Catching Up In November

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a note to share my latest news and updates with you.

New Release

UPDATE: Rosco the Rascal and the Holiday Lights is now out and available here!

First, my Christmas-themed book is on schedule for a December release! I can’t give you a pre-order link because I’m still waiting on the final cover artwork. But the good news is that everything is finally coming together, even though it’s behind schedule. Here’s a sneak-peek of the cover art *in progress*. The paperback will likely be ready before the ebook and it will be available on Amazon Prime for quick shipping.

Rosco the Rascal and the Holiday Lights
James and Mandy’s neighborhood have taken first place in the holiday lights Best Block contest. But will Rosco find a way to wreak havoc and wreck Opening Night?

This one is much longer than the other books in the series at 184 pages. This page count includes a quick reference vocabulary list, however, as well as the bio page, etc. Each of the main characters, Mandy, James, and Rosco, have a story from their own personal point of view, like they do in Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp, and all of the stories weave together by the end. I think it’s a really fun book and I was inspired to write it after visiting my own suburban city’s holiday lights contest each year with my kids. It’s amazing what people can do when they put their minds to beautifying their homes for Christmas, and it’s really one of my favorite things about the holiday season–all the wonderful lights!

Mandy’s story involves the holiday train parade at school, for which she has fashioned her own train car this year, confidently and boldly refusing Mom’s help. Such train parades are common in elementary schools in the USA these days during the Christmas season, and are based on the movie The Polar Express so your child may be able to relate.

But when Mandy’s work proves to be less than perfect and things start to fall apart for her at the parade, her second grade world comes tumbling down. Will she manage to find confidence in herself again, or will the emotional bruises left by the snickering kids leave too lasting an impression?

James’ is the main story line about the holiday lights contest and takes on friendship, jealousy, competition, and the humbling of one’s self to ask for help in times of need. In direct juxtaposition, fifth-grader James decides he doesn’t need any help after becoming fed up with the way his friend behaves, while Mandy decides she cannot do anything anymore without help, after ruining her train car.

In the end, both kids figure out that sometimes help is needed because certain things just can’t be handled very well alone, but that, at other times, being self sufficient is a highly valuable trait.

Rosco’s story line involves his rascally reputation. He finds out that unfortunately, he is regarded by James’ friends and the other kids in the neighborhood as merely a rascal, never helpful, pretty much just a fool. In his attempt to prove them wrong–to prove that he is helpful, even a hero–on opening night of the holiday lights tour, things go wildly out of control.

When Rosco finally turns things around, as Rosco always does, he begins to understand the real reason for the lights contest in the first place. It’s not about who’s got the best lights or the most lavish display; it’s about spreading the joy of Christmas with anyone who cares to look.

While a longer book, I still think the story lines are just as accessible to even the youngest readers–as well as to older Rosco the Rascal fans–as they are in the other books. I hope you’ll check it out this season. I will, of course, blast out emails and social media posts when it’s ready for purchase. 🙂

Current Release Available for Winter

For those who are new to my email list and blog this year, I wanted to let you know that my winter-themed book is ready and waiting for your children to devour, however!

Rosco the Rascal In the Land of Snow 
Will an outdoor rescue mission go bad when a mischievous yet well-intentioned mutt helps out?

Will an outdoor rescue mission go bad when a mischievous yet well-intentioned mutt helps out? Read the editorial review from Kirkus here if you’d like. Available in paperback, ebook, and hardcover.
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Book Signing

Last month, I did a book signing and presentation at my local Barnes and Noble Kids Books Hangout event. It was great fun and a local author friend of mine, Kim Hales, author the Ellie the Weiner Dog series, also presented and signed books. B&N stores across the country are hosting these events, often monthly, so be sure and find yours by clicking the link above or searching for your local B&N events page online.

Free Rosco the Rascal Thanksgiving Short Story

For new subscribers or for those who may have missed it in past years, here is my Thanksgiving Snapshot of the McKendrick family going about their business on a quiet Thanksgiving morning. It’s a free short story that I published on this blog in 2016 and on Wattpad. I hope your kids enjoy it.

Last, I am grateful for so many things this year, not the least of which is that I am not hosting this time(!) But, I must now go and make a few side dishes! Happy cooking, eating, thanking and enjoying time with family and friends. I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

All photos used here courtesy of Pixabay or copyright Shana Gorian.


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