Seekerville: The Journey Continues | (page 1 of 121)


Seekerville: The Journey Continues

A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever After


A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever After

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Today I want to discuss one of the components that is absolutely essential to any romance story - the Happily Ever After ending (HEA). And for this discussion I’m going to lump Happy For Now (HFN) endings under the same umbrella.

From the outside looking in, this element of your romance seems simple enough to write. After completing their story journey, the hero and heroine discover they truly do love each other, they profess this sentiment in a heart-tugging, romantic manner, and then—figuratively or literally—thy ride off into the sunset with the blissful intention of never parting. Easy-peasy, right?

Wrong—at least not if it’s done right. As with most things, getting it right is much harder than it looks.

So how do you make sure your ending is satisfying and memorable? Below are some things you should take into consideration when crafting your story’s HEA

A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever After

Don’t rush the ending.
There are certain scenes, even in the fastest paced stories, that have a huge emotional payout for your reader - these are the scenes you most certainly DON’T want to race through, that you want to dig into in order to provide depth and texture and sensory richness. These scenes are the heart and soul of your book, the emotional lynchpins that, when structured well, can land a book on many a reader’s keeper shelf. In a romance, the HEA is one of those scenes.  This means that you should take the pains to immerse the reader in whatever emotions are applicable - hope, joy, anguish, poignancy, rage, passion, or a deep and abiding commitment, or some combination of these.
Just one note of caution here. While you don't want to rush your ending, you don't want it to drag on either. Make sure you give it the emotional depth it needs and then wrap it up.

The HEA should never appear to be cookie cutter or generic.
An ending that has nothing to do with the characters and their story journey will always fall flat. Rather, your HEA moment should be informed by these specific characters and the specific growth and healing they experienced throughout the story. This is their payoff for all of that angst they endured (and the payoff for the reader as well) so make it fit!

Don't make the HEA moment feel like it comes from ‘out of the blue’.
We’ve all read at least one book where the characters had a relationship that went something like “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, oh wait-I love you.”  Not very realistic and also not memorable (except in a bad way). For the HEA to be satisfying the reader needs to feel it came about over time and as a result of personal growth and the recognition of qualities in their .

A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever After

Your protagonists should show that they’ve earned their HEA.
They do this by exhibiting growth through overcoming obstacles both external and internal throughout their story journey. It should be clear that the people they were at the beginning of your story could not have made the commitment necessary to grasp their HEA, that it is only by undergoing the changes experienced through their story journey that they are finally ready to make the necessary leap of faith.


There should be a sacrifice of some sort on the part of both protagonists.
Again they need to show they deserve this reward. The sacrifice they each make won’t be the same or even carry the same weight. Instead the sacrifice will be tied to who they are and what their wound is. And a good rule of thumb is, whoever has the biggest problem with commitment should be the one to sacrifice the most, to make the biggest leap, to make himself/herself vulnerable in order to reach for the HEA in the end.

There should be indications that this HEA is truly a new beginning for a rich and fulfilling life to come.
Now that they’ve committed to each other the reader wants some indication that this commitment will stick, especially if one or both fought really hard against it for a large portion of the story. In many romances this is done with an epilogue, but that’s not the only way to do it. It can be shown in the depth of the sacrifice, in the willingness of a proud protagonist to humble himself.

A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever After

So that’s my HEA checklist. If you've reached this point in the writing of your story, you've invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears in its creation - make sure you don't fumble the ending. Give your readers an ending that makes them sigh with satisfaction and think about your story long after they've closed the book.

Can you give an example of a book or film that you thought had a particularly memorable HEA? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for any book from my backlist.

What's New for Christian Writers?

What's New for Christian Writers?

By Debby Giusti 

Have you heard about the “NEW” Faith, Hope & Love Christian Writers organization?

What's New for Christian Writers?

It’s an online group for writers at any stage of their careers, from pre-published to established authors. If you’re a writer or are interested in writing, FHLCW is the organization for you!

The original FH&L was established in 1996 as a chapter of Romance Writers of America. In 2021, the 90-plus members disaffiliated from the national group and became an independent writing group that has seen its membership grow ever since.

What's New for Christian Writers?

Today, close to 300 FHLCW members connect online to support and encourage one another. Educational opportunities abound as well as zoom chats and social online gatherings. Monthly programs are free to members (non-members are charged a nominal fee to register for the various classes). Last night, I attended How to Sell Yourself with Thomas Umstattd. Next month, I’m looking forward to Using Cross-promotion to Grow Your Professional Network, with Laurie Cooper.

The FHLCW website ( provides an in-depth overview of the organization. Here’s some of what you can find there:

What is FHLCW’s purpose?

“To promote excellence in Christian fiction and/or fiction written from a Christian worldview. To help Christian writers establish their careers and to provide continuing support for writers within the fiction publishing industry.” We accomplish this stated purpose through our email groups, our online programs, our contests and awards, etc.

What's New for Christian Writers?
What are some of the benefits for members?

»FHL sponsors an email group where members can exchange publishing information, discuss writing issues, and receive encouragement.

»FHL sponsors the FHL READERS CHOICE AWARD to honor the best in published Christian Romantic Fiction as well as the TOUCHED BY LOVE AWARD for unpublished manuscripts.

»FHL seeks to encourage its members through special projects, including through online chapter programs via Zoom and Facebook Groups.

»FHL seeks to connect members with readers through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What's New for Christian Writers?

The new-member application form is on the website and is an easy-peasy process. Yearly dues are $35, and the benefits to the members are worth every penny!

I told FHLCW President Nancy J. Farrier that I would be talking about FHLCW on Seekerville today, and she sent this lovely note to our blog community to help explain the many positive aspects membership in the organization entails!

I have been a member of FHL, now FHL Christian Writers, almost since its inception in the 90's. I love our group. Now that we are independent, we are striving to be a family of writers. We encourage one another. We have excellent programs with replays available to members. We have Zoom gatherings when we meet according to genre or location or one of many other topics to chat with one another. Our authors can connect with each other, even when they live in Australia or Europe. This year, we reinstated our Touched by Love Award for unpublished authors and were surprised at the eager response. I'm so excited to see these authors grow. We have several critique groups and next month we are having a workshop for members only to teach how to benefit from cross-promotion. Exciting stuff. My dream is for FHLCW to become more of a family. To have our own conference in the future--one that is an encouragement to all so that we build each other up. I'm excited to see how we're growing and look forward to new horizons. 

I also heard from longtime Seekervillager and now FHLCW Prayer Volunteer Coordinator Patti Jo Moore, who sent this message:

The FHLCW organization is such a caring group of Christian writers, and I'm thankful to be a member. Not only are members willing to share their expertise in certain areas, but more importantly, they are always willing to pray when a member has a concern or a prayer request.

My favorite aspect of this group is our Monday morning prayers. I am the Prayer Volunteer Coordinator for the group, and have been so blessed and inspired by the uplifting prayers that our members post. When I asked for volunteers, the responses I received made me realize just what a caring group I'm in! I truly feel the Lord is at work through the members of FHLCW.

Both messages reveal how the “new” FHLCW is a Christian organization centered on the members and their needs. Whether you’re actively writing or interested in writing, consider joining FHLCW. I feel confident you’ll enjoy the many benefits available to the members!

What's New for Christian Writers?
I hope to see you on the FHLCW loop, at the ZOOM programs and taking part in the frequent online opportunities to mix and mingle with the other members. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to improve your craft, learn more about networking and marketing and connect with more than 50 published Christian authors and so many more writers working towards publication. FHLCW is THE organization for anyone interested in a writing career. See you there!

Happy Writing! 

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti


What's New for Christian Writers?

#2 on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list for Religious Books

A Two-in-One By

Debby Giusti

The Officer’s Secret

In the middle of the night, Maggie Bennett finds her army officer sister dead in her military housing. But as US Army criminal investigations agent Nate Patterson begins asking questions, Maggie can’t tell the handsome man everything she knows. Except that her sister was definitely murdered—for a secret Maggie can’t share. Then she walks into the killer’s trap and has to trust Nate with the truth…and her heart.

The Soldier’s Sister

Someone wants Stephanie Upton dead. Fearing for her life, Stephanie turns to Special Agent Brody Goodman for help. But can she trust him when he’s convinced her own brother is a prime suspect? Torn between her devotion to her brother and the agent she may be falling for, Stephanie doesn’t know who or what to believe. But soon she’ll have to choose sides to stay alive…

Order NOW!

A Few Thoughts about Conferences...and Networking :)

The ACFW conference is on the horizon and after two years it's going to be great to have the chance to see folks in person again. I'm super excited to get the chance to as many author and reader friends as possible. Readers, you say? Well, THIS year, ACFW is also having StoryFest so readers can join in the fun, so it's double the fun for authors. We get a chance to see our writing buddies AND hang out with the folks who love our fictional people!!
But conferences can be great for more than just socializing and aggressively hugging folks. :) They are also good networking and marketing places. In case you haven't heard this enough on Seekerville, let me say it one more 'gin. 

A Few Thoughts about Conferences...and Networking :)

Visibility is important in marketing. 

Now, does that mean you need to spend all your time and money going to every writer's conference on the planet? No! I like people, but that sounds absolutely terrifying (and expensive) to me. However, if you DO go to a conference, then it's a great time to use your time well and engage in some friendly networking. 

1. Have a business card- for the newbies out there, this is a very good investment. It keeps you in people's minds longer than an introduction. It's also a good idea to have your photo on your card so that folks have both the auditory clue of your name/voice as well as a visual reminder of what you look like :)

2. Share the fun on social media - this is a great way for people who know you online to look for you if you're going to be at the conference. It's also helpful for those introverts who aren't as comfortable initiating contact with stranger, because you can find "your group" faster. In fact, the group may very well come to you if they know you're going to be present. (And, as always, social media is a great marketing tool anyway). 

3. Find your emotional support people - Like I said in #2, touching base with folks before you get to conference to let them know you're going to be there, sets up an opportunity for you to already have SOME people to hang out with. Plus, there's a good chance those people will know OTHER people, which then broadens your "visibility" within the community. You never know which connections will lead to the best connections. 

A Few Thoughts about Conferences...and Networking :)

4. Smile - yeah, yeah. This seems like a simple thing to share, but nerves can do crazy things to our facial expressions. Unless your smile is Joker-scary, then USUALLY smiles  are reciprocated AND have a tendency to make any face a little nicer. Smiles give off the vibe of approachable. I know not all of us may want to appear approachable, but you'll need to leave that side of you at home during the conference (or only pull it out when you're hiding in your hotel room after "people exhaustion". Bonus: ACFW is a Christian writer's conference, so we'd hope most people would be nice and approachable anyway. This is the time to branch out, put your best foot forward, and try to learn, grow, and build your community. I can assure you, most of the rest of us are there for the same thing and (don't tell anyone), but I still get nervous every time I go!

5. Being Prepared - sound weird to add this to visibility? Well, let me just say, folks who come in ready are more memorable. Ready to take advantage of the moment. Having those business cards, one-sheets, maybe a few first pages...those are great ways to show you've prepared to meet with folks. Also, preparing yourself by creating catchy elevator pitches is another. AND preparing your heart and soul through prayer and mutual encouragement is a great way too. 

Conferences can be crazy, but they can also lead to GREAT opportunities for you to network...and even build your own community of fellow I already knew some of the Seekers when I attended my first conference and immediately had a kinship with them. They introduced to other people. 

P.S. I support fangirling. That last photo is of me and Debbie Maccomber. I've also met Francine Rivers. I walked right up to them to introduce myself and tell them that I loved their books. (and I was nervous the whole time, I have this cool photo to share for visibility! LOL) 
Are you attending a conference soon? What would you like to learn more about as you prepare? Pitches? One-sheets? Business Cards? Etc. ?

More Hidden Treasures

More Hidden Treasures

Jaime Jo's post last week was so sweet, wasn't it? She shared some hidden treasures she found after her mother passed away. You can read that post HERE.

When I told her my dad had recently given me my own hidden treasure, she urged me insisted that I share it on my Seekerville post this month. "Sure!" I said. "That would be fun." (That may not be an exact quote.)

More Hidden Treasures

More Hidden Treasures

Unlike Jaime Jo's stellar works of fiction, my first book was non-fiction, done as a school assignment when I was in first grade. But the illustrations are priceless.

More Hidden Treasures

My name is Janet Tomlinson. I have four in my Family. 
I have a brother and a cat.

Other than spelling my last name wrong (it should be Tomlonson - I blame my teacher for the editing error) the story so far is pretty accurate. I wish I had included a picture of my cat.

In fact, this particular teacher stands out in my memory because of incidents like this one. I remember her insistence that my name should be spelled with an "I" rather than an "O." I don't like being corrected, especially when I know the person trying to correct me is wrong!
(And yes, that's still one of my more irritating personality traits - but I've learned to go with the flow unless it's something important.)

Which brings me to the topic for this post. Reading this early story of mine reminded me of the people along the way who stand out in my memory. Some for being encouragers and some for being discouragers.

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Taylor, was a discourager. I never did anything creative in her class. My third grade teacher, Miss Shields, was also a discourager. 

So why did I continue to write stories? Because of the encouragers.

I still remember them vividly, even though it has been more than fifty years since I've seen them: My second grade teacher, Mrs. Griffith; fourth grade, Mrs. VanVorhees; fifth grade, Mrs. Harrington.

Mrs. Harrington stands out because she saw potential in me and let me read. And read. And read. While the other students had reading groups, I had all the books I wanted to read. And tons of book reports.
*sigh* The cost of reading at my own pace. :-)

And to this day, whenever I see a Chickadee, I think of Mrs. Harrington - they were her favorite bird.

More Hidden Treasures

More Hidden Treasures

But my mom was my best encourager. I don't remember anything specific that she said or did, but I knew she had my back, as busy as she was with her day job.

More Hidden Treasures

My mother teaches. She teaches fourth grade. 
Her children are bad sometimes.

My mom instilled a love of reading in me. She also taught me the value of being a homemaker, even though as a pastor's wife in a small church, her full-time homemaking only happened during the summer months.

More Hidden Treasures

More Hidden Treasures

When my mother started feeling the effects of Alzheimer's, she still cheered me on as I taught my children in our homeschool. We talked often about how I was using my college education - my degree is in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis - and I knew she hoped that someday I would turn back to writing.

And God's timing is perfect - several years before she passed away, and just before she finally slipped into the enclosed dream world of advanced Alzheimer's, I sold my first story. She understood and celebrated with me as I told her that my story would be published in Woman's World Magazine.

More Hidden Treasures

Mom never got to read any of my published works other than my first book, written when I was six. But she kept those pages - as unwieldy as they are - and moved them from Michigan to Kansas to Indiana. They were among the treasures she kept.

These days, my dad is my biggest cheerleader.

More Hidden Treasures

More Hidden Treasures

He has been known to hang out in the Christian Fiction section of his local library and waylay browsers. "If you like Amish fiction, you should try my daughter's books."

More Hidden Treasures

Like Jaime Jo said, my first book is a Hidden Treasure. A testament of a mother's love and encouragement and a father's continued belief in his daughter.

Who are the encouragers in your life? How have they influenced your writing?

PS - I didn't leave my husband and children off this list to slight them. On the contrary - their encouragement (especially my dear husband's) is off the charts. :-)

Leave a comment to be in the drawing for an e-book copy of my next release, "The Case of the Artist's Mistake!" Due to be released September 14, 2022!

In this second Sweetbrier Inn Mystery, Emma discovers a local artist dead in her art gallery. Deputy Cal is convinced she died from natural causes, but he hasn't convinced Emma.

More details to follow in coming weeks!

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests
Christ the Savior (Pantokrator),
a 6th-century encaustic icon from
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai [PD-US].

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Luke 12:49-53 

The Seekerville bloggers are praying for YOU and for our entire blog community. If you have any special intentions that need additional prayer coverage, leave a request for prayer in the comment section below. 

Please join us in praying for our country and for an end to the problems that plague us at this current time, such as the rising cost of fuel and food, and the shortages of necessary items, such as baby formula.

Together, let's pray we can, once again, become a prosperous and productive nation. Also, please join us in praying for the protection of our military and for law enforcement officers and border agents.   


We are so grateful for all of you—for your friendship and your support! 

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe.    

Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Please send to If the winner does not contact us within two weeks, another winner may be selected.

Monday: Jaime Jo Wright

Tuesday: Dana Lynn

Wednesday: Ruth Logan Herne was here talking about her newest mystery "Love's a Mystery in Sleepy Hollow, NY" and she's giving each commenter.... Linda, Karen and Jackie!!!... a copy of the book! Gals, send your addresses to the Seekerville email and they'll send them on to me. I hope you love this great 2-in-1 book!

Thursday: Mary Alford was in the house talking about the blessings we find along the way.... and her newest novel "Among the Innocent". A winner of a copy of "Among the Innocent" is Sandy Smith!

Friday: Chris Fabry stopped by to share about listening for the Quiet Voice instead of the loud noises that surrounds us. The winner of his latest release, Lifemark is: Kaybee.

Weekend Edition

Monday: Jan Drexler will be taking a page from Jaime Jo's book and sharing the story of her first book. The plot isn't much, but the illustrations are cute! And she'll be sharing about some of the people along the way who have been her encouragers. 

Tuesday: Pepper Basham will be sharing some tips for networking at a writer's conference. Nice is nice. 

Wednesday:  Do you know about the Faith, Hope & Love Christian Writers' Group? Learn more in Debby Giusti's blogpost! Don't miss the opportunity to connect with other Christian writers both published and on the road to publication! FHLCW is a fantastic organization that you may want to join!
Thursday: Winnie Griggs will discuss crafting the HEA

Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition
A two-in-one featuring stories
by Debby Giusti


Mission to capture a killer

The Colonel's Daughter 
A killer is targeting the families of soldiers in a US Army colonel's brigade, and Criminal Investigation Division special agent Jamison Steele vows to stop him. The colonel's daughter, the woman who loved and left Jamison without a word, came face-to-face with the murderer. But uncovering the serial killer's motive requires asking Michele Logan the questions that may lead them both into a deadly trap.

The General's Secretary 
Lillie Beaumont's dark past has just turned up on her porch—fatally wounded. The dying words of the man imprisoned for killing Lillie's mother suggest hidden secrets. Criminal Investigation Division special agent Dawson Timmons has his own motive for seeking the truth. As they investigate, Dawson fears that a murderer is waiting to strike again. And this time, Lillie is right in the line of fire…
Order on Amazon!

Coming August 23rd...
Weekend Edition

Welcome to Hope Crossing, a brand-new series from award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus.

She came home to make things right Will she be given a second chance?

Gloriana Prescott has returned to her Texas hometown to make amends—even if the townsfolk she left behind aren’t ready to forgive. But when her mother’s ranch manager, Justin Broussard, is tasked with saving the struggling rodeo so his teen daughter can compete, Gloriana sees a chance to prove she’s really changed. But can she prove to Justin, and the town, that she’s trustworthy? 

Preorder your copy today!

Weekend Edition

Disclaimer: Any blog post that includes an offer of product purchase or service is NOT to be considered an endorsement by Seekerville or any of our authors (please see our Legal page )

What is Your Character Hiding: The Power of Secrets by David Corbett at Writer UnBoxed

Copyright, Intellectual Property and Blockchain by Roanie Levy at The Creative Penn

Important Font Considerations for Writers by Ellen Buikema at Writers In The Storm

How Perfect Does Your Story's Structural Timing Have To Be? by KM Weiland at Helping Writers Become Authors

God's Unique Provision by Tamela Hancock Murray at Steve Laube agency

Why a Strong Plot Requires a Significant Goal by September C Fawkes at Writers Helping Writers

How to Build a Music Playlist for Writers by Paige Riddiford at Writer's Edit

What is Web Analytics? by Duncan at MailerLite blog

How to Write Conflict: Writing Great Scenes #3 by Sarra Cannon at Heart Breathings

Listening for the Quiet Voice Instead of the Loud Noise

 by Chris Fabry

His voice was caustic, overmodulated, and scratchy-sounding through his phone. He had called the program I was hosting to criticize me and my work. At the end of the call, before he abruptly hung up, he said these words:

“You’re plastic, Fabry.”

That phone call came more than thirty years ago. Why do I still remember it? Why do I so easily hang on to the criticism and let go of the encouragement?

It also happened with my writing a few years ago. A reviewer online had said something cutting and biting about one of my novels. He referred to what brings me joy as “silly little stories.” 

If you write, you have to grow a thick skin. Same with doing any kind of public speaking or revealing your thoughts and personality through radio. Not everyone is going to get what you’re saying. 

The truth I keep coming back to is that if God has placed a creative desire inside you—and since he’s wildly creative, why wouldn’t he?—then allow the process to do its work in you as well as on the page. I do not control the outcome of my stories. I don’t dictate how they will be received. I don’t know if what I’m doing will be a bestseller or a bomb. But I do know that my job is to be faithful to tell the story with everything in me and allow that process to change me.

Listening for the Quiet Voice Instead of the Loud Noise
As I was writing the novelization of Lifemark, a story crafted and filmed by the Kendrick Brothers, I had two competing voices inside. One was loud and brash and angry, like a heavy metal rendition of “My Way.” That voice said something like this: Readers are going to see through your agenda. You just want people to believe the way you do and to control women’s bodies. The accusation and vitriol continued as I fleshed out the story of Melissa, a teenager with an unwanted pregnancy.

The other voice was a lot quieter. It was almost a whisper that said, Speak up for those who have no voice. At one point near the end of the writing process, I sat back and stared at the screen. I imagined an anonymous email appearing that said, “I read Lifemark and the story saved my baby’s life.” And then I fast-forwarded a few years—maybe twenty—and imagined a college student coming up to me. “My mom and dad saw that movie. They decided to give me a chance at life.”

I don’t have those kinds of hopes and dreams for every story. But I really had the feeling that this one could literally be used to save someone’s life.

So how do you quell the noise and listen for the quiet voice? It’s not easy. I still hear the grating sound of the man from thirty years ago calling me plastic. I still see the words silly little stories in my head—partly because of the alliteration, to be honest. 

One way to stop the noise is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. A few birthdays back, after I wrote about the bad review, one of my brothers sent a card and inside it said, “Keep telling your silly little stories.” So find people who will value what you’ve been called to do.

I also find it helpful to think of the process rather than the outcome of my endeavors. For me, writing is internal work that has great value. I don’t base my worth on a review or awards or bestseller status. I hope many people read my stories and I hope my time investment helps provide for my family. But ultimately I have to come to my desk each day and work with all my heart for an audience of One.

I’ve also discovered that I allow more noise in my life through social media, news sites, and the daily barrage of people saying, “Be angry about this!” As a human, I am not meant to know every opinion or every event in the world. Because of our information age, we are trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Our souls are poorer for it.

What about you? What is the noise you hear today that discourages your soul? The first step is to recognize that noise for what it is. Then, when things get quiet, you can listen closely for the gentle whisper that is urging you to trust, believe, and take a step forward. 

The whisper that means the most is found in Ephesians chapters 1 and 2. Those passages tell us who we really are in Christ and that because of what he did for us, we are accepted and adopted and lavishly loved by the One who gave everything to draw us to himself.

Don’t give up.

Keep telling your stories.

The criticism is meant to stop you because you’re doing something that counts.

Don’t give up.

I’d love to hear of a moment when you listened to the whisper rather than the noise.


Listening for the Quiet Voice Instead of the Loud Noise

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He has written more than 80 books for children and adults.


Listening for the Quiet Voice Instead of the Loud Noise
For eighteen years, she tried to believe she had made the right decision—for him.

But if she never saw him again, how could she ever be sure?

Melissa had clung to the thin thread of hope given by the adoption agency that someday her newborn son might want to connect with her. When his eighteenth birthday arrived, she called the agency to simply update her contact information, not expecting a response.

Susan and Jimmy Colton had raised their boy with openness about his adoption. After the heartbreaking loss of two infant sons that marked their early years of marriage, they promised themselves they would try not to hold too tightly to David or hold back any information he wanted about his birth. And so they waited on him.

David was hesitant to talk about the questions and curiosities about his birth story that often haunted him. But as he neared adulthood, his need to know the full story of his life became something he couldn’t shake. Until the call came to the Coltons from the adoption agency, and the first tentative bits of communication and connection set in motion a story that would change all their lives forever.

From the team that brought you the movies Courageous and War Room comes Lifemark, the novelization of the new film inspired by a true story of adoption, redemption, and hope.


Leave a comment for Chris, and be enter for a chance to win a copy of his latest release, Lifemark.

*giveaway prize courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers. Giveaway subject to Tyndale House Publishers and Seekerville giveaway terms and conditions. US mailing addresses only.

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

By Seekerville Guest Blogger Mary Alford

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

Being a writer can seem isolated at times. It’s just us and our computer, (and sometimes writer’s block) typing away for hours on end. Amidst the looming deadlines, it’s easy to lose track of time and the things happening around us. It’s just us and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (and of course our favorite snacks such as Bai Coconut water and peanut butter M&Ms—just saying!). 

Despite the sometimes-hectic pace we keep, there are many blessings to be found along the way. The biggest for me are the wonderful readers and authors that I’m happy to call my friends, and the hidden gems I discovered while doing research that I know came straight from God.

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I write Amish Romantic Suspense. I started writing in the genre a few years back after reading Beverly Lewis’ THE SHUNNING. I fell in love with the Amish genre. It’s so much fun to read and to write. 

When I started AMISH COUNTRY KIDNAPPING, my first Amish book for Love Inspired Suspense, I wanted the Amish community to be remote and set in the mountains. I feel the setting is very important in suspense in that it helps to create an atmosphere of danger and intrigue. 

Did you know there are actually several Amish communities in Montana?

When I found the West Kootenai Amish community, I fell in love with its remoteness. The community can only be reached by crossing the Koocanusa Bridge, which is over Lake Koocanusa. 

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

I’ve written 6 books so far that are set in this community. Several revolve around 5 brothers. The last book about the Shetler brothers of West Kootenai will be released in March of 2023.

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

My latest release came out June of this year through Revell and is entitled, AMONG THE INNOCENT. The story takes place in the Amish community of St. Ignatius, Montana. 

There were so many hidden gems to be found in St. Ignatius and it was a joy to research.

The community is the only Amish community in the US to sit on tribal lands. Both the community and the town of St. Ignatius are part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. And there are 3 different law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over the area. The tribal police, the St. Ignatius police force, as well as the sheriff’s department out of Polson. All 3 police agencies are featured in AMONG THE INNOCENT.   

Another interesting fact about the Amish community is that it backs up against the rugged Mission Mountains. The mountains cast their shadows over the Amish community below them and act as silent witnesses to the danger unfolding in the book.

But my favorite gem of all was discovering the historical St. Ignatius Mission which features 58 hand-painted murals painted by Brother Joseph Carignano, a self-taught artist who worked as the mission cook and handyman many years ago. The beauty of the mission is something to behold. 

When I set out to find the perfect mountain location for AMONG THE INNOCENT, I had no idea the wonderful gems I would uncover that would make their way into the book. I hope readers will see them and be as thrilled by St. Ignatius as I was.     

So, what’s next? Well, we’ll be traveling to the Ruby Valley of Montana, to a small (fictional) community there sometime in 2023. I’m excited about starting a new book as well as creating my first fictional community.

As a reader, are there certain aspects of the Amish way of life that you like to see in a book? Which ones would you prefer not to read about?


About Mary 

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford loves giving her readers the unexpected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a simple Amish community having the reader finish a book and say, wow, I didn’t see that coming, is a joy.   

Mary’s titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.  

Mary is published through Annie’s Publishing, Love Inspired Suspense, Forget Me Not Romances, as well as being an Indie Published Author. Mary’s first book through Revell Publishing entitled Among the Innocent features an Amish suspense theme with a twist. 

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day with-out coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two very spoiled cats and a sweet rescue dog named Cody.  

Mary is regularly active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at



The Blessing You Find Along the Way

When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.

As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.

Leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a copy of Mary’s latest release, AMONG THE INNOCENT.





Ruthy here!

I am so excited to see this wonderful series hit the shelves of!

"Love's a Mystery" is a great new concept for Guideposts, a wonderful coupling of TWO novellas in one book... a historical romantic mystery and a contemporary romantic mystery, written by two separate authors.


Gabrielle Meyer did the historical on this one... I did the contemporary, and it was wonderful to spend a couple of days in Sleepy Hollow (formerly North Tarrytown, renamed after a huge manufacturing shutdown by General Motors left the town reeling and virtually unemployed).

But the town hit the Reset button, changed its name to reflect Washington Irving's amazingly successful story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and now the town is a tourist mecca of history, great sites, wonderful foods, bakeries, kitchens, great churches, and black-and-orange street signs. :) 

And now the book is out... A wonderful romance that sizzles in the midst of an autumn mystery and no one in Sleepy Hollow has time to mess around in October! :) 

From Guideposts, Inc.: 

When a strange man claiming to be the brother of Ichabod Crane accuses Brom Van Brundt of murdering Ichabod, his daughter Hannie begins a desperate search for the truth. Was the local folklore true? Was Brom the headless horsemen who scared Ichabod out of Sleepy Hollow? Or did something more sinister happen? The handsome new schoolmaster, Gideon, offers to help Hannie, but how long can they hide their growing feelings for one another?

Then turn the page and travel 200 years to the present where Tess has returned to Sleepy Hollow to help run her Gran’s soup shop. But all is not well. Gran has been scammed out of thousands of dollars by a bogus animal charity. She hires Riley O’Toole, Tess’s high school crush, to help. As Riley and Tess investigate, sparks soon fly. Is Gran secretly playing matchmaker?




THEN...  in two months I am blessed to have a second novella in this series:

"Love's a Mystery in Cut and Shoot, Texas", a pair of Christmas stories set in an iconic Texas town named... you guessed it... Cut and Shoot!

Throughout all the crazies and over-reactions of the past two years, the Guideposts team has stayed at the top of their game with all of their work on inspirational writings, devotionals, self-help books and a deep-dive into more fiction and rebranded fiction. This new series goes along with the republishing of the Summerside Press books that hit the charts years ago, an original Love Finds You series including my "Love Finds You in the City at Christmas", an award winning novella "Red Kettle Christmas" which will be loved, loved, loved by fans of "Call the Midwife".


So they're republishing my historical "Red Kettle Christmas" in "Love Finds You in the City at Christmas", a wonderful step back into 1947 Manhattan and these two new novellas.

Yes, it's been a busy year!

Yes, I'm so blessed to be part of this.

And yes, I'm looking forward to more mysteries with Guideposts! 

So celebrate with me today... Leave a comment and one person will win a copy of "Love's a Mystery in Sleepy Hollow, NY"! 


Award-winning, bestselling inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream of writing great stories, running a farm, being a nice person most of the time and taking care of really cute grandkids as needed! Author of over 70 novels and novellas, Ruthy loves giving voice to ordinary people with extraordinary results as they become the unforgettable characters readers love. Visit Ruthy's website email Ruthy at and friend her on Facebook where she shares love, life and her amazing faith in God. 

Hidden Treasures

 Do you ever find hidden treasures? I love it when that happens. 

The other day, my dad and I were sifting through some of the treasures my Momma left behind. We uncovered old family photos we didn't know she had, Bible verses on post-it notes, and then I uncovered the award-winning first stories by Jaime Jo Wright. 😂😂

Hidden Treasures

Apparently, back when I was six, I decided it was time to start developing my writing skills. I'm sure this will be something worth publishing. I'll be submitting it to my editor later this week. 

Okay, fine. Not really. But I did find it curious that Mom saved these. What makes a mother save things that seem insignificant? There was no way possible, when I was in 1st grade, that Mom knew I'd grow up to not only want to write stories, try to write stories, but actually publish stories. Still, something about these two pieces of paper must have tickled her funny bone or touched her heart in a way that made her tuck them away.

Years later--forty, to be exact--these stories were rediscovered after she moved to Heaven. What it tells me, is not really that I'd grow up to be an author who won an award that sits on a shelf now. What it tells me is that my being an author meant nothing to my mom. What meant something, was me. My attempts at poor writing. My mind and my heart. She cherished me. Treasured me. Enough to spirit away these small remnants as something precious.

It's a gift she left behind just for me. When I frame them--and I will--it's not because I want to read my 6 year old attempts at story. It is because it's a treasure of love, a testament to her mother's heart, and a true message of a mother who is a cheerleader. Even now. Cheering me on with the rest of the great cloud of witnesses.

What treasures have you found after a loved one has moved on?

Hidden Treasures

My Momma 💓💓💓
Hidden Treasures


Hidden Treasures

Jaime Jo Wright
 is the author of nine novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Christy Award Finalist Echoes Among the Stones
She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas.

Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo, beta fish named Calico Jack, and her other three felines: Jupiter, Maddie, & Moses. 
She's been married over 20 years to her husband, Cap'n Hook who pirated away with her heart and has held it hostage with some ferocity. Homeschooling keeps her pretending to be smart, and her fierce daughter CoCo is a whiz in the kitchen, while her son, fondly called Peter Pan, is pretty much an all around mama's boy (she'll keep it that way as long as she can). 

Along with her writing, Jaime also manages MadLit Mentoring & Assist which offers mentorships workshops and quarterly group mentoring to aspiring and established authors, as well provides assistant services to established authors who don't share Jaime's love of all things social media and marketing. You can find out more about Jaime at or 

A Checklist For Writing Your Happily Ever AfterWhat's New for Christian Writers? A Few Thoughts about Conferences...and Networking :)More Hidden TreasuresSunday Scripture & Prayer RequestsWeekend EditionThe Blessing You Find Along the WayLOVE'S A MYSTERY IN SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY!!!!!!Hidden Treasures

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