Montana Rising Goodreads Giveaway has Started!

One ‘signed by the author‘ copy of Montana Rising: Wordplay is available in my first Goodreads Giveaway, starting today. Sigh. It started Christmas Day, but I’m really trying to make every possible mistake, so here’s the one where I forget to note the giveaway on my blog until it’s been running for eleven days.

The giveaway is running for 30 days, and we’re off and running with 262 people requesting the book so far.

Enter the Giveaway today for your chance to be number 263 at something.

And for your chance to be the first person on your block to have a book sent to you from Saipan.

And because your chances of winning are much better than winning the lottery. (But hey, you don’t buy lottery tickets, do you?)


The Rule about Playing Scrabble

Scrabble Weather

Back in the day…my husband and I had a rule. We could play Scrabble on any day there was snow on the ground. This meant maybe 250 days out of an average year were fair game for gaming.

We made this rule so as to discipline ourselves during the summer.

Summer…that fleeting, uncertain, golden moment on the north Idaho calendar when you felt your bones begin to thaw…summer was for building. And gardening. And repair and maintenance on the buildings and the garden. No time for Scrabble!

Fast forward a few years to 2013. We moved to the tropics.

Not Scrabble Weather

We took our Scrabble board with us of course, but in the land of perennial summer, we needed a new rule. We decided that any day it rained, we could play Scrabble. For our first four years in the Finally and Completely Thawed latitudes, we lived on Maui. In Kihei, mostly, where it rarely rains. And I mean less than 7 inches per year. Our Scrabble games were few and far between, but that was okay because though there was no building to be done, there was year-round gardening! And snorkeling and scuba and hiking and whale watching and swimming and luaus and island hopping and beach-combing and sunbathing and all manner of after-work-and-on-the-weekends adventuring to do.

Saipan Scrabble Weather

Then we moved further west, to Saipan. Hotter. Wetter. It rains here year-round. In the dry season you might get only a brief shower every couple of days. During the rest of the year, you get real rain almost every day to add up to the average 79 inches per year. Lots and lots of Scrabble days! We love to go adventuring here, too, but when it’s too stinkin’ hot, or we’re too sunburned or tired (we keep getting older!) we can almost always say, “Hey, it’s raining/it rained this morning/this afternoon/during the night, let’s play Scrabble!”

I love that rule.

Not story worthy

I take a picture of every Scrabble game board now, because that is where I got the idea for Montana Rising. I file the pics away in a ‘possible stories’ file. But not all of them—some of the stories that flow into my head from the boards are not ones I want to write. Like this one. Yuck. But the next one might be great!

Wait…is it raining?

Montana Rising: Wordplay is launched!

montana rising bk 1 coverAs of December 12, 2017, Montana Rising: Wordplay is available for sale worldwide on Amazon (paperback and Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, and at other online booksellers. Click the book cover to find your favorite shop.


Montana Rising is a mild-mannered—okay not mild, but at least well-mannered—teacher by day, avid Scrabble player by early evening, and fast asleep by 10pm. Unless she’s up writing a fantastical story using all the words played in a particularly good Scrabble game. But after her granddaughter brings home a frightened friend, Monti’s life starts reading more like a crime drama than a romantic comedy. How will she write her Scrabble story to a satisfying “Happily Ever After” conclusion? And how can she get her own sweet life back when the situation is spiraling dangerously out of control?

The novel includes the story Monti is writing. Both stories explore endurance, perseverance, faith as the bedrock for living, and growing a good marriage even through overwhelming difficulties.



Montana Rising book cover ready to go! And a taste of the story…

montana rising bk 1 coverI have the final cover from my designer, my brother Gregory Parker.

One day at least a hundred years ago, Greg and I sat down with the WWU college catalog, and brainstormed about what he wanted to be when he grew up (at least, that’s how I remember it!). He has gone global since then, and I am honored that he shares his beautiful talent with me.

I love the cover, it fits my story so well! I’m hoping to have the book out in time for Christmas. Here’s a taste…

Montana Rising, Book One: Wordplay is the story of sixty-something Monti, who is really Montana Eloise Rising, named for her birthplace and her great-grandmother. Monti and her husband, retired colonel Kit Rising, enjoy a retirement made anything but retiring by their granddaughter Noelle, a star student at the college where Monti teaches.

Noelle brings home strays; girls in trouble, boys at odds with the world, elderly people lost and adrift. The strays come and go, sometimes staying in the Risings’ guest room for a while, always taking up residence in their hearts as they share their home, the wisdom of their years, and their love for God. They try to help untangle their visitors’ problems, but sometimes the Risings get tangled in the problems themselves!

Monti and Kit cultivate a keen competition in their ongoing private Scrabble tournament. Occasionally, when the completed game board displays a particularly promising array of words, Monti snaps a picture of them and builds a story around them. Her current saga, starring Bo and Anisette, is a medieval magical fantasy about love that endures through astounding difficulties. Bo and Anisette’s story is included in the main novel as Monti completes each chapter.

This is the first book in a series about the Rising family’s adventures, and another of Monti’s ‘Scrabble stories’ will be included in each book.

Pre-ordering information available soon!

one tiny step: choosing my author photo

It’s more like a teeny-tiny baby step, perhaps. But with mush-for-brains at the end of my work day, it feels like a significant accomplishment to get this done! Montana Rising, Wordplay, must have a little picture on the back and here it is. Thanks to my hubby Zack for taking a zillion pics for me to choose from.  What do you thinbest-2016-author-pick? I realize God is going pretty heavy on the platinum highlights in the front these days, but that’s how it grows.

Next up, the author bio, in several different lengths. Nothing teeny-tiny about that task! First, think of me as she…and go from there.