Friday, March 23, 2018

Photo Friday: Into the Sunset Books Are Here!

I'm feeling a little lazy and still getting over the flu, so I'm just re-posting this Photo Friday Into the Sunset post, with revisions and updates.The big update being: The books arrived, and I have packaged up the 13 winners' books (and their journals) to ship out on Monday. For the honorable mention winners, your pen and your certificate are also being mailed that day in the same envelope.

For all you winners who would like to share your stories with your aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends, you can get a copy of the book from Amazon for $6.55, and it's even on Prime. There will also be a Kindle edition ($2.99 no illustrations), but I don't have a link yet because it takes a few days for Amazon to put it up. But the print book, which has fun illustrations, is available right now. It would be nice if some people actually bought the book, as this contest cost me close to $200 to run this year. The Lord provides so it can go forward, but it would be really nice to have expenses match revenue one year. :-) So tell your friends!

Note: I also went to the trouble of creating a Kindle edition for the 2016 contest book, Along the Western Trail (which until now was available only in print form). If you are interested in this one, you should wait a few days, as I had to redo it because KDP found some errors in it, and again, it takes a few days to update the content.

And for those who did not place this year, I want to offer you a word of encouragement: Keep writing! Lord willing, there will be a 2019 contest. One of this year's winners, Faith P., wrote back after I told her she had placed. This is what she said:

"Oh my goodness, thank you sooo much! :-) I have entered the contest the past 3-4 years, and never placed. What a special joy to place 2nd on the last year I am eligible." 


First Place
Ages 6-9: Eliana Kelley "A Lesson in Listening"
Ages 10-13: Grace C. "The Battle of the Bull"
Ages 14-17: Olivia Marse "Joy Cometh in the Morning"

Second Place
Ages 6-9: Adina Elizabeth Newlin "Lucky"
Ages 10-13: Ellen Senechal "A Blessing from Tragedy"
Ages 14-17: Faith Potts "My Happy Place

Third Place
Ages 6-9: Kezzy Wheaton "Andi's Christmas Miracle"
Ages 10-13: Victoria Crooks (tie) "Chasing the Rapids"
Ages 10-13: Grace Hopper (tie) "A Memorable Fourth of July"
Ages 14-17: Kaitlyn Krispense "To the Moon and Back"

Honorable Mention
Ages 6-9: Joy Hopper "The Gold
Ages 10-13: Mariah Mead "Trapped"
Ages 14-17: Calah Taylor "Revenge Backfires"

The amazing thing I found this year was that out of 80 entries, and different judges for different categories, and no judges knowing anything about the writer except the entry #, the fact that two sisters placed is extremely rare.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Ellie Coulter Fan Fiction

I don't usually post fan fiction that comes in at over 3,000 - 4,000 words. However, this story by Emily S. is just so compelling that I decided to post it over on the Fan Fiction site anyway. There are eleven parts. I will keep adding to the original story over the next few days or so. It's 10,000 words, so I didn't want to post it all at once.

And of course it could not qualify for a contest entry because of its length, but I figured you all would enjoy it, so here it is . . .

Ellie Coulter Parts 1-2

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lost Stories: Trouble at the Lineshack 11

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.


Lost Scene #11

 I can’t take much more of this.

Andi opened her eyes. She’d fallen asleep leaning over the table sometime during the previous night. How many days had it been? Two and a half?
The sun shone through the doorway, but all Andi wanted to do was go back to sleep.
She’d been up half the night with a delirious, mumbling brother who tossed and turned in agony. She was helpless to find something that would calm him or keep him from the fire in his leg. She had only cool rags to put on his burning head.
Andi wasn’t getting any sleep, and she still had the fire and broth to tend during the day, along with the wound to keep clean on top of that.
Would Mitch ever wake up?
She glanced cautiously to where her brother lay in a deep, silent sleep. Why did he sleep so well during the day but tossed and turn nearly all night?
Oh, well, Andi thought. She rose wearily, scooped up a cupful of broth, and sat down next to Mitch. It was time to check on his wound. That, at least, was looking much, much better.
And no infection. Thank you, God!
“Mitch,” she said, “Wake up. Here’s your breakfast.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

How Did Taffy Get Her Name? (Repost)

 Mrs. Marlow thought she would find a few very, very old posts and repost them for those of you who were not following Andi's blog back in 2012.

Also, there have been no new posts this week because Mrs. M has had the influenza, along with six out of eight kids. Such a NOT fun week. So, here is the old post reposted, in Andi's words . . .

I love taffy candy. Sometimes on rainy, cold winter evenings, our whole family makes taffy. It is such sticky fun, and the yelps from burnt fingers when pulling candy that isn't quite cooled rings through the kitchen. Taffy is made mostly from sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Mother and Luisa cook it on top of the cook stove until it boils awhile. They then pour the hot, runny candy into a flat pan, where it cools for a little bit. Then the fun begins. We all butter our hands and start pulling the taffy into long ropes. Yikes! It's hot!

After we pull and pull and pull it (I usually get tired and let my brothers finish up), it's cut into pieces and wrapped in little papers to eat another time. Which is fine by me. By the time we're done, my belly is so full of warm taffy that I usually feel sick.

I remember making taffy from the time I was little--before I had my own horse. Whenever we made taffy, I would tell my mother that I wanted a horse the color of this lovely, creamy candy. If I got a horse I would name her Taffy. On my sixth birthday I got my wish! A horse of my own. She was a newborn foal and the color of taffy candy, so I named her Taffy. Now she's more golden than creamy, but her mane and tail are still like taffy.

She looks just like the color of taffy candy, doesn't she?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Lost Stories: Trouble at the Lineshack 10

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.


Lost Scene #10

Andi awoke with a start. It was pitch black. The fire was out.

How long have I slept? She shivered. The cabin was so cold. Late summer in the mountains might be hot, but the nights were definitely chilly.

She roused herself long enough to creep from the bed and feel her way toward the fireplace. Perhaps a few embers were smoldering. 
She yawned. Grasping the poker, she stirred up the dying fire and smiled at the glimmer of life there. She threw some kindling on top, relieved when the fire burst into a friendly flame. She fed it slowly until the blaze grew in light and heat.
I am so tired, she thought as she looked longingly back at the bed. But she needed to check on Mitch. She approached the edge of the bunk and gazed down on the still form.
She could just make him out by the light of the fire, and sighed in relief when she saw he was still breathing. She checked the bandage. It was sticky with blood, but she was cheered to see that the rate of bleeding had slowed down—maybe even stopped.
“Mitch,” she whispered.
He didn’t answer.
Andi felt his head. He was hot, but not horribly so. He was still alive. Perhaps if he didn’t lose any more blood, he’d make it.
Andi returned to her little corner of the bed greatly encouraged. She hoped everything would improve from now on. As she lay down, she thought briefly about the future.
So, what do I do now? It was the last thought on her mind as she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Lost Stories: Andrea Carter and Trouble at the Lineshack 9

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.

The next couple of scenes will feel familiar, with the important exception that Andi is all on her own. Once Mitch loses consciousness, it's hard to have a conversation with yourself. Too much narration bogs a story down, so again, that is the reason I added Cory and Jenny to the final, finished book.

Also, note the difference between this bullet and the one from the published edition of Trouble with Treasure. How is this version different?


Lost Scene #9

What?” Andi’s voice came out as a screech. “What bullet? Didn’t it go clean through?”
Mitch shook his head. “It’s there still.”
You’re . . . you’re . . . crazy,” Andi whispered. “I can’t take a bullet out. I’ll”—she swallowed, horrified at the thought—“I’ll ride home and get help.” She started to rise.
A tight grasp on her arm yanked her back. “It’s too far.” Mitch shut his eyes, and a shudder went through his body. “It will take too long. I’ll bleed to death before you get back.” He sucked in a breath. “Just dig around for the bullet and sew me up when you get done.”
Oh, just like that? He’s delirious. Out of his head.” Andi glanced down at her brother’s blood-soaked jeans and shook her head. “I can’t.”
“You have to.” Mitch’s voice was growing weaker. “There’s nothing to it. Mother’s done it before.”
“I’m not Mother.” I wish she was here!
“You can do this, Andi.” He took a deep breath. “First, get the fire going nice and hot and boil some water—lots of it. While the water’s boiling get the horses and put them in the corral. Can you do that?”
That was something she could do. She relaxed. “Yes.”
“Bring in the saddlebags off Chase. Inside you’ll find a small leather-wrapped kit. It should contain all of the things you need.” He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. “Boil everything you find. Then, if you can find some whiskey, pour it in a basin and dump all the tools in there. Got it?”

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Other Fun Fan Blogs

It's been maybe a few years since some of you asked if I would highlight (provide a link for) your individual blogs. What a great idea, I thought. And so I have a nice list of fans' blogs. It's a little hidden, i.e. down on the bottom of the right sidebar, but these blogs are worth exploring. You can find them easily on a computer, but on mobile devices, only the posts show up, so I don't know how anybody sees the sidebar material on a mobile or a tablet.

Anyway, I went through them and double-checked them all to make sure they were within our high standards. Also, if the blog's most current post was over a year old, I deleted that blog. I'm happy to put it back up, but you'll have to ask me again. Jesseca . . . I traded your Kansas Wind for Whimsical Writings, since this one seems to be the one you post on the most often. Here they are as an overview.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fan Fiction Stories

I promised to repost this every few days, until everyone who wants to share their contest entry with the rest of the group has had a chance to do so. We have a nice handful here so far. Enjoy!

For those who have not done so yet: If you entered the 2018 Circle C short-story writing contest and would like to share your story, let me know by leaving a comment here. You need to include your (first) name, age category, and your story's title. I will post it over on the Circle C Adventures Fan Fiction site, but I will also list the stories here as the requests come in. I will include a direct link from here to the story over on the FF site.

Please leave comments about individual stories over on the FF site on each of their pages. Thanks!

2018 Contest Entrants' Stories:

Abbi G. "He Never Turns a Deaf Ear" (Ages 14-17)

Sandrina "The Easy Option" (Ages 14-17)

Leah "All Things" (Ages 10-13)

Patience "Andi and the Runaway Horse" (Ages 10-13)

Jaylee "Forgiving Johnny" (Ages 10-13)

Marissa "Get Back in the Saddle" (Ages 14-17)

Sydney "Lost in a Nightmare" (Ages 10-13)

Alicia "The Robber Unaware" (Ages 10-13)

Annabella "Andi and the New Girl (Ages 6-9)

Caleigh "Thief" (Ages 10-13)

Grace "Family and Flames (Ages 14-17) 

Kaitlyn K. "Love Needs No Words" (Ages 14-17)

Sadie Parker "A Shadow from the Past" (Ages 14-17)

Belle "Andi and the Horse Catastrophe" (Ages 10-13)

Molly "Straight from the Horses" (Ages 6-9)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Lost Stories: Andrea Carter and Trouble at the Lineshack 8

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.

The next couple of scenes will feel familiar, with the important exception that Andi is all on her own. Once Mitch loses consciousness, it's hard to have a conversation with yourself. Too much narration bogs a story down, so again, that is the reason I added Cory and Jenny to the final, finished book. 


Lost Scene #8

“Well, Taffy,” Andi complained, sitting on top of a rock in the hot sun. “Here we are with nothing to do, while my stomach yells louder and louder for something to eat.”
She slapped at a whining mosquito, then returned to watching the trail. The silence of the mountains closed in around her. The swishing of the horses’ tails and the occasional chirping of a scolding chipmunk were the only sounds Andi heard.
There was no breeze, and the smell of the pine forest rose hot and dry in her nostrils. With a deep sigh of impatience, she slid from the boulder and onto the ground below.

“This is really boring.” She leaned her head against the huge rock, “I wish Mitch would—”
“You in the cabin! Howdy!” Mitch’s voice sounded like a gunshot in the quiet forest.

Andi jumped up from the ground and gripped the rifle. She listened for a response.

“Yeah?” A rough male voice growled. “What’d’ya want?”
Andi’s heart beat rapidly at the sound. It was a mean voice, full of suspicion. It certainly didn’t sound like a poor squatter’s voice to her. She closed her eyes and sent up a prayer for Mitch. Then she took a few steps up the trail.
“I promised I’d leave if anything went wrong,” Andi argued with herself. “But how can I know if something wrong if I don’t take a look?” Hoisting the rifle in front of her, she crept along the path a few dozen yards.
The lineshack came into view. It stood in a small clearing, surrounded by pine trees and jagged rock formations. A rough enclosure, fashioned from dead wood, passed as a corral, where two horses watched Mitch with obvious curiosity. On the other side of the clearing, a small stream bubbled.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Which Melinda at age 15?

Help! Which Melinda seems the most believable? Number 1 or number 2? She is only 15, and I need it for my lapbook activity.
Thanks for your help! Okay, I went ahead and changed the eye color to blue-gray.
Now what do you think?

And just so you get a sense of age, and how it's tough to tell just by looking, here is a picture of Andi from Long Ride Home. She's twelve, right? Well, Jessica was sixteen when I took this picture. She looks very young!
So, the #1 Melinda--to me--does not look 13, not by a long shot. *smile*

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Which Circle C Character Are You? (Repost)

One of Andi's fans, Julia, created this fun personality quiz for other Circle C fans back in June 2016. I thought I would repost it for those of you who have not found it (hidden away in the more than 600+ blog posts in the Archives).

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Future Short Story Ideas

I promised I would throw out a few ideas of story summaries I could maybe write in the coming weeks and months. I will be on the road a lot with conventions getting ready to roll, and so that means I might have time to churn out a few short Milestones stories. (I wrote the Christmas story on the way to the airport one day, and I finished it up the next day while my flight to California was delayed.)

Anyway, here are some titles and short summaries. If you have any ideas for short stories I could write, feel free to include it in the comments. And they don't have to be Milestones stories, either. I'm thinking of compiling short stories to include in a book collection someday (yeah, like I have the time for that?)

In the meantime, throw out any ideas that would make these stories fun, or anything else that comes to mind. They are still in the planning stages, so anything is possible. Nothing is firm in my own mind yet.

Or . . . if you would like to actually write one (or more) of these stories yourself, I would welcome them! Hmmm . . . maybe I should run a writing contest, just to get somebody to write these things for me, LOL. I mean, well, I would take the "winning" story and rewrite it but give credit to the young author who inspired it.

This is your chance to put down other ideas too for stories. I hope to see lots of comments here. Ready, set, go!

Here is what I've come up with so far. 
1. “Yosemite Getaway”: The best part about being married is the chance to do whatever you want—mostly to not have your big brother bossing you around any longer. Riley and Andi head to Yosemite for a dream honeymoon that turns into a nightmare when the Yosemite stage is robbed. 

2. “A Very Special Spot”: Riley insists he is the only one who knows about his hideaway in a corner of the Circle C ranch. Andi insists there is no place on the ranch she hasn’t explored. Who is right? Who is surprised? (I know this is an Andi's Journal entry already, but I would turn it into a real story and expand it.)

3. “The Shooting Lesson”: Riley decides Andi is overdue to learn how to shoot. After all, she is sometimes alone in the middle of a huge spread all day. She needs to shoot a rattler with the first shot, or a pesky coyote. Will Andi and Riley be speaking to each other by the time the lesson is over?

4. “Canning Peaches Is Not for Sissies”: Putting up a dozen loads of peaches is not Andi’s idea of a good afternoon. Or many afternoons. But Mother and Lucy insist it’s in Andi’s interest to learn a few kitchen skills. (Again, I would take the Andi's journal entry for this one and turn it into a more complete, expanded story.) 

5. “Specter from the Past”: Felicity Livingston moves to town, but she’s too close for Andi’s comfort. How can a childhood memory from six years ago still cause Andi to tremble? And is there a good reason it should—especially if Mitch starts to take an interest in the young woman? 

6.* “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree”: Andi wants a Christmas tree in true Carter tradition, and Riley has to work hard to make it become a reality. There’s no snow but plenty of excitement as Andi and Riley head to the high country for a tree of their own. (*This is the only story in this list that is completely written and finished.)

7. “Here Kitty, Kitty” (sequel to "O Christmas Tree"): The cougar cub Chad was given for Christmas haunts him. But how can he disappoint Andi? The cat scatters the chickens and frightens the herd. The horses go crazy at the scent, so Chad hauls the cougar to Andi and Riley and dumps it on their front porch. “Ellie and I have a new baby, and that’s infant enough for us.” What will become of a lonely cougar cub named Kitty? Especially when rumors abound of a cougar killing the local sheep.

8. “Andi Had a Little Lamb”: After experiencing having a sweet lamb taken away from her twice in her childhood (sheep and cattle don't mix), Andi Prescott gets her lamb at last. And nobody is going to take it away from her this time. Riley and Chad try to pressure her, but she finally has a pet she’s always wanted. Sadie Hollister returns as the giver of the lamb. Tensions mount. Climaxes with Andi giving birth to her own little lamb, Jared Riley Prescott. 


Monday, February 19, 2018

Lost Stories: Andrea Carter and Trouble at the Lineshack 7

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.

Again, I used a lot of this next scene in Trouble with Treasure. There are some differences, i.e., Cory and Jenny are not along. Andi has to face everything herself.


Lost Scene #7

“Look at this trout!” Andi gasped as the silvery fish flew up out of the water, attached to the end of her line. “It’s huge!”
Mitch whistled. “I wish I had one of those new-fangled cameras to take a picture. No one will ever believe your fish story when we get home.”
“I reckon there’s only one thing to do about it, then.” Andi unhooked the fish and threaded it through the long stringer with the two fish Mitch had caught.
“And what’s that?”
She dropped the stringer into the cool water. “We’ll just have to eat it.” 
“Good idea,” Mitch agreed. He lay back to wait for his line. “I think one more will do us for today.”
“You’re right. Andi peered out over the stillness of the small, mountain lake. “You know what? I haven’t seen a lake yet that hasn’t had good fishing. The whole family should come up here for a vacation. We could squeeze into any one of those lineshacks we visited the past three days. I’d even sleep outside. What do you think?”
“It’s a great idea.” Mitch yanked in his last fish. “There’s only one more shack to resupply. And we’re way ahead of schedule.” He looked up at the sky. “It’s only noon. What do you say we head up to the last place this afternoon instead of waiting for the morning?”
“Hmm.” Andi didn’t want to rush away from this good fishing spot.
“It’s not much farther. Two, three hours at the most. A beautiful view of the Sierra Nevada, great grazing for the horses, and a year-round creek that washes right down from the high country. We could stay a couple days and fish to our heart’s content.” He winked. “No sense getting home ahead of schedule.”
“Oh, let’s!” Andi agreed. She helped pack up Charley and Juniper with what remained of the lineshack provisions, while Mitch saddled Taffy and Chase.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Photo Friday: Mitch Carter

I needed a picture of Mitch for a lapbook I'm creating for the Stepping Stones. I found these two, and I do believe I've landed on a portrait of Mitch that I really like (and I can use the picture wherever I want, since I found it on a royalty site). Yay. So I'm sharing it with you. What do you think? The first portrait is a smiling, happy-go-lucky Mitch. The second picture is a serious, watch-your-step Mitch.
And yes, I photoshopped the Mitch pictures onto Circle C ranch backgrounds. Then I flipped things around and put Mitch and Andi in a picture. So much fun!

I'd like to find good pictures of all the Carters. If you want to put one up for my consideration, send photo links in the comments. :-)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lost Stories: Andrea Carter and Trouble at the Lineshack 6

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.

This "lost scene" is not as lost as some of the others. You will recognize it as a scene from Trouble with Treasure, but with some obvious omissions. This story (I might as well tell you) was originally intended to be a Mitch and Andi story. They are not headed to a lumber camp, but Mitch lets Andi tag along with him for two weeks, while he makes his way up to the high country to resupply the lineshacks. (A lineshack being a small cabin far away from the "home" ranch for use in case a cowhand needs to seek shelter.) It's a yearly task for the Carters. What's missing are the extra characters of Cory and Jenny. Trivia fact: I added the young characters so Andi would have somebody to interact with, etc., and to add more dimensions to the story. But originally, Mitch and Andi were the only players for most of the story.


Lost Scene #6

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” Chad leaned over the corral fence and watched his brother tie up the rest of the supplies on the backs of two heavily laden pack horses.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Mitch answered good-naturedly. “Listen here. I’d much rather be on a two-week trip re-suppling a string of line shacks than at Russ’s beck-and-call if he gets it into his head to put together another posse to go after the Dylans again.” He shook his head. “You should have volunteered for this job. Too bad for you.”
“Checking up on a bunch of isolated line shacks in the middle of nowhere isn’t my idea of a vacation. Half of them have probably been vandalized. Or worse, a bunch of squatters have taken them over.” Chad scratched at his chin. “Though I reckon it does beat chasing down outlaws.”
“Don’t worry about me, big brother.” Mitch jerked his thumb in the direction of the pack-horse. “I’ve got my fishing pole. There are some mighty nice lakes up around there.” He rolled his eyes skyward. “I just have to find a shack in good time, check the supplies, then spend the rest of the day leisurely fishing in the cool breeze of the hills. Fresh fish every night. What could be better?”
“Well, little brother, you do make it sound mighty tempting.” Chad pushed back his hat and regarded his brother thoughtfully. Then he shook his head. “I can see you’re ready for the trip, but my real question was are you ready for the company you’ll be keeping for two weeks—day in and day out?” Chad cocked his head in the direction of the barn as a small figure emerged, leading a golden palomino horse.
“Ah, Chad.” Mitch waved it off. “Andi and I’ll have a great time. She’ll be company. It’s the truth you can’t spare any of the men right now. She’s so excited to be allowed to go. Don’t give her a hard time.”
“Better you than me,” Chad said.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Day Courageous Love Trivia Contest

The Courageous Love Trivia contest has been put together just in time for Valentine's Day. With the help of an Andi fan, Ellen (and her friend Patience), this trivia contest will be quite the challenge. The prize is a brand-new Circle C mug. The one in the picture below shows a Beginnings insert, but you will win a set of three Circle C Adventures (and Milestones) inserts instead. Or, if you prefer, you can choose which set of inserts you would like. You can see all of the inserts HERE. The mug is not waterproof or dishwasher safe, but can be used for a fun pencil holder, candy, trinkets, etc. The inserts are interchangeable. See below for the contest details and where to send your answers. 

This Valentine's Day trivia contest invites readers to answer 26 questions about the last Circle C Milestones book, Courageous Love. The entry with the most answers correct wins the prize. In the case of multiple ties, a random drawing will be held to determine the winner.

Send your answers to Good luck, and have fun!
The contest begins Saturday, February 10, and ends Monday, February 19, and runs ten days. 
Winner will be announced no later than Wednesday, February 21.
Hint: Feel free to reread Courageous Love to refresh your memory. Happy "hunting"!


1. How many cattle are supposed to be in the pasture when Andi counts them?
2. After Andi's fall off of Dakota and the realization that she has to attend Chad's gala with a swollen nose, what does Riley tell her to prove things could be worse? 
3. What two things do Mother and Luisa apply to Andi's face?
4. What spills all over Andi's dress at Chad's engagement party?
5. After the brick crashes through the window, where does Andi hide herself and Sammy?
6. Why don't Chad, Mitch, Riley, and the rest of the hands see the bag that is the cause of the alkali poisoning?
7. At what time in the morning does the fire alarm ring?
8. Who saves Andi from the barn fire?
9. What does Chad tease Andi about the week after the fire?
10. When Justin asks Andi to stay with Lucy while he's away, what two things does Andi
       not pack in her suitcase?
11. During which month does the kidnapping escapade take place?
12. What is the name of the little boy who delivers the note?
13. What does "ojo por ojo" mean?
14. What was in Lucy's bag that Andi slips into her pocket?
15. Jed tells Andi he isn't guilty for all that has happened to the Carter family. What two
      things is he guilty of?
16. While on the trail, what does Procopio give Sammy in hopes of soothing him?
17. What does Andi put around Tucker's neck?
18. What food is always in the huge cooking pot at the outlaw camp?
19. Who does Riley pretend to be when he enters the camp?
20. What is Benita doing when Andi bursts in to rescue Sammy?
21. Whom does Andi shoot?
22. What does Riley make Andi promise him? 
23. What happens to Jed Hatton?
24. What is the date of Andi and Riley's wedding?
25. Why is Aunt Rebecca not in attendance at the wedding?
26. What is the name of Justin's and Lucy's baby girl?


Friday, February 9, 2018

Photo Friday: More Circle C Timelines

I fixed some of the dates and added a few things to Timeline 1. Below that is the new Timeline 2. Enjoy! And if I've missed anything, please let me know. However, it's not in the scope of this timeline to record the births of every minor character, i.e. "Andi meets Sadie" is one thing, but there is no sense in having Sadie's birthday. That will just clog things up.

TIMELINE 1: 1848-1868

TIMELINE 2: 1870-1878

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Andi Saddles Up Audio Book

Just a mid-week post in case anybody is interested. The Andi Saddles Up audio book just went up on Amazon. The narrator is also completely redoing Andi's Pony Trouble to make it sound a little older, as well as the rest of the Beginnings, but I already liked her reading of the Stepping Stones books.

If nothing else, you can listen to most of the first chapter at the link (an audio sample).

I'll eventually put them all up on my own site, along with samples, but I have to wait for my son Chad to combine the tracks the narrator sent me.

Jennifer, the narrator, started all over again with everything when she decided her own studio wasn't good enough for these recordings. She is borrowing a friend's studio in New York City. I'm happy that she is being so conscientious. She is a real blessing. When I asked if she was prepared to do the rest of the books she said she would love to because they are "so lovely." I don't know if she is a believer, but perhaps reading these books will draw her to Christ. I pray this is so.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Lost Stories: Andrea Carter and Trouble at the Lineshack 5

Go HERE to begin this Lost Story.

The aftermath! "New" scene. Enjoy.


Lost Scene #5

By the time Justin and Andi reached home, it was well past seven, and their mother had held dinner for them. Elizabeth Carter liked her family together for meals, so it wasn’t unusual to wait until eight or even nine o’clock if the situation called for it.
“Mother!” Andi raced through the front door. “You’ll never guess what happened!”
“What kept you?” Elizabeth stood up with a smile.
“A number of things,” Justin replied, dropping his briefcase on the table. “Not the least being—”
“The bank was held up, Mother!” Andi shouted. “Justin says it’s the Dylan Gang.”
“The Dylan Gang!” Chad jumped up and turned to his brother. “Last I heard they were lying low over in Nevada. What are they doing around here?”
Justin sighed. “Robbing Wilson’s bank, so it would seem.”
Andi went on. “They pointed a gun at me, and at Justin. They made Ned put all the money in a---”
Mother’s hands went to her face. She gasped. “Please don’t tell me you were at the bank when it happened.”
“Yes, I was.” Andi shivered. “It was so scary. But Justin told them to take all the money.” She shook her head. “Poor Mr. Wilson. He’s going to be awfully upset.”
“Oh, my stars!” Mother fell into a chair. “You could have been—”
“All’s well that ends well, Mother.” Justin waved away her concerns. “Andi and I are fine.” He turned to his brothers. “I’ll change clothes and be right down. The sheriff is putting together a posse as we speak. He told us to catch up to them as quick as we could.”

Friday, February 2, 2018

Photo Friday: Stepping Stones Sneak Peek

My illustrator, Leslie Gammelgaard, has done a great job on all of the Stepping Stones books. She likes it when I send her ideas, so I have done that many times. Here are a few examples from the upcoming books 5 and 6 (Andi Dreams of Gold and Andi Far from Home) of how Leslie has turned pictures into fun scenes. Enjoy!

Andi and Cory are off on a gold expedition, but Andi has trouble lifting Taffy's saddle. Leave it to Cory to show off just a little and take care of that task for her. I grabbed the "cover boy" (who looks enough like the Cory on Trouble with Treasure to be a younger Cory!) to hold the saddle for a picture.

Andi ends up meeting what she is sure is a real, live bear! I found the picture on the Internet from a movie where I once saw an old man dressed up in a bear skin. He was the perfect model.

And I needed to show Leslie a cramped, messy cabin, so I found this one. She did great making it look just how I imagined it from the story.

In Book 6, Andi meets the little neighbor boy's cat, who constantly is sneaking out of the house to catch mice in Aunt Rebecca's carriage house. This cat is also on the cover. It is Cleopatra (Garfield in real life). Garfield is the sneakiest cat alive. She sneaks out and catches valley gophers and mice every chance she gets--just like Brody's "city" cat. Leslie used Garfield as a model, but the funny thing is . . . she drew the illustration way before Garfield caught this mouse! But it's a perfect resemblance.

Later, they all go to the beach. Leslie used the outfit Julie is wearing for the picture.

And here is one from Andi Saddles Up. That is my father-in-law years ago on a ranch in South Dakota. Leslie turned the grown-up into Tom Hollister for this picture.

I hope you enjoyed these little sneak peeks of things to come.