Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reflections on RWA 2014!

Debby Giusti here!

As promised, I’m blogging today about my experience at this year’s Romance Writers of America National Conference, held at the beautiful Marriott Marquis on the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas. My daughter, Mary accompanied me, and we arrived on Monday to experience San Antonio’s Southwest hospitality before the start of the conference, which gave us time for leisurely strolls and stops at shops and restaurants that  bordered the waterway.

Remember the Alamo!

Tuesday morning, we joined Janet Dean and her husband for a full-day tour that started at the Alamo. Established as a mission in 1718 and later used as a military outpost, the Alamo has been preserved as a shrine to the 186 heroic men who stood with Colonel William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett against General Santa Anna and his army. Outnumber and under siege for 13 days, the men fought for Texas independence and their valor and heroism live on as an inspiration to all.

Mission Concepcion

From the Alamo, we headed to the outskirts of town to visit Mission Concepción. The church was dedicated in 1755 and is the oldest unrestored stone church in the US today. Mission San José, with its expansive grounds and Rose Window, provided a glimpse into the life of the missionaries who spread the Word of God and the Indians who lived and worked within the safety of the mission walls.

Janet Dean finds a friendly cowboy at the Buckhorn Saloon.

We ate lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon. Built in 1881, it stands as the oldest salon in Texas. While there, we toured the accompanying museum that included Bonnie and Clyde’s bullet-riddled car, Texas Ranger memorabilia and other Wild West artifacts, including a mockup re-creation of old San Antonio.

In the afternoon, we took a riverboat ride on the San Antonio River. A flood in 1921 claimed 51 lives and devastated the downtown. Bypass channels were built for flood control, and some years later, architect Robert Hugman proposed a commercial development plan which turned the much needed waterways into the fun and festive River Walk that’s a favorite destination today for all who visit the city.

Mariachis play at La Tierra under the twinkling lights.

Our tour included time to shop at El Mercado, and we returned later that night with Missy Tippens and her husband and daughter for dinner at La Tierra. The expansive restaurant, decorated with murals of the famous and not-so-famous, is known as the best place for San Antonians—and eager tourists—to enjoy Mexican food, Mariachi bands and lots of local color.

(L to R) Mary Connealy, Mindy Obenhaus, Lindi Peterson, Myra Johnson
and DiAnn Mills chat after the FHL meeting.

The Faith, Hope and Love Chapter meeting Wednesday afternoon is the perfect way to start the RWA conference. Joining together in prayer for the success of the conference and for all those who attend sets the tone for the next four days.

Debby Giusti gets ready for the Literacy Autographing.
Notice the balloons Harlequin gave their authors.

Excitement built as readers lined up, waiting for the doors to open, for the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing that evening. More than 500 authors participated this year, and $53,800 was earned and donated to organizations that foster and encourage literacy. The Literacy Autographing is one of my favorite events. I love meeting first timers and reconnecting with old friends. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to say hello and pick up copies of my Writer’s Prayer and other giveaways.

Debby and Tina Radcliffe pose for a picture.

Piper Hugely stops by Missy Tippens' table.

Last week, Myra Johnson recapped a few of the workshops she attended. If you missed her blog, "A Random Recap: RWA 2014," you can find it here

Like Myra, I attended Marie Force’s workshop, “So Your Books Have Taken Off… Now What?” I came away thinking of my writing as a business. I’m not in Marie’s league, but I do need to have long-term goals and find ways to work smarter instead of harder.

(L to R) Mary Curry, Tina Radcliffe and Carol Post

Here are a few notes I took from Marie's workshop:

Think like a business person.
Get an email address with your author name so each email you send builds your brand.
Start a mailing list. When a reader emails, ask him/her to subscribe to your newsletter.
Gather snail mail addresses and consider special send outs, such as Christmas card.
Your website is open for business 24/7, 365 days a year. Keep it updated. List your series books in order and include buy links.
Marie went from making $2500 in 2010, to over $3M in 2013 and 2014. She didn’t expect her business to grow so quickly, and she encourages all authors to be prepared for success.
(BTW, Marie Force will be the Keynote Speaker at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia, October 10-12. Consider attending.)

Waiting for a workshop to begin.

Myra also mentioned Cindi Meyers’ workshop, “Writing Faster, Writing Better.” Here's what I took away from Cindi's program:

Find free time to write by eliminating wasted activities.
The average person watches 4 hours of TV a day. Cindi’s advice. Turn off the tube.
Grab short bits of time to write.
Record writing time on your calendar to track your progress.
Use ritual to help you “go into” your writing world. Get used to writing at the same time, same place, perhaps get into the “zone” with candles or music.
Really fast writers plot so they have a road map.
When you stop at the end of the day, make notes in ALL CAPS about what you’ll write the next day.
If you get stuck, write your scenes out of order.
Limit negative self-talk.
The Internet can be a bad habit.
Perfectionism gets in the way of productivity.
Embrace your rough draft. (Cindi writes straight through until she has a completed rough draft and then polishes.)
Resist the temptation to show your draft to critique partners.
Use writing sprints to increase productivity. Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and just write. Don’t stop until the timer dings!
According to the Pomodoro Technique, the most efficient work is done in 20 minute time periods, followed by a 5 min break.
Go on writing retreats two or three times a year.
Accountability Partners are good.
Cindi writes 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, with a yield of 3,000 words per day. She spends 3 to 4 days in prep prior to beginning a new story, and does one big revision and one fine-tuning review when her draft is completed. She writes a HQ Intrigue in 5 to 6 weeks and spends three months on a 90,000 single title. Although she writes for different lines, she works on one book at a time. 

Harlequin even decorated the furniture with their logo
for their big party!
 I moderated Love Inspired Editor Emily Rodmell and Harlequin Editor Susan Litman’s “Tips for the Perfect Pitch from the Editor’s Side of the Table” Workshop.

Susan started off the hour by saying:
Consider every pitch as a moment of opportunity.
Do your homework and know what the editor is acquiring.
Does your project hit her sweet spot?
Check to ensure your manuscript fits that particular publisher’s needs.
Remember you’re selling your story and yourself.
Index cards are fine, but don’t rely solely on them.
Practice your pitch, and include word count, hooks, blurb and plot.

On the dance floor at the Harlequin party.
Emily offered the following advice:
Consider the pitch a conversation rather than a monologue.
Introduce yourself.
Exchange pleasantries.
A short blurb is good.
Focus on the plot, conflict and hooks.
Hooks can include a special location, Amish or secret baby, and/or a particular occupation, such as cowboys or firemen.      
Include both internal and external conflict.
You’re the architect of your story. Tell the editor why your story is memorable, along with the obstacle that will keep your hero and heroine from falling in love?
Mention if you’re published.
The manuscript should be completed.
Share your marketing strategies, such as your followers on social media, and explain why you want to write for their particular house.
Dress professionally
Submit as soon as possible. Include a short email and mention something to refresh the editor’s memory about your project.
Turn off your cell phone
Make eye contact and smile.
Leave on time.
Don’t be nervous.
Don’t bring your manuscript.

Tanya Aglar and Julie Hilton Steele are so pretty!
This year, I choose workshops that focused heavily on business, hybrid writing, and ways to juggle traditionally published stories and independent releases to build readership.

A number of workshops talked about writing fast and releasing stories—full-length, novella or short stories—every ninety days to keep readers remembering your name and buying your work.

In the past, the publishing house or agent was orchestrating a writer’s career. Now the writer is the CEO of her writing business.

Not yet published? You’re learning your craft. Pubbed or not, we all need to increase our productivity and keep our eye on any changes in the industry.

Indie author Hugh Howey and his agent, Kristin Nelson, in a PAN workshop, “The Down and Dirty: What It Means to be an Outlier,” talked about earning a living by writing. Hugh went from earning $200/month to $3,000/month by releasing work every three months. He writes short stories and releases them independently to generate more interest in his full-length books and claims good content and regularity are the keys to his successful career. Kristin said we’ll see more changes in the next three to five years, and those changes will happen first in the romance genre.

This year, the Keynote luncheon was held on Thursday. In lieu of a second luncheon, the conference attendees received breakfast on Friday and Saturday, followed by General Session speakers Cindy Ratzlaff and Karen Rose. Each person attending got a free copy of their books, and following their talks, the ladies autographed in the lobby. I like the new format and found the talks inspirational and a great way to start each day.

Our lunch break was shortened, which made room for more workshops. President-elect Cindy Kirk, the RWA board and staff were always available to answer questions or help with any problems. Cindy is an outstanding leader, and I’m looking forward to her tenure as president.

The Awards Ceremony Saturday night.

I often hear Christian writers question whether to attend RWA. Everything I know, I learned from my GA RWA chapter. This year’s National Conference was warm and welcoming. I always felt surrounded by good friends, perhaps because I was usually with Seekers and Villagers and other Love Inspired authors. Joking aside, RWA offers something for everyone, and I encourage you to consider attending next year when it will be held in New York City. You’ll mix and mingle with industry professions and editors and agents and have lots of opportunities to pitch, to network, to improve your craft and sell your story.

After the Awards Ceremony. Tomorrow we head home.
Share your RWA experiences from this year or from past conferences. Leave a comment to be entered in the first-ever drawing for my October Love Inspired Suspense. I’ll be giving away five copies of HOLIDAY DEFENDERS, featuring my novella, “Mission: Christmas Rescue.”

In honor of San Antonio and RWA, I’m serving Southwestern Breakfast Burritos, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Peppers, Quesadillas, an assortment of pastries, ham and…you guessed right…GRITS! Enjoy! The coffee and tea are hot. Pour a cup of your favorite beverage, and let’s talk about books and writing and what we learned at RWA!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

by Debby Giusti

On the run from a killer, Elizabeth Tate must accept U.S. Army captain Nick Fontaine’s protection for the sake of her young niece and nephew. Now her life is in the hands of the very man who broke her heart years ago.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are We Selling Books or Selling Out?

Sherri Shackelford here, fresh from conquering The Big Apple. And by ‘conquering’ I mean I didn't die.

Because my good friend wrote a fabulous book, I had the opportunity to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City a few weeks ago. (You may recognize the book by Cheryl St.John – Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict.)

Several attendees mentioned how many classes were offered on ‘selling your book’ or ‘how to get your book published quickly’ rather than ‘how to write a great book’. The sentiment was something I heard echoed throughout social media from the Romance Writers of America Conference. (Full disclosure-I didn’t actually attend RWA this year. Maybe they were lying.)

Curious, I thumbed through my RWA conference booklet from 2008 in San Francisco. I was a starry-eyed young writer back then. I was still green and hungry for knowledge with less than a year of learning under my belt. Thankfully, there were plenty of sessions about craft for a newbie.

Which left me wondering: Are we selling books, or selling out?

I’ve just sent off the proposal for my fifth book to my editor at Harlequin this week. So you’d think I’d know what I was doing by now, right? Wrong. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

Which brings me back to the question: Are we selling books, or selling out?

I came into the business at a great time. Indie publishing was still in its infancy and I didn’t have any other choice but to learn the hard way through a series of rejections and re-writes.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not here to champion traditional publishing. Unless, of course, you’re a big fan of dying poor beneath a leaky garret. (Just kidding. I’m not kidding. I am. Mostly kidding.)

I am, however, a fan of learning. When my first book was published, I received a small burst of interest from other authors curious about ‘how I did it.’ (Not in a scary OJ Simpson kind of way, I’m sure.) These fresh new authors wanted me to give them an honest opinion of their work.


These authors wanted me to tell them they were great and ‘here’s my agent’s home email’ and ‘here’s my editor’s private line to the red ‘publish-this-person-now’ phone’. They wanted me to dress up in old-timey clothing and write A++++++++ on the chalkboard.

Don’t be that person.

Why sell books before their time simply because we can?!

A lot of what I learned in New York is old news for most people, but it’s a good refresher.

About self-promotion:

1. Take advantage of Goodreads. That’s where the readers hang out. But don’t be creepy and try and sell your books all the time. Engage people in discussions about other books you both love. Join groups and learn what people are reading and enjoying. Never, Never, NEVER engage a reviewer. EVER. Not unless you want cyber pitchforks lobbed at you. Read all the rules of the groups you join and FOLLOW them. Don’t be like your brother-in-law, the Amway salesman, and make people hide behind potted plants to avoid you.

2. Gather a mailing list. People read 1% of their twitter feed and see about 10% of their facebook posts. Everyone reads email.

3. Don’t bug people on facebook. They want to see pictures of your cat wearing a sailor hat. Really. Or maybe a nice meme of Tom Hiddleston ordering you to relax and take a bath. People do not want to hear ‘buy my book’ blah blah blah ‘buy my book.’ Sure, they like to hear about new releases and they enjoy cover reveals. They also like to hear how you dictate all your books to a male-model-turned-secretary while wearing your pink silk mules and a diaphanous peignoir. (C’mon, we’re all selling a dream, right?)

4. Have a nice website. It doesn’t have to be Potterville, but don’t have something that looks like your brother-in-law, the Amway salesman, designed it. Update your website. If your biography has your 2008 release listed as ‘new’, update the information. People are looking for an easy way to discover your backlist. Help them.

5. Stop worrying so much about selling your books and building a platform, and spend more time writing new books. More content drives more sales than a Tom Hiddleston meme.

6. It’s okay to be traditionally published. The galaxy will not be cloaked in evil if you sign with a Big Five Publisher. It’s also okay to be a hybrid author. It’s okay to be Indie published. There’s no need for ‘Team Indie’ and ‘Team Traditional’ T-shirts.

7. The guy from Amazon doesn’t differentiate between small-press and self-publishing. It’s Big Five or Indie. I don’t know what that means, but I thought it was interesting.

8. Figure out metadata. And when you do, explain metadata to me. That class was really overwhelming.

Here’s what I learned about craft from the Writer’s Digest Conference:

1. Never stop learning. (Actually, that’s not from the conference – that’s from me.)

2. Good stories will trump good writing. (I know we’re all thinking about the-book-that-shall-not-be-named with the numbers ‘5’ and ‘0’ in the title.) Read Lisa Cron’s ‘Wired for Story’ and search the Seekerville blog for further explanation. (I once had an admired friend tell me she enjoyed THAT book. She sunk in my estimation faster than an Italian cruise ship. Then, she said, "It drew me in." You can't argue with that.)

3. A story is emotion. Read Cheryl St.John’s, ‘Writing with Emotion, Tension and Conflict.’ Take special note of the excerpt from Sherri Shackelford. (Just kidding. I’m not kidding. I am. Mostly kidding.)

4. Writing books is hard work. If it’s not hard work, you’re doing it wrong. The fun is in the beginning when everything is fresh and wonderful. The fun is at the end when all that work is behind you. The fun usually dies somewhere in the middle when you realize you’ve just spent three months writing THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN. Real authors suck it up and push on. Hobby authors start a new project.

Here’s the thing—I don’t know how to tell when your work is good enough for publication. There’s always some point in the process where I’m pulling out my hair and having serious discussions with my husband about how I’m planning on hitchhiking around the country to pull my current books from Wal-mart shelves one by one because they’re awful. To which my husband inevitably replies. “Keep the crazy at home, and you already spent the advance.”

(Joke’s on him—I let the crazy go public a LONG time ago!)

I DO know it’s a good idea to keep learning, to ask for and accept criticism -- hire a professional editor. (Not your brother-in-law, the Amway salesman.) Attend lots of conference and share what you’ve learned. Especially about metadata. Because metadata is really confusing for some people.

Bad books do not a good career make. Discoverability is getting more and difficult. Earning money is a good thing. Self-promotion is important. (For example: If everyone reading this blog could buy a copy of The Cattleman Meets His Match and then pop on over to Goodreads and/or Amazon and leave a review, that would be great!)

But please don’t annoy people all day long with blah, blah, blah ‘buy my book.’ And don’t just sell books. Sell GREAT books! That’s what I learned at Writer’s Digest. 

Now, my question to you, Seekerville is this: What is the new apprenticeship/polishing process in this brave new world of publishing? 


I’ll give away two copies of The Cattleman Meets His Match to people who comment!

The Cattleman Meets His Match


Cowboy John Elder needs a replacement crew of cattle hands to drive his longhorns to Kansas—he just never figured they'd be wearing petticoats. Traveling with Moira O'Mara and the orphan girls in her care is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Yet despite Moira's declaration of independence, the feisty beauty evokes John's every masculine instinct to protect, defend…marry?

Moira is grateful for John's help when he rescues her—and she can't deny that his calm, in-control manner proves comforting. But she is determined not to let anything get in the way of her plans to search for her long-lost brother at journey's end. However, can John show her a new future—one perfect for them to share?

A wife and mother of three, Sherri Shackelford's hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.

Sherri is currently working on three more books for her Cimarron Springs series. Her current books include Winning the Widow’s Heart and The Marshal’s Ready-Made Family, and The Cattleman Meets His Match. The Engagement Bargain releases in February of 2015. Visit her website at or contact her

Monday, August 18, 2014

Where is Your Warrior? --with DiAnn Mills

Where is Your Warrior?
DiAnn Mills

If youre like me, writing can be a war zone. Every day I march to my computer and battle with words. Sometime I carry the flag and stand on my desk and scream victory. And other times I hide under my desk and cower like a . . . little girl. I make the choice to be successful. I dont choose my circumstances, and neither am I controlled by them. I am a writing warrior.

Writing tactics vary according to personality, and all of us have ways to achieve our objective in a strategic manner. We approach our stories with proven maneuvers weve learned from other writers, and were not afraid of making adjustments. The crazy truth? There isnt a perfect way to create a novel.

If you doubt your fighting and survival abilities in the writing and publishing world; if you want to crawl out of your foxhole and write a marketable story, here are ten ways to champion the writing warrior in you.

The Writing Warrior
1.      Purpose: A warrior understands the goal of his craft is to pen a manuscript that exceeds anything the writer has created in the past. The elements of story are deepened through vigorous practice and a review of skills. The first line of defense is creativity.
2.      Motivation: A warrior finds the drive to begin and finish a story by understanding his purpose and ignoring the enemy flanks approaching on all sides.
3.      Determination: A writing warrior isnt afraid of an ambush. In fact, the writer is prepared. Revisions from the editor, changes in the industry, and personal situations dont have to be an ambush. A writer is ready with a counter-attack. We arrange our schedules to finish manuscripts before the due date so a hitch in our professional, personal, and psychological life doesnt flatten us. We find the resources necessary to do the work. Period.
4.      Mental: Courage takes its form in ways that are often unpredictable. A writer is prepared by mentally being aware of what success entails, training the mind to review and add ammunition to his arsenal. The writer isnt afraid to invest in how-to books, explore the best methods to use social media, or research the best writer conferences. A warrior seeks the tools to keep his morale up.

5.      Physical: A warrior trains his body so his mind will respond accurately. This means eating nutritionally healthy foods and exercising daily. Put the good stuff into your body, train it, and watch it operate more efficiently by defeating self-doubt and exhaustion.

6.      Spiritual: The Bible says to put on the armor of God so we can stand firm in our faith. Do you wear your faith like a set of new clothes? Are you clothed in the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, boots of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit? A warrior without faith is defeated before he begins. Look up for your marching orders, not at your fingers on the keyboard.
7.      Objective: A warrior knows his objective before he straps on his weapons. He trains with courage. Dont be afraid of guerrilla warfare. If your story isnt flowing the way you envisioned, take a step back. Look at the story from another angle. What happens in the middle of your story that changes everything for your characters? What detail in your backstory pushes a character into unexpected action? Reach out for a critique partner. Work your way back from the storys resolution.
8.      Hunger: A warrior craves his very best and leads the charge. Do you hunger for your work to be viewed as respected, a strong story that entertains and inspires the reader? Does your heart want a manuscript that fulfills a need?

9.      Love and compassion: A warrior takes every weary step forward because of his love for people. The world is filled with hurting people, and he wants to protect and help them overcome adversity by showing them how to be warriors.
10.   Commitment: A warrior faces the challenges of the ever-changing writing and publishing industry by seeking information that teaches new concepts. His allegiance to story and pleasing readers links him to all areas of writing and publication. A warrior doesnt admit defeat; hes armed with knowledge that ensures hes still writing when the smoke clears.

Have you discovered your hidden warrior? A writer without a battle is a writer whos given in to the echoes of defeat and forgotten the will to create.

Im a writing warrior. What about you?

Okay warriors! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Firewall.

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than sixty books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance
Writers of Americas Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook (, Twitter (@DiAnnMills), Pinterest (, and Goodreads

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Weekend Edition

 Just another motivational Weekend Edition here in Seekerville. Which of these quotes is your favorite? Or do you have your own?

We Have Winners

 Be sure to contact us if you are a winner (send an email to with your snail mail address unless email is specified). We don't have time to track you down. Do let us know if you don't receive your prize in 6-8 weeks. Rules are located here, on our legal page.

Monday we welcomed back Abingdon Press author Jennifer AlLee. Her post was, "How Much Reality Does Your Fiction Really Need?"  Sara Ella and Mark Abel are winners of her new release, Last Family Standing.

Still slightly brain-dead after returning from the RWA conference in San Antonio, Abingdon Press and Heartsong Presents author Myra Johnson shared a few gems from the workshops she attended at RWA 2014 with her post, "A Random Recap."   Sharon Timmer is the winner of a copy of Myra's award-winning historical romance, When the Clouds Roll By, recently named a finalist for the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award!

Question: What’s one of the most, if not THE MOST, important component in a romance? Answer: The Hero! Wednesday we joined Julie Lessman for PART 3 of her exploration as to the most common hero types in Inspirational Romance today in her blog entitled, “From Sweet to Swoon … Ramping Up the Sigh Factor in our Heroes -- PART 3”!  Julie provided her favorite tips to ramp up the hero swoon factor in your novels from ho-hum to hot. Jennifer Smith is the winner of a signed copy of any of her books, including her upcoming release, Surprised by Love.

Thursday we donned our Stetsons or Resistols and joined Ruth Logan Herne for "When Spinning a Bunch of Plates, What's One More?" Winners of Her Montana Cowboy are Lisa Murray, D.J. Mynatt, Christina and Melanie Pike.

Writer and teacher Jewell Tweedt was with us on Friday with her post, "Teachers as Writers: Why They're a Good Fit." The skills that are useful as a teacher also help in business, and writing is a business. It’s creative and fluid but also a business. Writers produce a product and market it, if they finish the darn book.Stephanie Queen Ludwig is winner of  When Christmas Bells are Ringing.

Next Week in Seekerville

Monday: Welcome bestselling and Christy Award-winning author DiAnn Mills! "Where is Your Warrior?" Writers march to their computers every day to battle with words. If you doubt your fighting skills, here are ten ways you can find the warrior in you. DiAnn will be giving away a copy of her new release Firewall.

Tuesday: Seekerville is excited to have Love Inspired Historical author Sherri Shackelford with us today with her post, "Are We Selling Books or Selling Out?" Sherri is generously giving away TWO copies of  The Cattleman Meets His Match!

Wednesday:Award winning Love Inspired Suspense author Debby Giusti shares, "Reflections on RWA 2014," with information she gleaned from the conference, along with her observations about why RWA is a conference worth attending.  She'll also hold the first giveaway for her October novella, Mission: Christmas Rescue, featured in Holiday Defenders. Join in the fun. Leave a comment to win Debby's next release, and pick up conference tips that will help streamline your productivity and creativity. See you Wednesday!

Thursday: Stop by today for tips and tricks on "Writing Historical Dialect" with Vickie McDonough. Vickie is also giving away two copies of Song of the Prairie!

Friday:  Come celebrate Astrea Press debut author Chris Lorenzen! Chris will inspire us with her first sale story. And she'll be giving away a copy of her e-book, A Husband for Danna.

Seeker Sightings

You can now pre-order Seeker, Glynna Kaye's November release, High Country Holiday!

Tina Radcliffe is serving up salmon, along with cheddar biscuits in the Yankee-Belle Cafe on Friday, August 22 to celebrate the Tuesday release of Stranded with the Rancher.

Ruth Logan Herne's "Running on Empty" is free this weekend! Hop on over to Amazon... grab your free Kindle copy or download free Whispernet to your laptop... and then come back!

Random News & Information

The Top 100 Websites of 2013 (PC Magazine)

 Why the Public Library Beats Amazon—for Now (WSJ)

 Authors are Being Hoodwinked (Hugh Howey)

10 Publishing Shakers You Should Be Following (The Independent Publishing Magazine)

The Rules of Writing According to 20 Famous Writers (WD)

Writer's Digest Partner with Bookbaby for Blue Ash Publishing Imprint (The Independent Publishing Magazine)

Kindle Direct Publishing Unveils Pre-Orders for eBooks (Good E Reader)

Ebook Publisher Power Rankings: Top Publishers of 2014…So Far (DBW)

 How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of "Middleman" Services  (Writer Beware®: The Blog)

Night Class in the Village
That's it. Have a great writing and reading weekend.