Monday, November 30, 2020

Guest Blogger Ann Brodeur


Happy Monday after Thanksgiving! Carrie here & while movers are loading all my (and my husband's) earthly possessions and more boxes of books than should be legal onto a truck bound for Georgia, debut author (and Seeker Villager) Ann Brodeur is here to share her heart with us as she sails off the island!! 

Welcome, Ann - and BIG CONGRATULATIONS on your debut novel! We are thrilled for you!



My name is Ann Brodeur. And I’ve sailed off the island.

Whew! I’ve been waiting to say that for years, and I am so happy to be sharing that news today. Like many of you, I’ve been a dedicated follower of Seekerville for a long time.

*picture taken by author
Thanksgiving seems like it happened months ago for those of us living in the Great White North (a.k.a. Canada). We celebrate the holiday on the second Monday of October when all the trees are displaying their magnificent colours and we are deep in the autumn flavours of Pumpkin Spice and Maple. And for a fun fact (that I didn’t learn until this year) Canada’s first thanksgiving celebration happened FORTY-THREE years BEFORE the pilgrims celebrated the first American thanksgiving (Canada’s first was in 1578 and America’s was in 1621).

But I digress…

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday despite the craziness 2020 has brought.

This journey to publication has been a lot like sailing in unchartered waters. The waves have been rough, and at times it felt like I was sinking without hope of rescue or coming out of the storm unscathed. And there were better moments where calm waters prevailed.

Then…there was land.

I’m so thankful to be on land.

As I work through the month of launching my book baby into the world, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude. There are so many people who have invested in me throughout my writerly life, that I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

I think of my Grade Five Librarian (that was eons ago when no one had a home computer, we stayed outside until the streetlights came on and we had to WALK across the room to the television set to change the channel). Mrs. Waind encouraged me to enter a writing contest, and I won. The first seed was planted.

My high school teachers who ran the literary magazine and school newspapers taught me how to find a story and how to edit the work. I loved those club meetings.

I think of my college English professor who planted the idea of someday writing for Harlequin (I’m not there yet, but I’m trying!). At the time, Love Inspired had just launched, but all I knew of the parent company was those bodice-ripping front covers (and no – I never picked up one of those; they terrified me). It wasn’t something I would consider until twenty-two years later.

I’m thankful for my experience working at Mission Aviation Fellowship. My boss at the time saw potential in me and added grant writing to my already full portfolio. Finding the story from real life and weaving a compelling narrative was something I thrived on. It was through grant writing I re-discovered the love of story.

My best friend gave me my first copy of Writers Digest magazine and filled my carry-on suitcase with books on writing. Apparently she’d grown tired of me just talking about “maybe-someday”.

My local chapter of Multiple Births Canada put out the call for articles dealing with issues surrounding twins, triplets and more for the volunteer magazine (we have twins). An article I’d written for the magazine won an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in 2017.

It was with that contest placement I seriously thought about writing long term. My youngest was an infant and I knew I needed to upgrade my skills in order to re-enter the workforce. My heart was pulling me toward grant-writing again.

But God had a different plan.

As I started to pray about what I should do, which courses I should take to sharpen my skills, I kept getting the sense I wasn’t to go back to the non-profit world. Instead, there was a recollection of all those seeds that had been planted in the garden of my heart, and I started to wonder if I should write a book.

Wonder of wonders, I checked out Harlequin’s website. There was a romance blitz - an opportunity to write a first chapter and a synopsis for consideration. And there was only two weeks left to submit. Being the over-achiever I am, I read absolutely everything I could find on how to write a romance and what a synopsis was. I spent feeding time day-dreaming of the perfect plot and what my trope would be. Mistaken identity. Twins. Exotic places. Tropes and hooks that were perfect for romance readers. I wrote my chapter, sent in my submission, and…waited.

To make a long story short – I had a full request (which was ultimately rejected) but with amazing feedback and an invitation to send another project to the editor. Since that time, the line has made changes that I’m not totally comfortable with. But I’m thankful for Nic. She opened my eyes to the world of possibilities and gave me the confidence that writing was worth pursuing.

I found Seekerville through Writer’s Digest. It was listed as one of the top 100 websites and from the first click, I became an avid seeker. I’ve learnt so much from the writers who have shared their experiences, expertise and critique. It was through Seekerville that I found Candee, my editor at Anaiah Press. I had bookmarked the page when she made the announcement she was starting with Anaiah. I didn’t have a completed manuscript to send to her just then, but I knew I’d at least have to try her when I did.

And you know those critique days? Take every opportunity to use them! I had submitted my first few paragraphs of my debut for one of those days (the one with “Hallmark” stamped all over it…). I took the advice I received, made changes and saw the difference to my text. It’s in the details and the Seekers have an eye for it.

I’m thankful for Seekerville and the investment they make every week into our lives.

There have been contests with judges. Writer groups and individual writers who have taken a moment of their time to answer a question or to offer advice. Webinars. Online courses. Authors-in-Residence who have shown me how to make my story stronger. Beta readers who have been pretty blunt in their opinions. Editors, designers and printing presses. And prayer warriors who have prayed me through the journey. A godly husband who holds down the fort and pushes me out the door to write. My kids who pray for “Maman’s book”.

And God. He’s given me the stories to write. Without His direction, there wouldn’t be a story worth telling in my heart.

Without any one of these people I’ve listed, my novel wouldn’t be out in the world.

So even though the journey has been challenging, disappointing, exhilarating, and sometimes downright frustrating, I am truly thankful for those who have helped me along the way.  

To you, it may be a little thing or perhaps an inconvenience, but to one aspiring writer it could be the difference in helping him or her sail off the island.

So – to the Seekers and all those who have helped me along the way, I am forever thankful that you are a part of my story.

And now your turn: What things are you thankful for as a reader? As a writer?



Unwrapping their past – one secret at a time.

Owning her own PR firm is all reporter Stephanie Clark wants for Christmas, but the idea of running a prestigious election campaign in the country’s capital throws her stomach into knots. A last minute vacation road trip to focus and seek God’s direction for her life ends up in disaster when she gets caught in the worst snowstorm to hit Vermont in over a decade, crashing her into a small town and the one person she’d rather forget.

Former photojournalist Jason Miller hadn’t planned on being solely responsible for saving his family business from financial ruin. He’s barely keeping the newspaper in print, his News Editor has gone AWOL during the town’s most celebrated holiday festival, and reports of missing Christmas decorations have everyone on edge.

When a desperate knock at the newsroom door brings a ghost from Christmas past back into his life, can Jason make up for his prior behavior without breaking his promise to Stephanie’s father? Will Stephanie’s quest to solve the town’s Christmas caper—and uncover the truth about Jason’s disappearance—cost her everything she’s ever wanted?

Released November 6, 2020 by Anaiah Press - Buy on Amazon, Amazon CA, B&N or Bookshop!


ANN BRODEUR is an award-winning novelist who writes inspirational and contemporary romances offering sweet hope and happy endings.

When she’s not reading, writing, chasing after her kids or enjoying long chats with her husband, Ann can be found drinking coffee, that’s been reheated several times throughout the day. She aspires to someday drink a hot beverage in one sitting.


Join other readers in finding out the latest news from Ann and for bookish fun, by signing up for my newsletter on my website:

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Ann is offering a giveaway of a Christmas Ornament to Canadian readers only (due to postage costs). This giveaway is open to all Canadian residents who have reached the legal age of majority. Giveaway value of one item is $10CDN or less. Valid except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Redemption is contingent on answering a skill testing question. Winner has until Saturday,  December 5 at 1:00pm EST to claim their prize, otherwise prize is forfeited.

Thank you, Ann!!! Y'all, let's show Ann some Seekerville love today! Comment below (and sign up for her newsletter while you're at it!) with your congratulations & what you're thankful for as a reader and/or an author!


  1. Ann, this is so great, congratulations! There is nothing like it.
    Kathy Bailey

    1. Thanks Kathy! God is good and it's all in His time. :)

  2. Ann, welcome!! And CONGRATULATIONS! The book is beautiful! I love the cover. The story sounds so good, too!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us today. I'm thrilled for you. :)

    1. Thanks Missy. I'm just so honored to be here. Can't thank each of you enough for all the posts you've shared over the years.

      Glad you like the cover. The artist captured the mood of Chapter one well. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Carrie! Thanks for hosting me today. :) :)

  4. The book looks fantastic! Congratulations!!

    1. Thank you Glynis. A lot of people put a lot of work into it so it makes my heart happy to hear positive comments. :)

  5. Congratulations, Ann! I just hopped over to Amazon to snatch up your book and can't wait to read it. You know, they say it takes a village for many things, but you've laid out just how true that is for the publishing world. From critique partners to prayer warriors to mentors and the list goes on, the road to publication is filled with folks who've walked with us. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it will serve as encouragement to others who are standing on the beach, waiting to set sail.

    1. Thank you Mindy. I hope you enjoy the read!
      You are so right - it wasn't until I sat down to write this post that I realized just how many people have been there for me through the journey.
      So thankful for the Seekers and I'm looking forward to more writers sailing off the island. :)

  6. Ann, this is such a glorious post! I'm happy dancing, throwing confetti, and making a cake of myself as I celebrate with and for you! Congratulations!

    I love that you are so unselfish and giving, sharing how others have helped you along the way. At Seekerville, we're all about that, paying it forward, celebrating and sometimes commiserating together.

    I'm so glad we get to celebrate with you today! Woohoo!!!

    1. Oh Erica - wish I could be there catching the confetti and sampling your cake!!
      Seekerville is such a wonderful group of people and I love how everyone is so encouraging, but also willing to share the hard stuff too.

  7. Ann! Welcome to Seekerville! Thanks so much for hanging around with us. And



    1. Thanks Mary! LOVE hanging around with you guys.

  8. I'm thankful for Seekerville. They have been a tremendous help.

    By the way congratulations on your debut novel.

    1. Thank you Wilani - aren't they an amazing group of writers?
      Thankful right along with you. :)

  9. Ann! Congratulations on your debut!

    This is just the best post! Filled with thanksgiving! It brought happy tears. :-)

    I'm thankful for Seekerville, too. Without the help I received here in the early days, my publishing journey would have been a lot longer and MUCH more confusing!

    1. Thank you Jan.
      I'm just glad my gratefulness came through. Writing is often depicted as a lonely profession, but looking back on my journey, I can honestly say it's anything but.

  10. Congratulations!
    Fun fact. We share an Anaiah editor. :-) Candee helped edit my January 21 release.
    And yes, isn't is awesome how God puts those people we need into our life all along the way and we might not even notice it until later? The one who got me started thinking I could actually do this was my eighth grade English teacher, Lisa Brown. She's a published author, and the first I'd ever met in real life. It made it seem more achievable.

    1. :) Yay! Candee did an amazing job with my edits. Can't say enough good things about working with her. Looking forward to your upcoming release.
      That's so cool that a teacher planted the writing seed for you too!

  11. Congratulations, Ann. I read the book and it is good. Do you know why Amazon doesn't have a place to leave a review for it? I was going to write one, but I couldn't find a place. I am also thankful to Seekerville and all the writer friends I have made here.

    1. Sandy, I'm so happy to hear you snagged a copy and thought it was good.
      What I know of Amazon is that shoppers that buy $50 worth of merchandise per year are able to leave reviews (and you have to scroll way down to the bottom of the page to see where the leave a review button is). However, if you can't leave a review there, the book is on Good Reads and anyone can leave a review there (if you have an account - it's free and a great go-to place to find new books).
      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Thanks, Ann. It is strange, though, because I was able to write reviews for other books at the time I was trying to do yours. So there must be another reason.

  12. Oh, Ann, what a beautiful story of your journey to publication! I'm crying. Really! It's cold and blustery outside, and I'm at my computer wrapped in a lap blanket and crying. You've brought back so many memories of my first attempts to write a story. Plus, I could see God's hand in your life just as he was there for me whenever I got discouraged or wondered if I'd ever sell.

    Congrats on your debut! The story sounds delightful. Truly a must read! We're all so proud of you and appreciate the praise you heaped on our blogspot, but you're the author who wrote the story and who had the determination and wherewithal to persevere...and that made all the difference!

    Looking forward to how God will lead you in the days ahead. I see bestseller in your future and that makes me very happy indeed!

    Hugs and love!

    1. Oh, Debby - now you're making me teary!
      It's such a blessing to stand on the other side of something and see God's hand gently leading and guiding us to the place we are today. And yes, this story reminds me that everything happens in God's time - even if I'm anxious for things to move along.
      I can't ever express my gratitude enough for the writers who give of themselves every week on Seekerville. God is blessing each of you!
      (and here's a box of tissue.... :) )

    2. I'm grabbing a tissue and still teary! :)

  13. Congratulations on your new book. I loved reading about your journey to publication and the part Seekerville played in it.

    1. Thank you Pam. I will always be grateful for the part Seekerville has played (and will continue to as well!)

  14. Hi Lee-Ann:

    So the Canadians did it again! Beat US by many years to their first Thanksgiving and last year when we had the 100th year celebration of the NFL, wouldn't you know it? The CFL was already around when the NFL started! At least Canada is polite and quite. I read a book called "The Canadians" and the author's conclusion was that all the troublemakers over the years when south and that is why it is so much more peaceful in Canada.

    Years ago I was at a hockey game in Yugoslavia, Ljubljana, and the Canadian team was thrashing the Yugo national team and the local fans kept chanting "Canada nicht gut" over and over for most of the game. They must have thought the Canadians spoke German?! No doubt about it: Canadians can play that hockey.

    Over the years I've seen Unpub Island as a tropical paradise. No deadlines. Lots of time. Pleasant breezes, loads of friends, great hope and dreams for the future. Then you leave and you experience Paradise Lost.

    Oh, well, I'll be looking for your posts on deadlines, too many writing distractions, and much more material for moths to come.

    But rejoice!

    I was checking my Kindle yesterday for a Ruth book and I notice that there were 32 Ruth Logan Herne books on my Kindle! Where does the time go?

    Good luck on you new book and great success off the island. With enough books published you may be able to buy your own island.


    1. Yay Canada! LOL

      I recently saw a post that said every time a Canadian apologizes a new Timbit is born (one might recognize them as "doughnut holes" or "donut holes"). So apparently we still have that reputation of being polite, apologetic and quiet - except when it comes to hockey rivalries in our home towns (Montreal vs. Toronto comes to mind...).

      I appreciate your comments Vince - and I've always enjoyed reading them.

      If only I could buy my own island!!! Ah...then think of how many MORE books I could write....

      Blessings to you

    2. Vince, Hahahahahahahahahaha! So true! I promised myself years ago at a conference where a well known author was complaining or venting or whining (take your pick) about having this due and that due and the other thing due and I remember thinking how rude that was... because any of the seven aspiring authors at her table would have given anything to have a contract.

      I vowed then that I would not ever complain about deadlines or use them as an excuse.... Because anyone who's worked in a real job has deadlines every day. Only we call them "hours"....

      Ay yi yi. :)

      And I love the Timbit story, Lee-Ann. Laughing! I love Timbits! We have Tim Hortons here in WNY and they're delicious morsels!

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  16. Lee-Ann! I am so late to the party but I had a pile of work to finish... and I'm here now with a champagne toast to you!!!!


    I know what those days, months, years and even decades of waiting are like... and how those seeds, planted long ago, are like water-waiting flowers in the desert, sitting still and silent until the water comes along. YAY!!!!! And then the desert comes alive with color! Only for us, we're not dormant.

    No, we're moms and daughters and sons and sisters and workers and so many things, so we sneak in writing time, we focus, we plan and we readjust as needed.

    You've done all that. You've paid the dues. And you know, I've so many folks who get published quickly and haven't developed that stiff backbone... and they struggle so much when the first demands are put on them. Some make it. Many don't. Because if folks go into this thinking or expecting it to be easy, the reality is a shock.

    But aren't we blessed to be doing exactly what we want to do????

    Raising my champagne glass (with Diet Mtn. Dew) in your honor! I'm so happy for you!

    1. Clinking my glass of Root Beer against yours! :)
      We are truly blessed! I think you hit it on the head, Ruthy. It's HARD work, but worth it.
      God is good and does things all in His own beautiful time.


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