There's Christmas Magic Year-Round Here!

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Drum roll please . . .

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Three months till Christmas Day! Holy smokes, I’m nowhere near ready. :)

Well, in the meantime – at last! – the time has come that I can share news of book three! I’ve been thinking about it all day because I meant to post it last night! So, first, the cover! What do you think? It’s another fabulous original work of art by my wonderful, talented, beautiful friend Tina Fischer Mitchell! I love it. My dad however was brave enough to share that a desert cover didn’t seem like the South Pole to him. Fair enough. You might think the same way. But he hasn’t had a chance to read the book yet so I’m hoping after that he’ll change his mind and think it’s the perfect cover once again. I hope you will think so too. :) Either way, I love my dad anyways. And all of you too for being so wonderful. :) 

And now, the book description which actually doesn’t tell you a whole bunch but it was tricky to write without giving any of the important plot points away since things start happening right away:

“When Sandra Claus… is Santanapped by people she thought were her friends, she believes there is no way possible she could feel more anger or despair. But when she finds out she wasn’t the only one taken, those feelings accelerate and kick her into action. Now it’s up to her to help Santa, help the elves and help the children of the world have a Christmas! It’s time for Sandra to fully embrace being South Pole Santa.

Hang on to your Santa hat for another fun-filled, magic-filled romp with Sandra and her friends. Fans of JingleBelle Jackson’s first two books will find all their favorite characters and new friends to fall in love with too. No matter your age, if you love kindness and Christmas, you’re sure to enjoy this family adventure!”

“Jackson’s best book so far!”  “Full of surprises!” “I couldn’t put it down!”

Weren’t those nice quotes I got from my volunteer readers? So nice of them!

Three more weeks and we should have a book ready to be read by all. Oh Oh Oh! – jingle!

P.S. I’m in such a good mood today. Can you tell? Just feeling happy. Get your happy on too!

 

A Message in a Bottle!

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Fun prize alert!

One lucky subscriber of the Jolly Jingle newsletter is going to receive this bottle of fun in the mail! It comes complete with a $25 credit to Amazon.com for some spending fun and, if you have kids at home, a special letter for them from Sandra! Plus, Jolly Jingle readers will get the first five chapters of The Santanapping! So, c’mon now. If  you haven’t signed up yet for the Nice List above, now is the time. The deadline for a chance at this message in a bottle is Tuesday, Sept 22. Sign up anytime though. There’s more fun to come!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

It’s Countdown Time!

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Don’t look now everyone but we are talking

95 days till Christmas Eve!

Don’t be mad unnamed (3)at the messenger about this news but we are clearly in the holiday season. :)

For me the “holiday season” pretty much starts on Labor Day which kicks off all the wonderful things that come with fall from the leaves and pumpkins to football to parties to Halloween and Thanksgiving. Then racing full on in to the grand dame of all holidays – Christmas! How I love these four months of the year!

 And speaking of parties, check out the photos of the fun work party I was at this past week. It had a renaissance theme so all the girls got fabulous fun masks to wear and the guys got big musketeer like hats. So much fun! My work team had work up for a few awards and managed to carry off two first place and one second for our work. My work team rocks!

Now, quickly down to a bit of business. Have you signed up on the Nice List yet? Seriously, you have got to get your name on the list. There are all sorts of fun things coming in this next issue including a sneak preview of the first 60 pages of the next book The Santanapping! Skip to the top of page and be part of the fun!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Gratitude List!

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I have a great gratitude list going this week book related! 

 First, oh my goodness, the cover for The Santanapping is just about done and it looks – like the others – magical! Tina Fischer Mitchell has done it again and hit another one of out of the park. I can hardly wait for you all to see it. (If you would like to be one of the first to see it, jump on The Nice List above for this month’s newsletter where it will make its grand debut! Coming out on September 24.)

Hopefully, I’ll get my book turned into Amazon this weekend so there’s something to cover. Oh my goodness.  I’m cutting it too close this year! Still, another positive, book-related, thing from this week is that I got my edits back from my copy editor. The best part of that? She didn’t have nearly as many edits for me! I’m getting better at this whole writing thing. Makes me happy. (You can get an early jump on reading the book by getting on The Nice List! A special preview is going to be in the next edition of The Jolly Jingle. :) ) 

Another thing that makes this girl happy is good reviews.  It was so nice to get another five star review (happy dance!) added on Amazon this week from a reader who enjoyed The Search forSouth Pole Santa. My kind readers are the best! Especially ones who post “off season.” Thank you Darlene E!

This week the Hallmark Channel posted their new Christmas movies that are coming this season. It sounds like a season of fun! One of them is even called “Northpole.” So when I saw that, I posted the list of movies on my author facebook page and twitter page, (hope you’re following me! just click on the icons on this page) commented that they need to do a South Pole Santa movie (duh! :) ) and didn’t think much of it until later that day when someone retweeted my twitter post. For me, that’s an unusual occurrence so I clicked on over to see who the very nice person was. This is the cool part . . . she was with the Hallmark Channel! Isn’t that cool? Granted she likely retweeted because she saw I had promoted Hallmark but she had to have seen my quip about them needing to do a movie about South Pole Santa so hope lives! :)

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Finally, not so directly book-related unless you know – as all readers of the South Pole Santa series do — that the Northern Lights are really put on by elves. :) Very talented elves of course. NASA however, would have you believe that this weekend the Northern Lights are brought to us by solar flares from our own sun. Whatever the reason, the exciting news is that many of us might get a shot at seeing those elusive lights this weekend so set your alarm to check them out! (Although with beautiful sunsets like this one off our deck, I’m not sure I need to see the Northern Lights!)

Oh and you dear reader of this blog and/or books, you too are on my gratitude list. Thanks for being wonderful!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Indoor S’mores

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Check out this fun way a friend served s’mores for dessert last weekend. He cleverly made them ahead with the top graham cracker off so the marshmallows could get toasted under the oven broiler – a great way to make a bunch of smores all at once. But two things made these extra special:

1. He used different kinds of chocolate with the smores. Gone was the standard Hershey bar and in was fun flavors like dark chocolate and chocolate with sea salt. Oh yeah.

2.  So you could be sure and get your personal favorite, he made a chart like you get in a chocolate box so you could see what s’more you would want when they came out of the oven all oooey goooey and looking the same as the one next to it. Smart!

And gooey. And delish. And fun!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

 

Scenes of Wonder”fall” Autumn

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Happy September! Happy first day of the holiday season! We launch into the “ber” months which brings along with it all the wonderful things of fall – gorgeous trees, pumpkins, parties, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving — capped off by Christmas, the grand topper of the “bers.” How I love these four months!

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To put my long weekend to good use, I got out some fun fall trimmings for around the house. Tis a fine day for welcoming the fineries of fall!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Winner and a Wonderful 10-year-old

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Okay bang the drum, we have a winner! Takepurchase was the name drawn out for the Kindness Rocks! mug and tote bag prize drawing!

Thanks so much to all of you who signed up on the Nice List for the first ever newsletter. The next issue will be arriving in your inbox on September 24th with two special things — another drawing and the first three chapters of The Santanapping! I, for one, just cannot wait! :) Don’t miss out everyone. It’s super duper completely easy to get on the Nice List. Just put your email in the green box at the top of the page and hit the button. Then be sure to pop over to your email box to confirm the subscription. That’s it, you are in!

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Next in my super cool news to share. Look at the wonderful, thoughtful completely fun pile of items that lovely 10-year-old Leonie and her mum sent me from England! Is this the greatest surprise box of gifts ever? I came home from work one night this week to this box of fun — including an autographed copy of Leonie’s mum’s book, Betrayal, Malt Whiskey and a Toilet Brush-- and the wonderful note from Leonie at the top of this post. Talk about someone who belongs on the Nice List! Thanks so much again Leonie and Ira. You two are definitely on South Pole Santa’s good list! :)

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Lastly, check it out everyone – a Christmas tree sighting! I found this fun “forest tree” set up in Pier 1 today. Personally, I loved it and thought it added tastefully to the fall decor but I heard others not feeling quite the same. I might not be the best judge on this though since I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something I didn’t like at Pier 1!

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

Elf Jokes!

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How about some elf jokes today – straight out of book three The Santanapping? Are you ready? These are fun – especially if you’re ten and under! :)

What do you call an elf that sits on a shelf?

A shelfie!

What do you call an elf who has lots of money?

Welfy!

What’s an elf’s favorite number?

Twelfth!

What do you call an elf that doesn’t share?

Elfish!

The third book in the South Pole Santa series is coming soon — full of silly, elf-filled moments like this.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

 

“Be the Change!”

I pretty much like every single thing about this wonderful story from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, that comes to us just in time for back-to-school. Joe Drexler is my kind of hero. It’s a story of courage and kindness and one where kindness persevered over the bullies! He is making a difference. Hooray! Parents, you might want to check out how to bring this program to your child’s school as well. It sounds really special and powerful. As Joe reminds all of us, “Be the Change.” Enjoy!

Making kindness contagious in Ottawa schools

Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.
Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.

Joe Drexler said he’ll never forget the day when he refused to go to school after a bully threatened to take his steel-toed boots and kick his teeth in.

“There wasn’t a day that went by for three years that I didn’t get pushed down, spat at, kicked, pushed from behind, punched, put in a headlock, or get my head mashed against the wall in the bathroom.”

After years of being picked on, he had enough, but his father challenged him to apologize to his tormentor, which had him “shaking like a tree in the wind.”

One day after leaving school, Drexler said his bully was waiting for him around the corner, but instead of running home like he did every single day, he confronted his bully. But what he said next stunned his friends.

“I’m sorry if I’ve ever hurt you or made you upset, I never wanted to do that. He looked at me and said, ‘um, um, um I’m sorry, too,’ ” Drexler said.

After that day the bullying stopped and Drexler vowed to never let anyone bully him, “if they did, I would deal with it head on with kindness.”

Now, he’s challenging others to do the same to help end bullying and promote kindness with a two-week event at the St. Laurent Centre. There will be random acts of kindness in the mall, a pledge wall and a contest to find the kindest person in Ottawa. It will also act as a fundraiser for Drexler’s program Kind Every Time, which takes place throughout the school year. The kindness event, which runs until Aug. 30, hopes to make kindness contagious amongst students as they prepare to go back to school in September. Drexler, a father of four who lives in Toronto and is the founder of Be The Change, will attend an event at the mall on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m.

Carrie Irvine, marketing director for St. Laurent, came up with the idea after wanting to do something that promotes a positive message for families and kids as they get ready for back to school.

“I was inspired by Joe’s Kind Every Time movement and how he motivates people with his enthusiasm and passion for the cause. It’s important for me as a parent to know there are leaders making kids feel strong and empowered,” Irvine said.

“It’s so important to have a refresher. It’s so important to start on a positive note,” said Drexler, 41, who admits that schools are having problems tackling the issue of bullying and that’s where he thinks he can help.

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I’m going to be a bully,’ but most of the time children don’t know that they’re doing it.

He said the bullying had become so relentless that it was destroying his self-confidence and it was affecting his grades. “I just felt sad, I felt dark, I felt alone because nobody was sticking up for me.”

“I got to think deep down they probably knew, but like most parents they didn’t know what to do,” said Drexler, who frequently made excuses after coming home with ripped shirts and a black eye.

“When was bullied I could run home lock the door and I’m safe, nobody else could hurt me. Today, kids can run home lock the door, but then they are being tormented online.”

He’s trying to make long-lasting change in schools by building character and compassion in students. He added that bullying is a learned behaviour and it can be difficult to pinpoint where it starts.

“What we try to do is de-program that and re-program them with positivity, kindness, empathy and compassion. We’re seeing amazing transformation, especially with the kids who have been isolated and feel like they’ve been pushed down and stomped on.

“If we focus our thoughts on kindness and not hate or bullying, then we will slowly see a transition and that’s exactly what’s happened,” he said.

 

Two things on kindness – my very favorite topic!

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Swinging by with a couple of very quick things on kindness today. First a preview of a great quote from Sandra from the next book The Santanapping. In this scene, she is being interviewed by Beatrice Carol the World Wide News reporter about whether kindness really matters or not. Oh Beatrice.

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And the second is to share this photo of what one lucky ducky person kind enough to sign up for the Nice List will win this weekend! I am really excited about this gift I get to send to one of you featuring a Kindness Rocks! mug and burlap tote bag. It’s not too late for you to get your chance at it. Anyone who signs up today will entered to win! And no need for sad faces if you miss out on this one, we’ll have fun drawings every single month for people on the Nice List. You know, cause your nice and kind and kindness rocks! 

Update! Oh Christmas crackers! Today is August 17 NOT August 24! I’m a whole week ahead! My moment of being crackers means you still have a whole week to spread the news on the giveaway and for kindness lovers to sign up! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle