12 April 2015

Ruth Logan Herne Interview by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Author Ruth Logan Herne

Ruthy, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
Hmm… well I’m never big into degrees of difficulty! Life issues chances and challenges and I’ve always believed that using everything God gave me to the best of my ability was the expectation, you know? I’ve got a great story about dealing with my parents’ alcoholism in “The Power of Forgiveness”, in December’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. I love that they grabbed that story and featured it because forgiveness is the key to so much. We weigh ourselves down with a lot of baggage when we hold onto grudges and angers. Resentment anchors us in darkness and I’ve always preferred the light of joy for that very reason! My faith sustained me as a child, I was blessed by the kindness and high expectations of a great Catholic school, and I knew that if I could hang on… become an adult… I could carve my own paths, my own way, with God’s help. And I did!

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
Ecclesiastes 3 is my mainstay for everyday living. I believe that for everything there is a season, and God wants us to identify those seasons/times and live peacefully while benefitting others. Pope Francis recently tweeted (I love that the Pope tweets!!!) that charity is the best way to evangelize. Simple words, a great truth. Actions speak louder than words. Have you guys ever heard the beautiful hymn “Make My Life an Alleluia”?
I love it, here’s a link to a quartet of girls from the Philippines who do an amazingly sweet version of this beautiful song. These words are how I want to live my life, being the best example I can be in everyday things. We all know that old saying “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” I love that! I’m smiling, just thinking of those sage words! I’m a Martha type, and we like to act first, beg forgiveness later! J
I have two favorite New Testament verses, both rally around forgiveness. When Jesus challenges the crowd to throw the first stone and no one dares lift a hand to curse the accused woman… How powerful is that image? To have the mirror held to our own faces? And then the command to forgive seventy times seven. Oh my stars, we get so up in arms over perceived slights. Little things. We’re kind of ridiculous really, from time to time, so I love keeping that image of warmth and forgiveness front and center.

Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?  Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
This is an interesting question! All of my Love Inspired books are available in large print version when they’re on the sale shelves of stores, or for a few months online, but once those are gone… They’re gone! Which is why I’m so blessed to have e-copies of all of my work now. It’s so easy to increase the font size, enjoy the story with little or no eye strain, and the new generation e-readers are just plain fun. None of my books have been brought out in audio as yet!

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  

It’s hard for me to specify a “latest work” right now, and I’ll happily tell you why! We had two delightful holiday collections release in November (Hope for the Holidays Contemporary and Hope for the Holidays Historical collections on Amazon) and I had a 4-Star reviewed Love Inspired release in December and I’m part of a historical novella collection that just released from Barbour Publishing “Homestead Brides”… Just delightful!
I have a charming Zondervan novella releasing in three weeks, set in Old City, Philadelphia, a place I love. I love the rich history of Philadelphia, the image of how many people fought and sacrificed for our freedom. 

“All Dressed Up in Love” is funny, charming and heart-warming and shows the difficulties of obeying two masters, God and money…. But also that we need to keep our hearts and souls open to God’s direction!

In “Her Holiday Family” Tina Martinelli is part of an angry, dysfunctional family. Estranged from the few local members of her family, and with her parents deceased and her popular café burned to the ground by arsonists, Tina is ready to wipe the dust of her hometown off her sassy boots. But timing is everything in God’s world, and when her dear friends need her to help run their family hardware business while the owner fights cancer, she agrees. And when their son realizes it’s time to lay the guilt of the past to rest and come home to help his parents, they realize they’re meant for each other… but Tina doesn’t think she can stay and Max knows he can’t leave…. Resentment, guilt, anger and assumptions played a big role in messing up Tina’s family, but can she be strong enough to break the cycle?
Of course she can!

Question you’d like to ask readers:
Do you have a to-die-for recipe you should be sharing with me? Because I love to cook and bake and when you’re the mother of six and grandmother of thirteen, you love to try new things!

GIVEAWAY: Leave an answer to Ruthy's question to enter for a chance to win a copy of one of her books. We'll be giving away two this week and Ruthy will be giving away one, too!



  1. Thank you for being with us and for sharing your testimony on OWG this week, RUTH! I just love the cover on Her Holiday Family and almost miss winter when I look at it! Never mind that I just said that. lol About missing winter -- not about the pretty cover! Like you, my faith sustained me as a child of an abusive, alcoholic parent. And it sustains me to this very day!

    1. Diana, aren't we blessed? That faith is the cornerstone of so much of my life, it's the fall-back and the fail-safe! It's what makes me smile every day and honestly, those tough times are what I hope colors my story-telling to show folks there's always a light at the end of the tunnel, a rainbow to come at the close of the day. There is always hope!!!

  2. Hi Ruthy! So good to see you here! Thank you for sharing your testimony of what God has done in your life, and about your wonderful books.

    I know you like trying new recipes, especially with all the little ones you look after. I have a recipe that is so ridiculously easy, you won't believe it. You can use ANY pancake batter recipe (a favorite from scratch or even from a box). Grease a muffin pan (large muffin size), including the sides (no cupcake papers required). Fill the cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to check for doneness. You can add anything you want to them: fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, whatever you want. Let them sit for a couple of minutes after taking them from the oven. It makes removal from the pan a bit easier. Cut in half, slather with butter, and pour on your favorite syrup. That's it! If you try them, I hope you'll enjoy! :)

    Please enter me in the drawing!


    1. Angi, no way! From pancake batter, you can make muffins????? How did I not know this? I will try this and see if it works! I'm happy dancing up here because you know I love to cook and bake with my little peeps!!!!

  3. Wonderful seeing Ruthy here at OWG! I'm sharing a recipe for Pecan Pineapple cake. My church family LOVES it. I hope you do too.

    2 EGGS

    1. Oh my stars, I have copied and pasted this!!!! Caryl, I'll try it and see, it sounds marvelous! I love easy-peasy cakes, and I love pineapple and pecans, so how could this possibly be bad??? I submit it cannot! Thank you!!!!

  4. Hi Ruthy. I am in the middle of chapter 3 of Prairie Promises in the Homestead Brides Collection. No time to leave a recipe, back to the story. Judy Sheridan Smith

    1. JUDY!!!! I hope you love Prairie Promises! I loved writing that story! So fun! And I had a great time putting together the Christmas historical story "A Town Called Christmas", too.... and now I have "His Beloved Bride" in our "With This Kiss" historical collection. I'm having the time of my life slipping historical romance into my resume now! They're so delightful to write! Yes, get back to reading, because I just love Jack O'Donnell and Bridget! :) And Jack's mom is a favorite character! LOVE HER!!!!

  5. Well, as I am an almost empty nester, I don't cook as much as I used to, but if I win a copy of your novella, I will gladly mail you a copy of our church cookbook which contains a several of my favorite recipes, along with many others that you will enjoy! rmaney(at)firstarpchurch(dot)org.

    1. Rebecca, I love church cookbooks. Oh my stars, I've been in a bunch of them, and it's so much fun and such a great piece of heritage to hand down thirty years later... to see those old names, to remember their contributions to the church, to say goodbye as friends pass away or move away from our long, upstate winters! I love those memories!

  6. Hi Miss Ruthy! I use an all time favorite recipe quite often.....Dorito Casserole. I brown two pounds of ground meat and once that is done and the meat is drained, I add a can of Rotel tomatoes, a small can of chopped green chilies, a can of mushroom soup and a small can of evaporated milk. Once this mixture simmers for about twenty minutes, I pour it over a 9x13 dish filled with Nacho flavored Doritos. Mixing slightly, I cover with grated cheese and bake at 350degrees for 20 minutes. Easy and delicious!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Melanie, hello again!!! I've heard of this but have never made it, so I'm copying and pasting right now... Done, I have it in my recipe file!!! Thank you! So nice to see you over here!!!

  7. Ummm.. no.. there is nothing I cook that my family requests.But I see some here I am going to have to try :)
    Thanks for reminding me to copy & paste Ruth....
    toss me into the drawings please...
    dkstevensne AToutlookDotCoM
    ** I already have Homestead Brides & All Dressed Up in my TBR stack :)

    1. Deanna, hey!!! I hope you love Homestead Brides, what a fun collection to be part of! Great bunch of gals!!! And All Dressed Up in Love is just plain charming.... and I love that I had the opportunity to be part of Zondervan's Year of Weddings 2!!!! I can't think of that fun novella... and Greg (SWOON!!!) Elizondo and Tara Simonetti, and how perfectly matched they were, despite their best efforts to thwart fate and faith! Silly them!!! And it's set in Old City Philadelphia, one of my favorite places to visit. I love Philly!!!

  8. Hi, I have included a recipe. These are a great favourite here in Australia.

    ANZAC BISCUITS ( you would probably say cookies)
    1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
    1 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup caster sugar
    3/4 cup desiccated coconut
    2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
    150g unsalted butter, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
    Preheat oven to 170°C. Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted. Mix the bicarb soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons water and add to the golden syrup mixture. It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
    “Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps(ANZAC) established in World War I.
    It has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.” - Wikipedia

    1. I can't wait to try these, Mary! You know how I love to play in the kitchen and these sound wonderful. AND... I get to figure out GRAMS!!!! :) Thank you!

  9. Loved your interview, Ruthy - thank you!! But then, I knew I would - you are such an entertaining lady!!

    You are a true inspiration - realizing, as a child, you could "carve your own path", with God's help!! I was raised in a devout Christian family, yet let the confusion from my childhood rule my life for many years - including a marriage of abuse to an alcoholic. PTL, I reconnected with God and realigned with His plan for me - years ago!!

    You are also one amazing author - just wondering how you are able to write so quickly and operate a daycare center every day?? Do you ever sleep, lol?? On the average - how long does it take you to write a book, how many hours a day are you able to devote to writing, and how many children do you care for??

    I am a music fiend - praise and worship speaks to my soul!! I listened to the video of "Make My Life an Alleluia" and was brought to tears, will have to buy a copy. Thank you so much!! Love the verses you live by, and your comments about them, also!!

    Shared post!!

    1. Bonnie, you're such a blessing. Thank you so much for your kindness and your beautiful enthusiasm.... And the childhood stuff, that was (I know you guys will understand this) as if my guardian angel or the Holy Spirit was just living on my shoulder, saying, "You can do this. You can do this. You can do this." And I could, with that constant mental encouragement! By the time I was old enough to realize things, most of my older brothers and sisters had moved out, and most of them had no idea how bad things had gotten because my mother didn't drink until I was two years old... so by the time it got bad, four of my older siblings were gone, and the two above me.... and the youngest three.... had a totally different experience growing up. BUT... Oh, that God, look what he's done? PERFECT! :)

  10. Now the writing part, I love this gig so much that I don't mind at all getting up in the middle of the night and writing. That's like the best way to start my day! And then my little ones.... and then back to writing in the evening. I have my daughter come and help with the kids a couple days a week this year because I was blessed with a Waterbrook contract and a brand new fiction publisher, so there was no wiggle room left! So Beth helps out two days so I can get a little upstairs writing time done and balance this year. Next year I'm shifting to full-time writing and part-time cute kids, and it's time for that! I love writing stories.... :)

    1. And we love reading them!! How exciting that you'll be writing full-time! God's blessings on you Ruthy as you juggle those cute kids and your inspiring writing!!

    2. Ruthy, God always turns our trials into beautiful, unimaginable blessings - if we but have faith in Him, doesn't He?? We must be kindred spirits re: writing in the middle of the night, as it's now 4:30 a.m.. Thanks for explaining how you work all that marvelous writing into your busy life - if the books you now produce are only accomplished through part-time writing, I can only imagine how many we will have to look forward to when you start writing full-time, lol!! Leaving you a simple recipe my family loves -

      Cherry Salad:
      8 oz. Cool Whip
      1 can sweetened condensed milk
      1 large can crushed (or tidbits) pineapple, drained
      1 can cherry pie filling
      1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
      Mix ingredients well, folding in Cool Whip last. Refrigerate for several hours before serving - even better if overnight.

  11. RUTHY, thank you so much for sharing here on OWG!! No good having regrets I know, but sometimes I can't help bemoaning the years I went through struggling with those very things of betrayal, bitterness, and forgiveness. Doing a much better job of it now, but the effects of those earlier years linger. However, moving forward and upward now!!

    Ruthy I would die happy if I could read all your books before I die! ;) LOVE your writing!!! Just finished reading 'His Beloved Bride' upon waking this morning. Hoping to have a review up here this week for it!

    I don't bake or cook anymore because of Chronic Fatigue but I saw this quick and easy recipe on Marcia Gruver's FB page recently! You only need 2 ingredients and it couldn't be simpler! Sounds yummy too..
    2 cups ice cream
    1 ½ cups self-raising flour (if you don’t have any, just add 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder to plain flour)
    Yummy extras e.g. ⅓ cup chocolate chips
    Leave the ice cream out for a bit before you get mixing so that it gets to a nice smooth and creamy consistency. You can use any flavor of course; in the video she uses cookies ‘n cream, which I think is the absolute best choice, but it’s up to you and your taste buds. Then all you do is combine it with the flour, pour it into a bread tin and pop into the oven for 40 to 45 minutes on 350°F (that’s 175°C). You can customize it a bit according to your taste, like with choc chips or even just a drizzle of chocolate syrup or some fresh strawberries once it’s served.
    Enjoy and God bless!!!

    1. I can't believe this recipe is that easy peasy! I love it already, and if it tastes as amazing as it sounds, I can't wait to eat the whole loaf!

      "His Beloved Bride"... Oh, Noela, I love that story. It goes to the heart and strength and faith of the pioneers, how they dealt with so much... and every time I whine in modern times I'm shamed because this beautiful story just grabbed me by the heart... and wouldn't let go. Sometimes the simple, short stories ring the biggest bells.... I'm a big 1776 fan and John Dickinson and the whole Dickinson family had such an overreaching effect on early America, and then on our overall development, so bringing a Dickinson west was fun. What a good pairing, and obviously mean to be, to have Phillip meet Grace... I hope it made you smile, and maybe cry... I love that sweet story.

  12. I love to cook and bake, too, and am always looking for new recipes. I am coming up blank, though, trying to think of one to share.
    Thank you for this interview and for a chance to win a copy of one of your books. These all look good.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

    1. Susan, so nice to see you!!! I'm always looking for new stuff, too, just because now that there's little time to cook, I love to mix it up a little!

  13. All of your books look delightful. The covers are delightful and I would welcome reading any of them, As a very busy Mom of 12 I have a fun but simple recipe I enjoy making for the kids. I take a graham cracker pie crust squeeze a thin layer of chocolate syrup on the bottom inside of the crust then fill with your favorite type of ice cream and drizzle chocolate syrup on top and freeze. It's super simple to make and fun and yummy to eat ! Deanne Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

  14. I've been trying so many new recipes lately and there have definitely been some good ones. We tend to fall back on classics like chocolate chip cookies a lot. A newer recipe that I just tested for a review uses cashew butter and pumpkin with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger as a filling for homemade Reese's Cups. So super yummy. We also tried Spud Donuts this past month that were really good. One of my favorites are those Oreo Truffles, where you mix a crushed bag of oreos with a package of cream cheese then chill. After they've chilled your dip them in melted chocolate and let them rest or put them on sticks. I could eat those all day! :)

    I'm looking forward to reading All Dressed Up in Love. I love this line from Zondervan!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

  15. Sounds like Ruth has a bunch of really good books As to the recipes, I hardly cook anymore. When I moved back to Texas, I had to buy a mobile home already in a Mobile Home park. And, could never have all of the kids over because of no parking space, so had to have any get-togethers at one of the kids homes. So everyone brings something , except me most times. They just want me to just enjoy, which I do. And husband gone for 18 years, so not much cooking around here. Take care and GOD bless. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <


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