Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A FESTIVAL of Stars take us on a Treasure Hunt!

Where's that Pot of Gold?

A lot of SeekerVillagers are on a treasure hunt. We have the map out and are trudging along from clue to clue, hoping that sooner or later we'll get to the end of the rainbow. It's been rumored there's a treasure there, but is it true? Maybe there is no pot of gold at all. Or worse, maybe the rainbow has no end.

We are Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O’Dell and Cara Putman, the authors of the novella anthology, Rainbow’s End. We're here to tell you there really is something of value where X marks the spot.

Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the reluctant volunteer whose former nemesis is now her chief sponsor; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy; and Hadley, who doesn't know enough about guys to realize she's met a womanizer. Will they find the treasure they're looking for ... or something else entirely?

Curious about what geocaching is? Take a look at this short video to find out:

1. Following the clues (taking steps in the writing journey)

Valerie: My story is longer than many, I think, in that I began applying myself to learning the craft of writing in the winter of 2002. I joined ACFW in 2007 and finaled in the speculative fiction arena of Genesis in 2007, '08, and '09. I attended my first ACFW conference in 2009. By this time I'd created my own niche of contemporary romance in which to write. . .but no one was willing to take a chance on me.

As 2010 rolled into 2011, I'd completed nine full-length novels, the last two or three of which were actually getting to be pretty good. At least I thought so! I was beginning to feel some frustration at not picking up an agent or a contract. Can anyone relate?

geocaching, treasure map, rainbows end, nicole odell, valerie comer
Annalisa: Like many of you, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember—I wrote my first story when I was in the first grade and stapled the pages together to look like a book. But getting up the courage to seek publication took me a long time. After much encouragement from my family and friends, I finally got serious about my goal and joined ACFW in 2007. That year I finaled in the Genesis contest chick lit category (a category which no longer exists) and at my editor appointment, I pitched the idea for a series about park rangers. Fast forward to the following year at the ACFW Conference—I was one of Barbour’s surprise contracts (for the three book Walk in the Park series, set in National Parks) and Love is a Battlefield (the first book in the series) won first place in the Genesis contest contemporary romance category. That conference will always be on the highlight reel of my life!

Cara: I’ve been writing since third grade when we wrote short stories in a journal. Then as a teen I tried my hand at a couple novels. But I didn’t write to get published until 2005 when the itch to write wouldn’t go away. I received my first contract at my second ACFW conference – I will never forget that moment!

Nicole: I’m the relative newbie, I think. I only started writing for publication in 2007 with a bunch of devotionals for Barbour—201 to be exact, which got my foot in the door. In 2008, I was in the right place at the right time with a clever idea—books with alternate endings to teach girls about making good decisions. Armed with the idea for those unwritten books, still just a glimmer in my eye, with no agent and no prior experience—I secured a two-book deal, then another one not long after that.

Treasure hunt, geocachingYou might think that I’ve had it easy. But, I’ll tell you, I’ve learned so much since those first books. I wish I’d known half of what I know now, and I can really see the value in not rushing the process. Yes, I had books published with little experience and with relative ease. But, though I’m very proud of them, how much of those books would I change or improve upon now if I had the chance?

There’s something to be said for putting in the time and doing the hard work to learn the craft.

The first of FOUR SETS of giveaways to be given to a random commenter is from Valerie Comer, since her novella, "Topaz Treasure," is first in the book. One winner will receive a copy of both Rainbow's End and It's a Treasure Hunt (to get you started geocaching!)

2. Finding the pot of gold (contract)

Valerie: I'd seen Barbour's call for submissions for anthology collections in December 2010, but found it difficult at first to find seasoned authors willing to take me on. Nicole O'Dell, my critique partner, decided she'd love to write a contemporary romance novella instead of her usual YA if that would help me get my foot in the door. We worked on two separate proposals with two groups of authors. I can hardly tell you how thrilled I was when I found out the proposal for Rainbow's End had been accepted! Here are the details of that day.

This netted me the wonderful Joyce Hart as my agent and, while we're still waiting on an offer for one of my novels, I know I'm in good hands and working on the next section of the treasure map. Which seems to involve a lot of proposals and a lot of waiting.

Annalisa: When I got my first contract, I was so surprised and excited—I think I called everyone I knew to tell them the news. I just couldn’t believe it and kept waiting to hear that the whole thing was some sort of mistake. With the release of Rainbow’s End, I now have 8 books in print—with 3 more releases this year. There are days I’m completely overwhelmed by my “to do” list. Between working full time, writing like crazy, and renovating a house—it’s easy to feel like I’m going in too many directions. But with each book I grow and learn and I think that’s the real “treasure” for me. It seems like I’ve learned a lesson from each book I’ve written. Does anyone else learn from their fictional characters?

Cara: After receiving that contract the opening night of ACFW in 2006, I waited for JoAnne to tell me she’d made a mistake. Since then Rainbow’s End makes my 15th book that’s released since October 2007. It’s been crazy! Like Annalisa and Nicole, I’m juggling a lot with writing, teaching, homeschooling, some attorneying, and just regular life with four kids. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It’s been amazing!

Nicole: As I shared, securing the contracts was pretty easy—and I really didn’t understand how special it was to get a book contract. I’d never really tried before, so I didn’t get it. I really didn’t. After Valerie and I became critique partners, bless her heart, my eyes started to open. I suddenly came face-to-face with an industry I really knew nothing about and a craft I’d yet to even come close to mastering. WOW.

More than the actual contracts, the knowledge I’d begun to acquire was my pot of gold. It was a magical time as I humbled myself to become teachable. I realized that publishing wasn’t always a choice I could make for myself, but learning and growing was well within my control.

The second novella, "Beneath the Surface," is by Annalisa Daughety. She’s giving one commenter a copy of Rainbow’s End and a copy of her recent release from Barbour Publishing, A Wedding To Remember in Charleston, South Carolina.


3. Our own pot of gold (premise)

Valerie: Are you familiar with geocaching? It's an electronic treasure hunt that uses GPS (global positioning system) satellites beaming latitude and longitude information to your handheld device, allowing you to zero in on a particular set of coordinates. At a site such as geocaching.com, you can enter your zip code (postal code for us Canadians!) and find the coordinates of geocaches in your neighborhood. You'll find dozens if not hundreds from which to choose. (Check out the video above.)

When my husband and I began geocaching a few years ago, we found bits of natural history and interesting hiking trails in our area we hadn't known existed. And as I hiked up these mountain trails, I began thinking how fun it would be to use geocaching as a backdrop for a contemporary romance story.

While it turned out to be a whole HEAP of fun creating a geocaching event in which the characters from four novellas could interact, I might still write a standalone some day that hinges on this fun outdoor sport. Hmm. Maybe a series. Like I don't have enough proposals circling the planet at the moment.

Annalisa: I didn’t know anything about geocaching before working on Rainbow’s End, but now I tell people all the time what a cool hobby it is. In fact, I wish the Rainbow’s End treasure hunt was a real event, because I’d be the first to sign up!

In "Beneath the Surface," Madison Wallace finds herself going back to her tiny hometown after being away for many years. There were definitely some parallels going on in my own life as I wrote the novella. I moved away from my own small town when I left for college and lived in the city for several years. At the same time I was writing the novella, I was in the process of buying a house and some land near my hometown. I loved getting to write Madison’s struggles with going back to her roots as I was going through the same thing.

Cara: I’d heard of geocaching and think it would be great fun to do with my husband and kids. Unfortunately, deadlines didn’t give me a chance to try it last summer when I was writing "Love’s Prize." Someday, I’d love to replicate the hunt that I sent my characters on – without the suspense! I think we’ve all had a time in our lives when we wondered what was true and if it was time to let go of our plans and surrender to God’s will. That’s exactly the struggle that Reagan and Colton experience in the midst of the summer’s adventures.

Cara Putman, Nicole: I knew nothing about geocaching when we started this project. But, like my character, Hadley, in Welcome Home, Love, I’ve struggled with physical issues over the years. In fact, I once lost well over 100 pounds and reached a fit-and-trim size four. Then, just as I’d started to get used to my new size and started believing I was actually the new me, I got pregnant with triplets and the doctor told me I needed to gain 100 pounds. No joke.

It’s easy to see why Hadley’s body image and self-esteem issues are near and dear to my heart.

Cara Putman’s novella, "Love’s Prize", is next in the book. She’s happy to give one winner a copy of Rainbow’s End and a copy of her recent release from Barbour Publishing, A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island.


4. Sharing the treasure

Topaz Treasure, by Valerie Comer

Closet believer Lyssa Quinn steps out of her comfort zone to help coordinate the Rainbow’s End geocaching hunt her church is using as an outreach event. She’s not expecting her former humanities prof–young, handsome, anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy–to be at the Lake of the Ozarks at all, let along in a position to provide sponsorship to the treasure hunt. How can she trust someone who once shredded her best friend’s faith?

Beneath the Surface, by Annalisa Daughety

When Madison Wallace’s sister signs the two of them up to participate in the Rainbow’s End Treasure Hunt, Madison is less than thrilled. She isn’t the most outdoorsy girl in the world, so spending two months traipsing around the Ozarks isn’t her idea of fun. Especially when her sister has to back out at the last minute. Grant Simmons loves the outdoors. He jumps at the chance to participate in the treasure hunt with his grandfather, but when the elderly man’s health takes a turn for the worse, Grant is without a partner. When Madison and Grant find themselves teamed up for the treasure hunt, their differences quickly rise to the surface. Will Madison be able to break through Grant’s walls and get him to open up? Can Grant look past Madison’s polished exterior to see that beneath the surface is a heart of gold? If these polar opposites can find common ground, they might find a love worth treasuring.

Love on a Dime, by Cara C. Putman

Reagan Graham, an intense thinker with an artsy flare, has never been one to tempt fate. Instead, she’s played it safe by following everyone’s expectations for her, rather than her own heart. When her parents told her to get a safe degree like accounting, when she wanted to explore photography, Reagan acquiesced. But after four years of making numbers march in orderly rows, she’s fried. She takes two months off to join her kid brother Ryan in the Ozarks for the Rainbow’s End geocaching treasure hunt. He’s there for the treasure . . . she’s there to photograph the beauty of God’s creation to her heart’s content. Then she meets Ryan’s frat brother and teammate. Colton Woodill, a non-traditional student her own age, is nothing like she expected. A deep thinker like Reagan, Colton is spending the summer before law school trying to relax. His plan doesn’t include falling in love before law school graduation, but the more time he spends with Reagan, he can’t remember why. Will Reagan and Colton risk their hearts and their safe plans to take a risk on love?

Welcome Home, Love, Nicole O’Dell

Nicole O'Dell, Rainbow's End, The Embittered RubyAfter winning her life-long battle to get fit, Hadley Parker thinks it's time for a reward. The couch potato is gone; now it's time to say goodbye to the wallflower. Determined, and about to turn thirty, Hadley signs up for the annual Rainbow’s End Treasure Hunt as a gift to herself. Unskilled in handling attention from good-looking men, Hadley nearly makes a huge mistake by falling for Brad, a fellow competitor and confirmed bachelor. Youth pastor and hunt director, Noah Templeton, tries to warn her before things go too far, but Hadley mistakes his sincerity for jealousy. Will she see past the syrupy compliments of the ill-intentioned womanizer?

And will Noah manage to remind Hadley that the treasures she truly seeks are already within her . . . and right in front of her?

The final novella, Welcome Home, Love, is written by Nicole O’Dell. She’s giving one winner a copy of Rainbow’s End and a copy of her other most recent release from Barbour Publishing, The Embittered Ruby.

Valerie Comers life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Rainbow's End, Cara Putman, Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O'Dell
Left to right: Nicole O'Dell, Annalisa Daughety, Cara Putman, Valerie Comer, on the Barbour Cruise at ACFW, 2011

Annalisa Daughety, a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, writes contemporary fiction set in historic locations. Annalisa lives in Arkansas with three spoiled dogs and is hard at work on her next book. She loves to connect with her readers through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Nicole O'Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk, is a youth culture expert who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. She’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents helps pre-empt peer pressure by tackling tough issues.
Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney, teacher at her church, and contract lecturer or adjunct faculty at a local community college and Big Ten University. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Mason University School of Law, Cara loves bringing history and romance to life. You can learn more about Cara and her books on her website, Facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

Thanks so much for having us here...and for reading this far! :) Leave a comment to be entered to win one of the four giveaway sets. The winners will be chosen at random.


Christy (Critty Joy) said...

What an intriguing idea for an anthology. I have a friend who does geocaching but I have never tried myself. :)

Great to read each of your stories and know what your journey has been like.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, Christy! I'm looking forward to a long, fun day at Seekerville tomorrow. Guess I should get some sleep! I'll bring a large urn of mocha and some pumpkin scones when I come back in the morning.

Ausjenny said...

Wow what a cool idea for a book I first heard about Geocaching from another blog maybe Valarie mentioned it. Im not sure but it was someone who went with there husband and had been involved. It does sound fun (Im afraid I dont have a gps, the first time I was in a car with one the operator and unit almost ended up in the Pacific Ocean. We going to Stanly Park in Vancouver. Well this friend programed the Gps unit and we got to a park only it was a playground. the map said go straight the gps got us so lost we too almost 3 hours for a 1 hour trip.
I love reading your stories. I love Annalisa's park series. My friend is near Chatanooga and I keep asking when I visit can we possibly go to Shiloh National Park.
I would love to win a copy of this novella it looks so cool.

Andrea Strong said...

Very cool idea for a book, though know nothing about it. I'm a Missouri girl, and I love books set in my great state. One set of grandparents retired to Lake of the Ozarks, and some of my fondest memories are of summer weekends spent swimming, fishing and boating there. Some times we only got out of the water to eat and sleep. And then only because we were forced.

I'd love to win any of these prize packs.

andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

Virginia said...

Okay, I had to read this post twice. So much good stuff in here!

Geocaching is big here, but I hate spending time in the caar so I don't participate. It would be more fun if we didn't live in such a rural area. My friends in other places have a lot more fun with it.

I think it was Nicole that mentioned her 'pot of gold' was learning the trade, and the industry, and committing to a teachable spirit. I love that! I have sooo much to learn...

pol said...

What a great line-up of authors and books. never heard of geocaching but sounds interesting, I like a treasure Hunt. Seekerville always seems to have some "On the edge folks", glad I have met you and would love to win one of these packages.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Jackie said...

Thanks for this post. You've made me hopeful.

I'd love to win a copy of your novella.

Thanks again.

Jackie L.

Jean C. Gordon said...

Sounds like a fun book.

Pepper said...

Great post - and cool concept. Never been geocaching before.

Loved hearing about your unique stories, both personally and in fiction form :-) You each have had fabulous journies on your own...without a gps (unless that stands for God's Planning System) :-)

Sherrinda said...

I have never heard of geocoaching...way cool. And I have to say, this post was so interesting. To have responses from all four authors kept me glued! Thanks for a great post!

Sandra Orchard said...

What a fun post, and novel book idea! Congratulations to all, especially Valerie on your debut!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I have family members who geocache. Their kids love it.

What fun, what fun!!!

Debra E. Marvin said...

I feel like a bit of a slacker after reading those bios. I know my adult children would love this hobby as they already hike with their toddlers. I've at least used a GPS for field work, so it would be great to use one for fun.

No wonder you sold this story - excellent writing, plus the fun of geocaching! Cool!

Thanks ladies! Congratulations on all your combined successes. What a prolific group you are.

Nicole O'Dell said...

Christy, Pol, Pepper, Sherrinda, and Debra--

I'd never heard of geocaching either. Valerie is the one who told me about it for the first time way back when . I hope to actually do it one day! :)

Thanks for commenting!

Join us tonight from 9-10 EST on Twitter at #RainbowsEnd for a twitter party! Giveaways every 15 mins!

Nicole O'Dell said...


I LOVE Chatanooga! Funny story about the GPS. I have found that my cell phone needs to be babysat when I'm using it for directions. :)

Cool, Andrea! That sounds lovely!

Virginia, that definitely has been my pot of gold and it's a treasure that just keeps on giving. So much to learn and it never ends!

Thanks for commenting Jackie, Jean, Sandra, and Debra! So nice to see you here!


Thanks so much for having us here. It's so much fun!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Cara, Valerie, Annalisa, and Nicole! This is our first team post. So cool to have all of you here.

I'm fascinated by the GPS treasure hunt game. What a cool idea to wrap your stories around. Looking forward to reading them!


Kav said...

Honestly, I must stop living with my head buried in the sand. I miss so much that way. Have never heard of geocaching -- had to google it to find out the definition. Yes, I know there was a video but my work computer blocks videos. Sigh. Great premise for a book -- but did I miss the release date for it? If I did, would someone gently (or not) remind me?

Jeanne T said...

I love the backdrop for these stories! My honey and I have talked about trying geocaching, but we haven't done it yet. Reading your post today stirs that desire again. :) It was fun to read a bit about each of your writing journeys. Thanks for sharing things you've learned and what has been your treasure on tis writing journey.

I love the emphasis on having a teachable heart--so important for anything we want to learn in life. I wor to keep a teachable spirit as I'm learning writing craft too. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my, this is too much fun... and I did NOT read it all because I got babies in the door, but I'll be back because these gals are the cutest things ever and I'm fascinated by this!

And what a great group of gals to work with. Oh my stars, this is delightful, to read of your journeys (some of which I'm familiar with and so stinkin' proud!!!) and the book premises.

SUHWEET... so I'm leaving a FULL PLATE of delicious Ghirardelli chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.

And yes, they are as amazing as they sound, LOL!

And fresh coffee for my buds, straight from the Texan's day at Yankee-Belle Cafe!

Annalisa Daughety said...

Wow! Thanks for so many wonderful comments! It's great to be here!

Ausjenny, I'm glad you enjoyed the park series! I definitely recommend a trip to Shiloh! :)

Thanks for the welcome, Janet! It's great to be here!

Kav, today is release day!

Jeanne, great to see you here! You should definitely give geocaching a try!

Those cookies sound amazing, Ruth!

Please join us tonight from 9-10 EST on Twitter at #RainbowsEnd for a twitter party! Giveaways every 15 mins!

Nicole O'Dell said...

Ghirardelli chocolate peanut butter chip cookies????

There should be no such thing!!! :)

Jeanne...yeah, that teachable heart. It's a necessity, but not always easy, is it? Sometimes, I just know better. But I always find out soon enough just how wrong I was!

Thanks everyone for commenting.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ruth! You know the rules. You bring virtual evil delicious cookies, you must provide recipe.

Especially if we are treasure hunting. We need the sugar.

Stacy said...

Love the geocaching idea as the basis for this book. My hubby bought a Garmin but has yet to use it for something fun like this (or for anything at all, actually!). Once I read these stories, it just might get us both out there looking for treasure. Great blog, ladies. Fun stories from fun ladies!

Cara Putman said...

One of the things that surprised me was just how many geocaching locations there are. Still have to try it with my kids though. Think it would be such fun.

Hope you all enjoy the mini cranberry-orange scones I brought to the party. Some have icing -- my couple don't. Love the mix of tart and sweet.

Cara Putman said...

Pepper, GPS definitely stands for God's Positioning System in my life. He's done so much more than I could imagine!

Cara Putman said...

Pepper, GPS definitely stands for God's Positioning System in my life. He's done so much more than I could imagine!

Nicole O'Dell said...

Stacy, you'll have to check out the Romancing America blog on May 30th. I provide a "shopping list" for geocaching. Our Hadley Parker (from my novella) was a bit of a spender. LOL

I forgot to bring some food--probably because I'm a diet!. But I'm throwing caution to the wind and running out for cinnamon crunch bagels with almond cream cheese from Panera. Would y'all believe that Val has NEVER been to Panera? ;)

Don't forget: Join us tonight from 9-10 EST on Twitter at #RainbowsEnd for a twitter party! Giveaways every 15 mins!

Mary Connealy said...

I tweeted about this last night and did it wrong so many times I'm not sure if I enticed someone to come or scared them away.
Valerie tried to help me, God bless her.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks to everyone for the warm Seekerville welcome. Such a fun thing to wake up to on RELEASE DAY!!! See, Kav? You didn't miss a thing. Today's the day. :)

Ausjenny--I love Stanley Park! I live in BC, Canada--but at the other side of the province. Still, I've been to Stanley Park several times and it was there I got my first glimpse of the ocean.

Virginia, I had to laugh about not geocaching because you don't like spending so much time in the car. But you're right, we live in a rural area. Usually our drive is relatively short and our hike on the long side!

Pepper--GPS stands for God's Planning System? LOVE that!

Sandra--thank you--and hugs from across Canada! You ROCK girl. Does everybody know about her fantastic placement in the Family Fiction awards?

Debra--gecocaching is a great multi-generation activity. We love being out in God's handiwork with our kids and granddaughters (though the two year old insists on hands-in-the-pockets like Grampa--but he doesn't fall down and smash his face...) (Ruthy's grandkids are almost as cute as mine, but she has way more of them. Sigh.)

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Good morning, ladies!

Your novella collection sound like a great read. I've never been geocaching although I've had friends do it who've loved it. And as I sit here with my doors open to the deck, feeling the cool morning breeze, I think a fictional vacation to the Ozarks will just about hit the spot!

Thanks for sharing you writing journeys and for being an encouragement today. I'd love to win any of the prize packs as they all sound marvelous!

Cara Putman said...

Stephanie, I'd love to win some of them, too. (Not mine since I have it LOL) love the books and want to read them all!

Valerie Comer said...

Mary, tweeting this post would have been easier for you if my coauthors didn't insist on underscores in their twitter handles.

So those of you on Twitter, we four are having a Twitter Party tonight at 9-10pm Eastern with more chances to win! Just use the hashtag #RainbowsEnd and join the conversation. Of course, if you want to follow us personally as well, we'd be happy to have you. :D We're @valeriecomer @annalisa_ @cara_putman and @nicole_odell.

See why Mary had trouble guessing their names?

Nicole O'Dell said...

lol...we can't help it our names are popular and the "pure" forms of our names are long gone, Val. ;)

Delores Liesner said...

The geocaching stories sound great and your own stories are remarkable. I've been to the island too and particularly enjoy stories created around familiar settings. You ladies sound like some fun to work with gals. Your story makes me wonder if maybe I need to pray for a writing partner!

Valerie Comer said...

Delores--it was a lot of fun working with these three! And the geocaching theme was a unique twist. Love it.

And now my dog needs to go outside and I need to get ready for work. But I'll be ba-ack...

misskallie2000 said...

What a great post. I enjoyed reading about all the authors and looking forward to reading all the books.
Never heard of geocaching before. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Nicole O'Dell said...

Delores, great writing partners and critique partners sure make the journey more fun! :)

Misskallie, I love that the geocaching angle has intrigued so many people. Who knew? lol

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Such a great post from start to end. Just like a treasure hunt. ;-)

I can only echo everyone. So great to read about your journeys.

Peace, Julie

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome, ladies! Wow, you really intrigued me with the geocaching thing. Never heard of it, but I'm definitely going to investigate, especially since we'll be going on a much-needed vacation soon. It might be fun to try it at our destination!

Congratulations on a fun, fun novella collection!

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thanks, Julie!!

Where are you headed, Myra? Buy a gps and jump on the geo-bandwagon!

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, Julie! How could we write this post in any way BUT a treasure hunt?

Myra, give it a try! Hope you have a great family vacation.

Debby Giusti said...

Love your energy, ladies! Thanks for being with us on Seekerville today.

Geocaching! How fun! I'm ready to start searching for sites. Kind of like a military map exercise. :)

Cara, thanks for the scones. They're my fav breakfast food that I love eating anytime of the day.

Rainbow's End sounds wonderful. A must read! Great setting--I always enjoy the Lake of the Ozarks.

Congrats on the book's release. Wishing you all continued success!

Susan Anne Mason said...

What a fun post, ladies! I love reading everyone's stories!

A big Hi to fellow Canadian, Valerie, even though I live so far away from you! Ruthie is a lot closer! LOL.

All your books sound intriguing and I learned something today - never heard of geocaching - in fact I misread it and thought it was geo-coaching!

Thanks for the info!

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Carol Moncado said...

I have friends who geocache but have never been myself. And I'm also an Ozarks girl [though a not-so-recent transplant ;)].

Would love to win!

This sounds so fun! [And those of you who haven't read Cara's Macinak [sp?] book - you should - it's great!]

[And Cara - am emailing you shortly, darlin'! Let me know if you don't get it :)!]

Nicole O'Dell said...

Debby, I've never tried scones. They sound good, and people like them, but they always look dry to me. . .like a big lump of dry dough. Are they dry?

Susan, funny! Well, you've been geo-coached about geo-caching.

Carol, totally agree about Cara's book! (A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island)

Join us tonight from 9-10 EST on Twitter at #RainbowsEnd for a twitter party! Giveaways every 15 mins!

Paula Mowery said...

Never heard of geocaching but what a neat premise. Sounds like a good read.
Thanks for sharing your journeys - encouraging for those venturing out into this crazy world of writing and publishing.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm going to try tweeting this again.
And do it right this time.
Uh......me and technology....there is some evidence to suggest a rogue tweet of mine was ultimately responsible for that tsunami that hit Japan a while back.

I'm sincerely sorry. And yet, I'm going in again!!!!

Jan Drexler said...

Great post! Now I feel like going on my own geocaching adventure (it's hugely popular here in the Black Hills!).

What a great way to tell the story of your journey to publication, too. One thing about that journey - it's different for everyone, you never know when you'll reach the treasure, but it's so much fun along the way.

I'll be looking for Rainbow's End this weekend :)

And Carol, dear, I hear you make fabulous cookies, but you need to learn a bit more about the wonderful state of Michigan - Mackinac is pronounced "Mackinaw", even though it's spelled "Mackinac".

Blame the French. We do.

(and yes, I consider myself a Michigander, born and raised, although I haven't lived there in more than 25 years...)

Ruthy, share the cookie recipe!

Mary Connealy said...

I did it! I think I even got the little hash tags and @ symbols right.
You can all come out of your bomb shelters and cellers now.

Valerie Comer said...

Thank you, DebbyG. Your warm enthusiasm at conference meant a lot to newbie me a few years back--thanks!!

Hi Sue! As a BCer, I can wave clear across Canada at you! Thanks for coming to the party :D

Carol, hope we got the details right on Lake of the Ozarks. We sure did try! I'm posting on that in a few weeks at http://romancingamerica.com.

Paula, BE encouraged in this writing adventure. Keep going!

Mary--gonna go check you out on Twitter now, girl. :D

Valerie Comer said...

Jan, love seeing you here (and elsewhere!) Have fun geocaching.

Mary, you got it! I retweeted you :D

Mary Connealy said...

I have heard of geo-caching but never seen it for real. I guess I always thought it was 'one of those things' like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster or maybe (in an appropriate reference) a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Frankly, I'm skeptical. Did any of you ladies, Nicole, Cara, Annalisa, Valerie, ever while 'geo-caching' have any Close Encounters with little green men?

Mary Connealy said...

Really, Valerie? It worked?
I think we all just need to pause and soak in the joy and wonder of this moment.

I'm a little weepy.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Nicole! 100 pounds? Oh my word! Did your jaw hit the floor? Mine would have.

I grew up in the Ozarks. It would be a great place for Geocaching! I'm intrigued and want to read these stories!!!

So, what is the secret to writing a short story/novela? Every time I start a short story, it either ends up being flash fiction or the makings of a full length novel.

Christina said...

Wow! This is a lot of fun. I'll have to check out the geocatching when I'm at a computer that runs a little faster than my grandma.

Congratulations on the release, ladies!!! It looks like a great book.

Valerie Comer said...

Mary, no little green men. Not yet, anyway.

Linnette, the key to a novella is chopping out all the fun subplots. No, really. And there's no room for scenes (or even sentences) that don't propel the romance forward. (And by propel, I don't mean nudge. I mean SHOVE!)

Thanks, Christina! The video is really short but one does need internet faster than grandma. Though my grandmother has been gone a lot of years so it's not hard to be faster than her. Except she's dancing in heaven, so maybe... Well, never mind. Catch the video when you can!

Debby Giusti said...

Nicole, scones are a bit dry...but so yummy! I was saving a scone from Starbuck's to eat later, but after reading Cara's comment, I quickly gobbled it down. My tummy's very happy. The scale will not be smiling in the morning. :)

Waving to Valerie and sending a big cyber-hug!

Debby Giusti said...

Linnette...flash fiction? Sounds fun. Is that your term or have I been holed up in my office for too long?

Jeanne T said...

Just loving the dialogue over here today.
Not sure if I need to mention this, but I'd love to be put in the drawings for today!
MARY CONNEALY--good for you, beginning to figure out Twitter. Haven't braved that front yet, but I need to.
BTW, I loved reading your story on Rachel Hauck's blog yesterday!!!

CatMom said...

Welcome Ladies, and loved the treasure hunt! I always enjoy reading about authors' journeys to publication, and I enjoyed learning about each of you. The novella anthology sounds wonderful. ~ @Cara, really enjoyed reading your Mackinac Island book recently (ready to pack and visit there, LOL). ~ Just baked a Georgia Peach cobbler--ENJOY! Blessings, Patti Jo

EC Spurlock said...

Congratulations on your careers, ladies, and compliments on what a great sounding anthology! My family and I have been active geocachers for about eight years now and it is a really fun hobby! Great way to get some exercise and get out in God's creation. You never know what you'll find in the cache, but the best part as you said is finding all the cool places you never knew existed. I have been waiting for someone to use it as the basis for a novel and now you have! Looking forward to reading "Rainbow's End"!

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, ANNALISA, CARA, NICOLE AND VALERIE -- you have definitely energized this sleepy little community today!!

I was CLUELESS about geocaching, but not anymore -- thank you for updating this dinosaur!! Like Janet, I'm fascinated by the GPS treasure hunt game but I have to admit, I'd rather read about it in a story than do it!! :)

CARA P. SAID: "Rainbow’s End makes my 15th book that’s released since October 2007 ..."

HOLY COW, CARA -- I can HARDLY believe that, girl!! You make me look like I'm sitting still, which is okay 'cause Mary and Ruthy do that to me all the time. :)

Great CREATIVE blog today, girls, and Rainbow's End sounds WONDERFUL and very intriguing ...


Missy Tippens said...

How fun!! We're so glad y'all are with us on the blog today! Your stories sound so fun!!

Valerie Comer said...

Jeanne, if you figure out Twitter TODAY (hint hint) join our discussion with the hashtag #RainbowsEnd between 9 and 10 pm Eastern! We'll be taking the party over there for a while, but we'll be back at Seekerville to finish the day here--at least I will, being as I'm on Pacific time!

EC, GREAT! Finally someone else who knows the joys of caching! Like you, we've found so many neat areas close to home we'd known nothing about. Such fun.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks Julie and Missy for the warm Seekerville welcome! So fun to be here today. :D

Barbara Hartzler said...

I've never heard of geocaching. Now I want to read all about it. Great premise! :)

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thanks, Julie! Btw, I'm the same Nicole who talked about "edgy" fiction a few weeks ago. It's great to be back!!

Debby, I'm convinced! I'll give it a try.

Thank you, Barbara!!

Carol Moncado said...

I knew Mackinac was spelled wrong but I'm at school and their computer only has IE which doesn't do the little red squigglies and I, well, I didn't really feel like changing it and trying to remember what was the right spelling ;).

Look for my review of it on my blog soon.

If I don't win this one, I'll pick it up.

And 15 books in that time Cara?! You give the rest of us hope ;).

Valerie Comer said...

Barbara and Carol--thank you!!

Connie Queen said...

I'll have to go back and click on the video. We don't get good reception, so video's load slow.

I haven't written much lately and am trying to get a lot done in May.

I would think Captain Jack Sparrow would be here for a treasure hunt.

Shelia Hall said...

I love all of these authors but especially Annalisa & Cara!

Annalisa Daughety said...

Thanks for having us on here today--so fun! It sounds like there might be a lot of geocaching going on soon! :)

Connie, I'm the same way--I need to get a lot done this month!

Thanks for stopping by, Sheila!

Cara Putman said...

Carol, 15 books has been a marathon of little sprints. But when God is in it, it's fun. Shelia, thanks for the kind words!

Cara Putman said...

Mary, no little green men, though my novella does have other men adding to the suspense. Gotta keep things hopping in my contemporaries.

And Julie, remember, most of my books have a shorter word count than yours. That makes a difference in how many I can write in the same time period.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I know geocaching is very popular but I've never tried it. I've never been very adventuresome when it comes to exploring out-of-the-way locales, or very patient about following clues. Given that admission, I wonder how I came to be writing stories containing so much suspense!

Still, the four stories must have been fun to compile and RAINBOW'S END sounds like a great read. Congratulations to all four authors. I really enjoyed reading their journeys to publication.

I'm going to have to re-read this to absorb all the deets. Grabbing a coffee, and one of Valerie's pumpkin muffins if there are any left... and oh, Ruthy... you brought Ghirardelli chocolate peanut butter chip cookies??? I may have to stick around for the rest of the day. Just ignore me as I lean against the end of counter. And stop counting how many cookies I've had!!!

baristajack said...

Aye, I've been known to go on a treasure hunt of me own now and again...

With interesting results. Savvy???

But m'most memorable treasure hunt had naught to do with the Black Pearl, nor gold...

'twas a woman, sweet and kind. A missionary who dared not love the likes of a scallawag pirate like myself.

And so, the rum.

But 'tis not a bad life, all in all... Although a mite busy, keepin' the ladies (I dasn't say wenches) of Seekerville content.

As long as I keep the Island fires burning', they stop by and see me. Sometimes with Tina's coconut cake, mayhap wi' somethin' a bit stronger in the taste and longer in the tooth.

If you get my drift.

baristajack said...

Ach, Mary, m'lass! Donna be lettin' them fill your mind with hashtags an' such, Lass!

Not with that new lighter hair style you're sporting....

Did you just hear something sounding like a lusty growl????

Twas me, appreciatin' that new hair.

Who's got rum?

baristajack said...

I had a keyman once, not this century, but the last....

Land-bound, he would organize radio hunts, where folks would travel 'round their areas in automobiles....

Not nearly as much fun as pirate ships, and no where near as close to the moon and stars, but these hunts...

on the C.B. radio....

Would be like huntin' a rabbit with fox cars. And then we'd all take to havin' a bit o' libation, ye ken.

Just a bit.

The first one findin' the rabbit was the rabbit the next time.

Now on the Island, we do it a bit different, Sandra and I....

She hides.


But she's not very good.

Now Myra????

She's cagey.

Cara Lynn James said...

Rainbows End sounds great! I've never heard of geocaching, but it must be lots of fun.

Cara Putman said...

Carol, novellas are a lot of fun to write because you get to brainstorm and work with other writers. For the most part writing is a lonely job, so I've really liked that aspect of novellas.

baristajack said...

And scones are dry as dust.


Give me cake, women!

And a pint, 'longside.

Nicole O'Dell said...

What??? I go to the grocery store and Cap'n Jack 'imself shows up?

And about the scones--I KNEW it! ;)

LeAnne Hardy said...

Wonderful idea! My daughter introduced me to geocaching this week. We found two yesterday. I kept thinking what a great background for a book. I hope it does really well.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, LeAnne! We hope it does well, also!

Anyone else notice that Barista Jack seems to have a quieting effect on this place? It's like we don't dare speak, when Jack has graced us with his presence.

Linnette R Mullin said...

CHRISTINA: Thank you! I'll have to give it a try.

DEBBY: Flash Fiction is usually a short story that can be as much as 2k or maybe 3k words, but most are around 1K. The stories in Woman's World are flash fiction, for example.

Debra E. Marvin said...

geocaching is a bit more reliable than Jack's compass, but I like his adventuresome attitude. ( most of us need to know where the closest coffee shop is).

Valerie Comer said...

Debra, a thermos of coffee works for us ;)

Ausjenny said...

can I ask how you join the twitter party? I have twitter have tweeted but really am clueless.

Valerie Comer said...

Hi Ausjenny. Here's a post about the Twitter Party: http://valeriecomer.com/twitter-party-for-rainbows-end/

The post will tell you how to join in by watching for and using the hashtag #RainbowsEnd in your tweets during the one hour the party is going. We'll be picking four winners, one every 15 minutes.

And we're good for sending Rainbow's End to Australia, so come on out with your hashtags on :D

Jackie S. said...

Fun and interesting post! All the books sound great; have Cara's in my TBR next pile! The one about weddings in Charleston sounds like one I would especially enjoy since daughter lives there! Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville and thanks for bringing so much fun.

Geocaching is a kick. They have it set up in all the RV parks we go to.

Again thanks for joining us.

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks Jackie and Sandra!

Anyone joining us in five minutes on Twitter? Search the #RainbowsEnd hashtag and tweet us for more chances to win!

Valri said...

A very interesting post! Geocaching sounds interesting! I don't know if I would enjoy it as I'm not really a treasure hunter but now at least I know what it is! I've heard about it many times but didn't know what it was! Thanks for the info!

Your books sounds amazing! Please enter me! I would love to read them!

Valri westernaz@msn.com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jack quiets things down???

Oh, mylanta, that SO DOESN'T happen on the island, LOL!


The rabble-rouser.

Hey, I'm finally getting time to really read this post, and I love what you gals did. I can't believe (even more, if that is possible) that you figured out a way to teach Mary how to tweet repeatedly....

She will be unbearable to live with from this point on.

And JACK NOTICED MARY'S HAIR????? Sup wi' dat?????


Sandra will be SO JEALOUS!!!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Okay, the cookies....

Use my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe at the Cafe:

Ruthy's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

And then add a 10 oz. bag of Reeses peanut butter chips....

Oh my stars, you guys should be checkin' out our recipes and chat at the Cafe like... all the time.

We got some good food goin' on!

Cara Putman said...

Making notes on this recipe, Ruth!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my gosh, Cara, this recipe has been sent all over and it's too die for...

And I never kid about the seriousness of the perfect, chewy Ghirardelli-laced chocolate chip cookie, LOL!

I take my chocolate very seriously. :)

Audra Harders said...

What a fun adventure, ladies! I loved all the twists and turns of the novellas and the ones in your writing careers!

The idea for this anthology was inspired. I hope the four of you compile many more.

The idea of a two month treasure hunt...absolute heaven!

Valerie Comer said...

Valri, thanks for coming by! So glad we could share geocaching with you. It's not everybody's thing, I guess :)

Nice to see you again, Ruthy! Thanks for the recipe that I'm not going to open because I'm losing weight, girl!

Aw, thanks, Audra! You are too kind. (But tell the publishers you want to see more from us, lol)

Jennifer said...

I've read about Geocaching in The Rock Harbor Series by Colleen Coble. You would defiantly need to be in shape but it does sound like a lot of fun!

Valerie Comer said...

Jennifer, it depends. People hide geocaches in all kinds of places. Some of them are in remote areas, miles from a parking lot. Others are very close to roads and even wheelchair accessible!

Anita Mae Draper said...

I can't wait to read this book. I love geocaching and have 2 apps on my iPhone so that we can geocache wherever we are on our travels. Once I thought the co-ordinates were off. Another time the cache wasn't there any longer. And another time we knew exactly where it was but because there were always people around, we didn't pull it out. It's a great hobby!

Congrats, Val, Annalisa, Nicole and Cara. Sorry I missed your Twitter party.

Valerie Comer said...

Yay, Anita! Glad you made it here even though you WROTE on your story during the Twitter Party. Can't believe you put that first, girl. (grin)

I hope you'll love Rainbow's End! And that the geocaching in it meets your standards :D

Cindy W. said...

Oh, I so loved this post. I love reading authors story to publication and different insights on the road to publication. Thank you all for sharing and I would love to be entered into your giveaways.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Valerie Comer said...

Thank you, Cindy, for stopping by!

PatriciaW said...

I was too tied up to comment yesterday, but had to hop over today. So excited for Valerie, a former crit partner and amazing storyteller. She has so many interests that would make great fodder for stories.

And also excited for Nicole, also a former crit partner. It has been tremendous to see her success. I can definitely say although her early success may have come quickly that she worked hard then as she does now and it's all much deserved. (No one puts out more books in one year than Nicole O'Dell!)

Congrats to Cara and Annalisa too. The four of you have great stories, and great stories to tell.

Rachelle Rea said...

This was a great post. I loved being able to read all of ya'll's different voices and stories and comments on geocaching. :)

Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!

Shelia Hall said...

Sounds like a interesting book idea!

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks so much, Patricia! So good to see you here.

Rachelle, interesting how our voices come through, even in the blog post! (Even more so in our novellas, lol.)

Thanks for coming, Shelia!

DebH said...

oh my. never heard of geocaching but will google it for more info. i think i relate most with the Welcome Home Love character.

i would love an opportunity to win any of the books. i'm tagging the series for to be read/bought when i can budget it.

i really enjoyed reading each author's experience. i do so love visiting Seekerville for information.

nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

Jennifer said...

That's cool! I didn't know they had other options. I've only heard of the rough terain ones!

Jennifer said...

Hi Mary! I have trouble with technology to. I still don't understand Twitter.

marybelle said...

A fascinating post.

Please enter me.


Valerie Comer said...

Deb, thanks for tagging the book to be read. We appreciate it :)

Jennifer, now that you know not all geocaches are halfway up a mountain (though those are the ones my hubby wants to find, go figure...) maybe you'll get started, too.

Hi Mary Belle! Thanks for coming.

Anne Payne said...

I'd never heard of Geocaching until I found Valerie's blog a few months ago. Guess I need to watch the video and check it out more since I have two teen boys that might find it interesting but I'm pretty sure I don't have the right phone for it! I may just have to Geocache vicariously through Rainbow's End :)

Valerie Comer said...

Anne, it's a great family activity. Hope you and your boys find a way to geocache together. Thanks for commenting.