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!

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!"