Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Running on Empty"... Writing Edgy Fiction with Ruth Logan Herne

For the record:

The Urban Dictionary defines "edgy" as: 

"Applied to books, music or even haircuts which tend to challenge societal norms and reveal the dark side. Cutting edge." says this:

"Daringly innovative. On the cutting edge."

The term "edgy" is subjective. One person's "edgy" is another person's ho-hum... and that's kind of the way of the world, right?

I remember posting an excerpt about three naughty little boys in church on a loop years ago and someone called it "edgy" because the thought of little boys being naughty and loud in church was beyond their "ken"... Oh my stars, they needed a dose of reality from the Blodgett boys, LOL!

Then I had someone offer to read the opening chapter of "Try, Try Again" when I first wrote it, and the reader said the life-saving former NYC cop "Sarge" shouldn't smoke because it would turn readers off, it was too "edgy"....

A smoking ex-cop in New York City on a rain-swept bridge is not edgy. A trio of naughty boys in church is not edgy.

"Running on Empty", my newest independent release, the story of a woman who's kept a secret for over a decade...  You know, that kind of secret...

The story of a woman who thought she fell in love with her running coach at age 13...

And didn't realize how a predator works, that they pick their prey with knife-like precision. And sometimes, no matter how much time goes by, they.... can't.... let.... go.

Let me tell you: that's edgy.

Now Anne has come home to help her sick mother, a mother who thought Anne left for very different reasons, a mother who blamed the wrong man, a good man of truth and justice, a man who wears a uniform for law and order with pride.

Maybe too much pride?

And now mother and daughter must deal with separate truths they thought they knew. And they're working on borrowed time, because Anne's mother is dying.

That's edgy.

That's the kind of fiction we're talking about today, the kind of story that grips the heart, tugs the soul, and mentions the unmentionables...  But in a way that shows God's grace, the healing, the help, the warmth and humor of taking the chance to love again--

A chance that seemed impossible short months before.

Starting today, September 12, 2013, you can download this beautiful love story, "Running on Empty" for FREE BY CLICKING HERE. (If you missed this, you know I'll give youse another chance to click to Amazon further down because I'm all about making this EASY for you. Yes. I'm that nice.)

It is free for five days to your Kindle device or any device that has a Kindle "App"... and if you work on a laptop, you can STILL DOWNLOAD FOR FREE, all you have to do is install the free Kindle "Whispernet" software on the Amazon page, it takes all of a minute or so.... And then you can download free books-- or ANY books!!!  --- to your laptop.

Here's what we all have in common: We love God. We believe in Christ, the Savior. We embrace faith, hope and love. We love romance, we think heroes are supposed to act like heroes, but we love them flawed, too... Because perfect men don't exist and we want to see God's wondrous ways working in tandem with our humanity.

And that's what I tried to do in "Running on Empty".  It was my first "North Country" book, the story that won all kinds of awards as "The Prodigal", and the story that made it by personal request onto several big editor desks... but then didn't make it past the pub boards because talking about pedophiles isn't readily accepted. And you might think that bothers me, but it doesn't. I understood that I took on a topic other authors had been rejected on, authors with bigger and better track records than mine...

But that's never stopped me before (much to my family's chagrin!!!!)

and it didn't stop me then. God put this story on my heart and soul when I was visiting the North Country a dozen years ago... when my son, a freshman at a beautiful North Country university said, "Some of the people in these small towns take their sports way too seriously."

From that snip came the "What if's???" writers mentally embrace. What if the coach didn't have the child's best interests at heart? What if the small town, a town hit with economic downfall with the collapse of manufacturing, embraced a winning record with too much ardor? What if the coach/teacher was a well-respected man of stature in his church, profession and community?

I wrote "Running on Empty" before Penn State was common knowledge, before we started looking hard and long at Syracuse University and the problems there.

Yes, this story is edgy... but it's also beautiful in its simplicity, in its grace and in the dignity of embracing those affected by depravity.

Do I want you to read this story?


Do I want you to love it?


Would I be honored by your review on Amazon?


But I will also understand if you shy away from it... although, I'm going to tell you honestly, I think it's a heart-wrenching beautiful love story, a tale of hope, redemption, renewal and faith. And the hero, Police Chief Joe McIntyre? Well, he's worth the price of admission and more.

I'm just sayin'...   :)

"Running on Empty" is a marriage reunion story that holds up that "mirror dimly" we all talk about but sometimes fail to see in our own homes, our own lives.

Today we're talking "edgy".... because it needs to be talked about. Do you write edgy fiction? Does your work break the rules in a manner pleasing to God but unnerving to man?

Tell us about it!

The last free giveaway was over 19,000 downloads of "Try, Try Again".... Help me do the same with "Running on Empty". Tweet it.... and then re-tweet over the weekend!

Share it on Facebook, not to the point of being THAT ANNOYING PERSON, but just enough for folks to take notice!!!

Tell your buds, your cronies, your friends on loops....

And I'll look forward to seeing what folks think of this love story, a tale of truth, trust and tomorrows filled with love because young women came forward...

 Knowing how ugliness can smear truth with innuendo...

And rocked a somewhat smug small town on its heels.

So what's your "edge"? Share with me, with us, and we'll chat about what gives a story organic "edge" as opposed to piled-on shock value... And meanwhile, I'll start giving away tens of thousands of free books!!!

What could possibly be better than that????  HELEN GRAY'S COFFEE!!!!!  But Helen's in Indianapolis so if she doesn't get 'round here to set up her special brand of "joe", I'll bring a New York pot along with me...

And we'll talk.  :)

Multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne loves to write warm inspirational fiction from her old farmhouse in upstate New York. She loves God, her husband (a very patient man who is quiet because he has little other choice) her family (a horde of kids, her own and those she's stolen) her country, her dogs, chocolate and coffee... There are days when chocolate and coffee nudge their way higher on the list and Ruthy is okay with that. She loves her work with Love Inspired books and Summerside Press, and has recently added independent novels to her resume. 

Visit her at, at THE YANKEE BELLE CAFE or hang with her here in Seekerville, on Facebook/ruthloganherne or twitter @ruthloganherne.


  1. Tears came to my eyes when I read this. I have been involved in ministry of one kind or another all my adult life. I worked 19 years in a Christian rehab center. I've seen the best and worst in human nature AND Christianity. But God still reigns! That's what I want to share when I write, also. Thanks so much for what your writing conveys.

  2. Do glad I have been sick most of this week and haven't downloaded the book yet will as soon as its free (I did buy the first one).
    I am wondering if the people complaining about 3 noisy kids in church must go to a church where children are not in the service! We don't have 3 noisy boys we have a couple of very noisy girls.
    It wouldn't be edgy in australia.
    This sort of book may just be the book needed to help others who have suffered from this situation or help someone help someone.

  3. Hey! Y'all redecorated! It's pretty and I like it.

    "... when my son, a freshman at a beautiful North Country university said, 'Some of the people in these small towns take their sports way too seriously.'"

    HA! He's never been to Alabama, has he? Where football scores are discussed from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.

    But back to the topic at hand. Good for you for tackling this subject matter. It's one that needs to be out in the light and not hidden away because it's very real and folks need to know. Sometimes people aren't who they seem despite their polite and dignified veneer. Once it's past midnight here I'm going to download your book but it'll be a couple weeks before I can read it. I'm leaving for Ireland Friday and I have bunches yet to do before then. I'm not taking my Kindle because I just don't think I'm going to have much reading time and it's something else valuable to have to keep up with.

    I wish you much success with this, Ruthie. And I feel sure you will have it.

  4. Hi Ruth,
    Love edgy fiction and the subject isn't one that scares me off. I think a good dose of real life in my fiction is a good thing.

  5. well howdy sorry about being mia yesteday afternoon. baby has slowed down so I am being induced but this go around I am evidently not speedy gonzalez. Bored. bored. bored. and maternity wifi does not work so as hubby sleeps I am playing with the internet on kindle cell tower reception. Bored I tell ya :) if you haveever attempted internet on kindle keyboard you have to be bored! baby is not dropping but progress coming slowly so hopefully no c section but grrrr. but baby should get here some way today I usuzlly labor six hours starting hour seven and maybe I am at a six. good thing I amnormally a night writer cuz I will be up all night! Does typing this on a kindle while in labor make me an on the edge writer? I do have a book that Connealy kept telling me was "dangerous" every time she had the msfortune of judging it in contests so I have some edge up my hospital gown sleeve!

  6. AHHHHHH!!!!


    She-ra checked in from the maternity ward??? I have goosebumps! Go, you! Go, baby! Go kick that hubby for sleeping!

  7. P.S. What I heard when I was induced once... instead of one hour of labor equaling one centimeter of dilation, it's closer to 1.5 hours per cent. Hang in there!

  8. Oh my stars, good morning Seekerville!!!!


    LEOLA!!!! What a blessing your words are!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You made me smile because this is a story requiring some tissues... but with its share of smiles, too. Because true love should come with both!!!

  9. Melissa, these babies are a pain in the tush!!!!

    Praying for you, laughing at sleeping husband, oh my stars, I'm saying nothing, saying nothing, saying nothing... Virginia will hogtie him for that. She's a touch cookie!!!

    Tell us how things go, darling girl, having just gone through this six days ago, I'm praying for safe delivery, healthy little Nathaniel and I will hug him from afar!!!! God bless you!

  10. Jenny!!! My Aussie friend!!!

    Yes, free is good and you grab this one and see what you think. I think it's an awesome story, but then I WROTE THE THING, and my opinion may be skewed exponentially!!! :)

    I'd like it to become popular in the UK and Australia and Canada.... Because predators lurk everywhere.

    But God wins.

    God reigns.

    Good trumps evil.

    And you're right, noisy kids are just... noisy kids, LOL!

  11. Marilyn Baxter Can I come to Ireland with you????

    Pretty please?

    I'll be good!!! (Tina and Mary just snorted into their morning mugs...)


    Hey, you read it when you come back and tell us what you think, okay? I'm big, brave and bold. I can take it!!!! And have so much fun! Mandy and Beth went to Ireland and England a bunch of years ago and when they came back home they said Ireland is like being surrounded by RUTHYS!!!!! They said the folks there look like me... (Hahahahaha, poor Irishers!!!) and smile and talk like me!!!!


    You know, Friday Night Lights is that kind of feeling you're talking about, where the team, the win is everything. And you know I love sports, I raised six kids, all athletes and I get the push... But like anything else, it can go overboard and that makes it ripe for predators.

    Go 'Bama! And God bless you on your trip!

  12. Debbie Kaufman, thank you!

    I agree, and Love Inspired has been awesome about letting me tackle some tough issues in my books... and I love happily-ever-afters because I'm really a kid at heart!

    But we can have both, strong issues and the HEA we romance writers and readers long for. AND THIS HAPPILY EVER AFTER JUST MAKES ME SMILE.

    And it has nothing to do with my big teeth!!!

  13. Virginia, let's meet at Melissa's maternity ward!!! We'll stay awake with her!!!!

    Very Biblical, by the way. Staying awake when the appointed hour has come.

    Virginia of many names, I think your books... and your writing.... are wonderful. And I will get over to Amazon and TELL THEM SO when I can breathe without a gazillion kids under my feet. Silly parents, they expect me to watch them!!! And since my trusty assistant is five days out of an emergency C-section (again) our Little House in the Big Woods is hopping! But cooler today, that means "BAKING PROJECT" with the pre-schoolers and a chance to learn more about what America looked like when the first people from Europe came here...

    Sweet. Religious liberty at preschool level: Bring it!!!


  14. First, thanks. I've downloaded and tweeted your story!

    Second, I just wrote a scene where secondary characters took a smoke break at work and right away 3 crit partners said I couldn't do that in Christian fiction. So I took it out.

    It sounds like a great story.

  15. no need to beat up hubby. he's miffed I left him sleeping to go walk. but why should both of us lose sleep? but things seem to be looking up. much more pain maybe we'll get somewhere soon. probably should stop playing with the kindle. so sleepy. someone down the hall is pushing out her baby. my turn next.

  16. I'm pretty laidback when it comes to books and read most kinds. Your premise sounds really, really good!!! And of course a policeman hero is always great. ;-)

  17. Good morning, Ruthy.

    I'm not scared! :)

    I just downloaded it because I loved Try Try so much.

    But, but (hope I'm not giving anything away), when I was over on Amazon, they had your Christmas book and I adore that cover. Oh yes, wilting in the city in 90 degree temps, that snowy scene sure does call to my heart.

    I know, that's for another day.

    Today's all about edge and babies, right?

    Praying for you, Melissa! Hope to check in later to some great news.

    And off to work I go.

  18. Jenny, sorry you've been sick. ;(

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

  19. Marilyn, say hello to Ireland for me, please. It's been way too many years since I've been there.

    My daughter spend 3 months there this time last year and she's been really sentimental and missing it lately.

  20. Books like this are why I love the new independent publishing options available these days. A great story, not quite right for traditional publishers, deserves an audience who will embrace it and admire the author for pushing the limits.

    I bought Running on Empty while shopping at Amazon awhile ago, and I know it will be well worth the price. Best of luck with it, Ruthy!

  21. Wishing everyone headed to ACFW a fabulous conference! Post lots of pics for the rest of us :)

  22. Jackie, isn't that funny? Not that I'm pushing smoking, but there are some scenes/neighborhoods/situations where the characters might be smoking.

    And since I'm not their doctor, it's better to just tell it straight, right??? :)

    But I truly do understand the ideas behind the standards or choices. And the nice thing is now I don't have to worry about messing up an editor or publisher or BECOMING THE RUINATION OF AN ENTIRE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY...

    So it's all on my shoulders, good, bad, success or fail....

    Your buds are probably right, depending.... although in YA, (picture the movie Grease) the bad kids smoke, drink and carouse....

    So depending on your target audience you can do different things.

  23. GOOD MORNING RUTHY and Seekerville!
    LEOLA, your comments rang so true. GOD still reigns! And this earth is not our home. I've seen the best and worst too, just through living.
    MELISSA, you are a real trooper! I doubt if I'd be posting on Seekerville in labor -- but when I was having babies, we didn't have the technology. I do remember that with my one induced one, it went VERY fast once it took -- the whole thing was over in a half hour. I was watching a "Leave It To Beaver" rerun and didn't get to see the end. It was the one where Eddie Haskell got his own apartment. I was torn whether to see the end or go have the baby, but practicality -- and pushing -- carried the day.
    RUTHY, what a nice post. I would love to read your book except for the fact that I don't have a Nook or Kindle! With a lot of my cyber-friends getting into indie publishing, that's something I need to look at. Indie scares me for myself, seems like a huge risk, so you must really believe in this story. I am working on the sequel to my Oregon Trail book and the hero has a secret of being sexually abused in his background. God redeems him and takes away the shame. I don't know if it will pass a committee, but since the first book hasn't sold it's a moot point.
    Smoking? Dancing? I do historicals and I do have some square dancing and waltzes. Hey, there was nothing else to do back then. And I have non-Christian and pre-Christian characters smoking the occasional pipe or cigar. And I have card-playing, you kind of have to if you have riverboat gamblers. I think it's our job to give an honest picture of the world, in whatever period we write. And then show how God can change it.
    RUTHY, thank you for this post. I can't read the indie book right now but I am two-thirds of the way through "Lawman's Second Chance." Nice work.
    Kathy Bailey
    Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

    Well, I absolutely refuse to get it until it costs money again. But I'll wait and get it then.
    YA! I love this book.
    I read it a long time ago.

    In fact, this book and Ten Plagues is a HUGE BOND between Ruthy and me.
    Me and my demon possessed serial killer romantic comedy.
    Her and her sweet romantic child molester book.
    Both of us wondering why we couldn't get published.

    Ah, the good old days.

  25. This is a great story. I fell in love with Ruthy's writing years ago when we were crit partners.

    Best wishes on sales Ruthy.

  26. Oh my goodness, I'll be on tenterhooks all day wondering if Melissa had her baby. Guess she has the best ever excsue for not going to ACFW!!! And does she get a prize of some sort for commenting on seekerville while in labor?!

    You know I loved Running on Empty, Ruthy. What I don't love is publishers who think they know what readers want. When something sells (like historicals) they're all over it but then suddenly they're "Oh, people aren't reading historicals any more." and so they say they are going to publish fewer historicals leaving all the rabid historical lovers going "Wh-a-a-at?" And don't get me started on Amish fiction. Suddently that's hot and the publishers are trying to get all their authors to write Amish romances which is fine if all the authors would do their research but they all don't so then you get some watered down Amish stories out there that don't quite ring true and then....oops, I'll stop my rant...almost...

    Readers don't come in cookie cutter shapes and neither should their fiction. :-)

    And thanks for making the Running on Empty giveaway on my blog this week so easy, Ruhthy! Bwahhhaaaaaa! Free for five days! Bwahahahahahaha!

  27. Ruthy, Ruthy, Ruthy! My eyes just got over the red puffies from reading 'TRY TRY AGAIN'. I loved that book!!! Popped over to Amazon and reviewed it.*****

    Thank you for the GIFT of 'RUNNING ON EMPTY' It was fun to find it waiting for me this morning! I love presents! Ran over to Amazon and scattered wrapping paper everywhere!!
    While I was there, I pre-ordered 'THE LAWMAN'S CHRISTMAS WISH'. Can't wait!

    Melissa, the wait will be worth it. :-) My prayers for you and the baby.
    I loved the July fourth gift you gave us. 'LOVE BY THE LETTER' was a great story. I ordered 'A BRIDE FOR KEEPS'. Look forward to reading it too. :-)

  28. I bore people with the story of how I started reading romantic fiction.

    I read non-fiction or edgy fiction only for years. Then my mom died unexpectedly. Shortly after, I read My Sister's Keeper and Cold Mountain in short order.


    These books do not end well. The books themselves ended up making dents in my wall. So I went in search of guaranteed HEAs and found romantic fiction.

    Now, eight years out, I find I once again want reality/edgy/make me think along with my HEAs.

    You've always written real, Ruthy. Readers just had to read between the lines.

    And why do we need stories where heroines triumph over sick adults? All we have to read is the headline about the teacher who seduced a fourteen year old who then committed suicide to realize sometimes we need things to turn out for the better, even if it is in our books.

    I heard a great quote this past week from author Alice McDermott, "... I go to fiction, I think, for a kind of truth that I'm not sure we can find in any other kind of writing. I love to read nonfiction. I read the paper every day. But I think that without an agenda, the truth of trying to put down, to put down words, to record through language what it is to be human, I think fiction is the only place where writers are free to do that."

    Blessings on you for putting your story out there, Ruthy. You know I loved it.

    Peace, Julie

  29. Jagears, yes!!! I'm so excited I'm dancing up and down, and I wouldn't really wake up hubby, I'd be nice and let him sleep so we could have more fun TALKING ABOUT HIM


    God bless you. Praying for a safe and sound lovely delivery. And good for the lady down the hall!

    Umm, Melissa, You Did Download My Book Onto That Kindle, Right???

    First things first, honey!!!

  30. Jessica, I concur! You read it and let me know what you think... I'd love your opinion!

  31. Proud to be "that annoying person" on FB and Twitter for Ruthy. I downloaded it now I have to wait for time to pass so I can go home and read it. My boss probably doesnt like Ruthy as much as me and wouldn't understand. The edgiest thing I ever wrote was the heroine saying something unkind about the antagonist. Got blasted by a critter for that. (I didn't change it.)
    Melissa - Praying and waiting.

  32. Ruthy, Running on Empty is what I call Christian fiction with a purpose. I hope and pray God uses this book to heal many readers. :)

    I minister to a woman's rehab facility. Some consider my books edgy because they deal with alcohol and drug use, and subsequent child abuse.

    I think it’s about time we Christians get our hands dirty and spread the gospel to those that desperately need it. Kudos to you.

    I gladly shared your book link.

  33. Oh my stars, I was being continually foiled by a bad link!!!!

    MY BAD!!!

    Okay, I was telling Mary Curry that I loved the beautiful new cover to "The Lawman's Holiday Wish" (December's Love Inspired Kirkwood Lake book, and it's a keeper!!!!) and twice... TWICE... I blew the link and my friends at Bitly gently corrected me by telling me (I think with a Brit accent, mayhap????) that I was WRONG....

    But ever so politely!!!

    Okay, here's the link to a feel-cool if you're hot Christmas book:


    Hoping it works this time because the art department in Toronto did an amazing job of capturing this Northern dream come true Christmas tale!!!

    LOVE IT!!! And you can jump over to Running on Empty while you're on Amazon and download it for free for the next five days.

    (sips coffee....)

    I may have already mentioned that.


  34. RUTHY, I don't read a ton of "edgy" stories, but yours sounds good. And, I think that a story with God's grace woven throughout the sensitive issues in the story line will make for a good story. I've downloaded it and am looking forward to reading it soon! As soon as I finish my current read on my Kindle. I'm prepping and packing to leave VERY early tomorrow morning for ACFW.

    MELISSA—I just said a prayer for you, that sweet baby and your hubby. I'm guessing by now, he's awake. I'll miss you at ACFW this year. :)

  35. I probably shouldn't confess I will be checking in more today, not to read comments but to see if Melissa's bebe has arrived!

  36. Mia, my friend, we'll stay home and work together!!!

    I'm hoping for lots of pics too, because I requested them and (shhh....) Teena will KILL ME if I mess up tomorrow.

    She'll never see this here, will she????

    And thank you for buying Running on Empty!!!! You were my bud when I wrote that book... I can't believe you're still hanging around, knowing me like you do!!! :)

    Hugs and back at ya' with the good wishes, and yeah... independent books aren't a risk to anyone but the author and that's not necessarily a bad thing!

  37. I just finished Running on Empty last night! It was edgy, realistic, heart wrenching and heart warming. Sometimes all on one page! And as always I loved your secondary characters. We all need a Boog!

    TPTB just think they know hat we want to read.

    Go Melissa and baby Nathaniel!!!

  38. Melissa, I'm with Julie. I'll be checking in to see if the baby had arrived.

    Ruthy, I can't download until I get home from work!

  39. Spew Alert for Connealy's comments, LOL!

    Yes, pedophiles and serial killers and blood baths.

    What was wrong with those people??? What were they thinking?


    Hey, Kaybee both books will be out in paperback in the next few weeks. Try, Try Again and Running on Empty and I'll even be giving away some copies here, so stay tuned. I just hadn't had time to comb through the print version for formatting errors... and my editor-in-residence had a kid.

    Silly girl!!!!

    But I'm looking out for you, Kathy Bailey!


    Is it too cheeky to ask for a review? Amazon loves to see good reviews on these independent books, and I would be over-the-top delighted if you had time to do that!

    But if you don't, the most important thing is that you liked it!!!


    BIG GRIN!!!

  41. Ruthy, you go, girl! :-) That story does sound edgy, but life is edgier. I could tell you a story similar to what you described, real life stories from my hometown of high school football coaches who were less than honorable but everybody loved them because they coached winning teams in a place that didn't have anything else going for it.
    So I hope you give away 100,000 books and then sell another 1,000,000!

    I'll be in Indy tomorrow. Kind of wishing I was there today with so many other people who went a day early! But tomorrow it's party time with my three buds as we make our way up I-65!

  42. I'll try to download Running on Empty, Ruthy. I had a terrible time w/Try, Try Again. I downloaded it, but did something wrong, and then I never could view it. I tried to re-download it and it wouldn't let me claiming I had already purchased it.
    I'm computer-challenged.

  43. Happy dancing.....just downloaded it! Thanks for the info!

    Very recently have read TTA and the Lawman, I am sooo lucky!

    Off now to tell friends about today's freebie ...I don't do FB or Tweet...but will read it and do a review on A.

    Still praying for Melissa/baby.

  44. MARILYN-- You're from Alabama! Several of my kin are gearing up for the big game between Alabama and A&M. My sisters are preparing for a tailgate party. My niece stood in line for hours to get her 50-yard tickets.

    RUTHY, Football is king around here. I know a true story where star athletes got by w/gang rape because how important they were to the school. Finally after being tried 3 times(!@#$%), the boys got a slap on the hand.

  45. Hey Ruthy,

    I guess you can say I do edgy by default....I've been convinced recently that my first novel in this series is a bit too edgy, may belong to another genre and will have to be marketed in another way. Oh well. I'm with Kav on the whole, what do publishers know about what readers want situation, so it is great to see that you are doing what you do.

    Here's hoping that you have great success in showing that terrible things happen to Christians as well, but God sees them through the tough times. I believe that to be true in life as well as fiction.

  46. Nathan arrived at 8:10, 9 lbs 5 oz, 21.5 in. since he is now sleeping, priority one is figuring out how to download Ruthy's book from the kindle. ;) Thanks for the prayers.

  47. Hey Ruth,

    Shared your link. Asked them to give a review too...

    I've been told I'm edgy. Maybe so

    One story, Touched by Mercy, deals with child molestation and forgiving yourself and realizing you didn't do it or cause it and you shouldn't carry the shame. A fact the main character, Samantha, has a hard time accepting.

    My latest release, Then There Was Grace, tells the story of Adam Christiansen who is ready to divorce his wife for another woman when she dies and he is left to raise their twin 3 year old daughters and face his guilt. Especially when he begins to uncover the beauty of the woman he lost.

    I was actually told to soften this male character up because he wasn't very nice. And I thought duh, a lot of people aren't nice, especially when they're walking out on their spouse, but he grows into a man you want to cheer for.

    The Shadow Series takes a look at war, racism, suicide and the aftermath of death and assault.

    Another story deals with the aftermath of infidelity.

    I have another one from WWII, Trail of the Sandpiper in which the main character's missionary husband has an affair and I was told that one would be hard to take because we shouldn't write missionaries in that kind of light. As if they don't ever do that kind of thing.

    Well I'll stop there, that gives you some idea.



  48. Congrats, Melissa,

    Sounds like you have a healthy boy. Yay. And I love the name.

    So much I chose it for my middle son

    Here's wishing you blessings and rest.

  49. Sandra, my good buddy, thank you! And no matter what sales do, if telling Anne's story helps some troubled souls, I'm all over that.

    It's good to know you're not alone when life hands out curves!

  50. MELISSA!!!!!




  51. Melissa...
    Wow, Nathan's a big boy!

  52. Julie Hilton Steele, I appreciate your honesty and devotion to BABY NEWS!!!!

    We love us some babies here on Seekerville!

    And I know lots of youse are traveling today and tomorrow for the conference in Indianapolis, so traveling mercies for all concerned, and may God bless you with the grace of a good conference!

    (Note that I do not mind staying home at all, less money spent, more time to work, and a new BABY!!!!.... having said that, I'll catch up with some o' youse at a conference and hang to the rear... but we'll have fun together when you're not in classes!!!)

  53. Ruthy, thank you so much for your newest book!!! Even though I don't write 'edgy' I love to read it.

    The cover is gorgeous and I know the book will be great.

  54. Yes, I came to Seekerville looking for baby news. Congrats, Melissa! That boy is big.

    In defense of your husband, I was a bigger pain than he was. With our older son, I ate the food they brought my wife (since she couldn't and I didn't want it to go to waste). I didn't make that mistake for our second son, but I did read Darth Maul on the day his birth. It's for this reason that my younger son wants to join the Sith.

    Yes, Ruthy I did download your new book. First things first.

  55. Ruthy! I love your "edgy" stories! You shine a light into dark places and find hope.

    Love it.

  56. Ruthy, IMHO, the books that LI had to pass on due to their edginess are some of the best novels I've read.

    Funny when you stop and think real world problems are considered "edgy" and not suitable for some markets.

    And there's truth in that, too. When readers turn to a certain publisher consistently because they know they're going to get a story they'll love and appreciate, you don't want to mess with that kind of mojo, right?

    So glad you didn't give up on these stories, Ruthy. They are truly remarkable.

    And folks, it's flooding here in Boulder County, Colorado. If you can spare a prayer for the Lord to turn off the waterworks, we'd really appreciate it : ) Our house is safe, but the housing development right across the road backs up to a creek that is breaking its banks. This kind of stuff just doesn't happen around here!!

  57. Melissa! Wow, you are cool under pressure, aren't you?

    Rootin' for that baby to make his/her debut...

    And Seekerville gets dibs on the announcement!!

  58. YAYAYAY, Melissa! Wow, from the time I started reading Seekerville today until the end we ran the gambit of you being bored, typing on the Kindle, hubby sleeping, another mom birthin' her babe, and then...

    drum roll please...


    Whew, that's a lot for one morning : )

  59. I think this baby has stolen my thunder, but I'm gladly sharing the spotlight with such a wonderful mom as Melissa Jagears!!!! So stinkin' happy for you!!!!

    And the rest o' youse, you know how to celebrate a new baby's birth, right?



    I think not!


    Audra, I'm praying about the flooding, it's a rough situation all around. Who'd a thunk it? And since when do storms travel northwest like it looks on the radar????

    Kind of weird arcing there.

    AND... I think our little Finn and Nate will be good buddies, six days apart. And maybe future authors!!!!

  60. Jan Drexler thank you!!!!

    Bless you for your kind words, I hope you love this story as much as the last one!

    And that shining light is totally the Holy Spirit... And a blessed light it is!

  61. Congrats, Melissa, on your baby!

    Ruthy, "edgy" is OK in my book. I read a variety of fiction, including lots of murder mysteries (which I also like writing, BTW). My own YA novel has some "edgy" elements in it, including drug use, teen pregnancy, and premarital sex. But by the grace of God, these sins are forgiven. We are imperfect people who live imperfect lives, yet who are saved by God's grace. I went to public high school, a state university and worked as a reporter for several years. I KNOW what's out there. At least in fiction, we can guarantee the ending, and show the right choices that need to be made when darker stuff comes along. Good for you, Ruthy!

  62. Welcome, Nathan!!!! What a big guy. I guess when you are the youngest you need to be big from the start to run after those older siblings!

    Congrats, Melissa.

    And congrats again to Grandma Ruthy who is showing off her newest today on Yankee-Belle.

    Ruthy, talk about a hard worker!

    Peace, Julie

  63. No one writes edgy better than RUFUS!!! Downloaded and tweeted and FBd.

  64. MELISSA—Congratulations on the birth of your wee one! So glad he made it safely into the world. :) Now, rest. You know that will be rare once you get home with him. ;) So happy for you all!

  65. THANK YOU, Ruthy....downloaded, tweeted and facebooked! Now to find time to read and review!

    Melissa: A big welcome to big baby Nathan! Blessings to you all!

  66. Oh goodness! I didn't even realize Melissa was here telling everyone about the baby. I just tagged a whole slew of you on facebook to let you know. Evidently the CPF is slower at communicating than the mom who's been up all night having a baby. :-/

    Congrats Melissa. So happy for you!!!

    And let me just say that Baby Nathan sounds adorable cooing and whimpering on the phone. And yes, I got to hear Baby Nathan in person because I got to talk to Melissa and tell her congrats, and I'm just mean enough to rub it in to everyone else on Seekerville.

    Yay Melissa!!!!

    I feel like we should be having a party.

    Oh wait . . . we are. It's just a party for Ruthy and not Melissa. Whoops!

  67. Ruthy, I love the sound of Running on Empty. And I personally LOVE edgy. Infact, my favorite novels are probably ones exactly like this: Stories that deal with real issues. So I end up reading a lot of ABA books because they're more real, but then I've got to skip/ignore the sex. And so much of the CBA is all flowers and roses, and I like me some good ole' reality and physical contact and tension.

    Just downloaded the book. Will post on FB in a few. I'm already thinking I'll love it. I certainly loved Try, Try Again. :-)

    My only complaint? You have to stop picking book titles that others have already used. I type in Running on Empty, and I get some other person's book, not yours. Why, why, why? Doesn't Amazon know your book should be first???



    Seekerville rocks. Baby announcements and FREE downloads of RUTHY BOOK!!!!!!

    done. got it. have to wait to read it (bummer). have volleyball league tonight. bunch of old broads spiking it at youngsters. i've been playing the game longer than most of 'em have been alive... *sigh*

    love the post Ruthy. gonna love your book even more, i just KNOW it. gonna FB it too.


  69. I don't write edgy, Ruthy, but I sure do want to read your story. From what you shared about Running on Empty, you've made me wonder if I could. Going over to Amazon now to download it!

  70. And congratulations to Melissa! Babies are such a blessing!!!

  71. YES!!!! I've been checking in regularly all day in the hopes of a baby update. Nathan is here!!!! And a big 'wee' one he is at that! Congrats Melissa and family!!! :-)

  72. Oh, and I also forgot to say that I just love your covers, Ruthy. I see some self pubbed covers that make me cringe, but I actually wish that LI covers looked more like yours. Yours are beautiful!!! If I ever self pub something, I'm totally going with your cover designer. :-)

  73. RUTHY, if I get a copy in any way, shape or form I will review it. I don't review on Amazon, but I have had several reviews published in the Christianity section of
    Kathy B.

  74. You will not be the "ruination of the publishing industry." They are waiting for me!

  75. I have to go back to the Thoenes for edgy -- tbey did not pull any punches, whether it was in their depictions of the concentration camps or in their characters' hearts. They showed the dark side of, well, "Danzig Passage," Lucy the Bavarian colonel's mistress giving birth by herself and then being raped by the colonel, it still gives me shivers. But they weren't writing romances either, or for LIH. It is nice that we have more optionsb now.
    Yay, Melissa! Books and babies, it's a good life.

  76. Good news all around!

    Congratulations Melissa on your bundle of joy.

    Thanks Ruthy for the free book and for being a trail blazer for more realistic romance. I'm tweeting and posting to FB which I have to start using more.

    I've wondered if some of the things I write will pass the censors, but there are some books I can't read, much less, write. Like those where the h/h squabbles for 200 pages, then kisses and decides to marry.

    BTY your cover looks great.

  77. Congrats Melissa.

    Mary feeling a bit better today almost headache free today still feel like something the cat dragged in but not as bad as I was knowing what the issue is has helped. Never had blocked sinuses before that I know of but if it is this bad I feel for anyone who suffers.

  78. Melissa - congratulations! So happy you and baby are doing fine.

  79. Congrats, Melissa!

    Three births to celebrate, Finnian, Nathan, and "Running on Empty."

    Bringing cyber cupcakes to share.

  80. Wow, Melissa had a baby on Seekerville!!! That has to be a first! Congratulations, Melissa!!!!!!!!!! Way to go!

  81. Wow and double wow! A free Ruthy book! Yessss! Downloaded. Sharing the news. Thank you.

    Guess what caused me to read inspirational fiction. Just guess. Yep. Edgy inspirational.

    I understand publishers staying with what works for them and their readers. I understand why some people choose not to read edgy inspirational. And I understand why, when finances are tight, those publishers don't take risks. That said, I am DELIGHTED that indie-publishing makes available stories those publishers can't or won't.

    Isn't it wonderful the choices we readers have these days?

    Nancy C

  82. MELISSA SHE-RA! Thank you for staying in touch. So delighted for you and yours. Blessings abound.

    Nancy C

  83. AUDRA - Hoping conditions are improved by now. Stay safe.

    Nancy C

  84. Stephanie Queen, I agree.... and I love that you have elements like that in your stories!

    Our human condition is what makes stories strike that special spark. I love that! I love making characters seep with realism.

    As long as you can follow that realism up with something pure and innocent and maybe humor-filled to make folks smile! Because smiles are the best chaser to tears!

  85. Tina, thank you!!!! I had to interrupt my reading of Rosetti to take care of newborn and Mama, but guess what Beth gets to read????

    The Rosetti Curse!!!!

    Brat. Of course she had to have surgery AND a baby to pry it out of my hands.

    That's a mother's love for you!

  86. Julie, Beth did all the work with the baby, I just stole the moment and made a blog post.

    Wait, I probably did do A LOT to load those pictures of that sweet, sweet baby boy Finnian Michael!!! :)

    I need coffee. Yes, it's late, but I promised myself a certain level of work done today and I'm not there yet, so I'm toddling over to the Keurig.... And huge thank yous to all o' youse for downloading and sharing. You know I'll be annoying you... er.... giving opportunity for the next few days, so be FOREWARNED!!!


    Oh my gosh, you guys rock the biggest kahuna ever!

    And when you do find time to read it, tell me what you think.

    I'm tough.

    I can take it!!!

  88. Naomi, my darling girl, if we pump up the free downloads on Running on Empty.... and then the sales that follow.... we'll push THIS Running on Empty higher up the Amazon charts!!!

    And thank you for loving Try, Try Again and your beautiful review on your blog. That meant so much to me!!! I know you and I get to pass briefly every morning in 1K1HR but I love knowing that someone else is slogging the pre-dawn hours with me!

    Like you, I tend to enjoy a more realistic edge to my reading material. And I love that Love Inspired has let me add that to my books without crossing a line that my LI readers wouldn't embrace... but lots of them have read Try, Try Again and loved it, so that's good, right????

  89. Deb H., thank you!!! I'm so glad you got it, kiddo!!!! And I'll wait to hear what you think, but isn't this a fun new world???? Strange but awesome opportunities!

  90. Christina Rich, we're home working together this weekend!!!!

    There's a bunch of us. We'll work and take breaks and party in Seekerville and rock on!!!!

    And you know, go back to the top of that post, because I don't really believe in "edgy" as an adjective. Because it is truly subjective... I see this kind of story as realistic... and gracious.... and healing and that's what folks who've read it have told me, so yes, my Christina. You could do this beautifully.

    Truth gentled by love, faith and grace.

  91. Awesome, Kaybee. My young editor has now downloaded the paperback edition to check it for errors.

    And then Kathy Bailey, we'll do paperback versions and you can see what you think!!!

  92. Naomi, I used the Killion Group like Virginia did and Cheryl St. John... the other thing I liked about Jen, Kim and the crew at Killion is they work weekends and nights. For me, that was clutch. When you're working all day it's important to be able to match up hours and work ethics with the folks I deal with.

    I'm always frustrated by the waiting game in publishing so I fight my frustration (read: Over-achieving zealous and slightly snarky nature) by keeping a couple of projects spinning... I blame being the mother of six... they primed me for this job!

    I won't say that very loud because they'll expect something in return...

  93. Kaybee, I never read that Boene series.

    I love redemptive fiction and sweet romance and happily ever after. Working with Love Inspired and putting out some of my own novels has given me the chance to be well-rounded.

    How blessed we are!!!

  94. Oh dear, I said Boene instead of Thoene!!!!

    Sorry Thoenes!!! I really do know who you are and how you pioneered the way of Christian fiction for so many of us!!!

    Love you!!!!

    (slithers away...)

  95. Ruthy is so close to 100 comments, I just have to come back to edge her closer. Edge. Edgy. Get it?

    Thanks again for the free book, Ruthy!

    Nancy C

  96. Jenny, it's damp and chilly here during the fall and leaf mold has a way of making everyone "sinus-y" so we're understanding exactly what you're going through! And sinus infections are wretched!!! Time to relax with a good book, honey!!!

    And a pot o' tea, I fancy!

    Nancy C, can we make 100 when so many are going to Indianapolis????

    I could just keep yakking, I s'pose.

    But I think there's food and a baseball game callin' out my name!! And while my buddy Derek Jeter is on the "DL" for the rest of this year, I'm tried and true pinstripe blue...

    Go Bombers!!!!

  97. Melanie, I think Melissa should get a prize for that, don't you????

    I feel like the kid is PART MINE!!!

    And I love his name, so he and I can share book/baby/baked good space any time!

    I love me some babies!!!!

  98. its certainly damp here! its really chilly out there the apparent temp is around 36!
    Funny didn't feel stuffed up till she gave me all this stuff to unblock the sinuses and now its got that I feel like I have a cold feel. I think I have probably had it before and never known. The irony is I didn't have a cold for it to block! But apart from tiring easy I can feel its better then yesterday. I dont feel sick to the stomach anymore and thats a huge bonus still have a headache but nothing like it was.

    I got humbled on a blog today (think thats how to say it. I could say embarrased!)

  99. Hey, Ruthy! I think this is the 100th post!

    Nancy C

  100. I'm really late to the party, but I finally made it. After nearly 10 hours on the road today. No, I'm not at the ACFW. My sister is getting married this weekend (destination wedding) to a wonderful man named Nathan. :-) Gonna be busy decoratin' and meetin' new family members tomorrow, then getting all gussied up on Saturday. I'm happy and sad all at the same time, because my little sis is gonna be livin' a full day's travel away from me instead of under the same roof.

    Congratulations, Melissa! And welcome to the world, Baby Nathan! Snoopy dancing that a new little life is in the world and will have a wonderful family to grow up in!

    I love me another Ruthy book! I downloaded it last night but hadn't been on the internet since to post about it. I will, though. As soon as I get off here.

    "Edgy" doesn't bother me as long as it has a purpose. I have read some "edgy" books that left me feeling they were written that way only for the shock value. But books that tackle the tough topics of life in a redemptive way... I'm all for that!

  101. “A plan is better written in sand than stone. That way it can be adjusted with greater ease.”
    Lucia speaking to Piper.
    “Falling for the Lawman,” (Kirkwood Lake) Ruth Logan Herne

    I think Lucia is a “Sand Plotter”. A new species.

    Just finished reading “Falling for the Lawman”. Great HEA and Epilogue. An easy five star reading experience.

    Just downloaded “Running on Empty”. Yanks 5 to 2 in top of the eight. Possible second place at stake.

    New computer, new operating system, on vacation, allergies, not up to speed. But had to try and post this.

    Happy for Melissa.


  102. Vince!!! Don't you just love Lucia????

    She's such a strong secondary character and we get to see her at CHRISTMAS too!!!!

    I knew you'd be all over that epilogue, my friend. Me, too!!! I'm smiling just THINKING ABOUT THAT EPILOGUE!!!!

    You got Windows 8, didn't you? You are a braver man than I, my friend because I scoured the internet, the veritable WORLD WIDE WEB searching for a Windows 7 system when I got my backup last January/February... anyway, it's a Windows 7 and I'm happy.

    I can only do so much, Vince!!! :)

    Laughing in upstate!

    AND CLARI!!!

    YES to weddings and babies, my friend!!!!

    Thank you for the download and the shares on facebook. THANK YOU!!!!!

  103. Ruth,
    I thoroughly enjoyed 'Try, Try Again' and looking forward to reading 'Running on Empty' - just downloaded it on my Kindle and added it to my TBR list of books. I'm a novice when it comes to social media but I'll use your request as an opportunity to practice my tweeting and reposting!

  104. I think this is one of my favorite posts ever on Seekerville. I love the way you explained your story here, and your edginess. I know what it's like to have that story loved all the way up to the moment they reject it because it's too... real life. Life is edgy most of the time, and some of us have been given a mission by God to fictionalize it and tell those tales so many don't know how or don't want to tell.

    I pray massive success with this. I checked just now and you're #1 in Christian romance - that's fantastic!

    author of "edgy"

  105. Whoops - I was logged in to my Hallee the Homemaker account with the above reply. Sorry about that!

  106. You are so right that "edgy" is subjective. My novel was rejected by a traditional publisher and though I didn't consider it edgy this publisher did. My heroine had once been in an emotionally abusive marriage. Fortunately eventually Harte's Peak did find a publisher. I look forward to reading Running on Empty.

  107. Rachel, thank you!!! I'm so glad you liked "Try, Try Again"... I love that book, and I had such a good time... heart and soul and tears... writing it that I hoped and prayed that would "come out" in the reader.

    And don't you just love Foster????

    And Sarge????

    They make me smile every time I think of them!!!

    "Running on Empty" is different because I defused the humor level... I couldn't find much funny about abusing kids and targeting young girls, but... the emotional growth and redeveloped love between Anne and Joe pushed her awful past right where it should be... gone, even if not forgotten.

    Forgiving ourselves can be so tough and I think kids who are molested or abused often try to think of what they could have done to prevent it... or stop it... but man, it's a tough row to hoe when you're a kid and grown-ups take advantage.

    HALLEE!!!! Oh, honey, I could use a homemaker here about now!!! Maybe a cleaning crew would be better, LOL! And I know there are other authors out there who've discovered the same thing, that it's tricky to find a publisher willing to deal with tough subjects, but....

    How cool that we can do this ourselves now and hunt for the audience we want to reach with a beautiful, professional product???

    Seriously, we are blessed to be in these new times and I hope you'll have fun jumping in the water with me!!! (So to speak...) :)

  108. Maria Michaels, absolutely right on all counts...

    And honestly, I felt badly for those editors who pushed to publish this book because they both ended up unemployed not long after... I don't think it was that they wanted just this book, I think both men wanted to publish works that had a warmth and realism nestled together with strong story telling... and I don't say that to pat myself on the back, ever, a God-given talent should always give the thanks and praise back to God, but I knew the story was strong and beautiful, I'd been told by several editors that it was wonderful...

    This way no one risks a "bottom line" but me and that's okay! Because I truly believe readers will love this story... and be more aware of evil in their midst.

    And that's always a good thing!