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Cool Cats Coloring Book

Author C.A. Hartnell is excited to give kids who enjoy her award-winning books yet another creative outlet. Children who fall in love with the culture of the 1950s, the era Hartnell’s historical fiction chapter books for children are set in, can now color in scenes from the time period.

A Coloring Book for Children Based in the 1950s

Hartnell’s new coloring book for children, “Cool Cats Coloring Book: The Birthday Party,” features cats in 1950s-style scenes and clothing. Although called a coloring book, the book contains much more than just pages to fill in with crayons, colored pencils or markers. Cool Cats Coloring Book has:

  • A matching coloring game, where kids color in identical ice cream sodas with the same colors
  • A maze of jumbled up string, which is perfect for a cat-themed book
  • The Cool Cats in a variety of 1950s clothes
  • A fall-themed word scramble
  • Facts from October 1955
    • A narrative flows throughout many of the coloring book’s pages as well.

      A Book to Complement Hartnell’s Historical Fiction Chapter Books

      This new coloring book is the perfect complement to Hartnell’s historical fiction chapter books. The images it has of jukeboxes, ice cream parlors, jackets and classic cars help provide a visual context for the world that the chapter books are set in. The fall theme is particularly well-suited to be used alongside Ferocious Fall: Our Wild Weather Escapes.

      Available to Order Now

      If you know a child who loves Ferocious Fall: Our Wild Weather Escapes who’s just getting into Hartnell’s series, or loves coloring, consider getting them a copy of Cool Cats Coloring Book: The Birthday Party. They’ll enjoy the different activities, and they’ll get to learn a little about California in 1955.

      Order the Cool Cats Coloring Book

Best Middle Grade Books

What to Read This Summer? Best Middle Grade Books

Summer Reading

As summer is approaching, you may be looking for the best middle grade books to read. Adventure is the key word for summer reading. What does the word adventure mean? Adventure, a noun, means: an exciting or very unusual experience; participating in exciting undertakings or enterprises; a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome; peril; danger; risk. Why not spend the summer going on amazing adventures by reading books that contain all of the above? You can meet courageous characters and solve mysteries while traveling in the United States, our world, the planets, or even the universe. Those summer reads can be old classics like Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson or A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory written by Roald Dahl and Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner are two more classic adventures. Books invite the reader to travel to exciting places, with fun characters looking for adventure, just by turning the pages.

One of my all time favorites is Because of Wynn Dixie by Kate D’Camillo. It’s not only a popular book but became a movie. The story is about a girl in a small town who adopts a dog and the adventures they have that lead to a satisfying ending. Reading about famous people like President George Washington or President Abraham Lincoln, and their real life adventures, can be exciting. Fantasy books like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the rest of this series by C.S. Lewis, take the reader to a world of grave danger and forever friendships.

A classic mystery, Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell Tatham, follows girl detective, Trixie Belden, and her friends as they venture into risky circumstances to solve mysteries. Other mystery-solving characters are found in the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene or The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon. Though some old classics are hard to find, it’s worth the effort and adventure to search for and discover them. Interested in other middle school books? I wrote my very own book series called The 1950s Adventures of Pete and Carol Ann because I have loved reading adventure books since my childhood. Book two in my series, Sinister Summer: Cars, Cruisers, and Close Calls, is a great summer read. The story takes place in 1955 Southern California. Follow the exciting enterprises of eleven-year-old characters, Pete and Carol Ann, as they solve a mystery during their bold and risky summer adventures. Readers can check out the other Pete and Carol Ann adventure books in my series here. Whatever you decide to read this summer, enjoy the adventure!

April 11, 2015

Good afternoon on this sunny Spring day from the Southwest. Just joined a mystery writer’s blog and am excited to learn more about how to write my grown-up mystery that takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. If your interested, you can buy and read my original book for kids eight and up called Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955. It’s also a cool mystery for anyone who wants to read about the 1950s and learn more about the polio vaccine. Polio is in the news right now as doctors are using the reconfigured polio virus to cure brain tumors and so much more! Enjoy this delightful day!

Las Vegas Author C.A. Hartnell Donates Bibles


LAS VEGAS – (Feb 27, 2015) – Las Vegas author, C.A. Hartnell, has answered the call and is doing her part, teaming up with WHY Ranch and “Stephanie’s Wish” to bring hope to our community’s youth. Hartnell donated 240 bibles on behalf of “Stephanie’s Wish” on January 15, 2015. The bibles have been given to the youth participating in the WHY Ranch’s Diamonds in the Rough program and all those visiting the ranch who are going through challenging times. Each individual will take home a bible that has been stamped with the “Stephanie’s Wish” passage and enclosed with a special bookmarker as a reminder that there is always hope in the face of adversity. The WHY Ranch continues to spread the gift of hope by making sure local churches and youth groups also receive bibles. For more details go to

“Stephanie’s Wish” was born from Stephanie Austin, a teenage girl who passed away of childhood cancer in November of 2013. Stephanie made her wish known to her mother Debbie Austin that she felt spiritually led to take on the task of making certain that a million bibles were given to all of those that have lost hope. Stephanie was unable to see her dream come to pass. However, Stephanie’s parents and all of those who knew and love her have taken up the cause. To date, “Stephanie’s Wish” has placed a bible in over 5,065 hands with a message of hope being within reach to everyone that receives a bible. For more information on how to get involve with “Stephanie’s Wish”, visit


The White Horse Youth Ranch is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Las Vegas organization located at 8390 West Windmill Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89113. It is the mission of WHY Ranch to educate minds, inspire creativity and encourage integrity for the youth of our community through positive interaction with our American living legend –The Horse. WHY Ranch offers free horsemanship programs to young people who are dealing with a variety of challenges and social issues including bullying, divorce, death of a significant caregiver, military separation, illness and difficult home environments. Through the WHY Ranch programs, children and youth are able to heal through developing connected and non-judgmental relationships with horses and with trained staff in a values-based environment. For more information about WHY Ranch and the WHY Ranch Diamonds in the Rough program, visit


C.A. Hartnell writes award-winning historical fiction for children. Her latest series of four books is set in the 1950s and includes stories about polio, patriotism, diners, Route 66 and rock ‘n’ roll. She is a member of four writers’ organizations and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hartnell is also the proud owner of Hawk’s Ride, a 1937 chopped-top, flame-painted and carefully restored Ford hot rod, which she uses to promote her books. More information about Hartnell and her books is available at


Advertising & Marketing Solutions, Inc. was founded in Las Vegas in 1995 to provide outstanding personalized services to every one of its clients. The agency is proud to be known in the community for creativity, quality work and winning results. Services include strategic marketing and advertising development, campaign creation, media planning and buying, public relations, special events and web services. More information is available at

April 1, 2015

Happy April 1st! The original book that I authored for middle-grade readers, Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955, began on April 1st. 11-year-old, Pete, the main character, played an April Fool’s trick on his friend, Carol Ann, which started the story off on a fabulously fun journey. So on this April Fool’s Day of 2015, I’m reminiscing about this book I wrote based on real events in my own childhood in the 1950s in El Monte, California. Like wow! What a time!

Happy Belated Valentines Greetings

Hope your Valentines Day, 2/14/15, was wonderful and that you enjoyed a fabulous February! Spent the month doing research for my new novel that takes place in. Las Vegas, Nevada. My main character, Casey, wants readers to know about the sweeter, kinder, and wildly generous side of her city of lights. Thanks for following.

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