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The sparking ember toward the end of 2016 lit a rolling fire beneath me in 2017, launching several amazing writing projects. While each of these projects were independent of the other, they became  the catalysts to multiple  opportunities in 2017...and available on store shelves in 2018!  I'd love it if you'd come along with me on this journey...

"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received," Eph. 4:1, the apostle Paul... I look at this scripture and it reminds me of how committed to writing I felt at the beginning of 2017.  I was more than determined, and began seriously treating my goals as a job but it was an even deeper sense stirring in me, it was something I had to do as a part of one the gifts the Good Lord has given me. If I did not move forward, I would not regret it in a year or two, or ten, but by the next week.  I felt it with a serious need to respond, active action, and deep conviction to write, craft, edit and pitch some of these books I have had on the slow burner.  They were ready to serve, but I had been hesitant in sharing and putting myself out there again.  A confidence and peace came over me as I worked towards my goals, steadily, accepting many rejections, but gaining a faster pace as I trusted, believed and had Faith the fruits of my labor would be rewarded.  The good Lord is always Faithful!

In May, I was awarded another book contract with Arcadia Publishing and The History Press to feature a Montana themed cookbook teamed with a local, esteemed chef's recipes also filled with Montana history and unique, gourmet dishes from the natural resources that abound our landscapes along with locally sourced ingredients. It was an amazing journey!  Since I am a very 'rustic' gourmet, I learned how to make these fabulous recipes-successfully, and even skinned rattlesnakes four more times than I thought I would ever have attempted, to make rattlesnake cakes covered with a red pepper remoulade, took hundreds of photos, and most of all came much closer to my walk with God. It has been so much fun and amazing to work with the publishing team, my fabulous Editor and Chef.  I can't wait to share this cookbook, The Big Sky Bounty Cookbook-Local Ingredients and Rustic Recipes, with all of you when it is released this spring!

As many of you know my heart has a true love for children's books, and I met a dear friend at a conference, She Speaks-Proverbs 31 Ministries, of which I was truly blessed to attend in July of 2016.  The seeds of this friendship led to a notice she shared on Facebook about a Twitter pitch, called #FaithPitch.  I took a leap of Faith, and for a month I whittled, worked and revised a children's story I wrote months earlier, and pitched it for this hopeful opportunity. With sincere gratitude, the fruits of taking that leap of Faith awarded me  book contract with Little Lamb Books.  I am over the moon, excited to share Kind Soup with everyone, and am just whole-heartedly truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with the team at Little Lamb BooksKind Soup is made with the ingredients of the Fruits of the Spirit throughout the story, and teaches more than just a cooking lesson but what it means to serve and be filled with these gifts from Jesus.  I'm thrilled  to share that Kind Soup is scheduled to be released in November 2018, and I can't wait to share this children's picture book with each of you.

I've placed a call-out description of each of the books on the base of the newsletter, and a link off their logos.  If you'd like to see more about these publishing houses and all the wonderful books they offer, please jump on the link, and check them out!

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Life on the Ranch with Banjo published by the Western Ag Reporter-Yay!  It has been true gift being able to write and share the antics of Banjo and his ranch crew every week for ten years.  I absolutely love these characters and writing these stories.  They are family to me, and it is so much fun!  I'm extraordinarily thankful to my Editor for all she does and let's me keep creating adventures for children to read on the Agri-Kids page.  You can see excerpts here

Also, have you picked up Raised in the West magazine?  If you're in our region, definitely grab yourself a copy or two or three in 2018!  This publication is filled with great stories about agriculture and western interest topics surrounding Montana.  It's beautifully produced and features real, timely, and useful may even recognize a previous contributor in a couple issues last year.  I am truly thankful to be have had the opportunity to be a part of this superior publication and work with their editorial team.

Well, that's a lot of news to share, but I want to especially let you know I will be hosting events and giveaways for my upcoming book launches, contests and creative products to accompany them as well via my web-site, and I'll post information on social media.  I promise my newsletters won't be this lengthy, but want to catch everyone up and invite you along on my writing adventures!

All the very best to each of you, and wishing you many blessing in this New Year!

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