Saturday, January 19, 2019

Updated Contest Prize List 2019

I decided to update the prizes for the 2019 story-writing contest. I added a T-shirt to Second Place, and I added audio books to all places. First prize receives the entire Circle C Adventures audio book collection (or Circle C Beginnings for the younger age category, if desired). I also added a $$ value for each prize. Check it out!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Photo Friday--Goldtown Beginnings Covers + SFSmugglers

Just in! These adorable covers for the first two Goldtown Beginnings books. Also, a postcard I'm creating to advertise them. Books 1 and 2 will be released in September (but of course, I always get them early). ALSO . . . keep scrolling. The Tenth Anniversary San Francisco Smugglers books came out SUPER early! I got a box full of author copies yesterday. To order this really pretty book, go here: SAN FRANCISCO SMUGGLERS.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Writers Roundup Winners . . . and Contest News

First off, I received over 700 entries for the Writers Roundup giveaway. The Giveaway Tools App randomly chose Ann Hollen and Stephanie Murray as winners. I recognized the second winner's email ended in .ca, which means chances are she will be receiving a PDF file and not a printed copy (only US addresses receive a printed copy). If this is the case, I will have the Giveaway Tools generate another winner, as I'd like to give away two print copies. Stay tuned!

The Circle C contest is a go. I have plenty of entries, so take a deep breath, relax, and wait to learn who the winners are. I will privately email winners before I announce them April 1. It may or many not be sooner than that date, as I must depend on the judges, and since they are doing this for free, I don't want to bug them unnecessarily. So that means it will do no good to ask me "Do you know the winners yet?" until I actually announce them. If you have not had a private email from me by April 1, you can assume you did not place . . . this year.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Miss Carter, Fresno Teacher, Part 1

Finally, I have wrapped up the honeymoon story. Now it’s on to the courting year. I already wrote about the day in the in the meadow, and finding Riley’s “secret, special spot,” but a number of other incidents took place. Like . . . the one I would prefer to forget.

  My two months of teaching school.
Chapter 1
December 1885

Andi figured she’d dodged a bullet when Ellie Coulter stepped into replace old Miss Hall. Melinda and Mother had me pegged for that teaching position.
Andi had stood firm whenever her mother or sister brought up such a horrifying thought. I despised school when I was as student. How could she ever lug an armful of books and sit around all day listening to children recite their ABCs? shivered in remembered horror.
Ellie had quite literally saved Andi’s sanity. Even after her engagement to Chad, her soon-to-be-sister kept on teaching. She loved her students, even the ornery ones.
Andi had a tickle of uncertainty when Ellie and Chad “tied the knot. Would the school board allow Ellie to keep on teaching? After all, married women just didn’t do that sort of thing.
“But you never paid any attention to what others think, right, Chad?” Andi asked at supper a week after the newlyweds returned home from their honeymoon trip to New York City.
“What are you talking about?”
Andi shrugged. “Ellie’s still going to teach, right?” Her heart fluttered. Please say yes!
Chad pointed his fork at Justin, who was enjoying a rare night around the Circle C table. “It’s not my call. Or Ellie’s. It’s the school board’s. Ask big brother.” He promptly went back to eating.
“No worries, Andi.” Justin chuckled. “We found a teacher to take Ellie’s place.”

Friday, January 11, 2019

Photo Friday--Book Trailers

A fan asked if there were any book trailers. They have long been hidden or removed or . . . something. I found them and created a new page and a tab. Vote! Which trailer is your favorite?
Comment on the Trailer Page. Click the link below or the tab above.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Author Spotlight #1: In His Hands

Ellen S. published/printed a book this past December called In His Hands. Now she is putting it up, chapter by chapter, on her brand-new blog, Ellen's Musings. (Her blog is on the right sidebar with all of yours). Read along as she posts chapters from her new book. I have the links for chapters 1 and 2, but you'll just have to check back on Ellen's Musings for more. She specifically would like feedback on how to improve, or any thoughts on her chapters. (I heard a rumor that she gifted this first book to her mother for Christmas.)



And here's the good news! I'd like to start an Author Spotlight category, so if any of you are writing stories and/or novels on your personal blog, or if you have stories posted there, email me at, along with a link to your stories, and I will feature your blog and stories in a special post under the heading "Author Spotlight." In other words, you don't just have to write Andi fan fiction to draw readers to your stories.

I think this could be the start of something way fun. And a way to critique each other's work in a more general sense, as well as visiting each others' blogs. Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Win a Writers Roundup Workbook

Two winners will receive Mrs. M's new Writers Roundup writing workbook. Click over to the giveaway page on the Circle C website to learn more about the book, to download sample pages, and to enter the giveaway. Enjoy!


Contest runs January 8-15.
Note: This contest it open worldwide. International winners receive a PDF file of the book via email to print out and enjoy. US winners receive a print copy.

You can buy a copy too:
$12.00 from the Circle C Website.

$16.99 from Amazon.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Andi's Journal - September 8 Continued

September 8, 1887, continued

This ridiculous incident with the buggy happened on September 8, although it’s taken me a week to finish up the entry. By the time any grandchildren and great-grandchildren read these entries, the dates will be so muddled that nobody will be able to figure out when something actually happened. Oh, well, let’s just call it Fall 1887. That should do it!

When I saw the empty hitching rail, my stomach dropped clear to my toes. I’d been in a hurry to tie him up, but surely Ranger would not make it his life’s goal to loosen his reins and hightail it home! Ranger was trained to be ground-tied, and that included the buggy.
Those thoughts comforted me for about two seconds. Andi Prescott, how could you have been so careless?
I glanced up and down Mariposa Street. Late afternoon traffic was picking up. Buggies, wagons, cowboys on their horses.
But no Ranger. No spanking-new buggy.
Riley is going to skin me alive!
That buggy cost all of fifty dollars. Now, that might not seem like a lot of money to someone who grew up on the biggest ranch in the San Joaquin Valley, but to Riley it was huge. Except for the 1,000 acres my family deeded over to us as a wedding present, Riley works hard to make Memory Creek ranch pay.
And we never ask for help from the family. Riley works for Chad sometimes, and Chad pays well, but—
“What’s the matter?” Melinda asked.
“What do you think’s the matter?” I wailed. “Our brand-new buggy is gone.”

Friday, January 4, 2019

Photo Friday Tales from Memory Creek Ranch

It's a go! My publisher gave me permission to create this short-story collection on my own. All 50,000, 196 pages worth. I thought you might like to see the cover flat. Some of the stories you've already read, of course, but a couple of them "The Shooting Lesson" and "Overgrown Kitty" are new. Thanks to some fans (names withheld until the book comes out) that were helpful when I wrote the actual stories.

I'll let everybody know when the book goes live . . . 

A sneak peek at a few of the interior pages . . .


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Prayer Request for Abbi G.

We all know Abbi G., fan-fiction story writer. She has a prayer request for healing and comfort. She had surgery yesterday! Read on and let's all lift her in prayer today!

I have recently had surgery to take out my thyroid yesterday. The surgery went okay, but for some reason the pain level is not going down at all! I would really appreciate any prayers. The tube is now out of my neck, but I am now having an allergic reaction. They are not sure what the problem is, but I know that God does! 

Thank you so much! 

Abbi Mae 💕

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Two Weeks Left!

And the countdown begins . . .

There are only 14 short days left if you are thinking about entering the Circle C short-story writing contest this year. January 15 at midnight is the deadline. So far, I've been reading some super-great stories. Good luck, judges (LOL). It will be hard to choose stories this year! I'm especially excited  to see a good showing so far in the 14-17 age so early on.

Probably 80% of the stories show up the last two days, so please try not to wait until the last minute. The earlier your story is turned in, the more I will enjoy it as I format it to get ready for the judges.

I format all stories at 1.5 line spacing, Palatino font, 12pt, and NO line spaces. If you can do that, you will save me a lot of time.

And please indent your paragraphs. That helps too. And no fancy titles or fonts. I just change them to the "boring" Palatino font anyway. It's important for the judges that all the stories "look" alike in presentation.

I'm getting excited for this newest edition!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Andi's Journal - September 8, 1887

September 8, 1887

Errands in town are not my favorite way to spend a day (and believe me, it’s a full day!) But Riley was kind enough to hitch Ranger up to our new buggy when he found out there were a few things I really needed to do. So, I dressed Jared in his coolest outfit (the sun was a scorcher!) and climbed into the buggy. Riley made sure the top was pulled all the way up.
“You have fun,” Riley said with a grin. He rubbed his hand over the shiny-black front wheel. “This buggy is the smoothest-riding rig in all Fresno County. I made sure of it before I dropped my fifty dollars down.”
Top-of-the-line, indeed. Buggies cost anywhere from twenty-five to fifty dollars. Riley always bought the best. It was so easy to hitch up, I could have done it. I knew how to hitch up a buckboard wagon.
But Riley was a gentleman and hitched that rig up in no time.
“You take good care of our new buggy!” he called as he waved me down the driveway.
The buggy was a breeze to drive. Ranger acted like he was pulling nothing heavier than a two-wheeled cart. The springs were well-made and gave the baby and me a pleasant ride. “I like this buggy,” I told Jared, who lay sleeping in the wicker basket beside me.
Going to town from the Circle C is an hour’s trip. From Memory Creek? Ha! An hour and a half on a fast horse. And I wouldn’t race to town with my baby in the buggy. Even if Jared had not been here, I would not race our brand-new buggy over the rough road. No, sirree! 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Photo Friday-Circle C Timeline Finished

Mrs. M finally put the finishing touches on the five pages of Circle C Timeline events. I hope I don't lose this one. If anybody finds anything amiss, please let me know in the comments over on the Behind the Scenes blog. I can make corrections easily! Note: The Andi Carter Family Tree is also posted on the timeline page. Just scroll down and you'll see it at the bottom of the page.

Circle C Timeline 1848 - 1887

Monday, December 24, 2018

A New Kind of Gingerbread The End!

Chapter 6
December 1887

   Riley came in later that day. He held a covered tray in his hands. “Your mother made you a dandy supper,” he said, forcing cheerfulness into his voice. “She told me to keep you company and make sure you eat at least a little.”
            Andi shook her head. “I’m not hungry.” Her stomach was tied in knots. Her fingers played with the coverlet. “Don’t make me eat anything, Riley, please.”
            “Oh, c’mon, now.” Riley sat down in the overstuffed bedside chair. “Do as the doctor says—rest, eat, and stay strong.”
   Yes, so if I do get sick, I can fight it off? Andi thought. Dr. Weaver doesn’t believe I’ll be spared. She cringed and looked up. “What’d Mother make?”
   “A nice, stick-to-the-ribs kind of meal,” Riley returned. He grinned and pulled back the cloth. “Potato soup and fresh bread with butter. How about being a good girl for this husband of yours and taking a bite or two? You wouldn’t want me to go back to your mother and say I failed in my mission, would you?”
   Andi gave a small smile. “I reckon not.” She sat up and took the tray onto her lap. “Thanks.”
   “No problem.” Riley snitched a slice of bread and sat back in his seat. For a few minutes, the two ate in silence. Then Riley popped the question: “How you feelin’?”
   Andi shrugged. “Fine.” Almost too scared to ask, she murmured, “Any change in Tucker?”
    Riley fiddled with his slice of bread. “None. I checked. All he wants is to be released from the barn—and his rope.”
   “I bet.” Andi dropped her spoon into her bowl. “I wish I could get out of this bed.”
   Riley laughed, but it sounded forced. “You’ve only been in bed for a few hours, Andi.”
   “What I don’t understand is why I have to stay in bed. If I’m gonna get sick, I’m gonna get sick. Might as well enjoy a healthy life while I can. I want to bake some more, and decorate the fireplace, and—”
   “You’ll do no such thing,” Riley admonished. “You’ll stay in bed.”
   “But Christmas is this Sunday, Riley!” she cried out. “Surely I can get out of bed for that?”
   “Absolutely not,” a new voice joined in. Mother came into the room, a fussy Jared in her arms. “You’ll stay in bed until the doctor says you can get up. Not one day less.”
   Turning to Riley and ignoring Andi’s sigh of complaint, she asked, “Did you convince her to eat?”
   “Yes, ma’am.”
   “Good.” Mother took the tray and laid Jared on Andi’s lap. “He’s hungry. C’mon, Riley,” she said, gesturing, “help me with these dishes. We’ll let Andrea feed her baby in peace.”
   “Yes, ma’am,” Riley said again. He stood and kissed Andi’s forehead. “Call me if you need anything.”
Andi nodded, and Riley and Mother left.
Tears unexpectedly came to her eyes. What if I really get sick? And…die? I’ve never realized just how much I take Jared, and Riley, and the house…all for granted. God, I’m sorry. Please, keep us all safe.
Andi laid back against the pillows and cuddled the baby close. “I love you, Jared.”
Thursday and Friday crawled by at a snail’s pace, even though Andi’s family did their best to help keep her mind off of the current predicament.
Mitch rode up and dropped off a stack of brand-new dime novels. Chad came and filled Andi’s ears with news on the Circle C Ranch’s happenings. Lucy left Gracie and Sammy with Justin for an evening, so she could spend time chatting with Andi.
Riley left for only a few hours each day to get some work done. Most of the time, however, he was at Andi’s bedside, sharing stories and keeping her spirits up. Finally, there was Mother, who never once stepped foot from the ranch. She did all of the housework and cared for Jared whenever need be.
Saturday came. It was Christmas Eve.
“Please, Riley,” Andi begged. “I feel fine. Absolutely fine. Let me go into town for the Christmas Eve service at the church.”
Riley shook his head and grabbed her hand. “We’ll have a service right here at home, all right? Your mother is all for it. She’s already prepared the candles and opened up the Bible to Luke chapter one.”
They knew I was going to ask. And heaved a sigh. “All right.”
Riley squeezed her hand. “I think I’ll go see if your mother plans to make some hot chocolate for tonight’s service.” He then rose and winked. “Love you.”
“Love you too.”
   As darkness fell and the moon went up, the house at Memory Creek Ranch was a beautiful sight.
   In Andi and Riley’s bedroom, there was not much light. Three candles burned, but otherwise it was pitch black. The door was shut and the window shutters closed. But the candles were light enough to read by, and that’s what Riley did. Strongly and clearly, he read aloud Luke 1 and afterwards lifted a heartfelt prayer.
   Just as he said, “Amen,” frantic barking from outside erupted. Panic settled over Riley’s face. Mother’s hand tightened its grip on Andi’s shoulder.
   Riley set his candle down and opened the shutters. The occupants of the bedroom had a clear view of Tucker.
The collie-type dog was growling. He yipped and jumped. His paws flailed.
   “Oh, no.” Mother lowered her head. Her knuckles were white from holding onto Andi’s shoulder. “Please, God, no.”
   “It’s been almost eight days,” Riley said. His voice was choked. He looked as if he was fighting back tears. “It’s been almost eight days.”
   Andi could hardly breathe. Her fingers closed tight around her baby. She held him close.
   “He can’t have rabies!” Riley cried out. He raked his fingers though his hair. “He can’t.”
   Yet, the dog continued his strange antics. “He never acts this way,” Riley murmured. “He’s been calm over the past few days.” He glanced at Mother, who nodded and squeezed her eyes shut. “It is,” she barely whispered.
   Riley left the room.
   “Mother!” Andi exclaimed, scared, “What’s he doing?”
   Mother shook her head, but her face said she knew. Andi had a funny feeling that she knew too.
   Tucker really has rabies. Riley is going out to shoot him.
   “No, Mother!” Andi grabbed her mother’s arm. “Don’t let him shoot Tucker! Don’t let him! He loves Tucker—”
   “He loves you, too,” Mother answered. She was crying. “There’s no cure for rabies in the animals. If Tucker lives, he’ll only spread the disease. There’s no cure for him…or for you.”
   “No, Mother, no!” Andi burst into tears. “This is all my fault! All my fault!”
   “No, sweetheart.” Mother pulled her daughter into a strong hug. “It was an accident. That’s all it was. An accident.”
   Andi buried her face into Mother’s shoulder and sobbed. Jared bawled, and no wonder. Andi was clutching him to her chest as if her life depended upon it.
   Is this my last Christmas with Riley and Jared? Am I rabies’ next victim? Andi’s stomach clenched. She felt sick. Oh, please! Let this all be a horrid nightmare that I’ll wake from at any moment. But even she knew—this was all too real.
   Suddenly, hurried footsteps sounded from outside the bedroom. Riley entered and flung himself down on the bed beside Andi and her mother. Tears were pouring from his eyes, and he threw his arms around both Andi and his mother-in-law.
   “It’s all right! It’s all right!” he cried. “It really is.”
   “What?” Mother demanded. “What—?”
            “There was two raccoons,” Riley blurted. He held his wife close. “The rabid one was not Gingerbread. When I went out there, the familiar sight of a raccoon standing on his hind legs and covering his eyes made relief wash over me in huge waves. Tucker had caught the raccoon’s scent, and that is why he was barking. Neither one of them are rabid.”
   “You mean—?” Andi couldn’t go on.
   “Yes, yes.” Riley nodded. “I do mean. Gingerbread is back, and he’s fine. Tucker is fine. I’m fine. You’re fine.”
            “Oh, Riley!”
   “Praise God!” Mother murmured. She clasped her hands and blinked back tears. “He is good. This is truly a miracle, Andrea.”
   “Truly, it is!” Andi agreed. She didn’t even try to hold back her own tears of joy. They coursed down her cheeks in steady rivers. “Thank you, God.”
   Andi sat beside Riley in the front pew. Her heart was singing. Her face was aglow. Jared sat in her lap, looking about with wide hazel eyes.
   It was Christmas morning, and the Prescotts were attending the morning service. Andi couldn’t think of a better way to spend that Christmas Day. In the hymns that led up to the sermon, her voice rang the loudest. Is it any wonder, considering all God had done for her?         
   When Reverend Harris opened his Bible and read aloud Luke 2, Andi listened attentively. She drank in every word. But it was only then that it finally hit her.
   Riley read the first chapter of Luke yesterday, right before Gingerbread showed up.
   Nine years before, Andi had recited Mary’s “Song of Praise” in a play. After a dreadful bout of scarlet fever, she had been able to put true feeling into her words as she repeated The Magnificat. Now, it again entered her mind…right along with a fresh rush of gratitude:
   “…’My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble state of his servant…for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.’”
(Luke 1:46-47, 49)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Prayer Request for a Courageous Fan

This just in from Izzy . . . 

Howdy, Mrs. M!

I have a new blog I just made with Blogspot and am wondering if you could put the link on your blog. It's really new, and I'm a new blogger, so there's not much, but it'd be cool if I could get some people to visit. Right now I am running a Model Horse Picture contest and need contestants, and I'm hoping to write a Christmas story. 

I am also wondering if I could give a prayer request for my family and me. I was recently diagnosed with cancer, and I just lost all my hair. I'm bald now and struggling with my looks and such, and I am scared. Cancer is frightening and chemotherapy makes me feel awful. I was wondering if I could ask for prayers of strength for my family and me, especially for my sister Myla who is struggling with it almost as much as I am. 
I just finished Round 2 of chemo, and now will be going into scans to see how the tumors responded to the chemo. If they are shrinking at a very good rate, I only have 2 more rounds and will be done. But if they aren't, I will have to do radiation or MORE chemo (ugh). More chemo would stink, but I'm super frightened of radiation. 
If people could please pray that my cancer has shrunk awesomely and for no radiation that'd be great, because radiation for me would eventually maybe cause breast cancer in my later years. 
(I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system). 
Thank you so much, you are amazing. 

My blog:

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Interrupted

Mrs. M cannot keep track of what stories she has posted and which ones are new. So, forgive me if I've already posted this, but here is the 2018 Andi Christmas short story that went out to my email list and also went up on Facebook. I would not want to forget you!

Download the PDF file at this link: CHRISTMAS INTERRUPTED.

If you prefer a MOBI file for your Kindle, then email me and request it at
(The Kindle file will have a name with a bunch of letters and numbers because I converted it online, but it is the real thing.)

"For the first time ever, ten-year-old Andi is chosen to portray Mary in the Christmas pageant. She determines to be the best Mary the school has ever had, even though it's hard to sit still and act serene. Then the unexpected happens, and Christmas is interrupted. Maybe for good."

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

A New Kind of Gingerbread Chapter 5

Chapter 5
December 1887

   “And you’ve had this for four days now?”
   “Yes, Doctor.” Andi stared at the doctor’s face and tried her hardest to figure out his thoughts. She couldn’t. She had to ask. “Will I be all right?”
   Doc Weaver didn’t look at her. Instead, he released his hold on her arm and turned to Riley. “The dog? He was bitten as well?”
   “Yes, sir. I have him tied up in the barn.” Riley stood at the door, hat in one hand, Jared in his other arm. His face was pale.
   “There is nothing I can for Andrea at the moment.” Dr. Weaver said. He sighed. “It’s just one of those things we’ll have to wait out.” He faced Andi. “I do ask, young lady, that as soon as you get home, you climb into bed and stay there. The best thing for you right now is rest.”
   Numbly, Andi shook her head. “I can’t do that, Doctor. There’s Jared and the housework—”
   “You’ll do as Doc Weaver tells you,” Riley interrupted. His voice was firm. His hand clenched his hat, and his eyes sparked their anxiety and resolve. “We’ll stop by Melinda’s on the way home and see what your mother thinks. Either your mother or Ellie can stay and help out.”
   “Surely there’s a treatment,” Andi persisted. “Isn’t there, Doctor?”
   “Well…” Dr. Weaver sighed. “There is a vaccine out. Louis Pasteur invented it two years ago, and it appears to be working. However, I still haven’t accepted it into my office. I’m always wary about these things. And you’re a nursing mother, Andrea. I’m not sure…”
His voice trailed off. “You could try it, if you and Riley wanted to, but it’d be completely experimental. It healed a boy only nine years of age, but people doubt its capability. Some say it can only worsen situations and the boy’s recovery was an example of extreme luck.”
   At the doctor’s words, Andi bit her lip. I wonder if they’ve ever experimented on a nursing mother? What if I were to take it and it hurt Jared?
“You may not have even been infected,” the doctor went on. “Who knows what this new vaccine might do to someone who doesn’t haver rabies?”
 Andi gulped. Worse and worse! What if, like the doctor says, it only makes things worse? But then…what if I do get sick and…and die? Where would Jared be then? Oh, God, give me wisdom, please.
She looked at Riley. “What do you think?”
“I’m not sure.” Riley was clearly at a loss. “It’s up to you. However, the doctor seems to be against it, and he knows more about these kinds of thing than we do. Doctor?”
“Like I said, the choice is yours,” Dr. Weaver answered. “I have never used the vaccine series before. I also hear it’s quite painful—21 days of shots.”
Andi didn’t care about the pain. Uh-uh! Not if it meant she could be spared.
“I’ve gone along with those skeptics who say they’re unsure of its effectiveness.” He frowned. “I’m just an old country doctor, not ready to jump into all these new-fangled ideas.”
When neither Andi nor Riley said anything, he went on. “On the other hand, I don’t know if your situation could be much worse. You have a husband, and a baby who needs you. Tell you what. Why don’t I at least send for the vaccine? While I wait for it, I’ll conduct some more research. I’ll bring out to your ranch when it comes. Hopefully,” he added in an undertone, “it’ll arrive in time.”
“Fine.” Andi let out a resigned breath. “Until then, I’ll—”
“You’ll rest, eat plenty, and keep up your strength like a good girl.” Dr. Weaver clapped her shoulder. “You’re a strong young lady, and I’m sure you’ll beat this thing. You’ll soon be right as rain.”
But, despite the strong tone of Dr. Weaver’s voice, even Andi could read between the lines. He’s scared. She swallowed. He doesn’t know what to tell me.
Andi slid down from the exam table and joined Riley at the door. He’d plopped his hat on his head and his hand gripped hers as he asked the doctor, “How long…’til we know?”
Dr. Weaver let out a breath. “It’s too early to tell quite yet. That’s why I asked about the dog. Watch him. For a dog, it takes about ten days. Within that time, if he doesn’t act mad, there’s a good chance he hasn’t caught it, and there’s an even better chance that Andrea hasn’t.”
He released another whoosh of air and rubbed a hand against his forehead. “However, we won’t know for certain for a while yet. It takes three to eight weeks for a human to start showing symptoms.” He paused. “But if the dog shows signs, we don’t wait for any symptoms in you. For sure we’ll have to forge ahead with the vaccine.”
“But I can’t stay in bed that—”
“Rabies is fatal in humans once the symptoms appear.”
Andi closed her mouth.
Riley gave her hand a tight, almost painful, squeeze. Ge nodded at Dr. Weaver. “Thanks.”
   “There. Now, you rest up, and don’t worry about a thing.”
   Mother tucked the covers around her youngest daughter and smiled sorrowfully. “I’ll take care of the house and Riley, sweetheart. All you have to do is promise me you’ll follow Doc Weaver’s orders and stay in bed. That shouldn’t be so hard, should it? Just stay in bed and get waited on—”
   “Mother,” Andi broke in. “Am I going to get sick?”
   “I don’t know.” Mother rested her cool hand against Andi’s cheek. “Only God knows. And we’re going to pray hard that He keeps you safe.”
   Andi’s lip trembled. “What if He doesn’t? Oh, Mother, I don’t want to leave Riley and Jared and—”
   “Hush, Andrea.” Mother laid her finger across Andi’s lips. “Don’t go borrowing trouble. ‘With God, all things are possible.’ If it His will, you can be spared, Andrea. You can.” Mother’s voice shook, and it sounded as if she needed the reassurances as much as Andi did, if not more.
   Placing a hand over her mouth and blinking back tears, Mother turned and left the room.
   Andi rolled over in bed. Oh, God, please…