Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seekerville 5th Birthday Bash!

Hey everyone! Make sure you make time to check out Seekerville every day this month. We're 5 years old and ready to celebrate.

What do you think of these guests??

Dr. Stanley Williams kicks off our month with more on the Moral Premise, and facsinating look at what drives our characters and our stories.

Eva Marie Hamilton

Angela Ackerman

Mary Connealy

Vince Mooney


Tina Radcliffe all offer tips and pointers on writing to round out the week.

And don't forget prizes each week!! Ooooo, lookie here! The prize at the end of the first week of our 5th Birthday Bash is...

Stayed tuned throughout the month for more updates and peek into the fantastic events planned. Remember check the Weekend Edition posted on SUNDAY each week in October to see if you're a lucky winner of the daily prizes and the big weekly prize.

See you in Seekerville!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ACFW 2012, Part 2

 As promised, here are more pics of the 2012 ACFW conference in Dallas. There were more than 700 attendees this year which made for some very cozy moments amongst the masses while waiting for dinner doors to open, LOL! As usual, the staff of the hotel - the Hyatt DFW - provided tasty meals and showered us with real Texas hospitality!

The chicken fried chicken and side of salsa were very good...never did figure out what the scoop of purple was...

The best part of attending conferences is hanging out with friends you don't see at any other time. Sure the Internet is a great communication tool, but nothing beats face to face, and the wonderful memories created within the span of a few days to last through the next 353 days.
Forget Raymond...Everyone Loves Missy!!
Carol Moncado, Missy Tippens, Pepper Basham

Casual business attire was the order for the days, but everyone brought their Sunday best for the Awards gala on Saturday night. The winners of the Genesis (for unpublished authors) and the Carol (for published) are announced as the highlight of the festivities, but more on that in a couple of days.
Hmm, can you guess which Seeker is sporting the glitzy red shoes???
(I'll give you hint -- they complimented her gorgeous red dress)

Our days were filled with meetings and editor/agent pitches, along with workshops and lots more exhausting events. Friday night was reserved for a free-night where we could go to dinner with our publishers, agents, writing chapters -- or simply hang out with friends. It was a well needed and well deserved break.

I finally caught up with Pam Hillman one evening and we spent the Friday free night at the Wild West Pizza Party hosted by the My Book Therapy crew. What a great time!!!! Definitely on my list of things to do again next year : )
Check back again for more pics and highlights!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 Carol and Genesis Winners

Direct from the ACFW site, we have winners!

2012 Genesis Winners

Contemporary Fiction
Anne Prado - Through the Needle
Contemporary Romance
Amy Matayo - The Wedding Game
Historical Fiction
Kathleen L. Maher - Closer Than a Brother
Historical Romance
Brandy Vallance - The Covered Deep
Matthew Sheehy - Determination
Romantic Suspense
Arlene Coulter - Grounded
Speculative Fiction
Caleb Jennings Breakey - Unleashed
Women’s Fiction
Rachel Moore - The Language of Sparrows
Young Adult
Kathleen Freeman - The Broken Feather

2012 Carol Winners

ACFW Carol Awards
Debut Novel
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson)

Long Contemporary
The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell)

Long Contemporary Romance
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale)

Long Historical
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson)

Long Historical Romance
To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers)

Falling to Pieces: A Shipshewana Amish Mystery by Vannetta Chapman (Zondervan)

An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense
Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson)

Short Contemporary
Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan (Love Inspired)

Short Contemporary Suspense
Nightwatch by Valerie Hansen (Love Inspired Suspense)

Short Historical
The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh (Revell)

Speculative Fiction
Broken Sight by Steve Rzasa (Marcher Lord Press)

Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker/Alton Gansky (B & H Fiction)

Women’s Fiction
Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate (Penguin Praise/Berkley)

Young Adult
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan)

A big YAYAYAYAY and WooHoo to all the finalists and winners. You guys rock!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ACFW Conference fun

JeanneT, Tina Radcliffe, Melissa Jaegars, Mary Connealy celebrating a prize luncheon won in Seekerville.
Myra Johnson, Janet Dean, Debby Giusti (and Melanie Dickerson's hand) preparing freebies for the conference.
We met Cara, Tari, and Andrea on the shuttle back from Grapevine. Cara came all the way from New Zealand!!
Missy Tippens, Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Debby Giusti, Janet Dean, Audra Harders, Myra Johnson

First day in Dallas before the conference. Us Seeker gals gearing up for an adventure on the town : )

Stay tuned, I'll have more photos later in the week!!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Perils of parenthood

"Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care."

As I read through my devotions this morning (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, August 23), my heart jumped at this very timely piece. Entrusting our children into anyone's care is a very difficult thing, especially for me. Both of our kids are out of the house now, one in college and one feeling her way through her first job. I really thought "out of sight; out of mind" would work for me. It doesn't. Some days all I want to do is open up a phone line to both kids so we can be connected throughout the day.

That's what I want. I don't think anyone else feels the same way, LOL!

We all go through the darkness of uncertainty during points of our lives. I've done it and you've done it, too. We've emerged on the other side sharpened and honed and ready to face the next test. When I was in college, I didn't think twice about the obstacles in my way. I zigged and zagged around them and stored the experiences away in my mind and heart to have as reference materials in facing the same situations later in life.

Didn't we all?

So why is so hard to watch our children navigate the same path? My heart aches for their lonliness and frustrations. I continue to think I can fix all their hurts with a kiss and cookie. I need to pull up my faith by the bootstraps and realize I can't be there for them all the time.

But God is.

"When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand."

I never thought of it that way. I need to cling to Jesus' hand. I need to let go of my worries and look to Jesus for peace in my own life and not worry over the lives of others.

"As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do."

There comes a point in a parent's life when we must let go of our chicks and let them find their own way in the world. We must let go, but not Jesus. In today's mediation, I'm reminded that Jesus will always protect them, never stop loving, never let go.

And that my friends, lightens my heart.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Stories: Dare To Believe

I'd like to introduce you to a new author -- LA Sartor. She's really not that new to the writing world. She's scribbled stories for years, honed her craft, attended conferences and workshops, written many books and won essence, she's paid her dues and wants to share her love of writing with the world.

Dare To Believe by L.A. Sartor

The Pulitzer prize winning writer …
Catherine Hemstead Malloy had it all – riches, glamour and happiness – or so it seemed. When her husband dies in an accident, she discovers she never really had anything at all. Now with nothing but a dismal bank account and her precious daughter, Cate fights to rebuild her life—until her daughter is kidnapped. Cate has no money, no resources – why would someone target her child?

And the knight in shining armor …
Jason St. Pierre doesn't think of himself as a knight, just a man who does what must be done, lives by his rules and damn the consequences. He'll move heaven and earth to protect the innocent, and his heart—he loved once and lost and won't risk it again, especially to Cate Hemstead.

Their reunion pits them against a kidnapper who is always one step ahead and takes them on a hunt from the majestic mountains of Colorado to the idyllic beaches of Hawaii. Can they solve the who-dunnit turned why-dunnit kidnapping in time to save Cate's daughter?

The twist and turns of the why-dunnit keep the tension fresh in your mind through the whole story. Sartor has created engaging characters that quickly work their way into your heart. The romantic arc is touching and believable as they grow to trust each other and themselves and discover what really matters most. I'll be looking forward to many more stories from this excellent author.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scrivener for Windows

I have to admit, I wasn't watching for it, but I'm glad it finally arrived...

Scrivener for Windows.

Ever since my first NaNoWriMo when I first discovered this novel writing program, I was intrigued with all its features. Only problem - it came in a Mac version and sadly, I'm pretty PC minded. Now at the time, they were testing a beta program for Windows, but no real timeline for the finished product was set.

I was bummed. The whole concept of the novel writing software made me drool : )

As I was blog-hopping one day, I came across someone talking about the Scrivener for Windows and how much they loved it. Of course I scurried over to the Literature and Latte site to confirm the rumors...and it was true!

There are many novel writing programs on the market and I have test driven a few of them. I wanted the Scrivener program because it seemed to pull together all the tools I use to create with. Though it looks like the run-of-the-mill program, it has quite a depth of features I'm still discovering. L&L offers easy to follow tutorials and an in-depth instruction manual so even tech-challenged writers such as I can be up and running in a few hours.

  • I love the corkboard feature that lets me scribble down quick thoughts, label them by color associated with the character, and then I have the ability to move them around to remind myself what details I need to stick in where in my novel.
  • Moving scenes within the novel is as easy as click and drag
  • I can store photos, links, idea sketches per character
  • I can create templates in a data base
I'm still discovering hidden gems about the program. I've loving the treasure hunt : )

Check it out!
writing program

Sunday, September 09, 2012

ACFW Conference

Can you believe the ACFW conference is just 11 days away? Since September 25, 2011 I've been looking forward to sharing time with friends and fellow writers again.
Are you going to be there? Remember, Seekerville has an informal gathering each night around the lounge area. Stop by for fun and chit-chat. Fun with us in Dallas and all year long in Seekerville!!

Friday, September 07, 2012

It is the same with My word.
   I send it out and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
   and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Isaiah 55:11 NLT

I remember sitting in Confirmation class waaaaay many years ago, listening to our Pastor describe the Bible as a Living Book. It talks to you; it tells you what you need to know. All you have to do is read, ask and believe.

Of course, I scoffed.

Yes, I believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God, but really?-- it held the answers to my questions? I fanned through the pages and didn't see any algebraic formulas mingling with the chapter and verse numbers. It also didn't mention any prospects for prom. Nor did it offer any tips on clearing acne, losing weight or any of a number of issues this teenage girl thought were end-of-the-world matters.

All the Bible spoke of was Jesus loving me.

I know that! 

My Pastor was a kind man and I knew he'd never lie to us, but on this matter, my jury remained out.

It took decades of reading my Bible, studying it, and turning my whole heart over to my Savior, but finally, I realized what Pastor was talking about.

When you have a problem, God has a answer. You just have to open your eyes and heart as you read the timeless words given to us by a loving Father who would never abandon His children.

That would be us...You and Me.

So, what's my point?

I think I finally understand what Writing For Him truly means. I've written romantic lore for years. I love it. I wouldn't know how to write any other genre, nor would I want to. God knew that : ) Isn't He clever?

He also wants us to enjoy what we're doing.  Lately I've been banging my head against a wall trying to figure out what the editors are looking for. This awareness of the market has become even more heightened with ACFW conference just around the corner. Agents and editors waiting for the pitch that screams the next best Twilight or  Stephanie Plum series -- Inspirational style, of course : ) What in the world are they looking for?

Maybe we should ask "What is God looking for?"

It is the same with My word.
   I send it out and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
   and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Do you see the promise in this verse? His word always produces fruit and will prosper where He sends it.

I have stopped worrying about whether people will like the books I write or not. Maybe God will bless my efforts and reward me with a million fans (good heavens, I think I'd faint!), or maybe He intends my work to touch just one person. Either way, it's His choice and He never makes a mistake.

I'm very okay with that.

Hugs and blessings,