Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Sale Party!!!

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25 NKJV
Isn’t waiting the hardest part? Let’s see, my son is now 17 and I joined Colorado Romance Writers when he was 6 months old, so I guess I’ve been writing with an eye towards publication for 16 years! Wow. I didn’t think I had that kind of tenacity in me, LOL! I remember numerous times at CRW meetings the topic would turn to “if you knew you’d never publish, would you still write?” What a question to ponder.

You know what? I still don’t have the answer. I write because stories float around in my head. I write because I’ll only accept Happily Ever After. I write because I’m a romantic at heart.

And God had a way of putting me in the most incredible places, at the most incredible times, meeting the most incredible people. Who am I to argue with that?

With that little bit of insight into my fairly simple brain, I now breathe the words I’ve dreamed of saying for 16 years:

I’m proud to announce the sale of my first book to Steeple Hill Love Inspired Books, January 2011.

Oh how I love the sound of that : )

Compared to many of the submission processes I’ve undergone with editors and agents, this final adventure took a surprisingly short time.

Right after Labor Day 2009, I sent a query and a proposal to Melissa Endlich at Steeple Hill Love Inspired. In a matter of days, I received an email requesting the entire manuscript. Sent that off the day after I received the request.

I sat back, prepared to wait, and wait, and wait.

Toward the end of October, I received an email from Melissa with suggestions for revisions. Was I interested in re-working the manuscript and re-submitting?

Umm, yes.

I tore this out, added that in, massaged around the rough edges and by the middle of November, I was ready to send a newly packaged version of Rough and Ready back to Melissa Endlich.

Okay, now I’m a bit more anxious over the outcome of this submission. Did I pass the test? Did I understand what Ms Endlich wanted? Did I even know how to write a book?

On Tuesday, January 26, I had just arrived home from work to have lunch with my husband when the phone rang. He glanced at the called ID and didn’t recognize the long-distance number and decided he wasn’t in the mood to talk to roller cover salesmen over his lunch (my husband is a painting contractor). We finished lunch and I had 10 minutes to spare, so I checked the answering machine. Besides a friend of ours wanting my husband to rescue her chickens, another call grabbed my attention.

“I’m calling for Audra Harders. This is Melissa Endlich…”

Yes, I’m afraid that’s when the screaming began. I called her back and the journey into the dream of my lifetime begins.

I’m so proud to call Steeple Hill Love Inspired my publisher and Melissa Endlich, my editor.

So, what’s this book about? Let’s begin at a place called the Circle D Ranch in Hawk Ridge, Colorado. (You knew I'd work in a cowboy picture somewhere)

Gabe Davidson struggles with the endless responsibilities of the family ranch after his brothers escape the tediousness their small hometown like rats escaping a sinking ship.

Stung by deceit and disapproval, single mother Melanie Hunter operates on a tight budget and strives to make a life for herself and her son, guarding her wounded heart against any chance of further pain.

When a lucrative job opportunity arises in the mountains of Colorado, she jumps at the chance to leave her past behind and build a new future. Unfortunately, things don’t go the way she’d planned. Melanie is stranded in Hawk Ridge when she wrecks her truck until a surly rancher offers a solution to her problem. Together, Gabe and Melanie discover the spirit of compromise and sacrifice as they learn to let go and let God.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.. Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

So many folks have had a hand in my writing journey, a few special thanks need to be passed along:

Where would I be without the support and encouragement of my Seeker family? 15 awesome women, drawn to one another by competition, and bound by love and respect. I love each of you for countless reasons and am so proud to call you my sisters.

Leslie Ann Sartor, you’ve accompanied me every step of my journey to publication. Your love and friendship have meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to say. Theresa Rizzo, you have that unusual knack for knowing exactly when I need a kick in the pants to keep me on task and focused on my calling. Ladies, our movies nights in Longmont and critique parties in Crested Butte are forever burned in my heart. I love you, both!

A special, special thank you goes out to Connie Rinehold. Years ago, you took the time to read a contest entry of mine--you really got the story and my voice--and didn’t hesitate to tell me so. You began as a mentor and became a cherished friend. Who says God doesn’t have angels here on earth??

My husband Gary, you have survived more computer system drama, critique meltdown, baked chicken dinners and an abundance of other tortures, all for the sake of helping your wife realize her dream. You are my hero, babe. Kara and Bud, thanks for ignoring all the tantrums and snits your mother threw. I promise, you’ll be better for the experience : )

My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, You mean everything to me. There aren’t enough words, so I give You my heart. Thanks.

Thanks to the incredible followers of Seekerville. You faithfully laugh, cry and eat with us everyday. You guys are the best.

Okay, mushy stuff is over. A pig is roasting on a spit down by the beach. The cabana to the right has pans of lobster and crab, and of course a bottomless shrimp bowl. If you venture to the left, you’ll find our buffet table laden with tropical desserts for every palette.

Captain Jack is working the liquid refreshments over by the crossed palm trees. He makes a mean Island Rumba, savvy?

WooHoo! Let’s PARTY!!


Erica Vetsch said...


Congratulations! WOWOWOWOW! What wonderful news!

I'm so happy for you!!!


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

And you forgot to mention the Audra First Sale Conga Line I started!!

Is this like the coolest most deeelightful thing??

Congratulations, A-Dudette!!!


Jack Sparrow said...

Island Rumba yes, but I also have a stash of Godiva chocolate for you, Audra me love.

Congratulations, couldn't have happened to a nicer wench.

Mary Connealy said...

This story sounds fantastic.
I LOVE COWBOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

T. Anne said...

Congrats! What an inspiration to the rest of us!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Celebrate good times come on!!!!!

Congratulations on the sale!!! I'm getting in line to read this one! Woohoo!

xoxo~ Renee

KC Frantzen said...


Congratulations ma'am!!!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Heb 10:23

Did you see the Bailey's Irish Cream in the special snifter JUST FOR YOU?!!!

Here's a toast! Congratulations!

WAY TO GO!!! :)

Lee Smith said...

Congrats! You are an inspiration to the rest of us. I thank God for all you wonderful ladies. I think you might have to change the name of your island though... seems you're running short of unpubbed authors. :o)

Once again, my sincere congrats to Audra and best wishes on her new book I will be watching for it.

Camy Tang said...


Connie said...

Didn't I tell you so? Huh? Huh? And weren't you skeptical? HooRah you did it Girlfriend!

God love your heart Audra, it took time and patience but it happens when it's supposed to--when God wills. Noone deserves this more.

I could wax poetic about the magic of the moment and the thrill and utter a few mildly dire warnings about the bursts of panic but you watched me go through it all so you know. Know also you have a support system here in Oregon.
Love ya bunches!

Debra E Marvin said...

A little tropical birdy on another blog (there are other blogs out there, you ask?) had this First Sale Party banner up and I was thinking I'd missed something...
Guess not!

WOOOOT WOOOT! How exciting. Thanks for the story of the call! Amazing! My heart is racing and I haven't even gotten in the conga line yet!

Congratulations, Audra! I'm looking forward to reading your story, and so thankful for this acknowledgment of your talent-- sweet!

The weather is so nasty here on the mainland I can't wait for the warmth of an island party.


Leigh said...

Yay!!! Yay!!! Yay!!!

Congratulations, Audra! What great news to see early on a cold, rainy Saturday. You just brought a little sunshine to my corner of the world. :-)

And, like Lee Smith said, you (and all the wonderful folks here at Seekerville) are such an inspiration to the rest of us. Thanks so much for sharing the journey and the joys with us.

Not sure how well I'll do in the conga line with a cast on my foot, but I'm all for raising some coconut drink toasts. Enjoy your well-deserved party!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Sweetniks, you've gone and DONE IT!!!!!


Hoorah!!!! Oh my gosh, I'm so into the conga line and the Island Rumba, whatever that is. If it's sweet, I'm partaking. Forget the DIET!!!!

It's First Sale Party Time in Seekerville!!!!!

Huzzah! Huzzah!!!

And might I add that Gabe is ONE SMOKIN' COWBOY.

Oh mylanta, do ya' just see how nicely that boy wears a pair of chaps?????

And Melanie... You will LOVE Melanie.
And her little boy. And the crew at the ranch.


I brought sponge candy, you guys who don't know what it is, what REAL sponge candy is, give it a try.

Chocolate dipped pretzels, white and milk.

Paula Deen's Low Country Cookie bars to DIE FOR.

Coffee to jump start such an auspicious morning and I arranged for Brueggers to come by and put on a breakfast spread unless the lobster's done, but last I looked the pot was still warming.

Jump in. Eat. Feast. Dance. Be Merry.

And didja all notice that Saucy Audra first moved into MY hut, THEN TINA's, and is now vacating it.

Could it be????

Is it possible?????

Could we even consider the possibility??????

It's not us.

It's a blessed hut. Magical. Wonderful. Fanciful. Forget the years of hard work, shut doors, hissy fits, head-scratching and puzzled brows.


Who knew?


Girlfriend, I'm so proud of you I could bust but I will not rest easy until we have Pam and Sandra off the Island... We have a goal and we are THIS CLOSE!!! (envision TWO last fingers) Because their writing is stellar, their strength is amazing and they've stuck to the dream as well.

And Seekervillians, I think there are several of you who are just as close. This is such wonderfulness to celebrate.

And God Bless Melissa for these nods of approval. What a wonderful blessing she's been, such a hard working, strong, understanding editor. This woman is straight to the point and I love that in a person. She's not afraid to work with you, guide you, ask of you... And I totally respect that. Trust your editor to know her line, her readers, her bosses, her public. So important.

Toasting you with a Mimosa, darling girl!!!!


Jessica said...

How awesome. I can't imagine how loud your screams must've been.
Thanks for sharing your awesome news, Audra! Your story sounds great.

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Audra!!
YipEEEEE!I'm so glad for you. Let's party.
I'm bringing my maracas and a GREAT big hug.
Unpubbed island is getting mighty empty

Sandra Leesmith said...


I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU Audra girl, this is so wonderful. You have worked hard for this stellar news.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE The conga line is fun, Tina. Especially with sand squigling between your toes.

YEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWW Can't stop screaming.

Audra. Your story is awesome. I love hearing about your journey. We all have a different journey but the same goal to get off unpubbed island.

Wow I'm moving into that hut Ruthy, Pam come with me. We have to get off this island. At least we have time to write now when all this partyin is over.

Glynna Kaye said...


Congratulations, Audra!! I've read your draft manuscript and can hardly wait to see it in it's final polished form. Readers are in for a treat!! And welcome to the Steeple Hill Love Inspired family as well!

You've worked hard, stuck with it, never gave up! So time to PAR-TAY!!!!

Cara Lynn James said...

I'm so happy for you, Audra, I could cry! Instead, I'll celebrate in Florida. This is the best news we've had since Tina got The Call!

Enjoy your accomplishment--you deserve it!!!

Meg Moseley said...

Congratulations, Audra! I'm so very happy for you. What a fabulous reason to throw a big, noisy party!

Patty said...

I just love to hear first sale stories! Congratulations, Audra! I'm sooooo happy for you!

Audra Harders said...

Oh my goodness, Erica! I think you showed up to the party just as I was going to bed! See what I get for sleeping?

Thanks for WOWOWOW-ing me, LOL!

Audra Harders said...

Conga line? Would that be around the bonfire? Through the dessert hut? Along the beach?

Thanks, Tina!

Audra Harders said...

Ahhh, Jack! I'd wondered if you'd remember : ) A party isn't a party without Captain Jack Sparrow!

Audra Harders said...

Wow, Mary. I'd love to hear you scream in stereo for Tina AND me : )

I've heard the Pineapple Cream Punch Jack is serving up is great on overused vocal cords...Makes you want to sing more, too : )

Krista Phillips said...

HUGE congrats!!! GREAT news!

Audra Harders said...

T. Anne, thanks for coming to the party! Pull up a mimosa and pick from the breakfast buffet (which just materialized-ah, miracles do happen, LOL). Enjoy the warm, sunny island.

Pig roast later this afternoon. I get dibs on the ears!!

Audra Harders said...

Renee, doesn't January 2011 seem so far off?? I'll be reminding you as the date draws closer : )

Audra Harders said...

KC! Baileys by the bonfire? Oh you know the way to a girl's heart : ) Thanks for the toast!!

Hi Lee! Thanks for your insightfulness regarding the diminishing population of the island...fear not, we Seekers have plans...

Audra Harders said...

Camy-cakes! Oh I love you! I hear you're having a guest come visit you...bring her to the party!

Donnell said...

Audra, I got chills reading your Call Story!

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.. Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

Is this true of your path or what!

Major Congrats!!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Audra, mega congratulations on your first sale!!!! What a beautiful day on the island to gather on the sand and celebrate with you!!!!!! No one could deserve it more!!!

Even with tummies full of lobster and shrimp, we'll lose weight if we keep this Conga line going.

Hugs, Janet

Glynna Kaye said...

Well at long last, look who's finally shown up at her own party! About time! Audra -- it's practically NOON on the East Coast. Jack's been absolutely beside himself wondering what happened to you.

Audra Harders said...

Connie!! It's taken so long to get here, but oh, what a ride! Thanks for all your faith in me through thick and thin, hot and cold, cramped or spacious workspace, LOL!

Hours, and I mean the HOURS you spent arranging my sequencing and I think I've finally got it : )

I'm waiting for you get over your *vacation* and start writing again. The world needs the insanity of Connie Rinehold romance!!

Thanks for all the support over the years, girlfriend! I'm missin' not having you in Denver!

Audra Harders said...

Debra, wait! There are other blogs out there?? OMG, who'da thunk it??

Pull up a beach towel and dig your toes in the sand. An ocean breeze is ruffling palms and spreading warmth and goodness.

This island is awesome, but really, I'm ready to layer up and attack the mainland : )

Rose said...


Congratulations on the sale! Now we have another wonderful cover to look forward to in the slide show.


Julie Lessman said...

AUDRAKINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a dream-come-true for ALL of us, girl, to see you take your rightful place on the mainland where deadlines and revisions and red-inked galleys replace (for a while) queries and synopses and waiting ... oh, wait, that's still part of the game!

And sweet sale, it's only 9:30 AM (CST), and Ruthy is already three sheets to the wind with those Captain Jack Rumbas!! Yo, Jack ... another batch, please! And where's the cabernet, by the way????

Let's parteeeeeeee!!!!!


Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS....looking forward to reading your masterpiece :)


Pam Hillman said...




You didn't even get Tina's hut redecorated. Tsk, tsk!

I'll pop back in later. It's been a busy week, and the natives have been hogging the computer.

I ask you, why do these people care about weather reports, the US cattle industry, computer gaming and researching US Presidents? lol

Melanie Dickerson said...

This is so exciting!!! I knew it was coming!!!

I am basking in the joy, girl. Love it, love it, love it. Yay, Audra! Dancing for you!!! Life in the published zone is sooooooooo much fun. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

And I must say, I'm feeling really honored you named your heroine after me. Melanies are always really sweet people.

Oh, you named her that before you met me? Well, you have great taste in names. :-) Love the premise. Gabe sounds hot! Can't wait to read it!!!

Vince said...

Hi Audra:

“We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. “ 1 John 1:4

That’s how I feel about all the Seeker authors!

Enjoy your day! You’re part of the greatest ‘Reality Show’ on earth.

Congratulations from snowbound Tulsa.


Mary Connealy said...

I didn't get in early, Audra-baby. I got in LATE.
Now I'm back.

Or, how about this?

I'm B-A-A-A-A-A-A-CK

Great party. I love the exotic island culture. I myself am living under such deep snow it's a wonder we don't have to BURROW OUT to see daylight.

Poor Groundhog!!!!!!!!

Audra Harders said...

Leigh, the conga line will make you forget the cast on your foot : )

I'll have Capt Jack pull up a chaise for you. Do you prefer sun or shade??


Mary Connealy said...

Oh, and here

In The Sky Over Seekerville!My Website

Audra Harders said...


Notice how I posted a picture of Gabe and forgot to post one of me!! Ha, tells you where my priorities are : ) AND just for you, I searched for a pic of Gabe in his chaps...yep, just for you, babe : )

Ruthy's hut, despite the dog hair and wood chips, is the best on the Island! I ain't no fool. Move in gals! The view is to die for!!

Audra Harders said...

Jessica, believe me, I'm still screaming : )

Pepper!! Bring those maracas! Spice up that conga line!

You guys are the best : )

Audra Harders said...

Sandra, I'm telling you, don't let your bags cool in one place! Jump from Ruthy's hut to Tina's hut to MY hut, and then launch off the Island!!

Thanks for all your support, my friend : )

Who's party will be next???...

Audra Harders said...

Glynna! Get out of all the snow and cold, girlfriend! The Island does have it's advantages!! Come here and thaw out, then you can go back and tackle 10 foot snowdrifts!!

Thanks for all your help, prayers and support, sweets! AND sooooo happy you got your computer fixed before the party! Wouldn't have been the same without you!!!

Audra Harders said...

Cara, sunny Florida. Don't you just get tired of all the nice weather?? What? You're not coming to the Island to celebrate??

Not an option!

I've launched the JetSki to come fetch you! Pig is getting tender and desserts are replenishing before my very eyes!

Ahhh, fill me up, Cap'n Jack!

Audra Harders said...

Hey Meg, the bigger and noisier the better! What other example would the Seekers set? LOL!

Patty, you only get one First Sale opportunity. Gotta make the most of it....

And paste it in a scrapbook : )

Audra Harders said...

Krista! Huge THANKS back attcha!!

Jack Sparrow said...

Leigh me love, sit down and let me serve you. Relax.

AUDRA!! I sent me deck hands (slimy lot that they are) looking for you!

You are a star now. No sleeping in. That ship has sailed.

Here's a secret...Ruthy still has a treasure of Mallow Cups hidden on the island. I am off to fetch the treasure for our newest author.

Audra Harders said...

Donnell, glad you brough the dog! Everyone else, watch your plates!!

Thanks fellow Scribe! It's a moment I'll cherish forever!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Audra, honey, we've SEEN you...

We're way more interested (pictorally speaking, of course) in Gabe in his chaps.

Yee haw, girlfriend!!! And he's such a stinkin' sweetheart that the reader just yearns for him to be happy, to find his way...

Can I have a great big "AWWWWWWW...."


Oh, yeah, Jules, more punch. Please. The first batch was so good, I'm anteing up to the campfire for the second go 'round. And isn't Jack looking quite dapper today????

Of course he's absolutely FAWNING over Audra, and that borders on blatant overkill, but it IS her day, after all, so I'll do my best to not be slighted.

The blimey blighter!

Mary, LOVED the fireworks. Perfect. Wonderful. And it's arctic cold in WNY right now (right Ole Ole Ole Deb???) so a little bit of summer and island warmth would be a grand thing.

Hey, the lobster's done...

Who's got drawn butter? Ah, there it is. Gimme.....

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

What wonderful news and a great story - Congratulations!

Audra Harders said...

Janet, lobster and shrimp are just the fillers : ) Hmmm, I smell roast pork in the air! Hope Cap'n Jack is basting our main dish properly : )

Thanks for all your support and love and patience. What a ride!

Glynna-babe, give me a break. I haven't slept much since Tuesday. So shoot me for not setting my alarm this morning...

Ooops : )

Audra Harders said...

I love the way you think, Rose! My cover! The slide show! This gig just keeps getting better and better : )

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Seriously, you bunch of rip-snortin' savages, you'd rifle a girl's HIDDEN cache of chocolate, my own little stash of Boyer Candy goodness for when I stop to visit the Island once it's emptied. Can't a girl have just a little somethin' somethin' for herself????

Geez, Louise!

(Lucky for the rest of us I've contracted with Boyer Candies to ship regular loads of Mallo Cups to the Island even in my absence, so as to further fortify the two remaining Seekers and all Island visitors, prepublished and pubbed. The Mallo Cups do NOT differentiate. They just seek to give total chocolatey, melty-mallow enjoyment.


Hey. Yum rhymes with rum... Which makes me wonder....


Audra Harders said...

Julie, I think Jack has a special stash of Cabernet in the bamboo box. Sweet talk him. You always did have a way...

Bring on the red-lines. Bring on the search for art.

Bring on those revisions! Oh wait, Melissa sent them to me already!! She is so sweet! Even when she's penning changes, she does it with such style.

Waving to you Melissa Endlich!!!

Audra Harders said...

Karen K, thanks for anticipating right along with me : )

Pamela, I'm still basking...really, this whole floating feeling is one I can get used to, LOL!

Audra Harders said...

Pam, the natives are trying to figure out WHY we would EVER want to LEAVE their ISLAND!

I think I see them scratching their heads...

Audra Harders said...

Melanie, would it make it you feel better if you knew I'd changed her name AFTER I had dinner with you in Denver????

There is always that possibility : )

Gotta say a huge congrats on YOUR sale, too (hee,hee).

Helen Gray said...


It's been wonderful watching (and hearing) you ladies leave the island one by one screaming with happiness.

God's richest blessings on you and your career.


Julie Lessman said...

Enjoy your day! You’re part of the greatest ‘Reality Show’ on earth.

OH, how cool is that??? Great line, Vince, and I think you may just be right!!

Mare, LOVE the fireworks!

Ruthy, you can keep your Mallow Cups, but step away from the bar ...

Audra, honey, let's see how much you like the "red lines" when the page is scarlet like mine ... mmm, "Scarlett," not a bad color at that ... :)

I'm craving fruit and cheese ...


Audra Harders said...

Thanks for being such a strong supporter of Seekerville, Vince. You always add a unique perspective to the day's topic and post!

Where would we be without you? I don't want to find out!

Join us on the Island all day long and thaw out before heading back to brrrrr cold Tulsa!

Casey said...

YEAH!!! Congratulations, I can't even imagine what kind of ectasy you are feeling!!!! I feel estatic for you! Lookin' forward to seeing what the coming months hold for your writing and the debut of your novel. WOW!!!

Audra Harders said...

WooHoo, Mary!! Bring on the fireworks : ) Loved, loved, loved the action cam! I mean really, what's Seeker launch with out the sparklies??

And I ran into your rescue party, Jack. They're sidetracked. Seems they found the stash of Mallo Cups...Ooooo, Ruthy will NOT be happy!!

Audra Harders said...

Ruthy, Julie, Jack.

There is enough Mallo Cups to go around...I think Steeple Hill flew in a batch just to keep you calm RLH! And Julie? Scarlet is sooo your color! I see Jack over there giving your grass skirt the once over.

Oh and look, he's pulling out another crate of Cabernet...from France?? Wow, you did make an impression on the ol' Cap'n!!

Mare, I just watched the fireworks again. Awesome! Even in January : )

Audra Harders said...

The sale is, of course, fantastic, but the real joy is seeing you in Seekerville each day, Helen! Yep, one by one. Then just wait and see what the Island holds...

Casey, thanks for the huge congrats! Hey, I'll be right beside you watching what the future brings : )

Joyce Farrell said...

WTG, Audra! My eyes are leaking happy tears for you! It was only a matter of time for your beautiful heart and words to be published. Huge hugs and love from an old pal. I think of you more often than you know.
: ) Joyce Farrell

Debby Giusti said...

Whoo-hoo, honey!!! Let's party!!!! I'm so excited. Two Seeker sales in such a short time. And you think it's the hut? No way! It's your wonderful talent.

Did we invite Melissa to the party? Next time, we've got to remember to send her a special invitation!

More fireworks tonight at dark, followed by dancing until dawn. I heard a rumor that Jack has the first dance with Audra. Until hubby cuts in, of course. Then Jack's up for grabs.

I've loaded my plate with lobster! My favorite! YUMMMM!!!
Ruthy, help me tie the lobster bib around my neck, dear. Don't want my outfit to get covered in butter. I'll be feasting for the next few hours so just wave when you walk by. :)

Cases of bubbly are being delivered for the evening extravaganza!

Oh, here comes the Conga Line! Waving to Audra who's enjoying every minute. You should be, honey!!! First sales only come once in a lifetime!

Myra Johnson said...

Woohooo, Audra!!! What a party!!! Do Seekervillians know how to celebrate or what?

I just mixed up a batch of pina coladas, served up in coconut shells with teeny umbrellas. Sitting on a gorgeous tropical beach watching y'all conga till dawn sounds pretty good, considering the five inches of snow in my backyard!

Marilyn Brant said...

Congrats, Audra!!! That is such EXCELLENT news! Have to go find Tina and the Conga line now... :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Audra!!! Awsome, girlfriend!

Congratulations on your first sale! How cool that you and Tina come out in the same month!

Ready for rum and rumba and Captain Jack ;)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Ahhhh, Joyce Farrell!!!

Joyce honey, I sure miss you.

Glad to see you at the party!!!

Marilyn, let's CONGA!!!!

Gabe Davidson said...

So Ruthy. Where's Ruthy?

I'm wearing my best chaps for you, darlin'.

Come join me in the Conga line. I'm a bit rusty, but I got faith you'll help me with the steps.

Audra Harders said...

Hi Joyce!

Wow, so wonderful to see you, girlfriend!! Glad you made it to the party. Put down that Arnold Palmer and have the Cap'n fix you an Island special!

You've supported my writing for so long. I love you!!

Audra Harders said...

Thanks for the bubbly, Debby! I think I have a bowl of soaking strawberries around here somewhere. Only the best for all our party guests : )

Ruthy's tying you up in a bib? Quick where's my camera?? Aw, what's a little drawn butter between friends, LOL!

Audra Harders said...

Myra, we'll let you dig your toes in the sand and enjoy the warmth. Vince already said you have a lot of snow digging to do when you get back to Tulsa. Enjoy the soft breeze of the Island as much as you want.

Cap'n Jack supposedly has his crew out delivering libations to all, but I think they're still out diggin up Ruthy's stash of Mallo Cups : )

Conga On!!

Mary Connealy said...

How about this?
Joyous enough?


Audra Harders said...

When you find the tail end of the Conga line, Marilyn, make sure you rudder it back to the party. I think they're venturing into uncharted parts of the Island!

Ro, I'm so giddy, I think I'm about to strap on a pair of chaps of my own : ) I'm tickled to be sharing next January with Tina--actually, it's Tina who's sharing the month with me. She got there first!!

No matter. The party will just be double the fun : )

Audra Harders said...

Gabe? Well, how nice of you to join us! Ruthy is off guarding her stash.

Be a gentleman, won't you? Fight off those pirates for her : )

Gabe Davidson said...

I'm on my way.

Ruth? Where are you, darlin'?

Sarah Forgrave said...

CONGRATULATIONS, AUDRA!!! Your persistence is inspiring!

And since I'm preggers, I'll take a virgin drink, thank you very much! :-)

Carol O'Meara said...

Whoaaa! What kind of an island is THIS??

Is it Gilligan's Island? Nope, no perfessor or Ginger around.

Is it Fantasy Island? Nope, 'cause Audra sure ain't dreamin' any more.

Is it Treasure Island? YES, yes it IS! Because look - there she is! The lady of the day, the jewel of cowboy romances, the one, the ONLY...Audraaaa!!!

ConGRATS chica! Woop! Woop!

Pam Hillman said...

My goodness, looks like y'all are having a good time!

And even Gabe stopped by. Good to see you, cowboy. Better not let Melanie see you getting too friendly with Ruthy.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Or perhaps I should say YEEEEHAAAW!

I LOVE this book and can't wait for readers to meet your hunky cowboys, Audra!

Wooot to Melissa and Steeple Hill too for acquiring another kick-butt author!

Audra, the roasted pig's YUMMY!


Anne Barton said...

Congratulations, Audra!!! What a way to start 2010. I'm hopping on the back of this huge conga line. Enjoy the party. :)

Audra Harders said...

Sarah, you can have whatever you want, little mama : ) Just talk to the pirate with the black hat, LOL! Thanks for coming!

Audra Harders said...

Hiya, Carol! Told ya we knew how to party on the Island!

So, hear that on the wind?? I made a special wind chime of cowboy spurs just for you!! Listen to it tinkle on the ocean breeze...

Kick back and fun. The Conga line has grown!

Audra Harders said...

I'm keeping an eye on him, Pam : ) Shhhh, don't say Melanie too loudly or our Melanie might think SHE needs to go find him : )

Audra Harders said...

Dig in and help yourselves to the roast pig...just remember, I get the ears : )

Thanks for all the advice, encouragement and prayers, kiddo! Couldn't have done it without you!!

Audra Harders said...

Thanks, Anne! I'm latching on right behind you : ) Gotta work off the lobster and shrimp before I can tackle pig roast!

Debby Giusti said...

Pig ears? Really, Audra?

But then I used to eat pigs' feet as a kid. German background. Served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Was my family just crazy or can anyone else remember such delicacies?

Of course, I've never served pigs' feet...or ears...or tails to my family. How 'bout a nice loin chop?

Anonymous said...

Tina's sister Anne here....

Audra, what awesome news! Remember meeting in Denver at a conference? I thought you were such a lovely person. You are so deserving, and I am thrilled for you.

Just like I told Tina - this is just the beginning for you, sistah!

Warm Hugs!!!

Walt M said...

Congrats, Audra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm very happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Audra Harders said...

Debby, I wanted to leave it at just ears, but truth to tell, if it's properly roasted on the spit, I love the ears, snout and tail!

Never had pigs' feet, but ethnic Lithuanian food is just as interesting as German, LOL!

Saurkraut on everything!!

Audra Harders said...

Hi Anne! Yes, I soo remember that Denver conference. Sorry we missed you this year!! Great party at Tina's house. All the Seekers there. Quite a blow out : )

I'm honored to be sharing the month with Tina. I'm just watching and learning from everything she does : )

Audra Harders said...

Hiya, Walt! Been wondering where you were!

A party just isn't a party without the Walt-meister!

Debby Giusti said...

I do believe this will be comment 100!!!

Everyone is so thrilled about your sale!

Whoo-hoo x 100!!!
Whoo-hoo x 1,000!!!
Whoo-hoo x 1,000,000!!!

You get the idea! We're pumped!

Debby Giusti said...

You eat the snout?

Don't tell Mary.

Don't tell Ruthy either.


Margie Lawson said...



I looked out my writing loft window -- expecting to see fireworks over your house. Maybe later? :-)

I hope you are celebrating big time!

Audra Harders said...

LOL, Margie! You'll see the fireworks later tonight : )

For now, just listen to the shrieks echoing across the land : )

Mary Connealy said...


Audra, chaps and a congo line...oh my gosh, it's burning into my retina. I'm going to have to live with that sight for the rest of my LIFE!!!!!!!!

Audra Harders said...

Debby! Lucky 100! I love your math : )

Shh, don't tell a lot of people what I eat, they'll have to try it themselves and then whoop! the price goes up.

Supply and demand. What a goofy thing : )

Carol O'Meara said...

Conga line and pig's ears? I want pina coladas! THEN I'll go chase handsome Jack Sparrow around a bit. It's those danged spur-chimes, get me every time.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, I go away to take the prego to the store for nursery stuff and I've got totally hunky guys hunting me down.


We can't let my poor, beleagured husband see this, but are ya' kiddin' me...

Gabe's lookin' for ME????

Come 'ere, cowboy. Let's Rumba!!!!


And I've got a coconut fruit and marshmallow cream salad, total ambrosia, absolutely marvelous.

Here, Deb, honey, that bib's all messed up, couldn't you find one of the terry cloth ones they use along the Cape? SO much better for dripping butter, darling.

And Myra, oh my stars, woman those little umbrellas in such cozy drinks.

I'm enthralled. And maybe a weeeeee bit tipsy.

When did Capt. Jack start wearing grass shorts???

Oh, wait.

It's Bruno.


I can't look.


Beyond belief.

Bruno. Seriously. Find your brother Bruce and head home, darling. Find some khakis. Jeepers creepers.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carol, back off the Jack-meister darling, and no one gets hurt.

Grab yourself some chocolate cake with creamy rum sauce and chocolate fudge topping and leave the pirates to me.

I've got it covered.


Lost Gabe.

Oh my stars, how do people manage juggling two men??? Figuratively speaking, of course.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh my, the conga line just passed by??? Was that Gabe? HOOOORAHHHH.

Don't let Captain Jack see him. I mean chaps are so much more interesting than an eye patch.

But Jack does make a mean rumba.

Hmmm, I'm heading for the secret stash of Mallos and then taking a nap in my hammock. I want to be awake for the clambake and party tonight.

Fireworks are great Mary.

And Audra. Pleeeeease dearheart. You are welcome to the pig ears and the snout. I'm taking some of the prime rib myself. The meat just drops off the bones after roasting all day under the sand. Yum

And don't forget we have steamed clams, macadamia crusted shrimp with orange lime sauce, grilled mahi mahi, paia fruit flatter and macadamia coleslaw. And Maui waui brownies loaded with chocolate.

And the entertainment:

Missy Tippens said...

Audra, I have family in town this weekend but had to sneak online to join the party for just a moment!! Congrats!!!!!!!!!! I'm so, so happy for you!!! :) :) :)


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Congratulations. I must feature the book on my blog. Contact me when you have a pub date.

Julie Lessman said...

FRENCH CABERNET???? That and Captain Jack and Gabe tooo? WHOA, AUDRA, I just may have to tell Keith I'm staying home tonight ...


Sandra Leesmith said...

Check out tonights entertainment

Fire Poi Fire Dancer

Leslie Ann said...

I'm in on the Conga line while Cap'n Jack watches and holds my drink.

Audra Darlin' this is only the first of many. I'm so proud we've been on this road together.

Love always,

Walt M said...

Audra, I've had a busy day, so I found out late. Sorry about that.

Mary said...

This is AWESOME news!!! Congratulations!!! Enjoy the ride my dear!!

Mary Connealy said...

Every time I stop back twenty more comments.
What a PARTY!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Well, my my Sandra, that young man is quite entertaining.


Audra Harders said...

Oh. My. Sandra! What Island has he been hiding on??

I'll bet he can do incredible things with a yo-yo, too : )

The sun isn't setting for a while. He'll have plenty of time to rest up before we get a hold of him : )

Vince said...

Hi All:

Has anyone told Madame Zelda that she’s having a great year…already!

Oh, but she would ‘know’ that.


Audra Harders said...

Mary, put a cold compress on your burning eyes. I think spurs and chaps give a whole new dimension to the classic Conga line.

Don't you??

Gabe Davidson said...

Ruthy, darlin'. You're gonna have to choose.

The scraggly, scrawny, mincing, over-dressed pirate?

Or worn chaps, spit-shined spurs, fitted denim shirt me?

Don't take too long darlin'

I hear that Carol babe is a real goner for spurs.

sherrinda said...

Woohoo! Congratulations! Doing a happy dance and the "Texas" Cotton-eyed Joe in honor of your success! Yeehaw! Love me some cowboy!;)

Audra Harders said...

Heard it's cold down there in Georgia, Missy. Really wouldn't you rather be here with your pedicured toes in the warm sand, hmmmmm?

Audra Harders said...

Lelsie! Come play! What do you think of this Island paradise I'm dying to row away from : )

Psst, don't trust Jack with your drink. Ruthy saw him in grass shorts.

Never a good sign.

Audra Harders said...

Hey Mary, thanks for stopping by the party! Have you helped yourself to the spread? Rumor has it the roast pork is almost gone and sea food slipping in to carry us through the evening.

I just love the natives : )

Audra Harders said...

OMG, Vince! I forgot to invite Madame Z!

Thnks she'll ever forgive me?

Now that's one babe I don't ever want to cross!

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

I'm happy to add my Congrats on your sale, Audra.I want to get on the conga line, too. What a huge accomplishment for you and encouraging news for all of us on unpubbed island. This is the best thing I've heard since Tina's news. I especially appreciate the scripture quoted.So enjoy this moment to the fullest, Audra.

Audra Harders said...

Hey Walt, no worries at all today!

Hop on that Conga line and grab a cold one as you sling past Jack : )

Audra Harders said...

Sherrinda, you can just do anything Texas around here you want!

Gabe's not territorial in the least : )

I love these parties.

We're planning on at least two more....

Audra Harders said...

Thanks for the kind words and support, Pat : ) I would never have seen my dream come true if it wasn't for so many praying me on!!

Can you believe that Conga is STILL going??

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Party time.
I wish there were a better word than congratulations. How exciting to be able to answer the question, What do you do? with I'm a published author.
I hope the smile that is on your face doesn't fade.

Madame Zelda said...

Congratulations, Audra darlink.

Of course I already knew. I TOLD YOU, REMEMBER?

I wasn't able to make it to the partee unteal now because I was having my crystal ball upgraded to version 9.0.

So where's the clam bake? I'd like a large glass on pineapple juice. No additives. I am on duty.

Thank you.

Madame Zelda said...

I meant "of" not "on". Sorry I have been speaking to the Unified Gypsy Writers all weak and my English is a leetle rusty.

Do I smell the local rum pirate? Jack are you hear?

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Congrats Audra!

Party ova here! Party ova here!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Audra -- it's Sheryl, Glynna's sister --

A BIG congratulations on your sale!! This island partying is starting to be a regular event -- I like it!

It was great meeting you in Denver -- thanks so much for the airport transportation (and to Ruthy for navigating)!


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

"I'm just watching and learning from everything she does "

OH GREAT. There's an accident waiting to happen.

Let's switch what I say, not what I do.

And no running with scissors.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Sandra!!!

Great food.

Sweet entertainment. Poi dancer????

Oh mylanta.

And snout???? EARS????? (my dogs love 'em. I didn't even consider them people food... Oh my... HOOVES?????

Don't they make Jello out of hooves?????

I'm in on the prime rib. And the shrimp. Maybe some mahi mahi just because that name is so doggone cute.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


I'm yours, babe. I won't even LOOK at Jack again. Promise.

Kind of.

Not TONIGHT anyway!!!

And hey, hey, hey, Sheryl!!!! Good to see you again girlfriend! Denver was so much fun.

Miracles happen. Madame Z is so on top of things, almost like she's got an inide track, but how could that be???

Savvy woman.

Um, hey, Madame Z.... Jack's working, could you please... No, really, I mean... Oh my stars, I don't dare look.

or get any closer.

Back to the bonfire for me!!!

Audra Harders said...

Diane, you're right. Congratulation has become that all purpose word, but I love hearin' it right now : )

You are sooooo right on the *I'm a published writer* thing, too.

Today is a very good day : )

Audra Harders said...

Madame Z! C'mon over and make yourself comfy in the hammock over by the bonfire. Stars are out and the ocean breeze is quite tropical.

So, 9.0 huh? Did you upgrade the surface crystal on that? Increase the pixels? I mean, we need to have seeing things VERY clearly.

Ruthy, no special favors from Madame Z! When her first list is completed, then we'll crowd around again and look for more. But not a moment sooner!!

Pam Hillman said...


forever like Mary does.

Seems to do the trick every time.

You know, we thought Mary was congratulating Tina a couple of weeks ago, and Audra today, but could she be


going insane instead???

Gabe Davidson said...

Wise choice, little lady. Wise choice.

That Conga line is bringing out the John Wayne in me.

Ruth Logan Herne said...



Like that's news??????

Audra Harders said...

Sheryl!! Glad you made it to the party!! Had a real kick with you and Glynna in Denver. So much fun running around the Capital : )

Grab and plate and fill'er up!

Audra Harders said...

Kerri C, glad you could make it! Don't let the darkness scare you away. Did you get a glimpse of the guy doing the Poi dance?? With flames??

And fireworks coming up. Mary promised!

Audra Harders said...

Tina, are you kidding me? I always listen to you.

Missy Tippens said...

audra, the toenails look terrible right now. But hey, if you can stand 'em, I'll come anyway!

EC Spurlock said...

Audra!! Big congrats to you!! What fabulous news!

This is what I get for spending my day cleaning the refrigerator. I miss all the good stuff.

Why is all the rum gone?

Madame Z was right, 2010 is going to be a fabulous year!! I'd better hurry and catch up with the conga line...

Hugs, Audra! May He make smooth the path beneath your feet.

Debby Giusti said...

The fireworks are spectacular!!!

More lobster, please. Thanks for the terri bib, Ruthy!

Jack's pouring bubbly for all. Raise you glasses, ladies and gents. To Audra!!!!


Calisa said...

Congratulations Audra!!!!!! I've just discovered this tropical paradise a few weeks ago when Tina sold and I love the sisterly camaraderie here in Seekerville. And Cap't Jack? Rumba ahoy! I don't know you, but your faith and spirit speak to everyone who has and is struggling to get where you've finally gotten! Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

I am definitely insane.
No rum punch required for me to be high on Audra's news.

Mary Connealy said...

I've never been much for conga lines, though. I gotta move to my own drummer, baby.
Conga lines are toooooooooo organized.
Same with the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Pokey.

bud said...

congrats mom

all that hard work and countless nights in the bat cave have finally paid off

P.S. kara this is better than the christmas letter. you wern't mentioned at all.

Audra Harders said...

Find any good leftovers in that fridge, EC? What a way to spend a Saturday : ) (Hmmm, we need to clean those things? Not with a teenage boy in the house!)

Not to worry! Jack sent his crew to dig into their private stash of rum. Ahhh, the good stuff comes out now : )

Thanks for the encouragement and your faithfulness to Seekerville!

Audra Harders said...

Missy, forget looking at your toes! Debby just announced they're pouring bubbly!

And the fireworks.

And the bonfire.

Ain't it all grand : )

Audra Harders said...

Calisa! So glad you found Seekerville and you like us : )

Very nice that you like us : )

And you came back : )

And you keep coming back.

We bribe with chocolate here. Are you a light or dark fan??

If you can abide by Mary's screaming and Ruthy's snark, hey, the battle is already won : )

Thanks for your kind words. Everyone here in Seekerville and all our faithful friends have taken part in my journey. Where would I be without all your prayers? No place!!

Hmm, is it okay to say prayers and party in the same breath??

Audra Harders said...

Ah, Bud. Glad to see that healthy spirit of competition isn't lost since your sister went back to college : )

Thanks, babe!

Mary Connealy said...

Wow, I hoped it wouldn't come to this, but I may have to call the cops to break this party up. The neighbors are starting to complain.

Edwina said...

Many, many congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all!

Audra Harders said...

Edwina, thanks for stopping by to share in my joy : )

No cops necessary, Mary, LOL! I think the Island has had enough fun and excitement for one day.

Thank you all, dear friends for making my step into publication memorable, not only a long time dream come true, but being able to share that wonder with loving friends.

Sheesh, I'd promised myself not to get mushy...

Thank you everyone for joining the fun. Find a comfy hammock or cot in a hut.


Jetskis, motorboats and yachts have permission to leave at first light : )

Goodnight and thanks again : )

Leslie Ann said...

Woo Hoo,
What a party. Cap'n Jack's drinks....well, we won't go there.

You don't seem a bit tipsy m'dear. Tho' you're high on the ride!!! and who can blame you. Not I.

Enjoy me darlin', enjoy.


Debra E Marvin said...

I've come in early to clean up the place. There's nothing worse than the site of an all day party...the next day.

would you believe my word verification is ashakin.
no kidding the place is ashakin'
After you hit that number of comments the blog site tends to implode...
And there are mallo cup wrappers everywhere.

Audra, may God bless (this mess) and your first book with much success!

(and I'll try to be quiet because some people are still sleeping)

Christy LaShea said...

Congratulations, Audra!! Perserverance(sp?) does pay off and you are proof! Way to Go!!!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

WHOA! I come here just 1 day later, and I'm the 165th person to leave a comment. Yowzers. I knew I wouldn't be unique and that not all of these are straight congrats, but never expected this many comments. :)

CONGRATULATIONS Audra! And your book is set in Colorado. What's not to love about that! Mountains, cowboys, ranches...ahh, it can't get any better. :)

Looking forward to seeing its release so I can hunker down with a good love story set in my home state.

Let's be sure to get you scheduled for ACFW's First Sale now too. I'll be in touch.

Project Journal said...

Lots of *hugs* from here, Audra!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!

I'm so proud of you!!!!

Way to go, girl!!!

: D


Anita Mae Draper said...

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, I - can't - stop - jump - ing!


This is so fantastic. Yes, I'm late to the party but there's still shrimp left!

Audra, I'm so happy for you.

God is good and rewards those who are faithful to Him.

I can't wait to read your book.

Yeah, I know there are too many exclamation points in this post but I'm too happy to care!

Audra Harders said...

Oh my, return to pick up some things from the hut and find more party-ers!!

Hi Christy!

Yep you can just say perserverence, or just plain can't-break-the-habit finally paid off : )

Thanks for stopping by!

Audra Harders said...

Wow, Deb! You did a great job of cleaning up the Island! And here, I gave the natives all the credit : )

Thanks for support and friendship throughout my trials : )

Audra Harders said...

Thanks, Hannah! I hope you caught some left overs from the party buffet! I know we had plenty of dessert left and a whole hock of pig!!

Audra Harders said...

Thanks, Tiff!

I know! I'm surprised over the turn out, too! Guess Jack and Madame Z were a great draw, LOL!

I'd love to talk to you about the First Sale stuff.

Doesn't that just sound great...

Audra Harders said...

Hi Anita!

Are you frozen up in the North lands?? It's cold enough here in Colorado : )

Thanks for all the support you've shown me and the fun we had in Denver. You're a hoot. You make me laugh.

Hope we get to laugh together again soon : )

Anita Mae Draper said...

Me too, Audra. I really enjoyed Denver. You're easy to talk to.

Lots of snow but no cabin fever, yet. Temps have been average but out here on the Prairie, the wind has made it feel colder.

Congrats, again.

Project Journal said...

Dessert.....who said anything about dessert!? How'd you know that's my favorite ; ) Weeeelllll....if you would simply be rude of me to NOT have some! Right? *grin*

I told Vince over on his blog that I could see the headlines now:
Fans from all over the globe party Harder style!!!!


Ah, well...gotta get back to that dessert now, I suppose!

Can't wait to read the book, girl!

PatriciaW said...

Wow, I missed the party, but I had to come by and say CONGRATULATIONS!!!