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3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda Wen

 Pepper here, and I'm so excited to have author, Amanda Wen, with us today! I'm serving up some coffee, tea, and chocolate croissants, so come enjoy some important tips from Amanda.

3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda Wen

One of the things I love most about Seekerville—and the writing community in general—about how committed authors are to supporting other authors. Whether you’re a bestseller or just getting started, chances are there’s someone you can learn from, and someone who can learn from you. To that end, here are three bits of wisdom I gleaned from those who helped me when I was first getting started, including some advice I got right here on Seekerville!

1.      Contests can get you noticed.

I’ve written for fun my whole life, but started writing seriously in 2014. “Seriously,” for me, meant “show my stories to my middle school BFF, who is herself a multi-published author, and fix whatever she tells me to fix.” There were indeed many things to fix, but once I fixed those things, my friend encouraged me to enter contests. Those seemed pretty terrifying, as I’d heard horror stories about judges shredding people’s entries and destroying their confidence, but then I found the ACFW First Impressions Contest, which only requires the first five pages of a manuscript. I chucked my little entry in, figuring that even if the judges did shred it, it was only five pages, and my ego could (probably) survive that.

 
To my astonishment, the judges didn’t shred my entry. In fact, they kinda liked it. One of the final round judges really liked it, in fact, and—long story short—that judge is now my literary agent. Would I have found her outside of First Impressions? Perhaps. Would my query have eventually worked its way to the top of her slush pile? Maybe. But that contest was the route God chose to connect me with my agent, and I’m forever grateful I decided to enter. 

2.      Work on a new project while you’re on submission. 

After I signed with my agent, she schlepped my manuscript to a handful of publishers, and thus began one of my life’s more agonizing periods of waiting. About that time I came across perhaps the best piece of writer advice I ever received: Work on something else while your book is on submission.

3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda Wen This serves two purposes, equal in importance. In the event Submitted Book doesn’t sell, you can fling Shiny New Project at your agent and start the whole process over again. Perhaps not the most pleasant reality to confront, I realize, but it’s way better than having to start from scratch and write something new after you realize that publishers aren’t as in love with your book as you (or even your agent) might be.


Perhaps more importantly, though, working on something else has the added benefit of occupying your mind. Instead of obsessively stalking editors on social media, wondering if that amazing new manuscript they just tweeted about might be yours, and checking your email hundreds of times a day, your mind is occupied with new characters, new scenes, and new worlds.

This doesn’t mean you won’t online-stalk editors. Of course you will. But the goal is for you to do it less.

3.      Contests aren’t everything.

3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda Wen

Yup, we’re back on the contest thing again. With my Project The First on submission and Shiny New Something in the works, I had two manuscripts I could enter in contests. (If it worked before, why not try it again?)

One of the projects won almost every contest it entered. Judges loved it. The other one, however, received the lowest scores I’d ever seen on anything I’d ever submitted. It won nothing. It finaled in nothing. And I figured it was probably going nowhere.

I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Project The First. It led me to my agent. It helped me believe in myself as a writer. But it wasn’t published, and likely never will be. It never made it to editorial committee or pub board or anything.

Shiny New Something, though? The project I started to keep myself from stalking editors? The one that got shredded by contest judges?

               That one ended up being my debut, Roots of Wood and Stone. 


What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below, and one lucky commenter will receive a signed paperback of either Roots of Wood and Stone or its sequel, The Songs That Could Have Been (your choice)!

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3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda Wen

Amanda Wen’s debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, released to both reader and critical acclaim. The book was named a 2021 Foreword INDIES Award winner and was a finalist in both the Christy and Carol Awards. In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat. She loves to connect with readers through her newsletter and share book recommendations on BookBub

Handling a Full Plate

Handling a Full Plate

A full plate is better than an empty one, right?


Today’s post is about time management (thanks to Audra for kicking this topic off!) but I’m going to stick to the food analogy for a few minutes, first.

At our church we have carry-in meals once a month. (Fellowship time is important!) When I go through the line, I’m always dazzled by the many choices! Casseroles, salads, breads, sometimes a pot of soup on a cold day, sometimes a delicious brisket (we live in ranching country.) Occasionally a main-dish salad, too. And then there are the desserts…

Handling a Full Plate

 
Do I hear any “Amens!?”

We all know that there is no way even a small spoonful of each one of those dishes is going to fit on our plates, but we fill them up anyway.

After all, a full plate is better than an empty one.

Except when the plate starts tipping and a bit of the jello fluff slides onto the floor…or the dinner roll perched on top takes a nosedive for someone else’s plate…or the tuna noodle casserole’s sauce insists on mingling with the oil and vinegar dressing on your lettuce….

Maybe there can be too much of a good thing!

My life is a bit like that. I know I’ve said “yes” to too many responsibilities, and when fall comes I’ll be adding another huge one back onto my plate. And then there is the possibility of a grandchild (or two) arriving in the next year or so. Each of those important things needs a spot on my plate.

How do I give all those responsibilities the attention they need? How do I keep any of them from falling off the plate? How do I make sure I accomplish what needs to be done WHEN it needs to be done?

Time management.

My favorite tool for time management is a planner. And my favorite planner is my Bullet Journal.

Why a planner?

Because our lives are full of details that need our full attention.

I used to just list the things I needed to do on my planner page in no particular order and without a lot of thought, but that could be so disheartening. My list was just too long, and what about the things I didn’t really want to do? Well, it’s easy to just move them to the next day’s list, and the next one, and the next one…

Then I discovered a new strategy: Divide and conquer!

Here’s a picture of my Bullet Journal page for last Friday. It takes me less than five minutes to put this page together in the evening and finish it up the next morning.

Handling a Full Plate

 
Do you see how I listed my priorities at the top? There are three of them. Keeping that list to three items is my #1 rule.

Then I divide my tasks into three areas: personal, home, and writing.

I try to list no more than three things in each of those areas, but sometimes the day is extra busy.

The colorful column on the right is where I divide my day into blocks. (I use color-coding to make everything easy to keep in order.) The numbers in that column correspond to the time of day.

If you look at the column, you can see that I’ve scheduled my writing tasks in three separate time blocks. 6:00 am to 7:30 am, 9:00 am to 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. That’s a total of 6 ½ hours spent on writing and writing related tasks.

Now look at the items I’ve listed under “writing” on the left. I usually spend my first writing block putting words down in my WIP. My goal is 1000-1500 words during that block.

The second block is for more writing or tackling a sticky technical problem with my website or publishing.

The third block is for a variety of things. Sometimes I use that time for research. Sometimes for listening to podcasts or reading craft books. Sometimes for writing my newsletter content. Sometimes for writing a blog post.

The key? I know I’m more creative in the morning after my first cup of tea, so I use that to my advantage and do the most important thing first. I also know I tend to be a bit draggy in the afternoons – so that’s when I take care of tasks that require less concentration.

I do the same for the “personal” category and “home” category. I do those planned tasks during the times with the matching colors in my schedule.

Is this method perfect?

No, but it’s as close to perfect as I can get for me. You might find that a different kind of planner suits you better, or that a bunch of sticky notes on your computer screen’s frame is the perfect solution. The idea is to plan our time so that it doesn’t get frittered away.

Handling a Full Plate

 
Do I schedule every day this way?

Nope. I schedule my working days like this, but never Sunday, and I usually take another day off during the week for our “Saturday” chores and time off. This is a tool I use to make my work days go more smoothly.

Does this method work?

Yes, it does. When I have my day planned out like this, I tend to get most of the tasks accomplished, just like when I have a reasonable amount of food on my plate!

Handling a Full Plate


How about you? Are you a planner?

And here’s an interesting question: if you’re a planner, are you also a plotter in your writing? And if you aren’t a planner, are you a panster in your writing?

Let us know in the comments!  

And by the way, yesterday was a VERY SPECIAL DAY!!! My dear husband and I marked our 40th wedding anniversary. We're spending today enjoying some touristy things and enjoying time with each other. I'll be in and out to respond to comments, though!

Here's a picture of my mom and I on our special day:


Handling a Full Plate

I'm so glad the photographer took this picture, although I thought it was a little silly at the time. I had more important things on my mind, right? And I thought my mom would always be there...

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests
Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary by Tintoretto, 16th century,
Munich, Germany. [PD-US]


Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."

Luke 10:38-42

 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.   


GOD BLESS THE USA!

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 Seekerville2@gmail.com. If the winner does not contact us within two weeks, another winner may be selected.


Monday:  Jaime introduced herself to our Seekerville world!

Tuesday: On Tuesday, Dana R. Lynn shared with us the importance of finding rest in our busy lives. Sandy Smith won a digital copy of Soul Care When You're Weary by Edie Melson. 
A.A. Haynes won a print edition of Dana's June release, Amish Cradle Conspiracy.

Wednesday: Ruthy talked about Loving Womens' Fiction - well, most of the time!

Thursday: Katy Lee stopped by for a visit. Connie Saunders is the winner of a copy of Katy's August release Cavern Cover-Up.


Weekend Edition


Monday: Jan Drexler will be sharing some time management tips for anyone who has too much on their plate (i.e. ALL of us!)

Tuesday:  Amanda Wen is joining us today to bring some writing tips and encouragement to pre-published authors! 

Wednesday:  Debby Giusti hosts guest author Tracy Fredrychowski who'll share insight into her Women of Lawrence County series with a free giveaway to everyone who stops by to say hello!

Thursday: Winnie will be providing a sneak peak at her upcoming release Talulla
  







Weekend Edition


TWO NEW BOOKS FROM RUTHY!!!!!!

FOR PREORDER, RELEASING NEXT WEEK:


Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition



AND AS IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH, THE NEWLY UPDATED AND REVISED EDITION OF "A FAMILY TO CHERISH" IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!  CLICK HERE TO GET THE KINDLE OR PAPERBACK VERSION! 

Weekend Edition



RELEASING JULY 26, 2022

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

COMMANDING JUSTICE

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…
Pre-Order on Amazon!


Weekend Edition

RELEASING ON AUGUST  1, 2022


Weekend Edition

Talulla
   

Will returning home bring Talulla the peace that’s eluded her for half her life?

Ten-year-old Talulla watched in horror as her beloved brother fell through the ice while trying to save her. Thanks to the quick actions of Max, her brother’s closest friend, she survived. Her brother didn’t. When she overhears Max and her father discussing that she’s to blame, Talulla feels betrayed by those she thought she could most trust. A boarding school becomes her refuge, and she never looked back. Until now.

Widowed father Max is traveling home with his young daughter. Unfortunately, a bad case of travel sickness overtakes the little girl, and Max turns to the conductor for help. When the man finds a passenger willing to share her Pullman section, Max is relieved—until he discovers their benefactor is Talulla, a woman whose last words to Max were an impassioned I hate you.

Can these two find a way to push past their mutual distrust to regain the friendship they once shared. And perhaps something more…

   
Pre-Order on AMAZON


Weekend Edition

Pam Hillman's newsletter went out yesterday.

If you're not signed up, it's FULL of fun stuff this month.

        • NEW RELEASE - Love is a Puzzle is here
        • .99cent Blowout Sale on SIX of Pam's titles!
        • Christmas in July Blog Tour - $520 Amazon Gift Card!


Weekend Edition




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 )


Genre Hopping by Mary Gillgannon at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Three Modes of Story Imagination by Donald Maass at Writer Unboxed

Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About In Medias Res by KM Weiland at Helping Writers Become Authors


Why Indie Authors Should Quit Their Day Jobs by Sukhi Jutla at Alliance of Independent Authors

How to Avoid Spam Filters and Reach the Inbox by Silvestras at MailerLite blog


What Writers Need to Master Their Craft by CS Lakin at Live Write Thrive

How to Write an Anti-Hero Readers will Adore by Lewis Jorstad at The Novel Smithy

Are you looking for Christmas In July reads? BookFunnel has put together a promotion featuring 100+ Sweet Holiday Romance Books. Available for a limited time, don't wait to check out the authors and titles!







Bringing Real Life Into Your Sto

Hello readers! Dana here. I am very pleased that Katy Lee is joining us today! Katy and I met several years ago at a retreat, and we've become great friends since. I always love picking her brain for great ideas. Welcome Katy!

Katy:

We may think our lives are mundane and ordinary, but if we captured all the little moments, whether sweet or heartbreaking, funny and even embarrassing and bottled them up, we would have enough fodder to fill a hundred books or more! And I’m talking about your fiction books.

 

Now, you may say, “Why would I include my personal experiences in my books about other people?” The answer to this question is because when a reader buys your book, they are unconsciously sitting down to connect with YOU. If your voice is distant or speaking from a different level, or if the characters are flat with no relatable substance, the reader will see right away that you as the author have no desire to connect with them. They will put the book down and never sit down with you again.

 

In many circles of life through thousands of years of time, there have always been storytellers. To be selected as the storyteller was an honor. It meant people willingly listened, and because they listened, information was shared and passed on through generations. It also meant the storyteller made the story personal.

 

Take One:

 

“Don’t eat the red berries,” said the leader of the tribe to the children.

 

The children’s curiosity is peaked. Some may sneak off and collect some berries. RIP.

 

Take Two:

 

“Gather around, children, and let me tell you a story. There once was a little girl who was mighty hungry, and she had a day’s walk before she would arrive home. Her mother had told her she was cooking her favorite stew, but the little girl’s tummy rumbled something fierce. She had no more food on her walk, but along the path, she found some red berries. She thought just this once would be all right. Just one berry would be okay, she thought. And so, she ate…one…berry. Soon, her belly hurt worse than before. She cried in pain…until she couldn’t breathe anymore. She choked as if a bone was stuck in her throat and then she fell flat on the ground…and died. When her mother heard that her little girl was dead, she couldn’t eat the stew because she was so sad. “If only my little girl hadn’t eaten the red berry. Then we could eat together and live happily forever.”

 

The storytellers knew how to personalize their message, and they did this by relating to their listeners. Warnings could be passed on, and we know those children went back to their huts and retold the story about the girl who ate only one red berry. And then they hugged their mamas and their mamas made them their favorite stew.

 

Bringing Real Life Into Your Sto


In our books, we can share our own experiences through our characters that will then be passed on to our readers. We can give advice without a lecture. We can provide encouragement without stepping foot into their lives. We can bring laughter to their day by adding in an embarrassing moment that happened to us—and most likely happened to the reader at some point too.

 

To give you an example of the power of story through these little experiences, I once read a book back in high school where there was an older woman who fooled people about her age. She looked so youthful until someone in the story said, “Look at her neck. The neck never lies.”

 

That was it. All the author had to say was, “The neck never lies” and from that day forward and to this very day, I moisturize my neck! That is the power of storytelling.

 

All because the author added some of herself into the book.

 

Now, I don’t know what happened to her for her to come to this realization. Or why she chose to share her knowledge, but I am grateful to her. Thank you, Barbara Delinsky!

 

So how can we put ourselves more in our books? I will share my technique, but first, there is a litmus test of sorts I ask myself before I slip in my personal experiences. They are as follows:

 

1.     Did the experience change me or my choices or my relationships for the better? Even those hard times I’ve been through.

 

2.     Is it my story to tell? What’s my part in it? If an experience happened to someone else, I should only share my part/side in it. (A good comic knows how to poke fun at themselves, not others.)

 

3.     Is there authenticity or vulnerability in sharing my experience through my characters? Characters should always be authentic, even static characters that never change. They never change because something holds them back. What are the personal experiences that hold me back? What experiences isolated me, embarrassed me, taught me, encouraged me, humored me, or lifted me up?

 

Now, I have nearly fifty years of experience, and new experiences happen daily. Unfortunately, our brains can’t retain every experience, so what I have done is committed to something called “Homework for Life.”

I once attended a seminar on teaching (I am a special education teacher when I’m not writing or coaching writers). A storyteller was invited to speak at the teacher seminar and shared this technique. I have taken his way and made it my own. His name is Matthew Dicks and has written about using stories for everyday life and work, such as grant writing.

But for me, I have taken this technique and used it to create characters and the situations I put them in. Depending on if you are tech-savvy or if you would rather write longhand each day, it should only take a few minutes to complete. Either make a spreadsheet, google docs, etc., or use a notebook.

1.     Add a date.

2.     Write one thing that occurred today. Can be an actual event, a thing you did, something someone said that made you laugh, cry, etc. It can also be a memory that came back today.

3.     My reaction or emotion to the event, words, or memory.

 

That’s it!

As I said, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. And if something happens during the day, and you think you will forget by nighttime, write it down right then.

 

Here’s an example from my log:

6/14/17: I put A on a plane to Paris for the summer. I’m excited for her, but I hope she comes back alive. (She’s only 16) I’m scared.

6/15/17: B and I fought again. I feel so insignificant. I feel like I don’t matter. But I know that comes from something else. I know he loves me. I must find my voice.

6/16/17: I bought chocolate today. A lot of it. I’m happy.

6/17/17: S came over for tea. We have such different views on life. But she makes me laugh.

6/18/17: Went to a cookout with people I didn’t know. Had more fun. I felt free to be me. Brought chili. Everyone loves my chili.

6/19/17: My favorite shirt was shrunk in the wash. B bought me another one. All good.

6/20/17: Made Strawberry Rhubarb pies for me and Mom. Too liquidy. I need a better recipe. Actually, I didn’t use a recipe. That could be why.

 

As you can see, these are everyday events that at the moment don’t seem to mean much. But as I am writing my stories, I can browse through my log for tidbits to bring into the book. I can also start whole stories with one entry, so if I’m struggling with building a character or premise, I can draw on my own experiences and build from there. Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” All I have to do is remember that day and how I felt…and write what I know. Did I learn something about putting my daughter on a plane to Paris? Boy, did I! Perhaps, I’ll put it in a story someday.

Thank you, Seekerville, for having me on your blog today! Thank you, Readers, for stopping in and spending your time with me. Whether you write, or not, keeping track of your daily experiences will bring joy to you as you go back and read a few in later years. I encourage all to do it!

 

Katy is offering two chances to win Cavern Cover-Up. One commenter will win a copy. If you follow the link below, you can enter the rafflecopter drawing she has going on.

Click here to be added to rafflecopter


Bringing Real Life Into Your Sto


Katy Lee

 

Bringing Real Life Into Your Sto


Publishers Weekly best-selling author Katy Lee has penned nearly thirty novels full of intrigue, romance, and inspiration. Romantic Times Book Reviews acclaimed, “The action is intense in Lee’s character-driven suspense.” She is a two-time RITA® Award nominee and a two-time Daphne du Maurier award nominee for her excellence in mystery and suspense. She also has multiple awards for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award and the Selah Award for her romantic suspense Blindsided. Katy is a native New Englander but presently lives in the majestic, rugged Utah mountains where she is involved in full-time missions for an international Christian school. Katy also offers writing courses online to novice and accomplished writers and coaching services. She has clients all over the world and hopes to open a writing retreat center in the mountains someday. Katy is a graduate student at the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University where she studies Professional Writing and Global Studies. You can find information on her books and writing coaching services on her website: KatyLeeBooks.com.

 Ruthy here, giving you a delightful post first done in 2017.... and still relevant today! 

In Ruthy's world, "nobody puts Baby in a corner".... and writing diverse genres and stories suits her... and might be just the thing for you!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Loving Women's Fiction! Most of the Time!

I love writing romance. Check out this video my daughter Beth made for me... Twenty Love Inspired books so far. #21 comes out in February and #22 in August... and then a Christmas novella duo with my buddy Linda Goodnight... and then #23 in January of 2019.

I am blessed.



I love writing mysteries!!! Who knew? This was my first mystery for Guideposts, and I've just finished mystery #2 and I'll be plotting #3 in a couple of weeks!!!



I love writing big books and smaller books, too. 
Link to bestselling "Back in the Saddle" on Amazon...



And I've always loved writing women's fiction... with women empowerment plugged into the story because I believe women should all feel empowered. They should feel ready to handle whatever life sends their way, and when I wonder why women might not feel that way, I look around the world where oppression and lack of women's rights... and the fact that we only gained equal rights in the grand old U.S. of A. a hundred years ago. Historically, that's like YESTERDAY...

But while I love a splash of romance in Women's Fiction, I don't want the heroine rescued. There ain't no Disney princess on my watch, although their newer varieties are more my cup of tea.

Note to everyone reading this: PLEASE DO NOT TRY AND RESCUE ME. Rescue not needed, not appreciated and clearly unnecessary. And that's the spirit I like to see in my heroines... even the ones that might benefit by a little help and a ragingly cute, cool guy. 

BUT... I don't want her saved by a knight in shining armor.

I don't want her to be relegated to a life of raising kids in a worn kitchen while the hero earns a living.

Not because that's bad... It's not.

But if we don't learn to take care of ourselves and stand up for ourselves, neediness can become a major step backwards in the story plot... and I don't want to see women stepping back when God calls us forward. But if your heroine is strong, what makes the conflict relatable in your story? Why does she need a story at all?

Here's where Mandisa hits the nail on the head with "Overcomer" on Youtube. I love this song... and what it represents. 

Plotting the Wishing Bridge series came from multiple inspirations, but today we're sticking to heroines and Thanksgiving. I brought pumpkin pie and cranberry orange relish!!!! YUM!

Back to plotting.... In a women's fiction story, your women need to be the crux of the stories/series. The stories and plots should revolve around the woman's story. She's the ice cream in the sundae. The fruit in the pie. The cake... not the frosting. Because the solid base of the woman and her issues is what your story grows from.

In Wishing Bridge, all three women are from abusive pasts. All had troubled teen experiences. All were in group foster care at Hannah's Hope, a home for troubled girls near Philadelphia. And they'd made two promises at age 18: To never repeat the mistakes of their mothers... (mothers take a lot of heat in this series!!!!) AND...

If one ever runs into trouble, all she has to do is send the others an SOS and they will come running.

And of course, that's the beginning of the series.

Book One: Cinderella-looking Kelsey has always longed for the All American dream. To be a teacher, to be beloved, to fall in love with a wonderful man and raise a family.

OOPS. How about a con-man disguised as Prince Charming, an unexpected pregnancy and an $8000.00 line of credit taken out in your name... only it wasn't you who signed the application.

Book Two: Jane Eyre-styled Thea is the big city loner. Sold into human trafficking by her crack/cocaine addicted mother, she was eventually released from captivity by a kind man... Now a family practice nurse practitioner, Thea's determined to work in the big city and help the teens and tweens that remind her of herself... and here she is in a tucked-in-the-hills snow-belt town that rolls up the sidewalks at seven o'clock, every night. Yawn.... 

Book Three: And then there's long-legged, drop-dead gorgeous bi-racial Jazz, a supermodel living the high life, a runway favorite, destined for continued greatness... If she survives the eating disorder threatening her life.

And that's where it begins, with strong, flawed characters who might need help, who may seek redemption but who are inherently overcomers... the kind of women who don't blame others because they're too busy carving a life for themselves.

I try not to belabor my own slovenly upbringing when talking about stories... not because I don't like talking about it. I don't lean on it, I don't use it as a crutch. It's the past. Over. Done. Finis. I don't dwell in the past. Ever. But I'm not afraid to use my past, my experiences, or those of others to deepen a story.

I don't wallow, and I don't want my heroines to wallow, either. Wallowing is for piggies, down on the farm. Not for successful women, even if they still question their own strength.

We know they've got what it takes, and as authors build their stories, we can construct a path that helps readers reach for success. Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it ain't real.

Keep it real.
Keep it upbeat.
Keep it moving.
Stay on the upside of the crises, never miring down in the seamy side of life for too long. We know it exists... we don't have to drown ourselves in it.

Show your heroine emerging from her cocoon like a butterfly escapes the chrysalis... To spread her wings and take flight. And if that flight includes a wonderful man, well that's not a bad thing. But it shouldn't depend on the wonderful man outcome. That should be the frosting on the cake... the whipped cream on that sundae... And a drizzle of hot fudge is never in bad taste!



I am so excited about this release. I love the story, I love the series, and I've had a great time working with Amazon's Waterfall Press to launch this book.  

RUTHY UPDATE 7/22: Wishing Bridge didn't just fly off the shelves... it still is flying off the shelves! This initial story "Welcome to Wishing Bridge" has over 800 reviews and a 4.6 star rating.... and it was joined by "At Home in Wishing Bridge", "Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge", "Embracing the Light in Wishing Bridge" and this October you'll see "Reclaiming Hope in Wishing Bridge", all with hundreds of reviews and 4.7 star ratings... I am so delighted that folks have fallen in love not just the people, but the town of Wishing Bridge, NY!

FIVE MORE DAYS!!!! COUNTDOWN BEGINS!!!! But you can pre-order "Welcome to Wishing Bridge" here.

What kind of women's fiction do you love? What speaks to you?

Come on inside and let me know and I'll put your name in the wishing basket for a chance to win a Kindle version of your choice of the Wishing Bridge stories!




They picked a great actress to do the voices... and she nailed it! 

Thank you, Erin!


Multi-published, award-winning inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne is currently holed up on her Western New York farm with family, friends, 3 miniature donkeys, two dogs, three cats and a partridge in a pear tree! Friend her on facebook... follow her on twitter... and she'd LOVE IT if you followed her on Amazon and Book Bub

The Power of Rest

Good morning, friends! It is wonderful to be on Seekerville again. I am celebrating today. Several hours ago, I handed in my 18thLove Inspired Suspense book to my editor. Yay! It was an exciting story to write. If all goes as planned, it will be in stores in May 2023. But that’s not all I’m celebrating. On Sunday, my oldest child and only daughter got engaged. Woohoo! This next year is going to be so busy! Not only do I have four more books to hand in before June, I am also going to be busy helping my beautiful girl plan a wedding. A task I will enjoy! I feel so blessed that she wants me to be involved in her life.

The Power of Rest


But… there is only so much we can do without becoming exhausted. I tend to get very intense when I’m involved in a task. I throw myself into it with abandon and don't want to quit until I’m done. In addition, I have multiple projects going on at the same time. That’s my personality. My husband tends to be a very involved person, as well.

About 20 years ago, my hubby said ENOUGH! He told me, we have jobs, kids, friends, and many other things going on in our lives. But all those blessings are from God. And God specifically gave us a day to rest from our busy lives. Together, we made the decision to avoid any unnecessary work on Sunday. Sunday is our day to go to church and enjoy our family. This has been a very positive change in our lives.

It is so important to balance our busy productive lives with times where we let God refresh our souls. There is a difference between selfishness and self-care. I truly believe this. If I didn’t rest after hitting a manor deadline, I’d be exhausted. The care I give my family, and the way I interact with my students and my colleagues would suffer. Also, if I finish a big project and immediately leap into another, I will find that my creative ability is lacking. I become discouraged when this happens. If I take the time to pray, rest and care for my soul, my ability to create, to love, to complete the tasks God has put before me flourishes. 

We have to take care of ourselves. This is especially true if we have others depending on us. They deserve to see us at our healthy best.

This week, I am resting after my deadline by attending a spiritual conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH. I will be free of all household duties, and be able to devote myself to learning, prayer, and resting in God’s presence. I always feel refreshed when I return from this place.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

I would love to know how you get refreshed when you are feeling worn or in need of rest and peace. I'm giving away one digital copy of Soul Care When You're Weary by Edie Melson and one print copy of Amish Cradle Conspiracy. Please say in the comments which book you are interested in, or if you're interested in both.


Blessings!

Dana 

The Power of Rest


The Power of Rest
Our lives are busier each day, and the margin we have available for recovery and peace is shrinking.

Edie Melson helps you find Soul Care solutions using devotions and prayers and opportunities for creative expression. She has learned that sensory involvement deepens our relationship with the Father and gives rest to our weary souls. She will teach you to tap into your creativity.

Reconnect with God using your tactile creativity.

I'm also giving away a copy of my June release, Amish Cradle Conspiracy. 


The Power of Rest


From USA TODAY bestselling author Dana R. Lynn.

To protect an Amish community…

She’ll make herself a target.

After a pregnant Amish woman and her toddler are abducted, police sergeant Nicole Dawson charges in to save them. But when the kidnapper escapes with the child—and thinks Nicole can identify him—she becomes his new obsession. Determined to protect his ex-fiancée, FBI special agent Jack Quinn joins the case. But the clock is ticking in their race to uncover the baby-trafficking ring before another innocent is taken…



Hello Seekerville!

Happy Monday and beginning of the week! I am so excited to be here and be a NEW member of Seekerville! Pepper Basham was lovely to cover for me last month when I was stranded out west in floods and tornados! But I am home now!

 Where is home? Home for me is in Wisconsin. I was born and raised here and love this state dearly. In fact, I set many of my stories in this state as well as Michigan. But don't be dismayed. I've got a book on deck set in Montana. I will spread my wings!

What do I write? I'm a bit creepier than many of the Seekerville authors. I like to call it "Scooby Doo for adults". Ghosts and secrets and mysteries all explained with a hope-giving side of faith! You can check out my stories here!

I have two kiddos both approaching their teen years. Any advice? We also have four cats, and I promise you will get to know them very well. Especially my muse and my boy, Foo!

He helps me write my stories. He is cuddly and sleepy by day and turns into a werewolf at night. He's quite the epitome of my stories all wrapped up in a mischievous cat!

All this to say! I'm so grateful to be here with all you. Will you please help me get to know you and leave your name, state, and fur baby info in the comments?

In His grip! Happy Monday!

Jaime 

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests
The Good Samaritan by Jacob Jordaens, c. 1616,
The Louvre, Paris, France. [PD_US]


There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
He said in reply,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself."

He replied to him, "You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied,
"A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
'Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.'
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Luke 10:25-37


 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, especially 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.   


GOD BLESS THE USA!

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 Seekerville2@gmail.com. If the winner does not contact us within two weeks, another winner may be selected.


Monday: Happy 4th of July!! 

Tuesday: Mary was here talking about her new release. The winner of Inventions of the Heart is, Jessica Harwood

Wednesday: Mindy shared some tips on finessing your manuscript.

Thursday: Audra tackled the issue of Focus and the writing life

Friday: Janice Cantore shared about incorporating real-life events into your story. The winner of a copy of her upcoming release, Code of Courage is: Glynis. Congratulations! 


Weekend Edition


Monday:  Jaime

Tuesday: Dana

Wednesday:  Ruthy
  
Thursday: Katy Lee






Weekend Edition

NOW AVAILABLE!

TWO STORIES RE-RELEASED

BY

DEBBY GIUSTI

    If you missed them before, get them now!

Weekend Edition

COMMANDING JUSTICE

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 NOW on Amazon!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New Release
Book #2 in the Lumber Baron's Daughters Series
Inventions of the Heart
Weekend Edition


Order Now from Baker Book House


   Coming July 26th! 

Two uplifting rereleases.
Weekend Edition

A Soldier's Homecoming

Second chance for the soldier


Homecoming Hero by Renee Ryan

Army captain Ty Wolfson assured a dying soldier that he'd stop the man's sister from going to the Middle East as a missionary. But no matter what Wolf says about the dangers, Hailey O'Brien believes it's her duty to go. Wolf can't seem to change her mind. Until he realizes it's a certain homecoming hero who needs to change first. By opening his heart to the Lord—and to Hailey.

Falling for the Hometown Hero by Mindy Obenhaus

After returning home from an IED attack, former soldier Kaleb Palmer is hailed as a hero. But survivor's guilt makes him feel like a fraud. He hopes setting up a business will give him a purpose. His new office manager, Grace McAllen, is not only helping make Mountain View Jeep Tours a success—she's getting Kaleb to open up. Could a happy ending be within reach for the wounded warrior?

Order NOW on Amazon



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 )


Re-Gear Your Writing Career - Take Risks to Revitalize by Kris Maze at Writers On The Storm

Computer Shortcuts by Patricia Bradley at Learn How To Write A Novel

Top 8 Best Scriveners Alternatives for Writers by Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur

On Being an Exophonic Writer by Berendsje Westra at Live Write Thrive

The One Tip that Will Bring Your Settings to Life by Giovanna Siniscalchi at Book Brush Blog

Are You a Fan of Laurie Schnebly Campbell Workshops? by LA Sartor at An Indie Adventure

Make the Right Media Choice by Dan Balow at Steve Laube Agency

How Memorable Are You? by Debbie Burke at Kill Zone blog

How Well Do You Know the Characters You Write? by Peggy Sue Wells at The Write Conversation

Using Weather Details to Enhance Your Fiction by Margery Bayne at The Writing Cooperative




3 Tips for Pre-pubbed Writers from Author Amanda WenHandling a Full PlateSunday Scripture & Prayer RequestsWeekend EditionBringing Real Life Into Your StoThe Power of RestHello Seekerville! Sunday Scripture & Prayer RequestsWeekend Edition

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