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California, Cats, and Contests

by Kellyn Roth |
February 20, 2017


I’m in California, guys! Been here since Saturday. And … nothing big to report here. I’ll probably post some pictures next week (as in the week after this week). Stay tuned for that.



I admit ‘cats’ is completely random, unless you count the one sleeping behind me on the couch. Which is my bed at the moment. His name is Bruce – he’s my sister’s – and he bears a ridiculously strong resemblance to Garfield.



This is what you’ve all been waiting for, right? You all were patient, looking at my Californias and cats, when this was really what you wanted to read about.

Well, I shan’t disappoint.

As you remember from the spotlight, this contest is a guessing game … see a title, tell me what it’s about. Many valiantly tried, but only three can win … so I had to narrow it down to the following winners.

The three titles were Cincinnati, The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon, and Potato Picker.

Third Place

For her valiant efforts in the field of guessing, Lana won third place in this contest. For Potato Picker, she guessed:

Oh gosh, I even read some of Potato Picker! But I can’t find it now, so I guess I’ll just have to go off on memory…eep. I want to say that it was during the potato famine in Ireland (but another part of me is telling me that’s totally not true and I feel like it’s in America) and there’s this girl who is forced into an arranged marriage with this other guy. And they get married, and, um, potatoes bring them together. (Wow. Someone who didn’t even know what it was about could have done better than that.)

That was fairly accurate, but as you can see, she cheated a bit, ergo third place. 😉

The Actual Plot:

Catherine Cassidy lives the perfect life, spending her winters in London, flirting with every man in sight, and her summers at her family’s estate, Hillsbrook. However, when her parents give her an ultimatum, she marries Lord Frederick O’Connell and follows him to his homeland (though determined, of course, never to love an Irishman).

In the middle of the great potato famine, Catherine soon finds that there is more to her husband that a title and attached estate. He really wants to help his countrymen, starving under Britain’s harsh rule. But is it right for him to mix with the peasants … or does it make him no better than they are … a filthy potato picker?

The Prize:

You choose! (In other words, I couldn’t think of a third place, so we’ll talk about it and figure out what could be third place)

Second Place

For her awesome detective work, Josie won second place. She matched the following plot to the title The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon.

The Lifeblood of Essie Farjon is in the 1800s, about a girl growing up, presumably wealthy. And it’s going to distract you from getting back to the 20th century.

True dat …

The Actual Plot

Essie Farjon was never a stranger to the sight of pain and suffering, though she rarely experienced it herself. She grew up in a rich Virginian family, and ‘making ends meet’ was never a struggle for her, much less convincing people you’re actually human. An irrepressible tomboy, she always followed her brother, Riley, everywhere. He is her idol, her very breath. No one seems to know her as well as he does … at least, no one but Riley’s lifelong friend, mulatto freedman Terry Tappet.

When Riley and Essie clash as she attempts to make a decision that will decide her future forever, Essie is cut off from everything she’s ever known, foundering for something to hold on to. Away from her lifeblood, can Essie survive?

The Prize:

A peek at the front and back covers of The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective.

First Place

And, finally, because she is amazing (what? Coming up with this kind of thing is harder than you’d think) CutePolarBear (Hanna Kraft) won first place. Her entry for Cincinnati runs as follows:

  • I’m going to pick the title ‘Cincinnati’ to describe. I’m pretty sure it takes place in November of 1929, right after the crash. And… it’s basically about people during the depression who have just lost everything. And the end result would probably be something about finding hope in the midst of despair… or something like that…

The Actual Plot:

Note: I tried to be discreet, but spoilers are a possibility here.

A year ago, Maddie Farrenson-Farjon followed her husband, Riley, to the town of Cincinnati, Ohio. A Philadelphian with dear friends scattered throughout her hometown, she hated the move … but not enough to contest her adored husband’s wishes. Afraid that anything ‘that far west’ must be a wilderness, she was surprised to find Cincinnati fairly civilized – though it just wasn’t Philadelphia – and settled in … though it never quite felt like home.

Now alone in the world with two small children to care for, Maddie cracks under the pressure and loses control. Angry at every being in existence – including the God she once loved so dearly – she throws herself into her grief, determined never to rise again. But God hasn’t abandoned Maddie yet, and He certainly hasn’t shown her all there is to learn – and to give – in Cincinnati.

The Prize:

My short story/mini novella Flowers in its entirety.

Ladies, I’ll try to contact you with the details as soon as possible. Please note that the prizes are semi-negotiable within reason, mostly because I assigned first, second, and third prize rather randomly.

Everyone else who participated, thanks for your entries! They were amazing. This was a game of luck to a certain extent, so you did great. You just weren’t good enough to win. Hehe, who said that? ‘Twasn’t me … I’d never say anything so cruel …

~Kellyn Roth

  1. What do you think of the entries?
  2. If you participated, did you have a good time?
  3. What did you think of the blurbs I shared?
  4. Isn’t Bruce a big, fluffy cat? And he’s an author’s cat, so he gets special points.
  5. Do I look different in California than I do in good ol’ Oregon?
  6. Are you looking forward to (actual) pictures of California or is that not your thing? (In my humble opinion, I took some good photos)
  7. Are you sad that there won’t be a Wednesday post? (Oh, I didn’t mention that? Well … now you know …)
  8. Have you ever watched that one animated Batman movie where his former girlfriend betrays him? My niece and little brothers watched it … I almost cried …
  9. Did you know that I actually see myself as a selfish Batman? (A selfish girl Batman, actually … so a selfish Batwoman … only I think there is a Batwoman. I honestly don’t know; can’t keep track of all the superheroes nowadays)
  10. I tend to think the world hates me and only my pets understand. And sometimes God, too. Although I can get in a “Okay, God, I think you’ve apparently decided to select another Job” days. (I know it’s disrespectful, but I’m just being honest … I do have those days!)

What do you think of my thoughts?

35 Responses

  1. Awwww, the pics are so prettty! (Bruce mainly. *flicks hair over shoulder* Nah, Cali looks nice on you, Kell. 😛 ) I feel the need to devour all of these novels now … but y’know … they’re not written yet so that may be a problem … Kellll whyyy I need to read them. XD Bruce is awesome. Other Cali pics are awesome. Er … other Cali pics will be awesome I guess? Cause I haven’t actually seen them …
    I need to watch the Batman movie. OH MY GOODNESS I heard this one guy in driver’s ed say that the Batman movie was lame and kind of stupid and immature … is this true?? Tell me this isn’t true … Don’t let it be true! I need to see it anyway ….
    Well yah, pets will always understand you … BUT! Hang on … do you view all your friends as pets? Cause yep. I can see how this is working out … I will never understand you, Burr. #insertedRandomOutofPlaceHamiltonReference *cackles* *coughs* *hacks* *falls on the ground* *dies* But nah. The world hates everyone cause it’s stupid but fortunately most people aren’t actually like … the world and yep. SO yeah. *grins evilly* *grins awkwardly* Wow, it’s too late for me … *sheepish grin* Eh, what else. Bruce is still awesome. OH HEY WHAT ABOUT THEODORE THE DRAGON? DID YOU TAKE ANY PICS WITH THAT ODD FELLOW? Batman movie …. Right, that’s all bye! XD This comment … yeah. *coughs* Bye!

    1. I wouldn’t know … the one I watched is called … “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.” It was so great! But yeah, it was probably not the best movie … even though I thought it was … XD
      Yeah, I do view all my friends as pets … how did you guess? 😉
      I took a couple pictures of my sister taking pictures of Theodore the Dragon. I figured I should have some behind the scenes photos floating around the web driving Heidi crazy …

    2. I’m going to start dis-liking every comment you make with a reference to Hamilton–you’re ruining my history class! I can’t look at him objectively anymore because I start thinking about you and the songs….

      1. I bet it’ll be the same for me when I actually start studying him (which should be soon, ’cause we’re in that era). I’ll be like, “Oh … the rapper. Mmhmm …”

          1. Ach, I accidentally clicked “post comment” before I was done writing anything. XD
            Anyway, yessss. This is my life goal. I’m infiltrating everything and forcing Hamilton songs on you all. >:D
            And oh yeah … I think I was thinking of a different Batman movie, probably. I briefly forgot how many of them there are. XD
            And hehe. XD

  2. Oooh! California! How awesome. 😀 I cannot wait for pictures!
    Bruce is a fat guy. ;D And yeah, the ‘Job’ days…. but I think it’s better to be honest about it and up front with God, rather than lie to yourself and try to ‘hide’ it from God… if that makes sense. 0-0
    Hope you’re having fun visiting the family! ;D I miss taking trips to the Forts to see my big bro…. ♥

  3. AGH KELL I MISS UUUUUU!!!!!!!! K so is it just me or do u look prettier in California than in oregon? Like that pic is legit…no you in the pic is legit….no you are lgit….no im done. #weirdo but ok that pic is really gorge!!! Whats it like in California???? Im gonna get back on gmail…sometime whn I get the chanceband your gonna send me all this pics you dont put on here, if there r any!!!;)

    1. I MISS YOU TOO!!! I’ll see you tomorrow, right? I hope? At P.E.?!
      Nah, it’s just the light … helps my natural glory shine out better …
      Anyway, California was pretty cool. If you were on Gmail, you would see me aching about all my troubles there along with wondering why we can’t go barefoot on sandy beaches all year round … anyway, it was pretty good.

  4. Woah I totally got more right than I thought I did! 😀 Hmmmm…what do I want…? *muses dramatically* I guess the real question is, what can I get out of you? 😛
    Wait….I actually don’t know what I want. *is indecisive about everything* What are you offering?
    And yay, I hope you’re having a good time in California! That sounds like fun! 😀 And the picture of you is just loverly.

      1. Hmmm. Well, I could ask for you to make there be a Gretchen, but that a) might ruin all of your plans, or b) already be happening, so…maybe I’ll have to think of something else.

          1. Especially because what? What’s b? What does that even mean? Kelllllllll…
            *sighs* Fine. If that’s not what you want to do, do you have any other ideas for prizes?

            1. “B” on your list a couple comments back. Y’know, option “B.” *is innocent*
              I don’t know? I’m really bad at this whole prize thing. Honestly, I have nothing … which is why this whole spotlight thing has such lame prizes. XD So … *tries to think up ideas*

              1. *flies at you in a tackle hug* YAYYY OPTION B THAT IS FABULOUS I’M VERY VERY HAPPY YAYY
                *also tries to think* I mean, I do want to see the covers of TDS and IvIn, but I know that if I wait I can see those anyway, so…I can wait.
                Oooh, I know! You could write me up a cute/fun/emotional scene from Beyond Her Calling and let me read it…unless that’s too much work, which I totally understand. But I haven’t read any of that, and I think that’d be fun. 🙂

                1. 🙂 *awkwardly returns hug* XD
                  I could do that! Although … it might take a little while. I want to think about what would be the best one … I’ve only just started outlining, but I have some ideas …

                  1. *backs away slowly from awkward hug*
                    Okay! And that’s okay if it takes a little while. I mean, to quote a great movie, “All good things to those who wait.”
                    #backtotangled #backtobacktotangled hashtags

                    1. That is seriously the best quote … especially since I say it as Mother Gothel in my mind. But yeah, I’ll try to do that soon. 🙂

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