Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Let Me Call You Sweetheart!" How A Hero's Actions Speak Louder than Words!

Well, let's just start HERE....

Bing Crosby singing "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"....

 Ah.... Bing.... :) The whistling toward the end???? Oh my stars, be still my heart!!! Andy Griffith was a whistler... and he won my heart when I was about eleven years old...

So I had a prosaic and informative post ready for today but then my buddy Vince Mooney...

 the lot o' youse know who I'm talkin' about, the handsome fella pictured here....

 Well, Vince reminded me that it's like the HOME RUN DERBY for Major League Baseball for a romance writer to write a post on Valentine's Day... and since the aforementioned Vince and his revolutionary Rewards Per Page program took my writing to a whole new reader-pleasing level, I'm happy to grab his idea and run with it!

And speaking of baseball... spring training... the boys of summer.... PINSTRIPES!!!!


Oh.... sigh....

Okay, back to heroes. We love 'em. Sometimes because they do all the things we WISH we could get our husbands/boyfriends/fiances to do and sometimes because they're broken and we want to fix them.


(That was my Ruthy-lecture for the day) Please note that authors and books all have "live links" which means if you click on the highlighted names, they will take you away... but then come back and play!

In "The Lawman's Second Chance" the first book of my new "Kirkwood Lake" series, there are three very good reasons why Alex and Lisa shouldn't get together. Their names are Emma, Becky and Josh and they've already buried one mother... but as Alex comes to terms with his growing feelings, he realizes he's got a BIG DRAGON to slay... so one morning he calls her early, because she starts her day early... and he teases her about her favorite Mandisa song... and then he swings by the bakery on his way to the Fillmore New York State Police barracks, then drops off a box of fresh Danish pastries for Lisa and the garden center crew... just to make her smile. Ten minutes won him a lifetime.... Sweet payback, right? Nothin' on Wall Street's going to give you that kind of return!

In Debby Giusti's book, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER, a serial killer is on the loose, and Special Agent Jamison Steele, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, is assigned to protect Michele Logan. Jamison keeps a vigilant watch, and when danger nears, he's willing to sacrifice his own well-being to ensure she's safe from harm. On a lighter note, Jamison has impeccable manners. He opens doors for Michele and stands when she enters the room. Realizing how much she loves flowers, he has a special surprise for her at the end of the story. In addition to a gorgeous bouquet of cut flowers, Jamison offers Michele an engagement ring along with his heart.

Mary Connealy is the grande dame of having men either grovel, work, romance or put themselves in peril to win the fair damsel's heart and her books sing with fun reparte, a total Mars/Venus showdown.... Here are a few of things her heroes did to show their love: (And just so youse know, she sent me FIVE TIMES THIS MANY but then I'd have to cut Julie, and if you've ever met Julie Lessman, you'd know I do not want to get on Julie's bad side... like, um... ever.)  :)

Clay McClellen butchered a pig Sophie shot. She would have had to do it herself otherwise. (Petticoat Ranch)

Tom Linscott chopped wood and plastered mud on Mandy McClellen's house when her no-account husband Sidney had gone to town. (Sharpshooter in Petticoats)

Silas Harden did the  morning chores on the first day of his employment and it touched Belle's heart but it couldn't really be called a sweetheart moment, just a man doing his job, but that was so rare in Belle's experience it was almost romantic. (The Husband Tree, a Ruthy favorite!!!)

Red Dawson, now there was a sweetheart. A picture of Cassie's ancestors had been torn up and he helped her put them back together. When she let all his chickens out he pretended like he wasn't upset because he didn't want to hurt her feelings.  (Montana Rose, another Ruthy top-pick!!!)

Notice a recurring theme? Most of these acts of love are classified under the "Acts of Service", one of the Five Love Languages.  And that's a whole other blog topic, but totally relevant for authors!

When times were tight and money non-existent, "Pa" Ingalls assured his wife that  the imprint of her pretty hand atop the cornbread was sweetening enough for him...
Now that's an "aww..." statement if ever I heard one!

 Tina Radcliffe employs a lovely hand with sacrificial love. When you read a Radcliffe novel, you're immersed in the depth of strong, selfless characters... Here's a snip from her upcoming release  Mending the Doctor's Heart, pre-order here... 

Her eyes flew open. "He sold the Land Rover."
"Yes. He did."
"Uncle Henry." She looked down at her uncle. "Why did he do this?"
"I believe he did it because he loves you, and because he understands your loss."

Moving into the sweetness and hardship of the American past, Janet Dean shares this picture-perfect sacrificial image from her newest Love Inspired Historical release "The Bride Wore Spurs"...

Hannah is emotionally numb with grief for her father, unable to get back to living. As she and her marriage of convenience husband pass a field of bluebonnets, Matt stops the buggy, hoping flowers might lift her spirits. He practically tows her into the field. She stands amongst all those flowers and says, "I love bluebonnets." Within minutes he fills her arms with the blooms, more than she can carry, gazing into the prettiest blue eyes he'd ever seen. Uneasy under his scrutiny, she challenges him to a race to the buggy. A race he lets her win or so he claims. For the first time, she smiles, a smile that reassures him she'll be okay, that he has his feisty wife back. He promises himself that he'll keep her smiling even if it means losing a race every day of his life. 

Matt spent no money... he merely seized a God-given moment and showed his compassion by taking the time to stop. How many men drive by "Scenic Overlook Ahead" signs every day, and never take the turn off to check out God's beauty... Janet brought that home to us with this poignant scene.

And then Julie Lessman continues our foray into yesteryear with this glimpse into her first published novel "A Passion Most Pure"...  Julie helps us see the tenderness in the bad boy hero and the longing in the 'girl next door' heroine, a personal favorite of mine:

Faith has loved Collin since she was a little girl with polio, filling journals with poems, dreams, and her innermost longings for the older boy who’d defended her from bullies. Despite deep attraction between the two, Collin is now her sister Charity’s beau instead, and in the midst of her struggle to put her feelings for him behind, he gives each of the family a present for Christmas. When Faith opens hers, her heart aches over the tenderness of his gift—a leather-bound journal with the inscription, "To Faith––a woman of faith. Collin. "It's a journal," he says, "for your poetry. Charity says you've written poetry for years.” Faith can do nothing but weep, painfully aware he’s been the center of any poetry she’s ever written. 


Pam Hillman keeps us rooted in the past with this sweet scene from her newest release "Claiming Mariah"...

"In Claiming Mariah, a barn cat has kittens, and Mariah is trying to figure out how to get her hands on them. Slade comes in and fishes the kittens out from behind a jumble of harness. He wouldn't have even bothered with the kittens if it hadn't been for Mariah. But because she wanted to hold them, he did something special for her. Of course the converstion is peppered with more than just references to sweet, innocent darling little kittens!"

*Note to all: A Ruthy-Rule-of-Thumb is that you can almost never go wrong with puppies, kittens, foals, calves, injured songbirds or twinkle lights! And cute little kids who need a loving home???? BIG AWWW FACTOR UNLESS YOUR READERS DON'T LIKE KIDS... Luckily, mine do!

And we pull ourselves back into the present with this sweet note from Missy Tippens: 

I have what I think is a fun sweetheart moment right at the end of my upcoming release, Georgia Sweethearts. But if I tell you much about it, it would be a big spoiler! So I'll just say that my hero, pastor Daniel Foreman, arranges something that will protect the heroine, yarn shop owner Lilly Barnes. It shows he cares about her best interest, no matter what happens with them romantically. It makes for a fun scene when she finds out what he's done!

And we end on this beautiful farm-friendly, reader-pleasing note from Mia Ross as she wraps up her first Love Inspired series  with "A Place for Family"...

In A Place for Family, John Sawyer is the kind of guy who takes care of things. When Amanda Gardner's bankruptcy threatens to keep her from starting up a PR consulting business, he calmly hands over his credit card so she can purchase a website to get her company started. As a farmer, he doesn't have much, but he's more than willing to share everything he's got with her.

These experienced and successful authors epitomize the beauty of pure romance... The warmth and growing emotions that drive us to love and cherish one person, one hero (well.... USUALLY) all of our days.

COFFEE'S ON!!!! Come on inside, set a spell (This Yank loves talking Southern) and help yourself to some of the Black Forest Chocolate Chip Cake I made over in the YANKEE BELLE CAFE.... :)  

There's plenty to go around and if you leave a comment I'll put your name in the cat dish for this lovely Sack o' Romance!!!!

Clari Dees, Debby Giusti, Myra Johnson and me!!! 


  1. Lotsa loving gestures. Rah! Rah!

    The coffee's already on, so here's a huge jug of orange juice.


  2. Oh. My. Goodness! I was loving all the lovely, romantic gestures and then I reached the bottom of the post! What!? I'm in the prize sack with Debby, Myra & Ruthy! I'm Snoopy Dancin' all over the place. I got my Valentine gift early.
    Thank you, Ruthy.☺

  3. Oh to reply to the important parts first. I LOVE black forrest cake and would love it for my birthday in a couple of weeks.

    fun post. I love Marys acts of love especially the butchering the pig.

    Happy valentines day to all so far no anonymous cards, flowers, chocolates (although they would melt today) have arrived on my doorstep.

  4. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥



    And a Special Thanks to Ruth Who Just Hit the Valentine’s Day Post Right Out of the Park and Into a Dream World of Romance!

    This is just the kind of genius I envisioned…only much better. Every author was romantic in a different way yet each said the same thing: I love you.

    Reading Julie’s quotes yesterday and today made me realize how much I missed on my first reading of her works and how much fun it will be to read them again when I can simply enjoy the richness of the writing without worrying about the story outcome.

    Maybe it is better the second time around. When you know the ending it is easier to stop and smell the roses.

    Mary seems funnier the second time because you know when it’s safe to laugh and when real tragedy is just ahead. Missy’s books always made me feel loved -- as the reder. I can’t point to how she does this but then I can’t explain how Enya can sing the way she does.

    Then Ruth: your books are like a pitcher who has every known pitch at his disposal. I’m always off balance and surprised with each new book.

    All the Seekers have delivered romantic moments which really are not over when they are read but are just waiting for a second look and another chance to please.

    This wonderful post has helped me discover a new layer of reading enjoyment. A second look.

    From the play ”Mama Mia!” I want to quote this line for Ruth:

    “You done good, girl.”


  5. There are already chocolates on my desk and flowers on the buffet. My husband is not usually early. Now I get to wake up to them!

    Have a happy, romantic Valentines Day one and all.

  6. Vince is an inspiring guy! ;) I appreciate his great advice and ideas - so glad he inspired you to go this direction with the post, Ruthy! :) Lots of fun to see all these sweet and various examples of a hero showing his love beyond words - although words can be powerful, too! (And "Words of Affirmation" is one of the Love Languages; I'm partial to "Quality Time," myself.) :)

    Anyway, too cute! Happy Valentine's Day to one and all! Time for chick flicks and candy and family time, right? :)


  7. Loved your post Ruthy! Well, I love romance and to read about romance...

    Your cake is calling my name and well, I've always wanted my name to be thrown into a cat dish...I think.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

    Have a blessed day here in Seekerville!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  8. Helen, thank you for the juice, we shall unite together with Vitamin C to ward of germs!!!!

    CLARI!!! Did I surprise you???? YAY!!!!! I'm a firm believer in spreading the fun and sharing the wealth, Cupcake, so I have a stash of your books to send to unsuspecting winners because you're amazing and wonderful!!!! :) Hooray for you!!!!

  9. Jenny, this cake is amazing. Definitely 4 HEARTS!!! ♥♥♥♥

    It's a combination of old (1950 Betty Crocker Cookbook) and new (cherry pie filling, homemade with frozen dark, sweet cherries) and now it's Lent and I can't eat anymore of it, but that will help my pants to zip....


  10. VINCE!!!! YOU MADE MY DAY!!!

    This one's for you, big guy... and you made me realize that exploring my work, it took a definite romantic upswing once I was paying attention to rewarding the reader. Writing is definitely an evolutionary state. And Vince, my sales are doing great, I'm amazed by them, so it pays to write, write, write and to try new things to grab readers' hearts! ♥


    THANK YOU!!!

    And Vince, on a side note... Jeter looks GOOD, doesn't he????


  11. I want Mary Cline's husband.

    Dave and I don't do presents any more, although there's been a shortage of posies in this house for a while... BUT... We put our flower money into the yard come spring, and that gives me flowers for months. And he dasn't look crosswise at me when I come home from the market with a car-load...

    Mary, you hug that man! That's a nice thing to wake up to, honey!!!

  12. AMBER! Welcome back! I love the "Five Love Languages" and they're a vital exploratory tool for understanding characters, aren't they? And men often employ "Acts of Service" ... And that kind of hero appeals to the reader, the kind of man that sees what the heroine needs and then does something out of his way to handle it.

    In Winter's End, Marc DeHollander got up early one winter Sunday (early even for a farmer) and went to Walmart to buy Kayla a new battery for her car so she could get to church. And then surprised her with it by showing up at her house around 8 AM.... Needing coffee and a ride home.

    He didn't see it as a big deal, he just knew she'd feel bad if she couldn't get to church...

    Her heart melted on the spot.


    I think women tend toward the two you named because it's OUR "blankie" our "something to hold"... so often we have to HEAR the words of love because we fail to see them.

    And that's a Mars/Venus kind of thing.

  13. First and foremost "Happy Valentine Day" to all.....
    Ruth I loved your post today and could feel the LOVE through each and every book and author you described. I thought Sure Vince-The Romantic would have the post today esp when I saw his pic right up front, but then you explained and I thought Yep-thats good.
    This ole gal most likely wont get any valentines or candy but hey I am a big girl I just go buy my own -I am thinking of getting a gold chain for a heart that I have. now let me at that great looking cake -I have heard that cherries are healthy for you Ruth. thanks for the post and the treat.
    Hey I am thinking if I win that basket of books I would be in "Hog Heaven" LOL
    Paula O

  14. Seems that all these romantic moments fall into two things:

    1- knowing the person well enough to know what they treasure

    2- sacrifice. Giving up something and the most important is TIME.

    ahah! both are perfect examples of God's love for us and that's why they resonate.
    (Just happens CJ Chase is talking about this today on our Inkwell blog or I wouldn't be so 'thoughtful' on the subject)

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  15. Paula, Hog Heaven, I LOVE IT!!!! :)

    So Mary Connealy. And didn't this work out great? I'm sure the Holy Spirit nudged Vince and that gave me a wake-up call that we can talk about SERIOUS stuff any old time, but those quiet nuances of romances that inspire a reader to read one book then go online and order six more??? (and that speaks directly to write, write, write, so you have a backlog to sell, sell, sell...)

    Vince gave me a light bulb moment two years ago and I grabbed hold and ran with it.

    He and Linda are an absolutely beautiful, devoted couple. I'm so glad we got to meet and hang out last year. They made our trip to Oklahoma sing with joy.

  16. Deb, that's so true... And you know what else works? Having the hero or heroine hunt up information to do something nice, to go out of their way to find out what the other likes... or does... and then meet that need.

    That extra step is like a loving embrace, especially if it's done in the early stages when they're pretty darned certain they CAN NEVER be together... but want to make the other person happy... Now I'm RACING OVER to see what C.J. has to say!!!

  17. Happy Valentine's Day!

    What a fun post.

    This year my husband are celebrating on a budget. This morning I woke up and Tim had little chocolate kisses around my sink, the area where I read my Bible every morning, my writing desk, and my car keys. Isn't he romantic? Sigh.

    I hope you all have a great day, and pleas toss my name in the hat for the drawing. Thanks.


  18. The mints are on the table, in little paper cupcake holders...peppermint, lemonade, blueberry and green tea. They are shaped like hearts. Help yourselves. I also left a tray of M&M cookies in pink, white and red, plus a dozen traditional chocolate chip cookies. I am drinking Earl Grey in a chine cup. Coffee makes me mean...
    Kathy Bailey

  19. Excellent examples that love/romance comes in many shapes and forms!

  20. Happy Valentine's Day!

    And Ruthy, like usual, your post just oozes love of all kinds:)

    And those wounded heroes? We can't fix them, but oh, when God gets hold of them, watch out! They turn into romantic leads any woman would swoon over.

    I must take my daughter to the airport. She's heading out to spend Palentine's weekend with friends from college. Fun stuff!

    Thanks for the cake...

  21. That was a lovely way to start my Valentine's Day. I don't have a sweetheart so reading about sweetheartly actions is my vicarious way to celebrate this holiday...though Simba did chase the mouse back behind the fridge this morning and he never does that so I'm thinking that's his sweetheart gift to me today. :-)

    Don't enter me in the draw because I have all those books. LOVED them all!!!

  22. Jackie, I love celebrating on a shoestring! If stuff goes over the top, I'm always wondering, waiting for the other shoe to fall....


    That's a wonderful hubby you have there!

    Kathy Bailey you don't have a mean bone in that nice, sharing body, but I'm keeping the coffee out of your hands just in case! I love the mints!!! Thank you for remembering! Here, I've got some sponge candy for you, a WNY favorite from the Greek candymakers of my youth. (NO. NOT ARISTOTLE OR PLATO. HUSH, CONNEALY)

    Rose, your romances delight with these kind of things.... And make the reader smile while their heart gets all squishy....

    Usually squishy hearts are not GOOD, but in romance they are considered a sign of great writing! Who knew?

  23. Jan-who-loves-wounded-heroes!!!

    Me too.

    Why are they so amenable to being fixed on paper and not so simple in real life?

    Someone smarter than me needs to answer that one.

    I have 3 boxes of chocolate covered cherries in the pantry, from Dave.

    I gave up chocolate for Lent.

    I sense a conundrum.

  24. Happy Valentine's Day.

    I hate to be the bearer of reality...but where exactly do you think much of Spring Training takes place?? Yes. ARIZONA.

  25. AWWWW! I love Valentine's day. It makes my heart just swell with warm fuzzies. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful sweet moments from the Seekers' books.

    Happy Valentines Day, Seekerville!

  26. You know we have a Seeker friend for life when they start bringing food to the Village. Love it.

  27. Kavalicious!!! We love you back and huge thank yous for buying those books. Oh my stars, you make me smile, ear-to-ear!

    And I love the cat and mouse story and I can totally see you writing a very true to life 30-something romance lady-with-cat who is in the boonies and love finds her... in Canada.... Or make it Lake Placid New York, or upper Vermont, but you get it.... I would buy that in a heartbeat and did you know that LI is actively searching for authors to write some older heroines?

    Your life lends itself to Jewel of the Nile, doesn't it?????

    You must do this!

  28. TEEEEEEEENSTER Well. Some of the teams gather there, I suppose.

    But not THE TEAM.


    Dave and I were talking about making a trip when we both have to work less and checking out spring training in AZ...(READ: VISIT TINA, SANDRA AND GLYNNA!!!!) and Florida (READ: VISIT CARA!!!)

    And I'll research a baseball book to make it all deductible.

    Happy in upstate NY!

  29. Back at you, ANNIE RAINS

    I just smile whenever I see that names. It's so stinkin' perfect...

    And you have to name seasonal children:

    Summer Rains
    Autumn Rains
    Storm Rains (ooo, a hero for sure!)
    Spring Rains
    Soft Rains....

    Come on, let's have some fun here! Why miss a chance like that????

  30. Teenster@KayBee Yes... it's very Biblical, the setting of table, the breaking of bread....

    Kaybee, there's no escaping us now, darling!

  31. The cinnamon rolls are here...fresh, fresh from the oven all hot and gooey and they go well with either tea or coffee! Thinking no one gave those up for lent) I'm like pol a rotic (no man) but i've got family and i'm taking Mom to her sister's place for lunch, an hours drive. i am lovin' your post and comments. Soaking up the romance (or roce, as there's no man). Have as great a Valentine's Day as you all are! Thanks for the treats and coffee.


  32. I love the when the hero says, "I Love you" with his actions and not his words only.

    My goodness, Ruthy. Wonderful post for Valentines.


    (why oh why isn't that on a poster, huh?)

  34. So many "Awwwww" moments here, Ruthy. I love how you shared different ways heroes are made/crafted. I'm loving all these hero posts this week! That cake looks deere-licous!! Since it's all cyber food, I'll indulge in a piece.

    And, I'd love to be in the drawing. I'm looking forward to stopping back later to read more comments. :)

  35. VINCE tell me how you make those shapes again? I can't find the post where we talked about it. I wanted to do a heart. <3

  36. And Ruthy makes a great point to you unmarried ladies. Sure we fix wounded heroes in fiction.

  37. Actually when Ruthy asked us to pick out romantic moments, I had a hard time finding one in my books. My heroes are all BARBARIANS!!!
    Thus re-assembling a torn up picture makes the cut.

    If I wrote contemporary, I suppose the heroes would repair the heroine's car.

  38. Love heroes! Whether they be fictional or real-life (like the firemen in Webster on Christmas Eve morning *sniff*). And sometimes my hubby, too, although he's mostly a toned-down version, LOL.

    And then there's Han Solo of "Star Wars" fame. A rogue but a hero. Love those bad-guys-that-are-actually-very-good-guys!

    Would love to win some new books! Of course! (Still working my way through the box of used LIs my hubby got me for Christmas, AND my sister just sent me some historical LIs and some Amish books which I will read before passing on to our daughter. *grin*)

    BTW, nice pic of Derek. ;-)

    Happy Valentine's Day, Ruthy--and everyone! :)

  39. Great post. Makes a body think about Wuv true Wuv. Or the princess bride whatever comes first. Thanks for the Love Post.

    Oh and add my name to the List of people to visit in AZ

    Happy Valentine's Day



  40. Marianne, you crack me up!!!

    I love leaving "man" out of the equations, I'm dying laughing!

    A girls' day is just the ticket! Have I told you guys here about the sweet funeral director in town, who takes all the widows out for lunch on Valentine's Day? He's the sweetest thing, and he gathers with them at a local restaurant because no one should be alone on that first Valentine's day.

    I love that story.

  41. Bridgett, thank you! And you're so right... Today I SCOWLED at Dave because he left me with a really nasty diaper that he could have changed while I was changing crib sheets....

    Changing that diaper would have put him in my good graces.

    Men. Really. Sheesh.

    Conneally!!!♥♥♥ I have that poster. I bought it in Nebraska. I think that's the only place they sell them, honey.

    I'm pretty sure of it, actually.


    LOVE THIS POST TODAY, Ruthy ... Vince is right, "you done good, girl!"

    Sigh ... I just LOVE talking about heroes, and you've showcased some of the best above, so THANK YOU!!



  43. Oh, Ruthy, that Black Forest Chocolate Chip Cake looks so good! The Black Forest cakes I've made in the past have not been very sweet. (We Southerners like things SWEET, i.e. sweet tea, etc.) So is this cake really sweet? If so, I want to make it, because I LOVE cherries and chocolate, separate or together, but together is always a good thing.

  44. Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

    I just read His Mistletoe Family. It was a perfect Valentine's read. Chop full of rewards per page! What a sweet hero and loved those little boys!!

  45. Ruthy, love your post's wonderful examples of romance! Perfect on this day set aside for expressing love. My dh just brought in a bouquet of roses. Not found along the rode as my hero Matt did in The Bride Wore Spurs, but gorgeous deep red with velvety petals. He's my hero.

    Love the Black Forest chocolate chip cake, Ruthy! So good it's decadent.

    Happy Valentine's Day all!!

    Hugs, Janet

  46. Yes, Ruthy, you did surprise me! And I love it. You're such a sweetheart! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Mary, since Vince hasn't checked back in yet... Press the alt key and 3 on the number keypad of your keyboard if you have one. ♥ You can play with other numbers and combinations of numbers to get other symbols. ☺ (alt+1)

  47. JEANNE!!!! Hey, chickie how's that book coming?????

    Keep me updated, pretty please.

    And don't you love looking at these heroes? Checking them out and the different ways they handle showing their love??? That just makes me smile, too!

    MARY Alt and the number pad 3 at the same time equals ♥

    Which is how you feel about me, right?????

  48. Melanie Pike!!!! I'm so happy to see you over here, girlfriend!!!! You must come and chat more often, then dust off that old typewriter, honey.... I love having you here!!!

    Do you guys know that Melanie and I live where those poor fireman were gunned down on Christmas Eve? I'm a few towns west, she's south, but our whole area of upstate has been made aware of how precious life is... and how good is our God? Praying for families and friends and the neighborhood that burned from one man's anger and hate.

    Melanie, thank you for that reminder that there are folks nearby suffering loss while we make paper hearts...

  49. TINA P IN AZ Oh, honey, that sounds like a rap song!!!

    Love it!!! Okay, you're on the AZ list.... Yes, remember last year I did The Princess Bride which is just too romantic and fun for mere words...

    LOVE IT!!!!

    Julie.... Happy Valentines Day, and hope you're feeling better! Yes, heroes... Yes, yes, yes!

    But I love my heroines, too, and I love that they're kind of bossy... Stubborn... and that they are not allowed to gasp.


    If we were to do an author study on heroines, it's funny how a little part of each author gets tagged in her heroines... I think that's better than a DaVinci self-portrait!

  50. RUTHY! Vince's RPP kicked my writing up a few notches for sure. Did he tell you he let me teach a class on it to my local ACFW chapter? Wonderful man. =)

    I wanted to say hi and *hugs* and I also don't know why there's no poster of nothing says i love you like slaughtering a pig. Or saving your development. Or deep frying chicken nuggets that aren't on the menu for two precious angels. =D

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. Like Kav I already own all those books.

    I miss you all terribly!!!

  51. Melanie Dickerson, awesome YA and Regency author!!!!

    This cake is to die for. It's
    totally worth the time and effort minus the garlic-y strawberries, but the black cherry substitution was very George Washington/President's Day friendly, right???? :)

    DONNA!!!! Oh, thank you! I'm grinning ear-to-ear because it was so wonderful to give that former soldier I stood next to on Memorial Day and give him a story. Fiction or not, it meant a lot to me to "Fix" his past with a new, Spirit-filled present.



  52. Nancy!!!! I miss you too!!!! And I'm smiling for all those mentions because it's such a great 'sigh....sigh....sigh....' way of saying I love you....

    I love designing men.

    Managing the real-life ones is a whole different story! If only they knew it only takes the little stuff... but on a fairly regular basis... that wins the fair maid's heart!


  53. Janet... roses... Sigh.

    I won't tell Dave.

    He's splitting wood. Lots of wood. In his brain, that equates love because he's taking care of his family... But I'm glad you got roses.

    One of my peeps asked me what we were having for supper tonight... Well, Dave will be working and I'm working on The Lawman's Pledge, so...

    This is pathetic.


    I'm having nothing for supper.

    Stupid, trumped-up, made-up holiday.

    (stomps into other room, pouting...)

  54. Clari-mon petit, you have returned!!!

    I'm so glad you're surprised and happy. Did I GLADDEN your heart????


  55. Great examples and links, Ruthy. Thanks so much for giving examples that make the hero real. The five love languages are good road maps.

    BTW, since you provided links to Amazon (on all except YOURS, I think) I clicked in and 'liked' all of those books as my Valentine's thank you gift to all of you gifted Seekerville authors. Ruthy, I typed in your title, so I liked yours, too. Next time, make it easier for me, ;)

  56. Great examples and links, Ruthy. Thanks so much for giving examples that make the hero real. The five love languages are good road maps.

    BTW, since you provided links to Amazon (on all except YOURS, I think) I clicked in and 'liked' all of those books as my Valentine's thank you gift to all of you gifted Seekerville authors. Ruthy, I typed in your title, so I liked yours, too. Next time, make it easier for me, ;)

  57. Ms. Ruth, you have definitely gladdened my heart today. As the Geico commercial puts it, "I'm happier than a slinky on an escalator." ☺

  58. Hi Ruth:

    “Why are they (men) so amenable to being fixed on paper and not so simple in real life?”

    Here’s the answer from a male POV:

    YES -- men can be fixed. But first they must believe they are broken. If they don’t think they are broker, then any attempt by a woman to fix them will be perceived as an attempt to break them!

    So here’s the test: tell the man you are interested in marrying that he is indeed broken and that he needs to be fixed. Then tell him step-by-step how you intend to fix him. And then, if he is still around, you can start the project. If he lets you finish fixing him and you are satisfied with your improvement project, then it could be safe to marry him. However, once he is fixed, and comes in at a much higher appraisal, a lot of other women might now make a play for him. It’s the “be careful what you wish for” problem in action.

    As far as why fixing men works so well on paper, that’s because the writer controls the hero’s motivation. In real life, that’s usually not an option. ☺

    BTW: Taking the ‘man’ out of romance would be like taking the ‘man’ out of woman. You’d be left with nothing but wo (pronounced woe) as in ‘woe is me’!


  59. Hi Mary:

    "Nothing says lovin’ like killing something for the oven.”

    In the right context I can see how butchering a pig could be romantic. I can even understand how chopping wood and plastering mud on Mandy McClellen's house could be considered romantic – except -- wasn’t Tom Linscott violating the ninth commandment by trying to steal Sidney’s wife while he was still alive? If not exactly trying to steal Mandy, he was at least ‘coveting’ her. Tom better hope that ‘good works’ can actually get one into heaven.


    P.S. I was fully prepared to drop Sidney’s cause but that ‘chopping wood’ example was a log too far.

  60. Awww, Ruthy, you're giving me away--and in such wonderful company! I'm honored!

    What sweet examples of charming heroes in action! My "hero" took me out for our traditional Valentine's breakfast this morning. We began the tradition several years ago because you really take your chances with the crowds if you wait to go out for dinner.

    Oh, and extra-special? When we left the restaurant, he actually opened my car door for me--a rare occurrence in our middle-age life of routine!

  61. While I understand the spirit of the idea and think it would be a great scene in a western romance...the idea of going to lunch with the funeral director and a table full of beyond bizarre. This spoken from a former widow.

  62. Thank you for the heads up on all of these good sounding books. i am always looking for new authors to read and some of these I have yet to read.
    Thanks for the giveaway .
    Happy Valentine's Day

  63. RUTHY--It's sloooow in coming. I haven't had a lot of time, but I'm learning more of who my characters are. Like I mentioned on Tina's post, I'm going to (gulp) attempt to put some words on the page during SpeedBo.

    I sooooo enjoyed our conversation!!

  64. Hi Tina:

    In the early 1960’s I had a one-day tryout for the Philadelphia Phillies held in the minor league stadium in Tucson.

    Arizona has meant ‘baseball’ to me ever since.

    Brava for Arizona!


  65. Hi Ruth:

    I’d love for you to write an older heroine who is in love with an aging major league knuckle ball pitcher who is still hanging on at 41 years old because he can’t face getting old and being put out to pasture. His life outside baseball has been a zero.

    The heroine can give him the ready made family he never had time for. Her totally adorable boys, who idolize the hero, need a father. Their father was a AAA player killed in a bus going to a game in Rochester.

    Would LI do such a story? Would it make a great movie? It’s time for another classic baseball movie.


  66. Vince - you're brilliant. love that story idea.

    RUTHY - love all the examples presented in today's post.

    Mary - the pig quote set me laughing, now i have to explain to my co-workers why i'm laughing (they're all military men...)

    I just finished printing out a list of twenty five reasons why i'm glad my DH is mine (AKA, incomplete list of why i love him).

    Lots of the list contains things he does for me. I hope he saves the list for days when I'm peeved at him.

    No gifts yet - but I'm still at work. I'm betting a gift will be waiting for me when I walk through the door. For V-day, all he wants is for me to enter bedroom with nothing but a smile on...

  67. There you go, Vince. Take me out to the ballgame.

    I am going to find a Vince with Yankee cap to share.

  68. Okay, DebH, careful there, this is a G rated blog. LOL.

    We Seekers already had the Marabel Morgan and household wrap discussion and tossed it out the window.

    Any holiday, no matter what it is. Ground Hog Day, National Lurker Day, Valentine's Day..any..Amazon Gift Card, Home Depot Gift Card, Staples Gift Card. All are acceptable.

  69. How can you not feel anything but romantic after reading this wonderful post from Ruthy. :) Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

    Jodie Wolfe

  70. RUTHY--I hate to mention this, but you forgot to mention visiting COLORADO and Audra (and me a couple hours south). Just sayin'. ;)

    Oh, and FYI, I just discovered that I can't do "ALT+3 to make a heart on my Mac. Sigh. Oh well. I "heart" you ladies anyway. :)

  71. Hey, I just got my Simply Books from Harlequin and in the Spring Reading Guide, Tina's new book, Mending the Doctor's Heart, is featured (under Alison's Picks). How cool is that? And Missy is one of the authors talking about moms in Mom's the Word. It's a neat little magazine.

  72. Oh MY!

    This was a sweet post on so many fronts. Thank you, wise Vince!

    Ruthy, you're just a hoot. We <3 ya!!!

    It might be afternoon slump time for some, and then again, some of us might just be showing up to work *ahem* - so here's a BIG assortment of white, milk and dark chocolates to get us on track. Lo cal of course!

    Happy Valentine's everyone. Love is definitely in the air (and on the page) in Seekerville!

  73. (Did we need to say we'd love to be entered? Yes please.)

  74. You know if someone would come and mow my lawn for me and trim the front tree while I cant with my wrist I would be grateful for life! Only one who offered was an elderly lady who was going to volunteer someone who isn't really up to it either.

  75. Wow. I have so much to learn, writing wise, in the way of romance. (My wife would say "outside of writing, too.")

    Also, my wife loves black forest cake. On a day when she was mad at me, I found a German bakery a few miles from my office and surprised her with it when I got home.

  76. You have a lawn, Jenny.Well that's no fun. Give it up for Lent.

  77. Tina, I gave it up for Christmas hasn't been mowed since early Nov and thankfully with so little rain its not to high but it really does need a mow.

  78. Enjoyed those snippets so much!

    We walked all over Ruthy's post on Tuesday when we talked about our real-life "awwww" moments, and it was all I could do not to share about our fictional ones for today, even after Vince asked us to.

    Loved these Ruthy! It's the little every day things in life and in fiction that makes someone fall and stay in love.


  79. YAY!

    I know I saved this somewhere but can't find it. Now I'm saving it AGAIN

    ╚ <that's alt 200

  80. VINCE Tom was NOT trying to steal Mandy from her husband. He just couldn't see a woman in need and not help. The fact that they fell in love ... well, they fought that and denied that as long as Sidney the Skunk was alive.

  81. You know VINCE I redeemed Wade Sawyer. I think I deserve a metal for that.

  82. DebH, your military men co-workers are all probably saying, "That's the most romantic thing I've ever seen."

    (I hope none of them cried, so embarrassing for a guy)

  83. Awww my little romantic heart is going pitty pat pitty pat with all that sweet romance. How can anyone not love romance? It is just toooooo sweet.

    And Ruthy, you're right when you say we want in heroes what we dream about in our own real-life heroes. You're also soooo correct when you say don't plan on changing them. They are God's creation after all. smile Who would dare mess with that?

    Happy Valentine's day everyone. I'd go for some of that cake, but i gave up sugar for lent. Silly me.


    Oh my, I can't stop laughing. You are toooooo funny.

  85. Ruthy- Yes, yes yes, come to Arizona and see Tina, Glynna and ME.

    btw, New Yorkers LOVE Arizona. We call you Snowbirds.

  86. Hi Mary:

    I’ll be happy to give you a metal for Wade Sawyer but I haven’t got to the "Montana Marriages" trilogy yet but now that it is out on Kindle I’m sure that day will come. You write books so fast that I have problems working other authors in between them. I actually have a separate Mary Connealy and Mary Nealy TBR list! (I’d say TBR pile but I don’t know how to pile up ebooks.)

    Having all these other authors’ books to read (with many read but not yet reviewed) and considering that your books are so much fun to read, (I mean having romantic comedy with cowboys gives you a three stroke advantage before the tournament even starts) your books have become guilty pleasures. And it’s lent! Of course, I could always read “The Bossy Bridegroom” again. There’s a hero who may have been repaired and redeemed. A very good book for lent.


  87. Awww, love the story of the funeral director. Now that is a real life hero. One of my girlfriends lost her husband last week. The first spouse loss among my close friends, so I know today has to be hard for her.

  88. Hi Tina:

    I just love the picture! A beautiful day. Beautiful ladies! Sincere happy smiles! I feel like the guy in the poster for the Broadway play, “The Most Happy Fella”! I’m going to hate to see this day end! ♥♥♥♥♥


  89. Hey VINCE, it is a great picture. And you all look like you're having so much fun. Its so fun to meet you in real life.

    Love all our SEEKER friends. Happy Valentine's Day

  90. Happy Valentine's Day! Ruthy, PLEASE send me a piece of that beautiful cake!!!

  91. Lyndee, did I forget to link mine? I'm such a dork. I think that gets me points for selfless love, though, right???? :)

    THANK YOU! BLESS YOU. You make me smile! And I did get food tonight, Dave and I threw a couple of pork chops on the grill and some left over mashed potatoes... and there was a 1/4 INCH left in my Partylite votive candleholder, so I lit that bad boy (the candle...) and we had supper with a candle!!! :)

  92. VINCE, CORRECTAMUNDO!!! You're right, and you'll appreciate that Dave's favorite country song is "SHE COULDN'T CHANGE ME" by Montgomery Gentry, about how the woman finally comes back after walking out and finds him still on the porch in his overalls... realizing the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the fence... or the county line! :)

    And perception, that's the key.

    Didn't the Mars/Venus guy end up divorced? Knowledge is only part of the equation, I guess.

    Implementation? Around here that comes down to humor... laughing at ourselves.

    Vince, well done yourself!

  93. First of all, I love that Vince nailed Mary with Tom's helpfulness for a married woman, but... And I say this with all due respect for marriage....

    Sid was a horrible person.


    And MYRA!!!! After waitressing in a nice Greek-owned family restaurant for 11 years, yes, yes, yes, avoid them at all costs on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day!!! That's amateur hour! My little curly-headed buddy Brenda Minton (Name dropping, did you see that? Smooth, right?) went out last night with her hubby and that's a smoother thing to do. Or maybe the night before... anyway, you get the gist. I'm glad you had a nice day!

    My plus for the day? No one got sick all over me,....

    Life in the toddler room, LOL!

  94. Joye!!!!, you're new so I'm putting your name in TWICE....


    Welcome to Seekerville! Hey, try the cinnamon rolls, they're to die for and I don't think anyone gave those up for Lent.

    And I brough Earl Grey from Mary Connealy's stash and a twelve pack of diet Snapple...

    To share! Grab the cups!

    Jeanne, I loved talking to you, too! We will do it again, soon, you have to keep me posted. I love the ideas you're percolating!

  95. Teeeenster I know it sounds odd, but we're such a small town, and half the town knows the other half of town, and most of us intermarry which is why my children were not allowed to DATE ANYONE IN TOWN.


    So it's not so odd here because so many of these gals know each other already from churches or school or committees, or the fire department, senior center....

    Think small town... And you were a very young widow. Most of these gals are an older version of young... seventy and up.

    So yeah, from your perspective it would probably seem weird, not comforting.

    VINCE... Have you been reading my files? I have an outline for a very similar book... Baseball runs in our blood, dude, yours and mine... So a one-day tryout for the Phillies????? VINCE!!!! I love that you did that! We've had a few in Dave's family, they're wonderful athletes, and right now our cousin Nancy's son is playing minor league for the (YOU WILL LOVE THIS NAME) Vermont Lake Monsters....

    FOR REAL!!! Isn't that a great name????? Dave and I drove to see him play in Auburn New York and it was like baseball nostalgia... The greatest stadium, box seats for $8 and they bring the food to you.

    SO FUN!!!!
    Chris Bostick in the minors

  96. Deb H!!!! Oh my stars, that's awesome! I'm laughing at how sweet the beginning is and how true the end is as well!

    Valentine gifts do not have to be pricey. ♥ :)

    Hey, JODIE!! I'm so glad it made you smile, now cozy on up here and tell us what you've been up to. Over cake, of course.

    Hey, I'll sneak some of the chocolate covered cherries onto the buffet for the lot o' youse!!! You'll love them! ♥♥♥

  97. Hi Ruth:

    You wrote:

    “…realizing the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the fence...

    What a universal theme. I just read “Cody the Coyote” a kid's book about animals, where the hero, Cody wants to be a dog. But the grass was not really greener. So funny, so true.

    I agree: Sidney was a rat. So it all gets down to this: who do you like better. The rat or the weasel? The rat at least lets you know he’s a rat. I know, I know: we have heroes like King David and Sir Lancelot. But they are not my cup of tea!

    Cheers for Walt! German Black Forest cake is romantic. But German Black Forest cake from a Germany Bakery – that’s priceless. Way to go!

  98. Jeanne, if I get to the Rocky Mountain State, I will let you know I'm coming! Dave's never been out west, so you never know.

    But this year we're fixing the house. This old place has been getting by on "A lick and a promise" for a long time.

    Anybody else remember that saying?

    Anyway, this year is home repair in upstate. Maybe next year too, we've got to see how far things stretch and you know how it is, always expect the unexpected with kids, grandkids and houses. But I'd love to see you BOTH!!!! And there are some other awesome chickies in your state that I'd love to bother. And my buddy Mike Ehret is there, too... I consider myself an equal opportunity annoyance! :)

  99. Ruthy I still use the saying a lick and a promise!
    does that make me old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    11 weeks till I leave for the states. and just a little longer till I meet 2 seekers. can you tell Im excited?

  100. Hi Ruthy,

    Thanks for the romance - it's about all I'll get today. Hubby hates Valentines Day and plus he's been at work 24/7 for the past 2 weeks.

    Oh well... Maybe there's something romantic on TV. Or I could read a Seeker book.


  101. KAV!!! We had an article about Seekerville and the Seekers in the December edition.... and I don't have a copy of it.

    Must see if HQN has any laying around, I want to see it!

    Isn't it a great little book? A nice bonus, right? Love it!

    Jenny.... Well, I'd trim it for you if I was there, but I'm not and I can't even give you VIRTUAL help because it's a physical problem! DAGNABBIT!!!!

    K.C.! You're pretty darned sweet yourself, my friend, and I just made a "pawsome" comment over at the Yankee Belle Cafe.... Thinking of you and May!

    Hey, WALTMEISTER.... I must concur, coming up with the right cake at the right time can be a valuable life-saving technique.

    Well done, my friend. Well done.


  102. Pam, I think we've got the LOVE!♥♥♥ theme working this week! Plenty of room at the well, come one, come all, right?

    Okay, Sandra-baby, I'm dying laughing at the idea of not wanting to change God's creation... Dave loves this joke about the minister who comes to see the farmer and wants him to give more money, and he keeps pointing out the farmer's blessings, the beautiful acreage,(the farmer cleared) the lush crops,(the farmer grew) the pond they dug,(by hand) the fresh water,(from the well they dug) and the open fields... And the minister notes how thankful the farmer should be and the joke ends with the farmer saying, "Yup, I am thankful. You shoulda seen what it looked like when just God had it."

    I love Vince's take on changing men, that we explain it to the man and let him decide if he's really broken. "I love you, You're perfect, Now change!"

    Women are a conundrum! But you are a marvel in and of yourself because if Dave and I traveled together like you guys do, one of us would be buried.

    And he'd feel the same way, so it's probably good that we work different hours most days!

  103. Cara, it was scheduled to be delivered to your door about three hours ago. Don't tell me it didn't come?????

    Oh, drat!


    My little ones are very happy when I blog about stuff they can eat.

  104. JENNY!!!! Isn't that like the greatest saying? I love it and so many folks have no clue what it means!

    You will have so much fun here. So glad you get to do this again! Yayayayayayayayayaya!

    Susan Anne.... We're not big on this holiday either, it's a totally made up thing and it went from being a day for sweethearting to this GINORMOUS, HUMONGOUS, BREAK-THE-BANK day for kids in the past thirty years....

    'Sup wi dat?

    We can commiserate together, darling girl... You could read... or write... or hang out here and laugh at Mary.


    (Ruthy dances across the stage, singing "That's what friends are for...." badly... of course)

  105. Vince, I say we gang up on Sidney and give him a taste of what for....

    and then we all meet in Nebraska, in Omaha for Lithuanian Torte that melts in your mouth and is just indescribable by mere mortal terms...

    But I totally agree that Walt was swinging for the fences (AFTER A NOTABLE STRIKE-OUT, ONE FOR THE RECORDS, I BET!) when he tracked down the German bakery.

    A guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do! :)

  106. Sandra, it's a great story, isn't it? The one about the funeral director. He's also the town historian and so versed on genealogy. A great guy to sit and talk with!

    And it's hard to see your friend's suffer these losses. We had a youngish mother pass away last week, mid-fifties, but while it's sad to think her grandkids won't know her, it's awesome and marvelous to think of the time she WAS given... that's a gift right there, right?

    Every moment, of God, from God.

  107. I'm not all that fond of rats OR weasels.


  108. Happy Valentine's Day!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  109. Happy Valentine's Day!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  110. Sigh ... delightful scenes with lovable heros. Well done, Ruthy!

    Hope everyone had a lovely day. Isn't a day devoted solely to love just wonderful!

    Nancy C

  111. Tina
    sorry, i thought i was keeping it rated G.

    happy to give you a laugh. my hubby keeps telling me he is a simple man with simple needs. i should stop trying to complicate things. *duh*

    no tears for the military men. they did like the saying. the office got a good laugh today.

    i found my DH so late in life, i'm just glad he decided he wanted to keep me around more permanent-like. *heh*

  112. Hi Ruth:

    I’ll be in Grand Island, Nebraska the third week in March to see the Sandhill cranes. I don’t know how far that is from Omaha but if you tell me where we can get that Lithuanian Torte, Linda and I will do a little preseason scouting for later and report back. ☺

    It's been a great day!

    Loving wonderful.



  113. Ruthy, great adventure in romance. I can't believe I'm tuning in to Seekerville so late. Sorry babe!

    Wonderful points, and terrific examples. Makes me remember what writing romance is all about.

    Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetstuff! Just thinking about the cake made me drool...

  114. So many sweet moments. Love makes the world go round.


  115. Connealy, I just got a text msg from the rats, and they're not all that fond of you, either, it seems.

    Who knew???


    AUDRA-CAKES!!!! Miss you, but love you from afar... Hey how come none o' youse come to upstate New York to hang out????? WE ROCK.

    No hurricanes, mostly.
    No tornadoes, mostly.
    No earthquakes/shakes, mostly.
    The idea of natural disaster and WNY is at odds.

    Therefore we should be the "go-to" place for fun in the... snow, mud, sun, your pick!!!!

    What's Arizona got that drew a bunch o' youse that we don't have up here?????

    It's a good thing we've got some earnest upstate authors to keep me company.... Waving frantically to them!!!

  116. Deb H. still laughing here!

    Hey, my husband says the same stuff...


    Why DO we try so hard?

    We are anxious to please personalities, Debster!

  117. Karen, waving to you!!!!! Happy post-V-day to you too, kiddo!!!

    And VINCE....

    Here's the website for the tortes... Blame Mary, they're amazing.

    Lithuanian Bakery Omaha

  118. Mary Preston, yes! It does! And I love grabbing a great book, immersing myself, or a sweet Hallmark movie...

    We should do a post on fave Hallmark movies....

    Those Hall of Fame productions rock my socks.

  119. VINCE. Seriously? I have been to Grand Island. Twice. Nice airport and nice mall. Pretty much all.

  120. Okay, let me interject that Tom Linscott's shining moment was standing outside Mandy's window when she was in labor. She didn't want him actually "there" but she couldn't stand to be alone. I realize that wasn't in their actual story, but it's when I fell in love with him. Seriously swoon-worthy.

    If it's not too late, I'd love to be in for the prize pack.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  121. Ohh Cake, I love cake :)

    I would love to entered in the contest Please.

    Thank you very much,

    MinDaf @