NEW Christmas Stories for Kids & Families

Ho-Ho-HO! Lots going on in Christmas story world! Mrs. Jessica Claus has got her “girl power” going on; Santa has shorted out the “power grid” and needs help from Lovable Lobo and friends; “Thingy” is causing all kinds of havoc for the “Top of the Wardrobe Gang;”and Sofie & Meeda are hatching a special Christmas plan for the grumpy Woozler who is freezing outside!  Check out these super cool Christmas stories for kids!

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Guest #3 – C. L Murphy & LOVABLE LOBO ~ Christmas Stories for Kids

me-w-christmas-hatHi Everyone!  This week, I’m just so tickled to introduce you to another OUTSTANDING and TALENTED “Indie Children’s Author,” and my friend, C. L. Murphy!  Cathy is the fun, and genius, behind the adorable Lovable Lobo series – AND her award winning Christmas story, Lobo’s Howliday.  Kids are going to love it!  
Grammy Pags:
  Hi Cathy!  I’m so excited that you stopped here for a quick vist!!  Please tell everyone a little about yourself.

cl-murphyCathy / C.L. Murphy:  Well, I’m a tamer of fictitious wild animals and the author and illustrator of the children’s picture book series THE ADVENTURES OF LOVABLE LOBO.  I also spend most of my days trying to manage my overactive imagination.

Grammy Pags:  You are just so adorable, and by the way, my grandchildren and I LOVE the Lovable Lobo stories!!  So tell us about the inspiration behind the Lovable Lobo series?

cathys-loboCathy / C.L. Murphy:  The main character in the series was inspired by a wolf that I raised for over 14 years.  He was a lovable galoot and a far cry (or howl) from any of the big bad wolves that are often portrayed in children’s literature.

The idea behind the multi-award winning book, LOBO’S HOWLIDAY, was sparked while I waited for my car to be serviced at a dealership ~ that happened to have ~ “Electric Smart Cars” on display.

smart-carGrammy Pags:  So LOBO’S HOWLIDAY was inspired when your car was being serviced? And electric smart cars?  And wolves?  Oh my!!  Please tell us more!

C. L. Murphy:  While I waited for my car to be serviced, I began lobo-santathinking of what would happen if a ginormous fleet of Smart Sleighs shorted out the electrical grid. Santa’s lo-tech approach to package delivery and the possibility of an efficient, high-tech method using Smart Sleighs, came to mind. A fleet of Smart Sleighs plugged in readying to fly around the world could certainly pull an excessive amount of power, I thought. How could Lobo, with his non-existent tech ways, save the day…make that night? I had hours to ponder the storyline while waiting and so…a quirky rendition of the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s classic tale was hatched. Can you howl ho ho ho?

lobos-howliday-coverGrammy Pags:  This is so much fun – I love it!  Your imagination was in high gear while you were waiting for your car to be serviced!!  What a great story idea!!  Kids – and adults –  will have to read LOBO’S HOWLIDAY to see if Santa and Lobo were able to save Christmas!   Here’s the Amazon link: Lobo’s Howliday

Grammy Pags:  Thank you so much for sharing the back story!!  So, Cathy, is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Cathy / C.L. Murphy:  I’ve been a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) since 2012.  I live among the wildlife in a real enchanted forest with my husband.  We have two wildly perfect or perfectly wild sons, depending on the day, and a menagerie of other untamed animals.

Grammy Pags:  You are so delightful and fun!!  Where can fans keep track of you?

Cathy / C.L. Murphy:   Fans can follow me on Twitter @LovableLobo (New friends make life tweeter!) and on my webpage: Lovable Lobo’s Webpage

Grammy Pags:  Thanks so much for joining us today, C.L. Murphy of the Lovable Lobo Series.  For more information – check out these Lovable Lobo Links:

Best Holiday Book 2014 per Kid Lit Reviews:  http://kid-lit-reviews.com/2015/04/04/winners-2014-best-books-on-kid-lit-review/

2014 Gold Medal Winner – eLit Awards: http://www.elitawards.com/2014_results.php

2014 Gold Award Recipient – Mom’s Choice Awards:    http://store.momschoiceawards.com/index.php?entry_id=3847

5 star rating from Readers’ Favoritehttps://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-adventures-of-lovable-lobo

2015 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree: http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2015-brag-medallion-books/lobos-howliday

Book trailer youtube: https://youtu.be/wHhOIzd7iAk

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Lovable-Lobo-Lobos-Howliday-ebook/dp/B00OJOXG4A

iBookstore link:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id766131942

Please check out my other December guest authors & their Christmas stories:  Laura Lee Scott, Melinda Kinsman, and Grammy Pags Stories for Kids. Here’s the link: https://grammypags1.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/new-christmas-stories-for-kids-families/

5-christmas-books

December: Guest #2 ~ Melinda Kinsman ~ Christmas Stories for Kids ~

me-w-christmas-hatHi Everyone!  This week, I’m delighted to introduce you to another “Indie Children’s Author,” Melinda Kinsman.  Melinda is from Northwest England.  She’s a prolific writer – 22 children’s stories to date!  She writes about a group of cuddly toys she calls The Top of the Wardrobe Gang.   So here she is – along with The Top of the Wardrobe Gang – plus introducing “Thingy” – the main character of the Christmas story, On the Run from Santa! 

 

melinda-kinsmanGrammy Pags:  Hi Melinda!  I’m so happy you could stop by and tell us about The Top of the Wardrobe Gang!  So where did you get the idea for the Wardrobe Gang?  What’s their back story? I hear this group of stuffed toys has some very interesting and unusual talents!
Melinda:  For those of you who haven’t met them yet, The Top of the Wardrobe Gang is a group of cuddly toys.  They write AND illustrate their own children’s books, with a bit of help from me! When I was little, I loved books about teddy bears that came to life, so I guess that had a lot to do with me originally creating this gang of characters. They are based on a number of my own cuddly toys, who did indeed move to live on top of the wardrobe in my spare bedroom when I grew older.
on-the-run-from-santa-6I wanted the gang to represent typical cuddly toys that might be found in any young child’s bedroom.  I started imagining what living toys would get up to once their human owner started school. Suddenly they would have no one playing with them all day, so it made sense that they’d get bored and need a new project to keep them busy and out of trouble!
There are six different characters, all with very different skill sets and interests.  However, they all pitch in together to work as a team. That was what I really wanted the gang to show to young readers – the idea that, “we are all different, but everyone can play their part and work together to take on tasks that might at first seem impossible.”
Grammy Pags:  I love these concepts – great for kids and adults!  I understand that you and the gang have had some challenges when you write and illustrate.
Melinda:  Over the last 3 years, I have learned to write and illustrate from scratch, all while lying on my side using an iPad. (Neck issues prevent me from being able to sit at a desk.) I think that may also have something to do with why I can easily relate to a group of ill equipped toys learning to overcome their own difficulties in order to write and illustrate children’s books!
Grammy Pags:  That’s amazing!  If we didn’t know this little back story, no one would ever know that you are illustrating and writing lying down.  You  – and the gang – are very talented! So can you give us the special scoop for On The Run From Santa?  I love the title and I think kids will too!
on-the-run-from-santa-5 Melinda:  This book really developed from a Christmas story that I’d published about the gang the previous Christmas called Odd Sock Learns about Christmas.  It introduces kids to the idea of what really matters at Christmas time:  time spent with our loved ones and kindness to others.  Any presents we might receive for Christmas are just an added bonus.
So in On the Run from Santa, Santa delivers a tiny, cuddly toy called “Thingy” to his new owner.  My imagination didn’t
on-the-run-from-santawant the story to end things there, so, you see, Thingy wasn’t going to be at all well behaved, unlike the other toys.
I asked myself, What if the gang spent a whole year living with a very naughty toy?  What would happen if Santa found out just how much trouble one of his presents had been causing?
 I had lots of fun dreaming up and illustrating this Christmas story. It’s meant to be read aloud and laughed about, but it may also start kids wondering whether they themselves have been “naughty or nice” this year! Although it involves a bunch of cuddly toys, the story is very much about human compassion, and the idea that families, however dysfunctional, can learn to love one another and to stick together, no matter what happens.  Thingy is the “wild child”, who sadly, may never learn how he’s supposed to behave, but who finds unconditional love anyway.
Grammy Pags:  Melinda, I laughed out loud when I read On the Run from Santa and I can’t wait to read it to my grandchildren.  They will love “Thingy” and his antics!  Thanks for sharing the back story and the wonderful message.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
Melinda:  In the build up before Christmas, I hope this rhyming story will be enjoyed by families at bedtime.  I also hope it will spark the imaginations of young readers and get them asking their own, “What if…?” questions. After all, Christmas is very much a time about believing in magic, when anything becomes possible!
Grammy Pags:  So where can readers purchase your books?
Melinda: 
  • Readers can find On The Run From Santa here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017ZI9N84
  • and the whole “Top of the Wardrobe Gang” rhyming picture book series here:  http://topofthewardrobegang.weebly.com/
Grammy Pags:  Thanks Melinda!  It’s been so much fun learning about you and your adorable gang!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, your family, AND The Top of the Wardrobe Gang!
santa-switch-2-booksGuest #1 – Laura Lee Scott – The Santa Switch & A Trip for Mrs. Claus
merry-christmas-woozler-w-moms-choice-sealAND – from Rhonda Paglia’s ~ Grammy Pags Stories for Kids:  The Woozler’s Christmas (Book #3 in the Meeda and Me series.)
Synopsis: Sofie and Meeda are excited! Christmas is coming and it’s time to get ready! The girls are having fun when Sofie starts to think about the Woozler. That old, grouchy Woozler lives in a hole under the apple tree in their backyard. It’s cold outside, the snow is falling, and Sofie’s worried. Will the Woozler be okay? Will he ever become friends with Sofie and Meeda? Well, Sofie and Meeda have a plan to brighten the Woozler’s Christmas!  For kids 3 – 8, beginning reader, includes extended learning activities in the back of the book.
Available on Amazon for Kindle & Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/150564223X 
grammy-reading-doonsey-to-o-ro-so-12-26-2013Rhonda Paglia ~ “Grammy Pags” ~ is a retired elementary teacher from Pennsylvania.  She and her husband have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little pup named Bella.  To date, Grammy Pags has penned 13 stories for kids.  She has received awards for several of her stories:  a “Moms Choice Silver Award,” a 2015 “Gittle List Top 10 Children’s Picture Book Award,” a 2015 “Inkspokes Select Book Award,” and a 2016 “Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner, Honorable Mention.”   Ms. Paglia is a member of SCBWI, PennWriters, and WestPA Authors.
Visit Grammy Pags Stories at:   Grammy Pags Stories Website
Facebook: Grammy Pags Stories on Facebook
Amazon:  Rhonda Paglia’s Amazon Author Page
Twitter: Rhonda Paglia @grammypags1

 

December: Guest #1 ~ Laura Lee Scott ~ Christmas Stories for Kids ~


Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays and Merry early Christmasme-w-christmas-hat!!
 

I LOVE Christmas and I especially love holiday stories for kids! As you probably know, I’m an “Indie Author,” which means I’m especially fond of, and supportive of, my fellow “Indie Authors!” For this holiday and Christmas season, I’m interviewing several of my fellow authors who are sharing their delightful Christmas stories for kids.   Enjoy!!  

Guest #1: 

Laura Lee ScottThis week, I’d like to introduce you to children’s author, Laura Lee Scott.  Laura is the award winning author of: The Santa Switch, a delightful, modern North Pole Christmas story with a “positive, gender-empowering message” for kids and families.  I love this!    The Santa Switch is the recipient of two Mom’s Choice Awards, a Cascade Writing Award, and a Beverly Hills Book Award.  It is beautifully lllustrated by Cheryl Crouthamel, who also illustrated the second book in this series titled, A Trip for Mrs. Claus.

thesantaswitchcover-with-3-awardslowresGrammy Pags:  Laura, what was your inspiration for writing The Santa Switch?  Could you give us the back story?

Laura:  My kids provided the initial inspiration for the series. My youngest son, Ben, couldn’t wait for Santa to arrive, and we started talking about Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ben asked me what her (Mrs. Claus’s) first name was.  I realized then, that I didn’t even know if she had one. That seemed a little unfair to me and my kids, since Mrs. Claus just HAD to be working hard alongside her husband. We talked about how, if she’s like most women, she’s probably the one doing most of the work!  I was proud of my boys because they also thought she should receive more love. Without their input, I doubt this series would have happened.

Grammy Pags:  So tell us a little more about this very special Christmas book.

Laura:  First of all, this book is intended for ALL ages, from the very young to the young at heart.  It’s a “family” book in every sense of the word.  In The Santa Switch, Mrs. Jessica Claus finally sheds her wallflower image to become the fabulous tour-de-force she’s always had the potential to be. This modern version of Mrs. C. believes in equality, compassion, and continued education. She loves her good-natured, big-hearted husband, and they share the same philanthropic vision – but she’s definitely his equal partner.  She’s the “doer” to his “dreamer!” Jessica Claus is CEO (Chief Elf Optimizer) of the world’s most successful, top-secret toy production facility.  She also loves to don hea-trip-for-mrs-twitter-coverr favorite slippers and bake her way into the New Year . . .  spreading peppermint-flavored joy to anyone willing to believe in a little Christmas magic.

The positive, gender-empowering messages, lovable spins on legendary characters, and colorfully detailed illustrations found in The Santa Switch and its newly-released sequel, A Trip for Mrs. Claus, are sure to warm hearts and tickle funny bones of the young AND the young-at-heart, making this fresh, award-winning series the perfect literary adventure for everyone who loves Christmas!

Grammy Pags:  This is so interesting and fun, Laura.  Where can readers purchase your books?

Laura: 

Grammy Pags:  Thanks so much, Laura!  I love dear, sweet, traditional, cuddly Santa Claus in your darling story, The Santa Switch, but it’s Mrs. Jessica Claus who is the rock star!! She’s an empowered, modern woman and a, don’t-take-her-for-granted role model for girls and women!  I LOVE her!!  I think kids and families will enjoy “Jessica Claus” and your rhyming tale too!!  You’ve tucked lots of fun in the colorful illustrations and some sweet surprises in the story like “Lichen corn pies,”  the “Gratitude Supper,” and so much more.  Check it out, readers!  The Santa Switch – it’s an updated, totally fun story for the Christmas / holiday season by author Laura Lee Scott!  Thanks for stopping by, Laura and friends!!

Merry Christmas, Woozler w Mom's Choice seal.pngAND – here’s a little holiday fun from Grammy Pags Stories for KidsThe Woozler’s Christmas (Book #3 in the Meeda and Me series.)

Synopsis: Sofie and Meeda are excited! Christmas is coming and it’s time to get ready! The girls are having fun when Sofie starts to think about the Woozler. That old, grouchy Woozler lives in a hole under the apple tree in their backyard. It’s cold outside, the snow is falling, and Sofie’s worried. Will the Woozler be okay? Will he ever become friends with Sofie and Meeda? Well, Sofie and Meeda have a plan to brighten the Woozler’s Christmas!  For kids 3 – 8, beginning reader, includes extended learning activities in the back of the book.

merry-christmas-woozler-cover-and-3-pages

Merry Christmas, Woozier has received a “Mom’s Choice Award” for Excellence.  Available from Amazon for Kindle & Paperback:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/150564223X
Rhonda Paglia ~ “grammy-reading-doonsey-to-o-ro-so-12-26-2013Grammy Pags”is a retired elementary teacher from Pennsylvania.  She and her husband have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little pup named Bella.  To date, Grammy Pags has penned 13 stories for kids.  She has received awards for several of her stories:  a “Moms Choice Silver Award,” a 2015 “Gittle List Top 10 Children’s Picture Book Award,” a 2015 “Inkspokes Select Book Award,” and a 2016 “Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner, Honorable Mention.”   Ms. Paglia is a member of SCBWI, PennWriters, and WestPA Authors.
Visit Grammy Pags Stories at:   Grammy Pags Stories Website
Facebook: Grammy Pags Stories on Facebook
Amazon:  Rhonda Paglia’s Amazon Author Page
Twitter:  @grammypags1