When you raise livestock, there are times when the unexpected happens. My daughter had given me a call at the office and asked if I’d bring home an incubator. Red flags flashed all around me.

“Why do we need an incubator?”
“Because I found a nest of Rouen eggs. Our hen is gone. I’m going to hatch them out.”
“Are you sure you want to do that? It’s a little late in the season.”
“I can’t just leave them here. They’ll die.”
At this point, not knowing how long the nest had been unattended,  I think, hmm, I doubt they’ll survive the journey to the house, much less the incubation. “Did you ask Dad?”
“He said fine.”
Ooookay. 30 days of drama, about to unfold.

We set the eggs up in the incubator and faithfully turned them, sprayed them, watched them with a skeptical eye. One Saturday before daughter left for work, she came bounding in and announced she’d heard peeping. The eggs were about to hatch.

Okay, call me a non-believer. I never once thought the eggs stood a chance. But, lo and behold, by the end of the weekend, we were the proud foster family of 7 — count’em SEVEN ducklings out of 11 eggs.


Even out Corgi is amazed.

Life is just filled with miracles. We had no idea how long our Rouen hen had left the nest. No idea how long she’d been sitting on them ( you need to stop turning the eggs in the incubator a few days before anticipated hatching ). No idea if they were even fertile.

But God knew. We lost one hen and now have 7 little lives to replace her.

Isn’t life grand??

Posted in ducks, farm life, incubators | Comments Off on Orphans

The Future of Bookstores

Borders will be closing all their stores…soon.                                              Borders Stores

That’s mega sad. The end of an era. Probably the very threshold of a change I don’t know I like.

While I can’t say I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer, I do know I’ve always loved to read. Libraries were my favorite hangouts all through school, the Dewey Decimal System enabling to me to find volumes of information in a snap, and leading me to genres I never thought about investigating. All through high school I was an avid Ray Bradbury fan. Or I thought I was until a friend loaned me a copy of Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I discovered my reading passion had little to do with alien planets, LOL!

But really, let’s save that for another post!!

Back to brick and mortar stores. I love the feel of them; the smell of them; the kid-in-a-candystore giddiness that overcomes me when I step through the doors. I’m such an impulse buyer, I’ll always walk out with a volume of something — usually a cookbook. My husband still shakes his head over that. My dedication to cooking flew out the window when I went back to work full time!

Still, there’s nothing more satisfying than strolling the aisles and running a finger down spines of novels, wishing one of them bore my name. Now that I have a book on the shelves, the thrill is compounded by the fact I can run my finger down the spine of MY book. Wow. This may be completely selfish, but I don’t want to ever lose that thrill because cyber stores and ebooks are the wave of the future.

I do have a Kindle, and I love it. I love buying friends books as soon as they’re available. I love having an entire library in my purse for all the times I’m waiting for appointments and meetings. The Kindle, the Nook, all eReaders are nice, but…

They’re not books.

If you do anything this week, go out and support your local bookstore. Walk in, grab a cup of coffee, thumb through a magazine (and then buy it). Drink in the atmosphere. Enjoy while you can.

The priviledge may be gone before we know it.

Posted in bookstores, Rocky Mountain Hero | 2 Comments

The Carol Award Finalists Announced!

American Christian Fiction Writers announced the finalists for the Carol Award for published writers:

Debut Novel:
The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House – Dave Long/Sharon Asmus, Editors)
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale Publishers – Kathryn Olson, Editor)
Rooms by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing – Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)

Long Contemporary:
The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)
Red Ink by Kathi Macias (New Hope Publishers – Randy Bishop, Editor)
Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House – Dave Long, Editor)

Long Contemporary Romance:
Plain Jayne by Hilary Manton Lodge (Harvest House – Kim Moore, Editor)
Anna’s Return by Marta Perry (Berkley – Ellen Edwards, Editor)
Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson – Natalie Hanemann, Editor)

Long Historical:
Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs (Waterbrook Press – Laura Barker, Editor)
Petra: City in Stone by T.L. Higley (B&H Publishing – Karen Ball, Editor)
Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren (Summerside Press – Susan Downs, Editor)

Long Historical Romance:
The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson (Summerside – Rachel Meisel/Connie Troyer, Editors)
Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)

Mirrored Image by Alice K. Arenz (Sheaf House – Joan M. Shoup, Editor)
Muslin Mystery by Vera Dodge (Guideposts – Beth Adams, Editor)
The Camera Never Lies by Elizabeth Goddard (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
Ride With Me Into Christmas by Rachael Phillips (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Romantic Suspense:
The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson (Summerside Press – Rachel Meisel/Susan Downs, Editors)
Don’t Look Back by Lynette Eason (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)
Pursuit of Justice by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale Publishers – Karen Watson, Editor)

Short Contemporary:
The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight (Love Inspired – Allison Lyons)
A Father for Zach by Irene Hannon (Love Inspired – Melissa Endlich, Editor)
Winter’s End by Ruth Logan Herne (Love Inspired – Melissa Endlich, Editor)

Short Contemporary Suspense:
Night Prey by Sharon Dunn (Love Inspired Suspense – Emily Rodmell, Editor)
Legacy of Lies by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Love Inspired Suspense – Emily Rodmell, Editor)
Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley (Love Inspired Suspense – Tina James, Editor)

Short Historical:
Her Healing Ways by Lyn Cote (Love Inspired Historical – Tina James, Editor)
Promise of Tomorrow by S. Dionne Moore (Barbour – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins (Barbour – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)

Speculative Fiction:
The Wolf of Tebron by C. S. Lakin (AMG Publishers – Rick Steele, Editor)
Rooms by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing – Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)
König’s Fire by Marc Schooley (Marcher Lord Press – Jeff Gerke, Editor)

Predator by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan – Sue Brower/Dave Lambert, Editors)
Fear No Evil by Robin Caroll (B&H Publishing – Karen Ball, Editor)
Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry (Abingdon Press – Barbara Scott, Editor)

Women’s Fiction:
Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett (Tyndale Publishers – Jan Stob/Lorie Popp, Editors)
They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon – Barbara Scott, Editor)
Beyond Summer by Lisa Wingate (NAL – Ellen Edwards, Editor)

Young Adult:
Anything But Normal by Melody Carlson (Revell – Lonnie Hull Dupont, Editor)
Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (Zonderkidz – Jacque Alberta, Editor)
Katy’s New World by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Zonderkidz – Jacque Alberta, Editor)

I judged a panel for this contest and have to say, the quality of published work was superb. I can’t imagine choosing only 3 finalists for each category. Really? They’re all winners to me!!

Congratulations, finalists!! Especially Mary Connealy and Ruth Logan Herne! Cheering loudly for Melanie Dickerson, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Laura Frantz, too!!Your stars shine brightly and I can’t wait to cheer for you in St. Louis!!

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, September 22-25, 2011, St. Louis, MO

Posted in ACFW, The Carol Awards | Comments Off on The Carol Award Finalists Announced!

Let’s Talk In-y and Out-y

I know — belly buttons come to mind, but honestly, it’s workspace technique I’m talking about here.

Come join the fun in Seekerville as I talk about how I organize my writing necessaries and then the rest of the Seekers chime in with their favorite methods.

How can you miss an opportunity like this to crawl into the inner workings of a writer’s mind? Spooky prospect, but well worth peeking into, LOL!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Golden Heart and Rita Awards Ceremony

Couldn’t make it to New York City for the RWA Conference, but I can follow fun at the awards ceremony on Twitter! Go to #rwa11 and cheer your loudest for your favorite finalist!
YAY – Pam Hillman!! Finalist for Inspirational Romance,
Golden Heart
Stealing Jake
YAY – Mary Connealy!! Finalist for Inspirational Romance,
Doctor in Petticoats – Barbour Publishing
I’m rootin’ for you here in Colorado!!
Posted in Awards, Mary Connealy, Pam Hillman, RWA | Comments Off on Golden Heart and Rita Awards Ceremony

Putting Life Back into Perspective

Life tends to get hectic, doesn’t it though? I know I’m not the only one to feel overwhelmed when I look around and think, “how in the world am I ever going to get all this work done?” May and June were especially difficult months with kids returning home from college, revising and polishing my msc for my editor, plans to build a house, preparation for our County Fair,…the list goes on and on.

You’d think I’d have time to just write a few words here to let y’all know I’m still alive. LOL!!

Well, I am and I’m finally coming up for air. Manuscript is sent off, kids are settled back in the nest and at work, house has a foundation and septic system (both very necessary entities!). Whew, and before the Fair really takes off, I thought I’d better catch up with the important elements in life.


Life is shorter than we all realize. We need to make the most of whatever time the good Lord gives us. I hope I’ve put my time to good use, but as anyone who REALLY knows me can testify, I’m very easily distracted. Which can be taken as a good thing : ) As long as I remember to return to original tasks and complete them : )

So, I’m cleaning my office — and the rest of my house — clearing away the clutter. I want to spend time with you here on my blog. I want to spend some summertime moments out on our deck just looking out over God’s handiwork, because really, is there any place more beautiful than home? I want to live in the moment and give thanks for all the blessings in my life.

Before I sign off for the day, let me invite you to view a YouTube clip compiled by my friend, Theresa Rizzo. Theresa has nailed the writing journey for what it is…when we keep it in perspective. Thanks for taking the time to put this together, Theresa! And yes, there will come a time when pigs fly for all of us!

Posted in blessings, theresa rizzo, thoughts | 4 Comments

Booksigning in Cheyenne

Cheyenne, WY is known for Cheyenne Frontier Days

 Yep, it’s late, but I wanted to share my booksigning with you. I drove up to Cheyenne, WY on June 4 and spent the day with Amanda Cabot and Penny Zeller signing books at two bookstores. Amanda and I have been friends for a while having first met at our RWA chapter, Colorado Romance Writers, years ago. Most recently though, Amanda leads Front Range Christian Fiction Writers, a group of Christian writers writing various works as the Lord puts on our hearts. Nice mix of folks.

I had the pleasure of meeting Penny at our first booksigning. Wonderful, warm, friendly — I’m blessed to call her friend. Penny and her family had this booksigning thing down pat — each member of the family had a specific duty whether arranging books, setting up the computer slide show, or just being cute and attracting customers. LOL! What a fun group!

First stop, Cornerstone Christian Supply. What an amazing, warm reception we received from staff and customers alike. Trisha and her staff set this trio of authors up right next to the register area, no one could miss us. The patrons stopped and chatted, asked about our books, and grabbed butterscotch buttons and chocolates as they investigated their book choices. It was a blast!

Amanda, Audra, Penny at Cornerstone Christian Supply

Audra, Amanda, Trisha, Penny at Cornerstone Christian Supply

Next, we went to the Barnes and Noble store. Again we received a warm welcome including beautiful posters arrranged around the store announcing our event. A constant stream of chatter across the PA system reminded customers to stop by our table and meet the authors. What fun! We talked with fans, discussed the market with aspiring authors, and in general chit-chatted our way through the afternoon.

We even sold books!

Amanda, Audra, Penny at Barnes & Noble

At the end of the day, I drove the hour and a half home with a smile on my face. The generosity of readers continues to astound me. Folks just opened up and treated us kindness and support.

Here’s to you, Cheyenne, Wyoming! You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome!

Posted in Amanda Cabot, Booksigning, Cheyenne WY, Penny Zeller | Comments Off on Booksigning in Cheyenne

Celebration in Seekerville!!

I’m back! I’ve missed everyone terribly, but life got so hectic, my poor head almost exploded!
Yuck, what a mess, LOL!
Nevermind me, though. I’ve got spectacular news to share…

Do not miss today in Seekerville. There are fireworks on Unpubbed Island
24/7 today to celebrate the BIG FIFTEEN!

Seeker and debut Tyndale author Pam Hillman is your hostess–and she’s got more than her 2011 Golden Heart final to share with you.
 We’ll have a total of 15 prizes–gift cards and books to give away all day long as we celebrate and celebrate…AND CELEBRATE!~!!!
Posted in First Sale, Pam Hillman | Comments Off on Celebration in Seekerville!!

Barbara Vey in Seekerville

How did Barbara Vey go from a ho-hum job in the insurance industry to being Publishers Weekly’s spokesperson for romance? Read her story on Seekerville (http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/), Wed, April 20. Learn what readers tell Barbara about the books they love to buy and how to get your story reviewed on Barbara’s Beyond Her Book blog, where she recently attracted more than 22,000 visitors in one week. Stop by Seekerville on April 20 to chat with Barbara and win one of 23 prizes given away throughout the day!

Posted in Barbara Vey, Seekerville | Comments Off on Barbara Vey in Seekerville

RITA judging

As it is over most of the United States, Colorado’s temperature for the day is frigid…again.

I was hoping I’d get a snow day from work, but no such luck. I am thankful though that I only drive about 5 minutes to get there instead of a commutes of 30 minutes and more! Though I love road trips, a daily drive of dodging traffic is not my idea of a great start to a day!

This is the first year I’m eligible to judge the RITAs. I received 8 books — 8 books! — to ready by March 9. Wow. I have a difficult time sneaking in moments to read the books I want to read much less 8 books assigned for my opinion.

Still, I have to admit, reading outside my writing genre is proving entertaining and relaxing. I’ve finished 3 books written by authors I never would have known about and am thrilled to say I’ve enjoyed them. I still have 5 more books to read. May the good Lord grant me time, patience and little eye-strain as I hole up in my office with a hot cup of coffee and finish my judging assignment!

Have a great day all and stay warm!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments