Sunday, July 31, 2011


Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We often refer to our writing as “our babies.” When the story is new and fresh—we’re in love with the idea, and so excited for its arrival. We nurture our story just like a newborn—coming back to it often—fussing over it. Changing the little dear when it stinks. And telling everyone, “Hey, I’m writing this book!”

My Historical Romance novel, Farewell, My Denmark, was recently rejected by the publisher I’d submitted it to. This baby of mine has been with me so long, it’s grown into an adult (so to speak). I still love it. I still think she’s beautiful. We’ve come a long way together. This is my first (literary) child, and I could never throw her in the drawer of unfulfilled dreams. As my talent has grown, I’ve pulled this baby out and rewritten it. So needless to say, this is at least the fifth complete rewrite. My baby’s not the same anymore, and I dare say she’s turned into a beautiful story. Special thanks go to the dozens of critiquers I’ve had over the years who have helped with the process by giving me suggestions while still maintaining my belief in my beautiful baby, and also by helping me to grow as a writer.

Looking back on her infancy, I can see that my literary baby was originally rough, and perhaps not a beautiful baby, but she’s grown now and as beautiful as ever (in my eyes). This is why the rejection hurt. Stung like a slap in the face. I’ve been pouting over it for a good week now and I finally feel better.

I haven’t sworn off of writing, and I haven’t sworn not to try again. This story deserves to be told, but in the meantime I’ve been illustrating a children’s picture book that I wrote ten years ago and have wanted to illustrate myself but have been too afraid to try. I figured now was the time, and I must say that so far things are going well. I’m a third of the way finished (I started with the easiest pictures first), and encouraged to go all the way.

Now, the full reason for this baby-analogy—Well, I’ve got two new grandbabies this summer, and I just have to show them off. They’re adorable, and straight from heaven!
Three generations born on the same day. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It’s about this time in the summer—smack in the middle of it—when things started to melt down when my kids were younger. They were tired of the little activities I’d planned. The Parks & Rec classes were over. It was too hot to go outside. They were bored. I was tired of the television on all the time.
In memory of the good old days, I’m posting two recipes that are sure to entertain even the most bored, the most hot, most grouchy kid. I recommend both of these recipes as family activities. There’s just nothing better than playing play dough or flarp with your kids on a hot summer day.
What is this stuff? It’s a gooey wad of fun.
8oz. white glue (like Elmers)
1C. water
1C. warm water
1 ½ tsp borax powder
Tempura paint.
Pour glue into a large bowl. Add the water and blend. Add paint and mix well. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the Borax and the warm water until the Borax is dissolved. Then, slowly pour it into the glue mixture, stirring continually for 2 minutes.
Kneed with hands until smooth and stretchy.
NOTE: Make sure you’re not doing this over the carpet or with your best china. Who would do that, right?

1C. flour
½ C. salt
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1C water
Thoroughly mix all ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a ball.
If you want colored play dough, add a few drops of food coloring into it while it’s liquid.
Cool and store in a zip bag or Tupperware-type container—NOT—cool and play with it for several hours while making snakes, cubes, snow men, bowls, pancakes, elephants etc.

Monday, July 4, 2011


written by James R. Schultz of Mesa AZ

Independence is a gift
But yet a price is paid;
Many crosses dot the earth
From war’s cruel charade.

The flag has offered millions hope,
It gives new life to some;
Many from across the sea
Have to our nation come.

Our heroes’ sacrifices
Are lessons that are taught;
The flag that waves so proudly
Our brave men’s blood has bought.

That flag that stands for freedom
Has paid a frightful cost;
War, that evil master,
Demands a holocaust.

Though battles raged around it,
The flag still bravely flies;
A tribute to the living
With hope that never dies.

Memories of those heroes
Begin to slowly fade;
But we must never lose the hope
That their sacrifices made.

The towns and cities one and all
Must always sense the pride,
Of being an American
And thank those who have died.

To those who lie in hallowed graves,
We bow our heads and pray;
We can enjoy our freedom
For the flag still waves today.

Those soldier boys are sleeping,
They’ve found Eternal rest;
No more battles to be fought,
They gave their very best.

The taps have sounded softly,
The mourners walk away;
The flag still is flying,
It’s Independence Day.