Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Five Awesome Things About YOU!

Hi, Seekerville! 

Welcome to awesome Wednesday.

First, I'd like to tell you about Mel Jolly.

Melissa Jolly is an Author’s Assistant to multiple NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors and founder of Author Rx. She has been “Keeping Authors Out of the Loony Bin Since 2009.” Her newsletters are full of good stuff. I actually look forward to receiving them. You can sign up for her awesome newsletter here.

The July Author Rx newsletter shared this quote that has been burning through my dura mater of late.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”                                            

         ― Steven Furtick

Let's talk about that highlight reel.

A highlight reel is not unlike a movie trailer. It's all the good bits. Social media does the same thing. All the good bits.

Come on, life is not a Pepsi commercial.  Those gorgeous put together Facebook, Twitter, Instagram posts and live ops are staged. No author I know of drives around in her car with a Starbucks cup, sipping from a straw while she tosses her perfectly coifed and highlighted blonde hair over her shoulder with a hand that displays her newly manicured nails before she smacks her lovely lips (note it's the same color Bella Hadid uses, Rouge Dior 999 Couture Color of course!)

You know what? There really is nothing wrong with the above scenario. And if you are an author you know that books used to be our product. Today, authors are as much a part of the product as the stuff between those covers.

Just understand that it's all staged. You see only what the author wants you to see. A perfect or slightly imperfect (to make her look like a regular Joe) slice of her life. The five-star reviews, the accolades, and all the accouterments are filtered for your viewing pleasure.  Sure, you see authors working hard, but when was the last time you saw a picture posted of an author plunging the toilet or cleaning up a furball off the floor? Not lately.

(And BTW, if you are spewing the ugly stuff on social media then that's another post for another day!)

It's a highlight reel. Got it? Don't compare your everyday life to the good bits.

And while you're at it, try to remember that we are not cookie-cutter writers (or readers!) and you do not write cookie-cutter stories. Cookie-cutter manuscripts are technically perfect and are without flavor or seasoning. They lack soul and identity. 

Stay true to yourself and your voice. Never try to be someone else.

You are uniquely you. Who else could be you, BUT you? Your voice is your writing fingerprint. Sure you have to learn the rules. You learn the rules so you have the right to break them as you then work to mold and create the writer that is YOU! 

No one else could write the books on our Keeper Shelf but those authors. Right?

Could anyone else have written A Passion Most Pure? How about The Husband Tree?  Or Back in the Saddle

I've quoted Stephen Covey over and over in the past, so what will one more time hurt?

This is your journey.

  • Don't live somebody else's writer life.  
  • Don't measure yourself by someone else's yardstick.
  • Don't find yourself chasing someone else's vision.

Above all, you and I are fearfully and wonderfully made. Dare I say, awesomely

Yes, you are awesome. There are at least five awesome things about you that the world needs to know about.

Today is all about you. Tell me 5 AWESOME THINGS ABOUT YOU. 

I'm serious. Do not post in the comments today unless you are willing to share five awesome things about you. 

If there are only three comments today, I'm fine with it. 

You can come back tomorrow if today is too soon for you to believe you are as awesome as I know that you are. 

Library of Congress Notecards with envelopes.

This is today's awesome giveaway! But remember, you have to comment. And in order to comment..ahem, you must tell me 5 AWESOME THINGS ABOUT YOU.  

So go ahead...

This is me telling you that you are awesome. I am not staged. I'm two weeks overdue for cut and color. I'm tired, and I just cleaned up a furball and plunged the toilet. But you know what? I am still....awesome. 

Tina Radcliffe is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. In 2016 Safe in the Fireman's Arms was a Holt Medallion Merit Award finalist and a Detroit Bookseller's Best finalist and a NERFA finalist. Rocky Mountain Reunion was a 2017 Holt Medallion Merit Award finalist. She has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career and  is on the RWA Honor Roll. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty-four short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

Update! Tina Radcliffe returned to Paradise with a short, fun, and laugh-out-loud novella that is part of a bundle with five awesome authors, Kristen Ethridge, Jessica Keller, Cate Nolan, Merrillee Whren and Cheryl Wyatt.

Back to School time means back to the books—in this case, six fall-themed inspirational romance novellas with a teacher twist! Join these six best-selling inspirational romance authors for stories that will fill your season with faith and love. 

You can grab your copy of Love Lessons here.

Here's a quick blurb of Tina's story, Back in the Cowboy's Arms.

A Paradise Novella

Teacher Elle Reynolds is thrilled to be back in Paradise, Colorado. She’s less than thrilled to discover the uncle and guardian of her favorite student, is none other than Mitch Logan. Mitch is the rodeo cowboy she left at the altar twelve years ago. When his niece is injured, it’s Elle who steps in to assist. Though Mitch is wary of Elle, his niece needs her. Elle can see that Mitch has changed; the wild cowboy has become the perfect daddy and leaves her wondering if he’d be the perfect husband. When Mitch finds himself falling for the woman who broke his heart, things get complicated. Can Elle and Mitch learn from the past and find their way to the perfect family?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Using Natural Phenomena in your Novels

Sandra here to talk about using natural phenomena in our novels. Nothing like an unusual or significant event to trigger some tension in the plot. Right? 

Well we had a big event yesterday that brought the idea on for this topic. We are in Oregon now near Madras that is a small town where the full solar eclipse could be seen for the first time in the United States since its birth. I need to talk about this event because it may impact my presence today in the comment section.

We have been advised that thousands of people from all over the world are flocking to our area to experience the full solar eclipse. Madras is a small town-rural farming community on the edge of the Cascade Mountains. Consequently there are very few accommodations for all the people flocking here. Nearby Bend is a good sized city. So they are predicting hours of traffic jam delays on the few rural roads from the cities to this area on that day.  Farmers in the area are chalking off blocks of space and charging up to $1,000 for a weekend stay on their little block of space they lease. Great revenue for the farmers, but I’m not sure the cattle will be pleased. LOL

Because of the overload of people, we are also advised to stock up on food and water, keep your gas tanks full because the gas supply will run out and to try and not travel that day.  State government is shutting down for the day. Many businesses are closing up shop and many events have been cancelled due to the prediction of traffic jams. My pilates class was cancelled. Bummer. 

First responders will all be on alert. They have even called in the National Guard to help keep order. And most important to you and me is they expect the cell towers to be overloaded and hence no cell service.

So if you do not see any comments from me today, it means I can’t get through.  But check in later in the day because I may get online as tourists return home and I may be able to upload some photos of the event. My Seeker sisters said they would cover for me in the comment section if I can’t get through.

So fellow writers, has all of this hubbub spurred some ideas for your next plot? I can think of all kinds of things.  Maybe my hero is a first responder. Maybe my heroine owns a farm and the hero just has to see this event for some reason. Maybe he’s a scientist and needs the data and she really is annoyed because her life is getting disrupted in a big way. She might have scheduled a delivery that day before all the hype was considered.

Experiencing these big events in nature give you a true feel for the ambience. You get a deep core of emotion for your characters. You better believe that one of my future novels is going to feature an experience of the eclipse. 

I’ve used events of nature in other novels. In Where The Eagle Flies, the hero and heroine are caught in a water spout which is like a tornado only it’s on the water. Their houseboat in Lake Powell is destroyed and they are stranded. I could really describe that event because my husband and I experienced one of those while out fishing in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area where the Green River is dammed. Let me tell you, I’ll never forget the noise and fear of watching that spout approach and hit and I think I captured it in my novel.

Love’s Miracles is set in the huge giant Redwood Forests of Northern California. We used to live in that part of the country, so it was easy to incorporate the amazing aura of peace and tranquility as you walk among those giants.

Hubby and I have climbed into an active volcano. This was an extremely eventful experience. Fortunately, I was too young and naïve to realize the danger I was in. We were in Guatamala where there weren’t any regulations at that time to prevent people from climbing into the dangerous situation. All the crosses at the top should have been a clue. But to this day, I can still hear the belching sounds of volcanic lava bursting forth and shooting up in the air. Now I know I’m going to have to incorporate that in a future wip.  In fact, my cousins all live on Christmas tree farms in Washington near Mt St. Helens. I have promised them a story set in their region, so my volcano experiences are going to be helpful.

This is Mr Hood, not either one mentioned but a photo I had of a volcano.

Mary Connealy has one of her books, Out of Control is set in a cave. Mary wrote that based on her venture into Carlsbad Caverns. Now there’s some experiences that are unforgettable. I remember clearly how it felt to be crawling under hundreds of feet of earth in the total darkness when we went spelunking in Wind Caves National Park in South Dakota.

I have been fortunate (or maybe just plain crazy) to experience many natural phenomenon. However, you don’t have to actually experience natural phenomenon to include it in your novel. With access to the Internet these days and communication so easy, you can write about a phenomena without actually having to experience it.

In my novel, Current of Love, the hero had to face his fear of drowning when a hurricane hit and he had to evacuate off a Steamboat in the middle of the Mississippi.  Hubby and I went on a steamboat cruise and we had many evacuation drills, which of course spurred my imagination. I was able to interview the crew and the captain shared some experiences and how to evacuate the steamboat in the event of a hurricane or flooding. This all happened before Hurricane Katrina so I didn’t have all of that horror in my story, but the hurricane did give my character more depth. And because of interviewing the crew, I didn’t have to actually experience a hurricane.

So folks, what natural phenomena have you experienced and how have you used it in your writing?  If you have used natural phenomena and haven’t experienced it, how have you researched it? We can always use helpful hints.

Readers, let us know how you feel about natural phenomena in the stories you love to read.

Those who comment will be put in for a drawing of their choice of any of the novels mentioned in this post.

Because some of these experiences are traumatic, I’m providing comfort food. You won’t be able to get pizza delivery today so I have baked several kinds of pizza for you to enjoy.

Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things

Janet here. I'm humming along with Julie Andrews as she sings "My Favorite Things," one of the iconic songs from "The Sound of Music." Go here if you have a yen to sing along.

I'm grateful for countless things! My gratitude list is headed by God, the Church, then family and friends. But there's little things too. Things that put a smile on my face. Little things like what Julie sings about, those whiskers on kittens, woolen mittens, apple strudels and noodles, oh and wild geese... 

I think she missed the mark with the geese. Hope I'm not offending our friends in Canada, but geese are way too plentiful in these parts. Still, they mate for life, fly in a cool formation and God created them. God never makes mistakes. 

Every now and then, I like to share our favorite things so we can get to know one another better. I'm not going to list the obvious things like books and computers, as I'm sure everyone hanging out in Seekerville likes or needs those.  

In no particular order, here's a few of my favorite things:  

Polish Pottery: We use our Polish pottery dishes every single day. Artists, not machines, puts all those dots, shapes and flowers in place, using applicators to dab on the paint or sometimes painting freehand. Talk about patience! Polish Pottery is made in an area in Poland with the right kind of clay for this hard, heavy tableware. 

Coffee: I'm not myself until I've had at least one mug of coffee. Preferably two. That's kind of scary, but I'm just being honest here. I've read coffee is good for us so I refuse to call myself an addict. I like my coffee black unless I'm treating myself at a coffee shop in the afternoon, then I have a decaf mocha latte or frappe, depending on the season. It's better than dessert. I've learned to whip one half cup of milk with one teaspoon of sugar, then mix with iced coffee for a refreshing drink.

Purses: Writers like Love Inspired author Lenora Worth talk about their shoes, but for me it's purses. Perhaps because I can't wear the super cool sky-high stilettos and ultra flat sandals without support. Purses come in all sizes and shapes and materials. I used to mostly carry the big ones but now I'm looking for smaller models that still hold my stuff, yet don't weigh my shoulder down. This black and white strip with hot pink stitched bow is my latest find.

Uni-ball Vision fine point ink pens: I'm not a fan of pencils or ballpoint pens. This is my go-to pen. They're all over the house and in every purse. An unopened pack like this one is reassuring as my pens seem to run out of ink at the same time. My DH strongly dislikes these pens. This may not be a worthy external conflict in our books, but it is in real life. LOL

Can you spot the Monarch that found my milkweed?

Lightning BugsI have a lot of favorite bugs. Mosquitoes and flies didn't make my list but the Praying Mantis, Bumblebee and Monarch Butterfly sure do. I planted Milkweed in my garden for the Monarchs. Their caterpillars dine on milkweed leaves and the butterflies lay their eggs on the plant so milkweed is essential for the Monarch's survival. I'm fascinated by these insects and want to help any passing through on their way to Mexico. Still, it's the amazing lightning bug that zips me back to my childhood. Do you remember the thrill of chasing and catching them, poking holes in the lid of a canning jar and putting them inside? I cringe to think how many might've died inside those jars at my hands. But enough survived that today at dusk a friend's woods behind her house dances with their blinking lights.
Rainbows: If the sun is shining while it's raining, I hurry to the windows to look for a rainbow, the reminder of God's promise to never flood the earth again. Isn't it cool that He created such a colorful symbol to reassure us? I always look for the beginning and the end of the rainbow.  

Summer Food: I'm cheating here because I can't pick just one. I love corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, tomatoes, green beans, beets, peaches...all fresh and delicious and healthy. Well, healthy until I slather the cob by swirling it on a stick of butter, an efficient way to get the job done that our son-in-law taught us. Yum!  

Hot Fudge Sundaes: I didn't put these under summer foods because I enjoy an occasional hot fudge sundae all year long. A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge. No whip. No nuts. Simple and delicious. 

The Royal Seal Japan label is still on the bottom.
Lady Head Vases: I have a small collection of lady head vases. These whimsical flower holders were popular in the forties, fifties and into the sixties. Most of my vases are ladies, though men and children vases were made. I couldn't resist this little girl and her umbrella. 

I should've put eclipses on my list of favorite things since today is the Big Day, but I didn't buy the eye gear or make a box so I will watch the eclipse on the computer. Has anyone traveled to get a better view?

You may be thinking, what does my listing favorite things have to do with writing? 

We writers need to remember to give our characters some favorite things that that will add depth to who they are and make them feel real. Perhaps even bond the reader to them. Those favorite things can be surprising or quirky, poignant or humorous. For instance, the heroine plants and tends hollyhocks in her garden because hollyhocks grew on the fence at her grandmother's, the one person in her life who'd loved the heroine unconditionally. Just give the characters a reason for loving them. Or not. No rules today.    

What is on your list of favorite things? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card to help feed your reading habit.

You writers might share the things your characters love and how they reveal who they are.

I brought my favorite apple fritters, along with spinach quiche and sliced tomatoes, coffee and fresh melon.

Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. Janet is a two-time Golden Heart finalist, Genesis and Carol finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her Love Inspired Historical novels are also Golden Quill, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Booksellers Best, Inspirational Readers Choice Award and Holt Medallion finalists. Visit Janet at her Website:

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Weekend Edition


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

The winner of a romance for Romance Appreciation Month is Connie (CPS).

Monday: Missy Tippens brought us "Giving Them What They Want...Consistently (aka: What I learned from being a cosmetics junkie.)" Caryl Kane is the winner of a travel (cosmetics!) bag.

Tuesday: Seekerville welcomed Linda Sammaritan with her post, "Story of a Budding Novelist." DebH is the winner of Mardan's Mark, Phyllis Wheeler is the winner of Mind Writer, and Nicki Chapelway is the winner of 8 Notes to a Nobody

Wednesday: Mary Connealy's winner of Long Time Gone is Marcia.

Thursday: Cindy Regnier joined us today in Seekerville and she stepped out of her comfort zone to present, "Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable." Barbara Fox is the winner of a really cool writer’s notebook and cup and Tracey Hagwood is the winner of a $10 Amazon gift card. Both winners will receive Women of the Bible books.

*TBD =To be determined.

Monday: Janet Dean will be talking about her favorite things in her post "A Few of My Favorite things." Share yours for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.

Tuesday: Sandra Leesmith will talk about Using Natural Phenomena In Your Novel. 

Wednesday: Tina Radcliffe brings you "Five Awesome Things About You." Be prepared to be stunned, startled, and surprised by the awesomeness of you. Come early, for this standing-room-only day in Seekerville and bring your own awesomeness, please.

Thursday: Dr. Richard Mabry returns to Seekerville with his post, "What's an Author to Do?" Stop by to chat with one of our favorite guests. You could win a copy of Cardiac Event!

Friday: The Best of the Archives featuring a classic post from our ten years of blogging. Comments are closed on Fridays to catch up on reading and writing.

Ruth Logan Herne is over at Stitches Thru Time on Wednesday this week, celebrating their birthday (and hers! Although at her age, she mostly keeps birthdays QUIET!) But she loves hanging out with Amber Schamel and the gang, and there is cake... and a giveaway... involved! 

Join Julie Lessman for Writer Tips on Splickety Magazine's Lightning Blog, where you can win a signed copy of the SPARK Magazine issue that contains Julie's alternate ending to Gone With the Wind AND an e-copy of any of Julie's indie books, including her latest release, His Steadfast Love.

Book 3 in Julie Lessman's Isle of Hope series, 5-star His Steadfast Love, is now available. PURCHASE HERE!

Read an excerpt from Julie Lessman's upcoming Christmas novella, A Whisper of Hope on Julie's Journal Jots blog and don't forget to PRE-ORDER A Whisper of Hope and The Best Gift of All for 99 cents each, both releasing September 1st!

Julie's "Heart of San Francisco" series novella, Grace Like Rain, releases September 1st for only 99 cents, so have you PRE-ORDERED yet?

She's the "accident" to his prayers! What happens when a runaway ex-saloon girl becomes a nanny for a pastor and his three girls? PRE-ORDER Julie Lessman's Frontier Christmas novella and find out!

Myra Johnson is blogging next Tuesday with the Ladies of Love Inspired.
Learn more about Myra's Texas roots, how she ended up in the Carolinas,
and why she still revisits Texas in her stories, including
Her Hill Country Cowboy

The ACFW-VA Crown Award is for unpublished Christian fiction writers contest is open!

Your Book, the Movie: Interview With a Hollywood Producer (Writer Unboxed)

Learn What Irony (Really) Is and How To Use It (Reedsy)

Audio recordings of #RWA17 workshops are now available for purchase. (RWA) 

The definitive guide to SEO for authors (Nathan Bransford)

Book Copyright Page Examples for Your Ebook (Kindlepreneur)

The Nitty Gritty Practical Guide to Giving your Characters Unique Voice (ProWritingAid)

Unspoken Dialogue (Writer Unboxed)

New ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Adaptation Coming from ‘Poldark’ Creators (BookBub Blog)

The 2017 RWA President's Message is available to view on Youtube (RWA

Discoverability: Go Wide (The Book Designer)

5 Quick Proofreading Tips That Have Massive Payoffs (The Write Life)

Author Privacy-How Much Should You Share with Readers? (Live, Write, Breathe)

Answer our trivia questions posted here.  Giveaway winner will be randomly drawn from everyone who posts answers, right or wrong. Correct answers posted here on Sunday evening.  Winner announced in the next Weekend Edition.
Giveaway is a Seeker Book of Choice as available on Amazon.

CBA/ABA Trivia. With Answers

1. “My first book got turned down by 31 publishers...” Name the famous mainstream suspense author. James Patterson per Forbes.

2. What’s the difference between a “time slip novel” and a “time travel novel?”

The difference seems to be that a "time slip" is more of a paranormal event in which the person accidentally time travels. "Time travel" appears to be a more scientifically deliberate event. -Amy on Goodreads.

3. Louis L ‘Amour wrote 17 books about the what family? 

The Sackett Family. Take the quiz here.

4. This ABA romance writer has written over 215 books.

Nora Roberts, of course. 

5.  Who is the author of Before We Were Yours?

Lisa Wingate.

6. A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea. 
Name the author and the book.

Francine Rivers. Redeeming Love. 

7. Which mystery author's autobiography is Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir?

Mary Higgins Clark.

8. Who is the author of the Baxter Family books? Now a TV series. 

Karen Kingsbury.

9. Whose tag line is the following?  “stories that show that faith, forgiveness and hope have the power to lift spirits and change lives – always.”

Love Inspired Books/Harlequin Harper Collins.

10.  What Christian publisher is located in Bloomington, MN?

Bethany House Publishing.

11. What year was Christy by Catherine Marshall published? 1967, 1969, or 1971.


Friday, August 18, 2017

The Best of the Archives: Book Matter. Does it Matter?

This post by Tina Radcliffe first appeared in Seekerville on 
April 28, 2015. Comments are closed today so we can catch up 
with our reading and writing!

What exactly is book matter? Front matter or back matter, it includes everything that is not your actual manuscript pages. In fiction it includes:
  •  Excerpt page/s
  •  Copyright page
  •  Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Bible Verse
  • Author bio
  • Author Letter to the Reader
  • Bible Verse
  • Reader Discussion Questions
  •  Publisher advertising
  •  Excerpts of your next novel (or someone else's novel)
    Every publisher is different and the book matter varies.Let's talk about a few of my favorite's.


    The dedication isn't the same at the acknowledgment. It is usually preceded by the words to or for. I think of dedications as a small window into the soul of the writer.

    Like these:

    "For Colin Firth–You’re a really great guy, but I’m married, so I think we should just be friends." Shannon Hale, Austenland

    "To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliffhanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA! But seriously, I love you guys." The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

    And of course Neil Gaiman's now famous dedication in Anansi Boys: 
     "You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.

    Not this time.

    Because we haven’t yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven’t seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other….

    This one’s for you.

    With you know what, and you probably know why. 


    Whether found in the front of the book or the back of the book the acknowledgment page is basically a thank you letter from the writer.

    However..not everyone feels as I do.  There are those who believe an acknowledgment is like an Oscar acceptance speech and shorter and more succinct the better. The New Yorker calls it a "gratuitous supplement to the dedication page."

    I disagree. To me, the acknowledgment is a form of social media. It's a way to connect with readers and share your humanity and let the reader know where you are coming from. It's also a glimpse into the writer's life and I am grumpy and disappointed when the acknowledgments are skimpy. 

    A note of acknowledgment wisdom-keep track of who you want to thank as you write the book. Don't try to remember those important people at the end when your brain is fried. You will forget someone, as I have, and then, of course, you have to write more books that they can help you with, which can be time-consuming (ah...kidding on that point.)

     Then there's Nelson Demille's acknowledgment in Wild Fire....

    “…There is a new trend among authors to thank every famous people for inspiration, non-existent assistance, and/or some casual reference to the author’s work. Authors do this to pump themselves up. So, on the off chance that this is helpful, I wish to thank the following people: the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England for promoting literacy; William S. Cohen, former secretary of defense, for dropping me a note saying he liked my books, as did his boss, Bill Clinton; Bruce Willis, who called me one day and said, “Hey, you’re a good writer”; Albert Einstein, who inspired me to write about nuclear weapons; General George Armstrong Custer, whose brashness at the Little Bighorn taught me a lesson on judgement; Mikhail Gorbachev, whose courageous actions indirectly led to my books being translated into Russian; Don DeLillo and Joan Didion, whose books are always before and after mine on bookshelves, and whose names always appear before and after mine in almanacs and many lists of American writers—thanks for being there, guys; Julius Caesar, for showing the world that illiterate barbarians can be beaten; Paris Hilton, whose family hotel chain carries my books in their gift shops; and last but not least, Albert II, King of the Belgians, who once waved to me in Brussels as the Royal Procession moved from the Palace to the Parliament Building, screwing up traffic for half an hour, thereby forcing me to kill time by thinking of a great plot to dethrone the King of the Belgians.

    There are many more people I could thank, but time, space, and modesty compel me to stop here."

       And of course, the acknowledgment for my January 2017 release, Rocky Mountain Cowboy!

    Many thanks to Beta readers, Nancy Connally, and Vince Mooney. They took the time to help me saddle the horse and get this story off on the right path. 
    Thank you to the people who assisted me with the research on this story. All errors are wholly mine.
     To real life Nebraska rancher, Ivan Connealy, and his author wife, Mary Connealy, thank you for your time, insights and information on cattle and hay.  
    Thank you to Rob Dodson, CPO, FAAOP Clinical Manager with Advanced Arm Dynamics who connected me with the amazing Barry Landry. Barry is a transradial amputee who utilizes the Michelangelo myoelectric prosthesis and happens to be an amateur rodeo cowboy. Not only does Barry ride horses, but he ropes cattle. Thank you, Barry, for taking time to answer all my questions. You can find out more about Advanced Arm Dynamics and the Michelangelo at 
     A final thank you to my editor, Giselle Regus, for her endless patience with a slow writer, and insightful editing on this book.  
    This book is dedicated to the heroes in my life, my husband Tom and my dad, Joe.

     Author Letter to the Reader

    The reader letter is the author's opportunity to speak directly to the reader and share a little insight into the writing of the book. Not just sharing why you wrote the book but also sharing the journey of the book creates an intimate conversation between you and the reader. It's also where you thank them for getting to this part of the book matter. It means they read the book. Please don't rush this love letter to your audience. They often include story **spoilers** which is why they're at the back of the book.

    Here's my reader letter for Mending the Doctor's Heart, my 2014 Carol Award winning release.

    Dear Reader,

    Welcome to Paradise. I hope you enjoyed Ben and Sara’s story. They’re head smart physicians who must learn to listen to their spirit and the leading of the Lord, who will never let them down. As we all do, they find themselves struggling with fear and condemnation and getting a little lost on the path to God’s perfect plan for their lives. During those times we are the most confused, the answer is simple: trust in the Lord for the answer.

    I never actually planned to write a medical story, but now that I look back, I think all my stories, published and unpublished, have a medical thread. I just didn’t realize it.
    When the editors at Love Inspired asked me to consider writing a book with a medical theme, I knew I was ready.
     Drop me a line and let me know what you think. I can be reached at or through my website,
    There you have my thoughts on these elements of book matter. But the question remains.

    Does book matter really matter? DOES IT MATTER TO THE READER? Do you read the book matter? What's your opinion? Any favorites you'd care to share? Feel free to drop me a line at and let me know if you read my book matter.

    Tina Radcliffe has lived in Western New York, Massachusets, Alabama, Southern Germany, Oklahoma, Colorado and now, Arizona, where the weather consists of two seasons: hot summer and cold summer. Sign up for her newsletter at for monthly updates and giveaways. Follow her on Amazon to get notices of new releases.