Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2020 Contest Winners Announced!

Mrs. M hurt her right hand, but she'll make an effort to post this exciting news between ice packs.
The winners have already been notified, so if you did not receive an email before today, it means you did not place. HOWEVER, that does not mean your story had no merit. There were a lot of stories this year, and there were some tough decisions for the judges.

If you want to buy the print book or the Kindle version, go here:


Note: To answer the question "Will the contest book be posted for us to read?" that would be a No, not yet. It will be many months before I post the PDF file of this newest contest book. I don't usually post it until the contest for the 2021 contest opens on September 1.

News Flash. The 2021 contest (next year) might be the last Circle C Contest. Seven years of running contests is a long time. I might take a year off and resume in 2023, but that will be if the Lord leads.

Andi fans would LOVE TO READ YOUR STORY. You may have it published on Andi's blog (contest stories) by simply leaving the information below in a comment or by emailing CircleCAdventures@gmail.com

 1) The name of your story
 2) The Age Category you entered.

That's it. I can post it from there.

2020 Contest Winners

Ages 6-9
1st Place: J.R. Stanger, age 9 - “Nugget’s Peril”

2nd Place: Julia, age 7 - “Andi Saves the Day”

3rd Place: Miykah Furqueron, age 9- “Lost in the Woods”

Honorable Mention: Calah Keup, age 8 - “Taffy’s Save”

Ages 10-13
1st Place: Abigail, age 13, “Stubborn Unforgiveness”

2nd Place: Lanae Ringenberg, age 12 - “Andi, the Great Stilt Walker”

3rd Place: Charis, age 13 – “A New Creation” 

Honorable Mention: Sophia Engesser, age 10 - “The Price of Bravery”

Ages 14-17
1st Place: Ellen Senechal, age 15 - “Lead Me”

2nd Place: Abigail Jones, age 15 – “Moonbow”

3rd Place: Alyssa Guthrie, age 17 - “Trail of Trust”

Honorable Mention: Grace Hammond, age 13 - “Nanny Andi”


Friday, February 21, 2020

Photo Friday (Late): Key Chains

Photo Friday is a couple of days late this week, on account of I didn't want to wait a whole week to share these beautiful key chains from my new friend Aleigha over at Literary Treasures. I custom ordered some Circle C key chains, and they are darling! Here are some pictures to show you the quality and care Aleigha gave my order.

I put the key chains (nine different book styles to choose from!) up on the Circle C website if you want to take a closer look and/or buy one or more key chains. I will also take them to conventions this season, where I'm pretty sure they will go like hotcakes to fans who have all the books and want to get something more.

READ ON . . .

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Old West Wednesday: President Garfield Is Assassinated!

 Note: Andi recyled this Old West Wednesday post from seven years ago (2013). Hopefully, some of you will find it new and interesting. Note from Andi: Mrs. M is really trying to get organized to get her act together and get some journal posts going. She has a list of topics, but . . . wow! So little time. So much to do! Today, she created a new header for the Circle C website. Check it out. There is one for the Andi pages, and one for the Goldtown pages. CIRCLE C ADVENTURES.COM

Oh, dear, it's true! Our new president (who was only in office about six months or so) was assassinated this last summer. It was on July 2, 1881. Mitch, Cory, Jenny, and I had just returned from our ill-fated Trouble with Treasure adventure, and Jenny had left the week before. The awful news came over the wire (telegraph) and the Expositer newspaper printed a special edition. At the time, I was more worried about Mitch's leg than about the president, but now I know how terrible it was. I mean, really! John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln only about 15 years before. And now another president dies?

President Garfield took office on March 4. After he was shot in July, he lived another two months, until September 19, 1881. But he couldn't run the country with his injuries. Can you imagine what the people were thinking? Wondering when or if he would die? It seems he had troubles before he was shot too. In May, his wife, Lucretia, caught malaria and something like spinal meningitis. *yikes!* She barely recovered, and they spent some time at the seashore.

The assassination of President James Garfield, July 2, 1881

Then . . . it happened. A crazy person (aren't all people who murder presidents crazy?) named Charles Guiteau shot the president twice as he was walking through the railroad station. Once in the back and once in the arm.

Then the crazy fellow yelled that he did it and wanted to be arrested. He thought he would be found not guilty and then be elected president! Now, you tell me. Is that crazy or what? Come to find out, Mr. Guiteau had bought a .44 caliber pistol and had been stalking the president. He was angry that he had not been appointed to one of the positions in the president's new administration.

The railroad station where he was shot.

 Poor President Garfield didn't have a chance. They could not find one of the bullets (the one in his back), even though Mr. Bell (who invented the telephone) used a metal detector to look for it. The president died of infection, after sweating all summer with a high fever. That sounds awful! 

Becoming president of the United States is not a safe occupation. I asked Justin if he ever intends to run for political office, but he just laughed. "My life is at risk enough being a lawyer," he joked. But there is nothing funny about being a target for revengeful folks, let me tell you!

One time, Justin was the prosecuting attorney. He was so good at his job that the jury found the man guilty of his crime. The trouble was, four years later, it was discovered that the defendent was innocent.

Boy oh boy, did Justin ever feel terrible about that. The man vowed to "pay him back" if he ever got out of prison. He got out, all right, and our whole family was in danger from this fellow. Justin tried to help the man restart his life, but he was not willing to forgive the lawyer (Justin) who put him--an innocent man--away.

It is a long and horrid story, and I never want to go through that again. But being in the public eye is not for the faint of heart. People make mistakes: presidents, senators, congressmen, lawyers, judges, and yes . . . even juries. They're the ones who found the man guilty, but he blamed it on Justin and took it out on us. Maybe some day I'll tell the whole story.

Note: And no, this incident is not the Procopio revenge story found in Courageous Love. That horrid man was truly guilty and escaped. This story of the innocent man with payback on his mind should be written someday. C'mon, Mrs. M! Get with it! 


Thursday, February 13, 2020

A New Fan Story

Here is a new fan story from Caitlyn B. Click on over and leave her a comment!


Friday, January 31, 2020

Photo Friday: Memory Creek Wall Collage

Here are some photos precious to Andi and Riley that they just put up on a wall at Memory Creek Ranch. Also, Mrs. M created a jigsaw puzzle to go along with it. Click the Prescott Memory Wall to put the puzzle together.



Thursday, January 30, 2020

A San Francisco Story Part 2

Part 2
Go HERE to read Part 1

      There wasn’t a sound from any of the fifty girls—from the youngest to the oldest—as Geoff helped Jenny onto his bicycle and Joseph boosted me up.
      Once aboard, I looked down. Nope, this contraption wasn’t any taller than one of the Circle C’s larger working horses.
      Easy as pie, I told myself and smiled at Jenny. “Won’t this be fun?”
      Now that Jenny was on the bicycle, she didn’t look quite as confident. But then, she wasn’t used to being on the back of a tall horse. But she was used to climbing high, high trees.
      And that was sort of the same.
      I gripped the handlebar with both hands. I didn’t even have to lean over very far.
      Joseph gave us a few instructions. “Geoff and I will push you off. The important thing is to keep your balance. You do that by pedaling.” He paused. “If you slow down too much, you’ll topple over. So, keep your hands on the bars and keep your feet on the pedals.”
      “Turn the bars and lean a little in the direction you want to turn,” Geoff added with a grin. “And watch where you’re going.”
      Jenny and I nodded our understanding.
      I pushed my bothersome skirt down, not caring that part of my stockings showed below the hem. I placed my feet firmly on the pedals. They were a little like stirrups, and I knew the importance of keeping my feet in the stirrups.
      I was already comparing this bicycle to a horse. 
      “Ready?” Joseph asked.
      I nodded.
      “Set . . .  go.” He pushed the bicycle, and I was on my way.
      From the second Joseph let go, I forgot about Jenny. I forgot about Miss Whitaker maybe showing up. I forgot about Florence, who would love to see me take a spill.
      All I could think about was how fast this contraption could move. I didn’t want to topple over, so I took Joseph’s words to heart. How slow was too slow? I started pedaling faster and faster, worried that I might stall and tip over.
      I heard a screech, a shriek, and a scraping noise, then a loud, metal bang. Had Jenny fallen over? I didn’t look behind my shoulder. I had to pay attention to what I was doing.
      My fingers gripped the handlebar so tightly that my knuckles turned white. The wind whipped my hair behind me. My skirt blew to the sides. My feet kept pedaling and pedaling.
      I tried a little turn, and the bicycle obeyed as easy as Taffy responded to the reins.
      Not bad, I thought.
      Then somebody was yelling. “Come back! Come back!”
      Just when I was getting the hang of this, I had to go back?
      Well, after all, this wasn’t my bicycle, so I decided I would try a complete turn and pedal back. What a fun contraption!
      That is when I made a terrifying discovery. I had traveled too far down the street. Nob Hill is a hill. A steep hill. Miss Whitaker’s Academy sits on a small, level portion of the hill.  But it doesn’t take long for the street to begin its long, steep descent.
      I remembered one crucial bit of instruction that neither Joseph nor Geoff had offered.  How did a person stop this thing? Pulling back on the reins stopped a horse, and a wagon had a brake lever. Even a buggy could be stopped easily.
      I looked down at my feet. No brake lever there. I looked at the handlebars. No lever there either. “How do you stop the bicycle?” I shouted.
      But the answer, even if the boys had one, was too far away to do me any good.
      Panic welled up. The bicycle began to go faster. Faster than my feet could pedal. I pulled them away and looked ahead.
      The steepest part of Nob Hill lay just in front of me. This street went down, down, down . . . clear to Chinatown. Maybe clear to San Francisco Bay.
      I did not want to end up in Chinatown or the bay. Crashing into a Chinese man’s vegetables or live chickens was a very bad idea. Drowning in the bay was worse.
      Dear God, I prayed. Show me what to do!
      The answer came quick as lightening. Jump off.

This is similar to what happened to me.

      Jumping from a runaway horse was never a good idea, but it seemed the only answer to this mechanical beast.
      I swallowed, said another prayer, and jumped off. I planned to land on my feet and then roll to a stop, but nothing went as planned.
      Everything went dark.
      When I woke up, I found myself in bed in my room at Miss Whitaker’s. Across the room, Jenny sat still as a statue on her bed, staring at me.
      More surprising, someone was sitting next to me on the bed. The doctor?
      For sure, I needed one. Pain stabbed me from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. Tears stung the inside of my eyelids. I hurt all over!
      “Hey, honey, how do you feel?” Justin squeezed my hand.
      I looked up into his worried face. Where had Justin come from? Wasn’t he in Fresno? No, wait. He’d been spending time in his law office in San Francisco, preparing for the hearing for the little Chinese girls Jenny and I had rescued last month.
      No wonder he’d been able to come so fast.
      “I’m sorry,” I managed to say between dry lips. “I really messed up this time.”
      “Oh, not so bad,” Justin said, chuckling. “It’s just a mystery to me how you get yourself into these things.”
      He paused. “A bicycle?” He shook his head. “On cobblestone streets? It’s a miracle you ended up with only a cracked rib and too many scrapes and bruises to count. You might have burst your head open.”
      Justin’s smile turned to a frown. “That would have been very serious, and quite possibly fatal.”
      My head felt as if it had been cracked open from top to bottom, but if Justin said I was mending, then he must be right. 
      “I’m sorry,” I whispered again. “God told me to jump, so I jumped.”
      Justin was nodding. “That’s probably why your injuries are not life-threatening. You were a little prepared for the fall. But good grief, Andi! Falling off a bicycle in San Francisco is not the same as being thrown from a horse onto a grassy pasture.”
      I nodded, then winced. Even nodding hurt.
      Jenny wandered over and gave me a lopsided grin. “I fell off after pedaling about twelve yards. I just couldn’t the hang of it.” She shook her head. “I’m glad I couldn’t get the hang of it and took a spill when I wasn’t going very fast. You scared me half to death I knew the hill was going to get steep fast.” Her eyes turned wide. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.”
      Jenny looked like she had her share of scrapes and bruises too. One cheek was black and blue. Clearly, her fall had not been gentle.
      “I got a bloody scrape up and down one leg,” she mourned. “Tore my skirt too. The bicycle came down on top of me. That hurt plenty.”
      I tried not to laugh. Laughing made my chest feel like bursting open.
      Then a terrible thought crossed my mind. “How is”—I swallowed—“how is Joseph’s bicycle?”
      Justin sighed. “In better shape then you are. Seriously, the wheel bent, and a few spokes snapped, but it’s nothing that can’t be repaired. He was quite worried about you.”
      “Even Florence was worried,” Jenny added.
      “You’ll be in bed for a few more days,” Justin said. He rose from the bed and waggled a finger at me. “I mean it, Andi. You stay in bed. Then you may return to your classes. If you can’t promise this, then I’m taking you home to the ranch.”
      The ranch. Mother. Uh-oh.
      “If I promise to stay in bed like you say, will you promise not to tell Mother what happened? I don’t want to worry her.”
      Justin nodded. “Since the doctor said your injuries are painful but not serious, I will agree to that.” He smiled, as if that was the plan all along.
      Then he reached over to the nightstand and picked up a book. “Here's some reading material while you’re recovering,” he explained.
      He dropped the book next to my pillow.
      I picked it up. It was one of Warne’s Useful Books. “The Modern Bicycle” I read, frowning at the cover illustration. A man was riding a bicycle, with a fellow on horseback close behind. Near the front wheel, a rabbit lay limp and mostly likely dead.
      I frowned. “Whose idea was this?”
      Justin chuckled. “Joseph’s. He said the book is full of useful instructions on how to ride a bicycle. He says you need it.”
      I couldn’t help it. No matter how much it hurt, I couldn’t stop laughing.
      Justin and Jenny laughed too.  

Go HERE if you haven't read the history of the bicycle and want to.