Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shouting in Seekerville

Clap your hands and SHOUT!!

There's been another FIRST SALE IN SEEKERVILLE!!

Cake by Amelia's Cakes

Seekerville is thrilled to announce our latest bootee from Unpubbed Island...


For a few years now I’ve anticipated getting THE CALL. The actual publisher was vague in my mind, but the message was specific. Someone wanted to publish my book! I didn’t know which manuscript would be the lucky one, or which publisher, but that didn’t matter.

How many of you dreamed the same dream? Probably everyone who writes a novel thinks about the milestone phone call when an editor says she loves your work enough to buy it and publish it. Often a lot of time will tick by before the phone rings with the right person on the other end. Sometimes we fear it will never happen.

I finally received THE CALL on a Monday afternoon around 3:00 while traveling back home with my husband from a weekend camping trip. I know—no one in their right mind camps in 100 degree weather in Florida—but we did. A mistake, but I digress. My phone was in my purse ready for me to grab just in case an editor felt the urge to call with an offer. It’s never happened before, but it could happen at any time. It’s good to always be prepared. I’ve been ready for several years with my phone near by. But for some reason the phone didn’t ring when an editor actually called!

After we got home I immediately checked e-mail and found a few hundred messages. Then part way down the first page I found one that caught my attention. It came from a lady with a familiar name, but one I couldn’t place immediately. The subject line said Love on a Dime, the name of one of my manuscripts. Suddenly it dawned on me the sender was an EDITOR! I opened the e-mail and read, not quite believing the words. It seems she’d phoned me earlier (while I was in the car), and then sent me the e-mail with her phone number. It was Natalie Hanneman of Thomas Nelson. I could hardly breathe. I fished my cell phone from my purse and checked my voice mail. Hers was the third one. She wanted me to call her back. It’s hard to punch in a number when your hand is shaking, but of course I managed. Natalie answered right away. This was without a doubt the very best phone call I’ve ever received. She loved my book!

Two days later, thanks to Natalie and my agent, I signed a preliminary contract for three books. Woohoo!

I’m so glad I never got discouraged enough to quit writing. Perseverance is the key. And God’s perfect timing. Every time I think of that phone call and e-mail I grin. I can’t stop grinning. And why would I? It was a moment to savor. I know the reality of revisions and deadlines will pull me down to earth, but I’ll flash back to THE CALL and remember what a great privilege it is to write the story God’s given me to write. I wish the same blessing on all of you!

By the way, I have a pen name—Cara Lynn James.


  1. CONGRATULATIONS, CARA LYNN JAMES! I'm so excited for you! I've read the first chapter and loved it--can hardly wait until I get to read the whole thing! Do you have a projected release date yet?

  2. Cara!!! Congratulations. The island will not be the same without you.

    Tell us about the books please and thank you.

    And could you leave the coconut scraper when you go?

  3. Thanks, ladies. I have a feeling Unpubbed Island will soon be closed down!Everyone's ready to move onto the mainland.

    I don't have a release date yet, but I'm sure looking forward to it.

    I write historical inspirational romance with a touch of mystery. All of my stories are set in Newport, Rhode Island during the Gilded Age. Turn-of-the-century. It's an interesting and fun era.

  4. Ohhhh! CONGRATS! How fun! And LOVE the name. My daughters name is Karalynn.... (one word...) but close enought to make me smile:-)

    Can't wait to read your books!

  5. Congratulations! Oh what wonderful news AND a great reward for camping in 100 degree Florida. Okay, so what type of food are we celebrating with this morning?

  6. Cara, I'm beyond thrilled for you!!!!!!!! I can't wait to read Love on a Dime!!! I love the era and Newport, RI!! Mega congratulations. Party time!!!


  7. CONGRATULATIONA CARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a wonderful story to share! Isn't that just what we all fear? Missing that important phone call that could possiblity change our lives?

    Heh, heh, heh, but God anticipates that, doesn't He?? Everything is in His perfect timing--even missed phone calls : )

    I mean, really, Cara. If you had gotten the call as you were driving home, your screams alone would have scared hubby, who then would driven into the ditch along side the road and grandson would have started crying and throwing bottles from his car seat...

    Oy, what a mess~! So much better this way : )

    I am so happy for you, girlfriend!! The island will be a quieter place without you!! So, make lots of noise on the mainland over your THREE BOOK contract!!!


    Oh and hey, Krista! My daughter's name is Kara Lynn, too : )

  8. Cara,
    What's your favorite type of dessert and we'll (or Ruthy) can cook it up for a celebration party?

  9. I love Call stories!!!! Congratulations! How thrilling and how validating for you!

  10. CARA LYNN JAMES ... OMIGOSH, the name even SOUNDS like it comes from Newport, Rhode Island during the Gilded Age!!!

    What a rush ... what a thrill!!! And all wrapped up in a 3-book deal -- HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You'll be floating on air for a long time to come, my friend, and oh my, Cloud Nine is such a great place to be -- enjoy!


  11. Oh my stars, WOMAN!!!!!

    Details, Details, Details!!!!

    Jump in here, give us more, feed us a treat of what these books are!

    Girlfriend, come on!!! End the suspense!

    Book one...

    Tell us. Please. Pretty Please.

    While you talk, I'll make food. I've got the fritatta sizzling in my HUGE chicken fryer skillet (Fried chicken is food of the gods... So good... I digress. Sorry. Fried food does that to me. Oh, poo. ALL food does that to me.)

    I'm using a combo cheese of Colby Jack inside and shredded NY cheddar on top... Thank you to everyone who reminded me to add cheese on Tuesday!!!

    Oh mylanta, so good!!! Nothing's too good for our Cara-Bear. (Who has a dog named after her in a Ruthy book. Hey. Only the best for MY FRIENDS!!!)

    A basket of fruit-studded muffins glistening with coarse-cut sugar, fresh bagels in honor of New York publishers and sweet cream butter.

    Fruit bowl. Can someone bring a fruit bowl??? Please? And some light, sweet dip for the fruit. Healthy only goes so far, you know.


    Full coffee/cappuccino bar is open and stocked for a day of HOORAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Let's empty this blasted Island. I've got a contractor scheduled to get building permits for our retreat center.

    FOUR TO GO!!!!

    Come on, Seeker Sisters!!!! Let's do this!

    I have never, ever, ever used so many exclamation points in my life. And thank heavens I have sense enough NOT to do it in a book.


    Come on down to Seekerville. Eat, drink and be merry.

    Cara's OFF THE ISLAND!!!!!


  12. Thanks, ladies for the congratulations! My favorite kind of dessert is chocolate. I love anything chocolate. Maybe we should serve cake and ice cream, mousse, chocolate cheese cake, pie. Whatever you'd like. I can feel the pounds sticking already!

  13. Ask and ye shall receive, Cara. I'm bringing a chocolate raspberry torte...and for Ruthy...a fruit bowl with only the best fruits from the island (so you won't forget from whence you've come) ;-)

    Congratulations again, Cara. With a greeting like Ruthy's, I can actually see streamers popping out of her comment :-) or were those exclamation marks

  14. What a great story, cara! I'm so happy for you, send up the flares. Another hut empty on unpubbed island. May God bless your hands to His work.

  15. Wow, CARA!!! That is SUPERFABULOSO!

    So happy for you!!!

    The Seekers are getting off Unpubbed Island at an amazing rate!

  16. Cara, CONGRATULATIONS! What a wonderful story. I'm so happy for you and your multi book contact! What an exciting moment :) Enjoy all the hoopla (and the chocolate!); you've deserved it!


  17. wHoOT!!!! whOOt!! Throwing confetti for you Cara!!! These posts on seekerville are my most favorite posts!! So inspiring!

  18. CARA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  19. I have read Love on a Dime and Love on Assignment. Are both of these part of the contract, Cara Lynn (love the name!) I've known for a long long time it was only a matter of time. You've got a great voice, very fresh, you really put me right in the middle of terrific places so smoothly then let the love story chaos begin! :)

  20. Ohmigosh, I want to go live at Ruthy's house if she cooks like that all the time!

    Cara, I'm so, so thrilled for you and can't WAIT to hear more about the books! It's going to be a blast to see Cara Lynn James on the shelves!

    (When my editor called, I had already gotten the call from my agent, so I was on the phone with oh, everyone I knew and she had to leave a message!)

    Big huge hugs,

  21. Cara, I am so thrilled for you! I love the setting for your stories. I can't wait to read them.

    So, how did you celebrate?

  22. Congrats Cara!

    Three books no less! Wow!

    Seekerville is amazing. It’s the best reality show in town. Even better than a reality show. You actually win and get the grand prize after you are voted off the island! Someday there will be an inspirational book written about the Seekers. Just consider the odds of what you have already accomplished.

    I’ve read that only one out of 100 submitted novel manuscripts are sold. That means each time a new Seeker is published you have to multiply the odds by 100. The first Seeker was 1 in 100. The second Seeker made the odds, 1 in 10,000, the third Seeker made the odds 1 in 1.000,000, the fourth Seeker made the odds 1 in 100,000,000, the fifth Seeker made the odds 1 in 10,000,000,000, the sixth Seeker made the odds 1 in 1,000,000,000,000! Etc, Etc.

    Now once the odds get past one trillion to one, you’ve entered the miraculous zone. God just had to have something to do with this!

    I think all the Seekers are part of a miracle!

    Stay tuned. There is nothing more exciting than a Grande Finale! Wow.

    Congrats again, Cara!!


  23. Whoo-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!! Jumping up and down for you! That's so awesome.

  24. Eeek! That is SO awesome!!! Congratulations. :-)

  25. Congratulations, Cara!!!

    So is there a plan to repopulate unpubbed island once all the original Seekers are booted? Maybe Seekerville Round 2? :-)

  26. Thanks again, everyone! And of course for the food. We all love a feast minus the calories!

    I have to mention Mary is a fantastic crit partner. Her stories are so much fun to read.

    Love on a Dime is about a society lady who writes romantic dime novels in secret. Her former beau (I like that word) is now her new publisher and he's searching for her. She's also being hunted by the 19th century version of a tabloid out to blackmail her. Her life is turned upside down.

  27. Congratulations! Impressive, fun and sooo exciting.

  28. Congratulations, Cara! It was fun to read this good news. I've heard great things about this publisher! Blessings,

  29. Congratulations Cara!!!

    So the island gets closed when the next four get published, which will be soon. It has to be . . .

    Hopefully Seekerville will stick around for the rest of us who are plugging away.

  30. Hi, Cara,

    What a great story! I'm glad you never gave up. Persistence is the key. I can't wait for your book to come out!
    You say you are in Florida. So am I. I am in Daytona Beach. It is hot, isn't it? I originally come from New York. Didn't care for the cold so I am dealing with the hot.
    Congrats again!!!
    God bless.
    Linda Cacaci

  31. Congratulations!!!!!! What wonderful news! I'm sooooo happy for you!

  32. Congrats Cara! That is wonderful news!

    For those of you wondering if Ruthy cooks that kind of stuff all of the time, the answer is YES! She can never just make something, she has to perfect it, tweak it, to make it her own special (aka: amazing) "Ruthy" food. Of course she has yet to figure out that she isn't cooking for an army every night. There are ALWAYS plenty of leftovers, and Ruthy doesn't really eat leftovers. (Just ask her about tunafish sometime - talk about picky)!!! Just kidding, Ru!

    Whenever we have a wedding in the family, immediate or extended, everyone wants to know if the cake will be "Ruthy cake" or not. If it is, there won't be much, if any, left at the end of the night. :)

    Congrats to all of the Seekers that have gotten "the call" and good luck and Godspeed to those residing on Unpubbed Island. Be sure to take some pics of the island as it is today because it'll be completely different once you're all off of it and it has become Retreat Island! I'm so happy for you, Cara! Congrats again!

  33. Woohoo! Another new author! Can't wait to read the book! Congratulations!!!

  34. Congratulations, Cara!

    I'm glad you missed the call, didn't scream, and send your hubby driving into a ditch, as Audra suggested. I love that Ruthy never misses the food for these occasions.

  35. Vince, the only thing wrong with your odds is:
    We were all great when we teamed up.


    Since we've all subbed about a trillion times each, we're really shooting for about 50/50 odds. Honestly, we've got better odds than that, just trying to be humble. And the folks that hang around Seekerville, our readers and friends are the best, too. So we're ALL going to beat the odds.

  36. Cara,
    I agree with you. Mary is such an encourager. I'm hoping her 'magic' will rub off on those who read her work. Actually, that's another reason why I love hanging out with you Seekers. Besides being fun and inspirational, I hope to catch the spark you possess which will lead me into the land of published authors :-) Is the fruit better over there?


    What a wonderful thing to experience!!

  38. Woo hoo, Cara! That's absolutely wonderful news!!!

    How beautiful that you kept your faith through it. God is so good.

  39. So thrilled for you, Cara! I love the description of Love on a Dime and can't wait to read it!

    And I'm with Mary--Vince's "odds" just don't add up for the Seekers. We are one rockin' bunch of winners!

  40. And I suppose the new name is more romantic. And now I feel free to use SLAUGHTER for all my bad guys. Very tough name. Kind of cool, though. Honestly, Cara, I think you could have pulled of romance with the name Slaughter, but Cara Lynn James is great, too. :)

  41. Thanks again for all the congratulations today! I certainly wish all of you the same thing--publication!!!!! Keep on chugging.

    Another thunder storm in northwest Florida. Time to turn off my computer.

  42. Whoo-hoo Cara! This is just the best news ever! 3 book contrat too! I wonder if you'll ever come down from the ceiling.

    Do friends and family who get to see you every day wonder why you've got that silly grin on your face? lol

    And I love the premise behind Love on a Dime! LOVE IT and can't wait to read the book!

  43. A big yeeee hawww, Carolyn!!! I'm so excited for you!!! And 3 books!!!!!!!!

  44. Cara that is wonderful news and Im so happy for you.

  45. Oh my gosh, you guys and gals do a number on food!!!!!!!!!

    But I brought dessert or late night snack for us East Coast groupies....



    Just had to yell again.

    Vince, you cute thing, oh my stars, what a great encourager you are! You rock, Dude.

    But the reality is we're actually a bunch of God-loving DIVAS who love, love, love tiaras.

    The fancier the better.

    And don't smudge mine because I turn NASTY.... A polished tiara is SO important, you know.

    Here, Cara Lynn, let me polish yours darling. :)

    I suppose we tweaked the odds because we didn't get together until we all kept bumping heads and butts in contests. A nudge here, a thump there...

    And we don't allow quitting. And minimal whining. And venting is encouraged but we're not afraid to draw the line on "enough's enough"...

    But YES!!!! Seekerville will go on long after the last Seeker is multi-contracted.

    This is our hang-out. Our place to be us. Our spot. It's the welcoming ground, the gathering place, the town square with an ice cream stand nearby and lots of park benches.

    And there's always room on the Island for friends. And offers of help. And teasing.

    Truly, it takes no time at all to put up a grass hut. I've gotten real good at it.


    Late night snack:

    Fresh, buttered popcorn, a cheese and veggie tray, home-made fudge plate (I remember this from an OLD Cherry Ames book, the nursing series from forever ago) including chocolate, chocolate almond, maple, vanilla and peanut butter/chocolate layered.

    Drinks are on the house. Pop a cork (sparkling apple juice, of course!!!! Wait. I'm Catholic. Okay, bring on the wine!!!!)

    hoist a glass and let's toast our newest contracted author.

    To you, Cara! A great beginning.

    Hey, someone pass me some cheese, okay?


  46. Yum, Ruthy. To add to the late night snack, I just finished sprinkling powder sugar on some oreo truffles. Better get 'em before my kids do.



    More room on the island.

    But I'll miss you.

    Can't wait to read Love on a Dime. Thanks for letting us know about the premise. OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH'

    Be still my heart. A three book contract.

    Love ya.

  48. Congratulations to the 100th power, my friend! I'm so excited for you. I never doubted for a moment you'd get the call one day, and I don't say that to everybody. Way to go!!

  49. Congratulations, Cara!

    Love hearing these inspiring stories!


  50. Congratulations, Cara! I'm so happy for you. I hope you record your experience, so future generations will know about it. :)