Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog

  • Thanksgiving Writing Contest & October Contest Winner!

    November 5, 2014

    what are you thankful for, girl in forest pondering

    Just days ago, the whole town was alive with music and laughter. Parades, carnivals, and parties; dancing, eating, and singing. Yes, it was Halloween. The adults danced and danced in costumes both scary and silly while the trick-or-treaters paraded the streets, feasting on skittles, sour pops and all sorts of sweets. The air was filled with excitement and magic that night but now, the streets and sidewalks have gone quiet. Costumes and candy wrappers litter the floor of the children’s rooms and the jack-o-lantern’s light has long since gone out.



    For those of you who participated in October’s Contest of the Month, a huge thanks! We received some awesome costume entries and thought I’d share a couple with you!

    Here’s Tawney as the Big Bad Wolf from the Red Riding Hood story by Brothers Grimm





    Here is Darcy as a dwarf from the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit



    Here’s me and my husband as Bert and Mary Poppins from the book Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers




    Just for fun, here’s a pic of Colleen Houck and husband Brad at the pumpkin patch (taken a few years back)


    Picture 118

    Finally, here’s the winner of October’s Costume Contest of the Month. . .

    Allana Lopez as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll



    mad hatter

    The winner of October’s contest will receive a

    1st Edition Tiger’s Curse Collectors Book

    Tiger T-Shirt

    Tiger Bracelet

    Treat (candy)

     Congrats Allana!



    Well it seems another Halloween has come and gone, ushering in the new season. I watch the leaves spin in circles carried by the chill autumn wind. I see the store windows overwhelming every passerby with Christmas displays and advertisements for the “hottest toys” of the year. “Where has November gone?” I ask.  “What about Thanksgiving?”








    I think perhaps we get so carried away in the hustle and bustle of the whole holiday season that we sometimes forget to stop and ponder over the blessings we have. After all, isn’t that what November and Thanksgiving is all about?

    So I’ve decided to make this an annual Thanksgiving writing contest.


    Writing Contest

    Thanksgiving Day is just a few weeks away and despite all the turmoil in the world, a government divided, bad economic times, disease and sickness in homes, and family hardships, there are still so many things to be thankful for. We have someone to love, someone who loves us, friends to laugh with and at times cry with, a beautiful earth that gives us light and food for both body and spirit, we have freedom, and we have life! With life and all its inadequacies, we can still find its beauty and joy.

    As the saying goes, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ` Epictetus

    i am thankful with leaves

    I was reading a magazine (can’t recall which) and I came across an article that stated when a person wrote a thank you letter, researchers found that their happiness soared an impressive 20%. Writing just one letter was said to have a very positive effect.

    Fall Candids

    the lost art of saying thank you quote


    So, in honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to create a writing contest with your happiness in mind. One lucky writer and reader of Colleen Houck’s Tiger’s Curse Blog will win a special YA book package (includes: An audio book of Tiger’s Curse) and two runners-up will win a small personalized gift from Colleen PLUS an officially signed copy of Tiger’s Voyage w/ Exclusive Content for a friend new to the Tiger’s Curse Series! This is all provided you meet the entrance requirements in our Thankful Contest. These prizes are a special gift from Colleen Houck to you!


    Here’s how the contest will work,

    Step 1:

     Take a moment to step back and reflect on what you are truly thankful for. For some this may take more time than others. Let’s be honest, some of us at times tend to focus on the thorns of a rose bush instead of being amazed to find beautiful roses among the thorns. Organize your thoughts and then write them down. Take two to three paragraphs (that’s right, minimize to just two or three) to share your story of what your thankful for this year and then type them with  your name and the date.

    girl pondering

    Step 2:

     In the spirit of the season, identify one person whom you are especially grateful for this year. Perhaps it’s your mom or dad or a brother or sister, or maybe your good friend. Also consider a teacher or some other person who may have influenced you for good or meant something special to you. Catalog your thoughts and write that person a thank you letter.

    Letter writing is a lost art and oftentimes, if a letter is personally handwritten, it is more meaningful to the person receiving it. If you need help on how to write a thank you letter, click here. Choose nice stationary and pen. Take your time and choose your words in a way that shows your gratitude in a more eloquent and heartfelt way.

    write a letter

    Step 3:

    Make a copy of your letter (one to be given to the person you addressed it to, and the copy to be submitted for the contest). You may change the name or leave it blank if you wish it to be anonymous. Place your letter in an addressed envelope and mail it (or hand-deliver it if that is preferred).

    beautiful stationary

    addressed envelope

    Step 4:

    Perform one random act of kindness. This can be lots of fun and since I have no way of ensuring this step is done, please use the honor code. This can be as simple as doing the dishes or some chore for another or visiting someone who’s sick or bringing cookies to someone down or in need, or buying a stranger’s meal or the movie ticket for the person behind you in line. The sky’s the limit with this step so really have fun with it!

    service1 service 2

    Step 5:

    Submit all 5 items to Remember, if you don’t supply me with ALL the required information your entry will not count, so don’t forget!!!

    1) your 2-3 paragraph of things you are thankful for along with a

    2) copy of your thank you letter to someone you care about.

    3) Include your full name and

    4) your mailing address.*Include mailing address for a friend who might like the Tiger’s Series (this is vital if you are a runner up winner)

    5) Also make mention of the random act of kindness you performed as that will be listed also.


    This contest will run up through December 1st. The winner will be announced shortly after. Good luck!

    And always remember, “Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” ~ Author unknown

    give t hanks block letters

    ~Till next time,

    Linda Louise Lotti


    This entry was posted in Contest, Contest Winners, Fans.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.