Libby with Fay Lamb

This week Fay Lamb shares with us about her book, Libby. Welcome, Fay, Please tell us about Libby. Libby is the second book in The Ties That Bind series.

Libbycover FayLibby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about.

Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor.

When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend.

However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

This sounds like a good read. JHow long did it take you to write? Libby’s story came to me when I met her as a secondary character in Charisse. So it didn’t take me long to write the story. Now, editing? That’s a different question.

LOL, isn’t that the way it is? At least for me, the stories often flow, but editing take forever!

Do you have a favorite scene you’d like to share with us? My favorite scene is actually between Libby and her best friend, Charisse. Libby has just been hurt terribly by a misunderstanding with her hero, Evan, and Charisse is there to hopefully clear it up. Here’s the scene.

Libby sat in the darkness of her room. Someone pounded on her front door.

“Libby, let me in, or I’ll use my key,” Charisse insisted. “I have it, and I won’t hesitate.”

“Use it already,” Libby called from the hallway. She went into her bathroom and shut her door. Charisse needed to learn to stop meddling. The fact she was here said it all. Charisse and her husband had set this date up. Somehow, they’d convinced Evan to take her to the gardens.

She’d acted like a fool in front of him, flitting around the gardens, actually pretending that he wanted to be with her, and Evan was just nice enough to let her pretend.

But his attraction to Hope Astor was so very obvious. If seeing the painting one more time hadn’t been so important, she’d still be blissfully ignorant. At least now, Evan was spared from ever needing to see Libby again. Still, he’d apparently cared enough to let Charisse know she was absolutely insane—breaking down and crying in front of him like a silly, lovesick, heartbroken fool.

Light filtered through the bottom of the bathroom door. “Where are you?” Charisse demanded.

Libby ran the water in the sink and splashed her face.

“Are you okay?”

The faucet handle squeaked as she turned it off. With her eyes closed, she searched the counter for her towel and then patted her face. In the darkness, she couldn’t see her image, but she’d bet her cheeks were red and splotchy from all the tears she’d cried.

“I’m waiting.”

She wasn’t going out until Charisse left. Libby backed up against the door and slid down. “I’m not coming out.”

“Great. Just great. I came all the way over here to talk to a door.”

“What made you think you needed to come over?” Libby slammed her fist against her leg.

“I’m here because a man who couldn’t stand to be alone is sitting in my living room with my husband. He sought out Gideon rather than a bottle of whiskey.”

“Nothing happened.” Libby brought her knees up and lowered her forehead to them.

“He said you changed. You were as different as night and day. He can’t figure out how he hurt you. I had to convince him you’re not schizophrenic.”

“Ha-ha. Not funny, Charisse.” Libby banged her head against the door and placed her hand where it hurt.

“Libby, I gotta tell you something. You need to understand that Evan’s being cautious with you because he’s afraid of physically hurting you.”

“That’s ridiculous.” She wiped her hands over her face.

“I shouldn’t tell you this because Gideon shared it with me—”

“Don’t gossip, Charisse.”

“You need to know what you’ve done to the guy.”

Libby opened her mouth wide in surprise. “What I did to him?”

“Libby, Evan has some deep scars—physical ones. Gideon says he was horribly abused by his father.”

Evan had mentioned the abuse, but his main concern had been with the welfare of his brothers. She closed her eyes. If she was ever allowed to show him she loved him, she would show him how little the scars bothered her. She would caress them, and she’d love him so he could forget what Nate had done.

“In his mind, he’s inherited his father’s propensity toward aggression. He admits to being a violent drunk. So, when you became distant, and you didn’t tell him what he’d done—”

“He left me in the middle of the art show, and he went back to find Hope Astor.” In light of Charisse’s words, it all seemed so childish to her now.

“Oops,” Charisse said.

“Oops? Is that all you have to say?” Libby sat back. Her head thudded against the door again. She turned so she wouldn’t repeat that mistake and then cried out at the ache in her unhealed shoulder.

“If I told you his meeting with Hope Astor was something you shouldn’t have seen, what would you say?”

“What would I say?”

“Yeah, you weren’t supposed to see them together.”

“That’s obvious.” Libby agreed. “Are you telling me he told you he saw Hope? If so, why didn’t he tell me? He must have known I was upset.” She needed to let it go. Evan’s heart was burdened because of her actions.

“Do you trust me?”

Libby thought for a minute. How could she say yes? Gideon and Charisse had brought Evan and her to this. “Not anymore.”

“Yikes.”

“Do you think I don’t know you’re behind this, you and your husband? Look what you’ve done. Evan’s hurting because of your meddling.”

“Evan’s ready to take a drink because he left you when you were upset, and he thinks he’s the cause.”

“Please tell him it has nothing to do with him.” Really, it didn’t. Evan was a victim of her traitorous, romanticizing heart. “Since you’ve shared his past with me, tell him I’m not ready for a relationship. I’m realizing I haven’t gotten over the first rejection of my life.”

“Libby, he’s not rejecting you. Believe me. He had a very good reason for talking with Hope, and someday you’ll understand. I just can’t tell you right now.”

Libby stood. “I’m not good enough for him. Evan needs someone like Hope Astor. She’s sophisticated, beautiful, and not as childish as me.”

“I’m sorry, Libby, but you think that—that trollop—is sophisticated and beautiful? And mature? Hope Astor has a lot of growing up before she’ll ever have what you have. And while I’ll agree you’re being a little immature about this, I understand. Evan is your first real love. But, honey, you don’t know the hold you have over people who are lucky enough to get to know you.”

Libby opened the door. “Some hold I have over him, huh? He’s sitting at your house so he won’t drink. If you and Gideon had stayed out of this, Evan would never have met me. He’d be fine, and so would I.”

“And you’d both be miserable trying to figure out how to say hello to one another. You are so transparent. I watched you the first time you saw him. Libby, your eyes took on a twinkle I haven’t seen in forever—not since we were kids.”

Libby stared at Charisse. Was her friend a lunatic? “Do I look happy now?”

“You are. You’re living in incredible blissfulness. You just don’t know it yet.” Charisse turned on her heels.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going back home to tell Evan what’s got you so upset—let the air out of his balloon of despair.”

Libby started to speak, but Charisse sprang out her door. Libby sank to the floor in disbelief. If this was happiness, she’d rather return to the sad, lonely, pathetic life she had a year before. At least her mother never spoke in riddles.

Thanks for sharing, Fay. Did you do any special research for this book? With regard to the issues of self-esteem and discovering how God sees us versus the way we see ourselves, I only had to look on the inside and remember my own journey.

The research that I did need to do related to some of the locations in the book. This series is centered in Central Florida—actually Orlando and the Space Coast.

The Space Coast is very familiar to me as I’ve lived here my entire life. Orlando, though it is only about a forty minute drive (without traffic) is more of a mystery to me. I wanted to bring in areas other than the better known tourist traps…I mean destinations.

With the characters all living in Orlando, I had to discover some restaurants, a coffee shop, and even had to look into the Harry P. Leu Gardens.

My husband and I went to Orlando for the very first time last December, and I hope to go back someday. We stayed at a famous tourist trap/destinationJ and had the time of our lives.

Where do you write? I have an office on the opposite side of the house from my husband’s office. When I’m lucky enough to get to the mountains, I write in my room where my desk overlooks the edge of Lake Junaluska and the surrounding mountains.

Do any of your characters resemble you in any way? Funny you should ask that. Libby is the character who most resembles me. We both grew up in Titusville, had an absent father, an ill mother … and a true lack of self-esteem. Libby’s story and her issues are very much like mine.

Is this book a stand alone or part of a series? Libby is part of a series, but I always write my novels so that they can stand alone, yet it is my desire that as the reader meets and gets to know the characters, that they will want to read the rest of the series.

I enjoy books that are part of series, but stand-alone as well. Books that leave me hanging drive me out of my mind, and I usually won’t buy the next one because I’m so annoyed the story didn’t finish—it’s a huge pet peeve of mine.

Do you have a special holiday tradition? I have collected ornaments since my marriage. We head out during the weekend of Thanksgiving and get a real tree. I pull out the treasures I collected, all of them with special meaning, and I look back over the years as I place them on the tree.

I love that tradition. How do you celebrate Christmas? Unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, my church has its choir special and services prior to the day. Otherwise, each Christmas Day is always the same. My husband and I wake up and we travel to his mother’s house. This is where our kids and their families gather as well. We open our presents while dinner is cooking. Then we have a nice Christmas dinner.

What is next for you? My next release is scheduled for early 2015. Storms in Serenity is the first book in my contemporary fiction series, Serenity Key. It is a modern-day retelling of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba.

I’m also part of a multi-author collaboration, The Love Boat Bachelor, a sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Day hit, A Dozen Apologizes. This novella will be available for Valentine’s Day, and just as the readers did last year for Mara Adkins, the readers will get to vote on their favorite heroine and have a say in who gets the hero.

I heard about The Love Boat Bachelor from one of the authors that is part of it. It sounds like a fun project. J

Thanks for sharing with us, Fay!

Fay Lamb is an author, editor, and writing coach.

Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.

Blurb for Libby

Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about.

Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor.

When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend.

However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

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