Friday, February 1, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Ruth Logan Herne

Today I welcome one of the funniest, sweetest 
and generous people I knowRuth Logan Herne. 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Ruth Logan Herne's book: 
A Family to Cherish

I didn't know what I was getting in to when I met Ruth Logan Herne at ACFW. From the first moment I said hi, she cracked a joke. She is a person who can make you smile and yet see how rich one can be with Christ. Need proof? Read her answer to my weekly question: How has God led you on your writing journey:

Take it away Ruthy-

Mary Vee, thank you so much for inviting me over today! I brought coffee… and an old-fashioned “Angel Pie” from a garden club cookbook I found at an antique co-op… 

Let me just quietly take full and substantiated credit for the lemon filling aspect of the pie, although the rest of it was stolen (according to Mrs. Robert Grosjean of Katonah, NY, now deceased) from a Norwegian cook. (Just picture this rich lady cornering the cook and demanding the recipe… was the cook a man? A woman? Did she threaten him/her????? Inquiring minds want to know!)

It seems even high society matrons nip a recipe now and again!

I was so excited to be coming by until I saw you invited a whole host of other people FIRST, including but not limited to Mary Connealy and Julie Lessman and I thought “Pshaw…. “ but I do like them, MOSTLY, so I’m okay with being like 134th on your list of fun folks.
(sighs….sips coffee….)

(Not so, Ruthy:)  the coffee is delicious, BTW)

God's Timing

When I asked Ruthy to
send a fun photo, she
sent this pic with this note:
"Derek's about as fun as it gets"
Way to go Ruthie:)
I love talking “journeys”, but the first thing I would say is that God gives us the power to create our own path no matter where our journey begins. 

My little urchins (I watch a small herd of diaper-clad local monsters with chronically runny noses)  love Candyland, but you never know when the turn of a card might send you back to the rainbow bridge or the peanut brittle swamp!!! And that’s life, isn’t it, the whole fly on the wheel, sometimes up… often down…

My life began in poverty, but I refuse to dwell there or revisit often. When God handed out opportunities, I clung to them. When he put gentle folk in my path, I accepted their wisdom. When he sent me six amazing children, I realized my first job was to them…. And I put my writing on hold until they were raised. 

I tried writing a few times, but first there were those children…Who knew they’d be so stinkin’ demanding???

And then we fell on tough financial times that meant I needed a second job (and sometimes a third) to make ends meet. But always in the back of my head was the knowledge of what God planned for me: to be a writer, an author. 

And with each new hairnet –nametag-job, I gained insight into businesses, restaurants, the wedding industry, private schools, industrial and commercial baking, sales, special education, raising youngsters to reach for the stars. Every one of those jobs was the baseline for research I use in my stories today.

My mother was a brilliant woman, a shining light of intelligence, but she also bore the strain of depression and addiction. I never knew her sober until I was in my thirties. She attempted suicide several times, and spent months locked in a small, dark upstairs room during my adolescence.

I didn’t get to know the pure light within her until I had a houseful of children of my own, but I see that later time with her as a blessing. She was funny, bright, and delightful (with no small bit of drama) and her writing talent made mine look minimal by comparison, but… and this is a huge BUT… she allowed the darkness to enter and then take over her life.

God lays out choices. 

He offers us paths. We might choose the one less taken or the one well-trod, and that’s not the point. It’s what we do on that path, the hands we touch, the faces we wash, the hugs we give and receive that make the difference.

I won’t argue with folks who say “works” aren’t important. In my life, those “works” were crucial, path-bending, Heart-forging. 

I’m a believer in letting Christ’s light shine through smiling eyes and a good handshake. Some might call my faith simple, but that’s the highest praise. Like someone saying your book made them CRY. Simple faith. The faith of a child, freely given, unexplained. That’s my kind of club!

At one point (after receiving WAY MORE REJECTIONS THAN JULIE LESSMAN EVER THOUGHT OF RECEIVING!!!!) one of my sons asked why I didn’t talk about my writing anymore. I said, “I can see that my rejections make you guys sad, and I don’t want to disappoint you.”

To which he said, “The only thing that would disappoint me is if you quit.”

That made me smile, because he’d thrown my own words back at me. And now with nine books out, five more contracted, eleven grandchildren, and  a husband who still puts up with me after decades of marriage, I see God’s work coming to fruition. 

Way back when Sr. Mariel and Mrs. Bagley told me I had what it takes to be an author, I knew they were seeding a pot that might not grow for years and years, but that given God’s time and my effort, the seed would flourish.

And I couldn’t be happier! (Well, except when I’m making fun of folks. Nicely, of course!)

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Ruth Logan Herne's book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced next week.

Thank you, Ruth Logan Herne for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader, I am touched by Ruth's testimony, as you probably are. She mentioned some ways to let Christ's light shine, handshake, smiling eyes, etc.? What other ways can you let Christ's light shine?

You can find Ruthy hanging out at these sites: Ruthy's PlaceSeekervilleYankee-Belle CafeFacebookTwitter


Diana Montgomery said...

I loved the interview. Ruth you sound like a very fun lady! I would love to read your book thanks for the chance to win one.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Diana, I only SOUND that way. There's a host of folks who will line up (with very little incentive) to assure you I'm not all that much fun!!!

But what do they know???? :) You're in the "cat dish".... Which I always clean (kind of) before throwing in the names!!!

Julie Lessman said...

Okay ... I'm one of those folks "lining up to assure you" that Ruthy is NOT a "very fun lady" -- she's hands-down one of THE funniest THE craziest, THE most colorful, THE most honest and THE kindest (in a sweet-snarky-bottom-line way, of course, that we need WAY more of in the world) human beings I have ever met and truly one of kind. And guess what -- WE have her in Seekerville, so na-na-na-na-na-na to all those other blogs that don't have her!!

Ruthy ... I knew about your mom, but I'd forgotten the true trauma of what you went through, and I am SO grateful God got a deep hold on you because you are one gifted lady whose light isn't just "shining," it's a blinkin' floodlight like one of those advertising lights that sweep the sky, drawing people from miles around. I am SOOO very glad God has gifted me with you as a friend, you sweet thing, and SOOOO freakin' proud of you with NINE BOOKS AND FIVE MORE ON THE WAY??? You make me look like a slouch, but I love you anyway, kiddo. :)

Uh ... you ARE my friend, right???

Mary, thanks SO much for having Ruthy on -- these "Fabulous Friday Features" are truly that -- FABULOUS!!

Love you!

Jan Drexler said...

Ruthy, you live out the principle that God never wastes anything - when we submit to Him and His plan, we see that every moment of our lives can be turned to our good and His glory.

Besides that, you tell really good stories. I have to buy an extra box of tissues every time I read one!

And Mary Vee, someday I hope to meet Ruthy in person. It's my life's ambition.... Okay, one of my life's ambitions...but it's a good one, right? Meanwhile, I'm jealous of all who have had the pleasure :)

Thanks for sharing her with us today!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You simply must get one of her books. A true delight and treasure is waiting for you.

Thanks so much for coming back this week. Hope you like Ruthie's special blend of coffee. I thought it was pretty good myself :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Well, gang, as you can see we had extra fun today with Julie popping in. She didn't give the link to the madhouse over at Seekerville so I will:

Don't let either of them fool you, Ruthie and Julie are great friends and so much fun to hang out with.

I'm off to make pour another cup of Ruthie's coffee. Anyone else want some?

Mary Vee Writer said...

Yes, I agree. This testimony of Ruthy's is a life lived walking in the path God has led.

The next virtual box of kleenex is on me. We should read one of Ruthy's books together.

I hope you do get to meet Ruthy in person. It will be a stellar moment.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, you guys are too nice.

Yes I like Julie A LITTLE.... :) Julie and I met over a contest when we were both contest divas (where Seekerville was born, a bunch of gals praying one another into publication... where else in the world do you find souls that are so willing to help in such a competitive business????) Anyway, she thought I was the MEAN judge who totally dissed her work, but I was the lesser mean judge, who said she wasn't writing a romance, but a delightful family SAGA... (which she did, right????) and then I may or may not have made note of the 212 POV's in the manuscript. God put us all together in 2004 and 2005 and we formed a bond that has just been a gift for these 8 years.... and then we launched Seekerville to help other aspiring authors.

This is a tough biz. You need to check your ego at the door, and I've always thought getting slammed in writing contests was the best thing to prepare us for the reality, LOL! And it worked!

JAN!!!! One of my co-managers at the Yankee Belle Cafe!!! :) We'll get together sometime. Maybe meet in the middle????? Where would that be? Kentucky? Lower Ohio????? (scratches head, geographically challenged!!!)

Mary, honey, you're forgetting to pass out the lemon pie, and please, dear one, they need forks.

And not plastic.

Plastic leaves an unpleasant feel... taste... just the click of it against teeth...

And a pie named for "ANGELS!!!!" should have stainless steel.

Did you know they're not putting nickel in stainless steel anymore because it got too expensive? And that's why your stainless doesn't stay as shiny as it used to be.

(This Cliff Claven factoid has been brought to you by the producers of and their subsidiaries)

Mary Connealy said...

A bit of a correction:
>>>>>funniest, sweetest
and generous people I know: Ruth Logan Herne

Funny I'll grant you.......

Mary Connealy said...

......but she's kind of a pill.

Pam Hillman said...

Goodness, I don't know WHAT to respond to first...the fact that Mary V. called Seekerville a MADHOUSE, or that someone called Ruthy sweet...or that Ruthy ate all the Angel Pie!

Oh... I get it...the pie. She ate all the pie.

Hey, did I miss the recipe for said Angel Pie? I have a recipe called Angel Pecan pie, and the ingredients are so shocking, you would never believe it would turn out to be SO good!

Nope, not sharing it here. It's TOO good to be relegated to a mere comment. It'll have to wait for YankeeBelle Cafe sometime. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Pammy that isn't the pie they make with Ritz Crackers is it? the one they promise tastes like apple? Cut it oughta be called Angel pie, because if that tastes like apples it's a miracle.

Myra Johnson said...

Oh my goodness! What a treat to learn even more about my favorite Seekerville tyrant! (Just imagine what a madhouse it would be if Ruthy wasn't keeping us in line! I can't count how many times she's told me personally to pull up my big-girl panties and quit whining.)

Love ya, girlfriend! Mary, thanks for inviting Ruthy to your blog!

Mary Vee Writer said...

For you, Ruthy, I put out the good silver, oh and if tea is your preferred beverage, be sure to curve your pinky. Must be proper.
I feel so smart now that I know nickel is no longer used. So that is why stainless steel is dull. A Paul Harvey story fur shur.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Mary,
Confession is good for the soul. We all know Ruthy is sweet. :) Hence the Angel Pie.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I puled Ruthy into the kitchen and asked her to give out the recipe. Not sure if she will or not. Although she did pull another one out and put it on the counter. I'll bring you a piece.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Gotta have one like that in every group.

We have our equal group at the Writers Alley. You know Pepper and Krista, and well, don't get me talking about Casey and well...this is one awesome fun group.

I'll give them a shout and see if they stop by for some of Ruthy's pie.

Anonymous said...

Ruthy and Derek, like peanut butter and jelly!

Mary Vee Writer said...

You came!
How lovely to see you. Do help yourself to not the peanut butter and jelly, have a piece of pie instead :)
The question of the day, Has Ruthy gone to one of Derek's games?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, youse guys are a hoot.


Can I say what I'M THINKING????? :)

Hey, I did the Angel Pie STOLEN FIRST BY MRS. GROSJEAN AND NOW BY ME!!!!) at YANKEE BELLE CAFE last Saturday and actually constructed it during the day, posting pics as I went. And it was fabulous. Oh my stars, my family went over the top for it.

A 5 star kind of pie from this 70 year old cookbook!!! I love these ladies in Katonah! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Gone to Derek's games????

Big grin attached!!!

Yes. I have a son who lives in NYC and he treats Dave and me to a game every summer. And another son treats us to an away game every summer, so we've seen Fenway, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington and Toronto. Every time they send me to a game, I remember how I pushed them to get a good education.'

Clearly with my own selfish interests at heart!!! :)

Yankees games are always fun, but the most fun in NYC???? Seeing it with Tina 18 months ago, oh my stars.... we road-tripped Thelma and Louise style in a mustang convertible.

But she didn't want to go see Derek.

Silly Tina. ;)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, bring that Angel Pecan pie to the cafe... What a fun recipe to share in February for Valentine's Day.

Pepper said...

Did Mary say something about me and Krista being the sweetest people she knows?!?

(head perks up)

What a bright part in my day! Mary Vee's website and a blog full of SEEKERS!!!! Doesn't get much exciting than this.

Love you, Ruthy! I think you are an amazing example of making lemonade and recognizing that Someone provided you with all the sugar you needed for it :-)

Pepper said...

You would LOVE meeting Ruthy in person.
I can tell you:
It's an "experience"

Anonymous said...

Mary, thanks for a welcome visit today. One of the most fun places I have visited. Glad to see all of you smart and happy people. Well, Ruth, we all have to have someone in charge, right? Might as well be you! Glad I made it to this fantastic party. Sounds like you have some great fun times together. Would love to be able to sneak in and just listen to all the goings on! I imagine would be great entertainment! So glad to have all of you writing such great books! Well, since the pie is all gone, guess I will mozzy on home, where there is no excitement at all going on. :( I would love to win Ruth's book tho. Just go on Ruthie and pull it out of the cat dish before it gets too many for you to find mine. OK? Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Mary, I forget to answer the question. We should always let our love for GOD show through by our attitude, by the way we talk, and the way we live our lives. Not just on Sundays but everyday. Helping others when we have a chance. After all, Jesus said whatsoever you do the least of these, you have done to me. Nice to meet all of you gals! Maxie

Anonymous said...

Well, you will have to excuse my forgetfulness. Senior moments you know are getting worse. Mary, I am a follower. Maxie

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are too much fun, and so welcome in this gathering. You'll have to come back because there is more pie..Wahoo!

I do appreciate your answers to the question. Helping others is not only good for them it stirs the good things up inside of us and reminds us what all Jesus did for us.

Blessings on you, girl. And after all that work, you certainly entered!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ruthy at an NYC Yankee game. Let me picture that.
Let's see it would be like watching a room full of kindergarteners eating their favorite treat at a kiddy park. Energy on maximum warp, and pure excitement on caffeine.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, yeah, baby, you and Krista, and Sherrinda, and Casey, and Angie, and Julia, and Amy, and Ashley, and Karen all sweet.

Great laughing partners.
Great prayer group.
Great encouragers, supporters, helpers.

Megan Parsons said...

I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the chance. makeighleekyleigh at
GFC: MeganP

Mary Vee Writer said...

Megan P!
So nice to see you again! You are definitely entered. Hoped you grabbed some of Ruthy's delicious pie:)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, this party's rockin'.... Okay, Maxie, I love you already, and I love these gals from over yonder, and while I think they ate the pie, I did a homemade carrot cake today with a finely chopped HUMONGOUS Cortland apple mixed into it. Oh my stars, Maxie, you have to try this it's delicious!!!

PEPPER.... I am an "experience", aren't I???? :) We had so much fun together and I think Pam Hillman still has the video of you and me singing the theme song from "Phineas and Ferb"


I'm sure we will be blackmailed some day!

"There's 104 days of summer vacation, Til school comes along just to end it! So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to speeeeeend it!!!" :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Megan, you're in! And I love the way a crowd gathers around Mary Vee... I love that in a person, when they just shine with warmth.

And no, I don't WANT ANYTHING, I'm just bein' nice. I do that, now and again.

And I love Pepper's comment about God providing the sugar. That's such a true parable, that if we're making lemonade (or lemon pie!!!!) God will provide. And if we don't feel it tangibly, it's there in everything we see... do... touch. Sunsets. Sunrise. A baby, napping. A dog, waiting alongside baby's high chair, hoping for crumbs to fall... A tree, newly leafed.

Or a tree, snow-covered, waiting.

God's beauty surrounds us and if we're glass-half-full kinds of people, we'll see that beauty without being Gibbs-smacked. Have I mentioned I love NCIS????

Not quite as much as JETER!!! But Gibbs is so.... :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Courtland Apple in carrot cake, now that sounds mighty tasty.
I never have to look for a good way to spend summer vacation. I am outside...totally sunup to sundown.

Pepper said...

My mother (of which you are highly jealous) is here right now and I showed her your story.
She said "It's beautiful. We don't live our lives in the rearview mirror."
She said, "we're pressing forward to the High Call, aren't we?"

Love you BIG.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wonderful words, Pepper, (we don't live our lives in the rearview mirror)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for featuring our friend Ruthy. But you really must know that she isn't all that sweet.

Welllll, she is sweet, but she can be a tyrant too. Like Myra said, she gets very impatient with whining, kicks you in the rear if you aren't behaving and uses her red pen FREELY. Much too freely.

Welllll, I guess I needed it, but we won't go there.

Ruthy, loved hearing your story again. It always amazes me how God works so differently in each of our lives. And He gave us all a gift in you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I hat to say it, but I think I would need her red pen too.

Impatient with whining, eh? Oh, dear. I better curb that.

As we both could tell, Ruthy attended a school of hard knocks, and apparently has learned the benefits:)

Loved having you here today, Sandra. Sure hope to see you again.

Mary Curry said...

I'm always late to the parties it seems, but this was worth attending even if I'm the only one left in the room.

Ruthy, that new cover!!!! I hadn't seen that before. It's bee-yooooo-ti-ful. Can't wait to pick it up.

Honestly, your covers would have me wanting to write for LI even if I didn't already want to.

And Mary, can I say how much I love, love your site. I would have commented earlier, but I've been reading back all your posts for the weeks past There is so much gentle wisdom, so much appreciation for life. I'm delighted to subscribe just so I don't miss a post.

No need to enter me for the book. I already have it and have read it. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

You're not late at all :) Did you see we had another pie?

You honor me with your words. I am so happy you stopped by. Sure looking forward to seeing you again.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Ruthy, I love your comment about having a simple faith. I could feel your sincerity. It's been a pleasure to get to know your heart here and over at Seekerville. I'm happy for your publishing success and to read that your faith in God and your dream was still strong during uncertain and difficult days. We let Christ's light shine through us when our actions are misunderstood and attributed to a selfish motive. The cover on your latest is beautiful. I'd love to be included in the drawing.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Sorry, forgot e-mail address.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a lovely comment. Ruthy's sincerity certainly rang through her words in this post.

You are definitely including in the drawing. Thanks also for being a follower of my website. :)