Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fires and Floods!

Wow, from Louisiana to California, the weather is crazy . . . and dangerous. Bethany R. from California has asked for prayer regarding her family's safety, as well as the safety of everyone in the path of the flames. Mrs. M understands completely, as our corner of the country was overrun with fires and evacuations this time last year. Please join in prayer with Bethany!

I have an urgent prayer request and I'd appreciate it if you could post it on the blog: Currently, California is on fire. Fires are springing up all over the state. They are rapidly growing and burning up significant areas. A week ago, a fire started in my area?The Chimney Fire. At first we didn't think it was going to reach us, but over the last 2 days it jumped the river that everyone was hoping to hold it at and is headed for us. Many structures are in danger, and we could really use all of your prayers. If we lose power, I may not be able to update you, but I will do my best. Please join me in asking God to spare my home, my region, and all of California. Thank you so much! Bethany R.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

And the Winner Is . . .

The winner of the Reader's Choice Award for the short-story contest this summer is . . .
Abigail G, for her story "Monumental."Abigail. I have sent you an email so you can tell me which book you would like. 
That is what you won . . . your choice of any book, autographed and personalized.

Congratulations, Abigail! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Urgent Prayer Request from Louisianna

Olivia sent this to me tonight. Let's join her in prayer for this situation, for peace and safety in the midst of a very scary circumstance.

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon You, because he trusts in You."  Isaiah 26:3

Hey Mrs. M,

I have a very urgent prayer request (if you could post it on the Circle C Blog, that would be great).

I'm sure a lot of people may have already heard, but Louisiana is flooding like never before! They're calling it 'The Great Flood of 2016'. SO many people are being evacuated and have water in their homes, and it's only expected to worsen. We are safe at the moment where we are, but they are saying that once the waters start to recede, it will start flooding back south, right near where we are located. Prayers for NO MORE flooding and peace and comfort for those whose homes have been flooded would be very much appreciated!

It's amazing to see the church of Christ coming together through this, though! We just helped cook, package, and deliver meals of jambalaya to some of the local police and fire stations with a bunch of others from our church. (They've been working so hard the past few days!) We'll be at the church again first thing tomorrow morning to deliver more.
There are also many people opening their homes to those who have no place to go.

Just please pray, pray, pray!
Thank you!!

Olivia J. (Livi Jane)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reader's Choice Award-pick YOUR winner

The summer is getting away from me! I posted the winner but did little else but send her prize. Now . . . drum roll . . . I have created a document (PDF file so it's easy to download and read) of the June contest entries. I have left off the names, so if you want to identify your story by number and give your name in the comments, that is up to you. Click on the link:


And now for my crazy idea!
I'm running a READER'S CHOICE AWARD. There were sixteen (16) stories--which is an incredible turnout for such short notice. I put up a voting widget on the sidebar and am offering a "book of your choice" for the winner of the READER'S CHOICE AWARD. (Note: Story #7, "A Long, Long Day" was the original winner, so you can't vote for it again. It is not listed on the widget.)

NOTE: a number of contest entries came in without story titles. I named these stories, so if you don't think your story is here, trust me, IT IS. Start reading and you will recognize your story. :-)

Judges read and like things that other judges may not enjoy so much. Let's see what young (and old) readers have to say. Have fun . . .Voting ends August 20, so tell your friends and pick your winner!

Monday, August 1, 2016

June (Summer) Contest Winner

Congratulations to Sadie Parker for winning the June (Summer) writing contest. She won the horse etching kit and the book of her choice (Courageous Love). Her story is titled "A Long, Long Day." And thank you to my judge, Colleen Reece, multi-published author, for reading all of the entries.

A Long, Long Day
by Sadie Parker

 Sixteen-year-old Mitch Carter flung a fishing line into the creek. Glancing over at his sister Andi’s face, he knew that fishing had been the perfect thing to do. The clear sky above them was the result of a dreadfully rainy day the day before. The bright sun hung high above them, bathing the sparkling, dewy grass with its gentle rays. (Read the entire story on the Circle C Contests and Giveaway Blog.)


Monday, July 25, 2016

California Fans

A couple of sixteen-year-old Andi fans from Andi's neck of the woods: Modesto, California, about 95 miles north of Fresno. Bethany R. (on the left) and Julaine (on the right). I learned that Julaine has been a faithful Andi blog "lurker" for some time. I hope she comes out of hiding and comments after this. :-)

Thanks for stopping by the booth, ladies! It was great chatting with you.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saddle Up Book Winner

Here is the Giveaway Tools random winner for the Saddle Up book giveaway. Congrats, Kaitlyn!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fan Fotos

It's always fun to meet fans. If I'm lucky enough to get pictures, I like to post them here.
Kaitlyn is wearing the T-shirt she won from this year's writing contest.
Audrey is holding the latest Circle C Milestones book, The Last Ride.
Speaking of writing contests, there is less than a week if you want to enter the mini-contest for this summer. Go HERE for details, prizes, and where to send your story.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Fan Story

Head over to the Fan Fiction page for a new fan story by Abbi G. titled "Why Me?"


Friday, July 8, 2016

Horse Book Giveaway!

It's not a Circle C book giveaway this time (I'll do one of those later on), but I believe you'll find this one fun. Please share this giveaway on your social media sites and everyplace else, especially if you have friends or siblings in the "middle grade" book range (ages 8-12). You can win a signed-by-the-author copy of Saddle Up! (from my author-friend Donna Patton). This new series is set on a horse camp in California called RAWHIDE RANCH. It's a real place! So, with no further ado, here is my review of Saddle Up! and below that is the Giveaway Tool to enter.

Saddle Up!
By Donna Alice Patton & Emily Chase Smith
Ages 8-12

Twelve-year-old Bridget Benedict’s whole world revolves around horses. They are her life. However, living in the large city of Cincinnati, opportunities for being around a real horse are close to zero. Then Bridget’s grandparents gift her with a week at horse camp in California. It is a dream come true for this imaginative cowgirl, especially when Bridget arrives at Rawhide Ranch and discovers it’s just like the Wild West TV reruns she and Grandpa used to spend watching on Saturday afternoons. Bridget can’t wait to meet her horse, mount up, and ride away into her imagination for a whole week.
And therein lies the trouble . . .

The first time Bridget sees her sorrel horse, Dusty, she realizes how big a horse really is. Worse, she is expected to ride this monstrous beast! All her horsey book-learning has not prepared Bridget for the real thing. It has, however, served to make her “look good” to the other campers, who expect Bridget to be a champion rider. After all, she knows everything about horses. She should have “come clean” about her worries right away. Instead, this tiny, tumbleweed problem slides into a shameful secret that Bridget needs to resolve before somebody really gets hurt.
Saddle Up! is book one in the Rawhide Ranch Adventures, set at a real-life camp in Southern California. The book is fast-paced, and full of excitement and true-to-life camping situations that made me want to be twelve years old again and save my money to attend Rawhide Ranch. Bridget is an endearing character, full of good intentions yet understandably insecure with the idea of getting up on Dusty. She struggles to confess about having never ridden a horse before, but she doesn’t want to be rejected by the other campers. Vivi, a troubled and pesky girl, adds to Bridget’s insecurities. One thing leads to another until Bridget is really stuck. The climax is fraught with danger, and Bridget’s character shines at the end.  

I look forward to other additions to the Rawhide Ranch Adventures. To learn more about Rawhide Ranch Camp, go to
Or visit their Facebook Page

Win a copy of Saddle Up! Enter the contest using the Giveaway Tool below. After entering, peek at the pictures of Rawhide Ranch camp!  

Pictures of Rawhide Ranch, the setting for Saddle Up! 



Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

In honor of July 4, 2016, I am posting the story "Hurrah for the Fourth of July!" This is one of the stories in Tales from the Circle C Ranch. There are a lot of fun stories from Andi's point of view in the Tales book. Go HERE to learn about them.  

Hurrah for the Fourth of July!
July 4, 1880
This story takes place on the Fourth of July before the events in
Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision.

Chapter 1
     “Hurrah, hurrah for the Fourth of July!”
     I slid down the banister before anybody—namely Mother or Luisa, our housekeeper—could catch me. I was decked out in a white and navy-blue middy blouse and skirt. Melinda had just finished doing up my hair in loopy braids with red ribbons.
     It was seven o’clock on a bright, already-hot July morning.
     “Happy Fourth of July!” I greeted my family at breakfast.
     Justin looked up from his plate of hotcakes and whistled. “You look like a true niece of Uncle Sam today, honey,” he said. “All you need is a flag.”
     “I’ll get one in town later.” I flopped down in my seat. Melinda entered the dining room right behind me wearing a new, green-and-white summer dress.
     “You all slicked up for Jeffrey?” Chad teased.
     “Wouldn’t you like to know!” she shot back, laughing.
     Nobody seemed to care that we girls were late for breakfast. Everybody looked cheerful and ready for the big celebration. Chad had let the ranch hands off for the day; a few old-timers volunteered to stay behind and keep an eye on things.
     “I have a surprise for you, Mitch,” I said between gulps of milk.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June Writing Contest

I forgot to post this at the beginning of the month (I've been so busy), but I did not forget about some fun contests for the summer. Head over to the JUNE WRITING CONTEST to find out the details and the prizes (you can even win the upcoming Courageous Love book).

Happy writing!

p.s. I will do a trivia contest in August, but I liked one of the writing suggestions I got, so I'm starting out with this one. You have a whole month to entry.

p.p.s You new fan writers should enjoy this one . . .

p.p.p.s. I also have a book giveaway from an author friend I'm going to post in July sometimes. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Fan Story by a New Fan Writer

I'm excited to introduce another new fan fiction writer, Abigail G. Her story, "Andrea Carter Learns a Tough Lesson" captures the characters right on. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Which Circle C Character Are You?

One of Andi's fans, Julia S., created the most amazing and fun personality quiz for other Circle C fans. I had so much fun reading this. What about you? Let us know which character you are in the comments . . .
RULE: Don't peek at the answers until you finish the quiz!


1.  If asked, your family would say that you are...
A. Proper
B. Trouble
C. Bossy
D. Easygoing
E. Reliable
F. Interfering
G. Adorable
H. Independent
I. Forgiven

Friday, June 3, 2016

Photo Fridays: Melinda's Wedding

You won't read about Melinda's wedding in any of the books. It's one of those "behind the scenes" deals. By the time Courageous Love rolls off the presses, Melinda and Peter are already married. They live in town, since Peter still works for his father at the Fresno County Bank. During Courageous Love, Andi is in town too, staying with an ill Lucy and baby Samuel while Justin is in San Francisco for a big trial. Andi's biggest fear is that her sister will show up for a visit, and Lucy's house will definitely not pass a "Melinda Wilson" inspection. Andi is no better at cleaning house than she is at mucking stalls.

But today is Photo Friday, so here is a picture of Melinda (getting all giggly about her upcoming wedding). Geesh, I hope I don't get all frilly and girly about it. I think I'd like to get married on Shasta's back. Now, wouldn't that be fun? But the real question is: would Mother let me? And would anybody come to my wedding if they knew I was being married on horseback. Hmmm . . . something to think about.

Peter looks like he has always looked--citified. But he's been Mitch's best friend for AGES, and I'm awfully glad Melinda is marrying him instead of that horrid Jeffrey Sullivan who used to hang around the ranch so much. So I'll let his "hands on the hips" stance go for now. But whoosh! Look at all that curly hair! He should have visited the barber before his wedding day.

Melinda became Mrs. Peter Wilson on September 20, 1884. Like most young ladies in the Victorian Age, Melinda was married at home. Kate was her matron of honor and I was one of her bridesmaids. It was simple, but the house was overflowing with town guests, since the Wilsons are pretty well known. Afterward, the guests ate a light lunch and then off Peter and Melinda went to . . . wait for it . . . the Continent. If you don't know what the Continent is, well, it's Europe. Paris, London, and all that. I have no wish to go that far on a honeymoon excursion. Yosemite would be far enough away for me.

Melinda in her wedding dress in the parlor. Countdown to her big day!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Contest Ideas?

Andi and Mrs. M have both been extremely quiet this month, i.e. not posting. So sorry! Mrs. M has a book deadline . . . June 1 . . . for the first two books of the new Circle C Steppingstones (well, the series title is not in cement yet, but Mrs. M is really pushing for it). If the name flies, Jesseca Dawn and Karalyn Krispence will be the proud "winners" of the unofficial series title contest. They'll each receive the first two books of the series. But that is a long time from now. Mrs. M will keep you informed of the titling committee's decision.

June 1 is fast approaching, and Mrs. M is happy to say that she can post a bit more often since she has only half a chapter left to write! 

Now, on to the reason for this post. Over the past few months, Mrs. M has been on the hunt for fun prizes for upcoming contests. Here are a few of the things she's found (the bookmarks are much brighter and more colorful than the phone camera shows). Now, all I need is a good reason to put on a contest! I am open to suggestions. It needs to be more than a straight giveaway, however. My mind is drained from writing story plots. What kind of contest(s) would you like to be a part of? Trivia? Creative Writing? Plots for the new series when Andi is nine? Here is the place where you can suggest anything and everything. I'll look it over and hopefully in the next couple of weeks craft a contest to kick off the summer.

Thanks for helping!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Disappointments. . . and Good News

Mrs. M is sorry she's been off the grid for way too long. She just got home from the conventions, and the first thing she learned when she got there was that Courageous Love is NOT coming out in November, but in January. Imagine her disappointment, not to mention how awful that news may sound to you. And NOT TO MENTION all the people I told at the conventions, "Oh, yes, you will have the book before Christmas." AUGH! " *red face*

This is very disheartening, and my editor was also a bit disheartened, but the powers that be make those decisions, and it has something to do with scheduling all the other books they put out in a selling cycle. So, Mrs. M is very sorry and she hopes you will forgive her for announcing something that--apparently--was not set in stone at the time.

My bad.

To soothe the pain, she has uploaded the first TWO CHAPTERS of Courageous Love. Other samples will be forthcoming, as in the past for the other books in the series.

Mrs. M will also work on putting together some fun contests this fall to keep you "going" until the book releases.

It's very annoying, but what we think is sad and disappointing, I'm sure God will use for our good and His glory.
Thanks for your patience. 


Friday, April 22, 2016

Prayer Request

A prayer request came in from Maria. Please pray with her for the following:

Hello Mrs. Marlow, I was not sure where to place this prayer request. So, I thought I would send it here. A friend has gone missing and below is the prayer request from his sister 

"Please pass this on: Tyler Christensen, my crazy, sweet, annoying, affectionate, wonderful brother, has been missing since 6:30 last night (Tuesday). He was on his way to a Russian youth group meeting in Mukilteo (Washington), but never made it. He was last seen wearing the blue t-shirt in this photo and dark blue shorts. His hair was recently buzzed. Please keep him and all of us in your prayers. God knows where he is and Tyler is in His hands. Isaiah 42:10." 

Would you all pray for the Christensen family throughout the day?  Maria

Thursday, April 21, 2016

New Fan Story

Mrs. M is up to her eyebrows at conventions these days. Sorry for so few posts. But here you go:

Here's a short, sweet story about Andi getting a shooting lesson from big brother. Enjoy!
Andi's Shooting Lesson by Krystal Skye

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Contest Stories

For the contestants who did not place, I am happy to post your stories (over a period of time). I will add more to this blog post as they come in, and I will periodically update the "date" so it goes "to the top" of the page so you can link over and enjoy the stories.

I have to format them to look nice on the blog, so that means re-reading them. They are all so fun! Makes me super-glad I hold firm and don't judge the stories. I would have such a hard time choosing! I hope you are all grateful to the six judges for their work. They do it for free. What a blessing to all of us!

Karen asked me to post her story, "Captured in the Woods"

A contest story from Kara S. and McKenzie S. "Dawn of a New Beginning"

Here is Mariah's contest entry: "Blessings of Gold"

And now one from Aliyah: "The Road Home"

March 1st: Rose's entry: "Whatever Life Gives Us"

March 5th: Hannah's entry: "Andi's Daring Rescue"

March 11th: Sadie Parker's entry: "Andi's Mistake" 

March 18th: Emily's entry: "Pride Goes Before the Falls"

March 18th: Caleigh's entry: "Andi Meets a Friend"

April 11th: Faith P.'s entry: "Easter Adversities" 


Monday, April 11, 2016

New Fan Story

Here is a story from a new fan, Julia S. This is her first story. It's two parts, but both parts are posted on the same site. This is not a contest entry (way too long). But . . . now that I have a separate site for fan fiction, I can post longer stories than I previously allowed. Enjoy!

The Tax Collector


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Convention Fans

Mrs. M had a great time in Cincinnati and Wichita catching up with some fans. Krystal Skye, a winner in the story-writing contest, visited the booth and showed the Along the Western Trail she won. It was fun meeting the winner!
Krystal Skye (her pen name) and Mrs. M
The fans in Wichita showed they have a lot of self-control, having put off getting their copies of The Last Ride until they could get them in person from Mrs. M. Hope you are enjoying the book, ladies! Oh, on a sadder note, another couple of fans, Kaitlyn and Karalyn, ended up sick at the last minute and could not attend the convention. I'm sorry I missed you!)
Rebekah R., Rebekah M. Mrs. M, Rishona R., Cora R., Jesseca Dawn
I've received a couple of requests to post fan stories and/or stories from the contest entrants who did not place. Don't worry. I have not lost them (at least, I hope I have not), but it's hard to do a lot of this during convention season. I will try to put a story up by the end of the week.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

An Urgent Prayer Request

I posted this as soon as I could, this morning before going back to the convention.
Angelina has an urgent prayer request for her family. Our prayers are with your mother and your little brother or sister. May God grant you peace during these scary times.

I have a rather urgent prayer request. My mother is pregnant at 31 weeks however the baby is stressing and has a little over 2 holes in his heart causing his heart rate to be low, can you please pray because she might have to get a caesarean section. Thanks. ~ Angelina