Thursday, July 17, 2014

Loving the Lawman Book Critique, Author Interview, & Book Giveaway!

Loving the Lawman

By Ruth Logan Herne

Have you read a novel or novella which has had the power to refresh you and make you smile down to your toes every time you think of it? I have! It all started when I was fortunate enough to request a facebook friend, Ruth Logan Herne. She offered a contest, which rewarded the winner with a Love Inspired, Haelequin novella called Loving the Lawman.

I am delighted to say that Ruthy’s generous gift helped me to find yet another favorite author! I’ll tell you why, Ruthy has a gift for weaving joy into her scenes. The story-world is not too perfect to be true and the imperfect situations and people add seasoning to the plot. Her characterization is excellent. I enjoyed the variety of personalities and looked forward to each chapter as the story unfolded.

This novella gets flying colors in my estimation! Loving the Lawman is a romance that is not just a romance. Ruthy has a down to earth approach to thinking outside the box and making the reader view life with a fresh, unique angle. If you want to discover what her character’s unusual circumstance is you will have to order it. ;) I don’t wish to cheat willing readers out of their fresh look at Gianna and Seth’s story.

When reading novels we sometimes may see the same problems dressed with different personalities and handling said problems in new locations, but I honestly can say that this was a unique situation. One I had never considered. Yet, I felt as though the way that the characters dealt with the challenges could inspire me in the valley of decision and in the quagmire of personal relationships. After all this is a Kirkwood Lake series book # 4, A town full of heart and hope.

Yes Ruthy, it is that!

Whatever motivated Ruthy to write Gianna Costanza’s story I wish her more of the same. I would love it if Giana Costanza, Seth Campbell, Carman Bianchi and their family and friends could materialize off the page and move into my neighborhood and attend my church. They were well rounded with flaws and yet had that special ingredient which makes them heroes and heroines!

Gianna made me wish to become a better person, so I invite you to allow this beautiful young woman’s story to do the same for you too!

You may contact Ruth Logan Herne on FB,,, ,

And you may snail mail her at Love Inspired Books, 233 Broadway Suite 1001 New York, NY 10279

To be in the running for a free copy of Loving the Lawman just place a comment and give me your email address. I will not give out your email to any other source.

Ruth Logan Herne Questions:
1.     When did you start desiring to write?
I was born a writer…. I was telling stories in the crib, no doubt, and that’s the truth. I don’t ever remember a time where I didn’t tell stories or make things up, or love the magical, wonderful world of books once I could read. I had a really rough childhood, born to a family with multiple addictions and mental health problems, so reading and my wonderful Catholic school were my escapes. I believed that if I could just hold on long enough, I could make my world… and then the world!!!!... a better place. So that’s what I try to do in my stories, to create a path (sometimes that road less traveled!!!) for folks to cling to. A path that God holds open for us, all the time. We just have to take those first steps through the gate.

2.    I love what you wrote in the acknowledgements about Mandy and Paul and then also Tina Russo Radcliff and Michelle Pecoraro! After you thank them for sharing with you their particular experiences, can you share with us how you knew this story needed telling?
Oh, great question. It usually comes down to the “What if’s?” And the what if’s in this case were a combo effect. We lost several NYS troopers in recent years. I know from research that there’s a chasm between embryo creation and what to do if there are extras in cold storage? That’s such a difficult question to answer. To me, once we create life, we’re responsible for that tiny soul. So taking the next step, of a young mother, wanting so badly to have a child, and creating all these tiny morsels of life… and then what to do with them if plans go awry???

That setting was the emotional and mental maternal growth of Gianna’s character. I’ve always loved that young women long for babies…. But boy, motherhood/parenthood isn’t for wimps, LOL! There’s a whole lot of work and crazy that comes along with that baby carriage. Does it date me to say baby carriage, because I love the look of buggies??? A baby buggy is quaint, way beyond anything a stroller could hope to be! So in that quest for motherhood, is that hard reality that it comes along with big, heart-wrenching and soul-stirring choices along the way that go far beyond is it okay to give your kids chocolate milk… (my answer is duh… why wouldn’t you give your kids chocolate milk, it’s like A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!) and which current trend on “how to raise a healthy child/how to keep them alive” we should embrace.

Now, why I used Italian families (hence the loving nod to Tina and Michelle) is because they're SO FUNNY!!!!!  I love them, I love the open, honest and sometimes loud way they communicate, (Remember Shirley Temple in Poor Little Rich Girl, when she ends up with the Italian organ grinder’s family for a little while? That’s how it is, LOL!) There’s nothing better than Italian sisters, Italian Mama’s, the all-for-one and one-for-all unless you steal my man mindset!  I love the shared openness and if I made fun of them JUST A LITTLE BIT, it’s because, well… I can.  J  Tina’s a good friend and fellow author now and I grew up with Michelle, and the reality of Italian life is just a marvelous look at how good things can be!  (I’m being super nice IN CASE THEY READ THIS!!!!  OOOPS!!!!)
3.    You have joy laced inside your scenes I do believe! I know I felt lifted and encouraged when reading this story. Do you deliberately try to achieve that quality in your writing?
Absolutely. I believe that God created us in this world to bring joy and ease heartache. I loved Erma Bombeck’s writings, her gentle humor poked at motherhood and life’s vagaries, and how she made the worst situations seem doable… and laughable! I never take myself too seriously, I think God’s offered us amazing and wondrous choices and if we stumble and make the wrong ones??? Own up, apologize and get back on track!  J  Joy is a gift… Faith is a gift…. Laughter should be shared. I keep it REAL SIMPLE because it’s how I love to live!

4.    What has been your favorite book to write? Why?
Every one I’m working on and I know that sounds lame, but each story has a different part of me/family/friends/situations that mean a lot to me, so trying to pick one is like asking which arm, which leg…. Because I have such a good time writing them that I can’t just grab one and give it top ranking. I will be having a bridal series coming out starting next year, SO FUN!!!!! I worked for a great family for eight years, they ran a bridal store and invited me to be part of it and I got to see so much crazy/cool/emotional/fun/drama-queen style bridal stuff that I could make a HUGE series about bridal, LOL! But we’ll do three books and have fun doing it!

5.    If you could write the story of your heart, without limitations of marketing plans and publishers needs, what would you write?
I think I already have. I wrote “Refuge Of His Heart” years ago, and now that I’ve got a track record, it’s under consideration at several houses… and if no one picks it up, I’ll put it out independently because it’s a beautiful story of an immigrant refugee’s courage to come to America, put her war-torn past behind her and strive for the future war yanked out from under her in Chechnya. It’s a beautiful story of a courageous woman, the child she saved, and the man who should have been smart enough to treasure her heart… Because of her dark history, it might be more than what traditional publishers want to deal with, but my other indie book with a dark back story is “Running on Empty” and it is by far my best selling independent book… and it should be because it deals with remnants of crimes against children, long before Penn State grabbed heinous headlines. I love both of those stories and I believe with God’s help women can not only heal, they can move on to become stronger… more faithful… and more fully in charge of their lives.

6.    Who are some of your favorite authors? Why?
Oh my stars, well there are two sets… Before I met my Seeker sisters ( my faves were LaVyrle Spencer, Deborah Smith, Lisa Wingate and Karen White. I devoured everything they wrote. Now you would add Mary Connealy, Tina Radcliffe, Julie Lessman, Debby Giusti, Missy Tippens, Mia Ross, Brenda Minton, Audra Harders, Linda Goodnight, Lenora Worth, Glynna Kaye, Pam Hillman, Ben Carson, Janet Dean, Cara Lynn James, Sandra Smith and Myra Johnson…. And oh, there’s more, but these are my faves that I can think of!!!! Oh, and Michael Lewis (The Big Short, Moneyball, etc.)  I like to see how non-fiction authors break down the nuts and bolts of the inside track so I sound almost smart when I use it!!!  J

7.    Can you name a way that your readers have blessed you?
So many ways! First, the obvious, by supporting a new author and spreading the word. That’s as huge today as it ever has been, the word of mouth, handing off a book, sharing on social media, but still so much of the real deal is friends chatting with friends… and loving an author’s work!!! Susan, that’s huge! But also with their e-mails, letters and facebook messages. I’ve talked with mothers who’ve lost children, with men who’ve lost wives, with parents who’ve lost daughters…. With women whose husbands suffered PTSD and lost their edge on reality. Women facing cancer, women who are infertile, women who’ve been abused…  God has placed us in each other’s paths and he blesses both sides of that path with understanding, compassion and love. And that is a true blessing for all of us!

8.    If you could have one of your books made into a movie which one would it be and do you have the perfect actors picked out already?
Hahahaha! Well, Red Kettle Christmas came closest so far, but I think the one I see as a movie in my head is “Try, Try Again” a 5-star rated independent book that folks have just loved, loved, loved…. And I can see it in film form and imagine it with Gerard Butler as Conor, maybe Laura Linney as Alicia… and we’d have to be careful picking out Sarge and Foster, two great characters who round the book in such stellar fashion. This is one of those stories that I really felt like God gifted me, it was just there, in my head from a comment my son made while he worked in a big, (LIKE HUGE BIG) corporate law firm in the financial district of Manhattan… and it made me wonder what if money isn’t everything? How would one of these multi-millionaire men handle that realization when it slaps them upside the head?  And that thought became “Try, Try Again”, one man’s quest to make himself… and the world… a better place.

9.    What would you say to writers who haven’t been published, but feel that they have an important story to tell?
Write, write, write. And when you’re done, write some more!!!

10.  Is there anything random that you wish to share with us?
Pray for our country. Pray for folks to return to church, to simple love and life, to be more satisfied and less expectant. Pray for our good natures to take over and for our children to see and learn and feel what it was like for those early Americans, the ones who braved heaving oceans, disease, starvation and carving land out of dense deciduous forest along the East Coast in their love and want of religious freedom. Our freedoms were won by sacrifice… Let’s pray for that sacrificial love to infuse this beautiful land once more!  Yes, it’s a soap box, but it’s such a good soap box to share!!!!

Ruthy, I wish to take a moment and thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving Loving the Lawman to me. You can be sure that this is a re-read for me and that I will tell others about your delightful gift of storytelling! Your joy is truly infectious! I too love those old-fashioned buggies, they are alongside old-fashioned train carriages in my estimation! It’s obvious that you treasure the courageous people who take hold of God’s strength and try and try again! Thank you for being you and for being brave enough to share you with us! You are a diamond!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Snazzy Ideas-Where is Your Muse?

(I publish these Pen's reminders so that others may get ideas to start their own group or equip their currant writers group. If you live far matter you can also write to the prompt and share with us across the miles!)

Christian Writers Group

MONDAY, JULY, 21   at 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


Faith Church

2201  42nd Street, Manitowoc, WI  54220

§   Faith Church is located next to Festival Foods

§   Not far from the Manitowoc exit off Interstate 43


Snazzy Ideas-Where is Your Muse?..will be taught by Susan Kinney.

Ideas and inspiration are all around us, but how do you grab your perfect idea out of the mix and apply it to your writing genre? We will investigate methods of obtaining ideas, wells of inspiration to dip your bucket in, and how published authors allow their interest to influence their story, so that they can write best-selling novels. You are invited to share with our group how inspiration grabbed you for a writing project and why that worked for you.

The prompt for this month is, ‘Who was your favorite character from any book or movie and why? Is this character anything like you?’ You may write this prompt in whatever means you dub worthy such as poetry, short story, essay, memoir… Typically a page or two is a good length to bring.


Anyone wanting to contribute to the Holy Tales Project you can email your stories and or poems to Susan Kinney at

Warning you may end up loving to write!

Visit a local shop and bring your coffee or cappuccino with you.

If you have questions leave a message for me on this post.
Let us know if you’re attending, so we can save a seat just for you.

We look forward to seeing you there! May God bless you richly and always as you write for His glory!