Tour Schedule and Assignments
April 11--cherylbbookblog (Review, Snippet from a chapter in the book, Author's top 10 favorites) | A Holland Reads (Review, Guest post (pre-made))
April 12--Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance (Review, Author Interview (SLB provides the questions), Snippet from a chapter in the book) | Reading Is My SuperPower (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
April 13--Buzzing About Books (Review, Snippet from a chapter in the book) | The Power of Words (Review)
April 14--Smiling Book Reviews (Review, Snippet from a chapter in the book, Author's top 10 favorites, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Singing Librarian Books (Review, Author Interview (SLB provides the questions), Snippet from a chapter in the book, Guest post (pre-made), Author's top 10 favorites, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
April 15--Katie's Clean Book Collection (Book spotlight post, Author's top 10 favorites) | Colorimetry (Book spotlight post, Guest post (pre-made)) | The Green Mockingbird (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
April 16--Just Commonly (Book spotlight post, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Red Headed Book Lady (Review)
But when he discovers Elle Drake next door, a woman with a wonderful hand at managing errant boys, cranky relatives, and frustrated men... Matt's world suddenly tips back into a more normal orbit. And when drastic measures are required, it's the girl next door who's there to save the day.
Elle Drake wanted nothing more than to create beautiful pottery and have a family, but when her millionaire husband publicly dumped the renowned artist for another woman, Elle moves back to Cedar Mills to start anew, the spinster artist with her big potting shed. But when her to-die-for good-looking neighbor thinks marriage is a good idea, Elle figures he's either crazy, desperate or right.
But a marriage of convenience can become its own conundrum, and when life takes sudden turns, can this marriage become all that they bargained for? And maybe more than a promise?
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate and coffee! A country gal with a heart for the big city, Ruthy likes nothing more than to write the kind of books she loves to read, and she's even more happy that now she gets paid to do it! She's been married for a Very Long Time and she and her husband Dave live on a small farm in upstate New York where lake effect snow buries them on a regular basis in winter. But that's all right... it gives her more time to write!
(Insert interview here or include the interview via SLB Tours below.)
Interview via SLB Tours
1. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
This can vary, but about 8 weeks, more or less. And then it will need revisions, but I can revise one book while working on another, so that becomes a good use of time, all around.
2. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Oh, gosh, I’ve written for as long as I can remember, but the first full real book was about 18 years ago… and it was wretchedly horribly overdone (and of course I LOVED IT!!!) but then it was about five years before I could carve writing time out again, and when I did, I produced a whole bunch of wretchedly overdone melodramatic stories, but then I was able to use parts of them later on, or ideas from them, once I tapped into the fun story-telling abilities God gave me, and dumped the verbiage. J New authors/writers are the funniest and often the craziest things on the planet. We give tween and teen girls a run for the money on the Crazy-R-Us meter!
3. What suggestions would you give a potential author to help them become a better writer?
Write everyday. Don’t stop, don’t quit, don’t get lazy or careless. Pele was an amazing soccer player, world-renowned, amazing, and he learned to play soccer in the streets and slums of Brazil using a SOCK BALL.
That’s right, a ball made up of knotted socks.
He played barefoot because they couldn’t afford to keep replacing his shoes.
He trained by running and playing with a sock ball. Now that’s the kind of dedication you need to make it in this business. Your writing is the sock ball, and the goal is publication and you practice daily so that no one in the opposition or competition can deny you your spot on the goal line at the end of the day.
Write. Write. Write. And if you love it like I do, then it’s not a punishment, it’s like total joy to be able to do what I’ve always wanted to do! BEST JOB EVER!!!! :)
4. How frequently do you hear from your fans?
I love my readers!!! I hear from readers daily via facebook or e-mail or messaging. I love chatting (I talk way too much, I’m fairly ridiculous that way) and I love people, so that regular contact is wonderful for me!
5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?
I always knew I would be a writer someday. I always knew that’s what I wanted, but for decades I didn’t have the time to focus on the practice needed to polish the craft, to get good enough to make editors want to say YES!!! In capital letters, of course! J We had six kids and I had so many nametag and hairnet jobs, and those jobs became the best training ground for my stories, because I don’t have to research service jobs… I lived them. I made them work for me, around the kids’ schedules and the farm and the husband and all the things that pull on time, I just kept thinking “I’ll use all this in my books one day”, and I have! And yet, there’s more, LOL!
6. What inspired the idea for More Than a Promise?
I was singing in the choir and a young father walked in with three disgruntled little boys who wanted to be anywhere else but in that church! And as he guided the reluctant trio to a pew on the far side of the church, I started thinking… “Where’s Mom? Why is he alone? Why are the boys so grumpy?” And by the time I got home I had the idea for how to pair Matt Wilmot (whom I LOVE!) with a perfect character to do a retelling of “Sarah, Plain and Tall”, adult style. I’d always loved that Patricia Maclachlin story and I could see Elle, tall, and feeling gangly and despite her amazing prodigy-style success (think Thomas Kincaid) her one dream and goal was to be a mother, and that had been snatched out from under her through no fault of her own. And now, there they are, two adults who see beyond youthful images of forever, to the importance of marriage as a partnership with benefits… and when one of those benefits turns out to be true love, how can that be a bad thing?
I love this story!
6. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
DO NOT LAUGH. I love painting, not artistically, but inside. The walls, the ceiling, refreshing a room. And in the nice weather, I love gardening, but there’s so little time because more than both of those I love hanging out with kids and grandkids! They are so fun! So they’re my first joy aside from writing, but when I’m on my own, I’m probably re-doing something or getting dirty. And by the way, little garden ponds smell Very Bad in the spring.
That’s one of those tidbits of information you probably didn’t need to know, right? :)
1. I have friends in the excavating business, and a comment they made once a long time ago, about how some folks figure they’ve got plenty of money, and put off paying them… so that became the reasoning behind the financial difficulties that raised up to trip up the company
2. Somewhere there are three boys who were the original three little boys who came into church SO RELUCTANTLY about six years ago, and inspired this book… and I hope they’re all well and happy!
3. The Polish aspects of Elle’s family were inspired by a wonderful wedding reception I attended years ago, where the ladies of St. Stanislaus’s Church did a Thanksgiving dinner, pass the plate at each table kind of meal, and it was marvelous! Wonderful turkey and stuffing, puddles of gravy and delicious cranberry sauce and homemade pickles. I love church dinners!
4. And at that same wedding, I made the wedding cake, drove it hours to the reception and a layer CRACKED…. Luckily I had made an extra layer (just in case!) and I took the broken layer out, slipped the extra layer in, frosted, decorated and used real red roses to give a “cascade” effect, and NO ONE KNEW A THING!!!!! Yes!
5. The three boys were actually based on two brothers and a sister I’ve had in daycare/after school care for years… Amos is based on Casey, when she was little, and my readers see Casey on my facebook page, on my blog, and in Yankee Belle Café because she’s my “mother’s helper” now and helps on the farm in the summer. And she’s ALMOST DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL so you can see that life has moved on since I wrote “More Than a Promise”, LOL!
6. Sarah, Plain and Tall is one of my favorite children’s stories, and I used that premise to write an adult version in “More Than a Promise”. If you’ve never read “Sarah, Plain and Tall”, you should… it’s just a wonderful marriage of convenience story set in the early 1900’s. I love it!
7. I love heroes that work with their hands… and guys with big equipment are as happy as little boys with Tonka Trucks until they break! And then they are GRUMPY. If you’re wondering about farmers, insert “tractor” for “backloader” or “grader” and you get the same result! And don’t talk to these men about weather!!!!! EEEK!
8. I love the church setting in Cedar Mills. The fun of older Catholic churches is how the church may reflect the ethnicity of the immigrants who came here with nothing, but pooled together to explore and expand their right to practice their faith freely. Neighborhoods were often defined by these beautiful churches and the congregations that flocked there weekly and daily.
9. I’m always amazed at how pockets of art can bring mass appeal. I wanted Elle’s work to be that way, based on a Thomas Kincade-type fame. Her longing and love came through her work and appealed to the masses, the “you and me” types. But there’s a downside to some of that because “true artistes” often find fault with commercial art, and abandon their friendships. Is it jealousy? Or disregard?
10. And finally… The spray-painted dog is a real thing. It happened a long time ago, and it wasn’t one of my kids (although it could have been!) and it took a long time for that dog’s fur to grow out. But… it did. Eventually!
(Note: You can pick any 10 of these to include in your post, or include the entire list. :) )
Favorite quote: “Plenty of time for rest in the grave” (Ben Franklin) AND “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Favorite book: Christy by Catherine Marshal and “Sweet Hush” by Deb Smith
Favorite soda: Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash!!!!!
Favorite ice cream: Abbott’s Frozen Custard, I am in love with their recipe!!!!
Favorite dessert: Pie. And more pie. And Tina Radcliffe’s Coconut cake.
Favorite candy: Sponge candy, but really, anything chocolate (as she hits the Easter basket AGAIN…)
Favorite flower: All. All, all, all, in the north we appreciate flowers like no one else can!
Favorite season: Fall. Gorgeous up here, and I love the busyness of pumpkin season and veggies and fall colors!
Favorite musical: 1776 and The Sound of Music
Favorite movie: Ooo…. So many. “Remember the Titans” and “The Princess Bride” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Favorite T.V. series: NCIS (there is really no other answer that should be considered, is there? I mean, GIBBS??? HELLO???????)
Favorite country you want to visit: Ireland
Favorite comic book character: Snoopy. He’s such an in-your-face brat dog, he and I would get along just fine!
Favorite place to visit: Any of my out-of-town kids, anytime!!!
Favorite Restaurant: Arlington Family Restaurant, right here in upstate!
Favorite ice cream place: Abbott’s Frozen Custard of Hilton
Favorite Island: Ireland, again! :)
Favorite author: Tooooo many! Karen White, Lisa Wingate, Catherine Marshall, all of the Seekers, Deb Smith, Herman Wouk, James Michener, James Herriot, and so many others… Katherine Patterson (YA books)
Favorite holiday: Easter, we haven’t commercialized it yet, I love it!
I love to write.
I have always loved to write. First I loved to read, and then I wanted to make up my own stories. Tell my own tales.
Are all writers born this way?
I don’t know, but some are. I can see the creative urge in some of my children, and now my grandchildren. Some are storytellers. Some aren’t.
So then I think genetics, that long spiral, that double helix that repeats non-stop and sets us in motion. What part of that curling piece makes us artsy? Athletic? Musical? What parts feeds genius?
I’ve heard that the chasm separating the right from left brain is narrower in brilliant people. (Of course they have to be DEAD to prove that, so not too many volunteer their brains for a check on it until it’s well… Let’s just say it’s “late”….)
But what if it isn’t just spacing and selective genetics? What if there’s a subjective component of “nurture” or (in my case) “lack of nurture”?
Hi, I’m Ruthy and I love making up stories, but because I was born into a very poor, dysfunctional family, I think it was more than gifted genetic talent that spurred my goals.
I wanted to fix things. From the time I was young and realized our family had few happy endings, I wanted to create stories that erupt into a solid happy ending. I wanted, no, make that longed to show that happy endings don’t have to be obscure. They’re here, right here, at our fingertips if we’re willing to make the necessary choices. I wrapped my goals in faith and a solid work ethic and (as life often does) I met a number of left turns including six children, multiple jobs and a quiet push from God to be patient…
What choice did I have? But looking back, I see the path much more clearly now! Waiting to jump into the writing pool offered me the chance to hone a lot of life experience, on-the-job training for book research, a fun study of human nature, cute kids, brats and everything in between! I birthed children and helped birth dogs and calves. I’ve milked cows and processed fresh chickens! I’ve smoked bacon and grown just about every fruit and veggie you can imagine. I’ve worked as a billing clerk, a teacher’s aide with emotionally disturbed children, a waitress, a bridal consultant, a babysitter… gosh, so many nametag and hairnet jobs, I can’t list them all. But each one brought me a little more experience under my belt… and more story fodder!
I love to write, and I would encourage anyone who loves this craft to jump in. Do it! Don’t hesitate. When the time is right, go for it.
Writing can be learned. I’ve seen that often. But storytelling is often an inborn gift, so if that’s your talent? If that’s your inclination…. Do it.
This Erma Bombeck quote sits above my kitchen sink where I see it several times a day: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say, "I used everything that you gave me."
And that’s my goal. To use everything he gave me, making others smile. And when you read a “Ruthy” book… It’s my hope that’s exactly what you’ll do…. Smile and walk away a little big happier and more hopeful. And that’s a pretty sweet goal!
Elle was amazing.
Elle made the boys laugh. She made him laugh. She made them think about things other than themselves. She made them cookies, made them work, and most of all, she expected them to rise to a challenge. To be good. To be kind.
And when they were around her, they tried to meet her expectations.
Married. To Elle.
He gripped her hand tighter as they made their way over to her house. His father moved ahead and Matt took advantage of the moment to slow Elle’s steps. “You seem to excel at getting me out of trouble.”
Elle winced. “I couldn’t let her rake you over the coals like that. Who does that kind of thing, when someone’s house is burning down alongside them? Sorry.” She made a face of regret and sighed. “Now we’ll have to wiggle our way out of this and that’s going to be a tangle, but I figured it would quiet her down. And it did work,” she added with a quick, small smile.
“What if we don’t wiggle our way out of this?”
She tried to stop their progress, but Matt kept her hand in his and kept walking.
“You said yourself it makes perfect sense.”
“I said no such thing,” she hissed as they drew closer to the house. “We barely know each other.”
He smiled into her eyes and saw the answering flicker of acknowledgment and interest. Real interest. “A lifetime gives us plenty of time for that, I guess.”
“Are you crazy?”
He was, kind of, because her off-the-cuff idea was growing in appeal. “Maybe. Or maybe you came up with the best answer possible.” They’d reached the door. He put a finger to his lips. “We’ll hash this out later.”
“There is nothing to hash out.”
He winked, because the more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea.
He kissed her.
He kissed her long and slow and with a gentle firmness that said they had a lot to talk about.
And when he stopped kissing her, he cupped her face with his two hands and whispered, “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
It was wonderful and he knew it, which meant she should take him down a peg, but his parents were excitedly waiting inside her back door. “We’ll discuss this later.”
He grazed one finger across her lips. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Confidence bordering cockiness.
And he couldn’t possibly be serious. Could he?
One look at his face said otherwise
(Insert review with FTC disclosure here.)
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April 11--cherylbbookblog | A Holland Reads
April 12--Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance | Reading Is My SuperPower
April 13--Buzzing About Books | The Power of Words
April 14--Smiling Book Reviews | Singing Librarian Books
April 15--Katie's Clean Book Collection | Colorimetry | The Green Mockingbird
April 16--Just Commonly | Red Headed Book Lady
SLB Tour Kits will be posted here by the Friday before the tour begins.