Circle C Adventures

The Circle C Adventures covers have gone through a complete overhaul. The covers were updated and numbered in honor of the Tenth Anniversary of the publication of Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home. Check out not only the original covers, but other possible original covers from all those years ago. Click on the pictures to enlarge each one. Enjoy! Questions? Leave a comment.

Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home

This book launches all of the Andrea “Andi” Carter adventures in 1880s California. This first cover was a “mistake.” I sent in an idea of what my character looked like so the Kregel illustrator could create a cover. I was expecting a painted/colored drawing cover, not a photograph, since it was a kids’ book. I got the surprise of my life (and of Jessica’s life) when I saw the book on Amazon with this picture of Jessica on the cover. With no warning. My only disappointment was that I had expected them to paint the cover so Andi could have blue eyes. Too late now! Also, if you look closely, you will see that the cowboy hat was too small. It was her little brother’s hat. But honestly, it was never my intention to take modeling pictures, only to show my publisher what my character sort of looked like. Readers wanted to know whatever happened to Prince Loco, so I wrote a sequel. You can listen to the audio version here: Audio Short Stories >>

Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision

This novel is actually the first Andi book I wrote and the first book I wrote on a keyboard rather than with paper and pencil. I loved writing on the Commodore 64 computer. The story came fast. It was a little different than the published one. I would love to post the “lost” original story, but I can’t find it. Fans ask which is my favorite book. For the Adventures series, Dangerous Decision is (and always will be) my favorite. Not only because it was the first Andi story I wrote but also because I like seeing all of the family in the story. Confession: Jessica did not like the dress at all. (Neither did I.) So the cover ended up being a skirt and vest “cowboy” style and I saved the dress picture for when Andi went to a girls’ school in San Francisco.

Once Kregel Publications slapped that picture of Jessica (Andi) on the cover of Long Ride Home, I knew I was in trouble. The Circle C Adventures was a series. That meant more than one book, which meant more than one cover. Yikes! So Jessica and I headed to a friend’s horse stable. She (Kim) had a palomino. Granted, Rusty was not a golden palomino, but I was desperate. And Rusty was a pretty horse, even though he was a light-colored palomino. 

Fans wanted to know “what happened next” with Dangerous Decision and even what happened before the story opened, so I created a couple of short stories explaining both. Read “Hurrah for the Fourth of the July” in the Audio Stories >> This short story gives the background story of why Andi and Cory are racing through Fresno in the opening chapter of Dangerous Decision. If you want to find out what happened to the snake Cory gave Andi at the end of the book, listen to “Snakes Alive” on the Audio Stories >> page.

Andrea Carter and the Family Secret

Enjoy the different possibilities for this cover. I once had a school assembly vote. Which cover do you think they chose? Yep, the one with “conflict” on it. But the publisher chose the “friendlier” cover. Go figure. Which do you like?

We had loads of fun with this cover. I needed to find pictures of Andi’s nieces and nephew. I found two Levi’s: Evan, a mischievous boy from our church, who ended up on the cover, and Jarrett, Jessica’s younger brother. (But honestly, Jarrett looked too “nice” to be Levi.) I found Betsy (Michaela Joy), and two Hannahs. One was Esther, Jessica’s little sister. The other was Kaetlyn, my granddaughter. As it turned out, we only used Levi on the cover. Having four characters on the cover was too many, and I preferred to include Patches (Dixie).

Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers

During the photo shoot for Dangerous Decision, Jessica changed clothes into a dress close to the time period. The original intention was that Andi could wear that dress when Jed snatches her. But none of the pictures seem to “work” for Dangerous Decision, so we went with the more cowboy-looking outfit. The dress pictures worked for San Francisco Smugglers, but Jessica hated that outfit. Just like Andi. So the model and the character are on the same page. The original cover (the beige one) ended up with three concepts! Crazy. The one with Lin Mei dressed in red was a “no go.” It looked like Taffy’s head was coming out of the mansion. LOL I didn’t care for the one with Jessica only, so we went with the first one. Also, the little girl, Gracie, who modeled Lin Mei, could not wear red. Red is not the right color for a slave girl in the Chinese culture. It is for the wealthy.

Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure

The photo shoot for Trouble with Treasure went wrong in oh so many ways. Mostly, you should never take pictures in bright sunlight, especially if it’s mixed with spotty shadows. So most of the pictures taken with Taffy and Flash did not turn out. I ended up back at Jessica’s house for a few poses of just her and Cory. Cory is Ryan, my youngest son. He was 14 at the time (Cory’s age), and he wanted to grow his hair out for the summer. I thought this was a great idea. He could model for Cory. I asked. See some of the pictures thatnever had a chance at the cover spot.

Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth

I was so excited to find “Rosa” to include on the cover as Andi’s Mexican friend. She is the granddaughter of a member of our church. Unfortunately, shooting pictures in October in Western Washington is not the best idea (like not shooting in the summer sunshine). The horse had already grown his winter coat so did not look shiny like he did in the Trouble with Treasure photo shoot. Also, with the new “window” on the anniversary covers, there would be no room for the wide photo that includes Taffy. So, for the anniversary edition (see the new covers way at the top) I deleted the horse.

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