There's Christmas Magic Year-Round Here!

Sign up with your email on our nice list – even if you're naughty! You'll be first to see South Pole Santa news & more! Plus get smile making extras now, including:
• A kindness screensaver
• Cards to print out
• A happy bookmark
• A monthly copy of the Jolly Jingle!

Countdown has started!

12036945_949636208411468_4590676278130784519_nThree months to Christmas Day! Three months! In these super busy modern times, that’s like “almost here.” I know, I’m sorry. I can feel you cringing just reading the words but, people, we are talking October is here in less than a week! Who took my September?

As a Christmas-themed author it would be natural to guess that December is my favorite month of the year but that actually is my third favorite month of the year! I do love it – right after how much I love the absolutely magical and marvelous month of October and the month of November with its beautiful holiday focused on thanks and giving. So much good stuff right in a row every single year!

September has been packed to the top with busy – and sickness. Jumping jack-o-lanterns. A totally hideous cold that is sweeping the nation came knocking at our door and we, being the accommodating types that we are :), invited it in! The very worst kind of house guest. I turned the whole visit into a giant sized pity party and served cough drops, cold meds and washed it all down with cough syrup. Finally today, a week later, it seems our prognosis is for a full recovery. :)



Past that the month has included some work travel down at the beautiful Lake Tahoe and getting to spend some time with my husband’s family and the adorable littles pictured here. Such fun and love.

Despite the cold, I’ve felt peaceful and happy this month. Maybe it’s the fall season. It brings out all the warm, fuzzy feelings along with my warm, fuzzy sweaters. Here’s some of the things that have made my thankful list recently:




  • Fall colors! How I love them all. Do you like my fall home décor? I’ve put a dash of autumn all around the house to bring the good stuff inside.
  • Cleaning out and decluttering! One of our giant projects this month is giving a long overdue clearing to our garage and workshop. Empty shelves! Tah-dah!
  • New followers on Facebook, Twitter and this page. Thank you to you all! Kindness rocks!
  • Getting the book sent off! I know I have mentioned this before but I feel good about it every single weekend when I don’t have needing to write or edit on my to-do list!
  • We bought a new fridge! Our old one gave out and our new one doesn’t get delivered till next week so we’re living out of a cooler right now. Cooler living helped getting a new fridge move to my thankful list. :)

    Every day is a gift. Hope yours is wrapped up in wonderful this beautiful fall day.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Presenting . . . Unwrapped!


So much to tell!

Unwrapped is in to the publisher and the fabulous cover is above! I welcome your raving comments! :)  I mean, c’mon, I am gifted with having one of the most talented artist best friends ever. :) Thank you Tina Fischer Mitchell!

Series readers will recognize all the wonderful regular characters (At least, I think they are wonderful. :) I’m not sure you can write a book if you don’t love your characters – even the bad ones!) with a dash of new ones, including some elves and some rather evil drags. As usual, we have twists and turns and some major hurdles to overcome in this adventure. Much to everyone’s amazement at both poles, the children of the world have become quite attached now to Sandra and Santa is finding himself on the outs with most kids – even the nice ones! It’s a very awkward situation for the two Santas. Meanwhile, there are some dark times in Middle Earth for much of the gang as one thing after another goes terribly wrong. You can always count on the elves though to bring bright moments to all of it. Plus, I’m super jazzed about how Sandra is working at moving kindness forward in a big way.

Jason’s wonderful, trusty dog, Mango, has a big role in this book so this time around, the book includes a dog-loving recipe for Mango’s Dog Bones from my talented baker friend, Betsy Chan. If you have a big or little bow-wow at home, this is one to try for sure! woof!

Now, on a whole other topic: have you all seen the Kmart Christmas ads?!? What in the falling leaves! :) I saw the first one out over Labor Day weekend. Granted they are promoting Christmas layaway but they boldly forged forward faster than the rest of the retail pack this year by at least a month, I’m guessing. In fairness, however, the Hallmark Channel sort of promotes their Christmas line-up all year so holiday haters really need to point the arrows their direction first! Not surprisingly, I like a touch of Christmas in the air so there’ll be no hating coming from this girl. :) 

Joy to you and yours on this last of the summer weekend!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Getting to the Finish Line


Woooo doggies, I have been busy! For me, this time of year brings a huge push to get my books done and turned into Amazon for publishing and this year is no different. In fact, it’s been a little harder than the past couple. The book is bigger (past 76,000 words this book – the last was 74,000) so the editing process is more cumbersome. Each round means completely reading through it and improving the story line as you go. This last round – the fifth round – was likely the most gruesome because at this point it is so important for me to have it all right and I also find myself second guessing myself. Argh! Plus, this time I actually added in a whole chapter and completely changed the ending in the fourth round of editing (egads!) so I had to be absolutely certain those changes also were accurately reflected through the book. It was some real slow going these past three weeks getting it done let me just say and some hard self-talk to keep the faith and stay on the path.

But I’m doing the happy dance, like any good elf would, now! Joy, joy, joy the worst of the work is done and I am happy with it! That is such a wonderful feeling. I can hardly wait to have you all read it and see what you think. It’s quite a bit different than the others in some ways and I am hoping you all like it as much as I do. I love seeing where the adventures of Sandra and her friends go and this time we have gone far afield of anywhere before!

At the same time, it is totally true to the story and the core theme of the book being around kindness. You can expect the crazy bunch of fun and magic that have been in the others with some heroics thrown in and a really joyous event! Such fun.

So, off it will go to the publisher on Monday and my wonderful artist bestee, Tina Fisher Mitchell, is mixing her skills and magical abilities together now to come up with another perfect cover. It will all be “Unwrapped” for you – and! Can’t wait!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Chapter one of Unwrapped!

It’s missing a comma here and there, but without further ado, chapter one for you all as a reminder of where things left off and hints on what’s to come. Thanks for reading!


Chapter 1

A long list of troubles

Sandra’s list of troubles was a mile long.

“It is not a “mile long,” Cappie, her treasured guardian who had raised her after her parents were lost at sea, admonished. “It really only has three things on it.”

“Well, they are really big things, Cappie, with loads of little things under them which leads to it feeling like it’s a mile long. Maybe two miles long.” Sandra added the last part with a bit of defiance. At the moment, she didn’t like having her troubles downplayed.

Cappie just sighed at her. “Let me hear them again then.”

Sandra plopped in a seat at the table in the galley on the Mistletoe and began to recite her list using her fingers for drama.

“First, of course, is Jason. We’ve been looking for him for more than a month. And not just us. Every single fairy in the seen world and the unseen world has been instructed to find him and, so far, not a single real clue has turned up.”

“. . .squawk! . . . tired of Jason . . . squawk! . . . heart breaker . . .”

“Squawk!” Sandra said to her talking parrot. “You can be naughty sometimes and I’d still come look for you if you were missing.”

Squawk flew out the door to perch on the tugs rail in protest of her calling him “naughty.” Of course she’d look for him, he thought, but squawked out nothing. It was a totally different matter. He was insulted she had compared the two. He hadn’t liked Jason when he was Sandra’s boyfriend and started taking up all her time and he really didn’t like him after he broke her heart by breaking up with her. Now that he was missing and taking up all their time for fun thinking about where he might be, Squawk was really, really, not liking him. Not to mention, it seemed Jason was the king of fairies and Squawk, like many, did not care for fairies.

“Yes,” Cappie was saying. “Jason is a huge concern. But not your concern alone as you have pointed out. His mother is actually in charge of that search and you need to let her be the lead.”

Christina Annalise was the headmistress of St. Annalise Academy on the island of St. Annalise that Sandra and Cappie called home. Jason was Christina’s adopted son and had not told even her what route he was going when he had left to join the fairy realm to learn more about who he really was and what it meant to be the apparent king of fairies. No one had heard from him in months. Both Christina and Sandra had assumed it was because he was busy with his new role and had chosen to break, at least for a while, from his life with all of them. While it seemed outrageously rude, to both of them, not to write or call, it wasn’t out of Jason’s character and definitely not out of the character of a fairy. Generally speaking, Shan fairies, the ruling party and haughtier side of the fairy realm, felt no need to keep anyone apprised of any of their comings and goings. Most beings that were not fairies were simply beneath them.

“I’m so worried about him, Cap. I can’t have him be gone in the same kind of way mom and dad were gone. One minute they’re there and the next they just aren’t and no one has ever been able to figure out what happened. That’s how it’s going with Jason and that’s hard.”

“Oh, sweetheart,” Cappie said, pulling her beautiful Santa girl over and hugging her. “I understand. I just hate to see you so troubled. What else is on the list?”

“Gunny, of course,” Sandra said, standing up and pacing again. “The fairies are still refusing to give him up until they know where Jason is which is absolutely ridiculous since not only did Jason break up with me, he didn’t even want me to know where he was going. So, obviously, I’m not the one hiding him.” Her voice got loud with frustration. She was beyond annoyed that the Supreme Esteemed Fairy Council refused to release Gunny still. Santa had thought he had successfully negotiated his release a couple of times but it fell through for no valid reason both times.

Sandra missed him. Gunny was not the easiest person in her life but he was one of the most important. Their relationship had been complicated from the start. They met competing to be South Pole Santa and when she was selected over him, Gunny had, at first, rebelled. To put it more accurately, he had sulked. Then he had Santanapped her last year which had not endeared him to her at all. It had taken a lot of effort, but their fragile relationship had seemed on the cusp of something more than friendship when the fairies had whisked him away, and held him for ransom, in exchange for Jason.

Sandra missed them both which was a complicated mess all on its own.

“Third big item,” she said out loud to help dismiss that uncomfortable topic in her head. “I have twelve very kind children whose names have been drawn from nearly a million entries. A million Cappie!” She repeated that last part because she still could not begin to believe it. Kind acts were washing over the world thanks to her request for children to help her perform random acts of kindness – RAKS as they were often known as — and then send in what they had done. From those lists of kindnesses, twelve children were going to get to visit the North Pole and she had ideas brewing in her head for making it even bigger in the future.

“I know they will like getting to meet the elves and Santa but I just want to make sure it is an extra special time for them.”

“Sandra, really. That is hardly worth worrying on since no children have ever been so lucky and these children are nice to begin with! Of course they are going to love it – even if they do nothing at all.”

Sandra just frowned at her. She knew she had time to figure it out since she wasn’t planning on them visiting until later in the year but she loved to plan early and it was really important to her that it be “just right.”

“What is item number four?” Cappie asked a little too sweetly suspecting there wasn’t more than three items on Sandra’s “mile long list.”

“Four is that no real progress has been made now for months on getting the South Pole Village barge finished. Not through the Christmas season, of course, and not since Gunny has been gone. Spencer and Birdie and even Crow once in a while have been trying to help with it but they just aren’t the same as having Gunny managing it all. Cappie, they put up two walls in the wrong place! How is that even possible?”

“Walls can come down,” Cappie assuringly said. The South Pole Village barge was Sandra’s new love. She had always lived on the Mistletoe and loved it, and always would love it, but her new responsibilities as South Pole Santa meant she would need to leave the Mistletoe for a new home in her new role. Working with Gunny, they had figured out that a large barge could be built to duplicate North Pole Village. It could be towed by the Mistletoe all around the seas if necessary and that would be South Pole Santa’s new home. She loved the most that the barge, dubbed South Pole Village, meant she could work from anywhere and still be South Pole Santa. Spencer and Birdie, her very best friends, had been trying to keep some work on the barge happening without Gunny, and using Gunny’s brother Crow, but none of them really understood construction.

“Okay, any items past those four?” Cappie asked politely.

Sandra looked at her and flashed her first smile since they had started their chat. Talking things out with Cappie always made her feel better. “Not really. Just stuff. Okay, the list isn’t a mile long.”

“Ahoy!” a voice called out from the deck and Cappie leapt up, smiling. She knew the voice of their neighbor, long-time friend and now Cappie’s official boyfriend, well. Thomas Jackson, had his arm around Cappie by the time Sandra joined them on deck. Despite his show of affection for Cappie, he was clearly there for Sandra, this visit, as he looked directly at her.

“There’s news,” he said. “Rio has found us a way in.”


Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Some Really Great Things

Hey Hey Hey out there in kindness land. It’s Friday! The wonderful day of the week where work cares can fall away for a bit and family, friends and fun can move forward!

I have some quick things to share this beautiful gray Friday in August – a total treat after all the hot days we’ve been having here:


Check out the fun prize package lucky Rhonda received today! Winner winner cocoa and candy canes for dinner! I loved getting to award this to such a nice person that played along every day in the Joy in July photo fun.


These three. Be still my heart. Once again, I bring you Savanna and Desmond, my little’s in our family, along with a dear family friends daughter, Kinslei. Are we talking cute or what?! This was at Savi’s sixth birthday party. She is into peacocks presently so it was a “birdday” party. Love it!


This is a recent sunset off my deck! Hard to beat anywhere I think. This time of year we really get some incredible last light moments. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the Northern Light elves had a hand in this. :)


Did you know I now have my own line of South Pole Santa wines out? Okay, not really but I sure think this is a good start! I received this wonderful bottle of fun from a friend who obviously loves me and Sandra to do such a nice thing.

Sooooooo many good things happening in my life of late. I hope yours is the same. Up next on the blog is that chapter from Unwrapped, book four, that I promised!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

A cheery line-up


I’m not sure where July went but would the person who stole the last few days of the month, please return them immediately! My mind is having a hard time wrapping around the idea that they are gone and this is August. No way!

August got off with a bang at our place though with a super spectacularly fun party with friends we call family. Such joy comes in being together with people you know and love and who you know loves you in return. IMG_6510

I think there’s some special moments in this book that are about those same kinds of feelings that I’m hoping you all will enjoy. I’m on my third edit through the book and it heads off for my editor this week so things are clipping right along. (Hooray!)

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share a photo of my ever-changing mantle with you all today. I have it covered presently with my fine collection of uplifting words and sayings. It’s a little bit eclectic but I like the positive vibe it gives the house. Makes everything a little more uptempo. :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Book Four Title!


Its summertime and the living is, well, not easy as much as it is busy! Either way, it gets away from me and I had to pop over here and catch you up on the new title for the book.


What do you think?

I’m pretty darn excited about it. It was, as you recall, Inside Out & Upside Down and I loved that as a title too. In a lot of ways, it really was the most perfect title. Unfortunately though, it really doesn’t have a flavor of Christmas like the others and then Disney came out with that smash hit movie Inside Out and it seemed I needed to move on. So I did.

A brainstorming session was in order over cocktails and appetizers and some more cocktails :) and during that, my brilliant book coach, Brie Vennard is the one who thought up this excellent new title.

I liked it immediately. So many things are unraveled – unwrapped – a mess – chaotic – in this book that Unwrapped seemed just perfect right away. Plus, it’s short, visual and definitely has a Christmas feel to it.


And, double hooray! I have book four done!

Or at least the first and second drafts. It came out right under 72,000 words and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll admit to being a little nervous too since its somewhat a departure from the other three in its adventuring, but I’m hoping you all will enjoy the twists and turns and inside out nature of it too. We spend a bunch of time in middle earth this book which is certainly a twist from your everyday Christmas tale.

But then, you already know the South Pole Santa series is many things but a retelling of the normal everyday Santa tale it is not! I like it that way. And there is a really wonderful thing that happens this book too that makes my heart happy.

Can’t wait till you all get to know about it all too! We’re getting close to it all getting . . . Unwrapped!

Thanks for being wonderful! Shine your light!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle


Recent Days!

Have you been getting in on the fun for Joy in July? We’re having 31 days of  magical fun over on the facebook page, on Instagram and on Twitter. Get in on it for your chance at a super fun prize – or just some super fun. Here’s the most recent days:


Your favorite mug!


A saying/quote you like!


A pair of shoes – nice, loved or beat up! Your choice!

There’s more! Check em out! #joyinjuly #31daysofmagic #jinglebellejackson

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Days 12 & 13



We’ve been having fun over on the JingleBelle Jackson page on Facebook with the daily photo challenge! I would love for you to get in on the fun and the chance to win a giveaway worth over $200 smackers! C’mon C’mon, its so super easy. Today is pics of something, anything, green and tomorrow is clouds. Easy peasy super squeezy!

Oh Oh Oh! jingle

Try Something New!


V’room V’room!IMG_1001

That’s me there with the big helmet, flashing a smile on an atv. For those like me who may not know, that stands for all-terrain vehicle. Four-wheel drive fun!!

So there we were in Hawaii hitting the beach, soaking in the sun — working on the book — and it just seemed like something was missing. We didn’t want another tour, we didn’t want to “learn” anything like going through a museum. We wanted fun. And then the concierge mentioned atv rides on the other side of the island and we said “tell us more.” It sounded like fun but were we really atv kind of people? We decided we’d find out.

Turns out – we are!


What. A. Blast!!!!

ATVing is now my new very favorite thing to do. We might have started with the top of the ladder atv experience by going in such a beautiful place. We went through bumpy roads, muddy trails, tall grass, jungle areas where you had to drive and duck and big stretches where the view was so awesome you just wanted to pull over. I loved every fast flying minute of it.

So c’mon, what have you tried new and fun lately? You gotta stretch sometimes to find out something you might have been born to do! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle