Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Best of Seekerville from the Archives and First Five Pages Critique

Holy Hot Heroes, Batman!!!! by Ruth Logan Herne

Hear this and hear it well: I do not crawl through my office digging for anything for anyone, ever. The one exception might be to find a Bic pen should a small child need an emergency tracheotomy, but even that is stretching it and depends solely on the worth of the child. If you had an aerial view of my office floor you would understand this better, and ignore last fall’s dead bees (oops, wasps, sorry Deb!) I’ll get them swept up soon. Promise.

But I did just that because the essence of heat in a hero has little to do with actual looks. I mean, even with a detailed description, there are only so many square-jawed, well-muscled, six-foot-plus guys on the planet with piercing eyes.

Puuuuhhhhhlease. Watch any of the morning news shows with live shots of Manhattan in the backdrop windows and count how many guys meet that description. Uh, huh. EXACTLY MY POINT. So we fantasize a little. A little taller. A little leaner. A little broader. And great eyes and teeth are a must, despite Shrek’s popularity. But what is the essence of a hot hero? What draws us in, makes us dreamy-eyed?

Silas shut that yapping mouth right up with his lips. He swung the door shut and broke off the kiss just enough to speak. “Did I mention that I want more childen with you than you’ve given to the other husbands?” He made sure to kiss her so deeply she couldn’t respond to that. (The Husband Tree, Barbour Publishing, Mary Connealy, author)

Silas. Strong. Decisive. A touch embittered. Cautious. Courageous. Careful. Dedicated. Humorous. If you asked me to describe Silas, I have no response. I don’t have a clue how Mary described him physically. What jumped off the page was his devoted virility, his take-charge attitude, the perfect way he complemented Belle’s tough and sassy image.

LaVyrle Spencer created a wonderful beta hero (Small Town Girl) in Kenny Kronek, the easy-going, helpful nerd-of-a-neighbor who wins the heart of Tess McPhail, the hottest “Reba-type” country singer in the land, home to help her sick mother, and she did it by making his gentle class act behavior outrageously desirable to a woman who is always surrounded by false love and idolatry in the entertainment business. His uniqueness balanced Tess because it was so different from what she experienced in her daily life. A man of honor, of simple devotion, a church-goer who stayed true to his faith, his time, his home, and then her.

And what about our tortured heroes? Matt Damon as Jason Bourne… Oh Mylanta, the mix of choir-boy Irish good looks, gentle eyes, a killer’s aim, and tricked into being something he’s not, a created killing commodity, pushed into vigilantism by the powers that be. A sympathetic assassin. Now that’s a trick!

He gave her a half-lidded look that made her mouth go dry, then leaned in and nestled his lips along her throat. The blood pumped in her veins. She felt the shadow of his late-day beard, and the realization of what was happening prompted a chuckle of joy from her throat. She shivered. ” I love you, Mitch Dennehy, so much that even prayer couldn’t get you out of my heart. Sweet saints above, I can’t wait to marry you!” her gaze narrowed. “You are asking, aren’t you?”

He grinned. “Oh, I’m asking all right. And you won’t have to wait. I don’t intend to.” (A Passion Denied, Revell Publishing, Julie Lessman, author)

So far Mitch Dennehy is my favorite Lessman hero. I like his maturity, his stance, his devotion, his hard-won respect. In Mitch Julie Lessman has created an every-woman’s hero, but one particularly well-suited to Charity O’Connor, who is not one of my favorite heroines. Shoot, I kept shouting at Mitch to dump her and find someone more worthy, but being a man in love with a hot babe, he didn’t listen. And knowing Charity like we do, he’s probably come out on the good end of the trade. After all, it takes more than good fried chicken to keep a man smiling year in, year out.

In Sweet Home Alabama we have two heroes. Two great guys. We have the before and after hero, because in the midst of the timeline we’re examining, the heroine has undergone a transformation. Great plot twist that allows deeper conflict, both external and internal. And while my boys were not big fans of Reese Witherspoon’s character during the first half of the movie, we women understood her urge to move beyond who she was to who she could be, and then losing a bit of herself in the making.

So: what a quandary…

Josh Lucas????

Or Patrick Dempsey????

Stop wracking your brains, there is no wrong answer to that question. I mean, come on…. Talk about a win/win. ;)

Developing the hero to match and complement your heroine becomes the crux of the matter. His salt to her pepper. His calm to her heat.

Mr. Darcy examples every possible reason to not love a hero, yet we do. Why? Despite his arrogance, he stands by his convictions. He is true to family and friends. To a fault, we discover, but we appreciate the scarceness of such a trait. He’s kind to his help. He takes care of his home and understands familial pride. And he’s willing to own his mistakes and try hard to rectify them, coaxing Elizabeth’s feelings to meet his. And she does, just before he decides to pack it in, give it up. He fights the good fight and humbles himself to win the girl. Once again it matters not what he looks like, but the attitude he bears. Although Colin Firth is no slouch in the looks department. I think we'd all join hands and agree on that, but it isn't the looks that draw us in, that captivate, it's the manner or the reformation, the journey he must travel to get the girl.

“You’re no kind of man I’ve run into before.”

Ben's right arm snaked out and around her waist and he pulled her up against him. She had a sense of him, the shape of him and his smells, and then he kissed her. His mouth was warm, soft, and then hard. A short, jarring kiss. He let her go and she heard herself gasp.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for a while.”

Hannah adjusted her headscarf. “You said you had no interest in me.” Trying for dignified, and sounding instead like a girl in a snit.

He glanced at her, surprised. “I never said that.”

“You did. On the stairs.”

"I said I knew you had no interest in me. I’m hoping maybe you’ve changed your mind.”

“And if I haven’t?”

Cool appraisal, calculating, knowing. Hannah looked away. When she looked back again, he was smiling.

(Queen of Swords, Bantam Books, Sara Donati, author)

Donati's historical heroes go beyond the ken of mere mortal men. She's not afraid to give them quiet wisdom (Nathaniel Bonner, Jean-Benoit Savard "Ben")an inner core of strength that lines a rough-looking exterior, yet the hearts of the men beat true in all things, making them trustworthy husbands in difficult times. They kill as needed and love completely.

Wow. ;)

We all love Gibbs from NCIS, and Mark Harmon's current character is a far cry from his St. Elsewhere character from way back. Then he was a playboy doctor. Now he's a tortured soul, a man who's loved and loved well but can't move beyond the guilt at what he's lost. We all want to FIX HIM... Help him. Be THE WOMAN that sets his heart stirring again. The hope. The promise. Will God ever send him someone to fulfil that longing, that destiny? And will Gibbs forgive himself in time to see things clearly?


“I’m your landlord, remember?” Sparks of ivory lightened his gray eyes, crinkled in amusement.

“You won’t let me forget.”


She laughed and poked him in the chest. “That means when the heat’s off or the electric blows a circuit breaker, I call you.”

“Please do.”

Her heart chugged to a stop, watching him, hearing those words, feeling their depth, their meaning. He studied her, his expression warm, caring, a hint of humor softening the craggy planes of a chiseled face.

She moved a half-step forward without meaning to. “I will.”

The kiss was unexpected and totally wonderful, the gentle press of Brooks’ mouth on hers, the solidity of him, his breadth, his warmth, the sheer strength of him swirling around her, engulfing her in what-if’s.

Sweet. So sweet.

When he paused the kiss she stayed right there, not moving, eyes closed, smiling just a little, knowing she couldn’t and shouldn’t do this, but old enough and experienced enough to know she thoroughly enjoyed that kiss.

And the kisser.

And when he kissed her again, she liked that one just as much. (Made to Order Family, Steeple Hill Books, Ruth Logan Herne, author)

Heating up a hero has little to do with girding his loins and everything to do with evoking the reader's invested emotion. If the reader roots for your hero and heroine, they're more likely to be pre-ordering on Amazon when your next book is announced. And while I agree with the idea of writing for an audience of ONE, simple business says you've got to engage the buying public as well to help ensure the next contract. Publishers are in business to make money. Our job is to help them achieve that end with characters that paint a picture of happily ever after in readers' heads long after they've set down the book.

Grab some coffee... Some ham,egg and cheese croissants... Fresh cheese kuchen to the left, as well! Dig in and let's chat about how to make your heroes stronger. More alluring. Feel free to post a segment and we can talk about it 'on air'!

This post first appeared in Seekerville on April 8, 2010.

Love Inspired author Ruth Logan Herne lives a life of mild-to-moderate insanity in upstate New York. She's raised children, romped with dogs, medicated pigs and milked cows while holding a wide variety of name-tag and hairnet jobs. She loves God, chocolate and coffee, thinks Keurigs are marvelous machines and all grandchildren should look like her. Or be named for her. The third "4-Star " release of her Men of Allegany County series is available in stores and online now. Romantic Times called Mended Hearts "an utterly compelling read." Ruthy, of course, agrees. ;)

You can visit Ruthy at her website where you'll find her books and delicious Ruthy-recipes, or stop by her blog where she shamelessly exploits puppies and small children to sell books. And feel free to swing by and meet the cute guys of her current series at

Don't forget...

Today is the last day to be considered for our weekly critique.
More info here.

Only 4 more critiques left!

As a special treat, today Ruthy is also giving away a copy of Mended Hearts!

Two winner potential here, folks!! Critique and a book!



    I cannot believe that I let house cleaning get in the way of hanging out on Pepper day!


    But Ruthie - Gibbs!!! Love him! I'm so waiting for a Tony/Ziva pairing to show up. Gibbs isn't ready for a relationship though. Army Col. chickie proved that.

    And I gotta go with Tom Linscott for my favorite Mary hero. And I'm reserving judgment on Julie heroes until this series finishes up. Which is another YEAR!! I'm putting my money on Stephen though.

    Okay - hot yummy cinnamon rolls to go with the food Ruthy left!

    And I'd love to be entered for the book!

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  2. For some reason, I'm unsure if I should comment on today's post, though I definitely remember it.

    -Walt (who is up editing)

  3. Ruthy, we gotta love those men, don't we?

    And you're absolutely right - it doesn't really matter what he looks like. It's the inner man that counts.

    I mean, when you boil a hero down to the inner core, what is it that we all want to see? Honor. Tenderness. And perseverance to make sure the woman he loves falls in love with him.

    What more can we want?

    Well, maybe chocolate...

  4. Yoo Hoo. Coffee's brewing. Grab a mug.

    I NEED a copy of Mended Hearts.

    Suffered from that dreaded writer's block this week. So I cleaned house. Had a slaving time, but it looks and smells better. And now I'm back into my wip. Doing something different worked!


  5. The Hero’s Last Frontier

    In romance
    I seek the dream
    where dreams can still be mine.
    Please don’t be mean
    Life provides enough reality
    to last a lifetime.


  6. Y'all are scaring me. 2 of 5 commentators were Cleaning.

    Vince, well done.

    Walt! you and Vince are our heroes.

  7. wow I was with you 'til Sweet Home Alabama - I actually felt sorry for both men in that movie - a happy ending would've been like Gone With the Wind - where the icky heroine gets walked out on...ok that's just my not so humble opinion LOL! no charge...

    I started Mended Hearts tonight(yes I got a used copy but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do - only so much temptation I can stand and a book I want offered to me is one of them!) boy do people get awfully snippy in the whataburger drive thru at 1 am..sheesh..can't help it if I was busy reading and 3 cars had gone before I moved. really shook me up - that honking horn made me drop the book and now I gotta find what page I was on...Is that brother gonna get a story that was in the prologue?

    oh here's some Whataburger breakfast taquitos if anyone wants any


  8. This may be from the archives but its timing couldn't be better. I think I've been too hung up on describing the current hero's description. It's good know that isn't the real issue with having an attractive hero.

    Since we're in the archives, I'll go way back to some old movie favorites. Robert Redford in "The Way We Were." Babs feels unattractive and came from a less affluent background than he did. He completes her, although it doesn't last. boohoo!

    And what about "Working Girl?" She's from the wrong part of town, trying to work her way out with her business smarts. He believes her and helps her. What a couple. Love when they crash that wedding party--the dancing, drinking those exotic drinks with the tall straws. Harrison's looks are not classic romance hero, in my opinion. But his style carries it.

    Please put my name in for a critique.

  9. Whooohoooo -- I remember this one from the archives. That means I've been hanging around seekerville long enough to be an old-timer. LOL.

    Great insights into what makes hero material -- and more importantly how to write it with umph!

    Don't enter me in the contest. Already have my copy. Been read and loved and sobbed over.

  10. The funny thing with Chasing the Lion is most readers have fallen in love with Jonathan by the end of chapter 2, and he's only twelve then, LOL. I think it has a lot to do with this moment.

    Jonathan remained still, not understanding the sensation washing over him. A rift in his spirit was closing with the healing words of his father. He wanted me then. He wants me now. Something elemental within Jonathan shifted as the hand on his shoulder moved to become an embrace.
    Jonathan’s breathing became ragged and tears fell unhindered as a lifetime of insecurity crumbled within him in the arms of his father. The missing pillar of his lost identity rose from the bottom of his soul, erasing every scar from every errant taunt and pitiful glance he had ever endured. He summoned his voice from beneath the unabashed emotion pouring forth. It was a single, whispered word.

    I loved Ruthie's "it depends on the worth of the child" lol. And all the yummy pics in today's post. Walt's comment had me cracking up. Always a good time in Seekerville =)

  11. This one is better the second time around or maybe I just needed a dose of HERO today...

    oh, and thanks for remembering the WASP / BEE lesson. Wow, I must have been a bit harsh.

    I really need to get Sweet Home Alabama. Poor Reese. I don't think I could decide either.

    To: East coast (Easter-er more than where I live that is)

    Praying for minimal damage, no loss of life, and that God will be your strength in the storm just like HE IS during the personal ones.

    Meanwhile, I'm watching radar obsessively and hoping you all check in when you can.

  12. Yeah, Sweet Home Alabama was a fun movie, but not a good romance, too many heroes.

    Gone with the Wind was even worse. No happily ever after.

    Working Girl is a classic isn't it?

    Love that Kav is a Seekerville OLD TIMER!!!

  13. Just as good as the first time around and I actually remembered when I started reading that we'd be seeing a picture of Mark Harmon!

    Praying for all you "east coast" people and the storm.


  14. While height, good looks and broad shoulders make a fantastic looking hero, you're so right. Inner strength trumps physical looks any day and every day.

    Loved those examples, Ruthy--made me want to spend the day with one of them instead of wrangling today's list. But hey, today's the day I get to finish reading Trish Perry's Unforgettable, and I can't wait!! Totally loving that book. =]

  15. Good morning Seekerville!

    And possibly goodbye for the rest of the day! lol

    I'm recuperating from my newphew's small garden wedding last night. Note to self: Never, ever EVER agree to be on the serving committee if the reception area is more than 20 feet from the kitchen.

    My feet didn't stop hurting until five am, and actually they're still sore!

    Thank goodness all those trips back and forth to the kitchen helped work off some of the cake and punch!

    In spite of my aching feet, and the heat, it was a beautiful wedding. My nephew played the guitar and sang "Walk through this world with me" to his bride (I teared up!) and her two little girls got lost meandering through the garden paths to the arch where the ceremony was. Hunting up two little angels made everyone laugh and giggle. I'm guest blogging on Petticoats and Pistols, AND with Margaret Daley, and I have a speaking gig at a local benefit today. I'm not nervous yet. I haven't even had time to worry about it.

  16. Ahhhhhh, post and comments just what I needed this morning - dreams to build the day on, and HUMOR to get me thru. :)

    And speaking of men, way to go Vince! Wonderful. Way to go Walt. How is the editing coming along?! Where's John!

    Yep, having lived thru many a hurricane (Texan by birth), definitely praying for y'all in the east. Great prayer Deb! Wonder where the wasps and bees will go for the storm?

    (Helen, now that you're done, maybe you can pop by my place, or Tina's. Your pick!

    Thx again Ruthy, for making Seekerville such a pleasure.

  17. loved this posting ruth....a lot :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  18. Thanks, Tina.

    Sweet Home Alabama was good in that it had Reese Witherspoon.

    I would love to have one of the final critiques. :-)

  19. Well who can't pass up a critique and the chance to win a book---by Ruthy?? ;-)

    Ruthy, that one threesome picture shouldn't be allowed on such a blog. Phew, talk about distraction!

    I'm hoping you've got your books at the ACFW conference bookstore, 'cause I plan to stock up! :)

    (please enter me--thanks!!)

  20. Just to clarify, I'd love to win the critique and/or Ruthy's book

  21. This was a terrible post to read, even at 9 in the morning, because it's already 90F over here! I was sweating when I sat down, and now I'm sweaty and my head is spinning! MMMMMMM!!
    I'm going to go dunk my head in ice water and try to get all those lovely smooches out of my memory. I'll come back later when breakfast has been cleared... or lunch... or dinner... But thanks for the delicious treat!

    P.S. Darcy is my first love. I knew Elizabeth really wanted him so I went ahead and told him it was OK. I would sacrifice. But if it doesn't work out, he's mine.

  22. .

    Two heroines
    one hero:
    which heart
    will he choose?
    You won:
    49 to 51


  23. Hahaha! 49-51 ! Vince, have you ever heard of the 1950's Swedish poet Piet Hein? He wrote a series of poetry books titled 'Grooks'. They're witty, short, and you remind me of him...
    I have one over my computer:

    Original thought
    is a straighforward process.
    It's easy enough
    when you know what to do.
    You simply combine
    in approrpiate doses
    the blatantly false
    and the patently true.

  24. Jan, you are too funny. A core of dark chocolate would be good however.

    Lindt with a hint of sea salt.

  25. I love Gibbs, and Sweet Home Alabama, and Mary Connealy's books!!! Count me in for the book drawing giveaway:)


  26. This was the first time I've read today's blog, and I'm glad I came in from working in the yard. What a treat.
    I'm 5"10" and love a tall hero. Thankfully my husband is tall and so are our sons. Although I would have loved all three of them just as much.
    I read the Bourne books growing up and loved those stories. Matt Damon was the icing on the cake.
    I really enjoyed this post.
    Please enter me in the contests.

  27. Oh Tina,

    forget the hero - I'll just take the chocolate!

  28. Loved this post the first time and CERTAINLY love it again.
    Easy on the eyes.
    Fluttery to the heart.
    And just all around dreamy.

    A MUCH needed break in the middle of 'new semester planning'.

  29. Heroes, for me, have almost always been the unlikely kind. The ones who may be misunderstood or perhaps see the world more clearly than most people around them. They're definitely personable, genuine, and aren't too hardened and defensive to be vulnerable when it counts. Just a few thoughts. :)

  30. HUBBA, HUBBA, RUTHY ... LOVED this blog even more the 2nd time around, which is the true mark of good writing, my friend.

    Whew ... got some heat going on there that better make Mr. Lessman very, VERY afraid!!

    You said: "After all, it takes more than good fried chicken to keep a man smiling year in, year out."

    LOL ... spoken like a woman with true experience. Both with chicken and ... Well, I better go now ... :)


  31. Hey, gang, Voice Artist Sherri Berger wasn't able to stop in last week when she was a guest, but she has gone in and responded to some of the questions from the comment section if you'd like to go have a look. And she promised to check in again if there were NEW questions.

    You can find her blog interview

  32. Ooooh, glad to get in on this reposted post as I missed it the first time around. It is true—looks only go so far. Sure, they can help with the initial attraction, but it’s the inner strength of a hero that keeps the heroine coming back for more.


    Ruthy—your “The one exception might be to find a Bic pen should a small child need an emergency tracheotomy, but even that is stretching it and depends solely on the worth of the child” had me grinning in its humorous callousness. Lol. You’re always a hoot! The photos and examples were great and definitely made me think, “I need to read that!” on some of those lovely books I haven’t got to yet.

    I’m up for the book giveaway!


  33. I found this post an entertaining & informative!

    I would like to add some of the "super-heroes" & "older heroes" like Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby.

    (PLease enter me in your draws.)

  34. Be still my heart! Leroy Jethro Gibbs - respirations increase and my little South'n heart goes pitter patter. ;-)

    I would love, love, love to read Mended Hearts!

  35. I love Ruth's writing.I like the cover of the book - don't believe I've seen one like that. Can't wait to read it.


  36. Ruthy, your reruns are just as wonderful and enticing as the original post.

    When you brought up Gibbs, I do believe I felt a slight swoon.

    Or maybe an earthquake.

    Both fill me with otherworldliness.

  37. Hmm... I love a hero who is willing to apologize. It is a rare find. But it is not "a sign of weakness" and has prevented many a broken heart. Sometimes an apology is a rescue in disguise.

    "Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years ago." ~ Fredrick Wentworth, Jane Austen's Persuasion

    "I'm sorry I hurt you." Sometimes that is so romantic.

    Another sigh-inducing quality is when a hero is concerned for the heroine's heart. Like in Jane Austen's Emma when Mr. Knightly thinks Emma has fallen for a cad and been hurt. He tells her that time will heal her wounded heart, then proceeds to call the cad an "abominable scoundrel." :) I love Jane's heroes.

  38. Natalie, you named two of my top three favorite moments in literature. Thanks for the dose of Austen!!!

  39. I love the mention of Mitch Dennehy in this post. I just ready APR and loved it...maybe not as much as APMP. So far Collin is my favorite Lessman hero. We'll see how the others stack up. I am looking forward to Brady in APD whenever I get a chance to read it.

    Otherwise Ruthy once again picks out all my faves.

    I'd love to win Mended Hearts

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  40. Alas! I only just realized what time it is. I guess I'll have to wait for Ruthy's next giveaway. :(

  41. Hi Virginia:

    I am not familiar with Piet Hein but I intent to read some of his work. I would love to write a poem like the one you quoted. I was influenced by Ogden Nash but I think I will like Hein better.

    Thanks for the nice words and the Hein reference.


  42. Doh.

    Sorry, I thought I'd be in Baltimore with time to chat, but Irene had other ideas!

    Walt, your day is MONDAY, honey. Just For You. ;)

    Jan, chocolate, yes. A two-fer. Cute guys, chocolate... Sweet!

  43. Helen, sometimes you just need to walk away, let your brain and the Holy Spirit work for you. Remember out Plan "B"...??? That was Teeeeeena's way of kick-starting the last six Seekers into a new gear. Get us out of our funk. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Sometimes a whole new tack is in order, my friend!

    Vince, I know. I know. Guilty as charged.

    Stupid reality.

  44. Susanna, hey, I have bought many a used book in my time! You just keep talkin' me up and passin' me around and that's the best gift you can give an author. Really. Truly.

    Great Amazon reviews never hurt, either!

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Matt's book (and he's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful) is the November release "Yuletide Hearts" and it starts the day after this book ends.



    I had no idea it would do that at the time, so that's funny on me!

  45. Echoing prayers for East Coasters. I've got a boy in lower Manhattan (he's a block inside the evacuation district of Zone A) and one in Boston...

    So I'm praying for them, their safety, and the safety of all. Wicked big storm.

    Julie knows I didn't like GWTW... She's still in shock, and I still want to smack Scarlett. Now Somersby I loved and understood, but I still hated the no happy ending. I'm such a sap. Sweet Home Alabama.... I was rootin' for Jake because he was the underdog, but seriously??? There is no wrong answer there. :)

    Kav... you cried???? BLESS YOU!!!!

  46. Patty, enjoy the book!

    Pammers, what a day. Awesome, my friend, and I can just see you guys hunting for those little girls.

    "Honey, y'all come on down this-a-way, won't ya? Bless your hearts!!!"

  47. Virginia, grab a fan, darlin' and get in line. Gotta love us a nice hero now and again! ;)

    Cathy, you're in, cutie! All ya' gotta do is talk.

    Casey, shoot, books in bookstore???

    Oops, missed that. Totally. Obviously a first time ACFW new author.

    Sigh. Sorry.

  48. Vince and Virginia, loving this!

    Lindt dark with a hint of salt...

    Oh mylanta, a hint of salt makes everything better. No high blood pressure lectures, please. I'm Irish. It's just how we are.


  49. Jackie, Robert Ludlum writes a great story. Totally. And I've been playing with hero heights so that they're not ALL 6'3 and 200 lbs.

    Although my youngest son is that size and Dave and I are liliputian people, so I love how genes get mixed up, spread out, and re-apportioned!

  50. Oh, Widsith, I agree. The misunderstood, or the loner, or the self-made man...

    Or the sacrificial hero who stands alone.

    Love 'em. Great take on that.

  51. Pepper, I missed your day.

    Forgive me. No excuses except work and Baltimore trip had me frazzled.

    And couldn't get over here to play, but I SHOULD HAVE.

    Please still be my friend. I'll bring you one aggie and two blue world marbles if you say yes. AND you can play with my bestest Barbie. The one with the fancy pink ball gown and glass slippers. But one is lost.

  52. Jules, exactly. A house has many rooms, right????

    The kitchen being just one.

    Mary, that's so nice of Sherri! Her whole job is fascinating beyond words, what a hoot to be able to spawn a fun career off of voice-overs. I love it.

    And might have to use it in a book, it's that fun.

  53. Whitney, thank you! And I saw the Bic pen thing on that movie "The Dollmaker" (I think that was the name of it) and I thought, shoot...

    I could do that.



    And of course, worth is subjective depending upon the day and the behavior of said child. And you KNOW that I probably affronted people with that remark, right?

    But really, employing life-saving techniques vs. GREAT BOOK AND HERO????

    Gotta weigh it up.

  54. Janet, Edwina, you're in!

    Patsy, thank you! And that cover is gorgeous, isn't it? Like a still life of fall... but the golden light behind brings hope...

    Love it!

    And Audra, oh yea.... heart-string stirring boys! ;)

    Natalie, oh my stars, girlfriend you have such an eye/ear for the perfect phrase. You captured the essence of those characters in the lines you chose. Well done!

  55. Andrea, you're in, chickie. Time means nothing in Hurricane zones.


    And I loved Collin, too. He was just naughty enough to be a rogue and good enough to want to save him.

    Gotta reform those bad boys! ;)

  56. Seekerville is a recent discovery for me so I enjoy all the posts whether they're current or from the archives. There's always something to learn and to think about.

    I agree that a hot hero is so much more than physical appearance. Guys with a gentle strength rank high with me.

    How sad to see the end of the five page critique. On the flip side,though,what a gift. I had hoped to be a much more polished writer before putting my name in for the critique drawing, but with only four remaining I must step up or else regret not having tried.

    Please enter me for both drawings.

    Thank you.


  57. Oops!

    Sorry, the above email address isn't current. Instead, it's