Love at First Thought with Ruth Logan Herne

I’m continuing with my blog series Love at First Thought, where authors share the inspiration behind their beautiful novels.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have a very special person as guest today.

In fact, she’s so special that I’ve adopted her.

She’s my writing mother. Do you want to know the reasons I had to adopt her?

  1. She’s WAAAAY too young and savvy to have a daughter my age, of course.
  2. Not only is she savvy, but she’s sassy too – keeps me in my place. (you know, the kick- you-in-the- pants-when-you-need- it kind of person.
  3. She has an amazing sense of humor. Hilarious. Even if it’s at other people’s expense.
  4. She has a heart the size of New York. (So the big stick she carries isn’t as intimidating…mostly)
  5. And she’s a Seeker-extraordinaire

Welcome Ruth Logan Herne to Words Seasoned With Salt.

Here’s the inspiration for her novel, Winter’s End (to read a review, go here)

Winter’s End.

I saw this farmhouse,  frayed and faded.  Mold-hashed. Worn. Tired. In need of care. And a man’s soul, the same way. Aching, both of them, but no time to fix either. I saw a hospice scene, an older man but not old, in a hospital bed, dying. And I saw a young woman who worked so hard to be normal, to appear normal that she almost thought she was. But she hated the cold. Hated the snow. Hated the long, dark days of winter. Hated the memories that  winter spawned, that feeling of never quite being warm enough.

He was wed to the land, born to it, at peace with it when no other sanctuary offered him shelter. His land. His farm. His family. His home. His legacy.

She wanted and needed peaceful faith, a bucolic setting, a Kincade cottage of hopes and dreams, lit from within.

She couldn’t stay.

He couldn’t leave.

Oooh, doesn’t that sound so good! And it is!! Not only that, but Ruthy has loads of new books coming out this year. Learn all about them at

And check out the wonderful world of Seekerville while you browsing the Web.

Inspirational Beginnings:

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Have you realized yet that things come and go? That even the best things in life only last for a definitive time period.

The old adage “Nothing lasts forever” might come to mind.

Well, Ecclesiastes is trying to help us gain perspective on eternity. Because, until we grasp the idea of a God over All things – we will spend most of our lives getting lost in the moments. Trudging through the tough times or the ‘waiting’, without stepping back to catch a glimpse of a God’s-eye view.

It’s easy to get lost in the moments. Who likes to wait? Or be discouraged? Or feel grief and pain?

But the good thing is – those are only part of a season, not an eternity.

And the wonderful seasons? Well, they’re only here for a specified time too. Remembering this (especially for me as a parent) should keep me from holding on too tight and trusting God a whole lot more. (I’m still working on that one)

The only safe, secure, unchanging foundation at the heart of eternity is God. Eccl states “He has set eternity in the human heart.” Wow, what a thought. Our hearts are already set on an eternal timepiece, waiting for the next tick of time.

It’s so easy to get caught up in worldly affairs that we forget the BIG perspective: God’s. There’s relief and hope within his constant care. When our world falls to chaos, his eternal, strong, and nail-scarred hands remind us there is a bigger picture we cannot see.

The comfort is in the fact that our Father God loves us…THAT much!

We can trust Him with the seasons of life, and cling to the knowledge that at Winter’s End, Heavenly Joy will be our reward.



Love at First Thought with Mary Connealy

Ever wondered where story ideas come from?

Especially the stories that linger in your thoughts long after the last sentence.

Do the authors filter through pages and pages to create these novels? Are they inspired by family histories, television shows, strange and stranger occurrences, other stories?

Well, if you want to find out, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to the first post of my blog series, Love At First Thought.

I can’t think of a better way to start than with cowboy-author-extraordinaire, Mary Connealy.  In Mary’s free-time, she writes.

A lot.

The evidence is in the fact that she turned out five new books last year, and has four more on the way for 2011. It’s astonishing what this lady can do.

I want to be like her. Do you think she’s share her DNA? Or at least her creativity? 😉

Speaking of creativity, let’s go back to the beginning with Mary’s first book, Petticoat Ranch.

In Mary’s case, her first novel was inspired by Dirty Harry.

That’s right.

In fact, here’s what Mary has to say:

Petticoat Ranch started with two ideas.

The second Dirty Harry movie, the one about vigilantes, and he said/she said.

A man in an all girl world.

(And if you’ve never read Petticoat Ranch it’s a MUST. SOOOO hilarious, with a hefty dose of Mary’s trademarks: male/female banter, adventure, gunfire, and humor. WONDERFUL!!!

But Mary didn’t stop there. To get a good taste of the various ways in which inspiration may come, here is a quicklist of Mary’s novels – and the ‘thoughts’ that inspired them. (my comments are in italics)

Petticoat Ranch: Vigilantes. Dirty Harry, the 2nd one with vigilantes. I think it’s Magnum Force. (faith message, how does a Christian handle very justifiable hate) A movie inspiration

 Calico Canyon: A Sunday School class I taught once. (faith message, you’re not truly free if you’re living with constant fear)

Real-life inspiration

 Gingham Mountain: Orphan Trains (in the beginning, in Gingham Mountain, Charlie was an angel, really, but when that got vetoes, I made him a seriously badly behaved little trouble maker. But he saves the day in the end and that was the remnant of the angel)

Historical research inspiration

 Montana Rose: Love Comes Softly (by Janette Oake)…with gunfire and mayhem (abuse can break the spirit and it’s hard to heal when your self-doubt is deeply embedded)

Novel Inspiration (stealing from someone else…with a twist 😉

 Wildflower Bride: Two people who belonged nowhere except with each other. Faith message (How does a strong, independent man turn his life over to God.

A ‘what if’ inspiration

There you have it, guys. Some tips about where Mary’s books originated. Have you ever gotten a novel-idea from a movie?

Give us a glimpse into your story the movie inspired.

And thank you, Mary – for letting us have a little glimpse into your creative world.

Inspirational Thought:

For the length of this series, I want to introduce you to some verses in the Bible that have the phrase ‘in the beginning’.

The very first one?

Genesis 1:1 “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

In the beginning, God’s story began. A story he would write from His first ‘Word’ to the very last. He took the emptiness of darkness, and filled it with His light, and the great Storyteller began to weave a tale greater than any other in all of history.

A tale of rescue, redemption, riches, ruthlessness, and royalty.

But most of all – a story of love.

Into the darkness, God brought forth light with just a word.

And into our lives, he brings forth stories. Inspired by His ways, wisdom, and words.

In this world, created by His words, we step with wonder- waiting for inspiration to unfold at any turn.

Out of a darkened, empty page – God guides us into situations that dawn a novel in our minds. He’s created us as writers – for His glory.

But most of all – He’s brought us out of the darkness of our sin, and lightened our soul with His love. A love that should inspire us to show the world what true love really is.


Stop by Wednesday to find out the inspiration behind Margaret Brownley’s first inspy novel, A Lady Like Sarah.

Love At First Thought – Weekly Lineup

Well, this first week of Love at First Thought is getting ready to start. I’m so excited about my first guests.

Love at First Thought lets readers enjoy the spark of inspiration behind some of the stories they’ve enjoyed. A story begins somewhere, somehow, and basically ‘anything’s possible’.
 Amazing Monday with Mary Connealy


Wonderful Wednesday with Margaret Brownley


Fabulous Friday with Ruth Logan Herne (affectionately called Ruthy)