Betty to Betty

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I have a special treat for you this morning, so pour another cup, and settle in.

Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes is one of my favorite authors. I’ll never forget the first time I picked up one of her books, also published by Write Integrity Press. I was so amazed by the world she created, the characters, and well-researched background. With the release of Imperfect Promises, the series is complete.

So, let’s get down to business!

Thank you, Betty Noyes, for taking the time to visit with me. There are two very important elements in your Imperfect series: family and setting. As an introduction to the stories, please tell us a little about each of these elements.

Family – I am a Christian writing for a Christian press, but I don’t want to just ‘preach to the choir.’ As we age and die off, the choir must be replenished. I want to reach outside the Christian community for those readers searching for a good, clean, entertaining book that isn’t glutted with the profanity, explicit violence, and gratuitous sex so prevalent in today’s literature. My goal is to deliver a satisfying, entertaining story that readers can get lost in while ingesting some of the seeds I’ve sown. I want them to see Christians, not as adversaries, but as real people like themselves, people who struggle with the same problems, moral dilemmas, and failings. In my books, I want them to know what a strong, family unit can do through love, support, and devotion. I believe our country and way of life is in peril unless we reestablish and fortify the family unit.

Setting – The key to engaging a reader is to provide a connection for them—to a character(s), to an event or circumstance, and/or to a setting. The trick is to describe these people/events/places just enough to give something familiar to the reader, someone they can picture, an event they recall, or a place they’ve been to or seen. For example, I think just about everybody can remember a time spent in doctor’s office or hospital emergency waiting room. Enough description—uncomfortable chairs all lined up, squalid carpeting, antiseptic smells, sick people slumped over, a sobbing child, television turned to a boring program, dogeared outdated magazines—can drop you right back to that moment.

The opening scene of your final book is gritty, and kind of ugly, but a page-turner, because I want to find out why Jonas Cameron is in this place, doing what he’s doing. How would you describe your main character? Give readers a sense of who he is (without revealing too much).

It’s interesting to me that you see the opening chapter as gritty and kind of ugly because all of my male readers loved the realism. That’s been one of my biggest struggles while writing from dual point of views. As a woman, it’s hard to put myself into the mind of a man. That’s why I have several male beta readers I call upon all the time. This opening scene does not show Nigeria as the beautiful country it actually is, rather it reveals the mindset of the main character, a soldier. It reflects the resentment he feels for being there, the extended time his mission has taken, the harsh landscape and difficult weather conditions he’s subjected himself to, how he grapples with doing the deed, and the fact that he might not yet get to leave. All of these factors flavor his attitude, his state of mind, his thoughts.

As I mentioned earlier, all my characters are flawed, hence the name Imperfect in the titles. We all mean well, but seldom live up to our intentions. Jonas is the middle child, older than his twin sisters, but the youngest of the three brothers. While he followed in his brothers’ footsteps and joined the military right out of college, Jonas’s path took him down some pretty dark roads. Now separated from that life, he’s still bound by oath to keep those secrets, and struggles with the right or wrongness of his past decisions.

I loved the realism. I was immediately drawn in to the story. And you’re right about male readers.

In the last couple of books before this one, I picked up the idea that Jonas is a little hopeless where love is concerned. It will take a special woman to deal with his past. So, who is Shea Townsend? Can you give us a glimpse into her character?

Jonas comes with the typical bachelor attitude. He’s watched his two older brothers and wants to sow his wild oats just as they did. But as his brothers and sisters all fall into committed relationships, he begins to recognize the emptiness of his life. He sees the joy his siblings have found, and wonders if it might be available to him, too.

Shea Townsend is a complicated character. She lost her mother’s influence at an early age, and was raised by a mentally unstable father who saw her more as another hand to help out than as a child to raise. Having grown up on a cattle farm, she became very knowledgeable about the biological workings of the world and yet remained intriguingly naïve with little real-world exposure. When her one foray into a relationship ended in betrayal, she chose to protect herself by shutting down any man who showed interest in her.

Shea actually appeared in book one of the series, and had several more interactions with Jonas as the series progressed. Their connection was a slow build, a necessary requirement given her wariness and his commitment phobia. They actually became friends first, before the attraction between them was allowed to sizzle. Shea’s character arc takes from self-inflicted independence and zero trust to accepting that others could love her without having a hidden agenda. She learns to accept Jonas as he is, while recognizing there are some parts of him she’ll never know.

About the author: Who is Elizabeth Noyes?

I’m a southern girl. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, but lost much of my southern accent when I married an Army man and spent the next twenty-five years following him around the world. Now that we’ve settled in a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta, I like to say that I still speak the language.

My husband and I still like to travel, but we also enjoy spending time with our three grandchildren who live nearby. We go to soccer games and gymnastic meets, and babysit the g-kids and g-dogs whenever asked. I’m involved in several Bible studies and am active in our church, but I also enjoy playing bridge and baking. Oh yes, I’m an avid reader and usually consume 3-4 books a week.

Of course, there’s my writing. I’m not the typical author who sets a word count quota and works a little bit every single day. When an idea comes to mind, I will spend hours upon hours for days upon days lost in the story until I get it all down.

I like your writing style! You visited the setting of your Imperfect stories last year, and I believe it was a special time for you. Tell us a little about that adventure.

As I mentioned, my husband and I enjoy traveling. Alaska was one place I’d not been, but he’d made many visits there while still in the service. I finally talked him into going (I told him I was going with or without him!), and he agreed it would be fun. The cruise to Alaska turned into a train trip across Canada following the cruise, and then it morphed into a road trip across the northwestern United States the week before the cruise. We spent a year planning all the details.

On this road trip we took Route 93 down through Montana and Idaho to the (fictional) town of Hastings Bluff where the Camerons live. We stopped in the neighboring (real) town of Challis for lunch, toured the area, visited the library (yes, I sent them my books), and pointed out the places where different events in the books took place. What can I say? It’s was magical. Like coming home!

 

As this series ends, are you sad to say goodbye?

I’ve read many series that seem to go on and on … until I got tired of them and just stopped reading. I didn’t want my readers to reach that point. Could the story continue? Absolutely, I mean life goes on, right? Do my readers clamor for more? Yes, they do. Some have asked for a continuation, others want the parents’ story, and still others have asked for a spinoff. While I won’t rule out any possibilities, I’ve set my mind on another project for now.

Saying goodbye to Cate and Cody Cameron, Garrett and TJ, Wade and Lucy, Jonas and Shea, Mallory and James, and Cassie and Derek is … I’ll be honest, it’s hard. It hurts. They’ve become very real to me. They’re family, but I know I’m leaving them in the fond hearts of my readers, so I’m okay with The End.

What’s next for you?

I mentioned a new project above, but I actually have three I’m considering. One is a two-part story, another is a three-book trilogy, and the third is similar to The Imperfect Series, but with totally different characters. All three projects are screaming to be heard, but I need to get through the flurry of book release activities before I can settle in for a long day of writing. That’s when I’ll determine which of these new characters want most to be heard!

Follow Elizabeth Noyes on Facebook, Twitter, and at Amazon.

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In Alert Expectancy

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I hope you’re having a successful week. I am well aware that sometimes our days are filled with trials and tribulations. That’s when hope comes into play.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” [Romans 5: 1-5 NIV]

In The Message Bible, that word “hope” is translated as “in alert expectancy”. Isn’t that a wonderful phrase? Do you live in alert expectancy, looking for a brighter tomorrow? Or have you lost hope, as so many have?

I know all about that. I’ve endured depression and spiritual and physical weakness, when I felt completely incapable of enduring one more ounce of pain and sorrow.

If you examine the verses above, times like those build character, like steel in the forge. There are so many things in life I’d rather not experience, but if all of life was easy street, I’m not sure I’d have much to talk about. For one thing, that’s never going to happen. Everyone goes through difficulties in life. Some, more than others. You may question, “Why, me?”

One possible answer is found in scripture. Your character is revealed and strengthened by the forge of troubles, in much the same way as that mix of metals is heated white hot and pounded into the perfect instrument for use.

How do you endure such a test? By living in alert expectancy, giving God’s grace entrance into our lives. That grace is like the cold water the hot, newly-shaped steel instrument is dipped into. It cools the steel to the point it can be handled.

Okay, then how do you find this hope—this “alert expectancy”?

I renew my hope by reading passages such as the one above. I read encouraging scriptures, listen to worship and praise music, build myself up with devotionals. Listen to uplifting sermons. Take long walks and meditate. Spend time with loved ones. Spend time away. Get a mani-pedi. Go shopping. Whatever it takes.

There are times when I’m muddling through life, because I don’t have time to get away. I have too long a list of necessary things. I have people waiting on me to finish something. Do this, do that. And all the while, my heart is aching. I’m in mental and spiritual anguish that can result in physical pain.

Morning comes. I open the blinds to let in the bright sunshine and my heart is lighter. Hope is renewed. It’s baked fresh every morning, and its fragrance fills my spirit and lightens my load. I can do this. I CAN live in alert expectancy, waiting for the JOY that always follows.


In Rebecca’s Legacy, my protagonist goes through some character-building tribulations that lead her to examine her young life and reassess what’s really important. She discovers something that’s been there all along. The grace of God.

Too easy? I wouldn’t call what she endured easy.

Another character in the book goes through a trial-by-fire, too. For him, it’s an adjustment that changes his life path. That change sets to right so many things, giving not only him, but his entire family a brighter future.

So, if you knew ahead of time that what you are asked to endure for the present will result in a better future for yourself and your family, would you submit? Read that scripture passage a few times, until the words penetrate your heart and mind. Until you gain understanding. Look it up in The Message Bible and read it again. Let the Word of God build you, refine you, until you’re ready. Ready for what?

Your answer will come. Wait for it–in alert expectancy.

If you have time, please visit today’s interview with Margaret Kazmierczak. She marooned me on a desert island. You’ll find it here —the interview, not the island— Coffee, life and encouragement on the island couch.

Book Sales and Tour Stops

Hello, Thursday morning readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful week. If not, it’s nearly over. 🙂

I have a short post today, because the blog tour for Rebecca’s Legacy is well under way.  (Hey that rhymes!)

So far, we’ve been to the following blogs (in case you missed them):

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Remembrancy, August 12

Inklings and notions, August 13

Baker Kella, August 14

proud to be an autism mom, August 15

And later today, we are here:

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 16

Reading is my Super Power, August 16 (Interview)

And the rest of the tour (in case you’re dropping in at a later date)

Janices book reviews, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 19

Carpe Diem, August 20

A Baker’s Perspective, August 21

Power of Words, August 22 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczak, August 23 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, August 24

NOTE: Some of these are in a different time zone, so may post later in the day.

I’d like to invite you to stop in at each one and enter the drawing for the $50 Amazon Gift Card. When you leave a comment on the tour stop blog, you receive nine extra entries! Wow, that’s generous.

Not only do you have a chance to win the gift card, but you’ll find a recipe for the yummy pie Amy and Matt enjoy at Gert’s Diner, en route to Perry’s Landing. Gert’s Diner may be make-believe, but the pie is real—one of my favorite old-fashioned recipes.

Have you read Rebecca’s Legacy? Please consider leaving a book review at Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews are like gold to writers. There’s no better way to express your appreciation. And it doesn’t have to be long or beautifully written. “This is a wonderful story,” is a perfect review, especially with lots of those yellow stars. Lol.

And if you haven’t read the book yet, the price has been lowered on the Kindle version for a limited time. Click the lovely meme below for more information!

In closing—may your day be blessed, and may you be a blessing wherever you go!

Click to Purchase!

Don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter, you get the novella, “Lake Frigid Aire” absolutely FREE! Thanks! Betty’s Newsletter

 

 

What If Everything Changed?

This is release week for me, as the final book in the Legacy series, Rebecca’s Legacy launched.

Book 2, Carlotta’s Legacy, is still on sale for 99¢, so here’s an excerpt from the book, and a video created by my publisher:

4 November, 1929

Rebecca Lewis stared at the angry crowd gathered outside the bank where she’d worked as a secretary for only six weeks. It was Monday morning, almost one week after Black Tuesday.

What was she to do? Dare she cross the street, try to maneuver through that mob?

While she struggled to decide, her gaze fell on a familiar face behind the wheel of a brown Model A sedan—Robert Emerson, her best friend’s husband. She waved to gain his attention then ran toward the car when he halted.

He opened the car door from the inside. “Jump in. I think we better hit the road.”

She slid onto the seat next to him and closed the door as something hard hit the window.

Robert mashed the gas pedal and sped away.

Rebecca turned to gaze out the back window. “Thank you. I had no idea what to do.”

He checked his mirrors, then glanced at Rebecca. “I’m glad I happened along when I did. Apparently, someone recognized you as a bank employee.”

With a quick look in his direction, she braced herself with a hand to the dash as he made a hard left.

“Sorry. Another crowd up ahead.”

She laid a gloved hand at the base of her throat as her heart thumped. “Why are they doing this?”

“Panic. Everyone wants their money.” His eyes met hers. “Where’s your father?”

“He’s in New York. Trying to recover something … or other.”

“As is everyone—trying to recover something, I mean.”

She watched his profile, the hard set of his jaw. The last few weeks had been especially hard on him and his family. “What about you? Woods-Sanderson?”

“We’re all right, for now. Amelia was a smart lady. She diversified, invested worldwide.”

“This is worldwide, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, but …” he pulled into his driveway. “I hope you don’t mind if we cool our heels here. Nancy’ll be worried. You know how she is about listening to the wireless.”

Rebecca nodded. “I suppose I could use your telephone. Call my boss and let him know I tried to get there.”

“Good idea. If you need backup, I’ll be glad to put a word in.”

She smiled at him as he exited the sedan and walked around the car. She knew to stay put. Ever the gentleman. Nancy was one lucky lady. Of course, she would call it blessed. Rebecca fiddled with the ring on her finger, hidden beneath her gloves. Had she made the right decision? Caught up in her thoughts, she jumped when Robert opened the door.

He grinned. “Sorry, did I startle you?”

She blew out a breath. “Yes, a little. I’m rather distracted.”

“Nothing to worry about, you know. It’ll all come to rights.”

Rebecca’s Legacy (Legacy #2)

Her life is in a downhill plunge.

Rebecca Lewis is a reluctant bride-to-be. Marrying Riccardo Alverá, a young Italian count, may seem like a dream come true on the surface, but churning underneath is nothing but trouble, questions, and doubt. Especially since the marriage means leaving the only home she’s ever known, possibly for the rest of her life.

The death of her globe-trotting father cements her fate, however. She and her mother have no choice but to set sail for Italy and the virtual stranger who awaits her.

The beauty and tranquility of the Alverá estate fails to ease Rebecca’s heart as political unrest shakes the core of Italian society and despair entwines itself around her heart.

Will marrying an Italian count bring Rebecca the love she’s dreamed of, or doom her to relive her past mistakes?

Available now on Kindle for only 99¢

Buy link for Carlotta’s Legacy

Special Edition – Hello Tuesday Morning!

Bonus Offering!

Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, is also 99¢ all week. Today, you can download all THREE books for less than two dollars! Buy Link for Rebecca’s Legacy

[Click to Tweet] Happy Launch Day Rebecca’s Legacy! August 7, 2018 #NewRelease #Kindle #99¢ One day only! A 1940s historical romance – Amy Juliana Emerson might be a cultured debutante, but she’s doing her best to follow her mom’s rebellious footsteps.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this GREAT sale offered by my publishing company. Here are all the details about the new release:

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress about the greatest legacy?

Amy Juliana Emerson might be a cultured debutante, but she’s doing her best to follow her mom’s rebellious footsteps. Her desperate attempt to escape her father’s control, however, comes at the worst possible time.

Robert Emerson has received a threat against his family in an attempt to take over his company, Sanderson Industries. To guarantee his willful daughter’s safety, he sends her to work on a produce farm run by her Aunt Rebecca. Maybe her quiet strength and unconditional love can work on Amy, keep her from becoming the prodigal daughter she seems insistent on being.

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to make sure his daughter stays in line. His only interest in the beautiful girl is purely part of his job. Purely. Amy considers him a fuddy-duddy which suits the situation perfectly, allowing him to stay close to her without concern for her losing her heart to him. And his own heart … well, his feelings didn’t matter. This was business.

Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home and away from Dad’s protection. Rebecca’s influence begins to change her feelings about everything, even about Matt, but Amy might find she’s playing into the hands of the enemy.

Click this photo to buy Amelia’s Legacy and Carlotta’s Legacy!

NOTE: All my Write Integrity Press books are available in Kindle Unlimited.