Have you hugged a Seeker in 2010?

Okay, for anyone who has followed this blog – or even knows anything about me – I’m a BIG fan of Seekerville.

What is Seekerville, you might ask? It’s a fabulous, funny, and encouraging site for writers and readers of good fiction. Though most of the authors write inspirational fiction, all readers are welcome to glean from the wisdom and fun of this site.

I became a Seeker-Stalker  in May of 2009 and have been helplessly and happily addicted ever since. Even had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of the Seekers at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in September. It was one of my 2010 goals!!

So – as a tribute to some fabulous ladies of fiction, here’s a look at the 2010 Seekers Publishing list (in no particular order – except Ruthy’s ;-).

Sandra Leesmith – got the ‘Call’ to publication in July and her first novel , The Price of Victory, is set to join the world of print in Spring 2011. Woohoo!!!

Julie Lessman has had a FABULOUS year with the publication of her beautiful novel, A Hope Undaunted, and a wonderful array of awards for her writing. Awards included are #5 on Booklists Inspirational Fiction for 2010, Borders Best for 2009, and finalist for ACFW’s Book of the Year. If you’ve not read any of her previous 4 books, run to the nearest bookstore (or Sam’s) and purchase them. For a review of A Hope Undaunted follow this link.

The  news has been great for Seeker, Audra Harders, whose first novel came out with Steeple Hill, LoveInspired this month. For a sneak peek at her debut novel, Rocky Mountain Hero, follow this link. What’s happening next with the sweet Audra Harders? Hmmm, maybe she’ll let us know 😉

Along with providing helpful writing tips on her webpage, Myra Johnson’s fun novel, Romance By the Book, and beautiful story, Dogwoods in Bloom, came out through Heartsong Presents. To read a little about Romance by the Book, check out my review here.

Glynna Kaye has great news. Besides the great reviews for her debut novel, Dreaming of Home, she has a new book to release with Steeple Hill Love Inspired in February 2011. Woohoo! Congrats, Glynna, I’m looking forward to finding Second Chance Courtship in the store.

If you’re into books that alternate between life-threatening adventure, male-female banter, and belly-aching laughter – Mary Connealy is the author for you. And with her track record, you don’t have to  wait too long between books, either. 🙂 This year alone, she introduced readers to 5 new books, and had three of her previous books published in a triology. PLUS her 2011 looks very promising – with a bit of a surprise to her faithful reading audience. With three books already on the way in 2011, she’s decided to try out a new genre with a new name too. To learn more about her step outside of cowboys and petticoats, and her leap into suspense, visit www.marynealy.com. I can’t wait to find out more. (oh, she also won The Carol award at ACFW, I shouldn’t forget that 😉

Besides winning the Genesis awards at the ACFW conference and the Maggie’s Inspriational category, Pam Hillman is well on her way to joining her Seeker sisters in the world of finely printed published novels. I can’t wait to see what 2011 has to offer for her.

Cara Lynn James debut novel, Love on a Dime, graced the bookstores in 2010 and now she has TWO MORE coming out in 2011. Wow, what a fabulous start!! If you like historical romances, with vibrant characters check out Cara’s books.

Missy Tippens, with her usual sweet southern flare, ended last year with her lovely novel, A Forever Christmas, and looks forward to new newest release, A Family for Faith, coming spring 2011. I think she’s been doing a bit of book editing on the side too, isn’t that right, Missy?

Well, I’m still dancing for joy about Tina Radcliffe’s debut novel, The Rancher’s Reunion, supposedly released next month – but mine is already read and sitting on my bookshelf for all to see.  Not only that, but her second book with Steeple Hill Love Inspired is set to come out Fall 2011. Oh so happy for you, Tina!!

With a mixture of fun and suspense, Camy Tang writes a little of both. Besides keeping a very busy schedule with her Story Sensei business and coordinating the ACFW Genesis contest, Camy’s newest book, Formula for Danger, came out in September 2010. If you like edge-of-your seat fiction, you’ll want to check out her Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense novels. Learn more at her website- www.camytang.com

To stick with that Love Inspired SUSPENSE theme, Debby Guisti has enjoyed a year of GREAT news. Her novel, Protecting Her Child, won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and her novel, Killer Deadline, came out in February. Her new novel (and series) The Officer’s Secret, is scheduled to hit a bookstore near you in May 2011.

Let’s keep up the tension with author Cheryl Wyatt – who reached book 7 in her Wings of Refuge series this year. Book 6 – A Soldier’s Devotion– and Book 7 – Steadfast Soldier– both came out this year. Maybe she’ll catch us up on what’s happening for her in 2011?

Janet Dean writes sweet historical romances. Her novel, Substitute Bride, released in February 2010 and was a beautiful story of heartbreak and new beginnings. Her new novel, Wanted: A Family, is scheduled to release in March 2011 and sounds intriguing. Widowed mother-to-be and repairman (with his own secrets). ooooh, don’t you just want to read it? 🙂

Last – and certainly NOT least, is Ruth Logan Herne. WHAT. A. YEAR!!! I think she’s trying to keep up with Mary. All I have to say about that is…they’re both crazy. 🙂  Her year started with her debut novel, Winters End, and zoomed ahead to end with her third novel, Made to Order Family. They are such GREAT books. GREAT! And there is no end in site for the prolific lady. Besides caring for adorable kids and dogs, cooking like Martha Stewart, and creating snappy replies to anyone who will listen, 2011 looks to be another amazing writing year for her. THREE MORE BOOKS (Er…I stand corrected. Ruthy will be ringing in the New Year with FOUR new books – I forgot her Christmas book 😉 are on the way, starting with Reunited Hearts in April. Oooh, I can’t wait. Check out a review of her novel, Waiting Out the Storm, here.

Whew – WHAT A LIST!!! Are you excited to see what the new year has to offer? I sure am. With authors who love Jesus and love writing, there are going to be some very happy readers out there.

Sizzling First Encounters with Cheryl Wyatt

It’s great to have another Seeker join us today, as well as another Love Inspired author. Cheryl Wyatt’s books have a great deal of romantic tension and internal conflict, but unlike Janet’s books, Cheryl writes contemporary. Her seventh book in the Wings of Refuge series , Steadfast Soldier, just came out in June – AND has a fabulous cover, btw. Just scan down a bit to see it.

To find out more about Seekerville, where Cheryl is a frequent ‘poster’, visit http://seekerville.blogspot.com

All of the books from this series involve pararescue team-members. To find out more about them check out her website at www.cherylwyatt.com

So Cheryl, what makes for great romantic tension?

  I think one element of great romantic tension is when there are obvious arcs of physical attraction…yet the characters react out of respect rather than act on animal instinct or sexual impulse. Controlled attraction and respecting the person enough to wait, yet not denying to themself that the attraction is there. Caring enough to put the wedding ring before the teething ring. LOL! 

If you need a longer or shorter excerpt, let me know. This is from A Soldier’s Devotion.

——-

Vince not being at the chopper when it was ready to lift could cost that pilot his life.

Shivers claimed him. Adrenaline OD. Had to be.

Once his team figured out crucial minutes too late that he wasn’t coming, they would have to pull his weight plus manage their own.

Way dangerous.

Especially since they all had specific jobs they were trained to do during a rescue. There’d be no time to replace him.

Nothing rapid-reaction about him writhing here in the middle of a rain-driven road, wishing like crazy this irksome brunette hadn’t been driving under the influence of distraction.

Water soaked his back, seeping cold to his bones. A rock dug into his skin below his shoulder. He tried to reposition without moving his neck.

Pain streaked across his shoulder blade. Numbness trickled down his arms and tingled fingers on his left hand. A frustrated sound scraped its way up his throat again but he clamped his lips against it. Despite the early-April cold, sweat broke out over his upper lip. He puffed out breaths but the pain didn’t relent this time.

He was sure he was fine, but as a military paramedic, he knew enough to be still and quiet just the same. A killer headache was building at the base of his skull and he knew better than to move until someone slapped a C-collar on him.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you until too late.” Words wobbled from unsteady lips. Hand remaining on his shoulder, she leaned forward, blocking rain from thrashing his face. She continued her prayers.

“You’re getting soaked.” Crazy lady. Her hair was dripping. Her expensive soft suede suit was probably ruined. She didn’t act like she cared. In fact, the deceptively calm body posture he could tell she fought to maintain looked ready to crumble. Like she was nearing her breaking point.

Rain-mingled tears hovering on long lashes threatened to fall. She blinked rapidly. “Help will be here soon.”

Who was she trying to convince? Him? Or herself?

And how could her voice be soothing and grating at the same time? No matter about his bones. His main concern was his bike.

“How’s my ride?”

Her eyes startled open. “What?”

He clenched his teeth. She was probably some rich chick who didn’t understand one stinking mutilated syllable of street lingo. “My chopper. Bike. Motorcycle. Thing with two wheels that goes down the road. How is it?”

That she didn’t answer and only scanned the area around them with ever-widening eyes revved his headache through the roof of his skull.

Incensed, he released the pent-up groan.

“I am sooo sorry. The ambulance will be here soon.”

The urge to laugh hit him full force from nowhere. “For me or the bike?”

Ooo, Cheryl. So. Much. Tension. And I love how you get inside the hero’s head. GREAT POV.

Thanks for sharing today.

Up Next:  Best-selling author, Deb Raney, joins us tomorrow. Stop by for more sizzling fun. (Me and Deb at the BRMCWC this year. Isn’t she so cute?!? She truly is as sweet as she looks)

I Need a Hero – Noble

Love Inspired author, Cheryl Wyatt, brings our hero characteristics today. Cheryl is the author of the Wings of Refuge series, with her newest book, Steadfast Soldier, comes out in June. To learn more about her books visit her website at www.cherylwyatt.com

 So what are Cheryl’s top hero traits?

 Breathtakingly Brave. (Courageous enough to put others ahead of himself no matter the risk)

 Irrefutably Noble (Does the right thing even when no one’s looking, regardless of personal cost)

 Honorably Handsome

 Who doesn’t like the ‘honorably handsome’ part, right? 😉

 Well, there are so many heroes to choose from who meet the characteristics Cheryl chose, but I’m going to list one of my favorites here. Aragorn from Lord of the Rings

 Breathtakingly Brave? Yep, even though he doesn’t feel like he deserves the calling of king – but that’s what makes him all the more brave. He steps into a place he’s afraid to go.

 Irrefutably Noble? Certainly, over and over again he risks his life for others, keeping their safety foremost in his thoughts.

 Honorably Handsome? Just check out the picture 🙂

 Here are a few quotes for the Hero Aragorn:

 Legolas: Look at them. They’re frightened. You can see it in their eyes.
[All the men turn to look at him]
Legolas: [in Elvish] And they should be. Three hundred… against ten thousand!
Aragorn: [in Elvish] They have a better chance defending themselves here than at Edoras…
Legolas: [in Elvish] Aragorn… they cannot win this fight. They are all going to die!
Aragorn: [in English] Then I shall die as one of them!

 Aragorn: I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.
Boromir: Our people, our people. I would have would have followed you, my brother… my captain… my king.
Aragorn: Be at peace, Son of Gondor.

Legolas: Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore.
[Aragorn does not move]
Legolas: You mean not to follow them.
Aragorn: Frodo’s fate is no longer in our hands.
Gimli: Then it has all been in vain. The fellowship has failed.
Aragorn: Not if we hold true to each other.
[pause]
Aragorn: We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left. Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let’s hunt some Orc. 

 So, today let’s focus on Irrefutably Noble, and I like Cheryl’s definition. “Does the right thing even when no one’s looking, regardless of personal cost”

 A few synonyms for ‘noble’ are – ethical, principled, admirable, just, fair, steadfast, faithful, loyal…

 Wow, what a list.

 How does your hero show nobility?

 It doesn’t have to be an enormous choice, like going into battle to save a halfing. Sometimes the most noble choices are the small, everyday ones.

 For example, in one of my books, my hero has struggled with sexual immorality in his past. In fact, he has a history of not controlling his passions, but when he meets my heroine, he chooses her good over his passions by refusing to be ruled by them. Respecting her above his desires.

 Another example, and a little less ‘common’, is when my WWI hero risks his life to save a fellow soldier who is caught in the German’s barbed wire.

 Or in my other wip, my hero starts each morning by bringing firewood to my heroine’s door – even though she tries to convince him she can do it herself. He knows she’s afraid of going outside in the early morning darkness, so even before the romance starts, his natural inclination is to  be helpful.

 Red in Mary Connealy’s book, Montana Rose, is a great example of everyday nobility. Despite Cassie’s constant screw-ups, he chooses to show grace to her. He sees ‘the best’ in her and with the steadfastness of a lover, he helps her discover who she really is.

 There are so many other ways heroes show nobility, and I’d love to see your examples too.

 Ultimate Hero Note:

 There is no greatershow of nobility than in the character of Jesus Christ. Not only was he nobility due to his royal status, his actions displayed every element of nobility. Loyalty to people who rejected him. Principled by choosing right, even when another path would have been easier. Faithful, keeping his sites set on ‘his father’s business’ and not straying from it. Fair – searching the hearts of people, instead of only dealing with their words.

 I think of the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. He had been fasting for forty days, so he was weak, tired, and hungry. The perfect time for Satan to visit. He slithers into the scene and starts offering Jesus everything his humanness could crave. Food, Glory, and Freedom from suffering. With Scripture as His sword, Jesus sliced through all the Devil’s temptations. He chooses to do what is right BECAUSE it is right.

 At the heart of true nobility is selflessness. It’s also seeing an opportunity as greater than merely one’s self.

 How can you make your hero Christ-like by showing his nobility?

 Hero Quote

 A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
Joseph Campbell 

Inspirational Quote:

Pay attention to the imagery of these verses. A noble character is described in very visual ways that I’ve highlighted in bold. Also it gives a contrast to a noble character by describing a fool.

1-8 But look! A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice.
Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds,
   provide safe cover in stormy weather.
Each will be cool running water in parched land,
   a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert.
Anyone who looks will see,
   anyone who listens will hear.
The impulsive will make sound decisions,
   the tongue-tied will speak with eloquence.
No more will fools become celebrities,
   nor crooks be rewarded with fame.
For fools are fools and that’s that,
   thinking up new ways to do mischief.
They leave a wake of wrecked lives
   and lies about God,
Turning their backs on the homeless hungry,
   ignoring those dying of thirst in the streets.
And the crooks? Underhanded sneaks they are,
   inventive in sin and scandal,
Exploiting the poor with scams and lies,
   unmoved by the victimized poor.
But those who are noble make noble plans,
   and stand for what is noble.

Isaiah 32:1-3

A Birth of Faith with Cheryl Wyatt

Welcome back, Cheryl Wyatt, Love Inspired author of stories that touch the heart and welcome readers into a world of faithful soldier fighting for their hearts. There are quite a few ’sweep you off your feet’ moments in her books too…literally
 
Her Wings of Refuge series is 5 books and growing? Is that right, Cheryl?
To learn more about her books, visit www.cherylwyatt.com
Since the Christmas season is closing in fast, what a more wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Christ then by asking Inspirational authors to introduce us to their favorite ‘births of faith’ they’ve written.
Let’s get to the Christmas question:
 
 
Of all the novels you’ve written, do you have scene featuring someone’s ‘birth of faith’ (conversion, recommitment, etc) that you found particularly touching or fulfiling to write? why?
 
The only conversion story I’ve written was in my upcoming release, A Soldier’s Devotion, which should be in stores around Dec 26th-Jan 1 sometime and will remain on shelves for about a month. It can also be ordered online.
This book is part of the Wings of Refuge Series for Steeple Hill and is pararescue jumper (PJ) Vince’s story. All along he has been the bad boy of the team and so he was fun to bring into a relationship with Jesus and still keep his bad-boy appeal intact. Many readers wrote asking for his story and so I hope they enjoy his conversion. This book was fulfilling to write because all of his teammates have been praying for him for so long and it meant a lot to readers that their prayers were answered even though the characters aren’t real. They become very real to people. So I’m glad readers are invested in the series to the point of caring what happens to the characters.
Thanks, Cheryl… so with some of that Christmas money we get, we’ll have to purchase A Soldier’s Devotion to find out what happens to Vince. Suspense…I love it!!
Alright, here’s a sneak peek at next week’s lineup:
Monday – Mary “Extraordinary” Connealy
Tuesday – Sweet and Sassy Siri Mitchell
Wednesday – Missy “Southern-Sweet” Tippens
Thursday – Nancy “Historical Grit” Moser
Friday – Warm Your Heart Myra Johnson
 
 
God’s Word of Faith for Today:
Thessalonians 1:11
11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”
 
We are not alone in this journey. God has given us other ’soldiers’ to fight alongside us, friends to encourage us, parents to comfort us, and teachers to guide us – other Christians. P.A.L.S, as I refer to them in another post at: http://pepperbasham.blogspot.com/
Just as Vince’s life is transformed by the grace of God through the prayers of those who love him, our lives are impacted and changed through the love and prayer of others. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), she must have felt an overwhelming sense of assurance, as Elizabeth confirmed the words the angel had spoken to Mary.
Mary must have thought, “This is really happening. I’m not alone” which led to her lovely song we refer to as the Magnificat. Knowing we are not along – that most importantly we are held within a loving Father’s safe embrace, helps us rejoice like Mary, or the shepherds on the hillside. God has a plan – and He’s using us to fulfill it.

Who’s Got Character?

What a better week to talk about ‘characters’ than the week we dress up as different ones. I am thrilled to announce the ‘line up’ for next weeks’ “Who’s Got Character?”, where your favorite authors tell us their favorite heroes and heroines, AND the ‘behind-the-scenes’ making of those characters?

To whet your creative interests, check out the guests:

Monday, Ruth Axtell Morren –morren_photo

             author of love stories set in history, specifically Regency. Her novels not only inspire the romance between a man and woman, but sprinkle the fingerprints of a Divine love throughout the story. Of all her fascinating characters, who could possibly be her favorites? Move over Mr. Darcy 😉

 

Tuesday, Julie LessmanJulie-Lessman-2

           -winner of the Book Of The Year Award at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference in Denver, Julie is a master-craftsman/woman at making the written word breathe with energy, conflict, and tension. Her heroines are powerfully memorable and her heroes are dangerously loveable. Stop by and figure out which ones she loves the most.

 

 

Wednesday, Bryan DavisBryanDavis_l

      Known for his colorful detail and powerful imagery, Bryan Davis has won the hearts of adults and children alike with his fantasy serieses Dragons In Our Midst and Oracles of Fire.  His writing sets the reader’s senses on hyperdrive into a world of imagination.

 

 

Thursday, Cheryl WyattCheryl Wyatt

     Faster than a F-117 Night Hawk, more powerful  than a rotary gun, able to write a novel in 6 weeks, look…at the computer, it’s Cheryl Wyatt. Cheryl’s action-packed stories bring ‘real life’ situations onto the page with warmth, beauty, and humor. She has so many characters to choose from, who will she choose as her favorite and why?

 

Friday, Denise Hunterdenise hunter

       Known for her beautifuly crafted love stories of emotional growth, spiritual renewal, and ‘rescue’, Denise combines a wonderful trilogy of faith, humor, and romance to weild a story with memorable value. The rescues that happen on her pages are rescues of the heart. I’m curious who her favorite ‘rescuer’ will be?

 

And we don’t stop there. During the first week of Novemeber, there will be a whole new set of authors ready to reveal the secrets behind the favorite characters. So keep checking in to learn more.