Shannon here: If you’ve never won any of my books, comment or answer the question at the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of Rodeo Hero. This is the 2nd book in my rodeo series and is hard to find in print. If you’ve won my books, your name will go into last Monday and Wednesday’s drawings. Deadline: Nov 14th, 11:59 pm central time.
My final book in my rodeo series was supposed to release this month. Most readers have probably heard by now that the Heartsong Presents line has been discontinued. The good news is, my four remaining contracted books will release through Harlequin’s other line, Love Inspired. So the rodeo will live on for one more book and spin off into a new cowboy series set in Bandera, Texas as planned. I’m not sure when the next book will release, but it is written and turned in. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.
Lately, I’ve traveled a lot, so I thought I’d share a bit about what I’ve been doing. Earlier in the year, my writer bud, Jennifer Slattery asked if I’d be interested in teaching at a conference in Georgia with her. I spent five of my formative years from 7 – 12 in Mableton, GA where we moved so my carpenter dad could follow the Atlanta housing boom. I still have old friends and a few family members there. So of course, I said yes and mixed business with pleasure. The conference was in Marietta, really close to my old neighborhood. That’s me teaching at the conference above. Here are Jennifer and I catching up over lunch.
And Jennifer with our sweet conference director, Cynthia L. Simmons. Cynthia has been on my blog, but we’d never met before.
I spent one day at the two day conference and I appreciate Cynthia for letting me do that. The rest of my week, I visited with friends and family. Here are all my old neighborhood friends at the Varsity. Clockwise from back, my cousin Tonya, friend Laura, parents, friend Suzanne, me, and friend Ebie.
Suzanne’s mom, Barbara and my aunt Virlene joined us at the Varsity too, but I didn’t get pictures with them somehow. I have to talk about the food. There are certain restaurants in Georgia that we don’t have in Arkansas. And we still miss them thirty-eight years after our move. Yep, you did the math right, I turned the big 50 this year.
Anyway, the Varsity has awesome slaw dogs – a hotdog with chili and cole slaw on it. Since our move to Arkansas, we go to Sonic and get a chili dog, then KFC to get the cole slaw to put on it. My Georgia friends thought that was really funny. We also went to Martin the Burger Boy for more slaw dogs. Yummy. And Krystals for those tiny little burgers. If you don’t know what they are, I’ve been told they’re similar to White Castles. We each bought a dozen and ate them on the way home and for a few days afterward.
Somehow, I lost three pounds on our trip. Still not sure how that happened. We got to visit with a special neighbor from the old neighborhood. Colon was a big influence in my life and friends with my parents. It was great to see him. The only bad thing about the trip was we didn’t have enough time to spend with each person. Our week passed in a whirlwind.
Besides catching up with writer friends and making new ones, childhood friends and family, this was the first trip I’d made with my parents in eleven years. Without my son and husband, just my mom, dad, and me – like old times. We had a wonderful time and learned things. Like how we ended up in Illinois and Georgia for part of my childhood. My dad and uncle worked the pipeline and followed it to Michigan. The pipeline dried up and they followed the housing boom to Chicago, then Georgia. And most of the people my dad worked with in Georgia came from Chicago. I never knew any of that. The time spent with my parents was priceless.
I came home for exactly a month. And then I was off again – this time to American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas. I hopped in the car with my trusty writer bud – avid driver, Linda Fulkerson and son Val – like Val Kilmer – for a second road trip. Val parted ways with us while we hit the conference. Linda and I roomed with my critique partner, Lorna Seilstad.
I taught a class in Dallas too, but nobody got a picture to prove it. I really did though. Since I started attending conferences, I’ve made so many friends. But I only get to see them every few years. So the conference is like a family reunion. Here I am with Caryl McAdoo, who’s been on my blog and Susie Dietz who’s hosted me on hers. That’s Linda lurking in the background – she’s writing a series of cozy mysteries – so there’s no telling what she’s plotting. The pic with Susie was before the award banquet and you can’t see the awesome shoes I was wearing, so I added a photo of those.
And finally, my roomies, Lorna and Linda. This was after the banquet. Lorna was still wearing her formal and I was in my jammies. She thought it was funny to get a picture of her dressed better than me. Truth be told, she dressed better than me at the banquet too. Except for the shoes maybe. But you can’t tell what we were wearing in the pic anyway.
Both trips were wonderful, but it’s always good to be home.
I had heels on in this pic. Logan is officially taller than me. He’s been wanting that for a long time. For the record, Grant still has several inches on him, but he was standing back farther than we were in the pic.
Question for Readers: Did you do any traveling this year? Or share a memorable trip from the past with us.
Come back Nov 9th for Elizabeth Maddrey!