Monday, April 20, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Michelle Houts and Giveaway!

Today's Muse: Michelle Houts
Author of: The Beef Princess of Practical County (click here for a review)
Welcome, Michelle, and Happy Monday to everyone! I have an extra copy of Michelle's book for a giveaway, so if you're particularly wanting to read it, look below for contest details! (:
Bookworm: The Beef Princess of Practical County is about a young girl growing up on a beef farm, where she's raising beef cattle to be show steers. Have you ever shown or raised cattle?
Michelle: I do live on a livestock farm where we raise cattle, hogs, and goats. We once had a goat who was sure he was a golden retriever. I now have three children involved in showing beef cattle.

Bookworm: Is the book based off of a personal experience? 
Michelle: Kind of second-hand personal experience. A few years ago, my daughter entered a steer show for the first time. I was completely amazed at the amount of hard work and the level of maturity young people must muster in order to raise and sell a market animal for the fair. It's a learning experience from day one. I thought these kids had a great story to tell, so Libby evolved from several strong young people I've known.

Bookworm: What was your road to publication like?
Michelle: Can you say AMAZING? Well, kind of long and amazing. While a couple of other middle grade novels I attempted collected drawers full of rejection letters, The Beef Princess of Practical County received just one before the phone rang and Random House was making an offer. Almost two years later, I still pinch myself when I remember that phone call.

Bookworm: That must have been thrilling! Speaking of the book, can satisfied readers look forward to a sequel in the near future?
Michelle: Oh, I believe with all my heart that the dramatic and hilarious little sister in this book, Frannie, has her own story to tell. She needs to grow up a little, but she will certainly not grow out of that headstrong personality. That could get her into trouble at times, don't you think? And remember the goat (in my real life) who is certain he's a dog? Well, he just may need to meander on over to the Ryan family farm for a summer. The wheels are turning...

Bookworm: What are you reading right now?
Michelle: Carolina Harmony by Marilyn Taylor McDowell. A sweet, sweet story about a young girl in the mountains who wants the one thing that every other kid seems to have, a home where she is wanted. Like The Beef Princess of Practical County, it's certainly on the younger end of that fuzzy line between YA and MG, but it's wholesome and timeless tale is heartwarming and fun.

Totally Random Bonus Question: Ketchup or mustard?
Michelle: I always have to be the difficult one in the bunch. Neither. Definitely mayo. Even on hot dogs.
  Want to win my spare copy of The Beef Princess of Practical County? To enter, comment below with a way for me to contact you and answer the totally random last question of Michelle's interview: ketchup or mustard (or mayonaise and pickle relish)?
Extra entries:
+1 for following or already being a follower
+2 for commenting on the review (and then don't forget to say you did in your entry!)
Contest ends Monday, March 27!

Good luck!


bridget3420 said...

Ketchup all the way!


bridget3420 said...

I'm already a follower.


booksarelife said...

Hey! Great contest!

I commented on the review, and I'm already a follower.

Polo.Pony said...

Thanks for the contest!!

+1: I am already a follower!

Carrie said... depends upon which I am putting said condiment. For hot dogs, relish only. For hamburgers both ketchup and mustard. That's just how I roll.

I'm already a follower.

Jessica Kennedy said...

Mustard! I also love sweet relish on hot dogs.

+2 for comment!
+1 for already following you!

I also posted it on my sidebar!

Jessica said...

I personally hate mustard and mayo. Everyone in my family loves them. Whatever I love being different!
+2 comment
+1 Follower! Woot!

Jessica said...

sorry I'm having trouble with technology and don't know if you got my last comment....

I personally hate mustard and mayo. Even though my whole family likes them. What ever I love to be different!
+2 comment
+1 follower woot!


Jen said...

I dont like either actually. ^_^ I'm a plain jane!

I follow and did the review!

Llehn said...

Ketchup girl here! YUM!!

+1 I follow you
+2 Commented on the review!

Thanks for the giveaway!


Annie said...


give me HP Sauce every time!


Annie said...

I'm a follower of your blog!


Jenna said...

Ketchup, no doubt! Actually, I DESPISE any other type of condiment.

+1 I follow you.
+2 I commented on the review.


Liyana said...

I'm in! I'm a follower, commented on your review.

Robyn said...

YAY for mayo! Great interview! I nominated you for an award on my blog.

Silvia said...

I always use mayo, I love it!

I'm already a follower^^
and I've left a comment on the review.


BN Book Blog said...

We follow! Nathan likes ketchup and Beth likes mustard.

Beth & Nathan

Katie said...

Ketchup all the way!
I'm already a follower.

VioletReads said...

Neither! Mustard's OK sometimes, but I prefer fancy spreads like pesto or chipotle mayonaise or nothing at all. I've ordered hamburgers and hotdogs plain and dry for my whole life! And I'd love to check out this book. I follow in a reader.

-violetreads at gmail

MJ said...

Just ketchup...ugggghhhh


MJ said...

I follow


MJ said...

I just finished Carolina Harmony. I loved it too. It was refreshing!


KD said...

Ketchup!!! Mustard is yucky. :D sorry for all of you Mustard fans.

I am already a follower.


Nora said...

Definitely mustard! I'm already a follower and I commented on the review.


Jessica Kennedy said...

What's the deadline date to enter by? Updating my contest listing on my blog.


bookreviewsbyjess AT gmail DOT com

Liyana said...

And oh yeah, my email :

I choose ketchup anyday. Mmm, ketchup.

nhertel85 said...

I'm a ketchup girl!


nhertel85 said...

I follow.


Pissenlit said...

A goat who thinks it's a golden retriever? Ha! :D

I'm generally a condiment-kinda girl to begin with. People have accused me of killing my burger or fries. I pretty much love them all almost equally, actually. But if I had to only pick one, I might have to go with mayonnaise. Mmmmm...mayonnaise with my fries...SO good!

Pissenlit said...

Ooops, in my mayonnaise-induced haze, I forgot to mention that I've commented on the review.

scottsgal said...

Mustard all the way!

msboatgal at

Erika Lynn said...

sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com
I am already a follower

Pam said...


melacan at hotmail dot ocm

Pam said...


melacan at hotmail dot ocm

katayoun said...

definitely mustard.
am also a follower and left a comment!

Megan said...

Ketchup, I can't wait o read this.

I already follow

I commented on review.


Debs Desk said...

For sure Mustard. Please include me in your giveaway.

Debs Desk said...

I am a follower.

sharon54220 said...

Mustard for me.

sharon54220 said...

I am also a subscriber.

Max Brown said...

Hmmm... probably mayo for me. It really depends on the situation. Mustard is also good, and so is ketchup. Pickle relish... not so much. :)

I'm following.

I commented on the review.

My email is

Thanks for the contest!!!!!!!!

(By the way, Jess from Book Reviews by Jess gave me the link. Thanks, Jess!!!!)

deltay said...

Ketchup. =)

lucidconspiracy at gmail dot com