Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why Choosing Good Stocks Is Like a Successful Writing Career: Diversification is Key

If I had stocks (which I don't, I have kids instead, and the intrinsic payback is so much better than the financial advantage of stocks, at least until they put me in a home, and then they're going to wish I saved more and baked less! But until then, it's all good! And they gave me a boatload of grandchildren, so they're G-O-L-D-E-N...)

Anyway, back on topic, if I had stocks, I would diversify.

What's that, you ask?

Well, it's like spreading the love. It's like picking some risky stocks, some stodgy stocks, some blue chips, some potato chips...(that will soothe me when the floor falls out from beneath my stock investments) Logic states that if you diversify and the market tanks or bonds nosedive or disaster strikes, your risk is spread out over multiple instruments, and therefore more stable.

The same is true of writing.

I love to write romance. We've talked about this before, we've discussed how to make your work sound and look different, while staying true to yourself and your readers...

But all romance doesn't have to sound alike.

All books/stories are not created via the same prototype.

Some are done with more family saga (Julie Lessman is an absolute artist at this), some are done with a stronger thread of adventure (Mary Connealy is a queen of historic adventures) and some are done with more literary license (Lisa Wingate is the master of this style.)

But many of these can be classified as romance. Right now one of the things I'm writing and loving is Western Romance... and speaking of this, why not have an over-the-moon moment right now??? Because this sweet story, Nick's story, is coming in October to a bookstore near you.... and of course, it is available for pre-order!!!! (sighs...smiles.... and allows us all a minute to love on this cover from Waterbrook Press!)

Trying to classify romance has always confused me. It confuses me still because not all editors see the lines of demarcation that we see in contests.... So that's a conundrum!

Basically if you're writing a romance, you have a hero and heroine. They're your main protagonists, the meat of your sandwich. (Now I'm hungry)

But think of all those toppings! Lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, hot chilis, mayo, mustard, oil dressing, green peppers, onions, olives... The list is endless. And each topping changes the direction of the meat in either subtle or bold ways.

And each time you layer something else into the story, you could be changing the genre/category of your story. This isn't a bad thing at all, but it's a subjective thing. When you enter contests, picking the best category for your work is clutch.

When you submit to editors and agents, submitting a story they'd like to represent is important. If you submit a family saga to an agent who has put out a call for romance, you might have nipped your chances. If you send (raising hand, guilty as charged!) a long, rambling saga to a category editor, she is likely to stomp on it in her hurry to send it back!!!

And this is where diversity comes in. The wide breadth of romance allows a lot of latitude. If you're aiming for a particular market, first, target THAT MARKET. "Her Unexpected Family"  is a beautiful story. It releases August 1, and I love it... but it is so much better for the work that I put in after Melissa Endlich offered suggestions on how to layer the story. She helped put a shine on the project that wouldn't have been there otherwise... and I can't wait for you to read it! But layering this story was very different from layering Nick's story above, and that's part of what we need to learn. It is also an important view of differentiation and diversity, to write cross-appeal books that the audience loves. We don't do this because we don't like one kind of book... we do it to build readership, every author's goal.

Read the market, study what's out there, do not assume you know everything, do your homework, and remember if money is an issue, the public library is free and longs for your patronage. I studied on the government's dime for years because there wasn't money to buy books except at the used book store, and then I was limited to whatever he happened to have on hand, and twenty-year-old books are not indicative of what editors are buying now. Today. This week. Next month... so read the current stuff for market trends, and read the old stuff for ideas, inspiration, etc.

Within that market, be yourself. Only a better version of yourself. The same goes for your characters.

Make them ache the way real people ache. Give them a real surrounding. Deepen with strong subcharacters, those secondaries who look, act and sound real. These are your condiments.

Think: FLAVOR. Those condiments flavor and might lengthen your book, which can then place it in another category or genre.... That's okay, but remember who and what you're targeting.

Don't be afraid to write lots of stuff. I had over a dozen books completed when I sold... and most of them have sold. The first few were awful, they would never sell, I was raw... but I used ideas from those in other books.

Keep writing. Gretzky didn't become an icon by playing video games. He practiced.

Pele didn't become a soccer sensation by joining pricey soccer clubs and pseudo-elite teams... he grew up in the slums and practiced with a sock ball... that's right, a ball made out of tied socks... and became one of the world's greats because he never stopped and did not quit.

Ben Franklin didn't discover electricity accidentally. He experimented, and read what other scientists were doing in Europe so that he could be on the cutting edge, a man who'd already done so much, he had NOTHING TO PROVE... And his wide ranging accomplishments included being a sage, a publisher, an author, he began the first public library system, he invented the Franklin Stove, a product that literally changed the world in northern latitudes, and the kitchen in every home... He began the first American college of liberal arts which is now the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia... The first fire department... The first public hospital and the first mutual funds insurance company... He was a philosopher and diplomat and a representative to Congress.

Now that's diversity. He changed himself, he changed  others, he changed the world FOR others.

Diversification is a wonderful thing in writing. It may not pay off instantly. Few things do. But in time, it can be utilized, or tweaked to fit what you're doing.

I have several different types of books releasing this year. Women's Fiction with Romantic Elements from Franciscan Media, including this beautiful story that just released in March: More Than a Promise...

And a Love Inspired, and another cowboy book, and a beautiful story from Franciscan Media in September.... and a contemporary Christmas novella with St. Martin's Press and a historical Christmas novella with Gilead Publishing... And this is where that push to diversify is paying off.

Believe in yourself, put forth the effort, have fun, and let God guide your path. So back to the first line... It's true, I have no stocks! No bonds! And not much in the way of cash reserves, more's the pity! :) But I have stock in myself, I believe in God's gifts, and I'm having the best time ever, using them!

I brought cheesecake today, turtle cheesecake made at Leo's Bakery in East Rochester, NY... Oh my stars, it is so good!!!!

So what can you do to spread your talents? What have you been dying to write... but couldn't quite bring yourself to do it?

For one lucky commenter today I have an audible version of "Refuge of the Heart", the beautiful story of a church sponsored refugee who comes to America for a chance at what so many take for granted here... faith and freedom!

OR!!!! a just-received audible copy of "More Than a Promise", an absolutely delightful story of a contemporary marriage of convenience that becomes most inconvenient when they manage to fall delightfully in love.... Oops!

Come on inside and let's talk how to spread the love of romance with a little Ruthy-enabled diversification!

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves to chat with folks... because she never stops talking! Visit her website or friend her on facebook/RuthLoganHerne, visit her and a host of other delightful loves-to-cook authors at the Yankee Belle Cafe and @RuthLoganHerne on Twitter... With over 3/4 million books sold, Ruthy loves to talk faith, freedom, fiction, fun and family in any venue!


  1. RUTHY....I really love how you compare the layering of a book like a sandwich! When I go to Subway, I like just about everything on top, ending with salt & pepper, vinegar & oil. It ALL enhances the flavor, making my senses explode with delight! I think it does for a book too, the layers are what do it for me. They enhance the story to twist and shape it into a richness that you can feel, smell, taste, hear, etc! Then I can really connect to all aspects, especially when it comes to the hero & heroine. Make them real people, multi-dimensional, with personalities like our own. I love making new book friends & authors who can connect me to their characters, well that's just G.O.L.D.E.N. to me :-)

    I don't listen to audio books, so I'll pass my chance on to someone else! But I may have to have a small sliver of that cheesecake & maybe some coffee to go with it? Your post is such a delight to read, I can see your enthusiasm & passion for your writing....and your family :-) God has truly blessed your "investment" in your kids/grandkids!

  2. This post is a GOLDMINE, Ruthy! Thank you sooo much.
    I really need to head to bed but wanted to read your post first, and saw SO many nuggets of wisdom that I want to copy and post on my computer desk!
    And a huge CONGRATS on all your releases - - including the ones coming up - - WOW!! You are amazing!!
    Must get some sleep, but will be back for some turtle cheesecake in the morning (YUM) and to re-read when I'm not drowsy. ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo zzzzzzzz.....

  3. Ruthy, you amaze me! I love how you've diversified. And so many releases to celebrate this year!

    I really enjoyed the novellas for a change of pace. I'd like to do more of them. And I hope to keep doing LI. And someday, I may finish my YA that I've toyed with for ages. :)

  4. Like cookies. Why settle for just Oreo's when you can have coconut macaroons and peanut butter or molasses cookies.

    Diversify. Well done. And you do it so well.

  5. Beautiful covers! All of them. Okay, yes I might be partial to the cowboy.

  6. First off, CONGRATULATIONS on all your book releases this year! Wow! You have been busy! Also, I love the cover of Home on the Range. I can hardly wait to read Nick's story.

    This post is filled with nuggets of wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing Ruthy!

    What a beautiful family you have! I loved the picture!

    May you have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  7. Trixi, good morning! Oh, what words of wisdom, my friend! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate knowing you're not an audible book kind of gal!

    I never used to be, I thought they were kind of silly... books are for reading, right? But then we grabbed some for a trip, and I loved them for that! I don't listen to them at home, but in the car it's a nice respite from station hunting on the radio. And huge thank yous for your sweet words, Trixi!!!

  8. Patti Jo, the cheesecake is wonderful, but if you don't bring me something with peaches or pecans, I might burst right into tears and sob the day away!!!!

    Mmm.... Georgia peaches.

    Mouthwatering natural goodness.... and a little sugar, Sugar! :)

  9. Missy, I love doing the novellas, too. I love the timing in them, the quick arc.... it's a great complement to longer books, I think.

    And they're so much fun!!!!!

    You have a full plate this year, a wedding and a move... Oh my stars, I might just fly down there and help because those are two BIG THINGS and we don't take BIG THINGS lightly here!!!!

  10. Tina, cookie diversification is where I learned the art.

    Homemade molasses cookies, like Sr. Cathy's at the St. Joseph's Motherhouse... I couldn't rest until I could make molasses cookies that were good, like hers.

    Gotta love cookies!!!

  11. Mmm...... cowboys....... that is an irresistible cover. And it's a father and daughter in real life, we did that so we'd get the real emotion on Dakota's face.....

    And it worked. Kelly Howard at Waterbrook is absolutely amazing with envisioning what she wants... and going for it.

    Art with a lens....

  12. Cindy, I love that pic of my family from our annual Cousinpalooza summer celebration in 2014. Since then Morgan was born (Lacey was expecting in the picture) and Lena came to us last October.... I need one with Mandy and Paul and Mary Ruth in it, too, because I just love them to pieces.

    But Mandy was taking the picture that day and getting them all in one place for ten seconds was a trick in itself!

    And I'm glad you liked that food for thought... Whatever we're writing, it's good practice... and Rome wasn't built in a day!

  13. Hi Ruthy,

    I love your encouraging words today. You give me hope!

    More Than a Promise is an amazing story, and I hope everybody reads it! You'll laugh and cry and fall in love with these characters!

    Ruthy, you've got a big beautiful family! Thanks for sharing the picture!

  14. If I were to look up 'Diversify' in the dictionary, your smiling face would be there, Ruthy. You're a wonderful encourager! Thank you for this motivating post. I've always thought I'd enjoy giving YA or the New Adult genre a try. I love the family photo! What a great porch too.

  15. Good morning, Ruthy! I love the way you're able to diversify at this point in your writing journey! I think one of the key things is that as an unpub you started out writing single title contemporary stories, then did what you needed to do to establish yourself with LI contemporary romance, gained experience, gained readership, proved yourself, before exploring other avenues. BUT you still ensure each type of book is given a classic "Ruthy flavor" readers have come to expect. :)

  16. Hmm, do you think it's easier for you to diversify because you're still writing in the romance genre?

    I remember how pleasantly surprised I was to hear Ronie Kendig was publishing a fantasy trilogy because I hoped that it would bring some publicity to the Christian fantasy market. Previously, she only had been published with military themed romantic suspense, I wonder how her fantasy series is doing sale wise ... Did her readers follow her over because it was Ronie Kendig or not?

    An easier jump for readers I'd imagine was Jody Hedlund publishing adult-aimed historical romance and then getting contracted for YA historical romance...

    Oh and happy news, I submitted my last paper ever yesterday afternoon, so graduation is is Saturday. Yay! ^_^

  17. Ruth, I love your stocks comparison to writing. My husband does day trading and it has its ups and downs and 4:00 p.m. deadline. Some days he scores and others he fails. Sort of comparable to my writing life. Thus, we both venture forward with faith and hope for the stars. It makes life interesting though. I admire how prolific you are and all that you have to look forward to this year. Thanks for taking the time to inspire us others. Always nice to read a blog of yours. Have a great writing day.

  18. Good morning Ruthy You certainly have been able to use all of your talents and gifts. I love how you have started out with the category romance and built yourself up into many other avenues. Great going and it was your goal many years ago. So you have accomplished what you set out to do. That is a true blessing.

    Love the covers and of course the photo of the Mighty Finn.

  19. Jackie, that pic is the perfect example of Ruthy-style diversification! :) We're a crazy fun mix and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for your kind words about the pic, and about "More Than a Promise". I LOVE THAT STORY!!!!

    Oh be still my heart, it is just such a fun story, such a great romance and women's fiction blend (see what I mean about the wide scope of what I'd just call romance????) and I'm so glad you loved it!

    THANK YOU!!!!

  20. Jill, I love YA and teen fiction, I'd like to do that too, I've got a story outline (Ruthy-style, of course, MINIMAL) but I love the idea of the plot and I can see it stretching to three books.... And catching teen readers.

    So my reward when I finish editing books is to start new fun things. I've started one, but it's on hold for when I'm done with edits and my summer writing, but by next fall/winter, I should be able to have a delightful time in sweet, quirky fictional town... But must complete other things FIRST!!!!

  21. Glynna, I need you to write my ad copy!!!! THAT IS PERFECT!!!! You know, that's a good point, I was always writing longer stories and had to work to pull my brain into shorter arcs... What a good point that is, my friend!

    And I love my readership to pieces, they are so good to me, I still pinch myself, wondering if this is all true... and the pinch is a good wake up call to just enjoy what I'm doing, because I love, love, love writing stories.


    Oh, happy days are here again, the skies are gonna clear again, let's sing a song of cheer again, happy days are here again!!!!!

    Pomp and Circumstance for you!!!! POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE

  23. I home educate and I am sharing this post with my children/students. Writing is something that can be a challenge for them, and it is easy to think it just happens. A good reminder for all of us about hard work.

    Thank you. I enjoy your books and would love to win the audible versions. (especially the newest one)

    Enjoy your day.

  24. Now, Jen, back to the romance question.... It might be easier.

    I've always studied other writers.

    I first found and fell in love with LIsa Wingate with her Texas Cooking series, light, fun romance with an inspirational hint but not overt... and her NAL fiction that I loved followed.

    So she moved on as her career moved on. Karen White did some time-travel fantasy, then her "Falling Home" that I fell in love with (and was given to me during a published author's contest, someone said: "Ruthy, you're going to love this woman's work..." and of course me and the rest of America did!!!!

    Holly Jacobs survived so many line closures and moves that it had to be epic, but she adjusted and "tacked" that way, with the wind, each time, but the books have Holly's classic warmth and humor...

    So maybe it's part self-protection in a business that can be unforgiving if you don't adapt.

    Hey, the dinosaurs would still be around in some form, if they could have adapted...

    Polar bears are threatened more by their own habits (they only like ONE food and they will only hunt in ONE manner and they're ticked off that there isn't as much ice...)

    We're human. Adaptation is part of our gift from God, so I've always figured that to succeed I had to adapt... so maybe it's come more naturally to me, Jen. Now you've made me THINK!!!!

    Melanie Dickerson has made a great move from absolutely delightful young adult to regency romance...

    Mary Connealy moved from sweet, short Barbour Heartsongs to longer westerns and then on to her famed Historical Romantic Suspense With Cowboys... Because no one does it better!

    So maybe romance is more receptive to the adaptation... and I don't know Ronie, so I'm not sure how she's fared with that, but it's a great question, Jen!

  25. I love your covers.

    I tend to get bored easily so I welcome the idea of diversifying.

    I LOVE westerns. And suspense. And I have an idea for Notebook-kind of story that goes back to the '50's. (Forget what you call those...

    But if I read too many of the same type of book, I get weary.

    I love your covers. Did I say that already???

  26. Ruthy, You are such an inspiration to me. I have so many stories running around in my head. I hope I keep getting the ideas. Now to get them all written and then the layering that is so necessary. At the moment I am writing my 4th book, editing and layering the first 3, I am also writing a couple of middle reader books and I have a non fiction I wrote but needs mega editing and work, Oh, and I am writing an auto biography of my life not necessarily for publication but for my nieces and nephews to share with them how the Lord has done great things in my life. Then there is a historical I am researching and hoping to write in the next year. Oh and I am writing a couple of short stories to enter in a contest in June.

    I know I am just a fledgling writer, But I am continually trying to learn and improve my writing. Seekerville has been an important part of this process.

    I would love to win one of your audible books.

  27. Good morning Ruthy!

    First of all, let me say that since I write Western romance, that Cowboy on your cover would make me chuck diversifying to the curb forever. Hahahaha!

    Ruth, I appreciate your honesty this morning on how many manuscripts you wrote before your first sale. Having a backlog of manuscripts to draw from creates momentum. I've witnessed that strategy vault a fellow writer to the top of the sales charts.

    You're an inspiration to me every day when I log into the Facebook 1k/1hr page. I see how much time you spend working at your craft. Thank you for your transparency and your willingness to share these nuggets of wisdom with aspiring writers.

    Now, what were you saying about turtle cheesecake? I know the topic was on diversifying, but I saw the cowboy and cheesecake, and my mind took a detour from there.

  28. Good morning Ruthy!

    First of all, let me say that since I write Western romance, that Cowboy on your cover would make me chuck diversifying to the curb forever. Hahahaha!

    Ruth, I appreciate your honesty this morning on how many manuscripts you wrote before your first sale. Having a backlog of manuscripts to draw from creates momentum. I've witnessed that strategy vault a fellow writer to the top of the sales charts.

    You're an inspiration to me every day when I log into the Facebook 1k/1hr page. I see how much time you spend working at your craft. Thank you for your transparency and your willingness to share these nuggets of wisdom with aspiring writers.

    Now, what were you saying about turtle cheesecake? I know the topic was on diversifying, but I saw the cowboy and cheesecake, and my mind took a detour from there.

  29. Suzanne, so you understand this from the inside out! That's marvelous some days and a smack upside the head on others... but I really believe if we're doing what we love to do, regardless of genre or "blooming where planted" (And may God bless my beloved agent Natasha Kern for all of her work in getting my name on desks... Honestly, none of this would have happened without her tireless behind-the-scene efforts, and that should be in the blog, MY BAD!!!!!)

    If we bloom where planted, we adapt... and others take confidence in seeing that, just like I did from watching Holly and Karen and Lisa...

    We stretch and grow!

  30. Sandra! I love that you remember that, and when I first met Melissa at Love Inspired, I shared that dream... and she probably has heard that a million times... but my goal then and now was to write for both markets, the category (which I LOVE because the stories are great and affordable and I've got lots of readers on budgets)... and for the trade paperback market because I love being able to have a little more license to spread the story out... Like in Back in the Saddle and Refuge of the Heart, etc...

    I love both, so why not write both if I can?

    So that was the goal, you're right! Way back then. :) We've been through a lot together, haven't we????

    And I know your motor home broke down when I was in AZ earlier this month, but I think it was FEAR OF THE RUTHINATOR because I seem to have that effect on machines. When I stayed at Tina's place in Denver, her computers went weird... and she's like "Gosh, this never happens, I wonder what's going on???"

    RUTHY WAS VISITING! It was so funny, because my electronics would do the same thing at home. With me. It doesn't happen anymore, but I think I messed up the early wifi signals, and it might have just been my BUSHY HAIR!!!!!

  31. Connie, I find the best way to rejuvenate my brain and love of story is to change things up. Even if it's nothing I might ever sell, just to let my brain go free and see a story unfold...

    Of course, that's how Refuge of the Heart came about, and More Than a Promise, and Back in the Saddle, all stories I had in my head long before they were contracted...

    So yes, do it!

    Use the time, have fun, and stay focused at the same time. I push to do the 1K/day (or 20 pages of edits) to get the jobs done, because no one pays me for surfing the web... But then I let my brain explore fun things and refresh the dendrites!

  32. Did youse know there are many more stages of matter than we learned as youngsters, or even that our children learned?

    That each stage of matter contains phases?

    So when you let your brain wander into phases of matter, that opens up all kinds of doors to imaginative play... Phases of gases, phases of solids, (think mercury, properties of liquid and solid and how a body can pass through water, but what if something just looks like water... and isn't?)

    Phases of matter.


  33. Jen, CONGRATULATIONS!!! How exciting!!! :)

  34. Ruthy, I could sure use your help with the move! You're welcome anytime. :)

  35. Wilani, you are us 8 years ago.

    We all started that way, and here you are, sticking it out, working away! GO YOU!!!! I'm putting your name in the cat dish (she let me borrow it, but there are five new kittens so I can't keep her food dish long! She's a hungry mama!)

    Wilani you are doing what needs to be done, and that practice is what shines the penny.


  36. Renee.... Yes. Cowboys and turtle cheesecake first, oh my stars, my son Matt and his wonderful wife Karen brought this cheesecake to Dave's retirement party back in March... after most of the family got healthy for a WEEK before they started dropping again! Life with little kids!

    It was devoured before food.

    I may have started that trend by taking a piece and claiming my "Life is short, Eat dessert first" mantra.

    And then it was all hands on deck!

    I love stopping into 1K1HR and your words make me feel better about doing it, because I don't come in there to be show-offy about time or words or pages... In the end, we all have to edit, trim, slice, dice, so it's the steady work each day that pays off I think... And it's fun to work shoulder to shoulder with writers of all stages because we're all in this together!

    I remember doing a blog and I wanted Francine Rivers opinion on something and I e-mailed her and asked, but I probably BABBLED because it was FRANCINE RIVERS!!!! Who is, by the way, one of the most humble and gracious authors I've ever had the pleasure to meet... Anyway she laughed at my nerves and said something like, "Ruthy! We're all just writers, in this together."

    I've never forgotten that.

    No matter where we are in this game, and this is part of the reason Seekerville exists... "We're all just writers, in this together."


  37. Missy, me and a Dumpster! I'm your girl!!!!!

  38. Hi Ruthy,
    I like your advice to writers (works for readers too) to be yourself, even if a better version of yourself. It reminds me of the quote, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken". Writers who have figured this out are the ones whose unique voice stand out from the others.

    I preordered both your new books on amazon five weeks ago before they even had covers on them, lol. The covers only make the anticipation stronger. Can you tell I'm ready for new Ruthy material?

    I loved your novella, Second Chance at Love. Those Solomon verses are some of my favorites. Their love-speak to each other was awesome and sigh-worthy. Novellas between full length books are like a lovely afternoon tea with cookies "sandwiched" between lunch and dinner. (couldn't resist using your sandwich analogy :)

    Keep writing, keep speaking your unique Ruthy speak, I love your writer voice!

  39. Ruthy -- you keep writing them and I'll keep reading them. :-) I can't do audible books because they don't work on my computer so no need to enter me in the draw. I picked up an old-fashioned audio CD at the library the other day though, so I'll see how that goes. It's definitely a change up for me. I'm used to being the person reading out loud. My daughter didn't learn to read until she was ten so I was always reading books out loud to her and I used to record books for her to listen to as well.

    Love this post and your enthusiasm and energy and wisdom. Seekerville is such an encouraging place. It always lifts my spirits. Happy sunny spring day!

  40. Hi Ruth:

    Would you happen to have any plain, no nonsense, New York cheese cake? All this fufu flavored stuff from coffee to teas to cheese cakes is just too much diversity for me!

    Dance with the one who brought you!

    Don't mistake the sizzle for the steak.

    Be sure to see the forest as well as the trees.

    Yes, yes, diversity is the spice of life, at least, when it comes to harems and hairdos. There's nothing like a new 'do' (or for that matter) a new 'don't' to add zest to the stew of life.

    And yet -- look how many different types of music can be made from just the eight notes of the octave.

    Restrictions and rules are often the best allies of creativity.

    To be sure: being current with the most trending divertimenti is important. Nevertheless, reading is a performance art created in the mind of the reader.

    Creating a hypnotically captivating reading experience, be it in any modality, will always be a key to success. Work on everything else in the writer's quiver but also always be striving to make your current 'reading experience' more rewarding than your last.

    They read for the experience and how it makes them feel.

    When readers can't put your book down, they will always want one of your books in their hands.

    Happy dance! over your Audible versions of the Franciscan Media books. Please put me in the drawing for an audio version of "more than a promise". (Why no capitals in the title? It makes me think of e.e. cummings. Are you going more literary on us?)


    Pray for the Bronx Bombers. They are bombing -- but not in the good sense. : (

  41. Great post, Ruthy. I'm ordering those books.

  42. JEN!!!! ARTIST LIBRARIAN!!! YES!!!!! You did it!!!! Thanks for letting us know so we can Celebrate with You!!!

    Ruthy!! The best part about switching writing styles is that I get to LEARN so much & it is a CHALLENGE! This is awesome b/c I've got plans for a fiction 3 book series, then a chapter book for little kids, then a YA book, and autobiography. If yall can do it, I can do it too!

  43. And this is Part 2 of my extra, extra hard medical day. If yall would please say a prayer for me. This is a God sized problem- way too big for just jana. Here's my battle cry for today:

    "You’re my King, O God—command victories for Jacob!
    With YOUR help we’ll wipe out our enemies, in YOUR name we’ll stomp them to dust.
    I don’t trust in weapons; my sword won’t save me—
    But it’s YOU, YOU who saved us from the enemy; YOU made those who hate us lose face.
    All day we parade GOD’s praise— we thank YOU By Name over and over."
    Ps 44:4-8 (msg)

    Most humbly & truly I thank you.

  44. I'm reading this at the hair salon and trying to comment on my phone. Love your diversity, Ruthy. Your stories always delight! Keep writing and I'll keep buying, reading and enjoying your wonderful stories!

  45. RUTHY, your books and your career are awesome! You've diversified more than anyone I know. How much do you think your series platform helped get your foot in the single title door?

    I love every cover in this post! You're blessed.


  46. JANA, I'm praying for you today.

    Hugs, Janet

  47. ARTIST LIBRARIAN, congratulations on earning your degree!!


  48. Ruthy, kudos to you on all the stories you have in the pipeline. You're a writing machine. I admire you and your ability to embrace diversity. What am I saying? I admire you for a heap lot more than that. But I'm not you, although there are days I wish I had more of you and your many wonderful traits in me.

    I'm working hard to produce stories in my niche, which, at present, is Love Inspired Historical. I'm getting my writing muscles toned, but I'm still in the achy stage, so I'm sticking with what is working for me. And that's OK. Or so I tell myself almost daily as I see others willing to push themselves into other genres and tout the the benefits. (Gotta tease you at least once, my friend. ;-)

    I set my stories in the same area and the same era: California's Gold Country and Victorian (specifically 1849 to 1880ish). That narrows things for me and keeps me from having to do as much research as I would if I dabbled in other places or periods. Not that I dislike research, mind you. I love research, which is why limiting myself keeps me from going overboard with it. Well, it's supposed to, but I still get carried away. I can't help myself. =)

    Lest you think me boring and inflexible, I will tell you that I s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d myself big time recently and wrote a novella set in--get ready for it--the Texas Hill Country. Yep! Yours truly will have a story in Barbour's Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection releasing in December.

    Now, you might be thinking, "Yeehaw! Keli Gwyn can diversify after all." You'd be right--to an extent. I was able to tie the novella to what I know and what I write. How did I do that? Easy. I had my brother, the middle one of seven, spend time in the Gold Country I know and love prior to his return to the great state of Texas (from the equally great state of California, this native Californian hastens to add.)

    There's another reason I was OK with setting a story in Texas. I have roots there, so I was, to a certain extent, writing what I know. When Gwynly and I were dating, one of our big discoveries was that his father and my mother grew up in the same town in West Texas: Midland. Our ancestors are buried in the same cemetery! When I learned to talk, I had some Texas twang going. When I learned to write, it came out, too. (My Kindergarten teacher corrected my long A choice for the vowel sound in the word eggs to a short E, for instance.) Throughout my childhood and into my early adulthood, I drank sweet tea so syrupy thick that you could practically stand a spoon up in it. So, although writing a novella featuring Texans was a bit of a stretch, it didn't cause too much pain.

    So, what's my point? I suppose it's this: not every writer is comfortable embracing diversity. Just as not every author is comfortable confining him/herself to a single genre. And that's OK. We can still be friends. Or so I hope. After all, I did just challenge you publicly. But bear in mind who taught be to become a better, bolder version of myself and not take myself so seriously, dear Ruthy. Love you!

  49. Um, sorry. I didn't set out to write a novella. Slinking off to pour words into my WIP. (If only they came as easily as those in blog comments...)

  50. And Ruthy, was it you a couple of weeks ago that suggested it doesn't hurt to ask?

    Just to let you know, I took your advice.

    I received what I thought was a nice rejection from the Blurb2Book contest year, but wasn't sure. Even Emily R. said it sounded like a rejection. So taking your advice, I wrote the editor and asked if she'd like to see it again w/the revisions. She said yes.

    A couple of months ago I got second place in the Great Expectations contest, but the editor didn't ask to see more, only from the first place contestant. So again, the other day, I wrote the editor to see if she was interested in seeing the rest of my book when I applied her suggestions. She wrote back she didn't know if it would be a fit, but she'd be glad to look at the full.

    That wasn't so painful!
    Both may still say no, but I'm no worse off than I was before...

    Thank you.

  51. RUTHY!! This has to be a favorite of mine of all your wonderful blogs because it real nails diversity to the wall.

    Personally, I'd rather write family sagas (thanks for the sweet compliment, by the way) more than anything in the world, I guess because I had such a dysfunctional upbringing, and I'm still trying to fix it through my stories. :)

    But Keith talked me into diversity with the Heart of San Francisco series, which was less of a family saga in that they were shorter, more humorous books without as many subplots and both romantic and spiritual passion toned down. I really got a kick out of writing it, but I missed the sprawling sagas.

    Next, I diversified with what was supposed to be a prequel historical novella (A Light in the Window) but ended up being a novel (Oh, what a surprise!!) because I wanted to try my hand at a prequel and I didn't want to say goodbye to the my saga family, the O'Connors, just yet. I cranked that puppy out in three months (406) pages and had it indie pubbed in two months after that. Now THAT was a lot of fun!

    Then I decided to switch it up again and go contemporary, so I wrote Isle of Hope (520 pages) in 5-6 months, not sure I could do a contemporary since historicals were my thing. And you're right -- it is SO much fun to try different styles because I've had a blast with it.

    Now I'm going to do a historical Western trilogy inspired by YOU, which will be a Ponderosa meets McClintock type of family saga in 1880s Virginia City, Nevada, so that will be a complete departure for me, stepping into Mary's (and your!) worlds. :)

    And finally, a Jewish neighbor of mine to whom I offered A Passion Most Pure BEFORE I found out she was Jewish -- YIKES -- just told me she stayed up till 4:00 AM reading it and thinks I need to be in the secular sweet market with the barest thread of spirituality because that's where the real ministry (and sales) would be in her opinion. So, yes, I now have a mini synopsis for a sweet secular contemporary family saga I hope to do one of these days.

    All that to say, I did NOT want to diversify, but my wise hubby talked me into it, and I have to admit, not only have I had a blast, but I think I've become a better writer for it. I hope. :|

    Hugs and bows to the Diversity Queen, my friend -- you are an inspiration to us all!!



  52. Ruthy,

    I loved your Seekerville blogpost! Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve loved everything I’ve read by you! And I can’t wait for more… I don’t have stocks (and I only have 2 grandchildren) but reading about them made me hungry, too. You give great advice—which I plan to utilize.

    The cover to “Home on the Range” plucked at my heartstrings… I can’t wait to read it. And you should know how much I love your “Love Inspired” novels… I’m looking forward to reading “Her Unexpected Family” as soon as I can get ahold of a copy. I love cheesecake — and I’d love to enjoy hearing one of your books (either one is fine with me) on one of my frequent long car rides… so please put me in the pot for a chance to win an audio copy of “Refuge of the Heart” or “More Than a Promise”.

    Donna (aka DJ Mynatt)

  53. Thank you, RUTHY! This is such an interesting read. You are so amazing! I've dabbled in middle-grade fiction (was a finalist in a contest with one) but I felt, strongly, the call to write Christian fiction - inspirational romance to be more specific, so I put everything else on hold and wrote the book I felt led to write. I completed it last fall. I'm working on a sequel now, as well as an 1890s historical romance. That's about as diverse as I can get right now, but someday I may go back and revisit those middle grade books. Thanks again!

    JANA, I'm praying for you.

  54. hi Ruthy
    your posts are always so encouraging and make me feel like I can go out and conquer the world. I like diversity. I haven't figured out the "niche" market I need to focus on to get established, but at least in you I have a wonderful role model on the direction to move once I get to that point.

    I ADORE your books. Although they are diversified by classification, they ALL have your "Ruthy flavor" (like Glynna said). I am chomping at the bit for the opportunity to read your next cowboy book and excited to glom onto the next LI as well. Gotta have my Ruthy book fix!

    No need for me in the draw for the audio books. I don't spend enough time in my car for it to be worth the while - and I don't usually have audio stuff going around the house. Too busy trying to keep up with the Gupster and his unique verbal observations. ;)

    AWESOME post, Ruthy! Thanks!!!!!

  55. Donna, I'm so happy you came over today! Yes, I'm tucking your name right into that cat dish, darling!

    And thank you for your kind words, they mean the world to an author! You've made me smile, a smile I'll keep ALL DAY LONG!!! Thank you!

  56. Tracey!

    Oh, what sweet things to say, thank you, my buddy!!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed/loved "Second Chance at Love", it was such a lovely story to write... I felt Ann's pain like a rough-edged knife through those opening pages, and seeing things through her eyes was almost painful... and then to have Solomon caught between a rock and a hard place, and Hattie, always ready to fix things!!!

    I LOVE HATTIE MCGILLICUDDY! Oh mylanta, she is simply a delightful character, and can't you just see her, back in that time, quietly orchestrating and nudging folks toward equality and votes and love and marriage... I HAD to make her come from Boston because Boston stayed stodgy for a very long time when it came to women's rights and freedom and acceptance...

    THANK YOU FOR ORDERING THOSE BOOKS!!! Oh my gosh, I hope you love them. Nick's story is just filled with those two little girls, one so angry, and one just wanting to be loved.... and horses, dogs, cows, old men, little boys, cowboys, great women and food.

    What's not to love, right???? :)

  57. Connie, good for you for writing to the editors and asking!!! I'm so glad you're going to take them up on the offer. Way to go!

  58. As always, Ruthy, you speak words of wisdom. I love diversifying, too, but before submitting to an agent or editor, it really is important to know what they're actually interested in, or you'll be wasting your time.

  59. Vince, so good to see you, and I love your comments!

    Ah, the no caps is totally the choice from the cover designers, and it was sweet, to match the story and the cover... "More Than a Promise" is a very different kind of story from Refuge of the Heart.... and I'm so glad that Franciscan put it out, I have absolutely loved working with them.

    But you are right, of course, it's important to polish the gems in the jewelry box as well as the ones on order!

    And I am currently polishing one such gem, and having fun doing it!

    I have learned that books can vary as editors vary, and that's an interesting note. Like us, they see things differently, and what one editor loves, another may object to, so when an author is working for multiple houses (think of the difference between Lisa Wingate's Bethany House series vs. her current work) you see a distinctly different side of the author as the editor chooses.

    I have learned so much from each one, it's like having a college course in creative writing, and each professor is working to win their share of a limited audience, and working hard!

    So for each editor, you see a slightly different Ruthy-story, but how blessed am I to be working with them, right?

    I am tucking your name in and I absolutely love the woman they have reading the book. She does a great job!

  60. I would love to win an audible copy of Refuge of the heart or a copy of More than a promise. I have read both and reviewed them on my website. Can't wait to read "Home on the Range". I love most anything Ruth Logan Herne writes.

  61. Kav!!! We love being your encouraging place. That just makes me smile, a big toothy Ruthy grin!!!!

    I've been working outside for an hour, exercise has moved outdoors now, and it's our first warm day... RED FACED RUTHY! Oh, Celtic skin, so fair, and now so red because heat and Ruthy are distinctly at odds. Kav, I'm waving over the great pond to you!!!! :) You can see my rosey red cheeks glowing like Rudolph's nose!

    And didn't I see you just over at the cafe? Why, yes, I made you a tea, delicious tea, I might add! :)

  62. Vince, Dave is like you. He loves plain NY Style cheesecake, and that's what they went to Leo's Bakery for... So he got his plain one, and the turtle one was something our oldest son Matt saw... and bought for us.

    Food fest.

    You and Dave would get along famously!!!

  63. Jana, I am on my knees praying for you right now. That God will heal you and make you whole, that he will bless the doctor's hands and hearts and minds, that the healing will take all by surprise except us... because the human body is an amazing vessel and God can do all things, so I hope everyone is joining in on this, a Pray for Jana Day in Seekerville!

    You light the way for so many to see God in everyday things. I think I might just change your beautiful name to "beacon"....

    It would be fitting.

  64. Ruthy, I love your posts. You're always so upbeat in your words. :) I always come away from your posts with a smile.

    Your words about layering a book make so much sense. The layering done will depend on the kind of story.

    And your words about the necessity of hard work are spot on. Sometimes, I have to work hard through the discouragement that tries to settle in. I'm guessing we all deal with that at times.

    One thing that has tickled me a little is (sometime, not right now) trying my hand at YA. We had a speaker in March who taught us about the genre, and he had us do a free-write including our choice of visuals (setting, props and characters) he provided. We wrote for a period of time, and I had a BLAST writing it. My heart is still more in adult fiction, but one day, I'm going to try my hand at YA. :)

    Please put me in your drawings for your audio books. I ADORE audio books. I might even be a little addicted to them. ;)

  65. Stopping back in today with a warm Georgia Peach Cobbler AND a just-baked Georgia Pecan Pie - - especially for RUTHY!! :) (you can share if you'd like, Ruthy!)
    Packing for Pittsburgh but wanted to say I LOVE this post and so many things you wrote jumped out at me---you really are an inspiration with how you've diversified with your writing. And in my original comment (of course I was half-asleep at the time, LOL) I meant to say I love the photos you shared - - your family, the Mighty Finn, and the book covers--loved them all!

    JANA, lots of prayers for you, sweet lady. Keep leaning on the Lord---He IS with you through all of this. Gentle hugs.

    Back to my packing (sooo excited about seeing my son's graduation this weekend!). :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  66. Oh RUTHY...turtle cheesecake. I'm salivating!

    As always, you impress the stuffing out of me with your output. I should have such flying fingers.

    Since everyone knows Gilead fiction has launched now, I can share that I also will publish a Christmas novella with them--a contemporary. What an honor to land on their first list. You and the other Seekerville prayer warriors stood with me while I wrote it in record March...despite major back surgery. I give God all the glory!!!

  67. Great news, BARBARA! Congrats on the novella with Gilead!!!

  68. RUTHY! Did you just shared Nick's cover?!!! I love IT! Can't wait to read it.
    .and your family photo is just so sweet!

    Diversify. That is true for your example of Romance. There really isn't just the one category and genres have a broad range. Thanks!

  69. Ruthy, I always learn tons of stuff from your blog posts.

    Diversify...of course! I think I'm doing that with my two different story worlds, but you have encouraged me to see what else is in that Pandora's box I unleashed when I asked God to give me something useful to do in this season of my life. :)

    Time to let the creative juices flow!

  70. Look at you, Ruthy!!!
    All these books from all these directions.
    I didn't have Home on the Range pre-ordered. I FIXED THAT.

    Love book one of that series sooooo much! I can't wait for mre.
    For anything you write.

    (Okay I'll go back to being sarcastic now!

  71. Marianne, thank you! I got an influx of kids who needed help with homework here and then grandkids, so I'm back!!! Marianne, you are such a blessing to authors for your reading, buying, shout outs, just that whole support for Christian fiction. Thank you so much!

  72. Debby, I have to get a smarter smart phone. Mine is so not smart by comparison that it's amazing, and I realized that you truly get what you pay for in phones... And I'm just grinning, thinking of you at the beauty salon, visiting SEEKERVILLE! Isn't this an amazing age we're in???? Thank you, my friend!!!

  73. Janet, you asked about how much do I think being in category helped to get the foot into single title books... I think it was huge. I think it was strong category numbers, strong indie numbers (I produced my three indie single titles before I got any single title contracts and at that time, those sales pumped my category sales and how fun is that??? And then you add in an agent like Natasha who works tirelessly and it's amazing, isn't it? But yes, the category numbers helped, I'm sure, and it was exactly what I wanted, so I'm blessed more than I can believe.

    We should have a party!!!!! :)

  74. KELI!!!!! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!

    Few have challenged the Ruthinator and lived, so your raw courage is exactly the reason I wrote this post: IT IS A TEST AND YOU PASSED!!!

    You know this is very true, what you said. I think when we first get published we'd be silly to diversify because you want to build an anchor audience/readership, right? AND I DIDN'T SAY THAT IN THE POST.... My bad, because I did exactly what you're doing for several years, and it wasn't until Natasha came on board and accidentally tipped me into a historical novella that I started branching out.... so I figured it was meant to be by then!

    So yes, do exactly what you're doing. And I remember telling Natasha one day, when we were first working together that if I never wrote for anyone other than Love Inspired, I'd be content because I love my work with them, I love my readers, and anything else was bonus... And I meant every word!

    But then my indies flew off the shelves and people noticed, so was that God's timing, accident, coincidence? Who knows?

    But I know I love using this talent, the gift my Mom never got to use, and it makes me smile every time I see that name on a book cover, because she would have been over the moon over all this.

    And honestly, that would be enough. (well, paychecks are nice!!!0

  75. CONNIE!!!

    I love this. I love you. I love that you asked. I love that you didn't die from asking!

    I had several sales jobs over the years, and in each one they stress that we can't take "no" personally.... that it just means we haven't found the right match.

    Of course with stories, it means being at the right time/strength to make the right match, but how wonderful that you followed up!

    Editors remember things like that. They've watched folks crash and burn after a book or two. They know that it takes some guts to handle criticism and change, and they honestly like when you show some chutzpah because it's totally needed! Nicely, of course, but your example is marvelous! Whatever happens, keep us/me informed! I love that you did this!

  76. Julie, I love that! Isn't it funny how Keith offered guidance at the right time, how opportunities opened (some of which you opened for yourself) and the awesome opportunities that lie ahead!

    I love that in our grown up years we are still having the time of our lives doing what we love: Writing sweet books!

    And I will be cheering that western on, my friend, I'm so delighted about it! Go you!!!

  77. Laura, I love that you're trying a bit of this and some of that... I've done the same thing, and I took advice from NYT bestseller Madeline Hunter who said "Just keep writing... you've got talent and drive and that's what it takes. Just keep writing and someone is going to fall in love with one of your books and they're going to say, "What else have you got?" and you're going to pull out a list... and it will all begin."

    She had a backlog of books when she was discovered, and ended up with her first three books being put out Boom! Boom! Boom! and she's never looked back...

    So keep writing. Keep producing. Because when the coach calls us "off" the bench, it's our job to be ready!!!

  78. Deb!!!! Aw, thank you for your kind words, you put a big smile on my face! And Deb, we've talked about this, and you know I waited until my last kid was older... he was sixteen before I started writing in the middle of the night, and that was because I knew he was going to be fine, zipping off to college, starting anew. And now he's helping run a NYC hedge fund and has a slew of degrees to his credit, and I'm crazy proud of him, and he's crazy proud of me...

    But I knew I couldn't devote the right time to writing and six kids. Some folks can, and there was a part of me that envied that a little... but it wasn't me, so we bide our time! And in God's hands there are no mistakes, my friend. When the time is right, you'll know it. He'll show you. And you'll be like "Ahh.... now."


  79. SUSAN!!!! I'm so glad you found the time to stop over, and I loved your reviews! Thank you so much, that meant the world to me!

    And I'm tucking your name in right now, it's absolutely fun to hear a story you've read being told to us like we're kids... and I can totally see me popping these in while I'm working outside, and dwelling in the cadence of the written/spoken word!

    And I just found out that Home on the Range and Back in the Saddle are both being picked up for audible versions!


    How wonderful is that?

    Happy dancing in upstate! Thank you, Susan!

  80. Jeanne, audio books are a lovely addiction! Safe to drive with and while habit forming, they don't kill brain cells!


    And thank you for your gracious words... It means the world to me to see those kind words and for us to know we're all in this together... and that's how it should be.

  81. Myra, that's exactly right. And I spun a lot of wheels for a while, and I was stubborn: SHOCKER!!!!!

    But then the light dawned and I realized that I loved both shorter and longer fiction and my dream was to do both.

    So that part is awesome, and I have to say that I'm enjoying each one as much as the other. I just plain and simple love to write!

  82. BARB SCOTT!!!! I didn't know that, I am over the moon happy dancing for you! With you!!! That is awesome news!

    We'll be on the shelves together, Barb.... Oh, happiest of happy days!

    And I remember that you were working on it while I was praying for you, you told me, but didn't say for who or what... well, they hadn't announced as yet, so I was "mum", too!


  83. ANNIE! Do you love, love, love that cover???? Like... SIGH....


    And I'm in love with my LI August cover, too, the art team captured this new and unexpected family perfectly. SWOON...

    But Nick... and Dakota.... just grabs your heart, doesn't it? Kelly Woodward, Waterbrook, is a genius.

    Artistic genius. That's it in a nutshell.

  84. Jan Drexler, your beautiful writing will take you wherever you want to go...

    And I mean that sincerely! And what fun to do it together, right? I finished Hannah's Choice in 4 hours on a flight, and loved it. Your knack with Amish tales is lovely, but I sense there's more in you when we talk and chat at Yankee Belle. But wherever this takes you, your talent is amazing. And if we just write sweet romance the rest of our days, heck. I'll take that, too!!!

  85. Mary Who????


    I discovered on facebook that taking Tylenol regularly might make folks less empathetic..

    So immediately I thought Mary and I could use that as an EXCUSE for being somewhat unsympathetic snarks... Either that or we're just kind of brats.

    Either way, it's fun!


    MARY! I'm having the time of my life and grinning in upstate, but the sun's finally shining, so that could be part of it!

  86. I'm getting here very late. Any snacks left? are an amazing example to follow. My head spins just thinking of how many projects you have going at one time. That's probably why I got started so late...too shy to put myself forward. But now I'm feeling inspired!

    Just one do you keep it all organized and together?


  87. Barbara Scott! Wonderful. Congratulations!!

  88. The sun came out here yesterday and My Cowboy said, "Isn't that the bluest sky you've ever seen?"
    And it was.

    And then we debated if it WAS, or had it just been so long since we'd seen a blue sky we'd FORGOTTEN THE RIGHT COLOR OF THE SKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. I know, I was nice to you.
    It must be a very confusing time for you, Ruthy.

    Also I have a cold and the Nyquil might be making me into a sloppy sentimental fool.

  90. ps there is Tylenol in Nyquil I think.

    So everyone just SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  91. PS It is news to me that I'm the queen of historic adventure (as Ruthy mentioned in this article).
    However if I am the queen you just know I'd end up saying 'off with their heads'.

    I don't think it would ever be wise to give me too much power.
    I'm bound to abuse it.

    Fair Warning

  92. Good luck in the wild west, Julie.
    I cannot wait for this!!!!!!!!

    Julie Lessman's take on cowboys. How could it not be fantastic!!!!!!!!?????????

  93. When I first saw the word "diversification," I was thinking you might be talking about writing in more than one genre. However, given how many genres of romance there are, I think that is what you're saying.

    As for me, I would love to write full-length books. However, I will gladly write novellas if there's a market for it (though I still go overboard on plotting). Speaking of which, I do have a novella coming out in about 2-3 months. It will be part of an anthology. More on that when I'm allowed to say something. :-)

  94. The cheesecake is delicious. Thank you, Ruthy.

    A way to diversify? That's easy, I'm visiting Ireland soon, so I'll grab the opportunity to use a different setting and set a novella there.

    Please enter me in the draw for More Than a Promise. Thank you.

  95. Dana, I don't! :)

    Well, I kind of do, the writing part I put first. Writing and edits. Everything else gets done when I can get to it, and I mess up... I forget things, I write myself notes and forget where I put the note, and you know what? The world doesn't end. :)

    So from my work perspective, it's writing and editing first to get things back to editors in a timely fashion... and then anything else that goes alongside.

    Dana, I think I found a groove with the 1K1HR and then when I cut my day job hours down to 5 hours/day, I was able to do at least 1 and sometimes 2 more writing sprints... So that was a big help!

  96. Germs again, Mary???? WE ARE SO DONE WITH GERMS UP HERE!!!!! Oy, after a fairly healthy winter, February through April was brutal. I'm so sorry about your cold, but the Nyquil might explain the sky color.

    Did you read the part where you're NOT supposed to drink the whole bottle, darling????

  97. WALT!!!! I'm so excited for you!!!! Dip those toes into wherever you can, my friend, I would love to read a Walt Mussel Original!


    And the big books come (if we want them to, like I said, I love writing for LI and if they were the only place in the world that wanted me, I'd be fine...) and now we can supplement income with indie books, so a writer today is in a much different place than they were even just 10 years ago. Viva la difference!

    But I do love working with all these different people and dipping into their wealth of knowledge. That part is downright amazing!

  98. Julie's staid, suit-wearing heroes are hot...

    I cannot imagine them in Stetsons.... :)

    Julie takes the Western World by Storm!!!!

  99. Ruthy, sorry to check in a day late. Just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed "Back in the Saddle." Looking forward to "Home on the Range." Yep, I love Western Romance :-)

    Nancy C

  100. Okay I can't resist. Let's make this 100 posts :-)

    Nancy C