Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordBorn into poverty, Ruth Logan Herne is the mother of six and grandmother to thirteen. She and her husband, Dave, live on a small farm in upstate New York. She works full time but carves a few hours each day to write the kind of stories she likes to read, filled with poignancy, warmth and delightful characters. She is the 2011 award winner from the American Christian Fiction Writers.

For more, visit her at


Savanna:  Welcome to the blog, Ruth. We’re so glad you could join us today. Congrats on your beautiful newest release, Refuge of the Heart. I love the cover and title, by the way. 😉

When did you first come up with the idea for this story and how long did it take you to write it?

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordRuth: First, thank you for having me over here at The Engrafted Word! I’m so glad to be here, and I love the chance to talk about “Refuge”…

The idea.

Well, that’s a great question, and like so many good ideas the inspiration for “Refuge of the Heart” came from multiple sources. My daughter was working on her public policy degree and went to Myanmar to study refugee problems. Her stories of refugees stirred my heart. At the same time the rising insurgency in Chechnya was filling the airwaves with heart-wrenching scenes of destruction and terror. And a cart jockey at Sam’s Club thanked me for putting a cart away on a snowy day. In his words, “No one does that in bad weather. Thank you, ma’am.”

When I got home from Sam’s, I pulled up Google and started researching Chechnya… and I found a mention of a Catholic enclave in or around Grozny, an enclave that had quietly disappeared. And I wondered what if they weren’t all killed?

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordWhat if one survived the Muslim insurgency and the Russian occupation.

And Lena’s story was born.

I could see her, dark-haired, dark-eyed, pushing that cart through the snow, struggling to get by, unwilling to quit… ever. And I had to tell her story.

The length of time for the first version was about three months. Then, I updated the story last year, and when my agent contacted me about Franciscan’s interest in publishing this beautiful story, I was delighted to work with them. I’ve worked with multiple Christian publishers in the past several years, and none of them have been more delightful than Franciscan Media.

Savanna:  What a neat story! Love to hear this. What do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordRuth:  Sacrificial love. The takeaway of this book is sacrificial love, the very essence of Christ’s ministry and our mission as Christians. In a world that’s run amok with craziness, it’s easy to become desensitized to the global problems. But reading this story brings it to life. It gives terror and refuge and courage a face and a name… and it shows the resiliency and toughness of the human spirit. Faith strengthens us. Hope encourages us. And love blesses us.

Lena’s romance with Mitch was a delight to write. I love romance, I am a Christian romance author, and the beauty of a man’s love for a woman is marvelous… until it all comes undone, of course! And then we have to pick up the pieces, one way or another. For Lena, she’s survived so much. Just being in America is overwhelming, and learning to trust again isn’t easy. But what is love without trust?

Savanna:  Can you name a favorite hero and heroine from one of your favorite novels?

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordRuth:  Oh, gosh, no. I love so many books! But I’ll give you a few… Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett from “Pride and Prejudice”… Christy and Dr. MacNeil from Catherine Marshall’s “Christy”. Elizabeth and Nathaniel from Sara Donati’s “Into the Wilderness”… That one has love scenes in it, but Donati (Rosina Lippi, now, her real name) has such a beautiful way of weaving this historical story, that she caught me up in the difficulties of mixed marriages in a rough, new land.

Savanna:  I’ve never read “Into the Wilderness”, but I love the others you mentioned. 😉 Gotta love a sweet love story, right?

On your website, you mentioned you love to garden. I do too! What’s one of your favorite things to grow and what’s something you’ll never grow again?

Ruth:  I love to garden so much! And I’m a total flower lover, and when my husband used to say silly, cryptic, husband-like things like “You can’t eat flowers”, I’d say…

“Food for the soul”… And they are! So favorites… gosh, spring bulbs, first because upstate New York is along the shores of Lake Ontario and we get dumped on with Lake Effect snow… So when spring finally comes, those little green nubs make me so happy! But I also love growing vegetables and rhubarb. I had a huge bank of English Ivy in my front yard, and I loved the look (nice and old-fashioned for an old farmhouse, right???) but poison ivy follows English ivy, and pretty soon it was cropping up ALL OVER…

So I have performed emergency surgery on the ivy this year, and I’m on an all-out mission to eradicate the poison ivy… And replace it with pretty gardens with just enough space between plants to hit the poison ivy with my good friend “Round Up” when it pokes through.


I have a violent streak when it comes to me, my yard and poison ivy! 🙂

Savanna:  Haha! Way to go! 😉 You’re right about the flowers, they’re definitely “food for the soul”. Thanks for sharing with us today, Ruth.  Is there anything else you’d like to share? What project are you currently working on?

Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordRuth:  I have just finished edits for my spring Franciscan book “More Than a Promise” a modern day marriage of convenience type story… but what happens when you inconveniently fall in love with your convenient spouse?

It’s a delightful story, and I can’t wait for folks to read it! I’ve got lovely novella collections that just came out for Kindle with some delightful inspirational author buddies! “A Heart Full of Christmas” features my “Home to His Heart” and “Home for Christmas” is a historical collection and it features my “Second Chance Christmas”, part of a prairie romance series I’m developing! And I’ve just published a follow-up to my Love Inspired “Kirkwood Lake” series “For the Love of Sophie June”. That’s in “Ribbons & Roses”, a duo I’m in with my friend Mia Ross.

And I just finished edits for a wonderful kick off to a new Random House/Multnomah cowboy series “Back in the Saddle”, and that’s coming out in March, and I love cowboys as much as I love gardens! 🙂

So it’s busy here, but I am so blessed to be doing the job I always dreamed of doing while I was raising six kids, waiting tables, running a daycare and selling wedding gowns… to be a published author, telling beautiful stories that women love.

Savanna:  That’s wonderful, Ruth. I hope this busy season continues to bring you lots of joy. We’re so glad you could join us here. Happy fall!


Ruth has graciously offered to give away an ebook copy of Refuge of the Heart to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends October 22, 2015.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!

53 comments on “Interview with Ruth Logan Herne & GIVEAWAY
  1. Ann Ellison says:

    Enjoyed the interview with Ruth. The book sounds like a really good one and I would love to win a copy.

  2. Great interview. I’m a big fan of novella collections too, especially the holiday ones. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I am attempting to not kill my 4 houseplants I planted in the Spring. Looking OK, except for 1.

  3. Sonnetta Jones says:

    It is convicting to read your comment about the refugees. I had to repent for the thought that we are doing so much for people in other countries that we need to focus on people here. I had to remember that sometimes the needs of others have a more immediate need that requires rapid intervention.

    Thanks for this book.

    • Ruthy says:

      Sonnetta, great name.

      You know, we do a lot for other countries. And not to get too technical, but a lot of the problems come in because of corrupt governments or corrupt groups and then the money never goes to the intended outreach. I hadn’t thought of the growing refugee problem until Sarah was sent to Thailand, either, and she did a report on the Karenni, a mostly Catholic group chased out of Myanmar/Burma. That was my wake up call, and then I remembered that Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to save Jesus! Now there are some awesome refugees!!! 🙂

      Sonnetta, thank you so much for being here today!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’m so glad you could stop by, Sonnetta. Appreciate you sharing. Have a blessed day!

  4. Bonnie Roof says:

    Thanks for the interesting interview, Ruthy and Savanna!!

    I read/reviewed ‘Refuge of the Heart’ several weeks ago, loved it’s message and beautiful, touching storyline. It’s a story that will inspire and be remembered by all who read it. Ruthy is a wonderful storywriter, and just as beautiful as her stories – inside and out!!

    • Ruthy says:

      Bonnie, thank you for coming over and thank you so much for sharing this beautiful blog! I love you to pieces! And I am so grateful for your wonderful reviews. Your words just make my day!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Bonnie! I’m so glad you loved Ruth’s book. Thank you for sharing your sweet spirit with us wherever you go!

  5. Bonnie Roof says:

    P.S. Shared post!!

  6. Rebecca Maney says:

    I have absolutely no talent whatsoever for growing things. But I love floral art. Does that count???

    • Ruthy says:

      Rebecca, so good to see you here, and yes! Absolutely, floral art counts! Floral art ROCKS! 🙂 The joy in a blossom… re-seeding its own.

      Isn’t it so much fun? I want gardens in heaven. And rocking chairs so I can rock baby angels!!!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Haha! It definitely counts, Rebecca! 😉 So glad you could join us. Good luck in the drawing!

  7. carylkane says:

    Hey Savanna, I enjoyed the interview with Ruthy! Ruthy, thank you for shining a light on the refugee issue. I’m looking forward to reading Lena and Mitch’s story.

    • Ruthy says:

      Caryl, I hope you love it. It was one of those beautifully put together Holy Spirit ideas, when so many things just kind of rolled into one… and that “one” became Lena’s story of faith, hope and sacrificial love.

      I’m so glad you stopped in today!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Caryl! So glad you enjoyed our interview. It always means a lot to us that you stop by and say hi. Have a great week!

  8. Trixi O. says:

    Green thumb I am not….lol!! And I DEFINITELY avoid poison ivy at all costs….I am HIGHLY allergic….I mean we’re talking full body blisters (not literally but close!)….yikes!!!! I got it so bad when I was about 12 or so that I couldn’t do anything for about 2 weeks because I was in so much pain 🙁 Thankfully, here on the Oregon coast I don’t have to worry about it!
    But I do admire other people’s gardens or flower beds. My neighbor is one of those that grows seasonal flowers. I love the beauty of God’s creation, don’t you! I know it’s Spring when I see her purple crocuses start blooming & I get excited 🙂 She also has a lovely variety of dahlia’s in a rainbow of colors. They don’t smell like anything (to me at least) but they sure are pretty to look at!
    Ruth your book sure sounds good! I’ve been following along on the blog hop and the more I read about it, the more I want the book for myself. Not to mention, the cover sure is pretty! I really enjoyed your author interview & the fact that you want your reader’s to take away the idea of sacrificial love from your writing is awesome! I mean without Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, where would any of us be?
    What a lovely post today Savanna! Loved getting to know Ruth a bit more. And the chance to catch up with you 🙂 Blessings to you both!

    • Ruthy says:

      Trixi, (notice I didn’t put the “e” on there!!!!) good luck to you!

      Sometimes I look at our daily lives and I think back to what the first Americans sacrificed and suffered to build our great nation… and then those pioneers, heading west! I love to write historicals for that very reason, because the simpler times equated sacrifice.

      It’s so different now, I think we have to actually stop, look and think about how to sacrifice. Because we are surrounded by so very much.

      I’m so glad you followed us over here! Good for you and thank you so much for taking the time to do that, Trixi!!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi sweet Trixi! Your comments always make me smile, but not the story about your allergies to poison ivy. 🙁 Oh my! That doesn’t sound fun at all!

      I appreciate you taking the time to hop over here and comment. You’re always a bright spot. Take care and good luck in the giveaway!

  9. Joanne Keith says:

    Great interview! I love my garden…watching the tiny seeds come to life and grow into the food that feeds us is a miracle that still amazes me each spring. Not to mention the flowers that I divide and plant which make me feel like an artist and the flowers are my paint!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Welcome to the blog, Joanne! I love meeting other gardeners. 😉 You’re exactly right, in a way a gardener is very much an artist too. Love that! Good luck in the giveaway.

  10. Ruthy says:

    Joanne, exactly! I think that’s part of why I love the four seasons… without winter, the joy of re-birth, new life isn’t as clearly defined. What if that joy became old hat? What if we became accustomed to beauty as if it was a given?

    I love that cold, windswept season of rest because when the North comes awake in the spring, it’s like pure rejoicing! Thank you so much for stopping in today!


  11. Kathryn Voss says:

    I love my garden! There’s nothing better than eating straight out of it! My favorites are tomatoes and zucchini!

    • Ruthy says:

      Kathryn, we grow farm-fresh veggies, so I’m right there with you! I love rhubarb pies and jams, fresh asparagus, fresh eggs… There’s just something wonderful about all of it! Thank you so much for stopping by today! It’s great to see you!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      It’s hard to beat tomatoes and zucchini! Loved reading this, Kathryn. Peppers and squash are a few of my other garden favorites. 😉

  12. Laurie Bergh says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview it was quite interesting. I like gardening too. I love flowers. My rhubarb and asparagus froze out this past winter but I still have my roses, peonies, and some other perennials .

    • Ruthy says:

      Laurie, I’m so sorry about the rhubarb and asparagus! That long, cold winter took its toll on so many things.

      My roses have never been happy. I don’t know if it’s my lack of time or my mulch or wet feet (like raspberries, roses don’t like wet roots they say) so I’m not sure what’s going on…. But I might have to give up on them and go with something easy and disease resistant. But I sure do love the sight of a rose-rimmed yard!!!

      • Savanna Savanna says:

        Have you ever tried growing Knockout roses, Ruthy? They’re a lot stronger, easier to grow, and disease resistant. You pretty much just have to sit back and watch them grow. 😉 That’s my kind of gardening!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Laurie! Thanks for joining us. It seems like my garden has its pros and cons, some things do well every year and then there’s my struggling plants. Hope your asparagus and rhubarb do better next year. There’s always hope with a garden, isn’t there? I love that about it. Whatever doesn’t grow well one year always inspires me to try again.

  13. kim amundsen says:

    Nice interview. New author for me. I have a few indoor plants live in an apartment so don’t have anything outside. I do like the smell of indoor plants too.

    • Ruthy says:

      Kim, nice to meet you! My two youngest sons are in apartments with no outside plants, too. But they’re GUYS and inside plants would just kind of wither away. When they come home to visit, they’re always grinning at the sheer greenness of home! Crops, trees, big sky, wide and broad! It’s so funny how we re-learn to appreciate things when they’re scarce in our environment. They’re both in New York, so their visual is of a sliver of sky or the view over the Hudson, which is beautiful…. but more people! 🙂 We went up to the top of the new World Trade building, to the observatory, and it was amazing to look out from up there. The city stretching in 300 degrees of the circle, but then, looking northeast (I think!) you could see the greening! Delightful!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Kim! I’m happy to introduce you to Ruth. I hope you’ll check out some of her great books soon. 😉

  14. Anne Payne says:

    wow! Such a great interview and answers. I love learning how authors get the spark of an idea and where it goes from there. Totally cool!

    We used to garden on our small hobby farm in NC but with life changes we stopped. I do miss making homemade salsa. Nothing beats it. 🙂

    • Ruthy says:

      Anne! I haven’t had time to make homemade salsa in years. Next year for certain! You are absolutely right, it’s like perfection food in a jar!

      Next summer I’m working less at the day job and more time writing, so (God willing, of course!) I want to go back to some old-fashioned canning fun. Our kids always helped us put up food, and it’s becoming a lost art. I’d love to hear how you make yours!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thanks for visiting, Anne. Your mention of homemade salsa makes me want to go find a jar in my pantry and grab a bag of chips. 😉 It’s hard to beat fresh produce canned right!

  15. Edward Arrington says:

    I used to till the ground for my wife and watered the garden sometimes, but gardening has never been my thing. We finally gave it up (thank the Lord!) the summer the groundhogs ate all the green beans.

    • Ruthy says:

      Hahahahaha! EDWARD!!!! Oh, we had critters this year! We had flooding rains in June, then every deer in a mile square was certain we were planting tender beans, peas and sweet corn just for her and her babies!!!! OY!!!! I hear you loud and clear.

      And then raccoons….. I married a hunter so this winter we’ll be working on fence posts… and taking care of our current overpopulation! Oh my stars, don’t we have stories!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Bless your heart, Edward! I too can relate to those frustrations. Groundhogs are funny critters, but boy they love to eat! 😉 I’m glad you stopped by. Good luck in the drawing!

  16. Connie Saunders says:

    Yes, I grow a garden and our favorite vegetables are tomatoes and green beans. I also love corn on the cob but we have a terrible time with “varmints” so I’ve quit trying!

    • Ruthy says:

      Connie, I just mentioned that problem to Edward, too. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Like a Warner Bros. cartoon, where you’re out there fighting the critters for your food???? Too funny and crazy annoying!

      All the more reason to settle in with a GOOD BOOK! 🙂 Did you like that segue?????

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I’ve always had a hard time growing corn. It’s too bad because I LOVE sweet corn on the cob! I forgot about green beans… They’re a staple in our garden every year. Thanks for sharing, Connie. Have a blessed day!

  17. Tammy Cordery says:

    I love your interview with Ruth Logan. She has so many great books to chose from. Thank you for the great giveaway.

  18. Joan Arning says:

    I have not read any of Ruth’s books but they sure sound interesting!

  19. Donna B says:

    I don’t have a garden now but my family did when we were growing up. There were 6 of us kids plus our parents. My mom did a lot of canning to help feed us during the winter. I enjoyed reading this interview. I’ve not read any of Ruth’s books but they sure sound interesting.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Donna! Wow, with 6 kids your parents must have had lots of help in the garden. That’s awesome. 🙂 I really enjoy canning, although I don’t have a huge garden. Appreciate you stopping by and saying hi. Good luck in the drawing!

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