Archive for April, 2019



“Romancing the West… One lonely cowboy at a time.”


“Endearing and enduring, fiction that talks to the heart… and soul.”

Please give a feathered welcome to Ruth Logan Herne.


Cake or Cookies  Both

Call or Text  Call

Dogs or Cats  Dogs


rem:  Hullo Ruthy! Welcome to my little nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

RUTH:  I was raised in the old 10th ward neighborhood in Rochester, NY where it was a very nice, Pleasantville kind of experience…. Although I was the poor kid on the block. Most folks there were Leave it to Beaver middle class nice folks…. Now I run a pumpkin farm with my husband who retired last year, when I’m not writing sweet books or caring for beautiful grandkids… I am absolutely blessed to have the life I have now, Robin!

rem:  Pleasantville was a fun movie—but I love that you have a pumpkin farm now! Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

RUTH:  Well, there aren’t three…. Because I’m an open book kind of person, but I can tell you that my faith is huge… it is my rock, my salvation and my joy… and I have so much fun sharing that with others but I also do love my silly miniature donkeys “Alexis” and “Tanya” and I think that chocolate in any form is Best Food Ever.

rem:  Me, too, Ruthy. Me too! What is your favourite quotation and why?

RUTH:  Too many…. Biblical I love Ecclesiastes 3, the common sense of understanding that to everything there really is a season… and that we need to abide when things get tough. But I have Ben Franklin faves including “Plenty of time for rest in the grave” and Yoda’s “There is not try. There is do or do not.”  It fits my pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps nature!

rem:  Both of those are a good swift kick to procrastination… What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

RUTH:  Dust.

rem:  I literally LOL’d at that!! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?


RUTH:  I love Remember the Titans and It’s a Wonderful Life and the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice…. TV…. Gosh… I don’t take a lot of time for TV, I’d rather write stories, but if we’re talking current, it would be the NCIS before Ziva left…. And I’ve only recently discovered how incredibly funny The Big Bang Theory is…. J

rem:  Well, we have quite similar taste in all of those!!  #ColinFirth  #swoonfest If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

RUTH:  Happy right here….. Plumbing. Antibiotics. Electricity!!!! J

rem:  GURL!! What fun you n me would have sitting down over a nice hot cuppa!! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

RUTH:  Oops, answered that above…..

rem:  #winkwink  And both are rather the epitome of faith. If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

RUTH:  Oh, Anne of Green Gables. Absolutely. We would have so much fun!!!


rem:  What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

RUTH:  I am often amazed and blessed by how the rise of erotica led to the rise of Christian fiction because there was so little out there to buy that wasn’t getting more and more offensive… It opened a huge door for a building industry. Talk about an action/reaction sequence!  And if I never wrote another book, my relationship with God would be unchanged… It was my mainstay before I was published and it’s the core of who I am. When I’m not being a snark, of course!

rem:  Well color me educated! Just learnt something new! What better response to the evil of this world, than Scripture nestled in parables! (sounds like something Jesus would do… ) When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

RUTH:  None….

rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

RUTH:  Start writing….

rem:  Again with the LOL’ing! Love it! What are you reading right now?

RUTH:  I actually just read my own “Welcome to Wishing Bridge” because I’m working on book 3 and I wanted to refresh my memory on the inflections and characters… the whole tone of Wishing Bridge.

rem:  Ya, I’ve had to do that a time or three… What do you munch on while you write?

RUTH:  Cookies…. But I munch on cookies and Veggie Straws no matter what I’m doing. #addicted

rem:  I wanna try those. You were one of the original founding members of Seekerville. Tell us about the early days. Who first thought up the name? What do you like best about it?

RUTH:  We formed the Seekers with the Biblical basis of “Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it will be opened unto you…” because breaking into writing is a tough, competitive business.

rem:  I lovelovelove that origin! What was your first Seekerville post?

RUTH:  Too long ago to remember, LOL!


rem:  Oh, Ruthy! LOL How many recipes have you tried on the Yankee Belle Café? What was your favorite?

RUTH:  A big fave is chocolate cream pie… but there are so many. And I just love food!!!

rem:  I gotta look that one up—I’ve been craving a GOOD chocolate cream pie and the store bought one I got was a HUGE disappointment! Your style, and your website, is rather how I envision mine—a friendly gathering with family and friends. Surely you have a good anecdote or two you can share with us…

RUTH:  Hahahahahaha! If only I were that clever! J

rem:  Oh but you are!! #bestanecdoteever! BAHAHAHAH  I just watched through the photo slide show on your blog! Love it! And I gotta ask, what’s the big vat of red gooey stuff?

RUTH:  Oh my stars, what blog???? My abandoned Ruthy’s Place that I don’t have time for??? It’s so funny these days, because in order to be an effective author, you need to write books… so I focus on that and Seekerville and the Café with Missy and Jan and Mindy and Cate… I love those gals!!!

rem:  I love those gals, too! And yes, I totally get it juggling writing and blogging and, well, life… Your blog is such a fun place, and you seem to be a quirky, fun, perhaps even snarky gal. How much of that shows up in your characters?

RUTH:  A lot. I don’t like whiny women, I want them to be strong in spite of their mishaps and troubles and whatever terrible things I throw at them, at least strong eventually… because we women have to tough it out more often than not and there’s nothing wrong with that. If I were in the 19th century, I’d be marching for women’s rights to vote and own property or anything else they were being denied…. Ee gads, that was ridiculous!


rem:  I don’t like whiny ANYbody!! Grates on my nerves! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

RUTH:  Long and eventually published. J

rem:  The condensed version, I see. #winkwink What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

RUTH:  Cave. In the middle of the night. That way no one bothers me.

rem:  The advantage of living alone, I suppose… (me, I mean. I live alone.) What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

RUTH:  Everything.

rem:  Meeee toooo!! (Well, except the marketing… UGH) What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

RUTH:  Too many…… The easiest is the writing. And the readers. Love ‘em.

rem:  Meeee toooo!! We really are twins!! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

RUTH:  I’m going to leave that to Seekerville… write, write, write.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

RUTH:  Yes…. But it’s in my head. I don’t plan…

rem:  Pantzer not plotter! I don’t do it either… What is your current project?

RUTH:  Working on Wishing Bridge 3 “At Peace in Wishing Bridge” (working title) and my spring 2020 Love Inspired…. And the second Prairie Brides historical.

rem:  OY! I don’t know how you keep them all straight! Anything you’d like to add?

RUTH:  I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderfully thought-provoking Lent and a happy Easter… I love Easter, it has not been spoiled by commercialism and it’s such a marvelous holy day!!!!

rem:  You are so right, Ruthy. It is our defining event as Christians. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!










“The one thing we can probably all agree on is that things change… and our survival, that of any animal, depends on adaptation and adjustment.   And God gave us amazing brains and abilities, so I believe we’ve got this… eventually… and we’ll adjust and adapt as needed.”




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview – Seekerville Blog Blitz, Ruth Logan Herne

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 Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for RES-Q Tyler Stop by June McCrary Jacobs with JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: RES-Q Tyler Stop
Series: Tyler Stop, Book 1
Author: June McCrary Jacobs
Publisher: JMJ Story Stitcher Books
Release Date: April 22, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction


It’s the summer of 1968 in Sonoma County, California, and eleven-year-old Weston Gregg and his nine-year-old sister, Wendy, are looking for fun things to do during their summer break from school. When they discover some abandoned rabbits, they hatch an idea to make a positive difference for animals and people in their small town of Tyler Stop.

They decide to form ‘Rescue Each Species-Quickly’, or RES-Q Tyler Stop.

There are challenges to face as they move forward into their new venture, including standing up to someone who is targeting Weston’s friends for being different and a painfully bad decision.

Will Weston have to handle these issues on his own or will he learn to accept the advice and wisdom shared by some important people in his life? Join Weston and his family and friends as they share some adventures and learn and grow together in RES-Q Tyler Stop.



“Adventure has no end in this tale, where a heart for animals inspires and surprises await around every bend. . . . The characters and the situations they face come across realistic, and the scenes develop naturally. Not only does the author keep a nice paced plot rolling along but adds interesting and practical information about animals and ways to handle certain situations along the way. It makes for a fun mix of fiction and fact.

This appears to be the first book in the series, and I’m eager to see where the RES-Q Tyler Stop adventures will head to next.” ~ Tonja Drecker, Author of Music Boxes

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository




Foster Family

When they turned into their driveway, Diamond barked and ran around in circles. Weston woke up and yawned. He nudged Wendy to wake her up and mumbled, “We’re home.”

Dad pulled the truck under the shade of a huge oak tree near their house. Both children snapped off their seatbelts and stretched.

“Wendy, take Diamond to her pen for a few minutes until she settles down. I don’t want her to upset the rabbits with her noise and excitement. Weston, go get seven large towels from the rag bin in the shed. We’re going to soak the towels in cold water and then hang them over each pet carrier, including Ruby’s.”

“Got it, Dad. And thanks for letting Wendy and me be foster parents to the rabbits. I promise we won’t let you and Mom or the rabbits down.”

Dad ruffled his son’s thick brown hair and said, “You’ve proven you can be trusted, Weston. Your word is as good as gold to me.”

When he heard his dad’s words, Weston felt pride swell in his heart. Almost nothing made Weston feel better than to please his dad.

He cleared his throat.

“I’ll go get those towels now, Dad.”

The three of them set up the damp towels for the rabbits. Wendy filled every animal’s water bottle with cool water from the extra refrigerator they stored in the shed. They set up Ruby’s cage at the end of the row of foster rabbits.

Weston washed lettuce leaves and carrots for the rabbits and Emerald, the turtle, and brought them out to his father. Diamond and Pearl were given their favorite pet foods and some cool water, and things soon settled down in the pet section of the yard.

The afternoon heat was stifling, so the family went inside to sit in front of the fan and relax. Dad read a book while Weston and Wendy played several games of checkers and Go Fish. Around four, Dad stood up.

“Let’s start dinner for your mother since she’s worked all day and didn’t get to go out for burgers.”

“I like helping in the kitchen,” Weston said.

“Ew. Boys are not supposed to like cooking!”

“Wendy, I’m surprised at you. You know your papa does all the cooking at their house, and I love to help out with meals, too. We’re both just grown-up boys.”

Wendy blushed and turned to her brother.

“Sorry about that, Weston.”

“It’s all right. Maybe I’ll grow up to be a chef, so now’s the perfect time to start learning.”

“I learned to cook before I met your mother. It’s a good thing, too, or I would have starved while I was a bachelor.”

Everyone chuckled as they washed their hands and put on their aprons.

“What should we make?” Weston asked.

“I think a crisp, cold salad would hit the spot today,” Dad said.

“Yeah. We could add some cold tuna fish salad and boiled eggs to it,” Wendy added.

“Let’s check out the fridge to see what your mother has left in there for us.”



1.)  Weston and Wendy’s father is Glen Gregg. He is named Glen with one ‘n’ after one of my favorite singers/guitarists from the 1960s and 1970s, the late Glen Campbell.

2.)  A few of the children throughout the story are named in honor of some of my childhood and adult friends, such as Sandy, Tammy, and Debra.

3.)  Weston’s nine-year-old sister and loyal sidekick just happens to have some of the same hobbies I enjoyed at the same age. I loved to cook, make paper dolls, paint, draw, play with my dolls, read, and go on adventures with my Girl Scout troop and church youth group!

4.)  In one of the scenes in the book, Weston and Wendy want to go watch TV after dinner. Weston reminds Wendy they need to turn on the television set so it can warm up in time for their show. We had an old television at home that seemed like it took forever to warm up before the picture would come in on the screen. We really had to plan ahead when there was something we wanted to watch at a particular time!

5.)  In the opening scene of the book, the Greggs are volunteering at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds by cleaning out the exhibition hall used for small animals. This fair, held each summer in Santa Rosa, California, originally opened in 1936.

6.)  The woman who owns the drive-in where the Greggs bought their hamburger lunch is named ‘Miss Ilita’. The real Miss Ilita was my aunt. Besides being a kind, loving person, Aunt Ilita was a fantastic cook; so I decided to name this character in her honor.

7.)  I love summertime flowers, and my favorite flower is the dahlia. When Wendy and Weston want to create a bouquet from their mother’s flower cutting garden, they cut an arrangement of dahlias, Shasta daisies, and zinnias—three of my favorite summer flowers to grow in Northern California!

8.)  The veterinarian’s assistant in the story, Joanne, was named for a dear friend who passed away much too young from colon cancer. My friend was a devoted mother and grandmother along with being one of the best teachers I ever observed. I still miss Joanne to this day, and naming a character after her was my tribute to this wonderful woman.

9.)  Wendy and Weston are treated to a camping trip up at Lake Tahoe with their grandparents, Nana and Papa Gregg. I chose this setting for their vacation because Lake Tahoe was one of my favorite vacation spots as a child and teen. The scenery is breath-taking. The sky was the prettiest blue you have ever seen—except for the color of the lake’s water which is an even deeper blue than the sky! {The water in Emerald Bay is a stunning green.} The pines send out a strong fragrance which I can still recall. Swimming in the lake was fun, but boy was the water cold. Brrrr. The days are hot up there in the summer, but the nights are cool and refreshing.

10.)  The new school librarian at Tyler Stop School is named Miss Wesley in honor of my third grade teacher. I was in Miss Wesley’s class for about three-fourths of a year until I changed schools. Miss Wesley was a brand new teacher, and her students adored her. She was kind and patient, but I think what I remember most about her was her beautiful smile. She actually smiled at us throughout the day which was a change from my previous teachers who were less demonstrative toward their students. Thank you for showing us you were glad to be our teacher, Miss Wesley!



‘RES-Q Tyler Stop’ is June McCrary Jacobs‘s first middle-grade book. June is a retired elementary school teacher and literacy mentor who is fond of California history and children’s literature. She especially loves to write, read, and blog about middle-grade fiction and non-fiction on her ‘Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic’ blog.

In addition to writing inspirational romance books and stories for adults {A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, 2013; Robin’s Reward, 2015; Handmade Hearts, 2019}, June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and on sewing industry blogs in the past decade.

When she’s not writing, reading, blogging, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, visiting art and history museums, and touring historic homes and gardens.

One of her most memorable and thrilling childhood adventures was her ride in the Goodyear blimp as it floated over Long Beach, California. She can still remember the people on the beach waving to her as she zoomed past them.




CONNECT WITH JUNE: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Goodreads Blog | Amazon



(1) winner will win

  • $20 Amazon gift card (US/International)
  • Signed Paperback Copy of RES-Q Tyler Stop (US only) or Digital Copy (International)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Giveaway will begin at midnight April 22, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 29, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!



#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book Excerpt and Giveaway, Res-Q Tyler Stop, June McCrary Jacobs, JustRead Publicity Tours

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Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.

But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon shes forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.




Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.





This has got to be the funnest read ever! Ms. Palmer’s style is so personable, like sitting in a coffee shop telling the story. And the humor, nay, snark! Apryl especially.

Then again, I wanted to throttle Apryl so many times for her snarly attitude, even knowing it was borne of deep heart wounds.

Not so different for Chance, minus the attitude. But the deep wounds that curled him in a protective shell.

A smattering of malapropisms are easily overlooked on account of the endless wit and banter. And underneath it all, Ms. Palmer sows deep and profound truths. Truth that exposes lies, and heals shattered hearts.

This reviewer identified a little too well with Apryl’s self-doubt and criticism, if not her antagonistic attitude.

Overall, an enjoyable read. Enjoyable enough to prompt me to read more by this author.







I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.




#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TDRD, Book Review, Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, V. Joy Palmer

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Editing Is Not for the Faint of Heart



Whenever I say, “Let’s move the furniture,” my husband cringes. This is especially true during the holidays as we make room for the Christmas tree. He expects me to know exactly where to place each piece so he only has to move it once. If it were only that easy.


The truth: I have an idea in my head where things should be placed.


The problem: Once it gets there, it doesn’t fit the overall plan.


Sometimes, writing is much the same as rearranging furniture. Once you get your words out of your head and in front of your eyes, what made sense before, doesn’t make sense now. That’s when the real work begins.


Once you have your words on paper—or tucked away in your computer—it’s time for the editing/proofreading/rewriting process. This is not for the faint of heart. But if we want our words to shine, we can’t skip this process. Even if we plan to hire a professional editor, our manuscript should be as clean as possible before we send it into cyberspace.


Here are a few elements to look for when you begin the process:


  • Start with the basics: grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Look up words you’re unsure of, especially hyphenated words.
  • Don’t mix past and present tense, especially in the same paragraph.
  • Avoid overusing quotation marks and exclamation marks.
  • Use correct formatting (12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spacing, one-inch margins). No fancy fonts, and no bold, all-capped, or underlined words.
  • Glance at your paragraphs. Are you beginning too many with the same word (He, She, They … and especially I)?
  • Know your pet words and phrases. Do a word search and eliminate them.
  • Get rid of weasel words (that, just, because, however, so, suddenly, quickly, quietly).
  • Read your manuscript aloud for syntax and sentence structure. There should be a natural flow to your story (both fiction and nonfiction), and events must be in chronological order.
  • Be careful with POV (point of view). No head-hopping.
  • Show, don’t tell your story.


Compare editing and rewriting to remodeling a house. It’s easier to build a house from the ground up, but sometimes the initial structure is beautiful and sound—it just needs to be made a little better by some important and well-thought-out additions or changes.


Don’t let the process derail you. It’s a natural part of the writer’s life. Whatever you do, keep working until your manuscript is as clean and professional as possible.


“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”  ~ Patricia Fuller



Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and LPC Books and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to The Write Editing, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It.








#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Andrea Merrell

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He knew.


Jesus knew it all. He knew everything that was coming, everything that was about to happen. He knew before Father told Gabriel to appear to Mary.


He knew. Jesus knew.


And He came anyway. He came knowing He would suffer. Knowing He would die.


Knowing the enemy would think he had won.


Who. Does. That.

Jesus does.


Because He also knew something else. Something that enemy just cannot grasp—Father God wins. He is sovereign. He is omnipotent and omnipresent and omniscient.


He knows the beginning from the end.


Why did Jesus remain silent? Why did He not respond to the hecklers and naysayers? Why did He not defend Himself before Pontius Pilate?


Because He knew His identity. He knew absolutely who He was and is. He knew His purpose, and His battle was not against Pontius Pilate. His battle was not against the throng of people who has just days earlier been devoted followers. Nor was His battle against the Pharisees, even.


No, Jesus’ battle was against the deceiver of our souls. His battle was not on this earth, not of this world. His battle was a spiritual one, manifest in the natural realm. What Father God gave to Adam was lost, and Jesus came to get it back.


Was He worried about it? Did He question who would win? Did Jesus ever doubt the outcome?


No. He did not. At all.


His night of anguish in Gethsemane was not begging Father to let Him win. He had no doubt about that; that was ever in question.


And the reason was simple—Jesus knew His identity. He knew absolutely who He was and is.


But here’s the kicker—we can know that same thing. We can know absolutely who we are in Him. That’s the reason He came. That’s the reason He left His realm in Glory to dwell in a body of flesh. The reason He endured the frailties and difficulties of this human life. The reason He embraced the cross, and the events leading up to it, with open arms.


For us. Because in Him, our identity is the same as His identity. The keys that were stolen, He got back. The keys that unlocked our access to heaven. The keys that restored who, as humanity, we were created to be. His.


We were created for Him. For relationship and fellowship with Him. When Father God created Adam, He said,


“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27


Guess what? God did not mean that He appears as we do, physically. Perhaps He does. But the image to which He referred is spiritual. From the very beginning, we were made to be like Him.


All the struggling and striving and suffering is because we separate ourselves from Him. Because we don’t know who we truly are. Who we’re meant to be. Who He created us to be.


Jesus knew. He knew who He was. And He knows who we are.


That’s how He looked the enemy in the eye and said,


“It. Is. Finished.”


That’s how, when His earthly body lay in the tomb, He looked at the enemy and said,


“You. Are. Defeated.”


And that’s how, on the third day, He walked out of that tomb in full resurrection glory and victory.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Identity and Resurrection, Genesis 1:26-27, It is Finished, He is Risen, #EasterSunday, #ThirdDay

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I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now I’m going to share them with you.




Today’s recipe happily shared with permission from Seekerville author and blogger, Jan Drexler, and can be found at:


I remember these recipe cards!



¾ cup              coconut oil (warm it to above 76° so it’s liquid before you measure)
1 cup               sugar
¼ cup              molasses
1                      egg
2 cups              flour
2 teaspoons     baking soda


½ teaspoon      cloves
½ teaspoon      ginger
1 teaspoon       cinnamon
½ teaspoon      salt


Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add oil, sugar and molasses and stir until mostly blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Form into balls – about the size of an English walnut – and roll in sugar. Put them on a cookie sheet. I line mine with parchment paper.

Ignore that “ball” on the lower right. I don’t know what happened!

Flatten each ball slightly with the back of a spoon.

Bake the cookies at 375° for 8-12 minutes. At my higher altitude, I need to bake them closer to 14 minutes.


The key thing is that you don’t want to over bake them – you don’t want them hard and crispy.

(Unless you like gingersnaps! I learned that if you forget to take them out of the oven soon enough, you have the perfect hard, crunchy gingersnap texture!)

But you don’t want to under bake them, either!

Follow your gut instinct. Channel your inner Gibbs. 🙂

When they are baked just right, they are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and oh! so delicious!


Definitely husband approved!




If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

NOTE: All recipes must be original or used with permission.


#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, Jan’s Molasses Cookies, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook

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Welcome to First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books!!!


Tell us your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!




Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen’s novels to be completed for publication, in 1803. However, it was not until after her death in 1817 that it was published, along with her other novel, Persuasion. The novel is a satire of Gothic novels, which were quite popular at the time in 1798–99. This “coming of age,” story revolves around the main character, Catherine, a young and naive “heroine,” who entertains her reader on her journey of self-knowledge, as she gains a better understanding of the world and those around her. Because of her experiences, reality sets in and she discovers that she is not like other women who crave for wealth or social acceptance, but instead she is a true heroine in that she is an ordinary young woman who wishes to have nothing but happiness and a genuine sense of morality.



Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.


No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her to be born an heroine.



This is one of Jane Austen’s books I actually have read, though it’s been far too long. As with all her stories, I was immersed in her story world and caught up in Catherine’s journey of discovery.



#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

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“Did you know God is the author of romance? He’s been wooing mankind for thousands of years. And while He doesn’t promise us a life without tears and trials, He does promise a happily ever after to those who know His son, Jesus.”


“Don’t you just love a happy ending?”




Congratulations to


Mindy will be in touch with you to send your gift!

Thanks to everyone who entered!





Three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She’s passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren.











Mindy is offering a copy of Her Colorado Cowboy.


“Standing at the kitchen sink today, up to my elbows in soapy dishwater, I stared out at the rain, suddenly and overwhelmingly struck by His graciousness. It was a humbling moment because, so often, I fail to consider all that God has done for me.”



#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Mindy Obenhaus, Giveaway Winner, #WINNER

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“The promises we keep are important – promises to God, our husbands, our children, and ourselves. But the greatest promise of all is the promise God gives us in Jesus Christ.”


“Bringing you home…

…to a world of Plain living, simple values, and strong families. Stop by often as I share about my upcoming books!”


Please give a feathered welcome to Jan Drexler.


Call or Text  – Text

Dogs or Cats  – Dogs

Paperback or Kindle – Paperback


rem:  Hullo, Jan! Welcome to my little nest! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

JAN:  I was raised in south-west Michigan, and still love the Great Lakes. After I got married, we moved all around the mid-west with my husband’s job and have finally settled in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

rem:  Must be something magical about those Black Hills! Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

JAN:  1) I would have had a dozen children if it had been possible. (rem: ME TOO!!!)

2) I traveled around Europe after college. Just me, my backpack, and my Eurail card. (rem: HOW FUN IS THAT!)

3) I have read through the Bible seventeen times and have a good start on my eighteenth. (rem: color me impressed! I bow to you.)

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

JAN: From C.S. Lewis. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” This quote reminds me that as much as I love the things of this world, God has more, better, higher, and everlasting joys awaiting us.

rem:  So much truth in Mr. Lewis’ words!! What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

JAN:  You should see my desk. It’s full of random things! But the most random is probably my stuffed hedgehog. He’s there only because he’s cute.

rem: D’awww, how adorable is that. What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

JAN:  Favorite movie is probably Mary Poppins. My favorite TV show…that’s harder. Probably NCIS.

rem:  I do love Julie Andrews (she’s one of my most favorite actresses) and I do love me some Mark Harmon…  #swoons  If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

JAN: I’ve always like the 1910’s – the years just before World War 1. That era had its own unique innocence.

rem:  Oh yes! That was actually the setting of my last series—1912 and 1913. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

JAN: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. I am not a brave person, but this verse reminds me that I don’t have to be brave when I go where God is leading me.

rem:  I was thinking about that just a little bit ago! No matter what comes our way, if our focus is on Him, we have nothing to fear! (and yet, so hard to do… )  If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

JAN: Samwise Gamgee from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. He was content to have a simple supper by the fire and a quiet chat. Wouldn’t you love to hear Sam tell the story of his adventures?


rem:  I’m sure he’s quite a few stories to tell. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

JAN: Christian fiction provides stories of hope in a devastated world. Being a novelist has forced me to clarify the details of my faith. Just like teaching any subject makes you a better student of that subject, writing about the Christian faith has made me a better student of that faith.

rem:  I love how you say that, Jan. So simple and so elegant. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

JAN: My fiction pet peeve is a character I can’t like. I keep hoping they’ll change by the end of the book, but sometimes they don’t. If I can’t find a character to root for in a book, I won’t be reading that author again.

rem:  Can’t imagine a story without at least one likeable redeeming character!!!  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

JAN:  Even if I wasn’t a published author, I’d still be writing. I might be teaching, or working in a retail store, or in an office. But I’d still be writing.

rem:  When the stories be there, they come out one way or another! What are you reading right now?

JAN:  I just started Pepper Basham’s book, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream.

rem:  Oh! What a lovely, exquisite book! I love Pepper’s stories! What do you munch on while you write?

JAN:  I used to enjoy Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips. I’d eat one for every 100 words I wrote. But…well…it’s sad to say, but that wasn’t helping my waistline. So now I keep a box of sugar-free mints on my desk and have one of those when I get a craving.


rem:  You had me at Ghiradelli… How did you become a Seekervillian, and what do you like best about it?

JAN: When Seekerville was rebooted at the end of 2017, I was invited to become part of the second generation of Seekers. The thing I love is helping new writers navigate the steep learning curve ahead of them, and the friends I’ve made through the blog.

rem:  So.Many.Friends in this industry! (wish I’d had someone to help me navigate when I was thrown in the deep end… of a deep ocean… in a tsunami… LOL )  What was your first Seekerville post?

JAN:  It was back on October 19, 2013, titled “Keeping Calm and Carrying On.” It was my first guest post, and I can’t describe how nervous I was!

rem:  Me too, when I’m writing a guest post. Love the title! Which of the recipes on the Yankee Belle Café is your favorite?

JAN:  Wow! Do you know how many recipes we have on that blog??? (rem: bwahahahah) But I think my favorite is one Ruthy shared years ago for New England Scalloped Potatoes. That is a perfect comfort-food dish!


rem:  Mmmmmm!!! I love scalloped potatoes = comfort food.  You have a rich heritage of “Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants” from which to draw upon for your stories. True confession: have you ever used a true story in one of your novels? How much did you have to adapt it to “protect the innocent?” #winkwink

JAN: I’m not shy to say yes! I’ve gleaned most of my story ideas from dinner table conversations and genealogy details. I usually change the names, and I’m always quick to say that the stories are only based on a single detail and a lot of “what ifs!”

rem:  That’s some wisdom there. I mean, don’t most of our stories germinate from something or someone in our real lives?  You’ve lived in several states before you landed in South Dakota. Moving ranges from traumatic to comical. Share with us an anecdote from one of your moves.

JAN:  Let me just say up front: I hate moving. (rem: ME TOO!!!)  One of the most memorable moving stories, though, has to do with my little oak table. I love my little oak table. It was the first piece of furniture I bought for my first apartment, purchased at a garage sale for ten dollars. I still use it as my desk.

During one move (from Texas to Indiana,) one of the movers decided to remove the legs when he packed the table in the moving van. You guessed it – when they unloaded our furniture at the other end, one leg was missing. (I still don’t know how one table leg can go missing from a locked truck…or why.)

A couple years after the move, we found a woodworker who was willing to try to replicate the missing leg. He did a perfect job, and now I can’t tell which leg the replacement is!

rem:  Oh my!!! Glad you found someone to replace the “runaway!” How are you surviving this season’s Arctic-opalypse?

JAN:  I love snow! I love cold weather! Surviving isn’t a problem for me. 😊

rem:  That’s a good thing! LOL I don’t mind the cold so much, but it makes the RA quite disagreeable. What’s your favorite thing about Black Hills?

JAN:  Everything. The climate, the mountains, the cowboys, the history… And there is nothing like the sound of the wind in the pine trees or the smell of pine needles on a hot summer day. I even like the million tourist who fill up our city every summer (but I also love it when they go home in the fall!)

rem:  Love the history, and especially love-love-love the sound and smell of pine trees. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

JAN:  I started writing for publication in 2011, when my youngest boys reached the end of their high school years. Up until then, homeschooling satisfied my creative bent. I sold my first book to Love Inspired Historical in 2012, and I’ve been busy ever since.

rem:  Yeah, once that writing fever strikes, there’s really no cure. LOL  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

JAN: Now that we’re practically empty-nesters, I finally have an office to call my own. With a door. That locks. *happy sigh* That’s where I do all my writing. I write five days a week, and usually during the hours just before and after lunch. I seem to be most productive then.

rem:  So. Disciplined. Said me, who is definitely not a morning person OR that structured. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

JAN:  I always had a hard time in school because I couldn’t stop daydreaming and making up stories. Now I get paid for it. How cool is that?

rem:  Oh yes, I totally get that!! #mymindwanderstoo  #allthetime  What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

JAN:  The hardest thing is making time for all the extras – the marketing, blogging, book signings, etc. Even though all those things are enjoyable, I need to squeeze them in around my writing time.

The easiest thing is when my editor sends me my revision letter. Going through the story and making those changes puts the finishing touches on a story I already love and making it stronger is pure joy.

rem:  The marketing is still a struggle for me. UGH  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

JAN: 1) DO give yourself time to learn. It’s a steep learning curve.

2) DO read as much as you can – fiction, non-fiction, new books, old books.

3) DO learn what makes a story work. Either through reading books in your genre or reading books on the writing craft, you need to understand “story” before you write one.


1) DON’T compare your writing journey to someone else’s. That’s their story, not yours.

2) DON’T let the fear of success stop you. Yes, fear of success. Give it to God and forget about it. Just write the best story you can. (rem: agree 1000%)

3) DON’T let the fear of failure stop you. Write the best story you can, knowing that you will have opportunities to change it and make it better. Nobody writes a finished draft on their first time through.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

JAN:  I develop my characters and decide on the major plot points before I start writing. If I plan too much, I don’t have anything left to give to the story. If I plan too little, I don’t have a road map to follow to keep the story on track.

rem:  That’s the best balance I’ve heard!!  #plottervspantzer  What is your current project?

JAN:  I’m working on the third book in “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek” series for Revell.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

JAN:  The heroine of the story has been a secondary character in the first two books of the series. Pretty much all we know about her after the first book is that she married young and married the wrong man. Everyone is sad for her, but no one knows how to help. In this book, we see her transform from a victim to a strong young woman with a future.

rem:  I love bringing in secondary characters to star in their own story! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

JAN: My favorite part (yet to be written, actually!) is when Elizabeth realizes that she’s been lying to herself and everyone else. She realizes that she’s been acting the part of a content, single woman and member of the church. But that was before God started working on her! I hope as my readers read it, they will find themselves examining why they are part of their own church. Social reasons? Family reasons? Or is it because of their relationship with Jesus Christ?

rem:  Ooohh, love that! Please give us the first page of the book.


June 1865

Weaver’s Creek, Ohio

Elizabeth Kaufman closed her eyes, leaning her head against the back of the rocking chair on the shaded front porch. A bird sang somewhere above the roof, its fluid call carrying through the quiet afternoon air like an autumn leaf falling. It rose, then paused. Rose again, then swooped down only to end on a high trilling note.

She sighed. Contentment.

A shriek from inside the house brought an abrupt end to the bird song. Katie’s pounding feet on the stairway and more shrieks brought Elizabeth to her feet, her knitting falling to the porch floor.

“He’s coming!” Katie Stuckey slammed the wooden screen door open and grabbed Elizabeth’s arms, spinning her in a circle. “I saw him from the window! On the road!”

Katie jumped off the porch and headed down the lane toward the road, leaving Elizabeth breathless and alone on the porch.

“Who?” Elizabeth called after her, then laughed to herself.  Who else could it be? The long-awaited day had finally arrived. Jonas was home.

It was a happy day, for sure. Elizabeth picked up her knitting and went into the house. Katie’s reunion with Jonas should be private, but they wouldn’t be alone for long. The family and members of their Amish community would be gathering together at her parents’ house to welcome him home. Elizabeth’s brother had been away for three long years with only brief, occasional visits to Katie and the family. Even those had ended after the first year as the war had dragged on.

rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

JAN:  My tag line is “Bringing you home…” I hope that my books give readers a longing for home – both here on earth and our greater Home yet to come.

rem:  Jan, that’s lovely. Anything you’d like to add?

JAN:  Thank you for having me! It has been a lot of fun!

rem:  My pleasure, Jan. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!


“Jan Drexler explores the vast chasm between law and grace….between forgiveness and bitterness….between relationship and duty….”


www.JanDrexler.com (be sure to subscribe to my newsletter!)









Jan is offering a print copy of Convenient Amish Proposal OR The Sound of Distant Thunder. (US only, please.)

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at midnight on Thursday 18 April and end at 11:59 on Thursday 25 April. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.





“Amish women spend many hours in their kitchens, providing delicious meals for their families… some of my favorite recipes have been handed down from my mother and grandmothers.”




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview and Giveaway – Seekerville Blog Blitz, Jan Drexler

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In 1960s Mississippi, Southern society girl Skeeter returns from college with dreams of being a writer. She turns her small town on its ear by choosing to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent white families. Only Aibileen, the housekeeper of Skeeter’s best friend, will talk at first. But as the pair continue the collaboration, more women decide to come forward, and as it turns out, they have quite a lot to say.



Emma Stone

Viola Davis

Octavia Spencer

Jessica Chastain

Bryce Dallas Howard

Allison Janney



11 August 2011



Tate Taylor



The Help by Kathryn Stockett



Tate Taylor



DreamWorks Pictures

Reliance Entertainment

Participant Media

Image Nation

1492 Pictures

Harbinger Pictures



Chris Columbus

Michael Barnathan

Brunson Green

Sonya Lunsford



Thomas Newman



Stephen Goldblatt



Hughes Winborne



Paul Selvin Award








What movie(s) would you like to see featured?



#Blogwords, Wreel-to-Wreel Wednesday, Featured Movie, The Help

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