Monday, February 24, 2014

Featured Author Interview: Ruth Logan Herne

Ruth Logan Herne loves Charlie Brown Christmas trees, rooting for the underdog and people who go the distance while others see the path as too long or broken!
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She loves God, chocolate, writing, dogs and is blessed by a sprawling family, oodles of grandkids and a sweet old farmhouse in constant need of work. She's sure that clean rooms are over-rated, snakes and possums should mind their own business and buy their own farm and puppies and kittens and babies are about the cutest things on Earth. 

An author for Love Inspired Books and Summerside Press, she lives in upstate New York.


The following is a February 2014 interview with Ruth.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win 
the Kirkwood Lake series (first 3 books)or a copy of Try, Try Again, 
Running on Empty or Safely Home
by Ruth Logan Herne


1 book set and 2 Kindle copies to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 21 February - 7 March NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.

I am so thoroughly not special as to be delightfully normal! I was born into poverty, but I don’t believe in looking back except to acknowledge what was… What IS and what WILL BE are between me and God! I grab hold of each day like it’s a miracle because I see it that way. A gift, a time to do my best no matter what the situation. I’ve got a bunch of kids, I stole my sister’s daughter and pretend she’s mine because we’re alike in so many ways, and my grandchildren are the best gift ever!  I love God, family, chocolate and dogs… And I live in a VERY OLD house so I’ve dealt with my share of snakes, mice and a couple of bats in my time… If I had to choose??? Naw, I wouldn’t choose ANY OF THEM, LOL!


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

This was my dream… Yes, I did always want to write and God bless the teachers in grammar school and high school that encouraged me!!!! Yay, them!!!! But then life intervened and I had to work two jobs for two decades while raising six kids. I’m not whining, I was glad to be able to do what was needed, but I couldn’t snatch hours away each week to write… but then, about ten years ago, I knew it was time to get serious. So I did… and if you look at my toothy smile, you’ll see the happiest woman in the world looking back at you!

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What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

I’m probably the worst person to answer that. I read across all lines, genres and styles. I don’t want stories sugar-coated or simplified for me so I avoid books that do that.  The plus side of Christian fiction is the ability to sit down and enjoy a delightful book from a Christian point of view, but then that in itself can be disarmingly one-sided. I love books that make me laugh, think and cry but I also love that folks of all types grab my work and enjoy it. And that was always my goal, to tell stories to the masses because I’m “simple folk”, just like them.


How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

Oh, with LOVE and LAUGHTER and the occasional grab-a-tissue tearful moment. I write from my heart and so many of the characters in my stories are parts of me or people I know or people I know of… Life has so many twists, turns and hills to climb that we can just get ourselves b-o-g-g-e-d down in the stupid stuff…. But why do that? I want my stories to help folks reach up and out, grasp hold of that gold ring or that peace of mind and just enjoy the heck out of it!


What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

This is very hard because there have been too many. Because I write about some tough topics, my work inspires some heartfelt letters and I cherish every one of them. I have many readers who’ve experienced cancer and after The Lawman’s Second Chance was published, I received so many lovely messages, e-mails and letters from cancer survivors or those who’d lost someone to cancer.  I’ve had folks bury their spouses, their parents, recover from substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) and a host of other things, but the one letter I remember most vividly was from a young mother who lost her child at six months of age. She had just read Winter’s End my debut novel with Love Inspired and she said that reading that story brought her back to faith… to God… to life.  Her loss of her sweet child devastated her and reading that showed me the power of the written word… and staying true to the heart of the story, no matter how tough it might be!

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How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Well, I’ve learned a lot about patience, about relying on my work ethic and God’s timing. But what has really impacted me is the back-and-forth I’ve developed with readers. The young mother who buried her six month old son. The women fighting breast cancer and uterine cancer and ovarian cancer… the broken families, the lost spouses. Those letters mean the world to me and I take care to answer every one individually. Knowing that our Love Inspired stories touch hearts and souls is the best reward. The glory is and should be God’s, always… but the fun of creating the words, the twists, the plots? That’s a joy of the highest order and I thank God all the time for giving me the talent… and then the time, to live my dream! How sweet is that????


Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 
My first goal was/is to be a good wife and mother. Now with my kids grown, I’m blessed to help raise other people’s children, and I love that! I’m good with kids… If you consider torture a GOOD THING, LOL! So my main goals are met already. But the future? Oh my stars, it might hold so many things! Who’d a thunk I’d be sitting here writing my nineteenth novel when four years ago I wasn’t published?  SUHWEET! I love to spend time with family, and I love going to baseball games with my husband. I’m a simple gal. Having more time with him and my buddies is more than enough. As long as I can write, LOL!


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

There is no spare time, LOL! My only two tv shows are NCIS and Castle… DVR’d so I don’t waste time on commercials. When I do carve a niche of time I like to write… Oh, wait, you mean OTHER THAN THAT!!! J  Gardening. I love developing gardens, getting dirty. And then they get all weedy because I have no time to weed them! So I developed a method of gardening using thick ground cover (ivy, myrtle, etc.) and then adding spots of bright color with potted flowers all over the porch, hanging from the rafters, baskets around the little fish pond, old wicker baskets filled with flowers. This way there is NO WEEDING involved! And it looks good! :-)  It’s a tricky business a gardener with no time.  Part of this is my fault because I am a Martha-type person. I forget to smell the roses I worked so hard to grow. But if I can write… and be creative that way, the next best thing is hanging with my grandkids and my daycare babies. I love it!

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What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

You’ll love ‘em. And I don’t say that loosely, they’ve gotten great reviews, and they’re so different. Love Finds You in the City at Christmas is a marvelous two-book collection from me and Rita nominee Anna Schmidt. I got to write my first historical! “Red Kettle Christmas” the story of a Salvation Army bell ringer in 1947 Manhattan, an unwed mother who works as a nurse for unwed mothers in a time when society hid problem pregnancies from view.

Then there’s The Lawman’s Holiday Wish, my newest “Kirkwood Lake” novel for Love Inspired. This is a beautiful redemption story, of coming home, finding love, re-building faith, hope and love. And the hot cop doesn’t hurt a thing!  :-)


What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

Oh, this is a great question! And the idea of me with fans just makes me laugh!!!  Ach! Does that mean I have to behave???? Act normal??

I just finished a continuity novel for Harlequin. "The Big Sky Centennial" is slated for July-December of next year and I’m book 2, in August His Montana Sweetheart. My hero is a rancher and BASEBALL PLAYER!!!! How sweet is that???? I love horses, dogs and baseball! Talk about a win/win!

But one of my favorite books is coming up in May from Love Inspired, Loving the Lawman, the story of a young couple who turned to science to help them conceive, but then the husband was killed in a convenience store hold-up. And the young mother miscarried her pregnancy. But a few years later she’s haunted by the thought of her last two eggs in storage, cryogenic bits of life and after a lot of thought and prayer, she secretly goes ahead to carry those babies, alone. Maybe it will work, and maybe it won’t, but she can’t deny them their singular chance at life. It’s a heartwarming story. Tissues recommended! But also smiles and cheers!

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What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! My international readers have helped build my reputation with the simple old-fashioned method of sharing books… talking…. Recommending. I find websites grounded in all kinds of countries with Ruthy-stuff on them! Who would have thought such a thing was possible???  I am blessed, absolutely. And I’m part of Seekerville, a great group author blog geared at helping writers reach their dreams. We hosted a January virtual retreat in AUSTRALIA…. :-) I got to tour Australia (well, pretend, but hey, a girl’s gotta start somewhere! ) with a whole bunch of folks, for free! It’s a great way to get to know writers and readers, a virtual vacation together!


Do you have any parting words?

Well, I never stop talking so I probably do! :-)  Thank you so much for having me over here, Ellie! For letting me prattle. For showcasing Christian fiction because that’s the exact kind of thing that helps move things in the right direction. You know, like any business, fiction is a numbers game.  The publishers need to cover the bottom line and show a profit and when editors go out on a limb, if the numbers don’t back them up, oops. PROBLEM!!! So sites like yours mean a great deal to us! God bless you!!!


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The Lawman's Holiday Wish

Second-Chance Christmas 

No one in Kirkwood Lake seems willing to forget, or forgive, Rainey McKinney's troubled past. But Rainey can't afford to let that bother her. Her top priority is rebuilding her life and being a good mom to her twin daughters. Even handsome deputy sheriff Luke Campbell can't distract her, tempting as he is. She's determined to keep her distance, but as his son and her girls form a special bond, Rainey and Luke can't help but do the same. Can Rainey put her past behind her once and for all and embrace a future full of hope—and love?

Kirkwood Lake: A town full of heart and hope.



Purchase The Lawman's Holiday Wish
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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Safely Home

Detective Crescent Dietrich vowed never to return to Watkins Ridge. A bullet and her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis changed that. Now she’s back, touching a past she spurned long ago. 

Alex Westmore appreciates God’s humor, but when hard-nosed Cress Dietrich is plunked into the middle of the family farm controversy—and his part in the sale of a centennial farm—he’s not laughing. He promised her grandmother secrecy, and Alex always keeps his word. But this time, his pledge might break Cress’s heart. 


He wants her trust and love. He knows you can’t have one without the other. But can Cress escape the shadows of the past in time to embrace the simple light of her future? With God’s grace, she can… in Watkins Ridge.



Purchase Safely Home (A Watkins Ridge Novel)
[Amazon Kindle
]


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Loving the Lawman

Safe in His Arms 

Widowed and pregnant, Gianna Costanza comes to Kirkwood Lake with her world in pieces. She's determined to put her life back together after her cop husband's death, and romance definitely isn't part of the plan. 
But when she meets her new landlord and neighbor, she knows she doesn't stand a chance. Deputy Sheriff Seth Campbell is strong and kind, and more supportive than she ever imagined a man could be. Soon he's sweeping Gianna off her feet. But she doesn't know if he's ready for an instant family—or if she's brave enough to love another lawman.

Kirkwood Lake: A town full of heart and hope.


Pre-Order Loving the Lawman
[Amazon.com | 
Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]



Buy Ruth's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win 
the Kirkwood Lake series (first 3 books)or a copy of Try, Try Again, 
Running on Empty or Safely Home

by Ruth Logan Herne

1 book set and 2 Kindle copies 
to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 
21 February - 7 March NZDT

Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Ruth when making a blog post comment. Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


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