Friday, November 16, 2018

Photo Friday: Behind the Scenes--Andi Far from Home

The Stepping Stones Behind the Scenes posts are now complete!
Enjoy this last one. Lots of pictures!


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Melinda Carter Character Quiz

How well do you know Andi's sister Melinda? Once again, thanks to Sadie S. for this fun quiz!


The prize for this month's character quiz is a choice between these two offerings:

1) fun horse stickers and a Circle C pen,
OR . . .

2) a book or journal of your choice. Last month's winner asked for the Tenth Anniversary Expanded Edition of Long Ride Home, the book with all of the different family points of view. I have a few of those books left for any interested winners.

Send your answers to
I will acknowledge that I received your entry, but I will not say whether you are in the random drawing (by getting all or the most answers correct). You can see if you were part of the drawing by checking your answers against the correct answers next Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Do not send your answers via the contact form. Do not send your answers to my susankmarlow email. Thank you. As always, the winner will be randomly drawn from any ties.

Contest begins Wednesday, November 14. Ends Tuesday, November 20. Winner announced Wednesday, November 21.  

(For those who need a little clue, I'm giving the title of the book in which you can find the answer. I want the quizzes to be challenging, but I don't want to discourage readers from thinking they are too hard.)

Q1. In what month was Melinda married? (Courageous Love)

A.                  August
B.                  September
C.                  November

Q2. Whom did Melinda marry? (Courageous Love)
A.                  Peter Wilson
B.                  Jeffrey Sullivan
C.                  Harvey Clinger

Q3. What is the name of Melinda’s horse? (The Last Ride)
A.                  Cuffy
B.                  Panda
C.                  Jasper

Q4. What “breed” is Melinda’s horse? (The Last Ride)
A.                  Buckskin
B.                  Haflinger
C.                  Sorrel

Q5. What did Melinda do to her cousin when he tried to drown their cat? (The Last Ride)
A.                  She tattled on him
B.                  She slapped him
C.                  She begged him to stop

Q6. Where did Melinda go (and with whom) for her sixteenth birthday? (The Last Ride)
A.                  New York
B.                  San Francisco
C.                  Paris

Q7. What three things did Melinda do on her sixteenth birthday? (The Last Ride)
A.                  She went shopping, dined in fancy restaurants, and attended a concert
B.                  She went to the ballet, got to meet the dancers, and stayed up past midnight
C.                  She attended an art exhibition, rode the cable car, and walked along the Embarcadero. 

Q8.  What were the two things Melinda was most nervous about getting married and marriage? (The Last Ride)
A.                  Living in town and being a “town-girl”
B.                  Having children and being a parent
C.                  Planning the wedding and leaving home

Q9. What birth-order is Melinda? (all series)
A.                  She is the fifth born
B.                  She is the youngest
C.                  She is the fourth born

Q10. What were three things Melinda wanted to do after she finished school? (Heartbreak Trail)
A.                  Attend Ladies Aid Society meetings, find a beau, and volunteer at the orphanage
B.                  Fall desperately in love, sew her hope chest, and get married
C.                  Go abroad, buy a brand new dress, and go to a box social

Q11. How old was Melinda when she went to a young ladies' academy?(Andi Far from Home; "White Christmas" short story, which is a snippet on the Behind the Scenes site.)
A.                  She was fourteen
B.                  She was fifteen
C.                  She was sixteen

Q12. What is the name of Melinda's first beau? (Long Ride Home
A.           Peter Wilson              
B.                  Thomas Meyers
C.                  Jeffrey Sullivan

Q13. What did Melinda enter in the California State Fair? (Andi's Fair Surprise and "Prince Loco")
A.                  An apple pie
B.                  A homemade quilt
C.                  A jar of peach jam

Q14. What Fourth of July event can bring Melinda to tears? ("Hurrah for the Fourth of July")
A.                  The horse-racing
B.                  The fireworks
C.                  The songs

Q15. What did Melinda buy for her Mother’s birthday? ("The Best Gift of All")
A.          A music box
B.                  A fluffy pink shawl
C.                  A pair of fuzzy slippers

Q16. What color is Melinda’s hair? (all series)
A.                  Brown
B.                  Blonde
C.                  Black

Q17. Which insects bit Melinda multiple times? (Long Ride Home)
A.                  Spiders
B.                  Ants
C.                  Fleas

Q18. What is the name Melinda’s little sister uses to describe Melinda’s way of arguing and dealing with conflict? (Price of Truth)
A.                  Her “High and Mighty Talk”
B.                  Her “Soft-Spokenness”
C.                  Her “Grand-Lady-Airs”

Q19.  What instrument does Melinda like to play for Christmas? ("White Christmas")
A.                  The trumpet
B.                  The piano
C.                  The flute

Q20. What color are Melinda’s eyes? (all series)
A.                  Brown
B.                  Green
C.                  Blue

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Some young fans created a mini-movie of the school scene on Andi's first day of school. (1:33 minutes). Nicely done, and thanks for letting me share this fun excerpt! Can't wait for more!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Andi's Journal - Yosemite, Here We Come! Part 2

August 11, 1887

Well! I thought I would have more time to write about our ill-fated honeymoon to Yosemite. But alas! I ran out of room in my latest journal. I opened the cedar chests and added this filled book to the others. It took me a few days to get to town and purchase another. Of course Mr. Goodwin would tease me. "Goodness, Andi! You should buy two or more at once. You seem to be filling them up awfully fast. Perhaps you should write a book."

I just smiled sweetly, bought two, and left. Pretty soon the whole town will know that I am writing in a journal. Oooh, why can't folks mind their own business?

So that explains the delay in getting down the next exciting "chapter" in my honeymoon story. I've decided that I like writing in third person. It doesn't seem as personal, and I can enjoy the story without my stomach knotting up. Hmmm, maybe I should change the names to protect the guilty? No, probably not. Anyway, I had to peek in my old journal one last time to see where I left off.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Photo Friday - Behind the Scenes - Andi Dreams of Gold

Slowly . . . like a turtle race . . . the Behind the Scenes blog is slowly coming together. This week you can peek behind the scenes at Andi Dreams of Gold. Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Circle C Giveaway

In case any of you are interested, I'm having a Saddle Up Mini Reading Bundle giveaway this week. It launched yesterday, November 6, and goes through next Tuesday, November 13.

I had a bunch of leftover lapbook packets and activity books from when the Stepping Stones was only 4 books. Instead of tossing them, I thought maybe folks might get some use out of these things. It's a big giveaway. Even The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is running the giveaway on their FB page. Yay!

If you would like to enter the giveaway, go here: SADDLE UP MINI BUNDLE GIVEAWAY

For those of you who are struggling, this is what the form looks like after you put your email and name in and click "begin." A whole list of options. You can simply enter, and then there are other things you can do to be able to enter more than once (and increase your chances of winning).

Monday, November 5, 2018

Andi's Journal - Yosemite, Here We Come! Part 1

Today, while I was paging through a few old journals, I found an especially interesting entry, in which I wrote,

June 20, 1886

            Riley and I returned from our honeymoon, and of course I loved the new little house I’d never been allowed to see…

            That's it. Nothing about the actual honeymoon to Yosemite. I glanced through a few more page. Nope, nothing. I must have been in shock or didn't want to remember it or something. I see in this entire journal that there's nothing about my first day at my new house, or--huh--nothing about that missing year, our courtship. Well, I have plenty to make up. I'm making myself a promise to keep up with this journal. Instead of trying to write in it every evening when I'm dead tired, I'll catch up when Jared is napping. 
            But for now . . . that trip to Yosemite is still fresh in my mind, so I'd better write about it while I can. I shudder to think of it. A day's stagecoach ride to the Yosemite Valley is exciting enough without experiencing--well, I'd better start from the beginning. In fact, I'm going to back up and pick up on the same day of my wedding . . . Another thing. I'm thinking I might someday write a book about my adventures. I'm going to write my honeymoon adventure as if I were watching somebody else. It's less shocking if I separate myself from the actual events. 
        Here goes. I wonder how this story will turn out? 


Friday, November 2, 2018

Photo Friday - Writers Roundup

All right, Mrs. M confesses. It's been a very busy week, and she has only just begun to put up the posts for the Andi Dreams of Gold behind the scenes. So, instead of not having a Photo Friday, she decided to show off her brand-new, 142pp writing workbook, Writers Roundup.

Mrs. M has had requests at conventions for a writing workbook. She used to have one called Reach for the Stars, but it came out in 2009 and was geared to younger writers. With the advent of self-publishing (that costs nothing to do except buying your book copies), young teen writers need some steps for publishing and printing their books. So lesson twelve in Writers Roundup focuses on publishing options and how to publish your book (step by step) online on (one of the options). These writing lessons are geared for young authors ages 11 to 16 and older.

Since it's Photo Friday, Mrs. M will post some fun pictures from the new book. If you want sample lessons, you can go to WRITERS ROUNDUP on the Circle C website and download sample pages. If you want a copy, you can order a copy from that page too. It might be a couple weeks before I could ship books out, since they are on the way from KDP (CreateSpace) to me.

For now, enjoy the pictures for this unusual Photo Friday.

The book is 8.5 x 11 and perfect bound (not a spiral-bound workbook type).

Monday, October 29, 2018

Andi's Journal July 21, 1887 Part 2

 Although I'm continuing this entry under the same date, I haven't had even a minute to write in this journal. I've been so busy. I'll have to catch up on those happenings as soon as I get the rest of this entry finished. Now, let's see. Where did I leave off? Oh, yes! We were having a picnic supper down by the creek, where it's maybe two degrees cooler than in the house. Riley just asked me if I smelled something.

July 21, 1887 Part 2

My brow furrowed. “I just smell the heat rising from the ground.” I made a face. “And the occasional stink of a stagnant part of the creek. Why?”
            “Something’s burning. Did you leave a fire in the stove?”
            “Of course not. It’s hot enough in there without—”
“Oh, no,” Riley whispered. “Please, God, no.”
            Riley’s whispered prayer sent prickles racing up and down my arms.
“Andi, look.”
            I turned…and gasped.
            Fire! And it was nearby. Something was burning right where I’d been sitting before Riley interrupted my toe-dipping. What in the world? 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Photo Friday - Behind the Scenes - Andi to the Rescue

Enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at Andi to the Rescue, book 4 of the Circle C Stepping Stones.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

FAN FICTION: Baby Jared's Arrival from Riley's POV

One fan, Ellen S., took the Baby Prescott posts to heart and wrote her version of the event from Riley's Point of View. Enjoy it by clicking on the link below and reading about it on the Fan Fiction Page.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Andi's Journal July 21, 1887

July 21, 1887

            Jared is most definitely my dream baby. He’s quiet, sweet, and content. He loves being in Mama’s arms, but he’ll lay in the cradle without a fuss.
            I have to admit, I still stare at him at times, thinking he’s suddenly going to disappear. I just can’t believe he’s mine.
            Taking care of a baby—your baby—is a lot of fun. I hardly mind the diapers I have to change and the baths I have to give. I could spend the whole day in the rocking chair with Jared on my lap.
            Sadly, I can’t do that.
            There’s still housework…a lot of it, considering how much I’ve neglected it in the past few weeks. Well,  okay, I admit it’s been more like a few months. Dusting, sweeping, washing. The list goes on and on and on.
            I pushed it off as long as I could, but the longer I backed away from all that work the worse the load got. Finally, I knew I couldn’t pull away one more day.
            This morning, Riley commented on the horrible shape our house was in. “I’ll help you clean it as soon as I can,” he told me, but neither of us can forget the fact that Memory Creek Ranch is busy, and Riley has not been able to get a single day off (well, except for Sundays) in a long while.
            Nope, I had to do this myself.