Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Weekend Edition

This is a Castles in the Clouds release celebration Weekend. 
Leave a comment for a chance to win one of 3 giveaway copies. 
Winners announced in the next Weekend Edition

We Have Winners

If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, phone number to claim prizes.

Reminder: If you were a lurker from a few weeks back, please claim your prize. The list is here.  

Winners from last weekend of the California Gold Rush Romance Collection are Holly Ison and Phyllis Wheeler.

Ruth Logan Herne's critique winner is Sharee Stover!

 We welcome back Bethany House author Melissa Jagears Monday, with her post "Don't Put Yourself Up a Creek Unless You Should." Time to talk etymology today. Terri Weldon is the winner of  A Heart Most Certain.

Tuesday author Keli Gwyn returned to Seekerville with her post, "Twelve Tips for Choosing Character Names." Keli is generously giving away THREE copies of her Love Inspired Historical ReleaseMake-Believe Beau. Winners are Sharee Stover, Dawn Leonard, and Nicky Chapelway.

Wednesday Publishers Weekly best-selling author Debby Giusti was our hostess. She  talked about "A Writing Process: Total Immersion." Laura Conner Kestner is the winner of PLAIN TRUTH, Debby's September Love Inspired Suspense, and a surprise gift.

 Jessica Nelson was our guest Thursday with her post "Writer Unboxed." Josee is the lucky winner of her Regency-set Love Inspired Historical, A Hasty Betrothal. Oh, and a bit of chocolate too!

Next Week in Seekerville

Monday:  Shannon Taylor Vannatter is back! She's sharing "My Diagnosis: Writing in Layers." You'll definitely want to stop by if you'd been diagnosed with the same thing! Or share your own diagnosis. Either way, a comment gets your name in the drawing for her latest Love Inspired release, Reuniting with the Cowboy!

Tuesday:  In today's post-"Those Small Rewards," Sandra Leesmith will talk about the rewards of writing and ways to motivate your production levels. As a reward for dropping by, your name will be put in the drawing for an autographed book plus a surprise.

Wednesday:   Inspired by a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, Seeker Glynna Kaye will be sharing “Rim-To-Rim: 7 Tips for Crossing the Book Canyon from Page One to The End.”  She’ll be giving away to a lucky winner an e-copy of James Scott Bell’s “The Mental Game of Writing: How to Overcome Obstacles, Stay Creative and Productive, and Free Your Mind for Success”!

Thursday:  Cara Lynn James is your hostess. Do stop by to chat with Cara over a cup of java!

Friday: The Best of the Archives: "Pam's Writing World," with Pam Hillman. Comments are closed on Fridays to catch up on writing and reading!

Seeker Sightings

The following Seekers will be in Nashville: Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Julie Lessman, Ruth Logan Herne, Myra Johnson, Debby Giusti and Pam Hillman. Do introduce yourself and be sure to look for them at the end of the day at the nearest watering hole.

The ACFW Awards Gala can be followed on the Live Blog. Details here. We'll be cheering for all our Villager friends and Seeker Missy Tippens. The Carol Award finalist list is here. Genesis Award finalists are listed here. These same links will have the winner lists on Sunday!

99-CENT SALE ON A GLIMMER OF HOPE!  Julie Lessman is gearing up for the release of book 2 in her Isle of Hope series, Love Everlasting, with a sale on A Glimmer of Hope, the prequel novella to her award-winning novel, Isle of Hope.  

So if you haven't read A Glimmer of Hope yet, now's a good time! It has a 5-star rating on Amazon and will give you a sneak peek into book 1 in the series, Isle of Hope, along with IOH's first chapter, so check it out HERE


PREORDER Book 2 in Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope series,  
Love Everlasting, HERE


JULIE LESSMAN CONTEST! Win your name in Love Everlasting (which will also be in paperback by Christmas) along with a signed copy! 


Random News & Information

Thank you to everyone who sent links.

Natalie Monk has contracted with Barbour to participate in a nine-author romance novella collection which has a tentative release date of summer 2017. Congratulations, Diva!

WOOT! Congratulations, Cindy Wilson on the sale of two books to Entangled Teen for publication in 2018!

Congratulations to the TARA Finalists. With a special shout out to Jeanne Dickson, Tanya Agler, Davalyn Spencer, and Laurie Wood.

Congratulations to the Orange Rose Divas. Placements have been announced! A special shout-out to Jackie Layton! For those who are not aware, this is a very tough contest.

Publishers Lunch: At Harper Christian, Becky Monds has been promoted to acquisitions editor for fiction, and Karli Jackson moves up to associate acquisitions editor.

How To Be a Good Beta Reader (Bookbaby Blog)**

Industry Eyes: Interview with Acquisitions Editor, Susan Brower (Gilead Publishing)

Don't Sacrifice Your Own Writing (Babbles from Scott Eagan)

How To Write And Market Romance With J.A.Huss (The Creative Penn)

The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising (Buffer Social)

How Napping Changes Your Brain That Makes You More Creative (LifeHack)**Vindicated!!

An Encyclopedia of Every Literary Plot Ever (Vulture)**

Publishers' Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor's Gut? (NPR)**

Instagram for Indie Authors (AME)

54 Pieces of Advice for Your Writers Conference Success (Steve Laube Agency)

How to Get Your Writing Done Every Day: The Three-Bucket System (Goins, Writer)**

Build An Epic Visual Strategy for Your Author Brand (Your Writer Platform)**WOW!

Ad Stacking, Writing Habits, Boxsets, And Motivation Through The Tough Times (The Creative Penn)**

Short on time? Read the **links and come back for the rest later.

Have a great writing and reading weekend. Enjoy ACFW Nashville and the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat!

Please grab a piece of cake on your way to the rest of your weekend and give a Happy Birthday shout-out to Ruth Logan Herne! Happy Birthday, Ruthy!


    I once ... was it Indianapolis Patty Jo, met Patty Jo because we were both in line (along with 50 other people) for the shuttle to take us to the airport to fly home!

    Don't let that happen and if you've got friends (not all online friends have shared cell numbers) tell them to find you there, too.
    It'll be a reunion of people who know each other and yet, have never seen or spoken to each other!

  2. Later at night, the bar is often the only thing open and you can get iced tea or pop, or water, you don't have to drink. We'll all be a calming influence on the place. Except maybe Ruthy....but that'll have nothing to do with alcohol.
    Uh...Julie too.
    Oh, and you have to watch MYRA every minute.
    I myself, however, am always a vision of propriety. Plus I'm semi-deaf in crowds so I'm boring to talk to. I pretty much say, "What? What? What?" That's it. Charming I'm sure.

  3. Congratulations on your release, Myra! The cover is GORGEOUS!!!!

    So thrilled for you.

    Also super delighted about Natalie Monk and Cindy Wilson's first sales. Two of the sweetest gals on the planet and hard working writers who really worked for these sales!!! Ladies, when you have a release date email me to chat about guest posting in Seekerville.

    Happy Birthday to Ruthy. 21 again, eh??

    Happy Anniversary to Debby Giusti.

    Have fun in Nashville this week folks. All you Carol and Genesis finalists, enjoy the ride. We'll be rooting at home. GO TEAM MISSY!!!

    Seekerville is still open and we'll be hitting our goals.

    Which reminds me...I have a goal to hit right now. Must go.

  4. =D
    How fun!
    I'll be (in a quick, God-thing wonderful turn of events) in Nashville though not as an attendee but a lobby lingerer at ACFW! Look for dark red hair, dimples and most likely red lipstick. ;) LOL I'd love to say hi!

  5. Congrats to Natalie and Cindy!

    Happy Birthday, Ruthy!

    I so wish I was able to be in Nashville, but it wasn't possible to do that this year. I hope everyone has a wonderful time.

    Happy weekend to everyone. We are helping our son move back to college tomorrow for his final semester.

  6. I'm looking forward to seeing the Seekers in Nashville. Ruthy, I'd love to finally meet you in person! I think I've met everyone else who's coming. :)

    SO thankful for you ladies!

    Thank you for a GREAT WE, Tina! And congratulations to all the winners!

  7. Another wonderful WE edition! Congratulations to all contest finalists and big congrats to Natalie and Cindy! What wonderful accomplishments!

    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ruthy! I salute you with my coffee mug. *clink* :-)

    Thank you for all the great links-- So much to check out!

    I've been in regroup mode since taking our baby bird to college last Friday. *sniffle* Blessedly, I've had conference prep to keep me busy. Looking so forward to seeing many Seekers at ACFW!

  8. Happy weekend and happy birthday Ruthy!!!

  9. Well, Jeanne, they're letting me out of the home for the week, but they're keeping my room on the unit ready for my return!!! :)

    I am so excited to see and meet so many people next week... At CFRR and at the Omni where I will be either hanging in the lobby during the day with the great Julie Lessman... unless I have a meeting in which case I will duck out of the lobby... And I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

    Happy dancing to be back in Nashville. Love that city.

    Did y'all know they taught me how to say "pecans" in Nashville? A cute waitress who did not think my Yankee pronunciation was one bit proper! :)

  10. Natalie, huge congrats!!!!! And hugs and congrats to the Tara and Orange Rose finalists, two of my favorite contests back in the day! Happy dancing for all of you!!!

    I jumped over and read a couple of the links... Data + editor instinct makes for unlikely bedfellows, but I've always been a numbers gal so I can see how the data might influence the purchase of a book.

    And test audiences for books!

    And self-driving cars.

    But here's the FIRST THING I thought of when I read the data vs. editor article: If you've written a great book that gets rejected, you have so many stinkin' options today that it borders ridiculous.

    There are lots of people making lots of money e-pubbing their work independently. But the key with that and with a lot of publishing, is production. Can you produce two or three books a year? Because I think you'd need to, but then you are captain of your own ship.

    This is such a good time to be an author in so many ways. Seeing and grabbing hold of the big picture is clutch so don't let "nos" and rejections stall you. Keep working. Keep writing. And every time I see an article that tells you that writing every day isn't necessary, I cringe. Because it's a job and should be treated like one... And self-discipline is huge in this business.


  11. Sandy and Tina, thank you! And 21 was such a green time... We think we know so much.


    A little friend told me this week that she knew I was 40... I corrected her and said I was 42...

    (She BELIEVED ME...)

    And then she said "I knew you were around there because you're not like other Nana's. You just always seem young and funny and so I knew you were young."

    Needless to say she has become my Favorite Child of the Week. :)

  12. There are three HUGE boxes of candy bars/M&M's on my table, waiting to be packed for CFRR in Nashville... I promised readers chocolate. This cowgirl aims to deliver!

  13. Happy Birthday Ruthy!
    Congrats to all of the winners. A special congratulations to Jackie, Natalie and Cindy!
    Wow! Myra and Julie's covers are so beautiful.
    Thanks for a great WE, Tina!

  14. Congratulations to Natalie and Cindy. Happy Anniversary to Debby, and Ruthy, you are ageless.
    Please enter me in the drawing. I LOVE this series of Myra's!
    Today I'm polishing for a couple of contests and working on synopses. Yes, they're hard, but no harder than writing the book. Sigh.
    I hope everyone has a good time at the conference. Next year in Nashville (or wherever).
    Kathy Bailey

  15. RUTHY, you give your readers chocolate? Maybe I should switch to being a reader. Well, I'm about halfway through "Her Unexpected Family," guess that counts.

  16. CHOCOLATE. I live about 20 minutes from a Lindt factory outlet. I also like Russell Stover and Whitman's Sampler. Prefer dark chocolate but will happily eat milk chocolate if there's nothing else available. I like Lindt's 70 percent cocoa bar, and on the down market side, I've been mildly obsessed for about a year with the Milky Way Dark bar.

  17. For the synopsis, one of the tools I'm using is an old post of Myra's from 2013.
    She tells how to break it down into central character set-up, summarize your plot, and "black moment." I took my synopsis and color-coded the three recommended sections, so I could see what I had. What fun!
    Still working on synopsis in NH

  18. Great WE as always Tina! Congratulations to all the winners!


    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  19. TINA, wonderful WE, as always, my friend!! And, MYRA, I'm with Tina -- LOVE the cover of your new book and goes without saying I'm gonna LOVE the inside too!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTHY!! Pretty sure it's going to be THE BEST ever for you, my friend, so go crazy!!! And looking forward to hanging with you, girlfriend, but keep in mind I WILL be drinking lots of coffee, so LOOK OUT!!!

    RUTHY SAID: "If you've written a great book that gets rejected, you have so many stinkin' options today that it borders ridiculous."

    Couldn't agree more, and what a WONDERFUL time to be an author!!!

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DEB -- how many years???

    SUPER CONGRATS TO Natalie Monk and Cindy Wilson on their first sales -- only the first of many, girlfriends!!

    AND WAY TO GO TO THE TARA FINALISTS AND JACKIE LAYTON FOR THE ORANGE ROSE! I agree with Tina -- this is a very tough contest and one I never finaled in even once, so you go, girl!!

    MARY SAID: "I myself, however, am always a vision of propriety. Plus I'm semi-deaf in crowds so I'm boring to talk to. I pretty much say, "What? What? What?" That's it. Charming I'm sure."

    LOL, Mare ... we can single-word-speak to each other because I can't hear either, but I'm thinking of learning lip-reading, and ACFW would be a great place to start ... ;)

    MEGHAN SAID: "Look for dark red hair, dimples and most likely red lipstick. ;) LOL I'd love to say hi!"

    Hugs and Happy Weekend!!

  20. Congrats everyone and happy birthday Ruthie! I'm coming to Nashville. Yikes! Am I ready for this?I come with fear,trembling, excitement, and awe.

  21. Thanks again Tina for your super info gathering skills! Week after week you amaze me!

    Happy Birthday Ruthy! I'm celebrating along with you today, must find some cake. I love your little friend's view of you, she knew you were young because you always seem young and funny, so cute.

    I'm applauding Jackie, Cindy and Natalie along with everyone else. Wonderful accomplishments!

    Myra's Castle in the Clouds has one of the prettiest covers I've seen this year!

    I'll be waiting for pictures from ACFW next week (so I can live vicariously through all of you) don't forget about us on the homefront! Hope everyone has a terrific, refreshing and enjoyable time there!

  22. Woo-hoo! So excited to win a copy of DEBBY's book! I loved PLAIN DANGER and can't wait to read PLAIN TRUTH! Plain Danger was truly suspenseful (I mentioned in my review that it had me looking over my shoulder in my own home because I was reading late at night and kept hearing noises) and I'm sure this one will be just as suspenseful. Thank you, DEBBY!!

    MYRA, congratulations on your new book - such a beautiful cover!

    JULIE, I loved GLIMMER OF HOPE and ISLE of HOPE, and I'm sure that LOVE EVERLASTING will be ever bit as wonderful! Congratulations!

    Congratulations to NATALIE and CINDY! I am so happy for you!

    Congrats also to JEANNE, TANYA, DAVALYNN, LAURIE and JACKIE!!

    Happy Birthday, RUTHY!!

    I won't be in NASHVILLE, but I'm praying safe travels, and a fun, faith-filled weekend for those who are going. Hope y'all have a wonderful time!! Would love to meet everyone - I have high hopes for next year.

    TINA, thank you so much for such a wonderful WE! Off to read the links!

  23. Happy Birthday, Ruthy!

    Congratulations to Natalie, Cindy, Jeanne, Tanya, Davalynn, Laurie and Jackie.

    I wanted to come to Nashville. After all it is only 6 hours or so from where I live, but just don't have the finances, hopefully another year it will work out. I will be sitting here at home waiting for pictures and news to be posted. I will also be watching the award gala online and rooting for those from Seekerville in the running.

    Happy Weekend everyone!


    CONGRATULATIONS to Natalie, Cindy, Jeanne, Tanya, Davalynn, Laurie and Jackie.

    MYRA, I love the cover of Castles in the Clouds!

    Have a wonderful time in Nashville!


  25. Wow, what an exciting weekend at Seekerville!
    Thanks, Tina, for a wonderful WE
    Happy Anniversary to Debby Giusti.

    Congrats to Cindy, Natalie, and Jackie L.
    Julie, And Myra, that cover is just awesome.
    Myra.........I want to be entered for the book, please.
    Oh, and safe travels for those going to Nashville; hope you have loads of fun. Looking forward to seeing pictures soon!!

  26. What a great Weekend Edition with all the happy news and winners and new releases and birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. Congratulations, Natalie and Cindy on your first sale!! Myra, love your cover!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone going to ACFW!! Won't be long now!

    We're having guests for the weekend. Must get some food prepared.

    Happy Weekend all!


  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUTHY!!! Hope you're treated like a queen today!


  28. SUPER CONGRATS to Natalie and Cindy W. Woohooooo !!! Debut sales. Way to go authors.

  29. Happy Birthday Miss Ruthy We were all gifted by God when you came along. Yippee!!!! Have a fun day and year dear friend.

  30. Have fun in Nashville. Wish I could be there to see you all. Know I'm praying for safe travels and wonderful networking.

    Those of us staying home, let's get lots of writing done. Yay!!!1

  31. Congratulations to contest finalists, Jackie L, Jeanne, Tanya, Davalynn and Laurie!!! And Seeker Missy!!


  32. LOL, MARY, yes, you have to watch and listen CLOSELY to Myra or you may miss her isolated, rare, and random bit of scintillating conversation!!!

  33. Thanks, TINA!!

    Adding my congratulations to NATALIE and CINDY!!! First sales are so exciting, and the memories never fade!!!

    And RUTHY--she's still claiming to be 21-----AGAIN?????

    Happy anniversary, DEBBY!!!

  34. Glad to know you'll be in Nashville, MEGHAN! Looking forward to meeting you!

  35. Thanks for the book cover compliments! Franciscan does gorgeous covers! I've loved every one of RUTHY's, too!

    KAYBEE, I'm so glad you've been enjoying my Flowers of Eden series, and I hope book 2 lives up to your expectations. It was a fun one to write!

  36. Oh, and so glad my post on writing a synopsis has been helpful, KAYBEE! I still dread having to write one. It's never easy condensing a 50-90K book down to 3-5 double-spaced pages.

    Or . . . trying to write a coherent synopsis for a proposal when I haven't written the entire book yet!

  37. You're entered in the drawing, JACKIE! I'm in love with my book cover, too! I can't believe how perfectly the FM art department has captured both Larkspur for this book and Bryony for book 1!

  38. Also congratulating JEANNE, TANYA, DAVALYN, LAURIE, and JACKIE! Great news on the contest finals, ladies!!!

  39. Happy Birthday Ruthy. May your next year bring you the desires of your heart. Thanks for being such a huge blessing to us Seekerville peeps.

  40. Huge congrats to Natalie and Cindy. Yay for first sales.

    Wishing I could get to Nashville so I could meet Seekers. Alas, budget and accrued vacation time (or lack thereof) foils my wish. *heavy sigh*

  41. Happy Birthday Ruth! And congrats to Natalie and Cindy on their contracts as well as to the winners of the contests. Wow! Lots of great news going on.

  42. Congratulations, Natalie! Congratulations,Cindy Wilson! Happy birthday, Ruth! And congrats, all you winners!

  43. Woohoo! A whole lotta celebratin' goin' on! Thank you, everyone, for the kind words and encouragement!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS, Cindy, on your first sale! Isn't it fun??? So much excitement and so much to still discover!

    Myra and Julie, your books are beautiful!

    Happy Anniversary, Debby!

    Happy happy birthday to Ruthy!!

    Jeanne, Tanya, Davalynn, Laurie and Jackie--big congrats to you all! So proud for you!

    I'm beyond excited to meet Seekers in person at ACFW I'll probably cry, but will try hard not to. This year is definitely becoming a year of dreams come true.

  44. We're excited to meet you, too, NATALIE!!! Can you believe ACFW is only a few days away??? I've been sporadically packing for the last week! Must get serious this weekend and get my stuff together!

  45. What a on derail, fun-filled, AWESOME WE, TINA. Congratulations to all the winners! And a happy Birthday, Ruthy. 42, huh?

  46. Congrats to Natalie and Cindy, Happy Anniversary to Debby, and Happy Birthday, Ruthy! Lots of wonderful events to celebrate. :)

    Nashville isn't a possibility for me but it's easy to predict that many of you will be having a fabulous time there. Have a sip of soda for me. I'm looking forward to experiencing it vicariously through your feedback.

  47. So much info in this post - love it! Thanks for all you do to help other writers. Off to check out some of those links. Happy Birthday, Ruthie!

  48. I'll be there this weekend too and can't wait to congratulate you all in person!!

  49. Looking forward to meeting you, ELIZABETH!

  50. Congratulations Natalie and Cindy on you Bol babies' contracts! Congrats a contest winners! Jackie Layton, I am so excited for you and can't wait to give you a hug! 5 more days!

    Happy birthday, Ruth! I hope it USA blessed one.

    To all our Seekerville friends heading to ACFW this week, I have been praying for you, by name where I can.

    Dear Lord and Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for your Goodness, Your Holy sacrificial love, and for being a God who walks with us every day. We are so undeserving of it and Your grace and mercy. Please be with all Seekerville friends heading to ACFW, including those mentioned above in the posts and comments. Grant all safe travels, holy introductions, and divine appointments. Help us to remember this is not only a wonderful opportunity to work and meet with other authors, editors, publishers, and agents, but it is a great opportunity to show Your love to the hotel staff, restaurant staff, and all those whom we will come into contact with in Nashville and our travels. May we be lights for Your love and glory. As writers may we be refreshed and refocused on writing for Your glory. Thank you for calling us to this wonderful profession.

    In Jesus' name, Amen.

    I am so grateful for all you ladies and gentlemen and hope to see you in just a few short days.

  51. Lovely, CRYSTAL--thank you! Adding my AMEN to your prayer!

  52. Aw, thanks! No, Tina, YOU'RE one of the sweetest gals on the planet :) Congrats to everyone else and Happy Birthday, Ruthie! So many fun things to celebrate today!

  53. Kaybee, I cannot tell you how much I love, love, love that picture. Lovely!

    And Jill, thank you!!!!

  54. Kaybee, if I lived near a Lindt store, we would be in serious buy-new-clothing trouble.

    There are none near me, and when I'm in NYC or any big city, I must stop at a Lindt store! Or a little chocolate shop. They make me so happy!!!!

  55. Cindy, thank you! You BOLDED me!!!! :)

  56. Tracey, as if I could ever forget you!!! NEVER!!

    And thank you for your sweet words!

    I'm not seeing cake in my future, but I might have to figure out a way to make it happen.

    Cake is simply RIGHT on a birthday!

    But I do have GIANT STONES in my front yard, I put them on facebook... and the front yard project continues but not today... it's over 90 degrees today and humid and we all know I'm a big whiny baby in the heat. Shame on me!!!

  57. Laura, thank you for those prayers! We will grab them and hold them close to our collective hearts. Bless you!

    And thank you, Wilani!!!!

  58. It is obviously party time in SEEKERVILLE!!!! Cake for birthdays, champagne for contracts and contests, and how about some of Debby Giusti's dipped strawberries to go with it!

    Party hats have arrived!!!!

  59. Deb H, honestly, besides the blessings of faith, family and country (well and a couple of cute dogs), you guys... my beloved friends online and offline... are those abundant blessings.

    God is good! Thank you, my friend!

  60. Ruthy is busily celebrating these first sale announcements, Natalie! And HAPPY DANCING in the streets of upstate!!! (hot streets make for fast dancing!)

  61. Aw, Sandra...


    I love you, too.

    Bless you for putting up with me all these years. I treasure the day we found each other, different as night and day and a love for God and writing! A God thing, for sure!

  62. RUTHY, too bad you live so far up north in the heat--LOL!!!! It's actually cooler down my way today! Overcast and barely into the 80s!

    Pass me a party hat!

  63. Jackie, thank you!!!! Hugs coming your way!

    And Janet, yup... the queen.... The queen made pickles.

    It sounds quite royal, doesn't it? :)

  64. So much to celebrate!!!

    TWO SALES!!!! WOOT!!!

    Yay and huge congrats to Natalie and Cindy! So thrilled for you both! Fantastic! Bet you're flying high, ladies...and you should be. We're proud of you!

    Happy Birthday, Ruthy! Not older, just better! Can't wait to see you in Nashville. We'll practice Southern phrases so you'll fit "just precious," "bless her heart," "ya want some sweet tea with those grits?" You will be eating grits. Right?

    Thanks for mentioning my anniversary. Yes, I brought chocolate covered strawberries to share! Would love a piece of your birthday cake too! :)

  65. RUTHY, be careful claiming the crown around Grammar Queen! She's always watching, and you know how she demands attention!

  66. Lots of contest winners and finalists! Congrats to all! Seeker Villagers are working hard on their manuscripts, and all the effort is paying off with recognition. More sales to come, I'm sure!!!

    Myra, that cover is spectacular. So fetching! Love your heroine. And your hero! Did your editor provide his picture or is that from you? He's dashing, as they said in the day!

    Your excepts have hooked me! Will you have copies of Castles/Clouds in Nashville? I want to buy a copy...and have it autographed!

  67. Crystal, such a lovely prayer. Thanks for covering all of us. Praying safe travel for all...and a wonderful, fun and productive conference.

    Looking forward to the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat on WED. What a special event that will be! Thanks to all who worked so hard and for so long planning the retreat! Bonnie, Annie and Carrie, you're all amazing, so talented and dedicated. Huge hugs and lots of gratitude heading your way!

  68. Laura, thank you for reviewing PLAIN DANGER! You're so sweet and thoughtful!!!

    Hope you enjoy PLAIN TRUTH! Send in your home address, and I'll get the prize in the mail.

  69. Thanks, DEBBY! I found the picture of my hero while browsing Bigstock. This guy just looked very distinguished and scholarly.

    And yes, there will be copies available at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat! Would be honored to sign a copy for you! That is going to be such a fun day! So grateful for everything Bonnie, Annie, and Carrie have done to make it possible!

    BTW, I read Plain Danger recently. Love the way you combine military investigations with Amish traditions! Great story!

  70. Thanks, Myra! I'll look forward to getting my copy of Castles/Clouds on WED! Can't wait to see everyone. I know the event will be spectacular!

    Good job picking out that hero. He had me at hello...

  71. Another great WE!!!!! Congrats to the winners! Happy Birthday, Ruthy! Hope your day has been fantastic!

  72. Happy Birthday, Ruthy!

    Congratulations, kudos, and cheers for all the winners, divas, finalists -- and special applause for Natalie and Cindy!

    Returning later to read the links ... looks like a lot of good subjects.

    Wishing everyone a good weekend!

    Nancy C

  73. Ruthy, Happy Birthday! And happy anniversary to Debby.

    Congrats to Cindy and Natalie. All these great celebrations this weekend.

    I will be at the ACFW Conference. I hope to be able to find some of you at the bar after the workshops. Thanks for keeping the Villagers updated.

  74. Myra, no, I can't believe it! So close!!! So much to do and so little time. My grandfather passed away over the weekend, so the time I had planned to use for finishing touches, I'm spending out of town. The Lord knows, though. Praying everything gets done. I've still got to pack, too. I'll say a prayer and think of you when I do. :)

    1. NATALIE, so very sorry about your grandfather! Prayers for you family.

  75. Natalie, I'm so sorry about your grandfather! Prayers for all your family.

  76. I hope all of you wonderful authors and readers have a great time in Nashville. It sounds like so much fun. I wish I could be there to meet you all and tell you thanks in person, but alas, I shall have to live vicariously though your posts and pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your time and talents!

    Congrats, Mary on your new book release. The cover is gorgeous and it sounds wonderful!

    Winnie T from Utah

    1. Wish you could be there too, WINNIE! It's going to be a fun week!

  77. Loraine and Boo, thank you!!!! I've brought fresh cake for today, because cake is a wonderful thing! White cake with lemon filling and White Mountain Frosting!!!!

    Also: For chocolate lovers some of my homemade M&M Chocolate Chip cookies.

    Reason to smile right here!

  78. Carol and Jan, thank you!!!! Here's a party hat, and the cake is to your right! :)

  79. Tanya!!! YAY!!!! I'll be in the lobby when I'm not in a meeting, Julie will be there too, we'll be pretending to WORK but really wanting to talk with people!!! So if we've got laptops out, STILL APPROACH AND HUG!!!! :)

    I can't wait to meet you!

  80. Nancy and Valri, thank you my sweet things!!! Would you like coffee? I'm happy to be your barista this morning!

  81. OH MAN!!! Is GQ here????

    I'd have never used the word "royal" or "queen" if I'd known. She's a territorial thing, that one!!!

    Myra, here's the party hat, darling, and I brought more cake... Cake is good.

    1. RUTHY, don't you know GQ is always watching? There is no escape!!!!!!

      Yummy cake--thanks! How do I look in my party hat? It doesn't look too much like a crown, does it??? Don't want to ruffle you-know-who's feathers.

  82. Natalie... I know how hard that is, that even when we know we're sending a loved one home to God, we're never really ready to say goodbye... Praying for you.

    And still happy dancing for your good news.

    Grandpa must have been so proud... or if he didn't realize your joy and success here on earth??? He'll never be blocked from it again.

    God bless you.

  83. Winnie, I hear you! This is my first conference time that's worked out in years, and having the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat was the pull to get to Nashville. These things are expensive, so I completely understand... but you never know where a Seeker or villager might show up! :) We'll take pics and giggle a lot.

    I promise!

  84. More cake? Ruthy, you're spoiling us! :)

  85. Happy birthday Ruth!!! I'm so doggone excited for Nashville! Been packing and repacking for a week! Thank you, thank you for the wins! And congrats to allllll the winners and new publications! You're living the dream!

    1. SHAREE, yes, sometimes it really does feel like a dream. So grateful for this life and this work God has given me!!!

  86. Happy Birthday, Ruthy!

    Congratulations to all the authors and contest winners!

    And thank you for the book I won! So exciting!

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

  87. So excited to see everyone at conference! Also, bless you for the article on napping. Just sent it to my husband. #lessguilt

  88. Will GQ be in Nashville? Perhaps we could meet for tea. High tea, of course!

  89. Happy WE everyone! Wished I could meet every one of you attending the ACFW, I heard there's a Readers Retreat or something beforehand. I'd SO love to be there :-)

    Happy birthday Ruthy!!!!! I'm having a piece of virtual homemade carrot cake piled with a rich cream cheese frosting sprinkled with pecans & a cup of your famous coffee to go with it. I hope you have an extra special day doing whatever you want to do!!! I knew I liked you for a reason, you share my birthday month (Aug. 9th) :-)

    Please add my name to the draw for a chance at Myra's newest book "Castles in the Clouds"....I have "The Sweetest Rain" on my shelf I'd love to add it to :-)

    Looking forward to another fantastic week with all you SeekerVillagers!

  90. DEBBY, I am going to attempt to leave GQ at home, but she has a way of sneaking in the backseat when I'm not looking. :( I'll be sure to give her your regards, though!

  91. Thanks, TRIXI! And wow, that cake sounds delicious--except at the moment I'm stuffed with fajitas after dinner with Project Guy at Chili's, so I won't bug Ruthy to share.

    Yes, the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat is all day Wednesday, and it should be a great day! Wish you could be there!

  92. Another fab W.E., TINA!

    What a beautiful cover, MYRA, for "Castles in the Clouds!"

    Congrats on NATALIE's sale to Barbour! And to CINDY W for her sale to Entangled Teen!

    AND multi congrats to Jackie, Jeanne, Tanya, Davalyn and Laurie! Seeker Villagers really have things hopping in the contest world!

  93. NATALIE -- So sorry to hear of the passing of your grandfather. Prayers for you and your family.

  94. I'm soooooo jealous of all those headed to Nashville! Have a WONDERFUL time! Thank you for praying for everyone, CRYSTAL!

  95. I'm excited about reading A Heart Most Certain! Thank you Melissa Jagears!!!

    Congratulations to Natalie and Cindy - first sales are exciting and I'm thrilled for both of you.

  96. Thanks, GLYNNA! Really sorry we won't see you in Nashville. It's been waaaaaaaay too long!

  97. Enjoy the Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat, everyone! I'm holding out hope the next one will be somewhere in the middle... Denver, anyone?! Please?! ;)

  98. Enjoy the Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat, everyone! I'm holding out hope the next one will be somewhere in the middle... Denver, anyone?! Please?! ;)

  99. Have fun!!! And Myra, I LOVE the cover!

  100. Jill, Jackie, and Natalie -- THANK YOU for your sweet comments on Myra's and my covers! That means a lot because people DO judge a book by its cover, unfortunately. :)

    Laura, BLESS YOU, you sweet thing -- appreciate your support!!


  101. Is it bad that one of the reasons I would love to become an author is so that I can join Seekerville as an author and then be able to hang out with all of ya'll? I read your comments about the conference and wish I could be there too! Yes, writing is an interest I would love to have time to pursue, but it's not my only reason. Is there a fan club that follows the authors to conferences and such? If so, I want to be a groupie! lol I know that my sister would join too!
    I really find it funny when I think about it. So many people are crazy about a singer or athlete or whatever, so they follow them to all of their events and such. Me? I would love to have the time to follow my favorite authors around to conferences and book signings. Maybe I should work that into my vacation time--allot so many days per year to meeting authors!

    Anyway, Happy belated Birthday Ruthie; hope it was great!
    Thanks for another great read!