Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fay Lamb's "Charisse" interview & book giveaway

Hello All! Please join me in welcoming Fay Lamb to my blog. She's here to tell us a little about herself and her book Charisse.

Now it's time to announce the winner . . . 


Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a lifelong resident of a small town on the East Coast of Florida. Titusville is best known for the Kennedy Space Center. I also have a passion for two other places: Cedar Key, Florida, and the mountains of Western North Carolina.

I’m a past-secretary for American Christian Fiction Writers. I also served for four years as the moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. I had to give up the moderation last year around this time to concentrate on my writing career, but I one of my joys in life is working with authors. I miss my Scribes’ friends, and I have every intention of getting back to work there as soon as I can.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?
 I love to write stories about characters who struggle with real life issues. I also believe that storytelling is the best way to reach a person who isn’t open to hearing the Gospel or even Christians who haven’t realized that the answer to all of their problems is Christ. When they read my novels, I hope they recognize themselves in the pages and when they see that a character can overcome some tough situations—some even caused by their own bad decisions—I pray that they will find the courage to reach out and speak to the One who can help them overcome as well.

Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
I love music, which is strange since I can’t carry a tune. If I sang for a camera, it would go viral because it would make people laugh. But I look for different talent, mostly indie musicians who have the nerve to create some awesome tunes outside the larger industry. Often, the ones I choose end up making a name for themselves. So while I might not be able to carry a tune, I think I have an ear for talent. Oh, and I also tat and collect salt and pepper shakers.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?                                                                                                        That would be an unequivocal and resounding yes. I had a somewhat difficult childhood. No boohoo story or anything like that, but my sister is thirteen years older than I am. She married when I was seven, so it was like being an only child. My mother worked long and hard hours, and often I sat in a car outside her workplace. I entertained myself by telling stories. When I was very little, I staged plays with the neighborhood kids in our backyards. The plays were from stories I’d thought up. By some unusual circumstances, I entered the first grade when I was a very young five-year-old. I’d known how to write, but that tablet with the bold lines and the dashes where we learned to put words on paper because magical for me. A writer was born.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
I believe I have as many answers for this question as the number of times it has been asked. Always, always, I want to tell writers, “Never give up.” But now, let me put it a different way. Don’t allow anyone to steal your dreams—including yourself. Part of being a writer is about learning to take critique. I can tell you that an author—no matter how well they write—is unable to judge his or her own writing objectively. Critique is necessary. Learn to accept criticism, but also learn to dismiss criticism. It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer. Maybe we can reword it a bit: “Lord grant me the serenity to realize that others might have a valid opinion about my work, the courage to change my work when necessary, and the wisdom to know when my work is just fine.” A little lame, but you can see what I mean. Sometimes writers are so stubborn about their prose, or they allow someone’s opinion to hurt their feelings, and they refuse to move forward. If they do so, for all intents and purposes (I’ve been wanting to write that phrase all evening for some reason), they are stealing their own dreams from themselves.

What book are you currently working on?                                                                                         Actually, I’m on a hiatus from novel writing, but only until September 1 when I plan to have my bottom firmly planted in a chair and working on the next novel in my The Ties that Bind Series. That novel is entitled Hope, which is the third book in that series. I have been writing, but it has been the development of workshops I have taught or will teach this month. Each are about the craft of storytelling.

Please tell us a little about your book.                                                                                                        Charisse is the first novel in the series I mentioned above.

He wants a family. She wants retribution.
     Charisse Wellman’s husband has been gone a year, and she’s about to lose the only home her son, V.J., has ever known. She’s quit law school but the money just isn’t there. Her only option is to work as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The only problem: Gideon is the judge who let her husband’s killer go free, and Gideon doesn’t know the connection.
Gideon Tabor can’t believe that the woman interviewing for the job is the girl he loved in high school. Charisse is hesitant about accepting his job offer, and when she does, Gideon makes every attempt to apologize for his relationship-ending blunder in high school. Charisse accepts his apology, but she keeps him at a distance. When Gideon learns that Charisse’s anger actually stems from his release of the man who ran down her husband, he tries to explain, but Charisse doesn’t want Gideon’s excuses or the love he has to offer. She wants her husband’s killer to pay.

    This novel and the three that will follow are set closer to home than most of my novels. In fact, Charisse grew up in my hometown of Titusville, Florida. We both graduated from the same high school. She even loves the same drive-in restaurant I frequent on a daily basis.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with new friends. My website is There you’ll see my blog Inner Source, which provides writers the opportunity to write about the issues God brought to them in the writing of their novels and books.

I’m also The Tactical Editor on Facebook. I offer daily editing advice and writing how-tos Monday through Friday at And I love to connect personally with friends on my page: This is where I have lots of fun.

I use Twitter for a lot of promo, and sometimes I try to slip something funny into a post, and I can be found there at

I hope your readers will look me up.

As always, if you mention in with your comment you're a new or old follower, your name will be added to the drawing twice.

Drawing will be held August 31

Sunday, August 18, 2013

J.M. Downey's "A Time to Say Goodbye" interview & book giveaway

Hello, All! Please join me in welcoming J.M. Downey (Josie) to my blog. She's here to tell us a little about herself and her book, "A Time To Say Goodbye."
It's that time again, congrats goes to . . . 

Tell us a little about yourself.
Besides my faith, husband and six-year-old daughter writing is my life. I have a Master’s degree in literature and have taught English at three small community colleges. I have also worked as a community affairs writer for two newspapers.  Currently I work with a test scoring firm, where I grade and evaluate the effectiveness of state sanctioned writing tests from throughout the country.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?                                                            
I really don’t know. Stories just appear in my mind, I fall in love with them and then start writing.
Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies?  
My favorite guilty pleasure is video games. I play them more than my husband and my daughter combined. Whenever I get burnt out on reading and writing, I put in one of my favorite games, Super Mario’s Galaxy or Kirby and defeat the foes. I’m from the Nintendo generation of the 80s. I also love traveling, creating new recipes in the kitchen and of course reading.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. Ever since I was a little girl, I would write stories. I wrote my first novel when I was 17. Twenty drafts later that novel became A time to Say Goodbye. Throughout the years, I would float between different dreams, but I always came back to writing.

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
Don’t rush it. Learning to write takes years. I’m embarrassed to think about the drafts, I sent to agents and publishers before they were ready.

What book are you currently working on?

I am in the editing stages of a novella called Bonds of Tradition. The story is about a young woman raised in the US by parents from a former Eastern European bloc country. The story chronicles her struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture when her father forcibly brings her back to their home country and the young prince that falls in love with her.  I plan to release the novel in October.
Please tell us a little about your book.

A Time to Say Goodbye is the first book I ever wrote. Its back cover description sums things up best.
Cotton plantation daughter, May Lynn Whitley sees nothing wrong with owning others. After all how would they fend for themselves if it wasn't for gracious people like her family? But a handsome young preacher’s probing words and mesmerizing blue eyes unlock a new sense of justice and lead her on a journey that will change her life and soul. But she is betrothed and May Lynn’s controlling fiance’ will do anything to make sure they wed. Anything including destroying all that she holds dear. Set in Antebellum America, May Lynn’s adventure spans the Eastern Seaboard as she joins a movement she once scorned.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
A Time to Say Goodbye

Thanks so much, Josie, for taking to time to visit with us!

As always, if you mention in with your comment, you're a new or old follower, your name will be added a second time to the drawing.

Drawing will be held August, 24