Saturday, December 10, 2011

Not a creature was stirring - Kandy Shepherd

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the farmyard, not a creature was stirring, not even a… dog, cat, horse, chicken or cow.
As you see from the photos below, my beloved animal family is inspiring me to relax as we start the countdown to December 25! After the fire at our farmhouse in July, all is starting to get back to normal again.
Miss Molly
Yes, there’s a dog under all that unclipped fur!

Cindy Lou
Cindy is the farm cat who appeared on our veranda one dark and stormy night seven years ago and is still with us, happily helping to keep down the mouse population.

My Ancient Albert just celebrated his 20 and a half birthday (half birthdays really count at his age!), that’s well over an hundred in cat years. He was born in London, England and given a right royal name after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort.

Star and Banjo
Banjo, the pony in front, is my daughter’s beloved Australian stock horse who has won her quite a collection of trophies. Behind him is Star, our rescue horse who only likes to be petted or ridden by women. 
Toby and Spud
Toby is gentle and amiable, and helped me get over my fear of horses. Handsome Spud is a gentle giant who just didn’t have the nature to be a race horse.

Thimble and Squirt
 Squirt and Thimble, miniature Dexters, are meant to be on our little farm to help keep weeds down, but when they demand equal hay rights to horses, who can resist them?

 My daughter called her sweet-natured tortoiseshell Tabitha after a kitty character in a children’s book.

The chickens
Our Isa Browns have the only 5-star hen house in the valley—built by a previous owner to make sure foxes would never get our girls. Thank you, chickens, for the wonderful eggs for my holiday baking.

And me? Am I relaxing in the sun, looking forward to the summer vacation that is Christmas in Australia? Of course not! I’m in the kitchen baking or on the computer writing. After the “big day” is when I intend to collapse! 

But the “doing nothing” thing never works for me for long, as plots churn around in my brain, and characters jostle for me to bring them to life. I’m soon back writing!

I wonder what surprises the New Year will bring? My big surprise this year was that my self-published e-book The Castaway Bride became an Amazon best-seller! It’s currently #4 in Contemporary Romance. Thank you to those of you who bought it and helped me get there! It’s still on sale for 99cents.

I wish for all of you a joyous festive season,lots of wonderful surprises in the new year, and happy times spent with your special people and pets.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a signed trade paperback copy of my contemporary romance Home Is Where the Bark Is published by Berkley Sensation. Include your email address if you want to be in the draw.


Win a copy of Home Is Where the Bark Is

Kandy Shepherd
Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.


Vanessa Barneveld said...

Kandy, congratulations on getting the farm back on track after that awful fire, and for hitting #4 on the best-seller list with Castaway Bride!

All your farm animals are so gorgeous. I wish I could get up there and spend time with all of you!

Happy holidays!

Kaelee said...

Lovely group of pets. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best in the new year.

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, huge congratulations on the popularity of Castaway Bride. I'm not at all surprised, it's such a lovely story! I love the pictures, especially the cats. There's something soul-affirming about looking at a snoozing kitty, isn't there? Happy Christmas!!!

Sharon Archer said...

awwwwww, gorgeous pics, Kandy! I love them all but the one of your happy hens made me smile - they are spoiled with their own outdoor setting! ;)

Congratulations on the success of Castaway Bride! Such an awesome read and all for 99c!

I hope the New Year brings more good news!
Merry Christmas!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks Vanessa for being the first to comment.

A few years ago, I never would have thought I'd be showing off photos of chickens and little bulls along with my dog and cats. I've really come to love them!

Happy holidays to you, too!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks Kaelee, they are rather gorgeous, aren't they?

All the best for Christmas and New Year to you, too.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, thanks so much for the kind words about THE CASTAWAY BRIDE.
I agree with you, there are few things more soothing than a snoozing, purring kitty!
Happy Christmas to you, too!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Sharon, I'm glad you like my hens. They are a happy bunch of girls with lots of space and freedom. In the new year I am going to try rehoming some who are not so fortunate from a Hen Rescue organization.

Thanks for the kind words about THE CASTAWAY BRIDE. I am beyond thrilled it is doing so well!

All the best for a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Di said...

What a wonderful menagerie you have! I grew up with a variety of animals around me, but don't have any right now. I need to find a rescue dog that suits. I'm not eEnabled yet and find it uncomfortable to read off the laptop, but hearing about books like your 'Castaway Bride' gets me closer to making the move to get one. Congrats on the great sales.

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Barbara E. said...

I loved all the pictures of your animals. How lovely to live on a farm. Congrats on the success of Castaway Bride. I'm going to Amazon right now to check it out.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Johanna R Jochum said...

I love your farm! I especially like your chickens so pretty! Thanks for sharing with us today! Merry Christmas from my house to yours!



Maggie May said...

I like your menagerie. Must make for an interesting household. I just added Castaway Bride to my Kindle library. tks

marybelle said...

There will not be any relaxing here for a while either. Preparations are under way for the marauders that will invade at any time. Vikings, Scots & Celts among them.

Virginia said...

Glad you got things back together. I wish I lived on a farm. I grew up on a farm and once a farmgirl always a farmgirl I think. I miss that type of life and would love to go back to the country again.


Laurie G said...

I imagine that it takes a lot of time and effort to produce such contented animals!

Enjoy the Holidays!

Best wishes for continued success with your writing!

johnslake@usa dot com

Annie West said...


I adored the pics of your animals. So glad to hear too that life is getting back to normal at the farm after all the disruption.

Congratulations on the wonderful success of Castaway Bride. Fantastic!!! Hope it continues well into the new year.

Cathleen Ross said...

I adore all these animals. Congratulations on your indie success. I outed you on the romaus list.
So proud and excited for you.

Kandy Shepherd said...

I do have quite the menagerie, don't I Di? You should hear my husband complain about the feed bills! (He adores them all, of course!)
I took me a while to get into e-books, I resisted it for quite a while, now I enjoy the immediacy and convenience but I still love print books, too!
My best wishes for a wonderful Holiday season.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks, Barbara E, I'm so glad you enjoyed the pictures of my animals. I love our little farm, it's so peaceful.
All the best for a happy festive season.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Johanna, thanks so much for the Christmas wishes--I hope yours is a happy time too!
My chickens seem to be the standout attraction on this blog. We are so fond of them (they are purely egg providers, we are too much the city folk, still, for anything else!) they have way more character than I thought chickens would have until we had our own.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Yes, Maggy May, there's never a dull moment with that many pets around!
I hope you enjoy reading THE CASTAWAY BRIDE, thanks for adding it to your library.
My best wishes for a happy festive season.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey, Marybelle, it definitely sounds like things will be lively at your house this Christmas! My wish for you is a relaxing break after it's all over!
It's fulfilling, though, isn't it, looking after and entertaining our family and friends? I wouldn't have it any other way (she says, banging her fist against her head and chanting "Why, why, why did I invite 30 people for a Christmas party next week on an evening when I have to be in at the day job?")

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Virginia, yes there is something very appealing about life in the country, isn't there? I didn't grow up on a farm so can only imagine the yearning for farm life felt by a "farm-girl".
My wishes for a wonderful festive season.

Kandy Shepherd said...

You're so right, Laurie G, it is a lot of work looking after so many animals. But we love them so much it's worth it!
Thank you for the good wishes for my writing, I'm longing for some uninterrupted time to write at the moment!
I hope the holidays are wonderful for you.

Kandy Shepherd said...

So glad you enjoyed the animal photos, Annie. A few people have told me that I'm always mentioning by cats and dog and asked me could I please feature my other animals!
Thank you for your congratulations on THE CASTAWAY BRIDE, I'm still pinching myself to see it on the Amazon bestsellers lists!
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks for calling by Cathleen and your good wishes on my indie success. You are doing well yourself!

Squirt and Thimble, my little bully boys, send their love (you know you love them, too, even when Squirt bails you up in the hen house!)

Cathleen Ross said...

Don't mind the bulls myself if they are on the other side of the fence. They don't seem to obey me like they do with you.