Friday, February 14, 2014

Be My Valentine, Seekerville!!!!

Happiest of Valentine's Days, Seekervillagers!!!!! I'm so totally over-the-top psyched! Usually I talk about COOL THINGS like "The Princess Bride" on Valentine's Day because it's a big family favorite!!! Hit the techno hearts and light the candles, Wesley and Buttercup ROCK!!!!

And then I like to wax on about how cute Richard Castle is, and whether or not that is THE DRESS that Stana Katic was wearing last week...... Love it or hate it (I loved it!) she was stunning!  And of course we do this while eating chocolate....

And talking about Leroy Jethro Gibbs:

Giving out sweet (okay, corny) cards:

Yup, that's me and Dave, all right!!!!  :)

And making delicious family treats for youngsters, and how the heck did they worm in on this romantic holiday, anyway????

But no, today we wax poetic and romantic in a completely different way with 


Detective Crescent Dietrich vowed never to return to Watkins Ridge.  A bullet and her grandmother’s diagnosis changed that. Now she’s back, touching a past she spurned long ago.

 Alex Westmore appreciates God’s humor, but when hard-nosed Cress Dietrich is plunked into the middle of the family farm controversy—and his part in the sale of a centennial farm—he’s not laughing. He promised her grandmother secrecy, and Alex always keeps his word. But this time, his pledge might break Cress’s heart.

He wants her trust and love. He knows you can’t have one without the other. But can Cress escape the shadows of the past in time to embrace the simple light of her future?  With God’s grace, she can… in Watkins Ridge.

Of course there is a link in case you take it into your head to BUY THIS BOOK!!!!

I loved that Rose Zediker was talking series last week, and that I'm right now teaching a class on developing a series, because I write what I know... and what I love.

I love God.  I love romance. I love book series that entrench me in the story, make me feel like I know the people, embrace the town, feed the hungry and cure the downhearted.

That's why I write series. I LOVE THEM.  I love them in every genre I read, there's something emotionally satisfying about being immersed in a group of stories, getting to know people, feeling like you're part of that town, that neighborhood, that setting. Like these people are so real they could be shaking your hand in church every Sunday!

When you really love something, I think the pleasure of doing what you love outweighs the work involved. 


Just leave me in my book-producing, snow-filled, ice-covered forest corner of the world and let me write sweet books.

A beginning snow.... 

And when that happens, VOILA! A new book appears!

And here the snow is a little more determined!!!

This has been a labor of love. This is the formula I used:

1 finished book + 1 detailed rejection letter + FUN EDITING TIME!!! = "Safely Home", book one of the Watkins Ridge series,  the story of the oldest Dietrich sister,  a woman who turned her back on her home and her family long ago... until poor choices and Gran's illness left her few options.

Coming home as the prodigal is not easy, but it's such a grown-up thing to do. And most of us can relate. And it is a WONDERFUL STORY BASELINE. 

If we've never been the prodigal, we generally know one, and identifying the whys and wherefores of why a character reacts/behaves/chooses in a particular way is the basis for that initial story THRUST, the impetus, the ground-leaving jet take-off.  

Watkins Ridge is in the heart of Wisconsin, it's a Packer country, cheesehead central, beautiful, family-oriented, Midwestern brawn, football-loving, real man pleasing and farm-friendly area, an area settled by a broad mix of Scandinavian and German immigrants, and even though it's a meld of cultures now, the old farm families have their way of doing things...

And it's not to be trifled with. Pride runs deep in Cress's family, maybe too deep... and we all know how pride can tripwire a fall from grace.   

To set up this series I splayed the effects of childhood trauma on three sisters, and I'm using their individual characters to show the difference that timing, age, experience can make using the exact same experience: Loss of a mother to cancer, father's down-slide into several years of alcoholism, and the eventual resolution that doesn't erase scars, how externals affect us differently depending on age and stage and the nature we're born with.

The three sisters:

1. Cress: A cop, a Minneapolis Police Department detective, street-smart, tough, in-your-face, stand-your-ground, wondering where the sweet little girl within her went to so long ago when she left her little sisters to fare for themselves while she kicked the dust of Watkins Ridge off her riding boots and headed to the big city to chart a new path.

2. Audra: sweet, anxious to please, the peacemaker, the animal lover, nurturer, care-giver, she runs a farm-friendly bed and breakfast with an attached quilt-and-candle shop, just as nice as she can be, loving what she knows best: home. 

3. Kiera:  Stunning high-fashion model, seeking, never quite sure who she is, what she is, feeling like the facade might be the real thing, and deeply afraid it might be true, self-control is constantly challenged and desperately needed because she'd really love to just eat a bowl of fried cheese curds now and again, but fear... and insecurity... push her to dangerous levels of thinness.

Cress left her hometown in a fit of anger over a decade before.

And she came back just as angry! But she's a cop now, a detective, so she gets to carry a gun, and what better scenario than an angry chick-cop with a Glock?????


And when you meet Gran, it's not hard to see where Cress gets her nature from, the apple didn't fall too far from this centennial tree, and their parallel lives take this further. But times have changed, and people have changed and maybe... just maybe... it's time to break the cycles of secrecy and control as Watkins Ridge embraces all three girls as their own.

When I set up a series, I grab tried-and-true formulas because they work. Three sisters, three friends, a high school reunion, a town in need of help, (Men of Allegany County) a family torn apart, a family as the background stability. (The Campbells in Kirkwood Lake), a town that's made mistakes (North Country books). People identify with these set-ups because they occur naturally in life. Too trumped and it FEELS fictional. Too sweet and it feels contrived. I strive for a happy balance between the two, a family, town, setting and characters that make you cheer for them... and feel like you know them.

(And shh, I don't really model characters after REAL PEOPLE. Missy in the book is nothing like our dear, beloved Missy Tippens!!!!! REALLY.)  (BIG GRIN INSERTED HERE) 

Come on inside and let's have some Valentine's Day FUN!!!!!!!  Talk to me about why you like series.... or why you don't like them! I'm interested to hear both. And what was the first series you ever read?

Mine was the Bobbsey Twins.  YES. REALLY!!!!

I brought chocolate, there's coffee brewin', and I've got some fresh sweet tea, too, and I do believe Tina Radcliffe's going to bring her coconut cake, a new Valentine's tradition!!!!  (Nom, nom, nom, Ruthy eats WHOLE CAKE HAPPILY!!!!)  

I've got an Amazon gift card I'm giving away, plus FOUR FREE DOWNLOADS of "Safely Home".... and I'd love to hear what you think once you've read Cress's story!!!

Leave a comment, grab a cuppa and let's chat, but first.... for the early crowd who knows me too well:

There is this:

Derek Jeter Announces His Retirement at End of 2014 Season

I hope he has a great year. I hope he goes out like Mariano did last year, on the wings of celebration, not injury. For a person who's given so much to the game, to being straight up, to loving baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Ford (well the song says Chevrolet, but Derek's a tri-state Ford spokesman!) how can we do anything but enjoy this year with him... and wish him well? And youse all know that Derek has opened his own PUBLISHING LINE, right???  Now there's a dream! Publishing sweet romance with Jeter!!!!!!   :)

Ruth Logan Herne is a hybid author who loves God and romance. When she's not helping to shape the lives of God's littlest people, she's busily shaping fictional lives, which spares her family unneeded and unwanted interference. They want you to know how grateful they are.

Married with six, NO!!! Seven children (she stole one, she freely admits it, and no one has arrested her yet...), she has been spending this year's "global warming" winter carving her house out of ice and snow and feeling like this global warming thing is MIGHTY SELECTIVE. 

But then, isn't everything?

Visit her at her website, or over in the Yankee Belle Cafe with a host of buddies!!!! 


  1. Okokokayyy.

    WHAT a cover!
    And then your intro to the characters. Looks wonderful, and since it's written by YOU, we'd expect nothing less. :)

    Well, YES! We love a series too, and so do our readers. We have the fan mail, with illustrations, to prove it. ;)

    But, I have to ask, where was Jeter?

  2. Oh, first series that I remember reading was - wait for it - The Black Stallion. I read, then illustrated my own. Still love those books, and the films too.

  3. First series for me was probably My Freind Flicka and Flicka Comes Home. Yes, I love series, and Seekerville, and Ruthy, and books. Not necessarily in that order!

  4. Pretty sure the first series I got into was Nancy Drew. Can't really remember reading any series before that, just being read to. I know I read Alice in Wonderland in first grade since I had to give a book report in front of the class and that was a big deal! And all I remember my mom reading to me is Barbar the Elephant and Winking Blinkin and Nod...But I do recall going to the library and picking out mountains of books, surely I got into a series during one of those times, but it was ECLIPSED by Nancy Drew. I read them all, I was waiting for the writing mill to produce more and just got so mad that "Carolyn Keene" couldn't write more than 4 a month in her various series. Sheesh, what is UP with writing so slow!!! Got fed up on waiting for her, so I quit reading entirely!!!! Nothing could be better than Nancy Drew!

    Until someone forced a Lori Wick book on me for my 13th birthday several years later....I would have been ungrateful if I hadn't read it. :)

    Very thankful for good birthday gifts!

    And you'd think I'd want to write mysteries after reading so much Nancy Drew, but even way back then, my favorite part of the plot was if Ned showed up! Romantic 9 year old me....

  5. I love book cover reveals. If I was the least bit artistic, I would want to design book covers. But hey, writing is fun, too :D
    I'm a series fan too, except if the author ends one book with a huge cliffhanger and you have to wait for the next book (which is always a year away from being released) to find out what happens. Although I suppose that means I care about the characters, so the author has done her job...
    Anyway, happy Valentine's Day!

  6. I manage to make it to Seekerville and it's a Ruthy day! I wasn't sure at first because there was no Jeter pic (like KC said, hehe).
    I love series books when they also stand alone. I don't like to be left cliff hanging, especially when the next one is not available yet.
    The first one I think I read was the Chronicles of Narnia when I was in junior high. Ruthy you know I snap up any book with your name on it, so no need to put me in the drawing.

  7. Hey, it's my Valentine Birthday today so I am just doing whatever I want to today and one of those things is visiting Seekerville and enjoying your post! Loved it! I LOVE that you love Gibbs! My favorite show!!! I also love the cover of your book - beautiful! The first series I can remember reading was Nancy Drew. I grew up with a mother that was a teacher so I learned to read early and I read everything I could get my hands on! I still read every second I it! It is ironic that I was born on Valentine's Day and am allergic to chocolate though! Hmmmmm, oh hubby takes all chocolate that comes into our home and gladly eats it!

  8. Ruthy, you make it all seem so easy. I'm not sure of the ease, but your method does make sense. And FYI, I've stopped fighting Yahoo Groups, so sorry that I'm not in class. I've been reading the digests after class. Great info!

    the Bobbsey Twins were my first series, too. And I also read a series where the main character was Betsy. Not Betsy McCall, but they were books that featured a young girl and her family. Does anyone else remember this series?

    I don't know if this would be the Betsy Ray character by author Maude Lovelace or not. The book in that series that really impressed me told of Betsy attending a wedding and at the end she received a piece of wedding cake in a box. She was instructed to place the box under her pillow to dream of her groom.

    I was definitely in elementary school when I read these books, had never been to a wedding and thought it preposterous to put cake beneath a pillow.

  9. My first series was the Little House on the Prairie books, which I read so many times my paperbacks started falling apart, but I still have them!

    My sisters and I were also *really* into The Baby-Sitters Club books. I can't believe how many there are. One of my sisters even named her daughter Mallory :)

    I love your series Ruth! It really is fun to follow different stories from the same town/family.

    Please put me in for the drawing!

  10. I love series as I get to know the area, people etc.
    My first would have been as a child, Probably a Enid Byton on and I think it was The magic Faraway tree, Read lots of hers. Then Heidi, Seven Little Australians, Pollyanna, Little Women etc. Oh cant forget Little House on the Prairie.
    My first Christian series was The Canadian West series by Janette Oke which got me back into reading. I also fell in love with Mounties and Canada.

    I love series were we revisit characters from previous books. Books set in a town like Janet Tronstads Dry Creek books where you get to know the town.

    Please enter me I would love to win Ruthys new book (even more than the gift card).

    I am healing well. Its now 3 week and I am so excited to say I walked 40 mins this morning. I cant believe how much the Gall bladder was affecting me. I still have the headaches but even they have lessened.

    The album is progressing (having a stop today waiting for a few more contributions for the section I am on). Thanks again to all who have contributed.


    I forgot the Narnia series loved that tried to get through my wardrobe. I use to buy the Sweet Valley High books when I was in High School one or two came out each month. Oh and Cherry Ames (she was a nurse). Oh In High School I read a series dont remember the full titles but it was the Peggy series. She became a Christian and she is in junior or high school. there are several books and her father and finally her mother also become christians. They were a series I read over and over.

  12. K.C., I'm in DENIAL.

    I actually intro-ed the blog with the announcement of Derek's retirement, then heard that he was buying the farm next door to me, so I was fine.

    Derek next door.

    Sweet!!!! (Okay, he's not REALLY doing this, but let me pretend, okay???? THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME LIVING IN MY FANTASY WORLD!!!!!)

    Oh, the Black Stallion. LOVE!!!!! I love horse stories!!!!

  13. Marianne, love you back and I'm so jealous that TEEEEEEEENA got to meet you and I haven't!

    Of course that would require exiting the SNOW CAVE and that's not likely to happen, LOL! I write better while trapped within the iced walls of the c-a-v-e!!!!

    Thank you for your constant kind words and encouragement. That means so much to all of us here. You are a true blessing.

  14. Melissa Jagears, I concur!!!

    Although I think I was a little older when the romantic bug hit me with the Penny Parrish books by Janet Lambert (♥♥♥♥♥) and the Cherry Ames series of nursing books... Lex or Wade????

    That's like asking "Ken" or "G.I.Joe"....

    I was a Wade girl from the beginning! But she never ended up with anyone, did she? Unlike Sue Barton, ANOTHER ROMANTIC NURSE SERIES!!!!!! Be still my heart, I decided to be a nurse then and there.

  15. Happy Valentines Day! Congratulations on your new book Ruthy! Thank you for Leroy Jethro Gibbs...the man can give a woman the vapors.... :)

    Probably the first series I was introduced (our teacher read them to us for one whole school year) was the Adventure Series by Enid Blyton. My favorite was The Castle of Adventure. Ahhh, such memories.

    The reason I love series books is many times I absolutely hate letting go of a character. So with a series I am to spend more time with them, or at least catch a glimpse of them and see how their lives are turning out. Yes, I do love a good series. The only part I don't like is the waiting for the next book to release. My sister has great will power...she buys all the books in the series but she won't start reading them until she has them all. I told her I HAVE to read them as they's sort of like Christmas.

    I'd love to be in your drawing Ruthy!

    Have a wonderful blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Courtney!!!!Hey, girl!!!!

    I used to feel that way about cliffhanger book endings, and here's what changed me:

    TEENAGERS My teenage girls here LOVE them, LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM!!!! They are voracious readers when it comes to loving them!!!! And the anticipation to get a book into their hands when the new book comes out is a delight!

    Now for me, I'm an HEA kind of gal and if that labels me as simplistic, well... God loves the simple-hearted!!

    I love happy endings, life is just jam-packed full of the other kind, and every now and again I want to lose myself in the warmth of fixing things and making people happy. (Anyone with children understands this is a transient euphoric glow!!!! :)

  17. Okay, I added Jeter!!!!

    Nancy Kimball, aw thank you so much!!!!

    Then tell me what you think when you've had time to read it, it's a lighter inspirational, Cress is a SNARK so if you hate snarky heroines, this could be problematic, but let's just say that she needs to move beyond her anger... and her regrets... to be the woman God sees in her.

    Of course there's still some snark left over!!!



  18. Valri, good morning!!!!!

    So nice to see you here! And Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!!!! Happy birthday, dear Valriiiiiiiiii!!!!!! Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!

  19. Lyndee, I remember that scene and that instruction too!!! But I don't remember those Betsy-Tacy books at all.

    Was that scene from The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers? Oh, you're testing me this morning!

    And I don't know why Yahoo is giving you a hard time in class. If you're on digest, that's trickier. I keep mine on individual posts, so the questions and answers just come into my e-mail box and I can work on them while we're in session... and then after!

    e-mail me and we can figure this out, but if the back-and-forth is too much too handle (and that's often the case) reading and asking questions after the session is fine, too!

  20. Heidi, you're in!!!! Good morning to you, and yeah, I loved the Little House books too, but I never read them until I was an adult... and then we'd read them through together, me reading Laura's life to my younger kids, through the long winters of upstate!

    I love them still. And I never read Anne of Green Gables until I saw the public television series with Megan Followes and I don't know how those two series escaped me as a kid because I lived at the library!!! But then they were that much fun and more when I read them as a grown-up and shared those stories with my kids.

  21. Jenny!!!! So glad you're feeling better! So very happy to hear that!!!! You're in the drawing, no worries, and I love "hearing" the higher note of contentment in your voice. Your American buds have been praying for you!

    And keep us posted on the progress of your album, it's such a wonderful idea. LOVE IT!

  22. Popping in to say Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Series are fun for me as a writer because I get to go back to a place and set of characters I've become fond of and have a nice visit. That's the reason I like them as a reader, too :)

    No need to enter me in the drawing, since I bought Safely Home yesterday. I never miss a Ruthy book!

  23. Wow Ruthy, you covered a lot.

    Kate did look beautiful in that wedding dress! Great picture of Gibbs, and I hope Jeter has a great year, too!

    What a beautiful cover on your book! I can't wait to read it. It sounds like a great series.

    And, is that peanut brittle covered in chocolate? Wow!

    Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day everybody! I hope you feel much love today. And let's don't forget God loves us most.

  24. Mia, Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

    My son-in-law Jon is reading "SEASIDE ROMANCE" on my Kindle (I use the term "my" loosely!!!!) right now and he's loving it, just like I did!

    And thank you for running right over to Amazon and buying Safely Home!!!!

    I hope you love it. I'm alwasy N-E-R-V-O-U-S when my writer buds read my stuff, because I (Yes, I'm admitting it!!!) fear falling short of expectations.

    And they're so stinkin' NICE, they'll just pretend to like it, but inside they're a hot mess of "What Was She Thinking????"

    (See, I do have some normal author crazy. It is limited in scope, but there, nonetheless!!!)


  25. Jackie, good morning! I loved "Kate" in that dress, and I sold wedding gowns for a lot of years, and I know I could sell that dress multiple times.


    Hey, no one is touching the CHOCOLATE and it's Valentine's Day.

    All rules are "off" on Valentine's day.

  26. Absolutely love this post! We got 20 inches of snow yesterday! I'm loving it! Got two and a half days off work. We never close! Ruthy, I saw your book on Amazon this morning! I would so love to win a copy! I will post reviews as well! I have already fallen in love with Audra. Can't wait to read about her. And Alex appreciating God's humor? I've got to hear more about this!
    I love Gibbs. I didn't realize his father was John Walton Sr.
    I think the first series I read was Trixie Belden Mysteries. I also loved Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Black Stallion series, and The Three Investigators. Thanks for the chance to win your book!
    tscmshupe [st] pemtel [dot] net

  27. Hey, I got a mention in Ruthy's blog! AWESOME.

    I love, love, love this cover. Good luck with your book series, Ruthy.

    I think the Little House on the Prairie books were my first series, then I moved up to Nancy Drew.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  28. I enjoy reading a good series when each book focuses on a different person. That keeps it interesting. A very long series all focused on one person can get boring.

    If I remember correctly, the first series I read was American Adventure.

    Your new series sounds so interesting...and I just love the cover of "Safely Home." Beautiful!

  29. Oooh -- first series? Welll...if you mean really, really, really first that would be Frog and Toad and Amelia Bedelia and Babar and...But once I'd grown up some and my tastes had refined it was Trixie Belden of course! :-)

    First Christian Fiction series was Dee Henderson's O'Malley's series. Blissful sigh. Followed closely by Julie Lessman's The Daughters of Boston series.

    I love series because it feels like I'm getting an extended ending to a really, really good book. :-)

  30. Sally, you're in!!! I love your enthusiasm... and I do believe Safely Home has already moved into #33 for Christian Romance...

    runs to check Amazon....

    We've moved to #32

    You have no idea how happy that makes me!!!! And I hope folks love Cress's story, I hope they identify with her healing, her moves forward from mistake upon mistake.

    Because I've been that mistake-riddled person and God's grace is just an amazing and wonderful thing!

  31. Rose Zediker your timing last week was PERFECT!!! I was teaching my wonderful class (waves hello to the delightful group of authors who trusted me to not be S-T-U-P-I-D!!!) and your blog on writing series came up and it was AWESOME!!!!

    So glad you're here today, Dave just walked in with a sweet bouquet of carnations and astralomeria and cheese Danish by Entenmann's bakery. I'll share!!!

  32. Victoria, thank you!

    I agree on both counts. And I've been guilty of waxing on TOO LONG (stop laughing, Missy, Mary and TEEEEEEENA. It's rude.) on many occasions, so getting into the groove of telling lovely stories in a shortened word count and MOVING ON to the next story was a great thing to do!!! Here, chocolate M&M cookies for you. Because you're stinkin' cute!

  33. Kav, aren't those fun memories????

    I think the most fun in creating a series is setting up those stories, I could see Cress's regret, her anxiety, and her filial affection for the grandmother that did so much for her, a grandmother that did the same for the hero, only quietly... oh, so quietly.

    So snarky Grandma is really a cool person, but she hides it well. Remind you of anyone??? My family would say YES!!!!

  34. Good Morning Ruth,
    Thank you for hosting us today. I love reading series, they're like a friend and family group grafted on to my "real" one. I tend to think in series -- when I finish a book, I'm already wondering what happens to the secondary characters and what their journey is. I couldn't write a stand-alone to save my life. My WIP, the story of Pace Williams and the beautiful and insane in a good way Oona Moriarty, is an outgrowth of the Oregon Trail story I am shopping around now. Pace was the wagon master in my OT story. I had no problem coming up with a story for him and a backstory, but I'm working with my critique group on the fine points of filling in the background. This means not info-dumping from the previous tale, but also not leaving readers in the dark as to who these people are. This is my challenge in doing a series.
    Kathy Bailey

  35. I also brought food, I mean what the hay. The chocolate chip cookies with Junior Mints we talked about earlier this week, plus some heart-shaped sugar cookies iced with homemade white icing and sprinkled with red sugar. Plus pots and pots of steaming tea, it's snowing and cold where I am. Again. It's a lot of food, but people can take some home with them.
    Kathy B

  36. SERIES. First one I read for myself was Bobbsey Twins. Graduated to Betsy-Tacy (separate post on that coming). My favorite not-in-the-mainstream series were the Edward Eager magic books, with Jane, Mark, Katharine and Martha and later their children Ann, Roger, Jack and Eliza. "Knight's Castle." I read all kinds of teen fiction series as a teen. I got hooked on Christian romance with Janette Oke, and got on fire for Christian fiction with the Thoenes and the Jerusalem books. I do read selected books that are not CBA and like cozy mysteries, my current favorite cozy mystery series is Carolyn Hart's "Ghost" series. Lots of fun and surprisingly spiritual. I also read everything in Jennifer Chiaverini's "Quilt" series. These people are like old friends, which is kind of the point.

  37. HEIDI, my kids read the Babysitters Club. I still have a box in the basement. They were pretty good stories for kids except for the info-dump in the beginning. Introducing the Babysitters, their families and their pets could go on for up to four pages, as they added sitters and never got rid of any.
    SALLY, I loved Trixie Belden too. I wanted to be a Bob-White and solve mysteries.
    LYNDEE, I adored the Betsy-Tacy books, the Betsy, Tacy and Tib books, and the four high school books. I loved the fact that Betsy was a writer. She was the only role model I had growing up. And who could not love Joe Willard, the hunky blond orphan with the chip on his shoulder? The books enjoyed a renaissance a few years ago, with new editions and people like Meg Cabot and Anna Quindlen writing the intros.
    Good times...

  38. Hey, Ruthy!!! I used to not like series. It seemed every time I read the first book in the series and loved it, the next books disappointed me. And when I accidentally picked up a book that was not the first in a series, I couldn't figure out who all the characters were and felt like I was out of the loop. That's probably why my books are sort of a series. Sort of. I didn't plan them that way. It just sort of happened. But I love revisiting old characters. It's awesome. :-)

    And something else that is awesome is that all four of my books were chosen to be Kindle Daily Deals today!!! I'm so psyched. (You forgive me for mentioning it here, don't you Ruthy? On account of how excited I am? :-)) They are only 99 cents for Valentine's Day. :-)

    May you sell a million copies of your new book, Ruthy!!! Love the cover! :-)

  39. Happy Birthday, Valri!! Hope having a birthday on February 14 means you get roses and chocolate!

  40. Great post RUTHY. Have fun and Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

    I'm still eating my two pound box of candy Cerreta Candy Company gave me for signing books at the Glendale Chocolate Affair.

  41. What a FUN series. And almost as fun as an Italian family!!!

    My first series was Beany Malonie by Lenora Mattingly Weber. Even though it took place in WW II and I was a child of the sixties, I still related to it.

  42. hi Ruthy
    please put my name in the cat dish for a book. love, love, love, love (to infinity) Ruthy books.

    as for series, first were the Encyclopedia Brown books, followed closely by Little House on the Prarie books, then the Narnia books, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I always liked the Hardy boys better because they seemed to do cooler things. Had no interest in Ned. I guess being a tomboy had something to do with that. Mush? Eww... Boys were there to one-up and show that girls are just as cool.

    First romance series? Janet Oke's Love Comes Softly.

    As you can see, I adore series. No one visit only to a place an author has created. If it's a great creation, give me lots of visits please.

    as for Jeter Dreamin' - hey, I'm all for that... even if he's a major cog of the "evil empire" of the Yankees (said from perspective of girl growing up out west and wee bairn Dodger fan until Colorado got the Rockies).

  43. Loved this post, Ruthy! I knew it was you from about the second line. :)

    For the record, when I heard Jeter was retiring, I thought of YOU and how disappointed you would be. :)

    Series.....let's see, the first one I remember reading was probably Trixie Belden. Loved that girl and her friend Honey. I also read the Little House books. My dad read the Chronicles of Narnia to us for bedtime stories, using voices and all. And Nancy Drew. And when I was a little older, Beverly Gray.

    I guess I was a series girl from way back! :)

    Your new series sounds wonderful. I look forward to reading it. I'd love to be put in the drawing.

    Thanks for sharing your exuberance, Ruthy! You prepared me for a day with boys at home. :)

  44. TINA,
    YES! Beany Malone! and her sister Mary Fred and her brother Johnny and their globe-trotting journalist father Marty and the housekeeper, "Mrs. No-Complaint." Plus the boy next door, Carleton Buell, whom she ended up marrying. I wanted to go to Denver and live with them. When I finally got to Denver, it was nothing like Lenora Mattingly Weber had promised, oh well. Good times!

  45. SANDRA,
    You get chocolate for signing books? Wow, one more reason for me to aim for publication.

  46. I am on a roll today, which usually means there is something else I should be doing.

  47. Hi Ruthy! Thank you for the ideas about series. My first children's historical will be out at the end of March and I can't decide what to do next. I could pick up a story line of one of the the siblings, or write a sequel. I feel at sea, just directionless about what's next.
    About first series, I read The Bobbsey Twins, too. And B is for Betsey etc. I LOVED the Little House series, and still do. (Embarrassed to admit my daughter is named Laura Grace- yes after two sisters). The girl who loves Little House is my target reader now.
    As an adult I read a lot of mysteries. Lillian Jackson Braun wrote about a hundred books featuring the Siamese detective, Koko. I loved knowing what to read next.
    This brings me to my final comment, Ruthy. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was always at the Hilton Public Library. I read down one row of books in the juvenile section, and then back up the next row (in my ambidextrous way). What would we have become without that wonderful library?
    And a final final comment. Ruthy, your talent and humor is delightful. You share your love of God so generously. I am proud to have been your classmate.

  48. Ruthy, I adore the cover of Safely Home and the blurb grabs me too, sinking that hook deeper. I can't wait to read the book!!

    Hoping Jeter has a great last year too. He's a class act.

    Happy Valentine's Day!! Romance is in the air. We're dining in tonight, but tomorrow night we will attend a dinner dance. I'll be gliding across the floor in the arms of my sweetheart. Actually the dance floor will be crowded. Gliding risks stepped on toes. :-)


  49. Should that be, "talent and humor Are delightful"? Anyway, love your writing. Turning the inner editor off.

  50. Valri, happy birthday!!! Now I know three valentine babies.


  51. Jenny, smiling that you're feeling so much better!


  52. Kaybee, good morning!

    Hey, folks are wakin' up in Seekerville!!!!

    Yes, the fun of a series is that "coming home to old friends" feeling, the feeling at home thing, the yearning for the next book. At least that's what we authors hope and pray for!

    And you are on a roll today! So nice to have you here, kiddo!

  53. The first series I read was the Boxcar Children...followed by the Babysitters Club and then Sweet Valley twins. :)

  54. Melanie, darling: My podium is your podium. En Espanol es "Mi casa es su casa!!!"

    :) Awesome for being Kindle deals today!!!! I'm having so much fun with both ends of publishing that I can't believe it. I am feeling beyond blessed.

    And my little Taylor who LOVES YOUR WORK SO MUCH did an amazing job as Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods and I thought of you and your fairy tale fun stories. And how she loves them and adapted to being a VERY SNARKY RED. So funny!!!

  55. WAIT!!!! SANDRA!!!!! You forgot the part where you Run/bike/or Pickleball your way to Amazon and buy my book!!!!




  56. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!!! This is the fun-est holiday of the year! Husband and children showing up with chocolate and flowers? Who could ask for anything more??

  57. Happy Valentines Day, Seekerville!

    Ruthy, you scored a home run with the pictures - Gibbs AND Jeter!

    My first series was the Bobbsey Twins, too. My cousins were reading the Happy Hollisters at the same time, and of course, being the loyal fan that I was, I refused to read the "rival" series....

    And then my dear husband brought the entire Happy Hollisters series into our marriage. Such bliss!

    And My Friend Flicka is still a favorite, and the sequels, Thunderhead, Son of Flicka and Green Grass of Wyoming.

    Is it any wonder I spent the first 53 years of my life longing to move west?

    I loved both Betsy series, too. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace, and the Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood. It's a wonder my daughter wasn't named Betsy!

    Actually, I named her Carrie, after the Little House books.

    I'm convinced that a series - or even better, multiple series that are connected - is a great for both authors and readers. Readers get to visit familiar places over and over, and authors get to live in their own fantasy world for years.

    What can be better?

  58. Teeena, thank you! It is fun, it's so crazy fun to see how weird families are (raises hand because we fit this category to a "T") and I do have a FUN ITALIAN FAMILY in the upcoming "Loving the Lawman", the 4th Kirkwood Lake book.

    (Folks, Kirkwood Lake is set near where Teeeeeeeena grew up. Why she left???? NO CLUE.) :)

  59. Jenny, so glad you're feeling better!

  60. You go, Ruthy!!! I would say I want to be you when I grow up, but that might mean moving to a very snowy place, and I've had my fill in the Carolinas already!!!!

    I love a good series--reading it and writing it. I like getting comfortable with the characters and imagining how their lives will intertwine and unfold. Loved that with my Horseman novels for HP, and also for my Till We Meet Again series for Abingdon.

    Hoping to get another series off the ground soon!

  61. My first series...Little House on the Prairie!!! Still love those books.

    Then...drum roll...Nancy Drew!!! I read and a future suspense author was born.

    No one's eating chocolate? I'm heading there. Sandra, are you sharing the two pound box you got for signing? I'm impressed!!! Maybe next year more Seekers will attend the Chocolate Affair! Do we need an invitation?

    Jenny, good news about your improved health!!! PTL!

    Valri, Happy Valentine's Day Birthday! What a special day to celebrate you!

  62. Deb H. oh, I hear you on the series, and thank you for your kind works, you make me smile!!!!

    The Evil Empire.... We New Yorkers kind of thrive on that idea, LOL! We're such snarks....

    But there's this other side to New York, a tough resilience of pulling together. I met a waitress in the Financial district (downtown Manhattan) and she was out of work for months after Hurricane Sandy, one of the "innocent" victims who work in the services of lower NY who really suffered for those long, long months when businesses stayed closed.

    Someday I'm setting a series in NYC, I love it, I love the crazy normalcy. But I know that when you're outside the NYC area, it's so stinkin' BIG, that it looks evil...

    Well, that and the huge money abounding the Yankees, LOL! But I love 'em, Deb.


  63. Ruthy, congrats on publishing another winner! Cress' story sounds powerful. Always love a heroine who packs a Glock! :) Takes a strong man to capture her heart.

  64. JENNY!!! So glad you're feeling better!

    Oh, I love Chronicles of Narnia, too!

    And Lord of the Rings!

    {sigh} In another life I probably would have written fantasy.

  65. Ruthy, I love your pictures of snow -- and cookies and candy! Now I'm hungry for sweets. Great book cover. Your story sounds great. I'll never figure out how you write so fast and so well with a full time job. Do you ever sleep?

  66. btw, Ruthy, I love your new author pic.

    also, i never got into the Babysitter Club series. didn't do anything for me. and i did forget to mention that i abhor cliff-hanger books. give me closure!!!!!! i want my series books to be able to stand alone. most of this stems from frustration of not being able to find the next book - or a book i didn't realize i missed. Again I say - I need closure!!! my real life has enough cliff-hangers and dangling ends... please keep them out of my books.

  67. Oh, wait. We're supposed to be talking about Ruth...

    Series, I love them! The first one I read? Hmm, probably Nancy Drew because everyone was reading Nancy Drew. I loved reading horse stories and there weren't any series centered around a girl and her horse. I think that's why I started reading my favorite books over and over again.

    Give me a series I can identify with and you have hooked me for life!!!

    AND, did you notice Ruthy's next heroine is named Audra??? Nice choice : )

    Thank you, Ruthy...
    Thank you, Mary...

    I'll continue to happily assume my spirit lives in your characters, LOL!

  68. You had me at Gibbs, Ruthy! heh

    Your cover is so pleasing to the eye. I love looking at it and can't wait to read your story since I really enjoy reading what you write. :)

  69. RUTHY, I love snarky grandmothers!
    Enter me in the drawing for Amazon. Unfort., I don't have a Kindle.

  70. Gibbs and Jeter in one place? You know how to make a girl's heart flutter. Speaking of, on my way to get Safely Home. Can't wait to read it and love that cover.
    First Series, I can't remember which actually came first but likely they were all jumbled in there together long about third grade. Trixie Belden, Little House, Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, a thing called The Happy Hollisters - anyone else remember those? They were antique looking things in my school library. And not to forget Betsy/Tacy/Tib. Just writing this makes me want to go read them again but I'm a big girl now. Picking up Safely Home instead.

  71. Ruthy,

    First, I LOOOOOVE your cover.

    Second, you're series sounds like fun.

    Third. I really don't like you. You make writing a book look so easy. I know you have a full plate beside your writing and then you keep putting out these fantastic books. Can't you just laze around for a month or so and get absolutely nothing done just to make me feel better? :)

    I didn't read much as a kid except for school assignments. I read Fifteen by Beverly Cleary just for fun. Then I started reading Catherine Coulter during my 30's. I guess her historicals were my first series. Does Marvin Redpost series count? I listened to my kids read them out loud when I home schooled them.

    Congratulations on another great series!!!

  72. I can't wait to read it, Ruthy. It's on my Kindle!

    And I do NOT think you're delusional

    (everyone play along and don't anyone make any sudden moves, she startles easily!)

  73. I read so many series as a kid. I was a real bookworm.

    Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Black Stallion, The Happy Hollisters. Oh just whatever existed I read. I think me and my family (eight kids!) personally kept the circulation numbers at the local library alive and well.

  74. Got a nasty head cold, so went to bed EARLY last night.

    But there's fresh coffee now.

    I love series. And the first I remember are Nancy Drew and Little House books.

  75. Kathy Hurst, right back at you!!! Kathy and I were Hilton High school classmates together, we were part of a great class, a mix of farm country fun and suburban cool kids and I had a great time... and met my husband... during those two years.

    Kath!!! I'm so excited that your book is coming out! Yay for you and all that work...which is really love, isn't it???

    And I'm honored that you stopped by today! You rock, my friend!

  76. I wrote my series list before I read all the comments and I keep seeing series I read too. Bobbsey Twins, Little House on the Prairie. The Box Car Children, though I might have read those later to my own children...not sure about that.

    I think The Black Stallion was the one I really adored. The one that was the first book that made me ask, "Who wrote this? How did he do this? How did he make me taste the dirt, hear those thundering hooves, feel those huge bodies galloping next to each other." Love Walter Farley.

  77. HELEN! I'm so sorry you're sick. :( baby yourself as a Valentine's Day Present!!!! Poor baby!

  78. Yay to your new book, Ruthy! I appreciate your additional series writinig comments - especially since I am in your class right now, lol. I think the first series I read was Bobbsey Twins, too - but also Cherry Ames (student nurse, Army nurse) Dana Girls, Marjorie Dean, Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Honey Bunch, Trixie Belden series - the Box Car children original 1942 series, Sugar Creek Gang (original 1940's series) - obviously I absolutely ATE UP series as a little girl.

  79. Kaybee, I could go for a cup of that tea 'bout now!!!

    Do you have Mandarin Orange spice?

    And maybe Mary will bring us some of that little drawstring tea she loves... Mary, who makes that again, I forgot!!! Is it Tetley? Or Twinings?

  80. Thank GOODNESS he's next door, buying the farm.
    Wait. That's not right.
    (And some want to do away with commas... Sheesh.)

    It's definitely a Ruthy day - 80 comments already?!

    We still have some snow but melting away in this high 30's "heat" today. ;)

    Happy Valentine's again! My hubby gave me a gift certificate for THREE massages. WAHOO! Got the jump and had the first one yesterday... Ahhh. Needed that!

    If I need to, please toss May into the cat dish for a drawing... She loves kitties! may at maythek9spy dot com

  81. Happy Valentine's Day!
    I love the cover of your new book, Ruthy!! I love when I start a book knowing there's more to come. It's kind of sad when you reach the end of a good book, but it helps when you know you get to go back and be a part of the character's lives again as they continue on :)

  82. Forgot to add the first series I read. Trixie Beldon still holds a special place in my heart. I had a crush on Jim. :)

  83. I've noticed a common thread in these comments - we've all been influenced by great children's authors.

    Mary said I think The Black Stallion was the one I really adored. The one that was the first book that made me ask, "Who wrote this? How did he do this? How did he make me taste the dirt, hear those thundering hooves, feel those huge bodies galloping next to each other." Love Walter Farley.

    For me the defining moment was when I was reading Lois Lenski's Prairie School on a hot summer afternoon. Her description of the blizzard was so realistic, I had to look out the window to see if there was snow on the ground.

    Don't we all want to be great writers who can transport their readers like that?

  84. I do love a series because I find myself not wanting to let go of certain characters.
    My first series that I read was the Sweet Valley High series. Do you they even have those anymore?

  85. What was the question??? lol

    I'm too busy admiring Ruthy's new book. Love the story AND the cover!

    Congrats, Ru!

  86. Jeanne T, I love those unexpected days with kids at home... they always challenged me to do something "Little House on the Prairie" cool to show them how much harder folks used to have it... sometimes it would be baking bread we kneaded by hand, or a "board game" afternoon followed by a bread-and-jam supper.

    Kids really have no clue how blessed they are until we give them an up close and personal view, so those no-power or school-closed days I put my "teachable moment" hat on and had fun with it!

    I hope you love the new book. You'll have to tell me, okay?

  87. Helen! No one should be sick on Valentine's Day! Vicks and Ricola lozenges on the way!!

  88. Janet Dean, I can totally see you gliding and swaying on the dance floor!!!! How fun that will be.

    My goal is a fish fry to go. My longings are small by design, I want peace and quiet and fried haddock... and to get up early and greet a writing-filled Saturday! YAY!!!!!

  89. A new Ruthy book! I am all over that like snow on Valentine's day! :-)

    And yes, it is snowing here. We got three inches in about three hours. It made such a mess of the roads that after sliding into town, I called my boss and told her I was chickening out of driving the 40 more miles to work (interstate was still solidly covered), so I slid back home and tucked myself into a warm corner to watch the cardinals at the feeder and check in here. :-)

    But now I'm going to have to make myself work on writing stuff instead of snatching up Safely Home. Wait! That title describes my morning! How can I not start reading it right now?!

    Decisions! Decisions! I hear Amazon calling my name...

  90. UH OH! I'm so scared to read a book that has my name in it…especially one that Ruthy feels the need to apologize for AHEAD of time!!! Oh, my. Should I be contacting my lawyer friends???


    Ruthy this sounds like an amazing series!! I can't wait!

  91. By the way, my first series was Nancy Drew mysteries.

  92. Happy birthday, Valri!!

    It's also Cheryl Wyatt's birthday! Happy b-day to her as well!

  93. Jennifer, hey!!!!

    I think I can guess ages by which series folks read first....

    Those of us in our forties and fifties tended toward the Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Sue Barton, Cherry Ames stuff.

    Twenty and thirty somethings Boxcar Children, the Bunnicula books, (LOVE THEM, JAMES HOWE, ♥♥♥♥♥) Babysitters Club, and I raise all our babies here to love Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Berenstain Bears, The Bear Books (Jane Chapman and Karma Wilson), feeding them into the series-loving frenzy early!!!

  94. Amazon won again. I now have Safely Home waiting on my Kindle. ☺☺☺☺☺☺

    Oh. And the first series I read--I can't remember. It's a toss up between Little House on the Prairie, Black Stallion, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters...
    Okay. Maybe it's closer to a juggling act than a toss up. But I was in the library so often I think the librarians knew my shoe size.

  95. Audra, Happy Valentine's Day!

    I think Dave was miffed because I hinted for flowers.

    My theory on that is if he remembered them more often, I wouldn't have to hint!!! And I didn't want roses, they fade too fast, I wanted pretty flowers, cheap, and long-lasting. I think they are reflective of my take on life, LOL!

  96. Melanie!!!! that's such exciting news! I'm pretty sure I have them all already but will sure pass along the word. :)

  97. Drex, I'm with you 100%. So was that the other Betsy series we couldn't think of earlier????

    Nope, just went and looked and I didn't recognize them. But I remember that scene about the wedding cake and the kid not wanting to put cake under her pillow.

    But then I'm OLD so it's probably from my own childhood.

    My friend Paul just brought me a strawberry chocolate McCafe Frappe from McDonalds.


    FATTENING AS HECK, but I'm in love!!!! It's so stinking good!!!!

  98. Deb Giusti, I love Nancy Drew. It was such a fun series, and I'm clearing out our attic and I just found a bag of my old Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames books that my Sarah read when she was young. I'll have to see if she wants them for my granddaughters....

    Without the 40 years of DUST of course!

    Hey, I'll help Sandra with that chocolate, and you must try this Valentine McFrappe.

    I'm seriously over-indulging here.

  99. Ruthy, I wonder why it is that we need to hint. Shouldn't they read our minds and know exactly what we want???

    The men reading should chime in! LOL

  100. Debby, thank you! Women packing heat are not to be trifled with!

    And Cress was so fun to write, such a mix and a mess of emotions and old hurts that just needed love and God's healing touch.

    But a nice Glock is a wonderful friend to have!

  101. Audra, the name of course had nothing to do with you or our friendship or the fact that I love you and you're nice, kind to animals and hate conflict.

    NO RESEMBLANCE WHATSOEVER, pure coincidence if any is inferred.

    Having said that, it's such a great name! And perfect for a family that mixes heritage.

    Her story is so funny. I just grin thinking about it!!!!

  102. And um, Audra?????

    Aren't we always supposed to be talking about me? I mean, isn't that a THING????

    Because I think it is. :)

  103. Myra, thank you! I know you love doing series work, too, and it's my first love after God, Dave, family, dogs, chocolate (with series attached) and coffee.

    Oh, and bread.


  104. ANITA MAE!!!! Thank you! I loved the cover, it was put together by the Killion Group, Kim Killion's work speaks to me... she's got a hand with putting things in a way that helps tell the story, and the acknowledgement in the story to This Old Horse, a rescue facility in Hastings, Minnesota that I'm in love with is a clue to why there's a sweet chestnut horse on the cover.

    I love giving This Old Horse shout-outs!

  105. RUTHY!!! Deter has his own publishing line??? Sounds like the perfect fit for you, my friend!!

    And your new pic -- is it new, you all bundled up?? -- is ADORABLE!!

    The new book looks AWESOME!! You had me at "sisters," my friend, and the cover did the rest (along with your killer writing, of course, goes without saying!!).

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE series because frankly, they are just SO easy and SO much fun to write!!

    Can't wait to dig in, my friend. :)


  106. CINDY!!!! Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I hope you love it, I hope it speaks to you and I hope you get a kick out of Cress...

    And Alex is just too hot for words.


    And I'm not kidding about that. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, all grown up, educated, and rich.


    How can that be BAD?????

  107. Connie Queen, I love you!!!!

    You make me laugh. And you know, we all work at different speeds (think NY-Friendly, warp speed, 6th gear, 24/7, very annoying to my children who didn't dare SIT DOWN...)

    I would drive my Southern friends C-R-A-Z-Y.

    Which is why I stay firmly in the north, professing my love of 4 distinct seasons, because my manic personality would make folks wince and cringe and then they get wrinkles and it's ALL MY FAULT!!!!



    I hope you like/love it!!!!

  108. Connealy!!! You came to the book release party!!!! Oh, wait, is my hair done??? Are my nails clean??? Did I remember to put on clean clothes???? The Connealy is here!!!!

    Connealy, I hope you love it! And if you don't, leave a real nice review anyway, okay?

    I'll pay you.

    (I'm kidding, I never pay for reviews, I don't even ask for reviews, I'm just not like that the weensiest, teensiest bit, and yet God love folks, they've left lots of reviews for Try, Try Again and Running on Empty so, it's all good, right????)

    Mary, here, try this McFrappe.

    You will love it.

    Save me from buying new and bigger clothing. Please.

  109. Jenna, aka Fiction That Feeds Your Faith, hello!!!!

    Yes, you are in the class and it's so much fun.

    And I don't make anyone come to class and they still learn because we have great convos going. I love the series ideas I'm hearing from Kav, from Sue, from Chris, Jan, Amber, et al..... I'm having so much fun and they're avidly working to grab hold of these ideas.

    Of course I might be making it HARDER to grab the ideas, LOL! Trial of fire!

    Jenna, what are you working on right now? And I think it's so cool that you and Chris got together on Long Island (before the storm) to work together and go over fun, series class stuff.

    And yes, we need to get together when I'm in NYC. I love spontaneous meet-ups!


    And I didn't love it until I saw the Waltons and then got a real view of how families could deal with hardship and lack and thrive... with faith.... and not fall apart.

    That was such a wake-up call for me!

    So sorry about your cold, my friend. I'm the biggest baby with a cold, ridiculous, actually, but I'm empathizing with you now. Hugs to you, also!

  111. Mary that's so true about the Black Stallion books.

    The imagery in my mind, the emotion....

    I wanted to be able to make people feel, to laugh, to cry, to try harder.

    Isn't it funny how truly affected we are at such a young age?

    Really, we should have just SKIPPED adolescence (oh the pain of never feeling pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, well-enough dressed, busy enough, loved enough)

    Teenage girls are the ultimate of crazy. I coulda skipped that and moved right on to adulthood.


    It does not happen that way!!!

  112. THREE MASSAGES, K.C.????




  113. Jamie Adams, I had a crush on Jim, too!!!!!

    We're such girls!!!!

    And I love knowing there are more books to come, too. It makes me smile!!!!

    And CLARI!!!!!!

    I'm so glad you turned around and came home. I want you in one piece... and you went and got Safely Home????

    Oh, thank you!!!!! BIG NEW YORK GRIN!!!!!


    I love that you can keep prices so reasonable when you indie publish books.

    And I love that my Love Inspired books are so affordable. When you've been on the down side of the railroad tracks, you truly appreciate people's budgets, and that's something that a lot of publishers don't do.

    I don't begrudge them making money, that's the job, but I'm always the frugal fan of making do with less, and sharing the wealth with love, so putting out books at $2.99 ROCKS.

    I'm just sayin'!!!!

  114. Clari, you're so funny!

    God bless librarians. They were my saving grace, them and teachers and nice neighbors.

    The kindness of strangers.... and free books!!! LOVE!!!!


    So why did I NAME her Missy.

    (evil grin hidden!!!!)

    Because I could, LOL!!!!!

  116. Julie, I love your enthusiasm. I just want to bottle it, shake it up, and sprinkle liberally on anyone who is troubled by lack thereof.

    Hey, Helen just brought fresh coffee and I'm heading over there to get some.

    Come join me and tell me what you think of Missy's dress....

    Shhh.... Don't let her know we're talking, just don't look that way, 'kay????


    That shade of pink is PERFECT on her.

  117. Ruthy, I saw that picture of Taylor as Red Riding Hood on your facebook!!! So adorable! I love her THIS MUCH!!! :-) Partly because she said my book was better than Harry Potter. But only partly!!!

  118. Ruthy, I can't wait to read your new book. Cress is such a cool name. Love it.

    I've always been a book worm. For my 8th birthday, I recieved a whole bunch of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books from my parents. I thought I was in Heaven! I couldn't wait for my birthday party to be over so I could go outside, climb my favorite tree, and read, read, read lol.

  119. HI RUTHY! Congrats on the release of your newest book! LOVE the cover!

    My first series was also The Bobbsey Twins (see I knew we had a lot in common)! Then Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, the Anne of Green Gables series.

    I love series, not only reading, but writing. Like you, I love feeling like I'm part of a town, or a family, and it's like visiting old friends.



  120. Ruthy,

    I talk fast and can get on a roll for a Southern gal.

    I sometimes go into warp speed cleaning or working,but never with my writing. I don't know if it's because I'm lazy or some sort of sick paranoia, but I'm slow.

    I'm looking forward to Speedbo. Hoping to break my own little record. Would love to mimic the Ruthy race for just one month.

  121. I am a big series fan! The bigger the better in my opinion! I fall so in love with characters and love when we get to be with them for more than one book! My favorite series is when the characters are related, especially when they are siblings, since you get so much more involved with them! Several of my favorite series are ones about siblings!
    As for first series, I'm not sure since I have been reading books since I learned how but one of the earliest series I remember is the Annie Henry Series by Susan Olasky!

  122. KayBee, I'd forgotten that she was a writer. I might see if my library has the reissued books. I'd love to read a bit of them for old times sake. Very cool that you remember them, too!

    Ruthy, I'm not worried abt the class. I appreciate your advice. I also noticed that ever since I started going to Yahoogroups, I've been inundated by spam mail - like 75 emails at least twice a day. Turkey-lurkies! It will calm down eventually!

  123. I can't wait to read Safely Home! I've read everything you've published so far and was just waiting for the next Love Inspired book to come out.This series looks great, love your independent work, Try, Try, again was a favorite. As for a first series I've read, probably Nancy Drew, but as an adult Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion series is outstanding. Happy Valentines Day to all!

  124. By the way, I'd love to be in the drawing!

  125. Ruthy it's Tetley's. I prefer Earl Grey but several flavors are wonderful including Lady Grey and English Breakfast.

    But I buy them six boxes at a time online so I have to choose six boxes of ONE FLAVOR which is a whole winter's worth.

    So I buy Earl Grey and it MUST HAVE THE DRAWSTRING BAG!
    If I can't have the drawstring bag, I just buy Twining Earl Grey at Walmart. What's the point of buying online if not for that hard to find and lovely drawstring bag. NO SPOON. NO BURNT FINGERS!

    And I make it using my Keurig, which I wouldn't have without Ruthy nagging me into it. Audra may have done some nagging too? I don't know maybe A THOUSAND PEOPLE NAGGED ME. (they also paid for it but that's another story!)

    And now I use it constantly. I LOVE IT!

    Uh...what were we talking about...something about the NY Yankees or Castle??? Oh yeah...BOOKS!

  126. Ruthy I feel your pain over Jeter.
    My Cricket hero announced his retirement when he played his last Cricket test not giving much notice. in fact a few have done that!

    Helen sorry to hear you are so sick.

    Oh Ruthy on skipping adolescence I didn't hate myself till around 15ish and only really started liking my self at 48ish! So a lot to skip for me. (Or maybe we need to put all bullies and people who say nasty things to teen girls in a box and ship them to the middle of nowhere).

    I walked to the corner I was hoping to get to by end of next week. I cant believe how much better I am physically compared to last year. The headaches are still there but just being able to walk again is amazing also the noise issue seems to be easing which is a huge blessing. I have appreciated the prayers. the wound sites are healing but itch now and depending on what I wear hurt at times. Now its Breaky time. my tummy things its throat has been cut.

  127. Jenny, I'm so glad you're feeling better!

  128. Ruthy, I am so excited about Safely Home! I have read all your books and can't wait to read this one! Please put me in the cat dish for the drawing!! Thanks.
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  129. Ruthy, that is a GREAT cover! The only thing that concerns me is do you think there's enough conflict in the story? Gee ... Cress and Alex do work things out, right? I mean it's gotta have a happy ending. How it gets there is obviously going to be quite a read.

    Please pretty please put my name in the drawing.

    The first series I recall enjoying reading (that wasn't assigned reading) was The Hardy Boys. I had a such a crush on Joe. Years later, I learned that (gasp!) Franklin Dixon was actually a bunch of different authors and not one man. That trauma explains a great deal about me since then, now that I think about it.

    Now to settle in to read comments ...

    Nancy C

  130. Pat W., hello!!!!

    I love the name Cress. I picked it because I met this lovely older woman and it was her name, although her name was "Crescence" and my heroine is "Crescent"... but what a great name, right? LOVED IT!!!!

    Trixie Belden was so wonderful!!! :) I loved it!

    Her little brother Bobby was so stinkin' cute. "I'm hungry. I'm thirst. Holp!!!"

  131. Sue Mason, hey!!!!

    We are of similar eras which doesn't make us OLD...

    It makes us wise.


  132. Connie, you know what's funny????

    I'm not fast. That 1000 words/day isn't fast. It just adds up, LOL!!! And then I edit as I go, and maybe that saves some time, but it's just that steady 1000 words/day. And if I have a tough week of editing, I work on writing longer on weekends to make sure that 7000 words for the week is done.

    That gets me a 60K book done every 8-10 weeks.


  133. Abbi Hart, I just love that enthusiasm....It rocks!

    I feel exactly the same way about series, and we must be fairly normal because they sell like crazy!!!

    Lyndee, I got nothin'!!!!

    You know between Norton and Yahoo and G-mail I haven't seen my Spam in years. I never open the folder, they toss it away for me, and I never have to even think about it. I love that, it's so much better than in the old days, remember????

    I'm glad it's not worrisome to you, that makes me feel better!!!

  134. TRACEY!!!!!

    I'm so glad you loved Try, Try Again!!!! Wasn't that just so fun??????

    This one is done in a similar style, a little lighter on the inspirational side, but still a strong presence, and funnier than I can be with Love Inspired... But I love that my readers are reading both and enjoying both styles. Isn't that like the best blessing ever???

    Well, except for sweet babies, they're the best blessing ever by far!!!!!


    I love me some sweet babies. Thank you so much for your kind words. You just made my day!

  135. Mary, I'm so glad my nagging got you a Keurig....

    I'm like BEST FRIEND EVER.

    I think that really there should have been a THANK YOU NOTE for the whining.


    Like you couldn't have thought of that????

  136. Jenny, I hear you on that long time in between, but what I LOVE hearing is that you like yourself now, which is how it should have been, blessed girl!!!!

    But you know what?

    Better late than never, and you're up, walking, the headache is easing so Praise God on that, and you're starting to sound like your old self. LOVE IT!!!!

  137. Jackie Smith, you're in!!!!

    And thank you for the excitement, that rocks the biggest kahuna ever!!!!

    I need some food....(scours cupboard, hunts mercilessly to see if the mice have left ANYTHING... and finds... Nope. Nothin'.)

    Hey, anybody got cookies?????

    I could use some more COOKIES.

  138. Nancy, I think we all wonder if we get the conflict right, do we go over, do we go light, are we in Mommy Fix It mode!!!

    And these two are so funny, sparks fly from the beginning until... well, until other sparks fly but they're pretty sure that's IMPOSSIBLE...

    But with God, all is possible.


  139. AMY C., I DON'T KNOW...

    I remember my younger daughter reading some Sweet Valley High but not loving them.... or the Babysitter's Club.... but she loved the classics, children and adults, so it worked out! There's so much diversity out there, that everyone should be a reader!!!! I'm so glad you came by!

  140. Pam, hey! I'm havin' fun, Pam.

    Can you tell???? :)

  141. Ruthy, I love your statement, "I love God. I love romance."

    Ultimately that is why we all do this. Thanks for sharing. Oh and I also love bring one of the Village People. Not to be confused with the singers. :-)

  142. A thank you note, Ruthy? Seriously? Like with a stamp and the US Mail and stuff?

    How quaint!!!

  143. Ruthy's got a new book? Just point me in the right direction. (I guess you did that with the link, but I'll be there soon.)

  144. And I like a good series, because I really want to know what happens to the rest of the characters in a book when I like the first book.

  145. I used to read all of Enid Blyton's series around & around. Loved the fun & adventure.

  146. Ruthy,Thanks for all the info on writing a series! Can't wait to dive into book 1!