Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seekerville Welcomes Golden Heart Winner and Debut Novelist Cat Schield!

Cat and Angi at Golden Heart Awards
 With the deadline to enter the Golden Heart coming up on November 15, 2010, the Seekers have asked me to talk about my Golden Heart experience.

I’ve been a contest diva (i.e. junkie) since I finaled in the Linda Howard in 2007. It was my first contest. I had no idea what I was doing. Something that became apparent with the next few contests I didn’t final in. But I got smart fast and soon I wasn’t just finaling, I managed to win a couple.

Every diva needs a tiara... Right???
 For four years I had a very successful run. In 2008 I received a tiara from Donna Caubarreaux, the originator of the contest divas’ loop. I had finaled with six different manuscripts that year. As far as achievements go, I am very proud of that one.

However, the one final that I wanted more than any continued to elude me. The Golden Heart. It had been my dream to final since 1993 when I joined RWA the first time. So, full of hope and enthusiasm I entered 2 manuscripts in 2007. When I received back my scores that first year, the book that had been trashed in all the contests thus far had ended up in the top 25%. What? Meanwhile, the manuscript that had been finaling like crazy didn’t even make the top half. Huh?

Undaunted, I tried again the next year with a much improved manuscript. It did worse than the year before. Something wasn’t working. I sat 2009 out. Signing with my agent prompted me to try one more time. I entered the 2010 Golden Heart with 2 manuscripts. One was a debut entry. The other, hadn’t made the top half in 2007. Wonder of wonder. It finaled.

If you’ve been happily writing in obscurity, a final in the Golden Hearts is a trip. News releases. Professional headshots (or not). Guest blogging. You join The Golden Network, a chapter whose membership is limited to GH finalists past and present. You go to parties. Rub elbows with agents and editors. All very heady stuff.

Golden Heart finalists
 But the best part is the amazing group of writers you’ll meet in your fellow finalists. This is a brand new support network for you. Some will be experienced finalists. Others, like me, will be clueless and needing as much advice as they can get.

I’m sure it’s obvious that being a Golden Heart finalist opens doors. By the time Nationals rolled around, four of the 2010 finalists had already sold their book, another two had sold non-finaling books. Others were seeking representation or submitting to editors. For me, Orlando was about the party. I had an agent. I had a book (not the one that finaled) sitting at Silhouette Desire. I went to Nationals to hang out and have fun.

A bunch of cool things that happened to fellow GHers that weekend.

One agent handed out her card to all the people sitting at her table and requested they all send her something.

Another agent publicly offered representation.

At the Golden Network Retreat, an editor requested a full based off a first page read.

After the conference, one enterprising agent looked up the websites of all the finalists and contacted one because she liked what she saw.

A few finalists received congratulatory flowers from their chapters.

All those things are great, but what will stick with me forever are all the wonderful friends I made thanks to the Golden Heart. It’s a unique experience that forms lasting memories and strong bonds. I can’t wait to see who finals in 2011. They are in for quite a ride.

Cat Schield lives in Minnesota with her daughter, Emily, and their Burmese cat. Winner of the Romance Writers of America 2010 Golden Heart® for series contemporary romance, her first book, A Case of Meddling, will be coming out in July 2011 from Silhouette Desire. When she’s not writing sexy, romantic stories, she can be found sailing with friends on the St. Croix River or more exotic locales like the Caribbean and Europe. Contact her at her website.

Ruthy here!

Cat, thanks so much for coming by Seekerville, sharing your story!  I've got the coffee on for the straight Joe drinkers AND I brought my Keurig.... And a great assortment of people pleasing flavored coffees, teas and hot chocolates to welcome this lovely eleventh month of 2010!

Let us know if you've dared enter the GH or other contests. How you fared... No cussin', please.  :)  And if you're thinking of entering and looking for advice (any contest, pubbed, unpubbed, GH/Rita, whatever), you've come to the right place. My friends have their GH tiaras polished and primped for the day.



And you know I brought food, great country breakfast food, fried ham, scrambled eggs, home-fries with onions and paprika, fresh whole wheat or Italian toast, bagels, croissants (a kiss of New Orleans, well deserved)....

And a donut for me. I'll share, though, because I'm THAT nice.  Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for my newest book:  MADE TO ORDER FAMILY, a September 2010 Love Inspired release, the love story no one thought should or could happen.

But it did.



  1. Hi Cat and Ruthy!

    Ruthy I'm *slightly* jealous that you have a Keurig but at least you're sharin'!

    Please don't enter me I already have your book at the top of my TBR stack I just wanted to let you all know I'm still around! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. I'm still trying to decide if I should enter the GH or the Genesis. I go back and forth, though I known I don't have much time.

    Ruthy, please leave me out of the drawing as I have all of your books.

  3. Breakfast sounds lovely.

    I had hoped to wip my MS into shape in time for GH but it's not going to happen. Hopefully for Genesis.

    I *did* enter it in Novel Journey's Fifteen Minutes of Fame or Out of the Slushpile or whatever contest [first chapter only] and the first 1000 words in ACFW OH's Hook Me and the contest at the upcoming HACWN conference next week. I also /gulp/ submitted my first page for the First Pages 'let's read them to everybody and critique them' thing.

    Man - that breakfast sounds so much better than my anticipated bowl of Cheerios...

    I'd love a book :).

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  4. Congratulations, Cat! :D Thank you for sharing about your experience! Also, thank you for reminding us of what is important--the people we meet that we can encourage and who have blessed us. Friends are so wonderful!

    Ruthy, I would love a chance to win your book! :D Thank you!



    P.S. I have cupcakes!!! My roommate made chocolate cupcakes, and we had a cupcake decorating party. Feel free to help yourself. ;) And if you would like to see pictures of these delectable treats, you can find them on today's post here:

  5. Firstly please enter me as I am reading waiting out the storm with 30 pages to go and loving it so much I need the next book! need to read Rita's story.

    Congrats Cat on winning the Golden Heart and your upcoming release (I say upcoming cos june will be here very quick)

    Oh for all who love donuts aussies are in mourning. Krispie Creme donuts went bust!

  6. Ruthy, thanks for taking care of the coffee.

    So I don't need to worry about that little duty.

    But I DO NEED your latest book.


    helengray AT boycomonline DOT com

  7. Renee and Walt, 'mornin'!

    Keurig... I love the thing. Right now I'm sipping caramel vanilla cream coffee with caramel macchiato creamer. OH MY STARS.

    Decadence in a cup.

    Oh, YUM.

    Walt, either/or... Hmm. Cat's probably still sleeping...

    So: Why not both? If it's a money thing, I get it, but Genesis is months away, right? Whereas GH is imminent.

    And the GH is a capricious lady. You never know when your next "1" (waving at Mary) or "2" might come along...(taking that two on my mighty shoulders) but we miss 100% of the chances we don't take.

    Jump in. The water's fine.

  8. Carol, you're in and I'm glad you like breakfast! :)

    Honey, you're doing just fine on the contest circuit... Big, brave and bold.

    Good job, kid.

    OH, there's Jenny!!!!!

    Hey, Jenny! You're reading Waiting Out the Storm... Loving it...

    Hugs to you, my Aussie friend! Your name's in the hat!

    June... It seems far, but then, so did December and oops... Oh my stars, when did that happen???

  9. Helen, g'morning, dear friend, you're in.

    I'm writing your name down right now. H-E-L-E-N...


    And Amber brought cupcakes. Good girl. Jenny, no Krispy Kreme???

    That is just wrong on so many levels. I'm crying here. So sad.

    But then I have my caramel vanilla cream so I'm not TOO sad.

  10. Ruthy Just finished and LOVED it.
    I was happy to find it on my recent trip to adelaide and read most of it on the bus trip home. The latest one isn't here in Aust yet.
    Oh have to say Im a mutton lover! (well roast lamb is better)
    Alot of people in australia are crying too. I dont like donuts but had to buy them when visiting Melbourne for my pastor.

  11. Good morning! I'm definitely in favor of entering the GH. Two years ago I entered at the last minute thinking I was wasting my money. (I hadn't finaled the year before.) But this time I did final. I didn't win the award, but before the conference I sold my GH book and got a wonderful agent! So I won big time!!!

  12. Hi Cat and Ruthy,

    Congratulations Cat on all your success and your upcoming release. Can't wait to read it!


    I threw my hat into the ring with the Dixie Kane Contest and Golden Rose. These are my very first contests and they're judging my very first ms. Scared to death, but what's the worst they can tell me "It stinks!" Well, then I know.

    I received the results from Dixie Kane a couple of weeks ago. After I picked myself off the floor, I opened the envelope.

    (Dramatic Pause)

    I didn't final, but got lots of good feedback. And the many of the judges said they looked forward to reading the book. A very worthwhile endeavor.

    Now I await the Golden Rose results, and hope for equally encouraging feedback.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. I have all your books. Read them. Loved them. Put them in a place of honor on the shelf and in my Kindle.


  13. Cat!! That picture of you and Angi just rocks!!

    I am so delighted to see another contest diva sail off the island!!

    Wishing you continued success.

  14. Kirsten, I forgot to mention in the post that Cat and I met when I was coordinating a contest that she entered...

    The minute I read her "Fake Fiance, Real Love" I knew she had what it takes if she stuck it out.

    Funny, great twists of phrasing, inviting characters. I was so glad she 'stuck' with it, because that's clutch.

    And thank you for your nice words about my books... See me preening my feathers right now???? :)

    Bless you.

    That was a real "bless you" not a Southern girl "Bless your heart!"


    We all know how that one rolls, right Missy? Pam?

  15. Welcome to Seekerville Cat,

    I love contest stories. They are so exciting. And bring hope onto unpubbed island.

    Contests are a great way to break into the business.

    Also a wonderful way to meet friends in the business. (ala the Seekers)

    My advisce to any of you considering entering--GO FOR IT

    Thanks for all the goodies Ruthy

  16. Hi Cat,

    Great post! Thank you for giving us a glimpse of what it's like to be a Golden Heart finalist. I was thinking about not entering this year, but now . . . hmmm, have to think some more. That network of fellow writers sounds like a great reward!

  17. Ruthy, I would love to be entered to win your book! The only awards I've won were for non-fiction articles at my Writer's group conference - Heart of America Christian Writer's Network out of Kansas City, MO. I've also won "Cheerleader of the Year" for HACWN. That one made me tear up. They give it to the member they feel has been the most supportive of the Network as a whole and as individuals.

    I'm supposed to stay away from the cup of joe, but thanks for the hot tea! And breakfast sounds yummy. My tummy is grumbling just thinking about it....

  18. Great info, Cat and Ruthy.
    I've entered contests, but nothing like Cat's tries. Wow!
    I'm debating about the GH. I entered Genesis last year, so thought I might try something different this year.
    What d'ya think? I haven't entered any contests since the TARA and am aching to try again.
    The GH is known for its great feedback, right? That's what I'm looking for :-)
    Okay - grabbing some donuts and heading off to teach class. Quiz day! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  19. Oh, and don't put me in the drawing, Ruthy.
    Like Walt - I have ALL of your books too :-)
    And they look lovely on my keeper shelf, btw

  20. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Golden Heart, Pepper is joking with her "the GH is known for its great feedback, right?" comment! There is NO feedback in the Golden Heart. No comments or multiple scoring categories so you can pinpoint where your strong or weak points are. It's just a single score per judge.

    That's why its USUALLY best to first dip your toe into other contests which DO provide detailed feedback so you get a feel for how judges perceive your manuscript--BEFORE you drop $50 into the GH or start an agent hunt.

  21. Oooh - Hot Cocoa. Please pass it this way.

    I've entered my NF in a couple contests (which I got HM in for both), and I JUST entered my fiction in ACFW Ohio's Hook Me. DEFINITELY planning to enter Genesis this year (mine's not romance enough for GH). This could be addicting.

    And I WANT your book, hun! joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

  22. Right, Glynna.
    I was joking - I've been working up to haveing the courage to enter the GH.
    6 or 7 contests later, I think I might be ready this time.
    (penned with quivering hand)

  23. Pressed for time but stopping in.

    Congratulations Cat! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Wow those ups and downs... Wshew! Just goes to show you that in God's timing, it'll happen.

    Thanks for the goodies Ruthy and Amber and all.

    Hate to eat and run but - toodles!

  24. Cat's ups and downs are fairly representative, and her time-frame (2007-now) is pretty short for a contest run and then sale.

    I might be insanely jealous. Nothing chocolate won't cure.

    Missy, hand me a Heath bar, won't you?

  25. Thanks for the welcome!! I love Seekerville. You guys are always so upbeat and it shows in all you've accomplished.

    Brought some white chocolate, cranberry oatmeal cookies (my neighbor's recipe) and some of my mother's caramel chocolate chip coconut bars. Gooey deliciousness.

    I have met so many wonderful people through contests. Ruthy being at the top of my list. I can't tell you how excited I am each time someone I've met along this crazy journey sells.

    For those of you considering entering the GH, it's a crazy contest and sometimes requires a leap of faith. Your best manuscript might not final, but the one you never imagined would do well could be your ticket to the spotlight. You just never know until you try.

  26. Very interesting post! The comments are making me so hungry!
    Would love to win your latest book!

  27. Ruthy, I should point out that this is my third time around trying to get published.

    I sent my first submissions to Harlequin Presents in the early 80's. Oh, the hopes I had...

    Then in the mid 90's, I joined RWA and tried again. I had a full requested by Silhouette Desire and a revise and resubmit, but couldn't quite get it right. That was followed by a whole lotta rejection. Frustrated, I gave up for 10 years.

    Not what I would recommend for everyone, but a girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do. And if I hadn't quit, I might never have adopted my daughter. Sometimes things work out for the best even if it takes a while.

  28. Cat,

    Thanks for sharing your crazy GH stories. You have captured just how unpredictable this contest is!

    I finaled in the 2008 GH with a mediocre manuscript. I had no idea the prestige involved with this contest. Until the girls started talking about GOWNS to wear to the award ceremonies - like it was the Oscars! I couldn't go to Nationals, but I thoroughly enjoyed being a finalist and, like you said, meeting all the other fabulous writers (on-line!).

    I entered a much better ms the next year and it bombed! Last year I entered another one and it at least made the top quarter, but no final.

    I was thinking about revising the whole beginning of this book (after quite a bit of contest feedback) and maybe re-entering it again. Still on the fence though.

    Ruthy, don't enter me for your draw. Just finished your latest and thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Have a great day!

  29. Cat, I also had the pleasure of being a GH finalist in 1996 in Dallas. What fun! And I also was a charter member of the Golden Network. But as you said, dontests are crazy and can't be predicted. My GH finalist did get into print twice now. Blessed Assurance was re-released in 2007 by HarperCollins.
    I wish you the VERY BEST!!!

  30. Cat, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm with you--the best part of being a Golden Heart finalist is the wonderful friends I've made!! Julie, Myra, Tina and I first met through the GH. From this we hooked up with the Seekers. Missy and I shared the honor the next year.

    I haven't finaled in the Rita. Yet. But it's fun to be in the game. :-)

    Ruthy, thanks for bringing Cat and providing a delicious breakfast.


  31. Thanks for sharing your contest experiences, Cat. What an encouraging post! And, Ruthy, please include me in the drawing. Sounds like a great read!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  32. great breakfast Ruthy! I'm getting spoiled here! also gonna have to start reading the posts closer since I just spent about 10 min trying to find Cat's books LOL! sigh..'debut' in the title line should've been a dead giveaway huh?!

    no need to enter me 'cause I've already read all 3 and am waiting impatiently for the next ones! :-)


  33. Cat,

    Congratulations on all you contest finals, especially the GH.


    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  34. I need to just go find the one zillion other times I've written about the Golden Heart here.

    My most beloved GH experience...the year I got a ONE for Petticoat Ranch. This was about six months (well okay, a year...well, honestly a year and a half but MOVING ON!) It was shortly before it sold.

    A ONE??????????

    For those unfamiliar the GH scores are a scale of one to ten.
    Ten being WINNER
    One being YOU IDIOT YOU USED WINGDING FONT!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I am COMPLETELY OVER IT.


    WHEN BULLETS FLY........

    Shaking my head, clearing it.

    Whoa, let the dark side loose there for a second.

    As Pepper Basham once said, 'think of a straight jacket as a constant hug.'

    Every time I think of the GH I need a 'hug'.

    Let's pretend like this little comment never happened, 'k?
    Congrats, Cat.

    Ooh, weird, my verification work is CRANT but I accidently wrote CRANK...four times.

  35. Hey, Cat, welcome to Seekerville!! Fun post today because it brought back SO many memories for me when I finaled in the Golden Heart in 2005 along with Janet Dean, Myra Johnson and Tina Radcliffe. And you are 100% correct in that the best thing about finaling in the GH are the lifelong friends that you make. Janet, Myra, Tina and I called ourselves the Golden Girls (I was Blanche ... what a surprise!!), and like Janet said, our association led us to the Seekers, one of the biggest blessings of my life.

    The Golden Heart definitely gives an aspiring author a leg up toward publication, although my agent doesn't necessarily agree. BUT ... I strongly feel it was the impetus of the GH in wanting to "make hay while the sun shined" that prompted me to send out a flurry of queries emblazoned with cute, little "Golden Heart Finalist" stickers on them that my husband made for me. Because that's how I got my agent, I can't help but indirectly credit the GH with that turning point in my life, so I strongly encourage all aspiring writers to give the GH a shot because you just never know ... :)


  36. I was a GH finalist in 2006, so I thought I'd chime in. The main drawback is you don't get any feedback, just a bunch of scores from 1 to 9. The great thing is you get 5 judges in the first round and most of them are serious about writing so they know what they're doing. Of course, your results depend on which judges you get, same as in any other contest.

    For me, finaling was the goal. That's what gets you the attention from agents and editors, some of whom may have been on the fence about you previously. My agent got VERY interested when I finaled even though she didn't start repping me until I sold the book.

    I also queried all the publishing houses that dealt in historicals (yes, it was a lot) and not one of them rejected that query. Many of them asked for a full instead of a proposal, which was a huge step forward at that point in my pre-pubbed career.

    As a note, I finally sold the book as the result of another contest win, not through the GH. But being a finalist got me more attention in a few months than I'd had the previous 5 years.

    Ruthy, I brought some yummy biscotti to go with your Keurig offerings. Everyone enjoy!

  37. Mary, oh LOL!! I've had that experience with the GH so many times. As a matter of fact, I was such a doggy downer about it for so long, I'm surprised I ever finaled (or entered for that matter). It can be the most frustrating of contests because you get no feedback, just a number. Your judges might not have a clue about writing good or bad. And it's as subjective as everything in publishing. Now, I sit before you, a Golden Heart winner with egg on her face because I got really lucky.

  38. If anyone ever got a 10 in the GH, I'd love to find out how :)

  39. I'm loving this blog...what a wealth of information for aspiring writers!

    I'm shamelessly promoting my book blog, Cindy's Book Club, which right now has a pathetic amount of readers. :)

    Hope you'll check out the fun book quiz I posted today.

  40. How beautiful that you have made so many wonderful friends and are no longer writing in obscurity. Congrats. :-)

  41. I think I'm glad I've decided to leave GH for another year... Maybe next year... or the year after. Or the year after someone mananages to mix self-confidence into a milkshake and market it. Preferably a chocolate one.

    Cat and everyone else - thank you so much for the insight! I greatly appreciate it!

    @Linnette - are you going to HACWN next week? I'll be there :). Am excited about it!

  42. Congratulations, Cat! What a whirlwind of ups and downs. It does help me put the whole contest thing in perspective, though. How do they pick the judges for the Golden Heart?

    And Mary got a 1 for Petticoat Ranch? Well, I can explain that. Somebody was typing too fast and forgot to add the 0 after the 1!!!

    Don't enter me for the draw Ruthy, because I have all your books, have read them, loved them and leant them to friends. Even bought one twice because a friend didn't give it back. :-)

  43. Stop and start, Cat.

    I didn't know that about you! Since I'm a big believer that God oversees that path and some roadblocks are just bends in the road, I'm tickled pink for both you and Emily to have one another.

    And she's stinkin' gorgeous, BTW.

    I think that was a great trade-off, kid, and I know I started and stopped a couple of times, had to sort through my priorities at that time. And that's clutch for a parent, right?

    God has blessed you both, and now with contracts.

    And GH hearts.


    Can I mention CRASHING and BURNING once again????


  44. This post was great. I always need the boost I get when I come here. I'm doing my best not to fall back into the "I'm gonna write a book SOMEDAY" phase of my life, and remain in the "I am WRITING a book." phase. You folks always help me.

    I have a question for Mary Connealy, since you have a reputation for killing off characters... Have you ever cried when you had to kill a character?

    I had to write a dying scene. This story has been walking around in my head for five years, and I've known all along that this guy has to die. If he doesn't die, my story cannot happen. Even so, I still cried when he died. The next chapter starts out with another character in a happy, bubbly mood, and I was so sad, I couldn't write it.

    Has this ever happened to Mary, or anyone else?

    I'd love to win Ruthy's book.

  45. Thank you SO much for sharing this! Just this morning I thought about entering the GH. This story is so inspirational. :-) I love it!

    Thanks ladies!

  46. Andrea, I actually have a real problem killing off nice people.

    I hate it.

    I know sometimes bad things happen to good people ... in fiction as well as life. But I just don't like doing it.

    Mostly, when I kill someone off, I deliberately write them to be very kill-off-able. I take some pleasure in that.

    So evil.

  47. Kav, that is one of my beloved theories as well.

    It ranks up there with, "They thought ONE was the TOP not the bottom."

    And it was really a SEVEN just written badly...this was before online score sheets.

    So, yes, adding "They forgot the ZERO to make it a ten."

    I will cling to this.

  48. Andrea Chernak...I said it's on a scale of one to ten, but that might be wrong. It might be one to nine.

    Anyone know? Can you get a ten? Can you get a 9.5?





  50. which reminds me...i don't think i've taken my meds yet today...

  51. Mary, Mary. It's okay. Step away from the rifle.

    Excuse me, I meant to open this comment with, "Hi, Cat! Congratulations on your GH and welcome to Seekerville!"

    But of course Mary distracted me.

    Then I realize, if not for the immediate connection I had with Julie, Janet, and Tina our GH year in 2005, I may never have connected with the Seekers and thus might never have gotten to know the "real" Mary.

    Life is just full of wonderful surprises, isn't it?

    No, truly, I bless the day I connected with my Seeker Sisters! Best (not-contract/non-agent) thing that has ever happened to me in my writing life!

  52. @ Mary..I WAS a bit perturbed 'bout the horsey in Petticoat Ranch...almost put the book down then and there! I'd much rather see worthless characters killed off than innocent animals!

    thanks for reminding me 'bout the meds...I'd forgotten to take mine!

    *yawn* feels like 10 pm and it's only 3:30 here..sigh..vacation is going by too fast overall though.


  53. I always love coming here. You all make me smile! I think the highest score you can give is a 9 for the GH and those are rare and precious,

    Thanks Ruthy about my girl. She is wonderful and a gift from God. No question in my mind that I must have done something right at some point to get such a great kid!! The day I sold she made me a sign that said, "you $old your book.". She's my biggest fan

  54. Congrats on the GH win and the sell, Cat! Enjoyed hearing a bit about your journey to publication.

    I think the GH scores go up to 9, but my gazillion scoresheets are at home, so I'm not 100% sure.

    All the GH finalers are right: Enter! I've entered several times over the last several years and finalled 3 times, won once.

    Those 3 times were worth every dime I spent on the off years!

  55. Mary~

    I TAKE IT BACK!! I TAKE IT BACK!! Please forgive my insensitivity, I'm relatively new here, and I just don't know what jokes to make, and what ones to avoid yet. But I'm learning fast. ;)

    I need to go write that happy, bubbly chapter now, but after the day I've had, I still don't think I'm up for happy and bubbly.

    Maybe I'll skip ahead to where I get to burst someone's bubble. I'm really in the mood to burst someone's bubble. Not Mary's she's just to kind and gentle for that, but perhaps someone else.


  56. does anyone else get to and too mixed up when they are typing fast? I hope so. I even previewed that post and missed it. I'm really having a day. Say a prayer for me folds...that's FOLKS.



  57. Andrea, I get choked up when I write certain scenes. Death scenes, or when people have to face their demons, the ones they've locked away. Sometimes I have to get up, walk away, hide out, grab chocolate, hug a kitten.

    It's a good thing, kiddo. If we're touching our hearts, we stand a much better chance of touching others, right?

    And Mary, Mary, Mary, geez, Louise, you're scaring people. Shhh....

    Take your meds. Lie down. Breathe in. Breathe out.

    (Andrea, both Andrea's don't let her scare you, the old meany pants. Luckily I'm the NICE Seeker... I've got your back.)

    Andrea Chermak, I remember you finaling and it was OVER THE TOP WONDERFUL....

    I live vicariously through your finals. And how pathetic that we're groping between nine and ten (it's 9, by the way) because obviously WE'VE SEEN PRECIOUS FEW 9'S AROUND HERE, LOL!!!

    Hey, I brought along a new fudge recipe I'm trying out, a white chocolate pecan fudge. Give it a try, see what you think. I think it's yummy.

  58. Thanks for stopping by Cat and sharing your incredible story. I loved reading about the Orlando experience. What a celebrity. No sore feet for you, you were floating on air the whole time, right?

    The Golden Heart wasn't kind to me. It grabbed my money and then gleefully told me I couldn't write.

    Deep and heavy sigh.

    BUT since it doesn't comment in order to substantiate such opinions, I didn't let it get me down for more than a month, LOL!

    I stand in awe of all talented folks - many Seekers among them - that managed to reap the coveted nod of approval. Congrats to you all!!

    Thanks for coming to Seekerville, Cat. Can't wait until your book hits the stands!

  59. I am so happy to be offered another book giveaway!!!!
    This is an exciting site to visit!
    Love you all:)

  60. Just as an extra note, nobody picks the GH judges. All RWA members in good standing are eligible to judge. You pick your categories and they send you some manuscripts. The good news is you should get a cross-section of people who at least claim to like the genre you're writing in.

    The bad news is...contests are a crap shoot. But I still believe that entering the GH (which a friend had to talk me into, BTW) is one of the best decisions I was ever prodded into making.

    If you're serious about the GH, you might want to try the Golden Network's contest, which is like a GH prelim. All entries are judged by GN members, published authors and GH finalists ONLY. These are people who know what they're doing. They do give feedback, and they take a GH packet as the submission, so it's good practice. I've judged it and most of the entries are very good. They'll give you suggestions on improving your MS in time to edit and get it ready for the GH. I think it might be over for this year, but you can tag it for 2011.

    Good luck!