Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's Celebrate Hannah's 19th Birthday!!!

Today we’re here to celebrate a very dear friend’s 19th birthday. Happy birthday, Hannah Cerasoli!

To help us celebrate, I’ve invited one of Hannah’s favorite authors and best friends: Cheryl Wyatt! Welcome, Cheryl! (And since Hannah likes purple and blue--like me!--the interview will be in those colors! My lines/questions are in blue and Cheryl's responses are in purple.)

Cheryl: Thanks Amber! Hannah, HAPPY, HAPPY DAY!

Amber: To start, I think we should brag a bit on our dear friend. ;) How long have you known Hannah, and what are some of the things you love most about her?

Cheryl: I’ve known Hannah for awhile, can’t recall when we first met, but I feel blessed to know her. She has been so supportive of my writing and of our Seekerville blog. That support means so much. Hannah has an amazing faith. She is wise beyond her years and she is an overcomer. We have a lot in common in that I’ve struggled with chronic pain and there is a connection between people who go through that. Words aren’t needed to describe how chronic pain and disease can affect every single area in a person’s life. I know that God has wonderful plans for Hannah’s future and I’m so thankful for her being the kind of person who is a role model to young girls my daughters’ ages.

Amber: There is so much to admire about Hannah--her kindness, her perseverance, her strength. You put it so well!

If we could give Hannah a real party (not just a cyber one), what sort of theme would you suggest? Could you maybe give us a brief description of some of the decorations, party favors, games, etc.?

Cheryl: I would probably do either a book theme or a journal theme, since I got to know her on her Project Journal blog. I would stealthily find out her favorite colors and decorate it to the max with her favorite things. Games would be classic literature trivia, pin the comma on the author (LOL!) and other bookish/readerly games. Fun stuff like neon Kool-Aid, etc.

Amber: Sounds awesome! (And I got lucky and found out Hannah's favorite colors because they're the same as mine!)

Hannah always speaks so highly abo
ut your books. What sort of books do you write, and what are you currently working on?

Cheryl: I write action-driven romance. I love to write about rescuers and others in noble careers. I’m currently revising the last book in Wings of Refuge, a series that features a team of elite U.S. Air Force Pararescue Jumpers (PJs for short). I’m also plotting a book that Hannah, my niece Gidge and I and another young reader (waving to Brooke!) brainstormed on Facebook about people with strange phobias. Maybe I’ll offer it as a free online read on my blog or something once it’s complete. But the phobias were cracking us up, especially the one where the person has a fear of being watched by ducks. Hysterical! I’m also brainstorming a book that features a carriage driver. I met with my research helper today (waves to Angie from St. Louis!) and we are having SO much fun plotstorming this series, which I think I’ll title Romance on the River because it’s set along rural areas of the Mississippi River.

Amber: Very cool! ;)

What first inspired you to write, and how did you end up writing for Steeple Hill’s “Love Inspired” series?

Cheryl: I have always loved to write, since before I could use a Crayon. I think it’s something I was created for. Writing for Steeple Hill is a dream-come-true. I love the books and have read them for over a decade, since they first came out. I love romance because it provides a happy ending, guaranteed. I loved reading the books and Steeple Hill (now called Love Inspired) was my absolute first choice in a publisher. They are quick reads, wholesome and the editors and team at Harlequin are fabulous.

Amber: If you had to pick one of your characters to plan a birthday party for, which character would it be and what would the party be like? (If you have a birthday party scene in one of your books, could you maybe share a little of it with us?)

Cheryl: I would probably give a birthday party to Bradley, the little boy in my debut novel (A Soldier’s Promise) because he had cancer and nearly died. So he almost didn’t have another birthday. His story really touched a lot of readers and I fashioned him after two friends’ daughters who, sadly, both at age 8, lost their battles to Leukemia. Their courage was an inspiration and I’d give Bradley a party on their behalf. I did write a birthday party scene in a book, Soldier Daddy. It was a scene that made me cry when I wrote it and that rarely happens. The twins are having a birthday party and there is an empty chair at the table. One twin rushed from his chair and brings his mother’s picture in and sets it on the table. His mom had died in a car crash when he was a baby. He said to his dad that moment, “Now Mommy will get to be at our birthday party too.” Or something similar. The heroine saw that it nearly bowed over the hero with out-of-nowhere grief and she supported him emotionally in that moment. I have had so many reader letters about that scene, I know it touched others too, especially those touched by some loss of their own.

Amber: Wow! That definitely sounds like a powerful scene!

Now, feel free to send a shout-out to Hannah here, if you’d like! ;)

Cheryl: Hannah, you have suffered more in your young life than some people will know in a lifetime. I know you feel bad or feel like you complain all the time but NO one is in your shoes and has the right to judge you. The doctors may not have all the answers but God is The Great Physician. I don’t know why He is allowing you to suffer through so much pain but you are an inspiration to those of us watching you go through it. You may feel shaky and uncertain and like a pain at times but your faith is solid and the person you come out of this on the other side is going to amaze people. God is faithful and never will He abandon you. When no one knows what you’re going through, He does. He loves you so much and I pray that you know how He sees you and have faith for the plans He has for you, to give you a future and a hope. You have such a gift of encouraging others even when you’re struggling. You amaze me and I know God is so very proud of you. Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy, HAPPY Birthday. Love you bunches!

Amber: Thank you so, so much for joining us on this very special day, Cheryl!

Now, what's a birthday without cake, music, and gifts??? So, since Hannah and I have talked about our hope to one day go see Phantom of the Opera together, I thought we should have a masquerade-themed party!

Here's the birthday cake:

(Cake image is from Stewart Dollhouse Creations.)

After we've had our fill of cake, I think we should get all dressed up and dance the day and night away! Who wouldn't want to dance to this song? (And yes, Hannah, we'll have to do a dance-off!)

Also, we have a gift for one lucky party guest! Cheryl has offered to give away a signed copy of her book A Soldier's Devotion. Just leave a comment for Hannah along with your e-mail address!

Extra Entry: To get into the masquerade party mood (and to borrow one of Seekerville's cool ideas!), you can get an extra entry by changing your blogger profile picture for today to a picture with a mask--any sort of mask will do!

Hannah, my dear texting buddy and fabulous friend, I hope you enjoy the party and that you have an amazing day here among your blogging friends who love you very much!!!


Amber Holcomb said...

Even though it's not quite 10:00 PM here on the West Coast, it's after Midnight where Hannah is--so it's officially her birthday! ;) Hooray!

Happy birthday, Hannah! Let the festivities begin!


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Hannah is awesome! She's definitely one of my favorite Blogger people. I just finished chatting with her via Gmail chat a little over an hour ago. I love our chats since we do talk books a lot! :-)

Happy Birthday Hannah you deserve the best!

XOXO~ Renee C.
p.s. the name of the mask in my profile pic as seen on Amazon is Black & Gold Small Venetian Feather Mask Mardi Gras well does that fit with EVERYTHING today LOL!

Ariel Wilson said...



I think my voice might give out from all the yelling O.O But you deserve it! Love you!


Amber Holcomb said...


Hannah is definitely one of the most awesome bloggers out there! :D That's great that you get to talk books off and on--can't think of many topics more exciting than that! ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I love your mask--so beautiful, so fancy, and so YOU! :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Thanks for livening up the party! ;D Let's turn the volume up and let Hannah know how much she is loved!

Thank you for stopping by and joining in the party! You're so sweet. :)


Ausjenny said...

Its well and truely your birthday in Australia and I hope you have a wonderful day.
I hope you and Amber get to go to see Phantom of the Opera at some stage.
I saw it in Adelaide.
Dont enter me I have all of Cheryls books and love them.

Whats a cyber party with out a chocolate fountain.

Amber Holcomb said...


Awww, thank you! I know I would love to go see Phantom of the Opera on the stage with Hannah! :) How neat that you got to see it!!

And thank you so much for bringing the chocolate fondue fountain--now it's a real party! ;) Gotta love chocolate!

Thanks for stopping by, and great mask!


Cheryl Wyatt said...


Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday sweet Hannah! I feel blessed and honored to know you.

Much love,


Renee Ann said...

A party for Hannah--what fun! I so enjoyed reading about Hannah's Christmas traditions and watching all the videos she linked to during her Christmas extravaganza. She really knows how to throw a party herself. So it's fitting that there should be a great cyber-bash for her birthday.

My Birthday Wishes for Hannah would include pain-free days and lots of special times with her friends and family. Happy, Happy Birthday!

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Renee Ann, AMEN to that pain-free day for our Hannah.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Happy birthday, Sweet Thaaaaang! Hope your 19th is fun, filled with peace and joy and that you pick your ONE WORD to focus on for this year.

And that the single word helps you to live, love, laugh and enjoy life to the full. Exactly as God intended!

Peace, love and hope to you, lovely lady! And study! Work hard. Stay sober.

(That's my motherly add-on!)

Hugs, honey!

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Happy HAPPY birthday!!!

(sorry I'm late - wishing you a splendid birth DAY, WEEK, MONTH and YEAR!!!)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi Hannah, We haven't met yet, but the other LI authors were nice enough to invite me to your party. So, Happy Birthday!

Since it's your birthday, email me with a snail mail and I'll send you a copy of my first book when it comes out in November. It's a Love Inspired Historical called The Doctor's Mission. debbiekaufmanauthorATgmailDOTcom

Hannah, I deal with a chronic illness and so does my youngest daughter (16). I'm wishing you not only pain-free days, but also the grace to deal with the ones that aren't.

Oh, now I'm off to find that cake since virtual dessert is the only kind I'm eating these days :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, Dear Hannah, I want be 19 toooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Okay, tossing a Seeker Birthday present into the mix. We love surprise packages in Seekerville. Mailing this weekend!. No silly, I won't mail cake! I tried that once, though.

Anonymous said...

The present is for HANNAH you guys!!

Project Journal said...

UGH Blogger lost my comment. Grrrrrr great way to start the day.

Anyway, I just wanted to letcha all know thank you so much! This absolutely made my day lol.

Amber, it's a great turnout, chica *sits next to my would be roomie* :D You did a great job, it's a smashing success!

I, unfortunately, don't have time to respond to each of you right now, have to head back to school in about 10 minutes now lol! BUT I promise I'll be back this afternoon after class! I'm so excited to really get this party started with you : )

Much love to you all, I'm gonna get a big head O_O
Be back soon!

Susan Sleeman said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah! Enjoy your special day. I too have a chronic illness and daily pain so I understand the struggles you face and sometimes it can seem overwhelming and feel like God has abandoned you. But I can tell from other comments that you are strong and courageous and a witness to the mighty power of God even in our struggles. Praise God for your strength.

Julie Lessman said...

HANNAH!!!! Happy, HAPPY birthday to one of the sweetest people I know!!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers ALL DAY, sweetie, as I hope and pray this is the kickoff to a WONDERFUL year full of hope, healing and happiness.

Love ya, kiddo!!


Marta Perry said...

Happy Birthday, dear Hannah!

Marta Perry

Lisa Mondello said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Hannah!!! I hope all is well and you enjoy your day!
Hugs, Lisa Mondello

Christine Johnson said...

Happy 19th birthday, Hannah!! Have a wonderful day filled with fun and hugs and joyful surprises.

Missy Tippens said...

Sweet Hannah,

Happy birthday!!!! I hope you have a most excellent day--once class is over, of course. LOL

Wishing you a fantastic year!

Renee Ryan said...

Hannah!!! Happy, Happy birthday!!! I hope you end up eating lots of cake, that always makes me feel better. You're in my thoughts and prayers, here's hoping you enjoy a season of healing this year.



Sandra Leesmith said...

Happy Birthday Hannah,

What a blessing you are to all of us. You're a special gift from God.

Have a fun day. And thanks Amber for throwing a fun party. I love to dance.

Mary Connealy said...

Hannah! Nineteen Years Old.

Wow, girl, that is sooooooooooooooo young.

God bless you, God keep you, God give you ... cake.

Happy Birthday, the way....I'm considering writing a book where a woman compulsively names all her many children palindromes.
So far I've got Nan, Anna, Hannah, Bob and Otto.

Ruth Axtell Morren said...

Have a wonderful birthday, Hannah! Enjoy those 'carefree' years!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!!!!!! I pray you have a blessed day! God has plans for you. Don't ever give up or let the devil tell you otherwise!!! Love and hugs,

Valerie Hansen said...

Happy Birthday Hannah! I tried to post before and it got lost in cyberspace. Not a surprise if you know my record with computers.

God Bless you!
Valerie Hansen

Pamela Tracy said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah, you bring a smile wherever you go. We're blessed by knowing you.

Lyn Cote said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah! You Rock!

Many happy returns on the day of thy birth
May sunshine and gladness be given
May God in his mercy prepare you on earth
for that beautiful birthday in heaven.

Merrillee said...

Happy birthday, Hannah. I hope you have a fantastic day. How exciting to be nineteen!

Victoria Bylin said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah! For your birthday I'm sending you a cowboy, a wild mustang and a wish for health, peace and abundance. Blessings!

Casey said...

Hannah, Hannah, Hannah!

You are blessed to be created in God's image you know that???


And I hope (and pray) you have an ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC birthday! The kind that tops all others in the past and is a memory milestone for YEARS to come!!

Gotta love ya, girl!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amber...*this is not an entry, I just wanted to wish Hannah Happy Birthday. :)*

Stephanie Newton said...

Happy birthday, Hannah! Wishing you a year filled with blessings and lots and lots of good books to read.


Kathleen Y'Barbo said...

Happy birthday, Hannah! By the way, you share a name with my daughter. Be blessed

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

*Starts singing off key* "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear sweet Hannaaaaaah! Happy birthday, to youuuuuuu"
Hannah, you were a friend to me when nobody else was and a role model to me of how, even with pain in every motion, you are still loving God with every breath. I don't know how many times I can tell you that you are: beautiful, inside, outside and everywhere in between, strong, funny, loving and a more loyal friend I will never find. Hannah, I would wish upon a star if it meant you could be pain-free and living closer to me, cause I know we would have more fun than is legal ;) I know that 30 yrs. down the road, we will still be close friends chattin' it up at 3am.

Amber~ the party is fantastic and I hope you don't mind if I join you in the dance off, I've been practicing you know. LOL
Everything is wonderful and I love the cake, I'm a big fan of POFO myself. Only thing missing is a private David Archuleta concert just for Hannha.;D But, no worries, we can just fly Hannah to his next concert, just as soon as I can strike oil and pay for the ticket But, I think it’s just awesome and so sweet too that you threw Hannah a party here in blogger. I’m so glad that I got to meet to meet you and Hannah, you guy are two wonderful people I wouldn’t have met if I never had joined the blogosphere.
Love Ya,

Amanda Stanley said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the brightest rays of sunshine ever to grace cyberspace!!!!!!! Hannah, you are one of a kind, girl, and I can’t help but smile every time your name is mentioned!! :D What a wonderful party this is!! Sweetest guests, most inspiring, loving comments, and the best hostess the West Coast has to offer!! ;) I tell ya, I’m so incredibly blessed by this party, you’d think it was my b-day, LOL!

Hannah, I know we haven’t known each other for that long but you’re one of those instantly loveable people and have the rare and beautiful talent of bringing JOY wherever you go! I know you’ve been through a lot and continue to, especially after reading the heartfelt, encouraging comments from those here you know you better. I’m well acquainted with sickness and pain and witness its effects on a daily basis with my mom (she has an autoimmune disease). It’s overwhelming, it’s discouraging, and it just plain hurts. And yet through it all you have one of the kindest, sweetest, most loving and joyful personalities of anyone I know! Like I said before, “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to everyone else who is blessed enough to call you friend :)

As I was typing this, a poem came to heart that has always blessed me and my family and I’d like to share it with you :) The woman who wrought it knew much about pain and was confined to a sick bed most of her life but I think that’s what makes her words (in this poem and her others) so powerful.

The Thorn
by: Martha Snell Nicholson

"I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged Him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face."

I pray the Lord will encourage you, strengthen you, draw you ever closer to His heart and grant you His perfect peace at all times. Happy Birthday, bright star – keep on shining :)

God's abundant blessings today and always!

Bluerose said...

Happy Birthday Hannah!!!
I see that you are one popular young lady! :) I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday and I pray for pain free days for you!

Terri Reed said...

Happy B-Day Hannah!!! Praying for a wonderful and healthy year for you.
Blessings always.

Debby Giusti said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!

Prayers and love and hugs and all good things headed your way!

You're a gift to us and a gift from God. He has wonderful plans for your future. Open your heart to His promptings. Leave fear behind and embrace His light and love.

Holding you close on your special day!

With love,

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Ashley, your comments brought tears to my eyes. Praying the Lord blesses your and Hannah's friendship all the more.

Hannah, have some more cake! Right now. It's an order. :-)


Amber Holcomb said...

Oh, what an abundance of sweet, fun party guests!!!

Thank you all so much for coming! :D Your comments are so thoughtful and beautiful!


Unknown said...

Happy happy birthday Hannah! May God bless you with many more!

Enjoy your awesome party! ;)

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Amber, thank you for doing this for Hannah. What fun!

Kav said...

Hannah, I'm tagging along at the end of the line which seems to be the norm for me lately but I'm singing 'Happy Birthday' at the top of lungs (off-key and screechy but nobody can say anything about my horrific voice since I'm singing the birthday song!) Praying for a wonderful nineteenth year for you.

Birthday hugs,

Lenora said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah. I hope you have a great day. We all appreciate you so much.

Lenora :)

Angie said...

Please don't enter me I just wanted to wish Hannah a very Happy Birthday! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Hannah! Hoping this is absolutely the BEST birthday for you! It's been a blessing to get to know you through your visits to Seekerville, and you sure do brighten up those comment pages!

Wishing you a wonderful future filled with success and happiness, and praying for your strength, courage, and good health!

God bless you today and always!

Ausjenny said...

Hannah I hope you have almost finished classes so you can enjoy your party. Its been so fun to wake up and see all your wishes. You are a special lady.
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Ps looking up palindromes now.

Amber Holcomb said...


It's my pleasure!!! :D Thank YOU for doing the interview with me and helping make this day so special for Hannah!

Hope everyone's enjoying the party. :) Feel free to grab some more cake, and I'll set myself up behind the punch table if anyone's thirsty. ;)

Hannah, are we going to have that dance-off soon???

Ashley, you are more than welcome to join in! ;)


Leigh Bale said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah! From the looks of this blog, you are very loved. I wish you the best of everthing good this life can bring. God bless! Leigh Bale

Project Journal said...

Once again THANK YOU!!! I saved a comment earlier, but guess it got deleted grrrr Blogger!!

Headed to sister's concert at school, then out to eat with her and another friend. I will be back after that, then we can really party *eyeroll* SORRY it's been such a busy day, but I am really loving this people, you're all much too kind.

Amber -- since you're Christine, I of course had to be her friend so Meg Giry at your service :D Girl, you are going DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWN when we have this dance off tonight!!! Ohhhhhh yeah I went there *wiggles butt at you* nanner nanner nanner!

Toodles, love!

Camy Tang said...

Happy birthday, Hannah!!!!!! I hope you had a great day and that you really felt God's love (and our love) every minute of it!

Mary Connealy said...

Don't you DARE apologize for going out and having fun on your birthday. GOOD FOR YOU, HANNAH!!!!

Have fun.

Janet Tronstad said...

Sorry I'm late getting here, Hannah. I'm so glad you're having a birthday!! Have a happy one.

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

here you go ! crazy enought to do it - but for you? anything my dear... HaPpY B'DaYYY !!!

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

hoping you're ready to dance your feet off, Hannah!
i truly LuV your darling cake & wouldn't mind 2nds ....?! thanks much ") what's to drink?
i know you'll luv my 'mask' photo change!
now i'm just hoping i'll remember to change it BACK !! i'll probably end up with some verrry confused commenting friends "))
BlesSinGs on your new year...

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

email for me is on my blog profile.. thx!
'cause i'm sure you'll need it to reach me ")

Barb said...

I admire your strength and faith. Have the best birthday ever!!

Ausjenny said...

I looked up palindromes we have a few towns here like Glenelg that are palindromes.

Have a great night out with your sister and friend. its good to do things on your birthday.

Trinity Rose said...

Birthday blessings to you Hannah.
I have 6 sons and 1 daughter and her name is Hannah. So it's a special name to me.
Hope your day was special.
Thanks for the giveaway,
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Amber Holcomb said...


Just because it's your birthday, that doesn't mean that I'm going to let you win!!! *Insert evil laugh.* ;)

Hope you're enjoying the party! Since it's after Midnight your time, I'm back to being just plain old Amber. ;)

Thank you all for coming! You gals are awesome!


P.S. Faith Hope Cherrytea, Love your mask! ;)

Joy Tamsin David said...

Hannah!!!! I'm sorry I'm two days late to the party!!! But I brought the noise makers and the confetti. How 'bout we just extend this birthday into a birth week celebration?!

(insert picture of Joy throwing confetti here)

19 was such a gooood year. I hope you enjoy it my friend. As the comments show, you are a blessing to everyone you meet.

And now that I know you share your birthday with my little boy, I'll never forget it!

Amber Holcomb said...


Oh, it's never too late to party, right? ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and wishing Hannah a happy birthday!