Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Birthday Weekend Edition Week 3

Welcome to the 3rd Birthday Weekend Edition in celebration of our 9th Birthday. 
That means Seekerville is starting year TEN! Every week we have a fabulous giveaway  ($50 Amazon gift card or a Kindle Fire) and on November 5 we'll draw for our Grand Prize, an iPad mini. 

Tina Radcliffe's most memorable birthday present.

This week we're talking birthday presents. What was your most memorable one?  Leave a comment today for your own Seekerville birthday giveaway. For one reader a surprise package of books. For one writer the Descriptive Thesaurus book of choice in print or ecopy.

 We Have Winners

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

This week's birthday winner of a Kindle Fire is Angela Couch.

Winners of a birthday surprise book package is Jeanne T. Winner of Janice Hardy's Understanding Show, Don't Tell: And Really Getting It is Wilani 

Ever felt like your writing life was a wasteland? On Monday Missy Tippens gave "9 Tips to Survive a Writing Dry Spell." Cindy W is the winner of a beautiful pocket journal!

 Myra Johnson was your hostess on Tuesday with "9 Tips for Growing Your Writing Skills." Are you utilizing some of the most effective methods for improving your craft? Kathryn Barker is the winner of The Oregon Trail Romance Collection: 9 Stories of Life on the Trail into the Western Frontier (including Myra's novella, Settled Hearts). 

Wednesday we joined Julie Lessman in a fun interview with her Revell editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont, as she picked the brain of one of her favorite people in the industry. Suzanne Baginskie is the winner of a paperback or e-copy of Lonnie's delightful new memoir, Kit Kat and Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl's World and a three-book giveaway from Julie. NOTE: Lonnie wanted me to let each of you know that she read every single comment, many of which touched her deeply. She asked me to express her gratitude to everyone, remarking, "What a marvelous bunch."  I couldn't agree more!

Thursday Ruth Logan Herne showed us how making bullet points about your story saves you time... and revisions! Tanya Agler, Fedora and Sally Shupe are the winners of her 4 1/2 Star "Top Pick" new Double S Ranch story "Home on the Range."  

You asked and we delivered on Friday! Folks wanted to know about income tax + writers so we invited the lovely and talented Jean Gordon to come by. Rachael Koppendreyer is the winner of an e-copy of the first book in her Team Macachek series: Mending the Motocross Champion and Barbara Scott is the winner of the paperback version!

Saturday Glynna Kaye joined us for "5 Steps To Getting Your Writing Goals Back On Track." With only a few months left in 2016, what can you do to ensure the year doesn't go out on a whimper because you've wandered off the path? Trixi, Kathy Bailey and Tracey Hagwood are winners of her hot-off-the-press release, "The Pastor's Christmas Courtship."
Next Week in Seekerville

Monday: "Conflict: Roadblocks to Your Character's Happy Ending" with Janet Dean. She's also giving away a Seeker ebook of choice away to one commenter.

Tuesday: Seekerville is thrilled to have Terri Reed join the birthday celebration. Her post is "9 Ways to Develop Story Characters." Terri brought a mega-birthday surprise that includes her heartwarming holiday release from Howard Books, A Family Under the  Christmas Tree, and her latest Love Inspired Suspense release, Identity Unknown. 

Wednesday: Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Debby Giusti will talk about her writing journey with "9 Tips in 9 Years." Be sure to stop by and leave a comment. Debby will be giving away a copy of her latest release, PLAIN TRUTH, and a surprise gift!

Thursday: Literary agent Amanda Leuck from Spencer Hill Associates is our special guest with her post, "9 Tips for Querying an Agent." We're giving an Amazon gift card away to one commenter in honor of Amanda's visit!

Friday: Seekerville is delighted to welcome Misty Beller today. Her post is "9 Steps to Market a New Book Release." Misty is bringing a terrific giveaway, the first three books in her Mountain Dreams Series for one commenter. Don't miss this!

Saturday: Tina Radcliffe is your hostess with her post, "The Real Story: How 13 Writers Left Unpubbed Island." She's going to take a walk back to Unpubbed Island and share the Seekers' first sale stories. Plus, she's cleaning out the prize vault today! So don't miss it!

Sunday: The Weekend Editions are on Sundays in October. We'll announce our weekly winner in the WEEKEND ED.  
Seeker Sightings

Mary Connealy featured on the cover (and inside) Family Fiction Magazine, October issue. Get your free copy here. 

Registration for the Southwest Valley Writer's Conference is open! Tina Radcliffe is speaking! Details here. 

Want to win a book and join the fun?! RSVP for Ruth Logan Herne's Facebook party for Home on the Range!

Don't you love a good sale??

Get caught up with Paradise and all your Love Inspired series favorites.

Random News & Information

Thanks to everyone who sent links!

It's that time of year when we ask you to please consider nominating Seekerville for the 18th Annual Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writer’s Award. Send an email to with “101 Websites” in the subject line. We are an Inspirational Romance Writing Community.

Do you love reading romance? Have your voice heard and share your reading experiences with us. Join our reader panel today!(Romance Insiders Presented by Harlequin & Avon)

How Your Narrative Distance Affects Show, Don’t Tell (Fiction University)**

Christmas is coming. Check out Storied Jewelry by author Ginny Yttrrup (Etsy)

 How To Format a Fiction Manuscript [YouTube] (Jill Williamson)

Contests: A Non-Traditional Route to Publication (WD)

 STEAL THIS PLOT: 50 Plot Ideas from Victorian and Regency Novels (Bryn Donovan)

 Inkitt Posts Author Contract Online in Act of Transparency (DBW)

 Authors: Do You Have the Perfect Pitch? (The Book Designer)**

 The Successful Author Mindset (The Creative Penn)**

Classified! Does the Bestseller Code Divulge its Secrets? (The Future of Publishing)

SMP Launching Crossover Imprint, Wednesday Books (PW)

10 Things Every Writer Should Know About Amazon Publishing (WD)**

How to Train Amazon to Sell Your Book [video] (Chris Fox)**

Short on time? Read ** first and come back later to finish the rest! Have a great Sunday!


Jeanne T said...

Congratulations to the winners! Though this past week was my crazy week (anniversary trip with hubs for a few days, and coming home and jumping back into our busy boy schedule), I so enjoyed each of the posts! The information you guys share here is so valuable! :)

I was trying to think of my favorite birthday gift.I think one of my faves was my first birthday after I married my husband. He wasn't sure what to get me, so he took me shopping. It was not some priceless gift, but the time spent together was a gift in itself.

I'd love to be in the drawing for one of the Emotions Thesaurus books!

Thanks again for all you ladies do!

Dana R. Lynn said...

Congrats to all the winners! How exciting all those lovely prizes are!

My most memorable birthday gift? Hmm...I don't even remember if this was exactly a birthday "gift", but it was the product of one. When I was in junior high, I wanted a typewriter. (Sorry, no one owned computers in 1984 where I lived.) Anyway, I had written my first short story, and it was pretty awful, but I was proud of it. My parents had gotten me a Brother's typewriter, but I didn't know it until my mom handed me a perfectly typed out copy of my story. That she had taken the time to do that meant the world to me. And it also made me feel good to know she had faith in my writing.

Marianne Barkman said...

I'm not sure this was my favorite birthday gift, but I got a singing teddy for my fourth birthday complete with a letter. I still have the teddy and he still sings!
Congratulations to all the winners.
And TINA, what a delightful WE. You go over the top!

Sarah Claucherty said...

I once got a huge dolphin balloon from my mom and sister for my birthday. Imagine answering the door and being greeted with a 2-foot long dolphin full of helium. Favorite animal, so it was awesome :)

Congrats, all ye winners!

Terri said...

Congrats to all the winners! October is so much fun in Seekerville.

Tina, I've got to ask. Do you still have that doll?

My favorite birthday gift, let me think. The first Norman Rockwell Museum figurine I ever received. It was called First Prom and I still have it. Plus a whole lot more. I still love the Museum figurines.

Shanda Miller said...

Congrats to the winners!
My most memorable birthday gift was just a small amount of cash in a card. I had no money for extras, and the card said for me to buy myself some books. It was unexpected, from a friend in another state. :)

Cynthia Herron said...

Whoop! Whoop! Congratulations to all winners and to Seekerville starting YEAR 10!!!

My most memorable birthday present was a (topaz) birthstone ring from my nana for my 13th birthday. And yes--I still have it. :-)

Melissa Jagears said...

Well, for my 13th birthday I got Lori Wick's Whatever Tomorrow Brings. My first Christian Historical Romance, completely at fault for my love of the genre. Pretty memorable, I'd say.

Better than my 6th birthday. Don't remember what I got present wise, but a cousin was born 5 days before, he came home on my birthday party as colickly as all get out, and when we sat down to eat my birthday cake and blow out the candles, I was quickly forgotten at the table with all the women trying to fix him. Grandpa finally came over, leaving the cranky baby mess to the women, but yeah, the colicky newborn taking my attention was probably the least appreciated gift I got. :P

Dana, I love that your mom typed up your story, that's such a big awwwww.

Carol Garvin said...

Congrats to all last week's winners! I haven't taken time to comment very often during this celebratory birthday month, but I'm sure enjoying the daily posts.

I'm trying to decide which of two particular birthdays were my favourite. The truth is, I don't recall anything about either birthday except the gifts that made them memorable. That makes me sound greedy, I know! I think my fourth birthday was the most special because I received a very life-like stuffed cat. It had the kind of eyes that seemed to be looking at you no matter where you were in the room, a tawny-coloured plush coat and a long, swishy tail. I loved it as if it were a living pet. It looked so real that when friends came to visit and saw it lying on my bed or on the couch, they would speak to it and reach out a hand to pat it. I kept that cat in pristine condition and it was just a few years ago that I finally donated it to a rummage sale...a 65+ year old toy that still looked new, despite how much the child in me adored it. :)

Mary Preston said...

Congratulations everyone & looking forward to the week ahead.

Cindy W. said...

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you so much for the pocket/journal I won. Yay!

One memorable birthday gift was when I was office manager of a KMart years ago and a couple of my girls were out sick. I stepped in and worked the entire accounting cage by myself. Late in the afternoon, my dear boss knock on the door and when I let him in many of my co-workers came in singing to me. He then gave me a birthday gift a Heaven Scent cologne set. He knew it was my favorite at the time. I felt blessed.

I've gotta rush to get ready for church but will be back later to check out all the links.

Thanj you again and Happy Birthday Seekerville.

Cindy W.

Bettie said...

Happy birthday and congrats to all the winners. Hey, I remember Chatty Cathy! Are we dating ourselves?

The most fun I ever had with one of those dolls, that I got for a birthday, was learning to sew by making them clothes from grandma's scrap cloth collection. Grandma also introduced me to my first Christian romance book when she shared her Grace Livingston Hill collection.

Bettie said...

Happy birthday and congrats to all the winners. Hey, I remember Chatty Cathy! Are we dating ourselves?

The most fun I ever had with one of those dolls, that I got for a birthday, was learning to sew by making them clothes from grandma's scrap cloth collection. Grandma also introduced me to my first Christian romance book when she shared her Grace Livingston Hill collection.

Wilani Wahl said...

Congratulations to all the winners.

Tina, I had a Chatty Cathy doll and i loved her.

My most memorable birthday was when I left for Africa as a missionary. There was a huge crowd waiting with me in the waiting room from my church. Having then sing Happy birthday to me was so special. My oldest nephew who was 2 kept saying. Aunt Wilani come back in June,

Today is a celebration I am going to be able to attend church for all the services today.

Please enter me for the thesaurus.

Kate said...

My most memorable birthday would have to be when my students threw me a surprise birthday party. It was so special!

Congrats to all the winners!

Dana R. Lynn said...

I'm going to add a different favorite birthday gift. Right after I was born, my father bought me a teddy was orange with a white belly. I carried that thing everywhere once I could walk. It is now missing its button nose and one eye, but I still have it forty plus years later.

Jackie said...

Congrats to all the winners!

Tina, thanks for another great WE and great links!

I hope you all have a blessed day!

S. Trietsch said...

Happy birthday Seekerville! My favorite birthday gift was a digital watch. Dad told me that I had to learn to tell time on a "regular clock" before I could have a digital watch. I've always been motivated by a line in the sand. The watch had a blue band and on the side of the white face was a silver button that, when pressed, threw light onto the deep red window. The time was crafted from electronic eights and I loved it!

Second one was a find. For my 8th birthday we went to a nearby park (Huffine's). My friend Charlotte and I had groovy, matching bell bottoms on as we strolled the park's paths. I saw something shiny in the dirt. It was a silver barrette in the shape of an 8! I'm sure it was meant to be an infinity but I took it as a sign that my eighth year would be great!


Rose said...

My favorite birthday gift growing up? The sound track album to Elvis's movie Roustabout or a Cinderella watch.

Looks like another great week coming up!

Congratulations to all of the winners.

Just Commonly said...

Congratulations winners! Happy Birthday, Seekerville! Great to see Mary in Family Fiction!

My most memorable birthday gift? It would be a handmade card from my sister when she was about 10. She wrote some funny rhymes in there. She wanted to preserve the pages, so she plastic wrap each page. It was funny. I still have it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great weekend edition Tina and I'm with Terri, please don't tell me you still have that doll. chuckle. Of course it is probably really valuable if you do.

It kills me to go to antique stores and see all the stuff I had as a child and nowadays stuff I had as an adult even. LOL Saw my Franciscanware dishes and when I saw the price, I told my niece to grab my dishes when I die and sell them and go on a cruise. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Marianne, you still have the teddy that sings??? You women are amazing. You must not move a lot. I moved every year so never collected much of anything.

Megan Besing said...

Memorable birthday gift..there's a picture of a littler me who looks super excited when she unwrapped a fishing pole...but the ones I actually remember are the years mom and I just spent the whole day shopping and got our favorite cookies from the mall.

Deanna Stevens said...

Congrats to this weeks winners!
My favorite gift.. A saddle for my horse.. bareback was fun but a saddle made it the best!
Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Dana, I agree with Melissa, what a sweet thing your mom did for you. And a typewriter. Yep, you were born to be a writer. smile

And Melissa, I agree, not a fun birthday memory with a collicky baby. Good for Grandpa.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Wilani, I love that they all sang to you when you were leaving as a missionary. I bet that was some experience. And what a blessing that you can attend all the services today. God is good. smile

Megan Brummer said...

When we were little kids, the rule in our house--for safety reasons, of course--was that you could not have chewing gum until you were four years old. I remember begging to try even just a little piece and imagining what it tasted like and felt like, but Mom stuck to her rule.

So, on my fourth birthday I got a candy tin full of all different kinds of gum! Bubble gum, sugarfree gum, sticks and dots and gumballs, all different flavors and sizes and textures. It was the most amazing thing!

So, Happy Birthday again Seekerville! I'll blow a bubble for you today!
And congrats to all the winners :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

I can't believe all you people that still have stuff from your childhood. Dana and Marianne have a teddy bear. Terri has a figurine.
Can't even imagine keeping stuff that long. But then, like I said, we moved a lot.

Deanna, I love that you got a saddle. Now that is really practical.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Megan, Love the bubble gum. I can see how a child would really delight in that. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

My favorite gift was for my 40th birthday. Hubby took me on a sailplane ride over Lake Tahoe. It was amazing and I wasn't even scared. It was so quiet. And beautiful. I felt like a bird.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Just commonly, I love that you remember a homemade card. Our family has a tradition to give homemade gifts for Christmas. I love that. You have to be creative though. Having some published books now helps. I can give those away since I wrote them. They make great gifts for any occasion. And my family knows that is what they will get. chuckle. Good thing they like my writing style.

Caryl Kane said...

Congratulations to this weeks winners!

My favorite birthday gift is spending time with those I love.

Have a wonderful SON-day!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Happy Sunday, Seekerville!

I do not still have my doll. I am not a keeper of things, although there have been times I realize I should have saved a few things to get rich on ebay.

Passing out birthday favors today. Enjoy. Have a wonderful day!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Haha! Sandra, we are like minded. I have gone into antique stores and seen Fiesta Dinnerware and Pyrex bowls for sale for a fortune.

My life is now an antique.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh my gosh, I am loving all these birthday memories!! Thank you all for sharing. (Now I am craving bubble gum, btw)

Mary Connealy said...

I'm trying HARD to remember a birthday gift.
A Christmas gift came to mind and it was a big part of me falling in love with My Cowboy.

But birthdays............well, I have had a LOT of them.

I had a few good years when my girls first started growing up. They picked great gifts, My Cowboy paid. It was a match made in heaven.

But they all seemed to calm down now.

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Lawson said...

Congratulations to the winners.
I think a special birthday gift came from my grandmother. She believed in reading so she started my Honey Bunch series by giving me the first 3 books. Then she started my first charm bracelet with the charm circle that
was inscribed with 'Be My Honey Bunny'.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Congrats to all winners! I'm delighted to win a copy of Glynna's book, thank you!

My favorite childhood birthday gift was the party itself. My birthday is in April and frequently falls near Easter. One year between maybe 6-8 yrs old my mom gave me an Easter egg hunt party with tons of neighborhood kids. Whoever found the most eggs won a prize. When they had all been counted I was the winner! I won this furry thing that you could wind around your arm. I was more excited about that little item than my actual presents. My introduction into prize winning, maybe why I still enjoy it here at Seekerville, lol.

My favorite adult present was from my two daughters. They gave me a mother/daughter weekend beach trip. (I had given the family several beach vacations as gifts, so they tapped into their memory of how much they loved the vacation presents they'd received)It wasn't the gift so much as they were paying attention to what they knew I'd like. The most meaningful gifts, no matter how small always do this. One year my grandson (4-5 yrs old) bought me a pair of earrings from the dollar store. He had played in my jewelry box and knew I liked them. Even at the age he wanted to make me happy. I wore them with pride, and yes I still have them, in a little box with all the other treasures he's given me, may be a few rocks in there too :)

I look back at all I've written and have to apologize for being so "wordy". Memories are my thing and this question stirred all of them up.

I've enjoyed all the answers, I'll be checking back to read more, but if I don't leave now I'll be late for church!

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Happy birthday, Seekerville!

Congratulations to all the winners!

My best gift was a Bible. God is good!

Please enter me in the reader drawing.

May God bless all of Seekerville!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Mary Lawson. My grandma called me her Honeybunch. Must have been a termed used in those days. How sweet that she started your charm bracelet. Do you still have it?

Jeri Hoag said...

I think the best gift was surprise 40th birthday party and they made the cake into the shape of a book. I love this blog so much! Thank you for all of the wise and caring advice for writers.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awww Tracey, Don't apologize. WE loved hearing about those sweet memories. Every year Mom used to take me and my sis on a "girls weekend" trip. It wasn't for a gift, but it was so special to have that time together. I treasure those memories too.

And grandson things? When my mom passed away we found a bunch of silly treasures like that given to her by her grandson. Made us smile through the pain.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Phyllis, Yes, God is good and a Bible. Wow. That has to still be a treasure.

Jeri, I love the idea of a cake the shape of a book. How could you eat it though????

Sandra Leesmith said...

Tina, yes, I guess we are antiques. Me way more than you. You're still a babe compared to my years. But hey, who's counting? LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Mary C. Your cowboy is a true hero. smile

Terri Reed said...

Lots of fun prizes and happy winners! I so appreciate all the links to read. Whew. My most memorable birthday gift was in the early 70's, a purple stingray bicycle with a sparkly purple banana seat and butterfly handlebars with purple and white streamers. I rode all over the place on that thing and thought I was so cool. LOL

Chill N said...

How about just one big CONGRATULATIONS!

Janet, I'm looking forward to your post Monday. Conflict is not my strong point.

Tina's Chatty Cathy resuscitated the memory that I received a Tiny Tears when I was in elementary school. One of my best gifts ever, although I was an adult, was electric hedge trimmers. Trust me. There were a lot of hedges :-)

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Nancy C

Cate Nolan said...

Chatty Cathy - such memories. My favorite birthday doll was Louisa from The Sound of Music . I took her everywhere.

Great WE and the lineup looks great for next week. I'm sorry I missed most of this week. Testing week at school and crazy busy so no internet access.

Love next week's lineup!

Cate Nolan said...

Sandra, the only thing I still have from my childhood is my Happy Hollisters collection. Guess that's fitting.

Debby Giusti said...

Congrats to all the winners!!!

October is passing much too quickly. Can we slow down time and just keep the party going?

May I have a slice of birthday cake?

Hugs to all!

Debby Giusti said...

A writing friend "planted" 40 flamingos on my front lawn for my 40th birthday. She was a trickster, as you can imagine, so I turned the tables. I had my daughter call her and ask if she'd seen me...that I had come home, seen the pink birds and had left the house in tears.

My friend felt so sorry about what she had done. Eventually, I called her and shared how I had out-tricked her. A fun memory, for sure.

Sandy Smith said...

I don't remember too many birthday gifts that stand out, but books were always a favorite. I got my first Trixie Belden book for my 9th birthday and couldn't get enough of those books.

Please enter me for a prize!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Terri R. I bet you really were cool on that bike.

Nancy there had to be a lot of hedges to get excited about trimmers. LOL

Cate, I can so relate to no internet access. That was me last week. NOt even any cell phone access. You just don't realize how much you use those things until you don't have any. Had to drive to the top of the hill to make a call.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Debby, Debby, Debby, what a little trickster. 40 Flamingos!!! What on earth did you do with all of them?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Sandy, I don't think I ever came across those books. So glad you had them. Great memory.

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh WOW, what a jam-packed Weekend Edition!! Still working on edits(second read-through today), but will definitely need to come back when I'm finished and check out the links!

TINA -- Too bad we couldn't have foreseen eBay collector prices when we were in grade school. Barbie could have remained in her box. :)

CatMom said...

Great WE, Miss T!! CONGRATS to all the winners!!

Awww, seeing that "Chatty Cathy" doll made me smile! I never had one, but I did have (actually still have her!) a Patti Play-pal doll I got when I was 5 - - best present ever!! :) She and I were the same size (at that time, LOL) and she wore my dresses (all lovingly handmade by my Mama). Sweet memories!

Happy Birthday, Seekerville!! :)
And since it still feels like SUMMER in my Georgia neighborhood (yes, am running my AC at this minute) I've prepared a Georgia Peach Shortcake with whipped cream - - please enjoy!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Myra Johnson said...

Another week has gone by already??? What a fun birthday month we've had so far--inspiring and informative posts, great guests, and so many exciting giveaways! As GLYNNA said, I need to come back later and check out more of these interesting links!

Most memorable birthday gift? It would have to be my most recent birthday, last month. My sweet 11-year-old budding-artist granddaughter presented me with her hand-drawn renditions of heroines from several of my book covers! Just adorable!

Julie Lessman said...

AH, Chatty Cathy ... does that bring back memories!! I didn't have one, but my little sister Katie did, who definitely wasn't as "chatty" as her doll OR her big sister ... :)

GREAT WE, Tina, and SUPER CONGRATS to all the winners -- you guys ROCK!!

CATE ... you had a Louisa doll??? I'm jealous!!

WILANI ... WOW, you were a missionary in Africa??? It's fun to find out cool things like that about people we love!

My favorite birthday memory was AMAZING!! One of my older sisters threw me a surprise birthday party for my 47th birthday. Do not ask me why she chose that birthday or WHY she decided to even do it (on her own without any of my other sisters, which was odd because she was one of my least close sisters and the one who told me my 3rd book was "sophomoric" years later!). But she blessed the socks off of me by inviting every friend I had and ALL of our family (12 sisters and brothers w/ spouses, plus 45 nieces and nephews, but not all were there, of course) to her beautiful and very big home for a catered buffet dinner, which BLEW ME AWAY!!

The party itself was a total shock, having all my favorite people in the world in the same room, watching me open presents from each of them. But then on top of it, she gave me a gift certificate to a world-famous bed and breakfast in Illinois called The Westerfield House, which was featured in Gourmet Magazine. It was a lovely and quaint log cabin lit only by candlelight, where we enjoyed a 7-course meal that was truly exquisite. Keith and I then stayed in their largest room -- a stunning and very old bedroom that was served as the summer kitchen for the log cabin, with a hearth across one whole side of the room and a gorgeous four-poster bed. Breakfast the next day was equally wonderful with the owner entertaining troubador style (and garb) with funny stories and the history of this unique bed and breakfast.

WOW! Hands-down the finest birthday I have ever had, and one I will never forget!


Heidi Robbins said...

Happy weekend! My most memorable gift as a kid was my Rainbow Brite doll. I loved her!!! As an adult I loved the surprise party my husband threw for my 30th birthday, inviting pretty much everyone I know and my mom and sister drove from Utah to California to be there for it!

Please enter me in the reader giveaway! I do love surprises... ;)

Edwina Cowgill said...

Congrats to all the winners!

My favorite birthday gift was the kitchen set - refrigerator, stove, sink and oven - all in pink! It came with pots, pans, dishes and eating utensils. I cooked many a marvelous meal in that kitchen.

Angela Ackerman said...

What a lovely thing to do, giving away a copy of one of our thesaurus books--you guys are just so kind and generous--thank you!

My favorite birthday gift was a Barbie Horse with beautiful blond mane and legs that moved. That was a HUGE deal back then, those moving legs. I wasn't big into dolls, but I was HUGE into barbies!

Happy Sunday, all!


Nicky Chapelway said...

Most memorable birthday gift? Hmm... well our grandma got us a puppy for Christmas a few years ago and while it wasn't technically a birthday present we did have to wait eight weeks and didn't end up getting the puppy until the exact day of my birthday, so that was pretty cool.

That's all my tired brain can come up with for right now. I might come up with something later when I wake up some more (though judging by the fact that it is 2:30 in the afternoon I am beginning to wonder if that will happen at all today)

Here's to sleepy Sunday afternoons!

Nicky Chapelway said...

Oh! I finally came up with something! On my sixteenth birthday, which was earlier this year, my dad worked and got my book on ebook so it was now available in both that and print. I didn't have to pester him to do it or anything (actually I didn't even know he did it until after the fact) he just did it!

Tina Radcliffe said...

So many cool memories. I remember Rainbow Brite and the Barbie horse!!

Barbie horse, in the box...59 bucks on ebay.

Tina Radcliffe said...

The original Chatty Cathy goes for thousands of dollars. OH, MY!

Chatty Cathy

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Congratulations, friends! My best birthday gift was my 25th when my husband had to go out of town but planned a surprise slumber party with some of my closest friends -- just like we were teenagers again!

Janet Dean said...

TINA, fabulous Weekend Edition in our fabulous 9th birthday celebration month! Congratulations to our winners, especially to ANGELA on winning the Kindle Fire! I'll be checking out the links. Lots of good ones. Like Nicky, I'm enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon so there's no rush.

NANCY C, will be fun to hang out with you tomorrow--and the Seekers and Villagers--talking conflict!

My favorite birthday gift was a birthday party my DH gave for family and friends to celebrate my 50th birthday at a party room complete with a DJ and catered food. My brothers came from a distance, my parents, kids and all the special people who had blessed my life were there.


ohiohomeschool said...

Congratulations to the winners. My best birthday gift was when my mom surprised me with pizza with my friends. I walked in and was surprised. :-)


Janet Dean said...

JULIE, the party that your sister gave you, along with a night in that log cabin B&B, sounds amazing! Wasn't it lovely to see that the bond between sisters is stronger than you might think?


Janet Dean said...

TINA, I never had a Chatty Cathy but dolls were important to me. Does anyone remember the Ginny dolls, small dolls with adorable accessories, outfits and shoes? One doll I didn't get but admired--or maybe coveted (shame on me)--was the Terri Lee doll. A couple girls brought their dolls to school and played with them at recess. I'm not sure that I asked for the doll for Christmas or a birthday so maybe I lost interest.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, Laurie Tomlinson's husband is a keeper. Take note, men of Seekerville.

Kav said...

I can't believe we've reached the 3rd party weekend. Where did October go????? I'm trying to keep up but I have blogs to read before I sleep. :-)

My favourite birthday present???? Um....would you believe...books! Trixie Belden to be precise. I used to get one for my birthday and one for Christmas every year and that book was the present I looked forward to the most.

Happy partying, Seekerville.

Terrie Coleman said...

My most memorable birthday gift was a real playhouse built by my dad for my fifth birthday. It was about 6 feet by 10 feet and had electricity, an Easy Bake oven, a sink and some little chairs. The doorway was about four feet tall and it had three windows, I think. The little girls in my neighborhood and I had a blast in that playhouse.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

WINNERS!!!! Congratulations to you, my sweet-ums!!!!! What a wonderful week this has been... Oh my gosh, what a wonderful MONTH it has been!!!

Okay, I'm in love with the Teenster's doll!!!! Mine was "Teary Dearie", a little doll that cried REAL TEARS.... If you fed her a water bottle, or something like that.

I loved her so much!!!

We had family in town for the weekend, so this is my first time over here for the Weekend Edition, and it's amazing as usual... Thank you, Tina!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Dana, I love the story of the orange Teddy!!! It's your own personal Velveteen Rabbit!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, I'm laughing at the Franciscan dishes!!! And the niece!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

It cracks me up that the Pyrex and Corning Ware I've been using for 40 years is now a commodity in co-ops.... But the dolls and pretty Avon dishes I bought, thinking they'd increase in value someday: BARELY WORTH POSTAGE.

Who knew????

KK Absher said...

One of my favorite birthday presents was a pair of tickets to the Sting concert in Atlanta after we were married. A favorite childhood present was the set of Star Wars action figures the first year they were released. Had I kept them in the packages, they'd be worth $100K today.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


They're the best!!!!!

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks, TINA, for another great WE! I've enjoyed the birthday gift stories so much! I'm not sure I had a favorite gift (loved 'em all :-) but the birthday gatherings themselves have sure stuck with me. Anytime I'm surrounded by family - especially now that I have grown kids and grandkids - I'm one happy lady. Off to check out the links. Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Easy Bake oven! I hung with a certain friend just so I could use her oven.The food was basically awful, but so much fun.

Sherida Stewart said...

Happy ninth birthday, Seekerville! You are the best....and I have voted! Congratulations winners!

My most memorable birthday gift was the birth of my first child...the day before my birthday. I hope that counts.

Thanks for the WE, Tina! So good to see LI e-books on sale. I need to check my shelves for what I'm missing. Great week ahead. Looking forward to the Seeker "The Call" stories.

Robin Mason said...

HaPpY bIrThDaY SEEKERVILLE!!! The most memorable birthday was a few years ago. My son's then-girlfriend's birthday is the day before mine, and we had a double birthday crazy fest! Don't know what was for dinner, but our birthday cake was an apple caramel cheesecake (my son's specialty) and it was divine!! Both my sons were there, and both grand girls, and all of said former girlfriend's siblings, and niece! It was stupendous!!

And Angela, you KNOW how much I want ALL of your books so consider me entered!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Laura, I totally agree. I love getting together with family and celebrating the good stuff... and no presents needed! Just my cute kids and grandkids!

The Artist Librarian said...

Congrats winners! I started my new substitute position as a teen librarian this past week, so I'm going to catch up and read the posts I missed.

I think my favorite birthday gift was a ballerina Barbie and Kelly doll set when I was seven. :-)

Laura B said...

The most memorable birthday gift happens to be the first one I recall; a The TEMPUR-Essential Support Pillow. Three years ago my adult son purchased the support pillow as a gift without knowing I was having back pain. I appreciate his gift--even though I had no idea a good pillow would resolve my pain, for weeks to come. Mostly because I was happy he didn't give me a small appliance as he's done a couple of times before. ☺️

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Patty Jo, My mom sewed all the dresses for my dolls also. At the time I had no idea of all the time and energy she put into doing that. Now that I've tried sewing a thing or two, I'm in awe.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awwww Myra, that is so sweet. Has she read them? I was reading my mom's romance novels at that age. Skipped right past Nancy Drew. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow Julie, Now you are sounding like Scarlett. chuckle. That party sounds fantastic.

Janet, Your party sounds pretty fantastic also.

Yeah Ruthy, that is pretty funny. And you're so right about the Avon dishes versus the pyrex. Crazy. And I can picture you enjoying any holiday with your family. Your family sounds awesome and its probably because you are such a fun mom and grandma. smile

Tina, these memories are fun. What a great idea. Even though some of these things are reminding me how old I am. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Nicky have you told us the name of your book? What a sweet dad. And getting a puppy any time is super cool. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Laurie, Slumber parities with friends are the best. I do that every year with my high school girlfriends. So fun.

Becky the pizza party sounds like a blast. Pizza. Great for any party. hmmmm now I'm getting hungry.

Angela, you're obviously a lot younger than me cause Barbie horses didn't exist when I was a kid. I would have LOVED one. That sounds like a super gift.

Oh I'm so having fun reading about all these gifts. Just like birthday parties, they are making me sooooo happy.

Becca Piazza said...

Favorite Birthday Present - the complete anthology of Shakespeare printed on Rice Paper

Sandra Leesmith said...

Kav, I'm not one bit surprised. I can so relate. Loved books as gifts. Still do. And I agree---where did October go?????

Awwww Terri, what a super gift your dad built for you. A dollhouse. And with electricity. I can just picture you and all the neighbor girls having a blast. Did the boys tease and pester you? My brother used to pester me when I played with my dolls. chuckle

Laura, you are so blessed to have those family gatherings for birthdays. Most of my family is gone. sigh.

Sherida, that counts big time. A child on your birthday. I bet you two had some great birthday celebrations together. smile Maybe a tea party???

Robin, that sounds so fun. and the cheesecake sounds yummy. Now I'm hungry again. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Artist Librarian. You are in good company with a Barbie doll. They were really popular weren't they?

Laura, I'm so laughing. My mom used to have the same complaint about the gifts my dad gave her. Appliances. ha ha ha But the pillow sounds great. I got one for my knees that took away the hip pain. Go figure that a pillow can do the trick.

Becca, Where did you come across that gift? Sounds like a treasure.

Sandra Leesmith said...

KK my brother in law would die for those Star Wars action figures. Don't you wish they were still in the package? But what is the fun in that? Can't play with them when they are in the package.

Terri said...

Tina - I'm not a keeper of things either. I even threw out school yearbooks. I mean who looks at those things?

Nicky Chapelway said...

Sandra, the name of my book is A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses (I know, It's a mouthful, but hey it was my first time naming a book).

And yes my dad is sweet... when he's not tickling the snot out of me because I said the movies of Lord of the Rings were better than the books. And I love my puppy, her name is Zoey, and she is adorable.

Nicky Chapelway said...

KK, I loved collecting Star Wars action figures during my childhood. I have over fifty now, but my uncle and aunt have even more. They're my collection, and no, none of them are still in their packages.

They have been loved and played with.

Janet Kerr said...

Congratulations to all the winners! My favorite birthday present was a gift card to a bookstore!

Sally Shupe said...

Great weekend post! Congratulations to the winners, and thanks so much for my prize! My most memorable Christmas present was from my grandmother. I collect piggy banks, all shapes and sizes. I have a tennis shoe bank, an old cash register bank, a log cabin, among many, many others. She got me a huge pig bank. I loved it! Sadly, he broke several years ago.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Nicky, that title is intriguing. Did you know that most of the publishers change author's titles all the time? I like yours.

Zoey is a great name for a pup. I bet she is fun to play with.

Fedora said...

These days the most enjoyable gifts are when my girlfriends are able to make the time for us to all get together for a meal out! The most recent one was a couple years ago (?!) and we had a fabulous time splurging at Max's Opera Cafe, and indulging in some of their scrumptious desserts! Nothing like girlfriend-time!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Janet K, a gift card to a book store is a wonderful gift indeed. Sounds like one all of us would enjoy.

Sally, what an interesting collection of piggy banks. I got in trouble one time because of a giant piggy bank. I went with some college friends across the border to Mexico. My brother and dad collected pig figurines (some kind of joke between them) so I found this giant pig about 18 inches in diameter. It had a slit in the top for money so was a piggy bank. Well when we came back across the border they asked what we had to declare and I naively said " A pig" Well they were not amused. We all had to get out of the car and they searched the whole car. My friends were so mad at me. They never invited me to go with them to Mexico again. LOL

Sally Shupe said...

Oh my, Sandra! That sounds funny now, but I'm sure it wasn't then! I love my banks. But to not get invited to Mexico again, lol.

Trixi said...

Happy belated WE! I blame it on trying to read a book I couldn't connect to and finally gave up, and oh the grand-girl. NOTHING gets done with her around, except for spoiling her rotten :-)

Congrats all the winners! I can't really remember a memorable birthday present. This year was pretty special though as I was able to spend my birthday week visiting my sister-in-law and getting treated to a great lunch at Olive Garden & shopping day with her. I think anymore, time well spent with loved ones is much more important than gifts :-)

Thanks for the chance at a surprise package of books! Also looking forward to Glynna's LI book to enjoy during the upcoming holidays :-)

cynthia said...

My most memorable birthday gift was the time I got engaged. My birthday fell on an Easter Sunday, and my husband started the day with a surprise birthday party at church. By the end of the day after many different little surprises, I received the biggest one of an engagement ring and surprise engagement party with our friends and family.

Thanks for the chance of the giveaway.

Suzanne Baginskie said...

The best gift surprise I ever received was a trick at first. On my ninth birthday, my parents gave me a wrapped shoe box. When I opened it there was an old pair of my Mother's slippers inside. My young mind thought they didn't have much money with four kids and only one employed. I wasn't sure how to react. They laughed, grabbed the box from me and told me to go out to the porch. There I found a shiny new green bike with a big red bow. Boy was I happy. So this Birthday stands out in my mind.

Thanks Seekerville for all the contest goodies offered and the great columns from fascinating writers.

Rachel said...

Before we were married my husband set up a scavenger hunt all around the small town we live in. Rhymes and everything. He was waiting at the end with my present. Tickets of Phantom of the Opera.

Rachel said...

Before we were married my husband set up a scavenger hunt all around the small town we live in. Rhymes and everything. He was waiting at the end with my present. Tickets of Phantom of the Opera.

Missy Tippens said...

I'm late! I've had guests this weekend so haven't been on my computer. But I had to say Chatty Cathy was one of my favorites too, Tina! :)

Stephanie H said...

Congrats to all the winners!

My most memorable birthday was when my older sister and her best friend threw me a surprise party when I was turning nine(I think).That was so long ago that I can't remember how old I was, but I remember the gift they gave me (a Hunch-a-Bunch boy doll-it had a plush body with a huge head). Though the party was thoughtful, I never got over the reason why my sister thought I would like this doll. I kept it so I wouldn't hurt my sister's feelings, but I eventually threw it away because the doll was creepy looking.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Congrats to the winners.
Hmmm favorite birthday present...i guess i'd have to say my gift from my mom this year. The complete series of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, on DVD. :)

Susan Smith said...

Congratulations winners! My favorite birthday present was one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books. It was 1966, and I was 10 years old at the time. I wish I still had the original book but my folks sold it at a garage sale before moving out west to Colorado from Iowa 11 years later. Of course, I was in college at the time in Iowa and couldn't be bothered with something that I received at age 10. Anyway, I did get a series of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books to read to my 3 kiddos when they were growing up, and we still have that set.

On another note, Mary, I have my own cowboy that I met and married 35 years ago in Montana, and it has been quite the ride.

Susan P said...

Congrats to winners! I love reading about the various gifts. My best Christmas gift was my firstborn, a girl, two days after the holiday. I still tease her about being my best gift!

Beth Erin said...

My husband proposed to me on my birthday so that's easily the most memorable :D
Congratulations, Winners!!!

Connie said...

I distinctly remember my 5th birthday present. I was given a Tiny Tears baby doll and I loved her curly brown hair. I played with her for many years but I also associate her with the Christmas that Santa didn't bring me a doll. Since my birthday is Nov. 4th and my parents were on a limited budget, there was money for only one doll that year.

Library Lady said...

My favorite birthday gift was a pair of skates. They had a leather strap and a key and fitted onto your shoes. I still have the skates, minus the strap and the key but the memories live on.

Michelle F. said...

One memorable birthday present was my Barbie doll's R.V. It was big and yellow. I think it was brought out later after my other presents.