Slide1I was looking for a photograph the other day and stumbled on pictures of one of my early birthday parties. Five little girls joined me that day to celebrate my sixth year on earth by pinning the tail on the donkey, gorging on cake with vanilla frosting and multi-colored sprinkles, and opening gifts (out of the five presents–four were Barbies. Those girls sure knew me!)

Anyway, I got to thinking about those girls and our early dreams, where some of them are now, and how God has blessed me with so many girlfriends over the years–most recently these gals on the Southern Belle View Porch. (these are the coolest women, and we’re all madly in like with each other!) Then, I wondered what these writing buddies were like as little girls, and that sparked an idea.

Let me introduce you to the LITTLE BELLES–the Southern Belle View authors as little girls. But, I’m going to cheat a bit. I’m going to post their photos and not disclose who they are . . . yet.  I thought it would be fun to let you guess.

So, here are photos of us as little girls. I’ve also included a bit of trivia as hints. Your job is to guess our identities in the comments by photo number. The identities will be announced at 5:50 pm central time on Shellie Rushing Tomlinson’s ATS Live Radio Program (go to and follow the links).  Shortly after, I’ll post the identities here in a comment. A winner will be selected from the ones who guessed correctly and will be awarded a complimentary copy of Shellie’s new book HEART WIDE OPEN and a matching tee shirt.  GOOD LUCK, EVERYBODY!

1.  This little Belle is a former nurse, loves the movie Pretty Woman and she’s enamored with the Holy Land, traveling there often. She is also president of one of the most respected writing organizations in the inspirational market. (yes, those are knives in those chubby hands!)     [EVA MARIE EVERSON]










2.  This little Belle is a worship leader at church and traveled to Australia, Spain, Venzuela, Mexico, Ireland, Canada and all over America as a former software engineer. She currently serves as a board member for the largest Christian fiction organization in the U.S.   [RACHEL HAUCK]








3.  This little Belle had one of the earliest cases of appendicitis ever documented. Her grandmother gave birth to her daddy all by herself. This Belle’s house overlooks a gorgeous lake and she hangs out with Kory Robertson and Jeff Foxworthy. [SHELLIE RUSHING TOMLINSON]










4.  This little Belle traveled to the U.S.S.R. as a student ambassador through the People to People organization. She rescues kittens, she wipes paint from her hands on a frequent basis, and her grandmother was an opera singer from New Orleans.  [NICOLE SEITZ]










5.  This little Belle’s early work was adapted to the Broadway stage and she spent time in Washington, D.C. assisting the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in writing her first book.  [AMY HILL HEARTH]









6.  This little Belle is also a speech/language pathologist. In 2012, she received the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. Currently, her days include feeding sheep and goats on their family farm.   [JULIE CANTRELL]








7.  Before becoming a full-time novelist, this little Belle wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. She’s spent time on horseback inside rodeo arenas and she was awarded the National Civies Award for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life.    [LISA WINGATE]








8.  A little over five years ago, this little Belle walked a Hawaiian beach with her new husband. She was the first in her immediate family to attempt a higher education and is a fan of birthing instructor, Ina May Gaskin (which will come in handy in the coming months.)    [JOLINA PETERSHEIM]










9.  This little Belle used to play Academy Awards with her little sister dressed in their mother’s nightgowns and high heels. Later, she appeared in the movie BRONCO BILLY starring Clint Eastwood. Sadly, she was not nominated for an Oscar.   [KELLIE COATES GILBERT]











10.  This little Belle grew up a preacher’s kid and attended eight schools in eight years. She dreamed of becoming a Christian singer and is extremely fond of Coca-cola and Mexican food.   [DENISE HILDRETH JONES]










Well, there you have it!  Have fun guessing. Perhaps these grown up Belles will share more in the comments about their photos once their identities are revealed.  GOOD LUCK!

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A former legal investigator and trial paralegal, Kellie Coates Gilbert writes with a sympathetic, intimate knowledge of how people react under pressure. Her books tell emotionally poignant stories about woman in life-changing circumstances. Her next release, A WOMAN OF FORTUNE, will be available this June.

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    • Julie says

      Well you can tell it’s predawn and my brain is still on snooze bc I just did my own pet peeve and swapped the too for to. Sigh. ..

  1. Lisa Wingate says

    Kellie, you get the award for fun day on the porch! I can’t wait to see the guesses. Loved “meeting” all the Belles as children. I think we should get our our dolls and our tea sets and go play on the porch together 😉

  2. Shellie says

    Kellie, this post is so much fun!!!! Thank you for all the time and effort that went into it. My fellow “mini” belles are all adorable! Can’t wait to announce tonight’s winner on air!

  3. Rachel Hauck says

    Okay, Kellie you’re soooo raising the bar on the porch! Love this, so fun and cute.

    Should we guess? Would it be cheating? ;p


  4. says

    I love this post, Kellie, and the adorable pictures! So fun to see the Little Belles!

    Here are my guesses:
    1. Eva Marie Everson
    2. Rachel Hauck
    3. Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
    4. Nicole Seitz
    5. Amy Hill Hearth
    6. Julie Cantrell
    7. Lisa Wingate
    8. Jolina Petersheim
    9. Kellie Coates Gilbert
    10. Denise Hildreth Jones

    • says

      BRITNEY….YOU ARE OUR WINNER! You guessed every photo correctly. Shellie Rushing Tomlinson will be sending you a free copy of her new (and wonderful) book HEART WIDE OPEN along with a tee-shirt in the size you choose. I’ll let Shellie make contact with you to get the information she needs to mail you your prize.

      Thanks for playing everyone! Hope you had as much fun as the Belles had pulling this together and giggling over our little girl photos!

  5. Janice Burzlaff says

    This was fun! Some I knew but most I didn’t. I loved reading about all of the authors to find the answers to the clues and seeing the photos of them as children – and now I have a whole long list of new titles on my “read soon” list! 1 Eva Marie Everson, 2 Rachel Hauck, 3 Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, 4 Nicole Seitz, 5 Amy Hill Hearth, 6 Julie Cantrell, 7 Lisa Wingate, 8 Jolina Petersheim, 9 Kellie Coates Gilbert, 10 Denise Jones.

  6. Katrina says

    To be honest, I was not completely sure of any. I think 2 is Rachel Haul and 7 is Lisa Wingate. This is a wonderful post. It actually made me start wondering about my little girl friends. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Beverly Goode says

    1- Eva Marie Everson
    2- Rachael Hanuck
    3- Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
    4- Nicole Seith
    5- Amy Hill Hearth
    6- Julie Cantrell
    7- Lisa Wingate
    8- Jolina Petersheim
    9- Kellie Coates
    10- Denise H Jones

  8. Beverly Goode says

    Oh my gosh I just saw where someone already guessed, I actually had to read each authors blog to find the answers! Whew that took some time! Oh well it was fun to get to know all of you!

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