Saturday, July 14, 2018

Weekend Edition


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

Monday:  Missy Tippens brought you tips for writing devotionals. She decided to pick two winners for a devotional critique/brainstorming. Congratulations to Wilani and Edwina Cowgill!

Tuesday: Rachelle Dekker was in the house, talking about writing her first suspense novel. And she's giving away two copies of When Through Deep Waters. Winners are Sandy Smith and Karen Sargent! Congrats!

Wednesday: Ruth Logan Herne spent the day chatting with writers and readers, talking about taking your business seriously... like you do your writing! Winners of "Her Cowboy Reunion", Ruthy's newest Love Inspired book are Wilani Wahl, Laura Kestner and Winnie Thomas!

Friday: Carrie entertained (and swooned) with her continuing thoughts on Creating a Swoonilicious kiss!! ~~Kiss and Tell, Part II!  Her winner is Laurie Wood! (Let us know which book you want!)  

Monday:  Jan Drexler is continuing her look at story worlds with her post, Using Settings to Tap Your Readers' Imaginations. One commenter will win an e-book copy of her only non-Amish story so far, "A Home for His Family!"

Tuesday: Join Ruth Logan Herne for a release party for "Her Cowboy Reunion", the first book of her new "Shepherd's Crossing" series. THIS BOOK RELEASES TODAY!!! PARTY!!! PRIZES!!! HAPPY FACES!!! FREE PRETEND FOOD!!!

Wednesday:  Melanie Dickerson is our hostess as she talks about what it means to write with confidence!!!

Thursday: We welcome Richard Mabry back to Seekerville!
Friday: Special guest Matt Mikalatos is visiting with a post about 7 Ways Fiction Can Break through When Nonfiction Fails.  And he's giving away a copy of his book The Crescent Stone to one lucky commenter

Pam Hillman is participating in a Historical Romance
BOOKBUB and Facebook Builder.
Lots of ways to win. Ends July 15th.
(If I understand the Rafflecopter correctly, there are 32 ways to win! Wow!)Click here to Participate

Pam again... still celebrating the release of The Road to Magnolia Glen. :)
I'm a sponsor at the Christian Fiction Summer Reading Safari.
Read! Review! Win books! (It really is that easy!)
Click here to join the fun for the entire month of July!

Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale series got a new addition in the form of an Aladdin retelling a couple of weeks ago. Now on sale at online retailers, including Amazon, and a book store near you.


2018 Literacy Autographing Information

When: Saturday, July 21, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. MT
Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Plaza Ballroom (Plaza Building, Concourse Level)
Proceeds from book sales benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide and Literacy Coalition of Colorado
This event is open to the public and is free of charge to attend.
More than 400 authors will be signing, including our own DEBBY GIUSTI. The seating
is alphabetical so look for Debby in the "G" row and be sure to stop by her
table and say hello!

The Seeker gals have been VERY busy! Jan Drexler's first book in her new series, "The Amish of Weaver's Creek" is available for preorder wherever great books are sold!

Book #2 in the Garrison's Law series is available NOW in ebook, print book coming soon!

Loving Her Texas Protector

Jacie Moreau is a tough-as-nails security specialist who works with the Long Pine Texas police. She takes care of herself and doesn’t ask for help from anyone.
Brett Garrison is an odd-man-out in the Garrison family. He’s a soft-hearted veterinarian from a family of daring Texas lawmen.
Jacie runs afoul of a hired killer and no one is there to step between her and danger but Brett.
Brett’s good-hearted plan to care for the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen draw an assassin’s attention.
Jacie never needs help, but Brett’s kindness when she is so vulnerable sneaks past all the emotional walls she’s built around her heart.
The killer keeps coming and their only hope is to run. And as they run they try and figure out who’s hired a killer, and why, and how to stop him.
If they hide well enough and live long enough, they might make it to the day they can fall in love.

Announcing Bookfunnel Print Codes at the Bookfunnel blog.

The Plot Clock: The Structure Template that Saved my Career by Joyce Sweeney at Fiction University.

Compiling a DOCX in Scrivener 3 by Gwen Hernandez at Writer Unboxed

Raves and Rants for July ~ Perfect Possessives by Amanda Cabot at  An Indie Adventure

Watch The RITA and Golden Heart Ceremonies LIVE! courtesy of Romance Writers of America

Writing A Series: 7 Continuation Issues to Avoid by Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn

6 Ways to Manipulate Time In Fiction by Martin Cavannagh at Live, Write, Thrive


  1. Looks like you have a great week lined up with plenty of "meat" in the posts. I love it when you guys are open every day! Confession, I didn't come by for Carrie's kiss post, but the reason I didn't was I was actually writing, so there's that.
    Going to check out some of these links!
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Kathy, we're glad you were writing! You were doing what we encourage. :)

  2. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    An update on my dad. We have transitioned him to hospice. Life will continue as it has been only he will no longer have therapy. The nurses and CNA's will continue to come and as we get closer to the end they will come more often. I really thought I was going to lose him on Wednesday. A lot of family has come in this weekend to see him.

    It is a difficult road, but I am finding the Lord to be my strength as I take care of my precious Daddy.

    I am so grateful for all the prayers.

    Looking forward to the posts next week.

    1. This is a hard time, Wilani! Our prayers are with you!

    2. My prayers are with you and your dad, Wilani. Hospice is awesome when you need them. So caring and patient and loving. What special people. Daddy is in great hands.

    3. Praying for you, Wilani. I know it's a tough time. Glad you are there for him.

    4. You're a faithful daughter, Wilani! Praying for you and Dad!

    5. Wilani, I'll continue to pray. I'm so glad family could come in this weekend.

    6. Wilani, The Lord bless you and keep you. I'm praying.

  3. Congratulations to all if the winners! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks for stopping in and commenting, Connie.

  4. Good morning, Seekerville and congratulations to all of the winner ! Hope all of you are enjoying a fun, if not relaxing, weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you next week at RWA in Denver. And if you're at the literacy signing, stop bye and say hi so I won't feel so lonely. :P

    1. Mindy, we'll be waving to each other across the room! See you for dinner Tuesday night, right! Can't wait!

    2. See you both in Denver!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Audra, too! Others!!!

  5. Happy Weekend, Seekerville friends! :)
    CONGRATS to all the winners, and to the Authors with new releases!!

    And...since I've just gotten a fresh batch of Georgia peaches, I've baked a peach cobbler just for you all. Enjoy!! ;)

    Hugs from *Humid* Georgia, Patti Jo

    1. Peach cobbler! Yum, yum, yum!

      Thanks, Patti Jo!

    2. Yumbola! Just one cobbler? Heh, heh, heh. Okay, I won't be greedy. I've brought ice cream :)

    3. Yum! Delicious, Patti Jo. Thank you, dear friend!


  6. Happy Saturday, everyone!

    Congratulations to the winners from this week!

    Today is a writing day for me, so I'm off to my WIP. Have a great weekend. :-)

    1. Jan, catch those words and make them behave! Praying for a very productive day for you!!

  7. Weekend Question:

    What Do You Think of the Term 'Clean' as Applied to Romances?

    I don't particularly like the term 'clean' as applied to romances because I believe it is a pejorative from the point of view of most other romances.

    The question is:

    "If you're not in the 'clean' category, are you then 'dirty'? In effect, are you a dirty book author?"

    Moreover, if you read other than 'clean' romances are you a dirty book reader? Is using the term 'clean' in your marketing a way of putting down millions of other readers?

    I'm not a fan of using 'sweet' either. 'Sweet' seems to indicate the story is not realistic. For example: a book like "Winter's End" is clean but I would not call it sweet.

    The marketing problem is how to let readers know a book is 'clean' without using that term.

    I'm not a fan of 'wholesome' either as that too seems to be a pejorative to non-members of the group. Are all other romances unwholesome?

    I like the term 'cozy' as applied in mysteries. It does not seem to be pejorative to any other mysteries.

    Of course, 'Christian' fiction is presumed to be 'clean' per se. So the term 'clean' is most needed in describing secular romances. In fact, one might argue that the word 'clean' is redundant when used with genuine 'Christian' fiction.


    Do you have any suggestions for a word like 'cozy' that says 'clean' to a reader without having the pejorative punch?

    This is not easy or it would have been done already.

    What terms can you come of with?


    1. Vince, really? I need to engage and think this morning??

      So, I'm with you in all the adjective camps you've described. Isn't it a sad state that one needs to determine content at all? I'm mean, yes, I don't want to get mired down in erotica, or even "bodice-ripper" types, but all the designations you've mentioned basically apply to romances that close the door to "adult activity." That's the way I like them.

      That being said, I don't really have an answer for you other than referring to the books I write as inspirational. Readers can take that any way they'd like. I hope they reach the last page with a sense that my characters rely on God for direction, but if not, I hope they come away with a sense of hope and happiness that HEA has been achieved.

      Any thoughts?

    2. Boy, this is a tough conversation because who knows what will appeal to readers? What descriptor works best?

      Vince, you're right, I know that people don't see a Running on Empty or Winter's End or Refuge of the Heart as "sweet"... or even wholesome or clean.... so it's a conundrum.

      BUT... we are limited in our choices and numbers, so that's a pain, right?

      If you put DEATH, well, that's gonna limit the audience, LOL!

      TORTURE.... IMPRISONMENT.... yikes, that's a turn off for most....

      PEDOPHILE!!!! Hmmm.... ;) That's a book grabber!

      So that's a problem if you're writing realistic romance or "reality romance" like you dubbed it years ago, because while the readers love the stories... if you were to use those words in the search, they'd run screaming!

      And I would miss them.

      A lot.

    3. Hi Audra:

      You wrote: "Isn't it a sad state that one needs to determine content at all?"

      Philosophically, and in a more perfect world, yes. But from a marketing POV, the expert flagging of content is the marketer's best friend.

      The way to sell a lot of books (in addition to always writing great books) is to attract the favorable attention of those prospects who will most likely buy and enjoy those books.

      These readers are the low hanging fruit of marketing and they will buy your book in the greatest numbers with the least 'sell' needed. All they need is to hear about it.

      The best prospects will also enjoy the book most and write the best reviews. And, of course, they will provide the best word of mouth.

      The readers you don't want are the one who will dislike the book, not enjoy reading it, and write poor reviews. Good marketing lets these people know up front that the book is not for them.

      Even worse, the more they spent for the book, the madder they are…especially if the title and cover copy made them think the book was something other than it is.

      Novice marketers sometimes think they need to get the most people to read their ads or cover copy of their books. Not so. The job of the ad is to get the most prospects to notice the ad or book.

      What good would an ad be that attracted 80% of the public but none of the best prospects for that book? Wouldn't you rather get just 5% of the public but 100% of the prospects who will actually buy the book?

      This is why I would like to see a better term for 'clean' -- one that does the job of 'clean' but does not come with 'clean's baggage.


    4. Vince, I've never been a fan of the use of the word "clean" for just the reason you gave. But I do like the term wholesome. I think it just implies the type fiction that is wholesome enough for most readers (even younger readers) who don't want adult content. I also don't mind the term sweet for the same reason.

      There's now a popular sub-category within Amazon that's "clean and wholesome."

    5. Hi Ruth:

      Your comments about 'reality romance' represent another marketing problem: what is the best way to flag these books?

      Romance with its guaranteed HEA is largely a 'feel good' genre. How then do you deal with romances with a mainstream sense of reality?

      I just read such a book today. It's one of the best Christian romances I've ever read. Indeed it is one of the best romances I've ever read. I think it is a best bet to win a Carol and/or RITA (if entered). The thing is that if this were a criminal trial I'd be asking for a judge rather than a jury. I'd want knowledgeable other writers to judge the merits of this work.

      Why? Because I know it is going to pick up some bad reviews since the reality in the book is very mainstream. The heroine is blind and the reader actually feels what it is like to be blind on almost every page. This is not comforting. The reader is in the mind of the heroine and the so many limitation are always present.

      The story is excellently 5-sensed for all characters but for the blind person it is saddening. Even the faithful seeing-eye dog, who loves her unconditionally, is brain damaged by a errant car and cannot function for the rest of the book but must be cared for himself. It's real because being a guide dog is dangerous for the dog. There can be lots of loud distractions that the dog was not trained for and may only happen once in a life time.

      At the Christian youth camp, where the heroine is a counselor, a young girl becomes sick and vomits on the floor and the blind heroine steps in it with her bare feet. Some of the other girls are mean and grossed out. They offer no help.

      The blind heroine is often insulted by thoughtless comments by people who don't realize that what they are doing is so offensive. The hero's father has been beating up his mother for decades but the mother won't leave the relationship.

      I've never read a better or more rewarding romance but this is a hard book to direct to the best prospects given the marketing tools at hand. It is also the best Christian fiction from the POV of having the Christian elements the most central to the story structure without being 'preachy'.

      I want to write a review of this book which will attract the attention of all those readers who will love this book and think as highly of it as I do. This will take a lot of thought. I'd love to have a list of all the readers who loved "Winter's End" and "The Lawman's Second Chance" and perhaps even "Talk Before Sleep" and "The Atonement Child" and send them my review.

      I think this is why the phrase "If you liked X, you'll probably love Y" is so useful in marketing.

      It's odd that marketing can also mean driving away to people who will not like the product!


    6. Hi Missy:

      Funny, I'm not a fan of 'wholesome' not so much for perhaps implying that those other books are not wholesome or good for you but rather because of the potential negative effects on sales to people who might very well like the book!

      I've read that a "G" rating is the kiss of death for many movies. Teenagers won't go to these movies! The studios will insert something not needed in a "G" movie just to up it to "GP". Sometimes I can't even spot what made the movie "GP" it was on the screen for so short a time.

      I fear that 'Wholesome' will make some readers think reading the book will be like kissing your sister. Call it "Non-Edgy Christian Fiction". :)

      BTW: Who is the "Queen of Sisterly Kissing"?


    7. Vince I sort of agree with you, except....the words Sweet romance and Clean romance have kind of gotten to be genres of their own. so when I hear Clean romance I don't automatically think other romances are dirty. Maybe that is the impression some people have, I can't say. But for many, we've learned that Clean or Sweet are words to describe a genre that is, as Missy says, closing the door on adult sexual activity and also probably not using swear words.
      So thought a better term would be great, these actually do tell the reader what to expect.

    8. I know there was a moment in time...I think we're past it...where some big sites were 'flagging' books that listed themselves as erotica. I don't think they got taken down but they were dealt with in a way that made them harder to find.
      The result of that action was, a lot of authors who write erotica stopped putting that word on their meta data. And the end result of that is to hide erotic content, so you really can't know what you're buying.
      IN a case like that, if you search for Clean or Sweet you can hope to avoid that.
      What other words could we use?
      'Good clean fun' might sort of lighten it.
      Um....maybe a rating system with heat levels.
      Green pepper
      Banana pepper
      Jalapeno pepper
      Ghost pepper


    9. Hi Mary:

      I have to agree with you that if "Clean and Sweet" are looked at by readers, who want such books, as a sub-genre, then for them the terms work. It is the effect on the other fans who read books that do not qualify as "Clean or Sweet" that I was most concerned about.

      I was thinking particularly of the many nice authors who write Harlequin Romance and the fans of those books. In a sense saying 'clean' is like implying that we are clean and you are not. And then again you may be on to something if most readers don't see 'clean' as implying the other books are dirty.

      I've been trying very hard to come up with a neutral term for 'clean' like cozy is a neutral term for a mystery subgenre.

      Please consider the below:

      T E S T

      If you saw a section in a bookstore that had this sign:

      Gentle Romances

      What would you think the stories would be like?

    10. Well, here's something else I noticed the past few weeks... Amazon (who is never quite content with the money they already have) now has sponsored ads below the "Other people who bought this, also bought...."

      And these are not sweet, clean, wholesome romances for the most part. They are some pretty heavy duty sexy hot tamales.... so what kind of marketing is that?

      I find it crazy disrespectful to the customer.

      If they wanted Smokin' Hot Cocky Cowboy they probably wouldn't have been looking at The First Gift....

      Or Her Cowboy Reunion.

      So that's pretty rude, to take someone who is looking at a certain heat level and try to entice them beyond.

      I don't mind them putting me up against, Susan May or Debby Giusti or Francine Rivers, etc....

      But to rudely tempt the reader into a steamier genre is tacky.

    11. Gentle romances makes me think of knitting grandmothers.....

    12. Hi Ruth:

      When I read your comment: "Gentle romances makes me think of knitting grandmothers....", I at first thought this was bad but then amazingly I realized that I think of knitting grandmothers when I see 'cozy mysteries'! So maybe that's good.

      BTW: Do you knit? :)

    13. Hi Ruth:

      You asked:

      "So what kind of marketing is that?" that places ads for hot sexy romances next to sweet romances which were what brought the 'eyes' to that page?

      That would be very bad marketing for both you and the publisher of the 'hot' romance. Good marketing would have the 'hot' book appear next to the best selling 'hot' romances because those are the best prospects to buy your 'hot' book.

      I have a strong feeling that the 'hot' romance advertiser did not have a say in where their ads appeared. You may not be able to buy placement as is the case in most newspapers.

      It's the being near the "People who bought X also bought Y page" that is so problematic.

      I imagine that with Amazon's computer capacity this placement problem will be corrected with tweaks in the algorithm.

      I think this will be done because it will mean more money for all involved.


  8. Congrats to all the winners this week. I'm always happy when there are gifts to be given...even if I'm not the one giving :)

    Pineapples have been awesome this season, so I've brought a fruit salad loaded with pineapple, strawberries and blueberries. Hurry and grab a bowl before I eat it all :)

  9. I'm excited to win Rachelle's book and look forward to reading it. I am also looking forward to 5 days of posts this week. It should be a great week. I have a free weekend for a change, so am planning to enjoy it.

  10. Oh, look at all these NEW BOOKS!!!!


    This is so exciting, Seekers!!!!

    Okay, huge congrats to all winners, and I promise I'll catch up on mailing soon.

    Is December considered "soon"?????


    Farm season kicks my butt....

    And I don't mind admitting it!

    I keep telling myself it's a workout for no cost... workout for no cost... workout for no cost....

    That works. Kinda!

  11. I'm trying to get all my errands run prior to the RWA Conference. I've printed off a ton of conference info and am thinking DENVER! Wish everyone could fit in my suitcase.

    What's Debby packing in her suitcase for the RWA Conference? Everyone in Seekerville! :)


  12. I hope you're all having a great weekend!

    Debby, don't be surprised if I show up in your suitcase!! :)

    1. I'll take you with me, Missy! Denver here we come!

  13. Happy to see my name among the winners - thank you, RUTHY! Looking forward to reading Her Cowboy Reunion! Congratulations to all the winners - hope everyone is having a great weekend!

  14. We shall hold down the fort while our conference attendees fly to Denver.... And I shall water mums and write books and bemoan the heat.... Because I am a total whiner in the hot, hot, hot of summer....

    But I shall take my angst out on hapless characters.