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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.

January 26, 2015

Started filling my portable file with some research I’ve been doing for my latest book-writing efforts. The new book is a modern day Las Vegas mystery for grown ups that showcases the caring, giving, sweet side of the city. The research for my book has me reading other books about Las Vegas “then and now”, mobsters, and police history. It’s been a fascinating journey for me as a writer. I’m gathering lots of notes to put in my portable file as well as a first chapter draft I wrote in 2014. I’ll share a bit about my characters in my next post. So long.

Portable File

This is the portable file I used when I wrote my four children’s chapter books. For my current writing project I can fill each pocket/chapter heading with info, photos and notes to keep things organized. It’s a great resource for me to use as I start this new adventure in writing. Happy day!

January 10, 2015

Happy January 10. Hope the new year has been good to you so far. Haven’t written anything on my newest novel yet but did lots of thinking about it. And found my portable file that I used for my four children’s chapter books. The file stored research, pictures, and written pages in pockets under chapter numbers. This week I will begin to fill this file as I work on my “Sweet Las Vegas Mystery” book. Christmas decorations both at home and at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest are stored away and I’m ready to write. Follow me on this adventure in writing as I introduce my characters in the next post. Happy day!

Las Vegas Kids’ Writer C.A. Hartnell Partners with Opportunity Village During this Holiday Season

The Gift of Giving

“Dig That Crazy Santa Claus,” “What Child is This?” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” played on car radios and Hi-fi stereos throughout the month of December, 1955, in El Monte, California, and in the pages of the award-winning book, Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, by local Las Vegas kids’ writer, C.A. Hartnell. Readers eight-years-old and up, will take a blast to Christmas past in this historical, fiction chapter book and receive a holiday treat!

Follow Hartnell’s main characters, eleven-year-old neighbors, Pete and Carol Ann, during December of 1955, through Wild Winter’s pages that abound with holiday cheer and lessons about the gift of giving. These All-American kids cruised with teen-aged drivers by brilliantly lighted seasonal scenes. Christmas stockings had been hung on fireplace mantels and doors. While “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” played, certain circumstances turned Pete and Carol Ann’s season of joy and giving into a wild winter.

Hartnell’s Wild Winter is book four in The 1950s Adventures of Pete and Carol Ann series. Actual events in Hartnell’s childhood inspired all four books: Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955; Sinister Summer: Cars, Cruisers, and Close Calls; Ferocious Fall: Our Wild Weather Escapes; Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks. Each book in the series earned a 2013 Mom’s Choice Silver Award honoring excellence, and a Literary Classics International 2014 Gold Book Award Best in Category for Best Chapter Book Series. The judges from Literary Classics gave the book series their Seal of Approval and the following reviews: “Highly recommended for school and home libraries.” “Good old-fashioned stories with good old-fashioned values.”

Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, the final book in the series, finds best friends, Pete and Carol Ann, planning a Christmas Pageant to raise money to give to needy families in their 1955 community while they work to discover the crooks who are stealing their money and holiday joy. With fun and suspense, Hartnell transports readers back in time. Today, Hartnell’s love of community and giving shines forth both in her chapter book, Wild Winter, and her volunteer activities for Opportunity Village of Las Vegas, Nevada, and their community of clients. Hartnell gives of her time on the Opportunity Village Foundation Board, attending OV events, and decorating Christmas trees in the OV Magical Forest at 6300 West Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas. She decorates the trees with retro ornaments, Wild Winter book covers, and signs that encourage kids to read for “Reading is a Gift.”

Hartnell’s four, award-winning books for kids can be purchased in the Opportunity Village Gift Cabin at the Magical Forest with a percentage of purchases going to OV, at www.amazon.com, in bookstores, and at her website: http://cahartnell.com/buy-now.html. While the characters in Hartnell’s book, Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, give gifts, work to solve a Christmas mystery, and help needy folks in their 1950s community, Hartnell along with the Las Vegas community discover holiday joy by supporting the Magical Forest that helps Opportunity Village serve intellectually disabled adults . . . a wonderful gift of giving.

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year and may 2015 be a year of many blessings and much goodness! As a self-publisher of four children’s chapter books for middle-grade readers, I’m hoping my wholesome and fun books will take off in huge sales this year! I’m also writing a new, grown-up mystery novel that I don’t plan to self-publish! The story takes place in modern-day Las Vegas but with a 1950s flavor! Right now, the working title is Death at the Polka Dot Diner. Like so many of the books I like to read, the main character bakes up sweet treats while solving mysterious crimes. So follow my progress, in writing this new book, here on my blog. What an adventure! And may dreams come true in this new year of 2015. Happy reading!

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