Watch for the release of a new book by Amy Hale Auker, author of Winter of Beauty and Rightful Place

It’s always a delight to learn that a favorite author will be releasing a new book soon and I'm looking forward to getting a copy. That author is Amy Hale Auker and I've written about her other books in the past right here.
I stopped by her website when I learned about the new release. Seems it’s about an old cowboy, old letters, loves, losses and a crime. Sounds like a winner.
This author has a knack for bringing together a melody of words.
The book will be released by Pen-L Publishing this fall and Steve Atkinson who I am not familiar with has done the cover and I must admit it's quite appealing. According to Ms Auker's Facebook page, Steven Atkinson is a "photographer, designer, and western artist extraordinaire. (And a pretty cool friend, too.)"

The author will be taking advance orders starting October 1, 2014. Stop by her website to learn more.
Photo: When I signed a new contract with Pen-L Publishing, I promised myself that I would keep the rumble of publicity quiet until I had cover art. Tomorrow, on my website, I will post a blog, and add the link here, about this gorgeous cover, painted and designed by Steve Atkinson. The wonderful news is that this book, a novel very dear to my heart, is set to be released this fall. I will take advance orders starting October 1. Until then, share away, and make sure and compliment Steve on a JOB WELL DONE.

Lost in the Zoo: A Children's Short Story

My inner urge to write will always have me creating and re-creating whether or not I am ever published any place other than right here on this personal blog.

The following is based upon a prompt to write a story that a 5th grade reader could comprehend. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Children's Book:

Lost in the Zoo

Have you ever been lost? I was!

Being lost can be scary but it can also be lots of fun. I was so excited to go to the zoo with my dad and my older sister. We had gotten up pretty early and got dressed as fast as we could and hurried downstairs to where my dad had a breakfast of eggs and bacon and toast waiting for us. My dad made the best breakfasts. We ate and then we were off to the Zoo. All I could think about was seeing the elephants. My mom had just read a book about elephants to me and I just thought they were the best.

My dad parked the car and we headed inside. It was amazing! We walked along looking for all the animals in their homes; we saw Tigers and a Lion sleeping on a rock. We saw all different kinds of bird and we saw Giraffe’s that looked like they were hugging each other. My sister spotted a sign that pointed to where the monkeys were and we headed there along with lots of other families who wanted to see the monkeys. That’s when I lost my sister and my Dad.

I felt like I was going to be sick because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t find them again. I kept walking and walking and still never saw them. All of a sudden the Zoo wasn’t much fun and I started to cry. A policeman saw me crying and asked me where my family was and I told him I couldn’t find my dad and my sister and all the while I just kept crying. The policeman wiped my eyes with a tissue and told me he would help me find them. He held my hand and we walked together. He was such a nice policeman and he asked me about all the animals I had already seen and wanted to know what my favorite was. I told him about the book my mom read to me and that elephants were my most favorite. He laughed and said they were his too. He stopped and asked me what my favorite flavor of ice cream was and I said, “Chocolate, of course.” Then he sat me on a bench next to a man with a cart and bought me a chocolate ice cream cone. As I ate my ice cream, we kept walking and then I saw the elephants. So did the policeman because that’s where we headed. He pointed out the mommy elephant and her baby. They were so cute, just like in my book. The baby was following the mommy around and was making baby elephant noises.

Just then I heard my name and the policeman turned me around and I saw my dad and my sister hurrying through all the people. When my dad reached us, I called to him and he cried out that he was so happy to find me and he bent down to hug me. The policeman looked at my dad and said, “We knew you’d show up near the elephants because they’re your daughter’s favorite animal.” My Dad shook the policeman’s hand and thanked him a million times, then we walked off waving to the policeman and he was waving back.

It was the best day of all!

My Summer Silhouette (500 word challenge for ReadWave)

This is a new post that I entered on ReadWave for their 500 word challenge with the prompt of "a summer you'll never forget."

There wasn’t anything better than watching the sun set behind the trees. I loved those moments when I had already showered and dressed for the night out with friends and I’d sit on the porch to watch the sun slowly go down and the colors shift until the blue of the night started to creep in on me. Then I’d listen for the night sounds and for the cars coming down the road. Jen would pick me up and we’d head out for an evening of friends, cold beer and dancing to music that poured out of cars and trucks all parked along the grassy area down the road. The dark was sometimes moon lit and other times lit by a small bonfire. I’d watch to see if his truck was there or if I recognized his silhouette or deep laugh. He was always smiling, always happy, always had a kind word and a wink for me when we met up. What I wouldn’t do for a date with him. But he was older by two years and although we said “Hi” each time we saw each other I couldn’t shake the feeling he thought I was just a kid. When you’re a teenager, two years seems like an incredibly big difference. Still each time, my excitement grew and just a wink or a smile was good enough for me. Jen would tease me mercilessly asking if I got my smile yet. She had her own silhouette she followed on those dark nights hoping for her own dream boy.

During the day we swam, tanned and drank lemonade while dreaming of someday having a date with our dream boys. We never saw the boys much during the day. They were off fixing their trucks, working at part-time jobs or just playing sports and hanging out with each other. Almost midway through the summer on a hot steamy day, I hung on to the side of the pool with my eyes closed enjoying the cool water and the sun on my face when a shadow blocked the sun. I opened my eyes and squinted up to see that familiar silhouette standing above me. As my eyes adjusted, I saw his big smile and heard him say, “Mind if I join you?” Stunned, I stumbled over my words saying “of course” but that didn’t make sense and I apologized, feeling like I made a fool of myself. My face burned but not because of the sun. He sat at the edge of the pool then slipped in smoothly and swam to the other side of the pool. I just watched him as he swam and then he came up right beside me, his green eyes glistening from the water and he smiled. He said, “I’m glad I came by here today. I get to see you.” Not knowing what to say I just smiled and he said “it’s okay that you’re shy, I still want to take you out tonight. Will you come to see a movie with me?” My dream had come true and I was a nervous nut, I blurted out louder than needed “Yes, I’ll go with you.” He laughed because he knew he was making me nervous. Then I laughed too and we both swam off across the pool.

500 word challenge … a summer you’ll never forget.