Springs of Inspiration with Ruth Logan Herne

I know you’ve heard me talk about her before (eye roll) It’s no secret that I’m a big-time Seekerville fan.

And you’ve heard how much I love this woman (and her novels), but I’m just going to say it again.

The main reason I love her is for her cookin…er…wisdom. Yeah, that’s right.

Ruth Logan Herne is my guest today on the Springs of Inspiration series and I affectionately refer to her as my ‘writing Mom’. My real mom doesn’t mind sharing at all, because she’s already quite aware that it takes more than one mom to try and keep me straight.

Anyway, Ruthy is one of the Fabulous Fifteen of Seekerville and a Love Inspired author. Prolific would be an understatement for her writing since 2010. She’s been on a high-speed roll with seven published novels and two more on the way. WOW!

So heeerrrreeee’s Ruthy!

Hmmm….

 Favorite inspirational scene:
From Winter’s End when Kayla’s left the North Country, thinking she’s following her dream, moving south to Virginia for a new job, less snow, less cold, less barren land only to discover that she left her heart up north, and that despite Marc’s flaws, he makes her feel whole. The Holy Spirit gives her a smack-upside the head, reminding her the choice is hers. And while she’s dealing with that, Marc has his own epiphany in the North Country and realizes that he really hadn’t tried to change at all, that his stubbornness and pride got smack-dab in the way. It takes an invite to a new church and snuggling a mop-topped baby for Marc to finally hear the words of goodness his soul craves. But he’s let a lot of time slip by… How will he ever be able to fix things now?
What keeps me out of a funk?  “Pull up your big girl panties and move on…” (Pepper here: That’s the ‘Mama’ part coming out 😉
Oh, wait, BIBLE verse….
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.”  Ecc. 3:1  KJV   🙂
This verse is my mantra. That and the Serenity Prayer. They’re my mainstays because I like simple. Simple works for me.
Thanks so much, Ruthy!

Conference Tips with Audra Harders

There are some people God brings into your life at the perfect time for the perfect reason. Steeple Hill Love Inspired author, Audra Harders, was one of those people to me last year at  ACFW.

Besides being a partner in workshop ‘sneaking’, Audra was also an encourager during my nervousness. She took me under her wing and prayed for me right in the lobby of the hotel. It was a beautiful experience – an example of her gentle, kind, and lovely personality.

Audra is another one of the fabulous fifteen Seekers and her novel, Rocky Mountain Hero, debuted in January 2011.

So Audra, what are your conference tips?

 1. Bring your sense of curiosity and adventure. I know writers tend to be hermits, but a conference is no place to bow to those tendencies! Get out of your room and snoop around the hotel, you never know who you’re going to run into at the coffee shop or lobby. Or exercise room. Or pool.

 2. Think about your “brand” and bring a gimmick. It can be as simple as a business card with your picture, your log line, or anything to identify you and your genre. Or maybe something that relates to your genre such as a creative (crafty) bookmark representing the era you set your books, or special chocolate from the region where your book is set. Market yourself as simply, but as powerfully, as possible.

 3. You can’t look confident and relaxed if you’re not comfortable. While workshops and meetings are in session, dress for the image you want to exude. If it’s western, pack a jean skirt; if it’s urban, try stylish trousers and flats. Comfortable does not mean frumpy. Don’t leave your sweats at home if you like to relax in them, but make sure they’re publicly acceptable before you pack them. But don’t get too comfortable. I remember a conference I attended a few years ago where one of the authors was lounging in the lobby. This isn’t a bad thing…except she was wearing an old ratty t-shirt, dollar store flip-flops, and couldn’t have slumped down deeper into the overstuffed chair if she tried while she typed away on her laptop. Unfortunately, that is the image now burned into my gray matter of this author.

 Remember: Comfortable, not sloppy!

Thank you! Thank you, Audra.

And Audra brought the ‘brand’ word! Whew….tought stuff. What’s your brand?

To find out more about Audra visit her website, or stop by Seekerville.

And Audra – SEE YOU IN ST. LOUIE!!!!!

Conference Tips with Ruth Logan Herne

For the unpubbed author, there is nothing better than finding people who support and encourage you.

People who teach and guide you.

People who tell you the truth, critique with love, and have a snarky sense of humor.

Ruth Logan Herne has been one of those people for me!

One of the fabulous fifteen of Seekerville, Ruthy has made an amazing hit into the published world since her first book Winter’s End came out in March 2010, Ruthy has successfully released  FIVE more books with many more to come! Her novels have consistently received excellent reviews and Winter’s End is a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards this year (I plan to CHEER in person!!! Probably annoyingly loudly. Go, Ruthy!!)

So, without further ado, what are Ruthy’s top three conference tips?

Oh, honey, that one’s easy.

Write.

Write.

Write.

Everything else is extraneous.

Fluff.

Window-dressing.

Frosting.

Can’t make a cake without flour…

Writing’s your flour. THe basic ingredient.

Simple, yet profound. Thanks Ruthy.

Without words on a page, there’s little chance of publication – so….we have some work to do. 🙂

To learn more about Ruthy’s books, visit her website at www.ruthloganherne.com or stop by Seekerville!

Do you have someone or more than one someone who encourages you along this writing journey?

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photos courtesy of www.ruthyloganherne.com

www.wellsvilledaily.com

Small Town Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne

Want a SWEET TREAT for your heart? Ruth Logan Herne’s latest book, Small Town Hearts, will provide the necessary sustenance and so much more.

Danny Graham is a hero so sweet, he rivals chocolate – and I DO NOT mean the generic brand either. I mean the good stuff. And poor Megan Russo’s well-protected heart doesn’t stand a chance.

Burned twice by two jerks, Megan focuses on her family, friends, and her candy store. Life in a small town may not be the best place to allow her past to disappear into obscurity, but it fits the simple, peaceful life she wants. But in all honesty, her life was like cookie dough without the chocolate chips added in.

Enter, Danny Graham, grandson of Grandma Mary’s Candies and businessman with a purpose. Open up a chain of his grandma’s stores just around the corner from Megan’s shop. It’s one thing to fulfill one of his grandmother’s dreams, but another to put a sweet shopkeeper like Megan Russo out of business. Especially with Megan’s small town appeal snatching his heart from the very first moment.

It’s gonna take a whole lot of sugar and spice to get everything working nice between these two . When Megan finds out Danny’s real reason for being in town will it end in her strike three for romance? Will Danny learn that the sweetest ingredients missing from his life might be found in the simplest place?

Ruth Logan Herne bakes up a delicious concoction of romance, tenderness, small-town characters, and male-female banter. Don’t miss your chance to purchase this beautiful and sugar-coated story.

One taste will not be enough 🙂

A Week Review with Ruth Logan Herne – Reunited Hearts

I just read Ruthy’s novel, Reunited Hearts, a month ago and have my review below – but let me say her NEWEST novel JUST CAME OUT this week. Small Town Hearts should be ready for pick up this week, so stop by your local Wal-Mart or purchase it online right here: http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=236

Also REMEMBER TO LEAVE A COMMENT FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A RUTHY-BOOK!!! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEKEND!

Here’s my review of Reunited Hearts.

Surprises are in store for Military hero Trent Michaels when he returns home to Jamison, New York.  Sure, the town’s grown a bit. New buildings, new people, new stories along the streets of the quaint little town – but one surprise arrives he never expected.

His son.

Twelve years after his high school sweetheart refused to marry him, and disappeared, Trent meets the son he never knew he had. Can he work through his own feelings of betrayal and anger to find the reason why Alyssa Langley broke his heart twice? Was his orphaned upbringing the real reason she left him, or was there something much deeper behind her disappearance?

Is the love and attraction that held them together when they
were young strong enough to bind them through their greatest fears?

My thoughts:

Well, Ruth Logan Herne has done it again – crafted a beautiful
story about two hearts who journey home. Alyssa’s carrying a burden of guilt
that threatens to suffocate the hope she begins to feel in Trent’s presence.

It’s a beautiful story of hope, healing, and reuniting that
can only happen when forgiveness gets involved.
A definite read!

And the cameo appearance by a really cute pregnant preacher’s
wife made me feel right at home ;-)

A Week Review with Ruth Logan Herne – Made to Order Family

Well, we’ve been celebrating the author, Ruth Logan Herne, this week – and let me just tell ya:

If you like Ruthy’s books, then you’re in for a treat. She has SO MANY MORE on the way! Today we’ll focus on her third novel, Made to Order Familyl – and remember, leave a comment for your chance to win a Ruthy-novel

Okay – so I’ve realized one of the things that make Ruth Logan Herne’s books a bit different than some of the others I read.

You know how romance in some books can be sloooooow. I mean painfully slow. Like…’someday my prince will come when I’m 99 years old’ :-)

Or

Some books will have romance pounding almost off of every page – starting with page 2? (I love those kind too, btw.)

Well, with Ruthy’s books there’s this beautiful steady kind of romance. I mean this in a wonderful, down-home, smell the scent of fresh-baked bread kind of way. Love grows, spreads, learns, explores, and discovers as friends (new or old) feel their way into a possible future.

And it’s like that with all three of her books. A tender, growing awareness between the man and woman. Usually, it’s with eyes-wide-open. Wow. Lovely.

Her newest novel, Made to Order Family, is no different in this gentle nudge into love. As a woman with a shameful past, who trusts herself less than she trusts most other people, Rita is determined to make a fresh start with her three kids. With a dream of owning her own bakery pushing her forward, she consults her hunky woodworking friend, Brooks. Taking it slow is a necessity for these two.

Rita & Brooks are both recovering alcoholics. Caution and care are needed for each day – each decision. Rita has enough responsibility in being a widow with three kids, not to mention the former wife of a swindler who took his own life instead of facing the damage he’d caused. Now, as her dreams start to quiver into realities, true love drifts forward in the form of her friend. A man she’s admired for a long time. A solid, honest, secure man. But…a man with a past too.

Unlike Rita who has to face her past head-on, Brooks has run from his. But as my granny says, the truth always comes out. No matter how far Brooks might try to run or hide from his secrets, they will find him. He has the choice whether to confront them on his own or allow bitterness to steal freedom from his soul. His discovery of what he wants, and what he has to do to get it, is as lovely as Rita’s.

It’s a beautiful mix of difficult parenthood, future possibilities, and love’s promises, all packaged in a very satisfying journey of a mature man & woman. A couple who thought their second chances might have been long gone. I loved it.

And I’ll say again – as I’ve said of Ruthy’s heroes before – yum. Brooks is no exception. He is all those strong, sensitive, manly qualities that are sigh-worthy.

Wonderful story, Ruthy. And I’m so tickled that there are more to come!!!

A Week Review with Ruth Logan Herne – Waiting Out the Storm

From my June 2010 post of Ruthy’s novel Waiting Out the Storm. I LOVED this one. What am I saying? I’ve loved them all.

Well, Ruth Logan Herne has done it again. Written a beautiful story of hope and healing with just enough grit and humor, (plus great animals) to keep the reader from getting anything else done in her house.

Gee, thanks Ruthy. It’s a good thing I did some house-cleaning BEFORE  I started reading.

Waiting Out the Storm is a novel of second chances and redefining expectations. Craig Macklin tends a grudge with as much expertise and he tends the animals in his clinic. For years, he’s barely tolerated the Sloccums for a crime one of them committed against his family. When the youngest Sloccum, Sarah, brings in her dog for Craig’s help, he responds as a professional, but inside he’s seething.  The fact she was a Sloccum and a shepherd put her on the lowest rung of likeable people, even if her dove eyes snagged his attention against his will. He wanted nothing to do with her or her sheep.

Until his life and Sarah’s begin to intertwine.

When Sarah unexpectedly becomes the guardian for her nieces and nephew, and the truth of the past surfaces, Craig begins to realize his mom is right about those nasty assumptions.

But can Sarah’s heart open up to a man with a past like his? Can she forgive him for his longstanding resentment toward her for a crime her half-brother committed? And when a storm sweeps through Sarah’s farm and leaves her wounded, will the scars from her past heal as beautifully as the ones on her face?

Waiting Out the Storm is a fantastic second book for Ruth Logan Herne. Following her debut novel with Steeple Hill, Winter’s End, Ruthy has a consistent flow of books in stores this year. The third book in this series, Made to Order Family comes out in September.

Sarah and Craig’s story is a good testament to false assumptions and the blindness that unforgiveness causes. Both characters in this story are dealing with matters of unforgiveness. And just so you know – Ruthy writes great heroes. Love Craig. And for that reason, I’ve wanted to slap both of her heroines in the next-to-last chapter of both books 🙂 Sorry, Ruthy – but it’s true. Go grab that man!!! He’s a keeper! You should hear me. I actually talked to Sarah.

You’ll have to read the book to see if Sarah listened to me. And visit Ruthy’s website and brand new blog. www.ruthloganherne.com

You can also read some of her words of wit and wisdom on Seekerville. It’s always worth the daily stop. Can’t wait for the next one, Ruthy. You’ve got a fan in me.

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A COMMENT FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A RUTHY-BOOK!!!

A Week Review with Ruth Logan Herne – Winters End

I just love Ruth Logan Herne.

Sure, I enjoy her books – they are filled with small-town romance, humor, fun family, real conflict, super-sweet kisses…

but I just have to say, I love Ruthy, because she’s Ruthy. She’s actually my adopted writing mother – if she’ll claim me, that is.

This week I’m featuring Ruthy’s books and we’ll start with her debut novel, Winters End. Leave a comment this week and you’ll be in the running for a Ruthy book or your choice!

So, let’s take a peek at Winters End

What is one of the best ways to welcome in this lovely spring weather? Read Winter’s End by debut author, Ruth Logan Herne.
Simply put, it is one of the BEST Love Inspired novels I’ve ever read. Grit, humor, romance, and characters that stick to your memory like the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
This story keeps you guessing about a happy ending all the way to the final chapter.
Filled with wonderful emotion, heartwrenching wounds, and a surprising twist, Winter’s End follows the journey of two souls who will not be complete without facing the unforgiveness and fears of their pasts – and trusting in a Savior who mends broken hearts.

A Bit About the Story:
Kayla Doherty faces her job as a hospice nurse with determination and hope, unfortunately her ‘hope’ doesn’t seem to hold out for Marc DeHollander’s surly personality. Marc sees Kayla’s presence in his life as a tangible sign of his father’s disintegrating health, but both Kayla and Marc need a good dose of a miracle. Not so much in the healing of Marc’s father, but in the healing of their hearts.

Ruthy’s personality, complete with her fantastic wit, shines in this book. A definite must-read that will both break and warm your heart.

Check out Ruthy’s site at www.ruthloganherne.com

A Family for Faith by Missy Tippens

Down here in the South, we have very high standards for our sweetened iced tea. I can have too little sugar or too much (but rarely too much ;-). It can be seasoned with mint or lemon. It can be brewed by hand or by machine. But the important part of it all (besides the perfect location to drink it) – is that it has just the right
amount of sweetness for the one drinking it.

Well, Missy Tippens has delivered a story with Southern charm and just the right amount of sweetness for the reader’s pleasure. Her newest release, A Family for Faith, is a beautiful story about second chances, letting go, and trusting God.

A cloud of failure hides behind Faith Hagin’s smile. Despite the fact that her coffee shop is doing well, her church family love her, and the handsome police chief, Gabe Reynolds, sent her heart into an adolescent pitty-patter, Faith is haunted by poor choices that alienated her son from her. Now, with the possibility of new romance, and a second chance, Faith can’t get past her feelings of failure and insecurity. Instead of focusing on the amazing opportunities God’s providng, fear forces her in the opposite direction. How could she ever be a good mother for Gabe’s daughter when she’d destroyed the relationship with her own son?

Gabe Reynolds still misses and loves his deceased wife, but raising a preteen daughter forces him out of his comfort zone to seek help. He never expected Faith Hagin’s help to transform his entire life. Her generous and joyful spirit tugs him away from his self-imposed isolation, tempting his heart to open in ways it hadn’t in a long time.

Will Gabe’s daughter succeed in finding the perfect match for her Dad? Can Gabe and Faith overcome their own wounds to see that God specializes in second chances?

Well, pick up Missy’s book to find out. It’s a beautiful story at the perfect price.

And Missy, I have to tell you that though the romance was absolutely lovely, one of my FAVORITE scenes in the book was the reconciliation between Faith and her son. I thought you wrote it in a touching, realistic, and fulfilling way. Beautiful! I cried (but don’t tell Mary I did) 😉

To learn more about Missy’s books, check them out at www.missytippens.com

Reunited Hearts – A Home Run for the Heart

Surprises are in store for Military hero Trent Michaels when he returns home to Jamison, New York.  Sure, the town’s grown a bit. New buildings, new people, new stories along the streets of the quaint little town – but one surprise arrives he never expected.

His son.

Twelve years after his high school sweetheart refused to marry him, and disappeared, Trent meets the son he never knew he had. Can he work through his own feelings of betrayal and anger to find the reason why Alyssa Langley broke his heart twice? Was his orphaned upbringing the real reason she left him, or was there something much deeper behind her disappearance?

Is the love and attraction that held them together when they
were young strong enough to bind them through their greatest fears?

My thoughts:

Well, Ruth Logan Herne has done it again – crafted a beautiful
story about two hearts who journey home. Alyssa’s carrying a burden of guilt
that threatens to suffocate the hope she begins to feel in Trent’s presence.

It’s a beautiful story of hope, healing, and reuniting that
can only happen when forgiveness gets involved.
A definite read!

And the cameo appearance by a really cute pregnant preacher’s
wife made me feel right at home 😉