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Seekerville: The Journey Continues

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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 Ruthy Book!

 

New Ruthy Book!

It's going to be a busy fall for Ruthy readers! 

We kick off with "The Path Not Taken", the second book in the Kendrick Creek TN series.... and I love, love, love working in the Smoky Mountains!!!!!! This newest book releases October 26th but you can pre-order on Amazon right now...

We follow up in November with the much awaited  "Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge", the beautiful 4th story set in Wishing Bridge, NY, a location that's become a fictional favorite for so many... and the touching and poignant story of a young Amish woman's quest for her stolen babies.... and where that quest leads. In a story of suspense and whole heart, Ruthy's story takes a Solomon-style quandary and a heart-wrenching solution in a story filled with faith, hope and love.

New Ruthy Book!

And then her final contribution to the Guideposts "Savannah Secrets" is releasing in December! WHAT A GREAT FOURTH QUARTER!!!! :)

"Jingle Bell Heist" is coming out in December and if you've been following Julia and Meredith's adventures as private investigators, you'll love this holiday story and if you haven't read this series, here's the link to Guideposts... because it is truly so much fun! 

New Ruthy Book!

The new year holds more Love Inspired, another Wishing Bridge and a spring mystery so as long as folks keep reading, Ruthy keeps writing!

Here's the blurb for Kendrick Creek's "The Path Not Taken": 

A second chance to follow her heart…

in this novel by USA TODAY bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne

She never thought she’d see him again…

Or tell him they have a son.

Ten years ago, Devlyn McCabe refused to let her secret—their child—be the reason Ryland Bauer stayed. Now Rye’s back to make an offer on her property, and she can’t keep hiding the truth. Rye will do anything to be part of his son’s life. But he’ll have to reveal the real reason he left if he wants them to become a family…

I love this beautiful story. It touches heart and soul, it questions choices and opportunities, and it shows how tragedy... the holiday fire that swept down the Smokies and through the little town of Kendrick Creek... doesn't just change the landscape: It changes everything.

Here's a chance to win it before you can buy it! 

Leave a comment below and Ruthy will throw your name into the cat dish (I haven't dragged the cat dish out in a while!) and she'll get to the Post Office once pumpkin season is over... she promises! :)

New Ruthy Book!
Bestselling multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is so blessed to be doing exactly what she loves doing: Writing great books, running a really fun pumpkin farm, taking care of a lot of cute kids as needed and looking forward to all the adventures the good Lord sends her way. The ups... and the downs... the character building moments. God is good! Check out Ruthy's website ruthloganherne.com, email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com and/or friend her on Facebook!



Back Home to Wishing Bridge

 Hey, Ruthy here, and I'm so excited to talk about Wishing Bridge, about the 4th book, about pandemics, brick walls and pushing through.

"Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge" is the beautiful story of a young woman-- a formerly Amish woman-- in search of the twin babies taken from her nearly five years before.

Back Home to Wishing Bridge

Rachel Stutzman has escaped a harsh Swartzentruber community in the North Country of upstate New York. She's left the heartless rules, the joyless days and the tough retributions of an overly strict and power-hungry bishop. With the help of an elderly friend, she's come to Wishing Bridge, NY, a picturesque, rolling community abutting the beautiful Southern Tier of Western New York. Rachel knows an Amish couple adopted a pair of baby girls over four years ago. Are they her babies? Is it her beloved Mary and Miriam? And how can she get them away from the rigors of a church that's done her wrong all of her days? And how can she be attracted to a strong, rugged deputy sheriff, a man of law and order, when her primary purpose is to get her children back?

And so begins Rachel's relocation to a town that combines wishes and prayers to make dreams come true.

But getting this book done didn't come easy because the last 18 months have seen a series of life-, nation-, and world-altering events. Covid hit... and amid a world thrust into a pandemic, lives changed, timing changed and things went all catawampus as the world hit "tilt" on the pinball machine of expectation.

We kept our farm open and people loved it, but getting supplies in was a trick of creativity because supply chains were severed by lack of workers and doubt. Which means time spent hunting things down, getting them in stock as shipping ground to a halt. What should have taken minutes sometimes took hours.

I taught 5th grade to two precious kids 3 days/week throughout the 2020/21 school year, until the end of April... and loved it, but that cut into writing time. Still, I'd do it again in a heartbeat because millions of American children didn't have a Grammy taking charge of their learning and to me, a lover of children, that equates with a high crime... although my kids in Catholic schools attended class 5 days/week with no bad results. 

The same grandparents who were told to avoid their grandchildren (to limit viral spread) in spring of 2020 were babysitting those very same grandkids six months later as parents went to work and schools remained shuttered. I know this first-hand because they brought them to the farm. The irony of that was not lost on me. A divisive election added a whole new level of drama and a chain of misinformation coming from multiple facets of government meant that people couldn't trust what they were being told. Now that's great story fodder, but the reality of mixed messaging means more time, hunting for truth. 

Back Home to Wishing Bridge


As the publishing industry released people from jobs due to decreasing sales and relocated out of lofty Manhattan offices, the overload of work for remaining editors interrupted the supply chain of approvals, edits, and scheduling snafus. All of that then required a "catch up" mentality put on authors.

And on a personal level my dear friend was facing end-stage cancer and my elderly mother-in-law was struggling with declining health. That meant Farmer Dave needed to be there, with his Mom and here, planting, tilling, spraying, working. God love him, he did it, but that made for more juggling plates... and yet we did it, working together, accepting help, and staying positive.

I ran triage. Simply speaking, I put Wishing Bridge (an indie book) on hold, fulfilled my contracts, and knew that when I could get back to Wishing Bridge I would... but kids, family, repercussions from Covid fallout and contracts took priority. 

Being a writer means juggling business with life. Writers need the self-discipline to get the jobs done in a timely manner with whatever life hands you. But as an author who has always been able to work ahead of the game, being behind the eight ball was a new experience. We got through... but I saw sides of industry people that increased my publishing awareness. 

It feels good to be finishing this beautiful story. It feels good to be back in control of my work, my career, my destiny. It feels good to be planning out my next two years (I work on a two-year calendar so that I don't over-book the time I need to write) and to breathe...

It was a long and rocky road to get here. Maybe that's what makes this upcoming release so special. I knew what I had to do and I did it, so finishing this beautiful story was the reward! It was the frosting on the cake, the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae.

The poignant story of Rachel and her search for the babies taken from a nineteen-year-old nearly five years before shows how a mother's love knows no bounds nor boundaries. "I will not leave you orphaned..."

Back Home to Wishing Bridge

Despite her harsh church upbringing, Rachel clings to a few Biblical wisdoms. And as the goodness of Wishing Bridge surrounds her, she begins to see people, life and even the Amish community through different eyes. But at what cost to her, her daughters and to the people of Wishing Bridge?

This book releases in two months. November 22, 2021... After a long wait.

I hope the wait will have been worth it. I hope folks love the story, love going back to my favorite fictional town and reacquainting themselves with so many good people!

As for me, being able to finish this story was like the best reward... like a finish line at the end of a long race. But also a wonderful lesson in putting first things first. A lesson I hope I've passed on to others at home... and here.


Back Home to Wishing Bridge

Author of over 60 novels and novellas, and owner of a popular Western New York pumpkin farm, Ruthy Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate, coffee and all things pumpkin anytime of year. She writes romance, women's fiction and mystery and loves them all. Friend Ruthy on Facebook, stop by her website ruthloganherne.com and she loves to hear from readers and writers at loganherne@gmail.com. 

 






Remembering Vince Mooney... with love

Remembering Vince Mooney... with love

BACKSTORY: Sixteen years ago a group of fifteen contest-winning unpublished Christian/Inspirational authors formed a group with one sole goal: To pray one another into publication by a royalty-paying publisher.

Their dreams came true when Pam Hillman was offered her Tyndale contracts. YAY! WE DID IT!

Back in 2007 that original group of 15 started a writers' blog and called it "Seekerville". The goal was to encourage and help aspiring authors, meet readers and build a platform for book launches. The blog-- this blog!-- was successful on all three. Blessed by the work of many and the faith of all, Seekerville was born and achieved the coveted "Top 101 Writing Blogs" multiple years in a row. 

A lot has changed! 

Many of the original Seekers have retired or gone their own way. Life happens.

New bloggers were welcomed on-board and we forge on, loving books, writing, readers and the chance to connect with both through this blog. Vince was right there, encouraging us to keep on keepin' on as seen in this "Changing of the Guard" post nearly five years ago: 

https://seekervillearchives.blogspot.com/

From the beginning, or nearly the beginning, Vince Mooney Jr. has been a constant. He's encouraged, laughed, lamented, learned and taught with his wisdom, a wisdom gained through life, love and liberty. A well-read man of faith, a veteran, a sage, philosopher and successful businessman, Vince's comments were often a blog in themselves and he's never been afraid to argue or back up his points.

We've loved him for years. He and his wife Linda have welcomed Seekers with open arms when we've visited Oklahoma. His Amazon reviews are amazing, but then he is amazing so that's no surprise. 

Vince's "Philosophy of Romance" blog offered advice, wisdom and kudos to various authors. I was blessed to be one of those authors. I was blessed to know Vince, to win his love and support, to spar with him, laugh with him, and if we lived closer, I'd have had coffee with him on a regular basis. Yeah. He's that smart. :)

Vince has entered what he predicts to be a short-term hospice. Today's post is to thank him for his love, his words, his wisdom, his constancy, his support and that beautiful faith that has sustained him. Vince, my friend... from me personally... I don't have the right words to tell you how much your love, support, encouragement and enthusiasm for my work has meant to me. I am so glad to have known you for so long... what a blessing to me! And I have never forgotten your reaction to my debut novel... and my gratitude for your belief in me.

Go with God, my friend. I'll miss you. We all will. But that's the way of life, isn't it?

Until we meet again...

Ruthy

Remembering Vince Mooney... with love

 Dear Vince,

 

Thanks for your support and encouragement over the years. One of my biggest thrills was having THE OFFICER’S SECRET selected as the Philosophy of Romance Inspirational Suspense Book of the Year! You've always been so willing to affirm my writing, and your positive comments have meant so much to me. I still remember your praise for my novella, YULE DIE. Your kind words continue to buoy me, especially when I'm struggling to create a new story and feeling at low ebb. You’re a great cheerleader, Vince, which is what every writer needs.

 

Thanks, too, for being a loyal Seekervillager. Your posts always provided food for thought and lots of sound advice. You’re a Renaissance Man, dear Vince, and certainly one of a kind. You’ve enhanced my life in so many special ways.

 

May God bless you. I know the Lord’s holding you in the palm of His hand, and in His perfect time, will call you home to Eternal Glory. Prayers for the journey, dear friend, and God speed!

 

With love, prayers and gratitude,

Debby Giusti

Remembering Vince Mooney... with love

Dear Vince,

I want you to know that you always have been, and always will be, one of my favorite people, not only in Seekerville, but in the world. So much so that, as you know, I named a character after you in one of my books and then dedicated another to you as well – A Wing and a Prayer – because YOU were the creative force behind this story, my friend. As I said in that dedication, you never cease to amaze (and bless) me with your incredibly brilliant and fertile mind, and I will be forever grateful for both your creative input and your precious friendship. God bless and keep you always. 

Hugs,

Julie

From Myra Johnson:

Vince, I will always remember my delight in meeting you in person when you came to one of my very first book signings. Remember Steve’s Sundry in Tulsa? What a special day! You have been such a staunch encourager and advocate for authors of romantic Christian fiction. I treasure your insightful reviews, and I’m honored to know you, truly a man of integrity and deep faith. Praying God’s comfort and strength upon you and your dear wife, now and always.

From Janet Dean...

I treasure knowing Vince Mooney, both as a reviewer of my books and as a vital, faithful member of the community of Seekerville. Vince is a man of faith, well-read, intelligent, and generous with this time and yes, with his opinions. His views might sometimes differ from mine but his points always made me think. His reviews brought depth and meaning to romance books that rightly elevated our genre and encouraged us writers. When I was struggling with getting words on the page, I’d sometimes reread a couple of his reviews and receive a boost to keep on keeping on. When I was active in Seekerville, I appreciated his male point of view and could count on him to show up each day with fresh perspectives and occasionally controversy that made our exchanges interesting. I think of Vince as a true Renaissance man.

 

God bless you, Vince, on your journey home. My love goes with you.

Janet Dean 


From Mary Connealy:


I had the pleasure of meeting Vince once, and his wife Linda. 

I did a book signing in Tulsa Oklahoma with Ruth Logan Herne and Tina Radcliff, inspired by Tina having lived in Tulsa at one time and setting her book there. 

Vince came to our signing and made us feel welcome in everyway. We visited the Will Rogers Museum with him and shared a meal. I learned so much about Will Rogers from the museum and also from our trusty tour guide Vince. 

Now when I think of Will Rogers, which I do frequently because he’s such a great humorist and cowboy, and his trick roping is fascinating, I think of Vince and what a fan he was of Rogers and how he compared me and my romantic comedy with cowboys to Will Rogers. I consider that a great honor. Vince Yates, the hero of Stuck Together, book #3 of the Trouble in Texas series, is named for Vince.

Vince had been a faithful follower of Seekerville for years and with his marketing background, has always been full of advice that’s different that what we usually get from people more centered on writing. He’s a friend and an encourager and a man of faith. Thank you, Vince. 


Remembering Vince Mooney... with love


From Sandra Leesmith:


Dear Vince, 

What a blessing you have been to all of us in Seekerville.  And you have always been a blessing to me as a writer.  You have an uncanny/godly gift of always saying the right thing at the right time. Your words to me were always right on time.  I always thank God for that my dear friend.  You probably have no idea how much your words touched my heart just when I needed them the most.  I always felt so honored that you enjoyed my books.  And I treasured your reviews.  Thank you dear friend.  Know you will always have a special place in my heart. Love and hugs, 

Sandra 


And so it is that as we pass through life we touch people's lives in so many ways. Their hopes, their dreams, their thoughts, their beginnings and sometimes their ends.


Vince, I hope you see this. I hope you know how much you are loved and respected by so many. And we all hope that when we reconnect in God's heavenly kingdom, we can raise a cup to your health, hope and happiness. All things you shared with us.


"May the Lord bless and keep you. May his face shine upon you and give you peace."


Amen.

Three D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's Interruptions


Three D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's Interruptions

I love this picture..... this statement. This little quote that talks about how us nobodies can actually become somebodies no matter what time of year it is or what you're facing and right now, folks are facing a lot.

Dog days of summer... the lot o' youse are familiar with the phrase, I'm sure.

High heat, high humidity, scorching sun, pop-up thunderstorms that bring no relief, only more moisture into already moisture-laden air.

Dog Days of Summer... Here in the north we love summer, but most of us are northerners for a reason.  

1. We can't afford to move

2. We love snow

3. We are stick-in-the-mud folks

4. We are tied to business, family, faith and community. 

But Dog Days of Summer aren't a Northern thing. They're an everywhere thing. It's when heat indexes rise all over this great land, cicadas drone, Katydids clatter night after night, grasshoppers spread their funny little grasshopper wings and go from plant to plant, eating, munching, laying eggs... and the pavement seems to sizzle. 

It's hard to get motivated in the heat. I've often wondered how people in desert areas do it because they don't get my fall/winter reprieve. Now I understand that some folks like heat. 

I am not one of them. 

Even being in really good shape, I'm not one of them. Can we dish here?

I hate it. I really, really, really dislike anything over 82 degrees and humidity should be declared an enemy of the people and my hair, but I digress... this isn't about me. For once. This is about you and how you can push through times of struggle, heat, holidays, tempest, problems, etc. because that's one of the things all authors need to figure out. When life hands you curves, how can you best navigate them and still be productive?

(Then the question bears asking, how productive do you want to be? Are you satisfied with where you are and what you're doing? That's an important benchmark right there.) 

That last part is up to you, but here's some advice worth talking about:

1. Devotion: Think of Mary, standing by Jesus all those years.

     Mary sets the bar high for people, but particularly for women because despite the problems that they encounter, she never leaves her son's side. Through it all she stands strong and tall, helping, loving, her presence a beautiful thing. Be like Mary.

2. Determination: Take a page from Jessica Long's book and hold it tight.

Born to Russian parents in 1992, Jessica had a condition which meant her legs would have to be amputated below the knee. The lower structures in her legs hadn't developed properly. She came to America, to her adoptive parents at 18 months of age and has become a national hero for perseverance, choices, determination and guts. Here's a quote from the winner of over 50 championship gold medals, Para-Olympian Jessica Long: 

"I didn’t just wake up one day and become a Paralympic Games gold medalist. Dedication, hard work, and passion are hugely important to achieving your goals. That’s my big advice to kids: Find something to be passionate about, be confident in your abilities, and really go for it."

Be like Jessica.

3. Dedication: Model yourself after Mother Teresa.

In 1946 the young nun felt/heard a calling during a train ride. A calling to help the poor, the lowly, the sick, the ones who never hear about Jesus's healing love. After two years of being instructed and tested in her resolve, Mother Teresa was given permission to begin her own hands-on charity. Taking to the streets of Calcutta, this small woman nursed and nurtured the sick, the lame, the dying, the mentally ill and at the time of her death had over 4,000 people working in similar fashion around the world. From one calling, a calling she heeded, much good has come and I thought of this as we faced a pandemic and church leaders of all denominations kind of hid in their rooms/homes/rectories... because fear of the virus was stronger than dedication to the flock. 

We can learn a lot from one woman's courage and dedication, how one woman's hands made such a difference to so many.

Be like Teresa.

It is easy for us to make excuses, particularly in first-world countries where we have so much, so much is freely given and taken, and we are surrounded by a store after store of choices and goods and options and Amazon sending everything and anything you need 24/7/365.

But to tackle those difficult times in working, those Dog Days, or funerals, divorce, illness, anger, separation, sorrow, and yes, even joy because joy can be a detractor... Three D's. 

Devotion, Determination and Dedication.

In the end, getting through anything that comes our way isn't up to "them", the detractors or doubters or downers of life.

It's up to us.

And actually, friends:

It's up to you.


Jump into the conversation below and Ruthy will tuck your name into the candy dish alongside some really tasty Hershey's Kisses for a chance to win Ruthy's newest mystery

"Prescription for Mystery" from Guideposts Books! 

Three D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's Interruptions


Three D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's Interruptions

Somewhat bossy and very productive author Ruth Logan Herne is blessed to be living her dream of being a published author and having worked with numerous publishers including Waterfall, Waterbrook, Harper Collins, Love Inspired, Guideposts and Amazon, she knows that these three "D's" are crucial to your success as an author... So go for it! She loves to hear from readers and writers. You can email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com friend her on Facebook (always an interesting place, isn't it?) or swing by her website ruthloganherne.com. You won't find her on Twitter because there are too many angry folks over there... and Ruthy can't abide all that negativity, which isn't a surprise because Pollyanna is one of her all-time favorite movies. 


BACK TO BASICS: Editing to Match the Story

BACK TO BASICS: Editing to Match the Story

This is the kind of post we can all use at times.

Few authors pen a masterpiece.

Fewer yet pen a masterpiece with no need of edits.

But when you're a new writer, the questions of what to edit, how to edit and when to edit are totally legitimate. Because you don't know what you don't know.

So let's start with my way (which I stole from Margaret Daley because it made sense to me and she's a prolific author of great stories... and she worked full time for decades while writing, and I like that kind of tenacity.)

1. Start your story. Write a few chapters. Describe your characters, get to know them, figure them out. Get to a grabs-your-attention spot now that you know your hero/heroine/protagonists and/or antagonists...

And begin there. 

Yes, you heard me. Set aside those initial getting-to-know you chapters and drop your reader into the action. I know, it's not how you learned it in grammar school with Miss Brown, but trust me, guys and gals: Miss Brown won't be seeing this and you want that editor hooked, hooked, hooked. (That's if you're aiming for traditional publishing. If you're going indie, it is just as important to hook the reader the same way. If you don't, they can click out of your book in a heartbeat and be reading someone else's story... edits matter. Do not sell readers short... they don't like that and they will let you know it.)

So now you know where your story starts. You've gotten to know your characters. I'm a "Pantser", I do minimal prep for my story because I'd rather see it come alive daily, so I'm going to talk from that perspective, but friends, EDITS ARE EDITS.

They are needed.

Necessary.

And like chocolate ice cream, they are good for you because you need to learn/see/spot your own weaknesses.

2. Do you mess up timelines? 

Do a chart that tells when important things take place for backstory or historical segment for easy reference. Keep it open as you work.

3. Do you overuse body parts? I saw a reader complaining about so many "He sucked a breath through grated teeth" or something like that. 

Oft-used phrases become annoying in genre reading, mostly because they fit and they're easy.

But there is a problem with expression vs. simple expression and it's kind of like a really good dance... change the tempo, change the moves, change the angles, change the rhythm... and end on a good note! 

FINAL DANCE SCENE FROM DIRTY DANCING!!!!!!!!! SWOON! 

Those closing scenes, from black moment on, carried your emotions on a roller coaster ride of why nots and what ifs, and that's what great edits can do: They take your reader on that ride because that's what a great story does... (having just returned from an amusement park and roller coasters, I can attest to this!)

Expression vs. simple expression is often about timing. If you overuse either maneuver it sounds unnatural so I pick and choose where I'm going over-the-top with descriptors. And I often do that in dialogue because old ladies and young children often talk that way. Here's an example:

The sun set.

She didn't move. Didn't sigh. Didn't let one tear fall onto the over-washed farm shirt she'd been wearing all day.

It was over.

She knew it. Understood it. Had expected it, even, but now--

Reality had taken it's shot and struck out like Casey at the bat and she was left to pick up the pieces. Again.

BACK TO BASICS: Editing to Match the Story

Ruthy explanation: The setting of that scene makes the scant description come alive in the reader's mind. The starkness offers the picture without me using too many words. 

Here's a different sunset scene:

Layered brilliance lit the western sky with shocking tones of gold, peach, orange, pink and red bordered by a thin splash of green. So thin she almost didn't see it.

The green hugged the horizon like a summer stole before the brighter tones overtook its subtle grace, shrouding it from view. Or maybe they didn't blanket the green. Maybe the power of their glorious salute to day's end sucked it up like a sponge seeking water. Stone-gray wisps filtered eastward, like sashes on a little girl's dress. 

She didn't live for sunsets, but the woods surrounding her tiny home were thick enough to make them a rarity, so today's fiery show drew her in. She could live here if she made that choice. Here with the beauty, the opulence, the gorgeous home, the stately cliffs reaching down, down, down to the sandy beaches below. Here where her heart resided with his. With him. How she wished it were an option.

It wasn't. She knew that.

He didn't.

But as the warm glows of the sinking sun faded to obscure shadows of what had just been, her hopes sank with them. Not her resolve.

She knew her duty. Knew where she had to be.

Now she had to tell him. Tell Carrick. Make him understand. 

He wouldn't. Couldn't. He believed that love conquered all and what he couldn't conquer with love, he'd conquer with might and he'd proven that, time and again but this time...

She stood and brushed grains of sand from the folds of chiffon.

This time she had to face the demons of the past alone and she'd do it because she'd either succeed--

Or die, trying.

And she was okay with either scenario.

Edits aren't just about changing words, slicing and dicing, and strengthening your story's arc. Sometimes they're about making the scene fit the story, the moment, the emotion. If you mess with the emotion of the moment, the scene or the story by giving the readers too much or not enough, it feels wrong, and that's what your edits need to avoid: You don't want your story to feel "wrong"... 

I liken great storytelling to beats of music. When the music works for me it's because the tune and the lyrics and the harmony all feed the moment, making it come alive.

Zach Williams and Dolly Parton's duet on "There Was Jesus" is a perfect example of that... The fact that you can see their breath in the cold barn only adds to the pathos of the song.

There Was Jesus official video here...

As is her partnership with For King and Country on "God Only Knows" that added a layer of absolute pathos to a song that was already wonderful, lifting it to beyond wonderful status.

God Only Knows video with For King and Country and Dolly Parton here...

The two compilations have inspired a new series in my head, a beautiful series of second chances, rough times, bad choices and absolute deliverance, the kind only God can give because humans are so very narrow. 

When you edit, bleed emotion. Choose words with care, not abandon. And don't be afraid to do it again and again because getting it right isn't just your responsibility... it's your duty to the beauty of story.

BACK TO BASICS: Editing to Match the Story

Somewhat bossy and always opinionated, award-winning and bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne has over 60 novels and novellas in print with over 2,000,000 in sales so she's pretty sure she's smart but equally sure that she doesn't know everything about publishing and/or writing so that's why she loves chatting it up with aspiring authors and industry pros over here in Seekerville. Friend Ruthy on Facebook, visit her website ruthloganherne.com and email her at loganherne@gmail.com (where yes, she actually reads and answers her own email.... happily!) 

NEW MYSTERY FROM RUTHY!!!!!

 From the gal who said "I'll never write a mystery... my brain just doesn't work that way..." comes a new mystery for a new Guideposts mystery series "Miracles and Mysteries of Mercy Hospital"!


Prescription for Mystery

NEW MYSTERY FROM RUTHY!!!!!

I LOVE THIS COVER.... 
#perfect
#historical
#timeslip
#contemporary
#oldandnew

I've always felt that the past trods on the heels of the present in so many ways, so writing time-slip mysteries... with a past story and a current story... is right up my alley. Who knew that it would be a natural fit for me? 

And this story grabs the heart and feeds the soul. A story of self-sacrifice and putting children first marks the historical.... and then we find out how that old story feeds into the present day narrative.

And writing these mysteries has inspired me to a few other stories because the past truly does cast its joys and shadows on the present. But it also gives us the chance for forgiveness... restitution... remembrance.

"While digging through dusty hospital archives, Anne Mabry discovers a box tucked away in the darkest recesses of the windowless room. The contents of the box compel Anne, Shirley, Evelyn, and Joy to join forces and find out whatever happened to the promising young ER doctor who went missing thirty years before—a young doctor whose family had long roots in Charleston society, roots that pre-dated the Civil War.

When Dr. Byron Wellington disappeared without a trace, no one knew what to think. Was he forced to leave without saying goodbye? Or was it something worse? Something even more sinister? As the ladies search out tidbits of information, they discover much more than they were looking for.
In this lingering mystery of the past, the women realize that all is not what it seems on the surface and that, in the end, the truth does indeed set you free."


That's the official description of the story, and as the four women work together to figure things out, they uncover an unknown past that helped build Charleston's future. 


And that's the fun of time-slip. We can look back and see how our present hasn't just happened. It's evolved based on the actions of the past. That can be sacrificial... or greed. Honor... or crime. Good and bad combine to build the cornerstones of today with the actions of the past. 


I hope you love this book and the whole series! I've been working with a great group of authors and we've had a ball! 


I've got two copies of Prescription for Mystery to give away... leave a comment or question below. If you're a writer and want to talk mysteries, I'm in. If you're a reader and want to talk mysteries, well... I'm in there, too! 


Because I love, love, love a good mystery!


And here's a link to an article about... you guessed it!.. ME! :) Guideposts Magazine interviewed me for this month's issue and it was so much fun to be part of it. I love the magazine, the stories of hope and expectation.


LINK TO GUIDEPOSTS ARTICLE ABOUT OUR VERY OWN RUTHY! 


NEW MYSTERY FROM RUTHY!!!!!

Award-winning, bestselling inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne has over 60 novels and novellas in print and has sold over 2,000,000 books in the last ten years... and she loves doing what she's doing! Visit her website ruthloganherne.com, email Ruthy at loganherne@gmail.com or friend her on Facebook. 

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

Man, this one is an interesting thing and if you put out an internet search for "Woke" you get everything from Old English to heightened new age awareness. Depending on your point of view,  being "woke", having or creating "woke" characters or creating woke stories can be viewed through distinctly different lenses. And I don't mean lenses of color. These lenses are different, and should be used with great care.

Like the rest of you, I hear about folks being "woke", but often your "wokeness" is based on their level of expectation: What the observer likes, wants, believes, embraces, etc. Their life assesses your awareness. 

I think, put simply, it's another level of judgment, one person against the other (or "for" the other, if your likes and dislikes align) and it's become an air of anger or indignation on social media. 

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

The question for authors is who establishes your "woke" level?

Readers. Readers and sales and reviews and likes vs. dislikes of your work determines what they think of your awareness of the human condition. In the end, being woke doesn't seem to be about awareness anymore... it's about agreement. Sometimes the "fall into line or be quiet" kind of agreement, but how do you translate this into story? How do you stay relevant but respectful? How do you target an audience and show sensitivity to others?

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

Authors who have never served in the military write military stories. Writers who've never piloted a plane have written pilots as heroes or heroines. Authors who have never been a priest or minister, write about them all the time. Writers who've never been a MAN write men as heroes or protagonists all the time, but in our current times publishers discourage (or refuse) to have authors write outside their color/race/ethnicity. Social media attacks have turned a "woke" society into a battleground where authors have had to change characters the past few years because they're not allowed to write people of color if they're not a person of color.

And then they wonder why so many authors are working in the indie market where great stories are gobbled up by grateful readers. Sometimes following the rules makes sense... but this is one case where it doesn't make sense. A good writer is almost always writing about something he or she doesn't personally know.

You can write murder mysteries and never kill a soul. I mean it! REALLY!!!

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

You can write about a teacher without an education degree. You can write about a paraplegic, a blind person, an autistic child, a Down Syndrome adult, a veterinarian, a cop, a civil engineer, a midwife, and never have been near anyone who's given birth.

I've been blessed to sell over 2,000,000 books the last eleven years. That's an amazing number! That's a crazy wonderful thing! And depending on who your target audience is, your writing is geared toward that audience. The audience might be broad-based or more narrow. These aren't bad things, this is why publishers and Amazon have so many genres and imprints. 

So are you unwoke if you write for a Christian imprint like Love Inspired, Bethany House, Tyndale, Waterfall Press? 

Not to those readers. Those readers have the right to pick and choose what they want to read and maybe they pick from multiple genres (so many of us do!) or maybe they stay more narrowly focused (and that's their choice, right)? Targeting a specific audience isn't to disclude others: It's to focus the sales dollars appropriately to a paying public. 

I love writing all kinds of characters. My stories are generally women's fiction or romance, and I write with a calling to uplift women. It doesn't matter what color, ethnicity, religion they are... their commonality is being a woman who's had to face strife or trauma or terror.... and writing stories that identify with them.

To me, that's enough. They shouldn't have to be all white because I'm white. That's not the world most of us live in. But I also understand how quickly social media targets and attacks and no publisher wants to be in that particular set of headlights these days. We've all seen what's happened on Twitter and other social media outlets.

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

The blessing for authors like me is that I can write books like Refuge of the Heart (A Chechnyan prisoner of war), The First Gift (a biracial child and the white teacher that helps her) a cowboy who falls in love with an interior designer, (see, it doesn't matter what race they are, and I didn't put it into the description because it is of no consequence to the story...) a black supermodel with an eating disorder, a black nanny who steps in when three little rich girls lose their mother, a biracial boy who just wants to be loved, a Latina housekeeper with a secret past... with over 60 books in print, the idea that I can/should only write in my own color spectrum isn't just wrong.

It's silly. 

We don't have to be woke to know that writers write... doctors heal... singers sing... Erecting arbitrary lines of demarcation isn't natural... or normal.

Awareness and sensitivity are clutch for any writer in any genre, but there's something about my stubborn Irish nature that sets my hackles on edge when someone says "You can't do this." 

Because my first reaction is.... "Hold my beer."

And I don't even drink beer.

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?

Bestselling and multi-published, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne is kind of a know it all, but she's okay with that and hopes you are, too. With  over 60 published novels and novellas and more in the works, Ruthy loves writing the kind of characters the leap off the page and into your heart... Find her on Facebook, stop by her website ruthloganherne.com, drop her an email at loganherne@gmail.com and if you want a really good book to read, you might want to start with her latest Love Inspired "Rebuilding Her Life" or her upcoming mystery from Guideposts "Prescription for Mystery"... available soon from Guideposts.com OR you can win a copy here, today! This is a time-slip mystery that touches the heart... and tends the soul. Leave a comment below to be entered!

Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?




The Root of the Matter

 You've all heard (and probably used) the expression "give them roots and wings". 

The expression is referring to child-raising... the art of parenting. How to keep your child grounded in the strengths of life but raise them with enough courage to spread their wings and jump out of that nest.

Now we all know fledglings that didn't have to be urged to fly.

THEY JUST DO IT!!!!! 

And we all know people who are still perched on the edge, peering over, waiting for that perfect moment to launch. #FailureToLaunch isn't just a space saying anymore. For a myriad of reasons, our young people tend to seek more protection than they used to, but this is where your fiction has to ignore at least some of the current trends (whiny know-it-all people are not generally romance or fiction heroes or heroines. I, for one, want to slap them) and stick with the tropes that have withstood the test of time:

Alphas

Betas

And then there's this, a link to Writing 101: ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHARACTERS IN LITERATURE and oh my stars, this is in-depth. This is a conference class in a blog. This is detailed!!! This is for thinkers! 

I'm not a thinker or a planner... But what I do and what I can teach is to see each character via these points:

1. Where they were in the past.

2. What they've come from

3. Who's hurt them?

4. Who likes them?

5. Why are they:

    Jerks

    Scared

    Overweight

    Underweight

    Nervous

    Anxious

    Sunny

    Hopeful

    Questioning

    Suspicious

    Doubtful

    Inquisitive

    Scarred

    Introverted

Now that last one isn't to be confused with having a character who by nature is an introvert. That's different than someone who is simply introverted for a reason. A "Cause-and-Effect" scenario. 

Cause and effect scenarios are how I see books develop. I don't read craft books and rarely read articles on craft. I prefer to "read" my characters. To start the story, get to know them, realize why they act like they do, visualize their past and what effect that has on their present, and then put them through their paces of growth and realization.

I try not to make the process hard. Trees don't have to figure out that the roots send food to the branches once the sun warms the seal every spring. It just happens. It happens because the science of the situation programs the tree to produce sap/blossoms/leaves at certain degrees of soil temperature. Willows leaf out in cool weather and keep their leaves the longest up here.

Catalpa trees are S-L-O-W to blossom out and grow their big, ginormous bean-tree heart-shaped leaves. And they lose their leaves early in the fall.... big, floppy yellow leaves. I see characters like that. Some are willow fronds, some are maple leaves, some are strong, sturdy oaks, some are gossamer Japanese feathery maples, some are ornamental, some give sweetness like the gorgeous sugar maples and some bear fruit every single year, like a mother-lode, caring for all...

Your characters grow, stretch and evolve from where they are at the beginning of the book to where they are at that final page. But their story doesn't "begin" at page one... it begins in their childhood, their military service, their gains and losses, their parents, their siblings, their setting, their everything. When we make sure to bind that thread into the weave of story-telling, we end up with the organic story we all love to read and share. And that's every author's dream and goal.

Thank you for being here today! I've got a copy of my latest mystery "Patterns of Deception" and a copy of my newest and highly acclaimed Love Inspired "Rebuilding Her Life" book one of my new Kendrick Creek series.

The Root of the Matter

"Rebuilding Her Life" AVAILABLE HERE! 

The Root of the Matter

Patterns of Deception (Savannah Secrets series...) AVAILABLE HERE! 

Leave a comment below to have your name tucked in... and if you already have one or the other, let me know! 

The Root of the Matter

Bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is gearing up for a crazy busy pumpkin season on her pumpkin farm because, like a great book, the beauty of fall begins in the heart of winter with seed orders, planning, strategies, display ideas, creating things, shaking things up and staying in touch with the folks who love you eight weeks of the year... and you don't want them to forget you the other 44 weeks! :) Writing and farming have a lot in common: You plan. You plant. You work. You grow. Then you have something to sell. Rock on, writers and readers! 

BOOK RELEASE COMING!!!!Halloween In Christian FictionNew Ruthy Book! Back Home to Wishing BridgeRemembering Vince Mooney... with loveThree D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's InterruptionsBACK TO BASICS: Editing to Match the StoryNEW MYSTERY FROM RUTHY!!!!!Woke or Unwoke? What Does That Mean?The Root of the Matter

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