Thursday, August 12, 2010

Come one, Come all, It's an Ice Cream Social in Seekerville

The Life Ladies of Holy Trinity
want y'all to know they've
got the dashers primed, the ice salted
and they're ready to crank. So ease on in,
wander the park paths, please do not use the
statuary as tray tables, it's unseemly at best,
and have yourself a relaxin' taste of
New England summer.
Ruthy here, amazed that it's August, wondering where on earth May, June and July have gone. All too soon another summer will have come to a close, the summer folks headin' home to school calendars, soccer games, church meetings and the like.

But today, we're doing an old fashioned Ice Cream Social here in Seekerville. Because sometimes it's fun to just relax, stretch out, cop a squat at the faded gray picnic table underneath old Tom's oak and eat homemade ice cream out of a glass dish.

Now you might think it tastes the same off a Dixie Plate, but I'm here to tell you it does not, and y'all know better than to argue with the Ruthinator over such things, right? So just mosey on over, have yourself a seat and we'll serve you as you wish. Today I am the servant, you are the honored guests and if your questions or wants stray from writing, so be it.

I see Missy and Deb have a pot full of fresh peach ice cream, the likes of which you cannot duplicate outside of Georgia, but let me just say that peach ice cream with Ghirardelli hot fudge is reason enough to wake up every morning. And I'm not kidding or whistlin' Dixie.

I equate writing with recipes. We all know I make a mean RODEO STEW...

And in grammar school they teach kids that composition is like building a sandwich, the bun representing the beginning and the end, the filling or "meat" the story in between. Each condiment then becomes another layer of the story.

So we can make this post legal by pretending that it matters in the whole scheme of things, that we need a purpose to welcome the bright blue skies of August with ice cream, toppings, nuts and whipped cream. Analogize all you want. Knock yourselves out.


I'm eating ice cream. And sharing. And since I got Valerie's critique done in record time (ask Helen how long she waited, it's more embarrassing than I care to say out loud), I've got reason to settle back and paint cloud pictures in a deep blue sky.

Fact: There are 135 days left until Christmas.

It's almost half-past time to decorate. Since I've got breathing room, I'm taking it. Loving it. Cherishing it.

And while I'm building you the sundae/frappe/milkshake of your dreams, feel free to comment about anything at all and you'll be put in a drawing for a copy of Made to Order Family,

my newest Steeple Hill Love Inspired 4 1/2 STAR release or a lovely navy and rose dappled scarf,

bought from a lovely NYC street vendor who probably didn't have more than one gun.


Mosey in. Leave a comment with your e-mail, pretty please. Ask a question.
Chat it up over creamy sweetness.
Because it's summer.


  1. Oh, this is the life!!! Ruthy, this is one fantastic ice cream social! Can I have chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, and whatever else chocolate you got? ;)

    I have a question for you: will you stop by my blog next week and help brighten up "County Fair Week" for us? That would make me happy! :) Plus, I'm having a fun contest using an idea that I stole--I mean, borrowed--from Tina. This is my invite to all you lovely ladies, as well!

    Thanks for the ice cream and the relaxation! I can't believe I'll be going back to college in less than three weeks! But for now...I'm just going to enjoy this summer day with all of you. :)



  2. Hi Ruth:

    I read “Made to Order Family” a week ago and I think it’s the perfect romance!

    I’ve spent the last week trying to figure out how you did it.


    I hope you have some coffee ice cream!


  3. Ice cream is my one weakness...yum! However I ate too much Superman flavored ice cream this weekend and I got sick and the effects are just now wearing off. Your book would really make me feel better Ruthy. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  4. Vince,

    Why aren't more guys like you? ;) I think hardly any of them give great Christian romance books a chance! (Or maybe they just don't admit to it...)


    May I ask what "Superman flavored" ice cream tastes like? Is it cherry-red cape flavor...or lemonade flavor to cool you down after you've seen the super-hot superman? Just curious...


  5. Oh, I love some ice cream!! Any but strawberry! Like Renee, except I was a child, I had too much strawberry flavoring(cake, ice cream, frosting). Well, lets just say I haven't touched it again for over 20 years! :)
    I'm curious about that Superman ice cream, too!
    And I also wish more men read Christian romance! The world might be a sweeter place.:)

  6. Oh, homemade ice cream! My favorite! Ice Cream Socials are the way to enjoy life!

  7. We had a Swensen's that everyone went to after the prom, when we just wanted to have something sweet, etc, etc. And there was this thing called "The Zoo".

    13 flavors in a giant bowl
    5 kinds of syrup
    Nuts, marachino cherries, an LOADs of whipped cream
    And enough spoons for whoever was at the table.

    But the most amazing thing? Little plastic animals running up and down that mountain of ice cream.

    Now, I have grown into a sophisticated homemade ice cream and goodberry's custard person but I do believe those little plastic animals added the best flavor ever!

    No need to enter know I loved the book!

  8. Amber, here's one "Chocolate Decadence" sundae with your name on it, girlfriend!

    That's my kind of treat, right there.

    And yes, of course I'll stop by and have a ball doing it. E-mail me at and we'll sort out details.

    And I've been known to be an obnoxious and somewhat intrusive guest, but hey, that's FUN, right? And I'm not nearly as bad as that Connealy woman, so it's all good. ;)

    Three weeks. And Kenny Chesney has finally gotten off his beer-and-beach kick with a sweet ballad called "The Boys of Fall", but the Yankees enjoyed a comeback win last night, proving the "Boys of Summer" totally rock the big kahuna.

    I'll watch for your e-mail, Chica!

  9. Vince, of course I have coffee ice cream!!!! And there's caramel sauce, the Ghiradelli hot fudge, and all kinds of fresh fruit toppings.

    What would you like, my friend? And if simple is your pleasure, then let me just give you a double scoop of the best homemade coffee ice cream I've ever had, courtesy of the Colonial Candy Kitchen, a sweet candy and ice cream store you'll see more of in 2011... Meg Russo has a GREAT knack for making fine candies and great ice cream in her historic gingerbread colonial tucked on a shaded street corner in Jamison, New York.

    Great place to visit next spring, LOL!

    And yes, that was a shameless plug for the Men of Allegany County series.

    Vince, I'm so glad you liked Brooks' and Rita's story!!!! YAY!!!!!!!! (the extra exclamation points are for Tina's benefit, she just LOVES when I do that, it's so 8th-grade cheerleader)

    I love that story. Just love it. And I'm thrilled that Melissa Endlich and Steeple Hill let me write a fun but encompassing story about two recovering alcoholics.

    I LOVE SUCCESS STORIES. And overcoming addictive behaviors??? That's huge success right there.

    Thank you, Vince. I will smile all day knowing you enjoyed Made to Order Family.

    Grinning in upstate.

  10. My research says that Superman ice cream is addictive, not always done true to form from region to region, and its bright color stains lips.

    Honey, what were you thinking?

    There's not a bit of chocolate in it, making it possibly not worth the calories OR the bellyache. Here's a hot compress and a fresh dish of sherbet. Fruit in any form is always a boon to the spirit, dearheart.


    But I will admit the cheery colors of Superman ice cream do tempt the eye.

    As long as chocolate sauce is involved.

    And a good read WILL make things better, of course. Try toast and tea this AM... And no more monster sized-little-kid-flavored cones.


  11. Bluerose and Kidzaplenty:

    First: One of my favorite stories EVER was a short story written about a mentally challenged girl called "The Blue Rose", a warm, effusive story about the hidden treasures of being different. Unique. And the mother equated her daughter with the rarity of a 'blue rose' and that just totally grabbed me, hook, line and sinker. What a meaningful read in a handful of pages.

    And Kidzaplenty is how I FELT raising our six kids, as I lived in the car between jobs and kids and sports and their jobs, and meetings, and.... You get it.

    So Bluerose, I've got a Ruthy-sampler made just for you, three scoops of vanilla custard, chocolate ice cream, and praline crunch topped with swirls of caramel, peanut butter, and hot fudge, smothered in whipped cream for old Ted Benson's dairy farm up the road and maraschino cherries.

    Dig in, sweetie.

    And "Kidz", how about an old fashioned hot fudge sundae, double layered in a fudge-drizzled sundae cup, topped with whipped cream and your choice of crushed nuts, Heath bars, Oreos or chopped Ghirardelli dark chocolate? Let me know what you think, okay?

  12. Julie, that's a stellar twist on "The Kitchen Sink". To call it "The Zoo" and have the animals...

    Oh my stars, that's two thumbs up wonderful and what a memory! We had a local ice cream parlor that featured a kitchen sink sundae and I'd take the kids now and again after special events, and they'd have a ball just digging in. Good, old fashioned not-crazy-expensive family fun.

    And thank you for loving Made to Order Family! I'm so grateful for your letter, it just made my day. I think anytime we turn lemons into lemonade we please God and strengthen our own inner character. God empowers us... but then he expects us to use that power for good.

    You rock, girlfriend. ;)

  13. I do love the idea of caramel topping. I could have that with some peach ice cream.

    Ruthy, since I won copy of your last book, I think someone else should be blessed with your next one. I'll go back to sleeping outside Wal-Mart until they put it out for sale.

  14. It must be a day for ice cream socials. Today is free ice cream day here at the Washington Navy Yard, so if you want to drop by later come on in (but bring two forms of ID). :o)

    I'll have a couple of scoops of grasshopper pie with chocolate sauce, please.

    And I hate to disagree, Ruth, but nothing compares to the Boys of Fall. Especially #18, 6'4", laser rocket arm! It's been a long six months, but I made it with the help of the NFL Channel. :o)

  15. Mosey? Ya'll? Sounds like our favorite upstate New Yorker got dipped in a little Georgia overnight!!

    I remember when I lived in Southern Illinois that the church had a picnic and homemade ice cream social. The youth pastor brought his hand-cranked, frozen contribution which recieved RAVE reviews--then he confessed to filling it with Dairy Queen ... :)

  16. Walt...

    Thanks, Dude. Way to take one for the team.

    Gotta admire that kind of sacrificial love. You rock, man.


    And Walt, my word veri is 'brutte'... As in: "Y tu, Brute?"


  17. Ah, Kirsten, you know whereof you speak, girlfriend...

    The boys of fall have a LOT going for them. Love football. Love cool, crisp fall afternoons, pot roast or chili, apple pie, spiced cider...

    And pre-season starts this week, although I'm NOT a big pre-season fan, but...

    Oh, honey, I'll be there on opening day, watching, having a football kick-off party right before the baseball playoffs parties, LOL! Four brothers, four sons...

    A cute husband.

    Oh my stars, I'm a fan by association, you know? Grasshopper pie... oh, I love that, love that, love that.

    And regular chocolate syrup or the fudge sauce, honey? Because we aim to please in Seekerville.


  18. Glynna, I'm SO stealing that idea for a book.

    I love that youth pastor already because he's ingenious AND honest.

    Great husband material.

    And hey, Glynna, aren't you supposed to be acing about 4,000 more contests this week, honey? I'm just sayin'....

    I'm talkin' like a proud Mama here, but our Glynna kins is heating up the pubbed authors' contest circuit big time. Huge.

    SWEET, girlfriend.

  19. Wait.



    Free ice cream in a NAVAL YARD???

    Stocked with.... umm.....

    Men in uniform????

    Lots of men in uniform?

    Kirsten, darling, where do I get those ID papers? Surely they must offer a one-day visitor pass, right?

    For research purposes, of course.


  20. Come on down, Ruth!

    I'll meet ya at the gate and escort you on. (I'll even wave my fee). ;o)

    And let me tell ya, Nothing, NOTHING, gets the guys out like free ice cream.

    Oh, and fudge on that grasshopper pie, please!

  21. Sorry, Ruthy! No stealin', darlin'. The Dairy Queen hoax is already in one of mine. :)

  22. Ahhh Ruthy...

    I just need a spoon is all. I'm slidin' in next to that precious gentleman in your photo. The line from Harry Met Sally is foremost in mind ~ "I'll have whatever he's having!"

    (But I want it served in the Naval Yard, ok?)

    Question - Will you please wax eloquent about your NEW BOOK DEAL?


    Must... have... details...

    (Unless I missed it before whilst - love that word - I was in NORWAY!!!!! Tina !!!! If so, please refer me to a link, would ya?)

    And for fun and to share the love. An online e-buddy's blog just got an award - maybe we can pop over and congratulate her!

    Y'all have a sweet day!

  23. Typically I'm not a real "ice cream" type of gal -- you know, too cold for me and not enough heat? But I have to admit, that peach ice cream that Deb and Missy are peddling reeled me in like a large-mouth bass!! Peach ice cream, butter pecan OR an hot fudge sundae come straight from the devil ... and go straight to my hips, but oh well, this is an ice cream social, so what the hay? Lots of whipped cream, if you please, Ruthy.

    Oh, and did somebody mention something about sailors??? Or naval officers or JAG or something like that? Because if they did, I am SO there ... :)


  24. And one more thing...

    Summer brings Joni and Friends Family Retreats, where families with disabilities can have merry mayhem as they relax over several days...

    Just saw this precious photo:!/photo.php?pid=6916665&id=53773850468&ref=fbx_album

    It's a keeper...

    While you're at it, if you're up for thanking the Lord and praying - please consider remembering our marvelous military families and the volunteer team next week at the Marine Wounded Warrior Getaway in South Carolina. We have the HONOR of serving 20 of our Marine families Wed-Sun.

    There's another coming up in September - details here:

  25. Oh yum Ruthy girl. Ice cream. The way to my heart.

    And you notice how often she mentions Ghirardelli fudge? She's probably still lusting after the HUGE hot fudge banana sundae she ate for dinner in Downtown Disney's Gihirardelli Soda Fountain. No lie. I am a witness.

    Glynna, that is toooooo funny.

    I'll have some mint ice cream with a scoop of the peach also. And the fudge of course. It was to die for.

  26. Julie,

    Just so you know JAG and NCIS Headquarters are located here on the Navy Yard! The real Harmon Rabb and Jethro Gibbs just steps away!

  27. Ruthy, first thing in the morning and I'm starving for ice cream.

    This is NOT how I meant my day to begin...with a twenty mile drive to the nearest source of GOOD ice cream. But now it has to be done.

    Have I mentioned I live WAAAAAAY out in the hinderlands?

  28. Ruthy, cop a squat? Y'all? Ease on in? Mosey on over? Do you really talk like that in upstate New York? I'm still trying to figure you out, 'cause I only got to spend about five minutes with you in Denver last year and it was only enough to make my head spin a little. Just sayin'. But do you talk like a Southerner all the time? Or only in blog posts and emails? Because where I grew up in Lower Alabama, about 30 miles from Harper Lee's hometown in some of the saddest, most backwards Southern country you've ever seen, people actually talk like that. They've been told that "y'all" is not in the dictionary, but how are they supposed to refer to a bunch of people? They could call all their names, but that would take a lot of time and most people are in too big a hurry these days ...

    Anyway, I do love a good Ruthy post. I woke up this morning needing a Seekerville fix. You know, when you feel a little beaten down by life's circumstances and mean people and you just want to be around people who love you? So thank you, Ruthy.

  29. Mornin' Ruthy,
    I've gone by Wal-Mart two weeks straight looking for Maid to Order Family and it's not here yet.
    But don't worry - if I don't win it, I'll be sure to get your THIRD book :-)
    Can't wait.
    And there's more to come. What fun!!

    And Ruthy - besides the fact that you act like a pure Southerner in every way except your accent, I enjoyed the uses of 'ya'll' and 'Mosey'.

    Throw in a few 'hankerin's' and 'honeys', and you got yourself a bonefied Southern-girl-wannabe

    Must be the new book of Alleghany rubbin' off on you ;-)
    Don't worry. It's a good rub ;-)

    Did I tell you that I have a New Yorker in the novella I'm working on?

    Grabbing some chocolate, chocolate chip icecream on the run.

  30. Melanie!
    "Ya'll" is NOT in the dictionary?
    What about 'ain't'?

    Hmmm.... ;-) That's going to be a shock to the fam.

  31. LOL, Pepper!
    I had a teacher in college, at the University of Alabama, who said, "If the word makes sense to you and the person you're talking to understands it, then it's language and it's a word." I think she taught etymology. I really appreciated that, because it was so true and really dinged all those language snobs who told me I shouldn't say "ain't!"

  32. Ruth-I've got to check out that short story! I've never even heard of it.

    Melanie-LOL-I just commented on someone's post about how books and movies always portray us Alabamians like we don't have a lick of sense. They might not ever believe we do after your comment! :)

  33. Well, Bluerose, I'm not quite sure how to take that! LOL!

    The stereotype (aren't we writers supposed to be done with stereotypes? Political correctness and all that) is to make Southerners (and who's more Southern than Alabamians?) look stupid because they tend to talk slower and with an accent and use lots of colloquialisms. I didn't like people treating me like I was stupid, so I pretty much rejected the slang words and heavy accent as I got older. But there's nothing dumb about saying "ain't" or "y'all." It's language. When you're speaking to someone else who says "ain't" and "y'all" then to say "is not" and "you all" will sound like you're being a snob, or worse, so it's sort of a lose/lose situation!

    Anyway, now I talk the way I want to and if anyone doesn't like it, I guess they don't have to talk to me! I don't think I have much to prove anymore.

    The South is what it is. But most people don't understand it.

  34. Kirsten, on my way, darling girl!!!

    I'm driving a dark green mustang convertible, top down...

    In my dreams, that is, LOL!

    Glynna.... Oh mylanta, of course you'd be savvy enough to grab that. Well. I succumb to your wisdom and it was your story, after all... But improvisation is a wonderful form of flattery if you imitate the almost-but-not-quite-stolen scene.

    Kind of like that pretty blue scarf.

  35. 'Mornin', y'all!!! Greetings from the Southern Midwest!

    Okay, if you want to talk ice cream, I have a flavor for you . . .

    Braum's chocolate mojito!!!

    Since we first tried it, NO ice cream tastes as yummy!!!

    So if you are anywhere in the country where they have Braum's ice cream stores, hie thee there at once!!!

    Oh, and interesting aside, the first time my husband laid eyes on me and knew we had to meet was at a church ice cream social.

  36. K.C., of course I'll spill the beans because I am over the top excited about next year's series!!!!!

    You all remember when we named "Reunited Hearts" back in the spring, the beautiful love story that's due out from Love Inspired next April... and I gotta tell you, my daughter Beth just read it and without spoiling anything, she... wept.

    She wept for this soldier. For his past. For his present. For his future.

    I love soldiers. Where would we be without the brave and selfless men and women who guard our freedom day and night??? Okay, I'm wandering here... back on task.


    Set in the foothills of the Alleghenies, we've created four beautiful stories of love and loss, old hopes and new beginnings in one of the most beautiful regions of our country, in any season. The "Men of Allegany County" series starts with Reunited Hearts, Trent and Alyssa's love story, and then we meet Megan Russo, a self-built entrepreneur, a candy-maker who dresses in 19th century costume as she runs her quaint, colorful shop in Jamison, New York, a historic village that conveniently forgets about time passing....

    You will love Megan. Twice dumped at the altar, she's just a wee bit ROMANCE SHY!!!! And a touch sour on men, romance and small town fame that goes along with being dumped publicly. And in comes the heir apparent and Eastern Region VP of Grandma Mary's Candies to scout out a place for a Grandma Mary's tribute store, since the original Grandma Mary got her start along Route 19 when it was little more than a pony cart path.

    His success spells her failure, and she's not all that fond of men at the moment so I got to have way too much "Ruthy" fun with this book!!!

    The third book is a heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching story of embracing new chances, God-given opportunities. It takes characters from the opening books and thrusts them together for the good of the whole, but there's no way in this world they should be together. Ever. And they know it.

    And then (I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!) I get to do a holiday story, a story of forging new families, laying the past to rest, and helping others, a sweet story of multi-generations working together and starting anew.

    And lest anyone think I just toss out ideas to Melissa and she gobbles them like a just-weaned puppy, um.... that's not exactly how it works, LOL!

    We threw around ideas last January once Made to Order Family was done, I came up with proposals, she liked some and others didn't quite fit LI, so I went back to God and the drawing board, had a boatload of amazing things happen out of the blue that tied me to Allegany County, and then developed those stories (over several months) into the kind of series proposal that would work for Love Inspired.

    And Melissa was absolutely right, the proper combination of factors, of ups and downs, is crucial to a series, and I couldn't be happier with the tilt of these books.

    I stumbled into the area three years ago, unpubbed and there to watch a cute kid play regional Little League World Series games and I just felt the stories come alive. I knew that I had to create something there, something wonderful, something reflective of the towns, the hills, the sweet people, the wonderful shops, the great villages. And I'm hoping if all goes well that we'll expand it for 2012 because as I've talked to folks, a whole new group of ideas came to mind that are linked geographically to The Men of Allegany County series.


    And now I've talked way too much, but YES, YES, YES, when Wendy Lawton called and said that Melissa wanted the series, that was my dream come true. It made every early morning, every dust bunny, every bad hair day so worth it.

    I am living my dream. Step by step. And when I edge toward hurrying, God pulls me back and says: "Breathe. Wait. Work."

    The Men of Allegany County....

    So stinkin' exciting!!

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Ruthy,

    Thanks for this lovely celebration today! Anything chocolate will do for me. Actually love chocolate & peanut butter together (a Baskin Robbins flavour).

    Amber, you invited us all to your blog but didn't tell us the name. It's Seasons of Humility, right? Your contest sounds like fun!

    Have a great day, ladies.

    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  39. Jules, peach ice cream, hand-cranked by our two Georgia peaches, comin' your way, darling.

    And served by a couple of those Navy boys...

    With their caps just slightly askew.

    Oh my stars. ;)

  40. Oh Melanie,
    You just made Southerners mysterious. "Most people don't understand it."
    Love it.
    Shucks, I try to ease up on the southernese at work, but get me back home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA - and you get Southern Appalachian all the way. Very scary ;-) My Phonetics students LOOOVE to hear me go into full-accent.

    It's very important to laugh at oneself.
    I know, Ruthy, it's MUCH more fun to laugh at others, but it's important to laugh at oneself too :-)
    There is a dimension of ridiculous in us all :-)

  41. Must have Georgia Peach Ice Cream! Yum-o!

    Speaking of NY street vendors - was in NY the day after Thanksgiving a few years ago. Looking at "really nice" (read knock-off) purses when suddenly the vendor grabbed all 4 corners of the blanket in less than 1 second, and did the disappearing magical act right before my daughter and me! Couldn't imagine what happened until we looked down the block and here comes NY's finest! And to think, I was going to buy one of those bags!!

    Would love to read your book Ruthie!! Thanks for the ice cream!!


  42. Sandra, mint and peach????

    You got it, darling, and yes, yes, yes, that was the best BY FAR hot fudge I've ever tasted.

    BY FAR....

    Oh my stars, that was a great supper, wasn't it, dear friend? And Sandra blames me for leading her down the very naughty sweets path, but I LIVE on the sweets path, so it's to be expected, right??? ;)

    Fudge topping, here you go. No whipped cream? Really?

    You might want to re-think that. No pressure, of course. ;)

  43. I just had my breakfast/snack.

    THE BEST sandwich in the known universe.

    A grilled cheese sandwich which, when it's done, I tear open and put in a slice of tomato fresh from my garden.

    We will be eating this in heaven.

    Let's pretend I made enough for have with your ice cream.

  44. Mary, what's the nearest ice cream store? For real?

    Is it a local one or a national chain?

    We have Abbotts Frozen Custard here (and they opened one outside Denver last year)and that's a fave of mine. Perfect consistency and flavor, every time. Love it.

    And Kirsten, I'm going to grab that cute Lisa Jordan who is an NCIS total groupie and bring her too.

    Way cool.

  45. Mel, a good Ruthy post is great for any number of things, not the least of which is lining a litter box.

    Hard copy, that is. Do not try that with your laptop. Ewwww....

    Hey, sweet thang, I CAN talk like that and I can do an Irish brogue, and I try Italian but I sound out like I'm doing an Irish brogue channeled through Scarlet O'Hara.


    So eat some ice cream, know that the interesting days create greater characterization and grab another shot of whipped cream.

    Hey, where's Helen? I brought extra coffee, I'm ready for a shot of Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee, to die for.

    Oh, yum.

  46. Y'all is in MY dictionary, and that's the only one that counts.

    And "Kuchen" isn't in the dictionary either, and I grew up eating Kuchen from the sweet bakery just over the river. And I've found some great online recipes for kuchen so WHATEVER to dictionaries. They ain't the be-all and end-all they crack themselves up to be.

    And I LOVE country music and they wouldn't dare use words that ain't socially 'ceptable, 'specially when they've got a hankerin' for just a little lovin'.

  47. Release date for Made to Order Family is 8/28 or thereabouts...

    Which means if a store runs low on August titles, you just might get shelved quicker.

    Shhh.... don't tell.

  48. Ruth,

    I'll meet you and Lisa at the gate. Just warn her to be careful around NCIS they're kind of particular about people loitering outside their building (I didn't realize that those official papers meant I COULDN'T stalk them. I just thought it was a suggestion).

    And don't forget as the Sailor or Marine hands you the ice cream they say "Here you go, Ma'am." But sadly, the Sailors and Marines are being served not serving (They sure deserve it though). But the Navy Jazz Band might be playing. I'll let you know if I hear the thumping of drums down the street.

    "Just so you know JAG and NCIS Headquarters are located here on the Navy Yard! The real Harmon Rabb and Jethro Gibbs just steps away!"

    Okay now, that is just plain CRUEL!!! :)


  50. Ruth, Just to clarify, I addressed the note about JAG and NCIS to Julie because I know she likes the JAG series and they lied and had JAG Headquarters out in Fairfax, VA. I didn't want you to think I was being rude or snooty or anything.

  51. Hey ya'll!
    Ruthy, I do believe we'll be seeing you wearing some bright colors and tropical prints with those black skirts of yours. Seems like Florida and the southern side of the Mason-Dixon line agreed with you.

    Thank you for the ice cream!I'll take some pralines n'cream please, with extra caramel sauce & pecans.
    You're right Ruthy-- ice cream and ice cold co-cola taste best in glass dishes and bottles. Wish they'd bring back the beauty parlor cokes that iced up in the bottlenecks.

    And Melanie, honey, sounds like you could use a little (hug) today, sugar.

    Walt & I are sitting in the shade at WallyWorld waiting on the Harlequin truck.

  52. LOL, Pamela! Thanks for the hug. I can always use one of those!

    And thanks, Ruthy. You're sweet. For a Yank. ;-)

  53. What are you doing to me, Ruthy? Candy Kitchen? Remember Nick's Candy Kitchen in Hilton? Is it still there? My dad used to buy us enormous homemade chocolate Easter Eggs from Nicks. They were huge and beautifuly decorated.

    And Abbott's? What, are you torturing me? I have stood in that line for many an hour. There was a second Abbott's before that closed - it was near some one of the many places we have lived with the Army -can't remember which one. So there is one near Denver. Hmmmmmm. That's about an hour from here.

    So if I have ice cream for lunch its all your fault. I just about died reading about all these wonderful flavors. Back on the diet tomorrow, I think.

    I loved Winter's Storm. Please put me in for the book today.
    Kathy5476 at yahoo dot com

  54. There's a Dairy Queen about fifteen miles from way fifteen miles. And a McDonalds there, too. I like their ice cream cones just fine.

    I'm a huge fan of hot fudge sundaes with whole peanuts.

    There's a town with a mini-mart closer that has frozen ice cream treats. They may not be homemade peach ice cream, but they're pretty darned good on a 95 degree Nebraska day.

  55. I'll take one of those "Chocolate Decadence" sundaes please! ;)


  56. Hahaha Superman ice cream around here is blue, yellow and hot's vanilla in flavor but all of the food coloring gives it a unique twist LOL! My cousin works for the local dairy where they make it and he brought home a big tub of it. I couldn't resist.

    Ruthy, I'm not the world's biggest fan of chocolate when it comes to ice cream but I do love me some chocolate peanut butter. My very favorite flavor however is cotton candy ice cream. I guess I'm just a kid at heart! :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  57. Braum's Chocolate Mojito???

    I'm looking that up.

    And I contacted The Blue Rose Foundation to see if they'll stop by.

    The book was written by Gerda Weissmann Klein. It's available in soft-cover from the foundation by check AND on by credit or debit card.

    It was reissued in 2008 so I'm not the only person in the seventies who remembers what a treasure that book was. I used to read it to my children to help them understand the differences God instills in man. In "Small-town Hearts" (June, 2011) Megan has a younger brother with Down syndrome and Ben has become quite clever at tweaking his parents' emotionally to get his own way.

    Sometimes it's hard to see the grown-up beneath the six-year-old behavior.

    Checking out chocolate mojito.

  58. It seems anything can be made into a mojito, including, yes...

    A mojito.

    Myra, it sounds decadent and wonderful. I bet I'd love it.

  59. First of all I would love some of the ice cream but I am dibetic so oh well.......But I will settle for the book to read that is one thing that I can have, so far the doctor has not banned that. Did you know water has no sugar, fat or anything unhealthy? Maybe that is all I should have, so far he has told me to cut back on sweets (I have not eat any in 2 years) red meat, carbs, fat, I really don't know of anything except water that does not contain one of these. May God bless


  60. Susan, how about the peanut butter version of chocolate decadence?

    We call it: Reese's Decadence and this is how we build it:

    Drizzle fresh peanut butter sauce around inner glass of sundae cup.

    Add one scoop chocolate ice cream, slightly softened.

    Drizzle with hint of fudge and hint of peanut butter. Or more if you REALLY like the person.

    Add another scoop of Chocolate/peanut butter ice cream.

    Repeat peanut butter drizzle.

    Top with a mound of whipped cream.

    Drizzle with fudge. Top with unwrapped miniature Reese's peanut butter cup.

    Serve with long spoon suitable for scraping deep bottom of sundae cup.

    Let me know how it tastes, Chica!

  61. Pepper: I laugh at you all the time, honey, you just don't always know it.

    And I laugh at myself, but not quite as much as YOU laugh at ME...


    Edwina: Yes, it's like a game in NYC, and everyone's a player. Depending on what street and who's licensed to be there, you can see quite the hustle of blankets, 'pocketed wrap bags', carts, fold-aways....

    Too funny.

    A dear family used to create beautiful baby clothes out of the Long Island garage. Sweet, darling baby togs and they made them as a 'cottage industry' at night after their day jobs.

    They were legal immigrants who knew the wonder of freedom and the responsibility entailed to pay the bills, especially in NYC.

    Hey, I've got a garage... Anyone want to set up shop with me? Those cute handbags are NOT all that hard to make, LOL!

  62. Kirsten: ETA: any minute.

    Be ready.

    Lisa's a little antsy. She thinks Mark Harmon's REALLY going to be there.

    Oh mylanta.

    MARY: Grilled swiss with fresh tomato on rye.

    THat's the food of my dreams. I'm with you, girlfriend.

  63. Kirsten...



    I jumped in on Jules so many times yesterday (I had a mother's helper here and it was SO FUN to have able hands to help me so I could catch up on some stuff!) so Jules is welcome as often as she likes, even to the point of having a private tete-a-tete with you because, I um.... did the same thing with Lindi yesterday on Julie's day.

    But that's the FUN of true sisterhood. We budge.

  64. Pamela, thanks for takin' up with Walt outside Wallyworld!!! You guys rock the big kahuna and then some.

    And I've got that sundae all ready for you, sweet thang, and it's lookin' mighty fine, mighty fine (I always think of Andy Griffith when I say that) oh my gosh, the way he LOOKED at HELEN GUMP when he said "Mighty fine..."

    Oh be still my Andy Griffity 12 year old heart and I STILL melt for a cute guy with a crooked smile in uniform.

    Hence the quick trip to the naval yards...

    Jules, want us to pick you up? I don't mind detouring a bit. Lisa and I love off-roading, don't we Lisa?



  65. Dickerson:

    Yanks rock.

    And don't you forget it, lambchop.

    Hugs coming from me too.

  66. Thanks for the understanding, Ruth.

    Uh, Yeah, really more McGees than Gibbes work at NCIS. Not saying that's bad. Just saying.

    Okay, I gotta go get ice cream...I mean get back to work. ;o)

  67. A description I just found for chocolate mojito ice cream (which is low-fat, BTW):

    Chocolate mojito. Dark, almost bittersweet, chocolate ice cream with green mint chunks and a chocolate swirl that's described on the ingredient list as "chocolate rum variegate". Mmmmm, chocolate rum variegate, mmmm. Basically chocolate-and-mint, but with catchy '08-ish "mojito" handle and not as sweet as the usual choc-&-mints you find.

  68. Hi Ruthy, Okay, maybe the whipped cream but honestly it leaves more room for the fudge if you leave off the whipped cream.

    I'm soooooo hungry now for that sundae. We must go back.

  69. Kathy, the Candy Kitchen???

    Oh my, now you know where I got the name for the "Colonial Candy Kitchen" in "Small-town Hearts" from the '11 series in Allegany, LOL!

    No, the Candy Kitchen closed a long time ago, Nick Panarites and his sisters Ethel and Kula were such wonderful folks! Ethel is still alive and has a house in the village.

    Romantic tidbit: Dave used to take me to the Candy Kitchen for a "Johnny Malt" our signature sundae...

    Vanilla ice cream, malt powder, chocolate syrup. Repeat.

    Top with whipped cream dusted with malt powder and a cherry. That was our big date in high school and I can taste that "Johnny Malt" like it was yesterday! I bet they put them on the menu at the Colonial Candy Kitchen next year, LOL!

    Kathy, how's the idea for that romance coming? And is the middle grade book complete or did we sidetrack you with Julie's hot kissing scenes.

    And my ice cream, of course! ;)

  70. Myra, if you take of the 'chunks' (please), you could be describing a totally hot guy.

    Not that we'd DO that here...


    Sounds wonderful. AND Miss Sandra, I'll put the whipped cream over the top of the glass so I won't disperse any room for hot fudge. Promise.

    See? Perfect.

  71. People who laugh alot are:
    a. amused
    b. hiding something
    c. crazy
    d. all of the above

    You can email me privately with your answer

    Besides, Ruthy, research shows that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine - so...
    I'm contributing to your quality of life, just as much as your contributing to mine.
    And, yum, pass some of the moj...whatever you call it with chocolate on top.

  72. Did I mention that there is no one I'd rather have laugh at me behind my back besides you?

    I'm touched
    (and you can define 'touched' in both emotional terms and how we Southerners refer to it ;-) Both would be correct

  73. Melanie- I wanted to make sure you knew i was just kidding. :) I really don't take any offense. I think it's funny. When I moved a little while for college, we all made fun of each other for how we talked.
    I was mostly thinking of your comment of "the saddest, most backward country you've ever seen" . Lol...It's so true, though. Sometimes drving around, it seems like I'm suddenly in the book "Christy."
    I realized after re-reading my comment it may have seemed a little rude. I was totally joking, though! :)

  74. Actually, Pepper, I think if you say the word in the Southern way you mean, it's spelled "tetched."
    Yes, we must laugh at ourselves! And in Sept, I'll be laughing WITH you! Isn't that an exciting thought???

  75. Oh yes, Mel
    You would be correct. 'tetched'.
    And I CAN'T wait to laugh with you. Hugs too. And you can show off the southern drawl all you want ;-)
    Just a teeny bit over a month.

  76. LOL! No worries, Bluerose!
    We Southern girls (and Yankees who like to talk like Southerners) have to make fun of ourselves or someone else will do it! One of my dearest friends has a SERIOUS Boston accent, and I just can't help myself from mimicking her. Too much fun! Thankfully, she just laughs. One Sunday we were announcing the yard sale she was in charge of. Imagine a Bostonian saying "yaahhhd sale." To be funny, we took one of our Southern ladies and had her "interpret" for her. My friend would say, "Saturday we're having a yaaahhhd sale." Then she'd hand the mike to her "interpreter" who would say, "Sunday we're having a yarrrd sale" in her Southern accent. It was hilarious!!! The made the entire announcement like that and we were rolling.

  77. After re-reading some more of the posts, it seems I may have really been taken the wrong way! I'm so sorry y'all! :) If I even think I've hurt somebody's feelings, I'll cry for a month. So sorry!

  78. No tears, Bluerose! I totally understand! I do the same thing all the time, think I've said something the wrong way (usually I DID say it the wrong way) and then I'm so remorseful I feel horrible the rest of the day. Please don't don't do that! A big Southern Belle hug coming your way!!!

  79. Lol..That's so funny, Melanie! :)We made fun of my sister, too, when she moved back from Alaska. It's sad that in our own country, it's like we have completely different languages from state to state.

  80. Woohoo! A Ruthy-interview on my blog! :D I just sent you an e-mail, so be on the lookout!

    And thanks for the super-awesome "Chocolate Decadence" sundae! Yum!


  81. I concur that you are both touched in multiple definitive form and touching... In a good way, not like something that gets you jail time.


    laughter IS the best medicine. I quoted it in Winter's End or Springs' Beginning, or Winter's Tumult or WHATEVER THE HECK THAT REALLY, REALLY NICE BOOK WAS...

    And I read it in Reader's Digest and they're always right.

    So laugh. Love. Employ your sense of humor with God-given diligence.

    And at my expense is with my tacit permission. Because I'm THAT funny.

    Or just plain ridiculous.

  82. Bluerose thinks we might be sensitive.

    Oh mylanta, child, slide on over on that bench, give an older gal a little more space, there's a good girl and eat some more praline ice cream.

    Or maybe try the Blue Rose ice cream just developed by Logan Herne enterprises for our gathering today. Blue Rose ice cream is a soft blue vanilla creme ice cream with hints of rasberry swirled through in a dark, rose pattern.

    Lovely, dear. Here. Have some chocolate sauce with that, okay, and I won't let that Melly girl get mad 't ya.

  83. Mel...


    Yer both a bit tetched and ah'm thinkin' of settin' twin chairs out on the side porch, you know, the "Deliverance" one, so youse can have at it....

    Blue: (May I call you "Blue", honey???) You're fine and we think you're cute and funny. And since I'm the only one here allowed to make people cry, I say you can't. Not today. Heck I BARELY yelled at anyone today, so it's a no cry zone, and darlin' girl, they don't make a MAN worth cryin' a month over ('cept maybe Gibbs) so no way on God's green earth can you cry over a blog.

    It's unseemly. I know. I've watched Fried Green Tomatoes AND Steel Magnolias.

    No blog crying.


    Oh my stars, I will miss y'all in September, but ah'll be keepin' the home fires burnin' for the blogosphere.

    And that's clutch, right?

  84. Ruthy, girl, you. Are. Right! New Englanders LOVE their ice cream! LOL! This is SO fun! Thanks for inviting me : D

    So, what are people's favorite flavors? Lol...goodness, don't think I could choose!

    Trying to think of something really clver to say in this comment, but I don't have anything. I'll check back in soon....

  85. (((hugs))) for Melanie!!

    One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was sitting in a room with a group of people speaking, of all things... English. Ah yes! But we had Aussies, Brits and 'Mericans.

    I mean honestly - a flannel (washcloth)? a TORCH (flashlight)?

    Laughed myself silly. (I'm sure the proper Brits were laughing AT me, and not behind my back either.) I stood up and said, "I realize we are all speaking English but I'm not understanding a word you're saying." It was flat out bizarre.

    Hey Mary - I hear ya. We're 13 miles from Wal*Mart here, but there's a c-store about 6 miles so we can slum it with ice cream sandwiches if we're in a real pinch.

    Y'all have a wonderful day, ya heah? (I'm from Houston, married to a MN fella, living in TN - I have no earthly idea what kind of accent that makes mine...)

    Here though - they don't use "y'all" - they say "you-ens"...
    I used y'all and they said, "You're not from 'round here are ya?"


    Ok - I'm leaving in about 2 hours - going to the next town over (about 35 miles) to get May's frock for her photo shoot for the website and book cover (if/when someone wants to publish the thing). Already have the sunglasses. She and I will be dressed in our "sunnies" and coats - I'm thinking black and white will be fun.

    I asked the shopowner of Dog & Co. what the coat is like. She said several people have spotted it and said it reminded them of Jackie O.
    HA! Can't wait to try it on her. The lady was super nice and got in a M and a L, since we weren't entirely sure.

    AND - they said they want to sell my book there. So - there's one! :)

  86. Now I wish I had some ice cream, not that I need any. But it sounds so good. My aunt used to make homemade ice cream. Yummy.

  87. KC
    LOOOVE the story. HA!!
    When I was in England visiting a friend, I came in from a 5 mile walk in the rain (of course) and exclaimed....
    "Oh my goodness, look how wet my pants are."
    To which both my friend and her husband burst out in laughter.

    America: pants = pants
    Britian: pants = underpants

    Ahhh, don't you just love a good dose of culture.
    And Ruthy's icecream :-)

  88. Oh my goodness, KC, love the story.
    And Brit-speak

    When I was visiting a friend in England two years ago, I came in from a 5 mile walk in the rain (of course) and exclaimed, "Goodness gracious, look how wet my pants are."

    To which both my friend and her husband burst out in laughter.

    America - pants = pants
    Britain - pants = underpants

    Sigh. Don't you just LOOOVE some good culture.
    And Ruthy's ice cream ;-)

    (Yes, another post from me - sorry Ruthy. I"m procrastinating.)

  89. daggone it. It happened twice.


    Sorry ya'll. You've seen enough of my comments today to not have to suffer through double vision.

  90. Hannah, my favorite is vanilla with chunks of marachino cherries and chocolate mixed in. MMMMMMMMMMM!!!

    K.C., you are just too funny, girl! My husband and I watch a lot of British movies and we have a lot of trouble understanding them sometimes. My kids get confused and sometimes they will say, "They're not speaking English." Then correct themselves and say, "They're not speaking American!"

    OMGosh I'm supposed to be WORKING!!!

  91. Lijah & I are here for our ice cream! I'd like a Banana Split. Lijah will have a scoop of chocolate with rainbow sprinkles.

    Thanks Grammy! :)

  92. Ruthy, I'm so cracking up over that man and a sink full of ice cream!! He's a man after my own heart!! (says she who's already had a bowl of Extreme Cookies and Cream today). :)

    BTW, I ordered Made to Order Family today and can't wait to get it!!

  93. Hi Amber S.

    To answer your question about why more men don’t read romances:

    Even though I managed to read over 100 books a year since the ninth grade, I could never finish a romance. I’d try again about every ten years with the same results. I’d get about 20% into the book and then throw it against the wall saying: “All women care about are interpersonal relationships. Who cares?”

    It seems in early human development men went out and hunted and this required courage, leadership, and being very quiet.

    Women, on the other hand, were back in the camp taking care of the children. Their main concern was keeping the peace between themselves while also trying to civilize the children. The women had lots of time to talk and they did. They tried to talk out their differences. Woman probably added the most words to human languages.

    Of course, when I learned all this in college, anthropology was a new subject!

    Then one decade, I think I was 50, I tried once again to read a romance. I picked a Linda Howard warrior type book where the heroes were mercenary types who could easily dispatch three bad guys in a dark alley with only their hands as a weapon -- and they could do this without working up a sweat. This wasn’t about interpersonal relationships. This was about kicking butt and getting the girls. Now that’s how to write a romance.

    After that I read all the Maureen Child Marine romances because her heroes are fun to ‘vicariously’ be.

    These mercenary romances acted as a ‘gateway drug’ and eventually got me hooked on mainline interpersonal relationship romances – even inspirational interpersonal relationship romances!! Romances truly are a slippery slope.

    I think if you want the average guy to read romances, you have to first start with a guy who will actually read (!) and then start him on some really macho blood and guts mercenary hero romances. And even this may not work. I also had the added advantage of being a philosopher.

    I hope that helps explain why men are not likely to ever be more than 8% to 10% of the romance audience.

    BTW: This topic might be a good subject for an English term paper. However, be careful, when I took English, the teacher – a radical feminist – didn’t even want women to read romances! Perhaps it would be a better topic for a Marketing term paper. : )


  94. Hannah, dear, I'm glad you've stopped for ice cream and like any good home town party, we aim to please!

    You figure out what your flavor of the day is, and I'm right on it darling girl!

    And college soon. Oh, Hannah, that's so wonderfully exciting! You rock, sweetie.

    And KC, I can just picture that room full of Englishers.... Abby Gaines wondered if I could understand her at the Harlequin party, because her New Zealand accent throws some people off.

    I could UNDERSTAND her. I just couldn't HEAR her, with the music pumping to beat the band! I love great accents. Soooo fun.

    And May will no doubt look lovely in black and white.

    And shades.

  95. Cara, what kind???? Tell me, sweet thing and we'll stir up a batch right now.

    I've got fresh ice and salt, ready to roll!

  96. Bethy, a banana split, coming right up!

    And Lijah can have anything he wants, that's the fun of being a grandchild.

    What happens at Grammy's, STAYS at Grammy's, as my friend Susan says.

    And Peps, it did that to me a couple of times today. I think Mr. Google may have recent health issues. He may need an influx of "G" vitamins.

  97. Is there any fat free frozen yougur left???

    French Vanilla please and thank you.

  98. Extreme Cookies & Cream, Missy????

    Oh I am all over that image, chica. There is nothing better than Oreos and ice cream unless it's extreme Oreos and ice cream.

    Wonderful stuff, Missy!

    Now for a little hot fudge on top.

    Yup, whipped cream too.

    And chopped almonds. Lots of chopped almonds.

    Oh mylanta, that's near to perfect.

  99. Vince, you made a great point about what hooked you in those Linda Howard romances.

    And I danced next to her in Orlando. She's adorable. Her and Nora. Oh my stars, I was starstruck. And those gals are in some seriously good shape!

    But I can see why those very rugged, alpha heroes would pull you in because they were take no prisoners, no holds barred kind of dudes.

    Great explanation.

    And I don't believe you had any ice cream today, my friend, but if you're holding out 'til later, that's okay.

    I like late night ice cream the best. The under-the-stars sundae.


  100. Teenster, fat-free French vanilla yogurt coming right up.

    It's Abbott's recipe, I told them you hailed from upstate NY and they shipped some right out, seein' as how you live in Denver an' all.

    They're counting on you to pump their rep up out west. Get on that one, okay?

    In your spare time.

    Not like I'm WORRIED about your spare time.

    Not at all.

    I wouldn't even say I was like, well, concerned, not really. Nope, not concerned, either.

  101. I love ice cream, Ruthie! How did you know?

    Not that I want to contradict my fellow Georgia neighbors, buuuutttt...nothing, but nothing, beats peanut butter ice cream. YUM!

    So count me in for this party even though I'm arriving late.


  102. Dianna, girlfriend, what can I get for you?

    Peanut butter ice cream swirled with chocolate or on its own?

    And perhaps a blend of fudge and peanut sauce on that? Sprinkled with spanish peanuts, mayhap? And whipped cream?

    What's your pleasure, Treasure?

  103. Peanut butter and chocolate? Just Peanut butter? I get a choice???

    Either one works for me. Reese's style or by itself, pb ice cream is quite lovely.

  104. I haven't had homemade ice cream since I was just a youngin'. Sure did love it then and I'm sure I'd love some now. With some nuts on top would be nice. Yummy!

    Ice cream and a good book. What's better then that? Hmmmmmm Maybe we'd best put some chocolate on that ice cream!

    Many blessings,
    Cindy W.


  105. Vince,

    Thank you for your explanation. :) I can understand why men would shy away from romance novels in general, but I'm glad to hear that there are some out there who have been introduced to them slowly, so that they have time to adapt to the new "world." ;)

    It makes me curious, though...from what you've read of inspirational romances, do you find that woman can create realistic male characters? Or do you have a hard time believing what many male characters think and do--particularly when interacting with females?

    Thanks for the information! :)


  106. Johnny Malts! I remember those, too. And that's where I learned what a real Cherry Coke is - a fav, still. I remember Kula. Thanks for the Hilton update.

    About books - well, I am toiling away on the life of little Frances - the children's novel. The research has slowed me down a little, but I am nearing the end. I need to write up the research for my blog and then bite the bullet (or tomahawk as the case may be) and finish it.

    The romantic suspense novel is just plotted, but is sitting there percolating and waiting.

    Meanwhile I have completed a writing test for David C Cook and hope to be employed there very soon (Lord willing). A place where I go to work to meditate on the Word and write Sunday school curriculum! It doesn't get any better than that. Would appreciate prayer.

    Made it through the day with no real ice cream! The diet won!

  107. I just read through the posts and I am inspired to comment on a couple of things:

    KC THANKYOU for ministering to Marines through the Wounded Warrior Project. That is so wonderful! Bless you all!

    Melanie - I am from Ruthy's hometown! Seriously! I was in English class with her! I kid you not. And NO ONE in NY talks like that. Its Ruthy's own flavor of language.
    Also I agree with the professor of etymology - she's right about it -language is fluid and if the listener understands, that is all that matters.
    What surprised me when the Army sent us to Ft. Stewart, GA (and the lovely area of Savannah) was that Y'all can be plural - You alls. Did not know that.

    I haven't actually spoken to Ruthy in many years, however my theory is that if she actually speaks like she writes, she would get the wierdest looks from those up state New Yorkers! Thats where Rochester is pronounced Rahhhchester and my name is Kayathy. Maybe its because the local accent is so terrible that she has adopted a better, more colorful one. Its a theory anyway.

    And Blueroses - its so nice to hear from you today!

  108. Ruthy, I missed the party!!! I'm bummed! I love ice cream. Had a sugar cone with carmel and chocolate. Two tiny little dips never hurt anyone. Right?

    When I was a kid, my grandparents occasionally hand cranked a freezer of ice cream. I always got an instant headache. That's what happens to pigs. LOL


  109. Well gang,

    THIS is what it's all about.!/video/video.php?v=455621345922

    A friend just posted it to her FB profile and it showed up on mine. It is an HONOR to serve them, any way we can. Please continue the prayers...

    Vince, I hear you. Never cared for romance either (books that is) until some were "foisted" upon me from Seekerville. Today I say, "Foist away. Good reads!!"

    any ice cream left? I'm in the mood for some vanilla with GA peaches fer shure... and a few choco sprinkles for good measure.

    Thx Ruthy - for everything - and YES - May looks FAB in her new duds. Haven't tried the coat w/ her shades yet but - hee hah - the coat is wonderful! She is stylin' :)

    ** Ok - my word is bedla
    I'm not sure if they left the "m" off or if it's a romantic word from afar.

  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. Hi Amber S.

    I think the men in inspirational romances tend to be the most accurate in romance because they are often religious and act that way. Also they tend to be like the husbands of the authors in many cases. Authors actually know men like these first hand.

    I do have problems with the men in some of the Western Historical Romances because the authors try very hard to keep the violence at a minimum. Often these men won’t fight even to defend women which is very unrealistic because most of the men in stories that take place from 1872 to 1890 were soldiers in the Civil War and they would fight. Any cowhands that tried to shoot-up a town like you sometimes see in the movies would have been shot to ribbons by the town folk.

    If you want to read some western historical heroes like they really were, read Open Sky by Kaki Warner. This book is more realistic the Louis L’Amour writes but it is not an inspirational. It’s a great book but it is very violent, blunt and sometimes crude. I plan to review it on my web site blog but first I have to figure out what genre it is. Right now I think it is a mainstream book that has a romance in it.

    The most unbelievable heroes are the alpha male great lovers. However, I am sure these heroes are largely fantasy creations and everyone knows it.

    All in all, I think Inspirational heroes are the best drawn and most realistic.

    I hope this helps. : )


  112. Hi Ruth:

    I’m surprised you didn’t see me. I ate two pints of Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. I had a regulation Yankee hat on. Great party before school starts. I'll post the pictures on my website when I get them developed. I still use film!


  113. Vince,

    Thank you! I really appreciate you taking your time to answer my questions. :) I think that is a neat way to think about it--especially the idea that many inspirational authors might model their heroes after their own husbands!

    I confess that I actually started reading Kaki Warner's second book, Open Country, but I gave up on it. I gave a "review" of it on my blog, in the sense that I shared what I thought of what I had read and the reasons why I gave up on it. It wasn't because the story wasn't good--not at all!--and it wasn't because the characters weren't mainly authentic or intriguing. I guess mostly I was offended by all the language and crude scenes, as you suggested were in her first book. If you're interested on reading my full review, here's the URL:

    I do have to say, though, that I'm sure a lot of "Men of the West" probably do use offensive language and such. I guess it's just nice when authors (like Julie Lessman) simply suggest that someone has cursed (such as, "he muttered under his breath") rather than actually sharing all the specific words.

    Thank you again for your comment, and it really does make a lot of sense! :D God bless!


  114. Cindy W., I LOVE that pic, and I'm doing up a Ruthy-fave:

    A Mexican sundae that starts with a dark chocolate syrup drizzled cup, a scoop of homemade vanilla custard, a generous handful of Spanish peanuts, then more ice cream, more chocolate sauce, more peanuts and whipped cream.

    Topped with a cherry, of course. I love Mexican sundaes and the more nuts, the merrier. Which only is reflective of my personality, some say. ;)

    Dig in, Cindy!

  115. Amber and Vince, I'm loving this sidebar you guys have going and that's such a cool thing about Seekerville, that we can chat and be ourselves....

    With everyone. Just the way it should be. Soooo cool.

    Well, maybe a little bit better version of our normal selves since this is the Web and everything we say is saved somewhere forever. And I sense a sci-fi plot percolating somewhere with that in mind.

    KATHY: LOL, it's funny to 'hear' your Hilton/upstate memories and yeah, I don't talk like that but I can... And do... when I'm giving speeches or addressing a group or messing around being a dork.

    It's fun, it creates a stir and it gets me noticed and sometimes when I'm talking to a crowd I need a good laugh.

    But I can also make people cry by retelling the story of the Irish potato famine in brogue, so it's a useful skill for emoting. And I do find that playing with a little dialect in stories (not too much, never too much, it annoys readers no end) separates and identifies characters which can help layer a book.

    So like your: "Kayathy!" could identify a particular person calling you, I practice stretching words or adding and subtracting letters to help me talk and write in 'Ruthyisms' that help written dialect.

    And those Johnny Malts. Oh man, now I've got to find malt powder someplace. Need to make one. Like now.

    And Janet, I'm so proud of you! You stopped at two itty bitty scoops! :)

    And since you looked TO DIE FOR in that gown, brat, I think the two scoops were A-0KAY.

  116. Vince, you brought up an interesting point about Kaki's book, Pieces of Sky.

    It is very direct, very strong and beautifully written and probably more accurate pertaining to language than an inspirational version would be and that's where the parameters a writer is given play a huge role.

    So within the parameters of inspirational novels, we tend to 'wooden swear', so you know there's cussin' goin' on or being considered at least, but we're non-specific. Lots of times that works brilliantly and shows what a clever author can do with a spin on words. A good writer can emote the feeling without being blunt.

    But I also appreciate the real-life situations if they're well-drawn and not gratuitous because a strong story can come through in any genre and that's also a trick.

    I see Pieces of Sky as a Long Historical romance or a Single Title historical romance, two categories that bleed into each other and are loosely defined by length, number of characters, depth of story and subplots.

    But it's not an exact science, by any means, and authors cross-genre their work in contests all the time because they CAN, with the loose parameters.

    I haven't read Open Country, but I did enjoy Pieces of Sky. I felt the immediacy of the predicament and the raw, alpha male reality of the hero.

    I also find it helps my imagination and writing to read cross-spectrum, to not limit myself to any one genre. It's easy to get complacent and call it 'voice' or 'style', but after a while a reader might use the word "boring".

    I'd hate for that to happen someday so I push myself into multiple genres and study the author's use of words, scenes, immediacy. This includes reading well-written young adult novels and yes, I love sci-fi and wish I had more time to play in the reader realm.

    And Vince, I saw the Haagen Dazs was gone, but I blamed the cat.

    Silly me. ;)

  117. Good humid morning from flooding Iowa. We're just takin' our turn, seems as though floods have been rampant in lots of places this year. But I'm bringing good old sasparilla root beer ice cream floats just because your post makes me feel so GOOD, Ruthie.

    I don't know anyone who writes in the blog, but FEEL like I know Ruth after we exchanged a few e-mails a while back. Thank you for the chance to join in once in a while.

    As a pastor/chaplain's wife, I've had my share of ice cream socials. This Sunday is our corn and pork feed @ out country church near Carpenter Iowa. Come on over, there's ice cream for dessert.

    AND...thanks for being here, for being Seekerville chicks out to encourage each other and the vagrants (moi) that happen to float in. You bless me big time, and I'm grateful.

    Heard from my husband in Iraq today, and he's going to be flying in a helicopter as we write and chat. I applaud your ministry to the Marines...boy, do I!

    So...onward to sharing my day w/my two grandchildren, Eli and Cora, 6 and 4.

    Grateful Gail

  118. Hi Ruth:

    I didn’t read Kaki’s first book, “Pieces of Sky”. I had a library copy of the book but the type was just too small. I did read “Open Country” as an eBook and it drove me nuts for a good part of the book. I couldn’t figure out how to read the book. I soon discovered that it wasn’t Christian fiction. Then I discovered that it wasn’t a typical romance. Then I discovered that it wasn’t even an atypical romance. Then I discovered that it was very rough even for a western written for men. Finally I decided that it was a mainstream book with a romance in it. I think it is best not to read it as genre. How you choose to read a book is very important.

    I’ll say this, I couldn’t put the book down. I’ve been thinking about how to approach reviewing it now for the past few weeks. I mean the hero kills someone with his bare hands because the guy is a scum and deserved killing. A boy watches him do it and neither feel bad about what happened. In fact, it was probably therapeutic for the boy. When is the last time this has happened in a romance?

    There is also a birth scene that will work better than the ‘pill’ as a means of birth control.

    I’m going to give “Open Country” 5-Stars because it is an exceptionally well written and honest book. The historical research is amazing. Kaki knows which wagons to use in what kind of snow and even what kind of wagon wheels are needed. She even goes into how the bathrooms in the better homes worked. The landscape descriptions are like looking at photographs and when she writes that it is cold, you are going to shiver.

    I wish I had read the book before the Crested Butte Writer’s conference. I talked with Kaki at lunch and at other times and who would have thought? I would love to know who her target audience is. Who does she imagine she is writing for as she’s at the computer?

    As a marketing person I would guess that she is writing for very open-minded, very intelligent, women of the world, who have probably read at least a little of everything and who enjoy deep historical research in their fiction. (And philosophers both male and female.)

    Well, that could be you. : )


    P.S. The cat eat the coconut ice cream.

  119. Hi Amber S.

    I read your review of ”Open Country” and left a comment. Not everyone should read the book but that may be true of almost every book.


  120. Now I am craving Ice Cream and wow, it's only that many days till Christmas, I better start pulling out my junk so I can find my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. That is the day I go all out and put out all my Christmas decorations. But it is stil summer and here in Florida it will be summer for another couple of months no matter what the calendar says.

  121. Vince,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment! I replied to your comment of my review. :)

    And thank you once again for taking the time to answer my questions and have a discussion with me. I appreciate it!


    Glad we could entertain you and draw you into our random discussion! ;)