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December 2020 Year-end wrap-up

Photo of Wallowa Mountains

Wallowa Mountains in July.

Imagine the above mountains in December and you'll have some idea of just one of the challenges Alice faces in Come Snowfall.

The feedback I've been getting on this story has made all the hours spent writing and researching so worthwhile. Thank you! I hope you'll share your thoughts with other readers by leaving a review on the site you purchased the book from.

In my November newsletter, I hinted at another western adventure in the works. That book is Ramsey Judd, a story my dear cousin, Tina Spencer, published in 2008 through Publish America (a now defunct print-on-demand company). The book received positive reviews, and it was a story I thoroughly enjoyed. So when it fell out of print, I encouraged (or rather nagged!) Tina to re-publish.

But life happened, and here we are twelve years later. My cousin entrusted me with copyright ownership and the task of re-publishing. Outside of some minor editing, little of the original text has been altered. Ramsey Judd is still very much Tina Spencer's story.

From the back cover:

The Civil War robbed him of his identity and self-respect. Now he's ready to reclaim them both.

Twenty years ago, Union soldier Ramsey Judd ran away in the middle of battle. He was forced to keep running under an assumed name to avoid being apprehended and charged with desertion. Pushing old age and faced with his own mortality, he finally starts the long journey home. Along the way, he stops in a little place in Idaho to pay his respects to the girl he left behind.

But a lot has changed in his absence. Instead of a warm welcome, Ramsey finds himself at the center of a conflict between revenge and greed. He has one last chance to make things right – unless his health, or the law, catches up with him first.

Photo of Ramsey Judd book cover

Another awesome cover, don't you agree?

Ramsey Judd is scheduled for release January 5, 2021.

A reminder announcement, along with information on where you can buy the ebook and paperback, will be sent out on launch day!

You've heard the saying "truth is stranger than fiction"? For me, that pretty much summarizes 2020: a year of extremes. As it comes to a close, I wish you and yours the very best of holidays. May the new year bring peace and joy!

Christmas card

November 2020 Come Snowfall launch

Photo of apple pie

I baked three of these beauties.

And because this was pumpkin season, I pureed and chopped pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins) for the freezer.
This one, however, didn't get that far.

Photo of sugar pumpkin
 Photo of pumpkin pie

To work off the calories that consuming all those pies generated, my husband and I spent an afternoon at Starvation Creek State Park, hiking a short stretch of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail that includes four – four! – waterfalls: Starvation Creek, Cabin Creek, Hole-in-the-Wall, and Lancaster.

Photo of Starvation Creek Falls

Starvation Creek

 Photo of Cabin Creek Falls

Cabin Creek

Photo of Hole-In-The-Wall Falls


 Photo of Lancaster Falls


Come Snowfall became available in ebook and paperback Nov. 24, my second book launch this year (during a pandemic, no less!). My heartfelt thanks to everyone who showed their support and encouragement.

If you have read Come Snowfall (or any of my other titles) and enjoyed the story, please do me the favor of leaving a short review on the site where you purchased the book. Your help in spreading the word is gratefully appreciated. Reviews make a huge difference in helping new readers find my work.

On a final note, I opted out of participating in NaNoWriMo this year to focus my efforts on a new project, another western adventure. More on that in my December newsletter. Congratulations to everyone who took the NaNo challenge!

October 2020 Looking ahead

Record-breaking wildfires swept across Oregon mid-September. Thankfully, our little corner escaped evacuation notice, but the air quality was hazardous and kept us confined indoors for several days. Our hearts go out to those who suffered unimaginable loss.

Temperatures have cooled, days are shorter, and the garden is gearing down. My husband dug up twenty pounds of red potatoes last weekend.

Photo of potato harvest

A friend gave us two crates of apples, and I've been busy coring, slicing, and chopping. Some are going into the freezer, some into the dehydrator. And there will be a pie (or two?) baked soon.

Edits on Come Snowfall are going well and on target for a November 24 release! Look for the announcement to appear on my home page in the coming weeks. Here's the back blurb:

The sweeping Western tale of a young girl's enduring spirit and courage.

In the summer of 1880, twelve-year-old Alice Calder is left alone to run the family's horse ranch on the outskirts of Baker City, Oregon, after her ma, pa, and little brother die of smallpox. The ranch is all she has left of her family, and she will do whatever it takes to hold onto it, even if that means greeting strangers at the business end of her Winchester rifle.

But when a man bearing an uncanny resemblance to her ma rides up and claims to be her Uncle Hank, Alice must decide whether to turn away blood kin or accept his help. It's a decision that will ultimately lead her on a journey of strength and resourcefulness across two territories, as she comes to terms with the meaning of family and just how far she's willing to go to save it.

Photo of Come Snowfall book cover

I am thrilled with this gorgeous cover!

One final note: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins November 1st. With my current project so near publication, I'm hoping to hammer out 50,000 words of something coherent enough to build the next adventure from. To learn more about this annual, internet-based, creative writing project, go to https://nanowrimo.org/.

National Novel Writing Month logo

If you have a good read to recommend, or would just like to say hello, please email writer@cindyhiday.com.
I'd enjoy hearing from you!

Newsletter Back Issues

September 2020 Looking Back

And oh the memories! The good, bad, and ugly. Fortunately...


August 2020 Come Snowfall progress

Accepting the end of one chapter and focusing on the next.


May 2020 Iditarod Nights launch

As the April 14 release date approached, it became clear this wouldn't be your typical launch.