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Seekerville: The Journey Continues

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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.   


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 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

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 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.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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.






ABOUT LIFEMARK


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.


Giveaway


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 www.maryalford.net.

 

About AMONG THE INNOCENT 

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.

 


LOVE'S A MYSTERY IN SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY!!!!!!

   

LOVE'S A MYSTERY IN SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY!!!!!!


Ruthy here!

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

"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.

WE HAD SO MUCH FUN WORKING ON THESE STORIES! 

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?

#fun

#amazing

#flyingsparksrock

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 BLESSED! 

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"! 


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 loganherne@gmail.com 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 jaimewrightbooks.com or madlitmentoring.com 

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests

Sunday Scripture & Prayer Requests
Etching by Jan Luyken illustrating the parable, from the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England
[Free Art License]


Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have the servants recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

Luke 12:35-40

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: Mary Connealy

Wednesday: Mindy Obenhaus encouraged us to trust God with the desires of our heart, knowing that while He may not be early, He's never late. 

Thursday: Audra Harders shared her thoughts on Budgeting in Retirement

Friday:  Ryan Steck stopped by Seekerville for the first time and shared about turning a creative writing assignment to a debut novel. The winner of his upcoming release, Fields of Fire is Karen Jennings.


Weekend Edition


Monday:  Jaime Jo Wright

Tuesday: Dana Lynn

Wednesday:  Ruth Logan Herne comes on board today to talk about her brand new MYSTERY!!!! with Guideposts "Life's a Mystery in Sleepy Hollow, NY" and how much fun she's having writing something she said she'd never write...(never say never, by the way)... mysteries! #lovinglife

Thursday: Mary Alford buzzes into Seekerville with words of wisdom as she continues writing wonderful stories that people love to share!
  
Friday: Chris Fabry will stop by to share about listening for the Quiet Voice Instead of the loud noises that surrounds us and his latest release, Lifemark. Stop by for a chance to win a copy.






Weekend Edition

NEW RUTHY MYSTERY AVAILABLE!!!!


Weekend Edition



How fun to kick off this new Guideposts series with our good friend Gabe Meyer! Gabe wrote the historical mystery and I wrote the contemporary... and it has made a WONDERFUL 2-IN-1 for readers! Sleepy Hollow, NY is not only a great place historically, the quaint towns of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow are ripe for tourism, fun, gorgeous vistas of the great Hudson River and showplace towns that not only survived the loss of major manufacturing in the nineties... they put on a tourism hat and thrived! You will love, love, love this great coupling of "then" and "now"... mystery and romance? Yes, please! 


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
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…
Order 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 )

13 Rules to be a Better Beta Reader by KM Weiland at Helping Writers Become Authors


What Makes a Great Antagonist by Maggie Smith at RMFW blog

What is Web Analytics? by Duncan at MailerLite blog

How to Manage the Waiting Part on our Writing Journey by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell at The Write Conversation

Adventures in Reversion - Getting the Rights Back by Kay DiBianca at The KillZone blog

Outing Yourself as a Writer by Angela Ruth Strong at Learn How To Write A Novel

Theology for Writers by Dan Balow at Steve Laube agency


Should You Pay for Reviews? by Chandrayan Gupta at The Writing Cooperative

Writing Into Retirement by M. Lee Prescott at Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula

 




From HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd

 by Ryan Steck


Back when I was in tenth grade, there was a young teaching intern who, in an attempt to excite a less-than-enthused group of teenagers, tasked us with a creative writing assignment unlike any other. Our homework, she explained, was to write a short story about anything we wanted, but here’s where it got fun—nothing was off-limits content-wise, including language, action, violence, you name it.

Back then (though my wife might argue this is true today as well), I was very much the type of fifteen-year-old who, if you gave me an inch, I would take ten miles. Always one to push the boundaries in high school, I went home ready to dive into my assignment, knowing full well that I was going to indeed pack my story full of action, language, and plenty of violence. So I started writing. And soon, a fully fleshed-out character came to me. His name was Matty Redd.

From HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd
*image from Pixabay

My short story, which I cranked out over the weekend, featured Redd, a young vigilante on a comic book–like quest to rid his school of injustice. There was a lot of language and even more action, which, if I’m honest, was all unnecessary and only added, well, simply because we could. Or so I thought.

Supremely proud of my short story, I turned it in, excited for feedback and to see our teacher’s reaction. She had, after all, given us free rein, and though I was fully aware I pushed the envelope a tad (okay, a lot), there was also a side of me that knew I started the project almost as a joke and ended up writing with conviction and excitement. The class clown back then, I didn’t necessarily want people to know that I tried so hard to produce a complete story, as that wasn’t the “cool” thing to do. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder what our intern would think of Matty Redd.

As fate would have it, there were a couple things about that assignment I wasn’t aware of when I first sat down to write it. For starters, it came as a big surprise to me when, the next day in class, it was announced that in order to receive peer-to-peer feedback, everyone would randomly be assigned someone else’s paper to read out loud in the class. I can still remember the face of the poor kid who had to read my paper, Matty Redd, in front of everyone. His cheeks turned a deep shade of red, and on several occasions, he stopped to ask our intern if he should keep reading. She let him, but I’m telling you, that moment had all the makings of a Southwest Airlines commercial. You know, the ones that always show someone in an awkward moment which ends with “Wanna get away?” Well, he did. It was brutal.

The second thing I didn’t realize about that assignment was that it had to be reviewed by the teacher. Not the young, cool, hip intern. No. By the actual teacher, and let me tell you something, he did not share his intern’s taste for boundary-pushing teenage crime fiction. The following day, I was called down to the office, where I promptly found my parents, the superintendent, and the principal waiting for me. I wasn’t sure what was going on at first, but the situation went from bad to worse when my principal whipped out a copy of Matty Redd and had my parents read it. That moment, by the way, would have made a great follow-up commercial—as it most certainly had a “Wanna get away?” vibe to it, and not only for me. My parents were embarrassed too, and though I knew I would be in trouble, something funny happened. Of all the times I had gotten in trouble in school, for once, my parents were on my side. Their main point was that, yeah, maybe I took things too far, but after all, that was the assignment, and therefore, because I did what was asked, there shouldn’t be a punishment. The school disagreed and suspended me for a week. It was, for the record, the only suspension where I wasn’t in trouble at home and basically served as a weeklong vacation. Still, I learned my lesson.

Flash forward more than fifteen years later, and something else happened . . .

I thought, back then, as an immature fifteen-year-old, that Matty Redd had come to me as a fully fleshed-out character. I was wrong, though, and in my adult life, armed with a new mindset and more life experiences shaped by getting older, marriage, and even fatherhood, I realized there was a lot about Matthew Redd that I didn’t know. And one day, I started wondering what, all these years later, he might be up to. I knew I wanted to be a storyteller, and as I researched and began shaping plot ideas, it was clear to me that the perfect character to anchor my story was Matty Redd.

From HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd
Turns out, Matthew Redd was the same guy I always knew, albeit much older and similarly armed with a plethora of new life experiences himself. Over the course of about a year and more than 100,000 words later, I explored who he is but also what message he might want to send. That, coupled with a story idea I had in mind about a mystery set in Montana that would lead to a global conspiracy, turned into Fields of Fire, my debut novel—and the first book in my Matty Redd thriller series—set to hit bookstores on September 6.

I’ve met a lot of people over the years who tell me there’s a story they always wanted to tell or maybe a plot concept they had come up with but never explored because they never got around to it for one reason or another. My message is always the same and one that I truly believe in: Do it! It’s never too late, by the way, so what’s stopping you? There was nothing out of the ordinary about me that led to me being an author. At the end of the day, I’m just an adult version of the same kid who took a creative writing assignment way too far in high school, only now I do it for a living. You can too. Start one page at a time. One chapter a time. Write and don’t give up. First drafts don’t need to be good; that’s what editing and second drafts are for. Just keep at it, and don’t ever give up.

By the way, that same principal—who I greatly admire—who suspended me is now my kids’ principal. And it turns out, Matthew Redd is the gift that keeps giving. Not only did I get a week off school, but I also got a book deal out of him. Who would have thought, right? Moving forward, I can’t wait to see what trouble he gets into next and to finally be able to introduce him to readers.


About Ryan

From HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd
Ryan Steck is an editor, an author, and the founder and editor in chief of The Real Book Spy. Ryan has been named an "Online Influencer" by Amazon and is a regular columnist at CrimeReads. TheRealBookSpy.com has been endorsed by #1 New York Times bestsellers Mark Greaney, Lisa Scottoline, Brad Thor, and many others. A resident of Michigan, along with his wife and their six kids, Steck cheers on his beloved Detroit Tigers and Lions during the rare moments when he's not reading or talking about books on social media. He can be reached via email at Ryan@TheRealBookSpy.com.






About Fields of Fire


From HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd
“You know Ryan Steck as the Real Book Spy. Now, get to know him as the author of Fields of Fire, his debut thriller featuring Marine Raider Matthew Redd in a battle that will leave you speechless and begging for more. Lock and load!” —Jack Carr, Navy SEAL Sniper and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil’s Hand

Waiting to be deployed on a critical mission, elite Marine Raider Matthew Redd stops to help a stranger and wakes up hours later to learn his team was wiped out in an ambush. Unable to remember anything, Redd can’t deny the possibility that he’s somehow responsible for the information leak that led to the massacre. He’s given a deal to avoid a charge of treason, but it means walking away from the Corps and the life he loved.

As he faces his loss, Matty gets a cryptic message from his adoptive father, J. B.: “Trouble’s come knocking. . . . Might need your help.” He points his truck home to rural Montana, only to discover that J. B. is dead and the explanation for his death is far from satisfying. Determined to dig up the truth, Redd uncovers a dark global conspiracy with his hometown at the center and no team at his back—except one he might find among past friends, old enemies, and new allies, if he can figure out who to trust.

Releases on September 6, 2022.


Giveaway*


Please leave a comment for Ryan for a chance to win a copy of Fields of Fire.


*Giveaway courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers and is subject to giveaway terms and conditions of Seekerville and Tyndale House Publishers. US Mailing addresses only.
More Hidden TreasuresSunday Scripture & Prayer RequestsWeekend EditionThe Blessing You Find Along the WayLOVE'S A MYSTERY IN SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY!!!!!!Hidden TreasuresSunday Scripture & Prayer RequestsWeekend EditionFrom HS Creative Writing Assignment to Debut Novel: The Evolution of Matty Redd

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