Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Story Contest Winners

The entries were evenly divided between the pictures (and fun to read!), so I decided to give a prize to one winner for each picture. *wink*

An author friend who is familiar with the Circle C characters helped me judge this contest. Thank you, Colleen Reece! And congratulations, winners! I will send your prizes after Christmas.


Read THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Sabrina (Young Andi picture winner).
Read TRUE SISTERS AT HEART by Brooklyne (Older Andi picture winner).

42 comments:

  1. Congrats, winners! Love your stories! I read them yesterday :-).

    ~Ellen

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  2. Oops, I forgot to send in my own story for this contest, can I still send it in for the fan fiction section?
    Great stories, and congrats winners!! :)

    -Sadie S.

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    1. Okay, thank you!
      Once I finish completing/editing it, I will send it over. :)

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  3. Merry, merry Christmas, y'all!
    Sadie S., I'll look forward to reading your story! I love reading other people's stories and it's been ages since I've seen a new fan fiction story! What's your story about? I wrote one on the Carters going to Maine and Melinda got lost in the woods :-). They were going to meet Uncle Aaron (Elizabeth's brother), but even though I finished it I didn't enter it.
    I hope everyone has a wonderfully merry Christmas!

    ~Ellen

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    1. Sorry for the later reply, Ellen.
      Thank you, I'm sure I'd enjoy reading your story too if you ever share it in the fan-fiction section. It sounds exciting! I'm still working on finishing mine, but it has something to do with Andi and Justin getting lost in a blizzard, and a couple more exciting things happen, but I won't spoil it. :)

      -Sadie S.

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  4. Hi! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    As I told you before, my mom is having a baby January 4th (a little over a week away *squeal of excitement*). She will be in the hospital for a few days and we'll be with my grandma. She lives in a little house that is "secluded," so even with my many siblings I'll be a little bored. I was wondering if you had any more book suggestions. You recommended to me before the Trixie Belden series (which I am still enjoying), along with books by Lois Walfrid Johnson. But I was wondering if you had any more ideas in mind? My parents prefer non-romance type and Christian-based, and I'm a big fan of family-oriented stories (that is why "Dangerous Decision" is so great to me and I've memorized the scene of when the brothers find her *smile*). Thanks so much, and please pray for a safe delivery for my newest baby sister...this'll be Mom's 8th C-section, and we're all praying. Thanks again!

    ~Ellen

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    1. Very exciting! I had four C-sections, and they got easier every time! My God bless your mom and baby sister. Oh, I would sure like pictures. You know how to email me. :-)

      Caddie Woodlawn (my favorite!)
      Do you like any kind of OLD science fiction? Robert Heinlein before 1970 is awesome and geared to teens. Some of the space stuff is a little outdated, but one of my favorites is The Rolling Stones. The entire family (who live on Luna, the moon) buy a spaceship and take off for Mars. It's very, very family oriented (and it's not silly. Very intelligently written). Dad's the commander, mom is in charge of keeping the ship running domestically (she is a doctor), the oldest sister, Meade, age 18, is right in there helping with the space-bound family. The twin 15 year olds are brilliant and full of wholesome mischief with their get-rich business schemes, and Buster is the four year old. Plus grandma, who is the smartest of all. I love that book and just finished it for about the fifth time. (But I do skim over some of the rocket science, which is sometimes long and boring and out of date. I like the adventure though!)

      Also, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, another totally wholesome but NOT CORNY sci-fi adventure from Robert Heinlein. Some of my favorite all-time books.

      I love Podkayne of Mars too. These kinds of wholesome yet adventurous books with nothing offensive at all in them made me a space-crazy fan in my teens. It's a shame everything has gone downhill. It's the wholesomeness of Trixie Belden but in outer space.

      Happy hunting!

      I liked Baby Island (same author as Caddie Woodlawn), but it's a little far-fetched. Also OH! The All-of-a-Kind Family series!
      All-of-a-Kind Family
      More All-of-a-Kind Family
      AOAK Family Downtown
      AOAK Family Uptown
      Ella of AOAKF

      There might be more. Set in 1910 or so NYCity, a Jewish family. Very fun to learn about all the Jewish festivals. I read them over and over when I was your age, Ellen.

      Indian Captive, my Lois Lenski. My mother's teacher read it to her, my mother read it aloud to me and my sisters. It went out of print, but it is now back in print. Excellent read.

      Okay, I hope that helps.

      Mrs. M

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    2. Thanks a bunch! This is much appreciated. I have read the first book of "All-of-a-Kind Family" and hope to get the rest (the 1st was so good!), and I've also read "Baby Island" (I love babies, y'know *smile*). Those others you suggested sound great! I'll look into them first chance I get.
      I'll certainly send you some pictures. Perhaps I can get one of my whole family :-).
      BTW, I noticed "Andi's Pony Trouble" is now available for audiobooks. Wow--that's amazing! There is so much to look forward to in 2018--the baby's birth, the winner of the Circle C Adventures Contest, more audiobooks, two more Stepping Stone books (yippee!), and the anniversary editions of "Dangerous Decision" and "Family Secret" (another hooray).
      Thanks and God bless you!

      ~Ellen

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  5. I appreciate the good stories you write! It’s hard to find good Christian books!

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  6. Dear Mrs. M,
    My name is Caleigh, and I would like to ask a question and add some random comments. 1. Will there be another book after Courageous Love, because I just got the Milestone set for Christmas and am already obsessed. I would love for the Andi books to go on forever!�� 2. I feel like I'm related to Andi, as my last name is Carter, and my dad's name is Chad, LOL. 3. When I first started reading the Andi books, and first heard about Cory throwing that fly on Andi's desk, my immediate thought was, "they're gonna get married one day." It practically broke my heart when I read about Andi turning Cory down. But I love the handsome Riley Prescott, and that you didn't let the ties completely be broken to Cory, so to speak.
    4. I have an idea for your next book. You should have Andi somehow meet back up with Toledo, Jed, and Benita, all in one, as they might have escaped prison together (just a thought). Now that sounds like disaster, a storm of problems, whatever you want to call it. I would also love if you somehow brought Rosa back, maybe even connecting her to Toledo or Benita (like being distant cousins, or related by marriage). Anyways, sorry for rambling but I love a good Andi book and thought, if I gave you some ideas, it would inspire you to write another book. Have a very blessed day! -Caleigh

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    1. Hmmm, let me try to answer:
      1. I don't know. I suppose my publisher would be happy to publish another Milestones book, but wow! Not sure what kind of plot. I can't use the plot idea in #4, as I just used that one in Courageous Love (no more escaped prisoners, LOL). But your idea about Rosa is a good one. I wonder if I could so something like that . . .
      2. Yay! My son's name is Chad, and that's who I named Chad in the book after. :-) Your dad has a very cool name, Chad Carter. Wow. That's really something! I have met one or two other people at conventions who have the name Andrea Carter. Weird, huh?
      3. Years ago, I was with you, C. I thought Cory and Andi would get together. But the more I wrote about them, the more I knew it would not be a good match. Andi can talk Cory into things, and that might not make for a good marriage. She needed somebody more like her brother Justin, but with some spark too, like Riley. Even as a kid in the Beginnings, Andi couldn't really talk Riley into very many things. Once in a while, like when she talked him into grabbing Coco's reins, and he ended up dumped, but not a lot of the time. They seemed more of a match. Glad you've come around. EVerybody likes Riley . . . but they feel badly for Cory. And so do I. I need to find him a nice girl to marry. Any suggestions?

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    2. Caleigh, you have some really great ideas! I, like you, am also completely obsessed with Andi Carter. But I mean, who couldn't be once they started reading? LOL
      I actually wrote a story called "Andrea Carter Prescott and the Night Invasion" which took me weeks to write and minutes for my brother to read :-), that featured the return of all those bandits. Maybe you could write a fan story that includes your ideas! Do you like to write? I do. Ever since getting introduced to Andrea Carter back in April, I've filled journals with fan stories (that practically never get finished LOL), and a while back I sent some short stories into a publishing company called Wee Lambs and got my stories published, though those stories had nothing to do with Andrea Carter--they were Mennonite; though my family and I are not Mennonite those stories were fun to write :-). Did you, by any chance, enter the Circle C Adventures Short Story Writing Contest? If so, which age category were you in?

      ~Ellen

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    3. Is your story in the fan fiction? If not you should definitely put it there! That's a great idea about writing my own story about that, yet sometimes I just don't like my own😭. I'm like you, I never finish the stories that I write, which answers your question about if I write or not. In fact, I want to be an author when I grow up! What is your stories about the Mennonite family title? I went to Lancaster County in Pennslyvania last summer and fell in love with the Amish life (mostly the food😊). Random fun fact: do you know how to tell the Amish from the Mennonite apart? Look at the ladies dresses. If the lady has a slight pattern on it, (like stripes) she's Mennonite. If the dress is a solid color, she's Amish. Not sure if you knew that or not, just thought I would share. I hope to enter the 2018 contest. My story is done, I just have to get it sent in. I'm in the 10-13 age range (I'm 13.) if you want, you can look for my story when it is finished. Even if I don't win, I will probably post it on the fan fiction. It is titled Thief! By Caleigh Carter. Are you entering? If so, what age range are you in? If your in the 10-13 age range, good luck, rivalπŸ˜„!

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    4. Mrs. M, I like the name Molly for the girl for Cory. Maybe that could also be in your next book! Perhaps she could walk into Cory's father's livery stable, and he could fall head over heels for her or something. IDK. That's what I love about writing. The possibilities are endless.

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    5. Ellen,
      Meant to tell you, I submitted a story back in 2013 (gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago) in the 2013 short story contest but didn't win. I had Mrs. M put on the fan fiction. It is in the New Friends section and is title Andi Meets a New Friend. It's a little unrealistic, which is probably why I didn't win, but I had so much fun writing it! Hope u enjoy!

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    6. Okay, so I just realized you're the same Ellen that posted that her mom was having a baby soon! Ellen, I just wanted you to know, Congratulations and that I am praying for all to go safely. My mom had C-section with both me and my 8year old sister. Congrats again! If I could have another sibling.....sigh...... I was wondering, could you post pictures on the website! If you don't want to for the sake of your privacy I completely understand. Have a blessed day!
      -Caleigh

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    7. Hi, Caleigh! Thanks for praying! How many siblings do you have? If my dad lets me, I'll be thrilled to show pictures of my baby sister :-).
      Hey, that's great that you're in the contest! I, too, am in the 10-13 range--I'm thirteen. My story is named "A Blessing from Tragedy" and it was REALLY fun to write. Wow! Yours sounds SOOO exciting! I hope I'll get to read it.
      I would post "Andrea Carter and the Night Invasion" but it's literally like 10,000 words long and (*sheepish grin*) it's crazy and makes NO sense. But the one I'm currently working on, "Andrea Carter Prescott and the Return of the Outlaws," is loads better and hopefully shorter LOL.
      Maybe we could find a way to become pen-pals! I would absolutely LOVE to correspond with someone who loves Andrea Carter as much as I do :-). Perhaps we could meet in person someday!
      I enjoyed reading your story "Andi Meets a New Friend." I'd read it a while back and just now realized you're the same Caleigh C. I, too, submitted an Andrea Carter story in the contest some years back when I was like 9 or something. I didn't win anything, and after reading it through again now, I realize why! It was so funny and unrealistic (LOL)!
      How long have you been an "Andi Fan" for? I received the Circle C Beginnings back when I was really little and enjoyed them, but I was too young for the Adventures. Then when Mom bought me the first two, I read them but was still a little too young to REALLY enjoy them. So a couple years later, I introduced them again and now I can't recover from it! I got the Milestones for my birthday, and now all of my beloved books stand in my bookshelf, lovingly cared for yet still falling apart because of all the times they've been read :-).
      Thanks for the information on the Mennonites and Amish. I actually did not know that; I tend to identify them by their head coverings. The stories I submitted are called "Sarah Whistles," "Wilbur's Dollar," and there are a few others that I can't really remember...LOL They are just short, sweet stories that I had fun writing. Have you ever heard of Wee Lambs? When I was little, that was all I ever read--that and books from Rod and Staff.
      So nice chatting with you and I hope YOU have a blessed day!

      ~Ellen

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    8. I was just thinking Mrs. M, about all of the comments above. And I thought of that Felicity girl. Mr. Foster's daughter. I know this sounds like a really bad match but I think it might work. As she is older now she grows out of her prissy ways. Just a suggestion.

      ~Leah

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    9. In answer to the comment above, I'd really like to see Cory marry Jenny Grant. I think they'd be perfect for each other :-).
      Leah, I hear you're entering the Circle C Adventures contest in the 10-13 age category. Would you mind sharing your story's title so I can use my imagination to vividly think of what it's going to be about? We're in the same category, and my story is "A Blessing from Tragedy." Does that give you any ideas of what mine is about? :-)

      ~Ellen

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    10. Well, that is possible. Maybe Jenny can return to Fresno for Andi's wedding. (Hey, I didn't have to tell EVERYBODY who was there at the end of Courageous Love, right?)

      I just thought of that. Hmmm, maybe a short story is in the making. When I finish revising Family Secret. My editor sent it and now I have it to revise. Yes, the locket. I will remember the locket. I promise. Anything else? NOW is the time!

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    11. Oh, cool, a short story! I do love your short stories, Mrs. Marlow.
      That's great that you're revising FS now, and no, I do not have any other suggestions.
      I can't wait to get the anniversary edition of this one, too. Even if you don't change a single thing, I have to get it (like I did every other book you made) so I can complete my "Andi Carter Shelf" *wink*. Thanks for asking and allowing me to give you my suggestions!

      ~Ellen

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    12. My story is called "All Things" it is very sad! I hope everyone likes it!

      ~Leah

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    13. I'm sure they will, Leah. I KNOW I will. You're in the 10-13 category, correct? How old are you? I'm in the 10-13, and I'm 13. Good luck in the contest, and if your story doesn't win, could you post it on the Fan Fiction site? I'd love to read it, because I can't think of anything for your story that fits the title, so now I'm going to be on pins and needles until I CAN read it!
      God bless you!

      ~Ellen

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    14. Yes I'm in the 10-13 category. I am also 13. I didn't want to give it a title that gives it away to much! I can figure a little of your story out but can't really imagine it! Will you post yours in the Fan Fiction too if you don't win?

      ~Leah

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    15. Okay, ladies! Understand that the winning stories are all posted via a PDF file of the book so anybody can read it. However, the stories that do not place are not automatically posted as fan fiction stories. One year I had 80+ entries. No way was I going to post all of those stories! LOL

      You will need to request your story be posted on the Fan Fiction site after the contest is over and the winners announced. Then I will probably be fine with it.

      But it's not automatic. :-)

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    16. I've got you, Mrs. Marlow. I know it's not automatic, I just wasn't sure if Leah would be okay with having it as Fan Fiction or wait until next year and submit her story again, or not even post it at all.
      Hey, Leah, how about exchanging one-sentence summaries of our stories? Would you be okay with that? We'll wait until the 15th, then tell each other our short summaries :-). I think it'd be fun! Would that be alright, Mrs. Marlow?

      ~Ellen

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    17. Whoops, sorry that I didn't make that clear! I did know that it wasn't automatic but I should have made it clear! Sorry!

      ~Leah

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    18. Sounds good, Ellen!

      ~Leah

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    19. You'll find my summary in the 15-days-left-until-the-contest post :-).

      ~Ellen

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  7. Hey Mrs. m, it's Caleigh again. I was also wondering if you would be at the Winston Salem homeschool conference. I know u were there a few years ago, and my mom got you to sign one of my books, but I was not there. I would love to be able to meet you!

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    1. I was just at Winston-Salem last year (2017). Wah! Too bad I didn't meet you. Did you go last summer? Yes, I was also there a few years ago, but since I was just there this past season, I won't go back again for a few years. :-(

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    2. Aw darn! Last year was the one year my family didn't' that go! Shoot! Hate I missed you. Maybe we'll meet another time, if the Lord allows.πŸ˜”

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  8. I appreciate the stories you write! It’s hard to find good Christian books...

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  9. You came to Minnesota in 2016. Do you know if your coming again? I have already met you but now that I've read your books I want to see you again!

    ~Leah

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    1. The MACHE and the GHC in Cincinnati are on the same weekend, and we are going to the GHC. I think we will go back to the MACHE when it is in St. Paul

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    2. Okay, thank you! That's in three years I think. We probably won't go every year but if it's in St. Paul I'm sure we'll go. St. Paul is only about an hour and a half away from us and we have family down there. Can't wait to see you again! I know this is kind of weird but do you like Minnesota? Be honest.

      ~Leah

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    3. My mom was born and raised in Shakopee, which was just a little town back in the 30s. Most of my relatives on my mom's side still live there around Alexandria, and my great-uncle had a pontoon boat and took us sunfishing on Lake Carlos. So as an 8th grader I'd say, YES! I liked Minnesota. My mom's cousin, Mary Jane had horses, and I rode my first horse in Minnesota that summer. She put me on the horse's back, showed me how to make the reins work, and said "have fun." That was my one and only horsemanship lesson. He must have been a good horse because I remember taking off over acres of pasture land pretending I was Little Joe Cartwright. I galloped and everything! Kind of like Laura Ingalls with her first ride on a horse. Just get up and go. No helmet, no lessons, just "go." So much fun! My other great-uncle owned a pig farm and his daughter was our age and we rode her pony a lot. So, yes, it was good times in the land of 10,000 lakes.

      But I don't remember humidity or great heat or mosquitoes, or any of the other MN nuisances my mom told me about. When she moved out to WA in the late 1940s, she said she would NEVER go back there to live, and she never has. :-)

      So I do like MN--based on my childhood. I LOVE the people at the conventions. They LOVE books and seem like solid, God-fearing folks and conservative. But as far as liking it now? Well, have you seen the thermometer lately? MN is a bit too cold for my blood. It's cold here in eastern WA at 9 degrees. Kristel and family have moved to CA in Andi Country, and it will be 69 today. Yeah, at this point CA is my favorite state.

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    4. It is cold! It was 22 below yesterday! I've been to CA but don't like Los Angeles. To busy! I like some parts of CA though. Loved the ocean! I went there last February for my 13th birthday! I loved it! I've also been to Missouri, Arizona, and Oklahoma, although I don't really remember Oaklahoma. I will say though it is cold I love my Minnesota! I wouldn't move for almost anything! And every summer we go to Lake Supiouror.
      Where we live in Minnesota there are a lot of mosquitos, deer flys, horse flys and regular flys. This year the mosquitos weren't to bad. The deer and horse flys on the other hand! Those were really bad last year! Hopefully this summer is better!
      The humidity doesn't really faze me much, although it gets pretty hot in the summer. We always have ice and water! Maybe some lemonade and iced tea!
      Onto the snow! I absolutely love love love snow! I love to sled and ice skate! I like making snowmen, igloos, snow angels and other things. In the Twin Cities there's a person that makes a snow sculpture every year. So I love Minnesota!

      ~Leah

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Let Andi know what you think!