Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Random Thoughts for a Random Week

Hi, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I'm... feeling scattered. I'm right at the tail end of editing a new book and getting butterflies in my stomach. As always! It just never seems to go away, no matter how many I put up!

(photo from
This is me. The butterflies have escaped my tummy and are sitting on my face. I still look happy.
 I think.
Anyway, we're in the middle of packing for a camping trip. Well, sort of camping. I spent my childhood in the wilds of the Sawtooth Mountains, hiking 15 miles in to a nice spot and stay a week before hiking back out. I won't say I'm scarred. We'll just say I'm over my need to sleep on the ground and eat Rice-A-Roni every meal.
So, we're staying here. It's the old caretaker's cabin outside of a ghost town called Granite. About 3 hours from us in the middle of the Wallowa Mountains. It has beds. Not fancy, but actual off-the-ground sleeping accomodations. Suits me. A lake nearby. Some abandoned buildings. Gold mining equipment sitting around. You know... country stuff.
                            Um, random photo of flowers from my garden. Cheery!
Random photo of my footwear. I bet you didn't know I had such awesome style. Have I mentioned I have a 13 year old and 12 year old? I'm not sure why they don't want to be seen in public with me anymore. Weird.
Random paining I did for one of my daughters. It's a family tree. Get it? We're all in there, but some are hidden by the flash. The kids got to pick their spot in the tree. I wanted to be a cat, but hubby wanted to be a bird and my daughter thought that wasn't a good match.
And then I made this delicious feast of... watermelon and garlic and matchsticks with bits of catnip.

You don't think that sounds good?
*pouts for a while*
 Fine, I admit that's a stock photo from I'm sure it's something really tasty. Or at least, it's very colorful. And well-engineered.
I admit that I don't know what I cooked this week. I definitely ate something because I didn't lose weight. And I'm assuming children were eating something around here because they get really loud and obnoxious when hungry. But we did buy about 10 pounds of popsicles so maybe that's why they're so quiet.

The only thing I have to show for the week is a new cover. (I know, lame. But at least I can tell you how they made it. That's something, right?) These are the photos I sent the Killion Group from, along with some ideas and the story synopsis.
So, the heroine is a small town girl who escaped to the big city, vowing never to look back. After college, Daisy McConnell settles as a grade school teacher and is perfectly happy with her new life in California.  Her lousy dad was more interested in his own issues than raising his child, but she did have a mother-figure in the old librarian, Marie.
Hero is a cop in above-mentioned small town. Lane lost his brother in an accident and his close-knit family still bears the scars of grief, forgiveness, and moving forward. His home town is second only to his family. It's the place he loves more than any other, the place he'll never leave. Everyone gets a second chance in a small town, even old drunks like Rocky McConnell. Once he stops drinking, they actually get along pretty well. In fact, they're pretty good friends.
When Marie dies, Daisy comes home for the funeral and to retrieve her inheritance, an old quilt. She finds out the library is scheduled to close because flood insurance and repairs would cost too much for the small town. Daisy can't let that happen, right? She gives up her summer to write grants and run the summer reading program and try to save the only place she's ever loved.
Nothing can go wrong with this plan... Only that she's renting Lane's cabin, he's winning her heart, her dad wants to reconcile, and it just won't stop raining.
By the time the river jumps the banks, there's a whole lot more drama going in Liberty than a spring flood. The town pulls together to save the library, the quilt holds a startling secret, and two young people in love must decide if NEVER really means FOREVER.
My sister made me this quilt last year for my birthday and I wrote the story after I saw it. Doesn't this just spark all sorts of ideas?? She told me I had to write as many books as there are on the quilt. Ha! Funny girl.

Anyway, so this is the cover The Killion Group came up with from all the rambling plot and pictures and vague hand-waving I did by way of explaining what I wanted...


Awww! So cute!
And then I rushed back an re-wrote her as a skinny-Minnie, since the original Daisy was a little more curvy. Now she's more runtish. And heroines come in all sizes so we love her just the same. I love the Carnegie library they chose for the background. Since the library in the story is an old Carnegie based off the one in my town, I really wanted the library to be the focus. (Of course, nobody minds a cute guy, either. But we love books, so we'll take it.)

Anyway, that's all I got for this week. Leaving Liberty will be available on Amazon July 1st, starting with a free run. Whoohoo! Love those giveaways!

So, not much to eat this week, but maybe that picture of my footwear will keep you all satisfied until I find something to cook.

Oh, and the oven is broken. Did I mention that? It died a few weeks ago. Huh. I never thought about it being related. But there ya go. Appliance shopping rates right up there with root canals for me, so I'm hoping hubby will just stop asking me what I want and go pick something out. Not holding my breath, though. It would be like me trying to buy him some nice tools. *eye boggle*

So, until next time! This week, enjoy the sunshine and wear some fantastically embarrassing footwear!



  1. Random comments for a random week:

    Love the cover! She looks like a sassy, spunky, got-to-get-something-done kind of heroine. July, huh?

    Love the story! Anyone who works that hard to save a library....

    Camping in the old caretaker's cabin? It reminds me of the Ingalls family staying in the surveyor's house in the book "By the Shores of Silver Lake". Sounds like a fabulous vacation!

    The footwear is fabulous. Your daughters will understand when they're older.

    Get a new oven. Make sure it's self-cleaning, because then when you bake in the summer, it doesn't heat up the kitchen. Saves energy, too. Oh, and the good part? Cleaning it is easy-peasy.

    And finally, I love the unique family tree picture. Makes me smile :)

    1. I had a nice flat top self-cleaning oven but something went wrong and now it sets everything on fire. I thought it was just me... but apparently not!

      I contacted Sears (their brand) after seeing pages and pages of complaints on internet message boards but they declined to provide any kind of % off or acknowledge it was flawed. I guess there's soemthign wrong with the make and model.
      My sister had the same one and her oven did the exact same thing. As soon as she read the complaints, she did NOT replace it with a Sears brand. Sad, but they need to recall when that many people say their ovens are bursting into flame!

    2. Ovens bursting into flame is a bad, bad thing.

      Very bad.

    3. We've actually got it unplugged from the wall. Other posters mentioned it catching fire when they were ASLEEP. So, either the electrical switch has to be off, or it's unplugged. Terrible.

  2. Love it!! I embarrass my daughter with my footwear all the time. I wear clogs. Enough said. In fact, we actually went shopping after Christmas for some more hip footwear for me. But I kept being drawn to Clarks and Born. She finally gave up on me and acted a little put out that I wasn't listening. She then apologized later for hurting my feelings. LOL Gotta love those guilt trips. :)

    I love the cover, Virginia!! And also the story synopsis. I can't wait to read it!

    1. Hahahahaha! My mom wore clogs when I was in grade school and I remember thinking, "What ARE those???"

  3. Hi Virginia:

    Love the cover but is this book an MG? That girl is twelve, right? She's not skinny; she's a kid. What's the deal?


    1. I know! I had to also write a little scene about the only picture Marie had of her, wearing a pretty peasant blouse. The reader will (hopefully) understand she looks a little older. Finding the perfect heroine is hard for those of us who don't like Kiera Knightley.

  4. I want to read it!!!! Sounds like it's something I would enjoy to pieces. :)

    The footwear reminded me of the wicked witch under the house in "The Wizard of Oz"... *looking very sheepish* Sorry, but that's what came to mind. ;-)

    I love that cabin/house! Make sure you take pics to share on FB; I want to know if it still has the original woodwork and old wood floors... Love old houses. If only they would love me... (We live in a house built in 1890, but we haven't been able to do much to/with it in 29 years. Someone painted the gorgeous woodwork in the kitchen ORANGE. *shudder* I'm not much of a DIY-er as I thought I'd be, so the orange paint remains.)

    Family tree anything makes me smile. :)

    Oh, and the gator/croc? Is he smiling because he's lulling the butterflies into a false sense of security and he's going to gobble them up just as they've nodded off? Shame on him.

    The bunny/wolf pic = horror-film ready.

    Love the quilt! Yes, lots of ideas come out of it.

    Enough random comments? :D Thanks for sharing all of this (except the bunny/wolf pic)! Blessings to you, your hubby (understanding man that he must be), and kids!

    1. Oooh, painted woodwork? They have foaming paint stripper that's pretty easy to use. Spray and leave on for 15 minutes and then wipe off. You could try a small portion and see if you like how it looks. I was afraid to use paint stripped because I hate fumes, but as long as the window was open it wasn't so bad.

      I have black and white striped socks!!! They really hate those. My toddler loves them. They're knee-highs so he pulls them way up to his thighs. hahaha!

      I'm the bunny. The wolf is fear-laziness-self-doubt!

  5. Those socks!!!! As unique as you are, thank goodness :) Call me tonight about your awesome book-I love it! Jim is planning the camping trip and thinks he can join us for at least part of it, thanks for including us!

    1. Oh, good! I'm tying up loose threads, bring back in all the characters we need to connect with so I don't miss anyone. I hate those letters that say, "But what about ____? Whatever happened to him/her?"

      I'm so glad Jim can come! And thanks for finding the cabin... You're camping-planners extraordinaire. The kids are sooooo excited. I'm.... waiting tog et excited, hahaha!

  6. Just got back from my adventure to comment about yours. Love the cabin and the setting. Both in real life and in your fiction.

    Runtish heroine. Love that term. But she will be great!

    Peace, Julie

    1. Oh, we love our runts! Not everybody can be born with a booty!

  7. Love the cover! So fun!

    And random weeks suit me.

    But sleeping on the ground wouldn't, so I'm glad you're over that. It's okay for cowboys and the like.


    I like a mattress. Or at least a decent rug that doesn't smell bad.

    1. Not even a rug. I get up from the floor and... No, actually I don't get up. They have to winch me up while I shriek in pain.

      A little exaggeration, but honestly, if you want me happy, I need a bed.