Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Refuge of the Heart" Release Party!!!!


photo courtesy of Mary Curry/Cate Nolan

It is my first traditionally published trade paperback (translate that to mean "bigger") book.

It is a beautiful story.

It is a stellar love story.

It is an emotionally gripping vision of life through someone else's eyes.

It is heart-wrenching at times, and soul-binding at others.

It is a poignant story of second chances, new beginnings, Joan-of-Arc type courage and Cinderella, rolled into one.

It is one of those books not easily forgotten and readily remembered.

And I am so blessed beyond belief to have my name on the cover, when in truth, the story came from sweet, spirit-driven combinations that just simply worked.

So today, we're going to celebrate this release, this story. Today we're going to celebrate freedom and America. Today we're going to thank God for the amazing wonder that surrounds us when so many have so little.

Today we're going to clasp hands, sing Kumbaya, eat delicious treats, and talk writing and heritage and inspiration and God's grace.

And today we're going to talk about immigrants and migrants, about the downtrodden, about how your family arrived in America. Were they people of means, or like Lena, did they struggle to make a go of it?

Some of my family came over on the ship following the Mayflower... And my Irish side came over during the potato famine, half-starved and broke.

So while we celebrate the release of this beautiful book, let's celebrate those who were brave enough, daring enough and courageous enough to make that voyage... and claim America as their own!

In "Refuge", Lena made extra money by turning skeins of yarn into lovely blankets and scarves, hats and gloves. She used the artistry of her hands to help support their meager lifestyle while she worked to complete her nursing degree. In true form, she was a Proverbs 31-type woman

"She selects wool and flax, and works with eager hands." Proverbs 31:13

In honor of our "Release Party" I'm doing two drawings.... One for a lovely crocheted scarf, hand made by Kara Delaney here in upstate, and absolutely gorgeous...

My beautiful friend Christina is our model today!

And one for either an e-copy or a paperback copy of "Refuge of the Heart".

I think you'll love this book.

I'm sure you'll at least mostly like it a lot.

And I'm one hundred percent certain you'll never forget it.

God has blessed us with so much... Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Stop inside, leave a comment, and feel free to tell us about your roots... I'd love to hear about them because when I look back... when I envision what my "Soule" relatives went through to come to this country in the early 1600's.... when I imagine what my Logan relatives must have endured in Ireland, as potatoes and crops rotted around them... and then here, as unwanted Irish immigrants and "scummy Catholics"... I realize my blessings were carved into the dirt beneath my feet by people of fortitude and vision.

People who went the distance.

And I'm so crazy grateful they did!

Coffee's on, I've got the party lights flashing, and there's enough food on the tables to feed three Irish wakes!

Jump in and join the party! And, FYI!!! The lovely crew of ladies at "Overcoming With God" blog, are featuring "Refuge of the Heart" today, too, and we're doing a drawing over there as well! So spread the word, we'll gladly give you chances to win-- and talk!-- in both venues!

Link to Overcoming With God Here... and then come back and play history/heritage/heart with us!


  1. I will only sing Kumbaya (Which btw was released by THE SEEKERS) if you tell me what there is to eat that is delicious.

    Congratulations on your release. Gorgeous book, wonderful story!!!

  2. Oh my gosh I'd love to win a paperback copy of this. I love your books.

  3. Trust me, you don't want to hear me sing Kumbaya or anything else. At work when I listen to music and I'm wearing my headphones I have to force myself not to sing.

    As far as background, I know very little genealogy. My dad didn't care one bit about family background and I inherited that trait from him. I feel awful even admitting that.

    Your book is BEAUTIFUL! No need to put me in the drawing, there is already a copy at my house. Congratulations Ruthy, I'm thrilled for you!

  4. This is a book I'd love to read! Thanks for the offer. Congrats on the release!

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover. Snoopy dancing for the release day. Looking forward to reading this book now that I won it last week and it's on my Kindle. (yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Great grandparents on my mom's side were German farmers who first migrated to the Odessa region of the Ukraine because of free farmland, then migrated to the Dakotas of America for the free farmland to be had (and also to avoid being impressed into the Czars army).

    Grandparents (from Germany) on Dad's side immigrated between the world wars. Both were orphans. Grandpa came over first and proposed to Grandma via post, with the ring sewn into the letter. Grandma said the needle was still attached.

    There are some interesting stories on both sides of the family. And I haven't gotten to my birth parents' histories...

    I don't have a family tree. It's a forest.

    Anyway, YAYYYYYYYYY FOR RUTHY'S NEW BOOK DAY!!!!! I am so uber excited to get to read this story.

  6. On my father's side I am German and Danish - Vikings. My mother says you can see that in me.

    On my mother's side I am English, Scot, Welsh and Irish. A lovely mix you can see among the family.

  7. The Seekers actually did a release of Kumbaya????? I did not know this, Tina-mia!!!!

    Well, the buffet begins with Tina's Coconut cake, then flows with a selection of Midwestern bars courtesy of Janet Dean (I have a new Bar Recipe to share on Yankee Belle next week, To Die For...)

    And Mary Connealy whipped up a carrot cake for us! And she brought a huge pot of barbecue, she knows us that well! More coming as the day wears on, but I'm all over the idea of coffee and coconut cake right about now!

  8. Terri, thank you for grabbing/buying/knocking someone down to get "Refuge"!!! You just made my day!

    And you know, 90% of my family isn't grabbed by history, so honey, don't feel guilty. But the couple of us who are history buffs (which has worked out well for my historical novellas!) really get a kick out of imagining all that went on to set us where we are today. I see that test of endurance, and I wonder how well today's American would muster up against the 17th-19th century versions.

    So you don't have to be a genealogy lover to celebrate today, my friend, you just come on over here to the table and fill a plate and raise a cup! Slainte!

  9. Elaine, thank you! I'm tucking your name into the cat dish and fixing your drink order at the same time.

    "Oprah calls it multy-taskin'" (Pearl, Sweet Home Alabama)

  10. DebH, the forest line is precious.

    "I don't have a family tree. It's a forest."

    And that's so true of so many people! But what fun stories emit from a dense forest! Oh my stars, girl, get writing! Think of all the things you've seen/done/felt....

    You are your very own treasure trove! And I hope you love "Refuge"!

  11. Mary Preston, you are your own delightful melting pot!

    Those conquerors, those ship builders, those genetically strong Vikings softened by the very people they conquered.

    Mary, that's a great mix! Although I expect like me, sometimes you're at war with yourself!

  12. Congratulations on your release Ruthy! Book release of course! The cover art is beautiful and I would LOVE to win a print copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

    My paternal grandfather's family came from Germany many years ago. I remember my grandpa and his European ways. His dinner was always precisely at noon and lasted 2 hours. He and my grandma had been bakers before they retired and from what I'm told the German pastries were wonderful. I was the baby of the family so they had retired before I was born.

    I know my mom's side of the family dates back to the 1700's but the only thing I really know is President George Bush (the senior) and I share the same Great, great, great grandpa which means I'm related to President George W. Bush as well and I think it's refered to as being related to my great, great, great grandpa "once removed" or something like that.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  13. Ruthy, SUPER CONGRATS on your first trade book, only the first of many, MANY more, I'm quite sure. Cannot wait to read Lena's story, and I agree with everyone else that the cover is AMAZING, just like the story's author!! I even showed it and Myra's cover to Keith as examples of two truly unique and eye-catching covers in the CBA today. May this book and Myra's hit the jackpot with the NY Times Bestseller list so beautiful, Christ-centered inspy fiction can make its mark on the world.

    Gosh, up at 3:00 AM CST -- I feel like you!! ;)


  14. I'm absolutely thrilled for you, Ruthy! The cover is gorgeous! My copy is in the mail (I think) and I can't wait to read it!
    You, my friend, are one of the hardest working writers I know. I don't know how you do it. Congratulations!

  15. CONGRATULATIONS, Ruthy!!! I can't wait to read this book! The cover is gorgeous!!!! As is your model in today's post :)

    I have no idea what my roots are! Maybe I should figure it out!

    Please enter me to win that beautiful scarf and/or your new book!

    Happy Thursday, Seekerville!!!

  16. Yay, congrats Ruthy! Was it difficult to transition to writing a standard novel?

    @Annie H - You're not alone ... I know my ethnicity combo, but not quite clear on the people behind it --I should find out what my grandparents know before it's too late!

  17. Second day of school, so I won't be here, but I'll be partying with you in spirit.

    You know how much I love this book!

    Lifting my mug of coffee in honor of this lovely and timely story!

  18. Ruthy, I am so excited for you. I am wanting to read your new book, Please enter my name for the print copy. The scarf looks lovely.

    My family has Germany for our background. My dad has the family Bible which was brought over. It was a Martin Luther edition. In the Bible was a letter all in German from the 1800's. Dad came across a couple from Germany who were able to translate the letter.

  19. Congratulations, Ruthy! I'm so excited for you!!!

    I recently toured the Statue of Liberty and freedom has been on my mind. I even blogged about the statue today. I can't wait to read your book!

    Thanks for sharing, and congrats!

  20. Congratulations! Thanks for inviting us to your party!

    How very thrilling for you and I love the cover!

    Your scarf model is lovely too!

    I used all the exclamation marks just for you, Ruthy! Because if today isn't a day to use them, when is?!

    So happy for you.

  21. Cindy W, I've tucked your name into the cat dish with a little bit of VELCRO, honey! :)

    Honestly, I love your family story. German bakers, Polish bakers, Greek candymakers, Italian bakeries...

    Gosh, I can remember my parents talking about these things, and they were starting to ebb and wane as I grew old enough to be a consumer... Wojtzak's (spelling????) Bakery in Rochester had a pineapple bottom cheese cake I loved. I was never actually at the bakery, my dad was a bus driver and he'd stop by little bakeries on his route for special occasions, Easter and Christmas. He and I shared our love for pastries, fine baking, and he actually bought me my first cake decorating book. It's funny how the sadness of alcohol blurred the lines of joy, but behind that, I can still see how I got good (and some not so good!) from both parents... and to borrow Deb H's. words, the "forest" that bore me!

  22. Julie, thank you for your kind words! It's fun to have my toes dipping into trade paperback, category (I love my Love Inspired work!) and indie books (said as I finish up a delightful historical romance!)

    Aren't we living in the most blessed time ever???

    So did Keith like the covers? I love them, and I'm so delighted to be working with Franciscan on all levels. They've really rocked this!

  23. HAPPY SNOOPY DANCING!!! Whoo-hoo!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! May the Lord continue to bless your writing and give you great covers, dear, talented Ruthy! (Someone tie a rope around her ankle or she might fly off!) To celebrate the colorful new season of fall and cooler weather, I've brought a deep-dish apple pie and hot apple cider.

    OK...ancestors. My 8x paternal great-grandfather Samuel Stowell landed in Plymouth in 1630 and helped establish the colony at Hingham, MA (a suburb of to go visit sometime.) I hail from English Dukes who evidently became real God-fearing people at some point, got in trouble, and came to the New World. On that side, I can trace the family back to a knight in William the Conquerer's entourage who was given two estates in southern England. At least one castle (Cothelstone) is still standing and now open as a bed and breakfast. I've even seen pictures of where my ancestors worshipped. The church is still standing and in use by distant relatives.

    Now on my mother's side, her family met my 8x great-grandfather's boat. Cherokee on her mother's side and Scottish on her dad's side...a McKinnon from the Isle of Skye and the Cherokee side from ... well ... America.

    Yes, Ruthy, I'm an freak!! Love, love, love history!! A huge geneology had already been written just before WWI and includes my aunts and uncles. Dad was born after it was published so most of the work had already been done.

    Lifting my coffee mug high in salute to you! Spin that disco ball and let's party!

  24. And here's a few more exclamation points just for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'd love the scarf, but I don't wear them in Nashville. After living in Michigan, winters here seem pretty mild to me. Throw my name in the kitty dish...unless I've already done that. The mind is the first to go.

  25. Good morning RUTHY,
    I'm one-quarter Irish and three-quarters French Canadian with a smattering of Abenaki. Most of my people came down from Canada to work in the mills in Lowell, Mass. and Manchester, N.H. They wanted a better life than they had on the farms in Quebec and they found it, but only after a lot of hard work. My paternal grandmother learned English on the fly, from her kids. They didn't have ESOL classes back then. She lived to be 102 and lived through cars, telephones, radio, television, the space program, on the cusp of the computer age, and The Beatles On The Ed Sullivan Show. I admired her so much. I don't know if the Irish side came over during the famine or after. Must research.
    Congratulations on your launch. Would love to be entered into the drawing for a print copy, as I enjoy your books. I was bragging on you yesterday in Julie's post. I'm not a crier, but when Charlie died I came as close to crying as I ever do.
    Thanks Ruth, look forward to your posts.
    Kathy Bailey

  26. Such enthusiasm brimming over here! I feel like breaking out in song but I won't since there is nothing melodious about my voice!!!!

    Hey -- guess what? I'm an immigrant. Came over from Ireland with my parents when I was a wee 'un. My mum was from a large (youngest of 11) Catholic family. My dad was a Protestant. He only had one younger sister. Talk about contrasts. They pretty much fled the country due to family pressures -- the large Catholic Kavanaghs being inclined to take over their lives and trying to convert him. LOL The irony of it all is that, after my mum passed away, my dad met the love of his life who just happened to be Catholic so he converted for her. No pressure for any family members that time.

  27. RUTHY, I love this line from your post: "But the couple of us who are history buffs (which has worked out well for my historical novellas!) really get a kick out of imagining all that went on to set us where we are today. I see that test of endurance, and I wonder how well today's American would muster up against the 17th-19th century versions." THIS is why I write historicals. Modern people have a whole different set of problems and I'm not minimizing drugs, cyber-crime or terrorist threats. Not In The Least. But I love the challenges our forbearers took on without modern medicine, tools or communication techniques. Obviously, the Oregon Trail blows my mind. My other series is about New York City after the First World War, specifically Hell's Kitchen and The Bowery, and that blows my mind too -- the courage of the immigrants to take on America with so little support. Why I Do Historicals, although if God put a contemporary in front of me and said, "Write this," I would do it because I am a foot soldier. I'm going to plug a book today, not yours although I love your stuff, but Gilbert Morris's first in the House of Winslow series, "The Honorable Impostor," which was the best Christian Fiction depiction I ever read of the HARROWING journey of the Pilgrims and what waited for them. Like the Oregon Trail, nobody would want to do that twice.
    Living in New England, I'm also fascinated about our Revolution and what THAT took. I'm about two hours from Lexington and Concord. Every time I go down there, I am stunned at what these people accomplished.
    If any Seekers or Villagers find themselves in New England, I'd be happy to take you there. I think this is going to be the background for my next series.
    Kathy Bailey
    Sounding The Alarm In New Hampshire

  28. Ruthy, Ruthy, Ruthy! You know I love you book sooooo much! (I'm in love with Mitch too, but Lena deserves a wonderful man like him, so I'll just keep him in my fond memories of "what could have been" category, lol)

    Ancestors: I've already told you about my dad's mom who came from Grimm, Russia through Ellis Island in the early 1900's, losing a sibling on board to illness and had to be buried at sea. My granddad was English/Irish so I understand your comment about being at war with yourself sometimes :)

    On my mom's side, her dad was a Hicks. descendent of artist Edward Hicks, who did The Peaceable Kingdom. I imagine MARY HICKS and I are related in some very distant way too.
    Her grandmother was a Pascal, decent of Blaise Pascal, the Christian philosopher. One of her four grandparents was also a descendent of Isaac Watts, the hymn writer of over 750 songs including Joy to the World.

    I would love to be in drawing for the scarf your beautiful Christina is modeling. They say the North East is in for a snowier year that normal and I about froze last winter...

    Thanks for the coconut cake, it's going so well with my caramel coffee!

  29. CONGRATULATIONS RUTH! I am so excited for the you. I can't wait to read this STELLAR story!

    Please put me in the drawing for a paperback copy of "Refuge of the Heart".


  30. Congratulations on your book release, Riuthy! And I agree, the cover is GORGEOUS! I'm looking forward to reading this book! And I love hearing about peoples' roots.

    For me, my father's ancestors came over before the Revolutionary War. Three brothers. Two were Tories and went back to England. The third stayed here and fought in the war. There is a little bit of scandal from this side of my family tree, but I won't share it here. ;) Somewhere in my history, my ancestors settled in the Midwest. My dad loves genealogy and shared some details of what he's discovered with me. I love these conversations with my father.

    My mom's father was born in Canada and came into the United States when he was still fairly young. You made me wonder about more specifics of my ancestors' stories. :) I sat down with my grandfather before he passed away and was fascinated by what he shared. :) I wish I'd recorded his words!

    Please do put me in the drawings. :)

  31. I'm currently heading out the door, but I wanted to stop by and say, "Congratulations!" As you already know, I LOVE the book :) "Lena" is definitely one of my favorite characters for 2015.

    I'll try to stop by later for some dessert!

  32. RUTHY, I just Remembered!
    I had your Jan 1st LI book on my Amazon buy list and yesterday, the cover popped up! What's not to love? A handsome groom, snowy setting with a gazebo and happy bride.

    TINA'S cover too! Hunky guy with cute daughter and pretty woman in a meadow setting! I've been waiting for this new paradise book!

    Then over at the Café, I see your duet with Mia, Ribbons and Rose cover.
    Good things on the horizon for us readers!

  33. An amazing book! Anyone who hasn't read Refuge of the Heart, get a copy and read it. Today. If you've loved Ruthy's books in the past, get ready for an all new level of story loving because this one is fantastic! Ruthy, I am celebrating with you and all that, but with all due respect, please get back to your desk and write more books. You can't keep them coming fast enough to fuel my Ruthy addiction.
    Oh, beautiful scarf! That's one of the things I loved about Lena, being able to make something out of nothing.
    My review of refuge of the Heart is on amazon and Goodreads if anyone wants to take a look. I tried, but just couldn't put into words how much I loved it!

  34. Hi Ruthy, What a fun way to celebrate your release. I love that story and always have so am delighted it is out there for others to read.

    Congratulations and happy dancing out west with you.

    I'll take some coconut cake to go with my coffee this morning.

    I'm preparing a lovely sideboard of cold cuts, cheeses (From Tillamook Farms here in Oregon) and fresh fruit to add to the party. .

  35. I love reading all the geneology of our friends. We can make a history book right here. smile

    On my Dad's side, my grandfather was in the British Army and stationed in China so my grandmother and aunt sailed from England and settled on the Washington Coast so she could be close enough to see him now and then. Hence my aunts and dad came along. smile

    On Mom's side, that dates back to Revolutionary days and I'll have to say the family tree is like DEBH. I love how you put it DEB. A family forest. Every European nationality is in there somewhere and even some native American.

  36. Jill, it hasn't gotten there yet? I sent it priority over a week ago, didn't I???

    Let me know if it doesn't show up in the next day or two. It hasn't come back here, and maybe the holiday messed things up.

    I hope you love it, and thank you so much for your kind words! I am a lover of kind words!

    Who knew???? (big grin!!!)

  37. Annie Hemby, I'm tucking your name in for both! And don't you just love my model???

    I love her to pieces, and one of her fall reading assignments is "Refuge"... Just because!

    I am so blessed to have these young people around me.


  39. Ruthy, I'm descended from the Soule family, too! John Soule and Mary Bucket (maybe Bockets). They arrived in Plymouth before July 31, 1623 aboard the Anne. They had 8 children.

    Yesterday, while I was unpacking books, files etc. in my office, I came across some genealogy info my uncle sent me several years ago. On the top of the pile was same information about the Soules. I hadn't known they were our ancestors.

    We're also descended from Mayflower families — the Brewsters, Cooks and Warrens. We're related to Susan B. Anthony, Oliver Hazard Perry, Franklin Roosevelt, George Bush, U.S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman and a few less savory characters, Benedict Arnold (the grandfather, NOT the traitor) and Lizzie Borden. Also descended from several founders of Rhode Island.

    My mother's family was "Yankee" (English Puritans who turned Quaker) and others were from County Cork, Ireland who came to America in 1882 with their 3 little boys. Imagine what kind of trip that was!

    My father's family came from Hesse Castle, Germany and Schleswig Holstein. Two of our ancestors in Hesse were Chancellors of Hesse under the Landgrave Philip during the Reformation and were very involved in the reform movement.

  40. Jen and Annie, yes, talk to them and find out at least some basics. Even if you don't care much now, it's fun to kind of fit the pieces together later.

    And Jen, I actually wrote Refuge before I was published by Love Inspired, so it was more teaching myself and listening to Melissa Endlich about how to condense the story, stick to the romance, to work effectively with Love Inspired. Honestly, learning how to do that, to minimize the story, taught me how to write a good/great novella, too. So now I feel comfortable in all three arenas...

    BUT... interesting that you asked this, because my cowboy novels (Double S Ranch series from Waterbrook coming in March/2016) had a 70K word count. So I kept to that, and didn't realize they're flexible because in category, the word count is strict... So when I did my revisions, I had fun delving a little more into setting, characters, secondaries, because my first draft was 70K... and I didn't realize I could relax and go over!

    So there are differences, but I love both.

  41. Cate Nolan, I'm so glad we got together in Manhattan. I just love sitting with you, picking your brain, talking about things. That was so fun!

    And I could just sit and look at this picture you took of "Refuge" all day. Of course, I'd be a very boring person if I did that, and broke, and probably would get plumper, but that's how much I l-o-v-e it!!!

  42. Congratulations to you, Ruth! Well deserved. I am looking forward to reading this book.

    And sorry, I kinda prefer not to sing Kumbaya. We always sang it too slow and it always went on too long - not things I associate with you, Ruth! But I will eat delicious treats. I've got a cheesecake stuffed carrot cake on my To Be Baked list. I could share that when it's done.

    As for my roots, they are mostly overseas. My parents immigrated after the war from Holland and settled in Canada. My mom's other sisters settled in Washington State, California and Australia. When the temperature dropped down in the winter, waaaay down up here in the Great White North, we always asked our mom and dad why they didn't move where my mom's sisters did instead! But we waged war against the cold by knitting socks, scarves and sweaters. My mom taught me and my sisters and we still pick up the needles from time to time.

    Thanks for sharing and I'm excited to read this story.

  43. Wilani, what a great story! A whole book could be written by what was in a letter in a native tongue.

    You know, looking back for my upcoming "Home to His Heart" in our contemporary Christmas collection "A Heart Full of Christmas", I realized how the Greek Civil War (post WWII) affected so many... and then that scene from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with the aging mother/grandmother made more sense... and it's always an eye opener how things from 60/70 years ago... and more... can affect the here and now.

    I find looking back into the past helps me to see that more clearly and with an emotional attachment. And youse all know I love emotional attachment.


  44. My oven is calling me (singing to me, actually, it's an LG) that I need to go check the bread....

  45. Just a beautiful story, Ruthy! I loved every word of it!

    One of these days, or so I keep telling myself, I'm going to spend the money to join and start digging into my family tree. I'm pretty sure most of my ancestors came over from Ireland and England. I do know that at some point my maternal grandmother's family settled in North Carolina. Eventually some made it to Tennessee and then to the St. Louis area.

    Interestingly, I found out about the NC connection from a reader who asked about a name I had used in one of my books that was also a family name. She pointed me to information about that branch of my family that I hadn't known about before. So I guess this reader and I are somehow distantly related!

  46. Okay, bread's not quite done. I made you Italian/Asiago cheese bread, you will all love me a little more after you've broken off a piece (family-style!) and tried it.

    I promise.

  47. CONGRATULATIONS!! I love that Seekerville is a place to pour out our hearts, thoughts and thanksgiving to the one true God!!



  48. Jackie!!!! My boys treated us to a trip up One World Trade and we had such a great view of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, Governor's Island, etc. And tons of boating traffic, helicopters (which are like RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW ALMOST) and it's cool to be up where helicopters fly!

    My Logan side came in through Ellis Island. So did Dave's Thumm and Eichas side (the German side) but his English/Irish side came over in 1635, two brothers, and no other Blodgett ever emigrated so all Blodgetts in America are related.

    That's crazy fun to imagine, right?

    I'm so glad you went to Liberty Island. I found it to be absolutely fascinating to tour the intake buildings (and kind of intimidating, too, life-changing decisions were made in those rooms, those halls...) and I can't even imagine how scared some folks must have been.

    And they did it.


  49. Rose, I'm all over lovin' on the exclamation marks!!!!

    Here's something funny, because you know I never use them in books unless it's an excited little kid or a crazy, earnest old person! Because they talk like that sometimes!!!

    But in "For the Love of Sophie June" my Kirkwood Lake novella coming out next week (I did a duo with my buddy Mia Ross!!!! I have the heroine use some exclamation points because she's got that happy, Pollyanna-with-a-steel-rod-up-her-spine persona. So I did it purposely, and her little girl "Sophie June" uses even more... but I think they fit really well there, and let me just say the tough, somewhat somber sheriff's deputy hero Does Not Use Exclamation Points.

    So I went for balance and I really like how it came out as a total opposites attract.

    We'll see, but thank you for using up a lot today!!!!

  50. Ruthy, I'll let you know as soon as it arrives. :) Thank you!

  51. Stephanie, I agree. I love that we're all on the same page, even if we might be reading different paragraphs.

    God is great.

    Jesus is Lord.

    And no matter what church we attend, the simple truth of faith is the best blessing of all.


  53. In in! Good food and good reads!!! Hurrah!

  54. Barbara, you're all over the history/ancestry trail! Good for you! I love knowing that great info about you, and so your Cherokee ancestors, did they intermarry back in the 1600's? Or after?

    This is fascinating! Remember Sara Donati's books... She uses her real name now, Rosina Lippi, but the one I loved was Into the Wilderness...

    Sara/Rosina's writing transported me, via Elizabeth, back to a time when so much could go wrong, and often did. Wonderful story flow...

    Building a new country out of nothing is something.

    Understanding displaced people is something.

    Understanding opportunity is something.

    And it all fascinates me.

  55. A little fact:

    My husband's grandmother was Lena Rosina Thumm.

    When she came through Ellis Island they Americanized her name to "Magdalene (spelling uncertain) Rose Thumm.

    Isn't that interesting? Lena Rosina sounded too foreign.

    Life can be stranger than fiction because I could give you some movie star names that sound a whole lot stranger than "Lena".

  56. Tina, you stopped by on your break!!!! Here, try some of this fresh Artisan bread, Italian/Asiago....

    Try it, you'll like it! :)

  57. Kaybee, I'm throwing your name in and it's okay to cry when you read books, darling... even if you're not a crier.

    I miss Charlie Campbell, too. It's hard to say goodbye to a good man, and don't you just feel the widow's remorse and the children's loss????


    But...... Life goes on, and God is good! I'm throwing your name into the cat dish, and I love your ancestry roots! WE LOVE CANADIANS!!!!!! And yes, we all follow the food (that's how animals trek/track across great distances, generally) In our case the money BUYS the food, so we follow the money... so then we have food.

    Jobs are clutch.

    I wish every politician made every decision with that in mind. People like to work and we're better off working than not working.

    End of soap box for this morning!

  58. Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, on the 18th of April in '75, hardly a man is now alive who remembers that fateful day and year....

    Kaybee, I might join you in a Colonial series at some time. I love that time period. Just love it!

  59. My great grandparents on my dad's side of the family came over from Sweden and Denmark. My mom's grandparents came from England and Ireland. My husband's family has been traced back to the 1600's and came over on one of the early boats after the Mayflower. Maybe they were on the same boat as your ancestors Ruthy! :)

    Please enter me in the drawing for the scarf and the book. I think I would love the paper book of this one. The cover is so beautiful!

  60. Tracey Hagwood, what a wonderful bunch of ancestors.


    I'm kind of in awe and bummed now that you have so many really cool people in your tree! Your history makes mine look like CAVEMEN!!!!


    I'm so glad you loved Refuge, and delighted that you found it on NetGalley and reviewed it! Thank you!!!!

    My mother was a gifted writer, so much better than me, and I'm not being humble. Just factual. But I was also told by a family member on the Herne side, that I'm related to Glendon Swarthout (The Shootist, Where the Boys Are, and many others) and my grandmother was Myrtle Swarthout, so I'm expecting it's true... So how fun to have a gift for creativity streaming down from both sides of the family tree?

    I love it!

  61. Caryl, I have tucked your name into the cat dish, dear one, and I'm so glad you stopped by today!

  62. Jeanne T, thank you so much!

    And I love that your ancestor brothers were so typical... each one believing their own truth and going their own way.

    Watching "Poldark" this summer (and loving it!) was a great eye-opener for me of how much those British soldiers sacrificed to try and maintain a kingdom ruling colonies, to no avail and much loss.

    When men have gone to war, who minds the fields, the foundries, the homes?

    What a great example that was of hardship cost for valor lost.

    And you had family go to the Midwest, where I am setting so many fun stories of the 1880's plus or minus right now! So cool, Jeanne!

  63. Leslie Bieser McKee, thank you for your beautiful review of "Refuge of the Heart"!

    (Tina will scold me and remind me that there is a STUPID rule that says all punctuation at the end of the sentence goes before the quote marks, but I ignore that rule on purpose when it's not a quote... not dialogue... So if she pops in and CHANGES THAT, don't be concerned, everything is fine.... She's just trying to educate me. :) We all know that on some matters, it is fair useless to try and change me!)

    More's the pity on that!

    Leslie, I'll save cake and pie for you, it's delicious!

  64. Haha Ruthy, I'm sure we have some cavemen too, or someone scandalous, but whoever likes to admit to any of them? Although I will admit, between you and me, lol, my dad gave the word "scandal" a run for its money. I do know for sure, we are all cut from the same cloth, warts and all, thank you Jesus for Your redeeming power!

    You would have to have creative family genes to be able to turn out the stories and accompanying relationships. Btw: I read your story on The Power of Forgiveness the other day, I was so touched, we all have something we are dealing with, regardless of our ancestors or their notable names.

  65. I have been researching my family roots and love talking to others about it! My dad's great-grandfather George Schreiner came over from Germany in 1854 when her was 14 with his siblings, his mother, and his father John. I have finally found the church archive records and have researched back to my father's gggg-grandfather Hermann Schreiner. I am awaiting records from Germany that will tell me who his parents were. It is so exciting! So far they were all from the Ronshausen, Meckbach area of Germany. I have heard it mentioned several times that we were related to Olive Schreiner, an author from South Africa. Her father was a missionary from Fellbach, Germany. I am hoping to prove that connection!

    My dad's mom's side of the family came over with William Penn, settled in Pennsylvania, had the first printing press, (Rittenhouse), and the genealogy can be traced back to a Baron signing the Magna Carta. There are many stories about people in this family line if anyone is interested.

    I would love to learn more about my family's roots. My dad's mom's father was from Sweden. I have no information on him. The paperwork says his name is Anders Anderson. Do you know how hard that is to research! I think at one point I found when he came to America, but that was it. I like reading the death certificates and finding out why they died. I found out most of the men died young, 50s and 60s, from heart problems. But then there were some that lived long lives. My dad died several years ago, 57, and there is no one else in the family that I can find. I found after he died his dad had two siblings I never knew about. I'd love to find out if there were any children and if they know more about the family roots. I found a distant relative and she sent me the page out of the Bible from the son who came from Germany listing all their kids' birth and death dates. They lost 4 or 5 children from the small pox outbreak.

    I am enjoying reading others' stories!

    I have already won a copy of Refuge of the Heart. Can't wait to get it and read it! Congratulations, Ruthy!

  66. Congratulations, Ruthy, and what a GORGEOUS cover! Come on, snow! :-) Would love to win a copy.

  67. Yeah, I'm kind of a geneology buff. I had a subscription to forever, but then I had to drop it after I "retired." Retired. Yeah, right.

    Anyway, the Cherokee intermarriage was on my mother's side ... late 1700s maybe? Don't have the info in front of me. The family name is Englishman who took a Cherokee wife. That was actually encouraged by the Hudson Bay Co. even if they had another wife back home.

    I've never heard of that author, but I'll look her up.

    As for the apple pie, isn't the scent of apples in the air? :)

  68. Good morning, Ruthy!! I enjoyed your post, and am loving reading your comments about your ancestors. Wondering if your mother had published books??

    We haven't been able to come up with a lot of info on my father's ancestors - descendants from England and Scotland. I am proud to say one of his 1st cousins devoted most of his life as a missionary to the Seminole in Florida.

    There are connections to the Indian on my mother's side of the family, also. My maternal grandfather's ancestors were Dutch. Garrett Van Swearingen, was one of the founders of historic St. Mary's city, in Maryland - which has been undergoing an excavation. Marmaduke Van Swearingen was 'Blue Jacket', captured by the Shawnee and made a war chief. There was an ongoing outdoor drama on his life, re-enacted in Lima, Ohio, for over 20 years. My maternal grandmother was a descendant from the McGregor's in Scotland.

    Congrats on 'Refuge of the Heart' - I was honored you allowed me to read/review it!! I will enjoy talking with you on the Overcoming With God blog ( - where I am reviewing 'Refuge of the Heart' today. I'm looking forward to your future releases, one being another from Franciscan Media. You are one gifted and prolific author - thank you for blessing me with that gift!!

  69. P.S. Please enter my name in the drawing for that beautiful scarf!!

  70. This is so fun to read all these geneologies and family histories. Sounds like some of us might be related. chuckle. Wouldn't that be a kick to find out. No wonder we all get along so well. chuckle.

    Like I said, we have history right here in these comments. How cool is that?

  71. SANDRA,
    Technically we ARE all related, it's just a matter of how far you would have to go back to find the connection.
    For some reason this has made me think of that "six degrees of separation" theory that in six steps or less we can find a connection to everyone, personally I think it might take a few more steps than that :)

  72. RUTHY said: "Tina will scold me and remind me that there is a STUPID rule that says all punctuation at the end of the sentence goes before the quote marks."

    Um, this would NOT be accurate. Only periods and commas always go inside the closing quotation mark, at least in American usage. Unless the exclamation point is part of the title or dialogue, it goes outside.

    Just ask Grammar Queen.

  73. TRACEY HAGWOOD . . . lets just go ahead and assume that we are related—makes me smile.

    I'm late getting to the party. I had a planning meeting for the Poland trip in three weeks—boy, I'm feeling the time crunch!!

    Ruthy, the cover is beautiful—I'm envious! ( I know, I know—we're not supposed to do that.) I hope you sell a truckload!!! :-)

  74. Congrats on the release of your book Ruthy! It looks like a great read!!

    I am a complete nut for genealogy and I love watching all of the television shows about the celebrities finding out their family trees. So many plot bunnies in those stories!

    My mother mapped out our family tree before she died, but as many know, or maybe will see next week, I was inspired by my great-aunts who moved from the south to the north in the United States to stake a claim to their dreams. Indeed, I see a great deal of similarity in their Great Migration story and in how the mail-order brides went west. Or in the story I learned about recently on "Who Do You Think You Are?" about the King's daugthers who came to Canada in the 1600's from France to marry and settle the land--fascinating stuff. I'm so proud of my family and the opportunities they sought to create!

    Happy sales, Ruthy!

  75. Piper, what is happening next week? I would love to hear more about your great-aunts' story.

  76. Hey Sally,

    I get the wondrous honor of appearing on Seekerville--in exactly in one week from today. Hope you'll come back then!

  77. Tracey, I'm so glad you read "Mary's Girl" in "Power of Forgiveness" Chicken Soup for the Soul!

    You know, it just plain does us no good to wallow. No good to posture ourselves, but it took me a while of growing up to realize that.

    And how blessed that once I did, I had about ten years with my mother, when she was sober, getting to know the real person within. Oh my stars, that was a blessing!

    So that story is a balm for anyone with a roughed-up, no-good childhood. We all have scars. It's shrugging off the old and thanking God for the new that makes us whole. Thank you for reading that!

  78. Carolyne, I'm so glad you stopped by! Thank you! And I love that your family spread out globally, but how funny is that, too? Talk about different.... California might be somewhat close to you geographically, but it's a world apart in other ways!

    And Australia????? WHOA!!!!

    I'd love to visit down under sometime. It's got to be so fun/different/odd/fun!

    But now you need to come on Yankee Belle Cafe and tell us how to make cheesecake stuffed carrot cake. Seriously, we NEED YOU, how perfect would that be for our readers for fall????

    I love, love, love carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, so I think we can work a deal, CAROLYNE!!!! :)

  79. PIPER, I'm a huge fan of "Who Do You Think You Are?" I DVR all the episodes so I don't miss a single one. And you're right, what a treasure trove of stories! I'm always learning something new about little known events in history. I'll look forward to your visit next week!

  80. Good afternoon everyone!

    Love celebrating the releases of more Seeker's book.

    I know I have Irish, Scottish, and some Indian blood in me.

    My first Umphress ancestor that arrived in America was orphaned on journey over. His parents were ill and met a couple w/the last name of Ledbetter on the ship and asked them to raise their son when they passed. All they asked was that they let their son retain his name of Umphress. And of course the couple kept w/their wishes.

  81. Sally Shupe, I need your snail mail addy, sweet thing! I got the others out last week, but I don't have your snail mail address. Can you send it to us at and I'll get that copy right out to you!

  82. Tracey, don't you love that cover for "An Unexpected Groom"? And it's such a delightful story to kick off a new series "Grace Haven"! AND!!!! I get to be out with TEEEEEEENA, JAAAAAANET and MIIIIIA!!!!!!


    And yes, Mia and I have a duo coming out next week!!!! I have a "Kirkwood Lake" novella 'For the Love of Sophie June', such a sweet, secret baby story, but not like any I've ever read...

    So I'm hoping you guys will all love it, and Mia's sweet story "Sweet Home Carolina".


    I love writing.

  83. Cindy....

    Oh my word, your words got me teary eyed. I'm not even kidding. Not kidding at all, and how strange is that???

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    If I need a street team, I want you and Deb and Tracey, Judy Smith and Yvonne to head it up. You guys bless me all over the internet, and in the streets and in coffee shops. I am seriously and honestly in your debt.

    Now I have to MOP MY EYES. Brat. No fair doing that in the middle of the day!!!!

    But thank you. (big smile now.) Thank you. Thank you!

  84. Sandra, we needed a fresh fruit platter! Thank you!

    Hey you guys, Sandra was the FIRST PERSON EVER to read "Refuge of the Heart". We were critique partners when I wrote the original manuscript, and her input was a huge part of polishing that original award-winning edition.

    And I remember Margaret Daley noting it in a contest and writing me a sweet note saying how much she loved it, all those years ago. That's not the only reason I love Margaret Daley and her work... but she's the kind of author who has just set a wonderful example of love and help for other authors. When I'm confused, I think "What would Margaret do? What would Margaret say to this author, this reader?"

    She's a great lady... well, all right, MOSTLY because she loved Refuge way back then. :)

  85. Congratulations on a what looks to be a lovely book! I often stop by Seekerville's blog for a look at what's new and words of encouragement. Would love to read REFUGE. I know my father's family emigrated here from Wales in the 1600's and I have them traced back to the date they boarded the ship. They were Welsh Quakers and came to Pennsylvania. Heartbreaking to think of them coming here for religious freedom and now that freedom so much in peril from forces that would like to silence it. Anyway, very happy to see this book being made available. Blessings.

  86. Barbara,

    I'm not a fan of repeats of any show, but I can always find a way to watch those shows and be surprised all over again at the revelations. It's my favorite kind of show!

  87. I am so excited about your new book, Ruthy! Please enter me for Kindle copy; I have a hard time getting to post office lately due to health issues! Thanks!!!

  88. Ruthy, I'm so excited about your new book baby's birth!! Congrats on another one! I can't wait to read it. Even the reviews have touched me. I'm sure the book will be amazing!

  89. I come with the names McKinney, McConnell and Conley. So guess where my family originates. :)

  90. Connie Q I love your new photo! (I've been out of town with no Internet so may have missed it over the last several days).

  91. MISSY,
    While you were gone I finally got my review finished for the Coffee Shop Romances collection. I hope I did it justice. I love Willow and Trent!

  92. Hey Ruth, I think we can make a deal on Cheesecake stuffed carrot cake. Just guide me to the Yankee Belle Cafe and I'll be there.

  93. So, So happy for you Ruthy!! Congrats and wishing you a boatload of sales....I just ordered the paperback version!! I love to share with my Mom...she's 87 and reads one to two books a week!!

    Family on my Daddy's side came from England...during 1700's. They were landed gentry. My mom's side from Wales...and Holland...poorer folks. Headed west and documented story of the family living in a Kansas dugout.

  94. HUGE CONGRATS on the release of this book, Ruthy!!! It's an amazing book that will touch lives. GO YOU!!! :)

  95. Congrats! How very exciting! I have Webster relatives who came over from England before the American Revolution and Culpepper that came from England to Virginia around the same time.

    Would love a copy of your book.
    Becky B

  96. I'm so happy for you, Ruthy, with the release of your first trade book. The cover is beautiful. I'm a history buff and love reading immigrant stories like this one.
    As for me, my roots are English and Scotish. It was exciting to travel to the UK and do the genealogy research on my father's English side of the family. All that before we had the Internet which has made doing research so much easier. Still, I loved the adventure and I had the perfect guide in my British hubby. I've come full circle. I too celebrate all those like my great grandparents who had the courage to make a better life for themselves and their loved ones in a new land. Thrilled to celebrate the release of Refuge of the Heart with you.

  97. YAY Ruthy!! Sooo very excited for you, and I do plan on purchasing this book.
    I really want to learn more about my family history, but I know my Daddy's people came from Wales, and there's some Irish on my Mama's side (love my 3 redheads!). :)

    On another note, I was blessed to enjoy lunch with the lovely and talented Debby Giusti today!! We had such a fun and delightful time, and as we talked a little about writing, YOUR name came up Ruthy *smile* - - and how you genuinely LOVE writing! I told Debby that I'm waiting for you to bottle and sell your energy, LOL. You are truly amazing, Ruthy.

    Congratulations again on this trade book release!!

    Lots of hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

  98. Sandra, I love that family tree! Maybe that's where your brother got his service-minded nature from. That's awesome.

  99. Cara Lynn, we're COUSINS!!!!! :) How cool is that? Yay us!!!!!!

    I'm amazed (my sister-in-law Ann is doing the genealogy tracing) every time I peek at Ancestry .com how far back people have gotten us, by linking their leaves to ours.

    I can't wait to have a little more time to explore, because there are so many stories waiting to be told!!!

    Your family is ripe on all sides. And did I ever mention that Dave's grandmother (Lena Rosina) and her brother came over ALONE???? Great Grandma wouldn't step onto the boat, so she asked a young couple to keep an eye on Grandma (Lena) and her brother Frank. 11 and 12 years old, they were.

    Parents get arrested now if their 11 year old walks to the park alone.

    Sheesh. We're blessed that our forebears were made of sterner stuff!

  100. Myra, I'm going to join at some time (I won't do it until I know I can devote some hours to it) and my sister-in-law is doing amazing work, God love her. It's fascinating stuff!

  101. Sandy Smith, I'm tucking you right in there! And maybe we were shipmates. Doesn't that just boggle your mind, the idea of what people risked for religious freedom? Freedom to worship God in their own way.

    And still today, that is denied to so many, across the globe.

    Wouldn't you just think we'd learn? Oy.

  102. Sally Shupe, someone sent me a link to the Genealogy Roadshow last year when Derek Jeter was on it and I was fascinated by the stories. I could sit there and see a book in so many. It's amazing how simple and convoluted life can be.

    Aren't we just so blessed to be here, now in the "here and now"???

  103. Meghan, thank you! I love that cover, it's beautifully indicative of the story inside. I just smile, seeing it!

    And you're tucked into the cat dish, with honors!

  104. Bonnie, I love being over at Overcoming With God with you today, and your review was so beautiful, you just touched the heart and soul of this beautiful story.

    My mom was never formally published, but one of these days I'm going to publish her poetry as indie work and donate the proceeds to the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St. Joseph. My mother was brilliant, just amazingly brilliant, but by the time I was a pre-schooler, a chain of events happened that pushed her into depression and alcoholism. If you ever get a chance to grab a copy of "Power of Forgiveness" my story "Mary's Girl" is in there. I was in my thirties before I knew my mother sober. And it was a true delight to "meet" her after all that time. So much time gone, wasted, washed away. But forgiveness and light are so important to us, aren't they?

    Anyway, I ran into a sweet, elderly sister of Mercy three years ago at a party and she asked about my writing and my writing name. I explained the my mother had gone to Mercy High school and that I took her name as my writing name, and oh, Bonnie... the look on that elderly woman's face when she stared at me and said, "Your mother started our newspaper. She was so gifted, so talented, that many of us knew the name Mary Elizabeth Herne."

    What a sweet affirmation, right? That God put Sister Ann there, that day, that we talked, and that she had sweet memories, hearing my mother's name.

    Good stuff.

  105. Bonnie, I've entered your name. Isn't it pretty???? I love those rich tones.

  106. Myra, are you vindicating me? I am ever in your debt.

    Although I'm probably still doing it wrong, but gosh, I have to give the editors some work, right?


    And we Americans are very good at breaking rules! Hence the freedom thing.

  107. Hey, speaking of all being related, I love that science proved the "ADAM" theory correct by realizing that all men came from one man.


    The beginning.

    Why must we always have to prove God's wisdom? :)

    I'm not sure how he did it all... but I'm mighty glad he did.

  108. Mary Hicks, me too!!!! Thank you, dear girl! And not because I think Franciscan really jumped out on a limb to start a new fiction line, and I'm thrilled to be part of it! But because I think the more people who read Lena's story, the more inclined we are to appreciate our lives, our loves and to help. The world's so big in some ways, so small in others. Like all of us being related.


    So yes, I hope it sells like crazy, and I hope folks talk about it and pass it around and honestly, that word of mouth is an author's very best friend!

  109. Piper! It is so nice to see you here! I'm glad you came over to join the party, and I love that your post is about those influences in your life. Where would we be without that/them?

    I can't wait to read it, and huge congrats on your blossoming career. This is a wonderful, marvelous thing!

  110. Connie Queen, now THAT IS A STORY!!!!!

    I can't imagine the pain of those parents, knowing they were likely to die, and passing their son off.

    But what ripe possibilities for story lines. I think that's part of my fascination with history, the grueling capabilities folks had and then passed on... but then automation kind of softened our edge, softened us.

    I think writing Umphress's story is a must.

  111. Hi Ruthy, sorry to be so poky about stopping in today. Especially because I loved Refuge of the Heart. It is absolutely perfect. The emotional center of the book, the fun and poignant characters.
    One of my favorite heroes of all time.

    And all by my friend Ruthy. It's just lovely.

  112. As for roots, I'm all over the place.

    One family...the Connealys...classic potato famine Irish.
    My maternal grandfather...first generation American, from Scotland.
    My dad's maternal family can be traced back to 1636. 16 years after the pilgrims.

    I have a strong German strain in all sides of my family. My husband's paternal grandmother was either born in Germany or her older brother was and she was the first child born in America. They always spoke German in their home and when they got phones it was a party line and they always spoke German on the phone to each other, even the children born in America, because they wanted that privacy.
    So even though our name is Irish I think of myself, my husband and all of our families as Heinz 57 Americans.

  113. Ruthy, such a touching story about your mother - it brought tears!! I'd love to read 'Mary's Girl' - going to order the book, is it the one published Dec. of last year?? I feel it was, indeed, divine intervention when you met Sister Ann. When you publish your mother's poetry, I'd love to read it. I'm so glad God blessed you with the opportunity to "meet" your mother, as you wanted to remember her. He's so good to us, isn't He - just when we least expect it, He does something amazing - such as your conversation with Sister Ann.

    I'm thrilled you felt my review did justice to your beautiful 'Refuge of the Heart'!! It's my prayer that I always do that when reviewing Christian Fiction, enticing people to purchase those books - and receive the same blessing, joy, education, and inspiration I did; accomplishing the purposes for which they were written.

  114. Linda T, I'm tucking your name into the new cat dish now! And you're right, so many sacrificed so much for our land, for our freedom and our independence... and now others want it taken away.

    I always take comfort in words that Julie Lessman gave me one day: There have always been and will always be hard times. They pass.

    She was so simply right. Sometimes I worry too much, and then I have to remind myself that the light is there... RIGHT THERE!!!! And grab it and wave it and toss that ol' bushel basket to the side!

  115. Well, Mary, you do have a brand new baby GRANDDAUGHTER and I will always take second place to babies!

    I love me some babies!

  116. Bonnie, yes, it was the December Chicken Soup for the Soul... and I'd love for you to read the story.

    You know it's hard on kids when their lives are totally out of whack, but I still remember the goodness around me. Now is that nature? Is that just the way God made me? But I remember always being grateful for my teachers (they were so kind! And they encouraged my love of reading, but they also made sure I aced Math, LOL!) and my Girl Scout leader, Alice McCarthy. She made sure I went to all of the Girl Scout events, she never made me feel like an extra, and if there was mother/daughter or father/daughter event, she had me sit right next to her. Her daughter Karen was on one side, and I was on the other. And she forgave my dues more times than I can remember. Those kindnesses made me want to be kind in return as an adult (because as a kid, I was just as goofy and self-centered half the time as any normal kid.) In sadness can come joy, and it came through the people around me who didn't condemn (there were plenty who did, you can imagine) but who were just plain nice.

    It's just so good to be nice! :)

  117. Just got home, so I'm late to the party!! Congrats on the new release, Ruthy! I'm looking forward to reading it! :)

  118. Congratulations, Ruthy! What an utterly fantastic day for you.

    Must catch up on comments later ... looks like folks were having a good time on your release day :-)

    May your book touch many hearts,
    Nancy C

  119. Can't wait to get my own copy, Ruthy! Congrats on your success!

  120. I'm thrilled for you, Ruthy. You deserve this. You are such a great author.


  121. Congratulations on your new book.! Would be happy to have my name in the cat long as it doesn't have cottage cheese in it. I had to fight with my kitty today when snacking in cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes. She practically pushed me out of the way trying to have her turn at the almost empty bowl.
    Oh I come from Alabama by way of Tennessee
    From Brits. and Scots and Irishmen and maybe Germany.
    There may have been some native blood but they hid it for you see
    They did not want to cry the tears of banished Cherokee.
    Thanks to my daddy I know my family tree
    There's archers, farmers, servants, and bards in my family.

  122. Congrats on your release, Ruthy!!!! Woot! Woot!

    I love that your main character crochets. I love to crochet in the winter when I have the time. Baby blankets are my most favorite. :)) Sounds like a wonderful story!

  123. Tracey, bless you!! I'll go check it out now. :)

  124. Ruthy, I think loving kindnesses extended to a child, even from someone outside her/his family, can go a long way in determining his/her attitude about life - after surviving a difficult childhood. I feel spiritual maturity, as an adult, has a lot to do with it also - God gives each person the right to make choices. Speaking from my own experiences in a difficult childhood, and being a spiritually immature young adult, disastrous choices were made. With lifelong effects - which could only be overcome through God's grace, and my maturing spiritually. I'm grateful you experienced those kindnesses as a child - from your teachers and Girl Scout leader.

  125. Ruthy,

    This book is, in a word, amazing! Mitch & Lena come to life through your words and the story of their pasts--the strength, the wisdom--gained even through heartache--is woven beautifully with the sweet, gentle love story of the present. And Anna is adorable.

    I believe God will use this book to demonstrate to many, many people His love, mercy and grace.

    I love all your books, but this one wrapped itself around my heart and captivated my soul. It is one of the few books in my collection of hundreds of books that I will read over and over again.

    Congratulations on the release of your first (of many) NYT best seller!

    PS: Would love to see Mitch and Lena and Anna's story continue!!

  126. Glynna, thanks for stopping in! We saved you some cake!!!!!

  127. Nancy, that is exactly my wish, too. God works in ways mysterious, and touching hearts is the very, very best part of my job. Tossing your name into the cat dish!

  128. Debby, thank you! I'm just absolutely delighted to see this book out there! Happy dancing!

  129. Aw... My hero, Margaret Daley!!! Bless you. Thank you!!! And thank you for stopping by, Margaret! Sending you hugs from upstate!

  130. Bettie, I love that poem! Oh my stars, that's a story maker right there! It's awesome!

  131. Natalie, thank you! Lena's mother taught her to crochet and knit when she was a little girl in Chechnya. Her mother earned money for the family by making beautiful things. They have rough, long winters there, (much like upstate NY or the rugged PA and NY mountains) so it was a perfect way of drawing the mother's love through the generations. And because my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law sell their goods at fairs and festivals, it was a reasonable outlet for a beautiful product.

    Which is probably way more than you wanted to know, LOL!

  132. Bonnie, I agree completely. We never know when a kindness to a child is the seed that grows to fruition in the adult, helping them to make a better life, better choices. I always figured I didn't need to know the outcome of my affect on kids as an adult... but as long as I know what I pour into them is good, old-fashioned love thy neighbor cookie-making advice... they've got the groundwork established.

    You and I are on the same track, Bonnie! That's a wonderful thing!

  133. Well. Edwina. You made me cry and it's way to early for tears!

    Dagnabbit, now I have to get and get tissues. (crosses floor.... comes back...)

    Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I absolutely love this story and I'm so glad you think I did it justice. I will admit to having a few butterflies when it was due to release, wondering how folks would react. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :)

    BIG SMILE NOW!!!!!

  134. Oops, I missed some folks!!! Jackie Smith, I'm so glad I scrolled back through! Yikes! Yes, I'll put you in for a Kindle copy, absolutely, and thank you for coming by to celebrate today!

    And Becky, hello over here! Thanks so much for stopping by Overcoming with God, too. I love that you take the time to support Christian fiction!

  135. Oh, b'gosh and b'gore, Missy Tippens! Wi' a past like that, ye ken see the glint of Ireland in yer pretty eyes and the map of my island upon your face!

    Thank you, Missy!

  136. Carolyne SQUEEEEE! :) I'll e-mail you, that would be perfect for October or November!!!!

  137. Pat Jeanne, yes! What a cool thing, to be able to trek to Britain with your own personal guide. That rocks!

    And the internet has become an amazing tool. God bless for jumping in and creating a database for a reasonable cost. Honestly, they've made the whole thing so interconnected that the family webs are almost creating themselves. AMAZING!

    Thank you for your sweet words!!!


    Debby is amazing. She is so calm, cool, gracious and collected, she just sets the bar on grace and class really high for the rest of us.

    It's totally unfair. :)

    And of course we know I love this. I honestly look back and can't think of a time, I mean from a little kid, reading "Understood Betsy" and loving it, and wanting to write books that help people be happy. And knowing someday I would. So that probably seems weird, but now that I'm finally able to do it, I'm like overcome with gratitude.

    Who knows what connections come together to make us "us"? But in those connections came a love of making up stories that runs deep. And it's like getting to do it, after decades of being thwarted, is the best present ever!

    With coffee and chocolate, of course! :)

  139. Kathryn Barker, thank you!!!! I'm happy dancing! AND REFUGE OF THE HEART IS IN THE CHRISTIAN BOOKS.COM FALL CATALOG!

    That's my first book to make the catalog with its own mention!

    Isn't that a funny but wonderful thing to be excited over? I'm in a CATALOG!!!! :)

    I hope you and Mom love it, Kathryn!!!

  140. Ruthy,

    I am so sorry I missed yesterday. I've already started reading this. (I bought the PB version, so you can sign it some day if I ever meet you.)

  141. Yes, Ruthy, Keith realllly liked your cover -- it's fresh and unique, and that always goes over big with artists who hate the same old, same old. :)

    And I said that? Wow. Who knew???


  142. Congratulations , Ruthy on your release of Refuge of The Heart. I am so excited for you! The cover is gorgeous and I am so excited to read it hopefully soon . My relatives on my dads side immigrated to America from Germany before the Civil War. They came to Pennsylvania , which is where we still are . On my mothers side my grandmothers mother came to America as a 16 year old girl leaving her family behind traveling with a chaperone . I can't even imagine how hard that must have been to leave her family behind. She traveled from Gallway, Ireland to America on a boat . Please throw my name in the cat bowl for your new book . I am most excited to read it. Deanne Patterson

  143. Congratulations on your book release! I'm anxious to read it (doing a blog tour for it in October so trying to force myself to wait until then lol) as I know it will be as wonderful as you :)

    My family roots go all the way back to our nation's birth, some of my ancestors helped settle Jamestown! But on the flip side of that coin, my husband is only a third (or is it fourth? math isn't my thing) generation American. His great-grandfather immigrated here from Germany in the early 1900s.

    I love ancestry research ... mainly because I'm such a history geek - and also because I teach English as a Second Language & it ties me to my students even more closely & helps me see my world a little bit more from their lenses.

  144. Wonderful story! I would love to win a paperback copy :) Please enter me in the drawing.

  145. Congratulations on the release of your book! WOuld love to be entered in the drawing.

  146. So many interesting stories!
    My father has done a fair bit of research and we know his grandmother's side of the family was Irish, very well-to-do, and they settled in South Carolina. (We learned they still have a large estate there, too.) He hit a wall with his grandfather who is a giant ?, most likely killed during the first world war before his son (my grandfather ) was even born. There are no records to indicate if he and my great-grandmother were wed or not. My great-grandmother went away (or was sent away) to Philadelphia where she married another Irish man who adopted her son. So there's not a drop of our surname's blood in us and no one ever knew till my dad did his research.
    My mother's side is British, from the late 1800s. The only surprising discoveries so far has been learning that my great-uncle was taken in after his family died from the spanish influenza. My grandfather didn't even know that. My great-uncle never saw reason to mention it as he considered my grandfather's family his and so his past was irrelevant.

    Your book sounds interesting. I will definitely be checking it out!

  147. Oh, my word! How did I miss that you had a new book coming out? I'd love to win an e-book copy!

    I don't know a whole lot about my roots, but what I do know I've always found incredibly moving. According to my father, my great grandfather was a Scottish atheist who married an Irish Catholic woman over in the Old Country. There were, from what I understand, quite a lot of sparks. A lot of love, too, it would seem because he indentured himself on a ship and worked seven years for passage to America. Then he worked seven more to bring her over. I remember hearing that story as a child. I don't remember if I was ever told their names or anything else about them, but that tale of a love willing to work fourteen years for a new life touched my young heart.

  148. Walt, I'm happy to see you anytime, my friend! And I saved some cake and baked fresh cookies! SWEET!!! YOU BOUGHT IT????

    Thank you, Walt. You just made my day. :) I hope you love it with that gentle, romantic heart of yours.

  149. You did, Julie Lessman, and it gave me the wake up call I needed. We've survived tough times as people, as civilizations. We'll survive this brand of crazy, too! :) Get that: You were the voice of reason to me. We make a good team.

  150. Deanne, I'm glad I stopped over! I'm throwing your name in the cat dish RIGHT NOW!!!!

    Kids on their own was a thing, and I totally get it as a mother because we want our children to have the best possible chance at life. But the other side is being able to let go while they sprout and spread those wings at a young age.

    God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good!

  151. Carrie, you're featuring Refuge on your blog???? I didn't realize this, you've got to tell me when and I'll come by and annoy people! I love annoying people, Carrie! :)

  152. Sierra, you're in! I just re-grabbed the cat dish!

  153. Oh, the Spanish influenza outbreak. Oy, what a game-changer that was. I'm going to fit that into one of my historicals, probably a series, because that epidemic or pandemic changed the course of history for so many people. Sparks, that's a major point in history.

    And Grandpa dying in the war before his son was born. Oh, that's like the Hallmark movie with Betty White... I could cry just thinking about it! So glad you stopped by!!!

  154. Laura, 14 years of indenturement.... and her staying true, and him staying true.... that's a Disney movie, isn't it??? Can you imagine people doing it today? When so much of our world is filled with instant gratification?

    Oh, that's like too beautiful to imagine. I bet an editor would tell me: Ruthy, no one would believe it. Shorten it up.

    Sacrificial love is a wonderful thing. Thank you so much for that example, gosh, Laura... that needs to be in a book. Most assuredly.

  155. I think that's why it struck my young romantic heart - the sacrifice and the staying. Sadly it's rare to see today. But there are pockets of it!

  156. Ha! C'mon, Ruthy, you know I'm a genealogist. You don't really want to hear about MY roots, do you? ;-)

    Actually, the only ones I know of who set foot on North American soil are my 3x great grandparents on my mom's side, Patrick and Ellen Dinnin, who came over from Ireland, probably County Cork, in the early 1830s. They settled in New Brunswick, Canada, and stayed there, but their son, John Patrick (who was probably born in Maine), came to the U.S. and settled in West Virginia where he married, lived, and died.

    Oh, and supposedly my 4x great grandfather on my dad's side came from Wales. (My sister had her DNA tested, and we are pretty much Western European which we had already determined.)

    All other ancestors I can't find their origination. Yet. But I think they've been around for a long, long time.

    Do another "roots" post, and you may not get me to stop writing. Just warning you!


  157. Melanie, I miss seeing you over here! It's so nice that you came by to celebrate the release of "Refuge"!!!!

    Here, I've got some Country Sweet Wings because it's Friday Night Baseball here in Hilton!

    I love hearing about your roots, Mel! So glad you stopped by!

  158. Laura, yes indeed, the rarity of it and the thought of all that time passing on opposite shores... Oh, the gentle pace of historic gentility!

    I'm so glad you shared that!