Saturday, February 18, 2012

Seekerville Weekend Edition

Pull up a stool and grab a cuppa while you enjoy
the Weekend Edition.

We Have Winners

  As always, contact Seekerville through our new web email if you are a winner and if needed, provide your snail mail address. Please note our giveaway rules here. All prizes are mailed within 6-8 weeks of winner announcements. But if we missed something, just let us know!

Our seven Godiva chocolate winners are:

Valerie (Valerie's Universe)

Diane Chase

Jamie Adams

Jan Drexler 

Jeanne T

 Virginia M


 Friday, February 10th  we welcomed back Harlequin American author Barbara White Daille who shared "How Do You Like Your Heroes?" To celebrate her new release, A Rodeo Man's Daughter, Barbara is giving away an autographed copy of A Rancher's Pride, the first book set in Flagman's Folly, New Mexico. The winner is Tina Pinson.

 Monday, Love Inspired author Tina Radcliffe brought you "Somewhere Over the Rainbow and other Myths." The winner of Janet Dean's An Inconvenient Match is Kara.  And the winner of a 15 page critique is Debra Marvin.

Tuesday Barbour and Abingdon Press author Myra Johnson blogged on "Life is a Special Occasion." Winner of a $10 Hallmark gift card is Eva Maria Hamilton.  Winner of A Lasting Impression, by Tamera Alexander, and The Messenger, by Siri Mitchell is Keli Gwyn.

Love Inspired Suspense author Debby Giusti shared about "Hosting a Readers' Luncheons" on Wednesday. Winner of  one of her books, reader's choice is Connie Queen.

We were delighted to welcome Special Edition author Lynne Marshall to Seekerville on Thursday with her post, Not Quite There POV. Seekerville is giving away an IOU for Lynne's upcoming release, Courting His Favorite Nurse which releases in March in Lynn's honor and the winner is Cathy Shouse.  Lynne is giving away a copy of Candace Calvert's Disaster Status - an inspirational medical romance from Tyndale-and the winner is Cindy W.

 Friday we welcomed special guest Laurie Schnebly Campbell back to Seekerville! Laurie posted on "Mastering Motivation." Winner of a free registration for her Plotting Via Motivation class coming up next month at  is Jan Drexler.

Next Week In Seekerville

Monday: Pam Hillman is your host on Monday with guest blogger Robin Caroll, whose latest novel from B&H, Injustice for All, released January 1, 2012. Pam says, "I've asked Robin to share some tips on prepping for a writing marathon. I've seen her go dark and resurface a few weeks later with a 90K book. It's an amazing thing to watch!" And we'll be giving away a copy of Injustice for All,  print or ebook, winner's choice.

Tuesday:Seekerville welcomes special guest, New York Times bestselling author Beverly Lewis! She'll be blogging about "Rejection--Who Needs It?" We'll be giving away a copy of Beverly's most recent release from Bethany House Publishers, The Mercy, Book #3 in The Rose Trilogy.

Wednesday: Today Love Inspired author Glynna Kaye will be kicking off our special March event with "On Your Mark, Get Set...for Seekerville Speedbo!" She'll also be doing a giveaway of a copy of her March release, High Country Hearts, the fourth story set in the mountain country of Canyon Springs, Arizona.

Thursday: Thomas Nelson author Cara Lynn James will be your hostess today, giving away a copy of Novelist's Boot Camp: 101 Ways to Take Your Book from Boring to Bestseller by Todd A. Stone. Be sure to stop by and chat~!~

Friday: We're thrilled to have two-time Christy Award winner, Moody Publishers author Cathy Gohlke with us today, posting on "The Road Less Traveled to Publication." She will give away a copy of her new book, Promise Me This, to one lucky commenter!


Seeker Sightings

February 13 through 18 three chances to win one of Julie Lessman's books ... February 13, 15 & 18 chances to win books by Julie Klassen, Laura Frantz, Kelly Long and Susan Craft, all week long at the Overcoming Through Time Blog Valentine's Week Celebration.

February 21 - March 3, 2012 Blogaversary Celebration with author giveaways all week long from February 21-25!!! READ AN EXCERPT from A Love Surrendered and win your choice of any of Julie's other books INCLUDING A Love Surrendered on Julie's special guest day of Saturday, February 25th. Check it out here at Hardcover Feedback blog. NOTE: Julie's giveaway is scheduled for February 25-March 2 ONLY)

Myra Johnson is the guest chef in the Yankee-Belle Cafe today!

Random News & Information

Ten Myths About Editors (Romance University) 


  1. Congrats to all winners!!! Enjoy.

    Thanks for another great WE and peeks into the next week.


  2. Another fun and educational week in Seekerville! Really learned a lot this week. Thanks for featuring great 'speakers' on diverse topics. I appreciate your constant encouragement.

    Thanks Seekers! And Congrats to the winners.

  3. I'm so excited that I won both chocolate AND registration to Laurie's class! Thank you so much!

    Tina, is it too late for you to draw another name for the Godiva chocolate? The "Drackler" winner is me, too (mistakenly signed in with my son's account).

    It's been a great week, and next week looks fantastic, too.

    Looking forward to browsing through the links...

  4. Thanks so much and congrats everyone. Like the pics Madam Radcliffe. Nice Job.

    Tina P.

  5. On Friday I always think I'm going to 'just pop in'... And I forget it the WE and there are LINKS! Okay, giving myself another 10 minutes before I start working...

    Happy Friday, everybody!

    And next week looks awesome... as usual!

  6. OOH, thanks for the heads up on the Drackler. LOL.

  7. Thanks, Seekers! I look forward to getting chocolates in the mail!

  8. Congrats to the winners...Next week looks like a great line up. I can't wait!

  9. Congratulations to all the winners. This critique is an answer to prayer!
    An excellent week. You"guys" are goooood!

  10. Congratulations winners!

    Good thing I bought chocolate yesterday!

    Coffee and chocolate. Since they are made from beans, they are vegetables, right?

  11. What a wonderful line up for next week!

    Congratulations to all the winners.

    I can't believe where the month of February went but it's almost time for the Seekerville book in a month! Yikes! I'm not prepared!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  12. Next week looks GGRREAATTT! WOW. Thanks for the fabulous WE :D

  13. Congratulations to all the winners! I'm so excited about the chocolate. The kids can have their coco puffs back lol

    Next week looks like another good one. Thanks for the WE Seekerville rocks!

  14. LOVED the ten myths about editors!!! Really opens your eyes to the other side, you know??

    Thanks, Teenster for another wonderful WE!


  15. Great lineup in Seekerville next week! Thanks, Tina, for the fun pictures and heads up.

    Congratulations to all our winners!


  16. Oh, what a great week! Holy Moly, it was like college course creative writing road to publication 211 here!

    LOVE IT!!!!

    Congrats to all winners, and hey, that link Teeeeena posted about middle grade writing (Pub Rants with Kristin) is really interesting.

    Writing for kids isn't for wimps.

    I'm just putting that out there, LOL!

    Hey, Jan, I think "The Drackler" could be a GREAT name for a fun middle grade novel.

    Really. Truly.

    And it would honor your cute son, right?

  17. I won a book from Debbie.
    I can't wait to read it.

    It's been a great week in my writing world and I'm looking forward to next month w/Seekersville book-in-a-month.

  18. What a star-studded week coming up! One not to be missed. :D

  19. I was reading the post today and gasped--a joyful gasp--causing my hubby to ask why. Had to explain to him. The dear man doesn't understand how exciting it is to find out that I won books by Tamara and Siri, two of the top names in inspy historical romance (along with some incredibly talented Seekers). Don't worry, though. I educated him. =)

    Thanks so much!

  20. I'm a winner this week! Yay! Thanks Myra! And congratulations to all the other winners! There were lots this week! :)

    Great links this week Tina! I especially liked the editor myths!

    We're having a long weekend here in Ontario since Monday is Family Day! :) So I'm wishing everyone a great weekend!

  21. I started to say good morning, but, yikes, it's after 1pm here! lol

    Rainy day, but since it's Saturday, I'm enjoying the day inside.

    I baked sweet potatoes this morning, but I really, really want to make some cream cheese brownies.

    So, here, enjoy!

    Cream cheese brownies fresh out of the oven. Why wait for them to cool? Just spoon them out into a bowl instead.

  22. Wow, the excitement doesn't stop on weekends!

    Jan, congratulations on winning both Godiva chocolate AND Plotting Via Motivation -- just contact me directly at booklaurie (at) gmail etc and I'll get your registration set up.

    Laurie, looking forward to a fun month :)

  23. On Viewing All of Yesterday’s Blog

    On my computer there is no shown way to get to comments 201 to 248.

    If anyone reading this has the same problem, I found two ways of getting to the second set of posts:

    (1) click on the blog title at the top of the first page: "Mastering Motivation by Laurie Schnebly Campbell"

    (2) Just click here: Go to second set of comments.

    The last two days have been sensational! I learned a lot of things I didn’t know or never even thought about.

    Congrats to all the winners.

    No matter how many times you win, it’s always fun to win again. There is a joy in being able to say, “I’m a winner!”


  24. Hi Tina:

    I don’t know anything about the Seeker Book in a Month in March. Have you done it before? Also, is it ok to write a nonfiction book? I need to get some nonfiction books out before the convention. I’d like to do a nonfiction work.


    P.S. I read all of the “FIVE KEY TURNING POINTS OF ALL SUCCESSFUL SCRIPTS” that you linked to and I just want to say that, as good as this material is, it is just one way to create a great movie. There are many other ways.

    Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, written by an experienced screenwriter and up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, does almost nothing according to the five points!

    The hero wants to live in Paris and write a great novel. At every step of the way in the movie things happen to help him advance that goal. He even gets the help of Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway as critique partners!

    The key here is that several times a minute Woody Allen rewards the viewer with insights, jokes, and beautiful visuals. If you are always rewarding the reader, many times a page, you don’t have to follow anyone’s rules. : )

    P.P.S. Was that last P.S. an example of the tail wagging the dog? : ) : )

  25. Great WE...again!!! Loved, loved, loved the article Christian Fiction : the Born Again genre. It's so encouraging! And who knew the Christian genre would be 3rd in e-books. That's pretty impressive!

    I'm at work so I wasn't able to view the agent talking about middle grade books, but I'm doing that first thing when I get home.

    Thanks for keeping me connected with all the important stuff!


  26. I've reached that magical moment when I begin to get sleepy.

    This may be the new normal for me. RATS.

    I'm right at a very complex action scene and I can FEEL myself avoiding writing it.

    But I must. I know I must. I must write it BADLY before I can fix it, revise it into something fun and fast and RIVETING. (Okay, let me believe I can be riveting....just go ahead and live your own lives while I stay in my fantasy world)

    but maybe I could write this badly later. Maybe a nap would be the right thing to do.

    I think I'll go lay down and ponder my options.

  27. Hi Ruth:

    You wrote:

    “Writing for kids isn't for wimps.”

    I’m reading the YA novel “Mondays are Red” by Nicola Morgan and I am astounded! I’m also furious! Why isn’t a book this avant garde offered to adults?

    Here’s a description:

    “When Luke wakes from a coma, his world has altered. Synaesthesia confuses his senses and a sinister creature called Dreeg inhabits his mind. Dreeg offers him limitless power – even the power to fly – and the temptations are huge, but the price is high. Who will pay?”

    This is the Faust theme, its about the philosophy of perception and philosophic idealism. it reads somewhat like 1950’s Greenwich Village beat poetry (I was there!) and it’s for kids!

    Oy vey!

    I’m writing you because you might understand my feelings.


  28. Congrats to the winners! Another great week ahead!

    And maybe I'll be back on the ball this week and fully participate ;).

    And, er, write my blog for a couple weeks from now... gotta remember that :D.

    House is finally almost clean - and in the process, I found my Seeker pen!!!


    Am going to take it with me tomorrow to see Deb Raney at our local meeting ;).

    And now back to cleaning /sigh/. If you don't hear from me again, my back gave out and I'm on the floor somewhere immmobile...

  29. Great WE, as always, Tina!! LOVE those vintage coffee pics! ~ CONGRATS to all the winners!!! Looking forward to another great week in Seekerville.
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

  30. Thanks for the great WE, Tina!! I'm heading to the links now. Looks like some great articles!

  31. Vince, I read a lot of YA and it's not for kids. In fact a kid should read Middle Grade. The average reader of YA is a middle aged woman.

    Next try the Lauren Oliver books which are probably right up your alley with her Dystopian trilogy.

  32. We did a Book in a Month once before in Seekerville. You can find it in the labels. You can write anything you want.

    Glynna Kaye will introduce it this week with her blog post.

  33. Carol, I am totally against house cleaning. You should have said something. I would have sent you another pen.

  34. Carol.

    That's your reward for SURVIVING????

    Oy, woman, we need to talk!

    Vince, yes, isn't it amazing the cool things you can find out there under YA now?

    And I love the push toward fantasy, but I love real life YA too (All Quiet on the Western Front, Johnny Tremain, The Yearling, A Day No Pigs Would Die, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Bridge to Terabithia, etc.)

    Yeah. YA isn't for wimps, LOL!

    I get you completely.

    Teeeena, I agree, too. Although a lot of my 11-13 year olds here (the girls!!!!) are reading the strong, in depth fantasy/dystopian worlds and immersing themselves in good vs. evil.

    Very cool.

  35. Congrats everyone! I WON CHOCOLATE!! :p

    Have a great weekend. : )


  36. Congrats to the winners! Thanks, Tina. Loved the coffee pics!

  37. Thank you so much Seekerville! I won a copy of Candace Calvert's Disaster Status! Woo! Hoo! I love medical suspense novels!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  38. I write YA's. And I agree that most of what's out there for teens is too dark and tragic and just too MUCH for teens.
    Have you read my books, Vince? Because I know you have The Healer's Apprentice on your kindle. (But if you hated it, please ignore this question.)
    (And if you don't see this comment, please ignore it.)
    (Okay, never mind. That last comment was pointless. Ignore it too.)

  39. *rubbing hands together gleefully* Has the conversation turned to YA?? And MG fiction??

    haha, Melanie! You're too funny.... Your books really fill a niche: the YA group that wants a romance/adventure/mystery that's Bible focused. It's a niche that's becoming more vocal, especially since there's been a surge of fairy tales rewritten and aside from Shannon Hale's awesome set, none of them passed on an opportunity for some serious grossness. :(

    You know they say it's YA if the main protag is 12-18 or so, but that's the easy way. There are so many books that should be in the adult fic section but are stuck in YA because of the POV character age. And I think this turns off a lot of people searching for something good for their kids because they open it and want to pour bleach in their brain. (If you want a list to avoid, I can give you my top ten 'icky' books published in the last few years that no teen should probably have in hand. We're talking incest, graphic rape, stillbirths, etc. UGH.)
    I keep hearing that dystopian is out... but good vs evil is NEVER out! I love the sci-fi/ fantasy blend. We just read Jenn Reese's ABOVE WORLD, about a girl who's lived under the sea her entire life. It was definitely MG and not cutesy, lots of adventure and drama. Also, Kat Falls' DARK LIFE and RIPTIDE are great adventure Ya books, about settlements under the sea, this time with a boy POV. Excellent writing.
    And steampunk will only get hotter now that Cheri William's BONESHAKER just got optioned for a movie.
    I think there's a huge MG push right now for male POV, which is neat if anybody has an idea circulating for MG ms with a boy.
    Barry Wolverton has NEVERSINK coming out in May, which is an MG about a PUFFIN on an adventure. How fun is that?? Not all boys are into dragons. My 8 year old keeps begging me to write a GERBIL adventure story. :D
    I know the YA Outside the Lines group has edgier fiction (but not gross) and you can check out their upcoming stuff . Also , the Apocolypsies group is really great for getting a feel for what's coming. You get to drool over the pretty book covers and the read the author's take on his/her own characters.

    Ok, I think my cookies are burning!

  40. Wow! What a day it's been on this end. :) Finally getting here to say congratulations to all the winners, and thanks in advance for the chocolate coming my way. :) My hubby and I will enjoy it (yes, I share chocolate sometimes. But only with my honey).

    Tina, were you in need of coffee when you created this WE? :) Loved all the pics and comments on coffee. :) G'night.

  41. Can you tell Virginia is a children's librarian??? HELLO????

  42. Hi Virginia:

    I would really like to get your “list of YA’s to avoid”. I’ll put my email at the end.

    What do you think of “The Hunger Games”? I stopped reading it at about ½ way because it so blatantly plays into teenage paranoia. Adults are bad, society is evil and young people don’t have a chance! Only the teenagers know what is going on or even have a sense of justice.

    I know that Harry Potter also did this, adults were essentially clueless, but it did it in a fanciful and magical way. “Hunger” is about the future. It seems very real.

    I don’t blame the teens as when I was their age I loved “Brave New World” and “Animal Farm” but I didn’t feel these books were pandering to teenagers. I saw them as wake up calls.

    Other than driving accidents, suicide is a top killer of teens. They sure don’t need this kind of writing, IMHO.

    I’d love to know what you think.


    vince (at) swbell (dot) net

  43. Hi Melanie:

    Yes, I have both your books on my Kindle and they are on my TBR list but I tend to read books that have the fewest reviews in order to help the author who has written a really good book but which is not being noticed.

    You have so many reviews it’s amazing! What are you doing? I’d like to see you do a post on how to get so many reviews.

    BTW: I’m inclined to read your second book, “The Merchant’s Daughter” first because of the theme. Are the two books part of a series that should be read in order?


    P.S. I’m not a consumer advocate. If I don’t like a book, I don’t review it.

  44. Hi Ruth:

    My comments about “Monday’s Are Red” were meant to lament that YA publishers seem far more willing to try something new, to advance the envelop, than adult publishers. Of course, this could just be a result of my selection of books to read.

    Are you really writing a YA? If you do, I’d love to be a beta reader.


  45. Vince, you're on.

    Yes, I'm writing a YA just to flex my muscles a bit and because I love and have always loved sci fi/fantasy... A Ray Bradbury fan from way back. Most current futuristic/fantasies, etc. have way too much sex in them for me. I like the emotional tug of the story... The pull of good over evil, of challenging yourself and MEETING YOUR FEARS first-hand.

    So this has mythological and Biblical undertones, a hero and heroine, a young woman who will stop at nothing to save her child, the hounds of Hades ready to re-visit Earth and old timers who believed The Prophecy would come to pass during their time, but now they're old and infirm and unsure...

    But they're believers and have left NOTHING to chance, despite their advanced years, and despite how they tried to waylay the integral parts of the prophecy from happening....

    including pushing their children to all leave the mountain.

    I'd love to have you read it once it's done. I can only work on it when I'm between projects so once I get a go ahead from LI on my current proposal, I have to jump back to that, but this is a fun (yes, dark in places Melanie... Think Willow meets Red meets The Scarlet Letter) project.

    I like stretching out in what I read and write because it keeps my brain working.

  46. Rats, I missed out on a chance for GODIVA?! I'll be looking forward to another chance for that someday! And looking forward to this week's posts!

  47. Oh, and Vince, just read your comment on The Hunger Games. I read the whole series, and was quite disappointed w/the last book. BUT I would say that there were a few more trustworthy adults in it than all the bad teachers in Harry Potter. However, the overall worldview is quite you would expect for post-apocalyptic type fiction. I liked the idea of using your wits to survive, vs. using magic in Harry Potter.

  48. Hi Ruth:

    Your YA project sounds like a winner to me. I’ve read over 1,000 SF books, mostly what they call ‘hard SF,’ but I did like Ray Bradbury and Robert Silverberg. If you like Bradbury, I strongly suggest reading “Nightwings” by Silverberg.

    My favorite Arthur C. Clarke book, by far, is “Childhood’s End” which seems to have a theme somewhat like your YA – as far as I can tell at this point. I highly recommend reading this book. Talk about an ARC! In “Childhood’s End” the whole new generation of the human race advances to the next level of evolution is taken away and the old are left behind on an earth that will no longer see any children born. (I read this book every few years to measure how much I’ve grown.)

    I like the idea of combining the mythical with the biblical. “The Hunger Games” is a version of the Theseus myth and "Monday’s Are Red", is a version of Faust and the part of the Bible where the devil temps Jesus in the Desert.

    Selecting the right myth to go with the right biblical element to complement the dynamics of the story would be a fun challenge!


    P.S. Did you know, according to Tina, that most of your readers will be middle age women? Do you think you can adapt to this audience?

  49. Hi Heather:

    I may still read the rest of “The Hunger Games”. I will probably see the movie.

    I like your comment:

    ”I liked the idea of using your wits to survive, vs. using magic in Harry Potter.

    However, magic is the great equalizer. A little kid could use magic to best any adults or dangers – given the right magic. This applies to any kid not just the bright and the strong.

    Harry Potter was perfect from the marketing POV.


  50. Sounds interesting, Ruthy! I think a little bit of every author has a special corner of their heart devoted to reading, writing, or simply remembering YA fiction.

    For me, the series by Beverly Lewis, “Summerhill Secrets”, recalls fond memories. My teacher used to read them to us after lunch.

    I don’t know if I’d have what it takes to write to the YA crowd. I’m not far from that crowd age wise, but I feel worlds apart in most other ways. Can you tell me exactly what gears you have to switch to write for YA vs. Inspirational Romance for (mainly) adult women? How do the plots and characters change?

    I like to write picture books for a much younger crowd, but YA falls into a bizarre bracket for the likes of my author’s wits. :p


  51. VIRGINIA, save the cookies!! Especially if they’re chocolate chip. ; ) Being a children’s librarian is awesome! I used to/still would like to be a librarian. Does all the inspiration from the books around you perforate the air and just SEEP into your blood? It must, you newly-contracted-author, you. ; )


  52. Vince, I'll check out those recommendations!

    And I agree, that balance of myth to Bible to moral premise is an interesting level. And I'm open to axing or downsizing a lesson that doesn't fit once I get further into it.

    That balance is clutch in any story, right? It's like the Pinball Wizard song.

    You've got to have a subtle wrist to be able to see, think, feel, and produce the right number of pings. And that same subtle pinball wrist is like an author's trove of ideas. To offset one, you've got to use one or two others.

    Hey, Whitney, I wondered the same thing but I see two distinctly different YA classes. There are probably more, but there's the classic YA with a young coming of age story.... Young main characters... Romance, maybe, but life lessons definitely. They can be set in any time or genre.

    And there's the embraced YA which has romantic elements (possibly for the younger couple, but usually with an older couple, think Willow, The Princess Bride, LadyHawk, etc.) that embraces a youthful thrust via fantasy but has a warm romance and romantic conflict as part of the story's whole.

    I love both. This one came to me during a lesson I was teaching and after having the high school class work on a nice clean paragraph I gave them, to "make it their own", I read them mine.

    And they spontaneously applauded and I realized that my love for YA could become a book or two.

    We'll see. I'm just having fun right now because if I'm not working on something, I'd have to CLEAN...

    That ain't happenin'.

  53. AND the conversation took off!

    Vince, I'll get that list to you. I'd love to put up a poster, but I tend to just make soft asides when I see someone going to check it out or reading it. Just to make sure. And there are some books that are AMAZING but have one line that is just NOT okay, like Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. beautiful book, but in the very first chapter, around pg. 20, there's a graphic sex scene that amde my mouth drop open. And I'm not easily shocked.
    I don't work at the library currently- I left in August 2010 so I could finish my projects. And I did! And I would love to go back some day. But I love my co-workers and libaries ROCK... We still hang out there all the time and annoy everyone.

  54. Vince, I really did love 'The Hunger Games' because of the style of the book. My kids lvoe her 'Gregor the Overlander' series and I'd read those. Charming and beautiful world.
    But HG is what Stephen King called 'a violent speed rap of a novel'. That says it well. It never stops. And she packs massive amounts of emotion into each scene. She's really a master. And since she can write MG fiction at its purest, the HG was very impressive to read. I bought my own copy to mark up for my kids (cut some of the grossity) but both my girls felt it was too tense for them and couldn't read it through.
    I guess another thing I love the HG is the heroine is absolutely loveable- because she sacrifices herself for Prim, because she's loved by so many but doesn't realize it, because in the end she (again) sacrfices herself for her nation's freedom and the children that will come next. There's a lot of Ayn Rand and other great thinkers there.
    I understand your concerns about the suicide issue, but I disagree with the conclusion that HG would be a bad book. Katniss is fighting in a world that is completely unfair, violent, has one or two safe people, and she's barely surviving. Makes me think of junior high, actually. :) She triumphs over all.

  55. Ruthy, have you read the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan? All that mythology with a new stiwst- we laughed ourselves silly (when we weren't chewing our nails in fear).
    YA ideas are easy, the writing is really, really hard. It's an age that craves DRAMA, but the writing has to be light, effortless, and funny. (Sauzanne Collins made me laugh out loud everal times in the first chapter of HG and it's practically horror!) And I can't think of anybody who would be better at it than RUTHY!

    MARY, you make me feel so much better. I'll be strugglign and struggling, knowing that what is coming out just STINKS. Of course, I can make it a little better, but looking at the junk is quite depressing.

  56. My reward isn't cleaning. It's the clean house.

    And oh my it's finally almost there!

    I'll take another pen any day though ;).

    But I also got to chat with Deb Raney today so that was good. And I wrote a synopsis [first draft anyway]. And 1K on the MS.

    WOOHOO! THOSE are rewards for surviving. I'll post a pic of me/my nose on my blog tomorrow for anyone who wants to see what it looks like NOW rather than the grotesqueness it was before ;).

  57. Hi, Vince! You can read The Merchant's Daughter first. It is completely unrelated to The Healer's Apprentice. It's a bit more "adult" than THA too.

    You are right about YA publishers being more willing to try something different and think outside the box. That is the only reason my books are published!!! But my publisher tells me they are doing well.

    I think the reason my books have so many reviews is because Zondervan--and I--have given away so many copies of my books to bloggers and reviewers, including on NetGalley, and because they gave away the ebook of The Healer's Apprentice in a promotion for about ten days last year. But I got a lot of 1- and 2-star reviews because of that giveaway! There was nothing really indicating on the Amazon list of free books that my book was Christian, so people who took offense at the Christian content felt compelled to "warn" other readers away from it. So it's a double-edged sword. But I still praise God for reviews. :-)

    But you certainly don't have to review it if you don't like it!!! :-)

  58. Virginia, you are so knowledgeable!!! I didn't know you were a librarian! I love librarians. :-)

    Vince, I personally dislike the heaviness and darkness of most YA's for the same reason you mentioned. There are too many teen suicides. They don't need all that in the books they read, either that they're forced to read for school, or that they pick up on their own.