I write romantic suspense and warm, family relationship type novels, often with a touch of humor. Many of my books have featured animals as key players--dogs, cats, llamas, cockatiels, horses...even our son's pet albino corn snake, Sssssid, who appeared in my first Superromance back in 1999.

Animals have been a big part of my life since I was a child. How about you? I hope you'll become a "blog follower" here (see the right-hand column for a place to click) and will come back often. So...let's talk about our pets!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Please  go to http://www.roxannerustand.com/  to find this blog.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

NEW ADDRESS--come on over!

I haven't posted on The All Creatures Great and Small blog in a long while--the font colors kept changing on their own, making it difficult to read, and we were also traveling a lot.  With one thing or another, it has been very quiet here.  Not only that, but my quarterly e-newsletter program corrupted.   Not a good summer for communication!  :)   BUT....

The blog is now moving, and  I really hope you'll come along with me and check it out!    As of Wednesday, 9/14/11   it will  be on the home page of my new website at:   www.roxannerustand.com

Please come on over and say Howdy!

Roxanne Rustand

PS:  remember the foal born this May?  His baby photos are further down on this blog.  He has grown a lot!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I've got a new book out!

Just wanted to pass along that I have a new book out in the stores!  Here's the blurb and some sample pages:

ISBN:  978-0-373-87673-0
Love Inspired
June, 2011
Roxanne Rustand

He Was A Challenge She Couldn’t Ignore...
The minute she steps foot in his dark, miserable house, Sophie Alexander knows Josh McClaren is not her usual patient. But the single mom and physical therapist is desperate to make a life for her and her young son. And she’s definitely no quitter! It’s obvious to Sophie that handsome,
cantankerous Josh hides his pain behind a wall of grief. Little by little, Sophie and her son,  Eli, do more than help Josh find his faith again. They make Josh wonder if there’s a family in  his future after all....

Aspen Creek Crossroads:  Where faith, love and healing meet.


Sophie stepped out of her ancient Taurus sedan but lingered at the open door, staring at the massive dog on the porch of the sprawling cabin.  The dog stared back at her with laser-like intensity, head lowered and tail stiff.
It was not a welcoming pose.

 Set back in the deep shadows of the pine trees crowding so close, the cabin itself--with all the windows dark--seemed even more menacing than a wolfhound mix with very sharp teeth. So what kind of person would be sitting in there, in all that gloomy darkness?

 "Don't worry about the dog," Grace Dearborn had said with a breezy smile during Sophie's orientation at the county home health department offices.  "He's quite the bluffer.  It's the owner who is more likely to bite."           

 Sophie looked at the folder in her hand again.  Dr. Josh McLaren. Widower.  Lives alone.  No local support system. Post-surgical healing of comminuted fracture, right leg with a knee replacement.  Surgical repair of fractured L-4 and L-5 lumbar vertebrae, multiple comminuted fractures, right hand.

Had he been hit by a truck?  She shuddered, imagining the pain he'd been through.  The surgeries and therapy had to have been as bad as the injuries. The only other documentation in the folder were scant, frustrated progress notes written by her various physical therapist predecessors.  The last one had ignored professional convention by inserting his personal feelings into his notes. 

The man is surly and impossible

 Ten minutes spend arguing about the need for therapy.  Five minutes of deep massage of his right leg and strengthening exercises before he ordered me out of his house.

And the final note...

 I give up.  Doctor or not, McLaren is a highly unpleasant client and I will not be coming back here.

Sophie scanned the documents again, vainly searching for a birth date or mention of the man's age.  Maybe he was an old duffer, like her grandfather.  Crotchety and isolated and clinging to his independence. 

The job was just temporary--three months covering for the regular therapist
who'd gone to Chicago for some advanced training. But if  Sophie did exceptionally well, Grace would try to push the county board to approve hiring her on a permanent basis.

The thought had lifted Sophie's heart with joy, though now some of her giddy excitement faded.  She set her jaw.  If her ability to stay in Aspen Creek hinged on those stipulations, then no one--not even this difficult old man--was going to stand in her way.   Far too much depended on it.

"Buddy, I'm going to overwhelm you with kindness, and your mean ole dog, too," she muttered under her breath as she pawed through a grocery sack on the front seat of her car. "See how you like that."

Withdrawing a small can, she peeled off the outer plastic storage lid, pulled the tab to open the can and held it high.  "Salmon," she crooned.  "Come and get it."

It took a minute for the scent to drift over to the cabin.  The dog's head jerked up.  He sniffed the breeze, then he cautiously started across the stretch of grass between the cabin and driveway.

She stayed in the lee of her open car door, ready to leap back inside at the least sign of aggression.  But by the time the dog reached her front bumper his tongue was lolling and his tail wagging.

She grabbed a plastic spoon on her dashboard--a remnant of her last trip to a Dairy Queen--and scooped up a chunk of the pungent, pink fish.  She dropped it on the grass and the dog wolfed it down, his tail wagging even faster.  "Friends?"

She held out a cautious hand and he licked it, his eyes riveted on the can in her other hand.  "Just one bite.  When I come out, I'll give you one more.  Deal?" 

His entire body wagged as he followed her to the cabin door and watched her knock..
No one had peered outside.  No lights shone through the windows.            What if...what if the old guy had passed on?  Her heart in her throat, she framed her face with her hands and pressed her nose to a pane of glass, trying to peer into the gloom.  Knocked again.  And then she tentatively, quietly tried the door knob.

It turned easily in her hand.  She pulled the door open, just an inch.  "Hello?  Anyone here?" She raised her voice.  "I'm from the home health agency."

No answer.

Thundered rumbled outside, heavy and ominous.  A nearby crack of lightning shook the porch beneath her feet.  She opened the door wider, then bracketed her hands against the inner screen door and tried to look inside.  "Hello?"

 The dog at her side shoved past her, sending the door swinging back to crash against the interior wall.  So much for subtlety.

 "Hello," she yelled.  "Are you here?  Are you okay?"

 If the old fellow had died, she had no business disturbing the scene.  The sheriff should be called, and the coroner.   If he was in there with a shotgun, she sure didn’t want to surprise him. But on the other hand, if he needed help, she could hardly walk away.  Steeling herself, she reached around the corner and found a light switch.

Only a single, weak bulb came to life in the center of the room, leaving most of it dark.  A figure suddenly loomed over her, making her heart lurch into overdrive with fear.  Tall.  Broad shoulders.  Silhouetted by the faint light behind him, she couldn't make out his expression, but his stance telegraphed irritation. 
This definitely wasn't some old guy.

Raising her hands defensively, she backed up a step, but then she saw the dog amble over and sit at the man's side.  He rested a gentle hand on the animal's head.

"I-I'm sorry," she faltered, searching his face. He didn't look disabled...but then she saw the telltale signs of tension in his stance, as if he were guarding himself against injuries that probably still kept him up at night. 

He said nothing.

"You must be Dr. McLaren. I thought...I thought you were old," she stammered as her eyes adjusted to the gloom. "When you didn’t answer, I...um...I was afraid that you might be dead."

 "Unfortunately, no," he growled.  He glanced at her upraised hands, then met her eyes with a piercing stare.  "So who are you, and why are you threatening me with that can of salmon?" 

Do Not Reproduce without  permission.

This book is available at :

and fine  bookstores everywhere. 

Author  Roxanne Rustand can be found at www.roxannerustand.com 
and at her blog, The All Creatures Great and Small Place,  at  http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com

You can sign up for her free e-newsletters at www.roxannerustand.com/newsletter-signup

If you are reading this on Facebook, the blog post has originated at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say howdy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

An adorable dancer....with paws

This link was on my daughter's fiance's FB page...and it's so adorable.  What a sweetie!


If you are reading this on FB, it has originated from my blog at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say Howdy!

A new baby at our house...and it nickers!

Here is Susie QT Streke's new foal, born 5/3/11.  In this first photo, she is checking him out for the first time while his navel is being treated.

 Look at that fifth photo down, and how big he is compared to his mom.  Ouch!!

She didn't want to get up for a good 45 minutes afterwards.  She started cramping, but luckily the neighbors, who raise paints, had IV Banamine on hand. Not long after she had a dose, she was on her feet and we were able to take her and the baby up to barn because--despite that pretty sunshine--it was c-c-cold, and the foal was shaking.

In the last photo, he's gotten himself dead-ended in a corner and has no idea how to go in reverse.  :)

Isn't he colorful?  What do you think would be a good name?

if you are seeing this on Facebook, I'd already posted a few photos there.  This is coming from my All Creatures Great and Small blog, at http://roxannerustand/blogspot.com.    Come on over and say Howdy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dog lover? You've GOT to watch this!

This is just so fun to watch!!  My friend Cindy forwarded it, and I think I've watched it five times, now.   Take a look...
 If you are reading this on Facebook, it has come from the All Creatures Great and Small Blog, at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say howdy!


PS: the dog in this post is our dog Harold, a golden oldie of thirteen, who sleeps with a paw over his ear.  I wonder why?!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hawaiian whales, chickens...and wild hogs.

We just got back from two weeks in Hawaii...a wonderful, first time vacation there for the two of us.  What a beautiful state!  The long plane ride was at the upper limits of my tolerance for tight spaces (claustropobia, anyone?!) but every minute was worth it. The incredible flowers, the ocean, and those yummy coffee glazed macadamia nuts made every day a joy.

We spent two nights on Oahu so we could have a day at Pearl Harbor as my husband is a real WW II history buff, then four nights each on Maui and Kauai. Because it will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us--there are still so many places we want to see--we were busy sightseeing every day.  Volcanoes, waterfalls,  whale watching, a couple of luaus, a helicopter tour of Kauai and a day in catamaran going up Kauai's inaccessible coast... wonderful memories, now, which will remembered through the 1000+ digital photos I took.  But some of the most vivid memories are the animals!

That lovely snout, above, belongs to one of Kaua's wild hogs.  Isn't he sweet?  (LOL!)  And the chickens--oh, my.  They are beautiful, and  they are everywhere--in the parking lots, the roadside ditches, around the beautiful pools at every hotel we stayed at.  Everyone we asked said that they are treated as sort of a state pet--no one eats them; they are just on the loose.  We loved the chickens!

And the humpback whales...oh, my.  This was still the season for them to be lingering around the warm waters of Hawaii before heading up to Alaska's rich feeding waters for the summer, and we saw dozens of them while on a whale watching boat---not to mention all of the ones  we could see from the beach in front of the hotels we stayed at.  Take a close look at this photo and tell me---do you think that guy in the water is even aware of how close those two whales are?!  The humpbacks wouldn't eat him--they consume vast quantities of krill (tiny shrimp) once they get back to Alaska, and don't eat anything at all while wintering in Hawaiian waters.  But, I still wouldn't want to be close if one of them decided to breech or start tail slapping!

The animals in Hawaii  surprised and fascinated me.  What are some of your interesting animal discoveries while traveling?

If you are reading this on facebook, come on over to the All Creatures Great and Small blog and say howdy!   http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

Should You Become a Vet Tech?

by Tina Marconi
It’s a good profession if you like animals, or more specifically, if you enjoy working with animals; however, that’s not all being a vet tech involves. When you choose to become a veterinary technician, you should remember that like any job, it has its pros and cons; and when you weigh the advantages against the disadvantages and see which side comes out on top, you know whether you should become a vet tech or switch to some other career.
Vet techs don’t have to attend years of school like a veterinarian – in fact, you can start working and earning enough to support yourself as early as two years after high school. You can choose to earn either a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, after which you must appear for and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam which allows you to qualify for a license to practice in your state. However, it is better to opt for a two-year degree program, find work as a vet tech, gain a few years of experience, and then go back to school for another two years to become a veterinary technologist. This opens up more opportunities, allows you to earn a higher salary, enhances your skills and repertoire, and lets you climb up the professional ladder.
Nature of the job
As a vet tech, you will be dealing hands-on with animals. Your primary job is to assist a veterinarian in all aspects of their practice, so you’ll be taking care of sick animals, liaising with their owners, advising in their care and diet, assisting vets with surgeries, and even treating minor injuries and suturing up small wounds. You must have a way with animals if you’re to taste any kind of success at this job, and you must be prepared to work with even the most aggressive ones and know how to calm them down and get them to accept your touch. On the downside, you could end up with vets who push you to the limit and dump work on you, you could be forced to deal with unpleasant pet owners who make unreasonable demands on your time, you could be bitten, scratched and injured in other ways by the animals, and you could get too attached to your patients and feel a deep sense of loss when you lose them or have to put them to sleep.
Perhaps this is the biggest disadvantage of being a vet tech – salaries are very low, and even the best in the business can make only around $35,000 a year. You could go higher if you specialize in one particular aspect of animal care and if you work in research or in private industries in any other capacity. However, with further education, you could become a veterinary technologist and earn much more by working in biomedical, wildlife and diagnostic facilities, and in drug and food manufacturing units. This will remove you from direct contact with animals, so if you’re in the job for the proximity to pets, you’re better off as a vet technician than a vet technologist.
Work hours
As in any medical field, the hours are long and erratic, and you could be called in to help with sick animals at any time of the day or night, and even when you’re off duty. You would be spending lots of time on your feet, so you must be physically fit and strong enough to help restrain larger animals. Vet techs must work hard, but there’s an innate satisfaction to the job because the animals you treat and care for respond with affection and trust.
Prospects for advancement
Join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians for more career options, networking with fellow vet techs, and opportunities in continuing education. You could choose to move into research and development options in the field of veterinary science if you want to make more money, and if you’re employed in a private practice where there is a shortage of vets, you could take on more responsibility and enhance your skills. With further education, you could become a veterinary technologist and move into a laboratory or factory setting where you would be responsible for diagnostic procedures and quality control.
This guest post is contributed by Tina Marconi, she writes on the topic of online vet tech . She welcomes your comments at her email id: tinamarconi85[@]gmail[.]com.

Howdy!  If you are reading this on Facebook, come on over to The All Creatures Great and Small Blog, where it originated.  You can ask questions or comment on the post, and then page through previous posts--where a variety of writers have blogged about their pets!  http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Hello! I’m excited to be a guest blogger today on “All Creatures Great and Small”. I’m equally excited to share a story or two of the adorable pets I’ve been fortunate enough to have known and loved.

Let’s start with the large.

Norman was big even for a Newfoundland dog, the fourth largest breed in the world.  He had a coat of long shiny black hair, loved humans, and we loved him right back. He was a big, goofy kid disguised as a dog, and he lived to chase anything that moved.

We were never quite sure if it was his puppy enthusiasm that caused the collision, but when we were playing tag one warm summer’s day Norman ran head first into a full grown maple tree. In my mind’s eye, I can still hear the thud of his skull smacking against the trunk. Everyone stopped running. Had he hurt himself? Not a chance. The impact dazed him for all of a few seconds, and then he resumed the game!

Another time we were tobogganing and Norman, being Norman, wanted in on the fun. The only
problem was he was far too big to fit on the Crazy carpet, and there was no way he could fit on my lap. Undeterred, he raced down the hill alongside me. Halfway down he grabbed the back of my jacket in his teeth. Stopping dead in his tracks, he yanked me off the carpet and whipped me around in a circle. Fun for Norman. Kinda scary for me!

Next on the list is the medium.

Peter, a white and black mutt, was born when I was two. He was the runt of the litter and to this day I still cheer for the little guy!

In the 1950s there was no special formula dog food. (Not that we could have afforded it even if there had been.) Peter ate table scraps and what he could forage from our garden. He was particularly fond of green peas and on those rare occasions when he did receive a bone, his tail never stopped wagging.

He spent his life outdoors except for those winter nights when the temperature dropped below freezing. It took forever for my father to coax Peter inside to sleep in the basement. Later, he built him a dog house, but most nights Peter still preferred the top step of the front porch.

Never a cuddly, lap dog, Peter was a true and loyal companion who lived 16 human years, which as you know translates into a very long life in dog years.

Last but not least is the small. Literally. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog, but many claim pound for pound they rate the biggest in personality.

Meet Peanut.  She may be fictional, but she’s very real to me. She plays an important role in my debut inspirational romantic suspense novel. In true Chihuahua fashion, she’s a bold and brave little watchdog. There’s nothing Peanut won’t do to protect her owner. Or her unborn pups. But wait, I don’t want to giveaway all of the story!

I do, however, want to give away a pdf copy of DEFENDING GLORY, first book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series.

To enter drop by my website -http://www.AnneKAlbert.com and leave a comment that you saw me on Roxanne’s All Creature’s Great and Small blog. I’ll pick a name at random on March 1st, and announce the winner the following day on my blog - http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com

Thanks so much, Roxanne, for giving me the privilege of being your guest blogger today. I’ve enjoyed every single minute, and so have Norman, Peter and Peanut!

Anne K. Albert

Howdy!  For those of you reading this on Facebook, this has originated at the All Creatures Great and Small blog, htt://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  I hope you'll come on over and chat with Anne there, or just stop in to say hi!   Roxanne

Thursday, February 3, 2011

PW --"Beyond The Book" Blog

I was so delighted  this morning, to learn about a review this month on my book, Fatal Burn, which was a Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense from February, 2010!

It's at the Publisher's Weekly  "PW-Beyond the Book" blog at:

What a lovely surprise, on this bitterly cold, post-blizzard day.

I hope you're all keeping warm!

(if you are reading this on FB, it has originated at the "All Creatures great and Small Blog" at http://roxannerustand.blopgspot.com )

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A musical schnoodle!

Have you seen this darling video?!  My friend Judy sent me the link, and it's so cute that I watched it twice!  :) 

Thanks, Judy!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A free book by Lyn Cote!!!

A free book to enjoy---by Lyn Cote!!! Friday, January 7, 2011 - 7:47 PM
Here is a wonderful chance for you to read a FREE book, in serialized form, by a very popular author!!

Can the beautiful daughter of a French courtesan find a love that will
last in early America?

Lyn Cote is posting this never-before published book, section by section, on her blog. She started posting just before Christmas, so you can read the previous entries to catch up, and then continue to follow this wonderful story. She plans on posting 2-3 new scenes each week till it's done. Tell your friends too--so they can enjoy LaBelle Christiane making her debut in the world!

You can find the story at Lyn Cote's blog:

If you are reading this on FB, this post originated at The All Creatures Great and Small Blog,
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.   Come on over and say howdy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Booksiging--Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I rarely do signings, but on Saturday, December 4th, I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Cedar Rapids from 10:00 -2:00 pm  for a booksigning with other authors, including popular inspirational historical romance author Pamela Nissen, Jo Cebuhar, and Mississippi  travel writer Dean Klinkengberg.  I'd love to see you there.  And, signed copies make great gifts!  :)

The address is:  Northland Square SC, 333 Collins Rd NE Bldg 1, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, 319-393-4800

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I'm visiting the Seekerville blog today!

Stop in today--or within the next day or two, leave a comment, and have a chance at three drawings for  a free autographed book--of any title in my backlist for which I still have copies!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Suzy Q finds a home

I've been wanting to find a very quiet, sweet horse for years.  No rodeos.  No surprises.  Road safe, trail safe. Small enough to a be a confidence builder for the grandkids when they are old enough to ride off a leadline. Large enough that the adults in the family can ride, too.  We have one old geezer who at thirty-five is too old and arthritic to ride, and a twelve-year-old who is a tad too spunky to trust with just anyone on his back.

I'd sort of given up, after looking for so long....everything was too spunky. Not sound. Too erratic.  Too expensive.  Sold--just yesterday. "Gentle" but with a propensity for crowhopping into a lope.  Nothing worked out.  And this year,  far more important things were going on as my mom grew more ill with each passing month, so I wasn't even thinking about looking.

But then this past week, I came across Suzy by chance.  Small, but not too small.  Sweet. Quiet. Her owner and I went riding for an hour on the streets of a small town, with cars, trucks and school buses going by, dogs barking, flags flapping, people coming up to "pet the horsies."  She was as solid and steady as could be, and fifteen minutes into the ride I was sold....and an hour later, her former owner trailered her to our house.  Better yet, when our vet came the next day, he pronounced her sound.  Now I look forward to Thanksgiving and the arrival of our two young grandkids...and will be hoping for nice weather so they can enjoy her.  Suzy will be a small day brightener for us all, given that this will be our first Thanksgiving without my mom.

Suzy reminds me of the horses I had when I was a child.  Those horses--probably due in part to  me riding daily for hours upon hours, were bombproof.  My friends and I rode everywhere--trails, busy roads, down to "The Corner" near our house where there was a collection of shops, including a bakery, where we would tie our horses outside and go in for M&M cookies, or we'd stop at the Dairy Queen, or the drug store, which had a soda fountain and the best ice cream in the world. One of my horses, Rebel, had a particular fondness for maple nut ice cream, so I always bought him a cone, too.  We rode to the local horse shows back then as well, and even to the county fair, because none of us had trailers yet.

What a childhood that was, being so independent from the age of six, on the back of a gentle old mare! The adventures were endless, the memories are so rich.  These days, the thought of turning children loose like that, unsupervised, is frightening, but it was a different world then...at least, as far as we knew.

What are some of your happiest memories from childhood?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


 I just realized that time is getting away from me, and I should take a moment to let you know about my newest book--WINTER REUNION, which was released the last week  (the first week of November, 2010.)  It's my very first non-suspense, written for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired line.  What an experience it was, writing a book without guns, villains and bodies here and there.  I loved this new challenge!

Here's the back cover blurb: 

Home to heal...and reconcile?

When wounded marine Devlin Sloan comes back to Aspen Creek, he's surprised by his late mother's will.  His new business partner for the next six months will be  Beth Carrigan.  His ex-wife.

This might prove to be Dev's most difficult mission yet.  He never stopped loving the sweet bookstore owner, but his military career broke them apart.  Now, as they work together at helping others get a new start in life, he hopes he can break down the walls between them....and explore the possibilities of renewing the life they had with each other.

It's available at bookstores and places like Walmart, KMart  and Target.  You can also find it at www.christianbook.com
www.steeplehill.com  and

This book is the first in the Aspen Creek Crossroads series, and stands completely alone.  However, there will be other books coming  that are set in the same town, involving other members of  the little book club which meets at Beth's Book Store.  I hope you join me for Sophie and Keeley's stories, too!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

(to those reading this on Facebook, this post has originated at The All Creature Great and Small blog, at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Cowboy Story Teller, by author Stephen Bly

 The Cowboy Storyteller/History Thru Western Eyes
By Stephen Bly

For Granddaddy and his cowboy pals, History was real.
    You could see it in their cowboy eyes. You could hear
    it in their stories. You could touch it when you brushed
    against their Colts or Winchesters, chaps or Stetsons. You
    could taste history’s fine dust ever’ time a dirt devil swirled
    off the hills and down Central Avenue. And on that day in
    1954, I could smell history in the 2nd story hallway of the
    Matador Hotel.
        From Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon

Every cowboy’s a storyteller. It goes with the culture. And cowboys don’t need campfires to tell their tales. A sidekick or a good horse who seems to listen will do. That provided another reason why horses were so important for a cowboy. Years later, autos didn’t quite do it—to draw out a windy tale. Like a good movie or book, an oral story captivates attention and uses up long hours on the trail. 

In Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon, the permanent residents of the aging Matador hotel in Albuquerque include 5 old cowboys, in their 70s to 90s. Every week these five, plus a 10-year-old’s grandfather, play cribbage in the lobby. But that’s not the real focus. Their chief pleasure centers on talk of their horse riding and cow roping days. Those who paid attention heard their hearts too. And every yarn is. . .almost true.

Mountain man Jim Bridger called his stories ‘stretchers.’ Old guys have a habit of wanting to digress when telling their tales. My challenge as a writer was to be true to their nature and sympathetic to my readers. Spend a morning near the old-timers booth at your own local Pine Tar Café and you’ll know what I mean.

The eldest was born during the Civil War. All of them cowboyed from the late 1880s until the 1940s. They tell first-hand stories of what the West was truly like, from their point of view.

There’s no telling how many times these cowboys told their stories and they don’t tell them the same each time. That’s the beauty of oral history. It’s not a static photo of the past, but a running monologue that’s filtered through the memory and heart of the one who lived it. The story’s alive, so you can experience it for yourself.

All history is filtered through the eyes of the beholder. That’s one of the joys of being a writer. . .filtering through your own world view. Everyone does it. Mine happens to be Christian.

Some say history is distorted in the minds of the teller. The stories are slanted, even fabricated, to portray the West as the author wants it to remembered. The same critique could be used of modern historians. The difference? The old-timers were there. They lived it. The wildest thing most modern historians have done is order a triple-shot for their espressos. Some books written by people who were there: Charlie Siringo and Andy Adams.

For me, history is not the story of grand ideas or broad sweeps describing movements, events or social progress. History is the story of individual people. Not all are famous, but each helps define who we are today. . .and why we think and act the way we do.

The old cowboys at the Matador Hotel in Albuquerque share one layer of New Mexico’s history, a fairly modern era. My favorite New Mexico governor is Lew Wallace, author of the novel Ben-Hur. The story is told that Wallace set out to study the Bible in order to prove it wrong. But in the process, he discovered Jesus to be Lord of his life. The book proved to be a statement of his faith, rather than his atheism. I like the idea that the author of Ben- Hur also sat down and tried to negotiate with Billy the Kid. What interesting, eclectic people tramped out west back in those early days.

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon unfolds more than windy stories. Sit in the Matador lobby with Quirt, Bronc, Thad, Shorty, Coosie and Pop and listen to their oral history. Quirky characters packed the Old West and these guys met most of them. They even knew the infamous Stuart Brannon, “the toughest sober man” whom they never saw flinch, even in a fierce gunfight.

On one rainy afternoon, Little Brother sits with the six men, listening to their tales, their romps through past memories. They delight in this captive audience. Their horse riding days long gone, the boy gave them a chance to tell their stories fresh and new. Meanwhile, a drama unfolds, a story brews in the lobby that propels them into one last cowboy stand. After all those stories, Little Brother gets to be part of one himself.

Stephen Bly
Website: http://www.blybooks.com/
Blog: www.BlyBooks.blogspot.com
Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon can be ordered through www.Amazon.com or www.BlyBooks.com or through your local bookstore (Ingram Distributors) or library.

Those who leave a comment will be eligible for a drawing in which they can win a free copy of this book!

 If you are reading this on Facebook, it has originated from Roxanne Rustand's  "All creatures great and small" blog  at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com   Come on over and say howdy!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Author Lyn Cote writes wonderful books in all areas of Christian fiction--contemporary, romantic suspense, historical---and I enjoy teach and every one of them.  Her Texas Star of Destiny series has been just excellent--not to be missed! here's the information for you!

Final book in the Texas Star of Destiny series
Her Abundant Joy
Avon Inspire
ISBN # 978-0061373428

Can a beautiful young widow find peace in the arms of a Texas Ranger?

In 1846, young widow Mariel Wolfe survived the grueling voyage from
Germany to start a new life in the "promised" land of Texas. Forced by
circumstances to become a servant, Mariel is now determined to quit a
harsh master. But how can a single woman face the frontier on her own?

 Texas Ranger Carson Quinn is responsible for leading her party of
German immigrants safely through dangerous Comanche-held territory. As
he watches Mariel hold her head high in spite of everything, he will
stop at nothing to protect her.

But war is brewing: Mexico will not accept the U.S. annexation of the
young Texas Republic without a fight. Honor bound to fight for Texas,
Carson's deepest longing is to lay down his rifle. As Mariel and
Carson fall deeply in love, could her painful past or this new war
destroy all their hopes? Will the tide of history sweep them far from
peace, far from a life together?

Lyn Cote
Her Abundant Joy 6-1-10
Every woman has a story! Share yours.

Q & A for Her Abundant Joy by Lyn Cote

1-What caused you to choose early Texas as the setting for your "Texas Star of Destiny" series?
I enjoy writing about locales and periods where several groups come together for a sharp culture clash. Conflict is the essence of a good story and many different people trying to get along or not get along sets up a story rife with natural conflict.
Starting in 1821 Stephen Austin brought in Anglo-Americans to settle Spanish and the Mexican-held Texas.  Eastern Texas became the setting where Native Americans, mainly Comanche, Mexicans, and blacks (slaves and runaways), and Anglos clashed over who would be in control of the land. Part of my brand, "Strong Women Brave Stories" is that I like to write a multicultural cast. In this third and final book in the series, I stir German immigrants into the mix.

2-How do you handle the 19th century political incorrectness?
I resist the pressure to sanitize history. If I portray the 19th century as it really was, it is difficult not to offend the 21st century reader. Yet I still endeavor to portray the low status of women and racial prejudice of the 19th century. I had a reader say in a review that my stories had 21st century values. That's not really correct. My stories have characters who are at odds with their times, another characteristic common to my historicals. My heroines are usually crusaders far ahead of their times who won't cave in to the pressure to conform (another source of conflict). I don't like historical novels that don't even try to show how society was different in the past.

3-What was the most interesting fact you didn't know about Texas BEFORE you started writing this series?
I hadn't realized that over 30,000 Germans immigrated to Texas in the mid-1840's. The area around New Braunfels, Texas, still celebrates this German heritage with some original stone houses, German food and polka bands—really!

4-What do you hope your readers will take away after reading this book and the first two in the series?
Her Abundant Joy features a German widow Mariel Wolffe. She is a heroine who will tug at a reader's heart (I hope!) And her hero, Carson Quinn, the son of the hero and heroine in the first book, is a man that should melt hearts. He's not just a handsome face. He has faced frontier life and learned to survive with honor, no small accomplishment.

They find themselves--just as we do today in the face of terrorism--in the middle of a war. Their personal desires and plans must give way to the winds of war. But God is still there with them. I gave my editor a choice of two titles taken from Psalm 37 (all 3 titles are). She chose Her Abundant Joy. The other was Her Man of Peace. I think that this reflects the theme of the book. Carson longs for peace but is forced into war.

The humble shall inherit the earth; and
shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace....
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:
for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 37: 11, 37

Lyn Cote's Bio

When Lyn Cote became a mother, she gave up teaching, and while raising a son and a daughter, she began working on her first novel. Long years of rejection followed. Finally in 1997, Lyn got "the call." Her first book, Never Alone, was chosen by Steeple Hill for the new Love Inspired romance line. Since then, Lyn has had over twenty-five novels published. In 2006 Lyn's book, Chloe, was a finalist for the RITA, one of the highest awards in the romance genre. Lyn’s brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories,” always includes three elements: a strong heroine who is a passionate participant in her times, authentic historical detail and a multicultural cast of characters. Lyn also features stories of strong women both from real life and true to life fiction on her blog http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com Lyn also can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Drop by and "friend or follow" her. Now living her dream of writing books at her lake cottage in northern Wisconsin, Lyn hopes her books show the power of divine as well as human love.
Her latest release is Her Abundant Joy, the final book in her Texas Star of Destiny series, to purchase drop by her website or blog http://strongwomenbravestories.blogspot.com.

If you are reading this on Facebook, it has come from Roxanne Rustand's  "All creatures great and small blog" at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say howdy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This got to be way too much fun...

Have you ever wished you could write a story but didn't have an idea?  Want to spur your creativity by doing something totally off the wall?  Even just for giggles, while you imagine what some of these combinations would be like, take a look at this great tool!


  Have fun!

Roxanne Rustand
 The All Creatures Great and Small Place

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deadlines, Alaska, and one very messy office....

I need a backhoe!

Today was a catch-up day for me, now that the  manuscript for my April book has been turned in, and the  copy edits on Winter Reunion (November)  are  taken care of.  The next time I see Reunion, it will be out in the stores, and I can't wait.  Doesn't Steeple Hill have gorgeous covers?! Their art department is just amazing, and I wonder what they'll come up with for all of the November books!  I think my June book, End Game, has an intriguing cover, with a spooky road leading off into the mountains.

I am thankful to have those deadlines met..but now,  you should see my office!  :)   Er....maybe not. I worked on it most of the day and haven't made much of a dent in all the papers and books and whatnot that seem to grow exponentially whenever my back is turned. Do you have a "junk drawer" in your desk, or in your kitchen? Multiply that by a hundred, and you'll be able to visualize my office!  It will be such a good feeling  when it's all back in order. How about you...are you totally organized and neat-as-a-pin, or do you ever get just a tad behind like this?! I'm hoping that someone, somewhere, will tell me that I'm not alone! :)

I  had a bit of an excuse this time, though--we were traveling a bit, recently.  My husband has wanted to go to Alaska for years, and started planning this trip way last fall.  I never knew there were so many mountain ranges up there, each more beautiful than the last.  I just had to share a couple photos.  What I wanted most was to photograph moose for this blog, and I only caught a glimpse of one disappearing into the trees!  BUT...we did see lots of whales.  Well....their tails, anyway.  One stayed in position and slapped his upraised flukes against the water 20-25 times.  I wish I'd had a movie camera! The picture below isn't very impressive, but it was a full grown whale.  And, we got to see sea lions and an eagle enjoying a buoy.
What are your favorite destinations?  Where would you like to go next?
Best wishes to you for a wonderful summer!

Roxanne Rustand
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com  "The all creatures great and small place"
(so if you are reading this on Facebook, come on over and say "Hi!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just call me grace....

Have you ever started out a day and thought that it might've been better to stay in bed?!  Mine went pretty well this morning...up early, rarin' to go at the computer, because I have three chapters due Thursday and I want to make sure they are done in time.  So far, so good....

Except I got a little too involved and lost track of time.  The schedule here is that the dogs spend the night in our downstairs laundry room, because at two years of age Elmo still has a very devil-may-care attitude about house training...and Harold is getting too old to be totally dependable.  They go out  on their cable ties  at 7:00 am...then come back inside for their breakfast and a nice lazy day mostly spent on our deck and indoors.  Always.  While they are doing their morning business, I clomp down to the barn in my barn boots and jammies  (hey, I'm hoping that no one ever sees me--and so far, I think I've been lucky) to feed the horses and the barn cats.  Any later, and the cats all march up to the house, which makes handling the dogs a tad trickier.  And noisier. Bark, bark, bark....

But today I was late, thanks to Chapter Two.  And Harold, who is a good 88 years in people years, apparently couldn't wait.  I skirted the little presents on the floor,  planning on clean-up after the dogs were out of the way.  I snapped on his leash and hurried outside...but I'd missed one of those fragrant gifts, stepped on it, and went sailing out the door onto the concrete patio, arms flailing, and went down like a felled tree.  Do you have any idea how slippery  that stuff can be?! Harold, with the wisdom of many years with an amazingly coordinated owner, bolted to the farthest stretch of his leash in panic.

And now today, I am working at my computer with Bandaids on my knee, foot, hand and elbow....looking very much like a grade schooler who has had a tough day in the playground.  And just the thought of this morning makes me laugh.

I remember attending  my first ever event where there were  Real Live Published Authors.  I was in awe.  Star struck.  Imagined their words flowing effortlessly onto the page when they wrote.  Imagined the  glamorous lives  they all led.   Well, I hope they do....and I really hope my time is coming! 

Now--how about you?  Have you had any memorably awkward  moments, or is it just me?!

Note: If you are reading this on Facebook, it has forwarded from:   The "All Creatures Great and Small blog,"  at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say "hi!"


Friday, June 4, 2010

ACFW vs RWA....which is best for you?

Today, instead of posting  about creatures   I'd like to veer off a bit and tell my writer friends about a wonderful conference opportunity with ACFW!!

I've been a member of Romance Writers of America  (RWA)  for many years.    RWA membership offers opportunities for regional and national conferences, local chapters for networking, learning and support,  dozens of annual chapter-sponsored contests (great for receiving feedback on your work, honing your craft, and getting your work seen by the editors and agents who may be final round judges) and a monthly magazine offering articles on craft and the industry.  This summer, I'll be attending my fourteenth  national conference,  where there will be many dozens of workshops to choose from, opportunities to meet editors and agents, great networking. The benefits of attending far outweigh the cost.

RWA is excellent, and I recommend it highly.  But, if you are wanting to write inspirational fiction, there's an even better  option! 

I  moved into writing inspirational fiction in 2007 and until then had never heard of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW.)  I was positively stunned when I discovered the wealth of information and opportunities available to ACFW members!.  Free online classes every month.  A highly active e-mail loop.  A website with an incredible amount of  information for every level of writer, plus free promotional opportunities for those who are published.  For a very low membership fee, one can tap into a world of support, and information, just like RWA, but geared for the inspirational genre.

But what I'd really like to tell you about today is the annual  ACFW conference, which is coming up September 17-20th in Indianapolis, because registration is opening soon!

How do the ACFW and RWA conferences compare?  Well, as much as I love RWA, I'd have to say this:  if you are an inspirational writer (aspiring or published), could only choose one, and
wanted the most benefit for your money, I'd recommend  ACFW, hands down.

After attending  all of those RWA conferences, I'll admit---I didn't have high expectations when I attended my first ACFW conference.  I figured it would be much smaller and offer  less.  Was I ever in for a surprise!  If not for the ACFW logo, I would not have seen one bit of difference in quality between the two.  And honestly, the ACFW conference offered much more of exactly what I was looking for--a chance to learn, and grow, and network within the Christian writers' community.     I can only imagine the endless hours and hard work that go into putting one of these ACFW conferences on, but the results were seamless and highly professional.  And the opportunities---oh, my!

RWA offers a big line-up of workshops geared to every level of writer.  So does ACFW---a wonderful array of workshops for every level of writer, every aspect of the business.  The added benefit at ACFW is that the workshops are all geared to the inspirational genre--you'll have a chance to listen to editors, agents, and successful authors from every aspect of  the genre.  The workshops are carefully vetted  and extremely well done.  I know about the vetting part first hand.   I've done around eight or nine workshops at the national RWA conferences, but my proposal for ACFW this year didn't make the grade!  The committee is clearly working very hard to give attendees the very best conference opportunity, and they truly succeed.  I cannot wait for September!

What about opportunities to network with editors and agents?  Here, there's a world of difference, and ACFW wins again.  At RWA, you may be able to get an appointment.   Editors and agents have tight schedules.  If not  working through their heavy schedule of appointments or giving a  workshop. they mostly disappear, because they have  hectic schedules for meeting with their authors in groups and individually, taking authors out to luncheons and dinners, and so on.  I cannot image how exhausted they must be on the plane trip home! 

At  ACFW, you have a much better chance of getting the appointments you hope for.  Even better, the editors and agents are highly visible at breakfast, lunch and dinner--sitting at prescribed tables, where conference attendees can join them for a meal.  It's not a place to make a harried pitch.  But, it's a chance to chat, get to know each other, and ask questions.  To me, that alone was worth every penny spent on the conference, hotel and plane tickets!   Not that any one person should dominate an editor/agent's attention in that setting, but by just listening in on the table conversation, you can learn so much about the industry, publishing houses, and even that editor/agent's  "wish list" of what they would like to see.

I love the camaraderie at RWA.  With every year you attend, you know more people, see more old friends, have a more wonderful time.  At ACFW  you'll have that same warm, welcoming experience --but with something extra--an indescribable, uplifting atmosphere of faith and joy and support.  If I could only attend one big  conference this year, it would be ACFW.

Finally, on a practical note, you will see that ACFW costs a little more. However, far more meals are covered--and again, those meals were wonderful networking opportunities.  I hope to see you in Indianapolis this fall!!  Here's a link for it: 

Roxanne Rustand
June 2010:  END GAME,   Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense


(PS:  if you are reading this on Facebook, it has originated at the All Creatures Great and Small Blog, at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com.  Come on over and say "Hi!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This really IS a creature! What is it?!

This blog is about all creatures great and small  (at http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com if you are reading this on Facebook) though that usually means pets, horses, and other familiar animals.  But this is creature I found on the side of our barn.  Looks like it is related to the dragon flies, given its wings, but it was huge and unlike anything I'd ever seen before...a little over 3.5  inches long.  Do you know what it is?!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Rebecca Booth is the winner of  author Delia Latham's drawing.  Rebecca, you can contact her through her website at:  www.delialatham.net to provide your mailing address.


The  "All Creatures Great and Small"  blog

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Deborah Raney...pets galore!! And her latest book-- Almost Forever

by Deborah Raney

Growing up on a farm, I've owned and loved my share of cats. I
married a man who wasn't so crazy about those of the feline
persuasion--that is until I manipulated a birthday gift of a tiny
black kitten from a friend. My new husband couldn't say "no" to
that, could he? Ebony soon won Ken over, and we've loved a string of
housecats through our thirty-some years of marriage since.

But after moving to a house with a fenced-in yard outside the city limits five years ago, we accumulated some cats––eleven to be precise! Our now 16-year-old tomcat, Frosty, made the move with us and happily took up residence in the big doghouse on the back deck.

Then one morning just after we got settled in, a gorgeous calico cat showed up on our front porch. When she was still there a few weeks later, we claimed her and named her Biscuit. But we soon realized Biscuit's roly-poly figure was due to more than the generous portions of cat chow we were serving her.

We moved her to the back porch and hoped Frosty (who was not the kittens' father) would be a gentleman and share his comfy home. Nothing doing. End of discussion. We were disappointed in his manners, but with the arrival of kittens imminent, we fixed a cozy box under the eaves for Biscuit and filled it with warm towels ready to receive kittens.

One morning late that March, I went out to the deck to find the two cats had traded homes! I have no idea how those negotiations went down, but the following morning I found Biscuit, snug in the
doghouse, licking a precious miniature of herself. By noon "Gravy" had two sisters and a brother.

We enjoyed every minute of the ten weeks those kittens lived with us. Frosty was so attentive you'd have thought he'd fathered the kits. It wasn't easy to say goodbye, but we found good homes and got
everyone settled in with their new families. Wouldn't you know it, several days before Biscuit's vet appointment to be "fixed," we
started to suspect she would be blessing us with another bundle of kittens--and soon!

Batch Number Two--five precious little girls--made their entrance into the world two years ago, on July 11. Much to Frosty's dismay, we immediately moved Biscuit and the little ones to the basement where we could make sure this was the last litter. Early that September,Batch Two moved out onto the back deck where they frolicked and scampered and quickly made friends with Frosty. It was a summer full of laughter. A summer to remember forever.

In a perfect world, all nine kitties could have lived all nine lives right here in our backyard. But it's not a perfect world, and far too soon October came, and one by one, the kittens went off to new homes, thanks to my author friend Kim Vogel Sawyer. (Kim calls herself a kitty broker and it's an apt title, since she adopted Maizie, placed Snickers with her parents, and found a home together for two other kittens.)

Every kitten had a home––except a little yellow and white fluffball we called Sundae. Surely we could keep just one? After much begging and pleading (our daughter's) and a few tears (mine), we convinced the master of the house that in spite of lyrics to the contrary, three cats in the yard really does make for a very, very, very fine house.

––Deborah Raney

Almost Forever
by Deborah Raney
A Hanover Falls Novel
from Howard/Simon and Schuster

Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear. but could it also set her free?

Volunteer Bryn Hennesey was there at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter the night five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam.

Now a terrifying absence of memory has her wondering if she might, in some way, be responsible. Garrett Edmonds' wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. He was supposed to protect the woman he loved.now she's the one who's died a hero. How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss? And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer...

Deborah Raney books always captivate me! Almost Forever is a beautifully written and enthralling read. It made my heart sing, dance, cry, and turn more than a few flips!
~CindyWoodsmallNew York Times best-selling author

As a fan of the very talented Deborah Raney, I expected a great read and I got it in the richly emotional Almost Forever, a story of faith, forgiveness and redemption.  It began with a gripping scene and proceeded to hold me enthralled to the end.  Don't miss this one!
~Karen Young, author of Missing Max and Blood Bayou

DEBORAH RANEY is at work on her 20th novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Almost Forever, first in her new Hanover Falls Novels series, will release in May from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four grown children and two precious grandsons, all of whom live much too far away.

Visit Deb on the web at www.deborahraney.com
Order her books here: http://snipurl.com/raneybooks

Note from Roxanne:  If you are reading this on Facebook, come on over to the All Creatures Great and Small Blog for  lots of great posts and pet stories from your favorite authors!   http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com