Friday, April 9, 2021

Photo Friday: CC Milestones Audio books and Giveaway

I'm excited to announce that my narrator, Annette Romano, did a bang-up job on the four Milestones books. She finished Courageous Love last week. Go HERE >> to listen to sample tracks from all four books. If you buy the audio books as instant downloads from AUDIBLE >> they are $19.95 each ($79.80 for all four). Plus, Courageous Love has not yet been put up on Audible (they are slow as molasses). I'd LOVE to give away your choice of ONE Circle C Milestones book to Andi's Blog Fans only. (I'll run an official, separate giveaway later this spring on my Newsletter and FB group, but this is exclusively for you. 

How to enter the giveaway: Fill out the entry form below. Winner will receive their choice of ONE Circle C Milestones book on a USB drive. Contest ends Friday, April 23, 2021 at midnight. Have fun!

P.S. I'm VERY excited. This entry form is working great! I already have a whole bunch of entries. 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Story Ideas, Anyone?

I have my contract for the two Tales short-story collections. I even have my nice advance. Marketing asked for cover ideas, so I sent them this, along with all of the pieces (high-res) to create something similar. Katherine (marketing manager) specifically asked for older Andi and Riley pictures. Thanks for helping me narrow it down to these two cover concepts. The background will probably change, as they have better pictures, so I'm very excited to see what they come up with. In the meantime . . . I need a little more help with a couple of the stories. (I know you guys have been awesome with sending ideas, and I've gone through them, so now I need a little more detail.) Keep reading!  

Friday, March 19, 2021

Photo Friday: Contest Books Arrived!

 It was with great relief that I opened the three different shipments (why can't KDP/Amazon send all copies in the same box?) A mystery that will never be solved, I fear. Anyway, now I can get all the prizes sent off to the 12 winners plus I can send copies of the contest books to the three judges as a "thank you." 

And with this mailing, the Circle C Story Writing Contest draws to a close. For now, it is the last "annual" contest until further notice. I am still planning on putting together a fun contest for Spring 2021, but not until after I return home to WA. Also . . . 

I got my contract for the two Tales books. Deadline May 17, so I've got lots to do. (See PREVIOUS POST >> if you want to give ideas for recipes). You can also keep sending ideas for more and more stories (although I do have quite a few already!)

Ellie and Susie checking out the contest books. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Recipe Help?

I expect my contract from Kregel today or tomorrow. Guess what? My editor says I can write up to 70,000 words! Now, that's a lot of new material. I've thought of an extra, new story (Andi and Riley's actual adventures in Yosemite, which would come right after the Hold Up story, instead of just mentioning it). And someone would like a story about Andi and Riley returning home after the twins are born in San Francisco (More Tales). So that's a good start. I hope to add one MORE new story to each book (a total of two NEW stories per book). 

ALSO, someone asked me about Andi's pie crust recipe, so I decided it would be super fun to include a last chapter in each book with some recipes and how to cook them (along with fun snippets of Andi's experiences with the recipes--her failures and successes). Trouble is, I can't remember all of the foods that have been mentioned in the 4 Circle C series. 

So, I need help. If you could comment with any foods, etc. that you remember from ANY of the books, from lemonade in the Stepping Stones book to sugar cookies from Andi's Pony Trouble, to fried chicken or cobbler, or . . . that would be awesome. I need enough for the first book, Tales (that have to do with either old Circle C childhood recipes or attempts as a newlywed to make some them (like the rattlesnake stew), to anything you remember from the Milestones at family dinners to anything in the More Tales book. 

I have (so far):

Mother's Sugar Cookies (from Andi's Pony Trouble)

Circle C Peach Pie (mentioned in Tales from Memory Creek Ranch)

Circle C Ranch Stew (Tales from Memory Creek Ranch)

Rattlesnake Stew (just use rattlesnake meat or chicken instead of beef in stew recipe. 

Peach Cobbler


And there you have it. That's how much I can remember. Help!


Mrs. M

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Speaking of Fan Stories . . .

Abbi G. sent me a fun fan fiction story. Head on over to this link to read it (if you are not burnt out from reading all the fun contest stories). 


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Just . . . Wow! Lots of Stories!

Contestants are sending in their requests for me to post their stories on the contest page. I am delighted to do so. So many have responded that I thought it was time to now post the link to the list of links (26 32 36 so far!). That is almost a third of the entries. Here is the link to the list of entries that did not place. When you read them, you will understand how hard it was for my judges to find only FOUR out of about 30 in each category!


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

One step closer!

 The proof contest book came so we're one step closer to finishing up this contest! I will proof it ASAP and then order copies for the winners! Plus any judge who wants one. 😉👌

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Circle C Contest Entries

Here is the first of what will no doubt become many entries. There were so many great stories that I felt pretty sorry for the judges this year. It had to be hard to narrow it down to the top 8 and then juggle and ponder and wonder, and then have to shave it down to the top 4. I saw the top 8 and boy! Very hard indeed. 

In the meantime, it would be fun to share the other entries. However, I don't automatically post 91 stories. I am happy to post by request, but sadly I can't edit (beyond what I did to format them for the judges and fix basic indents, etc.). So, if you're okay with seeing your entry story "as is," I'd love to post it. Just email me at and include your NAME, the AGE category you entered, and the STORY TITLE. This helps me find your entry easily and quickly. Or simply comment below with the same information and I'll be thrilled to post a link to your entry! Happy reading, everybody!


Enjoy the read! 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Photo Friday: No Foal Yet But These Are Pretty Cute!

We are still waiting for Lacey to drop her foal! She was due yesterday (Thursday). Here she is hanging out in her stall and feeling very down and out. And grumpy. She wants this over with, and so do we. 

In the meantime, enjoy this one minute video of the newest arrivals on the Ross Ranch in "Andi" country, California. They all have names. Each mama dropped a boy and a girl! Six baby goats playing "king of the mountain." It's what they do. 

And there is one more doe due to kid any day now. Poor Nellie! Probably triplets. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The 2021 Circle C Story-writing Contest Winners!

Congratulations, winners! (OOPS, I forgot to list the winners. LOL) Scroll down below the cover . . .) 

There were 92 entries (pretty much evenly divided among the 3 age groups), which is my all-time record. That was a lot of stories for the judges to read. (And me!) It was hard for the judges to narrow it down to four placements, especially out of the top eight I asked them to send to me for review . . . just because. :-)

NOTICE: For any of you who did not place, the offer stands to request that I post your entry and link on the Circle C Contest blog. If you would like me to do that, email me at and include (ALL of these): NAME, AGE CATEGORY, and STORY TITLE

I can't search through 92 stories looking for yours without a specific title. Why not? Because the stories are a "blind" judging. All I have is the story number. The number is written in ink on the printed-out entry forms. PDF entry forms are double-numbered in a separate folder. So you can see why I need all three to find your story. Story links will be posted HERE:


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Bet You're Getting Tired of This!

Well, here you go. I found yet ANOTHER pose (and I do like this one). It has everything some of you like, especially the BRAID and the HAT. And Andi looks much younger here. And the photo of her is brighter too. And she looks happy. LOL While I like #3 because of the braid and the hat, I always thought her eyes looked like she was missing a lot of sleep. Too dark around the eyes. So hopefully, I've landed on a new view that combines all of the things most like. Your thoughts? 

In order from left to right-- 1, 2, 3.

Sunday, February 14, 2021


Happy Valentine's Day!

I've narrowed things down a bit. The original Andi (with the hand) I never really liked, so that's why I found that "braid" Andi. But then I got creative . . . and I got rid of Andi's hand and gave her a HAT (Oh, I love you, PhotoShop!). Now I like the original Andi much better. But I kinda like Andi and Riley facing each other too--but the puffy hair style and stark-white blouse? Not so much. 

Hard to decide. So . . . drum roll . . . here are the two I will probably send to kregel (when I get my contract!) and maybe let THEM decide on the Tales 1 layout. Which do you like better? NUMBER 1 or NUMBER 2 (I also agree that each cover should be different, and I like the blue sky).



Friday, February 12, 2021

Photo Friday = Photo Mugs

 The original Circle C mugs have been a great hit. I nearly sold out (have one left). So . . . I decided to make more. Here's the line-up. As soon as they arrive, I will put them up in the store's website. Which do you like best? Enjoy! The mugs are normally $12.99 (they went up on the site I use to create them. boo.) But I am selling them for $8.50 (+ $3.50 shipping). 


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Circle C Scavenger Hunt Winners

Everyone who participated in the January Scavenger Hunt should have received an email with a link to a bonus participation prize. The three PRIZE winners are:

Courtney Duncan (Prize #3)

Charissa W. (Prize #1)

Megan Reagor (Prize #2).

Thanks for playing! 

Brought to you by the Top Picks Homeschool Curriculum Fair and (yours truly), here is a scavenger hunt that some of you will probably be able solve without even going to the Circle C Vendor Booth. 

THREE winners. THREE prizes. You don't need to be on Facebook or anything. It's wide open to everyone. BONUS: Everyone who completes the hunt receives a participation prize (okay, I'll tell you what it is, although nobody else knows: the complete first audio book of Andi Saddles Up. *shhh*

Check out the 3 fun prizes below then click START THE HUNT >>

Scavenger Hunt ends midnight, Wednesday, February 3. Have fun! 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Tales Update from My Publisher

I thought I'd give y'all a brief update and . . . ask for input. My publisher had an acquisitions meeting last week, and yes, they are still interested in picking up the two Tales books. However, my editor asked me some questions the pub board was asking. Since you have been so involved in these books right from the very beginning, I thought I'd share (yes, and hang on, I have a request, of course). 

So, here we go . . . 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Character Quiz: How Well Do You Know Virginia Foster?

Congratulations to MADISON M. for winning the character quiz. Only 3 entries got all 20 questions correct. Plus, there were very few entries, so I'm taking a break from character quizzes for a while. They are a lot of work to create, and if so few are interested, then I'll save myself the trouble. :-)

I totally understand, since I have not been very faithful in posting. It's just that there's so much real life happening right now.

You can see the correct answers below. Thanks for playing!

This month's character quiz prize is a fun "chunky" BE STRONG IN THE LORD lined notebook and a Circle C pen with which to write.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Friday Deadline for the 2021 Contest Entries

Hey, Friends,

Friday is the deadline to get your entry form and story in to 

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at the response this year. Due to Covid, I did not attend in-person conventions, and as a result, the entries have tanked. (So many parents and readers learn about the contest at homeschool conventions.) I am happy to report that there are enough entries in the AGES 10-13 and AGES 14-17 to run the contest, but the AGES 6-9 will not be considered. Only one person sent in two stories. 

I am redoing the Circle C Contest Blog and making it more geared toward seasonal and thematic writing contests. There will be prizes and fun and maybe over the next year I can compile the winners into another contest book to put up on Amazon. We'll see. 

But for now, I'll let you know when I'm having a writing contest. You can visit the "new look" of the Contest blog by going here: CONTEST BLOG >>

By the way, I need a little help. I'm moving all of the older short-story contests onto this blog under the "Seasonal Contests" tab. I've found graphics and the winners for all of my past contests (all the way back to 2016), but I can't find the winner or the link to the summer contest to finish the San Francisco Smugglers book (about what happens when Juan takes Andi riding on the beach as he promised in the book.) I found the graphic though. If anybody knows who won and where that story went to, please, please, please comment and let me know so I can include it. 

One Day Later News Update: Thanks, faithful readers! You came through for me and found the link. I added those winners to the "Seasonal Contests" tab. You fans are THE BEST!!

2020 Spring Writing Contest: Finish San Francisco Smugglers

Friday, January 8, 2021

Cover Concepts Memory Creek Books

 Yes, I heard already from some who like the covers as they are. I like them too, or I would not have created them like that. But if my publisher picks up the books, I'm afraid they will consider the covers rather unprofessional, so I'm finding new concepts (and one of them has ramifications for having to change one of the character's physical appearance . . . Jared.) But that's okay because he can easily have blue eyes and light hair--like his Aunt Melinda. And the advantage to having Jessica holding her own baby for a cover picture far outweighs the pieced together characters (especially when I've run out of good Jessica pictures). Anyway, here is a concept (with the Milestones font) for your examination. Pretty sure some of you will love the new "real-life" Jessica and her baby. Some will hold out for the old covers, and some will have their own ideas. That's the fun of the blog. The main thing I tried to do was keep the overall "Milestones" cover aura--with the LaFigura font and title at the bottom, and the people sort of blended into the background. Take a look! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Breaking News Regarding the Tales Books

Gather 'round, interested readers. Tales from Memory Creek Ranch and More Tales from Memory Creek Ranch have been overwhelming BEST SELLERS, especially in late November and December. This story is so crazy that I thought you'd like to hear the unfolding drama of these two books.  

In late November, I got an IM on Facebook from a bookstore back in Ohio--Faith View Books. The bookstore owner said they carried all of my books from Kregel (my publisher) but many customers were asking for the last two books, and the bookstore could not get them. (Since I publish these two books myself). I told the gal, "Sure, I'll sell you the books for your bookstore." 

Oh, such naivete! When she told me in the IM that she wanted "300 of each" (600 books!) I was positive she had accidentally included an extra 0. Nope. That's what she wanted, all right. So, I had Amazon KDP send her the books directly (plus, she wanted them fast so she paid an EXTRA $249 just for two-day shipping). 

What in the world would a bookstore DO with 300 of each of these books? Good question. I asked her, and she said they sell them in their store and through their catalog. Then she asked for an additional 150 of each later in the month (are you KIDDING ME??), and then just before Christmas she asked for yet ANOTHER 150 of each. So, the total is 1,200 of these two books. 


Monday, January 4, 2021

Character Quiz: How Well Do You Know Jed Hatton?

Hannah M. is the winner of the character quiz. Congrats! Scroll down to see the answers. 

How well do you know this fellow? Below is a 20-question character quiz for Jed. Also included are 5 bonus questions (for a total of 25 questions), but the bonus questions are not necessary for you to get right in order to win this character quiz. 

As always, send your answers to in this form:

1. A

2. B

3. C, etc. so it's easy for me to score. The contest runs Monday, December 28 - Sunday, January 3. Winner will be announced Monday, January 4. Happy New Year! 

The prize is the brand-new, hot off the press, audio book of Thick as Thieves. I can send it as a zip file to download, or I can mail the file on a USB drive. Your choice. Or, if you have the Audible app and have NEVER received a free audio book from someone before, I can even send your prize that way. So many options. Honestly, I absolutely LOVE what the narrator, Annette Romano, has done so far with the Circle C Milestones. They are even better than the Adventures. 

Have fun and good luck. I sure had fun creating the quiz. 

Happy New Year!