Thursday, May 19, 2011

Snoopy & SEAL Team 6

Snoopy & SEAL Team 6

Hey Seekerville! I’m really excited about today’s post because I get to talk about two of my favorite things to write about: Animals and Special Forces/Special Operations service members.

I also get to introduce you to Snoopy, the stuffed animal I found at a local Goodwill shop for a tremendous bargain. Snoopy is my favorite cartoon character. He’s a writer! My office is Snoopy-themed. See this big guy?

He keeps me company when I write. He stares at me when I stare at the blank screen and cursor.

My office boasts a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with one red bulb and sparse limbs. I also have a Peanuts music box/snow globe that spins snow inside it when Peanuts-themed music plays. I am a Snoopy fanatic!

I also love giving things away. So today, the commenter who correctly guesses the dollar amount ($1.00 to $100.00) that I paid for this huge stuffed Snoopy will receive a copy of Steadfast Soldier, my last Love Inspired which features an occupational therapist heroine who uses rescued animals to rehabilitate humans.

Many of you have heard of SEAL Team 6 in the event of recent news of the elite military unit who brought justice to America. So to honor them, I’m going to fashion a fictional SEAL team after them for today’s demonstration portion of my post in which I’m going to show you how animal characters can enrich our stories and endear our human characters to readers.

Animals and pets are something that is universal. Most people have some kind of memory attached to a childhood pet or animal, even if they didn’t have pets of their own. There is something fascinating and endearing about animals themselves and it’s rare to find a person who doesn’t love some kind of animal.

What’s your favorite animal?
What was the last book you read that had an animal in it?
What did the animal add to the story? Life? Depth? Comic relief? Emotion? Danger?

Marketing studies of category romance prove that covers depicting animals or children sell out faster than covers that don’t contain one or the other. This proves that people love to read about them.

Let’s do an experiment.

Today, we have visiting with us our fictional SEAL Team 6. Say our heroine (and our reader) is anti-military/anti-war. So, right off the bat, our military hero has strikes against him. After all, he packs a gun and kills people with it. The heroine (and our reader) considers it murder. Also, for extra conflict, let’s pretend our heroine isn’t fond of dogs because she was bitten as a youngster.

BUT…say the heroine gets a call that a terrorist attempted to hold her children’s daycare class hostage. (Hey, it could happen! LOL). BUT, a bomb-sniffing dog picked up on the terrorist who then was apprehended at the airport before he could execute his plan on the daycare. This dog would be instantly endearing to the reader and to the heroine.

She also discovers the dog was at the airport traveling with his trainer, who she finds out later is a Navy SEAL who rescued the dog from terrorists trying to use him in inhumane gas experiments. This would evoke sympathy in the heroine for the dog, and evoke likability in the heroine, and in the reader toward the hero.

The fact that he risked his life to rescue a pack of endangered puppies…and did it as the puppies were walking across an area riddled with land mines or roadside bombs, raises the likability factor of the hero and shows his compassionate side. See how animals can be a tool to help build characterization?

Next scenario: Pretend the military dog (who we will name Snoopy, after my beloved friend) wasn’t on the plane and the terrorist got through. He’s at the daycare threatening to blow it up if our president doesn’t release another terrorist-in-custody.

Say the SEAL also has a child in the daycare. The child has seizures and his service dog (Snoopy) attends the day care with him. The dog was rescued from a kill shelter and trained by the SEAL Team 6 member to alert him and caregivers to his son’s impending seizures so they can prevent them. Or keep the little boy safe during. The dog is a retired military or police dog that sniffs out the bomb and saves the children.

Think of this scenario without the dog. The dog being in there adds compassion, depth, emotion and life to the story, at least in my opinion. And it softens the military angle for readers who may be anti-war. Most people aren’t anti-animal. Animals have universal appeal, as do heroes. It helps to make your animal heroic, like our story Snoopy.

Another scenario, pretend Snoopy isn’t in the center when the bomb is discovered but when SWAT teams and military bomb specialists and our fictional SEAL Team 6 arrive on the scene (without fighting over jurisdiction…LOL!), they flush out the terrorist with flash bang grenades or tear gas. Snoopy rushes in and helps lead rescuers to children.

Snoopy even drags an unconscious teacher out by her jacket. Our SEAL Team 6 hero trained the dog to rescue civilians in a military setting. See how the animal softens the rough edges of the nature of this hero’s career and military countenance? The animal also adds depth and interest and brings “Awww!” moments to our story…and readers want stories that make them feel something.

Trivia question for the day: Do you know that sometimes SEALS, Green Berets, Rangers, Recon Marines and other Special Operations/Special Forces personnel have to call 9-1-1? When they need back up or rescue, guess who they call?

Nooooo….not Snoopy. LOL! Just kidding.

They call the PJs!

US Air Force Pararescue Jumpers are a rare breed of elite Special Operations Airmen who are skydiving combat paramedics. They rescue downed pilots as well as Special Forces members in danger behind enemy lines. They also do civilian rescues of humans and animals in the U.S. and abroad during global natural disasters.

I feature rescuers and particularly PJs in almost all of my books, in addition to other special operations personnel.

Don’t forget to guess Snoopy’s price (Hint: I got a KILLER deal!) for a chance to win Steadfast Soldier, the story about Pararescueman Chance, and Midnight, the black Lab who rescues Chance’s dad in more ways than one.

Thank you for joining me today. I’d also love to know your thoughts on how animal characters can enrich stories. I’d love real life examples too!

Comment away!

Cheryl Wyatt & Snoopy2


  1. Awww I love Snoopy, SEAL's and Goodwill too! I'm going to guess you paid a dollar bill for your stuffed friend. That's a real bargain. LOL

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  2. Hi Cheryl!

    Glad the floods didn't reach you!

    My daughter likes your Snoopy :)

    I'm guessing you paid $35.00. That's the first number that popped into my head :)

  3. I was going to guess a dollar, but SteelerGirl83 already guessed that. So I guess $5.

    Coffee's ready.


  4. I <3 the Pararescue pic!

    I'd guess... $8

    Dunno why... I do have that Snoopy's little brother somewhere downstairs. I think he's eyeless these days :(. Maybe a 12" little guy.

    I am in awe of those in the military but especially the spec ops guys. Wow. They're impressive.

    Headed to Panera in the morning so bagels, breads and assorted other pasteries over there by Helen's coffee.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  5. Hey Renee! Isn't Snoopy the best?

    Eva, thank you! I'm glad the water is receeding. It got right up to our property line and I know the prayers kept it away.

    Tell you daughter that if I ever decide to get rid of it, she'll get a big package in the mail. :-)

    Helen, thanks for the coffee!

    Got your guesses down ladies!


  6. OOOH! Carol, bring Panera back! Here's some virtual money.

    In fact, we have Snoopy-shaped cookies and a 6 course meal in honor of our fictional SEAL Team 6.

    I PROMISE they're not military rations though. LOL!

    This morning we have a bagel bar. Slap on any flavor of cream cheese or make yourself a breakfast sandwish, rich in protien with our fresh folded scrambled eggs, sliced American and Provolone cheese, assorted vegetables and thinly sliced char-grilled ham. Also there are turkey and pork sausage patties to put inside your breakfast bagel.

    Fresh squeezed orange juice to go with Helen's coffee.

    For lunch we have seven course pasta.

    1. Homemade Italian Bread topped with garlic and herbs.
    2. Seekerville House Italian Salad with Seekerville brand dressing
    3. Toasted raviolli with beef
    4. Italian sheels and cheese
    5. Spaghetti and Italian meatballs
    6. Chocolate mousse cheesecake!

    That's our virtual menu for today! Snoopy is our chef and SEAL Team 6 are today's cabana boys, handing out the food and providing refills of tea, soda and water.

    Dig in.


  7. Oh wow I came back and there are pictures now! That Snoopy is HUGE!!!!! How do you live with him? :-P

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  8. EVERYONE, join me in congratulating Pam Hillman who sold to Tyndale!!!!

    This amazing woman PRAYED to be the last Seeker to sell, so no other Seeker would have to be last.

    I love her. Love, love, love her heart.

    Send huge congrats to Pam and celebrate with us because UNPUBBED ISLAND IS NOW EMPTY!!!!



    THANK YOU FRIENDS OF SEEKERVILLE for supporting us and encouraging us in every aspect of our journeys.

    Thank you for letting us celebrate your triumphs with you as well!


  9. WOW!!!! Congratulations Pam on selling to Tyndale! I know your book will be awesome and worth the wait!!!

    XOXO~ Renee C.
    p.s. Cheryl, please don't enter me for your book, I already have it so if $1 was correct please choose another winner. :-)

  10. YAY PAM!!!! I saw that announcement bouncing around earlier, and squee'd [silently ;)] for you!

    Cheryl - you got it! Panera all around =D.

    Was hoping to hit 'the end' of this rough draft tonight and work on something else tomorrow while I'm there, but it ain't happenin'... I will think of ya'll with every refill... ;).

  11. Carol, I'm up writing a roughie too! Pass the coffee! LOL

    Helen, yeah!


  12. Im not going to guess as I have all your books. Love the post. Here in the past week or so we have soldiers coming home from Afghanistan and they saved a dog AJ who is now around 7 months and they had an appeal to bring him home. Its so cool and the dog has had his ears cut off as he was bred to be a fighting dog.
    Its a great story even for someone scared of dogs.
    Oh I do like your scenarios and I could definately identify with your heroine as I have a major fear of dogs.
    I think the last book I read with a dog as the hero was Livvies Song the dog really saved the day.
    I would love to see a cat save the day but then Im partial to cats and some can be very protective and helpful.

    Congrats to Pam also thats wonderful news.

  13. Jenny, I will write a story that features a rescue cat just for you.

    Will even let you name him/her.



  14. Congratulations Pam!!! So thrilled for you =)

    I'm going with $2.49

    What’s your favorite animal?
    What was the last book you read that had an animal in it?
    Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
    What did the animal add to the story? Life? Depth? Comic relief? Emotion? Danger?
    Emotion. The pet dog of the army got shot down by the enemy just as the two armies were about to face one another in battle. That rage and injustice elicited carried through the scene of the battle and I thought was brilliant by the author. (Good thing it was NOT Snoopy!!!)

  15. Oh, I needed me some Seekerville! I hate not having my laptop. Just....


    hate it.

    But I loved this post, Cheryl! So fun, and chock full of good points.

    Animals are a grabber. Small children. Hunky guys that rescue people.

    The stuff dreams are made of! I'm dropping off breakfast early because I'll be unconnected later, so here goes:

    We're going buffet. Cheryl will keep an eye on things. Meat choices are ham, sausage and bacon to be replaced by grilled chicken and ranch sandwiches for lunch.

    Eggs, scrambled. Toast. Hash browns. Nothing from Mary's refrigerator. Trust me. You do NOT want to go there.

    Bagels, cream cheese, assorted flavors.

    M&M's for me.

    Done! ;)

  16. See, this will teach me to read comments FIRST...

    Cheryl, I'm putting my food back in the fridge. We'll haul it out tomorrow. Or Saturday. It'll be fine.

    And ravioli????

    Oh my stars, bring on the carbs, baby! ;)

  17. PAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!










  18. Cheryl Im so glad you will feature a hero cat! Would love to name one.

    They say cats choose there owners and I would say that is very true. the neighbours got 2 kittens, sisters Gizmo and horse. Well Gizmo was huge and Horse very trim. but the boys would tease the cat and horse would come over to our place for protection. In fact Horse would come to me then when the youngest boy saw he would call her and the only way to get her home was shake the food container. She use to run home for tea and back to our place for the rest of the night. I even had to give her antibiotics when she needed them. She became my cat and she really did choose us. Still miss her.

  19. Fun post, Cheryl!! Love Snoopy too. A very three dimensional dog. :-) And our military! I'm just awed by the capability of our special forces.

    Though we had a dog, cat, parakeet and hamster when I was growing up, I'm now allergic to animals. I would forget to put an animal in my stories. A reader wrote to tell me she loved my book and then asked me to add a dog, or preferrably a cat, to my next story. I got the message. :-)


  20. Your brain is amazing!!! LOL I'm guessin your doggie cost seventy bucks.
    Great post and wonderful example on how to create a story with lots of solid conflict. :-)

  21. I'm going to guess $2.

    I am inspired every day by my stuffed dogs. I tell people they don't need to be taken out, walked, or fed, nor do they shed (usually, LOL). (My husband is allergic to most dogs.)

    Congrats to all the Seekers! This is all great news!

  22. I love your Snoopy, Cheryl! I have more stuffed animals than I need, so I give them to my grandsons, Damian and Jase. But they still seem to multiply.

    I also think adding animals, especially dogs (I like cats too) to a story always goes over well. Most people like animals if they people-like personalities.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Cheryl, love this post! So fun, wonderful and true. I have been seeing basset hounds a lot in books lately. But a Snoopy? Just priceless.

    Pam, is this going to be one of those epic good byes scenes from Seekerville like MASH, Mary Tyler Moore or Cheers? Will you turn out the lights or leave Jack crying on a boulder? Many, many congratulations and prayers for continued blessings! My Kindle is aquiver.

    Peace, Julie

  25. Congratulations, Pam!!!

    Love this post, Cheryl. But then again, you had me at the word SEAL. Awesome bunch of guys! And PJs are the best! Love their motto "That Others May Live."

    But don't let it get around I'm giving props to the USAF, I'll be kicked off base. :o)

    My guess for the Snoopy is $10.


  26. WAHOOOOO PAM!!!!!!

    How gracious of you. You PRAYED TO BE LAST?!


    Now you're going to be first? Is this the strategy?

    Seriously... What a beautiful grace attitude.

    And not to worry, the Island will never be empty. There's plenty of us around to fill the huts. (I have dibs on Debby's though - she said she left some chocolate chip cookies and I'm still searchin' - hahahahaha)


    Congratulations Seekerville!!!


    Oh wow Cheryl - we are girls after the same heart.


    Loved this post.

    Thanks for the varying scenarios. We unpubbed and readers always learn in Seekerville!! (Even when we're CELEBRATING!)

    Since May on the Way: How I Become a K9 Spy has a small abused Schnauzer FOR the heroine... and she joins the K9 Service... Yeah. Lots of those type situations can arise. But I can do better, and will on Book 2 (envisioning 3 book series).

    And for your Snoop-tee-dawg I'll guess $3.99. :) may at maythek9spy dot com

    GO SEAL's!!! GO PJ's!!!! GO Cheryl!!!!!

  27. Cheryl
    LOVE your books and absolutely adore Snoopy. he's always been my favorite as well. when i have something to celebrate it's always doing the "Snoopy dance".

    I live in the town where SEAL teams train and my hubby actually was TAD with SEALs when he was in Iraq. I adore the military (probably why I love your books).

    My guess for your super SNOOPY deal would've been $10, but someone else guessed that already, so I'll guess $15 instead.

    I like adding pets to stories. Children are a tad more problematic because they may become too cute to match reality. A fine line there. Pets are less likely to be afflicted by that.

    I can't relate to a rescue cat though... Cats just seem to be too independant. Reminds me of a sign I saw in a pet store: "Dogs love you unconditionally. Cats want to see your resume." *heh*

  28. That's a huge Snoopy, Cheryl! I'll guess, since I know thrift stores are quite reasonable, that you paid $5 for your friend.

    In The Healer's Apprentice, my heroine has a pet dog, very big and shaggy named Wolfie, who is extremely protective of her. He's there for her when the hero can't be, and they have a special bond. I don't know exactly the element that this brings to the story, I just know I like it. :-) I modeled this dog after a dog I had when I was in my teens.

    Keep writing those exciting stories, Cheryl!

  29. Oh my goodness!!! PAM SOLD!!! That is so awesome! I love it! To Tyndale! WOW! This is so exciting! Pam, Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. There's so much going on here today!

    1) PAM!!! Start the party now, it's time to celebrate! (I have dibs on your hut)

    2) I'd starve if it wasn't for Seekerville. Love the buffet, and not a real calorie anywhere to be seen.

    3) Love animals in books - I have a horse in my WIP. The last one I read that had an animal as a character was "The Outlaw's Reunion" by Victoria Bylin. The dog was something for the characters to center on, and quite a bit of the story arc used the dog as a vehicle.

    4) Love the Seal teams - every time they show up on the news or in a story I can't help but pay attention.

    5) My guess for Snoopy's price is $1.50.

  31. Hmm... I know it's Goodwill, but it's still a big stuffed thing. Of course, it's a BIG stuffed thing. I'm going to say... $20.

    Animals? Last one I remember is Tish Davis' Seneca Hearts when the hero buys a dog for the heroine because she was never allowed to have a pet. He kept it, of course, because she still lived with her very controlling aunt. It was sweet. The only "animal" in Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins was a tick and of course that added angst, not endearment. :D

  32. Cheryl,

    Aren't second-hand stores the greatest? So much fun to find a bargain! I'll guess Snoopy cost $6.00.

    Huge CONGRATS to Pam!! We need details, girl!! Working title, blurb, the call!!

    I guess us un-pubbed Seeker friends will have to take turns looking after the island. Horrible job but someone has to do it!! (Captain Jack's a little busy with his movie premiere right now!)

    I think the sun is teasing us today - just so we remember what it feels like. Had enough rain for a long, long time.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  33. Aw, I Love Snoopster. I always have to read him in the paper’s comics. :p I going to guess you got a giant deal to go with the giant Snoopy, so I’m going to go looooooooooooow and say 2.50.

    PAM—CONGRATS!!!! You’re living the dream now! And to pray to be the last of the Seekers to publish!

    I love animals in stories. They fill out stories and make our protagonists human. Vulnerable. Would love to stay and chat, and join in on the celebration (YAY PAM!), but alas, I have to go to *gulp* the daytime job. : (

    See you all later! Eat lots of cake for me!


  34. Great post! I'm going to guess that you paid $3 for your friend Snoopy. :o)

    Sheri DOT Salatin AT gmail DOT com

  35. Way to go, Pam!

    Andrea Chermak

  36. Yes, Ruthie, I'll try to keep the coffee pot going. But I'm headed out of town soon.

    Daughter is involved in Stained Glass Theater, and they are presenting Corrie Ten Boom. We're making a quick trip just to see it, driving up today and back tomorrow.

    Hopefully I can check in this evening.

    Have a great Pammer Party.


  37. Snoopy and SEALs.

    There's your combo, Cheryl. LOL

  38. LOVE Snoopy, Cheryl, and LOVE this post and your hypothetical examples were AWESOME!!

    Animals DO lend so much to a story, in my opinion. When I wanted to soften my gruff hero, Mitch Dennehy, I gave him a golden retriever named Runt, which allowed me to show his soft side with the animal. Then, of course, I gave the O'Connors a golden retriever too, so guess what two pets we owned over the years -- yep, two golden retrievers!! Also, in my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed, I wanted to make the heroine (who lives alone) appear less lonely, so I gave her two cats, one of which she rescued as a kitten who was abused and maimed ... just like her. So animals can definitely add a lot of depth to characters and a setting.


  39. Forgot to leave my email earlier - my guess is still $1.50!


  40. Wow! I spend the morning writing and straightening the house and come back to 40 comments. Cool!

    Nancy, thanks so much for sharing that. I want to read the book and watch the movie you mentioned now. LOL! Glad to have you in Seekerville.

    Ruthy! M&Ms...yummmmmmeeeeeeeeee! I liked your food better than mine!!!! *runs to hijack Ruthy's food*

    Jenny, I love hearing about your cats.

    Janet, LOL! Your stories are so rich and awesome though, even without furry critters running around the pages.

    Nancy, forgot to say that I love horses too. They're a lot of work though, but worth it.

    Laney, LOLOLOL on the stuffed dogs! As I look around at all the half-chewed rawhides in my family room...I'm thinking I'll get the stuffed variety next time around. LOL!

    Cara, I agree!

    Julie, basset hounds are SO cute. And SO short so I love them all the more. LOL about the Kindle being aquiver. Too funny!

    Jessica...LOLOL. I'm not so sure about that brain thing. My kids say my mind is a scary place sometimes. LOL. Hey, congrats on finaling in the Genesis! Woot!

    Kirsten, LOL! I'll never tell. Ahem, whose that Admiral standing over your shoulder there? LOLOLOL

    KC, regarding Pam's cool is that?!!! She didn't tell anyone she was praying to be last until the second to the last person sold. Amazing. I probably would have been secretly praying NOT to be last. LOL! She'll be first to hit the NYT bestseller list though!

    DebH, that is way cool about the TAD w/SEALs. Thank you for your kind words about my books. I adore you as well!

    BRB for more comments...


  41. Real quick....

    Cheryl, any guy who rescues 6 puppies from a mine-infested roadway is a total HERO in my book!

    Also, I see you guys are talking about me, but I can't play right now. Will be back later!

  42. Melanie, loved your book! Going to write a review SOON! Thanks for the vote of confidence, girl!

    Jan, LOL on starving w/o Seekerville.

    Linnette, I will have to check that book out. And LOL about the tick in Brandilyn's new book. I know that story is very close to her heart.

    Susan, I'll bet we'll have an ENORMOUS celebration this weekend for Pam. IT's ABOUT STINKIN TIME! LOLOL! This woman has worked her butt off and I don't know of many people with that many GHs under their belt. Woot for Tyndale!

    Whitney, great thoughts on how animals enhance fiction. Thanks for sharing!

    Sheri, thanks for stopping by!

    Andrea, you too!

    Helen, I LOVE Corrie Ten Boom. She's one of my most Inspirational historical figures. Have fun!

    Julie, I'll bet it worked too! Love the hero's name.

    Mary, LOL!

    Jan, got it. :-) to do a writing spree with a friend. Will check back in a couple hours. I'm at 40K words right now....

    Be back soon!

  43. Pam, isn't it true? I actually had that 6 puppy scenario in my story Covenant SEAL (or maybe it was Stealth Surrender) that won first place in the Genesis the year before I sold. So I borrowed my own scene for today's post. LOL!

    Can't wait to celebrate with you on Seekerville FOR REAL!


  44. Go type Cheryl!

    Type like the wind!

    Finished the rough draft! WOOHOO! Still needs lots of polishing and subplotting and stuff but wowza - wasn't sure I was going to get this far with this one!!!

    Here's more Panera for everyone. Bread bowls with soup of choice. [mine is baked potato]

    Pam - I don't know that I've ever heard anything so cool as praying to be last so no one else would. Should have a Kindle by the time yours comes out and it'll be an immediate purchase lady! So happy for you!


  45. Congratulations, Pam -- that is soooooo exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheryl, I love this post because I LOVE animals and there aren't enough of them in romance fiction as far as I'm concerned! Which is kind of funny since so many authors seem to have all sorts of pets.

    So I scrolled through all the books I've read all the way back to January and didn't come up with a single one where a dog played a significant role! Even out in the wild west where you'd think you'd stumble into a cattle dog or two somewheres.

    A book that I do remember because of the dog -- Julie Carobini's It's a Shore Thing -- which I read last August. Funny and heart-tugging and environmentally friendly and with a dog as a major character -- helloooo -- now that was a good one! And he did a wonderful job of bringing out the best in both the hero and heroine and helping to define their characters.

    I think they gave you that HUMONGOUS Snoopy for free. The store probably didn't have room for anything else with Snoopy in residence. LOL. But don't enter me in the draw because I already have Steadfast Soldier. :-)

  46. SososososSOOOOO excited for Pam - and what an awesome lady. She seriously prayed to be last?? WAY too neat.

    What a GREAT post! Love sticking animals in my stories when they fit. A wonderful way to add compassion and such.

    I say $12 (I don't THINK anyone else said that!). joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

  47. Hi Cheryl:

    Lots to say:

    First: Contrats to Pam.

    The fireworks have already started on the “Philosophy of Romance”!

    Second: Disney has trademarked Seal Team 6™ -- be ready to hear from their lawyers!

    Thrid: Snoppy: $7

    Fourth: “The Lawman's Christmas Wish” by Linda Goodnight, with its large dog on the cover, not only sold me on her book but the entire “Alaska Brides” miniseries. (Nine books in all!) You actually help the other books in the series if you put a pet on the cover.

    However, not all pets are created equal. A book with a German Shepherd on the cover is just about an auto buy. Other pets are just maybes.

    Fifth: I’m glad to see KC is ok. I thought she might OD over this post. : ) (Even I had to sleep on it before attempting to comment.)

    Sixth: I’d like to see one of your heroes interact with a normal K-9 AP in one of your stories. We served, too. : )

    Great post – but we all know that!


  48. Julie H S, the image of Jack crying on a boulder is too funny.

    I can't see him staying lonely (or alone) for long. He'll probably have the entire crew from The Black Pearl swarming the island before I can finish packing!

  49. I almost always have puppies or kittens in my stories. cat or dog's life usually mirrors either the hero or heroine's.

    There's a street-cat taken in by the kids at the orphanage in Stealing Jake. Ginger was cold, half-frozen, abandoned, living on the streets, just like the street-kids. She has a lesson to teach the heroine.

    Same with my 2004 Golden Heart winner, Marrying Mariah. There's half-wild tom-cat who finally lets Mariah feed and pet him. His loner status mimics Slade's.

    I'm seeing a pattern here! lol

  50. First, congratulations, Pam!

    Cheryl, I wish you could meet my friend Amy. She loves Snoopy so much that her family had someone in a Snoopy costume dance with her at her wedding reception. (I think her husband was in on the joke.) It was too funny.

    Please don't enter me because I already have "Steadfast Soldier." I just wanted to comment about Snoopy.

  51. KC, there is that scripture about "the last shall be first". :)

    But honestly, I never dreamed I'd be one of the launch authors for Tyndale's new Digital First program. It's mega exciting!!!

  52. Jan, you mentioned dog and horse. I remember the John Wayne movie where he had a dog, and how it was always the three of them, John Wayne, his horse, and the dog riding off into the sunset.

    Seems like JW just called him DOG, but I can't remember for sure!

  53. Working title: Stealing Jake.

    Pickpocket Livy O’Brien spent most of her life on the streets of Chicago. She becomes a Christian and moves to a little town called Chestnut, Wyoming to start an orphanage with an elderly lady. And who should she meet that makes her heart sing? Jake Russell, an officer of the law.

    The problem is—Livy's been running from the law all of her life.

  54. I've read Steadfast Soldier and loved it! Just stopping by to enjoy the blog!!

  55. CarolM, CONGRATS on finishing that rough draft! I've written 2500 words since my last comment, so I'm making okay progress. Proud of you, girl! Back to typing like the wind (LOL!) that.

    Kav, I LOVE Julie C and her beach books. She's a total sweetie and in fact was very gracious not to laugh at me last year in Monterey at a writers' event when a humongous harbor seal (not to be confused with a Navy SEAL LOL!) sprayed me in the face with an unGodly amount of regurgitated fish...or whatever was in its stomach. SO gross! And funny. But I guess you probably had to be there.

    Joanne, isn't that noble of Pam? That (otherly-focused) is how she is to the core though and I love that about her among other many things.

    Whitney, I just polished off another piece of virutal cake. Wink! Wink!

    Vince, I would absolutely LOVE to feature that K-9 AP character in a book. Could you help with the research aspect of it?

    Pam, I must've missed the part about Jack sobbing on a boulder before. LOLOLOL! Too funny.

    Melanie, that Snoopy costume dance thing is so heartwarming and touching and neat! It or something like it SO has to go in a book!!!! OR! A hero could dress up in the heroine's favorite cartoon character and propose to her that way! Or rent a character and have them propose. Very cool!

    Pam, I am so excited about your sale and your book that I am busting at the seams!!!!!!


    Okay....I'm going to TRY to get back at writing. See you all in another couple hours.

    In the meantime, keep commenting! And guessing the price. So far NO ONE has guessed it the exact price.

    Keep those guesses comin!



  56. That is so cool, Pam! The last shall be first! I love it!!! God is in the details, I'm tellin' you!!!

  57. $ amounts guessed this far:

    (It's an equal dollar amount, no change.)

    Keep guessin! So far no one has gotten the precise amount.

    Very Big Grin

    Jackies, glad you stopped by!


  58. Just stopping by to congratulate Pam!!!

  59. The last book I read had a dog in it. Klondike Medicine Woman, the second in the LIH portion of the Alaskan Brides series. The dog isn't a big part of the story, but he does help give a glimpse of the hero's soft side in a few places.

    My current favorite animal in a story is actually a dragon. Yes even mythical creatures can add depth to a story. Toothless, in How to Train Your Dragon, is a great character. He brings out the strength in Hiccup (great names, these). By the end of the movie, they're a matched set with their hand-made artificial parts. If you haven't seen this movie, I'll apologize for rambling about it. I Love It!

    I'd love to win a copy of Cheryl's book.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    CarolM~ congrats on finishing the draft. I haven't got much of my list done yet. :(

  60. okay, I wanted to be entered. But I didn't guess.

    I'm going with $13.

    Congrats to Pam! And Wow! what a prayer. Exactly the kind of desire that God honors. I'm humbled by you.

    I'll be waiting (im)patiently ;) for the arrival of your book at a store near me.

  61. Thanks Cheryl! Since you said it's an even amount, if allowed, I'd like to revise my guess to $4.00

    I saw 300 and all I remember thinking was... this is too much blood and bedroom for me.

    Then I read Gates of Fire (like I said in my blog, this is not a book for the faint of heart) and the experience was a complete 180. Interesting because the blood, gore, and realities of close quarter infantry combat was a hundred times more vivid than in the movie. But it was not what carried the novel. Just stunning for me. Pressfield did some very specific things with the book regarding point of view, flashbacks, back story info dumps (basically broke ALL THE RULES lol)

    I want to learn proper craft first of course because the rules are the rules for a reason, but this book really showed me coloring outside the lines is not a kiss of death, if it's done deliberately and with purpose.

    But I was SOOOO glad to get Rancher's Reunion and Deep Trouble in the mail this week (Thank you!) because when I finished Gates of Fire I told my mom I needed some puppies and rainbows.

  62. Hi Pam:

    That movie was Hondo. John Wayne played Hondo Lane, Geraldine Page played the heroine, and I don’t know who played the dog. This was Louis L’Amour’s book and it was listed as one of the best 25 Westerns ever written! I would put the book in the top ten.

    I bet Mary could tell you this but I beat her to it! : ) (I think Mary is the only girl who knows more about L’Amour than I do.)


    P.S. Did you get the double entendre?

  63. Hmm... How about $25? Though I think that's probably high...

    2500?! Go Cheryl! That's great!

    I've managed a couple hundred more but am having a hard time jumping into this new world. Probably because I'm just sort of treading water until I figure out how to get to the next plot point. Which means lots of this will end up on the cutting room floor. But until then...

    Just keep typing
    Just keep typing
    Just keep typing...

  64. Cheryl,

    I'm doing an interview with Brandilyn for Public Health Alert - a nationally distributed and on-line newspaper for Chronic Lyme disease. I'm so excited! No. It pays nothing, but it will be wonderful to touch so many lives with her story and her novel!

    Another guess - $25?

  65. Pam! I'm a little behind here. I'm assuming you have a new book coming out. Is it you debut? What? All these comments have me curious. I LOVE the hook! Sounds like a great read.


  66. Hey Cheryl!! I've been on the go today so am later visiting Seekerville, but LOVED your post! Snoopy is a classic, and I've always loved him too (in fact, at this moment I have a cute Snoopy notepad next to my kitchen phone!). ~ And I sooo agree about animals in stories--love reading stories that feature animals (okay--especially CATS, teehee). But I must ask: You haven't mentioned *Squirrels* today! Don't you still like those little critters too? Just wondering *wink*. ~ My guess on the Snoopy price is $9 - - but whatever you paid I'm sure you got a DEAL!!! ~ And a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Pam!!!! YAY!!! ~ I'm bringing Georgia peach muffins for an afternoon snack--Enjoy! ~ Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  67. I was going to guess $4, but I think someone already said I'm going to say $6 : ). The book/movie Dances With Wolves was my first thought when it came to animals in a story. The wolf played a big part as a friend to the Captain and as a bridge between two worlds (white/Native Amercan). I nearly lost it when those soldiers started shooting at him! I also thought of "Lassie". My brother LOVED the show when he was a little boy. Lassie could do anything! When my brother was about 5, my parent's got him a collie. A few years later we bought a female and called her Little Lass. We have wonderful childhood memories of raising collie puppies and playing with our dogs. When our dog died, my brother cried for about 3 days. It was like losing a part of our family! My thoughts are that if an animal in a story takes on human-like qualities (shows friendship, devotion, courage, etc.), then readers will relate to it...even if they've never had an animal in their lives. Thanks for the post! ~stacey

  68. Great post today, Cheryl!!!

    I'm going to double up and guess $3 for Snoopy even though I can't win. :) Because he's just so cute, and I think surely you got an amazing deal. :)

    And I'm so glad I can blast out celebrating with Pam, finally!!! Thought I was going to bust. :)

    Woooo hoooo, Pam!!!!! :) :)

  69. Writing with Snoopy! That is so cool!
    Great post!

  70. I already have the books - just waiting for Brock to get a story!
    I love books with animals so long as they're still alive and well at the end..I don't do so well when they get killed off - not even to save a kid! I just read a Love Inspired with a dog and a veterinarian. Drawing a total blank on the author though but the book was good! Lyn Cote maybe? something about the habitat houses and the heroine and her twins are getting one. loved the dog in this one - had 2 kittens too. gosh hope I got the author right - I've only read 2 by her and both are this same series.


  71. What the heck, I also would like to revise my answer to $4.00! I AM Laney4, so you'd think I would have guessed this in the first place, duh!
    Glad you were LOL re stuffed dogs. If it's any consolation, Santa brought my two kids and I 2' stuffed bears WAY back like 20 years ago. We were so original, as we named them Bear, Bear, and Bear! We all know their differences (even though they are identical triplets) and still talk to them on occasion.
    Our dogs are named Warning I, Warning II (again, we have that originality thing going for us, LOL - the first one was named Warning because he talked so much that we had to keep giving him warnings to be quiet, and when the next dog came along, he claimed to be a brother, so Warning became Warning I and the new, bigger model was Warning II), Scooby Doo (no choice on that one), and Bony (Lordy, he has metal where metal doesn't belong). Can't remember the older ones no longer with us....
    One year, we flew to visit my sister and her family for Christmas, so the kids and I all crammed at least one of our stuffed animals in our bags. The expression on my husband's face was priceless when we lined them all up. He couldn't believe he had helped carry them all!

  72. I need to be out of the running for this book (as I have it). Thinking it's a buck.

    Congrats to Pam!!!!!!

  73. Alright, I missed the comment about it not being $1. Giving up.

  74. but I'm still in for the critique :-)

  75. The correct amount was guessed! We will announce the winnerv during our weekend edition!

    I had a graduation to attend this evening so I am sorry if I did not respond to you individually. I do appreciated you stopping by and sharing the day with me. :-)

    Night all!

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Congratulations Pam! Look forward to reading your book!

    My guess to $4.00.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  78. The correct amount was $4.00 and while several of you guessed it, Nancy Kimball got it first.

    Congrats, Nancy!

    Thanks everyone for playing along!

    Eva, Nancy, Walt

    Pattie....LOL! I'm going to write a squirrel story just for you! Opening line will come from the hero talking about his new neighbor heroine: "What kind of a person puts a squirrel habitat next to a pecan orchard?"

    She has the habitat. He has the orchard. LOLOLOLOL!

  79. Whoops...forgot to finish my sentence for Eva, Andrea, Nancy and Walt, plus Susanna, Stacey, Missy, Faye, Cindi and anyone else I missed...thank you so much for stopping by!

    And Patti, I meant Patti, not Pattie! EEEEEEE! Slip of the finger.

    Have a good day and be sure to check out Karen's post for today. I LOVE her cover!


  80. I will make the wild guess of $4.99 for your buddy Snoopy, whom I love as well! :)

    Great post!