Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Real Story: How 13 Writers Left Unpubbed Island

I love a good trip down memory lane, don't you? As we start our tenth year, we'd like to share our original call stories with you along with fun pictures and milestone events.

Seekerville began as a Yahoo Group in 2005. We were divas who kept bumping tiaras on the contest circuit. We came together with the intent to pray each other into publication. The blog itself began in October of 2007. 

A decade ago we sat on Unpublished Island waiting for a chance to sail to the mainland. We had a lot to learn! (and still do!) Besides hanging out in Seekerville, we've been busy writers. Here's a peek at our journey.


Debby Giusti was the FIRST Seeker to leave Unpublished Island. Find Debby Giusti books here.

"In the summer of 2005, I entered and won three contests where the final round judges were Love Inspired editors. Each entry received a request for submission. Wanting to meet the editors in person, I attended my first RWA National Conference, held in Reno at the end of July, where I also met Janet Dean, Myra Johnson, and Julie Lessman. It was there that the idea for what would eventually become Seekerville was first discussed. While at the conference, LI senior editor Krista Stroever shared with me that Joan Marlow Golan, the LI executive editor, was reviewing my manuscript. Needless to say, I flew home, eager and anxious about what might unfold. Three days later on August 3rd, I received “The Call.” Nowhere to Hide, my debut Love Inspired Suspense was published

A short time later, same year, 2005 at the ACFW conference in Nashville, Mary Connealy sold her first manuscript. It was released as Golden Days.  Find Mary Connealy books here.

"Every year at the ACFW conference Barbour Publishing gives a contract to an unpublished author. I was so hopeful! I had a book submitted to HP and they’d asked for revisions. I knew there was a chance it could be me. 

Tracie Peterson, the acquiring editor for Heartsong Presents at that time, called my name. I get chills saying that! It was a wonderful, thrilling shocking moment. I had to go up and get the contract, in front of 350 other writers, all clapping. A great, great moment in my life."
ACFW 2005

 Audra Harders, Julie Lessman & Ruth Logan Herne Circa 2005, ACFW Conference.

In July of 2005, Janet Dean, Myra Johnson, Julie Lessman, and Tina Radcliffe were the four finalists in the Inspirational category of the RWA Golden Heart. The Golden Girls met for the first time in Reno for RWA. Myra Johnson won with Autumn Rains which would later be published by Barbour.


In 2006 Julie Lessman sold what would become her epic, award-winning, first novel, A Passion Most Pure. Find Julie Lessman books here.

"After receiving the booby prize for the most rejections at an ACFW Conference (19 at that time), I was signed by agent extraordinaire, Natasha Kern, who actually blanched a bit when she first signed me, realizing after the ink was dry just how many times I’d been rejected. I believe the word she used was “daunting.” But apparently not too daunting for her amazing skills as an agent because she landed a contract for me within six months.

The call came—appropriately enough—when I was in the middle of praying with my prayer partners. My heart dropped when I heard Natasha’s voice, but when she said that the editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont, told her she'd never seen a pub board vote unanimously for a book before, I started crying. I repeated everything she said so my prayer partners could hear, and they were screaming and jumping up and down in the background. Lonnie told Natasha it was very unusual for an editor to call on the day of pub board, but that she was too excited not to, and that a number of the editors had stayed up late the night because they couldn’t put the book down! She said they were so excited that they actually started brainstorming taglines for me, one of which was “a Christian Maeve Binchy.” Believe me, after 46 rejections and another publisher giving me a slice-n-dice rejection the very week before, this phone call was a balm to my battered soul."

And that same year, Janet Dean sold to Love Inspired Historical. Find Janet Dean books here.

"On June 29, 2006, my agent called with the news that Melissa Endlich, Senior Editor, Steeple Hill Books, wanted to buy my manuscript Orphaned Hearts for the Love Inspired Historical romance line launching February of 2008. I was home alone and so excited I could barely contain myself. I called family and friends and told my husband the news the minute he walked in the door from work. I could barely choke down dinner before heading out with my published critique partner to her out of town speaking engagement that evening where she told attendees I’d received The Call.  

I had to wait for what felt like forever to see my debut re-titled Courting Miss Adelaide hit the shelves in September of 2008. I will always be grateful to Melissa Endlich and Love Inspired for opening the door to publication, enabling me to sail off Unpubbed Island, to my readers who have blessed me beyond measure, and to God, who gave me the gift to write for Him. "

2006 was a BIG YEAR. Missy Tippens was a Golden Heart finalist! Missy and Janet in this photo. Circa 2006.

ACFW Conference 2006
Front-Audra Harders, Camy Tang, Cheryl Wyatt.
Back, Debby Giusti, Janet Dean, Myra Johnson, Ruth Logan Herne, Sandra Leesmith, Cara Lynn James & Missy Tippens.


In 2007 Missy Tippens sold to Love Inspired. You can find Missy's books here.

 "After doing two sets of revisions for Emily Rodmell, I waited, holding my breath for that first sale I'd dreamed of for over 10 years. On January 30, 2007, I came home from the grocery store and put everything away. I made my lunch, then as I was walking by the phone, I happened to check for missed calls. Most writers memorize the NY area code: 212. LOL But I actually saw "Harlequin Books" on the caller ID!

I listened to the message. 

Then senior editor, Krista Stroever, asked me to call her when I got in. I knew they don’t call for rejections! They only send a letter for that—those letters with which I had become well acquainted. :) When I called Krista, she said they loved my story and wanted to offer a contract. She said she knew I would want time to consider the offer and told me to call her back when I decided. I stifled a maniacal laugh and acted as if I had enough sense at the moment to respond professionally. I was still in shock a couple of hours later after I called back to accept. Only later that evening did I finally gather my wits enough to celebrate! I'll be forever grateful to Emily for making my dreams come true."


Myra Johnson sold to Abingdon Press in 2008. You can find Myra's books here.

"In July of 2008, 25 years and 200+ rejections into my writing career, I learned of a new fiction line at Abingdon Press. Barbara Scott was the editor then, and she had put out the word that she especially welcomed submissions from unpublished but talented writers who had "paid their dues." I figured that described me, so right away I shot Barbara an email describing the novel manuscripts I had available. She requested one of them, and barely a month went by before she called with a contract offer for what would become my first published novel, One Imperfect Christmas. 

Sharing about “the call" on my personal blog, here’s what I wrote: "So I’m calling myself the poster child for publication perseverance. It has been a long, arduous journey, a roller-coaster ride emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I’m smart enough to realize I haven’t arrived' yet. This is just the next leg of the journey, and one I can’t wait to explore! If God has given you the desire, talent, and skill to write--or whatever He may have gifted you with--until He personally tells you otherwise, keep on keeping on. If success seems long in coming, ask God to help you see what you still need to learn, how He still wants to grow you up. Our path through this life is not about what we can achieve, but what God wants to shape us into. He is the Potter, we are the clay. Be moldable!"

In 2008 Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner for Golden Days. She is also a finalist in the Best First Book category with Petticoat Ranch.

In 2008 Debby Giusti was a Carol Award finalist with Nowhere to Hide.

RWA 2008

 L-R Debby Giusti, Lenora Worth, Janet Dean, Missy Tippens, Linda Goodnight (with RITA), Allie Pleiter, Debra Clopton, Pamela Tracy, and Merrillee Wren.

Sandra Leesmith, Missy Tippens, Debby Giusti and Janet Dean.

ACFW 2008
Myra, Julie, Mary, Cara, Janet, Debby & Darlene Bucholtz
Missy Tippens 
 Missy, Janet, Editor Emily Rodmell, Debby

Glynna Kaye sold to Love Inspired in January of 2009. You can find Glynna Kaye books here.

"Although I’d finaled or won quite a few contests with my unpubbed “chick lit flavored” romantic mysteries, in August 2008 I entered The Golden Pen contest with the first book I’d written that was specifically targeted toward Harlequin Love Inspired. By October it finaled and in mid-December, it had not only won first place in the inspy category, but finalist judge/Love Inspired Senior Editor Melissa Endlich wanted to see a full “right away, please!” With my Seeker sisters cheering me on, I frantically finished writing the book (Pam and Sandra even dived in to critique it for me). I sent it “priority” mail on January 13 and 9 days later I got an email from Melissa asking what the best time would be for her to contact me about “some good news.” Believe me, I was bouncing off the walls and thanking God when the NEXT MORNING, Friday, January 23, 2009, at 7:25 a.m. I got the long-awaited “Call!” Unbelievably, in October of that same year my first published book, “Dreaming of Home” was on store shelves!"

Ruth Logan Herne sailed off Unpublished Island in 2009. You can find her books here.

The Call came on June 7, 2009.... But I wasn't home! I was in New Jersey, babysitting a beautiful granddaughter while my daughter and son-in-law flew to Ethiopia to bring home her little brother... Two amazing reasons to celebrate. But this hadn't been an easy year... we'd lost a grandson in utero in January and it broke my heart... It was so hard to write sweet words while my daughter and son-in-law were grief-stricken. They'd moved here in the fall and had been looking for work, and then... the baby we expected in spring was gone. Just like that. In February two wonderful editors contacted me, one from Toronto, one from New York... they made it clear that they wanted to work with me and my daughter grabbed my hands and said "You've been doing this for eight years, waiting for this moment. Get to work. This is your chance. We'll be fine. I promise".  

I went through all the steps. I sent manuscripts, and I waited. Beth and Jon both got jobs that week, and that was a symbol of hope. We rode the roller coaster of emotions daily. They found a house. We got them moved. Spring blossomed all around us, despite our sore hearts. And then June rolled around... and The Call. Melissa Endlich, leaving a voice message on my phone, a voice message I have NEVER ERASED because that call changed everything. She jump-started my career, and I've been pinching myself ever since. And Beth and Jon are now the parents of four little ones here on earth... and baby Joseph, in heaven.  The darkness of that winter blossomed into this beautiful time in our lives, and we are forever grateful.

2009 is a big year! Cara Lynn James was a Golden Heart finalist! 

 Cara Lynn James left the island July 10, 2009!  Here is her call story from the archives. 

You can find Cara Lynn James books here.

Photo: Missy and Cara at the RWA gala in 2009.

Sandra Leesmith literally kayaked off the island on July 23rd, 2009. You can find all of Sandra Leesmith books here.

And here is her call story from the archives! 

In 2009 Julie Lessman was a Carol Award winner in the Best First Book category with A Passion Most Pure.

In 2009 Mary Connealy was a finalist in FOUR categories of the ACFW Carol Awards with Montana Rose, Buffalo Gal, Clueless Cowboy, Of Mice and Murder!

Photo Circa 2009: Mary Connealy & agent Natasha Kern.

Mary was also a Christy Award Finalist in 2009 with Calico Canyon.

In 2009 Janet Dean was a Carol Award finalist with Courting Miss Adelaide.

In 2009 Missy Tippens was a Carol Award finalist with Her Unlikely Family.

In 2009 Debby Giusti was a Carol Award finalist with Countdown to Death.

ACFW 2009


Agent Natasha Kern and Myra Johnson. 

Ruth Logan Herne & Missy Tippens.

Sandra Leesmith & Carla Stewart

January 2010, Tina Radcliffe sold to Love Inspired. You can find Tina Radcliffe books here.

Tina shares her call story in this archived post!

Audra Harders sold to Love Inspired in January of 2010 also! You can find Audra Harders books here.  

Enjoy Audra's archived call story post here.

Mary Connealy won a Carol Award in 2010 for Cowboy Christmas.

In 2010 Julie Lessman was a Carol Award Finalist with A Passion Denied.

In 2010 Myra Johnson was a Carol Award Finalist with Autumn Rains.

Glynna Kaye was an ACFW Carol Finalist in 2010 with Dreaming of Home.

In 2010 Pam Hillman won the Genesis. Here she is with her agent Steve Laube.

ACFW 2010

Cara Lynn James & Glynna Kaye.

Melanie Dickerson & Mary Connealy.

RWA 2010 

                                                                Janet Dean, Missy Tippens, Ruth Logan Herne, & Debby Giusti.

Debby Giusti, Missy Tippens, Michael Hauge, and Janet Dean.

Myra Johnson.


Pam Hillman left Unpublished Island in 2011.You can find Pam Hillman books here.

In 2011  Ruth Logan Herne was a Carol Award finalist with Winter's End.

Photo: Circa 2011 ACFW Gala with Carol Award finalists. Linda Goodnight, Senior Editor Melissa Endlich (back) Irene Hannon and Ruth Logan Herne.

Also in 2011, Mary Connealy was an RWA Rita Award Finalist with Doctor in Petticoats, and an ACFW Carol Award finalist with The Husband Tree.

In 2011 Pam Hillman was a Golden Heart finalist. Not only that but that year she became part of The Golden Network's Hall of Gold - for chapter members who have finaled in the Golden Heart  contest three or more times. She also finaled in the Golden Heart in 2001 and double finaled in 2004, when she took home the award. 

Mary Connealy and Audra Harders

More ACFW 2011

Ruth Logan Herne & Cara Lynn James
Debby, former Executive Editor, Love Inspired, Joan Marlow Golan & Janet Dean

Mary Connealy, Pepper Basham, Myra Johnson, Janet Dean & Cara Lynn James
Ruth Logan Herne, Audra Harders, Cheryl St. John & Sherri Shackelford


Tina Radcliffe was a 2012 Carol Award finalist with Oklahoma Reunion.

ACFW 2012 
Tina, Erica Vetsch, Mary Connealy

Missy, Mary, Tina, Debby, Janet Audra and Myra.

RWA 2012   
Nora Roberts, Debby Giusti, Debbie Kaufman


Myra, Missy, Debby, Melanie Dickerson, Audra Harders, Debby Giusti, & Mary Connealy.

Myra Johnson was a 2013 Carol Award finalist with A Horseman's Hope.

ACFW 2013

Myra, Debby, James Scott Bell, Missy and Janet.

Back row, Mary, Myra, Missy, Janet, Debby. Front row, Pam & Julie.

Missy Tippens was a 2013 RITA Award finalist with A House Full of Hope.

2013 RITA Finalist Missy Tippens and LI author Janet Dean all glamed up at the HQ pre-party for RITA finalists.

Find more RWA 2013 pictures here and here.


Tina Radcliffe was a 2014 Carol Award winner with Mending the Doctor's Heart.

Tina Radcliffe, Associate Editor Shana Asaro, Editor Emily Rodmell.

ACFW 2014       

 Genre Dinner with Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, and Debbie Giusti.   

Genre Dinner with Glynna Kaye & Tina Radcliffe.


Glynna Kaye, Janet Dean, Mary Connealy, Pam Hillman, Debby Giusti & Julie Lessman. 

Find ACFW 2015 Pictures here.

Find RWA 2015 Pictures here & here.


Missy Tippens was a 2016 Carol Award finalist with The Doctor's Second Chance.

Find RWA 2016 photos here.

Find ACFW 2016 photos here.

Once a year we allow ourselves a little pat on the back for a job well done. This is that once a year. We have been privileged -thanks to God- to leave the island, to help others off the island, to kick a few off the island, and to be here with you. And we'll keep doing what we do as long as He says so.

Thank you, Seekerville for celebrating with us! 

Leave a comment today and we'll pick two winners for a Seekerville author E-book of choice as available on Amazon. Winners announced tomorrow in the Weekend Edition.

We're giving away a Kindle Fire or Amazon $50 Gift Card every Sunday in October, and at the end of the party, all names go in the birthday hat for an Apple iPad mini.


  1. Tearing up here. Each of you are amazing and well deserving of leaving unpubbed island. You're constantly encouraging your followers, readers and writers.

    Thank you, Seekerville, for the huge part each of you played in my writing success.

  2. That was a true journey and what a fun journey it's been. And continues to be!!!!!!!!!!
    I love all my Seekerville buddies. The Seekers and the Villagers. The best place to hang out on the 'net.

  3. Happy Day #22 of the October Birthday Party. Tomorrow we announce the next weekly winner of either a Kindle Fire or an Amazon Gift Card ($50!!!) and on November 5 we announce the iPad Mini Winner.

    We have 9 more fun-filled days left. After that we're all going on a vacation. LOL.

    Enjoy this trip down memory lane. Note how some people never change (and I still like them) and how my hair color changes from year to year. hahahahaha

  4. Awe, thanks, Christina!!!

    I remember many a Villager who sailed off the island like you did, because you put in the work and didn't quit!

  5. Aww Christina, that's so sweet of you. This place is a fun and educational and uplifting party everyday online...and that's as much because of the Seekervillagers who are kind enough to hang out with us, as it is because of us.
    Thanks for being part of us!!!!!!!

  6. What an absolutely FUN post!!! I loved reading all of your "The day I got the call" stories, seeing the pictures through the years and how the seed first germinated to form Seekerville! I even recognize some of those stories as being read by me or still on my shelf (I have many older LI's).

    I've never had so much fun reading a post and smiling/cheering you on still!! Way to go ladies, keep on keeping on what God has put on your hearts to write :-) It's all for His glory!! I'm patting each one of you on the back as well.....job well done indeedy!

  7. What a fabulous testimony of God's perfect timing and His hand in your lives as your work and dreams honor Him! Thank you for sharing your call stories and your books with us!! May He continue to be glorified in your ongoing work and writing!

  8. Why Trixi and Fedora, thank you for the kind words.

  9. What a WONDERFUL post!! Loved being able to travel down the Seeker's Memory Lane and reading about your journeys. All of you are truly amazing, and I'm very blessed having your friendship and encouragement. Not to mention all the wisdom you all so graciously share with other writers. If a blog ever received a "Heart of Gold" award, it should be this one.
    With grateful hugs, Patti Jo

  10. I LOVED this. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Oh, Patti Jo. What a nice thing to say. We share kicks in the buns too.

  12. Well, Mary Preston we like you too. Faithful to show up every day, all the way from Australia!!

  13. What a fun trip down Memory Lane! Thank you, Tina, for putting it all together!!

  14. Christina, Trixi, Fedora and Patti Jo, thank you for your sweet comments. Now I'm getting all teary-eyed!

  15. GRINNING EAR TO EAR as I grab a Kleenex!

    Also Snoopy dancing, like no one's watching!

    What an amazing journey, ladies.

    I think I met y'all around 2009 or 2010 or so...
    You've been such a HUGE blessing in my life in so many ways.
    (Even named the cruise ship in my latest release Seeker of the Seas in y'all's honor!

    God is using you MIGHTILY!

    This calls for chocolate, and pralines!

    Sure hope to meet each of you while we're still on planet earth!

    Ok - Let me get this out of my system... !!!!!!!!!!!
    That should about sum it up.

    And since we are a praying group, please pray for the Joni & Friends Wounded Warrior Getaway in TX. 25 precious warriors and their families will be assembling with many of us volunteers next Saturday for 5 days. As my DH says, "It's the highlight of our year." He's so right. :)

    God bless you and all of us in Seekerville!

  16. Oh how I love this post. So much encouragement in all of your stories. It also helps elevate the hope we all have of someday getting The Call. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

    Blessings to you all today and Happy Birthday!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  17. Wow! This is your life! What a trip down memory lane. Thanks for putting together this inspiring post, Tina. What a thrill for all of you to see your accomplishments in one post. Absolutely amazing. How blessed I feel to have watched it all unfold.

  18. What a wonderful trip down memory lane that is!!!! I look back at all those years... the "waiting" years... and I know, we all know, how hard that is... but I promise you, from my perspective, it is all WORTH IT.


  19. Tina, thank you for all the hard work you put into this! It's lovely, it's a scrapbook album in a blog!

    Christina, thank you for your kind words. We know this is a tough biz... we live it daily... but we also know it's the best business in the world. To quote my buddy Lenora: "On the worst possible day I still have the BEST POSSIBLE job..."

    and if that means smiling and nodding and changing things up now and again... well, hey. We're writers.

    That's what we do!!! So good to see you here!

  20. You all have such amazing stories, in life and on paper. I'm glad you found each other and formed Seekerville. You've set a great example in persistence. You never gave up! Happy birthday everyone!

  21. Trixi, Fedora.... Patti Jo.... Mary Preston.... You guys bless us all the time. I hope you know how important that is to us.

    Without the villagers, writers and readers, there'd be no reason to have a blog... You make all the difference.

    God bless you all!

  22. Loved this walk down memory lane, Tina. Loved the pics.

    One small detail. I was the first to sell. Okay, that's my claim to fame. :)

    I sold in AUG. Mary sold at the ACFW Conference held in Sept. Mary had judged my winning manuscript, first-round, in the Touched By Love, which I won at RWA 2005 and then I got the call three days after the end of the conference. (I didn't know Mary at that time.)

    The ACFW 2005 Conference was the first time I attended ACFW, and I watched Mary (I met her there) stand as they made the announcement of her sale. Yay, Mary.

    My sale in July of that year was and is the only time I've ever beaten Mary at anything. :)

  23. Wow, this is all great. Super encouraging. Huge congrats to you all!

  24. I want you to know that these pictures made me nuts and finding them made me nuts (I've had a few computers in 10 years and they were spread all over my hard drive!).

    So all errors are mine and Blogger's.

  25. Congratulations to those who have left "Unpubbed Island". To those who are still waiting, may the wait be over soon!


  26. What a fun post! Congratulations to the thirteen of you who joined together to help each other and made if off unpubbed island.

    Myra, I bought that same dress you're wearing in the 2005 picture. I still have it and almost wore it to a dinner this week, I can't believe it's 11 years old.

    All of us blog readers are so blessed to read your books and to absorb your advice on Seekerville. Thanks for all you do, and happy birthday!

  27. Take a bow ladies of Seekerville while we give you all a standing ovation!!!

    That was a delightful stroll through "the call", signings and awards, representing all the years of hard work I know each of you put into making your dreams come true! What an inspiration you all are!

    Thank you for the wonderful books I've enjoyed write!

  28. Fabulous! Simply fabulous. I love this post. Seekerville is a family and one can really see it here. I love reading the stories and seeing the photos! We can see all the hard work and prayers that y'all did. Thanks for sharing with us!

  29. Love, love, love this!

    It's always so much fun walking down memory lane. The Seekerville ladies deserve all the accolades they've received because they are TERRIFIC writers and WONDERFUL people!

  30. KC, what an honor to have a ship named after the blog! Thank you! :)

  31. Tina, bless you for finding all the old photos! I need to save some of these to make sure I have them, too.

  32. We are a ship now!!! Sailing the seas to ..... Love this K.C.

  33. Love this post! Had to go grab a kleenex before I finished. Thanks for putting all this together. What a great trip down the call lane. I so appreciate this blog and all your hard work. Your love for writing shines through. God bless you all! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your journey.

  34. What fun to look back at all of your successes. Great inspiration. May you be blessed with much ore!

  35. Well, this was inspirational. I guess I relate most to Myra's story, I've been 25 years with -- no, I don't count the rejections, but it's no small number. I've never worked this hard for anything. We do need to keep going until He tells us to stop.
    SALLY, I agree, I feel like crying too. For happy.
    Kathy Bailey

  36. This post was so much fun to read. And moving, too. I teared up a couple of times. And laughed out loud a couple of times. You lovely ladies are such an inspiration.

  37. A big THANKS to Tina for putting this post together! Wow, it is just fantastic and I loved it. You lovely ladies are such a blessing to us readers, and I am so thankful for the wonderful books you have written as I am an avid reader!
    Blessings on all of you and YAY for many more books....Seekerville is the best!!

  38. Have a fab day in Seekerville everyone.
    We're going to, I hope, have a "date" Saturday.
    I'm READY.


    Thanks for the coffee, Ruthy. I need some this morning.
    It's 37 degrees! YAYYYYY!!

    It's fall, y'all! WOOT!

    Tina - once again you outdid yourself. Terrific terrific post. Each of you must be so very proud, in a good way. It's so encouraging for those who are still working away. I pursued the indie route but you Seekers are inspiring and so knowledgeable on many, many things I need to know and things I don't know I need to know until I read them here. :)

    Missy & Tina - not many will know the reason for the name, but we do. Love infusing stories with tidbits like this. As May says, we don't have to tell EVERYTHING we know, right? We're incognito most of the time.

    Debby - I'd be clarifying too. Mary *is* formidable, especially with the cows. Bwaahahahahaa. Southern girls rawk!

    Loved seeing all the fru fru attire and genre outfits too.
    REALLY hope to get to ACFW some fine day.

    Well, off to feed the menagerie.

    Have a wonderful Happy barkday Saturday celebration.

  39. This brought a HUGE smile to my face! It's inspiring and motivating especially given since I just found out I'm a finalist in one of the contests I entered. No matter what comes, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on!

    God is good, and I loved reading every word of this praise report!

  40. TINA, wow, thanks for this terrific, uplifting Call Story post and for all the pictures. I'm so grateful to God for fulfilling our dreams and to the Seeker Sisters and Villagers for your camaraderie and support. The message of all our call stories is hope. Hope for publication.

    I Will always cherish the memories of being a Golden Heart finalist with Tina, Julie and Myra in 2005 and with Missy in 2006. Those were precious times that gave us hope and forged forever friendships.


  41. KC, thanks for naming a cruise ship Seeker of the Seas!


  42. I love this!! Love when dreams come true. Love how hard you've all worked!! I feel like a proud Aunt Elnora since I've know all of you for years. Just put me in the grandma suite so I can hang out with y'all. I love each of you with all my heart!!

    1. I remember when you spoke at a GRW meeting and talked about writing sweet romance. You autographed a book for me. I was such a fan girl...and all these years later, I'm still a fan girl! Plus, you're as sweet as you are talented!

  43. This post was so much fun. So glad it came out on Saturday when I had time to sit and read it in leisure. I had wondered how and when everyone sold. Also very inspiring.

    A bit confused, though. A couple people mentioned 15 Seekers instead of 13. Did you used to have more?

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    1. Two writers were part of the original group but eventually got too busy with their own lives and dropped out.

  44. BTW, the sweet, talented and generous, Lenora is who I want to be when I grow up. I keep her most recent sig line taped to my computer to remind me of what happens when you work hard.

    And because I am a fan girl

    Lenora Worth
    My books in 2016:
    Feb--Driftwood Hero--Tule
    May-Truth and Consequences--LIS
    June-Lakeside Sweetheart-LI
    July-Driftwood Bride--Tule
    Oct--Lakeside Peril--LIS
    Oct-Sleigh Bells Ring-Gilead Publishing
    Dec--K9 novella-Holiday High Alert-LIS

    I still remember going to sit in the audience at a Love Inspired author panel at RWA where Lenora Worth. THE LENORA WORTH was speaking and realizing my hero was now my peer, as I had just sold to LI. I was in faint and fall over shock.

  45. Yes. We used to be 15 Seekers, Sandy Smith.

    We are now 13.

  46. Tina, thank you for this inspiring post. Reading about the Seekers leaving the island is so encouraging. Congratulations to you all. And thank you to for this wonderful blog- I read it every day as it's crammed full of helpful advice and interesting information. And of course, there's always lots of yummy food served.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  47. Congratulations, Seekerville! (I commented last night, but the internet was acting weird yesterday so I think my comment got eaten. Apologies if you see this twice!)

    Thank you for your continued inspiration, motivation, and support. How wonderful it was to hear about everyone's writing journey! Loved all the photos and the message to persevere.

  48. Oh, WOW, Tina! You outdid yourself! I'm sitting here sort of stunned (when I should be reviewing my AAs!), looking at how far God as brought us not only on our individual journeys but as Seeker sisters.

    We'd all been on that island for a lot of years before God brought us together, each of us wondering "how much longer--if ever?" And then one by one, God set us sailing. I'd probably still be sitting on the island counting coconuts if it hadn't been for the prayers, encouragement, and kicks in the seat of my pants from my dear fellow Seekers.

  49. I love Glynna's choice of words... "God set us sailing".... So true.

    And probably the most succinct of summations!

    God is good!


  51. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. It was fascinating to read your journeys, fun to see the pictures change from one year to another! You are a superfabulistic group of authors and I'm proud to call you friends! Here's wishing you as special, awesome and fantastic day and year ahead as you all are! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!

  52. what an epic post. Seekerville has been such a HUGE blessing to me and I appreciate y'all so much. Love how you continue to pay it forward. God bless you all -- you really are making a difference.

    Also I wasn't done COUNTING!!!!

    Better anyway, Julie went up and was hilarious and gorgeous. I've have slinked up, grabbed the booby prize and hurried back to my back corner table.

    1. She turned lemons into
      Lemonade, for sure. Then won the Carol for her debut!

  54. I always love it when Ruth Blodgett stops in. She's such a nice person!!!!!!!!

  55. Did you all hear that Melanie Dickerson made the NYT Bestseller List with her five book Fairy Tale Collections. #3 in Young Adult!!!

    AND......drumroll......I was her mentor her first year at ACFW.

    So yes, I believe I deserve ALL the credit for her success. I mean I didn't actually write her books, nor advise her on them.

    But still my mentoring clearly made the difference!

  56. What an amazing trip down memory lane. The excitement was contagious every time one of us would share a call story, contest win, or even the HINT of something big coming up.

    Such fun!

  57. Oh, we have a ship now???? Seeker of the Seas??? LOVE IT!!!

    Let's book a cruise! Whoot! :)

  58. What a fun, fun, fun walk (swim? kayak? cruise?) down Memory Lane! It was delightful to reread each Seeker's call story and relive the excitement and anticipation. To think how far we've come and how much has changed since we first banded together in 2005--it's utterly amazing!

    Thank you, TINA, for pulling all this together for today's post!

  59. JACKIE, some classic dresses just don't go out of style, do they? I'd hate to tell you how long some of my clothing has been (literally) hanging around in my closet!

  60. The combination of good writing and perseverance is the recipe for success in this crazy business of Christian writing, and you display both. Thanks for sharing. Happy to be able to say of some of you, "I knew her when," and of all of you, "Congratulations."

  61. OH. MY. GOODNESS!!! I have tears in my eyes over this INCREDIBLE walk down Memory Lane, Tina -- WOW, WOW, WOW!! How long did this take to put together, my friend -- it's out-of-the-park AMAZING!!!

    Here's my first tearing up, when I read this sentence: "In 2006 Julie Lessman sold what would become her epic, award-winning, first novel, A Passion Most Pure."

    LOL ... "epic"?? "Doorstopper" might be a more appropriate word, but THANK YOU for those kind words.

    And, WOW -- 2009 was HUGE for the Seekers!!! What a blessing that was to cheer each other on!

    DEBBY AND NORA!!!! I see a prophecy in the making there ...

    Love, Love, LOVE looking at all the pics!! Uh ... not the "ageing" part, of course, but the "fun" part of a truly amazing blog!

    Thanks, Tina, for all you have done for Seekerville, my friend, and for this AWESOME glance back at nine WONDERFUL years!!

    Hugs and more hugs!

    1. Too funny about the pic with Nora. Tina, how did you find the photo?

      We look like BFFs, don't we! :)

  62. Aunt Elnora has come to visit!

    I too remember going to a conference where Lenora was speaking. Like Tina, total fan girl moment. I'm still in awe. Beauty, charm, sweetness and light, and not to mention cute dimples and a tinkly laugh?

    We love you, Elnora! :)

  63. LOL, CARA -- LOVE the title of your "Call" blog: I GOT THE CALL, BUT I MISSED IT! Sooooo glad you didn't "miss" publication, my friend, because that would have been a loss for everyone!!

    SANDRA ... you lucky dawg -- I believe your call party was the first attended by Captain Jack, wasn't it? And you and hubby actually joined a bicycle club and raced to get the feel and flavor of the staging grounds for The Price of Victory??? Okay, I'm crawling back in my dark research cave ... ;)

    TINA ... A Place Called Home finaled in 8 contests and won three??? WOW ... that's definitely a sit-up-and-take-notice for publishers, so it's no wonder you stole LI's heart. And that menu on the beach for your formal first-sale dinner??? It's making my oatmeal look pretty thin, girl!

    LOL, AUDRA ... two calls on your answering machine, one a friend wanting your hubs to rescue her chickens, and the other a call to rescue YOU from the island!! ;) I hope you saved that 2nd message like Ruthy did! :) Your call was extra special to me, my friend, because from the moment we prayed together at that first ACFW Conference, I knew God was going to use you to bless others like you had and still do bless me! It was tears time, not just for you, darlin', but for me too!! :)

    PAMMY ... Captain Jack wasn't the only one crying "real tears," my friend -- we ALL were, so stinkin' (to quote Ruthy) EXCITED and HAPPY that you were coming to the mainland, leaving the shores of that lonely island FOREVER!! Your sale was truly a highlight for all of us, and especially me, my friend, because as you know, I was privileged to read your award-winning work before publication and could NOT understand why you weren't pubbed yet. In my opinion, you were flat-out BETTER than so many of the novels I was reading in the CBA, and I told you that many, many times, I know. Yep. "Real tears," indeed -- all around!

    Hugs and more hugs!

  64. You all have such amazing stories, in life and on paper. I'm glad you found each other and formed Seekerville. You've set a great example in persistence. You never gave up! Happy birthday everyone!

  65. MYRA SAID: "If God has given you the desire, talent, and skill to write--or whatever He may have gifted you with--until He personally tells you otherwise, keep on keeping on. If success seems long in coming, ask God to help you see what you still need to learn, how He still wants to grow you up. Our path through this life is not about what we can achieve, but what God wants to shape us into. He is the Potter, we are the clay. Be moldable!"

    WOW, Myra, preach it, girlfriend!! That's a message every aspiring and pubbed author needs to hear again and again!

    RUTHY SAID: "Melissa Endlich, leaving a voice message on my phone, a voice message I have NEVER ERASED because that call changed everything."

    That makes me smile, my friend -- flat-out adorable!! And how appropriate that the call was for Winter's End, signaling the "END" of a long, painful season in your life!


    LOL, Mare ... yep, that's probably true because there's nothing shy about me, but I'll bet you've never had 46 rejections on one book, have you???!! ;)

    This blog today is sooooooooOff to promo this puppy BIG TIME!!


  66. Seekers, it is so fun to read your Call stories...filled with love, perseverance, excitement...and I noticed treats! God's perfect timing shines in each success announcement.

    Congratulations to you amazing ladies on your celebration! I can't thank you enough for the knowledge, inspiration and encouragement you so freely give through this blog. Yay, Seelerville! This whole community is a treasured blessing!!!

  67. Haha! I'm gracious, Debby. No, I am simply succinct and to the point in as few words as possible.

    I learned it in the Army. Boot Camp.

    "Yes, Drill Sargeant."

  68. I loved reading this post! So encouraging!! Thanks for sharing these memories.

  69. I have my secrets, Debby!

    That's a good picture, BTW, both you and Nora, your BFF, looking excellent.

    You happen to be one of those annoying people who look the same age in all your pictures. I should be asking you the questions. Like where do you buy your face cream.

  70. LENORA, I admire your shoes, sure, but it's your dimples that I want to steal. :-) You should be on a LI cover!


  71. How did I miss the picture of Debby with THE NORA ROBERTS? I need to get new glasses!

    1. Too funny, Dana. You were looking at all the Seekers. Nora paled in comparison! :)

  72. I just loved seeing the history behind the Seekerville ladies! Congratulations on all your well-deserved success! I admire the caring community you've developed and all the encouragement and support you give other authors <3

  73. Oh, and I would love to see LENORA on a LI cover...but her shoes would have to be included. Love y'all so much!

  74. Heidi! What a lovely comment. Thank you!

  75. ELNORA!!!! I love when you waltz by, no matter which shoes you're wearing!


    And I hope it doesn't get old that I love giving credit to three women especially... Lenora, Margaret Daley and Linda Goodnight for being so open and encouraging as we worked to break in...

    There were others, of course, but those three women ALWAYS jumped in to advise and encourage, never berate... And that meant so much to me. I will never forget it.

    1. I agree, Ruthy! The Big Three: Lenora, Margaret and Linda! God bless them all!

  76. I couldn't love this post more! You guys are amazing and supportive and aspiring!!

  77. KB, I can't even count how many times I was ready to give up. The closest I ever came was exactly one year before I sold. But I got so much encouragement and prayer support at the ACFW conference that year, plus what I'm convinced was a direct personal message from God, that it kept me going until The Call.

  78. Congratulations, authors on all of your many nominations and wins over the years. Your talents and hard work paid off. It really pays off, though, when a single life is changed, encouraged, or blessed even if there aren't any awards.

    nina4sm at gmail dot com

  79. How encouraging it is to look at your successes ladies. Congrats to all of you!!

  80. Such an awesome journey with great memories!! Congratulations.

  81. Oh my gosh! I am so inspired and encouraged and honored that you all have embraced and made room for me in Seekerville. You're all rock stars! I had no idea how you persevered despite all of your setbacks.

    Julie, 46 rejections on one manuscript! I probably would have quit and become a plumber, girl.

    Love you all and salute you!!!!

  82. It would be fun to know how many Villagers have received The Call during these nine years!


  83. Myra, I can't even tell you how full my heart is that I played a small part in your publishing journey. You were so ready for publication!

  84. Amen, Sylvia. You nailed it! Glad to have you here.

  85. It sure would, JANET! I know there have been a bunch!

  86. Corrine and Loraine, thanks for commenting and sharing our birthday month with us.

    We love our Villagers.

  87. Thank you for all you did to make it happen, BARBARA!

  88. I loved this. Encouragement that this is in fact a journey that may or may not happen as soon as we want, and that okay. :)

  89. BARB SAID: "Julie, 46 rejections on one manuscript! I probably would have quit and become a plumber, girl."

    LOL ... I am a "plumber," my friend -- I "plumb" the depths of drama, passion, and angst, which pretty much was all my own until I got the call. ;)


    1. LOL...then you are definitely a plumber, JULIE!! Looking at all the pix, I totally love you as a blonde!!

    2. LOL...then you are definitely a plumber, JULIE!! Looking at all the pix, I totally love you as a blonde!!

  90. Well done, awesome authors! Happy anniversary!

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

  91. DANA, your beautiful smile and vivacious personality just bubbles over with love. Love you back!


  92. I took another look at all the pictures. Wow, such fun to remember the conferences, the workshops, the contest finals, the editors and a few quiet times with Seekers and friends. One of my favorite pictures here is with Debby and Joan Golan, the warm and gracious lady who led Steeple Hill for years. I met her for the first time at a conference the summer after Courting Miss Adelaide was published. When she heard my name, she said she loved orphan train stories. I was blown away that she had read and remembered my book. Thanks to writing, so many fabulous people have come into my life.

    For those still learning craft, working hard and waiting for The Call, never give up. There's wonderful days ahead.


  93. In that 2008 ACFW picture, I look like I have yet to learn the benefits of a good SHOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. DEBBY, my mother used Ponds, too, and like you, she had beautiful skin. I can still remember the scent of Ponds. Partly because I have an empty jar that holds some extra beads from ornaments she'd made. Every Christmas I open that jar and inhale her memory.


  95. From 2005 to 2011, slowly, steadily, we sailed to the shores of publication.
    Now we look back and it's hard to remember how slowly it unfolded. How we stuck together, encouraged each other, prayed for each other...

    And now that we're all published all is sunshine and lollypops. Never another problem. Never another moment of worry. bliss pure bliss once you get published.

    (yeah right)

  96. MARY, you always manage to crack me up!! Probably a good thing as I'd gotten all misty-eyed about my mom.


  97. Julie you're probably right about ONE BOOK. But I was getting rejected on MULTIPLE books. So in the end, I hope you're proud of that prize because it SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh forget it.

    Julie Lessman, Plumber of the Heart.

    It sounds a little bit painful. Are you using that Roto-Rooter thing?

  99. Tons of fun to see the pix, to read about your perseverance and the delight of 'the call.' What really struck me as I was reading, though, was when a book was published ... I looked at the cover, checked the date, and thought, "Was it that long ago I read that??"

    You know who I miss from Unpubbed Island? Captain Jack :-)

    Congratulations, ladies. You have touched many lives, and provided hours of enjoyable reading.

    Thank you!

    Nancy C

  100. Yeah, a few people have disappeared over the years. Captain Jack, Literary Agent Marlena Fortune, Madame Zelda. Madame S. The price of fame. They get movie deals, big book deals and disappear.

    But you know, Villagers too, come and go.

    They pack their bags, set sail off the island.


    I promise never to be like that when I am famous.

    And at least Grammar Queen is still here. Right?

  101. Teeeeena! This was sooooo much fun. I love, love, love all the photos and memories. Can't believe its been nine years and we've come such a long way. Whew!!!! What a great post. Thank you.

  102. Nancy, I miss Captain Jack too. I think he just became too famous and had to take care of his own fans. He was fun though.

    Or maybe he got captured and is paying for his pirating ways. Oh my. Better send him a good book to read. LOL

  103. Ha ha ha ha Miss Mary. Are you living some fantasy???? No more problems? I guess I missed the bus on that trip. LOL

  104. Captain Jack always made me nervous.
    I wouldn't want him dating one of my daughters.

  105. Yes, Julie you bring up a good point. We all have had many rejections and just because you get the call doesn't mean that stops happening. sigh. WE can still get rejection or a revision letter that makes us wish it was a rejection. chuckle. But perserverance is the key. Hang in there. Its worth it in the end.

    And Julie I bet you are cute in your plumber overalls.

  106. Yes, Julie, Captain Jack did attend my party and he was such a tease, bless his heart. LOL

    And yes, hubby joined the bicycle club and actually raced. That enabled me to get on the staging grounds and meet pro female racers. They read my book and helped with the terminology and racing strategies. Yay for them.

  107. You know, reading all the comments really humbles me. God really has used us in amazing ways. We've helped so many other writers and in turn you all have helped us grow and learn and appreciate where we all started and what we are doing. Thank you so much Seeker sisters and Seeker villagers. We love you.

  108. Ha ha Mary, I don't think any of us would have let him.

  109. Oh yes, my dear ones, Grammar Qeeun lives!!! Keep up your studies because you never know when she may return with a grammar quiz!!!

  110. And GQ is typing on a teensy little iPad keyboard. She cannot even spell her own name correctly. ☹️️

  111. Oh what wonderful stories! I loved reading about the women who have made it. Such lovely stories they are, too. Thanks for sharing and congrats to all those authors!

  112. I loved this post and reading all of your "The Call" stories. What hope they offer those of us still on the island! :)

    I think the words that most impacted me today were Myra's: "If God has given you the desire, talent, and skill to write--or whatever He may have gifted you with--until He personally tells you otherwise, keep on keeping on. If success seems long in coming, ask God to help you see what you still need to learn, how He still wants to grow you up. Our path through this life is not about what we can achieve, but what God wants to shape us into. He is the Potter, we are the clay. Be moldable!"

    These spoke to me. Being teachable and moldable is what this business requires.

    Thanks for sharing your tales, ladies!

  113. Now the Chicken Dance keeps going through my head.

    Why should I suffer alone?

    Captain Jack Does the Chicken Dance

  114. Jeanne, I agree! I loved Myra's quote! So thank you, Myra, for the inspiration.

  115. BTW, I saved my phone message like Ruthy. But that answering machine got knocked out by a storm!

  116. I'm late to the party, but I'm so glad I stopped and read thoroughly! What an incredible encouragement to read all of your stories! As long as I'm gushing, I also want to say how inspiring it's been to meet several of you in person! Your encouragement and helpfulness and prayers helped me sail off Unpubbed Island back on April 1, 2015. Then, yesterday, I got the call that I'd sold a second book to LIS. Thank you, Seekerville!!! Thinking of your perseverance gives me more perseverance, and I look forward to another year of friendship and encouragement. :-)

  117. Aww. I love reading this!!!

    So sweet and makes me happy reading call stories.
    Makes me want to enter more contests and meet the other participants.

  118. Meghan you mean YESTERDAY like October 21, 2016?
    This just happened?


  119. Aw, Grammar Queen!
    I would send you flowers and candy if you weren't a cyber creation.
    Maybe cyber flowers and candy.

    And it's NOT to thank you. Though I am incredibly thankful to you. No, it's to try and make you FORGIVE me for my abuse of lie, lay, lain, laid, lying.

    I'm quietly weeping now.
    You know what's REALLY WEIRD???
    If you GOOGLE those words to see which is correct, very often the INTERNET gives different answers. Yes, Google does NOT know.

    BUT GQ, yes, we have you.

  120. Now, MARY, fret not! GQ is your friend and only seeks to edifying you. And whatever you do, DO NOT TRUST GOOGLE!!!!

  121. JEANNE, I wrote those words not long after my sale as a reminder mostly to myself that God's plans are far above my own and I can always trust Him to bring about the very best for me. I'm honored to know you found some encouragement from those words also. Blessings!

  122. GQ needs to put her fat fingers on a diet. They apparently speak fluent typo.

  123. Congratulations to MEGHAN!!!!! WOOOOT!!!!!!

  124. Good grief. Now GQ is dealing with autocorrect! She just crawled into the closet and is silently crying.

  125. "Makes me want to enter more contests and meet the other participants."

    I vote you do it, Connie.

  126. MEGHAN!!!! You go, girl! Congratulations!!!!

  127. Poor GQ. It's not easy for those OCD types to um, type.

    That may, however, be a pun about typing. haha haha haha.

    Tell it's going to be okay.

  128. It was great to read everyone's story. I have been gone most of the day to my bother's surprise birthday. With all the kids and most of the family there it was fun. But I am worn out and going to take a nap.

    Hope everyone has had a great day. Please include me for any of the drawings for today as well as the birthday.

  129. her. her.


    See GQ, we all do it.

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  131. By the way, just my opinion, but Meghan's first book, UNDER DURESS, was absolutely BRILLIANT. Just saying.

  132. GQ appreciates your sympathy, TINA. But I can't coax her out of the closet again.

    Wow, DANA, your 4th LI! That's terrific!!! Isn't it amazing how God makes dreams come true, no matter how long it takes?

    Which reminds me, I'm still waiting for my pony and shoe skates.

  133. What a delightful walk through the past! What talent! Thank you for sharing your journey..

  134. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing - so inspirational!! I got goose bumps reading it. Thank you ladies for all that you do! Happy Birthday, Seekerville!!

  135. It's so cool to see the journey in photos!

    And Julie Lessman will forever be one of my favorite authors.

  136. Happy Birthday,Seekerville! Loved this post and all the call stories! All of you are an inspiration. Not for just authors,but for all of us who sometimes get discouraged trying to find that right career (or niche) in life. It may be Seekerville's Birthday but I think we all received the gift of your writing talents! Bless you all!! :)

  137. BARB SAID: "Looking at all the pix, I totally love you as a blonde!!"

    LOL ... I showed my hubby the blonde pix and this is what he said:

    "Wow, babe, that doesn't look like you. You look great."

    He is in now in the doghouse. Without a blonde OR a brunette.


  138. MARY SAID: "Julie you're probably right about ONE BOOK. But I was getting rejected on MULTIPLE books. So in the end, I hope you're proud of that prize because it SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL ... I doubt you were rejected that many times in all of your tons of books, my friend, so, NO -- I will not give up my crown. :)


  139. It was fun going back and seeing who "left the island"!!! So many great writers. We readers are the lucky ones! Continued good wishes for a wonderful birthday celebration, Seekerville!

  140. MARY SAID: TAGLINE: Julie Lessman, Plumber of the Heart. It sounds a little bit painful. Are you using that Roto-Rooter thing?

    LOL ... you have NO idea, Mare, just how painful it is! Roto-Rooter has nothing on me!

    SANDRA SAID: "And Julie I bet you are cute in your plumber overalls."

    You'd lose that bet, my friend, but thank you! Love you!

    BRITTANY SAID: "And Julie Lessman will forever be one of my favorite authors."

    Aw, Britt, you made my day, you sweet thing -- GOD BLESS YOU, my friend!


  141. Laura, I got goosebumps reading it too.

    Look at all that happened in 2009. What a stellar year. I barely remember it. LOL.

    Actually, 2009 was the ONLY time all the Seekers have been in one place at one time. At my house in Denver for ACFW.

    Has not happened since.

  142. What an inspiring journey! You ladies look lovelier every year!

  143. We should have gotten better pictures, Tina!

    I remember in 2009, stepping off the plane and walking toward baggage claim (My Cowboy with me) and there you were across some rope. I hugged you and we walked and talked (chattered I'm sure) until we got to an unsecured area.

    Later, My Cowboy said, "When have you met Tina before?"
    And I said, "Never, that's the first time I've ever met her."
    And he was stunned. He said, "You acted like best friends."

    I said, "Well, I consider her one of my very best friends so that makes sense. I talk to her every day."

    He just thought it was a whole brave new world.
    I think since them we realized we maybe met in Denver at my first conference??? You were there, right? But we never really talked.
    Does that sound right?

  144. Julie Lessman ,Along with wishing Seekerville Happy Birthday wanted to send you a special thank you again for the wonderful blessing you and your beautiful stories have been to me! Starting with A Passion Most Pure your stories have been a wonderful inspiration in my life! (Plus,knowing the story behind it is also an inspiration to keep faith!) Hugs!!

  145. A small, interesting (to me) tidbit about the two books that nominated for a carol award, my first ones.

    Golden Days won as short historical romance. It was a tie.
    But Petticoat Ranch was a finalist (no win) for best first book.

    So Golden Days is the book I sold to Barbour Publishing when they called my name up on that stage, FIRST SALE!!! But a whole lot later...the next...JUNE maybe? Eight or so months later, I sold Petticoat Ranch (2006) and it came out in February of the NEXT year (2007). And THEN Golden Days came out.
    So my first sale (Golden Days) is NOT my first book, Petticoat Ranch beat it to the bookstores.
    Just an interesting little quirk.

  146. I'm glad you ladies got your books published. Keep up the good work. I mostly read inspirational historical fiction and Amish books. Right now I am partial to Western Historical.

  147. I love seeing all the dates and covers- this is fantastic! Congratulations everyone!

  148. A fabulous and inspirational history! And also a lot of amazing writing!

  149. I like be reading about the calls each of you received. You're an inspiration!

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  151. Tina, your hair looks better every year. You rock that bob!

  152. Just reading this Sunday, and smiled all the way through. Such a happy and encouraging post, blessing after blessing. I'm happy for each of you and the wonderful stories you've shared about "The Call" and I'm encouraged for myself and others who are striving toward that day. (Kind of like anticipating heaven, isn't it?) Congratulations and best wishes to all who write or read this blog. :)

  153. I'm late for this post as i'm just getting to emails this weekend but what a tremendous tribute to all of you! Great job Tina! Thanks for letting us newbies learn more about all of you and how you all persevered and got The Call. It's so nice to see how you all started out, as well as how Seekerville began. Very inspiring! I appreciate being able to come here each day and learn from you all as well as the guests you bring in. One more week to celebrate nine fabulous years! Congratulations to all of you.

  154. What a fun time I've had reading about all of you wonderful authors and seeing all the pictures! Such a fascinating look backward in time! I've read books by some of you and look forward to reading many more in the future. Thanks so much for sharing your time and your talents with us.

  155. Wow.I just loved reading this memory lane post. inspirational. I've been a Villager since summer of 2008. Y'all were so professional with your posts, that it never occurred to me that some were not pubbed.
    All I know is the writing world is better and extra blessed because Seemed like exists. I love you ladies and hope sometime soon to be able to meet any one of you. That would make my year.

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  157. Wonderful to see the glowing faces of Seekerville Ladies and to learn of your achievements as authors. Enjoyed your "The Call" stories too. You're all an example of perseverance and commitment. I'm thankful for such dedication and for the willingness to share your talent and time with other writers/readers. Happy 9th Birthday and many rich blessings in the years ahead.

  158. What a beautiful journey to be on with dear friends! Blessings to you all and thank you for sharing your memories with all of us!