A Love Most Worthy by Amy Anguish

IMG_5853Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m pleased to introduce you to author Amy Anguish this morning. Amy is talking about the writing process. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Amy: I’m a Christian, wife, mother, author, and artist. I love cats, tea, and chocolate, as well as books that don’t let me put them down

What do you love most about the writing process?

Amy: Strangely enough, I like it when my characters take over and start acting on their own. My husband doesn’t understand this, because I’m the one writing the story. If you think about it, though, even though I created these “people” in my head, if I did my job right and I gave them enough personality and character traits, it would be obvious what choices they would make in a situation, even if I didn’t see it coming when I first started the book.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Amy: So many! Right now, I have five or six manuscripts that I would consider finished, but unedited. One edited, but not published yet. And another I’m in the process of rewriting. At least two or three more that need to be rewritten.

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

Amy: Don’t use dialog tags because you’ll only have to take them back out when editors start looking at your manuscript. Ha! Not to mention the few that were written back when people still used two spaces between a period and the next sentence. In the fifteen or so years that I’ve been putting together stories, there have been quite a few things change stylistically, and it still catches me off-guard in moments when I notice what I’m working on was written back when things were done differently.

Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Pen, Table

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Amy:  It’s hard to stick with one project at a time, but I highly recommend it. I’m going a little crazy right now editing, rewriting, and promoting my new book all at the same time. If you’re like me, and have an idea for a new story come to mind while you’re trying to write another, just stop, jot the idea down, and then go finish what you were already working on. That way, you won’t forget your idea, but you also won’t end up with six or seven unfinished manuscripts because you stopped to work on something else.

What does literary success look like to you?

Amy: I’m not an author for the money. Honestly, success to me is someone coming up and saying that something in my story moved them, made them think, or even gave them hope. That means more than just about anything else.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Amy: My “edited” manuscript has been submitted to the contest Love Inspired is running right now. I’m waiting to hear if I’ve made it past round one or not. It’s about a girl who is trying to adopt a baby because she and the infant were the only survivors of a car crash. In the meantime, she’s moved back to her hometown and is trying to renew her friendship with her lifetime best friend, only to discover there may be something more to it.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Amy Anguish shares lessons learned in her writing journey #Amy Anguish #FaithandHope @InspiredPrompt


Faith and Hope

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Two sisters. One summer. Multiple problems.

Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God.

Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything?

For two sisters who haven’t gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster … or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God. Can they overcome all life is throwing at them? Or is this going to destroy their relationship for good?


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Amy R Anguish

Author of An Unexpected Legacy

Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

Follow her at her website or on Facebook.

Meet Jennifer Uhlarik–Managing and Acquisitions Editor for Trailblazer Western Fiction

By Jennifer Hallmark

April is all about editors on Inspired Prompt blog. So I’m more than happy to introduce Jennifer Uhlarik, managing and acquisitions editor for Trailblazer Western Fiction, the newest imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Trailblazer Western Fiction seeks to recapture the glory days of the Western, but with an updated feel that will ignite the hearts and minds of a whole new generation of readers. Trailblazer offers stories that combine the action, adventure, mystery, and romance of the American West, all wrapped up in the rugged men and brave women who left the comfort of life back east to discover and settle untamed lands in the West. Whether historical or contemporary, our westerns tell the stories of those who braved rugged terrain and insurmountable obstacles to make a life in the beauty and vastness of the western frontier.

Welcome, Jennifer! What a great name you have 🙂

You are the managing and acquisitions editor for Trailblazer Western fiction. What drew you to this particular job?

The job really fell in my lap. I’ve been in the writing industry as an author for years, and while I’ve had some successes selling western romance stories, I have other titles, either fully written or in the works, that are more western/less romance. Those have been a much harder sell. So as I was talking with author extraordinaire Eva Marie Everson about the difficulty in selling the more traditional western titles I have, she dropped the idea of opening a western line.

I was already working for Eva in her Southern Fiction line as an editor, so after hearing her out, I thought about it, prayed about it, and a very short time later, I felt like this was the direction God was leading me in. So Eva and I approached Eddie Jones at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas about opening Trailblazer Western Fiction, and Eddie quickly said yes. And, “poof!” I was the managing editor of Trailblazer Western Fiction. LOL

When you first entered the writing world, did you want to become an editor?

Nnnnoooooo! In fact, years after entering the writing world…when Eva first approached me about working for her as an editor in her Southern Fiction line, it was such an overwhelming idea that I was paralyzed with self-doubt for several days. Tears were shed, friends and family had to give me pep talks, and only after a lot of thought and prayer did I know this was a direction I was supposed to go in.

What are some pros and cons of being an editor?

I think the pros far outweigh any cons. As an editor, I get to read and acquire some amazing fiction, which is always a plus. Another part I love is that I can now help other authors realize their dreams of publication. After years of struggling to find my path to publication, it’s fantastic to know I’m in a place to help others along the way. And it’s also exciting to be able to help other authors hone their stories into that bright, shiny gem that readers will love!

Cons? Well, for one, I can’t take every story. I wish I could, even just to encourage the author. But Trailblazer is small, so there’s no way I could take every story that came across my desk. And…Life is busier when I’m working with an author toward publication of their book. But in those busy times, I refocus on the pros and move right on past these minor cons!

What percentage of your authors are debut authors?

At this moment, fifty percent. However, I don’t have a set formula for how many debut authors vs. established ones I’ll take. It really depends on the story for me. Tell a great story with even a middling amount of skill, and I’ll give it serious consideration.

What submission advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Two things. First, Trailblazer is a niche market, so it’s important that you know the genre. Read western books, get a feel for the genre, and then craft a story that fits.

And second, be sure to study the guidelines and develop a proposal with all the elements listed on our submission page.

As a bonus piece of advice, keep in mind that Trailblazer (and all of the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas lines) are moving to a Christian worldview, but not overtly Christian style of storytelling for 2020 and beyond. We are still looking for clean reads, so no gratuitous violence, language, etc. But there doesn’t have to be an overt Christian theme or spiritual arc to the story either.

What stories are you and Trailblazer interested in for future publications?

I am open to new and interesting ideas. I love the classic westerns like Louis L’Amour used to write, but I’d also love to find some contemporary westerns, westerns told in a more complex way, or westerns paired with other genres. You can read more of our vision and desires at https://lpcbooks.com/trailblazer-western-fiction-submissions/

Thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer!


Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed  with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times.

In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

You can find Jennifer at her website, Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


Sand Creek Serenade

Dr. Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to adversity. She’s fought to be taken seriously since childhood, when her father began training her in the healing arts. Finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon, where she’s come to practice medicine under her brother’s watchful eye.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the peace treaty recently negotiated between his people and the Army. But a chance encounter with the female doctor ignites memories of his upbringing among the whites. Too intrigued to stay away, tension erupts with the soldiers, and Five Kills is injured.

As he recuperates under the tender care of the pretty healer, an unlikely bond forms. However, their fledgling love is put to the test when each realizes that a much greater danger awaits—a danger they are wholly unable to stop, and one which neither may survive.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Slattery

Welcome to another edition of 3 Questions Wednesday, with our returning guest, Jennifer Slattery. Jennifer is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation and authored six contemporary novels. Lets get started!

First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Jennifer: Oh, this is such a tough question! What genre? For Bible studies, Priscilla Shirer. That girl is amazing! For nonfiction … Probably Lysa Terkeurst. For fiction … I’m pretty eclectic, but maybe Nicholas Sparks? As far as special author friends, Jen Hallmark is a treasure I hold dear!

Great books by all those authors. And I’m sure “our” Jennifer appreciates your kind words.  Now here’s a fun question—

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

Jennifer:  I’m not a historical writer, but I’ve always thought it’d be intriguing to get into Timothy’s (the young pastor of the church in ancient Ephesus) head. He lived and served during such a tough time, and yet he stood faithful and immovable.

He would be a wonderful character in a story. And what a challenge to write about his relationship with Paul. 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?

Jennifer: I’m fairly certain Faith and I would become great friends. She likes coffee, bike riding, art … Though she might get annoyed at my complete lack of talent. Haha! I also get a kick out the old lady that lives in the parish house. She’s feisty, quirky, and hilarious!

If Paige and I got a chance to hang out, I’d want to go hiking and pick her brain regarding the Austin art culture and how she got into stained glass window restoration. If I got to spend time with the little old lady that lives on the church’s property, I’d probably want to bake. I have a feeling she’d create some rather interesting, though perhaps not edible, concoctions.

Baking and cookies sound yummy to me.  Thanks, Jennifer, for visiting us on 3 Questions Wednesday, and allowing our readers to know you better.

Click to Tweet: Author Jennifer Slattery answers our 3 Questions and you could win a copy of her latest release, Restoring Her Faith . @InspiredPrompt   #amreading #giveaway

Readers, Jennifer will give a print copy of her book Restoring Her Faith (US winner only) to one lucky winner. Don’t forget to comment below to be entered.


Restoring Her Faith

She left belief behind…Yet this family could change her mind.

With two boys to raise, a fledgling contracting business to run and a family ranch to keep afloat, widower Drake Owens finds his hands aren’t just full they’re overflowing. When Faith Nichols is hired to help him renovate the church, he’s drawn to the beautiful artist, but he can’t fall for a woman who isn’t a believer. Can love restore her faith and his heart?

Buy it at Amazon.


Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels and maintains a devotional blog found at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.

She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maxium impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Hidden in a List by Marlene Houk

writing picture Marlene HoukGood morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. We have Marlene Houk with us this morning. Marlene is talking about the writing process and her new book, Hidden in a List

Marlene, tell us a little about yourself.

Marlene: I’m a woman of faith, wife, mother, grandmother and many other roles. My career was in accounting and I’m now semi-retired with writing and consulting vying for my time. Sid, my husband, and I have enjoyed and stumbled through bringing up two grown and flown children, but my daughter is close and serves as my personal guru of technology, encouragement, and critique in this writing journey. 😊 I enjoy snowtubing, soapmaking and visiting Ireland.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Marlene: I heard someone say at a writers’ conference, “I dance with words.” God gifted us with the ability to waltz to the rhythm of words and gave us language. He even called his beloved Son, the Word. The Bible fascinates me with its structure, patterns, and implications. And God, the Master Storyteller’s methods work because he created us to respond to Jesus. I love to copy those same methods in my writing.

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

Marlene:  Too many. One unpublished book and about eight half-finished books wait patiently for me.

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

Marlene:  Two pieces of advice rise to the top.

  1. Learn from the Master Writer: the Lord. His ways are best, and he created us to have the same emotions, needs, and pleasures as the rest of humanity. These ways help us to understand the Bible. Capitalize on that and learn his methods which are stories, questions, the senses, word pictures, figures of speech, patterns, etc.
  2. Write. Because I’m a backslidden perfectionist, training myself to write rather than waiting for the perfect moment and inspiration is difficult.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Marlene:  In the big picture sense, the traps are the same as elsewhere in life. Our strengths (For example, I strive for excellence but drift into perfectionism.) are our weaknesses. When the Bible says, “the wisdom of the prudent is to know his way,” (Proverbs 14:8), it means writing too. If we know our strengths, then we know our weaknesses. When we see our personalities mirrored in many others’ reactions to us, then we know our way. And to excel at our careers supports our writing.

We have the same foibles everyone falls in to. For example:

  • I somehow think that writing is a luxury, and, like a nap, put it off until I deserve it. But writing is an accountability for the gifts and the truths that we discover. They should be a light set on a hill rather than under a bushel. (Matthew 5:15)
  • The craft of writing takes time, and I want to purchase the book and consider it done.
  • And, like most people, my creations are my babies, not to be critiqued.

The traps are the same as experienced writers.

What does literary success look like to you?

Marlene: Literary success would fulfill my desires when people receive my work and grow spiritually from it.

Future projects or WIP you can talk about?

Marlene:  My current WIP is a Bible study whose working title is Divine Drama: transforming patterns in the lives of Bible women. It won first place for Bible study at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC). Based on easily-observed patterns in their stories, we can absorb divine truth that changes how we view life.

When this one is published, there are about 7 others in various stages of completion that follow this pattern. And there’s an infinite number of other possibilities when studying women of the Bible.

Thank you for joining us today, Marlene!


writing picture Marlene Houk

Marlene Houk writes a series of Bible studies that connect ancient women to us, conveying messages of hope, faith, and warning. She has recently published a short-read on Amazon Kindle called, Hidden in a List: secrets from Bible women

Marlene is passionate about finding the Master Director’s heart prints in the women he has positioned in his Word. And she loves to ask unusual questions such as, “What one word did Eve omit in her conversation with the devil?”

She writes for the Blue Ridge Christian News and contributes to the Short & Sweet Series published by Grace Publishing, compiled by Susan King. She also encourages women through her teaching and speaking ministry. Her Bible study, Backstage Pass to Emotion Commotion, won first place at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

  Marlene is a graduate of Covington Theological Seminary with a degree in Ministry and Gardner-Webb University with a degree in Business Administration. Learn more about the fascinating world of Bible women at www.MarleneHouk.com.

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Maglenes_Hidden in a ListDo you have a plan when life kicks you to the curb in its daily grind and when disaster strikes? Imagine relying on simple, doable, Scripture-based steps to realign your emotions with God’s Word. In this short read, you can:

  • Unlock proven secrets to control reactions and instead act from a God-given perspective.
  • Triumph in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as he overcomes fears and failures.
  • Delight for a lifetime in using these secrets and sharing them with others.
  • Conquer insecurities by following the women of the Bible.
  • Boldly increase your faith and hope as a daily part of life.

3 Questions Wednesday with Sheila Ingle

Sheila Ingle Headshots (8 of 52)Welcome to another edition of 3 Questions Wednesday, and welcome Sheila IngleSheila is a multi-published author that likes to write about the bravery of Patriot women. Lets get started!

First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Sheila:  This is a most difficult questions, because I have so many favorite authors. From age twelve until now, I have been a voracious reader. Every two weeks, mother would take us to the library that summer. I would come home with fifteen books, the library’s limit, every two weeks. Now used book stores and mark downs on Amazon are my favorite shopping places!

On the Anvil was the first book of Max Lucado’s that I read. As the mother of a teenage boy, I felt like I was stuck on an anvil, and the title grabbed me. Lucado’s writings are like that. If it isn’t the title, it’s a story that pierces your heart. And sometimes, it is just one sentence in one chapter. His books have their own shelf on one of my bookcases. I have shared his children’s books, You Are Special, The Crippled Lamb, and Because I Love You in Sunday School classes and ladies Bible studies. This is the third year I have used his daily devotional guided, God is with you Every Day, during my quiet time. Hearing him speak in person two years ago was delightful; his folksy, humorous, and kind voice gave credence to the godly and thoughtful author I had been reading. His honesty about his own mistakes makes me admire him.  He is a storyteller, and this narrative style grips both my mind and heart, as well as his heart for individuals. His writing encourages and challenges me.

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to author, Charles Martin. Another talented storyteller and Christian fiction writer. Hard to put down his novels. And admit to staying up way too late to finish one. His characters and plots pull me into the book. Trouble has a critical edge in the plot, and not all the books end up with “they lived happily ever after.” But the struggles are real and poignant and thought-provoking. The details in his research are impeccable, and the settings are genuine. His books are love stories with authentic problems; there are unimaginable twists and turns. Each one has brought me to tears. I haven’t read his latest book, What If It’s True. In this one, he uses his imagination to pierce Jesus’ ministry on earth, as well as Jesus’knock to the author’s life. Yes, it is the next one on my table.

I do love reading anything by Max Lucado, but I haven’t stumbled across Charles Martin yet.  I will have to look him up 🙂 Now here’s a fun question—

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

Sheila:  I am curious about the strength that makes ordinary people do extraordinary things. In writing about three South Carolina Revolutionary War heroines, I looked for an answer to that conundrum. To put it simply, I believe they did the hard things because that was the next thing. Threatened with a reaping hook around her neck, Martha Bratton refused to tell the Tories where her husband was. Elizabeth Jackson walked into the office of the commander of the Camden prison to demand her two sons be released. Perhaps their hearts overruled their common sense, but they could do nothing else.

riseupSo I’m looking for another woman that stood strong in the face of hard times. I have read about a Huguenot woman who fled France with her two brothers and landed penniless in Carolina. Not being familiar with the plight of the Huguenots in a country that was ruled by Catholics, what I have read is fascinating. There was no safety for almost 100 years, and flight became the only option. This is a new branch of our Carolina history that I want to know about, because I believe in knowing and sharing the stories of those who lived out their beliefs. Religious conviction is not to be tampered with. Look at what happened after Martin Luther lit a fire by nailing his complaints against the Catholic church? She might be my next heroine.

I love these ideas! 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?

Sheila:  Victorian England was not a place for a strong woman like Jane Eyre. As the narrator and protagonist of this book, I applauded her forte. Though as an orphan, she was taught compliance and inferiority by her aunt and cousins, even abused by the household. But Jane had gumption and believed in herself; she knew there was a place and family for her. She could have become Rochester’s mistress, but she wasn’t willing to compromise what she knew was right.

I would like for us to talk over tea and biscuits about this struggle. I have lots of questions. She could have taken the easy way out. Why did she rescue Rochester from the fire? She is described as plain; has this bothered her? Why does she go back to check on Rochester, rather than going on to India? Are the moors depressing? Has she ever wanted more say in her life? What about fighting back against her aunt? How did she keep on keeping on from childhood to adulthood against so many odds? What did she mean when she said, “It is a pity that doing one’s best does not always answer.”

After the questions, perhaps she will want to know about my independent life in the 21st century. Perhaps we could compare her life as a governess and mine as a teacher. I wonder if we have read some of the same books? Knowing I would think her flowing gowns would be beautiful, I wonder what she would think of my clothes. (I do wear long skirts.) My hair is short, and hers is probably long and pinned up.

All this sounds like a time of girl-talk. Maybe we would take a walk, and I might borrow one of her bonnets and parasols. As Jane said once, “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

This sounds like a happy afternoon to me….

Yes it sure does..   Thanks, Sheila, for visiting us on 3 Questions Wednesday, and allowing our readers to know you better.

Click to Tweet: Author Sheila Ingle answers our 3 Questions and you could win a copy of her latest release, Tales of a Cosmic Possum. @InspiredPrompt   #Interview #giveaway

Readers, Sheila will mail one copy of of her book Tales of a Cosmic Possum to one lucky winner. Don’t forget to comment below to be entered.


9781620206126Tales of a Cosmic Possum: From the Appalachia Mountains to the Cotton Mills

Eight short stories of women who worked in the cotton mills in upstate South Carolina share the legacy of three generations of one Appalachian family.

Sheila Ingle’s husband John was brought up in Ingle Holler in Union, South Carolina, with eight other Ingle families. They worked together in the mills, shared their gardens, attended church, and enjoyed the playing and singing of the songs from the Grand Ole Opry. When five of the brothers went off to war, those who couldn’t fight took care of their families. The Ingles stuck together, just like they were taught in the Appalachian hills of Erwin, Tennessee.

Love of God, love of family, and love of country were modelled in each home. In fact, one year Make Ingle put his sons and grandsons together to build Hillside Baptist Church. Adults kept up with the newspapers and the radios; world happenings were important. Any type of sickness brought a barrage of soup and cornbread, because children still had to eat.

On those twenty acres, the children played in the creek, cowboys and Indians, and hide-and-seek. They built their own wagons and sleds to race down the hill on the dry, hickory leaves. All the boys learned to shoot a .22 caliber, and John’s mother Lois could light a match with her shots. Living in Ingle Holler was home, where each one was accepted.


Sheila Ingle Headshots (8 of 52)

Sheila C. Ingle

A graduate of Converse College with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Sheila Ingle is a lifelong resident of S.C.

Her published books, Courageous Kate, Fearless Martha, Brave Elizabeth, and Walking with Eliza focus on the bravery of Patriot women living in Revolutionary War South Carolina. Tales of a Cosmic Possum, not only shares Ingle family history, but also South Carolina and cotton mill history.

Serving on the board for eight years of Children’s Security Blanket (a 501c3 organization that serves families that have children with cancer), she is the Board Chairman. She is also a member of Chapter D PEO, where she served as vice president and chaplain; Circle 555(a local women’s giving group), where she has served on the grant committee; and a board member of Spartanburg County Historical Association, serving on the Walnut Grove Committee.

Married for thirty-eight years to John Ingle, they have one son Scott. Besides being avid readers, the South Carolina beaches are their favorite spots for vacations.

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