfth birthday, Thanh left on an overloaded riverboat set for Australia through the pirate-riddled South China Sea. If their boat could survive that, then Thanh would find a way to have her family join her Down Under.
But that would never happen. One after another, obstacles most people can’t even imagine threatened to take her life. 

This is the true story of Thanh Dương Boyer’s strength, courage, and perseverance in the harshest of circumstances to fulfill the dream of living under the banner of freedom. The Ground Kisser is a faith-building, flag-waving story that will inspire you to recognize the important things in life, treasure them, and take action to preserve them—even if it cost your life.


Long time Bible student and teacher, Lisa Worthey Smith is sometimes called “The Parable Teacher.” She often uses ordinary events to explain a biblical truth. In fact, her first book was about an injured hummingbird she rehabbed. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was voted into the international list of “50 Indie Books Worth Reading 2016.”

The Wisdom Tree followed in 2017. One of the Vietnamese boat people who now lives in the USA read The Wisdom Tree, and asked Lisa to help her pen her memoir. The Ground Kisser released in 2019, placed in the NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards, and is an Amazon bestseller.

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.

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The Calling of Ella McFarland

A Rock Creek Christmas Collection

The Mending of Lillian Cathleen  

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide