Monday, July 27, 2015

Shelf Life, Books, and Oreos

Stealing Jake releases in print in just FIVE DAYS -  August 1st!!! I'm so excited, probably even more than normal because my debutwhich has only been available as ebookis now in print!

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post in a strange, round-about way.

My cowboys are sticklers about the dates on food--which is odd, if you think about it. I thought rough-and-tough cowboys would eat anything! If the date is expired on a can of vegetables, they won’t eat them. Expired ketchup? Fuh-get-about-it! But don’t expect them to actually search out and open the oldest ketchup bottle first. Oh no! That would be way too much trouble. Salsa? Chips? Canned goods? If I don’t want to throw it out, I make every effort to arrange the pantry with the oldest dates to the front. Or at the very least dispose of the can/jar without their knowledge. Ahem.

And don't even get me started on the expiration date on the milk.

Big ticket items like cars and homes kinda have a shelf life. I mean it’s not stamped on your house, “will expire in 40 years”, but eventually these material things will become run-down, decay, and wear out.

But books are the topic here, so let’s narrow our focus to books. Print books can have a long, healthy shelf life if properly taken care of, but they do age after time. The pages become brittle, the binding loose, the spines stiff. Hardback books have a longer shelf life than paperbacks, but still they don’t last for ever. So, yeah, sad to say, but print books do have a shelf life.

Ebooks have burst on the scene in the last few years, so it will be interesting to see how long of a shelf life they have. They won’t face the same decaying forces of humidity, or dry air, or neglect that cause print books to decay, but they will encounter changes in software and hardware that might make them obsolete over time. Looking at it from this side of the fence, it looks like ebooks will have a long and productive shelf life.

It’s exciting to know that our stories can continue to thrive and draw new readers even after the new release excitement of our print books has waned. Because, let’s face it—it’s a lot easier for an online retailer to “stock” ebook inventory for an extended amount of time than it is to warehouse thousands of copies of an author’s backlist.

And even more exciting is how a story can morph from one format to another, kind of like Oreos. Did you know there are over FORTY different kinds of Oreos? Who knew??? Watermelon Oreos? Ewww! Gingerbread Oreos. Pumpkin Spice Oreos. Personally, I’m a plain, original, traditional Oreos kind of gal. But Cookie Dough Oreos does sound pretty good, though..

However, a story is the same story—has the same ingredients, if you will—regardless of the format it’s in. So, the shelf life of a story is … is… just …infinite.

Whoa! That’s what I’m talking about!

So, there you go. Stealing Jake released as an ebook in July 2011. FOUR years later, it’s getting a new lease on life in print form, plus the ebook version is still happily clicking along entertaining readers.

Conclusion #1: I submit that stories – unlike Oreos – do not have a shelf life.

Conclusion #2: Come to think of it, Oreos don’t have much of a shelf life at my house either. Just sayin’

Are you an Oreo fan? Classic or one of those newfangled flavors?

In honor of milk and cookies and fresh off the press books everywhere, I'm giving away a copy of Stealing Jake today. So, throw your name in the hat if you want to be included in the drawing. And... to increase your odds of winning, hop over to Goodreads and sign up for a chance to win one of the TWO copies there as well. Ends Sunday! :)

STEALING JAKE by Pam Hillman. When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy―literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town―as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off―Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of.


  1. "When is doubt, throw it out."

    It's not the shelf life of books I'm worried about. It's the life of those shelves and those who own shelves. How many now can read old or even middle English? How many languages have come and gone? Written language itself was seemingly lost during the ancient Greek Dark Ages only to be reinvented with a different system hundreds of years later.

    Life is short.
    Art is long.
    Make it your best.

  2. Vince, isn't that the truth? I've read tiny snippets of middle English and understood very little of it. Interesting thought on that. Will future readers even be able to understand our use of language today?

    Food for thought!

    Here, have some Oreos and milk with that! :)

  3. I read the dates on everything, food, medicine, even deodorant. Things without dates are like villains they can't be trusted. LOL

    Good books age well. Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Jane Austen come to mind.

    I'd love a print copy of Stealing Jake! Please throw my name in the hat.

    As far as the Oreos - double stuff all the way!



    Second, great idea on shelf life. For category authors (writing category romance with 40 day shelf life!!!! So short!!!) e-books are HUMONGOUS and GINORMOUS. We've never had a chance to make money on a title after it was off the shelf (thirty-forty days).... and now we do! Readers can hop into Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Christian and BUY COPIES after they're out of print. So this is a big, big difference to the Hallelujah Chorus side for us!!!

  5. Oh, bother. I thought I only grabbed the last two stanzas, Pam!!!! Sorry!!!! I'm not kidnapping your blog, honest!!!!

  6. In the right frame of mind, it can be fun reading middle English. :-) I still enjoy reading the King James Bible, but I study from the New King James edition.

    Pam, congratulations on the print edition of your book!!

  7. Okay, I'm fixing my Robert Burns' excerpt... I hope!


    I love Burns' quaint old English/Scottish brogue. This is from "To a Mouse", in honor of Mary Connealy's return! This Mouse Is For You, Connealy!

    But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain:
    The best-laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
    Gang aft agley,
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
    For promis'd joy!

    Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I cannot see,
    I guess an' fear!

  8. I love the original Oreos, and doubled stuff are my second favorite.

    Congratulations, Pam on your release. I've got the ebook, so don't add my name to the drawing. I hope somebody wins who will love it as much as the rest of us.

    So happy for you, Pam!

  9. A good story lasts forever in any form, witness the spark of Jane Austen for a whole new generation.
    Kathy Bailey

  10. Congratulations Pam on the paperback release. Personally, I am NOT an Oreo's fan. I DO enjoy a good story!

  11. Good morning, Pam! I LOVED "Stealing Jake" when I had the opportunity to read it in manuscript form. (Remember 'back in the day' when we Seekers were critiquing each others stuff, hoping and praying that we'd someday get published?) So I'm excited that it will soon be coming out in print!

    As far as shelf life, I'm absolutely thrilled that, unlike in the "olden days" when a Love Inspired was on the shelf a month and then gone forever, ALL my books are available in electronic versions for future reader enjoyment!

  12. Congratulations, Pam! How cool that Stealing Jake has had not one but two debut months! So happy for you. I love my eReader for convenience, but I don't think anything is better than a hardcopy of a book.

    I like original Oreos the best, but I don't like to dunk them in milk. Instead, I like to dunk mine in a cup of hot coffee. It warms the cookie up, and it's so good!! If you've never tried it, you should.

  13. We bought the Reese's Oreos and were disappointed. So now we stick with the originals.

    Is it often that a book is first an ebook and then comes out in print? I would love to win a copy of Stealing Jake!

  14. Those cookie dough Oreos look like something that might bring my son home from college! Fun post. My real books tend to get boxed up and put away for lack of shelf space. So I like having them available on eReader too. I would love a copy of Stealing Jake - I won't box it up!!

  15. Good morning Seekerville! Coffeee, tea, and OJ on the sideboard. There's a full breakfast bar, including Oreos, if you dare eat cookies for breakfast! :)

    Terri said: I read the dates on everything, food, medicine, even deodorant. Things without dates are like villains they can't be trusted. LOL

    Terri, my family agrees with you there. lol You're in the drawing! :)

  16. Oh, Ruthy, I couldn't agree more! I love the longer shelf life ebooks gives category. So many amazing stories getting dressed up and going to the party over and over again. What a beautiful thing!

  17. Pam, congrats on the print release!!

    I'm a plain Oreo fan. But I'm sure my kids will want to try the cookie dough ones. :) My daughter actually also likes the mint ones.

    Today is a day to recover from RWA! I'm worn out. I haven't been around much online because my family went to NY with me so I spent all spare time during conference with them (which meant late at night, mostly). And which left no time to get online. I missed all of you! It's good to be back to normal life. :)

  18. Mary H, thank you. I was so excited when I got the word that Tyndale planned to take Stealing Jake to print. It's exciting to share Jake and Livy's story with a whole new audience... which, traditionally is the old audience who are more likely to pick up print books. As a digital first author on my first two books, I sort of went into being a published author backwards, but it's been a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  19. Kathy Bailey, that's a great point! I love that books are forever. :)

  20. Donna, I agree. I've been disappointed in every flavor of Oreos but the original. IMO nothing can beat it!

  21. Cindy R, I laughed so hard at your comment about bringing your son home from college. :) I can so relate. Not even a good home-cooked meal seems to work for mine! Recently, we just decided to drive down there (an hour away) and take him out. :)

  22. That is beautiful, Ruthy, even though I can barely understand it. "Gang aft agley," ... hmmm, "often go astray" perhaps? I'm sure I could look it up, but we'll see how I fare reading between the lines. And that's the fun part of reading Od/Middle English, isn't it? The joy of discovery.

    And the language is beautiful.

  23. Jackie, chalking up another original Oreo fan! Must make another run to the grocery store for more Oreos, and the morning's only half gone! :)

    So glad you enjoyed Stealing Jake. I've started posting some memes online. I'm using the hashtag #StealingJake so if you see a cute...or heartbreaking orphan ... meme with #StealingJake on it on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, etc. share the love.

  24. Kathy, Jane Austen is a great example of timeless stories that have gained a new lease on life. I haven't done much research on Jane Austen, but those of you in the know can probably enlighten me...

    Ms. Austen probably had quite a following when she was alive, then once her books became recommended reading material, I would daresay that they been reprinted over and over through the years. And of course ebooks just added another delightful format for readers. This is wonderful for the Jane Austen estate and for those stories.

    But how many wonderful authors published great stories years ago and the books and the authors have faded into obscurity? :( Oh no, I'm sad again... pass the Oreos, please!

  25. PAMMY!!! I am SOOOO stinkin' (to coin a Ruthy phrase) thrilled for you to have Jake out in print -- I LOVED that story!! And guess what??? You can re-enter it in any contest you want as a paperback with a 2015 copyright, so YAY!!

    TERRI SAID: "Things without dates are like villains they can't be trusted. LOL"

    JULIE REPLIES: I'm a sensory kind of gal, so I prefer smell and taste to dates -- more freedom that way, and I've never gotten sick yet.

    In fact, the expiration dates on milk annoy me. Have you ever tried pouring the milk into a glass after it smelled bad in the bottle? 99 percent of the time, it tastes perfectly fine up to a week or two past the expiration date, so that's how long I drink it, and cook with it even longer.

    I think of all the pioneers who didn't have refrigeration and all the 20th- and 21st-century people who survived without expiration dates, and I figure a little pre-sour milk is not gonna kill me. At least, it hasn't yet!

    But my daughter is a real stickler for dates. She cleaned my refrigerator out recently, and threw away salad dressings from 2012 and spices from my spice drawer ... are you ready for this?? From the 1970s!!! Okay, I'll admit, that's going a wee bit too far ... ;)

    Praying Stealing Jake steals hearts everywhere, Pammy!!


  26. I'm not a big Oreo fan. I much prefer a softer cookie, like chocolate chip. But I love books in all formats! :) Please enter me for a copy of Stealing Jake.

  27. Caryl, if we're playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, then a good story trumps Oreos, so you're A-Okay with me! Can I tempt you with a piece of homemade Heath bar cake?

  28. Pammy, I'm not much of an Oreo fan, I'm afraid, but I will admit that they make a mean brownie. My neighbor gave me a recipe where Oreos laid flat from edge to edge are part of the layers, and people go crazy for it. The only thing I don't like about it is the name of the recipe. My neighbor says they're called "Slutty Brownies." I'll leave it at that.


  29. Hi Pam:

    Do you think the amazing author support you provided "Stealing Jake", had a lot to do with the publisher coming out with a print copy? I think you made this happen and, as a marketing person, I think it is a tribute to your dedication and hard work.

    I think I was one of the first kids who considered an Oreo to be a banana with the good stuff on the inside and the peel on the outside.

  30. Glynna, those were the days...WAIT, what am I saying???? is the day. Much better. Wait, that doesn't sound right. Let's see. I look back on those pre-published days and laughing and talking and learning with fond memories, but I am LOVING that the Seekers collectively have... oh... a gazillion ... books out among us. Yes, a gazillion. Close enough. :)

    Yes, I'm smiling just thinking about al the Love Inspired books that are available for readers. Long live print, reprints, and ebooks.

  31. LOL, Pam, you reminded me of all the times our daughter has come to visit and always checked the expiration dates on everything in our fridge and pantry! If it was ONE DAY past, she wanted us to throw it out!

    Turns out manufactures are saying that on many foods the date is just a "best used by" estimate and not all that accurate. Still . . . the farther it gets from that magic day, the more I wonder . . .

    Except, like JULIE, I'm sure I have some spices in my cupboard that have been there for YEARS and YEARS!!!!! Do I still use them? You betcha!

    So glad Stealing Jake will now be available in print form! That's longevity for you!

  32. Interesting post about shelf life, Pam. I agree with the thought that a good story, well told is timeless.
    As for OREOs, I'm a double-stuff girl. The originals don't have enough filling for me. I do like the mint, but any other flavor version is a violated OREO. *sigh*

    I like dipping in milk or coffee.

    Question for OREO fans: what's your favorite way to eat an OREO? I like to remove the "top" and eat the innards, then dip the cookies. My five year old tells me that I'm doing all wrong though - for him, one must chomp into the cookie to get the full benefit of cookie and filling. OREOs are his favorite cookie, btw. You should see how his face lights up when momma pulls out the package after shopping.

  33. Rhonda, I hadn't really thought about it in those terms...2 "debut" months, but isn't that cool? JoyX2! :)

    Oreos with coffee... for breakfast. Yeah, I can do that. lol

  34. Oh blast. Got caught up in OREO stuff.

    Would LOVE to have my name in the drawing for a print copy of Stealing Jake. I love eReaders because I no longer have bookshelf space, but I do so enjoy the feel of a "real" book.

  35. Traditional, original OREO's for me...I will 'suffer' through a bag (no shelf-life at my house!) of Double Stuff if that's all there is..LOL!

    Congrats on the print book!! Please enter me in the contest!


  36. Donna asked: Is it often that a book is first an ebook and then comes out in print?

    It's becoming more common with independently published authors. In the last 5-6 years, authors have chosen to publish ebooks and then if marketing conditions warrant, then they might decide to also publish a print edition. The Seeker collections are all ebook for now. But some independently published authors chose to publish both ebook and print right out of the gate. Each case is different.

    Now, as far as ebooks/books published by traditional publishers, back in 2011, Tyndale was one of the first (if not the first) CBA house to launch a Digital First Initiative. They wanted to partner with a handful of unpublished authors, launch their careers as ebook only, with the option to go to print if the market could sustain it. Stealing Jake was chosen as one of those titles, then later, Tyndale published Claiming Mariah using the same model. Both are now in print, to my utter delight and amazement! :) Tyndale published about 8-10 debut authors using this model.

    I was also blessed to be part of a "digital first" launch with Barbour Publishing. Barbour published the 12 Brides of Christmas as 12 individual ebooks last Christmas for $.99cents each, and the Deluxe Print edition releases in October of this year.

    So, even though digital first isn't necessarily common with traditional publishes, it is being done. And from what I can tell, it's definitely more common with independently published books.

  37. Cindy, it was a good thing you clarified that you wouldn't box Stealing Jake up! lol You're in the drawing, lady. :)

  38. Missy, I can imagine how tired you are! Been there, done that. Why is it that we need a vacation from our vacation? lol

  39. QUICK!!!

    Somebody warn Missy's son that she's coming to "take him out".


    Sorry, Missy, I couldn't resist!

  40. OOH add me to the drawing, please Pam dear! This book is on my TBR list!

    Not really an Oreo person, but please don't hold that against me ;)

  41. Julie, I'm actually quite sensitive to taste and smell, and at the first hint that milk is sour, I can't drink it, but I might cook with it if it's slightly borderline.

    But for those of you who have never used the sniff-test on the top of your milk jug to see if it's still good....


    Just don't.

    If I used that as a yardstick, it'd go down the drain before I ever even opened it.

  42. Sandy, I wouldn't turn down a chocolate chip cookie either, especially a soft one. Fresh-baked Heath bar cookies are ... indescribable!!!

    Just tossed your name in the cowboy hat. :)

  43. Agree on the name of the Oreo Brownies, Julie, but they do sound good. Uh...bad. Uh... hmmm... the brownies sound good. The name sounds bad... really bad.

    Uh... mooovvvving on... lol

  44. Oh Vince, love it... Oreo is the new banana. :)

    Vince, you are too kind. I'd like to think that my "obnoxious" (ahem) browbeating on blogs, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, in the grocery store, and lying prostate along busy highways had something to do with Tyndale's decision to go to print. One can hope, can't they? ;)

  45. Janet, I agree that items on the shelf do have a longer life than the expiration date, but I also use caution and common sense. Spices, I wouldn't hesitate to use. Canned fruit that's been out of date for a while might be a different story.

  46. DebH, I'm standing over here with your 5yo. Chomping into it is the best way. I like it - wait, there is no IT. I like THEM with a glass of milk, but not dunked. And, there's an exact science to having just enough cookies to finish the milk. Or vice versa. Otherwise I need more milk, then more cookies, then more milk. It's a vicious cycle!

  47. Same here, Stephanie. I'm willing to suffer for a good cause. I mean, we wouldn't want those Double Stuff Oreos to expire, would we?

  48. Hmmm, should I or should I not add Sarah's name to the cowboy hat?

    Just ONE cookie, Sarah? A virtual one? lol

  49. Speaking of fresh.... we've got fresh-from-my-Mama's-garden tomato sandwiches for lunch today. No expiration date required! :)

  50. I love Double Stuf Oreos and Mint.

    But my absolute faves are the dark-chocolate covered mints and the dark chocolate covered peanut butter.

    They're like fine pastry. :) LOVE>>>>>>>.

  51. Anyone remember when we didn't have Sell By/Use By dates?

    I've heard editors talk about not tying our stories to today with our word choice. The idea is to be more universal, so to speak, so a contemporary story has a longer shelf life. Often they're referring to "buzz words" that come and go. Not sure if that helps...or muddies the water.

    I'm still a bit foggy with conference overload! :) Finding it difficult to get back into my routine and feeling very tired. Perhaps I enjoyed NYC a bit too much. The city never sleeps. I took that as my own motto for the week. LOL! Too many late night and early mornings.

    So good seeing many of you there. A great conference and wonderful week, but as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."

    Hugs to all the weary travelers! :)

  52. Vince, I think you're right! I think Pam's tireless efforts got this done!


  53. I'll give Sarah C. some homemade chocolate chip cookies from the freezer because it's too hot to bake today!

  54. Ruthy, now that does sound good! :)

    Debby, I think authors writing contemporary have to be more aware of that particular kind of shelf life than those of us writing historical. We try to anchor or word choices in the past, and authors writing contemporaries have to weigh what will give their books a longer shelf-life. It's an interesting tight-rope to walk either way you slice it.

  55. I'm a plain Jane Oreo kinda gal...but honestly can't tell you when I had one last. It's been years. But those other types just seem wrong. Period.

    Love Stealing Jake. Love that it's in print format. Love that it's nestled on my bookshelf this very minute looking all shiny and new and happy to be situated next to best bud Claiming Mariah. And I love bookcases with glass doors because they extend the shelf life of a book considerably.

  56. Ruthy's homemade chocolate chip cookies warmed in the microwave.

    Sarah, I'm on the way over. With milk. It's fresh. I promise!

  57. Kav, I agree. those others are just not really even Oreos, are they?

    And Kav just posted the nicest, sweetest reviews for Stealing Jake! I am beyond thrilled that "THE KAV" enjoyed Stealing Jake. Seriously. I am not even kidding.

    Glass-fronted bookcases? Now I'm drooling! I've been wanting some of those for years.

  58. Our antique store manager introduced me to Birthday Oreos when she bought them to celebrate two of our vendors special day! (They're twins!) Oh, yummy...I love them...and they're colorful too!!

    Some stories are classic...Little House on the Prarie has been around for some time. Seems to be a favorite with homeschooling moms.

    I think the historical category might have a longer shelf life...what about Sci Fi~Jules Verne~that's been around a long time? But honesty, weren't those contemporary in their time? There's hope for contemporary romance, but we might not be around to witness it!!

    Congratulations Pam that all your hard work promoting your book reaped a printed version!! I do love a print book...Just visited the California Author's Booth at our State Fair...such fun to meet the authors, and have an opportunity to buy their signed books!! My sweet mother told me about this event. She gets most of her news from a printed newspaper, and ALL of her considerable collection of books are PRINT!!

    I'd love to read Livy's story. Please enter my name for Stealing Jake!

  59. LOL, Pam! Don't tell him. He might run! ;)

  60. Hi Debby:

    You asked, " Anyone remember when we didn't have Sell By/Use By dates?"

    Yes, I remember my grandmother. She cooked everything from scratch. There never were any left-overs to eat by. In fact, back then, 'eat by' was redunant.


  61. Pam, I had to laugh about the expiration dates on food. I'm the persnickety one around here. If it goes past a day or two, it's outta here, but my husband wouldn't think twice about opening a can that's five years old. Should still be good, right? Not so much. I have to clean out the refrigerator every week so he won't eat something that would give him ptomaine poisoning. LOL

    I agree that a good story shouldn't have a shelf life. E-books live on, but bookstore owners clean out their shelves of trade paper or hardbacks after a season if a book isn't selling as well as they think it should. This does not apply to authors like Karen Kingsbury. Hers live on forever. Just sayin'. When I used to read general market romance many moons ago, I'd buy a paperback I thought was new and find out they'd just changed the cover and I'd already read it. Bummer!

    Please throw my name in the hat for STEALING JAKE! I'd love to read it. :)

  62. Oh, re: Oreos, I like the original, but the peanut butter ones are to die for!

  63. Hi Debby:

    You wrote,

    " I've heard editors talk about not tying our stories to today with our word choice. The idea is to be more universal, so to speak, so a contemporary story has a longer shelf life. Often they're referring to 'buzz words' that come and go. Not sure if that helps...or muddies the water."

    It helps if you save those 'buzz words' for use by future writers writing historical fiction like Ruth writing 'historical fiction' that takes place in 1947 NYC. : (

    The question is: Will future readers, when reading historical fiction that uses buzz words from the period in question, feel the story seems stilted because the contemporary fiction they read back then, didn't use buzz words?

    To buzz or not to buzz...
    let that put a bee in your bonnet.

    Speaking of bonnets, what would Jane Austen do?

  64. Kathryn, I wonder if Around the world in 80 Days would have been considered sci-fi in its day. I don't remember the book so much as one of the movies and there was a lot of exotic, unusual events that occurred that most people would have thought were totally fictitious. So maybe that's what makes it timeless: the fact that it was so far out there. I have a MCMLXIV (1964, I believe) hardback copy of ATWI80D, but I don't read it. It's falling apart, so I just keep it for the ambience. :)

    The color plate on the inside flyleaf is pretty cool.

  65. Missy, I assume you're talking about my cowboy/carpenter. I just spent an hour out in the 95 degree heat helping him try to jump off a tractor, which we couldn't do. Not enough juice in any of the batteries to start a six post tractor battery. Then we winched that tractor out of the way and hooked the baler up to another one and I waved him off and came back home to the a/c and my tepid cup of coffee that I no longer wanted, along with a mild heat induced headache.

    So, I deserve a few glass-fronted shelves, don't I? ;)

  66. Barbara, I'm careful with cooked food that's in the fridge. We might have leftovers the next day, but that's about it. Hubby is not fond of leftovers, so I try to cook just what we'll eat. Well, truth be told, I cook as little as possible! lol

    My mother-in-law has done that several times. She'll find a book that sounds good, then she'l read a chapter or two and realize she's already read it. The good news is that her tastes in reading material is fairly consistent, so that's a comfort. Ha!

    I'm tossing your name in the hat! :)

  67. Vince and Debby, don't confuse me. I've got to work on my sip and I don't need be second-guessing which words to use.

    Okay, I think I've finally cooled off enough to drink my coffee. I mean, you won't waste a Hazelnut K-cup! Just sayin'

  68. Hi Pam:

    I think you're right. "Buzz word" is itself a "Buzz word" and I seem to remember an English teacher telling me not to use the term your defining in your definition of that term. I think this is one of those 'two mirrors reflecting each other unto infinity'.

    I'm going to take a break and read some more of Pepper's book about the sinking of the Lusitania -- it makes the Titanic seem tame.


  69. SO happy that STEALING JAKE will be available in PRINT!!
    But no need to enter me in the drawing because I will be purchasing a copy. :)

    And in defense of Watermelon Oreos (hehehe) I discovered them last summer and LOVE them! But my all-time favorite is still the classic choc. with white crème in the middle (preferably with a glass of milk or cup of coffee). ;)

    Great post, Pam!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  70. Pam, you and my wife would get along very well. She's very focused on expiration dates. "Holes" is one of my kids' favorite movies. In Holes, there's a scene where the hero and his sidekick, stuck in the desert, end up eating a stash of canned spice peaches to stay alive. The spiced peaches are about 100 years old. (I always think to myself that they can't still be good.)

    And traditional oreos are the best.

  71. Congratulations on JAKE!!!! WOOT!!

    And I am a huge chocolate covered Oreo fan.

    Also mini Oreos ...and Reese's peanut butter Oreos.


  72. Enjoy your reading, Vince. Here, take some Oreos and a cold glass of milk with you. Pepper (her book, not the spice! lol), Oreos, and milk sound like a winning combination.

  73. Patti Jo, I'll take your word for it on the watermelon flavored Oreos. :)

  74. Walt, that's too funny. What would I eat to stay alive? Probably just about anything. There's worse things than 100 year old canned peaches, methinks!

  75. Tina, chocolate covered Oreos. Goodness, what's not to like. I'll tell y'all what's good. Crumbled up Oreos, vanilla ice cream, a good layer of chocolate flavored "crackle" stuff that hardens and whipped topping. And, if you're so inclined, stick a cherry on top!

    You know, it occurs to me that today's topic has morphed into a discussion of decadent, to-die-for, foods of the chocolate variety. While a good portion of my characters in Stealing Jake have no food, very little shelter, or warm clothing in the dead of winter. No I am rightly ashamed of pairing today's post with Oreos. :(

    To make up for it, I'm inviting Luke, Jessica, Mark, Bobby and all the street kids over to Seekerville. Dig in, kids!

  76. Y'all check out my new Facebook banner for Stealing Jake! Loving it. :)

    Pam's New Facebook Banner

  77. Yes, yes, yes!!!!! I'm SO glad it will finally be in print! I want a copy! I'm so happy for you, Pam!!! <3

  78. Congrats on 'Stealing Jake' in print, Pam! Fun to think how stories don't expire -- they're timeless -- and writers' words can be read by people who don't even exist at the time the story is written. Now to go check the expiration date on the mayo ...

    Nancy C

  79. Linnette, isn't it FUN!?!? Kinda strange to be getting my debut in print now after several other print books (collections and Claiming Mariah), but it makes great fodder for discussion. A book's a book, yes? ;)

  80. P.S. Pam, don't enter me in the drawing. I have "Stealing Jake" on my iPad :-)
    Nancy C

  81. Congratulations, Pam! I have Stealing Jake on my Kindle, so don't put me in the cat dish. My daughter is a food scientist who worked on Oreos. Sometimes we were guinea pigs. No complaints....

  82. Nancy, I agree, stories are timeless. Mayo... not so much. lol

  83. I'm excited about your upcoming release, congratulations ! I would love to read it !
    I love Oreos,mother double stuff ones . I haven't tried any of the new flavored, someday though I will .
    Munching Oreos and reading a book, now that's a combination that can't be beat !
    Thank you for the interesting post and giveaway.
    Deanne Patterson. Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  84. Deanne, so glad you stopped by. Got your name in the hat for the drawing. :)

    Lyndee.... REALLY? Who would have thought that we'd have an entire day discussing Oreos and your daughter is a food scientist? What are the ODDS??? Too cool. Tell her we all volunteer to taste test for her. lol

  85. Hi PAM, I'm late to the party. So sorry. But I am soooooo excited about the print debut of STEALING JAKE. I love, love, love that book and what a thrill to have it in print. Now I can give it away in books.

  86. I had no idea that there are forty plus Oreo varieties. I guess I need to expand and try some new ones.

    Since I'm the grocery shopper in my family I do tend to watch dates. Hubby often wonders why it takes me so long to shop but I look at the dates on everything. I'm about this.

    Since I do not read ebooks I'm really excited that Pam's book is in paperback form now. I am looking forward to reading Stealing Jake. Congratulations on the release of the print book, Pam.

    ~Cindi Altman from PA

  87. Cindi, tahnks for stopping by. I generally don't check dates too much on canned goods that move off the shelves fairly quickly (even though I probably should). But I do check the dates on milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. I've bought yogurt that was out of date. NOT FUN! :(

  88. Hi, Pam, I'm reading this post a little late, but I'm glad I did. What a fun post. I've embraced the golden Oreo, but haven't ventured into watermelon territory. It just seems wrong. And by the way, we just finished up baling hay here in northern MN. I rake hay with an Allis Chalmers WD45!

  89. Jessica, so glad you stopped by! :) I haven't had to rake with anything that old in a while. I've convince My Cowboy that my allergies require a cab and a/c. Sh..... lol

    I hope you don't have to use too much WD-40 on that WD-45. :) Daddy's AC 110 has been gone a long time, but I took some cool pictures of my uncle's old tractor (rusted out and not running or refurbished) last year and added some "stormy" looking clouds to it. Great pic and brought back so many memories. It's on my Pam Hillman, Author page in a folder called Farming & Ranching.

    I know, watermelon, right? Just don't sound right!

    Stay in touch.