The Ties that Bind: Delilah

This post is what you would call “two birds, one stone.”

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I have a treat for you today. I just finished reading Delilah, by Fay Lamb. It was delightful. This is book four, the final book in her “Ties that Bind” series. I’ve loved all the books in this series, and hate to say goodbye.

Delilah has been a lasting presence throughout this series. In the beginning, she was the character I loved to hate.  If she had walked off the face of the earth, or been eaten by an alligator, I would not have minded, except the stories may not have been so interesting. She did at least provide plenty of conflict.

The change in Delilah actually begins in book three, aptly entitled “Hope.” You don’t have to read Hope, or any of the other books, but I urge you to begin with Charisse and read your way to the end.

Delilah (the book) begins with conflict as she (a former judge) stands before a judge. In fact, this story keeps the conflict wire live, piling on enough to break Delilah. At times, I wondered if she could hold onto her newfound faith.

Isn’t that just like life? Everything’s going well, then along comes the tests and trials that strengthen our faith. They’ll make or break us. Delilah (the woman) was always a tough cookie, so I was hoping for the best. She didn’t disappoint.

Of course, Lamb added romance, complete with a dollop of steam and a near train wreck when little hateful sister arrives. Yes, more conflict. Nothing is going to be easy for Dee. Would you expect anything less for such an edgy character?

The Ties that Bind series offers an ensemble cast. You meet them in Charisse. You get to know them better in Libby. The friendship deepens in Hope, and matures by the end of Delilah. These ties are strong, which is a good thing, since they’ll be stretched to the limits by all that life throws at them in Delilah.

This is a story with a message of forgiveness and grace. Saying “I forgive you,” may be easy, but true forgiveness which is coupled with forgetfulness is difficult. You have to forget the past in order to truly forgive. You can’t keep rehearsing the sin or circumstance.

I loved the character arc that completes in this final episode, as Delilah learns to live among people without chewing their heads off.

So, why “two birds, one stone?” Well, I needed to review Delilah, and I also needed a blog post this week. Simple, right? Now I have both, and y’all have a possible list of four books to read while on vacation.


Delilah – Ties that Bind Book 4

Calling a truce with the man you love? What’s the fun in that?

Newly elected judge, John M. Turner, tries his best to call an end to his war with former Circuit Judge Delilah James, the woman he bested in the election by only a narrow margin. Delilah refuses to accept his flag of surrender. Worse yet, a vengeful assistant state attorney, the other candidate whose entry in the race actually handed the win to John, is seeking to have them both removed from the Florida Bar, and the game Delilah has forced upon him has given their enemy ammunition for his disbarment.

Delilah likes the give and take she shares with John. What fun is there in surrender? She wants to make amends but makes a mess of every attempt. Added to her foibles, life has become complicated: John’s teenage sister hates her, and Libby Carter has been arrested for battery on a police officer and has embroiled Delilah in the plight of the homeless. Her past has returned to haunt her, and if that’s not enough, she’s deep into the one experience in life she never thought would happen to her. She’s fallen in love.


Fay Lamb has always taken joy in forming words that tell stories that will enrich the lives of others. She tackles issues that she has had to face. She isn’t afraid of the hard issues and takes delight in weaving humor into the lives of her characters, even in the direst of circumstances.

Fay has contracted with Write Integrity Press for three series. The Amazing Grace series is complete and available as are the first three books, Charisse, Libby, and Hope, in her Ties that Bind contemporary romance series.

Fay loves teaching the art of fiction and has taught at several conferences over the last five years. She is currently the co-host of Publishing Laine, a monthly radio talk show on the Along Comes a Writer Network on BlogTalkRadio.com

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and six grandchildren.

What Happens Now

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m looking at sunshine and blue skies right now. And a big, yellow forsythia bush, the abode of an extremely territorial and illusive cardinal.

This morning, I took a long, leisurely walk in the sunshine. On the way back, I noticed all the flowers blooming. The really early ones, like crocuses and grape hyacinth. Wild flowers too—well, weeds, really—but they still have beauty.

Sunshine certainly improves the mood. And it energizes me. But I didn’t need a lot of help today. I’ve completed the final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. In a few days, I’ll send the manuscript to my publisher and then I’ll wait. And hope.

I’m excited about this final book for several reasons. It’s the last in the series (kind of sad). This ends me working on two series at the same time (not doing that again). And, it means something new is coming.

That’s not all. The final Kinsman Redeemer book is a baby without a name right now. I’m calling it, “book three.” And I have to confess, I went through an entire box of tissues writing the end of this book. And they were good tears. As I drew to a close, the readers on my critique loop were sending me threatening emails: please DO NOT send through another cliffhanger. So I had to send through two chapters at once. 🙂

What happens now? As soon as the manuscript is on its way, I’ll start building my Pinterest board for this book. I loved doing that for Rebecca’s Legacy. If want to follow me on Pinterest, click here. Then the marketing begins. Stay tuned!

coffee, cup, laptop, memeIt started with the book of my heart. I wrote a story near and dear to my heart, set in a familiar place and era. It was a retelling of the story of Ruth, that mixed in elements of my mother’s life.

The final book brings the story to a satisfying finish. As Annabelle’s neighbor, Tom, says, “Once you have Annabelle Cross in your corner, she’s there for life.”

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.—Psalm 30:4-5 NKJV

See you in April!

Another Thursday Morning

Hello! Can you believe it’s already Thursday morning? I’m beginning to think there are two per week, they  come around so fast. Life is zipping by…

The hot summer weather we’re enduring reminds me of my latest young heroine, Amy Emerson. She was “sentenced” to a summer of service by dear old Dad. The first few days were sheer torture for this big city debutante.

I remember summers on Grandma’s farm in West Tennessee. The nights were so hot, sometimes it was hard to sleep. The days in the hot sun were worse, but we were busy working in the fields or the garden, so the days went by fast.

Back at the house, we made straight for the window fan, sat in front of it until the sweat dried and we’d cooled down enough to talk into the fan and laugh at the funny sound of our voices.

It’s amazing how wonderful a breeze feels, or the shade of a thick oak tree. We  carried ice water in bell jars, which we left beneath the trees to keep cool. We had to wear long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats to shield ourselves from the brutal, southern sun. Any exposed skin could mean a second- or third-degree burn. It was serious business.

What about you? Did you ever work outside in the summer? Or lived without air conditioning?

At home, our family of five shared a single bathroom. I was the only girl, so sometimes having time to myself was difficult. I could commiserate with Amy when she had to wait in line for a chance at a bath, and then the water was no longer hot.

Although, I think she should have been glad to have a bathroom. Grandma’s farm had no indoor plumbing. We had to tote buckets of water in from the well. The “bathroom” was an outhouse in the yard. A bath was taken in a large, galvanized tub on a Saturday night, so everyone would be clean for Sunday. These days, I wouldn’t really call that clean, since I was seldom first in line for the shared bath water. Yuck!

I survived, and so did Amy, though more hardships awaited her down the road. Sometimes, life hits a rough spot and it seems like it will never let up. But, then it does, and all those troubles end up in the rear view mirror, rolling farther and farther into the past. That’s when you’re thankful for the grace of God that got you through.

I was reminiscing with my mom the other day about our trips to the beach when we lived in San Diego, California. I remembered watching with great anticipation, sometimes stretching over the back of the front seat, trying to catch that first glimpse of dark, blue water. And then we topped a hill, or rounded a curve, and there it was—in all of its glory—the great Pacific Ocean.

The sight sent shivers down my spine. There’s a scene like that in Rebecca’s Legacy, when Amy catches a glimpse of sea. She begs to stop so she can get out and feast her eyes on the view, smell the salt air, and listen to the roar of the waves.

Rebecca’s Legacy happens one summer. So, many of my beloved summer memories made their way into the story. I am so excited to share it with you.

We have grand plans for the release of Rebecca’s Legacy, and the festivities will begin very soon. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming my latest story to the world.


What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?

Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?

Release date: August 7, 2018

What Now?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning! We’re expecting a little sunshine today. I’m hopeful as I wait to see if it will happen.  I’ve even arranged my violets to catch a few rays.

While trying to decide what to write about this week, I remembered a quick encounter with a new acquaintance over the weekend. I often run across people who are interested in writing. Many times, as soon as they find out what I do, they bring up a story idea, or tell me they’ve “always wanted to do that.” But, they don’t know how to begin.

As a member of the planning committee for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, I’m in a position to help them. A writers conference is a great place for brand new writers to get information and training. Among the valuable things you’ll receive, is fellowship with other writers.

Yes, writers conferences require an investment. A smaller, local conference usually costs less, and you don’t always need to pay for a hotel, unless you have a long drive home, or just want to stay nearby.

Many conferences also offer tuition help. Check their website for information.

How do you know if it’s a good conference? Sometimes, you can find enough information on the website. Many conferences have reviews and testimonials posted. But the best way is to look at the faculty and keynote speaker. If you’re not familiar with any of the names, look them up.

Another important consideration: what classes do they offer? Does anything pique your interest? For instance, if you’re planning to write a memoir, or a devotional, do they offer nonfiction workshops?

Where do you begin? Check the internet–Google “writing conferences”–and you’ll get a lot of suggestions. But be specific. If you’re interested only in romance writing or speculative fiction, input those words to narrow your search. Also, a good writers magazine will list conferences and make suggestions.

If you’re looking for a good faith-based conference in the mid-south, there’s a one-day conference near Memphis, Tennessee. Here’s the link to the website: Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. It’s a one-day conference, happening Saturday, March 17. They have a Friday night meet-and-greet listed as well.

The Kentucky Christian Writers Conference is a two-day conference, June 22-23, with a meet-and-greet in the evening on June 21. It’s held in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. They offer fiction and nonfiction education and encouragement, as well as marketing, business, and technology.

Why do you need a writers conference? As I mentioned before, the opportunity to meet other writers makes a good conference fun. Also, there will be opportunities to meet agents, editors, and mentors. You’ll gain knowledge of the industry, and be encouraged to pursue your dreams.

A good regional conference is the first stepping stone on a journey that may lead to your destiny. The important thing is to go with expectation. Make yourself friendly, and you’ll gain more than knowledge.

When you’re ready for something bigger, check out a conference like the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference ACFW, being held in Nashville, Tennessee later this year.

What now? If you can’t afford a conference, these conferences have Facebook pages. Like their pages and get involved with other writers. There are so many good writing blogs, where you can learn the tools of the craft of writing. I’ve listed several good writing blogs below.

What now? The important thing is, pursue your dream. Write. Get information and learn the craft.

The Write Conversation

Almost an Author

Southern Writers Magazine (blog)

Inspired Prompt

There are so many more!

 

A Conversation with Deborah Dee Harper

Deborah Dee Harper is a Christian author of humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her latest release is Faux Pas, A Road’s End Mishap.  The title kind of gives away the lighthearted intent, doesn’t it? I read the first book in the series, Misstep, and have to say, she mixes giggles in with mystery and suspense rather well. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries and small town books, you’ll definitely like this one. But grab a blanket when you read it, because there’s lots of snow in the story.  And chickens and other … er … animals.

I invited Deborah to stop by and tell us a little about herself, her writing, and her latest release:

Deborah: Recently, my oldest daughter, Darice, and youngest grandchild (5-year-old Molly), and I moved from Tennessee to Alaska where my daughter has a job as a veterinary technician. I write fulltime and take care of Molly while her mom’s at work. We lived on an Air Force base up here in Anchorage five years ago and loved Alaska’s natural beauty so much we decided to return. I spend a lot of time, when I’m not writing or watching Molly, taking photographs. When my daughter isn’t working, we spend our time hiking trails, splashing in glacial streams, and chasing wildlife. Since we’ve been here these last two months, we’ve seen about two dozen black bears, several moose, a fox, eagles, Dall sheep, otters, porcupines, loons, ducks, and an Arctic hare—all in the wild. We also hiked to a glacier. It’s an invigorating way of life and one I’m glad we’ve been able to expose Molly to while she’s still young. I, on the other hand, am getting older by the minute, and I’m happy to be able to do these exciting things while I still can!

Of course, we miss our family members in the “lower 48” and plan to visit often. Even better, we hope they’ll come here to help us explore the Last Frontier.

You write humor in the main Christian genre. What other genre tags would you add to your stories?

Deborah: I’d add mystery (maybe cozy mystery) since my books in the Road’s End series all have a mystery in them midst the humorous events of the story.

I have another book (the first in a new series, I hope) that will explore the very real war Christians are fighting with the dark forces of sin and Satan’s fight against us. It’s darker than the Road’s End series—much darker—but then there’s nothing funny about sin or the forces aligned against us. With this series, I guess I’d tag it as a spiritual thriller.

If you could embark on something brand new that would change your life, what would it be?

Deborah: I think I’d either become a professional photographer or study the Bible thoroughly. I mean thoroughly. One of my favorite parts of my books is when my protagonist, Pastor Hugh Foster (former Air Force chaplain), gives a sermon. I love writing sermons! I sometimes dream of being able to spend my days in His Word and forgetting the mundane parts of living, but soon realize that the dishes and laundry have to be clean regardless of how much I’d rather think about God!

Why humor? What do you hope to accomplish/achieve with your novels?

Deborah: I believe God gave us a sense of humor to not only entertain one another and ourselves, but to also help us get along. Nothing bonds people of differing views as quickly as good-natured humor. I love to portray my characters as Christians with the typical character flaws—egotism, pride, gluttony, gossip, etc. Christians aren’t perfect, and I think being upfront with that knowledge helps to bring in the secular audience and convince them that we know we’re not perfect. We’re no better than they are, except we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts and had our sins forgiven by Him. In that regard we’re immeasurably more blessed, and I hope to bring others to Him through my humor and the knowledge that His love is unending and forgiving. I’m hoping that by using humor in my work I’ll be able to reach some readers who would not otherwise read a Christian book.


More about Deborah

Deborah Dee Harper currently resides Alaska with her oldest daughter and youngest grandchild. There she writes inspirational and humorous books for both children and adults and takes thousands of photographs. When she isn’t writing or taking photos, she stalks moose and other wildlife, survives earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, endures the long, dark, frigid winters, revels in the endless summer days, and is awestruck by the rippling northern lights of the Alaskan night skies. She also leaps mountains in a single bound and wrestles grizzly bears along hiking trails. (Not really. Just making sure you were paying attention.) Whenever she can, she loves being with her other daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons in Kentucky, and her son, daughter-in-law, and two more grandsons in Michigan. (For real.)


The second book in my Road’s End series, Faux Pas, was published by Write Integrity Press on July 4th of this year. It continues the adventures of the zany residents of Road’s End, Virginia, that began in the first book, Misstep.

In Misstep, Hugh, Melanie, and their neighbors take on a group of drug pushers out to exact revenge on the beloved caretaker of the Road’s End Christ Is Lord Church. In Faux Pas, the President of the United States visits Road’s End for the wedding of Hugh and Melanie’s daughter Amanda to Jonathan Sterling, the only nephew of the president. Let the good times begin. The third book in the series is Misjudge, and in that one, the president decides to return to Road’s End for a peace summit. Needless to say, that little village isn’t the best place on earth to promote peace.

Join Colonel Hugh Foster, retired Air Force chaplain, and his wife, Melanie, as they take on the job of innkeepers at The Inn at Road’s End, and begin their retirement years with the cranky, set-in-their-ways senior citizens of the tiny, historic village. Never has being retired been as exhausting or as funny as it is for the Fosters.

Review excerpt (verified purchase/Amazon): “I truly wish there were a real Road’s End. I’d love to visit all the quirky characters there. Deborah Dee Harper has written another laugh out loud funny story about the antics of a (very) small community, most of whose residents rank up there in the senior citizen category … Read this book when you’re feeling down. You’ll be laughing in no time!”

CLICK TO PURCHASE THE BOOK


You can find Deborah Dee Harper in the following places:

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/Deborah-Dee-Harper-190053721052292/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/deborahdeetales

Website: https://www.deborahdeeharper.com/

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