Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thank you!


October is not only the Seeker Birthday but it's also when we celebrate our own ‘thanksgiving’ here in Seekerville. We have so much to be thankful for.

For those of you who are not aware of it, we were all strangers who came together in 2005. The only thing we had in common was our faith, our writing and the fact that we literally kept running into each other when contest rankings were posted, either finaling next to each other or nosing each other out.

Here's a smattering of examples:

Genesis 2003

Genesis 2004

The Maggies 2005

Genesis 2005

The Golden Pen 2006


Genesis 2007

The Golden Pen 2008

Janet, Myra, Julie and I met online as we were 2005 Golden Heart finalists. (Myra won) We met in person in July of that year at RWA. In August, the Seekers (Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God…) became a Yahoo Group.

Very shortly after that Debby and Mary sold. We didn’t become the Seekerville Unpublished Island blog until two years later. The rest of the group languished on a tropical island with sun, sand, coconuts and Captain Jack, selling one by one until this year, when the very last Seeker climbed onto her life raft and sailed away.

We love the island. (click on the map to really see our digs) I mean who wouldn't? But after years and years, even a tropical paradise can get old.

What made that island tolerable besides Captain Jack, was that we were all faith buddies. Lifting each other up and praying each other into publication.

So you can see we have much to be thankful for. I personally want you to know that we believe in the philosophy of Seekerville.

"Our focus on Him as we write toward the dream,
We shall leave no woman behind."-2005

This isn’t just a publicity gig. It’s real to us. We care about each other and we care about you.

Why? Because we know what it’s like to go it alone. We know what it’s like to have no one get you, to have people look at you like you’re fooling yourself by thinking you’re going to sell. So you can trust that we aren't going to leave you behind on the island.

We care about our readers as well. We have been blessed over and over again by the wonderful, smart, caring and sassy readers we have met in Seekerville. Whatever we give away each day is returned to us double because of what you give us.

Lastly, a big thank you to all of the writers, and editors and agents, and other industry professionals who have been our guests these last years and who have given of their time, and their wisdom because they too really care.


"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks!" Anonymous


Wherever you are when you’re reading this I’d like you to look up and smile. Really big. Because we love you, and so does He. Doesn’t a smile just feel good?




Since we're giving away birthday presents every day this month I have a few to share. Please tell me about someone you are thankful for in your life and/or your writing journey. I will send four of those special folks a copy of my October Love Inspired release, Oklahoma Reunion.

My other present is that once again I am going to share my ‘used to be secret’ coconut cake recipe from the island.




Tina's Coconut Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large tub Cool Whip or 2 small
Shredded coconut (fresh and moist)
1 can or bottle cream of coconut

Bake yellow cake in a rectangular pan according to directions. Immediately after removing from oven poke holes over the top with a fork. You should have more holes than not on the cake. Pouring slowly over the cake while HOT, alternate the sweetened condensed milk and Coca Cosa

Let stand for thirty minutes and then refrigerate overnight. Do not attempt to eat this cake until it has set for 24 hours.

Before serving top with generous mounds of Cool Whip and decadent amounts of shredded coconut.

Must refrigerate leftovers.

Have a wonderful Saturday and one last time....


Thank you!

93 comments :

  1. Thank YOU ladies for sharing of your journey with us, it's been so much fun for me. Seekerville was one of the very first blogs I discovered when I decided to start my own blog over 2 years ago. I can't wait to see what's in store.

    I myself am thankful for my blogging friends. They are such encouragers. There have been times when I've wondered if it was worth it and if anyone read what I had to say and then one of my blog friends would stop by and leave a comment just like they somehow knew I needed it! So thank you to my blogging friends!!

    XOXOXO~ Renee C.

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  2. Thank you, Tina and all the Seekers, for befriending us (the friends who are becoming legion).

    Encouragement is hard to find when you're laboring alone. You guys are truly encouragers.

    Have a cup of coffee from this huge pot and give yourselves a pat on the back.

    God's richest blessings on you.

    Helen

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  3. Thanks for sharing a bit of your hearts with those of us following behind you! So fun to read how you all came together and have encouraged each other over the years. So beautiful to see you being the hands and feet of Jesus for each other. :)

    When my story "came to me" a year ago, I shared it with a friend, thinking I might be ready to write it in a few years, when the kids are older. Her enthusiasm and encouragement, prompted me to ask my DH about pursuing it, oh, now. He agreed, let me attend a few writing retreats to begin learning the craft, and he's been my encourager. Oh, and that friend, is my critique partner and cheer leader. Her words prompt me to keep pushing on when I think I can't go one more step.

    I love reading and learning from all of you, also. So, thank you!
    Please don't enter me in the drawing. I already have a copy.

    Thank you ladies!

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  4. Oh, and in honor of coconut, I'm leaving some flourless chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and coconut sprinkled on top.

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  5. That cake sounds like torture! A coconut cake in my refrigerator that I can't eat for 24 hours?!?!?!

    I'll have to make do with the tapioca pudding I have, I'd offer to share--it tastes good, but it got a little over done and the look and texture of it might make you wonder what I'm trying to feed you.

    I'm most thankful in this writing journey for my husband, who thinks I'm something. (But don't enter him into the drawing, he doesn't exactly read, let alone romances.) But he sure thinks my books are the bomb--even though he only gets to hear the rough drafts when I read anything to him. And he happily helps me stage fight scenes and action scenes. (Good thing I married a fighter/army/maritial arts/ex-bouncer/etc. man)

    I'll tell him I want so and so to incapacitate this kind of person with X Y and Z obstacles and he'll brainstorm and then physically lead me through a demo, etc. Some one watching through our windows might get concerned when we're throwing punches or forcing each other to the floor in wrist locks. :) My fight scenes would be so dorky without him!

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  6. Im thankful for my many new blogger and author friends as well as other online friends. I mentioned my friend Sheri before and I am thankful for her. We may not have met but she has been there for me through many hard times.

    I am also very thankful for Cheryl Wyatt she made Christmas for me last year and she likes cricket.

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  7. I love that he helps you stage fight scenes, Melissa. That is so cool!!!

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  8. I'm thankful for my mom. Even recovering from surgery, she proofreads my blog posts and tells me to "hurry up writing that book" 'cause she wants to see what happens next. Her encouragement is one of the things that keep me writing.

    A HUGE thank you to the Seekers for all they do for us who are typing away on Unpubbed Island. Thank you for giving of yourselves to be used for God's glory. :)

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  9. You are most welcome, Miss Radcliffe. I know you here at Seekerville would probably had been adrift without me in your lives.

    HAHAHA

    No really.

    Actually I think you all for putting up with me and allowing me to hang around your site all these years later.

    Vickie McDonough read my books and invited me to my first critique group. The fact that she took the time back in 2002 was a big factor in my moving ahead in my stories as far as editing and such.

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  10. Ah, that brought tears to my eyes when you said you 'know what it's like to have people look at you like you're deluding yourself'. Yup. I get those looks. The ones that say, 'Why don't you just concentrate on the living room? Why not just do some laundry or bake something tasty? Then you'll get over that silly dream.' (Oh, that's not my husband, by the way, thank GOODNESS! He just smiles and nods as I type away. )

    Seekerville has been my sanity saver. I've noticed that when I sit down to write after a long, hard day, I'm just drained. Spent. nothing left. I've learned to go to Seekerville FIRST. Soak up the positive vibes, the verses, the Ruthy-Tina-Mary banter. Then I'm ready!
    Thanks Seekerville, for sharing the journey, and the faith.

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  11. Melissa, I have a non-reading spouse, too! Aren't they the strangest people?? Who can live without books?? :D I even got him Harry Potter (#1) in Spanish just so he could see why it was so popular. Nada, zip. He thought it was'sort of interesting'. Ha!

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  12. Sorry to over-post but I just read the rest of Melissa's comment. HAHAHAHAHA! I could totally see people calling the cops on you guys! Hilarious!

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  13. thanks for sharing the history of the seekers...what a divine plan :)

    i'm thankful for the blogging community...what a great bunch of people.

    thanks for the recipe...sounds delicious.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  14. Ah, Tina...

    I got teary-eyed. I have loved this journey and this group from the beginning. This is a tough business, a go-it-alone quest so coming together and working together and then sharing our growing pool of knowledge with others was the BEST IDEA EVER.

    God's sharing became our inspiration.

    I love it.

    You know how grateful I am for the Seekers... I sing that song often.

    For inspiration? My children. Their belief in me, in my dream, my quest, my work was what kept me going in the dark of night, in the cold, snowy mornings, in the heat of a summer's day in the attic, through the days of the old Brother Word Processor, then the old, used computer, the extra hours working with so many in college to buy a new computer...

    They believed. And their belief became mine. I joke about thanking them in books but the truth is, I can never thank them enough.

    Although they will INSIST that I try, LOL!

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  15. Natalie, I'm loving your mother from afar. Moms like that ROCK!

    And Melissa, that's a hoot. Although we might have to enter him anyway... Just so you can give the book to some sweet soul. Amazing how God works!

    Tina Pinson needs a smack... There is no 'putting up with' here, Sweetums. Think Lion King... The Circle of Love...

    (great now the song is running rampant through my brain!!!!)

    I also have a non-reading spouse... He says I have enough imagination for both of us... But he does read the amounts on the checks, LOL! However, for years he also saw the constant declining balances... contest fees... paper.... ink... computer software...

    But if I'd gone back to school it would have cost a WHOLE LOT MORE and for what? To learn to write my way in the end.

    Bless all spouses, even the non-readers!

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  16. Wow it has been a journey hasn't it? Who would have thought or dreamed we'd come to this point and in such a short time.

    My special blessing is all of you here in Seekerville. For so many years I wrote alone and now I have such joy in hearing about all of your trials and joys.

    Its fun to have a celebration party together.

    Its fun meeting so many of you and making so many new friends.

    I do have to thank my mother too. She was the one who believed in me from the start and encouraged me.

    Hugs to all of you.

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  17. This is really great. Seekerville is a wonderful source of many things (wisdom, inspiration, opportunity, fun), but none more than the “there for you” factor. I know I’ve gotten a lot of odd looks in my life already when people ask me what I’m going to school for (Graphic Design), but then say I really want to be a writer. FYI, if I leave the graphic design part out and say I want to be a writer, I still get weird looks. Lol.

    I am thankful for so many people!! To limit it down to writing buddies, my mom is number one. She’s encouraged me for years, and as a fellow writer, we bounce ideas off each other, and are able to say, “Why isn’t this working?” She is so much to me, far above the simple word “mom.”

    I’ve also been involved in a couple writing message boards, and blogs, and the people I’ve met in them, some just for a season, offer something. Even if it’s just that camaraderie of likeness that is so hard to find in everyday life as many eyebrows are raised because they JUST DON’T GET IT.
    Seekerville surpasses all of the other boards and blogs, and I love the fun and interest and friendship here, and I’ve also found a really great critique partner, even though we don’t always get to collaborate as much as I would like because of schedules.

    Thank you, Seekerville!

    And, thank you, Tina, for the recipe! Yum!

    Whitney

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  18. This is the day that the Lord has made. I shall rejoice and be glad in it.

    The sun is rising over the rockies and the sky is tinged with lovely streaks of pink.

    "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning," Annie Sullivan-The Rancher's Reunion.

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  19. Beautiful reminder, Tina.

    To quote a classic, Veggietales
    "A thankful heart is a happy heart." Can't you just hear Junior Aspargus singing it right now? ;-)

    I'm thankful for you ladies. You are inspirational, funny, and filled with great insight (snicker...sorry, I couldn't stay serious)

    Love ya bunches - and Tina... I can't wait to meet you in person one day!!

    Off to view some Blue Ridge Autumn leaves

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  20. My kids, music, other people's writing, the imagery in the Word of God...those are inspirational to me.
    And people.
    Oh- just about anybody can spark a story in my head, so I guess you'd better watch out ;-)

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  21. I think the one that really kicked off the Seekers was the 2005 Faith, Hope and Love Touched by Love contest. That's the one I remember having almost all the group that became the Seekers.

    But I can't remember for sure.
    Anyone else remember? We were all finalists (or almost all) in some contest and they formed a yahoo group eloop to give us updates about the contest and it was just crazy fun. I'd been on groups like that before but it had never become more they just an update loop, but we were just cracking ourselves up with all our amazing WIT. And when the contest was over, we didn't want it to end.

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  22. Seekerville Ladies, THANK YOU for welcoming us all into your community, for generously sharing precious writing time to write blogs with helpful tips and inspriation and humor to brighten our darkest days during writing or life's disappointments.

    I am so blessed to get to spend today with Seekervilles own Mary Connealy and Seekerville friends, Lorna Seilstad and Erica Vetsch.

    I grew up in a small western Iowa town of 250 people BUT a real life Silhouette (Harlequin)romance writer lived there too, Marcene Smith. One of her sons and I went to school together and when I was in high school writing short stories for the school paper, she told my mother...you're daughter is a writer. She continued to tell my mother that through my 20's so I decided when I turned 30 if Marcene believed in me all those years, I should try it. And I did and she rejoiced with me when I sold short stories for children to Christian magazines. But God needed her in Heaven before I published my first romance novel.
    However, her son, bought my book and he posted a message on Facebook that made my day: My Mom would be so proud of you!

    Thank you Seekerville...YOU are that same encouraging person to writer's here that Marcene was to me!!!!

    Happy Happy Birthday.

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  23. I'm thankful for all of you in Seekerville. You, Tina, are the person responsible for pulling me out of my writer cave after two years of isolation and introducing me to the wonderful world of cyberspace where I've met so many talented, generous, fun writers who are now my friends.

    I'd like to give a special shout out to Anne Barton, my long-time critique partner, who has walked this journey with me since July 2008 when we met in person at Nationals in San Fransisco. She's not only my CP, she's a treasured friend.

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  24. Say hi to Mary and Erica for all of us!! Bring back pictures and I'll post them on our new web page in the photo gallery.

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  25. Yum! That coconut cake sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    Tina said: until this year, when the very last Seeker climbed onto her life raft and sailed away.

    I actually teared up when I read this.

    Is that pathetic or what?

    Sniff! Sniff!

    I'm thankful to ALL my Seeker Sisters, Friends of Seekerville, and my bestest bud, Robin Caroll, my agent, Steve Laube, Jan Stob and the gang at Tyndale, ACFW & RWA.

    Wow, that list could go on FOREVER!

    So, just THANKS to everybody!

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  26. Tina, my heart is overflowing with gratitude reading your post. You brought tears to my eyes - literally with this -


    "This isn’t just a publicity gig. It’s real to us. We care about each other and we care about you.

    Why? Because we know what it’s like to go it alone. We know what it’s like to have no one get you, to have people look at you like you’re fooling yourself by thinking you’re going to sell. So you can trust that we aren't going to leave you behind on the island."

    It would be really easy to be envious of the bond you all share - except then you go and say something like that which just shows how wonderfully welcoming and caring you all are. Who could be envious around people like you?

    There are so many people in my life I'm grateful to but today I want to say THANK YOU to all of the Seekers. You've welcomed us into your group and made us all a family on the island. No wonder it takes a month of celebration to move to the new digs!

    Above all, I'm thankful to the Lord each day for giving me this need to write and guiding me to find like-minded companions for the journey.

    No mountains here, Tina, but the sun is shining and the wind is blowing wild. And thank you for the recipe. As I've said multiple times at the Yankee-Belle, I love anything coconut.

    Off to take the dog for a walk.

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  27. Pepper, sad to say, I have no cue what a singing asparagus sounds like. Woe is me. My kids grew up before Veggie Tales.

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  28. That cake sure did look good. Thanks for the recipe!

    I'm so thankful for Seekerville. It has introduced me to so many people. And I've gotten to know the authors as well.

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  29. I feel like I've been down Memory Lane! Thank you, Tina, for taking us along that walk. :)

    Hope you all have a great weekend! My inlaws are here, so I'm signing off the computer. See ya later!

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  30. That coconut cake has brought many a writer to their knees.

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  31. This was one of the first blogs I found and it has been incredibly helpful, funny and a blessing. :-) You guys rock!
    btw, I picked up your book and can't wait to read it!!

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  32. Aw, Teenster, this post brought tears to my eyes (oh, now there's a surprise) AND gave me goose bumps ... (of course it has plummeted to 48 degrees from our 80s high this last week, but still ...)! Seriously, what a heart-tugging trip down Memory Lane that truly swells my heart with gratitude and awe. God is SO amazing in how HE "leaves no woman (or man) behind"!!

    I am thankful for:

    --14 incredible women who changed my life.

    --amazing blogger/reviewers who have become dear friends like those already listed in the comments section today so far -- Renee, Jenny, Pepper, Keli and Jessica -- and the others that will appear throughout the day.

    --for Helen's generous spirit in making coffee for us everyday.

    --for Jeanne's husband for encouraging to go for it NOW!!

    --that Melissa has a man who encourages, reads her work and brainstorms with her.

    --that Natalie has a cheerleader for a mom. :)

    --that Tina hooked up with Vickie.

    --that Seekerville is a sanity shelter for Virginia.

    --Karen K's precious friendship and support.

    --that Whitney is blessed with a mom who is far above the simple word “mom.”

    --that Rose has to put up with Mary today (just a little Ruthy humor there, Mare ... you know I love you!).

    --that Mary C. gets it that she is part of "us."

    --that Seekerville has expanded Patsy's people horizons.

    But mostly I'm grateful for the 16th Seeker -- an AWESOME God who walks the road to publication and beyond with every single one of us.

    Hugs and Happy Weekend, all!

    Julie

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  33. Today I became a mom.

    Ten years ago.

    I've been a mom for double digits now.

    I think that officially makes me old.

    Er, well, she wasn't born until just after 9 at night but the labor was horrid so it counts already.

    We'll have birthday cake here in a few.

    People I'm thankful for? I'm hugely thankful for the Seekers!!!!!!!

    My 'other Mom'. Jan Christiansen pops her head in around her from time to time. She is amazing. Incredible awesome.

    Penny. My BFF [well, I have two - one is my sis, Jan's daughter but I don't get to talk to her nearly as much I'd like]. She's so incredibly supportive. She reads through my MSs at whatever stage I want [and again later!] and fixes my passive voice and tense issues I might have. I <3 her!

    DH is mostly supportive. He's more supportive when the house is clean. But without him I wouldn't get to road trip to Tulsa next weekend or spend 10 hours at Panera a Saturday or two a month most months.

    My MIL is also supportive in her own way. She's read more books in the last last 8-10mos than in the 18+ years I've known her because I've been handing books off to her and giving them to her as present. She asks questions and prays for me. She's not read anything yet but I've not offered because when I was first starting she wasn't reading. When I get a copy of Suburban Straightjacket back from Andrea Strong or the other good copy I've got out there, I'll offer.

    BTW - Afictionado is out. It was much easier to write the article on Julie and Ruth's class when I thought I had 600 words... /sigh/ Had to cut out a lot of the fun stuff...

    And now - off to get cake!!!

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  34. Jessica, you bought my book? Thank you!!

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  35. Thank YOU, Seekers. You're awesome. SO thankful for you guys, and for my husband who doesn't mind when I write, and my wonderful kids, and my Savior, and so, so much more.

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  36. Thankful? Where do I start?

    I hope all of you Seekers know how thankful I am for this blog. The first time God led me to it last January, I knew I had found a home.

    Here's the comment I left back in January 2011:

    "Boy oh boy....I'm a newbie here, and I'm wondering just what I've stumbled upon!

    ...but, you know, NCIS and Clint and chocolate, all in one place in one morning? I think I found my new favorite hang out!

    If I promise to share my hot chocolate (no marshmallows - we don't want to dilute the pleasure), may I leave a comment?"

    And since then I've gotten nothing but encouragement and spot-on advice and help every day of the week! Thank you!

    But I can't sign off without thanking a big encourager in my life - my Dad. When I told him I needed him to be my go-to guy for the details of the setting of my book, he jumped in with both feet. He's been the family story-teller, taking over from his mom, and now he's delighted to pass on the tradition to me.

    And my dear husband. My heart of hearts. I would be nothing without him.

    Thank you, Tina, for giving us this opportunity for thanksgiving!

    And Mary C - my children were too old for Veggie-tales too, but they didn't care. They still watch the new ones as they come out.

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  37. I'm thankful, first, for all of the Seekers! I've learned so much and have been encouraged so often by each of you and your posts - thank you seems inadequate.

    I'm also thankful for my sweet hubby, and my children.

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  38. I agree with Helen and Renee and probably many more when I say Thank you!

    Love the map :) it's the first time I've seen it!

    I am thankful for so many people and God has to hear about it everyday ;) wait until you read my dedication for Highland Hearts :) lol

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  39. Great post, and great recipe too!

    I'm thankful for all the wonderful support I receive from writing friends and published authors! You all are so awesome!

    I'm thankful for my critique partners! Where would I be without them J

    And lastly, I'm thankful for my very supportive family!

    Blessings!
    Amanda Barratt
    amandabarratt33@gmail.com

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  40. Oh that post was like being wrapped in a warm, warm hug!

    Thank YOU Seekerville!

    Having had the chance to meet many of you, I know firsthand how warm and encouraging and welcome you are in person, more so than even online.

    I think I told this to Janet, but I honestly don't think I would still be writing if it weren't for two very important things that came along at the right time:

    ACFW and Seekerville.

    I should have written that post for YOU, because it's honestly how I feel for each of you!

    THANK YOU!!!!

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  41. Like the others have said eloquently, "Thank YOU!"

    I'd like to share MY favorite cake recipe with YOU, compliments of Kraft, not only because it is yummy and easy to make, but because the icing is simple:

    Laney's Moist Caramel Apple Cake


    1 pkg (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
    1 pkg (4-serving size) Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
    1 cup water
    4 eggs
    ⅓ cup vegetable oil
    3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, coarsely chopped
    20 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
    ¼ cup milk

    Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, eggs, and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed 2 minutes. Gently stir in apples.

    Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup fluted bundt pan (ensuring that the middle “hole” is also sprayed and floured) or a 10” tube pan. Bake in 350oF (180oC) preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.

    Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

    Microwave caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl on High for up to 2½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until blended. Cool 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Drizzle over cake.

    * Place caramels in freezer for 5 minutes before unwrapping, as the plastic will peel off in a cinch!
    * Serve topped with thawed Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream as a treat.
    * Kraft customers have said to use butter pecan cake mix and butterscotch pudding, as “to die for”.
    * Per serving (1/16th cake): 275 calories, 10.5 g total fat, 342 mg sodium, 42.7 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fibre, 3.6 g protein, 2%RDI Vitamin A, 2%RDI Vitamin C, 6%RDI calcium, 5%RDI iron.
    * Takes 2.5 hours start to finish.

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  42. (((Hugs))) Tina! :D Glad to be a friend of Seekerville! You all are an inspiration and I love each of you. :D Please include me in the drawing. I think I have more Tina books than anybody else. I'd love to add this one to my collection!

    Visited the coffee/tea/bagel shop this morning. The Hazelnut coffee this morning was amazing! :D

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  43. Aw, this is such a cool article.

    Rose...what a wonderful friend. Loved your story.

    The most encourging person in my life (and writing life) is my husband. Any and everything I've ever wanted to do to further my writing he has cheered me on.

    The sweetest thing was a couple years ago I wanted to get away by myself to write. I drove to Beaver's Bend in Oklahoma and rented a cabin. I wrote on my story and took breaks by hiking in the park. He was behind me all the way.

    I was a little nervous staying by myself in the woods, though. Even though the cabin had a bedroom, I slept on the couch with the tv on because it was too spooky to sleep in the back of the house. I didn't have a gun, but I brought along my stun gun. Never got to use it!

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  44. Can't wait to try these recipes!

    Like to have something new to bring to Church lunches.

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  45. What lovely stories!!


    Linette thank you.


    Laney, that cake recipe of yours should be illegal. YUMMMMM!!!

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  46. One person I'm thankful for? That person is far and beyond my husband. He believes in me more than anyone ever has, which has increased my belief in myself. And, because he's not one of those people who says "I hope it happens for you" with sympathetic eyes (I hate that), I feel comfortable talking about my writing ALL the time. He never tires of hearing me talk about writing either (at least he says he doesn't). So thankful for this man in my life!

    I'm thankful for Seekerville, too. What a mound of information and inspiration.

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  47. Thanks, Tina, for this post...I learned a lot about Seekers!!
    I am not a writer, but will share:
    (cause I STILL don't have your book!)
    my inspiration person is a dear friend (wife of former pastor of mine; he is deceased) that I hear from via E at just the right time. She is so optimistic and encouraging! We don't live close by now, but keep in touch. She loves to read, as I do, and just got a Kindle...so I send her info on freebies and she loves that! I have known her many years and cherish her friendship!
    Thanks!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  48. I'm thankful for my husband, that he took the 'bull by the horns' and began leading us as a family in the Lord. No telling where us or our kids might have ended up if he hadn't done that.

    Before that time we had struggled to get settled and moving forward but when we know we have someone walking along side for support, the road is easier to travel. As you said, "we know what it’s like to go it alone".

    A big THANK YOU goes to all you Seekers too because even though some of us readers (well, probably many of us) think we are reaching out to support you, you are right there beside us as well, though you are busy.

    Great article, Tina!
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

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  49. I'm most grateful at the moment for my friend C.S. Lakin, multi-published author and primo freelance editor. After a recent major setback in my trek toward publishing, she is generously applying her considerable skills to my manuscript and fanning hope and life back into me.

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

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  50. Seekerville is one of the first blogs I found on the net. I come back every day looking forward to what is next.
    Thanks so much Tina and all the Seekers who are so generous and encouraging.

    Jan K.

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  51. WOW!

    My printer arrived!! I'm sooo excited!!!

    But... where are the people to install it? I mean, I thought... You can't possibly expect ME to figure out this set-up! I thought it came with a temporary, blow-up tech geek to run the programs and sync it with my computer.

    Ah, me.


    Seriously, the instructions are about one page and I'm setting it up IMMEDIATELY!

    THANK YOU!! A little heart fileld with lots of gratitude, right back at ya.

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  52. I posted last night and then went to bed (early for me). Then I felt bad because I hadn't shared how thankful I am for the supportiveness of my husband and kids.

    On the way home from St. Louis I commented that I might not go to Dallas next year. Ken matter-of-factly said, "You I should go ahead and start your savings fund anyhow--just in case."

    Helen

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  53. Hey, Tina! Love you guys. Such unselfish, unspoiled authors. :-) I'm so glad you 15 friends found each other! God bless you!

    And I am thankful for each of you. I'm thankful for my daughter, too, because after she told me my newest book starts slow, she devoured the rest of the book in one day and told me she loved it just as much as my first book. (Thank goodness!!!)

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  54. Oh, Teeeeena!!! What a wonderful tribute!

    I am not exaggerating when I say that the Seekers are the VERY, VERY BEST thing that ever happened in my writing life!!!

    Sure, there have been many other high points, but no honor, award, or achievement can ever top this sisterhood of friends. I honestly don't think I could keep going in this crazy business without you!

    And it's such fun to stop in at Seekerville each day and get to know our wonderful visitors. Many of you have been around since the early days of this blog, and you've become dear friends. How fun to look back and see how many of you are now published or soon to be!

    For those of you still dreaming of sailing away from Unpubbed Island, Tina is right--you are not alone! Thank you for letting us be a part of your writing journey!

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  55. Oh, and Jan was talking about chocolate?

    Well...did anyone else see on the news this morning that climate change may ultimately make coffee and chocolate extinct????

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  56. Tina,

    Thanks for this lovely post! Like Keli, you pulled me out of my lonely writer existence into the scary cyber-world! (I didn't really know what a blog was when you asked to interview me about the 2008 Golden Heart! LOL). And I didn't realize you guys were so new! I thought you were seasoned writers with decades of knowledge and experience. Well, at least you guys came across that way!

    Seriously, thank you for all the time and effort you put into this great site!! For all the support, encouragement and knowledge you pass along. You have no idea how many lives you touch!

    Gratefully,

    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  57. Yay, Melanie. kiddos are honest : 0 soooo glad she loved your book.

    The apple cake sounds great

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  58. Thank you all for your advice, information, encouragement, support and prayers over the years.

    Looking forward to visiting with you in your new Seekervillage!

    God bless you every one.

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  59. MYRA!! Fingers in ears. lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

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  60. I can't say thank you enough for all Seekerville had meant to me. The posts have often encouraged, brought tears and smiles. And a lot of laughter outbursts which often made my family think I'm real close to losing my mind.

    So, thank you!

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  61. Getting on later again today because I've been at a Bridal Luncheon for my daughter Amy---such a special time! ~ WONDERFUL post, Tina...and I can only echo what many others have already stated. You Seeker ladies are awesome and amazing, and the ones I've met in person have been such sweethearts! ~ I was just thinking about your coconut cake recipe the other day (thinking I should've copied it back when you posted it before, LOL). So a HUGE thank you for posting it again---YUM!! ~ Soooo many folks have offered encouragement and support in my writing journey--many of YOU, of course, along with my very best friends from high school, my pastor's wife, etc. ~ But I must say my 2 precious sisters, Janet and Nancy, have been so wonderful and positive about my writing. Such blessings in my life. ~ Am loving OKLAHOMA REUNION, Tina (even mentioned it on my little blog *smile*). ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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  62. Myra I could handle no coffee as I dont drink it or like it but chocolate that would be a major issue although not as bad as it use to be.
    Although I think there would be alot of unhappy people in the world.

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  63. Tina, I feel very nostalgic! For everyone else, her coconut cake is wonderful! I've made it a couple of times, and it's one of my very favorite cakes.

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  64. Thank you for sharing your all with us! I am enjoying learning so much about you all. Would love to win one of those books. I think you all are some of the best authors around!

    jumpforjoy@gmail.com

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  65. Can't wait to try this recipe!! My daughter loves coconut and I think she would love this : ). I loved reading about how you ladies started out, prayed for each other and encouraged each other. That's what it's all about. With that kind of relationship you can all truly rejoice in each others' success. I have so many people who have encouraged me in life and in my efforts to write. The Seekers and friends have been especially kind and it has built me up considerably. I must take this opportunity, though, to thank Melanie Dickerson! We've never met, but I sent an email after I read "The Healer's Apprentice" to the email address at the back of the book. A short while later I got an email back from Melanie herself! I was shocked that the author would actually write me back : ). Since then she has given me advice, mini-lessons on writing, answered my many questions, and the list goes on. I would never have made it this far without her help!! Thank you, Melanie! You are so smart and talented. I can't wait to read your next book!
    I've got Oklahoma Reunion (it's fabulous!), but I wanted to send out a comment! I'm thankful for you, too, Tina! ; ) God bless~Stacey

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  66. Julie, you're so awesome!

    Lots of hugs and kisses for all my author friends today!!

    XOXOXOXOXO

    Renee C.

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  67. I am very grateful for you, Stacey.

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  68. Awe, Patti Jo! Thank you and congrats to Amy!

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  69. Thank you Tina and Seekerville. Every time I come here I get smarter :) I've learned so much about everything to do with improving writing. And ya'll make it fun.

    Two people I am thankful for in my writing journey are my mom and one of my older sisters. They are both in heaven but the two of them more than anyone else in my life believed that I have a gift of writing. They always encouraged me to write and I plan to dedicate my first book to them.

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  70. Awe Jamie, that touched my heart. I can't wait for you to sell so I can see that dedication.

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  71. Home from my road trip with Lorna, Rose and Erica.
    Unbelievable fun.
    We may do it again in the spring. All four of us have a book releasing then (or then-ish)

    We just talked our heads off. The bookstore owner said he thought we were throwing a wild party, all the talking and laughing.....I think he meant that in a good way!!!

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  72. Happy Birthday to the Seekers! Although I'm not new to Seekerville (I've been following the Seekers for close to two years), I am new to the comment scene. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your wit and wisdom in your posts as well as your comments. And for giving me a place to come where I have something in common with you...reading. And a special thanks to one Julie Lessman for encouraging me to get involved. And Tina, you don't have to enter me. I just bought your book, too. :) Have a wonderful weekend everybody.

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  73. Ooops! LOL! Sorry, forgot to post my name on that last post. My name is Angi.

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  74. I am thankful for my mom, my, sister, basically my whole family!

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  75. Hi, Seekers. It's been a long day, but I wanted to stop in and say hi. Enjoyed the post.

    The two people who have most encouraged me have been my mother and my husband. Without them I may have given in to discouragement.

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  76. Well Angi!!!! You rock..and welcome out of lurkdom to the dark side. LOL.

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  77. Thank you, Seeker ladies! You've made this a must stop, must join in, must enjoy place on my daily to-do list.

    All the work that goes into running a community like this just blows my mind. And the friendships shared by you lovely ladies is a wonderful testimony to believers everywhere!

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  78. Arriving late, but so glad I didn't miss this post. And the reminder that you won the Maggie in 2005, Tina. I didn't remember that Glynna was also a finalist. :)

    Just a FYI, many of the Seekers finaled in the Touched by Love contest in 2005. Okay, I won! But still, at the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter's meeting that year is where I met Janet and Julie and Myra and maybe Tina. Of course, the other gals were Golden Heart finalists, which is probably why Tina forgot about the TBL.

    It's been a great six years! I can't imagine writing without my Seeker family...and that includes all of you who stop by the blog. We're all in this together and being together makes it all worthwhile.

    Love you!

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  79. I didn't enter in 2005, because I won in 2004. This is another example of how we kept getting in each other's way.

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  80. HA - this is a wonderful post Tina. Thank you.

    We all have so much for which to be thankful. Seekerville continues to be a blessing in my life, daily... Thank each of YOU for enriching the lives of so many, and mostly for answering God's call. I love you man...

    And wow - 4 recipients - LOVED your latest... Just loved it. :)

    From the acknowledgments page in my debut, you can see I tried thank a lot of folks. After 28 dog years, there's so many!

    Like many of us here, I'm most thankful for my DH. He is PAWMAZING as May would say, and much of the quirky humor is his ("stink operation" is one).

    But yeah - not romance, though he DOES like romantic movies, go figure! :)

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  81. I'd been stalking blogs, including Seekerville, for months before I finally began my own near the end of June 2008. I can't tell you how much information and encouragement I've gleaned from the regular posts here, month after month. I don't often comment, but I thank every one of you for all you share!

    My personal mentor has been a retired dog show professional who began working with me in the early 1990s in my home-based business. Because she drove quite a distance to get here, before starting work we would begin each day with coffee and ever-lengthening chats about our writing goals. She had published articles, training manuals and newsletters, but dreamed of one day publishing a romance, although she hadn't managed to quite finish writing it. She encouraged my writing attempts, lent me her craft books, critiqued my contest entries and read manuscripts for years, even when her husband's Alzheimer's disease consumed most of her time and energy, and she could no longer make the trip here.

    I thought perhaps now that he's gone she would delve into her own writing again. She did set up her "Elderfox" blog, but has been immobilized by depression, and I think despairs of ever seeing her publication dreams become reality. And yet she is *still* my biggest encourager! She has become far more than a mentor... she's a dear friend. We should all have the blessing of such a mentor!

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  82. Tina~

    Beautiful. That's all. I'm very thankful for Seekerville. I've been a friend for a year, but in that year I've learned so much.

    My mom and sister are amazing. They think I can do anything. And they can't wait for me to finish writing this book so they can show it off for me.

    Another person I'm very thankful for is a lady named Linda at my church. She's willing to stand and listen to every little development in my story. She pretends to be as excited about it as I am, which makes her tops in my eyes.

    I cannot forget my amazing friend Melissa Jagears, whose favorite line is, "Sit down and write!" Someday I'll take that advice.

    I'm sure I'm too late for the drawing, but I wanted to get my shout out anyhow.

    Besides, I've already won this book, and I can share it.

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  83. I would have to say thank you to my mom for giving me a love of reading which has been a treasure my whole life! Thanks, mom! Thanks, Dad for being a great support to me my whole life too - you have always been there when I needed you - and even when I didn't! I also have the greatest spouse in the world! He puts up with all my many health issues and never complains! Lastly, thanks to the many writers of Seekerville who also help me through those many health issues because for all those moments that I am reading, I can get through the tremendous pain I live through and enjoy the people & places and adventures you take me to! Thanks ever so much!

    Tina, I want to go to Oklahoma!

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

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  84. That coconut cake recipe sounds "delish"! My little sister would love that ... =)

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  85. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for sharing your coconut cake recipe. (This site is dangerous.)

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  86. Valri, that would be a long way for pizza for you. LOL.

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  87. Hello, Ladies of Seekerville!
    As I celebrate my 35th (help) Birthday this Saturday with three young boys and a baby on the way, I am reminded how precious milestones are.
    I want to thank Mary Connealy and Erika Vetsch for encouraging me (last week in Rochester,Mn.)to write and come check out the daily Party here at Seekerville. Though I am just a lowly (unpublished) Children's Book Author, I can't seem to get enough Adult Christian Romance which my sisters and best friend pass around (and are getting more friends hooked:).
    I have visited this site a few times this past week but did not realize it is Seekerville's Birthday. What an amazing accomplishment that all the original members have now been published. Now I understand what the MOVE was about.
    I want to thank you for your time and energy spent encouraging other authors like myself to not give up.
    Thanks again, and may God richly bless all of you.

    Teresa C-Scripture

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  88. Welcome, Teresa and happy Birthday!!!

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  89. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TERESA!!!
    It was so fun meeting you and visiting with you in Rochester MN. I find the nicest people in the world in Christian bookstores. Working there and shopping there.

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  90. Happy birthday, Teresa!

    I'm thankful for my mom who has always encouraged me in everything I've ever tried to do, and I'm thankful for the online writing community, including the Seekers, from which I've gained a number of friends and encouragers.

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