Saturday, December 31, 2016

Seekerville's Rockin' It New Year's Eve Welcomes 2017 With Friends!

Beginning at 6:00 AM Eastern Time, we're morphing this page to the our annual holiday bash:

"2016 Seekerville Rockin' It New Year's Eve Party"!



It begins!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, SEEKERVILLE! I am so excited to be here with you, and we're kickin' off the Rockin' It New Year's Eve with an opening hour prize of a $20 Starbucks Gift Card.... Like this!


I know, technically it's New Year's Eve "day", and it's not even really New Year's Eve until tonight, but I am feelin' the holiday Ho-Ho-Ho joy of the mornin', ready to thank God for an amazing 2016 (when has there ever been another year that offered more POLITICAL FODDER for story-tellers, poets and bards???)

And to jump head-first into the brand new waters of 2017 while we Kick Discouragement to the Curb  today....



How are we going to do that, you ask?

No small number of ways!

Today, each hourly host will give us a tip on how they keep discouragement at bay.... and the answers vary as much as the hosts who've offered their holiday time to us.

Youse know what I'm going to tell you.... Work, focus, don't give up, and then work some more. Honestly, my trick with discouragement is pretty easy. I get MAD.... and then I roll up my sleeves and jump right back in. No earthly person dictates my destiny, and I'm feisty enough to smile and work my way through pretty much anything...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."  (Eleanor Roosevelt. Smart lady.)

And we're going to use Pet Therapy. These former lovers hung out for a bit last spring... Oh, yeah, Mick and Libby had a few flings back a few years and now they're good friends. (Or so they say...)

And from these two pretty dogs, a red Golden Retriver and a chocolate brown standard poodle, came over 40 coal black puppies over a bunch of years.

Now that's my kind of therapy, right there!!!

And this is what they look like when they grow up:

This is Jeter. He's a big goof, a 3 year old puppy with a heart of gold...
He's my writing buddy.
He loves hanging out on the floor with me while I work.

Don't scoff, my holiday-loving friends! Pet therapy has been known to SAVE LIVES (and contracts) because if you pet a kitty instead of insulting an agent, THAT'S BETTER, right? And if you walk a dog rather than argue why your heroine is absolutely, positively and in no measurable way about to change, no matter what your editor wants....

You get the gist! So we're featuring friends and fur bundles today, along with great food (I'm always open to food) and better counsel as Seekerville bids good-day to 2016... and hello to a vibrant, new 2017 with no mistakes in it yet!

"Let's See How Far We've Come" by kicking discouragement and negativity to the curb!

Everyone who leaves a comment will have their name KEPT IN THE COWBOY HAT throughout the day!

Oh my, and what a cowboy hat that is!

And on top of hourly winners (who will be posted under the New Year's Eve Winners Tab on the home page) we'll have a GRAND PRIZE KINDLE WINNER at the end of the day.

And that's it, my friends. I brought a great spread from Panera... Mimosas... Danish.... and bagels and smear (that means toppings, guys. Stuff to spread on the bagels...)

And if I can add you to my newsletter list, e-mail me at loganherne@gmail.com... or message me on facebook with your e-mail... I've got a January kick-off contest to have your name put into my new Wishing Bridge Series (starting in November) AND I can't wait to tell you more about that! But today isn't about me...



It's about us and keeping our chins raised high and our sights aimed forward... because there's no place for discouragement in 2017. Not when we've got HIGH HOPES!!!! 

Leave a comment any time during the day and your name goes into the cowboy hat for the rest of the day...

And from my house to yours, I'm wishing you the happiest of new years!!!

And for hour #2, I'm turning the lot o' youse over to the lovely award-winning Love Inspired author Glynna Kaye with her note of encouragement:

While it might sound rather simplistic, I think one thing that anchors me in times of discouragement is to remember THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  Which sort of goes hand-in-hand with two other reminders I keep framed on my desk: “Don’t fear tomorrow. God is already there” and “Never assume that God’s delays are God’s denials.”

GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns—Iowa, Missouri, Illinois--and vacations spent in another rural community with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Glynna now loves writing small-town inspirational romances for Love Inspired.
------

My giveaway will be an e-copy of James Scott Bell’s “Write Your Novel From the Middle” for KINDLE.


And we'd love to give a shout out to Patti Jo's book-loving special friend "Delilah"... A lovely calico kitty with a real love for books and a big supporter of Christian fiction!

Thank you, Patti Jo Moore for sharing your furry friend with us!

And here is one of Dana Lynn's more feathered friends!

Clearly a sight that Ruthy enjoys! #mustlovechickens!!!

And look who's joining us for hour #3!!! It's my buddy Jan Drexler, a delightful person who was able to put up with me for DAYS last summer!!! :) There's a testimonial for you! Welcome to the party, Jan! I'm so glad you could be here and huge thanks for taking some time from your holiday... and your snow... to hang out with us!

And here's a little bit of advice from Jan, a woman of delightful insight:

Whenever I start feeling discouraged, I start thinking about what I would be doing if I wasn't writing. I build stories in my head about "Jan the teacher," or "Jan the secretary." Nothing sounds as deeply satisfying as writing. Not even the stories about "Jan the bookstore owner." :) That's all it takes to remind me that I'm living the dream. My books might not sell as well as I hope, or I might not get the contracts I was hoping for, but it's okay. That will come in God's time.


Jan Drexler is a long-time Seekervillager who credits the ladies of Seekerville for giving her the tools she needed to launch her writing career. She writes historical fiction with Amish characters for Love Inspired Historical and Revell. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending much of her time hiking and enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of nearly thirty-five years. Her writing partner is her Corgi, Thatcher, who makes life…interesting.

And look what our Jan has for some lucky/blessed commenter on this "Kick Discouragement to the Curb" day!!! Jan, I love the mug!!!



And what New Year's Day would be complete at the Drexler house without a picture of Jan's beloved Corgi... "Thatcher"!

Hello, Thatcher! Welcome to Seekerville!




And in keeping with the spirit of the day, who can resist teasing Thatcher with a kitty pic sent in from Jessica Baugh???  Meet Max, and thank you, Jessica for sending in his picture!


Musically inclined kitties are my fave!!!  Take it away, Jan!!!!

ADDING WYNTER!!! ;)

Thank you, Jan!!!!  This dog is so stinkin' pretty!!!



Thank you, Jan!!!! Sending hugs to the Midwest!!!


The 9 AM hour is hosted by Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Debby Giusti. A medical technologist by trade, Debby loves working with test tubes and petri dishes almost as much as she loves to write.  Growing up as an Army Brat, Debby met and married her husband--then a Captain in the Army--at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Together they traveled the world, raised three wonderful Army Brats of their own and eventually settled in Peachtree City, Georgia, where Debby spins tales of suspense that touch the heart and soul. Connect with Debby on her website www.DebbyGiusti.com. Follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/debby.giusti.9 and Twitter https://twitter.com/DebbyGiusti.

“Discouragement usually hits when I’m tired and stressed,” says Debby. “The best remedy is a good night’s sleep and turning the work over to the Lord. When He’s in charge, everything runs more smoothly, including me.”

Debby is giving away two prizes this hour. Each lucky winner will receive a copy of PERSON OF INTEREST and THE SOLDIER’S SISTER, two books in her Military Investigations series. She’s also giving THE WRITER’S PRAYER, a 2017 Weekly Planner and “With God All Things Are Possible” notes to the winners.
  


Debby's cute grand dogs wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Bear, the lab, will play a role in Debby’s May release, AMISH REFUGE. Angelo, seated on his patriotic pillow, hopes to make his debut appearance in one of Debby’s future books.




Join Debby at two fun reader events: Romancing the Smokies in Knoxville, TN, March 18 and Love Our Readers Luncheon, Marietta, GA, February 11.



And joining Debby this morning to wish you all a happy and blessed New Year are a delightful crew of fur buddies who happen to live with the delightful Sharee Stover in Nebraska! We've got Niko, Bullet and Gilly here... And note that they're all curled on the carpet, not the cooler hardwood floor! #smartdogs!!!


Debby... Thank you. Thank you for being you and thank you for being part of our I Love the Military campaign.... Your family's patriotism and work ethic are wonderful and inspirational. So glad you were able to be here with us today!

And to usher in hour #5  is our very own award-winning Love Inspired author Janet Dean!

Life has its ups and downs. I'm guessing every writer--and reader--has experienced it. Right now I’m discouraged and questioning myself. The only way I know to kick discouragement to the curb is to plan and to pray. I've seen time and time again that God can provide the tenacity and wisdom I need to fulfill His purpose for my life and for my writing. But He expects me to do my part, to plan the work and work the plan. If like me, you're discouraged or doubting yourself, join me in taking steps each day toward meeting goals in the new year. Then we can rest knowing we've done our part and leave the outcome in God's hands. There's no better place to be. I'm thankful to have you in my life and praying 2017 will be a good year for us all.  

Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. Today Janet spins stories for Love Inspired Historical. She is a two-time Golden Heart finalist, a Genesis and a Carol finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her novels are also Golden Quill, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Booksellers Best and Inspirational Readers Choice Award finalists. Visit Janet at her Website: www.janetdean.net


For this hour, Janet is graciously giving away a copy of any available Seeker book! Thank you, Janet!

And here we've got a sweet pic of Janet's Grand-dogs..... Ready for the holidays!


Ho, ho, ho!

Joining Janet's grand-pups we have an absolutely beautiful and fun "chillin'" pic from Kelly Blackwell! Here's what Kelly wrote:

I would like to introduce you to my sweet boy Dizzy. Dizzy was one of a group of 7 foster kittens my family took in for the Humane Society. It is our gig in kitten season to take in kittens and love them like crazy so when they get fixed and put up for adoption, they will be very people friendly and too lovable to pass up. Dizzy was the one kitten we decided to keep out of about 15 sets of foster kittens. 

I didn't know which picture to share so I am giving you one of Dizzy's sweet moments and one of Dizzy's moments of behaving very human.  He loves sitting next to my husband on the couch and lounging just like him.  :)

I hope you can use one for the New Year's party.  

Have a beautiful day!


This is a great pic, and should be a cartoon cat! Thank you, Kelly!!! And thank you for being foster mama to those sweet babies!!!

And here's a picture of Rhonda Starnes' "Sawyer"... LOOK AT THAT FACE!!!!

Oh, he's going in a book for certain!!!


Janet!!! Thank you so much for being here! Happy New Year to you!!!

Now turning hour six into the wonderful and quite capable hands of Bestselling Author Pam Hillman!

Pam's tip on keeping the negativity at bay... 

"I’m kicking discouragement to the curb by keeping my nose to the grindstone. Nothing like a scraped nose to keep your mind off your troubles."



CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of. www.pamhillman.com


Pam is offering up a copy of Stealing Jake or Claiming Mariah for this hour, ebook or print. Winner’s choice.

And here's a glimpse of Pam's fur-baby, Dakota!


And we've got some villager friends for Dakota!!! Dana Lynn sent in this pic of this gorgeous red and white horse... Dana is it a "Paint"? Or part paint? And do you say red/roan/rust?  Gorgeous baby, you can ride this dream pet my way anytime!!!! Thank you for sending it along!!


Pam, thanks so much for taking time out of your holiday... and work day! :) to be with us!!! And now we move along to the Ruthinator again!!!



Ruthy's back with another hour of festive fun because she loves to raise a mug in your honor!

And when it comes to discouragement, Ruthy's quite pragmatic about how she handles it... she works harder. She grabs hold of the Tiki Barber (NFL football player) mentality. When asked about his big break, Tiki replied, "I made sure I was ready. I worked hard, I practiced, I pushed myself, I got myself in the best shape possible because when that coach called my name to put me in the game, I wanted to be ready to take the spot. And I was."  

That makes sense to the Ruthinator because we never know when opportunity might knock. And if we do the John the Baptist thing, and make ready the way, we can seize those moments.... because we're ready!


This is how we faced off with worst drought in Western New York history... Cute kids, gallon jugs of water and record farm sales.... God tells us to be ready... and then he figures it's our job to listen!
Ruthy is giving away the first two volumes of her wonderful "Double S Ranch" cowboy series "Back in the Saddle" and "Home on the Range"... and she's so excited that book 3 will launch in FOUR SHORT MONTHS! Oh, Hallelujah chorus! :)


And for some sweet inspiration about the blessings and true meaning of the season, go see Kaylee Rogers gone-viral version of Leonard Cohen's Christmas "Hallelujah"....

And Cynthia Herron sent us this pic of her sweet furry friend:


Cynthia! I love it! Thank you so much for sending it along!!!

And last I looked we were over 450 comments... Happy New Year, all of us!!!

And now....


We're turning hour #8 over to the lovely and talented multi-published Myra Johnson.... and here's Myra's thought on keeping discouragement at bay:

Discouragement can attack writers in so many ways—family or health problems, rejections, poor sales numbers, negative reviews, publishers closing their doors. Some things are within our control, but so many others are not, and the key is to know the difference. My strongest defense against discouragement is to make the best possible use of the gifts God has given me as a writer, and then to fully trust Him for the results. This mindset is something I have to renew constantly, and the beginning of a new year is the perfect reminder.



About Myra: Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards and winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with with two lovable rescue doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” The Johnsons are also currently harboring their younger daughter and family (six in all plus a kitty!) as they transition toward their next missionary calling. With grandkids underfoot ranging in age from 14 down to nearly 3, there’s never a dull moment! 

Myra is graciously giving away winner’s choice of any book from her "Till We Meet Again" or "Flowers of Eden" series.



And the Johnson family fur-babies send their good wishes along for a wonderful new year!


And to join Shadow and Poppy, we've got some more villager fur-friends!!!  Here is Sherida Stewart's little grand-pup "Gumshoe"!!! Stinkin' adorable!!!  Sherida, I'm so glad you sent him over to us!!! Happy New Year, Gumshoe and all the Stewarts!!!


Myra, thank you!!!!

Hour NINE comes in with the delightfully clever Sandra Leesmith!

Hello Seekerville,  What fun we've already had this morning. I love bringing in the New Year with Seekerville friends.  Yay!!!!   The way I battle discouragement is to go straight to the Lord. I might do that by taking a walk, or lying down and closing my eyes, or opening my Bible.  When I do that, the right verse seems to jump out at me.  And another thing, I keep what I call my gratitude list. Every day I list all the wonderful things, big and small that I have to be thankful for. When I look at that list, it is impossible to not see the hand of God in my life. So then I am thankful and I sit back and TRUST that all will work out for the good.  Hindsight is wonderful and at this age, I have plenty of that.  When I look at those dark times of discouragement, I can now see that they worked out for the good. So again, I'm able to TRUST.  

What events in your past that seemed so dark and gloomy turned out to be for the best?  I know I didn't get a couple contracts for writing and looking back, I am now thankful I didn't because I would have had deadlines when my parents really needed me for elder care. I was able to be there for them. I am so thankful for that.  NOW mind you. Wasn't being thankful at the time. LOL  

Please chime in and share.  My gift this hour will be an ipod so you can listen to audible books. I have three you can choose from.  

Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.

And here is Sandra with her furry friends, both of whom have passed over the Rainbow Bridge....

Suzette and Buddy, a likely pair, aren't they?  Suzette used to love to sit on my lap when I write and when she'd had enough, she'd put her paw on the keyboard and when I saw a bunch of k's lining up on my manuscript, I knew it was time to take a break and take the little girl for a walk.


Checking for birds????  Cody was my walking buddy.  He loved to go for a walk and explore the area for any kind of wildlife. He usually found it too.



 Amazing catch and amazing photo!!!!  Buddy was hubby's favorite.  He could spend hours catching frisbees.  He loved the water too as most labs do.    We've had several dogs over the years and we figure when we die and go to heaven we'll be greeted by a pack of dogs.  We're looking forward to that.  LOL


To offset the normalcy of Sandra's sweet post and the gorgeous dogs, we've got two more treasured pets from Dana Lynn's house! 

Two rodent buddies... fur-bearing and somewhat beady-eyed, I think she figured I'd never post these guys... but of course I will... Although I was TEMPTED to save them for Connealy tonight!

#meanfriend 

Hello, little ones!!!

Sandra, thank you so much for sharing your words of encouragement!!! And for the next hour....

Moving into Hour 10 and ushering in our next hostess, award-winning Love Inspired author Cate Nolan with her words of wisdom about staying uplifted, and her advice is something I try to practice all the time.... and that's because it works!

Kicking discouragement to the curb – it sounds like such a proactive thing to do. Problem is, when you’re feeling discouraged, it’s hard to be proactive. That’s when I find it helps to do something for someone else. You have to make it a habit though to make it work. So let’s help each other kick discouragement to the curb this year by continuing to support one another. The Seekers are such wonderful role models with this. We can all strive to be so supportive!


Cate Nolan lives in New York City, but she escapes to the ocean any chance she gets. A devoted mom, wife and teacher, Cate loves to leave her real life behind and play with the characters in her imagination. She’s got that suspense writer gene that sees danger and a story in everyday occurrences. Cate particularly loves to write stories of faith enabling ordinary people to overcome extraordinary danger.  A three time Golden Heart finalist and winner of the 2011 Genesis Award, Cate now writes for Love Inspired Suspense.

Every commenter's name goes into the rugged and mightily good looking cowboy hat for the hourly drawings and the grand prize drawing... So leave a comment to be entered or just join right in on any conversation that looks likely! Cate has graciously offered a copy of her wonderful Love Inspired suspense "Christmas in Hiding".



And here is Cate's furry friend Fenway. I had to do that, it's quite alliterative! :) Even though her beautiful cancer-surviving dog is named for a ballpark that houses the arch rivals of my beloved New York Yankees....



Did you know that it is only 99 days before the Boys of Summer RETURN for the 2017 season??? (Oops, off-topic)!!!  


Doesn't he look Christmas-cozy here????

And Cate just sent me this one, clearly the dog has GREAT READING TASTES!!!



I found this pic on facebook... and it's registered for re-use, so I'm putting it here because Cate understands the constant struggle we humans have, being tugged in so many directions.... And the dog just wants to love us and be loved. :)

I need this lesson as much as anyone I know!

And now we're turning things over to the funny, passionate and one-of-a-kind Julie Lessman!


I learned the hard way (46 rejections on my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure) to kick discouragement to the curb by praising and thanking God every single time I found another self-addressed #10 envelope in the mailbox. I always look at it like an opportunity to stomp on the devil’s head when I do this, and I truly believe both praise and thanksgiving pave the way for God’s blessings. 

My favorite story of winning over discouragement is the year I won the booby prize for the most rejections in a year at an ACFW conference. Yes, I was discouraged, but I praised and thanked God that I won a prize at all! The blessing came three years later when I stood on that same ACFW stage to receive the Debut Book of the Year award for that same multi-rejected book. Now that’s not just kicking discouragement to the curb, it’s running it over with a Mack truck! ;)

A lover of all things Irish, Julie Lessman enjoys writing Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.
Award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 romance author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. Winner of 18 RWA awards, Julie made Booklist’s 2010 Top Inspirational Fiction and Family Fiction’s Top Novels of 2014 and 2015. Contact Julie or read excerpts at: www.julielessman.com.

GIVEAWAY!!  
Win a character after you in my next book and a signed copy of that book PLUS a signed copy of my latest book, Love Everlasting. Check it out at Amazon!  

And while you're checking out Julie's book, you can say hi to another one of Dana Lynn's precious fur babies... and we added another Fenway (discerning reader pic!) above!  

How gorgeous is this cat???? Dana, thank you for sharing him with us!!!

My goodness! Look at how large that cat is! All I can say is the bigger they are, the better they cuddle, right?

Thanks, Dana, for the pic. And thanks, Julie, for sharing your cheer to take us into the new year!


Our party continues into Hour 12 with a fun hour of chatting with the amazing Mary Jane Hathaway!!

This might sound odd, but I kick discouragement to the curb by reading terrible reviews of my favorite books! I go find Pride and Prejudice (a work of undisputed genius, right?) or Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South on Amazon. Then I read allllll the one stars. These are careful, discerning readers who sincerely hated these wonderful books and I realize that you will never please everybody. That knowledge shoves back the fear and discouragement! Then, I'm truly inspired to write a book that tells an amazing story in a way that glorifies God and brings joy to readers.

Mary Jane Hathaway is an award-nominated writer of Christian fiction and a home schooling mom of six young children who rarely wear shoes. She holds degrees in linguistics and religious studies from the University of Oregon. Mary Jane lives with her habanero-eating husband, Crusberto, who is her polar opposite in all things except faith. They've learned to speak in short-hand code and look forward to the day they can actually finish a sentence but in the meantime, she thanks God for the laughter and abundance of hugs that fill her day as she plots her next book. She also writes under the pen name of Virginia Carmichael and loves to meet readers on her facebook pages of Mary Jane Hathaway or Virginia Carmichael. You can find her in the Seekerville Café every weekend, on her personal blog The Things That Last, on Twitter, or over at Huffington Post where she blogs about all things books.
we have an overachiever chicken
 who doesn't want the glory














We have prizes this hour! How about:

One boxed set of the Along The Cane River books 1-5 (ebook only)



 AND


One paperback copy of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread




Mary Jane, spending an hour with you is always enlightening! Thanks, Chickie!!



On to Hour 13 brought you to by the one, the only, Wilani Wahl!! 

Wilani Wahl loved creating stories since she was a little girl and wrote them down as soon as she could write. She used her stories while teaching children during her years as a missionary, never dreaming she would one day attempt to write a full novel. She has written three novels in the last two years and is working on perfecting them. In 2016 She entered her first ever contests and wants to continue to enter them this year as well.  

Pipe up and leave a comment! We've got 3 giveaways this hour!! 
Every commenter's name goes into the rugged and mightily good looking cowboy hat for the hourly drawings and the grand prize drawing... So leave a comment to be entered or just join right in on any conversation that looks likely! 


Glynna Kaye's The Pastor's Christmas Courtship (Yes, it's after Christmas, but how can you not offer a great book???)



Walt Mussell's Love and Grace anthology.


Tina Radcliffe's Rocky Mountain Cowboy

No better way to start off the New Year than with a great book!

Thanks Wilani for hosting a fun hour. And wow, the things we learned about you!! Thanks for sharing!!


Our night continues with the multi-talented Preslaysa Williams keeping us company for Hour 14. Let's celebrate!

To kick discouragement, I do two things: limit and fill. If I'm feeling 
overwhelmed with negativity, I do a "shut down" and LIMIT my exposure to 
negative information (news, Facebook posts, blog posts, Tweets, etc.) 
Then I fill my mind with positive messages: listening to sermons or 
motivational talks, reading inspirational books, surrounding myself with 
positive friends and family members. I also try my best to write ten 
things that I'm grateful for in my Gratitude journal each day.

In addition to the Gratitude Journal that I'm giving away, I will also provide a critique of the first 15 pages of a manuscript plus a 3-5 page synopsis for writers.



Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author of restoration romance, modern day stories of people who seasons of loss and found the God who restores, strengthens, and establishes the brokenhearted. She is an actress who has appeared on television, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre. Visit her online at www.preslaysa.com


And joining Preslaysa this hour are some friends of Patti Jo's.



Let's start with Moses and Levi. They love hanging out while Patti Jo writes. They soothe her when writing hits a snag and purr with delight when a manuscript is finished. 







And who can resist this lovely young lady? Rumor has it Pepper the Cockatiel's got disco rhythm as she tweets encouragement and whistles tunes for inspiration. With friends like this, you've got it made, Patti Jo!!

Preslaysa! Thank you for spreading your infectious joy throughout Seekerville over the past hour! You have a gift of making people smile :)


We have the daring duo of Bonnie Roof and Carrie Schmidt with us for Hour 15. Bring it home, ladies!!

In dealing with a terminal illness, I have occasionally been visited by discouragement. Joshua 1:9 is one of the many beautiful verses God uses to bring me peace and joy. He has truly blessed me - I'm so grateful for His loving care and assurance He will work all things for my good.


A retired mother of two sons - Bonnie Roof is a Christian Fiction reading addict, lover of Seekerville, co-founder of CFRR (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat), contributor to the Overcoming With God blog, and is grateful for, and blessed by, His calling to read/review/share the gift of Christian Fiction and its authors with readers for the past 6+ years.







Chronic illness and discouragement can go hand in hand, and I have to engage “constant vigilance!” to kick that discouragement to the curb and keep it there. I was recently reminded, through a gift from a dear friend, that this illness is “just one more chapter” in the beautiful story that God is writing over me. As Psalm 73:26 says, “My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak but God is the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”



Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, ESOL Teacher, and a cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot and hopes she reflects both in the reviews she does at ReadingIsMySuperPower.org. Carrie lives in gorgeous central Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and recently was one of the co-founders of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat.


Nothing better than a pup by your side
and a great book in your hand!








Every commenter's name goes into the rugged and mightily good looking cowboy hat for the hourly drawings and the grand prize drawing... So leave a comment to be entered or just join right in on any conversation that looks likely! 

Our giveaway for this hour is this incredible CFRR swag bag from Christian Fiction Readers Retreat 2016
Includes the fabulous CFRR bag, CFRR swag, and at least 3 books














Bonnie and Carrie (and their other sidekick Annie) are super excited to announce that CFRR2017 (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat) will be in Cincinnati, OH on August 12, 2017!!!! Speakers will be revealed on January 2nd with a giveaway at our Christian Fiction Readers Retreat facebook page. More info on venue location and registration dates/costs coming soon but go ahead and save the date on your calendar!

So excited for CFRR2017! Will be watching for more info on January 2!!


Let's welcome Tanya Agler as our hostess for Hour 16!!

I live in a sprawled out suburban area so I spend a lot of time driving. One upside to that is sitting in traffic, praying and taking time to look around at the beautiful scenery God created all around me. Sometimes that road leads me to the gym where I think about the characters in my books and what they should do next or take a few minutes to read a couple of chapters of a book on my Kindle. Sometimes the road leads me home to read a night-night story to my youngest daughter while I take a moment to look around and remember why I do what I do, how blessed I am to do so and try to kick discouragement to the curb. 


Award winning write-at-home wife and mother of four, Tanya Agler is a graduate of the University of Georgia. When not writing or driving her kids all over town, she loves to enjoy a cup of tea along with a good book or a Cary Grant movie.


The giveaway for this hour is a
$10 Amazon gift card



Every commenter's name goes into the rugged and mightily good looking cowboy hat for the hourly drawings and the grand prize drawing... So leave a comment to be entered or just join right in on any conversation that looks likely! 






Tanya, thanks for spending your New Year's Eve with us!!!



Hour 17!! Can you believe how time is flying? WooHoo!! We have amazing Terri Weldon sharing her words of wisdom with us!!



Let's face it, discouragement comes with writing. We receive rejections from editors and agents, bad reviews, even unwanted comments from friends. Dwelling on discouragement will drain the joy out of your life and derail the plan God has for you. So give yourself a few hours, but as Tina often tells us no more than a day. Then get busy writing that next book. And while you're writing - remind yourself this is what God called you to do.


Nolly Grace and Crosby
Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in the Heartland of the United States. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and RWA. Her novella, The Christmas Bride Wore Boots, released in December 2016.



Readers can connect with Terri: Website: www.TerriWeldon.com or Blog: Seriously Write

Every commenter's name goes into the rugged and mightily good looking cowboy hat for the hourly drawings and the grand prize drawing... So leave a comment to be entered or just join right in on any conversation that looks likely! 


Terri is offering 2 ebook copies of The Christmas Bride Wore Boots. 


The Christmas Bride Wore Boots


AND


$25 Gift Card
Terri, what a fun hour! Give those two little Westies a kiss from us!


Missy Tippens is joining us for Hour 18. You know this is going to be fun!!


If you get down or discouraged this year, I hope you'll stop by the Seekerville blog for a shot of encouragement. Sometimes no one but a fellow writer understands the ups and downs of this crazy journey. Let's kick discouragement to the curb together!


Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest and a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A House Full of Hope was a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA® Nominee. Her most recent release is The Doctor’s Second Chance from Love Inspired. Visit Missy and sign up for her newsletter at  www.missytippens.com, and chat with her at https://twitter.com/MissyTippens and http://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers.












To wish everyone the happiest of New Years, Missy is giving away one of her books of choice and two fun Hallmark items--prizes she rediscovered when she moved!--to this hour's winner!





And here is Missy's trusty old writing buddy "Duke" who keeps her feet warm while she works...


Oh, those eyes could just MELT YOU, couldn't they????  Happy New Year, old fellow!






Happy New Year, East Coast!!!

Missy, we all hope you get that NYE ball drop in NY streaming!!


It's Hour 19 and time for Mary Connealy to grace us with her bits of western wisdom and uncanny way of making us laugh. Welcome, Mary!

Here's the thing about being discouraged. I think I'm an incredibly tough person with a strong sense of self-worth. Whatever is going on around me, including taking ten years and about a zillion rejections to get published (And no I did NOT keep them or count them--a zillion is a close estimate). And including raising four daughters, who were all teenagers at the same time and seemed split on whether I was just a huge embarrassment or simply stupid--and were far too willing to try and save me from being either of those. Or a rural wife who's husband comes in starving, exhausted and far too often short of patience with the woman trying to serve him food and wave him on to bed (please go now-now-now).

Anyway, all that swirls around me and of course affects me, but inside, maybe deep deep (deep deep deep) inside I think I've got a really solid sense of self-worth. In fact, I can look at all those years of rejection (NOW, not during) and think, "That is heartbreaking, but I always knew my books were good."

I can look at those overly emotional but beautiful and smart and faithful daughters and think, "I needed that. It made me tough. I needed to be tough. And they needed someone as tough as me to test their strength and maturity against."

I can look at that sometimes cranky husband and see the exhaustion, the hard work, the man who supported me and my daughters for years and years so I could be home with our girls. (My Cowboy's way of putting this is, "I guess being around their mom didn't hurt the girls any" --but he's trying to be funny right? RIGHT?)

I can even read my own one-star reviews with a shake of my head and a shrug.

It never touches the core of who I am. The person who believes she's intelligent, believes her faith is real and strong and connected to a loving God, the person who thinks, "Maybe being 'a good person' is unexciting but it's the right thing, a quiet, good life is enough. (I watched a show about that on Phil Donohue years ago - is being a good person a good thing? Of course, the idiot decided it wasn't!!!) 

All of who I am, deep inside, in my vivid thought life, was settled on me by loving, intelligent, poor-but-honest parents. Or maybe they get no credit, maybe it's all just internal. But despite many days of discouragement (see, I did get around to the point) fundamentally I can fight off falling to any real depths of it simply by believing in myself. And I hope everyone here finds that and believes in him/herself, too. 

Mary Connealy is a bestselling author, a Rita and Christy Award finalist and a two-time winner of the Carol Award. Some of her many series are Cimarron Legacy Series. Including the prequel, The Boden Birthright is a free ebook, No Way Up released last July, Long Time Gone, available for pre-order and Too Far Down, coming in October 2017.
Mary has two novellas releasing in October, Cowboy Christmas Homecoming—a four-book collection, and the single novella, Room at the Inn for Christmas. Also these series: Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters.

She lives in Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero, has four grown daughters and four spectacular grandchildren.

This hour, Mary is giving away a signed copy of No Way Up!


Cows. 
Mary is showing us her cows. 
Did we expect anything different?? Still, don't you just want to reach out and hug a calf??
HEY THEY ARE MY ONLY PETS

AS IF A DOG OR CAT IS CUTER THEN THIS...and I killed my last goldfish


Happy New Year, Central Time!!
Mary, you may think Central is Real Time, but you're wrong...

L.A. Sartor is with us for Hour 20. She's ringing in the New Year (in Real Mountain Time) and Everyone gets a gift!! 

The line that really connected with me in this year's Seekerville is Be Strong and Courageous. Using my own experience in this crazy world of writing and publishing, either trad or indie, I'm going to give you my suggestion for kicking discouragement to the curb. And believe me, it doesn't matter if you're a best-selling author or a newbie, discouragement is bound to affect you at some point...or at many points. From that white page waiting for your genius or those red lines from your editor, discouragement fills you and you're not sure where to turn.
Re-read this verse and then take a walk and be surrounded by the beauty of this world. The gifts we've been given. The wonders right in front of you. Think of all who have gone before you, the pioneers, the seafaring folks, the daring, the bold. What would have happened if they stopped because they were discouraged?  Oh and notice I didn't say read a book. GET OUT and look around you. Admire that tender shoot of grass, that oh-so-blue sky, the child running toward its loved one. Let all of creation fill you with Strength and Courage, until you're nearly bursting with energy. Then go back and see if you can continue. I'll bet you can. 

L.A. Sartor is a bestselling, award-winning author. She began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at L.A.’s insistence, wrote them down and L.A. illustrated them. As an adult, she writes suspense and action-adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she's had a contracted adaptation!  She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date.  L.A. loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey.  She has a blog and a mailing list. And visit her on Facebook and Twitter!

Free Download for Seekerville NYE!!

L.A. is offering a giveaway to everyone here in Seekerville! Click on the link: ( http://www.mediafire.com/file/gn5ls1wbdpi48sd/Gift_Calendar_2017.pdf  )
or click below the picture to download a set of digital calendar months for 2017! You get all 12 months, each individually created :) This giveaway will be available through January 3rd!

To see more of LA's creations, visit HeartToHeart WordArt on Etsy.


Happy New Year, Mountain Time!!
Thank you Leslie, Vince, Mary, and many more for making this past hour a non-stop string of laughter!


Hour 21 is here!! It's been quite a night, hasn't it? We have one more guest, Keli Gwyn!! She has a special reason for claiming the coveted anchor spot for our New Year's Eve party...it's her daughter's birthday!! Let's help Keli and Adriana celebrate!!

I’m excited to be covering the final shift of the party and ringing in my daughter’s birthday, er, make that New Year’s Day. Our gal finally returns from her three years in Europe, and I look forward to a New Year’s Eve with her, what would have been the first in years, and what does she do? Decides to go her church’s young adult New Year’s Eve celebration instead, that’s what. The noive. (That’s my attempt at a New Yawk accent, Ruthy. Are ya laughing? Or groaning?)

I can’t say as I fault Adriana for making her plans. I mean, what brand-spanking-new twenty-six-year-old would rather hang with her well-seasoned parents instead of her hip and happening new, YOUNG church friends? She could be missing out, though. She could be home with us watching her morning-person dad doze on the couch as he makes a valiant attempt to stay awake until midnight for her sake. But no, our gal will leave me here all by my lonesome to listen to the sounds of Carl snoring along with his devoted cat.

All joking aside, I’m happy to have a wonderful place to spend the last hour of 2016 chatting with wonderful people.

And now for a pet picture. Hmm. What is said picture meant to show? Me with the furry fellow looking loyal, the furry fellow just looking cute, or…? Since my pet is a cat and the first option isn’t going to happen, I’ll go with the second. I’ve included a picture my cat since my husband’s cat won’t deign to spend time with me very often. The high-strung, turn-on-you-in-a-heartbeat fellow who tolerates me on his good days is named Sandy. Yes, it’s a sissy name, which he reminds me often. How? He talks. Incessantly. But he is cute. Or handsome, as he prefers.



Let’s talk giveaway. I have a good one. No kidding. It’s AWESOME! Why? Because it encompasses the Seekerville verse for 2017. Can’t think of anything better to give away as the New Year is birthed. Sure, I could offer one of my books, but let’s be honest. They’ve all been out for months or years and aren’t gonna get anyone excited enough to stay up and keep me company until the ball drops (or drops on re-runs, I should say.)

Just what is this awesome prize? See the picture, and I think you’ll agree that I scored. I mean seriously. It’s got the verse, and it’s got Aslan. I should get super spiritual points for that. Of course, knowing how on top of things the Teenster is, she might already have a crate of these super duper prizes stashed in her prize vault, ready to give away. After all, I found the item on good ol’ Amazon. It’s wood, and I hope it’s as cool in real life as it looks on the screen. It could even go to a guy, and he wouldn’t roll his eyes. Much.


Keli Gwyn is both a native Californian who proudly resides in the Golden State and a long-time night owl, making her an ideal candidate to host the final hour of one of the most well-renown New Year’s Eve parties in Cyberspace. Keli is actually coherent at that late hour. In fact, she does some of her best work late at night and has been known to still be up surfing Facebook when Ruthy is just starting her day out in New York and posting cute pics of the Mighty Finn.

Keli is a converted cat person and has the clothing covered in bright orange dander to prove it. When she’s not procrastinating, battling a pesky case of perfectionism or attempting to slay the dreaded Doubt Dragon, Keli writes inspirational historical romance. She has a few books to her credit, but she’s not going to knock Mary, Julie, Ruthy or any of the other prolific Seekers off their pedestals, and she’s OK with that. Keli is, however, a wordy writer, which is why this bio has gotten so long. Because she cares about you, she’s going to refrain from telling you her life story and bring this to a close.

Final Happy New Year, West Coast Time!

2,047 comments :

  1. Love the way you kick discouragement to the curb, Ruthy! And the puppy is way too adorable to believe!
    Sorry, but I think CeZar is just as cute (no bias) and is a certified therapy puppy! I'd love to have my name in that cowboy hat! Happy New Year!

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    1. I totally believe in the cuteness of CeZar!!! :) I am never one to argue cuteness of a pet... or a kid! :) Diplomacy and common sense dictate smart rules, Marianne, LOL! Welcome to the party!!!

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  2. I can't wait to start this party!

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    1. Me, either, although my head cold got me up early (even for me!!!) so we might have started early, LOL! Join me for hot tea and Tylenol doesn't sound nearly as much fun as mimosas and Panera, LOL!!!!

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  3. Happy New Year's Eve eve?! I'm jumping back into the groove here and where else to start again but my favorite website, Seekerville?! I'll dropp in again ealry in the am again at the party. Have a good night, everyone!

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    1. Annie!!! I'll be sending you our post this weekend, this darned family business (well that and a book or two) kept pushing things to the background.... But I'm on top of it and celebrating today in a big way with my geeky, book-loving buddies. BEST EVER!!!!

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  4. (Early) Happy New Year to you, RUTHY! Happy New Year, SEEKERVILLE! SO excited!(I. LOVE. YOUR. PUPPIES!!!)

    I think I'm already added to your newsletter, and I'm looking forward to it. :-)

    *clink*

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    Replies
    1. *clink* back to you! Raising our mugs!!! What a fun way to begin the day!!!

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  5. Happy New Year's Eve eve...haha! Can't wait until tomorrow to officially begin the festivities. I'll be popping in from time to time during the day and hopefully more during the evening time. Not sure if I can stay up until midnight tomorrow as it's also church on Sunday, which means an early start to my day. I don't want to fall asleep during service...lol! But I may be having so much fun, that I won't notice the time :-) We'll see how it goes!

    See you all sometime in my morning hour (PST)!

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    1. See you later, Trixi! We'll be here, partying away!!!!

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  6. Happy almost New Year! Ruthy, I just love pup pics. Sweet luvs definitely take the edge off those tense moments. I always try to keep a cute video at hand just in case.

    I am looking forward to a day and New Year's Eve of encouragement! Thank you and thank you Seekerville for all you do!

    See you in the morning. Oh, I sent you an email request for the newsletter.

    Till tomorrow!

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    1. Kelly, awesome! I'll add you to the list! And Happy New Year right back to you!!!

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  7. For New Year's Eve, I'm on California time. However, as it's the end of the year, I will be working (and so will everyone else I know). I'm bringing castella to the party. It's a Japanese sponge cake that's actually modified from a Portuguese dish. Don't settle for imitation. If you have a chance, don't pass up the real thing.

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    1. Walt, you tempter!!!! I found this recipe for castella and it's a great process... which shows that the basic ingredients don't "make" the recipe (same with a book!!!) It's often how we draw out those ingredients... and the prep time and the coaxing.... that make the finished product! So cool!!! Castella Cake from Walt Mussell

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  8. Happy New Year!!

    This sounds like a lot of fun thank you.

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    1. Mary, Happy New Year to you! Are you 12 hours ahead of us? Wait, I just went to a map, you vary from 15 hours ahead to 13 hours ahead, but what's up with two different central time zones???? Arizona would LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!!! There must be a story there and I'd love to hear it!

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    2. Hi, about 14 hours ahead. The new year arrives a lot faster for us. Cheers!!

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    3. It does, LOL! Which means you're either planning how to ring it in in a couple of hours... or (like me!) you get a good night's sleep and wake up ready to have so much fun!!! ;)

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  9. Happy New Year, Seekers.
    Let's party!!

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    1. I'm ready, Janet!!!!! The early crowd is jammin'!!!

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  10. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Eva! Same to you!!!! Come on back later when the party hats and noisemakers arrive!

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  11. Goldendoodles! I have a blond one. They're awesome therapy/office dogs dogs.

    Happy New Year's Eve, Seekerville! See you at the party.

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    1. I love my Doodle! :) He's the sweetest thing. And his mama is my best good buddy... Libby the standard poodle... I love big dogs. Good morning Renee!!!!

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    2. I love my Westie, but he's not a great office dog. He is however a great watch dog. At least he thinks he is, and you gotta love that.

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  12. Kicking off the six o'clock hour with a $20 Starbucks giveaway.... and my wishes for a happy New Year to all of youse! I'm manning the coffee area, so call me Barista Ruthy!!!!

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  13. Happy New Year's Eve! You made my morning with the puppy photos!

    Is the hot chocolate ready?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Darling, freshly frothed hot chocolate just for you! With whipped cream or without???

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  14. Happy New Year! I can't believe it's almost 2017, but I really excited to see what the new year brings. I love the pet therapy Ruthy.The dogs are precious. I'm bringing some hot chai tea to the celebration today.

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    1. Hey, I've got some great DANA pet pics I'm sharing later in the day, LOL!!! Although I might have given a thought or two to the special pair your daughter was holding, LOL!!! Good morning, Dana!!!

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    2. Ha! I have to say those two truly were my husband's fault.

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    3. Hahahaha! Feathered friend shows up in Glynna's hour, coming up!

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  15. Good morning, Ruthy & All! Just a bit past 4 a.m. here in the West. Fresh snow on the ground, though thankfully not a ton. Happy New Year's Eve to all of you! (Or am I supposed to say YOUSE since this is Ruthy's hour to host?)

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    1. You or youse works for me, my friend! :) I was up early today and finished my mystery for Guideposts... and now I get to play over here while I do a final read-through! BEST DAY EVER!!! Well, except when kids and grand-kids were born... But after that??? BEST DAY EVER!!! Hanging with Geeky friends doing Geeky writing stuff! Oh, be still my heart!!! ♥♥♥♥♥

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    2. Congrats on finishing the mystery, Ruthy! I'm still burning the midnight oil (and pre-dawn candle) on my latest WIP. Will get it out the door on Tuesday--and turn around and start working on the next proposal which has a deadline looming. ARE WE CRAZY OR WHAT? :)

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    3. We are crazy!!! But it's the most fun crazy ever, isn't it???

      Gosh, it was eight years or so ago and we were all hoping someone would pay us to write... I'm so glad it worked out, and I love helping others grab hold of that dream, too! And if we can help by getting rid of the dark side of creativity... the discouragement, the naysayers... I say Go For It!!! Aren't we blessed???

      I think you, Pam and I are the only Seekers still working outside jobs, so we have to mind our clocks a little more carefully, but I find it makes me better with my time...

      Do you find the same?

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  16. Good morning, Ruthy! Happy New Year's eve! I'm excited to learn how to kick discouragement to the curb. My "therapy" dog is a miniature Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix names Sawyer, and I'd probably accomplish more writing if I'd let him sit at my feet while I write. I'm going to have to give it a try.

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    1. Jeter and Libby love to be at my feet.... or Jeter will sit and push his neck against my foot so I can rub his neck... with my foot... while I work. So funny!!! And why haven't you sent me a pic of Sawyer??? Send it along loganherne@gmail.com and I'll tuck him into one of the hours! Let's celebrate the natural therapy of loving something other than ourselves... and how they make us smile!!!

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    2. Right now while my hubby and I are trying to transition to SC (he's there working and I'm working here trying to get our house sold), our dog is with me. I'm trying to give him extra doses of love.

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    3. You are in a state of flux, darling!!!! Doses of love are wonderful things!!!
      I expect it's a two-way street!!! :)

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  17. Happy New Year's!! This party sounds like it is going to be fun!!

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    1. Joy, good morning! Nice to see you here this morning! What a great name for the holidays, and have we met before?

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  18. Good morning Ruthy! I just woke up and thought I would pop in for the first hour. Excited to hang out here all day. I definitely need to kick discouragement to the curb this year.

    Well, back to bed now. See you again in about 3 hours!

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    1. Hahahah! Smart girl, getting in this first hour! Waving, Sandy, and we'll see you again a little later! Thanks for the quick drive by!!! :)

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  20. Good morning, Barista Ruthy! I am snuggled under a soft blanket with my hot tea in hand and journal beside me. I am ready for my words to flow onto the pages.

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    1. Karen!!! Hey, my friend who lives in the very real "Grace Haven"!!! I love that you're journaling!!! For those of you who don't know Karen, she was BRAVE OR FOOLISH enough to be my first daycare mom way back in the day... and then MOVED to a town far away, ostensibly for a job but probably to find a new babysitter, LOL!!!! I must come see you!!!

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  21. Good morning, Ruthy, and a merry New Years eve morn to you - I don't know anyone more capable of bringing merriment and putting a smile on others faces than you!!

    Loved the pictures and comments about your dogs and puppies!! I've had numerous dogs/puppies and other pets from childhood on, but have had none for quite a few years now. My thoughtful, caring son has both tried to give me their cat, LOL, and asked to purchase a dog to keep me company in the last few years since I retired from a full-time job outside the home (due to health reasons). While I would love the company and having the comfort of a pet again - it isn't feasible with my health issues and retirement income. The walking a dog regularly is difficult for me - my lawn uneven, pet care an added expense, and pet care an issue when I want to travel - which at this point, I am still able to do on an irregular basis.

    Thanks for sharing with us, and the opportunity for a wonderful giveaway!! Hugs!!

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    1. Bonnie!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!!! I'm so glad you came on over today... and yowza, you are so dressed up for the morning edition. You go, girl!!!!

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  22. After a long, but good, week, I thought I'd sleep in today. But I woke up and saw 6:44 on the clock and jumped up so I wouldn't miss Seekerville! Good morning!

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    1. Hahahahahahah! That's the spirit! Good morning, my friend, and Happy New Year! I'm right now practicing a recipe for "A Light in the Darkness" my Guideposts' mystery and I've got three recipes I'm sending in... It's always so much fun to add those special little touches to a story!!! And we know I love being in the kitchen!!!

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    2. "Plenty of time to rest in the grave"... Benjamin Franklin.

      I LOVE THAT MAN!!!!!

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  23. P.S. LOL, yes - 3 a.m. seems a tad early to start this party, even for you, my friend. Hope the joy of the day, combined with the tea and Tylenol, help kick your cold to the curb rapidly!! A healing prayer from me wouldn't hurt either, right??

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    1. Oh, thank you! I just was so stuffy I couldn't breathe laying down, so a little medicine and hot tea helped... but I'm ready to P-A-R-T-Y now, Bonnie! Let's get the music started!!!

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  24. Ruthy, thanks for starting our day strong. Get feeling better soon!

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  25. What a CUTE kitty, Patti Jo! Have you read "Kit Kat & Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl's World" by Julie's editor Lonnie Hull DuPont? I think you'd really enjoy it.

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  26. DANA - Now THAT's and interesting pet! And a beautiful one!

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    1. Oh... Ms. Dana and her crew have a stinkin' menagerie of interesting going on.... I'm ENVIOUS!!! Not as envious as I am of Meg Brummer's husband's skills. He made her a barn door for one of their rooms, like we see on Fixer Upper.... Oh be still my heart!!!

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    2. That's Mrs. McFeathers. She's a hoot. We have 5 other chickens but they're camera shy.LOL.

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    3. Dana -- how to you keep her so CLEAN. She like, GLOWS white.

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    4. That's actually my older son's job, since she's his pet. Washing a chicken is interesting if they're really wiggly. Feathers, though is really calm. She just sits there.

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    5. Dana -- How long can a chicken be expected to live? Assuming I mean, that you don't EAT them.

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    6. Ya can't eat 'em once you name them. They live 8 years, on average.

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    7. Ruthy - Meg's husband's skills are fabulous. He has done almost all of the woodwork/trim in their new house. You should see the banister!

      It's definitely a house built with love!

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    8. Ruthy adds that she can eat named critters... But she makes the name fit: Pigs named Ham and Bacon... Chickens named "Chicken" and McNugget... :) But Ruthy will remind all gathered that when she took a sensitivity test online she FAILED. The only other Seeker that failed was Mary Connealy, and these two pragmatic Seekers are almost proud of their failure, LOL!

      :)

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    9. Haha. We had a chicken named Nugget. We didn't eat her...The dog did.

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  27. Good morning, Glynna! I love your words of encouragement!

    Patti Jo, what a cute cat! Dana Lynn, I'm not sure I like chickens that much, but yours sure looks clean and healthy!

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    1. Good morning to you, too, Jackie! With a deadline looming over my head just on the other side of this holiday weekend, I'm CLINGING to my own words of encouragement. LOL!

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    2. JACKIE...I thought we were crazy when we got chickens, but they're so much fun!

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  28. I don't currently have pet to share, but I know I'll enjoy all the ones featured in Seekerville today! Aren't Ruthy's Doodles adorable?

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  29. It is now 10pm on a VERY hot summer's night. The New Year is just 2 hours away. I will probably see in the new year, but not by choice. As lovely as the fireworks are, and they seem to go off every hour or so, I doubt I could sleep through it. Also my son is at a party and being deaf he has no idea how loud he is when he comes home. Besides it's just way too hot to sleep. SEND SNOW!! Just a flurry or two thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe we can do an international exchange, Mary--some of my snow for your "down under" heat?! It's in the teens at night here and daytime temps not expected out of the low-mid 30's for the next several days.

      I doubt I'll see in the New Year...been up and redlining my latest manuscript since 3 a.m.!

      Delete
    2. Jenny Blake had posted about the heat and it's so funny to us up here because winter is really winter! There's little respite! I'm sending snow right now, darling!!!

      What are your winters like, Mary? Cold and rainy? Cloudy? Snow/no snow???

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    3. We're supposed to get some freezing rain. Would you like some sent your way? just kidding. No one wants freezing rain.

      Delete
    4. I wouldn't mind not having a white Christmas (or New Year). Would be so nice to know you can make holiday plans without weather system interference. LUCKY TINA!

      Delete
  30. Love beginning my day with Seekerville! Although it is on the cold side here in the mountains of NC. at 26 with a windchill of 21 and since the sun has not made it to the top of the mountain yet, It could get a little colder.

    Hoping to get some writing and reading done as well as organize my kitchen again after all the baking before Christmas.

    I am so excited about today's party. I will try popping in periodically as the day progresses. Right now I need to go find something warmer to wear.

    Ruthy I hope you feel better!

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    1. Aw, thank you! Just a cold, more bothersome than anything! And that way I got a lot done in the middle of the night, Wilani!!! #brightside

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    2. Brrr. That's pretty cold, Wilani! Fix a cup of hot cocoa (with cinnamon & whipped cream on top!)and dig out a nice warm blanket! Then settle down to that reading and writing!

      There's something special about the last day of the year--looking back on how far you've come in the past 12 months and kicking discouragement to the curb to face a bright new year!

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  31. Happy New Year! I love pet therapy. I don't know where I'd be with my cat.

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Cathy Ann! Pet therapy--can't be beat, can it? How long have you had your cat?

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  32. GLYNNA: love those discouragement tips!! Each has certainly proven true for me also. God is always in control of my tomorrows, nothing is permanent except eternity, and what seemed like denials in the past were my joys in the future- He worked my trials to my good, teaching me valuable lessons along the way (which I could pass on to others also) and drawing me nearer Him in the process.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Bonton! I have all those quotes framed at my desk--along with a few others (including my favorite--Jeremiah 29:11--and Matthew 19:26's "With God, all things are possible.")

      What you shared is so true. Nothing is permanent except eternity. Knowing that helps put the rest of it into perspective.

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  33. Great way to kick discouragement away. Pet therapy is awesome and useful from young to old. I've seen so many benefit from pet therapy. I love my Princess cat and she knows when I really need some extra TLC from her. Have a great day and new year.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, Marilyn! I'm hoping that if there's any discouragement lingering around our Village today, that a day-long exercise in kicking it to the curb will free us to march into 2017 with renewed hope and encouragement! And if pet therapy plays a part in that, all the better!! :)

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  34. DANA LYNN: I had a red pet hen "Ole' Ripe" when I was a child. The roosters, however, I quickly unfriended after one spurred my face so near one of my eyes anesthetic couldn't be given when the injury was stitched up by the doctor when I was just a toddler.

    Loved those barn doors Ruthy mentioned, love seeing them on Fixer Upper and love that show!! My father was a man of many talents when he was younger, just as your hubby seems to be.

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    Replies
    1. So sorry! Yeah, I don't like roosters much.

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    2. Roosters are usually such brats.... Agreed!!!

      But I do love to hear them crow.

      And I walk softly and carry a big stick. (true words.) :)

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  35. RUTHY: got my music going, thanks for the Castella recipe - and thanks, Walt, for mentioning it. Never heard of Castella until now - looks delicious!! That quote "plenty of time to rest in the grave" certainly is fitting for you, LOL!! Love the goldendoodles, my niece has one.

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    1. Hahahahahaha! I read that Ben Franklinism years ago and adopted it, Bonnie! :) If God gives me time, there is still so much to do... and I get such a kick out of doing it... Possibly frenetic, right? :)

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  36. Hey, our winner of the $20 Starbucks card is Kelly Blackwell!!! Congratulations, Kelly!!! We'll post the list and instructions in a tab on the WE tomorrow... In the meantime, party on!!!!

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  37. Happy New Year, Seekerville friends. Hope this year shocks your socks!!

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, Mary Vee! And happy last day of 2016. So exciting to have a fresh new year stretching out ahead of us. So many possibilities!

      Delete
  38. Good morning, Seekerville! We're off to a fabulous start already, and it's only 6:00 AM at my house. When do you people sleep???

    What are your plans for the day when you're not hanging out here at Seekerville?

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    1. Good morning, Jan! Are you staying warm today in your part of the country?

      I'll be writing and revising all day. Rain and snow in the forecast, but because the sun shines here in Arizona most of the time, I enjoy an overcast or slightly "gloomy" day to snuggle in and write!

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    2. Good morning, Glynna!

      Yes, it's going to be a warm one today with a high of around 50°. It will change by next week, though, so we'll enjoy the warm sunshine while it's here!

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    3. 50°??? We're getting that in two days, so I'm thanking you now... but everything then becomes sloppy and muddy. I prefer snow!!!

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  39. Hey, hey, hey!!! Jan Drexler is joining the day crew right now all the way from the Midwest... Good morning, my friend!!! :)

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  40. I LOVE THATCHER!!!!!

    And I couldn't resist giving him a CAT to hang out with! But where is Wynter?????

    (STARTS CROWD CHANT):

    WE WANT WYNTER!!

    WE WANT WYNTER!!!!

    WE WANT WYNTER!!!!!! :)

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  41. Sending a picture now!

    Wynter is our old lady. She just turned twelve, but she rarely acts her age - especially when someone gets out the L-E-A-S-H!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sending it along! :) She's got her moment of fame right now!!!! Like John Travolta "Stayin' Alive"!!!!

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  42. Good morning and Happy New Years Eve everyone. I'm a little late to the party as I was tending to my 88 year old ailing mother. It was a really, really rough night. My precious husband is on duty for pretty much the rest of the day.

    I agree with you Ruthy, animals can keep a person's life or help them get through things. My first poodle when I was 10 years old until I was 25 years old, saw me through so many things. When my parents divorced, he would sit and listen to me as I cried and talked with him. By the time I was done crying he had big "puppy dog tears" in his eyes as well. This morning I needed some puppy dog love and when I came home from my mom's house (right next door), Pooh Bear (my 3 year old poodle) met me at the door crying and whining his welcome to me. People who have never had a pet cannot really understand that pets feel with us. They share with us. And by the way, Poodles are EXTREMELY smart. Our last one we had to spell in front of during his final years as he understood meanings of words. Pooh Bear understands words and also is really in tune with physical queues.

    I wish everyone a wonderful blessed New Year's weekend and a prosperous and wonderful new year!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, Cindy!

      You've had a long day already. So sorry about your mom. And you're right - pets are intuitive. They catch non-verbal signals that people miss, and are always there to lend a listening ear.

      And poodles! They are incredibly smart. At the top of the list alongside Border Collies.

      Happy New Year!

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    2. Good morning, Cindy. I'm so sorry about your mom and the struggles you face daily.
      We spell in front of my dog on our walks if we see a cat and need to change directions. I hope your day gets better!

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    3. Cindy, adding my hugs and sympathies, too. I know that elder care is a tough thing to do, and Mom's health is a concern... God bless that little dog for his love and care!!!

      Libby is smart, so I'm in full agreement on the poodles are smart wagon! And she wants to gently mother everything... and she tolerates all the little kids!!!! And you know there are a lot of little kids around here!!!! :)

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    4. Sometimes, though, when you have a Labradoodle, the poodle part of the poor dog gets buried under all of that Labrador enthusiasm.

      Our neighbor's Labradoodle looks a LOT like Jeter (I know, he's a Goldendoodle...), but her brain is all Labrador. Maybe she'll grow into her poodle smartness, but right now she's all Labrador fun and enthusiasm.

      And Thatcher HATES it when she comes in our yard!

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    5. Thank you Ruthy. I appreciate all the hugs and prayers.

      Pooh Bear also tends to my mom. It is such a sweet sight how he is so gentle with her and then thinks nothing of jumping up on my husband or me. He can be a big lug sometimes but he is a real lover all the time. He is a miniature and weighs about 18 pounds. I sent some pictures to you Ruthy, but they are from when he was only 14 weeks old. He moves too fast for my camera.

      Delete
  43. BTW - we have a cat, too. Maggie-the-Cat has a checkered past. For many years, we're convinced she believed she was a dog.

    When we lived in Kansas, she would go out in the yard with the dogs, hang out with them, and even run to the fence to "bark" at any dog who had the nerve to walk past our house.

    Now, sigh, she's a lazy old lady who loves to sit in the middle of whatever you're doing. She seriously interferes with my knitting. :)

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  44. One thing I have to tell you, dear friends...today is a sad day in the Drexler household. It's the day to take down the Christmas decorations. :(

    I know, I know. We could leave them up longer. But when you have a real tree, it has a limited time. Four weeks is about all I want to try to stretch a fresh tree's life.

    So this morning, I'm in mourning. Another Christmas season is past.

    But that makes me wonder - what will the next year bring? We have a wedding in February (oldest son marrying the love of his life), but the rest of the year? Who knows? It's a year full of possibilities!

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    Replies
    1. I've got to take down my decorations today too. UK is playing a bowl game, so I'll turn on the game and de-decorate at the same time.

      Delete
    2. UK basketball!!!

      When we lived in the Lexington area, the one thing that came between us and our friends was that we aren't basketball fans. We didn't care if UK won or not.

      That's downright un-American if you live in central Kentucky!

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    3. Wait - it's still football season, isn't it?

      Sigh. The same happened during football season.

      We don't bleed blue...and my dear husband even worked at UK.

      Delete
    4. Jan, for those of us who aren't UK fans.... we can post pics of JETER (the real one, the Yankee) all around the room while we undecorate... OR turn on a great old movie we can recited line by line!!! (my preference, LOL!)

      Each Christmas so lovely, so special... :)

      Delete
    5. Yes, I hear you.

      Of course, if the BRONCOS were playing...

      Oh wait! They are! The Western Michigan University Broncos are playing in a bowl game this weekend.

      I never went to WMU, but my mom did...and my brother works there...so maybe I'll root for them. :)

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    6. LOL, Jan! We were never UK fans either. Especially since my dad worked at WKU, and I attended there as well. We usually pull for U of L over UK these days since my cousin lives in Louisville. :)

      Delete
    7. In 2015 we moved from the Lexington, KY area to Kansas.

      The only two K states in the country.

      And the whole sports thing switched from UK to KU. Jayhawks instead of Wildcats, but the main color for both teams is blue.

      Yeah. I'm not a Jayhawks fan, either.

      I'm not surprised they let us leave the state... ;)

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    8. I'll second the Jeter (real one) goodness! I'll have to pop out my shirt too! *wink wink

      Delete
  45. Happy New Year everyone! Just joining the party and looking forward to a fun day!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good morning, Jackie! Welcome to the party!

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  46. Jan, thanks for hosting this hour! I hope 2017 is a great year for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Jackie L.!

      I'm looking forward to what God has in store for the coming year. It's always a wild ride when He's driving, isn't it?

      Wishing you and your family the best, too!

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    2. Back to back Jackies!!! BEST THING EVER!!!!

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  47. Is it breakfast time yet???

    I have a beautiful Apple Strudel. Ruthy shared the recipe at the Yankee Belle Cafe on Thursday, and it is delicious!

    To go with it, I'm serving up some hot chocolate with a swirl of whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

    Enjoy to your heart's delight! The calories are virtual!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raising my mug and having some strudel!!!!

      I'm roasting potatoes to practice a recipe for "A Light in the Darkness" and New Englanders loved their potatoes! So that's what's in the Herne/Blodgett oven right now!

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    2. Ruthy...roasted potatoes? They sound wonderful!

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  48. JAN : Good morning, and "Happy New Year"!! Isn't living your dream just the best - thanks for sharing your writing gift!! Though some dreams aren't always the most lucrative, I've found God's timing to always be the best - greater and more permanent joy always coming from following His plan than those years long ago spent following my own plan/dreams.

    The mug is beautiful - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

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    Replies
    1. Good morning, bonton!

      I do love writing. It was a dream that I had pushed so far down while I was busy living my first dream - raising and educating our children - that I thought I had lost it.

      Then my husband gave me a computer for Christmas one year. I hadn't realized how strong the writing dream was until that one action released it.

      That's just one example of when God's timing was perfect.

      And you're right - "greater and more permanent joy"! Just the thought of it makes me smile all over. :)

      Delete
    2. Bonnie, what perfect phrasing.

      Thank you.

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  49. Happy New Year! Thankful I saw the post online and got involved reading this. What an awesome opportunity. Thanks for the opportunity to win prizes as well as good reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, Liz!

      There are prizes all day, which is one reason to stop by often. But the best part of Seekerville is the ongoing conversations!

      Happy New Year!

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    2. We do love to talk... and help others! Liz, I'm so glad you came over! Welcome and would you like some coffee? Tea? Juice??? White wine??? :)

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    3. O yes...the conversations are great! As Ruthy says...we do love to talk....maybe even ramble on a bit? I need to head out and grab myself a latte macchiato...

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    4. Send one here... 723 Parma Center Road, darling... :)

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  50. Hey, the winner of the James Scott Bell book that was graciously donated by Glynna Kaye is Renee McBride! Renee, congratulations!!!!!!

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  51. What a great party to kick discouragement to the curb! Loving the animal pics! The chicken is so cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't Dana's chicken beautiful?

      Happy New Year, Sally!!!

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  52. Looks like y'all have kicked off the morning with a bang!! What fun to see everyone's pets. :) I should've known Ruthy would find someone with a chicken! Dana, you and Ruthy need to compare notes sometime. :)

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    1. I'm in awe of Dana's chicken. Our city has a chicken ban.

      *boo, boo*

      So no chickens. Not now. :(

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    2. Come visit me. I'll share. Lovingly. :)

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  53. Jan, I guess I shouldn't feel so bad about getting our live tree late this year. I'll get to keep it up a little longer! :)

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    Replies
    1. We get ours on the first weekend in December during "The Great Christmas Tree Hunt." Awesome.

      But it also means that early January is the time for it to come down. I've been able to stretch it to Epiphany once or twice, but today's weather is supposed to be beautiful. Perfect for taking the tree to the recycling center and getting everything put away before the next storm hits.

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    2. Too early! But i know what you mean. I love my tree! It's perfect. This year, i made everyone either make an ornament or buy. All the kids made one or two and they are just gorgeous! I don't want to put it away. I think I will try to keep it up through Epiphany....

      Delete
  54. Ruthy and Glynna, I got up too late to be here when you were hosting, but I wanted to tell you I love both pieces of advice!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Missy! You get me again at noon, and !!!! I'm just as bossy then.

      BIG GRIN!!!!

      You can take the Yank out of the north... but you can't take the Yank out of the Yankee!

      Good morning!!!!

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    2. Yes!!!! Where's my "I love NY" bumper sticker????

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  55. Happy New Year's Eve to all my Seekerville family! I'm praying 2017 is filled with lots of writing success for all of us!

    So fun to party with you today. I've brought an assortment of fresh bagels that are so good, cinnamon rolls and pecan coffee cake as well! Enjoy!

    Has anyone made a New Year's Resolution yet?

    Or do you have your One Word for 2017?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Debby! Nah...not really...but unofficially. This year, I pray for balance of new medical condition with my daily activities and continued prayers for the planning of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat!

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    2. Hi Debby! I'm not into making New Year resolutions anymore, but I did choose a word this year. Actually, the Lord planted it into my heart. My word is JOY!

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    3. My word for last year was gratitude. This year is blessed - being reminded of how blessed we are despite our constant pull to complain what we would like to have. My Darcy and I was just having a discussion on that last night.

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    4. Good morning, Debby!

      I have my One Word - this year is "gratitude."

      And another CFRR! Woo hoo!

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    5. Just found this thread, ladies! Thanks for sharing your One Words! The Lord hasn't given me mine yet. But I've got time.

      Love what you all will be focusing on...

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    6. Cindy W - The year that JOY was my One Word was an awesome and difficult year. God really worked through circumstances to show me what true joy is.

      Praying that you will have a wonderful year of Joy.

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    7. Debby - My one word is a carryover from last year -- ABIDE. As in John 15:5

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    8. I've got mine... "Heartening"... It's a good word for me, a reminder to let my words be heartening...

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  56. Jan, you rocked this! Thank you so much.... and now we've got Debby Giusti stepping into the gathering room... When she stops flirting with the band!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can't be the end of the hour! Not yet!

      Thanks for letting me host!

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  57. Happy New Year Seekerville! Loving all the pictures & comments!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Deanna! So glad you found the party!

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  58. Love the music, Ruthy!

    I'm already on board! Waving to everyone and sending New Year's kisses and hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gotta have good music! :) And we're taking requests.

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  59. MyNew Year's Resolution...

    One more day to decide.

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  60. Good morning everyone. I've enjoyed seeing these pets and reading the tips offered so far. I am fighting a cold but hope to be in and out all day.
    Blessings and Happy New Year!
    Connie
    cps1950(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    Replies
    1. Hope you feel better soon Connie. I hate catching colds. I don't know why that term ever came to be because if the truth be known, I would never hold on to it or even try to catch one. :)

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    2. Extra tissues on the table to the right of the waffle bar!!!!

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  61. Connie, so sorry about your cold! I'm sending chicken soup by FEDX. Should arrive later today.

    Hugs!

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  62. It's 7 AM Mountain time. Anyone up in that part of the country?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew you were up, Jan! Waving. Are you sipping tea?

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    2. I've been up since THREE mountain time, Debby! Deadlines will do that to you. :)

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    3. Glynna, sorry you have so much to do this time of year!

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  63. Still trying to warm up. Just fixed a cup of raspberry tea.I am wrapped in a throw.

    Looking forward to the new year and what the Lord wants to do with my life.

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    Replies
    1. I see you all wrapped up and sipping your tea, Wilani!

      New Year's greetings...and love!

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    2. Enjoy your tea, Wilani! My hot chocolate is gone, so it's time to up the caffeine stakes with a cup of Earl Grey.

      Love my Earl Grey... :)

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  64. Love seeing everyone's pets! My two grand dogs are adorable. Although they don't like each other! :) Angelo, the little one, scares the big lab. Too funny!

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  65. Good morning, DEBBY! Still PITCH DARK here in Arizona shortly after 7 a.m. Sun won't officially peek over the horizon for almost another 30 minutes--maybe longer since it's cloudy this morning.

    So funny that your little granddog has the bigger one intimidated. :)

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    1. Hi Glynna. I always envision you surrounded by snow. Always remember our visit to Flagstaff years ago. We were driving from CA to our new home in VA and got the last hotel room in town. God bless the folks at the Holiday Inn, I believe! Also it was SAT, and the next morning, we found a lovely church that was so welcoming.

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  66. Connie mentioned having a cold. I take VIT D3 to ward off infections. I'm convinced it's the new super drug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take D3, too, but still got hit with a powerful cold a couple weeks ago. I guess the D3 didn't give me enough immunity to fight off my weekly exposure to the three's and four's in my Sunday School class!

      But since I've been taking the vitamin, I only get one cold a year now instead of multiple infections!

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    2. I find VIT D shortens the duration of a cold and often will nip it in the bud, as the saying goes!

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  67. No pets here but I've had my mint chocolate coffee and ready to party! Hello Debby from a Nebraska neighbor :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Deanna! Mint coffee sounds perfect for holiday celebrations!

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  68. Happy New Year Debby! Love your gifts you are offering this morning!

    Your grand dogs are beautiful too!

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    Replies
    1. Both dogs are getting old and are much less frisky than in years past...but still so fun!

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  69. Hi Debby, happy new year's eve!
    I love the dogs, but I really love the USA dog pillow. I think it's great when our dogs are patriotic. I love when dogs wear USA scarves in parades.
    Thanks for sharing with us today. I appreciate your words of encouragement. You're right, life is smoother when we follow God.

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