By: judithdisalvo | October 19, 2017

GUEST BLOGGER: Sheila Seclearr

A few months ago we were notified that First Rodeo is a finalist for the category of Western Romance in "The Will Rogers Medallion Awards." The awards, recognizing excellence in Western literature and media, are announced next week in Ft. Worth, TX with festivities connected to "Red Steagall's Annual Cowboy Roundup." I'm excited to be Judith's representative and hope to give an acceptance speech on her behalf ~ plus hear good music and mingle with cowboys!

Aside from a win, this is a case where it really is an honor to be nominated. The award judging criteria states that "All works must represent an accurate reflection of Western Americana, or cowboy and ranch life, historical or contemporary. Historical accuracy is crucial where applicable. Books are judged on their literary quality as well as cover art."

Here's Judith's prompting for the award speech, which I hope to use: Don’t let that pink high heel on the cover fool you. Judith lives in a

ranching/farming community and is passionate about the West. She wrote First Rodeo to let people know cowboys are still a part of our culture and to paint an authentic picture of their life and the challenges they face. She designed the cover to attract a wider audience and I think she was pretty successful. Not many Westerns receive recognition from Redbook and Working Mother! It is an honor to be recognized by the Will Rogers Award Committee.

We'll be back here at the end of the month to report on the cowboys... I mean the awards.

Sheila Seclearr

Oct. 18, 2017

By: PenPower | December 02, 2016

Robins Nest on the Katy Trail
Robins Nest on the Katy Trail

I have lived in Defiance, Missouri for a few years, appreciate the natural beauty and have met some fine people, mostly at the local watering hole,  The Roadhouse. Yet recently, with the launch of my first novel, I’ve discovered a very special local merchant community. They have tucked me and First Rodeo  under their wing. Robin White at Robins Nest (I know—wings, bird,  robins, angels —it’s for real) has carried First Rodeo for weeks now. Their praise has sold countless books.     Now, the Distillery of Defiance has launched their new and delicious vodka, "Judgment Tree," and has partnered with me! How fun could that be? It makes sense if you have read First Rodeo. Kate, the heroine loves her martinis. We'll call these wildly entertaining events the "First Rodeo Judgment Tree Martini Tour." And IT IS our ‘first rodeo,' in publishing for myself, and in distilling spirits for distillery co-owners Chris Lorch and Scott Koziatek. defines defiance as “a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.” We are guilty as charged! We have banded together, outlaw merchants from the small town of Defiance who have large dreams. Who says we can’t make the big time?

Distillery of Defiance
"Judgment Tree" Vodka and First Rodeo

Please join us December 11th 4-6pm a for the very first "Bottle and Book Signing" at Robin's Nest , 2998 S. Hwy 94 (click for map) in Defiance. Meet the posse, do some Christmas shopping, wet your whistle, and checkout Redbooks' “must read”, First Rodeo.

We hit the trail and will have another "Bottle and Book Signing" at Ladue Pharmacy, in Ladue Missouri, December 15th  from 4-6pm.  Stay tuned for more events!


Happy holidays!!! 

Judy Hennessey, December, 2016

By: PenPower | October 27, 2016

It turns out that I love the Booksigning Events, especially when they go so well. I guess it's that people lover, car seller part of me that always loves a fun gathering. These are pictures from the Barnes & Noble event in Ladue, MO earlier this month. Thanks to old friends, new friends, cowboys, cowgirls, all of you who have been such great support. I loved signing that big stack of books -- every one of them! Yes, and thanks to that handsome cowboy, my husband, Tim!

The other thing that was so enjoyable was all the guys who showed up for this so-called "Chick Lit" book. Look at this picture. OK, they may say they are buying it for their wives or girlfriends, or they may be good friends! But some guys have actually enjoyed First Rodeo and I hope you all do.

Check my event page for the next ones coming up. Or talk to me about coming to your area!

By: PenPower | October 06, 2016

Back at the Ranch Boots
"Back at the Ranch"

“I’m so proud of you!” I heard it over and over again as people approached me with hugs. Some of these folks I had not seen for several years, yet they were there, at my very first rodeo, the launching of my novel by the same name. The first night, at Evoke Contemporary, my favorite visual art space, I felt so much love and support. Some folks drove over an hour to show up, see me, wish me well and purchase a signed book. It was magical.

The next day at Back at the Ranch, my favorite wearable art custom boot store, I was equally blown away. They had set up the most fabulous table with books, boots, spurs and hides that delighted the senses and made my heart burst open with gratitude. More folks filtered into the store. There were new faces; my husband had invited two couples from our hotel. And friends that had come the night before stopped by AGAIN. Plus there were others that could not make it the evening before. Again, “I am so proud of you” was what I heard. Well, I want to say, "I am so proud of them." My eyes tear up as I feel so blessed and grateful to all of these people in New Mexico that took the time out of their hectic, busy lives to come see me and buy a novel that I poured my heart and soul into for nearly fifteen years. THANK YOU! You know who you are.

Judy Hennessey, Oct. 2016

By: PenPower | August 12, 2016

I haven't seen the print magazine yet, but imagine seeing this news with the cover of my book front and almost center!

My SparkPress publicist, Korina Garcia, notified me with an email saying,

"Good morning Judy,
I wanted to share some good news with you! Redbook featured your book in its latest “20 Books By Women You Must Read This Fall.” It looks great! Take a look using

this link here.
Hope you’re well,


I responded that yes, I was doing pretty well — with this news! And it gets better! They have a page for each of the reviews and all the books look great. I'm honored to be in the company of authors like Ann Patchett, Amy Schumer, Karin Slaughter, Taraji P. Henson, on and on. Here's the page for First Rodeo. The review is so great:

"If you're looking for a wildly imaginative and romantic ride this fall, First Rodeo is a must." Later they add, "First Rodeo is a celebration of one of life's most underrated truths: The most precious relationship is the one you have with yourself."

No, I didn't write the review myself. And, no, it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm getting very excited for the book release events beginning later next month. Stay tuned!

Judith Hennessey
August 12, 2016