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Seekerville: The Journey Continues

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NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

 First we pray for Ukraine. First I lift my eyes up to the Lord, who has made heaven and earth. First I pray for the people of Ukraine, caught in a decades-long goal of an evil dictator in Russia. A power-monger... a land-grabber... a man of strength with a core of evil. We are living a history our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will learn about. (Hopefully...) A time when a tyrant ruled and they will look back and know what was done-- and what wasn't.

And now back to THIS NEW RELEASE!!!!


NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

Okay, it's actually a re-release of one of my first Love Inspired stories, an absolutely delightful book!

The joy of re-releasing stories is in the updates. I was able to go in, update the book, change a few things and I realized (again) that it's amazing how technology has changed since this book was published in 2013.... Nine years... think of what's happened in nine years!

WE HAVE "CLOUDS" NOW!!!!!

Everyone and their brother has email.

Cell phones from that year are pretty much dinosaurs now.

BLACKBERRY??? WHAT??? TIVO???? DITTO!!!!! 

It's funny to see that as the tech world goes, so go our stories and now I'm more careful about specifying tech stuff because it does go out of date so quickly. When that happens, it dates your story. Instead of being relatable and timeless, it's like "HUH????"

So I'm enjoying that process and learned a lot.

The other side of this is the business of writing. I have loved working with publishers. I've learned so much. But I also like running my own business and vagaries of publishing the past few years tipped me further into the indie side of publishing. Not because I didn't have contracts... but because the industry had shifted stripes/colors/intent and I realized I was a fish out of water. And that's okay.

NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

I also learned that nothing is perfect. No industry, no business. But when you're running your own business and you love to write, to produce stories, Amazon has offered an amazing opportunity that certainly pays off. And what a bonus, to have older books that won't be reproduced by Harlequin become a commodity that gets shelf life again! That makes me so happy and I was inspired by authors who fought for that right less than two decades ago. So much has changed.

A dozen years ago authors had little choice. It was hard to get your rights reverted so once stories lost their place in bookstores, they were done. And then the law decided that wasn't fair to writers (truth!) and indie publishing was growing... and the influx of authors with rights-reverted books and new stories blossomed. 

That became a cornerstone for good books on Amazon because we're talking famous bestselling and award-winning authors.... and there were a lot of them. 

NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

Indie publishing has changed, too. The industry is still fluid... and in a flux following the ravages of the pandemic.

But in the middle of all that are authors who write... who work... who republish and newly publish and work with publishers and with KDP (Kindle Direct)/Amazon.

We are blessed!

So we have just released book 2 of the Southern Tier Romance series... Small Town Hearts... Kindle and paperback. It's a warm, sweet, inspirational story that inspired my homemade Maple Fudge, a fudge we sell at the farm now! :) I love it when one business "bleeds" into another.

The road to publishing and self-publishing isn't easy.

I don't think it's supposed to be.

I've watched authors who got "the call" fairly quickly crash and burn because the work required and the expectations of editors and publishers means that we adjust/change/edit/revise as directed and most often that means a better book... but you do swallow your pride! :) And humility is a wonderful if acquired taste. 

Enjoy your day! Pray for Ukraine.... Help in any way you can.... and if you want another lovely Ruthy-read, go grab this book and get lost in the small town grace of Jamison, New York tucked in our very own Allegany County, NY.... South of Wishing Bridge and a bit north of Pennsylvania. And thank you!

NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

SMALL TOWN HEARTS AVAILABLE HERE!!!!!

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THIS BOOK AND A SWEET SURPRISE! 

Books three and four coming this spring and summer! 

NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS


NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDS

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is co-owner and manager of a busy pumpkin farm in Western New York which means she is kind of dirty, messy, sweaty for six months of the year, and yet having so much fun.... almost as much fun as writing nearly seventy books. Living her dream, Ruthy is the mother of six with a seventh "daughter of her heart", a slew of grandkids and a couple of goofy Golden Doodles who had nine puppies last years. She loves God, her family, her country, kids of all sizes, chocolate, coffee and has such faith in her Lord and Savior... and the goodness of mankind... that she knows God's blessings first-hand. Friend Ruthy on Facebook, email her at loganherne@gmail.com, or stop by her website at ruthloganherne.com. 


Back-handed Writing of Mysteries

 


Back-handed Writing of Mysteries

Good morning!

Ruthy here with some of the fun things I've learned about writing mysteries.

First, they are crazy fun. And I mean that sincerely. As an author who never thought of writing mysteries who is now a huge fan of writing mysteries, let me just say my fave, fave, fave is writing mysteries with some romance attached.

I love romance.

I love the common goal of solving a crime or a puzzle while we have romantic division because it means that the hero

Back-handed Writing of Mysteries
Shot by Arrul lin/Unsplash


 and heroine 

Back-handed Writing of Mysteries
Shot by Sarah Cervantes/Unsplash

are there organically, not by an engineered plot. And that's a very important point. If the hero and heroine are naturally thrown together by circumstances neither can change then they have a chance to deal... grow... learn... adjust.... and be attracted without it being manufactured. Lots of fires begin with the tiniest spark... that then smolders... flares... and ignites. 

But I also like extended romance plotlines (Think Castle, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, etc.) where the relationship evolves over time and a whole bunch of things get solved. Now that's the premise for the indie series I'm working on to be released in 2023/24  "Perpetual Mysteries", a group of time-slip mysteries that make me smile every time I think of them!

But I owe the skills to developing that series to Guideposts and my work with them in Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard, Savannah Secrets, Miracles and Mysteries of Mercy Hospital and our newest one (another time slip that I love!) Mysteries at the Whistle Stop Cafe'.  

Everything's an education.

When you get a chance to try something new or spread your wings, I say go for it! Learning to work with other authors is huge... learning to develop stories within a story: Also huge.

Look at it this way. A stand-alone mystery is great.

A stand-alone mystery in a line with six or eight or ten other mysteries is exponentially better if you have the setting/characters/ideas to make the mysteries sing. And no matter if you're looking at the indie market or traditional publishing, the more you have, the more you sell. 

I work backwards in a mystery. I need to know the end game to write the story, so once I know what the characters are going to discover.... what the crux of the mystery is... I can figure out a path to get them there. I don't do it mathematically. Not intentionally. I want a beginning, a middle and an end, but in that middle I want them to be surprised... maybe discouraged.... thoughtful... surprised again... scared.... depending on the type of mystery because not all mysteries have a fear element. And I want them to be solving some internal personal problem, see some growth as the character(s) go through the steps.

But first they need a mystery, right? 

A child, given away seventy years ago. Why?

A child, given away last week. Why?

A cache of letters in an old metal box beneath a floorboard.

A bundle of clothing, stained and dirty as if it had been worn yesterday discovered in an old closet that hasn't been opened in a hundred and fifty years because no one knew it was there.

A son not given a stipend by his father... Why?

A woman who can't remember why she's on a quest to a little town in Northern New York but has a pair of tickets for a boat ride there.

Once you know what the question is, you can come up with answers... and then chart the path.

I don't know if it works this way for everyone. I know it works for me.  And while I can write suspense, I veer away from real suspense because I'm nightmare prone. No one needs that. But mystery?

No nightmares there!

I've got a copy of a mystery to send out to one commenter today... Leave a comment today to be entered and tell me what you like, love or don't like about mysteries. And if you're a writer, are you game to give one a try?

Back-handed Writing of Mysteries

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne is still having the time of her life as she creates wonderful stories, the kind of stories she likes to read with the kind of characters that live in her town and the small Western New York towns surrounding her. Email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com, visit her website or friend her on Facebook where you will see she is a flag-waving, dyed-in-the-wool conservative/libertarian-type gal who loves God, her family, dogs, coffee, chocolate and kids! 

How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters

 

How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters

Mary's post on Monday was wonderful. She started with an amazing opening about women running for escape, women running for their lives, for freedom, for a chance to get out from under the cruelty of an evil stepfather.

She drew me in instantly.

So I'm going to talk about setting today, a setting strong enough to embrace and support those unforgettable characters we work so hard to create.

I'm choosing contemporary settings... it's different for a historical because the setting is unique to the time. Current day settings are beset with modernisms and that changes things, something I've discovered as I'm prepping my early Love Inspireds for the indie market.

From "Rebuilding Her Life", book one of my final Love Inspired series "Kendrick Creek"

How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters

Hello, childhood.

Jess Bristol sucked in a breath as she steered her rental car along mountain roads she hadn’t seen in years. Curve upon curve, the lush Appalachian forest floated by on her right while a winter valley stretched wide on her left. Beautiful. Bucolic. Pastoral.

But when she hugged a bend that took her further down the mountain, the Manhattan trauma doctor's breathing went tight for a different reason. The aftermath of the recent forest fire surrounded her. While some things had been completely consumed by the raging inferno, others had been randomly skipped over, leaving a tree here, bushes there. But not much had escaped the fire’s wrath along this stretch, and the sleepy mountain town below—her hometown—had taken a nasty hit.

The late December fire had started high in the hills and swept down, fed by a strong east wind. Around her, the remnants of that two-day blaze lay haphazard and dark against the fresh falling snow.

Burned trees and ash peppered what had been a pristine landscape. She’d seen the news reports and her mother had sent several pictures of the recent disaster that had besieged the area. But the photos hadn’t done it justice.

Devastation sprawled to her east, west and south. The fire’s path had traveled straight for Kendrick Creek, the Tennessee mountain town she’d called home for over two decades. From here she could see the swath of wreckage along this edge of the fire. It hadn’t burned the whole town, but it had ruined enough. In a little place like Kendrick Creek, it didn’t take much to have a huge effect.

This was this opening to the story.... You know Jess is a Manhattan trauma doctor, you know she was raised in a little Appalachian town and that she's coming home...

But it's the setting that takes the day and sets the stage. Destruction. Ruination. Remnants of a wind-fed fire that left homes, businesses, churches and Christmas decorations in rubble...

That opening setting has set a backdrop for the angst of the story. Whatever else happens, the reader knows that it occurs in the backdrop of disaster... leaving the story and the series ripe for redemption and renovation. 

BOOK TWO: The Path Not Taken:

How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters

I've seen folks say "never start a story with weather..." I expect they mean rote weather, you know, this kind of thing.... "It was a cold, wet, rainy day. Gayla searched for her umbrella. She needed it. Otherwise she'd show up at work looking like a wet poodle because her hair always crinkled more in high humidity. 

The car.

She'd left it in the car which meant that she needed to run a block down the road to get to the umbrella. And the car."

So let's re-do this opening to make the setting pop:

Rain.

Not just any rain.

Stinking, pouring, drenching, pooling rain and when one lived in a busy city where folks selfishly parked their over-priced cars over the lines so normal people had to park a block away, a storm wasn't just an inconvenience. It was an entity.

Sprawling leafless trees bent in the wind. They weren't dancing. There was nothing Joyce Kilmer-poetic about these trees. They were angry. Pure and simple. Thrashing their arms to protest their lack of protection.

Her, too.

Her umbrella was right where she'd left it last week, on the back seat of the car. The car she'd parked over a block away. The umbrella was laying quite comfortably on the back seat. Safe. Warm. Dry.

The opposite of what she was about to be.

She had no choice but to make a run for it.

The wind tunneled, total Chicago, lashing her, soaking her. Strong enough it probably would have turned that cheapo umbrella inside out and then it would have joined the hundreds of other useless umbrellas dotting Chi-town's metro garbage pails every April.

She missed the green light at the corner and had to wait, chin tucked, eyes down as the north-south traffic hurried toward its destinations. 

The light turned.

She knew better. She really did. She'd been working in the city for over three years, determined to make a name for herself, so she knew to look left then right before stepping down.

Her bad. And his, the guy who hurried through an almost red light, late for whatever.

The wall of water didn't just splash her.

It bathed her. Top to bottom. Stem to stern. Even inside the  ugly boots. And she had absolutely no choice but to keep on going.

And after biting back some really bad words, that's exactly what she did.

So this is how I see setting. I see it as an integrated part of the scene, not something separate or generally poetic and descriptive. More like another character, action-packed, boring or soothing, the setting creates an imminent feeling in the reader.

Debby Giusti uses settings in her suspense novels and she does it beautifully. Whether it's the alleys of a city or the thickly forested hills, when Debby sets a scene, you feel the threat approaching, even if the scene is light... you know the shadows loom.

Setting is huge for reader satisfaction. Think of it as another character, a changing one, and don't over-sell it... make it work with and for the scene either as a villain...

Or a friend!

BOOK THREE: "A Foster Mother's Promise"

How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters


How to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable Characters

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is busily writing mysteries in her very snowy, cold Western New York home. She is enjoying the peace of winter because warmth brings work and Ruthy runs/owns a pumpkin farm with her husband... and that makes the quiet of winter a lovely thing! She loves to chat with readers and writers. Email her at loganherne@gmail.com, swing by her Facebook page (although she is generally annoyed at social media, but she does love to share cookies, cakes and Ruthyisms!!!) or her website at ruthloganherne.com 


Leave a comment below and Ruthy will tuck your name into a really cute Southern style hat for a Support Your Favorite Author $15.00 Amazon card.... so you can grab one or two books you've been longing for and just couldn't quite let yourself do it!  

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books

 

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books

Good morning!  I LOVE that fish image... because sometimes you have to be brave enough and savvy enough to just go the other way. I think having survived a really rough childhood, I learned to swim upstream as needed.

Ruthy here. Ruthy who has gotten the rights back on four books this year.... and has the wonderful task of being able to go through them...

Word for word, step by step...

And re-publish them.

#BONUS

#AMAZON

#NEWOPPORTUNITIES

In the old days... like fifteen years ago... your old books sat on a publisher's back stock and most likely were never seen again. Now that's not true of Nora Roberts and Jodi Thomas and Debbie Macomber and Linda Howard.... those category authors hit the big time with bigger imprints and then their early works were published and repackaged and republished, and packaged again and republished.... and the author got whatever the original deal was.

Amazon/Kindle and Kindle Direct Publishing changed all of that.

And the law... the law helped, too, by saying that if an author's work was not being marketed, then the publishers needed to set reasonable guidelines to return the rights to the author if those guidelines were met. And that's the time we live in. As the author of 30 category books, I am very happy about that because that means my backlist doesn't die. It gets republished, only now I'm the publisher. So what does that mean? 

I'll tell you.

First, THIS IS NOT A DIFFICULT PROCESS. It takes time and work and effort but you are going to make money, so to me, that's a no-brainer.

1. Find the cleanest copy you can, complete with edits. (my original Love Inspired books in 2009 to 20013 were done with hard copy edits. I mailed them into the office in NYC, so those aren't available except in the story itself and back then, they sent LOCKED files so that you couldn't open them for editing. You simply printed the page with the edits. And mailed it.) 

SO MUCH  HAS CHANGED!!!!! Harlequin was gracious enough to send me unlocked files, which is wonderful. But they shift as I'm working.... so there's a lot of restructuring.... and they shift again during formatting, so leave time for two complete read-throughs. Am I particular about these read-throughs?

Yes. Because I want the best possible product for my customers, my readers. They deserve nothing less.

2. Arrange for formatting or if you have a Mac and Vellum and know how to do it, go for it. 

I don't. I don't have a Mac, nor Vellum, and I hire Jen at Killion to format all of my books (and I've put out a lot of them) and here is why: I have gotten no complaints from readers. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

When I see an indie book that's got publishing issues, I wince because it doesn't have to be that way. It costs me $60 for a Kindle format and $80 for a print. And as I get my rights back to multiple novels, I put every one out in print and Kindle format because I still have readers who love, love, love books. The print books are a minimal part of my monthly sales, but I love my readers and they have supported me for twelve years, so I'll do what I need to make accessibility to Ruthy books EASY.  I will do audio soon, too, God willing. Covid hit four weeks after I bought the equipment for my own little audio center, and my house has been noisy ever since...  Anyway, I want my indie books to look just as professional as my traditionally published books. Inside... and out.

3. Design a cover that reflects the book and/or series.

I don't find covers as important as some would have you believe.... BUT... having said that... I like good covers. When I went on cover hunts, though, I realized that the AUTHOR sells way more books than the cover, so as I release more and more books to the indie market, that readership (and page reads on Kindle, a wonderful marketing tool) increases. This is not overnight success. This is regularly feeding the tiger (Amazon) by getting books out there on a regular basis.  So the covers are important, but the readers' love for the author is still the #1 reason they buy or read your work.  And if you have the time/talent/wherewithal to design your own covers, go for it! Practice makes perfect. Personally, I gain traction by writing more and having Beth do covers and graphics. And I am not good at that stuff!!!! Not good!!!!! I can own it!!!!!

We've talked behind the scenes about series specific covers... I believe in that, it makes it easier for the reader to recognize the book/series/style. In my wonderful and long term with Love Inspired, the series didn't have a cover "feeling".... they were well done but looked like anybody's cover and one series could easily be stacked with another and no one would know the difference. Now I had the power to change that.

Here are the WISHING BRIDGE COVERS. The first two were designed by Waterfall Press/Amazon/Brilliance Audio the original publisher of books one and two. I wanted the ensuing covers to reflect the first two. To fit as if designed by the same person. Beth Jamison of Jamison editing created the covers for "Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge" and "Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge".

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books


But when I had Beth do the North Country Series, my first three books whose rights reverted to me, I had her do a distinctively different look:

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books

And now that I have rights back to several of my Men of Allegany County series with Love Inspired, they will have their own distinctive look. I wanted small-town/rural looks that reflect the feelings within each book but done in a style that shows the books are related. 

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books

Reunited Hearts has been re-released, Small Town Hearts is coming in March, and then The Lawman's Second Chance is coming in June and A Family to Cherish is scheduled for July/August.... 

Now, once you have the book updated (TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED SO MUCH IN TEN YEARS!!!! My references to cable TV, to flip phones, to what's available to businesses needed some updating.... the story was solid, but every mention of that stuff dated the story as 2011... :) Oh my stars, who knew?????) you're going to plan your launch. 

kdp.com walks you through it. And if you're going through the process and have questions, email me and ask. It is mostly a simple "enter your answer" process. And ten years ago, it changed like three times a year. That's not true now, the tech behind the scenes is much more solid.

Planning your launch.... This is where I differ from a lot of authors because when you're brand new at this, a big launch isn't always the best way to go.  It's like a splash of water in a pan of hot grease... quickly burned off. Think of how a mill wheel works along a historic creek bed.... the movement of the water pushes the wheel. Slowly at first... and then, as the wheel gains momentum, the water moves the wheel more easily. And the wheel speed is controlled by how much water is channeled to the wheel, right? Our "water" is the number of books... 

I plan ahead. I've had the Southern Tier books since last summer, but wanted them to fill in 2022 between Wishing Bridge launches. That way I'm feeding the fire every couple of months. I'm asking for several more books this year.

I am working on a mystery series for 2023 and 2024.... because I'm still doing traditional contracts. And I want four of these mysteries done before I publish the first one. So I write them when I have down time and I keep them tucked away like money in the bank.

I look ahead to make sure I'll have product to keep the wheel turning. Patience is your friend when launching indie books. And steady work helps keep you in the mix.

Are these hard, fast rules? No. But it's what's worked for me over the years, and the key component, the basic element is to keep producing work. Keep publishing. Keep writing.  

ALL RIGHT, THAT'S IT FOR TODAY!  To thank you for getting to this point, I've got a copy of any Wishing Bridge or North Country book... or Reunited Hearts... to send to some lucky winner! E-book or print, your choice. But in order to be considered, you've got to leave a comment below... what scares/worries/concerns you about indie publishing or getting rights reverted? Are you afraid to hurt editor's and publisher's feelings?

Leave a comment below and let's talk. Hey... it's Friday, I have a new bathroom that I've been waiting 32 years for... yes.... 32 years!!!!! So I'm in a real good mood! :)

Put a Fresh Face on Those Older Books

Bestselling, award-winning inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne is living her dream of writing the kinds of books she likes to read. Email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com, visit her website at ruthloganherne.com or friend her on Facebook where she shares probably WAY TOO MUCH information, but she does love, love, love her readers! Ruthy and Farmer Dave own a very busy pumpkin farm in Western New York, and for six months of the year her life is cray cray with planting, weeding, fertilizing, etc... but she loves it! And she knows So Much About Pumpkins and Squash that she's quite a bore to talk to as she shares copious amounts of pumpkin/squash and mum production. :) And yet, people keep coming! 


Letting the Story Unfold

 I've often called myself a "pantser".

Once published, you have to come up with plans for stories to gain contracts... unless you're like Super A-List Author Person but for us normals, you need a plan and it was in coming up with those plans that I realized I'm not a pantser... or a "plantser", putting together plans and seat-of-the-pants writing.

I'm an inspired author. Most (not all) of my books flow from an idea that kind of overtakes my brain and I let it simmer.... or the whole stinkin' idea falls into my lap and I hit the "take-off" button and go for it.

And now I'm wondering where others fall on that spectrum.

I've talked before about how stories unfold in my head... It's not a muse. I believe it's a Holy Spirit blessing that my head clears cobwebs overnight and I've often awakened with how to solve my plot problems. Like Sleep Sorting System, right? And sometimes with a whole book/plot/series that's righted itself overnight.... but it's not always a sleeping thing, often it's a wherever I am thing and that's what happened with this future mystery series.

Letting the Story Unfold

When it happens I actually see the story, the characters, the premise, as if it's one idea blossoming in a bubble while other bubbles or pages pop up and intersect. Only there are no bubbles, it's not visual, it's there, in my head and I see and feel the story.

Maybe weird... maybe innate "talent" or gift from God? That's my guess, that my mother probably had this quirk and I know one of my daughters has this gift... so it's clearly written in our genes. (One of the good things written in our genes, the strong thread of mental illness from my mother's side is also there, so we're living proof of the power of dominant genes... or recessive gene mash-ups. But that's a whole other blog.)

Here's the difference feels between plotting out/working a story and being blessed with it:

I was working on a profile for an independent mystery series set to launch in 12 to 18 months. I'll write these stories between contracts and Wishing Bridge 5 "Reclaiming Hope in Wishing Bridge", and I want at least four mysteries done before I release book one.... I wanted light, warm, poignant, fun and fast-paced mysteries and I set up the series, wrote the opening chapters, edited, then set them aside for holidays.... 

And then I got an idea.

An amazing idea. It was a combination of things people said and did that made me think of it and I loved it. LOVED IT! 

Letting the Story Unfold


I could see these characters, these mysteries, the progression of the series, the openness, the warmth of history blended with modern times, the growth of industry like I saw in Ken Burns "Baseball" documentary, how history affected far more than those living it... 

And book one is almost writing itself. 

There was such a difference in the linear path of the story, the characters, the series projection and how smoothly it went that I decided to blog about it because writing isn't easy. When you're heading toward book/novella #70 and ideas have been used and re-used and re-structured, you want to hit the ground running with something that not only excites  you but will excite the readers! 

And this will... because it's quirky enough, fun enough, warm and inviting enough and threaded with enough mystery to make you wonder.... and enough history to make you appreciate what's gone before you.

I may never write that other series because it doesn't have these elements, not in the same way... and yet, it might roll over me at some point, as part of another plan, another day, another time. I've done that with books before and it's amazing how no good work goes to waste if you're actively writing!

This was like technical elements waging war against inspirational elements. 

Or maybe it's just easier for me to write this one because I can envision it?  I'm not opposed to that possibility! 

So that's what I want to talk about today. Do you work on waves of inspiration? Or do you story-build like I see in so many workshops. (Which, most of you know, I avoid because I'd rather write... but again, that's another blog. :)

Let's chat it up and I have a blessing for someone today....

A copy of Jesus Calling, going out to someone. Just mention you'd love to have it in your comment because I know some of you already have it....

And a copy of Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge, book four of my "Wishing Bridge" series. 

Letting the Story Unfold


Let me know if you already have it and I can sub in a book of your choice that I have in stock here.

Sending blessings of winter.... snowy here, finally, and cold... and that's way better than mud, my friends! 

Letting the Story Unfold

Bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne is loving the quiet of winter on her crazy busy pumpkin farm in Western New York because she actually gets time to write more than once a day and that's not a bad thing! She loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate and Diet Mtn Dew... and is regularly seen with coffee. She's the co-owner and manager of Blodgett Family Farm and she loves sharing the crazy parts of farm life and writing and family with her Facebook friends. She loves hearing from readers and writers so email her at loganherne@gmail.com. 


A Surpise Post?????

 Good morning all! 

This not-so-surprising post is to remind you that this is a New Year.... Day 7! 

This is where you start pushing yourself to write something each day. 

No shirking.

No excuses.

But if you miss a day, the world will not nor should it end. That's up to God. Not authors.

So then you jump back on the bandwagon and you write.

A Surpise Post?????

Now if you LOVE WRITING this isn't a hard ship.

If you don't love writing then it's more of a job.

I am blessed to be of the former category, but I know a lot of successful authors who are of the latter ilk.

(I wanted to use the word "ilk")

The trick is, there is no trick. They just keep working.

So today is your reminder to pull up your big kid panties and let's get on with it.

"When I stand before God at the end of my days I want to be able to say 'I used everything you gave me'".        Erma Bombeck

Smart lady.

Good mantra.

Enjoy your Friday and please... join me at the keyboard because never have there been so many amazing opportunities for authors!

A Surpise Post?????

Bestselling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is loving what she's doing as she creates stories that make folks smile... and sometimes cry. She loves God (He's like her BFF, bestie and really good friend), her family, her country, dogs, puppies, chocolate, little kids and bigger kids, too. She's often seen with coffee. Email her at loganherne@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook. 


Christmas Cookie Christmas!

 THIS IS NOT A FLUFF PIECE.

There is nothing fluffy about the amazing goodness and share-ability of Christmas cookies! Be they brownies or blondies, sugar or thumbprint, frosted or sprinkled (or both!), peanut butter with frosting or kisses, gingersnaps or ginger bars, pumpkin or chocolate chip.... and don't forget our ethnic classics! Pfeffernusse, lebkuchen, macarons and macaroons! :)

I don't take cookies seriously.

I take cookies HAPPILY! So I asked some of my buddies about their favorite cookies. 

Not a scientific poll, mind you... just a question.

What's your favorite Christmas cookie? We want to know! And if you want to put the recipe in the comments, well, we'll try it out! #mustlovecookies

Debby Giusti likes cookies well enough, but when we posed the question of cookies to the Seekers, here was Debby's response: 

My favorite Christmas treats aren't homemade, but they bring to mind so many wonderful memories of the three years we lived in Germany. Our favorite Christmas goodies were--and still are--Stollen and Nurnberger Gingerbread cookies. Here in the States, I buy them at our local Fresh Market grocery. Another December favorite is Panettone, which comes from Italy and stems from my husband's side of the family. When my granddaughter was young, she said it was the biggest muffin she had ever seen. We eat Panettone for breakfast with our morning coffee and enjoy the German treats at night after dinner. Exploring other cultures is always fun and can lead to new holiday discoveries that turn into family traditions.

Christmas Cookie Christmas!
Multi-published author Gabriele Meyer has a SECRET RECIPE!!!! But it's a secret so I can only hint about it here, but here's her take on Christmas cookies...

My all-time favorite are Christmas Monster Cookies. I have a secret family recipe that people are always trying to get from me, but I’ve been sworn to protect it with my life. 😉 They really are the most delicious cookie I’ve ever eaten and the recipe is just a little different from any other I’ve seen. I remember my mom making them when I was little and they always meant a fun family event was just around the corner!

Ruthy here, and I loved this idea and I'd never made Monster Cookies so I grabbed a few recipes online... with great reviews... and came up with my own. I noticed that more flour, less oats gives a chewier cookie and more oats gives a crisper version with a chewy center. I think the beauty of this recipe is the splash of butterscotch chips to make it like an elevated-on-a-pedestal "Oatmeal Scotchie", remember those?

Here's the recipe I used:

1 cup butter

2 cups peanut butter

5 eggs

2 1/2 cups brown sugar (I use dark because I like a background molasses accent)

2 cups sugar

3 tsp. vanilla

CREAM ALL OF THAT TOGETHER. BEAT THOROUGHLY TO MAKE A NICE CREAMY, DELICIOUS MIX!

ADD IN:

4 1/2 cups Quick Oats

2 cups flour (I use bread flour, but all purpose works fine)

4 tsp baking soda

Mix in thoroughly with dough hook.... Then stir in 1 cup butterscotch chips, 2 cups dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Nestle Dark), 1 cup chopped peanuts, 1 1/2 cups M&Ms.  Some folks add raisins. Now I like raisins well enough but my family would literally take up arms so to avoid a Christmas meltdown, I didn't include raisins.

I pretend these are healthy. Like SO MANY EGGS!!! And OATS!!! :)

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes. 

Cool.

And the lovely bestselling author Linda Goodnight shared that her favorite Christmas cookie recipe is really a "bar"....  The Magic Cookie Bars from Eagle Condensed milk! Note to all, folks noted in the comments that the original recipe has you pouring the can of condensed milk over the top after all the layers are in place... not just over the graham crumbs. 

Christmas Cookie Christmas!

Okay, that's some ideas from us.
Now what about you?
If you have a favorite Christmas cookie or any cookie... drop a comment below. Leave a link if you like, or type in the whole recipe... we've got room! :) 

And to add sweetness to sweetness, Ruthy is offering a copy of "Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge", her newest Wishing Bridge release! Your choice, Kindle copy or paperback..... 

Christmas Cookie Christmas!


And commercial plug: Waterfall Press has put the Kindle versions of Welcome to Wishing Bridge and At Home in Wishing Bridge on sale at .99... You can get all four Wishing Bridge stories right now, Kindle editions, for under $10.

Now that's a sweet holiday deal! Well done, Amazon!

WELCOME TO WISHING BRIDGE LINK       


Christmas Cookie Christmas!

Multi-published, bestselling inspirational author Ruthy Logan Herne loves God like to an exponential of 10, loves her family, her country, dogs, chocolate (chocolate is a given) and coffee. She also loves to hear from readers and writers. With over 60 novels and novellas, she knows a lot and talks a lot. Friend her on Facebook, Email her at loganherne@gmail.com or swing by her website ruthloganherne.com 

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I'm not going to talk about personality types.

I'm not going to mention we all had eleven months to get to this point, because I think the holiday crazies aren't about planning. Life interrupts the best of plans and when you're self-employed like we are, we have to keep that reality in the back of our minds.

Can we meet that deadline if catastrophe hits?

Can we volunteer for that Christmas play and get revisions done when that email comes in on December 4th and they need them by December 23rd?

Can we get those lights strung in the shape of a Star of David while setting up a Living Nativity with borrowed sheep and camels?

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Okay, the camels might be a stretch! :) But you get the gist. It gets tricky.... and trickier yet when we worry that we're disappointing parents (throw in a nursing home or assisted living or illness into the mix, right?????) or disappointing children, spouses, editors, friends, neighbors.... the list is long and intense, my friends!

But life happens. Whether you're a Type A "Planned-to-the-minute" gal or a "Let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may" kind of person, the holidays have their own brand of pressure. 

My advice: Breathe. Blink. And breathe again.

Scale down. Trim back. Pray. Talk to God. Spend more time with your Nativity scene and less time with Amazon and QVC.... You can stretch your arms and your efforts toward the things of God... and shrug off the things of national advertisers.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Christmas is a beautiful season, but Lord have mercy! It has become its own temptation. 

I used to be a super shopper.... I blush to remember it! What was I thinking????

About fifteen years back I realized I was stupid. No, don't pat me on the back and say "Oh, you weren't stupid, Ruthy!!!!"  Trust me: STUPID.

And then God gave me a smack upside the head, said "simmer down, there, little lady..." and I took His advice. 

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I still love to do things. Decorate. Bake. Laugh. Pray.... but I learned to never have a December deadline and if someone tries to push one on me, I say no. Nothing is going to mess up my Christmas, the prayerfulness of Advent, the joy of a Savior's birth... and I feel the same way about Lent before Easter.

I put out Great-grandma's handmade reindeer and Santa display.... I set up our thirty-year-old resin outdoor Nativity scene. Dave and the kids bought a piece each year for about three or four years... They haven't all weathered well! Kind of like me. They have their aches, cracks and pains, but passers by don't see that. They see the image of a family, struggling, tucked in a stable, having a baby... Lit by ground lights, they light up the night with the hope of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe


I still work early in the day, like always. But removing deadlines and not overly-committing myself means that I can embrace the "Mary" part of me, the part that's often overshadowed by my Yankee "Martha" self. :)

And then if catastrophe strikes in the form of illness, breakage, sadness or grief, I can move forward.... share cookies from the freezer... Hugs from the heart.... the work of human hands to ease someone's heavy load.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I am here in cold, wet Western New York wishing you all the most blessed and beautiful of Christmas seasons! For, unto us a child is born! Unto us a Son is given! And He shall be called Wonderful! Counselor! The Prince of Peace! The Everlasting Father!!! And we can go forward together knowing that what we do for the least of these, we do for Him.

That makes it the best Christmas ever.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

And to make this a lovely bit of relaxation, I'm going to send one lucky person a copy of my BRAND NEW WISHING BRIDGE STORY!!!!

"Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge", just released this week.... 

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Leave a comment below and I'll tuck your name into the Sugar Cookie jar! 

We've got this!


Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves Christmas but she also loves embracing the spirit of calm she avoided for way too long as she raised six kids and did too much shopping.... She loves God, her family, her country (yes, she bleeds red, white and blue proudly), chocolate, coffee, dogs and so many things! You can message her at loganherne@gmail.com or visit her website at ruthloganherne.com. Sending Christmas blessings! 

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

 

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!


I remember everything about this series.

I remember when Natasha called me to say two publishers wanted it and did I want to choose.... or did I want it to go to auction if both were willing?

I chose.

I chose Amazon Waterfall Publishing and that's when I got an email from my wonderful editor there, saying my story "Welcome to Wishing Bridge" made her miss the 4th of July fireworks on the Hudson River in Manhattan because she couldn't put it down.

And that's when I knew I'd chosen well.

Amazon was an absolute pleasure to work with. From the editors, to the free-lancers, cover-designers, and then the final read-throughs and thoughts... they were accurate, cheerful, honest, helpful and encouraging.

We got through the first two books before they decided to close that publishing arm. 

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

AT HOME IN WISHING BRIDGE

That's when an author either sets a series aside and moves on or moves on with the series and goes indie.

That didn't used to be a choice!!!! Now it is, and I was thrilled to present

Finding Peace in Wishing Bridge two years ago... 

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

I am so excited to bring Rachel's story to you. And we'll follow it with Heather's story in 2022 because I've been playing catch-up... and I'm in full-on Wishing Bridge mode.

Why?

Because readers have embraced this town, these stories, the people, the places, the hope and the blessings of friends and neighbors during hard times and how salt-of-the-earth folks are still alive and well in small towns and big cities across this great land!

With almost 800 reviews, book one is rated 4.7 stars... Book two is 4.6 with over 500 reviews and book three is 4.7 stars with nearly 400 reviews.

Wishing Bridge calls to people. It touches their hearts and maybe their souls and I'm delighted to be releasing Rachel's story, a young woman who has suffered at the hands of her family and her harsh church. With the help of friends, Rachel is leaving the North Country to right a heinous wrong. Her twin daughters were given away at birth, without her permission and they just might be living among the Amish of Wishing Bridge.

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

But Rachel doesn't want the world to know why she's there. Suffice it to say that she's escaping a harsh church.

Understandable, right?

But when she develops feelings for Hale Jackson's friend Eric, another wonderful deputy sheriff, Rachel knows it can go nowhere. He's the law... and she's willing to break the law to get her babies back.

In twelve days the story releases for Kindle.

And the following week for paperback.

It's a story that takes the sadness of oppression and heals wounds with the balm of grace, love, hope and friendship. 

It's a story that shows how one person's kindness can become another person's earthly salvation... and maybe ease a path toward heaven's salvation, too.

It's a story that was inspired by one of those moments where you experience something and you see a book unfold.... I was in the North Country fifteen years ago and we stopped at an Amish stand. The mother wouldn't let her children come to the stand and take care of us. They were shushed and sent back, away from the English customers. And the grim look on the mother's face imprinted itself on my soul.

I knew there were stories there. And so I wrote one. Rachel's. A story of loss and sorrow and hope and dreams and success. A beautiful story that puts blame where it belongs. Not on God... or religion... but the evil of men.

Sex, lust, greed, avarice, power....  Temptations lead us astray.

Twelve days.

I am blessed. So blessed. Blessed to have inherited my mother's talent for writing and the time to make the most of it.

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

I'm not saying you have to buy this book.

It's okay if you don't.

And it's even okay if you win the $15 Amazon card and spend it on something else.

I'm just glad you stopped by today. Glad to share this excitement and happy news with you and so many others. And glad to be an author in a time where we have so many beautiful and wonderful options open to us.

Could you ever have imagined a time such as this? 

Grab some coffee, bring some tea, or take a Coke from the fridge...

Homemade fudge from our farm is on the counter.

Let's talk the beauty of Wishing Bridge, NY and why this series of books is so loved and widely read.... and I promise, we won't be leaving the good Lord Himself out of the picture! 

Huge thanks to Beth Jamison of Jamison Editing for the editing on this story and the beautiful cover. You rocked it, Beth, and you are an absolute pleasure to work with.

Of course, you probably get that from your sweet Mama. :)

PREORDER EMBRACING LIGHT IN WISHING BRIDGE HERE

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

So while we're celebrating this new book release, let's talk about book appeal... what is it about a setting or series that draws you in? What is it that keeps you coming back for more?

Join the conversation and have your name tucked in for a $15 Amazon Gift Card!


BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!

Multi-published inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of over sixty published novels and novellas, she is living her dream of writing books that people buy, the kind of stories she likes to read. Now that's a bonus! She owns and manages a busy pumpkin farm in WNY with a whole bunch of family, friends and volunteers... she loves God, her family, her country and she is often seen with coffee, chocolate, a good doughnut, dogs and/or Diet Mt Dew. #nojudge #goodstuff

Email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com or friend her Facebook.... she loves to hear from folks.

Halloween In Christian Fiction

WE LOVE FALL DECORATIONS.... We focus on harvest, but we've added in some fun Halloween-style things to our hand-crafted decor..... This antique box was from a Clematis Nursery 45 minutes away and when Mandy and I went to sort through these boxes, there was rodent poop... and some kitty smell.... but we found 80 boxes that will work for fun projects. We saved 80 from a landfill and look what Mandy did with them! A power washer is a wonderful thing! :)

Halloween In Christian Fiction

In the interest of full disclosure, my kids went trick-or-treating every single year and we had a ball... so there's that!

TWO WORDS: FREE CANDY!!!!!

Why wouldn't we chase down the rainy, dark country road and laugh with neighbors, gather treats, and come home to sort the bounty. Very pirate-friendly and no one walked a plank. 

I've never taken the history of Halloween into consideration. To me it's a fun night of pretend, dressing up, finding old capes and sheets and make-up and letting the kids have fun.

And I never tricked anyone, LOL! Ever.... I was in it for the treats. Totally.

But you don't see Halloween in Christian fiction. You see it in inspirational movies, but not books, and that's an interesting divide possibly driven by shelf-space, reader reaction. If Christian readers don't like or participate in Halloween parties, trunk-or-treats, neighborhood stuff, etc. why would a publisher risk offending them? For a while, authors were rarely allowed to let people dance in their stories... so if you couldn't dance, dressing up as a ghost was clearly verboten!  Cate Nolan shared some "Fall in Brooklyn" images she featured on a blog a few years ago, so I'm sprinkling them in here.

Halloween In Christian Fiction

One of these days I'm going to write a book with some fantasy attached just because it's fun. Not because I don't love God. I do. But I do like a vivid imagination, too. So there's the rub.... 

Halloween In Christian Fiction

So what about you? 

How do you feel about this as a reader or writer? And as an author, we do need to follow our publishers' rules... they pay us to follow their rules and I'm okay with that so my fall books focus on harvest, on gleaning, on gathering, on thankfulness. And that's an easy segue to gratitude. That's how we run our amazingly growing-by-leaps-and-bounds pumpkin farm, too. We start September 1st with a celebration of harvest, of color, of wonder... but we have fairies and gnomes and make-believe ideas ALL OVER THE PLACE because I love a vivid imagination! 

Halloween In Christian Fiction

I haven't personally had a hard time glossing over Halloween in my work... because to me the beauty of harvest (especially here in Northeast Woodlands, so many colors) is the glory of fall color!

So tell us what you think!

I brought hot cider and cold cider and fresh cider fried cakes.

And apple fritters!

LET'S TALK!


Halloween In Christian Fiction

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves running her own businesses and bossing people around. (Put on your shocked face!!!) and while her pumpkin farm keeps her spinning plates 5 months of the year, her first love (after Jesus and family) is writing stories!  And this new one is on sale nationwide right now, at Walmarts and select grocery stores... and I'm going to give one copy away today to some wonderful commenter!  Or grab it from the AMAZON LINK HERE! 

Halloween In Christian Fiction



NEW RELEASE AS HISTORY UNFOLDSBack-handed Writing of MysteriesHow to Create a Strong Setting to Balance Unforgettable CharactersPut a Fresh Face on Those Older BooksLetting the Story UnfoldA Surpise Post?????Christmas Cookie Christmas!Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a CatastropheBOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!Halloween In Christian Fiction

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